17 jul. 2017

Analysis: Allies for necessity














Greetings, followers of both sides of the Force. We are pleased to introduce you, at last, the opening expansion of the cycle that will act as a Bendu and fix the broken balance of the Force. The Light Side (and specially its weakest faction, the Rebel Alliance) is going to climb up to the top, and therefore meta and strategy will be driven to another level. The new affiliation cards are going to change the way we play and understand this game, and will give us new strategies and advantages. The deck construction will be more challenging and rest on Influence. The LS will become powerful, but without abusing this new powers while using Spark-based tricolor decks. But if any Bantha-brained still thinks that all of this is not enough, the new cycle make us focus on forgotten (or never played) sets, specially from the Endor Cycle.




About this section, we have added two new categories: SHENANIGAN and STARTING DECK, conceived to show hypothetic combos and help those who want to build something effective with the new cards (but always with the idea of letting them improve it with time).

And now...Here we go!


Did anybody ask for fixing the Balance?




SET 261




Yavin 4  is, along with the cardholder, where rebels have spent most of their time, so it is fair that this is the place where things start changing. Apart from traits for Dodonna (I will play him someday, I promise) we have an objective that is a resource boost, close to another great and forgotten objective named In You Must Go. This one is better because it can be used in any phase and for any type of card; but also could be worse because there will be turns that it will do nothing. In any case, it is amazing to use it during the deployment phase in order to play cards easier. How do rebels pretend to push back the Empire with a pile of boxes, still puzzles me. 



Captain Cassian Andor 9/10

At last a main of high level. It only lacks the Spy trait, useless but wonderful for geeks. Fortunately, this insignificant detail and its mediocre illustration are not relevant in a beast that, if maybe by itself doesn’t do much, with a little company in or out the engagement (hi, Jyn) has one of the most brutal abilities of this game. Just place a shield on him to avoid tactics, look for a friend loaded with black blasts (Jyn, are you coming or what?), choose an objective (did anyone say Trench Run?) and... 'andale' Andor!




Rebel Saboteur 10/10

Ok, we already know who is going to give the shields to the commander so he can use his ability. And talking about abilities, these 4 saboteurs (everybody knows we are not going to play this x1, and the set has two of them) are going to cause the Imperial Navy more than one headache (the other factions will suffer it too, but it is impossible not to think about certain Moff and Colonel). The problem is knowing what to do with them: playing or keeping them in hand. The good thing is that they are good in both cases and, if it was not enough, Spark-friendly. But what makes them the butter and the cream (of blue milk, of course) is that they cancel events (in faction, of course). Now I wonder…  why did I give them only ten points? (it’s rhetoric, be cool).



Teamwork 8/10

A new case of 'too good' or 'nothing at all', but here the 'too good' situations can change the direction of a game. A right deck construction or a spot-on Paint Job will help with its amortization and let you scare (or massacre) your rival for good. If you have the objective out, your next event of other faction will cost one resource less, so you can nail the combo. Neutral is not a faction, so it adds a maximum of 3 in the best circumstance, or even some more if you have taken control of a rival’s unit with Reedem the Fallen or if your rival has played a mission.




Allies of Necessity 7/10

A new fate card that follows the hippie line of the new cycle, where the advantage is in the mixture of factions and opening your mind. Spice blitz apart, this is a mixture of Heat of Battle and Target of Opportunity, but better and worse at the same time. It can help you a lot or, sometimes, do nothing (or do it but be canceled by a rival’s tactic). It can be funny if you play two by surprise.



This is the real Cassian's look if you can't recognize him
with the card illustration.



A set that brings Rebel affiliation to the action again (or better said, for the first time) although its power depends on playing mixed factions. It will provide Rebels enough power to destroy enemy objectives in a single attack. With a unit that protects (besides Hera's pod), Rebels will be at the same level than the rest.



TOTAL: 9/10


MVC: Captain Cassian Andor (special mention to Rebel Saboteur).


SHENANIGAN: Play Infiltration on Cassian Andor after all units have focused to strike; strike alone and use his ability freely to allow another unit to strike again (if that unit is Jyn, Cassian will be able to strike again). BOOM.



