There’s been a huge amount of new X-Wing news recently, which has mostly been focused around the announcement of 2nd Edition. I’m going to be talking about that soon, but I wanted to pick up on the final Wave of 1st edition before moving onto that very sizeable topic. (Plus I’m playing catchup on my blogging in general, as the 2nd Edition announcement happened to be timed with a very busy period at work.)
So, our first in-depth look at Wave 14 for X-Wing, and we’re focusing on the Saw’s Renegade’s pack in the Save the Rebellion preview article. Two of the Rebel Alliance’s most iconic ships get some much-needed upgrades and new pilots which should hopefully see the T-65 X-Wing returning to competitive play. (At least until September, although it’s looking like 2nd Edition has been kind to the T-65…)
Normally I’d dive straight into the new pilots, but there’s two upgrades that define this pack and need to be discussed before we go any further. They both have a major impact on the X-Wing, and the first gives the U-Wing a very welcome cost break as well.
Saw’s cell have to make do with scavenged and salvaged equipment, and know how to make the most of the stripped down ships they have access to. The Renegade Refit reflects this, and is a game changer for both the X and U-Wings.
T-65 X-Wing and U-Wing only.
You can equip up to two different Modification upgrades.
The squad point cost of each of your equipped (EPT) upgrades is reduced by 1 (to a minimum of 0).
Before we look any further, the 2 points discount is a big deal. That takes a Rookie Pilot X-Wing down to a very pleasing 19 points, and a Blue Squadron Pathfinder U-Wing to 21 points. That means a 5 X-Wing list is very much a reality, and we’ve not even see the points cost of the PS 1 Cavern Angel Zealot pilot that’s coming in this pack.
In addition to this points break, the Renegade Refit also gives a second Modification slot to the U and X-Wings, and a 1 point discount on any Elite Pilot Talents you equip. Both are very handy, and it means that Integrated Astromech isn’t the only modification the X-Wing has access to any more. The additional modification is a bit less important for the U-Wing, but I’m sure we’re still going to see some interesting builds come out of it.
So, what does this mean? As I’ve said above, 5 X-Wing lists are going to be a very real thing, and with 3 attack dice and effectively 6 health each, they will pack a lot of firepower and take quite a bit to put down. Combined with Flight Assist Astromech (which I think is going to be the go-to option), they can be reasonably nimble as well. Dodging that many arcs isn’t a trivial prospect, and many of the 2 ship lists in the meta will not be thrilled to have to deal with that volume of red dice. Interesting stuff!
I’m hugely pro what this does for both the U-Wing and X-Wing, with just one slight reservation. As it takes up the torpedo slot, it means we’re not going to ever see an X-Wing carrying actual torpedoes ever again. Not that we really ever did, but it’s a shame that such an iconic image as an X-Wing loosing proton torpedoes at its target just doesn’t make sense in game.
The second part of the X-Wing’s new toys, Servomotor S-Foils make the previously quite sluggish X-Wing really quite nimble. It’s another dual card, one of the best used bits of design space the game has added.
T-65 X-Wing only. Dual card.
Side A (Attack):Your action bar gains (barrel roll). If you are not stressed, when you reveal a (left turn 3) or (right turn 3) maneuver, you may treat it as a red (left talon roll 3) or (right talon roll 3) in the same direction.
At the start of the Activation phase, you may flip this card.
Side B (Closed):Reduce your primary attack value by 1. Your action bar gains (boost). Treat your (left bank 2) and (right bank 2) as green.
At the start of the Activation phase, you may flip this card.
First of all, the timing on the flip is great (by marked contrast to the U-Wing’s Pivot Wing title), meaning you’re not having to flag your intentions to your opponent until after dials have been set. The Attack side gives the X-Wing access to a barrel roll and a flexible Talon Roll option, and the Closed side gives you a Boost and extra green moves at the cost of an attack dice.
So, the Closed side isn’t going to see a huge amount of use, particularly in a world where Flight Assist Astromech exists, except for breaking away from engagements. Still, it’s a lot more positional options for the X-Wing, and at 0 points (and with the extra Modification slot from Renegade Refit) pretty much an auto include. The choice of turn around options will be great for all X-Wings, but in particularly the high PS aces as you’ll have a much clearer idea of where everyone will be at the point you reveal your dial. Combine that with a Flight Assist Astromech, and you’ve got some significant positional flexibility from your 3 turns.
This upgrade checks a lot of boxes for the X-Wing, and is effectively a significant improvement to both its dial and action bar. Good stuff.
Saw’s Renegades brings us an assortment of new X-Wing pilots to the game, including a new generic. We also get three new unique pilots, although it’s not actually been 100% officially confirmed that we’ll get Edrio Two Tubes for 1st edition, but the odds seem good…
Cavern Angel Zealot
So while this hasn’t been officially spoilered in the article linked above, the Cavern Angel Zealot got a bit of a preview by being one of the prizes in this season’s Store Championship kit. (Also making it possibly the only time that there’s been an official alt-art for a card before its actual official release!)
The Cavern Angel Zealot is an interesting beast, coming in at PS 1 but having an Elite Pilot Talent Slot. That also means it clocks in at 22 points, meaning you’re unlikely to be running five of these in a list even with the benefit of Renegade Refit! That said, it does fully benefit from Renegade Refit’s EPT discount, so you could theoretically run five Crack Shot Cavern Angel Zealots in a list. I’m not sure it’ll be better than five Rookie Pilots with 1 point astromechs and Integrated Astromech, but seems worth a try.
