eLeia2/eLando2 - Deck Analysis

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1. INTRODUCTION:

This deck was piloted by one of our patrons, Strog, to a 4-2 record at the recent French Nationals 2018, and it caught our attention due to it's interesting take on the 'classical' (if there is such a thing) Leia Organa - Heart of the Resistance based mill deck and on top of that utilising to great effect some rarely seen cards, while still being pretty effective.

I really like the character team, and while I recognise that it's off the pace for a top tier deck, it does have some nasty synergies going and can easily take an opponent by surprise. This is also a mill deck, which can actually roll your opponent off the table similar to an aggro deck: "Just" Hit and Run in two consecutive rounds to destroy an opponent's hand and mill the deck for 8 ... BOOM! Done!

2. CHARACTERS:

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We did a character analysis of LEIA - HEART OF THE RESISTANCE just when Way of the Force released, and truth be told she never really had an impact on the WotF meta which was so dominated by Snoke and Aphra. A few attempts were made and had some success, like Thomas Roither's eLeia/Anakin/Temple Guard mill deck, top8 at both German Nationals 2018 and Nordics 2018, but still not to an extent where it really caught on. I'm still not convinced that the deck has what it takes to bring it out of the shadow of tier 1 decks, but it seems like a strong contender, while I'm also confident we still haven't seen the strongest version of the deck yet.

The question is if the new 2wide character team with Leia2 and Lando Calrissian - Smooth and Sophisticated can bring a new level of consistency and speed to the deck, that will finally add that last touch to the synergy between the two characters that is so OBVIOUS!

Hand mill CAN be strong, but also deceptively weak at the same time. In order for hand mill to be as strong as consistent deck mill you need to mill fast. Allowing your opponent too many actions will give him a chance to empty his hand and making the hand mill strategy weaker for every card played, while possibly improving your opponent's board state, and it is a limited strategy prolonging the game in a way that a mill deck is rarely properly equipped to handle. Leia Lando3jpg
At a glance though Leia Organa has all the tools at her disposal to make for a successful combined hand and deck mill. She has two strong mill sides that can be augmented by Commando Raid and Motivate, and boasting a Power Action that synergises well with Lando Calrissian's three die sides and is obviously BANANAS with the 4 Resource side (the graphics is wrong as it displays the 4 Resources for 1).

LANDO CALRISSIAN
There's still room in the deck for improvement, and one of the places you might wanna look is how to get the most out of Lando's Power Action. As it is, there's just 1 target for it: Anakin Skywalker's Podracer, but there are other vehicles yellow vehicles which could earn a slot in the deck, i.e. Escape Craft and Smuggling Freighter.escape craft landojpgI'm not saying this is the way you should go with the deck, but it's definitely worth considering they are both good at making resources and can be played at a discount. This deck is easily resource strapped and could use the help from the two supports.

As already stated, this is NOT a tier 1 deck, but it definitely has game and can be surprisingly strong against a wide range of decks in the meta. It is unfortunately quite dice dependent, which is never a good place to be in a game where consistency is key!

3. UPGRADES:
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BARTERING
Perfect at gaining resources, and adding cards that can be milled from your opponent's hand. It's a cheap upgrade that slots in perfectly in this decks as it does all things you want from an upgrade. It has loads of Resource sides and a Discard side as well.

MAZ'S GOGGLES does things very similar to Bartering. Allowing you to discard any event from your opponent's hand can really be clutch and it can be played on any of your two characters as long as you spot Lando. The Resource sides are great as well and in an end game where you need to Discard the last few cards from your opponent the goggles can be an extremely powerful endgame piece where the two Focus sides also look menacing if you have a C-3PO in play or Leia is still alive and kicking.

STEALTHY
When did you use Stealthy the last time? That's right, NEVER! It was on the top of my list for worst legendary of the Way of the Force (followed by General Grievous' lame bike), but actually looks pretty awesome in this deck. Stealthy allows you to duplicate the effect of Leia's Power Action, but without removing the character die. That means that you can target a Lando 4 Resource side with a Stealthy Special, milling 4 from the deck, THEN use Leia's Power Action to mill another 4 from the deck. That's 8 cards gone from the top of an opponent's deck in two swift actions ... OUCH! Not to mention that attached character becomes a trooper ... well ... Stealthy is definitely a card that you will want to see in your starting hand and on top of the Special also offers a fine Resource side and 2 Shield side.
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LONE OPERATIVE and SECOND CHANCE do the same thing: Keeping characters alive, while Lone Operative also has the advantage of boasting a 2 Discard side. Second Chance is the reason why you are looking to put early upgrades on Lando, and Leia will almost ALWAYS be the primary target, so as to be able to overwrite in the late game. Lando by himself is a horrible endgame mill character nigh to useless unless you have a C-3PO in play, and will definitely need help. The order of upgrades should preferably be a Stealthy in the early game, which is then dead when/if an opponent's deck is milled out, switching to Lone Operative or Maz's Goggles in the mid game/late game.

