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Destiny Errata Packs Available!

It’s been a long time coming, but Errata Packs are now ready to ship. If you’re unsure what that is, keep reading. If you’re ready to get yours, click the link below.

Errata Pack: Summer 2022

Sometimes, in every card game ever, cards are printed that make you look like this when you read them.

There have been a variety of ways companies address these imperfections when they crop up. From changing the number you’re allowed to use in your deck to simply rewriting what the cards do, there are competing philosophies on how to handle it. Each of these has its strengths and weaknesses. Do you risk the feel bad of your players getting cards they’re not allowed to play? Is it better to piss people off when their cards don’t work the way they expect them to? Either way, players aren’t happy with this bad, but necessary, part of managing Organized Play for these games.

Destiny, in both eras, has chosen to go with the errata format. Before ARH took over, changing the text of cards was an incredibly ponderous process that sometimes took so long that the changes didn’t make sense when they finally arrived. One bonus of being out from under the shackles of The Mouse is that ARH can be much more nimble in responding to imbalances in play. As a digital-only product, it’s a relatively quick process to change points on a character or remove some piece of text that looked good during design but proved oppressive once players really sank their teeth into it.

As a professional printer of the ARH releases, I want to make sure folks have an opportunity to have physical cards that represent what our ARH OP Overlords say the cards mean now. To that end, Kingwood Hobbies is proud to present our Errata Packs! This version is current as of July 4, 2022, and includes full playsets of all 31 currently errata’d cards, a total of 52 new cards to replace what you have in your collection.

As always, these are completely unnecessary for you to buy if you don’t want to spend the money. Everything provided through this is something you can download on your own, completely for free, to print and play for yourself. The only reasons to pick this up from us are to avoid that time and hassle and to take advantage of our experience to get professional-level versions of these cards.

If you are a previous customer of our complete playsets, these errata packs are completely free for one year following your most recent set printing purchase through our Errata Insurance Program. Simply pick this up at the regular price and include a note with your order that you’ve picked up a complete playset from us in the last year and we will refund the full price of the set (not including shipping).

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Exclusive Destiny: Seeking Answers Spoilers!

The absolute best thing about sports and gaming is that they’re not scripted. Individuals or teams meet in contests where the outcome has yet to be decided. Even if one side is heavily favored, the upset exists. That moment when something low-percentage comes true and David beats Goliath is an unbelievable emotional payoff. Whether it’s the Kick 6, Max Verstappen winning the Championship, the $16,000 Lightning Helix, or even just Jonathan Lowe holding the improbable Imperial Might to beat me in a draft, these are the moments that form memories and stories that deepen our love for the contest.

Destiny is a game that is uniquely suited for setting up these moments, whether they pay off or not. Every roll of the dice is a caught breath. A moment where time stands still and fate is balanced on the edge of a knife. Do you win? Do you lose? No one knows until the dice stop tumbling. This is one of the biggest reasons we all love this game, but there is a dark side to this.

Pain. When you’ve worked and hustled for every advantage to put yourself in a position to bring home ultimate glory, and, right at the moment you’re about to succeed, that little shit you’re competing against pulls something off that snatches your hard-earned victory from you. Something that would happen only a few times in a thousand actually occurs in this reality, and all your hard work turns to ashes in your mouth as you sit in stunned silence while the confetti falls for the wrong person.

Destiny has this pain. For every tumble of the dice and play of a card someone wins and someone loses. As game designers, our job is to balance the sweet, sweet ecstasy of dice coming up aces versus the agony of an opponent playing the most devastating card at the most devastating time. For all the highs that Destiny has there are corresponding lows, and it is our job as creators to navigate this high wire for our players.

One of the ways Destiny designers have attempted to walk that high wire is through limits. Whether it’s an explicit limit like Rigged Detonation or Unending Hate or a soft limit like Side By Side, restricting how hard a card can work by limiting its application has been a core tool in the designer’s toolbox from the beginning. Are these limits useful? Probably. Easy Pickings was insanely powerful even with the restrictions. Side By Side, however, was completely unplayed. The added randomness of not knowing if you’d get to use the removal part limited its utility to the point that it simply never made the cut. What about hard number limits? Are they necessary? How amazing would it have been in FFG-era Destiny to punish someone for 10 damage for accumulating too many resources? The inner Bernie Sanders inside many would stand and applaud seeing the rich pay for their greed. Alas, that wasn’t to be. The pain of being on the receiving end was either tested to be too great, or designers preemptively censored themselves based on how they thought the players would react. Is that right? Is that wrong? Should we all just ‘git gud’ and learn to deal with the swings, or should we all cry at the pain and ask the mighty gods of design and balance to step in and ease our woes? The answer to that is personal to all of us, and no one is completely correct. Personally, I savor the stories of upset, even when I’m on the receiving end of the pain. That might not be you, though. Maybe it hurts too much to take 6 or more damage from an Unending Hate no matter how rarely that actually happens.

What does any of this have to do with Seeking Answers spoilers? Well, I’m glad you asked. Take a look at our first card.

Destiny has a history of struggling with how much power a 1-dop should have. What should a player get for being able to add a die to their side of the table while still keeping up a resource for removal? What’s more, that target has shifted as Destiny has evolved. The power and value of a single resource today are not the same as they were in the early days. The unplayable Infiltrate from Awakenings was obviously too bad, but DH-17 Blaster Pistol (the OG one) went into every deck that could run it. Today, however, the DC-17 Hand Blaster, a better card than the DH-17 Blaster Pistol, is routinely axed from decks it seems perfectly suited for.

Where does the Special Operative title lie, then? Its die is certainly not as powerful as the rarely played DC-17 Hand Blaster, but maybe its target deck isn’t the same. Han Solo’s Dice doesn’t do damage, but it sees plenty of play in decks that need all the money. Enter its Power Action.

The Power Action on Special Operative, at first glance, seems amazing. Paying one resource to get a die that will repeatedly remove your opponent’s die looks like a no-brainer inclusion for any list running Red. Reading a little more, though, we run into that designer tool I was talking about earlier, restrictions. The power of Spec Op’s PA is tightly controlled by the face of its corresponding die. You have to match both the symbol and value of the die for it to work out.

Well, let’s look at the die then. With five 1 sides, the limitation on value means you’re never going to remove anything game-breaking. When you use the removal Power Action you’re almost only ever going to only use it to remove a die that landed on something suboptimal that was going to get rerolled. The additional restriction of matching the side further pushes us down the realm of probability. There are 10 (wait, no, 11 now) different sides possible on Destiny dice. This die has six of them. I’m going to assume that an opponent has, on average, three different sides showing when you’re ready to use this. Furthermore, most folks only run one kind of damage, so that essentially blanks one of the six sides on this die in terms of Power Action. So, in order to use it, my opponent:

  • Must be playing and rolling dice that match the five valid sides I have available to me on the Spec Ops die.
  • Of the sides they’re playing that match this die, one of the three sides they have in their pool must also match whatever I randomly rolled with this die.
  • Must have that same die be on a 1 value.

That’s extremely narrow. One of the things I try to teach people when I help them build decks is that each, “if this happens” you have to add for a cool combo to work means it is exponentially less likely to happen. Having three of them doesn’t mean it will never happen, but it will be rare, and, because you’re limited to removing a die showing a 1, the impact will be low. Given my druthers, I would have loved to see this card without the ‘value’ restriction to see if the randomness of all those different sides would keep its power in check enough to be playable. I’m curious if the restrictions on this card were preemptively added, or if playtesting showed far too much pain in letting a 1-drop remove a larger die despite its rare occurrence.

