It’s been a while, but we’re back with even more analysis. In a bit of a hurry this afternoon, so if you have any questions, it’s probably on the syllabus.

This latest data is based on 15 events from the last 2 months since Imperial Veterans was released. It draws from the wining squads in over 400 matches.

As always, this doesn’t necessarily reflect how many people are playing certain squads, just what’s showing up with checks in the W column. It also reflects what was actually played, not what theoretically will do well.

For squad archetypes, Oicunn/Inq/Wampa is separated from Palp Aces, despite having Palpatine. It is included in the Palp Aces chart later on though.Squads2-3

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PalpAces2-3 TripAces2-3


Now that we’re another week in to the age of Imperial Veterans, we’re beginning to see a lot more variety in squads. The data below is based on 5 tournaments at 4 stores in the NoVa region. There were 86 participants and 132 matches. Two events were excluded from this data due to insufficient turnout.

As always, specific lists can be found on List Juggler by searching for tournaments in Maryland and Virginia. Click on the charts for a larger version. More information about the data can be found in the FAQ.

First up are the Squad Archetypes. Even after just 5 events, we already have 17 different squad archetypes with winning records. Imperial lists are still dominating, with aces clearly taking the lead, but quirky bomber squadrons (with both support shuttles and true bombers) are also making a big impact on the meta. Crackswarms are also getting a lot of play.



Next up, the real main event for the stat nerds, the PS+Bid data. Lots of action in the PS 9 range.



Now we’re going to get into something new. Some of you have been grumbling about the “Ace” designations. We took those complaints, through them right in the ol’ circular file, and came up with our own criticisms. The point of the Aces breakdown was to provide more granular data about Palp Aces and Triple Aces builds, since the Imperial Aces are so diverse and each ones require a little different strategy to handle.

So, we’ve just cut out the middle man, and now there’s going to be two charts, one showing Palp Ace builds and one showing Triple Ace builds. You can put that salt on your margaritas now, we don’t need it any more. The Howards build is the US National Champion list (OGP w/Jammer, Inq, Fel). Unless otherwise specified, the shuttle is an OGP without Sensor Jammer.

These charts show that while Imp Ace builds are more than a third of the meta, there’s still a ton of variety going on.




Moving on, the ol’ Control and Denial Wheel. While squads lacking C&D mechanics are still very popular, the Connor Net (which was absent in the last data set) has made a big impact. Makes sense with all the aces out there, along with its ability to criple x7 Defenders and general utility against almost all squads.


Again, very few squads offering their opponents any sort of forgiveness. And like the surge in Connor Nets, this makes sense given how popular Imperial Aces are. Data in this chart is weighted based on number of times upgrades appeared within a squad (so a squad with 4 Crackshots would count 4 times, not once).NoF2-2v2



Fear -> Anger -> Hate -> Suffering Analysis of the NoVa Meta Vol. 2 No. 1

With the arrival of Imperial Veterans, we are resetting the NoVa meta statistics. That means this first edition of Volume 2 of the FAHS analysis is based on a particularly small sample set. Data comes from 2 tournaments held at 2 stores, with a total of 38 participants and 63 matches. Expect more diversity and less domination by single players in future editions. As always, these charts reflect squads that are winning and not just squad appearances. For details about specific squad builds, see List Juggler.

The proprietary data blend has also been modified to give slightly greater weight to larger events (the real effect being that Curio Cavern tournaments will have a little bit less impact on the numbers).

And now, onto the data, starting with Squad Archetypes. (Click the image for a larger, easier to read version.)



The “Triple Aces” and “Palp Aces” categories has been expanded a bit to include squads with Colonel Vessery (who is not otherwise considered an ace). The “Ace” status for these analyses is based on a combination of pilot skill, arc dodging, agility, and dice modifications. Poe still doesn’t make the cut, but we do see a new ace on the scene in the Countess Ryad build with both Push the Limit and TIE/x7 title.



