Last week’s article about Battle Droids should have probably carried the title, ‘Work In Progress’, so I guess this is the second in the series? During this series I will be providing the current version of a deck I’ve been playtesting recently, along with reasons for card choices, and a brief overview on how to play it.
To avoid wasting everyone’s time, I will only be doing this with decks that I think are worthwhile developing. Since we received our preview wave of Legacies in the UK, I’ve already thrown many concoctions into the metaphorical rubbish pile.
This time, I’m going to showcase updates to an existing known deck, General Rieekan mill.
Before the Rules Reference update that introduced Balance of the Force and the change to replacing upgrades (basically the FN-2199 nerf), Rieekan mill was one of the top hero decks. If you look at the Australian Nationals, you can see that a Rieekan deck was the highest-ranked hero deck, placing 13th.
Since the Rules Reference update, Rey and Poe (or R2P2 as it’s more commonly known) has risen to be the dominant hero deck. This dominance is likely to continue for the next several weeks worth of regionals, since Legacies won’t be legal for those. Anyway, back to General Rieekan!
Legacies introduces a few cards that I was eager to try out, such as Yoda, Scrap Heap, Strength Through Weakness, and possibly the best card name ever, Scruffy Looking Nerf-Herder. There were a few other cards that I included, but those were the main ones.
This is where my deck currently is. It’s been having favourable results so far, but it’s way too early to start declaring it a force to be reckoned with. Anyway, let’s go through it, starting with where the character points were spent.
The main card of the deck, General Rieekan gets the mill machine going. Because of how easy it is in this deck to make sure that the other two characters have at least one shield, basically every time you activate Rieekan you will mill your opponent for two.
Typically, Rieekan will be the first target for your opponent, but with the amount of shielding in this deck, and his eleven health, it’s going to take several rounds for your opponent to down him. Meanwhile, you’ve milled them for more than 20% of their starting deck.
His die faces are also handy in this deck, with two different shield sides and a resource. The focus results can be nice, but as you’ll soon find out from playing this deck, what you actually roll on your dice isn’t as crucial as you’d think. Being able to turn a Maz’s Goggles or Scout die to their special sides isn’t bad though.
Previously, Rieekan decks would include Jedi Instructor in the blue slot. While I think that she is underrated, I think that the main reason she was included was because she is 8pts, and that fit in nicely with Rieekan (12pts) and Padme Amidala (10pts).
With Yoda though, he actively supports the mill strategy. His special ability (which he has two sides showing it) can be used to mill a card, as well as other very relevant effects in this deck.
He is so much better than Jedi Instructor in this deck, since not only can he mill, he also has discard and shield sides. However, he does cost two more points than the instructor, which means that we have to make the following compromise.
It’s the character that everyone loves to hate! Once (or if!) you get past who the character is, he’s not actually that bad. Okay, he’s not as good as Padme Amidala at milling, but Jar Jar fulfils a different role here.
His activation ability has the potential to completely ruin the current dice in the pool (both yours and your opponent’s; but as stated earlier, your dice results aren’t that big a deal). Once your opponent has had at least one bad experience with that, they are likely to start using their action to activate Jar Jar (or target him with damage).
In addition to that annoying ability (very thematic, by the way), Jar Jar has several relevant die faces; discard, shield, and resource. Ultimately, his inclusion is a compromise for taking Yoda over Jedi Instructor. I think that Yoda does a better job than Padme, and that Jar Jar is better (in this deck) than Jedi Instructor, so overall I think that this is an improvement.
The final character point is spent on a plot. This plot didn’t affect my character choices; I included it because I had one point left to spend.
After quite a few games with this deck, I still cannot make up my mind whether losing a random card from my deck is worth it. Since it’s the only one-cost plot in the game at the moment, it feels bad to ‘waste’ a character point, but I’m not convinced this is particularly good.
Not much needs saying about this battlefield; you’re playing mill. It mills.
You probably won’t win the roll for the battlefield with these three character dice, but that’s okay, as your opponent will probably not want to use Command Center. That means that you can get the extra shields, so you give one each to Yoda and Jar Jar, making it so that on your first activation of Rieekan you can mill them for two.
I think that even if you win the roll for battlefield, you should probably go with your opponent’s one, but it really depends on what theirs is. Having the two shields to start with is really quite nice. This deck isn’t very quick, so it’s not like you’d get to claim very often. Is admitting that this battlefield is something of a decoy a bad idea? Maybe!
I’ve always liked this upgrade; repeatable and free shield generation seems good to me.
With the addition of a third type of damage (indirect), it’s even less likely that this card’s drawback will be a problem.
This can be useful on any character, but probably doesn’t want to go on Rieekan if your opponent has a decent amount of melee damage flying around (since he’s likely to be the primary target).
This is used mostly for the special, but the focus results can also be handy.
Not too much to say about this really, other than that the special can help close out games. To be honest, this will probably be one of the first cards to be cut from the deck if a better discard option arises.
This is a very useful card in this deck. The special ability (which it has showing on two sides) isn’t limited to discarding a card of a particular type (unlike Maz’s Goggles), it just goes for the cheapest. This means that it doesn’t matter which type of cards they have in hand, it will always get rid of something.
Having some upgrades with several discard sides would be much nicer, but you’ve got to work with what you’ve got available!
This guy is one of the best cards in the game! C-3PO’s action ability is extremely flexible.
