eJabba/Wat/Sentinel - Deck Analysis

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1. INTRODUCTION:
Written by CLAUS STAAL

This deck was piloted by TYLER FULTZ to a top8 spot at the recent North American Championship and it really feels like an evolution of Snoke's Unholy Trinity and eWatto/Wat/Talzin. It also attempts to answer the question on whether supports are still worth it in meta that was widely expected to be heavy on support hate. I guess we can answer that in the affirmative. The Unholy Trinity is as UNHOLY as ever!Tyler Fultz top8jpg
As you'll notice, this deck differs from most other Jabba support decks that have been circulated so far by adding the Umbaran Hover Tank, which we really haven't seen around for a while, and it's a beautiful addition to the deck by Tyler Fultz and definitely one of the reasons why he was able to take down Andrew Cox's Ewok swarm in the top16 at the North American Championship although he had to surrender in a tightly fought top8 game against eventual champion Mike Gemme.

This is the version of the Jabba 3wide support deck that we decided to feature in the YOUR Destiny Gauntlet. It does feel like a very well rounded list capable of taking on all comers and in the test games I've had with the deck it can really push the limit for damage early and/or set up a crazy boardstate. It generates a ton of money!

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Going forward there will definitely be changes to this deck to keep it firmly placed amongst the best decks in the format, but this is a strong place to start and Tyler Fultz's great run is a testimony to this. Also remember that Nick Obee aka Tacster from The Artificery finished runner-up at the event with a deck very similar to this. I'm sure Nick Obee's tournament report will be available soon and you should swoop over to The Artificery to check it out.

DISCLAIMER:

I've reached out to Tyler Fultz to let him know of this article coming out. If you are out there and mind us using the list please let us know. You can reach us at yourdestinypodcast@gmail.com!

2. CHARACTERS:
jabba support2jpgJABBA THE HUTT - INFLUENTIAL KINGPIN takes the place of Watto as the moneymaker of the deck, while adding his own powerful flavour to the deck. With his two Resource sides, that goes well with the dice sides of your other characters, he seems made for a support deck, while also adding consistency with his 2 Focus side.

His after ability allows you to dig deep for your mitigation and tech cards if you need it, you have 8 target cards in the deck, while his 10hp can keep him in the game even against decks that can spike damage fast, i.e. Droid aggro decks.

Jabba's after ability is also interesting in conjunction with Entourage as the combination of the two basically allow you to have some kind of control over the composition of your deck throughout a game. You can choose to stack cards in the bottom of your deck, reveal a yellow event and add it to your hand if you want to (even if its just to add another card for rerolls later), but you can also reshuffle your deck using the tutor effect of Entourage if you need the cards stacked in the bottom to get distributed into the deck again.

WAT TAMBOR is key early in the game when you are setting your boardstate. His Power Action allows you to get multiple uses of your Entourage dice, which can either secure an almost unstoppable ramp, or simply overpower your opponent with damage fast, or get a crazy head start against swarm decks with a double Umbaran Hover Tank Special smiting your opponent with an avalanche of damage. His dice sides are awesome providing both super consistency with two Focus sides and two Resource sides, the latter being super sweet with Jabba's +2 Resources.jabba support3jpg
The SENTINEL MESSENGER is really the perfect support character, low cost, a great die giving plenty of Focus sides, a single powerful damage side as well as an after ability that can offer you an effective hand size of 6 cards if you map out your rounds well. He's excellent at setting up Forsaken plays, while his 2 Melee side is great at getting the most out of No Good To Me Dead early in the game! Allowing you to peek at the top card of your deck also makes Jabba's ability slightly more reliable. The only downside is that if you draw into a support, you cannot play it using Wat Tambor's Power Action.
watjpgWat Tambor's Power Action is really what makes this deck sing! It basically gives any supports you play in this deck that completely broken feeling you normally only get from Vader's Fist! This should also lead to an investigation into what other supports to utilise if you want to shake up the deck a bit!