Moving on, we’ve got the Pilot Skill and Initiative Bid chart. With the arrival of Imperial Veterans, we should be seeing a lot more PS8 ships, as well as PS5 and 6. Note that this chart is only for the highest pilot skill ship in the squad and does not reflect all of its ships.



Next, the Control and Denial wheel got a big shakeup. Expect Tractor Beam to become even more dominant in the coming weeks, now appearing on both Zuckuss and TIE/Ds.



And finally, a brand new chart showing what we’re calling the “No Forgiveness” factor. This category is meant to reflect attacks that are particularly difficult to escape, and 4 guaranteed hit results doesn’t quite cut it. It includes damage that cannot be evaded (like Painbot, Feedback Array, and bombs), ships that can perform multiple attacks (but not including TLT except on a Ghost), and other particularly nasty tricks. (Results are weighted based on number of ships — rather than squads — with that upgrade.)




Curio Cavern Tuesday Night, Aaron vs Clayton

Time for another game from Curio Cavern, the world’s leading weekly X-Wing tournament. In this match we have Aaron’s Corran/Biggs/Ezra list which made the cut to top 16 at the Maryland Regionals against a U-boat list with a twist — Palob, and one of the boats is running Ion Torpedoes.

Aaron’s squad: Corran w/Draw Their Fire, FCS, R2D2, Hull Upgrade; Biggs w/R4-D6 Integrated Astro, Ezra w/Elusiveness, Chewbacca, Autoblaster

Clayton’s squad: Scout w/Deadeye, Ion Torps, Extra Munis, 4-Lom, Overclocked Astro, Guidance Chips; Scout w/Deadeye, Proton Torps, Extra Munis, R4 Aggro, Outlaw Tech; Palob w/Adapt, Illicit Cloak, TLT, Tactician


We’re back with a special edition of F->A->H->S, analyzing just the data from the Games and Stuff regional championship in Glen Burnie, Maryland.

As always, this isn’t an analysis of what you should play. This is a look at what you should plan to deal with — not merely what squads are being played, but the squads that are winning matches. More details can be found on List Juggler.

Despite it seeming like Palp Aces were on every table, there were actually 18 different squad archetypes among the 31 players with 4-2 or better records. And, while Palp Aces are certainly the most popular, there were quite a few varities. The “Palp Aces” category here includes the Howards Special (OGP+Sensor Jammer, Soontir, Inquisitor), Mynock Special (Yorr, Whisper, Omega), and Soontir+Carnor.



And just to give a better idea of how Palp Aces isn’t the only thing you need to worry about, more than 40% of all squads didn’t feature an ace. You certainly need to plan for it, but building just to counter Palp Aces will leave you exposed to a large part of the meta.AcesGS


And now for something quasi-new, we’re trying out a new format for the Pilot Skill chart. This should be a bit more useful for figuring out how many squads are going to be above or below you in the movement/shooting order.PSBidGS


Finally, a slight change to the Control and Denial chart, Biggs is now being included.C&DGS2



Welcome to the next installment of the NoVa meta analysis. This analysis is based on 255 games played at 10 tournaments in 6 stores over the past 4 weeks. Additional information can be found on the FAQ. Click the images below for a larger version. Detailed squad lists can be found by combing List Juggler.

The first chart shows the leading squad archetypes:

Squads061016This represents a significant shift from the previous edition. Before, only 25% of squads were in the “Others” category, while now more than a third are. You need to have a plan for Scouts+Zucks and Palp Aces, but winning tournaments also means beating a number of oddball squads and having a well-rounded build.

AddSquads061016Here you can see that those “Others” comprise 28 different squads. And remember, this isn’t just what’s flying. This is what’s winning.


The dawn of Omega and the Inquisitor has made PS8 the new PS9, which means PS9 is the new PS10, and PS10 is the new Kyle+Jake combo. We’ve also now got the first inclusion of a PS bid that’s very near and dear to me, PS9 at 96 points.

C&D061016Finally, Control and Denial mechanics remain rare, holding steady around 2/3rds of squads. But, rare as they are, it still means you’ll be facing them in 1 out of 3 games, so be prepared to see 1 in a 3-round regular event, and 2 in 6 rounds at a premier event. It’s no surprise that Tractor Beam is the most popular thing on this list, with Zuckuss and 2 Scouts dominating the meta.




