Rey2/Aayla Deck Analysis

stairs DECKjpg
1. CREDITS:
This is the deck that was brought to WORLDS 2018 by Mads and piloted to the 2nd place. It is modified from the original version by Mike Gemme aka BobbySapphire of TheHyperloops. His thoughts on the deck can be found here. The article is really good, so you should read it (but only after you finish this one!). A slightly modified version of the deck was piloted by Mads to the top spot at EUROS 2018.

Don't miss Mads Utzon's comprehensive talk about the deck and his thoughts behind it in the YOUR Destiny Podcast Episode 13.

2. GENERAL COMMENTS:
One of the decks to come blazing out of the regionals season as a main contender for Worlds 2018 was Mike Gemme's take on the monoblue hero deck (… seriously, do these guys ever stop being brilliant?).

Rey2 received her share of fame during the last days of the Empire at War meta (after the 2Player Starter Set had landed), partnering up with Poe Dameron - More Than a Pilot for a fearsome duo, that could hit like a truck, and could stand its ground against all comers. Had it not been for the rise of power of the 5dice villain (featuring eBala/eCiena/Nightsister), the so-called R2P2 might have won it all (they almost did). For discussions on 5dice villains and R2P2 in the late Empire at War meta listen to the YOUR Destiny Podcast Episode 5. Although somewhat of a “historical document” by now, some of the thoughts shared in the podcast episode are as valid as ever.

In the meantime Poe2 has found new partners, most notably Hondo, while Rey seemed out of favour for a while ... but she’s bounced back! BACK WITH A VENGEANCE!

3. CHARACTERS
web17jpgIn Aayla, Rey2 might actually have found her perfect match. She’s pairing up with another blue character making it much more viable to play “spot blue” events and “blue character only” upgrades, both of which there are several of in the deck. Rey is on top of this partnering up with a character that shares damage sides with her (1 and 2 melee on Aayla), while retaining the ability to fix her dice (Aayla special), and although you miss out on Poe2’s Special giving shields to Rey (and damage to your opponent), the soft mitigation side effect of Aayla’s special is a nice consolation prize.

PLOTTING FOR SUCCESS
The real upside though is the fact that the character combo is just 27points, leaving 3 points left for a plot. We sincerely believe we that we have not yet seen the best of plots (early previews of the Way of the Force seems to support this), and we anticipate much more in future sets. But Profitable Connections does not only fit the bill in this character pairing, it’s scary good ... it really is. The ability to drop a 3cost of upgrade in round 1 (and blue really has THE GOODIES) or a 2cost upgrade, and save 1 resource for mitigation, or combo Reaping the Crystal into a 3cost upgrade and still be able to pay for mitigation is just bonkers. If you hard mulligan for Rey’s Lightsaber, you could potentially start with 4 shields in round 1!! That effectively makes Rey a 15hp and Aayla an 11hp character. That’s 26hp on 2 characters! That’s just C R A Z Y!
rey pngpngI’LL FIGHT ANYONE, ANYDAY.
The real key to the success of this midrange deck is its ability to consistently deal with other decks in the meta though. Giving reliable access to key cards like Close Quarters Assault works wonders against decks like BrOTK and Rainbow Hero Vehicles (that matchup is a bit tough though), while mitigation cards like Guard and Force Misdirection can keep Yoda decks honest. I’ve found myself activating Aayla as the first action in a number of Yoda match-ups (or Rose, which really is a byword for Hero Vehicles), just to make sure that her special side would remove a plethora of dice from my opponent (that strategy should NOT be employed against Boba/Seventh, since they have been known to play Abandon All Hope. Here you want to drop an upgrade fast, and you also want your own battlefield). Against special heavy decks (or melee or indirect damage), Force Misdirection with Aayla essentially becomes your blue Easy Pickings (Although with a slightly lower floor, but an extremely high ceiling). KA-BOOOOOOM!

3. UPGRADES/SUPPORTS:
IT'S YOUR DESTINY
Before we can start talking about the upgrade/support suite of the deck, we need to talk about the card that was tech'ed into the deck because those cards in many ways defines the entire upgrade suite.
web17jpg
Destiny opens up some outright broken starts. In a game where ramp (to improve your board state) is important Destiny is probably one of the best cards out there. The ability to harvest resources and play upgrades from mediocre die rolls is just amazing.

