Faltering Allegiances – echobase spoilers!

That’s right, today on echobase.me we have 3 exclusive spoilers from the first Renewed Hope set: Faltering Allegiances. Our thanks to the team for including us, and for giving us some nifty cards to share with the community.

Our spoilers today are all from EA‘s blockbuster video game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. For those of you who have not played Fallen Order I’m here to give you a small background on the characters before we get into the cards.

Cal Kestis is the main protagonist in the game and was a Jedi apprentice during his time with the Jedi Order. During Order 66, Cal managed to escape the Grand Army of the Republic as his master sacrificed himself. Cal went into hiding for 5 years working as a scrapper on Bracca; it’s here on Bracca in the opening scenes of the game we see the arrival of Second Sister, an Imperial Inquisitor who is out to hunt down remaining Jedi. During an epic confrontation between Cal and Second Sister, a cruiser (Stinger Mantis) arrives and rescues Cal, taking him off-world and into hiding. The crew of the Stinger Mantis consist of Greez Dritus (the pilot) and Cere Junda.

Throughout the game you expand and grow your force powers, traverse across the galaxy in the Stinger Mantis, and of course meet well known familiar faces, Saw Gerrera & Darth Vader to name just a couple. During an early excursion, Cal picks up a new friend and sidekick in the form of the handy droid: BD-1. BD-1 sticks to Cal like glue, helping with unlocking doors and just doing droids things to help Cal on his mission.

A revelation from Cere Junda is that she herself was also a Jedi. Together with Cal they embark on a mission to restore the Jedi Order…

So that’s a bit of background and overview of the game and the characters for you. Now, let’s move on to those spoilers…

Kicking off with Fallen Order protagonist Cal, we’ve got two firsts rolled into one here: the first blue character of the set and the first art that was done specifically for A Renewed Hope. Our huge respect goes out to Nicole Tammert for the fantastic work on show here, which we believe she freely donated to the Renewed Hope project.

On to the card, we’re looking at an 11/15 Jedi with 11 health. On the face of it, his die sides look pretty much what you’d expect for the points, maybe even a little underwhelming. However, get an equipment, a weapon and an ability on him, and he’s going to be pretty epic.

How easy is that going to be? I’ve played enough new Luke to know that getting 3 blue upgrades on a character isn’t hard. But one of each? In the new standard, without any Faltering Allegiances additions, we’re looking at 8 abilities you can play on him, 6 weapons and 3 equipments, of which only the Republic Jedi Armour has ever seen play (though there’s a new one on the way in our next spoiler).

With 5 or 6 cards from each subtype in your deck, this should be doable round 2 or 3 so long as you’re not too unfortunate, but you’re going to have to work for it. Plus you’re going to have to either shield up (Jedi Armour and Jedi Lightsaber will help here) or give your opponent a juicier target while you build him up. To be honest, I think it’s going to be tough, and for that reason, I’m not sold on this character. Still, at 15 points, he could probably fit into a lot of solid middle middle builds.

I like this character but he could be hard to get set up as you need to get the correct upgrades as early as possible. He needs a partner that is powerful enough to be the main target (Could Saw Gerrera be that man?) to give you the time to set up. With Cal needing blue only upgrades I think we’ll see him paired with another blue, most likely Rey for a little extra defense to set Cal up. I’m not sure Cal will be able to break through to the competitive meta though, Reylo is just better with all it’s tricks which is a shame as it’s a great card design.
I think he is also terrible into a mill deck that can disrupt him getting to his full potential removing his upgrades. That would definitely put me off taking him to a competitive event.

The general play restriction (blue upgrade only) to Cal takes him down a peg or two and I think this is a shame. I’d have preferred his text to read ‘Before you resolve this die, increase it’s value by 1 if you have a BLUE equipment, ability and weapon attached to this character. The restriction will force you to go for a mono build so that you don’t get stuck with upgrades of a different color in your hand that you can’t play if you have lost your other character. I’m looking to get a Niman, BD-1 and a weapon on this guy ASAP and then he’s likely to wreck house.

Talking of blue equipments, here we have BD-1. This could well be my favourite 1-drop upgrade ever. It has 4 acceptable value-1 sides (though no resource side), but that special… I would have been happy with heal 1, but heal 2 is unprecedented for the cost. Not only that, but if you’re playing a 2 Jedi lineup (and there’s 11 including Cal in the new standard), you could get two resolutions out of this little guy each round. You’ll need some focusing to get maximum value, but with Niman Mastery still being current, I don’t see that being a problem. 5* rating from me.

