MBO Primer - DECK TO BEAT

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The Smoking Gungan
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MBO Primer - DECK TO BEAT

Post by The Smoking Gungan »

Objective (1)

Massassi Base Operations / One In A Million

Locations (9)

Yavin IV (SL)
Yavin IV: Docking Bay (SL)
Yavin IV: Jungle
Yavin IV: Massassi Headquarters
Yavin IV: Ruins
<> Swamp
<> Jungle
Endor
Death Star

Characters (11)

Luke Skywalker (V) (x2)
General Carlist Rieekan (V)
Mon Mothma (V)
Tigran Jamiro (V)
BoShek (V)
Wedge Antilles, Red Squadron Leader
EPP Obi-Wan (x2)
Princess Organa
Rebel Tech (V)

Starships (11)

Red 5 (V) (x2)
Red 7
Red Squadron 1
Han And Chewie And The Falcon
Home One
Liberty
Bright Hope (V)
Spiral (x2)
Gold Leader In Gold 1 (V)

Interrupts (20)

Heading For The Medical Frigate (SI)
Control & Tunnel Vision (x5)
Advance Preparations (V) (x3)
All Wings Report In & Darklighter Spin (x5)
Escape Pod (V) (x3)
I Have A Bad Feeling About This
Houjix (x2)

Effects (8)

An Unusual Amount Of Fear (SE)
Strike Planning (SE)
Squadron Assignments (SE)
Great Shot, Kid ! (SE)
Haven
The Time For Our Attack Has Come (V) (x2)
Imperial Atrocity (V)

Under An Unusual Amount Of Fear (10)
Enhanced Proton Torpedoes
Death Star: Trench
Attack Run
Nebulon B-Frigate
Redemption (V)
Don't Do That Again
A Tragedy Has Occurred
Battle Plan
Ultimatum
Aim High
Strategy
FUNNY NOTE: all the cards are CLASSIC. You can play the same deck in a
Classic tournament, besides the starting effect. LOL

________________________________

"take a deep breath…"


Cancel all what you might have been thinking, all your prejudices.

MBO can be played right.

I am actually 15-0 in tournament play with MBO, counting 1 State and 2
Europeans, Day 2 WC 2005, and Day 3 Consolation tournament 2005.
Fabien was playing it at EC 2004 too, and it went 2-1, losing only to
me (yep, we faced each other), so the loss really does not count
(could you say 17-0 then ?).
How can it be ?
Good deckbuiling and card choice, and especially "playing it at top
level and awareness", which means that few persons (few=none) know how
to play it at the fullest (else it would be winning more often, don't
you think ?). But we will get into all the tech farther on.

Since I do consider this deck to be my best deck ever, and that the
deck reached a good level of perfection, this Strategy article about
the deck is about the most complete I've ever done.

Here is the structure:
Chapter I: History
Chapter II: MBO Overall Principle (for those unfamiliar with it)
Chapter III: Deck Set-up and Strategy
Chapter IV: Questions
Chapter V: Tech that everyone should know about
Chapter VI: Tech not so obvious / that people forget
Chapter VI: Fine Tech
Chapter VII: Card Choices and Questions about them
Chapter VII: Analysis of Cards/Tactics that may seem problematic vs. MBO
Chapter VIII : Match-ups
Chapter IX: Epilogue


Chapter I: History

MBO has always been, in SWCCG history, a deck that mesmerized players,
who, in turn, tried to make a tournament worthy version of it. (wink
at Brandon Ruck and Kevin Brownell)
MBO, even some 4-5 years ago, was even seen at Worlds, Day 3, but that
was because of metagame: a courageous player, knowing his opponent in
quarters of finals, think he could win by building an anti-deck of
what his opponent would play. However, it turned out that the opponent
played a total different deck, and so MBO got crushed, and returned to
the limbo of "crappy" objectives to play with at a tournament.
Until… 2003.
There, a totally crazy guy (me), not finding any good (in his
opinion), different (I always play different decks at States to make
it harder) and funny LS deck to play States with, looked at MBO,
because of a single card: Advance Preparations (V).
Yes, not because of the MBO force loss, but because of this simple interrupt.
This is because I had found out that I could deploy more than ONE
proton torpedoes from under his starting effect, and so abuse Let's Go
Left and Combined Attack (this led to a PC clarification to prevent
it).
Since I guy didn't want to play any cheap strategy like Speed Y-W /
B-W HB with this cheesy tech, I looked to something nicer, and MBO,
being a "story-based" objective, caught my eye.
The 2003 State winner MBO was built the night before the tournament,
and is still on my DT page.
This success at States (I was undeafeated with MBO) pushed a lot of
players, around the world, to look again at this crappy objective.

Nowadays, 2 years later, I still love immensely MBO, which has become,
quite truly, the deck I am Master in.
This is why the version I build is, imho, the "state of the art" of
MBO right now, and you can't, and won't (even CubsFan now acknowledge
it ^_^) find any other MBO which can hope of merely getting close of
the perfection of this deck.

This 2005 deck, now, is even stronger, thanks to 1 V8 card (The Time
For Our Attack Has Come (V)), 1 V9 card (Mon Mothma (V)) and another
V10 card (Gold Leader In Gold 1 (V)). 3 cards, that brings it from "a
great deck" (a "pearl" would say Fabien in 2004, v6 era) to a deck
capable of winning Worlds.
The V6 version of 2004, while less perfect, won more easily games
because the DS meta was not as aggressive and strong as today.
Still, nowadays, the deck didn't age, and manage to hold its own
pretty well in every game it faced, crushing any opposition.
The secret of this deck has been kept hidden for ages, to allow me to
go to Worlds once without everyone knowing about it.
Now that I've gone to worlds, I'm posting it.
This deck is a bomb, a jewel, and best of all: few do really know how
to face MBO. The few who have some experience, usually are surprised
by this totally different approach, which cost them the game.
But even if you know what's coming at you, there's nothing really much
that you can do.

Nonetheless, the deck does not win alone. MBO does not autoplay (far
from it), and has a lot of tricks (if you build it right and know it
perfectly) that you can use to turn the tide of a game. Do not expect,
then, to win just by playing this deck.




Chapter II: MBO Overall Principle (for those unfamiliar with it)

a) Generalities

While there are several possible ways to play MBO, the overall goal is
to blow the Death Star the soonest possible. The blow-up provokes a 14
Force loss to the opponent (it can be more, it can be less, depending
on your opponent's deck, from 13 to 20), and makes Great Shot Kid!
kick in, allowing you to deploy starships for free (from hand or
reserve), while retrieving 3 force each time you do it (if the
starships are unique and are deployed to a system).
Nonetheless, your drains are +2 at battleground systems where you have
a starfighter present with a pilot character aboard (mind, I said
"aboard", not "piloting").

I said "the soonest possible". With this MBO. turn 3 is the average
case scenario if you use the SAFE set-up, turn 2 if you use the QUICK
set-up and have some more force.
Since the QUICK set-up is not anymore used due to the aggressive meta
of nowadays, it is safe to consider the blow-up on turn 3.
It can happen turn 2 (happened once during WC 2005 since I was
activating a lot) or turn 4 (happened once during WC 2005 due to
Defensive Fire). Usually turn 2 blow-up happens if you risk the
quicker set-up and have the force to do it (or if the opponent is
giving you a lot of force). And the turn 4 is if you're unlucky with
cards or if you have to play ultra-safe due to crappy hand AND crappy
drawing.

b) Different strategies in MBO decks

MBO differ between each other on their strategy to flip and on the way
they plan to blow up the Death Star.
The main flip strategy is Strike Planning with some generals (and/or
Mon Mothma (V)).
This approach can be unexpensive (the minimum workable is 4, even
though you can flip with only 3), but also quite the opposite if you
start adding not-so-cheap characters like Colonel Feyn Gospic or Crix
Madine (which cost 3 each).
The other flip strategy is Nightfall with spies, with is free,
followed by Undercover on the spies to protect both Yavin IV sites
from drains and beatdowns.
As for the blow-up strategy, most MBO use what we call a "spy ship
run", which is basically deploying the first LS ships directly to the
Death Star (Tantive IV (V) or Tala) with Luke on his X-Wing.
A few other decks prefer not to draw that many cards into hand, and
start deploying ships first to Yavin IV, and then to move them for the
Attack Run (normal run) This last strategy is usually more open to a
beatdown, since the LS has ships on table (while the spy ship run has
not), and can be slow because you need to move first your ships to the
Death Star, and then, next turn, to move into the trench. Then, like
the spy ship run, the ships have to wait another turn before being
able to come back to a battleground system.
Last, MBO have a mid game side strategy to win games.
Most will just pack lot of ships to retrieve, thus outlasting the
opponent in the force drain race.
Others will prevent drains with Entrenchment, since they can pull a
Rebel Tech (V) each turn and send him back to the Used Pile too.
Coupled with Draw Their Fire, they get also another way to
retrieve/damage the opponent.
Others will use some rogue strategy to support their deck. It can be
Artillery Weapons with Rieekan, Undercover Spies, EPPs, or force drain
/ damage reduction (Honor, Imperial Atrocity (V), etc…)

This Perfect MBO does use the main flip strategy (Strike Planning) and
normal run blow-up plan.
However, it is much more quicker than any other flip strategy: the
deploy of key ships, the blow-up, and the coming back to a
Battleground system happens all in the same turn. Hence the speed.
As for the mid game side strategy, this deck uses some tricks,
versatility and speed, to come out on top.

Fasten your seat belts, and prepare for the ride.

Chapter III: Deck Set-up and Strategy

Premise
Before speaking of the Set-up, it is important to grasp one particular notion:
if you wish to blow up the Death Star on turn 2 average, you need one
of the following to happen:
- use the QUICK set-up (more on that later) AND
- the opponent's locations give you at least 2 force more to activate.
- the opponent is giving you the necessary activated force with Drop!
(V), which, coupled with the icons he gives you, amount to at least 2
more force activated each turn.
- you have an really good hand: Red 5 (V) – or Luke (V) or All wings
Report In & Darklighter Spin -, 2 Yavin IV sites, Advance Preparations
(V), Haven (or Endor), and 3 other cards.
In short, you need some force from the opponent for a quick blow-up.
Not that many, but still at least a couple a turn, or to have the
cards to provide it for you.
Keep in mind that a turn 2 blow-up means basically "game won" for you.
It is possible also to blow-up the Death Star on turn 2 following the
SAFE set-up, but it is rare, since you need a good hand turn 1
(meaning flip + Houjix) and a lot of force.

A) The QUICK Set-Up:
this set-up is to be done only if you have an Houjix or Escape Pod (V)
in hand. I would, considering the meta, strongly advise against doing
it however. You might risk this set-up without Houjix or Escape Pod
(V)... but if for some reasons you get killed with overflow the next
turn, know that you have lost the game.
If you have Houjix or Escape Pod (V) in hand, and some
characters/sites to still flip if the opponent kills Rieekan (V),
then, and only then, it is worth risking it.

