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Are We Going to Have Some Cake?

by James Cream, Staff Writer

26th May 2015

When a new virtual expansion is released for First Edition (1E), I am always interested in seeing how many conversions of Second Edition Backwards Compatible (2EBC) cards are included. The more, the better by my view. But in particular, I like to see cards that move us closer to completing a set.

Cellular Peptide Cake

There are a few Second Edition expansions which had rather few 2EBC cards, and each one of those converted moves us closer to completing one of those sets. Homefront VI features 10 newly converted cards. Of those, we get one for Dangerous Missions (bringing it down to just two unconverted cards) and one from Genesis

Genesis was a 27 card set for the Second Edition which had the added feature of all 27 cards being 2EBC. The thirteenth card to be converted from this set reveals today: Cellular Peptide Cake.

CPC (as it is known on the street) isn't one of the most useful of 2EBC cards. I doubt that it has ever been used in a 1E deck, though that's at least as often as it appears in 2E. Prior to conversion, this card cost a card play and then returned one of the opponent's events that was played on table to their hand. That seems like a fairly straight forward, if also overcosted and almost useless, thing to do. But this rather straight forward ability was buried in a lot of other text which would potentially be confusing to a player not experienced with the newer game. 

The lengthy gametext on the card begins with a 2E keyword and then an explanation of how that keyword works. This is Replicate and we find out that the card can be returned to hand by discarding any event, so that you can overpay for its effect again and again. It also states that the player using this card has to command a Klingon and that the event being bounced to hand has to be in the opponent's 'core' (a thing which doesn't exactly exist in First Edition.) On the positive side, it does limit the target card to non-Referee cards - making sure that it cannot be used in a strategy of ref avoidance.

I have my suspicion that, even had this card been useful in its original form, most players would have overlooked it only because the work required to read through the card was almost as fatiguing as trying to figure out what exactly it did and why one would want to pay for that effect.

Cellular Peptide Cake

Well, I have to applaud the designers as they have managed to retain the intent of the card while managing to significantly shorten the gametext and produce a potentialy useful card. While it stil costs a card play, a minor change in the timing of the card allows it to act during the opponent's turn. The converted version of Cellular Peptide Cake plays on the table and then just sits (not unlike a Barber Pole) until it is needed. Then its function can be triggered 'at any time' making certain that an event played which you don't want to see hanging about doesn't. It has completely forgotten the bit about requiring a Klingon, but has retained the inability to target Referee Icon Events and has added Treaties and Events that are immune to Kevin Uxbridge to that list. To me, all of these make a lot of sense. Being able to lock a player out of having a treaty could potentially wreck a lot of deck builds and Events that are immine to Kevin are immune for a reason. Finally, the Replicate function has been streamlined into First Edition text. Now the player simply has the choice of discarding this event after it has done its job or returning it to hand and discarding another event.

I immediately see some strengths of playing this card. It could be used as tech against the Goddess of Empathy in a deck with an Interrupt heavy strategy. Neither Goddess of Empathy nor Anij can target events, so the card play could potentially be worth it to ensure keeping a troublesome event off the table. In block, this could be a good toolbox card to toss one or two copies of in the deck just in case the opponent has an event one would not mind seeing leave play. This might also be true of complete, though I think those decks are far more likely to be focused and including this would more likely have an intended target,

One that I am thinking of right off is Lower Decks. A powerful and popular card that can mess up some dilemma strategies. It is currently free, by fetching it with a Ready Room Door, but one could potentially make the opponent pay for it... every turn. A card play is still rather expensive, but consider that the opponent will likely also be paying that cost to get their event back into play. Also, this could be combined with another conversion card, Getting Under Your Skin, to make a fine bonus point scoring strategy. Also consider that the alternative is losing 5 points by using either Kevin Uxbridge (who can be hit by Oof!) or Quinn.  

Stop by tomorrow night when Matt Z. gives us a look at yet another conversion card that has gone from guaranteed binder fodder to the short list for many upcoming decks.


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