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Hrathen

How to beat x7 Defenders (and why that is good for the game)

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There has been a lot of talk about x7 Defenders and how they are so powerful and they need a nerf. A lot of worries come down to the free evade token they get every round.

But let's be very clear, it is only a free evade token if you let it be.

When the Defenders fist came out people thought there white k-turn was really powerful, and it was, but good player soon figured out that that 4 k-turn dial made the defenders predictable.

The x7 Title is more of the same.

I'm not saying that the x7 title isn't good. I just flew three of them in my local regionals tournament. But when you fly things you feel their weakness in a way that your opponents may not.

X-wing at its core is a game about outflying your opponent. Guessing where they are going to go and picking just the right maneuver to put yourself in the best possible position.

And the x7 title makes guessing where the defender is going to go pretty easy. Now taking advantage of x7 title takes skill, but that is exactly why I think the x7 title is good for the game. Any builds or meta that encourage flying well are good for the health of the game IMO.

The existence of x7 defenders in the meta also makes bombs sooooo good. Not only because they slip damage right past the x7's defenses, but because Defender (at least the way I like to do it) fly best in jousting formations. So not only do you know where they are likely to go, there is a good chance that you will know where the whole formation is going to go.

When I got hit with a Sabine Prox mine into my whole formation, I saw it coming and couldn't see a way around it.

So not only do x7's reward good flying but they also broaden the meta by incorrigible bombs.

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The thing is, X-Wing at core ISN'T a game about outflying your opponent.  It's a game about outmodifying their dice.

But they have nothing to modify if they can't get you in arc/range :P

 

But you are right, I just think modifying is a very very very close second to flying.

 

 

And as for X7s, just mess with their green dice as much as possible. They hate it.

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The Defender now is a ship with a low skill floor that can still be used well with a high skill ceiling. There are going to be times where the best maneuver for a Defender pilot is to use one of their sub-3 maneuvers. Learning when and where to use those maneuvers so that you are difficult to predict despite the title is what seperates the wheat from the chaff.

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The flying/dice weighting thing is probably connected to skill curve.

As the difference in player skill level between opponents narrows the likelihood of significant outmaneuvering being decisive will shrink, and dice will become more and more important.  When a good player plays a bad player then, yes, positioning can easily render dice modification a moot point.

Edited by Stay On The Leader

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Any builds or meta that encourage flying well are good for the health of the game IMO.

 

I disagree because:

1. free actions that can't be blocked and without a penalty make the game easier

2. it builds a meta that pushed out two-attack ships

 

The second point is more important. I've mentioned this in another thread before, but there are three kinds of tanky ships: Beefy (lots of hull+shield, low or no agility), mitigating (prevent damage through (free) actions) and regenerating (regen shields or shed damage). Unfortunately they are usually conflated.

 

The beefy and the regenerating tanks are no problem for any other ship - it's a race against time in the former, and a question of burst damage in the latter. But most ships could in theory win.

The third type, the damage mitigating tank, is a bigger problem as it renders some ships unable to destroy them. Defenders are just one example, but they are the most prominent one, which is why I bring it up.

 

I see three main contributors to the problem of Defenders:

1. The free evade of the x7 title. This allows the defenders to token up with focus+evade in every round. Together with their native 3 agility, you need a TL+focus 4 attack ship to get some damage through (0.94 expected damage).

2. The other stats of the defender: PS5-6 is not bad except against aces. 3/3/3/3 is phenomenal (in fact only 5 ships have 3atk/3agi, of which 2 die fast, 1 is the starviper and then brobots). Then we have white K-turns, which makes the defender the prime jouster. In all, the ship is either too cheap with the free evade, or well priced but should not get the evade.

3. The master of variance, Supreme Chancellor himself. He direly needs a range3,an action or some form of cost for his ability.

 

I agree with you in the sense that Defenders with x7 caused a lot of innovation and still do. But the general direction of damage mitigation for no cost is not good for the game because it pushes out two-attack ships and is almost an inherent fun-vampire for others.

 

Edit: quoted too much

Edited by CptArgonaut

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The thing is, X-Wing at core ISN'T a game about outflying your opponent.  It's a game about outmodifying their dice.

Best way to outmodify dice? Make sure they don't use them. You outmaneuver someone, they don't get a shot or don't get an optimal shot. It's all about prospective.

 

 

true on both counts

 

best way to outmodify dice is ensure people don't get to throw any

 

also to abuse range such that you get better exchanges of dice depending on which ship you're flying

 

 

but, ultimately, if you cannot get past your opponent's dice your good flying doesn't amount to jack

 

which is why PWTs were utter bull until autothrusters, TLTs and crackshot allowed you to actually beat them in a dice trade

Edited by ficklegreendice

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The thing is, X-Wing at core ISN'T a game about outflying your opponent.  It's a game about outmodifying their dice.

