Today marks the start of an article series that will seek to prepare everyone attending the coming Destiny World Championship. We’ll be taking a look at top tier decks and breaking down not only how to play with them, but also how to play against them. Starting off the series is the latest and greatest meta deck (we ourselves had 2 members top 2 at the Fargo regional with the deck): Boba Seventh.
- Three 2+ damage sides
- Mixed sides (harder for blowout removal to deal with)
- Huge upside on special
- Special can be a blank situationally
- Mixed sides (slows down die resolution)
- 3 dice
- Soft control with Seeker droid’s discard and all three dice having disrupt
- 10 health is relatively low
- Low damage, having only a single 2 side
- Strong middle-middle pairing (read more in this article written by “those who shall not be named”)
- Ridiculously high damage potential when Boba Specials hit with high sides
- Solid disruptive elements with all 5 dice having disrupts and ID9-Seeker Droid having a discard
- Low HP, only 21
- Mixed die resolution (ranged, melee, specials, etc.)
The biggest strength of Boba Seventh is its massive damage potential. Boba’s special can allow you to have a 3 or 4 damage side on a 16 elite character, this is absolutely nuts. Not only is that potential there, but he also has 50% damage sides, none of which are lower than 2. So Boba offers consistent and potentially over the curve damage. Add onto this the melee weapons of Ancient and Maul’s, and the max damage is way higher than anything other than OTK. Turn 1 max with Ancient: 14; with Maul’s: 21.
Raw aggression, however, isn’t really enough. If you’re spending all your money on upgrades, you risk letting your opponent do as they wish. This is a great way to lose games, so you need 0 cost removal options to at least prevent an opponent from maxing out damage early and killing one of your characters. Boba Seventh definitely has what it needs here, with potentially one of the best 0 cost removal suites. It has access to HDLY (really good with Seeker), Doubt, Hidden Motive, Sound the Alarm, etc. These options give Boba Seventh just enough survivability to keep both characters alive long enough to dish out some ridiculous damage.
The final strength worth highlighting is the decks ability to control your opponent’s resources and hand. All 5 of its starting character dice have a disrupt side. This is huge for maxing out damage turns one and two, as it will usually prevent your opponent from playing any 1 cost removal. Additionally, the deck has access to FILP and CQA. FILP is ridiculously powerful turn one, as your opponent will very rarely have two 0 cost removal. With your disrupt sides, this means your dice are free to do as they wish for that turn. CQA on the other hand has ridiculous blowout potential mid game. You’ll often show a bunch of 1 melee sides on your upgrades / Sister dice. Your opponent is unlikely to Sound the Alarm something so weak, but if they don’t you’ll CQA their entire hand. If they try to play basic removal against it, it’ll usually be one card for one die, so it doesn’t change CQA’s ability to dump the opponent’s hand. From there you can reroll into max without any counter-play from your opponent. (Please keep in mind that you DO NOT have to dump an entire hand to make CQA worth it. It’s often worth it to play even with 2 melee sides from Sister’s roll in. This has a great shot at protecting Boba’s dice as he rolls in.)
The biggest weakness of Boba Seventh is its low hp. With only 21 hp, and relatively weak removal suite (yes it has lots of 0 cost removal, but they’re relatively ineffective compared to 1 cost removal) the deck can easily be killed. The deck still wins because it simply does more damage, but there is definitely a real chance for other damage decks to kill you easily if things go poorly.
Boba Seventh also suffers from a lack of 2 cost redeploy. Where most agro gun decks will never lose weapon value (i.e. Boba Phasma), when Boba Seventh has its character with upgrades targeted, it has relatively weak redeploy options. Sure it can overwrite with a Vibrocutlass, but that costs two resources, and takes time. It can also Ancient heal, but this results in a loss of a die. Thus, when Boba Seventh has its character with upgrades targeted, it can really set it at an upgrade disadvantage.
Finally, Boba Seventh is incredibly slow in dealing its damage. It often rerolls 2-3 times, resolves disrupts throughout the turn, then resolves specials, ranged, and melee. Compare this to other damage decks, and you’ll see that Boba Seventh takes several actions more usually, especially if it’s looking to max out damage. This means that other damage decks can gain an advantage through killing a character faster on turn two.
