14 October 2014

Modifications- Stygium Particle Accelerator

This post regarding Modifications is part of a larger article regarding Wave 4 listbuilding- the rest of the posts in 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 "List Building Resources" tab at the top of the page or simply click here.

Stygium Particle Accelerator (2)
Card Text: When you either decloak or perform a cloak action, you may perform a free evade action.

Usage in game: Making the difficult to draw a bead on to begin with even harder to hit.
Breakdown: I've been saving these last two upgrade cards (Stygium and Advanced Cloaking Device) for last because I kinda have the least to say about them. This isn't because they're simple or because they're not worth talking about, it's because currently they can only be mounted onto a single ship of the 20 Expansions currently available- the TIE Phantom.

I've also been saving them because I've been trying to decide whether or not Cloak needs it's own Bikini Battle Basics article or if I should just talk about it in these two articles. Currently I'm leaning towards the former, but that could just be my bad knee acting up again. Walking around on a concrete factory floor all day for anywhere from 10 to 18 hours isn't great on your undiagnosed knee injury from 2011, let me tell ya. 

Anyhizzle, Stygium Particle Accelerator, right? 

Ok, so it's a benefit with no real drawback save for the fact that it takes up a Modification slot, so this part is fairly simple because, well, why wouldn't you want to get a free Evade token every time you perform a Cloak Action or Decloak, right? I can't think of a reason, anyway. Seems like it's always on, nice, free boon to me. And two points is a pretty reasonable amount for something that's going to help keep that relatively expensive ship alive, right? It doesn't get in the way of any of the Named Pilots for the Phantom's card text, so that's no big deal either. And hey- if you're not Cloaking and Decloaking on the regular, you're probably doing it wrong, so it's not like you're not going to get some use out of the upgrade either. Oh, and finally, it's not an Action. So long story short, when it comes to good upgrade criteria, it's like check, check, check, check, check.

So again, what we're really talking about here is whether or not there's some other Modification you'd rather bolt onto your Phantom. 

Engine Upgrade would give an already very busy Phantom dial the Boost maneuver, but it's twice as much as Stygium and the Phantom already has pretty amazing movement options, so I don't really want to go on record saying that Stygium Particle Accelerator is better than Engine Upgrade or vice versa. That's going to depend on the the guy running the ship more than anything, so let's call that a push. 

Hull Upgrade is perhaps not a terrible idea on a ship that costs 25-32 points stock and only has a pair of Shields and a pair of Hull, but like Engine Upgrade, it's more expensive and definitely debatable in it's effectiveness in this particular context. I feel largely the same way about Shield Upgrade, but at 4 points it's even more expensive and again- I think a valid debate could be raised whether you're better off taking one extra point of Shields over a free Evade token that you can probably generate most any time you want.

Stealth Device has some potential for use and abuse and I believe to be the strongest contender for Phantom Modification instead of Stygium Particle Accelerator (besides of course, spoiler alert- Advanced Cloaking Device) because you raise the Agility of your Phantom to that of a TIE Fighter or TIE Interceptor until you take a hit, but again- with all the maneuvers and moves that a Phantom has at it's disposal, you're probably pretty good at not giving your opponent a target solution to begin with (unless he's just decided to roll a bunch of turret-bearing ships).

Targeting Computer I'm not really even going to bother talking about. The damn Phantom has a 4 Attack primary. If you can't make that work with the standard Actions available, spending 2 points on Targeting Computer probably isn't really going to be the answer either and being as how the Phantom has no tubes of any kind, Munitions Failsafe is pointless too.

All that being said though, what you're probably really asking yourself is do you take Stygium Particle Accelerator or Advanced Cloaking Device since those are the two Modifications that most fully play to the Phantom's unique strength. 

I'll be honest- I'm no expert with a Phantom yet. With that in mind, to me, they both seem pretty easy and effective to use, even for a relative novice. I think the Advanced Cloaking Device is more attractive, but it's also two more points than Stygium. Maybe some of you Phantom experts can sound off in the comments, but to me, it really just comes down to whether or not you have the points for SGA or ACD.

Sorry I really kinda don't have much to say on this topic, but like I said at the start, there's really not much of a counterargument to be had here, at least the way I see it. There's just no real downside to speak of here.

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