eIden/eBeckett - Deck Analysis

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(CLICK THE IMAGE to go straight to swdestinydb to start tinkering with the deck).

1. INTRODUCTION:
WRITTEN BY Claus Staal

Mark Lockett did a deck analysis of eIden/eBeckett after he took the pair to an impressive top16 finish at the UK GRAND CHAMPIONSHIP 2019. That Grand Championship was played in the Convergence meta and not only has the meta changed quite significantly since June 2019, remember those were the days where Snoke was still terrorising the galaxy #MakeSnokeGreatAgain, but the entire take on the deck has shifted back to a guns'a'blazin' style, probably realising that there are more effective support based villain decks out there, the archetype of Mark Lockett's deck, like 4-LOM and Aphra decks. 

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I recently noticed that one of our patrons, Firehawk, had used the pairing to take down a 33-man Prime Championship in Roselle, Illinois - CONGRATS - and got curious as to how the deck played out.

So, I put it together and managed some 20+ games with it and while this aggro version is significantly different from the support based version, I had to admit that I really liked this middle/middle version better, and it definitely feels like the stronger archetype for the characters (in the current format) and has decent Gauntlet match-ups.

It's not a flashy deck and has some clear weaknesses, and although Firehawk defeated a Chopper Droids deck in the Prime Championship final, you can read his own report on swdestinydb including his match-ups of the tournament, hero droids do appear to be some of your hardest match-ups, even if you have excellent tools to fight both action cheat and low to mid-health characters, both of which are characteristics of both Chopper and Han Droids. I'm currently 5-4 against Hero Droids with this deck.

2. CHARACTERS:
Both TOBIAS BECKETT and IDEN VERSIO feel really good in the current meta. They combine strengths that make them good at countering common threats present in many popular decks and can spike damage pretty hard when required to.

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IDEN VERSIO'S ability to protect against action cheat is pretty clutch in a meta that's rife with Ewok Ambush and Instigate. And her die is pretty solid as well. I get annoyed every time I see a Discard side, but I'm probably just grumpy due to half my test games were played against Aphra Droids. You are (also) deep in Easy Pickings territory with your dice, but that's a risk you'll have to work around. Her 2 Focus side is eye-candy for sore aggro players ... Tactical Mastery into lethal damage: MUAHAHAHA ....

TOBIAS BECKETT has such huge potential, but receives little to no love. I wouldn't object to anyone claiming that 4-LOM could take the place of Beckett, but that'd make for a totally different deck though. And 4-LOM is not a Leader. Beckett's main strength is not his damage sides, and that 3 Ranged for 1 is such a bummer at times, but it's his ability to make money and steal money. That's why you can run Megablaster Troopers and Pulse Cannon. He also excels at keeping villain support decks from the magical 3 resources that give them access to Delve! Nobody wants to get fisted round 1 (sorry) ...

I miss the Truce into Beckett Special trick, mostly because its super annoying for your opponent, but not enough to take out any cards to make space for it, and between his Power Action and Special, you'll usually be able to finance most of your shenanigans. Even the payside on the First Order Storm Trooper dice.

3. UPGRADES/SUPPORTS:
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Your gun suite has the A-300 BLASTER and the DX-2 DISRUPTOR BLASTER PISTOL as its main 2cost weapons! They have identical dice, but the former being Redeploy and the latter improving your ReyLo match-ups or simply adding firepower against any deck using Shields, Riot Shields, Armor Plating, etc. to protect their characters. The guns make you very weak against Easy Pickings, because their die sides align so well with your characters, so get your sequencing right when playing against yellow hero decks ...

The PULSE CANNON replace Tobias Beckett's Rifle as your 3cost gun, and it does seem superior in almost every way possible. You can play the Pulse Cannon round 1 if you use Tobias Beckett's Power Action or hit the Beckett Special, while your ability to control the die by deciding how many resources you have available prior to resolving the Pulse Cannon Power Action really makes Beckett look strong in conjunction with that weapon. You'll need to protect your Pulse Cannon die, removing it removes lots of damage and value from the pool, which means cheating it out with Tactical Mastery is usually a good idea.

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While the Disrupt sides have always been a nuisance on your guns, and all your guns have two Disrupt sides, it doesn't seem that bad in the current meta where the ability to keep your opponent off resources can be essential in the early rounds. Being able to consistently prevent your opponent from playing Delve into a Vader's Fist or Megablaster Troopers is just THAT good at the moment.

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I've been a bit unsure of the inclusion of the INFERNO SQUAD ID10 SEEKER DROID. On one hand it fits beautifully with Iden Versio's ability, obviously, but on the other hand, while the Special is great, I often feel it doesn't do much outside of that. You already have plenty of Focus sides on your character dice and I'd much be slinging a gun or saving up for a Megablaster Troopers. I guess the main point is that it can remove Delves or force your opponent into using his mitigation early ... I also had a few games where the Special removed an Easy Pickings before I started focusing into multiple 2 Ranged damage sides, but I've also discarded it from my hand in several games. I guess I'll give it another few test games, but am definitely willing to cut it from the deck. A replacement could be REACH THE STARS?!

