X-wing Store Champs 2016 Pre

Hey there Home Two, it’s been a while. I’m still playing and enjoying, but school gets in the way of playing and when there isn’t playing there isn’t blogging. My birthday is next week though, and one of the things that’s meant is a commitment to having some fun in the days leading up and surrounding that. My pal CaptainFanastic came over today and we played four (4) games of X-wing. It was dandy. We also have a store championship coming up on Feb. 20th that we are both signed up for, so we wanted to try out some lists for that and get some practice in. I’m looking forward to giving the recap!

Just to give some perspective on how long the gap has been, my last article was a preview of the Kihraxz fighter (you better believe I’m still checking online to make sure I spell that right). So that’s before Wave 7 came out. Since then, we’ve had Wave 7 hit, the new TFA (blue) Core Set release, the separate T-70 and TIE f/o expansions, the Imperial Assault Carrier, and Wave 8 will soon be upon us. We’ve also had the Imperial Veterans announced, so it’s been a big gap.

First up, let’s talk about the list that I’m currently planning to take to the store champs. Meet Pester Squadron. Poe, Ello, and Stresshog. P-E-STR… Pester! Ignore me, I think I’m clever. The basic idea is that Poe and Ello act as high PS aces, flanking and dealing the hurt on stuff, and able to regenerate shields if need be. I’m pretty nervous because I haven’t been playing a ton of X-wing lately, and I’m not sure how it’ll do in the current meta.

I have to say, the meta looks fantastic right now. There was another store championship this past weekend in town and looking at the List Juggler report of the event, there’s just so much diversity in the lists. It was won by Brobots, second place was 3 K-wings with TLT, looking through the list I’m seeing some variants on Sith Lords (Vader, Soontir, Palpmobile), a couple Dash+Corran, Poe+Han, 2 Phantoms, a 5 TIE named swarm (!!), and a Decimator. I love that it feels like anything could be viable right now. It just feels so healthy.

But, therein lies the rub. How does one build against a meta that’s so diverse? Paul Heaver, of course, pulled it off once again at the Worlds with Poe, Stresshog, TLT-Y, and a Bandit. Is that the answer? Build a list that does a little bit of everything? I guess it could work, and it sure did for him. The great X-wing fanatic in my world is most concerned about TLTs and so built to combat them, but he placed tenth at the recent championship. I’m not sure that TLTs are quite as scary, or maybe just not as prevalent, as they were before.

I personally expect to see a lot of Poe and a lot of Stresshog, both of which are in my list. I have no idea how to deal with a Stresshog myself, other than just to arc dodge it and take it out. Poe, for the most part, isn’t any different than any other ace. The only real concern becomes if he’s at PS10 (as mine is, and Paul Heaver’s), and then trying to catch him in arc. He’s no Soontir Fel for dodginess, but it could still be a problem. Beyond that I expect to see Brobots make another appearance, probably a Fat Turret (Han or Dash, usually), and honestly, Sith Lords. I finally got to give that list a try for the first time last week, and oh my word it’s so fun. My opponent took out Vader early, which was rough, but at the end of the game I had Soontir chasing Leebo and he literally could not hit me. Between Autothrusters, Palpatine, and an Evade token I would have to roll 4 eyeballs for him to get a single hit through. Needless to say, that never happened. But yeah what a blast. I expect to see it on the scene because it’s just so fun, and so powerful!

Speaking of Sith Lords, we used it today in two of our four games. In case anyone missed it, I finally gave a link there. I realize I’ve talked about the list a couple times so far in the post without actually saying what it was. There are some variations on it, but the core is Vader, Soontir, and Palp in a shuttle. I’ve seen Carnor instead of Soontir, but that seems less common. Anyway, the first time we put this list on the table today it was against the list that CaptainFantastic had originally brought, a 2-Y-ion+B+A list. The second time was against Pester Squadron, so I got to fly it once and against it once. The good CaptainFantastic ended up going with Fel’s Defenders 2.0, a variation on a list I ran to great success last year and will need to be revisited again once Imperial Veterans comes out. I must say, that Stresshog is serious trouble to aces. I think both Vader and Soontir went down the round after they got double stressed because their movement was suddenly so limited and they didn’t have any actions. Plus I had Poe and Ello nearby, ready to pounce. Soontir actually had both of them at range 1, he didn’t stand a chance.

I’m disappointed in myself for not taking any pictures today we had some interesting moments. At one point the Stresshog got the crit that causes while maneuvers to give you stress, which really didn’t matter because he was already loaded but it meant he was accumulating tokens even faster! We actually ran out of tokens (that we had with us), but we figured he had 10 or 12 by the end of the game. New personal best.

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