In any given set we know there are going to be a number of characters that are unlikely to make any headway on the table, if ever making it on to the table to begin with. There are some bad characters in this set to be sure, but how to set one apart as the “worst” when they all just have similar utility (next to none)? “Worst” to me goes beyond just the character and into what in the set was created to support that character’s existence and how many other bad cards there now are because they couldn’t prop up a dud. Ladies and gents, I present to you Dengar.
Dengar’s dice should look familiar to anyone that’s been playing since Awakening. If you need your memory jogged, he’s got Jango Fett dice. Now Jango Fett is more expensive, and did see some play way back, but his dice were never why you took him. Jango saw play because of his action cheating ability, and Dengar doesn’t have that ability. Never mind that Jango’s time to shine was brief.
Now Dengar’s ability which allows him to deal damage on activation isn’t bad by any means, but it has a condition. You have to have a Bounty on the character to deal the damage. How many bounties are you willing to run in order to get his ability online? Until you get that ability going Dengar is not pulling his weight, so you have to run enough that you expect to see one in the first 2 turns. That’s the problem I see with Dengar, he’s not great and I have to run a number of cards I wouldn’t want to run just to get him to be ok. His ability is exactly like Rey’s but Rey’s condition can be met without running other cards you otherwise wouldn’t run.
But the real offensive thing about Dengar is that he got Vader treatment in this set. Last set Vader got his saber and Vader’s Fist, arguably two of the strongest upgrades/supports in the set (or the game even with Fist). Dengar gets the same treatment this set, but he ain’t Vader.
Dengar is a below average at best, selfish, ugly, mope.
My “best” character in this set, he’s no mope. He’s certainly not selfish either. Some might say he is one bad mother-shut yo mouth. Yeah that’s right I’m talking about Shaft/Mace Windu.
Now Mace clocks in on the heavier side of the middle character point scale, which will limit his 3-wide pairings. He’s still got enough dance partners for the middle-middle game plan, sometimes even with a plot. And even at 1 die for 12 points he still has a lot to offer, even though I think his die is fairly impressive. 11 HP is reasonable for that point cost as well.
Speaking of his die, its strong all the way through. The weakest side on it is the 1 melee, and that’s just one of three black damage sides. Then he’s sporting the 2 focus for both big upside and strong consistency.
It’s the power action that sets him apart. Lightsaber Pull just rotated out so we’ve lost the plug and play consistency smoother in blue hero, Mace helps replace that. His PA allows you to search the top 4 cards of you deck take an upgrade from them and play it. Two things to note, it’s any type of upgrade not just an ability or weapon, and it’s not confined to blue only. That means in any deck Mace is in he can help you ensure that you are hitting those upgrades every turn you want to see them. That is huge from a consistency standpoint as we all know what it’s like to not have an upgrade to play turn 1. Many decks don’t win games when the wiff like that. Hitting on Mace’s ability also means you don’t have to play a card from your hand. And lastly if you play the upgrade on a Jedi, like say Mace, you get a shield. He searches for and turns every upgrade into a Rey’s Saber.
Like I said Mace isn’t selfish like ole crater face Dengar. I feel that Mace doesn’t have the upgrade suite available to him right now, but FFG has released some extremely potent upgrades in the past so eventually I have to believe they will do so in the future.
Now not to harp too much on Dengar, but he wouldn’t have won out on my “worst” character list if it wasn’t for also having his name on the worst upgrade in the set. I’m talking about Dengar’s Fire Blade.
Like I said before Dengar got that Vader treatment, so I guess this is suppose to be his version of Vader’s Lightsaber, and that is not a faltering comparison. They both cost 3, they both have a 2 shield side (Shane’s frothing), but the Fire Blade has half as many damage sides. 2 to be specific, on a 3 cost upgrade. And 1 is blue. That is bad.
Now I guess it’s abilities are suppose to help with the fact that is pretty weak as a die, but they really don’t. Damage on play is nice, it earned the the Crossguard Lightsaber some play after all, but again how many bounties do you want to run? And even then it’s just a single damage and then you’ve paid 3 for a clunker of a die. Sure the PA if played on Dengar would allow you to always pair the +4 side up with his 1 melee, but I’m not paying 3 for an upgrade that in order to resolve it’s best side I’m constantly having to open myself to easy mitigation. A modified melee upgrade on a character with only single melee side isn’t the type of play I want to make. Outside of Dengar the Fire Blade is just such bad value you wouldn’t want it outside of draft or trilogies. And honestly in trilogies just make a different deck then one that actually wants to run this clunker.
Picking a “best” upgrade in this set is actually pretty tough. The good ones likely only go in specific character’s decks, and the versatile ones are either bad or linear moves compared to other options we already have.
Dengar’s Fire Blade is an example of a card that isn’t good because it relies too much on gaining benefit from synergy. But synergy can often be a house of cards, sometimes you just have to say damn the synergy and just play stuff that is good regardless of who you put it on. Rey’s Lightsaber is a great example of that. On Rey it’s better, but it is still a great option anywhere. This set, in that vein, we have Chewbacca’s Blaster Rifle.
Full disclosure, I think our new Chewbacca is bad. In a world where mill exists I can’t remedy taking a character that is only strong after taking damage. But while Chewbacca’s Blaster does have synergy with Chewbacca, it’s just the cherry on top. And if you’re like Tommy, you hate cherries ontop anyway.
