The Conflicts in Toronto
Results from the Star Wars™: Destiny Galactic Qualifiers
Fans of Star Wars™: Destiny were treated to four Galactic Qualifiers in Toronto last weekend—two Standard format Galactic Qualifiers and two Trilogy format Galactic Qualifiers—and if there was any one conclusion to draw from the weekend's conflicts, it's that vehicles and mods are forces to be reckoned with!
Starships like the Firespray-31 and Shadow Caster were racing across Toronto's battlefields all weekend as vehicle-based decks accounted for nearly half of all the decks that made Top 8 in the various Galactic Qualifier tournaments.
Still, while the shadows of starships flitted across battlefields right and left, we saw a great measure of diversity among the forces fighting on the ground. The field was evenly split between heroes and villains—and at least one No Allegiance deck that made Top 8 while running Qi'Ra – Street Savvy and Han Solo – Independent Hotshot. Outside of the vehicle decks, there were a number of mill decks that fared well, typically centered around Yoda, and Darth Vader terrorized the field as well, placing in the Top 8 several times over the course of the weekend.
Always in Motion Is the Future
Interestingly enough, even though the Convergence set of booster packs is rapidly approaching, along with the game's first rotation, few of the weekend's top teams of heroes and villains will need to change. Their upgrades, supports, and events are likely to change, of course, but we're likely to see a good deal more of the diversity we witnessed at Toronto, especially as evidenced by the weekend's Trilogy events, which feaured a number of Armored Reinforcement decks alongside Darth Vader, mill strategies, and pairings like Mother Talzin and Tobias Beckett.
Saturday's Standard winner, however, will have to change his deck. After going 6-0 to claim first place and an invite to the 2019 Star Wars: Destiny World Championship, Jacob Waters will have to find a replacement for the Maz Kanata that served him so well in the event.
While Jacob's deck featured many of the same vehicles and mods as a host of other Top 8 decks, his inclusion of Maz Kanata and Maz Kanata's Goggles set it apart, increasing the speed with which it could modify and resolve dice, and Jacob took advantage of this speed by complementing it with a number of cards—such as Outgun and Suppressive Fire—that offered him some truly efficient damage mitigation.
Finally, Jacob backed up his Shadow Caster with an N-1 Starfighter that could threaten enemy vehicles. Given how many vehicle decks were making their way to the top tables, Jacob's inclusion of the N-1 Starfighter certainly looks like a sign of things to come, especially when you compare its efficiency to that of the copies of Vandalize that made their way into several other Top 8 decks.
We didn't have to go any further than Saturday's Trilogy event to find proof that vehicles, while ubiquitous, were not unassailable. Nicolas Bouffard went 5-1 to claim victory in that Galactic Qualifier with a deck that used Mother Talzin and Tobias Beckett to steal opponent's resources while blasting them with punishing volleys of ranged damage.
Similarly, Alexandra Paquet piloted another two-character deck to 6-0 and the victory in Sunday's Standard event. Her pairing of Cassian Andor and Jyn Erso – Daring Infiltrator was both thematic and effective, racing onto the battlefield with fast activations and blaster fire everywhere.
Notably, Alexandra backed up her potent ranged damage with a pair of Scrap Heaps that boosted her economy each time Jyn Erso activated and discarded a card from the top of her opponent's deck.
While Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor will both remain post-rotation, Alexandra's deck relies heavily on a number of events from Awakenings and other sets that will be rotating out, so we're curious to see how she changes it up prior to the 2019 World Championship in October—or if she simply opts to pursue another strategy entirely.
The third and final player from Toronto's Galactic Qualifiers to win an invite to the 2019 Star Wars: Destiny World Championship is Daniel Cassell.
The 6-0 winner of Sunday's Trilogy event, Daniel was one of several players to run a mill deck based around Yoda and Leia Organa – Heart of the Resistance. Given how effective this particular pairing proved in both the Standard and Trilogy events, it's a sure bet to see continued play after rotation—even if the Standard version needs to change with the updated card pool.
The Dawn of a New Standard
While it remains to be seen how much Convergence and rotation will end reshaping the Star Wars: Destiny metagame, it's clear for now that vehicle and mill strategies have cemented their status as top-tier options, right alongside the best aggro and toolbox decks available, and it will be interesting to compare the results from the upcoming Galactic Qualifiers in Eindhoven to those in Toronto. The European and North American metagames have traditionally followed slightly different paths, and anyone hoping to follow up their victory at a Galactic Qualifier with a victory at the 2019 World Championship will need to understand both metas.
The metas will change, of course, as rotation forces players to rethink many of their standard strategies, but the results from Toronto certainly suggest the changes may not be too dramatic. They may be more of a reworking of existing strategies, accompanied by whatever newer strategies materialize as players explore the Convergence card pool and the possibilities afforded by new card types such as downgrades.
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