Portland Regionals 2nd Place Hero Mill

Card draw simulator
Odds: 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
Madison Regional 1st Rieekan Rainbow | destinycouncil.com 5 4 0 1.0
2ยบ Death Star Battle - 1st Place Otaner Demarchi 1 0 0 1.0

Phoof 363

This writeup is turning into a WoT, and for that I apologize - legal mind and all. Match reports, as I can remember them, will be after the wall of deck information.

Character Choices:

EaW era Hero Mill used General Rieekan - Defensive Mastermind, Padme Amidala - Queen of Naboo, Jedi Instructor, which I played quite a bit of. Going into an event where parts of Legacies would be legal before their release (cards exclusive to the Starter Sets and Rivals were not legal, hence the notable exclusion of Bespin Wing Guard), I figured I would be better served over the long weekend by experience vs the shiny and new. I did want to make a few updates to take advantage of obviously powerful cards though. First off were the character choices. General Rieekan - Defensive Mastermind was always going to be the primary mill so long as I was sticking with comfort. Padme Amidala - Queen of Naboo was the old secondary mill, but I saw Yoda - Wizened Master as superior - I give up the ability to mill 2 in exchange for an accelerated economy, more shields, and a more consistent out to Ancient Lightsaber (more on that in a minute) thanks to the flexibility of the , very similar sides (2, , , ), and the additional bonus of having no , meaning I couldn't be blanked out of C-3PO for a . Whereas the EaW throwaway, Jedi Instructor, was Blue, my new 'throwaway' needed to be Yellow. In comes Jedha Partisan. With 3 sides that contribute to my win condition (2x2, ) thanks to its ability, he provides more to the deck than Jedi Instructor did back in the day.

Upgrades:

I loves me some Chance Cube! They help me manage my econ early, and are brutal when combined with C-3PO. They were a little less critical after I moved to Yoda - Wizened Master, but having them was critical in my Top 8 match, so they aren't going anywhere.

Protective Mentor is a card I'd love to have room for two of, because being able to dump shields with Entrenched and have that block damage anywhere is beautiful. However, sacrifices had to be made for some of the new stuff, so I limited myself to one. It can be hugely impactful when trying to keep General Rieekan - Defensive Mastermind alive for an extra turn or two though, since once they start focusing on him you still get the full five effective health from it, or they start splitting damage, which is a huge win for you.

Supports:

Scrap Heap bring in so much money if you can get it into play early that it's just bonkers, allowing me easy use of big cards like Entrenched and Hyperspace Jump without having to risk being short when I needed to use removal. I wanted to run two copies to get it early more consistently, but I lacked the space, it's a bit of a luxury to begin with, and getting two in play was always excessive. Also...

Yoda's Hut provides a constant stream of shields, similar to Hunker Down, and provides a similar value to Scrap Heap in its ability to accelerate my economy. I only run one copy as it's another one of those luxury cards, on top of being Unique anyway.

C-3PO, believe it or not, is actually the star of this deck, something my Finals opponent knew all too well. Lacking Bespin Wing Guard at this event, C-3PO is my endgame, streamlining the process of pulling the last few cards out of my opponents hand by resolving any die as a , especially a Chance Cube showing 3. This is another place when Jedha Partisan shines over Jedi Instructor, as he has a pair of 2 value sides as opposed to the Jedi Instructor's 1 value across the board. C-3PO is also a huge part of the reliability of my answer to Ancient Lightsaber, which I'll talk about later. Plus, he's got his own side, which was awesome in Top 4.

Events:

1 copy of All Quiet On The Front seemed enough for me, as I never needed to play two when I ran two, and I often didn't even need the one. That being said, it's consistently helpful, and even won me a game when a guy cleared his hand, and then I hit him with it to clear his deck. It was also integral to my winning Top 4, as I went into Game 3 with only 20 minutes left and needed to speed up my mill.

