Learning Destiny is a series of tutorial videos and blogs designed to teach the Star Wars: Destiny Collectible Card and Dice Game. If you are new to the Learning Destiny series, we recommend that you start with Chapter 1: A Comprehensive Guide For New Destiny Players.
This guide is updated continuously to provide the most current information.
Over the course of the first few years of playing Star Wars: Destiny, we have had the opportunity to talk with quite a few players as they are getting into Star Wars: Destiny. Most end up asking a similar question… what do I buy to start playing Star Wars: Destiny? If you are currently asking that question, you are in the right place!
First, get the Two-Player Game
If you have not already, check out the beginning of this series to learn how to play the game!
Now, assuming it looks appealing (as it should) and you want to try it out for yourself, the best option is the Two-Player Game. It features iconic characters from Force Awakens (Rey, Poe Dameron, Kylo Ren, and Captain Phasma), two pre-built decks that are ideal for teaching the basic mechanics, cardboard tokens, and, of course, the rules. You simply open the box, grab a friend, family member, or stranger, and start playing.
One thing to note about the Two-Player Game is that it contains 23-card “starter decks”, which means they are not legal for tournament play (where the minimum is 30-card decks). Starting with the decks in the Two-Player Game and then improving them with additional cards is a totally viable option, though, so even if you have your eyes set on tournament play it is not a wasted purchase.
It is also worth noting that the Two-Player Game only comes with non-elite versions of their characters (one die each for Rey, Poe, Kylo, and Captain Phasma), so we recommend buying two copies. The deck-building options get way better!
While the Two-Player Game is the easiest place to start, some of us are more drawn to different characters or time periods. Luckily, Destiny is a customizable game, which means that you have a variety of options when choosing which characters you want to play and which cards you want to put in your deck!
For an original trilogy experience, you can opt to jump in with the Luke Skywalker and Boba Fett starter decks instead. If you buy one of each, you essentially have the same setup as the Two-Player Game, just with different characters and cards.
You can, of course, buy one Two-Player Game, and then later buy one Luke Skywalker Starter, and one Boba Fett Starter (or vice versa). That is when the fun really begins! You can mix and match the characters and cards between all of the starters and create a perfectly unique deck. Luke fighting alongside Rey? Boba Fett and Captain Phasma? Welcome to Destiny.
Going beyond the starter products
Before moving past the starters, it is important to understand what makes Destiny a collectible game. Not every Destiny card is as common as the next, a concept known as rarity. The rarity of a card indicates how likely it is to appear in a booster pack. These rarities are indicated on the bottom right of a card and include, from most common to least common: common (blue), uncommon (yellow), rare (green), and legendary (purple).
The exception here are starter cards (gray), which only appear in starter products and are never random (every Boba Fett Starter is identical, every Two-Player Game is identical, etc).
Now, if you have never played a collectible game, this next part part might get a little confusing. Stick with us, we got you.
Every card in Destiny belongs to a specific set. You can see it on the bottom right of the card. On Palpatine, for instance, the bottom right of the card tells us that it belongs to the set represented by a Death Star icon (in this case, Spirit of Rebellion), that it is #11 in that set, and that it is legendary (purple).
Similarly, if you look at Han Solo, the bottom right of the card tells us that it belongs to the set represented by an X-Wing icon (in this case, Legacies), that it is number 46 in the set, and that it is starter-only (gray).
So every card in the game has a rarity and belongs to a certain set. Take a look at the logos for the first four sets released for Destiny – Awakenings , Spirit of Rebellion, Empire at War, and Legacies. Makes sense, right?
Booster packs and booster boxes
Now, how to acquire those non-Starter cards! Each set has what are called booster packs that contain cards exclusively from that set. For example, there are Awakenings booster packs, Spirit of Rebellion booster packs, Empire at War booster packs, and so on. Each booster pack contains five cards and a die, with 1 random rare or legendary (with a matching die), 1 random uncommon, and 3 random commons from its corresponding set.
These booster packs are packaged into booster boxes, also known as booster displays or gravity feeds. Each booster box contains 36 booster packs and is almost entirely guaranteed to contain 6 booster packs with a legendary card inside.
The booster box is the primary means for distributing the game. Stores buy booster boxes, and then either open them up and sell individual packs or sell the boxes directly. Most tend toward the latter, and it is worth knowing why this is the case.
Assume that we, Covenant, open a booster box and sell ten packs to a Destiny player, who then sits down, opens them, and pulls six legendaries. At that point, future packs from that booster box are almost entirely guaranteed to not contain a legendary card, and so the odds are no longer as expected for the next person who unknowingly buys a pack from that box. Because of this, we strongly recommend that you stay away from individual pack sales, especially online. There have been reports of stores opening packs until they pull six legendaries, and then selling the rest.
