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The Assembly Line: Deck Building With Trey – Three Speed Jank

A couple of weeks ago one of our regulars bid us adieu. His wife got a new job out of state, so they were moving away. On his final Wednesday night with us, he wanted us to have a big jank shindig, so with thoughts of Brian Piana on our minds, most everyone dreamt up some utter bullshit and brought it to the table.

Digging through my bag of stupidity, I remembered that I once built a reasonable deck with one of the most maligned characters of all time.

This dude is so bad that he saw the largest negative point balance in the history of the game. I’ll have whatever FFG was smoking when they built him out because 14/17 was stupid. He’s since gotten a FOUR POINT drop, and people still don’t play him. This dude has some stank on him.

This is jank week, though, so stank is what we want. After sliding the puzzle pieces around in my head, twisting point values this way and that, I settled on this team.

That’s an all Covert Missions lineup for those of you checking. That intra-set love is spoiled a bit when I introduce you to the battlefield, Mean Streets. It’s not all that exciting, but it was the only one I could find that helped me a bit while not helping my opponent.

None of these characters really synergize with each other; they’re all just kinda doing their own thing. Each one excels at what they do, though

  • Sinjir is actually not that bad; he just plays really weirdly. He’s all about removing their crappy dice at the expense of one of your cards. You’re not paying a resource or losing a card out of the deck to do it, though. Most of the time your opening play is sending Sinjir‘s dice into the pool so that you’re ready to pounce on whatever die your opponent happens to throw that matches what you’ve got. One of the fun things about rolling Sinjir is that you put your opponent back into that mode I love so much where they’re afraid to activate a character because they’re walking those dice into your ‘free’ removal.
  • Jawa Junk Dealer is a known quantity at this pont, but I haven’t seen him taken advantage of since all the new ARH hotness came out. They haven’t made many Gray Neutral cards we want to run, but there is one good one. How you play the JJD is going to depend on what’s in your hand. If you’re sitting on some blowout removal you hold him back. If you’ve got face punchy cards, then activate him pretty quickly.
  • Kanan is a card that’s never seen too much play, but I really, really like him. That nine health throws serious doubt into how long you can keep him on the table, but he is such a knockout punch when you load him up with his lightsaber. Once you hand the man that tool, you then sit back and wait on your opponent to do something so that you can sabotage it while getting all the hot turningness at the same time.

Like most of my decks, this one wants to control, but unlike most of them, this one doesn’t have a single path to get there. This deck has a fast (activate Sinjir), medium (Jawa Man is ready whenever you need him), and slow (Kanan needs the opponent to activate before he’s at all useful), so you’re ready to knock them back no matter how they play.

The Deck

I won’t leave you in suspense this time around. This is what the deck looks like. Remember, this was pre-Reprint List.

If you look closely, there are some, to put it politely, unusual choices in there. Punch Dagger? C-3PO? Shock Collar, for heaven’s sake!? Relax, we’ll get there. It will all be explained in due time. Remember, the goal was to win with jank. I had to make this qualify for more than just running Sinjir.

Punchy Punchy Face Face Cards

Kanan does melee. SRV does melee. We loadin’ up on sticks, people.

  • Punch Dagger is a Gray Neutral one-drop, meaning we can toss it out there immediately in Round 1 for free with our brown-headed-and-glowy-eyed-friend. This is actually a very sneaky way to hit a 3-drop immediately. Play the Punch Dagger for free, and then overwrite with a Beskar Spear, Vibrosword, or, sweet baby Jesus please, Kanan Saber. Boom, it took a card, but your Jawa just reduced the cost of a colored card.
  • Vibroblade is just a solid two-drop that becomes a one with the Jawa. It’s not a bad consolation price to land a beat stick in Round One while keeping money in your pocket to back your boys up with removal.
  • Vibrosword is Vibrosword. It’s dumb and easy and hits like a truck. We have unique Yellow character that’s elite, so it’s a no brainer. Having a route to get this online in Round One (see Punch Dagger) is just gravy.
  • Beskar Spear is also just a solid card. It Redeploys, so that’s good. It dodges shields, too, and in our Houston metagame, shields are the mechanism of choice for keeping a significant portion of our decks alive. Beskar + Vibroblade Power Action mean there’s enough unblockable in here to knock someone down completely without ever touching their shields.
  • Kanan Jarrus’ Lightsaber is the one you want, though. This is the dream opening because it just wrecks an opponent. It’s pretty obvious, since it’s written right there on the card, but Kanan + Kanan Saber activation means you get to turn one of your opponent’s dice away from a good side, get the exact side you want on the Saber, and THEN get the exact side you want with Kanan! One Instigate requires you to roll a single two-melee side on Kanan to hit for SEVEN out of nowhere! That is straight fire.

