Time to see the Krayt Dragon in a deck!
By Matt Hyra
No other unit card in the A New Hope set has attracted as much attention as the Krayt Dragon. While it's build cost of 9 might scare away those who haven't seen it in action, its ability to (possibly) attack multiple times in one turn can be devastating. I've seen a Krayt take out six units before. That guy should have retreated. Any opposing unit with 3 Health or less should head for the hills when this monster unit is deployed. Let's see what it takes to build a Light Side deck that can send a chill up even the most twisted of Dark Side spines…
Despite the high cost, four Krayt Dragons are a necessity for this deck. Since the price is so high, it's very important to get one in your opening hand when you have thirty build points at your disposal. Otherwise it'll take two or three turns to deploy one if you're counting on the build rolls to get this creature out. You might think that the Krayt can do it all on its own, but it'll need some inexpensive support units to help out before it can dominate. Most importantly, it could use some extra Speed so it doesn't turn into a sun-baked skeleton too quickly. Luxury Airspeeder is just the thing to give the Dragon a bit of a Speed boost (although I'm not quite sure how it fits in the seat). Another aid to the Krayt would be for a fast unit to "soften up" higher Health targets. The Krayt makes mincemeat out of "swarm" decks, but will rarely get an extra attack against even mid-sized Dark Side units. The Incom T-16 Skyhopper is a cheap unit that's virtually assured of getting in at least one hit (as it has Accuracy 1) before the Krayt goes on its rampage. To help keep the Krayt alive, the Rebel Squad can jump in the way when a large attack is heading in. Finally, there may be times when you either need to hold out in the Ground arena or get rid of a couple of Krayt Dragons that are choking your hand. The Jawa Sandcrawler is great for sifting through your deck to find the cards you need, while getting rid of cards that you just don't need (or can't afford) anymore. This unit can also be useful for holding the arena for a turn or two while you're building up a Krayt.
There are a couple of Light Side Characters that can aid the Ground arena: General Dodonna (A) and Anakin Skywalker (B). The General can give any unit Accuracy 1, which, when applied to the 8 Power of the Krayt, means that even Dark Side units of 4 or 5 Health are at risk of being trampled by the Krayt. To keep these two alive, they will need some help. Obi-Wan (F) and (G) have an inexpensive Intercept ability, while Obi-Wan Kenobi (B) can protect Anakin with some extra Evasion. A few extra Obi-Wans and Anakins to make stacks with will help them stay alive as well. With Darth Vader looming out there, it's often a good idea to stack Anakin up so he stands a chance of staying on the Light Side with the contested unit rules. Finally, Jocasta Nu is a great card to hold the Character arena for a turn or two and to sift through the deck.
Unfortunately, Light Side Space units don't offer much in the way of support for the Ground arena as it has only one unit with Bombard. So I've decided to focus this deck towards winning in Ground and Character. But just in case the Dark Side player has some Bombard units in Space, I'll need some units to take care of any threats in Space. The Jedi Starfighter 3R3 is the workhorse of the Light Side Starfighter fleet and can hold its own against TIE Fighters and most Droid Starfighters. The Jedi Starfighter Scout will be on anti-Bombard patrol, hoping to score at least one hit to knock any Bombard dice down as close to zero as possible. The X-wing Red Three will strike quickly to clear a path and then utilize its Intercept to make sure the Jedi Starfighters get a chance to attack. Finally, a lone Republic Assault Ship is a great way to surprise your opponent. Once the Dark Side figures out the deck's strategy, they will likely only deploy their larger units in Ground, so you'll need some Bombard dice to soften up the opposition.
| || || |
Kiss of the Dragon
| || |
| || || |
In your initial hand, mulligan all your Battle and Mission cards unless you've drawn a Krayt Dragon. If you do have one in the initial hand, you might want to hold onto a few Battle and Mission cards. You'll be spending almost 1/3rd of your total build on the behemoth, so you don't need to worry about running out of things to build. A great opening setup would be an Anakin (B), Obi-Wan (B), Krayt Dragon, Rebel Squad, and three Starfighters.
Once your opponent sees the Krayt, he won't bother fighting it out in Ground unless he can deploy a couple of large, fast units that have a good chance of taking out the Krayt before it can attack. Save a Leia's Kiss or Anakin's Inspiration for just such an occasion.
When you see that the Dark Side player has a couple of units under construction with several build counters on them, you can be sure that those are destined to make a charge back into the Ground arena. In the same way, if you have a unit under construction with more than 5 counters on it, your opponent is going to be fairly sure that it's a Krayt. The Krayt, despite its size, needs to be sneakier than that. Since the Light Side deploys last, the Krayt can make a surprise entrance and scare the Dark Side into retreating. I suggest that you don't even start building a Krayt mid-game unless you are able to complete it in one turn with the help of a Departure Time.
An early Seek the Council's Wisdom is often a good idea to make sure you are ready for the big Ground counterattack. That extra Force is also nice to soften up Ground units with Padawan's Deflection and to surprise the Dark Side player by untapping Anakin (B) with the Clever Escape.
Since the Krayt Dragon is a neutral unit, both sides can utilize it. Next week we'll see how the Dark Side can put this beast to use.