Article

Star Wars: Destiny USA Continental Card Data – A Simple Attempt at Measuring Diversity and Top 10 Lists

Written by Bill Yankosky (aka Yodaman)

The first truly major Star Wars: Destiny tournament of the Spark of Hope meta recently took place at Gen Con. Now that the decklists have been published in various places by various content creators, we can take a look at which cards showed up in the 22 decks that were played in the Top Cut and leave it up to readers to determine whether or not the meta was diverse. This article will focus solely on cards in decks (namely downgrades, upgrades, supports and events) and not the characters, battlefields and plots which were used.

Can Diversity Be Measured?

There are actually mathematical formulas which can be used measure diversity. However, most of those focus on biodiversity of species and none of those really seem to apply to card games. Because of that, we’ll take a very basic approach to quantify diversity for Destiny. The formulas we will define are admittedly arbitrary and simple, but should do for our purposes.

Warning! Math incoming!

Even though there are cards that allow for breaking the standard deckbuilding requirements about number of cards in a deck or the number of copies of a card that can be included (e.g. Order 66, X-Wing, Double Down, TIE Fighter), typically Destiny decks consist of 30 card decks and can have up to 2 copies of a specific card. We will use that as our basis going forward. For consistency purposes, many players often include most cards as “2-ofs” in their decks. Because of that, a typical Destiny deck could consist of as few as 15 different cards or as many as 30 different cards. That is important to keep in mind when thinking about diversity in deckbuilding. Historically, decks tend to lean the lower end of those ranges (i.e. more decks tend to contain closer to 15 different cards as opposed to 30 different cards). An analysis of the decks that made the Top Cut at Gen Con showed that those decks contained, on average, about 17.955 different cards, ranging from 16 to 20 different cards in the decks.

When looking at diversity in top cuts, it seems reasonable to think of the maximum number of different cards that could appear in Top Cut decks, which we will call M, via the following formula rather than the number of cards in the entire card pool:

M = Avg. # different cards of a type in deck * # players in Top Cut

For the 22 decks from the GenCon top cut, we saw they averaged about 17.955 different cards. Using the above formula, we would expect a maximum of 17.955*22 = 395 different cards to have shown up in those decks. Overall, there are 718 different cards (downgrades, upgrades, supports and events) which can be included in Destiny decks in the Standard format. But our formula tells us it is more reasonable to use the value of M=395, which is about 55% of the available card pool when considering diversity.

We now define the following simple formula to quantify diversity.

Diversity value = Total different cards actually used / M

A detailed analysis of the decklists from the top cut at GenCon showed that 115 different cards (i.e. downgrades, upgrades, supports and events) appeared in the 22 decks. Using our simple diversity formula we get

Diversity value overall for GenCon Top Cut Decks = 115/395 or about 0.291.

Essentially, this value represents the proportion of cards that appeared at least once in Top Cut decks assuming the maximum number of different cards which we would have expected to appear is M=395, rather than the number of different cards available in the entire card pool (which is 718).

Does this value indicate a diverse meta at GenCon? That is up to each person to decide. Since this is my first use of these formulas, more applications of them to results from other events are needed to get a better handle on what different values of this formula truly represent in terms of diversity. But hey, you gotta start somewhere.

Furthermore, it is important to remember that multiple players from the same teams made the top cut at GenCon and used identical (or nearly identical) decklists. The Destiny Council had 2 members reach the top 4 using very similar eChopper/eR2-D2/C-3PO lists. As BobbySapphire has stated in numerous places, the Hyperloops had 3 players make the top 8 with their team Chirpa/Hoth/Ewokx4/Armored deck and there was only a difference of 1 card between any of their lists. It is difficult to decide how to take team decks into consideration in the formulas. The fact multiple players from the same teams end up playing essentially the same deck will automatically make the diversity value lower simply because multiple teammates intentionally chose NOT to create different decks.

Furthermore, one may be able to use these simple formulas going forward to compare results between the Top Cut at Gen Con, and the top cuts at other large events. I hope to do just that. In a few weeks, there will be another large Destiny tournament at NOVA and the formulas could be used as a way to determine if the meta at NOVA ends up being more or less diverse relative to Gen Con (as long as we get decklists for the entire Top Cut again to analyze).

TOP 10 LISTS

We’ll break things down two ways for each category. First, we’ll list how many total copies of a card appeared in the 22 decks. Second, we’ll list how many decks included at least one copy of the card.