Curio Cavern Tuesday Night, Quinn vs. Dan

We’re back with another game from Curio Cavern’s weekly Tuesday night tournament, with Quinn and Dan squaring off in the final round. In this match we get to see Imperial Aces take on Imperial Bombers.

Quinn’s list:
Darth Vader w/x1 Title, Advanced Targeting Computer, Juke, Engine Upgrade
Turr w/Veteran Instincts, Autothrusters, Stealth Device, Royal Guard Title
Valen Rudor w/V1 Title, Push the Limit, Autothrusters, Proton Rockets

Dan’s List
Major Rhymer w/Deadeye, Proton Torps, Advanced Homing Missiles, Extra Minus, Guidance Chips
Captain Jonus w/Deadeye, Proton Torps, Extra Munis, Guidance Chips
Inquisitor w/V1, Push the Limit, Autothrusters, Proton Rockets

Exhibition Match: TIE Salad vs. Han/Jake

Howdy holonet,

This is a new format of video we’re trying out, where we play exhibition matches rather than commenting on recorded games from tournaments. The idea here is to let you hear from the players in real time to get an idea of what we’re thinking, while in tournaments the players aren’t quite so generous to their opponents. We’re generally going to stick to top squads, but occasionally will throw some fun stuff into the mix. For this edition, we’ve got TIE Salad (Ben’s Roanoke Regional list) and Han/Jake (Derek’s Critical Hit Games Store Championship list):

TIE Salad:
Omicron Group Shuttle w/Palpatine
Alpha Interceptor w/Autos
Scourge w/Crackshot
Howlrunner w/Crackshot

Han w/Lone Wolf, Luke, C3PO, Engine Upgrade, Falcon Title
Jake w/Push the Limit, Veteran Instincts, Autothrusters, Proton Rockets, and Test Pilot

We played the match twice, switching squads between games.

(This second video may still be processing; we’ve got games to get to this morning…)

Fear -> Anger -> Hate -> Suffering: Analysis of the Nova Meta Vol. 1 No. 2


We’re back with the second installment of the NoVa Meta Analysis.  This isn’t what people are flying, but what people are winning with, and what you should be ready to deal with to win in the greater DC area.

The analysis is based on 109 games played at 5 tournaments in 4 stores. If you’d like more info, check out the FAQ; if you want to see a larger version, click the images.

The first two charts are the leading squads. One caveat though, 5 tournaments isn’t that much data. Expect it to get a bit more normalized over the next few weeks. And no, no triple u-boats making the cut. You should still have a plan for them, but they haven’t been dominating the local meta lately.

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Why no Poe in the aces list? Check the FAQ, or just see the Pilot Skill chart and look for how many PS10 enemies you need to be prepared for.

Now for this week’s new chart, the Control & Denial mechanics. Not making an appearance among the winning squads were the Conner Net, Tactician, Stresshog, Ion Bomb, Ion Cannon, Ion Projectors, and Thermal Detonators.


Curio Cavern Tuesday Night X-Wing, Ben vs. Josh

Welcome to the first ever video from Curio Cavern’s weekly Tuesday night tournament. In this match we have Ben flying his famous TIE Salad squad against Josh’s Nera/Ezra/Poe squad (details after the video).

And we’d like to announce the start of our Patreon campaign. If you watch the video, you’ll see exactly why we need to raise a couple funds. Click here to provide your support and keep the Resistance resisting or First Order …firsting? (You can also support this site through our Amazon Affiliate link.)

Ben is flying “TIE Salad” — Palp Shuttle, Alpha Interceptor w/Autothrusters, Wampa, Scourge w/Crackshot, Howlrunner w/Crackshot

Josh is flying Nera w/Proton Torps, Extra Munis, Deadeye, Fire Control System and Guidance Chips, Ezra w/Push the Limit, Autoblaster Turret, and Kanan, and Poe w/PtL, R2, and Autothrusters