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brettpkelly

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IMPERIALS

I've been messing around with imperials a lot lately trying to get them to work. eJets and Terro are both very good units and I still feel that Zillow is one of the strongest cards in the game (SoS is now by far the strongest). My Imp list for the Vassal Tournament was:

  • Terro
  • 2x e Jet Troopers w/ Targetting computers
  • 1x dewback rider
  • 1x e Stormtrooper
  • 1x officer
  • Zillow technique

With 9 trooper figures "covering fire" is actually really good, especially when paired with "Cavalry Charge" on Terro. However, there are so many counters to stormtroopers right now. Units that have built in evade are very popular right now and very hard to kill with stormtroopers. Terro gets focused immediately and dies in 3 attacks. I swapped out the stormtroopers for the Grand Inquisitor and found that to be an improvement to this list, but it still doesn't stand up to the other factions. I also experimented with an Imperial Rancor list a bit, which I think can work, but again not the best list out there. Imperials are the weakest faction right now.

Top tier units:

  • Terro
  • e Jets (w/ targeting computer)
  • imperial officers
  • dewback riders
  • Blaise

Viable units:

  • Grand Inquisitor
  • e Stormies (w/ Cross Training)
  • e Heavies
  • r royal gaurds
  • probe droids

Viable upgrade cards:

  • Zillo
  • Rule by fear
  • Cross Training

 

REBELS

For rebels, Jedi Luke has emerged as THE unit to play. There are a couple lists that don't utilize him, but I feel that he is by far the best unit per cost in the game. Son of Skywalker can almost guarantee a victory if you play it smartly. He's not worth attacking with any ranged unit that will do less than 3 damage, and even at 3 you're still taking 1 in return. Heroic makes him versatile enough to fit many different roles. So I'm sticking with some variant of my "Luke's Finest" list with Jedi Luke and eRangers. I haven't experimented too much with other rebel lists, but I feel that rebels are absolutely tournament viable. Here is a link to a more in depth write up on this list: https://www.reddit.com/r/ImperialAssaultTMG/comments/5mym30/nj_regionals_battle_report_part_1_preparation/

Top Tier units:

  • e Rangers
  • Jedi Luke
  • Gideon
  • 3P0

Viable units:

  • R2
  • Obi wan
  • e Echos
  • Leia
  • Lando
  • Luke
  • e Sabs
  • r rangers
  • Davith
  • alliance smugglers

Viable Upgrade cards:

  • Rebel High Command

 

Mercenaries

That brings me to Mercs. I haven't played Mercs at all in the past. I got into skirmish after the Bantha was out of style. I have seen a ton of different Merc lists lately and I've been experimenting with them a bit. Mercs have by far the most variety right now. You can put together a Merc list to get fast VP's and win that way, or put together a squad of killers to wipe out your opponent. My current Merc List:

  • Jabba
  • e Weequay
  • Vinto
  • Greedo
  • temporary alliance
  • Jedi Luke
  • C3P0
  • Devious Scheme
  • Black Market
  • Prey on the Weak (on Vinto)

Since Vinto is getting off multiple attacks per activation and there are plenty of 4point units in the meta I feel that prey on the weak is perfect on him. This list definitely has problems: namely only 5 figures that can attack and 4 of them are quite fragile. It might be worth considering trading the e Weequays and Devious scheme for e Gamorians for another beefy unit. I'm still experimenting to find what I like best, but there is plenty to play around with in this faction.

Top Tier Units:

  • Jabba
  • Greedo
  • Onar
  • Vinto
  • e Weequays
  • e Gamorians
  • r HK assassin droids
  • Shyla

Viable units:

  • Bossk
  • Rancor
  • Bantha
  • hired guns
  • e Nexus
  • Ugnaughts

Viable upgrade cards:

  • Prey on the weak
  • Devious scheme
  • Indentured Jester
  • Black Market
  • Last Resort
  • Beast Tamer

 

Command Cards

These are the command cards I believe are mandatory for just about every list:

  • Element of surprise
  • positioning advantage
  • negation
  • urgency
  • take initiative (unless you don't have any cheap units to tap)

