Dooku/FN-2199 – Store Champs Top 4 (30+) Writeup/Report

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eDooku/Traitor 0 0 0 1.0
Dooku/Nines Store Champion (Writeup/Guide) 64 47 30 1.0

ArchitectGaming 2076

This one will be a little long. Hopefully you find something of worth and let me know your opinions below, because I absolutely LOVE this deck.

Intro

So, as a preamble, I knew going into Champs that I was either playing my Poe/Snap build, or another deck of my own creation. I enjoy attacking established decks much more than “joining them”, so that’s what I had in mind that led to this list. I knew Poe/Maz, Poe/Rey, Vader/Raider, Palp, and Luke/Rey variants would be popular, so those were my targets.

Initially I found myself drawn to FN-2199 - Loyal Trooper as an opportunity to match (or exceed) Poe’s damage output, without having to play Poe myself. The best “other” deck that matches Poe’s damage is a split between Vader/Raider or Palp, but I knew those decks would have targets on their backs and I wanted to try something unique. I tend to stray away from decks that are too all in on one character, as dice hit so hard right now, often without an opportunity to react. I think to succeed, your deck has to hold up after your first character dies. If not, you should be playing Poe or Palp. So, I saw FN-2199 in various builds with Unkar, but I wanted to be a lot more aggressive than that and felt like I needed to stay two characters. Others have found varying levels of success with FN-2199/Hayden, and I think that deck is solid and can put out surprising levels of damage quickly. Still, it doesn’t offer much in the way of resiliency, and I had something better in mind.

In my opinion, pairing Count Dooku - Devious Strategist with FN-2199 is a much better fit, and works well with my overall strategy, which isn’t as simple as “drop a ton of guns on Nines”. Destiny right now is all about maximizing consistent damage in the first two rounds, and if you can’t keep up with Poe’s output (5-8 damage most turns) you’re going to lose. Usually, if you can kill Poe fast enough before he does too much damage you should be set, but that’s easier said than done. Luckily, FN-2199’s ability is great for throwing out damage quickly, and Dooku’s ability is complementary as he can tank damage very well. Where Poe/Maz does what it does and falls apart (mostly) when Poe dies, FN-2199 can push out damage just as well, and set up a favorable board state with Dooku ready to out-damage and out-last their leftover character thanks to redeploy and his damage tanking. Basically, to sum it all up, I’m playing Dooku/FN-2199 to push high amounts of damage, knowing they will target Nines, looking to setup a boardstate with my upgraded Dooku against their leftover character. In theory, Dooku should come out ahead everytime.

The Deck

So, the list. I think it’s a mistake to go “all in” on Nines ability, and red/blue’s weapons aren’t as deep as you think, so we need to play a mix of upgrades and mitigation. Vibroknife, Rocket Launcher, Z6 Riot Control Baton and Lightsaber are our best plays, and then the value goes down from there. Not to say that Holdout Blaster is bad, but we’re only hitting on 50% when we play it on turn 1 without an Enrage. F-11D Rifle isn’t great for similar reasons, but I hesitate to play two Makashi Training, as it’s not a weapon. My best upgrade by far is Force Illusion, which pretty much everyone should be playing. Against Poe/Rey, it’s the single most important card in the matchup, and does wonders keeping FN-2199 alive that extra turn. Lightsaber Pike is excellent, more on this later.

Events

Most of the events are self-explanatory, so I’ll only touch on a few here. My list of “potentials” is miles long, and I could see an events package completely different than this do well also, but I think a lot of my choices complement my play-style, and revolve largely around Boundless Ambition. Rejuvenate doesn’t seem like much, but paired with Dooku, shields from rolls, and Force Illusion, we’ve got a surprising amount of resiliency. It’s free, and I love free effects, which is why we’re playing Doubt. Doubt is just all-around strong, but also the best free card in the format for handling Poe specials and Vibroknife dice. If I’m paying a resource for mitigation, I want it to have the greatest effect possible, hence the Overconfidence. Lightsaber Throw is excellent, similar to Bait and Switch out of Vader/Raider once you get in games and see how turns play out. We are definitely looking to resolve dice showing resource to pay the costs of our big upgrades, and Throw is a great way to turn extra resources into damage, or if our opponent mitigates the die we would have spent that resource on. Throw is great for killing their character a turn before they expect, which can often be the difference between our Nines getting another activation off or not.

