Recently I had an opportunity to have a game of X-Wing with my eldest son. I hadn't played in ages so it was a good opportunity to not only roll some dice, but get some father and son bonding time.
Reviewing this year's X-Wing Worlds squads is a fascinating way to see how the 'meta' is changing, but also to watch players grow. With the 2017 Worlds dusted and a new champion announced, it will be interesting to see if Wave XI will shake up the meta once again. Let's break down Justin Phua's squad - the one he used to fight his way to the top in incredibly well played games.
With the 2016 World Championships for X-wing in the books, it's a great time to catch a glimpse at all of the great squads which saw some action. There is a lot to glean from the current meta, especially what influences squad purchases, but also what will stay strong until wave 10 releases. Today, though, we take an in-depth look at the squad that reigned supreme: Dengaroo.
Nand Torfs - 2016 X-Wing World Champion
The 'Dengaroo' squad has gained massive popularity over the last 6 months, and it is easy to see why. With two powerful large-based ships at your disposal, powerful dice mechanics, and fantastic actions on tap, it was predestined to place highly at this year's Worlds.
I remember first reading about this squad on the FFG forums. The person who created the list took it to a series of store tournaments, and actually retired it, citing it took little brain power to use and therefore made the game too easy. Very interesting comments, but I sure admire the guy for seeking a challenge.
What a monster of a ship to deal with, though. Firstly, Dengar's pilot ability is pretty incredible. Ensure he's pointing in the direction of the bad guys and, chances are, you'll be attacking twice per round. It could be argued that this gives the squad a third ship's worth of firepower.
Lone wolf ensures that you'll be re-rolling a red/green blank, provided Manaroo is not near him and, if flown correctly, he certainly will not be. All Dengar is searching for is hit/evade/focus results, which are very easy to depend on seeing as Manaroo will be assigning his focus tokens to Dengar. Of course, when he spends this token for attacking or defending, the Overclocked R4 unit can then kick in to gain another focus token at the expense of a stress token.
Combine that with Zuckuss, who forces opponents to re-roll evade results, and you have incredibly reliable damage output. Counter-Measures allows Dengar to fly right up in the thick of battle right away, shrugging off the majority of the damage whilst getting to work. Glitterstim is always of straightforward value.
If you're looking for an incredible wingman or woman in this instance, then Manaroo is a sure-fire bet. Notwithstanding it is a husband-and-wife package deal, so Dengaroo seems to be the most appropriately-themed X-Wing squad.
Push the Limit is always going to be a fantastic choice for the Jumpmaster 5000. It has a fairly flexible variety of green manoeuvres on its dial, and with an Engine Upgrade combined with a barrel roll, the large ship's movement capability is dramatically increased. Of course with Gonk on board in the early turns, Manaroo can stack up shield tokens, preparing for the storm. The main reason for Push the Limit is that her pilot ability increases Dengar's survivability. Stacking on a focus and target lock each turn, and then transferring them to Dengar at the start of the combat phase, ensures Dengar will be hitting with the greatest chances of destruction ever - but it keeps getting better.
With Seismic Torpedo equipped, Manaroo will be staying out of range 1-2 of Dengar to ensure Lone Wolf stays active. This is somewhat of a deterrent if an enemy is going to try and swarm Manaroo. At least they'll be possibly taking splash damage on the way in. With her highly manoeuvrable Jumpmaster, there aren't many places where you can't set up a good shot against obstacles with enemy ships on the other side.
Feedback array is the unsung hero of the Dengaroo list. If an arc dodging ace zeroes in for Manaroo, this card guarantees they'll pay for it. But don't forget the astromech, R5-P8. When said enemy ace opens fire, once again there is a chance they'll be paying for it. After taking damage, chances are Manaroo can use Gonk next turn to regain a shield token. Not bad at all.
It's easy to see why Dengaroo dominates the metas, particularly at an event like Worlds. With superior movement and no immediate options for the opponent the capitalise on, it can really stack up the odds in its own favor.
How would you face off against this list, and what do you see as its greatest strengths and weaknesses?
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Sticking with a two ship build once again I'm up against Dan running an Empire 'aces' list.
Dengar - Push The Limit, K4 Security Droid, Unhinged Astromech, Glitterstim, Punishing One
Bossk - Veteran Instincts, Mangler Cannon, Zuckuss, 4-LOM, K4 Security Droid, Inertial Dampeners
Inquisitor - Push the Limit, Autothrusters, TIE/v1
Carnor Jax - Push the Limit, Autothrusters
Omega Leader - Juke, Comm Relay
Thanks for watching.
Hardcore war gamer at heart and a huge fan of tabletop games. I use any excuse to get my family involved. Join me as I play and review games while trying not to epically fail.