How To Run A Draft In Star Wars Unlimited
10 mins read

How To Run A Draft In Star Wars Unlimited

In Star Wars Unlimited, the draft format is one of the most popular and casual options for players around the table. This Trading Card Game is full of combinations and tactical play styles, and draft levels the playing field and demands a little bit of skill and luck for the player to succeed. However, if you know what to expect, you will be better prepared and have more success drafting your deck at the table.



Star Wars Unlimited is a new Trading Card Game from Fantasy Flight Games (FFG). The first set, Sparks of Rebellion, is based around the original Star Wars trilogy, featuring beloved villains such as Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and Emperor Palpatine, as well as classic heroes such as Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, and Chewbacca. The game also has a few characters from outside the trilogy, such as Hera Syndulla, Iden Versio from the Battlefront games, and a cast of characters from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.


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Draft Rules In Star Wars Unlimited

Card backs and the Darth Vader Leader Unit in Star Wars Unlimited

Understanding how the draft format works in Star Wars Unlimited is the first step to success before visiting your local game store for a draft night. While it is similar to other popular drafting rules for games like Magic: The Gathering, there are a few key differences. The most important thing to understand is how the first round goes, which is all about the Leaders and Bases you pick.

At a game night, each player will be given three packs to start the draft, and players should open them carefully without peaking at any of the contents. Players will then remove the Leader and Base from each of their three packs, which are situated conveniently in the first two slots of each Booster Pack. Every Base is put in the middle of the table to share, and there will then be three Leaders in front of you.

Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker are
only available as Promotions and in the Starter Set
for the game, meaning they cannot be drafted in this format.

You will then pick one of the three Star Wars Unlimited Leaders to keep and pass the rest to your right. You will then get to pick from the two Leaders passed to you, and then you will get handed one more from your left. Leaders remain face up and visible on the table, meaning everyone in your draft pod will know what leaders everyone else has.

After that, everyone will open their first packs and the drafting continues much like in a normal TCG draft. Pick a card and pass the rest of the pack on, this time to your left, until all the cards in the first booster pack have been drafted. The second pack can then be opened, getting passed to your right this time, and then the third pack, passing to the left. Once all the cards have been drafted, players will have a set time limit to build a 30-card deck using the cards they have.

You can technically include any cards from the game in any deck, but there are some things to consider when doing so which will be explained below. Additionally, more than 3 copies of a single card can be included in either Limited format (draft or sealed), and the organizer will handle the rounds of play. Typically, stores will run 3 to 4 round drafts, which will culminate in a winner and runner-ups for prizes.

Constructing Your Deck

Two Leaders and two Bases in Star Wars Unlimited including Leia Organa and Iden Versio.

The main thing to consider when constructing your deck in Star Wars Unlimited is what the Aspects of the Leaders you draft are. Each Leader in the Sparks of Rebellion set comes with two Aspects, one representing their style and then either the Heroism (White) Aspect or the Villainy (Black) Aspect. FFG has separate videos on their YouTube channel explaining each aspect.

The four stylistic Aspects in
Star Wars Unlimited
are Vigilance (Blue), Command (Green), Aggression (Red), and Cunning (Yellow)


Each Base comes with one Aspect, meaning players will have access to two to three Aspects for their cards. Players can pick a Base that shares an Aspect with their leader. However, you do not have to pick a base until the cards have been drafted, leading to some flexibility. Aspects determine what you have to pay for cards in your hand. For cards that share the same icons as the cards in your hand, you only have to pay the number of resources listed in the upper left-hand corner of the card, much like lands in Magic the Gathering.

However, if players have a card with two blue icons, for example, but only one blue icon on their Base or Leader, they will have to pay an extra two resources for the second blue icon, meaning a five-cost card would cost seven. This is the case with every Aspect icon on a card: if you do not control the same number of Aspect icons, you must pay an extra 2 resources per icon you do not control.

In constructing your deck, you will mostly want to include cards that share icons with the Leaders you drafted. However, if you must include cards that do not because you were shorted at the draft, you can put them facedown on the table during the regroup phase as a resource of the game instead. There are also neutral cards included in the packs that you can draft if you must.

Tips and Strategies

The first thing you have to pick in Star Wars Unlimited are the Leaders, you may not have many choices, but you can still strategize. If you pick three Command Leaders, for instance, you will be forced to draft mostly Command cards. However, if you pick Leaders that share a trait – like Heroism – but have different Aspects you will be able to draft three different Aspects leading to more possibilities. For instance, Sabine and Jyn both share the Heroism Aspect, but have Aggression and Cunning respectively. This means you could draft Aggression, Cunning, and Heroism cards with more flexibility.

You will not have a choice about your third Leader, but this does allow you to see what everyone else has. For example, if the people closest to you have a majority Villainy Leaders, you should consider drafting Heroism cards. The Base chosen at the end can give you flexibility as well.

While there is some debate about which Leaders work best in the draft, any of the Leaders can shine with the right combinations. Very successful leaders are Sabine Wren, due to how fast she can be, Jyn Erso, due to her ability not to depend on specific traits, and Boba Fett, due to his ability to create resources. Any Leader can be a solid choice to draft, but these are great choices for beginners, particularly.

Drafting two Aspects and sticking to either Heroism or Villainy, is a good way to ensure you have flexibility and can play or include your picks in your deck. Once you can construct your deck, it is recommended to have about 50-60% of your deck consisting of Units, with a fair majority playable with only 2-4 resources, and fill out the rest with Events and Upgrades. Things to look for are Events that can deal damage without exhausting units, such as Overwhelming Barrage, or cards that can nullify an opponent’s deck, such as Power Failure.

Be sure not to ignore the Space Units, as in the movies the
Battleships of

Star Wars

can determine the outcome of the game. There are two arenas for players to put Units in, Space and Ground, and if players ignore one they can take massive hits from players who do not.

Resource manipulation can be a huge advantage as well. If you can have extra resources before your opponent, you can deploy your Leader sooner and get higher-cost cards out first. For instance, a turn two or three Chewbacca can be devastating to your opponent. Often, Command cards run the highest amount of resource manipulation, but so do Leaders like Han Solo and Boba Fett, both of whom are Cunning Leaders.

In the current draft gameplay of Star Wars Unlimited, you will want to keep an eye on how many cards and resources your opponent has, as well as whether you are in lethal range of their base or vice versa. Sentinel and its counterpart Saboteur are important keywords to keep track of, as Sentinel Units protect your Base from damage, but Saboteur can get around Sentinel Units if they so choose.

The last strategy to consider is when to take the Initiative Token, which determines who goes first in each round. If you are within lethal range of your opponent, take the Initiative sooner rather than later, because dealing damage first in the last round of the game is game-winning. However, if you can get out a Unit that will keep your opponent from becoming lethal, it is worth taking the extra action which will ultimately allow you to win the draft in Star Wars Unlimited.

Video Credit: YouTube|Fantasy Flight Games

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