Last month, there were two shake-ups announced regarding ARH Standard Destiny: a new balance update, and an upcoming reprint list. We’ll talk a little about the reprint list below, but first:
The New Holocron
As updates go, this was a pretty minor one, but significant nonetheless. ARH themselves went over the changes in their excellent article, which is worth a read if you haven’t already. Here are our thoughts on the changes:
Errata: Din Djarin and Eject
Din Djarin got an errata. He now should read:
“Power Action – Play an upgrade on this character, giving it Ambush.
After you activate this character, you may remove one of its character dice showing damage to gain resources equal to half that die’s value rounded up.“
Anyone who’s played High Stakes will know how powerful Din has been. But it’s not just aggression that he was good at. He also ramped, for free, thanks to his ability, which triggered 88% of the time when playing him double elite. As has been observed by a number of players, playing Mando could be like Destiny on easy mode. Sure, you lose if you rolled badly, but ultimately, there wasn’t much thought involved in a game. Upgrade, roll out and get free money, resolve and mitigate, claim, repeat.
This errata not only curbs his power a little, but it also forces players into a choice: money or damage. And choices make Destiny more interesting.
It’s debatable though whether this is much of a hit. Trading a 2 damage side for 1 resource is clearly a step down, as you used to get the money for free. But trading a 3 damage side for 2 resources (effectively a 1 resource gain on pre-errata Din in exchange for a 3 damage side), especially early game, might actually be an improvement. Roll well, and you now have better ramp. Double elite there is a 42% chance of rolling that 3 ranged side.
On balance, it seems like this is a soft hit, but a hit nonetheless. And it certainly makes Mando feel fairer than he did, and that’s a good thing.
Eject also got an errata. The Eject/Merchant Freighter combo has long been a complaint of many players. It wasn’t that this was a sneaky combo that play-testers overlooked and which players had been abusing; they clearly were designed to function in exactly this way. But the value that the combo represented for pilot decks was just far too far above curve, granting a 4 health swing effectively for free.
As a result, this card now reads:
“Ambush. Discard a vehicle you control with a matching die to heal 2 damage from one of its piloting characters and give that character 2 shields.”
This card is still eminently playable, but it’s no longer “free”. You have to actually lose a valuable support now to trigger it.
Balances: Han Solo and Stay Ahead
Two cards got a balance. Transformations Han Solo has long been on the watch list, and gets his long awaited bump up to 11/14:
He represented such fantastic value at 10/13, and made it basically impossible for any other 13 point elite yellow heroes to compete. Is Sinjir finally playable?
Stay Ahead also gets a balance up to 3 points:
This plot is worth 2 (almost) free and unmitigatable damage every round, for a fast deck. In our set review, we gave it 5 out of 5, and suggested that we “wouldn’t be surprised if this finds itself on a restricted list with Benthic in the not so distant future”. While it hasn’t seen this restriction, this pairing now finds itself sitting on 19 points, eliminating the pairing with elite Wedge, or similar characters.
I think this plot is still excellent value in the right deck, and 3 (or even 4) points is right where it needs to be.
The Restricted List
OK, a small change here, but Chopper and Abandoned Refinery have been removed from the restricted pairings list.
Honestly, I’m slightly surprised by this one, given the amazing value these two represent, but I’m also happy about it. I look forward to seeing the return on C1-1OP to the tables.
The Ban List
And finally, a new card joins Fateful Companions and Kamino Cloning Facility on the ban list: Admiral.
In their article, ARH expounded on most of their changes, but all they said about this one is that it’s “controversial”, initially leaving it up to us to work out the thinking behind it.
Back in March, we published an article about the Galactic Open results, in which we talked about the epic performance of most Admiral decks. Few cards have the ability to completely swing a match like this one, and few cards are as divisive, with most players either loving it or hating it.
At the end of the month though, On the Sensors interviewed Gandork about these changes. For the full video check it out here:
A headline summary is that we had got to the point where there were top tier decks in the meta, such as eJyn/eHan/IO, which were excellent decks in their own right without Admiral, but which were “buying free wins” off the back of this one card.
