The Zabrak Nightbrothers

When we saw these spoilers from TinyGrimes, we flipped, and decided we absolutely had to dedicate an article to them.

Maul. What a hero. The soft-spoken and eloquent antagonist from Episode I really went through some highs and lows in the Clone Wars, and those are characterised beautifully in this flip version of the character.

First up, I love the fact that A Renewed Hope are using parallel dice on the A side, and that they’ve signalled this with a beautiful logo. It’s not a great die, for sure, but it’s very solid for the cost. Flipping this character will probably require you to build around it, at least a bit, as you’ll want to be flipping at the end of round 2, or at least before activation round 3, meaning you’ll need A LOT of cheap events in your deck. Cards like Forsaken, On Guard and Acute Awareness are gold, as are any ramp events from other factions, but you might even consider cards like Dark Magick or Twin Strike to guarantee the early flip. A lineup with Lightsaber Mastery would also help here as you don’t have to play the event from your hand to trigger his ability. I’ve tried out a deck with lots of cheap events, and got the flip before round 3 activation 3 games in a row. Remember you have to pay the two resources immediately after playing the event as it’s part of the same after effect.

The B side of Maul has a couple more health, a better die and a grumpy face, and costs an epic 19 points. That special though! As “resolve a/any die” on a card means resolve a die in any pool, this could be huge [a note on this ruling is at the bottom of this article]. Only one special side though means you’ll want to have some focusing in your deck, ideally special chaining, to pull this one off consistently. It feels nicely thematic that rarely has there ever been a character that could benefit more from Niman Mastery.

Maul B‘s Power Action is also pretty handy. There’s no 4 cost blue events in Standard, so we’re looking at playing 2 costs for 1, and there’s a few good ones to choose from. Draw Closer will be great with that base 3 melee, and Fatal Blow and No Mercy are also strong options for damage pumping. We get more damage from hand coming possibilities from Act of Betrayal, Treason and Entropic Blast. Dark Reflections also becomes highly playable to focus to three 3 melee sides when paired with Savage A (below) and even Quad Slam is worth considering. The only slightly annoying thing about this Power Action is it doesn’t play well with his A-side flip requirements. Do you stack your deck with cheap events to get the flip, or 2 costs to reap the benefits when you do?

One final thing to consider is you could pair him with yellow and give yourself access to free mitigation in the form of Think On Your Feet, as well as other fast and cheap events like Reap and Truce.

Savage Opress underwent a pretty serious Transformation at the hands of the nightsisters, so is another perfect candidate for a flip card. Re-using the Across the Galaxy Savage dice, the A side of this character is an absolute steal at 8/11, especially at 7/10 when paired with Maul. Ironically, he doesn’t actually pair very well with our new Maul B as you end up floating a point (unless you include United) though he would make the perfect partner for Spark of Hope Maul along with Rule of Two.

The B side of this character is, frankly, pretty scary. Beefy for 12/15, and with 4 effective damage sides. Once he hits 6 damage, which should be fairly soon if you use his guardian, his special becomes monstrous thanks to it’s ability to special chain. Elite, you have a 56% chance of rolling a special, and when you do you can deal 2 damage and chain into the other one, and then deal 2 more and chain into another special (like Maul B, pilot Vader, or Shien Mastery) or blank an opponent’s die.

It’ll be a tricky choice whether to start this character side A or side B. He’s probably got the easiest flip requirements of any card ever. Pull a resource and you can do this before he activates in round 1, but setting yourself back 3 resources and a card in the first round of the game is pretty significant and you’ll need a good recovery. If you get disrupted, you could be in trouble. I think the side will just depend on the lineup. His Team Up discount means you’ll probably always play him side A with any version of Maul, but I think a eVader/eSavageB/Rule of Two could be pretty powerful, not least of all since you can step around a lot of mitigation that targets only damage sides.

Spark of Hope Maul – Start Savage on side A, Flip to side B and this is a pretty terrifying line-up.

Finally, the event which was spoiled at the same time, Your Powers Are Weak This seems modelled after the yellow event Change of Fortune (but with better artwork), except while this version can only target 3 dice, you’re guaranteed to get value out of it as you get to blank any dice which aren’t removed (assuming they have a blank side), which synergises nicely with the Inquisitors.

Whether this card sees play depends a lot on what other mitigation options there are for villain blue in this set. 2 is quite a steep cost for the archetype, but the ability to affect 3 dice is significant. I believe this card was designed with Maul B‘s Power Action in mind, and in reality I think this card is unlikely to see much play in other decks.

I’m tempted to say these are my favourite spoilers so far from Redemption and can’t wait to give them a try. They open up so many lineup and deck building options, and they’re going to be a lot of fun.

A note on resolving the opponent’s dice with a card effect
I thought I’d quickly cover this, as this still seems to be confusing some people: if a card says resolve a/any die, you can use it to resolve the opponent’s die if you want. The difference between ARH and FFG, is that FFG chose to specify whose die you could resolve on card effects to avoid confusion, even if some of that text was unnecessary, while ARH have decided to drop this extra text.

Almost every FFG card which let you resolve dice, specified your dice. On the odd occasion they let you resolve the opponent’s die, they said so, and added ‘as if it were in your pool’ (Conveyex Robbery) or ‘as if it were your die’ (e.g. Anger or Double-Cross). However, this clarification wasn’t strictly needed, as the FFG rulebook had already stated “If a player’s effect would resolve an opponent’s die, that die is resolved as if it were in that player’s pool instead”. When ARH released their own rulebook, they added the section “Resolving Opponent’s Die” which reiterated this point, word for word, but didn’t actually add anything other than more clarity to this point.

There is a sticking point though to this ruling: the rulebook specifies “A player can only resolve dice in their own dice pool”, in two places. One place is under the ‘Resolve Dice’ section of the rulebook which specifically refers to taking the action, Resolve Dice. This is irrelevant. Of course you can only resolve dice in your pool with this action: this is fundamental to how Destiny works, and says nothing about resolving dice from card effects. However, the second place is under the ‘Dice Pool’ section of the rules, and this is relevant:

I believe that ARH should add to the sentence here and say “A player can only resolve dice in their pool when using the Resolve Dice action“. At present, they have decided that this rule does not apply when using card effects, but it does not explicitly say that at present, unlike the earlier instance of this sentence. As such, people will continue to legitimately question this ruling.

On the ARH cards Master of Disguise and Maul B, the committee have decided to drop the text which FFG used to specify that you could resolve opponent’s dice. This may be down to the fact that they don’t have enough room, or think it’s cleaner this way. Either way, I have no problem with dropping the clarification text from the cards, but I do think that the rulebook needs to catch up a little here.

Agent of Zion stated it this way:
It’s a change in how that specific wording works with regards to the actual text reads. As such, we will continue to clarify for now, but at some point the track record and history of the specific wording will make it unnessessary (sic).
Its not the same exact thing, but its how rules reminder text goes from super wordy to keyword only on characters.

The committee did acquiesce a little here, and replaced the original text ‘a die’ with ‘any die’. Nevertheless, if this comes up again, and it probably will, just remember: if it doesn’t say otherwise, “a die” means any die in any pool, regardless whether you’re turning, removing, re-rolling or resolving.

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