So this weekend I was able to head over to Tabletop Shop in Connecticut for their regional which boasted 65 people. That is the most to date, beating out VA and TX by 1 person.
In preparation for the week I had a lot of work so my testing all got crammed into Friday night as Tommy, Scott and Brian all came over. Due to lack of testing I went into it just expecting to get some warm-up games with Kit Aayla which I planned to bring to CT. Instead I got it handed to me 5 games in a row to really spook me off the deck. One of the lists I got spanked by was Tommy’s Tarkin Snoke creation. So as he was about to head home I asked if I could try his deck and he walk me through it a bit in a game against Vader. With 2 wins in 2 games against Vader I was in. I was super nervous bringing a deck that I only had 2 games with beforehand but figured the surprise element might snag a few people even with sub-optimal plays at times. So I packed up my streaming gear and Tarkin Snoke along with it and below is the list:
The name Snokin Hot Mess comes from how messy this board can get. You don’t expect 12 damage from character dice, Force Speed and a Chance Cube but it happens. A few comments I have heard already is that the L-S1 is counter productive with it denying an extra upgrade slot and slotting in more force powers. I would push back against those ideas as the L-S1 helps push out crazy damage turn 1 and lets Snoke close more easily. With a Snoke and Tarkin PA and a Cannon you can easily do 11 damage turn 1 plus Snoke’s dice. My issue with the more force power package is that it changes the dynamic of the deck. Aside from Wave I can drop every upgrade that I draw into without worry. If you clog your hand with a Wave, Lightning and Push you might be in trouble. In theory it could help Snoke close but it lower’s Tarkin’s PA. You want to use the cheap upgrades for Tarkin’s PA and use your character dice for damage or resources if you have a Fist in hand.
So after getting up at 5:30AM I was ready for a long day, let us get into it:
Round 1 vs Snoke/Tarkin
Really? A mirror? Aside from myself and Brian I expected no one else to be on this list. Unsure how different our lists were but he had Frag Grenades in there and Beguile. Turn 1 he got more dice out but I got a LS-1 out and pulled slightly ahead on damage. Next 2 rounds I was able to remove almost all of his priority dice with solid Overconfidence rolls and Imposing Presence for 2. These games are quick and this one was no exception but getting blowout removal in round 2 and 3 sealed it for me. Win 1-0
Round 2 vs eYoda/eJyn
This seemed interesting but I was tipped that it was more aggro due to Imperial Armory as the battlefield. Overall this game we traded some blows early but the big turn was when he rolled out Jyn and her blaster to a 2, +3 and a 2 without me having the removal I needed (Imposing Presence when he had 5 cards in hand). This lead to Tarkin dying but he made a questionable call in leaving Jyn’s 2 range in the pool. This lead to an anger to kill Jyn and a slog fest of Yoda shielding up and taking what damage he could from Jyn’s blaster. The game came down to me rolling lethal and he had an out of resolving dice for shields. Instead he opted to play removal which was burned by my Stifle on the board for me to then resolve my dice. Win 2-0
Round 3 vs eYoda/HiredGun/Gungan/AR
A 3 wide with lots of health and potential shielding made me a bit nervous. I was able to turn 1 a Fist and turn 2 cheat in a Wave with Holocron. The damage I was able to put out put him on his back foot. By the time he could reset he had to decide between mitigating my dice or resetting his Caster. Deflects and Force Illusion did their job in nullifying the resets and Wave/Fist did what they do best. Win 3-0
Round 4 vs eSnoke/eThrawn/BR
This was Manten from Arrow Brook Gaming. I knew this would be rough because he is a high skilled player and has countless reps with this pairing. He was able to get 3 Ties out and catch up to my damage output. With the money he made he could afford all his mitigation and removed both my LS-1 Cannon dice each round. It was hard to over come and eventually it outpaced me and the swarm overran me Loss 3-1
Round 5 vs eYoda/eLeia/TakingGround
I was confident going into this game. I could make do with poor rolls and use them for Tarkin PAs. His Force Jump did work in this game though with consistent special rolls and Yoda special rolls leading to blanking my dice 3 times in a round. It slowed me down too much and the last round I could have extended it but Leia rolling 2 Discards on both dice did me in with a Commando Raid. It was close and I believe he finished with 1 health left on both characters. I think I could have made a few plays better and wouldn’t normally be on the bad end of this match-up. Lose 3-2
At this point I was definitely starting to get frustrated. Storming out to 3-0 and to fall to 3-2 gave me flashbacks to Day 1 of PAXU and prepping for my bubble out. Luckily Tommy and Mike Gemme gave me some encouraging words and set me straight and I was ready for my last two games.
