As spoilers slowly creep around and reveal themselves on the boards, you all are probably thirsting for some more Set 9 info like a stalled Falcon thirsts for coaxium. You’ve seen some preview cards of a Jedi General, a Resistance technician, an Ugnaught, and a mischievous explorer. It seems like a nice array of cards, but I wanted to update you all on the progress of the general theme of the set.
As you may have read, Matt has stepped aside from the design side of things, freeing himself up to take the lead on some very exciting projects that will lead this game into great new places. (I firmly believe the OCS is just the tip of potential here!) And although Set 8’s impact and influence was still being felt, we had already been designing lots and LOTS of different themes for us to explore. So as Set 9 came closer to fruition, we got together as a team and collectively decided what theme we should explore. After sifting through tournament reports, player feedback, and wanting something brand new to the game – and also topically relevant in the new canon – we all got behind some very, very cool Rogue One-era ideas. Never before seen in this game, we are so excited to see players plan the Rebel infiltration to steal the plans to the Death Star – like a precursor to Diplo, we have some fun and excited cards. But just as the Rebels spies strike from their hidden base in order to win their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire, the Imperial war machine is strong as ever, ready to demonstrate the destructive power of their mysterious new weapon behind a very ambitious leader – with, uh, aspirations. It is such a pivotal time in the Star Wars universe, and one that a lot of media is covering of late, from Rogue One to Rebels to some novels, and we want to bring these fights to our card tables. And we hope you do too, because there’s a certain guerilla rebel who is never going to back down from a fight, even when outnumbered.
Buuuuuut, those themes and spoilers are for a different article. Instead, I want to spend this time briefly talking about some cool dudes that I think will have a nice impact on the meta without disrupting it wholly. Like a gangster after his mark, these cards have direct purposes but won’t drive a deck. On to the spoilers:
•Lak Sivrak (2)
Lore: Lak Sivrak is a typical Shistavanen male. Ferocious, but not aggressive. Often trained as scouts at Imperial academies, but they despise the ambitions of the New Order.
CHARACTER – ALIEN
POWER 4 ABILITY 2
Text: Adds 2 to power of anything he pilots. May move as a ‘react’ for free. While at opponent’s battleground, may not be targeted by opponent’s Interrupts and your Force drains here may not be canceled or reduced by opponent.
DEPLOY 3 FORFEIT 5
[Pilot] [Warrior] [Set 9]
Lore: Gangster, information broker, and leader.
CHARACTER – ALIEN
POWER 4 ABILITY 2
Text: [Pilot]2. While with Han, he may not add battle destiny draws or play an Interrupt from Lost Pile. If at opponent’s battleground, opponent may not cancel or reduce your Force drains here.
DEPLOY 3 FORFEIT 5
[Pilot] [Warrior] [Episode VII] [Set 9]
With all of the Projection Of A Skywalkers and Strategic Reserving going on in games, these guys each should have a healthy home in decks, without forcing themselves into every deck. Bala, like Dr. Aphra, is also an Information Broker, which can boost another type of deck… hmmm…. And the Wolfman can be used to help spread and react while invading the opponent’s locations, with some peace of mind by being immune to opponent’s tricks (from Trample to Set For Stun – and what about that barrier??). And remember, they are both pilots and can work at systems – especially those pesky 2/1 systems that are drain -1 players too often rely on for “safe” activation. Watch out Mon Calamari or Fondor!
Wait, what? You don’t think Lak is really that great for space? You’re wondering what an article by me would be without a Luke card? Fine – you win. Below is one of my favorite cards from the set:
•Red 5 (V)
STARSHIP – STARFIGHTER – X-WING
POWER 3 MANEUVER 4 HYPERSPEED 5
Text: May add 1 pilot and 1 astromech. While Luke piloting, maneuver +2, you may initiate battles and Force drains here regardless of objective restrictions, and immune to attrition.
DEPLOY 2 FORFEIT 6
[Scomp] [Nav] [Set 9]
BOOM! Red 5, standing by!!! Luke Skywalker was such an iconic pilot, instrumental in this very time period we are exploring by blowing that dang secret weapon up. But we found that in this meta, Luke was just too needed on the ground and while putting him in space could be cool in many games, building a deck that committed the Luke persona to space was just far too risky with things like Hunt Down and Bring Him Before Me. Simply put, as fun as YOps could be, and as good as Luke Skywalker, The Rebellion’s Hope seems, it was just too much of a gamble to pass up a ground Luke when a pretty popular objective could shut him down in space. Especially when the alternative you’d be passing over was perhaps the game’s best ground fighter in Jedi Luke or even EPP Luke.
We wanted to fix that. To be sure, the inspiration for this ship was an unlikely source – Luke’s father. For those who remember right after the reset, Vader fighting on the ground was almost unheard of. It seemed every deck that had Vader in it, used Darth Vader (V) and he was using Vader’s Personal Shuttle while guys like Maul and Dooku and the Emperor contained the ground. When discussing this with a member of the design team one year at worlds, he mentioned how he was working on something that would change that. I believe his words were “Vader has been flying that shuttle around too long. It’s time he got down and joined the fight.” And he was so right – people were dying. Good, loyal stormtroopers were getting chopped up. They needed the Dark Lord to come to sites and do Darth Vader-y things. And so eventually I Am Your Father (V) was born and very much breathed new life into ground Vader.
Well, here we had the opposite issue. Rebel ships are getting blown out by the Emperor on his shuttle and Zuckuss in his Mist Hunter and a giant star destroyer over Jakku that is crying out for an extra attrition draw to be made against it. Luke needs to put his saber down for a bit and help gain control of some systems. And while Vader had a great ship but needed an effect to alter his preferred battleground type, Luke already had a great effect but needed a ship. And so, now you can put the Rebellion’s Hope on his ship, survive a few battle destinies (and draw a few of your own) and you don’t have to worry about your fire going out of the universe and totally stopping you from liberating a system in your YOps deck.
The only concern now is deck lists might not feature the iconic line of “Like My Father Before Me” as much following Set 9… hey, do you think we can fit “You Worry About Those Fighters, I’ll Worry About That Tower” onto a card?
So as these cards are becoming finalized (and usual disclaimer applies – everything is subject to change, to proofing, to getting cut, etc.), we hope you’re breaking out your cards and getting ready for Set 9. Finally, as was said by many people already, I did want to thank Troy for the SWCCG monster he created known as GEMP. It has done so so much for this game and given so many of us a lot of joy. Thank you so much Troy.
I’d also like to express my appreciation for the hard work all of the members of the Proofing Team are putting into making this set make sense (I’ll never forget where I started – proofing for life!), the good work of the playtesting team making sure someone keeps a check on my power 50 Obi-Wan card idea, the Graphics team for making these cards look AMAZING, and all of the members of D&D – sometimes we fight like siblings, but it’s just because we’re all brothers.
Until next time, you guys worry about those fighters, and I’ll worry about that tower…
Master of Marketing