Maul + Mandalorian: Top 8 Roselle, IL Prime (Nov. 9 2019)

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Telcontar 14

Thanks to Grognard Games in Roselle, IL for hosting the event! And thanks to all the players whose good sportsmanship and good cheer made this such a lovely day! Congratulations to Josh who won the event with his Iden Versio - Inferno Squad Commander + Tobias Beckett - Thief For Hire deck!

This was my first Regional/Prime tournament ever, and I had been experiencing a months-long, discouraging losing streak, so I was nervous. I told myself I would be happy merely to play the Swiss rounds and come away with the bottom-tier prize (the alt art Reylo character cards) which would be awarded to the Top 64 players. I said to myself, "Just don't come in 65th." Because that would be sad...

32 players registered for the event! Whew! That meant all of us would receive not only the Top 64 prize but also the Top 32 prize: alt art of Reylo's plot, Temporary Truce!! Yay! From now on, it's house money, baby! I was able to relax and enjoy my games.

Plus, I had recently started playing Maul - Skilled Duelist + Mandalorian Super Commando and had won 6 out of my last 7 games with it at local store game nights. It's almost an exact recreation of the list Brian (of Jank It Up, Fuzzball) piloted to 6-2 (unofficially) and 5-3 (officially) at Worlds 2019. Go here to see Brian's list and read and/or listen to his tournament summary:

The only difference between my list and Brian's list is -1x Darksaber +1x Pulse Cannon and -1x Donderbus Blaster Pistol +1x V-1 Thermal Detonator.

G1: vs. Maul - Skilled Duelist + Executioner on Order 66. The first time I ever played against an Order 66 deck I completely forgot to play around it -- i.e. I activated both or all of my characters and set myself up for blow-out Execute Order 66 plays. Today I remembered not to do that and went forward with the game plan of my deck: Each round, try to play a weapon or equipment on the Mando and "just roll 3s" with Maul. Usually the opponent targets Maul first, b/c he or she reasonably wants him and his massive melee sides off the table ASAP. However, Retribution makes your opponent hesitant to remove Maul's dice unless they are showing high damage, so you're frequently able to resolve his dice many times via the Power Action and just regular resolution. Meanwhile, tank up the Mando with shields, Armor Plating, and weapons. My opponent was able to play Execute Order 66 once or twice, but most of his copies of it turned out to be near the bottom of the deck. My Maul rolled well and I targeted his Maul first, then the Executioner. My opponent defeated Maul, but by then the Mando was at full or nearly-full health and in beast mode and was able to finish. (Win. 1-0)

G2: vs. Rey - Finding The Ways + Enfys Nest - Fearsome Outlaw. This was a really cool deck concept built and piloted by a player relatively new to the game. I decided to target Rey first. Enfys Nest's Power Action caught me off guard once, when my opponent resolved her 3 for1 side for free, but I learned my lesson and played removal on those sides after that. Maul rolled 3x and the Mando pinged for 1 just about every round. Conflicted was a useful card in this game: I used it on a Maul side, rolled into a blank, and picked up 2 shields. I think I was then able to do the Power Action on that same die and rolled damage. (It's hard to remember all the plays in these games -- I don't know how some players post such detailed tournament reports!!) (Win. 2-0)

G3: vs. Chopper Droids, piloted by a player who ultimately made it into the Top 4, possibly the finals. (Not sure, b/c I didn't stay for the entire tournament.) This game showed the weakness of the Maul deck and the overwhelming strength of the Chopper Droid deck. When Maul doesn't roll 3s, this deck really underperforms. When Maul does roll 3s and your opponent plays Easy Pickings, that's really sad! (A great value play, though: turning 6 damage into just 1 from Retribution.) Also, I targeted the wrong character. I had it in mind to target C-3PO - Perfect Gentleman first, and I knew that you must defeat at least 1 droid Round 1, or you're cooked. But then my opponent started loading up Chopper - Metal Menace with things and...arrgh. That Droid deck is "darned if you do, darned if you don't." I didn't, and I was darned!! Maul, you let me down, buddy!! A card I thought would be very good into these 3-wide lists was the V-1 Thermal Detonator, but even though it has 2 sides, I just couldn't find it. (Loss. 2-1)

G4: vs 4-LOM - Calculating Criminal + General Grievous - Droid Armies Commander + Sentinel Messenger. Maul decided to wake up from his nap and roll 2s and 3s, which forced my opponent to remove his dice when he could. The ping damage from Retribution and the Mando P.A. really added up, and when Maul with weapons rolls hot, it's really scary how fast he does damage. At one point my opponent played the Superlaser Siege Cannon. I had Desperate Measures in hand, so I waited for him to roll it out, then use the Power Action on the Senate Chamber to turn it to its 3 side. I decided it was worth it to convert that to 5, since I was able to absorb it with some shields and/or Armor Plating, I think. Can't remember, but the net actual damage to my characters was 3. That was the only time I played Desperate Measures all day, and I glad it was in the list! (Win. 3-1)

G5: vs. another Chopper - Metal Menace droid deck piloted by another player who eventually finished in the Top 8. Surprisingly, he targeted the Mando first and made rather short work of him. He also played removal on Maul wisely and judiciously when he could and when it was worth taking the punishment from Retribution. Meanwhile he did droid things -- activating multiple characters, turning and then resolving multiple dice, and so on, without any opportunity for response from the opponent. I targeted C-3PO - Perfect Gentleman first, Maul rolled well, and I was able to defeat him early. I turned my attention to R2-D2 - Loyal Companion, and my opponent played redeploy weapons on him. At one point I had a 2 side showing on Maul, enough to defeat R2. But Chopper--who had 4 damage on him--had not activated yet, so I didn't want to defeat R2 right then and have to face those redeploy weapons again. My opponent activated Chopper, and I think rolled 1 or 2. I can't remember if I had removal in hand, but Chopper's die was not enough to defeat Maul, so I went ahead and resolved Maul's die to defeat R2. The weapons redeployed, but that didn't matter, because my opponent kept one of the Salvaged Arm's on Chopper and used it to boost his melee side by 1, which was lethal on Maul. Oops!! Forgot about that pesky thing...(Loss. 3-2)

