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The Phantom Menace: First Look

"You speak of the prophecy; you think this banned/restricted list will bring balance to the Force?”

On June 20th, the updated banned and restricted list will go into effect, eliminating many of the “auto-win” decks currently being played. This list will, in fact, bring a sense of balance back to the game—we all have to admit that come June 20th, SW:TCG is going to be a lot more fun to play. In addition, I’ve been given the opportunity to introduce some new cards from The Phantom Menace expansion set. In the following preview, I’ll share these cards with you and explain how they’ll also affect the gaming environment.

And if these cards get you pumped up, just imagine how the rest of the set will be!

The Dark Side: At Last Will Have Its Revenge

“The Dark Side clouds everything. Impossible to see, the future is.”

Master Yoda is correct. The Dark Side does cloud the future, and with the addition of the following boys I’m not exactly sure what the Light Side can do about it.

Darth Maul (F)
Character – Dark Jedi – Sith Apprentice

Pay 1 Force Arrow Evade 1
Pay 2 Force Arrow Deploy Maul to the Character arena. Play this ability only if this unit has at least 5 build counters on it. At the end of the Character battle step, retreat Maul.

Maul is one sneaky Character, and this version perfectly portrays his best quote: “At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi, at last we will have revenge.” Nice and underhanded. After everyone else has attacked, Maul can pop out to take a swing at the Light Side Character of his choice. Then, without fear of being counterattacked, he is allowed to retreat.

The only thing that could possibly be better than Darth Maul (F) would be if I was allowed to preview Durge.

Oh wait…here’s something better.

Durge (A)
Character – Gen’dai Bounty Hunter

Critical Hit 2
Pay 4 build points Arrow Remove all damage counters from Durge. Play only during your build step.
When Durge is discarded from the Character arena, you may return him to your hand.

Worried about the future of the Dark Side? Worry no more! Durge is sure to bring panic to every Character he quarrels with. Slightly expensive at 12 build points, Durge (A) has the incredible ability to heal all of his damage for only 4 build. Find a way to give Durge Lucky 2, and this guy might just be all you need to win the Character arena.

I’ll tell you what. I’ll give you that combo right now.

Ann and Tann Gella (A)
Character – Twi’lek Masseuses

Each of your opponent’s Characters gets -2 power.
TapArrow One of your Characters gets Lucky 2 until end of turn. (Each attack, you may reroll 2 of that unit’s attack dice, or have your opponent reroll 2 attack dice against it.)

At first I thought to myself, “Well, every card in a set can’t be Durge.” But the more time I spend looking at this card, the better it becomes. You see, the Lucky mechanic all but nerfs critical hits, and can actually be helpful defending against swarms as well. Ann and Tann can manage to soften your opponent’s attack by 3-4 dice. With a little bit of prevention, this unit stands a chance to be a very powerful asset to any deck (do I feel the rebirth of Rebel Surrender?).

I just wish for the sake of the Dark Side that these girls could give Lucky to space units.

A Quick Look at Space

Unconventional Maneuvers

Pay 3 Force Arrow One of your Space or Ground units gets Lucky 3 until end of turn. (Each attack, you may reroll 3 of this unit’s attack dice or have your opponent reroll 3 attack dice against it.)

Oh, the pain in store for Luke's X-Wing (B)—I can here it echo across the galaxy now: “Reroll that crit!” Without a doubt, this card will see more Dark Side play due to Dark Side’s disadvantage in the prevention department.

And a Nod to the Light Side

Perhaps this preview seems a little Dark Sided. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to see the Rebels win the Battle of Yavin (not to give away the ending.) I just happen to think The Phantom Menace will give Dark Side the tools it needs to stand toe-to-toe against even the strongest of Light Side units. So here’s a little taste of what else you can expect in the set:

Qui-Gon Jinn (C)
Character – Jedi Master

Pay 2 Force Arrow Evade 1
Pay 1 Force Arrow Intercept
Pay 4 Force Arrow Untap Qui-Gon

Finally, we’ll get to see another version of this beloved Jedi. The essence of this version is still non-aggressive; Qui-Gon (C) plays more of a supportive roll. I anticipate we’ll see him in Jedi Swarm decks coupled with his Qui-Gon Jinn (B) version.

With the recent banning of Holoprojection Chamber, the Dark Side was starting to look less appealing than Hoth in December. Have faith and rest assured that with each passing day the Dark Side will cloud the future even more!

Until we meet again, May the Force be with you.

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