Hey all, Wyatt, or KyloSpren from the Dice of Failure here. Tuesday may have been one of the best days for Destiny in months. We got new spoilers and a likely meta redefining Balance of the Force from FFG. It was a fun & distracting day at work as I was linking new images and speculating what these changes might mean. Tuesday night I got a wild hair to do a reaction article that was opened up to other content creators and many of the folks I got to hang out with at the recent Galactic Qualifier in Redmond WA. Thanks to everyone who joined in and shared their reactions!

For each balanced card, we asked people to share their thoughts on if the change was good or bad, and what it could mean for the game overall.

Snoke

KyloSpren: I am really excited for how this will stop the onslaught of resource and discard sides that Snoke has become so comfortable with. That said, I was surprised to see the point reduction that rolled back the previous balance of the Force. It certainly opens up new possibilities, but my gut level reaction was that will still leave him in an overused position. My hot take is that Snoke will now become a big player in bounty Hunter decks. You can use his PA to hit the smaller sides of Jango and Dengar dice to make more headway towards spiking a character and getting the card and resource bump needed. Dice of Failure team member Zach is already brewing up an elite Snoke, FOST, Executioner, Advanced Training deck with some of this in mind.

Manten: This Snoke change is a big deal, its my preferred way of them nerfing him. Finding money will be difficult again but it should allow for new decks to pop up without making Snoke completely useless.

Yeti: A perfect solution. This removes a character from the resource ramp issue without making them unplayable. I expect to see aggro Snokes making the rounds like the good old days.

Loopee: Cheers to FFG for fixing Snoke the way that actually solves the ramp problem while putting his cost back to where it should be.  I don’t think another point would have solved the problem and banning him would be sad. Already considering aggro versions of Snoke decks.    

Bloody9: No shocker here, I like it and I think this should have happened the first time he was addressed. I think that his positioning in 3 wides support decks are going to see a very steep decline (non-existent). However, I think he still has a spot in aggro pinging the crap out of FOST, Super Battle Droids and even the occasional unique character. My only fear is that Chrome dome, Brienne of Tarth is going to run rampant.

AoZ: Much needed. This change extends the length of any game Snoke would have been in by a full round at least, as even eWatto/Wat/Talzin finds it at least somewhat challenging to grab the same level of income generation. It also opens up discard sides on side characters on supporting villain chars without immediately becoming oppressive.

Sinomi: Suitable change. Returning to his original point cost opens up the team building options again. The Leader subtype actually means something now as opposed to back in Way of the Force, so I’m excited to see what kind of stuff people come up with.

Mcbober: Good change. There was too much Snoke, and his ramp potential was too high.

Watto

Manten: This I didn’t expect. In my mind this kills Watto. Its hard to invest 12 points into a character with no damage sides but also doesn’t guarantee money. He could still have uses in some niche decks but overall this is good for the game just unexpected.

Yeti: This feels good to me and I enjoy the thematic approach. Having completely unremovable dice in the game isn’t good design. Watto isn’t going anywhere, players will just need to be mindful of removal in their play tempo. Slot in those Probes.

Loopee:  I agree with Yeti here, I think it’s a huge hit to him but will not totally end Watto as a playable character.  He still has the best resource potential, a nice disrupt side, and a good health pool. He’ll go to being used in money hungry decks only.   I am really surprised they didn’t do anything with his partner Wat though who now looks like the best support villain character by quite a margin.  .

Bloody9: Thematic as it gets, I didn’t know what to expect in ways of a balance for our favorite Toydarian so I feel that this is fine. I don’t see this him not seeing tables because of this change, he’s a scoundrel,  he still generates that cash at 12 points, and his PA is as very good. To play my own devil’s advocate, with the hit to Snoke’s PA I don’t know that they needed to open the flood gates to the amount of removal that can now affect him.

AoZ: Another great change, but I don’t really think it is going to make Watto as unreliable as people think it will. Out of all the common mitigation played by both sides, there’s only six cards that “feel good” to play on him round 1. Doubt, TBD, Flank, Automated Defense, Measure for Measure, and By Any Means. There is probably room in many decks to bring the good ol Electroshock or it’s big brother Risky Move back in play but as a pure money generator there’s no doubt in my mind that he is going to see just as much and probably at least double the play time as the hero equivalents in Satine/Anakin.

