Written by Matthew Williams
The new Luke Skywalker has a lot to love. He’s got an interesting Power Action, which may not always be useful, but it’s there. He’s got versatility with shield or melee sides. And finally, he’s got a nice cost, coming in at 12/15, which leaves him a lot of potential partners.
With that in mind, the goal of this article is not to put forth a decklist, but to evaluate potential partners for new Luke and discuss what type of synergy they may offer. We’ll look at a few of the usual suspects, and some not so usual ones to see what kind of pairing we can make.
Blue offers a number of thematic offerings and lots of synergy. The only real setbacks are lack of access to a second color, and the underlying potential of a Kylo – Tormented One matchup that can often hurt a monochrome deck.
In Blue, we have five choices of partners that can leave us with a four dice deck. While there are some interesting three die pairings, like Qui-Gon Jinn, They all leave us short changing one character down to non-elite status. In alphabetical order, our choices are:
- Aayla Secura – Jedi General (9/12)
- Kanan Jarrus – Rebel Jedi (10/13)
- Rey – Finding the Ways (12/15)
- Rey – Force Prodigy (9/12)
- Yoda – Wizened Master (10/13)
Obviously there may be some other force heroes that show up, but this is our working list for now. So let’s address the pros and cons of each.
Aayla Secura – Jedi General:
This Jedi General is begging for a balance of the force as much as Rey – Finding the Ways is. For just 12 points, you get three damage sides, a focus for any non-Grey die in this deck, and a resource side. She rolls an average of 0.83 damage per die, and she has a respectable 10 health. Though she doesn’t have any shield sides, Luke can more than provide protection for the pair. And if people likely charge into Luke, you can move an ability over to Aayla when she’s on the way out of the door.
Three damage sides, nice focus-like special, leaves room for a three point plot
One of the damage sides is an indirect. That’s about it, honestly.
Kanan Jarrus – Rebel Jedi
Spectre-1 offers less bang than Aayla, coming in at an average of 0.5 damage per die. Additionally, one of them is ranged, which is something I’d like to avoid in this deck. However, Kanan’s ability to resolve his dice before you choose an action is quite good. With his focus side, he can help set up a big play with Luke’s “shmelee” sides (I’m working on a better name!) without giving your opponents a chance to remove the die you just focused. I’m not sure if he provides enough power, but he’s worth testing.
Ability, focus side, two plot points remain
Low damage, mixed damage
Rey – Force Prodigy
Rey has been on and off the tables since Awakenings. Her ability is very nice, and pairs well with Luke. Additionally, with two resource sides, she can help push this deck for bigger upgrades. Like everyone else so far, she only has 10 health, which is just okay. She rolls in for the same 0.5 damage per die as Kanan, so you have to compare the abilities and Rey’s ability to generate more resources.
Great ability, nice resources, no mixed damage, three plot points remain
Low damage and one is a modifier, needs to have weapons to be effective
Rey – Finding the Ways:
This character may just be our best bet for a Luke pairing. Her ability only works when she has shields, and Luke has three shield sides. Rey – Finding the Ways trades in the +1 resource side of Rey – Force Prodigy, but she gains a shield side of her own. Additionally, she has one more point of health, and zero modifier sides. However, she still only comes in at 0.5 damage per die.
Great synergy with her ability, extra health
No plot points remain, still low damage without upgrades
Yoda – Wizened Master
Yoda can give Luke needed consistency. However, Luke is only coming in at 0.83 damage per die himself, so Yoda’s zero damage aren’t helping the cause much. Ultimately, I think this would get too cute and rely on upgrades with specials too much.
Amazing ability, good non-damage sides, consistency
No damage at all
Gut reaction rankings for Luke3 partners in blue:
- Rey – Finding the Ways
- Aayla Secura – Jedi General
- Rey – Force Prodigy
- Yoda – Wizened Master
- Kanan Jarrus – Rebel Jedi
There aren’t a lot of viable options in Red. There are some that fit, but offer ranged damage, which relegates Luke to being a total support character. There could be some potential with Poe – More Than a Pilot (L3P2), but the only Red melee hero is K-2SO, and that’s a waste of cardboard.
So, me being me, I couldn’t help but notice that General Rieekan fits perfectly (numerically, at least) with Luke – Reluctant Instructor. However, as much as I like chasing mill deck ideas down the rabbit hole, it is immediately obvious that the only thing Luke has over Yoda in a mill deck is two extra health. Other than that, he’s pretty pointless. So, I’m pretty comfortable throwing Red on the trash heap when it comes to a Luke pairing, as of this writing. With lots of nice support cards, if a viable Red hero/neutral character with melee shows up, it would be worth giving this a second chance.
Speaking of Second Chance (see what I did there? – I’m sorry), Yellow gives us very little in the way of potential partners. There’s always Maz (8/11) sitting there for consistency and speed, and Yellow has some great cards. However, there are no possible elite pairings with Yellow that feature melee, and only two (Wookie Warrior and Zeb) offer us any realistically synergistic, one die pairings. I don’t know that eZeb/Luke3 is that great of a pairing to consider dropping to three dice, and Wookie Warrior would only be worth it if we get a six point hero character, or if we get some uber six point plot. For now, it looks like we’re stuck with mono-Blue if we want to give Luke – Reluctant Instructor a shot on the table.
Even though they’re mono-Blue, eLuke3/eAayla and eLuke3/eRey2 each have some exciting possibilities. As the characters from Way of the Force are revealed, we may even get some more pairings, but I think Luke3 has a chance to find his way onto the tabletop. I get the feeling that FFG has something specific in mind for that Power Action, so I’ll be on the lookout to see what the Blue hero legendary is.
That wraps up my series on the three new characters from Way of the Force. Hopefully we will get a new set of cards to drool over (and an actual release date) in the near future!