Cover art: Ninth Sister
In the third of our series of card analyses on Faltering Allegiances, today on echobase we’re looking at the Force 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.
It makes sense to me that we get 4 new Villain characters and 13 total blue villain cards and a lot fewer villain red cards. Villain Red still have Thrawn to make sure they stay effective, Blue however lost Darth Vader: Terror to Behold to rotation. The faction needed reinforcements. Lets see if they got enough.
Ninth Sister – Every time I look at this card, I see it as a poor man’s Obi Wan Kenobi from Legacies. Two three melee sides and one as a pay side but the other a modifier. Then I look again and there is a third 3 side in the special giving the opponent the choice to discard to mitigate the damage. Wherever you look for damage from her dice it needs a little bit of support. Resources for the pay side, a base side for the modifier and a little discard to make the special effective. If you find that support then Ninth Sister is going to simply cause some significant damage. There is potential here: 3/5
Purge Trooper – What a powerful, versatile non-unique character. The option to be elite means you could pair this character with a big like Thrawn or fit it into a three wide. 2 solid damage sides, 2 other useful sides and a cheeky little ability if he has an upgrade. You get to remove a shield which potentially turns the dice into a 3 side, 4 side, 2 side, 2 side and 2 blanks with 4 sides doing a damage. Did I mention he’s also a trooper, possibly the most useful subtype you can have, especially as you can now clone troopers with a Kamino Cloning Facility? If you haven’t noticed yet, I really like this guy and can’t wait to give him a try: 4/5
Second Sister – Second Inquisitor of the set. This is a very interesting character. You need to hold her back until your opponent has something to mess with to get the best value out of her ability. It is not optional although you can choose a die to turn that you won’t be able to, as the symbol doesn’t match (more on that here). If you’re worried it could bite you in the behind, which could happen (albeit very unlikely), depending on your opponent’s characters and dice, then you can always get her in first and ignore that ability completely. Other than that you do get a good amount of health for taking her as a 1 die option which would fit into some pairings. The dice sides themselves are a little underwhelming but the special could be very nifty. Turn a die and resolve it boosted by 1 or by a massive 2 if your opponent has a matching symbol. This is very versatile and gives you the chance to special chain. I’d like to try eSecond Sister, Wat Tambor and a Purge Trooper. Lots of potential, but will it transfer to the game table: 4/5
Taron Malicos – Well we know this guy has already got game after doing very well in the first two Faltering Allegiance events both times paired with Darth Vader. His cost is great for what you get. A solid die with a pay side which pulls him back a bit and then an ability you also have to pay for could put people off as you will need to manage those resources carefully. Couple that with the possibility you might not even get his activation ability of additional damage a third of the time makes him look powerful but with a suitable drawback. This is made up for with the repeatable soft mitigation of the power action spotting up to two other blue characters to turn their dice, which is almost like having a third die that is always a discard as you can likely force a re-roll from your opponent. This probably however limits Taron to mono blue builds to get the most out of him but he has some good solid options here. You can have any mix of Sentinel Messenger, Purge Trooper or Praetorian Guard for maximum usage or any of the other blue characters that fit with him. He very handily has the Jedi trait which opens up cards like Infuse The Force if paired with a Sith or Apprentice, or the mighty Force Affinity. Solid character: 4/5
Villain Events – let’s see what these new characters have to support them.
Peace Is A Lie – Well Intimidate made it into the reprint awards here at echobase, and here we have a similar effect but with a few conditions added on. Your whole team needs to be blue and one of them needs to be a Sith or an Inquisitor. Not tricky. Definitely one for the aggro player as all shields are removed from all characters. Reylo will not want to see this played against them. We’ve seen this exact effect on an event before thanks to the still current Fit Of Rage, however that card cost 2 resources. The play restrictions are going to hold this iteration back somewhat however: 2/5
Siphoning Anger – It’s a super conditional gain a resource card for villain. You have to blank one of your own dice, and hope your opponent has two blanks, for 1 money. Way too situational. You’re going to have to siphon your anger in the binder I’m afraid: 0/5
