My name is Eric Wainright. I am a regular Destiny player at the Team Covenant shop in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Team Covenant ran the Destiny regional in Tulsa on February 23rd and 24th with a graduated cut and I was able to attend. They had 40 spots open on each Friday night and Saturday morning. Anyone who went 2-2 or better continued playing the last three rounds Saturday afternoon. Since I was local I took advantage of playing on Friday night. Fatigue is a real thing, so I thought that having a 12+ hour break in between might be helpful. There were 19 players that showed up on Friday night, and the full 40 on Saturday for a 59 player regional. Here is the deck I took to the event:
Round 1: Craig from Tulsa – eQui-Gon/eRey
Craig is a Tulsa local who had not played the game since Spirit of Rebellion. He was interested in drafting and came into Covenant ready to do a destiny draft. Instead he found himself in the middle of a regional. He bought a couple Luke starters and updated some cards from his SoR Qui-Gon/Rey deck (I know Heirloom was one of the additions he made to the deck). He started in on Aayla, and I was able to drop a Light Bow on each Padawan turn 1. We had 4 Cautions played by the end of Round 2 between both of us, which just made my Light Bows even more valuable and they ended up helping to win the game for me.
The 4 rounds Friday were over slightly after 8pm, so there was time to draft after the swiss. Twelve people hung around to draft, so Craig got his draft in as well.
Round 2: David from Dallas – e7th/eCiena/eNightsister
David had a turn one Maul’s Saber down on Seventh Sister. He also played a Leadership readying Seventh Sister and got off the Power Action on Maul’s. By Round 2, I was able to kill Nightsister, but he got off a second Leadership and a Price of Failure on Ciena as well as Maul’s Power Action. I had to deal with 7 Maul Saber dice in the first two rounds. A combination of fortunate rolling, soft mitigation, hard mitigation, and spreading shields around to “eat up” base melee dice kept me in the game. After round 2, I was down a Padawan and he was minus the two sidekicks. Aayla had two Force Speeds. We had each rolled out, and he was showing a truck load of damage. My roll wasn’t great except for a pair of Force Speed specials. I grabbed the four actions to rollout my other dice, and reroll into fortunate lethal. I had Guard in hand to mitigate if I didn’t hit enough damage to finish it there. I had Power of the Force in hand as well, so as long as I didn’t die I could probably get lethal that turn regardless. Nail biter the whole way.
Round 3: PJ from Tulsa – eBoba/ePhasma
PJ and I have faced off in the first round of too many tourneys. At least this time it was in round 3 before our paths crossed. PJ used a Boba resource to get Phasma’s blaster round 1. He rolled in his remaining three dice and then used his 4 other cards for rerolls. The first 3 rerolls produced 3 blanks each. I don’t know if he used a zero cost mitigation card to reroll, but if he did I probably would have too; you need to get some value out of those dice. I was able to ramp out unimpeded, and I put 9 damage into Boba Round 1. PJ tried to hang in after that, but he was too far behind. I could have dropped an heirloom at the beginning of round two, which is what I would normally do. But since I was so far ahead I held onto my resource in case I needed to Mind Trick a crazy roll. I didn’t need to use the Mind Trick that round. I was able to put the last two damage into Boba. The next round Mind Trick wrecked his round, and the game was sealed.
Round 4: Demetrius (teambass) from Kentucky eObi/eMaz
Demetrius and his son Dominic made the trip from Kentucky, with their store champ bye cards in hand. I got to talk to them before the start of the tourney and learn that Demetrius was Teambass, a player that made top 4 in the Artificery Season 4 tournament. The bad news for Demetrius was that he only drew one upgrade in his first 3 rounds (a Vibroknife on round 2). The good news was: #1 not drawing upgrades let him save up money for a brutal Hyperspace Jump, and #2 when he played the Vibro, Aayla had 5 health and I had just used Caution on Aayla and put a Force Illusion on at the end of Round 1. One Concentration plus Running Interference meant 5 unblockable unmitigatable damage and a dead Aayla. I tried to claw back, but it wasn’t in the cards (or the dice).
