theaficionado

Grand Tier List for IA Skirmish (To be updated as new Waves emerge)

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Posted (edited)

In another thread, some players lamented over the lack of a comprehensive and current tier list. I ended up making one and posting it into that thread, and many quite enjoyed it. I've been asked to make a new thread for it, which is exactly what this is.

 

The Aficionado's Grand Tier List

To jump to a section, CTRL + F:

Tier (1-4) (Rebel/Imperial/Scum/Neutral)

EG: Tier 2 Imperial, Tier 1 Scum, Tier 3 Rebel

 

Tier 1: The best of the best in the game. Superior to similar units in some way, or offers a powerful, rare ability. Generally the best bang for buck in the game.

 

Tier 2: Still very playable. Perhaps they were once Tier 1, but a newer unit has dethroned them. Still very useful units, and definitely not rare to see in lists. Can be Tier 1 in particular lists, with particular supports, but perhaps not as generally useful as Tier 1 units. Also includes units that are all around very solid and don't have any strictly superior units, but just haven't found the right list yet. *NEW* Most units that are well costed and would perform reasonably in any given game, even if not the flat out best units, will arrive here.

 

Tier 3: Starting to get borderline here. There might be rare lists that use this unit, or fringe lists that are somewhat competitive, but outside of these particular lists, you will rarely see them. Do note that many "build-around-me" characters will probably fall into this category, unless they bring something absurdly powerful to the table.

 

Tier 4: Unviable in skirmish. Either overcosted greatly, or doesn't provide any useful ability that can't be obtained elsewhere. Without substantial aid, these guys will not see the light of day.

 

Units/Upgrades by Tier

Tier 1 Rebel

Gideon Argus

I'd be surprised if there is ever a Rebel list made without this guy. In fact, I'm often surprised to see Scum lists that don't splash him in. Two amazing abilities that are only limited by sight, a decent attack should you ever need it, and only 3 points? One of the biggest missteps by the designers. They really undervalued the utility Gideon provides.

Chewbacca + Wookiee Avenger *NEW*

Wookiee Avenger is easily the weakest of all the new upgrades, but it still bumps Chewie up substantially because he's no longer absurdly overcosted. Chewie still has a solid defence despite not being able to roll X, and he hits pretty hard once he's up close, particularly if you can pull of Slam as well. Guaranteeing Debts Repaid in hand is also nice, but it does mean your opponent is more likely to focus down Chewie first, thereby completely negating it. Still, it does force the opponent into some tough spots, as a big, focused Chewie is definitely a force to be reckoned with. He's been moved to Tier 1 for now because he has potential, but he may very well fall back to Tier 2.

Han Solo + Rogue Smuggler *NEW*

Han has gone absolutely berserk with his new upgrade. With a very high possibility of being able to shoot on round one (That's right, Han can shoot first), and offering two to three attacks solid attacks each round at a consistent long range (even more so now that he has an in-built re-roll), Han is a an all-round solid unit. The fact that the negative points on the upgrade don't actually reduce his cost per se means that you can pair him with Luke and include Change of Plans for all kinds of shenanigans. His unique command card is decent, and acts as a second and generally uncounterable Take Initiative, but it may be too steep at 2 points.

C-3PO

The other half of the focus package, C-3PO is the best 2 points you can spend. Offering defensive bonuses to those around him, being hard to hit himself, and focusing his friends are all huge upsides. What's more, the new droid upgrade Trusted Ally is perfect for 3PO, who's often near his fighting friends anyway. He'll be in Rebel lists until the end of time.

Elite Alliance Rangers

For one more point per unit than the Regulars, you get natural Pierce 1, +2 HP, and +3 Accuracy on a surge instead of +2 (the last of these is pretty minor). You also get to reroll two dice instead of one, which is particularly useful when you have so many blues being chucked around, as well as the fact that you're likely going to be focusing these guys and thus having more dice to potentially improve. You also, importantly, are able to play Call the Vanguard, one of the most powerful command cards in the game. If played correctly, they can be one of the most oppressive, snowballing units in the game.

Luke Skywalker - Jedi Knight

For a while, Luke was far and away the best individual unit in the game, and the poster child for an expensive unit. Compared to the earlier incarnations of expensive units, he's so much better it's like they're not even from the same game! A free attack action each round means you can very likely chop two troopers in half  (he'll average around 4-5 damage against black defence) and still run back to cover. If you narrowly miss the kill, they'd best not shoot back lest you deflect and finish them off. While Leader is not an excellent trait on non-support units, Brawler isn't too bad, and Force User looks like it'll be getting a bump later this year. That's not to say Luke is without command card options; Son of Skywalker is the only one he needs, and pulling off Son of Skywalker in round one and obliterating an activation without any real chance of retaliation is a fearsome prospect, and something that is incredibly difficult to play around. All that said, Luke still tends to be a little too squishy in my opinion; his auto-evade defence isn't particularly useful, and 33% of the time, he may very well block nothing! He's still among the most powerful units in the game for sure, but I don't think he's quite the boogeyman people expected him to be.

Hera Syndulla *NEW*

Hera is absolutely amazing. A great health pool for four points and a three dice attack to boot alone would make her solid, but combine that with a solid ability (Smooth Landing), an INSANE ability (Call the Shots) AND two awesome traits, and you have a winner. A big thing about Hera is that you don't have to use her ability pro-actively; you can roll your dice, see what your opponent's got, and then decide what you want. On Nal Hutta Swamps, you can make focused Rangers consistently shoot around 14 squares away! One of many great support units for Rebels, which is making it tougher and tougher to decide who to bring along!

Drokkatta *NEW*

Goodness me. This Wookiee means business! You get a lot of efficiency for the points investment here, with great survivability, a powerful mid-long range attack (4-11 range, with 6 being pretty reliable), the ability to hand out AoE damage FOR FREE, and an awesome new blast ability. If you're set up correctly, you can do some pretty crazy things with Wild Fury, ESPECIALLY against clusters of units, but even with just a single attack each round, Drokatta can hand out some serious pain. Heavy Weapon got a great new command card in this wave, but sadly Drokkatta's weak spot is her ordinary traits. I wouldn't be surprised to see her pop up in some lists in the near future, and I'm not sure she'll end up remaining in Tier 1 just because of the sheer competition she faces from Han and Chewie (though I do think she's superior to Chewie, except maybe for traits and cool factor). 

Heroic Effort

Stick all the conditions you want onto a card that costs 0. As long as there's no actual drawback, it's going to be Tier 1, because every list that can play it will do so. From now until the end of time, every Rebel hero list will play Heroic Effort. There's literally no reason not to. In fact, the upside on it is even pretty decent; sure, it's not going to be the reason you build a heroes list, but if you do happen to play a heroes list (which is rapidly becoming more and more possible, with units like Jedi Luke and Obi-Wan), why not chuck this in? 

 

Tier 2 Rebel

Jyn Odan

The other solid Rebel hero in the Core Box. Great speed, three great abilities, two of the best surge abilities in the game and a nice, balanced attack (Green-Green) make Jyn pretty super. Smuggler is among the best traits in the game, too! The only issue is her range can be a bit of a problem sometimes, especially if she doesn't roll a surge. I think she's a lot better than her popularity would make her out to be, but she doesn't fit into any of the "best" lists at the moment.

Elite Rebel Saboteur

The elites were once the best unit the Rebels had on offer. Post errata, they're still pretty solid. Priority Target combined with Blast can ensure maximum pain, and they have an off chance of surviving two small attacks (and are pretty likely to survive one big one). Two useful traits, decent accuracy, and high speed make them a reasonable investment, especially if you decide to include the focus package (Hint: Always include the focus package).

R2-D2 *NEW*

R2's effectiveness depends heavily on the map pool. At the moment, he's unfortunately unable to reach any of the terminals on the maps without support, making him at his weakest ever right now, though he's still quite good. You're effectively paying 1 point more than Rebel High Command for an extra activation, something to hold a terminal, and potentially faster card draw. Thus, R2's probably always good enough for at least Tier 2, but may sometimes slide up to Tier 1.

Regular Alliance Smuggler

Much like R2, this guy's value is heavily dependent on the current map. He's pretty much defined by his Smuggler's Instincts ability, so on maps with more chances to interact, he's great. Currently, he’s useful on around 50% of the missions, while on the others he’s only a glorified door opener or terminal controller. Which really isn't too bad for 2 points.

Leia Organa

Leia is a fantastic unit, offering some very unique abilities on a quick and relatively strong body (she'll often hit 5 damage, but has the potential for more on a good roll). Her biggest boon, of course, is her Battlefield Leadership ability, which not only allows her to attack, but gives her favourite, hard hitting ally *cough* Luke or Obi-Wan *cough* another whack as well. With the release of the Hunter cards, which allow for absurdly powerful attacks single attacks, Leia is now a little too fragile, given she'll get less use out of her Recover 2. Still, anytime she's on the table, she'll be a powerful threat that needs to be handled.

Elite Echo Base Troopers

At 2 points more than the regulars, you get vastly improved surges, a fair chunk of extra HP, and the ability to reduce all Pierce values by 1. All of this makes these guys incredibly tough to handle, and capable of dishing out serious damage that means you can't ignore them. With the release of Call the Vanguard, these guys make up an important part of the popular "Luke's Finest" list, forming the front line for the Alliance Rangers to hide behind. They remain solidly in Tier 2, as their use is not anywhere near widespread enough to be Tier 1.

Davith Elso

Another very playable Rebel hero. Davith has great survivability thanks to his natural hidden status, and his rather sizeable health pool, especially given his cost. He's quick, has excellent surges, and to top it all off, Slice and Dice is an amazing ability. What then, you may ask, is his downfall? Well, first off, he's melee (as one would expect of a Jedi). This normally isn't an issue, as melee attackers get stronger attacks. But there's the second problem; Davith's basic attack is pretty weak (Green-Yellow), and he doesn't have a +2 damage surge. Granted, sometimes he'll be able to attack twice in a round, and in those cases he's pretty fantastic. However, this won't always be true, especially when fighting opponents with white defence dice. Still, he's got a whole host of solid powers, a very powerful command card, and with the Force User trait next up for a big boost, he could be getting substantially better later this year.

Lando Calrissian

Lando's an interesting one, and probably one of the more underrated heroes. He's got some pretty stellar surges, an inherent re-roll on attack and defence, great accuracy (can always hit a minimum of 5 if need be by re-rolling into a blue), two awesome traits, and a potentially very powerful attack (especially if you re-roll into a red die). He's even got one of the best unique command cards available; it's cheap, and effectively allows him to auto-Dodge one attack (or get the best attack result, if you really need it). All that being said, he falls into a similar category to Jyn, where he's just waiting in the wings for a list where he fits well.

