Today on echobase, we’re going over the Red command cards from Redemption. We will be reviewing these approximately in type/affiliation order, giving each card a score out of 5, with that score representing our opinion on their power level, rather than an opinion on how well designed they are. A few cards we have given the ‘Legendary’ status and are highlighted in Purple. Let’s begin!
13. Veers we’ve already discussed in detail in our red spoilers article. As then, I still feel like this character could be really good in the right build, especially thanks to his ability to consistently provide control of the battlefield, but 14/17 for 10 health just feels pretty steep, even if he does bring along a Snowtrooper. A beautifully designed and thematic character, but I just wish he has a couple more health or a couple fewer points. (3/5).
14. Ozzel was also spoiled early and reviewed in our You May Start Your Landing article. As we said at the time, this character is an absolute bargain. I still can’t actually make him work in a really competitive build, but for 7/9 you get a really very good red leader, and for that reason alone he deserves (4/5).
15. Snowtrooper is finally a valid alternative to the old favourite First Order Stormtrooper. A slightly worse die but you get 1 or 2 extra health. The inconsistency in getting the battlefield you want does make this a tricky choice, and that free base side on FOST is a shame to lose, so it’s difficult to justify choosing this character instead. However, in the right build i.e. one that’s swimming in base sides, it’s a great choice (3/5)
16. Finally, an unspoiled card, Tseebo. This is the first time we’ve seen the detect mechanic used as a negative, which is a nice design move. How often you detect Hero cards depends entirely on the meta, making him very much a meta-call character. Gifting the opponent two shields most rounds is pretty awful, though not as bad as it looks on the face of it, since you can keep shielding your non-target character, at least in the early game. But if you’re playing against villain then he brings no downside at all, which is great considering his upside is pretty high.
I think it goes without saying that his die sides are unparalleled for a 10/13 character. Two double focuses, a double disrupt and a double discard, as well as a resource side, combined with a nifty 10 health, means this guy is an absolute steal for the points. He could be a great enabler for a big 14/17 character (or even a 17/17+ like Bane or Vader). He’s a red spy, which means you can play him with the Intelligence Operation plot and the Covert Mission tutor, though his points mean you’ll be floating a point unless you (for some reason) pair him with triple ISB Agent. And he’s an engineer, which is somewhat useless for villain as the only two cards to mention engineers are hero, but we may well see that change in future sets. You could play Near Miss with an Aphra pairing I suppose.
Will I be playing him? Probably, but I haven’t yet. I’m thinking a Bane pairing might be fun, to really maximise those upgrade dice, or with Vader to strip any free shields I offer the opponent and to get value out of his many 2 sides. Overall though, I think the lack of really good 14/17s, or a 15/18 spy, might be his downfall. However, assessed on his own, I love this character (4/5)
The villain events of the set, and damn, just looking at the art, I love the theme showing through here. 3 out of 4 cards in characters were Hoth themed, and these ones just keep on coming. Even Reckless Charge has a similar colour scheme.
17. Enfilading Fire. First up, I admit I had to Google this one:
enfilading, present participle of enfilade: direct a volley of gunfire along the length of (a target).
OK, that out of the way, this card is a nice piece of damage pushing tech. First up, you can’t resolve indirect sides against characters, but you can’t anyway in Standard as there aren’t any on non-unique red characters. There are 2 non-unique Red character dice I want to be targeting with this: Mudtroopers and First Order Stormtroopers. They each have a 2 base side for free (Snowtroopers and Imperial Death Troopers have 2 ranged pay sides, and you only have to pay once, as per the ruling on Salvo, but that still just doesn’t seem worth it). On a single 2 ranged side, this is converting 2 damage into 4 or 6 damage for 1 resource, while two 2 ranged sides could become 8 or 12 for 2 resources. This is a decent cost to damage ratio, but while you’re paying for more damage, you’re effectively paying to turn direct damage into indirect. This makes it feel worse value than something like Pulverize which could generate 3 damage for 2 resources but it was all directed at the same character.
I think this could see play in Megablaster Trooper/FOST support decks, but it’s only going to be competitive if 3 wide becomes the meta which, at the moment, isn’t (2.5/5)
18. Offensive Position is dice protection for big dice. It feels like a mixture between United and Stolen Datapad but with the worse of both worlds: it costs you an action AND you’re at the mercy of the roll. However, what makes it playable is you take control of the battlefield. Therefore, this is going to be safe include in Pyre or Relentless Advance decks, or slow decks that run highly asymmetric battlefields. Outside of those decks, I think it feels a bit weak (1.5/5)
19. Reckless Charge fits into a set of cards to ready non-uniques that include Attack of the Clones (which cost 5) and Red Alert (which cost 3 and could only ready one character). Compared to these cards, it looks better, but the damage cost is quite steep. However, if you have some fully loaded non-unique characters, this could be absolutely blowout. To be honest, I think it’s too situational to see much play, but I love the design. (2/5)
20. Salvage the Assault was previously spoiled and is the best of the red events. Fantastic ramp for a wide trooper deck (4/5)
22. 501st Assault Team has to be one of the strangest cards of the set. The ability to spawn endless E-Web Emplacements, I think, is very powerful. When combined with the ability to steal the battlefield, it becomes even better thanks to the fact that E-Webs get a boost when you control it. It also allows slow decks to take advantage of asymmetric battlefields like Salt Flats.
