Empire at War July Teaser Reaction – Part 1

On Friday, Fantasy Flight Games dropped a (huge) teaser for the upcoming expansion to Star Wars: Destiny, Empire at War. In the past, their teasers have been in chunks based on color and faction, but this latest one is about Red cards and dice on both the Hero and Villain sides. This leads to a Death Star-sized teaser, which we will discuss in two separate articles. The first article (this one) will focus on those Characters, Upgrades, and Support cards with corresponding dice. The next article will be about the Support and Event cards without any dice.

Ciena Ree (EW1)

Alex – I’m conflicted about this. By comparison, she has more utility and health than her counterpart (Bala-Tik (AW19)), and her Action is pretty good, all things considered. Her die is great, syncing well with Red and Yellow supports. The question is; would you use your turn to shoot the same vehicle twice, as a Villain player? Slave One (SR22) maybe, but with the current card pool, I can’t see this ability challenging the meta.

David – I always enjoy seeing these low-cost characters pop up in a set. These are the cards that end up being more abundant in the packs and, by extension, are cheap and easy to acquire. They form the backbone of decks that newer players like myself can create. She would be a solid pairing in many Villain decks that run low-cost characters, and her sides and ability work well to make sure that slot is worthwhile for players. Being able to use a vehicle twice could be the difference between winning and losing in the final rounds of a game, even at the cost of those resources.

Amanda – Wow, when I saw this card I screamed. Not because of how good it is, but because it is one of my favorite characters in canon and is from my favorite book. Finally, we have our first character from extended canon and I am excited to see more. I am not surprised since she is in Armada, but honestly I am excited for those who don’t know who she is and ends picking up the book Lost Stars to find out more about her. Anyways, on to the card itself. The first thing I see when looking at her card is that it opens the door for 5-dice start for villains. I don’t know how I feel about that, but at least now both sides are on the same field when it comes to that. I don’t know if she is good, but I do think she has a place. Yes, you do have to pay 2 to use her effect, but she does have resource sides on her die and her effect isn’t limited to “once per turn” making the effect stronger. She may be another one of those cards that may be better in action then at first glance. I will have to wait and see, but omg I am so excited to have her in the game. 🙂

Joe – First off, love seeing another 8/11 for Villains to use, but I still think Bala is better, I think Focus is much stronger than Disrupt, and I find her ability to be situational.

General Hux (EW2)

Jason – For such a “powerful” character from The Force Awakens, I expected a bit more from him. The special does allow access to higher cost events, making your resource spending more efficient, but with a one-in-six chance of hitting the special, it is not an effect you can rely on.

Alex – 14 points for 11 health… Veers (AW4) had 9? Wow, that is one huge buff for Red Villain unique. The special is gimmicky, and obviously better the faster your deck can move than your opponent (multiple characters often mean lower individual health). His die reminds me of Krennic (SR3), but at 5 less points – it’s suddenly a pretty good die.

David – The best thing he has going for him is the low cost paired with his special side of the die. An all-Red deck pairing him with Tie Pilots (SR4) or First Order Stormtroopers (AW2) could see a 3-cost Endless Ranks (AW70), but it isn’t an ability that can be counted on to come up when you need it. I can see potential, but my first impression of this card is underwhelming.

Amanda – I like his special, I really like his special. It makes those expensive Red event cards much easier to play, not to mention that his effect combos really well with Imperial Backing (EW64). In addition, he is really affordable. I don’t know if he will replace a Phasma (AW1) type character, but his deck could be like hers. His die is kind of not that great, but he does have a 2-Focus. That plus his cost, and his special makes him a card that I feel we will see in action a bit.

Joe –  Good cost, I love his special and all the options it allows for villain decks, I honestly think you will see him in mill decks, with his 2-Focus side, his one mill side, and a very cool special. I think him and Jabba (AW20) could be buddies.

AT-DP (EW5)

Jason – As we start to place more value on vehicle supports in this set, I am judging these cards at face value, and this one has a modest cost with a nice die and a special that can really help get rid of some of those pesky cards out there (e.g., Imperial Inspection (SR70), Salvage Stand (SR88)).

