Starter Set Deck Tech: Luke Skywalker

Starter Set Deck Tech: Luke Skywalker

This is the second of two articles built around the Two-Player Starter Set, releasing March 8th. Deploy Your Leader Gaming will be giving away one of these sets (Retail value $34.99) on March 1st. No purchase necessary.   All you have to do is subscribe to the Deploy Your Leader Gaming newsletter, which you can do from the pop-up or at the bottom of any page. Full contest details here

We are inching ever closer to the release of Star Wars: Unlimited, and while some may be itching to open piles of booster packs and already have plans for their first deck, others are just finding out about the game, or will be seeing it for the first time when Spark of Rebellion drops March 8th. Even YOU, dear reader, may have just discovered SWU, and are looking to take your first step into a larger world.

Fortunately, Fantasy Flight Games has created an awesome product to provide that entry point into Unlimited possibilities - the 2-Player Starter Set! In Part 1 of our series, JustJack from Golden Dice Podcast previewed the Darth Vader deck included in the starter set. Today, I will be taking you through the Luke Skywalker deck.

In this article we will discuss strategies and what to look for when playing with Luke Skywalker, Faithful Friend (SOR 5) for the first time, and offer some opinions on upgrading the deck on two levels: with easy-to-acquire, low-rarity cards, and what we consider a version of a full-rarity optimized build. So grab your best jumpsuit and ditch that crazy green guy in the swamp (just kidding, don’t) and come along for the ride!

The Force is With You, Young Skywalker

First, let’s take a look at what you will find in the Luke Skywalker deck when you open a 2-Player Starter:

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The Luke deck comes with full playsets of four Special-rarity cards that should prove useful when playing for the first time.

R2-D2, Ignoring Protocol (SOR 236) and C-3PO, Protocol Droid (SOR 238) are great early-round plays, and even better when paired together (as they always have been). By sequencing R2 before Threepio, you can guarantee an extra drawn card as long as both droids are in the Ground arena. Plus, their costs work out in such a way that if you play R2 Round 1 and Threepio Round 2, you can use Luke’s Leader ability to give both of them a shield!

Leia Organa, Defiant Princess (SOR 189) is one of the strongest 2-cost cards in Spark of Rebellion, and as of now she can only be found in the 2-Player Set. If you have Leia in your opening hand, you can play her for 2, and ready one of the resources you just used to provide her with a shield or play another 1-cost unit like R2. However, it may be in your best interest to hold onto her for later: her ability to exhaust a unit works on ANY UNIT, including Leader units when they deploy. Leia provides a great counter to the power of Darth Vader! 

Having three copies of Luke’s Lightsaber (SOR 53) is beneficial for two reasons. First, this 2-cost upgrade can be played as early as you draw it to give one of your units a much-needed power boost - especially if that unit already has high HP, like the aforementioned droids. But of course, Luke’s Lightsaber is best when played on Luke - you can use it to fully heal your Leader unit and give him a shield as well to continue the fight!

You'll Find I'm Full of Surprises!

While the Darth Vader deck may have the edge in raw power and damage potential, the Luke Skywalker deck employs a strategy of subterfuge and being steadfast. Many of the Cunning events in the deck are used for that very purpose.

Much like Leia, Asteroid Sanctuary (SOR 218) can be used to exhaust any unit, while also providing a shield to any of your 23 lower-cost units. If you need an extra boost to trade with one of your opponent’s units, or just want to make a dent in their base, Surprise Strike (SOR 220) can add +3 power for an immediate attack. And perhaps one of the most valuable cards in the list, Waylay (SOR 222) can remove any non-leader unit from the battlefield - a great way to deal with those pesky AT-ST’s!

The other thing you’ll notice plenty of in the Luke deck is protection for your base. Among the 50 cards at your disposal are five Sentinel units designed to impede your opponent’s progress, and five cards that allow you to heal damage from your base. Arguably the most effective among these two categories of protectors are the Vigilance/Heroism units.

  1. Dropping a Restored ARC-170 (SOR 44) early forces your opponent not to ignore the Space arena, lest you continue to Restore damage to your base without opposition.
  2. Yoda, Old Master (SOR 45) is a highly-useful Ground unit that gives you Restore 2 as well as an extra card when he is defeated. If you draw Yoda, you won’t regret playing him!
  3. One of two Rares in the deck, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Following Fate (SOR 49) is a staple of any Vigilance/Heroism deck. He will protect your base in life and make your units stronger in defeat.

Join Me, and I Will Complete Your Training

When staring down the Dark Lord of the Sith across the battlefield, it’s important to keep calm and remember the strengths of the Luke Skywalker deck. Here are some additional tips to help you gain the upper hand against the Vader player:

  1. Try to have one of either R2-D2, Leia or Restored ARC-170 in your opening hand. Any 1-2 cost unit will serve you well, but these in particular will either provide you a shielded Ground unit or a Space unit that threatens to mitigate the damage done by Vader.
  2. Whenever possible, use Luke’s ability! His shields are the difference-maker in this matchup - the Vader deck does not come equipped with any Saboteur units, so each shield you place on your units requires an additional source of damage to be spent by your opponent. You may find that playing a 3-cost unit and shielding it can be more beneficial than playing a 4-cost unit.
  3. Be mindful of damage out of hand from your opponent. While the Vader player may not have any Ambush units at their disposal, they do have several cards that can remove your units at a moment’s notice, like Open Fire (SOR 172), Imperial Interceptor (SOR 132) and Overwhelming Barrage (SOR 92). Keep an eye on their resources and the state of the board!

