I’ve been playing X-Wing competitively for around 10 months and have really come a long way since the beginning. Based on the timing of when I entered the game the Hairy Tarantula store championship was actually my very first store champ event. I’ve heard several players in PTL talk about how great the store champ season is and was eagerly waiting to try one out.
Like a lot of PTL players I tend to play a little bit of everything and don’t really lean towards one faction over the other. The league is focused on trying something new and adding your own spin and store champs seems like a fantastic time to do just that! The general consensus at the moment is that the Empire is the weak faction of the game, but I really think that is because with how hectic the competitive season has been for the last year no one has really had time to sit down and brainstorm after the last major FAQ and the nerfs did directly impact their meta-lists the hardest. So I sat down with the idea of flying empire and feel like I have the base of something quite good.
So with that knowledge in mind I came up with my list:
99 Pts – Kylo’s Killers
Whisper – Veteran Instinct, Fire Control System, Agent Kallus, Advanced Cloaking Device
Kylo Ren – A Score to Settle, Collision Detector, Emperor Palpatine, Kylo Ren’s Shuttle
My thought process behind the list is “fly what you like to fly the most.” Phantoms are hands down my favourite ship in the game so Whisper was going in the list. In the current meta there aren’t a huge number of PS 9+ pilots you’re likely to run into and, her point total (41) makes her a fantastic closer.
When the Upsilon first came out I played around with flying 2 in a list to some success, but didn’t have enough time to really dedicate to the ship with Regionals being in full swing. Bulk rarely hurts a list and unlike the Lamda, the Upsilon’s dial is much better with more punching power as well. I chose Kylo because of the solid ability.
If the shuttle is getting shot then I can easily proc the ability with the mechanics in the list and if it isn’t then my palp carrier is safe and they are likely shooting a ship worth very little or Whisper, which is extremely hard to put damage on. The title is great way to push stress through and is just an added annoyance for your opponent. Palp in this list is used offensively most of the time (crits for ability/damage or Wampa ability) with a defensive use really used only for a situation to get a ship out of a bad spot.
Wampa is just annoying. His ability is absolutely amazing against low hull regen ships and squishy hard to hit aces. The points were there and this list has a dependable way to proc it with palp. At the very worst he takes an absurd amount of agro for a 14 pt ship.
Obstacles I took an assortment of big/medium rocks.
Prior to the tournament I had never flown the list, but had used the individual pieces. It is more of a swiss army knife type of list that is built to give you an okay match against everything.
Dash – LW/HLC/Rey/Title
Miranda – TLT/Sabine/AS/Thermal/Cluster/EM
Setup: My opponent also chose big rocks and they were generally lumped towards the center. I setup in the lower right corner with Kylo and Wampa while Whisper was more towards the center. My opponent setup with Miranda and Dash towards his right side corner.
Synopsis: The day starts off against a classic tough list. The initial portion of the game saw a fairly slow roll by both myself and my opponent with Whisper moving towards the center of the map. The shuttle and Wampa moved up my right side of the board and began turning in once I found a lane. Initial combat saw Dash losing a shield and Wampa taking a couple points of damage. In the following rounds of combat Wampa blew up. Between Kylo and Wampa, they reduced Dash to half health.
The mid game saw Kylo go down to the combined efforts of both Miranda and Dash, which had me a bit worried. A positive to this is Miranda used all of her Thermals to get Kylo off the table and at this point Whisper had stripped around 3 shields off of Miranda. Also, from a positioning standpoint Miranda was at 1 end of the table and Dash was at the other, so whichever one I picked I’d have at least a couple rounds of 1v1. I’m fairly certain that my opponent thought I was going to run hard at Dash, but I knew from a points standpoint that Dash already earned me points at half health. I needed to drop Miranda. The closing rounds of the game saw Whisper just heaping damage on Miranda and her not really being able to get away quickly enough based on obstacles and positioning. Overall this was a great match and I think my toughest of the day.
Setup: The general setup of the match was a wide spread of obstacles, which suited me well since the last thing I needed was the Y-Wings using obstacles to screen. I setup in a wide formation at the bottom center of my board edge with the shuttle on the right, Wampa to the left of the shuttle and Whisper on the far left. The Y-Wings were setup in a wid’ish (1 base or so between) box formation dead center.
