TableTopTakes: Star Wars Destiny

Have you ever wondered how it would be to fight Jabba the Hutt and Asajj Ventress against Finn and Chirrut Imwe? Or maybe something a little more conventional with Rey and Finn against Kylo Ren and a First Order Stormtrooper? You can now do that in Star Wars Destiny.

Image Source: Fantasy Flight Games

Star Wars Destiny is a deck building game like Magic the Gathering, where you can combine different cards into your deck and play with the heroes or villains that you want. However, there is more than that, where a Magic deck can be crafted so that it can kind of play itself, in Star Wars Destiny, there is more unpredictability added in by the fact that your heroes or villains have dice as well that you use, as do the weapons that they can have, or support characters or ships that you can get. This means that the game plays out differently each time and feels like it’s own unique play through as you never know what you’ll roll. There are some other differences from Magic the Gathering as well where in Magic you play different creatures who can attack throughout the game, in Star Wars Destiny, you start with your two or three heroes or villains already in play. They are the ones that can attack, and when they die, you lose. Now, there is another way to lose as well, but for the most part, you are trying to do damage to your opponent based off the dice. And to add to that, you are also fighting on a battlefield that goes along with one of the two decks that are being played. For example, in the Jabba the Hutt and Asajj Ventress deck that I played against, it was built around making you discard cards, so the battlefield that was being used made you discard cards, fortunately, we were using my battlefield instead and that allowed Finn and Chirrut Imwe to beef up their weaponry a lot.

Image Source: Fantasy Flight Games

So, how does this stack up against other deck building games? I don’t know that I like it better than Magic the Gathering yet, but that might be because I haven’t really built my own deck yet (probably will over the weekend). But I think that might change as I build my own deck and as the card base continues to expand. Magic has such a massive card base that you can really build creative and unique decks, and while you can build a deck your way in Star Wars Destiny, with a more limited card pool, it seems like it is going to be more standard builds that you see and less off the wall ideas to try. However, the dice rolling aspect is really fun to add into the game. It makes it less predictable which is enjoyable, especially for people who don’t enjoy Magic because of the complexity that you can have. I also like the fact that it doesn’t mean the most expensive deck is going to win 95% of the time. You’re going to have turns where you roll something that’s just terrible and you don’t do any damage or don’t get any resources, things like that, and that means that you might lose a game based on a die roll, but it might mean that you are playing catch-up for a little bit until your opponent has a poor die roll. I also like that it’s Star Wars. With Magic, I’m familiar with the different Planeswalkers, but with Star Wars Destiny, I know Chewbacca, Jabba the Hutt, Rey and Finn, and Kylo Ren and a lot of the other characters. Sure, there are some random characters that I don’t know much about, but I know the Star Wars universe better than the Magic one, and that makes it more accessible to people as well. One final Magic comparison, with these decks, it is forty cards and you can only have two copies, that makes it a little more diverse in terms of cards used and cheaper since you only need two of a really good card.

Image Source: Fantasy Flight Games

Into the nitty-gritty, how does this game play, well, like I said, you each have your deck and you put out your characters and shuffle up and draw five cards. Then you roll the character dice to see who gets to decide what battlefield you’re on. Most of the time I’d say that the person takes their own battlefield. Then you both take two resources at the start of the round, and you start playing. Rounds consist of playing cards, activating your characters to roll their dice, using their dice, and claiming the battlefield. It has a nice mechanic where you take one action, then I take one action, and so on until one of us claims the battlefield. The person who claims it is then done taking actions and the other player can finish up however many actions they want to take. Then you get two more resources, draw up to five, and the person who took the battlefield that time starts the actions again. That continues until one players characters are all dead or you run out of cards. This is another spot it’s different from Magic the Gathering. In Magic you lose if you can’t draw any more cards, in Star Wars Destiny, you lose if you can’t draw any more cards and you have no cards in your hand, so it’s a viable strategy to just keep a single card in your hand. There are some other rules as well, like you can always discard at the end of a round before you draw more cards if you don’t like parts of your hand and to mulligan to start the game, you just put cards you don’t want back into the deck, shuffle, and draw back up to five once.

Overall, I like the simplicity of this game. I don’t have to worry if I’m going to draw mana like in magic, you just get two resources to start a turn and if you need more, you add cards that give you more. So it doesn’t tie you into figuring out resources that way. I also enjoy the randomness of the dice rolls, they can really help you determine what you do on a turn, or you’ll be wishing that you got something else. It makes you think about the strategy of what you are doing, and that strategy adjust on the fly (to some extent) during the game based on the rolls. And it’s Star Wars, so that is a huge plus in my book and makes what would have been a fun game with a more generic theme slapped on it, into a really fun game. If Magic the Gathering is too intimidating, Star Wars Destiny is a good place to jump in.

Have you played Star Wars Destiny? If so, what are your thoughts, does it compare well to Magic, who is your favorite character to use?

Overall Grade: A

Gamer Grade: A

Casual Grade: B+


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