Regardless whether you’ll be playing Faltering Allegiances, or if you’re holding out for Wild Horizons, rotation is coming. We thought we’d have a quick look at the impact of the upcoming rotation on the game. As a reminder, this is what current Standard Format looks like, with the sets due to be dropped scored out:
Rotation eliminates the Legacies block: 3 full expansions, the Two Player set and the Rivals draft set. This is a drop from 1102 available cards, to 536.
Some of these cards have been around quite a while: Legacies arrived in February 2018, meaning it has been part of Standard play for 2 years and 6 months as of 1 October (Awakenings was Standard for 2 years and 4 months).
Looking at the tournament winning decks since Transformations arrived, you’d be forgiven for thinking this isn’t going to have much effect. Out of 13 different tournament winning lineups, featuring 34 different characters and plots, the only characters from the Legacies block are Aphra, Battle Droid and podracing Anakin, while the only Legacies block plot is Armored Reinforcement.
However, while we may not be losing much in terms of current tournament-winning characters, the depth of choice for deckbuilding is going to be significantly diminished.
To showcase some of what we’re losing, we thought we’d each pick 6 cards that we’ll be sorry to say goodbye to, and 6 cards we can’t wait to see the back of. Given we’re losing about 100 characters, upgrades and supports, and about 200 events, we’re each going to pick two events, and one of the rest. We’re also picking a battlefield or plot each.
echofives: Iden, classic middle/middle character that shut downs pesky action cheating. Check out the favourite events we’ll miss and I think that reinforces my choice here. Such a great dice too. I feel like she was the start of a slew of characters with the magical 2 focus. Also boasts being a leader and a trooper, probably the two most relevant subtypes. Could fit with many other characters in every colour. My favourite pairing was with Tobias Beckett and supports. Who doesn’t like delving a Planetary Bombardment? I haven’t played her in a while and I probably should have tried her with Admiral by now. Shame on me. I also have to add that the other two choices from echobase would be my second and third choices.
echo3ofclubs: Yoda I believe is the single best character ever printed in Star Wars Destiny. His versatility, lack of a blank, points cost, and all round consistency make Yoda unrivaled. Yoda is the facilitator to your deck. His flexibility is apparent as he can be used to ramp in an aggro upgrade deck, protect and discard from deck in a mill build or he can be the resource engine in a support deck. Yoda my friend, you will be missed.
echo7: Lando is such a fun character to play. His Power Action was great for dropping cheap vehicles (even if there have never been many great yellow vehicles) and that 4 resource side proved highly versatile, from mill with Leia and Stealthy, to fast ramp especially when partnered with Enfys Nest and combined with Reap (one of echofives‘ favourites I believe).
echofives: Impulsive. I’m always happy to see this in my hand. It gives you the chance to do something unexpected. And if you have focus… well we all know how that goes. It is gonna hurt. Even playing this to resolve your last die and sneak the claim to gain tempo into the following turn is nice. It gives you plays like taking a resource to then pay for a pay side or removal bypassing a disrupt on your opponent’s side. Did I mention it is zero cost? So good.
Flames of the Past – This card can be so impactful. It gives permanent removal and it usually hits a unique card which tends to be a teeny bit more powerful and on the more expensive end of the card spectrum. The thing is it’s very seldom expected so your opponent will discard their second copy of that big unique to reroll or even just to refill their hand at the end of the turn. Then you burn it down. There was once a time where I would pack Vader’s Fist with no intention of playing it just to discard it and burn down my opponent’s one. There is another bonus of this card that once they have seen that it is in your deck then your opponent will hold on to their second copy effectively playing the game with an inefficient hand.
echo3ofclubs: Tactical Mastery and Logistics are part of just a few cards that have been available since the game’s inception. Originally both from Awakenings and then reprinted in the two-player set neither card has ever rotated out and they have always been legal. A standard format without Logistics? Come on, man. Logistics has always given red the ability to ramp, without it I’m curious as too how a mono-red build can ramp outside of using Tech Teams and Merchant Freighters. Tactical Mastery is the OG villain action cheat and we’ve all had a clutch ‘Tac Mac’ moment, right?
echo7: Hidden Motive is one of my favourite cards ever. It’s not guaranteed mitigation, but if it fails to remove the target it does still give you some soft control. While never overpowered, it was, I think, a fair addition to the restricted list due to its ubiquity.
Into The Garbage Chute on the other hand hasn’t seen a huge amount of play, but was just such a good card for big/little decks or 3+ wide decks, much like Respite which is also rotating out.
echofives: Grappling Boa has been an underused card in my opinion. Repeatable removal is great and the discard side is always welcome, as those that know me know that I find it very hard to pass up a discard side. The amount of times I’ve rolled this in and hit a damage side and my opponent has said “I’ll have to remove that.” That’s just music to my ears, we’ve forced removal on this leaving our other dice to do the heavy lifting because they want to keep their dice. Perfect. I should point out that with the rise of Reylo and the huge amount of shields that I’d largely already said goodbye to this card as the opponent needs to actually take damage.
echo3ofclubs: Maul’s Lightsaber is the OG power house lightsaber. The first upgrade die to boast a 4 side, and one of the first upgrades to be power actioned back into the pool, this had to be my pick.
echo7: The Handheld L-S1 Cannon has long been a favourite of mine, despite the artwork. It’s above curve for the cost, but not ridiculous, and was a great boon for all aggressive red decks.
echofives: Vigilance has saved me games. Remember the two focus sides I mentioned earlier. They were everywhere. This card shuts it down. Since then it got better, Rey can’t turn Kylo to the special. Niman can’t mess with my dice. R2-D2 gets shut down. If only it stayed in play but alas it is for one round only. But that round could be the crucial one.
echo3ofclubs: The Resistance Crait Speeder is the best 2 drop support in the history of our beloved game. The versatility in ‘when’ to increase the value is great. Typically you’re looking for that resource side the round you play it to make your money back. No other support in the game other than ATG Millenium Falcon can make it’s own cost back on the round it is played (3 from Falcon, 2 from Escape Craft, detach Escape Craft, resolve resource.) The Crait Speeder is so versatile it sees play outside of support based decks simply because of the above curve value. I’ll miss you mate.
echo7: Suppressive Fire is just such a great card. It’s pre-emptive mitigation, and fairly costed. Since it’s an after effect, it could be combined with other mitigation, or could be used to circumvent action cheating or Vader TTB‘s Power Action.
echofives: Solidarity. How many times have you wanted 31 points worth of characters. Well, this let you albeit with a very interesting draw back that made you dig deep into the card pool. You had to be one colour and could only pack one of each card. This made for very interesting and different decks. My favourite and most successful was eAayla Secura, eAhsoka Tano and Vigilant Jedi.
echo3ofclubs: This card created a new deck archetype in the form of fat vehicles. AR decks have been a pretty solid staple in the meta since ATG, and the archetype will be missed.
echo7: The only battlefield to come with a die, I love the idea behind Bendu’s Lair. The extra die you get can be hugely beneficial given it’s essentially free, but since it costs you two actions to roll and resolve, you’re having to work hard if you want to get it for multiple rounds in a row.
echofives: Snoke was everywhere around the time of the last U.K. Nationals with Watto and a FOST or the Snoke and Thrawn and he was obviously a problem and it took ages to push through his inevitable nerf. Now granted this wasn’t his fault but every time he hits the table now whether I play him or someone else, I just see pure evil. It didn’t help that it was the Watto deck that knocked me out at the top 16 stage of the U.K. Nationals and then literally a couple of weeks later the nerf hammer smashed down. Good riddence Snoke.
echo3ofclubs: I need to clarify that I do love an Aphra deck. The design space on Aphra is great and again this is an archetype all of it’s own. My problem with an Aphra deck is that your 30 card deck is basically the same for whatever character pairing you decided to go for. Weather your running the new Sweeper Droid bomb plots or you’re pairing Aphra with General Grievous and a Sentinel Messenger the 30 cards in your deck are going to be the same give or take. I chose this as my pick because I’m just bored of it. Time for something new.
echo7: Vader TTB absolutely dominated the game when he was released, but I never liked him. For me, the problem with Vader was always that if you rolled well, you won, and if you rolled badly, you lost. Sure, this is true for Destiny in general, but it was so much more true for this guy.