Not mandatory, but top notch cards for any list:

  • Celebration
  • Planning
  • Tough Luck (mandatory if you're running HK's or Pirates)

Fleet footed, deadeye, disorient and camouflage are also decent cards to put into a deck if you're stumped on what else to use.  Fleet footed is especially good with 4 speed melee units *cough* Jedi Luke *cough*

Best cards with restrictions (in rough order of best per point to worst, but all are viable with their restrictions):

  • 3 Son of Skywalker (Luke)
  • 2 Comm disruption (Spies)
  • 1 Intelligence Leak (Spy)
  • 2 Hightened reflexes (Hunter)
  • 2 Overrun (vehicles aka e Jets)
  • 3 Assassinate (hunter)
  • 2 Call the Vanguard (4+ cost trooper)
  • 2 Jundland Terror (Bantha lists)
  • 1 Ferocity (Creature)
  • 3 On the Lam (Smuggler)
  • 1 Draw! (Vinto)
  • 0 Force Rush (force user)
  • 1 Primary target (hunter)
  • 1 Fuel Upgrade (vehicles aka e Jets)
  • 2 Tools for the job (Hunter or smuggler)
  • 2 Force Surge (Force User)
  • 3 Grenadier (Troopers)
  • 3 Force lightening (Imp Force user only)
  • 2 Lock on (Heavy weapon)
  • 2 Heart of Freedom (Rebel)
  • 2 Trandoshan Terror (Bossk)
  • 1 price on their heads (hunter)

I'm sure I left some out there but those are most of the best ones at least. The bottom line is this: Hunter cards are the best. Trooper cards lost a lot with the new rule changes. Reinforcements is dead. Spies still have a lot of good command cards, but not a lot of good units. eJets some great command cards in Fuel upgrade, Overrun, and Call the Vanguard, but I have not been able to put together an Imp list that works.

 

Summary

In Summary the state of the meta is this:

  • Imperials are the weakest faction.  Terro and eJets are mandatory.
  • Rebels have a couple viable variations on one list which includes Jedi Luke
  • Mercs have dozens of viable lists. They all have their merits and I'm not sure there is one "best list". They all play completely differently too, not like the variations in rebels which play basically the same.
  • Besides Luke, Hunters have the best command cards in the game. Rebels have the rangers to use them. Mercs have many good units that can use them. Imperials can keep running troopers and weep, or keep running spies and hope to negate them, but neither option is great.

Feel free to challenge any of the assertions I've made here! I'd love to get some different takes on the current state of the Meta.

 

-Brett

Edited by brettpkelly

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8 minutes ago, miguelj said:

With the amount of rerolling that's available in the game right now I'd move Tough Luck to mandatory in any command deck.

I feel that celebration and planning are in the same category as Tough Luck.  I'd like them in every single deck I run, but sometimes I just run out of room for them.  They are certainly top notch in any list.  If you're running HK's or Weequays Tough luck is absolutely mandatory.

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I'm surprised you put Onar in the top tier.  Can you add any context to that (you don't mention him otherwise). I think he's just OK.

eStormtroopers are still good with Cross Training when paired with Blaise... Probably in the Viable category right?

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Onar is also the 2nd best performing Scum Unique for me from JR (after Vinto). His cost is good, he has high damage (especially focused for more surge/acc). He has good special abilities in rush and his defensive one which can usually save a figure

Tough is mandatory for any list with Pirate or HK and is almost mandatory for others (works well vs Scum and Imp, just not rebels as much)

Cebration is good but hard to fit in. Usually your list will be playing EoS, Take Init, Planning, Urgancy, Positioning Advantage for its 0

also don't underestimate the tinkerer since the errata

Edited by frotes

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I'll throw e Stormies up in the "Viable" section, but I still believe they're more of a liability than an asset vs. any list with Jabba or Jedi Luke.  I put Onar up there as I believe he is one of the best counters to Jedi Luke and e Rangers.  I'm pretty biased towards the rebels as I was running the wonder twins list in the last meta, so maybe this is my bias ranking him higher than he is actually worth.  Every time I play against him he is definitely worth his cost. "Get Down" is an awesome ability and can often save a unit from death.  Rush is really good for pushing figures off of objectives, or into worse position.  Also he hits like a truck and is can tank a couple hits.  He's almost as good as Shyla for 2 points less.  I don't see any reason to move him down from top tier.

