It’s been a little while since some of these yellow spoilers landed, courtesy of Coaxium Gaming, SWDBR and Parker Simpson. Sorry about that, we’ve been busy. Anyway, here’s the yellow Redemption cards and our thoughts on them, starting out with the most recent one, Tuesday’s surprise spoiler from Parker Simpson:
First up, I love the art on both these versions, the ARH and the Parker Simpson version. If you want a chance to win this amazing Parker Simpson alt art, click the image above to enter his Facebook competition (closes Friday).
We’ve been talking about this one for a while after it was teased by ARH a week or so back. I’m very glad to see this version of Obi-Wan from ARH, not least of all because we had a yellow Jedi Bounty Hunter Obi-Wan in our second ‘know your dice’ quiz.
For 19 points elite you’re getting some pretty hefty die sides, though the damage sides are mis-matched and you’ve got a 1 discard side instead of a resource. However, his ability to Detect 2 cards in the opponent’s hand and gain a resource if one of them is an event is pretty significant. If the opponent has 2 events in their hand, the chance of this netting you a resource is 64%, which sounds on the face of it pretty good. However, in reality the chance is going to be less than that. First off, the opponent is likely to try hard to play their events (if they can), or roll in and discard to re-roll, to deny you this benefit. If they play/discard 1 of them, your odds drop to 44%. This means you might have to activate him earlier than you might like to otherwise, which could mess with your sequencing. I’m not going to complain though; a 50/50 chance of gaining a resource on activation is still pretty amazing, and the double Detect means cards like Selling Intel and Forewarned are likely to be much more effective than they are in most decks.
You’ve got the Jedi subtype, which is the first time it’s appeared on a non-blue card, and the ability to play any blue upgrades on him, which is great if you pair him with blue. The way he’s worded also lets you play Untamed Power on him, which I think is an under-rated upgrade. The Bounty Hunter subtype is actually quite handy, as it means heroes can finally benefit from the powerful Dead or Alive bounty, as well as getting the full health benefit from Black Market Arm (below) and the full benefit from the asymmetric battlefield Jabba’s Palace, meaning you can force the opponent to lose a resource on claim, but the opponent can’t (unless they also have a bounty hunter).
And finally, his third subtype, Spy, opens up Intelligence Operation builds. Pairing him with Cassian probably isn’t a great idea, as you can’t spot a leader, but Galen would be a great choice. Between him and Obi-Wan, you’re likely to be netting 1-2 bonus resources each round, and Galen‘s focus and shield sides make him a good support character for Obi-Wan, as well as being red meaning you can include Covert Mission and spot the plot to go fishing for key cards.
If you don’t go down the Spy path, the first pairing that comes to mind in Blue is Ahsoka. Being a Jedi, Obi-Wan triggers her after ability, meaning you get good mileage out of her dice, and being blue, Ahsoka lets you include those big blue upgrades to play on Obi. However, I’m tempted to think that R2-D2 might be better, as his ability allows you to flip Obi-Wan to the 2 ranged side.
Overall though, while I like the card and the build options it opens up, I find the power level a little underwhelming. I think he’s going to be tricky to make work. Sure, in some games he’ll net you a resource every round and you’ll be unstoppable. But then some games you’ll keep missing on those events and just won’t be able to ramp.
Ziro comes to the game, and brings some nice downgrade support in the form of a Convergence Jabba-style top-4-of-your-deck Power Action. Those die sides are fine for a 9/11, and if you use the Power Action to play a downgrade, you get an extra damage ping. Worth noting that you have to actually play a downgrade from the top 4 to get the ping, meaning you’ll have to have A LOT of downgrades in your deck to make this consistently effective.
To be honest, I was initially highly unimpressed, but then Jrak (of On The Sensors and Destiny Junior) played against me with an eZiro/eIG-88/Any Means Necessary deck, and it was really quite good. IG-88 really wants downgrades on all the opponent’s characters as quickly as possible, and Ziro‘s ability makes that happen fast. Combine that with a Bounty Hunter Mask to trigger some unmitigatable damage from his character dice courtesy of Any Means Necessary, some bonus damage from a combination of Ziro and Dangerous Mission, and some blowout mitigation from Bounty Averted, and you’ve got yourself a decent deck. Kudos to Jrak for making it work.
Hondo is an interesting character. He’s neutral, but I’m showing him here with Pirate Loyalist, as he rolls in two of these villain dice.
He’s really expensive, but for 17 points you’ve got 3 dice, for 21 you’re got 4, which is pretty much on a par with the only comparable character, Convergence Phasma, and he packs significantly more health. His own die re-uses the old Legacies die, but the special is no longer optional damage. Remember that stealing resources counts as forcing the opponent to lose resources, so his dice aren’t actually too bad with Plunder and the above Pirate Loyalist around, in addition to the prevalence of disrupt sides in Standard. You could even pair him up non-elite with non-elite Kragan, for an effective 4 dice start, though then your potential to leverage his special is pretty small.