Alex – Amazing support for the cost, with an awesome Special that can deal with the continuous supports that we are currently faced with (Dark Presence (SR78), Imperial Inspection, Salvage Stand).

David – It is great to see the special on this one because it gives value to this vehicle beyond its damage potential. Dropping supports such as Backup Muscle (AW99), Salvage Stand , and others can help make the game last just long enough to swing things in your favor.

Amanda – Another cheap vehicle for villains, now you don’t have to strictly go with the First Order TIE Fighter (AW6) if you are looking for a cheaper cost vehicle to run. At first glance this card is really solid, and just like the AT-ST (AW5) it has support removal. Fantastic.

Joe – Good cost and a solid special.

Hera Syndulla (EW025)

Jason – Another great character from Star Wars: Rebels is revealed with Hera. Again, an interesting effect, but a nice health value for a 9/12 character. Die is a bit all over the place, but the Special can allow you to get a more powerful card out on the field for one turn.  It does slow the game down a bit, which I believe is the ultimate intention of this set.

Alex – YES!! 12 points for a red WITH Ranged and an amazing special is just wicked! Everything Rey can slowly transform into everything Hera, a character that brings out the good stuff and scales heavily on Maz’s Goggles (SR50). Gawd, I love this so much.

David – I like her cost. Her die sides are fine, but the real star is her special. Those vehicles that feel overcosted could easily appear in a deck with Hera, popping out every time that special is rolled. Another solid character for the Heroes that I could see getting played in a lot of decks.

Amanda – This card is not a surprise, we all knew she was coming. The surprise here I would say would have to be her cost. I don’t think she is great, but I do like the the doors she opens though her special and her cost. I think she could be a decent partner for Poe, but unless he gets hit and it doesn’t pay to run Maz (SR45), I don’t see that happening. Not to mention she is slow. Yes, you can play a vehicle for free. However, it will take 4 actions to resolve it. That being said, she would work well in a control deck where you can sit back and take your action slowly. One of the things I have seen so far is pairing her with Finn (AW45), now there is something that could be decent. If not, at least it will allow Finn to see play.

Joe –  Thank the maker! Another 9/12 hero, love her special and her cost. Her die is ok. She is going to see a lot of play initially as we all rush to not have to play Rey (AW38) to make the deck work. Long term, we will see how the meta shapes up.

Rookie Pilot (EW27)

Jason – For a non-unique hero character, this isn’t bad. The lack of a black damage side is a bit unnerving, but its ability to get a free reroll on a vehicle die could be valuable. The best part: this character is seven points, now allowing Heroes access to a four-character deck.

Alex – Yes Yes Yes! Hera, Maz (SR45), and this guy for a whopping 5-Dice Hero Aggro that does not involve Rey! His effect is secondary to his amazing die – double 2’s is amazing for 7 points, and he can even generate resources as well. I like him, Hopefully people can see his potential.

David – The Heroes have their Tie Pilot equivalent in a character with no black damage sides but at a low cost. His cost will allow him to sneak into more decks, and his ability will encourage some of those vehicles to be added in the mix.

Amanda – Not only do we have another 7-cost character, but it is non-unique. Congrats Heroes, you have unlocked a four-character line up. The character himself though, is going to be like the Guavian Enforcer (SR19) to me. I look at him and go “meh,” but you look at what he can do and bring to the table. He is no First Order Stormtrooper, but he is a better option than Ezra (EW38) in some cases. I don’t think he is bad, I just need to see him in action like I did the Enforcer. Those modified range sides, though, are really solid, especially when you add in Wingman (SR126). Don’t write this one off yet.

Joe – Meh, while I am glad about the price point, his dice are just meh, his ability is ok, I guess. I just don’t see this card getting a ton of play.

Ghost (EW28)

Jason – So glad to see the Ghost show up in this set, with a die that is void of blanks, and has some flexibility to it, proving that you can rely on your ship in a time of need.  The four cost may be a challenge and forces you to figure out better ways to get it deployed.

