Win, Lose or Draw
Chewie shows off his drawing skills
Everyone knows that drawing cards is a good thing as it gives you more options. Having the right card at the right time is a key to victory in any card game. Usually, drawing cards is its own reward. But with Battle of Yavin’s new Chewbacca (B), drawing cards is in and of itself a key to victory, regardless of what you draw. With the (B) version deployed, you’ll always be able to heal at least one point of damage each turn with your normal draw during each Ready Phase. Add to that the myriad of other card drawing techniques, like Wedding of Destiny, Jawa Sandcrawler, and Corellian Star Shuttle and you’ve got the potential to heal up even the most damaged of Space and Ground units turn after turn. Healthy units and plenty of Battle cards to back them up is a winning strategy that’s hard to beat.
The first step is to gather up some Chewbacca (B) cards. To make sure one can be drawn early in the game, three is a good number to go with. Since the deck will have lots of drawing power, it shouldn’t be too hard to get one even if you don’t draw one during setup. For stacking purposes (mainly for longevity) the (A), (C), and (D) versions of Chewie are also necessary. Han Solo (A) and Jocasta Nu (A) each provide extra card draws each turn, so they combo well with Chewie (B). The only dedicated Pilot in the deck is Luke Skywalker (G), but there is the option for him to have some company as both Han and Chewie have a Transport Pilot version.
In order for a unit to get the healing provided by Chewie (B), it has to survive combat. Hard to do if the unit has 3 Health or less. Transports have that extra Health, so they should be able to stick around turn after turn. The best of the Transports is the long awaited Millennium Falcon. It’s also the best place to put a Pilot (or two!) as it has Shields and can stack up for extra toughness. Another tough Transport is the Naboo Royal Starship. Very efficiently priced, this unit can withstand a Star Destroyer attack. Taking the Transport concept to the extreme, I’ve also included the Corellian Star Shuttle. It does OK in combat, but its ability to draw a card is what makes it a must for this deck. For extra protection, some Intercept will keep the Transports alive long enough to get healed. The X-wing Red Three is the unit of choice as it’s faster than your average TIE Fighter. Once they die off, bring one back with a Senatorial Cruiser. Lastly, when up against a horde of TIEs, the Shields of Padme's Yacht (A) will keep this unit in the fight. Healing up a unit with Shields is really disheartening as it’s hard enough to get the hits on it in the first place. I considered the slightly larger Naboo Cruiser, but the 10 Speed is just too slow. Anything that’s slower than the Death Star just isn’t worth it.
In the Ground arena, I wanted a combination of high Health and card drawing. One unit covers both of those criteria: Jawa Sandcrawler. Another good card drawer is Jedi Patrol, though it doesn’t have much health. The Tatooine Hangar has a high Health and will help cut the costs of the mid-range price Space units the deck employs. Finally, for great Health and some Ion Cannon action, the Mobile Assault Cannon was chosen over the Naboo Spaceport. The speed of the Cannon is enough that a well-timed speed-boosting Battle card can make it attack before anything else.
Pilot's Speed is the card I referenced above. For just 1 Force the Cannon is boosted to a speedy 70. It will also help the slower Transports catch up and surpass most of the Dark Side Starfighters. However, the Transports will need more help against a swarm of TIEs. Even a Falcon with two Pilots will only take out one unit a turn. Blast It! will make them pay if they attack the same valuable unit with a fleet of TIEs. For damage prevention, Pilot’s Dodge is a staple of most decks and Luke’s Warning is a backup. The Warning is best played in Character to protect Chewie, but if a Space unit can be saved by preventing one point of damage then it’s worth it. Especially if Chewie (B) is in play to heal it up the following turn. Sometimes you just want to make a quick attack with a fully stacked and double-piloted Falcon, then get the heck out of Dodge. Try an Obi-Wan’s Guidance to make sure all the attack dice hit, then Outrun the return fire to protect your 15+ Build investment.
For that quick jolt of healing via Chewie (B), Wedding of Destiny will get you three cards and heal up three Health. Because the deck has so much drawing power, I decided to go with more than 60 cards (for the first time in this series of articles!), just so the deck doesn’t run out of cards.
Here’s what the deck looks like all put together…
After seeing your initial hand, mulligan a few cards if you don’t have a good selection of units. You are bound to end up with plenty of ways to draw extra cards at the end of setup, so as long as you have over 20 Build worth of units in your hand, you’ll be fine. A great setup would be: Chewbacca (B), Jocasta Nu (A), Tatooine Hangar, Jedi Patrol, Millennium Falcon (C), and a Naboo Royal Starship. When you do get a Hangar out during setup, it’s great to hold onto extra stackable Space units until the first turn as you can understack them for free.
Remember that if Chewie (B) is overmatched in Character, you can take all your healing draws during the Build step, then retreat him to safety. The high Health Space and Ground units should be able to hold on turn after turn. Just be sure to save Force so you can always protect the Space and Ground units with Battle cards.
While there are Han and Chewie versions that can go into Space to Pilot Transports, I don’t recommend doing it unless you are just looking to have a good laugh. It’s too risky as the Dark Side will pull out all the stops to kill whatever they are aboard. You might be able to get away with it if you have an Outrun in hand. I wouldn’t suggest trying it without one.