Destiny: Awakenings' Three Biggest Winners and Losers post-SoR!

Ian O'Brien1 comment

Hi Everybody!

With a new set, and a new emerging meta, all of the focus is on Spirit of Rebellion and the exciting new things that it brings to the game. So today we thought we'd take a look at which popular cards from Awakenings gain or lose the most in the new world.

 

The Losers

 

3. Jetpack

In Awakenings, Jetpack was one of those cards you hated to see; those big 2s and 3s on an upgrade that only cost two resources were the downfall of many characters during the Awakenings meta. But Jetpack was not without its problems; it lacked unmodified damage faces (and it was often played with characters that themselves had modified or costing faces, so it opened you up to a lot of control), and its dual offensive/defensive nature was often problematic when you just wanted to close out a game. Cue Sprit of Rebellion with its plethora of great 2-cost upgrades such as Ascension Gun or the easy-to-dip-into-for-villains red upgrades like the DT-29 and Boba's personal flying machine has some often-more-consistent competition. It will no doubt still see plenty of play, but its days of auto-inclusion are at an end.

 

2. Force Training

Force Training is a pretty innocuous card, but it was a pretty solid staple in blue decks both hero and villain, including the ubiquitous VaderRaider, my own Younglings deck and other variations, QuiGon decks, Kylo/Dooku decks, basically anything involving blue and melee. With SoR bringing us a similar but mostly-better version in Makashi Training, a similar-but-probably-better version in Lure of Power and a whole host of new blue upgrades (albeit in a different cost-slot) such as Force Speed, Handcrafted Light Bow, Lightsaber Pike, and more, poor Force Training has a huge amount of competition for its slots and it isn't quite as capable of justifying its deck slot as something like Force Throw or Mind Probe is. That is not to say it won't see play at all, but it certainly isn't going to be the solid space-filler it used to be and I think most decks will drop it in favour of Makashi Training or a better upgrade or weapon.

 

1. Mos Eisley Spaceport

I was an early champion of Mos Eisley as the best "default" battlefield to play if you didn't have any particular plans for your battlefield and didn't want your opponent to get too much out of it either. With the rise of Force Speed, playing this is more likely than ever to be giving opponents an engine to generate resources (even if you can do the same). Combine this with the fact that there are lots of really great battlefield choices in SoR (whereas there really weren't for a lot of decks in Awakenings) and the hive of scum and villainy is going to become much more of a considered gamble than a default pick, meaning that it'll probably see a lot less play.

 

The Winners

 

3. Poe Dameron

It will come as a surprise to approximately no-one that a card based around critical mass of good upgrades being in your deck got better as decks are able to approach critical mass of good upgrades. Poe was already a great card in Awakenings (although his deck, like many, didn't really have the time or the playerbase to really establish it as a top tier deck with lots of results) and now with new vehicles and guns to pitch he's going to be even better. Additionally, Heroes were somewhat handicapped in Awakenings with their only real good low-cost character being Rey and that's also no longer the case - Maz Kanata is now Poe (and everyone else's) best friend so he has a double-whammy of stuff that makes him better!

 

2. Padme Amidala

Mill was OK in Awakenings but it wasn't quite there; it was almost always a turn or two too slow and often died with the opponent having no deck but cards in hand. And Padme's inclusion in Awakenings also had a knock-on effect on Heroes; the slot in the set that she took up meant they had very few options in character lineups and unless they wanted to run a Hired Gun for access to Yellow, it was pretty much Han or nothing. Awakenings was a bad time to be a hero player if you weren't using Rey, pretty much.

Anyway, onto the now and Hero Mill is REAL. I stress real because if you havent played against it you're missing out on a brutal beating. Ascension Gun on Command Centre, Jyn Erso or Maz to pair Padme with, more ways to keep your guys alive and more yellow control (that's before we even consider dipping in to other colous) mean that Padme is going to be a fixture on the top tables a lot more often.

 

1. Second Chance

Between Ammo Belt, Cheat, Rebel and various other cards, Second Chance probably should have been named "nth chance". If you've played against it you probably hate it, and if you've recurred it you probably really enjoyed it. I welcome the fact that the existence of this line of play means we should move away a bit from the hyper-aggro meta of Awakenings; that meta was a shame because a game with such rich interactions should not be reduced to "who rolls the best damage dice" (in a largely best-of-1 tournament format to boot).

