Are Hero Droids still a problem?

Ever since C-3PO and R2-D2 became part of this game, they have been a big part of the meta.  The ability to pull an additional 1 or 2 resources without fear of mitigation is incredibly strong, and arguably better than Snoke ever was pre-errata (though Hero have less to do with their money than Villain).  It can also lead to a very non-interactive negative play experience.

Since the Prime Season started, Chopper Droids have been the most common deck in Top Cuts, making up 15% of the Top Cut meta, followed closely by ReyLo.

If Chopper Droids were winning 15% of tournaments, this wouldn’t be a problem.  That would mean that performance was matching representation: that this deck was only successful because it’s popular.

But that’s not the case.

Chopper Droids have won 18 of 84 Primes, 21%, and have snagged plenty of runner up and Top 4 spots.

I’ve done plenty of analysis on deck performance in the past, and have shown that Chopper Droids’ success is (probably) not down to chance.  Below is the relative success of every deck based on representation pre-RRG:

Deck performance based on popularity before the December RRG. Red is below average, blue is average and green is above average. Dark green is so far above average that it’s unlikely to be down to chance

In an attempt to address the balance over this period, the deck suffered 3 erratas:

  1. Pre-release: C-3PO and Military Camp on the restricted list
  2. 24 September 2019:
    1. C-3PO balanced from 8/10 to 9/11
    2. Droids’ Day Out added to restricted list

But it didn’t help. Chopper Droids continued to be overpowered, dominating the meta and winning World’s (thanks of course to some excellent playing from Andrew Rothermel).

Something had to be done, and on 10 December C-3PO and Fateful Companions were added to the restricted list.  Did this help?

In a sense, yes.  Popularity of this deck plummeted from over 20% of Top Cuts to 7%.

But this deck is still overpowered.  Here’s the performance of all decks since the new RRG:

Deck performance based on popularity after the December RRG. Chopper Droids continues to be the only deck which is performing above what you might expect from random chance

Fewer people are playing Chopper Droids.  It’s seen 11 outings in the Top Cuts since the RRG, but of these 11 appearances, 3 won the whole thing and 2 were runners up.

5 people played this deck in the Las Vegas Open out of a field of 120 players.  4 of these decks made the Top32 Cut, including the winner.

Covert Missions looks like it’s going to be fun, but I see nothing broken or overpowered in the set.  This is a good thing, but to me it means that Chopper Droids still needs an errata if the game is going to grow.

Preventing C-3PO from pumping resources might help.  I think a point increase is too crude as I’d like to see droids still be a part of the meta, just not such a strong force.

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