Is Palpatine Playable After Rotation?

This Friday at 6pm CST, I will be playing in the Covenant Masters Finale Trilogy event (and we will be streaming it on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch)! With the release of Convergence comes the rotation of sets 1, 2, and 3 out of standard play. Knowing this was on the horizon, I decided to build a different deck for each of the Swiss rounds!

These are the decks I will be playing on stream:

Darth Vader + Jawa + Retribution
Doctor Aphra + Snoke + Executioner + Bitter Rivalry
Kylo + Anakin
Palpatine + Veteran Stormtrooper + Retribution
Rey + Han
Yoda + Luke Skywalker + Stolen Intel

There always seem to be a handful of characters in Destiny that I theoretically would love, but never seem to actually get around to playing. Palpatine from Legacies is definitely one of those characters. His power action to reduce the cost of an event by the number of different damage types you have showing seems incredible to me. He also has solid health and great die sides. So why did I never get around to playing him?

The truth was, I always assumed he’d eventually get a better suited partner. Two sets later and I continually feel like he is just right outside of being a legitimate contender for standard. Of course, the constructed event at Masters is Trilogy, where I actually think Palpatine is a hidden gem. Below you can see the Palpatine deck I’ll be using on stream this weekend.

Battlefield: Theed Royal Palace

Plot: Retribution

Veteran Stormtrooper
Elite Palpatine

Upgrades: 9
x2 Bloodlust
x1 Dagger of Mortis
x2 Force Wave
x2 Handheld L-S1 Cannon
x2 Heirloom Lightsaber

Support: 2
x2 Vader’s Fist

Events: 17
x2 Conflicted
x2 Doubt
x2 Hidden Motive
x1 I Am Your Father
x2 Imperial Might
x2 Logistics
x2 Mislead
x2 Mobilize
x2 Snare
x2 Triple Threat

Deck Overview: I think a lot of people get turned off of Palpatine because they only imagine using him in the ‘best case scenario’. It is tempting to build a deck around the idea of playing 3-cost events for free, but an entire deck of cards that are only playable with his power action at its best is a recipe for disaster. Instead, I imagine his power action as reducing the cost of an event by 1. If I happen to get to play a Snare or Mobilize for two or three less resources, great. The Destiny meta has quickly realized how powerful an extra resource each round with Theed Royal Palace is, so having another free resource or two each round is actually pretty wild.

Opening Hand: The goal of this deck is to ramp resources early to either build your upgrades or get an early Vader’s Fist. Key cards in your opening hand are Imperial Might, Logistics, and Mobilize. Bloodlust and the Handheld L-S1 Cannon are both great upgrades to play early at only 2-cost. Ideally, you want at least one your resources cards one of these upgrades, and as many of your 0-cost control cards as you can get.

Finishing Moves: Your opponent is likely to go after Palpatine first, since he is the only elite character and due to the general threat of his power action. By the time he is defeated, you need to have a few upgrades on the Veteran Stormtrooper or Vader’s fist in play. Beyond playing an early Vader’s fist, your biggest swings are going to come from a well-timed Snare. Another important card to understand is Bloodlust. It lets you do an extra damage when resolving character dice, but you don’t need to play this card until you have rolled out. You can even resolve an upgrade die and then overwrite the upgrade to deal damage your opponent won’t see coming!

I have been excited about rotation since before the release of Across the Galaxy. It is clear that the Destiny design team has learned so much from the design of the early sets, so I am excited to see both the staple cards from the first few sets go away and the new tools decks like this one get with the release of Convergence!

If you’re planning to get a Convergence Saga Set (like me) I recommend doing so soon. You can see the shipping estimate in the title, which currently reads ‘within one week’. We recently ran out of ‘on release’ sets and expect to run out of the ‘within one week’ sets in the next few weeks!

If you prefer booster boxes, check out our Destiny Booster Box Subscriptions. It works like an automatic pre-order system, where you sign up (for free) to automatically receive booster boxes as new sets are released. You don’t get charged until a week or two before release and if you are in the U.S., boxes tend to show up on release.