THIS PRIMER IS FOR LEGACY FORMAT ONLY
What is Imperial Entanglements?
Reenacting the Empire’s role at the beginning of Episode IV, Imperial Entanglements (IE) is one of the Dark Side’s best drain race engines. Utilizing only Imperials and Imperial starships, IE seeks to occupy the Tatooine system while spreading out at Tatooine sites to maximize its damage potential.
Note: IE can very easily be made into a classic format deck (no Episode I cards) by replacing a few of the standard locations and Admiral’s Orders.
- Strong token space
- Strong ground package
- High average destiny
- Ease of access to many cards
- High damage potential
- Token retrieval
- Card intensive (safely uncontested while fully setup plays about 50% of its cards on the table). As such, IE will not usually win games by a large margin.
- Extensive restrictions on playable characters, starships and locations. These restrictions are compounded when playing sandtroopers as they also have location deployment restrictions.
How to play:
Since you start out with Devastator on the table, it is important to protect this valuable resource so that you can satisfy Battle Plan in turns to come. Your first turn should consist of providing some means of defense for the Devastator so that it is not lost to attrition. The Star Destroyer: Commander Station or Alert My Star Destroyer! can provide full immunity to attrition, or Imperial Arrest Order can provide you with enough forfeit fodder to absorb attrition. The Vanguard Camp can upload Deflector Shield Generators (V) to help counter all three paths of removal. AT-ST versions would be wise to deploy both a pilot, an AT-ST and a Dual Cannon to the Devastator, first turn, for the ability to draw battle destiny and a combined forfeit of approximately 13 (16 with Deflector Shield Generators) before having to lose the Devastator.
After the Devastator is safe from the risk of being lost, you should try to flip by controlling 3 Tatooine sites. This can be done as early turn 2 as to be determined by your opening hand, the matchup, the amount of force you are activating and a variety of other factors. Once flipped (or in conjunction with flipping), the goal is to spread out and attempt to deal more damage to your opponent each turn through free drains and direct damage.
One thing that takes practice with IE is the art of card economy. By not overdeploying, one can up their differential and maintain valuable resources (life force) longer to grant more in-game options. Learning when to spread beyond the ability to draw battle destiny at each location, when to lose 2 force to make opponent’s character immediately lost, when to forfeit a weapon or device over a character, when and how much to react: these are all questions that one needs to practice answering.
Core Cards – Knowledge And Defense (V), Imperial Entanglements/No One With Stop Us This Time, Tatooine, a persona of Devastator, Tatooine battleground sites.
Which Devastator? – The non-v version is often chosen because it has an ability 2 pilot and capacity for vehicles and passengers. This can be advantageous to fortify at the system initially and later shuttle vehicles/characters down to help flip. With regards to the Devastator (V), the ability to follow your opponent’s starship is superfluous when it is more important to occupy the Tatooine system and the token immunity to attrition is of little importance when there are other means of gaining full immunity or sufficient forfeit fodder.
Choosing a starting effects: A combination of 3 of the following effects are started with Prepared Defenses (v or non-v).
Aratech Corporation (V) – Started when AT-STs are used for your primary ground package. Boosts your AT-ST’s power and forfeit while increasing access to your ground resources (each Endor pilot or AT-ST equals a pair).
Fleet Security Protocols – Used to pull the Command Station to fetch Jir and provide full immunity for the Devastator. Not used so often since the release if the Vanguard Camp.
Imperial Arrest Order – Boosts the forfeit of ability 2 imperials (which IE typically runs a lot of)
Inconsequential Losses (V) – Pulls and provides forfeit for Dual Laser Cannon (V) (if playing an AT-ST version)
Endor Shield (V) – Pulls an admiral to set up Alert My Star Destroyer!
