Greetings! The admin team has finally coerced yours truly, TheGandork, into writing one of these articles. We’re in the home stretch of the Faltering Allegiances meta and we have one last balance update to bring you to keep this last month fresh and exciting. For this update, with the news that FFG seems to be moving on from Destiny completely with no rescheduled worlds and no Wild Horizons release, we feel we can take some steps to provide errata for FFG cards. Let’s get into it.
REVISITING THE WATCH LIST:
Closing In/Captured: While it hasn’t exactly dominated tournament play, it has definitely continued to be one of the biggest negative play experiences in the current meta. Particularly with some of the other changes that you’ll see documented below, we didn’t want to see this deck archetype move to the top of the pack as-is, so we decided to make a change.
Captured should read:
If this downgrade would leave play, set it aside instead.
Attached character cannot be activated.
Action – Flip this downgrade and its controller gains 1 resource. Only attached character’s controller may use this ability.”
A few things here – the Closing In side has not changed at all. It is still flipped and attached the same way. The change here only applies to how the downgrade gets removed. Previously, in order to flip the downgrade and remove it, you had to have a resource you could give to your opponent. Now you don’t lose any of your own resources and the opponent gains a resource from the supply. Essentially this means you can never have a character locked out of a round by Captured, essentially answering the big part of the negative experience.
Further we changed it so only the attached character’s controller could use the action. This change was made because we didn’t want Closing In/Captured to be used as proactive resource generation. We wanted the attached character’s controller to be able to decide when their opponent would get that extra resource.
Lastly, we didn’t want to make any change to Closing In/Captured that would make it irrelevant or ban it. It is an important contribution to the bounty hunter archetype being relative in the meta and we don’t want that archetype to fall back into tier 3+.
Force Affinity: Since the last update, mono blue decks have continued to be meta dominant, in no small part to this card. Force Affinity is unassuming, in that its strength isn’t blatantly obvious, but it essentially provides a couple things to the decks that can run it. The obvious is the extra card draw for free helps you consistently find cards that you need and lowers the variance of cards you can see each game. And the less obvious benefit is that the extra cards get you extra rerolls which means it lowers your dice variance. In a meta where the previous kings of dice fixing are now irrelevant (our buddies R2/3PO), these extra rerolls are a large boon over other decks in this meta.
There was a lot of debate over whether Force Affinity should just be banned, but we decided at this time we liked what it did provide to mono blue decks, we just needed to reign it back a bit.
Force Affinity should read:
Spot up to 2 apprentice, Sith, or Jedi characters to draw that many cards. Spot a Jedi to gain 1 resource. Spot a Sith to deal 1 damage to a character.
Limiting the draw to 2 cards should ensure we don’t get into crazy territory again with this card. “What about Taron/Vader?” you are probably asking – well, you’ll see below Taron is losing the Jedi subtype. So if you want all the goodies, Pong Krell is your man now.
Kamino Cloning Facility: Mono red has still been floating around the meta but hasn’t shown the consistency to really make us concerned. United/We Stand coming back isn’t great for mono red with cards like The Best Defense and Rout. It’s still something we need to keep an eye on, but no changes at this time.
Taron Malicos: Taron/Vader has continued to dominate the meta, probably as dominate as any deck we’ve seen in Destiny history. We thought that perhaps the meta would be able to adjust and Taron/Vader was just the first good deck found, but it turns out the deck had staying power. The deck is also particularly hard to hit being a product of a bunch of small synergies that turn into one great deck. And lastly it’s also one of those situations where maybe we’d like to see other decks come up to the Taron/Vader level, than Taron/Vader needing to be brought down. Unsurprisingly a lot of changes in this balance release are around this deck.
Balance of the Force: 12/15 Points
Errata: Subtype should read “NIGHTBROTHER” (loses Jedi)
Balance of the Force: 1/2 Points
A few things going on here. United/We Stand is going to be unbanned an points increased to 1/2 , but we did not want Taron/Vader to get access to this powerful card back, even at 1 point. So Taron Malicos has had his cost increased so that him and Vader come out to 30 points. No room for United here should help other mono decks that can run United close a bit of the gap. Taron also loses his Jedi subtype which means he no longer double dips with Force Affinity. The combination of Force Affinity and Forbidden Knowledge was one of the spots we identified where Taron/Vader could be affected without impacting other villain blue archetypes too heavily. For those that like their cards to match lore, it is also true that Taron was no longer a Jedi by the time the events in Fallen Order happened. That’s just bonus.
Unending Hate: As per the last update, this card didn’t really show many competitive issues, but it was on the watch list for the negative play experience. The instances where Unending Hate lucked into excessiveness just aren’t very fun or particularly competitive. Plus if we were going to address Force Affinity’s lack of a limit which mostly benefited blue hero decks, it made sense to also put a cap here for the blue villain decks.
Unending Hate should read:
Spot a Sith or Inquisitor to turn an opponent’s die to a side showing a blank. Then deal damage to a character equal to the number of dice in that opponent’s pool showing a blank, to a maximum of 2.