STARTING DECK

Faction: Information Network


1x Asteroid Sanctuary (72)
1x Along the Gamor Run (109)

2x Behind the Enemy Lines (113)

1x Explosives Artist (232)
1x The Last Warrior (237)

2x Pushing back the Empire (261)

2x Spirit of Rebellion (262)



SET 262




Few cards are able to do so much damage to your opponent so easily, specially because it is an objective. Starting with two copies can make the game very hard for the DS from the first turn, and you will force your opponent to attack with an effective amount of blast if he doesn't want to suffer in the long run. It has synergy with Chopper, logically since it is the only member of Rebels that appears in Rogue One.



Jyn Erso 10/10

She is like Vodka: thought for mixing yet heavy by herself. A good attack with Jyn can give us the match very quickly, and if we are able to have a good table we can destroy an objective each turn just with winning edge battles. Draw, combos and a lot of blast in a single card. What Rebe...Smugglers were needing. And she is Spy. Warning: as soon as you play her, DS will throw all of its power against her, so you must choose carefully the moment of playing her so that she enters play and strikes, at least, once, or you will lose a great asset.




Crafty Smuggler 9/10

At first sight he looks ugly and useless, but he is not useless at all. His ability is a kind of May the Force Be with You but with more uses. He can always attack, defend and/or fight the Force struggle, because he will refresh during your opponent’s turn and twice during yours. Two Force icons, blast and gun (although they are white) and Spark-friendly… there is little more than you can ask to a weenie. Yes! He is neutral, so that has synergy with the objective and the Fate card.



This guy is the young Evazan, isn't he?



Necessary Alliances 10/10

There is little to say about this great card, maybe one of the best and most indispensable enhancements (except those that can be refreshed after winning the Force struggle). It does not give you so much resource speed, but it is not limited so the effect is the same if you can play another resource card on the same turn. It opens the game as never seen before, and, as a final curiosity, Momaw Nadon can put it on your table if you need it. Amazing.




Well-Laid Ambush 8/10

The LS version of He Doesn’t Like You, and for this reason it is better, because LS is forced to attack, so always will be a chance to kill Tarkin someone as if you were striking with Targeted Strike. If not, two icons for the edge battle and keep on drawing. Very good.




Allies of Necessity 7/10

Same old, same old. 



A great set that allows Smugglers to climb on efficiency and variety, although more than a SS set it is a LS set, because clearly it’s better to mix in order to awake 'Stardust'. A necessary step for the LS because it has been under DS level for a long time.


TOTAL: 9/10 



MVC: Jyn Erso


SHENANIGAN: Attack with Jyn and Yoda, and don’t be afraid to add cards to your edge stack; when Yoda strikes, you will draw 2 cards for the next edge battle (and if one of them is Well Laid Ambush...)



STARTING DECK


Affiliation: Fighters for Freedom

1x The Secret of Yavin 4 (5)

1x Asteroid Sanctuary (72)

2x May the Force be with You (112)
2x Spark of the Rebellion (229)
2x The Last Warrior (237)

2x Spirit of Rebellion (262)





SET 263




Shields give calm to the DS, but an ability that allows you to place them on objectives (although once per turn) and by surprise will for sure break your opponent’s plan. Mixed with something that feed your draw (and Sith has a lot of that) it will make destroying Sith objectives so hard as the other factions’. The illustration is very funny, although comic characters leave me Luke(not-Skywalker)warm (mainly because of the scripts).



Doctor Aphra 6/10

My feelings about her are like Vader’s: contradictory. On one side I like her and her ability of pay for her with Scum resources (not seen before except with Kanan.. -and yes, his is better, but we are talking about Aphra, ok?-), which is logic because Scum is the faction with more droids (at least until the next Sith sets arrive, but they are thought as well to be mixed with Scum) but I don’t like that after having to pay 4 resources for her, she is not Elite and only has 3 Force icons. Maybe she is not Elite because of her ability, but it is not good that you can’t use her one turn, and without striking (her combat icons are not really good, but still...). It’s true that there are brutal droids (and others will come) but I think that it is a too expensive price for recovering them.




