Star Wars: Destiny – ePoe/eMaz – A Strategy Exploration
The UK National Star Wars: Destiny Tournament is this weekend. Where I have often mentioned on this blog that I have been known to attend national board game tournaments, my friends are absolutely huge Star Wars: Destiny players. They are playing in the nationals this weekend and, to make up numbers, I have been roped in a few times over the past couple of weeks to play with decks they have built. More on this in a bit, but first let’s talk about the game.
How Do You Play The Game?
Star Wars: Destiny is a dice based, deck building game designed by Fantasy Flight. The players each build a deck of thirty, with 30pts’ worth of permanent champions. These are characters within the Star Wars universe, with 30pts often comprising of two or three characters who work well together.
Said characters, along with upgrades and support cards, have dice (events don’t) which change their effects turn-by-turn. These can be attacking, focusing, removing cards from your opponents’ hands, specials, and a few other effects like gaining resources. All of the cards that get dice get one dice by default. Elite characters, however, get two. These are referred to as e-characters, hence the title of this blog being about ePoe and eMaz.
Each turn the players can do one action, from playing cards to rolling out effects. They can only do one action, making it a fast moving game; however, certain special abilities and dice can break that rule. Like all good card games – if there is a rule then there is a way of breaking that rule.
So What Have You Been Playing?
Over the past couple of weeks I have been given “difficult” decks to play against, not necessarily with, so my friends can get the practice they want against specifically popular decks. My first one, for instance, was an eLuke/Rey deck, which was (I have to admit) really fun and got me more interested in the game. From there I was given a full stack of free cards from my gaming group. You can read all about that in this blog: Star Wars: Destiny – A Force To Be Reckoned With.
A couple of days ago, however, I was given a new deck to play with. I have to admit that, as a nerd, I was a little bit disappointed when I found out I wasn’t playing an original character but rather I would be spending the evening as Poe Dameron and Maz Kanata. I felt a little bit more optimistic when I was told they were both elites – I did have hope after all!
Why ePoe and eMaz?
ePoe and eMaz are a combination that forms a relatively holistic combination, and it is because of this that it is predicted they will make a number of appearances during the Star Wars: Destiny national tournament. Together they have been seen as the basis for a brutal aggro deck, the likes of which can destroy a pair of characters quickly and efficiently.
These two characters, in particular, work well together because of their special abilities. ePoe, for instance, has the ability to, when he rolls a focus, discard a dice card (a card that usually needs a dice) from your hand to resolve any dice face for that card. eMaz, on the other hand, allows you to resolve two dice instantly after you have rolled her out, without having to wait for extra turns. This means the two characters can hit and hit fast, decimating an enemy character within two or three turns.
The rest of the deck is made up of three types of cards. These are cards that keep Poe and Maz alive – like Field Medic (which restores health) and Dug In (which provides three shields) – and usually find themselves being discarded for rerolls. Coming to think of it, maybe that’s why I kept losing…
The other two types are events to help mess with your opponent’s dice. The whole idea behind these is if you reduce the amount your opponent can throw at you then you can survive for longer. These include cards like Electroshock (which help you remove opponents’ high damage dice), Loth-Cat and Mouse (which again removes dice) and the amazing Retreat (your opponent gets one more turn before the end of the round, and then the round ends). These are all designed to keep the characters alive, as well as irritate your opponents when they feel restricted each turn.
Finally, the third category of cards is simply titled “cards-for-Poe-to-throw”. These are all cards for Poe to use as weapons, resolving the (imaginary) dice to have the effect he wants before putting them in the discard pile. This includes cards like Thermal Detonator (which does a lot of damage), Rocket Launcher (which does even more damage), and The Millennium Falcon (which does so much damage it may as well be called the Damagian Falcon). These, if you are unlucky and keep rolling resources instead, can simply be put into play at a later date to really mess things up.
What is the Downside to Poe and Maz?
I am far from an expert Destiny player, however, there did appear to be a few downsides to Poe and Maz as a combo.
The main downside, however, seems to be the problem with most aggro decks. Namely, if you are playing against a highly defensive deck then you will have an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object. Poe and Maz are a “run in fast and trash the opponent” deck, so if anything stops them running in fast then the game will be incredibly painful for them.
Secondly, since the first two actions tend to be (1) roll out Poe and (2) roll out Maz then they can be done really early on in the round. This means they can sit there, dormant, whilst the opponent can bide their time and walk all over them. A clever opponent will use some of the game meta to know that they should wait before playing cards. Once Poe and Maz have rolled out, the worst is then potentially done.
A better player than I would be able to pace their game a bit better, but generally speaking it is a difficulty for any player (who wants to play ePoe/eMaz) to navigate. I…err…didn’t actually manage to win a single game…
So What Now?
So now, I game. Over the next few months you will probably see more and more Destiny posts appearing on this blog. There is plenty to analyse, and with my gaming group now providing me with well over £130 of free cards between them I have a starting force to be reckoned with. All I need are more characters and I am good to go.
My friends are entering the tournament this weekend, so there will be more on that also.
Finally, one of my gaming group (and closest friends) runs a brilliant blog. He is an awesome player, competing this weekend, and a right stand up guy. You can visit his blog here.
So…I’m Fairly New and Inexperienced
(In my best 1950s commercial voice) Are you a Destiny player? Do you have a wealth of advice and guidance to offer starting players? Have your say now in the comments section because I really need the help!