eSnoke/Watto/First Order - Deck Analysis

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1. INTRODUCTION:

Written by CLAUS STAAL

This deck, which I usually refer to as the "Unholy Trinity" is probably one of the most "straightforward" decks to come out of Convergence! It is based on a character pairing that was  widely anticipated and expected to do well, mostly because its precursors - that are not so different from it - have done ridiculously well in previous metas, and because it aims to do one single thing: Use all the best cards in the game! And it does exactly that - and to devastating effect!

Scott MacDonald took the deck to a first day 6-0 finish in the Standard event at the Galactic Qualifier in Milton Keynes, but I'm going to stick my neck out claiming that there's still some room for improvement here ... I know, cocky!

It is the deck to beat at the moment, and while by no means unbeatable, you'll need to be firing on all cylinders to take this beast on!

2. CHARACTERS:

SNOKE is undoubtedly the absolute best enabler in the game unless you are a die hard Yoda fanboy! His die sides represents everything you will be looking for in a support character while his Power Action is so absolutely broken and limiting for card designs that most people can't wait for him to rotate out. I'm good with it, but it seems that you're either WITH The Supreme Leader or AGAINST him, and the latter is more often than not a losing strategy!Unholy 2jpg
WATTO - STUBBORN GAMBLER is just a beast all on his own lonesome self. Everybody knew when they saw him spoiled that he'd be a keeper and a major impact on the Convergence meta. The real question was always going to be whether Watto or Wat Tambor would be the go-to sidekick for Snoke!? The question is not entirely settled yet, but Watto does look like he's taking an early lead in the race!

Not being able to remove a character's character dice with events is just so incredibly powerful and in particular when you are boasting a die as powerful as Watto's! Three resource sides - even if one is a modified side - as well as a Discard and a 2 Disrupt ... pfttt ... people were wondering if they'd miss Bazine: I guess not!

Good old trusty FIRST ORDER STORM TROOPER ... good old trusty meat shield ... good old trusty Ranged damage sides that can go absolutely NUTS when fired with rounds of Snoke Power Action! Giving access to a host of red power cards for 'dat sweet rainbow flavour as well as boasting 50% damage sides ... what can really go wrong?

3. UPGRADES:
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HANDHELD L-S1 CANNON
LOVE IT! HUGE damage sides and the +3 Ranged damage is eazy-peazy to resolve in this deck which has loads of base damage sides to make all four damage sides resolvable! Still one of my favourite cards and all but makes me forget about the DH-17 Blaster Pistol! Love's fickle, right!

INFERNO SQUAD ID10 SEEKER DROID
The ID10 Seeker Droids are a beautiful touch to the deck! They allow you great control, either using the Special to pick out mitigation, to allow for uninterrupted turns, or a heavy hitting support to limit your opponent's boardstate. It also has those sweet focuses if needed as well as a Resource side! Ah - and no Blanks!Unholy 5jpg
RIOT SHIELD is fast becoming many players favourite uncommon card from Convergence! It blocks three damage on the First Order Storm Trooper, two on any other character, and is a tiny Force Illusion! Proactive mitigation rocks!

4. UNHOLY TRINITY:
As I wrote in my tournament report from the Galactic Qualifier in Milton Keynes, a point I think is worth reiterating here, if you play rainbow villains - which you probably should - and you are not including the 'UNHOLY TRINITY' of VADER'S FIST, MEGABLASTER TROOPERS and ENTOURAGE, then you are probably doing something wrong!Unholy 7jpg
Don't get me wrong ... there are a lot of powerful cards out there and you can obviously play whatever you want, but the value from these three cards is absolutely NUTS! All of them are pretty broken and each offers their own strength(s) to the deck! When assessing powerful cards you'll primarily be looking at "the return on investment" and how fast that ROI will be!

