A BEGINNER’S EXPERIENCE – Lessons Learned and Advice to Share

Written by Daaneskjold

Hi everyone. Since this is my first article, I will start it with a brief introduction. I am Daaneskjold, I am from Mexico, currently leaving in Seattle. I am relatively new to this game. I have been playing for a couple months, during which I fell in love with the game, enough to start trying to develop into a more competitive player. That being said, I have played other games competitively (Yugioh, Magic, VS System, Hearthstone, Shadowverse) with a decent level of success (won a couple regionals here and there, attended nats, multi-legend / master on the online ones), so while I think I am not exactly a scrub in card games – I am certainly a beginner in Destiny.

This is not exactly another ‘how I fell in love with this game’ story, it is a list of the things that I consider have been instrumental in my progression in this game, a couple of them that I wish I had known before, split into a couple stages.

You just played for the first time. You hunger for more Destiny. What to do?

* Very basic, but really important. Learn the rules. FFG has a really good video explaining all the information in the manual in a very detailed manner.

* Get a knowledge sources – Reddit, Swdestinydb, IRebelDestiny of course 😉 – and other Destiny content sites. Learn about the game, different characters, what is good / fun. Maybe it won’t affect the outcome, but there is a chance it will help you optimize the investment on building something you like and is effective at the same time. Remember, information always leads to better decision taking.

* That being said, I think the most solid initial investment into this game is to get TableTop Simulator. Gives you access to the entire card pool, a lot of opponents to practice with, you don’t have to leave your house, etc. It does not replace the real experience, but I think is really well put together, and the practice value is amazing.

* Now, for the physical stuff. The two-player set is still the highest value in my opinion. A lot of solid cards. After that, legacies packs have a lot of really good value stuff for trades.

* Talking about irl practice. I think there is no reason to go into the physical game if you don’t intend to play it on a regular basis. So find out the game stores near you where Destiny is played and try to attend their meetups. Make some friends who also enjoy the game!

* At this stage you will probably cheat like crazy. As RebelGray stated in one of his videos, some wording in the rules is not templated very well, so it is open to interpretation. Luckily enough, most of the players have enough patience to explain everything if you let them know you are a new player. And you should get the hang of the basics in no time.

* Still not sure on what to build? Don’t wanna buy full boxes? NO PROBLEMO. Get your rivals kit and go play some draft! Again, Rivals has a few really good cards, and the Draft format is really fun – and you might start building a collection from it. A WORD OF ADVICE THOUGH. Try to read a bit about the cards in Legacies, and what works in draft and what not.

You already have a basic collection, and have seen some of the different builds. You are ready to bring your TTS deck(s) to life.

* I think at this point you have 2 paths. Getting a couple booster boxes and pulling / trading your way into your builds, or buying singles. One thing I like about Destiny is that is relatively cheap. A lot of the deck structure cards are commons / uncommons that can be found for less that $0.50. Do you want to gamble it, get a few packs, and get possible trade extras plus the cards you are looking for – or a lot of trash? Or do you want to spend (probably) less, but just for those few things you need? Not an easy answer, I usually do both – because if you like card games like me, who does not like opening packs?

* Talking about trades. I have had a good experience trading in Reddit. Also the trading thread in Artificery and the Facebook Star Wars: Destiny Marketplace are very active. I have been able to build most of my decks with trades in there. A word of advice though. There is always a risk of scams so beware of deals that are too good to be true.

* High end cards like Force Speed, those Ancient Lightsabers, Yoda, might get a little pricey on the online stores. I always try to be on the hunt for eBay auctions. If you get lucky you can get them under market value, worst thing that can happen is you don’t win that particular auction, and nothing is lost.

* Now if you decide to bite the bullet and just pay. One thing worth of consideration is the fact that many of the top cards are usually shared between decks. We are still 1 year before those Ancient Lightsabers go out of rotation so they are still a good investment in my fun vs cost scale (which is totally subjective of course).

* While you are still in the process of buying/trading towards your deck, keep practicing! Tweak that build on TTS, play against different decks, keep getting feedback on what could improve your deck concept and adjust your card acquisition plans accordingly. You will still learn a lot from the practice. I know I am still misplaying a lot based on cards I haven’t really played against. Remember, Practice, practice, practice.

* As your collection grows so will your storage issues. At this point I highly suggest getting either a few zen bins for your decks/dice or a Fehlder case (pricey but I think it is really neat). Do start considering a trip to the container store or that tackle/tool box for when your collection gets out of control – believe me, it will.

You already have a decent deck(s), you regularly get practice in your store or online, just casual playing does not do a lot for you anymore- you want to test yourself.

* Are you ready to compete with the field? You already figured out if your store / online favorite place hosts tournaments / leagues? Is everyone online talking about the hot regional / GQ events? Then by all means, attend as many events as possible. You will get to meet a lot of great players and improve just on the experience alone. Chances are you will also get a lot of nice swagger from the events.

* Stay up to date for the latest tournament results and what happens in the top matchups. Get an idea of the different matchups for your decks.

* Look for videos / replays of previous tournaments to get an idea of where you can start improving your playstyle, how your deck fares against others, what kind of strategies can help you. Try to spend some time talking to that really, really good player in your store / online group. Discuss some ideas, learn from others, experiment.

* I like taking notes of my matches for reporting / analysis. If I am on tts I try to get a recording going and watch the video afterwards if I lose. See what misplays I made, if I could have done something better, or hell even if my deck as a whole is even working given the current tendencies. Based on your results, ADAPT.

* Learn to deal with failure. The more probable outcome, if you are at this point is that you are not going to win the tournaments / leagues you attend. And if you don’t have a mindset of being one more challenger, and try to learn from defeat and grow from that, you might lose your joy for the game. And I think that is the worst thing that can happen at this point. But this part is up to you, and the mindset you bring when you start competing.

I think this part is totally subjective and depends on what you want out of the game, and setting goals that would make you feel that you have reached a high enough level. Right now, for me, my goals are:

* Keep playing tournaments. In person or online, just try to play at least 1 tournament a week.

* Know every card in the game and how to play with / against it.

* Knowing that in hindsight, my decision making was close to optimal during games – or if it was not, being able to realize my failures.

* Being a good enough player so I can constantly be in the top 8 of the events I play in.

* Being able to build decks and make meta calls that help me win games.

* To have fun with this amazing game. 🙂


Hope this was helpful for you guys, and may the force be with you.


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