Round 6 vs eBeckett/eCiena/AR
When I sat down I was nervous as I knew this was a good deck and I hadn’t played it with Tarkin yet. My only advantage was the low health pool so I pushed hard for damage. I got a turn 1 Fist out and felt great. Sadly I got to resolve it for 2 shields before he blew it up with an AT-ST. The worst part? I had a deflect in hand but he rolled the natural special. In the moment I was worried but I knew he discarded his Firespray turn 1 and played the ATST with AR, which was rough in the moment but much easier to handle since he actually had to pay for his mods. This was close but I was able to keep Tarkin alive long enough to really put him on the back foot. Force Illusion and Deflect were again MVPs taking the ATST 4 and Beckett’s 3. Win 4-2
Alright. Next round was lose and go home (and by go home I mean sit around and wait for top cut to end so I could pack up my streaming equipment) or win and maybe sneak in.
Round 7 vs eTarkin/eSnoke
Brian and I had avoided each other all day despite hovering around the same record but alas, Round 7 put us together. There really had to be 3 Tarkin decks here including myself and I played both of them. It definitely sucked but knowing whoever won most likely got in was nice. Round 1 I got shields and a LS-1 out and just pushed damage. He dumped my hand but nothing I was going to play anyways. I was ahead by 4-5 damage after that round and the game stayed at that pace. I was able to close out with a Tarkin PA. Stinks beating a friend, play tester and car co-pilot but that is how it goes sometimes. Win 5-2
So another x-2 finish, that marks my 4th for regionals going back to last year. All ended with a bubble at 9, 11 and 12 so I really had no expectations but as standings going posted I was the 5-2 with the best SoS and finished 6th. I was excited and the realized I had to play Joe from the Hyperloops, so that ended quickly. Also shout-out to my man Nate for making top cut after having to sit out at VA as he was the 65th person and they capped entry at 64. The man toughed it out as his friend and carpool buddy was able to play. After sitting through a whole regional not able to play despite them having physical space, it was awesome to see him rewarded next week with a top cut finish.
Top 8 vs eSnoke/Ciena/RebelTraitor
Snoke is back it seems. Brought by 2 guys who got onto the deck the night before. Since he was not running AR I was hoping to nuke his hand with Tarkin round 1 to stop any vehicles from hitting them table. He won the rolloff and got Theed so he could get to any 3 drop without rolling. I rolled out Tarkin after playing an upgrade or two and hit the discard but he used Hidden Motive and missed on removing it but it wasn’t on the discard anymore. This led to him getting resources to drop a Firespray but right after that I PA’d discard to dump 3 mods from his hand, one a TLT. From there I pushed on damage. I got a big Probe to get rid of a Mind Trick which would obviously crush my entire soul. Round 2 I also got off a 4 Discard which again slowed him down as I removed his focus dice to really lower his damage output despite sitting on like 20 resources. I was able to close out the game with little damage on myself as the discards prevented him from doing anything too crazy or ramping too hard. Won 1-0
Game 2 was different as Joe adjusted. Rather than pushing to ramp hard and running into more discard, he pushed damage and took resources where he could. Round 1 I was able to get a Fist down as I used Snoke PA for resources and rolled the 3 on Chance Cube. He also had a better start, instead of just a Firespray he got down a Umbaran Tank and LS-1 cannon. I was able to pressure Ciena hard with the Fist getting close to a turn 1 kill but a Hidden Motive got me. This game went down to the wire with the Traitor coming in clutch. He activated and roll the 1 ID, I was forced to activate and he Snoke’d for 3 ID forcing me to kill someone. I opted for Snoke since Tarkin’s PA was much more useful. This round I had to then focus to double blanks to PA Tarkin to put him to 2 HP left. Next round I rolled out Tarkin into 4 different sides but 2 ID on his for lethal. Joe miscalculated and was just looking for matching symbols. He resolved a die that I Force Illusioned and then resolved my 2 ID for the win. Was a close one but he did have the removal at the end. Won 2-0