Yes, E-Webs have two pay sides, but they also have 3 very good non-pay sides. Plus if you include some focusing in your deck, each one of these effectively has a 3 ranged or a 3 shield side. I’ve tested this card, and generating 4 E-Webs throughout a game can be literally game winning: that equates to 10 good dice across 4 rounds. The downside: your deck may well be the slowest deck in the history of Destiny.
I’ve been playing this in a deck with Megablaster Troopers, and I’m probably one of the few people who think this may be better (yes, it generates 12 dice in 4 rounds, but only if you spot a leader, the dice are worse and you can’t steal the battlefield). I love this card, not least of all because it results in absurd boardstates, and it gives me something to do with my mountain of E-Web dice (4/5)
24. The very Viper probe droid which discovered Echo Base, XJ9-CS14 really is a very good value 1 cost support. Two base damage sides, and a special for switching the battlefield, plus a discard side, definitely puts this above curve for a 1-drop. However, the problem that 1-drop dice supports have always had is that they slow you down (with the exception of cards like Conscript Squad) and they have to be really quite above curve to actually see play (like Fickle Mercenaries). As much as I like this card, I can’t really see it actually making the cut unless you’re absolutely desperate to play on your battlefield (2/5)
23. We’ve already reviewed the iconic Blizzard 1. This absolute monster of a support is fairly costed, but unless we see a curtailment of the power of pirates, it’s never going to see play. As it’s not actually terribly hard for red villain to ramp to 8 resources with the right build, I’m giving it (4/5) in a vacuum, but (2/5) in the current meta.
25. The one and only red villain upgrade, Electrohammer has already been spoiled and I like it. No redeploy is rough, but in a big little deck that isn’t a huge problem, and it’s going to give a massive headache to the opponent is allowed to resolve (3.5/5)
On to hero:
49. Admiral Ackbar is a really interesting card. Hugely costed, but fairly so. If allowed to get to round 4 or 5, the damage output becomes untenable for any deck. This guy made Top8 in the release event, and is a lot of fun to play. He has bad matchups for sure, but this legend of an admiral deserves Legendary status here: (5/5) Legendary
50. A cheap spy for the heroes, and he’s pretty decent. 7 for 7 health is fair, and his dice sides are very reasonable. In an upgrade deck, his ability could also be quite powerful: you’ll have a roughly 50/50 chance of spawning a free Death Star Plans which you can then overwrite immediately to net a resource. If a drive-by shooting type deck can make it back to the top, I’d expect this little guy to feature. I think this is a much more likely use for his ability than in a DtDS deck, as you’re unlikely to want to spend 7 points on a non-pilot. I’m also hoping for a 14/17 hero spy to make the points work here with Intelligence Operation. (3.5/5)
51. We’ve discussed Chewbacca already. I love this card, but feel that his cost is somewhat prohibitive. There’s fun decks to be had with him (like eHan with Entourage package, or paired with Redemption Leia), but as the only genuinely playable 13 point elite character with Guardian is currently another Chewbacca, I think he’s going to struggle. Yes, I know you can pair him with eLumpy and Valorous Tribe, and no, I haven’t tested that yet; but I just can’t see it being a better Wookiee deck than eTarrful/eChewbacca. I see why ARH opted to ditch the standard Wookiee damage booster text, but I also kind of feel that if he’d had it, more people would be playing him (3/5)
More hero characters, and more Hoth love (thank you ARH):
52. Our boy Dak may be one of the best characters of the set. At 12/15 he is excellent value. He really needed a powerful 12/15 pilot buddy to make him top tier (Luke is fun, but not exactly a powerhouse), and Redemption did provide in the form of the yellow Benthic, pushing him right to the top of the meta. (5/5)
53. Rieekan has decent dice sides for his cost, and a Power Action somewhat reminiscent of his earlier milling incarnation. I feel like hero needs a really solid 14/17 to give Rieekan his time in the sun (2/5)
54. Damn, this card is good. We discussed him in a spoiler review, and my opinion is unchanged: he is an absolute bargain for 8/11 (4.5/5)
55. The only hero event is really very strong for guardian decks. This card can generate a hefty amount of surprise damage while still maintaining tempo, and can net you a positive damage swing if used to overkill a guardian (e.g. removing a Blizzard 1 die with a nearly deck Chewie). I’ve seen it used to great effect, and it can really swing a game. Note, the damage is dealt to the opponent’s character after your guardian is dealt damage (4/5)
57. Redemption is another of our own echobase spoilers, and while I was a little luke-warm to it at first, I’ve come to really respect this card as a hero Megablaster Troopers. The absence of game winning Unending Hate plays has only strengthened this card’s strength, and it’s a clutch card in Dak or Ackbar decks (4.5/5)
