Written By CLAUS STAAL
As some of you will know, at the end of the Across the Galaxy meta as we were holding our breath waiting for the arrival of Convergence, I had the audacity to proclaim the "Demise of Blue Heroes". Or more specifically monoblue midrange decks. In my article I gave several reasons why I believed that demise to be the grim reality blue heroes were facing, but still couldn't let go of the feeling that there was still something to be gained from them!
The two main problems I faced was:
- How to get a decent ramp going without access to Destiny which previously had been the go-to-card for decks like eRey/eAayla.
- How to push through damage with limited access to powerful 2cost upgrades. And let's just admit it, the current alternatives to the weapons that rotated out, i.e. Ancient Lightsaber and Shoto Lightsaber, are just not as good (while villains gained Dooku's Lightsaber and Palpatine's Lightsaber, heroes got ... Mace Windu's Lightsaber ... I know).
So, faced with these challenges, I turned to the only guys that could help me out ... the two old wise masters: Yoda and Luke Skywalker. And failed miserably. My first test games were HORRIBLE!
Luckily I'm blessed with plenty of people around me who are excellent deck builders and great analysers of the game of Destiny. It ended up being Blake Moody, back-to-back Australian Champion, who came to my rescue as my dreams of a monoblue hero deck lay in tatters! Blake essentially handed me the deck on a platter and I've only modified a few cards that I felt made it a bit more aggressive.
YODA - WIZENED MASTER
While Snoke is taking all the fame these days, and probably rightly so, YODA is an inherently more powerful character, and has been the preferred character for many of the most successful hero builds ever since his release. He has been the gravitation point for vehicle decks, mill decks and aggro decks, all testimony to his versatility and ability to provide what most players are - and should be - looking for:
- Ramp potential
It is often the better strategy to focus your game around LUKE SKYWALKER - RELUCTANT INSTRUCTOR early in the game, upgrading him and getting his dice in the pool to give your opponent decoy targets for his removal. Having Luke's dice removed in the first round is much less damaging (for you) than losing Yoda's dice!
If you want to see how NOT to play this character pairing, then check out this video of my first test games (made for the YOUR Destiny patrons) with the first iteration of the deck! HORRIFYING!
Once you get your sequencing right though, Luke Skywalker will serve you well (and Yoda will come to his right as the invisible partner). Play a 2cost upgrade on Luke Skywalker, round 1, activate and check your opponent's mitigation options. If you are showing Resource sides, resolve them and get more upgrades down on Yoda, otherwise you can attempt to fix bad rolls later with Yoda's Specials.
Luke Skywalker's main strength is two-fold.
- The flexibility of his Shield side due to his ability,
- You want to resolve basically all his die sides.
Because you are playing with a huge upgrade suite, 15 cards, I often replace/overwrite "upgrades" with "upgrade - abilities" and move the latter to Yoda with Luke's Power Action. One of the best round 1 plays is to:
- Play a Treasured Lightsaber on Luke,
- Draw a card
- Activate Luke,
- Resolve dice (preferably the Treasured Lightsaber), and I'm almost content with every side. Don't play other unnecessary cards before you check to see if you hit the Special on the Treasured Lightsaber, which is worth 3 Unblockable damage with a hand of 5+ cards.
- Replace Treasured Lightsaber with an "upgrade - ability",
- Move the "upgrade - ability" to Yoda.
- Activate Yoda.
3. LIGHTSABER MASTERY:
The plot LIGHTSABER MASTERY is a great addition to the deck as it functionally increases your hand size to 6-7 cards as long as you have cards tucked away underneath the plot.
There are currently four "EVENT - MOVE" that can be brought to the game and they have distinctly different flavours, and you can either diversify your deck by bringing cards that are NOT included in your deck or focus it by bringing additional copies of events already included.
I chose to bring DEFLECTING SLASH and TWIN STRIKE, the only "moves" in my deck, and they both serve different purposes. Deflecting Slash is absolutely broken if you have a Soresu Mastery in play as it effectively allows you to remove a die showing damage AND gain 2 Shields, while it's okay even without Soresu Mastery (in which case it just becomes an additional removal card).