Edited by brettpkelly

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1 minute ago, frotes said:

I think HK are outclassed by ePirates, at least until more droid cards come out

That is exactly why I put them in the viable section opposed to Top Tier.  I'm sure they'll move up with the upcoming droid expansions.

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I sadly agree about Imperials right now. They're in a tough spot. I think they could overcome the scoring change if not for Jedi Luke. He just wrecks units too quickly and troopers rely on those surges. The other downside is their best answers to Jedi Luke and other threats are RGC and Vader. And both are a bit pricey. Although with regular jet troopers they finally have some solid cheap troopers. 

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5 minutes ago, RogueLieutenant said:

You don't consider Zillo Technique Top Tier? 

If I recall correctly, out of all of the imperial lists at Worlds last year had it except for maybe 2.

I didn't differentiate between top tier and viable for the upgrade cards, just lumped them all together. 

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Bossk is definitely top tier for me.  He can be the anchor for a hunters list and does a good job of surviving long enough in most games to earn his points.  Also, I do think the eStormies have a place in a list, though I wouldn't take two sets like I used to.  While they can't hit hard against Jedi Luke that well because of his auto-evade, they do give you three figures who can pack a punch and run objectives if needed (think the patron mission of Anchorhead Cantina).  Otherwise, I mostly agree with your assessment. 

Thanks for the write up!

-ryanjamal

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I would greatly argue that eISBs are solid units and that they should atleast be in the viable tier.  They give you access to spy cards and with 6 health on a white die they often take 2 attacks to kill.  their surges are amazing, and if you are smart about it can get 3 attacks out of two figures a round!

 

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I agree with putting the HKs on viable but not top tier. With their 5 HP, they actually have a fairly high chance to go down in a single 3 dice attack. For instance Jedi Luke has a 59% chance to oneshot a black die 5HP target without any other modifiers (cc, Zillo)

Personally I also like Fleet Footed more than Urgency due to added flexibility.

And I'd rank On the Lam higher on the list (although it is very hard to rank command cards anyway due to restrictions) That card rightfully costs 3 and is another advantage the eWq have over HKs.

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I could nitpick some stuff like Onar and a couple command cards that I personally value higher or lower, but overall this is a great list with great insight into the game, mostly consistent with what we've been seeing locally after the Great Scoring Crisis of 2017 and the Jabba Wave release. This is a thread we should be pointing to for everyone who is looking into starting skirmish and wondering what to play.

It's sad/funny how this thread already shows a much deeper insight into the skirmish game from everyone involved than the 'meta articles' published on the frontpage a while ago.

Edited by player1750031

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I don't know is Onar is top tier but he is an exceptional ambushing figure. He usually draws at least 3 attacks before he goes down, and he can essentially Zillo himself (or another nearby fig) for 1 DMG BLOCK once per round. I do everything I can to save him for my Big Hunter Card Dump attack on an opponent's primary figure, and Onar typically doesn't disappoint.

Captain Terro & Dewbacks are also supposed to be played as ambushers and not anchors. I like running them up an ignored lane or holding them back until late 2nd turn. Any 3-die attack + eOfficer is a pretty deadly combo. 

I'll admit that I'm still a relative n00b and take lots of L's. (LOTS OF L'S.) But I don't think top tier and the 2nd level figs are seperated as much anymore as it was before Jabba's Realm and the figure cost VP rule change.

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2 hours ago, cnemmick said:

I don't know is Onar is top tier but he is an exceptional ambushing figure. He usually draws at least 3 attacks before he goes down, and he can essentially Zillo himself (or another nearby fig) for 1 DMG BLOCK once per round. I do everything I can to save him for my Big Hunter Card Dump attack on an opponent's primary figure, and Onar typically doesn't disappoint.

