The best part about returning to Star Wars CCG is simply playing the game. After a 20-year hiatus I am craving game play, particularly in-person games (where I can have numerous mulligans or take the time to look up rules).
A significant hurdle to playing games is crafting fun decks that are actually balanced. I’m trying to improve my in-game decision making, but it’s difficult to evaluate progress if my decks are simply under matched vs. opponents. Fortunately Reinhart has done the work for us Newbs with his awesome “Dueling Mains & Toys” deck. You’ll notice that this deck spares no expense on cards and also enables scenarios across all movies/storylines. Not only has Reinhart provided us with the deck list and strategy, we also got an interview with him to understand his inspiration and game play tips!
Read on for our interview with Reinhart!
Clone 1: To kick things off, tell us a little about your SWCCG background. When did you start playing and how competitive did you play?
Reinhart: I started playing with Hoth because I was much more into Magic at the time. I started reading Star Wars novels and getting into the films so the card game seemed like an incredible idea. I mostly played with friends but we had a dedicated group of guys in the Tri-Cities, WA that held tournaments every week so I had a lot of opportunity to start earning tournament points. I was usually 1st or 2nd each tournament and ended up qualifying for an Endor regional event where I made it to the final four with a Mains and Toys deck (not unlike the spirit of this deck here) that kind of took people by surprise.
Clone 1: Rumor has it your “Mains & Toys” deck wreaked havoc at your regional tournament. How was it so successful?
Reinhart: I stuck to the “Mains & Toys” deck even though others were rolling these complicated combo decks. I beat some of the better players because I put some cards in to foil the decks of the time (I think it was ISB Operations (dark) vs Harvest (light) all day). Plus Sense/Alter counter-spam is always fun when most pro players don’t bother.
Clone 1: After taking some time off what brought you back to the game?
Reinhart: I got back into collecting as the new movies were about to premiere. I thought Star Wars might have a renaissance and wanted to have a master set for myself. Got that together over a couple of years and wanted to play again so I made these decks.
Clone 1: The first thing I noticed about this deck is that it has all of the heavy hitting characters, starships, etc. Tell us a bit about your collection – what did you have from your playing days and where does your collection stand today?
Reinhart: I’m one of those fools that sold their cards before the crash out of frustration with Decipher going away, so I only had a few favorites like Luke Skywalker Jedi Knight and a couple of signed cards from my youth. I now have a master set in place (minus the Japanese sets) and am now looking to build and test more decks in the future.
Clone 1: Alright, let’s just into the deck itself. What was the inspiration for this deck?
Reinhart: It was the type of deck I liked to play back in the day.
Clone 1: Makes a lot of sense, particularly given that it was a successful tournament deck at one time as well. Talk about how you built the deck. When I try to build decks I seem to run into writer’s block – what are some tips for building decks?
Reinhart: The greatest teacher is experience so you have to play games with cards to see if they work. I like to put cards into decks that are ALWAYS useful, whenever possible. So that you have 7 threats that you’re excited to play in your hand, ya know? So if something says “only play when X” I try to steer clear of putting too many of those in. If I play a couple of games where I had a card and couldn’t play it I consider taking it out.
Clone 1: I like the idea of constantly iterating on the decks. You’ve got these decks honed-in now after playing 20 games – tell us about the goals of the decks.
Reinhart: Light side has all of the powerful main characters who use their combining abilities to do incredible things in battle on the ground. They have a distinct advantage there so be aggressive and know that dark doesn’t have as much ground power to throw at you. Use your landing claw and starfighters to block force drains and pick off starships that were left alone at a system.
Clone 1: Nice – to be honest I never expected to see “Landing Claw” in a legit deck…shows what I know. What about the dark side?
Reinhart: Dark side has the advantage in space with their huge navy of ships. Establish a force drain in space as early as possible and surprise the light side with Maul, Vader or an AT-AT when they spread out too thin on the ground.
Clone 1: Okay, let’s talk more about the gameplay. What are some of the decisive moves or tactics that have led to victory for each side?
Reinhart: My favorite games are when there are real battles where you don’t actually know what’s going to happen on both the ground and in space. These decks are very flexible, but here are a few moves to keep in the back of your mind:
- Maul with his lightsaber can be REALLY powerful with ‘The Phantom Menace’. ‘The Phantom Menace’ can literally decided a game. Luke Skywalker Jedi Knight with matching lightsaber is a good counter but even then… yeesh.
- The Executor doesn’t leave the table once it hits. Save up for it! Probably worth it. Fondor lets you deploy it -5!
- Watch your system parsecs and move the Death Star closer if you have a ton of force to waste. Lost a game once by stranding the fleet at parsec 8 while there were several other systems at parsec 0, 2, and 4. Some ships can’t make the jump.
- Imperial spies (Mara and 3P0) are super important. Lightside should consider saving Corran Horn and their Sorry About the Mess to nail them. Dark side has to remember to save a force to “follow” them on their turn, if they move away.
Clone 1: In the 20 games you’ve played with the decks what cards/plays have surprised you or your opponent?
Reinhart: You Are Beaten and Clash of Sabers can be huge. Hang on to your Sense to protect yourself! These cards can really wrack up the battle damage if you exclude a Jedi and just rain damage onto a support character. Nothing like Maul in a 1×1 battle against Padme without the protection of a Jedi…
Clone 1: What else should we know to play these decks effectively?
Reinhart: I like to draw for locations. There are a few “force accelerator” locations in there for each side that are mostly there to generate force (not battle). So get those out so that you can play cards, and DRAW EVEN MORE. In addition, sometimes it’s hard to remember when Battle Plan is out on either side. Keep in mind that battles are free and interrupts cost +1.
Clone 1: Finally, what are some house rules we should consider for those of us playing for fun?
Reinhart: Here are a few I play with for these decks:
- Opening hands: mulligan until you have a location or consider multiple mulligans so both sides can start quickly
- Dark side starts first even with Death Star as their starting location because light side is generating 3 force with the Jedi Council starting location; this ignores games text but prevents light side from getting both force generation and starting turn
- These decks only have one copy of each card which keeps the games fresh. I’d recommend keeping this rule with any changes
- I’d say the dark side has a slight edge due to The Phantom Menace and If Bad Feeling Have I. If you see this consistently take out The Phantom Menace
Clone 1: Awesome. Well thank you for sharing your deck list, strategy, and tips with us. If our readers have other questions or deck comments where should they find you?
Reinhart: You can find the thread for this deck here – feel free to join the discussion and let me know how the deck treats you. I’m also kleinja on twitter, run a website called ChampionTraveler.com and if you’re in Spokane, WA I’d love to Epic Duel you anytime!