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iamfanboy

So WHY is it that we Imperials are the weakest?

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So I spotted that hilariously misspelled threat about how OP the Empire is, and it got me to thinking...

 

He's not wrong.

 

The Empire, as such, has a higher proportion of the strongest pilots in the game. All factions have strong builds, but if expressed as a percentage the Empire has 40-50% of the strongest builds, with Scum having slightly more than Rebels, but less than the Empire.

 

You can rattle them off. Soontir. x7 Defenders. Palpshuttle. Omega Leader. Darth Vader. Whisper. Rear Admiral Chiraneau. Even our second-tier is a helluva lot better than the other faction's second tiers.

 

So what's the problem? Why can't we do well at the top tables in Worlds, and Regionals often represent Rebels/Scum higher than Imperials? I want to hear what you guys think, but my thought is pretty simple:

 

We're the meta.

 

Imperials are what you have to beat because they're stronger and easier (Dark Side?), so planning to beat THEM means that you're ahead of the game. If you can do that with ships they're not intimately familiar with (ie, other Imperials), then you're even further ahead of their game.

 

Frankly, I find myself a little disappointed by this thought. Back in my MtG days, I preferred anti-meta lists to meta lists; planning to break what the net-listers brought was far more fun than just copying the net-lists.

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So what's the problem? Why can't we do well at the top tables in Worlds, and Regionals often represent Rebels/Scum higher than Imperials? I want to hear what you guys think, but my thought is pretty simple:

 

It is simple, High variance.

 

Even our second-tier is a helluva lot better than the other faction's second tiers

 

Up until recently we were tied with Rebels for having the largest amount of dud ships. Whereas only Scum's small ships still struggle.

 

We're the meta

 

Scum is the meta, we're the peace keepers.

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I think there are a few contributing factors:

 

1: Your comment: we are the meta.  This is absolutely right.  If you're going to win right now, you have to counterplay Defenders.  You have to be able to burn through 3 AGI/focus/evade/maybe Palp every round.  No question.  If you can;t do that, you WILL face Defenders at some point, and they WILL kill you.  So people will tech up against you, and you'll end up facing hard counters more than other lists. 

 

2: Defenders have a high floor, but I think something of a low ceiling.  It's relatively easy to learn to fly defenders to a decent level - they're not complicated, they have relatively few moving parts, and a tiny subset of manoeuvres to learn.  But that makes them very, very predictable.  And in top tier play, predictable ships are dead ships.  Similarly, because they're relatively easy to get the basics of, people can pick them up and play them more easily and win well at lower levels, but without lots of practice, will get dominated by players who've had that practice.

 

3: Boredom.  Playing the meta stuff is kind of dull for a lot of people, especially when that meta is 'go 3 speed or faster, focus'.

 

But it's also important to note that whilst the top 4 at Worlds didn't include Defenders IIRC, the top 32 had loads, and the Defender was the Empire's most-used ship, closely followed by the Lambda.  A lot of their non-appearance at the tip top tables has to do with performance and dice variance on the day, as much as whether they're beatable or not.  It's too simplistic to imply (you may not have meant to, if so I apologise) that they didn't win so they're over.

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Remember that the TIE fighter is what FFG apparently use as the yardstick to measure other ships by. So the Empire has, to an extent, alway been "the meta".
 

So people will tech up against you, and you'll end up facing hard counters more than other lists.

Imperial lists also tend to be more hard-counter-able.

 

That's not saying they're weak - they really aren't - but most imperial iconic ships have at least one "oh bugger" upgrade or type of upgrade that can really slew the game dramatically against them. Any ability to hand out extra stress is murder on TIE interceptors, for example. TIE defenders have gotten popular precisely because they're about the only Imperial ship which can do classic imperial things (move fast, dodge fire) and still roll with the punches when your dice inevitably fall over without undergoing spontaneous existance failure.