It can be both.  It's both.

 

If you never get shots, or you get markedly fewer shots than your opponent, all the mods in the world are unlikely to matter.

 

If you get a tonne of shots with naked dice, all the shots in the world are unlikely to matter.

 

You have to be good at getting shots, good at avoiding shots, AND good at getting mods, to win.

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The thing is, X-Wing at core ISN'T a game about outflying your opponent.  It's a game about outmodifying their dice.

Not true in my experience.  The game has more to do with outflying than modifying dice.  Modifying dice is certainly a big part of the game, but you only get to roll dice (as an attacker) when: a) you've positioned your ships well to get shots or b) your opponent failed to position well to deny shots.

 

The flying/dice weighting thing is probably connected to skill curve.

As the difference in player skill level between opponents narrows the likelihood of significant outmaneuvering being decisive will shrink, and dice will become more and more important.  When a good player plays a bad player then, yes, positioning can easily render dice modification a moot point.

While skill level will be more pronounced in games where there is one very experienced player and one newbish player, its absolutely not true that out-positioning dwindles in importance as player skill differences narrow.  I have had the pleasure of playing many of the best X-wing players in the world and also watching many 'big names' play against each other.  In most of those games, outpositioning was a huge factor----in fact, its very rare in my experience that someone wins just because they happened to be flying a list that had better dice modification than the other list.  Its FAR more often the case that the winning player got the better dice mods/results BECAUSE he/she put their ships in stronger positions and was able to take advantage of it. 

 

TLT's wreck defenders. So do Ion bombs and anything that forces them to move slower than 3+

not true.  X-7 defenders can do quite well against TLTs.

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Whenever people discuss x7 defenders an interesting point is always left out. Sure they're hella good, but regardless of that fact they still consistently clock in at 33+ points. Sure they're a pain to kill but they're at least a 3rd of the list and they can't arc dodge. For 34ish points you get a heck of a solid ship but they aren't doing anything gamebreaking, and if they are using focus+evade on their defense roll they are hitting like a wimp (1 hit on average, 2 hits range 1).

Additionally, while the evade token is 'free' it isn't really. The cost is they lose half their dial and half their upgrade bar.

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well, the other "cost" is that, apart from vessery built with stuff like swarm leader or juke or crackshot, they are "merely" fully modified 3-dice

 

compared to Mr. I'ma-phantom-at-range-1 Rau, or Asajj which makes mods with some light stress control and an extra mobile arc, or double-taps such as Corran and Dengar etc.

 

which basically means it takes a small eternity for one to kill a comparable late game, especially rebel regen

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Whenever people discuss x7 defenders an interesting point is always left out. Sure they're hella good, but regardless of that fact they still consistently clock in at 33+ points. Sure they're a pain to kill but they're at least a 3rd of the list and they can't arc dodge. For 34ish points you get a heck of a solid ship but they aren't doing anything gamebreaking, and if they are using focus+evade on their defense roll they are hitting like a wimp (1 hit on average, 2 hits range 1).

Additionally, while the evade token is 'free' it isn't really. The cost is they lose half their dial and half their upgrade bar.

 

They absolutely can arc dodge.  The high PS ones have barrel roll, and a well flown Ryad can pre-dodge a lot of ships simply by having anywhere from a 2 to 5 straight or k-turn.

 

They don't really need to though, in most cases.

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The thing is, X-Wing at core ISN'T a game about outflying your opponent.  It's a game about outmodifying their dice.

It can be both.  It's both.

 

If you never get shots, or you get markedly fewer shots than your opponent, all the mods in the world are unlikely to matter.

 

If you get a tonne of shots with naked dice, all the shots in the world are unlikely to matter.

 

You have to be good at getting shots, good at avoiding shots, AND good at getting mods, to win.

 

It's both, but like blade_mercurial said above, it's positioning first and foremost. Followed by matchup/build (ability to modify dice) followed by dice luck. If you have a jousting list, and are simply going to line up across from a jousting list, then yes, it is dice mods. But, if you can plan ahead with your asteroids, and lead your opponent through the rocks to break up their formation, then positioning trumps dice mods. Even simple things like range control effect dice mods (e.g. Autothrusters), and range control is a positioning skill first and foremost.

I think if you want to learn from your losses, you have to look at this game as a positioning game first, because then you run out of excuses when you lose. You can't learn from your positioning mistakes if you blame the dice, or, even the list first.

Edited by slowdive

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They absolutely can arc dodge. The high PS ones have barrel roll, and a well flown Ryad can pre-dodge a lot of ships simply by having anywhere from a 2 to 5 straight or k-turn.

They don't really need to though, in most cases.

