Destiny Tracking

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lastastronaut
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Destiny Tracking

Post by lastastronaut »

Can anybody post a quick tutorial on destiny tracking techniques? I assume this is still a big part of the game; I haven't played in about 10 years and am trying to get back into the game now. Destiny tracking was something I always wanted to have a better grasp of to take me to the next level. Thanks to anybody who can help out with this.



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Re: Destiny Tracking

Post by Advocate »

I am a bit under today, but there are rereleased articles on our site that Steve Marshall wrote about tracking. I believe they are there. If not, someone can post them and the deck used here.

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AnakinSolo
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Re: Destiny Tracking

Post by AnakinSolo »

This is all copied from a DT post by Steve Marshall:

TRACKING SIMPLIFIED

Warning: This article is probably going to be redundant and useless to advanced players. It is to help out those who want to break out of "scrub" status and advance to a higher level of play.

So tracking is an advanced form of playing; we all know that. Advanced and experienced players use it to make sure they’re going to hit Vader or choke Jedi Luke just for the fun of it. Tracking can win a game if done right, and it is a major advantage for those who know how to utilize its power. Some really good players can even track the cards in your deck as well as their own, thus knowing the outcome of a battle several turns before it happens. I track the cards in my deck, and I’m happy to relate some of my secrets to you in the hope of helping out others who want to advance to a whole new level of strategic planning.

WHAT IS TRACKING?
Tracking is the term used when you know where a specific card is in your deck. You might happen to know that a Twilek Advisor (pull any effect from your deck, used, not immune to sense, destiny 5) is card number 12 in your deck of 35 cards currently. You know what card is where, and you have the ability to make it card #1 when it’s time to draw battle destiny. This is the simple definition of tracking. You can track a single card in your deck (or any other piles), or you can track several cards. For the sake of this article, I’m going to focus on tracking a single card.

HOW DO I TRACK MY CARDS?
First off, don’t think that this is a skill that only really high-level players can use. It’s really not hard to do; the often spectacular outcome makes it seem difficult to pull off. Don’t worry about the length of this article - I’m just trying to give you enough detail to be able to see everything in your head. Usually, all you have to do is have the ability to count to 15. For those of you in Florida, I’m sorry if you’re having trouble. JUST KIDDING - THIS WAS A JOKE. Please don’t take offense if you’re reading this in Florida! Everyone else is taking their shots... I’m just jumping on a political bandwagon!

THE BOTTOM-UP THEORY
Anyway! For beginners, I highly recommend tracking your cards from the bottom of the deck. This is how I started learning to track; it’s probably the easiest way to track your cards, and it works just as well as anything else. Let’s use that Twilek Advisor example above. All we care about is the destiny 5.

* Activate your Force.
* Use 6 Force to deploy your Vader. You have 6 cards in your Used Pile.
* Use 3 to use a Twilek. Search for any effect - you don’t care which one because you’re only doing it to track. Pull the lowest-destiny effect you’ve got out of the deck.
* You now have 10 cards in your Used Pile - the bottom 6 are from Vader, the next 3 are from Twilek, and the top card is Twilek. It is card #10 from the bottom.

You can now battle, use weapons, draw destinies, or anything else you want to do. Let’s pretend Darth Vader, Dark Lord Of The Sith (you just deployed) is in a battle against Jedi Luke.

* Draw a destiny to choke Luke. You are obviously going to miss - you want less cards on top of the deck. You now have 1 card in your Used Pile.
* Draw a battle destiny. You beat Luke by 2 power, and his destiny isn’t enough to kill you. Vader lives.
* You now have 2 cards in your Used Pile - the choke destiny, and the battle destiny. You don’t care what those numbers are just yet.
* Recirculate at the end of his turn - Twilek was #10 from the bottom, and now you’ve added 2 cards. It’s now #12.

Activate all of your Force EXCEPT 12 cards. Deploy your Grand Moff Tarkin against Luke and battle. Draw a destiny of 5 and have Tarkin cancel his destiny. That gives you a power of 15 (6 for Vader, 4 for Tarkin, 5 Destiny) against his power of 6. Sucks to be Luke!

By counting your destinies from the bottom of your deck, you don’t have to worry about counting what you activate, draw, lose to Force drains, or anything else like that. Just count your Used Pile each turn and keep a single number in your head.

TAKE A STEP FORWARD
Remember that battle destiny Vader drew against Luke in the first battle? If it was high, keep that number in mind and remember that it is card #2 in your deck now. Card #1 is the choke destiny; card #2 is the battle destiny. Keep the higher destiny in mind and track it through. Were they both high destinies? Activate Force up to those 2 cards and start a battle. Now you can choke someone AND draw a decent destiny. If you realize too late that you’ve activated to the wrong spot in your deck, choke someone just to burn a card. Use an Alter.

REFERENCES
When you’re starting to learn how to track, R2-Q2 is an awesome reference. This Dark Side droid lets you look at the top 3 cards of your deck during your draw phase, so you can make sure your numbers are what you think they are. Is an Epic Duel the only way for you to win your game? Use R2-Q2 to make sure you can win.

