High Stakes Set Review: Force

I have always loved the Set Reviews that have been done by YOUR Destiny and EchoBase; so, when I was unable to attend the release event and needed a way to channel my excitement, I decided to create my own. I decided to try something I haven’t seen done in these reviews yet: rate each card, not only on how I perceive playability (on a scale from 1 to 5), but also on the thematics (on a grade scale from F to A).

The ARH team has done incredible work on all of these cards and I’m super excited to play this set. These are my first impressions, and I could be very wrong, both in-game and theme. The opinions herein are mine and do not necessarily reflect those of Coaxium Gaming (but feel free to give Trey a hard time about them anyway.) (ed. note: don’t worry, I will go back and edit these in the future with more editor’s notes to make it look like I was spot on in every case.)

BLUE VILLAIN

Alazmec Colonist4.5/C

Game: Damage on activation is excellent and splashing Blue for 7 points is amazing.

Theme: I sort of feel like these should have the “Scavenger” subtype: their ability deals with the discard pile, similar to other scavengers, and they seem to have scavenged artifacts from Vader (i.e. the Sith Wayfinder)

Darth Momin: Force Savant/Mask of Momin3.5/B-

Game: Excellent PA; blue abilities are incredible and playing them cheap is the bees knees. His flip side allows you to keep up the cheap abilities, this time at the price of one. You can’t replace (read overwrite if you’ve been playing since before that name was changed) the mask.

Theme: I think it would have been more interesting if he had some chance to defeat the character to whom the mask was attached to flip back, considering resurrection was his main goal.

Grand Inquisitor: Inquisitorius Leader5/D

Game: Such aggro, so wow! That die is just incredible. Particularly if you have the ability to turn dice to blank in your deck. He and Dooku: Corrupt Politician together could be an incredible force, as burning cards out of an opponent’s hand gives them fewer opportunities to reroll the blanks. Even if your opponent doesn’t have blanks he has 3 damage sides: scary.

Theme: Here I feel the 2-shield side betrays him; he never seemed like the best defensive fighter to me; in his final duel he seemed to be on the back foot while being attacked because he was so used to being the attacker. I also feel like Team Up is weird because where we often see other inquisitors in pairs, we usually see him alone in Rebels.

No Second Chances1/A

Game: The timing of when to play this card seems very specific. You really only want to play it when you could kill a character if only you had 1-3 more damage this turn. It will be a dead card in a deck 9 times out of 10.

Theme: I have often wished for a Vader that punished his teammates for failures, this definitely has that spirit behind it and for that I love it.

Dark Contrition1/F

Game: An interesting effect that could be powerful, however, when I have 2 blue villain characters I want to be going for the jugular with my dice; a 2 discard side is great, but I would rather have 2 damage (unless mono-blue villain mill becomes a thing…)

Theme: Not sure what they were going for here; it doesn’t feel like the Sith way to give up damage.

Dark Dispatch4/B+

Game: 1 hard mitigation, 1 soft mitigation (that , AND +1 die with 3 damage sides? If there is a decent inquisitor deck this will be in it.

Theme: Great to see the Purge Troopers with the Inquisitors in a fun way.

Why Take the Chance1/B

Game: Bad. Requires one of two specific subtypes and at least 2 characters to do anything, and then only soft mitigation or a focus to a special for a damage.

Theme: I’m glad dealing damage to your own characters staying in blue villain!

Sith Eternal Cultist1/C-

Game:  Doesn’t seem good enough to include in a deck, even if you find yourself with a lot of blanks: maybe with Kylo/Dooku?

Theme: Happy to see some Exegol cultists, but I’m not sure what they were up to in the movie or here.

Fortress Vader4/C

Game: Card advantage isn’t as prized in Destiny as it is in MtG but it is still very powerful; it was one of the best things about Legacies Aphra. If you play it correctly it can provide a massive card advantage when played and will continue to provide moderate advantage as the game goes on. It might be hard to find 2 resources for it, but it has the potential to earn them back.

Theme: Glad to see it, sort of surprised that it’s a support rather than a battlefield. It makes sense that it’s in a set with its architect, Darth Momin. It gets dropped a full letter grade for not having the “Location” subtype.

Force Crush4/B

Game: This seems like just a bit weaker version of Force Throw from Awakenings. Though the fact that the damage is unblockable is a point in its favor. Blanking a die is not nearly as powerful as removing it as Force Throw did, but it does synergize nicely with what Blue Villain is trying to do.

Theme: Bringing back Vader’s famous killing move with a different twist is undoubtedly a win (the image makes it look like a good old-fashioned force choke with a different name). Dealing unblockable damage makes thematic sense but using an opponent’s die doesn’t as much to me. I do love the 2-disrupt side because it feels like you’re choking your opponent out of resources.

Grand Inquisitor’s Lightsaber2/B+

Game: Three resources without redeploy and having a payside are the weak points here. Villain blue generally struggles in the unique weapons department, partially because the abilities tend to be much stronger, this is the case here too. It does have some massive sides but I’m still not sold on it. This might find a home in an Inquisitor deck where its special could be more consistent.

