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Roller of blanks

Who is a better M9-G8 carrier?

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M9-G8 is, in my opinion, a perfect support droid, and has lots of synergy with weapons engineer. But there are only two ships capable of this combo, the ARC-170 and the Sheathapiede shuttle. As for pilots, I think Shara bey is the best carrier for the ARC, with her Target lock-sharing ability, and, being an ARC, can stand alone as a heavy hitter. But Fenn Rau is a good candidate for the combo as well, as his ability makes the reroll harder to fix, but being in a Sheathapiede makes me wary of the point investment.

What do you think? Am I wrong? Is the combo worth it at all? Discuss.

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M9-G8 + Weapons Engineer tend to be too expensive in both point cost and opportunity cost. 

Take Shara for example. By the time you spend those 6 points to upgrade Shara, the better ARC-170 is just about any version of Norra. 28 points for Shara is too expensive as a baseline for a support ship. 

The Sheathipede is cheap enough to strap with 6 points of support upgrades, but the opportunity cost is still pretty high. Fenn and AP-5 both have other builds that make excellent use of crew and astromech upgrades. 

The other opportunity cost with M9-G8 is action economy. My favorite M9-G8 carriers either get free Target Locks (Tarn) or don't need their own Target Locks (Jess.) Tarn and Jess can't take Weapons Engineer, but their cost-benefit ratio is better than Shara.

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9 hours ago, Roller of blanks said:

M9-G8 is, in my opinion, a perfect support droid, and has lots of synergy with weapons engineer. But there are only two ships capable of this combo, the ARC-170 and the Sheathapiede shuttle. As for pilots, I think Shara bey is the best carrier for the ARC, with her Target lock-sharing ability, and, being an ARC, can stand alone as a heavy hitter. But Fenn Rau is a good candidate for the combo as well, as his ability makes the reroll harder to fix, but being in a Sheathapiede makes me wary of the point investment.

What do you think? Am I wrong? Is the combo worth it at all? Discuss.

Of the two, if either is really worth is it's Fenn.

People are happy enough running a 26pt Sheathipede with R3-A2 and Hotshot Copilot and this combo is no more expensive than that, and in a lot of ways it's very similar.  Without Hotcop your Fenn can only meaningfully nerf one enemy ship, not two, but the ship you're nerfing is probably hurt a bit more as you're not just denying their mods but degrading their dice rolls on top.

It's worth a try.

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While not optimal, I have taken Weapons Eng/M9-G8 on AP5. Normally, I'd agree and say it's bad, but the hammer to my list was a pair of BTL-A4 Y-Wings with TLT - lock both and that's three possible re-rolls per ship per attack round. Drop Jess Pava in between those Y-Wings and it was an extremely accurate jousting list.

The results weren't spectacular, but it was fun and most of the games I lost were by one ship, on a mistake I made to myself.

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I've been doing pretty well with Braylen with M9-G8/WE, plus Fenn and Poe (standard builds).  I'd been 9-2 in kit tournaments with it until yesterday, when 1-1-bye lowered the ratio a bit.  Sometimes it doesn't work (trusting dice in a dice game is always a risk).  However, well-set up, I can M9 two ships, Fenn one and HSCP the other.  That's a lot of damage mitigation potential, and Braylen can often enough follow up with an attack with Focus and TL.  Unlike a Lowhhrick, there aren't really positional requirements and there is unlimited range.  That's the price to pay for the inconsistency of rerolls vs adding evade results.

I don't really like Shara Bey, however, at least not in theory.  PS 6 is high enough that there's a solid number of ships who attack after her (Countess, Lowhhrick), so it's awkward for her to spend her own target lock herself, but even moreso if you've got a high-PS hitter in your list.  If you've got someone like a Poe as well, he probably shoots before your M9-G8 target, and if you use Shara's ability, you can't use M9-G8 to reroll your opponent's dice.  Unless you're backing her up with low-PS hitters (using her to grab TLs for low-PS Harpoon Missiles, for example), I don't like Shara for M9-G8 at all.

For pilots, I personally think are four to consider for the WE/M9 combo.  Fenn Rau (@Stay On The Leader describes it well), AP-5 (who's cheap and has no offense but can fit into a good number of lists... perhaps isn't as good as Stress-Ezra, though), Braylen (cheapest of the ARCs, and solid enough), and Thane Kyrell.  Thane is still fairly cheap (although adding Vectored Thrusters gets really sweet here), he's got low PS so he'll likely shoot after the target, and he has the potential to either draw fire, or gain extra actions.

The weakness, however, of the archetype is that anything which targets Ghost/Fenn is likely to do well against you too.  However, while I haven't played it out, the list probably doesn't have a huge advantage against the Ghost.  So you're likely not better than the big, top-of-the-meta list, but hurt by the same things folks are bringing to try to counter it.

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Shara is way too expensive and her ability is way too crap to merit her cost

Tarn, Thane and Ap-5 are all great carriers, even if Tarn makes WE warm the bench.

