Friday, November 17, 2017

Wave 6 - 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".  Example:  Demolisher, prior to the Engine Tech nerf.

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".  Example:  Electronic Countermeasures on Large base ships.

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

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

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.  Example:  Salvation

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.  Example:  Weapons Liaison

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.  Example:  Point Defense Reroutes

So without further ado... here we go!

Ω Tier

We're once again in a good place for Armada, in that nothing is far and away the best commander.  Rieekan's death opened up a lot of doors for other commanders to jump in.

S Tier

1) Admiral Ackbar (No Movement) - Once again, has he gained any new tools?  Not really.  He just quietly continues to do good work in very specifically tailored lists.
Pro:  Offensive Powerhouse.  Makes Broadside lists work.
Con:  Expensive at 38 points.  Only makes Broadside lists (and 3 ships) better.

2) Moff Jerjerrod (No Movement) - JJ retains his title of the premier Imperial commander, making everything the Empire has, better.  Movement wins games, and nobody moves big ships and black dice like Moffy J.
Pro:  Movement is king, and nobody moves like Moffy J.  Inexpensive as well.
Con:  You can't take another commander, and there are lots of good Imperial commanders.

A Tier

3) General Madine (No Movement) - As Truthiness about how good he is sometime.  Again, movement shenanigans are just great, and while he can't make the Rebel ships dance like Moffy J does the Imperials, he is the best movement commander they have.
Pro:  Good movement abilities.  Makes good ships like the Liberty great ships.
Con:  Dependent on one specific command.  Moderately expensive.

4)  Admiral Motti (No Movement) - The Imperial baseline commander.  Every other Imperial commander has to be assessed by the standard:  "Is this commander worth the hull I'd lose?"
Pro:   He's cheap hull.  Hull keeps you alive.
Con:  Is hull worth dodging the attack in the first place / killing the enemy before they get that shot?

5)  General Rieekan (-2 Tiers) -  He's not the monster that he once was, but he's still a solid choice that wins tournaments.  Keeping a threat around to shoot (and be rammed) still changes the way the game is played, even if he doesn't save EVERYONE anymore.
Pro:  Same great ability.
Con:  Less unlimited uses.  Moderately expensive at 30 points.

6) General Dodonna (No change) - What more is there to say about General Dodonna?  He's the Admiral Motti of the Rebellion.
Pro:  He's the cheapest option.  Face up damage cards can be brutal.
Con:  His ability requires you to deal faceup damage cards reliably, and thus is semi-random.

7) Admiral Sloane (New Commander) - Sloane to me rounds out the top 3 Imperial Commanders.  She fits all the categories that make an Imperial commander great; cheap (at least in terms of upgrade cost), reliable, makes good things better.  Her only limitation is that you are bringing a lot of squadrons.
Pro:  Makes TIE Swarms, particularly Aces, even better.
Con:  Better invest 120+ points in TIEs.

B Tier

8) Darth Vader (No Change) - Vader is the premier Imperial commander for making ships hurt.  Where once there was Screed, now the Dark Lord of the Sith waits.  With boosts to VSDs (enabling long range shooting), he has only gotten more scary.
Pro:  Nothing hurts like Vader hurts.
Con:  Expensive with a painful downside for using his ability. 

9) Admiral Ozzel (-1 Tier) -Why don't more people like Admiral Ozzel?  Well, Jerry is better and almost as cheep, otherwise Ozzel would be up in the A Tier.  Don't underestimate changing speed, especially with Raiders and ISDs.
Pro:  He's the cheapest Imperial.  Movement modifications are great.
Con:  There's a lot of really, really good cheap Imperials. 

10) General Cracken (No Change) - Did someone call for a less expensive Mon Mothma? Hammerheads did.
Pro:  Inexpensive.  Good damage reduction.
Con:  Really only good with fast Hammerheads / flotilla.  Mothma is better with CR90s and MC30s.
11) Garm Bel Iblis (+1 Tier) -  He's getting better every time he comes to play, enabling tricks you wouldn't think of.  Still the 2nd cheapest Rebel commander, and arguably more reliable than Dodonna.
Pro:  Cheap, reliable.  Tokens are always useful.
Con:  Really doesn't work well with Command 1 ships.

