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SWLCG Edge of Darkness Review: Sith, Navy and DS Neutrals

Star Wars LCG Community Review

We'll only be rating the pods as a whole in these series. No in-depth analysis on the individual cards, as everyone already has an established opinion on them and it would take more time than what we can afford. Sorry to disappoint.
While the following isn't particularly precise, the different scores could be seen as:
1 - Poor - Probably a combination of subpar cards, low edge and lack of synergy. Should prove to be a weak addition to a deck even when building around it.
2 - Bad - Overall a weaker pod that can have its moment when properly supported, but usually stays within the realm of "just fun".
3 - Average - A fair choice that is simply outclassed by other options in most cases. May prove to be the superior pick in very particular decks.
4 - Good - All-around solid and can most likely pull its weight by itself.
5 - Great - Cohesive set with with several strong elements which can fit in a plethora of decks. Or it may be somewhat niche but incredibly strong in certain archertypes.


Ghosts of the Dark Side: 7 out of 15 possible points.
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CobraBubbles (2/5) – These Wraiths are in that weird bracket of cards that feel overcosted, but would probably be above the curve if they cost any less. That said Emperor’s Royal Guard is a thing so maybe not. Dark Memories is a neat little negative enhancement, but again slightly weaker than it could be. I’d like to have seen it without the ‘1 or more’ clause. That could have made it a nice commitment deterrent, and made stacking tactics lethal a la Ephant Mon.
Force Shockwave bears obvious resemblance to Force Storm, and the comparison between them is one of those interesting cases where strict numerical analysis doesn’t produce a clear winner. For 1 more cost, 1 less icon and a Balance requirement, Storm gets you 1 more damage per target. That seems like a bad deal on the face of it, but you don’t need to have played this game much to know that multiple instances of 2 damage is far far more impactful than multiple instances of 1. So I don’t know which of the two is better, but that’s all academic really as I don’t think either are actually good.
All of the cards here provide the kinds of effects you might want to include in a Sith deck, but none are good enough at doing those things to actually make the cut 90% of the time. I’ve only seen it played for the Hunted + Dark Memories combo, which is far more funny than it is good.

BakaMatt (3/5) – The objective is good as an always on effect that doesn't require any conditions to meet - I like it. The Force Wraiths are interesting, but I think they ultimately fail the litmus test. Contributing to the force even when exhausted sounds like a nice bonus at first glance for overpaying for the stats of a two resource chud, but you still have to dedicate one of your limited Force cards for only two pips. Could easily have been a two drop or else boosted in some other manner. Dark Memories is slow removal, but can work well alongside tactics to finish small or damaged units. An added bonus is it can effectively shut down a unit that has only one remaining damage capacity unless shielded or protected, as focusing to strike (and DM's reaction) happens before resolving combat icons. It' still a lot clunkier than other direct damage with a deployment window restriction and one tick of damage per focusing, so it kind of sucks that we get two of them here. Force Shockwave is good against a weenie board or fragile units, which means it had more value in a field where Snowspeeder and Y-Wing weren't too uncommon. Damage capacities have been on a slow trend upwards, so pings like this and Force Choke have lost a lot of their staying power. It can still wreck a board until the right circumstances, but its costly and easily telegraphed nature make it hard to pull out as a true surprise. I think this objective has slipped quite a bit since release and is outclassed by many superior options. The "considered committed to the force" text found later in Phase I Dark Trooper and Mara Jade's Lightsaber are better takes on the Wraith, Force Storm and Moment of Triumph are better weenie sweepers in sets with better overall packages.

Majestaat (2/5) – An old favorite of mine that hasn't aged too well. The objective was far more impactful when the LS wasn't just guaranteed to steal the Force for free thanks to MTFBWY. Still, it'll help somewhat and ocassionally save you from investing an extra commitment card.
The Wraiths provided some decent offensive power without sacrificing on the Force, but with units becoming better and better across the board, you just can't afford to invest 3 resources on these stats. Even if they're contributing, they're too slow.
Dark Memories can do some funny things now with Hunted and/or Dark Counsel, but it remains too slow a control tool. If you ever seem to be wrecking face with some crazy combos including it, chances are you could have gotten better results playing something else anyway. You were just too far ahead in the match.
Force Shockwave pretty much lost its niche, as it's really hard to find 1-HP units nowadays. It used to be the perfect answer against annoying Speeders that were immune to most tricks in the Sith arsenal, but now? You will very rarely get real value from it. If struggling with swarms, you have the all too powerful Moment of Triumph, or if you want to keep things Sith-only, pick Jerec and his Force Storm.
Put simply, Sith don't really have a need for what's included here anymore.

