Black Squadron Pilot

David Yun David Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2017-08-31 05:25:33

Black Squadron Pilot: 14 points, PS 4, EPT (v1.0 W11)


Crack Shot revitalized the TIE swarm with additional firepower, and the Black Squadron Pilot provides the Elite Pilot Talent necessary to field it en masse. Howlrunner and 5 Black Squadron Pilots, each equipped with Crack Shot, checks in at 94 points. There are a few successful options for the remaining 6 points, and there's honestly very little differentiating them in terms of overall quality. My assessments below are little more than quibbles.

Dom Cairo upgraded the Blacks to Mauler and Scourge, and won the 2016 Chicago Regional. However, I do feel that the focus of the squad is to throw overwhelming offense, and their abilities don't necessarily contribute to the opening volley. Imperial ace Tyler Tippett (aka Starslinger72) went with 2 Omega Squadron Pilots, the TIE/fo analogue to Black Squadron. The increased resiliency is welcome, but they too neglect to provide extra offense. I concur with Dallas' conclusion:

Mynock Crack Swarm - Rank A

(19) Howlrunner: Crack Shot
(21) Highroller (Zeta Leader): Crack Shot
(15) Black Squadron Pilot: Crack Shot
(15) Black Squadron Pilot: Crack Shot
(15) Black Squadron Pilot: Crack Shot
(15) Black Squadron Pilot: Crack Shot

Highroller's pilot ability to throw an extra die accentuates the archetype's core strength. Dallas won the 2016 Fresno Regional with the squad:

The other powerful option is to sacrifice 2 Crack Shots to regain the 7th TIE Fighter:

Pattiswarm - Rank A

(19) Howlrunner: Crack Shot
(15) Black Squadron Pilot: Crack Shot
(15) Black Squadron Pilot: Crack Shot
(15) Black Squadron Pilot: Crack Shot
(12) Academy Pilot
(12) Academy Pilot
(12) Academy Pilot

Andrew Pattison took down the 2016 Yavin System Open, a MASSIVE 400+ player tournament against much of the best Europe had to offer.

As I opined earlier, a Crack Swarm should commit to offensive aggression. However, compromising to invest in Howlrunner's longevity isn't totally insane:

Hedge Better Crack Swarm - Rank B

(22) Howlrunner: Adrenaline Rush/Determination, Hull Upgrade/Stealth Device
(15) Black Squadron Pilot: Crack Shot
(15) Black Squadron Pilot: Crack Shot
(15) Black Squadron Pilot: Crack Shot
(15) Black Squadron Pilot: Crack Shot
(18) Omega Squadron Pilot: Draw Their Fire

If you can somehow do without Howlrunner, and can fly the pants off of your untethered TIE Fighters, Last Winter's Night is worth investigating. Lockdown is the most efficient endgame finisher X-Wing has ever seen, and the Crack Swarm covers her weaknesses. Mark Fletcher (aka Sable Gryphon) is the squad's creator, and won the 2016 Dallas Regional with it. I may be rating it too low, but I'm biased against non-Howlrunner swarms.

Last Winter's Night - Rank B

(26) Lockdown (Omega Leader): Juke, Comm Relay
(15) Black Squadron Pilot: Crack Shot
(15) Black Squadron Pilot: Crack Shot
(15) Black Squadron Pilot: Crack Shot
(15) Black Squadron Pilot: Crack Shot
(14) Wampa

Lastly, I've got a casual squad that Black Squadron Pilots make possible:

Hothie 12.0 - Rank F(unsies)

(36) Darth Vader: Swarm Tactics, Harpoon Missiles, Advanced Targeting Computer, Guidance Chips, TIE/x1
(20) Howlrunner: Swarm Tactics
(16) Black Squadron Pilot: Swarm Tactics
(16) Black Squadron Pilot: Swarm Tactics
(12) Academy Pilot

This is my umpteenth iteration of Doug Kinney's 2012 World Champion squad. I've long since been forced to drop a TIE Fighter for the various upgrades, so it's no longer a quality squad (Swarm Tactics is definitely over costed), but firing every ship at PS9 is fun! Harpoon Missiles haven't been released as of this writing, but Cruise Missiles can pinch hit until then.

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