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Current meta?

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So everyone's excited for Covert Missions coming in 2.5 weeks, and planning what to play after that. And everyone thinks they know the current meta. But with the latest nerfs/rebalancing, the current meta has changed, and some of us still have primes to play in the next couple of weeks before CM.

What decks do you expect to be the top contenders in the next two weeks' prime championships? I'm just trying to decide what to play and what I think I can match up well or poorly against with my current decks.

My list of possible tier 1 decks:

  1. ReyLo - Completely un-nerfed all the way through. Strong, but was never the top deck around. 
  2. Palpatine - Similar to ReyLo. Strong, but I never saw it as the top of tier 1.
  3. Droids - Take out the plot, put in 3PO's 2nd die, and it's not quite as strong, but still a top tier deck to watch for.
  4. Maul - Strong aggro to watch for, but inconsistent. Strongly depends on the luck of the dice.
  5. Vader - Like Maul, strong, inconsistent aggro that fell out of favor, but only because people were bored with it, not because it isn't strong. New Bib Fortuna rebalance could actually cause a comeback.
  6. Snoke/Troopers - The new hotness, but loses out on Delve, Fist, and Theed being on the restricted list. New version without those still looks good, though.
  7. Aphra - ??? You'd think the loss of Delve/Fist would severely weaken this deck, but it could still be pretty good.
  8. 4-LOM - ??? Like Aphra, lost out on the Delve/Fist nerf, but could still be solid. Haven't seen it locally as much lately, so hard for me to judge.
  9. PlothWoks - ??? Not sure if this was ever tier 1, but it's just as good as it used to be.
  10. Mill - ??? Nobody in my area plays mill much, so it's heard for me to judge and prepare for. Three wide hero mill looks like it may be solid. 

What am I missing?

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Just to answer my own question, as an aid for those preparing for the last two weeks of Primes with the current meta, I played in a prime today and figured I'd share what I saw. 

Palpatine/Watto was THE dominant deck. ReyLo was popular, but not successful. Ewoks, with or without Plo Koon, were much more popular than I expected, and a couple of people made top 8 with them. Only two people were playing Aphra, and one of them tied for top 8, so apparently, it's still playable.

As expected, Maul and Vader were unpredictable, but somewhat strong. Nobody played hero droids or 4-LOM. Mill got creamed.

I was the only one playing Snoke/Troopers. I think I underperformed due to bad draws in a couple of games and a couple of misplays on my part, but I managed 4-3. It's a solid deck, but Palp is a terrible matchup for it, so I'd recommend avoiding it for now.

Since I didn't make top 8, I left without seeing who won, but I'd bet it was one of the several Palp decks that made the cut. If you're truly playing to win, go with Palp, but make sure you know how to handle ewoks.

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To beat Palp, you have to load up on damage against him early. In my one game against Palp yesterday, I ignored Watto altogether to go after Palp. I even rerolled Snoke's dice when they showed indirect damage, hoping to get focus I could use to turn my other dice into direct damage to hit Palp. That worked, and I won the game, but I really got lucky that game, as my opponent just had a run of terrible luck on both card draws and dice rolls.

Once he gets 7+ upgrades on him, he'll just Bacta Therapy all the damage away. But damaging him early is hard, because the deck contains lots of sneaky removal - stuff like Soresu and Niman that mess with dice when they're first played, Force Jump, etc. Not a lot of events for removal, so stuff like Probe and CounterIntelligence won't get rid of his removal, though they could help get rid of Bacta and/or Fatal Blow, which are key cards in that deck.

That's why ewoks are one of the best things to use against him. They do tons of fast damage without relying on dice that can be removed. But they don't have a way to prevent Bacta, and Palp can put out damage, once he's all ramped up with upgrades. So that's not a sure thing to beat him, but it's a solid attempt.

You'd think a red villain deck could play Separatist Embargo to prevent Bacta Therapy, but one of the advantages of pairing Palp with Watto is that yellow villain gets Desperate Measures that can blow up the Embargo.

I guess that's why Palp decks weren't dominant until after droids were nerfed. The action cheating in droid decks allowed for heavy damage very quickly, to kill Palp before he could get lots of upgrades. Not to mention that Chopper/droids was good at resource denial. But with that nerfed, Palp is now THE deck to beat.

To beat him, there is one approach that I didn't see anyone using yesterday that might be worth trying, but you'll have to invent the deck at the last minute here: resource denial. Palp needs lots of money, but he also has lots of good sources of it. That's why he's always paired with Watto, has two of Bartering in the deck, etc. But if you've got a deck that revolves around damage and disrupting resources, that might work.

I'd say your best bet is the "If you can't beat them, join them" approach - play Palp yourself. Of course, that assumes you have all the necessary cards, which is more legendaries than most decks, so it's an expensive deck.

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Thanks for the info!!

I wonder if some good ol' aggro/action cheating can help?  Using Tactical Mastery, Instigates, Take Flights, etc to get damage out before it gets controlled?  Hand destruction (just plain old discards and what-not) can be effective, as well as the resource denial you mentioned.  "Mind Extraction" still a good option as always, I suppose.

No Palp cards for me, so I'll just see what else I can come up!! :)  

Thanks again for the insight/advice!

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Yeah, I had Mind Extraction in my Snoke deck, in case of Palp. I got lucky in only having to face Palp once, but that's because most of the Palp decks kept winning, and I had an early loss, then a couple more later. The only time I used that Mind Extraction was on Rey in a ReyLo deck. Her power action is good soft removal, so preventing it early enough in the game is worth the 2 resources, if you have the money to spare.

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