My bosses are on break, so it’s time to to once again stretch the limits of “content” by telling you what your list’s theme song is.
T'was 5 nights after Christmas and all through the blog There was a shared fear that excitement would slog "No rules for a fortnight!" Jay reeled and lamented We suffered his rage with no staffer exempted "But lo an idea!" Kyle spoke with a grin "There's an evergreen gimmick for when news is thin" Jay saw what he meant and called Evan that night "Your dumb music thing shall resolve our site's plight!" "On Blizzard! On Shadows! These lists you'll appraise!" So Evan strapped in and made judgments for days Now behold my new songs for this special occasion We'll start with a list that excels at evasion
Every list in the game for the past four months : “Baby Shark” – Pinkfong
Obnoxious, inescapable, and for a while was everywhere.
But enough about Pykes!
The real reason I put this first was to infect your brain. It’s there, I know it is. The only solution you have is to read through the rest of this article, listen to all the songs, and hope, HOPE, that it leaves your head by the time you finish.
Separatist Invasion: “Let Me Be Myself” – 3 Doors Down
This is a song about identity crisis, which is pretty much a core attribute of this battle force. The name is generic, the org chart doesn’t really make sense, and even the command cards are head scratchers (featuring a 2 and 3 pip that can only order multiple B1’s…who literally will take care of that themselves 99% of the time, so it’s exactly as useful as ordering a single B1). The back of the box suggests that it’s all about the numbers, but when a tank is required you’re a lot more limited. Maul is here (ok) but without his probe droids (???). General Grievous and droidekas are there too, but players are left with no choice except to gaze at them from behind the veil that is reality, grasping for signs of relevance that never appear. If anyone needed a “Heavy Response Unit” it was them.
By the way I was shocked when I was reminded this song came out in 2008. I thought Post-Grunge had been banned by then but it seems like this was part of the end of the chain reaction that left only the Foo Fighters hanging on for life. Also, I had never seen the video for this myself, so imagine my surprise when I see that it features the…GEICO Caveman? The actual video is weird because it’s not funny at all, it features a ridiculous character with no punchline to stand on…like what was the point?
BUT THEN I saw that GEICO ran an actual ad with an “alternate ending” which actually makes it kind of darkly hilarious. Good job GEICO, bad job 3 Doors Down.
Any Yoda List: “Surface Pressure (from Encanto)” – Jessica Darrow
Just like Luisa Madrigal, Yoda is capable of quite a lot but basically is the most central centerpiece in the entire game. So while it’s true that his abilities and commands allow him to defy several rules of the game at once it always feels like you’re on thin ice when you’re playing him. The other units in Yoda tend to basically only make sense with him being the one in charge; if he goes down then you’re usually left with 7 acts of GAR with some crap generic commands, three of which have to be clone troopers.
By the way Disney went out of their way to record this song (which is a banger, and the best song in the film in my book) in 27 different languages, which is insane because I imagine it’s a ton of work to make the lyrics fit them all. The French version is divine!
Black Sun Bus Rush: “Bombs Over Baghdad” – Outkast
This is a list that doesn’t even waste a second before diving head-first into enemy lines so we obviously need a song that matches that mood and maintains a fast pace. This was the first one I thought and the video only confirmed it: featuring a purple and yellow color scheme, a bus driven by a reckless driver, and lines like “don’t even bang unless you plan to hit something.” Well, between the free aims and a number of dice you’d need to own three core sets to throw? It’s gonna get some hits.
Props to Andre 3000 by the way: not only is this the uncommon hip hop song to feature a guitar solo (and it’s great) but his studio wanted known clown Kid Rock to perform it “to add star power.” He nixed it, and averted the risk of the entire song becoming a parody. Well done.
Echo Base Defenders: “Snowblind” – System of a Down (covering Black Sabbath)
For some reason I really enjoy a good song cover, and “good” in this context usually means that the covering artist iterates on the original in an interesting way, something more than doing it acoustically and crooning a little extra (here’s lookin’ at you “dudes with guitars” on YouTube). This one joins Hendrix’s “All Along the Watchtower” and Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” as covers that surpass the original even when the original was already great. Serj Tankian basically can do no wrong, here’s a kinda wacko adaptation of an old Charlie Bird jazz track and he even covered a famous Wu Tang song that I definitely can’t even write the name of here, seek and you shall find.
This song’s title naturally works well but hopefully by now you’ve noticed that I take this science seriously and will not accept such a basic reason and wipe my hands of it! Echo Base is actually kind of “normal” most of the time, “a rebel list but kinda bad” you might even call it, but then, around halfway through…
…and then after that it gets pretty normal again, assuming you didn’t get standby’d to nothingness anyway.
All Rebel Lists in 2023: “Sign of the Times” – Harry Styles
Speaking of Rebels I have this feeling that the full rules set will be the finishing uppercut to their lists for a while, of a combo that started with the points changes that hurt them more than any other faction through he generic upgrade cost hikes. This was followed by the news that their snipers are going to be more easily exposed AND that they’ll be shooting into cover more often, then they found out that a pass mechanic will dull the appeal of 11-12 act lists, AND THEN that the suppression they have a hard time with anyway (two courage 3 commanders and neither are great fighters) is going to be more meaningful. Finally, they learned that Jedi Luke got a lot less special as a jumping jedi who often took burst of speed, the cost of which went up a lot…it’s been a rough go for them.
