Hey everyone, Shane here to talk to you all (especially new players) about rotation as we see Across the Galaxy, Star Wars Destiny’s 6th set drop! Rotation can be a confusing topic for even experienced players, but especially for new players. I can not count how many of my friends who just were getting into the game during the drop of Legacies had to ask me how exactly rotation works. If you do not fully understand it, you came to the right place! If you do understand, you can skip this next section and check out the guide of what we at Golden Dice believe new players should be purchasing first if they are just buying into the game.
Firstly, I believe rotation is a very healthy aspect to any CCG. Eventually card pools get way too big and things become impossible to balance. You can also see cards sticking around for way too long, an example would be certain cards from the Awakenings cycle still being the best options in decks today. The meta will always shift and the players will adjust to this and I believe find themselves having even more fun because of rotation. Ok enough on my defense of it…. now on to exactly what it means in Destiny.
Destiny is released in cycles. A cycle consists of 3 full booster sets, the starter sets that come with the Base Set of that cycle, and any additional product that came out during that time frame. Here is a picture I am taking from an FFG article that I will link at the end of this blog so you can also read it.
This shows Cycle 1(The Awakenings Cycle). It consists of Awakenings(the Rey and Kylo starters included), and the next two booster sets (Spirit of Rebellion and Empire at War). Remember this as Cycle 1 as we move forward. A trick to do so is to look at the branding. All of these boxes are black, as we move to Cycle 2 we see a shift.
Cycle 2(The Legacies Cycle) consists of the 2 player starter set, Legacies(the Luke and Boba starters included), the Rivals draft kit, Ways of the Force(Booster set), and the soon to be released Across the Galaxy(Booster set). All of these products are branded in white boxes, which separates them from Cycle 1. So what color will Cycle 3 be is the real question…
But back to business. Across the Galaxy will close out Cycle 2. So a few months (who actually knows exactly when cause FFG) from now we should see the next base set that will kick off Cycle 3! When this happens we will see what we call “Rotation” occur. In order to understand this further we have to look at the game modes that Destiny can be played in.
Infinite – This is the most simple format to explain. It consists of every cycle and every product ever released for Destiny. THERE’S NO RULES!
Standard – Standard is the big one. This will be the most supported format of major tournaments and is currently that format. Standard consists of the most recent 2 cycles. Currently, that is both Cycle 1 and 2. When Cycle 3 hits us, Standard will shift to Cycle 2 (Legacies Cycle) and whatever is out so far in Cycle 3. This is where the scary word rotation comes from. At this point, Cycle 1 will essentially “rotate” out and no longer be viable in Standard, but can still be used in Infinite!
Trilogy – This consists of only the most current cycle of Destiny. At this point, it consists of all the products released for Cycle 2. Cycle 1 is not legal here. When Cycle 3 hits, Cycle 2 will also be rotated out of this format and the only legal product in this will be whatever is coming from Cycle 3, as little or as much as that is.
These formats will matter depending on how you want to play the game. If you are just playing at home with your children or friends, then you can totally ignore all of this and keep having fun! But if you ever want to go to a Destiny Event, either a large premier event or small local event, you will need to understand these formats. And like I mentioned previously, most local tournaments will choose each week between Standard or Trilogy, with Standard being the more popular of the two. Larger events may cater to both of these formats, but the big tournaments like Regionals, Nationals, and Worlds will be played in the Standard Format.
If you are looking for more information of the cycles and formats, FFG put out an article almost a year ago describing them. Obviously a year ago there were fewer products released, but the information there is still fully relevant. Here is the link for that.
If you have a firm grasp on Rotation now, and are a new player looking for a guide on what to buy and how to get started, read on!
I am just starting… what do I buy???
To answer this question fairly, it honestly depends fully on how serious you want to take Destiny. There is a wide range of people who play this game, and some want to be the next world champion while others just are looking to have a good time. Based on this, you should follow very different product acquisition paths. I will try to lay out what I think is the best for you depending on what you want to get out of the game.
At Home Player/Casual Player
If you are buying into Destiny to take home and play from the comfort of your house with family or friends, I would suggest picking up the 2 player starter set from Cycle 2. This will provide you with 2 small decks (one light side, one dark side), a physical copy of the rules (you can always find the rules online but having a copy in hand is nice), tokens and everything else you need to jump right into a game. For a casual player, starter sets are great ways to get quick product for a small price. They are also normally well balanced and provide you a glimpse into the game while keeping you wanting more. The next thing to buy would either be the additional starters from Cycle 2 (Luke and Boba) or random booster packs. Random booster packs will give you a wide variety of cards, some you may find are very powerful, others not so much. A good note as well, if you only have the 2 player starter, you can’t even use yellow cards from boosters, so I would probably suggest picking up the Boba Fett Starter next. Either way, there is no pressure here, you will already have a great base to build upon to enhance your fun!
If you are looking to buy into Destiny and start attending events and being competitive in those events, then you should probably take a different path to your product purchasing. The quickest way to do this would be to “net deck” something. That means go onto a site like https://swdestinydb.com/ and find something that looks up your alley and has some success. You have to be careful what you trust on this site since anyone can post a deck here. You can then simply purchase the cards you need to make this exact deck, and can make sure it is in your price range as you are picking out the singles. Now this is not what I would suggest, but it is a viable option that I had to list.
Since I enjoy playing many different decks, I want to own a large variety. The biggest thing about getting into competitive Destiny at this point in my opinion would be to ignore Cycle 1 for purchasing purposes. With set 6 coming in hot soon and the new Cycle 3 on the horizon, that means Cycle 1 is on its way out of the door for competitive play in the Standard Format, and also can’t be played in Trilogy. With this being said, I would say any Cycle 2 product is fair game, but the 2 player starter is still a good start. They originally released for 30 dollars but many LGS and other retailers are selling them for much cheaper. This provides you with a strong base of Red and Blue with some powerful characters. Then depending on how much you are willing to spend, I would start picking up some Booster Boxes of Legacies or Ways of the Force, or even pre-order a set of Across the Galaxy from your LGS! Everything from Cycle 2 will stay relevant in Standard Format for a long time, all the way until the release of Cycle 4. As stated in the above section as well, the Boba and Luke starter are both great options that provide some solid cards. Once you start building your collection up, then you can start putting together some decks and giving them a shot. Experienced players will be a great tool for you, and in the final section of this article I will speak shortly on that.
I am an experienced player, how can I help?
This is a question we talk about a lot on our podcast. We love to think of new ideas of how to build up a community in a local area, and Jack just wrote a recap of a Learn to Play event we had a lot of success running so give that a read. But if you are an experienced player looking to help new players, then just listen to what they need. If they are frustrated that they can’t put together a strong deck but have a large collection, sit down with them and talk about deck building. If they are frustrated that they have a solid deck but can’t seem to get wins because they are missing a few clutch cards, help them round out their collection with your extras. Honestly the best thing you can do is just see what they need, and new players do not be afraid to ask questions!
Golden Dice is trying to reach both casual and competitive players alike. You can find us on any social media. If you have any questions do not hesitate to reach out to any of us, we love talking to the community! And make sure to share this with the new player in your life so they can use it as a guide.