Sparks in the Shadows: Set 1 Cards in a Set 2 World

Sparks in the Shadows: Set 1 Cards in a Set 2 World

This article comes to us from Kevin over at Roll On Gaming. Be sure to check out he and his brother, Corwin, on YouTube and Spotify for more great Star Wars: Unlimited content!

There is already so much excitement swirling around the release of Star Wars: Unlimited’s second set, Shadows of the Galaxy. From new mechanics like Smuggle, Capture and Bounty, to a host of exciting new synergies, there promises to be a huge focus on how SHD cards will impact the SWU landscape.

A fresh set doesn’t just allow the brand new cards to shine, though (except for the foils, because, well, they’re shiny). The influx of options, tools and strategies also gives cards from Spark of Rebellion a renewed chance to make their mark on the meta.

In this article we will be discussing several cards that I believe will receive a huge boost to their playability when Shadows of the Galaxy drops July 12.

Of note - I will not be including Set 1 Leaders in this article, except to contextualize the cards I’m referencing. There are some whose increase in value is fairly obvious (looking at you, Grand Inquisitor, Hunting the Jedi (SOR 11)), but mostly I don’t want to predict how the Leader-verse will shake out until all of Set 2’s Leaders are revealed.

So without further ado, let’s dive in!

I Am One With The Force, And…

Already we’ve seen an emphasis on the importance of upgrades from the cards revealed so far in Shadows of the Galaxy, and nowhere is this more prevalent than in the Mandalorian trait. With cards like Follower of the Way (SHD 56) and Protector of the Throne (SHD 247), the Mandalorians that you’ll want to put into your decks will likely benefit from gaining upgrades.

One of the inherent problems with upgrades, however, is often when they are played, they can be removed before causing trouble. Or, if your unit is defeated, they can sometimes leave the table before they are even utilized. There will certainly be plenty of “upgrade hate” making waves once Set 2 releases.

How to mitigate that risk? By attacking as soon as the upgrades are placed on your unit, of course.

Enter The Force Is With Me (SOR 55), a card that sees play mostly across two decks currently: Luke Skywalker (SOR 5) and Chirrut Imwe (SOR 4), mostly because those two Leaders present the most consistent access to Force units

However, while having a Force unit under your control when you play The Force Is With Me does improve the power level of a card by adding a shield to the mix, the ability to attack immediately with two Experience tokens - yes, those are token upgrades - when combined with the Mandalorian trait should prove well worth the 4 resource cost to play the event.

Want to exhaust your opponent’s units? Play this in a deck with The Mandalorian, Sworn to the Creed (SHD 18).

Looking to spread some damage around? The Force may be with Koska Reeves, Loyal Nite Owl (SHD 150) to ping 2 extra damage to a unit.

And of course, there are the beasts themselves, the Clan Challengers (SHD 169).

Eight damage with Overwhelm. Need I say more?

In Good Company

Among the many things we have learned from the Set 1 meta of Star Wars: Unlimited is that pairing Ambush with Overwhelm is very, very strong. If you don’t believe me, then you probably haven’t had a Steadfast Battalion (SOR 116) one-shot your Leader thanks to Energy Conversion Lab (SOR 22).

As such, there’s probably a good reason why there have only been 2 cards revealed through 2 sets that have both keywords featured on the card.

One was just recently revealed as a part of Shadows of the Galaxy, and is the card that has me most excited for Set 2: Maul, Shadow Collective Visionary (SHD 90). The other is a less-hyped card in Spark of Rebellion that has all the tools to succeed in Set 2: Mercenary Company (SOR 117).

On the surface, Mercenary Company isn’t much to behold. Paying 6 for a 5/5 stat line isn’t amazing in the Ground arena, even with the benefits of Ambush and Overwhelm.

But there are two things that will highly benefit this Common Command chameleon once SHD drops. The first one is a familiar face in an unfamiliar place, and that’s Boba Fett, Daimyo (SHD 8).

The Heroism version of Mr. Fett has the ability to boost the power of a friendly unit +1 based on playing cards that have keywords on them.

That makes your Mercenary Company a 6/5 when it is played, whether Boba is on his Leader side or his Leader Unit side, provided you haven’t already exhausted the Leader side of Boba during that phase.

Ambushing for 6 at 6 cost is much closer to the curve, and should provide you the ability to knock out several high-value units – even some Leaders. That’ll make you say “Daim, yo!” (Wow, that was a terrible joke.)

The second notable positive attached to Mercenary Company is the Underworld trait. Even with just over half the set revealed, we have already seen that there is real damage to be dealt via the Underworld synergy in Shadows of the Galaxy.

For example, if Cad Bane, He Who Needs No Introduction (SHD 14) is your leader, you can deal 1-2 damage to a unit your opponent chooses when the Company hits the table, BEFORE triggering the Ambush to decide what unit to send it into.

Also, if Lady Proxima (SHD 255) is on the board when that happens, mark down an additional damage to your opponent’s base.