Hyperspace Jump is a strong removal card in its ability to clear out a good roll from your opponent, an avenue to bring War-Torn Streets - Jedha into play since you generally like to run your opponents Battlefield in order to start shields, and your simplest out to Ancient Lightsaber. After how comfortable I felt using Yoda - Wizened Master and C-3PO to counter the Ancient Lightsaber shenanigans though, I may drop this count to one to free up the space needed for Bespin Wing Guard.

You'll also note a TON of removal cards - I have the space for it! Into The Garbage Chute is a good play on both Yoda - Wizened Master and Jedha Partisan throughout the game, depending on where you have your Chance Cube hiding and where you may need to Caution. In the dreamland where General Rieekan - Defensive Mastermind survives past the deck mill though, he's the obvious target as he does little to support discard from the hand. Easy Pickings was my MVP of the weekend though - I included it specifically to pick off the mass of sides we expected to see, but it shines everywhere, especially against Elite characters. 12/10, would play four. Okay, probably not, but...

Other cards I considered:

Hunker Down was a staple for me in the EaW era, but after seeing the Dallas results I expected to be running into quite a lot of Aayla Secura - Jedi General and wanted to swap them out for something that wouldn't get discarded as easily. Luckily with the increased economy I built into the deck, Yoda's Hut could serve a similar purpose and I could eat the additional cost.

Other upgrades: Upgrades like Scout, Maz's Goggles, and Force Meditation, as well as from the hand options like Strength Through Weakness, Friends in Low Places, and Scruffy Looking Nerf-Herder find their way into a lot of lists, but I'm not a fan. I tend to have a pretty easy time going through people's decks with my character abilities, and the bevy of removal and shield-generating cards I run instead often forces people to play out or discard to reroll more than they would like anyway, which speeds things up. The struggle is always the last few cards from hand, where all of those cards are mostly useless, and I'd rather the extra mitigation to help hold on long enough to find the sides I already have.

Other removal cards: I spent days agonizing over which removal cards I wanted to run. Electroshock, Loth-Cat and Mouse, Overconfidence, Mislead, Krayt Dragon Howl, and Honor Guard all either had spots or at least came up in discussions on Friday. However, I'm happy with what I settled on. I would consider dropping Into The Garbage Chute, as I didn't get value out of it as often as I would have liked, but the times that I did it was crucial.

Bespin Wing Guard is an auto-include, likely in place of Hyperspace Jump, as long as I'm at an event that will allow it.

My big regret for Portland is not finding room for a Fall Back for this event. The ability to strip upgrades both slows down decks ability to damage my characters, especially when I have a ton of mitigation, and forces players to scramble for more upgrades that might help clear cards from their hands. I believe this would have won me my round 4 match, and likely could have come in handy in the finals to slow down the incoming damage.

The Ancient Lightsaber conundrum:

People float "Run Ancient Lightsaber!" as the answer to mill. Its ability to sneak back into the deck can certainly hamper you, but managing it in reality is extremely easy. The simplest of means is to play Hyperspace Jump when they're at 0/0. They won't rush to activate Ancient Lightsaber because they don't want you to mill it, so you can take a turn or two to make sure you've got the money for it. However, in both of my Top 8 games, my opponent was able to discard both of my Hyperspace Jumps by repeatedly claiming my battlefield (I take so many actions getting shields into play that I basically never claim until the end game when I'm trying to pull cards from hand,) leaving me without the simple option. However, Yoda - Wizened Master with C-3PO gives you the unavoidable out. So long as you can outlast your opponent in that final round, they are left with three options when they run out of actions: Claim the Battlefield, in which case you pass and win because they are 0/0; Pass, in which case you pass and win because they are 0/0; or activate Ancient Lightsaber. When they do so, they'll be left with 0/1, and you just have to mill one. Chances are General Rieekan - Defensive Mastermind is dead by this point, but Yoda - Wizened Master's gives you that mill, and you're guaranteed to have it thanks to C-3PO. If Yoda - Wizened Master was killed, Jedha Partisan can accomplish the same goal, although without certainty - so long as you don't roll a , you can C-3PO to to mill that last card. It's also worth noting that this works similarly well against Chance Cube, though Yoda - Wizened Master's sides, with a value of 0, are effectively when you're hunting a side.

So! Portland Regionals! I went into the event fearing I wouldn't be able to keep up with the chain shenanigans and worried that I'd struggle to even go 4-4. This was my first official Destiny event, following some smaller 8-10 person casual events at Meeple's Games in Seattle and PAX West, after starting to play less than six months ago. So, to say I was a bit nervous would probably be an understatement, which is why some of these accounts won't be the most descriptive, and for that I apologize.

Round 1 - Lyle with Obi-Wan Kenobi - Jedi Master and Maz Kanata - Pirate Queen

I remember Lyle's name for only one reason, which I'll get to in a moment. This ended up being a perfect start for me, with C-3PO and Chance Cube in play round one. As per usual, his characters got pretty scary because they were under no threat of being killed. Luckily, this was where my opponent played down his hand and claimed, followed by me playing an All Quiet On The Front to clear his deck when he couldn't activate his Ancient Lightsaber. 1-0

Round 2 - Lyle with Ahsoka Tano - Force Operative and Kanan Jarrus - Rebel Jedi

Yup, back to back Lyles. This game ended up being closer than I'm sure it felt for him. He was able to pile everything on Kanan Jarrus - Rebel Jedi since he was under no threat, making reactivating Ahsoka Tano - Force Operative very cheap for him for a long time, and put a lot of pressure on me. I went all in on an All Quiet On The Front for 8 in round two to get value out of my shields before Shoto Lightsaber could strip them, meaning I didn't have to spend as long managing removal. Another round in that game and I don't think I'd have made it out. 2-0

Round 3 - Kanan Jarrus - Rebel Jedi and Zeb Orrelios - The Last Lasat

Poor guy rolled two 2 on Kanan Jarrus - Rebel Jedi both round one and round two, and my next action both times was Easy Pickings. Here's where I make my first big mistake of the event, a total brain fart. Both of his characters were exhausted, I had Yoda - Wizened Master ready and was holding Flank. He's showing a +3, a 3 for 1, and a , with no in play. My thought process was "I'll let him resolve the to pay for the damage, then I'll Flank the black die then. For now, let's just activate Yoda - Wizened Master." Whoops. Luckily I was far enough in the mill process to still finish the game, but that burned a little. 3-0

Round 4 - Mother Talzin - Nightsister Matriarch, Bala-Tik - Gang Leader, and First Order Stormtrooper

Bala-Tik - Gang Leader is a terror when he knows he'll never die. This was one of the closest games I've ever played. On the last round, I was able to get him to 0/0. However, General Rieekan - Defensive Mastermind was already dead going into the round, and he was able to kill Yoda - Wizened Master, reactivate Bala-Tik - Gang Leader, and then kill Jedha Partisan off the straight rolls. Ouch! This is the game that makes me want to play a copy of Fall Back. 3-1

Round 5 - Darth Vader - Sith Lord and Tusken Raider

Throwback to before my time! Sadly, when Maul's Lightsaber hits the field round one, and Frighten is a card, my ability to keep up with the damage is fairly well hindered. He ripped a 2 on the Power Action to kill off General Rieekan - Defensive Mastermind unexpectedly in an early round, and from there I couldn't keep up. I did get him to 3/0 at the end, but mostly because he felt comfortable going aggressive on rerolls. 3-2

By now, I'm back to earth after the 3-0 start, and once again hoping to simply go 4-4.

Round 6 - Hondo Ohnaka - Respected Businessman and Poe Dameron - More Than A Pilot

Ahhh, this deck. chains with Cunning are brutal, extorting me all game long. The steps I took to accelerate my economy through Scrap Heap and Yoda's Hut came in handy here, as did Chance Cube. The biggest winner of this game was all the s he kept rolling though... I felt bad staring at 4+ s on more than one occasion.... 4-2

Round 7 - Yoda - Wizened Master and Zeb Orrelios - The Last Lasat

This game went really well for me - since Yoda - Wizened Master has no damage sides, I only had to worry about controlling Zeb Orrelios - The Last Lasat's dice, making it easy to stay on top of, and giving me plenty of time to build up an overwhelming number of shields. He was able to mill out one of my C-3POs, and Vandalize got the other, making this one a little slower than I'd like, but I was never under any threat. 5-2

So here I am, staring at a win-and-maybe-in game after having planned to be excited about 4-4.

Round 8 - Mother Talzin - Nightsister Matriarch and Kylo Ren - Tormented One

Force Wave hit the field round one, and let me tell you, as a three character deck, that's terrifying. Luckily I started double Caution, so very little of the damage got through in the first two rounds. After round two, I was able to keep enough removal in hand to constantly remove the Force Wave die, and a good Hyperspace Jump shut down a big turn and allowed me to bring in War-Torn Streets - Jedha to speed up the discard. 6-2

So, standings go up, and of the nine 6-2s, I sneak in at 7th with four others. Off to day two!

Top 8 - Michael P with Aayla Secura - Jedi General, Rey - Force Prodigy, and Wookiee Warrior

Interesting deck that wanted to action cheat with Rey - Force Prodigy, but playing against mill limited his options.

Game 1 was probably the closest game of Destiny in my life, and was on stream, so I hope it can be found. He wisely selected War-Torn Streets - Jedha as our battlefield, depriving me of the free shields and allowing him to actually mill ME since I never claim. Two of those claims ended up grabbing both of my Hyperspace Jumps, leaving me without the obvious out to Ancient Lightsaber. However, we had a crazy end to the game. I have him at 0/0, while I'm at 1/0 thanks to his repeated claiming. I play out my last card, Air Superiority, and he thinks he's won - he immediately claims, knowing that in a simultaneous mill situation the owner of the battlefield wins the game. However, I was able to activate Jedha Partisan with Chance Cube, decline to pay for the Chance Cube, and returned it to my hand, leaving us at 0/0 vs 1/0, and claiming the win.

Game 2 he shifts his focus, blowing up General Rieekan - Defensive Mastermind by round three as opposed to focusing down Yoda - Wizened Master like he did in game 1. On top of that, he once again hits both Hyperspace Jumps with claims. However, in the last round, with him at 0/0, I was able to overwhelm with shields, using Air Superiority, Yoda's Hut, and Entrenched, had an Easy Pickings in hand to clear some of his damage, and held the Yoda - Wizened Master and C-3PO activations until he was left with the earlier-discussed Ancient Lightsaber conundrum, giving me the game.

Top 4 - Mother Talzin - Nightsister Matriarch and Kylo Ren - Tormented One

Game 1 I don't remember very well - lots of damage came my way, I couldn't mitigate enough, and lost the farthest shy of the mill I had all weekend. I do want to apologize - while it didn't affect the result of the game, I did accidentally play an Easy Pickings after Jedha Partisan had been defeated. I'm glad it ended up having no impact on the event, given that I lost the game in question regardless, and was extremely careful about it moving forward.

Game 2 I also don't remember very well, given the insanity of Game 3. I do remember I was able to keep General Rieekan - Defensive Mastermind alive long enough for him to be useless (once your opponent is X/0, he becomes a bot.)

Game 3 starts with only twenty minutes remaining, which is terrifying for a deck that wants to stand and outlast you. Round one I double Caution onto Jedha Partisan and Yoda - Wizened Master to get the mill started, but that leaves him free to smack General Rieekan - Defensive Mastermind for a staggering 7 damage. I was afraid that was going to be too much to come back from, but I ended up being able to spam shields and Field Medic to keep General Rieekan - Defensive Mastermind at 7 with 3 shields after he'd blown his dice in round two. While this isn't a play I'd normally make, knowing I was under twenty minutes and staring at nine shields, I dumped them all with All Quiet On The Front to mill nine to speed up the process. I drew amazing going into round 3, was able to keep General Rieekan - Defensive Mastermind alive AGAIN, and hit a beautiful reroll, getting both C-3PO and Jedha Partisan to their sides to pull the last two cards from his hand, leaving him at 0/3 going into the last round. With C-3PO in play, 8 minutes to go, and all my characters still alive, I had plenty of time to clear the last few cards and advance to the Finals.