So if the PA is marginal and the die is erratic, how would I rate this card? Well, it’s still a 1-drop. There is still value to be had in throwing something out there immediately that has the potential to throw a kink into the opponent’s plans. That being said, however, I just don’t currently see the deck this will excel in. To me, this feels like the card I will try to throw into every Red deck but will hit the deckbuilding bin when I make those agonizing cuts getting from 34 to 30 cards. Maybe in the future when we elect Andrew Heintz commissioner of Destiny and he drags us kicking and screaming into the world of 40 card decks there will be room for a generic utility card like this. When that happens it will be played everywhere, but until then I see this losing out to cards that simply have more power. Hopefully, I’m wrong about our current 30-card world. I’m really looking forward to someone at Dragon’s Lair ruining my night with this card simply because I somewhat panned it in this article. That would make my evening.

One of the hardest things I’ve found as a designer in Destiny is trying to balance effects that lend themselves to the Negative Play Experience (NPE). Pirates was a recent example of this. Players love playing Destiny. They do not love trying to play Destiny only to have their opponent take their stuff and not let them play. As a mechanic, Pirates was strong but beatable. You had to change your style of play, but it was not inherently stronger than other mechanics. Most people just hated it anyway because it didn’t let them play the way they wanted to play. (I love having my thinking challenged, though, so I had a blast fighting it). Similarly, mill has been hated from the beginning. It forces players rethink their play style, and people hate that.

One potential NPE that has been even harder to pull off has been playing your opponent’s cards. There have been a small few cards that tried, but the mechanic is so incredibly boom/bust that they’ve never really caught on. You’re revealing a small pile of unknown cards with the hopes that there will be something useful in there. It’s a mechanic that, in my experience, hits about 30% of the time on a back-breaking Round-finishing move, but 70% of the time on a resounding meh or thud.

Let’s add another one to the fray.

This is a very interesting card to me. Previous attempts at playing your opponent’s cards generally take them out of their deck. That can be useful but doesn’t impact them this Round. Taking a card from the opponent’s hand has a much more profound and immediate impact on the game. It’s a Reversal effect where you’re not just getting the utility of whatever you take from your opponent, but you’re also denying them the same utility. Using an opponent’s card to remove their dice both protects you from the effects of their dice while simultaneously allowing a greater chance for your dice to land. That’s a lot of power to pack into one card, and that means restrictions meant to reign it in. Let’s take a look at those.

Red Hero – The color part of this card isn’t too much of a restriction. Most decks that run spies are already in Red, and, if not, it’s generally pretty easy to slot a Red character in. The hero part, though, is limiting. Cards that let you manipulate your opponent’s hand with foreknowledge of the cards they’re holding (as opposed to blindly, like a discard) are pretty rare in both Hero and Neutral. At the moment, Rebel Schemes is the only one that exists. There’s just nothing like Face the Enemy or OG Thrawn in a Hero deck that grants you perfect knowledge of your opponent’s hand to go along with damaging it.

Discarding a Card – By costing zero resources to play, you’re effectively just playing a card out of the opponent’s hand for the resources printed on that card. Without some other cost, that would be far too strong an ability. In addition to gaining the benefit for yourself while denying it to them, you’d also be removing an option for them to pitch to reroll later in the round. That kind of card advantage would put them in an even deeper hole than this already leaves them in. By adding a ‘discard a card’ cost on your end, the designers have framed this in a way that shows they wanted to limit the power of this card to just the first portion, you gaining utility while denying it to them.

Spot a Spy – This is an important restriction on two fronts. First, it’s just thematic. I love me some theme, and forcing there to be a spy in play for you to do some espionage stuff is perfect. Second, and more importantly for gameplay, you definitely don’t want to give every Red hero deck the option to shred your opponent’s grip. By adding this restriction you’ve made it my favorite type of card. It’s a staple for the decks that can use it, but it’s not something that just gets jammed into every deck. Some of the cards I hate the most are the ones that are just objectively head and shoulders above everything else with nothing limiting their inclusion (Vibrosword I’m looking at you). This is the antithesis of that.

Another restriction that’s not written into the card is an important one to note. Previous, ‘play your opponent’s card’ cards granted you the ability to spot cards on their side of the table as if they were your own. This line granted a much higher hit rate when using the ability because you could play cards like Electroshock without actually being in Yellow. That’s not on this card, so the opposite is true. If you have no Leaders on your side that Command is going to just mock you when you reveal it from their hand.

Overall, I think this is a well-designed card that will find a home in Spy decks across the format. With Jyn/Han gone I don’t know if it’s enough by itself to push them to the top of tables, but I do think dedicated Spy/Detect players are getting a solid tool to help them compete.

One of the recurring themes in Star Wars is changing sides. This universe is rife with stories of both fall and redemption. Anakin becomes Vader. Vader is redeemed. Kylo follows a similar path. Even the central government goes from protagonist to antagonist to protagonist to antagonist over the course of the Skywalker Saga. While some of these large story arcs have been covered by Destiny in the past, there are countless smaller stories that have not shown up in the cards. Imperial Mud Trooper Han Solo? Haven’t seen him. Padawan Dooku? Nope. Imperial cadet Wedge? Wrong again. Our final card today does explore one of these lesser-known side-changing stories. If you’re familiar with the Rebels story, the vast majority of the show pitted the plucky underdog Spectres against the crushing might of the Imperial machine. Arihnda Pryce, Thrawn, and Alexsandr Kallus were the main faces of this foe, constantly hunting for our heroes to bring them to justice. Near the end of Season 3, however, it is revealed that Agent Kallus, a once implacable foe of the fledgling Rebellion, has turned his coat and been feeding intelligence to the other side. This agent’s codename? Fulcrum.

Kallus’ abilities seem like he has some opportunity to exist in a couple of different styles of deck with unique benefits for each. In one mode, you’re trying to win as a Big/Little pair through the traditional damage model. Beating your opponent’s characters into submission with the Big while using Fulcrum’s disruptive powers to toss monkey wrenches into your opponent’s plans. Stripping removal from their hands to use on their dice means clearing the way for your big fat dice to hit and stay on the table.

Some of the Bigs I see as potentially strong pairings with Kallus are Obi-Wan Kenobi – “Rako Hardeen” and Jyn Erso – Rebellion Operative. Both of those will help you maximize the plink damage from Kallus’ 1 indirect ability, and both will give you some insight into what you might be hitting when you fire off Kallu’s Power Action. This type of knowledge is key to gaining an advantage when using symmetrical abilities like this. In each of these teams, Kallus is only running one die, but the disruptive nature of his text box more than makes up for that loss.

Alternatively, you might try using Kallus in a mill deck. With two discard sides, he has the ability to put some hurting on your opponent’s hand. This does invalidate the indirect damage part of his ability, meaning you’re paying a points cost for this character that includes a feature you’re not using, but he might be good enough to pay that tax anyway. With an elite Kallus you’re hitting a 56% chance that you’re knocking two of the cards out of his hand per turn above what he’s playing (Probability of at least one die landing on discard + Power Action) with a solid chance (after rerolls) of getting three. If you’re going the mill route, you definitely want him elite.

One possible character pairing here is with our favorite Star Wars mamma who has yet to find a home, Padm̩ Amidala РPolitical Idealist. An elite/elite pairing would leave you with three points leftover to run one of the more powerful plots in the game. Extra Firepower can resolve discard sides or Rescue Han Solo adds a ton of health to your team. This also puts you into Hero Red and Yellow with access to the best removal suite in the game.

Another would be to team up with a pair of Republic Senator and Solidarity to completely wreck their hand. It would be interesting to try and mitigate your opponent’s dice by simply denying them any and all rerolls. If you’re familiar with the game Destiny, sometimes you get to the end of a match and you or your opponent cannot reroll your cards simply because you have no cards left to pitch. Can you imagine that every round?

One final way to try and abuse Kallus would be to find a way to squeeze a Jawa Junk Dealer in with him and load up on expensive Gray neutral removal. While you’re living in world of extra cheap Block and Dodge, your opponent is left with a sour taste in their mouth when they have to pay full price to MAYBE hit one die.

And there you have it! Our spoiled cards for this set. We have a series of new tools where I range from ‘I’m not sure where this fits’ to ‘that has piqued my interest in building around in multiple ways’. The new set hits on May the Fourth, and all the cards are absolutely free to download and play from A Renewed Hope. If you’re looking for a more professional quality version of your cards, check out our professional printing of this set (and all of the others) at the Kingwood Hobbies.

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It’s Time for a Make Good

TL;DR at the bottom.

Traditionally, Destiny playsets have consisted of two cards, and, if applicable, two dice. With the advent of cards like TIE Fighter and Double Down that traditional idea of a playset broke down a little. You definitely wanted four copies of TIE Fighter, but does the existence of Double Down mean you need three copies of every card in Across the Galaxy to have a full ‘playset’? Furthermore, does that mean your previous playset of Awakenings was invalid now that you can run three copies of everything? What was once a hard and fast rule became much murkier.

Enter ARH. With Across the Galaxy breaking the seal on what a playset means, and then Covert Missions blowing the lid off with elite non-unique characters, design space was wide open for new sets to require varying numbers of dice and cards.

As a completionist collector myself, it would drive me insane to buy a ‘complete playset’ and find myself in a position where I was missing something I needed. Being my own toughest customer, I decided that I was going to do right by you guys and make sure no one was in a position where they needed a card or die and it was not to be found in my product. To that end, professional printings of ARH sets have come with some weird numbers of cards and dice from the beginning. I sit down at the release of every new set and try to come up with all the ways you would need different numbers of dice and cards. Outland TIE Fighter? You get four copies and four dice. Rebel Pilot? I can’t imagine anyone wanting to sleeve up a deck with three elite, but you do you. Three cards and six dice are there if you want them. Combinations of cards, too. Form Drills letting you add more Moves to your deck? Let’s get some extra Move cards in there for you.

Where does it end, though? Should I really raise the cost for every customer so that I can include an extra Purge Trooper die with the High Stakes set simply because Dark Dispatch exists? Should Redemption have cost $60 more so that I could give everyone a bunch of X-Wings to run with Admiral Ackbar? That hardly seems fair.

After some brainstorming, I came up with a system of rules to govern how I would handle varying numbers of cards required to make a true playset.

  1. The base set will come with enough copies of every card and die that might be required for you to create and use any single deck you’d like, based on the cards in that set. Outland TIE Fighter comes with four copies. Nightsister Acolyte comes with three cards and six dice. This intraset limit keeps me from having to consider an ever expanding number of options with newly released cards. Some new Double Down-style card will not force me to include cards from previous sets, nor will it echo down through all of the following sets.
  2. Any cards or dice from other sets that are referenced on cards in this set will be included in what I called the ‘Extras‘ for that set. Not everyone needs Clone Trooper and Rebel Engineer dice for their Bad Batch, so I won’t make them pay for it. If you do need them, however, I have a product for you.

These rules worked really well until High Stakes was released. For the first time, my rules put me in a position where I would include fewer than two dice for some cards. In that set, there was no way you would be able to use more than one copy of a unique support die at a time, even if you had two in your deck. There simply wasn’t an actual use case scenario, based exclusively on High Stakes cards, where you would ever need more than one copy of the dice for Millennium Falcon, R2-D2, and other cards. I really did agonize over the decision on what to do about it. In the end, I made the choice that I would adhere to rules 1 and 2 above and include a single copy of the die in the base set, and the second copy of the die in the Extras set.

This was the wrong decision.

What seemed like a great application of my rules failed when met with the realities of playing Destiny. At first, it was just the ick factor. Despite having a way for people to fully flesh out their playsets with a collectible number of dice, I felt like I was generating disappointment in my customers when they cracked their Kingwood Hobbies set and discovered fewer dice than they expected. Based on that, and that alone, I changed my policy going forward.

  1. Added a Rule 1B to my playset rules. All cards will come with at least one die for each copy of the card included.
  2. Future copies of the High Stakes set will come with a second copy of all the unique support dice.

Both of these updates to my policy have already been implemented. Updated High Stakes sets have begun shipping to customers, and all copies of Unlikely Heroes come with at least one die for every card in the set.

I’d already announced this, although a bit less eloquently, before the release of Unlikely Heroes. What’s new is what happened at the first IRL Destiny tournament using Kingwood Hobbies-printed cards and dice. Specifically, there was at least one situation where Data Heist stole a unique card that was already in play, leaving the game with a copy of that card on each side of the table, but only one die between them.

That made me sick. I love this game and never want decisions I make to keep people from enjoying it to its fullest. To rectify this I’m offering free dice to anyone who didn’t receive enough the first time around. If you purchased your High Stakes printing from me and only received one of each unique support die, simply mention it during your next order and I will include one already-stickered copy each of Xanadu Blood, Millennium Falcon, R2-D2, Wedge’s X-Wing, Razor Crest, and C-3PO with your order.

TL;DR: High Stakes was missing a few dice based on a bad decision from me. This has already been corrected for new High Stakes set printing purchases as well as all sets going forward. If you got one of these sets that were missing dice, mention it in your next order and they will be included for free.

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Destiny ARH Two-Player Game Listed

The professional printing of the new Two-Player Game from A Renewed Hope, Galactic Struggle, is listed and available for preorder. This product is a one-stop purchase to dip your toes into Destiny, coming with two complete decks and dice. Recreate the thrilling battle of the second Death Star as Lando Calrissian and Nien Nunb attempt to take down Emperor Palpatine and his Imperial Forces.

Top to bottom new cards, you’re going to have a blast with this thing. If you’re in the mood for even more preconstructed goodness, check out the Kingwood Hobbies ARH preconstructed decks. There are incredible levels of Star Wars fun just waiting for you.

There is more info to come, including pictures and spoilers.

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Unlikely Heroes Set Printings Are Shipping!

If you don’t know what the hubbub is about, click here.

This was going to be all creative and interesting to ready. But my juices have all been devoted to getting sets packed up and in the mail for you guys. We’re going to do bullet points instead.

  • I am exhausted.
  • Cards are here. They’re stunning. I don’t know how everyone else’s prints turned out, but these are the best looking Destiny cards so far, and that includes FFG ones.
  • The majority of sets have hit the mail. There are a few stragglers that require special attention that should go tomorrow.
  • The foil Mace has been held up in shipping, so I will be sending those out separately.
  • Just to make sure we all have a very Merry Christmas (or whatever holiday you’re celebrating), I’ve upgraded every full set that’s destined for inside the US to Priority Mail shipping. You should have your cards in just a couple of days.