Janus Greejatus is also a nifty card. He lets you use a Force to put a card from your hand on the bottom of your Used Pile and draw a card from your deck. I always use him to put a destiny 6 card back in the deck (generally a Lost Interrupt), then activate everything except 1 card. Guess what - it’s a 6!

Reactor Terminal is the most obvious way to track destinies. You can put any destinies you want from your hand into your deck in any order that you see fit. This makes it really easy to keep track of your cards. Lose count? Use the Reactor Terminal again next turn to start over again.

ADVANCED STRATEGIES
Let’s say you’ve tracked a destiny 6 card to the bottom of your deck. Great! Now activate all your Force except 1 (the 6 is on the bottom of your deck, so now it’s the only one left). Deploy whatever you want and battle. Draw the 6 for destiny, and DON’T MOVE ANYBODY for the rest of the turn. It was the last card in the deck, and now it’s on the top of your Used Pile. When you recirculate at the end of your turn, it’s still the top card! Lose Force from your Force Pile or your hand to keep the 6 on top. If and when they come to battle, you’ll have another great destiny for them.

Let’s take that same example again. You drew the 6 for destiny and killed everyone at the site. Here is a sample table now: General Solo and Chewbacca of Kashyyyk control the Endor Docking Bay (1 Light icon, 1 Dark icon), and Obi-Wan Kenobi with Obi-Wan’s Lightaber and an elom control the Tatooine Docking Bay (1 Light icon, 1 Dark icon). Your Lord Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin are at the Cloud City Docking Bay. You are going to be Force drained for 2 at the Tatooine Docking Bay and 1 at the Endor Docking Bay. Use 1 Force for Docking Bay Transit from Cloud City to Tatooine. This blocks the drain at Tattoine, leaving you with a drain of 1 to deal with. Your tracked destiny 6 is the #2 card now. Recirculate. When your opponent drains you for 1, lose the top card of your Reserve Deck. Now the destiny 6 card is on the top of your deck again! The battle will get rid of Obi, the Elom, and Tarkin, leaving Lord Vader to control the Docking Bay.

CONCLUSION
This was just a simple tutorial on tracking. You can count the cards on the bottom of your deck to track your destinies. Just remember - it’s not as hard as you think! Remember that if you pull cards out of your deck, you will have to reshuffle, and your tracking will be gone. Don’t worry about it - there are still high destinies in your deck, but now you need a little luck to find the right one instead of knowing where it is. If you lose count (and it WILL happen - it happens to the best of us), just find a place to start over again. Don’t get frustrated. I’ve had games where I’ve used a Weapon Levitation (destiny 4) on turn 1 and tracked it the rest of the game, but I’ve also miscounted several times. It’s okay. If you get frustrated with your counting, your playing will suffer. Don’t worry about it! Like everything else, it takes a TON of practice to get it right. Good luck! I hope this helps you out.
Well, Bye.

AnakinSolo
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Re: Destiny Tracking

Post by AnakinSolo »

I have had a lot of people ask me to write this article. I hope it lives up to your expectations and raises the playing level across the board, whether you’re breaking out of the newbie shell or at the top looking to stay. I would suggest that you read "Tracking Is For Everyone" on my page (BlackViper) before you read this - it is ADVANCED strategy.

Rule #1: KNOW YOUR DECK. I’m talking inside out, sideways and backwards. Know how many cards you start with, how many you activate, how many are in what pile AT ALL TIMES. This can make you a beast. I track the same 3 cards through my deck during any given game, and I track them at all times. In the Used Pile, 3rd one activated, or even if it’s the 34th card down in the deck. You need to know. It’s not really as bad as it seems. Here’s how you can do it:

First, you need to know how many cards you’ve got. Let’s pretend that you’re playing BHBM ViperTech (check it out on my page for reference - M&T using Human Shield). I start the Objective, DS2 Throne Room, Insig Rebel, and Your Destiny. Prep Defenses brings out Mobile Points, IAO, and Secret Plans. I have 8 cards on the table. I’m going to draw 8 cards for my starting hand, so that’s 16 cards out of my deck. My reserve deck has 44 cards left in it. I’ll activate 5 Force (2 at DS2, 2 from my opponent’s Agents deck, and 1 for me) and get stuff from the deck. I pull Palpy, Emp Power, Force Lightning, Carida, and the DS2 DB. I’ve got 39 cards left.

