Most of the X-Wing community seems to be eagerly anticipating the points change in January – as well as the release of Wave 6 and the new pilots from the Hotshots and Aces pack. So now it’s time to look back at Wave 5 and see which pilots, lists and upgrades that performed well. All data is based on Listfortress data as they looked at the end of December 2019. In the following, I will in general only look data from larger tournaments (50+ player extended, 32+ player Hyperspace – click here to see which tournaments were used)
As this is an analysis piece, I will try my best to stick as close as possible to the data and avoid any personal opinion. Whenever I feel that I must inject an opinion not totally founded in data I will make sure to make an #opinion-warning.
I will start by going over a few general trends, and then go through the factions in order of current (average) strength. The faction performance ranking is determined using the full dataset from November 2019 – as December is always a bit of a fluky month filled with mostly smaller tournaments.
Before we get into the faction-by-faction analysis though, lets start by looking at some general tendencies.
Note: When listing percentages they refer to either faction representation (how many % of lists in that faction is this and this archetype or has that specific pilot) or average performance as percentile (100% meaning it placed first at all events it participated in, 50% being average). For the users of advancedtargeting.computer note that this is the inverse of the “Avg. Swiss rank” stat. In all things higher is better.
As the chart above shows, the bid in both Hyperspace and Extended keeps going up, and is now at 3.2 for Hyperspace and 2.8 for Extended.
The bid is still mostly driven by i6-lists (38% of squads have an i6 pilot in them) – but i5-lists is beginning to see some bids as well.
For i6, you will need an 8 point bid to move last in 9 of 10 games (up from 7 points in wave 4), a 13 point bid to move last in 19 of 20 games (up from 11 points in wave 4) and a 20 points bid to move last in 99 of 100 games (up from 17 points in wave 4).
Let me clarify these numbers a bit, as there was some misunderstandings after my last post:
The numbers factor in the likely matchups – and as they are “i6” numbers they assume you have an i6-pilot in the list. So in a lot of cases (62%) you will move last no matter your bid – simply because you have an i6-pilot, while your opponent doesn’t. It also includes the fact that if you both bring lists with the same bid, there is a 50% chance you will move last.
Looking at the chart above we can see that average list size have stopped increasing for the first time since 2.0 launch – and have actually decreased for Hyperspace. Digging a bit deeper, the details on the split of listsizes can be seen below. The number in parenthesis is the Wave 4 number.
|2||9.5% (8.1%)||8.0% (8.3%)|
|3||39.5% (33.4%)||38.2% (36.3%)|
|4||31.4% (38.9%)||30.1% (36.2%)|
|5||8.6% (11.9%)||13.0% (9.5%)|
|6||4.8% (7.6%)||4.5% (4.6%)|
|7||4.5% (3.7%)||3.2% (3.2%)|
|8||1.6% (1.2%)||3.0% (1.9%)|
As we can see the formats does not overly affect the list size distribution – with a few significant exceptions – specifically for 5, 7 & 8 ship lists, which are all more common in Extended than in Hyperspace. For 5-ship lists a guess (#opinion-warning) could be the “Torkil Mux & The Cartel Marauders”-list which is quite common in Extended. For 7 & 8-ship lists, it may just be a difference in the prefered config of the Separatist Vulture swarm – whether that is intentional with regards to the formats or a matter of timing (Most of the Extended data is from only a few weeks, whereas the Hyperspace data is spread over most of the time period of Wave 5)
Overall though, Hyperspace shows an increase in 2- & 3-ship as well as a small increase in 8-ship.
Extended on the other hand sees increases in 3-ship, 5-ship and 8-ship.
Note that this data is for “All” – not just for the larger tournaments. Also note that there is no specific “Extended” for historical reason, only a “All Formats”).
I will mostly disregard the data for December, i.e. the last datapoint, as there is very little data, and particular very little “Large tournament” data for this period
All: Empire remains the most popular faction throughout the Wave. Republic started strong as #2, but vained in popularity in November (#4). Scum have become increasingly popular during this wave, becoming #2 faction in November. Rebels have followed a similar path – going neck and neck with Scum in November, and had a strong december. The three lesser-played factions are close, but Separatist is now #5. Resistance started as very popular (#3) but dropped to #6 in November and #7 in December. First order have been #7 most of wave.
Hyperspace: Hyperspace faction popularity is in most ways a mirror of All – but in general the faction split is more even. Scum is the major difference – #5 in November in Hyperspace (while being #2 in Extended).
As for representation, again the data is from “All” – not just for larger tournaments. The other notes given for Faction Representation above also applies.
All: Separatists has been on top since the start of Wave 5, and the lead has only increased since. Republic squeeze into the #2 spot – interestingly the performance curve for them almost inversely mirrors the representation curve from the previous section. Empire takes #3 after a relatively stable performance throughout the Wave. Scum takes #4 in November, and was even up to #2 in October where both Separatists & Republic were struggling compared to the rest of the period. Resistance is #5 in November, First Order is #6 – but was #2 in September and #3 in October. Rebels finish last.
Hyperspace: Mostly like “All” – again with Scum being the exception. Scum does have a peak in October (#2). Also both First Order and Resistance seems to be more able to compete in Hyperspace.
