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theaficionado

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

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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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@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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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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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

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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.

 

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