So, finally, to answer the question, if you want to move beyond Starter cards and dive into the robust, customizable world of Star Wars: Destiny (which you absolutely should), the next step is generally to buy one booster box from the most current set. The current set will be legal for the longest amount of time, (generally) most readily available, and most desired by other players – so trading and/or selling is easier.
But wait – what if there was a way to “buy a booster box” in a much more efficient and cost-effective way? What if you could make a game of it and create new friends at the same time?
Draft is the key
The Draft format of Star Wars: Destiny is undoubtedly our suggested path forward once you decide to go further with the game. You buy a single Draft Starter (which you will use over and over again) and then play in Draft events, collecting cards along the way.
Playing in a Draft is similar to other types of “drafts”, like fantasy football. There is a big pool of cards shared among a group of players, and those players take turns picking one card for their deck until there are no cards left.
In practice, every player opens three booster packs and places the stack of fifteen cards in front of them (five from each pack). Each player chooses one card from the stack and then passes the rest of the cards to the player on their left. Each player now chooses one of the fourteen remaining cards in the stack that was just passed to them, and then passes the remaining thirteen to the left. This continues until all fifteen cards are drafted – take a card, pass, take a card, pass, take a card, pass – then the same things happens again, but this time you pass cards to the right.
After all of the packs have been drafted, you construct a deck using all of the cards you chose combined with the contents of your Draft Starter, and then play a little mini tournament. The winner often gets additional booster packs, making Draft an even better deal!
So not only do you get to open packs in a fun way, meet other people, and play an incredibly enjoyable, fundamental version of Star Wars: Destiny, but you also get to actively select the cards that are most needed for your collection. It is the ideal way to move past the Starters.
Filling in the gaps – trading and singles
Finally, when there are only a few cards in the current set that you need, trading with other players or buying singles is usually the best way to go. Instead of continuing to roll the dice, hoping for that one Legendary that you are missing, just get the exact card(s) and be done with it. Trading is a common part of collectible games, so no one will look at you funny if you walk up and say “I need card X. Do you have it? I have plenty to trade.” In fact, it is often the beginning of entire friendships!
If you do not have other players to trade with or are simply not interested in that aspect of collectible games, many sites, like ours, sell singles. You simply buy the exact cards that you want.
The Chance Cube is a Star Wars: Destiny site that compiles an incredibly handy resource known as the Price Watch. It shows the price of a given card on all of the major singles websites, so you can shop around and get the best deal on the cards that you need.
Avoid falling behind
Once you have some cards from the most recent set, hopefully by drafting with a local community or hosting your own, your next consideration is getting on top of the next set. While you might be tempted to start collecting older cards, it is very much in your benefit to be a part of the early frenzy that is a new set release. As soon as a new set drops, everyone is buying, selling, and trading those cards, so it is the best time to acquire what you need.
When locking down the upcoming set, there are a few options, and many combinations among them.
- Pre-order booster boxes
- Start a Booster Box Subscription
- Pre-order a Saga Set
Pre-order booster boxes – This is the standard, tried and true way of making sure you have the cards you need from the upcoming set.
Dedicated players will usually buy five or six booster boxes and hope to get the cards needed to end up with two of every legendary after trading/selling/buying what they are missing (there are 17 legendaries in a set, and six boxes yields 36 legendary cards). Distribution of course is random, and all too often this strategy leads to 8 of one Legendary and not a single copy of others. This is why trading is important for the all-in booster box approach.
Other players settle on three booster boxes as the magic number, since it gets them 18 legendary cards – enough to have a shot at getting one of every legendary in the set after trading duplicates and other rares. This strategy is usually supplemented by a Saga Set, singles, or the occasional draft.
And of course, a lot of players enjoy pre-ordering a single booster box to open on release, and then supplement it with future booster box purchases, a Saga Set, or extensive drafting over time.
Start a Booster Box Subscription – Recognizing the inconvenience of pre-ordering every set and keeping up with release dates, we added a Star Wars: Destiny Booster Box Subscription to our Covenant Subscriptions service. Having a subscription is like automatically pre-ordering booster boxes for every new set, except you are not charged until a few weeks before the set releases, and they arrive very close to release day (we aim for delivery ON release day) instead of 4+ days later.
Not only does a subscription save you a lot of time and guarantee you get the new set as soon as it is released, boxes through the subscription are also priced as low as is allowed (a concept known as “minimum advertised price”) and shipping is free when you subscribe to two or more. This means you will pay $86.12 for your boxes instead of the MSRP of $107.64, and with at least two boxes in your subscription, it all ships completely free.
Pre-order a Saga Set (or two!) – Saga Sets offer another unique and easy way to keep up with the game. Every Saga Set contains 1x every Legendary card in the set, and 2x every Rare, Uncommon, and Common card. Instead of dealing with the collectible, booster pack aspect of the game, you can skip it entirely and just buy a complete set outright. This makes Destiny function more like an expandable board game or Living Card Game – when the new expansion comes out, you buy it and that is the end of it!