We start by looking at the top 10 cards overall (including ties).

Overall Top 10 cards by # copies played in the Top Cut (including ties)

  • 22 players were in the Top Cut (all finished Swiss with records of 6-2 or better)
  • Maximum number of copies that could be played was 44 (2 copies of each card)
Card Total # Copies of Card

% Max Copies played

Hidden Motive

35

75%

Easy Pickings

24

54.55%

Fickle Mercenaries

22

50%

Forsaken

20

45.45%

Automated Defense

17

38.64%

Resistance Crait Speeder

17

38.64%

Entourage

16

36.36%

Field Medic

16

36.36%

Handheld LS-1 Cannon

15

34.09%

Desperate Measures

14

31.82%

For clarification, when we discuss % Max Copies played of a card, we’re assuming that the maximum that could have been played was 44 (2 copies of the card in each of the 22 decks). For Hidden Motive, the most played card, there were 33 copies of it played total out of a maximum possible of 44, which works out to 75%.

Overall Top 10 cards by Number of Top Cut decks card appeared in (including ties)

Total # Decks Card was In

% Decks Card was In

Hidden Motive

18

81.82%

Easy Pickings

12

54.55%

Ezra Bridger’s Lightsaber

12

54.55%

Fickle Mercenaries

11

50%

Automated Defense

10

45.45%

Forsaken

10

45.45%

Resistance Crait Speeder

10

45.45%

Dagger of Mortis

9

40.91%

Chewbacca’s Blaster Rifle

8

36.36%

Entourage

8

36.36%

Field Medic

8

36.36%

Handheld LS-1 Cannon

8

36.36%

For clarification, the chart above is listing the number of Top Cut decks that had at least 1 copy of the card in the deck. Some decks may have had 2 copies of the card while others only had 1.

DIGGING DEEPER

In addition to looking at decks as a whole, we can also use the simple formulas to breakdown the data into smaller categories. Namely, we can look just at downgrades or just at upgrades, etc.. in the GenCon Top Cut decks.

DOWNGRADES

The only downgrade that appeared in any Top Cut decks was Target Acquired. 2 copies of that were in each of the Chirpa/Hoth/Ewokx4/Armored decks played by 3 members of The Hyperloops.

For the 22 decks from the Gen Con top cut, an analysis of the decklists showed they averaged 0.136 different downgrades. Using the previous formula, we would expect a maximum of 0.136*22 = 3 different downgrades to have shown up in those decks. Overall, there are 20 different downgrades which can be included in Destiny decks in the Standard format. But our formula tells us it is more reasonable to use the value of 3, which is about 15% of the available downgrades in the card pool, when considering diversity just for downgrades.

A detailed analysis of the decklists from the top cut at GenCon showed that only 1 downgrade appeared in the 22 decks. Using our simple diversity formula we get

Diversity value for Downgrades at GenCon = 1/3 or about 0.33.

Since there was only 1 downgrade which appeared at all, there are no Top 10 lists for downgrades. There’s just a #1.

UPGRADES

For the 22 decks from the GenCon Top Cut, an analysis of the decklists showed they averaged about 3.45 different upgrades. Using the previous formula, we would expect a maximum of 3.45*22 = 76 different upgrades to have shown up in those decks. Overall, there are 163 different upgrades which can be included in Destiny decks in the Standard format. But our formula tells us it is more reasonable to use the value of 76, which is about 46.6% of the available upgrades in the card pool, when considering diversity just for upgrades.

A detailed analysis of the decklists from the top cut at GenCon showed that 26 different upgrades appeared in the 22 decks. Using our simple diversity formula we get

Diversity value for Upgrades at GenCon = 26/76 or about 0.342.

The following charts give the top 10 Upgrades in terms of # of copies played in total as well as the # of decks that included the Upgrade.

Top 10 Upgrades by Number of Copies Played in the Top Cut (including ties).

Upgrades Total Copies Played % Max Copies Played
Handheld LS-1 Cannon 15 34.09%
Chewbacca’s Blaster Rifle 13 29.55%
Ezra Bridger’s Lightsaber 12 27.27%
Dagger of Mortis 10 22.73%
Crossguard Lightsaber 6 13.64%
Diplomatic Protection 6 13.64%
Niman Mastery 6 13.64%
Riot Shield 6 13.64%
Grappling Arm 4 9.09%
Han Solo’s Blaster 4 9.09%
Rocket Booster 4 9.09%
Salvage Arm 4 9.09%

Top 10 Upgrades by Number of Top Cut decks card appeared in (including ties).