Demetrius ended Friday as the only 4-0. I was one of 7 players with a 3-1 record. I went in early Saturday and played a couple of casual games before going to grab lunch with Lee (a fellow Friday player). The first 4 rounds were completed and there was about an hour break before round 5 started.
Round 5: Shane from Kansas City – e7th/Ciena/Nightsister
I believe Ciena rolled in a resource so Shane had a first turn Maul’s Lightsaber. And the Maul’s lightsaber dance begun. I was able to finish the Nightsister off before too many shenanigans happened. Ciena had 2 damage from indirect Aayla damage round 1. I must have put one more into her at some point, because the board state was 2 melee, 2 melee, +2 melee, and Ciena at 6 health. Shane dropped a Force Illusion on Ciena, and I decided to change targets to Seventh. He eventually got to The Best Defense and then Price of Failure Ciena (at least it wasn’t leadership). But I think throwing away the 4 damage right there would have been too steep a cost. Just like the first OTK, this match was close.
Some general thoughts on the OTK match. I’ve played a lot going after Seventh Sister first. And if you get her, yes, you win. The problem is:
- It is a tough task with Nightsister rolls, Best Defense, Force Illusion, Doubt, and Rise Again all with the express purpose of keeping her alive.
- It means you are conceding 6 Nightsister rerolls, and a Price of Failure on the Nightsister. Back when OTK was rainbow good players hardly batted an eye if they had to price of failure a full strength Guavian. So giving them 6 “free” rerolls is so much value.
- In general, the point that I basically lose is either when they go off, or when they Rise Again. If I don’t go for Seventh, then the Rise Again play isn’t a loss.
I have started going for the Nightsister first, and my win rate has gone up. That might be partly because of other parts of the matchup I’m more familiar with, but I think that Nightsister is what turns good turns into blowout turns. Once she is off the field, I seriously consider going after Ciena. There are a lot of variables but some of the main ones are:
- How much more damage do I need to do to Ciena than Seventh
- How many Leaderships have been played or discarded
- Does the opponent have 3+ money (i.e. will damage to Seventh go straight into a Rise Again at the beginning of the next turn)
- Can I one shot Ciena? I don’t want to walk into making Price of Failure even better.
- How far behind am I if I do finish off Ciena? If I’m far enough behind, then I just have to go for Seventh and hope they don’t have enough mitigation.
Maul’s Lightsaber might be more broken in Boba/Seventh, but it is still broken in OTK. Playing against it, you’d rather they didn’t roll it in a second time. To that end, if you have ways to generate shields in your deck, you need to make them work to get the second activation. Some tips:
- Place a shield on not their main target. Sure, if they get a 1 melee on Seventh and then it doesn’t matter where the shield goes, but if they have to spend a 2 melee or a X melee from a droid, or 2 from Maul’s base side, then you’ve just made some of their damage Indirect. In fact, if they have 1 base side and a Maul’s modifier, they now have to choose to put the damage into that shield so it can reroll or go for their main target and forgo the reroll.
- Try to hold back shields, place them on one at a time. If this means Yoda uses a special to focus his other dice to special and grabs a shield and you don’t resolve the other Yoda special, so be it. Every time they take out a shield they are burning an unmodified die or Frighten/Intimidate. Maybe they do eventually get to roll out Maul’s, but if you have gotten them to use all their base sides, then that dice has 4 blanks. Aside: I wonder if Ice Storm becomes a better meta call than Intimidate at some point.
- If you are playing Heirloom, don’t be so quick to reroll that shield. I generally rate the dice sides early game 3M, 1R, 2M, 1M/1S, blank. But if your shield keeps that Maul’s saber from rolling in a 2nd time, you may have given up 3 damage, but you gained health equal to what Maul’s would do plus a shield. I think generally that averages out to somewhere over 3 health.
