What’s the meta with you?

Harrison is our X Wing X-pert here at Chaos Cards. When he’s not writing up articles for us lot at CCHQ he’s at our tabletop gaming centre running our tournaments. We’ve told him to go home and get a life that isn’t based around tiny plastic spaceships, but he just doesn’t listen.

Welcome back, fellow pilots. This week I’m going to look into what the release of wave 12 and 13 has done to shake up the meta; what builds have already found their way into the better performing lists and which ships have just flat out flopped. Out of a potential 48 ships in the game, we can already see how the player-base is reacting to these ships by tournament results. I’ve used the meta wing website (www.meta-wing.com) and searched through the last few weeks, since the wave was dropped on the 8th, for Regional results; as that’s been the highest level of competitive play that has data for that time frame. While the numbers may be a bit light on the ground, we can already see a trend forming. A trend that seems to be backed up by popular opinion; whether popular opinion is the cause or effect of this trend is anyone’s guess! So let’s have a look at the new ships and their standings out of 48

That’s a pretty definitive result, even with such a small sample size. This data has been taken over 7 tournaments, but the Star-wing was only seen in 4 of them. From that I can assume that the ships were only legal in 4 of the 7 tournaments, which makes the fact that the Star Wing is still second in the list pretty impressive. From these tournaments, we can already see 2 main archetypes coming out for the Star Wing, The first is pairing two of them with Kylo Ren in the TIE Silencer, while the other is having 3 of them paired with a lower pointed Ace; typically Quickdraw, but also Darth Vader. Quickdraw can be loaded out with Veteran Instincts, Fire Control System, Lightweight Frame and the Special Op’s Training Title; while Vader gets Veteran Instincts, Cruise Missiles, Guidance Chips, TIE X1 Title and Advanced Targeting Computer so you add another missile into the list. The Star Wing always is the same, the Nu Squadron Pilot with Harpoon Missiles and Long Range Scanners. It’s 22 points of pure unpleasantness, so expect to see a lot of this hitting the tables in the next 6 months.

As for the Kylo variant, we actually see a bit more variety in what people have equipped them with. The main thing that usually stays the same is that, as you have more points to spend on each ship, you can upgrade to the Rho Squadron Pilots and make use of that tasty EPT. Usually this is filled with deadeye, but we’ve also seen Crack Shot appear on this guy as well. Honourable mention goes out to Travis Foss who played this archetype in the Onix Squadron World Cup in Australia, who reduced back down to Nu Squadron Pilots and ran Long Range Scanners, Harpoon Missiles, XG-1 Assault Configuration Title and a Mangler Cannon on both Star Wings. I love the idea behind that as, if you really want to proc the Harpooned or I’ll Show You The Dark Side Conditions, you have a weapon that will guarantee you the crit.

Speaking of the TIE Silencer, We are seeing a heck of a lot of Kylo Ren with Advanced Sensors, Push the Limit, Autothrusters and First Order Vanguard Title. The Tech slot seems to be the only thing that people are really experimenting with; with us seeing Advanced Optics and Primed Thrusters as the main contestants for that slot. This seems to be all that people are running for the Silencer at the moment and I can really see why. Being able to Boost and Barrel Roll before or after you perform one of a plethora of green manoeuvres makes this ship ridiculously hard to pin down. Add to this Kylos’ Pilot Ability and the amount of health the Silencer has and you’ve got a ship that, even when you can shoot it, a lot of the time you’ll be punished for doing so!

So it looks like the Imperial faction was the clear winner in this release; which a lot of people would say was much needed as they haven’t had a truly brilliant out of the gate ship since Wave 8; yes the TIE SF came out in Wave 9, but it didn’t really take off until Lightweight Frame was released in Wave 10. So while the Imperials may be the big winners of this wave, they aren’t the only ones. The Rebels have found a very solid support and control ship in the Sheathipede-class Shuttle. Out of the 8 appearances that I’ve seen, every single one is Ezra Bridger with R3-A2. This guy is going to be the new Stressbot carrier; affectionately known as the Stressipede. However, unlike Kylo, the rest of the upgrades seem to be in flux. There is obviously a lot of Gunner being thrown into the Ezra builds, but I’m also seeing things like Hera Syndula, Veteran Instincts, or just running cheap and effective with the only other upgrade being a free Trick Shot or A Score to Settle. I think we’re going to see the Ezra build settle down a lot over the next few months, but I must admit I can really see the 19 point cheap Ezra build being a great ting to throw in to any squad. He’s cheap and survivable enough that people will not get a lot out of killing him, but annoying enough that he can’t just be ignored.

Next up we have the two loser of this wave, the Kimogila and the B/SF Bomber. I really expect the Kimogila to see some more time on the table once people start to find out how to better fit it into Scum Squads, but for now we’re seeing them as cheap, high Pilot Skill Harpoon caddies with Reload on the action bar. While we only see 3 of them out of the 4 regionals, two of which are in the same list, they all made the cut. We see the exact same upgrades on all of them; Veteran Instincts, Harpoon Missiles, Guidance Chips and an Unhinged Astromech; and only the named pilots make an appearance. Both of them have a decent ability and, more importantly, the ability to bid up to PS9 and 10!

Finally we have the B/SF-17 Bomber. In none of the Regionals that it appeared in did it make the cut, topping out at 12th in Swiss. The poor showings aside, what we do see is that the only pilot being flown is “Crimson Specialist” and Ordinance Silos are pretty much stapled to this card. Thermal Detonators seem to be the bomb of choice on the B/SF and Trajectory Simulator has truly found a home on this ship, especially when paired with Rebel Captain Nym, which is who we usually see this ship paired with. Deflective Plating is also seeing a lot of play, which doesn’t come as a surprise to me as it’s such a good card when paired with Trajectory Simulator.

So that’s all the data we’ve seen so far; so if you’ve just got some of the new ships for Christmas and were wondering what you should fly, or event practice flying against, I hope this give you some sort of idea. So what are you waiting for? Go put some shiny new ships on the table!

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