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Tupacca

How to Fly Kanan Biggs

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Hello, 

I want to start using Kanan Biggs as my Store Champs list, and am under the impression this iteration is the stock build: Kanan, TLT, FCS, Rey, Finn, TJ, Title  + Zeb, Title + Biggs, M9G8, Integrated (100). 

I played it as my Hangar Bay list at the Euros as was pretty shocked how well it can perform. 

I'm hoping you can provide some more advance tips relating to the following:

- Asteroid choice and placement

- Ship Deployment

- How to move the ships together in formation

- General advice

Thanks!

 

 

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Here's a helpful word of warning:

Be wary of tactical/strategic advice found here:

Top-level players don't offer out strategic or tactical advice.  It's a big investment of hobby time they could be devoting elsewhere, and it's certainly not in their interest to go around giving out all of their hard-earned tips and wisdom to make their potential opposition better.  For instance, you never really see Paul Heaver on these boards giving out advice, especially during a tournament season.  Those sorts of players put in the time practicing games with local or online groups of friends, and that's where they do all of their thinking, discussing, and tweaking. 

So what that means is the people on these boards who do come along and offer advice are generally those who are less connected and established in the competitive game, and by extension those whose thoughts or theory-crafting should be taken with a grain of salt.



 

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19 minutes ago, AllWingsStandyingBy said:

Here's a helpful word of warning:

Be wary of tactical/strategic advice found here:

Top-level players don't offer out strategic or tactical advice.  It's a big investment of hobby time they could be devoting elsewhere, and it's certainly not in their interest to go around giving out all of their hard-earned tips and wisdom to make their potential opposition better.  For instance, you never really see Paul Heaver on these boards giving out advice, especially during a tournament season.  Those sorts of players put in the time practicing games with local or online groups of friends, and that's where they do all of their thinking, discussing, and tweaking. 

So what that means is the people on these boards who do come along and offer advice are generally those who are less connected and established in the competitive game, and by extension those whose thoughts or theory-crafting should be taken with a grain of salt.



 

I was just hoping for a few pointers . . . not expecting the likes of Paul Heaver to comment. But thanks I guess. . . 

Edited by Tupacca

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Huh... And here I consider myself both a pretty darn good player and totally willing to share my tips, tricks, techniques, and experiences.  But perhaps I'm not top tier since I haven't won any big tourney... just consistently place well.  13th at Hoth 2017, 12 at Gencon 2016, 15 at Gencon 2015, 12 at Gencon 2014, consistently top 8 at regionals.  So I'll let you judge whether my advice is worth listening to or not.

 

There are basically 2.5 types of Kanan/Biggs lists out there.  The list you're referencing is known as Caleb's Pride, and is the most offensive variation of them.  In general, Biggs TL's Kanan and stays behind him for a turn or two to soak the initial damage, but then he wants to peel off before he dies - those rerolls are important, and while Kanan is self sufficient, it's better if Biggs lives off in the corner for the rest of the game.  Which can lead to some tricky situations regarding when do you break him off and how do you break him off (after all, the T-65 is far from that fast or maneuverable).  Kanan also likes the head on approach with this list, which should be pretty obvious since he has Finn.  At its core, it's a beat you up before you get beat up list.  

 

And then there's your other 1.5 types, which substitute Finn for Recon Spec, and M9-G8 for a different astromech.  I say 1.5 versions because there's my variant (which has already been linked to because there have been like 4 posts since I started this one), that is a well rounded balanced list - EU on Kanan, R3-A2 on Biggs, and then there's the defensive variant, R2-D2 on Biggs and TJ on Kanan.  The defensive variant is a beast, Biggs is often rolling 4 dice, and the attackers are typically rolling 2, and then he gets to regen a shield.  There are lists that just cannot punch through the sustained defense of it.  And against most matches, it's the better choice over my variant.

But there are specific match ups that you will not win with that list.  Now that Dengar isn't consta stressed he can easily use his BR to stay in Kanan's blind spot, as can any Imp ace, and talented ShadowCaster players.  That's where the Engine Upgrade on my list becomes neccessary - it prevents the sustained R1-blindspot abuse that top tier players (with the right list) will utilize to shred either of the other Kanan/Biggs variations.  I've done plenty of write ups and strategies in my thread that Deathrain already linked, so I won't go into further details here, but most of the general strategies will apply to the defensive R2-D2 variant as well, just know that you'll have to play super awesome against lists that can exploit the blindspot if you go that way (or even the Caleb's Pride direction that you originally linked).

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9 minutes ago, freakyg3 said:

I need to learn how to kill this build - I fly a ghost but I hate Biggs - is there anyway to outflank this build - when are they weakest?

