How’s the meta?

A couple of weeks ago saw the first ARH run Galactic Open events. This saw a combined total of 137 decks battle it out across three events in over 350 games, giving an excellent opportunity to get a snapshot of the meta. Huge congratulations to Vika for his incredible 17-1 run, making him the champion of all three GO’s, with Hondo/2Loyalist/TUH, eAnakin/eLeia and Hondo/eKrennic.

Thanks in no small part to the efforts of some members of the community (a special thank you goes out to Erik), I was able to get my hands on not only the vast majority of the lineups represented across these events, but also the results of 365 of the games which were played. Thankfully TTO and Challonge have relatively parsable data on their websites.

Lineup/Character Popularity
Across 137 decks there were 65 different lineups, which is pretty astonishing. The most popular deck was Anakin/Leia, with 18 showings. While this looks pretty high, it’s still only 13% of decks:

The 9 most popular decks (all those with 3 or more appearances in the GO’s combined)

It’s worth comparing this to the FFG meta. The last FFG meta I did a full analysis of can be found here, but as a reminder ReyLo made up 20% of decks, and Palpatine was almost 15% of the field. The comparison is pretty stark; I don’t have all the data to prove it, but I’m pretty confident that deck diversity has never been higher in competitive Destiny* (caveat below).

The most popular character in Destiny is Redemption Leia. She featured in 25 decks out of 137 (18%), in 8 different lineups. Anakin appeared in 20 lineups, Ackbar in 15, Chewbacca and Han in 12, Hondo and Lumpy in 10 lineups, Savage and Pirate Loyalist in 7, and Benthic, Vader (CM) and Veers appeared in 6.

Image coming soon

It’s interesting to note that all the most popular characters, until you hit Covert Missions Vader, are Redemption or Transformations characters. Has deck diversity been achieved by allowing power creep? It’s a tricky call, but it’s one to watch.

Deck Power
Popularity of decks is one thing, but deck power is another entirely. As I have access to all game results, I’ve been able to calculate deck power, using random chance as a baseline. Below are the results of the analysis.

As a reminder for how these work, those boxes show range of success rate you’d expect 50% of the time from random chance. The narrow lines (whiskers) show the range you’d expect 90% of the time. The dots show the actual success of the deck in the GOs. I’ve coloured the results, where blue is average performance, red is worse and dark red much worse than average, green is better and dark green much better than average. I’ve sorted the decks in increasing order of success:

I’ve removed all mirror matches from the data so this is pure performance against all other decks in the GO’s. I’ve also removed all decks from this graph with fewer than 6 games’ of data.

The benefit of this analysis, is that you can see while Ackbar decks only had a success rate of 58%, this is quite a bit higher than you’d expect from chance (p value of 0.11 for you stats nerds), suggesting this is a genuinely strong deck, despite its relatively average looking performance.

The three decks performing best appear to be Anakin/Leia, Hondo/2Loyalists and Hondo/Bail. The most statistically significant performance here is Anakin/Leia, who’s performance was a 1 in 1887 performance or p=0.00064 (Hondo/Loyalist was a 1 in 59 performance, p=0.017, and Hondo Bail was 1 in 51, p=0.019). What I mean by this is that Ani/Leia winning 68% of their 77 games is simply very unlikely to be down to luck. The maths tells us it’s just a really good deck.

Instead of looking at exact lineups, you can also look at archetypes:

Performance by archetype. MM = Middle Middle, with mono-blue decks removed.

Lumping all the pirate decks together drags the Hondo/Loyalist decks down, suggesting that the Hondo double Loyalist lineup is the strongest pirate build you can run at the moment.

The big obvious jump here is Admiral decks, which are the Hondo/Krennic and Hondo/Bail decks of the event, of which there were 3. These achieved a success rate of 87.5% (14 wins from 16 games, not 15 from 18, as 2 of the Admiral games come from an archetype mirror match).

This performance was a 1 in 3125 performance, p=0.00032, or better than Anakin/Leia. The fact that last Thursday’s echobase event was won by another Hondo Admiral deck is therefore little surprise. The ability to reset Hondo and roll in more Loyalist dice before resolving the first lot is incredibly powerful, and certainly a combination to put on the watch the list given this result.

Rock/Paper/Scissors
Because I have access to all the matchups, it’s possible to compute the relative power of decks against all other decks in the meta. This slicing of the data reduces the power of my data. What I mean by this, is while I have data on 77 Anakin/Leia matchups, I don’t actually have much data on that particular deck versus each and every other deck in the meta.

To get round this problem, I’m lumping by archetype again, and removing matchups represented by fewer than 4 games:

This graph is a bit tricky to read the first time, but what you’ve got to do is find the deck you’re interested in on the left (y-axis). Then find the deck you’re interested in seeing how it performs against along the bottom (x-axis) and read off the number at the intersection.

Say you want to know what matchups are good for Blue Hero. Find that row (it’s the third one down) then work your way across to the right:
It didn’t win a single game against Admiral decks, had a 1 in 3 success rate against pirates and is sub-par into Wookiees. However, it has a favourable matchup into Ackbar and blue villain (roughly 2 in 3) and a good matchup into everything else.
Ackbar however is good into pirates and Wookiees but struggles against blue decks in general, while pirate decks are good into blue (and took a win from an Admiral deck).

Conclusions
Overall, I’m liking the look of the meta right now. It’s hugely varied, though for better or worse it is dominated by Redemption characters.
There’s a nice rock-paper-scissors circle of the top decks, represented by mono-blue > Ackbar > pirates/wookiees > mono-blue. However, the incredible success of Hondo Admiral decks in the GO’s is a concern.


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*I say competitive Destiny with a caveat. I may not be comparing like for like here. I believe the majority of players’ deck choices are motivated by a desire to have fun rather than win at all costs, even at a big event like the Galactic Open. However, the early Faltering Allegiances meta, which was dominated by Taron Vader, does suggest that where there is a clear favourite deck players will gravitate to it. We’ve had 24 events since the release of Redemption and the most successful deck has only won 3 events, compared to 7 in 26 in Faltering Allegiances.

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