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Are you a new Destiny player who has outgrown their starter sets and are ready to begin their collection? Hopefully you’ve read our New Player Buyer’s Guide for some basic advice on collecting and are now ready for some more directed guidance on what cards we think you should be adding to your collection and running in your decks. Unlike our New Player Buyer’s Guide, this guide focuses on competitive deckbuilding and assumes the player wants to run the most optimized version of a deck as possible.

Let the past die. Kill it, if you have to.

– Kylo Ren

In a galaxy far far away, Kylo Ren is prepping himself for the release of [insert next Destiny set here]. He is bone-weary of the current meta and is ready for it to die. But until rotation kicks in with the [insert number here] base set the cards seeing heavy play in the current meta aren’t going anywhere. Until the meta develops further with the next Destiny set, we can’t give solid advice on which cards to chase. But we can steer you toward the cards that are good now and that we think will be good all the way up to, and sometimes beyond, rotation.

The Decks of the Meta

Our analysis begins with a catered selection of successful decks in the current meta and digging into their decklists. These decks have won big tournaments, performed consistently well at the top tables, or in the case of a couple are here because they represent the best of a particular archetype. Most of these decks will be found in gauntlets posted by content creators and competitive Destiny teams and you can find many of them on our own gauntlet page.

Breaking down the cards and mechanics of each of these decks would require a novella’s worth of text. Fortunately most of the decks have explanations for how to pilot them on swdestinydb.com (just click the deck name and you’ll be taken to the list) or have videos and guides posted online.

Representative Meta Decks

Deck NameCostCharactersFaction / ColorsCreator
17th Place Sadness$17.50First Order Storm Trooper/eBala/eTalzinVillain Rainbowlittlemag126
Space Elevator$19.85Hired Gun/Rookie/Ezra/Jedi Temple GuardHero RainbowTacster
Buns and Guns$30.50eAurra/eTalzinVillain Blue/Yellowwhatwhengames
#RallyAid$31.20Ezra/eAayla/eRoseHero RainbowAgent of Zion
Grand Mother$82.70eThrawn/eTalzinVillain Blue/Redthejumpingflea
Boba/Phasma$92.00eBoba/ePhasma2Villain Red/YellowRebelSpy
Hand Destruction$96.55eJabba/eTarkinVillain Red/Yellowtruth123
Rieekan/Yoda Mill$100.30eRieekan/eYodaHero Blue/Redrunningonion
Sabine/Ezra$126.50eSabine/eEzraHero YellowBobLobLaw94 GDP
Drive-By Shooting$133.50Rookie/eEzra/eYodaHero RainbowHonestlySarcastic
Kylo/Anakin$143.00eKylo2/eAnakinVillain Blueedwinchen50
Yoda/Lando$204.70eYoda/eLandoHero Blue/YellowTimeLapse
ReyLa$242.25eRey2/eAaylaHero BlueMads Utzon
Obi/Maz$244.50eMaz/eObi-Wan(LEG)Hero Blue/Yellowsarahevans
B7$277.00eBoba/e7thSisterVillain Blue/YellowPearl Yeti
Andrew’s Top 16 Yoda/Hondo$311.50eYoda/eHondoHero Blue/YellowThe Destiny Council

Digging into the Numbers

We pulled down the decklists and compiled them to see what revelations fell out of the numbers. At a glance you can see that Force (blue) dominates the field and is accounted for in over three quarters of the decks we selected for our analysis.

 Top 10 Most Represented Cards

PopularityCard% Decks UsedCard TypeRarityColorFaction
1Force Illusion63%UpgradeUncommonBlueNeutral
2Friends in Low Places38%EventCommonYellowNeutral
3Easy Pickings38%EventUncommonYellowHero
4Heirloom Lightsaber31%UpgradeStarterBlueNeutral
5Caution31%EventUncommonBlueHero
6Overconfidence31%EventCommonBlueNeutral
7Force Speed25%UpgradeLegendaryBlueNeutral
8Ancient Lightsaber25%UpgradeLegendaryBlueNeutral
9Truce25%EventCommonYellowNeutral
10Hidden Motive25%EventStarterBlueNeutral

Looking at the top 10 most represented cards in the decklists, three cards really stands out: Force Illusion, Ancient Saber and Force Speed.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_gallery gallery_ids=”7758,7757,7759″ posts_number=”3″ orientation=”portrait” show_title_and_caption=”off” show_pagination=”off” _builder_version=”3.2.2″ max_width_last_edited=”on|desktop” custom_margin=”|||” custom_padding=”|||” animation_style=”fade” custom_css_main_element=” margin: auto;|| width: 80%; ||padding: 10px;”][/et_pb_gallery][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.2.2″] Ever since Vibroknife got its faithful nerf, Force Illusion has been a mainstay of blue decks. It is one of the few cards in the game that effectively adds health to a character and is an excellent defense against big hits that include modified dice. It isn’t rare for Force Illusion to be blocking three or more damage and when paired with a single removal card it can prevent all the damage from an entire round.

