Luke Skywalker – Red Five

In today’s article we will be taking a look at our favourite unlikely hero – the fourth iteration of Luke to be printed in Star Wars Destiny: Luke Skywalker – Red Five. We will be looking at pairings, strategy, and a proven Tournament winning deck.

Lets start by taking a look at the other versions of Luke.

Awakenings Luke did see a fair amount of play, often paired with Rey or Ackbar. As all Rey builds at the time focused on action cheats, the Ackbar deck was looking for blow out All In plays. His points are now balanced in Infinite Format to 14/18 – to be playable I’d like to see him dropped to a 14/17 to be more competitive in the Infinite Format.

The next two version of Luke are still available in standard format. Unlikely Hero Luke, which is exclusive in the Legacies starter set, looks good on the surface. Three damage sides, a Snoke-esque power action but he has made no impression to the meta since he has been available. I just want to get hung up on that for a second; we all know how influential Snoke has been on the meta over the last two years, especially his power action. I remember pairing him with Legacies Finn for a while back testing during the Legacies meta; dropping Hidden Blasters, Holdouts, Force Speeds, Hit and Runs; basically just looking to roll shit tons of gun sides and resolve. It didn’t work [echo7: and that’s a shame, though I’d deal one damage to a character (Snoke) over paying out 2 additional resources (Luke) any day].

Now then, lets move onto the Reluctant Instructor. I’ve always loved this version of Luke; he sits in that perfect middle middle ground at 15 points – he’s still current and people love to play him. I’m seeing a resurgence of Hero Blue decks recently on TTS [echo7: plus there were 3 mono blue hero decks in the most recent European TTS tournament] as there has been a lil bit of Blue love in the recent CM expansion (not enough though in my opinion) and middle middle is the way to go with Hero Blue. This version of Luke is relevant and still very much playable.

I feel this is the perfect moment to throw in that what I want and need in this game is a playable big blue hero character. I’m talking 20 +Pts, 15 Health, Vader-esque, Return Of The Jedi, I’m a f****** legit Jedi version of Luke [echo7: we’ve only ever had one hero character printed with more than 20 points, and that was Mace (22 points), who was so awful he had to be balanced down to 19. Villain have had 5 (Palp1, Phasma2, Vader1, Vader3 and Bane)].

Red Five. Just Roll Guns.

Luke Skywalker – Red Five has an incredible die. Four damage sides and a resource. His health to points balance is fair and this is the aspect that renders the card as fair rather than OP. If he had 11 health I think he would of been pushed into the Legendary category. For comparison I think Maul & Kallus are the only other characters with four damage sides [echo7: the only ones worth talking about, but a few red villain non-uniques, Chirrut Îmwe, and Savage Opress have too]. The Piloting keyword has felt underwhelming and somewhat of a disappointment for me in general; Luke on the other hand is the most relevant and in the best place to abuse the keyword due to his ability to increase the value of the vehicle die by 1. Teamed with Luke Skywalker’s X-Wing he is one of, if not the most, consistent characters available to play in current standard. If the X-Wing does not hit damage, you can PA the X-Wing by spotting Luke to turn it to the two ranged.

I’m not going to talk much about the Death Star Plot aspect to him – Sure, you can reduce it by 1 but we’re not really playing him to destroy Death Stars. If I find a decent build to abuse that plot I’ll write about it in the future.

Talking of consistent, we need a way in which to get the X-Wing down round 1: cue Armored Reinforcements. With that in mind we need to partner Luke with a red character with our remaining 13 squad points. Let’s take a look at his potential partners.

Rex has since been balanced to 10/13

Let’s start with Fenn Rau and take a look at The Gandork’s Artificery Tournament winning deck. Shout out to The Gandork aka Nicolas Nelson for allowing us to publish his list within the article.

Click the image to see this deck on swdestinydb

Fenn Rau is a character that has seen very little play outside of draft. The character that has seen most play from the Allies of Necessity is Count Dooku – mostly seen paired with ‘pick a colour’ Kylo. Fenn Rau sports aggressive and useful die sides and a decent power action. However, with that in mind, I have always been put off by his low health. Investing 13 Squad points on a 9 health character hasn’t necessarily screamed good value to me.

Fenn Rau’s place in this deck makes use of his subtypes in order to keep synergy throughout the deck. Key cards like Flanked By Wingmen gain additional value as we are able to gain two shields as we spot two pilots, all for 0 cost. Perfect. This moves on well to looking into The Gandork’s card choice’s which are focused on healing and survival, rather than straight dice removal mitigation.