You can turn an early Aayla 2 Indirect Damage into a Shoto Lightsaber on Rey, or a 3 Melee side on a Rey's Lightsaber die into a Luke's, Obi's or Heirloom Lightsaber. A well-played Destiny will secure a rampant board state. It is not rare to have a first round board state looking like this:web18jpg
It's obviously not going to happen in every game, but the ramp ability of the deck is so strong, that the it occurs more often than you might think. Even if you do not draw into a Destiny round 1, it will definitely speed you up in round 2.

The way that Destiny shapes the upgrade suite is to then include as many high quality upgrades as possible and preferably with high value melee sides (to help trigger Close Quarters Assault, Destiny and Guard). The chosen sabers might not be the BEST weapons out there, but they are the best in your deck! And that's exactly your winning strategy. Be the best at what you want to do!


REY'S LIGHTSABER
Is just STUPIDLY GOOD. Played on Rey it might even be in the same league as the indomitable Maul's Lightsaber. A Jedi Robes mashed into a Lightsaber with 3 melee sides and Redeploy. You want to see this beauty in your starting hand.

SHOTO LIGHTSABER
Have you ever sat across from a Rey with 2 Shoto Lightsabers? How often have you won those games? Exactly! That's how insane that setup is. Shotos alongside with Rey's Lightsaber is the bread and butter of Rey/x decks. The fact that it has two modified damage sides shouldn't be too much of a problem as you are pretty flush with base damage sides. Like most sabers in your deck it doesn't really have any bad sides. The resources are good if you need the ramp (or pay off Hondo or a Y-Wing special) and shields can be used to tank and trigger Synchronicity.

ANCIENT LIGHTSABER
Is a stable in monoblue decks (and beyond). It's excessively good, and fits the bill on so many accounts. A +3 Melee side to go with either Destiny, Guard or just pure aggro, 2 base damage sides, shields, resources and healing your characters. The most expensive card ($$$) in the game for a reason.

OBI-WAN'S LIGHTSABER
It has very often felt like a consolation prize for not drawing a Rey's Lightsaber, and Rey's is the real star of the show, but Obi's is actually not that far behind. While the special can be a potential 3 unblockable damage, it has HUGE sides that goes well with everything your deck is trying to achieve. It can ramp, tank and kill!

HEIRLOOM LIGHTSABER
It has quickly become a fan favorite, but we are honestly not overly impressed with the Heirloom. It does its job well, but it's not the star of the show. At least it has redeploy, which saves it a spot in the deck, but it is inferior to Rey's, Obi's and Luke's Lightsaber (the other 3 cost upgrades in the deck).

LUKE SKYWALKER'S LIGHTSABER
This was a replacement for the Handcrafted Light Bow, and it's ok if you're a bit confused by the choice. The idea is basically outlined in the above run through of Destiny (the card). Luke's Saber gives you three big sides to trigger Destiny, two sides to trigger CQA and on top of that can either add shields or deal unblockable damage.

web21jpgFORCE SPEED
This deck is built for speed. Sure, you're are not going to outpace Obi/Maz, Sabine/Ezra or Yoda/Hondo, but you are almost certainly going to get the claim against other midrange decks, which is what you're aiming for. You are playing a defensive Battlefield, Obi-Wan's Hut, which because of Rey's activation trigger becomes offensive. The inclusion of Force Speeds allows for some broken plays with either Aayla Specials, reroll into damage and lethal damage, reroll into mitigation (Guard or Force Misdirection).

FORCE ILLUSION
Is essentially another mitigation card. NEVER EVER play your Force Illusion late ... be proactive!

4. EVENTS:
A lot of your mitigation requires you to have dice in the pool to benefit the most from it. That's another reason why action efficiency is paramount to success with this deck. Do keep that in mind, and learn how to sequence your plays correctly to get the most out of the deck.web19jpg
MITIGATION CARDS:
GUARD
You have a lot of melee sides in the deck, purposely, and in particular many large modified sides on your upgrade dice, this makes Guard one of the best mitigation cards at your disposal. The ability to remove 3 dice with a +3 showing on an Ancient Lightsaber is out of this world. It just ruins turns!

