Article

Spark of Hope Blue and Red Neutral Cards Initial Thoughts

Written by Bill Yankosky (aka Yodaman)

We continue our look at Spark of Hope and double down in this article by looking at the Blue neutral and Red neutral cards in the set. There are definitely some interesting cards here.

As discussed before, I’ll be using a 4 point rating scale with the numbers generally representing the following:

4 – Potentially powerful card. Definitely thematic and useful in multiple decks.

3 – Solid card that could be very effective in the right build and fun to build around.

2 – Very situational card that will need the right deck and matchup to shine.

1 – Binder Fodder.

As a reminder, I like to look at cards both from their potential use in both casual and competitive settings. Feel free to agree or disagree with my thoughts about cards, just please do whichever in a respectful way.

My Top 3 Favorite Blue Neutral Cards

  1. Niman Mastery – The new form has no blanks and can help special chain for 2 cost.
  2. Temporary Truce – You can’t play Kylo and Rey together without it.
  3. Clever Distraction – New, versatile toy for mill.

My Least Favorite Blue Neutral Cards

  1. Mysteries of the Force – Just way too many conditions.
  2. Dark Reflections – Your opponent can easily undo what you’ve just done.
  3. Untamed Power – Just seems like there are better options for upgrades.

My Top 3 Favorite Red Neutral Cards

  1. Admiral – Ready and roll in again!
  2. You Are In Command Now – Want to use this on Vader for the irony.
  3. Off the Sensors – Versatile card that the Droids love.

My Least Favorite Red Neutral Cards

  1. Aftermath – Reprint with errata. Not sure it was needed.
  2. Shortcut – Thematic, but not a big fan.
  3. Chain Lightning – Too situational.

Onto my thoughts and ratings!

Alter Fate: 3

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Being able to remove all dice showing damage with one card is certainly powerful and could lead to some blow outs. However, good players should be able to play around this card if they know you have it in your deck and given the cost, it will be interesting to see if this sees much play.

Clever Distraction: 3

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A versatile card since you can do one of three different things with it as long as you can spot a Blue character. Can see this being added to hero mill decks since you can mill 2 cards for 1 cost. Also has the flexibility of being able to turn a die or remove a trooper die in a pinch.

Dark Reflections: 2

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Cards that turn dice are good in limited play but seem to struggle to find a place in Standard. You can use this offensively or defensively at least, but if your opponent has mitigation they might undo what you’ve done.

Decisive Blow: 2

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An interesting reprint here. This card is narrow and costly. If the meta remains support heavy, this just isn’t good enough value for the cost.

Draw Closer: 3

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We get another move event which makes it a candidate for Lightsaber Mastery. This one also comes with a bonus tied to a mastery card, in this case Niman Mastery. As is, getting to resolve a die showing melee and keep it in the pool can be useful. With the potential +2 bonus on the damage, it could be really good if Niman Mastery is on the character.

Polarity: 2

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This card is clearly meant to be played in a Kylo3/Rey3 deck since it has two parts and you need to spot a hero to get a shield and spot a villain to do a damage. Outside of that it doesn’t have a lot of value although in Draft it could be a nice addition since you could easily play a villain and hero character together in that format just by using Dooku3 and Fenn Rau.

Pushing Slash: 3

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Another move event. This one lets you activate a Blue character and then immediately resolve one if its character or upgrade dice. That could be great as long as roll something you want to resolve. If you got a loaded up Palpatine3 or Mace2, then your odds of having something worth resolving will certainly go up. This also has the bonus of being able to turn another die to any side after your resolve a die if you have Niman Mastery on the character.

Temporary Truce: 3

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I give this a 3 just for the theme since the plot is 0 cost and lets you play Kylo and Rey together. Obviously it has no use other than that and it prevents you from using gray cards (although being able to use both Blue hero and villain cards in the same deck is intriguing), but this card captures the scene in The Last Jedi well so props to that.

Force Connection: 2

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This card also seems meant for a Kylo/Rey deck and since it’s a support you can repeat the effect of turning dies to matching symbols. Might be interesting to see if there’s some way a hero Blue deck with Bariss Ofee could make use of this card since you could potentially turn two character dice to the same symbol with this support and then turn one of hers to match it.

Mysteries of the Force: 1

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Way too many conditions even though the effect of being able to play 3 upgrades from your hand or discard for free sounds potentially bonkers The issue is this support is going to be on the table so your opponent can see if you might be close to pulling this off and would be able to mitigate dice to stop you.

Niman Mastery: 4

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The new lightsaber form looks like incredible value for 2 cost. The die has no blanks and every side is useful. The 2 melee side can let you deal damage immediately. The specials can be used for special chaining since it allows you to turn both a character die and an upgrade die to sides of your choice. Characters like Yoda1 or Palp3 with upgrades could really take advantage of this offensively and the special could also be used defensively to blank dice.