3. THE UNHOLY TRINITY:
There's been plenty of discussion as to the merits of the heavier supports in the meta following the release of Spark of Hope and the two support hate cards, Desperate Measures and Separatist Embargo, of which the first is obviously the bigger threat although an early embargo naming ENTOURAGE can be a real killer.jabba support5jpgBut these fears aside, Entourage remains one of the most powerful supports in the game, if not THE MOST POWERFUL! It's the support the least affected by Desperate Measures because it replaces itself due to its tutor effect and its cost is at a level where you can live with losing it. It might not have the pure destructive capability of other supports, but it has multiple strengths and if left unchecked can both advance your boardstate and start pummeling damage into characters at an ever increasing rate. The Special can easily hit for 3 damage, but caps at 5 damage in this deck.
jabba support7jpgThe remaining two parts of the Unholy Trinity, the indomitable VADER'S FIST and MEGABLASTER TROOPERS - one of the most difficult cards to get your hands on in the Convergence days -  has been surrounded by question marks for some time. Would they be worth playing? Would they be too big an investment lost so easily?

Well ... it would appear that they are as good as ever. Sure, they can be blown up, but if you are able to protect your investment and willing to take the risk, then they can definitely repay your faith. BIG TIME!

Megablaster Troopers is even better in this deck than most because you have two Leaders available, Jabba the Hut and Wat Tambor, while its three dice can look really menacing with Focus sides on all your characters. That's a possible 7 damage per turn!

4. SUPPORTS:
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The UMBARAN HOVER TANK is a powerful tech against 3wide decks, but shows its true devastating power against swarm decks. Being able to put 12 damage on a 6wide deck with one die is just INSANELY good and resolving the die twice if played with Wat Tambor's Power Action is just out-of-this-world-value.

FICKLE MERCENARIES round off your support package and adds plenty of punch to the deck. Few opponents end up generating the resources to actually take over the mercenaries and they are more often than not representing value far above the 1 resource you paid! They also give you another Scoundrel to spot with the Entourage Special!

5. UPGRADES:
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Both the HANDHELD L-S1 CANNON and the PULSE CANNON are excellent weapons. They both suffer from not having redeploy, but can be great end game pieces on your last character, and can also be used to divert attention from whatever character is being focused down. The +3 Ranged damage side on the Handheld Cannon goes really well with a plethora of dice in your deck including the Fickle Mercenaries, Vader's Fist and all the dice from the Megablaster Troopers. Even the Umbaran Hover Tank has a 2 Ranged damage side and the modifier will rarely be wasted.

A Sentinel Messenger with a Pulse Cannon and possibly a couple of supports to back him up can easily finish a game all by his own lonesome self. And any of the two guns should probably always go on the Sentinel just to make your characters equally juicy targets. I'd probably consider dropping a Pulse Cannon to make room for a few flex cards.

We previously did a bit of statistics on the Pulse Cannon which might be good to memorise in case the math fails you at the table:top cards soh9jpg

6. RESOURCE GAIN:

jabba support12jpgI love the inclusion of NO GOOD TO ME DEAD in the deck! Fantastic tech that can really make you ramp hard round 1 or 2 and help set up your boardstate. It essentially turns the Indirect damage sides and the Special on Entourage into a 2 Resource side, which are often not mitigated by your opponent whereas the Resource side will be removed promptly, if able, to prevent you playing the second Entourage you just tutored from the deck. A beautiful leftover from the old eVader/Greedo deck and it really works wonders here. It can also easily be set up with the Sentinel Messenger's 2 Melee side, which is also rarely mitigated by your opponent.

WELL-CONNECTED is in most instances superior to Truce because it doesn't really give your opponent an advantage when played after a claim, which is likely to happen because you are a slow paced deck. The extra card draw can of course be a gamble IF you need the resource immediately to finish off a character, i.e. for the 3 Ranged payside on the Fickle Mercenaries or 3 Indirect payside on the Handheld Cannon, but more often than not you should be okay! It could be contemplated running Mobilize or Logistics instead, but those cards cannot be fished out of the deck by Jabba The Hutt's Power Action so that's a no go.

7. TECH CARDS:

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We already talked plenty about DESPERATE MEASURES ... and yes it's good. Like REALLY good. Most decks are running some kind of support, whether it's It Binds All Things, murder droids or heavy duty stuff. Even removing supports like Suppressive Fire can be massive.

