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Written by CLAUS STAAL
Back in the happy days before Desperate Measures and Separatist Embargo was a thing, Luke Magnuson concocted a beautiful symbiosis of the Run'N'Gun Timewalk and FAT Vehicle archetypes. It was a fast and furious semi-FAT Vehicle deck resetting either a Millenium Falcon or a Shadow Caster. The original version could pull home some massive wins while suffering from quite a few deficits.
While the FAT Vehicle archetype as such is dead, which is why this deck is not using Armored Reinforcement like the older version, our preliminary testing of this deck indicates that the basic principles behind the deck could still be viable with a few fundamental twists.
First of all, be prepared to GET FRUSTRATED! This deck can, on its good days, out-perform most of the competitive decks in the format, and when it does it's an absolute joy to play, but MOST days it will annoy the sh*t out of you. Both characters have great abilities, but suffer from terribly inconsistent dice and you rely very heavily on them to perform. Don't tell you I didn't warn you!
Is it a tier 1 deck? No! While the deck does something truly broken, and this is obviously one of the benchmarks for what is required of a tier 1 deck, it nonetheless lacks the consistency to book a seat amongst the best of the best. It doesn't mean that it's not fun to play, because it is, or that it is not frustrating to play against, because it is!
With Snoke out of the ramp race and Watto being nerfed LANDO CALRISSIAN is one of the best resource engines in the game ... unless you want to go with the Droids, but you don't want that, right? With his effective 2 Resource and 1 Resource sides and his Power Action discount to boot he can really RAMP HARD! His main problem has always been his Resource sides being mitigated before you're able to resolve them. But not with PROFITEERING.
Profiteering allows you to set up your boardstate early by simply activating Lando and resolve whatever Resource sides you hit. The resources gained will allow you to play any of your vehicles in your deck, either with Lando's Power Action or straight out of hand. Profiteering definitely feels like the more powerful plot compared to Armored Reinforcement, and is usable even after a discard to reroll. It also allows you to continuously spot a plot for those corner cases where that's relevant.
And he’s a SCOUNDREL giving you access to the powerful Mean Streets. We'll be talking much more about this throughout the article.
BIGGS DARKLIGHTER adds speed to the deck and can be nigh unstoppable if you have a Millenium Falcon in play, but is definitely still useful with any of your supports. His ability to reroll a vehicle and/or mod upgrade die comes in handy especially because many of your vehicles have pretty fickle dice. His character dice though are a catastrophe and he will as often be blanking out as piling damage on your opponent. Even so, he's still the engine that drives this deck forward.
It's always felt overcosted, but the Falcon can be played at a discount with Lando's Power Action and suddenly looks very enticing. It has an amazing ability for this deck and adds plenty of speed, which really is the corner stone of the deck. It obviously synergise beautifully with Biggs and you can easily get all your dice in the pool immediately. With some action cheat you can spike damage fast and even threaten to take down a low to midhealth characters round 1. This is your preferred vehicle, and while others will do fine, nothing can replace the effects created by the Falcon.
The N-1 STARFIGHTER has an overall solid die for its cost, with a Special that can be okay'ish in this deck, especially if you find a Triple Laser Turret. You don't get the big resets that we got use to in the classic FAT Shadow Caster decks, but being able to reset a B-Wing with a TLT can still be pretty strong. The fact that you can play it for 2 resources with Lando's Power Action does raise its stock a bit. The Special can also be used to fight off your opponent's Resistance Crait Speeders and Umbaran Hover Tanks, both of which are looking to make an appearance in the meta. The Starfighter does make the deck slower though, but gives you a bit more stamina if needed.
The STARVIPER is really a funky vehicle. On one hand, it actually has a pretty strong die, but considering its cost it feels pretty disappointing AND it doesn't have a base Ranged damage side, which this deck so much craves! It's including in the deck for two reasons though.
- It's yellow, and we are not exactly spoiled for cheap yellow vehicles, and it can be played with Lando Calrissian's Power Action, which lowers the price tag from horrible to acceptable.
- Despite its deficiencies there are actually not a die side on it that I'd not want to resolve at almost any given time in the game.
The B-WING is a late addition to the deck. In the beginning I thought it was a horrible support, but now I actually appreciate the ability, which allows you get the die into the pool early. The 2 Shield side can be pretty good since you are running a VERY low health team and can give some protection against action cheating Droids (provided you have the initiative and are able to resolve the die before being blasted). It would of course have been much prettier if it had two 2 Ranged damage sides instead of that big shiny blue modified side.
