Top 5 Most Disappointing SoR Leaders (So Far)

Top 5 Most Disappointing SoR Leaders (So Far)

This article comes to us from Brian over at Golden Dice Podcast. Be sure to check Brian, Jack and the GDP crew on YouTube and Spotify for more great Star Wars: Unlimited content!

What’s up everybody? Not too long now to go before the highly anticipated release of Star Wars: Unlimited! Personally, I could not be more excited to dive in and touch actual cards. We over at GDP have been joking about doing our weekly “adult arts and crafts night” since early last Fall, and we only have about a month to go before Spark of Rebellion is finally in our hands.

While my hype remains unshaken for the release of the game, I can’t help but think about how all of these leaders are stacking up the more that I get additional games in with the guys. While I think it’s a wee bit early for a full tier list, I did want to discuss the performance of some of the leaders versus my expectations. As of writing this article, we don’t yet have the full card set spoiled yet – and are missing the last leader – but things are definitely heating up.

While this is subject to change with more spoilers, of course, for now let’s take a look at the top five disappointing leaders as I see it. Starting with number five…

No. 5: Jyn Erso, Resisting Oppression

At the bottom of the list, I put Jyn Erso, Resisting Oppression (SOR 18). While I don’t think that Jyn is bad by any means, her ability mixed with a mid-range playstyle does feel lackluster at times. There are much better choices for mid-range Hero decks, and the fact that she comes out at 6 resources as a 4/7 really just makes it feel like you are playing a losing game.

To race back from your state of disadvantage by the time Jyn comes out forces you to play slow and safe, while your opponent can capitalize on that pace and tear you down quickly. Often, against the wrong deck, the game could be over before Jyn even hits the table.

With Jyn being yellow, I also think that her combinations are a little lackluster. Poor Jyn hasn’t been updated by any of our group for quite some time now. While I do find her to be disappointing, I do think she will eventually be a solid Tier 2 competitive deck paired with the right color once more cards are spoiled. Keep the faith, Jyn enthusiasts – I think her time to shine will come…just maybe not this set.  

No. 4: Cassian Andor, Dedicated to the Rebellion

Cassian Andor

Cassian Andor, Dedicated to the Rebellion (SOR 13) falls into a similar situation as Jyn, but the fact that he is in Aggression makes him a little more pigeon-holed into trying to race your opponent with an even worse ability.

The leader side ability doesn’t often come online until at least round 3, and costs 1, slowing down your pace tremendously. Typically, in order to take the initiative in a round, I don’t even bother with his ability unless I am desperately in need of an additional card in hand.

Again, it blows my mind that Jyn and Cassian come online at 6 resources as a 4/7 and a 4/6, respectively, while Boba Fett, Collecting the Bounty (SOR 15) comes online at 5 resources as a 4/7 with a huge ability.

When Cassian deploys as a unit, his ability is easier to trigger, and is free, but the tradeoff comes with him now being a rather underwhelming 4/6 unit. The saboteur attribute is a nice touch thematically, but I just don’t think Cassian has the gas it takes right now to go toe-to-toe with most of the leaders revealed thus far. The only saving grace for him right now is that Hero Aggression seems to be so competitive, especially with the inclusion of cards like For A Cause I Believe In (SOR 152)

No. 3: Grand Inquisitor, Hunting the Jedi

As primarily a villain player in most games, I was thrilled to try out the Grand Inquisitor, Hunting the Jedi (SOR 11). In Rebels, he was menacing, mysterious, and driven, antagonizing our Spectre crew during the first season.

At first glance, the ability on GI’s leader side is monumentally beneficial, if not a little volatile. Unfortunately, further testing shows that this ability is pretty difficult to balance.

While there are a few units made specifically for this leader (think Fifth Brother, Fear Hunter (SOR 131) and Seventh Sister, Implacable Inquisitor (SOR 133)), it is hard to capitalize on the Inquisitor's ability with the units that we have seen so far. This does get a little easier to take advantage of when he deploys at 6 resources, but he is an easily snipe-able target and often disappears too easily. Entering the Ground Arena a 3/6 unit, it doesn’t feel like his deployment turns the tide of any battle.

