Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Know Your Enemy/Commander's Corner: Davits Draven

Hey, a new Rebel commander! That guy from that thing and some comic books, let's learn about Davits Draven!

He's definitely gonna appear in some other properties, right, and not die in a comic offscreen?

The Card!

Rebel players when they try to figure out how he actually worked had this face

Our second card to be promoted from officer to commander (Kyrsta Agate, albeit in the same box), Draven is here to help act as the intelligence officer that'll win you the game. AFTER deploying fleets (and selecting your missions, and and and, so you have full information before you choose), grab 2 dials (and dials aren't revealed like command tokens, so who KNOWS what you could be grabbing to mess with your opponent?)

At the start of each ship phase (AKA after dials are set for all ships), you can reveal and discard a command dial from the card.  The FAQs and forum clarifications SEEM to basically be implying and making it so that "when your opponent spends a dial, the dial only uses the token effect in the Rules Reference Guide, pages 3-4, instead of the dial effect."

This means that they can't add a yaw with the nav dial, they can only change speeds by up to 1*.  You can only activate ONE squadron with the dial**. You can only reroll one die with the con fire dial and no adding in dice***, and you can only resolve half of your engineering value with an engineering command****.  There is nothing stopping you from taking the dial as a token, and using it that way, however, unless of course you already HAVE a token of that type and aren't flying Nova Defiant or Executor.

Now for the fine print and legal speak!

*This means that you can't use Nav Team with the dial as a command, but you can trigger Engine Techs or take the dial as a token and use it for Nav Teams that way.
**This means that the Liberty title, because you're using a dial as a "dial" means you only get one squadron, not 2 as you're not taking the token.  Nothing is stopping you from taking it as a token, however, but a "dial and token" effect would be 1 from the dial and 2 from the actual token interacting with the Liberty title.  Pursuant, because nothing is spent and no command is revealed, however, acts at full strength.
***Unless you're Ravager, then you spend the dial as a reroll mechanic and the token you got for being a huge ship to give you an additional die.  Director Krennic also counts as triggering a dial for his ability, you just don't get to also add in the die for the initial CF dial.
****Engineering Teams, Redemption, MCEF, Wat, etc let you get around this by adding in Engineering points after the fact like Ackbar adds in die after the initial roll.

I'm done getting into every single counter-example; go ask on the rules forum as I'm still making this all up with the best clarifications I can for why/how this works; no one specifically has said "treat it like page 3 of the RRG" but that's the best I've got (because I asked a literal month ago and no one has answered me yet).  Ask your TO for your specific example before a match happens/at the start and try to plan around it.

I'm getting to the reason for these jokes, I promise

The OTHER thing he did is because you're treating these dials as tokens, you get into the new and really weird "token+token" situation which has never happened before (and has actively been prevented).  Squadron token+token is 2 squads, 4 if you've triggered Fenn Rau as well. Engineering token and token is basically your Engineering value, flat, (+1 if you're the Interdictor as 5/2+5/2 makes 6, as any mathematician can tell you, for really large values of 5). Nav token and token is just changing speed by 2, no clicks, unless you have nav team, then it's 1 and a click if desired. And as for con fire? Well, it looks like you reroll 2 dice.  However, since all of these dials are still "dials", while you do need to perform the entire "con fire add die" effect as one, if you're doing dial and token, you can do them one after the other.  Indented sidebar!

So on a regular con fire dial+token, you can add in the dial and then immediately do the token effect afterwards; I know because I've been flying Leia longer than you.  What that means is you can then by that reasoning do the dial (reroll one die) and immediately follow it with the token (reroll) effect; on potentially 2 different dice as needed OR the same die (as a dial+token con fire can let you reroll the dice you just added in). Basically you can go crit fishing as desired as you reroll your dice, so long as you do one then the other immediately afterwards.

Alright, I think that's enough wacky shack ruling talk, let's get to the good part!

Why Play Him!

You really like Blue Deck Magic.  He can shut down giant squadron activations your opponent was planning on doing, he can stop a repair spam list in its tracks, and he can make it much harder for CR90 spam lists to be where they want to when they can't turn as well. He's a blue control deck in commander form, where you basically get to decide 2 turns out of the game what you'll allow your opponent to do.  If that appeals to you, go for it. 

I'll allow these jokes now

Or rather, he limits what your opponent can do that turn to "just token form." Many of the above examples are useable but only somewhat seen.  He's really good at stopping your opponent from doing a massive squadron launch that turn..... unless they put Pursuant on the Quasar, I suppose. I'm making these counterspell jokes, but he doesn't STOP your opponent from doing things a la Dooku/Asajj raid shenanigans, he just sorta.... limits your opponent's options.  He's not Raid, able to be prevented if you have a token, but he's also not stopping your opponent from resolving the dial and any associated abilities.  Raid from Dooku prevents you from using the command, unless you have a token and a dial to do one of the associated dial or token options.  Draven lets your opponent do the command, albeit in a very reduced form.  So Dooku prevents using Gunnery Team, while Draven prevents any dice from being added to the attacks. Your mileage about what's better/more helpful for you.

It's a bit, now

Common Ships!

The issue with Draven is that while he LIMITS your opponent from doing things for 2 turns, he doesn't really lend himself towards anything specific. "Agate doesn't really either!" No, she makes ONE ship in your fleet extra tanky and is cheap, allowing you to get better benefit/use on that ship for longer as the game goes on. That's a specific something, but it is something. Draven..... doesn't. The power of his ability is dependent on both what your opponent brought and your ability to guess/prevent that from happening.

A blue deck joke article? You knew this was gonna pop up

The standard Prodigal Sorceror CR90 is always worth including, but it doesn't do anything specific for him over any other non-Cracken commander. I've seen a Liberty-title Liberty build or 2 floating around; as combining him with Fenn Rau and the Liberty title can mean 4 squads from one token, or even 6 if you can spare the one dial (don't make it a habit).  Considering your opponent won't be commanding squads in bulk form that turn, it allows you as a Rebel commander to get an alpha strike with your squads, which is not generally something that happens usually. Making a true Liberty battlecarrier in the Imperial fashion is fun but I honestly don't know one month after release if it's a great build or just really fun now that it finally works, kinda.

In the realm of no-specific synergy, the standard Rebel good stuff of MC30s, GR75s, and CR90s have been dominating Rebel list building for a while, no reason for them to change now.  Well, Anakin, I suppose, but that's a different (Fighting Fleets) article (when I get more time and experience fighting him).

A man with stronger conviction wouldn't make this joke. I am not him.

Fleet Building!

Since he's stopping your opponent from getting fully powered dials, he's a good partner with Raid mechanics (RexFenn Rau, maybe even Jyn if you can figure out a trick for her) and Slicer Tools inclusions to mess with next turn as well.  Your shutting down of their squadrons means he's pretty good with an MFC hitting their squads with an alpha strike.

His commander ability, though, stops your opponent from doing what they want to do fully; it does not buff your fleet/dials/commands/etc.  The fleet you bring is entirely going to be based on what it does normally and how you can then use that to win when your opponent can't do what they want.  Hence: blue deck magic.  Good luck, and stop counterspelling my Giant Growths and Overruns, dangit.

I just like this one, no other reason for inclusion


  1. I know it's weird, but I don't think this is correct: "Nav token and token is just changing speed by 2, no clicks, unless you have nav team, then it's 1 and a click if desired." per this ruling:
    In that circumstance, I think token+token with Nav Team gives you some combination of 2 clicks / 2 speed changes. By the logic of that answer (that the upgrade card changes the default effect of the token), I also think that Ravager would let an SSD resolve token + token as add 2 dice, but there's no official confirmation of that.

    1. Following up, my reasoning was that he said the Liberty spending a dial as a dial doesn't let you get an extra squad token, so I don't even see consistent rulings. I don't blame you (and am not critical of you asking!); its just frustrating watching AMG give.... no answers. Sorry if my first comment sounded mean, tone wise

  2. Shrug? They won't answer my question that I asked a month ago and I'm going off the best understanding I have, but I can see your point. Worth a question submission to the FAQ for sure (you do it, haha!)

  3. I count Draven as the third character to transition from Officer to Commander, as you forgot about Leia despite referencing her in the article. ;)
    This was a good read. What do you think are going to be the most likely dials you end up setting, and do you anticipate him using his abilities earlier or later in a game?

    1. Squads if they have a mess of em, engineering or nav if they dont. Engineering combined with an engineering raid seems like a very solid way of ensuring your damage sticks and you can finish off someone, while nav prevents a GOOD running away plan