 

Rebels with regenerating heavy fighters have a lot of things they don't like, but - since three super-accurate torpedoes a turn exited stage left - few "....and you're done" matchups.

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So WHY is it that we Imperials are the weakest?

 

First things first, who's we? The Imperial faction is a collection of cards and plastic spaceships: being any of these things prevents you from making a forum post.

 

The faction you use is chosen by list, not by player. Mechanically factions are a build restriction and nothing more: at top level events this is all that matters. Those faction restrictions are often mechanically arbitrary: while there's some rough faction identity it's been disobeyed so frequently that the connection is far more one of aesthetic and theme.

To say the last worlds was won by Scum and the previous three by Rebels is somewhat misleading: it implies the same thing won three times in a row. If you look at it by list then it was won by Dengaroo, Toolbox Regen, Fan Han and XXBB, all lists that could effectively deal with the prevailing metagame lists.

This year it was all thrown up in the air somewhat hence Worlds' crazy variety.

Last year the threats was primarily TLT spam with some early PalpAces about. It was won by a regen list that could weather that storm.

The year before it was TIE phantoms and Fat Falcons. It was won by an anti-Fat Falcon Fat Falcon.

The year before that it was Wave 3 and everything was TIE Swarm. It was won by a TIE swarm killer.

The list that wins is the one that best combines a counterplay to the current metagame with a top player. The factions aren't relevant: the lists are.

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As stated Empire have been at the top for so long that the meta is designed to counter them. I went to a tournament last weekend where we all expected there to be defenders. It was funny as no one actually played defenders and we were all left with lots of TLT and other lists.

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Firstly, if you are going to mention a misspelled thread as hilarious, you need to spell thread correctly yourself.

Secondly, many people on here don't have English as their first language. So don't be a grammar/spelling NAZI on here, it doesn't fly.

Thirdly, everyone here knows Jim has an unnatural love affair with Rebels and take his Rebels need love threads with a grain of salt.

Edited by Archangelspiv

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High variance is the answer, thus the popularity of Palpatine. Also the trend toward high damage output and the limited number of empire ships with high shields/hull that are viable to soak it all up. All the good empire ships are squishy other than the decimator. Defenders are helping for sure. The Punisher is unplayable. The Firespray is ok, but needs a little something. Perhaps the new shuttle will help.

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But it's also important to note that whilst the top 4 at Worlds didn't include Defenders IIRC, the top 32 had loads, and the Defender was the Empire's most-used ship, closely followed by the Lambda.  A lot of their non-appearance at the tip top tables has to do with performance and dice variance on the day, as much as whether they're beatable or not.  It's too simplistic to imply (you may not have meant to, if so I apologise) that they didn't win so they're over.

I'm pretty sure there was a Defender in the top 4. I think one of the lists had Vessery.

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I really liked Defenders until I found out that everyone else is flying them now I don't want to fly them.

I still fly them, 4/5 defenders on the table be damned

The x7 is like the only imperial ship i trust to not evaporate in my hands when the inveitable blanks start rolling

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So what's the problem? Why can't we do well at the top tables in Worlds, and Regionals often represent Rebels/Scum higher than Imperials?

 

Because FFG hasn't given us the XG-1 "Star Wing" Assault Gunboat  (...yet...)

 

Yeah!!!!  :D

It's true that the Imps need a ship with punch that can survive a while as it takes hits like the two other factions (save the Defender). The Ips have great, fun flying ships, but the skill required to maximize them game-after-game is more taxing (I believe) than the other factions. No room for error (save X7's). This, with the COMPLETELY ILOGICAL stress mechanics designed to punish not the **** stress collecting ships/personnel, but the single-seat expert pilots that should be the very pilots who would be the most stress-resistant....FFG is really goofing this mechanic up (my opinion, albeit small).....but, this finally needs to happen:

7BEE2552-16BA-4DB5-A346-7EF9CF67B272.jpg

Make an imperial ship do all things well (come on FFG, the other factions have them)

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