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Game defining command cards

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I had a long debate with a couple of friends about what command cards that can really be considered game defining. Now I am interested in your view. What command cards are game defining and why?

The interpretation of game defining is intentionaly left to the reader. :)

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Take Initiative, Negation (you'll almost never see a list without them).

Fleet Footed, Urgency (you won't often see a successful list without them).

Son of Skywalker, Blaze of Glory (only usable by three very specific figures, but when one of these cards is played there's a good chance it'll win the game).

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I'd measure "game-defining" as being a card which can single-handedly shift the flow of the game.  I guess any card can be game-defining if played at the right moment, but there are a few cards which are almost always game-defining when they're played.

-Take Initiative is the big one, as games are definitely won or lost based on whether or not you can get that one last activation out of a damaged figure (or whether you can run them to safety)

-Negation makes the list because it's so versatile, and you're almost always going to find a way to ruin the other player's day if you draw it (often versus TI)

- Blaze of Glory, SoS and the Vader Parting Blow combo can cause such a huge shift in one activation.  These are so powerful that lists can be pretty much designed around these cards.

- Rebel Graffiti is a new one that definitely makes the list.  If I draw it in the first round I'm probably getting 8-10 points from it if I can keep my Sabine safe (which isn't hard to do when she can easily just hide, pop out and grenade).  That's pretty huge for one 0-point card to get you a quarter of the way to victory all on its own.

- Borderline for me are On the Lam and Assassinate.  Both are absolutely tier-one cards, but they somehow feel more "expected", and don't seem to have the same surprising shift in momentum that the other ones give.  I could see them being included in the list, though.

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On The Lam because having it in hand changes your attitude from defensive to offensive. Also it influences choices of your opponents. I pushed more than once the opponent in doing the wrong choice, just bluffing I had that card in my hand.

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I would say personally a game defining card is a card that if you have the people to use it it is a must have. SO for me that would be on the lamb, ti, rebel graffiti, most re activate cards (like sos) and positining advantage. Negation in my opinion is not because only around half of the top tables use it and everyone can use it.

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14 hours ago, Bitterman said:

Fleet Footed, Urgency (you won't often see a successful list without them).

Thats a pretty big stretch. Neither of these cards ever make it into my command decks regardless of what I play - but I don't play melee figures very often except Chopper or Palpatine~ (: You don't need those to ever be successful, what a weird claim to make.

 

Anyway~ My own thoughts on the topic

On the Lam, Hunter cards, Blaze, etc. aren't even game-defining themselves because you know they're coming and they will hurt~ Yea sure when you get Heightened Reflexed + Assassinated on a big cost figure it does swing the game around but you're playing against hunters, expect it to happen~

Extra attacks like Han & Vader's end of round or start of round Call the Vanguard, and Take Initiative / I make my own luck is where the whole round changes and its much more defining for a game than anything else during a round - what happens while no one has yet to activate a single deployment and you're hoping its yours first and you're hoping to eliminate an enemy deployment~ Other extra attacks like Onar's Extra Protection can also swing things around~ Which is why Specter Cell's Skirmish Upgrade for 2 points is so incredibly overpowered.

 

Edited by Kalandros

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15 hours ago, Bitterman said:

Take Initiative, Negation (you'll almost never see a list without them).

Fleet Footed, Urgency (you won't often see a successful list without them).

Son of Skywalker, Blaze of Glory (only usable by three very specific figures, but when one of these cards is played there's a good chance it'll win the game).

I don't often run fleet footed or urgency. There are plenty of other movement cards (Opportunistic, the 2 costs for each faction) as well. That being said they are both solid options.

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8 hours ago, Kalandros said:

Thats a pretty big stretch. Neither of these cards ever make it into my command decks regardless of what I play - but I don't play melee figures very often except Chopper or Palpatine~ (: You don't need those to ever be successful, what a weird claim to make.

They're two of the best 0-point cards, and you'll always need some 0-point cards. Nothing to do with melee figures either - the entire skill of the game is putting your figures in the right positions; otherwise you might as well just line up a netlist of the "strongest" cards, roll a bunch of dice and the winner shouts "hurray!". With positioning being so crucial, the one thing more than anything else that determines player skill, 0-point cards that help you with positioning are incredibly useful... I don't think saying they are game defining is a weird claim at all.

If you've got a high-cost figure that performs an attack, then a special action, then uses Fleet Footed to put him out of LOS of the enemy, that can deny the enemy 5-10 VPs that they might otherwise have got easily. Or if the other player has kept Jabba or Sabine in their back field churning out buffs or Rebel Graffiti VPs, Urgency can get you in position for a shot you otherwise wouldn't have managed. They're potentially game changing, for no cost! I never start out by intending to build a list with these cards in, but basically always end up with them in there anyway; and I see them in most lists I play against, too.

Edited by Bitterman

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I'll agree to having at least 2-3 movement cards. Whether these are Fleet Footed and Urgency or something else is not important in my opinion. I rarely play without Urgency, but almost always play without Fleet Footed.

