Rey/Aayla - Budget Deck

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1. INTRODUCTION:
The budget list is a new ongoing series at YOUR Destiny where we are taking a look at decks which we believe to be competitive, but limited to:
Max. value pr. single: 20$
Max. total value of deck: 50$

(Common and Uncommon card are generally evaluated as 0$ and we base our price estimate on the Chance Cube Price Watch Average Price. We also evaluate cards found in the current Starter Set(s) and Rivals Draft Set as relatively inexpensive, although they might have a fairly high price when purchased as singles, i.e. Hidden Motive. This is simply due to the fact that we consider all of those sets as MUST HAVES - no matter your level or commitment of investment).

As we are moving towards the first rotation of all the cards in the first cycle (the Awakenings Cycle) in Star Wars Destiny, a lot of players might be reluctant to commit too much money into buying cards that will cycle out of Standard and Trilogy Format come early 2019. For those players looking into an relatively inexpensive, yet competitive Standard Format deck might be a good starting point.

We do know that there are varying opinions on what is "inexpensive", "budget" or even "competitive", and while we acknowledge that the interest, possibility of purchase or ambition is different from player to player, we feel that the upper cap of 50$ is both adequate for being able to construct a competitive deck AND a relatively small investment.

2. BLUE HEROES:
Blue hero decks has been a staple of the game since the very beginning. After all, the awakening in the Force that inspired the Awakenings set was a reference to Rey and her road towards Jedi mastery. It’s always had great cards and has often placed well in major tournaments and been represented in high tier lists: Its strength being its versatility.

While Blue Villain can hit hard and fast, its hero counterpart allows for both defence and attack. Masters of the game have shown how much range a single colour can have with Mads Utzon piloting Rey/Aayla to a Worlds runner up position and a European Championship Title. This range of play styles makes it an excellent place to start for new players, as well as allowing for development into more advanced territory over time.

And it feels pretty badass to roll dice with lightsabers on them.

But the biggest issue facing Blue Hero right now is price (No, not Ahrinda). Blue cards have always been the most expensive in any set: Yoda, Snoke, Ancient Lightsaber, Force Speed, etc. Check any price guide or singles site and you’ll find Blue cards at the top. And for many new players, you’re going to want to avoid any cards that are financially oppressive.

Fortunately, we are in a good place in terms of card pool. We’re a single set (Across the Galaxy is due to release in November 2018) away from hitting the largest legal card pool we can choose from so what better time to jump in? There are so many powerful cards available, many of which are getting cheaper by the day because of imminent rotation and we should be able to find a decent list for you to compete with at a reasonable level without breaking the bank.

Let’s take a look!

3. CHARACTERS:
I play Blue Hero! A lot. The night before UK nationals, I had no deck and no clue. I ended up jamming the best Blue Hero stuff together and taking that, despite never having played the actual list before in my life. It came down to playing the cards I knew. Nothing flashy or clever, just solid blue cardboard that can give you the options to win a game. Strength and versatility. That’s what we want here.

Character pairings in Blue Hero are varied and solid. Our first consideration is if we can make a 3 character list work or if 2 is more viable. In the current meta, 2 character lists are waning slightly. Right now, vehicle decks are hitting the scene big time and all the Indirect damage is too effective against two characters. Less health makes any matchup easier for vehicles and when you get down to a single character, Indirect damage is functionally Direct damage - just bigger sides! So the sensible money is on 3 characters. Character Plo Koon articlejpgBut we aren’t here to be sensible. We’re her to roll dice and smash face and despite a 2 character team seeming weaker, I want more dice. And I want good dice. There are plenty of options for a 4 dice start in Blue Hero so let’s start there.Blue Hero BUDGET article4jpg
OK, so keeping down the cash means no Yoda, no Luke Skywalker - Reluctant Instructor. So who do we have? Do we want a plot? I’ve spent weeks trying to make Built To Last work because I’m convinced it’s got real potential but many of our really good unique upgrades that work so well with Built To Last are just beyond the realms our wallet can reach. We need to keep it simple.

Solid options are: Rey1, Rey2, Aayla (who is know changed in points cost to: 10/13e), Kanan, Obi2, Ezra2 and just squeezing in, Qui-Gon.Blue Hero Budget article1jpgBlue Hero Budget arti2jpg
All these characters are affordable in terms of cash, but they vary in the points they’ll cost you. Finding a key pairing depends on your style. Big/Little, i.e. eObi/eEzra, or Middle/Middle, i.e. Rey2/Aayla? Big/Little is usually a risk. If you lose Mr. Big before you can use him turn 3 then you will be clawing yourself from the brink for the rest of the game. Middle/Middle tends to guarantee a little more security and I think that if you’re just starting out, this is going to be your best choice.

So your best budget pairing is Rey2/Aayla. End of.

History lesson: this deck was incredible. Before Aayla’s nerf, Profitable Connections set up ridiculous first turns. Mads Utzon pioneered Destiny over It Binds All Things and the sheer speed of the ramp put you so far ahead that your opponent could never catch up. It was tough to play against. The nerf did, of course, hurt the power of the deck. I ended up running this at a store champs, post nerf but before WOTF. I didn’t have much choice. I expected it to collapse, especially without all the lovely 2 cost blue toys that were on their way. But I only lost once. And that was to Kylo Ren!

Aayla is still incredibly solid at 13 points. Her dice are golden. And that Special?! Come on. Rey2 essentially comes with an extra die (if you count her 1 damage from having a Shield as 1 Direct damage side) and guess what? We can still afford Fortify as a plot to slap a shield on her, straight off the bat.

Our health is ok. We have ping damage. Built in mitigation on 2 dice. Lots of Melee damage sides. And a free Shield.Blue Hero Budget article3jpg

4. THE DECK:
Screen Shot 2018-09-20 at 192046png(Click the image to go straight to the deck list in swdestinydb)

5. UPGRADES:
There are plenty of expensive sabers out there but you can’t have any of those. Sorry. You can only play with the cheap stuff. But that doesn’t mean they’re trash. Fortunately, one of the best upgrades in this deck is very affordable. Blue Hero Budget article6jpg
The best position you can be in with this deck is to have two SHOTO LIGHTSABERs on Rey. It can be intimidating. Your opponent cannot stop that 1 damage ping on EVERY ACTIVATION. Plus, you’re grabbing two shields on her to be chewed through every single time they swing. But we are a long way from this scenario at the beginning of the game. Shoto Lightsaber only works alongside another blue weapon. This doesn’t leave us a whole host of options. Most of the upgrades left available either cost 3 resources, aren’t blue or aren’t weapons. But these sticks are incredibly important so I’ll be including 4 of them in the deck. Well, 2 Shotos and 2 Lightsaber Pulls to make sure we tank up Rey early doors.UK Nationals article7jpg
The next sword of choice is REY'S LIGHSABER. It’s got big damage sides, it’s got Redeploy and, on Rey, it gives 2 Shields! Boom. Just keep an eye on that pay side. I’ll give you some options for it if you can’t afford it when we get to Events a bit later but sometimes you just want to roll it early so you can pay to sever a limb.

HEIRLOOM LIGHTSABER is OK and earns a place. It’s been superseded by Dagger of Mortis in recent lists but we’re on a budget so it’ll do. Base Melee sides are always welcome. As is Redeploy. If we could afford 2 I might consider it. We’re running a LUKE SKYWALKER'S LIGHTSABER alongside as it’s dirt cheap at the moment and has big sides that work well with Destiny.BLue Hero BUDGET article8jpg
LUKE SKYWALKER'S LIGHTNING ROD is not a weapon and it doesn’t trigger your Shoto Lightsaber. But it has 50% black melee sides and costs 2 resources. I’ll place it in my cart. I don’t care what Luke uses it for.

I’ve followed up with a VIBROKNIFE. It’s grey which isn’t ideal but the Ambush and the unblockable damage can be very useful in some matchups. You might eventually fill this spot with some nice Blue Tech if you pick up a bargain. Crafted Lightsaber could work or you might want to consider Makashi Training or Jedi Robes just to keep the cost down. It’s a flex spot but I’m packing the knife for now.

