Hey guys. I've been playing a lot of this deck lately, the deck formely know as Lukebar, but now called Lukie and the Blowfish ... or something like that.
And this deck man, it blows my mind. I wanted to discuss with you, how to best build it, since there are so many cards, that would be amazing for it, and only those 30 slots.
First off, a little speech about what the deck actually is.
So it's a double die Luke and single die Ackbar, midrange deck, which is capable of dealing massive damage via Lukes 2 and 3 melee sides and focus to get them.
Luke only has 12 life and he really only has 2 good sides on his die, but those sides are amazing. Next set, when we see the 'your eyes can decieve you' card, his shield side will be great as well. Other than those sides, he has resources, focus and of course also a blank.
It's very important to understand that you do NOT want to resolve any other sides on Luke than his damage. Of course there will be situations, where you just have to eat it and resolve his resources or his shield, and there will be situations where your best bet is to use his focus die to turn something else into damage, but we want to try to avoid that, and that's what the deck is build around. I call this strategy, "9 kills".
The thought about 9 kills, is that if you ping from turn one (or just hit for 6 there), in any given turn, 9 damage will kill a character. So our objective is to try and make Luke deal 9 damage each turn. He will not do this every turn, of course, but it's the school of thought for the design of the deck I play (and hope to improve with you guys)
Lukes ability is that he gets to draw a card, when you activate him. This ability is massive! Don't listen to the naysayers that always go; "Yeah, but Vaders ability is better", while that is true, it's completely irrelevant. This ability also somewhat mitigates Vaders ability, just discard something, and you haven't really lost anything much because Luke lets you draw up again. Of course discard is another matter, but I've played a lot of games vs Vader/eJabba, haven't lost a single one of them.
Ackbar is the only good pair with Luke at the moment, and he is very good. He has an amazing ability that deals damage if your opponent discards or plays the last card of his hand. This in reality means, that your opponent is always playing 2 cards less than you, unless he wants to take damage. This combined with Ackbars incredibly double focus result, and the fact that he is exactly 10 points (to pair with Lukes 20), just makes this happy couple a match made in heaven.
The inclusion of Ackbar also adds red to our deck, which is the color we want to splash with Luke.
So. To achieve our first goal of the deck, we consider which sides we want to matter on our starting characters. We want Lukes damage and Ackbars focus, because if we can get this fairly often, we're dealing a lot of damage.
Because of this there are 2 cards, that I would put in the deck before even considering anything else. These are; Datapad and All In.
Datapad serves two purposes. The first and most important, is that it supplies us with a means to get Ackbars focus result (via it's special), and also, this deck is always kind of strapped for cash, so I like to get a couple of money out of Ackbar ever so often (if I even roll him)
The second card is of course All In. We play a deck that revolves around damage and focus results, and we want to be able to completely overwhelm our opponent with damage (9 kills), so All In is the most important card in the deck to get us there. Really, don't play this without All In, I've seen some builds without it (and tested them a lot) and for me at least, it just doesn't work without it.
Now, lets put some stuff in the deck. I am still undecided on my event loadout, but my upgrades are pretty much in place. I want stuff that deals damage or adds to damage or give me focus. So these are the ones I've chosen:
2 x Datapad; As explained
2 x Force Training; Very good upgrade, cheap, a little under costed even, has a great special, and I actually try to get some nice specials in the deck for alternative uses of the datapad special
2x Reys Staff: In the beginning I didn't want this card in the deck. After playing it, I don't want to take it out. As you will see when we get to events, I don't have a lot of dice control in my deck, so Reys staff can really help with controlling some dice via it's special, or even out the damage score via it's damage sides. In a pinch, it can also make us some ready cash. All around amazing card, the only thing I don't like about it, is that it's grey, so we won't get our discount with It binds all Things.
2 x Lightsaber: I don't like this card for some reason, I think it's because it has that giant pay side, and I still have fear of paysides since playing Han Solo and never being able to afford his damage. So I cut it. And then I realized that it's too good to cut. Especially in this iteration of the deck it fits very well with lots of damage sides and it's very nice special.
2 x Lukes Lightsaber: This was why I didn't like the lightsaber. This card is so amazing in this deck, that +3 side is just bonkers, the ability to hang on to a thread with the special or kill a dude with it, is just ... ****, it's such a good card.
2 x One with the Force: There's another discussion about this card. It has a 3 focus side! 3 focus + Luke + Lightsaber + All in = 9 damage. It's other sides are pretty amazing as well.
