On 29 January, Redemption, the new set from A Renewed Hope arrives. And today on echobase we are very pleased to be able to bring you the first 3 spoilers from this expansion.

However, before we get on to looking at the spoilers, the team over at A Renewed Hope kindly agreed to answer some of our questions. Here’s that Q&A in full:

The next set is called Redemption, which is not only the name of the medical frigate from Empire, but suggestive of a theme or common thread, much like Faltering Allegiances does. Does this new set have a theme or idea holding it all together?

Great question! It’s hard to answer it without giving too much away. As you pointed out the set name does have a double meaning. It refers to the medical frigate as you pointed out, but the set also tries to redeem or give additional life to some deck types which might have never fully seen the light of day or could use some love. In addition, there is the thematic story of the committee through the release of Faltering Allegiances breaking away from FFG and asking the community to join us on this journey. With set 12 we hope to continue to redeem the game and make it as accessible and enjoyable as
possible, so everyone can continue to play Destiny long into the future.

How many cards can we expect from this set?

The set will be very similar in size to the previous set.

Will there be any reprints/legalisation of old cards in this set?

While we are not putting forward a list of reprints/legalisations right away with the release of the set, it’s a topic which has been discussed and we are open to doing. More to follow on that later.

Will Redemption introduce new ARH mechanics to the game, or develop on existing mechanics such as detect and the spy subtype (or both)?

The Redemption set does not have any new keywords or character subtypes. It does however attempt to further build on some of the latest mechanics and keywords introduced in Covert Missions, Transformations and FA.

Are there any other existing mechanics which you’re developing which you can share with us?

I can tell you there are several interesting new takes on existing mechanics which will explore the flipping of characters, the usage of the set aside zone, etc in new ways not explored before.

Are there any battlefields or mitigation this time round?

We definitely tried to listen to the feedback of the community and heard this suggestion loud and clear. Redemption will ensure that colors and factions have access to a balanced and varied set of removal. In addition, we are launching some new battlefields 😉

Blue, especially blue villain, has been absolutely dominant since FA arrived. Should we expect to see the balance be addressed by this new set?

We agree Blue has been very dominant, in part to them picking up some above curve cards like Force Affinity. Vader/Taron and Anakin/Ahsoka/Youngling on the mono side, and Luke/K2 and Asajj Dengar respectively have all put their stamp on this season of play. The hope coming out of this set is that with an increased card pool you will see a wide increase in deckbuilding options, and a larger variety of decks which are able to vie for the crown of the best deck. Our playtesting certainly has borne that out, and we are excited to see how it plays out when everyone gets their hands on the set and starts constructing new decks.

One stated goal of ARH at the beginning of 2020 was to make partner characters for so-called orphans, characters which never really had a suitable partner before. Are we going to see some of these in Redemption?

I believe a lot of characters which were both in FA and previous sets which never quite found a partner or a home will be picked up again by the community.

Has set development been easier this time round?

It’s definitely easier not having to go first. Our team owes a debt of gratitude to those who went before us and paved the way, and made some tough decisions which we could build on. With that being said, it has been a very rewarding but challenging journey for the entire team. There have been a lot of aspects of growth we all had to go through in the process. We definitely were humbled by the great community feedback which was given after our initial set launched and tried to incorporate as much of it as we could for this new set.

What are you most excited about in this set (that you can share with us)?

We honestly hope to put a smile on everyone’s faces as they continue to learn more about this set. To us, it’s a celebration of everything that makes this game great, and it will make deck builders extremely happy. I would very gladly share a lot of what makes me excited about this set, but I don’t want to take anything away from the joy of discovery as you guys continue to learn more about what we did with the set.

