Cover art: Hoth Echo Base Command Centre
In the second of our series of card analyses on Faltering Allegiances, today on echobase we’re looking at the Command cards within the set.
We’ll be giving everything a score out of 5 which represents how powerful we think the card is. These scores are not however a reflection of how well designed we think the card is: that should hopefully be obvious from the text.
First up, villain characters:
First of, I need to start off by saying that Villain Command got stitched up within FA royally. I say this as there are only 7 Villain Command cards compared to 13 Villain Force cards. Are they any good though? Lets take a look.
ISB Agent: Errata – should read: “Detect. Before an opponent discards a card from hand, if it is not detected, you may force them to switch that card with one of their detected cards, if able. (the detected card will be discarded)”
In the history of Destiny the only Villain 7 point characters with a die have been FOST, Greedo & Bazine. All of which have had their moment to shine throughout various metas. I like this guy; he carries the new Detect key word and his passive ability is strong. If you happen to detect a crucial card upon activation and your opponent discards to re-roll you may force them to discard that detected card instead. That is very powerful especially if paired with another character with Detect. It may just be powerful enough for your opponent not to re-roll and they may end up resolving non-optimized dice. Coming in at 7 points he’s a pretty strong little guy that would slot into a few builds, not to mention his die is pretty good: 4.5/5
FN-2199 we reviewed in detail here. In summary we love that the Continuing Committee stuck close to the original design space of the original FN. He has a powerful after setup ability helping guarantee that round one weapon drop to set off his PA. The downside is his low health, and for that reason he scores: 3/5
Moving onto the events first up we have Exposing Disloyalty. Villain red hand control at its finest. A well crafted card with an interesting effect that fits perfectly with the title. To be honest, I’m probably going to be running Counterintelligence (if I’ve got a leader) or Probe before this card, but I just love the concept, and it is going to absolutely suck to have this played against you if it hits. Where this card differs from Probe and Counterintelligence is how it can hit more than just events: 3/5
Extermination Order is a tricky one to assess. This 3 cost event has various spot requirements to get the most from it. Basically if you can meet all the spot requirements you are dealing 3 indirect for the cost of 1 resource and a card from hand. The card design stays true to villain command as this card does damage from hand, however the initial price of 3 resources to play I feel is too high to actually include in your 30 card deck. Especially if you can’t meet the requirements late game: 2/5
Raze. Where were you in the delve fist meta? I guess you could use this to bin Palpatine’s Death Field and then deal him 2 indirect damage, or potentially you can sack off that exhausted Admiral. Maybe you could bin an opponent’s Megablaster Troopers. I think I’d rather find a resource and spend my money on my own Megablasters. Gives red an option to bin a support, but Desperate Measures is still far better: 2/5
Villain supports and upgrades:
FN-2199’S Riot Baton – For 3 resources, this is not a great die, but if it’s on a trooper and that trooper takes damage, you potentially get two uses out of it. One thing to note is this ability gets triggered whenever the attached character takes damage. So if your trooper takes damage when this die is already in your pool, you can exhaust the upgrade to resolve it. Alternatively, you can choose to do nothing and just keep the die in your pool (as when you choose not to exhaust the upgrade you are passing on the entire after-effect): 3/5
TIE Striker – Those are big looking sides, but I’d say they’re on a par with 3 cost red vehicles we’ve seen in the past such as ARC-170 Starfighter, Umbaran Hover Tank and Elrik Vonreg’s TIE Interceptor, though it does boast 4 damage sides, instead of the usual 3 plus a resource side. The action is where things get really interesting. Playing this for free is going to be great, but it costs you two cards from hand (including the TIE itself) and 4 cards from deck if you want to keep it. If you’re running a Wat Tambor deck this thing’s a 5/5, outside of Wat decks it gets: 2/5
Next, on with hero characters:
I feel like these guys are the main focus of the set. Each of these guys carries the new keyword, Detect, and the new subtype, Spy. Thematically you can pair Jyn with either Cassian or Galan both elite with the plot Intelligence Operation.
