Piett/Mandalorians Deck Analysis

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1. GENERAL COMMENTS:

What can be said of the Talzin/Mandalorian deck is also mostly true for the Piett/Mandalorian character team with a few, yet quite notable changes. If you are already familiar with the play style of the former deck, you'll know that it is a relatively forgiving deck to play, although sequencing is important, because of your large health pool and straight forward way of playing. The Piett/Mandalorian deck, ironically enough, is less trickier to play, but packs more tricks.
POWER ACTION Talzin Commando YOUR Destinyjpg I've seen a few people being confused over whether or not 2 or more Mandalorian Super Commandos could use the "same Power Action" in a round, and the Rules Reference is pretty clear about this.

In our original Talzin/Mandalorian deck analysis our feature deck was piloted by Branden Aasen (aasenb on swdestinydb) to a 5-1 Store Championship win, and the feature deck of this article was indeed also piloted by the same Branden Aasen, and while the Talzin deck basically builds itself, I really believe that Branden made some great choices with this deck, that are not just powerful, but also testimony to a great deckbuilding mind! Way to go Branden!!

Branden Aasen credits Henry aka @arroz_con_mango for the deckbuild!Wang-Wang-and-Fu-Ni-Giant-Pandas-at-Adelaide-Zoo-Photo-credit-Zoos-SA-960x614jpg
I like to refer to this deck as "The Pandas" or the longer version "Two Pandas and a Zoo Keeper".

[Some parts of this deck analysis has been reused from the Talzin/Mandalorian article].

2.CHARACTERS:
Piett Mandas Charactersjpg
Firmus Piett offers a kind of consistency similar to that of Mother Talzin, which is why she has worked so well with the Mandalorians. Piett is not far from the mark though, and offers his own kind of support for the Super-Duper Commandos.

It's difficult to evaluate which of the pairings, Talzin/Mandas vs. Piett/Mandas, is the more consistent, but their abilities do offer different avenues for strategic plays. The biggest downside to Talzin has always been her restriction on deck building. Limiting yourself to odd cards to gain the biggest possible advantage from her special ability is both a bane and a boon. On one hand it can cut her off from some of the most powerful cards in the game, while at the same time making her incredibly consistent. And honestly, it does at times feel like the main reason to go all in on the "odds costed plan" is more than anything due to Witch Magick, which so effectively off sets her other weakness, namely her low health.

The slight variances apart though, the most significant impact on changing Talzin for Piett is the access to red cards, which we will examine further in the respective chapters of this analysis, but needless to say, having cards like The Best Defense and DH-17 Blaster Pistol available is going to strengthen a deck which already looked pretty strong, even if it means losing out on some terrific blue cards (Sith Holocron - looking at you!!)

Also breaking free of the chains of the restrictive deck building (even/odd cards) is going to open up the deck quite significantly.

3. UPGRADES & SUPPORTS:
Piett Mandas Upgrades1 YOUR DestinyjpgThe DH-17 BLASTER PISTOL is awesome!! One of the best guns in the game, incredible high ceiling, although the two blanks are going to drive you nuts! Just remember that you pay 1 resource to deal 1 damage (if played on a Mandalorian) and it can potentially deal another 2 Ranged damage when resolved. It's difficult to find more value for the buck than that!! It's also worth remembering that the +2 Ranged side is almost safe damage because of Piett's ability. He'll definitely be able to find that base Ranged damage side you need.

It's a difficult call between the E-11 BLASTER and the LL-30 Blaster Pistol. Their damage sides are very similar 1/+2/2 vs. 1/1/+2, but indirect damage on the E-11 Blaster's best side, whereas the LL-30 Blaster caps out lower, but has a great Special that is often another 2 Ranged damage (on the Mandalorian die) or +2 Ranged damage (on the DH-17/E-11 dice). They both have Redeploy, but the LL-30 also Ambush (which in this deck is insignificant unless you also have a He Doesn't Like You in hand).

Maybe the two best arguments for the E-11 Blaster over the LL-30 is to be found in (1). Colour distribution and in (2). The choice of (also) playing with Relentless Pursuit.

