The goal of the second demo deck expansion is mainly increasing the effectiveness. Of course there are some new things and a few new shields, but a large part of the cards will be replaced by so called combo cards, that combine 2 cards with each other. Whenever a card game reaches close to 2.000 cards, then there are so many cards you want in the deck, but don’t have space for all of them. Decipher solved this with combo cards, and they usually are missing a portion of each of the 2 cards they combine, and/or have a lower destiny number. That doesn’t always make it a no-brainer, which card you should use, and therefore requires some strategic thinking, which is good for the game.
You can find the new demo deck expansion 2 here!
Let’s start with the beginning of the game, though, where players choose starting interrupts (SI)
DS has a new SI named “According To My Design (V). Aside from the 3 effects, which you already received from Prepared Defenses, you will also get to start with the Emperor already on table. You will start with Tatooine: Mos Espa (instead of Desert Heart), and can put him there. Although this huge advantage (especially with this DS objective) comes at the hefty price… that LS goes first! Having LS start the game allows many possibilities for the LS player, since the game was designed with DS going first in mind, and everything else is build up on that. Normally the DS puts up pressure and LS has to react to it. Having LS go first shakes up the balance. That’s why Throne Room Mains (TRM) is such a popular deck. It simply starts with a 1/0 location that allows LS to go first. According To My Design (V) is often used as an alternate start, when the opponent plays TRM, played once you see the Throne Room location. Since they start anyway, you get your 3 effects plus the Emperor, which is great. In the demo deck you need a Dark Jedi to flip your objective anyway, so starting with the Emperor here is also huge!
Your 3 effects to start with will be the trusty old Something Special Planned For Them (V), Mobilization Points from the previous expansion (which gets you Wakeelmui or the Executor), and the new effect Endor Shield (V). The latter allows you to upload (take into hand) an imperial admiral twice per game. You would normally get Wakeelmui as your first action, and then pull Admiral Ozzel for his free deploy. Chiraneau, Piett and Grand Admiral Thrawn are your choices for the second pull.
DS has 2 new ships in the deck, Binder (V) and Zuckuss in Mist Hunter. Together with Boba Fett in Slave I you have 3 ships with 6 deploy. If you have one of those in your starting hand, you can chose to play very aggressive and go for an early flip. You usually active 6-8 Force (2 Tatooine, 2 Mos Espa, 2 from opponent in demo games, 1 from Emperor and 1 from you). So, you activate, deploy a location, play the ship in space, Ozzel to the new location, flip, deploy Tatooine Occupation, and then move Ozzel to Emperor (or shuttle to Binder). It depends a bit on the rest of your cards of course. The Executor in this game is Flagship Executor, which is “only” deploy 12 and destiny 4. It can float in the deck/life force until needed.
LS also has a different starting interrupt in this expansion, namely Don’t Tread (V) on me. You don’t play any effects at all with this SI, but simply draw 12 instead of 8 starting cards. This is often used when you have no particular strategy involving any specific effect pulls. It’s also great for increasing your chances to get a particular card that you cannot pull otherwise. To build a 100% effective deck with a 12-hand start requires some practice and skill, as well as lots of testing. The LS demo deck has not been tweaked for this purpose, but it’s rather for showing you the different starting options of the game. Of course, it’s also lots of fun to simply draw 12 cards and go!
The DS character selection has only been changed a little. Darth Maul with Lightsaber replaces a copy of Mara and Asajj each. They are cheap with 5 deploy, but Maul is not only a Dark Jedi, he swings twice (for free), which makes him arguably the best DS character in the game. To add insult to injury he gets a little help from Dr. Evazan & Ponda Baba, every-one’s favorite Cantina hooligans. “Dr. E combo” is a combination of 2 characters. It counts as 1 card for all purposes (targeting a character, etc.), so don’t worry too much about the rules there. They are destiny 3, draw a destiny if unable to otherwise, and whenever a character at the same site is hit they can make him immediately lost. So, Maul and Dr. E combo against 3 LS characters: Maul swings twice and hits 2 of those, the Dr. operates every time, and only one guy is left. Ouch time (unless something else happens in the game)!