Now, on to the cards, starting with Redemption

The eponymous card from the set, and what a beautiful one it is: Redemption was the Nebulon-B frigate in which Luke was given a replacement hand. It therefore seems appropriate that when you activate this support you roll in two Medical Droid dice. In case you’ve forgotten, this is what those guys look like:

OK, so they’re not amazing, but with a single reroll of any blanks, you’ve got a 44% chance of effectively gaining two health through shields or healing, and a 40% chance of one or other die being on the resource side, plus only a 1.2% chance of getting double blanks. Rolling in lots of dice is also handy for cards like Rout and Loth-Cat and Mouse.

And the sides on Redemption itself aren’t bad too. I’ll happily resolve any of those sides. They look like the sides you’d see on a 3-cost, so that makes it decent value given that Medical Droids cost 1 each and it only cost you 1 card and one activation to get the three dice in your pool. However, the four cost does make actually playing this a bit prohibitive.

It’s great to see some red card love. Red was a little under-represented in Faltering Allegiances so it’s good to see Redemption spoilers start with some very nice red cards. Redemption specifically looks pretty good. We get three dice straight into the pool which activates a Rout. It also gives us three dice to potentially resolve which could really speed up getting a trooper from a Kamino Cloning Facility. 5 solid, useful sides weighted towards shields to keep your front line characters alive a little longer which is exactly what a medical frigate should be doing. This could be a very interesting card to target for a Cassian Power Action reset which would provide another 2 more Medical Droids. Tempted to put Hera on a secondment as the pilot of this and reset it with her ability too. There is a downside though. It can be Desperate Measured still so you can’t rely on it staying on the table. The Medical Droids double blank sides are also a worry when Unending Hate is so prevalent, they could end up simply healing the damage they opened you up to in the first place. Greatly thematic and I’m looking forward to trying it out in the near future.

Dak Ralter

With Covert Missions we were introduced to two additional win conditions: Destroy the Death Star and Construct the Death Star. Neither of which had enough support from Covert Missions to enable either to be a viable win condition in the competitive scene. Enter stage right Dak Ralter – a Pilot with 3 ranged sides all at a value of 2, no less, and an after ability that takes a shield off of the Death Star Plot. It doesn’t just advance your win condition but also keeps your pilots on the table for longer. Absolutely stellar design here, my thanks go out to ARH for looking into and building on DTDS as an alt win condition. Outside of a DTDS deck, Dak is a solid character: 15 points elite for 11 health is average for a middle middle build. I say that as we’ve seen a slight increase in health to 12hp for 12/15 costed characters (Vader/4-LOM). However, after activating Dak, giving a character a shield takes him above average for a 15 point character. If you can keep him alive for a few rounds those additional shields will add up. I cannot wait to get this guy on the table.

Our hero gets free shields and we’re one step closer to blowing it up. And yes, that is a shiny new echobase promo!

Well, what a character to be able to spoil and well done A Renewed Hope. One of our very own echobase rebels and he’s good too. A very nice middle range character that can fit in a lot of decks and I feel we have been missing a decent red pilot at this cost. He has so many decent character pairings. Transformations Han Solo + a plot, Rey for all the shields, Torra Doza for added speed, give shields to Saw to soak up that self damage, even a Kashyyyk Warrior and Send in the Troopers could fit together. I’m not saying they are particularly recommended pairings but he opens up all these options instantly. A great character to have around and I think he will see quite a bit of use. He certainly will at echobase; that Death Star is going down.

Small Battles Won

Another echobase themed card (thanks team!) and further pushing the mono-colour modus operandi of A Renewed Hope, Small Battles Won is a handy little tech card. It functions much like a slow Logistics, a card which we have missed since it rotated out, and although it’s slower (taking two actions to gain two resources rather than one) ,and red die only, it’s more versatile, allowing you to resolve any side, so you can sneak in a bit of extra damage, focusing or shields where needed. I think this card is likely to see play for that reason: that it can be used for ramp or for general tech. It can also be used on a single focus side to turn that very die to another side, which is handy if playing cards like A-Wing, Holdo or Hera. However, being red die only does limit this card’s utility considerably, and probably resigns it to be being in mono-red builds only.

