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Convergence Has Me Feeling Blue

Can you feel it too?

It is a Time of Galactic Unrest

Convergence is almost upon us! The question at the top of my mind since the AtG meta solidified has been some variant of “What does blue hero, and blue sticks in general, need to become scary again?”

This is a question I have not been alone in asking. Your Destiny recently pronounced blue hero dead on arrival. Jackleman Games provided a rebuttal in defense of blue hero, and in the podcast world, Arrow Brook Gaming seemed to land with Your Destiny that blue hero wouldn’t hold up in any competitive sense. Now that Convergence has been thoroughly spoiled, I decided that the Dice of Failure might as well weigh in. Shoutout to Yeti and Artificery for the opportunity to guest post.

As the resident blue apologist (blueser, as it were) on my team, I have wanted a blue sticks deck to shine in hero for as long as I have been playing. As such, I have a bias towards believing it will be able to perform, but we have also been testing new blue ideas consistently, and I am feeling optimistic about what the future holds. To provide a fair analysis, I will look at what is lost in rotation, what is staying, and what is being added. I’ll also make my argument for the two significant changes that could elevate Blue hero’s position. Finally, I will share a couple of early builds (including a villain concept) that are feeling decently solid.

Putting Awakenings to Bed

Weapons/Upgrades

Let’s start by acknowledging what we’ve lost.

Blue hero lost some impactful two resource weapons. This doubly hurts when Villain gets access to Palp’s Saber and Dooku’s Saber and still has Cross Guard for affordable sabers.

  • Shoto Lightsaber – I hardly knew thee, and Qui-Gon misses you.
  • Ancient Lightsaber – The 2 drop health reclaiming champion is no more. But I will hold out hope we see something as impactful again one day.
  • Force Illusion – While this loss hits every deck (because they all played it), I actually think it helps blue hero’s viability in the long run. More on this later.

Events

Some real blowout ramp and removal is gone now.

  • Close Quarters Assault – I think you could argue that this card was too good, but taking away an option to remove an opponent’s hand has left hero with no real hand control options.
  • Guard – This is a huge loss, though cheap multi-die removal is absent for almost everyone. And this card was pretty crazy when it allowed you to use an orphaned +3 melee dice as triple removal.
  • Mind Trick/Overconfidence – These removal options saw lots of play in the last meta.
  • Riposte/Synchronicity – 0 cost cards that weaponized shields and shield sides were really effective in sneaking damage in.
  • Caution –  A great way to redeem a blank into 3 shields on a second character and set up big combo plays. Though Pacify still exists in a similar role and as mitigation in mill.
  • Destiny – This card could allow you to get one of the many 3 cost saber’s out round one with good sequencing. The art was also really funny.  

Holding on to a Legacy

Now Let’s look at what is staying. There is plenty still here to be excited about.

Weapons

There are a couple 2 cost weapons that remain, but I would love another good inclusion in this list.

  • Ezra Bridger’s Lightsaber – This card is no blowout, but redeploy and special chaining is nothing to overlook for 2 cost.
  • Treasured Lightsaber – This can be less impactful with no base damage sides, but the special chain and draw mechanic will make it an include in many lists until something comes along.
  • Luke’s Lightning Rod – Great damage sides for a 2 cost. But being unique with no redeploy is a bummer.
  • So many three cost Sabers! – Seriously, so many. And while this is an economic  pain when needing to have mitigation and counters, the recently confirmed reprint of It Binds all Things softens the blow. With many of these having redeploy, it’s easy to get more value out of sabers.

Events

The tempo and nature of what Blue hero plays like is changing, but many good options exists. A key takeaway for me with what we have and we are getting, is that Blue Hero has the tools to be quick, agile, and have great longevity.

  • Ataru Strike –  This is a card that still can give solid damage swings while incentivising you to use those shield sides. This is key to shifts in blue moving forward.
  • Heightened Awareness – While costly, this can be massive in Qui Gon decks.
  • Loth-Wolf Bond – This card can be such a big play with the tempo and shield value.
  • Beguile – Still one of the best 2 cost mitigation options because it can disrupt dice protected from removal, remove and give great control opportunities. The challenge is playing it while affording weapons to ramp.

