For the purpose of structuring this article, I have decided to separate removal cards into 4 tiers. Don’t worry about what should be where too much, it’s mostly arbitrary. The groupings are just a general guide and don’t apply to every deck in every situation. What really matters is the write ups on each of them.
TOP TIER REMOVAL are all-stars that are good no matter what. If you need what they provide they are your first choice. Some of these cards might be situational in use, but are so powerful that their playability is never held back by it.
MIDDLE TIER REMOVAL is mostly home to cards that are usually just a cut below top tier removal. Not quite the best, but not terrible either. A few are actually pretty good they just require a specific deck. I want to differentiate these from situational cards which are situational because of their application, not their build requirements.
SITUATIONAL REMOVAL is acceptable in the right circumstance, but generally are not great due to how narrow their application is. These generally have very demanding play costs or only target specific die sides. All of the "hate cards" reside here.
BAD TIER, is well… just bad. You better have a really REALLY nifty reason (like playing a specific format, i.e. Trilogy, Draft or simply building some crazy new deck) to be running these. I won’t spend too long talking about these, I will just give them all one liners. A few of them might break out one day, but most won’t. A lot of these are perfectly serviceable in limited formats.
Beguile, Doubt, Easy Pickings, Entangle, Feel Your Anger, Force Illusion, Flank, Guard, He Doesn’t Like You, Hidden Motive, Into the Garbage Chute, Mind Trick, Overconfidence, Pacify, Pinned Down, Suppressive Fire, The Best Defense...
Anticipate, Art of War, By Any Means, Confidence, Defensive Position, Division in the Force, Electroshock, Glancing Shot, Hasty Exit, High Ground, Honor Guard, Isolation, It Will All Be Mine, Lack of Faith, Loth Cat and Mouse, Mislead, Negotiate, Risky Move, Spell of Removal, Subdue, Superior Position, Suppression Field, The Force Is With Me, Twin Shadows, Unbreakable, Undermine, Way of the Light.
Anger, Battle Fatigue, Block, Bubble Shield, Crash Landing, Commandeer, Daring Escape, Decisive Blow, Defend, Deflect, Dive, Dodge, Emergency Evacuation, Fall Back, Force Misdirection, Hostile Take Over, In the Crosshairs, Outnumber, Quell, Rebel Assault, Under Attack.
Bravado, Cannon Fodder, Closing the net, Crossfire, Crush the Rebellion, Distraction, Detention Center, Double Cross, Evade, Fight Back, Free Fall, Friendly Fire, Heroism, Hutt Ties, I Am Your Father, Krayt Dragon Howl, Let the Wookie Win, Narrow Escape, One Quarter Portion, Parry, Prized Possession, Quick Escape, Rancorous, Rearguard, Reversal, Sensor Placement, Shelter, Shoot First, Shrapnel Blast, Sticky Situation, Subjugate, Suppression, Swift Strike, Threaten, Traitor!, Trickery.
3. TIER STATISTICS:
The statistics show the distribution of the cards in the different tiers into COLOURS (Blue/Red/Yellow/Grey) and FACTIONS (Hero/Villain/Neutral).
3. TOP TIER REMOVAL:
Beguile’s ability to manipulate two dice and remove a third can be crushing at times for your opponents as blanks and poor sides often require rerolls or cause other inconveniences. That window also lets you play additional removal after they take an action to fix their messed up dice as well!
Doubt doesn’t look great at a glance, as it (usually) still lets your opponent resolve their die. However, the trick is when used properly it is unlikely (1/6) that the same side will be resolved once you use it. It is also great at stranding black dice from blue ones, and at removing dice that Snoke would like to power action. Doubt scales pretty well with player skill, meaning that better players will find better opportunities to use it than less skilled players.
Easy picking is possibly the strongest removal event in the game. For just one resource you get to remove 2 dice. The spot 2 dice showing the same symbol and number might seem restrictive, but rarely ends up being problematic. Don’t forget you can remove two blanks with this!
Entangle is a solid removal card when formats revolve around rolling in characters with small sides, especially specials. Entangle is a power house at removing both dice that Snoke wants to power action, as well as almost always being able to remove both of Yoda’s dice. That alone makes it top tier removal.
FEEL YOUR ANGER
The play requirement on this card makes it quite swingy. Sometimes it will be a dead card in hand when you see no blanks, but most of the time it will be able to remove at least one die of choice which is good enough. Of course sometimes it removes 3+ dice with my personal record being 5 and that kind of potential is what makes it top tier despite its low floor.
If you run 3 or more characters in a list this is your go to single die removal event. It might take a bit of work to make sure you don’t accidentally turn it off by activating characters, and it does fall in value later in the game once you start to lose characters, but despite this Flank is definitely worth it.