The issue with Second Chance though, is that a good chunk of ALL decks lose to it once you start looping it. There are very few ways to actually deal with it right now; Cargo Hold'ing it to another character can get round an Ammo Belt, Confiscating it can put it back in hand, but access to those things is situational and limited. As powerful as this card has gotten in SoR I do think that it's going to be complained about and argued over a lot online, and one of two things will happen; it'll either be errata'd to remove itself from the game when it resolves (now that we have a removed-from-game area thanks to the recent Hyperspace Jump ruling) or we'll see more cards in the next set to deal with upgrades (or healing).

 

Honourable Mention: Sith Holocron

Yep, it can now cheat in more, better cards like Force Lightning. No, I still don't know how this card passed playtesting. What.

 

 

That's all for us from today! We hope you enjoyed our roundup, and yes we did notice that the three cards that we think gained the most are all hero cards; when you're mostly at the bottom of the pile the only way is up, right? What are your views on the biggest winners and losers from Awakenings? Let us know on Twitter or on Facebook!

Don't forget to check out our Destiny Singles Store hich is fully stocked with SoR and will soon be refilled with Awakenings.

If you're in the UK, you can come and play Destiny with us at our monthly grand Tournaments, the next of which is on 13th May (that's tomorrow at the time of writing this!) and also at our weekly Thusday Night Destiny tournaments!

Cheers

Team JustPlay

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Star Wars Destiny Tier List

Ian O'Brien9 comments

Welcome Destiny players, to the JustPlay Star Wars Destiny Tier listing, where we rank the most popular decks in terms of relative power level!

We have a thriving Destiny community at JustPlay and we have been playtesting Destiny since it was released. We playtest many different ideas, in many different matchups, both in paper and online; we also build and playtest popular decks that pop up online. This puts us in a strong position to rank decks and their place in the meta.

Without further ado, we present to you...

 

 

Star Wars Destiny Tier List (updated 17/01/17)

 

Tier 1 - Decks that consistently perform well, have a significant amount of raw power, and play many of the best cards in the format. These are the decks that all other decks need to be able to beat.

  • "Training Day", Hero Midrange - eQui-Gon Jinn/eRey
  • "Younglings", Hero Midrange - eRey/Padawan/Padawan
  • "Jangeers", Villain Aggro - eJango/eVeers (many variants of this deck, usually around aggro vs control cards)
  • "Mono Blue Sith", Villain Midrange - eKylo/Vader (also eDooku/eKylo variant)

 

Tier 1.5 - Decks that are slightly weaker than Tier 1, but consistently perform better than Tier 2, and are difficult to place in either tier.

 

Tier 2 - Decks that are very strong but don't quite have the consistency or raw power of Tier 1 decks, and are often countered by Tier 1 decks.

  • "PadMill", Hero Control/Mill - ePadme/some combination of Rebel Troopers and Hired Guns
  • "Hyperloop", Hero Control - Poe/Hired Gun/Hired Gun (expect this deck to be banned/erratad out of existence soon)
  • "Swarmtrooper", Villain Aggro - 4x First Order Stormtrooper (dual-colour or rainbow variants with Bala-tik and/or Nightsister are the same tier)
  • "Han-Rey", Hero Aggro - eHan/eRey
  • "Jabba-Vader", Villain Control - Vader/eJabba (also eDooku/eJabba variant)
  • "JangoTroopers", Villain Aggro - eJango/2x First Order Stormtrooper
  • "Luke-Ackbar", Hero Aggro - eLuke/Ackbar

 

Tier 3 - Decks that are commonly seen in the meta and are very capable of winning but lack either the consistency or raw power level to compete with higher Tier decks.

  • "Stabs and Bangs", Villain Aggro - eGrievous/Jango
  • "Grievous-Dooku", Villain Aggro - eGrievous/Dooku
  • "FinnBar", Hero Aggro - eFinn/eAckbar
  • "Phasma Troopers", Villain Midrange - ePhasma/2x First Order Stormtrooper
  • "Qui-Gon Finn", Hero Midrange - eFinn/Qui-Gon Jinn
  • "Han+2", Hero Midrange - Han/Hired Gun/Hired Gun (sometimes eHan/Hired Gun or Han/2x Rebel Trooper)
  • "Ackbar+2", Hero Midrange - Ackbar/Guardian/Guardian (sometimes Ackbar/Guardian/Hired Gun for access to yellow)

 

Some Things to Note!

