Back when Spirit of Rebellion was about to release, I posted an article here called “5 Non-Dice SOR Cards That Could Make a Splash.” When Mike asked if I’d write another one for Empire At War, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to make outrageous claims again that would probably be outrageously wrong! Haha!
5) Drop Zone.
I LOVE automatic damage. I’ve got a hunch that you do too. It’s why Backup Muscle, Planetary Uprising, & Force Strike are so utterly fantastic. This one is a tad bit harder to pull off than others, but in the right deck, it could make a huge difference. I immediately thought about a Snap deck with this guy. Really, all red heroes are extremely fast and can grab that battlefield fairly easily. But Snap makes it even easier. One of the last decks I was playing in the SoR meta was Baze/Snap. Often times I discovered that even after the big-hitter went down, Snap would be just fine with Planetary Uprisings and controlling their dice with Carbon Freezing Chamber. There’s also a fun little card called Guerrilla Warfare that lets you do surprise damage. So theoretically, you could legitimately roll out Snap, Drop Zone a damage or two, Guerrilla Warfare, and then claim for Planetary damage, and you just did 4-5 damage without actually resolving a die. I think cards like this continue to expand Destiny into areas of gaming that eliminate the RNG and really allow strategic players to succeed at a higher level. (Random combo time! Play this card with The Day Is Ours. It lets you claim the battlefield, placing another damage on this card for you to inflict on your opponent.)
4) Fort Anaxes.
This is an intriguing battlefield option. Control it and you get guardian on all of your characters. It’s always a little dangerous to take a battlefield that may help your opponent more than yourself. So I wonder if this battlefield could be a potential option for a mill deck? Your opponent can’t get ANY benefit from it, and you can control where the damage goes instead. Not a mill player? Maybe… just MAYBE… we could make a hero deck that looks like a villain Phasma (AWK) deck (Calling Nick Obee… what do you think, oh Phasma-King??). Granted, it won’t be as good as the villain options (OF COURSE), but… let’s look at elite Leia Organa with 2 Rookie Pilots. Again, red heroes have some tricks like Hit & Run, Wingman, and It’s a Trap to speed things up, making it easier to claim. Having two dopy Rookie Pilots protecting Leia while she loads up with some Rocket Launchers, Poe Blasters, and Overkills… seems okay. That’s just one idea, though. I think this battlefield could be fun.
3) Running Interference.
My goodness, I love this HERO card. This is another card that rewards really smart, strategic players. This card has nothing random about it. You have a limited amount of actions you make a turn: Play a card from your hand, Activate a Character or Support, Resolve your Dice, Discard a card to reroll, Use a card action, & Claim the battlefield. Knowing these are your opponent’s options with this card out there, there are truly limitless possibilities you have. In particular I believe this card makes those “change the side of a die” cards much, much better. Cards like Use the Force, Clash from the new 2 Player Starter, Aim, and so forth… all become incredible cards when combined with Running Interference. By exhausting this support, you make it so when you play these events, your opponent can’t also play a card from their hand to remove them. You’ll have to watch for card action removal (like Honor Guard), but a great player will be able to utilize this well. In the late game, it could make the difference between winning and losing when you tap Running Interference before activating a character. If it’s a damage race, that’ll give you a chance to re-roll your dice to max damage next action without them even having dice out quite yet. I think you’ll see this card in every yellow hero deck!
Okay, I have to admit… I think I’m showing my bias. I’ve always been a red hero guy. And we all know that red heroes have truly lacked good removal. This… while it’s extremely dependent on certain rolls… at least gives you more options. Looking at all the red hero characters revealed in this set (Riekkan, Hera, K-2SO, and Rookie Pilot), they ALL have a shield side. If you have a shield die, you can remove ANY die… and if you have more than one shield side, you can remove MULTIPLE dice. Will it really make a splash?? I don’t know. But I know I’ve gone on record that I’ve made it my mission to make K-2SO a legit option, because so many people have been hating on him. I think his 2 Shield side on his die makes him more viable than people give him credit for, but only time will tell. Rearguard gives him one more option. I’m going to make one more comment that may make you spit out your drink, but here goes… Survival Gear could make a comeback. WHAT?! Please stop writing your hate-mail. Imagine this scenario: Play Survival Gear on your K-2SO (no seriously, stop writing your hate-mail…). Play Rearguard, remove some dice. Take your shields or resources… Both are great with him. Either way, you can overwrite that Survival Gear (which is NOT a weapon) with an actual weapon next turn, like Vibroknife or Ancient Lightsaber for 2, and ready him for more fun. Alright, maybe it won’t win every Regional, but come on, people. Honor K2’s memory, and play the beautiful droid… and throw in Rearguard while you’re at it!
Okay, okay, I know I said I wouldn’t talk about any obviously good cards, but I think I lost you for a moment when I was talking about Survival Gear, so I have to bring you back somehow. Rend is absolutely, irrefutably, undeniably amazing, and SO NEEDED in this meta. Salvage Stands and Imperial Inspections have wrecked havoc with Unkar and FN running around. And now we have Thrawn to deal with. So it’s not going to stop… unless we run two copies of Rend. There are some decks that just absolutely melt to Imperial Inspection and Salvage Stand. I sincerely hope this card can slow down their menacing qualities and allow some more decks to ramp up. And oh yeah, did I forget to mention it discards HOLOCRONS?! Oh baby! It always felt bad to lose some damage to Disarm a Holocron. Now you can just do it for free. You can also get rid of pesky Force Speeds. It’s just great value for a 0 cost neutral. Thank you, thank you designers!
Alright that’s it! Check back with me in 3 months and let’s see if I was even close to finding some diamonds in the rough. And in the mean-time, check out our podcast at TheJediTrials.com or find us on iTunes for some light-hearted Destiny talk! May the dice be with you!