Tom Melucci Takes the Title!

Top Three!

Welcome back to the Star Wars: the Card Game World Championship coverage! Once again I managed to fight my way into the top cut, and while I didn’t make it as far on day two as last year, my friend and teammate Tom Melucci was able to crush all his opposition (including me!) on his road to the finals, where he overran the Sith Characters that his opponent David Tietze brought to bear. Congratulations Tom!

Just like last year I intend to provide as close to live coverage of the event as I can. This year I’ve assembled a Twitter List to keep up with alongside the account where I’ll be posting moment-to-moment updates (@TeamSandcrawla), which you can see below. As the tournament progresses, I’ll be updating this page to keep track of who’s doing well and how the tournament is progressing, with larger updates between each day. Keep your eyes here for the quick updates, watch the Twitter feed and check out the tournament standings. And when the top cut arrives on Friday, FFGLive will be streaming most of the top cut live! It starts at 2:30 central time and goes until the tournament is over. It’s looking like it’ll be a great event!

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Yes, It’s me again, good ol’ hoopy jaloop doop jones. After a bit of a hiatus (aka #boatgate2.0)  and with a lack of truly meta shifting cards from The Great Devourer, I’ve been having fun with “lol fun tier 1.5” warlords that I have been meaning to playtest. I felt like it was time to dive back into the game again with a Warlord who is not discussed very often these days: Colonel Coathanger Torquenada. Or something like that.

When Coatslang Tornado was first spoiled, woo boy did I hate on this guy bad. In some ways, I still sort of hate on him bad, but after some massive research and games under my belt, my opinion has definitely changed. Do I think he is t1? Eh…not exactly. Can he give t1 decks a run for the money? Definitely.

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And here we have it… the much-lauded rise of the Imperial Navy. As I said in my last intro, I expect people will (and should) buy this expansion explicitly for the improvements it brings to the last straggling affiliation, as the importance of the Navy improvements far outweights the mediocrity of the Smuggler sets. It is awkward, however, that every dark side set (including Sith and Scum) except one gets a better grade than the best light side set from the box, and the best Smuggler set is only equivalent to the worst dark side set. Now that this game has officially released, the era of light side dominance has likely ended and the Imperial Navy may prove to be the most powerful affiliation. So what cards could shake up the game so much? I’m glad you asked…

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Pre-released at GenCon, we finally have our next faction-based Deluxe Box, and this one has a much larger impact than the last one. It’s been on OCTGN already since GenCon, so people have been able to play with a lot of these cards already for a couple months and see just how powerful the Imperial Navy has finally become. If you have any interest in playing Star Wars: The Card Game, you absolutely must purchase this box. What it does for the Dark Side to counter what Jedi has become, and especially for the Imperial Navy (who up until now have been the red-headed stepchild of the game), is just so important to finally make all the affiliations balanced. Ironically, what you’ll see after the jump, is that this box was likely playtested during the heydey of Sleuths and Freeholders, back when Smuggler Superfriends decks (Han, Chewie, Falcon, etc) were ruling the roost on the light side. This is evident when you consider how I’m going to rate the light side and dark side cards, because where the Imperial Navy gets a ton of insane objective sets in this box, to compensate for their relative weakness at the time of design, the Smuggler sets in this Smuggler theme box are some of the weaker sets we’ve seen in recent memory, as they were already the most powerful faction at the time of design and they likely weren’t considered to need any pushing. Instead what we get are trick sets, support sets, and gambling sets, all of which are potentially fun to play but not the kind of thing you’d bring to the World Championships. That said, there’s some fun stuff in this box, even on the light side, so let’s get into it.
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Welcome back to another Release Review! This one closes out the Rogue Squadron Cycle, a cycle that at first looked like it wouldn’t do much to change up the metagame from the Echoes of the Force cycle but which contained a few sleeper hits and a few all-star champions. If you’ve been following the Imperial Entanglements spoilers at all, you know that my lackluster review of Grand Admiral Thrawn’s set was pretty immediately made irrelevant by giving Navy an in-faction way to increase the Noghri’s damage output, which will make that objective set from the last pack one of the most meta-defining sets of recent history.