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Unlikely Heroes is Live!

Thanks to a sneaky early reveal of the set, I was able to hop to on getting the cards put into our little site here, so they’re up and ready for your perusal. All of the cards are up and ready for you to preorder your individual card printings of, whether you want the regular card or foil and whether you want dice or not. It’s even there if you just want to see all the pictures in the same place.

Take a gander.

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Unlikely Heroes Spoilers

For fans of the show, Diggity Destiny is on a bit of a hiatus at the moment. We are all still really into making it for you guys, but life has gotten in the way for a bit. New job and family situations have sucked up all of our time, so we don’t have anything left to devote to producing it. We have one recorded that seems to have thoroughly illustrated to the group that we don’t have time to add the polished editing that makes us sound so good. We could release it without that, but I don’t want to give folks the (correct) impression that I’m just a stammering idiot most of the time. I’m pretty sure this is temporary, so expect to see us dive back into creating the thing before too long.

That being said, we still got spoilers for Unlikely Heroes, and I’m here to share them with you.

The character…

Asajj Ventress is back, folks! If you’ve listened to any of my ramblings on card design, you’ll know that my biggest driver in putting a card out there is what’s known as top-down design; using the flavor of the card to drive how it works. I want to tell a story about Star Wars, and I want to use the game mechanics of Destiny to do it. This version of Asajj fits that to a tee! Let me point out some flavor notes that really struck me:

  • This version of the bad lady comes with the subtitle “Sister Returned”, and the art clearly shows she is on Dathomir. That tells me that our Unlikely Hero Asajj is probably from episode 19 of season 4 of Clone Wars, Massacre. In this episode, Asajj returns to her home planet with the idea of enlisting her sisters in exacting revenge on Count Dooku.
  • Her point cost of 10/12 shows that she wants to be part of a larger team rather than a pair of beaters or the main beater in a big/little combo.
  • Her Power Action specifically wants that to be a team of witches.
  • Her character subtype is only Witch. That means we’re at a spot in time after she was apprenticed to Dooku but before she became the bounty hunter.
  • At 10 points, her health total is low, protraying a once powerful character who is down on her luck and just scraping by.
  • Her die is exactly the same as the Spirit of Rebellion Asajj who comes from earlier in the Clone Wars when she and Savage attempted to kill Dooku together. Because they’re very close together in the timeline, reusing the SoR die is a wonderful way to show that this character has the same power as the other one.
  • Finally, there’s meta-flavor packed into the set for this card. We’re seeing Asajj come back and ask for help from her sisters and there they are right in the very set she shows up in!

If you’re an Asajj fan, this card is just dripping with flavor nuggets for you.

But how does she play?

While they’ve put a few bits o’ witch-ness into previous sets, ARH has spent a lot more time on Inquisitors and Sith than they have on the women of the Dark Side. It seems like Unlikely Heroes aims to rectify that.

One of the things I find interesting about Asajj is that there’s a General Veers-ness about her, but at a much reduced point cost over the Red-boi. You’re spending two resources in your first Round to add an extra die to your pool. What’s more, as you increase the power of the weapons on her the power of that die you added increases accordingly. You aren’t getting the health bonus Veers’ Snowtrooper brings with it, but the lower cost on Asajj lets you just play that extra character on your team.

For all of its flavor, her die is pretty garbage, and most likely not worth the extra two points you’re paying for the second one. I’m much more interested in running her single die and using her Power Action to generate extra dice.

At 10 points, a one-die Ventress pairs nicely with Old Daka and some other small-point character like a Pyke Sentinel. One of the problems with OD is that she’s a bullet-magnet since taking her down usually spells the end for the Daka player. She will still probably take the hits first in this case, but that will just mean more time to toss out massive weapons for Asajj to spit into the pool.

The upgrade…

One of the coolest aspects of watching AV grace our screens in Clone Wars was seeing her whip out these bomb-ass dual lightsabers. Sure, they’re very similar to Dooku’s, but where his look like an 18th century dueling pistol in his old-man hands, there’s a feminine deadliness about them in hers. Ventress’s fluid fighting style brings these curved-hilt sabers alive like so many venomous snakes darting and striking their victims. Now we have them in Destiny.

Playability-wise, this thing is a bomb, especially in the hands of Asajj. I’m excited about the potential of pairing her with some traditional Big to create a lot of offense. Traditional Big/Little decks have a severe weakness where losing your Big means the game is pretty much over. Littles tend to not be able to hit very hard, so once your beefy smasher goes down it’s just a matter of time before the game ends in your opponent’s favor. Asajj wielding these things means that your Little can deliver some hammer blows even after the Big is dead. Sure, 10 health is going to disappear quickly in today’s game of Destiny, but there will be plenty of games where it’s still enough to rescue victory. [Maul/Vader/Grand Inquisitor/Kylo]/Ventress anyone?

There’s an interesting design decision with cards like these, and I’m fascinated at the different approaches designers have taken to tell their story. How do you get across the plot point of a character being known as a dual wielder? FFG-era Destiny started it pretty simply with Rex’s Blaster Pistol. If he was wielding the pistol, then those copies were not unique. They did tie on a neat trick where having two of them let you double-trigger the ‘After’ ability, but overall it was pretty straightforward. You still had to draw the second one to really get it going, however.

Their second shot at it was with Vibro-Arbir Blades, the machetes wielded by Snoke’s personal guards. Those weren’t quite as restricted as Rex’s Blasters as any badass (read elite) character could tote them around. There was also no need to draw the second one. Instead, you just played them as a pair as long as you could afford it. I’m curious how these went in playtesting because they seemed like such a cool card until they hit the cold reality wall of four resources. Four resources in Destiny is massive. You’d better be readying a character or tossing out massive dice that I can resolve as any symbol if you want me to drop two full Rounds of resources all at once.

ARH took a stab at this in High Stakes with Ahsoka’s Sabers. These brought us back to the baseline of Rex’s Blasters where you can play a second unique as long as it’s on the dual weilder and tacking on an extra bonus. In this case it was making the dual wielder better at fighting with a weapon in each hand. You still had to draw the second one to really get the combo going, but at least you get some benefit when paired with any other weapon. Ahsoka’s sticks got a much warmer reception from the players than the VABs.

That brings us to Asajj’s Sabers. This has moved back in the direction of the Vibro-Arbirs, but it seems like the designers have really learned from the past mistakes of others. Rather than the full on commitment of four resources and two upgrade slots, these are only asking for 50% cost on the ‘second’ copy of the card. Compare this ‘3’-drop to other staples like Anakin’s Saber or Quilloned Lightsaber and I think these come out on top. There’s a much larger potential for game-changing effects with two dice, plus you can play it for two resources in a pinch. My read on this is that this price reduction will take these from unplayable to staples of Blue villain sticks decks for some time to come.

And the event?

Our final card today is this event here, Vile Machinations.

While it’s not 100% thematic since our Unlikely Heroes Ventress is pre-bounty hunter, it’s still on brand enough that I’m not docking full points in the flavor department. Asajj does eventually turn to bounties (should we have a Yellow Asajj someday?), and she spends a lot of time in the company of Yellow characters.

