Card Spotlight: Han's Promise
Every so often, a card comes along that doesn't just shake up the tournament scene, but dominates it. In this article, we're going to look at one such card that is still the scourge of Dark Side players, even though it was released way back in The Empire Strikes Back: Han's Promise.
Han's Promise is arguably the most powerful Mission card in the game right now. From Chewie-Droid Reanimator decks (See Michael "Skymiles" Kelly's article "Dark Side Power Decks, Part 2") to Jedi Reanimator decks, this card has dominated the current tournament scene.
How is it so good?
The Power of a Promise
The key to realizing the full power of this card is seeing the bigger picture. By bringing into play any Character for 3 build, Han's Promise enables you to essentially ignore the Character arena, allowing you to deploy support units such as Princess Leia (G) and Jedi Youngling while concentrating on the Ground and Space arenas. After your opponent has worked around your initial setup by carefully deploying their units, you turn everything on its head by using Han's Promise to drop a killer Jedi into the Character arena -- first turn! The result is the prospect of a battle on all fronts for your opponent while you can pick and choose the arenas you wish to contest.
So, what does a Han's Promise deck look like? There are three vital elements:
The means to place Characters into your discard pile first turn; The ability to draw and play a Han's Promise first turn, before your opponent can get a Character into their own discard pile; A selection of Characters able to single-handedly hold the Character arena.
And here's how it all goes together:
This deck creates a formidable Ground and Space setup. It then uses various card drawing/discarding engines to draw into Han's Promise and Yoda (D), Mace Windu (A) or Obi-Wan Kenobi (I), dropping your Jedi straight into the Character arena first turn.
The Space Arena
This Space build is very familiar to what is predominantly now a standard Light Side range of Falcons and stacked starfighters. IG-2000 (A), in addition to being a very powerful unit, is a great discard engine to fuel your Han's Promise. The Modified YV-330 (A) completely negates opposing Tyrannus's Solar Sailers and TIE Fighters, and if your opponent also has one in the arena, they'll have to choose between keeping their Space unit in play or keeping their Force for activated abilities/Battle cards -- something they'll need when facing your Jedi!
The Controversial Ground Arena
Now for a bit of controversy. Typical Light Side Ground arenas consist of either Rebel Snowspeeders or Bespin Speeders -- but I'm going to choose neither. I am unashamedly a big fan of the Gungans, and they sit very well in this deck. At 3 to 4 build, they allow you to draw deep into your deck during setup to find that all-important first-turn Han's Promise plus Jedi Character combo. Lando System? will get Otoh Gunga early on, with Discuss It in Committee and Strange Lodgings granting you the time you need to find a Fambaa Shield Beast or two. Once these are out and combined with Rebel Hangar, your Gungans are almost impossible to dislodge. And what are they led by? Why, nothing less than the infamous Jawa Sandcrawlers, almost the perfect card drawing/discard engines for this deck.
The Character Arena
The Character arena is all about support. Yaddle (A) is another discard engine for your Han's Promise, while Finis Valorum (B) enables yet more card drawing together with invaluable Force and build bonuses. Princess Leia (G) enables you to build whatever you search for with Otoh Gunga, while also fueling the invaluable Jedi Youngling. This Character arena quickly becomes Force-intensive, but the Youngling plus Dagobah System should provide you with all the Force you need. Finally, Shaak-ti (B) is inexpensive support for your Han's Promised Jedi.
Fighting in the Character arena carries with it the terrible threat of facing Human Shield or Vendetta, two cards that can take apart your Jedi without a second thought. To combat this, four disrupts are included -- two Disrupting Strikes for the early game and two Change in Destiny's for late game saves when each player's Force total is too high for the Strike to have much effect.
So there you have it: a deck capable of fighting in every arena, and with more options than you can shake a gaffi stick at! Have fun with it, and see you next time with a few previews from the Return of the Jedi that will certainly shake things up!
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