This is a deck I’ve been sitting on for a while now. If you’ve listened to the first episode of our Diggity Destiny podcast you might remember that this is the speed deck I used for pods back at Worlds. That weekend effectively cured me of needing to sleeve this bad boy up again, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have a ball whomping people with four weapons at once.
Start with General Grievous. At 20 points there are no characters we can pair to hit four dice, so we’re 100% on the 3-dice Big/Little plan. We also need to be in Blue because that’s where the best weapons for Grievous are. Of the Blue characters available to us, Sentinel Messenger gives us both a solid die and a pseudo fourth die in its draw ability (I classify any character ability that isn’t contingent on its dice as equivalent of a die. It may count as a terrible die, but to me, die = doing something).
The 8 points on the Messenger give is two more for a Plot and we get a doozy. It’s a cliché that Theed is the best battlefield right now, and everyone jamming it in as the default proves that. In our case, however, it’s actually critical that we get the extra resource out of it. Indeed, part of the reason that this deck isn’t Top Tier is that starting on someone else’s battlefield is such a blow. To that end, the Plot we’re running is Taking Ground. Originally, I used Separatist Alliance to draw more cards, but stalling due to lack of resources in round one just hurt too much. With Taking Ground we have that fourth die for the roll-off, and it always rolls a 2.
Since the whole point of this deck is to mete out massive damage with Grievous2’s Power Action, we start by focusing on the upgrades. To hit the PA on the second round requires averaging two upgrades a round before you activate Big Papa the second time. That means a lot more upgrades than you’d normally play in a deck. In this instance, we’re going with an even split, fifteen upgrades and fifteen events.
To begin with, we’re running every one-cost weapon we can get our hands on. Part of what sent me down the path of building this deck is the current wealth of one-cost weapons. With three different cards (Energy Bow, Hunting Rifle, and Punch Dagger), we’re looking at a solid 20% of our deck quickly filling out the upgrade slots on Grievous2.
For the remaining nine cards, I had a ton of two-drops to choose from. I spent a lot of time pouring over the list of qualifying weapons; comparing die sides and looking at card abilities. In the end, I went with these:
- Quicksilver Baton – The ability of the Baton is hugely relevant, both in the early and late game. I will get into it more a bit later.
- Crafted Lightsaber – With Grievous2’s “ignore play restriction” clause, this card becomes a monster. Huge damage sides and a second resource side make this as the single best two-drop you can have in your opening hand.
- Grievance Striker – A little bit of an odd duck, this card doesn’t do melee damage. What it does, however, is ping for a free damage when you play it, have no pay sides, and Redeploy to Sentinel Messenger if Grievous goes down.
- Crossguard Lightsaber – This is where the slot gets iffy. This could also be a Treasured Lightsaber, and that was more appealing when I used Separatist Alliance as the plot. In the end, I found the 3-damage side on the Crossguard Lightsaber proc’d slightly more often than the Treasured.
- Electro Sword – This isn’t a two-drop, but it does Redeploy and hit for unblockable damage. As a one-of in the deck, I’m fine pitching this early for a reroll or slamming it down late to finish off a turtled-up Jedi.
The event suite is a study in conserving resources early and splurging on them late. Bursting all your permanents in the first two rounds sucks up a lot of resources, but if the game goes to round three you suddenly find yourself with lots of money and nothing to spend it on.
The Stay Alive Juice here consists of both dice removal and healing. With three pieces of zero-cost removal (four if you count the one Electromagnetic Pulse), we can eat up a lot of damage in the first couple of rounds. We also get to abuse Bacta Therapy. It’s not Palp3 good, but healing Grievous2 for four damage is no joke. Take it from my experience, seeing four damage wiped off the good General for two resources is excruciating from the other side of the table.
With our damage prevention suite locked down, we can look at our other events.
- Respite is a golden All-Star in this deck in round one. That first time through, the best thing you can get out of the Sentinel Messenger is a resource side. Respite achieves this with fewer actions, and you get to hold onto the card you look at with him rather than having to play it immediately.
- Tactical Mastery and Seize the Day are there for the insta-damage. A fully loaded Grievous2 can immediately put 6 dice in the pool and 4 damage into a baddy for a single resource and card. The 2/1 split on these is because you’re not always going to have the battlefield later in the game. That’s a lot of dice to resolve.
- Pulverize is the ultimate coup de grâce in this deck. So much so that I’ve considered cutting the EMP for a second one. Grievous2 is going to be flinging fistfuls of dice onto the table; imagine Palp3, but instead of rolling focus and shield sides they’re ALL damage dice. With just a middling roll you can annihilate a single character from the other team in one shot using Pulverize. I’ve discarded it to reroll before, but every time I pay for the card it’s devastatingly effective.
All of that leads us to this list:
Playing the Deck
This is a pretty straightforward damage deck, but there are some tips I can give you to elevate your game here. The first two rounds of the game are about building out your Ultimate Death Machine. You’re cashing in on resources to power out the weapon upgrades so that you can threaten massive damage starting in round two.
- The best upgrade you can have in your opening grip is the Crafted Lightsaber. So much so that I’m pitching other weapons to try and find it. A close substitute for that would be a pair of one-drop weapons. The third best is Quicksilver Baton, but you’d prefer that later. It’s all about maximizing your resource sides in the first round. Event-wise you’re looking for Respite and a piece of zero-cost removal. My perfect opening hand would be Crafted Lightsaber, Punch Dagger, Forsaken, Respite, and Hidden Motive.
- As you play out your first round, pay attention to what you might look at with the Sentinel Messenger. Did you not get your Crafted Lightsaber or two one-drop weapons? Consider activating SM before playing a weapon on Grievous2. You might hit the Crafted or a one-drop there.
- Quicksilver Baton is a multi-faceted tool here. In round one, you can play it on Grievous2 and then immediately eat that die with Theed to get the resources to play another upgrade. Later in the game, the Baton is ultra-useful in keeping the Grievous Power Action online. You roll out Grievous2 plus four weapons and they burn removal one whatever your best upgrade die is (note that they’re leaving your Grievous dice alone no matter how good they are). Simply overwrite whatever they removed, and the Baton’s instant roll out will get you back up into Power Action position immediately.
- If Grievous2 is about to go down and you have a Grievance Striker in hand, an overwrite on one of your other weapons can see about instantly tarting up the Sentinel Messenger. It’s also super useful as an overwrite to ping someone for that last point of damage.
- Spend some time setting up your double action with Tactical Mastery and Seize the Day. Don’t just blindly pitch them to reroll at the end of a round. You should resolve worse dice in order to set up the instant Power Action in the next round rather than pitching for a marginal advantage now.
- Speaking of double actions, take a look at your dice before you instantly use the PA on that second action. It’s rare, but sometimes it’s a better play to resolve a nut roll and kill a more-than-four-health-remaining character rather than exposing your dice to removal after using the Power Action.
This is not the greatest deck around, but you can surprise the heck out of people with the shockingly violent amount of damage you can throw down. There’s not a lot more satisfying than someone knowingly telling you that you will never get the Grievous2 Power Action off, and then beating them after resolving it multiple rounds in a row. All it takes is one time of Tactical Mastering Grievous2 into a nut roll followed by a 4 damage Power Action and a Pulverize to have you keeping this list in your back pocket for the next casual night at your Local.