Thanks to the graciousness of Fantasy Flight Games, we are happy to bring you a few spoilers from Empire at War. One from each color, with our name sake finally finding its way onto a card. Enjoy the cards and the thoughts from our family on each one. Be sure to check out our Podcast Byte and YouTube video as well.
CHANCE CUBE (EW57)
More than any other preview to date, I am most excited about Chance Cube – a zero-cost, neutral, gray equipment upgrade! With no restrictions on play or deckbuilding, it’s safe to say that this is a near auto-include in many of my future decks. But is it worth taking for reasons other than it being called “Chance Cube?” Let’s take a look!
With three resource sides, my first inclination was to include this in Yellow decks. In particular, I think that Chance Cube pairs well with Unkar Plutt (SR21) and Salvage Stand (SR88). Not only does it give you a 50% chance of triggering Salvage Stand, but it also has a juicy 2 and 3 side for Unkar, and its cost to activate isn’t as much of a nuisance in a deck that already generates so much cash. And while I do think that Chance Cube is going to shine in decks like that, after a little more careful consideration, I’ve decided that I’m actually most excited about including it mono-Blue Villain decks. This card is going to dramatically change some of the cards that I usually include in decks like Vader (SR10)/Kylo (AW11) or Palpatine (SR11) and is going to resurrect one of my original favorite cards – Power of the Dark Side (AW89). While I really love Lightsaber Throw (SR 72), pairing Chance Cube with Power of the Dark Side is likely to give me the same damage each game, at a lower net cost, and while also having greater flexibility and an upside for much higher damage. I haven’t included Power of the Dark Side in my decks since Spirit of Rebellion, but I think it’s safe to say that it will be coming back with a Sith-like vengeance. Of course, mono-Blue villain decks also usually include Sith Holocron (AW16) and Lure of Power (SR16), and with the addition of Chance Cube, you suddenly have a huge number of blank sides in your deck that, rather than being worthless, fuel combos with Power of the Dark Side, Anger (SR71), and even Meditate (SR134). Of course, I’m not just excited about this card for its blanks. I tend to find myself starved for resources in mono-Blue decks, and it makes it difficult for me to justify expensive cards like Rise Again (SR76) or Decisive Blow (SR127) despite how obviously good they are. Chance Cube is an incredible answer to this problem, and I can’t wait to actually have disposable income in a mono-Blue deck!
Of course, arguably, when it’s not hitting the resource sides, Chance Cube cripples resource-starved decks even more. But conveniently, its card text allows you to return it to your hand if you can’t (or don’t want to) pay the cost to roll it into your pool. As an added bonus, having a card in play that can easily go back to your hand after your opponent has claimed or resolved all of their dice is going to be a thorn in the side of mill decks, and may just buy you the extra turn that you need to win the game. Whether you want to use it to feed Unkar’s ability, make money, deal damage, manipulate dice, or torment a mill deck, there’s a combo for you with Chance Cube. But will it actually pay off? You’ll have to let fate decide.
– Matthew Scott
SECRET MISSION (EW102)
Blue Heroes rejoice! This may not have been the card you were looking for, but it is a solid inclusion in almost any Blue Hero deck. Imagine the possibilities here. For no cost, you could potentially send a copy of a pesky card like Rise Again, Endless Ranks (AW70), or Second Chance (AW137) into your opponents’ discard pile. Or head off a dangerous card like a Z6 Riot Control Baton (SR8), Thermal Detonator (AW67), or Force Lightning (SR14).
As an added bonus, not only do you discard a card from the top of their deck for free, you also get to do a little gambling. In a game like Destiny where a game’s momentum can shift on a card draw or a die roll, the gamble fits well. Pick a color, and if it matches the discarded card you actually gain a resource. There are a few mono-color decks in the current gauntlet, such as Emo Kids and Palpatine, where your odds will be high. This card could shift things in the construction of those decks, encouraging them to run a few Gray cards beyond Doubt (SR80) in the deck.
A Hero Mill deck running Blue in there would likely want to include two copies of this card. This is one of those cards that won’t turn heads or raise eyebrows, but it could sneak its way into plenty of decks. I could see any Blue Hero deck throwing at least one copy of this card in there, and even see this being a decent card to keep in a starting hand since it could allow a Turn 1 Luke Skywalker’s Lightsaber (AW41) or Handcrafted Light Bow (SR39) if your gamble pays off.
