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Scum and Villainy 25: Juke Box Heroes

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Guri w/ Juke, Virago, Sensor Jammer, Cloaking Device, Stygium Particle Accelerator. 41pts.

 

You have a 25% chance every round that you are cloaked of losing 6 points of upgrades. Most of the time you've be flying around with just a Sensor Jammers on Guri having lost the rest of your upgrades. To top that off, in a significant number of games you'll never actually get to use the combo at all because you'll lose your cloack before you get to shoot.

 

She'd be better off just taking Crackshot.

Edited by WWHSD

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Guri w/ Juke, Virago, Sensor Jammer, Cloaking Device, Stygium Particle Accelerator. 41pts.

 

You have a 25% chance every round that you are cloaked of losing 6 points of upgrades. Most of the time you've be flying around with just a Sensor Jammers on Guri having lost the rest of your upgrades. To top that off, in a significant number of games you'll never actually get to use the combo at all because you'll lose your cloack before you get to shoot.

 

She'd be better off just taking Crackshot.

Of course I acknowledged as such, it was totally a joke which clearly whizzed right over your head. On the Podcast Sable lamented the fact that the Starviper didn't have evade so couldn't Juke, I was just pointing out a janky way (right up Sable's alley) to facilitate Guri juking.

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By examining only average or mean die rolling, the analysis fails to see the real potential for Juke.  The main advantage Juke has over Predator is that it can "stack" with a good roll.

 

Average rolls are interesting, but hits against ships revolve around offensive outliers.  For example, that time you rolled 3 hits and poor Soontir rolled only one evade.  In the case of Predator you receive zero benefit on your best rolls, because it can only affect "bad" dice.  Predator is at its most powerful on poor rolls, rolls where you achieve less than 3 hits.  Against PS 2, it only gets its "extra" goodness if you rolled 2 blanks (assuming focus).  The odds of you rolling 3 hits with a focus are quite high, (approximately 42%), which is significantly higher than your odds of rolling 2 blanks (approximately 14%).  That means if you have a focus, Predator is useless to you approximately 42% of the time, which is enormous, and of the other times only improves your offense if it can take your hits past the threshold established by your opponent's evade dice.  Against a 3 Agility ship at Range 3, you generally only get hits when you roll all 3 hits, so having Predator take your 0 or 1 hit roll into a 1 or 2 hit roll often will not net you any additional damage and there are no style points for "near misses" vs. "complete misses".

 

Juke is at its best when you have "good" dice, for example when you roll 3 hits, because it can make an already powerful outlier even MORE powerful by reducing evades, and every extra hit at this point directly causes damage.  It does less for you on "bad" rolls than Predator, but those rolls are less likely to cause damage regardless.  If you were to roll 3 hits (remember, that is 42% of the time on 3 dice with focus) Juke will increase the damage dealt dramatically or force the expenditure of a Focus, where Predator would have done nothing at all.

 

The bottom line is that Juke is most effective on good rolls vs. difficult targets, which is where most of us are looking for accuracy (example, trying to punch through 3 Agility), and Predator is most effective on bad rolls vs. easy targets.  If you anticipate trouble with PS 2 Y-Wings, or Decimators, then Predator is likely the better choice.  Against more difficult targets Juke is generally far more effective.

 

Would you rather have +1 hit every time you roll 0 hits naturally (Predator), or +1 hit every time you roll 3 hits naturally (Juke)?  Juke vs. Predator isn't quite that straightforward, but it's close enough that this is exactly the question you should be asking yourself.

Edited by KineticOperator

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I don't have anything to add that hasn't been said, but Juke is one of my new favorite cards. I ran 2 Red Vets with Juke & Comm Relay, with Jan Ors on the PS4 Kwing a few weeks ago and won a tournament. (Did the write-up HERE if you're interested.) I should also note that this same list performed very poorly last weekend at a store championship. One thing I've found that a list with several ships w/ 1 agility for defense doesn't really care if you have Juke. Most of the time they know that ship is going to get hit hard, but 1 AGI ships have a lot of hull and shields to chew through. So when I flew against 3 Kwings or 4 Ywings, it didn't really come into big effect. I still love Juke though! 

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Would you rather have +1 hit every time you roll 0 hits naturally (Predator), or +1 hit every time you roll 3 hits naturally (Juke)?  Juke vs. Predator isn't quite that straightforward, but it's close enough that this is exactly the question you should be asking yourself.

