Sunday, April 28, 2024

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Beyond Bulbasaur - Gen I March Madness


I'm joined by Jordan and Mike to decide the best Gen I trainer via a March Madness style bracket.

Here's the episode!

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Saturday, March 9, 2024

That Matchup? It's just "mains versus mains!"

I've been thinking about match-ups lately, and often times I'll look at something like Hitco(He is the Chosen One) versus Hunt Down(Hunt Down and Destroy the Jedi) and just use the shorthand of “mains versus mains.” This immediately gives me a feel for the sorts of things I should be thinking about, regardless of the specific mains deck my opponent and I are playing. “Mains versus mains” boils Star Wars CCG down to its fundamentals, but what are those fundamentals? Today I'm going to talk about some of the things that go through my head during these games.

Who's the beatdown?

Based off an old Magic the Gathering article, this is the concept where you decide whether you need to be the offensive or defensive player. Mains decks, with certain exceptions, generally want to be on the offensive. This means against something like QMC(Quiet Mining Colony), Hunt Down is going to go to Cloud City and attempt to use Vader and other powerful characters to make short work of QMC's aliens, while QMC is going to use combat tricks to run away and find another path to victory.

But what about if both decks are mains decks that just want to fight? Often this is an in game decision. When I play my TIGIH(There is Good in Him) versus BHBM(Bring Him Before Me), BHBM dominates at the Endor docking bay. I used to just keep trying to fight, thinking that “mains versus mains” was always about stacking and taking over one site. Then one day I realized that I could force BHBM to use a bunch of their resources taking the docking bay, abandon it, and rebuild at the Naboo Battle Plains. Most mains decks have a site like the Battle Plains that you can deploy in the mid-late game and set up a drain of 2 while you rebuild your forces and/or make them come to you. In the TIGIH versus BHBM matchup, this means they've got their a-team stranded at a drain of 1 location and they have to send their b-team after you.

And then, of course when the time comes, sometimes you flip a switch and use something like Nabrun Leids to bring the fight to them.

Combat tricks!

You should always be thinking about what cards your opponent has in hand, but this is particularly true and particularly doable in the mains versus mains match-up. There are only so many cards you realistically need to worry about, and if you know your deck there's a good chance you're playing the mirror of said cards. Also, before going into specific cards to look out for, the “make them have it” strategy is rarely the correct one in a game where players tend to have 14 card hands.

Weapon hate: A few weapon hate cards to watch out for are Force Field/Blaster Deflection, I Think I Can Handle Myself, and Wesa Gotta Grand Army. In “mains versus mains,” the first battle often involves two lightsaber wielding characters having their targeting canceled by Force Field/Blaster Deflection. This is a good opportunity to grab it. If you haven't grabbed Force Field/Blaster Deflection by the mid-game, sometimes it's best to target a character with ability less than five so it can't be played. In the same way, if you haven't seen the light side player play I Think I Can Handle Myself, maybe target a male character. Beyond individual cards, just know that there are enough weapons hate cards out there that you shouldn't usually fully rely on weapons to win you the battle.

Battle Destinies:
Mains decks love to draw lots of battle destinies, and they'll often play cards that add destinies or at least have a very high average destiny in the deck. If you're hoping to blow your opponent out with 3-4 destinies, watch out to see if they have a general on the ground or an admiral in space. Rebel Leadership v/Imperial Command can ruin your day, limiting you to one destiny. On the other hand, if it's your turn and you aren't worried about a counter beat, if they've got a lone guy who is not a general, you probably will get to draw your battle destinies as long as there's nothing else limiting you on board.

Mains decks will certainly play the sand effects(I Don't Like Sand/Course and Rough and Irritating) as well, so be aware of those limiting your destinies and try to bait them into removing cards if you're playing a deck like BHBM that likes to draw multiple destinies in every battle.

Ghhhk/Houjix: Sometimes, your opponent deploys Obi-Wan with Lightsaber all alone at a site and you've got a grip of characters in hand all set to ambush him. Then you deploy them, hit the lone Obi for 40 overflow and your opponent flips over a Houjix. This can be tricky. Mains decks win by battling, so you need to take the chance for a big overflow when you can, but you also don't want to deploy 5 characters to a force drain 1 site. Pay attention if your opponent plays Masterful Move or Escape Pod v to get their Ghhhk/Houjix. Also, pay attention to how deep it's burried in their lost pile or if they retrieve it with Wokling v or another card. In general, if you aren't sure if they have the Ghhhk/Houjix, play enough characters where you feel like you can get about 5 overflow. This will be enough to put you way ahead without forcing you to spend all of your resources, and even if they don't take the overflow, there is value in clearing the site and making them play their Ghhhk/Houjix.

On the other side, if you're counting on being able to play Ghhhk/Houjix, make sure you save a force just in case they play Draw Their Fire/First Strike.

Character removal: Cards like Clash of Sabers/You Are Beaten, Sniper Combo/Sorry About the Mess Combo, and Dr. Evazan can really mess with combat math. If you don't have weapon protection, try to avoid setting yourself up for a situation where you go from two decent characters to one character who doesn't even draw on their own.

Other general tips:

Activation: Be mindful of how much your opponent is activating. “Mains versus mains” can often come down to who finds their 2/0 sites, and both players are probably activating less than they would in other match-ups. If they've spent all their force and they're only activating nine next turn, you know they can't drop more than about 2 characters, so maybe it's okay to deploy that lone Vader to flip Hunt Down.

Space: Mains decks go from playing no space to playing a fair amount. Use verifies and other things to figure out what role space is going to play in this game. If neither player has a system in their deck, you can pitch your token space to force drains. If you find your Han Chewie and the Falcon v and dark has provided you with a system, often you can get away with playing it there on its own and get a few drains in until dark finds its space. Even better, if you're playing against a deck that plays no space and you've got space in yours, you can deploy one ship in space and drain for free all game.

Well, that's all I've got today. There's always more to talk about when it comes to what to think about in Star Wars CCG matchups, but I hope this helps someone.

Friday, February 2, 2024

Beyond Bulbasaur - 52 - Flaaffy

I talk about an electric sheep Pokemon, but mostly about "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep." 

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Top 8 with Corran and Batmouse - 11 - Dark Side Troopers


David Woods and Sargent of Trivia Karl Koenig join us to rank the Top 8 Dark Side Troopers.

David's Trooper Beats BDBD: