I’m happy to announce my new love affair in the game of Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures. After the recent FAQ/Errata (AKA “Nerfageddon”) which basically brought the four most powerful cards in X-Wing back to reason, I began thinking how I could design a list that utilized Attanni Mindlink in a way that took Manaroo out of the equation. Personally, I haven’t really been enjoying small base ships lately. They’re clumsy and too easy to block and often I don’t feel like the provide the value for their point cost that many small base ships do. So while I’m on a short hiatus from playing them and, at the same time mulling over Attanni lists, I think to myself, “why not include two of the most underplayed ships in the game?” So yes, I decided to bring a Starviper and a Kihraxz Fighter? Truth be told, I’ve been playing Talonbane Cobra for quite some time. I won a local tournament of 14 people with a Dengar/Talonbane/Binayre Pilot list some time back, and while I still enjoy that list, I’m looking to change it up a bit. So here it is:
Let’s talk about the downsides of this list. First and foremost, the disadvantage to this is a couple of the pilots’ dials. Obviously I’m talking about Talonbane and Guri. Old Terroch’s dial is about as good as it gets. The other two aren’t completely horrible, but the lack of a 3-hard turn can really blow sometimes. That combined with few green maneuvers can really be this list’s downfall. Guri’s ability makes her less than ideal dial completely tolerable when combined with Attanni Mindlink (more on that in a minute), although I can’t say the same for Talonbane. So why am I playing Talonbane instead of someone like Fenn Rau? Well to be honest, at the moment I only own one protectorate Starfighter and can’t give up Old Terroch’s ability. Also, though, I just have this weird love affair with Talonbane. She certainly isn’t the best, but she’s just good enough that when you play against someone who has no clue what she can do you can
really catch them with her pants down. This Talonbane build is very underrated in my opinion for only 33 points and is a quality of ship that I wish the Rebels had better options for at the save level. She can go down pretty quick but if you ignore her she will tear you a new one. Honestly as soon as I buy a second Protectorate Fighter you better believe I’m trying this list with Fenn instead of Talonbane. I’m already looking for a Jabba list to run Talonbane in so that her cloaking device will have to break twice (future post).
Both Guri and Talonbane Cobra have enough offensive punch to make this list quite effective. Talonbane can really come back to haunt you in the endgame if you don’t take care of her early, which can be quite difficult if you effectively utilize her cloaking device. People are often mistaken with the illicit Cloaking Device; in no way does it serve the same purpose as the Imperial version used by Whisper. Essentially, the Cloaking Device on Talonbane serves as a pre-movement barrel roll, which allows her to control range bands and get a free evade action (the equivalent to a shield upgrade for the same total cost). If you think Talonbane is unplayable I challenge you to try this build. It can be extremely effective in the right situation. Obviously, Old Terroch is just flat out annoying. Typically, my opponents haven’t tried to take him out first but honestly I don’t mind if they do. Now on to Guri. I’m starting to think that Scum abilities like hers were made just for her. She is absolutely devastating to low pilot skill ships and can be quite the annoyance for higher ones as well. Even better, of the eight or so casual games I’ve played with this list, she ends up doing the most damage. A range one shot from Guri with target lock and focus is pretty powerful, and she might even still have another focus left after she shoots! Her ability to allow all three ships to take a different action other than focus, then still give everyone a focus at the top of combat, combined with Fire-Control System is just amazing. Even more ridiculous though, though, is that all three of your ships could be blocked and they will all still get a focus token as long as Guri’s range one ability triggers.
Above all, the best part of any Attanni Mindlink list is the versatility it provides. I don’t usually opt to play the most powerful things in a game. Instead I tend to play cards and upgrades that are generally considered tier 1.5 or even tier two and have little sympathy for people that only play what they think the most obviously powerful archetypes, then complain when one of their most loved cards gets nerfed. Can’t say the same for Attanni Mindlink, though, it could be next on the chopping block.