Finals - Hondo Ohnaka - Respected Businessman and Poe Dameron - More Than A Pilot

I went into this match with the gameplan of getting a Chance Cube early, generating enough resources to pay off Hondo Ohnaka - Respected Businessman all game, and playing from there. Unfortunately, that didn't work out in either game. On top of that, he played extremely well - resolving sides slowly and focusing to less than max damage to avoid Easy Pickings, relying heavily on to beat back any attempts at building up a coffer, and digging hard for Vandalize early - all three times I was able to play C-3PO across the two games (he caught one with a random ), his next action was to Vandalize the poor droid. I was nervous and frazzled at the shift in mentality I needed to make playing against Hondo Ohnaka - Respected Businessman, which led to some misplays throughout the game, but at the end of the day he was simply the better player by a wide margin.

25 comments

BobLobLaw94 GDP 203

What do you drop for Bespin Wing Guard once Rivals drops?

Rebel Grey 136

@BobLobLaw94 GDPif it was me, I'd drop one Sound The Alarm and one Flank. STL is a loss in value if the meta stays on chaining much longer. The Flank loses value as the game progresses and costs a resource.

Phoof 363

@BobLobLaw94 GDP As I mentioned, I think a Hyperspace Jump can go now that I'm comfortable with an answer to Ancient Lightsaber. Still a strong removal card, and an easy way to close out a game, so I wouldn't want to dump it entirely, but one copy is probably fine.

Phoof 363

@Rebel Grey I'm on board with the Sound The Alarm thought, but I never felt like Flank lost value. I don't need to activate my characters later in the game, as my mitigation comes from hand. My opponents, however, have to activate theirs to pewpew me, meaning I can often play Flank 1v2. I generally lose no value holding off rolling in.

Rebel Grey 136

I also feel very strongly the deck needs to run Friends in Low Places to protect C-3PO and the Bespin Wing Guard later too.

Phoof 363

Following my Vandalize encounter, I should probably rethink Friends in Low Places... Though any one of those will accelerate my endgame, I may be able to afford to sacrifice two to Vandalize and rely on whatever the third is...

People I play with are not going to be happy you're giving me more reasons to test mill :p

diamondtron24 3

Takes balls to play mill. I'd slow play that stuff all day...

Phoof 363

@diamondtron24 There was some of that going on, and sadly, FFGs documents provide no recourse for it. I come from another competitive TCG where our documents spell out concerns about pace of play from both sides to keep people from manipulating the clock. Hopefully FFG make some changes to keep pace of play lively.

GrandMoffNoob 1

This may be my favourite deck concept in a while. Since looking at the Jedi Instructor/Rieekan/Padme deck (which I first encountered just as Legacies hit UK shores) I've been fascinated by this concept. My own Yoda/Rieekan/Partisan deck is not nearly as good (having fallen into the trap of including all the mill-more cards like Strength Through Weakness. So to see what someone who's actually good at the game comes up with is outstanding.

What do you do if Chance Cube doesn't show up in the first few rounds though to pay for the 3 cost events I've slipped Hidden Agenda in to my deck to try and offset that - but I can see how the opportunity cost is potentially too high for what amounts to a one-cost discount.

Phoof 363

@GrandMoffNoob I'm still pretty fresh on the scene, but I've had a lot of experience optimizing Pokemon decks, so it transfers over :)

Yoda, Scrap Heap, Yoda's Hut, and Chance Cube all contribute to my economy, so it's uncommon to not have one of those early. I realize I didn't cover mulligans in this writeup, but I generally dig pretty hard for C-3PO, Chance Cube, and Scrap Heap in that order. However, sometimes it just doesn't work out... In those situations I'll almost always favor holding money for removal over stretching for a big 3-cost event. Given that my opponents often claim first, it's not uncommon to let them get ahead in a round, claim, and then I can spend some time using Yoda and other tricks to pull in some money to drop Entrenched in garbage time - those shields can be just as useful next round, and it lets me prioritize removal during my opponents portion of the round - if I have to spend too much on removal to play Entrenched, I probably got value out of it anyway.