Obi-Wan Kenobi *NEW*

Old Ben has so much going for him it's crazy. He's incredibly tanky, has one of the most powerful attacks in the game (with amazing surges), AND he's able to fight for objectives and terminals as well! However, he's a bit slow for the current meta, and it's hard to justify taking him over Ahsoka. If he haid one or two other relevant traits, he might see more play, but as it stands, he may just be too old and move to slowly to keep up with the young ones. 

Regular Alliance Rangers

Don't let the “Regular” fool you; these guys are easily the equivalent of elite troopers elsewhere, both in terms of cost, damage output, and abilities. With a minimum range of 5, good surges, an inherent re-roll, two great traits (including the best trait in the game, Hunter), it would seem that these guys would be amongst the most powerful units in the game...and yet, with the phasing out of the Reinforcement heavy meta (due to the introduction of Jabba and of the errata), these guys haven't been anywhere near as popular as I expected they would be. Their damage can be a little inconsistent damage wise, as you've only got a 37.5% chance of rolling four icons, and you really need a surge to maximise it. They've also been grossly outshone by their elites at the moment.

Jarrod Kelvin *NEW*

I'm currently being a little bit conservative of Jarrod, but he packs serious punch at just five points. Effectively 7 speed, complete with a solid attack, amazing surges, PLUS surge cancel with black defence, PLUS three great traits. J4X-7 is a little harder to use, but considering that Jarrod would be worth 5 points without him, he's certainly a welcome addition. At worst, he's just Pierce 1 for Jarrod's first attack, which is already sufficient. Another cheap and efficient spy is always going to be a welcome addition; it's just a struggle to see where he currently fits in.

Ko-Tun Feralo *NEW*

I think Ko-Tun is probably in the mid to low Tier 2 (while Jarrod is closer to low Tier 1). She's got a solid attack with a natural re-roll, and a great support ability (the X cancel is random, but it's nice to have that security). She's on the squishy side for her point cost, and she has an odd trait (Trooper) which, while allowing her to make use of Call the Vanguard, unfortunately doesn't serve to do very much else. She might make some fringe lists, but I think she's easily the worst out of the three new Rebel heroes.

Ahsoka Tano *NEW*

Fans, rejoice! Everyone's favourite jedi hero is quite good! As discussed with Han's attack, GGB is pretty solid, though blue is a little less so for a melee unit. Still, for eight points, you get great surges, great traits, 6-8 move speed with pseudo mobile (which is great on Nal Hutta Swamps), and a unique re-roll ability (I imagine you're more likely to re-roll the defence die, but you never know when you'll just really flop on your attack and be glad a mass re-roll is available). It's getting REALLY crowded at the higher end of the points range for Rebel heroes, and I think Ahsoka may actually be a little worse in play than she seems on paper; she’s actually rather squishy, and can very realistically go down in two attacks. Still, she’s certainly worthy of consideration in any list.

Balance of the Force *NEW*

I think the answer to my previous question of whether you'd trade 1 point for 3 command points is more often than not "yes" at the moment. Command card quality, especially the higher costed ones, is at an all time high, and getting the chance to include an extra 1 to 2 powerful cards means you have a much higher chance of having an explosive opening round. This will likely only get better as time goes on.

 

Tier 3 Rebel

Diala Passil *NEW*

The new Force User and Brawler cards do make Diala a little better than she was, but there's still very little reason to choose her over other alternatives (like Ahsoka). Her major issue is the lack of a +2 surge which, if present instead of Cleave or Recover, would actually make her much more reasonable. Alas, it is not to be, and Diala will likely remain in the binder for now. 

Mak Eshka’rey *NEW*

Mak's best use is sitting in the background, near a terminal, and being a Spy for Intelligence Leak, Comms Disruption and Strategic Shift. He's also great at opening doors and being an activation. He's got a poor, poor attack, and is probably going to die if someone goes after him (especially with a three dice attack). I'd put him in Tier 4, but I've heard of some people including him in lists for the first two sentences I mentioned.

Luke Skywalker - Hero of the Rebellion *NEW*

Jedi Luke has replaced him entirely, and Drokkatta hits harder and at a point cheaper, meaning this guy is dropping further into the realms of unplayability, not because he's a particularly weak unit, but because you'd need to have an extremely good reason to run him over either of the other two at the moment. His Inspiring ability is awesome, but sadly his traits are not (Force Users tend to want to be up close) and he's been outclassed.

Elite Rebel Troopers *NEW*

Reasonable surges and you have the ability to self-focus means you're probably going to be delivering at least one three-dice attack in the game, which is solid. However, there is so much competition in Rebels at around this point cost that it’s pretty hard to ultimately justify including these guys. They’re not bad, but Rangers, even regular ones, are superior.

Elite Alliance Smuggler

As a 2 point splash, I can somewhat understand him, but not at 4. There are way better options for just a point more, and he’s now too overcosted to just be a door opener / terminal holder.

Regular Wookiee Warriors

The only reason the regulars make it to Tier 3 is because of the unique, tanky list that almost took Gencon 2016. In that list, they're not even used for their attack; it's purely because they're so tanky and hard to kill. That list tries to go to time and simply point deny the opponent. Unfortunately, it no longer works quite as well as it did, as they no longer need to kill both Wookiees in order to score points. Still, 11 hit points is a lot for a 4 point unit, so if you’re just going for pure beef and survivability, these guys are king.

MHD-19

MHD is an interesting unit. He's really only ever going to be used as a repetitive source of healing, but being able to bring your heroes back from the brink, coupled with his amazing command card, is an ability that is replicated nowhere else. No list has really had him be exceptional, which is why he remains in tier 3, but he's far from unplayable. In the right list, he can be a real pain.

Murne Rin

If you are able to reliably hide her friends using Field Report, Murne is an all-star. Hidden is a very powerful condition, and being one of only two units in the game able to hand it out to her friends (and the only one not restricted on whom he can give it to) is a huge plus. Spy and Leader are also two very solid traits. While this would seem to make her a stellar choice, she's a bit expensive for just that ability (and it's conditional), and False Orders is a little narrow for my liking. Ultimately, Murne is heavily dependent on matchup and opponent playstyle; in the right circumstances, she can be a rather powerful support, especially if you hold off on the initial attack for a round or two, where you get higher value out of her.

CI-I0P *NEW*

I like Chopper, but I actually think he's much better in the Scum droid lists when combined with Headhunter to really wreck your opponent's command card game. He can be used early game to give one of your units a move point, which is neat, and he can hit pretty decently if the opportunity presents himself. Most of the time, however, I'd rather take R2.

Rebel High Command

Command cards are great, and drawing more of them is super. At the moment, however, you're likely to draw two extra cards off of this before the game is over (a lot of games end quite early at the moment, due to hyper-aggro Hunter lists). One of those cards will come after the huge fight that often breaks out on the second turn. Is that enough of a benefit? Most of the time, I'd rather pay an extra point and get R2; if you can get him to a terminal on turn one, he's actually far superior to this. Still, there are worse things you could spend points on.

On a Diplomatic Mission

This pretty much reads "Gain 1 VP each round". This would be a pretty powerful ability if Imperial Assault games lasted for enough rounds for this to matter, but in most games, this will score you 2, maybe 3 points. It's not bad by any stretch, don't get me wrong, but it's rare to have a point left over, and even rarer that 2 or 3 points are going to be sealing the game up for you. Still, it's much better than First Strike.

 

Tier IV Rebel

Fenn Signis

Fenn hits pretty hard, and in the right situation, can dish out incredible pain. However, he's incredibly squishy for his high cost, and has some truly awful surges. Assault is way too hard to set up, and for almost 1/4 of your army, you can do better than this guy.

Gaarkhan

Goodness gracious. When you compare Gaarkhan to the Royal Guard, you start to wonder what designers were thinking. They're even in the same box! Red-Yellow is my least favourite attack in the game (it's way too swingy), and poor Gaarkhan doesn't even have the surges to capitalise on the yellow dice! Top that off with the fact that he's melee, and we have an almost all around loser. He's got decent traits and abilities, but is yet again a little too squishy for 8 points, and nowhere near impactful enough for his cost. 

Regular Rebel Saboteurs

Once upon a time, these guys were the absolute bomb. They're pretty likely to survive an attack, and they were pretty speedy. Post errata, however, they're just too slow and have too little range to make a big difference.

Regular Rebel Troopers

If you thought Red-Yellow was a bad attack, meet Blue-Yellow. Absolutely awful surges, pitiful survivability, and an ability that will rarely ever see use, these are a huge pass.

Biv Bodhrik

And yet another Rebel hero that's subpar. His abilities aren't too bad, but again, we've got a strange mix of wanting to be good at ranged while also being up in his enemies' faces. He's even squishier than Fenn is, and he was already too squishy. Poor big, bulky rebels with huge guns; will they ever see the light of day?

Saska Teft

Don't worry. Someday they'll make playable new heroes. But it's certainly not in this box. Saska is squishy, not very effective in combat, and has one mildly useful ability: the one that brings in a Scum unit. Unfortunately, six points is far too much to bring in a friend when you compare it to Temporary Alliance.

Elite Wookiee Warriors *NEW*

These guys are pretty expensive and slow, with one good trait and a solid attack. However, compare these guys to Luke or Chewie, and it’s easy to see why these guys never make it to the table. They’re mighty tank, but you need more than tankiness at the moment.

Loku Kanoloa

You guessed it, another Rebel hero that's in the lowest tier. Loku is incredibly squishy, has a pretty average attack, and two poor abilities. His only upsides are his Spy trait and 5 speed, and that just doesn't cut it. If Jyn, who's miles better, is rarely making the cut, what chance does this Mon Calamari have?

Verena Talos

Honestly, Verena is a lot better than many of the other Tier 4 units. She's got one of the best defences in the game, decent surges, and a solid amount of hit points given her already good defence. Her abilities aren't bad either, especially if you can get up close and personal, where she really shines. Unfortunately, one look at Obi-Wan, who is a point cheaper, has a better attack, and has more useful abilities, and you realise there will never be a reason to play Verena over him.

Regular Echo Base Troopers *NEW*

Poor surges, no access to re-roll, and needing to be up close (practically melee) to do reliable damage do not a good unit make. If you're looking for reinforceable troops, Elite Rebel Troopers and Alliance Rangers are much better than these guys.

Fury of Kashyyyk *NEW*

Number of playable Wookiees: two, but only one can have an attachment. Attachment plays: only on Wookiees. Attachment makes that Wookiee significantly better: nope.

