In the fourth and final of our series of card analyses on Faltering Allegiances, today on echobase we’re looking at the Grey General cards within the set. And yes, we know it’s spelled gray on the card, but that’s not how we spell it, and we’re not going to start now.
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, the 1 hero and 1 villain grey cards of the set:
Discord is a 1 cost event that turns two of your dice, but with a huge additional cost. First off, you need to deal two of your characters that share a colour one damage each. The potentially bigger cost though is having to pass on your next turn. This means that the opponent has two turns to interact with your dice, or they could just take an action, then you pass, then they pass and the round is over. You’ve spent a resource and dealt yourself 2 damage for nothing. Plus you don’t even have free choice over the dice sides as they have to be mismatched. Not for me: 1/5
The only non-yellow removal card in the set, I do like Unity. So long as you have the two resources to play it, this is a simple pay 1 to remove 1 if you spot two characters that share a colour. Similar to Near Miss but for colours rather than subtypes. It’s build specific, and having to hold two resources to play it is a little annoying, but with a distinct lack of mitigation for some factions, this could certainly see play: 3/5
Next up, the 1 grey neutral plot, downgrade and event:
Intelligence Operation we discussed and reviewed in detail here. The deck building options that this opens up and the power of the action on the plot are just excellent: 5/5
Restraining Bolt feels like an attempt at restricting R2-D2 – Loyal Companion and C-3PO – Perfect Gentlemen. It’s not enough – at 0 cost I feel this still would still not see play. Hero droids still absolutely need a nerf; Honestly Sarcastic’s perfect run with hero droids at the release party clearly demonstrates this. The sentiment is there, just not the execution: 1/5
Sneaky Diversion lets you switch a detected card with the top card of a deck. I’m seeing a villain combo here of Misinformation to place two cards from an opponent’s discard pile on top of their deck, then playing Sneaky Diversion to then tap your Intelligence Operation to then play the card you picked from the discard pile which is now your opponents detected card (if they have not played it or discarded it). That’s a far fetched combo.
You could use this as a sort of conditional, random and not as good Face The Enemy, as a means of removing a key card from the opponent’s hand that you just happen to have detected and swap it with a random unknown. Again, too far fetched to be worth the include.
I just don’t see how this will have game: 0/5
Finally, the 2 grey neutral upgrades:
Pirate Slugthrower has the same sides as the Awakenings infamous upgrade Holdout Blaster. I love the incentive to run a mono build to get the discount. In a 3 wide you’re dropping this Redeploy blaster for 1 resource which is exceptional value. In a 2 wide, it’s still OK value for 2. The fact this can’t be discarded from play prevents paying 1 for it and then overwriting for a 4 cost upgrade. Great design space: 4/5
Stolen Datapad has a key place in Spy and Scoundrel decks. It offers solid dice protection and makes your opponent think twice about removing a die.
I’ve tested this card, and it feels really good; I think this card is one of the overlooked cards of the set. Drop this on a character, any character, then next turn activate your key character/support and the opponent literally cannot remove your dice, at least not right away. If they do, this triggers to prevent the removal as an after effect. Their card remains played, their resources remain spent, and it’s now your turn so you can go ahead and resolve that die.
I think this could be one of the most non-interactive tech cards ever, and certainly in the current standard format. This is better than Vader TTB‘s Power Action, Resilient, or the old Empire at War card Endurance, as all of those not only cost an action (so your opponent could just go and remove the die again) but also forced you to roll the die back in, meaning it could finish on any side. It’s also potentially better than Instigate or other ambush activations, as if you roll badly with Instigate, it’s just a waste of a resource. If you roll badly after playing Stolen Datapad, the opponent still has to proactively attempt to remove your dice (at the cost of a card and possibly a resource) in order to discard this upgrade, or is risking you rerolling/focusing into something better and still being unable to remove your dice.
However, one downside alluded to above is this is not a may ability: this triggers as soon as a die is removed by the opponent; you can’t hold off until the opponent attempts to remove that key die. This makes it play out in a similar way to Stifle. ARH also sensibly made discarding the card the cost of keeping your die in the pool, so you don’t get to do any United-style shenanigans if they remove multiple dice at once, but you do at least get to pick which of your dice stay in your pool if that happens.
Despite the auto-trigger and single die limitation, I still think this is an excellent card, especially in a deck that can out-ramp the opponent, as it strips mitigation from their hand and fundamentally messes with their ability to interact with your dice pool.
Finally, if you have two of these out and the opponent removes a single die, only one gets triggered, as this is a replacement effect. This is much like how it plays out if you have a character with two copies of Second Chance. Get two of these out at a time and you’re going to have a very frustrated opponent.
Did I say I quite like this card?: 5/5
That’s the end of our Faltering Allegiances set review articles. We hope you enjoyed them, and if you want to read any of them again, here’s the links:
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