The Diplomat Deck finally shows some teeth!
Like a lot of deckbuilders, I had a Diplomat deck that used every possible Diplomat the Light Side could muster in order to make a Support in the Senate deck. However, the Diplomats were so hard to keep alive that it just wasn't working. And none of them could attack worth a darn, either. So after playing the deck a few times, it just sat idle until Jedi Guardians new Rapid Recovery Battle card. Untapping a unit usually costs a lot a Force, but since Recovery can only untap a Diplomat, it's super cheap. Diplomats aren't known for their fighting skills, but there are 2 that can stack up nicely: Padmé Amidala and Princess Leia. However, even together there isn't much chance of them taking the Character arena against a couple of Dark Jedi, so I decided to add in the one Jedi that complements them the best… and creates a nice family atmosphere.
There are 6 versions Padmé and in order to get her quad-stacked all 6 should be used. Both the (A) and (F) versions give bonuses to Anakin, so he'll be the lone Jedi that joins the 2 ladies. The best fighting version is the new Padmé Amidala (F) and this is the version that works best with Anakin. Padmé (A) is a great version to put on top if some of the other Jedi units in the deck are deployed and a bit of extra speed is necessary. Padmé (E) is the version of choice should you have a hand full of characters. You can understack the characters for free when she's on top. Padmé (C) is the best version when things aren't going well in Character and you're taking a real beating. No matter how strong the Dark Side attack is, she can put 1 damage counter on herself and retreat instead of taking all the damage. Of course you'll want to make sure you have another character in play first. Padmé (D) is mainly for stacking purposes, as she doesn't do much except make for a quick late game reinforcement. When the arena has been all sewn up, reduce the Dark Side's build points by 1 each turn with Padmé (B) on top of the stack.
Princess Leia doesn't combo directly with either Padmé or Anakin, but the fruit of their loins does pretty well on her own, especially when the Dark Side is low on Force or is running a swarm deck. Most of her versions have the great protective ability of: 'When one of your opponent's characters would damage Leia, prevent that damage unless your opponent pays 2 Force.' The most powerful Leia version is also one of the more annoying. Leia (A) on top and fully stacked gets up to a 7 power and causes the Dark Side to lose 1 Force at the end of the battle phase. Pretty annoying when they already need to pay Force to damage her. Leia (D) benefits the Light Side with an extra build point each turn. This is the version to leave on top if the arena has already been cleared, though the (A) version is a good choice if the Dark Side keeps spending their Force down to 0 each turn. Truly the most annoying version, however, is the least survivable, but that's a good thing. Leia (C) doesn't have the Force payment protection, but when she is taken out, you get to draw 3 cards and that is usually more dangerous than anything else. A lot of times the Dark Side will avoid attacking her just to deny you the cards. If you need some sure thing hits, Leia (B) with Accuracy 1 is the way to go. Finally, if you haven't deployed Leia at all, you might consider deploying and discarding Leia (E) in order to fetch just the right version of Anakin.
That version is almost always going to be the new Anakin Skywalker (H) from Jedi Guardians. He's got great speed, good stats and a bunch of great abilities. He can fight while you build up Padmé and when he gets a bit too injured, retreat him and use his incredible "Pay 1 Prevent up to 3 damage to Padmé Amidala." I decided to use some of the larger versions of Anakin in to order to get the most out of the Accuracy that Padmé (F) grants him. Anakin (A) has good stats and the best Evade ability, so he works well when the battle heats up. If you really need to do some big damage, Anakin (E) has a hefty Overload ability that can really put the hurt on. Once the arena has been taken, Anakin (B) should go on top in order to boost up the Ground arena.
That boost grants both speed and power, so using it on a unit with Critical Hit is a great combo. Two of the best Light Side Ground units with Crit are AT-TE Walker 23X and Elite Jedi Squad. Also, the Elites can get a slight speed boost from Padmé (A), so they are the priority build for the arena. For a super quick way to finish off a heavily damaged unit, the Republic Attack Gunship is the way to go with its 60 speed and Overkill ability. Few things are more satisfying than to knock out a Dark Side unit that managed to hang on by a thread last turn… and do some extra damage to another unit while you're at it. Finally, if you really want to ensure a Critical Hit from an Elite or a big Overkill attack from the Gunship, the +5 power bonus from the tap ability of the Forward Command Center can't be beat.
In Space, there's a little bit more going on. I wanted to be sure to get some Jedi in Space, so the Jedi Starfighter 3R3 was an easy choice. For some survivability and heavy hitting power, the X-wing Attack Formation is the backbone of the arena. In order to keep them around as long as possible, the Intercepting X-wing Red Three can clear opposing Intercept units as well with its 60 speed. The X-wing Red Ten hits a bit heavier, but still attacks at 60 speed. With Padmé in the deck, what could be better than Padmé's Yacht (B) and (A)? The shields will do well if the Dark Side is running a swarm in Space, but the real reason to use it is for the (B)'s ability to grab some extra Character cards. Since the deck relies so heavily on building big character stacks and the free build point you get on the unit you choose means it can be immediately understacked if the character is already in play.
The other way to ensure a lot of cards is through the best card drawer out there, Wedding of Destiny. The extra Force it gives can be used to ramp up for a game-ending Desperate Confrontation. With all the Crit units, this little Mission is a killer. Rapid Recovery is one of the strongest cards in the deck. The damage removal is nice, but the cheap untap is simply incredible. Three is fine. To make sure the Diplomats do stay alive, Hero's Dodge will do the trick. Pilot's Dodge is the protection for the other 2 arenas. But sometimes some extra offense is better than any defense. Windu's Solution can boost the Crit units nicely, but it's better when you're going to play the Recovery. The +30 speed and +2 power lasts until end of turn, so the Diplomat gets the bonus for both attacks.
Here's what the deck looks like all put together…
| || || |
| || |
| || || |
After seeing your initial hand, mulligan the Confrontation and enough Battle cards so that you'll end up with no less than 6 units. Since you'll do a lot a character stacking during setup, you'll cycle through a lot of cards and should end up with several Battle cards. It's best to choose either Padmé or Leia and then stack that one up to 4 quickly. If you decide to go with Leia, consider just going with her alone in Character. If you go with Padmé, you'll want to bring in Anakin soon after. Leia can hold the arena fairly well on her own, so you have time to win the other 2 arenas. If you go with Padmé and Anakin, you should be able to take Character and then (usually) Ground if you were lucky enough to draw Anakin (B).
This deck doesn't use much Force on a turn by turn basis, so when you have all the pieces put together, you can spend a bunch a Force all at once for some huge combo attacks in an arena or two. It's great fun to watch a normally subdued Diplomat go on a rampage.