Saga Set buyers love that they do not have to chase down cards and buy a bunch of random packs in order to find the one thing that they are missing. A lot of players are also not interested in trading as actively as is necessary to complete their collections, and so opt for the convenience of the Saga Set instead.
Remember that every character can be run as an elite, which means you need two copies of the card/die to do so. A Saga Set has one copy of every Legendary, so some players buy two Saga Sets to completely cover their bases. More commonly, those additional Legendaries are picked up by trading off cards from the Saga Set that are unwanted (if you are playing Hero and do not need the Villain cards, for instance) or opening a booster box locally and, of course, drafting!
Draft – Draft is still incredible for all of the reasons we mentioned above. Look for release day draft events or order some boxes and invite a few friends over to have your own!
Where to buy: Booster boxes are a pretty standard “buy from distribution, ship to customer” item, so there is plenty of competition out there among retailers. You need to know that the lowest price that can legally be charged for a booster box (according to ANA’s minimum price policy) is $86.12.
We suggest that you start by calling, emailing, or visiting any local stores that support Star Wars: Destiny. Because shipping is not a factor (though be aware of local taxes), local boxes are sometimes cheaper than buying online. Find out what prices, timelines, and availability look like locally, and then keep that information handy.
Next, you can check the deep discount online warehouses. Their strategy is to price goods as cheaply as possible and sell a lot of them (think Wal-Mart). Whereas your local store might buy a game for $10 and sell it for $20 (making a profit of $10), the volume players are going to buy a game for $10 and sell it for $12 (making a profit of $2), but they might get 20x the sales of your local store.
It is all about scale with those kinds of margins, and moving that much product often allows them to get a better deal from distribution. They typically cut corners wherever possible, rely on perpetual entry-level wages, and utilize cheap (and usually very slow) shipping options to price other retailers out of the market. This category includes Amazon, Coolstuffinc, Miniature Market, etc.
Finally, you have retailers like us. We have both a physical and online presence, and focus on quality, service, and customer experience. This means that we are always trying to solve real problems for players of these games, and that leads to content like this Learning Series and unique product offerings like Subscriptions and Saga Sets.
The landscape generally plays out in the following way:
- Local store: $90 – $107 box (lower or higher depending on the store)
- Deep discount online: $86.12 – $99 box
- Covenant: $86.12 box via subscription, $299 Saga Set
Now that you have all of the information, you can make an informed decision.
Essentially, it comes down to whether or not your local store is adding enough value (quality, convenience, community, support, content, etc) to justify the higher cost.
If a retailer is more expensive but they are running events and having a positive impact on the game, it is often worth the extra cost to financially support those activities.
If you do not want to wait 4+ days for your boxes to arrive via budget shipping and would rather have them available closer to release day, buying from your local store or starting a Covenant Booster Box Subscription is probably worth the slightly higher price.
If you do not want to put money down on a pre-order ahead of time and would rather pay for your boxes right before release but still guarantee their availability months in advance, and still pay the lowest price possible, there is nothing better than a Covenant Booster Box Subscription.
If you just want the cards in a convenient way without bothering with the randomness, a Saga Set is definitely the best option. If you math it out, the value is insanely good, too. (If you would like to be notified when the next round of Saga Sets goes up for pre-order, join our email list! – they typically sell out quickly, so getting the email notification is important)
As long as you get the cards and start playing, there is no wrong answer.
Catching up on old sets
Once you feel satisfied with the cards you have from the current set (by drafting, trading, and buying packs and/or singles) and are setup to get a jump start on the next set (by pre-ordering boxes, starting a Booster Box Subscription, or pre-ordering a Saga Set), you can always catch up on previous sets. The best way to do so is entirely dependent on what is out there and your needs.
If you just need a few characters or key cards from previous sets, singles are the way to go.
If you want to build a full collection, look for discounted booster boxes or even full collections on eBay or the Star Wars: Destiny marketplace on Facebook.
And if you have a local community, players are often very willing to trade a lot of old cards in order to get a card or two from the newest set, so this is a good option if you have extras.
No matter the method, be aware that older sets do rotate out of standard play. The video at the top of this page describes this in great detail, but put simply, the older the set, the more likely it has already rotated out – and if it has not, it will soon. You can learn more about rotation on Fantasy Flight’s website to make sure that you do not unknowingly buy cards that you cannot use.
It Is Your Destiny!
Understanding how to buy a collectible game is often just as confusing as the game itself. We hope that this guide helped clarify what to buy and where to start looking for Star Wars: Destiny products. This is likely the hardest part of the entire series, so, well, you made it!
Next, we will show you how best to utilize those new cards that you pick up by moving beyond the Starter decks.
If you would like to stay updated about all of the latest for Star Wars: Destiny, including the moment Saga Sets go up for pre-order, sign up for our Star Wars: Destiny e-mail list. We send hand-crafted updates about our Destiny offerings and any significant changes to the landscape.
If you have any questions, please comment below and we will be happy to help.