And finally, provided Mercenary Company survives the Ambush, you can return it to your hand with Ma Klounkee (SHD 229), dealing 3 more damage and setting up the cycle all over again. Shenanigans!

Thunderbolt and (Force) Lightning, Very Very Frightening

Aside from being one of the absolute coolest-looking Legendary cards in Spark of Rebellion to see in hyperspace or hyperfoil, Force Lightning (SOR 138) is a bit of a conundrum.

When the card was revealed initially, there seemed to be a groundswell of positivity surrounding its utility, and yet it feels underused and perhaps underappreciated in the current environment.

That should change with Set 2, I believe, because even without a Force unit in play, the power to strip a unit of all abilities for the phase should prove even more valuable than it is currently.

Why? There are even more abilities that have devastating potential, and therefore could use a 1-cost event like Force Lightning to deal with them.

Don’t want to get smacked around by a unit with Grit, of which there are several in SHD? Grit be gone.

Looking to prevent Overwhelm? Force Lightning will make your opponents feel simply “whelmed”.

There are loads of abilities entering the game come July that will put more pressure on your units, your base and your gameplay. Force Lightning could prove to be the answer to some, giving you a window in which to strike for minimal cost.

Not So Blue Crew

Think of all the great events that you use in your Star Wars: Unlimited decks currently. That list of Set 1 staples is likely going to be doubled once we have the full card pool for Shadows.

Now, that’s going to make for some tough deckbuilding decisions, but we’ve already seen some incredible events revealed that may be as close to a no-brainer as possible.

The aforementioned Ma Klounkee is going to be an Underworld deck’s best friend.

Playing mono Cunning? You’ll likely rush to include 3 copies of A New Adventure (SHD 207).

Plan on recurring your most powerful units? Somehow, you should find a way to play Palpatine’s Return (SHD 94).

But with even more limited slots in your deck, how can you make the most out of these game-changing events? That’s where Bounty Hunter Crew (SOR 183) arrives with a flourish.

I have a decent amount of confidence that Bounty Hunter Crew will be like a fine wine (or cheese) in the lifespan of Star Wars: Unlimited in that it will only get better with age - at least, until something better comes along to usurp it.

In theory, that shouldn’t be an impossible task, because the biggest knock on BHC is its economy. Paying 6 for a 4/4 during rounds in which there are likely beefier units on the board can be a bit of a risk. Although, should your opponent be playing low-to-the-ground aggro, this card can be even more valuable.

But with every set that releases will also come another batch of events that you’ll want to play as often as possible. And when that happens, the Bounty Hunter Crew will be there to return them to your hand to wreak havoc once again.

When the amount of times you can play Vigilance (SOR 58) or Timely Intervention (SHD 129) increases from 3 to 4 and sometimes more, you’re going to feel pretty good about your chances.

Pirates of the Caribbean Music Intensifies

Are you hearing it in your head? Good. You should be humming it every time you play Pirated Starfighter (SOR 209) once Set 2 releases, and I can foresee this particular card seeing much more play than it does currently thanks to its traits, its cost, and its ability.

If you’re looking for a hit-and-fade operation as early as Round 2, Pirated Starfighter is going to vibe very well with the newly-revealed Fennec Shand, Honoring The Deal (SHD 16).

By paying an extra resource, Fennec can give Ambush to the Starfighter, allowing it to attack for 3 damage (and likely survive) before returning ITSELF or another unit back to hand. Since you choose the order of ability triggers, this could prove to be a low-cost, effective way to remove Space units without having to sacrifice a unit yourself.

If you prefer playing the Pirated Starfighter more traditionally, you’ll likely want to cycle other units that feature strong When Played abilities. There were a good number of these worth having fun with in Spark of Rebellion, but that number has already been ratcheted up in Shadows of the Galaxy.

For example, if you were playing with a lot of Mandalorians, you can recur The Armorer, Survival Is Strength (SHD 47) and farm even more shields for your units.

Leaning more towards Clone Force 99? Why not help ramp resources by replaying The Maurader, Shuttling The Bad Batch (SHD 102) to get your leader out even sooner?

There are too many strong When Played abilities we’ve already seen from Shadows of the Galaxy to list, but almost all of them pair very well with Pirated Starfighter.

As you continue to build your resources, there will be rounds where you can attack with a unit, play the Starfighter and then replay the unit you returned simply as a healing mechanism.

Paying 2 for what ends up being a 3/4 in Space is a great price point, and the flexibility to pull off fun combos should make Pirated Starfighter a major consideration for any Cunning deck.

Go Get ‘Em, Sparky

Despite the rush of hype we get each time a new Shadows of the Galaxy card is revealed, there is still so much to be excited about with Spark of Rebellion! After all, by the time Set 2 releases, we will only have had one Store Showdown season and four months total with Star Wars: Unlimited cards in hand!

Exploring the interactions between sets should be an exciting challenge, and one that a compulsive deck builder like myself is really looking forward to.

As more cards are shown to the world, there may be another opportunity to feature some rising stocks (STONKS?) from SOR, but until then, thanks so much for reading and happy theorycrafting!

Roll On Gaming
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