I feel like Will Smith.

Not Fresh Prince Will Smith.

Or even Men in Black Will Smith.

That’s right, I’m Wild Wild West Will Smith. Clearly the bestest of the Will Smiths.

Why? Because I’m insane. Either that or it’s because we are now entrenched in a lawless meta where anything goes. It’s literally like the Wild Wild West. (Please accept the metaphor)

Pax Unplugged saw success for 2 decks that sprang like a sausage from a gun. Exciting and surprising, right? E2PRey/ E2PPoe and E2PKylo/ Baby Vader shot down all comers (almost). Incredible.

My local meta is similarly diverse with some really interesting character combos and a few blasts from the past. Grievous? He’s around. Not particularly good but he’s around. It shows that the game is in a state of flux. Experimental.

The RRG means that we need to change the way we evaluate the cards we are playing right now. Spoilers have us looking to the future and doing the same thing. Consider how much better a card like Doubt gets if everyone is running Maul’s Saber. Intimidate is looking better too with those extra shield shenanigans. So if we need to reconsider the relative value of a card, the new formats we are licking our lips for are going to make things even more mind melting.

We will soon be looking at 4 formats of play. The newly announced Standard, Infinite and Trilogy formats alongside our Rivals based draft format. Up until now, content creators have had a pretty easy ride when it comes to covering cards; one format fits all. But a card in draft or Trilogy might eventually be a very different card in Standard or Infinite. It’s all a matter of perspective and it all starts now.

 

Standard is likely to be the most popular of the formats in terms of both organized and casual play. If other CCGs are anything to go by, Standard will be the focus for the most competitive players and be a fluid format subject to regular change. We’ve all been playing standard up to this point (although you could argue we’ve been largely playing Trilogy too, up until Force Friday) and this format is not going to change until next Christmas aside from the addition of a whole new cycle of cards. Yes, that’s a big change. A very big change. We are going to double the card pool between now and then. Standard has seen significant changes already in recent weeks and will continue to evolve. Our evaluation of cards will continue in the same way it always has for the foreseeable future when we look at Standard.

Infinite is exactly the same. It will be another year before the Awakenings cycle (all the stuff in black packaging) disappears from Standard and is only legal in Infinite. Next November we’ll be lapping up  spoilers from the imminent set to kick off the cycle beyond Legacies. Those cards will be the ones that can’t be played alongside Awakenings stuff in Standard. But they will be able to shuffle amongst Holocrons and Vaders in the Infinite format.

So what is actually going to make a difference anytime soon? Well, let’s have a look at Trilogy as a format. FFG have already stated that ‘we are making it an integral part of our Galactic Qualifiers’ because of the accessibility for new players. This would imply that, if we are going to be a competitive player chasing the quality loot that these qualifiers offer, we need to keep a close eye on what we have access to and how good it is in that field. If you want to take home some very shiny gloss character cards as seen at PAX (and then stick them on eBay and ask the price of a small family car for them) then we should start considering our options.

There’s a reason I bring up the successful decks that have managed to take the recent accolades. Not only do they illustrate what a strange dimension our competitive scene now populates, but they also both feature characters that will soon be Trilogy legal.

Without considering the spoilers we have access to currently, the 2 Player box that sprang up on Force Friday is our first product from the Legacies cycle and we can use this, and the decks that are buildable from it, as a benchmark for success in Trilogy. If the Poe/ Rey deck can take down PAX (admittedly with some help from Ancient Saber) then we can assume that Trilogy is going to be powerful, despite its limited card pool. Kylo performed well too and we already know that he and Phasma are competitive characters in their own right. (It’s also worth considering that Phasma may redeem her printed points cost in other formats like Trilogy. Unlikely, but you never know.)

But we can also use the 2 player set to evaluate the less flashy tech we have access to. Cards like Doubt are not only going to be around in Trilogy for the next year at least but they will also be in Standard until Christmas 2019. You can rely on Field Medic in the same way. In fact, if you look through the 2 player decklists, you’ll find a number of reprints that show FFGs intentions to keep these sort of staple events in the game indefinitely. This gives us a solid comparison for future cards as we move forward. When we evaluate a new card, our ability to compare it to similar cards that are available is fundamental in deciding its quality. If we’ve already been playing some of those cards, this process becomes easier.

Rivals is another set that we can look to for insight into the Trilogy format. White packaging means that those cards will be Trilogy legal when it’s released and this fills in a few more blanks.

So as we scour facebook for spoilers, remember that these cards might hold value beyond what you immediately see. You have a good idea about how they look in Standard. How do they look in Trilogy?

Of course, we haven’t even considered the draft format here and anyone with experience of playing sealed formats in other CCGs know how rewarding it can be. The complexity of the Destiny draft format makes evaluating cards for it quite difficult and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in and giving you my insights (for what they’re worth).

But for now, where’s my Stetson.

Wicked wild.

Wicked wicked wild.

Wicked wicked wild wild west.

Written by Tim Meads