Guard is also definitely another contender for best removal event, the only thing holding it back from reigning supreme is its limitations on when you can resolve it. As long as you have Melee showing and already in the pool (Guard makes tempo aka being the first to activate important!) the amount of dice you can potentially remove for 0 resources makes this a monster of a card.
HE DOESN'T LIKE YOU
This card requires you to have the tempo of getting dice into play first and costs you a die, but not having to pay any resources makes this a big deal. Most of the time you are trading a Blank or Disrupt for a good die so payment cost is not too big of a deal.
Like Doubt, Hidden Motive might appear to be on the weaker side, and truthfully it is, however the fact that this costs no resources and doesn’t have a spot requirement skyrockets its playability. Hidden Motive also rises in stock when certain cards with multiple of the same symbol are popular, such as Kylo2 and Planetary Bombardment. Hidden Motive scales well with player skill, as a good player are better prepared to handle or better yet setup what happens after a die inevitably does not get removed by this card.
INTO THE GARBAGE CHUTE
The cost of exhausting a character is high, and usually relegates this to being played in decks with weak single die support characters. The payoff of being able to remove any two damage dice is frequently worth the price of admission however. This is frequently found in vehicle decks where exhausting the characters doesn’t hurt too much as the powerful supports are doing all the lifting.
King of removing dice in large pools, Mind Trick is still providing good value when used on pools as small as 3. In a bind Mind Trick can be used as emergency single die removal too.
The ability to remove a die and mess with the side of another makes Overconfidence an allstar removal piece in blue decks.
Free character dice removal is strong, even if it does end up giving your opponent 2 shields. Part of what also makes Pacify so strong is that it can also be used to shield your own characters if you need it to.
Almost guaranteed to be in any vehicle deck, once you get a vehicle down it’s fire and forget if you don’t like a die you see.
THE BEST DEFENSE...
The price of 3 damage and a resource is high, but if you have a red character that won’t be focused down removing any two die can be worth this price.
In my opinion this IS the best removal card, even though it doesn’t actually remove anything. Well, not technically. Damage done to the equipped characters fades into nothing for the low price of milling a few cards, and at that point there’s no functional difference between it and other removal cards. Unlike event removal cards you can play this preemptively which essentially gives you removal without needing an action when properly planned. Once you start adding removal events to the equation your opponent’s damage will really start to evaporate.
Suppressive Fire gets a slot into being a top tier removal spell by virtue of being passive removal like Force Illusion. The effect of instantly removing a character dice is powerful, even if you are limited to only hitting the initial roll.
4. MIDDLE TIER REMOVAL
Anticipate does not see a lot of play, but that works to its advantage as people will not be expecting it. This is great because the less people suspect this, the more disrupting this card will do. It is best against decks that will be trying to amass large dice pools like vehicles, but can find plenty of work vs other decks as well. It has a tendency to sit dead in hand at times however.
ART OF WAR
Art of War can be a risky play without hand info, but some upgrades and even characters (Thrawn) can change this card from being risky, to a 3+ die removal card.
BY ANY MEANS
Taking one Indirect damage is actually a bargain for removing almost any problematic die. Deck’s with Bubble Shield out won’t even feel the sting, and Aphra decks will draw a card for their trouble potentially turning this “downside” into an upside.
Confidence is often forgotten about, but it is great at punishing opponents who want to delay resolving dice for rerolls. This being just a 1 for 1 and requiring an appropriate opportunity as opposed to always being live removal keeps this card in the mid tier removal section.
This card is a powerhouse but is limited to mid tier due its difficulty to resolve. Having to have the battlefield makes it off limit for all but the fastest decks. Unless you play Rex that is.
DIVISION IN THE FORCE
This card has potential with its flexibility and its ability to simultaneously resolve a die while also removing another one. It is mostly held back by only working with blue dice, and not being able to truly remove any die of choice like most of the higher tier removal can.
As long as you are playing a list that isn’t in danger of losing its ability to spot yellow early Electroshock is a solid, albeit middle of the pack removal spell. The main benefit Electroshock has is the wide range of dice it can remove.
In all honesty Glancing Shot is currently not all that hot. I hesitate to condemn it to bad tier for two reason. First, it is not terribly demanding to resolve in most decks and second, it being able to save an action by both resolving damage and mitigating at the same time is powerful.
While exceedingly limited in both application and play requirement, Hasty Exit is a solid choice for any fast deck due to its 0 resource cost requirement.
Being an on battlefield removal card has its benefit but having to take 2 actions to hit something relegates this to being a mid tier removal spell. Returning this to the battlefield with Docking Bay is a pretty neat trick however.
High Ground has not seen play in some time, but its unique ability to both mitigate and cause damage from thin air keep it from being completely unplayable, even if its play requirement is a bit harsh.
IT WILL ALL BE MINE
Oof, this card is an absolute monster when it hits, but is held back by two things. First, you need to have one more resources than you start a round with to use it, and second, you need to see enough blanks rolled into for it to actually do something.
