The second expansion to the most recently-released core set for High Command is upon us, bringing new toys to our four new factions.
Engines of Destruction follows the standard formula for High Command expansions with a new warcaster and five copies of four new cards for each faction. What makes this expansion unique is that it contains battle engines but lacks colossals and the associated resource cards that give bonus returns when used to purchase, deploy, or rush battle engines or colossals. While colossals have been confirmed for February release in the Ultimate Weapons expansion, the separation of these cards leads me to wonder whether Ultimate Weapons will include the aforementioned resource cards at all.
With that speculation out of the way, let us jump into the new cards for Retribution and Convergence.
Retribution of Scyrah
|Privateer Press Digital|
Lord Arcanist Ossyan –
Rushing for 2 WAR and carrying a modest 2 POW, Lord Arcanist Ossyan’s real strength comes in the form of his ability, Gravity Well, which reduces the Power of enemy cards at all locations by 1. This effectively makes Ossyan into a decidedly defensively-minded warcaster in terms of application, meaning that you will typically want to rush him when trying to keep your cards on the table, not when you necessarily need to clear your opponent’s cards out.
Ossyan can be taken in both the yellow and purple detachments, but chances are slim that you will ever take him in yellow over Kaeylssa, who has a similar, yet decidedly more potent version of the same ability in that she reduces the Power of all enemy cards at her location to 0. This means that you’ll probably only be looking at taking him in the purple detachment unless you happen to be running Kaelyssa in the green detachment. The purple detachment seems like a better fit for him overall, as he is competiting there with warcasters who have much different abilities than his own instead of a strictly superior version like Kaelyssa does.
The Sphinx is a warjack built for purchasing/deploying with his dreadful rush margin of 3 to-purchase and 9 to-rush. The only worthwhile exception here is with Dawnlord Vyros, who allows the Sphinx to be rushed for his bargain purchase cost. The Sphinx’s resource values are fairly mediocre at 1 CMD/1 WAR, but it does have fairly decent stats relative to its purchase cost at 2 Power and 5 Health. Its ability, Psychic Relay, allows you to draw a card and then discard a card when you rush a warcaster to his location. Unfortunately, this is a counter synergy with Dawnlord Vyros since you must rush Vyros before the Sphinx if you wish to benefit from the greatly reduced rush cost.
The Sphinx can be taken in the yellow, purple, and blue detachments. Purple will be a tough sell for the non-scoring Sphinx, as it will be competing for space with other excellent scoring cards like Imperatus and the Gorgon. Blue and yellow are a bit more light on scoring warjacks, so I could see the Sphinx finding a home there.
The Banshee is a solid warjack card with good stats all-around at 3 Power, 5 Health, 0 CMD/2 WAR in resource, 1 VP, 5 WAR to-purchase and 7 WAR to-rush. While its ability, Wailing, is a bit niche in application, its other stats more than make up for it. While I wish it was a bit tougher, its rush margin, hitting power, scoring capacity, and decent resource stat make it a solid addition to the orange, purple, and red detachments, where I expect the Banshee to quickly become a staple card.
|Privateer Press Digital|
Nayl, Soulless Assassin –
Nayl’s card is really quite interesting. His rush margin is completely flat at 3 CMD to-purchase and rush, he does not score, and he has fair stats at 2 Power, 4 Health. What makes him really interesting is his ability, Arcane Annihilation, which increases his Power by 1 for each warcaster or warlock in your opponent’s occupying forces pile. Additionally, when Nayl is destroyed, he goes to occupying forces instead of the discard pile. This makes Nayl a really strong card in the late game, and certainly one that you will want to rush, but this could potentially telegraph your intentions to your opponent since your reserves row is always visible to your opponent.
Regardless of this, Nayl, to me, is the definition of what a non-scoring card should be. Its cheap and can be extremely powerful if used at the right moment, making Nayl a strong addition to the orange and green detachments.
