Tournament Report & Deck Analysis - US Nationals Top16

Lakes list US top16jpg

1. INTRODUCTION:
"FAT TIRES
" is actually an evolutionary off shoot of Bald Tyres (see Joe Colon's write-up on his version of that deck). What happened was I got a hold of a very early version of that deck about 2-3 weeks prior to Gen Con and it developed in my play group independently from Bald Tyres. The decks are very similar in philosophy of characters and how to handle various challenges in the game, but Fat Tires approaches it somewhat differently. With waaayyy cooler supports :D

2. DECK OVERVIEW:
The basic breakdown for how the deck works is as follows (remember that every single player has their own playstyle, and this is just indicative of mine):
  • You want to Power Action one of your two sidekicks for 3 Resources in Round 1, and ideally have additional resources via the Battlefield, Chance Cube, or both.
  • Then you use those resources to play some mix of Vehicles and Delve. In the following rounds you start to vary what you Power Action based on what is needed. You can do the First Order Storm Trooper for damage (or ramp in an emergency), or Bazine for more resources, or take a controlling approach with Discard and Disrupt. Don’t fall into the trap of always Discarding, although it can be extremely limiting for your opponent! You have to ADVANCE your boardstate or you WILL lose.
  • All the pieces of this deck combine into something that is very well rounded against any given field, with a mixture of good control and good power. It also has one of my favorite features in a strong deck, which is the ability to have the potential for obscenely strong starts. I have had two 6 cost supports in play Round 1 one several times with this deck!
  • I run 10-11 mitigation cards in this deck, which is a hallmark of any deck I have had my hand in making as I really enjoy reactive playstyles and disrupting my opponent’s plans. That isn’t for everyone though so there is definitely  room to cut removal and add other things if you don’t want to play like that.

3. CHARACTERS:
US Nationals 2018 6jpgSNOKE
is the engine of the deck, having the ability to generate the resources for its supports with his power action. In addition to that his focus sides are of great aid in ensuring your supports resolve sides that make their cost worth it. He is pretty tanky at 11 health, but if he gets focused protect him!

BAZINE is just amazing in this deck. She provides 2 character dice that have 3 very strong sides to target with Snoke's Power Action: Resource, Discard, and Disrupt. Her 2 Shield/1 side is great in an emergency, especially when grinding against something like Mother Talzin/Mandalorians. Her special’s ability to do 3 is quite nice too, even if it works only once.

FIRST ORDER STORM TROOPER is functionally just a filler, but DO NOT underestimate his potential damage output! It’s actually pretty obnoxious for your opponents that he is 50% to roll in potentially power action 3-4 Ranged damage. He also has a resource you can roll into (more likely you will have to Focus to it though) if Bazine’s dice get removed and you need resources for the turn.

4. UPGRADES:
US NATS top16 lake article1jpgCHANCE CUBES are amazing in this deck. They help big time with your goal of ramping into resources to play your supports, and you have the Focus sides availabel to make sure they work out. They resolve more often than you would think, as your opponent is often forced to use their Resources on mitigating whatever Bazine rolled out. Chance Cubes are also an extra lifeline vs mill decks, just make sure they don’t get trapped on the battlefield when you run out of a deck!

5. SUPPORTS:
US NAts article2jpgPLANETARY BOMBARDMENT is a B I G  NASTY support. Ironically it’s come into play damage ideally will not be high in this deck, but we don’t care! If it does 0-1 damage that usually means you played it turn 1. The ambush is actually great, I frequently will Friends in High Places into this card, then use it’s ambush to start using all those dice I have amassed. The damage sides are great, but don’t be shy when it comes to resolving that 4 and 5 Indirect damage sides - don't get too greedy! Even the 4 Disrupt is pretty good sometimes (CYA Dark Ritual and Rise Again!)

The AT-ST is a beast in the current meta. It’s great vs virtually every deck! Just watch out for the Deflects that have made a comeback. If you smell one coming, then you will have to know how to play around those. This deck does a lot of Indirect damage, and the ability of the AT-ST to do 4+ damage to a target of your choice is extremely valuable. Its Special can be useful sometimes, but generally speaking it is better to be proactive and just shoot your opponent for 5 Ranged damage!US NAts article3jpg
PIRATE SPEEDER TANK was in truth a change I made the morning of the event (it was previously a He Doesn’t Like You). The idea behind it was so that I could help Friend’s in High Places and Delve be a bit more consistent. I suppose it did those things, but it was actually of no consequence throughout the event. I would call this card a flex spot for now.

