Talzin/Mandalorians - Budget Deck


1. INTRODUCTION:

The budget list is a new ongoing series at YOUR Destiny where we are taking a look at decks which we believe to be competitive, but limited to:
Max. value pr. single: 20$
Max. total value of deck: 50$

(Common and Uncommon card are generally evaluated as 0$ and we base our price estimate on the Chance Cube Price Watch Average Price. We also evaluate cards found in the current Starter Set(s) and Rivals Draft Set as relatively inexpensive, although they might have a fairly high price when purchased as singles, i.e. Hidden Motive. This is simply due to the fact that we consider all of those sets as MUST HAVES - no matter your level or commitment of investment).

As we are moving towards the first rotation of all the cards in the first cycle (the Awakenings Cycle) in Star Wars Destiny, a lot of players might be reluctant to commit too much money into buying cards that will cycle out of Standard and Trilogy Format come early 2019. For those players looking into an relatively inexpensive, yet competitive Standard Format deck might be a good starting point.

We do know that there are varying opinions on what is "inexpensive", "budget" or even "competitive", and while we acknowledge that the interest, possibility of purchase or ambition is different from player to player, we feel that the upper cap of 50$ is both adequate for being able to construct a competitive deck AND a relatively small investment.

2. OTHER DECKS IN THE SERIES:
(CLICK the image to go to the other articles in our on-going BUDGET DECK series):
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3. TALZIN/MANDALORIANS:

One of the easiest decks to do a write-up on as a "Budget Deck" is the Talzin/Mandalorians deck that has already proven its worth taking second place at Gen Con 2018, as well as second place at German Nationals 2018 AND winning the Russian Nationals 2018 ... Do you need any more proof that this is a consistent hard as nails deck?!

Nah, didn't think so!

The best part is that this deck is dirt cheap to make, consists mainly of cards that are very easy to find, and can easily be assembled within the cap of 50$ for the entire deck.

In this article, which is a reworked version of our original article (with a few sections copied directly), I'll present the iteration of the deck which I feel suits the current meta a bit, and while you might want to look into other variations dependent on your local/national meta, they play out very similarly, and I suspect that most versions of the Talzin/Mandalorians that will do well in a competitive setting will share at least 22+ cards.

The only two cards in the deck which can be hard to get your hands on are the Sith Holocron and Force Wave, and the latter is not cheap either, and is what bumps this deck from a 20$ deck to a 50$ deck. I do believe that Force Wave is worth the investment, because it definitely has uses outside of this deck as well, but if you disagree and do not want to put in the 30+$ for two copies of this, and generally want to consider options outside of the Holocron package, then I'd actually suggest that you look into the Piett/Mandalorians deck!

You can also benefit from reading Jordan McClure's tournament report from Gen Con 2018 as well as Tobias Winter's runner-up report from the German Nationals 2018 for some inspiration on how to approach various match-ups with the Talzin/Mandalorians.

4. THE DECK:
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5. CHARACTERS:
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Mother Talzin, gives you incredible value for money, coming in at 9/12e and a great die to boot, and although squishy and somewhat restrictive as to your deck building - at least in order to maximize the benefits from her special ability - she brings almost unprecedented consistency to Destiny.

The ability to reliably predict the outcome of die rolls, cannot be underestimated. Talzin all but removes the downside of high risk/high reward upgrades such as Chance Cube (with its 3 blanks) and Sith Holocron (2 blanks), and at the same time is brilliant at setting traps for your opponent! I've often used Talzin's ability to focus into a Special on the Holocron while not having a Force Ability on my hand to get rid of my opponent's mitigation and setting up for some powerful turns afterwards!

Making the most of Talzin's ability is going to be essential for your success as well as ensuring that you manage to capitalise on your Witch Magicks. It's beyond frustrating for an opponent to pour energy into killing off a character just to see that character potentially heal 6 damage. In order to ensure this we've minimised the number of even costed cards to just 4 out of 30 (13%), and you are going to hard mulligan for any number of these, so should ideally start the game with just 2 even costed cards in your 25 remaining cards (8%).

Your full character team comes in at a combined 27hp, which is pretty decent compared to other 3wide decks, i.e. 5dice Villain (24hp), Snoke/Aphra/Battle Droid (27hp) and Plo-Koon/Padawans (24hp), and add into this the Witch Magicks and you could look at a potential 33hp, which would then rival and eclipse that of even a 4wide Hero Vehicle deck (31hp).

6. UPGRADES & SUPPORTS:
Talzin Budget Article9jpgAs tentatively outlined above the SITH HOLOCRON works brilliantly with Mother Talzin. Being able to always focus the Holocron into a Special if needed is great, and if you don't have a Force Ability Upgrade in your hand there's still the Focus side (even the +1 Resource can come in handy together with a Talzin Resource side in a pinch, although it's most of the time another Blank), and of course the added bonus of doing damage when Power Action'ed on the Mandalorians.