Blizzard 2 (V) was added as a second walker in the deck. I normally would have at least put a second General Veers (V) into the deck, but sacrificed that to show you new stuff. The Imperial Commands should be used to get Veers, and to put him on one of the 2 walkers. Endor Shield (V) gets you the admirals, as described above, so that also makes your deck more effective. I have also written a bit about the space package above. The lower deploy cost is of course good for your deck. Zuckuss in Mist Hunter should be mentioned, because it may well be the best DS ship there is. Unless the LS player has a 7 or more ability piloting at the same system old insect face can reset any battle destiny to 0.
The LS characters and ships have also been changed to make the deck more effective. EPP Qui-Gon is not as good as EPP Maul, but he adds a battle destiny versus same Maul, and also gives you 1 activation, so that makes up for any deficiencies. The EPP Lukes and 1 Ahsoka have been taken out for that, and 1 Luke Skywalker (V) was added. This is “space Luke”, who either lets you retrieve 1 Force in space each turn, or pulls All Wings Report In & Darklighter Spin, which in turn gets you any unpiloted LS ship. Artoo in Red 5 (a destiny 7 card), Millenium Falcon (for Han, Chewie or Lando) and Red Squadron 1 are valid targets for that. Wedge Antilles, Red Squadron Leader, is the pilot for the latter, and if together with Corran Horn or any character piloting Red 5 or Red Squadron 1, he can cancel a battle destiny from opponent.
Chewie (V) is your counter card against Zukuss, because he prevents resetting of destinies (so remember: “Chewie (V) > Zuckass”), and Lando Calrissian (V) from the basis set will also get a new meaning, because he can cancel Maul’s game text now. What happens is the following: Maul still has his lightsaber, but cannot use his game text to fire it any-more. He still remains a “character with a weapon” though.
Both sides get an undercover character, which deploys “undercover”. The character is yours, but deploys on the opponent’s side, and therefore blocks the force drain at that side. U-3PO (DS) has to deploy as an undercover spy, while Jyn Erso (LS) can choose to deploy to do it or not. It doesn’t really matter much in most cases, since an undercover spy may “break cover” in the deploy phase and move back to your side. Both sides further have a character that can break the cover of an opponent’s undercover spy in the move phase. Corran Horn (LS) and Probot (V) (DS) do that. The new combo cards Sniper & Dark Strike and Sorry About The Mess & Blaster Proficiency can also kill undercover spies in the control phase, and the DS has 2 more options with Control & Set For Stun and Trample.
When we’re talking about “effectiveness”, then nothing is more effective than Threepio With His Parts Shown and 4-LOM With Concussion Rifle (V) (or Fourpio, as I call him). These characters allow you to put a card from hand on (Threepio) or under (4-LOM) every turn and draw a card from reserve deck. This allows you to circle through your deck faster, and get your key cards, while at the same time putting (often high destiny) cards down, which you can “track”. You cannot track? Well, let me give you a little crash course on this. There comes a point in the game when you can “activate through”. You will notice that latest when you can activate everything, and have to put cards back to do all the stuff you want to do /draw weapon and battle destinies, etc.). That’s the point where your internal “tracking alarm bell” should go on. Maybe you can even set your alarm to go on a bit sooner, when there are 3-4 cards left after activation. So, this is when you know: “I can track now… yes even I can track!”, and during your opponent’s next turn (when you don’t have that much to do anyway), you put a high destiny card (5 or 6) down on/under used pile with Threepio/Fourpio. You do that first thing in your opponent’s turn. Now, your bottom card is the high destiny, and will stay “your bottom card high destiny” in your turn as well. Every-one can do that. The last battle destiny in your last battle next turn will be your 5 or 6. That is very helpful to know, when trying to clear a site. Crash course end.
Let’s move on to the red cards, especially the combo cards. As I said earlier, you get an additional function to your old one, and sometimes have a worse destiny as a price.