In this deck, it will allow you to always resolve specials, or substitute sides with a value of one or higher for discards (which help whittle down your opponent’s hand).
To be honest, nearly every red hero deck can make use of C-3PO. I’d go as far as to say that he’s an auto-include.
A new card from Legacies (if you couldn’t tell from my bad photo), that if you get into play early enough will generate you quite a nice amount of resources over the course of the game.
I quite like it, but that might just be because there are Ugnaughts in the artwork!
Two resources is quite a lot for this amount of slow shield generation, but it’s repeatable and also can potentially give you some of those resources back.
I’m not totally sold on this, but for now I’m keeping it in the deck.
In this deck, you can often afford to remove one of your character dice, especially Jar Jar’s.
Three shields is a massive defensive boost, and for zero resources I really can’t see this leaving the deck.
Really handy card, I like it a lot.
While it may be a significant resource investment, five shields is a lot.
It’s quite likely that three of them will go on Rieekan, but since you can distribute them however you wish, it will help you keep being able to use his ability.
Three resources isn’t too bad in this deck; it’s not like you are playing any expensive supports or upgrades.
An excellent card that nearly makes it into every yellow deck that I build.
Being able to look at your opponent’s hand and get rid of a potentially annoying event is great, and it’s another card that helps whittle down your opponent’s hand.
Only downside is that you have to spot a yellow character to use it, so if your opponent is targeting Jar Jar, you’ve got to use it before you lose it.
Another new one, this time from the starter decks.
Two resources for three shields, and with ambush, is pretty tasty. Again, this is probably going to be used to keep Rieekan alive for at least one more round.
I like this card in this deck, and I could definitely see it being played in many other teams.
I haven’t made my mind up yet if I should just swap this for some better dice mitigation.
While it does have the potential to remove a die (for no resource cost), your opponent can just mill themselves for two to prevent that removal. I think that the best way to view this card is as a mill two event.
Since its not likely to be a mitigation card very often, something like Strike Briefing might be better.
While it’s not as good as my favourite card, He Doesn’t Like You, it’s still very useful.
This deck doesn’t have lots of dice mitigation, so you have to use it sparingly.
The main downside of this card is that you have to already have at least one die in the pool in order to use it.
This card has an excellent name, but that’s not the only reason to use it.
It gets better the more you know about your opponent’s deck, because if you know what powers their deck, you can start to try and unravel it. For example, if you are playing against a deck containing Hera Syndulla or Wedge Antilles, it’s a fair bet that they’re packing some vehicles. So, if you choose support when playing this card, you can probably snag a juicy vehicle.
This card is a key part of finishing off the mill victory, as it attacks your opponent’s hand rather than their deck. It can also be used to slow down your opponent’s game plan. Great card.
I’m not a fan of All Quiet On The Front, as you really need your shields to stay alive. Strength Through Weakness is pretty good value for three resources, and doesn’t require you to sacrifice any of your shields. Sure, it can’t mill as many in one go, but four is still quite good.
This is a relatively recent addition to the deck. Since I’ve often had at least four shields on my characters, this card is basically remove any die for one resource.
Even in the worst case scenario where you currently have no shields, you could still remove a die showing a special or a blank.
Good mitigation card for this deck.
HOW TO PLAY THE DECK
You want to get as much use out of General Rieekan’s ability as possible. This means that your other characters should always have at least one shield on them before you activate him.
Another important part is deciding when to activate Jar Jar. Your opponent might take this decision out of your hands by using their action to activate him, but if they don’t, then you have to decide when you think that they have too much damage in the dice pool. The best way to think of Jar Jar is like Sound the Alarm on a stick.
Deciding when to play cards like Scruffy Looking Nerf-Herder or Friends In Low Places is very much a judgement call. A happy incident for me recently was when my opponent used Lightsaber Pull to fetch an Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Lightsaber from his deck, so on my next action I used Scruffy Looking Nerf-Herder declaring upgrade, and immediately discarded it from his hand. Needless to say, he wasn’t very happy about that.
Obviously, not all situations are going to be as clear-cut as that. A slightly hazier circumstance would be where your opponent has activated a character like Obi-Wan Kenobi, but not rolled damage on their character dice. Suspecting a dice alteration card to follow on their next action, such as Concentrate or even Clash, you might decide to use Friends In Low Places to try and pre-empt it.
It would be impossible to cover every situation here, but basically you need to do everything possible to mess with your opponent’s turn, as the more rounds you can survive, the more you can mill.
POSSIBLE ADDITIONS TO THE DECK
The one I’m most interested to add to the deck is Bespin Wing Guard. Unfortunately, we haven’t had the Rivals draft sets yet here in the UK, so I haven’t been able to try it out. While it is going to be expensive resource-wise over the course of a game, getting rid of cards from hand is definitely the weakest part of this deck, and I think that this card would help a lot.
Since my battlefield is almost never going to be used, I’ve been tempted to add Ascension Gun so that I can still use its ability. In addition to its special ability, it does have a double discard side, as well as a focus.
Some mention should go to Commando Raid. I would include this card in an instant if there were some good cards for it to go with!
So, that’s my current version of Rieekan rainbow mill. It’s been providing reasonably encouraging results so far in my friendly games. I’m quite tempted to try it out in a tournament setting next week, as we’ve got a local event going on.
I hope you found this useful. Please let me know if you have any criticisms, suggestions, etc!