Portland Regionals Top 8 - Rey1 Aay2 Wook3

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Flaxative 355

First of all I want to give a huge thanks to my buddies in the Northern California/Bay Area Destiny scene for helping me get to Portland Regionals. I haven't been playing for the past couple months due to a combination of health-related and financial factors and the weekend in Portland was an absolute blast. Double thanks to @Lerysh and @Decepticle for furnishing me with significant portions of this list.

The build, that said, is mine. It seemed cool, and it won a lot of testing games right before Portland, but I didn't really know what to expect. I hadn't been keeping up with the meta; I didn't know half the Legacies cards; most of my test games were against casual decks. I went in expecting to win a couple games, maybe—ended up second seed in the top 8, my best result in any Destiny event of this size (~80 people).

Before I go further: Legacies STARTER RARITY cards were not legal for this event. If I were to refine this deck for further Standard play, I would replace Force Throw and One With The Force with two Heirloom Lightsabers, and one Double-Cross with an R2-D2.

I want to go over some of my matches and talk about why and how this deck did as well as it did. Then I'll offer some play tips in case anyone's curious to give it a whirl.

Portland Regionals Match Reports

Round 1: vs. eSeventh Sister, Greedo, Ciena OTK

My opponent was obviously playing toward silly amounts of damage. Round 1 he'd already used Price of Failure on Greedo and gotten a free Maul's Saber from Friends in High Places. This was my one opponent of the day who went after Rey first, probably because I gave her an Ancient Lightsaber and Force Speed as my first actions of the game—a mistake I learned from and didn't repeat for the rest of the tournament.

I rolled the +3 and went for damage over holding Guard, which was another mistake. We ended up hurting each other pretty badly. Round 2 he gets his first Droid upgrade and almost kills Rey—saved by Ancient, exactly. I lucked out and topped a Vibroknife at the beginning of Round 3 and rolled exact unblockable damage to kill Seventh Sister, and he scooped.

I think this is overall a good matchup for this deck. Guard and Heroism are great against these kinds of obvious combos. 30 hit points is a lot even for Seventh Sister, and you only really need to deal 10 damage to win.

Round 2: vs. eZeb, eYoda

I thought this would be an incredibly hard matchup for my deck, and it was pretty tough. Wookie obligingly rolled several times, hitting Easy Pickings and Defends, which helped me keep my damage output up. I started by targeting Zeb, which made him put Second Chance and Force Illusion on Zeb. The game was going long, and I instantly switched to trying to kill Yoda. With the survival upgrades, Zeb only had 3 dice to work with, making him much less scary. I killed Yoda and put Zeb to 1 hit point—intentionally not triggering Second Chance, leaving damage unresolved in the pool—and won on damage tiebreaks.

I don't remember now if I would have won without the time limit, but it's likely. I still had two characters near full health and fully kitted out. I do still think this is a rough matchup. You want to get serious burst two rounds in a row to kill Yoda before he can generate too many shields, and you also need removal at the right time to deal with Zeb's giant dice.

Round 3: vs. eTalzin, eKylo2

I think something went wrong for my opponent in this game. He didn't get damage upgrades early, and despite a full-strength Witch Magick I killed his Talzin quickly. (He had the full-odd list and I wanted to stop his free focuses.) Kylo, guessing blue, hit me 4/5 times over the course of the game with his ability. Still, with Dangerous Maneuver, Heroism, Easy Pickings, and good damage rolls of my own, I was able to achieve a fairly easy victory.

Round 4: vs. eAayla, Padawan, Padawan

This is a good matchup for this deck. The decks play similar styles, but we have yellow removal (Easy Pickings is tremendous against all the samey melee dice our opponent rolls) and more hit points. Plus there's Rey, who can kill a fully-shielded Padawan in one shot with Vibroknife on round 3.

This was the one deck I faced both in testing and in the event, and I won by a pretty handy margin.

Round 5: vs. eTalzin, eBala-Tik, Trooper

This was another easier one. I think this is a pretty good matchup for this deck. We have way more health and can almost always claim, making Fort Anaxes really potent. This archetype seems to run a lot of even-cost cards—it doesn't want to give up guns or He Doesn't Like You—and that really hurts Talzin and makes Witch Magic effectively a card that reads "Pay 1, tell your opponent what will be in your next hand." I'm not convinced the list is particularly good, though it is capable of massive damage. My opponent also made top 8 so he is obviously a good player.

The strategy is simple: kill Bala, kill Trooper, kill Talzin. Just do things in order. If Talzin has a lot of upgrades without redeploy, you can go for her before Trooper.

