I’ve been thinking for the last days on what to write about as my next article after I wrote about the faction meta. I knew I was not that interested in doing another history article playing around with the data found on List Juggler, I wanted to write about something that is happening now working with the data available even though I realise its incomplete.
I decided to see if I could find valuable trends in the data that has been gathered for Store Championship 2017 so far and if I could apply it in some way to give people better insights into what to expect.
Lets start with checking out the most popular ships(Chart 1), pilots(Chart 2) and upgrades (Chart 3) players are using this season and looking at the winning lists. I will limit my database queries to the top lists and where we have more attendees than 17 people when looking at the details found in the data.
Chart 1. Top 25 ships in the Store Championship (please note that this chart does not take the point cost for each ship into consideration)
Chart 2. Top 25 pilots played in the Store Championship.
Chart 3. Top 25 upgrades in the Store Championship
In this article my focus is mostly on the imperial faction and their status in the current meta with my own thoughts applied to the data, so be warned. I’ll share some insight as what to expect and share some of my own tips for the imperials.
I’m going to start with analyzing a few game mechanics which have a high impact on the game and how the factions are using them.
- Missiles and Torpedoes
Lastly I talk about the imperials faction and how players are adjusting to the meta.
Lets start with a short story. In one of my recent matches I played with the inquisitor in my list vs. a list with a K-wing. The Rebel player really wanted to get rid of the inquisitor as he thought he had the advantage on me since his K-wing was loaded with bombs. When he went after my Inquisitor with his K-wing I decided to arc dodge and just keep away from it since I knew it was really vulnerable to bombs, this strategy came at the cost of excluding the Inquisitor from the fight but eventually the K-wing catched him and my Inquisitor was removed in one bomb drop where I got a cluster mined and took 3 hits with Sabine crew dealing the final blow. To make a long story short, I won that match but while the K-wing was following my inquisitor I could use my other ships to take out the rest of my opponent’s list and then finish off the K-wing later which was fortunately out of bombs at that time. The point of this story is that even with a list with with an ace like the Inquisitor which is extremely fragile and tends go down relatively easy when exposed to bombs, you can still adjust your play style to win matches.
Bombs are not an auto lose for aces, but boy they can be challenging. However, you can mitigate the damage with good flying and asteroid placement. One extremely important point to mitigate damage is to know when your opponent’s ship can drop bombs, either before he reveals his template or as an action (Table 1). This knowledge gives you the advantage of better anticipating your opponent bomb runs to act accordingly.
|55||Rigged Cargo Chute||Action|
|32||Seismic Charges||Reveal Template|
|29||Thermal Detonator||Reveal Template|
|28||Ion Bombs||Reveal Template|
|4||Proton Bombs||Reveal Template|
Table 1. Most popular bombs in the Store Championship 2017
You might have noticed that I included the illicit upgrade Rigged Cargo Chute but I think it’s relevant as it can be just as devastating as a regular bomb when placed on top of a ship, and a well placed Rigged Cargo Chute can deal stress in the turn it’s placed and even in the following turn if your ship template overlaps it. For simplicity I’m including the Rigged Cargo Chute when talking about bombs.
I’m now curious as to what lists are using bombs and how they are applied within the different factions. There’s a lot of data on List Juggler and I’m not going to mention all the lists which have bombs in them, so i’m going approach this by looking at the winning lists after cut which have more than 17 participants and same applies to the rest of the article. The data sample is already about 50 tournaments which matches this criteria, which I feel is enough to analyze the most common trends.
Rebel Bomb Lists
The most played bomber in the rebel faction is Miranda Doni. Miranda most successful build this season includes Ion Bomb, Cluster mines, Conner Net and Thermal Detonators, fortunately not in the same list! The Miranda builds I looked at had four things in common to increase their efficiency with bombs and that was to included bombs which activate when you reveal your dial or when taking an action, the Sabine Crew, Extra Munition and the Advanced SLAM upgrade.
