Cheaters (5:2 in 57-player Swiss @ WA Regional)

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Sinomi 202

5:2 Swiss, made Top 16 before the cut (S.O.S. 15th Place)

PSA: Do NOT attempt to use Quick Draw to play an Ambush weapon on Rey - Force Prodigy while Déjà Vu is in play. You'll lose an action and end your cheating prematurely! Save Quick Draw for Leia Organa - Boushh, or reserve it for use on Rey when you don't have Déjà Vu instead

This was my heavy action cheating combo deck for the Washington State Regionals in Lacey at Olympic Cards and Comics. I knew I wanted to play something unique, and ideally something disruptive that could handle multiple threats. Vader's Fist is sort of public enemy #1 in my local meta, and I've come to the conclusion that getting rid of it before it hits the table is the most effective way of dealing with it.

I didn't want to play a dedicated mill deck, so I was looking around for hybrid options. I enjoyed playing Yoda/Boushh for a little while, but felt like it couldn't quite accomplish what I was trying to do. Rey - Force Prodigy was a perfect fit for Leia Organa - Boushh with her and sides being similar to Leia's, her sides for Salvage Stand triggers, and because her team point value of 12 gives enough space for a 2-point plot.

The deck name is from Rey's ability to action cheat, and Leia's ability to use off-affiliation cards. This deck also gets to break the rules by including two "3-of" cards by utilizing Double Down.

I got a LOT of help from my friends cjfm and thejumpingflea on deciding what to try and what to cut, then ended up playing a few versions of this deck before settling on this the night before the tournament.

My midnight hour decision to strip the deck of nearly all mitigation (including Second Chance and Force Illusion) felt risky, but I think it ultimately paid off. I wanted to squeeze in more cards to fuel my action cheating and cheap hand disruption, and didn't want upgrades that would be totally dead against Mill. Besides, it would be sort of impolite of me to remove my opponent's dice if I'm not going to let them remove mine... right? ;)

The ideal opening play (since I usually lost the roll-off) was to get as many dice on the table as I could as fast as possible and then shave off a good chunk of cards with Close Quarters Assault. I would typically mulligan for:


A few card choice explanations:


Villain Cards!

Salvage Stand was crucial to my success. Keeping opponents poor meant that they weren't able to play the cards that I missed with my discard actions. Players with empty hands tend to accumulate resources pretty quickly, and we can't have that! It also helped prevent extra actions from cards like Darth Vader's Lightsaber, Ciena Ree - Adept Pilot, and saved the lives of my characters from numerous pay side dice throughout the day. It's also perfect for giving Leia something to spot for her special.

Vibroknucklers are something I don't see played often, but they're basically made for this deck. Rey thrives on Ambush weapons, and the three base sides and two sides fit my needs perfectly. As an added bonus, they also gave me somewhere to put my extra resources later in the game, since its die value can be increased by 1 if you spend a resource on die resolution. This can help push unexpected damage, since this card's "pump" ability can sometimes be overlooked. (One of the advantages of using underplayed cards!)

Déjà Vu was sort of an experiment, and I went back and forth a lot on whether I should use it. This deck doesn't run much mitigation, but being able to play an event twice in succession can help with that. My usual play was to use it with Hidden Motive, since playing it twice didn't cost me any resources. I dreamed of using it with Rigged Detonation, but the opportunity never presented itself. Playing Rebel twice seemed effective, since I could play two different cards from discard in one action, but was also potentially sort of expensive depending on what I wanted to play.

Close Quarters Assault worked well, but sequencing it properly is important because of Déjà Vu's "You cannot take more than one additional action this turn" caveat. (It also works great without Déjà Vu in play, which was generally how I used it.)

An example of a safe CQA play is something like this:

  • Have Déjà Vu in play
  • Play an Ambush Weapon on Rey (gain two actions)
  • Activate Rey (Let's pretend your roll gives 3 sides showing - not reliable, but not impossible)
  • Play Close Quarters Assault to discard 3 cards from an opponents hand
  • Exhaust Déjà Vu to discard the rest of that opponent's hand.

