Hello Legion Gamers! Welcome back to The Road To Worlds – Part X!
For those of you following this series you know that it’s somewhat of a journal of my thoughts and ideas heading in to whenever the next worlds will be – which still seems a long way off.
No matter! Today we’re going to focus on my Invader League finish, the competitive meta, and where I think we’re headed from here. In person events are starting to occur – like the Atlantic City Open, which I regrettably will not be attending due not being vaccinated in time.
Let’s start with Invader League.
Invader League Season 6
While the finals are not complete yet, (Good luck to both Snider and Inossatam!) my run is. I placed third with the conclusion of the Bronze match last weekend. You can find that game on Teknofobia’s twitch channel. Overall I was pretty happy with my finish, if a little disappointed that my run ended in the semis against Snider’s 13 Activation STAPs on a forced bombing run(I conceded on the top of turn 3). With that aside though, I felt my season was pretty strong – my list was/is sound and I believe it’s still the best “all around” list presently available in Legion. I’ll showcase it below if you aren’t caught up:
It seems everyone has their twist on the Rexstar list, but this is mine. (My preciousssss)
However, I think there will serious changes after this Invader League to the competitive meta before the next worlds. I don’t expect to be able to play this list in it’s current incarnation, or rather I hope I don’t.
But what ever do you mean Mike?
I mean there’s some stuff that needs fixing, that I hope they fix before we get a Worlds:
Looking back at Invader League I see three problems with the present Competitive meta that I think are systemic problems that likely need to be addressed. Before we proceed I’d like to emphasize – this is not salt or me being upset, I’ve abused most of these mechanics myself. I just believe that if we can start to reign them in, the game will be healthier for it.
- Clone Trooper Token Sharing
- Turn Zero Skews
- Empire Identity/Competitive Balance
1. Clone Trooper Token Sharing
Clone’s have basically dominated the last two Invader Leagues. With real life tournaments not on the table, literally and figuratively, this is the data we have to draw on. To be fair, it’s likely the most competitive tournament on or offline in Legion – so as far as bars go, it’s a decent one. Clone Trooper token sharing is, I believe, the problem behind this. Particularly in lists that do not include Kenobi, Anakin, or Padme. Lists that focus on Rex and/or Generic Commanders and then spew clones are highly resilient, highly flexible, and present several strong design impediments for future releases and competitive viability problems for current releases. In essence, if you are playing GAR to win (I’d like to underscore this, if you are playing casually or to have fun this does not apply) you should be playing Rex/Generics/Phase IIs/Arcs in some combination. Everything else in the faction is at a severe disadvantage, purely from a flexibility standpoint – the more tokens you can share, the more problems in game you can solve through sheer dice, dodges, and surges. Once you remove 2-3 activations of solid corps units to be replaced by a unit like a Jedi, Tank, or other non clone-trooper unit you dilute your ability to flexibly problem solve across your list. This is a 2 fold balance problem – It’s clear that clone sharing is likely far too powerful in the overall meta, but it also severely restricts what you can play within the faction itself. Galactic Republic without Jedi at the front feels wrong.
2. Turn Zero
At the outset of Legion we had 4 of each card type (Objective, Deployment, Condition). Everyone’s battle deck was literally the same. When we got Priority supplies that was increased to 5 each and everyone’s decks got a little bit different, but overall – you knew what types of objectives your lists were going to play and everyone could play to them. Now we have Vital Assets, which has increased the count to 8 and dramatically changed the types of cards in play. The Turn Zero mini game has gone from “What cool tweaks are we getting this game” to “How can I win this mini game so my opponent doesn’t get to play Legion today” due to the bidding system and lists abilities to force particular objectives. This has been an intrinsic part of playing legion and I really believe it shouldn’t exist anymore in it’s current incarnation. Spending 10 minutes prior to the start of the game to see if you can make your opponent not be able to play for 2-3 hours is a bad system. As we get more cards, this is only going to get worse. There are lots of solutions that could be put on the table here – but something likely needs to be done prior to worlds – Right now it leads to insanely uninteresting and unfun games at times.
3. The Empire
Alright Alright. All you Imperial players yelling at me because Empire is doing terrible – I’m throwing you a bone. I still don’t think they are as bad as everyone says they are – but I do believe they are bad enough to require some re-working and adjustments moving forward. I think most of this stems from the Imperial Corps just not pulling the same weight that it did before and the faction is heavily dependent on them due to the high cost of the other units in the faction. While the Rebels were able to flex into new units like Mandos and the updated Wookiees – Empire hasn’t received a fundamental update in that fashion and thus must rely on their corps units – who tend to get picked apart by Arc Troopers presently. I think part of this is that Clone lists are far too strong at the moment, and that makes Empire look worse than they should (The implication being, that you’re measuring Empire against something you shouldn’t be). I think looking at Empire vs CIS is a far more interesting matchup to look at. One of the unfortunate things about Empire generally, is that we really don’t have any stats for them. Only 7 players played empire in Elims in Invader and they all played fundamentally different lists – while they all lost early – this is not a great sample size. Empire needs help, but I think it’s an open debate on how much and what should get changed.
I strongly hope these three problems are addressed prior to Worlds next year (assuming it happens). Because of that I believe we’re likely to see a significant revamp to the meta prior to that point. What will that look like? Hopefully a more balanced competitive meta – and I’ll be back at that point to design some sweet new lists with you all.
In the interim, Team Fifth Trooper (The Avengers), will be bringing the fight to Yavin Base Team League. Hopefully you can catch some of the action – I’ll be captaining our team as Ironman. We’ve got some fun lists up our sleeves for this one!
Until next time on The Road To Worlds – May the Dark Side be with you, always,
Michael “Dashz” Barry