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Written by CLAUS STAAL
This is a combo deck, pure and simple, and like any combo deck it's fully reliant on a few cards to synergise into a destructive machine. The combo usually takes 3 rounds to set up, but once it's there you can almost kill characters at will.
This deck has been made in a few different ways, and while I've tested different extremes of the deck, from running almost no mitigation to a heavy mitigation suite, but gravitating around the same core, this version is what I feel the most comfortable playing.
Is it a tier 1 deck? No.
The deck is simply way too high variance while work off a VERY LIMITED repertoire to be a tier 1 deck, yet it possesses all the tools available to take down any deck in the format. When this deck goes off it is a "Don't Point This At My Planet Kind Of Deck" or DPTAMPKOD for short.
You'll definitely have a lot of moments during games with this deck where you're basically telling yourself "If my opponent does this or that I'm screwed", which somehow sums up the deck quite precisely. It's rocky all the way through.
If you are looking for other ways to employ the good ol' bounty hunter, then you might find a bit of inspiration in the character analysis I previously did.
While OLD DAKA is indispensable for this deck JANGO FETT is not. He's definitely the best suited for the task at hand, but other versions have been floating around including one replacing the Mandalorian bounty hunter with Qi'Ra for some serious resource generation. The only thing required of Old Daka's sidekick is that he/she is yellow.
Jango Fett though is well suited because he has decent health, three Damage sides and the potential to generate plenty of resources every round.
3. A VOW OF VENGEANCE:
VOW OF VENGEANCE is win condition. Your only win condition! There's no way you can put enough damage through outside of playing one or more Vow of Vengeance to take down an opponent's characters. Everything you do with this deck is a lead-up towards building a boardstate similar to this:
You can do with fewer defeated Nightsister Zombies, 3 is fine, but 6 will all but close the game. You can also reduce the needed number of defeated Nightsister Zombies by increasing the number of Vow of Vengeance. They are cumulative and thus:
You are probably looking for at least 7 damage from your 1 Damage sides, which then means you'll ideally be looking for two Vow of Vengeance and at least 3 defeated Nightsister Zombies, which in turn means that you'll need to find a way to keep Old Daka alive and kicking until you have managed to make (as a minimum) 2 Nightsister Zombies and defeat them.
4. SURVIVING THE RUSH:
The best way to combat this deck is to rush one of the characters, hoping to spike enough damage to either kill Old Daka round 1 or early round 2. If Old Daka dies before you can create and defeat at least three Nightsister Zombies, your win condition is basically gone. Old Daka is immensely more important than Jango Fett. Even if Jango dies Old Daka can take over the character killing duties with Vow of Vengeance although her damage sides are fewer and split between Indirect and Ranged damage.
In order to preserve your endgame possibilities you'll need to protect Old Daka for the first round or two. Keeping resources for mitigation is extremely important in the beginning of the game and it's way easier to go through round 1 without upgrades than without mitigation. Keep this in mind when mulliganing.
5. DEFEATING YOUR ZOMBIES:
Due to the fact that you cannot kill your Nightsister Zombies with Indirect damage other than very specific situations, which are so niche that you are not likely to face them, you'll need to defeat them with ACCEPTABLE LOSSES.
You probably already know, but this is relevant because of the clarification to Old Daka's ability, which stipulates that Nightsister Zombies that are set aside due to the defeat of Old Daka are NOT considered defeated.
Acceptable Losses, probably unplayable outside of this deck, doesn't only defeat your Nightsister Zombies, but also turns them into a valuable commodity: Resources.
The most important aspect of a combo deck is consistency. You need to ensure that you can consistently get your combo engine up and running. For this particular deck you need:
- At least one or two Vow of Vengeance in play,
- 3-4 defeated characters,
- Resources to set it up.
What we are primarily interested in are your chances of getting either of the above cards in your second and third hand (with the premise that you didn't get any in your starting hand).
