Written by CLAUS STAAL
As the meta is starting to shape up after the first events played following rotation and the implementation of Convergence, we are starting to see tendencies, and while those tendencies are not indicative of where the meta will end up, it's nonetheless a good starting point for us to understand the power level of various decks.
Stuart Sanderson took this deck to a first day 6-0 finish in the Standard event at the Galactic Qualifier in Milton Keynes, and we already featured the character pairing in a previous article on our website (for comparative reasons you might want to revisit that article!)
I really like the character team, and while I recognise that it might eventually fall off the pace of other 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 really mill hard, but will lose a LOT of steam as one of your characters is defeated.
- NOTE 1: The character pairing and deck is currently featured in our Gauntlet for Convergence.
- NOTE 2: This deck analysis is based off our original deck analysis for the character pairing, but amended to reflect the changes to the state of the game.
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, but did make a comeback in a fearsome mill duo with Yoda, which had a huge impact on the late Across the Galacy meta. Other attempts were made to make Leia work in various mill settings, with reasonable 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 made an impact.
While, the eYoda/eLeia2 deck really caught on, and might even resurface in the Convergence meta, I'm still not convinced that this deck has what it takes to let it stay in a Gauntlet, even if it does look like a strong contender, but I'm also confident we still haven't seen the strongest version of the deck yet.
Hand mill is strong, but also deceptively weak at the same time. You need to mill fast from hand in order for hand mill to be as strong and as consistent as milling from deck. 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.
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 Discard sides that can be augmented by Motivate (although that card is mysteriously missing from this deck), and boasting a Power Action that synergises well with three of Lando Calrissian's dice sides and is obviously BANANAS with the 4 Resource side (the graphics is wrong as it displays the 4 Resources for 1).
In the Across the Galaxy meta I was contemplating to add more yellow vehicles to the deck, i.e. Smuggling Freighter and Escape Craft, allowing you to maximise on Lando Calrissian's Power Action, but that doesn't seem like a real choice right now unless FAT Vehicles becomes a big thing again in which case considering an N-1 Starfighter might be prudent.
Biggest weakness of the deck is its dice dependency, which is never a good place to be in a game where consistency is key!
MOXIE allows you to abuse Leia's Power Action twice - potentially milling 8 cards from the deck in your first round - and goes together with STEALTHY to form the backbone of your upgrade suite. Both Moxie and Stealthy suffer from the same weakness, they are basically worth nothing once Leia is defeated, so being able to protect her is essential to the success of this deck. Losing Leia early should equate certain defeat!
NOBODY used Stealthy before this character pairing popped up! NO-ONE! It was in fact 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, similar to Moxie, 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! 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.
Another side effect of Stealthy is that it makes attached character a Trooper, which up until Convergence meant absolutely nothing, while the explorations into the subtype design space has now really opened up possibilities. Most notably the Riot Shield, which is ok'ish on non-troopers, but really outstanding as a mini-Force Illusion on Troopers! The going rate for removal is 2-for-1, so 3-for-1 is pretty good!
I love the Resistance Ring, it is an absolutely beautiful piece of upgrade, which can do loads of powerful things! It mills a card from deck when you play it, and the Special allows you to play red events from ANY discard pile (setting them aside afterwards!).
Allowing you to play red events from a discard pile has several strong effects including reusing powerful events as well as making sure that even events you have to discard to reroll can be used later! It also works relatively well with your Battlefield, Command Center, although I'm pretty sure that including that is a trap, as it allows you to pick up the red events you lose if losing the claim.
ANAKIN SKYWALKER'S PODRACER can be played at a discount with Lando's Power Action and has die sides that you really need in this deck. The consistent mill from the deck is really good if it is played early, while the Shields can prove invaluable in the late game.
PADMÉ AMIDALA'S ROYAL STARSHIP is getting plenty of love in the early Convergence meta and not just in conjunction with Padmé. It's pretty strong with any Leader, i.e. Leia, and the BIG Focus sides can massively optimise your turns. Normally, players do not want to use mitigation against a mill deck, but when you are faced with a 3 Focus side that can turn three dice to a 2 Discard (Leia), 4 Resources (Lando) and a Stealthy Special, to potentially mill 10 cards, then your opponent can easily find himself in a catch-22!
I've never really been a fan of Dex's Diner, it's slow and clunky and only has value when your characters have taken 6 damage (at which point is is a continuous Field Medic), but can be seen as a weak replacement for Second Chance that rotated out of Standard format. IF going this route, and that's a big IF, I might be inclined to include a Medical Droid instead, which heals less, but is free, while also having a Resource and Shield side on the die. Another issue for the deck is that it CAN be resource strapped if it wants to mill hard from the beginning of the game, which then makes Dex's Diner a liability.