Borrowing from our Big/Little setup earlier, There are a few different pairings that would fully turn this card on for Asajj. IG-88, Cad Bane, and Bala-Tik are all right there to fill the role of Big and turn on this two dice hard/soft removal card. Outside of Asajj decks, I’m not aware of too many Blue/Yellow villain decks running around. I know there’s a Merrin/Ziro deck that would love to slot this in, and we do have a Second Sister/Cad Bane deck running around our local meta that is always looking for more solid removal options. It’s too bad that Convergence is rotating out or we might have a great candidate for the Asajj2/Bounty Hunter X deck that kept trying to poke its head up for a while.

Having not partaken in either design or playtesting in this round of cards, I’m very curious about the wording on this one. As it is, this card can only screw up two different dice. You have to remove the die not showing damage first. Only once that’s complete (or doesn’t happen), can you turn a die showing damage to a blank. The card would have been more versatile if the sentences had been swapped. In reverse order you could have turned a die showing damage to a blank and then removed that blank with the “remove a die not showing damage”. The card would have essentially read:

  • Spot a Yellow character and a Blue character to remove a die showing damage. OR
  • Fuck up two dice if they’re showing damage and not damage.

Was that just an oversight in templating the card, or was it a choice? Assuming it was a choice, what was the reasoning behind it? Was there too much power in having it both ways? Iunno, but I would love to hear that story some day.

And that’s it! Your Friday spoilers have been spoiled. Now I guess I’ve got to start mailing out these spotgloss cards…

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The Assembly Line: Deck Building With Trey – Three Speed Jank

A couple of weeks ago one of our regulars bid us adieu. His wife got a new job out of state, so they were moving away. On his final Wednesday night with us, he wanted us to have a big jank shindig, so with thoughts of Brian Piana on our minds, most everyone dreamt up some utter bullshit and brought it to the table.

Digging through my bag of stupidity, I remembered that I once built a reasonable deck with one of the most maligned characters of all time.

This dude is so bad that he saw the largest negative point balance in the history of the game. I’ll have whatever FFG was smoking when they built him out because 14/17 was stupid. He’s since gotten a FOUR POINT drop, and people still don’t play him. This dude has some stank on him.

This is jank week, though, so stank is what we want. After sliding the puzzle pieces around in my head, twisting point values this way and that, I settled on this team.

That’s an all Covert Missions lineup for those of you checking. That intra-set love is spoiled a bit when I introduce you to the battlefield, Mean Streets. It’s not all that exciting, but it was the only one I could find that helped me a bit while not helping my opponent.

None of these characters really synergize with each other; they’re all just kinda doing their own thing. Each one excels at what they do, though

  • Sinjir is actually not that bad; he just plays really weirdly. He’s all about removing their crappy dice at the expense of one of your cards. You’re not paying a resource or losing a card out of the deck to do it, though. Most of the time your opening play is sending Sinjir‘s dice into the pool so that you’re ready to pounce on whatever die your opponent happens to throw that matches what you’ve got. One of the fun things about rolling Sinjir is that you put your opponent back into that mode I love so much where they’re afraid to activate a character because they’re walking those dice into your ‘free’ removal.
  • Jawa Junk Dealer is a known quantity at this pont, but I haven’t seen him taken advantage of since all the new ARH hotness came out. They haven’t made many Gray Neutral cards we want to run, but there is one good one. How you play the JJD is going to depend on what’s in your hand. If you’re sitting on some blowout removal you hold him back. If you’ve got face punchy cards, then activate him pretty quickly.
  • Kanan is a card that’s never seen too much play, but I really, really like him. That nine health throws serious doubt into how long you can keep him on the table, but he is such a knockout punch when you load him up with his lightsaber. Once you hand the man that tool, you then sit back and wait on your opponent to do something so that you can sabotage it while getting all the hot turningness at the same time.

Like most of my decks, this one wants to control, but unlike most of them, this one doesn’t have a single path to get there. This deck has a fast (activate Sinjir), medium (Jawa Man is ready whenever you need him), and slow (Kanan needs the opponent to activate before he’s at all useful), so you’re ready to knock them back no matter how they play.

The Deck

I won’t leave you in suspense this time around. This is what the deck looks like. Remember, this was pre-Reprint List.

If you look closely, there are some, to put it politely, unusual choices in there. Punch Dagger? C-3PO? Shock Collar, for heaven’s sake!? Relax, we’ll get there. It will all be explained in due time. Remember, the goal was to win with jank. I had to make this qualify for more than just running Sinjir.

Punchy Punchy Face Face Cards

Kanan does melee. SRV does melee. We loadin’ up on sticks, people.

  • Punch Dagger is a Gray Neutral one-drop, meaning we can toss it out there immediately in Round 1 for free with our brown-headed-and-glowy-eyed-friend. This is actually a very sneaky way to hit a 3-drop immediately. Play the Punch Dagger for free, and then overwrite with a Beskar Spear, Vibrosword, or, sweet baby Jesus please, Kanan Saber. Boom, it took a card, but your Jawa just reduced the cost of a colored card.
  • Vibroblade is just a solid two-drop that becomes a one with the Jawa. It’s not a bad consolation price to land a beat stick in Round One while keeping money in your pocket to back your boys up with removal.
  • Vibrosword is Vibrosword. It’s dumb and easy and hits like a truck. We have unique Yellow character that’s elite, so it’s a no brainer. Having a route to get this online in Round One (see Punch Dagger) is just gravy.
  • Beskar Spear is also just a solid card. It Redeploys, so that’s good. It dodges shields, too, and in our Houston metagame, shields are the mechanism of choice for keeping a significant portion of our decks alive. Beskar + Vibroblade Power Action mean there’s enough unblockable in here to knock someone down completely without ever touching their shields.
  • Kanan Jarrus’ Lightsaber is the one you want, though. This is the dream opening because it just wrecks an opponent. It’s pretty obvious, since it’s written right there on the card, but Kanan + Kanan Saber activation means you get to turn one of your opponent’s dice away from a good side, get the exact side you want on the Saber, and THEN get the exact side you want with Kanan! One Instigate requires you to roll a single two-melee side on Kanan to hit for SEVEN out of nowhere! That is straight fire.

Make It Happen Now! Cards

The event suite here is mostly about leveraging the Jawa and igniting the Kanan bloodbath with a few other goodies thrown in.

  • Block, Dodge, and Harmless Trick are all there to spring excitement out of nowhere on your opponent. Most likely one of the Block and Dodge combo are going to be Sinjir fodder, but the other is going to make your opponent very, very sad. Block and Dodge have been powerful forever, but devoting four cards that cost two each when two of them are dead has always held them back. Now, the off-cards are useful to put on the bottom with Sinjir to keep removin’ stuff.
  • Flee the Scene is solid removal for when you just need that panic button. Sure, the round is probably over, but they also probably don’t have any dice left to hit you with.
  • Truce is money, literally.
  • Instigate is that hot saunce that make the Kanan-splosion live.
  • Rally the Covert is a card I’ve been disappointed with. This is a card I designed, and I really thought it would have more of an impact. Sadly, the Mando Super Commando dice you throw into the pool just aren’t typically strong enough to do much. In this deck, however, I’ve discovered a solid use for it. We already have a chap ready and waiting to turn sideways for this, so you’re able to toss those four dice out there on your very first action, meaning you can hit for a solid three damage even if they’re going first. Having them activate and toss the nuts makes a really fun and tense moment when you plop this down to try and kill all those dice they just threw by offing a dude.

