Dooku/Nines Store Champion (Writeup/Guide)

Card draw simulator
Odds: 0% – 0% more
Derived from
Dooku/FN-2199 – Store Champs Top 4 (30+) Writeup/Report 81 59 35 1.0
Inspiration for
Count the Nines 0 0 0 1.0

ArchitectGaming 2154

So, for some background, I’ve been touting Dooku/FN-2199 for about a month now, and prior to this event I had a chance to participate in one Store Championship, where I placed Top 4, and a competitive TTS event, where I also placed Top 4. Along with numerous weekly events at my LGS and a ton of TTS pickup games, I would say my win-rate has been around 80%, but I stopped recording my matches a couple weeks ago. I knew this deck was the real deal, and a few people who bought in on Discord agreed with me, but for the most part players seemed to stick to FN/Unkar/Trooper and Kylo/Vader, two archetypes that I feel are comparable to this deck, and more popular, but not as strong.

Hopefully, today I’ll have done enough to change your mind. With the addition of Premonitions, I have finally cracked the code to pushing FN/Dooku over the top, and I used it to take down my first Store Championship. This deck is a blast to play, one of the top decks in the field, and is excellent against Poe/Maz, Kylo/Vader and Unkar/FN/Trooper, with a solid matchup against Vader/Raider. After a month playing the deck, I honestly can’t say with any certainty what it’s worst matchup is, because I’ve got positive winrates against everything, but 4-Wide does give it some trouble if we get a slow draw. I would suggest reading my first post on the deck for reference, as this guide will build on the concepts discussed previously, and I’ll spend most of my time discussing the SC and how to change the deck (if at all) moving forward.

General

As a brief overview, the whole concept behind this deck revolves around pairing FN’s burst damage potential with Dooku’s late game strength, thanks to their abilities. Contrary to pairings like Kylo/Vader, the power of this deck lies in the latent abilities present on my characters, and not my dice rolls. As I discussed in the previous write-up, every card choice in the deck is designed to throw as much damage as possible using FN-2199 before he can be killed, in the hopes that I’m setting up a favorable board position of my Dooku, loaded with redeploy weapons and an ability that will grant him extra health against my opponent’s remaining character. In theory, I should come out ahead everytime.

Premonitions

Premonitions changes everything. In the past, I kept searching for some way to push our resource generation farther than what Enrage can give us, and found myself trying Logistics, Imperial War Machine, even Datapad. The games where Holdout Blaster/Vibroknife gave me a free resource to help me ramp into my 3 cost upgrades were very telling, and I knew I needed to find a way to push the engine to go faster.

Premonitions is exactly what this deck has always needed. With FN-2199 helping us power through our deck, we’re playing or discarding to reroll every card in our hand, letting us find the second copy of Premonitions much faster. With Boundless Ambition, we can see 15 cards (half our deck) by the end of round 2, or the start of the round if we play it on round 1. Getting out a 3 cost upgrade for free that early in the game is usually enough to win for any deck, especially one like ours that can push that advantage to the maximum.

A second upgrade on FN lets us just replace all future upgrades we draw, saving our resources per turn (and any we get from dice) for mitigation and paying the costs of our dice. Before, I would usually only be able to fit FN with 2 redeploy weapons, but now, I often have him filled by the time our opponent can kill him, which just puts us in a better position after we redeploy to Dooku. Premonitions might seem like a minor add, but knowing that its in our deck (and playing to it) changes the entire makeup of the list. I’m no longer looking to nickel and dime my opponent with Lightsaber Throw. Instead, I’m mitigating all the dice I can, pushing as much damage as possible, and digging for the second copy of Premonitions so I can combo off.

Updates

DH-17 Blaster Pistol is a solid role-player that gives a little bit of value and works me up to my 3 cost-upgrades, which is exactly what we want from a one-cost weapon. It’s not excellent, but to expect it to be for its cost is unrealistic. I’ve tried F-11D Rifle, Makashi Training, DT-29 Heavy Blaster Pistol, and all of these options are worse. 12 guns for FN is a little too few, so DH-17 is the “next best”. Take it for what it is, a way to turn latent resources into some value, while working our way up to our bigger upgrades.

Lightsaber Pike was a late addition at my last SC, and I was only trying out one in that list. Since then, I’ve come around on Lightsaber Pike, to the point where I consider it one of the best cards in the deck. To understand why Pike is so good, you have to visualize how turns are normally playing out.