Jyn Erso is the ‘Big’ character within the set. Coming in at 19pts she packs one hell of a die and decent hit points at 13. Her passive ability locking out opponents from playing Detected cards could be seen as an NPE when she is paired with Cassian or Galen locking out 2 of your opponent’s cards. Sure, I know you can pitch detected cards to re-roll but certain cards make certain decks tick, so if you’re able to detect one of those crucial cards, your opponent won’t be so sure to pitch it. In summary Jyn is strong. Very, very strong: 4/5
Galen Erso I’m going to assess in a vacuum. That vacuum is paired with Jyn and the Intelligence Operation plot. Where Galen differs from Cassian is that he potentially assists with your ramp as your opponent discards to re-roll a detected card. Your opponent may be put off from discarding those detected cards so that you don’t trigger Galen‘s passive ability. If this is the case, your opponent may be left stranded with non-optimized dice and he’s done his job. Late game, if you have tempo and your opponent is down to one character his action to defeat him to exhaust a character may just win you the game. It’s a very situational ability, but it may save you the game once in a while. The artwork on this card is Lush. Best art from the set, kudos to Claudia Gironi: 3.5/5
Cassian Andor we reviewed in detail here when he was spoiled a few weeks back. In summary he has a bunch of great abilities: deck building options to run up to 4 yellow intel cards outside of a yellow build; a Power Action to ready a non-character card such as Admiral, Combat Droid, or the plot Intelligence Operation; finally, he has the detect keyword: 3.5/5
Medic! is another hero healing card. How it differs is the ceiling can be for a heal 3 or if you draw this late game you could just heal for 1. The ambush keyword gives you tempo, but I can’t see this being played over Field Medic or Run to Safety in most builds: 1/5
Rebel Schemes – This card is on A Renewed Hope‘s watch list. This card teamed with the Intelligence Operation plot alongside Jyn could cause a few NPE’s. Setting yourself up and choosing the detected card from your opponent’s hand in which you’d be able to play with the plot could be blowout. Again, this card is for spy decks – for me its an auto-include when playing spies: 4/5
Secret Mission – Awesome design space. Love the concept. Card draw is always strong, it is a pre-requisite to the second half of the card as we have a ‘Then’. Ideally you want to draw this early game so you can get a clutch card under your Secret Mission as and when you need it later on. Not sure it will make the final 30 cards of a your spy deck, but it’s definitely not far off: 2.5/5
Cassian and Jyn get new guns, and they’re both pretty good. Cassian’s Blaster – A decent 3 drop weapon with Redeploy with a built in action to boost the value by 1. Unblockable bonus if played on Cassian is a nice flavour touch which could come in handy as there are a few shield sides popping up on yellow villain characters in the FA set. I could see this as an include in rainbow droids. Nothing special just a super solid upgrade: 3.5/5
Jyn’s Blaster is going to be great for tempo on Jyn. Being able to play it, roll it in and then resolve it is a strong play, so long as you’ve saved a resource to resolve that pay side. 4 damage sides and a resource is basically exactly what you want from an upgrade: 4/5
Master of Disguise is a title Restricted to Spy characters only. With You Are In Command Now you could cheat this onto a non-Spy character, Personally I don’t think this will see much play. The cost to resolve the special puts me off – you have to be flush with cash and have tempo to pull it off. It’s not for me, I’d rather be spending my resources elsewhere: 1/5
Neutral events and supports:
Planned Operation Errata – This card should read, “Spot a Red character to heal 2 damage from a character. Spot 2 Red characters to turn a die to any side. Spot 3 Red characters to resolve one of your dice, increasing its value by 1.”
Our only Red neutral event in the set. Tailored to a 3 wide mono build, you’ll want to draw this relatively early before you lose a character to get maximum value from this event. Interestingly this gives Villain Command a method in which to heal. I think this card would work well in a Krennic/ Wat Tambor/IDT support build. You could theoretically heal 2, then resolve a resource die increasing it’s value by 1 to effectively heal 2 for the cost of a card and a die. Alternatively you’re healing 2, turning a die to damage and increasing the value by 1. All seem pretty decent to me: 4/5
Kamino Cloning Facility – A mono-red deck can easily be resolving 11 dice in a couple of rounds, especially if it’s full of cheap upgrades and supports. If you get this out round 1 in such a build, it’d be surprising if you didn’t manage to spawn a trooper for just two resources in round 2 or early round 3. And don’t forget that if you have two copies of this card you get to stack both of them with a resource every time you resolve a red die. Two of these in your opening hand is unlikely, but could be killer. It seem’s really really strong and relatively easy to tick upto 11. The down side? Desperate Measures is a thing: 5/5
Tactical Advantage allows for you to set this support aside after you have claimed to take 1 additional action. I think that this will just never make your final 30, as an alternative to playing this is you’re just going to pass until you want to interact with the board: 0/5
Basically Poe Dameron – Reckless Aviator got some toys. R3 Astromech isn’t realistically going to see play outside of a Poe deck. R3 (1/5) lets you get multiple uses from a single vehicle by removing the damage on the vehicle so you can use Poe’s PA on the next round. R3 also works directly with the Proton Bombs (2/5).
That’s all for now, but keep an eye out for our blue and grey articles, coming soon.
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