Ordnance can do some work. Since Biggs doesn't have R4-D6, he'll take full damage from missiles/torpedoes and Kanan can only spend so many focus tokens to reduce it. Alternately, you can fire them directly at Kanan, but this should only be done if you think you can finish him off.

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35 minutes ago, Khyros said:

Caleb's Pride

It's Calen not Caleb.

18 minutes ago, freakyg3 said:

I need to learn how to kill this build - I fly a ghost but I hate Biggs - is there anyway to outflank this build - when are they weakest?

Approach from the side of Kanan and get into Range 1. You can also block Kanan to deny him attacks and actions. This is most effective early in the fight to prevent him from charging up his focus stack with rey.

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2 minutes ago, PhantomFO said:

Ordnance can do some work. Since Biggs doesn't have R4-D6, he'll take full damage from missiles/torpedoes and Kanan can only spend so many focus tokens to reduce it. Alternately, you can fire them directly at Kanan, but this should only be done if you think you can finish him off.

 

Yup.  I can't count the number of times that people have shot 2 torps at Kanan during the alpha strike.  It's pretty much GG for them from there.  Biggs protects Kanan the rest of the game, 100-0 win.  If your ordnance can't kill Kanan, then just pop Biggs early on.

If you want generic strategies for beating Kanan (once Biggs is gone at least) - stay at R3 and use obstructions.  This might seem a bit counter intuitive as you don't get the defensive die on the R3, but that's okay.  A R2 shot comes from 3 dice down to 2 via Kanan's ability, and then he uses his action for E, meaning that if you roll perfectly, you'll do 1 damage.  And you should be saving your tokens for defense, so you only have a 25% chance of doing 1 damage in a 1on1 situation.  If you stay at R3, you're much more likely to do 1-2 damage as Kanan can't reduce your incoming attack, and it also makes spending that focus token to convert 2 eyes more meaningful.  

Meanwhile, obstructions are absolutely brutal... Kanan is taking 4 shots a turn, so that's 4 extra dice for you, and one extra die for him.  Awful!  Other things to help beat him are consistent modifiers... Kallus, Autothrusters, and Omega Leader are brutal things to go against as they affect every shot.

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1 hour ago, AllWingsStandyingBy said:

Top-level players don't offer out strategic or tactical advice.  It's a big investment of hobby time they could be devoting elsewhere, and it's certainly not in their interest to go around giving out all of their hard-earned tips and wisdom to make their potential opposition better.  For instance, you never really see Paul Heaver on these boards giving out advice, especially during a tournament season.  Those sorts of players put in the time practicing games with local or online groups of friends, and that's where they do all of their thinking, discussing, and tweaking. 

There's nothing wrong with sharing tips. The question isn't whether the real top players are willing, it's more that they might not see your thread or might not have the time to respond. Paul Heaver shares a lot of his knowledge in podcasts, for example.

In most areas of expertise, I find that the ones overly protective of their "secrets" are the mid-level performers who haven't yet found out that sharing knowledge helps everybody. Consistent top level performers are usually willing to share, because they are humble enough to know that they, too, can still learn a lot from others and like to engage in a constructive dialogue to that end. And maybe also because they also know that there's more to top performance than a few tips here and there - there's also experience and practice.

When it comes to X-Wing, there's also the player base thing. The game only thrives as long as it has players. Players will inevitably leave the community, so it's always important that there's fresh blood. Being the best at a thing nobody plays isn't much fun, either.

Edited by haslo

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I don't feel like Finn is worth it if you're taking the TLT Ghost/Phantom as he only works on primary attacks and you have absolutely no way of utilizing his addition of a defensive blank but are still paying the points for it. My preference is Sabine/Munitions/cheap bomb all for only 1 more point.

There's also an argument to be made to accuracy corrector over FCS, you need it with Finn but less so without him. True it's not quite as good when you get the chance to drop 5 dice on someone at range 1 in arc. But 4 completely reliable 2 hit shots that allow you to save all of your focus for minimizing red dice coming at you is also fairly nice and frees up your astromech on Biggs for something more defensive. It largely depends on how you'll be flying it, as an in your face brawler or an annoyingly fast TLT platform.

Prefer R2-D2 Biggs if he's next to Kanan. Between the TJ and Kanan it's pretty rare that he's taking 3+ hits in a single attack, especially since crits don't count towards that total. People don't expect you to split them up and the Ghost is beefy enough to survive a couple turns without him while he tacks on a few extra hp before coming back in. Practicing the initial placement helps with that. I typically set up Biggs facing the Ghost almost touching and then hard 2 him in behind and to the other side of it. That places him in a good spot for TJ during merge and provides options when you break him off. Keeping Bigg's 3 reds in the game for a turn or 2 longer rather than using him as a pure meatshield can make a huge difference.

