Echoes of Destiny 2.0

A Renewed Hope have just released the second iteration of Echoes of Destiny, the list of rotated FFG Destiny cards which will form part of ARH Standard from today, 1st November.

This version of the list is very different from the first one. Not only are there 61 new cards on the list, but this version has been created by the ARH team to provide a core list of cards to support the meta, to support cards which are in the ARH corpus, and bring back interesting cards and mechanics from earlier sets. What it is not is a greatest hits list based on popular vote. Some people will no doubt be unhappy that favourites of theirs have been removed from the list, but this move prevents the format from feeling a bit too much like infinite.

Another thing to note is that there appears to have been a deliberate attempt to not include cards from Convergence, which is rotating when Unlikely Heroes arrives. Out of the 100 cards on this list, only two are Convergence cards (not counting cards like First Order Stormtrooper or It Binds All Things which were Awakenings block staples which just saw a Convergence reprint). Those cards for those who are interested are Riot Shield and Automated Defense. This means no Entourage, no Measure for Measure and no Conscript Squad.

We thought we’d go over these cards and the changes to the old list, and what this means for the new Standard. We’ll have all the images of the cards here, but if you want to view this on the dB, go here: http://bit.ly/eodrpl2

Characters

We’ve got 18 characters now, rather than the original 16. We’ve kept 6 of the old guard (Greedo, Phasma, Talzin, Aayla, Cassian and Old Luke), and that means we’ve got 12 new entrants. I think the most significant departures are Legacies Yoda and Vader TTB.

We’ve got some non-uniques for the first time to help develop the core of the format: First Order Stormtrooper (who would have rotated with Convergence), Guavian Enforcer, Clone Trooper and Hired Gun.

Notable uniques include the fact we’ve got all 4 of the characters from the Two-Player set (Kylo, Phasma, Rey and Poe). For me though the most interesting includes are Baby Anakin, Rose, Seventh Sister and Empire at War Thrawn.

Anakin is a solid support character for a 7 point yellow, and enters the list along with his Podracer. Mill players rejoice. Rose I find most interesting simply because of the presence of IG-11 and the fact she is a hero red engineer. Finally we can have a rainbow bi-partisan deck if you pair them with up to 12 points’ worth of hero blue.

Seventh Sister comes in with her ID9 droid, and is an Inquisitor, meaning she can benefit from the many spot inquisitor cards from ARH. Also, the presence of Aphra means you can include 8 ID9s in your deck, which combined with the one she rolls in makes for a possible maximum of 9 of these in your pool. OK, that’s absurdly unlikely, but several of these could make for an interesting combo deck, especially with No Second Chances on the cards. Thrawn on the other hand is an old favourite and makes the perfect partner for Unlikely Heroes Tarkin. Open your round by PAing Tarkin, then follow up with a Thrawn activation to discard two cards of your choice from the opponent’s hand. The downside is you’ve got just 23 health and open with very few damage sides. You could run them both non-elite, but 6 points doesn’t leave many options.

Events

There’s 37 events on the list, down from 40 on the first list. We’ve kept Doubt, Isolation, Probe, The Best Defense…, Witch Magick, Field Medic, First Aid, Loth-Wolf Bond, Pacify, Beguile, Crash Landing, Electroshock, Flank, Hasty Exit, Lightsaber Pull and Truce.

However, what’s more notable is what we’ve lost. The 24 cards that were removed from the events list include action cheating Tactical Mastery, Bait and Switch, All In and Hit and Run (plus let’s not forget that Instigate is rotating out), we’ve lost powerful tech such as Logistics, Friends in Low Places, Riposte, Vandalize (though we’ve gained the less powerful SoR classic Sabotage) and Well-Connected, and we’ve lost a huge number of greatest hits mitigation cards such as Easy Pickings, Entangle, Into the Garbage Chute, Hidden Motive, Overconfidence and He Doesn’t Like You.

In fact, looking at the events in the 3 decklists that took down the last Galactic Open, every one of the 6 reprinted events in Jyn/Han, all 10 events in the Din Djarin deck, and all but Beguile of the 8 events in the Ki-Adi-Mundi deck, have now been axed.

Taking their place are either generally less powerful tech or core mitigation such as Block and Dodge, and more fair/more situational mitigation such as At Odds, High Ground, Automated Defense (which was rotating), Negotiate or Twin Shadows.

Of note are the old blue villain ramp card Enrage, and Endless Ranks, which was never standard alongside elite non-unique characters, but which could be a solid play if you start with an elite Imperial Death Trooper, a Kasyyyk Warrior/Rebel Pilot in an IG-11 deck, or any other red non-unique that might be coming in Unlikely Heroes.

There’s also a bit of love for mill players, with the return of Krayt Dragon Howl, Loose Ends and the rather frightening Commando Raid.

Overall, the power level has definitely come down in the event suite, and we’re seeing a fairer core set of events, combined with some fun or interesting tech cards to keep the meta varied.

