Written by CLAUS STAAL
We have been dreaming of a Galactic Qualifier in the Nordics ever since the event format was announced more than a year and a half ago. It came as a bit of a surprise that I was going to marshal the Galactic Qualifier Nordics, which meant that I prior to the event had playtested quite a bit of decks ... no more Milton Keynes.
As it turned out, I ended up not needing the practice after all! I've always said yes to these marshaling tasks, mostly because it's a community service that most players would rather not take on, and it gives me a chance to meditate on the meta with a somewhat different perspective!
With that in mind, I'd like to THANK ALL PARTICIPANTS for being the best possible audience at a premier event! You made my job a whole lot easier and I'd do it anytime if ever asked again!
ALL the 6-0 decks lists from each of the four events are listed throughout this article.
1. THE VENUE ...
The Galactic Qualifier Nordics was played in an event space called SLAGTHUSET in Malmö (Sweden), which I assume translates from Swedish to English as The Butchery! I guess players hoped that it would not be them on the receiving end of that treatment.
The venue was GREAT! It was spacious with direct access to a restaurant and a bar, and within walking distance of the Central Station and several cheap hotels and hostels. There was enough room around the table to be able to easily walk around them, watch games in progress without breathing down the neck of the players!
We also had a streaming table at the event and we'll try and maintain this service for as many large European events as possible!
2. THE PEOPLE ...
Scandinavians are chill! They might be a very closed off people, which is true for both Danes, Swedes, Norwegians and Finns, but Destiny people are generally just different, and the amount of appreciation at the event was really heartwarming. People were happy, relaxed and generally outstanding sports!
There were a lot of the YOUR Destiny Patrons present at the event, which made it even more enjoyable. We even had a small gathering after the first day of Galactic Qualifier events to have a bite, a beer and chill!
I owe all the YOUR Destiny Patrons a large debt of gratitude for so generously supporting our website and affiliated products. THANK YOU!
3. SMALL, BUT GROWING ...
We are still a relatively small Destiny community in the Nordics, and although we are not the largest region in the world, there's still 2500 km from northern Norway to southern Denmark, and we've grown accustomed to premier events of modest size compared to the UK or Spain. So, being able to have almost 60 players show up for the first ever Galactic Qualifier in the Nordics was quite amazing.
The precise numbers were:
Standard Event 1: 59 players
Infinite Event: 58 players
Standard Event 2: 59 players
Trilogy Event: 48 players
... and although the event was relatively small, the competition was still fierce with many of the best players in the Nordics showing up for the event with the only notable absentee being our own Mads Utzon, current European Champion.
Players had come from across Europe to partake in the event including players from Hungary, Scotland, Ireland, France, etc. We are really starting to get a sense of strong European Destiny community!
4. PRIZES AT GQ'S ...
The prize scheme at the Galactic Qualifiers is still the best of any Destiny event type in the Galaxy, and players love it ... I even had players who went 1-5 during an event come up, smiling, saying, they were still able to get the card they wanted from the extensive prize wall!
We already described the changes to the GQ Scheme in a lengthy article, but for anyone, who has not been to a Galactic Qualifier, I'll briefly recap:
- Players earn prize tickets for every game played (1 ticket for a loss, 2 tickets for a win).
- You earn additional prize tickets for winning 4, 5 or 6 games in a single event (2, 5 and 8 tickets respectively).
- Win or lose, you walk away with something.
- You can use prize tickets to purchase various prizes from a prize wall.
- The prize wall consist of spotgloss characters (transparent acetate with colour printing), spotgloss battlefields and plots (acrylic) as well as a selection of previously released alt art cards (i.e. from Q-kits and Seasonal kits). Cards are differently costed according to their kind and release date, i.e. spotgloss cards from the Awakenings Block were 6 prize tickets while Across the Galaxy and Convergence cards were 10 prize tickets.
- A player, partaking in 4 events, with a record of 4-2, 2-4, 3-3 and 4-2, would earn a total of (10+2+8+9+10+2 = 41 prize tickets). That's pretty decent for midtable results and could be enough to buy the following 5 spotgloss cards: Snoke, Palpatine, Padme, Bitter Rivalry and a Lightsaber Mastery.
Including some of the marquee characters of the set and topped off by the villanous villain of them all: PALPATINE - UNLIMITED POWER!
I really gotta admit that the new characters look absolutely STUNNING! And the printing quality really has massively improved since the first acetate printed cards came out! I've photographed the spotgloss characters like they should be displayed - backlit in all their expensive glory!
5. PUBLIC ENEMIES NO. 1 AND 2 ...
There's probably no doubt that the lead up to the Galactic Qualifier Nordics in Malmö, and any other competitive event taking place these days, had been dominated by talks of the power of 3wide villain support based decks, whether it's Snoke's Unholy Trinity or 3wide Talzin that tickles your pickle. They were heralded by many people, myself included, as the strongest deck(s) in the current meta and likely to be Public Enemy No.1!
The UNHOLY TRINITY of Vader's Fist, Megablaster Troopers and Entourage has made these decks horrifyingly strong and they remain some of the most obscene cards printed for the game.