HAILFIRE DROID TANK is a solid 7-8/10 in this deck. It’s a bit awkward to Delve into it, but it is a good Friends in High target. You can always pay its full price like some sort of filthy hero support list, but you might find it’s hard to play along with other cards unless you are particularly flush with resources. The die sides are super great and the indirect damage you get over time is very worth it if you can make it happen.
US Nationals article16jpg
ARC-170 STARFIGHTER is a very well rounded vehicle and is a welcome addition, especially because villain’s vehicles are currently very lacking. This was as a two of over the FANG FIGHTER, primarily because on average it will provide a higher die side for a Friends in High Places play.
The Fang Fighter is solid, especially the 3 Ranged damage side. While not the most exciting vehicle, it definitely gets the job done, but not so well that we run 2. Again, watch out for Deflect!

HOUND'S TOOTH is a card I have mixed feelings about. I’m overall pretty lukewarm about it, but it sides are so powerful for resolving a Friends in High Places that I run it despite my reservations. The shield for 1 side is actually not bad when you can find the resources for it, and the resources sides are also fine, albeit it awkward to resolve at times. Every once in a while its ability to eat one Bazine’s dice is useful, but those situations are fairly rare. I chose to ran just one because due to the way the deck is setup there can clunky and awakward hands with the 6 drops and delves being mismatched. Due to this I never want to be in a situation where I both have the inability to delve something, and be unable to play a vehicle because there is already another copy of it on the board. I think a hand like that might cost you the game, and I have applied this logic to the rest of my unique vehicles as well.US NAts article5jpg
SLAVE I is obscenely good in this deck, and it’s probably the best 3 drop to play turn 1. Power actioning one of Bazine’s dice is an extremely good play, and is very likely to mitigate an enemy die. That alone is very strong, but its die isn’t shabby either!    

COUNT DOOKU'S SOLAR SAILER is actually a really good card if you have the right deck for it. The die sides are loaded, and the fact it has two 2 Focus sides is so powerful in our deck. The 2 resource side is good in a bind too. Sailer tends to function as a backup Snoke when he dies. Drawing an extra card on activation is sweet too! All around good card even if it doesn’t do damage.

6. MITIGATION:
FORCE ILLUSION
... well there is not much to say about this card that hasn’t already been said. It’s the best! US NAts article6jpgOVERCONFIDENCE is a card that right now seems to be run in shockingly low numbers. Aside from just being general removal this card excels at interfering with Snoke Power Actions. It is also noteworthy that if you pick an opponent’s die and your Planetary Bombardment die, you will basically always win the roll off. The Hailfire Droid Tank is pretty good at the hallmark "YOUR Destiny Overconfidence fight" too (hear Mads Utzon talk about the Overconfidence Fight in the YOUR Destiny Podcast Episode 13).US nationales article7jpg
PINNED DOWN is about as reliable as it gets. Point and click. Ship it back turn 1, it usually won’t be live in time turn 1.

HIDDEN MOTIVE is in a great spot right now vs all the Kylos, Chance Cubes, Planetarys and a whole lot more. Solid two of.

MIND TRICK is great! Don’t be beguiled into thinking otherwise (sic!). The card is great vs large pools, and is fine against ones that have 3 or more. It even works as unconditional removal (spot aside) in a bind vs. a single lethal die. Finally, mind trick is absolutely hilarious against Loth-Wolf Bond plays and Rex’s Blaster activations as well, where multiple dice are flooding the pool and your single spot removal is not doing you any good!

HE DOESN'T LIKE YOU is actually the worst mitigation card in the list, but it is still really good. The only issue with it is that it can interfere long term with your Friends in High Places plays, and requires you to already have some of your potentially valuable dice in the pool.

