XeroHour’s Jabba Dooku Control – Artificery’s March Champion

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This past weekend, Artificery.com hosted a 40 person Star Wars: Destiny tournament on Tabletop Simulator. First off, I want to thank them for running the tournament. I know it can’t be easy to coordinate that many people in person, let alone online. I was going to talk about numbers and the Swiss rounds, but elrathion (the runner-up) already covered that in a wonderful write up which can be found here: http://artificery.com/325-artificery-40-player-tournament-report/

So instead of running the numbers, I thought I would talk a bit about the Top 8 and my thought process while building and playing my Jabba/Dooku deck. It took me several iterations to get the deck just the way I like it and this is what I settled on

The Deck

XeroHour-Jabba-Dooku-swdestinydb XeroHour's Jabba Dooku Control - Artificery's March Champion

Let’s break down the components and my thought process when creating the deck. Originally, the deck had 2 Lightsabers and 2 Kylo Ren’s Lightsabers in it for a good damage punch. While I was finding in testing that I could win games with damage, it was far less consistent. I removed the sabers in favor of a second On the Hunt, a second He Doesn’t Like You, a second Mind Probe, and a second All In. Not only did this add consistency to my draws, it also helped to focus the deck into doing one thing very well instead of doing two things kinda well. So I decided to drop the sabers and go full control. It’s a deck that requires a decent amount of practice so I was trying to play at least 2 to 3 games a day with it in the lead up to the tournament.

The Characters

XeroHour-JabbaDooku-characters XeroHour's Jabba Dooku Control - Artificery's March Champion

The very original version of this deck ran with elite Jabba and basic Darth Vader. While the automatic discard of Vader was really good, I found the deck was lacking in defensive options. Also, once Jabba went down, Vader wasn’t a massive threat for mill because getting one per turn isn’t as great when you don’t have other ways to force discards. So I decided to make the switch to Elite Dooku and build around that. Blue/Yellow Villain is probably the strongest combination in the game right now when it comes to control cards, so for a mill deck, the pairing is a no-brainer.

The Battlefield

165-command-center XeroHour's Jabba Dooku Control - Artificery's March Champion

If you are running a mill deck, the Command Center on Lothal is probably the best Battlefield out there right now. That two card mill is an excellent complement to discarding your opponent’s hand. I did find that it was not crucial to have in order to win via mill, however. Emperor’s Throne Room and Imperial Armory are the other two that I saw most of the day. Both of these also benefit this deck because they allowed my to either utilize the control upgrades I already had in play, or play upgrades out of my hand for a reduced cost, thus saving me resources for the next turn.

The Upgrades

XeroHourJabbaDooku-upgrades XeroHour's Jabba Dooku Control - Artificery's March Champion

Force Choke, Force Throw, Immobilize, and On the Hunt are the control upgrades. These 4 cards combo well for controlling your opponent’s board. I really like Immobilize and Force Choke in this deck because turning the dice to blank side entices my opponent into discarding to re-roll, which is the desired effect, and puts me closer to winning. Because Force Choke, Force Throw, and On the Hunt all have control effects on a special side, if you are able to roll 2 or more, you can easily control your opponent’s board in a single action. Personally, I find On the Hunt to be a very underrated card in mill decks. It has a discard side and a removal option, so I think it’s perfect for keeping control. Mind Probe was a card that I mulled over quite a bit because the special side isn’t nearly as effective in this deck. Most of the time, I am wanting to wreck my opponent’s hand rather than deal damage. In the end, Mind Probe has multiple benefits in this deck. Besides having the 2 Discard side, whenever I roll the special side, people tend to scramble to drop cards from their hand so as not to take massive damage.

The Support

Power of the Dark Side

089-power-of-the-dark-side XeroHour's Jabba Dooku Control - Artificery's March Champion

I’ll be honest, Power of the Dark Side is more or less a filler card in this deck. It has its place, but I would generally only play it if my opponent had already claimed and I had the resources. It’s good for pushing through 2 damage in the rare cases I went for damage or to get that extra re-roll. But as I was looking through the spoiled cards for Spirit of Rebellion, this one will be the first to get the boot.

