Portland’s regional event was one of the first glimpses we’ve had of the Legacies meta. It’s worth noting that starter set cards were not legal, but the results are still informative. This article will focus on the deck that placed #1, Hondo Poe.
Now if you’re looking for information on how to actually play the deck, don’t look here. Instead, go read the winner’s article on Artificery. My article is going to go over the general rules for playing against the deck, and strategies for beating it. Why am I doing this? Well, I’d rather see everyone adapt and innovate rather than the meta stagnate after the first tournament. Here’s our chance to prove Legacies meta can be a healthy one, so let’s go find a way to crush the current deck #1. To do this I’m going to simply offer up a list of suggestions, as well as list some decks I think are worth trying.
Rule #1: Don’t play resource starved decks
Hondo does a great job of locking his opponent out of resources. If you play a deck with a pretty little resource curve where you’re always spending every resource you have, this won’t end well for you. You’re either going to be taking 3’s all game, or you simply wont be paying for any of your necessary cards.
Rule #1 B: Play resource abundant decks
Now I will give the caveat that a deck that always has extra resources is probably not optimized. However, there are plenty of decks that ramp hard early, and then in late game have an abundance, as they are already dealing enough damage with what they have already put into play. These types of decks can thrive verses Hondo.
Rule #2: Never pay Hondo early
Resources are incredibly powerful in Destiny, and are most powerful on turns 1 and 2. Avoid paying Hondo at all costs during these turns. Know this, he can deal 6-12 damage in 2 turns, but you can start paying him turn 3 and he won’t deal any damage for the rest of the game. However, if you pay him early, that’s going to give him the money he needs, both for expensive upgrades (DL-44) and for key 1 cost removal (Easy Pickings, Defensive Position, etc.). At the same time you won’t be able to afford your own upgrades or your removal (which you are using on Poe’s dice and any early upgrades, especially Poe’s Blaster.) While letting him deal damage is a dangerous move (you could see a turn two Hit and Run into a kill), paying him is just guaranteeing your doom later on in the game.
Rule #3: Kill Poe first
Remember how Hondo’s dice wont deal damage after turn 2 because you’ll start paying him? For this reason, Hondo is not scary in the least in late game. Yes, there are tricks out there that let him disrupt you before resolving specials, but as a whole it can be hard for him to deal damage late. Poe on the other hand has multiple range sides that are better with the upgrades in the deck (Poe’s Blaster, DL-44, etc.) and is much scarier in late game, especially if his Hit and Runs are still available.
Rule #4: Play removal that is good against specials
What are these cards? Well here’s a non-exhaustive list:
- Overconfidence: Soft control on two dice, and it removes any 0 values, so if they roll a special, you can remove it.
- Entangle: 2 dice for one card, and its limit is unaffected by the 0 value of specials
- Rebel Assault: this card has never seen any play because hero red hasn’t been good. However, any Finn decks out there have a very reliable 0 cost removal against specials.
- Mislead: Once again, the value limit doesn’t apply, and it has no Spot a Character text.
- Force Illusion: Specials that deal damage tend to do so in high values; blocking three with illusion is great.
- Force Misdirection: Any blue hero decks out there, especially Aayla decks, should be running Force Speeds together with Force Misdirection. Now when Hando rolls that double special you’ll just laugh at him and remove both dice.
- Easy Pickings: This card is nuts, especially against Hondo Poe. You’ll almost always be able to remove two specials with it.
Rule # 5: Run event removal cards (as in Friends in Low Places)
Poe Hondo has several very strong removal cards (Defensive Position, Easy Pickings, Hasty Exit, etc.). They are however, very squishy targets (21 hp total). For this reason, a turn 1 or 2 FILP could easily turn into a turn 2 kill on Poe, and a won game for you.
There’s more that could be said, but for brevity’s sake I’ll stop there and begin a list of decks I think are worth investigating.
Deck #1: Obi-Wan Rose
Obi Rose is the perfect deck for the game plan I explained. Obi is extremely beefy, and you can afford to take those early chunks of damage from Hondo without getting too close to death. Then, after you’ve ramped enough, Rose will easily give you enough resources to pay off Hondo. My main concern for the deck is that if it doesn’t leadership early, it may struggle to kill Poe.
Deck #2: Hero Vehicles
There are many versions of these decks, but typically they have very high HP pools. Thus they can afford to take damage early from Hondo. Additionally, many of the best supports deal high value indirect damage and Poe Hondo’s 21 hp will struggle to survive this. Once you’ve gotten out a couple supports, you can afford to keep paying Hondo. It’s also worth noting that all hero vehicle decks can run Easy Pickings. My only concern is finding enough direct damage to kill Poe.
Deck #3: Finn X decks
Finn has very consistent early damage, and can really burst down Poe. Additionally, he has access to Rebel Assault, which is crazy good against specials. You can pair him with him with Han for access to Easy Pickings and Poe Hondo could really struggle to get any damage through. Han also offers base sides for Finn’s +2, resources to pay off Hondo, and a nice re-roll for soft control.
Well that’s all I have to say today, but I hope it gives you a starting point for beating the meta. Hope to see some non-Hondo #1’s in the coming weeks.