Imperial Blockade: 9.5 out of 15 possible points.
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CobraBubbles (3/5) – Next up we have arguably the most polarised set in the game. The objective is insanely good and can win games by itself. Needa is high-risk with his single health, but high reward with a huge economic payoff. Tractor beam is conditional but great when it works; Apology Accepted is equally conditional but pretty meh when it works. And finally, the I-Class Destroyers... are unredeemably abominable. Strong candidate for the worst card in the game.
Yes I know this pod was in the deck that won Worlds 2016, but I still can’t bring myself to like it. Those destroyers are just SO bad. Moving away from them quickly into an interesting cross-game sidenote: is anyone else surprised about how few hard choke effects there are in this game? Other FFG games such as 40k Conquest, Destiny, and Thrones (either edition) have far more cards that directly reduce your opponent’s resources. I have no idea why this is really, but I do think it’s an interesting design choice on FFG’s part.

BakaMatt (3/5) – When I'm playing this, what I'm really hoping for is the objective to show in my opening flop. Increasing the cost of events from turn one can add up quickly, especially if it's tied into an opponent's opener, like Yoda You Seek Yoda. Next I'd be wanting Needa and his ship discount. His scope is limited to a heavy capital ship deck, but every turn he survives is as good as having three resources on the board. Once I've got my ships out, I want to strike with them, and repeatedly. Tractor Beam and Apology Accepted facilitate this by letting me free up my focused destroyers and give even Needa a final use after the board is developed. Alas, here is where the fun ends. The Imperial-I class destroyers are over-costed and better off pitched instead of deployed. With how this set is constructed, it's best played with other heavy hitting capital ships, so you'll have better options. The result is still much more cohesive than most of the Scum sets in this deluxe box were.

Majestaat (3.5/5) – I'm not exactly sure what to think about this one anymore. But between the recent nerf to Enforced Loyalty (still really good, but not necessarily a must-include, giving you more space to play around Star Destroyer synergies) and the release of Technological Terror (insane ramp for Star Destroyers), I'm inclined to say Imperial Blockade has never been in a better spot. The objective can be completely crippling for the LS if you can keep it healthy for more than a turn, which is pretty easy to do when you have Doctrine out. Needa is an insane discounter if not dealt with immediately, and though you may not want to play him when facing a deck with Brainiac or BtS Luke, he can still pay for himself the turn he's played, so he's not neccesarily a bad bet even in those matchups.
The pod takes a big hit due to the two copies of the Imperial I-class Star Destroyers. Sure, they're non-unique, but cost as much as the Chimaera while being outclassed in every single deparment. I get, it you're supposed to play them with Needa's discount... who is only a single copy in a 50 cards deck. Anyway, Tech Terror makes them somewhat playable without completely depending on Needa or making them absolute edge fodder, but they're still competing with the likes of Death Squadron Star Destroyers and Gladiators, all which are so much better than them.
Things are wrapped with a couple of events to untap your heavy hitters. No complaints about Tractor Beam since it has 3 pips. As cool as Apology Accepted is, you don't want to sacrifice Needa, you don't want to untap an Imperial-class, and you don't quite have the resources to play it in the first place. This is where the rest of your builds gets in play. More resources, more expendable officers, better Star Destroyers.

Across the Jundland Wastes: 10 out of 15 possible points.
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CobraBubbles (3/5) – A neat little set this one, providing just what I think neutral sets should: a little taste of internal synergy coupled with some universally appealing effects. Every deck looks favourably at 2 cost tactics!
I like that the objective comes with such a radically game-changing effect - that kind of boldness is rare in neutral sets. I also like that the synergy with that blanket effect is subtle. The Raiders’ Reaction lets you avoid them being locked down when they strike, but you’ll use it more for the flexibility of dodging unit damage or improving your edge hand. They’ll drop their Gaffi Sticks when you do that, of course, and the Bantha gives you a shot at recurring it, but it’s also good to pull back the Stick when you use its 3 pips in edge. Everything here works both in specifis with the other cards in the set, and in generalis to advance your game as a whole.
ART ANALYSIS INTERLUDE TIME: isn’t it bizarre how epic the art is on the Raiders? They float through the desert clouds, dramatically illuminated by the twin suns of their homeworld - a far cry from their mundane, faintly ridiculous appearances in A New Hope. I’m a fan. It shows a different side to them; perhaps this is how the Tusken people themselves think of their warriors.
Unfortunately this set doesn’t really do anything powerful enough to make competitive decks, but if you’re ever in need of cheap tactics (with epic art!) you could definitely do worse.

BakaMatt (3.5/5) – This set can really do some work against character-based decks and can be loads of fun in your own vehicle builds to capitalize on Across the Jundland Wastes' forced reaction. With the Tusken Raiders' reaction, you only have to lock them down when you want to, and they are decently costed tactics units. The Bantha is pretty decent for the force struggle, brings two possible unit damage, and a reaction that can trigger fairly reliably with three scavengers per copy of this set run. it can be fun to continuously toss Gaffi stick into the edge and then retrieve it the next turn. Unless you want to play the stick, which is also a fine choice at a bargain price. This isn't a powerhouse set, but it's cohesive and works well at its role. It's not something you're going to drop into every deck, but a cool tech to slip in against a character heavy meta.

