Written by Roland Christy
When I introduce a new player to Star Wars: Destiny, I always ask them what is person’s favorite Star Wars character. Getting to play your favorite characters is what makes this game exciting, and part of the fun of this game is how thematic it is. In this issue of Sweet Themes, I’d like to talk about theme and how it applies to one of my favorite lightsaber battles of all time: Kylo and Rey’s fight with Snoke’s Praetorian Guards (Spoiler Alert: this article contains spoilers for Episode VIII: The Last Jedi).
This Hero/Villain deck won’t be legal for tournament play but is a blast for casual games. One of the most surprising twists in The Last Jedi was Snoke’s death at the hands of Kylo, who did one of the most fantastic bait and switches seen on screen. With John Williams’ Force theme in full blast and a slow motion shot of Rey and Kylo turning to stand back to back, a gritty and exciting lightsaber sequence unfolds that feels very much like many of my Destiny games. This was not a choreographed fight that pits cgi characters against Ewan McGregor or Samuel Jackson. This was a fight that had me at the edge of my seat and dangerously close to spilling all my popcorn.
Unfortunately, Swdestinydb won’t let you mix heroes and villains (something about rules I think), so we’ll have to make this deck list the old fashioned way!
Characters (29 points, 3 Dice):
eKylo Ren – Tormented One
Rey – Finding the Ways
Upgrades (12 cards, 12 dice):
Crossguard Lightsaber x 2
Force Training x2
Heirloom Lightsaber x2
Kylo Ren’s Lightsaber
Lure of Power
Supports (2 cards):
It Binds All Things x2
Events (16 cards):
Close Quarters Assault x2
Lightsaber Throw x2
This deck is a lot of fun to play. There’s a careful balance between including cards that make sense from the movie and cards that are actually good. Temptation, for example, has Palpatine on it, but it also works with the scene before and after (both Snoke and Kylo try to tempt Rey to join the Dark Side), but it is also good for getting more cards into your hand for rerolls or mitigation.
My main strategy was choosing cards that would let me abuse both the strengths of both the hero and villain card pools. There are a lot of good Villain removal cards (such as Isolation) and Lightsaber Throw is a great offensive card. hero is known for shields, and, especially with Rey’s ability, Caution was a must have in this deck. I really wish that Kylo/Rey could be a 4 dice deck, but I can see how overpowered either of these characters could become if they cost even a couple points less. That makes Caution a little harder to use, but my propensity for rolling blanks on Kylo makes Caution a nice consolation prize.
It Binds All Things is very helpful for reducing the cost of some of the lightsabers in the deck, and Enrage provides resources as well. Kylo definitely taps into his anger to give him an edge in the fight. I don’t mind using it on Rey either, considering she seemed to be tapping into her anger as well, which is why Luke was resistant to training her in the first place.
I mulligan aggressively for at least one lightsaber and It Binds All Things. As the majority of the upgrades are lightsabers, this isn’t too difficult, but it can be a rough game if you don’t get IBAT right off the bat (see what I did there?).
Would this deck be competitive if it didn’t break a fundamental rule of the game? Probably not. But it does meet my primary requirement of every game I play: it is fun. My only wish at this moment is that Praetoreon Guards become characters instead of just being the upgrade Praetoreon Guard. Perhaps that is what we can look at in my next Always in Motion is the Future article.
If my previous articles haven’t made it clear, I am a huge fan of the Last Jedi, and the Kylo/Rey fight against Snoke’s guards is one major reason for that. In the Star Wars films, we haven’t seen the good guys and bad guys team up to face a common enemy (and I don’t really count Vader defeating the Emperor because that wasn’t a battle so much as a betrayal. If Vader and Luke had to face off against the Royal Guards after Palpatine took a dive into the reactor shaft, that would be another thing entirely!). And this fight, more so than any of the other lightsaber fights we have seen in the films, felt like an actual life and death combat. Vader was merely toying with Luke in Empire Strikes Back, and the instant that Luke actually penetrated Vader’s defenses, the dark lord took Luke’s hand. In Return of the Jedi, Luke was hesitant to fight until Vader threatened Leia. Then that was a one-sided fight in which Luke took Vader’s hand. And while the prequel trilogy fights were flashy, they looked so planned and even a little fake. When Rey and Kylo stood back to back and didn’t just immediately waltz right through their enemies, it felt like each game I sit down to play Destiny. Who will win? What challenges will I have to overcome to secure victory? Will I be the one who takes a lightsaber to the head like that poor Praetorian Guard?
That’s all I have for today! Give this deck a try (provided your friends are okay with you breaking a fundamental rule of the game), and roll or roll not; there is no try.