eC-3P0/Aayla/Anakin/Youngling - Deck Analysis

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1. INTRODUCTION:

Written By BOIGNE GUERRIC

The meta game seems to be dominated by C-3PO/R2-D2/Fateful companions/X and with a lot of
others deck having their day in the sun, like Ewok Swarms, Doctor Aphra, Reylo and your occasional Mauls and Vaders, just to name a few.

I originally built this deck trying to have a fighting chance against those decks while building it to suit my preferred playstyle. Which means building up your games with weapons or supports while finding a way to survive until at least turn 4 with heals and mitigations.

I do think this deck is legit in the current meta and I like it a lot! Let's see how it works!

[EDITOR'S NOTE: This deck went 6-0 in the Standard event at the Paris Galactic Qualifier 2019]

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2. CHARACTERS:
The YOUNGLING is in my view one of the most underrated characters in Spark of Hope, and it's weird because he offers you so many uses for just 4 points:
  • If he is targeted by your opponent, well great! You gain 4 extra health on your other support characters (in this deck C-3P0 and Anakin).
  • If not, it's also great! You now have an extra character for just 4 points producing an extra resource per turn when playing your redeploy weapons!
  • But what about not drawing upgrades in your opening hand? Well he also allows us to use cards like Respite or Into The Garbage Chute...
  • He is your fourth character and great for diverting Indirect damage to (awesome versus Ewoks or Aphra decks). You'll usually get to resolve your upgrade dice before choosing to kill the Youngling with the Indirect damage dealt by your opponent and you get to redeploy all of the weapons!
  • He's great with Diplomatic Protection to gain a potential 6 shields!
  • Don't forget you can kill your own Youngling after resolving his upgrade dice, which is especially great if you already have a Diplomatic Protection attached to him and even greater if done with Mr. Bones. You get to ready Mr.Bones and have more dice to pour into the pool!
  • Oh ... Did I mention he only costs 4 points!
4wide rinbowjpgThe power of combining C-3PO - R2-D2 and Fateful Companions has already been tried and tested, and is cause for great frustration because you can choose to choke your opponent, hit hard or ramp hard by resolving a ton of resources while preventing your opponent from interacting with your dice most of the time.

But even on his own lonesome droid self C-3P0 is still truly amazing. His dice are just very good and being able to resolve a dice straight away is just tremendous! We are not playing R2-D2 as a character to abuse C-3P0's ability, but instead we opt for the support version to do the same... As long as you have it in play we can replicate the same broken feeling due to the auto focus of Anakin Skywalker on R2-D2's Special while we also get to draw an extra card! There is really no point in explaining further how broken C-3P0 is ... by now we all know how!
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ANAKIN SKYWALKER
has always been a really solid character for just 7 points. His main weakness is his tendency to die very quick due to the low health and because killing him often turns off some of the best mitigation, but with C-3P0 and possibly the Youngling being targeted by your opponent, he might just have gained some survivability. If you can keep him alive until turn 3 most of the time so you'll get plenty of abuse out of his ability, while at the same time cashing in on his die.
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Anakin
is really awesome with R2-D2 and LR-57 Combat Droid as you can focus R2-D2 into the Special and then use it to resolve the Special on the LR-57 Combat Droid and draw a card! If you don't have R2-D2 you can just focus the LR-57 Combat Droid die into the Special to deal a tons of damage. He also works well with Mr. Bones.

With the Youngling we also need a Jedi! A real guardian of the peace in the galaxy! Who is the best Jedi support character? I guess you know the answer: AAYLA SECURA! You get 10hp for just 9 points and she comes with a great die as well. I tend to use her for Respite/Into The Garbage Chute during the first couple of rounds if I get an upgrade for the Youngling. She is also a perfect last person standing with all your redeploy weapons.

So at the end of the day we have what kind of feels like a 6dice start due to the free resource with Youngling, the free focus with Anakin and a decent 29 health pool! Not too shabby!
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3. UPGRADES:
rainbow8jpgDIPLOMATIC PROTECTION is just absurd in this deck. It's possibly gaining you 6 shields (or 4 if you draw it later in the game) for just 1 resource...put it on C-3PO when he gets hammered for 4/5 damage and watch your opponent's face when he realise that he has to keep focusing him down regardless. It's especially great against Indirect damage decks and goes well with your Youngling!

