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The Dark Side's Answer

This Dark Side deck pulls out all the stops.

The Light Side has great card drawing and damage prevention abilities. Wedding of Destiny and Jocasta Nu (A) are efficient for card drawing, while Battle cards like Yoda's Intervention and Moment of Truth are efficient ways to keep units alive. And now we're seeing the Evade ability on a lot of units outside of the Character arena, especially for the Light Side. They have Luke's X-wing (B), Millennium Falcon (B), X-wing Attack Formation, and Jedi Heroes with the Evade ability, while the Dark Side only has Vader's TIE Fighter (A). All that prevention can be hard to get around, as prevention is much more reliable that power boosters. The Dark Side needs to find a way to negate the Light Side's strengths. This Dark Side deck is the answer to all the prevention and card drawing the Light Side has going for it.

I'll start with the deck's Battle and Mission cards, as they are key to the deck's strategy. The theme to the Battle cards is big, game-winning effects. The most common trick the deck will attempt to perform is the classic Weapon Response and/or Tyranus's Gift, followed by Rebel Surrender. This combo is truly the best way to work around the Light Side damage prevention abilities, as the attacking unit is simply discarded. It only works in Ground and Character, so its main targets will be the Assault Walkers, Jedi Heroes, Obi-Wan, Jocasta, and any Jedi Character or tough Ground unit with 5 Power or less. Also able to produce big effects are Vader's Fury and Unfriendly Fire. Due to their high Force costs, I decided on just one of each, which should be enough as they are cards you usually don't want in your opening hand anyway. Finally, Pilot's Dodge provides the best damage prevention the Dark Side has access to.

There are only two types of Mission cards in the deck: Capture Obi-Wan and Price of Failure. The Capture helps in two ways as it keeps the Light Side from being able to use all its prevention and it gives you extra Force to play Battle cards. The Price of Failure is there to make sure you draw your Battle card combos and always have the right unit at the right time.
I playtested the deck with Disturbance in the Force, but I preferred the Captures as the extra Force was great for the Battle cards combos.

In the Character arena, the IT-0 Interrogator Droid is a key to the deck as it can get rid of troublesome Light Side cards like Yoda's Intervention, Anakin's Inspiration, Seek the Council's Wisdom, and Wedding of Destiny. Grand Moff Tarkin (A) is where the deck gets tricky, as it will grant Pay 1 Arrow Retaliate 4 to any Jedi unit. This allows for a great combination with the Intercepting Vaders (A and C). The +1 Build he delivers makes up for his high 6 Build cost if you can keep him alive for a couple of turns. The Light Side will no doubt wish to get rid of the Interrogators or Tarkin, but Vader can Intercept and send some dice back to the Light Side attacker. Vader's (C) version is the most efficient, so there are multiple copies to make sure one is drawn. Darth Vader (D) is the new Starfighter Pilot version of Vader, but is mainly in the deck for stacking purposes. However, once you draw your Vader's Fury, you could send Vader (D) into Space, especially to pilot Vader's TIE Fighter (A) or (B). With him onboard, you can make a devastating Vader's Fury attack against everything the Light Side has in Space. Vader (D) can also protect a Space unit from being destroyed if you use Unfriendly Fire in Space.

The Ground arena is where much of the deck's utility resides. When I first playtested the deck, I used Trade Federation Control Cores to make sure I could take over the arena. However, that huge unit just scared the Light Side away, so they spent more build in Character building Jocasta and in Space building Corellian Star Shuttles. I don't want the Light Side to have "spare" points to use for card draw, so I replaced the Control Cores with Commerce Guild Droid Platoons, with their excellent Ion Cannon 3. I want the Light Side to try and oppose me in Ground, so I can have the opportunity to play Rebel Surrender on them. I also plan to overload the arena by playing multiple copies of Tatooine Hangar. This is a unit that I'll deploy even if I'm already winning in the Ground, just for discount on Space units when (if) I make a move there and it can help to dissuade the Light Side from making a return into Ground. In the same way, the 3 Build Death Star Cannon Tower is a unit that is cheap enough to deploy even after the arena has been won. Finally, since there are several duplicate unique characters in the deck, a Jawa Sandcrawler is a good way to get rid of unneeded cards.

Since Rebel Surrender doesn't work in Space, the deck doesn't have quite as many tricks here… or does it. Take a look at the Sith Infiltrator (A) and Vader's TIE Fighter (A) and (B). Notice that they have the subtype: Jedi. This allows them to utilize the Pay 1 Arrow Retaliate 4 granted by Tarkin (A). Works very well in Space, where four dice of damage is enough to take out some Starfighters, especially since Shields don't work against it. When you want to annoy the Light Side, supplement your Ion Cannon peppering with the attack and dash ability of Tyranus's Solar Sailer (A). It can also be a good place to put Vader (D) as he can attack at Speed 80, then retreat to avoid any counterattacks. However, Vader's TIE Fighter (A) is the best place to put Vader (D) as he'll last a heck of a long time, if you've saved up some Force. Finally, for some quick reinforcements, the Droid Starfighter DFS-1VR can get around damage prevention with his six dice overload attack.

Here's what the deck looks like all put together…

The Answer
3 Grand Moff Tarkin (A)
1 Darth Vader (A)
3 Darth Vader (C)
1 Darth Vader (D)
4 IT-0 Interrogator Droid
4 Commerce Guild Droid Platoon
1 Jawa Sandcrawler
4 Tatooine Hangar
4 Death Star Cannon Tower
3 Vader's TIE Fighter (A)
2 Vader's TIE Fighter (B)
2 Tyranus's Solar Sailer (A)
2 Sith Infiltrator (A)
3 Droid Starfighter DFS-1VR
4 Pilot's Dodge
4 Weapon Response
4 Tyranus's Gift
3 Rebel Surrender
1 Unfriendly Fire
1 Vader's Fury
2 Price of Failure
4 Capture Obi-Wan
12 Character
13 Ground
12 Space
17 Battle
6 Mission
0 Equipment
0 Location

Strategy Advice

After seeing your initial hand, feel free to discard all Battle and Mission cards if you're short on units, although it's often a good idea to keep a Capture Obi-Wan if you can manage it. Using the Capture on Turn 1 can severely cripple the Light Side. The extra Force will come in handy, allowing all the Jedi units to Retaliate or to power up the Battle card combos. That 4 dice of Retaliate works wonders when the Light Side is already low on Force.

I find that the best possible setup (subject to Light Side builds) to be: Darth Vader (C), IT-0 Interrogator Droid, Droid Starfighter DFS-1VR, Tatooine Hangar, and 2 Commerce Guild Droid Platoons. I sometimes use Price of Failure on the little Starfighter in the first turn, as I don't plan on coming back into Space until I've peppered it with Ion Cannons for several turns. This deck works best if you overload the Ground arena, continuing to play units there even after you've taken it over. Everything you deploy there will help you win in Space, so you can't go wrong deploying a Ground unit.

Finally, be sure you save 2 Force for your Sith Infiltrator (A) and Vader's TIE Fighter (A) should they get knocked out. Sometimes you may have to forego the Retaliation to ensure they make it back to your hand. This is especially important once you have a few Tatooine Hangars in play as you can rebuild those Starfighters for next to nothing.