FORCE MISDIRECTION
This card really didn't receive much love in the pre-Legacy meta, most likely because of all the action cheating being the only thing keeping Heroes alive in a hyperhostile meta. But now, with more decks playing an “honest” game, it is finally receiving the love it deserves. In particular Aayla’s dice seems as a match made in heaven for Force Misdirection. Her die sides essentially have everything that you will ever want to remove. Melee against ... well ... other melee decks. Specials against vehicle decks and Yoda decks. Indirect against vehicles. And the ability to remove several dice with a single card is really the hallmark of a great removal card! Gone are the days of Electroshock!

HIDDEN MOTIVE
It is your only mitigation card that only mitigates one die (as the ceiling), and when things does not go your way it ends up being just soft mitigation. On the other hand, it's also the only mitigation card in the deck which is 0cost, which means you can drop a 3cost upgrade and still mitigate.

OVERCONFIDENCE
Is good. Removal and soft mitigation in one card! In many decks the “Spot Blue” play condition is prohibitive - not with Aayla/Rey2. Do remember to check out Mads Utzon's rant about "Overconfidence Fight Mode" in the YOUR Destiny Podcast Episode 13.

CAUTION
You need to think of this card, like you think of Force Illusion. It is a mitigation card. You remove 1 character die to remove an opponent's die showing 3 damage. Don't get too picky with Caution. It's a great defensive card and should not be sitting in your hand for too long!

TECH CARDS:
Any deck worth its salt should include tech cards (those that will surprise your opponent - check out the YOUR Destiny Podcast Episode 7 for tips on how to deckbuild and why to include various tech-cards).web22jpg
ALTER
Is a tricky card, but it does become a bit more powerful with the Force Speeds in the deck making sure that you can action cheat into an Alter, mitigating and/or setting up for lethal damage.

CLOSE QUARTERS ASSAULT
This card is key against some decks, and in particular in some match-ups that are difficult for you. DO NOT GET TOO GREEDY! I’ll just reiterate this point ... because it’s important: DO NOT GET TOO GREEDY. It is a huge tell-tell if you have 2 melee damage showing on the table and rather than resolving them you start re-rolling your other dice. You’d have to be deaf, blind and dumb not to smell that CQA coming. Close Quarters Assault is supposed to ruin your opponent’s well laid plans by robbing him of valuable cards in his hand, which is why the starting hand is particularly vulnerable to CQA. It’s the only hand that has essentially been handpicked by your opponent (even if based on random draw).

SYNCHRONICITY
The ability to deal 2 (unblockable) damage out of hand can be good - and some times game winning! It's an expected card to bring in a monoblue hero deck, and rightly so.

REAPING THE CRYSTAL
We include one copy of RtC to help with the early ramp. It's good in the first couple of rounds, and pretty much a dead card later on, although it can help you drop a 3cost weapon in the later stages of the game where you might be a bit strapped for cash.

DESTINY
We end our run through of cards almost as we began it with Destiny. A last point, adding to the argument of Destiny over It Binds All Things is that Destiny is AS PLAYABLE (although not as powerful) in  the mid and late game as it is in the early parts of the game. Destiny can be used to play mitigation even if you do not have any resources, i.e. you have two Aayla die showing resources and 2 Indirect damage in the pool, but no resources left, and you can use Destiny to remove the die showing resource to play an Overconfidence. You've saved yourself an action (i.e. to resolve the resource side to be able to play the Overconfidence), and you've probably managed to surprise your opponent, who thought himself safe from mitigation.

5. MATCH-UPS:
DIFFICULT MATCH-UPS

Rainbow Hero Vehicles have felt extremely difficult with Aayla/Rey2. If you do not draw into an early Close Quarters Assault, and get ahead early, you could be in serious trouble. A good strategy is to roll out Aayla early hoping to hit that special and forcing your opponent into early re-rolls to fix their dice. Against aggro decks that can really spike damage, i.e. BrOTK, eBoba/eSeventh, Kylo2/x, etc., its important to get ahead in the upgrade race. You’ll need a fully operational Rey2 going into midgame.
Thumbnail rey-aaylajpg

BEST MATCH-UPS

The deck feels really good against other midrange decks, and this might just be THE BEST midrange deck in the current format.

WRITTEN BY
CLAUS STAAL & MADS UTZON