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This is my main deck, what I play competitively, and what I have been playing for 5 weeks for the Destiny League at Level 1 games in Kansas City to a 16 win 70%win rate 2nd place record. I have been playing and adapting the deck for 2 months, and I think its the best version until SOTR releases. This is an aggro deck.
Background: I started playing Destiny in January when I was first able to get cards. Before that I was following the game through online research. I am not sure why but for some reason (probably the cost of singles, and its combo-ish nature) the first deck I wanted to build was eLeia eAckbar. I didn't understand the actual purpose of the deck at the time, but I started modifying a list I found online, then updated it to reflect pearlyeti's list when that was published. The next changes were all from playing the deck over and over in person and online. I have played all of the different top meta decks, fun looking lists, any other Ackbar based list, but I think this list is the strongest deck that I can play. It belongs in Tier 1 of the current meta (more on that to come).
Deck Philosophy: This is an It's a Trap! deck, pure and simple. Your goal is to deal consistent damage while keeping your characters alive and combo out to kill their characters "out of nowhere". The deck is upgrades, upgrade support, defense, or combo cards, and that it. It is designed to do the most damage with the least resources possible.
It's a Trap!: It's a Trap! is in my opinion the best hero event, but arguably the best hero card in the set. Obviously it's power is to allow you to fix all your dice at once, and then resolve before your opponent can do ANYTHING. The card is absolutely brutal, and can be rage inducing even when your opponent is expecting it. Because the set is also so ranged damage heavy (thus the meta is), it allows you to do massive damage before they can respond. There are almost no decks you face that you cant It's a Trap! for ranged damage off of something including a Force Throw from Kylo/Dooku. Using it to its max potential is what makes this list tick, and I think the most powerful version of any Admiral Ackbar list. All of those decks fall into two catagories: It's a Trap! decks, or Mid-range decks with It's a Trap! in them. The current crop of choices are Leia/Ackbar, Fin/Ackbar, Ackbar/trooper/trooper, and Ackbar/trooper/hired gun. I have tried all of them to see if they are better than this list, and I don't think they are mostly because of It's a Trap!.
I "ran the numbers" on these decks, and figured out what the worst (W) (Its always 2 from a naked Ackbar which can still win you a game) and best It's a Trap! damage totals can be. The best possible I figured from having 3 upgrades on the board (B1)which I think is probably the average It's a Trap!. Then I figured out what the best possible 6 upgrade It's a Trap! would be for the deck (B2)which is probably the upper limit of reasonable to see in a game. Then I figured out what all the possible die combos for 1, 2, or 3 characters alive with all the possible upgrades in the deck between 0-3 equipped, and used that to calculate the average (A). Here is what I found:
Ackbar/Fin____W)2 B1)10 B2)16 A)6.5
Ackbar/Trooper/Hired Gun__W)2 B1)12 B2)16 A)7.9
Ackbar/Trooper/Trooper____W)2 B1)14 B2)18 A)10.8
Ackbar/Leia___W)2 B1)14 B2)18 A)10.4
The numbers are pretty worthless out of context, and are sort of obvious to people who have played these decks (The decks with a focus on yellow have less red die, and worse It's a Trap!s). To me It's a Trap! is the most important and powerful card to these decks, and the mono red versions are going to be the best because It's a Trap! only lets you change your red dice. I think this deck is superior to Ackbar/trooper/trooper even considering that 0.4 weaker average It's a Trap!, because its faster. I like the extra health pool 2xTrooper gives you, but I think this version is better because you can roll out faster, and Leia's ability is relevant on non-It's a Trap! rounds. You need to have all your dice out before your opponent can resolve their ranged damage, or you lose your ability to It's a Trap!. This deck also has to claim the battlefield as often as possible, and doesn't care about protecting Ackbar to stockpile .
The List: This is as tight and optimal as I think the deck can be until the release of SOTR. You have to run some useful but not optimal stuff until the card pool is larger (Holdout Blaster, Block, Take Cover). I still test changes, but it always comes back to this list. The deck boils down to cards that increase your damage output, or cards that let you stall until you can take advantage of It's a Trap!.