Supports

These are a couple cards I want to highlight that have been previously not great plays, but may be worth considering now.

  • Defensive Teaching – Having the ability to give blue characters an additional shield can be a wasted card slot, but in the right build, it’s like creating constantly rechargeable second chances on a character with no upgrade slot consumed.
  • Honed Skills – Speaking of upgrade slots. One thing that is very different from other decks is the amount of defensive upgrades that blue hero can field. This combined with the longevity can put you in a position where this card moves from a “win more” card that is bad deck building, and moves it to a card that rewards your early safe game with more offensive capabilities than an opponent can field in the late game. It’s helpful when you need dice to stay alive, and also want to find the damage to close out games.

Characters

Blue hero has some great players waiting for us to make the most of them in rotation.

  • Yoda – He is still fantastic, and while closing out games can be a challenge, few other characters offer the ramp and flexibility he provides.
  • Qui Gon Jinn – I think Qui Gon is in a really strong position going into rotation.
  • Old Man Luke – He has been hard to build something impactful around, but I think we are seeing some new options open up.
  • Kit Fisto – Kit has even more survivability than other Jedi.  

The spark that will Light the Fire

Now that we have established the scene of Blue hero moving into Convergence, I want to focus on the two main changes that I think are going to enable the unique strengths of the faction. First, survivability like Force Illusion and Second Chance are all but gone. Red hero has some healing, but the need to aggressively damage characters and overcome those death preventing upgrades made it hard to not feel like the shield sides on blue hero were a distraction. And when you were shielded, the sides felt like a waste. Cards like defensive teaching aside, shields as pseudo removal by blocking damage and adding health are going to be more of a strength now when all factions are losing the tools to live into later rounds. No faction should be as good at surviving the long game as Blue Hero. This combined with the second main change to blue hero I think will help it carve out a competitive identity.

Aside from the advantages blue has with shield sides, it is gaining a tempo change in the form of Shields AND something else simultaneously. Whether that is removal, activation, or more dice options there is a clear change in blue kits towards giving shield in tandem with other benefits. This finally moves shields from a tempo and damage loss by making them reactive, and allows for more timely and impactful plays while also increasing the survivability of the blue characters. I think this is most exemplified in the new cards we at Dice of Failure have been referring to as the Soresu Suite.

A great deal of my testing has been focusing on these new cards, and I want to look at them each in detail.

  • Soresu Training – While this card can feel like it’s only a downpayment on the mastary card, we shouldn’t sell it short. It essentially has three shield sides with the specials, which are both 2-shield sides. It also has the shield AND tempo exchange with the mastery card, even allowing you to pull mastary from the discard pile after a discard or its last owner was defeated.
  • Soresu Mastery – This card is awesome, and high up on my list for legendaries I want from convergence. It acts as removal when played, has great sides including 2 special sides that remove damage dice, and no blanks. It can overwrite itself for timely additional removal. I think Luke3’s ability to redistribute ability dice could be very strong with this.  
  • Circle of Shelter –  This care is a bit underwhelming at face value, and with a character like Yoda it isn’t as exciting. But with mastery on a character, its essentially a 2 cost mitigation.
  • Deflecting Slash – This card is a beast. It does require thoughtful pacing, and I have been frustratedly reminded that it doesn’t work against a melee deck. But in tandem with Mastery, it is 1 resource for a removal, activation, and 2 shields, which is incredible value and easily better than its One With The Force counterpart.

I really can’t overstate how good it feels when these pieces come together, and I think Soresu Mastery is card to mulligan for all the time. The removal, shields, and control of this package is a big boon to all of blue, but it enables hero especially because they need time to ramp up with sabers.