1). You put the Holocron on Mandalorian A, deal 1 damage, 2). Activate Mandalorian, 3). Then activate Mother Talzin, use her ability to flip the Holocron to a Special, 4). Resolve the Holocron and put Force Wave/Force Throw on the Mandalorian A. 5). Put the Holocron on Mandalorian B, deal 1 damage! 6). Activate Mandalorian B. With that play you could potentially be looking at 12 damage with just the 2 pieces of upgrade and 1 resource spent (and not taking into account the possible damage output from the Force Ability) That's a lot of mileage off a single Holocron (damn, I'm going to miss those babies once they rotate out of Standard Format).Talzin budget deck Holocron play Article2jpg
This is obviously not the only trick in your deck (you're only bringing 4 Force Abilities), but it is another tool, albeit a pretty powerful one, at your disposal.

In Mads Utzon's article on "Cards you should be playing" Both FORCE WAVE and FORCE THROW were mentioned as cards that should do well in the current meta (check out our Gauntlet for a bit of inspiration on what decks you can reasonably expect to encounter in a competitive environment), and thus both earns a spot in the deck.

We did a 1/1 split between Force Throw and Force Push as the former loses a bit of power in non-vehicle match-ups and the latter offering a bit of consistency of your damage output. The 2 Discard side on the Force Push can also be pretty punishing mid-game. You might wanna go for a different Force Ability upgrade package, either going 2/2 on Force Wave/Force Throw, but I'd definitely recommend not going above 4 upgrades as they can only be played on Talzin outside of a Holocron.


[NOTE]: If you want to reduce the overall cost of the deck even further, you can go for a 2/2 split between Force Throw and Force Push or even add a single Force Rend.Upgrades YOUR Destinyjpg
BACKUP MUSCLE
A long time favorite of yellow villains and it just fits the bill perfectly with Mother Talzin in the mix as well. 3 damage for 1 resource is nothing to scoff at. The strongest Backup Muscle plays are often to keep it back in your hand until your opponent has allocated damage or shields to their characters, sniping off characters that are left exposed. Backup Muscle is also excellent as an additional "non-action-action", if you are trying to stall Talzin's activation in order to know which dice to auto-focus with her ability.

ARMOR PLATING
Works well with the Mandalorians' ability, pinging damage and blocking damage on top of that.

CHANCE CUBE
Apart from being another 0 cost equipment that can be played on the Mandalorians for damage, the Chance Cube can also prove vital for your "midrange game plan". The Mandalorians don't have a Resource side on their die and ALL of your events cost resources, which means you'll be starved for resources, or at worst forced to use the Mother Talzin dice to grab them. The Chance Cube comes in really handy, and will also allow you to, if needed, hardcast either Force Throw or Force Wave in the absence of a functional Holocron. Remember that you can use Force Throw Special to remove the Chance Cube's 3 Resource side to deal 3 damage to an opponent! This could come in handy in a pinch, and could be exactly the kind of thing you need to close the deal on a tight game.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, so sequences like 1). Playing Chance Cube on Mandalorian A, deal 1 damage. 2). Activate Mandalorian A and return Chance Cube to hand, 3). Play Chance Cube on Mandalorian B, deal 1 Damage, 4). Activate Mandalorian B and return Chance Cube to hand, is absolutely possible.Mandalorian Talzin Upgrades3jpg
MANDALORIAN VAMBRACES
The Mandalorian Vambraces are just really good, and are obviously designed with the Mandalorians in mind. Now, if there were more upgrades than 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. It also lends itself well as a defense against mill opposition - just remember to get your sequencing right.

RELBY-V10 MORTAR GUN
We've become accustomed to 3 cost upgrades with crazy value, and the Relby-V10 Mortar Gun is sadly not one of them. The die sides are good, and goes well with the two base Ranged damage sides on each of your 4 character dice, and the action is a great tech against 3 and 4 wide decks, but is unfortunately nigh unusable. 2 resources is a mountain to climb in this deck, but there are not a whole lot of other options at hand. My preferred choices for replacements would be Underhanded Tactics and On the Hunt, but they are unfortunately not Equipment nor Weapons (both are Upgrade - Abilities), and can therefor not be used with the Mandalorians' Power Action.
Mandalorian Talzin Upgrades4jpgOn the positive side, the Relby-V10 does offer pretty consistent damage and IF you have the resources available is actually superior to Force Wave. Other alternatives to the Relby includes the Canto Bight Blaster, Flame Thrower and Dagger of Mortis.
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The Canto Bight Pistol has Redeploy, while its best side is a pay side, whereas the Flame Thrower has great damage sides, but no Redeploy, and the Special is not bad in the current meta (and goes well with the inclusion of a single No Survivors). In a non-budget version of this deck, I'd actually be tempted at trying out the Dagger of Mortis, but I'm pretty convinced that the Relby-V10 is superior and it might even be outshone by the Canto Bight Pistol.

