For most of Convergence, we’ve been living in a support dominated meta. As cards like Entourage and Megablaster troopers have entered the game, great upgrades like Ancient Lightsaber and X-8 Night Sniper have rotated out, leaving support decks in a great place and upgrade decks crying in a corner. Among other things, upgrade decks have been missing a “bomb” – support decks have power moves like dropping Megablaster Troopers or Vader’s Fist, leading to big spikes in damage, while upgrade decks can play… Dagger of Mortis? (woo). That’s all about to change.
The Power of Resets
Over the history of Star Wars Destiny, resetting characters and supports has been a common theme among powerful decks. A survey of some past reset cards and decks:
- Price of Failure and Leadership were big pieces of reset decks with 1 major character, killing and exhausting smaller characters to get another use out of the big guy. 7th Sister OTK decks and Vader/Greedo are good examples of decks that utilized these cards to great effect.
- R2 Astromech, Strategic Planning, and others have been used to reset modded up vehicles. The double use of cards like Shadow Caster or Firespray led to huge bursts of damage.
These are some of the most powerful decks we’ve seen in Destiny (though admittedly, many of them had issues with consistency). Resets are just an ultra powerful mechanic. Admiral introduces another reset mechanic, this time with some flexibility, allowing you to reset vehicles or characters.
Why Characters over Vehicles?
But while Admiral does give you the option to reset vehicles or characters, I think this card is far more relevant for resetting characters. Why is this? First, hero vehicles have cheaper options for doing resets (R2 Astromech, N-1 Starfighter, Strategic Planning, We’re Home), and the best villain supports are not vehicles. Second, the overwrite mechanic (which is basically the only advantage upgrades have over supports currently) allows you to play Admiral cheaper. You really want to utilize the on-play ability of Admiral, making it a whopping 6 resource play for support decks. Upgrade decks, on the other hand, only have to pay 3 or 4 resources to play Admiral and use the on play effect, as they can overwrite an upgrade already on the character. This is a much more attainable price. Finally, only modded up vehicles can rival character resets, and modded vehicles has become a risky proposition with the introduction of Desperate Measures into the meta.
Still, if all Admiral is was a 3-4 cost reset of a character, it would be good not great. So what pushes it into the “bomb” tier?
What really makes Admiral great is the opportunity for not 1, but 2 resets on the round you play it. If you use it’s on play ability to reset the character on which you play it, you have the opportunity to roll it in and resolve a special for another reset. This means you may get a whopping 3 activations of your most powerful character in one round. If that isn’t a knockout punch, I don’t know what is. And it’s less easy to stop the second reset then you might think, because Admiral will often come down later in the round, after your opponent has spent their removal.
What Admiral does for these decks, then, is give them a round 3 (probably) KO card, or one that at least puts them in range of an early round 4 kill. This is something that these decks, especially the middle/middle type decks, desperately need if they want to keep up with support decks.
Theory Crafting with Admiral
To finish the article, lets take a look at some characters and decks that could take advantage of Admiral:
Pros – Any time you can reset a character like Vader, you are going to do a lot of damage that round.
Cons – Little focus may make it harder to pull off a double reset and increases your chances of whiffing off of a reset. You can only play Admiral via You Are In Command Now, making it a little more difficult to play.
Pros – You are potentially going to be resetting a bunch of dice. He’s already a leader, which makes it a more reliable play. And there is a ton of focus in the deck to get to that Admiral special and insure impactful resets.
Cons – Are there any cons? I guess aggro decks could wipe Palp off the board before you can pull off this play? This seems like an absolutely gross additional to Palp decks. Maybe enough to make up for the Force Storm nerf?
Pros – Truly a tank, Yoda should be able to survive long enough to pull off a big Admiral play. He has a 2 focus side and no blanks, so you should be able to get good value out of a reset.
Cons – He has only one real damage side; if you can’t get to the 3 your resets may be pretty lackluster on the damage output.
Pros – Both characters are leaders and both characters are extremely consistent off of resets. Mace’s PA makes it a lot easier to find the Admiral when you want it.
Cons – Resource generation isn’t great in Red/Blue hero, so finding the resources necessary to pull off the Admiral play could be difficult.
Pros – Both characters are leaders, and both are pretty good off of resets. Beckett is a resource generating machine, so finding the money to pull it off shouldn’t be hard.
Cons – This deck can pretty well play the Megablaster/Entourage support package, and you probably have to switch to less impactful upgrades if you want to go the Admiral route (maybe keeping Megablasters?).
Pros – Both characters have consistent dice and should be good off of resets. Han is great at generating resources, so you should have the money to pull off the Admiral play. Plus you can play Mean Streets! (You really didn’t think I would write an entire article without Mean Streets coming up, did you?)
Cons – Han isn’t a leader, and the Red/Yellow hero removal suite is expensive if you aren’t on Mean Streets, which could make Admiral a bit more difficult to play if you aren’t on your own battlefield.
That’s all I’ve got for today! I’m super excited about Admiral, and I’m hoping it’s the card that allows upgrade decks to keep up with supports. Will it be enough? Time will tell. In any case, you can bet that I will have 5-6 Admiral decks sleeved up at all times between now and Gen Con :D.