Next up let’s look at Lightsaber Mastary. This card is nuts, and I can think of a couple pairings to really make use of it. Obviously the two events just mentioned can be used to great effect with Soresu. I also think Fatal Blow can be a great card to always have ready and waiting for a moment where you can deal 2-5 extra damage with Honed Skills. The option of having a two card sideboard that can’t be interrupted already seems awesome, and I think as more cards come out it’s ceiling will climb.

Sensing the Good in Them You Must

Last thing before we look at some new builds we have been testing is to dive into some of the new characters, supports, and upgrades that are joining the Blue Hero lineup.

Characters

There is a nice variety of new characters to explore in this set.

  • Lor San Tekka – While not a Jedi, his ability, health, cost, and focus makes him a fantastic support character. So he may not bring sticks to the table, but he can help you get the most out of them.
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi – As a starter he is solid, but I think you want Qui Gon instead. Focus is helpful.
  • Ahsoka Tano – Really glad we are getting a good ahsoka. She has low health, but great damage and combo potential.
  • Vigilant Jedi – Solid character for 8. You get 50% Damage sides and a built in removal. With a couple of these and Yoda you could have an interesting control deck brewing.
  • Mace Windu – Mace is awesome! As a leader and Jedi he plays well with the new hero only beguile like event Channel the Force. His power action will let you either play less upgrades while finding them reliably, or get more out faster. He also has great sides for an affordable price. He is the first character I have seen that makes me think Way of the Force could be playable.
So many new characters to build with!

Supports

Just a couple things here. We will see how they hold up in the early meta.

  • Yoda’s Spirit – This card is interesting. I would be lying if I hadn’t hoped that blue hero would get something to rival fist. This is helpful, and its special could be worthwhile. But, short of Padme synergy, I have trouble getting excited about it yet.
  • It Bind all Things – This reprint will be very helpful for the decks that need to ramp and afford mitigation.
  • Diatium Power Cell – This card spoiled this week lets you tap the support to add +1 to a weapon die with lightsaber in the title. At 1 cost, this could be a great addition to blue sticks and lets a bit more damage sneak through. Normally it would be hard to get value from a card like this, but with the survivability of blue hero, I think it can work out.

Upgrades

We already covered the Soresu cards, but I also think a couple cards are worth highlighting here.

  • Republic Jedi Armor – While this card might underwhelm, it acts as a two health swing when played and also introduces a solid defensive die into the pool. It’s a good play on Qui Gon, and if Mace Power actions it, it becomes a 3 health swing.
  • Mace Windu’s Lightsaber – 4 damage sides, two shields, and a power action to use it twice makes this a real solid 3 cost saber to join the many others.
  • Jedi Holocron – I saw lots of folks write this off because it didn’t stack up to the incredibly strong sith holocron, and I think that is crazy talk. A 3 draw that cycles the upgrade while giving a decrease in ability cost will be a real nice turn 1 combo for Suresu and other combos.
  • Lore Hunter – This could be great for your own draw when combined with Lor San Tekka’s Power action to minimize the hit. Or as a way to mill your opponent, albeit with a downside of giving them a card in hand.
  • Knighthood – This is a fast hands for Ahsoka and opens up tribal synergy. Not sure what else to do with it yet. Mace can use it to give 2 shields to a Jedi with his power action.

Do or Do Not

Thanks for sticking with me through the recap of what we have to work with in the new set. For this final segment, let’s look at a couple lists that use the new tools available to us. None of these are finalized, but each has been tested to get a good feel for what optimization might look like.

5 (Je)Die Hero

I wanted to a test a 5 die start using the new Allies of Necessity. Yoda helps with the resource loss, and an early defensive upgrade can help keep Ahsoka in the game. After testing this feels…just okay. I would need to reduce the upgrades and add more mitigation. I also wonder if dropping Vigilant Jedi for a Gungan and not needing to do Allies would be stronger. Not sure yet, but I like the idea of this deck and the speed that a play like Loth-Wolf to activate two Jedi and resolve two of Ahsoka’s dice bring to the table.

