Asking “What If?”

in KoR Podcast/Opinion/Strategy by

swd04_cardfan2 Asking "What If?"

Destiny is a game that uses cards and dice, two elements that can take a drastic turn depending on the decisions a player makes in game, outside the game, and by their opponent. The biggest question I have come across after a game ends is usually “what if…”. And in that vein players usually ask questions that begin to instill doubt in their deck and in their decisions. I’d like to encourage you to ask the right questions, not just any question.

What If I Played X Instead?

01015 Asking "What If?"


This is one of the most common questions. What if I had played a removal card instead of an upgrade? What if I had put Kylo’s Lightsaber in my deck instead of regular Lightsaber? But I believe the better question to ask would be “what impact did X card have on the game?” If you are dissecting your choices in the game, it might be beneficial to determine what impact X card had on the game instead of guessing what might have happened if you had played a different card entirely. In my head, it’s easy to ask hypothetical questions, but it doesn’t actually provide me with data that’s true or reliable because its all theory crafting. However, I can look back at a card I did play and see if it made an impact in the game or if it wasn’t very useful in the long run. This is something I encourage my friends and testers to do instead of guessing and trying to figure out what might have happened. If you played a card and feel like it didn’t provide the necessary damage or advantage you needed, then you can learn and make the adjustments needed to regain advantage or push your current advantages.


What If I Rolled X Instead?

swd04_force-speed Asking "What If?"


This is a much harder topic to discuss because yes, if you rolled 6 damage on Vader instead of 2 blanks there is likely a very significant difference in how the game would have played out. But my perspective is this: what did you do with what the dice gave you? If you roll blanks this is easy, you got zippo and need to make some tough decisions about if you will sacrifice cards in an attempt to get better die faces. If you roll resources instead of damage, or a discard side and a damage side… I do not believe it makes anyone a better player to look back at a game and wonder what would have or could have happened. I do believe that honestly looking at how you resolved what you rolled and/or re-rolled for a better turn helps you grow as a player. Let’s imagine you roll Vader out and get a 2 damage side and a shield side. And for the sake of this example you resolved those sides and lost the game by 1 damage. You could determine that you should have attempted to re-roll to deal more damage in this instance. “But Sugi, if you do that, you change the outcome of the game and your opponent might have played differently if you rolled damage.” Yes this is correct, if you re-roll the game is now different and we are still theory crafting. But the point of this is to look at what you did with what you were given. With re-rolls, card effects, and other ways to get the dice to show faces you need when you need them, Destiny gives players a lot of ways to control their “luck”. So when looking back at a game you won or lost, I challenge you to consider what you did with the puzzle pieces presented to you in the dice.


What If I Had X Card In My Deck?

swd04_training Asking "What If?"


To me this is the easiest question to answer. Zach Bunn offered a really powerful suggestion when we interviewed him at Star Wars Celebration about his testing process. Imagine you’re playing a game and wished you had ANY card in your hand, grab some paper and write what card you want and put in in the sleeve of the card you don’t want. Now test a number of games, say 10-15 with this new card in your deck and see if it really does what you want it to do. At this point you have data to prove that the new card is actually good or bad in your deck and you now have a stronger deck or a better understanding of how the cards work together. Basically if someone asks “what if i had X instead of Y?” I tell them to swap out the cards and test. There is no way to say if one card is better than another without actually playing games and seeing if your idea is good or bad. The good news is that those ideas can provide helpful data to improve your deck and also help improve your win rate.


Asking The Right Questions

The Question from DC’s comic book universe is one of my favorite characters. Not only is he a very unique spin on superheroes, but he tends to focus on asking the RIGHT question and not just any question. I like to apply that to a lot of things in my life including my gaming skills and decisions. If I lose a game I don’t want to ask why I lost, I ask what I did to set myself up for the loss. If I win a game, I ask what did I do to gain an advantage and use it to find victory. With this mindset I want to challenge players to ask the right questions. Did you make a mistake that cost you the game? Did you discard the wrong card for a re-roll? What did you do to beat the deck you’ve had trouble beating before? What cards in your deck aren’t performing well?

I believe if you can ask the right questions your Destiny experience will open up to new levels and you will see success in your local games and tournaments. Some of the best questions I ask myself are, What is the focus of my deck? Can I afford X card(s)? Where is my win condition coming from? Are these 5 cards good together (when it comes to the opening mulligan decisions)? Which of my characters are expendable? Why does this card matter? What does my opponent need right now? Questions like these help me to form my card choices as well as make decisions when playing games, and keep me focused on winning those games. So good luck and I hope this helps players find answers to the questions we all ask while playing Destiny.

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