Niman Training: 3

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For 1 cost, this is solid. Palp3 will love this cheap upgrade to help raise his total health. The special is nice since you can use it offensively or defensively and then play Niman Mastery for free. The 1 melee and 1 resource side are good too.

Untamed Power: 2

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On this surface, this seems like its meant for Kylo/Rey since you could different effects from the special depending on which character you put it on and it has to go onto an apprentice. But, it could have other uses in some Blue hero decks who have more apprentices. You could play this for 1 on a Youngling with its Power Action and that’s not bad at all. The special would synergize well with Yoda2 to get removal and a shield at the same time of even with Yoda1 in terms of special chaining. But, overall, there are probably just better 2 cost options for upgrades.

Chain Lightning: 2

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This card seems pretty situational although it could fit well in an Execute Order 66 deck since you could effectively deal 3 total damage for 2 cost because all your opponent’s characters will be Jedi. An interesting and risky (and expensive) play that might close out a game or take out a character would be to deal 1 damage to one of your characters in order to deal 2 damage to an opponent’s character if you each have characters with a matching subtype.

Focused Fire: 3

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In a deck with a lot of ranged damage, which is common in Red decks anyway, this card is decent value as you get 2 extra damage for 1 cost as long as your resolve the damage against a character.

Hull Breach: 3

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You can use this to discard supports as long as you remove a die showing a value equal or less than the value of the support. It should be pretty easy to use this to get rid of cheap supports like BT-1, Tech Team, Fickle Mercenaries or Sniper Team, just to name a few, but it will be more difficult to remove things like Megablaster Troopers or Vader’s Fist. Alternatively, you can deal indirect damage equal to the value on the die which might work well with things like the big 4 shield for 1 on Yoda2 or modified sides on something like Ordinance Launcher that you can’t resolve otherwise. Even though it’s versatile, I just can’t help but think there may be better support removal options.

Off the Sensors: 4

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It’s spot Red, but this card is incredibly good for the 1 cost. It gives another way to action cheat with C-3P0 and R2-D2 whether or not you control the battlefield, and the Military Camp like ability on this card may end up being its main use. But, it also can be used to remove a scoundrel die which could be good against things like Entourage. There’s even a third option that lets you get a surprise increase of a die by 1.

Seizing Territory: 3

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Great card if you’re playing troopers since you can play this for free to take control of the battlefield and get Ambush on top of that. There are definitely powerful cards like Snuff Out, Fresh Supplies, Seize the Day and even Aerial Advantage that requires you to control the battlefield in order to play it. However, outside of a trooper deck this is pretty worthless.

Shields are Down: 3

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Typical 1 cost event to remove a die. It is restricted to character dice on a character that doesn’t have shields and while Red seems to have somewhat better removal options now, it can still be effective.

Shortcut: 2

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Switching to a different battlefield can be good in some games. This card lets you do that for 1 as long as you can spot a vehicle and with the support hate in this set, that might not be as easy as before. Not sure if it’s worth a card slot though.

You Are In Command Now: 4

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This card is really good and may get even better in the future if more title upgrades are released. Being able to play an upgrade like Admiral or Grand Moff for 1 less from either your hand or discard, ignoring play restrictions, is great. You could discard that 4 cost Admiral for a reroll and then play it for cheaper later and that’s incredible.

Aftermath: 2

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This is a reprint, but it’s actually received errata. You now have to exhaust this support in order to gain a resource when a character is defeated. It could be useful in a deck that’s making use of cheap characters you expect to die anyway, but there are probably better resource generating cards to use right now.

AT-RT: 3

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Any trooper deck is going to want to use this card. It reminds me a bit of Overkill in that it costs 2 and has a lot of modified sides, but this can modify any side on any trooper die. Turn that 3 damage on a Vader’s Fist die into a 5 damage!

Coruscant Police: 3

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For 2 cost you get decent support with no blanks, no modified sides and no pay sides even if the values aren’t anything special. It also is a droid which can be used for spotting requirements for Automated Defense or as something that could be activated when Droids Day Out is played. The ability to remove a scoundrel die when it enters play is also a nice bonus since most of the time you’d be paying 1 to remove a die anyway and for 1 more you might remove a die and get a support on the board in one action.

Admiral: 4

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One of the standout cards in the set. If you play it for 3 via You Are In Command Now it’s really worth it. Being able to ready a character or vehicle upon entering play if you have 2 extra resources to spare or when you hit the special is incredible for powerful characters and supports. Make Palp3 an Admiral and get him to roll in a ton of dice multiple times in a single round! That’s some unlimited power.

Communication Module: 3

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This card caused me headaches the day Spark Of Hope released in a draft game I played. Someone found a good combo with it using Chopper, Zuckuss, Mist Hunter and Bounty Hunter Mask. It’s very versatile and can be used to autofocus an important die upon activation. Can definitely see this card making it into droid decks.

Thanks for reading. Just one more review coming up where we’ll go over the Yellow and Gray neutral cards in Spark of Hope. May the Force be with you!

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