VA Regional Runner-Up - Beckett/Talzin

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Odds: 0% – 0% more
Derived from
Bad romance - 1rst seed top 8 ottawa regionnal ( Separatist 11 7 5 1.0
Inspiration for
Beckett/Talzin Top 4 Scottish Regional 2 0 0 1.0

punchitchewie 491

Took this deck to 2nd place at the VA regional in Ashburn, VA. Was hoping to go all the way to the top, but it was not meant to be!

The structure of this deck is based off of the Top 8 deck run by Separatist Krehlo at the Ottawa regional. I expected to see a lot of Darth Vader - Terror To Behold/x and Armored Reinforcement vehicle decks, so the changes I made were +2 On The Hunt, +1 Disable, +1 Vandalize, +2 Friends in Low Places, and +1 Electroshock, taking out -1 Mislead, -2 Sebulba Always Wins, -2 Nefarious Deed, and -2 Improvised Defense.

My tournament matchups were as follows - I apologize if I may have remembered some things incorrectly, it was a pretty long day of Destiny, and my brain was a little bit mushy by the end!

1) Han Solo - Independent Hotshot/Biggs Darklighter - Rebellion Ace/Armored Reinforcement - Win (1-0)

  • My opponent won the roll, and his first action was to play Friends in Low Places, to protect his Millennium Falcon from a possible Sabotage. I don't remember what he took, but my next action was to play Tobias Beckett's Rifle, to disrupt one of his resources and prevent him from the 3 resources necessary to use Armored Reinforcement to fetch his Falcon. I was able to manage his resources throughout the turn, and put a bit of damage into Biggs Darklighter - Rebellion Ace. The second turn started with him able to fetch out the Falcon, threatening a Hit and Run or Drop In for loads of damage. Thankfully I had the Disable, which slowed him down quite a bit. I killed off Biggs during round 2, and went into turn 3 with a little damage on Han Solo - Independent Hotshot, feeling pretty good about my chances. My opponent had 1 scary Drop In play, but rolled much more indirect than ranged damage, so I was able to put the indirect on Beckett and save Talzin for another round. After 1 Hyperspace Jump, I was later able to eliminate Han for the win.

2) Mother Talzin - Nightsister Matriarch/Qi'Ra - Street Savvy/Double Down - Win (2-0)

  • My opponent was on the 3x Sith Holocron 3x Witch Magick plan, but didn't draw the force abilities soon enough for the 2 holocrons on Qi'Ra to be effective. I made sure to keep putting pressure on his resources with Beckett whenever possible, to keep him off of 3 resources for playing the force abilities on Talzin, as well as Hyperspace Jump. After Qi'Ra went down, in round 2 or 3, it was short work to finish up Talzin.

3) Darth Vader - Terror To Behold/Greedo - Unlucky Mercenary - Win (3-0)

4) Darth Vader - Sith Lord/Mother Talzin - Nightsister Matriarch - Win (4-0)

  • Unfortunately I was matched against someone from my local playgroup, who was running a neat deck utilizing Way of the Force to make his Vader elite. I played my turns to activate my Talzin after he activated his, so I was able to blank Vader's dice whenever he rolled something scary. Vader's Fist made an appearance for me this game, and my dice/resource control, coupled with the Fist was able to get me the win.

5) Rex - Clone Captain/Qi'Ra - Street Savvy - Win (5-0)

  • This was a neat take on the hero guns archetype, which utilized Rex to make sure that he always had the battlefield, which allowed him to play powerful cards like Defensive Position and Dug in without fear. Perhaps best of all, Rex's Blaster Pistol allowed him to turn his Hit and Run and Quick Draw/ambush weapons into unmitigable damage. The only downside, which also happened to occur in our match, is that the Rex's Blaster and Rex himself have indirect sides, so his big ambush actions were only able to get a small amount of targeted damage. Through Witch Magick and Force Illusion, I was able to keep Talzin alive, and after Rex went down holding his blaster (and possibly an X-8 Night Sniper), I was able to take out Qi'Ra - Street Savvy for the win.

6) Han Solo - Independent Hotshot/Qi'Ra - Street Savvy - Win (6-0)

  • Thankfully someone in my playgroup plays Han/Qi'Ra quite a lot, so I knew that the right target for me was Han. I was able to put a lot of damage into Han and eliminate him either then end of round 2 or early round 3, while keeping him off of 3 resources because I was fearful of Second Chance....which of course he didn't have in his deck because both of his characters were neutral :/. Qi'Ra was able to get some redeploy weapons after Han went down, but the damage and focusing from Talzin and Beckett were able to finish her off soon after.

