That’s right, I have the audacity to tell you all how you can win worlds…. To be clear hear, I’m not claiming I will win worlds or have some secret guaranteed way to win, just that I have some useful advice for those of you with a bit of a competitive edge and want to take Worlds seriously. Question? Do you really need to write something about this when worlds is still 4 months away? YES, you need to start prepping NOW if you want to have a better than average shot at winning Worlds. So without further ado, here are some tips for winning Worlds 2019.
Tip # 1: Get Gud
Okay this is the real talk portion, you can’t realistically expect to win worlds unless you’re legitimately one of the best players in the World. The tips that follow this won’t help you if you’re not already an exceptional player. This is more about tournament prep strategy than anything else. We’ll say you have to be a top 10% player at Worlds to have a chance. What does this look like practically? You need to be able to 5-1 Galactic qualifiers consistently, as that 5-1 translates well into an X-2 at Worlds, which is likely to be the finish needed for top cut (I expect 10 rounds at Worlds, so maybe 8-2, if they cut to a large number you could see 9 rounds instead).
Tip #2: Play the Odds
The second real talk portion of this article is that there really is no way to give yourself a higher than 5% ish chance to win Worlds. There will be too many good players in attendance, what match-ups you face can play a huge roll in your results, and there’s a good chance that whoever win’s was simply a solid player who got lucky all top cut. However, at times you will face a choice between a deck that has a low floor in all of its match-ups, or a deck that has some incredibly good match-ups but a few incredibly bad match-ups. If I were you, I’d play the odds. Bringing a lower ceiling deck is not going to cut it, because you simply aren’t going to be able to out play your top cut opponents 4-5 best of 3s in a row. One of them is going to have an incredible game, and your more consistent deck will not have a chance. Instead, I’d bring a deck that might have a few bad match-ups, but also has some extremely good match-ups or an extremely high ceiling when it goes off, so that you give yourself the chance to get lucky and crush the top cut. This may end up being a personal preference, but if you acknowledge that you need to get lucky to win, then why not play a deck that when it gets lucky, is almost unbeatable. (Obviously you can only push this so far, don’t bring an OTK deck that only goes off every 5 games or so and expect to win Worlds.) In summation, if we assign arbitrary power level to decks, and you have a choice between a deck that is almost always a 90/100, or a deck that is sometimes 85/100 and sometimes 95/100, I’d go with the potential for 95.
Tip #3: Eliminate All Static Errors Prior to Worlds
With the degree of competition at Worlds you simply cannot afford to make errors. However errors are unavoidable to a certain extent, Destiny has too many lines of play for you to always pick the correct one, it’s like playing chess but instead of studying one board state and its lines of play, you have hundreds of potential starting match-ups that quickly branch off into millions of lines of play. That being said, we can still focus on eliminating all static errors from our gameplay with whatever deck we’re playing. What do I mean by static errors? These are errors in choices that we make in almost every game in a particular match-up. Mulligans are a great example of this, you shouldn’t ever have to think about a mulligan in a match at Worlds, you should have already decided whats the best way to mulligan so that your nerves can’t cause you to pick the wrong line of play. Whether you need to play a match-up aggressively or defensively, which character to target first, which offensive tool is best in a match-up, what control you want, what are problem cards to look for from your opponent, etc. should all be known prior to Worlds. The problem is, there are too many match-ups to prep for, and you likely have several potential decks, so the number of games you need to play to eliminate these static errors is extremely high. Which leads into our 4th point.
Tip #4: Pick your Archetypes… NOW!
You need to test the crap out of any decks that you are considering to play at Worlds. Obviously set 8 may change the landscape of the meta a bit, but it’s coming soon, and I still believe we should be able to pick an archetype that will likely be Worlds viable. Choose a several play styles, and start focusing on only those decks. Don’t mess around and try every archetype under the sun. Sure, play a few games with each deck to get a feel for it, but don’t play 10 games on 16 different decks. Play 40 games on 4 different decks and you’ll still have a variety to choose from to pick the best choice for Worlds, but you’ll be much, much more prepared than if you were less focused in your testing. Here are a few archetypes I’d be confident aren’t going away even with set 8 approaching.
Aphra’s card draw and resource efficiency really make her stand out. Her engine (0-0-0 and BT-1) once set up is one of the most efficient and brutal tools in the game. I doubt we’ll see her disappear any time soon.
- Card draw leads to consistent gameplay and low floors, as you’ll rarely lose games due to bad draws.
- Her engine is easy to set up and, while not the most broken of ceilings, leads to many games where the deck puts out a high level of damage quite easily. Even just dropping 0-0-0 down can lead to an extra 5+ indirect damage from events/triggers.
