Hey everyone! NOVA 2019 was filled with a whole bunch of fun and socializing, and of course some dice slinging. I wanted to tell you about my experience at the con this year, and how one of my dream decks ended up working out pretty well for my team and I. So naturally, Jack and I were testing a few days before we had to leave for the event and nothing was sticking with either of us. I was about to run Han Droids, but every list didn’t really fit my playstyle. More importantly I didn’t feel like playing droid mirror matches all day long. When Jack played me with BobbySapphire’s Palp list, I kind of thought he was joking honestly. Palp? Now? This is the droid’s world and we’re just living in it. For most of you who have followed the podcast or know me personally, you know I am not afraid to play jank and tank my record. So I sleeved up Palp and my favorite winged salesman and gave it a whirl.
Wow. It worked pretty well. I had exceeded my expectations in testing, and I felt extremely comfortable. I was making the right calls, rolling pretty well, and most importantly, stomping Jabba supports off the table. What did I have to lose? I took DJ Snoke last year and did pretty well with it, earning the same record as this year. So I settled in to the deck and tested my face off. After driving down with Jack on our, what feels like 300th, road trip out of New Jersey, we made it to NOVA.
The morning of the Grand, I was…not feeling so well. Jack and I tested on the rooftop bar the night before, where we ran into a couple other CC’s like Sugi and Todd from KoR. It was a blast, and I really enjoyed talking to everyone that I met. The Destiny community is full of wonderful people, and I love meeting or catching up with everyone I can. Anyway, I made it to check in in time and after hearing “rough night?” for the 8th time, started to fill out my decklist. The idea of this deck is simple: Load Palpatine up with abilities and add to his overall health. Either you roll your opponent off the table, or bide time to get a Fatal Blow off. Watto is there for money, and in extreme cases can be used defensively with his power action.
Round 1: BYE – THANK THE MAKER! A random bye fell into my lap here. Someone knew I needed the time to recover before I played.
Round 2: Shane – Satine Droids – Loss
So my first match was against Satine Droids piloted by Shane who came down with the Hyperloops. For a stronger player *coughJack* Satine is a manageable matchup. I know I could stay even with Satine as long as I could mitigate and Desperate Measures as much as I could before Satine ramps up. My turn 1 was no short of godlike, as I DM’d a Hired Muscle, and mitigated just about every die he had, while also ramping up myself to about two abilities. From there though, I just couldn’t get past the ramp that the deck was putting out. I also misplayed here as I had a Sith teachings special out that could have killed R2 and put me in a favorable spot going into next round, but I did not mark it and thought it only did 1 damage. I drew into Fatal Blow next turn and thought I could bring it back after I finally did manage to kill R2, but Palp rolled 2X 2X at the worst time. Here comes the Easy Pickings. From there the deck kind of melted away as my last trick was taken from me. Shane piloted Satine extremely well and it was a good match. but I could not claim the victory here.
Round 3: Vader BD Retribution – Loss
This match felt horrible. Plain and simple. The girl, Chi, piloting Vader was playing pretty aggressively. She put down a treasured lightsaber turn one, which made me feel better because at least those 4 for 1 sides were offline. Didn’t matter. She had rolled 3’s and a special on the treasured. I had one upgrade on Palpatine at this point and kind of shrugged. I had come back from worse. Maybe I could find more abilities in my next hand. Fatal Blow, Free For All, and Bacta Therapy populated my turn 2 hand. Yikes. She proceeded to Seize the Day, Reach the Stars, and spike Palpatine before I could even do anything. Good game, and well played by my opponent.
