On September 2nd the German Nationals 2018 in Star Wars: Destiny were held in Düsseldorf. Besides X-Wing, Destiny had the most participants with 55 people in attendance as far as I know. That was the expected low turnout as the German Destiny scene is shaped like an hourglass: Lots of excellent tournament players that travel to important events and lots of casual players that only visit their local Store Championship and very little in between.
For the tournament, I had sleeved and packed Talzin/Mandalorians, 3wide Hero Mill and Boba/Seventh. I had the most games in with the mill deck, helping my teammates to test against the deck, but just didn’t like playing it, despite its obvious strengths. After some last minute testing I settled on the Talzin/Mandalorians! I love their durability with a massive collective 27hp as well as Force Illusion, Armor Plating and Witch Magick, and the reliability that comes from the Mandalorian’s Power Action and Talzin’s ability.
There's already an excellent article on the deck on this website, and although my card choices differs a bit, the framework is essentially the same. Some of the choices, i.e. Force Wave, are obviously meta dependent, and if you anticipate the prevalence of certain decks, your list should be modified accordingly.
ROUND 1: BYE
Mr. Bye is a generous guy and he allowed me a fast win.
ROUND 2 vs. eDooku/eTalzin (Björn)
My second match was one of the hardest of all the day. His ability to keep his characters alive via Rise Again and Witch Magick combined with the insane reliability of Dooku and Talzin, topped off with Force Speeds for rounds with unmitigable damage made for a tough matchup.
My deck is not able to burst out big chunks of damage and there's no possibility to Discard or Disrupt significant portions of his hand or resources, which should have given Björn more than enough time to find his answers.
Luckily, with all my durdly actions on the Commandos I was able to activate my Talzin defensively most of the times. And when he made a crucial mistake in round 3 or 4 when his Talzin was on 1hp, hiding behind 3 shields and a possible heal from Ancient Lightsaber I saw an opportunity to end the game. Instead of healing her as his first action he activated, and one Frighten and a Power Action from the Mandalorians later she was gone and so were all upgrades on her. He never managed to recover from that loss.
ROUND 3 vs. eYoda/Cassian/Anakin (Matthias)
I did an analysis for this deck, and feel I know the deck in and out, and therefore went straight for Anakin Skywalker, and was able to kill him off at the start of Round 2. Yoda followed suit pretty quickly after.
Unfortunately I didn’t get my Vambraces, the strongest weapon in my arsenal to combat mill. When he destroyed my Chance Cube via Vandalize and rerolled into a Discard on Cassian (his last remaining character) I lost the game as I was not able to pick up the Cube without losing it immediately.
I felt a bit bitter about my loss, because I mulliganed for the Vambraces only to see them getting milled in round 1 and 2. Additionally, my dice rolled absolute trash with Matthias having all his strong removal cards exactly when he needed them. I never resolved my Force Wave despite having it on the table for 5 rounds. In all honesty, Matthias played pretty much flawless and made it all the way to the semi finals of the tournament because of it.
Shout out to Matthias for running the German TTS league and keeping the community here alive!
ROUND 4 vs. Yoda/Cassian/Padme
I decided to go straight for Yoda, because he was the only character who couldn't be the target of a Second Chance and managed to take him down pretty quickly.
Mother Talzin is excellent at playing around Easy Pickings and Entangle, and I started resolving my dice one by one, taking dozens of actions per round. A play mistake from my opponent, playing an Overconfidence without spotting a blue character was the last straw, and I soon after took the win.
ROUND 5 vs. eYoda/Cassian/Anakin
One of our international guests from Spain (there were other players from Sweden, Spain, Italy and Austria) running the classic mill deck, but with a twist of own spin.
I palyed both Mandalorian Vambraces and Chance Cubes to deny him playing Flames of the Past (which he ran as a two-off) and I was able to start whittling down his characters. He rerolls pretty aggressively so that a Discard side on Mother Talzin (combined with his use of Force Illusion) eventually mills the mill deck out in Round 6 or 7.
Before that he already had to pass and I counterpassed on him at least once after dealing some damage. When your opponent starts Easy Pickings one of his own dice (great move, btw!) in order to save himself you know you are in a good position!
ROUND 6 vs. eKylo/ePryce
With 4-1, I had already secured my place in the Top16 and still get an excellent matchup for me and the most played deck at German Nationals (seven copies of KRAP if I remember correctly). I wanted to win the game nonetheless to avoid the possible deciding games.
