Well we finally got what we asked for out of Star Wars Destiny! Drafting! And I wanted to touch on a couple topics that some players may know and some may not but we can all use a refresher on how drafting works and how to make the most out of your experience. I am going to cover some fundamentals of drafting and apply it to Star Wars Destiny, add in a couple tips and spice it up with a few final card thoughts and BAM! You’ll have a draft casserole with plenty of data to get you off the ground running.
In Magic draft this stands for Bombs, Removal, Evasion, Aggro and Duds. Translating this to Destiny:
Bomb is a big card that gives you a large value on the table when it gets played. Ancient Lightsaber is a great example because it offers damage, sustain and a low cost compared to other lightsaber options. It is also the most efficient 2 cost melee weapon in the Empire at War set. Knowing the set or sets you’re drafting from will give you a huge advantage when assessing the cards in your packs VS what you could have seen.
Removal is a type of card that removes options from your opponent’s dice pool. This is important because each set offers different types of removal and different levels of effective removal. Awakenings has the most standard of the removal tools we use in the game while Empire at War has some of the least useful removal cards available. Letting an opponent play Destiny unchecked is bad for business, in a draft environment that goes doubly. Drafting a few removal cards will help keep your team alive and disrupt your opponent long enough to edge out a win.
Evasion is the next term and this is more of a Magic thing because it relates to creatures that are difficult to block, aka creatures using the keywords flying intimidate, trample…. Evasion in Destiny would more closely relate to damage that cannot be stopped or unblockable damage. There are few cards that are able to make this happen but tools like Vibroknife, Luke’s Lightsaber, Synchronicity and so on “evade” your opponent’s means of blocking or avoiding damage coming their way. This can help clinch that lethal blow you need to win the game or kill off an early character that was heavily invested in with shields that turn. Shields in draft will be VERY VERY powerful because the cards players use to remove them won’t be readily available. You will need tools to remove or evade those shield tokens and these types of cards are your best means of dealing with sustain and defensive decks.
The fourth letter stands for Aggro, and as we all know that stands for aggressive damage dealing cards. Cards like Lightsaber Throw or Kylo Ren’s Starfighter are prime examples of aggressive cards that deal damage for a very low resource cost. Cheap weapon upgrades like the DH-17 Blaster Pistol or Energy Slingshot can also be aggressive cards since they offer more damage output for 1 resource. Cards in standard that we overlook are now going to need to be reassessed because if you draft only from Empire at War, there is no DH-17 1 drop. So you’ll have to look for other cheap and aggressive options based on each set you’re drafting from.
The last letter stands for Duds. Duds are cards that do not really do anything for you, they don’t give you any advantage, they don’t push your strategy forward and are practically useless. Don’t draft these cards, they eat up valuable slots in your deck and create a dead draw scenario where you have one less option in your hand while your opponent might have a full suite of cards in theirs to ruin your day. So simply, avoid duds at all costs.
Star Wars Destiny is NOT the same as Magic in terms of drafting and these MtG terms are not a 1 to 1 ration conversion. But the basic rules do apply and can give you an edge in your games when you have drafted a better deck then your opponent. If you follow B.R.E.A.D. you will have a starting point on how to assess cards, their value in terms of a Bomb vs an Aggro card and selecting cards that follow your strategy. Keep a focused deck as best as you can, spreading out too thin will lose you the draft. If you pick the first few cards and they are focused on melee, try to stick to that plan. If a crazy powerful card passes by that’s focused on indirect damage or ranged damage think about it, but if it doesn’t actually help you out (as in winning the game), pass that card up.
When drafting you are allowed to have a mix of Hero, Villain and Neutral characters on your team. Hero and Villain cards can be in any deck, regardless of the affiliation of that deck’s characters too! So now you know, and knowing is half the battle (G.I. Joe……….)
So what does any of this have to do with Star Wars Destiny and drafting? Lots! Coming to any event with all your information prepared will give you an edge. I promise not all players know that they can have a 100% Hero character deck with Villain cards in there. Did you know you are not limited to two copies of a card ion your deck? If you draft 4 doubts, you can play all 4 😉 You are also allowed to swap cards between games that you didn’t use. So you can swap out characters, battlefields or whatever else you want after game 1. So unlike Magic where you draft, build and play, you can keep testing out different cards and ideas through the entire tournament.
Don’t Commit Too Early
You get to see six packs with five cards in each pack. At the end of the draft you will have 30 cards available to you for building a 20-30 card deck. Don’t worry about Hero or Villain restrictions since there really aren’t hardly any (except playing cards for the most part). Find Bombs and Removal first, pulling some cute trick cards won’t help you win games. You might find some really crazy combo but the chances of you pulling it off every game at the point in the game you need it are very very slim. Pull cards that are powerful, consistent and give you the edge in battle.
Don’t over commit to ONLY a blue deck or a red deck because the first 5 cards you wanted were red. Follow B.R.E.A.D. and choose cards in all colors you can put to good use. Do remember that color restrictions are still in place, so if you have a blue/yellow team I would pass on red cards.
After the first 5-7 cards you should have an idea of the colors you’re going to be playing. At this point you want to begin to commit to at least 1 of those colors and stick with it. Leaving that second color free can allow you to change mid draft but don’t let both colors be free roaming. At some point its too late to turn back and in each draft that point in time changes. Practice some fake drafts at home if you can and learn when to commit and when you’re still a free agent. Finding that balance can improve your draft experience and reduce the stress of wondering when to commit or when to pick the best options available.
Counterdrafting or Hate Drafting
Don’t do it! This is a really simple thing to mess up, and you shouldn’t do it if you can help it. For example you’ve drafted the first 3 packs and you have 15 cards that are focused on a red/yellow team of Dr. Aphra and Kallus, then pack 1 from the second wave shows you a Obi Wan’s Lightsaber don’t draft it. You don’t need that card and you don’t really have the time or space to reallocate your cards to support a blue melee strategy. Yes you can rare draft the card for its trade value but you’ve lost a slot in a already super limited space for your deck.
If you feel that another player is drafting a certain type of card, say blue melee for instance, don’t pull this card to stop them. They most likely have cards already drafted to win games and 1 card won’t stop them. Sure this 1 card may be extremely helpful but it won’t actually hinder their deck, just reduce the efficiency. HOWEVER it will absolutely hurt YOU because you don’t need this card. Now you only have 29 slots for cards to play and your opponent still has their 30 available.
Hate drafting is not illegal or dirty playing, it’s just an attempt to slow other players down. The problem is that is actually hurts you more than them more often than not. So from years of experience please do not counterdraft, it rarely ever helps you.
Drafting is FUN!!! And if you take anything away from this article it should be that drafting is as hard as you want it to be. Drafting can be relaxing, silly and a wild adventure. It can be a complex battle of wits, reading the opponent’s pulls and anticipating the decks through the tournament. Draft is the ultimate equalizer because every player is handed a bunch of random choices and forced to use what they get to the best of their skill and ability.
So enjoy draft! I hope this article helps you in your drafting experience and let us know in the comments below how things went. Epic stores always come from these social events, crazy pulls, bad decks winning everything, the one epic card pull that helped win the whole thing 🙂 If you’re new to Destiny or drafting in general try it out. It is a lot of fun and I have made many new friends by drafting with random people and then playing more games after the draft and now friendships are forged.