All three cards in the 'Unholy Trinity' are examples of cards with extremely high ROI and it almost pays off IMMEDIATELY! You break the curve when you get all the resources spent back and can replace the card in hand immediately, and while damage is difficult to asses, a rule of thumb can be, IF you can deal 2 damage for each resource spent over the course of a game, you're probably looking at a good investment!Vaders Fist wallpaperjpg
We've already dealt extensively with Vader's Fist in a plethora of articles, like here, here, here and mostly recently here (just to drop a few), and it just doesn't seem to slow down! There's even a cute little trick in this deck just to ensure that it remains a truly broken card! Possibly 3 resolutions from the Fist the round you play them, six nuts die sides and 66% damage sides ... yep! Broken!

Megablaster Troopers is actually not a broken card, it's great when spotting a Leader to maximise on the dice, and potentially 7 damage (3 Indirect and 4 Ranged damage) is pretty good, but it's the amount of dice that really matters! Unless your opponent sits with a Dodge, Dive or In the Crosshairs, he'll have difficulty dealing with all the dice you are throwing at him. Megablaster Troopers does not have the high ceiling of Vader's Fist, but it certainly does have other strengths, even if the dice are pretty fickle! That's of course not a problem if you have Focus sides to help you out - and you do!Unholy 8jpg
Entourage represents it's own category of broken! It almost breaks the curve because it can replace itself (the first Entourage played), almost pay for itself (2 Resource side), tutor for other Scoundrel cards such as the Fickle Mercenaries, or - God help us - Hired Muscle when it is released in the Allies of Necessity (should be April 25, 2019), and even accumulate insane amounts of damage with the Special! It represents incredible value and you'll probably want to hold onto this one in your starting hand!

Being able to tutor 2 cards out of your deck, one of which will be a VERY cheap support with big damage sides is incredibly strong and could make this the pick for the best Legendary printed in Convergence!

5. SUPPORTS:
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SLAVE-1 is a great include in this deck! Its die sides are not impressive for a 3cost support, but combine it with the Power Action and it suddenly looks pretty strong! It can give you another shot at fixing the Watto die (on top of his own Power Action) while also being free removal in the process. If you are trying to remove a die showing a Special, then you should Power Action your Entourage die (33%), whereas Watto's die is perfect for removing a 2 side (50%)!

FICKLE MERCENARIES
Lots of people were hating on Fickle Mercenaries in the beginning, but are getting won over by it! It's a 1cost support with 50% damage sides and big 2 Disrupt side and a Discard side, all of which are usable! As a minimum it will be worth 2 Disrupt if your opponent takes control of it! You'll want that die in the pool as soon as possible to make sure that if it gets taken by your opponent, he won't be able to use it! I'd probably still keep 1 copy of Fickle Mercenaries, even when Hired Muscle lands, and find space to fit all three cards in the deck! They also add another Scoundrel card to boost the Entourage Special - because that card needs help (NOT!).Unholy 10jpg
The IMPERIAL OFFICER has a shit die for a 2 cost support, but it helps you spot a Leader if Snoke dies, which means you get full value out of the Megablaster Troopers even after the demise of the Supreme Leader, and it allows you to auto-focus a Trooper die when you activate the support, which includes a First Order Storm Trooper die, the Megablaster Trooper die or even the Vader's Fist die! G'AAAHHHH!!!

6. REMOVAL CARDS:
You run a large (13 cards including Riot Shield) and very cheap mitigation suite, which means that you should be able to mitigate at least one die, possibly two dice, every round to either keep your opponent off his ramp game or limit his damage output!Unholy trilogy 10jpgA SINISTER PEACE, DOUBT, FORSAKEN and HIDDEN MOTIVE is the backbone of your mitigation cards, all 0 cost, and highly effective (Hidden Motive being the worst). One could even argue that the success of this deck, while definitely due to the power of the "Unholy Trilogy", also comes down to the incredible quality of its removal! It is simply outstanding!

Giving up a card from hand is always tough, and you probably don't want A SINISTER PEACE in your starting hand, but being able to remove big die sides is really strong midgame or in the endgame!

DOUBT is great in the Snoke-mirror, although the omnipresence of Watto makes it worse, as it robs your opponent of dice to target with the Snoke Power Action! Doubt'ing dice with plenty of paysides, i.e. Hired Muscle or Enfys Nest, even a Fist, can be great if your opponent doesn't have any resources!