58. Rogue One. Rogue One! The mere presence of this card in the set made me very happy, and brought back happy memories of the SWCCG Rogue One. This card has very on-par sides for a 3 cost, but add in the ability and you’ve got yourself an excellent support. I know from experience how incredibly powerful this card is in a Dak or Luke deck, as it’s on-tap removal of specials and blanks (3.5/5)
59. I’m tempted to say Rogue Two is actually better than Rogue One, certainly in non-Dak/Luke decks. There’s a world of a difference between how easy it is to play a 2-drop or a 3-drop, and this particular 2-drop has really good sides for the cost. Its on-activation reroll is quite powerful too, though do be aware that this is non-optional. If you roll the nuts, you still have to reroll a die, though the fact it’s ‘a die’ means it’s also soft-control of the opponent’s dice. Great support (4/5)
61. The Wookiee Fluttercraft is a strange beast. The ability to move damage from a guardian is great, but there’s no guardians with piloting, and this would be an unlikely include for a guardian deck. As a vehicle though it’s got solid sides, though they don’t quite match those of Rogue Two (3/5)
On with our non-vehicle hero supports:
56. I do believe that K-3PO may be my favourite deckbuilders’ card from the set. The possibilities are many, and this card is just begging to break the game, somehow. In fact, he does break the game in infinite thanks to an Aphra/Docking Bay – Finalizer loop. I’m sure I’m not the only one who alerted ARH to this potential, and as a consequence he is now restricted in the format.
In Standard though, the utility of this support is fantastic. If you’re playing a slow deck, and you save a resource, when the opponent claims you can pull him from your discard pile for the cost of a resource. You can then roll him in, get some value and discard him to use the claim ability on the battlefield, either now, or at some point during the next round.
If the battlefield is something like Deathwatch Hideout, this costs you nothing, and gains you an actually pretty decent die. Or if the battlefield is Abandoned Refinery and you have a 0 cost support to discard, you can discard them both to play another at a discount and draw a card. Or maybe you want to mill with Pyke Syndicate Mine. Or maybe you want some on-tap focusing from Salt Flats. Or maybe you want to have on-tap access to an Seize the Day-type ability courtesy of Perimeter Outpost .
As wonderful as this card is, I’ve found that I’m just not including him in decks. I can’t quite justify fitting him in the 30 card cut, as there’s normally some other card I’d rather have. Until we have a more powerful battlefield in standard to abuse, this card remains a bit weak (note though: I’m not asking for a more powerful battlefield). Nevertheless, kudos to the designer who first thought of this one (3/5)
60. A support that heals two has come before, in the form of the commonly played Dex’s Diner. That card cost 1 to play, but cost 1 every time you wanted to heal, plus only healed for two if your character had 6 or more damage. For 3 resources, we’re getting this ability for free every round, with a very easy to meet requirement. The longevity 2 extra health can grant you is amazing, just ask Transformations Luke. I thoroughly expect to see this in a lot of hero decks (4/5)
62. Veteran of War is a phenomenal card. Healing two on play is worth a resource and a card, so the rest of the upgrade is effectively coming in for 1 resource, and that is an absolute steal for 1 resource. Big base damage, focus and resource would be good enough, but that special is absurdly strong. Either pumping a Red die OR removing an opponent’s die would be good enough, but doing both is worryingly good. And did I mention it’s a title? Admiral decks that were including You Are In Command Now anyway are going to love this card, not least of all because then you can play it on non-unique and/or non-red characters. This card alone makes me want to play red hero again: (5/5) Legendary
Now, on to the neutrals:
80. A return of multi-dice removal. You’re never going to play this card unless your characters all share a subtype (having only 1 character with any subtype counts), so we’re looking at 2 resources for 2 dice. The requirement for different values and symbols is not a steep one, so I’d say this is better than the extremely popular Entangle, especially since losing a character won’t get in the way of your spot requirement. Great card (4.5/5)
81. Small Battles Won is the last of our echobase spoilers, and I’ve only grown to love this card more over time. A phenomenal card. It’s got huge versatility, and is in all my red decks. A solid legendary: (5/5) Legendary
82. Tactical Retreat it must be said it pretty niche. However, if you are playing 3 (or even 4 thanks to Veers) wide mono red, it’s 3 or 4 health for one resource, with the shields going wherever you like. However, the downside is that because of the way it’s worded you have to give control in order to get the shields, so you have to have control of the battlefield already to get the benefit. If you’re playing 3 or 4 wide mono red, you’re probably pretty slow, so the chance you have the battlefield will be low unless you’re playing Veers. And there’s the trick: this card was clearly made for him. In a Veers deck this is 5/5. Otherwise, it’s (3/5)
