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Logan Prather

Curving Out: Resource Curves in Star Wars Destiny

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In many competitive card games, one of the biggest obstacles in deck design is the concept of resource constraints. Hey, not every card in your deck can be ‘Mind Probe’ and ‘One with the Force’, right? Regardless of the deck, regardless of how much resource generation you plan to incorporate in your deck, at some point or another you will end up bottlenecked by a lack of resources. In the next [REDACTED] words, we’re going to take a look at the concept of a resource curve and how it benefits us in deck construction.

Historically speaking, the term “curving out” originated in Magic the Gathering around 1994, when players John Schneider and Paul Sligh developed a deck that did not rely on power, but rather efficiently using their resources in the early turns to press an advantage, forcing the opponent on the back foot. [Hey what gives? I thought this was a Destiny article? It is, bear with me for a second.] This may be the point of origin for this concept, but its general praxis applies to all resource based games to some degree.

So, let’s talk about the concept of resource management in Star Wars Destiny. Now, resource acquisition of course is dynamic in the game, where you are guaranteed two resources at the beginning of every round, but your die rolls can also generate resources. Assuming you’re running a standard team with 2-3 characters with four dice, the maximum number of resources you can plan for is 2-6, but only two of those are reliable. Again, this is an observation in a vacuum disregarding variance and manipulation via game based effects.

This information can take you in 2 different directions; you can either design your deck to generate resources in order to deal with the expense of your abilities, or you can design your deck to deal with the resource constraints native to the game. Let’s take a look at the argument of power versus price.

Let’s look at the Stele Open winning deck, eHan/eRey:

Han Solo - Scoundrel (x2)
Rey - Force Prodigy (x2) 


Supports:
2x Awakening    
2x Infamous

Upgrades:
2x DL-44 Heavy Blaster Pistol
2x Holdout Blaster
2x Hunker Down
2x Jetpack
2x One with the Force
2x Rey’s Staff

Events:
2x Heroism
1x Reversal
2x Riposte
1x Second Chance
1x Scavenge
2x Unpredictable
2x Electroshock
2x Draw Attention
1x Deflect

This list looks a little different than a lot of popular builds. Upon a quick review, we see that this deck contains 11 zero-cost cards, 7 one-cost cards, 6 two-cost cards, 4 three-cost cards, and 2 four-cost cards. This gives us, on average, a standard cost of 1.3 resources per card. Ideally, you want to have your average cost of cards in deck to be below that magic number of two resources to ensure that you can reliably play these cards. This deck, of course, is focused on a slower game with its mitigation and shield generation, so it would fall into the midrange category. Now, what would an aggro deck look like based on this information?

Looking back at Stele Open, we have a Veers/Bala/Nightsisters deck in the top 4 that has an average resource cost of .86 resources per card! Let’s take a look at that deck:
 

General Veers - Field Commander
Bala-Tik - Gang Leader
Nightsister

Supports:
2 Backup Muscle

Upgrades:
2 DH-17 Blaster Pistol
2 Holdout Blaster
2 F-11D Rifle
2 Jetpack
2 Hunker Down
2 Promotion

Events:
2 Deflect
1 Cannon Fodder
2 Feel Your Anger
2 Flank
2 He Doesn’t Like You
2 Intimidate
2 Probe
2 Tactical Master
1 Unpredictable

With the release of Spirit of the Rebellion, the ability to trim down resource costs has become even easier, with the advent of cards such as ‘Force Speed’, ‘Destiny’, ‘Caution’, ‘Suppression’, and many other powerful zero-cost effects. In my next piece, I will go over updating a preexisting archetype in such a way as to take full advantage of the new options to curve out.The odds of you ever being bottle-necked with this deck are considerably lower meaning that “curving out” will be easy, and even leaves you room for mitigation via events. Given the layout of the tournament, this deck is able to handle a lot of traditional decks by just being able to do more things per turn than the opponent. Having tested both archetypes, this deck feels like it has more action economy than Han/Rey at times, given that they are usually left passing at the end of a round for fear of an unrelenting onslaught if they claim. Additionally, the highest cost in the deck is 2 resources across a total of 6 cards, meaning that you will typically have lots of additional resources, granting you more leeway with the types of effect dice you run as you can more consistently afford to pay the resource cost of the die if it should happen to possess one.

 

Thanks for reading!


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