Bringing Balance – Update #1

Banned List Update

Fateful Companions Added

If you’ve been playing Destiny any time over the last year and a half, you’ve run into and been ran over by this card at some point. We don’t anticipate any outcry for banning it, but this was not a reflexive decision either. The Transformations meta is one we would consider to be healthy (if a bit stale).

To get to why we made this decision, we need to talk a bit about randomness. In Destiny, the dice are the most obvious point of randomness. Things like events and many supports aren’t random per se, but they are often conditional with conditions which may never trigger, and even still you have to draw them from a randomized deck. The only things in the game which aren’t inherently random in some fashion are whatever your characters do aside from their dice, and your plot. Even with battlefields, there is always a question of which battlefield you are starting with. A Tier 1 deck on their battlefield of choice is much less likely to dominate the meta if they turn into a Tier 3 deck on a different battlefield.

We see randomness as an integral part of the game. Randomness and the steps players take to reduce the randomness when building decks or playing matches is something which should be relied upon to a certain extent to keep matches interesting.

That being said, some of the most powerful and fun things in the game are things which are not random at all. The “After You Activate” triggers on many characters are the entire reason some of those characters are competitive, and guaranteed effects that you are promised to start every game with in Round 1 can be powerful, interesting, and fun. Even when sitting across from them as an opponent, they present something of an intriguing puzzle to work out. We intend to continue to include those kinds of effects on characters moving forward.

When creating characters with those abilities, they are one of the many things which factor into a decision on character costs, and getting that cost right means the difference between a well designed character (no matter how niche) and a disastrously good/bad character. If hypothetically, Anakin Skywalker’s (TFM #1) ability added four points to his character cost, then adding Fateful Companions to your deck ends up giving you an extra two character points to work with in terms of team balance even if it does end up costing a resource every round to use them.

The “true cost” in points of all these abilities is up for debate, and it is a really fun debate to have. The fact of the matter is though, is that Fateful Companions existing significantly decreases the viable design space for the Hero faction. We would be unable to reliably create and support after-activate triggers on characters worth more than two points without costing those characters as if they had two instances of that ability already, or over-costing most or all other low-value support characters in an attempt to discourage the use of Fateful Companions. The downstream effects of this would tend to push new Hero characters in a direction where if they can’t be used with Fateful Companions or on a team with Fateful Companions, their use-cases drop significantly.

In concrete terms, we came to the decision to ban this card because even if all previous instances of its use were balanced somehow or if the meta adjusted appropriately, the release of Faltering Allegiances would break it again. Rather than try to errata the card and risk confusion between formats, or make the restricted list even more convoluted, banning solves all of the problems presented with minimal downsides.

Restricted List Update

Ewok Warrior (SOH #95) Removed

Arena Of Death (WTF #156) is not in the ARH Standard format, therefore there is no reason to have Ewok Warrior restricted.

Order 66 (SOH #15) Removed

Rebel Traitor (LEG #22) is not in the ARH Standard format, therefore there is no reason to have Order 66 restricted.

Things we are keeping a close eye on at this time

Is it cheating if we just list “everything” here? A new set release is always exciting for all the new possibilities it brings and no amount of internal playtesting will ever match up to the creativity and ability of the SWD community to break card designer’s dreams in half. So yeah, we’ve got our ear to the ground and our eyes on the horizon looking for any indications of where we might have made a mistake.

We do have a few cards in particular in Faltering Allegiances we are looking at though.

Extort Cooperation (FA #25)

The bar to trigger this effect is high, but if a way can be found to do so easily and reliably, then it will need a fix ASAP. We don’t want it to never work, but we also don’t want Rey (SOH #57) switching teams in Round 2. She’s better than that.

Rebel Schemes (FA #44)

Hero Detect decks are powerful, but we feel one of their limiting factors is their inability to generate as many resources as other archetypes. If a version of a Jyn deck comes about where they can over-reach on resources, this cards effect may be too powerful at a cost of one.

The Inquisitorius (FA #9), Intelligence Operation (FA #62), and Extremist Campaign (FA #83)

When attracting new players to the game, or bringing lapsed players back into the game after they have been gone for an unknown amount of time, it is beneficial to do some hand-holding at first by pointing them towards functional decks to start with. These three plots directly serve that purpose, while also offering a foundation for multiple deeper and more interesting deck construction options in eternal formats and future metas.

They are also quite powerful in combination with the characters offered within ARH Standard. We want these plots to be played and enjoyed. Should the need arise to reduce the power level of any of the concepts they support (Detect, Mono-Yellow, or Mono-Blue Villain), the plots themselves will probably be the lever we pull on in some way to bring the decks back in line.

This would be our preferred approach rather than altering the characters which resonate with people or the other cards in their decks which would have downstream effects on decks which aren’t a problem.

Sith Warblade (FA #12)

As the card that is most pushed in terms of power level in the set, we are very concerned that it might dominate the meta. It isn’t very often you’ll see a card compared directly to Vader’s Fist in terms of damage output and we don’t really want people building decks entirely around how swiftly they can get Sith Warblade on the table. (Please get the joke?)*

*Editors note: The joke is that many have said Sith Warblade is rather weak, so it’s not actually on our watch list. There’s a reason Zion is a set lead and not a standup comedian.

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