Choosing locations: IE typically runs 4 to 5 sites (in addition to the locations it starts) and benefits from having all of its locations easily pullable with the front of the objective (or with Fleet Security Protocols). However, you are limited in only deploying non-Jabba’s Palace sites. 2/1 sites usually win out over 1/1 sites that drain at +1, simply because you need the activation to help maintain control of your sites. Here are some of the more popular choices:
Star Destroyer: Command Station – Pulled with Fleets Security Protocols to provide a way to pull Jir (which prevents IE from flipping back) and full immunity to attrition for the Devastator. One way to help make IE less card intensive is to cut this card along with its associated cards: Jir, Fleet Security Protocols and Derdram (V).
Tatooine: Imperial Vanguard Camp – Released in 8.3 as an alternate option to the Command Station. It also pulls Jir and provides protection for the Devastator by uploading Deflector Shield Generators (V).
Tatooine: Desert Heart – Before the Vanguard Camp was released, this was often chosen as a starting location to threaten Sandwhirl. Even if not started, this is still a good choice for inclusion. Your other locations are typically deployed on both sides so that Desert Heart is centrally located and Sandwhirl can move in either direction without having to move too far before coming in contact with your opponent’s characters.
Tatooine: Mos Espa – 2/1 location with a conditional force drain -1 for your opponent.
Tatooine: Lar’s Moisture Farm – while this is a good drain +1 location, you would not want to convert the LS’s virtual version due to its perks to Entanglements. For this reason, it is probably better to NOT include this in your deck.
Commander Daine Jir – The major draw for including Jir is that he is pullable with the Star Destroyer: Command Station or Vanguard Camp and prevents your objective from flipping you back. He is not necessary for some versions of the deck because it should be rather difficult for your opponent to flip you back once you do indeed flip.
Grand Admiral Thrawn – Adds a battle destiny aboard your star destroyer. Can keep your Admiral’s Order on the table and/or keep your opponent’s Admiral’s Order off the table.
Darth Vader (V) – Helps to keep Devastator alive by reducing opponent’s successful weapon’s destiny or battle destiny at Tatooine. Pair with one of your black squadron pilots and Devastator becomes one hard ship to crack.
Garindan (V) – Very good character who can protect your Devastator and chosen ground package from opponent’s weapons. Sometimes seen in multiples.
Endor pilots – Unique, Endor icon pilots of ability less than 3 can be paired with AT-STs via Aratech Corporation (V), so a good sampling of these would need to be included if going with AT-STs as your ground package. Here is a list of all the characters that Aratech Corp pulls along with a brief commentary of their benefits:
- Corporal Avarik – Avoid unless trying to pair biker scouts to receive some benefit. In which case, still leave him in your binder and use another biker scout.
- Corporal Delosyn – Only adds power to speeder bike he pilots; Adds a battle destiny with Irol.
- Corporal Misik – See Corporal Avarik.
- Corporal Oberk – Only adds power to speeder bike he pilots; other than that, he boasts decent stats.
- Lieutenant Arnet – Deploys free to Blizzard Scout 1.
- Lieutenant Grond – Inferior to Lieutenant Grond (V).
- Lieutenant Grond (V) – Can loop with Praji (V) to cancel a force drain at a related site every turn.
- Lieutenant Watts – Conditionally adds to Dual Cannon weapon destiny draws.
- Lieutenant Watts (V) – Can take a weapon into hand from lost pile to cancel a force drain at a related site.
- Major Marquand – Adds a battle destiny with Watts.
- Sergeant Barich – Biker scout who adds to the power of any AT-ST he pilots. While with another biker scout, can draw destiny and subtract it from opponent’s total power and attrition. Can be useful in helping protect the Devastator if needs be.
- Sergeant Elsek – Only adds power to speeder bike he pilots and only has ability of 1; When with another biker scout, forfeits to cover battle damage and attrition. Probably not needed with the boosted forfeit from Imperial Arrest Order on your other characters but you never know.
