“Uncle Owen! Aunt Beru!” – Luke Skywalker
That’s right folks, everyone’s favourite moisture farmers have finally made it to Destiny, and they come with their own Moisture Farm and Harvest event. Let’s have a look.
Owen Lars enters the game as a diceless 7-point character with 8 health, providing a cheap yellow splash character, the somewhat useful engineer subtype (mostly for IG-11 builds), and some pretty nifty abilities:
echo7 – Owen‘s Power Action offers an unheard of level of consistency to a deck that wants to rely on droids or locations to push their strategy. A list of all possible droids is here, and I’m including villain in that list because of Aphra and IG-11. Talking of Aphra, I think she’s just found the perfect dancing partner. The ability to consistently play a droid, from deck, every round, is pretty amazing for her, and for the first time allows you to play one of her “shuffled in” droids round 1. I especially like the look of pulling VPDs, Dark Troopers, K-3PO, R2-D2, C-3PO, BB-8, MSE-6 Droids, or a swarm of ID9 Seeker Droids (while they’re on Echoes of Destiny). We also have R5-D4 from Seeking Answers, a thematic choice given that’s the droid with the bad motivator that Owen almost bought from the Jawas in A New Hope.
Locations are also an interesting include here. Possible targets are Rebel Hangar and Wretched Hive, the former providing an interesting option for ramping vehicle decks that want to be able to tutor particular vehicles for their gameplan. But the most powerful options come from Seeking Answers, in the form of the already spoiled Krayt Dragon Bones and, most curiously, Tusken Camp:
Tusken Camp can be played for just 2 resources from your deck if you spot Beru, and when activated immediately nets you a resource (if you want to). That’s pretty amazing value. Those non-unique character dice also mean you can safely include Hold Fast or High Valley, to get even more value from them. Alternatively, build him with IG-11 and you can tutor Black Stall Station, which could be fun.
I also like that, since Owen has no reason to activate him as his powers are unrelated to activation, you can play cards like Tranquility, Come to Aid, or Rally the Covert, essentially bypassing the ‘cost’.
LandoWonka – Owen is certainly an interesting character. He brings deck efficiency and potentially a discount when used with Beru. As mentioned, Aphra becomes an obvious choice but let us not forget Babu Frik for a whole lot more droid interaction. I’d like to see the following line up work, Owen, Aphra and Kuill who are all Engineers giving us full value from the Faltering Allegiances’ card, Scrounging Parts. Would be great to see the LR-57 Combat Droid from Allies of Necessity on the Echoes of Destiny reprint list. Search for it with Owen, do a damage for it with Aphra and then power it up with Kuill‘s power action.
I do find the location option more intriguing with the Rebel Hangar available. You can get a four dice start that is rainbow using Owen, Plo Koon and Rebel Pilot. Using the card Harvest (later in this article), there may be a way to set yourself up for a later Rebel Hangar play to put down a swarm of vehicles and with the Rainbow line up, you’ll have a full selection of all the vehicles available to the hero and neutral faction. If you can then be sporting the Reactor Shaft battlefield from the Galactic Struggle set, you’ll get to use a vehicle die on the play of Harvest too.
Next up, Beru Lars:
echo7 – Beru Lars has similar stats to Owen, with 7 points and 8 health. She’s Blue, which makes her a very cheap way to splash blue. In fact the cheapest ever for hero if you don’t count Patient Padawan, which had to be balanced to 8 points. If you use her just to splash blue, you won’t be disappointed, as her ability is essentially a free resource every round that can’t be disrupted, which is about as good as it gets for a 7-point support character.
Ignoring her synergy with Owen for a moment, she would be handy in a middle-middle-small blue deck, but it’s hard to make the numbers add up. eAayla/eGuardian of the Whills/Beru? eKi-Adi-Mundi/Sifo-Dyas/Beru? Alternatively, if we get a 23 point blue monster, Beru is waiting.
LandoWonka – 7 points for a resource every turn is a pretty nice deal. It’s any Blue card as well so Ataru Mastery can be a first turn play without having to find a further resource. If you can get your It Binds All Things in round 1 then you have a Blue Hero deck that could potentially be swarming in resources and maybe looking to play big blue events like Alter Fate and Falling Avalanche. My pairing thoughts go to Ahsoka Tano first of all but that comes in at 24 points so maybe Ahsoka at a single die putting us at 21 points for a final 9pt character. Garsa for no character subtypes at all is amusing. I’m not sure. echo7 hit it on the head saying the numbers don’t add up but there is definitely something there. Definitely the worst thing [echo7: best thing] about this card is that it let’s you play Jar’kai for free and we all know my thoughts on that card.
echo7 – These characters are clearly designed to be played together, as you get a discount on Owen‘s tutor ability with Beru, and you get a free heal per round from Beru‘s “after you claim the battlefield” ability. So what happens when we play these two together? We get a free shield, 1 heal, and a draw on the claim, but we’re spending 14 points and getting no dice, so you’re going to have to play clever tricks to make them work. Fortunately, they come with some in Seeking Answers:
echo7 – Harvest is (unsurprisingly) perfect for these two. First of all, Owen guarantees you getting a location on the table. Secondly, you can play a slow round and still get his and Beru‘s “after you claim” abilities after the opponent has claimed. And thirdly, you net 1 resource.
It’s worth saying that after you play this card, since you’ve claimed, your round is over. But it does mean you’ll get the claim ability, the first action next round, and be sitting on at least 4 resources. Almost enough to pull a 5-resource Rebel Hangar complete with a couple of ships. Or enough to drop The Bad Batch.
LandoWonka – A fabulously interesting and useful card. Obviously, it needs some location support to be a wider factor in the game. Those We-star Pistols just got better in a support heavy deck as next turn you’ll get the damage ping. A mill deck could get use of a Command Centre but have a slower tempo. You can tick up the plot like Relentless Advance. Get use out of events where you need to own the battlefield. That’s pretty solid usage. Oh and get yourself two resources, which is a bonkers bonus effect. 4 resources guaranteed for the following round. I do like the fact a Jawa Junk Dealer can play this for free as well, if you’re inclined to, meaning you can go from 0 to 4 resources for the next round.
echo7 – I like the arrival of location spot cards, and more location cards in this set. It’s a subtype that was introduced but essentially unused by FFG, much like intel, that ARH is taking and running with. And talking of which, finally we have another location:
This will be a solid include to provide that necessary location spot requirement for Owen, but as it costs 0, it’s not a great choice for an Owen AND Beru deck, as if you pulled it with his ability you would be passing on his resource discount. Perhaps Owen cares more about moisture farming than Beru?
As a card, the action is pretty minor, but as most decks resolve at least 1 resource die each round, this means you’ll be playing with 6 cards per round, which is very handy. I would say though that it’s probably going to only get play in Owen decks.
LandoWonka – I have to disagree with echo7 here. I think this has a lot of use outside of just Owen decks, in fact possibly more use. Owen doesn’t come with a die to resolve for the action itself so you are more likely to be able to do this early with other character line ups. It will likely see the most play in Rescue Han decks giving repeated draw to find the correct cards to release Han from the Carbonite.
The second reason for this to see play is the previous card Harvest. Allowing a support deck ramp and a bit of tempo at the same time. Draw is always a strong mechanic allowing you to find the cards that push your game plan forward and resolving a resource is usually likely to happen at some point in a round. It’s also a nice location for Owen to play when he’s not paired with Beru as it costs zero so doesn’t need the discount and you can have two in play as it is not unique. It becomes a very efficient card then; search for it and thin your deck a little, and then draw more.
That’s all for now. Just 10 days to go ’til release day!