Patient Peacemakers

One of the first ideas I wanted to explore was getting Qui Gon to be able to maximize his ability similar to how my co host James was testing with Palpatine. Lightsaber Mastery provides a tempo bonus when you claim with a dice still in the pool to resolve it at +1 using the Comm Tower battlefield. If this is a dice from our Jedi it can become a +2. I found that I always had the money I needed. Satine brings great value for her cost. I was never worried about cash when testing. This deck could be very scary because Bacta Therapy and Honed Skills let Qui-Gon tank into an almost unstoppable force.

Blue’s Clues

This last list applies some of the new ideas to a mono-blue villain deck. I am calling it Blue’s Clues, and it has been incredible fun in testing. If you use both characters abilities in a turn it’s like making your opponent use Bitter Rivalry each turn. Forsaken is a beast, and having so many 0 cost removals allows us to use resources on weapons. Neither character feels good being left alive on the table.

Closing Thoughts

Thanks for joining me for a tour of what blue sticks are losing, keeping and adding into the tool kit. I firmly believe that blue hero’s emphasis on shields will give it a unique survivability in the new meta; and, new cards that leverage shields with an additional effect will be the tempo change to give Blue hero the kick it needed to become competitively viable again. I hope that I have provided a bit more excitement for the possibilities that Blue Stick builds can bring. Don’t take my word for it though, build one and come test with us online. I’m KyloSpren on the Artificery Discord. Let me know if you agree, disagree, or want to talk more about the best color in Destiny. Good luck with your pulls this week, and as we always say at the Dice of Failure

“Roll better than us!”

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The Winners and Losers of Rotation

With rotation, many changes will come about. Many cards will leave the pool, and this will indirectly nerf or buff other cards. In this article, I am going to go over some cards I think will see more play (winners), and some cards/decks will see much less play if any (Losers).


Losers

First let’s begin with the losers. These are cards I believe will see significantly less play or cards that will be made weaker by the rotation.

Mother Talzin:

Out of all the losers I believe this one will see the most play. However, that doesn’t change the fact that Talzin is getting a serious indirect nerf. Talzin is losing 3 sets rife with great 1 cost cards; notably: DH-17, Deflect and Overconfidence, to name a few. Talzin will still see a lot of play and is a great character for her cost, but there is no doubt she is weakened for the time being.

Quick Draw:

This card sees a lot of play in decks that aim to burst you out in one shot before you can react by utilizing ambush + another action cheat. However, those decks will be all but gone after rotation. Quick Draw decks are losing: Holdout Blaster, DL-44, X-8 Nightsniper and LL-30. Without good ambush weapons it is hard to see quickdraw getting much play. When you add the fact that its partner in crime Hit and Run is also rotating out its easy to conclude that Quick Draw is done. Which kinda bums me out because the Alt Art with Plo Kloon is sweet.

Yoda/Leia3:

I have a lot of good memories with this deck. Stay up late building it the night before the Atlanta regional and then crushing the regional the next day. This deck will always have a place in my heart but unfortunately, it will not have a place in the meta post rotation. It will be losing: Force Speed, Ancient Lightsaber, Hyperspace jump, and Salvage stand. These and a few others are what made this deck run. Without them, this deck is no longer competitive.

Vehicles Decks (especially hero):

I was a bit weary adding this one to the loser side. It’s more of a neutral but as I was piling up what they were losing I had to include it here. Tech Team, Chance Cube, Pinned Down and even Weapons Factory Alpha are all leaving us. This affects vehicles on both sides, but Hero has it much worse than that. They also lose: Rally Aid, C-3PO, T-47 Airspeeder, and Y-Wing. I’m predicting some decks will still run vehicles but to a much lesser extent and in a more hybrid fashion. Maybe some Shadowcaster decks too but that is an archetype of its own.


Winners:

These are the cards I think will see an increase in play either because they are now better than other options or they have some new toys to use and abuse.

