Written by LUKE MAGNUSON
This is a deck that seeks to combine two different archetypes that we’ve seen have success. The first is the Run and Gun timewalk style, exemplified most clearly by eHan/eBiggs FAT Falcon. eHan/eBiggs was a deck that used Biggs' ability to run lightning fast, taking advantage of action cheats for big damage plays and using time-walks like Hyperspace Jump and Retreat to erase the opponent’s round.
The time-walks of yesteryear are gone, but in their place we’ve received Mean Streets, an enormously powerful battlefield that allows us to simulate time-walks by claiming for a free Flee the Scene, Aerial Advantage, or Entangle.
This archetype has some strong plays, but can generally lack some of the power and damage upside we see in current meta decks. Thus, this deck tries to emulate another archetype: The FAT Shadow Caster reset deck. Shadow Caster decks have an enormous damage upside, because resetting a fully loaded Shadow Caster can easily result in an extra 6-8 damage in a given round. This deck, while not able to reset the Shadow Caster as consistently as the traditional 3wide versions, is able to slow down the game if the situation calls for it and start resetting the Shadow Caster for a bigger damage push.
So then, this is a deck that attempts to combine the speed and time-walks of the eHan/eBiggs archetype with the powerful damage upside of Shadow Caster resets. It sacrifices a little of the speed of eHan/eBiggs to gain the upside of Shadow Caster resets, while sacrificing the consistency of the Shadow Caster resets to gain some of the speed and time-walking ability of eHan/eBiggs. Is it better than either of those archetypes on their own? That is the question. Let’s dig into the deck.
While Snoke and Yoda (and now Watto) have received most of the attention as the games premier resource generators, Lando is right up there with them. He might even be better considering the recent nerf to both Snoke and Watto! With an effective 2 Resource side and an additional 1 Resource side, he provides consistent and powerful ramp. Add to that the resources (discount) from his Power Action, and he can really generate a ton of resources! And while his Power Action isn't working overtime in this particular deck, it does allow for some spicy Millennium Falcon plays (to be discussed later). His main purpose in this deck is to generate resources, allowing for the Shadow Caster reset plays - but he does also bring a couple of 2 Damage sides to the table, which can help boost the damage output if he’s not rolling resources.Oh, and he’s a SCOUNDREL - allowing you to the use of, in my opinion, the most powerful battlefield in the game - Mean Streets. His high die sides also help increase the odds that you’ll end up playing on Mean Streets in the majority of games - the average roll off in this deck is quite high.
BIGGS DARKLIGHTER is the character who really drives this Run and Gun vehicle archetype. His ability to activate a vehicle with him means your vehicle (picked up with Armored Reinforcement) doesn’t slow you down, and the reroll effect helps increase the consistency of your rolls. Both of these things make him especially potent with action cheats, as you’re often rolling 4-6 dice with rerolls (and powerful dice at that, especially if he’s bringing the Shadow Caster with him!). His two 2 Ranged sides also mean that he can contribute significantly to the damage output himself.
The bottom line is that Biggs is THE character who allows you to combine the power of vehicles with the advantages of speed. You can’t run this kind of deck without him.
Need I say anything about this behemoth? The die is terrifying, especially once you get a few mod upgrades on it (and Triple Laser Turret makes it downright silly). There is no more powerful vehicle with resets, which is why this is the vehicle we are pulling in this deck. Using Shadow Caster as the primary vehicle over the Legacies Falcon is what gives this deck a much higher damage upside than the old Han/Biggs.MILLENNIUM FALCON
While slightly overcosted, this vehicle has some nice dice and a good ability (especially in a deck that’s trying to go fast). The power of this card in this particular deck is it’s synergy with Biggs and with Lando’s Power Action. When you drop this with Lando’s PA, you get to activate it with ambush - oh, and activating the Falcon also activates Biggs which activates the Shadow Caster… It’s really an awesome play, and super fun when you pull it off! Having a couple Falcons in the deck also helps to provide some back up plans in the event your opponent blows up the Shadow Caster.
The N-1 has an overall solid die for its cost, with a Special that has incredible upside (both offensively and defensively). This is a less ideal deck for the N-1 Starfighter than the traditional Shadow Caster deck, because it slows us down, and the lack of focus in the deck means we may not hit many Specials. Still, I felt it was important to include at least 1 in the deck, both as insurance against opponent’s Shadow Casters, and as a potential power play later in the game (with the added bonus that it only costs 2 with Lando).
4. UPGRADES (MODS):
A really good damage die for 1 cost, this is mainly here to help get the Shadow Caster all loaded up. The ability is nice, though it often doesn’t do much in this deck, since there’s little focus. Still, it’s a solid card for 1 and probably the best mod to draw in your opening hand.
TRIPLE LASER TURRET
A very powerful die for its cost, plus an ability that prevents the opponent from removing one of the biggest dice in the game… Seems good. This plus the R2 Astromech are the bread and butter of any FAT Vehicle deck.
Paying two resources to reset a loaded Shadow Caster is powerful to say the least. Plus, it’s a 0 cost mod we can throw on the Shadow Caster to decrease the die cost, which is hugely important.
