Rebellions are built on hope

Season 6 Approved Play: The Early Competitive Meta

Season 6 Competitive Approved play began on November 8th, and since then we’ve had a 7 player tournament and the first 2 weeks of the competitive Vassal League with 18 players participating. We have the full lists from the Jawa Cup Vassal tournament, and our Vassal League players have been great about submitting vassal logs to provide us with data on the lists being played early in the life of the Approved play season. Let’s take a look at some of the lists being played that have at least 1 win each.

Because I didn’t take the time to ask every player in the Vassal League if I could share their list, I’m not going to be naming the player using the list being shown unless they also played it in the Jawa Cup Vassal Tournament. This is to protect the players in the League from having their opponents know what list they’re playing ahead of time, though if you are the player that created any of these lists and want to be named, feel free to take credit in the comments below.

Scum

Currently the most played faction out of the 3, Scum looks like it may have gotten the biggest boost from Season 6, even though it had the fewest cards. One of the greatest shifts in Scum list-building to emerge is a stark trend away from the Rebel care package of Gideon+C-3P0 and towards a combination of true Scum support figures and Bib Fortuna.

Scum Counterattack

The combination of the new Mandalorian, Migs Mayfeld, Greedo and Onar’s Command card Extra Protection has proven to be a strong Scum archetype, combining 4 figures that have the ability to counter attack the opponent, with Jabba, Bib Fortuna and Doctor Aphra as supporting figures. Herbie played this list to a 5-0 Victory in the Jawa Cup tournament, and we’re starting to see more than 1 other players trying it out in the Vassal League as well. It harkens back to the Smuggler Box lists of previous metas that tried to setup an unbreakable formation of protective and healing abilities, but unlike the Smuggler Box which was more interested in preventing damage, this archetype is trying to deal damage back to the opponent anytime they attack one of these figures, presenting a difficult choice of targets between Mando, Mayfeld and Greedo that can all counterattack when they are attacked. Onar and Mando are a particularly effective combination, where Mando will often use the Child to protect Onar with Protective Fire, while Onar in turn is protecting Mando with Extra Protection.

Mandalorian Double Queen Pieces

The other most popular way to play the new Mando is to combine him with another Queen piece, a slang term for a powerful high cost figure. Boba’s been the most powerful partner for Mando, sharing 2 traits between them, but doesn’t have a great win-rate in the league so far, though it had been doing pretty well in the Playtesting League after the 6.2 update in late September. Another partner is IG-11, who shares the Guardian trait with Mando, though is not himself a Hunter. Extra Armor is usually run in tandem with these figures to further boost their innate defenses and make them more resistant to Pierce.

So far the new Mandalorian card has been one of the most played figures from Season 6, but it was also the only card from Season 6 that got only a probationary approval from the community instead of full approval. This means that Mando will have to be voted on again in future community votes, and there is a much higher chance that Mando will see changes in the near future if the Steering Committee sees enough data and feedback that suggest to us that he needs to be adjusted. Just keep that in mind before you go printing out a super fancy copy.

Scum Droids

But Mando lists aren’t the only Scum lists getting played competitively. Droid lists are seeing some decent competitive level play, with Derek piloting an IG-11 + Dark Trooper Scum lists to the Finals of the Jawa Cup, in which Adam also played a Scum Droid list featuring HK-47 and BT-1 instead of the Dark Troopers. Both lists featured the combo of 4-LOM and Beast Tamer, with the Ambitious Droid able to move 10 spaces on his activation by choosing to become a Creature at the start of the round with his Programming Override ability.

Rebels

Rebel lists seem to be focused a lot more on low to midcosted figures, with Cara being one of the few queen pieces to make multiple appearances, though her winrate so far hasn’t been the most impressive out of the Season 6 figures seeing play so far. Interestingly there also seems to be a trend of replacing R2-D2 with Rebel High Command in many lists, seemingly to be able to fit in 1 more point of attackers.

Power Token Smugglers

A bit surprisingly after her nerf in v6.1 of the Season 6 public playtesting, Ko-Tun has been the most played Rebel figure from Season 6 so far in the Jawa Cup and in game logs submitted so far, and has been played in a variety of lists as a hybrid offense support figure.

She also plays very well with the Rogue One characters that have been introduced to IACP so far, which have a bit of a token sub-theme shared between them that is nicely supported by Ko-Tun’s power token based abilities.

Cara Dune

While not quite as popular as Ko-Tun has been, Cara Dune has certainly been making appearances. She’s been spotted leading Trooper lists and Heavy Weapons lists so far, with Josh taking the Rebel Saboteurs into the top 4 of the Jawa cup led by Cara Dune and supported by Ko-Tun.

Yoda & Force Users

Yoda and Wookiees

Though Force Users didn’t really get any new support in Season 6, they look like they’re just as strong as they were before Season 6 released.

In addition to the classic builds featuring 3-4 Jedi alongside Yoda and another support piece, another Yoda list featuring Wookiee Warriors and Fury of Kashyyyk, Revenge of the Sith style, has been quietly getting played in the Vassal League, and is currently 1-1 against Mandalorian lists. This list is all in on defensiveness, with Kanan providing defensive rerolls for the Wookiees and featuring Doubt and 2 copies of Extra Armor. Definitely an interesting intersection of traits and a cool take on a Rebel Beef list.

Empire

Probably the most notable trend in early Empire lists is the complete absence of Darth Vader. A figure that has had such a strong continued presence in IACP competitive Imperial lists has been completely missing from Imperial lists. Whether that’s because Imperial players are weary of the powerful Sith Lord taking up 13 points of their army and have been eager to try something new, or because players have perceived Vader as poorly positioned in the current meta, remains to be seen.

Papa Palpatine

The OG Sith, Emperor Palpatine seems to be doing quite well in the current meta with his ability to dole out unblockable damage as well as an attack from the hardest hitting figure in the list. We’ve seen Jake take a Palpatine led list of Leaders and Spies to the Jawa Cup Top 4, and another player in the competitive Vassal League defeated Boba and the new Mandalorian with a list featuring Palpatine and Imperial Hunters.

Droid Troopers

The Darktroopers have been a solid figure since their release in Season 6 and were able to remain unchanged through the playtesting period, and seem to combine well with the already available Droid Trooper figures, Sentry Droids, recosted in IACP Season 1. Combined with General Sorin and the General’s Ranks was able to take a decisive win against a Mando/Mayfeld/Onar counterstrike list in the competitive Vassal league.

Heavy Stormtroopers

Heavy Stormtroopers were doing well in Season 6 playtesting, often with Flametroopers attached, and continue to find success in the Season 6 competitive league with a win in their first appearance in the competitive Vassal league. We also see a continued trend with BT-1 making appearances in winning lists in both Scum and Imperial factions.

So that’s a peek into the early stages of the Season 6 competitive metagame. I want to stress that this is still very early and we’re still just seeing the beginning of the meta shaking out, and that more important than the lists being played are really the players that are choosing to play them. Player skill is still the most important factor in any given matchup, and we continue to see strong players doing well in this Season.

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