Alternatively, if going the route of the 3wide Talzin, the abusive nature of Wat Tambor's Power Action into supports like aforementioned Entourage or a Planetary Bombardment just shatters the efficiency curve to an extent where many has talked about nerfs as the best (only) possible solution! While I don't agree completely, there are plenty of arguments for prompting action to halt the support tide!
Both stock lists pack the absolute best cards in the game and are loaded with abusive cards and combos, but more importantly none of the 3wide villain decks went 6-0 during either of the two Standard events! It really looked like Public Enemy No.1 were being focused down and players trying hard to find answers to the indomitable ramp machine of the two decks; Including the 6-0 Standard winner of the first day, Christian Apetri, who had made space for a Snoke hate card, MIND EXTRACTION, that also incidentally works wonders against a host of characters that all dominate the meta, incl. Palpatine, Padmé, Watto, etc.
And while Mind Extraction can be extremely potent as a tech card, the deck in reality plays on several strands that also makes it well-suited to take on what was expected to Public Enemy No.2: The 6dice Lor San Tekka mill deck popularised by Louis Mercier. I was in fact VERY surprised to see relatively few of those decks at the Galactic Qualifier, and most of them doing well below my expectations prior to the event. The deck is also, to be fair, quite difficult to pilot and although most of them ended up in the midtier of the tables, at both Standard events, I'm still convinced they are top tier decks and I'll keep a slot reserved for it in the Gauntlet, although some of them might have been cannibalised by the faster and more aggressive eLeia/eYoda mill decks.
3wide support decks weren't far off the pace though with several of them going 5-1 and 4-2 during both days of Standard events, and whether the relatively poor performance at the event was due to the prevalence of certain tech cards, bad match-ups or other reasons is unbeknownst to me, but there's absolutely no reason to rule them out yet ... they are still among the best decks in the format and they'll return with a vengeance. Of that I'm certain!
6. THE SURPRISE ...
In my recent article on "5 Decks I Would NOT Bring to A GQ", I mentioned the eKylo2/eDooku3 monoblue villain deck as one of the decks that I'd NOT consider strong enough to win a Standard event at a Galactic Qualifier, and ironically enough Joe Masilotti did exactly that in the second Standard event of the GQ!
His 6-0 deck actually doesn't differ a lot from my published list with the most notable differences being the three tech cards:
All three tech cards are obviously added in anticipation of the meta shaping as I had expected as well, rainbow 3wide support based decks with plenty of Ranged damage sides! I'm pretty confident that both DODGE and FLAMES OF THE PAST has saved Joe Masilotti from a looming defeat in several games, while AS I HAVE FORSEEN helps set up Kylo's ability against rainbow decks!
Brave choice from Joe and his winning streak a testimony to his skill with the deck. I'm going to go on a limb here, not trying to belittle Joe's great achievement at all, and claim that the deck still performed above its inherent power level on the day. We'll be releasing Joe Masilotti's Deck Analysis of the deck later this week!
7. GUNS, GUNS & ACTION CHEAT ...
While the Infinite format at the Galactic Qualifier in Milton Keynes were dominated by mill decks, and still being popular in Malmö, it looked as if the top table players had taken note of this and tech'ing against it. One of the best tech's is probably going straight out HYPERAGGRO, which was the strategy of the winning deck expertly piloted by reigning Nordic Champion Martin Nyberg.Utilising all the action cheating cards except for Quickdraw, Martin Nyberg would essentially be able to cheat in at least one of his characters every round with at least one gun and deal damage before using either RETREAT or HYPERSPACE JUMP to end the round.
Normally, resources is prohibitive for this strategy as you'd have to choose either to put an upgrade or save the resources for a Retreat/Jump, but MEAN STREETS all but takes care of this problem! This is a pretty disgusting strategy and also explains the two copies of NEW ORDERS in the deck! That combo is the real core of the deck while the action cheat facilitates it!Playing against this deck can at times feel like playing Solitaire! I'm assuming that many of Martin's opponents have looked pretty frustrated at times!
This seems like a great deck choice for Infinite and although susceptible to Probes and bad draws it still has plenty of tools to combat most decks. Note how small, although powerful, the actual mitigation suite is! This deck does not want to get bugged down into a protracted fight with a support deck. It kills something and resets!
8. CAPTAIN PHASMA:
ePhasma/FO/Advanced Training seems like a pretty broken lineup in Trilogy! The format currently feels very limited and these decks were EVERYWHERE - and for good reason! It's probably the strongest line-up and can be played straight out of the box.
That deck is followed closely by the Trilogy version of the 3wide villain support deck, which benefits from having access to a large portion of the cards that make the Standard version so powerful!
The top match of the day deciding who'd end up 6-0 in the Trilogy event was a clash between these two decks piloted by Keir Sweeney and Adam Länsberg. Adam Länsberg playing 3wide Villain support, ended up victorious, but the decks and the pilots could easily have swung the game either way!
I've got to admit that due to the restricted card pool, Trilogy does not really interest me a lot, and the format will benefit tremendously from the addition of another set with the arrival of Spark of Hope!
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