Where things could get complicated were if I tried sneaking a Force Speed special into the mix or something:

  • Have Déjà Vu in play
  • Play Force Speed on Rey (gain one action)
  • Play an Ambush Weapon on Rey (gain two actions)
  • Activate Rey (Let's say Force Speed shows a special)
  • Resolve Force Speed (gain two actions)
  • Play Close Quarters Assault
  • Exhaust Déjà Vu to double CQA
  • Lose additional action.
  • (Also see PSA note about Quick Draw at the top of this guide)

Not super common, but something on my mind throughout the day.


I chose Control over Concentrate because my dice-rolling luck is usually pretty poor, especially with Rey's many potentially un-resolvable sides. Turning one or two dice never felt like enough. Control gave me the option to fix the entire board, and when combined with Running Interference it was usually a game closer. In a pinch, it also serves as mass soft-mitigation, which actually works well with this deck since I'm typically randomly discarding cards too.

(Being required to turn ALL of the dice - even the ones on sides I didn't necessarily want to turn to something new - had the potential to force me to make some tough decisions sometimes, but generally wasn't a problem)

Disable was a meta call because I can't deal well with Armored Reinforcement decks that can play a ship out of their discard, but I never ended up playing it.

Maz's Vault never saw play, but I wanted to make sure I could hit Control by pretty much any means necessary. (I was too scared of giving my opponent resources in a matter I couldn't control to actually put it on the table today though)


Stuff I toyed with that didn't make the cut:


Matchups:

Round 1 (Andrea) Leia Organa - Heart of the Resistance / Yoda - Wizened Master / Taking Ground - Lost roll-off, fought on her Occupied City - Lothal (W)

This was a match against a friend that I always feel I have a disadvantage against, since she's very experienced with this particular deck and plays in a lot of different venues. That battlefield hurts when you're playing 2-4 upgrades and / or supports a round, so I had to rush to claim often. Force Jump rolled fire and turned more of my dice that I would have liked, but that Leia came up exactly when I needed it to and Salvage Stand did some serious work keeping resources in check. I did my best to hit her hand just as hard as she was trying to hit mine. This was a close one and came down to the last two cards in my hand, but I took a chance I played an un-RI-augmented Control and hoped she wouldn't be able to mitigate. A previously-defeated Yoda - Wizened Master meant she couldn't spot blue for Mind Trick, so I was lucky enough to have it pay off. 1-0 (barely)


Round 2 (Nathan) Darth Vader - Terror To Behold / Greedo - Unlucky Mercenary - Lost roll-off, fought on his Rebel War Room - Yavin IV (L)

I didn't feel favored in the Vader matchup, and this round 2 loss confirmed that for me. Two early Bait and Switches snuck in enough unexpected damage to drop Leia fairly early, and even with my action cheating I couldn't chew through all of Vader's Shields and Force Illusions. I felt like I put up a good fight, but it really wasn't all that close. 1-1


Round 3 (Dave) Kit Fisto - Shii-cho Master / Aayla Secura - Jedi General - Lost roll-off, fought on his Theed Royal Palace - Naboo (W)

Dave's another familiar face that usually favors Sabine Wren - Explosives Expert, but was trying another off-meta deck this time with this head-tail Jedi duo. The game opened with a surprise Truce into Rigged Detonation from me after he used the power action on Theed Royal Palace - Naboo for a respectable 4 as my first play of the game. He put it all onto Aayla, whose dice-turning drew the rest of my attention very quickly. When Aayla went down she brought two Force Speeds with her, and the sabers started to pile up on the dangerously rich Kit Fisto - Shii-cho Master. Unfortunately for Kit, my Vibroknife makes his blocking ability a lot less effective, so this one wrapped up pretty quickly. 2-1


Round 4 (Derrick) Darth Vader - Terror To Behold / Greedo - Unlucky Mercenary - Lost roll-off, fought on his Theed Royal Palace - Naboo (W)

I had a Bad Feeling about this one going in, since I had lost to a different Vader earlier in the day, and immediately swung hard to discard a Darth Vader's Lightsaber in Derrick's hand that wasn't there. We went back and forth with incremental damage but I was able to keep him off of resources (and that dreaded 4/1) for the most part until he dropped Darksaber on the table. Vader brought Boushh down to just one remaining health, but wasn't able to finish her before an un-blockable and action-cheated eight damage swing took the Terror down the next round. Saber-wielding Greedo took out Leia soon after, but Rey was thankfully able to finish the job with a mountain of resources that let me dig with Renewed Purpose for the combo pieces I needed to clean up. I was lucky that Vader's Fist and Darth Vader's Lightsaber never hit the table or it would have been a very different game. 3-1


Round 5 (Stephanie) Maz Kanata - Pirate Queen / Clone Trooper / Rex - Clone Captain - Won roll off, (!?) fought on my Theed Royal Palace - Naboo (Her battlefield was Bendu's Lair - Atollon) (L)

Stephanie has been grinding this deck hard for months, and has not only honed the list to fit our local threats but has also mastered its lines of play. I've played against many versions of this multiple times, but even though it's three-wide I do not feel favored in this matchup.