Sense combo does NOT simply cancel Alter anymore, but now has the function of paying 3 force and forcing both players to shuffle all their stuff together to draw a new hand. That can be especially devastating when the opponent has already built up his hand, and can wreck his strategy. Please note that the Starting Effects (with the shields under) prevents a playing of the Sense combo first turn. This function further requires no destiny draw, so you would not lose 2 force from the defensive shield when playing the reshuffle. Sense would still be lost in that case, though.
DS has Alter (V) now, which is immune against the LS defensive shield (Do Or Do Not) and objective. Both sides have an objective (DS Hunt Down and LS Mind What You Have Learned) that requires +4 ability to draw destiny for Sense/Alter, but this version is immune to that. Most effects are immune to Alter anyway, so the function is a bit redundant, that’s why this Alter (V) was created for both sides. We don’t currently have a target for LS Alter (V), so only DS has it in the demo deck. It can cancel Projection Of A Skywalker, which reduces a force drain on a planet (most times Tatooine) by -1.
The Control combo version of DS, Control & Set For Stun, allows you to send a character back to opponent’s hand, which can be devastating for Ackbar, Wedge, Chewie or other small guys. The LS version, Control & Tunnel Vison, is much more straightforward and allows you to take into hand any card from Force pile. These versions of Control are so much better than the original, that almost no-one plays the 2-destiny version any-more.
Masterful Move & Endor Occupation is destiny 5 (instead of 6), but also cancels Cloud City Celebration (or any other Celebration), which is best played before your force drain to make sure it is buried under other cards. The old function to get any hologram from deck is still there, and now has The Phantom Menace as a new target, which is an effect that gives Maul additional immunity and defense value versus Jedi. LS has a similar destiny 5 cards with Escape Pod & We’re Doomed. The hologram puller also has a new target with the above mentioned Projection Of A Skywalker. The “We’re Doomed” portion of the card is much different than the regular version from Expansion 1. It simply allows you to lose no force from (Tatooine) Occupation during opponent’s turn, but you must play it before he has the first action in his control phase (during his activation phase). LS further has Free Ride & Endor Celebration, which straight out cancels Tatooine Occupation, or allows you to peek at a random card in opponent’s hand. Both are cards that the DS wants to grab now, so there is some strategy in there.
Sniper & Dark Strike (DS) and Sorry About The Mess & Blaster Proficiency (LS) are combo cards that you see in many decks. Next to above mentioned function to kill undercover spies or other characters during your control phase, you also have the mighty ability to remove a character that you’ve just hit from battle. Please note that you have to lose 1 force in addition to the card as a cost to play it. Always make sure you make your opponent lose that force before you cancel the card, for example with Sense or DS Imbalance & Kintan Strider (V). The latter is also good against LS retrieval and allows you to take a character back into hand. As a final function, you can use the combo cards to add 3 to your total lightsaber (DS) or Blaster (LS) destiny before the actual draw. Although this may be a lesser used function, it can be strong when you know your destinies, and know that you will clear a site for sure. Let’s say you search your deck for a site with your objective and see that your destinies are 4, 6 and 5. If you want to battle a lone Maul or Vader with your EPP Blaster Leia, and need to clear the site, then you may want to play the used function. Sure it would be cool to hit the Dark Jedi and then make him lost (maybe to control the site). But 4+1 (+1 from a blaster) doesn’t hit him. Neither does 5+1. Only 6+1 would hit him, so you have an approx. 33% chance. Adding +3 before the weapon draw will definitely clear that site (worst case is 4+1+3 = 8). Just make sure Leia has enough power or a Houjix.
DS has 2 further interrupts. Force Push (V), which is pulled by Dooku and can be used to either exclude a Dark Jedi and a guy with same or lesser ability from battle. You would typically play that on your lone Dark Jedi to immediately cancel the battle, and strike back during next turn with a little help from his friends. Otherwise the second function is the more used one. For putting 2 cards back into your force pile you can take any cards from there. It’s a Tunnel Vision plus a little activation with destiny 5. Therefore you can only use it once per game. The second card is Trample, which is pulled by Blizzard 2 (V) and is like a mini Force Lightning for AT-ATs.
