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Shadowy Insights: Tyler Parrott

As we count down the days to the release of Shadows of the Galaxy—the second set of Star Wars™: Unlimited—we wanted to share some insights from the designers. Today, we’ve got some Q&A with Tyler Parrott, one of the original designers of the game and of this second set. Let’s see what he has to share!


Can you share some insights about how the game’s second set, Shadows of the Galaxy, came to be? For example, what led to the set’s theme being largely focused on smugglers, bounty hunters, and the Outer Rim?

One of the things we wanted to showcase pretty early in the game’s life was that we plan to have a variety of set themes. Since the first set was focused on a specific time period (the rebellion against the Empire), and the third set was also going to be focused on a specific time period (the Clone Wars), we wanted to showcase a theme that wasn’t tied to an era or time period of Star Wars. When looking at what themes we wanted to showcase, smugglers and bounty hunters were near the top of the list—we wanted the Mandalorian to be the face of our starter decks!

How was designing Shadows of the Galaxy different from designing Spark of Rebellion? What unique challenges did the second set bring to the table?

One of the most unique challenges was simply making something that felt different and thematic, but not too complicated. We knew that the design would be more complex than Spark of Rebellion, since we would be taking the foundation that first set laid down and building upon it with specific thematic expectations in mind, but we still wanted to make a set that would be approachable to new players. We especially wanted to make sure that the Bounty mechanic was easy to understand, given how fun it is to play and how prominent the bounty hunter theme is in the set.

What are you most looking forward to about Shadows of the Galaxy? What do you think will be most exciting for players?

Personally, I’m super excited to get to play with Smuggle. It’s a simple and fun mechanic that rewards you for playing the game the way you want to play it, and it lets you take an occasional break from making difficult decisions every round. It’s been one of our most popular mechanics internally since we designed it, so I think it’s going to be a huge hit once the set comes out.

What’s your favorite card from Shadows of the Galaxy, and why?

My favorite card in Shadows is definitely Legal Authority (Shadows of the Galaxy, 124). I really enjoy the theme and play pattern of capture, and Legal Authority is a powerful yet compelling twist on the normal expectations of the mechanic. It gets to be stronger since it asks a fair amount of your deckbuilding and gameplay, but the things it asks you to do (have high-power units) are things that are naturally fun, so it never feels bad to play with. Honorable mention goes to putting a Vambrace Flamethrower (Shadows of the Galaxy, 177) on Grogu (Shadows of the Galaxy, 196), which I’ve done many times and makes me laugh every time. 

After seeing the metagame for Spark of Rebellion develop over the past couple of months, what prominent cards from the first set do you think will be affected by the release of Shadows of the Galaxy? What underutilized cards do you think will get a boost from the new set?

Shadows of the Galaxy provides Cunning-Heroism aggro decks the tools that they were lacking in Spark of Rebellion. I think Sabine Wren and the Millennium Falcon are going to become really good friends once the second set comes out, and the metagame is going to have to react to an aggressive tempo deck featuring Cartel Turncoat (Shadows of the Galaxy, 195) and L3-37 (Shadows of the Galaxy, 197) backing up all of Spark of Rebellion’s strong Aggression-Heroism cards.

Are there any additional thoughts about Shadows of the Galaxy that you would like to share?

Designing Shadows of the Galaxy was particularly exciting for me as it gave us the opportunity to explore what being “outside of society” meant. Obviously, there were the prominent Underworld and Mandalorian themes which headline the set, but it was really fun getting to feature less-expected characters, such as members of the Bad Batch, the scavengers and deserters of the post-Galactic Civil War era, or fan-favorite characters from the comics. And getting a Heroism version of Boba Fett was an opportunity I wasn’t going to pass up!

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