- Her card draw can also be a great support tool for other engines, not just her own, as it makes it easier to draw key cards.
- Several cards in the deck are worse without 0-0-0, if he gets stuck on the bottom of your deck it can be an issue.
- Aphra relies heavily on indirect damage, so it can become hard to finish off key characters, although cards like Assassin droid can help with this.
- Villain yellow is not a great color, although Aphra synergy definitely adds to the number of playable cards in yellow.
- Aphra Wat sentinel Grand Design: Emphasizes card draw to set up engine.
- Aphra Execs (this is much less common): Uses Exec passives to offset indirect damage’s weakness into 3 wides.
- Aphra Grievous: Emphasizes efficiency.
Villain 3 Wide Supports:
Villain 3 wide supports has access to all the great 0 cost removal options in the game, as well as the most broken dice cards out there in Megablasters, Vaders Fist, and Entourage. Even if we see a bunch of support hate in set 8, I doubt it could ever completely eliminate this archetype.
- Phenomenal support characters such as Wat, Watto, Snoke (yes post nerf he’s still great with supports), Grievous, etc.
- Great 0 cost removal package.
- Great dice cards.
- High HP.
- Can struggle if resources are controlled round one. When decks aren’t threatened for a round 2 kill on one of their characters, they can afford to play more aggressively and output crazy high damage in round 2.
- Supports are the most likely archetype to see targeted hate in set 8, and the most likely archetype to be hit with more nerfs (potential target being Wat).
- Literally everyone will know how to play against your deck, this has been top dog for way too long for it to not have a giant target on it for anyone testing for Worlds.
- Unholy Trinity: Focuses on utilizing the 3 most broken supports / cards in the game of Entourage, Fist, and Megablasters.
- Mods AR:
- Grievous makes Wheelbike’s untap free, and decks that AR for it can really abuse Mods as they’ll be rolled out twice.
- Firespray is similar, but gives resource gen instead of untap.
- Aggro: I predict that Snoke will be at the center of several support decks that push damage early and hard instead of pure ramp. Decks with Snoke will look to drop one or two supports (Fist, Megas, Wheelbike) early and then go to town. Potential lineups: Aphra Fost, EGrievous Droid, Grievous Droid AR.
Villain Big Blue:
Vader and Palp are huge threats that can be hard to take off the table. The playstyle of keeping one big alive until they simply crush their opponent is likely to still be viable come worlds.
- Big decks don’t lose any of their effectiveness over the course of the game, as all their value is in one big character. This typically leads to you having a massive dice advantage round 3/4.
- Bigs typically have a broken ability that makes them uniquely difficult to deal with. Vaders dice are hard to control, while Palps HP can grow indefinitely, etc.
- Aggro match-ups can be hard, as losing your big is almost always a game loss.
- Typically have only 1 style of play, makes it easier for your opponent to play against.
- Vader: Hard to control and can abuse the heck out of Fist or Vaders LS.
- Palp: Hard to kill and leaves enough points for a solid support character.
Hero mill has been around for quite some time and I doubt set 8 will hurt it, if anything having another set of removal is going to be huge for heroes who’s removal has been lack luster this set (Jedi Mind Trick will be nuts). Especially if support hate gets printed that mill can use to blow up problem cards like Fist/Megas, then it could gain back that almost free win that Vehicle match-ups used to be pre-Snoke / fist.
- Mill has historically had some incredibly one sided match-ups, the decks it beats it beats HARD.
- Decks don’t get as many free wins into mill, as random hand disruption / removal can bring to a halt what would have been a stupidly strong round into other decks. (For example getting to 5 resources only to have Fist discarded from your hand).
- In a diverse meta, Mill can struggle to run the right set of control cards it needs to disrupt every decks game plan. If you’re putting in support hate, for example, you’re hurting your non-support match-ups.
- Tie breakers suck for mill. Slow mill decks can have huge problems with this in swiss.
- Retribution Phasma is stupidly hard for mill to control.
- 6 die Yellow: Utilizes vandalize and other cards to control your ramp more than it focuses on controling your starting dice.
- 2 Wide Speed: Focuses on milling your opponent faster than they can kill you.
Phasma retribution has such an incredibly low floor while still having stupidly high ceilings when it drops cards like Fist or Megas. This deck is going to be their at Worlds.
- Hard for your opponent to control your damage output.
- Decent ramp potential without sacrificing damage dice.
- Plenty of focus on your starting dice.
- High Ceiling, High Floor.
- Great control options at both 0 and 1 cost.
- Having a 12 HP big is a problem. Phasma can die round 2 and if she does you’re almost guaranteed a loss.
- Sequencing can be difficult in later rounds against fast decks, as it’s hard to get value out of Phasma before she dies.