Smuggler's Run

Maybe someday, when the stars align and more alternate VP scoring cards are released, this could have a chance. However, the condition is not easy to meet, especially on certain missions where there is no way to avoid getting in the crossfire (Anchorhead Bar and Jabba's Palace, for instance). It's a very large sacrifice just to potentially earn lots of VP; why not just shoot your opponent and be done with it? I want this to be good, and if it ever does become viable, I'll be very, very happy. 

Combat Suit

This ability is nice on the Elite Echo Base Troopers...when it's included for free. Rebel lists often find themselves tight for points, and when you look at the other cheap options they have (Balance of the Force, Motivation, On a Diplomatic Mission, Trusted Ally), you can see why this one is never going to see the light of day, unless some kind of list which contains only units with Pierce becomes Tier 1.

 

Tier 1 Imperial

Regular Imperial Officer

Even post errata, these guys are among the best filler units of any faction. Positioning is, in my opinion, the most important aspect of Imperial Assault, and these guys let you get yourself into a much better state on the critical first turn. After that, they can go sit near a terminal or just get in the way. It's pretty annoying to have to try and kill them as well, especially if they're next to a friend. The most important thing? These guys are effectively a fake activation, meaning you get to see more of what your opponent will do before you commit to the fight. Awesome, awesome unit.

Darth Vader (Tier 1) *NEW*

Now that he's Drive By Hatred, Vader's going to routinely hit for 7 or 8 damage, easily disposing of most cheap units in the game with a single strike. The suite of brawler, leader, and force user stamped cards in the new wave have given the Dark Lord even more options for taking out his foes, and the ability to gain effectively a free "Jundland Terror" each turn finally elevate Vader to a level of respect deserving of him. A solid defence with an inherent re-roll combined with Zillo Technique also makes him incredibly resilient. Although he does suffer somewhat on Nal Hutta Swamps and is still a bit slow, he's always got the option of Force Choking as well, so he's not going to do nothing. It's about time that Lord Vader rose!

Captain Terro

Yes! Yes! Yes! An all-around superstar unique for the Empire! While Blaise is clearly fantastic in certain lists, Terro's raw efficiency is absolutely incredible, even across factions! Two great surges, three solid traits, a respectable attack (I'm not Blue-Green-Yellow's biggest fan), a good chunk of hit points, 5 speed, and two fantastic abilities, all for the low, low price of 7 points? A standard turn from Terro may be use Mounted to move 3, unleash your Flamethrower, and then attack a weakened foe while using Feeding Frenzy to gain extra damage. If you're up next to them, you even have an extra surge option that way. There just aren't enough good things I can say about this guy; use him, and use him often!

Dewback Rider

The mini-versions of Terro still command a lot of respect for their cost. While Electrostaff is clearly worse than Flamethrower in most situations, you still get a rather powerful attack and the ability to almost guarantee a Feeding Frenzy trigger if you really want it. I may be a bit biased, but I'm a huge fan of any unit that can use a damaging ability AND attack in the same round. I'm also a large fan of mobile units, which the Dewback Riders, with their effective 7 speed (if you really want them to have it), fit the bill of. Many of the lists I think of running for the Empire nowadays almost always start with trying to fit in Terro, and one or two of these guys. They're also in Call the Vanguard point range, another huge plus to their already impressive resume.

Elite Jet Trooper 

I was wrong about these guys in my initial thoughts; Fly-By attack is absurdly powerful, and the Vehicle trait feels a little abusive on them due to their ability to use Overrun to incredible effect. Their ability to convert blocks into evades is very powerful, and combined with their high health, makes them a nuisance to actually put down. They have so many good command card options that feel absurd when you pull them off, and the fact that they can equip Targeting Computer to get the inherent re-roll they are otherwise lacking fixes the only real issue these guys had. A staple of many Imperial lists at the moment.

Emperor Palpatine *NEW*

The big bad of Star Wars arrive into Imperial Assault with an intimidating array of powers, all of which combine to make him an incredible support unit. Don't be deceived by Tempt; it's USUALLY better to tempt your opponent's units than your own, especially those who've already activated OR who already have an aggressive power token. The dream with the Emperor ability is to have Vader chop down another foe, but really any free attack you can hand out, whether it be a regular Jet Trooper shot, Vader's fury, or an AT-DP's cannon is just a nice bonus. Force Lightning is incredibly powerful as well; a guaranteed 4 range, 3 damage and weaken is a pretty solid "attack". The only issue with Palps is he's INCREDIBLY slow; be sure to support him with an officer and some movement tricks in the command deck, or he'll just be a little too slow.

Temporary Alliance

The benefit of this really depends on what army you're trying to build, but one point for access to an entire other faction is absurd. While this is nowhere near as popular as the Scum version, it's still undeniably powerful for a point. This mainly gets seen in Fall of Cybertron lists to bring over HKs, but I've also heard stories of Bossk coming to aid the Empire, as well as the purchasing of untamed Rancors…

Rule By Fear

Starting the game by drawing 5 command cards and ditching 1 is a pretty powerful advantage, especially given how important turn two has become. Rule By Fear means you have more fuel for Zillo Technique, as well as a greater chance of seeing your most relevant command cards before the second turn (you'll see a total of 7 cards if you manage to hold a terminal at the end of turn one). For a single point, this is outstanding.

Zillo Technique

The best 1 point upgrade in the game, and for the longest time, the source of all ire in the Imperial Assault community. In addition to being able to negate pierce 2 for free once a round, you're able to turn a command card from your hand into a second chance for a unit if they're about to be exactly killed. It was for this reason that units like the Bantha were so popular; they could finish off these stragglers, or ignore Zillo altogether! Zillo also allowed you to pack your deck with cards that were powerful in a narrow range of situations, and then simply turn them into an extra block if the situation didn't present itself. Zillo will likely continue to be a staple in all Imperial lists from now until the end of time.

 

Tier 2 Imperial 

Elite Probe Droid

A pretty ferocious enemy. Good mobility, powerful surges, decent health, and a built-in reroll? Count me in! Unfortunately, these guys are very similar to Jyn for me; they're completely fine units in a vacuum, but they rarely end up making the cut over other units. They do, however, form a very important part of the Fall of Cybertron lists, and they might see a resurgence of popularity with the new Droid toys.

Regular Royal Guard

Once part of the infamous 4x4 (4 Royal Guards/4 Imperial Officers), these guys have fallen from grace a bit. Still, they're pretty chunky for their cost, and do a pretty great job of protecting their friends. A focused attack from them is nothing to sneeze at either, and they can randomly stun units on a good roll. They're pretty speedy and have reach, too! Overall, they're let down by a swingy attack; sometimes they run hot, but other times it's like they're giving the enemy a hug. 

Elite Stormtrooper *NEW*

If you want the type of Stormtrooper that roasted the Jawas and Obi-Wan spoke of, this is them. Stormtroopers were, for the longest time, the definition of efficiency, and the boogieman of the format. Likely to survive an attack sent at them, able to dish out very consistent damage, a built-in way to focus, and a built-in re-roll? It's no wonder the Empire is so feared! A recent FAQ and the introduction of Jabba has made the old strategy of Troopers + Reinforcements a little less popular, and they’ve remained out of sight for a while now, but these guys are still the baseline from which I judge most units.

Agent Blaise

An integral part of the old Imperial spies list that was omnipresent in the 2016 meta. Blaise is a decent if short ranged attacker, but attacking is not where his strength lies. No, instead, his strength lies in his two powerful abilities; Adapt and Interrogate. Being able to hide any Trooper or Spy the first time your opponent plays a command card each round is absurdly powerful, especially as it can trigger mid attack and reduce accuracy. On top of that, hiding a Heavy Stormtrooper to guarantee a big blast, or even just a plain old Stormtrooper to maximise their damage or range is pretty awesome. Now that Dewbacks are part of the scene, you have even more powerful options to hide away (although how exactly those beasts hide is beyond me). In regards to Interrogate, ask anyone who had their hand contents leaked by a door that talked (yes, you can interrogate a door) and you'll understand how frustrating it is. Looking at your opponent's hand is extremely powerful, and being able to strip a card away (at the cost of one of your own, that is) is a great option to have (even more so if you draw Blaise's unique command card). His only downside now is that the game tends to end faster than it used to, meaning you're likely to get slightly less utility out of Blaise than you used to. That said, don't underestimate the power of this spy master.

Elite ISB Infiltrators

I don't know what happened here, but what a huge across the board improvement compared to the regulars! They now hit pretty hard, have some of the best surges in the game, and are reasonably tough. Being able to target the white defence die with confidence is far and away the greatest upgrade these guys get, and thus they make excellent light armour hunters with their potentially high damage and reliable way to get through the dreaded X. While nowhere near as popular as they once were, there's nothing particular weak about these guys, and they'll do well in pretty much any game they're part of.

The Grand Inquisitor

For a  while, The Grand Inquisitor was heralded as the hero the Empire was waiting for. Many Imperial lists, from pure troopers to spies, were trying to find room for this fearsome foe. What they found, however, is that he's actually lacking very slightly, which seems strange given he's so similar to Obi-Wan. Comparing the two, The Inquisitor is faster, has slightly more hit points, a more useful trait (now, at least, but not at the time), the ability to attack at short range, and two great alternative surges (Cleave 3 and Deadly). Seems like a winning mix, right? Well, the comparison doesn't end there. His defence die is much worse than Obi-Wan's, and he lacks the all important surge for +2 damage (he only gets +1). Lightsaber Throw is often a trap, and while it's certainly better than no attack, it rarely does very much damage (it's very similar to an unfocused Saboteur attack). That's not to say he's bad; he's a very efficient unit, but unlike Obi-Wan, just doesn't seem to be able to slot in anywhere. Whereas Obi-Wan feels more like a support unit that hits hard, The Grand Inquisitor is more of a centrepiece model, one that doesn't quite fit anywhere at the moment. He'll certainly be a cool part of the "Dark Jedi" team later this year, which a lot of people will have fun with! (Emperor Palpatine, Darth Vader, the Grand Inquisitor and Maul. Come on, it's pretty cool, even if it's not very effective).

BT-1 *NEW*

When BT-1 was spoiled, everyone lost their collective minds. A FOUR DICE ATTACK FOR 6 POINTS?!?! THE HUNTER TRAIT?!?! POTENTIALLY THREE DECENT ATTACKS EACH ROUND?!?! BT seemed to have it all...but what he doesn't have is a particularly high damage cap. He needs either Targeting Computer or Prey on the Weak (if you bring him in with Jawas) in order to hit a solid amount of damage consistently, and his accuracy can be wildly inconsistent (unless you're using Missle Salvo). If his surges were better, he'd be Tier 1 easily, but he has a high risk of over-surging with nothing good to spend it on. In Imperial armies, you can't really afford to bring in all the Hunter cards to support BT, and in Scum armies, you have better options than bringing him in (like playing more Weequays). He's solid, but nowhere near as broken as people thought he would be.

