Learning Destiny is a series of tutorial videos and blogs designed to teach the Star Wars: Destiny Collectible Card and Dice Game. This guide is updated continuously to provide the most current information.
Now that you know what Destiny is and how to play, where do you go next? One of our favorite aspects of any customizable game is that you get to build your own deck. In this chapter, and in the video below, we cover basic guidelines for building Star Wars: Destiny decks that should help you get to the table and start playing!
Building Your Team
In Star Wars: Destiny you get 30 points to spend on characters however you want. There are countless combinations of characters, from Kylo Ren and Darth Maul to Rey and Obi-Wan Kenobi!
On the bottom left of Rey (above), you can see the numbers 11/15. These are the point costs for bringing one and two of her dice to the game, respectively. Bringing a single die is referred to as a ‘regular’ version of the character, while bringing two dice is referred to as ‘elite’. Though your team must be made up entirely of heroes or villains (and neutral characters, like a Jawa), you can include characters on the same team from across the entire saga. You also cannot have two of the same character on a team, like Darth Vader, even if they are different versions of the character.
When you are choosing your characters, there are a few rules of thumb that you can follow to make sure you have a solid team. The first is to make sure you are bringing four dice. While this is most commonly seen by bringing two elite versions of characters, like Poe and Rey above, it very well could end up meaning you include three or more characters!
The second rule of thumb is to have at least two colors among your starting characters. You will notice in the images above that Rey (blue) and Poe (red) have different color backgrounds. This has no impact on the composition of your team, but it will affect your options when building your deck. In order to include cards of a specific color, you must have a character on your starting team that matches that color. Having at least two colors among your starting characters gives you a lot more options to choose from when you are building your Destiny decks!
Upgrade Your Team
Once you have your characters, it is time to start building! When building a deck, you can include up to two copies of any card with a few exceptions. You can only use hero or villain cards, depending on whether your characters are heroes or villains. You can also only include cards that match the colors of your starting characters and neutral cards (grey).
The first thing to consider when building an initial deck are upgrades! Upgrades are played on a character, literally upgrading the character. Most upgrades add a die that the character gets to use for the rest of the game. When a character activates, you get to roll any upgrade dice that are on that character along with your character dice into your dice pool.
There are a handful of guidelines to follow when deciding what upgrades to include in your deck. For starters, you will want 10 to 12 upgrades that add dice in your deck. It is important to note that you only get two resources per turn, so most of your upgrades should cost two resources or less. You will also want most of your upgrades to have sides that match those on your starting characters, particularly the damage sides.
In most games of Destiny, at least one of your characters will be defeated. When a character is defeated, any upgrades on that character are discarded. This makes the redeploy keyword particularly important. When possible, you want to include at least two or three upgrades that have the redeploy keyword. If one of your characters with an upgrade is heavily damaged or about to be defeated, you can use the overwrite rule to switch one of their upgrades with one that has redeploy. This will make sure you do not lose resources invested in your upgrades!
Control Your Destiny
Once you have your upgrades set aside, the next step is adding control cards. Control refers to cards that manipulate dice, including yours and your opponent’s. Being able to change your dice to sides that you want and your opponent’s to sides that they do not want is an important element to being successful in Destiny. While most control cards are events, there are cards of all the various card types that offer control.
It is recommended that you include at least 8 and as many as 12 control cards in your deck. This will ensure that you consistently have dice manipulation and are not subject to pure, random chance. You will want most of these cards to cost 0 or 1 resource. Being able to play an upgrade on a character and still manipulate dice is very powerful. Control cards that cost more than 1 are generally stronger, so it is still recommended that you include them. A good starting point is including two to four of the higher cost control cards.
Gain The High Ground
Next, it is time to choose where the action will happen! Each player brings a battlefield to the game, but only one is used. After both players mulligan, you and your opponent will each roll all of your character dice. Whoever rolls higher gets to choose whether the game will take place on their battlefield or the opponent’s. If your battlefield is chosen, you will go first and your opponent will get two shields. If their battlefield is chosen, you will go second and get two shields.
The the first thing to consider is how the battlefield fits into the theme of your deck. If the Rey we showed earlier has a shield, she gets to do a damage to a character when she activates. Obi-Wan’s Hut works well with her ability since it can give a blue character a shield.
If you win the initial roll off, you will get to decide which battlefield is better suited for the fight. If you lose the roll off and your opponent chooses your battlefield, that means that they get 2 free shields and are likely to also benefit from your battlefield. The advantage of going first is not typically a major boon for most decks, so a simple test of the strength of your battlefield is: “how often is your opponent willing to choose it?” If possible, you want to force them to pick their own battlefield so that you get the two free shields!
Finish What You Started
The final thing to consider is how to fill in the remaining spots in your deck. While it is almost never wrong to include more upgrades or control cards, there are some other interesting options to consider.
There are cards that do not fit into the category of upgrade or control cards, but that do work well with the rest of your deck. Cards in this category have synergy with your deck. A good example of synergy can be seen with the event ‘As I Have Foreseen’. In general, this event is not one of the better cards in Destiny. When paired with Kylo Ren though, the value of the card is significantly higher. Along with upgrades, control, and cards with synergy, another recommendation is to use these extra spots to include cards that you find interesting or fun!
As a recap, here are the steps to follow when it comes to building your first few decks of Destiny:
– Build a character team that includes at least two colors and four dice
– Choose 10 to 12 upgrade cards with dice to add to your deck
– Choose 8 to 12 control cards
– Choose a battlefield that will benefit you and that your opponent will be unlikely to choose
– Fill in the rest of your deck with upgrades, control cards, or cards that you really like
In the next chapter, Building and Piloting Top Tier Decks, we cover more advanced concepts for building decks in Star Wars: Destiny! If you’re not ready for an extensive look at building decks, we recommend skipping ahead to Everything You Need To Know About Drafting!
- Chapter 1
A Comprehensive Guide for New Destiny Players
- Chapter 2
How to Play Star Wars: Destiny
- Chapter 3
The Star Wars: Destiny Buyers Guide
- Chapter 4
How To Build Your First Destiny Deck
- Chapter 5
Building and Piloting Top Tier Destiny Decks
- Chapter 6
Everything You Need To Know About Drafting
- Chapter 7
Additional Resources for Destiny Players