RIOT SHIELD is just amazing on Iden Versio. She's already boasting 12 health, but with a Riot Shield she's Vader level health, which is not a bad spot to be in.
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Both CONSCRIPT SQUAD and MEGABLASTER TROOPERS are really no-brainers in this deck. The Conscript Squad die is really good for a 1cost support, and it stacks nicely with your other dice even with two modified Ranged damage sides, and you won't mind losing it to an early Desperate Measures if it means keeping your Megablaster Troopers safe for later in the round. Conscript Squad add speed to you deck because it can activate with either of your characters and can be great to spike characters using Tactical Mastery to bypass mitigation.

The Megablaster Troopers add so much value to the deck and will retain its 3 dice until the end of the game because both your characters are Leaders and it's an awesome end game piece with the 3 Indirect damage side being massive when your opponent is reduced to just one character. You should have no problem getting Megablaster Troopers into play early using Tobias Beckett's Power Action and/or Special, and it can often be the stronger play to forego early damage if it means setting up a round 1 Megablasters. As always be on the lookout for those Desperate Measures!

4. REMOVAL:
In addition to the two Riot Shields, this deck runs 9 pieces of mitigation, but most of it is pretty situational, although I don't feel I've ever had problems removing dice when needed.

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A SINISTER PEACE is excellent for removing high value dice and because it's 0cost mitigation still allows you to play an upgrade and never be left completely vulnerable. I've considered replacing it with DOUBT, because I often feel short on cards in my hand, but that's probably mostly because I have bad experiences with Probes that seem to hit my hand like a sledgehammer, but I should really leave those dark thoughts behind because A Sinister Peace is the superior removal card. I'm letting you know in case you have been entertaining similar silly thoughts.

ELECTROMAGNETIC PULSE is obviously situational, but with the amount of Droids running wild in the meta, including 4-LOM, hero Droids and Sentinel Messengers, it rarely lets you down. Resistance Crait Speeders are also finding their way into more and more decks, which just adds to the value of the EMP.

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MEASURE FOR MEASURE is great because you have plenty of Trooper dice to remove, especially if you have Megablaster Troopers in play. Nobody wants to remove an Iden Versio die, but the Conscript Squad Blanks are a different story altogether.

ROUT is a bit fickle, hence only a one-off, but you'll love it once you get to remove multiple dice. It's superior to The Best Defense..., don't fall into that trap, and removing 1-for-1 is fine. No need to get greedy.

Yellow villains really don't have a lot of good removal, and normally SHAKEDOWN would fall into the category of bad removal, but in this particular deck it actually looks pretty strong. You have loads of Disrupt sides, especially with one of your guns in play, and both supports have a Disrupt side as well. I've rarely been in a situation where Shakedown wasn't online, and it's 0cost. SWEET!
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5. TECH CARDS:
The question on whether to COUNTERINTELLIGENCE or PROBE is usually pretty difficult to answer, and often both are included ... if not for any other reason than both of them are pretty damn good. Choosing one over the other really comes down to preference, and how well you can protect your Leader, which is not a problem in this deck sporting two, but I guess that Counterintelligence could be seen as better simply because it gives you certainty of removing mitigation from an opponent's hand, possibly his only mitigation, and therefore facilitating your objective of bursting down a character fast.
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The only problem is the wealth of Sentinel Messengers around that will let your opponent draw back into that mitigation when activating the Sentinel. Sure, you can play around that problem, but that requires a bit more careful sequencing and will make the card less powerful regardless. I'm toying with the idea of going 1:1 just to see how that pans out.

NEVER leave home without DESPERATE MEASURES. Need we say more?
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Apart from Iden Versio's ability, that effectively stops action cheat, TACTICAL MASTERY and FOCUSED FIRE are probably your strongest tools against hero Droids. Action cheat into 6 Ranged damage, possibly made unblockable with the DX-2 Disruptor Blaster Pistol bypassing Shields in the process, can take down characters out of nowhere. It doesn't take much to achieve that against 8 health characters: A Conscript Squad and Iden Versio with a sidearm usually takes care of business. It'll cost your resources for the round, but Tobias Beckett will make you some more! You don't want any of these cards round 1, unless you are playing against PlothWoks, but it's amazing round 2+.

6. BATTLEFIELD:
eIden/eBeckett used to play on MILITARY CAMP, but that's just not an option with hero Droids lurking around. They are MUCH faster than you and you cannot afford to let them roam around on that Battlefield. IF you are crazy enough to go Military Camp, you'll probably need to squeeze in Seizing Territory as well ... but you are not that crazy.
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SALT FLATS
is the other obvious choice with two Leaders available, allowing you mitigation or auto-focus, while I'm also kind of thinking BENDU'S LAIR. The die is awesome and against most support based decks you will outpace them.

7. MULLIGAN:
I like to see at least one upgrade, preferably a 2cost gun, and a Conscript Squad in my starting hand. I'll usually mulligan away Megablaster Troopers and Pulse Cannons, but won't mind terribly if I get them back - unless I smell a Desperate Measures coming up, which you'll know using Counterintelligence... It does change your first round though, but you don't really mind when you get access to 3 good dice.

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A selection of mitigation to supplement dependent on the match-up, Electromagnetic Pulse against Droids, while both Shakedown and Measure For Measure are pretty safe choices, the former if you already have a 2cost gun in your hand, the latter with Conscript Squads. You always drop Tactical Mastery and Focused Fire, unless you firmly believe you can take out a character round 1 using either.

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