Captain Terro & Dewbacks are also supposed to be played as ambushers and not anchors. I like running them up an ignored lane or holding them back until late 2nd turn. Any 3-die attack + eOfficer is a pretty deadly combo. 

I'll admit that I'm still a relative n00b and take lots of L's. (LOTS OF L'S.) But I don't think top tier and the 2nd level figs are seperated as much anymore as it was before Jabba's Realm and the figure cost VP rule change.

the way I see terro and dewbacks are as shock (punny) cavalry with their close range abilities, high speed, and no surges for additional accuracy they usually get in first to spare your troopers some hits and try to weaken key figures to allow your troopers a potential opening for attack. But I've only played a few matches with them.

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The only problem I have with your writeup - (great stuff here and obviously some thought was put into it) is that it is very biased (as you mentioned) and completely one-sided.  From what I can gather.  ImpAssault is such a fledgling game that there isn't really enough statistics to support your claims.  They might skew that way. I'm not a statistician, but from my scientific training and evaluation of research, generally, the more information you have to back something up the more viable it is as a fact.  The more tests you run, the more variables you can weed out.

Most IA tournaments and even regionals (these are supposed to represent the masses) have an average of 8-12 people. That's nothing. You can't gather any meaningful information from that.  I think most people play the newer stuff, well because it's new.  If you've been playing rebel esabs for the better part of a year, you may be ready to switch, and something new and shiny comes out and you drop your esab list.  In a regional with 10 people, you may only get one esab list, and that person may not even know how to play that list, that just happens to be what he is loaned or has in a limited collection, so he plays it and gets walloped.  That makes the new stuff that 75% of the participants are playing look even better.  But statistically, it proves nothing.  If we could filter out the best players and have them play a list within the confines of wave II and under, I'd still wager that the better player could win with inferior figures, just from experience, practice and acumen, etc. 

Most likely, we know that some of the newer figures are better (evaluating their stats, abilities, cost, etc) but we don't know that, and I don't think we have enough data to prove one thing or another.  So I hate to hear definitive statements like viable, or unviable or Must-take, Tier 1, when we really don't have any data other than a couple of rants on the internet (hyperbole intended)

That being said, I would be interested in what brettpkelly can tell us about his meta or environment in which he plays (how many consistent players he has, what tournaments he's participated in, etc,) to help quantify some of this info.

Here's the other disclaimer, I'm sure brettpkelly is a better player than I am, I've always appreciated his opinion and his remarks on the game (check the other posts, even if I don't agree, he always makes great posts) so this is in no way directed at him personally, just a friendly reminder, that the sky is not falling, I think there are many viable options to play, its just we're innudated with the new stuff right now (rightfully so) and I'm not sure the swing in opinion is completely warranted, (its probably closer to somewhere in the middle as with most things). IN other words, the new stuff is good, but the new stuff is also new, so that may be what most of us are seeing and is winning, but that doesn't make it the win-all, take-all champion.  I don't believe it means the Imperials are horrible right now, I just think it means what people are playing has changed.

Edited by buckero0

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I will say the Imperials do have a chance to add some of the Mercs heavy hitters with temp alliance to add versatility. Taking a pair of eWeequay Pirates with the Inquistor gives a solid core group with all the nice hunter cards, and room for either some spies or troopers. eGamos and Vinto could add some toughness and fire power as well to a Terro trooper group. 

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2 minutes ago, draco193 said:

I will say the Imperials do have a chance to add some of the Mercs heavy hitters with temp alliance to add versatility. Taking a pair of eWeequay Pirates with the Inquistor gives a solid core group with all the nice hunter cards, and room for either some spies or troopers. eGamos and Vinto could add some toughness and fire power as well to a Terro trooper group. 

There is definitely plenty of room to get creative with temp alliance.  eGamos with Zillow sounds pretty scary and they don't rely on focus to deal out the pain, so they fit in nicely.  The only problem with pulling in Weequays is there's no way to focus them so some of their potential is lost.

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