LS has 2 more new effects. Launching The Assault can be played on any system and will pull the mighty Home One from reserve deck. Just make sure it’s in there, because the pull is only once per game. The effect further adds 1 to the Home One’s force drain if piloted by a character). The second effect is another grabber, What’re You Trying To Push On Us?. I’ll get back to that later.
The LS interrupt Lost In The Wilderness can be used to cancel a Force Drain at an exterior planet site (only when no vehicles are there), and make one character go “missing”. The character is flipped face down at the location. During its control phase, the DS can now form a “search party” of one or more characters. Draw destiny. If destiny (+1 for each search party member) is >5, then the missing character is found (flip back to normal). Another LS interrupt is Dodge, which allows you to subtract 3 from weapon destiny draws, or to move a character away from a site as a react. Were You Looking For Me? pulls your Naked Threepio, or can retrieve him, if necessary.
The above mentioned All Wings Report In & Darklighter Spin not only pulls unique ships for you, but also allows you to use the maneuver number (including bonuses from Artoo, Corran Horn, Anakin, etc.) instead of drawing battle destiny. That is very powerful, because of a weird old rule called:
“Substituted destinies don’t count against the destiny limit!” (repeat after me, and remember it!.
It’s time for another teaching lesson. You have EEP Han (adds a destiny with Chewie) and Chewie (V) on the Falcon. Chewie adds 2 to maneuver, so the Falcon is maneuver 6. They battle against Executor with Ozzel and the opponent plays Imperial Command to limit the LS to 1 destiny draw. Now, Chewie (V) does a lot of things, and the opponent could not modify, cancel or reset (Zuckuss) your destinies, but it’s absolutely legal to LIMIT you to one destiny. So, LS plays the All Wings Report In & Darklighter Spin combo to substitute the first destiny with maneuver =6, and can now still draw the regular destiny.
Is that right? Is it logical? Maybe, maybe not, but it’s legal, so let’s accept it and move on. 😉
The final cards and pieces of strategy are the new shields. I’m trying to show you 2-3 shields every time, so that you can see what is possible, even if they might not be 100% equally useable on both sides, especially when “only” playing the demo decks.
One of the most used and most versatile shields is Come Here You Big Coward (DS) / Simple Tricks & Nonsense (LS). As long as you occupy a battleground, and the opponent doesn’t occupy 2 battlegrounds, their retrieval and force drains at non-battlegrounds are cancelled. This is one of the more strategic, important, and elegant shields and it can win you games. If an opponent’s spy goes to your Boss Nass Chamber and threatens to drain you for 2 there next turn, then you can either go and battle him there, or you could deploy your own guy to a battleground, and (as long as he doesn’t occupy 2 battlegrounds already) he won’t do any damage. In tough tourney games (or to keep your opponent on their toes) you can also let them pay for the drain for Battle Plan and then cancel it with Coward/Simple Tricks. 😉
But both shields have to be out already. You cannot play a shield as a response. This shield is one of the few you absolutely have to know about. It can shut down Luke (V) retrieval in space, any drain at non-battlegrounds (also Senate, Dagobah, etc.), and win you games, if you can keep the opponent from occupying 2 battlegrounds. It’s an integral part of the game.
The next shield also has a mechanic, which comes into effect, once certain conditions are met. Firepower (V) for DS and Weapons Display (V) for LS both allow you to retrieve a force at the end of opponent’s turn, if you control a battleground site and system and they deployed a character and did not battle during their turn. Star Wars CCG is supposed to be a battle intensive game, and cards like that encourage battle, and force you not to play next to each other without interaction. The shields have a further function that is specific to the particular side and was supposed to counter the more annoying evasion tactics played by the other side at the time (today, it is sometimes argued that both might/should have the same functions). Firepower (V) makes the opponent lose 2 Force each time they move away from you during DS’s turn. Nabrun Leids, Dodge, and of course Path Of Least Resistance are affected by this. Weapons Display (V) in turn makes the DS lose 2 Force for excluding characters from battle. Force Push (V), You Are Beaten (during battle) and Stunning Leader are the most common examples for this. Other forms of character removal during battle (i.e. Trample, Force Lightning, Dark Strike & Sniper, etc.) are not affected by this. A rather mean way to make the opponent lose Force is if they play a Barrier on your character. If you have enough Force to deploy a second character at the same site, and initiate a battle there, then the following happens. A battle is initiated at the site. The Barrier-ed character is only then excluded from the battle (he could not have initiated a battle alone, because he cannot battle this turn), and the DS has to lose 2 Force. Mean, but true!
