Written by Sarah Evans
Reflecting on the Convergence block meta (the last 3 sets), prior to the release of the recent Gandork Holocron/Holocron and the latest RRG, many of the top meta decks were three wide. Anyone who knows me, or was a regular listener to the I Rebel podcast knows that two-wide middle-middle is my type of Destiny. I don’t think I’m alone in that statement. I believe many people fell in love with the game playing this archetype.
A middle-middle deck refers to a two character pairing at roughly the same points cost, so 15pts each or thereabouts. They usually run upgrades as decks running supports tend to want the health pool of three characters, but there are exceptions.
Looking back at the viable middle-middle options during the Legacies block we had eAalya/eRey2, eKylo2/eAnakin, eBoba/eSeventh, eSnoke/eTarkin and eHan3/eQi’ra to name a few. In comparison this block has come up short, with just Reylo (eRey3/eKylo3) being considered top tier.
Looking at big-little options for this block I struggle to come up with anything other than Palpatine3. You could say Phasma3 had a short spell in the limelight at the very start of the blocks release.
As mentioned above if you’ve had the opportunity to play using the Gandork Holocron/Holocron , you’ll notice the scales have been balanced somewhat. Nerfing the dominant 3-wide options, along with adding a number of the zero cost cards to the restricted list means it’s no longer a no-brainer to pick a 3-wide rainbow line up just so you can play all these powerful cards.
Awakening Reprints to Restore Some Balance
Here’s my thoughts on which Awakening block reprints (or if we got something similar), could have led to a more balanced meta earlier. Balance is the keyword here. I’m resisting the urge to just list my favorite powerful cards. No Ancient Lightsaber or Guard!
This card didn’t see a great deal of play back in the day, but in a heavy ranged support meta with a Vader’s Fist die coming back out at you repeatedly this would be an auto-include in many Blue decks.
I think this is a fairer zero cost card than Desperate Measures, which is just too good. I wonder if this is still too good for zero, perhaps solved with a spot requirement. It’s also neutral, hurray!
Surgical Strike (AW)
My view is it’s better to have a number of weaker cross faction/color options to deal with supports than the one overpowered card we have in Desperate Measures. This gives heroes who are running a lot of red ranged dice a welcomed option.
Z6 Riot Control Baton (SR) & Electrostaff (EW)
The only red melee weapon we have in the standard format is the Quicksilver Baton, which is only really playable on a leader for the extra die roll in. I thought we might have seen a weapon for the Wookies in Covert Missions, but it didn’t happen. These two picks could have given us something for a melee deck outside of blue. I know I would have been keen to try the Electrostaff with Anakin3.
Close Quarters Assault (AW)
My reasoning for this pick is that hero has a real hard time getting to the hand (outside of a pure mill deck). Villains seems to have vast amount of options whereby heroes just have Scruffy looking nerf-herder. This only really fits in a melee upgrade deck, and being grey it stays out of Reylo. The blowout potential here is high, too high for a zero cost. I could see this coming back as a 1 cost with a cap or spot requirement. Let’s make it hero rather than neutral whilst we are wishing for things.
This will be a controversial pick, but I think there could be a spot for a card like this in the game. Currently there’s no pressure not to durdle. I can tell you from experience it’s no fun saying ‘pass’ 15 times whilst your opponent rolls out all their supports, focuses 20 Palpatine dice, or resets with Admiral for the third time in a round. If you disagree I get it, but I’ve not gone as far as to ask for Hyperspace Jump. Due to there being a lot less action cheating in the game compared to back in the day I don’t think this would be as feel bad as it once was.
Disclaimer: I realise if the Droids (Chopper/R2-D2/C-3PO) would have gotten hold of this one we’d want to cry. However if I had restricted myself from including anything the Droids could have abused there wouldn’t be much of an article. They needed a bigger nerf hammer a lot quicker… anyway I digress!
Lightsaber Throw (SR)
Since rotation there is a lack of damage from hand for villain blue, which seemed to fit their theme well. With any blue card you need to consider this in the hands of Reylo (which already has Polarity). This will be an ongoing design issue if you want to pull blue stick decks up, but not buff Reylo. As both Rey3 and Kylo3 only have the subtype Apprentice a potential way around it is to include a spot Sith/Jedi condition, even if that develops into a slightly different version of the same card. Think Mind Trick and it’s newer version Jedi Mind Trick.
X-8 Night Sniper (EW)
Two cost guns really took a hit when Awakenings rotated out, we lost so many! Ambush guns are now gold dust. The only (generic) two costs we were given in the Convergence block were the A-300 Blaster and the DX-2 Disruptor Blaster Pistol. Both are solid guns but not enough on their own to make upgrade gun decks a thing again. Neither of these have a resource side which can be a hindrance early game. Reprinting the X-8 would give us a solid two drop back. The action on it to spend one to turn a dice is costly, but late game can be just what you need to snipe a kill.
I was even tempted to give this slot to the Holdout Blaster. Redeploy and Ambush still doesn’t make this gun overpowered compared to the power level of some of the supports we saw in the Convergence block. I’m cool with it if you are 😉
My hope from this article is that we can reflect, discuss and thereby learn to make a better game going forward. I have complete confidence the community can do that post FFG support!
Now it’s over to you….
Which Awakening block cards would you have liked seen reprinted (or a tweaked new version of), which could have led to a more balanced Convergence block meta?