Today we’re going to be taking a look at Reylo in our Road to Worlds series. It’s a solid deck and definitely worth testing with and against. This is especially true as we sit here waiting to see if any nerfs come through pre-worlds. If they do, Reylo is likely to sneak by unscathed and come out as the new top dog. So if for no other reason than that your villain supports and hero droid decks could get nerfed, be sure to have this deck in your worlds prep.
As a middle-middle deck, with two 11 HP characters and plenty of early game damage, it is easier for it to get the first kill into 3 wide decks with lower HP characters. This has been a consistent theme in Destiny. Having 2 higher HP characters helps you win the damage race and gain a mid game advantage after you kill a character but still have both yours. What makes this aspect even better in Reylo is the fact it can so easily put up a shield wall. So not only can you quickly kill a character but after doing so you put up a shield wall and your opponent’s reduced board state might never be able to even get a kill on one of your own characters.
Reylo also has perhaps the best upgrade suite possible for a middle middle deck with a crazy high number of on-play effects. Crossguard deals a damage, Treasured draws a card, Rey’s gives 1-2 shields, and Niman turns a die. Upgrades are clearly worse than supports at this point. However, Reylo’s on-play effects allow the deck to get more value out of its upgrades than usual, even when playing them after activating its characters. These on play effects are one of the only advantages upgrades have over supports, as you can gain them for free when overwriting. This added value really helps the deck get the most out of its upgrades.
Another strength of Reylo is the simple value it gets from its PA’s. With Kylo’s being a free extra damage a round, and Rey’s functioning not only as a guaranteed focus, but also as a soft control option, the deck becomes almost a 6 die deck.
Along the same lines the character specials also add effective dice to the deck’s start. With so many shield effects in the meta, and even simply starting shields, Kylo’s special is often a reroll, and as long as you have at least 1 shield Rey’s also becomes a reroll. While Kylo doesn’t always get the reroll, Rey can often get it multiple times. This bumps up the effective dice by another 2 or so, creating an effective 8 die start. This is comparable to decks like Satine (5 dice + plot + r2 + c3 + satine(.5) = 8.5 dice). The crazy thing is that Reylo can even have an effective 9-10 die start if you can resolve high numbers of specials. This is why despite people continuously talking the deck down as a tier 1.5 deck you can still see it getting results like a top 2 at Nova. However…
Removal is the bane of Reylo. As just stated, their specials are what allow the deck to have an effective dice start that’s comparable to other decks. When your opponent is able to remove your specials things quickly change for the worse. You go from an effective 8 die start to a 6 die start, and if you can’t get that Kylo PA off then you’re down to a 5 die start. This isn’t the end of the world, as you can still utilize focus effects to help you get to specials on 3-4 of your dice, and barring Easy Pickings + additional control, you’ll likely be able to get at least one re-roll.
Another weakness is that the first death in Reylo really, really sucks. The characters are extremely synergistic, and losing one of them reduces the effectiveness of their PA’s and cuts your die count in half. This isn’t insurmountable depending on the state of the game, but it’s definitely a weakness.
Finally, Reylo lacks an end game board state that actually instills fear. Support decks can have 6+ supports down, Palp can have crazy upgrade counts, Ewoks can have the double claim for 6 damage, etc. Reylo is restricted to having 2 character dice and 3 upgrades (this assumes you lost a character, if you haven’t lost a character then its really still a mid-game state or you’ve already guaranteed your win.) I will say that if you’re facing a less than strong board state, then Rey finishing with 3 upgrades can instill a ton of fear, as the shield wall she puts up can make the game impossible for something like a lone Chopper to finish off. This is a weakness as it puts the pressure on Reylo to finish the game before other decks reach their Fear-Instilling late game board states.
The mulligan is quite straight forward in the deck. You want a way to generate a shield or 2 to turn on Kylo’s PA and Rey’s special, You want an upgrade, and against most decks in the meta, you want aggressive events.
Into a vast majority of decks in the meta, you’re going to need an early round 2 kill. Killing R2 or C3 to turn off the combo, or killing a character like Jabba to turn off ramp. If you don’t, most decks will create a board state that you simply can’t beat. With this in mind, your primary goal should be applying pressure and doing as much damage as possible. If you can get a character within 1-2 damage, events like Steadfast or Polarity or an upgrade like Crossguard, combined with Kylo’s PA, allow for first or second action kills in round 2. Your secondary goal should be to trigger at least 1 Rey special into a re-roll if possible. This shield wall helps prevent you from losing a character, which is devastating to your decks effectiveness, and can also help with aggression with cards like Ataru. All this being said, if you have upgrades in your hand, and you roll resources round 1, you do have the option of ramping round 1 and attempting to put out enough aggression in round 2 alone with a 3 upgrade board state.
Mid-game begins after you’ve acquired your first kill (if you lost a character first you’re probably going to lose). Your goal at this point is to shield wall. Hopefully your opponent lost a significant amount of value with the kill, and will struggle to get anything going into 1-3 Rey specials. The longer you keep both characters alive, the more likely you will win. You still need to keep the damage going, but you don’t really need to think that hard to roll melee and resolve it, keeping your characters alive is what takes thought and planning.
