“You may start your landing”

This week Dice Commando spoiled three more cards from the upcoming Redemption set. The spoilers were included within an interview with ARH:Redemption set designer Trey and set lead Elrathion. If you are yet to see the video, I’d highly recommend catching up and taking the time to watch it, the design insight is fascinating. After seeing the spoilers we just had to share our thoughts on these pretty incredible cards.

To catch up with the Dice Commando video follow the link below. Go Commando!

“My lord, I’ve reached the main power generators. The shield will be down in moments, you may start your landing.”
The words of General Veers as he encroaches on the Echo Base shield generator aboard his personal All Terrain Armored Transport, Blizzard 1. It’s a pretty iconic scene in Star Wars history in which these mechanical dog-like walkers stutter and blast forward, a few are tripped and stumbled, but at the end of the day the battle of Hoth is won by the Imperials due in part to the strength of Blizzard 1. Why the Star Wars history lesson? I’ll tell you why: if you can get up to 8 resources and play Blizzard 1, you too are going to win the battle of cards and dice known as a game of Star Wars Destiny. If there was ever a Win condition in this game, this is it. New deck archetype incoming, ‘A Blizzard Deck‘.

Blizzard 1 has to be played for the full 8 resources. You cannot exhaust a Tech Team to reduce its cost, you cannot Power Action Abandoned Refinery, you have to literally pay 8 to get this onto your side of the table. Getting to 8 resources is not an easy feat within Destiny right now, but it’s definitely not impossible with the help of cards like Reap, Merchant Freighter and Small Battles Won.

If I’m looking to get this on the table my first thought is I’m looking to play Krennic, two Imperial Death Troopers and the Construct the Death Star Plot. The deck will need to include the following: Kamino Cloning Facility for longevity and staying in the game, Covert Missions to Tutor for Blizzard 1 once I’m up to enough resources, Separatist Embargo to embargo Desperate Measures and potentially, against a Villain Red build, Hull Breach to destroy an opponent’s Separatist Embargo if they call Blizzard 1.

There are quite a few puzzle pieces to make this work, and if pulled out of sequence your hand will be full of dead cards. To be honest, this is probably not the best way to go right now to get Blizzard 1 on the table and it’s all just theory for now, more on potential starting line-ups later in the article. Time will tell how this shakes out come the full Redemption set release on the 29th of January.

An alternative interaction echo7 pointed out is having Elrik Vonreg pilot the Blizzard 1. Vonreg‘s passive ability will protect the Blizzard die, however the second die will not be protected. It will be important to distinguish which is the Blizzard die and the set aside die for this reason, as well as in case this gets blown up, as the set-aside die will stay in your pool.

Cards to stop or destroy Blizzard 1, including our own timely and highly thematic Desperate Measures promo. 8 indirect is a lot, but it’s better than letting the opponent resolve these dice, even one.

Bringing large iconic vehicles into Star Wars Destiny is no easy feat. Creating a cost and power level appropriate for the impact of the vehicle is extremely hard to do. Yes, Blizzard 1 looks pretty terrifying to face, and it should, however there are a lot of disrupt sides available on popular dice right now to slow your opponent to keep them off of the 8 resources. Also, don’t be shy in resolving that triple discard on your Vibrosword; if you know you’re facing a Blizzard build you may just get it out of hand and into the discard pile.

It’s also not unstoppable once on the table. Wookiee decks and red/Luke decks can remove both these dice with Feat of Strength, as can red villain decks with Viper Probe Droid. If one of the dice rolls a blank, the opponent can remove these one after the other. The die has a blank side, so with only a couple of cards in your hand for re-rolls, at least one of the dice could be Salt Flatted or otherwise blanked to uselessness. It’s going to be difficult to keep up with, but a deck strong in mitigation could certainly hold this thing off effectively enough to make the 8 resources you invested in it feel like a waste of money.

In summary Blizzard 1 has the potential to be a win condition, but there are also a fair amount of tricks in the meta to prevent this ever hitting the table.

Kendal Ozzel – Bumbling Tactician screams utility. For 9 squads points we have an elite 8 health Red Leader with one of the most utilitarian dice in the game. Being a red leader is an important role as it gives access to that additional die for Megablaster Troopers and allows for Counterintelligence. Ozzel’s die is pretty strong for an elite 9 cost character, comparatively we see resemblance to Satine Kryze, a character that has snuck into many hero builds because of her cheap elite cost of 10 squad points. Satine’s fundamental inclusion in most decks is for her ability to net you focus and money. Kendal can also make you money, but instead of focus he carries two discard sides. Villain Red leaders have a theme of carrying the discard sides, this represents the control thematic that flows through villain command. Say goodbye to your opponent’s hand if you pair this guy with Krennic.