- Focus into shields. Force Speed is a great target for that. In my deck I’d use Aayla special on some base melee side (or Maul’s itself), and then focus my Force Speed to shield. If it makes sense I wouldn’t hesitate to do the same with a better dice.
- Sometimes you want to mitigate the Maul’s dice. A lot of times you want to mitigate other base sides. If your mitigation is soft the chance that they reroll maul into damage in 66%, the chance that they reroll the other dice back into melee to turn on maul’s +4 is less. If your mitigation is removal and you don’t have shields, they can just reroll it in, and you are back where you started. If you remove the base side, maybe they can still resolve Maul’s and roll back in, but then then need to find another melee to pair with.
I don’t think Padawans are favored in this matchup. If OTK becomes a bigger part of the metagame, and you want to keep running this list, then it may be time to bring in Close Quarter Assault. I don’t know what that would do to the percentages, but I’m sure it swings it in your direction.
For the OTK player playing this match: Just use your Disrupt and Discard when you get it. First, all six of the opening cards in my hand are valuable to me. 90% of the time I end my round 1 with zero cards in hand. Just go ahead and make my life miserable. Second, I’m trying to ramp round 1 and 2. I need resources to do that. More generally, if you are about to try and go off against any list, and they have not claimed, clear their last resource to reduce the chance of 1 cost mitigation messing up your combo. In one match I had to resolve a resource dice with Disrupt showing on the droid dice in order to get a Force Misdirection online. I realize how valuable that “extra” droid dice is when you are about to go off, it is about to increase the X value. However, the player rerolled the droid dice looking for damage or focus I presume. Misdirection saving me 4 damage round one was a pretty big deal.
Round 6: Ian from Oklahoma City – eAayla/eRose/Ezra
In the first 3 rounds Ian only drew one vehicle (Resistance Bomber) and a C3P0 for dice supports. He made a game of it with judicious use of mitigation (Easy Pickings, Into the Garbage Shoot, Pinned Down, etc.). After the game he realized he had a play when he could have used C3P0 to turn a Resistance Bomber dice into a 6 melee (for 2) and resolved it against Aayla. If I used the Force Illusion on her, then my deck goes down to 2 cards in deck, and he can maybe switch to a mill win condition. If I take the damage he has a real shot at getting back in the game. This is one of the things I love about Destiny: Even when the cards or dice are against you, sometime you can find a way to get yourself out of the hole. Not always—heck, not most of the time–but as long as you can live there is always hope.
Round 7: Eugene from Tulsa – eZeb/eYoda
Eugene is another playtest partner. I beat him in the swiss of the Dallas regional. It was his time to return the favor. The game started out with double Yoda special, which meant 4 money round 1. He was banking so much money at one point he wondered aloud if he actually had enough money, and took a focus and a shield once. Soon after he was back to money grabbing, which in a vacuum is probably the best of Yoda’s 4 options. That bank let him do whatever he wanted, which included a well time Hyperspace Jump that cut my round off at the knees.
If you ever actually find padawans oppressive (at least the way I pilot it), just bring your Hyperspace Jumps and Retreats.
After 7 rounds there were four 6-1s, and another 11 5-2s. I was fortunate enough to be one of the four 5-2s to slide into the top 8.
An aside: What would be the downside to keeping the swiss format, but announce before the event that all X-1 (or all X-2 if you want a longer event) will make the top cut? Sure, you won’t have exactly 8 players every time, but if you have seven, then the top seed gets a bye. If you have ten players, then seed 7 plays 10 and 8 plays 9 for a win and a chance at the cut. Strength of schedule will still play a part since it will determine some seeding, which will make some players play an extra game, but that feels much better than missing the cut after a long day. This way you know going in where you stand. If you lose 2 (or 3) then you are out of the running for champion. If that is all you care about, you can drop. If you want to play for some top 16, or top 64 prize(s), you can keep playing. Or if you just want to play Destiny, you are welcome to stay and play. It’s kind of like double (or triple) elimination without the elimination part.
