Star Wars: X-Wing - Wave 6 Part 2 Review
on Apr 8, 2015
While the Most Wanted expansion offered a tremendous bang for your buck re-purposing existing ships with new upgrades and tricks, the final three vessels cutting through the Scum infested sky are all entirely new sculpts with their own set of unique and dastard abilities. Original trilogy Bounty Hunters join forces with expanded universe icons to forge a new legacy and burn X-Wing's maturing meta to the ground. The leader of the vile Black Sun, a ubiquitous assassin droid and a sly little vixen all form a group of usual suspects even Keyser Soze would be proud of.
Much like the pattern forged by the path-finding Most Wanted expansion, the Scum faction continues to highlight tenacity and unpredictability hitting us repeatedly with new options and strategic considerations. The first huge item of note is the new Segnor's Loop maneuver which both the StarViper and IG-2000 are capable of performing. Segnor's Loop is the equivalent of a Koiogran U-Turn performed while executing a soft turn as opposed to a straight line. It gives a sense of identity to both ships as they tend to want to perform quick swooping attacks where they swipe by targets and come out the other side in often erratic patterns. Beyond the immediate cool factor, this goes a long way in further establishing boundaries for these new pilots to fit into that gives them purpose and personality. It comes across as solidly implemented and extends beyond the surface impression of being a gimmick.
Beyond this frenetic swooping attack pattern, the Prince Xizor designed StarViper lives up to its classification as an attack platform. Boasting a strong three attack in addition to its high maneuverability, it's relatively durable and can joust with the best of them. The strong defensive stats combine with the agile maneuver dial and the ability to boost and barrel roll to make this one of the most wily and unpredictable heavy hitters in the game. Pair its natural qualities with the ruthless browbeater Xizor who passes off sustained damage to nearby underlings like a reverse Chewbacca and this one isn't going away. When you can dip and duck while throwing a vicious haymaker you get respect, even if you're one of the most hated gutter rats in existence.
The M3-A interceptor isn't quite as illustrious as the other two newcomers in this wave as it doesn't have the overt sexiness of being piloted by a character from the original trilogy or from making a strong appearance in Shadows of the Empire. Rather, this is an expanded universe ship that is much weaker than its Scum peers, offering versatility and a simple new trick to carve out its own ground. While typically functioning as a TIE-like nimble and frail fighter, the M3-A Scyk is capable of mounting cannons which afford the ability to pack a heavy shot on a cheap boat. The shiny Mangler Cannon which offers three attack is a ready candidate and is one of the most common upgrades for Scyk squads. The other immediate direction is pilot Serissu who establishes her niche as the reverse Howlrunner in Scum lists. She provides a defense boost to all ships within range one, making her an excellent candidate for a swarm of Z-95's, although you'll often want to consider throwing the trusty Stealth Device on her. Although it is imperative you remain careful in slapping on too many costly additives as the M3-A will always be a weak, easily focused down vessel that you can't grow attached to.
The final entry of note, the IG-2000, is perhaps the most evocative of the source material and easily leaps off the table grasping your imagination in a vice-grip. If your frame of Star Wars reference lies solely on film, you may be shocked to discover there are actually four IG-88 droids on tap. In fact, they all worked together in the background to locate and capture Han Solo, ultimately meeting disaster unlike Mr. Fett. Why this is relevant is that in addition to featuring a very solid and versatile large combat ship, this expansion features all four IG-88 pilots each hosting a different defining pilot ability. Quite unique, they each favor different elements of tactical focus and don't play exactly the same. The most interesting factor is that the IG-2000 title allows every single ship of this type in play to share its pilot ability with its peers. Thus, if you are flying all four versions in an Epic match each ship will have four distinct powers and rock the black felt like a certifiable badass. This is the main ship in the Scum faction that seeks a structured synergistic build, but it does so at an extreme cost as each element does not come cheap.
After scraping my way through many scarred battles I have come to discover that the fully fleshed out initial wave of the new Scum and Villainy faction is competitive without being overpowered, creative without being unfocused, and immensely satisfying without being overexposed. This wave as a whole is phenomenal and offers a glut of fresh blood into a pool that was anything but stagnate. Like NOS released into a highly efficient turbo-charged engine already about to lap a 4 cylinder hybrid, this boost was certainly not needed. However, I can't help but repeatedly yank on that NOS activation switch until that little cur breaks off.