The character ability is also an interesting design space. An ability isn’t the correct word here, let’s call it a one time advantage to an opponent thus representing Ozzel’s failures in The Empire Strikes Back. Before you roll off for battlefield control, your opponent can choose to lose the starting roll to take 2 shields. You, the Ozzel player can then choose which battlefield to resume your ensuing game of Destiny on. If you do choose your own battlefield your opponent will then gain another two additional shields, thus potentially creating a 4 health advantage to an opponent. Otherwise, you could pick the opponent’s battlefield and take 2 shields for yourself. Ozzel mirror matches is a discussion for another article, but the take-home message would be you’re going to have to flip a coin at some point.

Let’s move on to pairings. Maybe if you’re looking to mill you don’t care that your opponent has 4 shields, or alternatively…

Vader & Kendal – Vader Driven by Anger’s first 4 die start.

You know who doesn’t care too much about shields? Darth Vader – Driven by Anger. Pairing Ozzel with Vader will give Vader his first 4 die start. I don’t think this will be anywhere near meta. Vader seems to be one of the few characters from Transformations to have not made a splash. He has seen play, albeit only as an Anakin Skywalker – Reckless One flip, not as a starting character. But I do like the idea of Ozzel supporting Vader by making money and discarding opponent’s cards, adding an additional control aspect while Vader can crack on and do Vader things. Bringing red to Vader will bring access to cards such as Counterintelligence & Probe which combined with Ozzel’s discard sides should bring a hand advantage to your side of the table. Also, the next red spoiler works well for removal with Vader. More on that later.

5 die rainbow start.

Alternatively we can look into 5 die support line-ups. I like to sound of eJabba eOzzel Sentinel Messenger to run a standard support build with TIE Bombers, Megablasters, Entourage Package with the addition of Blizzard 1. The last time we had a 5 die rainbow start we were at the mercy of Snoke, Bazine and FOST which dominated within the WOtF/ATG Meta. We could also go for a 5 die mono red line-up with eOzzel, eKrennic and an Imperial Death Trooper. The interesting side to this build would be the abundance of discard sides available across the dice. Could this be a potential mill build?

5 die mill

If I wanted to set out to mill I think I’d prefer a 5 die starting line-up of Motti, Ozzel & Sly Moore. I like the blue splash to play cards such as Clever Distraction, Alter Fate & Fluid Riposte. Mill has never been my strongest game so I’m going to stop right there and try not to influence anyone into thinking this is good..

To summarize Kendal is a fascinating character who fits into so many decks. I think we will be seeing him in a lot of builds, you won’t go wrong if you have 9 spare squad points available and fill the slot with this guy. Options for Kendal Ozzel are Endless.

The last spoiler from Dice Commando, and it’s an interesting one. A 3 cost upgrade with 2 blanks and no redeploy. That sounds pretty bad on the face of it, especially when compared to cards like Z-6 Riot Control Baton from Spirit of Rebellion, which for the same cost had much better effective sides thanks to its free re-roll, plus it had redeploy. However, where this card shines is in its text. The ability to deal damage and trigger removal is pretty huge. Roll this into your pool and there’s a 50/50 chance of getting free removal next action, which is going to put the opponent in a tough spot. Even if the opponent hasn’t activated their characters yet, you can just leave this die sitting there, ready to pounce.

This card is certainly a step up from the comparable Stun Baton. Sure, that cost 1 less, but you had to pay one each time you used the removal, and it certainly didn’t boast a free 3 melee base side. And more significantly, this card says “after this die deals damage to a character” as opposed to “after a character takes damage from this die”. This means that even if all the damage is blocked, you still get to trigger the removal.

We discussed Darth Vader – Driven by Anger above, and again we’re looking at a card which is great with this character. Lack of Redeploy matters less on a 15 health character, and even if this die rolls a blank you can use Vader‘s Power Action to resolve it as a 1 melee and trigger the free removal.

However, the tricky thing about this card is that red villain upgrade decks aren’t really a thing at the moment. Especially not ones that use melee sides. The more common red villain decks are support decks, ideally 3-wide, where a non-redeploy weapon that costs 3 isn’t going to be particularly appealing. I’m hoping we see some more support for this archetype to make this card make more sense, though we’ve got our fingers crossed that this card alone might be enough to make people dust off, not only their Transformations Vader, but also their Spark of Hope Thrawn. Let’s not forget this could be a pretty handy upgrade on our friend FN-2199.

We are pretty excited to see what the rest of the Redemption set has in store for us, until the next batch of spoilers – may the rolls be with you!

Echo3ofclubs


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