Snoke:

Snoke is hard to put on this list because he is already everywhere. But with the prevalence of Vader, Snoke has seen a bit less play in recent times. Snoke has become a lot better and has some new characters he can use his amazing power action on, such as Wat Tambor and Watto. With Chance Cube rotating you need a new way to generate a grip of resources and as well all know all too well Snoke is great at doing just that. Also, he hs the Leader subtype which synergizes with a bunch of new cards.

Entangle:

Entangle is a great card when you are able to remove a 3 and a blank/special with one card it feels great. This card sees some play in more resource heavy decks but I think it’s going to be a breakout card in the upcoming meta. With many of the good removal options leaving, and this card already on the fence of making most yellow lists it is poised perfectly to become a staple, at least until we get more options.

Theed – Royal Palace:

This card just came out In the last set and I’m already sick of seeing it. It’s in nearly every deck especially if that deck is running a neutral character. I don’t see this card going anywhere. It is still going to be the strongest battlefield and with Weapons Factory Alpha and Emperor’s Throne Room leaving there’s almost no reason to run anything else. This card is also buffed whenever new neutral characters are released. Unless another battlefield comes out that’s also absurdly powerful or this card gets nerfed we will be seeing a lot of it.

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Allies Of Necessity Kit Review

I don’t like reviewing spoilers before I can take a look at an entire set in it’s entirety, but I am still human and get super excited by new cards. While we all eagerly await a full Convergence spoiler list I figure I can split the difference and talk about the new draft kit.

I… kinda hate draft. Just not a fan of it in Destiny, but I can totally understand why some people are. A big portion of my distaste for it was its previously binary nature. I always felt that if you weren’t going for a weird mill deck, the card to pick out of any given pile was obvious to the point of being boring. I’m holding out hope that some of the things in the new draft kit change my views on that, but this will primarily be a review of the set as it applies to competitive Standard play. Let’s begin.

I like this guy. Right off the top of my head he’s the new obvious partner for Kylo Ren, and performs better on paper than both Anakin Skywalker and Arihanda Pryce. And since Holocron is out of the picture I’d wager he’s better than even Snoke as a partner, Bitter Rivalry notwithstanding.

The value of the power action cannot be overstated here. Even aside from the biggest damage dice at the time of release, a huge portion of AWK Darth Vader’s power came from the fact that he reduced opponent options every round. Dooku does the same, but doesn’t require a tempo advantage to make use of it.

Nine HP is on the low side, but I doubt any non-rainbow deck can really afford to allow Kylo to keep taking activation triggers against them, meaning Dooku gets you to the late game hopefully with a couple redeploy weapons. No paid sides and a nice focus rounds this guy out in a pretty sweet package.

Competitively Viable? Unfortunately, probably not. 9HP without Force Illusion is a hard sell against Shadowcaster and Vader dice, and his non-elite cost pushes him two points above the line.

Crossguard by another name… But different. It’s really cool to see some very simple things that we’ve seen previously remixed into something totally distinct from what has come before. Damage from hand is always nice, and this certainly passes the “Is it as good as Shoto?” test. While the damage doesn’t proc off of Kylo, expect to see two of these with every ATG Vader, Legacies Dooku, and possibly even Legacies Palpatine.

But the real backbreaker here is using it on Draft-Dooku himself with the power action, ripping 40% of an opponents hand prior to even rolling out. It is also nice to see the double discard sides here, giving people drafting mill a solid include where they didn’t have one before aside from BWG.

Competitively Viable? Absolutely. Don’t get me wrong, it’s no Ancient Saber, but villains like what they get here far more than Treasured Lightsaber… Though perhaps not quite as much as Grappling Boa at the same cost.

This is everything you want in a core draft kit, I’ll say that. What this is going to come down to is deck space, pure and simple. It’s good, but I can’t help but feel like it will be card numbers 31/32 in many decks that otherwise would love it simply because it shreds your tempo.

Competitively Viable? Yes, for decks that don’t need to roll first. The Trooper subtype most likely opens up additional room to maneuver as well, and the 2-cost side is neither here nor there when evaluating the card. That three ranged side is quite nice, especially for Snoke decks that want roughly the same effectiveness as a Hand Cannon without tying it down to a character, with solid upside when you’re flush with cards and/or cash.

