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Michael Mikaelian

Rulebook: Part Eight

A Few Special Modifications

This spring, SW:TCG will see the release of Revenge of the Sith -- and with it, a new rulebook. Michael Mikaelian continues his coverage of exactly what this rulebook will contain, what's been added, what's been changed.

It took the Star Wars Guru discussion group only one week to suggest that the glossary could use a little work. In the end, it was a nip here or a tuck there with the occasional addition or deletion thrown in. Some entries were dropped to make room for a few more new ones, and well over a dozen entries were revised.

What’s Old

There’s no need to fret about omitted glossary entries. Three were so basic and better defined elsewhere that they didn’t really need to be in the glossary at all: build step, Force step, and turn. The fourth, draw step, doesn’t exist anymore; its entry was removed.

What’s New

The Revenge of the Sith rulebook’s glossary features eight new entries:

  • Bounty
  • Equipment card
  • equip cost
  • Force-activated ability
  • Hidden Cost
  • Lucky
  • “Treat this unit as...”
  • Upkeep

It’s no surprise that keyword abilities introduced in Rogues and Scoundrels, The Phantom Menace, and Return of the Jedi were added to the glossary. What you won’t find in this version is the same keyword ability defined twice. Removing redundant keyword ability descriptions from section 3 made more sense than dropping them out of the glossary. Each new keyword ability entry includes some new information since the ability’s introduction.

Bounty clarifies that a unit earns a bounty when this ability triggers, not when it resolves at the start of the controller’s next build phase. This better explains how Bounty and No Good to Me Dead interact.

The change to Hidden Cost was covered in detail in part five. If you missed it, it equates Hidden Cost’s “any time” with “during any Play-or-Pass opportunity other than those created by damage or by disrupt.”

Lucky was the subject of part three. You can choose to reroll any number of dice up to the unit’s total Lucky value, but a unit can only use Lucky once per attack.

The final word on Upkeep and the build zone was spoiled in part two. A card’s Upkeep must be paid at the beginning of its controller’s first build step each turn—whether it’s in an arena or the build zone.

“Treat this unit as...” clears up any doubt about whether or not Lobot (A) and Lobot (B) can be fished out of the discard pile by Chewbacca (G). They can, because “Treat Lobot as a Droid” is an exception to the rule that a unit’s abilities don’t work when it’s in the build zone. Serious tournament players know this, but previous rulebooks gave no guidance to uninformed players.

A Force-activated ability is any ability that includes the payment of Force in its cost. This is synonymous with the text “activated abilities that cost 0 or more Force” that appears on Darth Sidious (D).

What’s Different

Some glossary entries got a minor facelift and others were nearly or completely torn down and rebuilt from scratch.

Activated abilities lose “You can’t play an activated ability unless the unit it’s on is in an arena or the ability prevents damage.” The “prevent” exception still stands (the prevent damage entry hasn’t changed). How often you can play activated abilities is also cleared up, with “once each time damage is impending” added to the list.

The steps of attacking in the attack glossary entry now reflect the changes discussed in part six. It also provides a quick reference for when you would play Battle cards and each of the different abilities that can affect an attack: Retaliate, Lucky, Overkill, Evade, and Deflect.

Battle card is the first entry to mention PoP opportunities, and confirms that Battle cards can be played outside the battle phase (see the end of part five).

Bombard (as well as Ion Cannon) gains a reminder that using this ability is an attack. This leaves no doubt for newcomers that abilities like Accuracy and Critical Hit apply when using Bombard (or Ion Cannon).

Build zone no longer leaves anything to the imagination. Old: “Activated abilities of units normally don’t work when they’re in the build zone.” New: “All abilities of units (other than Reserves and Upkeep) turn off if they’re in the build zone.”

Chance to play activated abilities and Battle cards is officially synonymous with “PoP chance” now. In the Empire Strikes Back rulebook, this entry hadn’t been updated to add disrupt to the list of special chances. Section 3 describes these special chances in detail and the list no longer appears in the glossary.

Critical Hit now says, “While attacking, this unit does X more damage if you roll at least one natural six.” Although this was always the case, the reminder text wasn’t explicit that Critical Hit worked only when attacking.

Disrupt was covered in detail in part seven. The updated entry adds activated abilities and Mission cards to the list of legal disrupt targets, clarifies that all costs of playing a disrupted card are lost (not just Force costs), and explains how to handle disrupt abilities with additional effects (such as Disrupting Strike).

Evade includes an example to show how a unit can use Evade repeatedly in the same turn (or even during the same attack).

Health adds this footnote: “Remaining health = Health – damage counters.”

Natural (as in “natural six”) clarifies that a die result that’s rerolled is ignored for abilities such as Critical Hit.

Overkill trades “During this unit’s attack” for “When this unit attacks.” This changes Overkill from a conditional static ability to a triggered ability, for what it’s worth.

Pilot summarizes the big changes featured in part two. (Note: The glossary states that Pilots lose their card type and subtype while piloting. This is incorrect; Pilots only lose their card type, not their subtype.)

Rolling for build points replaces the draw step as the third step of the ready phase.

Reserves (and Upkeep) reiterates that only Reserves and Upkeep work in the build zone.

Retaliate adopts much of that ability’s text deleted as a result of removing keyword abilities from section 3.

That’s All, Folks

It’s fitting that the glossary is at the end of the Revenge rulebook, as this is the last article of the rulebook series. That doesn’t mean I’m through here, however. I’ll be back next week.

(Sorry to those of you that searched ahead for the words “Equipment card” and “equip cost.” You’re going to have to wait a few more weeks to get the lowdown on what exactly the Revenge of the Sith set’s new card type does.)