That’s the basic principle of knowing how many cards are left. Later in the game, you’ll have fewer cards, and it will get easier to count. Just keep the number in the back of your head. It helps to know your addition/subtraction tables off the top of your head so you can keep most of your concentration on your actual game. Let’s jump ahead in the game. Here’s the board:

Tatooine - Aud Chamber - Desert - Tat DB - DS2 DB - DS2 Throne Room - CC: DB - Endor: DB - Carida

* Lord Vader has his lightsaber at Cloud City and is sitting with Tarkin waiting for something to happen. (4 cards)
* Mara has her saber and sits patiently with Xizor and Guri at the Tatooine DB. (4 cards)
* Palpy is talking tech with Sim and Janus at the DS2 Throne Room. Emperor’s Power and Presence Of The Force are deployed there. (6 cards)
* No one is on Endor. (1 card)
* Zuckuss and 4LOM are at Carida. (3 cards)
* Bossk and Dengar are holding Tatooine with an iron fist. (2 cards)
* Aside from your starting stuff, your other table cards are Battle Order, Oppressive Enforcement, and Imperial Decree. (5 starting effects + 1 objective + 3 others = 9 cards)
* Your lost pile includes Prep Defenses, Alter, Force Lightning, Emperor’s Power, Tarkin, Human Shield, and Mighty Jabba. (7 cards)
* You have Force Lightning, Human Shield, Twi’lek, Lord Vader, and Masterful Move in your hand. (5 cards)

Right now, you’ve got 19 cards in your deck. Doesn’t seem like a lot, but your opponent is pinned down with some serious hate going on. We’ll track Masterful Move (destiny 6), Twi’lek Advisor (destiny 5), and Force Lightning (destiny 5) for the rest of the game just in case your opponent tries anything. I’m going to make this explanation as simple as I can: R = Reserve Deck, F = Force Pile, and U = Used Pile. #1 is the top card of a pile, #2 is the 2nd card of the pile, and so on.
* Activate 17 cards. R=2 / F=17 / U=0
* Use 3 for Twi’lek Advisor. R=2 / F=14 / U=4 / Twilek is U#1.
* There is no effect in the deck. That’s good. There’s also nothing to pull with Masterful. That’s good. R=2 / F=14 / U=4 / Twilek is U #1.
* Use 1 Force for Masterful Move. R=2 / F=13 / U=6 / Masterful is U#1 / Twilek is U#3.
* Use Janus to put back your Force Lightning and draw a card. R=1 / F=12 / U=8 / Masterful is U#2 / Twilek is U#4 / Force Lightning is U#8 (bottom).
* Recirculate. R=21 / F=12 / U=0.
* Your hand consists of an extra Vader and Human Shield.

Now the only thing you need to remember is the destiny setup of your Reserve deck. You can save yourself a little grief by using the previous Tracking technique (from my Tracking Is For Everyone article) to track the Force Lightning. Just remember it’s on the bottom. Here’s the deck from top to bottom:

WASTE
WASTE
6
WASTE
5
WASTE
WASTE
WASTE
5
*12 more cards on bottom*

If he gives you any loss, lose off the top. Let’s say he drains you for 1 at the Audience Chamber. Lose the top of your deck. He drops Cappy Han and EPP Leia in the Falcon against Zuckuss. You draw something and a 6, getting around his immunity and killing off something. His 3 destinies kill everything there.

WASTE
5
WASTE
WASTE
WASTE
5

U (from top to bottom) = 6 / WASTE

He also dropped Ben, Jedi Luke, and Orrimaarko against Mara, Xizor, and Guri. Fine. Slice Jedi Luke with Mara’s stick (crap and a 5 are usually going to hit him).

WASTE
WASTE
WASTE
5

U (from top to bottom) = 5 / WASTE / 6 / WASTE

Use a Force to let Janus to put Human Shield on the bottom of your Used Pile and draw one. You want your destiny to be that 5.

WASTE
WASTE
5

U (from top to bottom) = WASTE / 5 / WASTE / 6 / WASTE / 5

Lose a card off the top to draw an extra destiny.

WASTE
5

U (from top to bottom) = WASTE / 5 / WASTE / 6 / WASTE / 5

Have Sim check the top destiny of your opponent.

U (from top to bottom) = WASTE / WASTE / 5 / WASTE / 6 / WASTE / 5

Now as you draw your destinies, you will draw some random destiny for ability, and Emperor’s Power lets you draw that 5 as well.

U (from top to bottom) = 5 / WASTE / WASTE / WASTE / 5 / WASTE / 6 / WASTE / 5

Luke is forfeit 0, Orri is forfeit 4, and Ben’s immunity doesn’t hold up. You’ve just cleared the site. Not only that, but every other card in your Used Pile is a high destiny. You remember that you had 12 cards in your deck (without having to look). You can count to make sure. Some TDs don’t let you count your Life Force during a game for some reason. If this is the case, use Palpy’s game text to look for a Force Lightning. Gee, there’s not one in there (anymore). Count them before you replace the deck. Recirculate.

On your turn, make fun of them because they’ve got to lose 3 to Your Destiny. Activate 12. Now your former Used Pile is all that’s left, and it’s in the same order. Activate 2 more (you’ve still got Force in your Force Pile from last turn, and you don’t have anything to deploy). Now here’s your destiny setup:

WASTE
WASTE
5
WASTE
6
WASTE
5

Drain all you like, then draw a few if you feel so inclined. If you find a high destiny card, use Janus to put it on the bottom of the Used Pile and draw a top card. Your Used Pile only has 2 cards (top is crap, bottom is a 5), and your deck lost a card off the top. Here’s your deck as you recirculate and wait for your opponent to die away:

WASTE
5
WASTE
6
WASTE
5
WASTE
5

On your opponent’s turn, you have the option of using Janus to burn a card off the top and/or losing a card for Emp’s Power to burn a card. You can draw a high card whenever you feel like it on your opponent’s turn. That’s some SERIOUS deck manipulation tech. Even if you don’t have any reason to draw destinies, you’ve just done a LOT of damage through the multiple turns of good drains and the battles. Sweet.