The key to this deck and winning with it (in this specific format) is Boundless Ambition. Essential to my strategy is the necessity to kill their main character either before, or on the same round that they kill FN-2199. Boundless Ambition fits so well with my strategy, drawing us into more upgrades to chain with Nines, more free events like Rejuvenate and Enrage, and extra cards to discard for rerolls. It’s very easy to go all out, dropping all our guns without leaving some back to reroll bad rolls, and Boundless Ambition helps to refuel and keep the damage coming. Usually I can count on a Boundless Ambition for 3 or more “extra” damage tacked on to the end of the round, and it’s often the key to killing Poe a turn before they expect us to.

I expect some people will have problems with the Dug in, which I respect, I just think the card has one of the best effects for rate of anything in the set, and I like to “play to it” if that makes sense. We are rarely claiming, but there’s nothing stopping us from playing faster to set up a claim and a Dug in the following turn. I tend to feel my opponent out to see if Dug in will work against them, if they are discarding to reroll often I know I should be able to set it up once I draw to it, if not, discard it to reroll and move on. When we can fire it off, it can really turn the game around by giving our FN-2199 some much needed protection, or set Dooku up for a more favorable position once Nines dies. Still, feel free to cut it if you don’t like it, it's definitely the 30th card, I would say I play it in 25% of the games I draw it (which isn’t often at all), but when I do play it, it tends to heavily improve my position.

Tips

For mulligan tips, I keep Holdout/Vibro/Enrage in my openers against everyone. Makashi is great for the blue melee matchups, Force Illusion for Poe/x, Deflect for Palp. I send Deflect back against Poe/x, the card is great against them but I need to be playing a two-cost upgrade at least to keep up with them on damage, and there’s no guarantee they roll ranged in the first place. Plus, if they’re smart, they are playing around Deflect because we’re blue (even though we are a “Nines upgrade deck”) and they won’t give us many opportunities to ‘get em’.

Usually I activate Dooku first, and see if he rolls me a resource. That influences how aggressive I am with my upgrades on Nines, and lets me resolve Holdout immediately if I hit the 2 ranged side. Getting a melee out there lets me resolve Vibroknife with my ambush action if I roll the +2 as well. When we’re trying to maximize damage, little plays like this to blank their mitigation really matter. Play tight! I don’t reroll often, all of our cards have value unless it’s deflect against Vader/Raider or something. Sometimes I’ll toss a Lightsaber Throw to reroll if I’m resource light and my opponent isn’t showing mitigation (no resources, hand on table, etc) and I’ve got two or more blanks. Dooku’s discard side is a blank usually, when you take into account we love his other four sides (1, 2 melee, focus, resource). For the most part, I’m resolving most dice, as damage, resources, and shields are all on plan.

Lightsaber Pike is AMAZING as the cap on my turn, after I’ve resolved a Rocket Launcher or Z6 Baton die. Turning a lowly Dooku 1 melee into 2 or 3 is basically a free Lightsaber Throw, and if we ever resolve the +4 it’s hard to lose. The die doesn’t have a blank, as we’ll take the shield or resource and can always remove to give Dooku a shield if they mitigate our base melee die. Still, I don’t know if I can fit two in, but I’ll be testing it out.

Tournament Report

I’ll keep the report short as I’m already 1500 words in. We had over 30 players, with a cut to Top 8 based on TO’s decision. In the Swiss, I went 5-0, beating Poe/Rey, Luke/Rey, Unkar/Nines/Trooper, Baze/Snap and the four character Bala/Trooper x2/Pilot deck. Our field was a solid amount of Poe, and a ton of people all looking to beat up on Poe. Lots of Palp and Poe decks but I didn’t face one after the first round (it was clear they were facing a prepared field). Highlights were killing Luke through mitigation and a Caution on round 2 (15 damage) and playing a Force Illusion, Lightsaber Pike and Holdout while doing some damage with a resource to spare on my first turn. Rocket Launcher do 3, roll in, Rocket Launcher do 3 is good clean fun.