We play 5 redeploy weapons in the deck. You just want to abuse the Youngling's ability as much as possible and get as great a resource gain from it as possible.Rainbow hero3jpg
EZRA'S LIGHTSABER is definitely one of the best 2cost weapons we have access to! It has great die sides AND is a redeploy weapon! It's probably the best weapon to get in your opening hand as it will only cost you 1 resource with your Youngling. I even considered playing 2 of it despite it being unique ... A must have in this deck!

REY'S LIGHTSABER is not that great without Rey, but still a pretty good lightsaber if you play it for just 2 resources. It is a hard hitter 3 Melee sides with 2+ damage! The free shield is also great on the Youngling as your opponent will often need 3 dice to kill him and he might not want to with a C-3P0 next to him! A good weapon!Rainbow hero4jpg
DAGGER OF MORTIS is an insanely good weapon against blue match-ups! A ReyLo player will not relish facing it ... It can easily become a 4 or 5 health swing for them! It's way above average. It's also good to kill R2-D2's while stripping its shields. Outside of those match-ups it's still a fine weapon with three Melee sides hitting for 2+. If you expect to face plenty of blue decks, you should definitely consider adding two to your deck. This is definitely another must include.

HEIRLOOM LIGHTSABER is another good weapon turned awesome when played for just 2 resources! Its 3 Melee damage side is great combined with R2-D2 or BB-8 to be sure we will get it! It has no modified damage sides and is an enabler for other weapons' modified sides like Rey's Lightsaber and Dagger of Mortis. It's definitely a great redeploy weapon.

I even tested the Lightsaber, but the card is just not great at all and we don't want to play bad cards just because it's a redeploy weapon.

With one or more of these upgrades in play, your Youngling can quickly become a hard hitter.
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4. SUPPORT:
R2-D2 is normally pretty decent, but but combined with C-3P0 he just becomes an amazing support for just 1 resource! You can focus its die to a resource with Anakin and then use C-3P0 to resolve it for an additional resource straight in round 1. The Special is very useful with a number of your cards, i.e. Ezra's Lightsaber, LR-57 Combat Droid or Aayla to start a great Special chain. It's also a good way to focus your weapons to big damage sides.rainbow5jpg
Even after the demise of C-3P0 it will still a great support to ensure you get to maximize on damage and don't forget it guarantees you an extra card per turn as long as Anakin can focus it to a Special and you get to resolve it.

LR-57 COMBAT DROID is actually a good way to spend your resources. It's a die your opponent will have to consider dealing with every round or it will start accumulating loads of damage. Between your 29hp, healing cards and dice controls, you will often be able to extend the game beyond round 3, which means that the Combat Droid Special could start dealing 3-4 damage at the end of the game.rainbow6jpg
MR. BONES is one of those Spark Of Hope cards I clearly underestimated. I thought it was a good one-off in yellow decks, but now I find it so good that I'll often add two copies to most of my yellow hero decks.

The die feels crazy good in this deck! It can be combined with your upgrade dice to finish off an opponent's character and ready it. It's also functionally an enabler for all your blue Melee sides. It allows you to kill your own low health character full of redeploy weapons for free (as you will ready it after doing so). A great move to get extra dice into the pool to all but end a game or finish off an opponent's last character. You can focus the die with any of BB-8, Anakin, R2-D2 and use C-3P0 to resolve the die capping at 4 damage. If played right, you'll regularly be able to ready Mr. Bones after a kill! Ah, and he's great at slaying Ewoks! It costs only 2 and has insane value.

BB-8 is mainly here as a seventh droid for Mechanical Insight and I like even though it is a much worse version of R2-D2. You can play if for free turn one as you reimburse it by focusing its die to a Resource side with Anakin and then it will either get you an extra resource or a focus per turn. That's actually not bad at all!
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You can easily replace it with an Anakin Skywalker's Podracer instead. I just prefer the Focus and the Resource sides on BB-8 and the fact it costs only 1 or possibly 0 resources eventually convinced me.

5. THE DROIDS YOU ARE LOOKING FOR!

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R2-D2 is an important engine in this deck and we play a bunch of cards to find our lost favorite droid. We have RESPITE to cycle a bit through our deck while also gaining resources, but above all, we play MECHANICAL INSIGHT. It's the next best thing to a tutor and should give you a really good shot at playing R2-D2 in round 1 or 2.rainbow9jpg
If you haven't been able to either draw R2-D2 or dig for it with Mechanical Insight in round 1, you stand a pretty good chance to find it round 2 as Mechanical Insight put the cards on the bottom of your deck. If you do not find R2-D2 in round 2, possibly ditching your hand and/or using Mechanical Insight you could actually have seen as much as 22 cards of your deck.

