Faction Identity: Hero – Force

Today on echobase we are starting a new series of articles that will focus on individual faction identities. We will be taking a look at the strengths and weaknesses of each faction and go over a few of the best characters, upgrades, supports and events exclusively available to each of them.

Note: This is based around standard play, not infinite.

Jedi Order, an ancient order of protectors.

As per the Jedi Order, Blue Hero is about protection. The protection that blue hero offer is in the form of shielding. The characters and exclusive blue hero upgrades are ripe with shield sides and many of the events focus on shields.

Primarily damage is pushed through melee sides and an ensemble of costly events that can boost their offence. ‘Costly’ seems the appropriate wording here as running blue hero does seem to struggle for resource generation (outside of playing Yoda). There are cards that help with the resource curve such as It Binds All Things, Adapt, Luke’s Training & Merchant Freighter.

Blue hero also finds itself as the main source of the alternative win condition: Mill. The strategy implied by shielding and prolonging defense works well with a Mill strategy; also some of the best mill events are within the blue hero suite.

Power of the Jedi

Yoda I believe is the single best character ever printed in Star Wars Destiny. His versatility, lack of a blank, points cost, and all round consistency make Yoda unrivaled. Yoda is the facilitator to your deck. His flexibility is apparent as he can be used to ramp in an aggro upgrade deck, protect and discard from deck in a mill build or he can be the resource engine in a support deck.

The other Jedi within blue hero share attributes in melee attack, shields and focus. Blue Jedi typically work around your classic middle/middle build with many of the character’s floating around 15 points elite. Transformations has just given us a playable ‘Big’ in Luke Skywalker – Fulfilling His Destiny, and true to the faction identity of Blue hero his Power Action garners shields and/or damage.

Blue Hero support characters; Apprentices, Jedi and scavengers.

The support characters available within blue hero are pretty great and can facilitate a 3-wide option. Lor San Tekka, albeit not a force wielder [echo7: though in Destiny oddly you can still play blue abilities on him] offers two great dice and a high health for his points cost, and let’s not forget to mention that his Power Action is very strong. Lor is another character that can find himself in any deck archetype.

Aayla Secura is one of my favourite blue hero characters. She has a special place in my heart after I won a Regional with Aayla, Poe Dameron – More Than A Pilot & Profitable Connections. During that same Legacies meta Aayla was paired with Rey – Finding The Ways in a ramp aggro deck facilitated by Profitable Connections for a 3 resource start (the deck was subsequently named Stairs for it’s ramp potential). Unfortunately she found herself on the Holocron list and bumped up to 10/13 ending the reign of ‘Stairs’. To this day, several years later I still believe she is still one of the best characters you can find for 9/12 to have in your character line-up.

The hero upgrade suit is that of unique lightsabers, all doing their own individual thing but at the end of the day the die sides are all similar, with melee, shields and a few specials. Jedi Lightsaber is a smart 2 drop weapon for its play ability to give a Jedi 2 shields; this is a perfect placeholder to then later overwrite with a unique lightsaber. The standout upgrade for me is Anakin Skywalker’s Lightsaber, gaining shields upon play, a consistent high value sided die and to top it off the upgrade has redeploy.

Lore Hunter has found itself in a few builds of late, primarily used to attack the opponent’s deck but can also work as a draw mechanism to search for key cards from your own deck.

R2-D2 – Exceptional value for 1 resource

There are few blue hero supports to write home about, but we do have some staple cards available within this faction identity.

R2-D2 came along in the Luke Skywalker starter set, and I think he’s one of the best 1 drops (Upgrade or support) your resources can by. This is mostly due to his versatility and special. Never underestimate the ability to draw a card. Not only does his special facilitate your hand, he can also turn a die to any side.

Luke Skywalker’s X-wing is one of the best vehicles currently available in standard. It’s also worth noting that Luke Skywalker – Red Five is one of only two blue characters to focus primary damage from a ranged damage dice, thus facilitating ranged aggro decks (typically Red or Yellow) to include blue into the deck build. (This is missed from the character section due to primarily focusing on faction identity.)

Hero Blue has struggled for 0 cost mitigation until the arrival of Covert Missions. Within the Covert Missions expansion Blue hero gained 0 cost removal options in Nullify & Stand Firm to add to Pacify and the neutral Hidden Motive.

Removal is typically pay one to remove one such as Disciplined Mind & Unbreakable. In a nutshell the mitigation package is not the strongest of each of the factions when compared to one another. What Blue Hero does have though is one of the strongest blowout pieces of mitigation available in the form of Jedi Mind Trick.

There are a few tricks hiding up a Jedi’s proverbial robe sleeve with staple cards such as Steadfast, Ataru Strike, Loth-Wolf Bond, Renewed Purpose and Heroic Stand. Each of the aforementioned cards arguably deserve a spot in a mono-blue build (Heroic Stand I’d only recommend if playing Luke Skywalker – Fulfilling His Destiny or AnakinDedicated Mentor).

Mill is strong with hero blue events. Facilitating cards such as Bewilder, Fresh Start and Strength Through Weakness are some of the best cards in the format to attack the opponents deck.

We only have two plots available to us while looking into Hero Blue. Astrogation has been a great addition to Yoda and Leia Mill decks whilst Jedi Trials has had us all trying our best to make it work. The best build we collectively came up with at echobase was using Anakin/C-3PO and playing Lore Hunter/Covert Mission to search my deck for the Padawan Braid to turn Anakin into an apprentice to then try and convert him into a 3 character dice beast. He still only rolled 1’s. Wasn’t worth it.

To summarize, below are our picks to make the Force Hero podium;

Echo3ofclubs – 1. Yoda 2. Anakin Skywalker’s Lightsaber 3. R2-D2 (Support)

Oli asked if I could come up with my own Blue Hero podium, but I couldn’t help but agree with his. So I thought I’d create a podium of what I think are underappreciated Blue Hero cards. And here it is:

echo7 – my underappreciated podium – 1. Refusal, 2. Kanan Jarrus’ Lightsaber, 3. Renewed Purpose

If you’re playing with a plot (which seems more likely now with the release of United), Renewed Purpose I think is a strong include. Hand advantage can win games in Destiny, and getting 3 fresh cards for one resource seems good value to me, even if you just need it for re-roll fodder.

Kanan Jarrus’ Lightsaber is of course amazing on Kanan, but I think that fact makes people ignore the fact that this card is really quite good in its own right. It’s no Anakin’s Lightsaber, and it doesn’t have redeploy, but it’s ability is great. Most decks turn dice, at least at some point, allowing you to flip this die to a side of your choice and immediately resolve it.

Refusal has seen play in mill decks, and it’s a really bad idea against support decks, but late game or against decks which rely heavily on character dice it really shines. Sure, it’s situational, but it can be literally game winning, especially if you time it right. It’s a meta call, but I often put it in decks as a one of, and even if I only play it one game in a few, I don’t regret it.

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