  • As with any tier list, remember that tweaks to the standard decklists and player skill will always play a big part. A tier 2 deck played by a great player will beat a tier 1 decks with an average player. A tier 3 deck with luck and skill, or good metagame tweaks, can win a tournament.
  • The Destiny community currently names decks by their character lineup. This is often confusing as what many people will call "Vader Raider" for example is a Tier 2/3 deck - the Vader/Raider deck that we're using in our Tier list is different to what you'll commonly see. We've used deck names where possible to avoid confusion, and linked to decklists as much as possible.
  • When we say "deck x beats deck y", we don't mean 100% of the time. In a CCG, with lots of random elements, you're looking for win ratios of 60-65%~ over a large sample size of games to say that a deck is "beats" than another deck.
  • There are a LOT of possible decks in a CCG! Therefore the tier list comprises only the most popular decks that are seeing regular play across many channels.
  • "Control" is not, for the most part, a deck archetype in Destiny - it is simply a reference to the number of control cards played. Most decks have some form of control, and even many aggro decks pack a similar number of control cards to "control" decks. Most decks are what we would term "midrange"; that is, decks that pack plenty of damage and plenty of control. There are only a few decks that seek to win by going all-out damage, and only a few decks that seek to win by dealing damage very slowly.

 

What do you think of the current Tier rankings for Star Wars: Destiny? 

Check back soon - we'll be keeping this list regularly updated as the meta continues to develop and the Q1 organised play season continues!

Also don't forget to follow us on YouTube for more Destiny content, and join us for our first Destiny Grand Tournament on this Saturday, 21st January, at JustPlay in Liverpool!

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Star Wars: Destiny - How to Choose a Battlefield

Ian O'Brien1 comment

Hi Destiny Players!

In today's article, we're going to be talking about Battlefields. I won't be reviewing them, instead I'll be talking about how to choose one, how to make it work for you, and why not to choose certain battlefields. So let's crack on!

 

Destiny: Battlefield Choices

Choosing your Battlefield is an important part of designing a Destiny deck. Most people will choose a Battlefield that helps their deck, but I often see people windmill slamming Imperial Armory with the reasoning of "it makes my stuff cheaper" without considering something very important; it works equally well for your opponent! So, how to we make better Battlefield choices?

This is a pretty good Battlefield choice.

 

Breaking the Symmetry

This is a term that was popularised in Magic: The Gathering. It's used in reference to effects that symmetrically affect each player, where your intent is to make said effect hurt your opponent more than it hurts you. For example, a (made up) card in Destiny that read "exhaust every character with a starting health of 8 or lower" would have more impact on decks running smaller characters than bigger ones, so if we built our deck to only include big unique characters and used this imaginary card, we would have broken the symmetry of that card effect.

In reference to Battlefields, breaking symmetry means this; you want to choose a Battlefield that your deck can utilise well, but you also want to choose a Battlefield that you are likely to get more benefit from than your opponent when you claim. Imperial Armory is a good example of a card that is generally quite symmetrical; everyone has plenty of upgrades in their deck, so everyone can make use of it easily.

Imperial Armory: not even once

Now let's consider ways in which we could break the symmetry of Imperial Armory. One way is to use Rey. Because Rey gets an action after attaching an upgrade, she gets double usage out of Imperial Armory. Another would be to run Imperial Armory with a deck that runs a good few 1-cost upgrades; often when you claim an Imperial Armory you haven't got any money left over to play an upgrade, but it makes 1-cost upgrades free, so if you have some in your deck it makes it easier for you to make use of the claim effect. Are either of these effects a good enough reason to run Imperial Armory? Probably not, because Armory is a very symmetrical card, but they are examples of things you might consider when thinking about playing it.