What I want to know is whether this pack will bring anything on the scale of Rahn, Rogue Squadron, Boba, or Thrawn. The answer is probably not, but it has a ton of very juicy cards, and I especially am exceptionally excited to finally get my hands on Arden Lyn. Those events are so much fun! I suspect the Rebel Heroes set to end up stronger than they read, though being all-unique will be problematic, and I think a lot of people will have higher hopes for Han than what ends up playing out. Being in-faction with All Out Brawl and The Slimiest Scheme has the potential to make Guri very strong, but both she and the equally high-potential Arden Lyn may end up too inconsistent to ultimately work out. However, even if this pack doesn’t end up as powerful as the other expansions of the cycle, it’s easily one of the most fun!

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This article, in addition to being a couple months late, also needs to begin with a concession: when I first reviewed The Survivors, I thought it would be occasionally run as a singleton replacement or addition to the traditional protectors pod (The Secret of Yavin 4

), because it functioned in a similar fashion. What I didn’t expect is that Qu Rahn (well, really The Survivors and Force Rejuvenation) would actually change the way I played against Jedi lists, and those two, combined with all the incidental objective damage in the pod, actually made it a very strong inclusion as a two-of in mono-Jedi and even Falcon-Jedi lists. When the objective and Rahn are out, you can basically ignore the first damage that would be dealt to your Characters each turn, meaning it’s very hard for your opponent to prevent your strikes without tactics icons, and meaning incidental sources of damage, such as Force Choke (without Vader) and Heat of Battle lose a lot of their punch. I’ve found the objective’s presence has completely blanked copies of Force Choke in my hand that I was planning on using to manipulate combat or just try to build up damage between turns, and Force Choke used to be among the most feared cards the Dark Side could muster. It reached the point where I was facing Rahn’s Survivors often enough that I had to explore new avenues of stopping, and ultimately killing, my opponents. What were they?

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We meet again! With the summer winding down and school back in swing, it’s time to catch up on all the articles in the queue… starting with three(?!) set reviews, with a Force Pack and a hugely-important Deluxe Expansion having just released (or having been pre-released at GenCon). Those will follow the article I started writing a bit ago and still want to get out, but first I have a preview article to follow up on! My last post was a preview of an objective set from the upcoming Imperial Entanglements, and in it I included a number of Challenges, three of which were intended to get you thinking about live gamestates, while the last one provided a more traditional “guaranteed win” puzzle to solve. I hope they were enjoyed! As originally stated, I’m going to provide a quick run-down on each of the challenges to provide my opinion, for you to compare to your own.

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Hey guys, checking in to say that we here at Team Sandcrawla were gifted with some really cool Jedi art, and I wanted to show it off in its full glory. Enjoy!

Mysteries of the Rim
Mysteries of Rim

Outer Rim Mystic
Outer Rim Mystic

Niman Training
Niman Training

Force Illusion
Force Illusion 2

I hope this was as cool for you guys as it was for me! Join me later this week (hopefully) when I discuss the effect that Qu Rahn and his Survivors have had on the metagame.

~Dav Flamerock

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Welcome back for another Release Review! (I’ll admit, I feel like I just wrote the last one). This time we’re going to go deep on some interesting and popular objective sets, so get ready to go. As I recently spoiled one of the sets, I’m just going to provide a link to that discussion so I don’t bore you with the same review again. And I also want to try out something else new: a brief review of the pack as a whole, before the jump.

I think 99% of players will buy this pack exclusively for Grand Admiral Thrawn, and that’s totally fine. As individual cards go, Thrawn is one of the best, and if it weren’t for the objective set system I think everyone would be running Navy just for that one card. But does the whole set back him up? Well I’m not so sure. I think Thrawn’s set will be overrated in the immediate future, and I think the Nar Shadaa Drift set will be underrated. I think I really like the Imperial Bureaucracy set but it probably doesn’t have enough power to justify a slot in a mono-Sith deck (though it’s usually not too hard to find room for a one-of). Owen Lars can be powerful, but Jedi decks have tons of competition so he’ll probably get left in the binder unless people have a preference for the character or holocron-like effect. And while the Duros Smugglers are the pilots you want to be running alongside Rogue Squadron X-Wings… is it good enough to make up for the subpar units? As a whole, this is a pretty balanced and average pack that brings a LOT of support sets to every faction except Rebels (who get left out) and Navy (who get the best unit on the Dark Side). Want some support? Follow the Chain of Command!

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This is a special video I’ve been looking forward to uploading, so I hope you enjoy! I do apologize for how fast I’m talking in this one–I was trying to fit a lot of commentary in without having to slow the video down at all. Still working out this new format!

If you’re interested in reading a little more about the game, I’ve written some words on it here.