Christmas: A season full of surprises. The best of these are exceptional gifts or visits from friends and relatives. The worst? More Y fronts. But when news broke on Christmas Eve of Carrie Fisher’s heart attack on a plane bound for LA, there was a sense of impending doom. 2016 is already infamous for bad news and celebrity mortality has been a big part of that. Things didn’t look good.
But then the news was surprisingly ok, and Star Wars fans did start to feel reassured that their beloved princess would make a full recovery.
Sadly, it wasn’t to be. News broke on the 27th that Carrie Fisher had passed away.
When I heard, I was sat with my son, playing Battlefront, and intending to watch Episode IV the same night. We’d spent the day organising our Destiny cards and scouring shops for a Star Wars related tin to keep our tokens in. We’d been fully submerged in the Star Wars Universe all day, surrounding ourselves with the stories and people from the franchise and it’s easy to forget how significant these fictional characters can be and the impact they have on our lives.
Strong female roles in the latest films have come under fire from some corners of society. Whilst it’s hard to believe that anyone would feel threatened by such casting in the 21st century, Carrie Fisher bore that same burden nearly 40 years ago and paved the way for the likes of Rey and Jyn whilst immortalising her own strong willed heroine. It’s easy to overlook the impact she had on the genre.
‘Born Leader’ is incredibly apt.
I managed to acquire a few boosters over the Christmas period. I wrapped a couple up for a friend of mine as a gift and in one of them he found a Leia. He was happy to trade it. She isn’t seeing much play at the moment but I felt that in light of recent events, that should change. Leia isn’t a bad card but she just hasn’t found her place in the current meta and so I felt I needed to make her work.
In addition to this, there was another icon I didn’t want to overlook. We’ve already established that 2016 has been an jerk but back in April, Erik Bauerfield who voiced Admiral Ackbar had died. I wondered if Destiny could in some way provide catharsis for both of these tragedies. I wanted to pay tribute in the only way I knew how: Deckbuilding.
So what’s the deal here then? Well, I wanted to make a deck that would be fun. That’s the first point to make. I’m not claiming that this is ultra competitive but it can really pack a punch if the pieces fall correctly. I also wanted Ackbar and Leia to really party. They can both be great cards but they tend to feel like utility characters. Here, I want aggression and damage with these guys setting up both. And it needs to be fast.
We are chasing dice. As many as we can find. Early cheap upgrades combined with Imperial Armoury should ramp us into big guns and some tasty ranged damage. But we know we can’t rely on the dice to find the right numbers every time. Leia has two dice and will allow us rerolls if we discard one of her’s, or both if necessary. Ackbar’s focus side gives us similar opportunities. There’s plenty of focus here to help push that ranged damage through, in fact, I intend to use Natural Talent to give me extra focus rather than extra damage. Against similarly speedy decks, it needs to be used aggressively to do just that.
If you feel you have a little more time, you might want to take a few turns stocking up on resources and acquiring as many dice as you can. Because this is where you can turn this deck into a real thermal detonator. (but not the actual card because that’s yellow and not allowed)
There are several aces that you have up your sleeve. More unpleasant Christmas surprises for your opponent. Try a Hit and Run to exhaust and resolve your 2nd character for a big punch before they can respond. Or an All In to focus massive damage and resolve immediately. Ouch.
But the kingpin here is Ackbar’s catchphrase: It’s a Trap! I recently wrote an article about the value of uncommons and their significance in the game. I deliberately left It’s a Trap! out of that article because I wanted to illustrate it’s value right here. It’s fair to say that this card is situational; your opponent needs to have a die showing ranged for this to work, but that isn’t beyond all possibility. If you have out enough dice, you can play It’s a Trap! for a single resource. And it can deal 21 damage.
I admit that the likelihood of that is low. But killing a character is a very real possibility with this card. Look at a card like Crime Lord. A big set up cost, expensive ability IF you roll the special and then the character dies at the end of the round. Here, pay 1, they’re gone. That, my friend, is a worse surprise than Y fronts.
Surgical Strike has value here with the sheer amount of ranged damage dice available. Field Medics can provide limited defense alongside upgrades like Survival Gear, and Scout gives some cheap and accessible disruption while you gather your armoury. But the main aim of this deck is to hit hard and hit early. Because that’s fun and that’s what we’re here to do.
I’m looking forward to taking this to my LGS for some more serious playtesting. Mono-colored decks will always have their weaknesses, as will 2 character decks but it’s all part of the challenge and I for one will enjoy remembering the pleasure both Ackbar and Leia have bought us all whilst hopefully pew pewing for 21 damage in a single round. A fitting tribute to two rare cards that are truly legendary in their own right.
Written by: Tim Meads