Ancient Saber brings value to the table with its three damage sides and its ridiculous +3 damage. While it lacks Redeploy it can be used to prolong the life of the character you’ve attached it to. Playing Ancient Saber round one on the character your opponent was probably going to defeat first has set them up for quite the long slog of health to get through and probably ruined their day.

Force Speed is the action cheating card in the game and it is FREE to play. Once you begin playing more competitively you’ll see the value Force Speed brings with getting around your opponent’s mitigation and control. And if you’re real lucky that Force Speed die will land on Focus right when you need it!

This paints a fairly simple picture: you should just play blue. Unfortunately the economics of the game are going to make that rather expensive: Ancient Lightsaber and Force Speed both sell for around $50 and Force Illusion for $10. While it is possible to field the decks without those cards, chances are the deck is going to be sub-optimal and struggle competitively.

Even if your budget allows for the purchase of these cards you need to be aware that Force Illusion, Ancient Lightsaber and Force Speed will all be rotating out with the release of the third base set (we assume this is around Q1 2019). Budget and rotation be damned? Then by all means, pull up a popular blue list and collect away. These expensive cards are used in many different decklists, its why they cost so much. Buying them will open up many deck building options and should see use throughout the rest of the cycle.

Building on a Budget

Vehicles

Budget not be damned? Just because the core of the two character blue decks are expensive doesn’t mean you can’t run blue at all. Two very popular decks include budget blue characters and not a single Legendary card. Let us introduce to you Hero Vehicles! It comes in two flavors, a three character variant called #RallyAid and a more robust four character version called Space Elevator. These decks rely on their characters to ramp into a fleet of vehicles to take down their opponents. Keeping characters alive is less important so these decks don’t run Force Illusion, dropping the price of putting these decks together down even more. Better yet, the dice cards that go into these decks aren’t really used by other deck types which keeps their cost pretty low. Your friends will curse you as you use some of the strongest control against them with Easy Pickings (#2) and Into the Garbage Chute removing their dice left and right.

Where is the downside? Well, we’ll give it to you straight. These aren’t easy decks to pilot. Most of the two character decks you just play an upgrade, activate your characters, play a removal and discard a card or two for rerolls and begin resolving dice. Simple, sweet, even a wookie could do it. There are far more decision points going into piloting Vehicles, but that isn’t a bad thing. Play these decks and you will be forced to become a better, more aware player.

The other downside is its yet to be proven if Vehicles will survive the new release. Our guts say yes, but if there are meta defining cards that hate three and four character lists then Vehicles might be in trouble. Still, with the low cost of collecting these decks we feel comfortable prodding the new player to pick them up for a try.

Pew Pew Blasters!

Another option for the budget minded is the very aggressive Boba/Phasma deck. This deck does some real work with just its character dice and those dice come from the starter sets you probably already own! This deck is a lot simpler to run than Vehicles (at least we think so) and is budget friendly for the same reason: a lot of these cards just aren’t found in other decks.
[/et_pb_text][et_pb_gallery gallery_ids=”7771,7772″ posts_number=”3″ orientation=”portrait” show_title_and_caption=”off” show_pagination=”off” _builder_version=”3.2.2″ max_width_last_edited=”on|desktop” custom_margin=”|||” custom_padding=”|||” animation_style=”fade” custom_css_main_element=” margin: auto;|| width: 80%; ||padding: 10px;”][/et_pb_gallery][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.2.2″] You’re really only looking at two money cards in Boba/Phasma: Holdout Blaster and X-8 Night Sniper. Holdouts are going to set you back about $10 each and the X-8s about $20 (pro-tip – people selling playsets usually list at a discount). The major downside of collecting this deck is that quite a bit of it will be rotating out with the Awakenings-cycle, however, the characters that are the aggro back-bone of this deck aren’t. They are such a strong pair that we think they’ll see play past the rotation, making this a deck to hone over time.

An even cheaper option is the depressingly named 17th Place Sadness, better known as five die villain. A variant of this deck has been around for a long, long time. It works well because you overwhelm your opponent with cheap character and upgrade dice, they just won’t have the cards or resources to mitigate them all. This deck also sips on your budget and runs without a single Legendary or chase rare and its most expensive card is Force Illusion. You’re going to see a good amount of this deck rotate out, but its such a cheap buy that we still recommend it as a deck to kick off a collection with.