FORSAKEN is my bid for best mitigation card at the moment! As long as EITHER you OR your opponent have just 1 die in the pool its free mitigation on a die showing a value less than 2! Great removal early in the game and really difficult to play around for your opponent!Unholy 11jpgBEGUILE is premium removal, but a one-off, and offers you protecting for those instances where you're overwhelmed with dice and need to affect several. Remember to always start in reverse order, considering which die you want to remove before choosing which one to reroll and which to remove!

You're playing a 3wide support-based deck, so FLANK is good! I would consider Measure for Measure a reasonable trade if you want to make your mitigation even cheaper! The moment you have a Megablaster Trooper in play, you'll have Trooper dice a plenty to trade for your opponent's best die!Unholy 12jpg
IN THE CROSSHAIRS has an incredibly high ceiling and can be a massive blow-out card, but I'm pretty sure it's a mistake to include it! It probably should be a The Best Defense..., which in my mind remains one of the absolutely best mitigation cards in the game! I'd probably even consider making space for two copies of The Best Defense...

7. TECH CARDS:
I still can't believe they reprinted PROBE ... MASSIVE CARD! Best answer to an opponent who sits back waiting for your powerful dice to hit the table just to mitigate the hell out of them! Removing two events from an opponent's hand can be crucial for your turns - and devastating for your opponent! It's beyond great against decks like Padmé/Leia3 ... just remember to save it for when your opponent has already played an upgrade and maybe even pitched a card or two to reroll, that's when it will sting the most!Unholy 13jpgVANDALIZE
Not entirely sure yet where FAT Vehicles will be in the meta yet, but Vandalize is still a great utility piece against lots of good supports/upgrades. With the prevalence of either POWERFUL supports like the "Unholy Trinity" or Padmé Amidala's Royal Starship, or CHEAP supports like Fickle Mercenaries and Hired Muscle, a well-timed Vandalize can be exactly what you need to get ahead! I'd even consider adding two to the deck!

Remember that you can use the extra First Order Stormtrooper dice from the Megablaster Troopers to feed the Vandalize! That can even take care of a FAT Falcon!

8. BATTLEFIELD:
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PETRANAKI ARENA is a great battlefield for this deck! You have a fairly beefy line-up, 27hp across three characters, and should be able to deal with the unblockable damage if your opponent gets the claim! Beware of those clutch rounds where a double claim can threaten to defeat your last character! It happens more often than not!

Theed Royal Palace as well as Salt Flats are other solid choices for this deck! The resource gain from Theed can make your first round much smoother while the consistency (or free mitigation) from Salt Flats is great! Just remember that the game is currently rife with Leaders so almost every competitive deck will gain from Salt Flats (and maybe even bring it!).

9. MULLIGAN:
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I want an early Inferno Squad ID10 Seeker Droid to start controlling my opponent's hand and also an Entourage to get my ramp going early (you'll be searching for your second copy of it when playing it). The Megablaster Troopers are nice to have in case you get the resources to play it, otherwise the priority is to get both Entourages in play and ramp!

I want the cheap mitigation in the beginning. Forsaken and Doubt are usually my top choices (unless I play against Yoda, in which case I usually ditch the Doubts for later), but don't feel bad to let go of all your mitigation if you do not draw any supports in your first 5 cards!

10. SEQUENCING:
ALWAYS get Watto's dice in the pool first! It makes your Forsaken playable as well as lets you see how much resource gain you have available! If you don't NEED the resources immediately, you can easily wait with the Snoke Power Action until you can overview what opportunities arise! Sometimes there can be a possible kill from a First Order 2 Ranged damage turned into 4 Ranged with Snoke PA-Bullets! Also remember to keep check of your resources - you don't want to be left in a situation where you can't resolve the Watto 2 Resource for 1 side or use Watto's Power Action.

Play slow, bait your opponent and maximise every round! You usually gain more from long games than your opponent (unless you play against mill)!

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