Author- People’s Champion
I did not like Temporary Truce when it came out. I said it was gimmicky, I said that FFG was forcing the theme down our throats, I said that it wouldn’t work. What I didn’t say was that, as an exclusively villain player, I didn’t want to collect all of these blue hero cards for one deck. I never played Qi’ra or Enfys because I really didn’t want to have to find copies of Easy Pickings to play. And so I let those characters go by me. And I dismissed Temporary Truce for the same reason. But when I saw the Covert Missions spoilers, I had a change of heart. I got the impression that FFG was trying to make some of the iconic scenes from the movies, and allow us to play them in this game that we love. After I realized this I saw that in Spark of Hope they gave us lots of cards so that we could build a deck that plays out the most iconic and aesthetic scene from The Last Jedi. And all of a sudden I found myself wanting to build a nice thematic Reylo deck.
The challenge of Reylo is that neither character is particularly strong independently, and they are only moderately strong together. Twenty-two health is not much in the current meta, and the 1 damage sides on their dice make you want to cry. And while both Rey and Kylo's special sides are good, especially if you get the reroll, that is one side in six that you're really banking on hitting. Not great odds. Their power actions do help increase their power level, but not enough to really make them shine. That being said, the strength of the deck doesn't lie in the characters themselves, but in their ability to build a deck that uses all of the best blue cards in the game. And that is what really makes this duo interesting.
Since I didn't look into this deck until the meta had begun to take shape, I was able to notice some things about it from seeing it played. First of all, Kylo is the primary target. This makes sense since his special is a two damage side, giving him 50% damage, while Rey's special is shields, making her dice significantly less threatening. Also, Rey's power action falls off a bit when Kylo is defeated. It is still soft mitigation, but the value really drops. So with Kylo being the first target, the way to build this deck is around Rey. Using her to tank up and deal loads of damage seems to be the best option for this deck. Thus, I built this:
The main idea of this deck is to turn Rey into a shield monster, and deal damage through that. That is emphasized in some of the cards you see here. But let's dive into the pieces.
Crossguard Lightsaber-This is a strong card on Kylo, allowing him to ping a damage as you play it. That being said, unless your opponent for some unknown reason targets Rey first, you want to overwrite the first Crossguard with the second for the ping damage, then you want to overwrite it with a redeploy weapon, preferably Dagger of Mortis.
Dagger of Mortis-This is a strong card on Kylo. You can steal an opponent's shield, and then power action it off again for ping damage. If your opponent doesn't have a character to steal a shield from, you can always move one off of Rey, and back with the power action for the damage. The other reason it's good on Kylo is that it has redeploy, so that when he goes down, you can move it to Rey, and overwrite for something more powerful.
Obi-Wan's Lightsaber-This is your only two-of unique lightsaber, because it is key for your defense into offense plan. The special gives you a shield, then deals unblockable damage equal to the number of shields on your character. With Rey shielding up, it turns your defense into offense, being one of the key pieces for your game plan.
Qui-Gon's Lightsaber-Because Rey is wanting to shield up, Qui-Gon's Lightsaber will be strong because it gives you an automatic shield, as well as shield sides to defend Rey with, and a couple good damage sides. The extra shield is particularly beneficial because it can quite often leave you with one shield, which means Rey's special will get a reroll.
Rey's Lightsaber-Playing this on Rey gives her two shields, which is a value of one resource straight off the bat. Overwriting it for a stronger weapon like Obi-Wan's or Qui-Gon's makes it even better.
Yoda's Lightsaber-This is one of the first cards you want to see. It has four 1 damage sides, between the melee and the special. And if Rey is shielded up, you can burn one of those shields to make the special deal two damage. Later in the game you will want to overwrite this for more powerful dice.
It Binds All Things-Huge value play, especially round one. Given that you will likely be playing an upgrade every round, and ramping them, using It Binds All Things will leave you resources for everything else you need, like playing mitigation or playing even bigger weapons. If you were to get two of these out round one, you would likely never need to resolve a resource side all game.
