While Worlds 2016 might mark the first Worlds in which I haven’t made the Top Cut, it also marked the first FFG Worlds in which the weather was beautiful and the sun shined throughout much of the weekend. I have never enjoyed Minneapolis as much as I did this past weekend.
So, what happened?
First, I’d like to break down my preparation for Worlds and discuss how I viewed the situation going into the Worlds 2016 weekend.
Back in May, my wife and I were playing several ‘funsies’ games with SWLCG and trying out a lot of objective sets we didn’t have much faith in. One set we landed on was IE Lando/Gamblo and I was pretty hooked. I love hand manipulation in card games and felt like Lando and the Sabbac Addict had a lot to offer in those regards. For Origins, we played the following:
IE Lando x2
Asteroid Sanctuary x2
Along the Gamor Run
May the Force Be With You x2
Ties of Blood
Watchers of the Wasteland
We liked this list a lot and had a lot of fun with it. I made a really stupid decision in my game against Mattropolis and it cost me the Top Cut. But I walked away feeling very confident in Lando and what he brought to the table, especially in a Force Lock-style deck.
When Ancient Rivals released, I started evaluating Han/Chewie (No Match for a Good Blaster) in terms to our Origins deck and felt like dropping Gamor and Questionable Contacts would be great. I really, really like Han/Chewie and felt they offered a lot of power and synergy. I especially liked Chewie in Scum matchups, as once he’s equipped with a pistol it is very hard for them to push back. And Han’s Targeted Strike was great against Navy.
But, we also felt like Force Lock decks took a direct blow due to the strength of Heartless Tactics. With Capture finally being in a great set, Light Side couldn’t just afford to sit back and do nothing anymore. We’ll go over our Scum list in a future article, but we mainly felt like Light Side was in really bad shape heading into Worlds, due mainly to the fact that it felt impossible to prepare for Mono-Scum, Mono-Navy, Sith/Scum, and Mono-Sith.
In testing the week before Worlds, we decided to drop the Force Lock style altogether and go for a more direct approach to killing Dark Side units and objectives. We dropped many of the Lock concepts and instead tried to focus more on getting in good sets against certain matchups. We felt very positively about Han/Chewie being the yin to Scum’s yang, so we wanted them in multiples. We also felt very strongly about Asteroid Sanctuary dealing significant damage to both Navy and Sith (especially because Falcon gets around Dark Lord), so we felt like it was guaranteed in multiples as well. MTFBWY was a no brainer, which left us looking for sets with three units and resources as we were light on both. The day before Worlds, we dropped a Secret of Yavin 4 in favor of Heroes and Legends as hitting Kyle against Scum seemed to give us a huge advantage in the early stages of the match.
For the Swiss rounds, I ended up sweeping my first round opponent and then dropped a LS game in round two when my opponent started Tarkin Doctrine, Enforced Loyalty, and Imperial Blockade (who also led with a Turn 1 Thrawn). I can’t think of a single deck that can handle that start. I dropped another game in round three when my opponent blocked with Tarkin, with Endor Emperor on board, and moved two damage using Imperial Fist to blow up one of my objectives and take my Falcon. That hurt! In round four, I managed to overcome a start of Tarkin Doctrine, Imperial Blockade, and . I stupidly became very confused over the interactions of Tarkin Doctrine and Entrenched Defenses, but managed to squeak through enough damage thanks to some low edge cards on the Dark Side. So, after round four I was 50% with Light Side, which is slightly worse than I wanted to be. Unfortunately, against Ketricel in round five, he smoked out every single unit I played. Between Dark Lord and Force Choke, Force Lightning, Telekentic Strike, etc – he had my number! My final round opponent and I played an ‘all or nothing’ game in round six to decide who would sweep the games and I won the game with my DS.
Overall, my Light Side performed worse than I wanted it to, but about on par with what I expected. The Dark Side has an insane amount of direct damage and direct removal, making Spark decks all the more compelling due to having to resort to swarm.
As strong as I think Han/Chewie are, I don’t think Light Side Superfriends has enough gas to handle everything Dark Side can through at it. Dark Side is very oppressive in the current state, but maybe more releases from the Opposition cycle will help Light Side regain some of the major ground they’ve lost over the last year.
Dark Side deck article coming tomorrow or Friday!