FORCE ILLUSION is Force Illusion. It’s good. Everybody plays it! Although it's one of the more expensive Uncommons, you should also play it.

6. EVENTS:
Blue Hero Budget arti9jpgThe event suite brings together the best that blue has to offer. Your zero cost cards are incredible. CLOSE QUARTER'S ASSAULT is devastating and in a deck where you roll 4 dice with melee from the start, it has to be played (it might even be stronger in the current meta). It’s always worth considering if you can hit 3 cards but just be wary of leaving those juicy damage dice out there to be mitigated next turn. If you can take their whole hand then just do it.

I’m going with one CAUTION and one PACIFY. Caution is an exceptional card, especially in this list where you can roll Aayla and take shields on Rey before she rolls in. The issue is that it becomes a dead card if you lose a character so 2 can be a risk. Pacify is also more versatile, acting as removal in a pinch, so we’ll try one of each.

GUARD can feel like a shocking play at times. In a deck that wants to roll sticks and steamroll at times, losing a 2 or 3 damage die for mitigation can make you sad. But your opponent will feel much worse. And if you can use it with a pay side you can’t afford or a rogue modified side you can’t find a black side to match with, it can be exceptional.BLue Hero BUDGET article10jpg
DESTINY is spectacular. You need it early, but you can use it in your first turns to throw out as many Sabers as you can draw. Again, there will be times when you feel as if you are cannibalizing your own dice but if they are acting as resources to greatly improve your boardstate, you will soon find those good sides doubled. Don’t forget, you can also use Destiny to fire off your mitigation in a pinch. I’ve used it plenty of times to play a sneaky Mind Trick when I have no resources showing to really ruin somebody’s day.

A single REAPING THE CRYSTAL just makes the 3 costs easier to drop, too.

SYNCHRONICITY is a card that just does too much to leave out. 2 damage for zero cost? Unblockable? You’ll notice that most of our dice have shields and melee so this will be on board most turns. Just don’t leave your big melee sides out to be mitigated by playing it.BLue Hero BUDGET article11jpg
FORCE MISDIRECTION is very situational. It can be useless at times but as a 1 cost, it can also destroy your opponent’s turn. Any deck running melee should be terrified of this card. And at 1 cost, just getting rid of a couple of dice puts this above the curve.

BEGUILE is another great mitigation card, which might be a tad expensive at 2 resources, but offers great valuable in its ability to affect multiple dice.

OVERCONFIDENCE also represents excellent value in its potential for mitigation and versatility. And you’ll never struggle to spot blue.

7. FINAL NOTES:
Probably a few things worth mentioning in terms of play style though. The power of the cards can’t be questioned, but most of your good stuff requires your dice to be in the pool so you can use them. So you need to be fast. Destiny and Loth-Wolf Bond help a little, but no Force Speed means you need to be quick at rolling in and quick to claim. You’ll need to work out if rerolls and resolving all dice are going to be worth it.

Also, you really want to be playing an upgrade each turn, so mulligan for your 2 costs or Lightsaber Pulls early. Unless you draw Reaping the Crystal with a 3 cost in your first five. NICE!

Finally, don’t forget that VibroKnife is Grey so it doesn’t work with Destiny, Force Misdirection, Guard or the Shoto Lightsaber. You also can’t play it WITH Destiny so just be careful.

There’s an irony in that by putting together a budget list, I’ve actually compiled some of the cards that offer the best value in terms of the resources in the game. We’ve capitalized on what Shotos and Rey’s Lighsaber do with Rey. Synchronicity, CQA, Overconfidence, Destiny, Force Misdirection and Guard are some of the best value you can get for what they cost. And even AFTER the nerf, Aayla still seems undercosted.

So, there’s your list! It should fair reasonably well. It’ll be fun, and it’ll test you. You’ll have some tough decisions to make but if you can get Rey up to 3 upgrades, rolling those 5 dice in is very satisfying. And it has the added bonus of rewarding you as you invest. If or when you begin to acquire the better (and more expensive) Sabers, you can always find space for them. And, let’s face it, they’ll always be printing new Blue Lightsabers.

Written By
TIM MEADS