Mike Christiansen, the author of the article that you're about to read, has been one of the most ardent supporters of the YOUR Destiny Podcast and website. When nobody knew who the f*ck YOUR Destiny was, and we had listener ratings smaller than the size of my family, Mike wrote us encouraging messages on our FB-page, asking questions and urging us to keep going.
We have given our share of advice to Mike, and it worked out well ... both for us and for Mike. Recently Mike wrote us to say that he finally won his first Store Championship and we were absolutely thrilled for him! There was no doubt in our minds that Mike had earned the right to write a piece on his experiences going into the Store Championship!
CONGRATULATIONS and thank you for supporting us all the way through! It's been hell of a ride, but we wouldn't have wanted to do it without guys like you by our side!
1. IN THE SHADOW OF MILLPOCALYPSE:
I bid you greetings from the cold, dark winter of the Millpocalypse. I bring you a report of hope. You do not need to live under the oppression of your new mill overlords. You also needn’t fear the horror of the 3 and 4 wide vehicle decks. I survived in this desolation we call a meta, and so can you. What is the instrument to throw off the chains of degenerate deck building? FORCE WAVE.
I (finally) won a store championship this weekend at Guardian Games in Portland, OR, USA. The Way of the Force meta has not been kind to me this year. I don’t normally do well in the beginning of the meta, because I much more of a deck tuner than I am a deck builder. For excellent deck building I defer to my play group, the Suburban Dice Commandos (#gocommandos). My deck of choice in this engagement was Breaker of Chains: eYoda/eCassian Aggro:
The decision to run this deck was made at the last minute after working on eYoda/eHondo. I needed something that could put pressure on quickly, but also had the survivability to outlast a vehicle or support based deck. I steered away from Hondo after some good advice from my friend, Andrew Heinz. He asked good questions and made me consider how Hondo could have trouble finishing games against mill decks that are usually rolling ample resources by the end of the game.
I also had been playtesting with another Suburban Dice Commando over the past few weeks in how to defeat the mill. I played more games using the Millpocalypse deck than I care to remember against his deck. It showed me what the weaknesses of the deck are and how to play against it. Fellow playtester Eric Schmidt showed me that aggression is the key to beating the eYoda/Cassian/Anakin deck.
You have to overwhelm the deck with threats. You want the mill player to spend their time and resources on stopping your threats, so they can’t forward their own win condition. So I used guns on Cassian and the MVP of the deck, Force Wave, on Yoda. I figured I would play against mill and vehicles. I called it. Here is how it went down.
Round 1: vs eYoda/Cassian/Anakin
I played a turn one Force Wave and began exhausting Steve’s removal immediately. By round 4 he had eaten 3 Force Wave specials. I had him on the ropes, but he almost came back and milled me out. This game showed me that a mill player can be baited into removing Cassian’s dice first so that Yoda could do his Force Wave thing.
This was completely opposite of the normal cadence of roll Yoda, gain money, turn to special. Yoda’s dice, when he has a Force Wave, are particularly susceptible to Easy Pickings. Forcing a decision on your opponent to deal with Cassian now or wait for the Yoda roll in gave me the openings I needed. I won this game with just 2 cards in deck and one card in hand.
Round 2: vs eSnoke/eThrawn
A confession: the deck David played was very close to the deck that Eric and I tested for two weeks prior to the store championship. David also whiffed on 4 of 5 Thrawn calls. This game was not particularly close. I stuck with the same game plan. Pressure and make David use his resources on removal. I finished off Thrawn with a sneaky All In play when he shields on the table. Snoke had taken two Force Waves at that point so he was quick to fall.
Round 3: vs eYoda/Cassian/Anakin
My dice were ice cold for this game. Yoda and Cassian would only roll and reroll Discard sides, so I went with it. In round 2 I resolved four Discard sides after rolling a bunch of trash. I also took two off of the deck for good measure. I managed to mill some very important cards. I got Force Wave out round two as well, but it was soundly removed.
My opponent, Derek, made the sickest play of the day against me. In round 4 with special showing on the Force Wave he Rebels into Flames of the Past (a card I had milled earlier in my momentary pivot to mill strategy) and removes my Force Wave. I thought I was in trouble, but Cassian got hot with a quick draw and X-8 and went to work. I won with 3 cards in deck and 1 in hand.
I had reached my only goal for the day. I made the cut. I felt very good about myself. I, for a brief instant, entertained thoughts of winning the whole thing. It was then that my opponent was revealed for the semi-finals. My reward for being the first seed was to play against my boogie man. I hadn’t beaten Story, a dice slinging prodigy, all season. I actually had not played a close game against Story all season. He runs a particularly nasty version of 4 wide vehicles and is a tremendous player.
Semi Finals: vs Anakin/Jedi Temple Guard/Hired Gun/Rookie Pilot
Story runs Weapons Factory Alpha as a battlefield (obviously). know I want nothing to do with that. I was lucky to win the roll off. I chose my battlefield thinking that if we play three games I want my battlefield twice.
Game 1, I get a Force Wave round 1 and he spends the entire game playing defensively. Story run some very spicy tech having to do with his Jedi Temple Guard and Noble Sacrifice. I take him out before he can do it and I win soundly.
Game 2 was played on my opponent's battlefield, and went much differently. He harasses me all game with the Guard and I never see the Force Wave. He demolishes me.
Game 3 was close at first, but on my battlefield and armed with a Force Wave I wear him down. After the game I comment that it was bad luck that he didn’t see his Second Chance. He tells me he removed it due to mill. Lucky me.
Finals: vs eYoda/Cassian/Anakin
Oh Millpocalypse, how I loathe thee. This match up was what I tech'ed for, though. I needed the battlefield and won again. Greg was packing a few fresh cards in his version, the scariest one being Cunning. He runs it in case of the mirror match, but I can tell you it is scary against anyone.
Game 1: I got my Force Wave round one again, and with my battlefield, had the advantage I needed. I kept up the pressure and won soundly.
Game 2 went much differently. He had the right removal at the right time. I again walked into a Rebel into a Flames of the Past. It was not close. Anakin and his podracer grinded me down.
Game 3 was probably the closest mill match I’ve ever faced. The game came down to a single card in my hand. Greg had Cassian left with a Force Illusion and 1 hp left. He had a Discard showing and two resources left so I pitched my last card to try for a focus or any damage on Cassian. It was my only out, and he also had to not have removal. I rolled 2 damage on Cassian. We both stared at the board for a minute not making a sound. I kept waiting for him to remove my dice but he didn’t. I resolve the Cassian damage into the force illusion and do one indirect damage to win the tournament.
It was a great day. Like all good Destiny days a lot of preparation was mixed with some luck in calling the meta. I learned that it is much better to play offense than defense and having a team to test with is a huge advantage. #gocommandoWritten by