1st turn DS:
a) Check your hand. Having 5 All Wings Report In & Darklighter Spin
and 2 Luke Skywalker (V) and 2 Red 5 (V) in your deck, you have 82% to
get one of those cards in your starting hand… so I'll assume you have
one of them.
I will consider also that you will have in hand one of the following
cards: Control & Tunnel Vision (there are 5), Advance Preparations (V)
(there are 3), Rebel Tech (V) (1), Death Star (1). Basically, 1 out of
10 cards. Basically, 85% to get one of those too.
b) Check your opponent's objective or starting locations, and it's
starting effect. What are you looking at ?
The number of LS icons he's giving you. And to see if he plays Drop!
(V) as a starting effect.
Since V8-V10, a lot of Dark decks have been playing Combat Readiness
(V) so you should have at least 2 other LS icons for you. If you do
not, then maybe the text on Drop! (V) will allow you to activate some
more, which eventually results in the same situation (actually a
little better in the beginning since you're also drawing a card).
Basically, if the opponent gives you some force each turn, you will
blow up the Death Star turn 2, unless some bad starting hand or some
personal choice about a SAFE flip.
c) Wait until the opponent's draw phase to get General Rieekan (V)
with Strike Planning.
You do not need anything else right now, and I strongly advise not to
pull Mon Mothma (V) if there is a Scanning Crew possibility. (which
usually there's not since no one plays with Scanning Crew anymore)
1st turn LS:
If the opponent has Drop!(V), sight, because this is the turn where
you will let the opponent pull a lot of stuff.
a) deploy a Y4 site (the Y4:Jungle is best) and put Rieekan (V) there
(2 Force).
b) If you have the force, deploy Haven on Yavin IV with Rieekan (V)
and Luke Skywalker (V) with Red 5 (V) there (3 Force) with Squadron
Assignments. You need 5 force to do it, so it is not so complicated,
and indeed it happens everytime. (2 actions with Drop! (V) for the
opponent)
Of course, do not deploy any other locations that you have in hand
(but Endor), unless it is safe for you to assume the opponent won't
come to you to prevent you from flipping.
If you have 2 force left and don't fear too much Drop! (V), and have
also another Y4 site down (not the DB) and Endor in your Reserve, you
can take also Mon Mothma (V) which gets Endor, for 2 more activation
next turn.
To do a second PERFECT turn blow-up, besides some average luck in card
pulling, you need 8 Force (the bare minimum is 7). Considering that
you might need to play a Control & Tunnel Vision, better it be 9. Of
course, if you have already all what you need in hand (Advance
Preparations (V), Tigran Jamiro (V) and Death Star), you do not need
the Tunnel Vision.
So all in all if you have a Tunnel Vision, do not draw (or do if you
have a lot of force and want some cards). If you haven't, draw just if
you're overactivating due to some more icons or Drop! (V) or some
locations that you had in your starting hand.
All in all, you have stopped the Drop! (V) to a minimum damage (2
cards for the opponent, if you did not play Mon Mothma (V)). It could
be worse, but it could be better also.
2nd turn DS:
Besides some real offensive DS decks, few will jump on Red 5 (V) with
Luke Skywalker (V) aboard on a Haven system, with a possible free
Spiral React. The General is power 5 (+2 for Jungle, +1 for Red 5 (V)
on Yavin IV) in battle and immune to attrition, and cannot be battled
barring a spy, Presence Of The Force (Crossfire (V)) or Elis Helrot.
Not going to happen on turn 2 for DS.
The only exceptions are Scum decks, Crossfire (V) starting decks or
decks with Jabba's Influence (V) that might jump on you with J'Quille
(V). I won't consider yet those match-ups, and this is why I HIGHLY
advise NOT to play this QUICK set up.
If facing such a DS deck, do not do this flip strategy but use the
other one (the SAFE one).
Play Battle Plan Shield if the opponent is going to get a good fat
drain, else take the damage if you can from your hand (not from the
Reserve if possible) (this is to force the opponent into playing his
own Battle Order shield since you will drain at Yavin IV next turn).
Wait the draw phase of Dark side and get both Mon Mothma (V) and The
Time For Our Attack Has Come (V) (with Don't Do That Again shield).
2nd turn LS:
a) Use Luke Skywalker (V)'s game text to get an All Wings Report In &
Darklighter Spin (look at your Reserve while doing it to check what's
inside and what's not). Usually the opponent will play the Coward
shield to prevent your retrieval, but really, all you want is your
interrupt.
b) Take Red Squadron 1 with the interrupt (if Wedge, Red Squadron
Leader is in your reserve, else take Red 7 to get BoShek (V), or just
Red Squadron 1 to get BoShek (V) if Red7 is not there). And play
Control & Tunnel Vision if needed to get a missing card.
c) play Red Squadron 1 with Wedge, RSL on Haven (1 Force), play The
Time For Our Attack Has Come (V), deploying the Nebulon B-Frigate (3
Force) from under your starting effect.
d) deploy another Y4 site (usually Massassi Headquarters).
e) deploy Mon Mothma (V) to the Yavin IV: DB (2 Force) if not already
done (can be done also at Ruins if you fear a beatdown).
f) get Endor with Mon Mothma (V) (if possible).
g) get Tigran Jamiro (v) with Rieekan (V) on the Massassi Hedquarters
(or last site) for free, flipping MBO into One In A Million.
h) since you are still in your deploy phase, get the Rebel Tech (v) or
the Death Star (usually the later, it is considered that you have
Advance Preparations (V) into hand or that you grabbed one with one of
your 5 Tunnel Vision this turn) into hand from Reserve.
i) deploy the Death Star.
j) play Advance Preparations (V) targeting Red 5 (V).
k) carry Red 5 (V) aboard the Nebulon B, and move them (1 Force) to
the Death Star…
l) disembark Red 5 (V) and make the Attack Run, blow the big ball (if
you miss, use Mon Mothma (V) game text for 1 force to add 4 to your
total; the opponent loses 14 usually (or more).
m) carry back Red 5 (V) and ditch The Time For Our Attack Has Come (V)
to move back (1 Force) to Yavin IV.
m) disembark Red 5 (V), and, if Endor is on table, move for free Red
Squadron 1 there.


Total: 8-9 Force, like I said, and you're already in position, next
turn, to drain for 3 at Yavin 4 and 3 at Endor, for free, with Luke's
retrieval, and power +2 in Yavin IV site battles, and power +3 at
systems-.


With only 7-8 Force: you just don't move back the Nebulon to Yavin IV (yet).
With 9-11 Force: you have the possibility of playing a Control &
Tunnel Vision to get a card from your Force Pile and still do your
stuff or/and have the Force for an Houjix even with First Strike out.
With some more Force: you can also shuttle every character on Yavin IV
to the Nebulon, thus saving your skin from a possible beatdown, if you
have no Houjix.
In general, however, if you do have an Houjix, there is no need to
move away. Better to let the opponent come and burns some scarce
resources for nothing (allowing you to retrieve even more cards).
Some other cheapest flip strategy is possible, since you could really
blow up the Death Star, let's say, with BoShek (V) (1 force on Haven),
play The Time For Our Attack Has Come (V) thanks to Gold Leader In
Gold 1 (V) (0 force on Haven, +3 for Nebulon), and flip with Mon
Mothma (V), Rieekan (V) and Jamiro (V) (total 4 Force).

Of course, you might not find a particular card in the reserve, or not
have it in hand, but between the 5 Control & Tunnel Vision, and all
other cards you might have in hand (a location, a Tech, one of the
cards you should take, etc.), the Death Star goes away by turn 2, 3 by
the latest.

B) The SAFE Set-Up
To be used nowadays most of the time, alas. The SAFE flip was used
every game at Worlds 2005.

Nowadays, however, most DS decks have the knack and possibility to
jump with a spy, an Elis Helrot, or a Presence Of The Force on your
lone Rieekan (V) turn 2, thus effectively ending the game for you.

So, how to deal vs. the second turn beatdown ? (especially vs. Scum)

Easy. Do NOT deploy anything to Y4. Even if you have an houjix.
Deploying someone to Y4, even with an Houjix, will push the opponent
to battle you and swarm Y4, and even though you have the tools to deal
with it, you'd be better the other way.
Just start to build your hand and deploy a site with your objective,
while checking that way what's in your reserve (and thus, your force
pile). Draw anything needed (but what is needed ? well, this comes
from experience, and varies from game to game).
The goal is to slowly boost your activation, while getting everything
needed for a quick 1-turn flip.
Having Houjix is of utmost importance too.
Usually with C&TV, 5 other Y4 sites in the deck, and Rieekan (V) game
text (and Mon Mothma (V)), it can be done turn 2 everytime.
If you have enough force for a capital to be deployed at Y4, you do
not need any houjix: just shuttle everyone up (I would beware,
although: a character could be barriered on your sites).
Then it's all a matter of blowing the Death Star (same or next turn,
depending on your hand and force), and killing the opponent.
Of course, the opponent COULD swarm your locations to prevent you from
flipping. How to deal with it ?
Easy. If the opponent deploys turn 1 to your DB, then it means he's
looking to prevent you from flipping. Thus if possible flip turn 2
with Houjix in hand. Considering that Rieekan (V) AND Mon Mothma (V)
can get both a <> site, you should have no problems doing it.
If the opponent swarms your two Yavin 4 sites turn 2 and not turn 1
(because you did not manage to flip yet), still flip thanks to your
last TWO Y4 site and the other TWO non unique sites that way.

Now, from now on, all this Strategy Article will consider the SAFE
flip strategy, for consistency purpose.

Summing up.
The first thing this deck do, is to flip, safely.
Then, it is deploying ships to Haven at Yavin IV, and blowing the
Death Star right afterwards, coming back immediately after to Yavin IV
and/or Endor.
Afterwards, you're in the middle game.
The opponent will have lost usually 14, and will have less cards in
hand than before. Your goal here is to play your game while destroying
his.
Any opponent knows that once MBO has blown-up the Death Star, they
need to damage it quickly, else MBO will just drain for a ton and
retrieve its whole lost pile.
So the opponent will try to damage you, usually with drains.
There are many ways to achieve it. He can try to drain you at his own
locations, or yours.
There are few decks nowadays with much drain power, and these ones are
usually Scum (Gailid, for a total drain of 6), Maul decks (or similar,
with ligthsabers), and some rogue strategy like Stormtrooper Garrison,
AOBS with Vigo, etc.
Whatever the damage caused, it has to be dealt with one way or the other.
The best way to prevent it is Battle Plan. Usually played at the
beginning of the game, this shield takes a whole new meaning in the
middle game, simply because IF the opponent does not occupy a
Battlegruond system, he will have difficulty draining you everywhere.
The Dark side could theorically drain you at 3-4 different locations,
but each one is going to cost him 3 force, and to drain at fewer means
(besides Maul deck, but this is counterable with Ultimatum or Control)
that you will have no problem retrieving the damage dealt.
So making the opponent pay for his drains is of the utmost importance.
Especially since the opponent is already getting low on ressources (14
force lost, and the drains 3 coming each turn).
the goal then is two-fold: make him pay for the drains and/or making
his drains manageable so that each 3 force spent won't be a lot of
damage, but only drains of 1, for example.
To manage this, you have Control for the big drains, or just simply
landing a ship with Houjix in hand (of course you lose 2 cards that
way, but 2 cards ALREADY on table but Houjix, so you really lose 1
only, and you have more cards to retrieve then). And reducing
opponent's drains to 1 at Yavin IV sites is done easily with Imperial
Atrocity (V), Princess Organa, and Rebel Tech (V).
To make him pay for the drains, however, you have to take him away from space.
Luckyly, this is MBO. You won't find a deck more capable of clearing
space systems than MBO for LS.
If the opponent is at Yavin IV with Haven there, you can literally
deploy nearly all the ships in hand easily thanks to the -2 deploy
bonus to ships and -1 to pilots, which, if you add Great Shot, Kid! to
get an expensive ship for free, makes your total space power easily go
to 30-40 with ease. Even more if you had 2 battle destinies and a Spin
for 6 maneuver with Red Squadron 1 or R3 Falcon.
Against fleets somewhere else, just bring the beats, choosing
carefully your ships, and if you don't manage on the first try, just
swarm the system (thus retrieving) with your ships (deploying them at
Haven helps), to prevent the opponent from running anywhere without
getting killed.
During all this time, you will have to choose the moment when to
occupy a battleground site so as not to pay for Battle Plan too. Here
is all the difference, since you will surely pay for retrieval due to
Secret Plans.
The Swamp is the best site where to do this, since the opponent will
need to pay 4 ot battle there. If you manage to clear the opponent
from space, he won't have enought force to drain AND to deploy AND to
battle you there. Whatever he decides, you win: if he drains, then you
won't have to pay for draining next turn, and will have all the force
needed to pay for Secret plans retrieval, and movement to block
opponent's drains if needed with ships/characters/houjix.
If the opponent battles you, then he won't have drained you a lot. So
you will lose maybe a couple of force due to drains, and some cards
already on table at the Swamp. You will maybe (not sure) have to pay
for drains next turn, but you will retrieve the force lost easily, and
the opponent will have even fewer cards in hand, so you can land
somewhere else a ship and/or characters to satisfy battle plan again
for the next turn.
All in all, your ships become a valuable asset in the middle/end game,
allowing you to do a lot of different tricks to annoy the opponent and
win the game.
Remember that Luke (V) can help you retrieve 1 more force each turn,
or get AWRI&DS for battle damage (spin) or to get a X-Wing in hand for
more retrieval.
More on specific cards and strategies later.

