Snoke has certainly been taking the destiny world by storm. His versatility and consistency have made him a desirable deck building tool. He can generate resources, push for extra damage, and help focus to the sides you desire. While he didn’t see much success at Gen Con, he’s still likely a tier one character. So today I’ll be giving you all a look at a couple decks that I’ve really been enjoying. Both use the combination of Snoke and Mother Talzin, who work quite well together.
So why is it that I like the Snoke Talzin combo? Well, there are a few reasons. The main reason is that Talzin has several sides that are great to be “Snoked”. The Resource, Discard, and Damage sides all have their uses with Snoke (ramp, disrupt your opponents hand, push for killing damage). Heck, even the 1 focus can be used as a triple focus in a pinch. There are plenty of characters with useful sides but what pushes Talzin over the edge is the fact that (using her ability) she can choose whichever side is most needed in a given round. Often this means simply rolling her out first action and flipping to the resource sides rounds 1 and 2, taking the 3 resources for the early ramp. Round 3 and on it’s still tempting to take the resources, but if your board state is strong enough, you can instead choose to discard 3 cards from your opponents hand, hopefully hitting their best control and allowing you a high damage round. Additionally, you can take the 2 ranged side if your opponent has 4 HP or less on one of their characters. This versatility is incredibly useful.
The second reason I like the combo is that both characters are Rise Again targets. Rise Again is an extremely efficient card. The common math for a Destiny card is
- 1 Card + 1 Resource = 2 HP
Rise Again’s math looks like this
- 1 Card + 2 Resources = 5 HP + 1 Card
Rise Again effectively combines three cards into one, as it plays an upgrade (from graveyard) and has the healing effects of 2.5 Field Medics. While it technically costs 5, you’re essentially spending 3 on an upgrade (at least with Talzin, since she typically doesn’t run 4 cost upgrades) so we can ignore that cost in its evaluation. Thus we’re spending 2 resources to heal 5, which is nuts. There are typically 2 draw backs to this card. First, if you lose your blue character before you can Rise Again, the card is dead. Second, it can be hard to reach the 5 resources needed for the card. Snoke + Talzin easily generates the resources needed for the card, and since both can be targets for Rise Again, even if you lose one early, you’ll likely be able to target the remaining character.
So lets go ahead and take a look at an extremely fun, Tier 1.5 – 2 ish deck that I like to call SnOTK.
See the list here.
What is it that I’m going for in this deck? Well, I figured that ready effects are extremely strong, but typically inconsistent. It’s hard to have the re-rolls for multiple activations of a character. Thus, you need Focus effects to help out, and both Snoke and Talzin have them. With Snoke, if you roll at least 1 focus side, you can chain to another 2 focus and focus 2-3 of your upgrades. With Talzin, you simply get her automatic focus on activation. So both characters should be decent with ready effects.
But then I figured why not have some fun and throw in Honed Skills just so that we can experience the joy of rolling 6-7 dice multiple times in a single round. You’d think this wouldn’t work, but it turns out that if you’re running the draw package of Award Ceremony and Boundless Ambition, you can actually draw and play at least 1 Honed Skills consistently.
As stated earlier, the deck generates a mountain of resources so Rise Again becomes a great way to heal up damage while also equipping the 3 cost Redeploys that will be key to dealing damage of your own. In addition to this we also have Witch Magick, Best Defense, and Overconfidence which are all efficient control cards, so keeping alive at least one of our damage dealers is quite easy.
While we are generating an extra 3 resources a round from Snoke + Resource, we still could use some help, and this is where Well Armed becomes hilariously good. The deck can quickly put out 3 weapons onto Snoke or Talzin, so now when we use our Boundless and draw a weapon + Well Armed, you can simply pay 1 to equip that 3 cost Saber. (Keep in mind that if you don’t yet have honed skills, you can play the weapon on another character, it doesn’t have to be the same one.)
All of this can play out in an extremely brutal fashion. Your opponent deals 5-7 round one. You Rise Again most of it Round 2 and have 3 weapons on Snoke. Round three you Boundless + Honed Skills + Well Armed to get 4 weapons on your damage dealer, roll them out, resolve the dice, leadership, do it again, Price of Failure, do it again, and the game is won.
If you have your doubts, that’s fair. However, I did take this deck to a Store Champ and went 3-1 (the only 3-1 to miss the cut) with my only loss coming to fellow Council member Brian ( who won the SC). Just give the deck a try, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. Trust me, there’s something special about rolling 7 dice 3 times in one round. Overall, because of its reliance on draw, I don’t believe this deck can ever be tier 1. However, I will say that it is much more resilient than the old Seventh Sister OTK, as it can Rise Again much earlier, and has 2 characters that can deal the damage during the combo. Both Talzin and Snoke are effective during the ready effects, so even if Snoke falls early, you can simply move the redeploys to Talzin and Leadership her instead. Try the deck out and let me know what you all think.