This was a simple example, of course. You should choose the cards you’re going to track during your deck building. Choose high destiny Used Interrupts for this. You should start tracking these cards through your deck (as many or as few as you want, I personally track 3 at a time) as soon as you’ve pulled everything you need to pull. In other words, don’t use Out Of Commission and look for a Docking Bay, because the Out Of Commission is going to get shuffled and lost in the deck. Once all your docking bays, Force Lightnings, Occupations, Raltiir sites, or whatever are out, then you can start the counting game.

Early game, I like to track my destinies about 10-15 cards apart. This way I can get a tracked card whenever I want. Otherwise, I might not be able activate enough Force to get to my card (Ommni Box is card # 24 in the deck, but I only activate 13 Force. Oops!). On the other hand, if Masterful Move is card # 14, then I can activate to that high destiny, draw it, then next turn activate to the Ommni Box and draw that one as well. Next turn I activate to the Masterful Move again. Getting the idea?

In this, the early game, you will probably have anywhere from 35-40 cards actually in the deck. Plan your tracking accordingly. Track 4 cards at the start. As the game goes on and you’ve only got 25-30 cards in the deck, lose a couple tracked cards and stick with 2 or 3. Late in the game, every card counts. Track as many destinies as your brain can handle without losing focus of your game play strategies. If your game is going through a lot of single battles, track the same destiny (or destinies) that you’re drawing. Activate all but 2, battle, draw those 2. Recirculate. On their turn, draw those same 2 again. Recirculate. Activate all but 2, draw the same 2 cards again. Recirculate. It’s an easy and effective engine.

Here is a list of some cards that can easily circulate. These are not the ONLY cards that are easy to track; these are just the ones I use commonly.

DARK SIDE:
* Ommni Box (5)
* Twi’lek Advisor (5)
* Masterful Move (6)
* Abyssian Ornament (5)
* Force Lightning (even on your own characters) (5)
* Dark Maneuvers (on your opponent’s ship, if you need to) (6)
* Shocking Revelation (5)

LIGHT SIDE:
* The Bith Shuffle (5)
* The Signal (5)
* Nar Shaddaa Wind Chimes (5)
* A Few Maneuvers (6)
* You Will Take Me To Jabba Now (5)
* It Could Be Worse (4)
* Out Of Commission (5)
* Shocking Information (5)
* How Did We Get Into This Mess (4)

This should get you well on your way to tracking. Build your deck knowing that you want to track these high destiny cards. Practice against your circle of friends and keep your tracked cards face up. Try with them face down and guess when your tracked card is on the top. Since it’s a fun game, you can check to make sure you are right and counted correctly. This is the best way to get used to tracking fast - playing with your tracked cards face up against friends. Remember to count over and over again. It seems like a pain, but if you practice it long enough, it will become natural to have that little 19 in the back of your head, then next turn it turns into a 9, then next turn you slaughter your opponent in a horrific battle with a high destiny. When you’re ready, take your tracking skills to a local tournament and see how you fare.

The first rule of thumb is DON’T GET EXCITED! You will start to get jumpy as you realize your opponent is almost asking you to kill him with your tracked destinies. When you get excited, you lose count. You miscount. You forgot that you just shuffled your deck and you’re going to draw a 0 and a 1 instead of a 6 and a 7. This goes back to practicing. It’s natural to get excited when this kind of thing starts to happen to your games. The random element is gone. I have more control than I did last time. When you practice, you’ll get used to having the destiny and make fewer mistakes because of it.

I hope this helps the game play of the entire StarWars community. Last article, someone wrote in the ratings "I fear this will level the playing field for newbies." Boy, do I have stories to tell you.

I also want to answer another question that has popped up a couple times: Do I regret writing these strategies? No. It is true that I have lost several close battles (and even games) because my opponent is using my own tracking techniques against me. I don’t know how the rest of you normally do it, but this is Tracking Viper-style. No one taught me how to do this except me. So when you are using it, I can see it in your eyes. ;-) More power to you. The entire idea behind writing these strategy articles is to raise the game play level of StarWars players; therefore, if you beat me using my techniques against me, I have succeeded. Just make sure when you win Worlds, you give me a prop somewhere in there! j/k. So the answer is no, I don’t regret making people better players.

As always, please feel free to d-mail me with any questions or comments you might have. Thanks for reading!

"Mind what you have learned, for dangerous is the path ahead. Many foes will you face, yes! But draw low will you not, *hmph*! Lose close battles you will not. *Hmph*! Play foolishly you must not, for strong are your opponents. Tarkin and Vader you wish to fight alone? Strong are you with the Force... but not that strong. Knowledge a tool this is. Save you it can."