A great example of a card that you can play non-symmetrically is Emperor's Throne Room. If your deck includes a lot of cards with abilities (and especially if you have a character with an ability, such as Kylo) then the claim effect is going to have many uses for you, but won't necessarily have much use for your opponent. Against some decks, this card can be incredibly non-symmetrical - some decks just don't run many abilities at all. And whilst some decks may make use of it, as long as you have a better use case, you've broken symmetry. I'm playing a deck right now that uses Kylo as well as lots of blue force ability cards, so I'm almost guaranteed to have something I can use with this claim effect, and I get a lot of utility out of it because I can choose precisely which ability I need when I claim, so this card is a great fit for my deck.

Let's take one more example, even more extreme. I have a Han Solo deck that uses Ambush upgrades (DL-44, Holdout Blaster, anything yellow with Infamous) to give Han shields. I realised that there was a Battlefield that let me return these to my hand, to play them again and give Han even more shields - Mos Eisley Spaceport. Mos Eisley lets me keep the shields flowing, the Ambush keyword means I don't "lose" actions to replay things, and the extra resource when I use the claim effect keeps the replay cost down. In addition, DL-44 also has an ability when played (removing an opponents' dice) so I'm getting even more value out of that replay! I decided to push this theme even further and added Comlink to my deck, meaning that for effectively 1-resource I had a card that could make me or my opponent reroll every dice - every turn.

Mos Eisley Spaceport: A wretched hive of scum and villainy and blaster recursion

 

Even though all of these uses cost resources, and sometimes I won't be able to afford to use them, there are plenty of great options here. Contrast that with the opponents you'll be playing against; how many times have you ever thought to yourself "man, I wish that I could get that upgrade back in my hand and get 1 resource"? I'd hazard never (especially since you can upgrade upgrades), so my choice of Mos Eisley gives me options - even if they are not always great ones - whilst giving many opposing decks absolutely nothing in return.

Think about breaking the symmetry when choosing your Battlefield. If in doubt, use this maxim; a weaker effect that only you are likely to use is better than a stronger effect that both players can use to similar potential.

Claim Racing

I use this term quite often when I talk about Destiny gameplay. Every turn is a race to claim, even if it isn't your specific goal; and therefore, every action you take has a hidden cost of pushing you further away from winning the claim. Therefore, a key skill for a Destiny player is to be as action efficient as possible whilst taking their turn, making it more likely that they can claim later.

Of course, you can also build your deck to win the claim race more often. Jango Fett, Ambush cards, running fewer but more powerful characters, and running dice that makes use of the same icons (eg sticking to just  or just  damage cards) are just some ways in which you can make your deck faster. If you make your deck fast enough, then you can potentially ignore symmetrical effects of Battlefields and simply pick the one that you want to use, with the aim of making sure it is you that uses it most turns.



A good example of this is Separatist Base. This effect is pretty symmetrical no matter how you look at it, but in a deck that is designed to be very "aggro" (ie, kill the opponent very quickly with damage) you can break the symmetry a little because you are intending to put your opponent under much more damage pressure than they are applying to you. Breaking the symmetry even just a little is good, but if we are built to race for this claim each turn then we are probably not concerned about that - we're simply playing this for easy damage.

I have a deck that runs 2-dice Jango Fett and General Veers along with this Battlefield. Thanks to running just two characters, Jango, Infamous, ambush effects and cards like All In, I'm very fast to end my turn and win most claims, which means free damage that works well in combination with a deck full of damaging cards. Additionally, I also have a better initiative roll than most people (4 dice with a good total sum of sides) meaning I'll often start with the Battlefield, which in turn makes it easier to win future claims.

Coming back to Imperial armory, using the racing technique is one way that we can make good use of it. It's a very powerful effect, but too symmetrical to ever really break its symmetry well - so make sure you win most of the claims, and keep it all to yourself!

***

That's it for today's article, and as ever we hope you found it useful. If you'd like to support us, please consider checking out our Destiny Singles Page (we ship worldwide).

Also, check out our Youtube Channel and subscribe! It's going to be chock full of Destiny content, starting today (1st December 2016) when I'll be uploading a video that walks through the deckbuilding process and my thoughts as I put together a yellow villain deck featuring Jango Fett and Thermal Detonator!

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Star Wars: Destiny Analysis, Part 3: Heroes

Ian O'Brien2 comments

Hi Destiny Players!

 

 

Welcome back to the blog. Today we're going to be talking about Destiny's Hero characters, and analysing how they rank in terms of power level. If you haven't read our previous articles then don't forget to read them too, but if you have, let's dive right in!

