By Matthew– February 14, 2013
The SWLCG Core Set teased us with more than just the Smugglers and Spies and Scum and Villainy affiliations. It also gave us a teaser of the capture mechanic. While capturing in the core set was fully functional, the rewards for capturing were lacking. As a form of card removal, capturing is rarely better than just destroying the unit. It gives you some protection from cards like Return of the Jedi, but also has a built in way for the LS to get their cards back. The only Core cards that gave you any extra benefit for capturing were The Bespin Exchange and its included event Bounty Collection. Meanwhile, methods to capture were spread out over all 3 affiliations with Boba Fett in S&V, Take them Prisoner and Detained in Imperial Navy, and Cruel Interrogations in Sith. Of those, only Boba Fett offered a way to repeat capturing at all, the rest are single-use effects. That all changed recently with the reveal of the Edge of Darkness expansion.
Cards that Capture
Unfortunately, not too many new methods to capture were revealed in the relatively small spoiler. However, I think we can assume that there will be several more options. What we do see is this:
While costly (4 resources, and locking down the unit for a couple of turns), Bossk is the only new capturing card revealed. The jury is still out on exactly how good he will be as a rather important number is covered up (his damage capacity).
Cards that Reward Capturing
This is where the preview starts to really shine. We’ve already seen the potential benefit from Bossk capturing a Wookiee (and it’s a fair bet that Chewie will show up in either this set or the Hoth cycle). If there’s a Wookiee target around, Bossk is now a 4 cost card that draws 2 cards (net +1), captures that Wookiee, and gives you a free unit a couple of turns later.
Umm, yes, please. With a good focus on capturing units you could conceivably get your reserve value into double digits. You’d pretty much have to be trying to lose an edge battle then. Of course with that you’d have to start worrying about decking yourself before finishing off the LS. If only there was a good way to use all of this capturing to accelerate the DS win condition…
Well, that might help some. With 2-5 blast icons depending on how your capturing is going, Slave I gives a capture-based deck its game ending threat. Combined, it sets up S&V to play like a very interesting combination of control (via removal/capture) and aggro (win condition being primarily the destruction of LS objectives).
While capturing may be the deck’s focus, we’ll probably still need some other abilities available to the Scum and Villainy affiliation to support our main strategy. Once again, the spoiler doesn’t disappoint.
Coming from the Jabba’s Reach objective set, we’ll certainly have a couple of copies of Jabba in the deck. While certainly combat capable by himself with those two tactics icons, Jabba’s real power is in his ability to surprise the opponent with a cheap unit or enhancement out of nowhere. The spoiler doesn’t show us any new cards we could use this for (except maybe Paid Informant), but potential targets already include Mandalorian Armor, Blaster Pistol, Outer Rim Hunter, and a host of other non-S&V units and enhancements. The biggest strength of the ability, though, is the ability to get the cards down outside of the normal window in the Deploy phase.
Also from the Jabba’s Reach objective set, this card is just plain awesome! The only weakness is to Twist of Fate (your opponent won’t care that you control it instead of them, after all). Of course, everything edge battle related is weak to Twist of Fate right now so that doesn’t really matter. Most of the time, this card will read “Pay one S&V resource and win the edge battle. Oh, and while you’re at it reverse any Heat of Battles or Battle of Hoths that your opponent was trying to use. Plus, if you’re attacking and your opponent was desperate enough to use Target of Opportunity on defense you get to point it back at them too.” Crazy. I wrote a post about the importance of winning edge battles a while ago and this card is pretty much on par with Twist of Fate in setting up a win. Plus, unlike Twist of Fate, it can actually be used in an edge battle itself with 2 force icons if needed (you don’t have the resource to play it, for instance).
While the Core Set left me somewhat down on the Scum and Villainy faction, this preview has completely reversed that. I suspect that I will end up being a dedicated scum player after this hits the streets. I love playing decks with intricate tricks and interactions and the handful of cards previewed so for makes it look like Scum and Villainy will be the affiliation for me.