Hmm, not sure I entirely agree. I agree with the premise of what you are saying and you raise some interesting points, but I think you are glossing over some of features that makes Juke worse than Predator and looking at it in a perfect theoretical world. There are a significant number of more caveats associated with Juke. For Predator the only caveat is you didn't roll all hits (with or without focus, but in a juke heavy environment spending a focus on offense is not always desirable).

For Juke here is the list of caveats:

Rolled more than zero hits

Have an evade token...

...And did not spend it yet

Was not blocked

Did not run over a rock or debris

And most importantly opponent has no focus

Of course there are ways to mitigate these factors, but that is the reason why there are so few ships in which Juke is truly a viable card.

You made it seem as if Juke always works, but short of Omega Leader with Comms Relay and Juke it very rarely works all the time.

If you made all the assumptions you made about Juke (i.e. It is always active) for Sensor Jammer it would be the best card in the game, but it is balanced by the fact that largely it's effect is driven by your opponent's actions and not just your own. Obviously in the same way as juke you can remove the caveats by good play, like blocking to remove focus actions, but the reality is this doesn't happen all the time (I'm sure you are capable of such a feat, but normal players probably aren't, given that opponents are actively trying to prevent them doing so).

How many times have you juked (or sensor jammed) only for the opponent to spend the focus and leave you in a position where you are unable to capitalise on it being spent?

Don't get me wrong juke is a decent card, but I just think over the course of a game, or many matches the expected utility of predator should outstrip Juke for the sheer fact that Juke is essentially a combo card which results in swingy effects where sometimes it works and others it doesn't. This argument is very akin to what has gone before with regard to rolling more dice. The stats almost always show that the expected damage of rolling fewer modified dice almost always outstrip rolling more unmodified attack dice. But rolling more attack dice increases the variance in the expected damage, it has the potential to do more damage, which is great in some cases but not always. In the same vein Juke increases the variance in the expected damage, but you have to then average it out across all the times that it failed to increase the expected damage (due to a spent focus token, or not having the evade to trigger the effect, or shooting at a zero green dice ship etc.).

As a final thought, Juke relies heavily on action economy to be effective. To make best use of it, you need an evade, some way to flip focus results and some way to reroll results in order to really maximise it's potential; you could likely leave one of those out and not see a hugely downswing. If you can do that you can definitely make a really well rounded ship that has great offense and great defence (assuming you can afford to spend the evade). That means very specific ships. Vader springs to mind. The advantage of Predator is that it creates action economy as most ships can effectively take just a focus and be happy. So in a way you are looking at very different ships that might include the respective cards.

So I leave you with a final conundrum, in some ways I know the answer to this, but which is better a Kyle Katarn with Juke, TLT and Jan crew, or Kyle with Predator, TLT and Jan crew? I suspect you would say the former, since I believe that is what you ran, but points cost excepted Kyle with Predator probably has a higher damage ceiling, at the expense of some (intangible) defensive benefits of forcing your opponent to use focus on defence (since as you point out with TLT there will be more times where your opponent will not gain any benefit of spending the focus, but the same is true for juke to a lesser extent). I think generally both would be fairly equal and down to personal preference (and points) if I am honest. The capped TLT damage hurts Juke in this comparison I suspect.

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One of the Mynock guys has been testing something what to add as the fourth ship to the 3 juking FO's.  And, he really likes the 4th FO.  Has been able to do well against a variety of lists so far:

 

"Zeta Ace" (18)
Juke (2)
Comm Relay (3)

"Omega Ace" (20)
Juke (2)
Comm Relay (3)

"Omega Leader" (21)
Juke (2)
Comm Relay (3)

"Zeta Leader" (20)
Juke (2)
Comm Relay (3)
Twin Ion Engine Mk. II (1)

Total: 100
 

You get good PS [8,7,7,5] which gives Brobots a fit.  While the two Leader abilities are really solid, the two Ace abilities seem lackluster.  Thus you can use that to your advantage and throw them up into the fight in the first rank.  Also, just because you have the pilot ability doesn't mean you HAVE to use it all the time.  Barrels (PS5) *can* use it to block or be a bit sneaky, but you don't have to plan for it.  Critter's ability is a bit more nuanced.  There are times where certain ships aren't getting shot or repositioning, he has some time to pick up a spare TL.  Then, maybe once per game, he has a shot with TL/focus/evade, while shooting third and lays on the crits to something already hurting.  Plus they have a good chance of making it through the evades due to Juke. 

 

Competitive?  I think so.  Top Teir?  Depends on the meta, we'll see.  Plus it's a full First Order squad.  Too bad you have to buy 4 FO packs.

