Sunday 27 July 2014

X-Wing: The Performance of Phantoms

So things are really rolling along in the land of X-Wing!

Wave 4 is fresh off the shelves and one thing has caught everyone's attention - the TIE Phantom. Having played a game against a pesky little pilot named "Echo" I can confidently say that flying against one is a very, very frustrating experience. With over 90 possible landing locations, Echo is insanely difficult to pin down and take out.

So how is the community reacting?

With such an intimidating ability, X-Wing players have really seemed to jump at tailoring their lists to be able to deal with Phantoms. Pilots such as Wedge, ships such as the YT-1300 and the upcoming YT-2400 and Imperial Decimator (or any turret ship for that matter) are all hard counters to Phantoms. High Pilot Skill Lists are also great at shooting first before Phantoms get to recloak. I personally have been trying out a mix of stress and ion handout lists which seem to be doing the trick, but it's not as auto-slam as some other lists out there.

Unless you're up against a very inexperienced player, I think that not being able to deal with Phantoms efficiently and early on leads to a very, very uphill game for you. Due to the Phantom basically being a very fragile ship with a high evade to hit ratio, one mistake while using a Phantom however can put you in a very awkward position. Taking away a Phantoms ability to cloak with stress tokens can put you in a very strong position early on in the game, too, as they're a very expensive boat to fly.

We recently ran our first X-Wing Tournament which proved to be quite the success, with 16 budding pilots showing up including the Sydney Regional Winner for 2014. Unsurprisingly, Phantoms were quite popular in Imperial Lists, with preference actually leaning toward Whisper (for higher Pilot Skill) rather than Echo. Surprisingly, Phantoms didn't seem to perform as well as we thought they would, with our top 3 places going to Rebel Players (congrats on those wins, guys)! Whether this was due to luck or list tailoring, we don't know for sure. It will however be interesting to see what kind of Imperial Squadrons we see at the Australian Nationals Tournament later in August.

I am currently of the opinion that Phantoms will be a phase - players got terrified of what they could do, and prepared themselves so well against the threat that running a Phantom really isn't as effective at the moment. The lists that are extremely tailored against TIE Phantoms often don't perform well against more traditional XXBB lists or TIE Swarm, so it's quite an interesting mid-meta in X-Wing at the moment. I think we will see a return of the TIE Swarm in the near future as this shake up settles down.

It will still be great to see what lists perform well at Nationals down in Canberra - most of the 40k Warzone team will be down there so we will hopefully bring you some interesting battle reports!

What's the situation for you guys? Are Phantom lists and Anti-Phantom lists currently dominating your local gaming communities? We'd love to hear what you guys are facing!

Alles gute,

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