Would you look at that. What a truly amazing card. You can even ignore the Power Action bit and it is still a great card for any deck. I think Knighthood is still going to be legal although I’m not entirely sure on the draft set legality, so we could feasibly turn the Power Action on in any line-up for two resolutions a turn which almost makes you look at this as being a 1 cost but with 4 value 2 sides. Amazing value and can fit into both Mill and Aggro style decks. I like the idea of playing this down on one character to push my opponent to go for my other character so the special is offline. It’s certainly a shame Built to Last rotates out though.

I don’t need to say much more as the Marks have summarized it pretty well above. BD-1 is, and will be, an auto-include in blue decks. Healing 2 is way above curve for the 1 drop price tag compared to the GH-7 Droid that costs 2 to play and only heals 1. Field Medic on a stick for blue.

8/11, yellow, with Piloting, I like it. Mediocre sides, but damn, that ability. As far as I’m aware, there are no cards in the new standard for looking at the top card of your deck (unless your opponent foolishly plays something like Counterintelligence against you). That means if you’re playing Greez, you’re going to have to build your deck around the ability, much like Talzin decks, especially as it’s non-optional and has a huge potential downside. You do not want to be giving your opponent free removal each round, but turning two of your dice for free is amazing.

I’m thinking I’m going to need at least 20 cards in my deck with the same cost to make this work, and that’s a lot. Do I go cheap and go lots of zeroes, or ones and risk not having the cash to play most of them each round? The other gamble is going to be: do you roll him out first, and get to focus his so-so dice to the best sides for the situation, or do you risk exposing some of your bigger dice to removal, but with a possible upside of a free double focus. I’m liking Greez a lot, I think it’s a really interesting mechanic, and I think it’s going to be fun to build around.

Another thing we’ve got to think about with ‘after you activate this character’ abilities is Fateful Companions. If you miss with his ability the first time, you are guaranteed to hit with the second; but spending one resource to flip two dice after your opponent’s removed one already is not a good deal. However, if you hit first time, paying one to flip 4 dice could be massive. On balance, I don’t think it’s going to be worth the include, so I’ll probably be looking at a 5 die hero deck.

I think of the three cards this is certainly the most interesting and has caused me to think the most. The ability is really powerful but you really have to build your entire deck around it. I wondered if you could do a deck with the majority being 2 cost cards or would you have to go for 1 cost cards. I think it really depends on the deck but he is useful as a support character in an aggro deck, fits nicely into a three wide deck to bring yellow, or straight into a mill deck [echo7: good call, I missed that discard side].

So far my brain has come out with Covert Missions Anakin and mainly 2 costs. Activate Greez and just turn to two 4 for 1 melee sides and put the pressure straight onto your opponent. Then I jumped to two Kashyyyk Warriors and Valorous Tribe to keep the ability on for as long as possible. We could also try him in a support deck where early on we turn him to his money sides and later in the game turn our vehicles to their most impactful sides.

I think he could be most effective in a mill deck. He has two discard sides and you could probably have a deck of all 1 costs. Roll him in and flip him to discard to put the pressure straight onto you opponent. I’d also consider this tactic alongside new Jyn Erso. Detect a card and Power Action it away and then Greez in for two discard sides, leaving your opponent with very few cards to play with on a turn. The support deck is probably the better option considering he also has piloting so can bring in a vehicle with him that he could then focus with his ability. His ability isn’t a may so you really need to build around it to get the most out of it. However, you might have guessed, this is my favourite card from Renewed Hope so far even though I have no idea who he is (sorry Star Wars Fans).

We have Talzin decks and we have Aphra decks. I’m pretty sure we’re going to get Greez decks. During the Way of The Force Meta I played a lot of Talzin. My rule of thumb with Talzin was always no more than 4 even cards in deck (Chance Cube/Sith Holocron) and I’ll tell you when it came down to playing that Witch Magic I’d always end up flipping a bloody even number and not getting the most out of it. So how do you make the most out of Greez?

I’m genuinely thinking right now that from a playable and affordable perspective we’re building a deck of 1’s. The price of losing a die on a miss is too high of a chance to take. At the same time a deck packed full of 1’s is looking at relying on Fickles, Hired Muscle, Riot Shields, Ewok Bows, Grappling Arms, Yoda’s Lightsaber , Salvaged Arm, BD-1 and Conscript Squads to fill out the deck. This doesn’t sound highly competitive to me [echo7: sounds fun though] but it could be OK with the right character pairings to accompany Greez. Ill leave it up to the Hive mind to crack the best use of Greez...

Overall, we’re very happy with these new offerings from Renewed Hope. They may not be the big bad characters that Saw and Jyn are, but represent interesting mechanics and build options that are what make Destiny so interesting to play. With 9 of the 90 cards in Faltering Allegiances now spoiled, we’re really looking forward to seeing what they come up with next.

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