- Sergeant Irol – Inferior to Sergeant Irol (V)
- Sergeant Irol (V) – Biker scout who adds to the power of any AT-ST he pilots; Can lose 1 force to cancel a force drain at an interior site.
Other good ability 2 pilots – Most of these mentioned here are commanders or generals that have synergy with We’re In Attack Position Now.
- Commander Praji (V) – Most builds try to set this guy up early (1st or 2nd turn) so that he can pull most of your other characters in your deck. One to two copies are run along with several ways to pull him (i.e. We Have A Prisoner & I Can’t Shake Him; Force Push (V))
- General Nevar – Sometimes it is a good idea to flip as quickly as possible so as to get a jump in the damage race. If this is indeed the case, Nevar can pull one of your remaining sites from your deck (since your objective can no longer do it) and can peek at your opponent’s hand to see if you can spread your forces or need to consolidate.
- ISB Sector Commander – Retrieves any imperial into hand when deployed.
Sandtroopers and friends – In a Sandtrooper/Dewback build, it is important to note that most of the characters for your ground package are not pilots, and as such, are pullable with Jir and/or Deflector Shield Generators (V). This also means that you are going to include characters dedicated to hold space and different characters to hold your sites.
- Sandtrooper (V) – Sandtroopers on Dewbacks can muster similar power levels to that of AT-STs and No One Can Stop us This Time adds a battle destiny where they are paired together (though it is harder to come up with 4 ability on your own). Usually seen in multiples, averaging about 6 in a given decklist. Pullable with Deflector Shield Generators (V) each turn to deploy aboard the Devastator and shuttle down to fortify any of your sites.
- Captain Mod Terrik – Allows you other Sandtroopers to deploy cheaper and provides your ability 1 troopers with increased and protected forfeit.
- Trooper Davin Felth (V)
- Lieutenant Cecius (V) – Pullable with Jir and provides you with +1 drains at battlegrounds where you have both a unique and non-unique Imperial.
Victory – This is about the only backup starship you will see in most IE decklists. Has conditional immunity to attrition and the ability to draw battle destiny in its own.
AT-ATs – These can be seen in just about any IE decklist, but seldom are they the centerpiece of your ground package. Decks that start Endor Shield (V) will frequently pull an admiral to park on the Devastator and then pull General Veers (V) to setup on a walker.
AT-STs – Scout walker versions will use about any unique AT-ST (omitting Tempest Scout 4). Many can move as a react and boast very efficient stats. Approximately six are included in AT-ST builds. Since all unique AT-STs are rare, players can substitute the non-unique Tempest Scout for any AT-STs that they do not own.
Dewback (V) – Can be pulled with both Collateral Damage (V) and Krayt Dragon Bones (V). They guys are seen in Sandtrooper build in multiples.
AT-ST Dual Cannon (V) – Borderline broken. Not only can it shoot repeatedly, it can make hit characters immediately lost, is in a deck with a decent average destiny, can go on a vehicle that reacts, forfeits to used pile with Inconsequential Loses (V) and can be paired with I Want That Ship (V) to easily cause overflow. The cost of making opponent’s hit character immediately lost can really add up if utilized multiple times throughout a game, especially since this deck puts so many cards on the table to begin with. The most advantageous time to make opponent’s character immediately lost is when you might be able to cause overflow in the process. Try to put these on AT-STs that can react (as not all of them do on Tatooine).
Choosing Interrupts: Used interrupts can be abused with the flip side of your objective by simply playing the interrupt to your used pile and activate until you reach said tracked used interrupt. At which time, use the peek function of your objective to take that interrupt back into hand for reuse.
Trample – Both AT-ST and Dewback versions can benefit from Trample. Some decklists rely solely on this to remove undercover spies.
Sneak Attack (V) – Adds a battle destiny where your AT-ST or scout is participating, even while aboard the Devastator. Used function can stack a high destiny to draw during battle which can be more strategic that adding a battle destiny.
Control & Set For Stun – Helps protect Occupation damage and can bounce opponent’s key character.