Chapter IV: Questions

How to resist to early pressure and not lose critical cards ?

Frankly put, MBO will take no more than 3 turns to blow up the Death
Star. It is quick, very quick.
If facing a Maul deck, you have to fear only if the Maul deck is lucky
enough to get everything on turn 1 (which is far from guaranteed), and
even then, you can decide to slow the opponent with a character and
Houjix, or just a Control (unless Bane Malar (V) is there).
So all in all, you'll be the one creating the pressure soon enough.
Why turn 1 ? this is because turn 2 you flip (it can be turn 1 too),
thus getting the Death Star into hand, and all needed cards left like
The Time For Our Attack Has Come (V) during the opponent's next turn,
thus you can lose from Reserve without fear.

Anyway, an Imperial Atrocity (V) was put inside the deck. The reason
is that usually the first drain of the opponent is the most dangerous,
since it does happen on turn 2, after your first turn, and you might
lose critical cards from Reserve.
Against it, Battle Plan is usually enough to push the opponent into
not draining (but in quick DS decks that set-up both space and ground
turn 1), and if not, with Imperial Atrocity (V) protects you from the
first 2 drain damage (even at battlegrounds). Then, afterwards, IA (V)
protects you from drains at Y4 sites too, when the opponent starts
draining at them. IA (V) was chosen because being an immediate effect,
you can get it with Don't Do That Again, in case you have already The
Time For Our Attack Has Come (V) into hand.
There is also Princess Organa, who, even at Y4 system, substracts 1
from opponent's drains at your sites.
Remember also that the Rebel Tech (V) cancels the nasty "+1 force
drain" lines on your opponent's side of your Y4 sites. All in all,
these 3 cards together can help reduce (to 0) your drain damage there.

What makes this deck strong ?

The strength of MBO is of course the 14 card loss and Great Shot, Kid!.
What makes this MBO strong is that this 14-card loss will occur in
turn 3 95% of the time (like I say, it is an average, but a pretty
solid and standard one). And you have the tools even to risk a QUICK
set-up for a turn 2 blow-up, or to make it even with the SAFE set-up
if given enough cards and force from the opponent.
The 14 force loss is like the old Rebel Strike Team (pre-virtual
cards) where the 6 from Podracing and the 8 from Bunker usually sealed
the game, but you're doing it here with only one action, and there are
no Shields against it. (albeit you're not putting their hands back
into used pile either)
While there are some other versions that can blow the Death Star on
turn 3 (which is the aim of any MBO), they are either card intensive
either slow on set-up.
This version does take one problem at a time: first set-up (both space
and ground), and then naturally the blow-up. This leaves you with less
risks of losing critical cards to drains or force loss in the
beginning (because you are deploying cards all turns critical to your
set-up), and it even fools your opponent into thinking that he will
have the time ("one more turn") to bring a strategy to shut you down
(or to set-up before you do), because, let's say it, if Luke (V) is on
table at Y4, he is not making the run, and since no one expect a
Nebulon run, every DS player will think to have another 2 turns before
the blow-up (since the Attack Run is a regular move).
Well, you can imagine the face of your opponent when, turn 1, there
are just the characters for a flipped objective, and turn 2, you have
Luke on Yavin IV, but with a Nebulon, Wedge on his X-Wing on Endor, 14
force less, and the threat of a huge force loss (6 from drains) the
next turn, with Great Shot, Kid! in effect.
As for the Nebulon B., it is an average card, but it does speed you 1
turn for only 4 force (3 to deploy, 1 to move). The "Nebulon Run", as
I call it, is also a lot safer (and unexpected), and not subject to
counter tactics like Imperial Barrier + beatdown. Even Control & Set
For Stun will hardly touch you (and good luck finding one early
enough, with a 5 tracked, and the force to use it, during DS turn 3).
And, thanks to The Time For Our Attack Has Come (V), it allows also to
gain back another turn by moving back into drain position at Haven
during the same turn.
But it is not only in a 3-turn-blow-up where the strength of this deck
lies. It is also all about card efficiency and versatility of the
cards played. This deck just can do more than "blowing-up" the Death
Star and "racing for the Force Drain race". It can jump on the
opponent on ground (couple of EPP Obi). In space the deck is strong
(it is MBO, indeed) and can get quickly to 40 power with minimal
expenses (Great Shot, Kid!) and retrieval.
Against Drains you have Control. And also some landing with
starfighters (and pilots) with Houjix in hand.
Against damage or drains at Yavin IV sites you have Imperial Atrocity
(V), Rebel Tech (V), and Princess Organa.
In brief, you can adjust your game depending on how the game goes, and
you are not stuck with a linear and expectable strategy like
"non-interactive blow-up and drain race". So play defensively or
offensively, as the game goes.
There are 3 last good points about this deck: the first, is that you
can pull everything you need pretty quickly (there are no 2-3 cards
combo to pull a single card), and indeed the deck unrolls magically
with so much ease it is a pleasure (but it is not an auto-set-up). The
second, is that MBO is unexpected. People will play MBO, but never at
the top tables. MBO was not considered tournament viable until I
played it and won with it at States 2003. Now, it is still considered
a rogue deck, with many players dismissing it, even though me and
Fabien Jacques rolled over everyone with it at European Championship
2004 and EC 2005.
The last point, is that besides some Capital ships, there is not a
single useless card in the deck for your set-up! Every card you will
activate or draw with Drop! (V) or the normal way WILL make you one
step further into flipping and blowing the Death Star. And these same
cards are NOT useless after blowing up the Death Star: Control &
Tunnel Vision will help you get a critical card in hand or cancel a
big drain, All Wings Report In & Darklighter Spin will help you in
battle or help you get X-Wings for more retrieval or drain power, etc.
Plainly put, it is a deck which is unexpected to do so well at high
tournament level, and so you have the "match-up" knowledge on your
side (which is an important factor in any game).
A honorable mention goes to, imho, one of the best LS card in the
game: Advance Preparations (V). Still after braking it a year ago (it
has forced a clarification), the card is still strong, even in non-MBO
decks: it is a destiny 6 that allows you to retrieve 1 force, and also
allows you to get a weapon for your ship (good for power pivot if you
play it), a weapon that shoots anything (not only starfighters like
the X-Wing Cannons), so it is even better with some side strategy like
Colo Claw Fist and Power Pivot (‘hit' ship is immediately lost). It
does not stop there: it allows you to bring your deck on the winning
side against any SYCFA deck (with a little of tracking).
Of course, in MBO it just shines. You can retrieve ANY one card with
it. The possibilities are endless: an EPP for a much needed ground
power, a ship to be deployed next turn with Great Shot, Kid!, or a
critical card like Houjix, or Rieekan (V), to be taken back shortly
after with one of your puller cards.


Plainly put, this deck wins, even if it does require some practice to
get it right (meaning some playtest and some losses to learn your
mistakes and "how things should be done"), even for "great players",
just because it is a different play style, with different cards.
Fabien Jacques played it for 3 months to get the feeling and all the
subtleties in check.
Last mention: MBO does not have any difficult match-ups (but quick
Watto, which no one plays nowadays). True, some are more difficult (or
should I say "less easy" ?) than other, but not so one-side than with
other decks.

I do think that the deck is much more solid than any other MBO you
might have seen. So this is surprising in itself. While this deck does
not have the punch to think "ground" against a ground deck (example:
Scum), it is not helpless either (thanks to the 2 EPP) and things
change after a 14 force loss, where your opponent's resources are
severely hampered. This is what makes the solidity of this deck "real
solid". When the Death Star is blown, the opponent will have some
14-17 cards in his lost pile, some 4-5 remaining in hand, and some
15-20 on table. Which means some 20 or so life force remaining. Add a
couple of drains "3" here and there the turn after, and you can
understand why the DS may have some problems doing you any serious
harm.

What are the weaknesses of this MBO ?

Before V9, this MBO could have some bad luck due to the many destiny
"1" in the deck, for the Attack Run. Indeed, to blow up the Death Star
you need 16, which can be reached, without Mon Mothma (V), only with
all 4 sites down, the Headquarters controlled, and the Tech (V)
deployed.
Which does not happen very often turn 2 (or 3, but since you flip turn
2 anyway, you can't / any other Y4 site with your objective, so
usually the number of sites down between turn 2 and turn 3 do not
change, and <> do NOT count towards Attack Run total).
However, with Mon Mothma (V), now you will have a minimum of 3 sites
(3) + Mon Mothma (V) (4) + Luke (7) = 14 for the run, so even a double
"1" is enough. If one of the sites is the Headquarters, it is even
easier, since you already have 16 without drawing destinies.
A draw of 1 and 0 is still possible, however, but since the 0 are
sites, and often <> sites, you can get them with Rieekan (V). Or just
add the Rebel Tech (V) and you are safe.

Plainly put, this deck has NO real weakness.

But let's speak about the possible weaknesses that you might think:
a) unability to flip if they invade Yavin 4. Well, no.
Let's say that this MBO does not plan on drawing huge hands
(vulnerable to Monnok) dropping all the Y4 locations and flip in the
same turn (thus preventing invasion), but still, not flipping is not
something that happens, period. The reasons are multiples:
- generally, an opponent trying to invade Y4 is slowing his deck
set-up. Which means that if for some reason he does not manage to stop
you from flipping, he has already a foot in the grave (because your
deck is set-up and he will lose 14). This alone stops most DS players
to try to invade Yavin 4. This is also why top players will always say
"play your own game". Of course, if your own game for DS is trying to
disrupt the LS strategy, then go for it.
- any player knows that MBO can deploy also another location (here the
swamp or jungle) + a Y4 location with the objective in a single turn.
Which means that quickly the opponent has to control 2 locations to
prevent you from flipping. Which is impossible turn 1 (there is only
the DB out) and not easy by turn 2 (but it can be done) and with
minimum benefits: the Dark Side can drain there for 2+1 maximum, which
is usually dealt with Battle Plan shield. Since my MBO packs FOUR Y4
sites AND the Swamp AND the Jungle, the Dark Side has virtually no
hope of preventing the flip.
In the unlikely event that the opponent manages to control 3 sites,
you can always jump on the most weak site with Mon Mothma (V) or an
EPP and at least (if not beatdown) clear the site, allowing you to
land a red fighter to flip.
Remember also that Mon Mothma (V) can get the Swamp instead of Endor,
while Rieekan (V) gets the Jungle and your objective the 3rd site for
the flip if you really wish.
b) predictable.
Which means that the opponent knows what to expect from a MBO (like,
for example, next to no ground forces).
Well, this deck packs 2 EPP Jedi, which helps with the matter,
especially in the late game, where the opponent might want to spread
to drain you more.
Add the Yavin IV: Jungle, 5 Tunnel Vision, and you get the picture.
Also, no-one is expecting a Nebulon B. Attack Run.
And also, like you will see, the Nebulon opens a wide range of
possibility of plays, even at the start of the game.
c) J'Quille (V) beatdown: this is done usually with Jabba's Influence
(V). Against such decks, you have to be careful. You're risking really
just a turn 2 beatdown, if you put Rieekan (V) down. In general I
would not play Rieekan (V) with the threat of J'Quille (V). Just flip
safe. If your opponent is preparing for a beatdown, he will be sorely
disappointed.
d) force generation:
MBO generates 3 while giving away 2 turn 1. Basically, one of the
worst force generation ration of LS starts, but MWYHL (2/2). MWHYL
however boost its generation rapidly with Dagobah sites, taken with
Dagobah's game text. MBO does the same, however your force generation
there is limited to 1 (this had sense a lot of years ago, nowadays the
meta is so quick that it just makes you at severe disadvantage) until
you flip.
Force generation, then, IS an issue. This is however faced with
careful deckbuilding (cheap flip, like Tigran (V) who deploys for
free), and with locations, like Endor, which with Strike Planning give
no force to the opponent.
Once you're flipped, the deck generates enough to survive.