Regardless the reasoning, the impact of this change is most keenly felt by Hondo reset decks (pairings with Krennic and Bail) Jyn decks, and Mando/You Are in Command Now decks. It also opens up the potential for big leaders in future ARH expansions, which previously would have been a liability with Admiral floating around.
If you want to see the Holocron in full, check out our Holocrons page, or click the link below:
The Reprint List
ARH have announced that they will be adding 100 rotated FFG cards to ARH Standard from 1 September. And they have asked the community to vote on their choices of cards which will join this list. If you haven’t voted already, you have until 15 August to do so. Click here to vote.
This list won’t be static: they’re planning on updating it at each set release and midway between each set. The upshot is that this list will change about 5 or 6 times per year, keeping the meta fresh, and causing an especially high degree of carnage on set release days.
They have said it will be used to “free up design space in our sets without reinventing wheels (Flank, Logistics), to include many niche cards which are hard to justify space for (Take Cover, Confidence), to shore up lagging Colour/Faction combinations, and to throw some interesting curveballs at the playerbase”.
ARH have said that the list will be based on votes with “minimal sanity checking”. While they have asked that people don’t just vote for a Greatest Hits of Destiny, it is likely that the initial list will comprised of cards that most people remember playing, and therefore likely to be just that.
There are a lot of broken combinations in infinite, and the admins will have their work cut out preventing these combos from creeping in. However, assuming they can move quickly to update the list when these appear, the upshot of this list is it will keep the meta both fresh and nostalgic, while giving players an opportunity to use cards which might otherwise have languished in folders.
I asked people on our discord to share their reprint choices, and 10 people responded. Even on the basis of this rather small sample size, there are some clear favourites.
Aayla Secura topped the character votes with 8/10, matching votes for fan favourite event Beguile and the vehicle mod Dorsal Turret (this one surprised me to be honest). The top ranked battlefield was Bendu’s Lair (7 votes), while Solidarity and Armored Reinforcement were the most popular plots in our sample (5 votes). The most popular supports were Millennium Falcon (Legacies), Hailfire Droid Tank and Senate Chamber, all on 5 votes.
For your enjoyment, here are all the cards which received 4 votes or more in our small sample:
8: Aayla Secura, Beguile, Dorsal Turret
7: Bendu’s Lair, Grand Moff
6: Crafted Lightsaber, Dagger Of Mortis, Lando Calrissian (AtG), Pacify, Rebel War Room, Rex, Scruffy Looking Nerf Herder
5: Armored Reinforcement, Do Or Do Not, Doubt, Field Medic, Hailfire Droid Tank, Into The Garbage Chute, Lightsaber Pull, Loth-Wolf Bond, Millennium Falcon (Leg), Mother Talzin, Senate Chamber, Solidarity, Zeb Orrelios
4: 0-0-0, Adapt, Armor Plating, Ataru Strike, B’omarr Monastery, Backup Muscle, Bartering, Conflicted, Crash Landing, Dark Ritual, Electroshock, Emperor’s Throne Room, Entangle, Ewok Village, Finn (Leg), Fort Anaxes, Hidden Blaster, Iden Versio, Improvised Defense, In The Crosshairs, It Binds All Things, It Will All Be Mine, Logistics, Luke Skywalker (WotF), Mandalorian Super Commando, Mandalorian Vambraces, Maz’s Goggles, Obi-Wan’s Hut, No Allegiance, Outer Rim Outpost, Pinned Down, Pirate Speeder Tank, Probe, Profitable Connection, Reach The Stars, Resistance Crait Speeder, Riposte, Shoto Lightsaber, Tactical Mastery, Tarkin, Triple Laser Turret, Well-Connected
Of these cards, 18 are Blue, 18 are Red, 17 are Yellow and 14 are Grey, while 18 are Hero and 14 are Villain. That’s a nice looking spread of votes. And there’s some cards in there which could really shake things up. It Will All Be Mine jumps out as one that would be strong for Inquisitors. Maz’s Goggles looks really good in the current state of Destiny with bigger sides that could really benefit from focus. And Hailfires could be really interesting/scary with new Aphra.
I can’t wait to see the list next month.