About Epic Duels

About
Ian received Star Wars Epic Duels as a Christmas present from his beloved Aunt and Uncle in 2002.

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How We Roll

What is Geektopia Epic Duels?
It’s an evolved form of Star Wars Epic Duels played by Roman Farraday, fooyongfoo (Ian), CageyBB, Erik B. and sometimes other friends including Docmogs/fingersandteeth.

The “evolution” refers to the tweaking of 8 of the original 12 decks and the addition of some 50 of our own fan-made decks with the goal being that each deck’s level of power be fairly representative of that character’s power in the films, by our interpretation. Thus, Darth Sidious is more powerful than Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi are typically more powerful than bounty hunters, and Darth Vader is actually tough to beat. Pursuing this goal admittedly results in constant tinkering on the decks. But hey, the Millenium Falcon required constant tinkering too.

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House Rules

Aside from our own interpretations of some special card effects, there are only a handful of house rules to differentiate Geektopia ED from Hasbro ED:

  • All games are 2v2 or 3v3.
  • Personality minors can win.
  • Minors cannot heal by playing cards of the major.
  • Whoever goes first only gets 1 action on his first turn.
  • The winner of a “roll off” can choose to go first or which side to defend.
  • Every major can be placed on any named space of the side they are defending, every minor must be placed adjacent to its respective major.
  • The “Mountain Cat” Rule: No direct damage card that affects multiple opponents (e.g. Thermal Detonator) can target any character who has not yet had a turn. (If you must know how the rule got its name, listen for it about 1:30, Carol tells him not to bring in his mountain cat “for the first time,” hence the first-turn rule).

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Decks

We play with the 12 original decks but have tweaked 8 of them to make them better fit our desired power levels and abilities. Our custom decks are both our original creations as well as decks we “borg’d” from the online community. We took someone else’s deck and assimilated it into the Geektopia system by tweaking it to our desired level of power. At this point, most have changed enough to be considered distinct from their original. Sometimes, we take ideas from multiple deck creators and fuse them together; our Grievous deck is the best example.  All custom decks are fully compatible with any SWED set, and have the benefit of having been tested for mechanics and balance over years of 2v2 play.

Design Principles

  • We believe the heart of Epic Duels is the attack and defend process.
  • Therefore, we tend to include power defense in our decks and admit to an overall power creep in our set relative to the base set.  Also, we’ve found that stronger decks, or at least ones with high ceilings (but still some defense) are more fun to play than weak ones.
  • We strive to make decks that include interesting paths to victory, that represent their characters, and to keep most of our card concepts fairly simple, like the original game, while pushing the boundaries in thoughtful ways.
  • We typically follow the standards of Epic Duels deck creation but we do occasionally break rules. When we do, we’re careful, rarely breaking more than one rule per deck.
  • Every deck can do something. We don’t just make decks to make decks and we don’t just fill out decks with a requisite number of attack, defend and movement cards. We take inspiration and try to capture it in a balanced deck with a unique path to victory.
  • We stick to a few Basic Decks: mostly the originals but also some basic decks that we pioneered like the Orange, Minor Blue, and Melee Minor decks.
  • All custom decks that appear here are developed and tweaked to fit the world of Geektopia ED and our interpretation of  the characters.  Some of the decks are quite powerful but most everything (aside from maybe Sidious and Yoda Kashyyk) can be played in a standard SWED set.  The “fun/experimental/retired” decks are ones that we haven’t played very much, and need feedback to be considered finished.

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Power Levels

See the decks listed by Power Level

The premise of Geektopia is that power levels are reflective of that character, by our interpretation. Some ED’ers like all their decks to be roughly equal in power, but we don’t want to see Darth Sidious and IG-88 anywhere near the same level of power. The tricky thing is making sure all the decks are different in power, but still not completely over- or under-powered. As it can be tough enough just to make a fun deck that is balanced in power, we’re far from getting it to where every character’s relative strength is exactly representative of where we’d want it, but that is the goal.  Hence, we’re frequently tweaking and updating, usually a little after each session.

The overall power level of the Geektopia set is slightly higher than that of the standard Epic Duels set with a similar overall range of weakest to strongest. Geektopia is ruled by the “sluggos,” decks with big attack and defend cards like Yoda, Defender of Kashyyk and Darth Vader, Jedi Hunter. The ceiling is probably no higher than the original Obi-Wan but there are several decks here that can contend with him like the 2 mentioned. Furthermore, most Tier 2-or-better decks have some big offensive moves and some form of power defense, resulting in an overall “power creep” that really leaves the shooters out in the cold. However, the weakest decks are certainly no weaker than the original Jango, and Jango himself has gotten some boosts. We do still find unchanged, original Han to be a useful, albeit fragile, teammate and we’ve seen even the weakest decks like IG-88 dominate the occasional game.

The Geektopia decks fall into the Tier system that is widely understood by the Epic Duels Online Community, though we have sub-divided those tiers further:

Tier 1: The strongest decks, Jedi and Sith Masters (original Obi-Wan, Emperor Palpatine) — Darth Sidious, Yoda of Kashyyk, Darth Vader Jedi Hunter, etc. Tier 1A is for decks as strong as original Obi-Wan. Tier 1B decks are still very strong but not quite at that level, more like original Palpatine, who is included in Tier 1B in his unaltered form.

Tier 2: Strong decks with weaknesses, Jedi and Sith (original Mace, Dooku, Anakin) — Aayla Secura, Asajj Ventress, tweaked Luke & Leia, etc. This is the biggest Tier and is actually divided into 3 sub-tiers of A, B and C.  It starts with the premise that Maul is better than Mace, Dooku and Anakin, but still a notch below Emperor Palpatine in a 2v2 game, and that’s Tier 2A.  Tier 2C is for Boba Fett, a tad stronger than original Han and could probably compete in a Tier 2 tournament, but would be at a slight disadvantage vs. Mace, Dooku or Anakin, who define Tier 2B.

Tier 3: The weakest decks, Shooters or Weak Jedi/Sith (original Han, Vader, Jango) — IG-88, Lando, Tarkin, etc. If you accept that original Han was a tad stronger than original Jango, then you understand why Tier 3 is broken into Tiers 3A and 3B.

Geektopia used to have a 5-Tier system, but we’ve redefined our decks in terms of the generally agreed upon 3-tier system, then we actually further divided the Tiers into sub-tiers, so it’s almost a 7-Tier system now but it is tied back to the original game.

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