Allies of the Force
Build a Star Wars: Destiny Deck with Designer Lukas Litzsinger
Empire at War offers a wide variety of opportunities for deck building in Star Wars™: Destiny. New characters open up new strategies previously unseen in the game. Today, Star Wars: Destiny designer Lukas Litzsinger is going to take us through one of these new strategies as he builds a deck focusing on Blue hero Ahsoka Tano (Empire at War, 31)!
An Aggressive Strategy
FFG: Let’s start with the basic idea of the deck. The challenge was to build a mono-blue Ahsoka deck. So who did you pair her up with, and why does that make sense?
Lukas Litzsinger: I decided to run one-die Ahsoka to make better use of her ability. With the right support, readying her can be extremely powerful. I chose Padawan (Awakenings, 36) because I have a lot of weapons in the deck, and saving a resource makes it easier to use Ahsoka. Rey (Awakenings, 38) gives me excellent health for her points cost, and also has two melee sides and a fantastic ability. I’ll try to make either the Padawan or Rey the early target for my opponent, allowing Ahsoka to get more activations and set her up for the late-game.
FFG: What battlefield did you choose and why?
LL: The deck goes through its cards very quickly, and many of the cards can be situational. I chose Maz's Castle (Spirit of Rebellion, 155) because it allows me to filter my deck, and to not have to discard cards from my hand while searching for specific combinations. The deck is slow and I am also unlikely to claim the battlefield. I did not want a battlefield ability that would give my opponent any edge on the board, or the ability to frustrate my plays.
FFG: What was the process for deciding what went into the deck?
LL: The deck is built around trying to take advantage of Ahsoka’s ability. There are several ways to do this. First is to get Fearless (Empire at War, 106) on her. For only one resource each turn, she can roll her die twice, draw you two cards, and gain two shields. That’s huge. Then, late game, you can redeploy weapons onto her and have her finish the game for you.
Another way to take advantage of her ability is to put Ahsoka’s weapons of choice, Shoto Lightsaber (Empire at War, 51), on her. Being able to stick two of them on her makes her both incredibly aggressive and stoutly defensive. The Shoto abilities trigger each time that she activates, meaning that you can gain and/or remove up to four shields a turn! While you will not trigger her ability as much if you give her upgrades with dice, when you do can easily flip the momentum of the game in your favor.
However you decide to approach using Ahsoka, and a lot of it will depend on your initial draws, you are likely to have a lot of shields on her at some point in the game. Since characters can only have three shields at a time, you need ways to make them useful even if Ahsoka is not being attacked. I added two Riposte (Awakenings, 121) so I can use the shields offensively and then build them back up, and also one Protective Mentor (Spirit of Rebellion, 108). This card is fantastic because it means that you will always have shields where you most need them, and it can make it extremely difficult for your opponent to finish off any of your characters.
The rest of the deck is aggressive and can dish out damage. Vibroknife (Spirit of Rebellion, 57) is amazing with Rey’s ability, and can help you punch through your opponent’s defenses.
Lightsabers ( Awakenings, 59) help you keep your upgrades on the board when your characters go down. Ancient Lightsaber (Empire at War, 49) gives you another Blue weapon that costs two to pair with the Shoto Lightsaber, and Handcrafted Light Bow (Spirit of Rebellion, 39) can deal some serious damage. There are four 3-cost upgrades in the deck, and so I included one copy of Reaping the Crystal (Empire at War, 101). This is a great way to save a resource, and if you get lucky, you can even drop a Lightbow on a Padawan for one cost on the first turn! One copy of Lightsaber Training (Empire at War, 131) can lead to a turn of massive damage, but should only be used when you are sure your opponent is out of removal.
The events in the deck are based around cheap control and shields, since most of my resources need to go toward upgrades or Ahsoka’s ability. Guard (Spirit of Rebellion, 103) makes excellent use of all of the melee modifiers that I can end up with, and Flank (Awakenings, 156) is amazing control with the ability to ready Ahsoka each round. I can roll in her dice, ready her, and still have a fantastic removal option against even other three-character decks. The Ancient Lightsaber can be used defensively and is also as fast as an event if you use it with Rey—you can play it and then use its action to heal two damage by sticking it on the bottom of your deck.
Lightsaber Pull (Empire at War, 130) is a special case and some of you might have questions about it appearing in Empire at War. This is the only card in Destiny that allows you to search your deck, and does not signal a change in design’s feelings about search effects. We think that search effects slow down games by creating more opportunities to shuffle, and do not want to make cards that break up the flow of the game. We tried many different versions of this card that did not allow it to search, but ultimately this version of the card played the best and felt the most thematic. In this deck, Lightsaber Pull is an additional copy of every Blue weapon, which makes it easier to get a whichever weapon I need for the current game state.
Finally, I stuck in one copy of Funeral Pyre (Empire at War, 104) and two of Bestow (Empire at War, 99). These cards allow you to effectively Redeploy your upgrades that don’t have the Redeploy keyword, which is very handy to keep Shoto Lightsabers or even Fearless on the table. You can also play a weapon on the Padawan for its discount, use the Padawan, then move the weapon to another character. Not only do you use the weapon twice in one turn (for its original cost), but the discount on the Padawan is ready to be used again.
FFG: What are the deck’s main strength and weaknesses?
LL: The deck is versatile and has excellent defensive capability. It can be difficult for your opponent to break through your shields and secure a quick defeat, but you can easily negate your opponent’s shields with Vibroknives and Shoto Lightsabers. While the deck makes excellent use of Ahsoka’s ability, it is resilient and can withstand the loss of any of its characters. Very rarely should a character being defeated result in more than one die leaving your board, and loading up Rey and the Padawan almost always forces your opponent to leave Ahsoka for last.
The deck does have some weaknesses. One is that it is very reliant on modified sides. If your opponent has a Guardian character, you want to defeat that character as quickly as possible. Decks running a lot of control will likewise slow it down, and you will have to be prepared to win a war of attrition as you watch all of your unmodified melee sides get removed. Another weakness is that you will be slow and very rarely claim the battlefield. If you win the roll-off, though, it is generally worth forgoing your battlefield and taking the two shields. They will give you good defense for the Padawan and also an early target for Riposte.
FFG: What does Empire at War bring to Blue heroes that hasn’t been seen before?
LL: The famed weapon of the Jedi, the lightsaber, becomes an integral part of Blue’s strategy. With more two-cost weapons, Padawans begin to live up to their full-potential and Ahsoka can dish out unbelievable damage in one round. But Blue heroes also gain a lot of flexibility with their shields and can play more defensively, opening up powerful builds that have a higher skill cap.
FFG: What do you find fun about the deck?
LL: Using a fully-equipped Ahsoka twice in the same turn is amazing, but not necessary to win. Many turns you have to resist using her ability so that you can build up momentum elsewhere, but it only makes it even more exciting when it goes off. There are lots of decisions to make during a game, and there is not one build that will lead you to victory every time. The deck is not easy to play, but can withstand early aggression and rewards those who put in the time and effort to learn it inside and out.
Master the Force
With an aggressive ability and synergy with many of the new weapons in Empire at War, Ahsoka is one of the most powerful Blue heroes in Star Wars: Destiny. Will you join the light side and defend the galaxy from an Empire at War?
Draw your lightsaber and purchase Empire at War (SWD07) from your local retailer in the third quarter of 2017!