I might be mistaken, but I probably made a few key mistakes in this particular game:

  • I surprisingly won the roll-off, and let her have the shields in favor of grabbing the extra resource.
  • I went after the Clone Trooper first, which I normally would never do over Maz, but the Handheld L-S1 Cannon that I missed on my opening CQA made him such a juicy target.
  • I didn't play Rebel when I had the chance for a big Control play to fix my dice because I was waiting for her to roll out, and she hit my only side that was showing with a Rebel Assault.

Despite my possible misplays, I didn't feel bad about this game at all. Stephanie earned the win, and I learned how to approach things differently next time. 3-2


Round 6 (Jeff) Leia Organa - Boushh / Jedi Sentinel / Calling in Favors - Won roll-off, fought on his Emperor's Throne Room - Death Star II (W)

Jeff was a self-admitted newcomer to the game, but his table placement implied otherwise! He explained that he had been able to swing games with some huge unexpected plays, (Like hitting the 6 on a Shadow Caster with his Reversals, and an unexpected claim to use his battlefield ability to sneak in damage with the Jedi Sentinel ,) and was doing a lot better than he had expected.

He hadn't seen Rey - Force Prodigy before, and I generally feel bad about introducing someone to her for the first time - especially if they're relatively new. The first two rounds he wasn't able to play any cards before I discarded his entire hand twice with action-cheated and Déjà Vu-boosted Close Quarters Assault plays. Then when he had mitigation in hand for round three, Rey just action-cheated around all of it.

That much action-cheating and card removal felt like it could cause some serious NPE, but Jeff took it in stride and applauded my unique deck build. I hope he keeps coming out to play! 4-2


Round 7 (Jeremy) Snoke - Supreme Leader / Bala-Tik - Gang Leader / Ciena Ree - Adept Pilot - Won roll-off, fought on my Theed Royal Palace - Naboo (His battlefield was Weapons Factory Alpha - Cymoon 1) (W)

I play with Jeremy usually at least once a month or so, and he usually brings decks that aren't quite meta, but still keep a lot of the better pieces of what makes more commonly-seen decks sail. I had a good feeling about this match because of Leia's special and my ability to hit both the hand and keep low, and was lucky enough to scrap Slave I before it could make it onto the table. I swung and whiffed on his Firespray-31 though, which along with Snoke - Supreme Leader started pumping out damage to the tune of 11 followed by 7 in the next round.

Ciena Ree - Adept Pilot went down quickly though to Leia-bombs and some extra sticks, and after an RI-fueled Control that would net me the 9 I needed to defeat Snoke - Supreme Leader, Bala was quick to follow the next round. 5-2


Overall, I was very happy with how the deck played. It did what it was designed to do, and honestly took home more games that I thought it would, especially with its notable lack of dice mitigation. Importantly to me, it was a deck that I was pretty much certain that none of the 56 other players would be playing. I know that it's inconsistent that that I probably lucked out on my opponents rolling below average most of the time, but I had fun building and playing it, and got to use characters that I like! The sweet prizes from Gabi's was also awesome sauce gravy. ;)

22 comments

Mark-3P0 153

Congrats on top 16!

Sinomi 202

@Mark-3P0 Likewise! ;)

SwEEEEEtDookie 19

Interesting deck for sure. Love that you played an original idea

krezerker 447

Fantastic write up @Sinomi! And in such a quick turnaround, too. Nice job today! I promise to make it up to Zulu's soon so I can play against this. :)

Happy Jedi 20

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe with control you can “turn” your dice to the side its showing on the table. Congratulations on the top 16 by the way!

the BEAST 940

@Happy JediTurning a die requires to turn it to a different side. If the die has 2 of the same side, then you can turn it to the other one. Same with Vader's Fist power action; they need to roll the die, then turn it to a different side.