It seems as if decks today have to take into consideration the "Kylo effect", meaning that if given the possibility, a deck should be constructed in a way to circumvent - as much as possible without ruining the synergies of the deck - splitting the colours of the deck to create as much variance as possible!Piett Mandas colour distributionjpg
It does make a difference after all whether your predominant colour is 53% (w/LL-30) or 47% (w/E-11) of your deck ... marginals matter!

It might also be worth giving a bit of love to the good 'ol F-11D Rifle. With three Ranged damage sides and a Special that works really well in this deck (as well as retaining Redeploy) it shouldn't be disregarded that easily - even if the big 2 Ranged damage is a pay side.

If mill is going to be a thing, and it probably is following Andrew Cox's strong showing at GenCon with eYoda/Anakin/Cassian, and a lot of blue mill decks using Flames of the Past, it could even be worth considering a 1/1 split between the guns. No reason to lose yet another gun!
Piett Mandas Upgrades3jpg
Another argument for looking into the F-11D Rifle as an addition to this deck is QUICKDRAW HOLSTER, which apart from being a 0 cost Upgrade - Equipment, that deals a damage when played on a Mandalorian also makes the already auto-included DH-17 Blaster Pistol incredibly reliable.Quickdraw Upgrades4 Piett Mandasjpg
Your chances of hitting a damage sides are:
DH-17 (w/o Quickdraw H.): 50%
DH-17 (w/ Quickdraw H.):   75%

If you don't want to hit the 2 Ranged damage for a resource, then you're down to 33%, but with a re-roll you're at 56%.

Same reasoning with the F-11D Rifle, which has four damage sides, which means the chances of hitting a damage side is:
F-11D (w/o Quickdraw H.): 67%
F-11D (w/ Quickdraw H.):   89%Upgrades5 Piett Mandasjpg
PLASTOID ARMOR
It's amazing how well the Plastoid Armor synergises with the Mandalorians. Giving them an extra health for 0 resources and dealing 1 damage to boot. It's a 2 damage swing and functionally also a 1 damage mitigation card! Quick note: Remember, if you play Armed to the Teeth and discard your Plastoid Armour, while there's 9 damage on your Mandalorian, he is defeated before the Armed to the Teeth fully resolves!! Don't make that mistake!

ARMOR PLATING
Works well with the Mandalorians ability, pinging damage and blocking damage on top of that.
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MANDALORIAN VAMBRACES
Damn ... FFG are are really going all in on the cards with 0 blanks on them. The Vambraces are just really good, and are obviously designed with the Mandalorians in mind. Now, if there were more upgrades like this then the Mandalorians would be absolutely nuts ... I guess we know why there aren't. Dice sides, although all ones, are really good, and the action can be bonkers, but you'll probably be a bit too starved on resources to abuse the hell out of it. There's also a mill counter built into the vambraces!

BACKUP MUSCLE
In conjunction with the trick of Relentless Pursuit that we'll be talking about later, Backup Muscle is just excellent at sneaking in damage. It bypasses shields and Force Illusions and can be absolutely lethal in mid- to endgame. You do not want to see the Backup Muscle in your starting hand, and should never discard it to re-roll unless you are odds-on to inflict 2+ damage - or lethal! Playing a Backup Muscle after an opponent's claim is essentially 2 free unblockable damage!

4. EVENTS:
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It's been a while since ELECTROSHOCKS were seen in competitive decks. It's still good though and does it's job. Being limited to removing a die of 2 or lower in value is still its weakness, but is somewhat off set by the fact that your yellow character health pool is also your strength. Another advantage of playing Electroshock is that you get to play with your Alt Art cards that are incredibly slick ... some of the most beautiful Alt Arts produced (that's of course totally unrelated to any strategic idea).

FLANK
Best kind of basic removal for 3 wide and 4 wide decks. You are trading 1 resource and a card for 1 die, which is somewhat bad, but you get to pick and choose which die! Don't like that Planetary Bombardment 7 Indirect damage for a resource: Remove it!

HE DOESN'T LIKE YOU
It can sometimes be a bit troublesome because you are not a particularly fast deck, and you don't want to activate your characters prematurely. On the other hand, there's so much value in He Doesn't Like You, basically exchanging your worst die for your opponent's best die.

THE BEST DEFENSE ...
This really lives up to it's name. Being able to remove 2 dice in exchange for 3 damage can be a very low price to pay dependent on the importance or quality of the dice you are removing. Often you'll be removing dice totaling far more damage than you're taking.

