By Derek Thompson aka Aldaryn
While paper Star Realms players are excited about High Alert finally arriving for Kickstarter backers, digital players have another huge reason for hype: Command Decks are upon us! Players can choose between seven different commanders (even the Kickstarter-exclusive High Admiral Jochum), and face off against other players using a commander of their own choice. My favorite commander from the beginning has been Fleet Director Nandi, and I think I am currently the person in the world with the most games of Star Realms played with this commander (maybe five hundred games or more), and that number is only going to go up. So, here are my best tips for piloting Nandi to victory.
I do not think Nandi is the best commander overall – Jochum is. After all, she only gets five cards a turn while everyone else gets six or even seven. She’s also often at the mercy of the trade row, and in that sense a bit fragile. She’s also very hard to use well; you will definitely make mistakes.
Long before I began playing Star Realms, I played an unhealthy amount of Magic: the Gathering. It has always been my favorite thing to counter a spell and shut people down. I could never actually finish someone off with aggressive decks, and they were lacking in choice and card advantage. I’ve always loved to draw extra cards and to come back from behind. So, it’s no surprise that I lean towards blue/red decks in Star Realms, with lots of bases. For a long time, I didn’t touch green cards if I could avoid it.
Furthermore, back in the days before Colony Wars, what is now “top row” was the “big deck” format for a very long time. I felt very confident in that format, and still believe that the top-tier deck is one revolving around bases/scrap/life gain, and that aggro decks are considerably weaker.
By Derek Thompson (aldaryn)
For better or for worse, Star Realms is not the game it was upon release, and I don’t just mean that there are more ships and bases. The original core set was a fantastic deck-building game, but an inherent feature of its gameplay was a considerable slowness to the feedback loop. What I mean by that is, when you purchase a card, it usually takes at least a turn (if not several) for it to show up and do anything of use. The basic exception would be buying a card and then forcing a shuffle; the only other exceptions in the core set are Freighter, Central Office, and Blob Carrier, and those require some combination of ally effects and card draws to have immediate effect.
Since then, we’ve had: