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Boom Owl

Is Whisper bad now?

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21 minutes ago, Boom Owl said:

Is Whisper bad now?

Thinking a bit more...

Bad is perhaps an extreme word.  Empire is full of ships which are pretty good, just not *AS GOOD* as other options.  TIE Aggressors and TIE Bombers, for example, have a lot going for them.  But it's easier to run aces.  Whisper might be the Dorsal TIE Aggressor of Aces now.  Drop her to Echo, and improve the rest of the squad.

That's all mostly just guessing, though.

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Harder to fit on all of her toys. Also, for all of her decloak shenanigans, she's very predictable without boost and good obstacle placement. Nantex can easily adapt to her decloak location and eat the 2 agility for breakfast. An extra evade token doesn't help too much against 6 shots.

I'll still fly my RAC Whisper list in competitive online play (table time outside the house isn't a reality any time soon) because I've been playing it for over a year now and like most matchups, although I haven't played against spamtex. Dropping a single upgrade from the list won't make a difference for most games.

I think her lack of current play is a combination of "the grass is always greener" and experimentation with other Imperial pieces like Echo along with the current meta of swarmy ships.

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No, she isn't.

But X-wing players seem to always be super ready to just assume that something being nerfed means it must be bad, and abandon it completely without actually doing the science. So I'm not surprised to see people have done it again here.

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So, as a guy who doesn’t typically pore over tournament lists, but who has been roundly beaten by Whisper on TTS a couple of times, let me ask this: What was THE definitive Whisper list before? And what’s that list cost now? I gather it played Whisper + Fifth Brother (Gunner), so it’s what, 4 more points than it was? I know Whisper went up by 3, and 5Bro went up 1 (2?)... so what’s the optimal list being forced to drop? My experiences with Whisper are that she’s incredibly difficult to fight, and I don’t think a 4-point nerf is going to drive her into obscurity, but I’m equally sure my buddy isn’t playing the definitive optimal Whisper list.

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22 minutes ago, DR4CO said:

But X-wing players seem to always be super ready to just assume that something being nerfed means it must be bad, and abandon it completely without actually doing the science. So I'm not surprised to see people have done it again here.

I think a bigger problem is the gap between different lists in X-wing can be pretty big, so people tend to just assume its meta or nothing, but 'off meta' still exists, its just way smaller and more precarious than it is in many other equivalent games.

Whisper was like... arguably one of the best pilots to ever exist in 2.0, full stop. She never dropped below top 10, single handedly got a buuuunch of stuff nerfed because she could use it, had an entire slot on her ship change, and was responsible for stuff that could fit in lists WITH her but not on her getting nerfed.

She I thiiiink is the most nerfed individual piece in X-wing. I would need to double check. But her ability is just low key broken, which is why she is always going to be dangerous when she edges even close to viability. She tanked pretty hard after the nerfs, at 76 from the time of the points change to now... but if you go from literally 3 months before the points change to now, she is the 6th best pilot, which kinda tells you how ridiculous she was.

Her problem more right now is that this miiiiiiight be the most broken meta in the history of 2.0 potentially maybe don't get mad if it isn't but maybe? She only dropped 3 points, and while 3 points is a big nerf on some options, proportionally its only a 5% increase in price on literally one of the best preforming pilots in the game. It is extremely unlikely the points change itself is why she dropped off so hard, compared to Nantex spam just absolutely bodying tri-aces lists, which was the archetype Whisper was in. Right now pretty much every good list has a really high body count or an extremely tough ship in there, and depending on arc dodging for your primary means of survival is just super rough out there.

That said, we haven't seen a lot of tournaments yet, so its too soon to really say what the future of aces lists hold, but it looks really bleak right now based on the results we have seen so far, and Whisper... is an ace!

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I think a lot of it is down to just how prevalent the Nantex currently is.  Whisper has a lot of strengths, but she's not well suited for dealing with six ships with strong arc coverage who can all potentially block her quite effectively.

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I expect Whisper to be back in the race when the Ion Limiter Override and Suppressive Gunner become available. I am sure it will be cheaper than Fifth Brother and still make her viable.