-Steve
Well, Bye.

AnakinSolo
Retired Advocate
Posts: 15929
Joined: December 4th, 2002, 4:03 pm

Re: Destiny Tracking

Post by AnakinSolo »

Advanced Tracking (Part 3 of 3)

So you’ve read the other articles and want to know what happens next. Here are the possible situations you could be in:

a) You’ve never read my previous tracking articles
b) You’ve read the tracking articles, but haven’t tried / mastered the techniques yet
c) You’ve read the tracking articles, practiced, and now you are a tracking beast
d) You’ve read the tracking articles and don’t give a rat’s behind because it’s all old news to you

If you’re not in group c or d, you should probably stop reading now because you WILL be lost. With a select few exceptions, this will prove to be true. Make sure you can track your deck from the top and from the bottom before you attempt the advanced strategies within this document. I’m writing this in the hopes of making group c MUCH better players, and maybe even reaching to group d this time around.

I’ll give you a list of cards that can vastly improve on tracking skills and are useful in gameplay, then I’ll give a few examples on how to use them effectively. Maybe in the process I’ll give you some tech you didn’t have before that you can implement into your play style.

CARDS YOU NEED IN EVERY LIGHT DECK:
I can’t think of a single Light deck that couldn’t be improved with these cards.

* Jedi Luke (Destiny 6 Jedi, at least holds 4th Marker in EBO, works great in every other deck - DUH)
* The Bith Shuffle & Desparate Reach (Screws up tracking, cancels Barrier, Used 5)
* The Signal (Used 5, take low-destiny Effects out if nothing else)
* Throw Me Another Charge (Cancels Trooper Assault and Dark Jedi Presence, easily circulated 6)
* Out Of Commission (Used 5, put Vader away for good)
* Any destiny adders (draw your destiny one at a time, check to see if you like them or not, and track them through your deck. More destinies = more tracking opportunities)

LIGHT TECH CARDS IN CERTAIN SITUATIONS:
These don’t work in every Light deck, but they have their uses and can be very valuable tracking tools if used under the correct situations

* Weapon Lev (Used 4, steal the Vader’s Saber or Snoova’s Ax)
* Wind Chimes (even with few non-uniques, retrieval is retrieval and it’s a Used 5)
* Slight Weapons Malfunction (nice with permanent guns / axes, great combo with Aim High, Used 4)
* Any Admiral’s Orders (give your space that little extra edge, get an extra drain at docking bays, make his TIEs power 0, it’s a 6 that only goes to the Used Pile)
* Mirax (she is to LS what Janus is to DS - a tracking god[dess])
* Reflection (just lose that high destiny card? get it back and track it, especially useful late game. Retrieval is retrieval)

CARDS YOU NEED IN EVERY DARK DECK:
This isn’t easy, as Dark decks can be so versatile that virtually no cards fit in this category. Let me try anyway:

* Ommni Box (Used 5 to screw up opponent’s tracking, the It’s Worse combo is nice)
* Any destiny adders (draw your destiny one at a time, check to see if you like them or not, and track them through your deck. More destinies = more tracking opportunities)
* Masterful Move (Used 6, search for the destiny 1 Ghhhk, cancel the annoying Savrip)

DARK TECH CARDS IN CERTAIN SITUATIONS:
Again, these are hard to come by, and the Dark Side seems to work in combos, so your play style might be a little different

* Weapon Lev (Used 4, steal the Luke’s Saber or Vader’s Saber back)
* Janus (Tracking For Dummies all wrapped up in a single card)
* Any Admiral’s Orders (give your space that little extra edge, take away his X-Wings bite a little, it’s a 6 that only goes to the Used Pile)
* Emperor Palpatine (Destiny 6 Jedi, S/A done RIGHT aka It Works, pulls Force Lightning)
* Force Lightning (Used 5, zap your own characters, Janus it back down and pull it again to check your deck, easy tracking)

As you might have noticed, I didn’t list Traffic Control or Reactor Terminal in here. If you’ve built a solid deck, you won’t need them. Janus and Mirax are much more efficient ways of getting the job done, and your deck should already have enough Used Interrupts to keep the hand size low and the high destinies flowing. The point is, there are other ways of getting cards back into your deck. Eve I use them every once in awhile (mains without many Used Ints, Dominations / Atrocities, etc), although I’ll bet you won’t see them in Hunter’s deck. ;-) If you like them, use them. If you hate them, don’t use them. It’s up to you, as always. But think out of the box now.


I am writing this article for 2 main reasons: Tatooine seems to be putting the hurt on tracking skills (I’ve already dubbed it "Tatoo-AntiViper-ine"), and I don’t care. I’ll track anyways. Also, at the Vegas DPC, I put a lot of hate in against my 7th game opponent, but the worst was the Set For Stun on Ben. The rest of the story - that 7 would have stayed on the top of the deck the rest of the game had it continued... I guaruntee it.