Okay I don’t even know if this is worthwhile even in a dedicated mill draft deck. It’s not unreasonable to assume you can get three cards out of this plot, but two points is a very hefty price tag.

Competitively Viable? Absolutely not. I just can’t see this ever being a better option than Taking Ground to prevent Theed, or Stolen Intel to smooth out your first round. Especially now that Force Speeds and Force Illusions are gone.

Every set has filler cards, here’s one. Take Cover plus Jedi tribal enabling. Sure. It’s never going to be the worst thing in the world to get an HP for free but this puppy reads “Discard this card to reroll any number of your dice” to me.

Competitively Viable? Lol.

A pilot AND a Trooper. Value. He’s every bit as playable as Dooku in draft, and the power action is actually really good insofar as there are playable red cards. Never turn down free damage right?

Competitively Viable? No. Vehicle decks want Wedge and gun decks want Rex at this cost, and both Rose and Cody come in under Fenn’s point value, leaving this guy strictly in your draft box. Even if Hero troopers become a big deal, Clone Trooper carries the banner at a three-point discount.

Woah. Incredibly versatile no matter how you look at it. Almost always better than your pick of Recon, Emulate, or Targeting Computer. Don’t get distracted by Trooper/Sith/Jedi typing, and pay more attention to the things that say Upgrade – Weapon.

Competitively Viable? Really difficult to say without peering into the future, but red decks of any stripe are always looking to either press an advantage or dig themselves out of a hole, so until proven otherwise I think the sheer utility of this earns at least one slot in most red decks.

Hmm. I do love drawing cards, but support-based decks usually run right up to the 30 point mark to get more health.

Competitively Viable? No. The second a character can come in at the usefulness level L3 currently has but for two points cheaper is the second vehicle decks upgrade their third character from Gungan Warrior to Rebel Engineer. And even then, I’d rather just shave one additional point and take Armored Reinforcement.

This guy. This guy is so awkward. Paid sides on char dice are my bane, and if you want me to spend a third of my points on an 8HP character, naming it Maz Kanata is a better way to convince me. On the villain side of things, Val and Mando Commando strike me as better choices. This guy is really nice on ambush events though. Take Flight and In The Crosshairs are the only two things thus far that meet the standard though.

Competitively Viable? Nope. Better options by far for both hero and villain, and re-rolling is nowhere near as good as removing or focusing.

Dooku got you down? Shadow that guy, make him pay. Fenn? Low rent version of BT-1 now. I can see why this card was made, and it makes yellow a pretty attractive color to be in.

Competitively Viable? Ask me later. If there’s downgrade synergy to be had then I love anything free (not to mention making Snoke’s PA cost two HP). In a vacuum though, I don’t think this one card makes the cut.

How many downgrades are going to get printed? Again, two points is a huge barrier to entry.

Competitively Viable? Even with downgrade synergy, this seems like a stretch. Mando Commandos don’t get played currently, and they have direct damage every round pegged to an easier condition.

Now this is a beat-stick and a half. For the cost of resolving Force Storm ONCE, this die gets resolved THREE times. Sure it doesn’t ramp itself, but does it need to? It has it’s issues, and opponents can disrupt you out of resolvability, but that doesn’t spook me any.

The format-warping thing it does is require all Yellow decks to run 2x Vandalize, which was already probably a decent idea anyway but is now an unavoidable fact. The effectiveness of this card probably makes every deck want to run yellow just to run it AND vandalize to be honest.

Competitively Viable? I think so, absolutely. Even if all you do is look at it just as a two-cost weapon with redeploy that shreds your tempo I think you still end up pretty pleased with the flexibility it provides. And at it’s absolute worst where it gets immediately vandalized, it disrupts, discards, and removes an opposing char die and acts as a psuedo shield generator for whatever else you had going on. It’s no Vader’s Fist, but it can do a REALLY good imitation of one for a fraction of the cost.

