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See If You Can’t Lockdown that Gambit

The Gambit deck, while Joey made it sound simple to build in his Gambit Article, is actually one of the harder deck types to construct and win a majority of the time with. As discussed previously a gambit deck is based around a certain combo and this combo usually doesn't develop until the late game (8 or more turns). The trick is building a solid deck that can get you past the assaults early on with a high consistency. This is the basis of this deck, getting you to the late game 80% of the time or better.

The first and most important decision to make is what sort of gambit you want and are willing to make. There are many different categories that you can pick from, such as, Discard, Build, Power, and Force denial. However, my personal favorite is the Lockdown deck, this deck is based on one simple principle, if your opponent can't attack, then all your units stay around holding down arenas until you can get backup. In order to get the cards you need though, you can't just rely on pure luck of the draw, you need to regulate your card flow so that you are getting what you need when you need it. The two big cards that help in this regard are Jawa Sandcrawlers and Tyranus's Geonosian Speeder (A). However, both these cards factor into the term Gambit. Neither have any offensive capability; they are pure mechanical cards that get the job done far better than a more offensive card might. The Jawa Sandcrawler is great for quickly cycling through your deck, and with 7 health it can stick around even during intense battles. On the other hand is Tyranus's Geonosian Speeder (A). Having only 1 health just about any unit could take the speeder out in one attack, and at 6 build points that could be a very costly mistake if pressed into an offensive position. But it's the ability of this card to pull any battle card that guaranties its protection. The trick is knowing what one card is certain to keep this unit alive. Using prevention cards such as Pilot's Dodge and High Force Dodge can be effective, but they are very costly and only work once. What is needed is a cheap card that prevents all damage and the answer to that need is simple, Peace on Naboo. By using Tyranus's Geonosian Speeder (A) to get Peace on Naboo you can prevent all damage done in the Ground arena for up to four turns, this gives us four valuable turns to prepare our own offensive.

With two Trade Federation Control Cores, and 4 turns to build them, most any Light Side player will be shaking in fear. Also in the ground arena is the Death Star Hangar Bay, for one build point you can tap any, yes any, space unit that your opponent has out. This not only keeps them from attacking, but also if they are trying to retreat and rebuild it keeps a unit in the area to get pounded by your own space forces. This is an especially good ability when so many of current Light Side decks run Luke's X-Wing (B), X-Wing Attack Formations, and the Millennium Falcon. But with all these support units in ground, how will you ever take total control and dominate ground?

That's where the space arena comes into play. With a Peace on Naboo more than likely coming out to protect your ground forces, you'll be preparing your attack in space, with bombard, of course. The Dark Side has a huge array of well priced effective bombard units such as, Imperial Star Destroyer (bombard 3), Victory Class Star Destroyer (bombard 2), and the Trade Federation Battleship (bombard 4). With this sort of a beat down coming, few opposing players will leave space empty for the free bombard, or leave their guys in ground to get pounded away at, forcing their attention on space and allowing you to save your Peace on Naboo for when it is most needed. One thing you have to watch out for is that swarm decks can be brutal against the huge armada of capital ships that you have, they are slow and will never attack first against smaller ships. The new TIE Fighter DS-73-3 is the perfect solution to stopping swarms. Not only does it have intercept which can come in very handy, but it also has Stun, so if it can attack first and get some damage in, the amount of damage that can be dealt to you is greatly reduced. Another vital space unit needed for the defense of your Capital ships is Slave I (B), at 50/5/4 with Stun 3; it can at the very least severely hamper your opponent's attack power, if not destroy the unit outright. With the power of the Capital Ships and the stun ability of the TIEs and Slave I, not much can stand against the powerful space arena this deck has to offer, and that's before we even get to the rest of the battle cards.

The Character arena is one of the hardest arenas to construct in such a way that you can lockdown your opponent, but it can be done with some very sneaky tricks. The IT-0 Interrogator Droid is without a doubt one of the most devastating cards to an opponent's play. It allows you to take ANY battle or mission card out of their hand, and at a cost of only 4 build it gets this done very efficiently and cheaply. As you can do this turn after turn, it doesn't take long before this card has devastated even the best combo of battle and missions that your opponent could have. Another underestimated card in this deck is the Death Star Superlaser Gunner, his ability to give ALL units with bombard, an additional 2 bombard is brutal, and for only 2 build points 2 or 3 of these Gunners can be brought out quickly, bulking your Capital Ships to phenomenal heights. For a defensive behemoth Darth Sidious (A) makes a wise choice, with his cost effective evade and his wonderful ability of being able to see what your opponent is building he is an obvious choice for a long game deck. The offensive part of the character area cannot be overlooked and this is where one of the most underhanded, yet legal, tricks comes into play. Darth Tyranus (D) the best "tap zapper" out there, with 50 speed he is faster than most unstacked Light Side characters and with the development of more Rebel decks he is even more devastating. But that is not the sneaky part, the sneaky part is when you throw Lull in the Fighting into the mix, now you can pay 2 force, deal out 4 damage, and not let your opponent have a chance to strike back. There is only one flaw to this trick; you must be faster than your opponent for this to work, but with the IT-0 Interrogator devastating your opponent's hand there is little need to worry about an unexpected Windu's Solution or Anakin's Inspiration. San Hill (A) is in the character arena for his additional build, the +2 build can come in very handy over the long run and giving your opponent +1 build is a small price to pay for the advantage that you will gain.