I've found Twin Strike to work well as a damage-out-of-hand card to snipe off characters cowering behind Shields or a Riot Shield, the latter being pretty popular these days.
There's absolutely no way that you'll be able to get enough games in to make the mathematically best choice of what cards to bring with Lightsaber Mastery. It's based on a gut-feeling and pure anectodal evidence... Your gut might be telling you differently!
3. UPGRADES - ABILITY:
All "Upgrade - Ability" can be moved from Luke to Yoda with Luke's Power Action. It allows you to change focus from Luke to Yoda, and while it's an incredibly powerful play, and functionally increase your amount of dice in the pool, just be careful when you do it! Sometimes it's prudent to go all in on Luke or simply bide your time!
In a meta rife with 3wide decks, Force Wave is likely to be one of your strongest weapons! Yoda can trigger it with his Special and pay for the Force Wave Special in one swift action! If you start off with the Force Wave on Luke and later move it to Yoda, it can be absolutely devastating to a 3wide team. Maybe one of the strongest aspects of the Force Wave is the fear it induces in your opponent. Most opponents will be removing the Force Wave die if able. That leaves the rest of your dice to wreck havoc!
LORE HUNTER is an interesting card that was included in Blake Moody's original list, and really allows you to dig deep in your deck for the cards you need. It's also pretty cute with Luke's Protection as Blake pointed out (there's a potential triple use of Luke's Protection - in one round and possibly 2 uses in subsequent rounds ... well the ceiling is actually a lot more uses).
Both SORESU TRAINING and SORESU MASTERY are much better cards than I gave them credit for in the beginning. I've actually never used the "may" effect of the Soresu Training, as I prefer to just play the Soresu Mastery from hand and keep the Soresu Training in play. I guess it's great to pull the Soresu Mastery from the discard pile, but I've never faced that problem yet ... but I'm also just 8 test games in.
Soresu Training works eminently with Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi's Lightsaber! They combine beautifully to give you 3 Shields and deal 3 Unblockable damage. if you can pull this off in multiple rounds, it's pretty damn NUTS! Same goes for Soresu Mastery, a Yoda Special and an Obi's: Removal, Shields and Unblockable damage.
LUKE SKYWALKER'S LIGHTNING ROD, TREASURED LIGHTSABER and EZRA BRIDGER'S LIGHTSABER are your three basis upgrades! They can be played round 1 without resource gain and they are all excellent!
If I could choose an upgrade to just put in my starting hand it would be the Treasured Lightsaber! That one is just AMAZING! Sure, it only has modified Melee damage sides, but that shouldn't be any problem with plenty of base damage sides on Luke's dice, and the Special is just incredibly good with a full hand (5+ cards), while I can easily settle for 2 Unblockable damage. The card draw when you play it is the perfect icing on the cake!
I don't mind overwriting the Lightning Rod with an upgrade - ability after having resolved the Lightning Rod die round 1 as I can draw into another one later and the Upgrade - Ability, as discussed earlier, can be moved to Yoda to get a die advantage immediately!
Ezra's Lightsaber having Redeploy is sweet for a 2cost upgrade AND it allows you to cheat resolve with Yoda's Special, although I feel that Yoda is already working overtime in in this deck and it's definitely NOT a priority upgrade for me!
DAGGER OF MORTIS
Great upgrade with some big damage sides and Redeploy. The ability to move shields from Blue characters to attached character can both steal Shields from an opponent's character AND help set up some big hits with either Obi's Lightsaber or Ataru Strike!
OBI-WAN KENOBI'S LIGHTSABER feels like your elite upgrade and is probably the best endgame piece! It can hit for a ton of damage or help you turtle up with its two 2 Shield sides. I also tried a 1:1 split between Obi's Saber and Mace Windu's Lightsaber and it just didn't feel as good as Obi's!