Top 8: Nick from Oklahoma City – eBoba/e7th
Round 1 Maul’s saber off a Boba resource. And it was time to do the dance again. This time we were using his Ewok Village battlefield, which meant I got to start with two shield shields—yay! It also meant that he could nuke my shields every round, making Caution much less useful… boo.
Against any other deck, Caution would turn into an almost unplayable card. But here, the Maul’s Lightsaber dance was real. I don’t remember all the details of this game, but it was the one on the day where it looked like I was going to lose and I clawed back to get the win. I had a number of games that were close throughout, and a number that snowballed into wins or loses, but this was the one that flipped. He had both Padawans dead before I was able to finish off Seventh. He also got the Vibrocutlass to overwrite Maul’s Lightsaber before I could off Seventh. The one thing I did do to up my odds of a comeback was avoiding killing Seventh once I had lethal on board for her. He wasn’t rolling Boba in because he was waiting for his redeploys and I did everything I wanted to before killing her. I was fully prepared to play out my turn and leave the Sister with 1 health, pass his pass, to end the round, and try to finish her next round before she got too much value. Nick must have assessed I was going to go that route and decided to roll in Boba after only a couple passes, so he didn’t get the extra die from Vibrocutlass. There are any number of reasons why this was a risky play, but you need to take these risks when you’re behind.
Another aside: Most of Destiny games states are in the competitive zone. During those times, you can form a reasonable set of guidelines for risk reward. Heck, it’s a dice game, sometimes the math is right in front of you.
However, there will be games where you are significantly behind or ahead, and you need to have a different set of guidelines to follow in these moments. For example, if your Heirloom Lightsaber is on 2 base melee and your Ancient lightsaber is on +3 modified under “normal” game conditions you wouldn’t consider rerolling the Heirloom dice. Now ,if you are significantly behind (mentally you think you have around a 10% chance to pull this game out), and the opponent has a character at 6 life all of a sudden re-rolling that Heirloom to try for the extra damage (16% chance) seems like a reasonable play. Sure if you miss your chances may drop to 5%, but if you hit you are back up in the neighborhood of 50%. When you are behind is the time to take risks.
Conversely when you are on the other side of the equation and you feel you are at a 90% chance to win, don’t drop down an extra Heirloom. Instead, hold your resources for the mitigation you have so you can deal with a potential god roll. Whenever I start to think, “I’ve got this,” the next thought that I force myself to ask is, “how can I lose this?” If I can come up with a string of events where I can lose the game, and I have some way to mitigate that possibility I want to do that.
The second game also saw a Maul’s Saber in round 1. If you are counting, that is four round 1 Maul’s Saber in the 4 games where I play against a Maul’s Saber. It’s like people are mulliganing for the card or something! Both games Nick had to use a Boba money to drop the Lightsaber. He had 2 Truce, and 2 Well-Connected that he didn’t draw either game. I can see how that can make turn one absolutely scary since Boba’s specials are insane.
We danced again this game. This time I had earlier success with the dance and was able to ramp quickly. Once Seventh and the saber went down it snowballed quickly.
Top 4: David from Oklahoma City – eEmperor Palpatine
Emperor! It has been a while old… foe. This matchup scares the bejeezus out of me. At the same time, I love the interplay of these two decks. If you want to introduce a new player to the game this might be at the top of my list. Hand them the Palpatine deck, and let them mow down some frisky Padawans.
The two games have mostly blended together for me. I know I got critical Guards off early in both games to remove some Palp dice. One play that was critical was when he had a Force Throw special in the pool and my only mitigation was a Guard. All my characters had a big weapon on them so they could all roll out a 3 side. R2D2 came to the rescue: He rolled out his one melee, which let me Guard away the Force Throw and roll out the rest of my dice.