Usually, a natural turn sequence involves playing/upgrading 3 cost weapons onto FN, and rolling in with the hopes of immediate resolves for value. Then, FN rolls in once he’s loaded up, in the hopes of getting double mileage out of those upgrades. The classic back and forth with our opponent involves looking for damage while they are mitigating our big hits. Usually, after our opponent has played a few pieces of mitigation, I’m left with a couple random 1 melee dice hanging around. In these situations, Lightsaber Pike is excellent for turning those unassuming small damage dice into huge hits with its potential +2 or +4. In the “failstate” situations where I roll in Pike and they mitigate my base die, I can always pull it back for a shield on Dooku. No matter the situation, Lightsaber Pike is guaranteed value, with the potential to do insane amounts of damage at any point.

Isolation has gone from a one of, to not played, back to a two-of, which is what it is here. Our mitigation suite should change with the field, obviously, and for this event I wanted to be removing Poe, Vader, and Kylo/Vader dice, no questions asked. Overconfidence is great for affecting multiple dice for one resource, like Vibroknife and a character die, but not so much for removing Vader and Poe’s big value dice. In a different field, I could see playing anything else (and I have, like Lightsaber Throw, more Rejuvenate, etc), but for this tournament, I wanted guaranteed character mitigation.

Finally, as I was playing Premonitions, I was worried I would lose the second copy to a Force Illusion, so I cut one for a Rejuvenate right before the tournament. I had tested the deck extensively before the event and that situation had yet to come up, but I knew it was possible and I wanted to hedge if possible. Saving the resource is nice, so it’s not a huge downgrade, but Force Illusion is definitely better. I think we’re burning through our deck too quickly to be able to afford both, but in those situations where we’ve successfully soaked two large hits with Force Illusion we should be winning anyways. I could see both, for this event I just really wanted Premonitions to go according to plan.

Tournament Report

We had almost 30 players, which meant five rounds and a cut to Top 4. With the Fast Hands nerf incoming I expected a large amount of Vader/Raider and wasn’t disappointed, I faced it twice in the Swiss along with a Poe/Maz, Unkar/Pilot/Pilot, and a Vader/Royal Guard build. I started 4-0, all my wins coming against great players (three of which I’ve played before), and entered the last round of Swiss 4-0, against the only other undefeated player, who was running the Vader/Royal Guard. This matchup was very close, but he eventually took it down, as I Overconfidence’d his Vibroknife and my character die, and he hit one while I rolled blank. This was pretty unlucky, but I made a few minor errors along the way and I never blame luck for my losses.

With a 4-1 record I went into the Top 4 in second seed, alongside the Vader/Guard, a Poe/Maz I beat in the Swiss, and Asajj/Dooku, which I ended up facing in the semis. This matchup revolves around taking down Asajj as soon as possible, as his character dice are very consistent and No Mercy is a beating. I had an opportunity to kill Asajj a round earlier than I did, but Lightsaber Pike hit the +4, so I was able to start into Dooku with 4 damage. I was able to take down Asajj before he could get to Rise Again resources, and my two character team quickly took down his Dooku from that point. This match illustrated my strength against the mono-color aggressive options like Asajj/Dooku. They can’t hope to match FN’s damage output, I have access to better upgrades like Z6 Riot Control Baton and Rocket Launcher, and I get to play all the great Blue mitigation like they do, except for No Mercy. It’s a little more complicated than that, but for the most part, my pairing does everything their pairing can do, but better, except for No Mercy.

In the finals, I got my rematch against Vader/Royal Guard, and this time I took it down. I jumped ahead on upgrades quickly, and after taking down Royal Guard my Dooku and FN were able to whittle away at his Vader. Lightsaber Pike was an all-star here, as I was able to fit Dooku with multiple shields while also getting in a +4 at one point. Again, this match showed the strength of my deck against the other aggressive options in the field. Vader/Raider, Poe/Maz, and in this case Vader/Guard have a high floor of damage output, but a definite ceiling to what they can accomplish. Dooku/FN-2199 can match or exceed them on damage, outlast them with our survivability, while playing two characters capable of holding their own, rather than a main and a support.

Moving Forward

The biggest question mark for the deck in the future is Cargo Hold, and what will happen once Poe/Maz potentially gives up a share of the format. I still think Poe/Maz is good, but if people abandon the deck, that’s actually bad for us, as we lose a good matchup. Cargo Hold is great against us, there’s no denying it, especially now that moving upgrades removes dice. We take too many actions to claim, and they can just wait for us to activate FN, claim, mitigate a die for free and move our upgrades over to Dooku where we can’t replace them for free.