4. UPGRADES & MODS:
The TRIPLE LASER TURRET is still a bit of a test, and while I'm obviously a bit concerned about the vehicle hate around, I still feel that its destructive potential warrants strong considerations for its inclusion in the deck. I understand if you feel differently, but with the speed that this deck offers it can be a killer upgrade on any of your vehicles, but looks particularly powerful on the Millennium Falcon and the B-Wing. It also makes the N-1 Starfighter Special a bit more attractive when you can get two dice in the pool rather than just a 1:1 trade-off.
It has an EXTREMELY powerful die for a 2cost upgrade, while you should have no problems with the payside, and I particularly like the trick of having the B-Wing activate in the beginning of the action phase with a Triple Laser Turret attached and essentially giving you some powerful action cheat (provided you control the Battlefield). It also makes the +3 Ranged damage side look much better.
I'd consider both CHEWBACCA'S BLASTER RIFLE and Han Solo's Blaster excellent in this deck. They each have their own strengths and you can go for whichever you like the better, while I still contemplate adding the odd Ordnance Blaster. It really goes well with Lando Calrissian in combination with Profiteering, basically allowing you to resolve the Ordnance Blaster die every time you roll and resolve a Resource side on Lando. It has built in action cheat as long as Lando is alive.
Chewbacca's Blaster Rifle wasn't particularly popular when it was spoiled, mostly due to it not having redeploy, but has really experienced a renaissance in the Spark of Hope meta. It's fast becoming one of my favourite upgrades and can really be a KILLER when resolvable twice in one round. It also adds plenty of base Ranged damage sides to go with the blues in your deck. On a monetary note ... go and buy your Chewbacca's Blasters now while they are cheap!
I've really been on an off with HAN SOLO'S DICE. On one hand, it's great to ensure that you find the resources needed to play your expensive vehicles and gives a bit of consistency to either Lando's or Bigg's dice and they are both horribly inconsistent, but on the other hand, you can't play it round 1 on Lando Calrissian because you could be at risk of not being able to resolve his 4 Resource side, which you cannot risk, so it kind of falls between two chairs. I'd definitely consider it a flex spot and would even consider adding a We're Home if it stays in the deck.
5. TIME WALK:
Being able to time walk your opponent virtue of ending the round with either a JUMP TO LIGHTSPEED or removing so many of your opponent's dice that there's no significant gain from the rest of the round is one of the most powerful things about this deck! It runs extremely powerful mitigation virtue of its Battlefield, Mean Streets, and it can all change the course of the game at any given time!
Your mitigation suite is ridiculously expensive and only works because of your Battlefield, and while your roll-off is above average (1.41 on the dice), it is by no means guaranteed. Which is why you run ACROSS THE GALAXY to secure the your own Battlefield. The tech was made infamous at Gen Con 2019 when The Hyperloops spearheaded by Mike Gemme, the eventual winner of the tournament, brought it in their Ewok Swarm deck to ensure playing on Arena of Death! You can read Mike Gemme's tournament report and deck analysis on The Hyperloops website, including some insight knowledge on the Across The Galaxy tech itself.
You should ALWAYS, independently of whether you believe you'll win the Battlefield roll-off or not, keep Across The Galaxy in your starting hand! It also gives you the possibility of choosing your opponent's Battlefield, take the shields on your characters and swap Battlefield to Mean Streets the moment you spot a vehicle.
EASY PICKINGS remains one of the best removal cards in the game although it can be tricky getting off in some match-ups and particularly against Droid decks that are either action cheating or able to fend off the Easy Pickings by controlling the die sides in the pool, i.e. turning dice to different sides, but removing two dice for 1 resource is still extremely good value. Don't stare yourself blind on the Easy Pickings though! Your deck is full of plenty of rock hard mitigation and just let go of it if you sense that it's being played around.
ENTANGLE is probably much better now than it used to be. The values of dice sides have generally dropped a bit, we are not seeing many Vader's Fist or Planetary Bombardments around, and Entangle should in most games be good for removing two dice.
FLEE THE SCENE
This is designed with a tricky caveat, but NOT when you play it with Mean Streets. In that instance it is effectively a 0cost removal card that removes 2 dice! IT JUST DOESN'T GET ANY BETTER! The value is through the roof. More often than not it is functionally as good as ending the turn!IN THE CROSSHAIRS can be a blow-out card, but with many decks using mixed damage sides, many decks including both guns and melee redeploy weapons, its value has generally seemed to drop a bit. You are looking to remove three or more dice for it to give a proper return on investment, and at times it's worth removing Blanks to get proper value out of it.
JUMP TO LIGHTSPEED
The replacement for old fan favourite Hyperspace Jump, but just as good if you spot a vehicle. This is time walk in its purest form. It's often the strongest combined with an action cheat card, dealing a bit of damage, possibly disrupting your opponent's resources and resetting the board.