The SONIC DETONATORS were a suggestion from the YOUR Destiny Patron Mark Lockett who has been running them in his eLeia3/ePadmé deck. I like it as a powerful alternative to Force Wave and you can always replace it once you've used it twice (against 3wide decks). It's still in a flex spot, but I'm confident it'll secure a permanent space - at least as long as 3wide are so dominantly featured in the meta!
All three of the supports are pretty self explanatory, with HONED SKILLS helping tremendously in the endgame when you're down to one character and still are able to roll 6dice into the pool!
LUKE'S PROTECTION contributes to the turtle up strategy as well priming cards like Ataru Strike and Obi's Special. Add to this the cute Lore Hunter/Luke's Protection trick previously described, although primarily cute, and you add some serious stamina to your 22hp team!
Anyone who has read my stuff over the last year will know that I'm not a big fan of IT BINDS ALL THINGS, but in this deck it is actually pretty good! Because you very often play two upgrades per turn - or attempt to - you need all the ramp you can get, and it takes a bit of pressure off Yoda. Many of your games will become down right attritive, often going into 4+ rounds, and maxing out on upgrades can be exactly that thing you need to eke out wins!
6. REMOVAL CARDS:
HIDDEN MOTIVE and PACIFY are your 0cost mitigation and while there are plenty of dice where Hidden Motive will be absolutely horrible, it's still an ok'ish piece of mitigation everything taking into consideration - and there aren't a lot of free mitigation for monoblue heroes.
PACIFY is extremely flexible allowing you either to remove an opponent's character die, turtle up yourself or set up some big damage hit! You are going to float around plenty of dice capable of inflicting Unblockable damage, so it's often not so bad if you are going to give your opponent Shields.BEGUILE
Still a great mitigation, affects multiple dice and can go a long way to keeping your opponent at bay. It does feel like Beguile is getting a bit worse with all the Focus sides that most decks are capable of throwing at you, and if the tendency continues with rainbow decks galore it might actually be worth considering dropping Beguile altogether in favour of the more powerful, but restricted REPULSE!
REPULSE is a card that has received way too little love! It's in many ways superior to Beguile, at least against rainbow decks, and the ability to remove two dice is just too good to pass on.
As the the Jedi Order is receiving less and less love, DISCIPLINED MIND is just simply getting better! Pay one to remove any non-Jedi die is pretty decent! Its direct replacement could be Near Miss, but I honestly think that Disciplined Mind is the safer bet!
7. TECH CARDS:
ATARU STRIKE is good with Luke's dice and useless on Yoda's dice. It does allow you rounds where you can snipe off characters ... and please ... let's not get started on the discussion again on whether you can use Ataru Strike on Luke's Shield sides ... because you can!
LUKE'S TRAINING is a great way of bringing in a Force Wave or Soresu Mastery from the discard pile and get a discount on it! It also allows you to play a 3cost ability round 1!
There are definitely good arguments to made for switching SAFEGUARD with HEIGHTENED AWARENESS, and although the former is cheaper, they both cap at 3 Shields, while the latter allows for some nasty Obi's Lightsaber plays, basically allowing you to deal 3 Unblockable damage out of hand or setting up a crazy hardhitting Ataru Strike! I'd NOT argue against you if you decided to go with Heightened Awareness, all the while Safeguard has been pretty good for me!
The obvious choice for this deck is Obi-Wan's Hut! But if you want to spice things up a bit, then I've actually considered Theed Royal Palace to ensure that third resource you so often are craving in round 1. I'd be more than willing to trade a Luke 1 Shield side or a Blank for a resource in order to get an upgrade - ability in play.
You want one of your 2cost upgrades, preferably the Treasured Lightsaber, in your starting hand and if you can also find an It Binds All Things you're off to a pretty good start! I also like to see a Force Wave (especially against 3wide teams) or alternatively a Soresu Mastery. Add a 0cost mitigation card or a Disciplined Mind and you're solid.
Luke's Protection is nice early as well, it will net you an incredible amount of Shields, while the extra card draw from the Treasured Lightsaber might add one of the pieces you didn't get in the initial draw!
We've already discussed sequencing quite a lot throughout this deck analysis, so maybe watching this test game I recently played will give a bit more insights.
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