I wanted one more mod upgrade in the deck, and with so little inherent focus having the ability to turn the Shadow Caster to that huge 6 Ranged damage can be very powerful. BB-8 is a potential include here in place of the Targeting Astromech.
5. MITIGATION & HEAL:
It is my belief that what makes this deck a potential contender is the mitigation suite, which - when combined with Mean Streets - is IMO the single most crushing mitigation suite in Destiny at the moment. FLEE THE SCENE
It starts with this card, which is just incredible in any deck playing Mean Streets. It’s essentially 0 to remove any 2 dice with no downside when you use it on claim, which is just plain stupid good. If you draw it in your opening hand you can completely debilitate the opponents first round.
This card is incredibly good in a fast deck with vehicles and mods, and is even better than Flee the Scene when used with Mean Streets - you get to remove any two dice and turn a die to a Blank (if Biggs is still alive) for free. In addition to this, it can double as a sort of Concentrate if you just need to get your dice to the correct sides, which can be huge as a finisher, preventing the need to rely on rolls to get to lethal damage.
When Easy Pickings is your third best removal card, you know something has gone right. Though it’s not great with Mean Streets, it’s still one of the most devastating pieces of removal in the game and a must include in any yellow hero deck (especially with all the Megablaster Troopers running around).
ENTANGLE is a pretty solid piece of removal on its own, and you often do have money to pay for it in this deck. When you can play it for 1 or 0 on Mean Streets it’s just as devastating as Flee the Scene and Aerial Advantage.
Having healing mechanics is important in a low health deck, 20hp, thus the inclusion of Field Medics. And while not as devastating as some of the other removal when used on Mean Streets, it’s a pretty solid play for free and is almost always online.HASTY EXIT
This is the only 0 cost removal available to Red/Yellow hero at the moment, and since this deck is fast it’s generally a good include. It’s especially important to have this card available for the games you do not start with the battlefield.
MEND and SNUFF OUT
These are two more cards that are mainly in the deck for use with Mean Streets. Mend adds another heal card that is very good for 1 or 0, and Snuff Out is another mass removal event that is very good on claim. If you’re worried that the removal suite is a little too reliant on Mean Streets (which is a legitimate concern), these cards could be switched for Way of the Light or Suppressive Fire.
6. TECH CARDS:
One of the potential weak spots of the deck is that it can have difficulties getting off the ground if you don’t roll resources round one (or they get removed). Well-Connected is included to hopefully help correct for some of that variance, and is a card you always want to see in your opening hand.ACROSS THE GALAXY
I keep going back and forth on whether or not I want two of these in the deck. The deck goes in heavily on Mean Streets, and getting to it is essential for the deck to run at top gear. The roll off is high, so you should be able to choose the battlefield in the majority of games, but having a way to switch it in the games you lose the roll off is important. The downside is that this card does nothing in games you win the roll off - it can be rough to have two dead cards in your deck. Still, the battlefield is important enough that it’s a must as a 1 of, and 2 of may be necessary to guarantee you draw it in the games you need it.
This card is brutal on Biggs, as it allows you to activate him and the Shadow Caster with rerolls. It’s even better if you can use it to activate the Falcon while Biggs is still alive. There’s an argument to be made for Drop In in this slot, as it is free - though you’re going even more all in on playing on your own battlefield. If you switch to Drop In I’d definitely go to two of Across the Galaxy.
I’ve been talking about it throughout the article, as Mean Streets is essential to the strategy of this deck. With Hyperspace Jump and Retreat gone, this is the card that allows you to time walk your opponents with cards like Flee the Scene, Aerial Advantage, and Entangle. It is extremely powerful, and you always want to play on it if at all possible. Finding the right balance of building the deck to take advantage of Mean Streets without crippling it in the games the streets aren’t so mean is going to take reps and practice to figure out.
8. MULLIGAN OPTIONS:
You want at least one of the 1 cost removal options in your opening hand. Flee the Scene is ideal, and Field Medic is good as well. If you have a Mod, Aerial Advantage becomes another Flee the Scene and is also good in your opening hand. I like to see 1 cheap mod (R2 Astromech, Dorsal Turret, or Targeting Astromech) that can be played on Shadow Caster (TLT is generally too expensive for round one, and I will throw it back with a mulligan).
Well Connected is always good to see in the starting hand, and Across the Galaxy is generally a keeper unless you need to mulligan for a more important element (such as a mod or a good removal option).
9. FINAL THOUGHTS:
When evaluating a decks competitive potential, one of the things I look for is whether or not it produces easy wins. In sports, scoring margin is often a better predictor of future success than win-loss record and I think the same is true of destiny - one of the best predictors of a decks chances of being a meta deck is its ability to grab easy wins. And let me tell you, when this deck goes right it CRUSHES the competition.
It deals a ton of damage and removes most of an opponent’s dice, leaving them feeling annoyed at best (ask Jon how he feels about Mean Streets…). The weaknesses are:
- The potential to stall round one if you don’t roll resources, and
- Though the roll off is high, in the games you don’t get your battlefield the deck functions worse, unless you’re able to switch to it early with Across the Galaxy (though it’s not dead in the water without Mean Streets, to be clear. It’s just harder).
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