- Great damage, although the 3 costs a resource.
- 2 can be devastating, as that is a turn’s worth of resources.
- 2 sides showing .
- His ability gives a ridiculous amount of shields throughout the game.
- Every single side is worth resolving (except blank).
- If you somehow don’t draw ambush cards, he only has 10 hp for 18 points.
- You have to build your deck around his ability, or you won’t get enough value from him.
- 2 sides showing .
- Her ability is stupid broken (Not that I’m complaining, she’s currently the only thing keeping Heroes viable).
- 2 dice and 10 hp for 12 points is very efficient.
- 2 Modified sides.
- The 1 isn’t quite enough to significantly hamper your opponent, so usually you wish you’d rolled something else. (In some matchups this is different).
Overall Character evaluation:
- This combination generates more resources than any other deck.
- High effective hp.
- Strong passives.
- Strongest roll for the battlefield in the game.
- Mixed damage.
- If Han dies early to unexpected burst damage, you’re probably in a bad spot.
- Very reliant on having it’s own battlefield.
Possibly the biggest strength of the deck is its ability to play the attrition game. Over the course of a game, Han could get around 15 shields placed on him, and use Second Chance for an additional 10-20 health. We’re looking at upwards of 55 effective hp. (Not every game will go that well, but if Han stays alive to late game he will tank an insane amount of damage).
The deck can ramp so much faster than nearly any other deck, the exception being a Holocron deck that rolls specials. It generates a ton of resources with its character dice, which allows it to consistently ramp and still afford removal.
This deck is the fastest deck out there. If it has Infamous on the board, it can generate a ton of free actions together with Rey’s ability. This allows it to consistently claim more than any other deck. Even before you have Infamous, Rey still speeds up the deck quite a bit.
The deck has fairly consistent rolls. Typically, you’re okay with almost all of your early game rolls, as you either roll damage, or you roll resources. Rey’s dice are the exception in that you usually can’t resolve her +2, and the discard doesn’t always feel worth resolving.
The deck can abuse the battlefield harder than any other deck in the game. With the recursion of Graveyard, you can give Han a free shield each turn and get a free action cheat every turn. Then once you have your DL-44s cycling, you get a free removal each turn as well. Finally, at end game you recur Second Chance for seemingly infinite HP.
The deck can simply deal with more things that go wrong than any other deck. Your effective HP gives you quite a few chances to come back into the game.
On your battlefield, either character can finish well. Let’s say they burst Han down before you draw into Second Chance. Now you have Rey action cheating every single turn and simply ignoring your opponent’s removal. While this isn’t quite as good as Han’s 40 effective HP, it can still win you games.
The deck tends to be vulnerable to not drawing its upgrades. A HR that doesn’t draw its Holdouts/Heavy Blasters until the bottom 10 cards is a very sad HR. Similarly you can end up not drawing your Second Chance(s) in time to save Han.
The deck plays very differently depending on whether you are on your battlefield, and which supports are in play (Awakening and Infamous). This isn’t inherently a weakness, but it means that as a pilot, you have to be comfortable playing the game when you can’t recur your upgrades, or when you don’t have Infamous/Awakenings on the board.
The deck can be weak to early aggression. HR wants to ramp up into multiple upgrades. If it is forced into an early Second Chance, or into playing more removal than it wants to, it can struggle to get its game plan running.
The deck can be weak to mill. I’m not saying that mill decks counter it, but HR tends to run through its deck faster than most. There are many games where HR loses because they get to the end and they simply can’t do anything other than roll once and then cycle Second Chance. If throughout a game you get hit by a few mill sides, it can really hurt.
The deck can be vulnerable to blowout removal. Lots of decks run Dodge, so at the end when Han rolls in and hits a solid roll, it’s not uncommon for your opponent to Dodge it all away.
Playing With Han/Rey
How to play early-game:
Mulligan for your 2 cost upgrades, preferably Holdout Blaster, and your supports.
Always choose your battlefield.
Try to get a cycle going if you’re on your battlefield, where each turn you get a free shield on Han by cycling ambush upgrades.
Ramp; once you’ve set yourself up with a few upgrades and some excess resources, there should be almost no way for your opponent to ever kill Han, which means that you have lots of room for errors and bad luck throughout the rest of your game.
Deal some damage. If you can get a opponent’s character to at least 5 hp remaining, a turn 3 or 4 action cheat with Han can easily finish them off.