Happy Jedi 20

Ohhh, ok. Thanks @the BEAST

YOUR Destiny Podcast 1021

Mads Utzon also tested this deck very early in the meta. It's great fun to play, but feels incredibly inconsistent. CONGRATS on the fine placement!

yourdestiny.dk

Sinomi 202

@krez thanks man! We look forward to seeing you

@Happy Jedi luckily all of the upgrades in the deck have at least two sides that match, so sometimes turning still meant keeping the same value, (especially base sides or to avoid easy pickings) but usually the value increased instead.

@YOUR Destiny Podcast Thank you! I shouldn't be surprised that Mads has tested every viable melee combinination out there, especially this late in the meta. ;)

aheintz 36

How fascinating... awesome and I love to see something different!

tunewalker 57

You may have answered this and i missed it, but why no Hyperspace jump. This deck seems like a really good fit for it.

Sinomi 202

@SwEEEEEtDookie Me too! The trick was trying to make something work.

@aheintz Thank you!

@tunewalker I originally had it, but cut it along with the rest of my mitigation package in favor of more offense. If I was running Drop In I would probably use it since I often lose the roll-off. Still, it's an event that I can't Déjà Vu or Rebel, (unless it was discarded rather than played,) and sort of costs a lot to play. I like a low curve and for this style of deck I prefer to spend resources on taking dice off the board permanently rather than just for a round.

vitalis09 323

Just to straighten up your bolded text: Deja Vu is optional. Just having it in play does not mean you can take only 1 action always.

Sinomi 202

Unfortunately for me, that's not how judges are ruling it. Exhausting it to double-play an event is optional, but being limited to one additional action if you played event that turn is not optional.

It's not too limiting if you're not using Force Speed, Rey1, Partnership, Tactical Mastery, Three Steps Ahead, or other kinds of heavy action cheating plays though. Playing an event triggers the whole Deja Vu card though. Being limited to one addition action that turn is not a "then" text.

Sinomi 202

@vitalis09 sorry for messy posting. Fat fingers here!

vitalis09 323

@Sinomi then those judges need to update their knowledge ;) There is a ruling (on the official forum topic, if I recall properly) that if you do not do "may" then the rest of the ability (even after "." ) does not trigger as well.

vitalis09 323

And its general ruling ofc, not Deja-Vu specific.

Sinomi 202

@vitalis09 I think the difference here is that the entirety of the card is "triggered" by playing an event. The first part of the card is a "may," but because the rest of the text doesn't follow a "then," the rest of it still happens regardless of whether or not the player chose to exhaust the card.

The trigger in this case is playing an event, so it doesn't apply if I'm playing Ambush weapons or using Infamous to give yellow cards Ambush, resolving Force Speed before playing an event, etc.

I'm going off of a post about Deja Vu specifically in the Artificery discord by "thegandork," who was the judge at the world's tournament in 2018.

vitalis09 323

@Sinomi Look Vaders Saber. Same case and this ruling has been confirmed to work on it: if you don't pay 1 and roll Vaders die again you does not get to deal 1 dmg. Im a judge myself - but go ahead confirm , im sure thegandork will confirm it as well. Trigger and lack of "then" is irrelevant in this case. Read it on the rules forum and I guess you will have you answer immediately :)

Sinomi 202

I think you're referring to this: "The following bullet point should be added to 'Then' Effects on page 19 of the Rules Reference:

If the part of the ability that precedes the word 'then' is an optional 'may' effect, you must have chosen to resolve that effect and successfully resolved it in full for the part of the ability that follows the word 'then' to resolve."

The "then" is exactly why this situation is different. Deja Vu doesn't have a "then". It's all part of the same trigger. I respectfully disagree with your interpretation of the rules. If you're ruling that people can play events without Deja Vu triggering, I believe you are letting them get away with illegal plays.

artyzipp 1

I hope that wording gets cleared up. it is this type of wording issues that drives me insane about the game. The whole point of the card "seems" to be a penalty for triggering the use of deja vu. If I am still penalized for having it on the table without triggering it because the "then" is missing from the card, than I am flipping a table or never using it.

CushionRide 71

thats great, i was thinking of changing my deck to somewhat mirror this. awesome