You Have Only Begun to Discover Your Power

Once you’ve gotten a few games under your belt with the pre-constructed Luke deck, it may be time to expand your horizons by adding some new cards to the deck, as well as more copies of some of the stronger cards already included in your list. In Star Wars: Unlimited, there are so many ways to build a deck and a ton of permutations that can add up to success - however, we’re going to go through two upgrades to the Luke deck that you can use as a reference point, depending on your budget and overall investment.

Let’s start by expanding the Luke deck by adding ONLY low-rarity cards (Commons and Uncommons) and utilizing only Rares that were included in the original 2-Player Set.

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The first thing you’ll notice is we’ve added additional copies of several cards to reach the maximum deckbuilding limit of three copies per card in order to help the deck’s overall efficiency. Now, you can more regularly draw your 2-Player Set staples, like Yoda, Waylay, Surprise Strike and Wing Leader (SOR 241).

In this version, we’ve also included some additional cards that carry the Force trait - one of the early contenders for strongest trait in the game. As such, two Spectre units join the party in Ezra Bridger, Resourceful Troublemaker (SOR 192) and Kanan Jarrus, Revealed Jedi (SOR 47).

Keeping Ezra alive and attacking with him early can allow you to take advantage of the top card of your deck. When he completes an attack (if he is not defeated from doing so), you can look at the top card of your deck and either play it, discard it, or simply put it back where it was. Kanan allows you to heal your base by discarding cards from the top of your opponent’s deck for each Spectre in play. Both units are also Rebels, so they can be boosted by Wing Leader.

I also wanted to throw some spice in with Ezra and Kanan, so there are two copies of The Force Is With Me (SOR 55) to play with - a powerful Force event that gives a friendly unit two Experience tokens and an attack, with an added shield if you control a Force unit. Also, you’ll see two copies of Entrenched (SOR 72) in the list - those are mainly there to make your R2-D2 and C-3PO units VERY scary after playing them. Nothing says “uh-oh” quite like a 4/7 R2!

Finally, no Vigilance deck would be complete without one of the best removal cards in Spark of Rebellion: three copies of Takedown (SOR 77). This is a bonafide must-include, and you will find the added ability to deal with your opponent’s units highly useful after they’ve crashed themselves into your shields.  

You Have Learned Much, Young One

Intrigued by the possibilities of Luke when paired with Cunning and want to turn it up to eleven? Time to add more Rares and Legendaries to your deck! It’s worth noting - rarity does not always equate to power level in Star Wars: Unlimited. There are some VERY strong cards at the Common and Uncommon level that will see play in every deck, and you can be quite competitive when playing on a budget. But some of the higher-rarity cards in these two aspects have an undeniable pull and talent to match, so let’s look at a version of Cunning Luke that goes all-in on the full spread of Spark of Rebellion cards.

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Threepio? Gone. Han Solo? Left to settle his debts with Jabba. Vigilant Honor Guards? On lunch break.

Their substitutes, however, are no slouches. As previously stated, Obi-Wan Kenobi is a stud even at his advanced age, so having a full complement of three Obi-Wans is essential. After that is where the fun begins.

Incorporating more Rare cards allows our Force synergy to skyrocket by bringing three copies of what is arguably the best upgrade in the game currently, Jedi Lightsaber (SOR 54), as well as flavoring to taste with It Binds All Things (SOR 75). These cards will give added protection to all your Force units - your Luke Leader unit, as well as Yoda, Ezra, Kanan, Obi-Wan… and, of course, Legendary unit Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight (SOR 51).

The unit version of Luke is a monster, and it has to be with a 7-resource cost attached to it. However, this Luke lives up to its price, with the ability to give a unit -6/-6 when Luke is played in a round in which one of your units has already been defeated. Combine that with a whopping Restore 3, and Luke automatically becomes Priority One for both you and your opponent when he enters the Ground arena.

Finally, even with Han and Chewie gone, it wouldn’t be right to leave the Millennium Falcon, Piece of Junk (SOR 193) docked in some cargo bay, so we’re bringing it along. The Falcon enters play ready, and even though you have to pay one resource each round to keep it in the Space arena, that doesn’t detract from the threat and power it immediately provides. Cunning Heroism decks love the Falcon, and you probably will too!

Your Destiny Lies with Me, Skywalker

However you decide to play your Luke Skywalker deck, you’ll find that Luke is a highly competent leader with a lot of potential to outlast your opponent, with plenty of room for impactful plays and heroic moments along the way. I believe Vigilance Heroism is in a great spot already in Spark of Rebellion, and the value of shields, trait synergies and surprising tricks can only grow as more sets are released.

But as release weekend approaches, there are two things that are the most important pieces of knowledge I can impart. The first? HAVE FUN! Star Wars: Unlimited looks phenomenal, and it’s going to be so exciting to finally get to play with these cards.

The second?

The Force will be with you… always.


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If you missed our article last week, JustJack from The Golden Dice Podcast gives us his thoughts on playing and improving the Darth Vader Starter Set deck. 

Please ENTER OUR GIVEAWAY for a FREE Two-Player Starter Set. No purchase necessary. All you have to do is subscribe to the Deploy Your Leader Gaming newsletter, which you can do from the pop-up or at the bottom of any page. Full details here

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