G6: vs. Captain Phasma - Stormtrooper Commander + Sentinel Messenger, also on Retribution. This is a tough Retribution deck to play against, because there are so many character dice in play and they have mostly 2 sides. It feels bad to remove a 2 only to take 1 -- and this Maul deck has ZERO multi-dice removal cards. The only way to play against this deck is to shield up, play weapon upgrades...and roll 3s. Which Maul did. 'Atta boy!! There was an interesting moment late in the game in which the only die I had left in the pool was a Maul blank...and no cards in hand. But then I remembered the action on the Mandalorian Vambraces: you can take the card back into your hand. So I did that, and on my next action pitched it to reroll the Maul die into damage. That may have been how I defeated Phasma. (It's hard to remember these things exactly!) Then, during the next round (I think) I went to Casino Pulse Cannon and managed to roll into its free sides both times, and at that point the Sentinel Messenger was down to 1 remaining health. The round ended, and I kept one of the weapon upgrades in hand, so that my first action of the next round would be the Mando's Power Action for the win. (Win 4-2)

Top 8: Best of 3 Do you hear that loud scraping sound? That's me, barely qualifying for the top cut! I was in 8th place. My opponent was my Round 3 Chopper droids opponent, who was undefeated for the day and in 1st place. He was a very good player who knew how to do droid things quickly and efficiently and pile damage onto a quite sleepy Maul, who was not rolling well. I targeted R2 first but to no avail. Knowing that my opponent preferred to target Maul first, I should have given him the battlefield so I could shield up Maul, and mulliganed for Armor Plating. Having to plow through 19 health might have slowed the droids down a little. But I didn't think of that until I was driving home! Hahaha! (Loss 0-2).

I came into the tournament worried that I might not even win the participation prize, and came away in 8th place out of 32, with some awesome prizes and, more importantly, heart-warming memories of a blessedly fun day!!

RE: Droids. The non-interactive play of the droid decks--i.e. the inability to do anything as they use multiple actions chained together to activate characters, turn dice, and then resolve them is really punishing. "Action cheating" and non-interactivity are things that have plagued Destiny metagames before this. I wonder how this keeps happening, despite outcries from the Destiny community every time?

RE: Maul. Despite the strength of Maul's Power Action and his massive melee sides, I suspect that this droid match-up can only be won when he and the Mando are on the right side of variance -- i.e. when Maul rolls 3s, the V-1 rolls its special, and when you draw into cards that allow you to do damage to multiple characters. There's basically no dice control in this deck, other than discarding to reroll. What could be done to mitigate some of this variance in Maul or other pure aggro decks? Cards I've thought of that might be helpful include Clash, Triple Threat, Niman Mastery, A Tale of Tragedy, and #Force Focus.

RE: Changes I would make now. I would remove the V-1 Thermal Detonator. In theory it looks great: 2 damage across the board--awesome! But if you don't roll the ...well, it might as well have 4 blanks. It disappointed me most of the time. One of the few times it landed on its , my opponent removed it. Waaah waaah... I'd probably just put the Donderbus Blaster Pistol back in. It also might not be a bad idea to have at least one copy of Entangle. Problem is, this deck is usually starved for resources, b/c you need them to play upgrades. In the current build there are 13 0-cost events, 4 1-cost events, and only 1 2-cost event. Would it worth trying to find a spot for Dead Or Alive? Switch Bendu's Lair - Atollon for the Outer Rim Outpost - Nal Hutta?


Here is the winning deck list, posted by Josh:

4 komentarze

Drammy 1

Great write-up. Thanks for sharing. I'm going into our local primes on Saturday and have been humming and aching between this combo and the Maul - Skilled Duelist and Captain Phasma - Ruthless Tactician combination. Did you try do any testing on the Phasma pairing and if so what did you think?

Drammy 1

humming and aching - lol! Predictive funnies

Drammy 1

And also... how often was Bendu's just giving your opponent another die to play with?

Telcontar 14

@Drammy -- re: Maul + Phasma -- I did not test this pairing. Let me know how it goes if you decide to give it a try! The beauty of the Mandalorian Super Commando is his Power Action -- 1 free damage on your opponent every round if you draw into an upgrade and have the resources for it or can overwrite. Plus, Yellow villain allows you to run Desperate Measures and other good yellow cards. But Red gives you access to some action cheating like Tactical Mastery and Seize the Day. Hm...

re: Bendu's Lair: My usual goal/hope is to play on my opponent's battelfield when possible, unless it's a horrible battlefield for me. If I win the roll-off, I take the shields. If my opponent wins the roll-off, I hope that most of the time he or she takes the battlefield. The only times I didn't do this was against droids, b/c I felt like I wanted to be ahead of them in case they did their "double resource disrupt" opening play. I lost all of those games. As I mention in my write-up above, I believe I should have stuck to my plan of taking the shields when possible. I don't think Maul needs resources as much as I originally thought.

Bendu's Lair is handy though b/c it's a good way to set up Forsaken. The few game my battlefield was chosen, sometimes my opponent used it to good effect. It's a good die!

Have fun at your Prime!!