Theme: Seems consistent with what ARH is doing with blanks in Blue Villain and Inquisitors in particular. I do like the special effect as an interesting take on the constant spinning of the Inquisitorius’ lightsabers.

Sith Wayfinder3/C+

Game: Seems built for Kylo Ren, Driven by Fear; the ability to either turn one of his dice already on a blank to a different blank side, then turn the other to damage seems very good. You could also use it to turn both of his dice to blanks to turn on Anger, if your opponent tried to play around that. I’ll definitely try it with him but I don’t think it has a place in any other deck.

Theme: Cool that it works particularly well with Kylo.

BLUE HERO

Ahsoka Tano: Searching the Galaxy4.5/A

Game: I think there’s definitely something here. Her dice aren’t spectacular and lack of a subtype is a weakness but that power action, particularly if you have Jar’Kai, is spectacular. The only Blue character that you can pair with her elite right now is Burryaga, but I’d argue for bringing her at 14 points with one of the rebalanced powerhouses: Leia or Anakin because her PA is her real strength.

Theme: Wonderfully thematic, where her lack of a subtype hurts her playability, it’s an asset here. No current subtype fits her, certainly not Jedi or Apprentice. The power action is a simple and elegant reference to her fighting style.

Grogu: The Child/Force Experiments3/A+

Game: The ability to choose any ability die to roll into your pool, right when you need it is incredible. The fact that your opponent will potentially be able to turn that back on you, is a bit scary. I think this could be very successful against decks in which you can set up a kill for the moment after Grogu is defeated the first time (i.e. big/little decks and wide decks with low individual health). But against middle/middle decks and ones that are just good at keeping all characters alive, I think he’ll struggle.

Theme: I think ARH was under a lot of pressure to make everyone’s favorite Star Wars infant and I really think they knocked it out of the park with this card. The flipping to a plot and switching sides is a perfect representation of the cutest living MacGuffin. The way you want to build a deck around him reinforces his isolation from other force users (i.e. you want to discard a lot of abilities, which conflicts with the desire to play them on other blue characters.) His activation ability dealing damage to himself brings to mind the scenes in which this cute little guy slumps over in his pram after performing some impressive feat of force manipulation. I could go on, and I probably will when I get to his companion plot.

Guardian of the Whills4/B

Game: 8 points for 9 health and guardian seems excellent (I wouldn’t play him elite), I don’t think he’ll go in a mono-blue deck, but if 3-wide rainbow becomes powerful again, he’ll be there.

Theme: Seems fine, I like that we have a blue partisan.

Ki-Adi-Mundi: Methodical Master4.5/D-

Game: I may be overrating him because I love discard pile shenanigans. I loved Chopper for it and I can’t wait to try him out with that cantankerous droid.  With their 2 power actions, renew cards and other possible effects, you could easily end up with 2-3 shields per turn.

Theme: I can’t figure out why Ki-Adi, in particular, would interact so much with the discard. Maybe I’m missing some reference in the Clone Wars, but I scanned his Wookiepedia page and couldn’t figure it out. Let me know if I’m missing something, but this feels like they designed a card that they wanted, then chose a generic Jedi to go with it, which is bound to happen; I still love the design!

Dissuade 4/A

Game: I definitely think this could be a 5/5 if mono-blue is not widely played; I think this is a great one-of in most decks with a reasonably healthy blue character. Without Renew, it’s pretty weak, but with it, you will often still have something when you whiff on removal and just need to get that one non-blue die off the table.

Theme: I love Mind Trick and Jedi Mind Trick as cards, but this is so much better of an interpretation of what Kenobi did in A New Hope, in my opinion.

I Sense a Trap3/D

Game: Great card in some decks, especially those that deal with the discard pile (e.g. Chopper, Ki-Adi-Mundi, Babu Frik), in which this extends your hand in addition to giving shields.

Theme: Discarding cards in Destiny has been associated with some kind of exertion; I wish they had chosen a moment where that was associated with more physical demand or some sacrifice of well-being. The shields make thematic sense, but the discard part of the effect could have a better thematic tie-in.

Tranquility3/B

Game: Not quite as good as the no-longer-Standard Respite, but I think this will see play in some decks like respite did, especially after other ramp cards rotate out.

Theme: The idea of resting to gain resources is the same as Respite and works just as well here.

Protect the Child3/A+

Game: This card’s value is tied directly to Grogu’s, and definitely makes him more playable than he would have been. With his 6 health, this is still probably not enough to keep him alive as long as one would like.

Theme: Absolutely brilliant! There had to be a way to keep Grogu alive that was more flexible than Guardian because The Mandalorian focuses so much on sacrificing to keep him out of harm’s way; I like this so much more than the many other ways they could have gone about it (such as giving Din Djarin Guardian or making Grogu give everyone on the team Guardian).

Millennium Falcon1/F

Game: This seems like it might decent with Luke Skywalker: Red Five, but even there I’d rather have good 2-cost vehicles. In other words, it seems a bit over-costed and there’s not currently a Rey that this makes sense to put it with.

Theme: We really needed another Millennium Falcon, but did we need it to be blue? I get that they’re going for the point in the story when she impressively pilots the Falcon off Jakku, but even then, I think it makes more sense for the Falcon to be grey, as it’s been cast aside, not made specifically for force users.