BX-series Droid Commando 7/10

All right. I mean… It’s good, isn’t it? But… maybe one gun and one more blast (and a shield if the objective is in play) are not the cream and the butter (of blue milk from Tatooine). Droid fuel for future cards and IG88-B. Someday somebody will do something that change a game with one of this. And nothing more.




Secret Information 10/10

What has been said for Necessary Alliances is the same for this card. A pity that this is in a weaker set that Jyn’s, but it has the same mark.



Reconstruction 4/10

An event that does and doesn’t the same as the main? Perhaps it has more sense when the cycle is complete, but now it seems a great bluff to me. If it was a free card… but no, too many things to do so little.




Allies of Necessity 6/10

The blast will be sometimes useless for the DS due of its natural defensive strategy, so the card is worse here than in the LS.




A set under the LS level, which could be a good thing if it was not Sith, the weakest DS faction nowadays. It will become better as the cycle goes on, because we know that droids are coming (in both Sith and Scum) but now and by itself is a mediocre set. Ok, let’s say it: it’s bad.



TOTAL: 6/10

MVC: Rogue Archaeology


SHENANIGAN: wait as long as possible to get the shields on your objectives; this way you will know more than your opponent and you will be able to plan your strategy accordingly and avoid their destruction.



STARTING DECK

Affiliation: Promise of Power
2x Counsel of the Sith (20)
1x Reconnaissance Mission (36)

2x The Droid’s Task (121)
2x The Droid Revolution (188)

1x Heart of Cold (260)
2x Rogue Archaeology (263)





SET 264





Good news for the Navy Troopers decks' lovers, people who enjoy game but don’t think on victory. At least, it has been so until this set, which announces news advantages. This objective seems to be seldom useful, so they must wait to the rest of the cycle. I hope so.



Director Krennic 7/10

Aphra, look what a 4 cost unit can do. It is true that he has one less icon, and only one of his tactics is black, but be careful if the play area is full of Death Troopers (up to 6) because the game will be finished with their more-than-a-Swiss-Navy-knife’s abilities. Maybe it is circumstantial and co-dependent, but we have said that this deck is for fun whatever the result may be, haven’t we?




Death Trooper 6/10

The most abundant trooper since Espo. They are a little expensive but a good defensive wall (specially with and for Krennic) with certain aggressive possibilities (with Krennic, too). They can close the game if the situation needs it. Have I already said they are funny?




Assembly Area 10/10

This is the card that fixes and puts Krennic’s set together (maybe Tarkin sent it to him). It’s 2x1 but non-unique and unlimited, so it can give you a great resource boost, by itself and by its ability. You can play your whole hand and wait that your opponent’s attack fails due to your superior numbers.


Yes, I sent Krennic the enhancement...
and my shampoo for officials, too.




It’s a rare set, very specific inside and outside, but tasteful for the saga lovers. I don’t know if it will have a place in competitive play, but for sure Troopers are back. Call Renz, please!


TOTAL: 7/10



MVC: Assembly Area


SHENANIGAN: When you are defending with your Death Troopers, remember that giving them Edge 1 will do the same or even more than giving them shielding.



STARTING DECK

Affiliation: Imperial Navy

2x The Dark Trooper Project (101)

2x Family Connections (140)
2x The Tarkin Doctrine (178)

2x The Emperor’s Legion (187)

2x Immeasurable Power (264)



This is a great pack (mainly for LS) that opens the cycle that will change the game in an innovative and funny way. What’s more, as it encourages us to mix factions, it will take out all those Endor sets (remember we talked of Endor at the beginning?) that punished multi-faction decks without adding nothing good to play them. It may provoke the return of BtS’ Obi-Wan, which is also a great thing. Talking about Endor, now it’s possible to play a 12 objectives, Jedi deck with Ewoks and drawing 7 cards per turn, which may be funny (especially fighting against Troopers). It includes Rogue One and comics characters, so we can assume (and be thankful for it) that we will see less repetition of main characters (we know of IG-88, but it was more than necessary) and more new characters to create amazing battles and adventures. It seems that now the game will be balanced once and for all and that, at the same time, the meta will ve more varied and with a higher level of strategy.
May the Force be with you to enjoy it.

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