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19 May '17

Running a Star Wars Destiny Salary Cap League

Posted by Cosmic Toys

Rules for a Star Wars Destiny Salary Cap League

Star Wars Destiny can have a substantial barrier to entry. The cost to field a competitive deck can quickly run up into the hundreds of dollars.

I’ve had much greater success getting friends into my league when strict rules are in place to lessen that barrier and control spending.

Here’s what we have come up!  

(prices in CAD)

Getting Started

The players agree on a website that will serve as the definitive card price guide.  

All players begin with one starter deck and a budget of $30 to fill out their card pool with singles and field a legal deck.

The players can get their cards from anywhere but the value of each card is always determined by the price guide.  

The price of a card only matters at the time it was purchased.  (i.e. if you buy a card at $3 and it later rises to $10 it does NOT put you over your salary cap.  Conversely, you do not get more cap space if a card drops in value).

We are now ready to begin the first month of play.

Monthly Rules

Players prepay $15 at the beginning of each month.

At the END of the month, booster packs are distributed for the following:

  • 1 booster pack (everyone gets this no matter what)
  • 1 booster pack for playing at least one game
  • 1 booster pack for playing at least 3 games against unique opponents

As long as a player completes three games (win or lose) against unique opponents they are guaranteed to receive 3 booster packs at the end of the month. This provides the motivation for players to complete their games.

Thus, completing three games per month is effectively the minimum level of participation (as no player wants to miss out on their booster packs).

Assuming, each player completes their minimum requirement, the final breakdown of end-of-month rewards is as follows.

  • 1st Place - 3 Boosters + $0 salary allowance + 2 Boosters (not for use in league)
  • 2nd Place - 3 Boosters + $1 salary allowance + 1 Booster (not for use in league)
  • 3rd Place - 3 Boosters + $2 salary allowance + 1 Booster (not for use in league)
  • 4th Place - 3 Boosters + $3 salary allowance + 1 Booster (not for use in league)
  • 5th Place - 3 Boosters + $4 salary allowance + 1 Booster (not for use in league)
  • 6th Place - 3 Boosters + $5 salary allowance
  • 7th Place - 3 Boosters + $6 salary allowance
  • 8th Place - 3 Boosters + $7 salary allowance
  • 9th Place - 3 Boosters + $8 salary allowance

(This will need adjusting depending on your number of participants)

Salary allowance is money that a player is permitted to spend (out of their own pocket) on singles.

This somewhat emulates a sports league. Getting a top placement will grant you financial rewards (that can’t be used for your team salary) and the lower placements are rewarded with salary cap space to help them improve their club and promote their upward movement within the rankings.

The contents of each booster pack are witnessed and recorded and added to that player’s allowable card pool.

Playing Games and Determining Placement

We use a chess style Elo rating system to determine a player’s rating.  

Every player begins with a rating of 1000. This rating will increase or decrease depending if the player wins or loses. With this system, a low rated player gets more points for defeating a high rated player then that high rated player would get for defeating the low rated player.

We use the calculator here with a kValue of 40

At the end of the month, the final placements are determined by Elo rating.

Their is no maximum to how many games a player can play in a month.

We usually have 2-3 game nights per month. Players can attend as many or as few as they like.  Players also schedule games ad-hoc whenever and wherever they can squeeze in a quick match.

NOTE: Player ratings do NOT reset at the end of the month.

Our player ratings, salary allowance and card pools can all be viewed on our spreadsheet here:


Deck Building Rules

Players are allowed to use any cards in their card pool to form a legal deck.

Cards received in booster packs are added to their card pool at end of the month.


Players are permitted to trade any cards from their card pool with other league members.  All trades must be recorded and tracked

Our card pools are tracked in a Google Spreadsheet seen here:

Trade Incentive Program

To encourage trading we have implemented an incentive program.

A player receives

  • $0.10 allowance for each common they trade away
  • $0.25 for each uncommon they trade
  • $0.50 for each rare they trade away
  • $1.00 for each legendary they trade away

This money is added to the players spending allowance which can be spent at anytime or saved. (reminder: this just means the player is permitted to spend this money out of their own pocket to buy singles).

All trades must be approved by the league commissioner to ensure no one tries to abuse this system. For example, you can only get trade incentive rebates the first time you trade a card (you can’t just trade a card back and forth 10x to build up salary allowance)

Cash Out Program

Players are permitted to cash out cards from their pool at any time.  A player will get half the cards value (determined by price guide) in salary allowance.

Once the card is removed, it can no longer be used in the league.

Onboarding New Members

We haven’t fully defined rules for this yet, but if a player wants to join 6 months in then we would probably do something like tallying up the value of each card pool and give the new player an initial budget somewhere in the average range.

Wrapping Up

That’s basically it!  It’s working very well!  You can see from the game log (on our spreadsheet) how many games have already been played in May.

The goals of these rules are:

  • Keep player costs tightly controlled
  • Encourage regular fluctuation in the rankings
  • Promote strategic deck building - You can’t just netdeck here.  
  • Rewarding social interaction
  • Provide proper motivation for players
  • Have fun!!

Please let me know if you have any feedback :)

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