The massive and glaring weakness of this list though is that it concentrates all its eggs in a single basket. I explicitly didn't run a variation of it this weekend at store champs (which I won #notallofusaretotalscrubs) because I was worried about proton torp/Boba J5ks. Running into that is pretty much an auto loss since with target locks they can ignore Biggs and once that TLT goes away, and it will since either Fenn or a plasma J5k has no problems popping 3-4 shields off to let that auto crit through, the list just doesn't have the firepower to stand up to anything decent.

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4 minutes ago, Makaze said:

The massive and glaring weakness of this list though is that it concentrates all its eggs in a single basket. I explicitly didn't run a variation of it this weekend at store champs (which I won #notallofusaretotalscrubs) because I was worried about proton torp/Boba J5ks. Running into that is pretty much an auto loss since with target locks they can ignore Biggs and once that TLT goes away, and it will since either Fenn or a plasma J5k has no problems popping 3-4 shields off to let that auto crit through, the list just doesn't have the firepower to stand up to anything decent.

I don't fully agree with that statement.  I had my TLT popped off in a SC yesterday, which definitely made it a harder matchup, but far from an auto loss.  Perhaps it was the difference that I was playing against a Bossk/Ketsu list, but it's going to be a similiar outcome in either case.  You shouldn't be going through all of your shields on the opening round, if you are, then you did something wrong :).  So you'll likely end up losing your TLT in the second round, but you should be able to delete a ship at that point, preferably Fenn, but even if the opportunity doesn't present itself to kill him, you should be able to delete a JM5k.  Now you're left with pretty whimpy JM5k x2 (or JM5K and Fenn, which will be harder) and a pretty much full health Biggs and a boosting Kanan - who should be able to pretty much prevent anymore torp shots onto him via EU.  So even though you'll likely run out of focus tokens, you should be able to boost around and split the two of them apart and just pick them off one at a time.  Again, much harder without the TLT since you have to have them in 180 degrees instead of 360, but that rear arc often means you can turn into them, bump one, shoot at the other, run away shooting at the one you bumped... All while limiting their shots on you.

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2 hours ago, AllWingsStandyingBy said:

Here's a helpful word of warning:

Be wary of tactical/strategic advice found here:

Top-level players don't offer out strategic or tactical advice.  It's a big investment of hobby time they could be devoting elsewhere, and it's certainly not in their interest to go around giving out all of their hard-earned tips and wisdom to make their potential opposition better.  For instance, you never really see Paul Heaver on these boards giving out advice, especially during a tournament season.  Those sorts of players put in the time practicing games with local or online groups of friends, and that's where they do all of their thinking, discussing, and tweaking. 

So what that means is the people on these boards who do come along and offer advice are generally those who are less connected and established in the competitive game, and by extension those whose thoughts or theory-crafting should be taken with a grain of salt.



 

 

That's absolutly not true. You can often find very informative posts in this board. Some Months ago for example MajorJuggle made an indepth analysis of the Parattanni, which was actually the very list he was bringing to the tournament scene. Even Paul Heaver from time to time answer questions.

 

 

Having said that I can share a bit of knowledge about the Ghost Biggs, having played it for the whole season reaching 2nd place both at the Tattooine SoS and at a Regional.

First of all, I consider the most viable build the one bringing Finn on Kanan and m9g8 on Biggs. Khyros and others had success with more defensive ones, and with less Imperial Aces around they might have a point, but I think that if you are going to play this ships combo, you really want to throw 5-6 modified red dice at your opponent.

My generic tips are to bring the biggest obstacles you can. I usually play with the 2 large rock and the large debris. You want to have big obstacles because arc dodgers and ordnance carriers are your bane, and you'll have a much easier time dealing with them having a cluttered field.

I usually find that the best defense is the attack, especially in the early game I often prefer to take a target lock rather than having another focus on Kanan. In the late game thought, abuse the evade action!

Practice deployment: you want to end up with biggs behind Kanan to get the extra greens, but you also need to understand that there are some much up where you want Biggs shooting as soon as possible and hopefully at r2.