KyloSpren: I had a massive hate for that flying bat/rat guy. And in a recent episode I was pitching ideas on how we could do a fair nerf to him. While my initial thought was that he was maybe dead from this change, I think that was an overreaction. Agent of Zion has a good Patreon video that will be available soon that makes a compelling argument that Watto still is insulated from most removal. Watto still has great resource sides, an inherent way to make money 50% of the time, and a freaking 2 disrupt side. I can’t overstate how many games at the recent GQ were decided by the threat of a 2 disrupt. While 1 never felt like the best resolution off a die, the 2 sides makes a character an instant threat. Do you spend 1 to remove a 2 disrupt in order to save the other dollar? These are not easy questions and Watto asks them often. I am glad he is no longer the default way to play ramp solitaire, and I think he will still haunt my losses for sets to come.

Sinomi: I dig it. He’s still pretty oppressive since most of the best cheap / free removal tends to be blue, (Hidden Motive, Forsaken, Pacify, etc.) but the change is thematic and doesn’t completely eliminate his ability. His die value for point cost is still solid, and that Scoundrel subtype grants a lot of deck building opportunities.

Mcbober: Good change, he definitely needed to be hit. Watto is insanely powerful, and this is a slight nerf that doesn’t make him terrible but still brings him down a notch.

Force Storm

KyloSpren: I really like this change. Initial reaction in our local chat was that Palp is dead now, and I just think that’s a “Sky is falling” reaction. Our team has liked Palp Watto for a long time, and both parts of that deck certainly took a hit. I’ve always thought that Force storm had too high a ceiling, and that no single dice should decide a game, especially in a single turn. The dice is still incredible, and will allow players to hit very hard. I also suspect we will see combos that let you drop resource tokens onto it to inflate the cost. I think there are still ways to win with this card, but it will take more effort, and thats a good thing for the game.

Manten: This is a good change, Force Storm can no longer just run over a game but I also think you still play it with Palp. The card is still good its just not broken anymore. Its also a good change for the future. We don’t know what is coming in the next couple of sets that could have broken this card even more.

Yeti: During the SoH stream they mentioned they ran out of room for the original design of having the resources drop off at upkeep. Since they are changing the card text with the errata why not go with the original idea that didn’t fit on the card? Other than that strange decision I’m fine with this as it removes a very NPE interaction from the game.

Bloody9: Storm now falls squarely in the realm of being an OK card for me after this. I feel you need it around for 3 turns now to get value out of the special, so the first couple rounds are going to be use a special once to ping 1 , roll back in for the 3 guns or 4 indirect. Maybe a couple extra round 2, finishing with a black side, and closing a game round 3 of it in play. It loses the ability to be the only win condition in your deck, and I personally think it only lives in a deck with Unlimited Power.

AoZ: Always good to see single-round winning NPE cards get reined in. It was just too much. It may actually STILL be too much but combined with the Watto nerf, this card is going to have to wait for a new enabler to get there. Palp/Wat was too all in on the concept to survive without the ramping damage, and Watto can’t be 100% relied upon to bring the requisite cash in. Probably still has a place in Trilogy but in Standard it will likely play spoiler all up and down the X-1 tables.

Sinomi: I get that it’s best to never make a legendary card into binder-fodder, but unless you were using it on Palpatine, (or possibly Yoda,) it wasn’t exactly getting slotted into every blue villain deck anyway… I mean I don’t know, I’ve been Storm’d off the table before and it feels bad, but I think I feel even worse for anyone that spent big bucks on this one thinking it was going to keep kicking ass forever. That all said, it’s still a nice die. I don’t think it’s unplayable.

Mcbober: I didn’t really find this card to be as much a problem as everyone else. You just remove it and you’re good. I can see how it would be rough for some people to get endlessly hit by it and feel bad, so I guess I’m okay with this.

No Answer

Manten: This is the smallest of the changes. Good change but honestly it doesn’t really hurt mill. Mill still might be the best deck in the game right now. This stops some feel bad moments with ring but overall most mill players won’t feel the difference. I think you still run two of them in your mill deck. Arrowbrookgaming.com

Yeti: I like this change a lot because it keeps the card powerful and relevant but opens up ways for opponents to try and play around it. I agree with Manten, this slows down mill at all, just puts a little more pressure on players to use one of their cards to its fullest potential.