I think we’re more likely to see the Cavern Angel Zealot a little more kitted out for the most part. 23 points get you a Push the Limit, R2 Astromech X-Wing with both Integrated Astromech and Servomotor S-Foils which seems like it could be really quite effective. I’m sure there’s a bunch of other EPT and Astromech combinations out there as well!
After you perform a boost action, you may receive 1 stress token to receive 1 evade token.
Being able to evade on the X-Wing is nice, but I fear that Leevan may suffer a bit from the stress cost. Even with the improvements to the X-Wing’s dial provided by Servomotor S-Foils, it’s still not the best at shedding stress, and if you’re boosting you’re not taking a focus or target lock so your offense takes a hit as well. It’s a neat idea, but I suspect that Leevan is just going to be overshadowed by other, better X-Wing pilots.
That said, he is going to be the only X-Wing who can really get much use out of Juke, which is an entertaining prospect! (And his Second Edition version makes a great deal more sense…)
After you perform a boost or barrel roll action, you may flip your equipped “Servomotor S-foils” upgrade card.
Capable of pulling off some very fancy manuevers, Kullbee makes the most of the Servomotor S-foils, letting you push the X-Wing to its repositional limits while maintaining maximum firepower. This effectively adds both boost and barrel roll to your upgrade bar and lets you access to those green 2 banks without having to deal with the reduction in red dice from closing your S-foils. That said, his ability is reliant on you boosting or barrel rolling, so expect to see Push the Limit as a common EPT choice alongside an R2 Astromech, or BB-8 popping up in the astromech slot.
With BB-8, you can potentially close your S-foils, reveal a green move and take a free barrel roll action, Push the Limit off that into a focus or target lock, clear your stress by executing your green move (including your 2 banks), boost as your standard action, and then flip your S-foils open…
I think there’s some real potential to Kullbee, although he’s naturally limited in terms of positional play by his middling Pilot Skill of 7. Still, he’s going to be a lot of fun to play, and will certainly keep your opponent on their toes!
While the U-Wing doesn’t look like it’s getting any new generic pilots, keeping the Blue Squadron Pathfinder as its only generic pilot, it does seem to be getting three new named pilots. One hasn’t been revealed as yet (although based on the 2nd edition spoilers is likely to be Magva Yarro), but the two that have been revealed look really quite interesting!
After you perform a focus action, you may remove 1 of your focus tokens to assign it to a friendly ship at Range 1-2.
This is a pretty straightforward support ship ability, letting you spread your actions around to other friendly ships. Given Benthic’s ability, Recon Specialist crew is going to be almost stapled to his pilot card, letting you get some extra action efficiency going on where you need it. That said, Rebels aren’t exactly short of ways of passing around actions and making the most of focus tokens in particular, so Benthic may find himself in an already crowded bit of design space. (Ahsoka, Garvin, Esege Tuketu, any of the Sheathipede pilots thanks to Coordinate, Rey crew…)
But what Benthic does do is offer you a decent support ability on a relatively cheap platform. He’s only 25 points with Renegade Refit and a Recon Specialist and still has a crew slot free, leaving you space for options like Inspiring Recruit, Intelligence Agent, Jan Ors, or other support crew options on a reasonably durable platform with decent attack. I don’t think he’s going to set the meta on fire, but he’s affordable enough to be worth considering.
When a friendly ship at Range 1-2 attacks, if it is stressed or has at least 1 Damage card, it may reroll 1 attack die.
In keeping with his extreme tactics and ability to make the best of a bad situation, Saw gives a little extra offensive bite to all of your ships when the going gets tough. This is effectively Predator for any of your ships when they get stressed or damaged, giving you a nice buff on those turns when you end up K-turning most of your list in a single turn. Given how X-Wings like to joust, I suspect that’ll see plenty of use!
The fact his ability also triggers when a friendly ship has a damage card also helps to keep the pressure on your opponent as you move into the late game – assuming Saw survives that long. The extra attack efficiency is excellent, and I’m actively excited to put Saw on the board in this form. Anything that helps the U-Wing punch a little harder is welcome!
Well, upgrade singular at this point, as we covered two at the start of this post. We’re getting at least one more upgrade in the Saw’s Rengegades box, but we’ve not had a peek at it yet. I’ve also already discussed Saw Gerrera crew and the Targeting Scrambler in my initial look at the Wave 14 announcement.
After defending, you may acquire a target lock on the attacker.
A neat Rebel-only crew option, Magva might be enough to make people think twice about shooting at the ship she’s riding on. Getting a free target lock is a strong ability (as Fire Control System has been consistently demonstrating since Wave 3), and particularly so on anything that’s packing a strong primary attack or ordnance.
However, it is reliant on your opponent chosing to attack the ship you want them to, but that’s useful in and of itself. A ship that isn’t being shot at isn’t taking damage!
I think there’s some real potential here, although I’m going to have to experiment with Magva a bit to get a feel for how she works.
There’s a lot here to love, and it brings both the T-65 X-Wing and the U-Wing firmly back to relevance for all but the very most competitive of X-Wing games. I’m really pleased to see this release, tying into both Rebels and Rogue One as it does. As a last Rebel release for 1st edition, it’s a love letter to what everyone always wanted the X-Wing to be, and neatly wraps up (almost) all of the content that felt outstanding. (Except for poor K-2SO…)
I think it’s going to make a real splash for the second half of the Store Championship season, and hopefully we’ll see some X-Wings placing high at UK Nationals!