The list to beat in the current meta is a Miranda with Bombs and Dash with Heavy Laser Cannon and that’s actually the rebel list with the most success this season. The list success is understandable since the ships synergize well together. Both ships can be difficult to catch in arc, Miranda usually softens Dash targets up with bombs and punches really hard with the Heavy Laser Cannon. In the Euros 2017, we saw Miranda and Leebo vs Miranda and Dash in the finals, which the Miranda/Leebo build won. In my mind there is not that much of a difference of these 2 builds as Miranda really doesn’t care if it’s partner is with a pilot skill 7 or 5 since she’s 8 herself and Dash natural predators usually have an higher pilot skill than 7 anyways. But there was one huge difference which I don’t hear many if any talk about and that is that Leebo is better observing damage than Dash because of his ability and the build had countermeasures as well to further mitigate damage in that one round when it’s crucial, this was pretty good meta call in my opinion.
Miranda is also usually equipped with Twin Laser Turret and I was a little surprised that there were no Mirandas with Auto Blaster Turret on top since most know that Fenn Rau is all over the place (Chart 2). Nand Torf the world champion of 2016 and the runner up in Worlds 2017 certainly saw the value in having auto damage which he could boost to three dice using Mirandas ability. I saw a few games on streams where he slaughtered many of the aces that dared to come to close to Miranda.
My advise is to target prioritize Miranda as fast as you can since you don’t want to deal with her later when she’s regenerating shields and slamming away to safety or when your ships have taken a pounding and are even more vulnerable to bombs. There are exceptions, e.g if the player gifts one of his other ship to you, I at least usually take it and deal with Miranda later or just situations where you opponent makes errors you capitalise on and change target priority as the game progresses . One important thing often overlooked is that a fully equipped Miranda costs a lot of list points so having here on the board when time is called is usually not good if your lists has taken a beating.
There are some wave 11 shenanigans coming out for the rebels like the Bomblet Generator which I expect to become popular in Rebel builds later on.
Fun fact – 3 out of the 5 winning rebel lists had bombs and the total winning lists are 43.
Scum Bomb Lists
Ok, there are none at the moment! This will change in Wave 11 when the Cad Bane crew is out where you gain the bomb slot on ships which can take crew cards, e.g. the jumpmaster.
They will also get a new dedicated bomber platform in the Scurrg H-6 Bomber, so based on bombs efficiency in the current meta I’m sure we will see some bombing scum lists in the near future. Cards which haven’t been used much in the past like Unkar Plutt crew which allows you to drop a bomb even if you lose your actions or even Genius might see play since they will improve scum efficiency with bombs in the meta to come.
But back to the Store Championship again, we have the Rigged Cargo Chute which has similar effects as a bombs and it’s very popular (See Table 1). You have to use an action to drop it and it’s purpose is mainly dealing stress and blocking lanes for the opponent. The stress can be devastating to ships which rely on their actions and the tactic used by the scum players is very similar as in the Miranda/Dash lists where the Rigged Cargo Chute weakens the ships by leaving them actionless and then it becomes easier to focus down. In some of the podcast I’ve heard that the top players include it in their lists especially to deal with Miranda Doni by removing her actions(SLAM) so she can be more easily focused fired and it’s also useful to shut down upgrades like expertise and such.
It can only be used once on a ship since it doesn’t get boosted by Extra Munitions card as the bombs do. There is one exception to that rule and that’s if the opponents also has the Jabba The Hut Crew in his list, which isn’t getting much play at the moment but I guess people are still figuring it out since the C-Roc was only recently released.
Lets take a closer look at what scum lists include the Rigged Cargo Chute (Remember when I dive into the details, i’m only looking at the winning lists this season)
I’m just going to mention in what List archetypes the Rigged Cargo Chute is included but they are;
- Old Fennaroo
It’s the Jumpmaster which has the Rigged Cargo Chute load so be prepared and remember it’s only once a game and it’s an action and use that knowledge to your advantage.
To get more details on these archetypes lists, you can visit the X-Wing Meta analyzer.
