Spark of Hope Set Review - Red Neutral


A NOTE ON CARD RATINGS:

The card ratings are mostly created in a vacuum and for Standard Format exclusively. Some cards are much better in Trilogy or Infinite Format, and notes are sometimes made of this, but the set is reviewed from the point of view of Standard Format play.

It is always going to be difficult to adequately rate a card, and all the ratings are obviously going to be subjective, although we have tried to proximate an objective rating. The rating system is 0-5, with 0 being absolutely useless, 1 being the rating of a card that will rarely see play and 5 a card that will become a staple in many decks and will most likely feature heavily in competitive play.

There are links to all the other parts of the set review at the end of this article!

1. RED NEUTRAL CARDS:
Written by MARK LOCKETT

Red cards on both sides tend to be leaders or troopers. Only C-3PO in Spark of Hope doesn’t have one of these subtypes. Not a single Pilot or Engineer features this time. The neutral suite of cards follows the same vein with cards that interact with Leader, Trooper and Droid subtypes.

Some of the art on these Red Neutral cards is some of my favourite art from this set, particularly You Are In Command Now. Not a single new Downgrade or Plot seems a surprise exclusion.
I pondered whether they would add in a card that removes all subtypes into this set, as a hard counter to Order 66. Possibly a card that stayed in play for a round and then got discarded. I had this in my head as a Red Neutral card something like: Unknown Casualties of War or as per The Rock, It Doesn’t Matter Who You Are, but we don’t have anything like it yet.

2. RED NEUTRAL EVENTS:
review67jpgCHAIN LIGHTNING (1/5)

It is essentially pay 2 Resources to do 3 damage and only if your opponent has two characters with the same subtype. If you have 2 Resources available to pay for this can I have your deck list please. Not unplayable it is damage out of hand after all but it would have been way more playable if it was pay 1 for the cost of the card and then no additional cost for the rest.


FOCUSED FIRE (3/5)

2 extra damage for 1 resource when you have two damage sides showing. This could have use and I think it could be a 2 or a 3 rating as a cheaper Pulverize that we saw last set. I feel people will drop Pulverize and replace it with Focused Fire due to that reduced cost so you will see this even though it only affects Ranged damage dice and not all sides.

HULL BREACH (4/5)

This is also a great little card. Permanently take out an opponent’s support equal to the damage cost of the dice you remove. Even if the damage dice is a 2 you could be removing one of Aphra’s murder Droids from the board, but I think it shines where your play your Shadow Caster round 1 and roll a 6 for 3 Ranged damage side but you didn’t get any mods so you don’t have enough to pay for it. You might not have 3 resources but if you have 1 then BOOM. You could do 6 Indirect damage to your opponent or destroy a Vader’s Fist or even a Planetary Bombardment. What would have previously been a useless unresolved die becomes very useful with this.review68jpg
OFF THE SENSORS (3/5)

Another way to cheat in the two Droid combo of C-3PO and R2-D2, costing 1 but it also has other uses. Situational removal as it can only target a Scoundrel dice. If you don’t want either of those options you can resolve a dice for 1 more and that can sometimes be very useful. Consider a 2 Discard side now turning into a 3 Discard for 1 with this. I think that is why it will see sporadic play in places.

SEIZING TERRITORY (4/5)

Very useful card. We have a lot of cards that want us to control the Battlefield to use them like Snuff Out, Seize the Day and Aerial Advantage. With a Trooper on your side you can play this and bring all those powerful cards online. It would potentially still see play if its cost was 1 but at 0cost it really is a nice little Trooper event.

SHIELDS ARE DOWN (3/5)

It’s a fairly decent removal card even though it is situational. I think quite a lot of the time though this will be online and is pretty good in the first turn if you win the roll off. Choose their Battlefield and take the Shields and you have this online immediately. review69jpg
SHORTCUT (2/5)

Take advantage of the Shields Are Down knowing you have this to get back your Battlefield later if it is useful to your game plan. Just have to be playing vehicles which I think we’ve come to consider as on an endangered list so we might not see that much of this quite handy effect.

YOU ARE IN COMMAND NOW (5/5)

This is a very neat card as it supports another card coming up shortly which is very handy. Play a Title at a discount is nice. Play it without the play restriction, really nice. Han2 can finally be a Rebellion Leader or a Grand Moff if he’s paired with a villain, but who does that.

Play it from your discard pile or hand, oh beautiful. Is that expensive Title clogging up your hand? Treat yourself to a re-roll and play it later from your discard pile with this event. It’s also 0cost just to make sure you look at this card. Some of these Titles at 4cost are powerful cards that’s why they cost 4. It has use in a mill deck using Grand Moff to repeat a mill battlefield, i.e. Command Center. It has use in a damage deck with Admiral. Great way to make you look at that Rebellion Leader legendary again that you have never got out of the folder.

3. RED NEUTRAL SUPPORTS:
review70jpgAFTERMATH (2/5)

A decent choice for a reprint with a little re-wording as you now have to exhaust the card. It’s a small change and it makes sense with a lot of low health characters being released but I think it makes it a little less playable for a lot of decks.

AT-RT (3/5)
Further support for Troopers with this card. 5 modifier sides that can modify any side as long as it belongs to a Trooper. There are so many Trooper options to use with this. I particularly like the option of potentially resolving a resource side on a Trooper with a +2 side to help your overall ramp. It also manages to avoid any removal that specifies targeting damage sides so you should always get something for your 2 cost investment in this card.

CORUSCANT POLICE (3/5)

Sneaky little remove a Scoundrel die ability which is hugely thematic as these robot police round up the criminals. The die itself is underwhelming but it has no Blanks so you are getting something from this die every single turn and all the sides are base sides with three being damage sides which with the extra ability when you play it could be a really nice card to have around.

4. RED NEUTRAL UPGRADES:
ADMIRAL (5/5)

This is for me probably THE LEGENDARY of the set. All because of the Special which lets you reset a character or a vehicle which is a very powerful ability in Star Wars Destiny as it’s likely that on the reset your opponent has used their removal and you just have a free run to do as much damage as possible. It gets boosted to the top of the legendaries for me as it is available for both Villain and Hero so this could fit into any deck especially when You Are In Command Now, discussed above, let’s you ignore the play restriction of putting it onto a Leader. There are already people plotting a way to play this onto Darth Vader to reset the most powerful character we have.review74jpg
COMMUNICATION MODULE (4/5)

Last but definitely not least is a cute little droid mod that when it’s attached Droid is activated gives you an autofocus depending on if its droid is a character or a support. This will focus the opposite. I think this has a huge amount of use. We all love the Mother Talzin's ability and she has been popular throughout the Legacies and Convergence era. This is a bit more restrictive and you have to play it down to begin with but then becomes extremely useful as a 1 focus every time for a 1 cost investment. Ask yourself if there was a 1 cost die with 6 single Focus sides would you put it in your deck? You would. Well, this is that but better as it can’t be removed and happens immediately.

BLUE VILLAIN REVIEW
RED VILLAIN REVIEW
YELLOW VILLAIN REVIEW
BLUE HERO REVIEW
RED HERO REVIEW
YELLOW HERO REVIEW
BLUE NEUTRAL REVIEW
YELLOW NEUTRAL REVIEW
GREY CARDS REVIEW