When the character was first revealed, he may have taken a position closer to the top spot in this Disappointing List, but with the right list and the right color combination, GI has been able to almost race to a victory on a few occasions. I think that his ideal list will need more tuning and more additions when the game fully releases this Spring. For right now, though, this leader feels very clunky, and more often than not, pretty underwhelming.

No. 2: Grand Admiral Thrawn, Patient and Insightful

Just like with the Grand Inquisitor, I was absolutely intrigued by the reveal of Grand Admiral Thrawn, Patient and Insightful (SOR 16). Thrawn seemed even more menacing and deadly than the GI, despite his cool, calculated demeanor.

Immediately what drew me to Grand Admiral Thrawn was his ability. Thematically, this ability (though an absolute wall of text) is really cool and makes total sense, but it ends up falling a little flat as the game progresses. Cunning has proven to be a very formidable aspect in SWU, and the addition of all of the double aspect cards has shown that Cunning can be extremely versatile. It is certainly one of the smarter mono-colored decks. The Cunning (SOR 203) card itself is, in my humble opinion, one of the best cards in this game in terms of pure disruption.

What ends up happening in Thrawn games, though, is this: you look at the deck, exhaust something, play something off curve, and most likely lose the initiative race once again. Ugh. Although Thrawn's 3/9 unit stat line is pretty interesting and he can delay the game and slow its pace, he just doesn’t really prove worthwhile by the end of the game.

When Boba Fett is a much better choice for Cunning villain, it is pretty difficult to make a fair argument as to why you would prefer to play the Grand Admiral. Not to mention, the Chimaera, Flagship of the Seventh Fleet (SOR 185), Thrawn’s ship (spoiled alongside him) is also pretty much a dud here too. Hopefully Thrawn finds his footing in later sets, but right now all signs point to “just play Boba.”

No. 1: IG-88, Ruthless Bounty Hunter

Sorry, Flock (from the Golden Dice Pod). This leader just ain’t it.

We have known about IG-88, Ruthless Bounty Hunter (SOR 12) for a decent time from the spoiler season for Spark of Rebellion. With each spoiler, IG has either gone down or stayed the same in our power rankings.

Your game plan with IG is to race to down the base while flooding the board with units so that his leader ability is more consistently used. Unfortunately, this often hogties your game plan over an ability that is just so-so. Even when your leader is deployed here as a 5/4 unit, a quick Open Fire (SOR 172) is enough for IG-88 to meet a quick fate. In fact, there are a number of cards that easily obliterate IG’s unit side.

Furthermore, no matter what color I've paired the so-called “ruthless” droid with, it has never been enough to make much difference. The balance between cards to capitalize on IG’s ability and cards that help you close the game make this deck feel awkward and clunky. Putting both Aggression Villainy characters on this list felt pretty bad, but hey, at least we have Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith (SOR 10).

Honorable Mention: Hera Syndulla, Spectre Two

This card is one of those fringe situations I just couldn’t will myself to put on this list. Hera Syndulla, Spectre Two (SOR 8) most certainly has gotten more options to include with the Spectre tag, but is it enough to make a difference in the grand scheme of things?

The leaders that deploy on 6 resources for very fair stat lines and interesting abilities make a good argument as to why they are viable, but Hera has a unique situation here where her ability is a non-combat, non-in-game benefit. The more critically you think about deck building, the better this leader gets. I like this card more than the other five on this list, but she certainly feels a bit weird right now. I think that for this set she is a solid Tier 2 leader, but as future sets release – and more powerful Spectre cards are released – she will grow in power exponentially.

Wrapping Up

So what do you think of my ratings? The beautiful thing about this game is the amount of variability in the leader/aspect combos for deck building. While I may not have tried the large scope of all of these combinations, you may have, so please don’t be shy on your opinions! Tell me what I missed and if you think maybe these leaders have more positive qualities than I give them credit for.

May the Force be with you!

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