Season 4 Approved play has ended with the release of IACP Season 5 changes. Many players continued to generously submit game logs after the Season 4 testing period ended, and in combination with 7 tournaments that were organized during the Approved play period (3 Jetpack Cups, 3 Probe Droid Cups and the IACommand December tournament) we have 226 games to analyze from the last 3 months of play since the Season 4.2 update was released. I like to make sure that all of the data we collect gets made public so the community can see what we’re seeing. I thought it would be fun to look at how the cards and faction performed in Season 4 based on this data and also see how things have changed from the 206 games of Season 3 data that was collected.
I should mention that while 226 games might seem like a good amount, it’s still a relatively small sample size and when the dataset is this small it’s possible for things to skew it. If a card has less than 20 uses, a single additional game result can change its win rate by more than 4%. Also the win rate data is not corrected for mirror matches against an opponent with the same card in their list, so cards that see a lot of play and thus a lot of mirror matches will probably be skewed closer to a 50% overall win rate. I recommend that anyone that wants to dig deeper into the data take a look at the sheet itself, which has the full lists saved in it.
Season 4 Metagame Data: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1UR37jbOjvW4TKWYaecfjC6bOvozMKuMqmgaaTn_NMHc/edit?usp=sharing
Season 3 Metagame Data: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1hIhElNjVuuQlW0XIvdzMqKbJYA_Y3CqtqTpCeeQnShA/edit?usp=sharing
Looking at the data side by side with Season 3, we can see the Faction performances were a lot more balanced in Season 4. Rebels did best overall, with a 54% win rate and a nearly perfect 1/3 meta share. The biggest improvement was in the Scum faction, which performed abysmally in season 3 and came up from a 30% win rate to a respectable 50.29% win rate in Season 4. Players were much more interested in playing and building Scum lists in Season 4, with the highest meta share of the 3 factions. These improvements seem to come at the expense of the Imperial faction, which dominated during Season 3 with a 61.71% win rate and fell to a 45.74% win rate in Season 4. This fall may seem dramatic, but it should be noted that it still did much much better than Scum was doing in Season 3. The gap between Scum and Empire in Season 4 was much smaller at ~5% compared to the ~30% gap between Scum and Empire in Season 3. Having each faction be no more than a 5% delta from 50% win rate is actually exactly where we like to see things, so this was great to see.
Looking at activation counts, we see a trend slightly upward, with a retreat from the middle 6 activation lists that were most common in Season 3. Interestingly we saw fewer 3 and 4 activation lists in Season 4, even though Season 4 marked the debut of the 4-group, 3-act Lie in Ambush list (this spreadsheet counts all activations in a list without adjusting for Lie in Ambush). Overall though we see lists continuing to be fairly evenly distributed in activation count, with Rebel lists evenly split between 7 and 8 activations, Empire continuing to favor 6 activation lists, and Scum continuing to favor 8 activation lists while dipping its toe into other activation counts sporadically.
Most Popular Deployment Cards
These are the top 30 Deployment cards based on the number of times they were included in a player’s list from Season 3 and Season 4. It’s interesting to see which cards changed spots on the list, and which cards fell off entirely to make room for popular new cards like Loku and IG-11.
Season 4 Cards Impact
So how did the actual new cards from Season 4 do and how did they impact the meta? Well I thought we could look at the performance of each Season 4 card, and then look at a weighted average of each card by faction and see how much each card impacted each faction.
We can see that Season 4 had the most positive impact on the Scum faction, with most of the new cards having a higher than 50% win rate in Scum lists. Season 4 had a more modest impact on the Rebel faction, with most season 4 cards performing in the high 40% range in Rebel lists. And Season 4 cards seemed to struggle to contribute to the success of Empire lists, with the most successful cards being splashed from Scum like IG-11, Trandoshan Hunters and the Darksaber. Agent Blaise had a surprisingly good season though.
Most Improved non-Season 4 cards
Finally I thought it would be fun to look at the cards that had the biggest performance improvement from Season 3 to Season 4 without having gotten any additional changes. These cards were struggling in Season 3, but for whatever reason, be it new figures to synergize with, getting championed by a skilled and dedicated player, or a better map rotation, these older cards saw new success in Season 4.
I hope those who are interested take a look at the data for themselves. And please make sure to save your Season 5 games if you play them on Vassal and submit your game logs to the Season 5 Dropbox folder so we can monitor the Season 5 cards performance and impact during the playtesting period.