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MikeEvans

Evaan Verlaine - How would you have written her ability?

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Disclaimer:  If you think Evaan Verlain is perfect as-is, please just move on without commenting.  I'm more interested in brainstorming a replacement ability for her than being told why my desire to change her ability is wrong.

I've tried to make Evaan work in a list, but she's just underwhelming.  I've never seen her on the opponent's side of the table, ever, and there's a good reason for that.  Spending a focus to get a mediocre buff at such a short range is rather underwhelming.  If she uses it on herself, the benefit compared to the focus token she would otherwise have is marginal at best, notwithstanding that it prevents you from using the token offensively.  If she uses the ability on a friend, she's got to be very close to the beneficiary, which means that the attacker may just shoot at her instead.  Janking up a list to give Evaan extra focus tokens is, to quote our favorite admiral, a trap!
 
It looks no better when you compare the ability other "help my buddy" stuff available to Rebels.  For the same 4 extra points (compared to a generic), Cassian gets you the same bump in Initiative, but lets you remove a stress, for free, at range 1-3.  That's almost always waaay better than an agility bump.  Most of the other rebel abilities that grant bonuses are (arguably) stronger and longer ranged.  Many are free to use or grant benefits to both the user and the beneficiary (like Dutch/Garven/Magva).

Anyway, enough moaning about the ability.  On to the question...  If you were given the chance to rewrite Evaan's card, how would you do it?  I'll list some ideas I've had myself below:

-Keep the focus token cost, but increase the range to 0-3.  Maybe also grant the benefit to both Evaan and her beneficiary.
-Make the ability work on a friendly ship she has locked at range 1-3.  Either add an agility or instead grant a reroll.  That could be quite good, esp with an R3 astromech equipped!  I would not recommend making a reroll version work like M9-G8 (able to target both friendly and enemy) as that would be waaaay too strong, esp with access to R3.  I would limit it to friendly ships only if I went with the reroll.  With R3, she could choose to boost two ships or boost one friendly and keep another target lock for use against enemies.
-Make it a free ability, no focus required.  Maybe also increase the range a bit.
-Reduce/remove the cost and increase the range, but tie the ability to her primary and/or turret arcs somehow, like the HWK pilots.

I don't think there's anything wrong with giving her a pretty potent ability.  One thing I had hoped X-Wing 2.0 would do more is give the lower-initiative pilots stronger abilities than the higher-initiative pilots, to encourage diversity in list-building.  When the high-init guys also have the best abilities for only a slightly higher price point, they're all you ever see on the table.

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Her ability is fine. It gives Wedge or Biggs, etc an extra green die for every attack. That can be huge vs a swarm. I think the cost is what keeps her off the tables. Shoulda been a recurring charge that she spends and gains a stress.

Also, doesnt help her out that two really strong offense ywings are just a trickle of points ahead of her. A wider spread of initiative points could help her cause.

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I agree that a bigger point spread would maker her more tempting.  The problem with the ability is that it's such close range that if you use it, the attackers can usually just switch to targeting Evaan instead (who will not have a focus).  I think a charge ability would have been fine but making it grant stress is pretty punishing... maybe worse than the ability as-is.

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The cost of an action is too much for the effect.
We already had an astromech in 1.0 that allowed you to gain +1 agility by using an action, it was basically unplayable.

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First, make her ability assign a condition card.  It is one of the few remaining abilities that you have no way to track.

The ability itself is fine.  A little weak in 2.0 where you don't get green mods for days, but we don't want that day back, anyway.

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8 hours ago, MikeEvans said:

Spending a focus to get a mediocre buff at such a short range is rather underwhelming.

The buff itself may be underwhelming when considered in isolation, but you’re not looking at the bigger picture.

where this effect excels is its potential to mess with your opponents target priorities, as they may prefer to put attacks into a target that’s rolling fewer dice and has no tokens rather than your more important ships.

If using Evaans ability on Wedge means he gets a couple of turns shooting and not being shot at, while your opponent shoots her instead, it’s been worth the focus tokens!

Increasing its range would certainly be a good shout, though... ;)

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Posted (edited)

Good ol 1st Ed bodyguard 😕

Anyway, I wouldn't really change the ability. It's not like everything is going to have an amazing game-warping impact

id personally just drop them to I 1 and 33 points, paying as much as a generic I 3 but with an ability

underwhelming abilities are fine when costed appropriately

Edited by ficklegreendice

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Maybe just Range 0-2.  I know most "bodyguard" abilities in X-Wing are 0-1 (Biggs and Lowhhrick are), but it'd be kinda cool to have hers be longer range, because it's probably (?) the worst.

//

The other thing to consider with Evaan Verlaine isn't a reworded ability, but a slot adjustment.  A lot of similar rarely-played low-init Limited pilots could have their points reduced and their Talent slot removed.  Consider a Gold and Verlain both at 33 points, but Verlain doesn't have a Talent.  Major Vynder in the Gunboat could get a similar treatment: he's not worth 2 points more than a Rho, but if they were both 35 points, it might be OK to take Vynder instead of a Rho if all you're giving up is the talent slot for his pilot ability.  Joy Reckoff in the Fang also seems like she'd be similar.

//

Actually, no.  A reword would be very good.  Her trigger shouldn't be "start of the engagement phase" but should be "when another friendly ship at Range 0-1 becomes the defender," like Lowhhrick.

She should get to save her focus token and not commit to protecting a ship until an enemy declares a target.  Biggs and Lowhhrick and other bodyguard type ships wait until an enemy has attacked someone before they use their ability.  Lowhhrick spending his Reinforce token does make it more likely that Lowhhrick is targeted next, like Evaan does.  But Lowhhrick will always have at least one attack where the Defender can use that Evade token.  Evaan alone can be entirely ignored, where an opponent can ignore both her and her agility-boosted target.

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5 hours ago, Rojek said:

The cost of an action is too much for the effect.
We already had an astromech in 1.0 that allowed you to gain +1 agility by using an action, it was basically unplayable.

Huge difference though, is that Evaan takes a Focus action during Activation, which is universally useful if you decide to not use the pilot ability. Also, it can be used on any ship at Range 0-1 of Evaan instead of being limited to the ship carrying the Astromech. You also get to see where all the arcs are pointed at, at the beginning of engagement after everyone has moved and re-positioned so you can see who is under the biggest threat and react accordingly. The old +1 agi astro could have easily been a wasted action if you opponent wasn't targeting that ship this round. 

Not really closely comparable at all. 

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Honestly the ability isn’t bad at all; the price is the problem.

Fly her with Lando + Title: He gets two actions (focus + evade) and she focuses. She lets him roll 2 dice against all those incoming attacks, and he gets green rerolls for days with the title. Han + Lando + Title makes it even better.

Fly her with Ten Numb. Suddenly he’s not the quickly-diminishing health pool he was. He’s a tanky monster instead who has MUCH better chances of staying stress-free when he can’t land an arc.

What’s the downside? The enemy can target her instead and she’ll burn up fast. But this is a great thing!! She’s not your endgame piece anyway! She ensures that your endgame piece makes it there With maximum health remaining.

Honestly I think she’s better than Biggs other than her personal lack of offensive output. Fly her naked or with a bomb and there’s tons of room for another ace or some blockers.

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5 minutes ago, ClassicalMoser said:

Honestly the ability isn’t bad at all; the price is the problem.

Fly her with Lando + Title: He gets two actions (focus + evade) and she focuses. She lets him roll 2 dice against all those incoming attacks, and he gets green rerolls for days with the title. Han + Lando + Title makes it even better.

Fly her with Ten Numb. Suddenly he’s not the quickly-diminishing health pool he was. He’s a tanky monster instead who has MUCH better chances of staying stress-free when he can’t land an arc.

What’s the downside? The enemy can target her instead and she’ll burn up fast. But this is a great thing!! She’s not your endgame piece anyway! She ensures that your endgame piece makes it there With maximum health remaining.

Honestly I think she’s better than Biggs other than her personal lack of offensive output. Fly her naked or with a bomb and there’s tons of room for another ace or some blockers.

I agree with this. I would fly Evaan naked. I dont care if Evaan is tokenless. Its only 35 points. I dont care if Evaan dies. Evaans job is to keep your end game ships healthy and get them to the end game.

 

Im interested in flying Evaan with Braylen. 2 agility plus 2 rerolls behind 8 health will make him pretty healthy.

 

Also want to fly Evaan with corran  + stealth device 

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, TBot said:

Also want to fly Evaan with corran  + stealth device 

Also curious about this. Stealth device can sometimes be worth it in this kind of case.

When you're rolling 6 green dice every turn, it feels like no one could ever get damage through without torps or something.

Of course, then you roll 6 blanks and he gets one-shotted but that's life.

Edited by ClassicalMoser

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