What’s your list’s theme song? Well pump up the volume and I’ll tell you!
Yes, it’s about that time that I stretch the limits of what TFT will tolerate again. I was previously planning on doing some science with Empire Canon Accuracy but with Shadow Collective and Battle Forces on the horizon I figure that it’s best to hold off to give the devs one final chance to make the E-web something more than a way to get yourself to 15 activations.
My local haunt in Seattle is a lovely store-cafe-combo called Meeples Games and the place itself has its own little orbit of culture. Aside from the local brews, delicious flatbreads, and even a “store cat” that patrols the premises, it’s also known for its lovely and eclectic music selection. While the regulars are having imaginary Star Wars fights, a Prince song will morph into Mariachi and not a single regular will bat an eye. Recently one of our veteran players insisted to a younger blood that all lists must have a song, so instead of science today we’re going to do a bit of “Music Theory.” It’s a good thing I went to Oberlin, where making others mad about your musical opinions was the closest thing there was to a Division 1 sport (aside from Ultimate Frisbee of course).
If you can believe it, this albino squirrel mascot was a recent upgrade the college made to make us more intimidating. Pretty sure it worked perfectly.
Let’s not delay any further. I’ve picked a few lists from each faction and I’ll be choosing the song that represents each one the best!
Compel Dewbacks: “The Trooper” – Iron Maiden
This is where I was going to make a crack about this being my favorite song about the Charge of the Light Brigade but to my shock Sabaton hasn’t done one so I’m pretty sure this is actually the only song about the Charge of the Light Brigade. At the end of the day the list and the song are both grand in their purity of aggression, and involves cavalry hurting themselves (New Ways) and ignoring their own very appropriate fear (Compel) to dive face-first into danger. Were this a longer article I’d be forced to compare the utter failure of the real charge at Balaclava with the relatively poor large-tournament performance of dewbacks despite being present in 40% of all Empire lists but luckily I can move on and save myself the hate-mail!
Any Dooku List: “Symphony No. 9 in E-Minor” – Antonín Dvořák
This is really all about the opening of the symphony, which strikes a balance between intimidation, majesty, strength, and a certain air of superiority. This is the theme music of a dude who makes you want to give up before the fight even starts, you know you’ve been bested already. Well, that’s Dooku. Bonus points to those of you who first think about that epic fight on the moon in Asura’s Wrath when you hear this.
Rebel Hero Hammer: “Triumph” – Wu Tang Clan
Wu Tang is more than “just a group.” It’s a true collection of individuals, NINE OF THEM (originally), which basically makes them something closer to a “coalition” than a band…an…Alliance?! Rebel hero hammer has many flavors and while we sadly can’t play them all at once the way Wu does here please indulge me as I draw 1:1 comparisons, in order of their appearance in the video.
- Ol’ Dirty Bastard is Commander Luke: Early career was notable but basically was never seen again by the end of the second album. Whether it’s Luke’s case where the Operative version is already on the field thus blocking the older version via rulebook unique rules, or Dirt McGirt’s where he was literally just in jail too often to predictably record with the group (and then of course, was dead from overdose sadly), they don’t exactly show up in the hit tracks very much.
- Inspectah Deck is Cassian: Known for starting things off with a bang, but his solo career ended up being a bit…cumbersome.
- Method Man is Operative Luke: Strong presence, popular, and when you think about it is the only one that’s found consistent mainstream success when he was the only named piece in a list.
- Cappadonna is R2-D2: Lyrical flow is pretty much equivalent to 3 surging white dice at range 1, also no one really likes either of them.
- U-God is Leia: They’re talented and interesting (I read his book actually, good if you’re curious about some Wu-History) but most people sadly forget they even exist
- RZA is Jyn: The soul of a rebel, the pick of a hipster. They’re both sometimes overly clever (RZA’s line “Enter through your right ventricle clog up your bloodstream/Heart terminal like Grand Central Station” is a correct description and semi-metaphor about the last stop of a blood clot before becoming a pulmonary embolism, but it sounds pretty awkward in the song) but do just fine when the list/song has other supporting players.
- GZA is Lando: The most nuanced, really shines the most in three-member songs, true fans think they’re underrated
- Masta Killa is Sabine: Usually stays quiet, gets in and does their thing then gets out. Constantly dodging opponents’ shots/the media.
- Ghostface Killah is Han: The second most successful solo (heh) act, a little quirky but mostly just solid, steady (ok, sorry) technique.
- Raekwon is Chewie: Perfectly capable on his own but usually a second banana to Ghostface/Han. Sometimes is hard to understand.
Obi Wan Gunline: “Bring Me to Life” – Evanescence
I pray that the youths reading this won’t have heard this before, and I hope it’s not too late to warn you not to click the play button. The current state of Obi gunlines…really any Obi list…is not very pleasant to behold either. Amy Lee plays the part of Obi himself here, pleading to live again, but that nu-metal guy (representing the current crop of clone troopers) just can’t help himself from ruining everything. They re-released the song without him recently, not shockingly it’s a lot better.
Iden Tac Strike (any): “Raining Blood” – Slayer
The droids may be made literal metal, but when it comes to the musical genre no one embodies it better than the Empire. What is metal after all but the crossroads between aggression and misery, and die-hards of that faction suffered through years of disappointment before they were finally again given some real options last fall. Iden was decent even before that happened, but now she could easily obliterate your list with the help of up to FOUR other fully armed triple aimed SF squads (including Inferno and a Death Trooper if Krennic is there to help). I don’t think there’s any better track to represent getting tactical-struck than this one. The first 30 seconds are the first 6 acts of deployment, then the exsanguination begins.
