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He Who Rolls the Most Dice…

Must be playing units with Retaliate.

By now, everyone's seen Retaliate in action. It's a pretty fun ability, but it's often times easy to avoid as you can just attack a different unit instead. The key to making it work is to make sure that your unit with Retaliate either has Intercept as well or is the only unit in the arena. The latter is a risky proposition, unless the unit is big. This deck uses some big units and a lot of Force, so see if you agree with my choices for the ultimate Light Side Retaliate deck.

The best and most efficient Retaliate unit is Chewbacca (A), as he has a built in Intercept ability and a deadly Pay 3 Arrow Retaliate 6. It's the biggest one in the game and enough to scare off Tusken Sharpshooters and most Stormtroopers. I'd rather use Force to pay for Retaliate instead of Intercept, so I want to stack him up quickly so he can fight in the arena by himself for the most part. Two copies of each version will ensure a quick stacking and other options. Chewbacca (B) is a great version for when the Ground and Space arena need some healing. It's also the best unit to have on top if you know you are going to pull out of Character. You can still deploy Chewie (B) during build and get healing for any draws you make during that phase. You'll miss out on the free draw during the ready phase as he'll still be retreated at that time. When Chewie does get in trouble, the Intercepting Obi-Wan (G) and (F) can come to the rescue. While the (G) version is the most efficient for the cost, the extra Force that can be gained when the (F) version gets discarded is much needed. With a bunch of Force, Chewie and Obi-Wan in play you can do some crazy stuff. If Chewie is attacked, you can activate his Retaliate, then have Obi-Wan Intercept. The Retaliate still resolves after the dice are rolled against Obi-Wan. Once the Dark Side sees that, they won't attack Chewie again. When they direct their attacks against Obi-Wan, Chewie (A) can Intercept, activate Retaliate, then Obi-Wan can Intercept again. You might want to save this one for when you have Force coming out of your ears, though. Also adding to the theme of the deck is Jek Porkins (A). He can Pilot any Starfighter and give it Pay 1 Arrow Retaliate 2. Don't overlook Jek as a quick Character arena reinforcement. His cost-effective stats mean he might actually survive an attack from a Stormtrooper or Tarkin.

Space is the place for Retaliate. In general, smaller units are played here, so Retaliate can be devastating. The Battle card Blast It! works exclusively in Space, so getting the most mileage out of it is a priority. The easiest way to make it work is to deploy one huge unit, so your opponent doesn't have any other option about what to attack. The unit of choice is the Acclamator-Class Assault Ship. With 10 Health it can stand up to an entire swarm of TIE Fighters. But often times, the Dark Side won't even bother to attack when Blast It! has been played as the 3 dice of Retaliate would likely knock out half their fleet. There are two other Light Side units with built in Retaliate: Y-wing Gold Two and X-wing Squadron. The latter even has Intercept, making it a definite Retaliate threat. There's one other way to get some Retaliate in Space. Jek Porkins (A) can pilot a Starfighter and grants it Pay 1 Arrow Retaliate 2. If you are feeling particularly suicidal, you could throw Jek on the Y-wing to get double Retaliate. However, Jek will find it much safer aboard the Naboo Starfighter Squadron as it can survive a hit or two from the smaller TIE Fighters.

In Ground, there aren't any Retaliate units to hassle the Dark Side, but with the Let the Wookiee Win Battle card, you can give it to any unit for just 2 Force. There's no reason to go with just one big unit in that case. However, the protection of shields is another good way to make sure it takes lots of attacks to destroy one of your units. The AT-TE Troop Transport and AT-TE Walker 71E are fast, efficient and have shields. Adding some survivability to the Ground and cutting down the cost of the Acclamator is the Tatooine Hangar. It's 3 Power doesn't do much, but if you can play Let the Wookiee Win and get in a few extra dice of damage it might actually have a chance to put the finishing touches on something. Finally, for some card draw help, a couple of Jawa Sandcrawlers will help out. Even if you tap it, LTWW will allow it to do some damage.

The Character arena is where the Retaliate dice get serious. Even though Retaliate dice don't stack up like Bombard or Speed, multiple versions of each version of Chewie will ensure that he lives through some attacks. When Chewie gets a lot of damage on him and won't survive the arena, there are two options. Either deploy Obi-Wan Kenobi (G) or Obi-Wan Kenobi (F) to Intercept for him or put the (B) version on top and retreat him each turn. The (B) version is the best one, even though it has the lowest Retaliate. The ability to heal Ground and Space units is well worth it. If Obi-Wan is around, the Dark Side would be foolish to attack Chewie as he can activate his Retaliate, then have Obi-Wan Intercept. Chewie's Retaliate still resolves when the Dark Side attack against Obi-Wan is over. Pretty sneaky. Another trick is to just deploy a heavily damaged Chewie (B) during build to take advantage of him when you use your Jawa Sandcrawler or Wedding of Destiny. Once you are doing building, retreat him back to safety.

In addition to the Retaliate Battle cards I've already mentioned, Jedi Intervention is useful in Space or Character when one unit among the rest has Intercept. You've got to have a way to force your opponent to attack your Retaliate units. To keep those Retaliate units alive a bit is the ubiquitous Pilot's Dodge. Supplying all the cards and Force necessary for all these combos is Wedding of Destiny and Seek the Council's Wisdom. When Chewie gets overly damaged, the best way to keep him going is Mending, as it costs a lot more to rebuild him back up.

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

Roll 'em
2 Chewbacca (A)
2 Chewbacca (B)
2 Chewbacca (C)
2 Chewbacca (D)
2 Jek Porkins (A)
1 Obi-Wan Kenobi (F)
2 Obi-Wan Kenobi (G)
3 AT-TE Troop Transport
3 AT-TE Walker 71E
4 Tatooine Hangar
2 Jawa Sandcrawler
2 X-wing Squadron
4 Y-wing Gold Two
3 Acclamator-Class Assault Ship
4 Naboo Starfighter Squadron
4 Blast It!
4 Let the Wookiee Win
2 Jedi Intervention
4 Pilot's Dodge
3 Wedding of Destiny
3 Seek the Council's Wisdom
2 Mending
13 Character
12 Ground
13 Space
14 Battle
8 Mission
0 Equipment
0 Location

Strategy Advice

After seeing your opening hand, you should mulligan everything except for a Seek the Council's Wisdom unless you already have 4-5 good units in hand. If you draw an Acclamator, make that your only play in Space as it can utilize the Blast It! cards without needing to Intercept. A good opening setup (subject to Dark Side plays) would be: Acclamator, AT-TE Walker 71E, Jawa Sandcrawler, Obi-Wan Kenobi (G), and Chewbacca (B) with (A) and (D) understacked.

A first turn Seek the Council's Wisdom really helps the deck throw a lot more dice at the Dark Side than they can handle. Once you have a bit of Force built up, the deck can make surprising and dramatic comebacks. If you're holding a Blast It! (or two) and a Let the Wookiee Win, why not play them all at the same time? After (usually) losing the attacking unit, the Dark Side often times calls off the rest of the attacks in the arena, for fear of losing all their units before you've even rolled your own attack. Sometimes you can even bluff an opponent into not attacking with a low Health unit for fear of losing it to a hidden Retaliate card in hand. Overall, this is a fun deck to play and frustrating to play against. Almost like a Dark Side, huh?