- Sentinel: High Focus, great control, can run Fist.
- Yellow: Gains access to Vandalize for a more controlling version of the deck.
- Advanced Training: Its worth mentioning that you can forego retribution to gain action cheat strength from AT. Being able to guarantee you’ll roll damage goes a long way towards securing those early round 2 kills.
I’d argue that Mace is one of blue Hero’s best shots at having a competitive Worlds deck. His ability to quickly find key upgrades, gain an HP a round, and his incredibly solid dice lead to a very high floor deck.
- Can roll out into high damage early in round 2 and 3, as Mace has 66% chance at damage or focus. This is key for securing crucial kills.
- Quickly searching your deck for upgrades is great for consistency.
- Can be hard to kill with his shield a round + other shield cards.
- Relies on characters, so you lose a ton of value when you lose a character, unlike most support decks.
- Blue hero’s cards suck right now, but look to be getting better with set 8.
- Yellow Bandoliers: This focuses on loading up Mace quickly to reach high upgrade counts, allowing abuse of Fatal Blow and Bacta Therapy.
- Aayla LS: Uses the strength of character dice to put out damage early and often in a typical sticks fashion, with the added benefit of 2 extra cards a game. (Its worth noting that Mace’s ability to quickly find Forms is great for the move events).
Padme is another hero that has a shot of making a run for it at Worlds. Her consistency and high damage sets her apart.
- Being able to pack extra focus that can also be damage leads to a high degree of consistency.
- Crazy high indirect damage output.
- Padme decks can typically play fast with fewer re-rolls, allowing use of strong battlefields.
- Deck building around her passive is not always safe, as her dying early would then lead to a loss.
- Indirect damage can struggle into certain match-ups.
- Mean Streets: Utilize the focus of Padme for speedy turns, and use Mean Streets to keep your characters alive. Padme’s 3 side helps win roll-off.
- High Side: Utilize focus of Padme for garunteeing overpowered sides on dice. This can overlap with Mean Streets archetype (Padme Boushe).
Hero AR Mean Streets:
Mean Streets can be a busted card, and Across the Galaxy is one of the few cards that can easily swap the battlefield round 1. This leads to more garunteed access to Mean Streets and what it can do for your deck.
- Mean Streets can be extremely busted.
- AR leads to consistant set-up for executing a game plan.
- Need to find a way to be fast enough despite running a vehicle.
- Weaker if not on your battlefield.
- Vehicle destruction is a serious concern.
- Bigs: Bigs ability to activate your vehicle leads to a much faster round, allowing for easier claims.
- Padme: Padme’s Ship is a great option for AR, as it gives you a shield a round that can help offset the HP you lost to run AR.
Iden 2 Wide Hybrid:
Villain has several options for a middle middle deck centered around Iden Versio. Her 12 HP, 2-2-2, Leader and Trooper create a solid foundation for any Middle Middle, and these decks are quite strong due to both starting with great damage, while also being able to ramp into cards like Fist, Megablasters, etc. This is likely going to be a Viable strategy. (I know you could run without Iden, Talzin Becket for example, but I really feel Iden is the best starting point for these decks).
- Typically doesn’t lose a character round 1, and has a good shot at keeping both alive round 2.
- Can put out damage quickly in cruicial rounds.
- Has access to the broken cards in support decks but isn’t completely reliant on ramp.
- Can choose between the best upgrades and the best supports.
- Losing a character early can be brutal.
- Lower overall HP makes indirect decks hard to beat at times.
- Becket: Beckets PA gives more consistent round 1 resource gen for dropping cards like Mega Blasters or Entourage. His 2 and 3 are nice for pushing damage late.
- Phasma Military Camp: This relies on consistent action cheating to put heavy damage down. Particularly good into big decks when you can focus to Phasma’s special. Also has a sweet Route.
- Iden Blue: Gain access to Fist, and overall has better cards than yellow at the moment, even if Becket is a better character than most blue’s at the moment.
There is so much more advice to be given, but I wanted to get this particular advice out there now, as I truly believe picking archetypes to focus on NOW in your testing is crucial for giving you that competitive edge needed to win an event like Worlds. If you have 500 games on an archetype, and your opponent has 100, that’s a huge advantage for you. Pick 2-3 Archetypes from my list, or something I didn’t mention, and starting playing them. After set 8 releases at 1-2 more but stop there. The advantage to be had from being extremely experienced on your deck is better than playing a deck that is just barely better than it. Only make late mulligans if you find something that is clearly much better. To be more prepared for that, you can pick 4 archetypes that span as broad of play styles as possible, such that if you need to mulligan to something broken, you’ll still have experience on similar decks. Anyway, hope you enjoyed the article, and hope to see you at Worlds!