SENATE CHAMBER has become really popular as of late, probably due to its inclusion in the powerful eYoda/eLeia2 mill deck. And you can understand why! The die sides are really great for a mill deck and the Power Action can ensure consistent turns with constant pressure on your opponent and all but overturns one of the deck's biggest weaknesses: Vulnerability to variance.
Even if Vader is not roaming gaming tables anymore, Suppressive Fire is still a great way of getting rid of unwanted Character dice and currently the ONLY way of getting rid of Watto dice. You can play it early and just leave it until needed - or until you have the resources to use it.
You play an almost full suite of healing cards: Field Medic, First Aid and Mend. They are all super useful, and should be looked at as mitigation, although Mend can feel expensive early in the game! They can all be picked up by the Resistance Ring Special for multiple uses! Nothing feels quite as rewarding as healing 4 damage from Leia in the first round with First Aid (after round 1 it becomes a worse version of Field Medic).
6. NO ANSWER:
Losing Commando Raid in rotation was a huge blow to Leia mill decks, but NO ANSWER feels like a full blooded replacement and the cap is the same, milling 4 cards, although it is a combination of hand and deck.
Leia Organa generally does not have difficulty ridding herself of cards in an opponent's hand, but No Answer mills 1 card immediately from an opponent's hand and (then - it's not actually a "then") 3 cards from the opponent's deck if there's no cards left in hand! BRUTAL! No Answer can also be played from the discard pile by the Resistance Ring! Recognise a pattern here?!
[NOTE:] Because it's NOT a "then", you can:
- Discard 1 card from your opponent's hand,
- Check to see how many cards left in your opponent's hand,
- Proceed to do nothing (1 or more cards left in opponent's hand)
- Proceed to discarding 3 cards from your opponent's deck (0 cards in opponent's hand).
7. REMOVAL CARDS:
Your opponent's first target will always be Leia - as it should be - which means that your spot yellow mitigation should always be safe!
EASY PICKINGS is really a no-brainer, removes 2 dice for 1 resource. CHECK!
ELECTROSHOCK can be tricky, but you can't really afford a lot of expensive mitigation, like Entangle, if you want your mill machine up and running early, which means that this is probably one of the better choices, even if it can be quite limiting.
DODGE can seem like an 'interesting' removal card to add, but the prevalence of cards like Megablaster Troopers, Fickle Mercenaries and the likes, kind of support its inclusion. Conditional removal like Dodge obviously has an incredible high ceiling, and at least there's not a lot of Melee damage around these days!
It's been a while since we've seen SOUND THE ALARM make its way into decks. It was hugely popular in the Legacies meta, but has been kind of weak mitigation for a while. It does look the strongest in mill decks though, where forcing your opponent to discard to reroll to fix his dice is what you want (and might not even be possible if you already discarded his hand)! It's good against Vader's Fist, if your opponent has no resources, and can prevent him from using the Power Action.
Our previewed deck list uses COMMAND CENTER (the image is the old card but it has been reprinted in Convergence). Not really sure that's what you want to go with! The main effect of it is that nobody will ever choose it - probably not even you! It's incredibly disruptive - also to your own game plans, and even though you have the Resistance Ring at hand to pick up events that are discarded from your hand, it's still ... meh'. It probably means 2 Shields for you, which is actually not bad!
Alternatives could be Salt Flats or Occupied City, both are active battlefields you actually want to play on, while your opponent might get a bit too much out of Salt Flats. I'd suggest to try these ones out first!
I like to see a Resistance Ring and Anakin Skywalker's Podracer early. Due to Lando's Power Action you can play both in round 1 without taking resources. Stealthy can also be a Moxie, but Stealthy is stronger and can take some of the heat off Leia early in the game.
Against aggro decks you'll want a round 1 First Aid and Suppressive Fire to keep for later. Try and tank a bit of damage round 1, which should be possible with the Shields from the Podracer.
It can be prudent to take resources early with Lando. Milling hard round 1 is super tempting, but it is often smart to take the resources to set up later rounds. If you don't have a Stealthy in hand, then Lando should be activated first to see if you are lucky to hit the double 4's for resources! That'll allow you to both take resources and use Leia's Power Action!
You cannot afford to take a heavy hit on Leia early and it's absurdly annoying to be left stranded with a First Aid in hand that you can't play because you don't have resources for it!
Don't let Lando's Special sit in the pool for too long! That's the one die side that your opponent will want to remove because it's such a heavy hitter. Either resolve for resources or Leia's Power Action then get on with your life!
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