Countess of course is a squirrelly exception by virtue of flying unlike anything else due to her variable and optional green k turns. Otherwise just having a barrel roll at ps 6-8 is pretty weak for arc dodging. Sure you can move laterally a bit but compared to classic arc dodgers like soontir or Vader and it's nothing. In general without boost you can only escape things but so well and without 2 actions you're not getting the real 'move 5 base units after my maneuver' that makes dodging so powerful. Edited by nigeltastic

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Any builds or meta that encourage flying well are good for the health of the game IMO.

 

I disagree because:

1. free actions that can't be blocked and without a penalty make the game easier

2. it builds a meta that pushed out two-attack ships

 

The second point is more important. I've mentioned this in another thread before, but there are three kinds of tanky ships: Beefy (lots of hull+shield, low or no agility), mitigating (prevent damage through (free) actions) and regenerating (regen shields or shed damage). Unfortunately they are usually conflated.

 

The beefy and the regenerating tanks are no problem for any other ship - it's a race against time in the former, and a question of burst damage in the latter. But most ships could in theory win.

The third type, the damage mitigating tank, is a bigger problem as it renders some ships unable to destroy them. Defenders are just one example, but they are the most prominent one, which is why I bring it up.

 

I see three main contributors to the problem of Defenders:

1. The free evade of the x7 title. This allows the defenders to token up with focus+evade in every round. Together with their native 3 agility, you need a TL+focus 4 attack ship to get some damage through (0.94 expected damage).

2. The other stats of the defender: PS5-6 is not bad except against aces. 3/3/3/3 is phenomenal (in fact only 5 ships have 3atk/3agi, of which 2 die fast, 1 is the starviper and then brobots). Then we have white K-turns, which makes the defender the prime jouster. In all, the ship is either too cheap with the free evade, or well priced but should not get the evade.

3. The master of variance, Supreme Chancellor himself. He direly needs a range3,an action or some form of cost for his ability.

 

I agree with you in the sense that Defenders with x7 caused a lot of innovation and still do. But the general direction of damage mitigation for no cost is not good for the game because it pushes out two-attack ships and is almost an inherent fun-vampire for others.

 

Edit: quoted too much

 

THIS.

 

 I always lol'd at the posts saying that the x7's need a nerf math. 

You know, there's a cure to this, it's called education.

Edited by Giledhil

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I don't really have a problem with X/7's. Yes they are very good but if you focus fire with 2+ships they can be brought down fairly quickly. I wonder if less people would hate them if they would have excluded the 4K from giving you the evade? They would still be tough to kill but would get far fewer attacks if they wanted the evade every turn.

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The thing is, X-Wing at core ISN'T a game about outflying your opponent.  It's a game about outmodifying their dice.

Best way to outmodify dice? Make sure they don't use them. You outmaneuver someone, they don't get a shot or don't get an optimal shot. It's all about prospective.

 

true on both counts

 

best way to outmodify dice is ensure people don't get to throw any

 

also to abuse range such that you get better exchanges of dice depending on which ship you're flying

 

 

but, ultimately, if you cannot get past your opponent's dice your good flying doesn't amount to jack

 

which is why PWTs were utter bull until autothrusters, TLTs and crackshot allowed you to actually beat them in a dice trade

Fair, though I feel that there are a couple of offensive tricks that rely on out flying your opponent that deny dice, namely bombs and Autoblasters. Now, Autoblasters and some bombs do deal with red dice, but it seems the popular bombs don't roll dice and Autoblasters still only have their own dice to worry about.

PWTs are a case against pure outmaneuvering. Except for getting out of range, you can only hope for suboptimal shots, which is a form of dice modification.

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Scum has a pretty good way to deal with x7's in a yv-666 or firespray with 4-Lom and homing missiles.

1. Fire the missiles, locks down their evade

2. 4-Lom their focus, at the cost of taking an ion

3. Defender rolls naked dice

4 ????

5. Profit?

As for rebels, focus fire, focus fire, focus fire

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x7 title not the problem. Three x7s with crack are tough, but not OP or broken.
 
Public Enemy #1 is:
Emperor-palpatine-1-.png
 
I will give an example even though we have all witnessed his shenanigannery:
 
I was playing x7 Vessery and x7 Brath, along with Deathfire vs Ketsu/Kath + Homing Missile/K4
I kept Ketsu from range 1 of Vessery, and got my evade and focus.
Ketsu fired first, with Dengar rerolls, got 3 hits.
I rolled a horrible: eye,blank,blank
So, I spend my tokens and take 1 hit, and get tractor beamed (-1 agility)
Now I am rolling 2 naked green dice vs a Homing Missile that is guaranteed one crit.
Well, it ends up being hit hit crit crit.
I blank out on green dice. One crit was a Direct hit. Vessery is gone before he can fire once.
 
All of the above never happened, if Palpatine is on the board and prevents the damage from Ketsu and I lose the agility. Vessery takes some damage from homing missile, but is far from dead. I rolled 4 blanks in 5 dice. Dead without Palps, maybe just shields gone with Palps.

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