 

Destiny: Heroes Analysis

Admiral Ackbar - 6/10

I opened Ackbar at the launch party, and I was really excited until I read him; I was even less excited once I'd played him. Having a double  is nice, but having only 1 and also being burdened with a 1 leads to a lot of rolls that aren't doing enough. Really, he's all about his 2 which can be incredible on the right turn, but I don't like his odds of hitting it - I'd have liked him more if he he had two 1 faces like Jabba. He is also a little low on the health side for his cost; I'd like to have seen him at 10. On the upside, he is not horribly expensive, and that big focus result can be a game changer if you like high variance dice rolling (or if you have some 1-focus stuff around to focus him into his 2-focus result; I did this a lot at the launch party with BB-8) - and his two-dice version does fit in neatly with a lot of setups such as 2-dice Leia or double-Trooper, so there is room to experiment.

Ackbar's raison d'etre outside of his focus result is his ability, but in practice it is quite difficult to use without a dedicated discard setup or at least some slots dedicated to it (eg Commando Raid) and because the opponent chooses the damage target, it is questionable as to whether the payoff is worth the setup. It is also easy for the opponent to play around if they know it's coming. I view it more as a fringe benefit to Ackbar, able to occasionally chip in some damage to your total or make the opponent hold back a playable card to avoid the damage.

I'm confident that we'll see some mill/discard decks based around Ackbar but I don't think that they have the support to go the distance currently - no doubt our favourite Mon Calamari meme generator will improve over time. I expect he'll also work his way into some decks as a support. I'd certainly like to try him more and I'd definitely be open to revising his rating upwards a little bit if playtesting proves that there is a good way to get more out of him.

 

Red is called "Command" in Destiny, and Leia embodies that perfectly for me. She has three damage results, which makes her dice very desirable, but she also brings a powerful focus result.  This means that as a one dice character alongside a more powerful character (Han Solo at two dice is a common pairing), you can rely on her to help out with the damage but also buff your main character when needed - access to cards like Leadership furthers this theme even more. She is equally capable of running at two dice due to her good damage results, making her one of the more versatile characters in the game in terms of effectiveness at different costs. She also brings an above average 11 hp to the table, which is really good
As if her raw numbers weren't enough, her action is also awesome! This pushes her leadership theme even further, and means that even her blanks or otherwise unwanted results always stay useful. This level of consistency is not extremely common on Destiny characters.
In summary, Leia is great and she can fulfil many roles; main character, support character, or little bit of both, and her dice should always be useful. You should definitely consider her when building your hero lists!

 

Poe's dice is pretty reasonable - I'd generally rather take 2 and 3 with a cost than something like 1 and 2 - but his 1 is mildly irritating. His 12 health is very high for his cost, though, so that's nice; he 14/18 also slots neatly alongside Leia, Rey, and others. From a raw numbers point of view, Poe looks pretty reasonable.
Of course, as everyone's favourite T-70 pilot, Poe carries his "best evah piloting" theme over into Destiny. His ability to resolve any side of any card with a dice from your hand is potentially incredible when you consider that he could be dealing big results from cards like the Falcon or One with the Force on turn one. The ability equally great for its flexibility though, and we needn't only look at what his ability can do with expensive cards; if you just need an extra resource you'll generally be able to dump any upgrade from your hand, or just need to force one or two damage through, dumping any gun or sword will get the job done.
Having great potential power very early in the game but also a lot of flexibility when needed makes this possibly one of the best abilities in the game, though it does come with downsides. Poe is a resource hog, requiring you to dump valuable cards to use his ability, on top of already wanting to eat a resource to fire his 3 attack. He also wants you to build your deck around him to some extent, as you're going to want more cards with dice than usual; you don't want to be in a situation where you need to get the upgrades out onto the table, and then have none left for Poe to throw at the enemy, which in turn leaves less slots for you to use for events - and means that when you're not rolling Poe's ability, your hand may be a little bit clogged with unusable cards.
I'd be remiss not to mention Poe's interaction with Finn. Access to extra upgrades and vehicles (the AT-ST has a huge dice and the Tie F/O is a great card) is great, and the access to more stuff means that you're not filling your deck with less powerful cards just to get the most out of Poe. When the card pool increases and Poe has a bigger selection, this won't be a big deal, but Finn definitely offers some good stuff to Poe; it's definitely by design that 2-dice Poe can't be run with Finn. Whether theie points line up enough to make them work together (2-dice Finn, 1-dice Poe?) will take some playtesting.
Overall I think Poe is great and has the potential to just run away with games from turn one given the right draws and dice. But he also has potential consistency issues and enforces some restrictions on your deck construction, which is why I don't think he's quite 10/10 material.