Luckily, we win the roll often, and while I almost always take shields to deny my opponent from putting them on their best character, against Cargo Hold we’ll have to go first. I still believe this deck will be Tier 1 (assuming people start to pick it up more now), but there are a lot of questions moving forward, more than just Cargo Hold. How the metagame shifts, and what percentage of good/bad matchups are present will influence whether this deck can remain in its current form more than a battlefield clarification.

I hope this writeup inspires some people to pick up this deck. I was ecstatic to win the SC as its a great accomplishment, but mainly because I wanted to prove to myself and others that this deck is the real deal. It seems irrational, but for some reason I take it personally when people play Kylo/Vader or Unkar/FN/Trooper against me and get upset when I beat them, or write off my win as just luck. This deck is an engine, it's very, very good, and while I may be biased, I think when built and played correctly, its one of the best decks in the game. Let me know what you think, I'll answer any questions below.

Thanks,

Trevor Holmes

ArchitectGaming on Discord

trevorholmes91 on TTS

30 comments

TheBeard1808 87

I'm in love with this deck and can't wait to take it to my SC in a few weeks. Thanks for the update and congrats on the win!

ArchitectGaming 2154

@TheBeard1808 thanks man, good luck!

pantsyg 15

Great writeup. I was the Vader Guard player, and was strongly considering bringing your deck to this event. It's a sweet brew that you've obviously put a lot of thought and testing into. I'm hoping it sees some adoption, as I'd love to see two of my favorite characters in the game taking down events. Congrats!

ArchitectGaming 2154

@pantsyg thanks man! Really cool to hear that, that's the coolest thing for me is when other people adopt my lists. Vader guard did well for you though! Thanks for the good games

pantsyg 15

@ArchitectGaming Vader Guard is solid but your point about its damage ceiling is spot on. It's a consistent grinder (and a high damage one at that) but it can definitely be outraced. After our games I'm investigating ways to up that ceiling; your premonitions/pike combo may be part of that equation. It certainly feels like a better version of the holocron package for decks that are looking to cheat upgrades, specifically weapons, for consistent damage. Cheers

BigDaddyGoblyn 290

I have been playing nearly this same Deck for a while now. I am glad others have caught on. Congrats on your win!

Moophisto 310

I appreciate the depth of this write up and guide. It is really well done!

Tybrid 754

I was running the Poe/Maz in question, and this deck is the real deal against Poe/Maz. I do think there are ways that Poe/Maz could counterplay to this deck, but I'm not sure those paths wouldn't result in a worse match against the rest of the field. Time will tell ultimately. Congrats to you Trevor, Well fought, well won, and even more impressive that it was done with an original deck of your own make. That more than anything else, makes the difference between someone good, and someone great.

Clucas 31

I have tryid this and think its very good and still have it made so ill try it again soon :-) thx for the write up. Just some questions: Would you take out Rejuvenate out for another Force Illusion? And what do you normaly use for Premonitions? and think Premonitions can counter Cargo Hold - Eravana so you can play a 3 resource weapon on FN-2199 - Loyal Trooper

BigDaddyGoblyn 290

Curious if someone can explain to me why Cargo Hold is something to watch out for with this Deck.

ArchitectGaming 2154

@Moophisto thanks! I have some experience from writing articles for MTG, glad you like it!

ArchitectGaming 2154

@Tybrid thanks for the kind words, I've always felt the desire to challenge myself by doing well with a deck of my own. Nothing against playing someone else's list, I just find the victory to be extra sweet when I'm playing my own.

ArchitectGaming 2154

@Clucas I talk about rejuvenate and illusion in the writeup, I could see either way. I use Premonitions for upgrades. I don't think premonitionso can "counter" Cargo Hold, that's kind of a loaded statement and I'm not sure what the ask is

ArchitectGaming 2154

@BigDaddyGoblyn Cargo Hold has been clarified, so now when you move an upgrade to another character it removes the die as if redeploy was activated. Also, cargo hold can be used to move our upgrades from FN to Dooku, so we'll have to pay full price next turn for FN's ability

Clucas 31

Well if the move your only upgrade from FN-2199 - Loyal Trooper then you can play a upgrade from Premonitions on FN-2199 - Loyal Trooper as a "Counter" and then they can move that too but a claim and you have a turn again with a upgrade on FN-2199 - Loyal Trooper hope it give just a little sense ;-)

Tierdal 38

Dude. Premonitions is a trap :/

mcpolle 1

Am new to Destiny, nice to see something other than the usual suspects, and a really good write up, to help noobs like myself, congrats on the win.