If your opponent is going for Rey, use your Ripostes very liberally. There are a lot of key cards that you want to draw, so you don’t want to be holding on to anything if you don’t have to. Also, once Han is stacked on shields you won’t be making any use of his ability. Instead, just use the Riposte and get that damage onto your opponent’s character. Now the next time you roll out you have a really solid chance for a kill, and you are also now making use of Han’s passive again.
How to play mid-game:
Mid game is about turn 4 ish. You have sometimes lost Rey at this point.
By this point, if you have Rey, keep her alive for as long as you can. The value from her action cheats is insane. However, you should also be looking to make sure you have redeploys on her (Holdouts, and depending on what you run, OWTF and Sabers). HR eats resources fast, whether it be through Second Chance, resource sides on guns, or high cost events like Reversal. Saving the upgrade resources from Rey can be big.
Keep cycling upgrades for free shields on Han.
Claim early. You can usually be an action or two ahead because of Rey and Infamous. Since you make so much use out of the claim, it is usually worth it for you to claim with a couple dice left on the board. Now next turn you start with a free shield and you get to roll out Han first. If you can keep doing this, eventually Han is going to roll something your opponent can’t handle, and you win. Essentially, you don’t have to be concerned about getting max value out of each turn, because of how much effective HP you have. This means you can claim early knowing that it gives you a better shot at putting your opponent on the back foot next turn. (Note also it shuts down cards like Dug In and Defensive Position for your opponent).
How to play late-game:
Late game begins when either Han dies (and Rey is alive), or your Second Chance cycling has begun.
If Han dies, you are now playing a very different game. You no longer have the plan B of just outlasting your opponent. Instead, each turn is about action cheating Rey and finishing off characters before they get to do anything. Don’t get me wrong, you can still use removal and survive a couple turns, but you have to play better now. You probably still want to claim early so that you can cycle your cheats, but if you claim early now, you can die. With Han when you claim early you have the security net of Second Chance.
If Second Chance cycling has begun, there isn’t much too complicated about your turns. You roll out Han and hope you hit damage. You can reroll once or twice, but generally you want to be resolving them and staying ahead of your opponent. Then on your opponent’s last roll, you can do annoying things like Infamous > Electroshock then claim, both removing a die and securing the battlefield in one action. Note however, that you probably want to be resolving a few resources each turn, so that Second Chance doesn’t have to overwrite your weapons. Also note that if you claim before they proc second chance, you may have just killed yourself, as you won’t have it for next turn.
Stay ahead of your opponent in actions. You benefit a lot from being able to claim.
Be careful about discarding your supports. While playing Infamous instead of dealing a 3 for 1 can feel bad, remember that Infamous will have a huge impact for the rest of the game.
If you aren’t playing on your battlefield, think twice before discarding/overwriting supports and upgrades. You will be used to playing on your own, and you may come to mid game and be surprised to find 4 upgrades in your discard pile, but none in your hand. Or you may discard an Infamous only to find your second is at the bottom of the deck.
Action cheating into the 2 disrupt is almost always good, and severely hampers your opponent’s turn.
Playing Against Han/Rey
How to play against early-game:
This is hard. Since Han Rey tends to just win if you let them get set up, you have to put on early pressure, and can’t afford to let them ramp while not taking damage. If you let them set up, you have to deal with a 40 hp Han.
Never take their battlefield.
Depending on how much early damage you roll into, and how quick your deck can deal damage, you can make the choice to go for Han first in some games. This is extremely risky, but can pay huge dividends if you kill Han before Infamous shields and Second Chance come into play. Note that if your opponent plays Infamous turn 1, you probably don’t want to go for Han first.
If you have disrupts, use them. Keeping HR from having all the resources they want will pay huge dividends.
Control damage whenever you can. If you let one of your characters get low, they’ll be in real danger from the turn 3-4 action cheats.
How to play against mid-game:
Kill Rey as fast as you can. Action cheats are becoming extremely scary at this point, so if you let her stay out even 1 extra turn, you will take some damage next turn that you can’t stop.
If you can, try to finish off Rey in a burst that your opponent doesn’t expect. Now is your chance to have them lose 3-5 resources in upgrades.
Try to take the battlefield from them whenever you can. You probably won’t most turns, but if you ever have the chance, deny them the recursion.
Prioritize shields if you have the option. Shields are the only reliable way to stop action cheat damage.
How to play against late:
Set up a kill on Han. You need to place him at about 8-9 damage, such that you can both proc the Second Chance and kill him in the next round. If you just proc the Second Chance and leave him at 5, he can just claim and play it again next round.
Be wary of late game removal like Reversal and Anticipate. HR is actually decent at using Anticipate, as it can do things like Infamous > Electroshock your one good die (or just use Unpredictable) and then Anticipate to wipe your board.
Know that a second win condition at this point is milling the HR. If you can keep your characters alive for long enough, eventually Han won’t ever be able to do anything other than roll once, claim, and play Second Chance. So, if you roll mill sides, consider using them.
Be wary of Riposte plays. Be aware that even if Han has no shields, they can just play 1-3 ambush cards and then Riposte for a kill.
Disrupt resources whenever you get the chance.
Mill whenever you can afford to. HR likes to use all of its cards in its hand. Especially while Rey’s on the board, they tend to use cards quickly. If they use two upgrades for action cheats, and then you mill them for 2, they will have just 1 card left for the rest of the turn. This will also bring your second win condition closer.
With the amount of resources the deck produces, and the number of 3-damage sides are in the other top decks, this should be in your HR. Not to mention that you can Infamous it. In any case, paying 3 for a 6 damage point swing is totally worth it, and is extremely devastating for your opponent.
You need two of these in your deck. If you don’t have two, then whether or not you draw it before you need it is way too luck based. If your opponent goes Han first and you don’t draw it, Han could just die. Not running two is way too big of a gamble
Rey’s Staff and Awakenings
These cards fill very similar roles. You can run 2 of them, but you shouldn’t run 4, there’s too much overlap in purpose.
While playing this may seem like such a waste at times, not having a redeploy upgrade can really set you back. You want to be able to use Rey for cheats, so you play some of your starting upgrades on her. If when your opponent kills her, you lose both a Heavy Blaster and a JetPack, it is absolutely devastating if Han doesn’t have upgrades. On the other hand, if you manage to overwrite with a Saber, you can now just overwrite with a Heavy Blaster or Second Chance once it is on Han. I’m not saying you have to play Saber, but it can be a huge tool in dealing with Rey’s death.
Phasma Bala Trooper:
This is probably one of your easiest matchups. PBT needs to be able to use its removal, and it really suffers if Phasma dies early. HR is very well equipped to cheat damage and can easily kill Phasma first. However, in games where you don’t draw into your cheats early on, PBT could offer a challenge. Even if they get ahead however, they don’t have very many good options for killing Han unexpectedly, so you should be able to get off your Second Chances, and you can still win from behind.
Kill Phasma or Bala first. You don’t really have to be concerned about the guardian as much, unless you have a horrible draw.
Disrupt them early if you can, the deck needs early upgrades, and if you deny them the resources, they won’t have a chance at winning.
Realize that if you give them the chance, they will remove your dice.
PBT wants to play the attrition game, but you’re simply better at it. Go out there and make the cautious and more consistent choices, and you should win most games. This matchup is around a 60-40 for you.
This is quite possibly your hardest matchup. HR suffers when it can’t get the ramp going, and from early aggression. VR can deal tons of early damage and also disrupts quite a bit, meaning it can be really hard to get your game plan going. Not to mention that VR has lots of shield hate in Kylo’s Saber and Intimidate. If VR rolls well early there isn’t a whole lot you can do. Rey can easily die turn 2 and Han with 1-2 upgrades has to beat Vader and Tusken, which he won’t most games. One final note is that Vader’s trigger really hurts.
Negotiate really shines early on in this matchup. If you can, roll out Rey so that when Vader rolls in you can remove both his dice.
Kill Vader first.
This is one matchup where you can almost justify taking the opponent’s battlefield. The extra 2 shields can make a huge difference in staving off the early Vader damage, while also making it easier for you to kill Vader.
You have to put on early pressure in this matchup. If you don’t kill Vader soon enough, you simply can’t loop Second Chance as well as you can against other decks. There is too much damage and too much disrupt.
VR has the potential to just blow you out of the water with early aggression. However, a few key early removals and some bad rolls, and now you’re set up to crush him in the mid game with action cheats. This is around a 40-60 for you.