Tarn and Thane can do things while throwing out m9g8 support, Tarn himself being surprisingly infuriating to kill while Thane throws out fully modified attacks if ignored. Ap-5 is just cheap support

Rau's probably fine because he's still a PS 11 coordinate with a borked ability, even if you aren't getting hotshot copilot

 

don't think the combo is currently worth it simply because hotshot Rau and Lowhrick in general are just too obscene. It is fun when you got a Norra to support, though, and I'm sure you could fit her with WE m9g8 Rau + Lowhrick of some capacity

Edited by ficklegreendice

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I love M9-G8 on Jess, and on AP5 ... the latter with weapons engineer.

For 21 points,  you get rerolls for two friendly ships, or if  you like, you can switch it onto enemy ships to blunt offense.  Paired with his stress reducing pilot ability, he's a 21 point power piece who can really turn the tide of a battle.

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Indeed. If you're taking Weapons Engineer/M9-G8 it's essentially turning the ship into a 'support buddy'. At that point you might as well take the cheap, less offensive option (sheathipede) and save points to spend on the thing you're supporting.

M9-G8 solo is just a nice way to turn an X-wing into a mini-support unit. Jess and Tarn are both good value carriers simply because they're still reasonably capable without their astromech (especially jess), and Tarn can skitter M9-G8's lock across anyone and everyone trying to shoot at him.

 

 

As an aside; M9-G8's lock is mostly best used as a support:

  • It's easier to set up; lock your buddy turn 1 and enjoy the passive bonuses regardless of range.
  • Rerolling a friendly blank into a focus, hit, or critical is quite likely (75% chance).
  • Rerolling an enemy focus, hit, or critical into a blank is not (25% chance).
  • If your opponent has a target lock or one dice reroll, but no focus, then rerolling becomes better because the focus result is useless and they can't reroll the die again (50% chance) - still less useful than locking a friendly, but (obviously) you may not always have a useful friendly to lock onto, and besides, it's a benefit you're getting as well as using the target lock 'normally'.
  • It does have some specific use cases where you'd want to lock the enemy with M9-G8:
    • Probably the best thing to bear in mind; whilst rerolling enemy dice is bad at eliminating hits, it is very good at eliminating criticals. Whilst it can't do anything about modification-induced criticals (Chiraneau, Palpatine, Guidance Chips) a locked ship will really struggle to cause a natural critical because a single rolled critical can be either reduced to a normal hit or focus or eliminated most of the time (88% of the time).
      • This pairs really well with other defensive upgrades which only affect hits not criticals (Sensor Jammer, Selflessness) or to prevent your opponent using triggers which require them to land a critical hit (Wampa, Bossk, I'll Show You The Dark Side, Harpooned!)

 

 

Shara's ability always feels like a bit of a trap. Yes, she can hand a friendly ship a lock. Which is nice.

But M9-G8 wants to hang on to locks to be annoying for multiple rounds, Shara doesn't have the ability to generate free locks with something like Fire Control System, doesn't have the PS to acquire locks easily on PS9+ aces, and above all can't - even with weapons engineer - drop two locks on the same target, which is what you'd want to do to concentrate fire. Ultimately, her ability feels like she's essentially carrying a free targeting synchroniser; not bad to have free, but not the tech upgrade I'd want to equip on an ARC-170 if it had the option, and something I can duplicate for less points on a Blue Squadron Novice or Crimson Squadron Pilot with a targeting Synchroniser if I was so inclined.

 

 

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AP5 is my favorite carrier. In this list for example:

https://geordanr.github.io/xwing/?f=Rebel Alliance&d=v4!s!251:30,63,218:-1:3:;252:150,165,250:-1:3:;278:29,206:-1:-1:&sn=For the rollz&obs=

Lock friendly ships round 1 and then switch to defensive target locks if need be. The early coordinate / stress relief has been nice too. Those tucks are always reinforced too and have Wulf's damage output is very consistent. Low keeps AP5 around a bit longer. I've been flying them in a loose squadron but still within range for all the interactions.

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Thane makes for a M9/WE carrier who can still hit fairly. His free action can be used to switch up the locks if needed, and he shoots at a low enough PS that he can use the lock on an enemy ship both to force a reroll and spend on his own attack, which will very likely be focused.

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I play it on Tarn. My current lsit is luke-tarn-miranda, and with double regen and m9g8 damage "jamming" it is quite resilient.

Though i still think R7 Tarn is still a better combo on 1-to-1 endgame, while m9g8 Tarn is a nice support ship.

I guess that AP5 sheathipede may be a good carrier too, since it's very cheap, and can act as a good support, but it probably has some trouble getting the TL for that first engagement.

A good carrier, even if it is quite expensive, is an E Wing with FCS. In a two-ship meta it locks down one ship and can still use its TL to reroll red dice, while M9G8 rerolls one of the opponent. PS3 Generic is a good one at about 34 pts. Yes, it's a third of the list, but it's nice in a triple E list or a XXE list. Nowhere near tournament worth, i know. But so is m9g8, i guess.

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