Majestaat (3.5/5) – Thematic and synergistic set that has suffered from power-creep, but is still quite playable if you're willing to build around it. The objective was hurt by MTFBWY, but it's still really taxing on character-based decks, so you want to run it along several vehicle pods to avoid its effect. I think blank 2-costers with tactics are already quite valuable, so having 3 of them here, with an ability to bypass the objective (somewhat) or escape death after they've resolved their icons is a good deal. Between the objective and their tactics you can do a lot of stalling, which is exactly what the DS wants to do.
The Bantha is generally edge fodder, but it can situationally become and immense edge booster over the course of a game, recycling the Gaffi Stick and/or other enhancements over and over. On the stick itself, it'll usually be edged, but if you're running this along, say, TIE fighters, then it's easy to build a sizeable army to take advantage of a massive edge boost.
One of the few pods in DS EoD that makes sense and feels good to use, if you're willing to take the time to plan for a proper build.

Asteroid Pursuit: 5 out of 15 possible points.
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CobraBubbles (1/5) – Depending on how well you know me, it may surprise you to learn that I actually tried to play this pod in a deck once. It was a shielding-heavy Trooper deck built to swarm the board and smash objectives with Forward Command Post. Two shield-granting troopers, a Protection and an event that doubled down on my main strategy made this seem like a perfect set for the deck.
...buut it got pulled after the first test game. The objective is a guaranteed never-flop which just reduces your options. As I think I’ve said before in this column, it took FFG a while to get a good understanding of the nuances of the resource system and the diminishing returns inherent in a high resource value card. Automatically advancing the light side’s win condition is definitely not worth getting a couple extra resources for 1 turn (because let’s face it, this is almost never gonna survive long enough to refresh itself.
Back to my point - this is a set that is ideal for exactly 1 deck, on paper, but not even good enough there in practice, and unplayable everywhere else. Oh dear.

BakaMatt (2.5/5) – A self-destructive objective better be really good considering it's helping your opponent out. Trust Me and I Don't Like You, Either are great examples of objectives that have desirable enough effects to merit taking damage to trigger them. Asteroid Pursuit is an example of a self-damaging objective that is not good enough. The potential to burst out of the gate with three resources doesn't outweigh both the fact that you'll be down resources until you get to refresh the thing and that it'll have nearly killed itself at that point anyway. Fortunately, we don't need to weigh the pros and cons much more than that because there isn't anything else in the rest of the package worth running. Armed and Ready is an event that works in a pinch, but the added costs and conditions make it hard to pull off in practice. The Dungeon Ship is laughably bad, only gaining icons to fit its cost value after capturing something. What's missing from this set? A way to capture anything. There are at least shields to help trigger Armed and Ready and stem some of the self-bleeding Pursuit has, but I have to wonder whether the troopers would have had more utility with Shielding rather than a reaction. I suppose the troopers gain stock with some sort of repeatable bounce, which could have been a neat addition to either the objective or the dungeon ship. The best card here is Protection. It's a sad story for an objective when a generic Fate card is its highlight. Pass.

Majestaat (1.5/5) – You never want to see this objective, seriously. Not only is it bad, but we also have several 2-resources objectives now, some even featuring great abilities. If you're really desperate for 3 resources, run Heart of the Empire instead. I'm pretty sure that if this were to be redesigned today, it'd be elite with two resources. Maybe with 5 HP only. Or just scrap the resources altogether and have something to play around shields and/or troopers, because there's a lot of potential for that here. Cheap troopers with a shield are a decent deal, but not particularly influential on their own. And while their reaction is better than standard shielding to get the most out of Armed and Ready, you'd generally get more mileage out of the keyword, as the Ewok Companion and Cathar Defender have shown. Of course, that would make Armed and Ready worse, but it's pretty bad already, so it wouldn't matter much. Getting something akin to the Forward Command Post or Asteroid Base instead would have been great.
Protection is always a welcomed addition.
The Dungeon Ship is the real puzzling piece here. Not only is it really bad on its own, this pod offers absolute no way to get its bonus icons. If it's all about the shields here, why not let the bonus trigger while it's shielded or something like that?

Not the best way to finish with Edge of Darkness, but it is what it is. We are now properly done with the Core for the six affiliations. We'll be tackling the Hoth Cycle next, which should be unexciting as it's deemed like quite a bad one, but here's hoping we can pinpoint a few overlooked sets.

And that's it this time. I extend my gratitude to the review team and the readers who motivated us to do this. I'm sure there's room for improvement. If you got any ideas, feel free to comment or PM me so we can make the next article even better.
I must say, however, that there's a limit to how many images can be uploaded. That's why I only selected a few images per pod.

If you're looking for more reviews, you can find them in our forum thread here.

May the Force be with you all!
  • CobraBubbles, Rio, 4wallz and 1 other like this


Great Work, thanks. Now I want to build a Bantha Deck!

    • CobraBubbles, Rio and Majestaat like this