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Ya I used to always put urgency in because I was told it's mandatory. I often found I didn't need it (or only needed 1 space) and it was stuck in my hand. When I started using brawler lists recently, which I frackin' love playing now, I found fleet footed was great because you didn't need the action to get that extra movement. This could set up pummel nicely or work well with face to face. 

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On the Lam is incredibly game defining, it warps gameplay around the threat of it being played until it's been played or discarded. 

I have found Strength in Numbers and Pummel to be game defining in Spectre Cell. Those triple-tap activations are huge. 

Dying Lunge is a new card that has swung the game whenever I've played it. 

I think Intelligence Leak and Strategic Shift are also cards that could fit in this category. Having Blaze of Glory stripped from your hand right before you play it or going from 6 cards to 2 cards can be pretty game-changing.

Edited by Tvboy

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10 hours ago, Bitterman said:

They're two of the best 0-point cards, and you'll always need some 0-point cards. Nothing to do with melee figures either - the entire skill of the game is putting your figures in the right positions; otherwise you might as well just line up a netlist of the "strongest" cards, roll a bunch of dice and the winner shouts "hurray!". With positioning being so crucial, the one thing more than anything else that determines player skill, 0-point cards that help you with positioning are incredibly useful... I don't think saying they are game defining is a weird claim at all.

If you've got a high-cost figure that performs an attack, then a special action, then uses Fleet Footed to put him out of LOS of the enemy, that can deny the enemy 5-10 VPs that they might otherwise have got easily. Or if the other player has kept Jabba or Sabine in their back field churning out buffs or Rebel Graffiti VPs, Urgency can get you in position for a shot you otherwise wouldn't have managed. They're potentially game changing, for no cost! I never start out by intending to build a list with these cards in, but basically always end up with them in there anyway; and I see them in most lists I play against, too.

You always need some and even in a list with 7 0 point cards, neither of them find a place in my deck. Yes positioning is everything in this game and more so without using command cards in the hopes that it will be at the right time and not negated. 

Yes they are good 0 point cards, but even in a Han list you have to play around not having On the Lam during the game - Thrawn can scrap it, strain, shoot the messenger, hostile negotiations, stall for time can keep it away for an entire round where you desperately needed it, etc.

The most game-defining cards are those that alter the order of play (initiative/deployments/extra attacks) and mess with the command deck of your opponent - unfortunately I find it harder and harder to take any Spies in my list. I used to take Mak when I played Rangers on the Swamp but not anymore, no place for the little spy~ Intelligence Leak and Comm Disruption can interrupt your opponent's plan - like discarding Blaze that he had prepared to use right there and then, comm disrupt a Strength in Numbers play, etc~

Movement is important, hoping that you have that extra movement in hand when you need it is not a good way to play.

Edited by Kalandros

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Great discusdion! I will share my reasoning as well. 

In my book there is only one, On the Lam. As many of you say, there is no other card that really changes how you play in anticipation of it. 

Two more I consider very close to meta defining. Blaze of glory can really change the game if played and Rebel Grafitti sort of does if drawn early as it pushes the opponent to alter play style. 

Son of skywalker was meta defining earlier, but han fallen out of grace lately. 

Take initiative would have been meta defining in my book if we didnt have Negation.  

Basically the discusdion between me and my coplayers was about how to view SoS and Blaze. 

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Well you asked for game defining cards and then you talked about meta defining cards.

In the first case I said on the lam because it affects the gameplay, but it only partially affects how you build your lists.

So when it comes to meta defining I would mention cards that affect how players build their lists. In this case there are 4 situations:

1) Cards that are must have. That is Take Initiative

2) Cards that you must bring to workaround must haves: Negation

3) Cards that when in your CC deck shape your Dep Deck: Son of Skywalker, Blaze of Glory, On the Lam. In example when you bring these cards then you want R2, RHC, Black Market, etc.

4) Cards that push you to bring in 1-2 more cards for getting a uber combos. Like Pummel that brings in movement cards, Son of Skywalker and Blaze of Glory because of Devotion Planning and Officer's Training, On the Lam because  of Planning and Officer's Training, Wild Fury with Chewie that brings in To the limits and Rally, other combos that I don't remember now.

All these are meta defining because people design lists around them and they inevitably impact large part of the choices.

Edited by Golan Trevize

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22 hours ago, Golan Trevize said:

Well you asked for game defining cards and then you talked about meta defining cards.

Yes, you are right. That is a bad mix of terms on my part.

In my mind, I was mostly thinking about the command cards that affects the game in a super strong way. SoS and Blaze are absolutley such cards, even if I consider SoS to have fallen slightly simply because of the rise of even stronger lists and map rotation leading to the slight fall from grace for Jedi Luke and his ranger buddies. 

I fully agree with the analysis made by several of you regarding Take initiative, Negation and movement cards, they really affect how the game is played, but my angle on the question was different. 

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