Hey Star Realms believers! Sorry today’s article is a bit late today, but I’ve been hard at work mocking up potential layouts for the digital version of Star Realms! It isn’t easy making an entire card game fit onto some of those tiny iOS devices, but we’re definitely experimenting with different ways to bring the addicting gameplay to your smartphone and other gadgets!

Anyhow, today we continue our look at the deadly Machine Cult with a peek at the cult’s secondary mechanic: mimicry. What better example than the Stealth Needle?

Untitled-1-copy-(34) (Small)I consider Stealth Needle one of the best 4-Cost cards in the game, coming only second to the Trade Federation’s Freighter. The Needle is a card which is almost always a fantastic draw, letting you choose the best card in your hand and double the fun. Sure there will be those rare times when you only have Scouts and Vipers available to copy, but the Needle is a card which gets better the longer the game goes on, as more and more powerful ships are added to your deck. Just the other day I was able to clone the Trade Federation’s massive 8-Cost Command Ship, gaining me 10 Combat, 8 Authority, 2 free base destructions, and 4 additional card draws!

Though what really makes the Needle so powerful is how it easily turns on ally abilities, since it comes into play with the same faction as the copied card. There are some insanely powerful ally abilities in the game, and getting to utilize them twice in the same turn is often backbreaking. It might be hard to buy this card early knowing it gains its value in the late game, but its equally hard to consider letting it fall into your opponent’s hands! Given its versatility, don’t evaluate this card as a Machine Cult buy, since it easily fits into every deck.

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Of course, if you really want to activate those powerful ally abilities, perhaps its time to take a trip to Mech World? This is another card which deceives at first glance, since a close reading of the ability reveals how Mech World is barely a Machine Cult card at all! Since Mech World is all factions at all times, its the perfect accessory to any deck looking to trigger the power of friendship, especially those decks having trouble uniting their rainbow of differently-colored ships. Best of all, that hefty 6 Defense makes it very hard for the opponent to take out Mech World, giving you plenty of time to draw into your various powerful allies. Though a deck heavily devoted to a single faction might be better off purchasing a base with additional abilities, this is a more than solid choice for any deck which maybe has a few off-faction strays which could use a boost. So, if you’re looking for a base in your color, Mech World really does go with everything!

-Vito Gesualdi

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