0-0-0 *NEW*

0-0-0 is, on the other hand, criminally underrated. Being able to hand out Weaken en masse is a HUGE deal, especially because it's quite difficult to avoid. Obviously the optimal situation would be to run up next to an enemy at the end of the round, weaken them, use Invasive Procedure, and then smack them with a decent three dice attack, which you can often sacrifice to just stun them. If you get that off once in the game, you've made your money back EASILY. He's also an awesome candidate for Headhunter in Scum lists (if you bring him over). There's steep competition for this guy in both factions, but it's hard to argue that he's not an excellent unit for his cost.

AT-DP *NEW*

I'm again going to er on the side of conservatism here. I like the AT-DP. I like it a lot. It's SUPER durable for its point cost (and so it should be), and it starts off with a very powerful attack (you can hit for 6 or 7 at range 6-7 with reasonable consistency). However, once you're below half-health, you lose a fair amount of your punch (+1 damage and re-roll are gone), and that can mean a substantial dip in damage output (given you're likely to be re-rolling the blue or the yellow each turn). Massive is, as always, a double edged sword, but on the Nal Hutta Swamp, I like it (from the top position). Heavy Weapon and Vehicle are both great traits, with Fuel Upgrade giving the AT-DP an amazing defence and a necessary speed boost for the round. The ability to play Crush is also nice (one of my favourite command cards), though given you have Assault, you're unlikely to find situations where you'll be able to use it. You can also do very tricky things with Imperial Officers and the initial setup position (basically giving some units free movement points), which is pretty powerful. I hope to see this guy in some upcoming teams.

Elite Riot Trooper *NEW*

As is standard, these guys are much better than the regulars. You're trading 2 points for 2 HP, an in-built re-roll, the potential for higher damage, AND auto-weaken. I should probably mention now that I'm a big fan of Weaken; against particular units, it can outright ruin them. The fact that these guys hand it out for free, on top of a solid attack with re-roll potential, is fantastic. Also, it's important to note that these guys are 3 cost, meaning you get Reinforcements instead of Call the Vanguard, which for these guys I'd argue is better. The thing keeping them from the top tiers is that they're still slow melee units in a meta with a HUGE map where Rangers are dominant. That being said, keep an eye on these guys; Brawlers and Troopers have a lot of support now, perhaps enough that these guys will be seeing play.

Elite Sentry Droid *NEW*

So it turns out that an extra die in an attack really matters, particularly with an in-built re-roll and double attack. Whereas Multi-Shot is a huge letdown at 2 dice on the regulars, at three it actually becomes a really efficient way to deal out a ton of damage quickly. After some playing around with them, I'm actually really quite surprised at how effective they are. Could they actually break into Tier 1?

Cross-Training

A crucial card in the spies list, turning Stormtroopers into spies and powering all of the Spy command cards. Being able to swap to a white die, which on average actually prevents more damage, is a pretty useful power too. Combined with Reinforcements (in the old meta) and Zillo Technique, this led to a seemingly indestructible army of spy troopers. It's fallen from Tier 1 now that spies are no longer a top list, but it's very solidly in Tier 2, with most of the other spy options.

 

Tier 3 Imperial

Elite Royal Guard

I personally like the elites; they have one of the best defenses in the game (Auto-Evade + Black Dice) and they have a much better surge than the regular ones. Unfortunately, they're pretty costly. I don't mean to say they're overcosted; I think they're about right, or maybe just slightly over (perhaps 11 for both?). Sadly, needing to grab both of them means they've stayed well out of the competitive scene. 

Royal Guard Champion

I'd probably put this guy into Tier 4, but I almost got beaten by him at nationals last year. He's got a great attack (Green-Yellow-Red), two very powerful surge abilities (+2 and Pierce 2), the ability to attack twice in the rightcircumstances (or even more if you kill his friends first), and he's got the highest printed speed in the game (shared with the Nexu). Coupled with his pretty stellar defense, he's actually a pretty solid unit...he just costs too much. If he was a little cheaper, he'd be a real force to be reckoned with, and probably jump up to Tier 1 or II.

Elite Heavy Stormtrooper

I'm reluctant to put these guys into Tier 3, but the rising popularity of the Jet Trooper has shown these guys have been mostly replaced. When combined with Agent Blaise given them hidden, these guys could really bring the pain, being one of the only competitive unit to have access to Blast 2. Targeting Computer also helps them a fair bit, but sadly, their newer, shinier, more mobile cousins have relegated these guys out of their already modest showing.

Elite Snowtrooper

Now that FFG have gotten rid of a wide majority of attackable doors, units that have Focus abilities on their surges have taken a hit. If they come back in a big way, perhaps the Snowtroopers too will see more play. However, they still lack a re-roll, and their damage ceiling is lower than that of their Stormtrooper cousins. Sure, they're slightly tankier, and they have some neat utility abilities, but damage is the name of the game, and these guys just often don't cut it.

General Sorin

I like General Sorin a fair bit, and he's a pretty crucial part of the Fall of Cybertron list. One would imagine that the release of the new droid wave would help him substantially, but surprisingly, new competitors for his role have risen up. If you're trying to play a Droid centred list, the Elite Jawa Scavenger is able to bring over BT-1 AND play the new IG-88, which Sorin cannot. He's still fairly reasonable with Elite Jet Troopers, but even then, Captain Terro and the Dewback Riders often form better support for them than this reasonably expensive commander can offer. If many locked doors pop up again, perhaps the old school strat of focusing your whole team on turn one will become good enough to elevate Sorin up.

Regular Jet Trooper *NEW*

The typical trooper problem, except that these guys have mobile. On Nal Hutta Swamp, it’s actually quite advantageous to be mobile, and I have considered taking a pair of these guys recently, so I’ve bumped the up. They may not be gathering dust after all!

Regular Riot Troopers *NEW*

Honestly, these guys really aren't that bad for their cost. They have a 25% chance to threaten 5 damage, and a 66% for 4 damage (plus a strain); not too bad for a 2 point unit. They're likely to survive one attack, even a larger one. On top of that, they have two VERY solid traits (and Guardian, which isn't too bad). They're still a bit slow and melee, but as far as points efficiency goes, these guys are solid.

E: But, as is standard, these guys are much better. Compared to the regulars, you're trading 2 points for 2 HP, an in-built re-roll, the potential for higher damage, AND auto-weaken. I should probably mention now that I'm a big fan of Weaken; against particular units, it can outright ruin them. The fact that these guys hand it out for free, on top of a solid attack with re-roll potential, is fantastic. Also, it's important to note that these guys are 3 cost, meaning you get Reinforcements instead of Call the Vanguard, which for these guys I'd argue is better. The thing keeping them from the top tiers is that they're still slow melee units in a meta with a HUGE map where Rangers are dominant. That being said, keep an eye on these guys; Brawlers and Troopers have a lot of support now, perhaps enough that these guys will be seeing play.

Regular Sentry Droids NEW*

These guys are...weird. They have a Weequay-esque attack when they use Charged Shot (though the damage and pierce surges have been flipped) which, while not bad, is weakened by the lack of auto-hide and the Hunter trait. In return, you get the potential to attack multiple times (sans the accuracy) and three odd traits. They're not the worst units ever, but what they have to offer over other units remains to be seen.

Vader's Finest

This is a pretty powerful upgrade; being able to give a whole squad the ability to self-focus, as well as giving them more mobility, is pretty great; however, I doubt it's better than an Imperial Officer or other upgrades. I personally think this should be Tier 4, but I give it a Tier 3 rating because it was in the Gencon 2016 winning list (I believe). 

Advanced Comms System

This is a pretty cool upgrade, and many thought it would bring Kayn Somos and General Sorin into the top tiers (it didn't, but it did make Sorin decent). It's a rather solid ability that has the potential to be very powerful, once the right unit pops up for it. I do think that FFG now have to be very careful in the way they design certain abilities now that this is around. 

 

Tier 4 Imperial

AT-ST

They hit hard, and they're tough. These guys compare pretty favourably to units like pre-fixed Chewbacca, to be honest. Unfortunately, that's working off a low base, and Vehicles need more support than they currently have before they become viable. 14 points is also just too much for a single attack, no matter how powerful it may be.

Regular E-Web Engineer

Unless you're that one hero at Worlds trying to make this work, just don't do it. Pretty much every activation in skirmish is move + attack; not being able to move this, and not even getting a big reward off of it is not a clever investment for 6-8 points. No, don't get any funny ideas with Call the Vanguard, either.

Elite E-Web Engineer

Not a substantial amount better than the regular, and still unable to move and attack. No.

General Weiss

Yet another overcosted unique unit. I have a fair bit of fun playing around with this guy, but in reality, he's just too expensive, despite always having access to the best attack possible. General's Orders is, however, a remarkably powerful ability, and Weiss's unique command card is pretty solid as well, but for 16 points, you again need more than a single target threat. If you somehow get off Blast 3 and hit 2+ other units with it, you deserve to win that game.

Elite Imperial Officer *NEW*

Far more situational than the super cheap regulars, 5 points is a lot to spend on what is still a fragile support unit. Being able to get an extra move or attack out of your best unit is pretty solid, and in some lists, this guy will probably be worth his salt. Those lists, however, are rare, and the fact that the Emperor now exists makes these guys even worse.

Regular Probe Droid *NEW*

In all honesty, not a bad unit for three points. It can hit reasonably for its cost, is an activation on its own (you can slow roll your opponent), has the now more relevant Droid trait, and is likely to survive an attack thrown at it. The problem? 3 speed is just way too slow. In a game of positioning, faster units are naturally better, and these guys just don't quite make the cut. Generally you see these in the Fall of Cybertron lists (General Sorin + lots of Droids), but even that list has fallen in popularity. Turns out Last Resort doesn't work with these guys either, so you can't even have the Probe Droid bomb I spoke of earlier.

Regular Stormtrooper

If you want to play a thematic, movie-evoking version of the Empire, these are your go to Stormtroopers. When you imagine the Stormies that miss every shot, and get beaten up by tiny teddies, this is them. Pathetically squishy, with awful surges, a whole squad of these guys MIGHT be able to dish out 5 damage a round…maybe.

Regular Heavy Stormtrooper

Being slow, you'd want these guys to really bring the pain when they are able to get into the fight, but unfortunately, these guys are just slightly lacking. They're pretty tough for their cost, often surviving two hits, but unfortunately they're unable to take advantage of their longevity.

Kayn Somos

I really wish this guy was better. FFG seems to really dislike their own Star Wars characters! With the introduction of Advanced Coms System, there were some who hoped that it would bring Kayn into playability; unfortunately, he's still too expensive. Perhaps if we continue to see more powerful troopers like Captain Terro, Kayn may end up having a place after all, as he gives them each another attack each round (although they have to be at the same unit, which is pretty hard to set up). At the moment, however, he's still sitting in the corner.

