Redemption Musings

It’s been a few weeks since Redemption arrived, and we’ve had some time to think.

The Meta
We’ve been tracking the results of events here on echobase, and I’ve got to say, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a diverse meta. Some decks are cropping up more than others, and there’s been some complaints about the power level of characters like Benthic and Lumpawarro, but there’s a world of a difference when compared to the early Faltering Allegiances meta, which was basically all about blue villain.

Decks that seem to be doing well are eDak/eBenthic (in fact, anything with Benthic), eLeia/eAnakin, Admiral Ackbar, eHan/eDash, Wookiees of some combination (of note: Chewbacca/Lumpy/VT), Veers decks, and blue villain in the form of eBane/Zannah or eDooku/eKylo. Even eJyn/eCass won an event, and although I haven’t seen it around, BDLuke I think is still very strong, especially since Jar’Kai arrived.

The other top tier archetype of course is pirates. They suffered a minor nerf, but it was pretty minor. They have so much tech thanks to Redemption and they were my big worry before the release event. It seems that while they’re not quite so overpowered as I first thought once the meta adjusted, they are pretty meta warping, and can be a big negative play thanks to all the stealing and cards with a very high ceiling like Den of Thieves. The very existence of the deck practically eliminates decks that steadily ramp and try to do big things with lots of money. Perhaps this is a good thing, perhaps not, but it is a shame that there’s little reason to include Blizzard 1 if you think there’s a chance of coming up against pirates (unless you’re trying something out with Garindan).

Redemption in Numbers
After Faltering Allegiances arrived, one complaint was that the cards were too wordy. The average number of characters on cards was 169, which was a huge increase on Covert Missions’ 132, and a mammoth jump from Awakenings’ 88. This was compounded by the fact that the first set in a new block typically had a below trend number of letters on cards, to keep things simple for the base set of a format. To stay on trend FA should have been somewhere in the 130 mark.

Has Redemption addressed this problem? Here’s a graph to have a look:

Or, alternatively, if you don’t like graphs, I wrote a programme to find the “most average” card from all sets to date, in terms of number of characters. Here they all are:

Pre-errata No Answer, the one pictured, was the most average card from Convergence

Looking at the results, it appears that Redemption has addressed this issue. We’re now sitting on 148 characters per card on average, which puts us on the trend FFG were going in. We’re still getting cards with multiple effects, but I think this trend is a welcome one and we’re in a good place now.

What about faction balance?

The above graph is a little confusing at first, but it shows what proportion of each set were villain (solid line) or hero (dashed line) of each colour.

Faltering Allegiances gave us the biggest proportion to date of yellow hero and blue villain, but the lowest ever of red villain. Redemption conversely has brought yellow back on par, has the highest proportion of red cards ever (villain and hero) and still shows a strong favouritism for blue villain.

However, it’s worth noting that an evenly balanced set isn’t necessary a valid aspiration. The strong favouritism for yellow hero in Faltering Allegiances certainly didn’t make yellow hero the force to be reckoned with. In fact, the majority of those cards have seen almost no play.

It was a little surprising to see 8 blue villain characters in a set of 100 cards in Redemption, but let’s face it: one of the most fun aspects of deckbuilding in Destiny is playing around with different lineups. Also, while red saw a lot of love this time round, the cards in red, especially red villain, were mostly part of a strategy that required a large support cards to make it function and give it a diversity of deck-building options.

In short, while I find these comparisons interesting, they alone don’t remotely tell the whole story.

Fun decks we’ve been trying
There’s the meta, and there’s the rest, and it’s in the rest that we’ve been having a lot of fun lately. In fact, it’s been a long time since Destiny has ever felt so fun.

Here’s a few decks which we’ve been experimenting with. They’re not necessarily top tier (though a good player and deck builder may be able to make them so), but they’re just very enjoyable to play.

echo7:

If you can get Niman Mastery, Your Powers Are Weak, or in the right matchup Pincer Movement, in your starting hand, combined with Savage‘s guardian and Salt Flats, and you’re already at 5 resources on your plot. Flip Savage early, and you can start going special crazy with Tenth Brother copying Darth Vader‘s special, to ramp absurdly quickly. It’s a lot of fun, but there’s no denying that a deck with strong mitigation can shut it down before it gets going.

echo7:

I’ve been waiting a long time for a vaguely competitive Han and Chewie deck. This one is a lot of fun, though is probably not super-optimised. I’m just trying to abuse Mean Streets with K-3PO, which is why I’ve got all the expensive events. Even if you don’t pull it off, 25 health for two-wide is pretty good, especially when they’re both scoundrels. Yes, Aphra is probably a better match as she can make the play more consistent as then you can shuffle in more K-3PO and XJ9-CS14, but then, that wouldn’t be Han and Chewie.

echo3ofclubs:
Rainbow Palpatine

This line-up has become somewhat of a pet project for me this meta. You’ll notice an exclusion of Admiral and Death Field; this is an early iteration of the deck, before their inclusion. This version felt somewhat more consistent for ramp and loading up Palpatine to a mountain of upgrades, employing a slower TTK (time to kill) on the opponent but eventually overwhelming the opponent with dice.

echo3ofclubs:

Any deck that Benthic finds himself in is pretty bloody good. Same can be said for Leia. Both characters are incredible in their own right, but together they make quite the team. I’ve not seen too many people running Benthic with Leia, I think it’s only a matter of time before this line-up takes down a tournament.

echofives:

While echo3ofclubs messes about with probably a very legitimate deck, Benthic with Leia, I’ve been having a lot of fun with Leia‘s brother, Luke. I really thought I had more 4 cost cards. I must have left them on the cutting room floor in the end. I look at it now and it looks very odd on paper but it can really last out until Han turns up. I love the fact that Valiant Deed has a use in this deck.

echofives:

Two Lords of the battlefield with the addition of the Snowtrooper gives a very healthy three wide mono red deck. Just keep picking away at your opponent and the Relentless Advance will build up to a level they simply can’t cope with. 501st Assault Team is key for this deck as it allows you to pass the battlefield around more than usual and has a 2 shield side that becomes a 3 side when you have the battlefield, giving you more time to be relentless.

And finally…
There’s been some changes to swdestinydb. A Renewed Hope (and The Coruscant Initiative) cards are now available for Infinite decks. Also, this card has recently been added to the db:

OK, so this one isn’t really a Redemption card, but it is listed as card 101 on swdestinydb under that set. By including this card in your deck, the db lets you include 10 additional cards, 10 additional points and an extra plot in your build, meaning that 40/40 decks can finally be published.

It’s great to see 40/40 decks popping up on the db since this arrived, and we’re going to get this working in TTS this weekend, so that you don’t have to build a version of your deck without this plot to play it there.

Now that ARH/TCI cards are legal in Infinite Format on the db, and now that this plot exists, you can publish db legal decks in any of these new formats:
ARH Infinite 30/30; ARH Standard 40/40; ARH Infinite 40/40; ARH Infinite Highlander 40/40
TCI Infinite 30/30; TCI Standard 40/40; TCI Infinite 40/40; TCI Infinite Highlander 40/40
FFG Standard 40/40; FFG Infinite 40/40; FFG Infinite Highlander 40/40.

Go have fun.

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