Let’s now dig into the factions – from Best to Worst. Main focus will be Extended, with some notes on Hyperspace where relevant.
The performance stats are combined for both Extended and Hyperspace, as the current meta has very little differentiation. Pilot numbers are, however, typically for Extended only. Note that the numbers are for average performance – in the Summary section at the end I have listed the “top end”-performance of some of these lists.
Separatists on top – Roger Roger!
Separatists have come into their own this wave. In wave 4 they ended in the middle of the pack performance wise – but were still the least played faction for most of the time. Now they have overtaken both Resistance and First Order in representation – and taken a very clear lead in best performing faction.
Sear Swarm: Despite the recent successes with Nantex+Vulture Swarm, the Sear swarm is the main reason Separatists has won so hard. The Avg. percentile of this archetype is 69.5% – and the 7 vulture version specifically is up to 73.7%. These are the amongst the highest numbers we’ve ever seen for an archetype – rivalling Rebel Beef and Quad Phantoms in wave 3. It should be noted though that the archetype only took up 3.8% of the total extended meta and just 1.4% of the Hyperspace meta. (it’s also worth noting that Sear Swarm’s splash in Hyperspace is much less noteworthy – there the performance is just 58.1%). Looking at matchups – we can see that it matches up favorably against most things – with the exception of “Republic Aces” (3 i5+ ships, none above 80 points) where the Sear swarm “only” wins 4 of 9 games and against the Separatist Swarm (8 vultures) where it wins only 1 in 6 games. A few other matchups are <50% – but the volume there is too limited to conclude anything.
“Sunny & Cher”: As the Nantex arrived we saw a few distinct approaches: All Nantex (Chertek + 3 i4 generics), Nantex + Vultures (see below) and then this “Separatist Aces” variant – with Sun Fac, Chertek and General Grievous along with a significant bid (14.9p average). This archetype has not fared well, however, with a 49.8% performance in extended, and 51.6% in Hyperspace. In both formats, it’s been about 1/10 of the Separatist lists fielded. Variants of this archetype is replacing Sun Fac and the bid with two Petranaki Aces (50.8% performance) or DBS-404 and a single Petranaki Ace (68.0% performance – low sample size)
Nantex(i) & Vultures: A very succesful variant, winning several events and placing well in others. We’ve seen both Sun Fac + 6 win two events (Doug Howe) and Chertek + 7 win one (Paul Heaver). Chertek + Petranaki + 5 also have a single good result. (Name unknown).
In order to compare and reach some kind of critical mass to judge this archetype I’ve made a custom calculation for all lists that includes at least 1 Nantex and at least 4 vultures, without any Belbullabs, Hyenas or Infiltrators. This gives us 19 lists played across large extended and hyperspace tournaments and an average of 54.7% performance. The results clearly show that in the hands of a great player, this archetype can go to the very top – but also finish very low. If we look at the difference between choice of the Nantex in the archetype, it does seems to slightly favor Chertek (57.0%) over Sun Fac (53.5%)
Notable pilots and upgrades:
- Techno Union Bomber – 70.1%
The Hyena have, overall, not seen play in meta-defining lists, but it must be mentioned that Marcelo Boldrin won the Brazilian Grands (109 players) with six of these – loaded with struts and prox mines.
- Captain Sear – 69.8%
Sear is absolutely still a mainstay for supporting vulture swarms – most commonly with TA-175 and title (76.9% performance)
- Trade Federation Drone – 65.3%
The most common piece in the CIS swarms – works better in large numbers (8 ship lists score 71.7%). Struts seems to increase the performance slightly, while both missile options – aggregated – decreases average performance.
- Separatist Drone – 59.8%
The i3 variant of the Vulture is not as common, nor has as impressive results – but it’s worth noting that Struts decrease the performance here – while Energy-Shell Charges increases it slightly (+3.7% – Small Sample Size). It is, however, best performing without upgrades (+7.6%)
- DBS-404 – 58.8% (Small Sample Size)
- Chertek – 55.3%
Chertek always have Ensnare – but adding Crack Shot bumps his performance to 71.5% (Likely partly an effect of the players making that choice than an actual Crack Shot effect)
- Sun Fac – 49.6%
Expected by many to be “The Metawrecker” – Sun Fac generally comes with a bid (13.2p average – likely very list-dependent) – and like Chertek, the Ensnare is stapled on. Also like Chertek a significant increase comes from adding Crack Shot – in the case of Sun Fac it is +29.8% – taking him to 79.4% performance with the Ensnare/Crackshot configuration.
- Petranaki Arena Ace – 41.1%
Almost only used if you have more than one Nantex (Chertek is just 1 point more expensive) – the Petranaki follows the pattern layed out by Chertek and Sun Fac – Ensnare is stapled – Crack Shot is a decent second talent (+2.4p only though). Quad Petranaki was shortly a thing, and though there was only a small sample size (4 lists in Large Extended tournaments) – an average performance of just 5% is quite telling.