Vibrosword: Vibrosword is still the subject of scrutiny, but hasn’t really crossed the line from “best card” to “unbalanced card” that we look for when addressing balance. The meta still skews heavily towards blue decks and despite Vibrosword’s power level, it hasn’t been particularly warping.
RESTRICTED PAIRS UPDATES
Mill players rejoice! It’s apparent mill has been facing an uphill battle in the Faltering Allegiances meta, though I personally have felt it’s more competitive that some have realized. (Try eBail/Greez/Kashyyyk Warrior/Valorous Tribe). Nevertheless, mill hasn’t been threatening to win tournaments, so it no longer makes sense to keep the Resistance Ring – No Answer restricted pair. It has been removed.
BANNED LIST UPDATE
We had mentioned last update when United/We Stand was banned, that part of the reason for doing so was because we didn’t want to errata or points change FFG cards while they still technically supported the game. We didn’t want there to possibly be a last FFG worlds where a bunch of us may have been used to using cards not how FFG had them written. Now, sadly, FFG has put out some announcements from their organized play social media accounts that they no longer plan to have a final Destiny worlds.
With that roadblock out of the way, we have decided to unban United/We Stand and give it a balance of the force increase to 1/2 points. Mono decks in the Faltering Allegiance meta have been well supported/competitive, so the free addition of United to those decks just helped to further push them ahead when they were already leading. With this points increase though, we feel this gives some of the less than 30 point mono decks a flexible plot to help push them competitively, particular vs the mono blue teams that commonly already come to 30 points. United/We Stand at 1/2 also has some competition for other plots around those point costs, to where it’s not always an automatic include. This should hopefully make it less ubiquitous, although that is still a concern we’ll keep an eye on looking forward.
NEGATIVE BALANCE OF THE FORCE CHANGES
Elrik Vonreg 12/15 points
Villain got the short end of the piloting stick when Covert Missions released. Vader was good, but not really because he was a pilot and his pilot related text was rarely relevant. You had Imperial Pilots, weird no die characters nobody could figure out what to do with (ok, they are just bad). Yellow villain literally had no pilots except for Boba (and Jango) if you got their ship into play. And then you had Elrik at 13/16 – you couldn’t run him elite with Vader, his points were awkward with the (bad) Imperial pilots, he wasn’t doing anything with the Fetts. So we decided to drop him a point so he could finally get the Elrik/Vader piloting pairing and villains could jump into the piloting game properly. This should also help Elrik find other better partners now as well as into the future.
Synara San 11/13 points
Probably not a super exciting edition, but an interesting character that was just a bit too expensive to be support at 12/14, but really wants to be in that support role. Dooku brought a similar skill set already with a better die and an easier to fire off discard ability. Synara brings 10 health to the party and has the pirate and scoundrel subtypes – we think she could be an interesting support character for villain now at 11 points, in a 3 wide or mill deck. We will see.
Kes Dameron 11/14
A big -2 points here for Kes. Kes never quite got his time to shine and we think he has a lot to offer the red hero trooper archetypes, particularly if he can get a couple 8 cost red troopers with him. It was really hard to justify a 16 point character with a pay side, it was just bad value at 16. Villains have owned the red trooper arena with big Phasma and the solid Imperial Death Troopers, so hopefully this decrease will get red hero troopers into the party. We hear Naboo is nice this time of year.
Sinjir Rath Velus 10/13
Another big -2 points here. Will he get played now? Tough to say with Transformations Han also hanging out at the same point cost. There was a lot of debate around Transformations Han getting balanced up to 11/14, which would make Sinjir a lot more interesting at this cost. We decided to hold off on the Han balancing for now and put Han on the watch list.
Anakin Skywalker (Transformations): Anakin has been walking a fine line – after Taron/Vader decks, Anakin decks have probably had the second most amount of success in the Faltering Allegiances meta. He’s been partly addressed with Force Affinity being capped at 2 cards in the Anakin/Ahsoka/Youngling builds. He’s been a strong focus of Redemption testing as well. We’re content to just keep an eye on him for now as we head towards a new set release.
Han Solo (Transformations): Han feels at least a little under costed at 10/13. The effect of losing your resources when he dies hasn’t been quite as big of a drawback as I’m sure FFG initially envisioned. Even then he hasn’t quite shown dominance in the Faltering Allegiance meta, probably lending towards how difficult it is to build teams around him at 13. Point costs get a bit awkward for heroes here. We debated the +1 point increase to 11/14 very heavily, but at this point decided to leave him as is and put him on the watch list.
United/We Stand: We just unbanned it and points increased it, but there is some concern that it might become too ubiquitous again. It’s still providing a decent effect for 1 resource and it’s not like there are a lot of options for other 1 cost plots that can be so widely used. We’ll definitely keep an eye to make sure there aren’t a bunch of mono 29 point aggressive decks running United starting to dominate the meta.
Kamino Cloning Facility: With Kes Dameron’s point decrease possibly adding to an uptick in mono red decks now that heroes can join the party we’ll continue to monitor Kamino Cloning Facility. It’s still a high variance card that has answers, but it is a negative play experience vs decks that can’t easily remove it when it comes out round 1. Having a game feel like it’s decided because a free cost support was managed to be drawn and hit the table round 1 is probably not good for the game.
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