Return of the Jedi: Limited
"Limited." You may have noticed the word cropping up from time to time, as in: "This is a very average card, but in Limited it can be utterly dominant." But what exactly is "Limited"? Simply put, it's the best way to play the Star Wars Trading Card Game.
(Message boards flooded by response. Wizards of the Coast staff members shaking their heads as the mailbags pile up by the front doors.)
Hold on, hear me out.
In the Star Wars TCG, there are two formats. What we are used to playing is the Constructed format, which means turning up at a tournament with decks carefully pieced together from our collections and finely-tuned over weeks of play.
Don't get me wrong; this is heaps of fun and immensely challenging. Your decks have to be versatile and able to take on Location-based strategies, Mission-based win conditions, and uber-single unit powerhouses. To be good at Constructed, you have to be innovative and able to field a deck that has multiple ways to win.
Then you have Limited. Leave those Princess Leia (G)'s and Nexus at home, because in this format, you turn up to an event without a single card. The Limited format is so much fun because everyone starts off in the same place -- with nothing.
Packs of Fun
There are two types of Limited tournaments: sealed and draft.
First of all, you only need to build a single deck. That's right, Jedi mud-wrestling fans, one deck. In Limited, you can play both Light Side and Dark Side cards in your deck! Darth Maul can fight back-to-back with Yoda, and the Millennium Falcon can orbit a Death Star without fear of getting pulled inside! Just remember that the normal rules for unique units still apply, so don't rely on a stacked Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker two-punch to take out the Character arena!
Even though both players have just a single deck, someone still needs to be the Dark Side, and someone still needs to be the Light Side -- someone still must roll for build points, after all, and remember that the Dark Side player wins all ties. (In Limited, everyone wants to be Dark Side!)
Your deck size is also different, with 30 cards as the minimum size. What about the rest of the cards you have drafted/opened? Well, these form what's called a sideboard. This is an extra pool of cards that you can draw from after the first game, enabling you to fine-tune your deck against each opponent. Just remember that your deck needs to be reset to its pre-sideboard look before you start your next round.
The other fundamental difference in Limited is with your arenas. In Constructed, you must have at least 12 units for any arena, and no arena can have more than double the units of another. But in Limited, you can do whatever you want. To win, you still have to control two or more arenas, but you don't have to do anything about the third. No good Ground units coming your way during the draft? Don't worry about it; take all Space and Character units instead!
Planning, Scheming and Building
And then there is Force. You get huge amounts of it. Odds are that unless you are heavily into Jedi Characters or evading Space units, within a few turns your Force total will soar beyond 20 points. Rather than an annoyance, see this for the opportunity it is. Those ridiculously expensive Battle cards are suddenly playable, and just look at what you can do with Return of the Jedi's new Hidden Cost mechanic and Force-related effects such as Force Lightning.
On that point, take notice of Battle cards -- especially damage prevention and disrupts. Unless there are lots of the same boosters in circulation, you will not get many opportunities to take Strange Lodgings, Human Shield, Discuss It in Committee, or Change in Destiny cards. Grab them while you can, as they can dramatically shift the balance of power in a tightly contested battle.
Try a Limited Tournament
Well, I hope you liked this quick glance into the Limited format. If you get a chance, ask your store to put on a sealed or draft tournament to celebrate the release of the Return of the Jedi expansion set. It's a great way to discover the new cards as well as build your collection. (Official tournament rules may be read here.)
SW:TCG Character Poll
November 2nd, elections were held -- between the Light Side, Dark Side and Neutral Characters. The final results are as follows, with Vader (K) once more dominating the field. Our thanks to everyone who particpated!
Thoughts or comments? Visit the message board thread for this article here.
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