The results are in for our latest poll!
Since Attack Of The Clones, the role played by damage prevention Battle cards has waxed and waned as the environment has evolved. Recent sets have seen a resurgence in these Battle cards, and today’s player has more options than ever before—but what to choose?
The Bottom Ranks
Star Wars TCG decks are carefully recruited, with every component supporting the deck’s theme and strengthening its overall synergy. Damage prevention earns a place through versatility. To be effective, Battle cards must have few restrictions and wide effects. During the game, your hand must be full of options, not “if onlys”.
So, at the bottom of the poll results we find the cards with significant limitations—together receiving less than 10% of your total votes.
Rescue is an interesting card, but is simply over-costed at 4 Force for the 2 damage prevention or +3 power it grants. Likewise, High Force Dodge is just too expensive at 5 Force. In today’s environment, you want a few additional features for your money at that level.
Hero's Dodge and Luke's Warning are great cards, but by focusing on the Character arena, they're just too restrictive. That said, they should find a place in theme decks featuring Characters without Deflect or Evade abilities.
Pilot's Dodge has remained a favorite in decks since the game started. It may not reach the Character arena, but with so many Characters featuring inbuilt prevention abilities, it doesn't really need to. At 2 Force to prevent 2 damage, Pilot's Dodge allows you to both save a unit and play either another Battle card or an activated ability in that nervous post-setup first turn.
Offering 3 damage prevention to any unit for 3 Force, Yoda's Intervention was valued much higher pre-Rogues and Scoundrels. It remains a good card, but if you're going to spend virtually all your Force on a single card or ability during your opening turn, you need it to seriously shake things up—and this just doesn’t go far enough.
Even though it’s costly at 4 Force, Jedi Knight's Survival still sees serious play, as it completely nullifies all damage dealt by a single unit, no matter how big. Being neutral, it can see you through an attack by that Death Star, stacked Falcon, Krayt Dragon, or Yoda (D).
It may be new, but Discuss It in Committee is straight in at #4 on our poll. Not only does it grant a reprieve for units already damaged, but if you have faster units than your opponent, you can attack without fear of reprisal; play this card in the damage prevention step of your opponent’s attack, and prevent all further damage dealt in that arena for the rest of the turn.
Discuss It in Committee is also a great first turn play, allowing you to protect a weak arena, and giving you two turns to complete that Gungan Grand Army, Devastator (A) or Darth Vader (K). Expect this card to get even more popular when Return of the Jedi is released, as it protects empowering units along the lines of Rebel Control Officer.
Bronze and Silver...
Grabbing bronze is the card we all love to hate, Human Shield. Although it only affects one arena, its unpreventable additional effect and the free attack it grants all your Characters can be a game winner. A first-turn Human Shield enabled by Cloud City Battleground is simply awesome and very hard to recover from.
Far more defensive, Vendetta nonetheless beats Human Shield to second place. At 4 Force, it is viable first turn and equally playable in Dark Side, Light Side or neutral decks. Whilst it doesn’t deliver damage counters like the Shield, it does enable a single, unpreventable super-strike capable of taking down that annoying Mace Windu (A) or stacked Darth Sidious.
And at Number One…
Strange Lodgings has claimed a place in Light Side decks since its release in The Empire Strikes Back, and does not look likely to give it up any time soon.
The versatility of preventing either 1 or 4 damage for the same Force cost is unparalleled in the game. Don’t be afraid to play it without the enhancement; sometimes all you need is to prevent that single point of damage, leaving the rest of your Force to be used on other Battle cards or activated abilities.
So, there you have it, a rundown of the most popular damage prevention Battle cards. Thanks for taking part!
Thoughts or comments? Visit the message board thread for this article here.
©1995-2007 Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Wizards is headquartered in Renton, Washington, PO Box 707, Renton, WA 98057.