Arcantrik Force Generator –
The Retribution’s battle engine card is a strongly defensive card thanks to its decent Health stat of 6 and its Polarity Field ability, which reduces overall enemy power at its location by 2. While its rush margin of 6 CMD to-purchase, 13 to-rush leaves something to be desired, it does carry a decent resource stat at 2 CMD/0 WAR while also scoring 1 VP. I am slightly less-than-enthusiastic about its damage output at 2 Power, particularly given its rush cost, but I still think this card will find its way into the blue and green detachments, which are lacking in scoring cards that purchase for CMD.
Convergence of Cyriss
|Privateer Press Digital|
Eminent Configurator Orion –
This new previewed character brings a paltry 1 Power to the table in addition to the ability Oblivion Configuration, which destroys an enemy card at his location that has base Power equal to or less than the number of friendly cards here, making Orion stronger in recursion-type builds using Obstructors, Servitors, and Enigma Foundry Cores. Unfortunately, these types of builds are still a little weak, but once the Convergence receives a few more cheap infantry options, like perhaps Reductors or Reflex Servitors, Orion might come into his own, although the new Elimination Servitor Arrays will certainly be of help here.
The Mitigator is yet another card for the Convergence that reduces enemy Health, stacking with the Flare and Armor Piercing abilities that can be found throughout the faction on multiple cards. This comes in the form of its ability Razor Bola, which reduces the Health of all enemy cards at its location by 1.
While the Mitigator lacks scoring capacity due to a lack of VP, its flat-lined rush margin of 4 WAR to-purchase/to-rush combined with its superior 2 CMD/2 WAR in resource helps the Mitigator work strongly with a variety of cards, like the Diffuser, which allows cards to be rushed from the discard pile. This lets you to spend the Mitigator’s resource stats to rush or deploy another card, then you can rush it out from your discard pile. Stack this with a Transverse Enumerator Core for the reduced rush cost or a Corollary to simply allow you to grab the Mitigator out of the discard pile at turn’s end, and you have a nice, solid card to take in either the orange or purple detachments. This is yet another really strong card despite its lack of Victory Points that should not be disregarded out-of-hand.
The Conservator is a strong, main-line warjack card for the Convergence of Cyriss. First off, its stats are just generally strong all-around. 2 WAR in resource, 3 Power, 5 Health, with a solid rush margin of 5 WAR to-purchase/7 WAR to-rush and scoring a single Victory Point makes it a contender for deck space in both the green and red detachments. Secondly, its ability Righteous Vengeance is really strong for responding to opponents trying to pressure multiple locations over several turns, as the ability allows the Conservator to move to a location where a friendly card was destroyed at the end of any turn, not just the controlling player’s or opponent’s.
Elimination Servitor Array –
The Elimination Servitor Array is another support card for the Convergence that is pretty much defined by its special ability, Armor Piercing, which targets an enemy card with Health 4 or greater and reduces it by 2. This card has 0 Power, so it really needs to be used in conjunction with another card if its going to have any value on the table, preferably a hard-hitting option like the Inverter, Cipher, or a Clockwork Angel Squadron. Its purchase cost is quite low at 1 CMD, making it a solid addition to decks working around the Enigma Foundry Core. However, it is not a scoring card, so add these into your yellow and red detachments with care.
|Privateer Press Digital|
Transfinite Emergence Projector –
The Convergence’s final card in Engines of Destruction is the Transfinite Emergence Projector. While its absurdly high Power stat of 6 seems frightening and arguably over-powered at first glance, the Firing Formulae rule will reduce it to at least 5 on a turn in which it actually is making any kind of attack. Because of this, the Transfinite Emergence Projector is best applied to locations held by a single, hardened defender like a colossal or gargantuan. In addition to potentially crazy damage output, this card brings decent resource value at 2 CMD, scores a single VP, purchases for only 6 CMD, but rushes for a punishing 11 CMD. Due to a general lack of scoring cards in both the blue and orange detachments, I think that this card will likely see play whenever those detachments are played. The possible addition of the aforementioned 3 CMD/3 WAR resource cards that lend 5 CMD/5 WAR when used to purchase, deploy, or rush a colossal or battle engine could go a long way to make this card extremely strong.
That wraps it up for the Convergence and Retribution. Stay tuned for part two of our review of Engines of Destruction when we look at the new cards for Four Star and Highborn!