The Best Defense... also highlights an interesting thing about the Piett/Mandalorian character team and in this respect it differs from the Talzin/Mandalorians, namely that Piett is a deterrent and somewhat expendable, Talzin is essential. If you can avoid losing Piett too early in the game it's good, but the Mandalorians can definitely pull their own weight, in particular due to the qualities of the upgrades and the bag of tricks in the deck.
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PROBE
Is an absolutely amazing card. A lot of decks, barring vehicle decks, will play their upgrades first, then lying in wait with their disruptive mitigation cards. While you fiddle around with the Mandalorians, upgrading them while pinging damage, and your opponent starts putting dice in the pool, you in turn mitigating the worst incoming damage, that's when the Probe is going to sting. Taking away those vital removal cards from your opponent's hand before you start fixing your dice! NASTY!

RELENTLESS PURSUIT
I love how this card suddenly is being dusted off and can put some serious work in. Because of all the Indirect damage in this deck, in particular if you opt for the E-11 Blaster, your opponent might wisely enough choose to spread that damage around to avoid a sudden bursty amount of damage killing off a character. Those last 2 damage that also bypass shields can be absolutely devastating. It's a great tech and can take any opponent by surprise, who might be tempted into claiming out or shielding up, being mathematically sure that there's no way you can kill off his character, and then you spring the trap!

EXAMPLE:
1). Your opponent playing Luke/Rey has claimed out and is left with a Luke Skywalker with 2 health remaining and  a Rey with 10 health remaining. You have 3 Ranged damage showing (1 Ranged damage on the Mandalorian die and +2 Ranged amage on the DH-17 Blaster Pistol).

You have a Relentless Pursuit and a He Doesn't Like You in your hand.

You cannot kill Luke Skywalker with this damage (obviously). Instead you put the damage on Rey.Piett Mandalorians Relentless Pursuit Playjpg
2). Rey is now at 4 damage (7 health remaining) and you use Relentless Pursuit to move 2 damage from Rey to Luke Skywalker to kill him off! You have not only managed to defeat a character, but also saved yourself the trouble of going through the shields!Piett Mandalorians Relentless Pursuit Play2jpg
ARMED TO THE TEETH
This card used to be a favorite in Jango Fett decks, but honestly I haven't seen it in a while... With the Mandalorians it really carries its weight. Whether Armed to the Teeth is used for that last lethal damage or as the last vindictive breath from a dying Super Commando it's definitely going to take your opponent by surprise, and in this deck every single damage you can inflict counts!

5. BATTLEFIELD:
Piett Mandas battlefieldjpg
Normally for 3 wide decks similar to this one, I'd always go for Fort Anaxes. It's a great battlefield to spread out damage and normally you don't mind you opponent having the battlefield either.

But because of your upgrade suite MOS EISLEY SPACEPORT might actually be close to the perfect Battlefield. You can return your Plastoid Armor and your Quickdraw Holster to your hand AND get resources AND deal damage next turn when you play the upgrade again.

If you meta is full of Cad Banes, I'd not recommend the battlefield though!

6. MULLIGAN OPTIONS:
I like my starting hand to be stacked. You will not be generating a lot of resources in this deck, in particular missing out on the Chance Cubes, so having either 0 or 1 cost upgrades is paramount. If a Mandalorian is being focused down, then overwrite with a Redeploy weapon. The best defense is to protect against those dice you just need to get rid off, whether it's Kylo, Yoda dice or a big early Planetary Bombardment!
HAND Mandalorian Piett ARTICLE2jpg
This hand, because as you might know I'm a bit Kylo-centric, is also diverse enough to make for a very difficult Kylo guess!

7. HOW TO DEFEAT THE DECK?

This deck can be really hard to take down. If both Plastoid Armor are being played you are looking at 29hp! It's also fairly consistent in dealing damage, so you really want to focus down Piett fast! If you can kill him early round 2 and your opponent hasn't played a The Best Defense yet, then they are dead cards in his hand. If you are also playing 3 wide or wait with the activation of your characters then Flanks are also nullified.

You cannot wear this deck down, you need to burst damage through and control the upgrades. Vandalizing the Mandalorian Vambraces is not a bad start!

Written by
CLAUS STAAL