The Battlefield: After lots of testing, I have decided Frozen Wastes is what this deck wants to run. You will be the faster deck in most matchups and you can use that to play your turns quickly and then claim defensively to remove their character die most likely to hurt you and keep tempo in your favor acting first next turn and turning on defensive cards. The nature of the game keeps a lot of decks re-rolling for better sides, and being able to remove those with frozen wastes after they invest cards into the re-rolls adds up quickly. If your opponent claims first they can set you back, but that is more annoying and less scary than what they are going to be doing with their own battlefield that has much more synergy with their deck. I choose my Battlefield most of the time.
Playing the deck: You want to be acting as quickly as possible and doing the most damage you can each round, and then claiming the battlefield. You have to also be thinking about what you can do defensively to keep your characters as healthy as you can throughout the game. Doing the most damage requires playing upgrades if possible, and rolling those dice into the pool as soon as you can. The way I play it this deck is very low economy. I take where I can, but for the most part, I plan my turns to use between 0-2 resources. You accumulate more over time, but for the most part Scout is there to let you get an extra focus sometimes, look at what the opponent has and make them discard a cheap removal even sometimes, but mostly its just to take down the cost of an upgrade when you overwrite it. Rearm lets you get back upgrades at a discount when you pitch them to discard, discard to re-roll, or over-write them to upgrade their damage output. You want to be using It's a Trap!, All in, and Hit and run and not holding them. That is where the real combo engine of this deck is and honsetly you can start using it turn 1. I have rolled out Leia, Hit and Run Ackbar and then played It's a Trap! for 6 damage and a claim first round many many many times. Its an easier choice to make if you play Blaster Pistol or Promotion first. All In (with hit and run if you can) lets you resolve a ton of damage on turns without It's a Trap!. You can from Promotion or Scout, into from Ackbar into the most damage the rest of your dice can do. You use the same strategy on turns you don't have or can't play your combo cards. Use focus or re-rolls (from Leia's ability if you don't want to pitch cards)to get the most damage you can most of the time. Don't be afraid to resolve damage in batches to avoid disruption, and keep your sides clean so they cant be as easily disrupted by removal. Sometimes they have the removal and you just need to play the rest of the round defensively, and claim to see what you can do the next round. After you have focused on your damage, you can decide how to best play out the round. Usually you want to play defense to keep your characters as healthy as you can (through block, dodge, defensive position, dug in, field medic, and take cover. As you do this make sure you are tracking your opponents actions so you can claim first. Claiming also allows you to act defensively to remove a character die with whatever side can hurt you at that time, and its often better to claim to remove a character die than gain 1-3 shields. Your turns leading up to It's a Trap! add up smaller chunks of damage so your It's a Trap! can finish characters off.
Opening Hands:Your first round you want options, and especially options to increase your damage output. You want to keep cards like Promotion, Blaster Pistol, and Dug In if you are going first. Cards like Holdout Blaster, IQA, Rearm, all defensive cards except maybe Defensive Position going first you can feel free to mulligan since you don't really need to see them until later rounds. I am not unhappy to see All In, Hit and Run, or It's a Trap! early. They are far more powerful after you have the upgrades, but you also may not see them again for a while if you pitch them. I usually keep these and look for the first possible chance to use them, unless its an opening hand that has 0 playable early upgrades, and since there are few in the deck at this point that happens more than I would like. You need to play games and experiment with the deck of course, and that includes what you think is must keep and must mulligan.
That's way more than you need to get started playing the deck. This is my first deck I have posted, but I assume I can edit this section later to include match-ups against specific decks.
Please feel free to ask any questions you have about the deck, match-ups, card inclusions, cards not included. I am happy to try and answer them, and it will let me talk more about the specific cards included without doing another long section here about why play Holdout, Block, Scout or why not play Logistics, Datapad, Comlink, etc.