7. TECH CARDS:
US NAts article8jpgDELVE is a pretty sweet card that has seen waaaay to little play up until UK Nationals where Gareth Parfitt and co. finally tossed it into their decks! Playing 6 cost supports for three? I'll take that deal. Don’t fall for the trap of trying to mulligan your hand so that you can either find a delve or a 6 drop if you don’t have the other half. If you don’t have one, mulligan the other out. As a final note, delving a 6 drop turn one is pretty strong, but it is trivially easy for it's die to be removed so you can't solely rely on it!

FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES is crazy strong, and its printing is actually just a mistake at this point. The card is pretty straightforward, just fulfill its requirements and you are good to go. And yes, sometimes it does miss, however it’s not terribly common, and it is a price you sometimes have to pay if you want to play this sweet deck.US NAts article9jpg
VANDALIZE is my 30th card, and it could be anything you want it to be instead. I personally like it because it can deal with Chance Cube, Sith Holocron, Force Illusion, or the occasional Anakin’s Podracer when you absolutely need to. It does find occasional other uses as well, so I would definitely say try it before you cut it!

8. BATTLEFIELD:
Ciena SNoke deck9jpg
Weapons Factory Alpha is the obvious choice, we run a ton of vehicles in this deck! I almost always use my Battlefield if I win the roll off. The ability to play two 3 cost supports Round 1 is just too powerful.

9. MULLIGAN/STARTING HAND:
An ideal hand would have two 3 cost vehicles, a Chance Cube, as well as a piece of free mitigation, and honestly the 5th card doesn’t matter too much past that, while the ideal candidates for the nuts draw would be a Friends in High Places or a second Chance Cube. A hand with BOTH a Delve and a 6 cost upgrade is pretty solid too.

Generally speaking you want to be able to play at least one vehicle Round 1, so if you don’t meet that requirement, mulligan and try again! Friends in High Places is an auto keep if you have a Hound’s Tooth in your hand, it is extremely likely to be successful with that die in the pool. Against Force Wave decks a good way to lose is to not have hard removal in hand, so I would recommend trying to make that happen if you can.

10. CLOSING THOUGHTS:
This deck is seriously a blast to play, and doesn't have many terrible matchups. While the deck has the same goal and win condition every game, each game will play out differently due to the way the deck is built, which is super fun, although it can be a bit mentally demanding sometimes.

Shout out to the guys of the “Southeastern Sector Destiny” discord (go join them if you live in the southeast! The event and store time information is sweet if nothing else!) as well as Mads Utzon and Claus Staal of the YOUR Destiny Podcast, and finally Miguel Villaroya, the Spanish National Champion, who helped me work through some of the ideas I had about this deck.

I hope you guys enjoyed the analysis of the deck!

Oh and don’t forget to catch my “VS.” podcast hosted by the Knights of Ren Podcast!

THE TOURNAMENT REPORT:
Let’s talk about bad ways to start off a tournament. So the night before I was supposed to fly out, I woke up in the middle of the night with a bout of food poisoning. Then my ride ditched me 15 minutes before I was going to leave, so shout out to Terry.

I ended up at the airport with literal seconds, not minutes, SECONDS to check my bags. Then I had to board a plane when I truly should have been in bed.

I woke up for the event with about 5 and a half hours of sleep and ate the whole two pieces of toast I could handle before showering and taking an elevator down to the event, while still feeling like crap!

ROUND 1 vs. LUKE/REY:

characters rey luke1jpg
This was probably the most savage game my deck produced the entire tournament. I played both Planetary Bombardments Round 1 (I think one was hard cast, the other was played with Friends in High Places, but I forget). My opponent was a super nice guy and did not seem like a bad player either, but most decks just roll over and die to that kind of start, and his was no different.

I remember resolving 17 damage Round 2, and probably did at least 10 Round 1! This deck has REALLY HIGH highs and this was an example of what one of those can look like.

