Over the last few days we’ve had High Stakes spoilers from our friends over at I Rebel & On the Sensors. Today on echobase we will be giving our thoughts on the cards spoiled so far.
Let’s start by taking a look at Whistling Birds and the Razor Crest spoiled by I Rebel.
Razor Crest has become one of the more recent iconic vehicles found within the Star Wars Universe thanks to the success of the first live action Star Wars TV series, The Mandalorian. With that in mind, it’s important that such a renowned vehicle is affordable, playable and can stay on the board. Fortunately, this is the exact design space in which the Razor Crest has been presented.
Costing 2 resources the die is absolutely where it should be for it’s comparable cost. Arguably the best side on the vehicle is the double focus. Double focus is a side which is usually far more common on Villain Command supports.
The Razor Crest’s text is where this vehicle differs from other supports within the game. A built in defense mechanism against cards that rid supports such as the ever prevalent Desperate Measures. Desperate Measures will eventually catch up with the Razor Crest on the second attempt if there is only 1 damage token on the support.
It’s worth noting that if the support has 2 damage tokens on it, and then an opponent attempts to get rid of the vehicle, an additional damage token is placed on the vehicle before you check how many damage token are on it. As the Razor Crest is currently written, the support has to have exactly 2 damage tokens on it for it to be discarded, so as the support would then add a third token, the Razor Crest becomes immune to being discarded from play.
Currently the R3 Astromech, a vehicle mod upgrade released in the first ARH expansion, Faltering Allegiences, can add or remove a token from attached vehicle for the cost of 1 resource. Sequencing is relatively straight forward: wait for an opponent to try to discard the Razor Crest, the Razor Crest then gains 1 damage token; you then spend one resource with the R3 Astromech to add a second damage token which in return makes the Razor Crest immune to leaving play from opponent’s effects.
There are currently not many vehicle mods available to us in the ARH Standard format. The majority of vehicle mods rotated out with the expansion Across The Galaxy. Our current options are the Experimental Boosters and Proton Bombs.
It really is worth pointing out here: that the Experimental Boosters can discard your Razor Crest from play if the Crest is not piloted. The Razor Crest is only immune to opponent’s effects. Make sure you pilot the Razor Crest if you are playing the Boosters!
Maybe the Razor Crest will be enough to bring back a fat vehicle archetype to the meta. Maybe Hera can Reset the Crest? Sounds fun to me.
Whistling Birds is a fantastic and thematic 2 drop equipment upgrade. After Birds enters play, you place 1 resource on the upgrade. After you resolve the die showing damage, you may remove a resource to deal that damage to any number of characters.
Area of Effect damage has always been strong but somewhat missing from the meta as of late, as the popular AoE cards, such as Fear and Dead Men, have since rotated out. As Whistling Birds is an equipment, it may be worth pursuing a Custom Bandolier build, including other equipment’s such as Black Market Arm.
As written, Whistling Birds can be modified. You can potentially, and quite easily, deal 5 damage to each of an opponent’s characters if you are able to match Whistling Birds with the DL-18’s +3 modified side. We are concerned about this interaction, as there are several modifiers out there, on weapons and vehicles that would suit the build.
This could potentially get out of hand and cause something of a Negative Play Experience for an opponent. Sure, all an opponent has to do is mitigate the Whistling Birds die; my counter to this is: have you never had a round where you didn’t draw mitigation? What if an opponent action cheats the die into the pool? You may find yourself helpless to a huge AoE play including Whistling Birds.
If Whistling Birds could not be modified, and only its own die caused AoE damage, then the upgrade is still 100% completely playable and a brilliant 2 drop upgrade. There is no harm and no foul in correcting the card text before the set’s release if this was an unintentional and untested interaction.
Moving onto the Villain Command spoilers spoiled by On the Sensors. You can catch their spoiler video here for further in depth discussion on the following cards!
Both Danger Close & Cruel Tactician are great utility events and upgrades respectfully. Danger Close is a great include if you are running a Command support deck. If your draw into one of your more expensive vehicles early, you can safely discard the support knowing you will be able to pull the support back from the discard pile for a reduced cost in a later round. Also worth noting that villain Command decks tend to run a three wide character line-up with an above average health pool – the 1 indirect is a low cost to pay to save a resource to bring a Tie Bomber or Superlaser Seige Cannon back from your discard pile.
Cruel Tactician has an on-play ability that allows you to resolve a character’s character or upgrade dice, increasing its value by 1 if you deal 1 damage to that character. Early rounds, I’d be looking to take advantage of this to assist in ramp, by resolving a resource side. The die sides are strong, reminiscent of the 2-cost support Cultural Records which does find a home in support decks for the focus sides. The downside is the lack of a resource on the die, overall a worthy title and very much playable in the right deck.
Moving into Villain Commands big bad within the set. Moff Gideon is the main villain in the first two series of the Mandalorian and he casts a rather intimidating figure on the screen. I’m even intimidated to even begin writing a few words about his Destiny card, there’s just so much to unpack here. We’ll do an overview within this article and a dedicated article to Gideon in the not-so-distant future.
Gideon’s die is really strong. Any character that packs a base double resource side is worth considering in your character composition. The die packs a few other big sides you’ll also be hoping to hit. Never underestimate the value in resolving a double discard. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have any damage sides which makes him reliant on ramp if you are looking to build a deck which pushes damage. To assist with the ramp; we’re looking at Rogue partners, below are a few of our favourite options for character compositions;
Jango Fett – Upgrade and equipment-based ramp package.
Garindan – Additional Detect, when you play the detected card you’ll benefit from Garindan’s passive ability to also draw a card.
Bing – Additional Detect, with the correct sequencing you’ll always be able to take an additional action after activating Bing.
Hondo Ohnaka – Single die Gideon, Single die Hondo – High health and effectively a 4-die start.
Gideon’s passive activation ability will unfortunately be a nonstarter into several decks where you won’t always be able to play an opponent’s weapon or vehicle. Blue ability decks inevitably being Gideon’s biggest down fall. Hey, wait – isn’t that quite thematic?
On the other hand, Gideon’s passive ability can assist with an unprecedented level of ramp against the right deck. If you are able to Detect an opponent’s weapon upon activation, you can then play that upgrade on your second character dealing yourself indirect damage equal to half that weapon’s cost rounded up. With a subsequent action, you can then overwrite that upgrade with one of your own upgrades, effectively playing the upgrade for the cost of the self-served indirect damage. The ramp could be through the roof against the right deck.
The go to battlefield for Moff Gideon will undoubtedly be Abandoned Refinery. Playing an opponent’s detected vehicle won’t grant you as much ramp as the potential to overwrite a detected upgrade. With the Refinery, you can Power Action the battlefield to discard the support from play to reduce the cost of an upgrade or support from hand by 1, which in turn will allow you to draw a card.
In summary, there are some neat tricks here with Gideon – preventing opponents from playing some of their crucial upgrades or supports adds a welcome level of control to a powerful, ruthless mastermind. Our concern lies with his high points cost – at the end of the day Gideon is a facilitating support character. We are intrigued as to where the great hive mind that is the Destiny Community take him.
Echobase is up next for exclusive High Stakes spoilers and boy, do we have a deck builder’s dream…
Just roll 3’s