It’s worth noting that at this point you should be looking to get a redeploy overwrite if you have any upgrade value on the character your opponent is targeting. You should also be attempting to set up a board state such that when you lose a character, you’ll have 3 upgrades on your remaining character.
Late game begins after you’ve lost your character. At this point you’ll want to do math at the start of each round. How likely am I to kill my opponents character? How likely am I to die this round? Use that info to determine how you need to play the round. Keep in mind that because you activate all your dice at once, you have a huge advantage in action economy if you can force another round. So if you’re on the fence, doing a moderate amount of damage and keeping yourself from dying will typically result in a game win. You’ll be able to roll out all 5 dice and get to that 3-4 damage well before the opposing deck can roll enough support dice out to threaten you.
You have a number of effective 1 cost events, but the deck can struggle to gain extra resources. Resource management is key to helping you play these events. You only need to reach 3 upgrades over the course of the game so don’t feel obligated to play a 2 cost upgrade every round. Starting with a 1-drop and an event, or simply overwriting to get an on-play effect round 2 and playing several events instead of hard casting another 2 drop can often be the correct choice. A battlefield like Theed can help with this as well.
Resolve 2’s on your character dice. Don’t settle for a 1 melee or 1 shield. Get to the specials, 2 melees, or resource sides or you simply won’t be getting enough value from your dice.
Your goal should be to get your opponent to target Rey, so play your upgrades on her. If they target Rey, then Kylo’s PA becomes better, and Rey’s Saber overwrite gains that 2 shield value. Furthermore, your late game roll out becomes much more threatening damage wise. Into ramp decks, you often can’t survive a late game round, so having Kylo with multiple 2 damage sides is much better for finishing off your opponent. However, I should note that Rey can be better finishing into decks that don’t generate crazy late game board states, as her specials can put up a shield wall that they can’t get through (Ewoks, Chopper, Han).
Maybe I’m being lazy but I really don’t feel the need for multiple sections here. There isn’t a ton to say about playing the deck that changes based on the time in the game.
Reylo has little control, so play greedily. Keep Forsaken in mind, but everything else tends to be sub-par removal (Pacify, Hidden Motive, etc.).
With most decks you just need to survive the early game and get that kill on Kylo shortly after you lose a character. They can’t build a massive board state and won’t be able to control your resource gen, so you can establish a massive advantage. However, if you don’t apply any pressure and leave both characters alive they will kill you before that ramp you created can take effect.
Direct damage is infinitely better than indirect. If you only deal indirect you’re going to lose to the shield wall and leaving both their characters up for too long.
Keep in mind that Reylo has an easy 1-2 damage instant kill with events and Kylo PA. Be sure to take shields or Field Medic before going into the next round if you’re in range of a snipe.
REMOVAL IS INSANE AGAINST THIS DECK. If you prevent Reylo from resolving specials you’re going to win 9 times out of 10.
Threaten a damage die or two early if they don’t have a shield wall up yet. This prevents them from following up a shield with Rey specials or Kylo PA and will prevent a ton of value. The exception is with Polarity and its ambush, but with cards like Luke’s Protection you’re going to be able to prevent the follow up damage by removing the shield.
Take the Kylo damage if you have a Riot Shield down. Remember it’s optional to trigger the shield so there’s no reason to give Kylo that re-roll unless you’re going to be dead.
++ = very favorable
+ = favorable
+/- = neutral
– = unfavorable
– – = very unfavorable
Chopper Droids: +
Satine Droids: +/-
Han Droids: –
Jabba Supports: +/-
Most people would say that Reylo has a poor matchup into Jabba and Satine, but I’ve found it to be roughly 50/50 depending on the Reylo build. If Reylo can kill Jabba or C3/R2 before they get round 2 ramp, then the shield wall is enough to survive the board state generated by then. I went 2-2 into Jabba and Satine at Nova, and at least 3 of my opponents were top 16 players from what I recall. Together with my own internal testing I feel relatively confident saying those match-ups are 50/50.
It Binds All Things
In general I hate this card. The most important rounds of the game for the deck are rounds 1 and 2, and this does nothing the round you play it and adds 1 resource the next round. That’s just not that great. Not to mention it can get Desperate Measures played against it, and unlike in the past, we don’t have Ancient LS heal loops occurring late in the game for the card to keep getting value after you max out on upgrades.
Dark Counsel is just a solid value for 1. With the value of the Rey and Kylo specials, the focus sides are crazy good, and drawing a card is just phenomenal. I wouldn’t play Reylo without this card.
Power From Pain and Triple Threat
These events can really help Reylo apply early pressure by guaranteeing specials and/or 2s. This is especially clutch into hero yellow where you cant just roll out all your dice and then reroll them 3-4 times as you’ll risk getting Easy Pickings. These events help you specifically turn and then resolve your dice without risking Pickings.
Reylo is an extremely solid and fun deck to play. It’s “infinite” potential on its special dice can straight win you games, heck I had a single Rey die go Special-Special-Special-2 Melee at Nova in a matchup against an Aphra. This “if I get lucky its insane” aspect is tempting for Worlds but more than that the decks tier 1.5 status keeps it safe from any potential nerfs. Heck I could almost see them nerfing the other decks just so that Reylo sees prominence and makes Disney happy with the marketing for episode 9 LOL. In any case I hope you learned at least a few new tips and hope to see you all at Worlds!