Nearly two years ago we posted a ‘Buyer’s Guide’ in an attempt to best help new players figure out which sets were best for them. With several box sets and expansion packs now in the environment, it’s time for an update!
Star Wars LCG landed in stores in late December of 2012, and since then we’ve seen three cycles completed (Endor cycle is getting ready for pack 4) and five box sets hit the shelves. All of this can add up to a lot of confusion on what is needed for tournament play, casual play, or just trying the game out.
Today, we’re going to address exactly what you’ll need if you’re looking at getting into the game, or if you know someone who is.
Do or Do Not, There is No Try
The concept of a Living Card Game is a very interesting one. Gone is the rarity produced from the typical trading card games or collectible card games, and in its steed is a game in which you invest a very minimal amount of money in every four to six weeks. These monthly investments create a unique gaming atmosphere in which the game changes gradually, regularly, over time rather than becoming massively different every three to four months. The gradual change gives players time to adapt, adjust, and enjoy the differences.
At the time of this writing, these are the products currently available to players (in order of appearance):
Core (two copies required for complete sets)
Hoth Cycle (one copy required for complete set)
Desolation of Hoth
Search for Skywalker
A Dark Time
Assault of Echo Base
Battle of Hoth
Escape from Hoth
Edge of Darkness (two copies required for complete sets)
Balance of the Force (one copy required for complete set)
Echoes Cycle (one copy required for complete set)
Heroes and Legends
Lure of the Dark Side
Knowledge and Defense
Join Us or Die
It Binds All Things
Darkness and Light
Between the Shadows (one copy required for complete set)
Rogue Squadron cycle (one of each below required for complete set)
Ready for Takeoff
Draw Their Fire
Chain of Command
Jump to Lightspeed
Imperial Entanglements (one copy required for complete set)
Endor cycle (one of each below required for complete set)
If you’re interested in just trying the game out to see if it is something you would enjoy, we would recommend purchasing one copy of Core and one copy of Edge of Darkness. This will give you a well-rounded, enjoyable experience and enough cards to build decks for all six affiliations (Jedi, Rebel, Smugglers, Sith, Navy, and Scum).
However, this won’t give you a real taste of the strengths of each side, as you’d be limiting yourself to just one of each set that you could play. This is perfectly fine to do, just understand while trying the game out that the game can be much more powerful when you can run duplicates of its more powerful sets (ie, having only one copy of Darth Vader versus being able to run two copies).
Buying one of each of these sets will run you about $40, if purchasing off of Amazon.com. Local retailers will price the sets a bit higher, so if you’re wanting to support your local game store you’ll end up spending about $70 out of pocket.
If you’re looking at building tournament worthy decks while also sampling the game, we’d recommend buying One copy of Core, one copy of Edge of Darkness, one copy of Between the Shadows, and one copy of Imperial Entanglements. If you’re a competitive player, this will cost a bit more but will give you a better understanding of what decks in tournament formats will consist of. This will run you around $100 or less if you shop around Amazon and eBay. Going through your local game store will set you back around $130.
Let the Wookiee Win
If you’re a casual gamer that has no real interest in hitting the tournament scene anytime soon, you certainly don’t need to purchase every single release out there. This holds especially true as the game grows, as the ability to enjoy the game on your kitchen table won’t change too much.
There are a ton of exciting and fun strategies within Star Wars LCG, but sometimes it’s just more fun to play with the more iconic cards and enjoy the game without aiming to be the next World Champion. If you find yourself a casual player, or someone who just wants to play with their buddies rather than in tournaments, we would recommend purchasing one copy of Core, one copy of Edge of Darkness, one copy of Between the Shadows, one copy of Ready for Takeoff, one copy of Attack Run.
Buying one of each of these will set you back roughly $110 if shopping online; about $150 if shopping at your local game store.
These sets will give you a lot of main characters and units, like Luke, Obi, Yoda, Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, Devastator, Millennium Falcon, Chewbacca, Han Solo, Leia Organa, Jabba the Hutt, while finding room for some of the more casual things to do from the Rogue Squadron cycle (like pilot versions of Luke and Vader). It will also give you a bit of a boost to the fun that can be had with Rebels, in beefing up your ranks of strong support Rebel ships. If you find yourself enjoying the game a lot and playing it more often with your friends than you first envisioned, then we’d recommend additionally picking up a second copy of both Core and Edge of Darkness, as well as Imperial Entanglements. Adding these sets will give you more versatility when it comes to deck building, and will give you more copies of your favorite characters!
The Force is Strong with This One
While the first two recommendations were for players looking to enjoy the game on a simpler scale, we’re aware that there are players out there who don’t want to treat the game as a moneysink, but would still like to enjoy the game to its fullest without attending major tournaments or conventions.
If you like having access to cards and being able to make solid gaming decks without breaking your bank, we would recommend purchasing two copies of Core, two copies of Edge of Darkness, one copy of Balance of the Force, one copy of Between the Shadows, one copy of Imperial Entanglements, one copy of Heroes and Legends, and one copy of Lure of the Dark Side. Buying the recommended sets above will set you back $200 if buying off of Amazon.com. If you go the local gaming store route, you’ll be looking at $275-$300.
These sets will give you the ability to make a bunch of exciting and powerful decks, while also giving you the ability to customize your experience to your needs/interests. It skips out on the weaker and slightly less exciting Hoth sets, so if you do have a hankering for reenacting Hoth battles, you might want to go ahead and add in Battle of Hoth and Escape from Hoth. It also skips out on most of the Pilot cycle, a cycle that sees little competitive play. Otherwise, these sets will give you everything you need to enjoy the game without going too excessive on it. They’ll also give you all the iconic Star Wars characters you could possibly want to see played!
Also, pricing off of Amazon for around $200 means you’re in the budget range of other board games or card game sets with expansions!
The Force Will Be with You, Always
If you’re a completionist or tournament competitive player, then you probably already know what we’re going to recommend here; buying the entire list described above. Sure, there will be a lot of cards that won’t see play and you’ll have to add storage solutions to your investment, but purchasing every set (in the max quantities needed for a complete set) will give you everything you need.
Doing so will run you roughly $380 if purchased off of Amazon.com. If you go the local store route, be prepared to drop over $450 on the game in its current state.
But you’ll have everything you could possibly need to play in any environment; with friends, as a casual table top gamer, in tournaments, Regionals, or even the World Championship. This is absolutely the way to go if you want to make the most of your competitive environments, or if you’re a collector looking to add Star Wars LCG to your collection.
(editor’s note: you can also keep an eye on eBay for players selling off their collections at a discount, though they’ll most likely be used)
We see players, especially newer players, ask on the forums what is needed for purchase to be able to play Star Wars LCG. We hope this article clears up a lot of confusion that buying into a LCG can create. We also know everyone has different tastes, and that some players might recommend slightly different purchases. While we feel this is a pretty definitive list, we understand that it might not be right for everyone.