Menion Croll aka. Runningonion took this deck to Virginia Regional and won the damn thing! We've been asking ourselves "where is mill in this meta" and I guess we got the answer here. It's looking pretty ok!
Sure, it's still too early to say, but it does look pretty strong and after getting some games in with the deck, I'm definitely liking what I'm seeing! So, when Menion agreed to do a small write-up for us I was pretty thrilled. I'm not personally a big fan of mill decks, but this could definitely be a deck I'd consider for the Regionals season.
We did a character analysis of Leia Organa - Heart of the Resistance right after she was released and you might want to read that article as well before digging into this deck!?
2. GENERAL COMMENTS:
Snoke, and eSnoke/eThrawn in particular, represented a nightmare for mill decks. With both all but vanishing following the balance of the force, mill was poised to make a comeback. The question for me was which mill? My primary goal was to beat Darth Vader decks. The red/blue mitigation suite is perfect for working around Vader’s Power Action, so eLeia/eYoda seemed like a good choice.
While it plays differently, I have more reps on eYoda/eRieekan (which I took to a 2nd place finish at the Maryland Regional a year ago) than any other deck. This gave me very solid platform to work from in both practicing with and building the deck.
Overall, I finished 11-3 at the VA Regional. My record against Vader was a combined 4-1, and 4-0 against eVader/Greedo. The losses were to a heavy action cheating eYoda/eHan, eVader/Droid/Retribution, and 1 loss against eBeckett/eTalzin in the final best of 3. I did not face any vehicle decks, though I had potential answers in case I did. A recap of the event from my perspective is in my decklist on swdestinydb.
Star Wars Destiny is in its sixth set, so we are playing with the most cards we will ever have in standard. That means power levels and card quality is higher than it has ever been, and possibly higher than it ever will be. Every card in every competitive deck is good, if not great or outright broken. The best solution may be to not let your opponent play them, and that’s what this deck does.
YODA is the best character in the game, other than the fact that he doesn’t have damage sides. Since mill doesn’t need damage, he’s the best character in the game period. He makes all of our other dice do exactly what we want them to do, while milling or gaining resources. Round 1, I generally prioritize resources with Yoda Specials, switching to mill in latter rounds.
LEIA ORGANA provides the burst, with a side of guaranteed efficiency. Commando raiding or motivating a Discard side can effectively timewalk an opponent, locking their dice on unresolvable or useless sides, while denying their own upgrades, supports, or removal. With two Discard sides on each die, there is a ~55% chance of finding one on activation, which puts opponents in an awkward position immediately. Leia’s Power Action is great for cleaning up leftover dice to remove cards from the top of the deck. This gives the deck a lot of leeway on rerolls, since you can hold a double Focus hanging, and even if you hit what you want on your other dice, it is never wasted.
Taking ground’s humble 2 points might be the best card in the deck. Theed Royal Palace has distorted the value of the battlefield roll significantly compared to previous metas, and even decks that don’t get Theed immediately are counting on having it for a turn or two later in the game. With Taking Ground we are favored in the roll off vs almost every other deck. At the regional I never lost a roll off, which meant my opponents were starved of a resource they were expecting all day.
The idea behind this Battlefield is to win the roll off (with Taking Ground), then prevent my opponent from ramping, particularly punishing Force Speeds, as they mill a card for every upgrade they play. In practice, the 1 or 2 extra mill wasn’t meaningful for me, while I lost a lot of cards in later rounds; milling key removal pieces, and making my Force Illusions very tight on counter milling myself. In retrospect, I would change this for Otoh Gunga or Medical Center instead.
The deck runs blue cards. The deck gets Force Illusion! I hate this card, but it is a soft counter to both Vader and action cheating, so it goes in.
Force speed just felt like it underperformed all day. The idea is to protect Leia's roll outs for big Commando Raid/Motivate Discard plays, but in practice this rarely happened. Force Speed "only" has a 50% chance to hit the Special, and when it doesn’t you lose so much tempo that by the time Leia gets her dice in the pool, your opponent will have played their good cards already. This is on the chopping block for Scout.
In contention for best value card in the deck. Blanking Vader’s dice is as good as removing it, and the jump stays out ready to go next turn. Rerolling back into the Special is common enough, and holding a Yoda die on Special in case you don’t can prevent opponents from rerolling at all, stalling all of their dice at unresolvable or meaningless sides. Combined with Leia’s ability to destroy hands, you can escape full rounds without even playing real removal. At the end of the round, after they’ve claimed, you can even reroll the Force Jump with out discarding until it hits Shields or Blank, due to the wording of the ability.
Force meditation is the only real mill accelerator in the deck. Try to play it on whoever isn’t being targeted.
EMP GRENADES is the go to card for dealing with Armored Reinforcement decks, but it was also surprisingly effective in other matchups. If Leia dies before Yoda, this card can really help Yoda close out games by hitting the hand hard due to the 2for1 resource Discard side.
Always does work when it gets played. Damage is already hard to get through the mitigation package in the deck, removing it after the fact is back breaking. It could be a 2 off, but I’m scared of having 2 in an early hand.
