Today on echobase we bring you 3 fresh spoilers from the upcoming Unlikely Heroes set by A Renewed Hope.
So, without further ado:
11th January 2018. The release date of Legacies. That was the first and last time we were introduced to Tarkin within the world of Destiny. Outside of Vader and Palpatine, Tarkin is the next ‘big bad guy’ in the Star Wars universe, so it’s been surprising it’s taken 3 years and 11 months (to UH release) to finally get a new iteration of Peter Cushing’s infamous Imperial leader.
First off, let’s start with the fact that ARH have implemented the introduction of the indirect pay side. A concept initially revealed to be incoming with the release of the never released, thorn in our side, final FFG set:
Wild Horizons. It fits thematically that we see self indirect costs on Villain Command, a faction that is self destructive to get to where they need to be. You’ll see from one of the upcoming spoilers that this may be an ongoing theme for Villain Command within Unlikely Heroes.
Let’s move on to Tarkin – Uncompromising Tactician; our new iteration of Tarkin, courtesy of A Renewed Hope, does quite a fine job of in capturing the essence of the character with a powerful, strategic Power Action that will give you hand knowledge whilst you commence battle with any opponent. To open a round with his Power Action and to gain instant hand knowledge is incredible.
I’ve always had a firm belief that hand knowledge is King in a game of Destiny, knowing and scouting out your opponent’s options for the ensuing round. Let’s take it up a notch, not only can we look at an opponent’s hand, we can discard a card from our own hand to discard a card of our choice from an opponent’s hand. Brutal.
You’ve got the tempo against a Jar’kai deck? Open with the PA, discard it, just hope they don’t have 2 copies of it in hand so they are able to play the other. Just like that, you’ve scuppered your opponent’s win con. There’s a synergy here with our next spoiler, I’ll go into detail once we’ve revealed the Separatist Supply Ship.
Moving on to Tarkin’s statistics. His die and stat’s remind me of WotF Snoke, Supreme Leader. 11 Health on a 10/13 (Snoke was 11/13) is just above curve, typically you’d expect to see a support character with these squad points match health to it’s first die cost. There are of course many exceptions to this, such as Aayla Secura (9/12 – 10 health) etc, so we’re not out of bounds by any means.
Tarkin‘s die is pretty exceptional; following the design preset of Command Leader’s having an indirect top box, Tarkin boasts two; an 2 indirect and a relatively eye raising 3/1 indirect. Given that self indirect paysides are a new cost, and actually, a relatively high cost mid to late game when you’re encroaching the end game, you may not actually want to be resolving that die side. It sure will add a layer of math near the resolution of your matches. Throw in a 2 focus, a discard and a resource and you’ve got a bloody good die on an iconic Star Wars character.
It all sounds quite powerful, but it’s Tarkin, so it’s got to be good.
What a spoiler to get from A Renewed Hope. Everything I could have asked for in a character. Solid damage sides. A discard side and a selective discard ability. The ability forcing a discard isn’t so terrible when combined with our later spoiler and the already existing Danger Close. I also get a 2 focus side to really give me a lot of potential control overall. That feels suitably powerful for someone as highly ranked as Tarkin.
Looking at pairings for our new BFF here. Well, I go straight to Veers at 1 or 2 dice to give further control of the board by keeping the battlefield. This gives us the tempo and allows us to use Tarkin’s power action, first action each round so we can (hand depending) remove our opponents best option every turn. Sounds oppressive, well it is Tarkin. No Instigate or other action cheats, no big removal cards or possibly even no ramp cards for your opponent at all. Whatever fits your game plan best. This almost full game knowledge feels exactly like I want Tarkin to feel like.
I do love Tarkin, and Peter Cushing played him with such gravitas; it’s great to see him back in Destiny.
For me, this character is reminiscent of Wullf Yularen, from Across the Galaxy. He too featured a PA to give you hand knowledge and had situational discarding power. However, Tarkin‘s is much more powerful early game, so long as you have a card with a cost to match your target card. The PA also can set you up very nicely for some safe Intel Breach plays if you can guarantee your opponent is only holding events, or could be used in a pairing with Alazmec Colonist to drop an expensive card from the opponent’s hand, only to set it aside and hit them with some indirect. Those plays aside, just knowing exactly what your opponent is working with every round is a phenomenal advantage, and fitting for the original Grand Moff himself.
Having to have a card with the right cost to hit that key card is going to make building a Tarkin deck an interesting challenge. You’ve got to be including enough cards of a cost equal to the cost of cards you want to be discarding. If you want to hit those Jar’Kai‘s, you’re need plenty of 1 cost cards in your deck to guarantee trashing it when you can; if you foresee support decks revolving around 2 and 3 cost cards, you need plenty of 2 or 3 cost cards in your deck. Deckbuilding suddenly becomes a meta call.
It’s also going to make tempo very important. If your opponent gets the claim, they’re just going to play their key cards in the first turn, much like you would against Jyn.