In the chorus our friend Harry repeats
We never learn, we been here before Why are we always stuck and running from The bullets? The bullets
Well, it’s not quite bullets, but without all those cheap free dodges from vigilance and/or Pykes the rebels WILL be running a lot more than before. But hey guys and girls, just keep floating around and eventually maybe you’ll find yourself back home with an average presence in the meta, try not to pay attention to the fact that Styles is still just kinda listlessly hanging around in the sky by the end of the video.
Imperial Boba Lists: “Painkiller” – Judas Priest
The established canon is that all Empire lists have Metal theme songs, and I will respect that precedent until at least the end of this article…maybe.
For now, for those who aren’t familiar…take a look at these lyrics:
The “brought back from the grave” part is my reference to the fact that the Empire version of Boba has access to the commands that came with the rebel-friendly merc. This was ridiculous before and it is now, but such as it is the song covers Empire Boba’s anti-canon breadth of scope rather well! He also uses Emergency Stims more than anyone else, and epinephrine can help numb pain.
Shadow Collective Pyke Spam: “Viva La Vida” – Coldplay
I’ll gush a little, I really love this song and I normally don’t like Coldplay all that much, it’s basically about a Caesar (or similar figure) who is deposed and becomes a street sweeper who’s reminiscing about his good old days of ruthless dictatorship. This is pure fantasy of course, because the usual way Caesars left office was by execution or murder (50.6%). But hey it’s a nice fiction that powerful, evil men could possibly experience the feeling of humiliation in any context at all. Whoah hey, uh right…Star Wars Legion!
As I write this a Maul Pyke list
is in the finals of won Invader League against the Anakin Pyke list that beat me in the top 8. This archetype was large and in charge for a good two months before it became somewhat dulled by the presence of Blizzard Force, Boba lists, and various lists that sprinkled Pykes into otherwise good armies. And yet, when the new points came, the pure Pyke list was sacked (it went up by fifty points!) just as the Visigoths sacked Rome around 400 signaling the beginning of the end of toga parties until Animal House brought them back.
13 Activation STAPs: “Pocket Calculator” – Kraftwerk
There may be a few people who bring a list like this because “they just love the theme.”
Sure thing, but we know why most folks really do it.
Because someone started robotically punching numbers into their Pocket Calculator and realized you could fit 13 decent activations into one list, and that it had a blue deck nearly as oppressive as Blizzard. It went away for a tick because there were suddenly armies everywhere that had Outmaneuver leaking out from every side of them…but now Pykes and Situational Awareness are nerfed, plus it has a decent game against blizzard itself so…I guess it’s back!
501st Legion: “Loser” – Beck
There’s nothing bad I can say about this tragedy that I didn’t already say in “Wherefore the Battle Force” so I won’t.
Ok I will a little.
Phase 2’s getting two points cheaper means that now you might want to run more than one and the increasing value of the suppressive keyword may help mortars get off the ground. But…that’s it. Anakin still doesn’t work with the command card tempo nearly at all and Rex remains a shadow of a good unit, so yeah, what we have here “is a piece of wax, fallin’ on a termite…who’s chokin’ on the splinters.”
Shadow Collective Triple Swoop: “Shook Ones, Pt. 2” – Mobb Deep
My first inclination was some kind of biker anthem like “Wanted” or “Highway to Hell” but I honestly think that the list Evan Bulriss (aka “Real Evan” aka the Original Evan of TFT, who isn’t me, so for his sake please stop mixing us up as I don’t deserve his Raccoon glory) nearly won NOVA with deserves a song that truly speaks to the fact that this list represents a bunch of murderous criminals who strike fear in all those nearby (Demoralize) while they do their dirty work.
We need a song about doing crimes, and making people scared.
When the slugs penetrate, you feel a burning sensation Getting closer to God in a tight situation Now, take these words home and think it through Or the next rhyme I write might be about you
Blizzard Force: “Murder By Numbers” – The Police
Remember when I said all Empire songs are metal?
But you know what? It’s a smaller lie than the very conceit of Legion’s version of Blizzard Force, starring:
- Operative Vader: Based on the canon material that Commander Vader is based on, and is way past the Jedi hunting part of his life (they’re literally all dead except Yoda by then and that was Palp’s screw up not Vader’s).
- Speeder bikes, don’t @ me about cross sections or ugly action figures
- Stormtrooper Heavy Response units, which are literally just kinda made up
Blizzard Force murders enemy units, it murders balance, and most of all it murders canon. And yet? In the points, the rule changes…it seems to have gotten better.
And what does Sting tell us?
He tells us that murder is easy, and that you can get away with it if you really want to.
“Murder by numbers…1, 2, 3”
"This will do" Kyle said "Now get out of my sight" "If your posts get the hits then your job is alright" "But wait!" Jay exclaimed "Listen here 'Doctor' Paul" "There's naught but a Patreon link here at all!" And so Evan sighed as he said "Can do boss" For he knew he it was best to not make Jay cross And so let's conclude this prolonged denoument!