My X-Wing dream is not to win a big tournament. It’s to win a big tournament with a list no one understands.

I missed my first regional of the season with food poisoning. It was especially frustrating because I had been on Vassal a few days before toying around with a Lothal-Rebel-with-Engine-Upgrade/Fenn build (Ezra shuttle, not crew), before that became a whole thing. (Alas, I know I wouldn’t have had the courage to take it.)

Even “Raptor Attack,” however, is not quite what I mean by a list no one understands. That build reminds me of Parattanni, a maximally-efficient assemblage great pieces, discovered through dedicated tinkering.

I’m talking about a list that people don’t figure out until it has beat them, and often not even then. A truly ingenuous list that seems obvious when you think about it…but works so contrary to established game mechanics, no one sees it coming. To me, Dengaroo is the classic example. Heragator would be another.

My first attempt at being creative was painfully uncreative: I would recreate Dengaroo. The token support provided by an unlimited-range Manaroo and R4 Agromech was similar to how “Timewalk Asajj” works now. And since Glitterstim is better than literal unlimited focus tokens in this post-Rebel-Fenn world, I would create…Timewalk Dengar:

Bossk — YV-666 35
Adaptability 0
Harpoon Missiles 4
Jabba the Hutt 5
Boba Fett 1
Contraband Cybernetics 1
Guidance Chips 0
Ship Total: 46
Dengar — JumpMaster 5000 33
Lone Wolf 2
“Gonk” 2
Glitterstim 2
Countermeasures 3
Punishing One 12
Ship Total: 54

Ehhhhhhh…

I was heartened, however, when a similar Dengar build showed up in this delightful Dengar/Thweek list from Connor Hawley (scroll down). His list is better, but maybe mine’s not crazy? (It is.)

I wasn’t satisfied with this idea, though, and instead starting looking for new, unexplored mechanics. So much new content had been released in Wave XIII. Surely something fell through the cracks. Maybe the Phantom II/Ghost titles, which allow the VCX to perform a free coordinate after PS11 Fenn Rau?

Pretty soon, I was trying this:

“Chopper” — VCX-100 37
Fire-Control System 2
Ion Cannon Turret 5
Tactician 2
“Leebo” 2
Ion Projector 2
Ghost (Phantom II) 0
Ship Total: 50
Jake Farrell — A-Wing 24
Push the Limit 3
Proton Rockets 3
Outmaneuver 3
Autothrusters 2
A-Wing Test Pilot 0
Ship Total: 35
AP-5 — Sheathipede-class Shuttle 15
Phantom II 0
Ship Total: 15

We don’t need to dwell on how this is supposed to work. I’m posting it here more as a monument to my slow descent into madness than a serious suggestion. (If, however, you wanna try it at your local kit tournament, let me know how it goes.)

At a certain point, an X-Wing player with not enough free time to even regularly update his blog has to pull resources out of R&D and start practicing a “serious” list. The big date circled on my tournament calendar has been the Battleground Regional in Massachusetts on 3/24. But this past weekend, I found myself in Michigan coincidentally at the same time as their regional. So I took the opportunity to practice a list I desperately wanted to take to Battleground, but about which I still had serious doubts: Triple StarVipers.

The StarVipers, thanks to their weird barrel roll, provided that X-factor I wanted from a list: unpredictability. While I could not claim to have invented the list—that honor belongs to the blogfather, Phil GC—I didn’t expect people to have game-planned for my squad.

A full day of weaving through rocks with the one-bank template made me realize something: Flying aces is way better than finding broken card combos. All that time I had tried to basically find an error in the game’s development could have been better used honing the fundamental skills that make a good pilot.

Turns out the real Dengaroo was the friends I made along the way. No, wait, that’s not right…

Well, regardless, I’ve taken a break from trying to outsmart the FAQ, and have focused on “flying what I love”—trite but useful advice. Besides, I think the StarVipers are better than they seem. I just need to keep tinkering.

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