(no pic available)

 

The Rebel trooper is humble, but solid. He has a decent statline similar to a Stormtrooper, with slightly less damage but a  instead of a blank, as befits the Hero playstyle. His health is the standard unique 7, and with a reasonable cost of 8 given his ability...

Guardian! Rebel Trooper is currently the only card that natively has the Guardian keyword. As we've discussed before, dice control is very powerful; Guardian provides repeated dice control, with no action necessary other than activating the character. Guardian is a great ability for this reason, though of course it comes with the cost that it is not dice removal as the damage is still going somewhere, and every hit point is valuable. Still, when you manage to pull the only natural melee out from a Rey that's rolled two +2s, or many of the other combinations in which you can do similar, you're still potentialyl saving yourself from a bigger hit. Activation order also becomes important for your Guardians; you ideally don't want to load them up with too many upgrades since you don't want to pressure yourself to activate them early and potentially waste your Guardian.

Overall a nice combination of a decent dice, a useful ability, and a cheap cost - plus the ability to provide a Hero lineup with cheap access to Command cards - makes Rebel Trooper a great consideration for your lineup.

 

Luke was described by my colleague Ritchie as "too boring", and to a large extent I agree. Luke doesn't do anything special; he just has a very solid dice, a solid ability, and is solidly costed. As much as I normally like Focus results, I'm not a huge fan of it here; Luke's dice are expensive, and you ideally don't want to be spending them to focus something. I'd rather see a more impactful result - Vader (who Luke will always be compared to for both flavour and game mechanic reasons) has a 2 in this slot, for example. His health of 12 is average for his cost (I'd have liked to have seen 13, though).

Luke's ability offers counterplay to discard strategies, increases the options you have available each turn, and is generally pretty good. However, I do have a bugbear with it; it is not optional. This means that it can be a negative against Mind Probe, can accidentally draw you into an expensive card you didn't want against Kylo, and potentially helps mill strategies to kill you more quickly. 

Luke does fit extremely well with many of his Hero companions, though. He's cheap enough for you to take a 1-dice Rey with his elite version, 1-dice Ackbar if you fancy your chances of focusing Luke's dice (Padme can do the same but is less supportive of Luke's damage-focused strategy).

Luke is a great card, that does nothing flashy but puts up great numbers.

(No Image Available)

I wonder whether Padawan is the best non-unique character in the set, and I think she probably is. Her dice is so reliable; no faces or costing faces like you see on other non-uniques, and she also brings a  to help support whatever big, unique character(s) she's running with. The fact that she doesn't suck up any resources on her damage results and brings this supporting focus element to boot is exactly what I'm looking for in my filler characters.

And her tastiness doesn't stop there! Her -1 cost to weapons is really nice. Continuing her potential theme of not sucking up too many resources that you want to be using in other places than a support character, this is again a great ability ion a support character. If you pair her with a redeploy weapon (such as a Lightsaber) so that when she is inevitably murdered you don't lose the asset, you can squeeze some value out of this. You won't use it all of the time, though - sometimes you'll just want to put your weapons on something bigger to maximise your first roll of any given turn.

If it wasn't obvious, I like Padawan. She's going to see a lot of table time, both supporting uniques and in some 4-dice builds with non-uniques.

Qui-Gonn is pretty unique as Destiny characters go, having a dice that is very different to usual and an ability that demands that you build around him. He is the only character to feature two  faces and the only character to feature a 2. The 1-1-1-2-2 faces are slightly on the low side as far as numbers go compared to some of his peers, but you can be assured the Qui-Gonn is going to consistently deal damage or prevent it.

There's been some confusion on the forums as to how Qui-Gonn's ability works, so read him closely; before you gain shields you may remove a single shield to deal 1 damage. This means that you can use this ability when you are already at 3 shields, though obviously if you're gaining more than 1, you'll lose any excess.

