Written by MARK LOCKETT
It happened everyone. The Rise of the Machines.
These overgrown toasters, namely R2-D2 and C-3PO, made a huge showing at both the North American Championship 2019 and European Championship 2019 as well as taking down both the recent Grand Championship in Germany and in the US at NOVA. These two tin cans can be seen out on the Destiny tables with a number of partners due to their low cost.
The most common partners for these two are Han Solo – Old Swindler, Satine Kryze or the other beeping tin can that came with Spark of Hope: Chopper. All partners in crime add yellow into the deck for full access to all available cards, but I’ve also seen them out in the wild with Aayla Secura or even the largest of all the walking microwaves, K-2SO. This versatility also transfers through to how the droids can be played. They have so many options.
2. KNOW YOUR ENEMY:
KNOWLEDGE is half the battle. These droids can pretty much do whatever you want or need them to. R2-D2 brings us the ability to focus a die while C-3PO brings resolution cheating as well as a boost to that resolution by 1.
The plan is to play an activation cheat, i.e. Droids Day Out, Ewok Ambush, Instigate, etc. to activate several or all droids simultaneously and then resolve their after effects. This at its most basic level could disrupt you for 2 resources, gain the droids two resources, hit for three damage, gain 2 shields or focus 2 dice. All can be powerful plays at the right time. It doesn’t take much to boost these numbers by 1 more with the addition of a Salvaged Arm or do two of the above with the plot Fateful Companions which can fit into many builds. Sounds scary already and that’s their base level, add upgrades and supports on top of that and the potential is almost limitless!
One of the best defences to them that I like is MIND EXTRACTION. If you can get that in, it has the potential of taking a character out for a turn as they decide to remove it, or you are taking away one of their strengths. SUPPRESSIVE FIRE is always a good counter against any character that wants to action cheat into a potential resolution. The droids can sneak past it if they control the Battlefield so it may not be 100% effective.
3. HAIL TO THE THIEF:
If the droid battlefield ends up being chosen during set-up then you are probably best ignoring any 1 cost and above cards in your hand for the time being unless you’ve started with a profitable connection or are playing Tobias Beckett because there’s a good chance your starting resources will be disrupted to limit your game plan from the beginning - this is especially true if you play against Chopper Droids. We can look to combat this with a whole host of cards that give us resources. TRUCE and WELL CONNECTED for yellow decks. LOGISTICS if we can spot a red character and have a resource showing on a die. Even blue hero decks now have EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION or ADAPT, while Jabba 3wide Supports decks have made good use of NO GOOD TO ME DEAD for some serious ramp.
There are a couple of characters that might help to get you resources back quicker than others. TOBIAS BECKETT is the only one that can guarantee you one resource but the droids will get one too or JANGO FETT with a Bounty Hunter Mask or any other 0cost equipment.
The most useful play though is to try and ensure you claim the battlefield before the droids so you get a chance to spend some resources on round 2 before they disrupt them again. Get the most out of your round and map it out according to the threats before you!
4. MONEY, MONEY, MONEY:
While disrupting you is a powerful first play for the droids if they have the opportunity to. I would say the better option for the droids is to ramp like crazy. While this doesn’t immediately affect you, it’s a powerful play for the droids to overpower you with dice. This isn’t something that is easy to combat or stop.
I can only think of one card that could potentially stop the upgrade or support BEFORE it hits the table and for this you’d have to be yellow hero and Mads Utzon will tell me off for suggesting this, but you could SCRUFFY LOOKING NERF HERDER after they have collected their resources and try and hit their next play.
There are options to get rid of what has been played, but many of these are fairly limited and while support hate can be strong, i.e. DISMANTLE, CONVERGENCE, DESPERATE MEASURES, etc., the Droids' ability to ramp is almost always stronger ... it's a race where you often feel like starting at a disadvantage.
A very strong play though, at least satisfying, if the Droids control the Battlefield, is to use their accumulated funds against them and RIGGED DETONATION their tin canned bums. Other than that I’d say, it’s pretty much impossible to stop. Maybe now it's time to be thankful that the Droids don’t have full access to the Unholy Trinity and cards like Megablaster Troopers or Vader’s Fist. That’s kind of a win right there.
5. EVERYBODY HURTS ... SOMETIMES:
Another option for the droids is to race through damage that you can’t stop. They will definitely be doing this in later rounds but maybe not at the start. We usually can’t stop the damage hitting our characters and the Droids are very dangerous at being able to cheat in and take a character out that’s close to lethal. We could combat this by having characters with plenty of health to give us more time with the character on the board.
Our deck should feature cards that heal like FIELD MEDIC, FIRST AID, MEND and maybe even DEX'S DINER to help for hero or cards and dice that are going to give shields to protect us. Villains have ARMOR PLATING but other than that can only go for the Shield option really and even then, they have limited cards that assist with this. At the moment I can only think of FORMIDABLE and SEPARATIST LANDING CRAFT.
Both factions have access to the ever useful RIOT SHIELD to protect against this as well and as a long shot we can all use the Doctor Aphra trick and drop down BUBBLE SHIELDS to DANGEROUS MANEUVER damage from our characters and CRASH LANDING dangerous dice off the board!
6. STOP, RIGHT NOW:
I’m sorry I had to go to a Spice Girls header for this section but I know you all know it and some of you may well now be doing the actions and there isn’t anything good with shield in the title. Gap in the market there.
Anyway, back to Star Wars Destiny and the Droids. This section relates to the Shields that Droids often rely on midgame to keep their relatively squishy characters alive. Droids are good at taking a beating due to the prevalence of heal cards in their decks, but often use Shields sides, or in some instances Republic Cruisers, to keep their characters in the game until they can find the damage needed to end games.
Villains have access to a plethora of cards that allow them to strip Shields from characters, like INTIMIDATE, FRGITHEN or CHANCELLOR'S EDICT, while the options for heroes are a bit slimmer, and MOVING ROCKS is probably not the best option to include in your deck. The only other option is to get a little unblockable damage in to finish off a shielded droid. Try SLICE AND DICE or the new DX-2 DISRUPTOR BLASTER PISTOL or a TREASURED LIGHTSABER.
7. YOU SPIN ME AROUND:
The final thing the Droids are going to do is focus their dice with R2-D2 and the Focus sides from C-3PO. This is an area you could stop the droids. VIGILANCE used to be one of my favourite cards against focus heavy support decks in the last set, but it won’t be any good against droids as the focus is likely to have already happened before you get chance to play it and then it goes away.
You do have the option to set yourself up to stop a later focus with IMPROVISED DEFENSE. Sometimes just having one of these down will stop your opponent using a Focus side and it could work against R2-D2 making them play a little bit fairer. It has the same problem as Suppressive Fire though for when they cheat in, if they have the Battlefield they’ll sneak straight past it.
8. RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE:
By far the best defence is to push through as much damage as you can and take a droid out as soon as possible but that’s what you’re trying to do anyway. Considering we are potentially not going to have any round 1 resources then we are going to need good powerful character dice to punch through as fast as possible.
Adding a bit of damage out of hand could be fantastic against the Droids as they only have 8 health. These cards tend to cost more than most to play generally around the 2 cost mark. I’m thinking of a FATAL BLOW, DRAW CLOSER, CHAIN LIGHTNING or even CONFLICTED that is being used to great effect in ReyLo decks. The Bounty Hunter plot, ANY MEANS NECESSARY could turn a poor die side into unblockable damage.
9. IN THE END:
In conclusion, I never said beating the droids was going to be easy, but it isn’t IMPOSSIBLE! The droids did show well at Gen Con and EUROS 2019, but didn’t make it to the finals in any of the events. In fact, Nick Obee from The Artificery who piloted eJabba/Wat/Sentinel Messenger to 2nd place at Gen Con swears that character line up can consistently beat the droids. They will definitely feature at competitive events. I hope now though that you will at least know what you are going to be facing off against and can maybe change a few cards to make sure you have a fighting chance!
I also feel the most key element is to try and keep control of the battlefield. This gives you chance to spend your resources first and activates Improvised Defence and Suppressive Fire if you have them. It’s not the easiest thing to do against a deck that action cheats though. It may be possible for us to combat this ourselves by also playing the cards that action cheat. Even cards that take control of the battlefield that we can play later in a turn might help after the droids have claimed will help.
If you scrolled to the end looking for the Droid beating deck list then I’m sorry, there isn’t one here. I will be putting two deck lists together that incorporate some of the above to see if I too can consistently beat droids. The pairings will be Rey3 and Poe Dameron2 for Hero and a new list for Iden Versio and Tobias Beckett for villain. Look out for these articles soon and good luck taking on your local droid players.
As a Patron you support the YOUR Destiny website, podcast and YouTube Channel, and you help us to continue providing content for Star Wars Destiny. We are a dedicated Destiny website and release articles almost daily. As Patron you also get access to our Chat 'N' Play videos, and can enter our Patron only Discord Channel. Advanced and Expert tier patrons get access to exclusive training and test videos. Thank you for your consideration.