Now, in all the excitement of the Jumpmaster 5000, or Punishing One, the good ol' Mist Hunter has been alternately panned and ignored in the Wave 8 hubbub - which is, I think, a mistake.
But, here's the big reason:
But, that's only part of the picture. The G-1A sports a remarkable set of upgrade slots - System Upgrade, Crew, Illicit, Elite Pilot Talent (on all but the Mook), plus the usual Modification and Title.
Let's look at the cards:
First, Zuckuss Crew. Not awful, cheap and possibly ok, but not terribly exciting. Re-rolling a successful Evade has decent odds of translating to another hit. Still, there are better options.
On a Fluff note, Zuckuss is a Gand, a member of an insect species whose home world swims in a mixture of lethal gasses. The Zuckuss we see in The Empire Strikes Back is the outside of a thick breathing suit that's meant to keep out the "wuss wafts" (true story).
As a Gand Findsman, Zuckuss is part of a group of Gand who are talented in reading the Force, a talent that Zuckuss uses in his Bounty Hunting. I really like how both cards make reference to that Shamanistic uncertainty - they're buffs, but not guaranteed to work.
Next, Zuckuss pilot. Much better! Similar ability, but arguably much more effective, especially with Target Lock (et al.) strongly favoring Zuckuss over his target, since he has a re-roll where most defenders won't. Also, attack dice have higher odds of rolling a Hit or Crit than an Evade die does at Dodging thw. So, even with unmodified dice, the advantage goes to Zuckuss, however slight.
High PS and that 8 points of durability are no joke, and the Evade action helps a lot with that 1 Evade die. 28 pts is a little steep, but it's also one of the toughest Small Ships in the game.
How about his partner?
Now we're talking! 4-LOM crew is *awesome,* he turns even a fairly ordinary pilot into a straight-up Ace killer. Especially gnarly against Imperial Ace pilots who live by their Evades, and on a Large Ship a single Ion token does nothing. So, ignore away! Bossk's YV-666 loves this guy. He's also the perfect complement to Zuckuss on the off-chance that target ship rolls all eyeballs on their defense dice.
Plus, at one point, it's hard to argue against this bad boy if you have a point lying around.
4-LOM's fluff is fascinating also, he's a former Protocol Droid that did what all of us would do if we were forced to roleplay as C-3PO: that is, he broke is programming and taught himself how to use a sniper rifle, bought some armor to cover that gold tinfoil, and pranced off on his merry way to become a Bounty Hunter and become the first Droid Force-User. Yeah, he's pretty cool.
4-LOM the pilot comes with a far more Brawler-oriented ability, losing out on one PS vs. Zuckuss for only one point less. I like this ability, there are plenty of ways to control the generation of Stress on this ship, and the ability to just hand out Stress (with no defense whatsoever) is fantastic.
Still, at only 1 pt. more, Zuckuss is likely the "superior" pilot, unless you just really like Stressing your opponents.
Now, Tractor Beam, something the Internet was all abuzz about when it was leaked. Since it's been dropped, I've heard dead silence. It's cheap, and very nasty. It sacrifices damage for a shot at a true Control weapon.
To clarify the rules here a little, it specifically says that the Boost or Barrel Roll has to be legal, as in it can't cause the target to overlap enemy ships - but it doesn't say it can't put a ship in a position where it has no choice but to go off the table, or just drop it on a rock to deny it shooting, push it out of shooting range or out of Arc. The loss of all damage is a shame, but it's easy to see where this could be a very powerful tool in the right situation. Not to mention stupid fun!
For a variety of reasons, this is definitely best on a high PS ship, the penalty to Agility lasts for the entire Phase, so getting it as early as possible is best. And any manipulation of ships Firing Arcs is (for obvious reasons) best pulled off *before* they shoot.
Ok - now here, let's talk about the most ignored upgrade ever: The Electronic Baffle.
Again, it's 1 point, and it *isn't* Scum-only. On first look, it looks terrible. Why would you take damage over Ion or Stress? That's dumb!
But then, after playtesting and building around it, this is an upgrade I'll be hard-pressed to leave the docking bay without.
Why? "White" K-turns. No-Stress PTL. K-turn and PTL in the same turn. It's a simple gimmick, but use it once and it's quickly apparent just how potent this can be. I even enjoy the sacrificial element to it, it's very thematic with Scum, and is an extraordinarily cheap way to make a very predictable ship suddenly the slipperiest in the game. (2x per Mist Hunter Expansion)
...This particular upgrade is not only my favorite, but it's worth mentioning again that it isn't Scum-exclusive, and as powerful as it is on the G-1A, it's every bit as powerful on, say, a Phantom, a TIE Punisher, a Lambda Shuttle, E-wing, B-wing, or even a VCX. Expect to see more than a few of these popping up in future lists.
Then of course, the Cloaking Device! We're all familiar with the much-maligned TIE Phantom. This bad boy gives any Illicit-equipped Small Ship the Cloak action. The Mist Hunter, of course, benefits a lot from this. But have you ever wondered what Talonbane Cobra could do with a Cloak?
It is worth mentioning though that the reason this thing is 2 pts., is because there's a better than good chance it won't even last a full turn. That said, it can only fizzle if you have to roll for it, and you only have to do that if you're Cloaked. And, even if it does fizzle, you still have the option to Decloak as normal, for that extra movement.