In simple terms, this means that every shield you gain - through Qui-Gonn, other characters, or effects like Take Cover can be converted to damage. As we discussed in our article on dice, damage is generally preferable to shields, so Qui-Gonn essentially improves every source of shields that you play whilst maintaining the flexibility of gaining shields if you want them. This makes Qui-Gonn a very consistent damage dealer, essentially giving his dice four damage faces. It means that the aforementioned Take Cover reads "gain 1 shield or deal 1 damage for 0 cost", a card that would be almost an autoinclude in every deck if it existed. And there are more combos, too; Resistance HQ, especially played on a turn when your opponent is already out of resource, turns every card in your hand into "deal 1 damage" - no deck will be able to stand up to more than a turn of that happening before they fall so far behind that they'll never recover. Hunker Down exhausts for a damage every turn.

So we've established that Qui-Gonn changes the fundamentals of your cards, and that is always a powerful thing; why isn't Qui-Gonn rated higher? Firstly, his damage is kind of low. He is going to kill things by "plinking" them to death with lots of 1 damage results, and this means that you can simply be overrun by more full-on aggro decks packing cards with powerful numbers such as Jedi/Sith style decks, Jetpacks, Flame Throwers, and so on, or you won't kill things fast enough to deal with Crime Lord (and your shields will be useless). Using lots of individual actions to deal damage with shield cards also means that you're likely to fall behind in the claim race. Secondly, there are lots of ways to eliminate multiple shields such as Intimidate and First Order Tie, so using a shield-focused deck leaves you open to some efficient counterplays.

Qui-Gonn existing for his ability also means that you can easily run him at 1 dice, leaving you 17 points to play with for other characters. If you want to outlast your opponents, you could bring Rey and a Padawan; access to Red could be a 2-dice Leia, or a Rebel Trooper to further push your damage-control theme with guardian. There are great options for 1-dice Qui-Gonn, and this is still the case if you run him at 1-dice, as he can bring 2-dice Rey or any number of other cheaper options. He fits nicely with his cohorts. 

Qui-Gonn is a very flavourful card, that interacts in a fun (and powerful) way with lots of other cards - you can see this by how wordy his review section was! A lot of people are already building around him, me included, so I think we'll see him on the table a lot. 

Rey has one of the more interesting dice of Destiny characters. If you played her at the launch party as I did, you'll know that having two sides with a is incredibly frustrating if you don't have plenty of other dice to support that. On the flipside (and now that we're talking constructed decks), her dice is really good when properly supported. She doesn't eat a resource for her 2 result like her counterpart Kylo, and she has nice double-resource faces as long as you can activate the +. Her  is the only thing that I don't really like.

Her ability is also very good. The value of action economy in winning the claim race should not be undervalued, especially since Rey has a great claim trick with Imperial Armory (claim, which lets you play a cheap upgrade, and you get a free action). 

The main reason, though, that all of the above is so strong is that Rey is insanely cheap for what she does. The potential of her dice, her great ability, and her 10 health pool can come at a cost of just 9, which puts most non-uniques to shame, and her 2-dice 12-point version is also incredibly well costed. She does so much for her cost that it's hard not to love her simply for having solid numbers. She slots easily into many builds and I expect she'll be showing up everywhere in both versions.

 

Finn is lazy bad card design. B-A-D. Effects like this are just so boring, though they're flavourful for Finn. The weapon and vehicle clause in particular, though, is going to be problematic; game designers often seem to include this type of effect in their first set, balanced against a limited card pool; 5 expansions in, there is a deck that has no theme, no interactions, no synergy or combos, and is simply made of all of the most cost-efficient cards from both factions. Alternatively, to stop this from being the case, they're forced to only release mediocre weapons and cards... also bad. It's happened before, and it'll keep happening until someone realises that this type of ability bad idea. Sorry FFG, this game is incredible but this card is going to bite you in the ass.

So rant over, let's look at Finn. His numbers are low, though he does have 3 damage faces, with a rare mix of ranged and melee. I'm not a particular fan of mixed damage types; yes, you're less exposed to Block or Dodge style effects but the tradeoff is less consistency in effects from your own cards, which is going to affect you much more often than cards people might not even play. Finn's melee face seems to be mostly there for flavour (he used a Lightsaber in the film!), though it does also help our Rey's +2 when using the starter. But we're not talking about starter games; Finn's dice is just a bit weak. His health of 10 is nothing special for his cost of 13/16 either. 