However, the PA will always be good against mitigation, as you can trigger it before you roll in. And this makes Tarkin the perfect character for a classic villain supports deck, and means he’s likely to see play in 3-wide decks, especially to help soak up that indirect pay side. Note that you have to pay the cost before you resolve the die, so if you’re sitting on one health remaining, you can’t resolve the die without killing yourself first.
Talking of supports:
Next up is the Separatist Supply Ship (I’m going to abbreviate this to SSS for the rest of the article). Super simple design space explored here; playing from discard. We’ve seen the power of this mechanic with Ki-Adi-Mundi, but this time we’re restricted to Red Support’s with a matching die.
The apparently strange wording used on the card, ‘support with a matching die’, avoids the interaction of recurring Viper Probe Droids (or similar tech supports like Vigilance or Bubble Shield if they ever made the reprint list) which could create a NPE. As such, the SSS has gained a similar text used for the Eject erratum, in which the support has to have a matching die.
This card’s great, it’s an alternative to Tech Team which allows for you to pull from your discard; you effectively play a six card hand, but that 6th card is a re-roll. Pitch a vehicle to re-roll, bring it back into play with the SSS. It also combos well with Tarkin’s Power Action: Discard a red vehicle from your hand to discard the chosen card from an opponent’s hand, then bring back your discarded card with the SSS. It’s also handy when you pull that Blizzard early when you can’t afford it. Now you can safely pitch it knowing you can bring it back when the time is right, but without the cost reduction of course. It’s also a vehicle, so could be a potential target for Armored Reinforcements to get an engine online.
Does this counter Mill? Yes. Is it a hard counter? Not quite. It undoubtedly helps support decks, which have always suffered against that archetype, but it’s not a death knell. You just might need a Desperate Measures or Vandalize (so long as it doesn’t rotated out of Echoes of Destiny). And it’s worth noting that Tarkin himself is a great bonus to villain mill decks.
SSS is a very neat card. A ramp card but for cards in your discard pile, which will allow you to throw a vehicle to re-roll to simply pull it back now or later when you can afford to play it. Don’t let the Blizzard 1 clog up your hand. Just discard it to re-roll and later take it back with this. You don’t get the discount but at least you make full use of your hand each turn.
This definitely makes villain pilots a little better. Eject your red vehicle and get the huge bonus from that card and then pull back the vehicle with this card and use it again, similar to Danger Close. It works fabulously with TIE Interceptor. Your opponent plays a vehicle, let’s say Merchant Freighter as that finds it’s way into many decks. You can play the Interceptor discarding a card for free. Ignore the text of milling cards to keep it in play and then SSS action it back next round for 1 cheaper. Might be time to break out Elrik Vonreg and Darth Vader – Victor Leader.
Solid support for red villain. If Armored Reinforcement doesn’t rotate out of Echoes of Destiny this could be a great vehicle to pull for free as your opening play, and then you can use it to play cheap vehicles from your discard pile every round for the rest of the game. It’s also a great alternative to Tech Team which is currently on the reprint list but which otherwise is rotating out of Standard, though you can’t stack the discounts with two in play like you can with Tech Team.
A fearsome sight indeed, the Armored Assault Tank (AAT) has 3 big damage sides, a 1 disrupt, a resource and a nice 2 shield side. However, those damage sides all come with a cost: 2 with an indirect cost and 1 with a resource cost.
Where it really shines is in it’s Power Action. So long as you have a leader to spot, you can Power Action the die in for a second time. Since it has 6 resolvable sides, so long as you’ve got a resource you’ll always be able to resolve this twice regardless what you roll.
The cost and spot requirement makes this a nice replacement for Megablaster Troopers (which is rotating out of Standard). You’re going to need some health to soak up those indirect pay sides though. The maximum damage from this support is also not quite as good: Megablasters capped out at 6 direct/7 indirect; AAT maxes out at 6 direct/8 indirect but you have to pay 2 damage or 2 resources (or 1 of each) to resolve that damage. Where it wins out though is in consistency if you lack focus sides.
It’s also a vehicle. This allows it to interact with piloting to improve tempo, and gives access to associated mechanics like Elrik Vonreg or Assail, or any other piloting mechanics that come out of Unlikely Heroes.
Well, I have Wat Tambor on the phone and he’s not happy about being rotated out anymore. He clinged a bit and then clanged a bit. Then, it sounded like a steam whistle went off and the line went dead.
Wat is right to be excited about this new vehicle. A vehicle with no blanks, even Blizzard 1 doesn’t manage that at twice the price. Obviously, Blizzard has other benefits but when you can put two of these on the board for the same price thanks to them being non-unique then it could be as much of a game ender as the Blizzard 1. The only worry with the AAT is that if a game is running close then the indirect pay sides could essentially become unwanted sides, pretty much making them blanks. As echo7 mentions though, pilots could take advantage of this situation and use the AAT to Eject from turning a later game liability into 4 extra health.
I was thinking maybe you Watto’s Shop it and consider it as more of an investment of 4 resources to gain back later, but Watto called and said he’s never had any of these in stock and never will as his shop also rotates out with Convergence.
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