It’s spoiler season, and we are very excited to be sharing 3 fresh spoilers from the upcoming A Renewed Hope set, High Stakes.
We’ve got 2 characters and an event. Our characters, IG-11 and Kuiil, have a brilliant and thematic synergy, allowing you to combine them to build a villain/hero deck. We’ll discuss that in more detail later, but first we’ll examine them and our event, Self Destruct, in isolation.
First up, everyone’s favourite assassin turned nurse droid, IG-11:
As above, we’re going to ignore, for a moment, the epic implications of his text, and focus on his stats as a villain.
10/13 for 10 health is a bit subpar these days. The closest equivalents for 10/13 in Standard are probably Dengar and Aphra. The former has the same health, shares the useful bounty hunter subtype, allowing you to run Dead or Alive, and has the same die sides except for a swap of the 1 melee base side for a +2 ranged modifier. However, Dengar has an on-activation damage ping. Aphra by contrast has superior dice sides (OK, this is debatable, but I’d trade that +2 and a disrupt for a 1 shield/2 shield any day), more health and a handy deck-building bonus, but lacks bounty hunter.
The droid subtype on a character always immediately makes me think Grievous. However, the points just don’t sum. You can’t run them both elite, or you only have 6 in change; if they’re both non-elite you’ve got 12 left, which isn’t great; and one non-elite leaves 15, which again doesn’t leave many sensible options. Nope, if I’m playing Grevious droids, I’ll still run Grievous/Sentinel/4-LOM or Haxion.
The stat lines of the dice to health ratio are underwhelming. Where IG-11 shines and where his value lies, is in his passive ability to bring villain cards such as Pulse Cannon, Den of Thieves, Megablaster Troopers, Face The Enemy, Probe, to name a few, into a hero line-up. A deck builders dream – or nightmare, I’m undecided. I know for certain that this will open up one hell of a variation on hero IG builds. Let’s go!
A droid always makes me look for a red pairing so we can include Automated Defense. A great piece of removal as it can remove any die if a droid is spotted. With three decent damage sides for his point’s cost and looking for a red partner, I’m first drawn to pair him with General Veers for a 5 die start with plenty of ranged sides. I’m sure we can find a battlefield to take advantage of the Veers Power Action as well.
There is a potential to pair with Commander Pyre too as IG-11 being a bounty hunter we could piece together a downgrade deck with Cruel Methods and bounties. Other than this I can only see IG-11 being paired with other bounty hunters. By far my favourite would be IG-88 running cards like 0-0-0 Protocol Matrix and the Syndicate Electrostaff to negate the pay sides.
Next up, everyone’s favourite stoic Ugnaut, Kuiil:
As before, we’ll look at Kuiil in isolation, and move on to re-programmed IG-11 builds later.
Kuiil‘s stats are clearly modelled on Satine Kryze, who set the benchmark for a solid 8/10 character. In fact, we’re looking at not only the same points and health, but the dice sides are identical apart from trading Satine‘s handy 2 indirect side for a single shield side. That’s a bit of a step down, plus we lose Satine‘s reroll ability, and trade the leader subtype for engineer, which prior to IG-11 would be a bad trade-off, though we are maybe looking at actually being able to play Scrounging Parts or Hey Hey!
However, the Power Action is where this character really opens up some options. It’s similar to Bazine, but more flexible (it’s damage or resources) and doesn’t require the die to be showing a particular symbol. There’s some fun vehicle interactions here from Legacies, but I’m going to stick to standard here. For completeness, below are (I think) all the possible interactions for Kuiil which are possible, including villain cards.
The large cards I think are good ideas, medium are OK ideas and small are bad ideas.
Charging up Prescient Leap could be an effective tactic with this support character, though you’ll probably want to pair him with a lot of blue dice to make this work quickly. Kuiil can pull damage off Den of Thieves, which turns his dice into a once per round “heal 1”. I think he could almost make Firm Resolve playable, as then you can turn any of his dice into a single focus side, especially since Firm Resolve is an Action, not a Power Action. However, I’m still not playing Painful Lesson.
The LR-57 and Superlaser can both be charged up for maximum firepower. I think both of these are OK ideas, but anyone who’s tried the LR-57 with Bazine will know that you can end up putting a bit of effort into making the die awesome just to have it removed. Rebel Cache is still just bad.
