Draft play is on the way. We gave it a spin!
Today, we’d like to review an exciting new addition to the Star Wars Destiny dice and card game, the Rivals Draft Set. This set releases on February 15, 2018. We will be evaluating if the new draft format adds depth, enjoyability, and value to Destiny.
If you’re unfamiliar with Star Wars Destiny, this is a dice and card game that was released in 2016. From Fantasy Flight Games’ website: “Star Wars™: Destiny is a collectible dice and card game of epic battles across the Star Wars universe. In the game, two players must gather a team of heroes or villains from throughout the saga, pitting them in battle against your opponent. With a set of premium dice and a deck of cards to support your characters, you must build your forces, launch cunning tactics, and deal damage to your enemies. The last player with characters left standing wins the game.”
A game of Destiny plays by alternating turns between players, each making decisions from choosing from a set of actions spelled out in the rules. Many of the characters from the Star Wars series are represented with their own unique abilities and dice. The game itself is designed to play as if you’re in a duel on the battlefield, in true Star Wars fashion. It was something that drew me to the game initially, and is what still holds my interest in the game, being a fan of the Star Wars universe.
Mechanically, Destiny requires a constructed deck of 30 cards. These 30 cards do not include the character, plot, or battlefield cards you also pick from you collection. Players can build these decks through purchasing starter sets for $15, or booster packs, which retail for $3 each. A starter set includes everything necessary to experience the game: rules, cards, dice, and tokens. Boosters are purchased for $3 each and contain 5 cards, and 1 die. These are used to build up a player’s choices in building a deck. Cards that have dice are often choices of characters, weapons, abilities, vehicles, and titles used to build synergy with other cards. Like Magic: The Gathering or other Customizable Card Games (CCG’s), Destiny players build custom decks for a format called constructed. Often in building decks, players seek the strongest cards suited for their playstyle.
Players looking to be competitive in organized play often seek to purchase individual cards that are pulled from packs, sometimes at a premium price, or purchasing packs whose contents are randomized. This can quickly add up if you’re looking for specific cards to add to your deck. For around $100, a box of 36 packs, or $3 a pack, you’re possibly dropping some serious cash without a guarantee of getting the cards you want. This is where I believe Rivals was a necessary addition for those who don’t want to purchase boatloads of packs.
Rivals allows for two ways to play: Draft Play and Sealed Play. Draft requires the Rivals set and six booster packs, and Sealed requires the Rivals set and eight booster packs. Draft is what you would expect for a draft — players open their packs, choose a card, and pass the remainder until all cards have been chosen. The player then makes a deck of 20-30 cards from rounds of drafting and the cards contained in the Rivals set. Sealed requires a player to open all eight packs and assemble a deck from the packs they opened.. My review highlights my experience with a night of playing Draft Play.
(Courtesy FFG) All rights reserved.
I was able to play at my favorite local game store, with 7 other players participating in our first draft. Everyone arrived, bought their packs and draft set, in total we each spent $31. We all sat down and began the process of drafting. This was my first draft experience and I found it really exciting, trying to be strategic around what cards I selected to construct my deck. I ended up with a deck that went 2-2 in four matches. Here are my reflections:
- The Rivals set: There’s a good variety of cards that are included: some excellent characters, battlefields, and other cards that help supplement what you’ve already drafted. Many of these cards I believe will end up in constructed play as well. My one criticism is that there are no tokens included. This is not inviting for new players who may want to learn through a draft.
- Draft: Overall, this adds a new degree of dimension. You can have as many of the same card in your deck as you want, as long as you draft them, which is exciting. A minor gripe I have is that 6 packs out of 36 in a box contain a legendary card, which can include some great characters and upgrades. Additionally, during our draft, characters were rare, and may limit variety across matchups.
- Number of players: In hindsight, having one additional round of draft may have allow for some greater choices in drafting. This adds a little to the cost, but should be a consideration if you’re playing with more than six players..
- Price: $31 for an initial start in the game is decent. Later drafts don’t require anything more than the packs required. Having the ability to draft cards that I need in my collection is a way to mitigate cost and build a collection.
- Enjoyability: This was a really fun experience. It was a fun evening. Drafting is a fun strategic element. Our decks were all over the place. Sometimes they were comically bad and didn’t work the way we have intended. I felt this was a fun new way to play the game with a whole new set of dimensions added.
Overall, this set does add a really interesting way to jump into Destiny. I believe that it adds a lot of variety to the game, and is something new, compared to the meta of constructed play. If amassing a large collection of cards doesn’t seem interesting to you, if you enjoy the fun factor of a draft, then I think it’s worth giving the Rivals set a try. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. I rate the Rivals set 8/10.