Survival cards such as Field Medic, Eject, Flanked By Wingmen, Riot Shield and Pacify all help to keep your characters in the game that little bit longer. All these defensive cards act as mitigation. They are mitigating re-actively or pro-actively, before and after the damage has been dealt rather than the standard mitigation that most decks run in removing dice. The straight-up removal package is limited to Hidden Motive and Assail [echo7: I think this approach to mitigation is a great shout if there’s a lot of action cheating around, such as C-3PO].

Running two of Luke’s X-wing is a smart move with the ultimate shit-show card Desperate Measures running around. If you get unlucky and both get DM’d the Resistance Crait Speeder (still possibly the best 2 drop vehicle ever printed) can get the job done.

Merchant Freighter is an auto-include for Ramp and as an Eject target. Ramp and resource management is a key part in playing this deck well as Luke and his X-wing do have paysides. With that in mind your sequencing order is important.

The upgrade suite is affordable: Dorsal Turret and the Handheld L-S1 Cannon. Again, both represent excellent value with the on play roll in with the Dorsal, and the exceptional die sides on the Leia Cannon. Damage from hand comes in the form of Fenn Rau’s PA when playing a red event and from Focused Fire. With so many ranged sides on the dice available, Focused Fire is a staple for an auto-include. I’ve been along term fan of Focused Fire and the villain only Pulverize.

With the consistency of the die sides, the deck plays fast. We will most likely be controlling the Battlefield so we can sneak in unmitigated damage from action cheats with Seize The Day plays. We can see why the decision to run Bendu’s Lair. Bendu’s needs no explanation or justification. In effect we have a 5 die start [echo7: for sure, this is a great call for fast decks. It was in the World Champion Chopper Droids decklist after all].

Here’s another opportunity for needs/wants from Destiny: another Battlefield with a die.

To summarize: the deck is consistent and aggressive. The characters stick around too. Play it, test it, test against it. It’s a great deck.

As an alternative build we can replace Fenn with RexClone Captain. The deck below is my final iteration of my attempt at a Luke Build. Rex/Luke was one of the first decks I sleeved up when I got my hands on CM. My better half loves Rex decks and has tried and tried to make Clone decks a thing but unfortunately Clone decks always seem close but no cigar. This deck has stayed sleeved up and has been one of the ‘decks to beat’ when testing. Final version after various changes below:

Click the image to view this deck on swdestinydb

The deck actually looks to AR for Padme Amidala’s Royal Starship instead of the Luke’s X-Wing. AR-ing for the Art Deco Cruiser and having Luke Pilot in effect turns the Starship’s sides into the following: 3 Focus, 4 Focus, 2 Shields, 3 Shields & 3 Resources. Who wouldn’t pay 2 resources for those die sides?! Oh let’s not also forget that Rex is a leader so he gets a shield from activating the Starship!

Luke Piloting the Starship generates a shield for Rex.

With Rex on the team we can make sure to get the battlefield to secure those Seize the Day plays. This will cost us 1 resource as we cannot fulfill the spot requirement for the Clone Trooper. Controlling the battlefield will also turn on Aerial Advantage, one of the above curve removal/mitigation cards available. The cost is of course to meet the spot requirements. Mid game, you should be able to meet all requirements. Remember, the ‘turning’ aspect can also apply to your own dice. If you need to put the pressure on don’t be shy in using it to turn your own.

Compared to The Gandork’s build I’ve gone deeper with dice removal. Suppressive Fire to help handle Bane & Trandoshan decks. Rebel Assault felt like a worthy include due to the amount of ranged side’s available and for Zero cost this feels worthy of a slot to deal with pesky specials or mis-rolled damage dice.

Fortitude and Riot Shields are included to help keep Luke on the table. Rex’s Blaster to get everything in the pool at once.

There’s not much else too it. Keep your sequencing in line and manage those resources. Taking 3 Resources from the Starship should keep this in check. Alternatively, the shield generation from either activation or resolving should also keep you in the game. Roll Guns, ramp and flex.

There are a few other cards that didn’t quite make the final list – all of which tested but ultimately didn’t make the final list. Cards such as; Conscript Squad, Nullify, Crait Speeder, Measure for Measure, A-300 Blaster, Assail, Fluid Reposte to name just a few. One of my favorites from CM is Command & Conquer; you could play this to add additional consistency and burst a packet of damage. To me, deck building is always down to personal preference and play style. Include what you feel will work best for you.

If you’ve got this far into the article thank you for taking the time to read our content, until next time, stay safe and keep rolling.

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