We Have A Prisoner & Watch Your Back! – Usually seen in multiples to help get Praji out as soon as possible.
Imperial Domination (V) – Since you are limited to only playing Imperials and Imperial starships, this is an easy fit providing you with token retrieval and a way to artificially increase your average destiny.
Tatooine Occupation – Usually 2 are included to help give you an edge in the damage race.
Sandwhirl – Deploys only to deserts and can make characters missing. Your Sandtroopers (V) and pilots aboard your enclosed vehicles are protected. It can only be canceled at opponent’s site or by a Control.
Alert My Star Destroyer! – Provides full immunity to attrition for the Devastator and countered only by opponent’s Control.
I Want That Ship (V) – Put in your AT-ST version to make your Dual Cannons even stronger. Remember that it’s gametext works globally.
Imperial Justice (V) – More of a meta choice, but good at making sure you only lose 1 character per battle.
Choosing Admiral Orders:
Nothing Can Get Through Our Shields (V) – By far the most popular Admiral’s Order to include. Makes all of your characters and vehicles deploy -1 to Tatooine sites while you occupy the related system. One to three copies are standard.
Battle Deployment – Can deploy AT-STs or AT-ATs from reserve deck and limits your opponent to one battle destiny where you occupy the related system. However, Devastator with typically suffer a -2 power penalty.
We’re In Attack Position Now – Sometimes included to up Devastator’s immunity to attrition and/or cause damage from controlling related sites with commanders and/or generals. Seen more with builds including AT-ATs and the deck should include several commanders or generals to justify its card slot.
Matchups: Generally speaking, you simply play your game and you should come out on top. Not many Light Side decks can keep up in a damage race, and those that might be able to, will probably try to do so at Tatooine locations. When your opponent realizes that they will lose the drain race, they will try to confront you at your locations (if they think that they are able to). However, you are very strong on the ground and in space. This section generally refers to the AT-ST version (sample decklist #1).
2/2 – Favorable matchup. Set up like normal but try to make Irol your first pull with Aratech. Pull and use Propaganda for the first drain. Once Devastator is sufficiently protected, shuttle Irol and backup to hold a battleground site to slow his damage.
Communing (Chew-munning) – Favorable matchup. We Have A Prisoner stops the recursion of problem characters (namely Chewie and his bowsaber).
Communing (speeders) – Very interactive matchup with lots of weapons. Garindan is your champ. Once flipped, you can track Garindan back into hand with your objective to use repeatedly.
Hidden Base (Mon Cals) – Unfavorable matchup. Save your Garindans for space to delay losing a space presence for as long as possible. Don’t try to hold Tatooine, but run as much as possible. Go to ground fast and hard so as to get an early jump on the damage race. Save the Victory to probe a few systems once he flips.
Local Uprising (V) – Favorable matchup. Turn 1, Move the devastator to Hoth to threaten the drain of 2. Preventing Frostbite retrieval and making them pay to drain is more important than Occupation damage (which would be reduced anyway). Turn 2, drain for 2 and deploy in mass to a Tatooine site. Deploy Resistance to cap the eventual drain bonus from T-47 Battle Formation.
Profit – Favorable matchup. Set up like normal. Start Arica (if playing her) with their objective to slow them down while you setup. Irol can help after they find Corran and break Arica’s cover. They typically run very little space (the occasional Home One package). IAO will help prevent Nabrun beats.
QMC – Turn 1, move the Devastator to Bespin to threaten the drain of 2. Outrider can reduce your power so watch out for that (unless running the command station). Keeping non-combo Celebration off the table is more important than keeping Occupation damage on the table. This matchup will be focused on the drain race with the possibility of some space battles.
Scoundrels – 50/50 matchup. Rebel Agent prevents you from reacting to his site so keep this when playing AT-ST versions. This should be a very interactive matchup with the LS player attempting hit and runs. This is one matchup that can go either way so playtest this one if you expect to come across it in a tournament.