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The problem is zero people took her.  How you gonna say she's bad based on zero sample size.  You can say that maybe people *think* she's bad?  I'd argue the point increase finally made more players take a hard look at Echo and realize that Echo is arguably more bang for the buck.  How many Echoes in GSPG #2&3?  And how'd they do?

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12 minutes ago, Spinland said:

In this context is "bad" the same as "there's other stuff that's currently better?" 🤔

No, I think "bad" is the same as "more balanced after the update". 

Maybe there are too many players that don't want to play this type of "bad" pilots.

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3 hours ago, S4ul0 said:

No, I think "bad" is the same as "more balanced after the update". 

 

This might be the case, but I suspect Whisper may be a 'binary balance' case, where she is either basically unplayable, or completely busted, with no in-between, due to the level of impact her effect creates (as it potentially allows a very consistent 3v1 trade on one of the best arc dodgers in the game with 0 damage).

We can't know for sure until the thing totally keeping her out of the meta is gone of course. While her ability is, again, probably the most powerful card text to be put on a pilot in 2.0 (for real, she is like this game's Ezreal: "Its balanced... but broken on Whisper" was a thing that happened basically every points change), it doesn't exactly stop her from getting alpha'd down by an entire list like a giant HP total does, and avoiding 6 turret ships with dynamite reposition is a herculean task when your list doesn't have anything really preventing them from spending their full time hunting you.

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So Suppressive Gunner is 8 points, which means I'd rather still take Fifth Brother on her. 4 more points for a Force Charge is not much. And it works better with her ability.

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4 minutes ago, Schanez said:

So Suppressive Gunner is 8 points, which means I'd rather still take Fifth Brother on her. 4 more points for a Force Charge is not much. And it works better with her ability.

That's not wrong, but at least it's an option.  Having literally no generic gunners that work on non-turret ships was unfortunate.

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7 hours ago, theBitterFig said:

That's not wrong, but at least it's an option.  Having literally no generic gunners that work on non-turret ships was unfortunate.

Yeah, the card itself is good. Empire had no non-turret gunners and a couple ships fighting over Fifth Brother. Now there are alternatives. I can see it working on "Echo" or any of the I5-4 Strikers. They can take focus and save it for defense.

I was expecting it to cost a bit less, truth be told.

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1 hour ago, Schanez said:

I was expecting it to cost a bit less, truth be told.

They probably want to limit its impact on Y-wings or other small spammable gunner ships.

Main issue is that its still feels a bit much for larges, because the 'point' of this gunner is to make your attacks more consistently cause an effect. But why are you dropping the points for a large that isn't going to consistently do something? I am not sure this even makes sense on the Scum YT, which is a super efficient pile of hit points (paying only 3.7 points per hit point, wowza!) mainly held back by really terrible board impact. But would I really take one with suppressive gunner naked? Probably not unless there was a really good crew I wanted. And with a character like Han your trying to actually make those dice matter anyway and probably want to use the focus result. Maybe if there was a large coordinate bot floating around? But I can't think of any with a gunner slot.

It just is a weeee bit too expensive on mediums and larges to really make a ton of sense. But it also isn't comically terrible, you could justify it. It feels like if it was a strain rather than a deplete, or it cost maybe 1-2 less, it would be a decent pick for a lot of ships without really allowing you to go crazy shoving these on Y-wings down your opponent's pants.

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3 hours ago, dezzmont said:

It feels like if it was a strain rather than a deplete, or it cost maybe 1-2 less, it would be a decent pick for a lot of ships without really allowing you to go crazy shoving these on Y-wings down your opponent's pants.

This was my thinking too, but strain rather than deplete opens up so much more, I can see why it isn't. Deplete instead tilts the card in an odd direction.

I still do sort of like the idea of it on Scum Han. He's cheap enough now to be a squad component, rather than driving force. So maybe.

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Deplete makes it seem like it was meant to be this Ace type upgrade. But then how many I6-5s you have with a Gunner slot? And ones that cannot double mod their attacks to use that Focus for an additional damage? Its a bit too expensive to use in multiples on Generics, I think.

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