So what’s so advanced? What can you still do that you haven’t posted yet? Well, let me tell you. I’m assuming you can track your reserve deck from the top, and you can track it from the bottom. This article will offer simple solutions to tracking through your Force / Used piles and also through your opponent’s deck, unless your opponent is Matt Berta in which case this one won’t work. Sorry. ;-) I’ll be using most of the cards mentioned above to describe these techniques to you, so keep them in mind.


Okay, tracking through your other piles. We’ll start with destiny draws. This one’s easy, and it has the potential to bring your tracking skills to the table turn 1. KNOW YOUR DESTINIES! You draw them one at a time, so if you get multiple, you draw one, register the number, put it in the used pile, and draw the next one. This is of ABSOLUTE IMPORTANCE - In the rare case that I actually miscount my cards, this is the only reason it happens. First, it helps to use LOTS of weapons, pack used interrupts that require destiny draws, and also to use Destiny adders. This will force many cards off the top of your deck so you will know what and where they are. Keep track of your high destinies and use the bottom-up technique to bring them to the top of your deck. If you activate and use a lot of Force, then initiate a battle, your deck will probably be so low that you can activate to your tracked destinies next turn.

Also, instead of counting your deck after a good draw (thus giving away the fact that you’re tracking), memorize the number of cards left in your Life Force, then count as you activate and use Force, and place your tracked card between the numbers. Now, instead of counting your cards, you just activate whatever was left on top of the destiny and draw the card. They usually won’t see it coming if you use this strategy instead of counting decks every turn. If you play smooth like this (it helps to be REALLY good at math), it makes the tracking that much cooler when it happens.


Count your opponent’s destinies, too! It’s much easier if he’s low on Force, and I suggest only trying it if he actually is low while you’re learning. If he draws the destiny 6 card, ask him how many cards are left in his deck. If you know that he’s tracking it (you’ll know because he’ll activate the same number he told you a moment ago), throw an Ommni Box at him.* Masterful Move is another beating - if your opponent uses it at all, make sure you throw a Bith Shuffle down as soon as he recirculates. Keep this in mind - in order to use the card, he MUST have at least 1 card in his deck, and he MUST use a Force to search, so his deck will have AT LEAST 3 cards. You WILL be able to randomize his deck every time, even if he gets the first action of the next turn. Let him know you want an action after he activates a Force. This also holds true with circulating 5s, although I don’t worry about my opponent’s tracking if it’s less than a destiny 5. If he’s tracking the high destiny and is finally going to break a key character’s immunity, move the character away. Knowing the destinies coming at you will win you games.

* Don’t actually throw cards or boxes at your opponent.


To track your cards through your Force pile is the ultimate protection of tracked destinies and will prove to be the reason Tatoo-AntiViper-ive won’t hurt you. So you’ve tracked your destinies, and you’ve got a nice destiny on the top of your deck. Your opponent knows it, and doesn’t battle you. So now, you’ve still got that nice destiny sitting on top of your deck and it’s your activate phase. This, my friends, is TECH.

I’m going to reveal my secret to all good tracking, and I wasn’t planning on doing it in this article at all, so prepare to be amazed:

TRACK IN PAIRS.

Here’s why. You will need to have a tracked pair farther down in your deck - tracking 2 sets isn’t that hard. Getting a pair together isn’t that hard, either. Signal for something and use the Bith Shuffle to stack a pair of 5s, use 2 Ommni Boxes together, use a high destiny before anything else gets in your Used pile and then use Mirax / Janus to stack another high destiny under it, and the list goes on and on. There are easy ways to stack pairs together. Know where the pairs are, and don’t activate one without activating the other. You NEED to keep the pair together. Hidden Base really hurts this endeavor, so use your pair instead of using one to draw the other OR use one to draw the other, let’s say it’s an Out Of Commission. Use it, and they’re stacked together again. Pairs are your friend.

Search through your hand and find EXACTLY how much Force you will need to use this turn. Activate EXACTLY that amount. Use your Force to your other tracked pair. As soon as you activate 1, your tracked single will be on the bottom of your Force pile. Keep activating to the tracked pair still in your deck, and your other high destiny will STILL be on the bottom of your Force pile. Use all the Force you activated (because you activated wisely, right?)and battle, and now your tracked single is on the top of your Used Pile. Draw your destiny - oh look, it’s high! What a coincidence. And now the top 2 cards of your Used pile are both high. Recirculate, and you’ve still got a high destiny on top of your deck to draw. Next turn, repeat everything all over again - activate to the pair, use all your Force, battle, and your top 2 cards of your Used will be high again. It’s a machine. This is easier if you track more cards, say 3, 4, or 5, but it can be done with a single card and the pair.