As long as he doesn’t get his Close Quarter Assaults early I feel pretty confident against a character team with a low health pool and no access to healing cards (apart from Rise Again). The first two rounds I dump all my upgrades on the table as fast as possible to mitigate the potential CQA while keeping my hand as diverse as possible to play around Kylo Ren's ability. Even though he switched the Battlefield to Emperor's Throne Room midgame via New Orders the duo of Kylo and Pryce couldn't keep up with the constant pressure the commandos put up.
I progress into the Top 16 as 4th seed (5-1), with one unnecessary loss to a good opponent.
TOP 16 vs. Talzin/Mandalorians (Fabian)
I hadn’t played the mirror match at all but was pretty sure in what to do and what to mulligan for. Luckily in game 1 I was able to Vandalize his Chance Cube after he had paid the resource to keep it in play and after that I went for his Mandalorians while he tried to kill my Mother Talzin. My reasoning was that the Commandos get all upgrades in this deck and I suspected that he wasn’t running redeployable weapons (I was right). After a few rounds his naked Talzin was fighting two equipped Commandos…
Game 2 went similar, event though he was able to take down Talzin faster than last time. But still, the loss of the upgrades proved to be fatal once again.
TOP 8 vs. eSabine/Hera
The deck that everybody loved to see on stream was the easiest matchup for me of all the decks in Top 16. Even fewer HP than KRAP (21hp vs. 22hp) and basically only one character that deals damage vs my tank of a deck. I went for Sabine in game 1, thinking that Impersonate costs my opponent two resources so why go for Hera? When we got to see decklists after game 1 I remembered that Leadership is still a thing!! Luckily I never saw it played and game 1 wasn’t even close as Sabine's dice were pretty cold.
Game 2 was closer as she had the money to pay for Never Tell Me the Odds while I was pinging down Hera to avoid a blowout Leadership play. When she killed the first Commando I still had enough dice on my other two characters to Vandalize a Second Chance and still push through 9 damage on Sabine in one swing (2 Indirect on Force Wave, 3 Ranged on Canto Bight Pistol, 2 Backup Muscles, a Power Action from the 2nd Mandalorian and a Free-For-All for 1 damage off a Holocron die).
TOP 4 vs. eBazine/eSnoke/FO (David Levy)
One of my travel and play testing partners from the YOUR Destiny crew. David already qualified for Worlds from winning the Galactic Qualifier in Stuttgart earlier this year. The game was on stream, but I don’t say too much when I tell you that a Force Throw round 1 in both games is a pretty excellent start ...
FINAL vs. Snoke/Aphra/Ciena (Timo)
This deck truly highlights the power of Snoke. It is only a 3 character dice start, and yet it is excellently positioned in the current meta. The constant card draw from Aphra makes it strong vs mill as cards in hand are so much harder to mill than those in the deck (read Mads Utzon's article on how to defeat mill for a bit more insight into that), while providing all your answers at the right time.
The final games are on stream as well and only the second one was somewhat close. My engine of Chance Cubes and Holocrons never really kicked in while my opponent managed to have 0-0-0 in his opening hand in both games, enabling him to flood the board with droids while denying me the opportunity to focus a character down. I went for Snoke as my target in both games, because Doctor Aphra and Ciena Ree have die sides that he wants to Power Action. In hindsight I should probably have gone for Aphra, to halt the insane card draw mechanism, which is just busted in this deck.
Congratulations to our new German Champion and Overlord!!! It was a really strong showing from the second big testing group in Germany out of Neumünster.
I was very pleased with the performance of my deck all weekend. Only in the final I felt somewhat behind deckwise as 30hp and 2 Bubble Shields are an awful lot to chew through if you don’t have the ability to burst someone down quickly. I’m known for playing decks that give me lots of options that are hard to spot for my opponents (I played Thrawn/Talzin into Top16 at Worlds 2018, losing to eventual champion Edwin Chen in the top cut) and I really enjoy that play style. It is taxing to play such a deck for 12 hours, but so much more rewarding than pure aggro in my opinion, as you can beat your opponent in a way he never suspects.
MVP cards were Vandalize (which probably should be a two-off right now), Force Throw (hard cast on Talzin and activate her as your first action) and Canto Bight Pistol. The ability to save the resources off a Force Power late game while doing damage can not be overstated! Only card I would change right now is the single Overconfidence. Not because it is a bad card, just the fact that the upside of a Deflect in the current meta is much higher and I don’t want to run two spot blue cards. Also, you don’t have good dice to reroll yourself for the "Overconfidence Battle".
Big thank you to my playtesting group in Trier and to the YOUR Destiny Testing Group!
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Runner-Up at German Nationals 2018