The Vehicle Package:
I’ve liked Proton Bombs for a while, but mods are a risk with Desperate Measures flying around. However, Razor Crest makes these playable, and Kuiil makes both cards even more playable, allowing you to give Razor Crest unlimited lives if necessary, and allowing you to fix your bombs if they’re about to go off for a second time. Allowing Kuill to keep repairing the Razor Crest and keep it flying is also a nice thematic move, and means we could see the return of mods, though without Armoured Reinforcement, it could be a risky strategy.
Blue Ace is a pretty good vehicle once it has a resource on it, and Kuiil makes that a round 1 possibility. Then it auto-charges itself up from then on. Poe‘s ability with Kuill is no longer a ‘once-per-vehicle’ ability. However, if I’m playing vehicles I probably want to be dropping more than one per round. The big issue with this play is the points. Elite Kuiil and non-elite Poe still only leaves 7 points (Bothan?), and all non-elite is only a 3 die start (with Hera perhaps?).
None of these are objectively bad ideas. The Whistling Birds and Tonfa are probably the best of the bunch, the former keeping up its splash damage, and the latter giving you an upgrade on all the sides. But they still all suffer from the problem of mitigation after you’ve removed your die to pump the card.
Overall, I’d say this Power Action is a nice boost which will likely provide a small but significant boost to a number of different decks, not least of all since you can get this character elite for 10 points. I’m definitely going to be trying out eKuiil with Luke Skywalker in a Bandolier build, with Whistling Birds and Prescient Leap, and I might even resurrect my 6 dice yellow deck, with eKuiil/eSatine/eWicket/Sound the Horn.
Great design here on Kuiil. Bringing 2 dice for 10 squad points, everyone’s favorite ugnaught is a great facilitator to any hero deck. Whether that’s assisting with focus and ramp, or adding or removing tokens from cards; this guy is pretty good. For me, the card’s I’d be looking to play to seek value from Kuiil’s Power Action Will be The Razor Crest, Whistling Birds, Den of Thieves (remove from my own or add to an opponent’s) and I might start to include the old Z-6 Jetpacks again.
What more could you want from an 8/10 support character? Health is decent, 2 focus sides and 2 resource sides. Just that would have been enough but he has a very solid and interesting power action. Even if you don’t play a single card that you want to remove or add tokens to, it’s likely you’ll get the chance in a lot of games to remove a resource from an opponent’s Merchant Freighter.
I really like Kuill. By far my favourite thing so far is that he’ll let us play a three Engineer line up without needing Greez who restricts your deck build somewhat. Aphra, Babu and Kuill lets us take three resources from Scrounging Parts which hasn’t seen much play since it’s release. That kind of potential ramp could really give you a good start in a game. He’s great to splash yellow into any build with those sides though.
Our last spoiler is Self Destruct:
I loved the way that IG-11‘s self destruct protocols were the comic relief of the opening story arc in The Mandalorian, and then became a key component of the rather more poignant final scenes of the series.
This event lets us defeat one of our droids for 3 indirect damage, so can recreate those moments. However, to target a character with this requires some pretty handy timing. You’ll need a droid character plus one more character, and you’ll probably want to play it when that droid has only 1 or 2 health remaining, unless you’re going in for the kill in a fast aggro deck.
Realistically, I think this card is not going to see much play targeting characters, but will see a lot of play targeting supports, especially Viper Probe Droids in Aphra decks (or maybe STAPs). I like this play, because the first time “self destruct” is mentioned in the Star Wars universe is after a VPD (XJ9-CS14) explodes on Hoth. Playing these two cards in succession deals 4 indirect damage for 0 resources with Aphra, and I believe that the presence of this card will make Aphra decks rise up for the first time.
Now, on to the big bit. Aside from his basic stats, which are a little underwhelming, IG-11‘s text opens up a previously unheard of world of deck building possibilities. Add him in to a lineup that includes a hero engineer, and you’ve got yourself a deck which can run all the best villain and hero cards in the same deck.
To make our hero/villain deck a reality, we need a lineup which includes a hero engineer. In Standard, prior to High Stakes, we had 2 to choose from. Note, that the engineer has to be hero, not neutral, so you can’t use Aphra to reprogram IG-11. I was initially disappointed by this until I remembered that Aphra‘s two companion droids are colloquially known as the murder bots; getting her to reprogram IG-11 probably wouldn’t lend itself, thematically, to an otherwise hero lineup:
Babu and Greez each have their own benefits. Babu provides consistency in IG-11‘s dice, while Greez, who wants access to as many good 1-cost cards as possible, now has all the villain 1-costs to choose from too, as well as some much needed ramp via Dead or Alive.