- Grappling Struts – 65.5%
Slightly better performance with Discord Missiles (+1.4%) and significantly worse with Energy-Shell Charges (-6.6%)
- Energy-Shell Charges – 61.7%
As could be expected, performs slightly better at the i3 drones (63.5%)
- Discord Missiles – 65.2%
As mentioned, the combination of Discord Missiles and Grappling Struts scores slightly better (+1.7%) while Vultures with just Discord Missiles has -2.7%.
Republic takes second
The Galactic Republic follows up on a strong wave 4 performance. In the beginning of the wave the popularity of Republic increased, and as representation grew, average performance fell. At the end of the wave, the representation had dropped off somewhat, and performance began to increase again. This is likely another example of list popularity driving less skilled players to pick up the faction, only to figure out that it took a bit more practice and skill to fly it well.
Republic 5s – Obi, Plo & Ric: Perhaps the best known of the Republic lists – two i5 7Bs alongside an i5 Naboo Starfighter – typically all with regen and Sense on one Jedi scores 66.0%
Anakin, Obi & Ric: A veteran-list of Wave 4, the 7B Anakin, CLT/Sense/R2A6 Obi and Ric have still seen quite a lot of play. It’s average performance is 47.0%
Anakin, Obi & Torrent: Two heavily loaded 7Bs with a torrent blocker also made quite a splash in Wave 4, especially in Europe. Avg. Wave 5 performance is 52.9%
Obi + 3 ARCs: An ace + “beef” configuration. Performs quite well at 67.3% – but have not quite made a splash in the cut.
Obi + Plo + Little Ani: A variant of the Republic 5s list mentioned above – this one replaces Ric Olie with Anakin in the Naboo starfighter. Quite a lot of variance exist in the upgrades for this one, Common for all is that Obi fly 7B and both Obi & Ani has R2 astromech and Sense. Some run an expensive Anakin (Proton Torps, Passive Sensors) along a CLT Plo (with either C1-10P or R2-A6 in the droid slot) – while others run Ani lighter (Adv. Proton Torp, Crack Shot) and gives Plo 7B and R2 Astromech. Seen together this combination of pilots (with all combinations of upgrades) scores 76.4%
Triple Aethersprite: Flying triple Jedi has been tried in many variants. A number of pilot combinations exists – In most of the succesful cases the three are selected from a list of Anakin, Obi, Plo, Mace and Luminare. In most cases one or two of the pilots have 7B. None of the combinations are seen enough to make up any kind of statistic significance. Looking at the results, it seems this is an archetype that can work VERY well for some, but also VERY badly for others. On average the score is 52.1%
Sinker Swarm: Sinker + Torrents + typically Ric Olie was quite a popular list in Wave 4, but does not see much use anymore. With Ric as the 5th ship the list scores 67.0%. Some variants use a generic Arc as the 5th ship (29% performance), Broadside (3%) or Mace (31.5%)
Notable pilots and upgrades:
- 104th Batallion Pilot – 54.6%
- Broadside – 52.9%
The most played of the Republic Y-wings, Broadside is in 22% of Republic lists.
- Anakin (Aethersprite) – 47.2%
Anakin was very popular in wave 4, but have since seen quite a lot less use. Most frequently (91.5% of the cases) Anakin has 7B (+2.5%) and R2 Astromech (+1.0%). Both these, along with Spare Parts Canister and Sense scores 71.0%
- Obi – 56.6%
Obi is by far the most popular pilot in the Republic (73.6% of lists) – and also the most popular pilot in any faction (Just beating Kylo Ren). The most common loadout for him is 7B, Sense & R2 Astromech – and with this configuration Obi’s performance goes up to 67.4%
- Plo Koon – 58.1%
Plo was rarely seen in Wave 4, but got popular early in Wave 5 – almost always flying along other Jedi. The most popular configuration is 7B and R2 Astromech (+4.2%) – but the most effective combination seen is with C1-10P (+21.4%)
- Ric Olie – 55.8%
Ric is still a very common sight – being in almost 40% of Republic lists. A lot of different layouts are seen on Ric, though R2 astromech (+4.2%) and Crack Shot (+8.9%) seems to be the most effective. Brought together they increase Ric’s performance to 67.2%
- Anakin (Naboo) – 64.7%
Not a common sight (6.8% of Republic lists) – Little Ani has performed very well in Wave 5. Both R2 Astromech (75% of Ani’s – +5.8% performance) and Advanced Proton Torpedoes (+10.3%) seems effective. Collision Detector and Intimidation also seems to work well.
- Gold Squadron Trooper – 41.1%
After being a constant companion for Jedi throughout Wave 3 and Wave 4, the generic Torrent is less popular now – but is still in 22.1% of Republic lists.
- Delta-7B – 54.7%
About 2/3 of Aethersprites have 7B. 3/4 of these also have R2 Astromech. (+2.7%) Heightened Perception, while a lot less popular, seems to work really well as well. R2 Astro & Heightened Perception along with 7B scores 72.8%
- Calibrated Laser Targeting – 52.3%
About 1/3 of Aethersprites have CLT. There is a clear link between lists with more ships and success with CLT. (Average performance goes up as list size increases, especially if # of CLTs in the list increases as well). Predictive Shot, though rarely used along with CLT has a performance of 79.6%
Empire in third place
Since the points change in July, Empire has consistently been the most popular faction. The start of Wave 5 saw them wane in performance, but they’ve rallied in the last months of the wave. Empire has few succesful archetypes, that each have split into a number of lists.