SNUFF OUT is another great card with Mean Streets. You'll always be able to meet the play restriction when simultaneously claiming the Battlefield and I guess there's no need to tell you how powerful it can be to remove all dice showing damage. Despite all its obvious strengths, I'd definitely still consider this a flex spot and there could be arguments for replacing it with cheaper mitigation like Hasty Exit.
6. REMOVAL AND HEAL:
With Darth Vader still relatively popular in the meta as well as plenty of action cheating floating around, making for super consistent line-ups, being able to remove these dice with SUPPRESSIVE FIRE (even bypassing action cheat) is super important! It's worth using it even if Vader rolls double Blanks just to rid yourself of the die. It's also worth considering whether or not Suppressive Fire should be replaced with Improvised Defense, which looks as if its built for the current meta.
You operate with a 20hp character team, which is very low, so FIELD MEDICS can go a long way to keep you alive in those crunch turnse. It might even be worth considering Mend which is great for claiming out with Mean Streets functionally mitigating a 3 damage side. In most games your opponent will be gunning for Biggs Darklighter, which is an argument for picking First Aid over Field Medic, but not being able to heal Lando midgame after Biggs goes down just feels bad.
7. ACTION CHEAT:
IF you have the Millennium Falcon in play and both your characters, then any of the action cheat cards will allow you activate Biggs Darklighter, who gets to activate the Falcon (with a reroll) that in turn will activate Lando. That's as a minimum 5 dice in the pool round 1 with either Ambush or an action to spare. Unfortunately, due to the inconsistency of your dice, you are often looking at just above 1% chance to hit the jackpot and deal 8+ damage from the get go (I use the 8 damage mark as an indication of how fast you can burn down a droid character). So don't go around expecting that to happen too often.
Most of the time though you'll be happy to be able to deal 5+ damage, which means you can reliably kill a midhealth character first action round 2, and either Jump To Lightspeed or disrupt the rest of your opponent's turn with your powerful mitigation.
You run 4 action cheat cards and at times that number has felt low, but generally spot on. You don't want one in your starting hand, so should be looking at 62% chance of drawing at least one in your second hand (4 in left in the deck) and 60% chance of drawing at least one in your third hand (3 left in the deck). Those odds are not exactly flashy, but ok. If you bump the number of action cheat cards to 6 in the deck, you'll be looking at numbers closer to 80% in both draws, but are risking getting stuck with several cheat cards in each draw.
8. CARDS TO CONSIDER:
There are so many cards that would do well in the deck, but the art - as with any other deck - is to identify cards that will improve the deck against all comers and in most situations. I'll briefly discuss some of the cards I've considered for the deck, but that hasn't made the cut after all. You might feel differently about them though.
Both Dismantle and Convergence (both your characters are pilots) have been considered at various points. They basically do the same thing, although Convergence is more flexible, but Dismantle the more powerful of the two. Convergence only works with 2cost supports, upgrades/downgrades, which means that it can target Ezra's Lightsaber, Handheld L-S1 Cannon and Resistance Crait Speeder, just to mention a few, all of which are quite popular, while Dismantle can only target supports, but will take care of most of them including the Unholy Trinity, and you should be able to afford it with your stable resource generation. There could even be an argument for Vandalize looking at how often you have miserable die sides showing on your character dice.
We're Home would be an interesting add although you are not running heavily modded vehicles, nut getting another activation off any of your vehicles could be worth the consideration.
Aerial Advantage is obviously at its most powerful when you have a modded vehicle, but even without a mod upgrade it's still pretty good: Remove a die and turn a die! Could be the solution to your problem of not having too many base Ranged damage sides as it also allows you to turn your own die AND if you spot a mod possibly two dice! This can even be done protected by a Seize The Day to ensure kills out of nowhere?!
Sudden Impact was on my list of 5 Cards To Bring Against Swarms and also makes sense in this deck as it's pretty good against 3wide decks as well. It can be a redeeming thing for many of your big damage sides that are otherwise looking a bit out of order and can be extremely punishing against swarms.
This deck basically wouldn't be functional without MEAN STREETS. We've already discussed at length why you need the Battlefield and you are investing heavily in securing the battlefield. Be prepared for an uphill struggle if you end up NOT playing on Mean Streets! It's not impossible, but it ain't pretty either!
10. MULLIGAN OPTIONS:
Getting the Millennium Falcon in your starting hand is great and is the best possible start you can get, while two mitigation cards just makes life sweeter.
As already said, I've been in doubt concerning Han Solo's Dice, but if you include them, you will want them early. The Golden Dice could also be a Triple Laser Turret, but that's a pretty heavy investment early in the game. From round 2 and onwards you are looking to action cheat damage in early and either Jump To Lightspeed or timewalk your opponent with mitigation.
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