A part of deck building and theory crafting is trying to find ways to gain advantages over your opponent. Hand advantage, though less important in Destiny than in some other games (due to drawing back your hand each round), is one possible area to exploit when considering possible combinations of characters and cards. An easy example of a character who gained you hand advantage was the original Darth Vader, whose ability essentially gained you a 20% card advantage over the opponent each round (5 vs 4 cards). The advantage this presents is subtle but important – more cards means you have a better chance of maximizing your round than your opponent does. So in today’s addition of Magnuson Madness, I’ll be looking at a combination that maximizes card advantage – Dooku3 + Separatist Conspiracy.
Dooku + Separatist Conspiracy – a match made in heaven (or hell?)
Separatist Conspiracy is an interesting plot – it gives you a small advantage every round, though your opponent gets to chose what that advantage is. Two of the options give you a hand advantage, and while they can lose a resource instead, they are unlikely to choose this option early in the game (and if they do it’s generally a win for you). And the early game is where I will focus, since rounds 1-2 are generally the most consequential. Assuming the opponent will not choose to lose a resource then, the card math is pretty simple – if you have 1 leader, your opponent should probably let you draw a card (16.7% card advantage vs a 20% card advantage if they discard). But if you have 2 leaders they should probably choose to discard a card rather than let you draw 2 (20% card advantage vs 28.6% card advantage).
Dooku makes this question harder though, because he is likely to make your opponent discard another card. Playing with a 4 card starting hand is one thing, playing with 3 cards is borderline oppressive and can make for a miserable 1st round. And if you happen to draw Dooku’s Saber round 1 they’re down to 2 cards, which is just plain mean.
In any case, here is the first round math if you partner Dooku with another leader and Separatist Conspiracy:
- If they let you draw, 7 cards vs 4 cards (42.8% card advantage)
- If you play Dooku’s Saber, 7 cards vs 3 cards (57.1% card advantage)
- If they choose to discard, 5 cards vs 3 cards (40% card advantage)
- If you play Dooku’s Saber, 5 cards vs 2 cards (60% card advantage)
The bottom line is that unless your opponent chooses to loose a resource (which is quite punishing round 1), you are looking at a significant card advantage. You should be able to leverage that into a significantly better round 1 than your opponent. This is the theory behind this combination, and I think there is potential for some real good decks here. Let’s dig into a couple possibilities.
Blue/Red Villain probably has the best suite of cards in the game right now. What I love about this list and its synergy with Separatist Consipracy is that we have a broad suite of 0 cost cards, meaning we should be able to play a lot of cards if the opponent let’s us draw. What I don’t like is a really awkward upgrade suite due to the mixed damage (and the necessity to include enough blue cards to trigger Dooku consistently). A couple things I’ve noticed after playing a few games with this list:
- The early game damage output is really high if your opponent chooses to discard, because you have a lot of 2 sides and they don’t have many options to stop you. 8-10 damage is not difficult.
- There are a lot of random 1 discard sides in the deck, which are much better when your opponent already has less cards then usually. It’s pretty easy to hit their entire hand with this deck.
This deck loses the suite of Red cards (which makes me sad), but I do like the way Beckett’s PA synergies with card advantage. You are more likely to be able to take advantage of the extra resources, while your opponent is less likely to be able to do so. This also increases your odds of catching them with a resource they can’t use while you have a Beckett special showing. This deck can also play the Entourage package and get to the 5 resources necessary to drop a Vader’s Fist. I haven’t played this version yet, but I think there is definitely some potential here. I’d also like to mention here how cards like Stifle and Triple Threat go up in value when your opponent has less cards. Blanking and re-roll effects (such as TT) can leave your opponent in a bad place if they lack cards for re-rolls. And Stifle makes them waste an additional card if they want to touch your dice, which just adds to the card advantage (especially if you lay it after they’ve already chosen what cards to discard – they may not have kept enough events to waste one on Stifle).
So there you have it – Dooku + Separatist Conspiracy. I need to test these decks some more to see if they have real legs, but I like the theory behind them. The card advantage you can generate in the early rounds is real, and should lead to great starts for you and poor starts for your opponent. Happy testing!