Fantasy Flight Games revealed on their live stream a week ago that they'd be dropping a new Balance of the Force TODAY! And they were true to their word.
Up up until now everyone and their mother were guessing on what the Balance of the Force might bring with it. Everyone were cheering for Snoke to get nerfed - again. Joe Colon aka HonestlySarcastc from The Hyperloops gave his bids on cards that would get sliced and diced in a recent article (beating me to it) ... and he's pretty close ... maybe asking him for some Lottery numbers might be a good idea?!
Find all the entire Balance of the Force here or make it easy on yourself and just read the rest of this article as I'll be going through all of the important parts!
We've also updated our resource pages to reflect the changes to the Holocrons and we'll be suspending The YOUR Destiny Gauntlet until we get a clearer overview of how the meta will be shaping up following these substantial changes.
2. SNOKE & SNOKE (AGAIN):
Alright - so this is not the first time FFG have reversed the Balance of The Force on a card, but it is the first time they've undone the Balance of the Force while simultaneously balancing it out. The decrease in points cost for Snoke, back to the original 11/13e, makes sense now that his Power Action has been restricted to only working on dice showing damage. I think everyone agrees that this is the right way to go about it and it's probably what should have been the proper design from the beginning. Hopefully, the design team will realize by now that resources are an incredibly POWERFUL commodity in Destiny and in particular when there are so many broken things to spend your resources on!
Making Snoke a support character primarily for aggro decks is definitely going to change how and more importantly who he's going to be viable with, and I think I'll be trying out a few different character teams with him including:
Whether or not Snoke will be able to adequately help out support decks is still to be seen, but I'd definitely still consider him a force to be reckoned with, although die hard support deck lovers will probably quickly gravitate towards Yoda as their favored support character! Love is fickle.
The reduction in points cost could also bring back an old favourite pairing of mine, eSnoke/eKylo mixed up with Torment for some smooth sailing aggro. It's mostly for funsies and the viability of the pair will obviously depend on whether or not rainbow will remain the flavour of the day ... which it probably will, but at least it will give Captain Phasma a run for her money!
If we are to see Snoke succeed in the support-based decks race, we are likely to see more inclusion of ramp cards like Logistics, Truce/Well-Connected and Delve, which in either case means Snoke will actually have to put in some serious work now. The Unholy Trinity is still very much kicking and alive, Snoke is just no longer the almighty father of it!
Countless players have been grinding their teeth in anger over Watto's money making booty. If Snoke was the root of the problem with the hyperinflation of resources in Destiny, I guess Watto was the thorny black rose that grew from it.
Destiny has since the beginning worked off the principle of "I do something, you do something", and while there's been many hiccups that has left that principle in tatters, few have been quite as abusive as the partnership of Snoke/Watto or anything really combined with Watto.
Having Watto's dice immune to the removal effects of events have proven waaaay to powerful and has made life too easy for support-based decks. Being able to remove his dice with Entangles or The Best Defense... while still being protected from blue events is not only a soft nerf, although still one that will be extremely impactful, but also quite thematically in line with his character - if you want to look at it from that angle. This is a fine subtle change - kudos to the design team for this one!
Will Watto still be a viable character? Sure! He still has 50% Resource sides on his dice and a Power Action that can make you money ... While he's been knocked down a peg from the "broken things" to the "it's good" category, he'll still be a prime choice for any deck looking to ramp early and fast. You'll just need to be more careful and your opponent actually has a fighting chance to stem the bleeding! The change to the little winged merchant might even make the choice between Wat Tambor and Watto as the preferred support character an interesting challenge!
4. NO ANSWER:
If there ever was a broken mill card designed, then it was probably No Answer. The only reason why No Answer hasn't received the same kind of sustained hate like Snoke or Watto is because quite a few players tend to hate mill in general rather than No Answer specifically. No Answer though is super nasty. And in combination with a Resistance Ring can mill 8 cards in a few swift actions.
People are still going to hate mill decks, that seems to be the general sentiment although not shared by me, but the abusive power of No Answer has been adequately curbed by adding then between the first and second clause.
No more milling three cards from deck unless you actually discard the last card from your opponent's hand. This change is not going to make mill players refrain from including No Answer in their deck, which is definitely a sign that the change was sorely needed.
5. FORCE STORM:
Many were the stories of a Force Storm Special that single handedly turned an unwinnable game into a resounding victory!
Force Storm has been Palpatine's best friend since Convergence landed and with the change to his trusty henchman Watto, one might fear that this is also the end of the power of Palpatine, who'll now have to be renamed Mr. Limited Powaaaah, which doesn't really have that nice ring to it. I doubt that it will be that bad though, but while Force Storm has been instrumental to the success of the ePalpatine/eWatto decks, I'd probably not dismiss Palpatine entirely on the basis of the change to Force Storm, but he has definitely lost one of his strongest and most broken weapons.
Having to exhaust Force Storm to put a Resource token on it has severely curbed the power of it, and it's much more difficult now to justify the 4 resource cost.
6. AAYLA'S BACK!
When Aayla got nerfed it curbed quite a few decks. And blue heroes never really recovered from it. It didn't make blue heroes unplayable, but it tore apart the contender for the best deck in the format, eRey2/eAayla, as well as the hero rainbow vehicle deck that relied on her for consistency.
Right off the bat, there are a number of character pairings that are now made possible, and although not exactly tier1 should probably be tested, and at least will add to the diversity available.
Those kind of aggro decks are probably going to be stillborn, but fitting her into the old rainbow vehicle pairing might be exactly where she'll thrive and her Special come to the best use, while the soft mitigation can come in extremely handy.
Off the top of my head, something like eAayla/eRose/Anakin seems like a good starting point with enough consistency to bring in cheap supports and access to enough great mitigation to keep your relatively soft character team alive. I've wanted to play an old school vehicle deck for a while, and now seems like the most opportune time with villain supports seemingly tied and shackled.
7. THE WINNERS ARE ...
If Snoke and Watto based support decks are the obvious losers following today's Holocron changes, then quite a few tier 1 decks (or at least tier 1.5) are unaffected by this and all of them stand to gain from the downfall of the Supreme Leader. If I were to pick six decks that I feel will experience an immediate power surgence (in part due to their current popularity), until the meta reshapes and settles, it would probably be:
None of the above mentioned decks have suffered anything from the current Holocron change and all of them already felt pretty strong! If I were to go to a competitive event today, I'd probably pick one of these six decks.
I'm also fairly certain that we'll see players dare to dabble more with FAT Vehicle decks unless the gravitation towards mill decks continue. It did feel like though that many players opted for mill decks primarily to combat the threat of support based decks.
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