Written by David Holland
Nothing turns the wheels in my head like spoilers for a new set, and the most recent releases are no different. As soon as I see a mildly interesting character, support, or (in today’s case) a plot, I run to swdestinydb and start constructing decks.
It’s obviously way too soon to make a serious deck, but the Jedi Trials piqued my interest and I couldn’t help myself. So here are some thoughts on this newest plot, which I will link to here as soon as I see it posted on the database:
“Jedi Trials” is a Blue Hero plot that will cost you two character points in order to include in your deck. Although it doesn’t specifically require you to include an apprentice, the card is useless without one. The plot’s action requires a very specific set of circumstances – 3 shields on the character, 3 Blue abilities on the character, and character dice showing a combined value of 3 or more. This means all of the apprentices currently available to us would need to be elite and automatically excludes your Younglings, who have no character dice and, let’s face it, were never going to survive the trials.
While the Jedi Trials’ action requires a very specific set of circumstances, it also provides some pretty cool payoffs. The apprentice you spot for the action gains the “Jedi” subtype, heals 3 damage, is readied, and gains an additional character die. If you can pull this off, it has the potential to swing some games in your direction. With that in mind, let’s take a look at which characters are currently available to us:
–Ahsoka Tano (11 points)
–Barriss Offee (12 points)
–Anakin Skywalker (13 points)
–Luke Skywalker (14 points)
–Rey (Bound By the Force) (15 points)
–Rey (Finding the Ways) (15 points)
2. The Good and The Bad
I like this card a lot. The moment I read it I started working on a deck – either Spark of Hope Rey with Yoda1 or with Anakin Skywalker. But let’s pump the brakes on this plot for a second, because a lot can go wrong here. The moment your opponent sees Jedi Trials, they will look at your characters and spot the apprentice that poses the biggest threat. If you only have one elite apprentice, Jedi Trials paints a great big target on that character. Ahsoka with Jedi subtype and an additional character die can be pretty deadly, but at only 8 health she is a fragile target. There are plenty of decks capable of dealing 8 damage to a character in round one, and most can get there by early round two. I think your best bet for this plot involves Spark of Hope Rey with either Yoda or Anakin. Yoda brings you consistency with shields and dice, but Anakin gives you two apprentices to choose from and his character dice bring some damage.
The focus on abilities also presents some challenges. There just aren’t as many high-quality Blue abilities as there are great Blue weapons. Don’t get me wrong, Niman Mastery is one of the best Blue upgrades in the game, and Force Wave is still handy against any deck with three or more characters, but a lot of Blue abilities just don’t pack as much punch as the classic lightsabers. In addition, but no Blue abilities have redeploy. So if you stack a bunch of upgrades on Rey and then she is defeated, you lose your investment in her. If you haven’t used the Jedi Trials’ action at that point then you will be hard-pressed to pull it off even if you have another apprentice.
The big question with Jedi Trials is this: will the plot actually help you win the game or will you become so consumed with meeting its conditions that it actually gets in the way of winning? This is especially true if you lose your apprentice. At that point, you’ve spent those 2 character points for nothing. Think about opportunity cost – you could have spent those 2 points on Lightsaber Mastery, or Taking Ground, or Force Flow. Okay, bad example with Force Flow.
3. What We Need
I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m just complaining about this card, because like I said I am actually excited about it and the deck ideas are already circling in my head. But since it’s still way too early to know for sure how this plot could fit in the meta, let me offer some ideas about what could make this card work even better either in Covert Missions or in some future set:
1) More apprentice options. We have a pretty good list to choose from but a few more would really round it out. Deep down in my soul, I feel a 13-15 point Phantom Menace era Obi-Wan Kenobi in our future that would be a perfect fit for this plot, or maybe an Attack of the Clones Anakin. The more options we get, the more versatility we will see out of Jedi Trials and I’m hoping for at least one more hero apprentice with this set.
2) Better Blue abilities. Ability decks never really seem to have taken off in Destiny, with the obvious exception of Palpatine. That probably has a lot to do with the fact that abilities just don’t seem to hit as hard as weapons, especially since older options like Force Speed and Force Throw have rotated out. As I said above, Niman Mastery and Force Wave feel like obvious choices for a Jedi Trials deck, but what else? Force Jump is a cheap way to keep your apprentice alive and Counterstroke could help make your opponent think twice before targeting them, but I’m hoping we see a couple new Blue abilities in this set that can go hand-in-hand with Jedi Trials.
3) Redeploy options. This is probably reaching for the stars, but like I said above one downfall to abilities is that they don’t redeploy. In those games where your apprentice is defeated, you’re going to need some backup and being able to move abilities over to your surviving character would be a huge asset. Right now our only option for this is Immutability, which requires that you have it in your hand on the exact turn you need it. A more permanent option that accomplishes something similar would be helpful.
These are my initial thoughts on Jedi Trials and, as the title of this post suggests, it’s probably way too early to make such sweeping declarations. When Covert Missions is released and we see this card in action I look forward to revisiting this article and enjoying all the ways I was proved wrong. Let me know your thoughts on Jedi Trials! Which apprentice are you most looking forward to training?