Mulligan: You are looking for the following cards in your opening hand:
- At least 1 offensive event (FILP, CQA, Bait and Switch). FILP is the best option, but either of the others are good as well. Having both a hand control card (FILP/CQA) and Bait and Switch can be very good first turn.
- You want at least 1 upgrade. Ancient Lightsaber or Lightsaber Pull are the best options. Lightsaber Pull is particularly good in the opening hand, as it gives you the possibility of playing Maul’s Saber if you also draw Well Connected.
- One 0 cost removal
- If you are playing into a heavy aggro matchup, keeping Force Illusion in your opening hand is usually worth it. This can help prevent them from getting the early turn 2 kill, which can be huge in these matchups.
The game plan is pretty simple early game – do as much damage as possible. Game play usually goes as follows: play an upgrade (typically on Boba), try to disrupt their hand/resources (I would recommend always rolling in Sister first early in the game), then rerolling into as much damage as possible. Every game is different, but I typically would not use more than 1 mitigation card a turn at this point in the game, as you want to save cards for rerolls.
This is the part of the game where you want to start looking for your big upgrades – Maul’s if they go for Boba, Vibrocutlass if they go for sister. Even if one of your characters dies, these upgrades allow you to maintain a very high damage output. If both your characters are still alive into the mid game, your opponent is in a world of hurt, as this is the scenario where you can very reliably pump out 10+ damage.
Late game is where a card like Abandon All Hope comes into play. You typically are not spending more resources on upgrades at this point, and do not need resources for anything else. Disrupting your opponents big play can be huge. This is also the time of game where Ancient heals, Force Illusion, and Feel Your Anger become important, as you typically have the extra resources.
In general, the goal with this deck is to try to max out damage. Very few decks have a damage potential as high as Boba/Sister, so in the absence of removal you will typically have the advantage. As such, disrupting your opponent’s hand and resources is critical to having success with the deck. If you can prevent your opponent from playing removal cards, especially blowout cards like Force Misdirection and Defensive Position, this deck will usually hit harder and faster than your opponent can deal with.
The most important aspect of the mulligan against Boba Seventh is to make sure you have 2 different removal options. Boba Seventh basically hard mulligans for FILP and a 2 drop, so if you only have 1 removal, about half the time a FILP is going to blow you out and you’ll lose the game. It’s also important to have 0 cost removal if at all possible, as you’ll likely want to drop an upgrade and Boba Seventh has a ton of disrupt on their dice.
Your biggest concern in early game is preventing the blowout turns. Be prepared for FILP and CQA, and make sure you’re using as much removal as you can afford to (within reason). If they have an Ancient and you have single die removal, make sure you have it ready for that +3 if it’s rolled, as not only does it deal 3 damage itself, but it also buffs any Boba specials. Your biggest advantage early is that Boba Seventh is slow in it’s resolution. It rerolls a lot, has multiple damage types, and tends to take actions to resolve disrupt / discard sides. Try to take advantage of this by claiming the Battlefield each round. If you find yourself without any 1 cost removal, but the Boba player has a disrupt showing, you should still consider resolving a resource side. This will typically cause the Boba player to believe you have a removal card, and they’ll often resolve the disrupt immediately, thus your resource was essentially a HDLY. Your first target should usually be Seventh Sister, as Maul’s Saber is a huge threat. However, if they drop a Vibroknife on Boba, you can consider targeting him first to hurt Boba Seventh’s ramp. If instead they drop Ancient, they’ll just be able to heal with it, so targeting Boba isn’t as efficient.
Take advantage of the fact that Boba Seventh is slow. Even though it’s likely that Boba Seventh can deal higher max damage than you, your damage should come first. Try to get out there and kill Seventh before they can utilize all of their dice, and this will typically let you come back from an early damage deficit.
The biggest advice as you come down to the wire in a 1v1 scenario is as previously stated, do your damage faster, and keep claiming. Be aware that Abandon All Hope as a first action play is a very real possibility now, as they’ll likely not need any more upgrades.