Very rickety-Scum themed, and it makes for some really fun moments :) but, I wouldn't rely on it to last, or even help in a game. Still, 2 pts. isn't bad even for a free once-per-game 2-Barrel Roll or 2-Boost.
There are of course better EPTs out there, but this is the first free one, and being able to dictate whether you want to go before, or after, ships in an Opponent's squad is a handy option to have. On a PS 5 pilot, this boosts you to PS 6, or drops you to PS 4, allowing for a decent range to play with to counter another list. (2x per Mist Hunter Expansion)
This is a weird one, it itself is free, but it does have the one-point "tax" of taking a Tractor Beam. Then again, the G-1A can't normally take a Cannon at all, so it gives you a weapon option, and (the real reason I would take it) gives the ship Barrel Roll. Fantastic Title, there's no ship build that wouldn't benefit from this for 1 pt.
The only reason I would hesitate, is that the Mist Hunter expansion box only comes with one Tractor Beam card. So, if you really want to run two Tractor Beams (or just have one on another ship) you'll need to get another card to make it Tournament legal.
I do love a ship with some options!
Let's look at two builds:
|This dude is not one to put at the hands of a gunship...|
Zuckuss (Pilot) - 28
Expose (EPT) - 4
Electronic Baffle (System) - 1
Outlaw Tech (Crew) - 2
35 points is a hefty price tag, but let's look at what this does.
Here's a perfect turn 2 with this ship:
1.) K-Turn to get the drop on someone (Baffle to not take Stress, take the Focus from OT)
2.) Target Lock
4.) Of course you managed to get Range 1 at this point, so use Zuckuss' ability, Expose, and hammer the enemy you Target Locked with *six* (3 base, 1 for R1, 1 for Zuckuss, 1 for Expose) dice. Target Lock/Focus for what will most likely be six Hits, with some Crits mixed in.
This is the damage-dealing build (or one version), and I've tested this in combo with Latts Razi (who can spend a TL she has on the enemy ship to reduce that enemy's Agility by 1 during a friendly attack on that ship) and straight-up obliterated a VCX in three rounds of shooting, and dropped a dodgy A-wing in one volley.
The build also works with a Fire Control System instead of Baffle (although it's far slower), or 4-Lom instead of Outlaw Tech to handle those pesky Aces.
If you have the points, an Engine Upgrade, Inertial Dampeners, or Mist Hunter Title (Barrel Roll) help keep out of Arc or in Arc as needed. Predator, Lone Wolf, and PTL are decent alternatives to Expose, but the sheer amount of damage Expose allows for has kept me from changing the build that much...
But, if you're like me and love X-wing for the simple joy of flying, you'll immediately fall in love with build #2:
|Move over Artful, there's a new Dodger in town!|
4-LOM (Pilot) - 27
Push the Limit (EPT) - 3
Electronic Baffle (System) - 1
Engine Upgrade (Mod) - 4
Outlaw Tech (Crew) - 2
Mist Hunter/Tractor Beam (Title/Cannon) - 1
Cloaking Device (Illicit) - 2
40 points of pure, unadulterated slippery. With stock 3 Attack, and 8 Hull/Shields, a G-1A still packs a punch without adding to its offensive output, so this build focuses on pure speed.
In a single turn, this bugger can Decloak, K-Turn (Baffle), Barrel Roll, then PTL to Boost, and get a free Focus from OT out of the deal. Nothing, and no one, can match those moves. It is expensive, but this is the single fastest and most maneuverable ship in the game. It does cost a damage, but you wouldn't do it every turn (or would you?!)
To keep this guy alive, Lone Wolf is an option (although it costs a great deal of speed), and Gonk crew could keep him Baffling all game long! Also, if you don't like the unreliability of Cloaking Device, Inertial Dampeners are a solid backup.
Obviously the ideal build is somewhere in between, and a stock 23 point Merciless Freelancer is a steal. A lightning budget build of Gand Findsman/Lightning Reflexes/Baffle/Inertial Dampeners sits comfortably at 28 points.
Having experimented even a little with builds and play styles, I love this ship even more than I thought I would, and can't wait to experiment with more options!
At PS 8, VI IG-88B is an ideal carrier for the Tractor Beam, shooting early and getting a default re-roll whether he's Target Locked or not. I've played with adding in Fire Control System and/or a second Cannon (Flechette is an efficient choice) to get a little more utility out of it, but haven't settled on anything yet.
Latts Razzi (with K4 Security Droid) was another successful Wingwoman, her ability to drop an enemy ship's Agility without first having to hit it was a nice reliable debuff, although the YV-666 leaves much to be desired as a backup ship, and Latts' ability only worked for one attack (where the Tractor Beam's Agility debuff would last the whole Combat Phase).
Another good backup is a Scyk with the Title, Stealth Device and HLC. A nasty customer than can tank fire if focused on, and pile on unsettling amounts of damage if ignored. If you have the points, the upgrade to Laetin A'Shera is absolutely worth it in the build, the free Evade when someone misses helps a lot with Swarms and enemies like Corran who shoot twice.
So! Bring on the Jumpmasters - this is the age of the Mist Hunter!