Edited by Texx

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What IDxT said.

I'll add that if you're throwing a lot of dice, either as a 3 Attack ship that is at range 1 a lot, or you're packing an HLC, Predator raises your cap by about as much as Juke. The more dice you have, the more unlikely it is that you generate max hits, so the less Juke will show its advantages over Predator.

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IDxT and Bio:

I am not disagreeing with the assertion that Predator will raise average output.  It does, full stop.  However, the "problem" targets do not live in the temperate zones, they are exceptionally difficult to hit period, even with 3 hits out of 3.

 

You both used the expression "raising your cap", but Predator quite literally does nothing at all to raise your cap.  That, in essence, is what I noted was left out of the conversation re: Juke vs. Predator.  Predator or not, the most hits you can roll on 3 red dice is 3.  If you are shooting at 4 Green dice + Autothrusters (and Emperor) you are unlikely to hit even with 3 hits rolled.  You are not likely to require the expenditure of their focus either.  Juke has an effect that can work to supplement a good roll, which is not an unusual event.  Edit:  This is exactly the same reasoning when comparing the Emperor with Advanced Targeting Computer.  Both of them can give you a crit, but only ATC can increase the upper end of your potential.

 

What Predator does is move the center of the curve upwards but it does not move the upper end maximum or the lower end minimum at all.  On a bell curve, it would take the nice symmetrical bell and "squish" it towards the upper end without moving either endpoint.  Juke would also move the bell, but its method would be to move the upper endpoint further up the track.  It would result in a lower "average", but a higher maximum.  When trying to hit ships that consistently evade your maximum result (3 hits generally) you achieve greater results by moving the maximum than my moving the average.

 

Also, the list of caveats is artificially long.  It can be summed up with one, Juke is reliant on actions where Predator is not.  This is a big deal.  Juke clearly does not belong on every ship.  If you cannot generate multiple shots, or multiple actions (one of which must be evade) then Juke is not a good upgrade.  I think that should be fairly obvious, if your ship cannot evade Juke is useless.

 

The other train of thought that is as spurious with Juke as it was with Sensor Jammer is that it can be "cancelled" via focus expenditure.  Focus expenditure does not cancel these upgrades.  Forced focus expenditure is a second powerful effect of these two upgrades.  Your opponent is obligated to forego other actions in favor of focus, severely reducing his maneuver options and/or his ability to target lock or evade himself even if you decide to fire at a different target.  Even if he has focus, he is forced to save the focus for defense or face dramatically increased damage from Juke (with a similar defensive effect for SJ).  It is a VERY big deal to force focus expenditure.

 

I am not stating that Juke should go everywhere, but on the ships where it is good (multiple actions or multiple shots, access to evade) it will provide you much more help than Predator will in the situations where you need more help.  "Win more" upgrades are much less useful than upgrades that turn bad situations around.  Generally speaking "Predator" helps you deal more damage to easy targets you were hitting already, and Juke helps you deal more damage to targets you were struggling to hit.

 

On your last question, Kyle with Predator/TLT has a LOWER damage ceiling than Kyle with TLT/Juke does when using the TLT (3 hits vs 3 hits plus a cancelled evade), and a significantly LOWER damage ceiling in the unusual event that you actually shoot at something with your primary (2 hits vs. 2 hits plus a cancelled evade).  Predator will have a higher average damage output against Agl 2 or PS 2 or less targets, roughly equal average damage output against Agl 3, and significantly lower damage output against unfocused modified Agl 3 defenses (Autothrusters, Emperor but no focus) and Agl 4+ defenses (Soontir Stealth, Phantoms, range 3).  Predator is also dramatically better if you find yourself wanting to hand that focus off often (because that will leave Kyle with no evade). All in all Predator/Kyle will have better damage output than Juke/Kyle when compared directly which may be a very good reason to run Predator (I considered it).  However, combined with one other Juke to strip focus before Kyle fires, and a Stresshog to prevent your target from focusing, Juke on Kyle has a much higher damage output in this list, and is at its best vs. those targets this list is most vulnerable to (Vader, Soontir, Whisper).  In another list, without Juke/Poe and Stresshog, I would have put Predator on Kyle.  Which is the whole point of list building, small synergies can really add up to make something that is significantly greater than the sum of its parts.

Edited by KineticOperator

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I get what you're saying, KO, and I agree. But I think the requirements you list for Juke are exactly why it isn't in the "Predator/VI/Crack Shot" zone. I put it more in the "Lone Wolf" level, a card that is incredibly good on certain ships in certain situations.