84. Tactical Superiority is a slightly odd one. There are not many ways to play the opponent’s cards. The obvious ones are Trash to Treasure, which is just too situational to be included in most decks, Intelligence Operation, which is a once per game thing unless you have Cassian, and Spark of Hope Thrawn. I can’t really see this being played in an IO deck, even with Cassian, but Thrawn is going to absolutely love this card. It’ll give him a 1 cost discount on the opponent’s events played using his Power Action, which is huge. Not only does this mean he’ll be able to play more impactful events on a budget, it also makes it much easier for him to strip key events out of your deck, such as mitigation or key tech cards. It’s niche, but this card alone could be what’s needed to put Thrawn right back in the meta (4/5)
85. We reviewed the DC-17 in a previous spoiler article, and I’ll say it again, this card is incredible; just excellent value for a 1-drop. It’s also the first ARH card with no text: (4.5/5)
86. The Security Baton shares sides with the Spirit of Rebellion Z-6 Riot Control Baton, and even has the reroll ability. Assuming you reroll only blanks, this gives it effectively a 67% of hitting damage, 22% of hitting resources, and 11% hitting a blank, which is pretty exceptional, and means it’s more consistent than a card with just 1 blank. Add in the fact that you can remove a shield, and you’ve got a very good upgrade. The problem: it’s got melee sides, so isn’t really a great match for most red decks. However, if you’re playing red/blue, this could be a great upgrade to provide you with some handy base sides: (4/5)
And now both plots:
21. Relentless Advance we’ve also already reviewed. The extra damage that this plot can provide could really swing a game, but its points are very high. Great in specific builds, especially Veers decks thanks to his Power Action, but probably not going to see too much play elsewhere: (3/5)
83. A neutral red plot, Extra Firepower gives you a one-off pump to two dice. This is pretty significant, especially if you’ve got two dice (or even one die) showing a resource, as then it’s better than Profitable Connection. However, 3 points is quite high. Like the powerful but underplayed Long Term Plan, I think this plot is not going to see much play simply because players are more likely to spend those extra points on character dice. However, if someone does come up with a 27 point red build, this could see some games: (2/5)
And last of all, a battlefield:
100. There must be some reason I can’t think of that explains why this card, Perimeter Outpost, which you can only play if you have 2 Red characters on your team, isn’t red.
If you are running double red, this is a great battlefield. You have to have a fast deck for this to be worth it, as you really don’t want to be gifting the opponent the Power Action every round, but if you are fast or can consistently take control of the battlefield, this gives you an on-tap Seize the Day, which really is a huge bonus. Additionally, and no doubt this was intentional, because you have to give away the battlefield, you can go on to take back control with Veers or cards like Seizing Territory to proc Pyre and Relentless Advance. This means that not only are you action cheating, but you could also generate a couple of extra free damage.
I can’t wait for someone to break this card (4/5)
I’ve been reviewing the cards here mostly in isolation. But to only do so would ignore the major achievement of Red, or at least Red villain in Redemption.
Not only are the cards in Red villain extremely Hoth themed, but the cards work together to build up a very clear strategy of battlefield offense and defense, pushing a largely mono-red lineup and combining uniques and non-uniques to create strong synergies.
You can use Defensive Perimeter and Tactical Retreat to take advantage of battlefield control, but then cede control. Veers, 501st or Offensive Position (or one of the FFG battlefield control cards) takes it back and Relentless Advance gets loaded up. Meanwhile, you ramp with Salvage the Assault, Small Battles Won and the many red villain resource sides and drop some big supports. But this isn’t a made-for-you deck. You still have to make smart deckbuilding decisions and play carefully.
Not only does this ooze synergy; it also speaks volumes to the efforts made to incorporate theme into Redemption. You really can relive the battle of Hoth in Destiny, inexorably marching forward over the opponent’s territory until you eventually overwhelm them.
I really hope this is a sign of things to come from ARH. Not everything has to be Rube Goldberg machine of interactions and mechanics, sure; it wouldn’t be Destiny without some straight up aggro decks running riot. But if this is the path we’re going to follow in future sets, I can’t wait.
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