Round 6: vs. eYoda, eHondo

My one loss of the day. I didn't draw a saber till round 3, which really hurt my burst potential. My opponent got 2 Cunnings early and absolutely hammered me with Hondo's special, while using Hondo's actual dice to disrupt me. When Aayla and Rey were both dead, and I was left with just unupgraded Wookie, I scooped. I think that my deck underperformed, but this is also a rough matchup.

Round 7: vs. eTalzin, eBala-Tik, Trooper

Another five-die villain, and another win. My opponent played very well, putting redeploy upgrades on Bala early and using Best Defense... to bait me into changing my kill order to Trooper, Talzin, Bala. This was a mistake on my part—I should have gone for Bala first—but I still pulled it out.

Round 8: vs. eVader, Tusken Raider

I think this is a bad matchup for our deck. First, we have to pick our own battlefield because the Guardian is so crucial, so we lose 4 life out the door. Easy Pickings is good here if the Vader-Raider player isn't playing around it (he wasn't). Ultimately I think I won this game because my opponent rolled really low damage. Not complaining, but I don't have much advice to offer. We played three more games that night and he beat me every time. The difference was the rolls.

Quarterfinals: vs. Rieekan, Yoda, Jedha

This is a tough but probably about even matchup. I was seriously impressed with this guy's mill list. He only brought four dice cards: C-3PO and Chance Cube. So many shields, and the rest of this deck just control. It's just a big grind with some clever choices and plays. Game 1 I rolled almost no damage, and the game came down to a 1 card difference in the mill win condition. Game 2 he illegally played Easy Pickings after I'd killed both Rieekan and Partisan to remove my lethal damage and win the game. It's definitely on me that I didn't catch it, and I don't want to speculate too much about how the third game would have gone if I'd called him on it. I will say I think it was an honest mistake on his end.

Generally speaking, mill is rough on us. Our 30 hp are meaningless. Heroism becomes a lot less good—potentially entirely irrelevant. Dangerous Maneuver and Force Illusion become dead cards. That said, if we get our upgrades in the right order and roll damage, we can cut through other competitive decks with decent competence. Don't despair in the face of mill.

Playing This Deck

Mulligans: You want a 2-cost blue sword in your starting hand. If you have one in your starting hand, pitch Vibroknife—you want to save that for combos to kill characters starting round 3. In any event, mulligan aggressively for blues but don't pitch Vibroknife if it's the only upgrade in your hand you can play round 1. It Binds All Things is incredibly good in this deck and you should happily keep one or even two early. If you think your opponent has a heavy shield game, try for Shoto Lightsaber and Lightsaber Pull. If you think your opponent can put out big damage starting round 1, keep Easy Pickings and a 1-cost support (like Binds or Chopper) or upgrade (Goggles). Honestly nothing is as important as getting the round 1 saber. Force Speed is a good card to keep in hand but really only if you have something else to play to develop your position. If your hand is Force Speed and a bunch of removal, pitch it all.

Battlefield: You almost always want to take your opponent's battlefield in this game, regardless of matchup or strategy. The 4-life swing is just too big. It's slightly less of a problem against mill, where it's only a 2-life swing (though you should take the opponent's battlefield against Rieekan mill). Our battlefield is clearly very good for us, so if our opponents win initiative they might give us shields to avoid giving us the battlefield. One thing to keep in mind is that despite the fact that we have 3 characters and Chopper, we are pretty fast, and can almost always claim a battlefield if it's important (just don't roll Wookie sometimes). So if the opponent has something good for us—enjoy! Or if they take our battlefield—yay! Initiative is often win-win for us. There are some decks against which we need to take our battlefield, probably lists like Vader-Raider where we can benefit disproportionately from splitting our opponent's damage.

Gameplay: First action every game—assuming we have a 2-cost blue upgrade in hand—should be either It Binds All Things or activate Aayla. We don't want to start by kitting up Rey, nor Aayla, and we don't want to roll Wookie yet. If we failed to get a 2-cost blue upgrade, rolling Wookie first is a fine play. Ultimately, though, Aayla's dice are great to have in the pool.

Because Aayla is elite and her dice are amazing, people will gravitate toward targeting her first. This is fine! First of all, she has 10 health and we can keep her alive for a while with Guardian, Heroism, and Dangerous Maneuver. Second, this looks like an Aayla deck but is actually a Rey deck. We roll Aayla first, and she becomes a target. Then we put a saber (and maybe also Force Speed if we're lucky) on Rey, and start going to town.

People don't like splitting damage. They feel committed once they've damaged Aayla, and will likely leave Rey alone until they've killed Aayla. If they do switch, you can use Heroism to soak damage onto Aayla.

Rey is better late-game than Aayla. Despite only having the one die, she can get combo kills with Vibroknife. Aayla's still good late-game—her dice are amazing!—but she can't equip, roll, kill like Rey can. This is why we save Vibroknives for the mid-game: we want to play them on Rey after she's already stacked.