One other thing to note, is you can play this card on a 1 side that has a before effect primed and ready to go. For example, you can play this on a 1 melee Kashyyyk Warrior die with 6 damage on it, to resolve it as a 2 without removing it from your pool.

If you are playing red then I’m sure you’ll be looking to have this card in your deck. Always going to be useful. It does suspiciously look like a clever re-design of Logistics and is most likely going to be used exactly for that purpose but it has so much more utility than just that, as echo7 points out above. You can use it on a 1 focus side to focus the same dice to use a moment later. It’s another handy double resolve on a round which is nice for advancing Kamino Clone Facility. Let’s face it though, if you can hit this round 1 on a resource side you’ll be at four resources and could play a Redemption, Laat Gunship, Admiral or simply two A-300 Blasters. Who doesn’t want that, except maybe your opponent?

Time for a decklist?
We thought we’d give you our first-pass go at a Dak/Luke/Destroy The Death Star deck:

Remember, to blow up the Death Star you need to deal it a mere 20 damage from Pilot or Vehicle dice, or 17 damage after 3 rounds thanks to Dak. Covert Mission practically guarantees getting Luke’s X-Wing on the table (which auto-focuses effectively to 3 ranged if Luke is piloting it), or could be used to find that crucial card for the circumstances, such as Death Star Plans. And while we’re on the subject, On Guard is a great card for this deck: you can use it for a little extra survival, or you can use it to ready the Plans and immediately exhaust it again to knock off another 2 shields.

A nifty combo, and another echobase promo!

The vehicles in this deck are the ones with the best ranged sides in ARH Standard, which I must admit is pretty slim pickings. A-Wing is actually one of the better vehicles, with its 2 base sides for a 2 cost, though I’ve got my fingers crossed for a decent 2/3-cost vehicle in Redemption to replace the V-Wing/Ghost. Phantom may seem like an odd choice, but it’s a great backup target to blow up the Death Star with it’s 3 damage sides, and being just a one-drop it’s a good card to Eject.

These two characters together should be able to attempt an attack run round 3, all being well.
If Luke and his X-Wing have their dice in the pool, you’ve got a 44% chance of winning the game right away, 69% if you have 2 goes and 83% with three.
Dak with Luke’s X-Wing, or Luke with Ghost/Phantom (or any vehicle with 3 damage sides), have 33%, 56% and 70%.
Dak with Ghost/Phantom is 25%, 44% and 58%.
With these stats in mind, it’s pretty clear that if you are attempting to complete your mission, your goal should be to keep Luke alive and get his X-Wing on the table.

We’ve got Eject and Flanked By Wingmen for survival, and Feat of Strength, Near Miss, Nullify and Valiant Deed for removal. Nullify may well be the best piece of removal for this deck, as you’ll always have shields on tap thanks to Dak, plus shielding up the opponent’s characters isn’t an issue if you’re not trying to kill them. I would have loved to include Small Battles Won, but it just feels a bit too situational in a non-mono deck.

Trench Run and Trust Your Feelings are a pretty good speed combo, steps around mitigation, and gives you a free go at blowing up the Death Star. Don’t forget to use your piloting after Trust Your Feelings has resolved; it’d be easy to forget after all that’s just happened.

Anyone else feel that the flavour text is on the wrong card?

The weakness of the Destroy The Death Star plot has always been the final bit of luck required in the last step, regardless of how quickly you can knock its shields off, plus the fact that you could have doled out 20 damage (to your plot) but your opponent is still sitting there with a full team ready to gun you down. If you’re facing a 20ish health team, or a low health aggro deck like Trandoshans, you will be better off just attacking their characters, and use the plot to turn on Covert Mission. However, if you’re against a shield generating slow burn deck or a large health pool, it’s probably worth going after the Death Star.

That’s all we’ve got for you for now. We’re looking forward to seeing what else A Renewed Hope has in store for us in the coming weeks, and when the full set drops at the end of January.

Oh, and Merry Christmas.

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