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Since FFG sent us all into the Upside Down with the newest Rules Reference Guide, we’ve seen a massive increase in new and creative decks. The nerf to Vibroknife is a specific one that has lead to a rise in Hero decks lately since the nerf makes shields relevant again. One of those Hero decks that I’ve been having a blast with is one I like to call “Rethink Your Technique.”
Kanan might just be my favorite character from Empire at War. I detailed this in a previous article so I won’t go too deep into him here except to say that his ability perfectly syncs up with the new Poe’s in excellent ways. Namely, rolling a Focus on Kanan allows you to open up Poe’s entire die and you can either land big damage with it or use it for control purposes with his Special side. New Poe is fantastic in his ability to control the board. Not only does his special turn a die to any side, it also grants a shield. He can be used as a great tool for either offense or defense and his versatility, like Kanan’s, cannot be understated.
I’m usually a big fan of battlefields that can’t completely wreck your world. Docking Bay is usually a good choice for that since it has a minimal use (unless you’re playing against a vehicle deck) and it doesn’t really hurt you very often if the opponent snags an early claim. It also happens to be really good in this deck, but more on that later.
I decided to go with all guns in this deck. It makes the most sense for a few reasons. First, both characters have Ranged sides. Second, stuff like the A280 and Holdout not only pack a good bunch for only 2 resources, they also have Redeploy in case one of your characters goes down quick. Poe’s Blaster is a no-brainer in here. Being able to chain into the Special off of Poe’s Special is an excellent 4 damage swing. DH-17 is always good in a Ranged damage deck. Overkill is great in here because of Kanan’s ability to manipulate dice easily. Handcrafted Light Bow is a card I’ve really liked since it was introduced, I was just never able to find a really good use for it until now. Since Shields are back to being good, I expect to see a lot more Shield builds. That’s where Light Bow comes in. The Special is amazing and can do anywhere from 3 to 5 damage depending on the situation. With Poe’s Special and Kanan’s ability, it’s a very easy side to be able to resolve throughout the course of the game.
I run two copies of Honor Guard in here. Honor Guard is a fantastic removal option for Red Hero. Her tends to be lacking in removal options in general, so being able to have one out whenever you need it is always great. As I stated earlier, the battlefield comes in big here because if you are able to claim often, you can keep getting Honor Guard back into play for free and it allows you to survive longer since you always have removal on the board.
And older version of this deck included both Heat of Battle and It’s a Trap! I removed those when the new errata for them came out in favor of more removal. Defensive Position has saved me plenty of times when my opponent has landed a God Roll or even just a decent roll. Kanan’s ability allows for a great action economy so it’s usually pretty likely that you will have an opportunity to claim. All In is amazing in this deck. Not only because of Poe’s Special side, but also because of his double Focus side. It allows for massive damage swings when Poe and/or Kanan have several Upgrades equipped. Force Misdirection feels like it was build for Kanan. He has so many options that you can utilize it with, it’s really great removal for a Kanan deck. Overconfidence is a great card that allows you to totally wreck your opponent’s board state.
This is really a mid-range type of deck. It’s capable of great plays through All In and Poe’s Special while also having the ability to utilize some decent control through Poe’s Special and things like Honor Guard, Overconfidence, and Force Misdirection. Generally, my first play is to roll out Kanan and then go from there. His action economy is amazing and it allows you to do some crazy things. I usually like to roll at least one Resource side on Kanan first turn so that I can resolve it with his ability and play out a weapon on Poe.
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