Triple aces: The two most popular Empire lists both fits into this category. Vader/Duchess/Soontir scores 54.2%, while the world-winning Vader/Grand Inquisitor/Whisper scores 63.4%.
These Triple aces lists have a lot of good matchups, their worst matchups being Jendon’s Inquisitors (33% win rate), Sear Swarm (41.2% win rate) and 4-ship republic, i.e. 2 ARCs, a jedi and then either another Jedi, Ric or another ARC (42.9% win rate). These Triple Imperial Aces takes up about 4.2% of the total meta.
Jendon’s inquisitors: Colonel Jendon combined with at least two inquisitors showed up just after the July points change as the generic Inquisitors fell in price – and had a lot of initial success. Three distinct lists have seen play in Wave 5 – the difference being the fourth ship. Most successful is, perhaps surprisingly, a third generic Inquisitor – at 54,8%. Soontir as 4th ship scores 53.4% – while using the “original” Grand Inquisitor scores just 41.6%. These builds together takes up about 5.0% of the total meta.
RAC / Whisper: A classic Imperial archetype, this scores 57.0%. It does have a rather impressive performance at the top of the field.
Notable pilots and upgrades:
- Colonel Jendon – 48.9%
Almost in a quarter of all Imperial lists. Jendon is clearly a force multiplier, and list performance increases the more ships that are in them. Common upgrades includes Director Krennic (+1.4%) and Emperor Palpatine (-4.5%)
- Grand Inquisitor – 50.9%
In just over 20% of Imperial lists. “Ginqui” performs best without upgrades (+8.3%) – though to be fair that is probably because he is that way when he flies with other aces.
- Inquisitor – 51.2%
In 22% of Imperial lists. Quite a lot of variation in loadout, though Fire Control System is in most, though it slightly reduces performances (-2.1%). Concussion Missiles seems the most popular choice of missile (in 58.2% of cases, +1.1% performance). Cluster Missiles seems like a decent alternative (18.4% representation, +6.5% performance). As for Force upgrades, they are most commonly used without – but both Supernatural Reflexes (+2.1%), Sense (+6.4%) and Foresight (+3.6%) have seen play with succes.
- Darth Vader – 50.8%
The Dark Lord appears in 45.2% of Imperial lists. He is almost always (89.8%) fielded with Afterburners. Another popular upgrade is Passive Sensors (48.8%, +1.8%) – but adding more than those two upgrades seems detrimental to average performance. With both Passive Sensors and Afterburners, Vader’s performance jumps to 59.8%
- Soontir Fel – 55.6%
28.8% of Imperial lists features Soontir. Predator is the most common upgrade on Soontir, but reduces performance (60.5%, -4.9%). Targeting Computer (38.3%, +4.2%), Crack Shot (27.2%, +9.2%) and on occasion Stealth Device (7.4%, +10.9%) are all good upgrades on him. Adding both Crack Shot and Targeting Computer seems to balance Soontir well and increases his performance to 66.0%
- Whisper – 54.9%
19.9% of Imperial Lists. Whisper almost have Fifth Brother stapled to her (92.9%, +0.9%). Passive Sensors (69.6%, +1.0%) and Juke (41.1%, +5.2%) are also both popular and effective. Fifth Brother and Passive Sensors is the most popular loadout (25% of Whispers) and increases average performance to 64.5%
- Duchess – 50.5%
While only in 9.6% of Imperial Lists, Duchess is the key to Imperial aces in Hyperspace. Looking at the upgrades, it is surprising to see that Fifth Brother, while almost stapled to her (77.8%) actually appear to be a net loss (-1.6%). Predator in the talent slot is both popular (63.0%) and effective (+4.1%). Crack Shot (33.3%, -6.1%) less so. Afterburners (14.8%, +26.8%) and Hull Upgrade (7.4%, +15.5%) are less popular, but apparently effective choices.
- RAC – 51.8%
11.7% representation. A lot of upgrade options here. Looking at Crew we have Vader (+3.1%), Moff Jerjerrod (+9.0%) and Grand Inquisitor (+4.7%) working well – while Minister Tua (-14.7%), 0-0-0 (-23.2%), Fifth Brother (-8.0%) and Seventh Sister (-25.5%) works less well. On the Talent front, Lone Wolf (+15.3%) is both popular and effective. There is a lot more on the upgrade-side – see the Pilotpage for details.
In summary it seems like “Fat RAC” performs well – but this might just be because that is the list configuration (Along with Whisper) that has seen success.
Scum is 4th
While Scum is still nowhere near it’s Wave 1 glory – Wave 5 have seen some success. Very “swingy” though – September saw them at last place performance wise, in October they were up to #2 and back down to #4 in November. December (Weird month with few tournaments) shows them up to #3 bypassing Empire.
Mux Swarm: The single most popular list in Wave 5 was Torkil Mux, Seevor and 3 Cartel Marauders scoring 60.8%. An interesting variant, played by Niklas God Nilsson replaces Seevor and a single Cartel Marauder for Captain Jostero and Torani Kulda as well as a bomb on Mux. He calls this variant “Moldy Dragon”. Apart from Niklas’ two results with this, no one else seems to have played it in a major tournament though – but at 92.5% average performance it might be worth a look.
