Computer, Build me a Deck

I’ve been thinking about character lineups recently, and was wondering if there was a way to create a good character lineup automatically using maths.

I had a bit of spare time, so I decided to give it a go.

Getting the data was pretty straightforward, as the raw data from swdestinydb is available online.  Making the character combos was also pretty easy. I wrote a program to build every possible character combination under 30 points (there’s 541,355 combinations in standard, in case you were wondering).

But how to score characters?

Their dice: I scored dice based on the values and symbols on the dice:

Resource: 2 points (as 1 resource is worth about 2 damage, e.g. Field Medic, Lightsaber Throw etc).
Special I have given 2 points (as very broadly a special tends to be worth about 1 resource or 2 damage, with notable exceptions like legacies Yoda).
Ranged/melee/focus: 1 point.
Shield: 0.8, Indirect: 0.7, Disrupt/discard: 0.5

If the side is a modifier side, I’ve halved it’s value (as you’ll probably only be able to resolve these sides half the time).  If a die has a cost, I take two off the side for each resource cost. This means that 2 ranged for 1 resource sides I am saying are worth nothing.  I’m OK with this.

Abilities: I decided to ignore most abilities.  There’s just too many abilities out there to score.  I have made exceptions for two-player Kylo, Snoke, Cassian, and legacies Yoda (owing to his above curve special).  I’ve also boosted any decks with 3PO and R2 together to account for their abilities. Finally, I dropped the value of WotF Jabba’s specials to 1.5 (about 2 indirect), as he was dominating the results otherwise owing to his very good other dice sides (2F, 1R, 1R).

I then multiplied my score by health, as if a character has twice as much health, you are likely to get value out of their dice for twice as long.

I now have a score for every character.  According to my model, the strongest character in the game, accounting for points cost, is Vader (AtG), followed by Jabba (WotF) thanks to his good dice sides, Legacies Yoda, Snoke, SoH Yoda, Lando and Finn (post Balance of the Force).

That done, I now can calculate a score for each character lineup (doubling die scores when a character is elite).

And the results?

According to my model, the best deck you can build is…

First Order Stormtrooper-eVader.  In fact, the top 4 decks are eVader decks (FOST, Greedo, Clawdite then Jawa).

OK, so that’s not particularly interesting.  Vader is a powerhouse, with huge melee sides plus that 2 resource side, so I shouldn’t be too surprised (though it’s nice that my model is creating sensible decks).  Also, my model does not take into account strategies – it’s all about raw power, which is Vader in a nutshell.

Here are the top 20 decks:

FOST-eDarth Vader3022450villain
Greedo-eDarth Vader3022442.3villain
Clawdite-eDarth Vader2921435.6villain
Jawa-eDarth Vader2921435villain
eAayla Secura-eYoda(SoH)3022432hero
Battle Droid-eDarth Vader2921426.6villain
eKylo Ren-eSnoke3023423.8villain
eFinn-eLando Calrissian2922418hero
ePoe Dameron-eLando Calrissian3022415.8hero
eKit Fisto-eLando Calrissian3022415.8hero
eJabba The Hutt-eDarth Vader(CM)2924415.2villain
eJabba The Hutt-eHan Solo2923415villain
eYoda(SoH)-eHan Solo3022414hero
eYoda(L)-eLando Calrissian2821413.8hero
eYoda-eBail Organa3022410hero
eFifth Brother-eJabba The Hutt3024408villain
eZeb Orrelios-eLando Calrissian2923405hero
eLando Calrissian-eHan Solo3022404.8hero
eAayla Secura-eBo-Katan Kryze3022403.2hero
The top lineups

Sitting in at number 11, is eJabba/eVader(CM).  That Vader has 2 special sides to boost Jabba’s special.  I’ve enjoyed playing with Jabba since he was balanced, and this deck looks like it could be fun (once Covert Missions finally drops).

There’s a few more combos which interest me and I might give a go at, such as Snoke/IG-88 and Yoda(L)/Lando (with 2 points left over for double down).  This model also suggests combinations like Yoda(SoH)/Bail and Kylo/Snoke which have been popular.

All the top decks are two wide.  Here’s the top 10 if I force my model to only show me 3 wide results:

Anakin Skywalker-eYoda-eSatine Kryze3026380.3hero
Gungan Warrior-eFinn-eSatine Kryze3026364.6hero
Vigilant Jedi-eAayla Secura-eSatine Kryze3027363.6hero
Clawdite Shapeshifter-eFinn-eSatine Kryze3026361hero
Jar Jar Binks-eYoda-eSatine Kryze3026360.7hero
Gungan Warrior-eYoda-eSatine Kryze2925360.4hero
Rebel Engineer-eAayla Secura-eSatine Kryze3027360.4hero
Rose-eAayla Secura-eSatine Kryze3028358.8hero
Kashyyk Warrior-eAayla Secura-eSatine Kryze3029356.2hero
Gungan Warrior-eCassian Andor-eSatine Kryze3025354.4hero
3 Wide lineups

Some of those don’t look half bad.  They’re all hero, which is interesting.  I guess hero has more good little guys. They also all feature Satine who, I think most people agree, is a bit under-costed.

Now I’ve got a program that makes me lineups, I can tweak the weights and ask it questions.

What if I all I want is focus, resource and damage sides?  I can change the weightings to only value these sides, downgrade indirect a little, and this changes things up a bit.  My new best character is Kit Fisto (balanced to 15 points elite), and my new top lineups are:

First Order Stormtrooper-eDarth Vader3022368.5villain
eKylo Ren-eSnoke3023360.2villain
eKallus-eIden Versio3024360villain
Greedo-eDarth Vader3022355.2villain
eKit Fisto-eTarfful2922352hero
eMace Windu-eTarfful3022352hero
eKes Dameron-eTarfful3022352hero
eKit Fisto-eLando Calrissian3021343.2hero
eZeb Orrelios-eKit Fisto2921343hero
Focus, Resource and Direct Damage

Which mostly look kind of fun.

What if I want to play Snoke, and want the most aggro characters possible to pair with him, and don’t care if they have pay sides.  This gives me the decks:

Battle Droid-eTrandoshan-eSnoke3025350.3villain
Veteran Stormtrooper-Greedo-eSnoke3026348villain
Aggro Snoke Builds

I do like the look of the last one.

Models like mine are never going to produce combinations and strategies as those created by real players, but hopefully there’s some inspiration there for new ideas.

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