Finding the Good Cards

If you’ve evolved past looking online for completed deck lists and want to begin assembling your own decks you might be a bit overwhelmed by the huge card pool. Where to start? You could take the easy road and begin with a netdeck but maybe your work blocked swdestinydb.com and Artificery is all you’ve got. Well, in a minute here we’ll share the table of all the card data from the meta decks. If the deck you are putting together can legally use a card on that list, then it probably deserves consideration. Want to run a card not on the list over a card that is? You need to really consider if the utility of the card in question is better than the list card. Are its play restrictions tight? Does it cost an additional resource? Does it need an intricate combo before you can play it? Ask these questions before you slot it into a deck.

Data Dump

PopularityCard% Decks UsedCard TypeRarityColorFaction% One Copy% Two Copies
1Force Illusion63.00%UpgradeUncommonBlueNeutral0.180.82
2Friends in Low Places38.00%EventCommonYellowNeutral0.170.83
3Easy Pickings38.00%EventUncommonYellowHero0.140.86
4Heirloom Lightsaber31.00%UpgradeStarterBlueNeutral0.60.4
5Caution31.00%EventUncommonBlueHero0.170.83
6Overconfidence31.00%EventCommonBlueNeutral0.40.6
7Force Speed25.00%UpgradeLegendaryBlueNeutral01
8Ancient Lightsaber25.00%UpgradeLegendaryBlueNeutral01
9Truce25.00%EventCommonYellowNeutral0.50.5
10Hidden Motive25.00%EventStarterBlueNeutral0.50.5
11Entangle25.00%EventStarterYellowNeutral0.750.25
12Flank25.00%EventUncommonGrayNeutral01
13Holdout Blaster25.00%UpgradeRareGrayNeutral01
14Feel Your Anger25.00%EventCommonBlueVillain0.250.75
15DH-17 Blaster Pistol25.00%UpgradeRareRedNeutral01
16Ezra Bridger, Force-sensitive Thief25.00%CharacterRareYellowHero0.50.5
17Frozen Wastes19.00%BattlefieldStarterNeutral10
18Hyperspace Jump19.00%EventUncommonYellowHero01
19Hasty Exit19.00%EventCommonYellowNeutral0.330.67
20X-8 Night Sniper19.00%UpgradeLegendaryYellowNeutral01
21Force Wave19.00%UpgradeLegendaryBlueNeutral0.670.33
22Weapons Factory Alpha19.00%BattlefieldUncommonNeutral10
23C-3P019.00%SupportRareRedHero0.330.67
24Y-Wing19.00%SupportRareRedHero01
25T-47 Airspeeder19.00%SupportRareGrayHero01
26Rally Aid19.00%SupportUncommonRedHero01
27R2-D219.00%SupportRareGrayHero10
28Resistance Bomber19.00%SupportRareRedHero0.670.33
29Pinned Down19.00%EventCommonRedNeutral01
30Into The Garbage Chute19.00%EventUncommonGrayHero0.330.67
31On The Hunt19.00%UpgradeRareYellowVillain0.330.67
32Backup Muscle19.00%SupportCommonYellowVillain01
33Witch Magick19.00%EventCommonBlueVillain01
34Shoto Lightsaber19.00%UpgradeRareBlueNeutral01
35Close Quarters Assault19.00%EventStarterGrayNeutral01
36Doubt19.00%EventCommonGrayVillain01
37Tactical Mastery19.00%EventUncommonRedVillain10
38The Best Defense…19.00%EventUncommonRedVillain0.330.67
39Probe19.00%EventCommonRedVillain01
40Yoda, Wizened Master19.00%CharacterLegendaryBlueHero01
41Mother Talzin, Nightsister Matriarch19.00%CharacterRareBlueVillain01
42Handcrafted Light Bow13.00%UpgradeLegendaryBlueHero0.50.5
43Maz’s Goggles13.00%UpgradeLegendaryYellowHero0.670.33
44Vibroknife13.00%UpgradeRareGrayNeutral0.50.5
45Vibrocutlass13.00%UpgradeRareYellowNeutral10
46Maz’s Vault13.00%SupportUncommonYellowHero01
47Loth-Cat and Mouse13.00%EventYellowHero01
48Sound the Alarm13.00%EventStarterGrayNeutral0.330.67
49Second Chance13.00%UpgradeUncommonYellowHero01
50Determination13.00%EventCommonBlueHero01
51Defend13.00%EventCommonGrayNeutral10
52Tech Team13.00%SupportCommonRedNeutral01
53Armor Plating13.00%UpgradeUncommonYellowVillain01