Once Rey has upgrades, there will be rounds where you want to roll her in before Aayla (so that you can use Aayla's on her dice). Also, if your opponent switches to trying to kill Rey, you can put Force Speed and maybe one cheap saber on Aayla.

Wookie is a great saber target. If you get to a point where claiming is less important, and you are okay always activating Wookie, you can put sabers on him. He becomes really scary fast. Because Wookie is obviously the last target in this deck, you'll have your spot-yellow events all game—Double-Cross, Easy Pickings, Electroshock. Don't gear him up too early and change this.

Roll Wookie first if you have Double-Cross. Wookie has a lot of die sides we don't want to resolve, and also that our opponent won't try to remove. Then if they roll something good, we can steal it. Don't do this round 1—if you're spending your money on Double-Cross round 1 you're not developing—but it's a great tactic later.

Truce! You can Truce into Easy Pickings with no money on the board. If you roll Wookie without money out, your opponent probably won't remove his (paid) melee sides—Truce turns them on. Truce lets you upgrade a 2-cost saber into Rey's Lightsaber when you're not showing money, a really good play. It's just an amazing card in this deck. As a general rule, don't Truce when you have money in order to play a more expensive upgrade. Only use it for tricks.

Chopper is good. He might seem slow, and you'll pitch him a lot of games. But he brings 2 black sides which enable your lightsaber modifiers after your other black dice have been removed. He can be crucial to winning the game. Since he's especially good late-game with lots of saber dice, you want to draw and play him around then. Unless your opponent's dick is much faster, and they're claiming consistently from the beginning of the game, you typically don't want to waste actions on Chopper early.

The Future Of This Deck

Part of the strength of this deck in Portland was that it was unexpected. People could assume I had the sabers, but Easy Pickings and Double-Cross are still 'new' removal cards that not a lot of folks played around. The fact that elite Aayla drew so much aggro also helped me a lot. I think this deck will be immediately made worse by the simple fact that I'm writing this. The cat is now out of the bag, as it were, since I played on stream four games of the tournament. Players should know to go after Rey first, and that honestly will hurt us.

Thanks

Thanks again to everyone who helped me by providing cards, advice, testing games, and moral support. And thank you, readers. Don't hesitate to ask questions or provide your own perspective.

10 comments

Tybrid 799

I feel like this was held back by the lack of Starters for Portland.

dj88c 14

Heirloom Lightsaber would be the first card slotted in.

BobLobLaw94 GDP 40

I feel like if Heirloom and Hidden Motive are legal they slot in easily. Maybe to HM for the Heroism and two Heirlooms for OWTF and throw? Unsure.

Lerysh 17

Dat Wook3 tho.

Phoof 276

We had some great games, thank you! The fact that I left a lot of your removal basically useless was huge - Dangerous Maneuver, Heroism, and even Easy Pickings since I have so few similar sides were basically dead, and would save you in many other matchups. In spite of 5 dead cards, we had some of the closest games I had all weekend, thank you!!

Flaxative 355

Hi everyone, I've updated this page with the deck's actual name and a longer write-up based on my experiences at Regionals.

@Tybrid potentially. Heirloom, as others have pointed out, as well as R2-D2 would improve the deck considerably in my mind. That said, I'm not sure I would have advanced past the decks I lost to just by having those cards. I'll likely never know as I don't own the sabers in this deck and will be returning them to their owners. If you try an improved version of this please let me know how it goes!

@BobLobLaw94 GDP Hidden Motive, really? Maybe! What would you cut for it?

@Lerysh Updated deck name. ;)

@Phoof I'm assuming you were my mill opponent, if so yes, good games. I am sorry I didn't catch your illegal play and try to take our match to game 3—if only because a third game would have been fun—but as I wrote in my report above, I believe it was an honest mistake and it was on me to notice it. Grats on 2nd place!!

BobLobLaw94 GDP 40

@Flaxative I just love playing with it for simple 0 cost soft removal with potential of hard removal. I'd maybe drop one or two of the paid mitigation cards but that is also complete speculation on my part.

Phoof 276

@Flaxative Omg I didn't even notice until now... I had no idea, I did that same damn thing later in the day too, Easy Pickings was a late addition and throughout Swiss no one targeted Jedha... I'm so sorry that happened... Game three would have likely been just as close, so it was basically a coin flip. Would have been my first chance to start on your battlefield too, which could have changed the game drastically. I'm so sorry that happened...

Phoof 276

Luckily my second instance got brought to my attention and I was hyper aware of it for the rest of the day.

supercanuck 14

Interesting deck! I'm working on an Aayla/2 Wookies deck to see how that goes. Not sure trading the action cheating of Rey for a second Wookie is worth it, but it solves the problem of people just focusing down Rey and turning off a lot of the strength of the deck.