Below is an image of some of my personal favourite villain and hero cards in standard:
Being able to include Desperate Measures, Den of Thieves and Probe in a deck with Loth-Cat and Mouse, Feat of Strength and Veteran of War sounds just great, plus you can put a Salvaged Arm on IG-11 if you like.
Because our 3 hero engineers are yellow, and because our cheapest non-elite pairing is still 18 points, the only way we can currently build a rainbow bipartisan deck is to play Allies of Necessity/Hoth Trooper and a 9 point blue, like Luke, Kanan, Sifo Dyas or Obi-Wan. Honestly, I don’t immediately feel like this is worth it, despite the card pool you would gain access to.
Assuming you have to pick just one colour, personally I’m leaning towards the Red builds, rather than blue or mono-yellow. I feel like Red tech is better, and blue plays best with blue, certainly if you’re only spending 12 points or fewer on your blue. To that end, here’s my first go at a reprogrammed IG-11 deck (note, IG-11 is meant to be elite):
I’ve gone with Greez as I still have a soft spot for him after we spoiled him here on echobase (and because LandoWonka has Kuiil covered). I’ve paired him with C-3PO for double droids to take full advantage of the mods and to keep Automated Defense live.
My only non-1 cost is Entourage, which felt like the most sensible include given I want to pack Fickle Mercenaries and Hired Muscle anyway. Plus, since it tutors itself, I can hard mulligan for one and get them both out of my deck in round 1 to avoid hitting one with Greez.
Including just 1s limits the card pool significantly, but having access to 0-0-0 Protocol Matrix, The Best Defense…, Dead or Alive and STAP I think is a big boost for Greez.
As a deck builder, I love this. It’s going to make it harder for the design team moving forward, but so long as they don’t make any non-yellow engineers who cost fewer than around 15 points, or any clearly broken villain/hero combos we should be OK. I think there are some nice little combos, like Kuiil/Bucket/Den of Thieves, but so far I haven’t been able to come up with anything which is broken.
One final thing: I know there’s a lot of powerful stuff in infinite, but IG-11 has the potential to be ridiculous. You can pair him elite with a Rebel Engineer (or Rose), allowing you to dig for droid mods, and leaving 9 points for any hero blue character. This means you can play with any card, from any set, regardless of faction and affiliation. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’d just pre-emptively ban him in the format.
I’ll be honest – I have not got a deck list to share here; but I have thoughts on splashing Red to bring a few spicy villain cards into the hero mix. First thoughts – General Rieekan. 10Pts single die we are bringing a red character with the Leader subtype. This splash of Command will enable Megablaster Troopers (At full value), Probe, The Best Defense, Face the Enemy & Counterintelligence. We could even use the new event Danger Close to bring in an Outrider or Razor Crest from our discard pile.
Whistling Birds is the new AoE damage dealer. At the time of writing this article Whistling Birds can actually be modified to provide a huge AoE to your opponent. A pretty horrific combo piece here would be to use Counterintelligence or Face the Enemy to strip your opponent’s mitigation to then allow you to focus your Whistling Birds die and any of your other dice to ranged modifiers to cause a potentially busted AoE. Bare in mind – This won’t be a one time deal, Kuill can recharge those Whistling Birds.
Oh my goodness, IG-11 is indeed a deck builders dream. The fact you have to have a hero engineer nicely limits the line up and means you are going to be three-wide at the moment and if you want to splash another colour then it isn’t going to be a big point cost character. I’m sure there are going to be so many interesting builds with this.
The deck I want to build initially is Elite Kuill, IG-11 and Dr Aphra for giving us a nicely chunky 30 health. The beauty of this build is that Aphra brings us some dice cards so we can pack our deck with more cards from the villain faction. The LR-37 Combat Droid can help us turn Kuill’s dice into damage by boosting the value on the special. Self Destruct is a very neat way of making use of unique droids. Bucket or Mr Bones. Activate use them and then blow them up for more damage before playing your second one or even reassembling the one you just detonated. This neatly puts all our spoilers into one nice package. Add in Den of Thieves, 0-0-0 Protocol Matrix, Desperate Measures and Fight Dirty to name a few villain cards we could use and I think we have the start of something fun. Maybe we’ll get new Aphra Droids that we can bring across too.
Overall, I’m loving these new additions to the Destiny corpus. It’s just three cards, but they open up so many options for so many decks. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the community come up with using these new cards.
Let us know what line-up and combo’s you’ll be trying with IG-11!
High Stakes releases on the 11th June.
May the rolls be with you,
“Echo Three to Echo Seven. Han, old buddy, do you read me?“
“Loud and clear, kid. What’s up?“―Luke Skywalker and Han Solo