January Holocron Update

2 days ago, A Renewed Hope (ARH) published an update to their Holocron. If you want to see it in full, click the link below:

Today we’re going to go over the changes and how they might impact the game. First off though, a note on the timing of this announcement.

Over the festive period, FFG announced that they have ceased support for Destiny entirely, and will not be running any more events for the game or releasing any more cards (more on this in a later article). ARH had previously written about the confusion that may proliferate if FFG cards were added to their errata list or adjusted while FFG still supported the game (albeit lackadaisically). This announcement, while sad, frees up the committee to diverge their standard from the point at which FFG left off. As such, this Holocron represents the first time that FFG printed cards are added to the errata list or balanced by ARH.

Here are the changes:

  • Taron is now 12/15 and he’s no Jedi
  • Unending Hate is capped at 2 damage, Force Affinity is capped at draw 2
  • United is unbanned, but now 1/2 (from 0/1)
  • Captured: the opponent gains a resource when you un-capture yourself rather than you having to give them a resource
  • Resistance Ring and No Answer are no longer restricted
  • Sinjir is 10/13, Elrik is 12/15, Kes is 11/14, Synara is 11/13

Thoughts on these changes
As we covered in our gauntlet, Taron Vader (and blue villain in general) has utterly dominated the Faltering Allegiances meta. This deck takes a hit here via a reduction in efficiency of its two greatest tech cards:
The loss of the Jedi subtype on Taron makes Force Affinity probably not worth it (draw 1 and deal 1 for 1 resource is probably not going to make your 30);
Unending Hate is no longer potentially blowout, but is still very good.

The increase in points on Taron doesn’t actually have any effect compared to the period while United was banned, but now the plot is up to 1/2, this change precludes its future inclusion.

It’ll be interesting to see whether these changes are enough to shake the dominance of blue villain in all its many guises, such as ePong/eDooku or Bane/eDooku.

The change to Force Affinity also hits, admittedly to a lesser degree, eAnakin/eAayla/Youngling, which now draws 2 cards for 0 resources, instead of 3. I’d still include it, but it’s not quite as good as it used to be.

The unbanning of United but its increase to 1/2 is a sensible step. In a meta where mono was strong anyway, it was ridiculous for 0 points. When this card was banned, ARH said they would “re-approach the card later with a more nuanced errata”, and here it is. Not very nuanced perhaps, but a genuinely good change. It cannot be included in the most popular mono-blue lineups (except ePong/eDooku) or one of my personal favourite lineups, eKrennic/Wat/IDT, but there’s plenty of 29 point mono lineups out there if you do want this fantastic plot.

One thing worth mentioning is that United is not on the ARH errata list. However, I have had it confirmed by elrathion that this was an oversight. As a reminder, this is what the card looks like:

As written, the very first time the opponent removes one of your dice, United triggers whether you want it to or not. This was unofficially clarified last year with the inclusion of the Then keyword before the last sentence on both sides of this plot, meaning you only have to discard/flip it when you choose to trigger it. I anticipate this getting added to the next Holocron.

Closing In takes a pretty big hit. Previously, if you could disrupt the opponent and remove their resource dice, you could effectively lock out one of their characters from the game.

The new text reads:
“If this downgrade would leave play, set it aside instead. Attached character cannot be activated.
Action – Flip this downgrade and its controller gains 1 resource. Only attached character’s controller may use this ability.”

Therefore, the opponent can now trigger the Captured side to allow you to gain a resource even when they have no resources. I think Closing In is still good, but it’s far less strong. I think this is a positive change, as it previously could be a huge NPE to play against these decks if you’re running a resource starved deck.

The un-restricting of No Answer and Resistance Ring feels like a recognition that mill is in a pretty tough spot in ARH Standard as we discussed in our Death of Mill article. The complete absence of mill, certainly of hero mill, meant there was really no reason to keep this pair restricted, so this is a positive change (unless you hate mill).

Finally, on to the part of Holocrons I love the most: Balance of the Force. 4 characters received a discount this time round:

Elrik is now 12/15, Synara is now 11/13

Elrik Vonreg aka the Red Baron, always felt a bit overcosted, and he’s been given a -1/-1, which is somewhat conservative. His health and dice are fairly average now for the cost, but has the potential to be very good if only there were some good vehicles for him to pilot (which there aren’t). You really want a vehicle like the Umbaran Hover Tank or Shadowcaster to protect, but the best vehicle I can think of is in current standard is the Starviper. A cheaper vehicle with Proton Bombs might be a decent play though, but even that is pretty slim pickings.

Synara San still feels not worth it at 11/13, though at least you can still play her elite with United and eKragan.

Kes is now 11/14, Sinjir is now 10/13

Kes Dameron gets a solid -2/-2 which actually makes him look pretty good. He doesn’t have a great choice of partners though, assuming you want trooper synergy, but it could be fun playing him with elite Saw. Get him on a double focus side and you could Instigate into a lot of guaranteed damage. Otherwise, you’ve got lots of 8 point characters like Fives, Wolffe, Naboo Guard and Kashyyyk Warrior to choose from for the trooper synergy. Failing that, Convergence Obi-Wan or Chewbacca and Valorous might work, but I’m not particularly excited about either of those.

Sinjir is the first character ever to get a -4/-4. In general, non-elite points equals health for characters with unspectacular abilities or dice sides. There have only ever been two FFG characters (with dice) with 2 more health than their non-elite cost, and those are Kashyyyk Warrior and Transformations Han Solo. So on paper, Sinjir is looking decent. However, it’s the presence of Han in standard that will keep pushing Sinjir out. Han is just better, despite his on-defeat ability. Better dice, and piloting. Sure, Sinjir has mitigation on a stick, but it’s a highly situational stick. I think he is playable at this cost, but just can’t make it work. But nevermind… if he’s not playable, we could always just make him 9/12?

Overall, I like these changes. I’d call them pretty measured, but they do what must be done, especially with regard to Closing In and United, which I’m very glad to see back in the game. I’m not expecting a massive shakeup, and I’m still expecting blue villain to be the biggest force in Destiny, but these changes will bring a bit of much needed balance until Redemption shakes everything up again:

If you want to try out this new holocron, come join us tomorrow night at 7:30pm (GMT) for our regular echobase Tuesday night Destiny. You can sign up on tabletop.to here. You’ll also need to join our discord here:

This year we’ll be giving away cards from the echobase OP kit. Each promotional card is a high quality alt art of an existing Destiny card, using art from Hoth (or at least Empire).

If you play in our events, you’ll earn 1 point for a loss and 2 points for a win in each game you play, and promos are worth 4 points, so even a string of losses earns you one promo a week. The weekly winner also automatically gets the card of the week. These points will accumulate over the month and then you can convert them to the cards you’d like.

We’ve got 10 cards to give away, and we’ve spoiled 7 so far. Full details are here, but here’s those 7 again:

And this week, the card of the week is On Guard, so the winner will walk away with this card and 2 more of their choice (assuming they go 4-0). Good luck all, and hopefully see you soon.

If you like what we do, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter: https://www.patreon.com/echobasedestiny

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