If you have more specific question, ask I'll try to answer to the best of my knowledge

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Auto loss is perhaps strong. But given even player skill I'll put my money on a remaining torp scout/Fenn (or worse a Dengar/Tel, which was actually the list I was worried about, absolutely will pop the TLT in the 1st round of shooting before it ever fires even once) over a TLTless half heath Ghost and Biggs. Fenn is maneuverable enough to get into the side arcs reliably and even if not on average in a straight up dice trade will burn down a half health Ghost at R1 in 2 shots while only taking 1 in return. It's not impossible but, again given even player skill, the majority of the time it's going to end poorly for the Ghost.

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2 hours ago, Makaze said:

Auto loss is perhaps strong. But given even player skill I'll put my money on a remaining torp scout/Fenn (or worse a Dengar/Tel, which was actually the list I was worried about, absolutely will pop the TLT in the 1st round of shooting before it ever fires even once) over a TLTless half heath Ghost and Biggs. Fenn is maneuverable enough to get into the side arcs reliably and even if not on average in a straight up dice trade will burn down a half health Ghost at R1 in 2 shots while only taking 1 in return. It's not impossible but, again given even player skill, the majority of the time it's going to end poorly for the Ghost.

 

Fair enough, and that might be the difference between my experience with having engine upgrade sways my opinion - between rocks, the edge of the map, and the engine, it's very difficult for him to exploit that donut hole.  But I still go back to if you're letting them both get shots on the opening round, you're playing it wrong.  If they spread out, you have to pounce on that moment of weakness to isolate one.  If they start together, you have to drag them through the rocks to break their formation up.  There's still no reason to have Dengar and Tel both shooting their torps at you on the opening engagement.  Second round, absolutely.  And perhaps this is when you say equal player skill again, but they're at a worse position - you can just hang back until a good time to pounce shows itself, storing focus tokens on Rey.  And while they may have limited use after about 7 or so, that's still not a situation that your opponent wants to be in.

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50 minutes ago, Khyros said:

Fair enough, and that might be the difference between my experience with having engine upgrade sways my opinion - between rocks, the edge of the map, and the engine, it's very difficult for him to exploit that donut hole.  But I still go back to if you're letting them both get shots on the opening round, you're playing it wrong.  If they spread out, you have to pounce on that moment of weakness to isolate one.  If they start together, you have to drag them through the rocks to break their formation up.  There's still no reason to have Dengar and Tel both shooting their torps at you on the opening engagement.  Second round, absolutely.  And perhaps this is when you say equal player skill again, but they're at a worse position - you can just hang back until a good time to pounce shows itself, storing focus tokens on Rey.  And while they may have limited use after about 7 or so, that's still not a situation that your opponent wants to be in.

I've only played with the EU version once, and felt that Kanan's low PS limited its usefulness, so that's likely also coloring my opinion.

Probably talking past each other at this point. In my head I don't see how a Ghost prevents 2 higher PS J5Ks from getting R2-3 shots at it if they want them especially since one of them can just run right over a rock and still get a TL/Expertise main + maybe revenge shot. At least not without dashing forward which forces a bump at which point Biggs gets wrecked unanswered. I'm sure in your head you don't see how the Ghost player could be dumb enough to let that happen.

Edited by Makaze

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5 hours ago, AllWingsStandyingBy said:

Here's a helpful word of warning:

Be wary of tactical/strategic advice found here:

Top-level players don't offer out strategic or tactical advice.  It's a big investment of hobby time they could be devoting elsewhere, and it's certainly not in their interest to go around giving out all of their hard-earned tips and wisdom to make their potential opposition better.  For instance, you never really see Paul Heaver on these boards giving out advice, especially during a tournament season.  Those sorts of players put in the time practicing games with local or online groups of friends, and that's where they do all of their thinking, discussing, and tweaking. 

So what that means is the people on these boards who do come along and offer advice are generally those who are less connected and established in the competitive game, and by extension those whose thoughts or theory-crafting should be taken with a grain of salt.



 

Paul Heaver may not give advice on the forums but I don't think its because he is hiding is tactical advise. He's on a podcast and shares them. Those top players don't share their builds for good reason, but I see many offering advice on here. So I do think there is merit to one's advice offered through the forums.

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5 hours ago, freakyg3 said:

I need to learn how to kill this build - I fly a ghost but I hate Biggs - is there anyway to outflank this build - when are they weakest?

Many ways to out flank it. So if you got You Kenan Biggs you are doing it completely wrong. If you do you Biggs Kennan Biggs is gone.

One time I had my Klingon Bird of Prey Build, Talon Bane with a cloaking device.  I dialed in a 5k. Decloaked 2 forward, then 5 k right behind both Kennan and Biggs. Range 1 of Biggs and he wasn't long for the ride. Neither was Talonbane but as with all Klingon builds, "It was a good day to die".

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