Cracking the Metagame
A Report from the 2018 X-Wing™ System Open Series
Last weekend, Portland's Oregon Convention Center played host to the System Open Series. This was the year's fourth event, and it came hard on the heels of the battles in Glendale, Arizona, and Copenhagen, Denmark.
Now that the System Open Series is in full swing, we’re racing from one event to the next, blasting through the stars at top speed—and after we just saw hundreds of ships flying to battle in Portland, we’re already running up against this weekend's battles in Kraków, Poland.
It’s a lot to process in relatively short time—especially as we're still seeing the metagame ripples from Waves XII and XIII. So what did we see in Portland, and what can you expect from Kraków?
Results from Portland
A string of results at recent Regional Championships, System Open Series events, and other tournaments have demonstrated the huge metagame impact of squadrons featuring the Ghost and Fenn Rau in the Sheathipede-class Shuttle.
As Top 8 player Andrew Bunn noted, the players in Portland were well aware of this fact. "People either brought the list itself, or something they thought had a good chance of beating it. That's why you see so much Expertise showing up in the lists in the cut—including my list."
Expertise was easily the number one upgrade from the Top 8, featuring in no less than five of the eight squadrons. Even so, the Ghost and Fenn Rau still made their way to the final table, flown by Taylor Seidlitz against Gordon Pinkerton, who didn't just take Expertise as a counter to Fenn Rau's Hotshot Co-pilot, but also flew a Tactician aboard his Lowhhrick as a counter to the Expertise he saw everywhere else.
In the end, Gordon said the final moments of his match with Taylor were "extremely close and down to the wire, ending with a one-hull Rey versus his 'Zeb' shuttle. It could've gone either way," he added, "but I managed to get in close and hit him hard before he could hit me back… but it was very tense!"
Notably, for their performances, Gordon, Taylor, and all the other Top 8 participants earned an invite to the Coruscant Invitational to be held in October at the Fantasy Flight Games Center!
The Top 8 were also joined by Tom Wiggin, who went undefeated in the Hyperspace Qualifier. With his success in that event, he has also earned an invitation to the Coruscant Invitational.
Tom's success is notable, in part, because he's been playing the game for less than a year. "It's been a great season so far," he said. "This is my first full year playing X-Wing with no tabletop experience before."
To prepare for the event, Tom tested a number of different lists in other events, trying the Alpha-class Star Wing at one event before trying out the Ghost and Fenn Rau in another. These experiences provided him with a better idea of what he might expect, and he ended up playing what he saw as a counter to the Ghost and Fenn Rau—three Auzituck Gunships, all loaded with passive dice modification and Tactician.
Congratulations to all nine of these players for their great showing at Portland, and we look forward to seeing them in October for the Coruscant Invitational! For his victory, Gordon earns a free flight and hotel accommodations for the event.
More to Come
The battles at the Portland System Open were fast and furious, but there's much more to come. In fact, the series blasts over to Kraków this weekend, where we'll get a glimpse of the European metagame!
What can we expect from the Europeans and their takes on the recent Waves? Will we see the Rebel Alliance once again conquer all? Check our list of System Open events to plan your attendance. Then, stay tuned for more of our updates and you might find some new squads to fly against your friends and in your local tourneys!
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