Monday, May 22, 2017

Wave 5 - Ranking the Commanders

Back near the end of Wave 4, we ranked the Commanders.  Today we're going to smash them together into Tiers again!

Again, a description of the tiers:

Ω Tier - A card that works all by itself.  It is overpowered and undercosted, and changes the way the game is played in some fundamental way.  "Broken".

S Tier - A card that is very good, without needing anything else to work.  Does something substantial or meta shifting while being inexpensive.  Something you would say is an "Auto-Include".

A Tier - A card that is either good without needing any other card, or something that is excellent with other cards supporting it.

B Tier - A card that can work well in certain situations.  Good when paired with other cards, or just decent alone.

C Tier - A bland card.  It might only be okay, or maybe only considered for some niche situations.  It may require several other cards, or something outside of your control to "work".  Or it might just be something okay, when there is another card that does the same thing, but better.

D Tier - A bad card.  May only be okay in niche situations, or puts unnecessary restrictions or costs onto things that something else does better.  Clearly outclassed, or doesn't do anything useful.

F Tier - Worthless.  Do not take this upgrade.  There is no reasonable scenario where it would be useful.  Taking nothing at all would be a better use for your points.

So without further ado... here we go!

Ω Tier

1)  General Rieekan (+1 Tier) - Guess who earned himself a field promotion at Worlds?  Rieekan has gone from being merely the best commander, to absolutely dominating the competition.  Not bad for a Zombie.  With the new Corellian Conflict squadrons, Yavaris, Relay, and other upgrades, he allows for a different game to be played.  All hail Zombie Lord Rieekan!

S Tier

2) Moff Jerjerrod (New Commander) - The hot new kid on the block.  His maneuver ability helps just about any ship in the Imperial navy, specifically the bigger, angrier ones.

3) Admiral Ackbar (+2 Tiers) - Rumors of his death have been greatly exaggerated.  Has he gained any new tools?  Not really.  He just quietly continues to do very well, albeit in the shadow of Rieekan.

A Tier

4)  Admiral Motti (-1 Tier) - The Imperial baseline commander.  Nothing has really changed for him, just the rest of the field leapfrogging ahead.  He continues to be quietly excellent in just about any list.

5) General Madine (+1 Tier) - Some consider him necessary to make the Liberty sing, and he helps other fast moving, navigating ships as well.

6) General Dodonna (No change) - Continues to be an excellent Rebel choice for low point costs.  Often, his special ability is just gravy compared to getting 10 or more extra points for your list.

7) Admiral Ozzel (No change) - This guy still scares me when he's across the board from me.  He's good for the same reason Dodonna is good, but his ability affect navigation, which is an ISD / GSD / Raider / Arquiten staple.  Oh, I just named the four best Imperial combat ships.

B Tier

8) Darth Vader (+1 Tier) - The Dark Lord of the Sith is looking better and better these days with new Red dice toys for him to reroll.  Plus, there are other Escorts for the Empire that don't require him hopping in an over-priced fighter to serve as a meat shield.  He is expensive though.

9) Mon Mothma (No Change) - Being the same cost as Rieekan, you almost have to compare the two.  She's better at keeping small ships from dying, and he's better at letting them contribute after they inevitably die anyway.  She's not bad, but she's not game breaking, and she does nothing for Squadrons and that's kinda what is big these days.

10) Admiral Screed (-2 Tiers) - With so many ways to reroll dice, why do you need to discard one?  Still, he sees his uses, and pops up in Imperial lists from time to time.

11) General Cracken (+1 Tier) - Did someone call for a less expensive Mon Mothma?  Again, nothing for Large ships or Squadrons, and you have to go speed 3 or he doesn't function.  There are lists that prefer him over Mon Mothma, so same tier.

C Tier

12) Commander Sato (New Commander) - The other new hotness.  Requires squadrons in just the right place to work.  At most adds .50 average damage before dice modifications (Red or Blue > Black).  Ackbar adds 1.50 damage, for comparison.  Not to say he is unusable, but you have to build your list entirely around his gimmick, especially when you consider his cost.

13) Grand Moff Tarkin (+1 Tier) - Suffers from being just too expensive when his ability wants to vomit points on ships.  And then on squadrons.  Wonderful Corellian Conflict Commander, but at 400 points he is just too high priced to work well.

14) Garm Bel Iblis (No Change) - The "Worst" Rebel commander isn't overcosted, just underappreciated.  Like the poor man's Tarkin, but ironically works best on Medium and Large base ships, which don't really get as much love these days for the Rebellion.

D Tier

15) Admiral Konstantine (No Change) - Still bad.  Still have to build your list around him.  At least now with Tua you can pimp out a single VSD or Interdictor to be somewhat survivable.

F Tier

16) General Tagge (-3 Tiers) - Nowhere near as good as previously advertised, and our biggest fall of Wave 5.  Did I mention accuracy lists are his arch nemesis?  Guess what everyone is bringing to deal with Flotillas?  Timing your opponents biggest hits to land on Round 2 and Round 4 is difficult.


  1. In response to your question about why to bring Screed: because you don't have to pay for those rerolls when you have him

  2. With the defense token discard/spending coming up in new waves, do you see tagge possibly resurging?