The Old Fangeroo/186th Special has bitten the bullet with the nerf to Maneroo but what about Paratanni and Dengaroo?
Lone Wolf Dengaroo RIP
Dengar, Lone Wolf, Title, Overclocked R4, Zuckuss, Countermeasures and glitterstim
Manaroo, Push the limits, Gonk, R5-P8, Engine Upgrade, seismic Torpedo and feedback array.
With Manaroo having the range for passing tokens restricted to range one, Lone wolf Dengaroo has bitten the bullet but what about other Dengaroo options? The build was already dropping in popularity with the rise of Parattanni but it had started to metamorphose a bit. Other options in regards to the crew, salvaged astromech and EPT slots had started to appear.
A recent game against Dengaroo saw my opponent bemoan not bringing Manaroo into the fight earlier, especially as he had loaded it out with Torpedoes. Not to worry though as whilst Dengar had a persistent Blinded pilot on it, I dumped the other one on Maneroo when she sauntered into the fray and target locked Lt. Colzet. No ships shoot this turn, LOL.
Afterwards Man of Monkey mused that he should of actually kept Manaroo and Dengar together, even though it would have caused Lone Wolf not to work, it would have provided a decent alpha strike.
When Deadeye became restricted to small ships I mused that triple jumpmasters would still be viable, just needing to have a slightly different approach and loadout. Triple Jumpmasters made top 16 in Worlds after the nerf. I feel Dengaroo fits this mould too. Rather than having Manaroo lurking over the other side of the board she is going to have to join the fight which most likely means loading her up with torpedoes and feedback array.
It’s been debated about whether the main strength of Dengaroo lies either in Zuckuss, Manaroo or Dengar’s pilot ability. I feel that it lies in the pilot ability of Dengar himself and the restrictions added to Manaroo and Zuckuss can be overcome. True, Lone wolf will not be viable but Attanni Mindlink, expertise or old staples like predator could replace it. The K4 security droid crew looks a good fit as well as possibly R4-B11.
Even combining mind link with the overclocked agro mech is not a bad idea as the stress only gets passed to Manaroo once. The overall trick and skill would be to keep within range one of each other to pass the buffs. This is where a mind link Dengaroo may have an edge as it would not need to maintain the range one bubble in terms of passing a focus token.
Dengar: Attanni Mindlink, Plasma torpedoes, R4-B11, K4 Security droid, Scavenger crane, counter measures, Punishing one title
Manaroo: Attanni Mindlink, Proton Torpedoes, Extra munuitions, guidance chips, k4 security droid, unhinged astro mech, Feedback array.
Naturally there is a lot of room for tinkering. A more defensive build on Dengar could utilise the Overclocked astro mech or you could look at using Recon Specialist on Manaroo to give Dengar a stack of focus tokens. Dengaroo has still got options but the list will probably only be seen on rare occasions now.
So while we are talking about mindlink…
Assajj Ventress: Attanni Mind Lin, Latts Razzi crew
Manaroo: Attanni Mind Link
Fenn Rau: Attanni Mind Link, Title, auto thrusters
Whilst old Fangeroo/186th special, (Fenn, Teroch and Manaroo), has had its chips with the change to Manaroo it might not be over for the new bad boy on the meta. Harder yes but not yet down and out. It certainly will be restricted to Manaroo flying in close proximity of either Ventress or Fenn with the likely hood of that being Ventress early game.
In general Ventress circles the outer reaches of the board whilst Fenn flanks. Manaroo either lurks, ploughs up the middle to be a nuisance or tags along with Ventress. With the new range one restriction to Manaroo, this now limits her to tagging along with Ventress. It is not impossible to lurk with Fenn but just a bit harder. A bit less tactically flexible and Fenn is more vulnerable as he flanks as he can’t get a pile of tokens from the other side of the board. On the other hand in the early exchanges, if flying Fenn well and flanking in with him, Ventress is normally the receiver of the tokens. Once Fenn joins the fray he is then potentially close enough to get the buff from Manaroo when needed most.
Paratanni is not dead but will require a bit more thought to fly well.