- Always consider the effects that FILP or CQA could have on the turn
- Remember that removing the non-Boba dice (while Boba’s dice are on special) will typically reduce the damage more efficiently, as removing that +3 Ancient would also reduce the Boba dice by 1-2 damage. This also will typically make them need to take more actions in dice resolution (melee and specials instead of just melee).
- Be aware of the potential Bait and Switch plays.
Abandon all hope
The goal of Abandon All Hope is to give you a turn where your opponent is unable to remove your dice. This can help produce mid-game damage spikes that seal the deal. It is particularly good against Talzin decks, as well as most hero decks, which run lots of blowout 1 cost removal (Easy Pickings, Force Misdirection, etc.). It can also be good against decks that hog resources, preventing them from playing their expensive cards (Hero Vehicles, Hero Mill). The card is less good into a lot of the other Villain decks, which rely heavily on 0 cost removal, defeating the purpose of Abandon All Hope.
Maul’s Lightsaber is perhaps the most powerful card in the game, and we want to highlight an alternative strategy with Boba/Sister that goes all in on Maul’s Saber. By adding extra resource cards (such as Truce) and draw cards (such as Boundless Ambition), you can drastically increase your odds of playing Maul’s Saber turn 1. This can lead to a lot of blowout games, as turn 1 Maul’s often means 10+ damage. The downside is that you are sacrificing some of your removal and versatility, potentially leaving you vulnerable if you miss getting that Maul’s Saber.
Vibrocutlass is an interesting card. With most characters, it’s terrible at 4 cost with 2 pay sides. On a yellow character, it becomes okay, as the pay sides go away and you are not risking as much due to the redeploy attribute. On Boba, however, is where this card becomes really good. The 3 and 4 side on the Vibrocutlass increase your Boba specials as well, and even a Boba with just a Vibrocutlass can be deadly as a result.
Big little (OTK, Sabine):
Essentially any deck that relies heavily on one character is going to be an easy matchup for the deck. Even if they kill one of your characters first, your other character is still able to carry. On the other hand, decks like OTK and Sabine will turn belly up as soon as you kill their carry, and Boba Seventh has easily enough damage to kill these core characters on turn 2 every game (sometimes even turn 1).
Middle Middle agro (Poe Hondo, Boba Phasma):
While these match-ups aren’t that bad for the deck, they certainly provide a challenge. Since they’re middle middle, they won’t flop over if you kill a character. This means that losing one of your characters first is a much bigger issue than against a deck like Sabine, where all you need to do to come back and win is kill Sabine. The real problem is that most of these aggro decks resolve their dice faster, and have action cheat options like Quick Draw and Impulsive. This means that if you deal 8 on turn one and they deal 5, you’re still in danger of losing. They’re likely to be able to roll out and kill one of your characters first on turn 2 making up for the initial deficit, and the game becomes difficult to win from there.
Heavy shields (Rey Aayla, R2P2):
Heavy shield hero decks can also present a challenge. They’re usually able to prevent Maul’s Saber power actions, which allows them to target Boba. Boba clearly has the better dice, so taking him out first is preferable, but most decks can’t do this because of the risk of Mauls. Ultimately, the matchup is still winnable, you have tech options like Intimidate open to you, and you can still burst faster than they can shield. However, if they get off a crucial Force Misdirection or play some early Cautions/Guards, you can find yourself in a bad situation very quickly.
The real question we want to help you answer is: “Why would I play this deck at Worlds?”. We believe the biggest reason to play Boba Seventh is that it really has no “unwinnable” matchups. Many of the top decks have at least one Paper to their Rock, a nearly impossible matchup. Boba Seventh’s bad matchups are few, but even those matchups are closer to 45-55 than 30-70. Another factor worth considering is that many people dislike the non-interactivity of Sabine and OTK. Boba Seventh has a great matchup into both those decks, which is a nice perk. Mental fatigue isn’t too much of a concern as well, most of Boba Seventh’s matchups are over quickly, and there isn’t nearly as much math as a deck like OTK would need to do.
So yes, this deck is definitely worth bringing to Worlds. It is consistent, has a ridiculously high upside, and few decks that counter it (at least that we’ve seen).