C Tier

12) Mon Mothma (-1 Tier) - It's not that she's bad, she just isn't really... around much anymore.  If she was an Armada player, she'd be the player who shows up to the Store Championship that you haven't seen since Wave 4.  It's not that she brought a bad list, it's just that... there's nothing new in it.  You're pretty sure she hasn't bought anything since then.
Pro:  MC30s and CR-90s need all the defensive help they can get.
Con:  Moderately expensive, and Admonition / Lando is good enough for your one MC30.

13) Admiral Screed (-1 Tier) - With so many ways to reroll dice, why do you need to discard one?  Maybe he sees some use if FFG releases a new and devastating critical effect.
Pro:  Hey, a critical effect!
Con:  Jerry is better for actually getting the shot.  Vader is better (if more expensive) for making that shot hurt more.

D Tier

14) Commander Sato (-1 Tier) - "You got your ass beat, but you got some good licks in."  The "Steve Harrington" of commanders, complete with babysitting.
Pro:  I always am impressed when I play against a Sato list with the amount of damage the ships manage to do.
Con:  I have never lost to a Sato list.

15) Grand Moff Tarkin (-1 Tier) - Look into the future, and see Grand Admiral Thrawn.  This is what you could have been, Tarkin.  
Pro:  Tokens are always good.
Con:  The most expensive commander.  Thrawn would have evacuated.

F Tier

16) General Tagge (No Change) - Imagine an Imperial commander that is defensive like Motti, but he's slightly more expensive, and there's no guarantee you'll be able to use his defensive ability in the game?
Pro:  He's not Admiral Konstantine.  Soft counter to Sloane / Intel Officer

Con:  What happens if you play any commander other than Sloane?

17)  General Organa (New Commander) - I hate having to put Leia here, I really do.  But she's kinda not good.  18 points is a lot to invest in one extra squadron activation per squadron command or what Ozzel does for the Imperials (pick one).  She'd be a solid B tier if she was 6 points cheaper.
Pro:  Flotillas and Liberty are both better.  Hammerheads and CR90s are better.  Technically more flexible than Tarkin.
Con:  Cracken works better with Hammerheads.  If I wanted to spend 38 points on a Rebel commander I would have taken Ackbar.

18) Admiral Konstantine (-1 Tier) - The hottest garbage.  Adding a Medium base ship didn't even make him better.
Pro:  He's cheaper than Tagge!
Con:  You might actually use Tagge at some point during the game.


  1. Reading the wording at the beginning of this made me realize why it took the FAQ a long time to come out - they nerfed Rieekan, but then they had to wait a whole round for him to /actually/ be nerfed before they could release it.

  2. Salvation is bland? Which Salvation have you been using?

  3. I just don't agree on Leila. She is a B for me. With somme fleet design you can get a couple of list where she shine. And nav team witch imha is underrated is not so expensive and very good with her. Just dont put her on a black dice/short ranged list she is not made for this.

  4. @Vojtěch
    Here are some examples:
    Fleet 1:
    - 2 AF2A with défence liaison disposable capacitor and quad battery turret (thoose are you gunline and have good flack, go slow and aim for double arc the defence liaison alow you to be reactive by changing for the needed order when time comme to mouve out or repair)
    - 1 Gr75 with com net and hondo to feed the defence liaison and command your sfc)
    - 2 cr90b with nav team and sw-7. Go flotilla hunting, they are even more maneurable than with madine given the fzct that you got your token every needed turn (so with just a nav command they got the choise over madine to either get 2 add click or 2 speed change)
    - jan, bigs and 2 x-wing

    List 2:
    - 2 Hameread torpedo with external rack and TFO (don't come near my formation)
    - 1 Hameread scoot with Gunry team, disposable capacitor, quad battery turret and TFO. (long range damage and flotilla hunting)
    - 1 Gr75 with com net (sfc coverage command and tocken for the pelta)
    - Pelta with sfo, nav team, disposable capacitor and entrapement formation. (let your fleet navigate while doing something else with leila, contribute to long range firepower)
    -Neb-b support with SFO, nav team, quad battery turret and salvation (long range firepower, when the time come to press on the navigate command with entrapement and leila you can go from 1 to 3 with 2 add click).
    -2xwing , jan, biggs

    Both fleet are to be played with most wanted, contested outpost and salvage run. And must be played at low speed.

    What leila brings in both of them is:
    - the capacity to enhance long range damage with the confire free tocken (usualy the spamed order)
    - the posibility of a sharp défensive réaction time come for it (and the defense liaison and SFO make the timing perfect).