Boba & Fenn: Scoring a solid 60.1% – Boba & Fenn have done quite well – 3 of them making top cut at Worlds. (Two Top-32 and one Top 8). Since then one made it to the final table in a large UK Hyperspace trial. 13-18p bid seems to be the norm here – combined with a light Fenn Rau (Usually just Crack Shot, sometimes Fearless) and a Slave 1, Hull Upgrade, Maul, Prox mines and Fearless Boba. Decent matchups for this list generally include aces and swarms, though they never become “very good matchups” – this has all the marks of a list where player skill matters quite a bit, though the performance-floor is quite high.
Quad Starviper: A simple recipe – 4 x Black Sun Assasin with Crack Shot (Or Predator) – this list made top 4 at worlds and has since seen quite a lot of play. Average performance is 56.8%
Fenn & Guri: Another two-ship Scum list – scoring 52.7%. Fenn is built with either Fearless or Outmaneuver, while Guri has Adv. Sensors, Afterburners, Outmaneuver, Shield Upgrade & Virago. Final touch is the decision on whether to add an Adv. Proton Torpedo to Guri as well – or got for the bigger bid. The list always have a solid bid though, between 16 and 25 points.
Notable pilots and upgrades:
- Fenn Rau – 52.0%
20.3% of Scum lists have Fenn in them. The main upgrade choice is what to put in the Talent slot. Fearless (28.6%, -2.3%) is most popular, but not working that well. Crack Shot (20.0%, +15.6%) is also popular, and seems to clearly be the superior choice. Outmaneuver & Predator is also quite common but also reduces average performance. No upgrades is slightly better than average (+1.3%)
- Boba Fett – 50.5%
Boba is in 22.1% of Scum lists. The Slave 1 title seems to be the new standard for him with Maul in the crew slow and Prox Mines in the back. The upgrade picture for Boba is complicated, if you are interested I suggest you visit the Pilot detail page.
- Torkil Mux – 56.8%
The second most popular Scum ship in Extended (24.4% of lists) – Torkil is almost always fielded with just the title, though in certain lists adding a bomb or mine on him works out.
- Cartel Marauder – 59.1%
Like Torkil, the Cartel Marauder is in 24.4% of lists – which is no coincidende 🙂 Generally fielded without upgrades.
- Ketsu Onyo – 36.2%
Despite not seeing much succes, Ketsu is still in 11.6% of Scum lists. The Shadow Caster title is practically stapled to her. Fearless is popular but ineffective (90%,-3.4%) as is Maul (55%, -1.8%). 0-0-0 seems to have potential (20%, +9.6%).
With such a relatively low performance though, the numbers above should probably be taken with a grain of salt. Ketsu is clearly not played by top-tier competitive players at the moment.
- Torani Kulda – 65.8%
While in only 6.4% of Scum lists, Torani is clearly the best performing Scum pilot. R5-P8 and Snap Shot seems to be the most effective upgrades.
- Captain Seevor – 54.1%
The most popular pilot in Scum – at 30.2% faction representation, Seevor’s use goes beyond his role in the Mux “Swarm”. Seevor performs best without upgrades (+2.9%)
Resistance is best-of-the-worst in 5th
Resistance was, by some, declared the strongest faction right after the points change in July. They ended up as #4 in Wave 4 though, and have since slipped further down in both representation and performance. In November they were the second least played faction, and #5 in performance. Resistance does not have that many well established list, hence the shortness of the section below. There is a lot of experimentation going on in the faction though, I will try to cover some of that in the pilot section.
5 RZ-2 A-wings have been in the meta ever since their release. With the price increases in July, they have undergone some changes, mostly by having to drop L’ulo for another Blue Sqd. Recruit – but the recipe is still mostly the same – Optics & Heroic on all, flavour with a few Crack Shots.
It is certainly a skill-based list though, as evidenced by the two best results of the Wave being at Worlds (Top 8 and Top 32)
Overall the list only scores 44.7% though.
Finn, Jess, Snap & Bastian
Classic “efficient beef”, scoring 46.4%. Finn has Heroic, Pattern Analyzer and Perceptive Copilot, Jess a BB Astromech, Snap has Composure and Bastian has nothing. The loadout of the pilots has almost no variance.
Notable pilots and upgrades:
- Cova Nell – 51.0%
In almost of quarter of the Resistance lists you will find Cova. Almost always with Heroic and Leia Organa. Autoblasters has been shown to be effective on her in a few tournaments.
A list with Poe, Greer & Finn made top 4 at US Grands in St. Louis.
- Finn – 52.8%
In almost half (46.7%) of Resistance lists. Finn generally seems to work best with just Heroic (30.4%, +7.2%), but is often used with a lot more upgrades.
- L’ulo – 52.2%
Formerly the most popular Resistance pilot, L’ulo is now only in 15% of Resistance lists. Like most RZ-2 A-wings Heroic and Crack Shot are common upgrade choices, along with Advanced Optics if points allow for that. Specifically on L’ulo, Advanced Optics is not very popular, but the results shows it being effective (11,1%, +27.8%). Note that L’ulo is the best performing of the RZ-2s.
