Written By MARK LOCKETT
This is a pairing that has gained in popularity recently. As you scroll through the deck lists of swdestinydb.com you see quite a few titles containing local tournament winner and then the impressive 6-0 deck from the Atlanta GQ. Most of these decks favour two elements – speed and guns, which is a great way to build these characters and is probably what people expect to see when they sit down opposite this pairing.
I was originally no different and had a good old middle/middle gun toting deck too but there was something missing for me. The deck had the speed but didn’t feel like it had enough punch for me. Nevertheless I packed the deck as one of my three options for the UK Nationals 2019. I also had eBoussh/ePadme and an eMace2/eLuke3. I filled my bag with cards I might want to put in and already had the idea of what might give me more punch for this deck.
Leia and Padme had been losing a lot more games recently after only weeks before going 11-1 at the Milton Keynes GQ and I wasn’t confident it could get close to winning me the event. I felt like the UK players had worked out how to beat it. Mace and Luke were a little too untested to be an option really but I was hoping to play quite a few games with them over the weekend.
This brings us to the night before the event and I pretty much coerced Simon Willis aka Sith Holocron to play two last games with me against eLeia/ePadme and eIden/eBeckett. I think I lost both against 3wide Talzin. I was leaning towards Iden as the only red villain character as that would allow me to have Vigilance in my deck. I remember Simon’s last words before going to bed were, play Iden/Beckett. I think I just needed someone else to back up my decision and that was enough.
However, I wasn’t happy with the deck. I needed to find that extra punch. I started to remove the cards I didn’t like in the deck but was too tired to get any further than that. This is why a lot of players at the UK Games Expo saw me sitting there in the morning head in hands putting my deck together all the way up to the last seconds of registration for the event and the rest as they say is history as I managed to go 6-2 and come 10th seed for the top16 on Day 2.
After playing the deck, there are still changes that can be made. I would swap the Snuff Out for Dodge. Dodge seems amazing in this meta at the moment. I’d also add in Rout as on your battlefield it’s very possible to have 6 dice in the pool with a single action, which makes the value on Rout skyrocket.
Why did I even consider Iden Versio and Tobias Beckett in the first place. Well, this meta has been the meta of money paying for big supports and using Focus sides to get the most out of those supports. This is when I thought the best way to stop most of this is to get rid of my opponent’s resources then the supports don’t happen in the first place. It’s not much of a jump to then go "why just get rid of the money when I could just steal it and use it myself?!".
[Enter Stage Left]: Tobias Beckett, the ability to steal resources and make extra from his Special or his Power Action is amazing. And let’s not forget he has two solid base damage sides on his die, a Focus and a nice solid 11 health. The most interesting thing about Tobias though is that you can guarantee having 3 resources on turn one if you want them.
That leaves us with 15 points worth of character to add and remember the meta of Focus. No card stops this better than Vigilance and that means we needed a red character to partner Tobias. 15 red villain screams the words Iden Versio at you and with the ability to stop Impulsive and Instigate plays, an even more impressive 12 health and the matching Leader subtype with Tobias Beckett. It’s hard to say NO! This gets you a very solid die with 2 base Ranged damage sides and the immensely useful 2 Focus side.
With a lot of matching sides the character pairing feels very consistent in what you get out of their dice each turn. The strangest thing with this pairing is that Tobias Beckett feels like a support character when you play the deck. He’s getting you the money for Iden Versio to bring all of her red villain toys to the table.
As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t feel the gun version had enough punch even though it had been doing well elsewhere so I really cut these back to the bare minimum.
In fact I've only included 2 actual dice cards! The ID-10 SEEKER DROID because it's such a great card. No Blanks so it always gets you something and the Special is just the icing on the cake as it lets you look into your opponent's hand and get rid of the biggest threat to you with no downside at all thanks to Iden’s passive ability.
The second upgrade with a die, SONIC DETONATORS, is a personal favourite of mine and as the Snoke and Talzin support decks have been immensely good and popular (mind you that the Balance of the Force was not effective when I constructed this deck). The Sonic Detonator can cause most decks plenty of trouble. Every die side is perfect against the 3wide support decks. Disrupt their resources, Discard sides to try and attack their supports and removal or the Special which can essentially be a 6 damage side into a 3wide deck. The die is fantastic at drawing your opponent into removing it which should mean your other dice go untouched allowing you to Focus them and get maximum use from them.
The only other upgrades in the deck are two RIOT SHIELDS. Pretty much a must have if you have a red character at the moment. Iden Versio being a trooper makes it that little bit more effective too.