Unending Hate – I only have unending love for this card. So we need to have a Sith or Inquisitor to spot then we get to blank an opponents dice and then deal damage for the number of blanks an opponent has. It’s just awesome value and makes me want to play Yoda again where I can be blank free. It’s just so versatile. Not just a damage from hand card but a soft removal card at the same time. There are going to be moments where this card will put your opponent on tilt. After rolling out a couple of blanks and you feel sad anyway, this card just kicks you again while you are down. An apt title for this card as it is the only feeling it can generate. This one I can only describe as juicy: 5/5
Vicious Rebuttal – You have to read this twice to work out how useful it could be to you. It’s best use is to resolve a base side to leave a modifier side or two stranded. It also gets around triggering the United/We Stand Plot as it resolves and not removes. It feels like a stay ahead card though as you’ll need a little space in your health pool for the opponent to resolve the dice first. I like it but I think it is more likely to not make the cut when it comes to deckbuilding: 2/5
Villain Plots and Supports:
The Inquisitorius – A 1 cost plot which is fine as we can only play it with the two sisters at this point anyway to make a round 30pt team. It very handily provides soft mitigation each round by turning a die to a blank. It’s a shame though that it couldn’t have allowed Purge Troopers in your lineup too, as not only were they a key part of the Inquisitorius but they’re even on the card. But nevermind; this plot fits very nicely with the two Inquisitors we got in this set and even fits with the rotated Inquisitors somewhat too which I’m sure was deliberate to give them a bit of life in that format. It’s simple and effective for the deck: 4/5
Painful Lesson – I am having trouble deciding if this is good or bad. We all remember the Nightsister and how useful taking a damage to reroll a die was; well this mimics that but puts a limit on it equal to the number of blue characters you have when you play it. And that is key here: when you play it. The difference from the Nightsister is you had her ability from the get go and it couldn’t be Desperate Measured. I love the idea of this card and what was attempted but I can’t see it hitting the table very often: 2/5
Inquisitor Lightsaber – This is a very nice 2 cost weapon. Not the greatest but it boasts 3 damage sides and gives an Inquisitor a bit more consistency as you’ll get a re-roll if it hits a blank which is a very nice touch. Then we discover why the card only costs two as your opponent can just discard a card to re-roll it and mess with your dice. This will make it into many blue decks as it is a definite step up from the Sith Lightsaber. Nice Design: 4/5
Sith Warblade – So good that it made it onto the watch list of A Renewed Hope from the get go? If only that were true. It feels like it is only good for Maul as he can use it without the need to resolve it but I’m not sure it even makes it into that deck. The best bit about it is the redeploy but even then it feels like a 3 cost weapon with 3 blanks as you will rarely find a situation where you want to resolve the shield or resource side. I think if that modified pay side had been maybe a 3 modifier without a pay, a bit like the Dagger of Mortis, then it would have seen more play but I can’t see it making it into blue villain decks: 1/5
Taron’s Lightsaber – Now this is a three cost weapon. A reverse Anakin’s Lightsaber but a little bit better. Remove all shields from a character and if you remove 3 get an extra damage as well. That’s pretty nice and probably going to hurt blue hero a lot. And if we play it on Taron then we can have two and do this twice, though it’s a shame it has no redeploy. Sleeve this up now, it’s going to get used a lot: 4/5
Hero Characters – Let’s see what the light side has in store for us:
Cal Kestis – Our Fallen Order Hero spoiled on this very site so we have a soft spot for him and you can find a more in depth look in our spoiler article. A solid character that becomes very strong when the correct upgrades are on him. You’ll need a secondary character that will distract the attention away from Cal so you can get him set up with upgrades: 4/5
Sifo-Dyas – You are likely to guarantee yourself a 6 card hand by building an all blue deck which is a very nice ability to have. Card draw is rarely bad in a game. His die is probably exactly what we would have expected for this cost. I can see him fitting into a lot of varied decks, and he featured in the runner-up deck in the 104 person release event: 4/5
Heroes only get the 2 new characters. One more would have been nice but we got two solid new ones to play around.