- Tallissan Lintra – 42.9%
Tallie is in 28.3% of lists. Heroic is stapled (100%) and Crack Shot is a good choice (73.5%, +2.5%). Advanced Optics is less effective (73.5%, -3.1%)
- Greer Sonnel – 48.2%
Greer is the most popular A-Wing at 35% representation. Like for Tallie, Greer shows great results for Crack Shot (50.0%, +7.8%) and bad results for Advanced Optics (76.2%, -1.3%)
- Poe Dameron – 46.4%
Poe is in about a quarter of resistance lists. Good upgrades includes Black One and R4 Astro. Competing for the talent slot is Crack Shot (6.5%, +4.6%)
- Ello Asty – 63.0%
While only in 6.7% of Resistance lists, Ello is the best performing pilot in the Resistance. Adding Marksmanship and Autoblasters puts performance up to 67.0%
- Nien Numb – 56.4%
In ~20% of lists, Nien is another Resistance staple. The best configuration seems to be Black One, Heroic, Pattern Analyzer (12.0%, +21.9%). Attempts with other Cannon upgrades seems to have not worked out.
- Temmin “Snap” Wexley – 45.1%
18.3% representation. Composure is the talent of choice here – any further upgrades seems detrimental.
- Jessika Pava – 55.8%
At 30.8% representation, Jess is the 3rd most popular Resistance pilot. Flying her without upgrades (besides foils) seems most effective (18.9%, +11.1%) though BB Astromech is very popular (56.8%, -3.9%)
- Lt. Bastian – 49.0%
In about a quarter of lists. Generally flown without upgrades.
- GA-97 – 55.5% (Small Sample Size)
While “IT’S THE RESISTANCE!” caused a lot of hype when Calen Wong flew 3 RZ2’s, Vi Moradi & Finn to a top 8 position at worlds, there is very little evidence of other successful uses of GA-97. Two others have tried in larger tournaments, but only Calen ever made a cut with this.
First Order is 6th
First Order have never seen high representation – it has consistently been the least flown faction. Separatists briefly took over this position, but in Wave 5 First Order is back at lowest representation. Performance-wise First Order have swung up and down – being on top in July, Second in September, 3rd in October – but back down to 6th in November. Like for Resistance the lack of representation means very little data, and hence the section below is quite short. There ARE a few top-level performances with other lists, but these have rarely been shown to deliver consistently. I will try to include some of the detail in the pilot section.
Kylo, Tavson, Quickdraw: The only real stable list flown by First Order players in any numbers. Scoring 49.7% – this list has Kylo Ren without upgrades, Tavson with Biohexacrypt codes on occasion, but most frequently also without upgrades and finally Quickdraw with Fanatical and Special Forces Gunner, and on occasion Fire-Control System.
Avenger, 2 x Epsilon, 2 x Zeta: With only two entries, I should perhaps have left this out. But it’s worth adding here – simple because it shown something completely different about First Order. Credited to Maciej “Oldpara” Paraszczak who flew it all the way to the final table at Polish Grands – and subsequently used by Johnson Goh in a Singapore Hyperspace Trial (38 players, top 8). This means that the average performance of the squad is 90.5%
Notable pilots and upgrades:
- Scorch – 46.6%
Found in 20.3% of First Order lists. Fanatical works well (62.5%, +4.5%), as does Advanced Optics (31.3%, +6.6%)
- Epsilon Sqd. Cadet – 63.7%
While only used in 12.7% of First Order lists, the average performance of the Epsilon Sqd. Cadet is extremely high.
- Quickdraw – 43.5%
Quickdraw is very popular with 51.9% representation. Special Forces gunner is common (95.1%, +0.9%) as is Fanatical (68.3%, +6.2%). Afterburners is not commonly used, possible due to cost, but very effective (7,3%, +21.2%)
- Omega Sqd. Expert – 39.1%
20.3% representation. Used without the SF Gunner. Advanced Optics works well (78.2%, +5.8%). In the talent slot Fanatical is most common (45.5%, +1.7%), but Crack Shot seems to work better (36.4%, +9.1%)
- Zeta Sqd. Survivor – 45.1%
The cheapest generic SF is used in 21.5% of FO lists. Commonly with Concussion Missiles and Passive Sensors (34.1%, -3.3%) – but most effective without upgrades (14.6%, +34.6%)
- Kylo Ren – 46.7%
Kylo is practically stapled to FO lists, like Obi is to Republic, at 73.4% representation. Most commonly run without upgrades (58.6%, +1.7%)
- Lt. Tavson – 47.9%
Another FO staple, Tavson has 39.2% faction representation. In general adding upgrades seems to be detrimental, but it may be a case for how the points work out in the well-functioning lists.
Rebels at the bottom – again….
Having ridden high from the point adjustment in January and until the one in July – Rebels fell hard – from about 30% representation and down to below 15%, Rebels grew slightly at the end of Wave 5 and was at about 17% in October. Despite this, the performance of Rebels have been poor since July, consistently being the worst performing faction on average. It is worth noting, however, that Rebels have lists that can deliver top results in the hands of the right player.
