Hi, my name is AJ, and I’m a recovering mill player from the Seattle Galactic Qualifer. This is my story.
I started playing Destiny a little over a year ago at the start of the Legacies meta. At the time, I was playing Obi/Maz, and took the deck to a 4-2 record at the previous GQ here in Seattle. A lot has happened over the last year, but this particular story starts back at the Portland Regional where I took Leia/Cassian and got demolished, finishing with a record of 2-4.
I hadn’t had much time to get practice in and couldn’t decide on a deck. I had piloted Luke/Yoda with pretty good success in the previous meta, but didn’t think it was good enough to take to the Regional. Oh, how wrong I was! I ended up settling on a deck that could run Retreat and Hyperspace Jump. I was disappointed in my 2-4 performance, and told myself I would be better prepared for the next big tournament.
The Denver GQ was up next, and it was only a month away. I practiced with a deck that I considered decent at the time—Padme/Boushh—and went 3-3. This was, again, pretty disappointing to me. Now I had just one month to prepare for the Seattle GQ, and no idea where to turn.
After the Denver GQ I got a call from my best friend, Andrew. He originally got me into Destiny, and is one of the best players I know. His suggestion was to try out eLeia/Anakin/Ezra. I took his advice and immediately saw the potential in the deck. I began altering the deck to fit my style, but never strayed far from the original framework of just a few dice cards, lots of mitigation, and tech. Within about a week, the characters changed to what would be the final version: Leia/Anakin/eLor San Tekka.
It took a bit of convincing to try Lor out because of how well the Ezra version was performing. However, once I switched over, I saw the advantages immediately. Lor’s Power Action ensured victory in a Yoda/Leia match as long as both players milled out in the same round. He also gave the opportunity to get one extra piece of mitigation each round (very helpful against Vader and Phasma). Additionally, his two focus sides made the deck incredibly consistent. All these benifits were well worth losing the second Leia die. Once the characters were set, it was just a matter of figuring out the upgrades, support, and mitigation.
I started out with a Bartering and two each of Flee the Scene, Field Medic, and First Aid. The Flee the Scenes ended up coming out, since the deck just wasn’t fast enough to effectively use them. It also became apparent that most people weren’t going after Leia first. As such, I subbed in Way of the Light for the sub-optimal Field Medic. You can’t heal two damage from Lor if he died in round 1. I removed Bartering and my Force Meditations, swapping in Senate Chamber for flexibility instead. Senate Chamber could possibly have led to an undefeated day had I not misplayed it—but more on that later. In the end, this was the deck I took to this year’s Saturday Standard GQ.
Game 1 (John) – Win – Captain Phasma/First Order Stormtrooper/Advanced Training
Phasma was the deck I was most scared of going into the tournament, so of course I played her first. John collected resources for a round 1 Megablaster Troopers, but thankfully I discarded it before he could play it. Lor took a few points of damage, but the next round had the key play of the game.
John couldn’t hit big damage at the start, and I got Anakin’s Podracer down. John then rolled and focused into eight damage, which would have been enough to kill a character. However, I had Dodge in hand, and mitigated it all. Lor died in round 3, but between Easy Pickings and Into the Garbage Chute I was able to keep my characters alive long enough to end the game with a No Answer.
Game 2 (Victor) – Win – Darth Vader/First Order Stormtrooper
While Phasma was the deck I feared most, Vader was a close second (especially on Fighting Pit). Sure enough, Victor won the roll off, and in round 1 used Fighting Pit plus a Pulverize to put 10 damage into Leia. At that point I figured the game was probably over, but I wasn’t about to give up. It’s important to note that I Scruffied away Vader’s Lightsaber and discarded a Fist in the first round, too. This would prove very important in the comeback that was about to happen.
In round 2, everything began to turn around. I used Into the Garbage Chute and some other mitigation to keep Leia alive the entire round, taking no damage. Though Leia died the next round, and Anakin shortly after, I had worked my way back into the game thanks to the Senate Chamber and Podracer hitting the table.
It came down to Lor versus Vader because the FOST had died after a couple of The Best Defenses… and a Fighting Pit. In the last two rounds I played two Suppressive Fires and used Flames of the Past to discard his other Lightsaber and Fist the moment they hit the table. The game ended after I finally grabbed the last card out of Victor’s hand.
This was a matchup I felt pretty confident about, and things played out as I expected. In Round 1 I Scruffied his only support in hand (Vader’s Fist) and Claimed first. In the next round I Scruffied again and took Entourage, leaving Danny with just an Imperial Officer to play. With my opponent essentially unable to ramp in first two rounds, the game ended more or less how you would expect.
Game 4 (Jeff) – Loss – Lor San Tekka/Satine Kryze/Rebel Engineer
Artificery streamed this game since it took place at the top table. If you want the blow by blow you should check out the VOD. The biggest play in the game happened towards the end, when I simply forgot to use Senate Chamber’s Power Action to turn Jeff’s Shadow Caster die away from the six ranged side. This cost me Lor. I’m not sure that I would have won this game even if I had remembered, but I know that I would have had a shot. Regardless, Jeff played amazingly and took the victory, dashing my hopes of an undefeated day.
Game 5 (Joshua) – Win – Iden Versio/Tobias Beckett
When I sat down at the next game, still stinging from my misplay, I resolved to not let it affect the rest of my games. Right away I discovered that my opponent Josh had an incredible memory, as he remembered not only playing me a year ago at the last GQ, but also what deck I had been playing. I was seriously impressed!
I lost the battlefield roll-off so we played on Military Camp. It didn’t take long for me to realize I was going to see a lot of action-cheating. Round 1 went well; I only took three damage, Josh emptied his hand, and Leia’s Power Action did its job. In round 2 I was nowhere near as lucky—Josh played Tactical Mastery and rolled into 11 damage. He killed Lor and put the extra damage into Anakin. I got Anakin’s Podracer down and continued to strip his hand each round, but Josh also aggressively went for damage by pitching to reroll.
Anakin died in round 3, but Leia didn’t take much damage due to mitigation and some bad luck on Josh’s rolls. The final round involved me using a combination of Scruffy Looking Nerf-Herder and No Answer to mill him out. I also used Senate Chamber’s Power Action to turn a two focus to a blank to keep Josh off lethal. There was no way I was going to lose again just because I forgot that Power Action!
Game 6 (James of Dice of Failure) – Win – Rebel Engineer/Rebel Engineer/L3-37/Armored Reinforcement
I’d met James a couple of times, and I try to listen to DoF’s podcast whenever I have time. I was definitely not excited about playing another big vehicle reset deck. Thankfully for me, this one played out quite a bit differently than my fourth game.
The Shadow Caster came down early, but I managed to discard the R2 Astromech so that the ship couldn’t be reset yet. The next round then became the key to the game. After both Rebel Engineers activated without being able to find a Triple Laser Turret, I managed to get James down to one card and use No Answer. Two of the three cards discarded were TLTs. That play, plus a Flames of the Past on an Astromech, turned off the reset and allowed me to take the game.
So there you have it! A 5-1 record with mill. I came away extremely happy overall, but also kicking myself over my big misplay. I ended up going 5-1 on Sunday as well, but with an earlier loss in round 2. That loss was also on stream, so maybe having an audience was bad luck. 😉
I believe this deck may currently be the best positioned in the meta to take on anything you sit down against. While it definitely has a tough matchup against Phasma and Vader, those games are by no means guaranteed losses. I firmly believe that this deck is favored against just about any other deck out there.
I really enjoyed piloting this deck, and will happily play it again in another big tournament if it’s still viable. So, maybe I’m not quite a recovered mill player after all?