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Star Wars TCG Qualifiers: Newbury, Ohio

On May 15th, the 2004 Star Wars TCG Championship Series reached Newbury, Ohio. Michael Van Norman won first place that day, armed in part with his Light Side Jawa deck. Todd Harford took second, and provided the following comments on his decks and the Newbury Qualifier.

As always, our congratulations to the winners of completed Qualifiers, and best of luck to all SW:TCG players still in competition. (See this listing for a complete schedule.)

1st place, Michael Van Norman

Michael Van Norman: Light Side
4 Corde (A)
3 Het Nkik (A)
4 Jawa Leader
4 Jawa
3 Obi-Wan Kenobi (G)
4 Jawa Salvage Team
4 Jawa Salvage Squad
4 Jawa Collection Team
4 YV664 Light Freighter
1 Obi-Wan's Starfighter (B)
1 Luke's X-Wing (B)
1 Luke's X-Wing (C)
1 Millennium Falcon (B)
1 Millennium Falcon (D)
2 Millennium Falcon (E)
1 Millennium Falcon (F)
2 Tame the Beast
4 Homing Missile
4 Falcon's Needs
4 Departure Time
4 Lando's Trickery
18 Character
12 Ground
12 Space
18 Battle
0 Mission
0 Equipment
0 Location

2nd place, Todd Harford

A Wookie and his Droids
4 Chewbacca (G)
2 IG-88 (A)
2 Guri (A)
1 Leebo (A)
1 R2-D2 (G)
2 C-3PO (G)
1 EG-6 Power Droid
1 Yoda (D)
1 Yoda (E)
1 Saesee Tiin (A)
1 Luke's Snowspeeder (A)
1 Wedge's Snowspeeder (A)
2 Snowspeeder Rogue Two
4 Unmodified Snowspeeder
4 Jawa Sandcrawler
1 Millennium Falcon (D)
1 Millennium Falcon (E)
1 Millennium Falcon (G)
1 Millennium Falcon (H)
4 X-Wing Escort
1 Virago (A)
1 IG-2000 (A)
1 Obi-Wan's Starfighter (A)
1 Obi-Wan's Starfighter (B)
3 Jedi Starfighter 3R3
4 Han's Promise
3 Brutal Assault
3 Han's Sacrifice
3 Vendetta
4 Mos Eisley
16 Character
12 Ground
15 Space
17 Battle
0 Mission
0 Equipment
0 Location

Imperial Lockdown
1 Darth Vader (K)
1 Darth Vader (D)
1 Darth Vader (L)
1 Darth Vader (B)
1 Lando Calrissian (A)
4 San Hill (A)
2 Darth Sidious (B)
1 Darth Sidious (C)
4 Bespin Twin-Pod Cloud Car
4 Cloud City Wing Guard
1 Trade Federation Battleship Core
3 Jawa Sandcrawler
1 Slave I (A)
1 Slave I (C)
1 Slave 1 (D)
1 Slave 1 (E)
1 Slave 1 (F)
2 TIE Fighter DS-73-3
3 TIE Fighter DS-61-9
1 Tyranus's Solar Sailer
4 Falcon's Needs
1 Emperor's Bidding
4 Plan for the Future
3 Departure Time
3 Remember the Prophecy
4 Alter the Deal
1 Guidance of the Chancellor
4 Holoprojection Chamber
12 Character
12 Ground
11 Space
24 Battle
0 Mission
0 Equipment
0 Location

Mostly my playtesting group and I borrowed the ideas put forth by the Team Bus decks, both Light Side and Dark Side, and tried to improve upon their general construction.

"For the Dark Side, we added a single Emperor's Bidding, which proved to be absolutely insane against a field of non-Jedi based decks. We didn’t anticipate many Jedi being played, and it gave the Dark Side combo deck the extra power it needed to simply trump opponents running much more powerful Light Side strategies. Our Emperor's Bidding tech paid off with at least three game wins, and really made it impossible for our opponents to play their Light Side decks with confidence. There was just always that chance we'd pull the card while going off and say: 'Oops, I win.' Usually after game 1, this was enough to make people want to play their Dark Side decks.

"But honestly, the Light Side deck I ran was much more consistent, and even sported Jedi Starfighter 3R3s in the Space arena to combat our own secret Emperor's Bidding tech. Also, the addition of EG-6 Power Droids in the Character arena acted as proactive prevention in our Light Side deck, forcing opponents to either attack the Power Droid or suffer a second swing from Guri (A) or IG-88 (A) (which, with their speed, assured a second swing next turn anyway). We also ran a much different array of Battle cards, opting for a quicker, more aggressive kill with a Brutal Assault + Han's Sacrifice combo, rather than extra prevention.

"We banked on playing the Light Side deck most games during the day, and this happened to be the case. In fact, if fatigue and a fear of the very same Dark Side deck we were running hadn’t slightly impaired my judgment, I probably would have played the Light Side deck during the finals. Terrible draws with the rather inconsistent Dark Side deck did me in, and my opponent—despite having a game loss from mis-registering his deck—still trumped me.

"One deck that was a surprise was the Jawa Deck that I faced in the finals and lost to. Not so much on power level, but rather that someone had the guts to play Jawas! It was a pleasant surprise.

"I completely share my win with my team, because without playtesting and various ideas from each member, I couldn’t have qualified and secured the last two tickets we needed for GenCon. We're Team Flawless W00kiee, we're from Maryland, and our members are Todd Harford (me), Clint Harford (brother), Jason Greggs, and John Shade.

—Todd Harford, Team Flawless W00kiee