In X-Wing you have many different ships and pilots to choose from, each with unique abilities. Some of these pilots and ships are overlooked by the tournament goers and the Meta at large, getting little to no representation at the tournament level. I call these overlooked Pilots the “Forgotten Aces.”
This weeks Forgotten Ace is a pilot and ship I have a personal love for from the original trilogy, Major Rhymer.
Ace pilot of the Empire’s heavy hitters, he personally bombed the asteroid field in search of Han Solo and even survived the Death Star II exploding. Major Rhymer is an impressive and lucky pilot.
So why is Rhymer almost never seen on a Tournament table?
Well, Rhymer clocks in at a pretty high price. He costs the equivalent of Carnor Jax for 1 less attack, 1 less defense, and 1 less pilot skill. He does come equipped with 3 more hull, but when you get down to it, you are paying a pretty high price for his pilot ability. His pilot ability is an interesting one though, as it allows you to fire off a secondary attack at an increased weapon range. When he first came out in the game, this ability was instantly paired with the “Advanced Proton Torpedo.”
It made sense, 5 attack dice at range 2? Not bad at all! It does cost a whopping 6 points for only 1 attack. However, for it to be effective, it needs to be target locked and focused. This usually means paying another 3 points for “Push the Limit”
Looking at this, you are paying a total of 35 points for an one time shot of 5 attack dice at range 2.
It was justly labelled by the X-Wing community at large as too expensive back when it was released in Wave 3. Now in Wave 4, the Tie Phantom “Whisper” shoots 5 attack dice at range one at pilot skill 7 consistently for only 32 points, giving an even more concrete example of Rhymer’s short comings and pushing him farther into Meta obscurity.
However, all is not lost for Rhymer. Thanks to Wave 5, there is a new hope.
For the cost of only 3 points, you can preform a 4 dice attack at range 2 and keep your focus to modify the results! This is a point less than any other missile released before it with that type of power, and the only one that doesn’t require a target lock to shoot. But why stop at 4 attack dice? I recently went the full nine yards and put this on the table against an opponent:
Coming in at the cost of 38 points, this Major Rhymer build has a defensive 3 agility, the ability to Focus and Target Lock, and can fire 2 attacks of 5 dice (4 if he is hit a loses his Stealth Device).
I flew this against a rebel stress build, and was able to vaporize ‘Hobbie’ on the first attack with a Proton Rocket, range 2, by Target locking and focusing a clean 2 crits, 3 hits. He got 1 natural evade against it, but a direct hit took him off the board. Rhymer was able to K-turn the next turn thanks to a Wingman, and shot off a clean 4 hits at the enemy’s Y-wing (Having lost his stealth device).
After cleaning up the rest of his squad and not even losing Rhymer by the end of the game, I can happily say he was well worth his point cost.
You could skip the “Push the Limit” on this build in favour of putting Jonus next to him, giving Rhymer two free re-rolls. I personally only ever had to re-roll 1 or 2 dice so don’t think it’s worth it.
Push the Limit is my personal favourite however, and with “Wingman” as a 2 point addition to any Black Squadron, you can make Rhymer have 2 actions every turn and shrug off the stress instantly.
With Wave 5 and the release of Proton Rockets, Major Rhymer finally has the chance to be the Bad Ass Ace pilot he was meant to be. I am going to continue to hone my skills with him, test lists against the best opponents I can find and see if I can get him high up on the Tournament ladder. I’d like to show everyone that he is not an Ace to forget about!