Epro 546

Well done! Great to see Rieekan make it this far.

KingD21 1

Congrats man, I wasn't expecting a Rieeken rainbow deck with so little dice. Always felt that was the problem, not enough dice (but my love for Loth-Cat and Mouse and Negotiate as removals may just have to stop.

I'm surprised you don't like the idea of Scout and Maz's Goggles given they discard from hand (sometimes your choice!), but I definitely see that you can work around the slower nature of mill with a crap ton of mitigation. I just dislike the ONLY method of true discard is C-3PO and 2 of 18 character sides.

I was literally debating on taking Yoda/Rieeken/JP or Poe/Hondo to my regional. I love the mill deck better, but I'm by default a slower player and i fear I'd get a tiebreaker loss in a very winnable match for me. I love and hate that both decks made it to the finals.

Phoof 363

@KingD21 I'm taking a liking to them, as well as Friends in Low Places, after being the victim of Vandalize :(

chicogrande 13

@Phoof great write up and deck idea. I play a similar version opting for more cheap events which mill cards such as Strike Briefing, Secret Mission, and some discard like Pickpocket and the newest Scruffy Looking Nerf-Herder. I don't have the cubes so the upgrades I've been going with are Hunker Down (which I may drop) Protective Mentor, and Speeder Bike Scout and a single copy of the Diplomatic Protection. I also like a copy of Feint to maximize some early potential from the general. I'm also still a fan of Jedi Council.

chicogrande 13

heh correction Scout not Speeder Bike Scout

revhellion 1

I wouldn't take too much stock in this. You can watch the videos and see he cheated multiple times.

There were other people from the event that he played against that said he either pressured them by jumping turns or that he was taking extra shields or less damage than he should have been.

GrandMoffNoob 1

@revhellion do you have a link to the videos? I should be very interested to watch them. Normally accusations like that spread quite quickly on the internet. Surprised I've not seen it myself.

revhellion 1

www.youtube.com

I only heard about the 2nd part, so I probably shouldn't have posted it up, but saw him take more shields on this video. He takes 6 shields from Entrenched at 12:30 for example. I was told there were several instances of this throughout the video, too.

Keigi 317

Never go after general first. Kill others to turn him off. Fall back is x2 auto - you play it once at the right time, you win. Hyper jump is x2 auto for late game win and vehicle/otk defense. Strike briefing is auto x2. Friends in low places is auto x2. Most people don't know how to play vs mill.

TheBrianFactor 65

Yep, he most definitely miscounts his shields and damage throughout the game. That's poor sportsmanship, but also poor game state knowledge by his opponent.

dpuck1998 46

Interesting, that is a shame. I have been playing this before Yoda, now with Yoda was hoping it was for real. Still up in the air, but it is pretty good still but maybe not great without some slight of hand.

TheBrianFactor 65

Oh, that's not what I'm saying. Hero Mill is AMAZING in this meta, right now. Takes a lot more brain power than other archetypes, though. A different version of Hero Mill won the Madison regional yesterday and that one didn't have any sleight of hand that I could see :).

revhellion 1

@dpuck1998 This may very well be the mill combo, but not sure about the build is all I was saying, and to call out someone for cheating. Repeated "mistakes" for the purpose of seeing what you can get away with is still considered cheating.

I heard someone won a regional with same characters. There's a lot of holes to this that people will learn to play around. You could probably tweak this to make the end game Mill a bit stronger.

TheBrianFactor 65

@revhellion All of that is true. I feel this decklist is missing a LOT of shield generation. And once Rieekan inevitably dies, or Yoda, this deck halts in its tracks. As we also saw during the live feed, Vandalize ruins this deck because they get rid of C-3PO and there's no more hand mill. It still earned him 2nd place in his regional, but I'm not sure how much of that was due to luck, or incessant and intentional miscountings of shields/damage.