The Top 8 saw a quick 2-0 win against Poe/Maz. I always take shields in just about every matchup. People that say shields are bad because Vibroknife are just plain wrong. They don’t always have it in their opener, which is usually when those shields are coming off anyways. If they didn’t damage you in the first round, you should be set to win anyways. I’m saying that here because there’s not much to say about this matchup, I poke them here and there and acquire around 6 damage in the first round, and then unload on them in round 2. Even if they match my output and kill Nines the same round it’s hard for me to lose unless I couldn’t find any redeploy.

After going 7-0, my day fell apart in the semifinals against Qui-Gon/Rey. Usually, I consider this a good matchup, as they have difficulty putting damage together without Vibroknife and most of my damage is resolved immediately, under their mitigation. In addition, Qui-Gon rarely can hold together any shields to Riposte or ping me, and even if he does, my incidental shields from dice resolves soaks it up. The deck is great, don’t get me wrong, but its dice are less scary than Luke and I’m almost always ahead on damage.

In this match, I got the first game, and then my upgrades started to settle toward the bottom half of my deck. I’m not going to blame it all on luck, as my opponent was an excellent player and Close Quarters Assault absolutely wrecked me in a few situations, but I was definitely running under average as far as luck goes. Makashi Training was good for both of us, but he had two and was able to mitigate damage multiple times. It seemed like my free rolls on upgrades with Nines ability were missing more than they were hitting damage, and I was forced to reroll which turned on his mitigation. Still, the final game came down to my loaded Dooku with one health, rolling into his Rey with 6 damage and no shields. I hit the damage (Rocket Launcher showing a 3, other melee dice, and had two Lightsaber Throw in hand) but he drew into both Deflect’s, a mostly dead card in the matchup.

Conclusion

Had I won, I was confident I could take down the whole thing, as the other two Top 4 competitors I had already beaten in the Swiss. Still, overall I’m ecstatic with the way the deck performed, and I hope other people pick it up and try it out. The deck has a ton of play to it, on top of doing stupid powerful things, and makes you solve interesting puzzles, like planning out damage a turn ahead, upgrade sequencing and resource conservation.

Since I’ve been getting a few “oh that’s who you are” recently, I’m including links to my Magic content, the deckboxes I make for Destiny, and my Discord/TTS handles. Stop by and say hi wherever, and if you enjoyed the report feel free to leave a favorite to support rogue deckbuilders!

Trevor Holmes

ArchitectGaming on Discord

Trevorholmes1 on TTS

http://Modernnexus.com

http://Etsy.com/ArchitectGaming

http://imgur.com/a/tNgTI

(imgur link is to my most recent boxes, please no orders until next month)

35 comments

Zaqir 18

I like this, my only thought is to fit in Isolation. Maybe instead of deflect.

ArchitectGaming 2076

It's possible, as we talked about in the Discord, the fact that it is mitigation and damage really helps our plan. I don't want to be spending one resource on dice mitigation unless it also does damage, or hits two dice. Maybe in a different meta, but I could see basically every event change depending on meta. I think being on Boundless Ambition and Lightsaber Throw pushes me ever so slightly closer to Deflect and away from Isolation, but both have merits

lefthighkick 13

Excellent deck idea & write-up. I've already Top 4'd a few SC's and have my Phasma so I was looking for something new and fun to tinker with. This definitely qualifies as that. Thanks and well done!

Steelhawks 26

@ArchitectGaming

Thoughts on the Vader/Raider matchup? Did you get a chance to test against the best deck in the game currently?

stranglebat 263

Have you looked at Dark presence? it partners well with Boundless and dookus dice..

Same with Close Quarter Assault. 0 cost 1 or 2 discard is welcome at any point. ?