With that fun aside lets move on to another deck that I believe is actually the strongest form of Snoke Vehicles, and quite possibly tier 1.
See the list here.
In this list we’re trading Ciena for Executioner, and many of you may be baffled by this, as it seems that Ciena would be great for vehicles. However, Executioner is simply much better for dealing damage, and I believe most people are underestimating his passive’s usefulness. You might point out that Ciena is better for resources, which is true, but Talzin is the one who’s getting “Snoked” most rounds, and if you really need that Resource side, you can focus into it. In playing the deck I found the problem wasn’t resources, it was dealing enough damage early in the game, and Executioner helps this immensely by providing a base 2 side that can be focused to each round. In addition, once you pull off that first kill his die can roll back in for 1-2 more damage or a resource.
So let’s take a look at the dice cards. At first you might be confused by the 7 Vehicles 5 Upgrades mix (I’m not counting Chance Cubes here). Remember from earlier, however, that Rise Again is an extremely efficient card. Thus we’re putting in the 5 redeploy 3 cost weapons to allow us to run Rise Again. Additionally, a huge weakness in Vehicle lists is that going into the last round they can only roll out 1 damage dice at a time, and if the game’s close, this is a death sentence, you’ve lost. However, in this version, in the last round you have the ability to roll out 3 big melee dice in addition to the character die in one action, making the damage race much easier to win. Plus, there really aren’t that many great vehicles for villains, and the 3 cost melee dice are actually just as good, if not better, than the other vehicle options.
In addition to these weapons we have 7 three cost vehicles. Arcs and Fang Fighters make a lot of sense, so we’re running 2 of each. After that we have a few interesting choices. The Tie Fighter is there just in case you face a shield deck, in which case the special becomes crazy good, but even if you’re opponent has no shields the die still has 3 damage sides. Grievous Wheel Bike is actually really good here as we have plenty of base melee sides (weapons and Executioner) to pair with its +3, and the 1 resource ready effect can be clutch at times for pushing that extra damage. Finally, in a deck that generates as many resources as this (Snoke and Chance Cubes), Dooku’s Solar Sailor has proven amazing. If you drop it for 2 (Weapons Factory Alpha) round one it can pay for itself that round with the 2 resource side. From then on it draws you a card each turn and helps your consistency with its 2 two-focus sides, ramp with its 2 resource, and even survivability with the 2 shield. Keep in mind that in a deck full of 3 damage sides, rolling that 2 focus can mean an additional 6 damage, which is nuts.
What truly makes this deck great however is its control suite. At one cost we have Force Illusion, Witch Magick, The Best Defense, Overconfidence, Flank, and Feel Your Anger. To top those cards off we have the Rise Agains. All these cards are powerful, and there is a nice mix of damage prevention, heal, and dice control. The deck starts with 28 HP, which is crazy high, and between Rise Agains and Witch Magicks you’ll heal at least 10 damage each game. With that amount of healing and the additional control provided by the other cards, it’s not uncommon for all 3 characters to be alive going into round 4. (This can change if they target Executioner first, but even then you have Force Illusion and Witch Magick).
Finally, we’ll say a few words about the offensive cards. Chance Cube is a no brainer with Talzin and Snoke to provide focus. Games in which you start with Chance Cube are incredibly easy as you can afford to “Snoke” for the 3 Discard or 4 Damage much earlier in the game while still being able to ramp. Probe makes the cut simply because of the many powerful events that are in the meta, particularly Hyperspace Jump. It’s generally powerful for the deck, as you can roll out your character dice early, and by the time you’re activating your damage dice (the supports or your upgraded character) you can typically Probe a hand of 2-3 cards, hitting the control option they were saving.
All this adds up to a deck that spams the board with dice that have 3s, almost never misses those sides with all the focus available, and has an effective HP of 38 with more control to boot. Plus, the typical weakness of a Vehicle deck is mill. However, with the Talzin auto focus, the Snoke Focus sides, and the ability to use Talzin’s die for 3 discard, the deck is set up quite well to beat mill. I took the deck to a 30 person Store Champ this past weekend, went 5-0 in swiss, and lost 1-2 in the top 4 to Obi-Maz. I could have won, but in a crucial turn I missed on 3 dice during 3 re-roll attempts (in which I discarded both my Rise Agains as my odds at getting the kill were quite high). That allowed Maz to live which meant he was able to utilize her focus for a crazy combo play next round. Despite that, I still got within 2 – 4 damage of killing Obi and winning. I’d played the Obi-Maz during swiss and won, so overall we were 2-2 during the day, with both players winning the games on their own battlefield. All that to say that the deck can definitely perform well in tournaments. I hope you all give this deck a try, and together we can find out just how far the deck can go.