Quad U: Benthic, Heff and two Blue Sqd. Scouts carry on the tradition of Rebel beef, with beefy big guns that can have a lot of time on target. Leia (Crew) is standard, as is Perceptive Copilot on Benthic. Cassian (Crew), Tactical Scrambler and Jyn (Crew) is used interchangingly.
Average performance is 66.7%
Wedge, Braylen, Jake, Blount, Bandit: Best known for Daniel Taylor taking it to 2nd place at Worlds in it’s first recording showing, this list scores 57.0%. There is not much upgrade variance in the entries, in fact the only difference is the Talent on Jake
Braylen, Cassian, Ten, Arvel: Another “Lean Rebel Beef” variant, Crack shot on all, Leia & Hull upgrade on Cassian, Intimidation on Arvel. This list made top 8 at Worlds.
Wedge, Luke, Jake: Wedge and Luke loaded with Proton Torps and regen + Jake Farell. Other upgrades seems discretionary. Performs at 56.5% and have made cut at two Grands (Denmark, Sweden).
Notable pilots and upgrades:
- Braylen – 53.2%
Still popular, Braylen is in 27.7% of Rebel lists. Typically fielded with Crack Shot. Hull Upgrade is a good upgrade to add if points allows (14.3%, +4.4%)
- Ten Numb – 46.8%
Often seen as the B-wing pilot you add if you already have Braylen, Ten is in 11.3% of Rebel lists. Like for Braylen, Crack Shot is the go-to upgrade.
- Jake Farell – 55.3%
In 27.1% of Rebel lists, Jake has become very popular in the era of “lean beef”. Crack shot is nearly stapled to him, though Lone Wolf can make a lot of sense in certain lists.
- Wedge – 46.2%
Still popular, Wedge is in 47.5% of lists. Crack shot is quite common (47.6%, +4.4%), while the Shield Upgrade might be a hidden gem on Wedge (7.1%, +10.3%)
- Luke – 45.6%
20.3% of Rebel lists have Luke. Both Sense and Regen (especially R2-D2) works well with Luke. Luke seems to be performing better when you invest some points into him, and he has been succesfully used as a Proton Torpedo carrier.
As many people seems to like ranked lists of what is best – I have summarized all the mentioned data below. Not that this is AVERAGE performance. A good list can have a bad average performance if it has a higher skill cap.
Mentioned lists, sorted by best first, Extended: (*=Small Sample Size)
- Obi + Plo + Little Ani (REP) – 76.4%
- Sear + 7 vultures (CIS) – 73.7%
- Chertek, General Grievous, Petranaki Ace, DBS-404 (CIS) – 68.0%*
- Obi + 3 ARCs (REP) – 67.3%
- Quad U (REB) – 66.7%
- Obi, Plo, Ric (REP) – 66.0%
- Vader, Grand Inquisitor, Whisper (EMP) – 63.4%
- Braylen, Cassian, Ten, Arvel (REB) – 61.6%
- Torkil Mux, Cpt. Seevor & 3 x Cartel Marauder (S&V) – 60.8%
- Boba & Fenn (S&V) – 60.1%
- Sinker Swarm w/ Ric (REP) – 59.5%
- RAC & Whisper (EMP) – 57.0%
- Wedge, Braylen, Jake, Blount, Bandit (REB) – 57.0%
- Chertek & Vultures (CIS) – 57.0%*
- Quad Starviper (S&V) – 56.8%
- Wedge, Luke, Jake (REB) – 56.5%
- Jendon, 3 x Inquisitor (EMP) – 54.8%
- Vader, Duchess & Soontir (EMP) – 54.2%
- Jendon, Soontir, 2 x Inquisitor (EMP) – 53.4%
- Anakin, Obi & Torrent (REP) – 52.9%
- Fenn & Guri (S&V) – 52.7%
- Triple Aethersprite (REP) – 52.1%
- Chertek, General Grievous, 2 x Petranaki Ace (CIS) – 50.8%
- Sun Fac, Chertek and General Grievous (CIS) – 49.8%
- Kylo, Tavson, Quickdraw (FO) – 49.7%
- Finn, Jess, Snap & Bastian (RES) – 46.4%
- Anakin, Obi & Ric (REP) – 44.7%
- 5A (RES) – 44.7%
- Sun Fac & Vultures (CIS) – 43.5%
- Jendon, Grand Inquisitor, 2 x Inquisitor (EMP) – 41.6%
Mentioned pilots, sortest by best first, Extended: (* = Small Sample Size)
- Techno Union Bomber (CIS) – 70.1%
- Captain Sear (CIS) – 69.8%
- Torani Kulda (S&V) – 65.8%
- Trade Federation Drone (CIS) – 65.3%
- Anakin (Naboo) (REP) – 64.7%
- Epsilon Sqd. Cadet (FO) – 63.7%
- Ello Asty (RES) – 63.0%
- Separatist Drone (CIS) – 59.8%
- Cartel Marauder (S&V) – 59.1%