The new rules for Zuckass reign him in a bit but he is still highly useable on a party bus or within close range of a ship with Inspiring recruit crew. In fact in the Yavin Open the two times I stumbled across Zuckass both players only used him when absolutely necessary for a kill shot, and this was before the new FAQ.
For the Hanger bay I took this build along which I lent to Tim the TO to use in the entire Hanger bay we played in:
Where is Manaroo?
Bossk; Attanni Mind Link, Dengar, Zuckuss, Inspiring recruit
Old Teroch: Attanni Mind Link, Title
Fenn Rau: Attanni Mind Link, auto thrusters.
He quite liked it although struggled with flying the YV as he had not flown it before. Inspiring recruit when combined with Zuckuss allows for multiple uses providing you don’t get greedy and reroll more than two dice unless pushing for a kill shot. I expect this load out to be seen on party buses and Bossk Party Bus if choosing to still utilise Zuckuss.
Palpatine and X7
On first glance it looks like Emperor Palpatine got hit hard as you now have to state if you are going to use it before making a dice roll. While it removes the get out of jail free card for a whiffed dice roll, if you are running Palp Aces and flying well then you will be able to gage the appropriate time defensively to use it. Most likely you will only be facing one set of guns or a second set after you have used a stack of tokens on the first.
I feel that Commonwealth defenders get the short side of the change for Palp ace builds as for them it really is more useful as a bale out due to the token stack and generally shooting second to the opponent. As they are more likely to have multiple attacks coming their way it means that they do not get to use it offensively. A good first shot at the Tie Defender and poor defence roll will most likely only remove the evade and focus token then a second shot will evoke the Palpatine die change to negate one damage.
Of course this leaves the chance of a poor first roll, such as two or more blank results and no Palp to negate the damage. With arc dodging aces you have better chances of limiting the incoming from just one source.
At least now with the appropriate changes to X7 you can successfully block or stress control defenders so that manoeuvring is more important to them.
A blocked X7 is now a tokenless X7.
The Meta going forward
It feels like the whole meta has opened up a bit more, but I would urge a bit of caution as the main players of the last few months have only been brought down a bit. Where Fangeroo has certainly taken a hit and is realistically gone, Pockattanni is a decent list to move to from either Parattanni or Fangeroo.
Assajj Ventress: Attanni Mind Lin, Latts Razzi crew
Fenn rau: Attanni Mind Link, Title, auto thrusters
Old Teroch: Attanni Mind Link, Title
There is debate about whether Latts crew on Ventress or Auto thrusters on Old Teroch is better, although I would feel that Latts crew is more effective over auto thrusters on Old Teroch considering where Old T wants to do his work.
Other staples making a comeback will include TLT heavy lists. The past two regionals in the UK have seen a rise in quad TLTs and Attanni mindlinked triple Jumpmasters have started to raise their heads. Other popular scum two ship builds have been around combinations of Dengar, Ketsu, Ventress and BossK. All this is before the FAQ becomes tournament legal too as none of these builds are affected by the changes unless using Zuckuss.
Red dice are still king but more TLT means more ships utilising auto thrusters which could see a resurgence of proper Imperial aces. Paul Heaver’s 2015 World’s build of Poe, stress hog, TLT Y-wing and Z95 looks a good choice in the new meta. Throw in more people trying the Tie FO SF and experiments with swarm leader then the next few months going into store championships should see quite a variety of lists from tweaking current lists to something old and some things new.
The big question: Will Dengaroo win Worlds 2017?
Lone wolf Dengaroo certainly not but it is not too far a stretch for someone to utilise the chassis in some way to make it work. More likely I feel is that Parattanni in the hands of a capable player will stand a good chance of taking the title as the number of good Parattanni players will still stick with the list and work out how to modify their flying to accommodate the changes to Manaroo rather than chance a different list with two months to go.
The new FAQ has certainly brought a number of ships and upgrade cards back into line and will create more variety of builds but don’t expect to see the recent power builds disappear overnight like triple Jumps did a while back. The new FAQ has allowed more room to play with lists but we could see a raft of TLT back on the scene and more chances for new and old Rebel builds to flourish.
Overall I feel it has been a good thing and it is great that Fantasy Flight Games are proactive in keeping the game fresh and trouble shooting over powered cards.