As for Tatooine - you NEED to activate MUCH MORE than the Force you’ll actually need in order to make it work right, but when you get your activation engine running, it will work. Just make sure you save 1 Force at the end of each turn, 4 if your opponent has the queen (or the opportunity to do so). If The Trace Was Correct lets your opponent shuffle your deck, but he can’t touch your Force Pile. You NEED to have the bottom card of your Force pile tracked - know what the thing is. Bring the beat squad to destroy Maul into a million billion pieces (use Jedi, weapons, Blaster Proficiency, etc), and suddenly you’ve instantly started tracking again with that Force Pile card. You don’t need to hope for a high destiny interrupt or effect with this technique, Trace can’t touch your Force Pile, and the popular Ommni Box combo doesn’t shuffle your Force Pile. If he has your queen, he can use 3 of your Force Beggar-style, so make sure you save 4 instead of 1 in this case. He probably won’t have the opportunity to do so until mid to late game, and you should have enough activation at that point to save enough to track. You also need to constantly know what the top card of your deck is, since you’ll need to activate it (making it the bottom card of your Force Pile) in order for this to work.

This is also how I Set For Stunned Ben Kenobi and would have kept the destiny 7 on the top of the deck the rest of the game. I had 19 Force left, and I was activating 21 a turn. So I have the ability to activate my entire deck whenever I want. I used Janus to put the 7 on the bottom of the Used Pile on his turn, making it the bottom card of my deck after we recirculated. I activated all but 2 and used Janus to take the top card off of my deck and put a card from my hand back. I used Set For Stun and drew the 7, making it the top card of my Used Pile and my Reserve Deck empty. I recirculate with cards in my Force Pile, and the 7 is on top of my deck. If he battles me, I draw the 7. If not, I have 2 options:

1) activate all except 1, Janus the 7 down and pick up my last card, then lose the top card of my deck to his drain, leaving the 7 on top.

2) activate everything and find a way to use all the Force I just activated. If I’ve got 10 cards left, the 7 will be on top. I activate the 7, leaving 9 cards left. I activate the other 9 and find a way to use all 10 Force, and recirculate, leaving the 7 on top again. You can leave a single Force left in the deck and use Twi’lek to burn 3 Force; use Janus to burn a Force, pick it up, and drop a hand card to the bottom of the Used Pile; Masterful Move to search the deck; or whatever. Make sure it’s not an interrupt, because the Tatoo-AntiViper-ive card "Changing The Odds" will cause it to be lost.

I would have chosen option 2, because I don’t have to lose cards in order to make it work. Turns out after I SFS Ben, I drained over him and won the game instead.

TECH COMBOS:
Most of the cards listed above should be put in your decks anyway, and you can find them using either of the previous tracking articles, so I won’t go into depth about how to use them. The idea was to point them out and give ideas of how to do it effectively and efficiently. Here are some advanced combos to think about and expand upon:

* Track a card to the top of your deck. If you don’t draw it for destiny on your opponent’s batle phase, activate 3 (the first being tracked), use The Signal (or Twi’lek), and get an effect. Now your used pile, from the bottom to the top, is: don’t care, don’t care, tracked, 5. And with that, you’ve got another pair waiting to go. Pairs are your friend.

* Using Mirax and tracked destinies to draw effects and Jedi Lukes exclusively will be KEY against the new Tatoo-AntiViper-ine character that can force your Interrupt destinies to be lost. Begger also helps since he has to use 2 Force, but do what you want to.

* Use Force Lightning to zap Janus, then use Janus to stack another high destiny under it, keeping your pair intact, and drawing a destiny off the top of your deck. This also works wonders if you suddenly realize you’ve miscounted, and your tracked card is 2nd from the top instead of on the top - it burns the top card of your deck.

* Burning cards off the top of your deck, as listed above, is TECH. You can lose cards off the top to drains or direct damage to dig to your tracked card, use Janus to burn a card, etc. If you know your top card is a low destiny, search for something. Anything. Look for a Force Lightning, Evader, hologram, effect, or whatever. If you can’t track high destinies for whatever reason, tracking your low destinies for this exact situation can help you, too. It doesn’t guaruntee a high destiny, but shuffling and drawing blind is better than drawing a 1 for battle destiny.

* Search for cards! Use cards in your deck that let you pull something else every turn. I like Crush The Rebellion simply because it lets me shuffle my Reserve Deck at will. This can be just as important as shuffling your opponent’s deck.

As a final note, I want to thank everyone who talked to me about these articles, whether in person, email, dmail, or whatever. I really appreciate knowing that these articles actually helped you guys, and even the ones who already knew what’s up read them for interest if nothing else. I’m sorry this one isn’t as long or as detailed as the others, but that seems to be what was wanted. I wanted to give strategies without annoying, long examples. I’m 1750 headed towards 1920, and I have the bad feeling I’ve just made the road ahead a lot harder. ;-)

* Climax_Giver rated 3 stars and said that "It all depends on if you know it or not already." You know I don’t take low ratings badly - it’s part of the game, and he’s right. I just want to make sure more people know it now.
* Thanks to Brian Hunter for the inspiration to write this last installment, and also for the Throw Me Another Charge tech. Used 6s are our friend.
* Around 100 people have told me in one form or another that these articles have greatly improved their game. You guys are the reason I keep writing, and I thank you for your support and ideas.
* IG-99 tried to use my tracking articles against me in a game, but he found out just how much of a pain The Bith Shuffle can be in the hands of a player who can track it back to his hand. PACK ANTI-TRACKING along with your deck, and catch it if you ever see it played against you consistantly. And remember that the Falcon doesn’t have a hyperspeed of 12. (inside joke)
* Many higher ranked players I’ve talked to about the subject think I’m insane for tracking so many cards through my deck. You can play effectively and win by tracking a single card for just a turn or 2; don’t let this overwhelm you. Track more if you want, but it’s not the only way to play.

