Empire at War, as anyone can agree, skews pretty heavily toward getting supports and vehicles into play more often, and Ciena Ree (EW1) definitely fits that mold. As an Imperial pilot, she rose to the rank of Captain in the Imperial Navy, and was a veteran of the Galactic Civil War, specifically the battles of Endor and Jakku. How does she fit in the Destiny game? Read on and find out!
While it may seem like a simple character portrait, enough to let you know what she looks like, another look shows something deeper. In her eyes is a sense of confidence and competence, which helped her rise in the ranks of the Imperial Navy. Her slight smile while standing in her flight suit in front of her TIE Interceptor shows where she is happiest, and the depiction as a whole shows her as a pilot, before her rise to command.
Her die is not exactly the strongest in the game, but it’s also not the worst. She shows a 1-Ranged, a +2-Ranged, a 1-Disrupt, two 1-Resource, and a blank. While she can help in a ranged-damage deck with her damage sides, the two Resource sides help to get her ability activated (more on that below).
This is where Ciena shines. Her action ability, which reads, “Action – Spend 2 resources to ready a vehicle.” is what her die were made for. With a 1:3 chance to roll a resource, she can bankroll her own ability to re-ready vehicles (possibly multiple times per round) if you take her Elite version. Even if she doesn’t roll the resources, starting with 2 resources per round means that if you don’t spend anything on Events or Upgrades, a vehicle can be used twice in a round.
Ciena costs 8 points for her single-die version, and 11 points for Elite. This seemingly continues FFG’s streak of Villain cards being undercosted (or Hero cards being overcosted, from a certain point of view), but considering her die sides and her ability, her costs look to be fair. Even though her action ability can be very powerful, it relies on having resources and having vehicles in play, which makes her ability slower to develop and slower to effect the game.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way: vehicles. Cheap vehicles preferably, but pairing Ciena with someone who can generate resources, like Unkar (SR21), makes the more expensive vehicles become viable. Also, by pairing 1-die Ciena with eUnkar, she gains access to the Yellow vehicles like Slave I (SR22) and the Quadjumper (SR58) to ramp up to the expensive vehicles. With that same pairing, you have enough points for a TIE Pilot (SR4) to protect all those vehicle dice from removal. Alternatively, you can add the Nightsister (AW12) to get the Blue vehicles and keep the damage-type synergy. Or you can pair her with the original support-centric character, General Veers (AW4), and keep those supports rolling.
Ciena will likely never be a centerpiece of a deck, owing to her die sides, her costs, and her ability. Sure, her ability can be important, but it still places the focus on the vehicles that are in play. But having played against her, I can tell you that you definitely want to focus on her if she is on your opponent’s side of the table, especially once a few vehicles are in play and if you don’t have any support removal in your own deck (or it just isn’t coming up for you). She is a support character that needs vehicles to shine in any way. Luckily, she is in the same expansion that is pushing for more supports and vehicles.
I hope you enjoyed this dissection, and if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave a comment below. May the Force be with you, and don’t leave your Destiny to chance!