Written by Matthew Williams
So the 2018 World Championships has come and gone, and with it came a few new spoilers from Way of the Force. Considering that the finals of the tournament were all Blue characters, I suppose it is fitting that the only new character spoiled this weekend is Blue. Plo Koon, from The Clone Wars series, is getting his own card, and it looks to have some decent potential.
For 11/14 points, we get a 10 health character with moderate sides. A 1 and a 2 melee, a 1 focus, 1 shield, and 1 resource with a blank. Plo’s passive ability is what gives him the most promise. It states that Plo has the ability of all of your non-unique characters. With 16 points left to spend, it’s possible to get a four-dice, three wide lineup that gives Plo some interesting possibilities.
A quick search of Destiny cards yields 9 possible non-unique partners for Plo Koon that have abilities and cost 9 or less, leaving the possibility of at least a 9/7 pairing to get two extra characters in. Of the ones shown here, Jedi Temple Guard has decent sides and Guardian, which could serve to keep your characters alive and disrupt modifier decks, and Jedi Acolyte has a very nice boost ability, which should not be hard to activate with all of the melee sides running around. However, at 9 points, the only partner that Acolyte could have and still keep Plo elite is Rookie Pilot, and that is less than ideal given Pilot’s ranged modifiers.
At this point, without seeing the full complement of characters from Way of the Force, the triumvirate of Plo Koon, Jedi Instructor, and Padawan seem to make the most use of Plo’s ability. This gives you a four dice lineup, with a respectable 26 health, and it gives you an interesting set of abilities on Plo himself. I’d think the Jedi Temple Guard would be the most appealing alternative, as it would aid in longevity, so I will also be testing Padawan/JTG as an alternative.
A lot of my choice will depend on the ruling of how Jedi Instructor’s ability will affect Plo Koon’s dice. Given that the ability on Jedi Instructor refers to a singular die, as you can’t have an elite Instructor, and that it also inherently refers to dice other than the Instructor’s die, Plo is going to need a quick FAQ to determine how this ability will apply.
If this is your pairing, Plo Koon’s ability would read:
While Plo Koon does not have an upgrade, the cost to attach a weapon to him is decreased by 1.
After you activate Plo Koon, you may turn one of your character dice to a side showing the same symbol as this die/one of these dice.
That last part is the catch. If Plo rolls a melee, can I adjust his other die to melee or does it have to be a die other than Plo Koon’s? With Instructor, it obviously has to be another die. With Plo Koon, you could argue that you are targeting one of Plo’s dice, and the other die is a valid target, as it is “one of your character dice.” Also, does this trigger for both of Plo Koon’s dice? If you roll two melee sides, could you feasibly then focus two other character dice to melee off of one Plo Koon activation? That one I see as less likely, as the trigger is activating Plo Koon, so I think you’d only be able to turn one die.
If Instructor allows you to focus the other Plo Koon die to the same symbol, this sets you up relatively nicely. Padawan’s ability could be interesting to abuse with Ancient Lightsaber. If it is the only upgrade, you could use it’s ability, Lightsaber Pull for it back, and re-play it for one resource. I know that is a very specific play, but I imagine the ability could be used more than once during the course of the game.
In addition to Plo Koon, we get a (thankfully) non-legendary support vehicle for Plo Koon. While I guess it makes no sense to have a starfighter with melee, with this vehicle having only ranged sides, it’s utility is certainly diminished. If I really wanted to build around this, I suppose you could go Clone Trooper/Rebel Trooper and try a ranged upgrade suite, but Plo Koon’s own dice wouldn’t be super helpful in that lineup. Still, the starfighter is interesting and could possibly be fun for a small local tournament to give it a try.
I don’t think Plo Koon has much hope of creeping up near Tier 1 with the current list of possible partners. However, if a really interesting ability pops up on an 8 cost character, it is possible that Plo Koon could make for an formidable deck. Although I doubt it’s possible, I would like to get an official ruling on what happens if you give Plo Koon the same ability twice. At that point, Plo/Jedha/Jedha could be interesting, because if the ability counted twice on Plo, because it comes from two separate sources, you’d mill your opponent for four just for doing one indirect damage.
Plo Koon may not be the end all, be all of Way of the Force characters. Still, it’s good to see more spoilers coming out for Way of the Force. Next time we’ll be looking at possible targets for the newly spoiled Darksaber! Did you think of any other pairings for Plo Koon? Could he be an interesting draft character? Comment below and we’ll discuss.