Alex – Yay thematics! But again it feels terrible for the cost. At four, you could’ve just saved for Falcon (AW49) or Launch Bay (AW31) – two cards similar to this, but with a higher payout down the road. The special is great – but there’s only one side of it, leaving it as more coincidental than a playable approach to playing. If the 2-shields had been a special, I would have reconsidered about this – but it isn’t.

David – I love the die without blanks, but the cost feels a little high. At least high enough that many decks will opt not to run it, unless they have a reason to be running a focus on vehicles. Looking at the die faces, is there really a bad roll with this one? Everything generates at least 2, and having that “Wild” side via the special will at least make your odds of rolling what you want 1:3. This may prove to be one of the better cards in the set.

Amanda – Again, look at those die sides. No Blanks. What this card lacks in it’s punch it gives in flexibility and decent numbers. While I do like this card, I can not help but feel a little underwhelmed by it. However I do like that 2-resource side.

Joe –  The cost is too much for the die sides, but I do like the special and no blanks. I really wish this was a 3 cost. Will see a lot of play with Hera initially but don’t think this will see play later in the meta.

Y-Wing (EW29)

Jason – Double-blanks are never good, but double-specials are nice, and this is an interesting effect. It reads a bit confusing, but the end goal is understood, and it presents an interesting choice for the opponent.

Alex – Sooooo this in a Poe (AW29) deck? Yes please! That is the one way I would play this though, as two blanks for three resources is, imo, not a good economy. We do, however, need more cards with awesome specials but higher chance of not getting the full payout first hit – so I like this one.

David – The blanks on this one might keep it out of a few decks, but that special is interesting. This vehicle’s special presents a choice similar to the Yellow Hero event card, Let The Wookie Win (AW130), which is a card that I’ve come to appreciate.

Amanda – Surprised we got a Y-Wing before an X-Wing, but I can not say that I am upset seeing the card we are getting. The first thing I see is the two blanks, but that is nothing but a distraction from its true power in its special. Yes, you are putting the power in your opponent’s hand to do what they want in regards to the special, but you are at worse disrupting all 4 of their resources. I believe that is nothing to frown upon if we move into a slower meta. At best you are doing 4 damage for no cost. Yes, your opponent again chooses but as we already have see in our present meta, damage is damage and will eventually catch up to your opponent. I also have to add that as a Poe player, even if Poe gets hit to vehicles only, he will have options. Not to mention at 3 resources it will be easier to get into play. He will be sticking around.

Joe – I look at this card as a 3-cost for 4 damage sides, so I think it’s a very good card. The double-blanks is a little scary, but I still like card overall. My one caveat is if the meta becomes shield heavy this this card is not as useful.

Natural Pilot (EW48)

Jason – On first glance, this upgrade seems super powerful, but once you think about the order of things, this upgrade encourages you to activate a vehicle before you activate the attached character. This requires very strategic play in your activations strategy if you start running a vehicle based deck. The best part, though, is that is a trigger effect, and the upgrade itself has a killer die, and it’s neutral, so there is potential for some synergy with Unkar (SR21). Downside… it sure is expensive!

Alex – No. 4 cost is too much for this, compared to how much it can affect the board state. Having a decent support on the board with this is easily 8 resources all together – not at all something that I think would work in the competitive sense. Furthermore, slowing down your action economy to time a specific activation that will not yield 100% results (5 actions for 2 resolves if you roll perfectly) is by no means enough to be considered good.

David – I like the potential this card brings to many decks. It not only encourages you to add at least a vehicle or two in your deck, it also has some crazy dice sides to boost your other rolls. It would likely be best in a Red/Yellow deck where resource generation ends up not being a big issue.

Amanda – Hmmm, what to think about this card? I love it because it allows you to work with vehicles and reactivate them, however it is slower then I would like. The cost is something that I feel is expensive for the die and the effect you are getting, but there may be something out there to make it more cost-effective. Vehicles are not cheap.

Joe –  Four cost, for two + sides? This card is way too expensive. I do like the trigger effect but do not see this card getting a lot of play, unless there is a way to reduce the price or cheat it in for free.

 

Do you have any thoughts on the cards spoiled in the latest teaser? Let us know in the comments below! Thanks, and may the Force be with you!

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