Regular Snowtrooper

Suffering from the classic regular trooper dilemma of only having a +1 damage (or in this case, Pierce 1) surge. In addition, no access to a re-roll and being relatively expensive spell a dusty end for these guys.

SC2-M Repulsor Tank

Problem number one is this machine's survivability; how is it that Verena, who comes in the same box, is roughly as survivable as this massive mech? Being surprisingly squishy isn't the tank's only issue, however. It hits softly and inaccurately, and is pretty slow all things considered. Sure, it might be able to attack twice, but only at the same target, and the perfect setup for that is rarely going to present itself. A shame, because it's a pretty cool mini.

Regular ISB Infiltrator

The classic regular trooper dilemma strikes again! You'll be lucky to be handing out more than two damage per attack with these guys, which is just not enough. They can get an extra attack off if the setup is right, but it's not particularly easy to set up, and given their attack is already quite weak, the difference is not major anyway.

The General's Ranks

An expensive upgrade that only offers benefits when used in conjunction with other supporting abilities. If there was a unit this could attach to that reliably attacked or moved outside of its activation, maybe this would be alright. However, no such unit exists, and thus this too may as well not.

 

Tier I Scum

IG-88 + Focused on the Kill *NEW*

Despite all the glamourous new toys in Heart of the Empire, IG-88 still, in my opinion, remains the best unit in the game. The Hunter trait is as awesome as ever, Blaze of Glory is still absurd, and the ability to not only hit at long range reliably but completely shred units at short range means this robot is still going to be terrorising the Wave X meta.

Bantha Rider

The mighty Bantha was once the sole king of beasts. If you sat across from one of these with many small, squishy units, you knew you were in for pain. The Bantha's major strength comes from the fact that pretty much all the damage it's ever going to do cannot be reduced in any way; there's a lot of power in the certainty that is on offer here. Clever use of it to break the formation of your opponent is yet another strength, though this is true of massive units generally. The biggest strength of the Bantha, however, comes from the fact that it has one of the most insane command cards in the game: Jundland Terror. Providing what is effectively another activation at the end of a round, this monstrosity can dish out such a substantial amount of damage in one or two rounds that it's hard not to keep it in Tier 1, regardless of the rise in popularity of everyone's favourite new beasty: the Rancor. If you're looking for area-of-effect, there's no unit in the game that comes close to how good this guy is.

Regular Ugnaught Tinkerer *NEW*

The new command cards from the Droid wave combo so well with the Junk Droid it's absurd. Every single attack, the Junk Droid is going to be hitting for between 1-3 damage, with the potential to add Bleed or Pierce 1. The fact that it costs nothing and is worth no points means that if your opponent wastes an action killing it, you're ahead. Numerous national championships have been won by six of these guys, and they've inspired more hate than any other unit in the game, with many calling for their nerf due to the NPEs they cause. I don't think I'd go so far as to say they need nerfing, but I do feel as though the Droid's interaction with "Raining Freight" needs to be addressed, or Ugnaught lists are going to be stealing wins on that map all day long. 

Elite Ugnaught Tinkerer

These guys are better than the regulars, offering Pierce 2 and of course an extra attack or move to the Junk Droid, which is absurd. Still, you’re playing the max you can of both the elites and the regulars, so it’s a bit of a moot point which is better. They’re both necessary for the list to work.

Greedo

I have endless love for this guy. I try to fit him into every Scum team I build because I think he's one of the best designed units in the game. He's quick, he's got quite good survivability for his health, his attack is absurd, AND he gets to shoot one more time when he dies! He also has one of the biggest drawbacks in the game; however, in the hands of a strong player, Greedo's downside is very easily controlled. He's also every melee unit's worst nightmare, as he's able to hammer them down and not suffer from the consequences of being slow on the draw. And, as we all know, the Hunter trait probably the best one in the game right now. There's just so much to love about poor Greedo.

Jabba the Hutt

Ever wanted all the support you need on one body? Jabba's the man for you. At least, if you're playing Scum. Jabba's coming was thought to spell the end of the Rebel Care Package splash into Scum, but he actually ended up ushering in a new wave of terror with the tri-focus lists. Regardless of that, six points for a focus and a command card a turn is a pretty sweet deal, especially because he makes a nice strain soak for Black Market as well. The passive VP gain is surprisingly relevant too, and being able to get an extra attack out of your biggest hitter (say, IG-88?) is a huge deal. All of these abilities splash onto a single unit? This crime lord is my kind of Scum!

Onar Koma *NEW*

Of the Hunter trio, Onar was my pick for the bottom of the pack, but he has proved me wrong by always delivering insane amounts of damage. A solid amount of health, a great three dice attack with a two damage surge, and decent survivability (generally three attacks) make him a great investment at six points. "Get Down" is a nice touch, and will probably block around 2 damage around to his nearby allies. Be aware that he's effectively a melee attacker, however, especially if you want to maximise damage.

Vinto Hreeda

FFG must really love Rodians! Some call Vinto the most cost effective unit in the game, and with his guaranteed damage output, two attacks per round, reasonable survivability and five speed, it's hard to argue with that. The Smuggler-Hunter trait combination is the best in the game at the moment, and Vinto's unique command card "Draw!" is always an excellent trick to have up your sleeve. I do find that sometimes he's a little low on the damage side, but if the first attack is focused and he's able to hide for the second, you're in for a good time.

Elite Weequay Pirate

The premier group in the game right now. These guys have it all: a way to give themselves a beneficial condition, a solid attack with decent range, a +2 surge, an inherent re-roll that can also force your opponent to re-roll their defence die, the hunter AND smugglers traits, everything. On top of that, six hit points is a good threshold, as it’s just enough to possibly survive some of the largest attacks in the game. If you’re playing Scum, these are your bread and butter.

Elite Clawdite Shapeshifter

This guy. You're paying 2 points over the regular for an extra Yellow die and 2 hit points. However, that extra yellow die goes a very, very long way. First off, you're now routinely hitting two surges for Conspire, and not uncommonly three. Next, you're now better than an elite trooper or melee unit when it comes to your attacks. The melee attack is legitimately scary, with a surge that equates to an average of 2.16 UNBLOCKABLE damage! You don't even have to hit the same unit; you could opt to take a shot (yes, the attack is still actually ranged) at a nearby unit (try not to go beyond Range 2) and then shiv another! I'm making the call that this is the new unit that will make the biggest splash out of Heart of the Empire. I wouldn't be surprised to see people Temporary Alliance-ing this guy into the Empire! On top of all that, it's also a really creative design, and a fun unit to play with. 

Temporary Alliance *NEW*

Formerly the most defining Scum card, which is unfortunate given it brings in Rebel units. Common wisdom for the longest time was "The greatest Scum lists start off with Temporary Alliance + C-3PO + Gideon Argus", which is pretty sad. When Jabba came out, many thought this would be the end of the focus package. However, instead of replacing it, Jabba has simply come to join the party. It is that combination of support units that provides Scum with unmatched aggressive potential. And again, access to an entire faction of units for 1 point is insane.

Beast Tamer

An auto-include until the end of time in any list that features a big creature. Granting ANY creature on your force an extra move action is way too crazy for a single point. Without this, I'm not sure that the creatures would be very viable at all; with it, however, they turn into freakishly fast and wholly unpredictable foes. The Rancor, the Nexu and the Bantha all adore this upgrade, as will every creature released from now until the end of the game. It's also kind of cute, I guess, that you can give them the ability to interact. 

Black Market *NEW*

Card draw is awesome, especially now that command card quality is so absurdly high. Having a slew of command cards to drop on the all important second turn is often game deciding, and Black Market will often be able to net you a card for the second, and maybe even some points here and there from then on. Scum lists are tight on points, but Black Market is rarely going to be an incorrect inclusion (though you do need to be playing sufficient Smugglers to use it).

 

Tier 2 Scum

Elite Nexu *NEW*

A six speed mobile beast with a solid attack is nothing to scoff at, especially when it also comes with auto-bleed AND auto-Cleave 2. The mobility on these guys is among the best in the game, with pounce also letting you make up a lot more distance than you’d imagine. A great unit, and one I always enjoy fielding. Although the Creatures list has moved aside to make room for the rise of the hunter, an Elite Nexu is still going to cause some havoc for your opponent if you do decide to field one.

Regular Hired Guns

I personally love these guys for a few reasons; they're speedy, they're expendable, and they can be used to ready Greedo with Change of Plans. I'm curious if the Jawas will replace these guys and send them down a tier, but for now, I'm still optimistic with them. I may also be biased because they're one of the few figures I've painted well. 

Bossk *NEW*

The big, bad lizard we've all been waiting for. Bossk has one of the better defences in the game (White with an auto-block), has one of the craziest attacks (Red-Green with +2 Accuracy and +2 damage) AND heals every round. Two amazing traits, and a sometimes useful area-of-effect ability wrap up the package very nicely and finally present a viable unique hunter. Hidden can be pretty annoying for him to deal with, as can any ability that reduces his accuracy, but Bossk isn't afraid of getting up in people's faces anyway, and he's tough enough to survive around three solid hits before succumbing to the fourth. Not bad at all for 8 points. He's slid down a little in ratings recently because current maps favour longer ranged units, meaning Bossk faces greater challenges than he used to in order to compete.

Shyla Varad *NEW*

Bossk has some real stiff competition in this Mandalorian hero! As tough as Obi-Wan with an inbuilt heal, with better traits and the potential to hit enemies from far, far away make her an absolute weapon in battle. She has a great spread of surges with high damage potential, and two traits that are just perfect for maximising the pain. There's not really too much that's bad about Shyla, except that Scum has such stiff competition nowadays that she's often relegated to the side in favour of Elite Weequays (just like pretty much everything else). She’s been moved down to Tier 2, however, due to her dropping out of many lists due to her point cost which, while not high, is in competition with several other high tier units.

Rancor *NEW*

I just wanna take a moment to say that I love playing with the Rancor, partially because I was able to do a half-decent paint job on it, partially because it’s just such an imposing mini. This beast can bring some serious pain, especially if you go for some wombo-combo command line ups (most of them involving Wild Fury, one of my favourite command cards). The Rancor’s main issue is that he tends to be a lot squishier than he appears, and as a massive unit, it’s difficult to protect him from getting gunned down from afar, especially when facing Alliance Rangers. On top of that, both Luke and Vader can rip this big boy apart in short order. If those two continue to be popular in the new environment, it will be hard for Jabba’s favourite pet to really shine. 