Chapter V: Tech that everyone should know about

General Carlist Rieekan (V):He gets for you the following cards:
Haven, Jungle, Swamp, Tigran Jamiro (V). Total: 4 cards. Few chances
to have one in your starting hand, but it would help with the set-up,
since Rieekan (V) can get only one of them in any given turn.
All in all, he is an important character for your set-up since he
quickly gets Haven for you (and Tigran Jamiro (V)).
One In A Million: you do not need to deploy the cards that you are /
from the reserve, even if you have to do this operation on the deploy
phase. You can take only one into hand however. This helps when you
need a card to lose to a Force Drain (the Tech or the Attack Run Epic
Event that you retrieved last turn).
Your power is also +3 in space battles. This is like EBO, and it is
strong. Keep it in mind when battling. This +3 is functioning even if
you do not blow the Death Star.
Haven and Spiral: The Spiral deploys for free as a react on Haven.
This means that Bright Hope (v) alone is enough to deal with nearly
anything on Yavin IV if you have a Spiral in hand (you will have power
8 in battle, 11 if One In A Million, 2 battle destinies, and you will
cancel one). Indeed, the opponent will notice that and leave you safe,
especially if the Death Star has been blown away (because in that case
you would be retrieving 3 with the deploy for 0 of the Spiral). Ok,
this is farfetched: opponents unfamiliar with MBO will not realize the
"retrieve 3" with a free spiral react during their turn. Main reason
why they are 2 Spirals in the deck: it means that even if your Nebulon
is Barriered before the run, you have so much power and battle-destiny
cancelling ability at Y4 that the DS will leave you alone.
Luke (V) and Control & Tunnel Vision: while setting up your deck, it
is smart (when you do not have to take an All Wings Report In &
Darklighter Spin) to play a Control & TV (take from your force pile
any card) just to retrieve it back afterwards with Luke (V).
Come Here You Big Coward and retrieval: Even if you occupy only one
battleground, if you deploy a unique ship to ANOTHER battleground, you
will retrieve 3 with Great Shot Kid.
The Time For Our Attack Has Come (V): remember that ships deployed
from under your Starting Effect let you retrieve 3 Force with Great
Shot, Kid! if they are unique (that is, the Redemption (V)). This is
the reason why there is the Redemption (V) inside: it deploys for 3 (1
at Haven), so it is a good ship for retrieval purpose.

Chapter VI: Tech not so obvious / that people forget

Death of Rieekan (V) or Mon Mothma (V): if you desperately need him
(to hold a battleground, for example), you just need an Advance
Preparations (V) to get it back. Then as soon as you recirculate, get
him back with Strike Planning. This works only if you did not use
already all your / by getting the 2 characters already.
/ Rebel Tech and Come Here You Big Coward (shield) (in case you are
holding just one system and you can't or do not want to deploy to
another BG system). Get the tech with One In A Million. Deploy it
somewhere (BG site). Now deploy for free your ship to your system and
retrieve 3. Send the Tech to Used, / Advance Preparations (V).
/ Tech and Court Of the Vile Gangster: play it every turn on Tatooine
to dodge Court Damage. Send him to the Used and / Advance Preparations
(V). This has to be done in the beginning of the deploy phase, else
when recirculating, it will be on top of your reserve (nearby, anyway,
so you will have problems doing it again the turn after).
One In A Million: flipping the objective does not mean the Death Star
has been blow up. This means that you just need to flip to play
Advance Preparations (V) to full effect to retrieve ANY particular
card, when you're flipped, even before blowing-up everything. Which
means also retrieving the Death Star (let's say it was the only card
that you lost from the Reserve).
Nebulon B. Attack Run: since the set-up is Haven on Y4, deploy one
Nebulon B. there for 3 force.
Now, when flipped, deploy the Death Star, play Advance Preparations
(V) on Red 5 (V), carry Red 5 (V) aboard the Nebulon, move the Nebulon
to the Death Star, unload Red 5 (V). Now Red 5 (V) can make the attack
run, on this same turn.
Opponent's control of Yavin IV: usually happening turn 1 with decks
starting Combat Response, this is annoying, since you cannot play
Haven for a quick deploy there. You have first to deploy a ship (and
Luke (v) and Red 5 (v) are costing 6, not 3, without Haven, there).
Well, in that case, just stockpile some Force in your activate pile
and do it next turn (while stopping opponent's drain with battle
plan). A good combo is to deploy Bright Hope (v) there for 2 force,
then Haven, then Red 5 (v) with Luke (v) for 3. Total 5 force, 1 to
initiate. When you have been stockpiling Force, it is usually even
more bloody and one-sided battle.
Rebel Tech (v): more often that not, this guy is sent to the Used as
soon as he hits the table. Remember, however, that if you think you
will have some problems making the Death Star blow-up, this guy adds 1
to the total, WHEREVER he is. Remember also that if for some reason
the opponent occupies the Y4: Massassi HQ, all you need is the Tech
down to ignore the –4 to Attack Run.
Remember also that he cancels all these nasty lines of text on your
sites like "force drain +1 here".
Rebel Tech (v) and Swamp: be very careful. A Tech down is nice, but
not so nice in your opponent's turn if you have persons hiding in the
Swamp, since the Tech effectively cancels the Dark Side game's text,
so no more +3 to battle. All in all, be wary of keeping a Tech on
Yavin IV too long.
Spiral react: playing 2 Spiral means that once the Death Star has been
blown-up, you can retrieve 3 during opponent's turn by reacting with
the Spiral. Since the ship deploys for 2 as a react (free if at
Haven), even with Secret Plans, it will cost you maximum 5 Force. This
is especially nice since the cards retrieved go to the bottom of your
reserve deck (after recirculating), and if there is a starship in it,
you can easily know how much force to activate next turn to deploy it
for free with Great Shot Kid, thus retrieving 3 and… the Spiral again.
Indeed, you can react either in a force drain (to be done if with
Houjix in hand) either in a battle. Either way, the Spiral will surely
be forfeited in the battle to come.
Yavin IV: remember the game text. Power +1 in related site battles for
each of your starship there if you control. Coupled with the Swamp
text, this helps. Especially since most starships are parked there
usually (due to Haven).
All Wings Report In & Darklighter Spin and Guri or Imperial Justice
(V): since you will be drawing often more than one battle destiny, if
you see Guri, just spin for a good 4 to 6 maneuver destiny, then draw
another one. Congratulations, the system is cleared. (100% confirmed
by rules).
Attack Run & Blown-away rules: While the Death Star system and
locations go out of play when blown-away (all that remains is the
Death Star system flipped on the back side, to indicate the space
location, which is considered a system with 0 icons), the Attack Run
does not go Out Of Play, but in the Lost Pile. This is good, and this
is bad. It is good, because it is one more card that you can retrieve.
It is bad, because it is a destiny 0. However, remember that with your
objective, you can / it during your deploy phase. Attack Run is then a
good card that you can pull every other turn to lose to a drain or a
damage during the next DS turn, and you do not risk to draw it ever as
destiny, if you pull it with One In A Million. Of course, if there was
a LS Overload, this floating destiny 0 could be used in a lot of ways,
but there is not.
The Time For Our Attack Has Come (V) tricks: remember that you can
play this Immediate Effect as soon as you deploy or move a second
piloted rebel starfighter to the same system as another one. If done
during the deploy phase, this means you have an option for beatdown
(with the Redemption (V) at Haven you get 6 power for only 1 Force,
and immunity <5). But also remember that it can be done during the
move phase by just moving inside a capital ship one of your 2 X-Wings
and moving it out right afterwards.


Chapter VI: Fine Tech

Nebulon B. safe but quick Run: sometimes you might fear a beatdown on
the Death Star (in case you miss the run, which shouldn't happen, but
you never know) the turn after. This instance can happen also due to
some Black Sun Fleet tech (errrk) or to Spy ships after the Death Star
has been blown up (Visage come to mind).
Well, there is a way, if you think you're risking something, to save
your skin. Basically your average set-up puts 2 ships into Haven
before flipping.
Just carry BOTH of them with the Nebulon B. to the Death Star. It does
not cost you any additional force. If you manage to blow up the Death
Star, then just move back everyone to Yavin IV (usually, since there
is Haven there) or any other system to earn the drain +2 next turn. If
you do not manage, just keep your other ship there. Since there is
Haven, you should be safe enough.
Or just leave the escort ship to Yavin IV. If you fail the Attack Run,
just move it to the Death Star for added protection (but it will cost
you 1 force more).
/ Tech, / Advance Preparations (V), play it as Lost to retrieve ANY 1
card, Deploy free a ship, retrieve 3: this combo allows you to
retrieve any one card you want (admitting One Is A Million is on
table), even a deeply buried one, and then to retrieve the Advance
Preparations (V) just played and 2 other cards.
Lose a card: you have to lose a card before the Death Star has been
blown up and you don't want to lose from the reserve ? Lose a ship.
You can retrieve it anyway later with Advance Preparations (V).
Indeed, if you retrieve the ship during the opponent's turn, it will
be at the bottom of your reserve afterwards, which means that you will
be SURE to get a ship with Great Shot, Kid! at your next turn.
Far Nebulon run: You do not need to keep Red 5 (V) at a parsec 4 or
less system to do the Nebulon Run. If for some reason you need your
early ships to a parsec 5 or 6 system, just remember that The Time For
Our Attack Has Come (V) gives the Nebulon +2 hyperspeed. It is nice to
put pressure on Hoth against Walkers or at Bespin against CR (V) decks
if Yavin 4 is too… ehm… crowded for your tastes. Remember however that
you won't be able to come back to a parsec 5 or 6 system that way with
the additionnal move of The Time For Our Attack Has Come (V), since
you have to lose the immediate effect first to be able to move again.
Battle Plan, Ultimatum and Recycling of Starships: there is a reason
why all the Yavin IV sites are exterior: this is to allow shuttling in
the early game to protect your characters and to allow the X-Wings to
land to help you flip in dire situations, BUT it does not stop there.
You can also abuse of this system by landing any starfighter (with or
without some characters inside) like the R3 Falcon on a Y4
Battleground site, like the Swamp or/AND the Docking Bay. This can
prove very effective to satisfy Battle Plan and/or Ultimatum.
The opponent has usually no other choice but to try to battle you.
This can be difficult when he's already lost 14 force + drains, and
has also has often to pay +3 to battle at the swamp.
Then, he has to cause enough damage to force you to forfeit both the
starfighter and the character (who jumped outside when it landed). And
even if they do, you have Houjix, and an Advance Preparations (V) to
retrieve the ship back to do it again somewhere else next turn (or
just use an EPP or another ship).
The great thing about this strategy is that the opponent is wasting
resources to kill you on the ground, and kills your starfighters, that
you can retrieve very easily into hand with All Wings Report In &
Darklighter Spin to get another 3 retrieval.
Remember also that the R3 Falcon does not have to pay 3 for
maintenance when it is landed or embarked in a capital.



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The Smoking Gungan
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Re: MBO Primer - DECK TO BEAT

Post by The Smoking Gungan »

Chapter VII: Card Choices and Questions about them

a) card choices:

Endor: get it with Mon Mothma (V) without wasting a card slot for
Romas ‘Lock' Navender (v) to get other systems. Endor is better than
most systems because:
- the opponent does not generate any force there thanks to Strike Planning.
- moving from Haven (on Yavin IV) to Endor is free (-1). Which means
that the same turn that you blow up the Death Star, you can move Red
Squadron 1 for free there.
- it is parsec 8 (4 parsec difference with Yavin IV). This means that
only a few DS ships will be able to make the trip from both systems.
Of course, Home One, and some other Ships have the same problems, but
not the Nebulon.
Yavin IV Jungle: safe choice. Activation of 1 hurts, but not until
you're flipped (until then, you activate only 1 per site anyway). It
let the opponent think twice before invading Y4 on your second turn,
for fear of an EPP beatdown. Protects your General Rieekan (V) or Mon
Mothma (V) from any average spy strike (without weapons or too much
power)
Yavin IV Massassi Headquartes: 2/0 site. Exterior site. Very important
to save your characters (like all other exterior sites) from beatdowns
against ground decks packing Elis Helrot by shuttling them up. Adds 2
to Attack Run if you control. Should be put down on turn 2 (not turn
1).
Yavin IV Ruins: 2/0 site. Exterior site. Helps for the flip (4th site)
and for the Attack Run total. Helps also not putting down the Y4:
Massassi Headquarters if for some reason the Yavin IV:Jungle is your
active force 1st turn. Note that even if it is a drain 3 site for the
opponent! With Imperial Atrocity (V), however, a Rebel Tech (V) and
Princess Organa, you will lose no force there. Done multiple times at
Worlds.
Swamp: speed and usual weakness of ground of MBO vs. Dark decks means
that your best bet to prevent a beatdown is the pay +3 game text to
battle. Makes the beatdown even more worthless when with Houjix. Way
superior than the <> Forest.
Jungle: a –1 drain site. Not often used, but sometimes the swamp is
not available in your reserve. You can put it on Endor, play EPP Obi
there, and wait for the beatdown with Houjix. Don't draw battle
destiny. Congratulations, your opponent has just stranded uselessly a
lot of power cards there draining for nothing.
Red 7: one of the few ships where BoShek (V) provides immunity. It has
other benefits as well: it is destiny 4, and it is a Red ship for
purpose of cancelling BD with Wedge, RSL. This ship is usually played
to pull BoShek (V). Cheap ship with pilot (2+2 at a system or docking
bay, or 1 force at Haven). You can put Princess Organa there too if
needed.
BoShek (V): see Red 7. Pulls also any device (there was a Fusion
Generator Supply Tanks (V) in the past, so if you want to add some
devices, BoShek (V) can get them for you). Nice emergency flight
leader for an attack run (ability 4). Fills the slot of "2nd ability 4
pilot" in the deck, a necessity if you're meeting Tatooine Maul in
space.
Mon Mothma (V): Just great game text. She costs only 2, which is
crucial for a quick run, and you can take her from reserve, thus you
don't have to rely on deploying a X-W with pilot to the DB for the
flip. She also adds 4 to Attack Run, and subtracts 4 from Target The
Main Generator, which means a quick and painless win vs. IO/IC (V) if
they are not starting Sando. With such a great forfeit and ability 4
she is just perfect for MBO. Being ability 4 means that she prevents
also Maul in space, so she is the 3rd character in the deck able to.
Tigran Jamiro (V): pullable with Rieekan (V), he's free. While you
have the force to deploy non-free characters like General Madine or
Colonel Feyn Gospic (v) to flip, having a character deploy for free
(that adds +1 to deploy of aliens and imperials) is preferable to have
some cards to draw at the end of the turn. Indeed, most strategies are
fine in theory because "every card is pullable" but if you have to use
all the Force you have on your first 2-3 turns to do it, you have a
problem: what are you losing from DS Force Drains in the beginning ?
Cards from the Reserve (dangerous). And you have also no option of
"striking back" to the opponent, because your hand size will be low.
Control & Tunnel Vision (x5): speeds the deck immensely. It does mean,
in short, 9 Advance Preparations (I'm counting the Rebel Tech), the
list goes on and on…
Of course, it does cancel a drain, from time to time (I do not use it
often, since MBO is quick enough to start retrieving its lost pile
without needing to play Control), and kills Sense, Sense & Uncertain
Is the Future and Alter.
The anti-SA shield is indeed not needed, simply because the 3 cards
that you need the most before blowing up the Death Star (Houjix,
Advance Preparations (V), All Wings Report In & Darklighter Spin) are
either immune to Sense, either they will be played so early that the
opponent won't have the Sense and/or the high ability character in
hand/on table. Afterwards, this is not a problem: the loss of 14 means
usually that a lot of red cards go to the lost pile (else the opponent
has nothing left to fight you with), and these few that remains, you
can Control them (or just ignore them).
The only Sense that can create you problems is Sense & Uncertain Is
The Future. I usually grab it and Control this interrupt if played as
Uncertain Is The Future. However, if you have a not so small hand, you
can even let it pass (albeit I wouldn't do that often, just to be
sure), since you will draw for sure always a good hand back.
Escape Pod (V) (x3): saves your EPP strikes or "hold Swamp" actions
from any OOP (Sidious) but mainly lets you take Houjix into hand.
Destiny 6 Used.
The Time For Our Attack Has Come (V) (x2): this card allows you to be
sure to get the Nebulon for your blow-up, without packing them in your
Life Force, and resorting to Control & Tunnel Vision to draw them.
It is destiny 5 also, which is better than a 3, and packing two means
it is not anymore "a crucial card" that you have not to lose, because
there will be another one that you can draw with Don't Do That Again.
Also, packing 2 means that your odds of getting one back into hand for
retrieving another 3 with the Redemption (V) increase drastically.
Last but not least, this card allows you to blow up the Death Star AND
come back to Yavin IV (to protect Haven) on the same turn, getting you
in position for the nice fat drain +2 and Luke's retrieval.
Houjix (x2): with 3 Escape Pod (V), it means 5 Houjix. Without
considering the 5 Control & Tunnel Vision. Key card since you can't
risk your characters to be barriered on ground while doing the flip
and then killed with a spy or Elis strike. Also means you can leave
your characters on the swamp to hold Battle Plan (and Ultimatum too)
without any fear.
Haven: all ships deploy –2, all pilots deploy –1. You add a battle
destiny. All games where the opponent came with ships at Yavin IV
ended with a big beatdown there thanks to this card. You can pile up
power like no other with that card. Considering that expensive ships
can be deployed with Great Shot, Kid! for free too, you understand why
the opponent will lose all its fleet there.
Home One: well, deploying it for free is always fun. Power 9+3
(remember your objective ?) alone.
R3 Falcon (Han, Chewie And The Falcon): of course useless vs. CCT,
this ship is like Home One (power 9+3) but better, since you will draw
2 Battle Destinies (one of them can be a 6 with All Wings Report In &
Darklighter Spin, thus preventing Guri or Imperial Justice (V)), and
it can be landed or embarked for more forfeit and not to pay the 3 of
maintenance. Remember that if you have Princess Organa (or any pilot)
aboard, you get the +2 drain, even if the pilot is at a passenger
slot. If played (or moved) at any system where you have another
piloted starfighter, allows you to play The Time For Our Attack Has
Come (V) for more battle damage or retrieval.
Like any other starfighters or ships that move like a starfighter
(Bright Hope (V)), it can land to boost your forfeit in a battle yet
to come, thus losing the ship to the lost pile, where it will be
retrieved with Advance Preparations (V), Luke (V) or Great Shot, Kid!
for even more retrieval.
Liberty: goes to Used when battling, but often there is no need since
you cancel your opponent's destiny draws with Bright Hope (V) and
Wedge, RSL. Used mainly as a power ship that deploys for free, like
Home One, when Home One or the R3 Falcon is not there.
Gold Leader In Gold 1 (V): deploys for 0 on Haven, great card vs. Scum
or Accuser. Has a pilot/passenger slot, so works great like R3 Falcon
for the +2 drain or to put Mon Mothma (V) there against Maul. Can
land, help you play The Time For Your Attack Has Come (V), etc.
Spiral (x2): Scum battles you to retrieve 2 ? You retrieve 3 and
overpower them even more. Great ship.
I Have A Bad Feeling About This: useless card at Worlds, but then,
Worlds is about USA. I'm used to see some counters where I play, and
this card nails them all (or nearly all).
They do barrier Red 5 (V) ? Retarget it to Luke (V) and do the Run.
They do Elis ? Send them somewhere else. Forced Servitude with droids
to reduce the force loss on your Y4 docking bay ? Nahhhh… The effect
is better on your system, where you cancel it straight away.
Presence Of The Force on one of your sites ? What about putting it on
Endor, where you will get +1 drain there, and where the opponent won't
generate from it anyway ? Or why not on the Death Star JUST before the
run, so that they lose 2 more ?
I nearly thought of playing Artoo & Threepio combo, which can be
deployed for 2 in Red 5 (V) thanks to Red 5 (V) game text (read the
rule, it works), so as to get this key card ANYTIME I wanted. Seeing
the meta in Day 2 of Worlds, I nearly thought of taking this out for
Day 3 and adding a 6th Control & Tunnel Vision.
Princess Organa: pilot (get the +2 drain), costs 2 on Haven, reduces
drains against you at Yavin IV sites.
Obi-Wan With Lightsaber (x2): still a character to help you flip. He
can beatdown people who try to spread too much, and help holding the
Swamp pretty easily. Good card vs. HDADTJ, and he costs 5 only. Most
of the time the card is not needed, but you need the option to fight
on the ground should you need it so, else the opponent can just spread
without fear since turn 1.
Bright Hope (V): deploys for 0 on Haven, which means technically that
you can hold Haven without having to use any Force with Spiral in
hand. This ship, like ANY capital, allows your characters shuttling
movement to/from Yavin IV when orbiting. And for cheap deploy cost (0
or 2, depending if Haven is on table or not). Also, it can land with
characters aboard (why not the ones you just shuttled the turn before)
during your move phase to hold this critical battleground site (swamp
?) or site where your opponent is draining when needed.
Redemption (V) (under the Starting Effect): comes for 3 out, 1 if
Haven, with The Time For Our Attack Has Come (V), allowing you to
retrieve 3 more with Great Shot, Kid! (the retrieval is NOT limited to
once per turn, 100% confirmed by the rules), or to have another 6
power for beatdown purposes (the immediate effect adds 2) for cheap.



Strategy
b) questions about card choices:

Why do you play Red 5 (V) twice, and no copy of Artoo-Detoo In Red 5 ?
Simply because with all these capitals, you do not need hyperspeed to
move Red 5 (V) around, but especially because the meta is very strong
on DS starfighters right now. This ships kills Mist Hunter (V), or any
other, with ease. And of course, since the game text is cancelled, no
immunity to attrition either for the DS. 2 of them allows you to lose
1 and to feel safe (even though there are ways to retrieve it).
Indeed, if you are really thinking you will lose Red 5 (V), just take
on your next control phase All Wings Report In & Darklighter Spin to
get the other Red 5 (V).
Red 5 (V) with Luke costs you 3 at Haven (which is 1 more than
Artoo-Detoo In Red 5 with Luke). So the cost is not even that
different.
Many players at Worlds thought that without astromech you could not
use the maneuver of a starfighter. Nothing is more wrong. No astromech
means only no hyperspeed. But with A Nebulon ready to do the run, what
do you need the hyperspeed for ?

Why don't you play Honor Of the Jedi ?
The main reason is that force loss objectives, like HDADTJ and Watto,
are not anymore played nowadays (well, HDADTJ came back since V11
premium and Emperor's Power (V)) at the top tables (when was the last
time HDADTJ or Watto won anything ?). HDADTJ risks TRM (V) and WYS (V)
(if playing some other generation sites), just to name a few (and HB
is not very nice either), while Watto risk any kind of beatdown decks,
since nowadays activation is very high.
Honor would be nice against drains at Y4, but I prefer Princess Organa.
Indeed, there were not many HDADTJ at Worlds, albeit still a few.
HDADTJ is however not Watto, and can be beaten even with the force
loss.

Only one Rebel Tech ? And 3 Advance Preparations (V) ?
Well, the Tech is useful, but not primordial (destiny 2, by the way).
The Advance Preparations (V) are (and also destiny 6). Of course, you
can draw them with a Rebel Tech (v), but playing 2/2 means some
average chances of both being activated when sending the Tech to the
used. Since the Tech is easily trackable and / into hand once One In A
Million is on table, having 1 or 2 does not change much, unless you're
playing some DTF/Entrenchment tech, which I am not.

Indeed, why are you not playing Draw Their Fire & Entrenchment tech ?
This requires some cards that, while interesting for some cheese force
loss / retrieval and for a quicker flip in general, open holes in MBO
on "solidity" and "rapidity". The Rebel Tech (v) trick with DTF can be
done, theorically, several times a turn, but really not more than
once, simply because you have to find an Advance Preparations (V) with
the first Rebel Tech (v) to send to the Used the second one, but also
because you can take only one Tech during your turn with One In A
Million. This "2 force swing" is interesting but nothing so
game-breaking to include. If using also Entrenchment, it requires even
more slots (to get Entrenchment) and it is not immune to Alter (so if
you cannot send all your Tech to Used quickly, it will become bloody
soon).
Last but not least, retrieving one force by paying 4 (battle, secret
plans and deploy of Rebel Tech) is not very smart imho.

How do you plan on getting Luke (V) and Red 5 (V) ?
This is one of the reasons I am playing 2 copies of each, and 5 All
Wings Report In & Darklighter Spin. The possibilities to get it turn 1
are 82% average and rise drastically in the usual safe flip since you
will be drawing cards. Still, you can still flip without Luke (or even
blow up the Death Star without him) with the same speed, because you
will surely have in hand another X-W or matching pilot. Considering
that nowadays you can also use the safe flip, which means some card
drawing turn 1, and you have near 100% to always have them into hand
(else Tunnel Vision for them).

Why do you use the Nebulon B. ?
The Nebulon B. is not a good ship, but it is the cheapest ship with
starfighter carrying capabilities (not considering Corvettes with
Z-95). Besides, it has hyperspeed 4, which is crucial to move between
the Death Star and Yavin IV, and, if you need it, between Yavin IV and
Endor.
With Haven, the Nebulon costs 3. Which I often complain about (since
the ship is not so good and I'm used to play ships for free), but this
is just nonsense: 3 is next to nothing.
The Nebulon is what will make this deck quick, since it allows you to
move to the Death Star AND to do the Attack Run on the same turn.
And The Time For Our Attack Has Come (V) means that the ship will be
on table real easy.
There is also a good side bonus of playing a "cheap" Nebulon B. in the
beginning, which is the fact that it is a capital.
Indeed, this allows a lot of freedom and safety of your characters on
Yavin IV. For example, after flipping, you can shuttle them up to the
Nebulon, thus preventing any future beatdown on them (and getting some
forfeit in space).
When you need them back to hold a BG site, just do the opposite, and
shuttle them down on the Swamp… or the DB.
The same tactic can be used with starfighters.
Example: you are missing a character in hand to flip or don't want to
pay for it ? Get down an X-Wing to land somewhere for the flip… then
shuttle back the pilot. Next turn, before the run, shuttle down the
pilot, and take off with the X-Wing.
The possibilities are endless.

What are the advantages of using this Nebulon B. run instead of other
methods, like Spy ships ?
Well, first of all, using the spy ship strategy means usually playing
Madine (he costs 3), and getting everything you need in hand, which
tends to push for some hand drawing (bad considering the possible
resurgence of Monnok). Since you need a spy pilot (Cracken or Blount,
Madine draws them), you need their Z-95 (either hoping that Squadron
Assignments will get it for you, either playing an All Wings Report In
& Darklighter Spin or having it into hand), and you need also Red 5
and Luke (same here, but you can't play Squadron Assignments twice in
the same turn).
All in all, spy strategy usually plays both Tala and matching pilots
(so that when the times come, they have better chance to find one in
their reserve) and should plan on getting the Tala either by draw,
either by All Wings Report In & Darklighter Spin so that Luke can be
Squassined.
This strategy requires, however, Force: while these ships are not so
expensive (especially if you play Artoo-Detoo In Red 5), they are not
free either, since you're not getting the Haven deployment bonus.
Also, it is vulnerable to Imperial Barrier and following beatdown
(either with Lateral Damage, either with T/I cannons). There are ways
to counter this of course, but you need to have cards to do it in your
hand. Or you can play Rycar Ryjerd (V) to get the Mercenary Armor, but
usually the starting effects for MBO are set in stone.
And also very vulnerable to Uncertain Is The Future.
And most of all, while you're preparing to blow up the Death Star,
you're not doing anything to stop the opponent or to put some pressure
too (no Luke in space for set-up and retrieval). Which means that
afterwards, you will be running to set up to win the drain race.
Remember also that this strategy is very vulnerable to manipulation,
like Senate, or Scanning Crew…
With the Nebulon Run, a barrier does you nothing (just keeps you on
Y4, where you are safe with Haven, since you have 3 very solid ships
and 2 battle destinies there, and slows you down a turn).

How do you deal vs. invasion of Y4 ?
First of all, few Dark Side can think to invade Y4 preventing your
flip. Remember they cannot invade before turn 2 (because turn 1 there
is only the DB), so either they try on turn 2, either they can't.
Going into the DB means that :
- ignore the first turn deploy, get a site out (the Jungle), and
continue your set-up as usual. You have 5 OTHER sites anyway, hardly
the opponent will be able to prevent you from flipping.
- just do not deploy any other site: draw them to deploy them and flip
in a following turn. (never done, not needed in this deck)
No Dark deck will try to invade Y4 but if they are ground pounding
decks (but even then they will prefer set-up and then beatdowns with
spies or Elis Helrot), and doing so always slow their own set-up,
which means that, if for some reason, you manage to flip, they have
lost the game.
Indeed, the second point to deal vs. the invasion is Imperial Atrocity
(V), Princess Organa, and sometimes Rebel Tech means simply put
drains=0 against you at Y4 sites. Manageable don't you think ?
Consider also Battle Plan and the gruesome fate of any DS player going to space.

What about Monnok ? You have so many doubles and triples !!!
Most of my doubles are Used Interrupts, and get played when you wish,
usually you have never two of the same title in hand. Luke (v) and Red
5 (v) are on table (no risk) and the Controls are used quickly.
I never get over 12 cards in hand too, I never need it. Exceptions are
turn 1, if the opponent is giving me a lot of cards with Drop! (V).
Not that it matters a lot, though, it is a calculated risk. However, I
can still stop at 12 (3 drops + Rieekan (V)), and deploy some cards
next turn before getting some others into hand.

Why do you play Endor and not a high draining system, like, Kessel,
Coruscant or Kiffex ?
This is a good question, but Endor is the most strong choice.
First of all, as soon as you blow up the Death Star, the opponent
loses 14. this means that, if MBO will win the game, it won't be with
300 turns of Force Drain, but 2 or 3 maximum (since the drains are
high, +2 each).
Also, packing a higher drain system means that this is where the
opponent will try to fight you, if he goes in space. Which means that
this is the system where Luke (V) and Red 5 (V) should be, simply
because it's not only your best starfighter, but also because of
nearly every DS player playing only Bounty Hunter ships.
Now, let's analyse the different other possibilities:
- Coruscant (Sp. Ed): parsec 0, which means that instead of coming
back to Yavin IV after the blow-up with the Nebulon and Red 5 (V), you
can elect to go there, easily, and leave Red Squadron 1 to Yavin IV.
This will create a possible "drain 5+3" next turn, with all imperials
(characters and ships) deploy +2 everywhere.
Nice, however you're also giving 2 more force to the opponent, and,
coupled with the DS Coruscant game text of "your characters and ships
deploy –2 here" means that every single BH or independent ship with
Pilot will deploy for free there (especially against Scum). And it's
not like Red 5 (V) and a single non-unique Nebulon can do miracles
alone. So you're basically letting the opponent come at you there
without needing the force to pay for drains (Battle Plan), and, even
if they do not battle you, at least to block the drain easily.
And of course, the system is giving you only one LS icon while giving
2 to the opponent.
Kiffex: giving you 2 icons, like Endor, and moving Red 5 (V) and
Nebulon there means a +2 total power. Not bad.
You drain for 4 however (only 1 more than Endor), and still give 2 DS
icons to the opponent. Movement to there, like to Coruscant, is not
free either. Since most DS decks that will try to jump on you in space
will do it with the Space Cruiser (thus having also 2 ships when they
react, earning the +2 power too), it's not like this game text is
really helpful. Kiffex is also only 2 parsec difference from Yavin IV.
This is why, in the end, Endor was chosen: no force generation for the
opponent, which is important when you wish to force choke them a
little, a free movement, 4 parsec difference, and drain 3.
You can also deploy Endor right when you wish, not fearing to have
given the opponent 2 icons more to beat you up with.
And if the opponent controls it, it's a drain 1 system only for him.


Chapter VII: Analysis of Cards/Tactics that may seem problematic vs. MBO

Do They Have A Code Clearance (shield): stops short any Advance
Preparations (V) madness. If you see this shield, chances are (but
against a TDIGWATT) that there won't be Secret Plans shield out.
Anyway, this shield is annoying. Just do not play Advance Preparations
(V) then, and retrieve usually with Luke (v) and Great Shot Kid!.
Advance Preparations (V) is 1 out of 2 grabbed anyway.
Elis Helrot: card that imho should be played in nearly every Dark deck
nowadays (people are playing again Insurrection & Aim High for that
same reason) that is not planning on getting Docking bays out. This
card hurts more than spies, because it means that the opponent will
beatdown you without even needing to pay to deploy anything. So even
the Swamp game text won't work a lot there. And it is a Used
Interrupt. Errrk… The good point is that you can grab it, and that you
should be flipped before any serious battle damage is done (thus
allowing you to shuttle on the capitals at the related system). And
you have Houjix.
Elis Helrot is one of the first reason why you should go for the safe
flip. A possible counter I have is I Have A Very Bad Feeling About
This, to relocate Elis somewhere else, but you usually do not have the
3 force turn 1 or 2, and decks that do use Elis usually are Scum, who
can just as easily jump on you with J'Quille (V), so…
Anyway, with the safe flip and Houjix in hand, this card has lost its
great damage potential.
Crossfire (V): be careful, the Presence Of The Force (or Forced
Servitude) threat is imminent. What to do ? safe flip again, or look
upon that Elis Helrot counter too, to put the Presence Of the Force to
Endor or somewhere else.
Forced Servitude: usually put on your DB and swarmed with stupid
scrubs / mains. Will allow the opponent to survive very well the 14
damage, if the DS manages to get it in time. Solution: still the same
Elis Helrot counter (see any thread here ?) to put it on Yavin 4 /
Endor.
Krayt Dragon Bones (V): Creatures slow your flip and eat all of your
flipping characters in a blink of an eye. Decks that do start this
effect and that put pressure (HDADTJ, Watto) can have a huge advantage
over the LS.
However, seeing it into action means you have just to go for the safe
flip like I always advise anyway. Your opponent plans of killing you
has just been laid to waste (if you don't deploy characters, how are
the creatures supposed to eat them ? and if when you deploy, you flip,
then it's already too late). Good Game.
More so, you can use your opponent's creature to eat your characters,
so as not to lose force to shuttle them up.
Black 2 (V): this card stops All Wings Report In & Darklighter Spin.
There are 5 in the deck, so it may seem bad. It is, but not that much:
this interrupt is mainly used for set-up, and if you think you might
see it played, and you have an All Wings Report In & Darklighter Spin
in starting hand, play it asap (1st turn DS) to get Red 5 (V) (so now
you can play Luke with Squ. Ass.). And since usually the opponent will
not be able to play Black 2 (V) 1st turn, you can take another copy
with Luke (V) turn 2 and play it to get another X-W. Also, Black 2 (V)
has to be piloted (so somewhere where you can beat it) for its game
text to work (game text is ignored if landed or embarked). Remember
then that Red 5 (V) can cancel Black 2 (V) game text…
Imperial Decree (V): this cards reduces the damage of the blow-up by
X, where X=number of battlegrounds your opponent occupies. Now tell
me, how many battlegrounds do you think the Dark Side can occupy by
the end of its 2nd or 3rd turn ?
Not that many. Most will have occupied 2 battlegrounds average. Some
3, some 1. Decks like Spead Deal can get more (up to 6!!!), but this
is clearly an exception, and Speed Deal usually do not have the place
for Imperial Decree (V).
It is important to remember also that Imperial Decree (V) does not
"hurt" MBO, it just helps the Dark Side cushioning the force loss
blow.
I had a guy occupying FIVE Battleground just before the blow-up
(aneas). He still lost big.
Control & Set For Stun: the probability of your opponent draws one
before you blow-up the Death Star are slim. Even if he draws one, he
needs a 5 to Set For Stun Luke (v) (4 if with Lando (v)). Can he do
this without tracking ? not very likely. If for some reason it
happens, it means that your opponent understood that you were going
for the attack run with a Nebulon B (because he left 3 Force for the
interrupt), which is even more unlikely. But let's say he does manage
to do it. You can grab this Control & Set For Stun, or not. Anyway
embark Red 5 (V) (you can do it even if unpiloted, check the rules),
move as reinforcements from Yavin IV your other X-Wing, and prepare
for the beat at the Death Star.
Imperial Barrier: while I could have played a Mercenary Armor (BoShek
(V) pulls it), thus allowing me to cancel this interrupt, it is nearly
useless against this MBO. If they Barrier Red 5 (V), you can retarget
it to Luke (V) with I Have A Bad Feeling About This (and grab the
Barrier) so that is useless. They can Barrier the Nebulon B, if they
understand what's going to happen. If they do, you still have 2 ships
more as protection on Haven… Who is going to attack you ? No-one. If
playing against an Imperial Barrier heavy deck, grab it. This card can
cause you some problem in battles afterwards. The real problem is
Barrier on a character when you flip.
However, you can surprise the opponent with the Tech (V) (that can't
be really barriered since he can go to the Used) when flipping. Or by
carefully deploying a site, THEN a character, then ANOTHER site, then
another character, etc, to flip, you can always counter a barrier and
have all your characters at one site. And you should have always
Houjix in hand anyways.
Gravity Shadow: there is slim to no chance that the opponent will have
this interrupt when you will move for the Attack Run. If he has the
interrupt, it will be with some tracking (nearly impossible at turn 2
or 3) or thanks to Labria (V). Well, Labria (v) shows to you also the
destiny, right ? Then if you think the destiny makes Luke (v) at risk,
wait a turn. Next one, either move the torpedoes to another ship,
either move if the destiny is safe.
Loss of Haven (without Sullust on table): Haven is a nice card. People
look at it and think "wow!", I have to keep that card on table. This
is true, but like any other cards, you have to defend it only if it
helps you winning the game. This can happen when the opponent has a
overwhelming force at Haven, and you are not sure you can challenge
it. Or when you go for the Attack Run (especially when you miss). In
that case, sometimes it's better to flee Yavin IV (or the system where
Haven is) to better set-up (or protect) your ships afterwards. Haven,
even if lost, is not lost forever: you just have to retrieve it via
Advance Preparations (V) or Great Shot, Kid!. Then, next turn, get it
back with Rieekan (V) if you need it. Losing it might even be a good
tactic if you're pushing to get some more differential from the game.
Occupation of Massassi Headquarters (giving you –4 to the Attack Run):
to prevent it, just deploy first the Y4 Jungle, Then turn 2 deploy it.
Hopefully you can flip and blow the Death Star on the same turn that
you deployed the site, thus getting an additional +2 and safe blow-up.
Else, track a pair of Used Interrupts, or just deploy the Rebel Tech
(v) (no more +2, but neither –4). All in all, do one or the other.
Since you start Yavin IV Jungle instead of the Massassi Headquarters,
I do not think anyone would try to invade Yavin IV with such a site
nearby on turn 2.
Tractor Beam and related interrupts: In Range and They've Shut Down
The Main Reactor! Can give you some problems, especially in a Bewil
(v) deck. Depending on the situation, one or the other interrupt is
your enemy. Grab it. If you fear one or the other, play accordingly.
The goal of any DS player with such interrupts will be first to try to
pin you down (if with a free Executor) at Yavin to prevent the Attack
Run (else, without free Executor, there is no chance that it will
happen), or try to hold their own in space battles afterwards.
The problem is however manageable, since if it is before the run, you
can still decide to battle on Haven with your Starfighters to deal a
huge blow, or you can try to move away with Nebulon / Red 5 (v). If
they stop you, you just stay there and smile at Haven with your ships.
If they do try it after the 14 force loss, you have free deploy of
Home One, Liberty, and R3 Falcon to blow them out with sheer power and
battle destiny (keep the other ships somewhere else). Note also that
Nebulons are hard to capture, since they are non-unique (opponent
needs a 6 to capture them with In Range), so you're not risking
anything with them.
Loss of Haven (with Sullust on table): if the opponent plays Sullust,
you will see your opponent greedily go for the "Haven Cancel" to make
you lose 8. Losing 8 is not good. But on the good side, Haven is
difficult to cancel: the opponent has to devote resources to do it,
and Haven makes the system more defendable.
If however, for some reason, you are not in so bad shape (with your
Lost Pile) and you can blow the Death Star, do not hesitate to leave
Haven alone. You will lose 8, but the opponent will lose 14 first, and
you will come back with Great Shot Kid!.
Overload: some people think that Overload is the solution vs. MBO.
However, Attack Run has an errata/clarification, saying that Proton
Torpedoes are immune to Overload. That is, of course, only if Attack
Run is on table, which happens as soon as you deploy the Proton
Torpedoes with Advance Preparations (V). And it won't happen after the
Death Star is no more, since Attack Run will go to Lost. Still,
afterwards, it is of no consequence: Red 5 (V) is just a ship, and you
can deploy it again afterwards.


Chapter VIII : Match-ups

Now onto the most looked for section, the match-ups.
Scum CR (V): the big deck of Worlds, this deck was faced 3 times, and
it lost 3 times to MBO. Once by 33, once by 1, and once by 34. The
loss by 1 was due to a bad starting hand AND a REALLY stupid mistake
on my part (I'm so used to cancel the Space Cruiser react with Gold
Leader In Gold 1 (V) that I battled it with a couple of stupid ships,
getting pawned).
Here is how it works. If the opponent is starting Drop! (V), you will
flip turn 1, since they will give you force and cards in hand.
In this case pull Rieekan (V) or Mon Mothma (V) in hand (better
Rieekan (V)) as your first action, then wait.
During your turn, before activating, play one Used Interrupt (like
AWRI&DS or Escape Pod (V)) if possible to check if Mon Mothma (V) is
in your Reserve. If it is, pull her.
Activate, deploy a site one at a time, with a character there, flip,
get the Death Star. Of course, do it only if you have (or can pull
from Reserve or Force pile) an Houjix. Move all characters together
then, even if it means a loss of 3 next turn with J'Quille (V). Pull
Battle Plan shield.
Next DS turn will see maybe a beatdown, maybe not. If there is, Houjix
away. If there is not, it means that the opponent is setting up. End
of DS turn, just pull the DDTA shield, getting your immediate effect
for the Run.
Then during your turn, play all your stuff for the Run if you can, or
just get the cards needed for it.
afterwards, it's just a matter on going for the opponent's space fleet
like a madman. The space cruiser is usually power 7 (5+pilot), and
can't react if there is Gold Leader In Gold 1 (V). It can be shot also
with your Enhanced Proton Torpedoes (you need a 5, not that difficult
if the opponent is not playing Geela Yens (V) on it). If there is
another ship, usually it's not more than power 4. You have already
more power with only 1 ship, so you can manage to make them lose a lot
of cards there, just by power difference. Against Maul you have Luke
(V), BoShek (V), and Mon Mothma (V). Sure, the opponent might start to
lose 2 to cloak Maul, but when they have already lost 14 cards and are
losing some more to drains, they can't afford it very long.
Considering that they can only hope to drain on Tatooine, it's not a
big deal, especially since Imperial Atrocity (V) reduces the damage of
Occupation.
As soon as the opponent does have to pay for his drains, you have won the game.
This is because you'll be draining for more and retrieving. The
opponent won't retrieve, simply because they have to battle you in
space for that, which is suicide, pure and simple, and because there
will be nothing on the ground to battle (oh yes, I forgot to tell you:
do shuttle up your characters AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, even if you have
Houjix: you do not want them to let them retrieve 2 by battling you).
So you'll be paying both to drain, but you will drain for more (unless
Resistance is on table, and even then, it's still drain 2), and you
will retrieve.
Consider also that AS SOON AS the opponent has no cards remaining in
hand and few life force left, you can land a ship/character on a BG
site, and the opponent won't be able to do them anything, so you will
not pay for Battle Plan anymore.
Don't hesitate to AWRI&DS for more battle damage, and remember that
your movement TO Tatooine Dark, and not only Endor, is free.
If the Scum is not using Drop! (V), then you won't activate/draw as
much, but you won't give them 300 cards thanks to Drop! (V) either. So
it's a fair trade off, they will be slower to set-up too. And will
have one shield less to play. There, the blow-up will happen by turn
3.
Last note: in the unlikely event that Scum creates you drain problems
on ground, think about killing Gailid, if needed be, with a well place
EPP Obi. Of course, only if the opponent has no force activated...
which is tricky since they have this Tusken raider 3PO, but it can
happen. Of course, you need to have an Houjix in hand.
Bespin CR (V): well, they give you usually the same amount of icons as
Scum CR (V), so it's good. They will deploy the free Executor and
usually move it to Yavin IV for a drain 2.
There the strategy is not that much different. Flip safe, as always.
Since the Executor is on Yavin IV, you can't play Haven there WITHOUT
deploying a ship first. So it will be a little more expensive (3 force
more, usually). This is the bad news.
The good news is that the opponent is on Yavin IV, and will get the
beatdown of his life there.
Depending on what the opponent has there, you can kill them the turn
of the run, BEFORE the run (remember, you're deploying Red 5 (V) +
Luke (V), usually Red Squadron 1 + Wedge RSL, a Neb power 6 immune to
<5 too, and if you wish to add some ships, it's fairly cheap too, and
you have 2 Battle Destinies, one of those can be a 6, power +3, and
some battle destiny cancel abilities too), or just do the run while
leaving a ship there, then come back.
If the opponent stays, swarm him and crush him the next turn (thanks
also to Great Shot, Kid!). If he does not, drain for 3, and kill him
where he is.
During all games vs. Bespin CR (V), I killed all the ships with
beatdown pretty quickly, leaving them to pay for their drains on
ground, when they were not reduced to naught with Princess Organa and
company.
Few USA players are playing with Tractor Beams, and the question is
"will they be quick enough to get all the cards in hand in time ?"
since the 14 force loss can be killer in that department.
Even then, it's not like you can't grab one of the beam cards.
If the opponent is starting to drain you huge (like Maul + Saber),
just Control their drains, and Imperial Atrocity the rest, and
whenever possible, pull out Ultimatum shield.
As soon as the big Executor is out of the picture (which happened in
EVERY game I played), you've won..
The Maul deck: first of all, how many Mauls are your opponent playing
? Right here you have the main reason why this deck can lose. Not
having it in his starting hand means no huge drain turn 2 (that can be
controlled anyway). Then, nothing Ultimatum does not handle (even if
Bane Malar (V) is on table).
Then when they lose 14, and start to lose all their fleet (Maul is not
in space, so putting it into pieces is a piece of cake), and will have
to pay for their drains, while you drain the hell out of them.
Good game. Don't forget that you can hold pretty much easily BG sites
with Houjix to hold Ultimatum. Not that you have to expect much
fighting force from them once they lose 14 and some more to drains,
but this is another story. If they manage to battle you, then they did
not drain (if they had to pay for it), and you can, while you retrieve
and land some more ships.
SYCFA: this match-up is a joke. Albeit a joke to be taken seriously. A
good piece of advice: blow up the Death Star fast. By fast, I mean
fast. Turn 2 is your goal. You do need to flip, since the Death Star
is already on table, and once it is gone, the opponent will have
nearly 0 force generation.
Many will say "play the Death Star Assault Squadron". I will answer
"and then what ?". This "great" ship costs 12 and is no way immune to
attrition. Which means the Dark side will deploy it turn 2, and use
all its force doing it. You can just still do the Nebulon Run, maybe
add 4 with Mon Mothma (V), and if does not work, you stay in front of
the squadron, looking it in the eyes: you have power at the BARE
MINIMUM 6+6+3(obj often)+6(Neb)=21, and you cancel a destiny.
The opponent will just get a beating there next turn, and lose the
squadron (which can be shot down too).
If the opponent is playing with Tie Cannons, then you can always put
your X-Wings and pilots in the Nebulon, battle them out, and then take
them out for the run, or just take both for the run, since your
wingmen will die instead of your lead attack fighter.
If playing vs. a deck who is playing ISD (V) with weapons, you have
options too, if they block you with They've Shut Down The Main
Reactor!. First of all grab it. Then since Red 5 (V) is stuck, use
your ship docking capability to move Luke (V) to the Nebulon, then
embark the other X-Wing there too and make Luke (V) jump aboard for
the run. Then put everything back like it was.
HDADTJ: can be a tough match-up. This deck has always been played
some, but pre-V11 I thought it was not going to be played a lot. I saw
3 or 4 in Day 1, half that in Day 2 (Pistone was playing one, for
example), and I was not expecting them at ALL in Day 2 or 3. Still,
even though you can't drain or battle where Luke (V) or Leia are,
things are not looking so grim. HDADTJ can deploy Rendili, and in this
case you have a 3rd system where to go and drain at while you keep
Luke and Leia at Yavin IV to make their drains 0 and retrieve, or you
can put EPP Obi at the Swamp. Or even land Luke (V) and drain with
your other pilots.
HDADTJ drain potential doesn't go very high anyway, so the damage you
will take is all about Visage, and Search And Destroy if it is on
table. Search And Destroy you can get around quickly with some
characters down, or by preventing the opponent from getting it with
DDTA shield.
HDADTJ space is of no consequence, since it will be killed in no time
by Red 5 (V) or with overflow. Really, the pain of HDADTJ is that they
may make you lose cards from Reserve early on, and this may hurt, and
that, afterwards, they do not need to drain to damage you. They don't
deploy much on table either, so they can take the 14 force loss better
than other DS decks.
In a meta however where TRM was big, HDADTJ can be a problem, so I
feel no specific counters to be necessary (like a spy, Honor or
Transmission Terminated). If the HDADTJ plays however the Death Star:
DB, then it is game over for them (they will lose 19).
However, even here, you have to adapt. The first goal is of course to
blow up the death star. So first you need to flip. And then to blow
the big ball. Then, depending on the situation, it's all about tricks.
This MBO has the cards to always occupy a BG site, especially the
swamp, all the game, thus preventing S&D and forcing the opponent to
slowly have problems throwing things at you there, since he will have
to pay for drains, deploy, and battle. So even making Luke (V) land to
flip on the 0 side HDADTJ is not a bad move, if you have to. You're
losing 2 to Visage anyway for the whole game each complete turn.
Landing Luke (V) and keeping him alive will mean that the opponent
will take the 2 force loss too.
While protecting you from S&D. EPP Obi might come in handy for the
same reason, or to take out S&D when the opportunity shows itself.
Remember also that sites like Jungle and Swamp can be deployed at
another system than Yavin IV, like Endor or Rendili (most HDADTJ play
this system). In this case you can use your shuttling and embarking
tricks to move Luke or Obi from Yavin IV to the other site on another
planet.
All in all, it is a game where most happen to luck:
- will the opponent be lucky enough to get a turn 1 Vader ?
- will you manage to deploy Endor from the Reserve with Mon Mothma (V)
before she gets killed ? (IF she gets killed)
- will you manage to blow up the Death Star on the first try ?
- will you manage to prevent some drains at Y4 with Leia and Imperial
Atrocity (V) ?
- will you lose some important cards from reserve ?
- will HDADTJ manage to get S&D in play early enough ?
So many questions, that can go one way or the other. What is sure is
that HDADTJ does not have a lot of drain potential, and if the DS
tries to drain you, he will pay a lot for it (3 force each time).
Choices. It's all about choices. And luck.
Always close match-up, unless luck is clearly on one's side.
The good thing about HDADTJ is that nearly every version plays IAO&SP
starting, so no Elis Helrot against you.
Other Mains decks: well, it's not that they can do a lot. They have
nearly no drain potential (unless playing sabers or Stormtrooper
Garrison, but I beated a guy who was going to do a turn 3 drain of 12
with them just before my blow-up, so…) and no damage potential, or
when they have, it's based on Occupation. Since their fleet will be
taken out in no time, well, you win.
Sure, they'll always think they can earn a win. Just adapt to their
game. If they try to drain you a lot on your sites, get out Princess
Organa and Imperial Atrocity and laugh while you kill them everywhere
else. If they try to set up a fleet, kill it. What is nice about Mains
decks is that they will give you icons anyway, thus speeding your
flip.
And if they are not giving you icons, they won't cause you damage
either (besides HDADTJ), so you are in no hurry to blow up the Death
Star (although you have to flip, that's for sure).
IO/IC(V) or Hoth CR (V) decks with Walkers: there the strategy varies.
IO/IC (V) will try to blow up the generators quickly, before you blow
up the Death Star, and they might do it IF you don't manage it turn 2.
If you do, then you've won, else it's closer, IF they play Imperial
Decree non-V.
Still, I have beaten countless of those decks, and still have to lose
vs. them. Remember that you can strike at their sites with EPP Obi
once they have lost 14, that Imperial Atrocity (V) takes away THREE
damage from the blow-up (and not 2, like everyone thinks) and works
also against the damage of occupying sites, that you retrieve and
drain for 2 at Hoth anyway, that Presence Of The Force can be put on
other systems with I Have A Bad Feeling About This, and that Princess
Organa works also perfectly when orbiting Hoth.
Mon Mothma (V) helps also, if they can't start Sando or don't draw it in time.
Usually however you will want to put Haven on Hoth and do the run from
there. Hoth is a fat drain of 2 (4 without Decree), adding your power
there like Yavin IV to their sites. The opponent might try to fight
you before the blow-up (mistake) also. And no one is playing Death
Squadron (V) (well, at least until I posted THIS deck, now things may
change).
The main goal is however to blow-up the Death Star before they do
blow-up the Generators. The DS starts first in the game, so they have
the advantage on their side, but you have Mon Mothma (V). If you see
any trick with Combat Readiness (V), grab it. Maybe the opponent will
abuse something else AFTERWARDS, but afterwards will be too late, and
you will have slowed down the set-up of the opponent, which is all you
need.