Isolation used to be top tier removal, but the power level of newer cards has slowly crept past it, primarily due to its limited scope of applicable targets. Nevertheless, Isolation is still solid, just not top tier.
LACK OF FAITH
Lack of Faith is actually fairly solid once you start to look at how powerful certain characters dice are (Yoda and Cassian are great examples). The only issue here is that needing a 15 point character is surprisingly limiting, and of course it only removes character dice.
LOTH CAT AND MOUSE
Loth Cat and Mouse loses out to its villain counterpart bigtime for one simple reason. Your opponent gets to choose which of your dice you lose instead of the other way around.
Mislead honestly is not too shabby of a removal card, it just gets outshone by higher value or cheaper removal frequently. It definitely still sees play from time to time in high level decks though.
Negotiate used to see a ton more play, after all it is a 2 for 1 removal for a single resource. The Achilles Heel here is that the opponent gets to choose what is removed, which if you haven’t caught on yet… is pretty bad.
The name fits. Risky Move isn’t terrible but your opponent might do something nasty with that Ambush action. A few things to note is that the Ambush action is added to the next CARD and it is for the next ROUND (not turn)!
SPELL OF REMOVAL
Very popular in Mother Talzin decks… near useless in everything else. Interestingly enough it occasionally is forsaken even in mother decks sometimes for some of the other more reliable removal cards.
Aggressive villain yellow decks won’t care about this play cost, but most other decks will have trouble turning this on. It can still be pretty awkward at times not being able to hit everything.
As far as 1 for 1 removal goes, Superior Position isn’t so bad, but having to have the battlefield does hurt its tier standing.
This is similar to Honor Guard in that it being an on battlefield removal card has unique advantages, but needing 2 actions to work. It can occasionally remove 2+ dice which is nice, and has synergy with cards like Rose and Finn2. At the end of the day, having to pay 2 resources ends up feeling like a lot when playing this card.
THE FORCE IS WITH ME
This card is actually fine as far as damage removal events go. The only thing holding it down is not being able to deal with Melee symbols for damage, as well being unable to not touch any of the non-damage sides. It is quite strong in metas that revolve around Ranged and Indirect damage though, so do expect to see it occasionally.
Twin Shadows is actually pretty good when you stack it up vs a card like Entangle, but it’s spot requirement is hard enough to meet to relegate this card to mid tier removal.
Unbreakable is fairly flexible in what it can remove, however only a certain amount of decks will amount a reasonable amount of shields for this to be good, and then you have to factor in that you need to actually be taking those shields/not losing them to damage.
This is a powered down Feel Your Anger, and it only removes the Blanks as opposed to any dice of choice. However it still has the potential to be a 2 for 1, and might even live to see decent play one day.
WAY OF THE LIGHT
This is a seriously underappreciated removal spell and is very close to being top tier removal. Even when it can’t remove villain dice, most good upgrades are neutral so this card is rarely dead.
5. SITUATIONAL REMOVAL:
Anger is an odd one, it actually needs YOU to have the Blanks. In order to run this card with any reliability it needs to go into a deck with an unusually high number of blank sides.
Battle Fatigue isn’t terrible but it usually only works in decks with heavy Indirect damage. If you start pointing damage at all of an opponent’s characters not only are you hurting your chances with a kill by using direct damages lower sides on average to enable this card, but you might just give yourself away as trying to turn this card online.
If you want to absolutely hose melee sides, this is your card. Only useful in fields with lots of melee characters, and further more as opposed to Defend, it needs to be in situations where it sees more than 3 melee sides on average to be useful.
Not technically mitigation, but functionally similar against fields with lots of Indirect damage.
Crash Landing is a bit odd because while it does remove the die, it doesn’t actually stop its effect. This is best used in decks that can benefit from either removing dice like DJ or taking Indirect damage like Doctor Aphra.
This card is definitely on the lower side of playability, but is potentially an option if your meta is filled with huge vehicles.
I have placed Daring Escape in the Situational Tier not because it is only works against blanks, but rather because it is grey. This card is generally outshone by other 2 cost events, however it being grey can help you balance the color of your deck against something like Kylo2.
Decisive Blow is a powerhouse if you can meet its requirements. Those requirements being reliable melee sides, and the tempo to get it onto the board in time for it remove a useful number of dice relegate it to the Situational Tier however.
Similar to Block, this card is usually favored for its Ambush, even though it is limited to three die removed or less. More often than not removing 3 dice will be plenty.
Deflect is very strong and when it’s meta its Top Tier removal. The ability to both remove a die and deal damage are phenomenal. It gets relegated to Situational Tier obviously due to it not having any relevant text vs non ranged decks.
