Star Wars Destiny and drafting

I recently got a Star Wars Destiny Two-Player Starter Set, and I find myself involved with a collectible card game for the first time since I left school!

I took my two player starter set to a friends house to give it a try as I knew he had some Destiny stuff. I really liked it after playing our first game. The gameplay is simple but strategic. It is action by action, so your well thought out plans can get foiled easily by a well played card from your opponent. Throwing dice in there makes it more varied then Magic the Gathering where you chuck cards at each other. I love the way characters from across the factions are split into heroes and villains. And the artwork is amazing!

The two player starter set is a fantastic product. For two people on their own to play casually at home it is a great way to spend an evening, although the villain deck is stronger and feels like it wins more. By buying a second copy, you get the extra character dice and can make a decent deck by having the elite versions of the characters and more cards to choose from. In fact, an experienced tournament player from Team Covenant said he was beaten in a game in a big tournament with a guy who just had two of these starter sets!

But equally I’ve had a day where I didn’t win a single game. Partly down to my deck building, and sometimes I forget to read my characters abilities, but equally when a well built deck where the player has a larger pool of cards than you it can be frustrating.

That’s where drafting comes in. You need a Rivals draft set, and then you buy six booster packs as part of your event ticket. It puts everyone on a similar playing field, as you can only build a deck from the Rivals set and the cards you draft. There are six powerful legendary cards per booster box, and because you pick a card then rotate the boosters, even if one person got all six legendaries from their boosters, they would be rotated around so they wouldn’t end up with all of them. There are some great cards in the Rivals draft set too (the sniper riffle, repeating blaster and holster did most of the damage in my games). If you wanted to play Destiny on the cheap, you could simply buy two of the two player starter sets, a Rivals set, and enjoy the draft experience once every four months when a new set comes out and keep the cards you draft. From all this, you should have enough to draft a decent deck to play regular games in-between drafts. This is assuming you don’t get addicted and buy shit-loads of boosters!

Going back to my earlier frustrations, one of the better things about Destiny is the cards you need to control dice (turn yours to good results and opponents to bad results) are common cards. There is a nice selection in the two player starter, but drafting a few boosters will also get you a good chunk of these cards, and set you well on the way to finishing your deck. I’ve also been lucky in that the guys who play at OG Games gave me some of their spare commons, so I now have lots of dice control options at my disposal!

Another frustration can be getting hold of your favorite characters is they will likely be in booster packs, and are often legendary which is the rarest. For example two of my favourite characters Ahsoka Tano and Doctor Aphra fall into this category.  Even worse is they rotate out of play – Ahsoka is from year one and will not be playable in 2019 (unless you play infinte) which is frustrating if you sunk a lot of money trying to get that character. The good news is they seem to rotate in rarity. For example, Luke Skywalker and Han Solo were legendary in year one and hidden in booster packs. However new versions of them appeared in starter sets in year two, so hopefully this will happen for other popular characters too! And hopefully a new version of Ahsoka will appear in time for the 2019 rotation!

The draft experience was amazing, and I played three really close games!

My first game I had Bo-Katan and Anakin Skywalker. My opponent somehow managed to draft Snoke and an elite Fith Brother! However, his luck didn’t hold for long, and he had some really unlucky dice rolls. Snoke was able to do some damage with his ability, but Bo-Katan was delivering it quicker. Anakin was a bit useless, especially as I had a handful of neutral cards so couldn’t use his ability. I defeated Snoke and it looked like I had won. However, the Fith Brother’s dice picked up, and he managed to get his ability of to repeatedly hit me with the same dice. Bo-Katan was the next casualty, and then Anakin. It was really close, and after I defeated Snoke I thought I’d won. The way the tables turned kept it very high stakes!

For the second game I switched Anakin out for Count Dooku. I can’t remember that game, but again it was a close loss for me. I also had a record high of about eight resources. I had purposefully picked a yellow character and the card Respected Businessman (a common card) to make sure I was never low on resources for the draft.

The third game I kept my deck the same, and I was against Leia/ Jawa and Anakin. This was insanely close. It was a mill deck, and entering the last round I had two cards left in my hand, and he was down to Leia with a few health left, and I was worried. However, I managed to defeat her clinging on to a single card in my hand before he could discard it. If he had elite Leia he would have won easily.

The drafting experience was amazing, the draft I feel levels the playing field and I can’t wait to try it again!

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