It's not the end of the world though if you don't find it by the end of round 2 either! It's fine! It's really just the icing on the cake! You can also dig for Droids like Mr.Bones or a LR-57 Combat Droid and focusing their dice every round with Anakin Skywalker it's not bad at all! Building up our Youngling with two or three upgrades by round 2 can be a solid foundation to build your win on. Do not DESPAIR if our loyal companion decides not to show up!

Just be careful with Mechanical Insight. Estimate your odds before playing it! Don't complain about being unlucky if the odds were unfavorable from the get-go. When it's not likely to see a Droid anyways, just don't play it and use it instead to reroll (unless you REALLY NEED to find a Droid because you have been hording resources and have nothing in your hand to spend it on).

The chart below shows you the chance of drawing at least 1 Droid with Mechanical Insights with 7, 6, 5, 4, 3 or 2 Droids left in your deck and deck size ranging from 25-10 cards. So, if there are 6 droids left in your deck and you have 20 cards in the deck, you'll have a 87% chance of drawing at least 1 droid with Mechanical Insight.

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6. REMOVAL:


Rainbow stats10jpgWe play a classical mitigation package. It's relatively small, 8 mitigation cards and 4 healing cards, while it's also kept cheap to be able to play as many upgrades and supports as possible each round.

I feel that 8 mitigation cards are sufficient due to the dominance of various droid decks and the presence of Ewok Swarms in the competitive field. There's no point in having lots of removal cards in your hand if there is no dice to remove OR the best dice have already been resolved before you can interact.Rainbow hero11jpg
EASY PICKINGS is an absolute auto-include as long as you play yellow hero and remains one of the strongest removal cards in standard format.

PACIFY is a free removal and I regulary use it to gain 2 Shields on my own character, generally speaking C-3P0. It's also not a dead removal card against an Ewok deck.Rainbow hero12jpg
INTO THE GARBAGE CHUTE is my favorite piece of mitigation in the game. It feels perfectly balanced and very strong at the same time. This card is a great way to use Aayla or an unequipped Youngling. Dealing with damage sides this way gives a very Jedi'sh feeling!

AUTOMATED DEFENSE should always be online considering your Droid package. It's a universal piece of mitigation for 1 resource - all you can ask for. A solid removal.Rainbow hero13jpg
Instead of playing around 14 removal cards as i did before Spark of Hope i opted for a stronger healing package in the deck. FIRST AID is just an amazing round 1 card if your opponent choose to target C-3P0 first (which he should!). Even in later rounds it still heals two damage and that's more than decent. Once C-3P0 is defeated it's a dead card, but the sacrifice is worth it!

FIELD MEDIC is another solid healing card. The ability to heal ANY character for 1 resource is always solid and will delay your support characters' death.

We already spoke about DIPLOMATIC PROTECTION and it can essentially be viewed as another mitigation card. It's going to buy you some time allowing you to set up your board state for the killing blow.

7. BATTLEFIELD:
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I play with CANTO CASINO as you have almost 70% chance to get 1 extra resource AND reroll your dice (and 17% to get 2 extra resources) when choosing Anakin and C-3P0's dice. It gets event better if you get BB-8 where you have 83% to get a free resource in conjunction with either Anakin or C-3P0. It's also, usually, far less useful than Theed Royal Palace for your opponent. You will rarely claim first so it's important to have a Battlefield that will represent as little value as possible for your opponent. If you don't like the uncertainty of Canto Casino, just go with the safer bet of Theed Royal Palace instead.
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8. MULLIGAN OPTIONS:

You'd like to see R2-D2, a redeploy weapon, First Aid, mitigation, could be Easy Pickings (depending of the match up of course) or Into The Garbage Chute and a Respite. Against Ewok decks, you'll want Diplomatic Protection, First Aid, R2-D2, Mr. Bones and Respite OR a redeploy weapon.HAND rainbow 4wide hero ARTICLE2jpg
If you don't draw an R2-D2 in the first 5 cards, then Mechanical Insight is definitely a keeper, and so is Into The Garbage Chute against ReyLo and also  match-ups.

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