ROUND 2 vs. KYLO/SNOKE (HOLOCRONS):

US NAtionals article11jpgI played against Artificery’s Olivier de Ridder and he was on their team's Kylo/Snoke (running the Holocron package instead of lightsabers). I don’t really remember too much about this game as I was still pretty messed up. I do know he did not have an early Sith Holocron, but you know that happens with 2-offs. I do remember he fought well, but I simply overwhelmed him with big vehicles. After talking to his teammates it sounds like against the big vehicle version of Snoke/Bazine/FOst, he really needs to have Force Wave and Force Throw out their ready to battle early or it’s a losing proposition for that deck.
ROUND 3 vs. 3WIDE HERO MILL:

Mill article characterztjpgThis game was actually on the CHANCE CUBE stream. I love playing against mill with this deck. You just play a vehicle or two out before they can discard them each turn and throttle either their resources or cards in hand with Bazine’s Power Action, so they can’t use any removal on your guys. Oh and by the way you can kill little Anakin Skywalker with a Bazine Special and a First Order Storm Trooper 2 Ranged damage side (+Snoke Power Action), so they have to be careful about that. I opened with both Chance Cubes, prioritizing them as my first plays, as they help with both ramp and give mill a headache when they bounce back and need to be discarded.

I then dropped a round 1 Planetary Bombardment which got in a bit of damage, before it was discarded with Flames of the Past. I assembled a team of one Hailfire Droid Tank and two AT-ST’s which invalidated the special of Force Jump as those vehicles have no blanks to be turned to. From there I just grinded out my opponents ability to mitigate my dice and closed out the game.
ROUND 4 vs. BAZINE/SNOKE/FOst:

US Nationals 2018 6jpgI played against Yodaz from the Hyperloops and he was on their version of Bazine/Snoke/FOST decks which they call Bald Tyres. It is similar in philosophy to my version, but is fundamentally different about what it does with their resources. Bald Tyres trades explosive turns and overwhelming power for consistency by not running Delve or Friends in High Places in addition to being able to point damage better with ranged dice.

I did feel like I was a dog to this list, its ability to focus its damage where it wanted gave it a big edge. Oh also I accidently commited suicide by not resolving Shields while I was looking at lethal damage on board. I’m going to chalk that one up to not feeling well.

LUNCH BREAK

:
Power BarjpgAt some point during the lunch break my food sickness finally left me, and I was able to actually eat something (well a power bar, but I’ll take it!) and take a 10 minute power nap. I came back feeling like a million bucks and ready to kick some ass!
ROUND 5 vs. TALZIN/MANDALORIANS:

Mandalorian Talzin Characters1 deckjpg... And then I immediately lost my next game. I played round 5 versus my friend Richard Kopacz on TaCos, or Mando Mother as I prefer to call it. My initial hand was two Planetary Bombardment, one Hailfire Tank, one AT-ST, and a Pirate Speeder Tank… that sometimes happens with this deck though not normally that bad! In all honesty after shipping everything but the tank back (I want to keep a vehicle) I got a very good hand.

It did feel like my dice kind of took a dump on me though and I was unable to answer an early Force Wave for at least one round, and it didn’t help that Richard is no slouch at Destiny, so 3-2 I went.

ROUND 6 vs. YODA/HERA/MAZ:
US Nationals article12jpgRound 6 I played against Chip, who I didn’t initially know, but as the convention went on I would find to be a super cool guy.

Hero vehicles can have a rough time with my deck, I tend to both out ramp them and make great use of Power Action'ing Bazine’s Discard side vs. them. I ended up with just a completely degenerate board state vs Chip and there was nothing he could really do. Sadly, Hera Syndulla’s free vehicle was just too fair compared to what my deck was doing.

I had a lot of fun playing his board game “The Thing Infection at Outpost 31” after I was eliminated from the event later in the day!

ROUND 7 vs. APHRA/SNOKE/DROID:
US Nationals article13jpgDamn that deck hurts. This game was a slug fest with both of us just slinging damage. It helped me a good bit that Aphra’s murder droids were MIA, but I did have to deal with two Hailfire Droid Tanks that only cost 2 resources each for most of the game. I had Vandalize ready to go in case one of the droids showed up, but it was never necessary.

I believe I stayed alive with only 3hp left, although I think it could’ve been reduced to just 1hp if my opponent had resolved his 3 Ranged before his 3 Indirect (I put all the Indirect damage on Snoke so he had to overkill him by 2 Ranged damage). Scary Stuff! At this point I was pretty certain that I had Top 16 locked up courtesy of my SoS, but why settle?