Ah, so this is why all the plots cost 2. 6+11+11+2=30. It is nice that you can get an even 30 points out of just the kit, even if two of those points are somewhat feel-bad expenditures. Tribal enabler all around and no paid sides, I like it more than Jawa.

Competitively Viable? Well, it’s not red so Gungan still probably keeps his seat in Hero decks. Anyone who was running Vader/Jawa is now rolling this creepy looking thing out though, with a slight, but measurable efficiency increase.

Tribal stuff! None of these modes is very good, though, and to turn any one of them on with just the shapeshifter you need to see the future. Draft filler.

Competitively Viable? God I hope we don’t sink this low.

Flank is Flank is Flank. It’s good!

Competitively Viable? Yup. Was before, is now. And it’s a good sign to me that it seems like one money for one die with a reasonably easy to meet and easy to anticipate condition will be a perennial card. Happy to see the lifespan on Flank extended by yet another year.

It’s the name on the box! They said it and we all clapped! Two extra points is a LOT of extra points, and it’s pretty easy to see why the drawback and conditions are so major. For what really comes down to rolling back every Balance of the Force to date, it would have to be hard to prevent people from going nuts. It also opens up a few more options in draft where the loss of starting resources isn’t quite the backbreaker it is in Standard.

Competitively Viable? Thankfully it seems like the playtesters and FFG really didn’t want this to be playable. Or they just didn’t want to spend the time mathing out every other possible starting lineup. That being said, Vader/Talzin is now in the mix, and the first test point for this plot. Coming in hot on their heels though, is Dryden/Bib, who could very well not care about resource loss at all.

Draft games do tend to extend out for a lot of rounds, but do they go long enough to make this worth it? Even assuming you can play it round 1, the special needs to be resolved at least once before the die can even start to pull the weight of it’s cost.

Competitively Viable? Not even with an Aphra discount.

Eyyy, it’s expensive Vibroknife! With a ranged side? Is someone… Throwing swords? Fine in draft if for no other reason than because it has redeploy and it enables modified sides.

Competitively Viable? IDK, look at Dagger of Mortis and Heirloom Lightsaber and you tell me how it stacks up with Force Illusions gone.

I like that type-agnostic Tribal stuff extends to the battlefield, and takes a little more sting off maybe being forced to run the Changeling.

Competitively Viable? Ehh. If it’s worth taking at all it’s probably only going to go great with Troopers, since red is usually the color needing to reroll the most. Everyone else probably just sticks with what they have, and what they have is a whole lotta Theed at the moment.

This battlefield is so cool, and very very well designed. There is an incredible amount of strategic depth to be found in just this one card absent anything else in the game.

Competitively Viable? Whoever actually sat down and designed this card, I want you to know that you are appreciated and I see the work you did. I’m sorry I can never run the risk of playing this while Theed still exists.

Overall Thoughts on Drafting

Discard sides, tribal options, and a guaranteed three-char team with an… Acceptable plot all go a long way to make me more amenable to drafting. There is still a very high priority on drafting 8/9 Point characters out of the packs you open, but I don’t think it will doom you to the losers bracket if you don’t get one like it could with the previous sets.

I do think that Hired Muscle takes the spot of Fang Fighter in the “I must have this color or else” category, and I don’t like seeing one die towering above all others in usefulness. Red especially seems to be the color of last resort in this kit, lacking the super-synergy found with both Dooku cards.

The battlefields are far more interesting than the last ones we got, and are a subtly powerful way to influence how games will feel in practice while the events themselves are more suited for a dynamic experience.

Should I Buy This?

Absolutely, you should buy two. FFG has some shrewd business sense here, and the least controversial claim I can make is that Count Dooku’s Lightsaber and Hired Muscle are going to be cards you want two of. If that isn’t enough, I’d be willing to wager that Test Of Character is good enough across the board competitively.

Please don’t make me draft, I’ll be good I promise.
Agent Of Zion