Thanks for reading! As always, if you want to discuss anything in greater detail, please dmail me (BlackViper) and I’ll get back to you ASAP. I may write all these in-depth articles; I may seem like I’m far away over the net, and I may be on the SW:CCG rise in a huge way, but I’m just one guy. I’m no better than the 1100 player, and I’m no worse than the average 2300 player. We are simply people, so NEVER feel intimidated to talk to me (or anyone else). I’m easily approachable and willing to chat about tech or whatever. I say this because this shy kid came up to me during the Vegas DPC and was all afraid to talk to me about tracking because I was this god or something - I’m not, and I don’t to come across like that. I sincerely hope this helps your game.

Until our next game;
-Steve
Well, Bye.

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Re: Destiny Tracking

Post by Advocate »

Can you post the decklist?

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AnakinSolo
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Re: Destiny Tracking

Post by AnakinSolo »

i have no idea about what decklist you are referring to scott
Well, Bye.

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Re: Destiny Tracking

Post by lastastronaut »

Muchas gracias

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Re: Destiny Tracking

Post by Advocate »

It's the decklists in Steve Marshall's decktech page . It's the deck the tracking articles use. I can't access it currently.

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Re: Destiny Tracking

Post by fungineer »

I would like to say this tutorial is very well written and does a good job. It is well worth a sticky.

One of my biggest confusions about tracking was the "card counting" aspect of it (as I thought of destiny tracking in terms of blackjack card counting). Sure it was easy to do mentally if you only have 10 or less cards in your life force, or if you're using holotable where it always counts them for you, but if you have a lot it seemed very hard. I don't see this concern directly addressed in this post.

However, I decided to review the rules and verified this one:
AR Page 1-1 wrote:Counting A Deck, Pile, Or Stack
A player may count their deck, pile or stack (face down)
at any time. Also, a player may request such a count
from their opponent.
Therefore, With the exception of the following, a player can physically count their cards in any pile. It feels like cheating to me, but it certainly is effective, and tracking itself is certainly a legitimate (and often required) strategy.
AR C-11 wrote:A Reserve Deck with an 'insert' card in it cannot be
counted.

While an opponent's insert is in your Reserve Deck,
you must declare to your opponent how much total
Force you intend to activate for your normal activation
of Force (during your Activate phase), or whenever
any action allows you to activate a variable amount of
Force. You are then required to activate exactly that
amount (although other actions and valid responses
may be played during that activation, as normally
permitted). If all of the opponent's insert cards in your
Reserve Deck are revealed during your activation
action, after resolving all of them, you have the choice
of then activating more than the amount you declared,
up to the maximum you are permitted by that
activation action
From a tournament standpoint, does anyone actually count their decks, say with 30 cards in it? I'm assuming it would get annoying to the opponent real quick. Are your recommended tactics using memory for counting or physical checks?
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Sagnet wrote:At this point, I think your posts are more unclear than the rules are.

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Re: Destiny Tracking

Post by quickdraw3457 »

fungineer wrote:From a tournament standpoint, does anyone actually count their decks, say with 30 cards in it? I'm assuming it would get annoying to the opponent real quick. Are your recommended tactics using memory for counting or physical checks?
I bet it happens, but mostly during times when your opponent is doing something anyway, so they might not even realize it. But the other thing to consider is that when a player still has 30 cards left in life force, it's probably early on in the game, when they are still searching for cards, which makes it pointless to track anyway.
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Re: Destiny Tracking

Post by AnakinSolo »

quickdraw3457 wrote:
fungineer wrote:From a tournament standpoint, does anyone actually count their decks, say with 30 cards in it? I'm assuming it would get annoying to the opponent real quick. Are your recommended tactics using memory for counting or physical checks?
I bet it happens, but mostly during times when your opponent is doing something anyway, so they might not even realize it. But the other thing to consider is that when a player still has 30 cards left in life force, it's probably early on in the game, when they are still searching for cards, which makes it pointless to track anyway.
If/when I draw a 7 early, in certain decks I have tracked it through 40 card decks. I tracked 7s starting on turn 2 or 3 in two different games at last years MPC in communing. One of them won me a game - its rare that it works but sometimes.
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Re: Destiny Tracking

Post by gogolen »

It definitely happens that early. Sometimes you need to plan a move 2-3 turns in advance to swing the momentum in a game.
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Re: Destiny Tracking

Post by Hayes »

gogolen wrote:It definitely happens that early. Sometimes you need to plan a move 2-3 turns in advance to swing the momentum in a game.
QFT.

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