Round 4: Edgy Sithlord Nathan Jabba Supports – Win
Somehow Nathan and I get paired up at events as much as Jack and I do. Which feels bad, because we both looked at each other and laughed because he said round one when we both had byes “I bet you a dollar we get paired together at some point today.” This is a great guy and a great player. As I mentioned before, and Jack in his article, this deck goes really well into Jabba (sorry Jack). Turn one I DM’d a big support (Fist or Mega) and I kept him off ramp as much as I could, but he still got out quite a bit. His board state was stacked by round two, so I stole his Fickle and we got into the Fickle War. Nathan, an absolute alpha male, decided to end the war by DM’ing his own Fickle. I was impressed. The game almost went to time, but at the last turn I activated Palp and dropped about 12 dice on the table and found lethal in all that mess. A very good performance by Nathan, and I am looking forward to playing him again.
Round 5: Jabba Supports – Win
I found myself sitting across from yet another Jabba Supports deck piloted by a very friendly guy from Canada. I found myself apologizing after playing not one, but two DM turn one to remove a Fist and a Megablaster Troopers. This opening turn set my opponent back so far that it was pretty difficult to come back from it. He was able to ramp up quite a bit by the end, but my ramp was much heavier, and Palp definitely had unlimited power.
Round 6: RufusMcDufus Palp Mirror Match! – Win
This match may have been my favorite of the day. I had expected to get into a mirror match, but I thought it would be Flockton or Jack opposite me. It was RufusMcDufus of L8 Night Gaming! We had played in the Virginia Regional and had a great time. We both had a blast with this match. At one point I rolled out about 8 dice and 5 of them had blanks on them. I had a fatal blow and a free for all in my hand. Rather than rerolling, I decided to free for all for 7. He then Fatal Blowed Palp for 8, I did the same for 9. It was hilarious watching both of us roll out 10+ die on either side of the table. At the end of the game, I was able to use Force Storm to my advantage and kill a 21 or 22 health Palpatine. Phew! On to the next one!
Round 7: 3 Die Aphra – Win
This was an extremely difficult match. Don’t let anyone fool you. Aphra still has some gas left in this meta. I tried to keep ahead and just planting upgrades on Palp best I could. The indirect don’t stop coming and it don’t stop coming. At a certain point, I switched gears on this matchup. Aphra drew so much that I realized mill was my best opportunity to claim a win. I Force Focus specialed into the 2 discard on Force Storm to dump his hand and mill him. He was one damage short of lethal at the end of the game, and I nervously moved on to the last round.
Round 8: ForeverFett Chopper Droids – Loss
I had sufficiently climbed out of the hole I dug myself the first two rounds of NOVA. As Jack had the same record here, we braced ourselves for the inevitable. Pairings went up, and thankfully (or maybe not as it turns out) we were not paired against each other! I played ForeverFett from Arrow Brook Gaming, who was on Chopper Droids. Chopper and Han are horrendous matchups for Palp, and I knew how this match was going to go. Regardless, I still played like I had something to prove, and gave it all I had. For anyone unfamiliar with Chopper and how that deck works, it snatches away your money or hand with the droids shenanigans and Salvaged Arm on Chopper for free. I knew what was coming and played around it as best I could. I managed to escape round one with no damage anywhere, and a few pokes at Chopper. Round two I was not as lucky, and it was looking pretty bad for me, as he dumped many abilities and both bactas, and Palp was hurting. Round 3 came and I knew he had to have at least one action cheating card in his hand. Turns out, I was right and he was able to do what he needed after I spiked Chopper. Good game and extremely well played by Paul.
So, there you have it. Jack and I died last possible round. Which is a shame for us, but our team had a great showing. I personally am really proud of how I played, with the exception of my misplay round 2, and had a blast playing and talking to the friendly and cordial Destiny community. Jack, Flock, and I all went 5-3 on the day, and Jack and I ended up in the Top 32. It was a great little vacation, and I learned a lot about the meta and the game overall. Even with the delay on the next set, I am all fired up and ready to keep on practicing for Worlds and clean up my play next time around. Thanks to Jack, Flock, Sugi, Todd, Bananacrapshoot, all of my opponents, and Adam from CAPA Cup for making my time in Virginia such an enjoyable one! And shoutout to BobbySapphire for making absolute monster lists in this and probably many other games (and his finish in X-wing!)