1. GENERAL COMMENTS:
The original version of the so-called "Drive-by Shooting" deck was originally designed by Joe Colon aka HonestlySarcastc of the The Hyperloops. Joe brought it to Worlds 2018 and although he was defeated in the top4 by Mads Utzon, back then we agreed that the 3wide character team was probably the best deck in the format. We even dedicated the YOUR Destiny Podcast Episode 14 to interviewing Joe and talking about the deck.
Back then Joe Colon aka HonestlySarcastc of the Hyperloops also wrote an excellent tournament report recapping his experiences with the deck, and Mads Utzon did an extensive deck analysis as well.
That's water under the bridge now, but when I saw one of our patrons "reeveze's" Regional winning deck, I got sentimental and felt it might be time to revisit that once powerful deck and check if it still had what it takes to fight it out with the Big 'Uns.
In the current meta this deck is nowhere near the comparative strength of the original "Drive-by Shooting", but still looks like a solid deck and might just be one of the best non-FAT vehicle deck out there!
The biggest change to the original "Drive-by Shooting" deck is in the character line-up, where the original version was a 3wide/5dice team, eYoda/eEzra/Rookie Pilot, the revised version loses a die, but adds health. And the question is whether losing Ezra's utility and flexibility for Cassian's +3hp and arguably higher consistency is worth it.
At a glance the trade-off looks decent. So, you're losing a die, which is definitely a heavy loss, but Cassian's die is arguably the stronger die, although missing out on Ezra's powerful Special is definitely going to be felt in the the first rounds of the game, and you'll need to adapt your strategy accordingly.
The "usual play" of activating Ezra first to threaten your opponent's resources and forcing him into spending them fast, thereby leaving him vulnerable later (i.e. not leaving resources for mitigation), is no longer available to you, and hitting a Discard side on Cassian in the first round is just not nearly as powerful as hitting an Ezra Special.
On the other hand, gaining 3hp on your only yellow character is definitely a strength, and allows you to rely more on spot yellow cards since losing Cassian round 1 is improbable while Ezra was always going to be vulnerable to a first round kill.
You are also trading your +2 Modified Ranged damage sides for a single 2 Ranged damage side, which can be pretty useful when looking at your other upgrades. You reduce your damage ceiling, but raise the floor just a bit.
You are still a pretty consistent deck though, and Yoda is as powerful as ever, while the Rookie Pilot is not only rocking 2 * +2 Ranged damage sides, he also adds red cards to your deck and triggers a re-roll on one of your vehicle dice once per round for just 7pts.
In the original version Ezra was easily identifiable as your opponent's first target, that's not the case in this version. Here, Yoda is going to be focused down. He's the only character with 2 dice and adds the consistency that your deck needs. This in turn means that upgrades, apart from Force Illusion, should go on Cassian setting him up to be a nasty end game character, and even with just one die he's still a great finisher! There might even be arguments for including Second Chance to this version of the deck.
You'll need to keep Yoda alive as long as possible using his Specials to gain resources and help set up your board state. Your supports and upgrades are generally cheap and you should be able to flood the pool with dice by round 2.
There are some interesting, but when thinking about it quite natural changes made to the upgrade suite of the deck.
DORSAL TURRET replaces the DH-17 Blaster Pistol as it essentially has a better die for the same price and you are not at risk of losing the Dorsal once the attached character is defeated. Only problem is that with the amount of anti-vehicle cards around, the Dorsal will be gone the moment the attached vehicle is removed from play. This does not change the fact though, that the Dorsal Turret represent EXCELLENT value for its price and looks dangerous on just about any of your vehicles.
The redeployable Holdout Blaster is in turn replaced by one of my favourite cards from the Across the Galaxy expansion: HANDHELD L-S1 CANNON. It has incredible damage sides! Put one of these on Cassian and he's ready to go to town! I'm not sure whether this should be a two-off or not. The fact is that you'll never actually play two, but I just really like to draw this one early.
FORCE ILLUSION stays in the deck because it's GOOD!
