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Heated Rivals

Back in March, we showed off a first look at Shadows of the Galaxy, the second set for Star Wars™: Unlimited. In that article, we gave a brief glimpse at the pre-built starter decks of the Shadows of the Galaxy Two-Player Starter, which feature Moff Gideon and The Mandalorian.

Today, we want to take a deeper dive into the contents of both of these decks, including how they play and what cards you can find within. So, without further ado, let’s start with a look at Moff Gideon!

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As we briefly touched on in the first look article, Moff Gideon (Shadows of the Galaxy, 7) is all about strengthening his units that cost 3 or less. His undeployed side grants a buff to one of his units if it’s attacking an enemy unit, while his deployed side grants that buff to all of his 3-or-less units while also granting them Overwhelm. This works great with all the low-cost units in his deck, such as the Warzone Lieutenant (Shadows of the Galaxy, 110), Privateer Crew (Shadows of the Galaxy, 113), and Phase-III Dark Trooper (Shadows of the Galaxy, 84). However, his ability is especially potent with cards like the Incinerator Trooper (Shadows of the Galaxy, 234), which is exclusive to his starter deck. This handy unit deals its combat damage before the defender while it’s attacking, which means with Moff Gideon’s boost, it could take out a unit with 3 or less HP while remaining completely untouched. 

While we’re talking about starter deck-exclusive cards, you’ll notice some familiar faces mixed in with Gideon’s ranks. The Death Trooper (Shadows of the Galaxy, 30), System Patrol Craft (Shadows of the Galaxy, 63), General Tagge (Shadows of the Galaxy, 81), Seasoned Shoretrooper (Shadows of the Galaxy, 83), Superlaser Technician (Shadows of the Galaxy, 85), Snowtrooper Lieutenant (Shadows of the Galaxy, 236), Cell Block Guard (Shadows of the Galaxy, 238), and Confiscate (Shadows of the Galaxy, 262) cards are all originally from Spark of Rebellion. Whatever rarity these cards had before, in Shadows of the Galaxy, they now have the “Special” rarity, which means you won’t be able to get them from Shadows of the Galaxy booster packs. It’s worth noting that, with just a few exceptions, you won’t get full playsets of each of these “returning” cards in this starter deck, which means there’s plenty of room for brand-new cards!

Speaking of new cards, let’s turn our attention to space. Gideon’s deck comes with a squad of Outland TIE Vanguards (Shadows of the Galaxy, 82), a handy ship that can give an Experience token to a unit that costs 3 or less, which we’ve already shown are plentiful in Gideon’s deck. Also included is a Kihraxz Heavy Fighter (Shadows of the Galaxy, 118), which, while unable to receive a boost from Gideon, has Overwhelm innately and the means of increasing its own power by exhausting another friendly unit; exhaust a weaker, low-cost unit and watch this fighter rack up the damage! Rounding out the fleet is Gideon’s Light Cruiser (Shadows of the Galaxy, 242), which lets you get more use out of your low-cost units when it enters play.

Outside of his low-cost unit synergies, Gideon’s deck also comes with some tools to help you control the flow of battle. Doctor Pershing (Shadows of the Galaxy, 28) grants you access to some extra card draw to get you what you need, while The Client (Shadows of the Galaxy, 31) can put a Bounty on an opponent’s unit that you can use to heal your base when claimed. You can utilize the Discerning Veteran (Shadows of the Galaxy, 120) to capture that unit and collect its bounty right away, or give one of your other units Legal Authority (Shadows of the Galaxy, 124) as a means of powering them up and capturing a unit at the same time. Attach Price on Your Head (Shadows of the Galaxy, 125) or Top Target (Shadows of the Galaxy, 71) to an enemy unit that costs 3 or less, then use Calculated Lethality (Shadows of the Galaxy, 39) to take that unit out for some bonus Experience tokens.  

Finally, because Gideon’s abilities center around low-cost units, the rest of his deck can help him get those units in play, keep them in play, and get the most out of them. Use Remnant Reserves (Shadows of the Galaxy, 93) to add up to 3 units to your hand, then use Timely Intervention (Shadows of the Galaxy, 129) to play one of them while giving it Ambush. If you manage to get multiple 3 cost or lower units out at once, smuggle in a Pirate Battle Tank (Shadows of the Galaxy, 89) to protect them, or use Outflank (Shadows of the Galaxy, 128) to attack with two of them before either can be defeated by your opponent. When you’re ready to deal the finishing blow, give one of your units a Moment of Glory (Shadows of the Galaxy, 130) for a massive boost to their stats!

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Now that we’ve covered Moff Gideon, let’s switch focus over to the other starter deck leader: The Mandalorian (Shadows of the Galaxy, 18). With his inherent ability to exhaust units after you play an upgrade, Mando synergizes well with other Mandalorian units and their heavy focus on upgrades in general. Call in a Follower of The Way (Shadows of the Galaxy, 56) or Protector of the Throne (Shadows of the Galaxy, 247), then equip it with an upgrade like Resilient (Shadows of the Galaxy, 70), Snapshot Reflexes (Shadows of the Galaxy, 223), or a Vambrace Grappleshot (Shadows of the Galaxy, 74) for an extra power boost (while also allowing you to exhaust a unit with The Mandalorian’s ability). Give a unit like Grogu (Shadows of the Galaxy, 196) the Foundling (Shadows of the Galaxy, 69) upgrade to turn them into a Mandalorian unit, then you can equip them with Mandalorian Armor (Shadows of the Galaxy, 73) for a Shield token on top of a hefty stat boost. Or you can just deploy The Mandalorian himself and give him his signature Rifle (Shadows of the Galaxy, 251) to exhaust a unit and then immediately capture it! (Reminder: When two effects trigger at the same time, the active player chooses the order in which they resolve.)

If you’re running out of upgrade cards, you can call on a Clan Wren Rescuer (Shadows of the Galaxy, 40), Mandalorian Warrior (Shadows of the Galaxy, 258), or The Armorer (Shadows of the Galaxy, 47) to give a token upgrade to one of your units instead; just keep in mind that these don’t count as “playing” an upgrade for the purpose of Mando’s leader ability. Even if your hand is completely empty of both upgrades and upgrade-granting units, The Mandalorian still has other options in his deck. The Survivors’ Gauntlet (Shadows of the Galaxy, 64) allows you to transfer upgrades from one of your units to another, which means you could move the Shield token from Village Protectors (Shadows of the Galaxy, 43) or Cargo Juggernaut (Shadows of the Galaxy, 66) to a unit like Fennec Shand (Shadows of the Galaxy, 220) after you play her. For another example, if you put something like Resilient on the HWK-290 Freighter (Shadows of the Galaxy, 60), you could use Survivors’ Gauntlet to move that onto The Mandalorian after deploying him. If a unit with your best upgrade is defeated, you can call on the Razor Crest (Shadows of the Galaxy, 44) to retrieve that upgrade from your discard pile.

Of course, when all else fails, you can always just search your deck for the cards you need, and Mando’s deck brings plenty of options for that. First off is Kuiil (Shadows of the Galaxy, 41), who can help filter your deck for cards that match your base’s aspect while also providing a bit of healing. Next is Greef Karga (Shadows of the Galaxy, 245), who lets you search the top 5 cards of your deck for an upgrade when he comes into play. If that isn’t enough, Mando’s deck also comes with the event card This Is The Way (Shadows of the Galaxy, 253), which lets you search the top 8 cards of your deck for any 2 Mandalorian and/or upgrade cards and add them to your hand.

So far, we’ve focused on beneficial upgrades that you would play on your own unit, but The Mandalorian’s focus on upgrades takes things a step further when it comes to the Bounty keyword. With access to Public Enemy (Shadows of the Galaxy, 68), Wanted (Shadows of the Galaxy, 221), and Rich Reward (Shadows of the Galaxy, 261), you have access to multiple ways of giving enemy units a Bounty for you to collect. Even better, since all of these are upgrade cars, you can search for them with Greef Karga, retrieve them with the Razor Crest, and use them to trigger The Mandalorian’s leader ability. 

To round off Mando’s deck, you’ll find cards that help him ensure he actually manages to collect those bounties. The Chain Code Collector (Shadows of the Galaxy, 216) can safely Ambush into nearly any enemy with a Bounty on it, while Spare the Target (Shadows of the Galaxy, 206) lets you return an enemy unit to its owner’s hand while collecting its Bounties at the same time. If you have to put a Bounty on a particularly nasty, high-powered enemy unit, then use the Fell the Dragon (Shadows of the Galaxy, 78) event to bring it to its knees. 

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With that, you now know every card that you can find in the Shadows of the Galaxy Two-Player Starter. Check the image above to see the full lists for each deck. Even with so many cards shown today, we still have plenty of reveals to look forward to as we count down the days to the set’s release. Look forward to more previews in the coming weeks!

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