What cards can our deck gain from Finn, to make his cost worthwhile? The list is currently limited to AT-ST, First Order Tie, and F-11D Rifle. AT-ST is mostly going to be used for a deck specifically built around it (eg Poe+Finn), but the Tie and Rifle are both really great, solid cards that - when used in conjunction with the currently limited card pool - can give you a deck build that is more consistent and solid than you'd be able to achieve without Finn.

Are the gains in terms of your deck worth the offset you get from Finn being a pretty weak character? In my opinion, not really, though as mentioned he is definitely going to get better with age and at some point is probably going to be incredible.

Han is a great example of a character that has perfect synergy with himself. His dice is solid, with good numbers, and his dice's filler face is a 2 which is both flavourful and impactful when it turns up at the right time. He has two resource faces which is always nice, and somewhat offsets the cost of his 3 face. His health is a little lower than I'd like, but since his ability is survival related, it's easily worked around. And through.

Han's ability is AWESOME. Say it with me: AWESOME. Hitpoints are a very finite resource in Destiny, and though there are lots of ways to work around or remove shields, I still like them a lot because they are easier to come by than healing. Being able to generate lots and lots of them is powerful. To get the most out of this ability you want to focus on Ambush cards, which is fine, because Hero Rogue cards have access to some great ones (including my personal favourite weapon, the DL-44). In particular, Infamous is amazing with Han, as well as being an amazing card in it's own right. It's so easy to get mileage out of Han's ability because Ambush is such a powerful mechanic already. You should also look closely at Mos Eisley Spaceport, which I run in my current Han build, as it means that you can replay Holdout Blaster every turn for a shield at essentially no cost in resources or actions; you can also recur DL-44 for its powerful entering play ability whilst gaining Han some shields. Good times. Also worth mentioning is that Han's double resource faces synergise well with the fact that he likes to play lots of cards to get free shields.

At 2 dice, Han does not fit amazingly with any synergistic options other than 1-dice Leia, but there are still plenty of options. If you want to run him in 1-dice mode and simply make more use of his ability then this obviously opens up a lot. However you run Han, I think he is in the top 3 characters in the game and we're going to see a lot of Han decks!

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Hired Gun is sort of like a mini-Han in terms of its dice. It costs for damage - on both faces - but it also brings two resource faces on its dice. In an ideal world you're generally looking for the  faces early and the powerful damage faces late, but it won't always work out like this, so Hired Gun can be a little bit inconsistent.

What makes this Rodian stand out is his health pool. At 9 health for just 8 cost, he bulks out your total health on the board better than any other non-unique. This is a real selling points, as getting 9 health plus cheap access to yellow combined with good resource generation and a powerful 3 is a lot of potential in a cheap package. 

Hired Gun is a simple, cheap, and effective card. There's not a lot to say about him. He's also probably a really nice guy once you get to know him.


Padme Amidala - 5/10
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Most of what I said about Ackbar can also be applied to Padme. Her dice is generally pretty weak, but her big 2 can be tremendous, and she does have 10 health which makes her a little more durable than the squid.

If you're running Padme, though, you're doing it for her ability. She is potentially a staple of a mill strategy (a strategy whereby you try to win by running your opponent out of cards - named after a Magic: The Gathering card called Millstone which enabled the same strategy), able to consistently take cards off of your opponent's deck thanks to her double action faces.

As I've said before, I don't think that there is currently enough support for that strategy to really be worth it, and I'm not going to spend much time talking about it, but I'm sure Padme will have her day. Until then, she's probably not going to see much play as there are probably better options if you want access to Yellow and hitting her focus side is too inconsistent to bring her for that reason alone.

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That's it for our hero roundup! For the next article, we'll be taking a break from the vacuum card-analysis and talking a little bit more about real world deckbuilding and strategy (as has been requested by our readers!)

Don't forget that our Destiny Singles Store is now available online, with shipping available to the whole world, and very reasonable prices!Hopefully if you enjoy these articles you'll consider us for your next Destiny singles purchase.

Thanks and see you soon!

-Ian

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