Elite Gamorrean Guard *NEW*

Double red is a solid attack, which gets even better with focus due to the combination of Reach + Cleave 2. Add in a good chunk of hit points, an automatic re-roll, and an auto-block against the vast majority of units, and you’ve got a pretty tough unit at 4 points a pop. The only thing keeping these guys from Tier 1 is the lack of Hunter trait, which is mandated for most Scum units (except Ugnaughts). Perhaps the addition of some solid Brawler and Melee centric cards from HotE will push these guys a little higher, but the latest map (Nal Hutta Swamps) is not the most melee friendly map ever. 

Regular Jawa Scavenger *NEW*

A great filler unit in a faction unfortunately filled with great options for fillers. He remains a steal at two points and can sometimes randomly survive getting shot at thanks to Take Cover. On top of that, he can dish out surprising pain for such a cheap unit. I like them a lot.

Elite Jawa Scavenger *NEW*

You get a few big things with this guy. First off, you grab the Leader trait, which is one of the best there is. Next, you grab another powerful surge (Pierce 2), making those random times you do actually get to attack even scarier. Of course, the biggest change you get is the ability to grab up to three droids from other factions! BT, R2, 3P0, Chopper, 0-0-0, Probe Droids, maybe even the new Sentry Droids? Options are great, and this guy will only get better as time goes on.

Maul *NEW*

As much as we're all sick of it, can somebody PLEASE tell me why this guy does not have the Hunter trait? He literally has an ability called Stalk Prey. No? Okay.

Maul is an interesting unit (like many in this wave). Stat-wise, he's very similar to Obi-Wan, with a comparable (but more flexible) attack, the same hit points AND the same move speed. However, Maul does lack Obi-Wan's auto-surge cancel, which makes him notably squishier. Maul makes up for this with a great extra trait (Brawler) and immunity to death until he's activated in a round. As some have pointed out, you can actually get around this by using Change of Plans and Take Initiative to exhaust Maul's deployment card and preventing your opponent from scoring points, which is interesting. More practically, however, this creates a predicament for your opponent; if they don't focus on Maul in one round, he's guaranteed not only the current round to act, but the next as well. If they DO focus on him, then they're either wasting firepower on an already activated unit, or shooting a unit they cannot deny the activation of. Those are both powerful things, but ultimately the question will come down to this; is there a Scum list that wants a mighty Brawler over, say, a pair of Weequays? I think the answer is no at the moment, but who knows? Perhaps Maul will replace a pair of Gamorreans in some lists?

Regular Clawdite Shapeshifter *NEW*

At 4 points, this guy is a pretty reasonable support unit. You've got a good chance of rolling at least a surge for the Conspire ability (around 86%), and a not insignificant chance of nabbing two. Once you're done, you can either keep supporting with those power tokens (Surges and Surge Cancels are pretty awesome things to hand out), or turn into roughly the equivalent of an elite trooper or melee unit. Top all that off with both the Hunter AND the Spy traits (a first for Scum), and it's hard to argue this guy isn't an excellent four point investment. However, I do think he's outshone by...

Devious Scheme

There's a bit more competition in the 1 point slot for Scum upgrades now, or this would still be Tier 1 (I think it often JUST loses out to Black Market). As it stands, Devious Scheme tends to get used more in Bantha lists, where it's pretty crucial to get that first activation on Turn 2. Still, all of the benefits on offer here are pretty stellar for the more experienced player. Just how good Devious Scheme is also fluctuates with the map pool; the greater the disparity between sides (or importance of securing a particular side for your list), the higher value Devious Scheme becomes.

 

Tier 3 Scum

Regular Nexu 

While substantially weaker than its elite cousin, the regular Nexu still packs a lot of value into a relatively cheap body. I prefer the auto-Cleave 2 of the elite, and believe that Greedo is the best 4 points you can spend in Scum, and thus these guys face some seemingly unbeatable competition, part of the reason mine are currently gathering dust in my binder. 

Elite Tusken Raiders *NEW*

If these guys had the automatic +1 damage at range, this might be a different story. A solid attack that will regularly hit 5 damage (4 at range) with decent survivability, PLUS an awesome command card that works in a similar way to Call the Vanguard. The problem with these guys is that they’re slow melee units, and they have abysmal surge abilities. Outside of lists with the Bantha, you’re very unlikely to see them, and even with the Bantha, there are probably better options. They did get a little better with all the recent Brawler love, however.

Boba Fett *NEW*

Boba is far and away the tankiest unit in the game. He's also the most mobile unit in the game. And yet he's pathetically weak when it actually comes to killing things. You could try and play a cheeky list with him where you simply try and outlive your opponent, denying them points by just flying away, but outside of that type of list, he just doesn't do enough. There will be no disintegrations with Boba around in his current form, that's for sure. Hopefully, when the next wave hits, Boba will be getting the toys he needs to actually be competitive. 

Regular HK Assassin Droid *NEW*

Not too long ago, these guys were the most fearsome attacking units in the game. A consistent, long-ranged snipe, which was especially powerful when focused, as well as being near immune to the feared Dodge result, the HK Droids were, as their name would imply, killing machines. The Elite Weequay Pirate from the Jabba's Realm wave has spelled the end for these guys, and there weren't enough tools in the Droid Wave to make these guys awesome. As such, they're likely going to be sitting in the binders for a little longer. What a fall from grace.

Elite HK Assassin Droid

Sometimes, but rarely, you see these guys paired with Prey on the Weak, which really solidifies their role as long ranged snipers. Unfortunately, they're very expensive, still rather squishy, and really not much more powerful than their regular counterparts. They're still not bad, but they're a rare sight for sure.

Elite Wing Guard

Troopers just aren't really a viable list for Scum, but these guys aren't that bad. They've got the all important +2 damage surge, they have an inbuilt re-roll, and they've got a mildly useful second trait (hey, it's better than nothing!). The recover 2 surge is a bit worse than the +3 accuracy surge on Stormtroopers, as it doesn't allow them to skirmish reliably at long range, but if these guys were in another faction (like Rebels, for instance), I expect they would probably see at least some fringe play. Maybe if Troopers becomes a thing in Scum, these guys might come out of the woodworks.

Last Resort

This has some utility on larger units like the Rancor and the Bantha (although Feeding Frenzy is better on the former), as you get much wider spread damage. I've pondered doing crazy things like having Jabba bully a Hired Gun with a bomb on it, and then have them run into the middle of a crowded room, use Black Market, and have them explode and dish out a bunch of damage. It's a pretty dark image, and not an overly effective tactic, but it's an interesting interaction. Also, Jabba's a jerk.

Headhunter

Unlike Under Duress, Headhunter actually provides a useful ability in exchange for strain damage. Losing cards from hand is far, far worse than losing cards from the top of your deck, especially when the game is so fast paced that every card you have is precious. If a unit that can reliably deliver strain becomes viable, this one point upgrade can actually be rather potent. Think of it this way; if it costs at least a point to have an engine to draw cards, surely something that discards card and costs the same should be effective too. If only the Dewback Riders or Captain Terro could use this. As of the new wave, both CI-I0P and 0-0-0 now have reliable and useful ways of dealing strain damage, meaning this could start appearing more often.

Prey on the Weak

Not a bad upgrade, but also not particularly impactful. It's a shame that two of the units that would benefit substantially from this (IG-88 and Boba Fett) are both going to have fixes in the form of upgrades, preventing them from making use of this. I think IG-88 may have been a little too crazy with this and Focused on the Kill, and perhaps Boba would be too once his new fix is out. However, that does sadly leave Prey on the Weak with very few good targets, although Vinto and Bossk are reasonable with it.

Indentured Jester *NEW*

There’s nothing overly wrong with Salacious, but when there are options like Black Market and Devious Scheme available, it’s hard to justify bringing in this little monkey. He’d be Tier 1 if he was an activation of his own, but sadly, not counting for control and being tied to another unique unit makes it hard for Mr Crumb to find a place on teams.

 

Tier 4 Scum

Regular Trandoshan Hunter

Heavily overcosted units that have an odd dichotomy between their attack and their abilities. A Blue-Green attack would imply that they would like to stay at medium-long range, but both of their abilities want them to be up close an personal. Poor surges are the nail in the coffin for these overcosted lizards. Such a shame, because they have such a nice model, and two good traits. Just compare these guys to Weequays and tell me why you’d ever choose these.

Elite Trandoshan Hunter *NEW*

For three more points, you’re not getting a whole lot here. +1 damage while you’re adjacent, a little more survivability, and surge for Focus? If these guys had +2 instead of pierce 2, they may actually be pretty scary, but they don’t, and thus into the binder they go.

Regular Tusken Raiders

I think the biggest disappointment about the Tuskens is how bland they are overall; they have an unreliable ranged attack of moderate strength, and a decent melee attack. That's it. There's nothing much else to say about these guys. They're mediocre in a game where mediocre doesn't cut it.

Elite Hired Guns

Remember how I said I like that they regulars were expendable? Making them more expensive pretty much eliminates that aspect, and you get very few other benefits.

Regular Wampa *NEW*

Oh, how I wish I could still put the Regular Wampa in Tier 3. He hits pretty hard, and the creature + brawler combination of traits is great. However, they’re painfully slow (especially given the fact they’re large). Combine that with he fact that they’re melee and it’s a bit of a death sentence for them. Poor cuddles.

Elite Wampa *NEW*

None of the issues with the original Wampa have been solved here. You can do much better than this for 8 points.

Dengar

The former king of status conditions (0-0-0 now holds that position), Dengar's on the squishy side for his point cost, and his range is rather short (he's only just above 50% to hit range 5). On top of that, he hit's like a wet noodle, especially if he's actually delivered a status condition to his target! The main issue with Dengar is that the best status condition in the game is dead, which many other similarly costed units do a much better job at delivering.

Regular Wing Guard

Typical standard trooper issues. They're very splattable, don't deal much damage, don't have a re-roll, and don't have a particularly useful ability. *tosses into the trooper dust gathering pile*

Regular Gamorrean Guards

Poor piggies. There’s not much to say here apart from the fact that for two more points you get the elites, which are just leagues better. The only unit in the game to have an inherent -1 to their damage, these guys are quite tough for their cost, but that’s about it.

Regular Weequay Pirate

Much like the piggies, these guys just pale in comparison to the elites. You should ALWAYS be able to afford two more points for the elites, and if you can’t, there are still better options at five points.

First Strike

Spend 2 points to give you AND your opponent 4 VP? Why? You could buy a Jawa with those 2 VP, or a whole manner of other, better upgrades. Maybe one day there will be a more appropriate reason to start off with some points; perhaps you're playing many ways to score points, and just want to be 4 closer? Maybe one day, but not today.

