News for April 2014
Altering the Deal
Zach Bunn Discusses the Trust Me Objective Set in STAR WARS (TM): The Card Game
Star Wars: The Card Game | Published 08 April 2014

“I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further.”
   –Darth Vader, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

One of the biggest threats any player must face while playing the light side in Star Wars™: The Card Game is the popular Sith control deck. With its potent combination of Darth Vader (Core Set, 35), Emperor Palpatine (Core Set, 51), and powerful Sith events, this deck can ruthlessly cut through Characters, leaving the light side with few options.

But even the Sith are not invincible, and today, Zach Bunn, a lead member of Team Covenant, explores how one underused objective set may hold the key to ending the dark reign of the Sith.

Zach Bunn on Battling Sith Control and the Trust Me Objective Set

With new cards out and Store Championships coming to a close, it only makes sense to discuss how big an impact these new cards will have on the game. It’s an exciting time, and with a cycle named Echoes of the Force, you can’t help but imagine the amazing tools that Jedi and Sith are going to get.

However, I actually want to discuss what I believe is the most under-utilized and meta-shaking objective in the entire game: an objective that can give light side players the edge they need to knock Sith control from its position as one of the top decks in the meta. The objective I’m talking about is Trust Me (Edge of Darkness, 327).

Altering the Deal

Lando Calrissian is infamous for striking a deal with the Empire and having that deal drastically altered. I find it rather ironic that the objective set in which he is included actually cancels opponent's events, effectively not letting them alter the deal after all. Maybe he learned his lesson.

Before getting into Trust Me, I’d like to take a moment to discuss the statistics behind the starting objective draw, a topic I’m sure I’ll write an article about in the future. For now, I’ll just consider the odds of drawing at least one copy of an objective when you have two copies in your objective deck. I’ll assume you’re only running ten objectives.

Under these conditions, the probability of drawing a given objective in your initial objective draw is 66.66%. The odds of drawing the objective either as a starting objective or as your fifth objective (after an opponent destroys an objective) are 78.22%. In two of three games you should start with the objective and in roughly four of five games you should see the objective at some point in the game.

Knowing this, let’s take a look at the specifics of Trust Me. As an objective with five damage capacity that provides two resources, Trust Me is off to a great start. Its biggest drawback is that it is “Smugglers and Spies affiliation only,” but it has a very powerful effect on the game. Its special ability reads, “Interrupt: When an event card is played, deal 2 damage to this objective to cancel that event card’s effects.

When I got my copy of Edge of Darkness and went through the cards, I remember thinking that Trust Me was the most game-shaking objective in the box. To my surprise, this objective hasn’t seen nearly as much play as I expected. For months now, I’ve been trying to figure out just why that is.

This objective was released in an environment heavily dominated by Sith control. I was confident that Trust Me spelled doom for Sith control, because it grants the light side an effective way to shut down many control options. Cards like Force Lightning (Core Set, 60), Aggression (Escape from Hoth, 311), and Force Shockwave (Edge of Darkness, 403) become nearly unplayable once Trust Me is on the table. At the very least, they force the dark side player to play around the objective’s ability. Even events like Force Choke (Core Set, 59) are affected, simply due to the uncertainty of not knowing whether the event’s effect will actually happen.

So why does Trust Me not see play? Maybe it’s the other cards in the objective, so let’s take a look!

He’s an Old Friend

First up we have our old friend, Lando Calrissian (Edge of Darkness, 328). A four-cost unit with normal blast damage and tactics icons, Elite, and what’s this… Ah yes, one of the most impressive abilities in the game! Lando has the unique ability to pay one resource to remove any target participating unit from an engagement. The options this ability brings to the table are unbelievable.

Next up, we have the Saboteur (Edge of Darkness, 329). While he’s certainly not as impressive as Lando, the ability to remove enhancements isn’t something we’ve seen a lot of in Star Wars: The Card Game. At one health, he’s susceptible to Force Choke (if you can’t cancel or protect it), but the Saboteur’s biggest impact is triggered just by entering play. Sometimes, this guy can literally save the day by removing Vader’s Lightsaber (Core Set, 159), Bounty (Edge of Darkness, 372), or even just a resource-producing enhancement.

The next card in the set is Sabotage (Edge of Darkness, 330). At first this event may seem fantastic, but it can be tricky to pull off correctly. Having to hold two resources for this event that aren’t on the objective being destroyed can be tough. Maybe we’re starting to see the weakness of this objective set?

The rest of the objective set is full of excellent cards, however, giving your deck both a Target of Opportunity (Edge of Darkness, 133) and a resource. These cards make Trust Me an easy objective to include in two copies, even though that means getting two Sabotage and Saboteur. Obviously, this is an objective that you can easily run two copies of in a deck. So why doesn’t it get used more often? Was my initial impression simply wrong?

I think the answer is that this objective set is Smugglers and Spies only. Decks focusing on Characters often use the Jedi affiliation so they can access a few sets with units like Luke Skywalker (Core Set, 92), Yoda (Core Set, 166), and Kyle Katarn (Heroes and Legends, 497), while using a Smugglers and Spies foundation. This means you can’t run Trust Me because you’ll be using the Jedi affiliation card. On the other end of the spectrum, a pure Smuggler deck usually uses cheap Vehicles that aren’t as significantly affected by the control elements in a Sith deck, causing Trust Me to have a smaller impact on the deck.

Yet the absence of Trust Me in the meta drastically shapes what decks are on top…

A Matter of Trust

If you’re struggling against Sith control in your local meta, try denying Sith control its most potent tools with event cancels like Trust Me, instead of just adapting by playing low cost Vehicles that can’t be Force Choked. Trust Me is a very powerful objective, and I think this objective set will only get better as time goes on. If the Sith get the tools I anticipate from a cycle entitled Echoes of the Force, that day might come sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, I encourage you to try a deck with two copies of this objective and test it against any top-level Sith control deck. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

Until next time, may the Force be with you.

Zach Bunn

Thanks, Zach!

Zach Bunn is a Star Wars fanatic, a lead member of Team Covenant, and a member of the winning team from the Star Wars multiplayer tournament held at Worlds. In coming weeks, stay tuned for more Star Wars guest articles from Zach and other writers!

The characters, starships, and situations of the original Star Wars trilogy come to life in Star Wars: The Card Game, a head-to-head Living Card Game® of tactical combat and strategic planning that allows two players to wage cinematic combats between the light and dark sides of the Force.

© and ™ Lucasfilm Ltd.

 

    
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