Upgrades Total # Decks Card was In % Decks Card was In
Ezra Bridger’s Lightsaber 12 54.55%
Dagger of Mortis 9 40.91%
Handheld LS-1 Cannon 8 36.36%
Chewbacca’s Blaster Rifle 8 36.36%
Crossguard Lightsaber 3 13.64%
Diplomatic Protection 3 13.64%
Han Solo’s Blaster 3 13.64%
Niman Mastery 3 13.64%
Rey’s Lightsaber 3 13.64%
Riot Shield 3 13.64%

SUPPORTS

For the 22 decks from the GenCon Top Cut, an analysis of the decklists showed they averaged 4.5 different supports. Using the previous formula, we would expect a maximum of 4.5*22 = 99 different supports to have shown up in those decks. Overall, there are 150 different supports which can be included in Destiny decks in the Standard format. But our formula tells us it is more reasonable to use the value of 99, which is about 66% of the available supports in the card pool, when considering diversity just for supports.

A detailed analysis of the decklists from the top cut at GenCon showed that 29 different supports appeared in the 22 decks. Using our simple diversity formula we get

Diversity value for Supports at GenCon = 29/99 or about 0.293.

The following charts give the top 10 Supports in terms of # of copies played in total, as well as the # of Top Cut decks that included the Support.

Top 10 Supports by Number of Copies Played in the Top Cut (including ties).

Supports Total Copies Played % Max Copies Appearing
Fickle Mercenaries 22 50%
Resistance Crait Speeder 17 38.64%
Entourage 16 36.36%
0-0-0 11 25%
BT-1 10 22.73%
Bubble Shield 10 22.73%
Republic Cruiser 8 18.18%
Assassin Droid 7 15.91%
Coruscant Police 7 15.91%
Hired Muscle 6 13.64%
It Binds All Things 6 13.64%
Megablaster Troopers 6 13.64%

Top 10 Supports by Number of Top Cut decks card appeared in (including ties).

Supports Total # Decks Card was In % Decks Card was In
Fickle Mercenaries 11 50%
Resistance Crait Speeder 10 45.45%
Entourage 8 36.36%
0-0-0 6 27.27%
Hired Muscle 6 27.27%
BT-1 5 22.73%
Bubble Shield 5 22.73%
Assassin Droid 4 18.18%
Coruscant Police 4 18.18%
Podracer 4 18.18%
Republic Cruiser 4 18.18%

EVENTS

For the 22 decks from the GenCon Top Cut, an analysis of the decklists showed they averaged about 9.86 different events. Using the previous formula, we would expect a maximum of 9.86*22 = 217 different events to have shown up in those decks. Overall, there are 385 different events which can be included in Destiny decks in the Standard format. But our formula tells us it is more reasonable to use the value of 217, which is about 56.4% of the available events in the card pool when considering diversity just for events.

A detailed analysis of the decklists from the top cut at GenCon showed that 60 different events appeared in the 22 decks. Using our simple diversity formula we get

Diversity value for Events at GenCon = 60/217 or about 0.276.

The following charts give the top 10 Events in terms of # of copies played in total, as well as the # of Top Cut decks that included the Event.

Top 10 Events by Number of Copies Played in the Top Cut (including ties).

Events Total Copies Played % Max Copies Appearing
Hidden Motive 33 75%
Easy Pickings 24 54.55%
Forsaken 20 45.45%
Automated Defense 17 38.64%
Field Medic 16 36.36%
Desperate Measures 14 31.82%
Droids’ Day Out 12 27.27%
Pacify 11 25%
Dangerous Maneuver 10 22.73%
Respite 10 22.73%

Top 10 Events by Number of Top Cut decks card appeared in (including ties).

Events Total Decks Card was In % Deck Card was In
Hidden Motive 18 81.82%
Easy Pickings 12 54.55%
Automated Defense 10 45.45%
Forsaken 10 45.45%
Field Medic 8 36.36%
Desperate Measures 7 31.82%
Droids’ Day Out 7 31.82%
Pacify 7 31.82%
Entangle 6 27.27%
Ewok Ambush 6 27.27%

Looking at the Top 10 lists of cards played and creating these formulas to attempt to quantify diversity has been an interesting and fun experience. Thanks to everyone who took the time to read this article and look at the data and numbers involved.

Thanks also to I Rebel for allowing me to contribute this article.

May the Force Be With You!

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