One note about the events before we move on. This deck was made before the reprint list came out. The Reprint list is dumb, especially when you look at the Yellow Hero removal that’s become available to you. Most of the stuff in this list has probably been trumped by the ridiculous suite of cards that Yellow Hero is now required to run because they’re obviously the best cards. If you’re running this deck into a group that is using the reprint list, you can substantially upgrade the power of the deck by taking a look at cards like Easy Pickings.

And the Rest, Here on Gilligan’s ISSSSLLLE!!

  • C-3P0 was the last card I added to the deck. I’m not sure what he does in here, and I never actually played him. He’s not reduced by the Jawa, he’s Hero, so you’re paying full price. I think I chose him because I figured he might have some synergy with resolve both of Sinjir‘s dice to remove two dice of theirs all at once. None of that ever happened during play, however, because every single person I played against used Cunning and I didn’t want to give them access to 3PO‘s special
  • Merchant Freighter is a no brainer, like a few other cards in here. It makes money. You want money. It does pair nicely with a character that can pop it out for free, though.
  • Shock Collar is easily the wildest choice in this deck. At 2, it’s just not reasonable value. You’re spending an entire Round’s worth of resources to do a single damage per Round. From just a cost/benefit analysis, this has to work three Rounds before it’s hit par for what damage out of hand should be able to do, and that doesn’t even factor in that doing one per Round is much worse than doing three at once. For 1 cost, this still isn’t great, but it’s playable and it’s a whole lot of fun to see someone’s eyes bug out and watch them have to read what the hell this thing does.

And that’s the deck! Our Jank Party Send-Off Party for Jordan was a hoot, with the finals coming down to Jordan and myself. It was a close battle, but I got there in the end on the strength of a four-damage rollout from Rally the Covert. Just like I mentioned above, he activated a dude with enough damage showing to finish me off, so I snapped ole J sideways, spent three, and tossed four Super Trooper for the win.

For all of my efforts, I went home with the Grand Prize for the evening. Turned out the prize was apropos for the manner in which I took him down, a sweet foily Mandalorian Super Commando promo from World’s 2019.

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The Assembly Line: Deck Building with Trey – The Special Kids

Update: Because I have all the power with this site, I can add blurbs from folks who really appreciate what I’m doing after articles are already published. From the Coaxium Discord, moments after posting the link.

So, it’s been a while, like a long while, since I dazzled my fine readers with wit and wisdom surrounding one of my deck concoctions. I don’t have much defense except to say that the advent of A Renewed Hope cards has really kept me busy with Kingwood Hobbies, and I just haven’t felt up to it. I’ve still been deckbuilding for my Wednesday night shenanigans, though, so I have a long list of delicious brews to send your way. For my first foray back into the deck writing game I’m going with my baby. This is the deck I’ve been coaxing along for months now. With the writing bug hitting me again, this is the one I want to share immediately.

One of the major themes in ARH sets has been the Inquisitors. If you’re unfamiliar with these rapscallions, they show up in the post-prequel, pre-OG trilogy era. Despite the vast majority of the Jedi getting the wrong end of several dozen E-11 blasters, some few of them escaped Order 66. Ole Palpy was having none of that, however, so he decided to form a crack squad of twisted Force users to help the remaining Jedi survivors become one with the Force. This crack team was known as the Inquisitorius. Known only by a number and their gender (Ninth Sister, Sixth Brother), these individuals raced around the galaxy whacking Jedi on the noggin with the scary red lightsabers in an attempt to fulfill the Emperor’s wishes.

The Inquisitors have been represented in Destiny’s history a number of times. Empire at War gave us the first two versions of these characters in The Grand Inquisitor and Seventh Sister. Ole GI was mostly a dud, but Seventh Sister was a knockout, landing in multiple Tier 1 decks of her era. Way of the Force rounded out the last of FFG’s attempts to make Inquisitors with the dud, Fifth Brother.

Four more sets from FFG crossed our paths with nary a mention of these baddies, but that was all rectified when ARH took over development. Inquisitors are literally everywhere. So much so that I think they might be someone’s pet project. Faltering Allegiances had Ninth Sister and Second Sister as well as the plot, The Inquisitorius. Redemption brought us Cunning-on-a-stick, Tenth Brother. High Stakes introduced us to a new version of the Grand Inquisitor. Of the eleven unique Blue villain character cards in ARH-created sets, 36% of them are Inquisitors. Someone’s got a fetish, y’all.

Despite us being waist-deep in inquisitorium options, they’ve actually not seen that much play. So much so that both Ninth Sister and Second Sister had their points dropped in an effort to boost their playability. It’s the very lack of playtime that piqued my interest, however, as I have a crushing need to prove I’m smarter than everyone else by whipping them with their own castoffs.

The first iteration of the deck was quite easy. Nearly all the cards that felt like they wanted to be in the deck fit, and there weren’t really all that many tough decisions to make. Many of Blue villain’s normal options come with the word ‘Sith’ explicitly written on them, so that knocked a bunch of options off the board immediately. There were some tweaks when things didn’t work as I expected (Malice might just be bad, folks) and some additions when later sets were released, but it was actually playing the deck that required a lot of adjustment. I had to shape what I naturally want to do to what the deck was offering to really get the most out of it. Once I surrendered to the cards, however, this stack o’ thirty has become something to be feared on Wednesday nights at Dragon’s Lair. This deck regularly drops, and uses twice, Shien Mastery in the first round.

May I present, The Special Kids

The Squad

The point values on this team line up just like they were designed. Second Sister got that one-point drop, but it was completely unnecessary. This is the team you want. Four dice geared around getting exactly what you want with enough points left over for a completely free soft mitigation action every round. (soft mitigation or soft removal is when you turn a die away from a side your opponent would like to resolve rather than simply removing the die. It’s called ‘soft’ because your opponent has an opportunity to undo the removal)

There haven’t been that many good battlefields for this deck recently. As a control deck, it’s not going to claim all that often unless you’re foregoing some juiciness, so I don’t really want anything that’s going to power up my enemies. For the longest time Valley of the Dark Lords was what I ran with. There’s a lot of character-specific dice removal in this deck, and it was nice to have a panic button to get out of situations where my cards were telling me ‘character die only’ while the die threatening my demise came from an upgrade or support.

That all changed with the release of this dumb reprint list, however. If you’re going to give me free specials, or, more accurately, terrify my opponent into giving me shields because I’m not winning the roll-off with character dice this small, I’m going to take it. Enter Emperor’s Throne Room. I am a little sad, though. Valley of the Dark Lords was interesting and different. Emperor’s Throne Room is easy and boring.

The Deck – Upgrades

With one character’s special saying, “Be any other special” and the other character’s special saying, “Special Chain that other guy’s dice”, the upgrades were always going to be about abilities doing neat special stuff. All of the upgrades have specials and all of those specials are awesome.

