Written by FILIPPO BOSI
This week (Thursday, March 28) Convergence will be released worldwide, so what better time to delve into some demo-theory and beginner lists to support your community and intrigue some new players?
The first thing most new players will buy will be STARTER DECKS. And that's exactly the starting point for our "5 Decks you can build only using starters!". With the new set and rotation effective, we'll take into consideration only the following products:
- TWO-PLAYER Starter Set
- OBI-WAN Starter Deck
- GENERAL GRIEVOUS Starter Deck
- RIVALS Draft Set
To give you an example, in the early Awakenings days I started with a Rey/Finn deck and as soon as I could, I switched to Rey/Qui-Gon Jinn when I found enough dice, keeping the core of the deck cards the same, and switching the yellow cards for more control/shield generating cards.
For these lists you'll need 2 copies of the mentioned products, but I'm sure you'll be able to snatch a good deal with your Local Game Store!
Each of the 5 lists will be presented with its core features and peculiarities, along with a brief play style suggestion. We won't delve too much in single cards, as it is my firm belief that part of the learning process is the "trial and error". Will you win every time? No. Will you have a solid showing after some reps with your deck against your friends? Yes!
1. TWO-PLAYER STARTER SET: HEROES
This hero deck falls in the "middle/middle" category, with both characters being able to close the game when the other is defeated. In general, Rey2 and Poe2 are better than how the crowd evaluates them at the moment. Rey's main strength is her ability, although accompanied by a so-so die. She'll need some dice manipulation to perform well!
In comparison Poe Dameron has a better all-purpose die and he goes really well with his signature blaster. Target priority will be the main issue for your opponents, so you could alternatively play upgrades on either Rey or Poe to keep the heat "on both". Rey's ability can dish out 4-5 damage throughout a game (mind you that we are looking at "Starter decks"), and Poe's special chaining is massive when you have more dice on the table than your opponent. Just remember that shields are key: they trigger Rey's ability and protects you at the same time. Do not underestimate the value of Shield sides!
2. TWO-PLAYER STARTER SET: VILLAIN
First things first: More experienced players will tell you that "Captain Phasma has been errata'ed" (commonly referred to as "Balance of the Force") in the "Holocron", and she is now 10/14p. Well, this kinda wrecks the plan of playing only with the Two-Player Starter Set... but it's easily solvable. All you need is the following card: Bitter Rivalry.
With this, you'll be able to run this deck. The plot itself will make things a little bit more complicated, as 2 unblockable damage straightaway can be pretty annoying.
Anyways, considering the purpose of this deck is LEARNING, it's still acceptable.
The general idea behind eKylo/ePhasma is controlling the game, learning how to use the small synergies in this deck - mind my words: in the deck not between the characters like in the two-player Starter Set hero counterpart! You need to profit as much as possible off their abilities.
Using As I Have Foreseen as your first/second action can put you ahead with at least 2 damage (due to Kylo Ren's ability), compensating a little for the damage you've taken because of Bitter Rivalry. When playing, remember that Kylo Ren has a big ol' target on his forehead, as nobody would like him to be alive in endgame, when his power has already dished 8+ damage just activating.. and not counting his massive die! Rainbow decks, i.e. decks comprised of all colours, are not his cup of tea, but if you wait until the opponent's hand thins out, his power can be used with much more efficiency.
And remember that Captain Phasma is not all about her Special! Her health is a bit low, so she's pretty squishy but her die is solid and her signature weapon is - although pricey - a fine addition to the board. Wanna learn a nasty trick? Don't necessarily go for the kill at the end of a round if all your opponent's dice have been used: Claim the battlefield instead! Then start first the subsequent round activating Kylo and effectively cancelling 2+ dice from the opponent's pool (by defeating the character).
3. OBI-WAN KENOBI STARTER SET DECK:
A deck made with 2 OBI-WAN STARTER SETS shares some features with both the Two-Player Starter Set Hero and Villain decks. It has the subtle synergies of ePoe/eRey - also sporting the new "tribal" mechanisms that rely on character traits and a clear heavy hitter, meant to pull the game mostly by himself with the support of the other characters (commonly referred to as Big/Little builds). Exactly like Kylo, Obi-Wan is the heavy lifter here and will be the primary target of your opponent. Not much has changed from the times of eObi2/Maz, huh?
The upgrades you'll find in the Starter Set will not be as good as some of the upgrades found in various expansion sets, but are reliable and have good synergies with your other dice/abilities. Toss in a few handy supports and you're gonna be ok for your first matches!
All the events are geared towards exploiting Obi's beefed-up dice, therefore you want to keep him alive as long as possible. Certain cards such as A Friend Lost and Channel the Force - despite the latter being pretty expensive when you can't spot both characters - will provide you enough dice manipulation to deal with your opponent in endgame.
4. GENERAL GRIEVOUS STARTER SET DECK:
With 2 GENERAL GRIEVOUS STARTERS you can deviate from the "Middle/Middle" and "Big/Little" type of decks we've seen so far and jump on the "swarm" bandwagon. Having General Grevious non-elite (with 1 die) sitting at 9 points naturally calls for 21 points of Commando Droids: They in fact become 7 points each thanks to General Grievous' discount ability! Loads of health and 4 dice, with built-in re-rolls and additional activations. If eObi/eSatine is the more traditional deck, General Grievous is a fantastic and entertaining Starter Deck.
The Grievance Striker, E-Blaster Carbine, Tech Team and STAP Droid will be your to-go early round drops. The Assassin Droids are far more efficient than the STAP, but be weary of not chocking yourself due to the lack of resources! The events suite is a bit lackluster, but you'll find great benefit in the reprinted The Best Defense.. and Automated Defense!
5. RIVALS DRAFT KIT + TWO-PLAYER SET:
The eKylo2/eAnakin deck is the character team that Edwin Chen's World Championship 2018 winning deck was built around. Obviously, this deck is massively different as it doesn't utilize any cards outside of the cardpool offered by the Two-Player Starter Set and Rivals Draft Set. It is still a strong deck though and can easily push through damage.
Both your characters have paysides on their dice, so taking Resources early might help you out. Be aware of not dropping too many cards from your hand to enable Anakin's Special. You'll be discarding a lot of cards to reroll with this deck, and this is probably one of your strongest learning objectives ... start calculating odds of hitting dice sides that are worth resolving!
Anyways, the 5 lists we're suggesting are as always guidelines! Feel free to tweak them as needed and tailor them to your specific audience. Always remember to feed your fellow players' interest in Destiny, not simply the desire to just buy stuff.
That's all for today. I hope these "5 Starter Lists" will be useful, whether you are new to the game or a community builder looking for inspiration on how to lure people into the game, and feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Facebook to let me know what you would like us to address next on Community Building.
If you aim to re-ignite the passion for Destiny in your local community remember to check out our many resources for community building! We hope you can use them as an expanded checklist to grow and maintain your gaming group!
Keep on rollin' those dice HOT!