Synopsis: My opponent has been flying Thuglife for quite some time. I was not looking forward to this matchup at all with zero of my ships having autothrusters, but I knew that I had the firepower to kill them quickly if I could get a favourable engagement. Regardless of the outcome I knew the match was going to be decided quickly. The Y-Wings rumbled straight at my ships and I had Kylo and Wampa move forward with Whisper hanging back a bit. Initial round of combat saw the Kylo and Wampa lay into a single Y-Wing and bring it down to 4 hull. In return I lost 2 shields off the shuttle. The next round of combat saw Kylo lose the remaining shields and some hull while I popped a Y-Wing off the board. At this point the shuttle was nicely gummed up and not really moving, but getting at least 1 arc to lay in big damage. Whisper had come in and finished off the Y-Wing that initially had damage into it (was bumped against the shuttle) and the Y-Wings popped Kylo. The subsequent rounds saw Wampa finally go down, but the end game ended up being Whipser vs. a Y-Wing. The Y went down in the next couple of rounds and Whisper lost a shield.
RAC – Adaptability, Kylo, Palps, Engine
Whisper – VI, FCS, ACD
Setup: Since I had the bid I took initiative. When I saw this across the board I was extremely happy. I am currently playing around with this very list so knew how it flew rather well and liked my chances. My opponent brought Big Rocks and we had a pretty even spread of obstacles throughout the board. I wanted to make sure there wasn’t a big clump in the center for RAC to run circles around.
I setup very similar to game 1 with Kylo and Wampa on the far right hand side and Whisper towards the center. My opponent had his Whisper and RAC on his right side of the board. The initial rounds my opponent castled and I slow rolled the shuttle and Wampa up my side of the board with Whisper slowly moving up the middle.
Eventually he broke his position with his RAC going along his side of the board and Whisper going along the other side. From a positioning standpoint I kept the shuttle moving nice and slow and setup a killbox on his Whisper while giving the shuttle some space to potentially engage/bump RAC. Wampa did Wampa things to Whisper and threw on a facedown damage while my Whisper did little but acquire the TL for the next engagement. My opponent’s Whisper laid on two damage to my Whisper.
The next round saw the shuttle slow roll into range of where my opponent’s Whisper was going to be, while Wampa and my Whisper K-turned. The following turn saw my Whisper kill his Whisper, pull a blinded, and get it off the board with all 3 of my ships remaining. RAC shot Wampa going for the kill and Wampa evaded. At this point it was a combined effort of my ships just laying damage into RAC, the shuttle stressing, and him eventually popping.
Dash – VI, HLC, Title, Rey, Engine
Poe (Ps 9) – PTL, Title, R2-D2, Thrusters
Setup: I had initiative. Rocks were again fairly well spaced in this matchup. I had Kylo and Wampa on the right with Whisper towards the middle. The opening engagement saw Whisper move forward slowly. Poe went 1 straight to victory, Wampa and Kylo moved up the board and towards the action, whileDash moved to the center of the table. The initial shots between Poe and Whisper did nothing.
The subsequent turn I misjudged where a 1 forward from Poe would land and put whisper slightly out of arc of Poe and Dash, so just took an evade and hoped dice and palps would see me through it. I was able to survive the combined fire of Dash and Poe, losing a couple of shields. At this point Wampa was able to engage along with Whisper and the shuttle moved slowly to keep everything in arc.
The following turns saw Poe take some damage with 1 straight to the hull. Whisper fell to 1 hull, but hung in there. Eventually I was able to burn down Poe with all my ships up. Time was called and based on points I knew that I had the match won on points. Dash did manage to pop whisper the last round of firing.
I was pleasantly surprised with how the list held up, especially with it being the first time I’ve flown it. It performed about how I expected it to by being good enough at just about everything. The field was very wide open at the tournament with a smattering of everything. Overall I flew against some very common meta lists and against some very good opponents. I came out of this tournament feeling good about the prospects of the list and how it performs.