Author - People's Champion
I remember when I first saw Snoke spoiled: I was in Hobby Lobby with my wife, not really paying attention while she shopped, when I got a text from a friend that FFG had posted a spoiler article for Way of the Force. I got on and flipped through the pictures really quick, to get an idea of what the new cards would be, when I saw Snoke-Supreme Leader, and he was everything I dreamed of in a support character. Up until that point, the villain characters that had been low cost really hadn't been support characters, but had been low health, low output damage dealers. Not bad, but not providing the same support to a big character that we had seen with hero. Snoke, however, did that. I looked at his kit, and it was clear that he wasn't supposed to be the focus of the deck. He was supposed to turn your other character, probably Kylo2, but maybe Cad Bane, into a damage dealing machine. He could use his one and two focus sides to flip to whatever high damage sides you wanted, then use his power action to turn the damage into a massive hit, dealing big damage without any upgrades or supports. And add to that that at 11/13 he came with eleven health, it gave him survivability past the shortened life span of your other character. I was in love, and knew that Snoke was going to be my massive chase card from the set.
Well anyone who has been around Destiny for the last year can tell you of Snoke's rise, fall, rise, and fall again. While I recognized how awesome Snoke could be, I had missed the ramp potential he had, and how he started breaking the game. Reigionals last fall showed how powerful Snoke could be when paired with Thrawn, and what he was really capable of. So when he received the +1 balance of the force, even though I knew that put him in a spot where some cool teams, namely Kylo, were no longer viable, I knew it was better for the game as a whole. And Snoke fell to the side for a while, as Darth Vader-Terror to Behold took center stage. But Snoke never disappeared, and his friendship with Tarkin, and the ability to drop four of your opponent's cards in an instant showed that his power level had not gone away. Then Convergence dropped, and Snoke again showed his power level by becoming best friends with Watto, and ramping like a maniac once again. Thus, FFG decided it was finally time to stop Snoke from ramping. So they changed it so that Snoke could only increase damage dice, and dropped his points back to 11/13. The Supreme Leader was once again what I had imagined him to be: a solid support character, who could give you crazy damage output. But his price drop raised the question, where can he fit now? He's no longer a ramp character, not that he can't ramp. But he wants to be dealing damage. So who to pair him with? Kylo became the obvious answer, but power creep has left Kylo in a place where he is decent, but not overpowered. And remember, we need to let the past die, kill it if we have to. So Snoke has been looking for a partner.
The more I thought about it, the more I came to realize that the perfect partner for Snoke would not be found in past sets, but in future ones. And that's when I stumbled upon the partner I want to talk about today, IG-88-Single-Minded. He is a 12 health yellow character, with the droid and bounty hunter subtypes. His dice have two 2 range sides, a three for one ranged, a two disrupt, a resource, and a blank. And he has a power action that reads, "Resolve one of your bounty hunter dice showing ranged or melee damage against any number of characters that have a bounty on them." In his own right, this second iteration of IG-88 is scary. But with a cost of 14/17, he fits perfectly with our now lonely Supreme Leader, and between their power actions they can deal large amounts of damage off of IG-88's already hard hitting dice.
The most important thing about this decklist is recognizing where the power lies, and that is in Snoke's and IG-88's power actions. Your goal with this comp is to use your characters' power actions to burn down your opponent's team. But the big problem is that Snoke's power action depends on using your other characters' character dice, and IG-88's power action requires the use of a bounty hunter dice, which is only his. So my first concern when I was building this deck is how to protect IG-88's dice since half of your effectiveness goes out the window when one of his dice are removed. Initially I was planning on putting Resilient in this deck to protect him, but then I saw the spoiled IG-2000. This support's die becomes a bounty hunter dice when you have another bounty hunter in play, giving you a third dice you can use one of your power actions on. The second thing, to adding another bounty hunter dice to your pool, that this comp requires is bounties. IG-88 needs those bounties spread across your opponent's team to make the most use of his power action.
Because of these two requirements, the deck design is a bit odd, not running too many extra dice supports or upgrades, but rather putting the emphasis on the character dice, and making them work for you. And so our deck analysis will adapt to reflect that.
Bounties: These will turn on IG-88's power action, which are critical to your early game.
Bounty Board-Since your deck is contingent on having bounties out, the Bounty Board facilitates that, giving you the ability to select which bounty fits your needs the best, and play it.