ArchitectGaming 2076

@Steelhawks I've found the matchup to be pretty straightforward. Vader raider hits hard, consistently, but the match goes at one speed. You know the damage you are taking turn after turn, and we have a bunch of things to help slow them down or jump ahead. I've found that doubt is the best card here again, between force strike and bait and switch they can turn anything into melee. Target vaders dice to slow them down, and they can't keep up with our output

ArchitectGaming 2076

@stranglebat we don't have enough discard to play dark presence, and it isn't really on plan. I like it in true control lists but for us, it will probably just nab an extraneous die like force speed.

Close quarter assault was excellent against me, so I'm definitely interested in trying it out, especially if this deck takes off and I need to worry about mirrors. It is at odds with our strategy though, we aren't often rolling in FN with our first action which is what you really want to be doing with a card like this. Doesn't mean it's not good, just something to think about

pantsyg 15

Love this deck. Dooku has been a favorite of mine since early Awakenings, and FN is just excellent. Can't believe I didn't think to put them together! I usually like FN paired with yellow for access to Vibroknucklers, but Boundless Ambition really helps fuel him. Congrats on the finish with a rad deck!

Steelhawks 26

@ArchitectGaming

Thoughts about Probe? it would increase our win rate against Vader/Raider (It's swarming my meta) as you would wait for them to put FH/BVibro and then have 2 sure hit with Probe to get ride of Force Strike/Bait And Switch/Dice Removal.

ArchitectGaming 2076

@Steelhawks Probe was on the shortlist of cards I wanted to fit in before the event, and my experience against Qui Gon/Rey and Vader/Raider definitely leads me to believe it should be in the list somewhere. Could see two over a Dug In and the F-11D, also trying to fit in a second Makashi Training

Steelhawks 26

@ArchitectGaming

I removed Dug In and the F11D for 2 Probe and i'm not regretting it.

That's the first 2 cards i thought about removing when i included Probe in my list

DreadFool 1

I actually don't mind Infantry Grenades in my FN-2199 - Loyal Trooper decks. Granted, I've always paired with with Unkar Plutt - Junk Dealer, so I can more easily take the two resource hit if I land the special. I'm quite interested in this deck. I might try it out soon. Thanks for sharing.

stranglebat 263

@ArchitectGaming Another card that has seemed super useful late game is Swiftness. Im not sure if you tested it but when you get later on in overwrite terrority you can swiftness and throw 2 weapons at someone with FN in a row. Helps get a little bit more out of him.

Foz 778

Damage-wise, Boundless should be slightly better than Lightsaber Throw here. Your average weapon throw is 1.22 damage, and you draw ~2 per 5 cards, so a Boundless should get you roughly 2.5 damage from upgrades, plus whatever other stuff you can play.

Do you just lose if you can't draw sufficient to throw, or if they won't roll good damage? That's what seemed to happened to you in the Qui-Gon/Rey match. With 12 to throw, it's a very real possibility that you sometimes won't draw enough to get the job done. If you come up even a little short of the 2-ish average for thowables, I expect it makes your life pretty difficult.

ArchitectGaming 2076

@Foz that's good data, I think the value of boundless goes up a bit when you factor in other stuff, like my free events and the added ability to reroll blanks with the extra card resources in hand.

I definitely struggle when my opponent can successfully mitigate multiple dice per turn, it doesn't happen often thanks to FN's immediate resolves and the fact that I'm throwing so many dice that they are already fighting an uphill battle. Still, is an area where the deck can be attacked when things don't go 100% by the book

ArchitectGaming 2076

@DreadFool yeah, I tried Grenades, this deck really hurts when it hits special though. I would have loved it against the four wide deck, but I beat it when I played it so it is what it is

ArchitectGaming 2076

@stranglebat yes, I can see it having value, just like tactical mastery, but we're just getting into the issue where space is tight and every event that costs a resource and doesn't contribute by itself has to be questioned. I think it's interesting but not good enough, just like tactical mastery

Foz 778

Has Dug in been difficult for you to play? I don't see this deck moving fast most of the time, which makes me think you might have trouble controlling the battlefield to use it.