There Is Good In Him – 50/50 matchup. Not likely to include much of a space package. On your first turn, drop an AT-ST, pilot and cannon to the Endor Landing Platform to cause a force choke (if you include the Spaceport Docking Bay). Vader should eventually take possession of Luke and shuttle aboard the Devastator. Between making there Jedi immediately lost and reacting your AT-STs, you shouldn’t lose too many battles. Sandtrooper on Dewbacks are immune to sabers. Tips: Pull Coward and Allegations initially.
Throne Room Mains – 50/50 matchup. Set up like normal. If TRM starts with Podracers or Let The Wookie Win, they may be running Revolutions so don’t leave yourself vulnerable at the Command Station. Blaster Deflection won’t protect their characters from vehicle weapons. If the game goes to time, they may win through their superior card efficiency. If you are playing He Is Not Ready combo, go ahead and pull it at the beginning of the game as you will likely encounter maintenance cards.
WYS – 50/50 matchup. Try to shoot characters and vehicles lost so that they won’t be able to draw 2 battle destiny (or any battle destiny) in a given battle. Not losing the Devastator will be your biggest challenge unless you go the full immunity route.
WYS (V) – Favorable matchup. Set up like normal. Try to get Thrawn on the Devastator as quickly as possible and deploy your AO to keep No Questions Asked (V) off the table. Alternatively, you can track your replaced AO to the top of your reserve deck and take it into your hand with your objective each turn (though this is an inferior tactic to using Thrawn). CEC can’t hurt your ping drains too much, and so long as you are dealing more damage each turn (and don’t over deploy), you should come out on top.
Sample decklist #1: (w/ AT-STs)
*Knowledge And Defense (V)
Imperial Entanglements/No One To Stop Us This Time
*Tatooine: Imperial Vangard Camp
*Prepared Defenses (V)
*Imperial Arrest Order
*Inconsequential Losses (V)
*Aratech Corporation (V)
*Tatooine: Jundland Wastes
*Tatooine: Watto’s Junkyard
*Tatooine: Desert Heart
<>Spaceport Docking Bay
*Garindan (V) x2
*Commander Praji (V)
*Darth Vader (V)
*ISB Sector Commander
*Grand Admiral Thrawn
*Lieutenant Grond (V)
*Sergeant Irol (V)
*Blizzard Scout 1 (V)
*Tempest Scout 1
*Tempest Scout 2
*Tempest Scout 3
*Tempest Scout 5
*Tempest Scout 6
AT-ST Dual Cannon (V) x2
Deflector Shield Generator (V)
*We Have A Prisoner & *I Can’t Shake Him! x3
*Sneak Attack (V)
Force Push (V)
Control & Set For Stun
*Operational As Planned (V)
Defensive Fire (V)
**Imperial Domination (V) x2
*Tatooine Occupation x2
*I Want That Ship (V)
Imperial Justice (V)
Admiral’s Orders: (3)
*Nothing Can Get Through Our Shield (V) x3
Sample decklist #2: (Drop and Drain)
Knowledge And Defense (V)
Imperial Entanglements/No One To Stop Us This Time
*Tatooine: Imperial Vanguard Camp
Surface Defense (V)
*Tatooine: Tusken Canyon
*Tatooine: Jundland Wastes
*Tatooine: Lars’ Moisture Farm
*Tatooine: Desert Heart
Stormtrooper Garrison x2
*Captain Mod Terrik x3
Biker Scout Trooper x7
Deflector Shield Generators (V)
*Onyx 2 (V)
Speeder Bike x6
*Imperial Command x2
*Tactical Support x3
Imperial Barrier x3
*Force Push (V) x2
*A Dark Time For The Rebellion (V)
Alert My Star Destroyer!
*Tatooine Occupation x4
Admiral’s Orders: (2)
*Nothing Can Get Through Our Shield (V) x4