Our last set of shields is Fanfare (V) for DS and Don’t Do That Again (V) for LS. In our demo decks the DS version, Fanfare (V), doesn’t do very much. It suspends the LS effect Staging Areas (a counterpart to Mobilization Points), but you don’t see that played very often. You can pull an Immediate Effect once per game, but we have none for DS. I have actually played this shield many, many times in tournament play just to look through my reserve deck and/or shuffle my deck, if I had no other way. This card also prevents the new LS interrupt Lost In The Wilderness from making your characters go missing (when this happens to you, you know how annoying it can be).
The LS shield Don’t Do That Again (V) can also counter the “missing” characters part of the DS card Always Thinking With Your Stomach. That is not important for the demo decks, but in general the LS is more affected by the card, because they don’t have that many vehicles (the card can only target where you have no vehicle), because AT-ATs and General Veers are a staple in many DS decks. The LS shield still has a few more functions in our demo deck scenario, especially when the LS goes first. This happens thanks to the earlier mentioned According To My Design (V), but would also work due to the text of locations like the Death Star or Yavin 4: Throne Room, which allow the LS to start the game. Your first action as a LS player should always be to suspend Mobilization Points, if it’s on table. That prevents the opponent from getting the Executor or any of the locations. It throws the DS player back at least a turn, maybe more, if they cannot find a way to occupy a system. The Immediate Effect pull is also possible in this deck, since there is a new grabber called What’re They Tryin’ To Push On Us? that deploys for 3 Force. Now, nobody wants to pay that much for a grabber, so you could use the Defensive Shield Wise Advice from expansion one, which allows you to play Immediate Effects for free. Here’s a neat little trick. Normally, you have no chance to grab the first interrupt the opponent plays (unless you have the Strikeforce Effect out, which you won’t with the 12-hand start). If you play the grabber shield, then he has an action and can play Imperial Command or whatever, before you have activated the 1 Force necessary to grab it. In this scenario you start with 12 cards in hand, so your chances are better to have the What’re They Tryin’ To Push On Us? grabber in starting hand. If you do, then your first action might be to play the Wise Advice shield that allows your grabber to deploy free. When DS plays their interrupt now, you can play What’re They Tryin’ To Push On Us? to grab it.
So, more options and more decisions! Again, play until you have seen all the cards in action (and also know their secondary functions). If you haven’t seen it all after 10 games or so, then put the never seen cards in your starting hand and draw a card less for it. I hope you have some fun with the new cards, and you are well on your way of knowing about the most important cards. There will be at least one more demo deck expansion with the real hard stuff (maintenance costs, admiral orders, more on substituting destinies, more shields), and more fun from the galaxy far away!