Fun fact – 4 out of the 29 winning scum lists had the Rigged Cargo Chute and the total winning lists are 43.
Imperial Bomb Lists
Ok, let’s just go straight to the fun facts here – it’s the only faction which has a ship called the Tie Bomber but it was the Decimator which was loaded with an Ion bomb, lol – so it’s 1 out of 9 winning lists which had bombs and the total winning lists are 43.
One final note to the imperial players, since I have a lot of ground to cover and need to wrap it up at some point.
In a tournament scenario it can be daunting to play multiple games consistently where bombs are common, always escaping your opponents traps round after round. This might be one of the reasons the traditional aces are not as popular in the tournament scene as they were before. (Chart 4)
Chart 4. Number of appearances of traditional aces – For reference see Chart 2 above.
Bombs mechanics is not the only danger that aces face in the current meta but one of the thing is stress dealing mechanics which can really hurt an ace that relies on PTL for it’s action economy especially if the ace becomes double stressed, and there is plenty of stress dealing mechanics in the current meta.
Next step here is to check what lists and pilots can deal out stress in the meta so let’s dive into the details.
Only one list had made the top spot with stress mechanics, and it was in Peoria US.
The list had Braylen Stramm with Gunner, R3-A2, Alliance Overhaul(New stress hog), Captain Rex, Biggs with R4-D6 and Integrated Astromech and Jess Pava with adaptability, R2-D6, Integrated Astromech and Pattern Analyzer for 100 points. A solid Rebel Jank list.
The R3-A2 is not in the top 25 list of upgrades but it’s place is at 31. The upgrade which is at 25 is the Heavy Laser Cannon with 79 list appearances but the R3-A2 has 64 appearances to put this info into some context (See chart 3 above).
There are two kind of stresshogs in the game that i’ve seen people using, The Arc(Braylen with Gunner) and the Y-wing with the BLT-A4 title and Twin Laser Turret, sometimes the R3-A2 appears on other ships in the rebel faction as well, e.g. Jess Pava, Wes etc. But the stresshogs have it common to be able to deal two stresses in one round, one that triggers with Gunner and the other with the BLT-A4 title.
I found it difficult to create some scenarios where I could explain the strengths and weaknesses because I feel it depends on this list you and your opponent are playing. Most of the lists which have a stresshog are protected by Biggs so you need to deal with him first, I found it impossible not to mention him in my tips section.
- Front and Rear Arc
- Gunner crew
- Ability to clear stress himself
- 3 red dices
- It’s durability
- His sides
- The ship total point cost
- Sometimes Gunner won’t trigger to give you the extra stress you need
- The dial
- 1 green dice
Y-Wing with the BLT-A4 title and Twin Laser Turret strengths
- Title with TLT and can always deal out 2 stress in a turn if it has a target
- The ship total point cost
- It’s durability
- Twin Turret Laser with a primary attack with the title to deal double stress
Y-Wing with the BLT-A4 title and Twin Laser Turret weaknesses
- It’s inability to clear stress
- The dial
- His sides and back (If you can get an ace behind the ship it’s usually game over for it)
- 1 green dice
- Focus fire on Biggs and kill it ASAP 🙂
- Some of your ships will most likely become stressed;
- Don’t be afraid to disengage and return to the battle later when the stress has cleared
- Don’t be afraid to clear stress with a green movement and bump
- This will prevent at least one ship shooting at you but keep in mind this is very situational
- Players tend not to want to shift target priorities, keep that in mind
- Do everything you can to keep some guns pointing at biggs after the first encounter to increase your chance of removing it from play
- Some of your ships will most likely become stressed;
- The rebels don’t have a lot of re-positioning so use that to your advantage
- When you encounter the stresshog and Biggs in the same list, it’s very likely that the player is flying his ships in formation
- The rebel player usually approaches the battle slowly
- Use the asteroid field to break up the formation
- The Rebel formation is slow to adjust since it doesn’t have much re-positioning
- If you approach the battle from more than one direction, the rebel player usually commits all his forces into one direction
- Flank, since both stresshogs types have their sides exposed
- The Y-wing is very vulnerable if you can get behind it
- Try to lure your opponent to shoot at the ship that has the most resilience against stress in your list
- Don’t use Push the limit all the time if you can get away with it
- And finally include Captain Yorr into your list with inspiring recruit and you should be good 🙂
The queen of Stress in the meta is Scum Asajj Ventress.