54LL-30 Blaster Pistol13.00%UpgradeRareYellowVillain0.50.5
55Frighten13.00%EventCommonBlueVillain01
56Mislead13.00%EventCommonBlueNeutral01
57Ewok Village13.00%BattlefieldCommonNeutral10
58Maul’s Lightsaber13.00%UpgradeLegendaryBlueVillain10
59Intimidate13.00%EventCommonBlueVillain0.50.5
60He Doesn’t Like You13.00%EventCommonYellowVillain01
61Mind Trick13.00%EventUncommonBlueNeutral0.50.5
62Bait and Switch13.00%EventCommonYellowVillain01
63Lightsaber Pull13.00%EventCommonBlueNeutral01
64Hidden Blaster13.00%UpgradeStarterGrayNeutral01
65Fang Fighter13.00%SupportStarterRedNeutral01
66Field Medic13.00%EventCommonRedHero0.50.5
67Scruffy Looking Nerf-Herder13.00%EventCommonYellowHero01
68Bartering13.00%UpgradeRareYellowNeutral01
69Chance Cube13.00%UpgradeRareGrayNeutral01
70Rookie Pilot13.00%CharacterRareRedHero10
71Aayla Secura, Jedi General13.00%CharacterRareBlueHero01
72Boba Fett, Deadly Mercenary13.00%CharacterStarterYellowVillain01
73My Ally Is The Force6.00%EventUncommonBlueHero01
74Concentrate6.00%EventStarterBlueHero10
75Impulsive6.00%EventCommonYellowHero01
76Cunning6.00%UpgradeRareYellowNeutral01
77Verpine Sniper Rifle6.00%UpgradeStarterYellowNeutral10
78All In6.00%EventUncommonGrayNeutral01
79Millennium Falcon6.00%SupportLegendaryYellowHero10
80Republic Cruiser6.00%SupportRareGrayHero01
81Modified HWK-2906.00%SupportRareGrayNeutral01
82Crash Landing6.00%EventStarterRedNeutral10
83Fast Hands6.00%UpgradeUncommonYellowNeutral01
84Relby-V10 Mortar Gun6.00%UpgradeRareYellowVillain01
85One-Quarter Portion6.00%EventCommonYellowVillain01
86High Ground6.00%EventCommonBlueNeutral01
87Subdue6.00%EventCommonYellowVillain01
88As You Command6.00%EventCommonBlueVillain01
89Coercion6.00%EventUncommonYellowVillain10
90Obi-Wan’s Hut6.00%BattlefieldStarterNeutral10
91Profitable Connection6.00%PlotUncommonGrayNeutral10
92Luke Skywalker’s Lightsaber6.00%UpgradeLegendaryBlueHero10
93Rey’s Lightsaber6.00%UpgradeStarterBlueHero01
94Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Lightsaber6.00%UpgradeLegendaryBlueHero10
95Force Misdirection6.00%EventCommonBlueHero10
96Destiny6.00%EventCommonBlueHero01
97Guard6.00%EventUncommonBlueHero01
98Synchronicity6.00%EventCommonBlueHero01
99Reaping the Crystal6.00%EventUncommonBlueHero10
100Alter6.00%EventCommonBlueNeutral10
101Outer Rim Outpost6.00%BattlefieldStarterNeutral10
102DL-44 Heavy Blaster Pistol6.00%UpgradeRareYellowHero01
103Running Interference6.00%SupportUncommonYellowHero01
104Never Tell Me The Odds6.00%EventUncommonYellowHero01
105Impersonate6.00%EventUncommonYellowHero10
106Vandalize6.00%EventUncommonYellowNeutral10
107Rebel War Room6.00%BattlefieldCommonNeutral10
108Crossguard Lightsaber6.00%UpgradeStarterBlueVillain01
109It Binds All Things6.00%SupportUncommonBlueNeutral01
110Enrage6.00%EventCommonBlueVillain01
111No Mercy6.00%EventUncommonBlueVillain01
112Decisive Blow6.00%EventCommonBlueNeutral10
113Imperial Discipline6.00%UpgradeRareRedVillain01
114Z6 Riot Control baton6.00%UpgradeLegendaryRedVillain01
115Rocket Launcher6.00%UpgradeLegendaryRedNeutral01
116Crystal Ball6.00%UpgradeRareBlueVillain10
117Rise Again6.00%EventUncommonBlueVillain10
118Snare6.00%EventUncommonBlueVillain10
119Spell of Removal6.00%EventCommonBlueVillain01
120Three Steps Ahead6.00%EventUncommonRedVillain01
121Law and Order6.00%EventCommonRedNeutral10
122Fort Anaxes6.00%BattlefieldUncommonNeutral10
123Dark Counsel6.00%UpgradeStarterBlueVillain01
124Free-For-All6.00%EventUncommonYellowVillain01
125Otoh Gunga6.00%BattlefieldCommonNeutral10
126Scout6.00%UpgradeRareRedHero01
127Force Meditation6.00%UpgradeRareBlueHero01
128Spy Net6.00%SupportCommonRedHero10