All information about the demo decks and previous releases can be found here:
Here are the changes you need to make to change the basic decks into expansion 2 format:
(note: you need a few cards from expansion 1 as well):
DS Demo Deck Expansion 2
Admiral Piett (from demo expansion 1) -> exchange for Jabba The Hutt (V)
Mobilization Points (from demo expansion 1) -> exchange for Secret Plans effect
Knowledge & Defense (V) (from demo expansion 1) -> exchange for Battle Order effect
Aim High shield (from demo expansion 1)
A Tragedy Has Occurred (Grabber) shield (from demo expansion 1)
Battle Plan shield (from demo expansion 1)
Do Or Do Not shield (from demo expansion 1)
Wise Advice shield (from demo expansion 1)
- Come Here You Big Coward shield -> new additional card
- Firepower (V) shield -> new additional card
- Fanfare (V) -> new additional card
- According To My Design (V) -> exchange for Twilek Advisor
- Endor Shield (V) -> exchange for 1x Emperor Palpatine
- EPP Maul -> exchange for 1x EPP Assajj Ventress (V)
- EPP Maul -> exchange for 1x EPP Mara Jade (V)
- Dr. Evazan & Ponda Baba -> exchange for 1x Stormtrooper Patrol (V)
- EPP 4-LOM (V) -> exchange for 1x Stormtrooper Patrol (V)
- U-3PO -> exchange for P-60
- Blizzard 2 (V) -> exchange for P-59
- Flagship Executor -> exchange for Devastator
- Binder (V) -> exchange for Accuser
- Zuckuss in Mist Hunter -> exchange for Colonel Jendon In Onyx 1 (V)
- Wakeelmui -> exchange for Tatooine: Desert Heart
- The Phantom Menace -> exchange for 1x Force Field (V)
- Sense & Uncertain Is The Future -> exchange for Sense
- Alter (V) -> exchange for Alter
- Control & Set For Stun -> exchange for Control
- Imbalance & Kintan Strider -> exchange for Monnok
- Force Push (V) -> exchange for You Are Beaten
- Masterful Move & Endor Occupation -> exchange for Masterful Move
- Masterful Move & Endor Occupation -> exchange for Masterful Move
- Sniper & Dark Strike -> exchange for Dark Strike
- Trample -> exchange for Elis Helrot
LS Demo Deck Expansion 2
Millenium Falcon (from demo expansion 1) -> exchange for Tantive IV (V)
Cloud City (sector) (from demo expansion 1) -> exchange for CC: Docking Bay
Anger Fear Agression (V) (from demo expansion 1) -> exchange for Battle Plan (effect)
Aim High shield (from demo expansion 1)
A Tragedy Has Occurred (Grabber) shield ( from demo expansion 1)
Battle Plan shield (from demo expansion 1)
Do Or Do Not shield (from demo expansion 1)
Wise Advice shield (from demo expansion 1)
- Simple Tricks & Knowledge (V) shield -> new additional card
- Weapon Display (V) shield -> new additional card
- Don’t Do That Again (V) -> new additional card
- Don’t Tread On Me (V) -> exchange for The Signal
- EPP Qui Gon -> exchange for 1x EPP Ahsoka Tano
- EPP Qui Gon -> exchange for 1x EPP Luke Skywalker
- Luke Skywalker (V) -> exchange for 1x EPP Luke Skywalker
- Threepio With His Parts Shown -> exchange for Grimtaash
- Chewie (V) -> exchange for Chewie With Bowcaster (V)
- Jyn Erso (V) -> exchange for Mirax Terrik
- Wedge Antilles, Red Squadron Leader -> exchange for Wedge Antilles (V)
- Artoo In Red 5 -> exchange for Gold Leader In Gold 1 (V)
- Red Squadron 1 -> exchange for Booster In Pulsar Skate (V)
- Projection Of A Skywalker -> exchange for Aim High (effect)
- Launching The Assault -> exchange for Nabrun Leids
- What’re You Tryin’ To Push On Us? -> exchange for Strikeforce (V)
- Lost In The Wilderness -> exchange for It Could Be Worse
- Sense & Recoil In Fear -> exchange for Sense
- Control & Tunnel Vison -> exchange for Alter
- Control & Tunnel Vison -> exchange for Control
- Escape Pod & We’re Doomed (V) -> exchange for Escape Pod (V)
- Free Ride & Endor Celebration -> exchange for Escape Pod (V)
- Dodge -> exchange for 1x Blaster Deflection
- Sorry About The Mess & Blaster Proficiency -> exchange for Sorry About The Mess
- Were You Looking For Me? -> exchange for Clash Of Sabers
- All Wings Report In & Darklighter Spin -> exchange for 1x Anakin Skywalker (V)
- All Wings Report In & Darklighter Spin -> exchange for Azure Angel (V)