I think there are some pretty clear answers as to what is good and what is bad in this set coming up, but let us keep this spicy and make some people upset and confused. These cards are my predictions as to what will shine, and what will not be seen as much in the competitive scene. To check out previous articles follow these links: Jack
I know 19 point characters haven’t had the best track record, but I am hoping this guy can be an outlier. Coming in with a beefy 13 health, and some serious die sides Thrawn means business. Only have 2 damage sides has been a problem in a past, but I think he can get past that. He comes packing with 2 abilities. The first simply lets you get some future vision of any deck after you activate him. It is a nice call back to the first Thrawn, and will give you some information on what is on top of a deck, which other cards can play into nicely. But his Power Action is the reason I am putting him in this spot. Being able to play events from your opponents deck is pretty awesome, and if you already looked at the top 4 with activation, you’ll know what you are getting. Even if you didn’t there’s a solid chance you’ll pull at least 1 removal card since most decks run 8-10. The amount of 0 cost removal in decks on the villain side especially means you should be able to kill some of the removal cards as you use them to aid in your own fight. I think that is pretty insane. To top it off you can even spot your opponents cards for this Power Action if you need to for whatever events you pull. I am not sure what character pairing I like with this guy, or even what the deck looks like, but even bringing Thrawn at 1 die for 15 points seems like a viable option for that Power Action and 13 health.
Bottom: Old Daka
There is a decent amount of hype around this old lady, but I am not buying into it yet. Her dice very underwhelming, and she has pretty low health. That really matters when all the zombies she is spawning get removed as soon as Daka dies. As far as the zombies themselves, I think they are also underwhelming, especially since you can’t assign them indirect damage first. I think if you are spending 14 points on Daka, she is gonna die too early before she really gets going and makes those points worth it. We also do not know where downgrades will land and although I think they got a pretty decent boost this set, I am not sure the curses are going to hold up and be worth the deck slots, but with zombies you have to include them. Time will tell where Daka will land, but I am betting not in the meta.
Top: Niman Mastery
I am not sold on Niman Training, but the Mastery version I think is pretty damn good. For 2 resources you get a no blanks upgrade that feels a little weak on the damage side. But I think the utility it offers makes it still worth hard playing. Firstly, you get some soft mitigation or focus right when you play the upgrade. I actually really liked Sith Teachings from last set since it gave you a die and a removal (if they had a blank), so this giving a die and an effect on play is solid. Obviously this would go into a character and upgrade based deck, which makes that special essentially a 2 focus with a stipulation of having to turn 1 character and 1 upgrade die. But also the special has the flexibility to be used as soft mitigation for both dice or just 1 of them. By no means do I think this is the best upgrade in the set, but I certainly think it may be getting overlooked and if blue sticks comes back at all on hero or villain, I think this should be included.
Bottom: Talisman of Resurrection
If you have double digit resources to be able to bring back a big character from the dead, you either did nothing and made a bunch of money and are just bringing your own character back, or you are really dominating the game already and this becomes a win more card. You could have probably spent all that money on other win conditions and won the game turns earlier. I can’t see this card making any type of impact even though it has a really cool effect. The price is just too steep.
It is no secret I love me some Red Hero and troopers, but this thing being neutral means it will see play on both sides, and Red Villain has some serious trooper options already, with more on the way. For 2 resources you get a very flexible support, that can modify any symbol on a trooper die. The downside is this slows you down, but if you are playing a deck where you aren’t too worried about speed, and you have solid trooper dice with a lot of black sides, this should be included. It can make you the money you spent for it back with 1 resolve by modifying a resource side, it can bump your damage out put up, it can make sure you can focus all your dice by modifying a focus, it could hit the hand very hard, and much more. This is a very flexible card and the Trooper options out there will really dig it.
Bottom: Chief Chirpa’s Hut
Adding characters to the board seems to be a theme this set, but I again think the price is way too steep in order to add a crappy little ewok to the board. Not only do you have to play the support and roll the special, then resolve it before mitigation, but you also have to spend a resource and discard the support or spend 3 more resources to avoid discarding it! That is a crazy price to pay just to add an ewok. On top of that, the support offers very little else, other than a 2 shield sides and a way to make a few bucks back. Maybe if it had some other better sides, I wouldn’t hate it as much, but I don’t think this sees any play going forward.
Top: Desperate Measures
I think this is the clear choice for best event, and I couldn’t really find anything else I wanted to put in this slot. So this is pretty boring, but essentially it is me saying the events in this set kinda stink. The fact that this is villain really gives them an advantage in a heavy support meta, which we have been seeing. But the ability to soak a few indirect damage and blow up a key support is huge. Obviously this is nasty with Aphra decks, which want ways to deal indirect to themselves. But even outside of that this card is gonna be all over the place and a real card to worry about every game. Yellow villain will be needed if supports are still as strong this meta, but I think I am going to play this in a new version of Han/Qira.
Bottom: Warning Siren
There are obviously some really unplayable events, but I am picking this because removal cards with this type of premise have always bothered the hell out of me. removal that isn’t free and requires you to have dice in your pool first is so annoying. It is why I never liked Rout and other cards of the nature, because you’re removal needs to be flexible, and having these stipulations especially on this card, makes it so bad. Needing the have your dice in the pool, then needing to be able to match the same value on one of your dice and on your opponents AND having to pay a fricken resource for it is absurd! To me , this is unplayable for 1, and I am not saying villain should get another 0 cost removal, but for this card to ever see play it would have had to be 0 cost.
Top: Nightsister Lair
Now I know I bashed on Daka earlier, but I am putting this here for all my bounty hunters out there and not that old hag. I know Scott hated bounties, and he probably still does, but I do think they are getting better and I really believe the bounty hunters are getting a lot better. Jango is at the top of my list of characters I want to play. One of the big problems with bounties are they take up valuable deck slots, and you don’t want to pay for them. This battlefield offers you a solid option. Now you can either get your dollar back for the downgrade, or even gain a dollar for playing a 0 cost downgrade. And I am just guessing, but not every deck will have downgrades so this could be a situation where this battlefield only really helps you. Sort of like Weapons Factory Alpha back in the day where characters still mattered and not everyone was playing supports. Between the resources you will save with this battlefield and the resources you can save with Jango’s ability, this could be really solid.
Reversal is a pretty legit card, so why not make a recurring version of it as a downgrade? There are many problems here. 1) You have to keep a witch alive. Sure if you are playing all witches that won’t be hard. If you only have 1 it becomes more of a problem, especially with their low health even though they have some solid healing options. 2) If you aren’t playing against a hard hitting character this card is pretty terrible for 3 resources. If you are playing against Vader, sure it becomes more viable, but it is almost completely dead against mill match ups, and heavy support decks this won’t do much against either. 3) Your opponent can play around this a bit by picking when/if they activate the character, using action cheating to never leave their best dice in the pool, or even not re-rolling for the best outcome until you pop this. Overall I think it is a cool concept but too expensive, too inconsistent, and too dead in certain match-ups to see any play.