The Pirate Loyalist himself seems actually pretty good. Sure, there’s 3 blanks, but his 3 non-blanks are really good for a 7 point 7 health character. If you’ve got some focus in your deck, or re-roll a couple of times, he’s going to be providing you with some decent value.
His Power Action however is what makes him really interesting. Pair him with Hondo or even better pair two of them with elite Kragan and you can give him to your opponent (if he’s ready) and steal and opponent’s resource. A 2 resource swing is worth it for giving the opponent that die, especially if you’ve got some decent mitigation. However, it would be a pretty terrible idea against a Valorous Tribe deck, or any deck that can move damage around, as they’ll just load him with damage before they give him back to you.
You could pair him with another pirate and a diceless character like Nightsister Zombie or Jawa Scavenger, then give that character to the opponent to steal a resource (in the hope the opponent doesn’t have a grey neutral in hand if it’s the Jawa). This seems like pretty fantastic value, and it’ll be interesting to see if someone can make the numbers work to make this worth it.
I can see it now, the bad taste of a close game ending with an Everybody Profits play. This card doesn’t even have a spot requirement; but the downside and ‘cost’ to play this card is to give an opponent a resource, which in a game of Destiny you really don’t want to be doing. As the cards cost, that is fair, but it does depend on your values of damage sides.
For example I personally rate Melee and Ranged sides as a 1 for 1 value. Indirect I’ve always value at 0.4. so for 1 resource I can deal 1.2 value of damage. This doesn’t sound great, especially as it’s actually a 2 resources swing. End game however, one character left on an opponents team, Indirect obviously bumps in value to 1 for 1. Thus playing this card at the end game, no other card can offer 3 for 1 with no spot requirement. Close end games (2 or 3 health remaining on the final characters) typically come down to tempo and who can get their dice in the pool first and hit resolvable sides. If you don’t have the tempo, opponent rolls in. Play Everybody Profits and bam! game’s done from a well timed and drawn Everybody Profits play. It will happen, and this scenario will come up for a lot of people. Ah, too much salt. I’ll be playing it in a few villain yellow decks I play.
Pirate Crew Member could just be the best 1 drop support in the game. If you are running a mono line up the sides are boosted to 1, 2, +2 ranged respectively. Compared to Conscript Squad which as 1, +1,+2 ranged, this is clearly a step up. Conscript has an advantage of activating alongside a leader and keeping tempo. Even though the Pirate Crew Member takes an action to activate and thus slower tempo, I still believe that in a Mono build this 1 cost support is phenomenal. Also, as this support has the Pirate subtype it can add value to underutilized cards such as Plunder.
Above we’ve included all of the droids that are currently available in ARH Standard that Doctor Aphra will allow you to bring to the game. Where to start with Doctor Aphra? For one, she is absolutely a deck builder’s dream. A neutral character with an incredible die for 10/13. On the hero side Han Solo – Cool and Confident has taken this slot, but now we finally have a character that can rival that yellow 10/13 option for deck building.
Primarily a ranged damage dealer, Aphra’s die is interesting as there are no other Yellow ranged characters that have two shield sides, one of which is a two shield side. I absolutely love the die on Aphra but what we’re really interested in is the ability to shuffle up to 6 droids into your deck after setup (i.e. post-mulligan).
Bringing Assassin Droids and Viper Probe Droids to Hero builds is such a great twist, not least of all because you could bring 6 of them if you wanted. Also, giving villain access to BD-1 & Mr. Bones. Oh, that’s not all: you get to deal an indirect every time you play a droid! Aphra requires an article all unto herself in which we can go on and on about cool deck ideas; but for now, and for the sake of this short quick fire review she’s absolutely amazing and we can’t wait to explore deck possibilities.
Black Market Arm shares the exact same die sides as Luke Skywalker’s Lightning Rod which with its release in WoTF cost 2 resources to play. For the additional resource we are getting a +1 health bonus; if played on a Pirate or Bounty Hunter, a +2 health bonus. For the 2 health this seems perfectly on par with balance, with the advantage being that the two benefits cost you just one card from hand. Interestingly we see another push on Melee focused yellow upgrades.
Jango loves this upgrade. A Custom Bandolier hero build also loves Black Market Arm as it is an equipment, especially once you’ve got the Bounty Hunter Mask down to give your Jedi (BDLuke/Mace) the Bounty Hunter subtype and that +2 bonus health. Bounty Hunter Mask OP!
The full set launches tomorrow, and we just can’t wait.
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