Spideyscott123 2

Have you considered using Maz's Castle to draw through the deck. I am thinking with this deck you wouldnt be claiming that often and Starship Graveyard may benefit you opponent more than you.

ArchitectGaming 2154

@Spideyscott123 I don't have a problem with that, I've been using Starship Graveyard as tech against mill, I know for other decks THEY use Maz's Castle as tech against mill, but we cant really go without our hand. Still, if we ever do claim, digging towards Premonitions sounds fine.

Reflecto 1

Great write-up. I was wondering what you think about adding force speed. My thought is that if you are able to force speed dooku then you would have less problems with cargo hold and mitigation in general since you could roll dooku force speed next turn and roll and resolve FN. Thoughts? @ArchitectGaming

Jedrzej 1

@ArchitectGaming Hi! Played couple of games with the deck and loving it so far - one of the few deck in which premonitions makes sense. However I do have a problem with 2 things. First one is using DH-17(in best case scenario, value from this card will be 2 dmg for 1 or 1 shield for 0 -counting it as 0 cause money spent on weapon is not lost, because we will overwrite it) and such value is not bad. However there are so many cards in the game right now - as I was playing I felt like imperial war machine would be great add or even lightsaber throw as consistent 2 dmg for 1 and I know you were using them before, can you walk me through your decision making? Second thing is problem I have with milling myself, maybe it is just me being unexperienced with the deck, but I often end games with having few cards in hand and 0 in deck. Maybe I am not fast enough with the deck? What do you think might be the problem? What is the goal of the deck? (dmg per round, killing characters on which round and so on) Thank you in advance for responses :)

Thrisk 7

Congrats on the win! I am very intrigued by this deck. Do you have any videos of you playing it? My issue seems to be that I cannot consistently put out the dmg you talk about. Maybe I am spending to many cards to reroll? And instead just go all out on fn's ability? Also, what do you normally try and mulligan for? An outline of a first round would be helpful. Ex. I mulligan for x and then roll out dooku to try and get x, so then I can play x and y on fn .

mykelen 14

I've incorporated a few changes and made my own version of this. Love it! Thanks for putting up a deck that isn't overdone and has left my opponents quaking at the table! This is working out very well and I'm excited to try it even more.

ArchitectGaming 2154

@Reflecto What would you cut for Force Speed? I agree that it is a good card, but every card we add means we lose an upgrade, piece of mitigation or combo event. Personally, I don't think we have room, as seeing as how activating FN is the last thing we do on our turn, Force Speed seems relatively low impact compared to what it could be.

ArchitectGaming 2154

@Jedrzej Milling yourself can be an issue, it's a delicate balance between maximizing damage and making sure you are playing to an endgame. I normally don't play the second Boundless Ambition if I draw it, unless I know I can kill a character that turn. Once you are set up, and you've taken down their first character, it's normal to slow down a little bit so you have cards to pitch to Dooku if/when Nines eventually dies.

Lightsaber Throw is a fine card, but its just always 2 damage for 1 resource, I liked it in Poe/Maz metas as it was really important to kill Poe on turn 2, but now, I'd probably take more mitigation over it.

DH-17 is a great way to turn an extra early resource into some repeating value. The games in which I draw it early and let it sit there, getting me a damage here or a shield there are great, you don't notice that value but it really adds up. Also, we get to drop it, get some value, and then turn it into a three next round, instead of having to save that resource.

ArchitectGaming 2154

@Thrisk Discarding to reroll is generally a bad idea, you should be using the events to mitigate dice and the upgrades to get free rolls, usually. I would start there. Also, focus on plays like rolling in Dooku first to see if you hit resource/melee, if you roll the +2 on Vibroknife you can resolve it with a Dooku melee for the ambush action, sliding under opposing mitigation. Those types are plays are essential.

Enrage/Vibro/Premonitions are the best cards to have, and value varies depending on context. Against Poe/Maz you want Illusions, if you have Premonitions you want to look for Boundless, if you have Enrage you can keep an opening Z6. Hope that helps!

ArchitectGaming 2154

@mykelen Glad you like the deck and happy to hear its working out for you!

Nil0 20

Is Dooku strictly better than Vader is? I guess the Vader variant does not even have an end game but might not need it. Besides having the best damage outcome on his dice, Vader additionally provides a slightly better interaction with Holdout and DH-17. I can imagine some economic issues. Am I missing something?

Tybrid 754

@Nil0 you are missing the survivability of Dooku, and the ability to play a more control oriented game, vs all out agro.

Nil0 20

I did not miss Dooku's survivability when typing that Vader variant might not even have an end game.