RALLY AID remains one of the best ramp cards in the game for a full-blooded vehicle deck. A late round Rally Aid into any of your vehicles can set in motion an avalanche on damage. It has several great targets and can even be used to play a Beguile at a discount even need be! Rally Aid will easily "net" anywhere in between 4-8 resources throughout a game.
As long as Darth Vader is terrorising gaming tables Suppressive Fire will be a thing! It's easily the best way of removing a Vader die without your opponent having a chance to Power Action it back in!
The RESISTANCE CRAIT SPEEDER and T-47 AIRSPEEDER are your two staple 2cost vehicles and they are both AMAZING! They have excellent die sides and the ability to boost the Resistance Crait Speeder die, although only once in a game, can really be clutch, whether used to gain 2 Resources or a deal 3 Ranged damage.
Do not underestimate the T-47 Airspeeder Special. It can easily be worth much more than 2 Ranged damage! In particular if you have a Rally Aid down or are flush with resources, using the Special to draw into more vehicles to add even more dice to the pool, dig deeper into your deck or just add cards for discards to reroll.
Although the N-1 STARFIGHTER is not a heavy hitter it's a great defense against FAT Vehicle decks and has a decent die, while the Y-WING will consistently deal 4 damage as long as Yoda is on board. The 2 Ranged damage sides on both vehicles slots in perfectly with the Rookie Pilot's +2 Ranged damage sides.
C-3P0 is one of your greatest utility pieces in the deck. His two Resource sides are fine, but his ability to secure loads of damage by resolving a die as Focuses or ramping by resolving a die as Resources or always ensuring Specials on your Y-Wing is just outright broken. He used to be one of the best hero supports in the game and although his stock has fallen some with the change of the meta, he looks as powerful as ever in this deck!
This deck has decent resource generation, but you also need loads of resources throughout a round. And you are looking for cheap consistent removal. You'll need to identify the most threatening of your opponent's dice, remove those, and get on with it. Tanking damage IS a part of your strategy. You have 27hp across 3 characters and should be able to take a beating as long as you don't lose Yoda too early!
BEGUILE and EASY PICKINGS are your multiple dice removal cards and the latter replaces Overconfidence in the deck. Knowing that Yoda will most likely be going down late round 2 or the beginning of round 3 means relying on removal which is Spot Blue is bad. That also, unfortunately, excludes cards like Mind Trick and Deflect.
Shields are still great, and with the absence of cards like Intimidate and Frighten (although the latter is still run by Talzin decks) means CAUTION is still a great choice! If you need an early Caution, activate the Rookie Pilot first as chances are that nobody is going to care to remove his die.
HIDDEN MOTIVE is 0cost mitigation, which is great, it usually (only) removes a die 33% of the time which is a bit low. I might consider changing this to Flank since 2wide decks are seemingly the new black, which means Flank should be good most of the time.
PINNED DOWN might not be as powerful as Easy Pickings and Beguile, but it ALWAYS removes a die (well ... as long as you have a vehicle in play).
Counting in Suppressive Fire and Force Illusions, you run 13 mitigation cards in the deck, which should give you an average of 2 mitigation cards every round. You want to slow-play this deck so use your mitigation only on the dice that will either defeat your characters or improve your opponent's board state beyond repair.
6. TECH CARDS:
You run a single VANDALIZE to help out with FAT Vehicle decks, although it will end your own round, removing an opponent's FAT Shadow Caster will all but end the game as well! Vandalize is also great for removing Force Illusions and Force Speeds which can be really damaging for this deck!
SCRUFFY LOOKING NERF-HERDER
You are a slow deck and need time to set up. Having a turn ended early by a Hyperspace Jump or Retreat can be devastating for your game plan, while it also allows you to snuff out those Vader's Fist or any other upgrade/support that can ruin your day! Scruffy is definitely not my favourite card, but it does cover some of the inherent weaknesses of the deck.
You want to see Rally Aid combined with any vehicle(s) and possibly a Dorsal Turret in your opening hand. I also like to see an early Caution or any piece of Hard Mitigation. Mulligan Force Illusions out for later.