Today we’ll be looking at HonestlySarcastic’s infamous BrOTK. This deck is one of the purest examples of a combo deck in Destiny, and has certainly proven lethal and effective. So let’s take a look at how to play and/or defeat the deck.
- The extra seeker die provides nice soft control, and helps combo plays
- Solid all around die / hp for 14 points
- Weak damage wise, with just a 1 and 2
- 9 HP for 8 points
- 2 base resource sides
- +2 side is typically useless in the deck, unless NS can roll a base
- Her ability provides both soft control and aggressive options
- Decent die for 8 points
- 7 hp is low
- Her greatest strength (the ability) is random, and can fail at times
- Disrupt sides on all 5 dice
- High health pool
- Reliance on Seventh Sister for damage
Due to the nature of a combo deck like this, there are not many strengths to point to besides the combo itself. However, what gives BrOTK an edge as a combo deck is the soft control elements of its dice. Especially if you have a seeker or two on Seventh Sister, the decks ability to roll a discard side and hit an opponent’s entire hand is fantastic. This then allows the deck to continue its combo without any threat of opponent interaction. Even the disrupt sides can be a huge help, by keeping your opponent from paying for any removal.
Ultimately, the greatest strength of the deck is its ability to ready Seventh Sister, utilizing 3-6 dice multiple times in a single turn. On top of this, the ability for the Seeker droid die from Seventh Sister to stay in play during ready effects can allow the value on Seeker dice to increase with each ready. If you also have the upgrades attached, their resolutions with each untap will be incredibly strong. (With two attached: first ready: 2 & 3, second: 3 & 4, third: 4&5). If you roll a discard in an early ready, your opponent’s hand will be discarded, and the rest of the round is free. If you can roll a single focus, you’ll be able to resolve a 3-5 value focus and max out all your dice for a ton of damage. This combo is the highest damage, while still remaining consistent, play in the game that I’ve seen. Ultimately the combo can fall apart if your own hand / resources are messed with, but cards like Boundless (to draw enough combo pieces/rerolls) and Aftermath (to give you resources as your character/opponents characters are killed throughout the combo) can really help the consistency. On top of all this, if you find yourself failing to roll well during the combo, the Nightsister action can help immensely.
It’s worth noting that Maul’s Saber is a card that can make the combo even more busted than it already is. With its high damage sides, the ready effects are that much stronger. More importantly, Maul’s Saber does enough damage on its own to potentially kill characters even when BrOTK isn’t attempting its combo.
BrOTK’s greatest weakness is the single strategy for victory that it relies on. If its combo pieces are discarded it can struggle to find the damage it needs. If it loses Seventh Sister it loses all of its damage as well. With how many combo pieces the deck needs to function, it does not have the control to protect Seventh Sister well enough against certain decks in the meta. Essentially when your whole game plan orients around the combo, anything that can successfully disrupts that will end up gaining a “free” win.
You really need a 2 drop turn one, if you fail to draw an upgrade the game will be much harder. The choice between Ancient and Seeker is an interesting one. The seeker will help you control your opponent, while also being crazy good during your round 2 or 3 combo. However, Ancient offers a better round one value with its +3. Additionally it can be nice knowing you have a 2 heal ready for emergency situations. The best possible “upgrade” you can have however is LS Pull. This is because you can activate Ciena and see if you roll that resource (or you could just have enrage), and the LS Pull will then allow you to grab Mauls. In the case that you can’t find the 3rd resource, the LS Pull can also just default to Ancient. Beyond this turn one upgrade, you’ll want your 0 cost control and resource gen options. Whether or not you hold on to combo pieces is an interesting choice, but round one isn’t when you’re looking to combo, so having cards to survive the round is probably better than having the combo pieces clog up your first hand.
Early game is all about preparing for your combo in mid game. Ramping, getting the upgrades you need, and drawing into your combo pieces. On top of this you’ll want to be disrupting your opponent’s game plan as much as possible. While it may seem sad to resolve a 1 disrupt on Sevenths die, giving up 2 damage, keep in mind that your combo can easily deal enough damage to win the game, whether or not your opponent has 18 or 20 health left. Make sure you’re making full use of Nightsister soft control and your control cards to protect Seventh at all costs.