7. EVENTS:
This deck is a bit scarce on resources, and you need to manage it well and should always make sure to be able to mitigate at least once per round.Talzin BUDGET Article9jpg
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 with support character dice being more important than ever, and the ability to lower the consistency of a number of decks by removing a Special or 1/2 Focus side, i.e. Snoke, Yoda, Thrawn, etc., it looks pretty decent. The Spot Yellow requirement shouldn't be a problem with the Mandalorians usually sticking around till end.

FEEL YOUR ANGER is definitely one of my favorite removal cards. Incredibly high ceiling and even with it being a dead card in your hand at times, it still feels worth the risk. Don't be afraid to use the Feel Your Anger to remove 1 die if that can relieve pressure off your characters.

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? Remove it!

OVERCONFIDENCE
Don't go into the Overconfidence Battle lightly (hear the YOUR Destiny Podcast Episode 13 to have it explained). Your dice are actually pretty bad at it. Generally speaking, if your opponent's dice have two or more die sides showing a value of 2+, then you don't battle them, but rather choose two of their dice. There's just 1 Overconfidence in the deck despite the obvious power of the card because its Spot Blue and Talzin is usually focused down fast.Mandalorian events 3jpg
WITCH MAGICK
This card is absolutely godsend. Due to your low number of even costed cards, 4 generally considered to be the sweet spot for Talzin, it's fair to actually expect to heal 3 damage on one of the two Witch Magick and 2 on the other.

Below are the percentages of drawing into AT LEAST 1 even costed card using Witch Magick (and revealing the top3 cards) if you have 25/20/15 cards left in your deck and you know you have 2 even costed cards left in the deck!Chances BUDGET Witch Magick YOUR Destinyjpg
FRIGHTEN
Even if the meta doesn't look like it's heavy on Shield generation at the moment, Frighten is still excellent value, even if it only removes 1 or 2 Shields, IF that leaves you in a position to inflict lethal damage with the Ambush action! Additionally, the ability to remove Shields from any number of characters (as opposed to Intimidate) is pretty good!Talzin BUDGET article8jpg
NO SURVIVORS and VANDALIZE are both tech cards that have been added due to the prevalence of Snoke decks. In a lot of games you often see characters hanging on to life with just 1 or 2 health remaining even across a 3wide character line-up. Often Snoke Power Actions as well as self-inflicted Indirect damage leaves characters on the brink of defeat and a well-timed No Survivors could really be that last damage you need to pull through a narrow win!

8. BATTLEFIELD:
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RIFT VALLEY, has recently received a lot of love, and it's a pretty awesome Battlefield, but this is an incredibly slow deck, and I'm still considering Fort Anaxes the superior Battlefield for the Mandalorians. Being able to allocate damage across you characters can go a long way to keep them all alive - even if you only get to use it once or twice in a game.

9. MULLIGAN OPTIONS:
Your preferred starting hand is based on two distinctly different parameters.
  1. You want as many of your even numbered cards in your starting hand to make Talzin's ability and your Witch Magicks as reliable and powerful as possible.
  2. You want to have options, both of using the Mandalorians' Power Action AND of getting as solid a board state as possible. Being able to both generate resources and deal damage, making the choices for your opponent on what to control as difficult as possible.
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10.GOING RAINBOW INSTEAD?
There are a lot of good arguments for going rainbow with this deck, and exchange a Mandalorian Super Commando for a Veteran Stormtrooper.Rainbow Talzin Commando YOUR Destinyjpg
Your collective health pool remains the same, and even with the Veteran Stormtrooper die having double blanks, it's still an amazing die together with Mother Talzin's ability. That 3 Indirect damage can really be menacing. BUT you are losing out on a lot of power that comes with having two Mandalorians to support Talzin.

Going rainbow also means you get access to some of the best upgrades in the game to go with Talzin, i.e. DH-17 Blaster Pistol, as well as probably the best mitigation card: The Best Defense, there is certainly a strong incentive for adding in that splash of red in your deck. I do not believe this version to be able to measure up to either the 5die Villain deck that has already proven itself in the Legacies meta or the Talzin/Mandalorians. But if you are looking for something a bit different for a casual night of Destiny this deck might be worth trying out:Talzin Mandas budget rainbow listjpg

Written By
CLAUS STAAL