Similar to Dodge, this card is usually favored for its Ambush, even though it is limited to three die removed at most. More often than not removing 3 dice will be plenty, but not quite as often as Ranged weapons are cheaper on average, and tend to show up in greater numbers than Melee weapons.
This is the card of choice for completely hosing ranged sides. Ranged sides tend to swarm at once a bit more, so while Dive is usually the better choice, this card is more likely to see play than its brother Block.
Only some decks are willing to remove their dice in addition to their opponent’s. This is usually found in slower mill decks.
This might not look like removal, but if you wait for you opponent to roll in then watch half of the dice disappear you will quickly change your mind. Obviously only useful if you both expect a lot of upgrade decks, and have trouble beating them.
Force Misdirection is a very odd, but powerful card. Ultimately it is limited to by both how you roll and your opponent rolls. Additionally it is incapable of removing sides that are not found in your own deck, making it awkward at times.
HOSTILE TAKE OVER
This is another odd card, but the effect can be powerful. It is very demanding though, it needs control of the battlefield and matching symbols across the boards for it to be played first. It is also a tad bit on the expensive side, even if the effect is probably worth the cost.
IN THE CROSSHAIRS
This is the ultimate hate card, able to remove any die sides. This actually isn’t what relegates it to the Situational Tier however. While more flexible than any of the other hate cards, it is also more expensive, meaning a lot of decks might be interested in the effect in theory but most will never realistically have the means to pay for this. You will have to have a deck with money to spare, or a very specific plan in mind if you want to run this card.
Outnumber is like a super Flank, but really needs lists with at least 4 characters for it to even be considered to be run. It is a bit worse than Flank however as late game Flank is more likely to not be dead as all it requires is proper character activation, not something uncontrollable like amount of characters alive. Also spoiler, if you list has 4+ characters they’ll probably die pretty quickly.
Quell is the Indirect damage hate brother of Dodge and Block. This is a little worse than those two as you will find that Indirect damage is not as common as Melee and Ranged which are usually the primary damage forms in their decks.
A potentially underplayed 0 cost removal card, this card is still a bit demanding in both requiring a ranged side to be shown, in addition to not being to remove potentially game ending damage. This card rises in stock as resources and Specials become prevalent.
Under attack is in a similar boat as Crash Landing. While it does remove dice it doesn’t actually prevent their damage. Again, this is found in decks that benefit from removing dice and/or taking Indirect damage. Under Attack is pretty good at separating modified sides from their base sides that they need to resolve in a bind, which can be nice.
6. BAD TIER REMOVAL:
BRAVADO Too expensive for its effect.
CANNON FODDER Not truly removal, just redirects damage and not worth the cost of a card.
CLOSING THE NET Letting your opponent pick the die is too big of a draw back.
CROSSFIRE Not enough dice have paysides for this to be live often enough to make it worth it.
CRUSH THE REBELLION Borderline playable, but too expensive to see real play.
DISTRACTION Your opponent will always be removing the die that hurts the least.
DETENTION CENTER Too expensive.
DOUBLE CROSS Borderline playable, but the resources plus play cost is too high.
EVADE Too narrow of a target.
FIGHT BACK Paying a resource, losing a card, and removing a die is too high a cost.
FREE FALL Letting your opponent choose is too big a drawback.
FRIENDLY FIRE Too expensive and too narrow.
HEROISM Isn’t truly removal, just redirects damage which is not worth the cost of a card.
HUTT TIES Opponent will always pick which one hurts the least.
I AM YOUR FATHER Great flavor, maybe the best. Too expensive though.
KRAYT DRAGON HOWL Opponent will always pick which option hurts the least.
LET THE WOOKIE WIN Opponent will always pick which option hurts the least.
NARROW ESCAPE Too hard to reliably use.
ONE QUARTER PORTION Giving your opponent a resource is too dangerous of a drawback.
PARRY Too narrow of an application.
PRIZED POSSESSION Hilarious vs Palpatine1, way too expensive vs anything else.
QUICK ESCAPE Losing all future actions is a bit too punishing.
RANCOROUS Meeting the play requirement is too hard to use it reliably.
REARGUARD Potentially playable one day, but has no home currently.
REVERSAL 3 resources is too high a cost for this event.
SENSOR PLACEMENT Cute effect, but too expensive.
SHELTER Too narrow of an application.
SHOOT FIRST Potentially playable one day, currently too narrow to see play.
SHRAPNEL BLAST Letting your opponent choose is the deal breaker here.
STICKY SITUATION Will never remove the best die on the table.
SUBJUGATE Too expensive.
SUPPRESSION Potentially playable, doesn’t have a good home yet.
SWIFT STRIKE Too narrow. Going after base sides is more efficient anyways.
THREATEN Opponent will always pick the most desirable outcome.
TRAITOR! The only card with punctuation in the title (I think). Whiffs too easily.
TRICKERY An interesting card, but the drawback is too high it seems.