Mid game begins whenever you decide it’s time to combo. (Keep in mind that not all games involve the full 2-3 ready combo, some just involve multiple 1 ready plays). This timing will vary depending on your hand, your opponent’s deck, and how close to death Seventh is. If you’re playing against a top heavy deck, comboing early, while dealing much less damage, will be completely worth it if it can kill your opponent’s key character. Against a middle middle, the decision is quite difficult, as killing half your opponents value obviously hinders them, but they may be able to come back with that one remaining character. If you don’t choose to combo, they could just end up killing you next round before you can complete the bigger 2 kill combo. Usually I’d say you’re going to want to combo early for the 1 kill. Finally against little decks, (i.e. Hero Vehicles), they have so much HP, and rely so little on their individual characters, that you’re definitely going to want to pull off the big combo. Don’t pull the trigger too early, or you won’t have the damage you need to win. If you’re patient enough, these match-ups should be close to free wins, as these decks don’t often threaten Seventh before you can pull off the 20+ damage combo.
If you find yourself having pulled the trigger without having achieved victory, don’t panic. Here is where a big Rise Again play can often put the nail in the coffin, as it will put Seventh out of kill range for whatever remains of your opponents characters. Keep playing smart, utilizing ancient heals, and hopefully you’ll be able to deal the last few damage points to secure the win.
The biggest mistake I see players make is pulling the trigger too early. I’ll see players with 4 damage on Sister and a Leadership and Force Illusion in their hand choose to play the Leadership with only 1 reroll remaining. They’ll ping Nightsister several times and they get close but can end up failing to secure the kill. Instead, play the Illusion and move on to next round. Between Illusion and whatever other control you draw, you should be able to keep Sister alive. Now when you’re playing the Leadership, you’ll have an additional upgrade and potentially another combo piece like Boundless or Price. Instead of failing to deal the necessary damage, you’ll deal a much greater amount of damage. Damage in the deck is almost exponential, with just one more upgrade and one more ready you’ll deal 3 times more damage.
Maul’s Saber is a huge help against Middle Middle and Big Little decks. It provides a great amount of early damage, which will help your combo deal the 10-12 needed to kill a character early. For this reason, prioritize it in your mulligans against such decks.
This may sound obvious, but make sure you’re actually doing math. If you have the choice of playing a combo piece, take the time to math out how much damage you’re likely to do. This is where practice and/or simply sitting down with a notebook and pencil and calculating probabilities can be huge. If you’re going to play this deck seriously you should know the average damage dealt when rolling out Sister with x upgrades and x rerolls available. You shouldn’t have to make a decision based off of “feel” as to whether pulling the trigger now is the correct play.
The best ways to combat BrOTK is through early aggression and hand control. If you have hand control in your deck, you should be mulliganing hard for those (FILP, Probe, CQA, etc.). You also want to keep your most aggressive early events and upgrades. Things like Bait-and-Switch, Ancient Lightsaber, etc. Controlling their dice is not the priority on turn 1, so you should not focus your mulligan on getting those cards.
Try to do as much damage as you can early, while keeping them off the combo (easier said than done!). If you have disrupt capabilities, use it when they take resources, especially if they have an un-activated Cienna. If you’re playing a deck with good Vandalize capabilities (such as Hero Vehicles), vandalizing their first upgrade can be a huge setback for them – untapping a naked Seventh Sister is not really that potent. Early hand discard, such as FILP or Probe, is crucial in this matchup, as discarding any of the combo pieces is huge (even if they weren’t planning on using them that turn). Keep in mind that the removal in BrOTK is limited, so if you can push a lot of damage early, killing Seventh Sister turn 1 or early turn 2 is certainly a possibility. And if you can force them to heal with an Ancient Lightsaber early in the game, it has a similar effect to Vandalize, keeping their untap damage potential low.