Kalani 11 act whatever: “Sure be Cool if You Did” – Blake Shelton, “Close Your Eyes” – Parmalee, “This is How We Roll” – Florida Georgia Line, “Ready Set Roll” – Chase Rice, “Chillin’ It” – Cole Swindel, and “Drunk On You” – Luke Bryan but all mashed up into a single song that exposes their shared depravity
I seem to have changed my mind about my goal of avoiding hate mail. I spent almost half my life in Tennessee and it was around the summer of 2011 when I returned to Memphis from a road trip with some buddies that I began to feel the creeping, deathly touch of “bro-country.” This video is absolutely worth watching if you haven’t seen it before, unless you’re a superfan of Florida Georgia Line or any of the rest of these gentlemen. If you are though, I’m sorry that most of the industry basically rebelled against this subgenre a few years in, and I’m “real sorry” that they seem to be breaking up. Spider droids, “the Florida Georgia Line of Legion,” are hopefully next ones to crash down to earth with the rest of us. Kalani is Blake Shelton, because even if he gets nerfed and appropriately called out he’s still gonna be seen in lists/The Voice for eternity.
Rexstar (Pre-nerf): “Money For Nothing” – Dire Straits
Clones began their existence humbly but the release of Phase 2’s and ARC’s in quick succession left the community reeling. Anybody who didn’t play clones found themselves staring at the streams, wondering why it was ok for a player to start the game with 2-4 mega-aimed full boat range 4 attacks followed by standby sharing and limitless surging red saves. I tried to be a GAR hipster myself for my first two seasons of invader but the allure of that sweet sweet free money (by which I mean that it was still the most forgiving list in the history of the game even after it lost standby sharing and turn 0 tokens) was too much to refuse. So yeah, me and all the other shameless try-hards got “money for nothing” with this list, and everyone else was right to grumble about it.
Also, the quality of the CGI this video (which is from the 80’s so be nice) is roughly the same as the Clone Wars movie so it checks out.
God this really is unforgivable
Addendum: Clone-Only Lists now: “Black Hole Sun” – Soundgarden
“‘NEATH THE BLACK THE SKY LOOKS DEEEEEAAAD!!”
Tauntauns: “Hello” – Adele
We know you’re sorry for everything you’ve done Tauntauns, but that’s not gonna change my mind about taking your calls. I hope you are well, but…whatever you are, just be that…away from us. <CLICK>
Palpatine (all lists): “Master of Puppets” – Metallica
Sometimes obvious things are obvious because they’re absolutely un-deniable.
General Grievous: “Spider Monkey”
When I found out that we’d hired several more writers to the staff (which is awesome! and luckily none of them have any interest in encroaching on my “style” of “content” for some reason!) my excitement was matched by an anxiety that they’ll soon be beholden to the mad whims of our blog editor, who suggested this song for GG then posted the following with no warning:
You got it boss! I’ll admit that I pushed play on this one with one eyebrow raised but I was convinced after the first 10 seconds that this truly was the song for the OG Separatist commander. This song doesn’t have a lot of depth to it but it’s cute and is really just for fun anyway.
Just like Grievous lists.
Luke and DLT Captain Dodge Spam: “Someday” – Nickelback You can interpret this however you want to. Oh, if you’re using Han and Chewie instead of Luke you can use this sea shanty version of “How You Remind Me” instead.
Luke and DLT Captain Dodge Spam: “U Can’t Touch This” – M.C. Hammer
I gotta be honest guys, I had this “sick” burn all prepped up for North America West’s elimination bracket in Invader League where there was an extra-heavy Rebel presence. However, when I noticed that over 3/4 of the Rebel field in elims didn’t take that list I realized that I had to back pedal on the low-effort Nickelback joke. I do want to be clear: I’m pretty sure this is the best list in the current meta right now and if they let me do it I would have switched to it in elims in a heartbeat. Such as it is, hats off to the Rebel players for choosing decency over min-maxxing. So yeah, I dunno, “Can’t Touch This.”
However….to those of you who DID run it…
“LLLLOOK AT MY LIIIIIST!!!”
Anakin and Padme: “Hungry Eyes” – Eric Carmen
I like how soundtrack-based singles had to remind us what movie they’re tied to, but in this case it actually acted as sort of a bait-and-switch. Unsuspecting victims may be caught by the actual chemistry of a dancing scene with Swayze and Grey only for Eric Carmen to sweep the rug out from under them to leer at a woman that I’m fairly sure is imaginary for the rest of the video. I say this not only because she (like Padme) seems to hide behind walls while staying JUST far enough away from his uncomfortable gaze, but because she “plays” a sweet sax solo without moving her fingers at all. Also, at the end Carmen is staring at a DIFFERENT woman, but who is wearing the same dress, making out with an old dude and bleaaaagh just look at both these dudes.
BONUS GAR CONTENT – Yoda Padme Saber: “Memphis, TN” – John Lennon, Chuck Berry, and Yoko Ono
DO NOT CLICK PLAY but if you do:
- Chuck Barry – Padme: Wrote the song, clearly doesn’t want to be in the open
- John Lennon – Yoda: Pressure’s Padme into standing there against her best interests
- Yoko – Saber Tank: Enabled by the other two but mostly Yoda. Vocals would melt most targets at range 4