The Events

2x All In
2x Deflect
2x Electroshock
2x Feel Your Anger
2x He Doesn’t Like You
2x Isolation
2x Unpredictable
2x Use The Force

The events of this deck are really where it wins or loses games. Timing event plays are crucial to understand what makes this deck tick. Unpredictable is a great control card because it allows you to react twice to a good roll by your opponent. Deflect is key for Jango or Poe matchups. I tend to use my Electroshocks on the first opportunity I get because Jabba doesn’t tend to last very long, and then you just have dead cards in hand. I tend to use All In plays as a method of control. With so many focus sides in the deck, All In is a great card to use opportunistically. Against Poe, I would use it to force discards whenever a special side was rolled. If I ever had the opportunity to force a 4-discard using All In, I would generally try to take it. I found through testing, that keeping resources around for mitigation cards was generally more important that playing upgrades in the early game.

Tournament Report

Quarter-Finals

The first matchup in the Top 8 was against joelker41. He was running an interesting combo of Elite Dooku and Elite Captain Phasma. I’ve been seeing some decks online pop up with Elite Phasma that don’t utilize her ability. I like the idea of it, mainly because I think her dice are very strong. I think they pair really well with someone like Dooku. While their damage types don’t match, they both have 2 damage sides, a focus side, and a discard side. So All In plays can be devastating with them. This pairing also allows Phasma to get access to things like Mind Probe with can roll a ranged damage side to land big damage. Luckily, I had the tools to slow them down enough to be able to deal with the damage and I was able to take the games 2-0. Neither game was a runaway and I had just enough to deal with the damage onslaught in both games.

Semi-Finals

My match in the semi-finals was against Lasci and his Rey/Poe deck. This was a rematch of our Swiss rounds game which was the only game I lost. Rey/Poe is a lethal combo that can deal out massive damage. The thing that makes this deck really scary against mine is that fact that it can get crazy damage off before I have the chance to deal with it. Equipping a Holdout Blaster on Rey gives you two actions to work with. That can wreak havoc on any deck and definitely on a control deck that thrives on opportunities to mitigate damage. Rey/Poe tends to be a favorable matchup for Jabba/Dooku because Poe’s special side, while generally dealing very good damage, forces him to discard. That can play right into the hands of mill decks because that’s exactly what you want them to do. For this matchup, I tended to be ok with taking one or two damage from Rey, if it meant I could keep Poe in check. I was also pretty weary about dealing any damage out because I knew this deck had Willpower and one damage could be life or death. Until I was able to discard both Willpowers, I shied away from dealing damage to Rey or Poe. Rey decks also tend to run Comlink which is an excellent addition. It has the same effect as Holdout Blaster on Rey when it comes to being able to get around methods of control. I was generally able to keep my mitigation cards in hand and used the opportunities I had to keep Poe in check. I won this match 2-0 as well, both games were very close and definite nail-biters. I was able to avenge my one loss for the day so far.

The Finals

The finals match was against elrathion. Since he was also running Rey/Poe, I knew what to expect. In the first game, elrathion was able to quickly take out my Jabba on turn 3. The commentators though it was over. I’ll be honest, I did as well. My goal for the rest of the game was to play it out and see what elrathion’s playstyle was and if there were any major differences in his version of Poe/Rey. The longer the match continued, the more the momentum started to shift in my favor. As elrathion was running out of options, I still had most of my control cards left. I was able to mill him out with Dooku alive at 1 health. Several of my games were close, but this was the closest game of Destiny I may have ever played.

The second game was all kinds of crazy. Elrathion’s dice failed him several times throughout the game. Whenever he was able to roll some damage, I was generally able to mitigate it. I was also able to get rid of both of his Mind Probes on turn one. The first was used on me through Poe’s special and the second was discarded through one of my dice. I was somehow also out-damaging one of the best damage decks in the game. This game was really a statistical anomaly for Rey/Poe. Sometimes, the dice just don’t fall your way. As an X-Wing player as well, I am all too familiar with that happening. I won this game after elrathion decided to concede because he was too far behind on damage and cards left. I took the finals 2-0.

Conclusion

I want to stress that there were no easy games for me in this tournament. Everyone I played brought their “A” game and I had a blast. I was also lucky not to face any Jango players which is generally my worst matchup with this deck. Control is difficult in most card games, but especially in Destiny because there are so many factors to consider. Control and mill players in this game need to practice a good bit with their decks in order to contend with the really heavy hitters, but lots of practice with a control deck and you can get there. I honestly didn’t expect to win this one. My goal was Top 4 because those playmats are awesome. I ended up taking the downed X-Wing playmat and a box of Spirit of Rebellion instead of Awakenings because I already finished out my Awakenings set. I want to again thank Artificery for putting on this tournament and I look forward to the future of online Destiny tournaments.

Written by XeroHour

Sign up for Artificery’s April event here: http://artificery.com/product/april-15th-sor-pod-tournament/