Over the past weekend, Dec 2nd-4th 2022, there was a Legion tournament held at Pax Unplugged in Philadelphia. Hosted by Nick Bodnar from over at Legion 99, PAX featured 56 players and five games over two days.

Today we will look at the Top 8 lists for an overview of what did well at the tournament. If you want to see all the data for yourself, check out the newest software Gameuplink, which was used to run this tournament.

Quick breakdown of the top 8:

5 Imperial, 1 GAR, 1 Rebel, and 1 Shadow Collective.

Average Bid was 11.875. Minimum bid was 1 point and maximum was 24 points.

Average Activation count was 9.875 with only one list being not 10 activations.

Top 8

Michael Henry

Pax Unplugged: Top 8 1

The first list to crack the top eight was Michael Henry with the one SC list. A relatively ‘standard’ SC list with the twist being some Black Sun Enforcers with Vigo upgrades. The Black Sun are an interesting choice. For 66 points you get a great objective squad, being courage 2 and also having dauntless. The Black Sun also hit really hard at range 1-2 even with no heavy weapon; 5B5W with likely a surge token and a Precise aim. The Black Sun feel like a very beefy naked fleet squad that is often thrown into rebel lists, able to do objectives and hit hard in a pinch. This isn’t even mentioning 5 wounds on a red save with access to a surge token per turn.

Jordan “Luminous Gaming” Smith

Pax Unplugged: Top 8 2

Jordan Smith brought the one Rebel list that cracked the top 8. This list is a bit of a mashup list which are often very interesting. As the name of the list implies the stars of this list are the two mandalorians and the unit of shooty wookiees. This list is also backed up by six competent shooting units: two vets, two MKIIs and two snipers. This list is able to provide some pressure at range and can be super threatening up close with the two mandos. One challenge for this list will be order control. For a lot of the game, at least one of the key pieces won’t have an order and without Improvised Orders, a bad bag pull can really screw up your plans.

Richard Lavery

Pax Unplugged: Top 8 3

Oh look, Blizzard force. In more seriousness though, Richard has put an interesting spin on the Blizzard force archetype deciding to drop Vader in favour of Veers and beefing up the snowtroopers. If this list manages to get all its pieces into place and start hammering you it won’t be a fun time. There are also two great bombard weapons at Richard’s disposal to do damage where they see fit.

Evan Bulriss

Pax Unplugged: Top 8 4

What year is it? The first member of The Fifth Trooper Family we see in this top 8 is Evan Bulriss bringing a list that feels more at home in 2019 than now. This list has a bunch of guns and wants to point them at you. If this list manages to point all its guns at you and is able to use them you’ll be scraping your minis off the table real quick. This list does start to suffer from attrition real quick though, and a few bad save rolls, or just pierce, puts it on the back foot quickly. The ‘sneaky’ idea of this list, though it’s in the name, is suppression. With some command card abilities that throw suppression as well as a lot of suppressive weapons you will find yourself piling up suppression tokens really quickly. This can easily become a massive problem really quickly for armies that only have courage 2 commanders as two suppressive shots already are risking a panic.

Top 4

Sam McHenry

Pax Unplugged: Top 8 5

The first of our top 4 finishers is Sam McHenry. The one and only GAR list to crack the top 8 even managed to crack the top 4, rejoice.

Sam brings what seems to be some of the best things GAR can offer right now in Yoda, Padmé and Pykes. This list manages to get to nine activations while still managing a nineteen point bid which is quite impressive.

Some interesting tech in this list is certainly the copy of Lead by Example on the Pyke Capo. This provides the army Inspire 2 which GAR often really wants. This list also manages to bring four heavy weapon corps squads plus a sniper. This means you have five weapons that can fire at least range 4 which can really help to apply that pressure.

This list also manages to bring quite the command hand with six very powerful command cards.

MIKOLAJ Radziszewski (Mickeyyy)

Pax Unplugged: Top 8 6

Mikolaj brought another Blizzard force, woot, all the way from Poland. This time we do see a Vader, the operative version. This list isn’t doing anything too radical.

Instead of bringing a repair or med bot as is often seen with Blizzard Force right now, this list features a heavy weapon snowtrooper. This choice does add another threat piece to the army which can be important. Sacrificing heal or repair though could be a tough pill to swallow in some matchups.

Top 2

Brendan Smith

Pax Unplugged: Top 8 7

More Imperial, sure are a lot of em. Our runner up Brendan brought a new unit to the tournament in the form of IG-88. This list is focused around Vader and IG-88. We see with this list basically a force user + gunline archetype, but one of the units in the gunline is actually a bounty hunter. This is certainly interesting and adds some flexibility to the list, not to mention bounty which can flip games on their head. Alongside IG-88 we also have 4 total repair charges on one shore squad. This unit will be able to help keep IG-88 running at maximum health for a long time, even if IG-88 takes a big hit. The Del Meeko plus repair bot can pull off three wounds in one turn.

Kyle Dornbos

Pax Unplugged: Top 8 8

*Trumpet Fanfare* The winner of Pax 2022 is none other than The Fifth Trooper’s own Kyle Dornbos. Kyle also happens to be the editor of the blog, so probably best to say some nice things here.

Kyle dug deep into the unit roster to find an incredible combination of units to splice together to make a list that no one had even dreamed of before. He did this by taking the list he played in Invader league and tweaking it slightly. He dropped the medical droid and the electro binocs and put Emergency Transponders on all the bikes.

What more is there to say about Blizzard really. It is a very efficient scalpel that also happens to have one of the most powerful blue player battle card decks ever. Bringing a 24 point bid just ensures that Kyle will be playing on his battlecards almost all the time.

Final Thought(s)

Empire good.

Trying to expand on that we saw empire dominate the top 8 at PAX with both proven lists, as well as some more out of the box lists. With points expected any day now we will eagerly await what’s in store for the meta in the months to come.

4 thoughts on “Pax Unplugged: Top 8

  1. Adam says:

    Awesome article.

    Can’t wait for the next article around the points update… I am bitterly disappointed as a GAR player. As a newer player, the only real viable way for me to compete with a BF list is Anakin + Padme – Yoda is too complex, and anything else is just unviable.

    It saddens me so much to see the points update increases the cost of Sam McHenry’s list by a whopping 25 points, whereas the Blizzard Force list increases by a measly 2 points. Even taking out the changes to the Pykes, GAR is just punished so hard by the changes to the card upgrades – literally all the upgrades being nerfed are pretty much necessities or common in a GAR build.

    Sadness… just pure sadness 🙁

  2. Bill says:

    Just listened to the podcast, is there a way to check out the CIS army from the guy that won best painted award?

Comments are closed.