You may be horrified looking at the event suite I used for this deck. 6 one-off cards. Goodness me why? Let’s see if I can help explain, but first the more important cards this deck includes:
TRUCE is an absolute must when playing Beckett. The amount of times you roll in Tobias and hit a Special, well 9 times out of 10 your opponent’s next move is to spend their resources so you can’t have it. Truce is then huge. Give you and your opponent a resource to then steal it and get an extra. You could have just gone from no resources to three in one action:
That’s immense because this deck runs two DELVE in order to play big supports for cheap. You can guarantee having 3 resources for your second action on any given turn should you wish with the Beckett Power Action so Delve is always usable.
The removal suite of events looks a little thin at only 8 cards but I always consider Riot Shields as essentially removal so 10 total is pretty standard for most decks. I wanted my removal for this deck to mainly be able to hit any dice whether it be a Special or 2 Focus or damage side which is tricky in yellow and red villain. I was worried about eKylo/eDooku as I thought it would be a popular choice so NEAR MISS was the first to go in.I wanted people to target Beckett. He seemed to be the support character of this pairing, the more expendable one so I packed a bunch of spot yellow removal in ELECTROSHOCK and ENTANGLE hoping to entice my opponent to target him and turn off my removal. SUBDUE got thrown in at the end but can hit any non-support dice which is handy and followed the yellow removal theme. It also helped spread my colours for any Kylo match ups. The final two removal cards are SINISTER PEACE to hit those big damage sides of a Vader’s Fist and SNUFF OUT for any possible big blow out play.
To keep a bit of that speed in the deck we have two TACTICAL MASTERY and a REACH THE STARS. Both help to get past mill decks playing Force Jumps allowing you to roll and resolve with no interaction.
The final event is DISMANTLE. I wanted something that could permanently remove supports but I didn’t like the idea of vandalize as the character dice in this deck are too powerful to lose. With the money Beckett can make and steal, Dismantle seemed to fit the task a little better.
This is how I gave the deck the punch I felt it was lacking: PLANETARY BOMBARDMENT. Knowing you can guarantee having the resources to pay for a Delve on any given turn then you have to have this in a red villain deck. Amazingly powerful die. The only other card worth Delving is the MEGABLASTER TROOPERS who can manage to get as much damage from the three dice as a Planetary Bombardment and with two Leaders it is always going to roll all three dice into the pool.
CONSCRIPT SQUADS are an easy choice when you have two Leaders with Ranged damage sides anyway. Get them all into the pool together.
I did have two IMPERIAL OFFICERS but reduced this to just the one as Iden Versio had plenty of Focus and I wanted to add a little extra punch and the handy removal of SLAVE-1 which can remove a Watto die from time to time and occasionally even a Vader’s Fist. With the nerf to Watto, the Slave-1 is not as relevant, but still offers nice pseudo mitigation as well as a decent die.
The last supports are VIGILANCE which is huge in the current meta. It can stop Palpatine and his Force Storm (although the nerf to it has neutralised it as a main threat), Talzin and her consistency. It even stops the popular Salt Flats being used or even Force Jump. Amazing card at the moment.
6. TECH CARDS:
As just mentioned, Vigilance is a huge tech card in this deck and hits a surprising amount of stuff in the game. Most of the deck just revolves around consistency and resolving damage as soon as it gets rolled. The bonus of taking out the guns is that you have a lot less modifier sides to worry about so you can resolve damage any chance you get.
To get past mill decks and cheat damage out or even just to gun a character down out of nowhere we have Tactical Mastery and Reach The Stars.
This deck can quite often pull off playing a Tactical Mastery into a Delve into rolling out the Planetary and resolving it. With 4, but better with 5 resources which is not a stretch to get for the likes of Tobias Beckett this could see you do 4-7 damage without it being touched by removal. Tactical Mastery on an Iden Versio 2 Focus can easily help punch that damage through.
I definitely think that the battlefield for this pairing would be either Salt Flats as that works well with Leaders or Military Camp.
I see Military Camp as the more aggressive card of the two as you can Tactical Mastery as your first action. Roll in both characters, re-roll an Iden dice as she is a Trooper, maybe conscript squads as well and then resolve something that you want. I’ve done that and hit both Beckett Specials so stole their rounds worth of resources and an extra one from the last Special and set off a batch of Sonic Detonators at the same time. I’m not sure anyone would be happy to be sitting opposite that going off. Salt Flats simply doesn’t give you that potential.
I am always looking for the combo of a Delve and the Megablaster Troopers or Planetary Bombardment to start with in my opening hand. There are a few others I would keep like one of the 1 costs, Conscript Squad or ID-10 Seeker Droid. I would most like to see an opening hand of Delve, Megablaster Troopers, Truce, Conscript Squad and a Near Miss.
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