129Your Eyes Can Deceive You6.00%SupportUncommonBlueHero10
130Medical Droid6.00%SupportStarterRedHero10
131Emergency Evacuation6.00%EventUncommonRedHero10
132Spirit of Rebellion6.00%EventCommonRedHero01
133Krayt Dragon Howl6.00%EventCommonBlueHero01
134Strike Briefing6.00%EventCommonRedHero01
135Strength Through Weakness6.00%EventUncommonBlueHero0.50.5
136Imperial Palace6.00%BattlefieldUncommonNeutral10
137Crime Lord6.00%UpgradeLegendaryYellowVillain01
138Blackmail6.00%UpgradeLegendaryYellowVillain01
139Ascension Gun6.00%UpgradeRareYellowNeutral01
140Cable Launcher6.00%UpgradeRareYellowVillain01
141EMP Grenades6.00%UpgradeRareGrayNeutral01
142Probe Droid6.00%SupportRareRedVillain10
143Hound’s Tooth6.00%SupportLegendaryYellowVillain10
144Ace in the Hole6.00%EventUncommonYellowVillain01
145Lying in Wait6.00%EventCommonYellowVillain01
146Well-Connected6.00%EventCommonYellowNeutral01
147Aftermath6.00%SupportCommonRedNeutral01
148ETA-2 Interceptor6.00%SupportRareBlueHero10
149Hired Gun6.00%CharacterRareYellowHero10
150Jedi Temple Guard6.00%CharacterRareBlueHero10
151Maz Kanata, Pirate Queen6.00%CharacterRareYellowHero01
152Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi Master6.00%CharacterRareBlueHero01
153Hondo Ohnaka, Respected Businessman6.00%CharacterRareYellowNeutral01
154Rose, Skilled Mechanic6.00%CharacterRareRedHero01
155Aurra Sing, Deadly Shot6.00%CharacterRareYellowVillain01
156Seventh Sister, Agile Inquisitor6.00%CharacterLegendaryBlueVillain01
157Rey, Finding The Ways6.00%CharacterStarterBlueHero01
158Sabine Wren, Explosives Expert6.00%CharacterLegendaryYellowHero01
159Kylo Ren, Tormented One6.00%CharacterStarterBlueVillain01
160Anakin Skywalker, Conflicted Apprentice6.00%CharacterStarterBlueNeutral01
161Thrawn, Master Strategist6.00%CharacterLegendaryRedVillain01
162First Order Stormtrooper6.00%CharacterRareRedVillain10
163Bala-Tik, Gang Leader6.00%CharacterRareYellowVillain01
164General Rieekan, Defensive Mastermind6.00%CharacterRareRedHero01
165Jabba the Hutt, The Great and Mighty6.00%CharacterLegendaryYellowVillain01
166Tarkin, Grand Moff6.00%CharacterLegendaryRedVillain01
167Captain Phasma, Ruthless Tactician6.00%CharacterStarterRedVillain01
168Emperor’s Throne Room6.00%BattlefieldUncommonNeutral10
169Dug In6.00%EventUncommonRedNeutral10
170Scorched Earth6.00%EventUncommonRedVillain10
171Quick Draw6.00%EventCommonYellowNeutral01

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About Sean

Founder and Crew member of Artificery, Sean has played CCGs since the mid 90’s when his friend gave him a starter and then destroyed him with a Millstone deck. After an-off-and-on relationship with MTG, Sean stumbled across Destiny during the pre-release event in a sleepy game store in Portland and fell in love.

Sean runs weekly Destiny events at The Portland Game Store and enjoys organizing Regional events at historic Portland venues. When not chasing wins at tournaments across the country you can find him in the Artificery Discord under the made-up-name Pearl Yeti.

About the Crew

The Artificery Crew is a top performing Star Wars Destiny team, that prides itself for its welcoming community, tier 1 strategy articles, fun podcasts, and engaging video content. If this sounds good to you, head on over to our Patreon to get immediate access to everything as we produce it and priority access to the Crew for playtesting, upcoming tournament strategies, meta discussion. The Crew also hosts one of the largest free access Discord servers for the Star Wars: Destiny community full of lively chat and the best rules discussion channel available.