These are the heart and soul of the deck. Once you land these on the board you don’t even need to roll their specials to get their specials. It’s great if you do, but either Tenth Brother‘s dice or Second Sister‘s dice into Tenth Brother‘s dice get you everything you need out of these cards. I tell you, there is nothing like ruining someone’s night by resolving four Shien Mastery dice in the same round. I can do that in Round 1. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

The final card is a relatively new addition to the deck. Force Crush is absolutely soul-destroying. Essentially a soft removal version of Reversal on a stick, it’s one of those cards that tips the normal, I-want-my-opponent-to-roll-bad-while-they-want-to-roll-good dynamic on its head. They’re soiling themselves afraid that they’re going to walk those giant dice they’re tossing right into you slapping them across the face with them, and you’re making that creepy Jack Nicholson nodding gif begging them to throw the nuts. The only downside to Force Crush is that you have so much other mitigation running around that you don’t always need this special, and there really aren’t any other sides that do something you want. It’s either soul-destroying or whiff, there’s no in-between. For that reason, I only have the one.

The Deck – Supports

For all the cards in Standard that irksomely have the word ‘Sith’ on them, there are some shockingly good bits of cardboard catering specifically to Inquisitors. One of the things I love the most about sleeving up something off-the-wall is my opponent having to pick up and read a card they’ve never really internalized as it smacks them about the face and neck. In this case, I’m talking about Interrogation Chair.

At first glance, this bit of chicanery may not look like much, but you have to remember that there are certain dice sides you simply cannot resolve. If you point this at a modified Blue side, a paid side when they’re broke, or a blank they are completely unable to fulfill the ‘unless they resolve that die’ part of the card, and are simply stuck with taking two to the face. In a deck that specializes (<-lol, I really didn’t do that on purpose) in turning dice to blanks this translates simply to “Take 2” every single round. That’s a heck of a return on your investment of one card and one resource.

The second piece of interesting tech here is the inclusion of Prescient Leap. Because the dice in this deck tend to chain together, (resolve this die to turn that die to a special and resolve it), you’re going to be constantly ticking up this bomb. There are so many splashy upgrades in the game today that it often comes in handy to be able to dispose of them. If they’re not playing upgrades, though, this makes for a good pitch-to-reroll choice.

The final array of supports come in the form of money makers. This deck tosses big, feisty cards around. It has a voracious appetite for money, and it absolutely wants that money immediately. That’s why I have one more card slot than normal dedicated to generating the cash.

The Deck – Events

Because we have so much small removal wrapped up in the cards we already have on the board (our plot, Second Sister‘s ability, all of our upgrades, Tenth Brother looking at any of the above) we don’t need to devote any event slots at all to it. We can load up on those bomb-ass multi-dice removal cards that can really blow our opponent out of the round.

Your Powers are Weak is just a misery-inducing play for two resources. I’ll take three Hidden Motives that blank the die if it misses, please. The number of times I remove three dice with this is just ugly.

Dark Dispatch is a really interesting card in that it mucks up two dice, one permanently, but then also adds a high-damage die to our side of the table. I’ve finished off characters with that Purge Trooper die a number of times.

Pincer Movement is gross. Y’all seriously, it’s just gross. I have a really tough time keeping my poker face when I pull this off the top of my deck. There’s a flow to this playing this thing, both playing it and playing against it. One of the contributors to this flow is that most of my mitigation comes from dice in my pool. If my opponent can get the jump on me and get their dice into the pool before I can roll out, they will have a window to resolve something bonkers before I can respond. Deep into a game when my opponent has figured that out, they tend to claim early to make sure they have the battlefield and then immediately roll their best character into the pool. It makes sense because they want the juiciest dice out there before I can do anything about them. It’s in that moment that I break their will. Spend a resource, plunk down Pincer Movement, and watch their spirit flee their body. Not only do I utterly wreck everything they just did, but I put ALL of my dice into the pool to set up the rest of the round. The entire moment flips from them being the aggressor to a moment of “oh shit, I’m going to die if I don’t do something about this plethora of dice”. It warms the cockles of my heart.

Contentions Opportunity is a card I resisted for a long time. I hadn’t really recognized the power of rolling a die back into my pool after an opponent’s dealt with it. I’ve always wanted to focus on my remaining dice and move forward. After finally seeing it in action, however, I’m hooked. Again we go to the fact that this deck wants to chain all its dice together for MAXIMUM DISCOMFORT. Having that die back out there gives us more links in that chain and more opportunities to wreck stuff.

Harness the Force exists because sometimes you don’t roll the specials. It’s always satisfying to see the relief on my opponent’s face that they dodged the special barrage only to ignite that chain with a card from my hand.

No Mercy is in here because you sometimes, not often but sometimes, just need to pitch your hand to murder a dude. Spending two to deal 6 and off someone out of nowhere is alright in my book.

Playing the Deck

If you decide to sleeve this list up you’re going to learn from my long list of mistakes, but dammit, you’re going to spend some time reading about them first. In hindsight, it all makes perfect sense, but that’s the beauty of hindsight. Things you smash your head-on at the time end up looking easy once you figure them out.

There were two main issues I ran into early in the deck’s development. Soft removal and money.

While hard removal (pointing at some dice and declaring that your opponent get that crap out of the pool) is always the same, Vader escapades aside, soft removal is heavily dependent on the overall state of Destiny. Because your opponent always has the option to pitch and reroll, the probability dynamics of what they will hit when they reroll contributes mightily to what soft mitigation can really do. If I’m trying to stay alive by turning your die from a 3 melee side to a blank, it’s a lot more effective if that’s the only damage side on the die. If that die is five 3 melee sides and the blank, a pitch to reroll is probably going to get them right back where they want to be.

The state of Destiny today is that it has some seriously BLADDOW! dice being tossed around. The main die that won the first World Championships looked like the one on the left, while the die on the right can’t even find a home any more. Power creep is real, y’all. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s something we must contend with if we’re going to rely on soft mitigation.

Early in this deck’s development, this was a huge deal. I was turning dice only to have my opponent pitch something and get 80% of the goodness right back in the pool. I wasn’t losing my dudes in Round 1, but I was so far behind that I simply couldn’t catch up.

For a long time, I was convinced that the answer was cards that hit the opponent’s hand. The rationale there being that an opponent facing the hard choice of playing that last card in their hand or pitching it to reroll was good for me. It’s the reason I relied on Malice for so long. That’s a one-drop upgrade with multiple discard sides as well as specials that do some damage while their dice are blanked. In theory, it was great. In reality, it was simply too slow. It just took too many actions to both flip their dice and take cards out of their hand.

Eventually, Malice hit the dustbin in favor of Niman Training. I figured out another way to make the soft mitigation work and was able to remove a bad card for something that contributed to my game plan.

The second, and biggest issue I faced was money. If you want to scroll up again and look at the cards I’m slinging, they ain’t cheap. It was taking me forever to build up enough resources to drop those tasty upgrades. This was intertwined with the soft mitigation problem because I was essentially relying on that soft removal to stay alive for a round or two while I built up the cash to let those big hammer upgrades take over. With a little luck, I could get there, but my kids had taken quite the beating during the process. It’s rough trying to win when your game plan starts with half-dead characters.

The solution to this wasn’t a card change but gaining more understanding of the deck. Up until this point, Second Sister had kinda been that red-headed stepchild that wasn’t quite as loved as the more popular kid. Tenth Brother does some WHACKY stuff with his dice and is the reason I wanted to give this deck a go. The Sister was just there to maybe muck up a die on activation, bring that plot online, and sometimes win games by flipping a Tenth Brother die to deal 4 melee damage. She just wasn’t a strong pairing with TB.