– David Wiley
HIDDEN AGENDA (EW144)
Here at The Chance Cube, we have been blessed to get a few cards and I got chosen to take a look at a card with our good buddy Lando on it: Hidden Agenda. Before you play an event, you may discard this upgrade from play to decrease the cost of that event by 2. It’s yellow, neutral and costs 1 to bring into play. Now if you think about it, you’re really only getting a 1 cost reduction on the event you get to play as you had to pay for the Hidden Agenda, but even a one cost discount on a card is amazing.
The other thing this card can setup for you, is a card you normally wouldn’t be able to play if you didn’t have 2 resources to begin with. No Mercy (AW86) for 0 cost with 4 blue cards? Sure thing, thanks!
Obviously the bigger cards like Endless Ranks, Rise Again, and even Emergency Evacuation (SR90) are great candidates for getting a discount with this card. I could even see it in a Jyn (SR44) deck with her getting a Reversal (AW160) for free if it’s the first event you play a turn. That’s awesome.
I’m not a huge fan of upgrades that don’t provide dice, but I can see this being splashed into quite a few decks to make it much easier to get those bigger events out into play against your opponent.
– Ken Earnest
GENERAL RIEEKAN (EW24)
Hero mill decks may have gotten some help.
Canon – If you follow Star Wars, you know that General Carlist Rieekan commanded the evacuation of Echo Base during the Battle of Hoth. He also has served in the Galactic Republic during the Clone Wars. It is quite clear of General Rieekan’s importance in Empire at War. I would keep a close eye on more of the characters spoiled because Ciena Ree (EW1) has ties to the General. Perhaps we may see Thane Kyrell. Thematically, they would all tie in.
Point Cost – Rieekan’s point cost can open up the window for some rainbow teams for the Heroes. Do you play a three-character team like Padme (AW48)/Rieekan/Maz (SR45) and focus on mitigation while dishing out consistent milling options and perhaps using Spy Net (AW98) since each character has a Focus side? Do you go ePadme/eRieekan and focus heavily on mill while protecting the team? Why not use eQui-Gon Jinn (AW37)/Rieekan? You can use their shield-producing die sides with other shenanigans for even more fun. Overall, the combos can be endless on how to pair the General.
Health – General Rieekan has a respectable health of 11 for his costs. The fact that he can generate shields on himself and his team will add to his longevity.
Ability – Now this is an interesting ability for a character. The more you shield up your team, the more cards you can get your opponent to discard. If you played a three-character team it is quite possible to discard two cards a turn each time shields are on other characters. Playing Dug In (AW139) will be a no-brainer, but controlling the battlefield will be the challenge with this. I truly hope the General gets more mill options since this is a fascinating ability that I would to abuse.
Die Sides – General Rieekan has great support sides. He will not be dishing damage out unless he gets upgrades. He is like Rey (AW38) in regards to a support character. He has two focus sides, two shield sides, one resource side, and one blank. Except for the blank, all of Rieekan’s sides are useful. The goal here is how to build around these sides. Putting shields out on your team will be key. Will your opponent attack him first to stop the shield deployments or focus on other character? It will be interesting to see how this all shapes out.
Potential Upgrades – One of the upgrades that comes to mind is the new A280 Blaster Rifle (EW30) since its special has the ability to generate shields. It will be interesting to use this upgrade especially if your team consists of range damage users. If you have a Yellow character on your team, I think Maz’s Goggles (SR50) will be a nice addition as well as Con Artist (SR60). I will not be surprised if you see Rieekan decks use Survival Gear (AW34) due to the Focus side, resource sides, and of course the two shield sides. How can you pass up Force Protection (AW39) or DIplomatic Immunity (AW50)? The possibilities for shield generation will be there.
Final Thoughts – Excitement. Mill has slowly been getting some love with Spirit of Rebellion, but now with General Rieekan’s character out for the masses, expect the community to attempt to capitalize on his triggering ability. I have always been a big fan of mill strategies and I hope this brings the Heroes in line with how the Villains’ mill/choke decks have been successfully piloted. I believe that FFG wants a Mill archetype to be part of the meta and will continue to push characters and other cards our way until it consistently sticks. Luckily for us, as more cards are spoiled we shall soon get our answer.
– Ruben Sanchez