Plots

Happily we’ve kept both Armored Reinforcement and Solidarity. The former will make a great pairing with Separatist Supply Ship or Armored Assault Tank, both of which we revealed in our Unlikely Heroes spoiler article.

Leaving us is Double Down, but in its place we get another negative point plot in the form of No Allegiance, and another mill card: Espionage.

No Allegiance is a bold and interesting choice. In Standard we have Jawa Junk Dealer (5), Nar Shadaa Thief (7), Merrin (11/14), Aphra (10/13), Hondo (17/21) and Greef (9/12). I would say that of the available options, Hondo/eMerrin looks the most appealing, for a 15 health Hondo and a 10 health Merrin (and a Zombie), plus villain curses in my deck. The relevance of this card is going to depend entirely on how many neutral characters come down the line from ARH.

Supports

We’ve dropped from 15 to 13 supports, with villains taking the brunt of this hit, dropping from 6 down to 3, while heroes jump up from 5 to 6. However, the loss of Resistance Crait Speeders will hurt hero, but they have gained the amazing Suppressive Fire.

Crucially we have not lost It Binds All Things, Hailfire Droid Tanks (Aphra fans will be happy, despite the fact they’ve lost 0-0-0 and BT-1) or Bubble Shields, the latter which will be a big bonus to indirect pay sides on dice. We have however lost Tech Team (which was on Echoes of Destiny last time despite still being standard, but which now drops from both the reprint list and due to the rotating out of Convergence). This definitely gives villain supports a ramping edge over hero thanks to the incoming Separatist Supply Ship.

Villain support decks also get Separatist Landing Craft, which can be pulled back from the discard pile by the Supply Ship. In an ideal world, each round you could roll it out, hit or focus to a special, spend the 2 resources for a Battle Droid, then pull it back with the Supply Ship for another roll. It costs you 3 resources each round (since the Landing Craft gets a resource discount) and requires a good roll, but in a ramp support deck this could be a ticket to a lot of extra health. Time will tell if this becomes problematic.

There’s also a few curious includes: Awakening is a fun bit of Awakenings tech, and pretty handy with that Vibrosword pay side; Hound’s Tooth is a great vehicle, though its presence raises eyebrows in a world without Bossk; Anakin’s Podracer should make mill players happy (especially given Baby Anakin is also on the list); and the Modified HWK-290 just seems bizarre, but with mechanics to remove and add tokens to cards, this could be a good include in the right deck.

Upgrades

We’re on 22, up from 20, and have kept 6 solid upgrades we had already: Crossguard Lightsaber, Grand Moff (Tarkin will be happy), Dorsal Turret, Heirloom Lightsaber, Holdout Blaster and Mandalorian Vambraces.

However, as with events, what matters is what we’ve dropped. No more Ancient or Shoto Lightsabers, no more Vader’s or Maul’s Lightsabers, plus we’ve lost Luke’s Lightning Rod, Maz’s Goggles, Rex’s Blaster, Handheld L-S1 Cannon and Force Jump.

In their place, we’ve gained solid but distinctly non-OP upgrades, such as Handcrafted Light Bow, Energy Bow, Force Wave and Rey’s Lightsaber. I’m particularly keen on the return of Lone Operative, Hunker Down and Hidden Agenda, the latter of which formed a key piece in some of my first Destiny decks. We’re also seeing the return of the aforementioned ID9 Seeker Droids to cause some havoc with Seventh Sister.

And finally we’re getting two Convergence reprints: Crime Lord, to keep Garindan/Gideon‘s dreams alive (although this one is really an Awakenings reprint); and Riot Shield, which will be very much appreciated by Bo-Katan and all the other troopers left in standard, even if Measure for Measure has rotated out.

Battlefields

We’ve kept Carbon-Freezing Chamber, Comm Tower and Emperor’s Throne Room.
We’ve lost Bendu’s Lair, Obi-Wan’s Hut, Outer Rim Outpost and Weapon’s Factory Alpha.
We’ve gained Command Centre, Rebel War Room and Rift Valley.

Overall, I think this is a good, but relatively minor change. Outer Rim Outpost was a very asymmetric battlefield for fast decks, and Weapon’s Factory Alpha was very powerful now that vehicles don’t slow you down as much as they used to thanks to piloting. In their place, Rebel War Room is a nice include for decks with pay sides (it’s a shame it doesn’t work with indirect pay sides though); Rift Valley is solid support for Talzin who remains on the reprint list along with Witch Magick and other witch goodies spoiled last night; and Comm Tower provides even more love for mill (especially given that Grand Moff remains on the reprint list).

Overall

On balance, the new list seems well thought out and pretty solid. It removes the overpowered (and action cheating) cards from the original Echoes of Destiny list, and replaces them with a mixture of core mitigation and tech, as well as some fun but fair cards from the FFG corpus.

Crucially, it will probably mean that top tier decks will no longer be dominated by reprinted cards, as they were in the Tatooine Open, but instead Echoes of Destiny will play a supporting role to ARH Standard.


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