From the very first few months of Destiny, I’ve been toying with a two-card interaction that can potentially generate a deadly amount of damage in a single round. That combination? Qui-Gon Jinn – Ataru Master and Resistance HQ. If you can run your opponent out of resources, this pair can turn every card in your hand into a bullet to the enemy’s face.
The problem I’ve had is making is stable enough to pull off consistently. Every deck I’ve built around this has been a glass cannon that can do absurd things in the right situation but is vulnerable to having its inner mechanisms wrecked far too easily for my taste. Keeping Qui-Gon alive is something I’ve tried many things to accomplish. The most successful one I could find involved a pair of Rebel Troopers, leveraging their Guardian ability to eat damage off the battlefield while setting up a turn where I could mow down the enemy. Born of an age when FFG was still learning how to make cards for the game, however, each Rebel Trooper came with only 7 health for a whopping 8 points. Committing to the Rebel Trooper plan meant I was both cut out of Yellow and committing a full 16 character points to only 14 health of bullet shield. That was a tough pill to swallow and ended up dooming the deck before I could make it work.
Since then, FFG has learned not to fear abilities so much, especially one as weak as Guardian. From the ashes of our Rebel Trooper past has arisen the specter of a much better bullet shield, the Naboo Palace Guard. With a full 28.6% more health than the Rebel Trooper, this bastion of protection only needs to Spot a leader to throw himself on grenades for our pal Qui-Gon. What leader do we spot, though? Our choices are extremely limited. With Qui-Gon clocking in at 13 points and the Palace Guard eating up 8 more, we are down to only 9 points to fill with our Leader (or 10 if we feel like using Bitter Rivalry). That’s a pretty narrow list, and after examining them all I found our glorious Leader, Satine Kryze – Hope of Mandalore. Without having the second Guardian, we needed to dip into Yellow to get that awesome Yellow Hero removal, so that knocks out a few and leaves us with Cassian+Bitter Rivalry, Awakenings Padme, or Satine. It was a close call with Cassian. I almost went his direction simply because he had more damage sides. I was looking for ways to close out games after Qui-Gon was dead. The disadvantage of Bitter Rivalry, however, proved to be more than I was willing to give up, and I took the more consistent money-maker in Satine.
With our rainbow team in full effect, it was time to figure out the list. There are some interesting choices to be made in this deck because it doesn’t play like most decks. This deck relies on its cards to deal damage, so it can’t afford to blow its hand mitigating damage. These guys are pulling double duty in both being themselves and being bullets for the Qui-Gun Machine, so each card we spend from our hand for something other than shooting people in the face must provide maximum efficiency.
Normally, I build decks by tossing in cards from three categories, Stay Alive Juice, Win the Game, and Make Money. This deck, however, felt crowded from the get-go because I knew I was going to have to include cards that never make a normal list, straight card draw. With both those and the combo pieces (Resistance HQ) eating up card slots, it was going to be tough to whittle down to having only 30 cards in the deck. To give the deck any semblance of consistency I had to cut the Make Money pile completely, replacing it a with Draw Some Cards pile. This meant the other cards had to work incredibly hard to make the starting 30. Much of what I ended up choosing can pull triple duty. Both being able to efficiently keep Qui-Gon alive through damage mitigation and granting shields for firing our Qui-Gun were required for any card to get serious consideration.
This cross-duty pulled by cards led me to a weird pile that combined both Stay Alive Juice and Win the Game cards. Cards that would normally be considered in a single category bled into others for a delightfully tasty mélange of shield damage dealing and damage prevention. How many times do you get to use the phrase, “I kill you with Yoda’s Hut”?
Some of the choices were easy. Single cards that remove multiple dice are always excellent, and even more so in a deck that values keeping a full grip. There were some tough cuts here, but my multi-dice removal suite ended up looking like this:
There are other cards I could have used, but prioritizing low resources forced out excellent removal like Beguile.
The final pile included both the most efficient card draw I could find and cards that just needed to be in the deck.
The choice of Satine allowed us to run the most efficient card draw in the game, Renewed Purpose. By clocking in at only 29 points we were able to squeeze in the one-point plot “Espionage” so that we are grabbing +2 cards for only a single resource.
Finally, the battlefield. The point of this deck is to run the opponent out of resources and then murder them over the course of multiple turns, so I don’t see us ever claiming. I also wanted to run something to protect the combo engine piece, but I couldn’t find any room in the deck. To that end, I figure if they blow up our Resistance HQs we wouldn’t mind cutting a turn short for a claim. That leads me to Docking Bay and leaves our final squad as:
Notes on Specific Cards
Ancient Lightsaber is the best two-drop melee weapon in the game. It provides both a means to destroy your opponent and some additional Stay Alive Juice. It also provides a way to help turn on our Shotos quicker.
Dagger of Mortis is more Hot Shoto Action of dealing two damage on activation in the right matchup, and worst-case scenario will Redeploy to Satine or the Guard.
R2-D2 is as, if not more, useful for his card draw ability as the die fixing one.
Luke’s Protection gives us an out to decking ourselves, and pings one in the process. Pair that with R2-D2’s special, and you’ve got even more repeating damage.
Yoda’s Hut is something I want in my opening hand. It’s incredibly versatile in either keeping someone alive or shooting someone down and will often read “Exhaust this card to generate a resource”.
Playing the Deck
You can play this like a straight aggro-control deck until you’re ready to start poppin’ caps. You don’t necessarily have to have the Resistance HQ in your opening hand. Just get something on the table in Round One and try to nibble away at some damage. Maybe play a weapon and then use Satine to make additional resources to set the table. You don’t want the card draw until you’re ready to fire the gun, so throw either of those back. R2 can stay on the table, though. After the first round, you’re going to start looking for your spot. Ideally, you’re looking for a turn where you and your opponent have a lot of back and forth. They’re playing some cards while you’re trying to maneuver things to let Qui-Gon deal damage. Maybe eat something with the Naboo guard. Maybe you resolve dice slowly, taking multiple turns to get things just right. Once they’ve burned out their resources, you pounce! Drop the Resistance HQ, reload your hand, and crank this bad boy up. If they’ve not seen your deck before, they probably aren’t going to realize what’s happening until you’ve fired the second or third bullet. By that time, however, it’s too late. You’re burning your whole grip to knock someone off the table. After that round you have them locked in a constant Blockade. If your fresh five cards for the round don’t look like you’re going to be able to fire up the second gun, feel free to fire off one bullet early in the round in order to actually eat that resource. Prevent them from using it for the round.
So that’s it. If you get the opportunity to square off against some mates in Infinite and you’re feeling froggy, sleeve this up and give it a go. I’m not sure it will have the staying power to be your favorite deck of all time, but it can definitely give you one or two fun romps around the kitchen table. Just please, make your best machine gun noise when you start slaying baddies.