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Themed Tournaments
Put Your Deck-Building Skills to the Test
By Len "RedneckJedi" Fowler

HAVw A6 JuggernautIs the Trade Federation smacking you around? Are the accursed Jedi getting the best of your forces? For some time now, our local tournament scene has been looking for a change of pace. Certainly with the recent changes in the current Banned & Restricted List and the addition of the Revenge of the Sith set, deck types have broadened considerably. Old deck types have been renewed, completely new and unheardof deck types have surfaced, and even attempts at making some of those decks addressed by the recent restrictions still work. But possibly the best reason for "changing things up" is the dubious future of the game itself, what with Wizard of the Coasts' current "closed-door policy" towards promoting the game.

So, why not add some flavor and different ways of thinking to the tournament scene? A tournament host can add or modify certain restrictions and types of gameplay to a tournament. There may be issues with sanctioning a tournament of this type, but for the enjoyment of the game, a host can still provide prize support. For that matter, you can set something up between friends and see how things turn out.

Stormtrooper TK-421For example, when Battle of Yavin was released, a group of fellow players and I got together and played decks consisting only of cards from that set and A New Hope. It gave us a good idea of what worked with these expansions once the powerful Jedi and Droid units from Attack of the Clones and Sith Rising were removed. Appropriately, Imperials and Rebels were the primary choices, and Imperials, for the most part, ruled the day.

With so many sets now in the pool, there's quite a bit to choose from. Here are some themed tournament types I've come up with to help get the creative ideas flowing (current Bannings and Restrictions still apply). Some I went into detail, others I just mention at a high level for future consideration.

Episode Based:

  • Episode I - Sets involved: The Phantom Menace, Sith Rising and Jedi Guardians
    • All cards from The Phantom Menace
    • All versions of Darth Maul from Sith Rising and Jedi Guardians
    • Maul's Strategy from Sith Rising
    • All versions of Qui-Gon Jinn from Jedi Guardians
  • Episode II - Sets involved: Attack of the Clones, Sith Rising and Jedi Guardians
    • All cards from these sets are allowed with the following exceptions:
      • All versions of Darth Maul
      • Maul's Strategy from Sith Rising
      • All versions of Qui-Gon Jinn
  • Episode III - Sets involved: Revenge of the Sith and Rise of the Empire (release TBA)
    • All cards from these sets are allowed
  • Episode IV - Sets involved: A New Hope, Battle of Yavin and Rogues and Scoundrels
    • All cards from A New Hope and Battle of Yavin
    • Cards that can be included from Rogues and Scoundrels:
      • Chewbacca (H), Dr. Evazan (A), Garindan (A), Greedo (A), Han Solo (H), Het Nkik (A), Kabe (A), Muftak (A), Ponda Baba (A), Tusken Warrior, Zutton (A)
      • Bantha Herd, Dune Sea Krayt Dragon, Modal Nodes (A)
      • Luke's X-wing (D), Millennium Falcon (I), X-wing Escort
      • Jabba's Death Mark, Take a Prisoner
      • Death Star Control Room, Lars Homestead, Luke's Garage, Mos Eisley Cantina, Trash Compactor, Mos Eisley, Streets of Tatooine, Tatooine Desert, Dantooine System
  • Episode V - Sets involved: The Empire Strikes Back and Rogues and Scoundrels
    • All cards from The Empire Strikes Back
    • All cards from Rogues and Scoundrels are allowed with the following exceptions:
      • The cards listed above that can be included in the Episode IV theme
  • Episode VI - All cards from the Return of the Jedi set are allowed

Era Based:

  • Prequel Trilogy
    • The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Sith Rising, Jedi Guardians, Revenge of the Sith and Rise of the Empire
  • Original Trilogy
    • A New Hope, Battle of Yavin, The Empire Strikes Back, Rogues and Scoundrels, Return of the Jedi

Event Based:
(To be true to the battles, individual card restrictions would be necessary)

  • Battle of Naboo
  • Battle of Geonosis
  • X-wing Attack Formation
  • Battle of Coruscant
  • Battle of Yavin
  • Battle of Hoth
  • Battle of Endor

Rarity Based:

  • No Rares
  • All Commons

Unit Based:

  • Jedi vs. Jedi
  • Jedi vs. Droids
  • Clones vs. Droids
  • Gungans vs. Droids
  • Rebels vs. Imperials
  • Diplomats vs. Diplomats
  • Trade Federation vs. Republic
  • All Neutral
  • "Bounty Hunter Wars" (This is one I really want to sink my teeth into!)
    • Each player needs only one deck.
    • All Character units MUST contain the Bounty Hunter sub-type.
    • Your deck can contain Light Side, Dark Side, and/or Neutral Bounty Hunters.
    • Their affiliation is "Neutral" for the purpose of deck construction only.
    • Their printed affiliation is otherwise always considered.
    • All other unit selections, Battle, Mission, Location and Equipment cards MUST be Neutral
    • Players will still bid setup build points to play as the Dark Side or Light Side

Boba Fett (G)For "Bounty Hunter Wars," one of the main concerns of building a deck of this type will be Contesting Unique units. The Dark Side player gets to choose which units contest first, and all the Bounty Hunter Characters are unique, as are many of the powerful Neutral Space units. The Dark Side also wins ties for Contesting Unique units, so there may be a need to rethink how Contesting is done in this environment. The Contesting "tie winner" may need to alternate with each unit, beginning with the Dark Side player for the first contest.

If you have any thoughts about these or other tournament types, let us know in the TF.N TCG Forum!

17 Aug 2005

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