Once they have extra Seeker Droids, you really need to watch for the discard sides. A big discard from a Seeker can set them up for a free run at the combo. They will resolve it, so use the cards you need to before they can – it may even be worth it to remove that die. The combo potential is at its highest at this point in the game – a multiple untap will likely kill you at this point – so do everything you can to avoid it. Watch the resources closely, and try to anticipate when a Boundless Ambition or Leadership is coming. Hand control continues to be ultra important, so try to hit their hand if you can. And try to threaten Seventh Sister – if you can’t, your opponent will be able to focus their attention on pulling off the combo, and you’ll be in a bad place.
If you’ve made it to late game, it’s likely that you’ve killed the 2 supporting characters, and are left facing Seventh Sister. You don’t have to worry about the combo anymore, so you’re looking at a typical 1 vs 1 finish. The biggest cards to keep in mind at this point in the game are Rise Again and Maul’s Lightsaber. Try to keep them off of 5 resources if you can. And try to prevent Maul’s Lightsaber from going off, as this is how they produce late game damage spikes. Use your shields to prevent the Power Action, or at least try to force them into using the base sides they were planning on saving for Maul’s.
In this matchup, you want to push early damage while keeping them off their combo pieces. The combo can be so powerful, that you basically have to kill Seventh Sister before they can pull it off or you need to keep them off their combo. Disrupt sides are you friend, and you should always be aware of how many resources they will need to pull off their combo pieces – keep them off these resources if you can. Hand control can really destroy their combo plans – this is your best weapon against OTK type decks. If you are worried about this matchup, it may be worth slotting in more hand control events. Keep in mind that it can take time to set up the combo, so pushing early damage is another good strategy to combat the deck. Even if you are unable to finish of Seventh Sister, putting them on their back foot off the bat can prevent them from pulling off the combo effectively.
Another important piece to mention is their battlefield – Fort Anaxes. It can be a very effective way of preventing you from killing Seventh Sister, and you should avoid playing on it if possible. If you end up on Fort Anaxes, it may be worth trying to kill Nightsister first, if you don’t think you can push through enough damage to Seventh Sister. Nightsister provides the combo play with the extra level on consistency that makes it so deadly, and killing her can make it more difficult for them to pull it off effectively.
It seems almost sacrilegious to suggest changes to Honestly Sarcastic’s list, but we’ll do it anyway..
The deck really doesn’t have any upgrade slots left, but if you could fit in a Vibroknife I could see it being a crucial piece for dealing with Middle Middle shield decks like Rey Aayla. They’re going to threaten Seventh early, so you need to combo early to kill at least one. Having a Vibroknife to let you ignore 3 shields and/or Force Illusion could be crucial. (Vibro is quite good with the modifiers of Maul’s and Ancient).
Sound the Alarm:
Early on in the meta we were seeing a plentiful amount of special decks. Thus Sound the Alarm was forgotten. However, with recent meta swings toward decks like Rey Aayla and Boba Seventh, Sound the Alarm could be a crucial blowout prevention card in these difficult match-ups
With disrupt sides on literally all of your character dice, you should be able to trigger Inspections ability quite reliably. Many of the decks that give BrOTK issues actually do rely on 2 drop upgrades, so removing them for free sounds like it could be neat. Heck, it’d probably be good in the mirror match too.
Low Early/Direct Damage (Hero Vehicles):
Decks like Hero Vehicles simply won’t be able to kill Seventh fast enough, and give BrOTK too much time to set up the combo. With Seeker Droid dice wrecking their hand later on, it’ll be almost impossible for them to do anything about the winning combo.
Middle Middle Agro (Boba Seventh):
While aggro decks definitely threaten Seventh, BrOTK can have the option of comboing early to kill off the threat. However, Middle Middle decks won’t lose to that first combo, and the second character is usually strong enough to finish of Seventh soon after. BrOTK simply doesn’t have enough control to survive these decks.
BrOTK is in a rough place right now for Worlds. While the deck is ridiculously strong, several of the other top decks are currently quite good against it. However, the deck definitely has a high skill cap, so there’s potential for outplaying its tougher opponents. If you’ve already had plenty of practice with the deck, then I’d say go for it. If you’re looking to potentially pick up the deck for Worlds, I’d say forget about it. Combo decks take a long time to play perfectly, and you’ll need to if you’re looking to beat Boba Seventh or Rey Aayla consistently.