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Aspects and Shadows

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The release of Shadows of the Galaxy—the second set of Star Wars™: Unlimited—is fast approaching! As the set’s release draws closer and closer, we wanted to highlight different aspects that help the set stand apart from its predecessor; and what better place to start than the deckbuilding aspects themselves! 

Aspect Preview First Light

First up, we have Vigilance. In Shadows of the Galaxy, Vigilance provides particular emphasis on the Grit keyword and damaging your own units for a benefit. (Fun fact, Grit was originally going to debut in Shadows of the Galaxy, but the designers ended up adding a few cards with it into Spark of Rebellion during development.) This theme is particularly epitomized in the ship First Light (Shadows of the Galaxy, 36). Not only does this Vigilance and Villainy space unit give all of its non-leader allies Grit, it also has Smuggle, which we covered in an earlier article. In the First Light’s case, part of its smuggle cost is to deal 4 damage to a friendly unit, which, combined with the fact that the ship gives all other friendly non-leader units Grit, means you can turn that 4 damage into some extra power. 

On the Heroism side, we have the Gentle Giant (Shadows of the Galaxy, 48). Rather than damaging his allies, this Wookiee unit doubles down on befitting from being damaged himself. In addition to having Grit paired with a sizeable HP stat, the Gentle Giant’s On Attack ability lets him heal his allies for an amount equal to the damage he’s taken, making him a fantastic unit for the frontlines. 

In addition to the Grit theme, Vigilance also has an emphasis on Mandalorian units in this set, which is something it shares with Aggression. Mandalorian units tend to put particular emphasis on upgrades, especially gaining additional benefits while upgraded. For example, the Follower of The Way (Shadows of the Galaxy, 56) gains +1/+1 just for having any upgrade on it. This means a single experience token would effectively count as two. On the Aggression side, the Clan Challengers (Shadows of the Galaxy, 169) gain Overwhelm while upgraded, which gets extra nasty when paired with their Raid 3 keyword. Give them a shield or experience token, and they can take out tons of enemies with ease.  

There are also some Mandalorian units that are more focused on removing your opponents’ upgrades, such as in the case of Ketsu Onyo (Shadows of the Galaxy, 147). This fierce fighter has a low cost to play, and her combination of the Saboteur keyword mixed with her unique ability to defeat low-cost upgrades means your opponent will have to deal with her if they want to power up any of their units! 

The Aggression aspect also focuses on optimizing Bounty hunting. This is demonstrated on the card Covetous Rivals (Shadows of the Galaxy, 171), a Bounty Hunter unit with an ability that can deal consistent damage to enemies with a Bounty on them. Remember, if your opponent has a unit with a Bounty, then you get to claim that bounty whenever that unit is defeated or captured! 

Aspect Preview Reputable Hunter

Speaking of bounties and capturing, the Command aspect in Shadows of the Galaxy puts particular emphasis on both mechanics. There are several units in this set that have the Bounty keyword inherently, which serves to “offset” higher-than-normal stats. Take the Clone Deserter (Shadows of the Galaxy, 95), for example; its stats are fantastic for its cost and it has Restore 1, but your opponent gets to draw a card if it’s defeated or captured.  

Of course, your opponent could easily play units with inherent bounties as well, and that’s where units like the Reputable Hunter (Shadows of the Galaxy, 117) come in. This Bounty Hunter gets a discount when your opponent controls a unit with Bounty, making him extremely cost-effective for his stats when you play him at the right time. For just 5 resources, if your opponent has a unit with Bounty, you could play the Reputable Hunter on one turn, and then on your next turn, you can play Take Captive (Shadows of the Galaxy, 131) to capture that Bounty unit and claim its reward. Since a lot of units with inherent bounties tend to have low costs, being able to perform this combo early in the game could help swing the battle in your favor! 

Last but certainly not least, we have the Cunning aspect. Like Command, Cunning in Shadows of the Galaxy has an emphasis on capturing. The Relentless Pursuit (Shadows of the Galaxy, 232) event allows you to capture an enemy that costs the same or less than your capturing unit, with an added bonus if your unit is a Bounty Hunter unit. On the flip side, L3-37 (Shadows of the Galaxy, 197) can actually rescue a captured card without needing to defeat the unit that’s guarding it. If the rescued card was a unit, it immediately returns to play under your control (albeit exhausted), effectively netting you two units at once. Even better, L3-37 can be smuggled into play, which means you have an on-demand rescue in a pinch, which could seriously disrupt your opponent’s plans. 

L3-37 is part of Cunning’s other emphasis as well: Underworld units. As usual, lots of Cunning units have pretty impactful When Played abilities, and this time around, many of those units also have the Underworld trait. In Shadows of the Galaxy, there are several cards with abilities that can “bounce” friendly Underworld units back into your hand, allowing you to get another use out of its When Played ability. For example, the Ma Klounkee (Shadows of the Galaxy, 229) event has you return one of your Underworld units to your hand, and as an extra bonus it lets you deal 3 damage to a unit. With that in mind, you could play L3-37 to rescue a captured card from your opponent, then use Ma Klounkee to return her to your hand and deal 3 damage to the unit you rescued the card from. After all is said and done, you got your card back, dealt some damage, and have L3-37’s useful When Played ability on hand in case your opponent captures another one of your cards.  

Aspect Preview Ma Klounkee

Our preview season of Shadows of the Galaxy is in full swing. Today, we only scratched the surface of what each deckbuilding aspect has to offer in Star Wars: Unlimited’s second set. With so many cards left to show, look forward to seeing how the aspects’ identities evolve over the coming weeks.  

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