First up, villain, and some Hoth themed cards which make us very happy indeed here at echobase:
General Veers, front man in the Battle of Hoth, very appropriately brings along some backup muscle/a meat shield in the form of a Snowtrooper. 14/17 for 10 health is pretty bad, but since you’re going to be adding a Snowtrooper, he’s effectively bringing 18 health, which seems like a decent deal, even if you do start the game with no resources.
Let’s have a quick look at the Snowtrooper first. Those sides are worse than First Order Stormtroopers. You’ve traded the really solid 2 ranged side for a +2 ranged side, for the same 7 character points. However, you gain 1 health, or 2 health if you’re fighting on Hoth. There are no Hoth battlefields in ARH Standard. However, we already know that ARH have put battlefields in Redemption, so it would be a fair bet to say one of them will be Hoth (which makes us even more happy). If you have a good chance of winning the roll-off, and you bring a Hoth battlefield to the game, you now have a 9 health character for 7 points, which is exceptional value.
Veers himself has really quite good die sides (even if they are the sides of character with a bit more health and a couple fewer points) but his Power Action is particularly interesting. Having on-tap access to battlefield control means that cards like Fresh Supplies or Seize the Day are safe includes, as are Hostile Territory and Cruel Methods. In fact, any card which you might have considered in a Commander Pyre deck. I made a handy db search for these tech cards, which you can see by following this link. As you’re likely going to want to build your deck around this ability, it’d be highly risky making him elite and painting a target on that 10 health head of his.
Next up, our fourth red villain plot:
Relentless Advance is a very expensive plot, but that Team Up means it’ll cost 1 or 2 in most builds. The lineup which has probably been independently come up with more than any other lineup so far in Redemption is Pyre/Veers/Relentless Advance (with one of those characters elite). You effectively deal 2 indirect damage every time you claim or take control of the battlefield. If you start the game on the opponents battlefield, use Veers’ Power Action and go on to claim, that’s 5 damage. You can also stock it up and resolve it when it’s going to hurt the most, unlike most damage pings which can be steadily absorbed on shields.
Alternatively, you could just use this as a bonus few damage in a trooper deck if you’ve got a point spare. eKrennic/IDT/IDT for instance. If the game goes on 4 rounds, that’s a nice little unmitigatable damage to have up your sleeve.
Also, remember that Purge Trooper is, well, a trooper, so you’re not stuck to mono-red if you want to get the most out of the discount.
This is a handy piece of villain ramp. With all the double red trooper shenanigans discussed above, this is going to be very welcome. Often the best case scenario for a non-elite non-unique is a resource, and this guarantees it for two of your characters. A shoe-in for Veers, especially if you can get it in your opening hand.
Now, on to our heroes:
The face that launched a thousand ships, and what an interesting design space. But damn, 21/28 is a lot. I love that Ackbar has been brought back with this highly thematic ‘Rebel Fleet’ ability. I’ve put up the old Across the Galaxy X-Wing for a reminder. Assuming none of your X-Wings get trashed by Desperate Measures/Hull Breach, your damage curve is going to be pretty steep.
There’s an easy equation to calculate your maximum damage output from X X-Wings, and that’s X squared [side note: I literally only just realised the ‘joke’ in the fact that the X-Wing has a die value of X…]. 2 X-Wings can do 4 damage, tops. 4 X-Wings can do 16. 6 X-Wings can do 36 (assuming perfect rolls and no mitigation obviously). Clearly winning a game with Ackbar is going to be all about survival to let your X-Wings hit critical mass.
Piloting and automatic vehicles means that you’re going to have Assail online right away, and you’ll probably be able to pull of an Eject or two if you pack some extra cheap vehicles like Merchant Freighters (you really don’t want to be ejecting from an X-Wing, but the option is there if you have to). And we get instant access to the most powerful removal in the game: Feat of Strength.
One of the most interesting things about Ackbar is he breaks the standard rules of engagement for Destiny. Normally you’re attempting to tread the fine line between survival, ramp, and aggression. With this character, you don’t need to ramp or play aggressive supports and upgrades because they just come to you automatically. Obviously it’ll help to do so, but even if you don’t, the longer you hang on, the more powerful you become. And for that reason alone, I really like it.
Fun, and potentially quite powerful. Just like in a Palpatine matchup, kill him quickly, or you’re going to be completely overwhelmed.