- 50% chance of drawing one in your second hand (provided you draw 5 new cards),
- 9% chance of drawing two in your second hand,
- 60% chance of drawing one in your third hand,
- 14% chance of drawing two in your third hand,
- 45% chance of drawing a second one if you already got one in your second hand,
Respite lets you draw a card and gain a resource while you normally just exhaust a Nightsister Zombie, who'd be likely to not do anything anyways, and Common Cause is expected to let you draw at least 3 cards, but could go as high as 5 cards in round 2. Letting you dig deep into your deck balances out the odds a bit more and adds another 6-10% in your favour of getting the right draws.
The BOUNTY HUNTER MASK and ARMOR PLATING both serve to keep Jango Fett or Old Daka alive, while they also help you ramp if played on Jango Fett. The Bounty Hunter Mask is excellent in this regard. Play it for free and gain 1 resource! AWESOME! Usually you want to see Resource sides early on both Jango and Old Daka to secure your boardstate going into the midgame. Resources are much more important than damage early on.
The MANDALORIAN JETPACK is mostly there to gain an extra reroll on your character dice in case they start acting up and Blanking out on you, but the Special can also be worth a lot of damage once you have your Vow of Vengeance in play. With two Vow of Vengeance on Jango, and three defeated characters, you'll have 33% chance of dealing 7 damage and 16.66% chance of hitting 8 damage with the Mandalorian Jetpack Special.
RESILIENT is included to protect your character dice. You don't need a lot of dice to win the game, but you NEED your character dice. A Beguile, Repulse or Easy Pickings can seriously wreck your rounds. Being able to roll your removed character dice right back into the pool offers you a fair high level of consistency while putting pressure on your opponent's mitigation in hand.
We already covered the importance of VOW OF VENGEANCE. Needless to say that if you fail to see that card, you're bound to lose. Look out for those Discard sides that might rip one from your hand.I've also tested the deck with a single UNCONTROLLABLE RAGE, which is a great control card. It ensures that one of an opponent's character will always be activated as the first action every round. It's a great way to avoid that character durdling around and getting upgrades, etc. It makes your mitigation more effective and lets you map out your rounds better. As a side effect it can also be used as a target for the Nightsister Zombies' after ability if they manage to stay alive long enough!
8. TECH CARDS:
There are certain cards that can really wreck your plans including Separatist Embargo that can prevent you from playing your Vow of Vengeance in the first place. Being able to blow those cards up with DESPERATE MEASURES or getting rid of a Pulse Cannon threatening to kill Old Daka in one swift round with a VANDALIZE can be vital at times.There are still enough powerful supports around to be wary off and having these cards to gatekeep will make you feel a whole lot safer.
9. REMOVAL CARDS:
I decided on a relatively large removal suite, and I'm counting in the WEAVE THE ICHOR as well. You might want to play around with the event suite to find the one that suits you the best. There are several good cards that could be vying for a spot here, and this is by no means a done deal.
ARENA OF DEATH can potentially be a great Battlefield for this deck, but it caps at 3 Indirect damage and you are not likely to claim after round 2. Your opponent though is not likely to ever choose this Battlefield unless it's a mirror match, and it's probably going to be a dead Battlefield for anyone but swarm players.
If you are looking for a more activate Battlefield you might want to consider playing Theed Royal Palace which can give you an early resource advantage and convert those bad dice sides into something usable.
So, you don't want to see neither Vow of Vengeance or Acceptable Losses in your starting hand. But you'll want to see a Bounty Hunter Mask to get your additional resource as well some removal. I like to have the Weave the Ichor to be able to heal damage of whoever is taking the early beating. I'd definitely keep Desperate Measures to help remove supports while I'd also keep the Uncontrollable Rage if drawing into it. After round 1 drop whatever cards you have remaining in the hand to start drawing the combo pieces!
12. CARDS TO CONSIDER:
These are definitely cards you should be considering adding dependent on your meta. An early Mind Extraction on Old Daka can be a killer since you won't be able to use her Power Action while a Possessed can be really nasty once you have your Vow of Vengeance in play.
I'm also still considering adding at least one of the out of hand damage cards: Armed To The Teeth and Fatal Blow. You don't have a lot of upgrades, but that extra 2 or 3 damage can at times be exactly what you need.
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