Obi-Wan has respect for them. You should too.
After weeks of building tricky decks, I decided it was time to finally time build a Stormtrooper deck. You can't really call yourself a Star Wars fan without giving one a try. They are, after all, the ubiquitous soldiers of the Dark Side army, so they deserve a chance to shine like any other unit.
Stormtroopers need good leadership to prosper. The Character arena has four units that can boost them. The best boost they can get is Accuracy 1 from the Stormtrooper Squad Leader. Since it's the best, I want to be sure to draw it and I don't mind getting multiples, so four of them is good. The Stormtrooper Commander and Darth Vader (E) both give Stormtroopers +1 Power. A bit of Power bonus is good, but it's not as good Accuracy, so the deck only needs 2 of each. They could also use a bit of extra Speed by way of Taun We (A), so two of those will suffice. But don't deploy Taun We if you see any Light Side clones in play as they'll get the bonus too. Vader (E) is really good, but sometimes his Pay 4 Evade 4 is a problem as you want to spend some Force elsewhere. Stacking him up with some Intercepting versions (A and C) will allow him to protect the Stormtroopers and avoid having to use 4 Force every time he wants to protect himself.
The Ground arena has the best selection of Stormtroopers. The best of them is the Elite Stormtrooper Squad with its Critical Hit 1, Accuracy 1 and decent Power and Health for the cost. He's the heaviest hitter of the bunch and can survive a while as well. Backing him up is the midsize Stormtrooper Patrol. This unit can greatly benefit from Taun We (A) being deployed as the faster it goes, the better its Stun 2 will work for you. Providing some quick reinforcements is the diminutive Stormtrooper Assault Team. This little guy is cheap and efficient and it's great for putting the finishing touches on a Jedi Heroes as the Heroes can't Evade the damage they deliver. Finally, the Mounted Stormtrooper is here to allow you to overload the Ground arena, but come out of it without having wasted many points. Once the arena is secure, discard him and put 2 build points on a partially built Character unit.
Unfortunately, there aren't any Stormtroopers in Space. Once you opponent sees that you are playing a Stormtrooper deck, they'll know that Character and Ground are your strong suits. So it's a good idea to put some units up there that can mess with them should they over commit to beating you in Character or Ground. A good mix of swarm, speed and a couple of heavy hitters will allow you to find the unit you need for every occasion. The Geonosian Defense Fighter is great for quick attacks and it can survive a while as well. For a quick uppercut, the suicidal Droid Starfighter DFS-1VR can't be beat. For prolonged annoyance, Tyranus's Solar Sailer (A) is the unit of choice if you are just going to deploy one Space unit. The ability to keep coming back for more punishment is why the Sith Infiltrator (A) is in this deck. Finally, if you manage to take Space, a Victory-Class Star Destroyer will either force them to come back into Space or suffer in the Ground arena… their choice.
Choosing which Battle cards to use was a tough choice. The only sure thing I knew I wanted was the Stormtrooper Charge. This card does especially well on the first turn as that is probably when you'll have as many troopers deployed as you are ever gonna have. Stormtroopers occasionally have a bit of trouble with getting their shots off before getting creamed, so I needed some way to put some pep in their step. I originally tried Dark Speed, but it was too narrow as I needed more than one quick attack to make my point. Trade Federation Offensive was too expensive and couldn't help in Character. So I decided on Accelerate. The +10 Speed across the board was just the thing. In Space it ensured that my Droid Starfighter DFS-1VRs could attack ahead of the Light Side's ever-growing number of 60 Speed units there. In Ground it brought the Elites and the Patrol up enough to attack before the Jedi Heroes and AT-TE Walker 23X could. In Character it helped Vader attack first and allowed the troopers there to attack before most of the Jedi. Well, the unstacked ones at least.
I tried Padawan's Deflection to help with some defense and surprise offense, but the lower Force cost and better protection of Pilot's Dodge soon replaced them. To help out the Character arena, two Knockdowns keep Mace in check and give the Stormtroopers time to soften up targets. When they do get attacked, Hero's Dodge gets the call as its protection is very well costed. The other nice thing about the Hero's Dodge is it can offer backup for Vader (E). His Pay 4 Evade 4 is great, but when he gets hit for 1 or 2 points, spending 4 to prevent it is tough... Or you might go ahead and take the 2 damage. Vader's got plenty of Health. The deck also packs 3 Reassemble C-3PO. Removing 2 points of damage from Vader or any of the bonus-granting Stormtroopers is a great way to keep ‘em in the fight.
Here's what the deck looks like all put together…
| || || |
| || |
| || || |
After seeing your initial hand, feel free to mulligan any duplicate Battle cards you have and all of the Mission cards unless you have 20+ build worth of units in your hand. There are a lot of big units in the deck so there is little chance of ever running out of things to build. A good opening setup (subject to Light Side plays) is: Darth Vader (C) with Darth Vader (E) understacked, Stormtrooper Squad Leader, Taun We (A), Elite Stormtrooper Squad, Stormtrooper Patrol, and Tyranus's Solar Sailer (A).
It's best to avoid putting the (E) version of Vader on top for the first couple of turns as his Evade ability is so costly. However, if you overload Character (18+ points), the Light Side will probably retreat anyway, so feel free to put it on top in that case. The (E) version is also great if you are facing a swarm of tiny Light Side units as his Pay 2 Retaliate 4 will make them regret attacking him.
While not a tournament worthy deck, I have shown many a Light Side player that Stormtroopers are not the cosmic conscripts many think they are. During subsequent games, it's especially fun to make a bold move into Space halfway through setup after your opponent has spent 20 build in Character just to keep those bonus-granting troopers at bay.