Renewal 1.5/C-

Game: Might be good in a Ki-Adi-Mundi deck, but even there I’m not sure of it’s value over other ramp cards.

Theme: I kind of like the idea of death and rebirth of the Jedi being attached to reusing discards, but I don’t think this card quite brings those ideas together.

Seeing Stone2/D

Game: Again, this might be good in a Ki-Adi-Mundi deck (or really any deck that messes with the discard pile), but I’m not sure. One way to look at this is that it extends your hand by one card that you can only discard to reroll, so it might be valuable in a meta where discard from hand is particularly prevalent. When it comes down to it, I’d just rather find a way to fit more focus in my decks.

Theme: Seems fine, but like Fortress Vader, it loses a full letter grade for not having the Location subtype… (Maybe ARH just wants to get rid of it.)

Ahsoka Tano’s Lightsaber5/A+

Game: Excellent card, especially if you can have both on Ahsoka with Jar’Kai. Even in other decks, standing just on the die alone, it’s amazing. It’s also amazing for ramping in a multi-weapon deck, you can easily have two weapons on turn two and with luck or focus resolve the resource side for 2, then potentially overwrite it later.

Theme: We finally have her lightsaber, not some generic Shoto! I really like that it works only with exactly two weapons because Jar’Kai decks are a little bit ridiculous (just think about Qui-Gon wielding 5 lightsabers).

Ki-Adi-Mundi’s Lightsaber 4/C

Game: I always love a decent 1-cost weapon! This isn’t as good as Yoda’s Lightsaber, but its on-play effect is almost as good as Jedi Lightsaber, and could be better in some decks (looking at Ahsoka).

Theme: Fits well with Ki-Adi-Mundi, but as you’ve seen, I’m not thrilled with him, thematically.

BLUE NEUTRAL

Contentious Opportunity5/A

Game: Die protection for 0-cost! Absolutely incredible, even without Makashi Mastery, plus it’s a Move so you can play it with Lightsaber Mastery.

Theme: Fits really well with Form II (Makashi). I like to think of this event as part of a lightsaber duel where you think you’ve parried your opponent’s blade, only to realize that it’s now coming at a different angle.

Kyber Quest1/B

Game: If this didn’t have the word “elite” it might be playable. As it stands this only seems okay in decks with Jedi Apprentice.

Theme: In Clone Wars and Rebels, the search for Kyber crystals takes a lot out of an apprentice. I think it might have been better if it specified Apprentice or Weapon rather than “elite Blue” or “Blue upgrade”

Makashi Riposte3/B+

Game: I always like to have a way to deal unblockable damage, but often you have it when you don’t need it, because you usually just want it for the last 2-3 damage to kill a character (unless you have many ways to deal it). This solves that problem with Renew; if you get this too early you can discard it to reroll, then have it whenever you need it at a slightly higher cost.

Theme: Not as great as Contentious Opportunity, but still evokes the feeling that a trained duelist could always get under your guard.

Lightsaber Ignition1/D

Game: Very likely to whiff on most dice. This is appropriately at 1-point, but I would rather find a character that fits perfectly than use this. Only for situations where you have the perfect team and one extra point that you don’t have anything else to do with.

Theme: The name of this plot might better fit an effect that rolls a weapon die into the pool.

Force Telekinesis1/D+

Game: I guess if your deck really needs focus, but I’d rather just run Niman. I’d hardly ever want to use the special if it was attached to a character. Hmm…

Theme: This card is obviously meant for Grogu, but really I don’t see any other force user struggling with telekinesis enough to warrant a self-damage effect.

Learned From My Master2/A

Game: I love this card in certain decks, I think it could be particularly good in a deck with Watch Your Career with Great Interest (of which there aren’t any good decks…yet.) However, I don’t think it’s usually reliable enough to earn even the 2/5 that I’ve given it. Cards that rely on a certain character having been defeated, are almost always bad.

Theme: I love this both for the idea of a Force ghost guiding an apprentice and for the memorial for Carl Harrison. I love Parker Simpson’s work and this is a great piece!

Makashi Mastery3.5/A-

Game: Right now I think Niman and Shien Mastery are better value for cost, so I don’t see myself playing this until they rotate out, though the opportunity to resolve an opponent’s die is incredibly tempting. The on-play ability will be completely ineffective against some decks, which is disappointing.

Theme: Here I love that the on-play ability is only for melee. Form II has always been my favorite, as I was a big fan of Dooku. I love the idea of turning an opponent’s lightsaber on themselves with a fancy riposte, as this seems to imply.

Makashi Training1/A

Game: 3 blanks against many decks is a no-go for me, and, in my experience, the second part of resolving the special on Trainings is rarely used.

Theme: Similar to the matching Mastery, it’s terrible for gameplay that an effect only works on melee, but it’s great thematically!

CONCLUSION

Thank you for coming with me on this journey! Again, the ARH team has done an amazing job on all of this I don’t want to denigrate their work in any way. I think that there are bound to be both hits and misses in any project and even what I see as a miss could be a hit to someone else!