Asajj Ventress - First Thoughts!
Yesterday we got our first look at Asajj Ventress' Unit card and Command Cards and oh boy is she spicy! Her official release date is 3/17/23, only a month after Gideon and the Dark Troopers! I'm not going to go super in-depth here, I'll wait to do a full Unit article until once I've seen her in action a few times.
There is so much to unpack here. She is one of the neatest Jedi in a while, probably up there with Yoda for uniqueness.
- 150 Points is not too bad, that makes the cut for fielding a legal list with 9 lightsabers! (Dooku, Grievous, Maul, and Asajj).
- 2 Force upgrade slots and 2 Training slots is the same as Maul. I like it. It allows for a nice spread of both Offensive and Defensive Upgrades. I am tempted to say she runs with Force Push, Saberthrow, Tenacity, and Into the Fray about 75% of the time. I could see an argument for Up Close and Personal if you're bringing saber throw, but it's a bit counterproductive to Jar'Kai which requires melee.
- 5 Health with Red saves kinda hurts. Deflect still gives her surge from ranged attacks, but in melee (where she wants to be) she could get the beatdown from a 5 man unit.
- 2 courage is standard, good but not great.
- Asajj Ventress' Lightsabers!!!! 8 Black dice in melee! Impact 2 and Pierce 2. This is nasty! She's throwing 3.99 hits on average, without an aim or dodge, which puts her near the top. Her saber throw will be 4 black which is also pretty damn nasty.
- Jump 2, Deflect, Immune: Pierce: This is the standard Force User kit, except Asajj has Jump 2 vs everyone else has Jump 1. That is an interesting choice, but I think it makes sense since she is known for agility and dexterity.
- Independent: Dodge 1: This is wonderful. I wish every Force user would have Independent: X, but especially Dodge. I would say this makes force reflexes a card you never need on her but, with some other things she does, that might not be true.
- Indomitable: This is an interesting choice. I think of all the printed keywords on her this could've been skipped. It will make a little more sense later when we look at her Command Cards, but it feels weird that she's the only Force user with Indomitable. It's one of those things I think should be a part of the standard kit.
- Relentless: I love it. Once again I am under the impression that most, if not all, Jedi and Sith should have Charge or Relentless. It makes sense once again due to her aggression and agility. Maul is a bit sad, but he can fall back on Juyo.
- Jar'Kai Mastery: YES! YES! YES! I love it. It's not quite what I was betting on, but I am happy with it. It's essentially just Marksman but you spend dodges instead of aims. With how easy it is for her to access dodges en masse, it's pretty sweet that there's no limit to how much you can spend. She is lacking a little bit in the health department so maybe don't spend all of your dodges.
Overall, I am really excited to see how she plays. I think she will be a solid piece for Seppies to play around with. I think she will pair exceptionally well with the other Sith in CIS, which is a nice segway to...
...This! We learned a while back that both Asajj and Ahsoka will be coming with "Teamwork" type cards. Now we know how that will look! This card, while it comes with Asajj, is actually a Count Dooku command card. It can be used even if Asajj is not in your army. This card allows Asajj to go immediately after Dooku. It is like Leia's 3-Pip. We will see how well it works once on the table, but I have a feeling it's going to be absolutely brutal. Two Sith going back to back with nothing in between will be an absolute beatdown.
Holy. Moly. These cards are sick. Once again, I am not going to go super in-depth here, but I'll cover the basics.
1-Pip: The Jedi Shall Fall: Asajj gains Jedi Hunter which is good since she doesn't surge natively. The second part of the card is huge though. While attacking she can gain up to 4 suppression to gain an equal amount of dodges. What?! This is after her Rally step, so no need to worry about getting multiple actions. It will also give her light cover since she's most likely going to ruthlessly murder whatever she's attacking. It will also probably leave her with at least 1-2 dodges to spend.
2-Pip: I am Fear: This card plays excellently in conjunction with her 1-pip since she gets a free Recover. What is extra nice is the Recover comes when she activates not when she receives the order. No getting suppressed before you get to go. It also means if she was left in the open after her 1-pip you get to retain light cover from the suppression until you activate. Last, but not least, any of her force powers will get refreshed before she goes! Guaranteed Push!
The second part of the card is also pretty spicy. At the end of her activation, she may perform an attack with the weapon on the card. Range Melee-1, One Black die, Surge Crit, Supressive, and Spray. This is potent. She'll be wiping corps units left and right, and if for some reason they're still alive... Boom! Suppressive.
3-Pip: Yes, My Master: Okay, this card is probably the most complicated. IT MUST BE DIVULGED! You have no choice. You are required to Divulge this card during the deploy units step of the game (not that you wouldn't want to anyway). It stays in play for the whole game. When you divulge this card you may choose between the upper half or lower half (separated by the black line). Sorry, no Makashi Mastery and Bounty.
The top half of the card gives her Bounty and Reinforcements. The first Jedi or Sith unit with Bounty! This is really exciting. As a Force User, she has so much control over other units and objectives that you should be able to score your bounty in most games. Reinforcements makes that a bit easier by allowing you to deploy after everything else. You'll know exactly where your bounty target is going to be and how to get to them effectively.
The bottom half gives her Demoralize 1, Makashi Mastery, and Outmaneuver. Demoralize 1 is nice, but not anything crazy. Outmaneuver is pretty massive on her since A: She'll have a ton of dodges on her and B: She's a Sith with deflect. Dodges and Deflecting Crits is solid. This big part, for me, is that she gains Makashi Mastery! Makashi is a Mastery only seen on Dooku before so It's neat to see another Force User with it.
While a unit with the Makashi Mastery keyword performs a melee attack, during the Choose Weapons and Gather Dice step, it can reduce the Pierce X value of a weapon in the attack pool by 1. If it does, the defender cannot use the Immune: Pierce and/or Impervious keywords during this attack.
Really cool. Ignoring Immune Pierce and Impervious is insane! She will be a Jedi Killer. It is a really good thing that she can't gain Makashi and Bounty in the same game because if she could I would not want to bring Jedi anywhere.
Here are two funny things you can do:
That's all I have to say about her right now! I'll be back later with a full unit analysis once she has been out for a bit! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for my Battle Deck Decisions: Deployments article later this week!