A New Foe has Appeared… DENGAR!

These past few weeks have been quite a ride for Destiny. A new draft kit was announced with some cards from it being shown. Also shout out to Team Covenant and FFG for having Game Designer Jeremy out to their Covenant Master series, because he brought some sweet new Blue Villain cards to spoil! But that is not the end, just today a new article popped up showing a better look at the new design space of Downgrades and how some cards are going to be playing in that space. So let’s dive in.

Dengar is here ladies and gents. I am going to think aloud here about how I go through looking at characters. The first thing I look at when I look at a new character is the point cost, and I really like medium range characters because they can fit in a lot of decks. Then I look at the die sides and compare to other characters in that range, and having 3 damage sides is alright, but they are pretty meh sides. Finn1’s dice always felt terrible, but he was at 16 points for elite. So then I look at health, and 10 health is pretty standard for this point range. At this point I am thinking this character seems a little under the curve so his ability better make up for it. And does it? It actually might, because consistent damage just on activation can be really strong. Thinking about Rey2, she just had to have a shield on her to ping a damage, but Dengar’s condition is having a Bounty downgrade on an opponent’s character. Obviously Rey2 saw solid success, but Shoto’s helped her hit her condition with great consistency. Depending on how downgrades go in general, Dengar might see a strong outing in the next meta, but that to me is a big IF.

A flaming sword in a universe filled with light energy swords, I love it. Most 3 cost upgrades without redeploy do not have a great track record, unless they are truly powerful (Vader and Maul’s saber). It has alright sides, but only having 2 damage sides scares me. Getting 1 damage on play is a nice bonus, and having the Power Action to flip Dengar to his 1 melee to pair the +4 modifier is fine in theory. I could see this being a 1 of in Dengar decks when his partner is melee based, but this is not a make or break card.

Here is a Bounty downgrade for reference. The bounties we have seen trigger on defeat of the character they are attached to. So Death Mark costs 0, and when you cash in you get to draw 3 cards. Now if this was Hearthstone that would be HUGE, but in Destiny draw is not something that normally makes or breaks a deck. I am not saying it isn’t helpful or a good thing, but normally not a huge focus. But for 0 dollars what else do you want?

Now this is a little more interesting to me. You’re going to have to pay 1 resource in order to put Enticing Reward into play, but the cash out could be a lot better than just getting to draw 3 cards. When you trigger this by defeating a character, you can play a weapon or equipment (doesn’t have to be an upgrade which is interesting) from your hand or discard completely for free! Dropping a 4 cost weapon for 1 dollar instead could be huge. So who exactly do you play this on, and does it effect which character you want to kill first. To me I want to throw this on the low hanging fruit, so against Vader/Greedo I want to drop this on Greedo and go for the quick kill to cash in on the loot, but will taking my eyes off of Vader be the right decision? I am not really sure, but this card does have the ability to swing a game when you are falling behind, and I love cards like that.

This is my favorite ship to fly in X-wing, so I am glad it finally made its way into Destiny. The Punishing One has to be my favorite card from this set of spoilers. I love cheap supports and flooding the board with them, and this thing is legit. For a 2 cost, it’s die side is pretty good with viable damage sides right in line with most 2 cost supports. But adding the ability pushes this a bit further. Now when you cash in on completing a bounty, you get to ready this support for another roll in, and as a Bonus if you can spot Dengar you get to activate it right away. We already know that readying supports in a meta where Mods exists can be dangerous (Looking at you Shadow Caster decks), and pulling off this readying condition could be viable. This whole Bounty mechanic does feel forced, but when Legacies dropped Indirect damage felt forced too, because introducing such a new mechanic to a game is hard and you have to give players options. Personally, I am very excited to try these Bounty’s out.

Before going into this card I just wanted to say the art on this thing looks fantastic. This card is interesting. For 2 resources you get to blank an opponent’s character’s text box, other than it’s special abilities (because turning specials into blanks on character dice would be silly). This seems like a steep price to pay to blank a text box, when you could be spending those dollars on addition upgrades or removal. Unless you are really making some cash in your deck, I can’t see you being able to afford this comfortably while also pushing your win condition. I get the hype of blanking Vader’s text box to turn off his PA, but I just think there are better ways to deal with Vader more efficiently than this. Only time will tell!

Ol’ spooky eyes will surely give you the creeps if you look at it too long. Here is another downgrade that has an interesting effect. Every time your opponent activates the character this is attached to, you get to randomly see 3 cards from their hands. Knowledge of your opponents hand can be strong especially when you get it consistently, but when you opponent gets to pick when it triggers I get less excited. Overall this is not super exciting to me, but if you are looking for a free downgrade in a Blue deck, maybe look here?

So way back I wrote about how I wanted a Yellow Villain or Neutral Assaj from her bounty hunter days or her adventures with Vos, to bring some more melee sides to Yellow. She had a great story arc on Clone Wars which makes her one of my favorites from the show, so I am excited to see her get another iteration. But is she good? I see a lot of people comparing her die sides and health to be pretty close to Savage, who actually has strong sides and strong health. But he sees no play because of the order of operation shenanigans he introduces and the problems he adds to when you can mitigate. Ok that’s the end of my random Savage rant… back to Assaj! Her ability intrigues me, because removing dice is obviously super strong. Imagine her with a Grappling Boa and just consistently getting to remove your opponents dice when you deal damage. The problem is really the condition on her. A lot needs to happen for it to go off. First you have to roll damage, then deal that damage to a character who has to have a downgrade on it, then discard a card from your hand, to remove 1 of their dice. The good thing is it can be character or upgrade but they do need to activate for this to happen. Point wise and theory wise she fits with Dengar, who will be running downgrades anyway, but is that really a strong Middle-Middle deck? Again it is hard to tell until we see downgrades hit the meta.

Here is a randomly sprinkled in downgrade just for flair. This die slows your opponent down by forcing them to only be able to resolve 1 of the attached character’s character dice per turn, and on top of that, that die can not be modified. Characters that rely on playing big upgrades with lots of modified sides could really suffer from this downgrade, and for 0 resources that seems pretty good.

Balance is a very important thing in Destiny and Star Wars alike, so with the introduction of Downgrades we gotta have a way to get them off. Will this be an auto include in every deck because downgrades have completely flipped the meta upside down and you can’t make a deck without a downgrade? Probably not. I do like that you get ambush on it and it only costs 1, but again its play really will depend on what happens when downgrades get introduced.

So obviously this was another huge introduction to downgrades. To be honest, I am scared of how each board will look once downgrades arrive. Imagine the new Palp with a trillion upgrades and then 3 downgrades as well. Just seems sloppy. And having your cards on your opponent’s board is a nightmare for losing cards at tournaments or cons. Make sure to get the most unique sleeves you can find… but as far as the design space I am actually pretty excited. There are a lot of opinions on these cards that vary, and on downgrades in general, so what are yours? Let me know on Facebook or in the comments below!

-Shane

 

 

 

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