Top 4 vs eThrawn/eSnoke/BR
Rematch against Manten from my round 4 loss. I felt confident going into it as our previous game was close and the match-up felt even. Game 1 wasn’t too memorable as I don’t think he played a single support due to a poor draw, just a LS-1 cannon after both characters were activated. I was able to slow his ramp down a bit with I Am Your Father on Thrawn’s 2 resource side. I would break even with resources and remove his die but if he discard his hand I was definitely okay with that. Overall he started out slow and I was able to capitalize. Won 1-0
Game 2 was definitely a tough one. His round 1 was a lot better with a Fist coming down. This really seemed like a blur as I was so focused on each play. I was able to start with a cannon and a holocron which turned into a Wave later in the game. Tarkin and Snoke’s PAs really can put Thrawn on the back foot with how much damage it outputs and that is what happened here. It got scary when he dropped a Landing Craft to try and summon a droid for +6 health. If that happens I lose. I definitely got lucky that round when I hit a timely disrupt on a Snoke reroll to keep him from getting one that turn. The final round is when I got the Wave down and missed on the rollout after a Holocron swap, if I hit the special I kill Thrawn and remove the on board focus. I then focused into the special and 3 damage on the LS-1, forcing him to remove something and delay the Landing Craft special. He doubted the Wave and it hit 2 ID which was still okay. It put one character within lethal. I opted to roll out Tarkin next and hit matching sides for the PA while Cody had no removal that turn. If he removes my dice there he finishes the game with Fist and the extra health from droid. Super tense, Snoke disrupt is baller. Won 2-0
Finals vs Vader/Greedo
I tested a few games against this and it felt fine. Tommy’s testing also leaned to give us a solid match-up into it but today was not my day. I really have a hard time of recounting all the plays but I know there was some awkward stuff. I could dump his hand with Tarkin but he still rolled a lot of damage or the discard with Darksaber to return the favor. I got unlucky as I showed lethal twice with Fist but Hidden Motive ruined my day. I do think Vader Greedo is the best deck in the meta, it was frustrating to get rolled in both games but I certainly had luck to get into the finals so I can’t complain with it going against me. That isn’t to take away from that player at all, I didn’t notice any mistakes in gameplay aside from not rolling in Greedo after death either time. It really didn’t matter though.
Overall the deck felt great. I think I have a decent match-up against Vader but I am sure some people might hold that final against the deck. Unsure of any changes I would make but you can probably argue the I Am Your Father and 2x Deflect are flex spots depending on your meta. I know I can say all 3 were clutch in my games. I need to try and stay ahead of Vader to make the I Am Your Father worth it or turn Anger online. Bummed to 0-2 the finals but congrats to Chris, it was well deserving and I hope you are able to make it to worlds in Q4!
Shoutout again to Tommy my teammate for making these crazy good decks, the man gave me SAD and this so I really can’t complain. Having teammates like him, Brian and Scott really are crucial to having any type of success. Shane sucks.
Our next stream will be at NJ’s regional on Feb 16th, hope to see you then. If you are looking to support us, head over to our patreon page. Your support is what helps us stream these events and hopefully we can constantly be pushing the quality upwards for you guys.