1. GENERAL COMMENTS:
The deck at a glance looks like a regular 'old fashion' Snoke vehicle deck, Bald Tires or Fat Tires, but in reality utilises a very different kind of machinery to reach its goal. One card and one card only makes this deck consistently hit a high level: ARMORED REINFORCEMENT. The plot provides what other vehicle decks lack, a way to find your main strategic piece while developing your plan uncontested by your opponent.
Armored Reinforcement allows for an entirely unique and VERY efficient deck building strategy: Maximising your strengths while ensuring the deck's engine will always run hot. Whether you tutor for the Firespray-31 and its free mod upgrades or an Umbaran Hover Tank vs 3/4 wide decks, you are almost 100% guaranteed to provide an incredibly high output turn 1 threat while already ramping or stomping your opponents characters with Snoke's Power Action.
There is nothing new to this character combination. It's been developed during the Way of the Force meta and already know what SNOKE, master of all trades, is capable of.
The combination provides huge efficient damage output out of nowhere with the three damage sides of the FIRST ORDER STORM TROOPER powered by Snoke’s Power Action and BAZINE’s Special.
The character team also provides Resource sides for ramping available on all 4 character dice, Hand/Resource disruption with Bazine and the Focuses to maximise damage from Snoke.
On top of this, it is Rainbow, giving access to the entire card pool, comes with a stupid high 26hp for just 27 points and the free resource/tutoring from the included plot. From a critical perspective, it really feels like all of that should not be achievable within deck construction, it really feels, in lack of a better word, unfair!
3. SUPPORTS & UPGRADES:
The heart and soul of the deck are of course supports. Your main strategic pieces are the FIRESPRAY-31 and the UMBARAN HOVER TANK. With Armored Reinforcement and Weapons Factory Alpha providing either 1 or combined 2 resource discount, you can straight up as your first action of the game play any of them if you won the Battlefield roll. I will always go Firespray-31 against 2 wide decks, and will usually decide if I'm going for the Umbaran or not against 3 wide depending on available cards in hand and your opponent's specific character pairing.
The Firespray-31 is bonkers, and its Power Action allows you to play a mod upgrade for free (-2 resources) on it every turn, putting you way ahead of your opponent in the resource generation race. A turn where you start with the battlefield, first action play Firespray-31 from the deck for 2 resources, then Power Action a 2 cost mod on it for free already puts you at a 4 resource advantage, and you are yet to roll a single die, using just 1 card from your hand!! If we are talking efficiency - this is it!
Umbaran Hover Tank is no joke itself, with damage sides matching those of previous 3 cost vehicles, a 2 Disrupt side which is HUGE in a meta where ramping is so important, and a Special capable of doing 6/9/12 damage for just 1 resource if a mod upgrade is on it.
SENATE CHAMBER is there to provide a crazy good Focus die and Power Action, improving just about everything else you do when it is on play.
We usually discuss supports and upgrades selection separately, but in this case, with the upgrades being mods and crucial to the vehicle strategy of the deck it makes more sense to analyse them all together.
Chosen Upgrade – Mods are Arc Caster, Dorsal Turret and Triple Laser Turret. The mods are just too good, they certainly look like weapon upgrades on stereoides, usually providing a much better return of investment than regular upgrades. The drawback of Mods in comparison to character upgrades are supposed to be two-fold:
- FIRST, they deploy on a vehicle, making them a nice 2 for 1 (vehicle + mod) on your opponent’s behalf if they manage to kill the vessel.
- SECONDLY, because they deploy on a vehicle and you start the game with no vehicles in play, they are dead cards until you can find one.
4. FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES/DELVE:
My first iteration of the deck contained only very few supports and a huge removal package, but after just a few games, I realized something. As you are usually providing the first big threat to your opponent, courtesy of Armored Reinforcement, they will be the ones suffering to stop the avalanche of threats you throw at them, struggling to find answers to them, and spending resources on mitigation rather than ramping, which works to your advantage.
Add to this the fact that you have a 91% chance of finding at least 1 mod in your initial hand (if you mulligan all 5 cards, and you should) made me look critically at the deck and change several cards.
FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES is a high risk high reward type of card, but oh man when it hits: Game Over. FiHP is usually very difficult to setup, and you will need high character rolls to go unmitigated by your opponent, which unfortunately does not happen often.
However, again courtesy of Armored Reinforcement, you start the game with the Firespray-31, and are almost guaranteed to put a mod on it for free right off the bat. Firespray-31 + mod + character dice has an incredibly high success rate to trigger a Friends in High Places, even in round 1, and even if they mitigate something.
And what are your FiHP targets? Well, just about the FATTEST supports in the game: VADER'S FIST, supreme ruler of brokenness, AT-ST, king of the support jungle and PLANETARY BOMBARDMENT, the F A T itself. You have around 55-60% of hitting one of these or DELVE with one in hand THEN play Friends in High Places, and you're golden whether hitting a Firespray-31/Umbaran, a mod, Senate Chamber or as a consolation prize a Force illusion.
The mitigation package is super slim in this deck, there is just not enough room for everything and the support/upgrades package takes most of the space. But the mitigation it does play are the good ones.
THE BEST DEFENSE is always good to severely restrict your opponent's early turns, and add to this the 0cost HIDDEN MOTIVE and DOUBT, and of course the always amazing Force Illusion.
PROBE and CHANCE CUBE round off the deck list, providing fantastic defense and resource generation.
Weapons Factory Alpha is the obvious choice here, as the option to play Firespray-31 round 1 without generating any resources is vital to the deck's strategy. Landing Dock could be another option, as the Power Action is very useful when you can maintain its control through a myriad of vehicles. But we don’t play many vehicles, just fat ones.
Mulligan with this deck is pretty easy. Priority number 1 is always a mod upgrade, and you will mulligan all 5 cards if you don’t have one. Apart from that, if you already have 1 mod, Chance Cube is the card you are looking for, possibly adding a 0cost event cards and of course Friends in High Places.
8. PLAY STRATEGY:
Focus on getting the Firespray-31 down as fast as possible, and add a mod to it. That alone is so much resource ramp that you can direct your Snoke’s Power Actions on the First Order Storm Trooper damage sides if you want, or Bazine’s Discard to be as disruptive as possible to an opponent.
Activating Bazine first is a good idea, as she has the Resource and Discard sides which are great targets for Snoke's PA, if your opponent is trying to ramp himself, disrupting 3 resources can be stronger play.
Again, because of how easy it is for us to develop our game plan, it feels better to focus your efforts in disrupting your opponent (resources or hand) rather than going all in on generating more resources.