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01 March 2013

Elite Pilot Skills- Deadeye


This post regarding Elite Pilot Skills is part of a larger article regarding Wave 2 listbuilding- the rest of the posts n this series will be available in the coming weeks as I'm revealing a post or two per day on the various topics in that larger article. For more info, click the "Ship List Articles" tab at the top of the page or simply click here.





Deadeye (1)
Card Text: You may treat the "Attack [Target Lock]:" header as "Attack: [Focus]" 

When an attack instructs you to spend a target lock, you may spend a focus token instead.
Usage in game: Selective release of Proton Torpedoes or Missiles.
Action?: No.

Breakdown: As you likely know, launching Proton Torpedoes or the various Missiles is a two-step process- first one must declare a Target Lock Action in the Activation Phase, then spend the Target Lock token in the Combat Phase in order to fire as dictated on the upgrade card for the Torps or Missiles in question.

At a glance, this isn't that restrictive, and as a result, some folks are left wondering exactly what the point of a card like Deadeye is, or perhaps more accurately, why they'd want to waste a fairly valuable Elite Pilot Skills slot on something like Deadeye.

Short version? Deadeye lets you fudge a bit in your target selection.

As mentioned above, when you declare your Target Lock Action in the Activation phase, your target has to be within Range 3 of your ship. Depending on the ship's PR, the battlefield may change fairly dramatically from when the TL token is acquired and where that target ship ends up. Now, not being able to immediately launch missiles or torps sometimes isn't such a bad thing since Target Lock tokens are persistent and stick around from one turn to the next, it may give you a chance to declare a Focus then stack that benefit along with the Target Lock, but in any case, there can be some limitations with the timing of picking your target for Target Lock and having that same Target still in a fire arc when the combat phase rolls around to your ship.

Who is this likely to happen to? Folks with lower PRs.

Pilots with higher PRs, especially 7, 8, or 9 aren't likely to see that many ships move between their Action declaration and rolling their Attack dice. A PR3 ship like a Green Squadron A-Wing though? In all likelihood the game board has changed fairly significantly during the time since he declared his Action and the time he actually gets to fire his Missiles. Deadeye lets you remain flexible as, well, 90% of the time you probably declare Focus as your Action anyway, right?

Double-checking myself here, I think maybe that's the only ship I'd take Deadeye on. The few Imperial pilots who satisfy the criteria of a) Can take Missiles, b) Have PR below 7, and c) Have access to Elite Pilot Skills are few and far between, which is to say zero unless I'm missing something here. 

For the Rebels, Chewie fits the bill as he satisfies all three of those criteria, but I still think Draw Their Fire is a better choice for him in the long run. Keep in mind, this is all kind of relative to an opponent who plays a fairly wide spread of PR in their list. If your opponent only fields all-stars like Luke, Wedge, Solo, Lando, Celchu, or Vader, Fett, Fel, Howlrunner, Mithel, etc., you might drop that PR criteria, your mileage may vary depending on your local meta.

Last thing to mention about Deadeye- it's only a 1 point card, so don't feel like you MUST use it if you do take it. If you're going for an alpha strike on a ship or just like having the option available to you just in case a high-point, high-threat Imperial ship ends up in your sights or something, by all means, use Deadeye, but if at all possible, Focus that torpedo or missile- it makes such a difference in damage output it'd be worth it to eat the point you paid for Deadeye in the long run. Of course, if you plan on flying your Green Squadron A-Wing next to Garven Dreis or Lando and Nein Nunb, you can have your cake and eat it too.