1. GENERAL COMMENTS:
We already did a long write-up on the power of the mod upgrades and FAT Vehicle decks. We recommend you start off with that article before diving into this deck analysis.
The deck was piloted by Separatist Vulkar to a top4 at the Ottawa Regional and he did a good write-up of his match-ups on swdestinydb.
The latest Holocron errata'ed CIENA REE to turn her ability into a Power Action and thereby nullifying the infinite abuse of her ability to reset vehicles. Thereby not saying that it's not still powerful, because it is pretty disturbing being hit by a decked out Firespray-31 or Shadow Caster twice per round.
Ciena's die sides are good and provide everything this deck needs: Resources and Ranged damage. You want to capitalise off her resource sides early and just go nuts with Ranged damage from round 2.
TOBIAS BECKETT also knows how to make money and is in fact disturbingly good at it. His Power Action might benefit both you and your opponent, but his Special can take it right back again! Also note that his Special does not have a "then" clause in it and thus works even if your opponent does not have a resource to lose.
It also means that you can take a resource and if your opponent does not have resource after you've taken one, you can gain another resource. This effectively means that if your opponent only has 1 resource when you resolve a Beckett Special you gain 2 resources! That's outrageously good and makes his Special incredibly powerful!
I've never been particularly impressed with his other die sides, but in a deck where you are relatively flush with money even the 3 Ranged damage for 1 resource starts looking good. His Focus side can also come in pretty handy with a Firespray-31 flying around the block.
There's actually quite a lot of pressure on your dice to perform. You only have 20hp and are not in a position to tank too many rounds of damage. You need to play aggressive and get the most out of your dice in relative few rounds. Maximising on resource gain and dice resolution feels paramount with this character pairing.
3. THE FAT FIRESPRAY-31:
The FIRESPRAY-31 might not have the same out-of-this-world die as the Shadow Caster, but it has a lot going for it! If you have a Triple Laser Turret (or really any other Mod Upgrade) in hand in round 1 and are in control of your Battlefield, Weapons Factory Alpha, you can use Armored Reinforcement to tutor for the Firespray-31, play it for 2 resources and proceed to use the Firespray's Power Action to play the mod upgrade for free. That's potentially 6 resources worth of supports and upgrades played for a mere 2 resources. Not to mention that you now have 2 pretty mean dice to put in the pool! That's insane ramp value!
We've already discussed the absolute broken nature of Armored Reinforcement in previous articles, and nothing has changed. The best tutor in the game - by miles!
TRIPLE LASER TURRET
It's the best mod upgrade you have access to and has a die that represents great value for money. Four great damage sides and an ability that protects the Firespray die from mitigation.
It's cheap and it outshines other comparable weapon upgrades, i.e. DH-17 Blaster Pistol or Energy Bow. The round it's played it has crazy good value and can easily be resolved with either a Beckett or Ciena die before it's rolled right back in with the Firespray.
The ARC CASTER is not as good as the other mod upgrades with dice, but is still nothing to scoff at - in particular because it comes for free on the Firespray. You can reroll any die on the turn it's played and the attached support is activated.
4. OTHER UPGRADES:
HANDHELD L-S1 CANNON
The original poster of the deck, Separatist Vulkar, notes in his deck description that he never found the resources to play the Handheld L-S1 Cannon, and while I agree that resource can at times be scarce, the Handheld Cannon is just nasty! I'll need more test games in to see if that assessment is correct or if it can still find a place in the deck. Main problem is the low health on your characters and putting a Handheld on any of them is just a big fat target mark.
It's your seventh Mod Upgrade and can be really good if you already have a Triple Laser Turret on the Firespray-31. It's great when you are a bit resource starved and need to resolve the Firespray die before resetting it with Ciena. Unfortunately the action exhausts the Targeting Astromech, so it's a once per round use.
5. ANTI-SUPPORT TECH:
Supports are everywhere these days, all the way from Backup Muscles to Planetary Bombardments and bringing cards that can get rid of them is a good idea. You don't want to be a sitting duck once that Shadow Caster hits the board.
The AT-ST is the only card in your arsenal that can bring down a Vader's Fist, Falcon or similar. You'll need to plan for it if you intend to counter one of the big supports because you'll most likely need to sacrifice the Armored Reinforcement to bring it into play, which then means that most of your original strategy has to be modified accordingly. If you suspect a Fist to be played then bringing in the AT-ST might be the right call, and although you can play your mod upgrades on it, it's going to cost you.
SABOTAGE only hits supports, while VANDALIZE hits both upgrades and supports. Either way, you'll be sacrificing cards in hand or character dice to remove either. Both are great though, and with the amount of FAT Vehicles around, it's smart to tech against them. They also serve as pseudo-mitigation removing a die in the pool alongside the upgrade/support, and Vandalize is great for getting rid of redeploy weapons.
DOUBT and HE DOSEN'T LIKE YOU are your 0cost mitigation cards. The latter feels really bad in your opening hand because you don't really have any expendable dice. Activate Ciena first and remove one of her dice over Beckett's.
ENTANGLE is just hardcore and great at removing the best dice from the pool, while Pinned Down should be hard removal from round 1 once you get your Firespray-31 into play.
I'm not totally convinced that RISKY MOVE is better than Electroshock. They are both Spot Yellow, just like Entangle, and while Electroshock is limited in the dice it can remove, I'd be cautious about giving my opponent Ambush, in particular with the eYoda/eLeia's and eYoda/eHan's running around. I guess it's a meta call and Risky Move is definitely superior if expecting plenty of hardhitting vehicle decks. I'd probably try a 1:1 split.
7. TECH CARDS:
FRIENDS IN LOW PLACES
Being able to control your opponent's hand is good, and removing key cards like a Price of Failure or mitigation is very strong.
PARTNERSHIP allows for a bit of action cheating and can be really good once games get tight. I honestly haven't used it and would probably look to add more mitigation instead.
One of your biggest enemies is Hyperspace Jump. You need long rounds to set up, harvest resources and resolve dice. A Hyperspace Jump can be debilitating for you. Snuffing them out with Probe can be absolutely crucial for you. Remember to time your Probe right. It should be used once your opponent has played his upgrades - be wary of action cheating decks!
8. MULLIGAN OPTIONS:
It's important that you start with an Upgrade Mod in your starting hand to get the most out of your Firespray-31 from the get-go. The Triple Laser Turret is the best, but any will do. Remember that you can activate the Firespray and attach the Targeting Astromech when needed - if you have the resources - otherwise just save it for next round.
Against other FAT Vehicle decks you need the Vandalize immediately, but I also find it to be a great tech card against midrange decks or to remove Chance Cubes once they have paid to roll it into the pool.
A 0cost mitigation, preferably Doubt, and a Pinned Down, gives flexibility and can take some pressure off your low health characters.
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