7) Darth Vader - Terror To Behold/Greedo - Unlucky Mercenary - Win (7-0)

Holy cow! I've never gone undefeated in the Swiss rounds before, so this was a pretty cool experience. The top 8 was (I think) 3x mill, 3x Vader, Han/Qi'Ra, and my Beckett/Talzin. I was pretty confident with my Vader matchup, but didn't have much testing against mill. On to the top 8 matches!

Quarterfinals - Darth Vader - Terror To Behold/Greedo - Unlucky Mercenary - Win (2-1)

  • This match was also on stream, and can be found on twitch here: I know I made at least 2 major mistakes this match, which were playing an Overconfidence when Talzin was already dead, and not taking shields after losing the roll-off. Thankfully the Overconfidence misplay was in a game I was already losing handily, so it did not affect the outcome of the match. Always make sure to know not just what your cards do, but also make sure you drill in those play restrictions as well! The shields mistake was a rough one - costing myself 2 health against Vader for no reason just isn't smart. I lost the first game, but was able to rally for 2 wins to take the match in the end!

Semifinals - Darth Vader - Sith Lord/Battle Droid/Retribution - Win (2-1)

  • This match wasn't on stream, so I'll try to go into a bit more detail with what I can recall. Game 1 was rough for me, with him using The Best Defense... and Cannon Fodder to remove my scariest dice and protect Vader. My opponent was able to start off round 1 with an Electrostaff, and overwrote it with a Darth Vader's Lightsaber in Round 2. This helped him get around my resource disruption by 'storing' 2 resources in the Electrostaff, and combined with him removing my big damage dice, took out both of my characters after a short while.
  • Rounds 2 and 3 kind of blend together for me, but I remember taking out the Battle Droid early, using Tobias Beckett's Rifle to disrupt his resources, Witch Magick and Force Illusion for healing/mitigation, and On The Hunt to remove Vader's shields and dice. It was a tough match, and the Retribution really made it difficult to remove Vader's dice effectively, but I was able to pull out the last 2 games and go on to the finals!

Finals - Yoda - Wizened Master/Leia Organa - Heart of the Resistance/Taking Ground - Loss (1-2)

Thanks again to my teammates from Game Theory in Raleigh who came up for the regional with me - Shawn, John, Ryan, Ben, Charlie, and Phil - your support and advice helped me get all the way to the finals, sorry I couldn't win it all for you guys! And thanks again to all of my opponents - everyone was very friendly, even in defeat, and all of them checked in with me during the day to see how I was doing!


Palabrewtis 506

Really great meta choices and show of endurance! Was an incredibly slow-run tournament, with several mishaps including a lost judge between finals games. Keeping your edge throughout all of that with a complicated multi-decision point deck is a true show of skill. Looking forward to practicing with you more.

What types of changes do you think you would have made to the deck looking back on the field now, that would help more with the top mill players? More aggressive approach, or would you perhaps add in a tech card like Stifle to work around some of their heavy mitigation?

Separatist Krehlo 111

Congratz for your run !

BosephusKnows 1

Great job, and as Palabrewtis said, good meta call. Had fun play testing against this deck the night before, so had good indication it would preform well. We've got a great group in the Raleigh area, and I look forward to prepping with you guys for the next big tourney we attend.

Drink Blue Milk 94

Congrats! 7-0 in Swiss is crazy. Well played.

artyzipp 1

Love this list. I don't have any Vader Fist cards. Any recommendations on a swap?

punchitchewie 491

@Palabrewtis Thanks for the kind words, and looking forward to practicing with you as well!

I believe you and I talked about Stifle in other decks before, and I completely agree with you that having your Stifle popped by a 0-cost card just feels so bad. Maybe adding another Coercion would be ok - since this is primarily a resource denial/damage deck, if I could force mill to use one of their 2-cost removal sub-optimally (like rolling in my characters and resolving them one at a time after Coercing a Beguile or Mind Trick), that might be worth it. I think Stifle could work ok with Thrawn - Master Strategist or Wullf Yularen - ISB Colonel, because you have full knowledge of their hand and can play it at the opportune time, but since this deck relies on Friends in Low Places and Coercion for hand knowledge, it's tough to know when Stifle would be at its best.

