Continuing this week’s look at the Trade Federation, we’ve got three mid-cost ships which are all must-buys for the Federation-focused player.

Untitled-1-copy-(10) (Small)The humble-looking Freighter may not immediately catch your eye, but seasoned Star Realms players will soon find that its potentially the best 4-Cost buy you can find! It’s primary ability offers a whopping 4 Trade, more than any other card in the game. This makes the Freighter a purchasing powerhouse, letting its owner stock up on even the most expensive Trade Row cards without struggling for funds. The Freighter’s ability to fill one’s coffers is one reason its a snap pick for those who can afford it on turn one or two, letting its controller start cornering the market on powerhouses in the crucial early game.

Honestly, Freighter would be worth the cash even without its ally ability, which firmly puts this card into the absurd category. Being able to not only purchase a massive flagship but also draw it in your next hand, is downright bonkers! It’s even more exciting if you have a cantrip like Corvette or Survey Ship in hand, letting you immediately add your newly purchased card to this turn’s fleet. Many of my biggest turns have involved a combination of Freighter’s deck stacking ability alongside some card draw, and I almost never pass up on this card if I can help it. Late game the trade boost might not be as valuable, but early on in the game grab the Freighter regardless of your faction strategy.

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As I’ve mentioned before, the Trade Federation typically doesn’t get too aggressive until later in the game, but once they start flashing their guns other factions should watch out! Trade Escort is a perfect card for the Federation player, a mixture of offense and defense which lets players stay out of the red zone while dealing some solid damage.

Of course, the real meat here is the cantrip ability, letting the dedicated Federation player fuel a massive turn by continuing to dig more power out of the deck. As such, Trade Escort is a card I don’t recommend highly to players who aren’t heavily invested in blue. 4 Authority + 4 Combat is very solid, though it’s likely you’d be better served by an option better aligned with your own colors. However, if you find yourself with a wealth of Federation cards, definitely don’t pass up on the Escort.

Untitled-1-copy-(5) (Small)Flagship however is a card worth the eye of any faction player, again, by virtue of its automatic cantrip ability. Starting off your turn with 5 Combat while still having a 5-card hand is very sexy indeed, and ensures you’ll soon be smashing bases and wrecking faces. Here, the 5 Authority bonus is just a little reward for the dedicated Federation player, making this card an auto-pick for blue.

However even if you’ve unable to trigger that very sexy lifegain, keeping your deck as concise as possible is always a good plan, and Flagship’s card draw ensures you can stay on target without affecting the strength of your hand. If the trade row isn’t offering any on-color options, don’t be afraid to snag the flag and make use of its solid firepower!

-Vito Gesualdi, Community Manager

Since we missed a day of previews on Christmas, check back tomorrow for the last round of Trade Federation previews!

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