Jango Bala Trooper:
This shouldn’t be too hard of a matchup for you. JBT tends to take a while to get going, and any deck that can’t apply early pressure is going to suffer against HR. Control a few of their dice early, and you should be able to get set up without too much difficulty. You should be able to kill Bala-Tik fairly quickly, and that will severely hamper their damage output. However, if JBT does roll well early and you don’t draw into your Deflects/Electroshocks, you could be looking at a dead Rey on turn 2 or 3 and a Bala trigger. If Han isn’t stacked enough, you’re probably just looking at a slow defeat in which you spend too much money on your Second Chances, and thus can’t apply any pressure.
Be wary of the many options JBT has to deal unexpected damage.
Kill Bala first.
Take your battlefield.
Keep in mind that if you action cheat and Jango reacts, you can remove his dice with your second action.
Prioritize keeping Rey alive early. If you kill Bala before they kill Rey, it is often just an auto-win.
This should be a win for you most games. However, if don’t kill the Bala before they kill Rey, it’s probably a loss for you. This is something around a 60-40 for you, but that can be lower if you don’t get your battlefield.
While on the surface JD seems like a similar matchup to the VR, it really isn’t. JD doesn’t put up nearly as much early game pressure, as the starting max damage is 4, and not 9. On top of this, you are extremely good at killing Dooku, as you have a lot of high value sides and modifiers. Unless Jabba rolls crazy early on, and severely hampers your hand, you really wont have an issue. Both decks want to ramp but you will win the late game. One thing worth noting is that JD has almost as good of a Battlefield roll as you do.
Especially if you are on their battlefield, be careful about milling yourself.
Kill Dooku first.
Take your battlefield.
Similar to PBT, whenever you face another deck that wants to ramp and win over the course of a slower game, HR will just win that, as it’s effective HP late game is way too much to deal with. This should be an easy win on your battlefield, but even on theirs, as long as you don’t play inefficiently and mill yourself, you should be looking at a 60-40.
This is an interesting matchup. PR has the potential to just burst down Rey in 2 to 3 turns, and get too far ahead of the curve for you to come back. However, if you control Poe’s dice once or twice in the early turns, and keep Rey alive, the deck doesn’t have the disrupt or hand control that Vader does. This means that you are more reliably able to get set up, and can in most games set up the late game win.
Take your battlefield.
If you can disrupt them early on, the game is so much easier for you, so do it if you get the chance.
Be aware that PR thrives on burst plays. If you aren’t careful, they could randomly hit Han for 8-10 damage before you can Second Chance.
Control Poe’s dice as much as possible.
You probably want to kill Poe first. Some PR’s are running DH-17’s and It’s a Trap for the potential early game burst before Poe dies. This is one of PR’s win conditions against you, if they can get off an early 6-10 damage It’s a Trap, you could just lose.
Be wary of All In, and potential It’s A Trap builds.
Claim early and often. PR needs the battlefield for several events, and it also can abuse Graveyard if it draws its Holdouts.
If PR rolls hot early, you can end up just losing to the early aggression. However, if the game lasts long enough, PR doesn’t have the same resource or hand control to choke you out mid and late game. This is roughly a 60-40 on your battlefield, but if you’re playing on theirs, it could actually swing back to a 45-55, as they can more reliably burst you early.
HR is an extremely viable deck. It’s effective HP gives it a lot of wiggle room and allows it to pull out wins in games where other decks would just fall apart. In general, it will beat every other deck that wants to ramp and play for late game. On the other hand it can really suffer to early aggression, and games in which Han or Rey dies before you have the resources, you’re looking at a loss. If you’re considering playing HR at Worlds I have two cautions:
- HR is not an easy deck to play. While you have more room for error, you have a lot of potential for inefficient plays. An inexperienced HR will find that they consistently mill themselves too fast, and don’t have enough resources for all the events, upgrades, and die sides they need to use. HR’s play-style also varies wildly depending on which supports are in play and if you’re on your battlefield or not. HR takes time to become familiar with, so don’t just think you can pick it up the day before Worlds and win.
- Vader Raider is going to be an extremely popular deck at Worlds, and you can really struggle to win in that matchup. Having to go through a 15 hp Vader while taking a ton of damage yourself is quite the uphill climb. Not to mention that his consistent hand control and disrupt will punish HR’s who don’t play efficiently enough. If you want to play HR at Worlds, then you need to be comfortable with this matchup.
- Bonus Caution! HR can run to time a lot, so if you play HR all day at Worlds, it could end up being a brutal grind fest, with no time for rest between games.
Han Rey seems to be a solid choice for Worlds, but watch out, VR’s will be there aplenty, and that matchup could sink your ‘Titanic’ healthpool.
Thanks for reading!