Make It Happen Now! Cards

The event suite here is mostly about leveraging the Jawa and igniting the Kanan bloodbath with a few other goodies thrown in.

  • Block, Dodge, and Harmless Trick are all there to spring excitement out of nowhere on your opponent. Most likely one of the Block and Dodge combo are going to be Sinjir fodder, but the other is going to make your opponent very, very sad. Block and Dodge have been powerful forever, but devoting four cards that cost two each when two of them are dead has always held them back. Now, the off-cards are useful to put on the bottom with Sinjir to keep removin’ stuff.
  • Flee the Scene is solid removal for when you just need that panic button. Sure, the round is probably over, but they also probably don’t have any dice left to hit you with.
  • Truce is money, literally.
  • Instigate is that hot saunce that make the Kanan-splosion live.
  • Rally the Covert is a card I’ve been disappointed with. This is a card I designed, and I really thought it would have more of an impact. Sadly, the Mando Super Commando dice you throw into the pool just aren’t typically strong enough to do much. In this deck, however, I’ve discovered a solid use for it. We already have a chap ready and waiting to turn sideways for this, so you’re able to toss those four dice out there on your very first action, meaning you can hit for a solid three damage even if they’re going first. Having them activate and toss the nuts makes a really fun and tense moment when you plop this down to try and kill all those dice they just threw by offing a dude.

One note about the events before we move on. This deck was made before the reprint list came out. The Reprint list is dumb, especially when you look at the Yellow Hero removal that’s become available to you. Most of the stuff in this list has probably been trumped by the ridiculous suite of cards that Yellow Hero is now required to run because they’re obviously the best cards. If you’re running this deck into a group that is using the reprint list, you can substantially upgrade the power of the deck by taking a look at cards like Easy Pickings.

And the Rest, Here on Gilligan’s ISSSSLLLE!!

  • C-3P0 was the last card I added to the deck. I’m not sure what he does in here, and I never actually played him. He’s not reduced by the Jawa, he’s Hero, so you’re paying full price. I think I chose him because I figured he might have some synergy with resolve both of Sinjir‘s dice to remove two dice of theirs all at once. None of that ever happened during play, however, because every single person I played against used Cunning and I didn’t want to give them access to 3PO‘s special
  • Merchant Freighter is a no brainer, like a few other cards in here. It makes money. You want money. It does pair nicely with a character that can pop it out for free, though.
  • Shock Collar is easily the wildest choice in this deck. At 2, it’s just not reasonable value. You’re spending an entire Round’s worth of resources to do a single damage per Round. From just a cost/benefit analysis, this has to work three Rounds before it’s hit par for what damage out of hand should be able to do, and that doesn’t even factor in that doing one per Round is much worse than doing three at once. For 1 cost, this still isn’t great, but it’s playable and it’s a whole lot of fun to see someone’s eyes bug out and watch them have to read what the hell this thing does.

And that’s the deck! Our Jank Party Send-Off Party for Jordan was a hoot, with the finals coming down to Jordan and myself. It was a close battle, but I got there in the end on the strength of a four-damage rollout from Rally the Covert. Just like I mentioned above, he activated a dude with enough damage showing to finish me off, so I snapped ole J sideways, spent three, and tossed four Super Trooper for the win.

For all of my efforts, I went home with the Grand Prize for the evening. Turned out the prize was apropos for the manner in which I took him down, a sweet foily Mandalorian Super Commando promo from World’s 2019.