Explosive Armament

Any ability that requires two surges to trigger better be game defining. Explosive Armament is pretty powerful, but there just aren't many units that can reliably trigger it, although you could be cheeky and put it onto a group of Elite Weequays and wreak havoc with hidden. In a meta more defined by troopers, this may have been Tier 3, and saw some fringe play. At the moment, however, there just aren't enough units surviving on 1 or 2 health to worry about, and 1 point can be much better spent, especially in Scum.

Punishing Strike

First off, I just want to say how odd an inclusion this was in Dengar's box, given that he can deliver any condition he wants. Remember when I said that Scum has a whole lot of great 1 point upgrades? This comes to you at the cost of two of those, or a Regular Jawa Scavenger. The best use of this is with 0-0-0 (when he's splashed into Scum through an Elite Jawa Scavenger), allowing him to consistently stun, even by just walking up to someone. Perhaps that will end up making this a little better than it used to be, but I like to think that 0-0-0 is more than happy to just weaken and make people bleed. Making Nexus auto-stun is nice as well, but overall, this is just lacking in impact, and way too expensive. At 1 point, this might have been a great card. But alas, it joins many of the game's other upgrades in the junk pile.

Under Duress

It's a cute idea, but there just aren't enough cards in the game that deliver enough strain for this to be worth it. In addition, strain is generally a weak mechanic anyway as your opponent gets to decide what to do with it, meaning you're always going to get the worst outcome. Additionally, it's in the expensive upgrade threshold (2) AND can mostly be ignored given how quick games are. So many things would have to change for this to be viable, and I can't see everything lining up perfectly for this cool but ineffectual upgrade anytime soon.

 

Tier 1 Neutral

Targeting Computer

The first neutral upgrade, and one of the best upgrades in the game, period! It plays on a whole host of useful units: BT-1, Jet Troopers, Heavy Stormtroopers...okay, it ALMOST might as well be an Imperial upgrade, but Rebel Saboteurs sometimes like it as well. A one cost upgrade that can affect an entire group is generally pretty solid, especially when it's able to aid each of them in combat in the same round.

 

Tier 2 Neutral

Feeding Frenzy *NEW*

Feeding Frenzy is a good upgrade with some solid targets, including Terro, the Dewbacks, and the Rancor. It's a shame the recover is limited to adjacent figures, or this would easily be Tier 1. You might be getting 1 - 2 extra damage out of this per game, which isn't too shabby for 1 point. However, creatures aren't a top tier list at the moment, which also prevents this from going any higher.

Scavenged Weaponry *NEW*

Scavenged Weaponry is, like Feeding Frenzy, a fine upgrade that will probably end up dealing out a couple of extra points of damage throughout the game. Being able to reattach when the group is quite powerful, especially given that it's optional. This often has to compete with Targeting Computer, but if you've already got a built-in reroll, I think this may get the nod.

Trusted Ally *NEW*

This is an amazing upgrade, especially given the fact that you can have a group of Trusted Allies (like Sentry Droids).  This is pretty great on 3P0, but Rebels don't often have a single point left over, and when they do, it's a competition between this, Balance of the Force, and possibly now Channel the Force. Still, you get great value for the one point investment, given the flexibility of either handing out re-rolls or healing friends.

 

Tier 3 Neutral

Unshakable

Unshakable used to see some play in Bantha lists, as people were worried about the big beast getting stunned before it could do anything. If status conditions were more relevant in the meta, this might see some play in lists with Luke, IG-88, Darth Vader (later this year) or the Rancor. However, as very few units care about delivering stuns or bleeds and would rather just kill you outright, this hides in the shadows.

Channel the Force *NEW*

This gets a lot better now that there are some decent Force Users available AND some decent Force User stamped command cards. The fact that you get to use this on Turn 0 as well means you can guarantee a particular Force User card in your opening hand. Need to make sure that Vader or the Emperor get in there quickly? Grab a Force Rush. Need to navigate some tough Terrain? Force Jump will help you there. This has the potential to be awesome if a strong Force User list forms.

Motivation *NEW* 

Although nobody has found a particularly strong use for this yet, it's quite a powerful ability. Its major issue is that it would be much better if it could be used by support units to aid your mains, rather than the other way around. Putting it on someone like Palpatine (especially combined with Tempt) might be solid, but at the moment, there are better things to spend a point on.

 

Tier 4 Neutral

Survivalist *NEW*

Decent on Nal Hutta Swamps, terrible on Anchorhead Bar, iffy on Jabba's Palace. For one point, you're MAYBE getting an extra two hit points per unit, which will rarely be enough to survive an extra attack on most of the common units you'd wanna play this on. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by theaficionado
Reorganised list into tiers and faction instead of wave.

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I enjoyed reading this list so far, but gonna finish it later. Just one thing, on the Imp Probes I'm thinking that you traded the "R" and the "E"

 

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+1 as in go up a rank, -1 as in go down a rank.

Davith is not effective without continuous good rolls.  Even then, he just doesn't do enough damage and you're almost certainly giving up his points when you send him in.

Lando doesn't do enough damage and doesn't survive long enough to compete.  Just compare with BT-1 for equivalent points.

Blaise card knowledge and manipulation is amazingly good, and the spy trait is still very good.   His shot is also not terrible.

Bossk just doesn't get the job done.  His short range and 10 health mean he's going to be gone before you can do anything useful.  He's extremely swingy depending on what you roll with his grenade/command card, but really you need to be attacking with him to get his points worth.  But you can only do that from 3 range safely, and at 4 speed he's basically melee.  I think Bossk is just a trap and Shyla is better in almost every way for the same points.

Obi is too slow to be effective, and often gets off maybe 1 attack a game.  The attack can be good, but you can also flop it and then he's gone.  His ability is good, but I feel like he's really just bringing down a lot of lists people put him in.  I've yet to see him really be effective in a game.

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Posted (edited)

@DTDanix Interesting. Here's a little more on what I think.

Obi-Wan was the sole reason I made it all the way to 3rd-4th at Worlds in 2016, I believe. He's slow, sure, but he's also absurdly tank, and it's very rare that you can't get into attacking range of multiple enemies at the end of round one. And again, I can't stress how powerful his ability is; denying an opponent a card on the first turn is game defining, especially if you're able to take it.

Davith doesn't need particularly good rolls to be effective, especially against black defence dice (which are currently everywhere due to the Hunter meta). Your chance of rolling one surge on Green-Yellow is very high, and given you'll be hidden, that's already the two surges needed to activate your big ability, and then score another attack for free. You've guaranteed got one damage, possibly more, and you'll likely be able to get Pierce 3 and +1 Hide on the second attack. That's 4-5 damage at least, which isn't too shabby at all if you ask me.

Lando and BT are clearly leagues apart, and that's why BT will be tier I when I put him up later. Purely statwise, however, Lando is pretty efficient overall, and he has great surges AND a fantastic command card. There's no reason he can't easily slot into tier II.

I would say that I prefer Shyla to Bossk as well, but that by no means means Bossk is not deserving of tier I status. Ultimately, he does hit harder on average, and is much better against white defence than Shyla as he's not reliant on surges for damage. Plus, Indiscriminate Fire is a nice option to have, though I would rarely play the command card. 

As for Blaise, I would be inclined to agree with you IF the game was slower than it currently is. I agree that spy cards are very powerful, but they don't need Blaise to be powerful. 

 

Edited by theaficionado

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13 hours ago, theaficionado said:

Under Duress (Tier IV)
It's a cute idea, but there just aren't enough cards in the game that deliver enough strain for this to be worth it. In addition, strain is generally a weak mechanic anyway as your opponent gets to decide what to do with it, meaning you're always going to get the worst outcome. Additionally, it's in the expensive upgrade threshold (2) AND can mostly be ignored given how quick games are. So many things would have to change for this to be viable, and I can't see everything lining up perfectly for this cool but ineffectual upgrade anytime soon.

I don't think Under Duress should be listed as Tier IV. My friend recently ran Under duress, IG-88 (with upgrade), 1 eJawa, 0-0-0, chopper, jabba, 3p0, and 4 Jawas. His command deck consisted of a bunch of strain command cards like disorient, eerie visage, toxic dart, dirty trick, etc. 1st round Chopper was able to shock the terminal and play disorient causing my Onar to lose his focus and 3 strain, IG-88 was quick enough to get in close and proxy his strain ability twice and get his blaze of glory and  have jabba order hit, I was discarding cards left and right and eventually depleted my deck by end of round 2.  I never realized how important command cards are in this game and making the decision to take damage or discard command cards adds more chaos in my mind during a match. Under Duress was the reason why I lost that game.

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I've seen maybe 15 online videos and played over a hundred matches.  How do you finish a game in 2 turns or less?  Several times you mention that the game doesn't last long enough to get use out of xxx. 

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Davith is my #1 favorite unit in the game. I always focus him turn one from threepio or gideon which usually guarantees his fell swoop. His command card can be pretty bonkers for objective control too. 

I think he sits pretty firmly in Tier II here. Though you need to run him a lot to figure out exactly how to get the most mileage out of him. He can die pretty fast if you're not careful. 

 

I look forward to seeing the latest wave of expansions put on this list. :)

 

Though I hope people know that this is just one person's opinion. Obviously we all have different feelings on where these cards fall, or at least how useable they are overall. :)


A few other notes: You have a typo for Fenn (you call him Finn), a typo for Saska Teft (you called her "Theft") and Murne is a female not a male. ;)

 

Great list, Kenny! It was a great read. 

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Really great list! I would just add to your ugnaught commentary that those six ugs can yield 14 junk droid activations per round, potentially. If the junk droid is already spawned, it can activate before a ugnaught activates, then the ugnaught can spawn a new one, who can then activate after the ug. You can only really utilize this if the enemy is within four, but the potential is there. 

-ryanjamal 

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I agree with DT that if anything non-Hunter or Focus Bros is still is still Tier 1, then Blaise is.

I also have never been pleased with Dalvith for the points, but don't play lots of Rebels. His Force User trait continues to get better though, so maybe that will push him up.

Otherwise, I'm basically in agreement!

@DTDanix I think it's interesting you're down on Obi but up on Shyla despite their similar stats (same HP & Defense, similar attack die and surges). Shyla even costs 1 more, so you're placing a lot of value on her spare MP/Recover move, her whip, and her traits over Obi's control and Focus abilities. I agree Shyla is good for 8 points, but I think Obi is still good at 7 and as we get more Force user cards he should continue to improve.

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Great Read.  Enjoyed going through all of the analysis on the figures.  Unfortunately, I have to agree with you on Chewie.  I hate that he isn't competitive, but he's my favorite figure in the game.  When playing, I have him and 3po stays right with him for added defense.  I use cards like Take it Down to maximum attacks, and activate first if I have debts repaid.  I can win plenty of friendly matches with Chewie, but when the competitive hunter list come out, he makes for one sad wookie.  

