It has been a few weeks since my last article so I'm very glad that my newest article can be based around some The Empire Strikes Back cards. With the spoilers that we've seen online already I noticed that the Dark Side seems to be getting left behind when it comes to all their new tricks and units, so what could be better than to have an article based all around some new Dark Side cards?
The first card I wanted to talk about is the new Tie Fighter OS-72-8. It's great build of 2, speed 50, and power 2 (+1 if another Imperial capital ship is there) can be manipulated in many ways. If you have a Tatooine Hangar in the ground arena, this unit only costs 1 build point for a potential power 3. It easily becomes the newest cheap TIE worth playing, replacing the TIE Fighter DS-73-5 based on its cost to build ratio. Sure the DS-73-5 could be free with the Tatooine Hangar, but the power of the OS-72-8 makes paying that extra one build worthwhile. Also, the Executor will give all Imperials +2 power as long as it's in the space arena, making this little TIE a power 5. If anyone is playing the new Darth Vader H, the OS-72-8 could even become a power 7! Add a Tie Fighter Elite Pilot and you're ready to take down almost any Light Side space unit. It may die quick with its health of 1, but can certainly be worth the build.
Next up is going to be General Maximillian Veers (A). Finally, the Dark Side has a General that will be useful in most Dark Side decks. What I like most about General Veers is that he is a main Dark Side character from the movies and one of the first mains to get a build cost that a Dark Side player can fully take advantage of. He is also another Dark Side card whose costs is generally balanced between speed, power and health. But, for the first time since Sith Rising's Darth Tyrannus (D), we finally have a Dark Side character that can deploy cheaply to the character arena and cause a lot of damage. It may not be in the character arena that he's doing the most damage, but this character is certainly causing damage for ground units. Let's look at the basics. A build of 4 is the next best build for a pilot character with powerful game text, second only to Wedge Antillies from ANH. Much like Wedge, General Veers gives a power bonus of 2 to any Walker that he pilots and also like Wedge, he gives a speed bonus as well. Although his speed bonus is less than Wedge's, that makes sense because I think the Walkers aren't really supposed to be fast units.
The real power of General Veers comes from his game text. He has a built in Second Effort when he's piloting a Walker. I think everyone who plays this game knows the greatness of being able to reroll attack dice and the importance of being able to have that second chance to hit something you might have missed the first time. Let's look at some of the things Veers can be combined with in a deck to make total use of his card. Veers is to Blizzard One what Wedge is to Luke's X-wing (B). Sure the combo costs 13 build, but, it's also a power 8, speed 50, health of 6 with armor, critical hit 2, and can reroll any dice it attacks with once per attack. You can even reroll hits to try to get 6s if you really want to. With Veers aboard a Walker, it's also safe to have Darth Vader (H) in the character arena. Veers can almost gaurentee that when your Walker attacks, with it's power +2 from Vader, that it won't be discarded. I magine most Walker decks will have either Visit to Mos Eisley or Return to Spaceports in their deck, so, you could also play a Brutal Assault on the Walker that Veers is piloting to give that added boost of power. Or, if you don't like doing damage to your own units, you can always play a Unified Attack battle card and tap one of your other ground units to pump up Veers' Walker. Unified Attack used to be a card to make you more powerful, but, with Veers aboard a Walker, it not only makes it more powerful, but, your odds of doing more damage increase greatly with his ability to reroll. Toss in some Tatooine Speeders and give your General all the protection he needs.
The last card I'd like to take a look at is the new neutral location, Wampa Cave. I know it's not a Dark Side card specifically, but, the Dark Side has so many more creature units than the Light Side, it seems to be more of an asset to them. Its obvious advantage is to give your creatures the ability to be built for 1 less build point. What does that mean for the Dark Side? Well, it means that Krayt Dragons, Orrays, Scurriers, and Nexus just got that much meaner. I've never really liked paying 5 build points for a Nexu, but, having it cost 1 less (the same build as an IT-O), is certainly more worthwhile. It's also not limited to an arena, so, with the addition of new Space Creatures, this card can easily turn your all creature deck into a championship deck in no time. Toss in a couple Geonosian Picadors and you're in good position to let that swarm creature deck fly. A lot of players out there are already discovering the usefullness of creatures for the Dark Side, but here we have something to fully take advantage of in those creature decks, besides units. Now, I was trying not to mention the Light Side in this article, but, the Wampa Cave does offer them some help to the LS as well. The creature I can see it helping out the most would be the Captured Reek. Nothing like having a build of 2, power 4, speed 50 with a health of 3 unit in your ground arena. Oh, and let's not forget Wampas. I'm sure this location will have you seeing quite a few attempts at using Wampa decks at the upcoming Qualifiers.
I hope to have another article in a week with more The Empire Strikes Back spoilers, which will most likely focus more on the Light Side. But, until then, for you Light Side players that just have to get a peak at the good stuff, here's something for you to discuss online:
Obi Wan's Spirit
Obi Wan's Spirit doesn't count towards controlling the Character arena. Prevent all damage to and from Obi Wan's Spirit. Each of your Jedi Characters' activated abilities costs 1 less Force to play (as long as Obi Wan's Spirit is in the Character arena). Abilities that cost 1 or more Force can't cost less than 1 Force.
Looks like Imperial Manipulation will see its day in some Dark Side decks in the future.