4. SUPPORTS:
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ANAKIN SKYWALKER'S PODRACER should probably be a two-off because it feels good in this deck, can be played at a discount with Lando's Power Action and has sides that you really need in this deck.

C-3PO is a fantastic endgame support for any mill deck. It turns every single die into a potential mill threat and getting one down early can go a long way to secure your mill strategy. Don't be surprised if your opponent vandalizes him early on, so be prepared to play your second copy. He also had a Discard side which can be used in conjunction with Commando Raid for a powerful 3 Discard!
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IMPROVISED DEFENSE
A powerful protection from focused dice, and as opposed to Stifle, you decide when to use it. It can be an excellent way of stopping chains of Focus-actions or Yoda Special chaining.

SUPPRESSIVE FIRE
Great way of getting rid of unwanted Character dice and the BEST way of getting rid of Darth Vader dice. You can play it early and just leave it until needed - or until you have the resources to use it.

5. EVENTS:
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DEFENSIVE POSITION is in a bit of a weird spot in this deck. It's potentially THE best mitigation card in the game and can blow out an opponent's entire round, but requiring the Battlefield can be a tall order for a mostly reactive mill deck.

Your mitigation suite is already pretty slimed down to make space for tech-cards, and having a mitigation card in hand which is useless feels really bad. This could be an argument for swapping it for a second Entangle.

EASY PICKINGS and ENTANGLE
Both absolutely amazing removal cards, and although they are both Spot Yellow, they feel fairly protected as Lando Calrissian will most likely be your last character standing anyways. People are starting to get better at playing around Easy Pickings, but on initial activations there's usually not a lot a player can do to avoid it. Remember not to be over-zealous with your use of Suppressive Fire when sitting with an Easy Pickings in hand. Optimising your use of mitigation is obviously going to be fundamental to the successful execution of your strategy.leia lando10jpg
FIRST AID
This can really at times feel like the best mitigation card in your deck. Being able to mitigate 4 damage taken in the first round of the game is massive. Against aggro decks you really want to see this in your starting hand. After round 1 it's just a worse version of Field Medic.

REBEL
As long as you are able to show a Dicard side this is an extra copy of any card in your discard pile. It can bring back a vandalized C-3PO, add an extra Entangle when you need it or a Second Chance to close out a game.

6. TECH CARDS:
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HIT AND RUN into COMMANDO RAID is a pretty outrageous combo. It normally never is successful, but that might just be me on the wrong side of variance with this deck (you are looking at 55% chance of hitting either a 1 or 2 Discard side). Hit and Run of course also works with MOTIVATE for the same odds of 2-3 Discard instead of 3-4 Discard. Motivate can also be pretty dope with the Focus side of Leia to focus into a Stealthy Special and big Lando sides and mill the shit out of an opponent's deck.
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HYPERSPACE JUMP
You only have 1 because you are not flush with resources (as opposed to Yoda based mill decks), and if you succeed in milling an opponent's hand you are also looking at less destructive turns ... IF you successfully mill! If not ... then JUMP the hell out of trouble.

VANDALIZE
Removing Leia or Lando dice feels bad, but at times it is the lesser evil to suffer. You do need it to get rid of Ancient Lightsabers, Chance Cubes, etc.

7. BATTLEFIELD:
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Not really sure where you want to be with the Battlefield?! The top choices would be Otah Gunga (alternatively Medical Center) for the healing or Command Center for the milling. I'll need to put more testing in to properly evaluate this --- and the Battlefield choice is quite important with this deck because you stand a pretty good chance of winning the Battlefield roll-off.

8. GQ MADRID 2018 WINNER:
This very similar deck, same template and gameplan, went 6-0 at the Galactic Qualifier in Madrid in the beginning of December 2018!Leia Lando GQ Spainjpg
Written by
CLAUS STAAL