The Greatest Teacher, Failure Is – A Look at losing in Star Wars: Destiny

Written by Roland Christy

On February 3rd I went to my first Destiny Regional full of optimism and hope (Jyn Erso’s favorite word). I had spent the week beforehand testing my deck and was confident that I could handle whatever came at me from across the table. I was bringing eYoda and eHondo, mostly because I love those two characters but also because I didn’t want to bring Poe Dameron – More Than Just a Pilot and Hondo and play mirror matches all day. While both decks have Hondo, I was confident that a Yoda with three lightsabers would be able to close out any game. I hadn’t counted on everyone targeting him first and leaving me with Hondo. Unfortunately, that is exactly what everyone did.

After winning one game and then losing three, I decided to drop and make the hour and forty-five minute drive home. My first regional experience was a complete flop and I was disappointed because I had really, really wanted one of those Kylo and Rey playmats. I was feeling frustrated and was considering giving up on the game for awhile. However, I got a text from my dad-in-law that changed my outlook. He simply asked, “Did you have fun and are you ready for next time?”

In Destiny, and any competitive game, each game will have one winner and one loser. Ideally, you will be the former and not the latter. But no matter how much you playtest or how much money you spend on cards and dice, you will still lose. Maybe not often, but I guarantee that statistics are against you. You will draw a bad hand and mulligan, only to get the same (or worse) cards. Your dice will not roll the sides you need to win, and a close game will end in your opponent’s favor. So making peace will loss is something that we all must do at one time or another. The important thing to remember is to get back up and keep rolling.

After mulling this over for a bit, I asked myself the question again. Did I have fun and am I ready for next time? I can honestly say that the answer to both of these questions is yes. I got to meet some very talented players and play in an event that had about 90 players who love this game as much as I do. The community in this game is incredible, and even though I lost three games, they were close and I really enjoyed rolling dice and trying to outthink my opponents. This game is incredibly fun, and handling a loss is much easier when you think of it that way. With this outlook I also got to see the errors I made in deck building, which will help me prepare better decks in the future.

I don’t know where you stand in your opinion of The Last Jedi, but I loved it. It’s theme of learning from failure is something I can personally identify with, and now I’m trying to apply that to my Destiny games. It is easy to blame your loss on your opponent (why did so many people have to play Poe2/Hondo!?!?!), or to blame a loss on poor rolls or poor draws. But what do you learn from that? I’m not saying that these things aren’t factors in a loss. There are some decks that have huge advantages over others (Kylo Ren – Tormented One for example will have a major advantage over any mono colored decks). And it is incredibly difficult to win when you see nothing but blanks and your opponent rolls nothing but 3 melee sides. And you may have answers to certain cards, but if you don’t draw those answers, you will get Gungan slapped. But learning to differentiate the things you have control over (what you put in your deck, what characters you pick, how you play the cards in your hand) from the things you have little to no control over (you opponent god-rolling, your blanks smiling up at you when you roll out, the order in which you draw your cards) will help you to realize what you could have done differently to change the outcome of the game, and that is how you will learn to be a better Destiny player.

My biggest mistake was not taking my wife’s advice. I brought not one, but two characters that do not have damage sides on their character dice. Yes, Hondo has two 3 damage specials, but those are really only good early game. Smart players know how to play around it, and those specials are merely a disrupt and a resource late game. That is not exactly a winning combo. Poe Dameron – More Than a Pilot is a much better partner because of his two ranged sides and the access to red healing (not to mention Poe Dameron’s Blaster).

Losing is unpleasant, and a string of losses can be frustrating and painful. However, if you are able to understand why you lost and learn from that loss, it becomes a lesson that will help you become a better player. Winning is pleasant, and a string of wins can be exciting and exhilarating (especially when you get really cool swag like that Kylo and Rey playmat). But no matter if you win or lose, it’s important to realize that this is a game, and the goal of any game is to have fun and build community.

That’s all I have for now! Remember to have fun and roll on, roll on, roll on, roll until the dice roll true!


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