The Asajj Ventress is one of the most popular pilots out there, 3rd place to be exact so you need to have a plan to deal with her. She is featuring in 9 winning lists out of the 29 successful scum lists this season.
Asajj Ventress is rather durable ship with 3 shields and 7 hull and it can also increase its survivability with Elite Upgrade Cards like Push the Limit and Attanni mindlink where the later is more common. Players usually use the Latts Razzi to further enhance her durability by removing stress from opponents(there are no range restrictions to use the Latts Razzi crew). She can also deal out stress herself if you are caught in her mobile arc in range 1-2 which synergizes really well with the Latts Razzi crew. Her dial is fantastic, but can become predictable if she’s equipped with Push the limit or if she needs to clear a stress herself. Here action bar also has the evade action, which also boosts her durability.
Lets take a look at some of the lists where she is featured;
The Paratanni Archetype, which featured the Asajj Ventress, Fenn Rau and Manroo with the Attanni mindlink upgrade but after the FFG nerf on Manaroo, people started experimenting with other ships than Manroo so today when I think of Paratanni archetypes, Manroo is not necessarily in the list but we can expect any other ship that has the elite pilot title with Attanni Mindlink to be included to generate focuses(See table 2).
|Count||Elite Pilot Title||Pilot1||Pilot2||Pilot3|
|3||Attanni||Asajj Ventress||Fenn Rau||Manaroo|
|2||Attanni||Asajj Ventress||Fenn Rau||Palob Godalhu|
|1||Attanni||Asajj Ventress||Fenn Rau||Contracted Scout|
|1||Attanni||Asajj Ventress||Fenn Rau||Jakku Gunrunner|
|1||Attanni||Asajj Ventress||Contracted Scout||Contracted Scout|
|1||Push the Limit||Asajj Ventress||Y-Wing TLT||Y-Wing TLT|
Table 2. Winning lists where Asajj Ventress features
Of those 9 lists 2 had The Rigged Cargo chute which can deal stress, which I cover earlier in the article hence the possibility to double stress an enemy ship.
To get more details on these archetypes lists, you can visit the X-Wing Meta analyzer.
I included The Rigged Cargo Chute in the bombing section, so I’m not going to cover it in any details here.
Now, I find myself in the same spot as before finding it difficult to explain any one strategy for dealing with Asajj Ventress, so I’ll just include some tips below which people might find useful but keep in mind that there are always exceptions to all rules.
- Asajj can only deal stress with her mobile arc
- It can be predictable how Asajj is played
- Look at the dial and green moves
- Near edge board to increase its efficiency to use it’s mobile and front arc (Flanking)
- Players try to lock their mobile ARC in one direction to not have use Asajj action to change it
- If players feel it’s more advantageous to deal a stress than taking an evade or focus action, they will not hesitate to change the mobile arc to ensure they will get one of your ships stressed.
- When she is stressed she has no short moves, unless player decides to keep the stress on her
- In Attanni Mindlink lists, people sometimes keep the stress to be less predictable since the other ships can generate a focus for her.
- I usually don’t pick Asajj as a target priority, since she can be a tank with all her durability
- Remove her friends first to lessen her action economy with Attanni Mindlink lists
- Remove her friends if they are TLT, an advice from Paul Heaver which played that list in Worlds 2016
- Vs. The Paratanni Archetype list with a Jumpmaster, I target prioritize Fenn
- Manaroo can pass target locks to other ships which makes her difficult to deal with if your list uses FCS to up it’s damage potential
- If you choice to go after Manaroo, remember to take focuses instead of Target Locks.
- Vs. The Paratanni Archetype list without Manaroo, I target the pilot3(Table 2) since that ship is usually is the weakest link in the list.
