One aspect of deck building that is currently criminally under-explored is one drop upgrades. The usual excuse is opportunity cost, that you simply can’t fit the cards in the deck. However, I feel that if we took the time to actually build decks around one drops, we’d discover some extremely mathematically efficient decks. One drops simply make the most bang for your buck. To help illustrate this, I’ll be discussing one of my favorite decks to play: ePhasma Talzin Greedo.
So let’s take a look at a deck list:
Why these characters? Talzin is an obvious motivator to forget about 2 drops and forces you into exploring ones. It was as I messed around with Talzin that I began to realize how efficient these one drops could be. Additionally, Phasma benefits from this list because one drops are particularly useful for focus, many of them have 2 focus sides, and Phasma is broken when she’s able to consistently resolve her specials (Talzin also helps here). Greedo simply fits the 7 remaining points, while also providing access to yellow.
Now, what is it that this deck does that makes one drops so effective? Well, it’s not enough to simply play one drops on all of your characters, eventually they’ll simply be lost when the attached character dies, or they just wont be useful in late game. Don’t get me wrong, one drops are great at generating an abundance of resources, or for focusing your dice. However, any deck that runs one drops needs to be able to convert them into something useful to get the full value out of them. My list has several options.
First, we have several mitigation upgrades that we can overwrite our one drops with, Force Illusion and Armor Plating, when a character is near death. This can both potentially save the character, while also conserving the resource cost of the one drop before death. When you are able to do this, the math is insane. Imagine, turn one you play a Crystal Ball on Phasma. It rolls a focus that turn, and next turn rolls a resource. Immediately after resolving the resource you overwrite with a Force Illusion to help save Phasma (who is almost certainly your opponents first target). The math behind this is insane. You essentially got a Use the Force and a Force Illusion for a cost of 0.
Second, we have the finishing play of Free-For-All. When your opponent is left with but a single character, being able to pay 1 and remove 4 one drop dice to finish off your opponent is incredibly strong. It’s almost impossible for your opponent to remove all those piddly dice, so while they may be able to control your character dice, they ultimately can’t save themselves from the 3-6 damage execute.
All these factors come together to make a very interesting deck. The one drops help generate resources, allowing you to pay for 1 cost removal consistently. On top of this they can, together with Talzin, basically guarantee your 4 character dice will always roll max damage. Then, as our opponent goes for Phasma, we can Witch Magick her and overwrite a 1 drop with Armor Plating/Force Illusion to bring her from close to death to out of reach. When your opponent finally does kill Phasma, you’ve already reduced them to one character, and you typically end the game with an easy Free-For-All.
Now, I’m not claiming this is some unbeatable deck, but it helps illustrate just how efficient one drops can be. More decks should be exploring how to utilize them to their fullest potential. Hero yellow has access to Maz’s Goggles, perhaps the most insane one drop out there. Why not run it together with a blue character? Then as the game progresses you can overwrite your one drops with Force Illusions and/or Second Chances. So what do you think? Am I crazy? Correct? Over-analyzing it? Feel free to give your opinion and hopefully we can continue to build better and better decks.