That’s on me, though. Second Sister is AMAZING. Once you learn how to play her correctly, she lights the booster rockets that fling this deck into outer space. She has go juice that I never dreamed of when I started tinkering with this. Imagine this sequence of plays: (this is the Magical Christmasland version, but you can do 80% of this regularly in Round 1)

  • Early in your turns you activate Second Sister, hitting literally anything on both dice. You’re also turning an opponent’s die to something that matches whatever hurts them the most.
  • You pay two resource to drop Niman Mastery on Tenth Brother, turning one of your Second Sister dice to a special.
  • You resolve your Second Sister special to turn her other side to a resource. That’s two resources for you unless, sweet baby Jesus, they have a resource showing. Then, you get three resources.
  • Overwrite Niman Mastery with Shien Mastery. Toss that die into your pool. Some sides are better than others, but anything you get is going to be sweet, sweet sauce.
  • Activate Tenth Brother. You literally just rolled three dice into your pool with the ability to rip off a Shien special. IN ROUND ONE!
Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4

The catch there was me learning that Second Sister can make INSANE MONEY early in the game when you need it, and then switch to dealing out the blows later when you’re trying to finish the opponent off. By embracing Second Sister and learning her ways, this deck went from something I was tinkering with that got beat regularly to something that people fear at the tables of Dragon’s Lair. This also solved my problem with the soft mitigation because I was able to back it up instantly with hard removal. You want to pitch to reroll something better because I ruined what you already had? That’s fine, but you’re doing it into my multiple Shien Mastery dice. Good luck.

This deck is super fun to play because it totally fits my controlling play style. If you’re looking for something that’s going to roll sticks all the time and pound your opponent into the dirt, this isn’t it. This is going to frustrate that person across the table to no end over and over and over as you do just enough to make them feel like they can’t make any headway in killing you.

A few other tips before I go:

  • Always keep an eye on your opponent’s cards for juicy specials to hit with Tenth Brother‘s dice. They hit anything, and it’s even more satisfying to win by resolving their specials than it is yours. Don’t be too obvious about it though, because they’re likely to forget that from time to time. I dunno, fly casual.
  • Just because you have a million specials on the board does not mean that you have to resolve them all in one go. Use just enough to break up what the bad guy is doing while keeping yourself loaded for whatever they come back with.
  • If they have a million dice in the pool and only one of them is what they want, it’s often best to let them hit you for two rather than softly mitigate that die. They’re going to pitch to reroll anyway, so you want to save that die turn for when they can’t fix it. Turning their die into an obvious reroll situation opens you up to getting blown out by big rerolls.
  • Thoroughly exhaust the mitigation you have on the table before you start firing away with the big cards in your hand. They know you can break their rolls with what you have showing, so they’re going to try and play around it. Often, it will take everything they have to get through what you have showing. If they finally break through and you have nothing left out there, that’s when you hit them with the card you’re holding that ruins their whole round.

And that’s it! I hope you found something in here you want to sleeve up, or at least you were entertained. Until next time! (it won’t be another year, I promise).

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SMASH! For Real

While I’ve always thought they were a bit silly in the movies, Ewoks have held a place near and dear to my heart since their inception in Destiny. Whether it’s independently designing the Plowoks burn deck right at the beginning of the Spark of Hope metagame, or bringing Wicket and Yoda to our local tables and frustrating the hell out of folks, I’ve been rocking the little yellow monsters from Day 1.

So, when I was asked which Smash Phase 3 deck I’d like to spoil, boom; no brainer. Gimme fur. Please allow me to introduce your newest spoiled Smash Phase 3 deck, Wicket – Crafty Scout and Ewok Warrior.

Teamed up with this illustrious pair of furry half-pints is the oft-maligned battlefield, Main Plaza – Vashka. Main Plaza is an interesting choice given that there’s actually an Ewok Village battlefield they could have chosen. If they didn’t go with that one, why not? The only thing I can come up with is that Main Plaza’s damage moving ability both avoids shields and allows you to add targeted damage in a deck that would otherwise scatter it around with indirect.

There are not a lot of instances where I’d choose this over my other battlefield, but there are some:

  • Ewoks paired with a character that will let you use the Claim ability of battlefields outside of just the claiming action.
  • Playing against a team with three or more characters that will be slower at claiming than you.

Main Plaza puts tremendous pressure on the Claim portion of the round, so choose carefully.

Onto the Deck!

We’ve got fifteen cards left to spoil, so let’s get to it. The first three come as a group and are possibly the easiest inclusion in a Smash deck ever. Wicket uses traps? Well then, include the Downgrade – Traps.

Rolling Logs and Net Trap are outstanding removal that doesn’t take an action to use. Wicket makes them repeating. Bonkers. Ensnare is one of those cards that totally turns the game on its head. You’re rooting for a nut roll when they activate their guy, and they’re deathly afraid to even turn him sideways. So much brutality in so small of a package.

After the traps come the cards that might as well have come from the printer stamped with “For Use With Ewok Decks Only” on them. Chief Chirpa’s Hut, Ewok Bow, Ewok Ambush, and Glider Attack are all meant to soup-up the power of a base Ewok to help it compete with more powerful teams. One thing to remember, you may want to pick up some extra Ewok Warriors for when the Hut starts humming that Special tune.

The next two cards weren’t specifically designed for Ewok decks, but they play really strong roles in making them good.

  • Easy Pickings is the most obvious of this pair and is In the running for the best removal ever printed, any Hero Yellow deck that can will choose to pack this monster bullet. Spending a card and a resource for back-breaking removal? Yes, please.
  • Diplomatic Protection is a card that didn’t see much play when it first came out, but became an instant staple once Ewoks became a thing. By giving all of your characters two shields, the wider your team is the more health this puts in play. Couple this with some of the damage moving cards we’ll see later and your tiny little Ewok Warrior can use its death to super heal the rest of your guys.

Nine cards down, six to go. Those first batches of cards went a long way towards building the deck themselves. Here’s where the choices get more difficult and more interesting.

The final two dice cards are sticks that feature some interesting interactions with your Ewok Bois.

  • Rey’s Staff is a basic weapon with three damage sides from a time when cards didn’t really have three damage sides. Add in a special that keeps your guys alive longer and you have a solid 2-drop you’re never unhappy to see.
  • Vibrocutlass is one of those ginaormous sticks where you get giddy when it sticks. Once it hits the table it’s going to be there for the rest of the game. Redeploy in this deck means you have multiple Yellow Bois to tote is around regardless of who you’re paired up with. It’s also downright hilarious to see a fuzzy little bear bonk someone on the head for four damage.

As I mentioned above with Diplomatic Protection, this deck features some cards that don’t necessarily heal damage but do keep your guys around longer by moving things around. They’re reasonably strong on their own, but Dangerous Maneuver and Draw Attention get super-powered when DP adorns your diceless Ewok.

Our final two cards are great utility cards that will push your team closer to victory no matter who they’re paired up with.

  • Smuggling Ring is a utility common that generates a great advantage if you can overcome the initial outlay of landing it on the table. It works best in a deck that can survive Round 1 on only one resource, and this deck has plenty of options for doing just that.
  • Improvised Explosive is a great way to use that one resource from Smuggling Ring in Round 1. Put it out there and eventually, Pop!, three less health on the other team.

And that’s it! That’s the Ewok deck for your Smash Phase 3. Like everyone else, I’m looking forward to Friday and getting my hands on the full list.