- If Fenn is an option early I might switch Target Priority to him
- The contracted scout is different than Manroo, since it can’t pass the Target Locks acquired to other ships and you gain much by removing it early on
- When Asajj is the only ship left in an Attanni Mindlink setup, she becomes much less of a tank and is much easier to take out.
- If games go to time remember that a half health Asajj is only 20 points
- If the opponent plays recklessly with Asajj, punish them for it – so keep an open mind to sudden change of plan.
- Stay on target, stay on target – even it’s tempting to do something else.
- If the player is luring you to take the shots on Asajj, but you have options to take shoots on his other ships, I would usually resist and fire on them instead
- You might even feel you are losing when you do this, but if your ships take damage but survive and you can get Fenn out – the list looses it’s one main Cannons which works to your advantage
- Don’t use push the limit if you can get away with it, there are mainly two reasons for this
- Asajj might double stress your ship
- Asajj usually has the Latts Razzi Crew and can add an evade to her defence roll if your ship is stressed
- Use asteroids to your advantage since the imperial faction usually can navigate better through them than Asajj can.
They are just not there in the meta, there are a few rebel captive crew here and there and I didn’t see the Mara Jade crew once in the data but both of these unique upgrade cards are limited to the imperial faction and can deal out stress.
Alpha Strikes (Missiles and Torpedoes)
How does one increase its potential damage output in a list? Alpha strikes, Alpha Strikes.
Missiles, Torpedo’s, guidance chip and 4 red dices, let’s remove all range bonuses and make sure we can repeat these steps with Extra Munitions. This formula doesn’t sound too bad does it?
The missiles and torps are very popular in the meta and we can see that only by looking at the top 25 upgrades(Chart 3), where Guidance Chip is the 3rd most popular upgrade, followed by Extra Munitions in the 5th place and Plasma Torpedoes coming in as the 9th most popular upgrade card.
Chart 5. Most popular missiles and torps this season. Note that Extra munition and Scavenger crane work with bombs as well.
Now, I’m again curious to see what lists are popular so let’s dive in it for each faction.
Rebel Missiles and Torps
There was one rebel list that made the top spot with missiles. Norra with Plasma Torpedoes + Dash Rendar, something you don’t see every day. Since I didn’t have much to go on here, I must admit I cheated and took a larger chunk of data just to inspect it. I was expecting to see at least a few Mirandas with Homing Missiles and there were some, but that setup seems to have run it’s course for now in favour of bombs.
There are Rebel archetypes that work well with Missiles and Torpedoes, e.g. Rebel Jank lists with Y-Wings packed with Plasmas or even Nera Dantels with Plasmas to mention something. I know those lists can be good but they seem to be played only by few people.
Scum Missiles and Torps
The missile deal was handed to the Scum & Villainy faction as they are the clear winners when it comes to equipping their ships with the most deadliest weapons in the galaxy.
Of the 29 successful scum lists, 18 had some missiles and torpedoes in them.
Lets break down the lists to archetypes as we have done before to get a clearer picture of what to expect.
|5||Worlds 2017 Winning List (Tel and Dengar)|
|2||Bossk and Dengar|
|1||Bossk and Ketsu|
|1||Fenn and friends(Ndru, KaaTo, Zeuolous)|
|1||Fenn and Dengar and the token generator (Inaldra) – Sick Fang Man|
|1||Fenn(PTL) and Dengar|
|1||Paratanni with a contracted scout|
Let’s try to analyze what’s going on, all these lists have the contracted scout in common which is a great platform for carrying ordinance with the two exception of the Fenn and friends archetype where the ordinance is loaded on Ndru and KaaTo and Bossk and the Ketsu Bossk archetype. What stands out in my mind here, is the jumpmaster platform and we need to know how to deal with it.
It’s very different how you would approach each combat when dealing with these archetypes, joust, arc-dodge, bump, asteroid placements etc. So I’ll just cover the basics when dealing with the Jumpmaster platform, since I would probably need a new article if I were to cover more scenarios.