- DBS-404 (CIS) – 58.8%*
- Plo Koon (REP) – 58.1%
- Torkil Mux (S&V) – 56.8%
- Obi (REP) – 56.6%
- Nien Numb (RES) – 56.4%
- Ric Olie (REP) – 55.8%
- Jessika Pava (RES) – 55.8%
- Soontir Fel (EMP) – 55.6%
- Jake Farell (REB) – 55.3%
- Chertek (CIS) – 55.3%
- Whisper (EMP) – 54.9%
- 104th Batallion Pilot (REP) – 54.6%
- Captain Seevor (S&V) – 54.1%
- Braylen (REB) – 53.2%
- Broadside (REP) – 52.9%
- Finn (RES) – 52.8%
- L’ulo (RES) – 52.2%
- Fenn Rau (S&V) – 52.0%
- RAC (EMP) – 51.8%
- Inquisitor (EMP) – 51.2%
- Cova Nell (RES) – 51.0%
- Grand Inquisitor (EMP) – 50.9%
- Darth Vader (EMP) – 50.8%
- Boba Fett (S&V) – 50.5%
- Duchess (EMP) – 50.5%
- Sun Fac (CIS) – 49.6%
- Lt. Bastian (RES) – 49.0%
- Colonel Jendon (EMP) – 48.9%
- Greer Sonnel (RES) – 48.2%
- Lt. Tavson (FO) – 47.9%
- Anakin (Aethersprite) (REP) – 47.2%
- Ten Numb (REB) – 46.8%
- Kylo Ren (FO) – 46.7%
- Scorch (FO) – 46.6%
- Poe Dameron (RES) – 46.4%
- Wedge (REB) – 46.2%
- Luke (REB) – 45.6%
- Temmin “Snap” Wexley (RES) – 45.1%
- Zeta Sqd. Survivor (FO) – 45.1%
- Quickdraw (FO) – 43.5%
- Tallissan Lintra (RES) – 42.9%
- Petranaki Arena Ace (CIS) – 41.1%
- Gold Squadron Trooper (REP) – 41.1%
- Omega Sqd. Expert (FO) – 39.1%
- Ketsu Onyo (S&V) – 36.2%
Mentioned lists, re-ranked by performance in the top 25%:
The list below isolates the top 25% of the meta – and only looks at those lists. This list is an attempt to show what lists are good, provided they are played with skill. (Admittingly it might also show that variance (in dice or matchups) are required to perform well). List where there are only 1 example in the top 25% are excluded. Data is done across both Extended and Hyperspace to provide enough data. Note that this means that the values will be between 75% and 100% instead of 0% to 100%.
- Sun Fac & Vultures (CIS) – 98.3% (3 entries)
- Obi + Plo + Little Ani (REP) – 95.5% (2 entries)
- Wedge, Braylen, Jake, Blount, Bandit (REB) – 92.8% (4 entries)
- RAC & Whisper (EMP) – 92.5% (2 entries)
- Torkil, Torani Kulda, Cpt. Jostero & Cartel Marauder (S&V) – 92.5% (2 entries)
- Vader, Duchess & Soontir (EMP) – 92.4% (13 entries)
- Wedge, Luke, Jake (REB) – 91.5% (2 entries)
- Boba & Fenn (S&V) – 91.4% (5 entries)
- Sear + 7 vultures (CIS) – 91.3% (12 entries)
- Vader, Grand Inquisitor, Whisper (EMP) – 91.0% (9 entries)
- Chertek, General Grievous, Petranaki Ace, DBS-404 (CIS) – 91.0% (2 entries)
- Avenger, 2 x Epsilon, 2 x Zeta (FO) – 90.5% (2 entries)
- Fenn & Guri (S&V) – 90.3% (3 entries)
- Obi, Plo, Ric (REP) – 90.1% (15 entries)
- Quad U (REB) – 90.0% (6 entries)
- Jendon, 3 x Inquisitor (EMP) – 89.5% (2 entries)
- Triple Aethersprite (REP) – 89.4% (12 entries)
- Quad Starviper (S&V) – 89.0% (4 entries)
- Sinker Swarm w/ Ric (REP) – 89.0% (2 entries)
- Jendon, Soontir, 2 x Inquisitor (EMP) – 89.0% (2 entries)
- Anakin, Obi & Ric (REP) – 88.6% (5 entries)
- Torkil Mux, Cpt. Seevor & 3 x Cartel Marauder (S&V) – 87.8% (9 entries)
- Braylen, Cassian, Ten, Arvel (REB) – 87.0%
- Kylo, Tavson, Quickdraw (FO) – 49.7% (5 entries)
- Sun Fac, Chertek and General Grievous (CIS) – 86.7% (6 entries)
- 5A (RES) – 86.3% (3 entries)
- Obi + 3 ARCs – 85.5% (2 entries)
- Jendon, Grand Inquisitor, 2 x inquisitor (EMP) – 83.0% (2 entries)
- Finn, Jess, Snap & Bastian (RES) – 82.3% (3 entries)
- Anakin, Obi & Torrent (REP) – 81.0% (2 entries)
I hope you have found all this useful. If you have (civil) comments, questions or suggestions please put them below. I am particular interested in hearing whether this more “top list focused” approach is better or worse than the previous articles where I focused more on “the field” rather than “the top”.
If you want to see pilot stats for the pilots I have not linked directly to, you can find them here for Hyperspace and here for Extended.