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Empire at War is out! Thrawn/Unkar is a deck! Kylo/FN is a deck! Vehicles appear to be playable! Everyone run for the hills!
With all the spoilers over the last few months, we here at Artificery have been patiently biding our time, waiting to give opinions with the full context of a set available. You can read Lasci’s indepth look at all the characters right here, so we wanted to talk about the non-character cards we are most excited about heading into this new meta. Our top ten lists are given in no particular order and were written by us without any communication before-hand. While you may completely disagree with a few selections, the cards you see repeated from person to person are pretty much guaranteed to be worth taking a close look at.
After checking everything out, pop on over to the Artificery Discord to argue with everyone about how good or bad the cards are and don’t forget to sign up for the Season 3 TTS League with amazing prize support and 40+ people at the time of this writing!
Agent Of Zion’s Top 10
We now have quite a few really impactful supports, being able to snag a discount on each and every one of them is very attractive. If you haven’t really taken a look at them, the Airspeeder and Z-95 are incredibly cost efficient in that they are better than the vast majority of upgrades at that cost, and they don’t leave play when one of your dudes dies. Between them, Honor Guard, Chopper and the heavy hitters, if we aren’t already at critical mass for a support deck we are right on the cusp.
Remember back when everyone was wondering why things like Fast Hands, Holocron, and Force Speed were free? I’m guessing this is why. I would have paid one for any of those upgrades before, and now I certainly would. Being able to get out from under another player’s oppressive Imperial Inspection or Salvage Stand is going to be incredibly helpful, and Running Interference also hits the bin from this. I don’t see entirely too many decks that won’t run at least one copy of Rend.
Speaking of which… I don’t know for a fact that this card is going to be the most impactful thing in the world, but I do know it is probably the single most skill intensive card in the game. People are going to figure out pretty quickly that the right response to getting interfered with is almost never “pass”, but aside from that there are innumerable ways to use this to completely wreck the structure of your opponents turn or protect what you are trying to do. And on the occasions where you can get two of these in play, opponent tempo is going to be in the gutter.
Destiny’s first tutor effect, and it is totally solid. Even at 1, it would be completely playable, for free it is nothing but value. Being able to run only one of a unique weapon like Rey’s / Grand Inquisitor’s Lightsaber but having virtually three copies of it in a deck while ALSO making sure you can always get your Shoto / Crossguard / Ancient Lightsaber when you need it will go a long way to keep blue melee decks at least competitively viable if not solidly in the T1 range.
It also makes opponent Friends in Low Places decision making pretty rough, and once the true power of Ancient Lightsaber is common knowledge will allow you to keep your Force Strikes, Cautions, or Ripostes safe in hand more often.
Oh baby. Damage from hand in Hero? Not limited to certain types of dice? Rewards you for doing something you were probably going to do anyway on the cheap? Scares your opponent into controlling dice they might not have touched otherwise? Yes yes yes. This card is the real deal. Right now the turn 1 top-end of damage assuming no upgrades were played is 5 which is insane. In actual use, this card probably doesn’t ever reroll more than three or four dice at a time, but when it hits it’s going to hit hard. My dream is to H&R with Wingman out, Swiftness into this, then blow someone out. Maybe the Swiftness is too gimmicky, but you can’t tell me not to try.
Check out my article here if you want the low-down on how impactful the new Kylo is, and now imagine him smacking you twice in a turn. For characters like him, Krennic, Seventh Sister, and Thrawn, feint does so much work for you it’s an auto-include times two. And if you god-rolled with your char, you don’t HAVE to pull everything back, while if you bricked you get rewarded for rerolling your stuff anyway.
I hate giving my opponents choices, but I sure do love to force them into the absolute worst plays possible. The villain control is real folks. Hand information, discard one, essentially ambush, mess with their turn something fierce, and possibly force them to remove their own dice? If it seems like too much of a good deal to you I agree. Especially in Thrawn/Unkar who is likely swimming in cash, this card will almost never brick and will always at the very least demoralize your opponent.
On the subject of Thrawn/Unkar, have you seen this monstrosity? Imagine a card that allowed one-to-one conversion of resources to damage with no cap. That would be pretty nuts right? Welcome to Buy Out, but you start with 30 HP and damage yourself every time you try to do something. I can say for certain that everyone reading this is going to get absolutely wrecked by this card at least once, and it is going to feel very very bad. Top Friends in Low Places target in the game right now 100%.
I’m in love with this card for some reason. Two sides that activate Unkar on their own and even in the absence of the Jowl King you get two sides that trigger Salvage Stand, one for Imperial Inspection, and two that help keep you alive all while turning blanks into money. In my opinion there is no better die a control deck can spend two resources for at the moment, pushing Personal Shield out of the slot.
One money to add the redeploy keyword to any individual upgrade in the game? Even abilities? Where do I sign? Ramp up a character with confidence, and make it very punishing for your opponent no matter who they target. If you just have two characters, it’s still great value but any deck utilizing Padawans is getting a huge boost out of this card. This might even make Luke’s Lightsaber or Handcrafted Light Bow playable!
I’m invoking editor’s privilege to snag an extra card to talk about here. This card has kinda flown under the radar for some reason, but I think it’s pretty great. The one area where blue villain has been weak is their upgrade ramp (Holocron not-withstanding). There are very few upgrade dice available for one resource in general, and only Dark Counsel / DH-17 consistently translate into extra damage. This pushes consistency through the roof in aggressive decks while providing a smooth transition into later turns without sacrificing your paid damage sides or removal options. Redeploy allows you to salvage at least some value if a char is about to die holding a Crossguard or Vibroknife, and can be swapped one-for-one for a Force Illusion after you got your use out of it for the turn. Not every deck is going to love this card, but in a couple decks it is going to be an all-star.