- The Dial, The Dial – seems pretty basics but you must know it by heart
- White sloops left
- Red sloops right
- Attanni Mindlink, negates this to some extent
- Green lefts
- If you know it the dial well
- you can better range control
- you can better control the battle, since you can anticipate his moves better.
- The jumpmaster want’s to bump you or get those torps off
- Try to let them spread out their fire and ordinance
- Don’t joust, make the opponent work for all his missiles launches
- Select your engagement area, make sure you have asteroids to help you out
- Low pilot skill (Contracted Scouts(PS3), Manroo(PS4))
- Range Control
- Low Pilot skill Jumps need a target lock to get those missiles off
- Next round, be aware of possible bump scenarios
- Find out if the list has Intel Agent and which Jumpmaster has it, I would try to target prioritize that ship
- If Fenn is in the squad, try to have the option to turn your attention to him
- You don’t want him flanking and shooting with 5 red dices to often in a game
- If you are sneaky you might catch your opponent guard down
- If you have Autothrusters, make it difficult for them to maintain ARC
- Range 3 is very good here if you can stack tokens
- Try to have the player spend his missiles in that scenario
- Range Control
- High pilot skill (Dengar and Tel w/Veteran Instincts)
- Range Control and select where you want to engage
- Everything that works in your advantage to stop those white sloops work in your advantage
- More vulnerable to red sloops
- More vulnerable to stress, since Dengar is sometimes with Expertise
- The jumpmaster dial becomes more predictable in this setup
- I’ve found it better to take initiative if I only have equal pilot skills in my squad (PS9), to have more possibilities to block Dengar rather than arc-dodge him but I guess this depends a lot on playstyle we all have
- The reason is I want minimize how often he can take his revenge shoots
- If I don’t have the init bid and have an PS 9 ace, it’s sometimes valuable to try to place him just in the spot which prevents Dengar to take his white sloop
- If I have lower pilot skill and a PS9 or above I pass it, then I can block and move with my ace later.
- Range Control and select where you want to engage
The Jumpmaster platform has very few weaknesses and is strong platform overall but I wrote what I could remember in tips section and of course there more tricks, basics and advanced techniques you can use but I can’t cover them all. The old advice of practice makes perfect applies here, and the more practice you get in with dealing with the Jumpmaster the better you become.
Then we have a few Bossk builds out there in the meta and the biggest weakness in that list is the YT-666 platform which is slow and with a 180 ARC, depends a lot on 3 turns so it can be predictable but if you joust Bossk it will punish you, at least have a plan to get out of arc in the round after. Usually I try to focus Bossk down, even if his dial is bad and he’s leaving the battle for a few rounds to turn around. You don’t want all that firepower to re-enter the battle later on.
The Imperial Missiles and Torpedos
Didn’t you get the orders, all ordinance should be loaded to the Death Star? You will just have to make them lasers work for you. Imperials are not packing. Over and Out.
With one exception, The Inquisitor was in one winning list in France, Lyon fully loaded with Proton Rockets.
The Imperial Meta in the Store Champs
The meta is packed with stress and ordinance and it seems that the traditional aces are not coping well so imperial players have started to look elsewhere for solutions within the faction or even outside it. Whisper and Omega leader seem to be the exceptions since they are still played with some success and even though both ships are vulnerable to bombs they have better durability than most aces, e.g. A cloaked whisper has 4 green dices and is hard to pin down for the opponent and Omega Leaders ability can remove all red dice modifications if he has a Target Lock on his opponent, hence more durability.
One of the solution is that many Imperial players are turning to is the Tie S/F like Quickdraw and Backdraft (See chart 6) and I think one of the factors is the Tie S/F has increased durability in hull and shields vs the traditional imperial aces even though it comes at the cost of less green dices. The Tie S/F can use the Lightweight Framework to up it’s defences in some scenarios and that seems to be a popular choice.
