X-Wing: Death of Jumpmasters, Rise of Manaroo & Palob?

Moldy Crow xwing

If you’ve been keeping up with the latest X-Wing battle report videos, you may have noticed a strange build that’s been spotted recently.

Hello X-Wing fans, Rick Noyes here with my very first post on the Spikey Bits Community.  Will Manaroo and Palob rise to victory now?

This new build runs a JumpMaster 5000 WITHOUT TORPEDOES (much to Rob’s horror), a cloaking HWK-290, and of all things the rare and elusive Starviper!  With all those “sub-par” ships you might not expect much from it, but underestimating them together may just prove to be your undoing.  The list I’ve setup is focused entirely around maximizing one amazing new card that came with the JumpMasters in Wave 8.

Atanni Mindlink xwing

I don’t think I would be wrong to say that most people disregarded this Elite Pilot Talent when it was previewed.  The local players, here in Fayetteville, certainly didn’t have high opinions of it.  When wave 8 dropped, I had just won the local Store Championship with a 4 ship rebel build that featured the infamous StressHog Y-Wing.  So I think part of their apprehension was centered around the shared stress mechanic that this card has associated with it.  Yet, after playing countless games with this list I can assure you that with proper dial management, stress is minor nuisance at best.  Personally, I would vote for Attani Mindlink as my Sleeper Hit of Wave 8.

Fear not, I can already hear the internet saying, “Cool bro, but what’s the list?”

And with that I give you:

SHENANIGANS

100 pts

PILOTS

Palob Godalhi (30)
HWK-290 (20), Attanni Mindlink (1), Twin Laser Turret (6), 4-LOM (1), Cloaking Device (2)

Manaroo (32)
JumpMaster 5000 (27), Attanni Mindlink (1), K4 Security Droid (3), Unhinged Astromech (1)

Guri (38)
StarViper (30), Attanni Mindlink (1), Virago (1), Autothrusters (2), Advanced Sensors (3), Inertial Dampeners (1)

There, now the rabble is off to try it for themselves, but for those of you who continue to read; allow me to break it down a bit further.  Let us start with my favorite ship to fly in Shenanigans.

Guri xwing

Guri’s role is possibly one of the most varied.  Sometimes she will serve as your punching bag, while other times she will be the heavy hitter.  She also can pull her weight as a blocker, and if all other possible options fail she will generate the focus tokens for the rest of the team at the beginning of the Combat Phase.  In my first variations I ran her with Sensor Jammers, which was fun with Palob next to her and of course very frustrating for my opponents.  However, after testing Advanced Sensors you get so see how ridiculously her dial changes when she can boost or barrel roll before moving, then get passed full damage mods from Manaroo at the top of Combat Phase.  For extra fun, plot out all the places and facings you can end up with by boosting before a Segnor’s Loop.

Next up Palob Godalhi. (Paloob Magoob as we affectionately refer to him here.)

Palob xwing

Palob is a great support ship, and the key to locking down Rob’s U-Boats when we play.  His ability to steal a focus token breaks down the U-Boats Deadeye/R4 Agromech cycle.  I’ve run him with Twin-Laser Turret, Dorsal Turret, and even the much maligned Blaster Turret.  None of these are bad options, and when I drop down to one of the two cheaper turrets I generally add Stygium Particle Accelerator to beef up his tankiness.  Speaking of that, sit back and laugh as your opponent attempts to shoot a cloaked Palob with a stack of Focus and Evade tokens.  Next turn, decloak straight into your opponent’s list and then maneuver past them to avoid shots and STEAL MOAR tokens.  Sometimes your opponent will still have a token on the ship you want to shoot with Palob, this is where 4-L0M comes in handy.  He doesn’t get used every game, but when he does expect groaning noises to come from across the table.  Suck it Soontir, your tokens have no effect on me!  (Use 4-L0M with both TLT shots, and clear both Ion Tokens off after the next turn’s maneuver!)

Finally, the corner stone of Shenanigans, Mama Manaroo.

Manaroo xwing

Manaroo’s only fault is that she isn’t pilot skill 5, but to be fair that would allow her to generate yet another token.  With K4 and Unhinged, Manroo zooms in and blocks while generating a target lock and a focus token for the team.  She only has 2 attack, but with her turret and the fact that she spends a lot of time at range 1, expect her to punch above her weight.  The other fun thing about Manaroo, is that she becomes a bit of a red herring for your opponent.  With the ability to pass target lock tokens (including red target lock tokens) to any friendly ship on the board, and Palob stealing Focus from enemy ships, her two green dice will last longer than you may expect.  The best part about passing away all your tokens at the top of Combat Phase?  You still generate a fresh Focus token afterwards!

So how do you fly it?  Well this is where Shenanigans becomes more than the sum of its parts.  This list has the potential to go into shooting with a whopping 8 Focus Tokens and a Target Lock!  You’re effectively flying with perpetual Glitterstim.  (Flying Under the Influence is a crime under the Galactic Imperial Criminal Code, you’ve been warned folks.)  Think Palob’s going to get ganged up on?  Pop your cloak and steal the enemy’s Focus Token to use against him.  Did the ship you target locked with Manaroo end up bumping her?  Pass the focus and target lock to whoever has a shot.  Foil your opponents plans by stealing Omega Leaders Evade Token or the Jumpmaster’s Deadeye Focus Token with Palob.

For those of you still unconvinced of Mindlink’s effectivness, fear not.  I put a lot of effort into minimizing the downsides of Mindlink as well.

You can’t do a red maneuver with two ships at once!

Correct, but two of the three ships have a turret, and never need to do a red maneuver.

If all your actions get denied, you can’t take a focus action.

Hence why I chose Guri and Palob who can both generate Focus Tokens for the whole team at the top of the Combat Phase.  This happens before Manaroo passes hers off, meaning she can still do her shenanigans.

What about STRESS!

Chill man, your wingmates have your back.  Unless my opponent can put two stress on every ship, chances are good that at least one of them can do a green maneuver and take a focus action.  Theoretically, the rest of them can fly around with a Tycho sized pile of stress if needed.  Worse comes to worse, I can slam Guri into an enemy ship to generate a focus at the top of combat.

As many of you may have guessed by now, I could talk about how great Attani Mindlink is all day.  It is certainly, an under utilized card that easily has the potential to defeat the post-Wave 8 meta-dominating lists when put in the right combinations.  I would encourage everyone to try out Mindlink and let me know how it goes in the comments below.

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