ROUND 8 vs. 3WIDE HERO MILL:
Mill article characterztjpgI was pretty stoked to be playing against 3wide hero mill (again) in the last round of the swiss rounds, as I felt super good playing against it. I don’t remember any specifics, playing against mill just all merges together in my head. It basically always plays out about the same: 1) Get resources, 2) Play vehicles, 3) Prevent them from using removal.

I eventually took the game and finished the swiss with a record of 6-2 and a Strength of Schedule that placed me at 6th seed for the day. Not bad, especially considering the debacle that was getting to the event!

TOP32 vs. TALZIN/MANDALORIANS:
Mandalorian Talzin Characters1 deckjpgThis was against Anthony Luneau. Super nice guy, super uncooperative deck from him. Like it was BAD.

Game 1 he never found an upgrade to Power Action with, so that should give you an idea of what he was forced to work with.

My deck is not kind to struggling decks and the first game was a massacre, even though there was a turn where I had basically all of my dice removed by a well timed Feel Your Anger.

Game 2 wasn’t much better for him, but at least he was able to get a few Power Actions off with the Mandalorians. He missed two Mother Talzin actions thanks to his deck being a jerk producing evens, and both of his Witch Magicks only healed for 2. I think as long as I don’t lose Snoke turn 1 vs that deck or have a Force Wave running wild I am wildly favored, and if their deck isn’t cooperating with them it only gets worse. 

TOP16 vs. THRAWN/SNOKE:
My Top16 match was against Zachary Hahn aka Flaccidbaron playing Thrawn/Snoke, specifically a nasty Grand Moff version, that eventually earned him at top8 placing!Screen Shot 2018-09-20 at 090055pngThis match was pretty tough, he ran 12 mitigation cards (+ Force Illusion), and opened by playing a Grand Moff each game despite my attempts to Discard it or Disrupt his resources.

Ultimately his removal suite gave him the edge he needed to push things through. His Thrawn, and surprisingly only to a lesser extent Grand Moff deprived me of some potential plays which also hurt.

The first game was close, as I was able to resolve a round 1 AT-ST but he was able to find that crucial lethal damage with his final reroll after I was out of actions. If the dice had been a bit less kind to Zachary, I would probably have had a good chance to take the game, as the board state was a dead race, with both his Thrawn and Snoke left with only 2 or 3 health, and I had Snoke + one of my other goons ready to go, but he rerolled into several double Focus sides so that was that.

The second game was less close, but I still scrapped it out a bit. Snoke turbo blanked on me, and Bazine was really going through a shield/special phase in her life, which generally speaking isn’t a huge issue, but Zachary's deck will leave you with just 2-3 cards every round, due to the Grand Moff/Jedi Temple combo, if you are lucky so if you are starting to pitch cards to reroll it will eventually really hurt your ability to advance your board state.US Nationals SNOKE Playsjpg
There was a crucial turn where, if I had been able to show any sort of non-zero number on a few of my rerolls, I would have been able to resolve an uncontested Friends in High Places, but I eventually blanked out twice, although I do believe I made the right call in rerolling at the time (I had to discard an ARC-170 Starfighter to try to hope for something better off the Friends in High Places order to get back in the game), but when it failed twice it most likely cost me the game. No shame in losing like that, sometimes the correct line of play doesn’t work out and I can always live with those losses.

Zachary was a great opponent and I had a lot of fun in this match. Zach, if you’re reading this sorry again about the unintentional stall during the last turn of the match, I thought I had claimed already!

I later asked his teammates how to beat that particulr matchup, and it sounded like I would have had an edge if I could deny him the Grand Moff in the opening of the game (RIP he had it both games turn 1). I also asked Zach what I should have done differently, and he said “I don’t know, roll better?”. Sounds about right, my dice were pretty trash especially the second game, Snoke was the mayor of blank city and my rerolls were largely cut away from me.
OVER AND OUT:
Nova2018-Mar1-HeaderjpgNOVA was seriously a blast and you really missed out if you didn’t come. I had a lot of fun meeting up with friends, walking around the convention, and playing with some of the new cards against some of Fantasy Flight Games' game creators. The solid run plus being able to tour the Capital later didn’t hurt anything either!

Written by:
LAKE QUITT aka Craw