At it’s core the Blaster has 3 black damage sides, 2-3-4/1. That’s what I want to see when I pay 3 resources for an upgrade. Now the 4 for 1 can be a little rough on the wallet, but 4 damage is worth 1 resources any day of the week. The other two sides are meh, but that is fine to me. I almost always look at my 3 cost damage upgrades as being blank but for their damage sides anyway.
It’s the ability the definitely makes this upgrade worth the 3 cost investment. When you first play it you can deal a damage to the attached character to cheat to die in to play. I’m huge on things that allow me to get extra activations from them. Follow along with me here. If you get the 2R side, you just essentially Snoke’d (which we all know is pretty damn good) the 3R or the 4/1R are all value in excess of that. I’m into that.
With Chewbacca you can also cheat the resolve, which is never a bad thing, along with helping activate his own ability. That’s great and if you want to run Chewbacca you absolutely want to run Chewbacca’s Blaster. But I also see this having a place as one of in many other decks. In draft it is a monster for sure.
Now I wanted to continue the Dengar bashing into the support category. I actually wrote it up, but Punishing One just isn’t bad enough. 3 black damage sides for 2 cost and the possibility to ready, I just can’t call that the “worst” support. Will it see any play? Probably not, but it just isn’t really that bad.
It’s difficult to find a die support in this set I just look at and wouldn’t ever want to see it in a deck. Even the not amazing stuff is at least viable somewhere. That’s actually my biggest takeaway from this set, they did a great job making all the die supports attractive in some sense. So to continue the Dengar bashing I’m going to cheat a little and call out Bounty Board.
Why does this cost 1? Would it really have been too much for it to be free to search out not strong cards every turn? Do I really need to pay a resource and take a total of 3 actions to Death Mark someone? It’s not even saving me cards in order to get the bounty train going either, as I’m just running two Bounty Boards instead of 2 of another bounty.
It’s just another card to add to the heap that is Bounty Hunting in this set. Bounty Board should have been a Lightsaber Mastery like plot. That would have at least been interesting.
On the flip side picking top dog out from the supports is really tough as well. There is an obvious grouping in the mid-tier but up top your eye is immediately drawn to things like Entourage, Hired Muscle, and Megablaster Troopers. I’m going to swerve a bit and go with versatile with my pick which is Conscript Squad.
Conscript Squad, I feel, is the spiritual successor to the DH-17 of Awakenings fame. It absolutely is a weaker die trading a 2R/1 for a +1R and a 1 shield for a 1 disrupt. Still it’s 3 damage sides on a 1 cost support. Being a support it loses it’s ability to be overwritten but it gains the ability to stay on the table despite you losing characters. That’s a fairly big deal as you won’t ever lose the support unless your opponents plays some card to remove it, which they aren’t likely to do as again it is so cheap. It’s ability means it will activate along with your character in many situations, removing that support slowness, and it’s Trooper trait has upsides in a number of decks
“Worst” event is such as trap as there clearly are some events that get made, checked once to see if it’s broken in some way, and then never looked at again. In every set there are a number of just irrelevant events. So I’m going back to the Dengar well with Hunt them Down.
At least it isn’t uncommon… That’s the only good thing I can say. You want a minimum of 2 damage from your 1 cost events. To get that out of this you have to have a damage die to resolve (not to bad) but then you have to have two bounties on the character you want to deal the damage to. FFG how many bounties are you expecting me to run that I’m going to get two out on one character. It actually works against Dengar as you want to spread your bounties out to keep his ability working. I’m half surprised they didn’t tack on spot a Bounty Hunter just take make it that much more annoying to play.
“Best” event can also be pretty deep. We have a ton of really good mitigation in this set along with Probe reprinted. Probe could easily be the best event in the set or format to be honest. But I wanted to go with an event that I think is actually good, and is likely to get overlooked. For me that is Strike Back.
They do these type of every color gets one events every set it seems, and they are never good. This breed gives benefits for having different symbols showing. For the most part you need to have two sides showing to begin to hit the value bar from these events. Strike Back is the only one I see as playable, and that’s because the Focus side benefit is the only side on these events that net you more then a 1 whatever benefit. Yes you’re only turning 1 die, but that means a minimum of 2 or more damage. Combo’ed with the range side benefit you’re looking at a 1 cost event netting you 3-4 damage if you can meet the conditions. This might have legs.
Bottom Wild Card
It should be no surprise what I pick as my “worst” wildcard pick. Bounties, all of them, get that dubious honor.
They just don’t do enough. They do nothing on their own when you play them. The synergies they activate are extremely minimal. Even when you cash them in, they don’t do that much either. And what they do happens at an odd timing. You won’t always be able to leverage 3 drawn cards after getting a kill late in around and most of the time you’ll lose out on an activation is you bring in an upgrade. 2 resources is likely always going to find a use, that’s likely the best you are going to get.
Bounties need to do something beyond the cash in effect or the synergies need to be ramped an order of multiple magnitudes for Bounty Hunting to be a thing in Destiny.
Best Wild Card
For my “best” let me just say I’m assuming that Theed gets a fairly hearty nerf. Once that occurs everyone will be scrambling to find a BF, and this set has some good ones. Specifically, Salt Falts.
Just go look at the Leader dice in this set. You’ve got a bunch of 2-3 damage and 2-3 focus sides on a number of very attractive characters. While I think this set has a much wider array of playable supports, if you can find a deck that can keep BF control this battlefield is giving you an PA for a focus every turn. That’s big, so big that FFG thought it be worth 2 build pts with that starter plot the decided toss in. It’s not worth two points but it’s worth a battlefield.