All in all, I guess it's not my style. You can go after hard targets by bringing them into arc of multiple Juke ships and degrading their green dice. I figure if you have a ship count advantage, though, going for a block is easier and less finicky. I tend to like stuff that works even when a monkey wrench gets thrown in your plans, but that's personal preference.

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I get what you're saying, KO, and I agree. But I think the requirements you list for Juke are exactly why it isn't in the "Predator/VI/Crack Shot" zone. I put it more in the "Lone Wolf" level, a card that is incredibly good on certain ships in certain situations.

All in all, I guess it's not my style. You can go after hard targets by bringing them into arc of multiple Juke ships and degrading their green dice. I figure if you have a ship count advantage, though, going for a block is easier and less finicky. I tend to like stuff that works even when a monkey wrench gets thrown in your plans, but that's personal preference.

 

We are on the same sheet of music, here.  Ultimately, I relied on the Stresshog to provide control over high PS targets in this list.  With the Hog in play, those high PS aces often find themselves either spending actions to reposition (leaving them open to Juke) or get double stress (again, leaving them open).  In a list where I wasn't looking for such a specific answer to such a specific threat, I would have gone with Predator.  And you are right, it is exactly like Lone Wolf in that it is very good in specific situations, but not an upgrade that you just slap onto every ship you run.

 

Who am I kidding.  I wanted to abuse Juke.  I was looking for a rationalization, and built an entire list around the card.  :-)  My reasoning may have been the same, but when building the list I came at it from the opposite direction, lol.

Edited by KineticOperator

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Just food for thought, the only ship that can take both an HLC and Juke is the noble Scyk (yeah, B-wings can too, technically, but it gets pretty unwieldy). So you can throw 4 dice at someone and kill one of their evades. Now, this leaves the Scyks without both re-rolls and Focus, and it's not like they're getting a ship that could help with that imminently...

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"Zeta Ace" (18)

Juke (2)

Comm Relay (3)

"Omega Ace" (20)

Juke (2)

Comm Relay (3)

"Omega Leader" (21)

Juke (2)

Comm Relay (3)

"Zeta Leader" (20)

Juke (2)

Comm Relay (3)

Twin Ion Engine Mk. II (1)

Total: 100

 

 

I like....but I still suspect I would avoid the MkII engines and take Push The Limit on Omega Ace. Even if you don't 'jackpot' (I think that's normally only worth it at range 1) push the limit is still good, because focus/evade is useful for not dying.

 

It's not like Zeta Leader really needs those bank 3 greens, after all. The TIE/fo does not have a massive problem dumping stress.

 

One issue (it's not significant enough to call a 'problem') with this list - bizarrely - is Omega Leader.

 

Don't get me wrong; Omega Leader with Juke is amazing, because it's essentially reusable crack shot on a guy with an already awesome ability. But what it doesn't do, which is what a juke swarm likes, is force an opponent to spend their focus token first and then let loads of other ships with juke batter them now they have no focus. It's not that it's not a good pick, but since he doesn't contribute to the strip-the-focus-then-punish-you-for-it juke train, you reduce the overall effect of multiple copies of juke.

 

 

I dunno. I'm tempted to try a TIE swarm with Juke. On the one hand, you do lose out on firepower - but not too much. Even two TIE fighters with Juke firing on the same target do better than two TIE fighters with focus tokens doing the same most of the time.

 

You're obviously doing less than Crack Shot, but that evade token makes you tougher than a focus would, and it's reusable later in the game.

 

Plus, a TIE swarm gets easy access to dice modifiers in the form of Howlrunner.

 

 

 

Sensor Jammer and Juke does seem like a nice pairing. I find myself wondering if Vader might wear it well; with his extra action he can have focus, so his firepower is up to snuff, and with both a sensor jammer against a focus-less opponent and an evade token, he should be pretty **** hard to touch.

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Just want to interrupt for a second to say thank you to the S&V podcast crew.

This has become my favorite podcast.Not only do you guys have expert knowledge of x-wing, the podcast is also entertaining and, at times, simply hilarious. Also i like that you're keeping it to ~1hour, you dont wander off into random topics too much.

The hosts have great personalities, especially Kelvan. Theorist can be a bit creepy but he seems like a good dude. And he's a droid, how cool is that. 

I signed up to Patreon just to support this. Thank you.