Tacster’s Top Ten
This card is just great to have in the pool. This would have been in every deck of mine in SoR to counter Salvage Stand and Imperial Inspection. It is also great to hit Force Speed and Holocron. While it might not be super common to play, it is a great tool to have to help counter a certain meta
This is what I dub the best card in the set. It will be in 100% of all yellow villain decks as it simply can do so much for only 1 resource. With this one card you gain hand knowledge, and can force your opponent to play a removal event which could be forced to hit one of their own dice and spend a resource.
This card just has too much value for 1 resource and should have cost 2
Between Bestow and Funeral Pyre hero blue has now got a solid way of preserving upgrades among characters. This might make 3 character decks with at least 1 Padawan a force to be reckoned with. Bestow is also the card that might make K2SO viable as a solid tier 2 deck.
If you just want to be as aggressive as possible you don’t get many cards better than this. You don’t need to play removal if you can kill your oppenent extremely fast and force your removed dice back into the pool. This is the tool Palpatine wish he had in SoR and might be a tool he can use to stay relevant in the EaW meta.
For the small stipulation of having a character and an activatable support in play, any deck can have access to this awesome tempo card. At 0 cost the initial effect of this card which allows you to activate a character and a support at once speeding up your possibly slow deck, and on top of that after seeing the dice results you can pay the resource to get an extra action. I see this card as similar to tactical mastery from Awakenings but while being more flexible and able to be put in more decks.
While coercion is probably the best card in the set, I think this is not far behind and is definitely my vote for best hero card. While coercion represents undercosted card with an extreme power level (and is thus poorly designed), Running Interference is one of the best designed cards. It rewards smart strategic play on both players sides. The ability to lock your opponent out of actions can allow you to use the die fixing cards without ambush while preventing your opponent from being able to respond with a control card of their own. On top of this there may be situations where your opponent has few if any options with which to use on his turn forcing him to pass while maybe even showing a large amount of damage on the board, after which you can pass as well in order to end the round early and prevent a lot of damage. This card makes your opponent think in ways they are not used to and forces them to play the game at a higher level in order to compete without having to rely on dice rolls.
This card is awesome and interesting. If it did not have ambush I am not sure it will see play, but as it stands this card can be the breaking point that could end up deciding key rounds in many games. At base analysis it is kind of the yellow version of enrage or logsitics. It has a bigger downside than enrage, but is much more flexible than logistics. But the temp gain from the ambush is what sets this card apart possibly making it the best moneymaker.
I am really glad a card like this exists. It is just a nice way to add some reusability to character after activate abilities and also giving you the ability to choose not to ready them if you roll extremely well. I do not see this being a super common card in decks nor do i forsee it being overpowered, but I do see there being some decks that will be able to use this card to great potential. Being able to use Vader, Thrawn, or the new Kylo’s ability twice in a round could be fairly strong even if you can only manage it a few times per game. I am not sure yet if it will make the cut in many competitive lists.
LL-30 Blaster Pistol:
This is essentially a holdout blaster with a focus for ranged damage only instead of a resource and a 2nd 1 ranged side instead of a 2 for 1 ranged side. I will say, not having the resource does hurt but not having to pay of any side and being able to use the special to focus a bigger badder die to 3 or more damage seems worth it. I think this will be a staple in villain gun decks though I am not sure what you are cutting for it just yet.
Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking this card is mediocre. Yes its 2 one melee sides seem underwhelming but for 2 you are still getting a stronger die than vibroknife with an ability that can be a game changer. The ability to sack this weapon after using it in a round to heal 2 and not even have to discard it but put it to bottom of the deck is really strong. The weapon can then be retrieved from the bottom of your deck with lightsaber pull allowing you to get more use and more healing from the saber. This is also one of the best protections against mill in the game and could be the one card that keeps you in the game at least one more round vs mill decks.
Elrathion’s Top 10
This baby is simply amazing. It has good die faces, only cost two. But the best part about this weapon is that you can cycle it to the bottom of your deck to heal two. This can have two purposes: a) get you out of a pinch by healing b) make it extremely hard for a mill deck to actually beat you.
I really love this weapon. Getting it on characters like Wookie Warriors or Mace Windu instantly makes the character so much better. Not having to pay the 1 cost on a dice is hugely impactful, and it only takes electrostaff reducing two dice to be completely self funded.
Amazing card for Palp! This in essence is a dug in on demand for Palp and while very niche it will see a lot of play!
If you can get this puppy early in a mill deck with fast hands or on Jango, this can have a HUGE impact on the game. It is going to be one of the upgrades which if you get lucky and roll it consistently make people extremely upset.
One of the best events in the set. If this was villain and a deck like Phasma Guav Trooper had access, it would be an auto include. How good this event will turn out to be will depend if hero can find a good ranged based deck this set, but there is no denying that this is a card that will make waves either now or in future sets.
Who doesn’t love a good tech card. This card will be amazing in hero mill and more defensive decks.
Love this card. Being able to bring back one of your 20+ cost dice is amazing.
Holocron. Imperial Inspection. Force Speed. Salvage Stand. Beside all being some of the most powerful cards in the game, they have another thing in common: they cost 0 and want to go in nearly every deck where possible. Force rend is a great way to deal with these cards. I am actually afraid it will straight up destroy Sith Holocron, as this might be the card that if it’s played in a lot of decks makes you want to stop running holocron all together. While it certainly hurts all of the other cards, it hurts holocron the most as this is a setup card.
Just what the doctor ordered, more action cheating! Only this time you get to action cheat a character and a vehicle together, YAY!