Both games were very close, coming down to a Power of the Force play to put the last damage on Palpatine. First game, all three characters had 1 Health left and Aayla had a Force Illusion. He resolved his last die of the turn, which did Palpatine’s 2 Indirect damage. I blocked one with the Illusion and saw one Padawan go down. Redeploy happens, and I’m able to Power of the Force for 5 in response to finish him off.
Second game. Palpatine had 6 health left and I had three upgrades out. I had two Power of the Force in hand. I was rolling out 9 dice and just needed two black damage sides. He used two Hidden Motives, a Doubt and an Overconfidence to take out most of the scary Lightsaber and character dice. However, little old R2 was able to get his melee side after many rerolls and some other character dice were able to hit their melee sides to finish the job.
Final: Victor from Oklahoma City – eSabine/eEzra
If I told you I was hyper aware of Hyperspace Jump, could you blame me?
Every turn he paid to bring a blaster out of the discard instead of overwriting I breathed a huge sigh of relief. A good Never Tell Me the Odds + Running Interference play certainly hurts, but my deck can handle that blow about as good as any deck can hope to. Hyperspace Jump just eats my lunch. Having my opponent pay for a new upgrade so he had less than 3 resources allowed me to play the game I wanted to play.
The other part of Sabine/Ezra that is really hard for my deck to deal with is Ezra’s special and disrupt. If I want to drop two 2-cost weapons (or a reaping 3-cost and a 2-cost) or if I need to lightsaber pull to get my 3-cost to play, I’m just too slow to get that money used before Ezra takes it away. Even late game, he can prevent me from ramping. I know at one point I used a Force Speed special to collect money and drop an upgrade.
Game one, he didn’t hit any god rolls with his ambush action, so I took some damage but it was within acceptable parameters. I know I got a droid out early and hit disrupt two turns in a row, so after he claimed and got a resource from his battlefield, I was able to smash it. Soon after Victor took out my second Padawan, I was able to finish Sabine. Ezra did get to Second Chance to drag the game out, but he was facing a stacked Aayla, and I was healing the damage he did do with Ancients since I had the money to replace it with another weapon each turn.
Game 2 went as well as it could have for me during the first two rounds. I had only taken 3 damage and had 2 shields when round 2 ended. I had spent some resources mitigating so I had not done a lot of damage to Sabine, but my characters were getting stacked. And then round 3 happened. Ezra rolled in double +2. The only “mitigation” card I had in hand was Force Illusion. Sabine had two 2-cost blasters on her and 4 resources. I’m assuming that NTMTO + RI is happening next so I’m calculating the damage I’m going to take. He would get to kill 2 characters. My Ancient is on Aayla, so I decide to Force Illusion her, even though I realize that if he kills both Padawans the Heirloom and Rey’s on them are going to redeploy and I’m going to have to overwrite the Illusion I had just played.
I spent a fair amount of time in the tank thinking this through. I drop the Force Illusion, and then he activates Sabine, paying for DL-44 from the discard pile and I do a little internal dance, because I know he can’t play NTMTO… at which point he rolls in well enough to take out the Padwans naturally. Funnily enough, he didn’t roll quite as much as he would have needed to kill Aayla and a Padawan. So if I somehow knew that was coming I should dropped Force Illusion on a Padawan. Better safe than sorry. Aayla rolled out, got some help from a droid, and was able to get to lethal on Sabine. She had no redeploys, so Ezra was once against forced to fend for himself at the end.
Team Covenant ran a great event. Thank you Grant and Ryan for keeping everything organized and moving. Also, props to the Tulsa crew which captured a top4, a top 8, and 3 more 5-2 that bubbled out from the top cut all piloting different decks (I love this meta).
As I was putting this tourney report together I put together a “section” on the history of my Padawan deck. I got a bit carried away and it turned into more than a section. If you are interested in how the deck has morphed over time, and some suggestions on how to play and against it, Artificery is going to post a follow up to this article which will have those details.
Have a wonderful day,