SUPPRESSIVE FIRE removes a die on your opponents turn, since it’s an after effect. That means Darth Vader doesn’t get to roll his dice back in when they are removed by suppressive fire. It also interrupts action cheating roll outs, i.e. eYoda/eLeia3 and Hit and Run/Drop In based decks, which covers a weak spot of the deck.
The best mitigation card in the deck. Particularly good when combined with a Pacify or Hidden Motive against Vader. Use the 0-cost mitigation first to bait a Power Action. If they do you can counter with Beguile after they finally start to threaten damage. This is extremely precious mitigation and should never be used on low damage unless it prevents a character from death. Save this for immediately after you opponent says, “It’s about time I rolled some damage.” One of the few cards in the deck that you should carry from one round to the next.
Same as Beguile, but slightly different. Situationally it’s better, but as seen in game 2 of the finals at the Regional event, it only gets half their damage, and you can still lose a character if they roll the nuts. Often, it is best to bluff no removal while you are holding mind trick to bait more dice into the pool. This also works very well with the 0-cost removal. When they roll out their first character, hit them with a Hidden Motive/Pacify. Then they roll out their second character for max value on rerolls, and then you Mind Trick 4 or 5+ dice.
A perfectly fine piece of mitigation, best used against perfect rolls and dice with Specials.
It’s a Blue deck, it goes in. Hidden Motive does a great job in removing small amounts of damage to force rerolls into big removal. It’s also one of the few small removals that can hit non-character dice, so when given the option use Pacify first.
Zero cost character dice removal with no downside (for us). While it can be used defensively, giving up one of our fantastic character dice for 2 Shields is not great value. Great at baiting Vader’s Power Action.
Sometimes damage makes it through, this removes that damage. Field Medic is great against decks that cheat the damage past removal. It is best used at the end of the round, so you can save money for the other removal during the round.
SENSOR PLACEMENT is great at dealing with specials, for instance against an opposing Yoda you get a resource back and mill one or focus a die. It also effectively works as zero cost removal against Vader’s resource side, and since the die is resolved, the Power Action can’t roll it back in. I was never unhappy to see sensor placement, but I don’t think I’d run 2.
6. TECH CARDS:
This can end your opponent’s turn before it begins. Don’t forget to draw a card after using it. As much of a blowout as Commando Raid is, be careful about tunneling on it. Sometimes you won’t be able to use it immediately, and that’s ok. Don’t be afraid to use it as a re-roll either, holding Commando Raid into the next round when you need to draw removal can lose you the game.
MOTIVATE is a mini Commando Raid with extra flexibility. Don’t save it for a Discard, it’s fine on a Shield side or Leia’s Resource side depending on the situation.
Strike briefing is ok. I was never sad to see it, but never super excited either. If I were making room for other cards this is where I would start. Play Strike Briefing after you are done milling for the turn, so that you properly curate their hand for the next round. If you are playing against Talzin, Strike Briefing first so that you can place an even costed card on the top (if possible).
7. MULLIGAN OPTIONS:
Always keep one of Motivate or Commando Raid, but not both. Zero cost removal is a good keep, but you still want to get an upgrade out, so don’t be afraid to throw it back. Always keep Force Jump and Force Meditation. Throw back Force Illusion, Dex’s Diner, and Field Medic.
Try to plan how you will pay for all your cards. If you have Force Meditation, you may want to throw back a Beguile or Mind Trick so that you can ramp your mill early and save the heavy mitigation for later.
8. GAME PLAN:
Rolling out Leia first is almost always the right play. Threaten to Motivate or Commando Raid their hand, then react from then on. If Force Jump is on Yoda and you are against Vader, roll Yoda first to deny the big damage sides.
Early game prioritize money with Yoda. Even if it doesn’t get spent right away, you will find turns later where you need to spend 3 or 4 resources before you can roll out to make more.
Around Round 3 count how many cards are left in the opponent’s deck and construct a 2-Round plan to eliminate all of them. Sometimes this means letting some damage through that could have been prevented in order to guarantee the mill, as you reprioritize to end the game on schedule. There is nothing worse than letting them get another turn with 1 card in hand or deck.
Do not be afraid of Ancient Lightsabers. Both characters can remove this from the top of the deck at will, but be aware it exists. Often players will play coy about putting it back on the deck. Just continue passing until they do so, if they double pass they lose.
Lastly, get reps with the deck. If you haven’t played a mill deck before it will seem very awkward at first. Get experience with various situations so that you are comfortable staring down a ton of dice and have a plan to deal with all of them. Sequencing is more important for mill decks than almost any other deck, since we can’t be saved by rolling hot.
As a Patron you support the YOUR Destiny website, podcast and YouTube Channel, and you help us to continue providing content for Star Wars Destiny. We are a dedicated Destiny website and release articles almost daily. As Patron you also get early access to most articles, including this one, and can enter our Patron only Discord Channel. Advanced and Expert tier patrons get access to exclusive training and test videos. Thank you for your consideration!