Loopee:  The added “then” puts the card where it should be; it’s a powerful tool for mill but can’t just be piled on and cast over and over again.  I think mill will still be around and people will play this but it won’t determine a game round 1 anymore. That’s a good thing.

Bloody9: Simplistic change, still going to be playing it. I think it adds choices and consequences to the game for mill opponents. When you get down to 1 card versus mill do they have No Answer or not do you ditch to reroll do you sit on it and hope they don’t have it. I also think that cards like Lore Hunter if properly utilized can still create that blowout play, look at top 2/mill one/add other to hand…No Answer you unless you help me mill you!

KyloSpren: I dig this change, and I understand where Jeremy is coming from with the idea that this was less a nerf and more of a clarification. The card as written was far too above curve. I think you can still get great value with this, and it will keep opponents wanting to pitch their last card to avoid it, which could make them nervously pitch more often. That’s the kind of mind games that mill should bring to the table, not just 7 cards off the deck with Deja Vu. I want people to have to think more, and this change will lead to more strategic decisions.

AoZ: Probably required because everything that could shred a well built mill deck just got ass-blasted? In a world where round 1 Fists and double Entourage openers are the rule rather than exception No Answer was necessary just to have a mill game break up the monotony of three-wide villain decks at a tournament. I’m never too sad to see mill get nerfed, but the change on the whole may not actually matter too much as the three-wide Blue/Yellow mill decks were performing better on the whole than any Red version anyway.

Sinomi: I think it’s a fair change. There’s still an opportunity for some wombo-combo Bartering + Resistance Ring shenanigans, and if someone is going to discard their last card to reroll zero dice to play around No Answer when I might not even have it in hand, that still sort of feels like a win to me. Sure, it’s not as good as it was before, but when the closest comparison to the card was Hero-only Strength from Weakness at 3 resources for 4 cards, I think it was definitely too good. People are still going to play mill. It’s just slightly less scary now.

Aayla

AoZ: Sure? I guess? Doesn’t really change much about how much blue hero is in the garbage right now because it doesn’t actually open up any super inspiring partners. Convergence Obi is the most inspiring out of him, Enfys, and QGJ. No Force Misdirection, no free mitigation, no blow out Mind Tricks (at least for a couple months), and most importantly no five round grindy games where a big first action rollout will seal the deal. Big thing is where she can be in Profitable Connection territory again, but hero doesn’t have money-sinks with the same level of impact that Entourage has.

Sinomi: I think she’ll be cool with the new Rey, and potentially with new red heroes too (especially if they have interesting specials.) Dice-turning is still pretty potent against Vader, TLT-protected vehicle dice, Watto, etc., but ultimately I think people will build a few decks with her over the next few weeks and then realize that the hero blue pool is still really limited right now. Great opportunity to use that old Artificery alt-art though!

KyloSpren:I feel bad for forgetting to include this in the article. That shows that as a player who started really playing last fall, I never got to see her unnerfed. I did use her with Qui Gon in a throwback tourney and had fun. Because mono-blue hero is so lacking as AOZ covers above, I don’t know how good she is in that line up, but I suspect rainbow and 5 dice will like her. More than anything I want to thank FFG for listening to so many calls to bring her back. This along with other recent changes make me believe they are putting more effort into listening to the community, and it shows!

Mcbober: It’s fine I guess. Blue hero needs a lot more than Aayla to be great again, and honestly I never found her terribly exciting. Not from a gameplay standpoint, anyway. I dig the whole hot blue alien thing.

Yeti: #SaveOurHeroes. It is good to know that once on the BotF you can drop off, but I don’t think Aayla is going to swoop in and save blue hero from the pit its in right now.

Thanks again for everyone who joined in. I am excited to start testing and sleeving new decks up in this changed landscape. As you get started, remember to “Roll better than us!”- KyloSpren, the Dice of Failure, and friends.

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KyloSpren

Co-host of the Dice of Failure - A Star Wars Destiny Podcast focusing on the Meta and Pitching Unique Deck Ideas. I like blue cards, winning at games, and laughing harder than I work.