Other match-ups are not often seen and, I guess, can be won with
generally the same strategy as seen there. Remember that you will be
causing the 14 force loss (+3 or 6 from draining) pretty quick enough.
It's not like they have all the time in the world to counter you.

Chapter IX: Epilogue

So all in all, that's the MBO deck everyone has been speaking about.
I've tried to make the strategy has full as I could, but I'm sure I'm
missed some things, and some others, even if told, won't seem very
important to you.
I can just say that it was/is fun to play that deck, and to see the
astonished faces of my opponents. The wins speak for themselves, since
I have an average of +30 in wins with it during its whole history.
Mind that it's also when the opponent ran to draw up before I
retrieved more (else wins can be higher).
NPE ? I never thought that a movie/story deck to be NPE. The deck
fights, and there are ways around it. It has drain potential, and
retrieval potential. Still, the main reason why people lost to this
deck is because simply put they don't know what to do vs. it, and when
they do (because they played already against it, isn't it Danny Pack ?
^_^), it doesn't always work very well either.
Danny Pack is THE person that played against it the best in both
games, trying to Sense & Uncertain Is the Future my hand (grab,
control), Defensive Fire a key card (worked), Elis before I flipped,
etc. He still lost by 30+ each game, being a great guy about it (since
the first time it was next to last game of day 2, and didn't draw up
to let me boost my differential, and the second time he conceded the
game to give me the full win since it was timed).

Last but not least, this deck has also space for some meta cards.
My meta cards here were:
- Princess Organa (I considered that Dark would be very aggressive and
storm my sites often, so another drain reducer was not so bad, but
Imperial Atrocity (V) can be enough, with the Rebel Tech (V), if
opponent has to pay for his drains)
- I Have A Bad Feeling About This (was useless at Worlds)
- the 2 EPP Obi (albeit I will always play them in any Day 2, you can
surprise the opponent in Day 3 and take them out)
- a 5th Control & Tunnel Vision
- a 3rd Escape Pod (V)
Considering the overall meta, the last 2 are imho not anymore
metaslots, but cards that should stay in your deck whatever happens.
Still, if one day the meta slows down and is not about
auto-downloading of spies/POTF/Elis like it has become with V7-V8,
then those might be taken out.


MBO a deck to beat ?
You bet.

Editor's note: Decklist and strategy are courtesy of DDM.

arebelspy
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Re: MBO Primer - DECK TO BEAT

Post by arebelspy »

This was redux'd. Attack Prep v doesn't work anymore, nothing can go under the shield, the deck is dead.

Anyone have an updated version?

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Re: MBO Primer - DECK TO BEAT

Post by The Smoking Gungan »

i guess you're right. 'Still, many of the concepts here remain valid.' If there is a problem, a moderator could put a note in the OP i suppose letting ppl know that some cards have been changed.

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Re: MBO Primer - DECK TO BEAT

Post by BrenDerlin »

The Smoking Gungan wrote:MBO Primer - DECK TO BEAT
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WUBBA LUBBA DUB DUB!
Brad Eier wrote:i have no idea who matt thorton is, possibly the son of billy bob?

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Re: MBO Primer - DECK TO BEAT

Post by allstarz97 »

more than just the list is outdated, a lot of other stuff is outdated. like matchups are scum, the maul deck and huntdown? I'm not saying the deck can't be adjusted to today's meta but like you reference "worlds" a lot and im guessing that was liek 2006 worlds?

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Re: MBO Primer - DECK TO BEAT

Post by fishfleas »

Yeah I quickly saw that I needn't waste my time on the read... it was 2005 and the cards have drastically changed since then for MBO...

I was pumped that someone made a primer for the new way to play it... then I read the record being in 2005...

If this was DT, this would be a half star to star rating....

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Re: MBO Primer - DECK TO BEAT

Post by quesosauce37 »

why?
Jerry H

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Re: MBO Primer - DECK TO BEAT

Post by arebelspy »

The Smoking Gungan wrote:i guess you're right. 'Still, many of the concepts here remain valid.' If there is a problem, a moderator could put a note in the OP i suppose letting ppl know that some cards have been changed.
I appreciate the effort.

Keep up the good work.

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Re: MBO Primer - DECK TO BEAT

Post by dewaddict6 »

My life is complete now that I know everything knowable about MBO.

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Re: MBO Primer - DECK TO BEAT

Post by TacoBill »

No Fly Casual = bad MBO deck (not redundant).
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Re: MBO Primer - DECK TO BEAT

Post by WiseMarsellus »

tom kelly
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check out my youtube page for swccg video content, and my twitch for swccg live streams!

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Re: MBO Primer - DECK TO BEAT

Post by The Franchise »

i guess this is where i point out that for all that strategy and hype, the mbo deck never beat a real player using scum in 05. ddms dark went 1-2 at worlds, so his wins with ls were at some of the bottom tables.

the deck wasnt even one of the top 3 ls decks out then (wysv, aitc, endormains)

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Re: MBO Primer - DECK TO BEAT

Post by TacoBill »

/was not a real player in 05, validating Eier's assessment.
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Cam Solusar wrote:What TacoBill proposes is ideal IMO.
Corran wrote:Honestly, Tacobill should just be the boss of SWCCG.

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Re: MBO Primer - DECK TO BEAT

Post by The Franchise »

poor taco bill. i didnt even realize

anyway the point is still valid, the mbo deck was never as good as advertised

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Re: MBO Primer - DECK TO BEAT

Post by TacoBill »

I only lost by 1, probably due to something dumb.
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Cam Solusar wrote:What TacoBill proposes is ideal IMO.
Corran wrote:Honestly, Tacobill should just be the boss of SWCCG.

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Re: MBO Primer - DECK TO BEAT

Post by DDM »

Brad Eier wrote:i guess this is where i point out that for all that strategy and hype, the mbo deck never beat a real player using scum in 05. ddms dark went 1-2 at worlds, so his wins with ls were at some of the bottom tables.

the deck wasnt even one of the top 3 ls decks out then (wysv, aitc, endormains)
Everytime I go inactive, you get out with this crap.
The win vs. Scum was my next to last game, at table 5.
Last game (DS) was lost to time vs. Garrett (table 3 or 4) and I (and you) should still remember fully well why, and I still managed to end up in place 9th. 8 passed in Day 3.
And when your team Ohio had the occasion, now knowing fully well the deck, 2 years later, to beat ME when I was using it, with the best match-up ever for you (that is, Watto and S&D), you failed. :P

The deck was very good, and tier 1. And at that time, no-one knew the tech behind it. The surprise factor is always huge especially in tournaments. :)
Of course, Day 3 could have been different (since at that time, it was "elimination" process, so one could tech against a particular player or deck).

The deck is dead nowadays, but it made history, and results.
It wasn't broken or strong as WYS(V) or AITC in their prime of course.Thank god, there was the redux for that. :P

;)
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Or better yet, just ban DDM from playing creatures.

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