Niman Training-This is perhaps the most questionable card in the deck, I'm probably just too excited about the potential that Niman Mastery provides. That being said, it does provide good value, whether in paying for itself before being overwritten, dealing a damage, or ramping into a Niman Mastery. You may want to replace this with bigger damage dice for better odds of defeating characters, or replace it with more mitigation to keep Rey chugging longer.
Niman Mastery-This card makes Obi-Wan's Lightsaber on Rey an absolute terror. The special can allow you to special chain into Rey's special and the lightsaber special, then resolve both, turning a zero shield Rey into a three shield Rey while dealing three unblockable damage. Minimum. It can become more (and give you a reroll on Rey's dice) when you have out at least one...
Defensive Teaching-The name of the game for Rey is shields. Turtle up, defend her, and turn that into damage with Obi-Wan's Lightsaber. Defensive Teaching is really good because it means Rey can have a higher shield cap which turns into greater offense with the lightsaber. It's also good because if you already have two shields on Rey, you can resolve her special for full value, gaining two shields and getting the reroll out of her.
Ataru Strike-Again, this plays into the theme of turning shields into damage. Rey has two base melee sides per dice that you can use to resolve Ataru Strike with, and if she has three to five shields, that is a huge damage swing.
No Mercy-As per the restriction on Temporary Truce, every card in this deck is blue. Which means No Mercy can give you four extra damage any time you resolve it. It's a game closing card, but can be incredibly powerful.
Pushing Slash-This is another card that I put in because I am excited about Niman Mastery. It is a solid card for some surprise damage, and the focus is good. This card gives you great momentum and priority getting a character activated and starting to resolve your dice.
Forsaken-This may be difficult to trigger, but it is such strong removal, it is worth bringing.
Hidden Motive-Gives you either soft or hard mitigation for free. Hard to beat.
Isolation-With two blue characters this is a good piece of mitigation to have.
You Were My Friend-Since you are playing all blue, this can usually act as mitigation, but you can also use it to focus your own dice if you need that too.
Snoke's Throne Room-In any other deck, this card would be a bad call. But given that you are playing around shields, this can both give and take one, which makes it worthwhile.
Playing this deck requires a lot of effort to make sure you sequence things correctly. There are a lot of little interactions you need to be aware of. When to power action Kylo, what the best resolution order is, remembering to move a shield with Dagger, all of those things need to be remembered and sequenced. But, once you remember all of your triggers, and figure out the sequencing, this deck seems like a monster. Most people will expect a tough aggro deck, and instead you will be building a defensive deck that ramps for some late game damage. It rides on the expectation that your opponent will go for Kylo, who looks like the bigger threat, and will leave you to make Rey the threat she truly is.
I already sort of mentioned the cards I'm thinking of taking out: Pushing Slash and Niman Training. In their place I would probably include some middling upgrades, like a Treasured Lightsaber, and some mitigation, like Unbreakable. Of course, try it out and see what you think might work there. Also, you likely won't need both Ataru Strike and No Mercy. My inclination is to go with Ataru Strike, since our game plan is shields, it's cheaper, and you don't have to pitch cards to make it work. That being said, unless you're facing an aggressive mill deck, No Mercy will be more likely to proc.
I also want to give you a warning. I was talking with a friend who plays hero, and he pointed out that my deck was almost a hero deck. Then he told me his ideas, and he is building essentially a villain version of this. I believe we both are seeing the strength of what the other side has to offer, but the best strategy might be something in the middle. So I would encourage you to try this out, see what you can make happen with it. And maybe find some balance to the Force, not depending too heavily on one side or the other.
Now that I've built this deck, I'm really looking forward to making this cinematic duo work together. If you will excuse me, I'm off to go look up singles prices on Obi-Wan's Lightsaber...
Thanks for reading!
Author - People’s Champion