Hero Events and Support:
Apt Lesson – I’ve enjoyed playing this one already. It’s restricted to blue character dice but there are so many good blue character dice. The secondary effect of playing a move event is very neat. There are so many options here. You won’t need to hold onto that Falling Avalanche to play later or that Draw Closer. Just use it to re-roll safe in the knowledge you can pluck it out of the discard pile when you need it later. I’m a fan of this very versatile card: 4/5
Protect the Younglings – We got a more specific version of Caution back. Remove a Jedi die to give an apprentice three shields. Very nice and we have Knighthood to make an Apprentice a Jedi so they can use their own dice later in the game to give the shields to themselves. You can even do it the other way around if you send your Jedi to the salon to get a Padawan Braid put in. Really like this card and love the art they chose for this one: 4/5
Pursuit of Perfection – We’re doing well with blue hero cards so far with every card getting a 4/5. This one I’m more dubious about though. We have to remove our precious shields to resolve an equal number of dice. Really only super useful if you have a way to turn dice to then resolve, for which blue has a fair few 2 focus sides and some useful specials on some of the forms. It may have a few other uses where you, say, roll in a pay side and and a resource at a point where you are out of resources. Then your opponent rolls in a disrupt but this allows you take the money and hit. A few niche situations like that may arise but I’ll stay on the fence for now: 3/5
BD-1 – Another echobase spoiler and as discussed before this is a great 1-drop blue equipment where any side is welcome. Well except the blank of course: 4/5
Cal Kestis’ Lightsaber – Simply amazing on Cal and pretty darn good on anyone else mainly due to the ability to roll a copy of itself into the pool if it is not showing damage while in your pool. Pay sides may make it a little awkward and keep it fair, but with an extra free dice potential it gives good value: 3/5
Force Repulse – This looks like it has potential on paper but I don’t think it will see play when there is much better out there to play. Its damage sides are indirect which is okay but doesn’t fit too well into blue hero. 2 shield side is nice. The special though is very situational as you need to turn the rest of your line up’s character dice too and potentially do damage to yourself. Shame, as that picture is awesome: 1/5
Jaro Tapal’s Lightsaber – Wait, where is Jaro Tapal. If anyone sees him can you advise that we have his saber. And a very nice 2-drop weapon it is too. Nothing special, just a solid card even if you never use the Power Action to play Cal’s Lightsaber over this, which only saves you 1 resource and your overwrite for the round (which could be useful I guess): 3/5
Neutral Blue Characters:
Merrin – We have the only neutral character of the set in blue and it’s a very interesting one to evaluate. It’s a new witch with a very witch looking die. She allows us to bring villain curses into our deck which could be fun to get curses into a hero deck. She also gives us five extra health in the form of a Nightsister Zombie, and makes cards like Weave the Ichor and Dark Magick playable. So far I’m firmly on board with this character and it sounds super fun and you could stop there but at 14 points elite for just nine health even with the extra zombie she just seems squishy, though an all neutral pairing with No Allegiance could help.
She does have the addition of a power action that lets you exhaust a character with a curse attached to roll that character’s character and upgrade dice into the pool (though why it doesn’t roll in downgrade dice such as Recurring Nightmare remains a mystery). Now, this has an upside, but also a potentially very bad downside. It lets you negate an after-you-activate ability, such as hero droids, Transformations Anakin or Fives, or Detect. It messes with sequencing for an upgrade focused deck. It lets you get a character with a Possessed or Hex on them into the pool. However, it gives your opponent the tempo as they could just then go straight into resolving those dice. Maybe this is going to be very useful with an action cheat for two actions. Could we Tactical Delay or Seize The Day into it, or maybe combine it with Order 66? A very interesting character that seems difficult to master. There is definitely something there though: 3/5, for now…
Force Affinity – This card is top draw. Literally spot Jedi, Sith or Apprentice characters to draw that many cards. That alone is pretty good but you then get the ability to spot a Jedi and/or a Sith for further effect. Much more useful on the villain side who have starting characters that can net you both extra effects (with villains Taron and Pong sporting the Jedi subtype) but still decent for just Jedi who get to draw for free: 5/5
Form Drills – A very well balanced card. Lets you build slightly differently and include an array of different forms and then add in the Mastery specific cards with this for a later round: 3/5
Sarlaac Sweep – We lose a few area of effect type characters with the rotation trigger but we get one back here in the shape of a move Event so we can drop this under Lightsaber Mastery or add it to our deck with Form Drills. It’s not a fabulous area of effect weapon as only hits two characters but will let you get in a little extra damage and you can remove a modified side for the effect which could prove very handy. It’s also one of the few cards that might make Saw’s Rocket Launcher playable: 3/5
Will Of The Force – I love this design that we get a bonus when we use this whatever mastery we might have on our character. Resolve a shield side twice. This could be really good especially on a 2 shield side netting you 4 extra life for a single resource which you could potentially get back as well. It actually doesn’t have to be a blue dice so Admiral 3 shield side could be bonkers to use this on. 6 life for one or nothing. Just look at your opponents face when you pull this off. It won’t be a happy one: 4/5
Neutral Upgrades and Supports:
Prescient Leap – Fantastic support. Removing an upgrade or downgrade makes this quite versatile and can really hurt your opponent if you can pull it off, which isn’t too tricky when we can special chain or even when playing Will Of The Force. Extremely useful card. They’ve probably got Desperate Measures but this is a great way for blue to get rid of the Bounty Hunter’s Captured: 4/5
Shii-Cho Mastery – A very nice on play ability allowing you to remove a weapon for 2 extra resources. Not a bad side on the dice. I never thought I’d say this but the 2 discard may just be the least useful. The special can be used to blank an opponents damage side and to move your own dice to a side you want. Very Versatile and looks like a great opening play for Darth Bane. Lovely design and another cracking piece of art on this one: 4/5
Shii-Cho Training – Not quite as good but a two drop with three two base damage sides can’t be too bad and a special that gets you the Mastery while also flipping a damage side to a non damage side is nice round after round soft removal: 3/5
That’s all for now, but keep an eye out for our grey article, coming soon.
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