Edited by Celes

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One of the Mynock guys has been testing something what to add as the fourth ship to the 3 juking FO's.  And, he really likes the 4th FO.  Has been able to do well against a variety of lists so far:

 

"Zeta Ace" (18)

Juke (2)

Comm Relay (3)

"Omega Ace" (20)

Juke (2)

Comm Relay (3)

"Omega Leader" (21)

Juke (2)

Comm Relay (3)

"Zeta Leader" (20)

Juke (2)

Comm Relay (3)

Twin Ion Engine Mk. II (1)

Total: 100

 

You get good PS [8,7,7,5] which gives Brobots a fit.  While the two Leader abilities are really solid, the two Ace abilities seem lackluster.  Thus you can use that to your advantage and throw them up into the fight in the first rank.  Also, just because you have the pilot ability doesn't mean you HAVE to use it all the time.  Barrels (PS5) *can* use it to block or be a bit sneaky, but you don't have to plan for it.  Critter's ability is a bit more nuanced.  There are times where certain ships aren't getting shot or repositioning, he has some time to pick up a spare TL.  Then, maybe once per game, he has a shot with TL/focus/evade, while shooting third and lays on the crits to something already hurting.  Plus they have a good chance of making it through the evades due to Juke. 

 

Competitive?  I think so.  Top Teir?  Depends on the meta, we'll see.  Plus it's a full First Order squad.  Too bad you have to buy 4 FO packs.

Been running it for a while. Its good and its bad. It is very list dependent. Luckily I don't see too many large turreted ships but oh man HLCs are just a bad day. Oh and Tlts are not awesome either. Right now Im a fairly poor player who is managing to go 5-5 in store championships so far. Outside of that Im a little better at about 9-7. I like them 8/10 would fly again.

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Just food for thought, the only ship that can take both an HLC and Juke is the noble Scyk (yeah, B-wings can too, technically, but it gets pretty unwieldy). So you can throw 4 dice at someone and kill one of their evades. Now, this leaves the Scyks without both re-rolls and Focus, and it's not like they're getting a ship that could help with that imminently...

...awesome. The 3rd ship has to draw fire or it will come apart, but this could be pretty interesting ship synergy. Too bad Laetin doesn't have EPT.

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Just food for thought, the only ship that can take both an HLC and Juke is the noble Scyk (yeah, B-wings can too, technically, but it gets pretty unwieldy). So you can throw 4 dice at someone and kill one of their evades. Now, this leaves the Scyks without both re-rolls and Focus, and it's not like they're getting a ship that could help with that imminently...

Well isn't that one unspoiled spoiled Jumpmaster pilot gonna let you vomit your tokens on a buddy?

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Just food for thought, the only ship that can take both an HLC and Juke is the noble Scyk (yeah, B-wings can too, technically, but it gets pretty unwieldy). So you can throw 4 dice at someone and kill one of their evades. Now, this leaves the Scyks without both re-rolls and Focus, and it's not like they're getting a ship that could help with that imminently...

Well isn't that one unspoiled spoiled Jumpmaster pilot gonna let you vomit your tokens on a buddy?

Pretty sure that's what he was hinting at

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Just food for thought, the only ship that can take both an HLC and Juke is the noble Scyk (yeah, B-wings can too, technically, but it gets pretty unwieldy). So you can throw 4 dice at someone and kill one of their evades. Now, this leaves the Scyks without both re-rolls and Focus, and it's not like they're getting a ship that could help with that imminently...

Well isn't that one unspoiled spoiled Jumpmaster pilot gonna let you vomit your tokens on a buddy?

Pretty sure that's what he was hinting at

 

 

You are correct, sir.  Maybe this is a nice combo with Serissu.  Serrissu with Juke gives the extra die to Manaroo in the JM5k for defense, Manaroo gives all those tokens to Serissu, who hits with 4 dice, Focus, TL, with one successful evade being knocked down to a eyeball.  Points available, you can get a TPV with the same loadout, but all in all, I doubt there are the points, and it reeks of too much having to go right for a modest gain.

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Just want to interrupt for a second to say thank you to the S&V podcast crew.

This has become my favorite podcast.Not only do you guys have expert knowledge of x-wing, the podcast is also entertaining and, at times, simply hilarious. Also i like that you're keeping it to ~1hour, you dont wander off into random topics too much.

The hosts have great personalities, especially Kelvan. Theorist can be a bit creepy but he seems like a good dude. And he's a droid, how cool is that. 

I signed up to Patreon just to support this. Thank you.

 

Thank you! Theorist is creepy. When he modifies himself he it gets pretty strange.

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