This is third iteration of Chewbacca, and he’s possibly my favourite (though The Beast is, I must admit, very good with Tarrful/Valorous now he’s 11/13) not least of all because he looks very good in Red. It must be said that his sides are mostly not that great for 17 point elite: three of his sides are basically blanks, as you’re not packing a 17 point character for a single shield or disrupt side; and his damage sides are 2’s and mismatched.
However, he has a 2 resource side! That’s huge. He’s also a Scoundrel (and a Wookiee obviously), which makes him our first ever non-yellow scoundrel (except Fickle Mercenaries). To be honest, I don’t think Chewbacca has ever been particularly scoundrelous, but I’ll take it as it means we can pair him with a yellow scoundrel, Reap into that 2 resource side, and start dropping Entourages. And that brings us to his highly obvious partner: Han Solo from Transformations.
He also has Guardian, as well as an ability which turns that oft undervalued defensive ability into a (slightly) offensive one. Removing the opponent’s 1 melee side on their Transformations Anakin to then do him 1 damage is pretty insulting, as it is against any good character with a single weak damage side. It’s also handy against cards like Vibrosword which only get pumped when they get resolved.
Chewbacca‘s ability applies every time you Guardian a die, so to maximise his offensive trigger you might want to partner him with another Guardian. However, there’s not too many around. There’s Naboo Palace Guard if you can find a leader (e.g. Chewbacca/Satine/NabooPG), Obi-Wan Kenobi from Transformations, who really would like another blue character to make him worth it (but then you’re on eChewbacca/Obi-Wan/Youngling, which sounds… not great) or Leia from Redemption, but then you have only 3 dice. None of these sound particularly appealing so I’m really hoping for a solid guardian in Redemption for this change to make more sense.
And finally, he has built in Valorous Tribe without the healing. This is going to be quite annoying for your opponent as it’s going to make it much harder for them to get the first kill.
Overall, I’m not convinced he’s going to be great, but I think he’s going to be fun.
The event spoiled by On The Sensors, Heroic Protector is made to go with Chewbacca, and it’s pretty strong. If you remove a 3 value character die say, you’re dealing 3 to Chewbacca and 4 back at the opponent, for 1 resource. You can even add insult to injury if you take your damage on shields. Another thing I like about this card is the well-chosen artwork is from one of the greatest and most poignant scenes from Empire, rather than just a picture of an enraged Chewie.
It’s worth adding that this still gets fully resolved even if your guardian is defeated in the process, which is great so long as they’re not your last character standing. This event is going to be pretty scary if you’re playing Blizzard I against a nearly dead Chewbacca.
Our first non-unique elite in Redemption, and it’s very good. For just 11 points elite, you’re almost getting AtG Jyn‘s character dice, but with a Power Action that lets you pump one of them. Roll this out elite and you’ve got a 89% chance of effectively having a double discard or three ranged side ready to resolve. That’s Trandoshan Hunter level of epic for a low cost support character, and opens up some pretty aggressive pairing options, either with a big character like FA Jyn or 3 wide. It’s tempting to pair up with another Sniper for a 5 die start, but the lack of a resource side is going to mean your ramp will be non-existent.
This character is not just going to be good in aggro; the double discard opens up the possibility for mill. An 8 point character effectively with a double discard is unprecedented. Echo3ofclubs has already tried this out, with some success. Those people who have been craving some mill love will probably look fondly on this addition, as they haven’t had many mill friendly cards lately to cheer about.
And finally, our one neutral red:
Don’t be fooled, this is no DH-17 Blaster Pistol reprint. Sure, it’s a 1 cost Red neutral weapon. But just look at those sides. We’ve swapped the modifier side for a 2 indirect, which I view as a step up (though to be fair that does depend on your build), and we’ve swapped a 1 shield for a 1 resource, which is definitely an improvement. The DH-17 was one of the most popular cards in Destiny right up to when it rotated out, and I expect this new blaster to be very popular too.
But I could be wrong. The Spark of Hope Ewok Bow was a genuinely solid 1 drop with 2 base damage sides and a resource side, and it saw almost zero play, though to be fair it was yellow hero rather than red neutral. Maybe the game has moved on, and these decent value overwrite fodder upgrades just don’t cut it anymore. Time will tell.
These cards are some of my favourites from Redemption so far. They bolster red as a competitive colour, which is very welcome, especially for heroes. And looking at the numbers, red hero have two more characters to come too (between the alphabetically close Ackbar and Chewie, and between Dak and Rebel Sniper).
3 days to go until Redemption.
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