77-Plus Voting - Finale
The Final Piece for the Coruscant Invitational
Last time, we narrowed down our finalists for the community built mini-squads for the 77-Plus format and had them undergo one final round of voting. Today, we get to see our finalized draft pool of mini-squads—three created by and voted on by the X-Wing™ community, a handful of mini-squads from FFG staff members, and several constructed by some pretty high-profile names in competitive X-Wing.
After a very close race and a week of voting, we have determined the three mini-squads which will appear at the Coruscant Invitational. Congratulations to Eric, Matt, and Thomas for your winning #XWingVote2017 mini-squads! Their creations have earned them one of the very limited Coruscant playmats that will be given to the participants of the Coruscant Invitational.
Matt's TIE Advanced
Covenant of Champions
With bated breath, we finally get to see the remaining mini-squads for the 77-Plus format. These following twelve mini-squads were built with the same rules as everyone else: 23 to 28 points, no unique upgrades or pilots, and each of these four people were assigned three ships to feature in their mini-squads.
The first of our featured squad builders is Zach Bunn of Team Covenant. As an avid gamer and X-Wing fan, Zach was excited to help fill out the draft pool for the Coruscant Invitational, as well as provide some of his insight and expertise as to why he built these mini-squads.
Rebel Z-95 Headhunter Mini-Squad
The Z-95 Headhunter is all about efficiency. As one of the lowest cost ships in the game, a pair of Headhunters effectively rounds out any Rebel squadron. I’ve upgraded one of the Headhunters with a surprising threat, the Ion Pulse Missile! This missile forces low agility enemy ships into vulnerable positions with its devastating ion technology. In addition, this pair of ships easily harasses the enemy flank and closes down lanes of attack. Draft them to add cheap guns and a shocking touch of control to your squad!
TIE Interceptor Mini-Squad
The TIE Interceptor is all about evading enemy attacks through agility and arc-dodging. I’ve upgraded a Royal Guard Pilot with Push the Limit and Autothrusters, creating a ship that is difficult to pin down and hard to hit. This ship functions as a fantastic blocker against enemy Aces and effectively becomes an Ace against lower Pilot Skill ships. Draft this TIE Interceptor if you’re looking for a frustrating target capable of thwarting any plans initiated by the enemy.
The G-1A offers unique options for any squad, as it carefully blends the crew, system, and illicit upgrade slots. I’ve upgraded a Ruthless Freelancer with the capability to threaten enemy ships that get close to this ship. At range one, it threatens direct damage from Feedback Array. At range two, it threatens additional stress with Tactician. Draft this G-1A if you’re looking for a ship that will threaten your opponent from all angles and distract them from higher value targets!
Our next featured squad builder should need no introduction for competitive X-Wing players! We asked three-time X-Wing World Champion Paul Heaver to create a few 77-Plus mini-squads and he was more than willing to contribute to the format’s unique nature.
T-70 X-Wing Mini-Squad
It's surprisingly difficult to build an X-Wing without a unique card, due to their reliance on astromechs, most of which are unique. I decided to use the Targeting Astromech. Combined with the Pattern Analyzer, this T-70 can perform one of the red maneuvers it has, and still get a target lock and focus to fire. Then it takes a turn off clearing stress before it does it again. This ship isn't complex; face it at the enemy and joust!
TIE Striker Mini-Squad
This PS4 pilot is tough to pin down! With Adaptive Ailerons and no need to take the Focus action, you can concentrate on lining up your shots from unexpected directions with your barrel roll. Taking evades to strengthen your defense, already boosted by the Lightweight Frame, is also an option. You'll take this ship if your list already has aces moving all around the battlefield, and you don't want to give your opponent something they can concentrate fire upon.
M3-A Interceptor Mini-Squad
Thanks to the buff to the "Heavy Scyk" title, the Scyk can turn into a very annoying control ship. With the Ion Cannon, backed by a Crack Shot, you can snipe at key portions of opposing lists and set them up for your 77 points to finish them off. With 5 total health backed behind 3 agility, it'll be difficult to remove this ship from the board without devoting significant effort to it.
How could we do a special event where experts build mini-squads without asking our current World Champion, Nand Torfs, for his input? Nand was enthusiastic about putting his mark on the event and created some wonderfully interesting mini-squads that our competitors will have to use.
Nand only had the following to say about this unique A-Wing build: If you choose this A-Wing, consider yourself an Opportunist! May the dice be ever in your favor.
With only 28 points to spend on the TIE/SF, Nand opted for a pilot skill boost, a Fire Control System upgrade, and the Special Ops Training title. This ship will be capable of getting into the mess of things without having to worry too much about repositioning for another shot.
Kihraxz Fighter Mini-Squad
Brave, brave competitor - Kihraxz Fighters tend to explode quickly. It is, thus, key to create an advantage out of it. Maybe you like my idea and I can pursuade you to pick my suicide Kihraxz Fighter. Have no fear, trust in the Force, and fly forward into your enemy's squad. Turn on the switch and go out with bang! Be brave.
Last, but not least, we have Piotr Kuc! Last year, he emerged as the champion of the Endor Open, and then faced off against seven other Open champions to be crowned the first ever Coruscant Invitational Champion. Obviously, we wanted to give him an opportunity to have a major impact on the format of the event.
Rebel Y-Wing Mini-Squad
The Y-wing starfighter was originally designed to fight its way to its objective, deliver its payload, and fight its way out again. Its lack of speed and agility is compensated with durability. That is why I’ve decided to equip it with Proton Torpedoes, Extra Munitions, and Guidance Chips. Additionally, an Autoblaster Turret and a Targeting Astromech will give teeth to this outdated construction and help it become a little less predictable. Keep it in the second line and it will repay you handsomely.
TIE Adv. Prototype Mini-Squad
A combination of Push the Limit and Autothrusters, together with the TIE/v1 title should result in high survivability for this Baron of the Empire. Great maneuverability and action economy makes this ship a fine blocker. Finally, proton rockets should be a nightmare for all low PS enemy pilots that will end in its firing arc at Range 1. Excellent for close range combat.
“The Dial makes the ship." In that case, the Quadjumper is one of the least predictable ships. If we add the Pattern Analyzer and the Spacetug Tractor Array, we further increase its ability to upset enemy pilots. Thanks to the Intelligence Agent, you will be able to adjust your movement to your opponent’s plan. The Connor Net will allow you to leave him a mean surprise. Great blocker and a real pain in the neck.
After weeks of voting and previews, we have finally locked in the draft pool for the 77-Plus format and will be excited to see it in play at the Coruscant Invitational. For those of you who would like to see all of the options available to the participants, take a look at the table below.
Now that we have seen the entire pool of mini-squads, it’s easy to note that each faction is well represented in their defining strengths. The Rebel mini-squads lend themselves to being rugged and durable generalists, while the forces of the Empire, unsurprisingly, have many ships that want to take advantage of their high agility values and mobility. Both of those factions have a few mini-squads that provide powerful utility effects for their faction. Lastly, the Scum have a ton of ships with tricks up their sleeves and are going to have to leverage those tools in order to ensure their victory.
Our participants will have to think heavily on how they want to build their 77-point squad to include one of these ships. 77 points is already a very unique change from standard tournament play and adding a relatively unknown element from the draft pool will really test each player’s flexibility and mastery over every aspect of the game.
For the past months, each System Open tournament has produced a battle-hardened champion. In one week, our eight ace pilots will meet each other in Orlando, Florida at the 2017 Star Wars™ Celebration. They will face off in a once-in-a-lifetime competition to prove which among them is the greatest X-Wing player and deserves the title of Coruscant Invitational Champion.
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