by Josh Johnson
One of first things you learn about deck building as new player is how to properly mix affiliations and select the correct affiliation card. You often want one faction in the minority, and you want to use that faction’s affiliation card to try and ensure that you always have the resource matches to play your cards. Sometimes, however, your affiliation card is chosen for you by an affiliation-only pod. You may be worried about cards such as BTS Obi-Wan or Snoova hurting your deck, so you want most of your objectives to match your affiliation card. Normally this will keep you from splashing objectives from other factions into your deck, but there are some instances where that does not always have to be the case.
My first article had a deck that ran a Smuggler affiliation card, eight yellow pods, and two copies of May the Force Be With You. The MTFBWY objective is an absolute game-changer — allowing you to attack, take the force, and be available to defend with a unit all in the same turn. Adding it to my “mono” smuggler deck would let my units pull double duty. This setup sure worked. It took my Freeholders to the Top 4 at Nationals and got a teammate of mine into Top 16 at Worlds when he paired it with Wookiees. Why does it work though?
A fair chunk of the time (If you would like to know the exact percent, check last month’s math homework from Mick – I’m more of a theory kind of guy) you are going to see MTFBWY in your opening four objectives. If you do not, there are only four “dead” cards in your deck and two of them have five edge icons for an edge battle. Also, each Light Side faction has a way to just put characters into play regardless of a resource match (Rebels can use Infiltration and Jedi can use Secret Guardian – both for a similar, albeit temporary, effect). In a smuggler deck, the Millenium Falcon can put Yoda into play if you have no Jedi resources. Of course, this is not the only example where it is optimal to splash in an out-of-faction set that you may not always have a resource match for.
Last year was a very yellow period for me. I wasn’t quite jaundiced, but I felt that my Smuggler decks were performing the best at the time, especially when using Freeholders. They were what I was most comfortable with in that meta. When Commando Operations came out, though, I became obsessed with Seeds of Decay. This was what the Light Side needed! Most of the big scary Dark Side units ended up committed to the Force at the time, and here was a card that stopped them before they could even strike. The problem was that Smugglers did not get a set with Seeds of Decay in it until after Nationals. I really wanted Seeds in my Freeholder deck, and at the time Crix was the only way to do that.
Commando Operations can be quite annoying for the Dark Side player. Your opponent either has to attack the objective to turn it off, which would focus those potential blockers, or their fate cards are blanked. That benefits you either way. When you absolutely know that your opponent can not use a Twist of Fate against you, it gives you quite an advantage, especially if you have your own to use against him. This set contains a Seeds, a free event, two Rebel Commandos (which despite their name are neutral and sometimes free) and Crix himself. Well, I could just put him into play with the Falcon or put him in the edge stack. I figured adding this Rebel set in with my yellow affiliation and objectives was worth trying. I ended up with a Light Side deck that I was happy with, despite the fact that it had cards in it I might never even be able to play.
There are a few other instances where it would benefit you to add a certain set or two to a deck even if you will not be able to play some of the cards. You may be looking to add something to your deck that your faction is lacking, such as adding tactics to an Imperial Navy deck. Maybe you are looking to include a stellar objective ability to a deck such as card draw or unit readying. You will often want the objective in these instances to contain mostly neutral or zero cost cards. You will also want the cards that do require a resource match to have good edge value or be usable in some manner (such as being able to be brought into play through alternate methods). Here are some examples of objectives that may be worth considering.
Counsel of the Sith: This set has great card draw, a resource, a twist, and a trooper with blast damage. The only card in the set that needs Sith resources has two Force icons. This can fit well into almost any Dark Side deck.
The Tatooine Crash: Free tactics, a twist, a three health unit with two black guns, free tactics, and a six health objective. If you do find the resource match, Utinni! is probably the best answer for Luke’s Saber and Knobby White Spiders since capturing them keeps them from being recurred from the discard pile.
Trandoshan Terror: A Heat of Battle and two cost Trandoshans that can snipe Wookiees. Bounty is also free and can occasionally work. This set was a great addition for a bygone meta, but it may come back around.
The Killing Cold: The objective is nuts in a Hoth deck, it has a twist, two neutral units, and the Sith cards in it have good Force icons.
The Scavengers: This is probably my favorite addition on this list because if you can trigger the objective out of the blue, you will remember the look on your opponents face for years to come. Free guys, a free event, and a Seeds of Decay is nothing to scoff at either. I used to run this set in my tie decks since the objective lends itself to very offensive decks where you swing for the fence trying to outrace them.
The Admirals Assault: Need a Dark Side Seeds along with a possible free unit and a lot of good edge? This may be worth a look down the road if Sith or Scum get more (any) Hoth based sets.
Lord Vader’s Command: It does have the only Dark Side event cancel in the game… Even if the event only goes to the top of their deck this could save the game (I’m looking at you Desperation). The objective is good while active. The four force icons on Vader and neutral droids that can disable objectives like Following Fate aren’t bad either.
A Deep Commitment: Asteroid Base wins games (and World Championships). If Rebels or Smugglers get a lot of shield support in the future this pod may be worth splashing in just for that card alone.
Wookiee Life Debt: Hearty neutral units, a heat, and a Light Side choke as well as the potential for possible protectors might be something Rebel characters could like.
Against All Odds: Infiltrating Dash into the trench could be funny. This set also seems like it may be important for Light Side combo due to all the card draw. Dash is the only card that requires a resource match and the Shifty Lookouts are still as annoying as ever.
A Hero’s Resolve: Tons of edge both from the cards in the set and the objective. Luke can also be brought out via Stay on Target and the set has a creature resource.
Impersonating a Deity: Strangely, all of the Light Side sets with Seeds of Decay can easily be splashed regardless of the affiliation. DJ Threepio is the only card you need smuggler resources for and Rash Action can really influence the tempo of the game.
It may not always be beneficial to include this kind of splash into your decks. However, try to keep an open mind while deck building because the cards you are looking for might not be where you expect.