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NOVEMBER 27, 2019.
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5 DECKS THAT BEAT CHOPPER DROIDS:
Written by CLAUS STAAL
Alright ... to be fair: Any deck can defeat Chopper Droids. Except mill decks. That's an auto-loss right there. But, any deck can defeat Chopper Droids. It's just not that easy!
On the other hand, Andrew Rothermel from The Destiny Council winning The World Championship 2019 with his own iteration of Chopper Droids has only exacerbated the "problem" of that particular deck. The "problem" is not that the deck can easily dominate any other deck out there, because that's clearly not the case, and it's a difficult deck to master, but it does provide answers to effectively combat many of the archetypes we see in the meta.
So how do you defeat it? In today's column, I'll present 5 decks, that can take on all-comers, but feels particularly strong against Chopper Droids. At least when I played them. You should try out one of these if your meta is rife with droids.
NOTE: This past weekend, The Hyperloops team brought an eSnoke/Mudtrooper/Mandalorian deck to a Prime Championship and it absolutely destroyed Chopper Droids ... maybe, you'll want to be on the look-out for an article coming over at The Hyperloops soon .... ?!
We did a detailed deck analysis of eIden/eBeckett a week or so ago, and while my win:loss ratio against Chopper Droids, now 7-4, was not as great as I had expected it would be, it's still much better than with any other deck I've played into that match-up.
Iden Versio and Tobias Beckett both have plenty of tools necessary to defeat Chopper Droids, including Iden's ability to prevent action cheating. It's a pure middle/middle deck that aims at wearing your opponent down while having enough punch to knock a droid out round 1 if necessary.
The game plan is pretty simple ... play an upgrade or support round 1 and put enough dice in the pool to take down a character late round 1 or early round 2. If you manage to get the Megablaster Troopers into play, which is likely if you choose not to play an upgrade and still possible even if you play a 2cost gun, you just need to Power Action with Beckett or make the most of a Beckett Special (remember that IF you take your opponent's last resource with the Special, you still get to gain an additional resource).
Yep, another Iden Versio deck ... Just a testimony to how important it is to be able to interrupt the action cheating synergy between R2-D2 and C-3P0. I mean, the synergy is still crazy good, but if you can remove the most impactful dice before they get buffed by C-3P0's ability and possibly doubled up by Fateful Companion you're already halfway there in defeating them (in theory) ...
The above iteration recently won the Barcelona (Spain) Prime Championship and operates off the same shell as eIden/eBeckett, but substitutes longevity and ramp for speed! It is a pure aggro deck that aims to take a (droid) character down round 1, and although vulnerable to multi-dice removal, can put a serious amount of dice in the pool. I'd personally run BENDU'S LAIR over MILITARY CAMP because it's awesome with SEIZING TERRITORY and there's quite a risk with handing control of Military Camp to Chopper Droids.
It runs more resource generation cards, LOGISTICS and FRESH SUPPLIES, aiming to get an early MEGABLASTER TROOPERS or several upgrades/supports. There are definitely several ways to go about this deck, but it does feel in an okay'ish position to take on Chopper Droids.
This is a tough match-up for Chopper Droids, but it is by no means a walk in the park for ReyLo either. I'm using the Aggro Version from the YOUR Destiny Gauntlet as an example, but it could as well have been the more Defensive Version (which is also listed in the Gauntlet).
This match-up can honestly go both ways. ReyLo will be in a very bad position if it suffers from an early Easy Pickings (alternatively Flee The Scene) removing two of its dice preventing them from "exploding". Be sure to play around this as well as possible. If you can manage to EITHER Shield up massively round 1, possibly 3 Shields on both Rey and Kylo, OR, slice Chopper in half late round 1 or early round 2, then you should be in a dominant position to take home the game. Remember that you actually just need to do 6 damage to Chopper to fell the tin can as your first action round 2 with a well-placed POLARITY.
Cards like STEADFAST and ATARU STRIKE can be absolutely golden in this particular match-up because of their high impact against low to mid-health characters. Moving 2 damage, bypassing Shields, from one of your characters to any of the Droids is a huge damage swing.
4. SATINE RAINBOW SUPPORTS:
eSatine/eLor/Gungan or alternatively eSatine/C-3P0/R2-D2, and Armored Reinforcement, is probably the strongest deck against Chopper Droids. That match-up feels, well maybe not a walk-over, but definitely heavily in your favour. The only thing that can stop you is a heavy hit on your resources OR if Satine is defeated round 1.
You are looking to build a strong round 1, preferably harvesting the 5 resources necessary to tutor the MILLENNIUM FALCON/ESCAPE CRAFT from your deck with Armored Reinforcement. If you manage to do that round 1, possibly using a combination of ramp cards, i.e. LOGISTICS, MOBILIZE and WELL-CONNECTED, I'd claim that there's no way you can lose that game. Your board state will simply overwhelm your opponent. Having to deal with a plethora of powerful dice every round is extremely demanding for your opponent's mitigation and even a for a mitigation-heavy deck like Chopper Droids, it could prove difficult.
Another strategy, which is slightly more risky, and should be your back-up plan, is to fight dirty and just go for heavy damage from the get-go. Mulligan for HANDHELDs and tutor the RESISTANCE CRAIT SPEEDER to deliver 10 Indirect damage every round, forcing your opponent to constantly resolve Shield sides to halt the tide of damage. Upgrades go on Lor San Tekka to divert damage from Satine Kryze - you'll need her Indirect Damage sides to win that race.
5. eVADER/GREEDO ...
Darth Vader - Terror To Behold use to rule the galaxy - even if it was just for a short amount of time during the Across The Galaxy meta. Now, with the prominence of (relatively) low-health Chopper decks, Vader is once again poised to slice skulls in half: Crush tin cans.
It's been a longstanding debate on which partner is the best for Darth Vader, either eVader/FOST, eVader/BD/Retribution or eVader/Greedo, but consensus seems to be that yellow offer more goodies, including the indomitable package of the absolutely broken Delve/Vader's Fist.
Above is Nicholas Nelson aka TheGandork's Utah Prime Championship winning deck which goes all in on the killing business including both FEAR AND DEAD MEN, FOR A PRICE as well as I PERFORMED VIOLENCE. I love the set-up and as long as you can win the damage race against the Droids, which is easier if you play on Fighting Pit, then there's little to stand in your way of dominating them.
One of Vader's main strengths - against Droids - is that he's in a good spot to play around their mitigation due to his Power Action, unless you are subject to BOTH single dice removal AND multi-dice removal, i.e. Automated Defense + Flee The Scene, but that's 2 resources and two cards traded for your two dice and a card, and you end the round by claiming. Rinse and repeat.
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