echofives: Steadfast. Now this is a great, so why am I happy to see it gone. Quite simply I’ve played against a lot of blue hero decks so I’ve seen it enough. It always seems to go perfectly for my opponent. You feel like you’re having a pretty good first round and this card just ruins it and then you get that round where you’ve shielded up your character who has 1 health left and drawn your removal and are ready to go to the end game feeling like you have a chance and are in the game and then Steadfast. Game Over. Well it’s game over for you now Steadfast. Doubt. I keep seeing people playing this and people saying that’s a good Doubt and then the dice gets rolled and hits exactly what they didn’t want it to hit. Yet I keep seeing it in decks so I trust the people and put it in some of my decks and then I get stung and this vicious circle continues. I can’t remember the last time I saw a Doubt be successful. Well the vicious circle has now ended as it fades away into rotation.
echo3ofclubs: Blue hero’s identity is to play the long game by keeping in the game with shield generation. I play a lot of blue hero and a good friend of mine would always pack Frighten in his deck to piss me off. Sure, this card is match-up dependent but it still gives me bad feels.
Easy Pickings is way above curve for its cost. It’s such a feel-bad when you roll out one of your characters and you are at the mercy of the dice gods and you get your dice picked. A good player will focus dice to not match sides to avoid getting picked, but I just won’t miss that feeling of rolling out a character and praying for a mismatched roll.
echo7: Strategic Planning may seem like an odd choice, but I just don’t like it as it limits future support design space. Sure, it was errata’d to only ready supports without mods, but I believe it is heavily responsible for the lack of good hero supports. I hope that when this rotates, we may see something of the power of Megablaster Troopers for heroes.
Delve has similarly been a problem for support and upgrade design, and had to be restricted with Vader’s Fist despite the fact that the chance of drawing both into your starting hand was fairly low. I’ll be glad to see it go.
When planning this article, we each independently came up with our lists, and out of the 103 upgrades rotating out, we all picked Force Jump. Is there a lot of lingering hate out there for this card, or is it just us? If your opponent gets lucky with the special, this one-cost upgrade can completely lock you out of the game. We’ll be glad to see it go.
echofives: 0-0-0 is just amazingly annoying. The phrase “and 1 for triple zero” is just annoying. Usually this is accompanied by a tapping of the card on the table too just in case you dare forget to take the damage. Most players tend to know how the game works and the rules. I don’t need this reminder. I’ll apologise if I miss it and please remind me. I know in tournament play you have to make sure your triggers happen and are carried out but don’t say it after I’ve actually taken the damage. It’s another one of those cards that my opponent seems to have first round and he’s vastly effective then, and then when I try to use him, nothing. Just simply annoying,
echo7: Déjà Vu hasn’t seen much play, but when it has, it’s not been pretty. Repeating cards like Cocky to annihilate your hand, or Utinni! to annihilate your deck is just such a NPE.
echo3ofclubs: We’ve all played Vader’s Fist and we all secretly love it. Getting to 5 resources is pretty easy to do in the current state of Destiny and given the impact this card has had on the meta I’ve always been surprised that this card never received even a small errata. It’s the ultimate feel bad card when your opponent slams this on the table. “Fist? – GG“.
echofives: My choice here is down to, in it’s original form, this thing was everywhere as it pretty much reads, “Win the battlefield and start with an extra resource”. Everybody wants that. It was a default choice. So insanely good that it needed an errata to the text to what we have today and it’s a very useful and good battlefield still. It’s had its time.
echo3ofclubs: Double Down felt unfair on the wider community for the need to have a third copy of that chase legendary to make the top use out of this (Entourage for an example). Kinda cool design space, but now I don’t have to worry about having a 3rd copy of something that might be clutch to have 3 of something in my deck. This rotating out will literally saves us all $$.
echo7: Slower support and upgrade decks have always struggled against mill, and the addition of Occupied City to the game exacerbated this problem further. Mill still has Command Centre and Pyke Syndicate Mine, but at least these battlefields don’t punish you for trying to play cards in a card game.
Finally, here’s a few cards that didn’t make the cut, but which for one reason or another could have had a significant influence on future gameplay were they not rotating out of Standard.
Thanks for reading, and have a happy rotation.
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