Syringe 251

Really interesting deck, I like it a lot. I'm going to try it with the tiny modification that I'm removing one Deflect and one Dug in to add two Feel Your Anger. The is by far the meanest of the mitigation vars and often removes 1-3 dice for one little resource :) Thanks a lot for this nice build!

TheBeard1808 42

So question about Force Illusion and Count Dooku - Devious Strategist: what threshold do you use when going for their abilities? I would worry about unwittingly discarding another force illusion or important events. Granted, you can get illusion back via Starship Graveyard - Jakku, but not so with the events.

ArchitectGaming 2076

@Foz dug in is fine, I talk about it in the writeup. I've since been using that slot to try other things but I did like it when I had it

ArchitectGaming 2076

@Syringe I could see that move, I tend to only play one FYA as it can be very swingy, great sometimes but dead others, and there are a ton of mitigation options available to us. Glad you like the list!

ArchitectGaming 2076

I don't care about what I discard, what I'm worried about is damage on my characters. I'm never mad when something I wanted is turned over. I want all the cards in my deck, that's why they are in my deck :)

stranglebat 263

@ArchitectGaming Congratz on 3rd in the TTS tourney, you demolished me in round 1 with this haha.

Was it the same list or have you modified it?

ArchitectGaming 2076

@stranglebat Thanks! It was close to this list, I think about four cards off. Trying to decide if I should do a edit to this list or make another post to talk about it.

stranglebat 263

@ArchitectGaming 4 cards changed is enough to do a new version. its over 10% of the deck thats different. i dont think i saw any new cards i didnt expect in our match but i was on the fence between makashi and kylos saber in my build and seeing yours in action solved that delima for me haha.

Machobeard 1

Do you prefer taking shields over your battlefield whenever you win initiative?

Shields seem to play more into the sustainability you're looking for, but this Starship Graveyard - Jakku is practically built for FN-2199 - Loyal Trooper.

ArchitectGaming 2076

@Machobeard from the writeup: "I always take shields in just about every matchup." :) it's ok, I know its a ton of words.

I think I always take shields, against everything but mill. It's a four point life swing, I know they are targeting Nines, and I get to deny two shields on their best character. My whole deck revolves around me killing their guy first, or at least in the same round as them killing Nines. Shields are essential, moreso than the battlefield.

Machobeard 1

`@ArchitectGaming I assumed that meant take shields whenever rolled, along the lines of your "all sides are in play except discard" idea of the deck. Thanks for the quick response.

Fantastic deck that I can't wait to test out.

HaggisMchaggis 1

What do you think about force speed to keep FN rolling in?

HaggisMchaggis 1

Also. How about Vaders Aprentice rather than Dooku?

brokenmouse 8

@ArchitectGaming I used this deck today in a store champ and did not do well. 1-3. I think it's a great deck, but I was playing against people who were dice controlling 2-3 of my dice a turn, then add in the action cheats from force speed, swiftness, and the force is my ally, and I was seeing my FN dead by turn 2 by obi/Rey and Luke/rey. Any ideas or suggestions on how to compensate or respond to loosing so much dice early on? Should this deck look at replacing dug in with isolation and maybe more dice control? I'll keep playing this deck as I love it and think I can do well once I figure out the control.

ArchitectGaming 2076

@HaggisMchaggis what would you cut for Force Speed? seems like a good add, but every card we add in means we need to get rid of mitigation or upgrades. I think Baby Vader versions are strictly worse, at least in this metagame right now. Vader is fine, but he's a one dimensional aggro character. We aren't really an FN damage, we're a high damage Dooku deck that sets up a favorable endgame. There's a difference

ArchitectGaming 2076

@brokenmouse Sorry to hear that! Hard to give advice without seeing how you play, the deck has a ton of nuance to it that influences how it performs. I am still doing very well with it, I would point you here, to my updated list that I won an SC with for more tips: swdestinydb.com

Good luck!

HaggisMchaggis 1

@ArchitectGaming I think I'd lose overconfidence for force speed. Maybe even dug in. I agree with Dooku though after your response. I played this deck against some mates this week and got smoked. I obviously need practice with it. And my FN rolls were terrible. I'll keep at it though.