Dead or Alive-When I saw IG-88 and his ability, I saw a problem: bounties trigger when you defeat a character, and so you want to put all of the bounties on your next kill. But IG-88 wants bounties on all of your opponent's characters to increase the effectiveness of his power action. So you are wasting a bounty to get the ability off properly. Not so with Dead or Alive. You want to put Dead or Alive on your last target, because it benefits you more if the character is still alive. But you want to play it early in the game so that you can gain resources from it the whole game.
Wanted-It comes into play for free, and it gives you two resources upon defeating the opposing character. It is a great early bounty when resources are going to be a bit more restricted.
Enticing Reward-This bounty is really good because for 1 cost you can play an expensive equipment or weapon for free. So it give you a bounty you need for IG, and increases your damage output in mid game once the character goes down.
Equipment and Upgrades: We are bringing these to the game because Snoke needs a way to close out games once IG-88 dies, and because we can play them for free with Enticing Reward.
Gauntlet Rockets-These are rather iffy. They can only be played on IG-88 since Snoke is not a bounty hunter, but they do have a lot of potential, and the option to flip them to a higher side is great.
Pulse Cannon-This is an awesome looking new card that can have incredible damage output, especially if you’re playing it for free off of an Enticing Reward. It should be played on Snoke to increase his damage output late game. And the negative of using its power action slowing you down isn’t a big deal since you’re power actioning a good number of your dice individually already. What’s one more?
Vibrocutlass-Playing this for free mid game can cause a huge damage swing, with its massive sides. I would actually play this on IG-88 because it has redeploy, and while it's on a yellow character you don’t have to pay for its pay sides. So you can get more benefit before they take down the bounty hunter, but you don’t lose your investment.
Support Damage Dealers:
IG-2000-This support is incredible with IG-88 in play. Before you lose your character, it has a 2 range and two 3 range sides all for free, and all of which can be resolved with IG-88’s power action since it counts as a bounty hunter while he is in the game. It is an important dice to have since it allows you to get value out of both power actions even when one of IG-88’s character dice are removed.
Vader's Fist-This card is a value play. Vader’s Fist is extremely powerful, and after defeating a character with one or two copies of wanted on them, you will suddenly find yourself swimming in cash. Why not use it for the best card in the game.
Hunt them Down-Since you are planning to play a lot of bounties, this card can do up to three surprise damage from your hand. You will want to wait until you’re doing at least two additional damage to use it unless you can secure an important kill with just one.
Take Flight-Being able to reroll an important dice to the correct side then power action it is huge value. And your most important dice are all yellow.
Doubt-As always, play with caution.
Hidden Motive-At the least it’s a reroll, at the most it’s removal.
In the Crosshairs-There are times when you will have some extra money, and mass removal is great to have as a backup.
Isolation-Snoke is likely not going to be your opponent’s target, so this should always be on. If he is, your late game kill potential should easily make up for the dead card.
Prey Upon-Since it is your goal to have a bounty on every character, this should be able to affect every dice except support dice.
Shakedown-I read the description of this card once that it is the card that makes your opponent ask to read it. It is a 0 cost card that if you are showing a disrupt you can removed a dice showing a value of 2 or less. You start the game with four dice that have one disrupt side, and almost every other dice you can play also has a disrupt side.
Nightsister Lair-This battlefield choice was a tossup. I almost included Jabba’s Palace, since it gives you the same one resource advantage, and it can give you a disrupt while you can spot IG-88. But the Nightsister Lair will give you the resource advantage round one, which puts it over the edge. And the possibility of your opponent getting value of out the Nightsister Lair is much lower than them getting value out of Jabba’s Palace.
For my opening hand I would want to see Dead or Alive or another bounty, Bounty Board, a zero cost mitigation, preferably Shakedown, IG-2000, and a weapon like the Vibrocutlass. You play your bounty first to get the money back from the Nightsister Lair. You want to play your Bounty Board next so you can pull a second bounty, Dead or Alive if you haven’t played it already, then play that. That will give you two bounties, turning on IG-88’s ability. If you get the money bringing in the IG-2000 will be a big boon to your team. From there your goal is to use all of your power actions, first IG-88’s to deal damage across the board, then Snoke’s for burst potential against your primary target. The Vibrocutlass will be a good pitch for rerolls card, since you don't plan to pay for it but plan to recur it with your Enticing Reward you play later.
To be fair, this is all conjecture, and since this deck relies on combos it is more likely to be a miss. But the idea seems incredibly fun. And right now, as we’re exploring this new set, trying something new and fun is exactly what we should be doing. So go open some packs and enjoy all of the new cards we get to see this set!
Thanks for reading!
Author- People's Champion