Whether to choose COUNTERINTELLIGENCE over Probe is an interesting question. I've always been a HUGE fan of Probe, but due to the uncertainties involved and the need for you to safeguard the rounds in which you can reach critical mass with your supports, Counterintelligence definitely feels like the better choice. The same thing applies here as for Megablaster Troopers, because you spot two leaders it is just a much safer bet. It's also much stronger than Probe if you need to activate early in a round with the Sentinel Messenger, and draw it from the top of your deck, when your opponent still has a full hand to deal with.

8. REMOVAL:
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In a deck full of single die mitigation being able to blow out an opponent's round by removing two of his best dice can be vital. ENTANGLE fits the bill on several accounts. It's yellow so can be fished out of the deck with Jabba's Power Action and usually removes two dice in one go. It does suffer from being spot yellow, but the ups definitely outweighs the downs here. If you are aiming to remove dice that have big die sides, removing them early when they are still showing low values can definitely be the smarter move. It's also your only mitigation card that'll cost you resources which really helps you ramp faster and gain a bit of speed in building your boardstate.

In a previous article we discussed "5 Cards That Are Underrated for the Spark of Hope Meta" and Partners in Crime was mentioned as one of these cards. SHAKEDOWN really falls in the same category and I think the inclusion of it is one of the strongest techs of the deck. You have a Disrupt side on every single of your upgrades and supports as well as one on Jabba's dice. You are likely to see at least one Disrupt side every single round and who would ever in their right mind spend a card to remove a Disrupt side? Although conditional this is probably one of the best mitigation cards in the deck!jabba support15jpg
Being able to remove ANY die (value 2 or higher) for sure can come in really hand, sacrificing two cards in hand to do so can be tough. Hence A SINISTER PEACE really does make sense as a one-off, but boy do I really like it when I see it! Do remember to preserve your hand size whenever it's sitting there. If you need to discard to reroll your effective hand size is just 3 if you still want the option of removing a die with it!

DOUBT, FORSAKEN and HIDDEN MOTIVE are all some of the favourite mitigation cards and will remain so until they rotate out (unless of course better alternatives are released). Remember with Hidden Motive that it's almost always better to call the symbol you don't want your opponent to get on the reroll than just picking the symbol with the highest possibility of having the die removed UNLESS you are looking at die with a high prevalence of one particular symbol, i.e. Pulse Cannon (although the two are obviously often overlapping).
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9. BATTLEFIELD:
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Tyler Fultz went for THEED ROYAL PALACE in his version and being able to trade one of your useless dice for a resource is always good and will make it all but certain that you'll get to play AT LEAST 1 Entourage early round 1 (getting to utilise Wat Tambor's Power Action even if he's at risk of getting focused down round 1), while SALT FLATS would be the other obvious Battlefield to choose. Turning Jabba's die to the +2 Resources side or guaranteeing the 2 Focus side on either Jabba or Wat Tambor is really powerful while it can also be used as soft mitigation.

10. MULLIGAN:
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Normally, with any deck, you have a clear mulligan strategy, but this one honestly feels a bit more difficult. Mostly because it's teching against a number of archetypes and there really are a great number of powerful starting hands that can be pulled. You ALWAYS want to see an Entourage! ALWAYS! It's the gravitation point of the deck and you probably want to pitch everything to draw into it. Remember that Jabba can fix a hand weak on yellow mitigation and/or tech cards, while there's not much that can be done about not finding the right supports! You have 31% chance of drawing it in your first five.

IF you do not draw an Entourage in your starting hand even after the mulligan, then remember you have one more shot with the Sentinel Messenger's after ability! If this situation arise remember to have 3 resources available to be able to play it straight out of the top of the deck. You won't be able to benefit from Wat's Power Action for the first Entourage, but can use it on the second Entourage tutored from the deck.ewok swarmjpg
Against 3+wide decks you'll definitely want to see the Umbaran Hover Tank and maybe less to no mitigation. Desperate Measures is also a bit tricky. I'd definitely keep it in the mirror match and against eSatine/eR2-D2/C-3P0 and ReyLo against the latter it can take care of an early It Binds All Things, R2-D2 or Luke's Protection, while I'd pitch to redraw against most other decks.

I like an early Counterintelligence to ensure a first round where you ramp really hard by getting your opponent's mitigation out of his hand! Mitigation is going to be a lot weaker once you have loads of supports out, while an early Easy Pickings or Entangle can be incredibly debilitating for your game.

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