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I'll stick by Blaise's "see your hand" ability as being one of the most powerful things in the game.  Even if you don't discard anything (which is almost brokenly good with his command card), it is still very powerful.

Davith, I've just never been impressed.  You can't run out and do 4-5 damage, and then lose 6 points and expect to get ahead.  That's not a good trade, but that's going to happen if you actually try to get any use out of him.

Regarding Obi, I've just never seen him really do anything useful.  With his speed and range, you're going to have to put him out there to get him do actually do anything in round 2, and then he's just going to die.  Shyla can at least threaten/limit your opponent's plays in round 1, and will definitely get to do something in round 2.  If Obi fails an attack roll, well, you're screwed.  If Shyla fails, you are likely to at least have a chance to still kill whatever she pulled over.  Shyla also has way better command cards.

Overall, I think Shyla is solidly better than Obi (even if she costs 1 more), but maybe they're both in the high end of tier 2.  I probably wouldn't play Shyla again at Worlds if we were to do it over again.  I definitely would not play Bossk.

In my opinion, anything you're saying is Tier 1 is something that is essentially a must-play/fit in your list at any cost type of card.  I guess eStorms don't fit this bill anymore.

Tier 3 is what I see as "You probably never want to play this unless you have a really good reason."  That's where Lando and Davith fit, in my opinion.

I know the OP defined the tiers, but I like this definition:

1 - You definitely want to play this if possible
2 - You might want to play this, they're decent
3 - You don't want to play this without a good reason
4 - You definitely don't want to play this

Given this, I'd probably put Inquis at tier 3 too.

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1 hour ago, nickv2002 said:

I agree with DT that if anything non-Hunter or Focus Bros is still is still Tier 1, then Blaise is.

I also have never been pleased with Dalvith for the points, but don't play lots of Rebels. His Force User trait continues to get better though, so maybe that will push him up.

Otherwise, I'm basically in agreement!

@DTDanix I think it's interesting you're down on Obi but up on Shyla despite their similar stats (same HP & Defense, similar attack die and surges). Shyla even costs 1 more, so you're placing a lot of value on her spare MP/Recover move, her whip, and her traits over Obi's control and Focus abilities. I agree Shyla is good for 8 points, but I think Obi is still good at 7 and as we get more Force user cards he should continue to improve.

That whip is extremely versatile.  I would gladly trade Obiwan's abilities for it :-).  Obi is often just out of range and needs Urgency or Gideon to boost him into range, but Shyla not only doesn't have that problem but also she can wreck your opponent's positioning in really cool ways.

-ryanjamal

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I personally haven't played a single match of organized skirmish, but its pretty cool that a two time world champ posts info and gives his opinions on best figures/strategy/etc. #carryon

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8 hours ago, buckero0 said:

I've seen maybe 15 online videos and played over a hundred matches.  How do you finish a game in 2 turns or less?  Several times you mention that the game doesn't last long enough to get use out of xxx. 

In most of the games I play, the most significant turn of the game is turn 2; after that initial exchange, I think it's rare to see a game completely flip around. Most of the time, whoever was the most prepared for turn 2/came out on top of that exchange is going to win. I guess I should have specified that I don't think the game *technically* ends on turn 2, but in the vast majority of cases, it might as well.

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5 hours ago, DTDanix said:

I'll stick by Blaise's "see your hand" ability as being one of the most powerful things in the game.  Even if you don't discard anything (which is almost brokenly good with his command card), it is still very powerful.

Davith, I've just never been impressed.  You can't run out and do 4-5 damage, and then lose 6 points and expect to get ahead.  That's not a good trade, but that's going to happen if you actually try to get any use out of him.

Regarding Obi, I've just never seen him really do anything useful.  With his speed and range, you're going to have to put him out there to get him do actually do anything in round 2, and then he's just going to die.  Shyla can at least threaten/limit your opponent's plays in round 1, and will definitely get to do something in round 2.  If Obi fails an attack roll, well, you're screwed.  If Shyla fails, you are likely to at least have a chance to still kill whatever she pulled over.  Shyla also has way better command cards.

Overall, I think Shyla is solidly better than Obi (even if she costs 1 more), but maybe they're both in the high end of tier 2.  I probably wouldn't play Shyla again at Worlds if we were to do it over again.  I definitely would not play Bossk.

In my opinion, anything you're saying is Tier 1 is something that is essentially a must-play/fit in your list at any cost type of card.  I guess eStorms don't fit this bill anymore.

Tier 3 is what I see as "You probably never want to play this unless you have a really good reason."  That's where Lando and Davith fit, in my opinion.

I know the OP defined the tiers, but I like this definition:

1 - You definitely want to play this if possible
2 - You might want to play this, they're decent
3 - You don't want to play this without a good reason
4 - You definitely don't want to play this

Given this, I'd probably put Inquis at tier 3 too.

If those were the tier I had made, I'd probably put anything not in the top lists consistently into tier II. That's not how I operated though; again, think of it as a spectrum, and within each tier, there is still some variety. I just didn't wanna get into twelve tiers by starting to say "low, mid, and high tier X". I'd say that I'd put Bossk into low tier I, while Obi and Shyla are solidly in mid tier I, if I were to do my 12 point scale. 

Also, I guess I should elaborate on tier II a bit more. Tier II is where units that are great in a vacuum but not played in many of the top lists go. I could see Bossk moving there, but I'm unconvinced he can't be included rather successfully into top lists. If you look at the cost of Lando, Davith and Jyn compared to their abilities, they are relatively solid; they don't at all feel overcosted, and they're all cheap enough points-wise to at least be considered. 

The differences in our opinion may not be as large as they seem; it's not like I'm saying that units like Jyn and Lando are as good as HKs, for example. More that they fit into the same general area.

Hope that makes sense!

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7 hours ago, ryanjamal said:

Really great list! I would just add to your ugnaught commentary that those six ugs can yield 14 junk droid activations per round, potentially. If the junk droid is already spawned, it can activate before a ugnaught activates, then the ugnaught can spawn a new one, who can then activate after the ug. You can only really utilize this if the enemy is within four, but the potential is there. 

-ryanjamal 

I really need to try this list! Thanks for letting me know! :D

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Posted (edited)

9 hours ago, reznoob said:

I don't think Under Duress should be listed as Tier IV. My friend recently ran Under duress, IG-88 (with upgrade), 1 eJawa, 0-0-0, chopper, jabba, 3p0, and 4 Jawas. His command deck consisted of a bunch of strain command cards like disorient, eerie visage, toxic dart, dirty trick, etc. 1st round Chopper was able to shock the terminal and play disorient causing my Onar to lose his focus and 3 strain, IG-88 was quick enough to get in close and proxy his strain ability twice and get his blaze of glory and  have jabba order hit, I was discarding cards left and right and eventually depleted my deck by end of round 2.  I never realized how important command cards are in this game and making the decision to take damage or discard command cards adds more chaos in my mind during a match. Under Duress was the reason why I lost that game.

I don't mean to burst your friend's bubble, but why not just play units that deal high amounts of regular damage? Let's do a quick check.

IG-88: Fair cop. It's pretty decent with him, as his strain doesn't require any special activation.
0-0-0: You're fairly likely to use Invasive Procedure before attacking, so you might get one use out of this per game.
Chopper: Getting that third damage is nice, but they'll probably just mill the extra card if it's going to kill their unit.
Jawas: Why would you not just surge for +2? It really only gives a slight improvement to their secondary surge ability.

In this kind of dedicated strain list, Under Duress can do well, sure. However, ultimately such a list is not particularly viable in high level play. Why not just play more efficient units like Eequays or Gamorreans, which naturally hit harder? If milling cards is your goal, your opponent will just take the damage. Even then, you're not improving these units enough to make them replace other units that forgo the fancy route to the same destination: dead units.


 

Edited by theaficionado
beefcake4000 likes this

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@DTDanix I hear you about agent Blaise, I think he has fallen out of the current meta in many places becuase of a lack of good supporting spy options. Spies really work best with multiples so you can use those particular cards like comms disrupt but these days its more tricky. Cross trained troopers are next to useless, ISBs are similar because although they have the potential to do sneaky thinks when you balance that against what E-weequays can do for the same points it will make you cry. E-Jets are fantastic but you're not going to cross train them instead of a TC etc. 

What do you feel would be a competitive list these days with blaise in it? Just suck it up and go with 1 spy or maybe some sort of cross trained dewback shenanigans? 

@theaficionado Totally agree with your conclusion about turn 2 being the make or break turn. If there's some sort of squad storm double focused e-weequays shenanigans at the beginning of the turn you probably won't have much left afterwards... More and more i find myself not so keen to open my door unless I have an unbelievably solid plan for what happens next... Just the other day I was playing a game against troopers and at the beginning of turn 2 he took initiative which I couldn't' stop and after call the vangaurd, overrun, grenades and two lots of jets moving and blasting thanks to squad storm there wasn't much left to do. That said it was fair enough because had I gone first my two units of focused weeqyas with a  hand full of tools for the job, strength in numbers, heightened reflexes, squad storm and assassinate would have meant that 3-4 models from his side would have been dead before he activated. So much of that happening lately. 

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Actually I think the Grand final at Worlds sums it up perfectly. Look at what each of them did in turn 1 just hiding and prepping and look at how quickly it went to poop in turn 2. That game was over the second that Bantha stepped out and squad storm was played to double up the weequays

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4 hours ago, naitsirk said:

@theaficionado

Really good job. Community need this kind of list. I would love another one based on the command cards, as it is a big part of skirmish games.

 

This would be my next request, though I imagine it's a bit more subjective in terms of usefulness. A couple auto-includes, then...? But I'm still terribly interested in such a review.

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I've been playing a few different imp lists to pretty good success on Vassal.

The best ones I've found are:
Blaise, Terro, 2x eJet, eIsb, officer, rule/zillo, cross training (on terro), Targeting computer (on one jet)

Blaise, Terro, 2x eJet, rJet, BT, targeting computer (on BT), rule/zillo.

You have to play a certain way to make sure you don't get smoked by devious/focus, so it is not super easy to play.  You don't have to have more than just Blaise to play Intel Leak, which is easily one of the best cards in the game.  With Rule, and planning in your deck, you're more likely to get to Blaise's broken card earlier, too.

In the 2nd list, the rJets are great for being bait, throwing grenadier, or overruning.

ISBs are actually still pretty decent, and they work in the first list.  You can even do funny stuff like Change of Plans the ISBs to ready spy Terro.

With Chopper around, you might have to forgo terminal control, so then the officer's value goes down somewhat.  Still amazing of course, but you don't HAVE to have an officer, like in the 2nd list.

 

reznoob, nickv2002 and frotes like this

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