I think the deck otherwise might just require a shift in playstyle when combating mill. Testing this going forward, I would mulligan hard for On The Hunt, Tobias Beckett's Rifle, and Vandalize - though it's possible that Vandalize is incorrect as Leia Organa - Heart of the Resistance will always roll out first and might be able to strip your hand before upgrades are played on Yoda - Wizened Master. On the Hunt does great work against their shields while also removing dice (without having to spend another mitigation card from your hand), and I should have been playing them on Talzin to make sure that I could focus the die off of her roll, rather than rolling Beckett, followed by Talzin.

The other cards I thought about were Free-For-All and Mandalorian Vambraces - Free-For-All would allow me to turn my blanks into damage without having to constantly re-roll, and Mandalorian Vambraces could help in staying on the field to be returned to my hand later, once Leia goes down and Yoda has a tougher time removing cards from my hand. The non-matching damage sides on the Vambraces doesn't seem ideal though, and the Free-For-All deals indirect, so that's why I was thinking of shying away from them.

So the roundabout answer is - maybe a more aggressive playstyle with an extra Coercion might be enough, as well as a better understanding of the matchup. 3-wide mill is a whole different animal though, and I'd love to get some testing against it to see how that matchup shakes out.

punchitchewie 491

@BosephusKnows Thanks! The testing the night before against Vader really sold me on the deck - when it was winning even without Tobias Beckett's Rifle or Vader's Fist in the opening hand, it seemed like we were onto something good.

@Drink Blue Milk Thanks! Glad I had the chance to play against your Han/Qi'ra the past couple weeks - really helped me in my matches against hero guns in the middle of the tournament. Thankfully my opponents didn't Take Flight into Bait and Switch for 10 damage on turn 1 like you did though :)

@Separatist Krehlo Thanks for the kind words! I was expecting a lot of Vader at this tournament, and your detailed report showing how you fared against Vader really sold me on the deck. I didn't play my Vader's Fist nearly as many times as you over the course of the tournament (maybe 3 times the whole day), electing to go with the Tobias Beckett's Rifle as my first action whenever possible, and keeping up resources for mitigation rather than putting them all into the Fist. I know this might be sacrilege, but I was thinking of taking out the Fist in favor of a 3-cost gun like the Relby-V10 Mortar Gun, or even some blowout events like It Will All Be Mine or Wanton Destruction going forward. Am I being crazy or has your testing shown something similar?

punchitchewie 491

@artyzipp Thanks! As I mentioned in a comment above, I'm not entirely sure that the Fist is necessary, since I only played it a few times over the course of the tournament, and never on turn 1. Not having it may cost you an auto-win or two, but I'm wondering if something like a Relby-V10 Mortar Gun or It Will All Be Mine might be more consistent, and keep you from putting all of your resources into one card. I'd love to hear what your testing shows, and good luck in your games!

RebelTraitor 110

How was Boundless Ambition? Seems ok but not great in theory.

punchitchewie 491

@RebelTraitor Boundless Ambition was mediocre - I think I used it one game to get more cards to discard to reroll in order to secure a kill on a character, but that was about it. It's nice if you have some extra resources to dig for specific cards after you've used up your mitigation (like finding a Force Illusion/Witch Magick to tank up), but I found that I usually didn't want to spend the resource on it. Since I ended up not going all-in on finding and playing Vader's Fist, it didn't really serve as big of a purpose as I was thinking it might.

doctordredge 1

Congrats, great deck. Have you played this deck with a holocron package? I think it may help make the list less reliant on Vader's Fist. I haven't really tested it, but wondered if you did.

punchitchewie 491

@doctordredge Thanks! I haven't tried it with the holocron package yet, that definitely could be something worth testing. The nice thing about the current decklist is its consistency - all of the cards are good regardless of when you draw them. With the holocron package, you have to draw the Sith Holocron first, or else your deck really isn't operating at its full potential. With that in mind, I think the Mother Talzin - Nightsister Matriarch/Qi'Ra - Street Savvy/Double Down deck with 3x holocrons might be the better character pairing if you want to try a holocron deck, just to give you a better chance of a holocron in your opener.

That all being said though, give it a shot! It might be a lot better than I'm thinking, and I'd love to hear how your testing goes.

maxwell9999 31

were you able to do all right mitigation wise without 0-cost mitigation? I'm surprised to not at least see Hidden Motive. I'm guessing after you have played either a Fist or a 3 cost weapon (preferably Beckett's rifle on Beckett) and maybe dooku's solar sailer then almost all your resources go towards the 1 cost mitigation and tech?