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Strategy Articles

November 2023 First Edition Game Changes Update

by Charlie Plaine, Director of First Edition

6th November 2023

Ladies, gentlemen, and non-binary friends: it is time for the November First Edition Game Changes update. Our regular updates to the Modern Ban List, Watch List, and errata occur on the First Monday of each month. In today's update, we are issuing errata to 4 cards, including 1 that comes off of the Modern Ban List.

But first, we have some program notes:

  1. In May, we announced that we were renaming OTF to Modern. Nothing about the format itself has changed other than the name of the format. Please read the original article for all of the details. This will be the last time this reminder appears in one of these articles.

  2. We are continuing to work hard analyzing the deck lists from Worlds before making any moves to adjust the environment. Keep your eye out for some requests for comments and public surveys in the next month or so. Again, we ask for your patience as we determine how best to move forward; there are no Worlds-related changes in this update.

  3. As always, thanks are due to our outstanding volunteers. The members of our Creative, Balance, Rules, Art, and Testing teams put in an incredible amount of work each time we issue an update. I hope you will join me in thanking them for what they do.

Okay, let's get into the game changes:

Modern Ban List
With today's errata, the card Smoke Bomb is removed from the Modern Ban List. The exact errata is listed below with the other changes. Our hope is that Smoke Bomb's return will help provide a weapon against speed decks. However, the motivation behind the errata is due to its use in one of the upcoming Duel Decks: Four Lights decks.

Today we have 4 cards receiving errata. Here are the cards as well as what has changed:

To Boldly Go
When this card was originally designed and created, it was done to provide a much-needed boost to [OS] ships. However, over time it became clear that those ships do not need as significant a boost as it original card gave them. Today's update both increases the cost and lowers the strength of the bonus; however, as a consolation prize, we've added a cookie to help with [OS] treaty decks. Here is the new gametext:

Seeds or plays on table if you seeded 2 or more missions with "23rd century" in lore. Your [OS] ships are RANGE and SHIELDS +2; your [Univ] facilities gain [OS]. (Captain's Order.)

Smoke Bomb
Smoke Bomb enabled a deck that could perpetually stop an opponent's Away Team, preventing them from taking any actions. This update preserves that function, but limits it to once at each location. The days of locking out an Away Team are over, and the card is returned to the environment in Modern. Here is the new gametext:

Plays at start of personnel battle. You may exclude any or all of your non-[Bor] personnel from that battle. OR Once every turn, plays to stop a crew or Away Team where you have personnel present (limit once per game per location).

An errata to Nebula came up over a year ago when the design team of Duel Decks: Four Lights wanted to create more missions in its region. The Rules Team then realized there was potential to fix some other issues with the card. The Creative Team realized that, as an universal mission, Nebula should have a generic location rather than a specific one. Combined, these efforts result in a new variant of mission that can seed in any quadrant (consider this a test run for similar gametext on other missions). And while Nebula does not appear in the upcoming duel deck lists, 2 new missions in the McAllister C-5 Nebula do. Here is the new gametext:

Seeds in any quadrant. You must play Scan to initiate battle here. When opponent scores points, your ship here encounters next seed card.

Prevent Military Escalation
This virtual mission from Engage is getting a slight update to the gametext on the opponent's side. The card now uses the new "report with" wording originally debuted on Space-Time Portal. This errata is made in advance of Duel Decks: Four Lights, which features a new persona of this mission with the updated text. Here is the new gametext on the opponent's side of the mission:

U.S.S. Phoenix may report with up to 3 personnel here.

Watch List
As per our standard policy, any cards coming off of the Modern Ban List are automatically added to the Watch List. This gives the card extra attention in case it needs additional balancing post-release. Because we have issued errata to Smoke Bomb to bring it off the ban list, it is added to the Watch List. To Boldly Go, with today's errata, is removed from the Watch List.

That is all for our game changes in November. We're cooking up a lot more updates for the next few months of game changes updates, the next of which will be on Monday, December 4th. All of us here at the Department of First Edition thank you for your continued support of our beloved game. May your leftover Halloween candy remain delicious, and your November be wondrous!

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