Chart 6. Top 10 appearances of imperials ships in the Store Championship
It doesn’t hurt Quickdraw and Backdraft to have solid pilot abilities, high pilot skills and good upgrade slots available which players can tweak to their liking, e.g. building your list to have an alpha strike or just go with the pure efficiency of the ships and their pilot abilities with the later being more common.
Now lets look at the most successful lists with the Tie/SF (Table 3), but 6 out the 9 imperial lists which have won a Store Championship this season had QuickDraw in it.
|France||Lyon||QuickDraw, Colonel Vessery, The Inquisitor|
|Italy||Citt di Castel||QuickDraw, Colonel Vessery, Pure Sabacc|
|US||Austin||QuickDraw, Colonel Vessery, Pure Sabacc|
|US||North Liberty||QuickDraw, Colonel Vessery, Omega Leader|
|US||Portland||QuickDraw, Backdraft, Omicron Group Pilot|
|US||Carlisle, PA||QuickDraw, Backdraft, Omega Leader|
|US||Kingsport||QuickDraw, Backdraft, Colonel Vessery|
Table 3. Winning Imperial lists for Store Championship (For details on the exact upgrades please look up the tournament on List Juggler)
Vessery seems to be popular partner as it synergizes really well with the Tie/SF as it’s usually equipped with a FCS and Colonel Vessery can take advantage because of his ability. Colonel Vessery is also durable with 3 hull and 3 shields and can be rather tanky with the X/7 title. Some people like to up his offensive capabilities with the X/D title but that usually comes at the cost of durability and list points, but keep in mind sometimes the best defence is offence.
In many archetype lists we have a core of two ships that carry that list so to speak, e.g. in Paratanni we have Fenn Rau and Asajj Ventress . There are two cores which are emerging from the data for the imperials. One is QuickDraw and Vessery and the other is QuickDraw and BackDraft. One might argue that that there’s the 3rd core with QuickDraw and Omega Leader and that might just be the case, but I’m personally do not build my lists around Omega Leader.
There are more builds out there with the Tie/SF and I’ve seen people mixing it up with Whisper, The Inquisitor and Vader so there are other options available and it will be exciting to see if new builds appear when we have more data in List Juggler.
The Tie/SF is doing good for the imperials but we can’t forget the Decimator as it seems to be still valid, based on the results from Worlds and in a few Store Championship tournaments this season. The decimator is a tank in regards of hull and shields so less affected by bombs and alpha strikes and here again we see the trend of what’s very valuable in todays meta and that’s plenty of hull and shields even though the decimator has the agility value of 0. The decimator has other ways to mitigate damage than its agility and usually it’s equipped with engine upgrade to arc dodge and Real Admiral Cherenau which is the most popular pilot has a solid pilot skill of 8, which some people boost to 10 with the veteran instinct elite upgrade card. Upgrades cards can also be used to mitigate damage to get the Decimator out of trouble and the most notable card is the Kylo crew which can lower ships pilot skill to 0 or hand out blinded pilot twice in a game if you can somehow manage to get a crit through their defences. The Imperial player that chooses to field the Decimator often choices one partner and can choice from various aces available to the imperial faction, like Whisper, the Inquisitor, Omega Leader, Vessery, Ryad, Backdraft, Quickdraw or even Vader(which has good synergy with Kylo Crew) but those aces seem to be in the most popular partners. There are exceptions of course how people choose to build their list when playing with the Decimator and a few have found success with not investing to many points in the Decimator to field more ships with it.
As for other builds, we have one tie crack swarm victory and another one with the Upsilon, Whisper and Wampa and there might be more undiscovered builds just waiting for their time in the meta for the imperials.
One thing I picked up from an interview with the current world champion is that he said the kryptonite to his winning list(Dengar/Tel) is a triple defender list and fortunately for him there weren’t that many at Worlds this year. So that list might still be viable in the tournament scene.
Ok, I’m wrapping it up here as I feel this article has become way too long and If you made it this far, I thank you for your attention! Hopefully you have gotten more info on what dangers are lurking out there for the imperials to better prepare for the tournament season ahead of us.