If you’ve ever played Hot Potato as a child, then you’re already familiar with the concept of a new Covert Missions uncommon card. It’s one that I personally can’t wait to get on the table, even though FFG persists on making us all wait on the arrival of the ninth and penultimate set of Star Wars: Destiny. If only we had someone working on the inside who could tell us what was going on…. Alas, here’s this week’s card!
Double Agent – an upcoming 1-cost, yellow neutral support for Star Wars Destiny – pings its controller for two indirect damage at the beginning of each upkeep. Like all other supports in the game, Double Agent is played first on your side of the table. Then, you can use an action to discard an event from your hand to give control of it to your opponent. You’re essentially sending your asset across the table to do work behind the scenes against your rival. The downside is that you opponent can repeat that action, pitching an event to send Double Agent back to you. This can be repeated as many times as players want in a given round, so long as they have events in hand to discard. Once a round is over, however, Double Agent strikes, hitting its controller for two indirect!
I love the design of this card. There have been other cards that can be switched between controllers — think buying off an opponent’s Fickle Mercenaries, for instance — but Double Agent feels like you’ve just been handed a live grenade. It’s also a permanent, meaning that it doesn’t leave the battlefield after its ability triggers. Unless it gets removed, this sneaky little guy will be forcing players to hit themselves in the face for the duration of the game.
This is the kind of card which can pretty quickly change a player’s thinking during a match. With a Double Agent on the table, both players will need to be making different decisions about the cards they have in hand and how to use them. Do you use that last event in your hand to mitigate your opponent’s dice, pitch it to reroll your own dice, or hold it back in case the Agent gets placed back under your control? While dealing yourself two indirect may not seem consequential early in the match, the pressure to avoid that damage will mount with each passing round.
I want to talk about ways to try and use the Agent to your benefit, but anytime there’s talk of a card effect that deals yourself indirect, one particular character immediately jumps into the conversation. So let’s start there and clarify the timing of the Agent’s ability.
Aphra and Her Droids
Most Doctor Aphra builds rely on dealing itself indirect damage. The Artifact Hunter’s inherent ability nets you a new card each time you deal yourself indirect damage. Furthermore, with 0-0-0 on the table, any indirect you deal yourself results in 1 indirect being dealt back to your opponent. So if you play a Double Agent with Aphra and leave it under your control, just keep these things in mind:
- You’re taking two new damage, which is higher than most other self-assigned damage. Even with 0-0-0 on the table, you’re losing the damage race, taking 2 while only dealing 1. Sure, that softens the blow, but you’d much rather just have the Agent under your opponent’s control.
- Aphra’s card draw ability from Double Agent won’t give you an “extra” card for the next round. That’s because Double Agent triggers after the upkeep phase begins. Here’s the official upkeep sequence:
So you would deal yourself indirect and draw a card well before deciding on any discards and drawing up to five for the next round. If anything, a Double Agent trigger on yourself with Aphra still alive may help you thin your deck if you’re looking for something specific, but it doesn’t give you a bonus card for the next round.
All that said, I’m all for including Double Agent in an Aphra build if you’re looking at using that indirect against your opponent. Odds are you already have a red partner for her (because bubble shields are nice), but you may want to make sure that red character is also a leader. After all, you’re going to want to…
Keep Them Under Cover
Knowing your opponent can send the Agent back your way by discarding an event, a good plan would be to strip as many events out of their hand as possible. For that task, it’s hard to beat Red villain.
Probe is a staple in any red villain deck, but Counterintelligence gives you hand knowledge and removes an event for the round. If you know their hand, you should be able to move the Agent across enemy lines or keep it there. You’ll need to spot a leader for CI, though. Face The Enemy is another option here. It’s an upcoming red villain event from Covert Missions that forces your opponent to draw two cards before you get to look at their hand. You then get to place any two cards you want back on top of their deck. It sounds pretty powerful, but you first have to spot an exhausted character.
What About a Hero Agent?
While red villain is obviously a strong option, I wanted to also explore a viable Hero build for Double Agent, seeing as it’s a neutral card. I imagine it would slot well in an Ewok deck, but no one really likes Ewok players anymore, so let’s look elsewhere. (I kid, I kid.)
How’s this for jank? Lor San Tekka, Jedha Partisan, and K-2SO would be a four-dice start and provide some interesting game play in terms of trying to keep a Double Agent under your opponent’s control.
For starters, all four of your character dice have discard sides. Once you have Double Agent on the board, You could use these to try and eliminate events from your opponent’s hand. With the Partisan’s ability, you can also mill one card from their deck each round if you can hit them with some indirect. It will feel really good each time they flip over an event because of that effect.
If for any reason your opponent does manage to send your Agent back under your control, you can use Lor San Tekka’s Power Action to potentially recur events from your own discard pile in hopes of sending the Agent back. Lastly, if all else fails your Agent is safely under your opponent’s control, you can kill off a wounded K-2SO with direct damage or a timely Honorable Sacrifice to immediately end the action phase and force your opponent to take the two indirect. (Let’s also tip our proverbial hat to the droid, who is very thematically sub-named “Incognito” for this adventure!)
Light ‘Em Up
I have one last deck strategy I’d like to present for running Double Agent. It can best be summed up in the immortal words of Alfred from The Dark Knight: “Some men just like to watch the world burn.”
Although I joked about Ewoks earlier, I’ve been pondering versions of a Star Wars Destiny “burn” deck ever since Mike Gemme won the 2019 North American Championships with Ewoks and Arena of Death. Double Agent is certainly a new option for such a deck, which relies on damage from events and card effects on supports rather than dice. This got me thinking about other diceless supports that potentially deal damage round after round. Everyone say YOLO!
Double Agent, Hostile Territory, and Climate Disruption Array can each deal 2 indirect damage per turn. There’s a lot of management that has to happen for this to work, as you want to have control of the battlefield at the end of the round for Hostile Territory but do not want to have control of Double Agent. So if you claim too early trying to play around Hostile Territory, your opponent could discard an event to send Double Agent back your way. Then, you would each take two indirect upon upkeep, which is better than you taking all 4, but clearly worse than you taking none. Since you’d already be playing villain red at this point, running a trooper suite that includes Seizing Territory might be advisable. With that in your hand, you can let your opponent claim, push Double Agent back on to him or her, then seize the battlefield out from under them and smile when they take the four indirect.
Climate Disruption Array is a bit different in that it has to manually triggered, but then all players will take 2 indirect, starting with you. The good news here, of course, is that if you happen to fall behind in damage you don’t have to activate it. But if you’re ahead … light ‘em up!
I will totally build a deck to include two copies of each of these. Imagine having double Arrays, a Hostile Territory, and double Double Agents floating around the board. AMAZING! You’ll want a ton of health to run this, so here’s a interesting 4-wide team.
Captain Phasma and Company give you access to the key card events we’ve talked about here, such as Counterintelligence, Probe, and Seize the Territory. It also starts with a beefy 33 health and can extend that number with Riot Shields, Bubble Shields, and even Bounty Hunter Masks. The three dice it starts with are plenty aggressive with direct damage and can be used to finish off characters worn down by our three-pronged support suite.
Yeah, this is going to be fun.
Play some jank! Roll Some dice! Have some fun!