Thats it. 12 pieces of equipment. I will explain why Force Throw isn't in the deck in the end. (Spoiler; it can be)
For support I am just running 2 x It binds all things, because it's a nice way to save some cash, you can get a lightsaber turn 1 with it and datapad and a little luck, so I like that aspect of it. Later on (if Lukes on 3 upgrades) I just discard it to reroll.
Events are ever changing. This is the hardest part about making the deck hold up to what I want it to do, because I want Luke to live ... LIIIIIIVE, so I need a heavy amount of shields for the opponent to chew through. In this deck Luke doesn't have 12 life, he has 30ish to chew through, before he bites the dust, the challenge is to balance those events so that you can keep him alive, but not put all you event eggs in a single basket.
2 x All In; as explained above
2 x Defensive Stance; shields shields
2 x Dug In; Moar shields
2 x Willpower; Don't you just love killing guys with their own damage? I love this card so much and have killed many Bala Tiks and Jangos with it after they where clever and dealt me one damage with their backup muscle.
2 x Leadership; THIS is the reason to play red with Luke. When you get it off it will be living hell for your opponent. It generally takes a while to get the first Luke dice off (often you'll equip, then roll, then modify, then do something else and so on, so it's not fast) and then, BAM, Leadership, Luke goes again. Your opponent has to respect this, and therefore they have to play accordingly. If they spend all their control on the first Luke roll, fine, then they have an empty hand for your second Luke roll. It's so strong that it's almost broken. But hey, it's Luke Skywalker!
2 x Use the Force; It's that card. I don't really like it, but it seems to be the best control card atm and sometimes I really need to make a hard modifier to something. I personally think it should have been free, but thats probably just me.
2 x Force Misdirection; You have acess to all die results apart from discard with blue dice in this deck. I've even once focused my force training to the gun side, because Veers was holding a lot of +2's, and he didn't have a trigger for them, just to have him reroll into his good stuff and then have all his dice removed by this card. You can even bluff this way, and make him believe you have it, so he has to play extremely carefully, which is nice against a hyperaggro deck.
2 x Riposte; This is the card I am most uncertain about. I am trying to keep Luke alive, this means soak up damage with my shields, this card is counterproductive to that. It's a great card at the right time, but in this deck I feel like it's a clutch. Also I would like to add those Field Medic, for even more life on my main guy, but I need to test it some more without. As it stands I have double Riposte, but I am not perfectly happy with them. Maybe this card will go out in favor of the new Your Eyes can Decieve You, which will give this deck so much spot control!
Finally the battleground. I've been lazy and just plays Hoth. Hoth is fine because I like to get the shields and it's never that big of a deal for my opponent. Armory could also be an option for the shenanigans with it binds all things.
So thats it guys. Here's the deck list:
LUKIE AND THE BLOWFISH
BF: Armory or Hoth
Reys staff x2
Force Training x2
Lukes Lightsaber x2
One With the Force x2
It Binds all Things x2
Use the Force x2
All In x2
Force Misdirection x2
Defensive Stance x2
Dug In x2
If you don't have all the legendaries or want to switch some of the upgrades I would recommend Jedi Robes, for the shields and the focus results, or Survival Gear, for all the sides.
Force throw has been in this deck for as long as I remember, but it's out now because I simply don't like it's die. It has only 2 AMAZING sides! And in all other decks that runs blue it's a must include, but for some reason it feels wrong in this deck, I would rather have the lightsabers, it just works a little better for me.
Finally I've been thinking about putting heroism in the deck, to suck some of the damage over to Ackbar. There's some pros and cons (I would take out riposte for this atm), the pros is that Ackbar can then suck up some trigger damage (or Luke can do it, so you can control his output) and it's free. The cons is, that you risk that they simply one shot Ackbar right afterwards because he's so squishy. This is not a problem, if you already spendt both of your leaderships, but it's a hard blow if they haven't gotten off yet. I'll need to test it some more with that card, on paper I really like it.
The great thing about this deck, is that it really feels like Star Wars, you have they Hero over all heroes, batteling impossible odds with the rebel alliance (in the form of fishman) backing him up. The bad thing about this deck, is that it is vulnerable to massive burst damage and single die control, but this is true about all "big character" decks.
I hope this article can inspire a discussion about how to best run the Luke/Ackbar deck, and maybe inspire some guys to try it out for themselves.
I can't wait to see what the next set brings of useable cards for my favorite deck.
Thanks for reading and may the force be with you.