Last, but not least are the Battle and Mission cards that are the heart and soul of this deck. With lots resting on your Battle cards you must choose carefully otherwise you will have way too many cards that will never be used and only cause clutter in your deck. There are a few must haves in this deck such as Lull in the Fighting and Peace on Naboo, but in order to make this deck work you also need at least 1-2 escape routes in case what you are planning falls through. Pilot's Dodge is one of those cards that most decks would flounder without; it is a very cost effective card that can keep you alive in the most desperate of times. Another great card for damage prevention is Tyranus's Gift, instead of preventing damage already done it stops the damage from ever being rolled by taking away 5 power, this is very effective against those pesky X-Wing Attack Formations and Luke's X-Wing (B). The heavy hitting Unfriendly Fire is a must in order to take out the swarms of X-Wings that you will more than likely be facing in Space. And what is the most annoying card right now in the Light Side card base for ground, yep the Rebel Armored Freerunner, but what can take those out without a second thought, Down in Flames. For 4 force you can get rid of those pesky Freerunners, a price I would be more than willing to pay. There is only one single Mission card in this deck, seeing as how mission cards can't be plucked out using Tyranus's Geonosian Speeder (A). Even without the ability to draw it with the speeder, having at least one Your Powers Are Weak is a must in a deck that locks down the game. Your opponent will more than likely start to do some strategic retreats once he sees what your deck is up to and in the mean time both you and your opponent will be racking in the force. Getting rid of all the force your opponent has saved up will certainly hurt him, and potentially give you a huge advantage. The wise use of the battle cards can gain you a huge advantage over your opponent and pull out a win from even the direst of circumstances.

Now that the foundation is laid for the basics of what a Lockdown Gambit deck should center around, lets take a look at what the deck looks like…

4 IT-0 Interrogator Droid
4 Death Star Superlaser Gunner
2 Darth Tyranus (D)
1 Darth Tyranus (A)
1 Darth Sidious (A)
1 Darth Sidious (B)
2 San Hill (A)
4 Jawa Sandcrawler
4 Tyranus's Geonosian Speeder (A)
2 Death Star Hangar Bay
2 Trade Federation Control Core
4 Imperial Star Destroyer
4 Victory-Class Star Destroyer
4 Trade Federation Battleship
3 TIE Fighter DS-73-3
1 Slave I (B)
4 Peace on Naboo
4 Lull in the Fighting
3 Pilots Dodge
3 Tyranus's Gift
2 Down in Flames
1 Your Powers Are Weak
15 Character
12 Ground
16 Space
16 Battle
1 Mission
0 Equipment
0 Location

Strategy Advice

When you draw your initial hand you are going to want to keep all the Peace on Naboos and Lull in the Fightings that you draw, seeing that they are a major part in your gambit combo. It is usually a good idea to keep Your Powers Are Weak if you get it, however feel free to mulligan the Pilot's Dodges and Tyranus's Gifts. The best possible setup (depending on how your opponent plays) would be to have out two IT-0 Interrogator Droids, one Death Star Superlaser Gunner, a Tyranus's Geonosian Speeder (A), one Trade Federation Battleship, and one Imperial Star Destroyer.

In order to fully utilize this deck you must be smart and look at how your opponent sets up. If he plays light in Character you want to play as many utility units as you can and use their abilities to your advantage. If your opponent plays light in Ground that gives you the perfect opportunity to use your Tyranus's Geonosian Speeder (A) to get out all the battle cards you want without having to worry about taking damage. Also the use of strategic retreating can come in very handy when you cannot afford to take any damage.

While this deck can seem very weak in the early game, if it is given the chance to stretch the game out you can get a huge advantage over your opponent. Your opponent will be going crazy as turn after turn you take away any and all advantage he could get through battle and mission cards. Given 3-4 turns this deck can unload a large amount of damage and setback your opponent so severely that nothing he tries to do can stop the onslaught of bombard that you unleash turn after turn. The last tip of advice is to always make sure that you are thinking at least 2-3 turns ahead and May the Dice be with you.