Thursday, July 30, 2020

Ship Effectiveness Model v1.8 and the July 2020 Points Meta

With the release of the July 2020 points, I've released version 1.8 of the Ship Effectiveness Model. As always, you should make a copy of this sheet if you want to change the view (e.g. sorting by %Diff).

Let's take a look at the factions and see how things shook out! For this article, I'm going to focus on the competitive setting, so I'm going to focus on ships the model thinks is more than 5% under-costed.

Here's a description for the headers in the table below:
  • Calc Pts: The ship's point value calculated by the model. The benchmark is the median ship, which you can roughly think of as a 23-point Academy Pilot TIE/ln Fighter.
  • Diff: The difference in points between the ship's actual point cost and the calculated point value. Positive is good, negative is bad.
  • %Diff: The difference in percent between the ship's actual point cost and the calculated point value. Positive is good, negative is bad.

Rebel Alliance

Norra is interesting. She's consistently highly-rated in my model, but hasn't seen a lot of play. My model likely overrates medium and large ships with front arcs that only have 1 K-Turn option. Norra's other problem is that she's a very tanky ship in a faction that mostly has glass-cannon ships.

The other unpopular perennials are various Attack Shuttles with Dorsal Turret, which have the opposite problem of being too much of glass cannons. Dorsal Turret can be a pseudo-defensive upgrade in that it lets them arc-dodge while still having shots more easily, but investing more points into these fragile ships is scary.

I've been a strong fan of the generic E-Wings since last year before their first buffs, and they just got yet another buff. They are best used as premium jousters with just the R3 Astromech upgrade (and maybe Crack Shot, and maaaaaybe but probably not Proton Torpedoes). R3 Astromech is really strong not only gives them a potential extra modded shot, it also makes your decisions much easier and makes it harder for your opponent to guess your maneuvers. If you want results out of your generic E-Wings, stop trying to get cute with them and just shove them in your opponent's face.

One thing to note for Rebels is they have very few good Hyperspace options. Leia, Kannan, and Luke are the heavy hitters, and Dorsal Y-Wings make reasonable fillers, but that's all. The generic T-65 X-Wings are their next best options at around +3%.

I'm sure everyone will have questions about the YT-2400. They're mostly still not great, with Leebo topping out at +0%. Dash with Kanan lands at -3.8%. However, this is one ship that benefits from being hyperstacked. I'm skeptical, but there may be a YT-2400 list that works.

Galactic Empire

Empire has a lot of swarm options backed up by Sloane. The best swarm option is still probably a combination of Academy Pilots and Alpha Squadron Pilots, and it has seen moderate success. Empire also got a strong generic option in Hyperspace with the TIE Interceptors and Baron of the Empire. Outside of the generics, Vader (with Hate) and Soontir still look like great options.

The TIE/ag Aggressor with Dorsal Turret might be an interesting option now with the Dorsal Turret buff. Compared to the I2 V-19 Torrent, you're basically paying 3 points for a Dorsal Turret, which seems reasonable.

One notable option not on here are the Decimators. RAC with Darth Vader is rated at +4%, and I think it might be stronger with some other upgrades.

Scum and Villainy

Scum is spoiled for choice. Not only is this list longer than the other factions, it cuts off at +6.6%. I couldn't fit all of the Scum ships above 5% on my screen! Other ships above 5% include the Binayre Pirate, Guri w/ Adv Sensors Shield Upgrade and Title (Outmaneuver seems to be the crucial upgrade for her), Sarco Plank, Old Teroch, Tel Truvura w/ Hull Upgrade, Spice Runner with Title, Captain Nym w/ Ion Cannon, Palob Godalhi w/ Title, and the Skull Squadron Pilot w/ Fearless.

The buffs to the Quadjumper and the Lancer-Class Pursuit Craft probably make Scum the best Tractor Beam faction. Unkar Plutt is especially strong in the 2.0 rules because you decide where you tractor your own ships, including Unkar. He was strong before and got another big buff. Similarly, the Lancer-Class Pursuit Craft was already pretty strong (with the caveat again that my model may overrate large ships with only one K-Turn option), and only got stronger with their buff.

M3-A Interceptors also show up prominently. Autoblaster Cannon is annoying to model so I don't have them, but I suspect it's probably comparable to the Ion Cannon numbers.

Another big beneficiary of the buffs are the Scum YT-1300's. They're now cheap enough that they are a very reasonable option, and both Lando and Han look good. Just don't try to make them carry your list. Keep an eye out for a good Scum support crew in the future; the Scum YT-1300 is probably one of the best support crew carriers, but Scum doesn't have any good ones right now.

A real surprise is Dace Bonearm! I give him no credit for his ability; the model just seems to like a generic I4 Moldy Crow at 49 points.

Notably, Boba Fett falls off the list. With Maul and Slave 1, he's at +3.5%. He should be even stronger with a Proton Bomb and Hull/Shield Upgrade, but that's not currently in my model. Most of the Boba lists will suffer from the nerfs, but Boba Fenn should still be viable.


The usual Resistance suspects are up here: Finn, Nien Nunb, Rey, Talli, Zizi, and generic T-70 X-Wings. Zizi doesn't suffer too much from the slight nerf. On the other hand, Rey and Chewbacca were already pretty strong and only got a buff.

Notably, some of the StarFortresses are showing up on the bottom of the list. I don't have a great handle on these ships, especially how they interact with bombs. I suspect Perceptive VTG Vennie is stronger than the base version.

First Order

First Order got some very interesting buffs. The generic TIE/ba looks very strong! You should always strain for the lock unless you need to keep a hurt one alive. The 1-point buff to Special Forces Gunner and Lieutenant LeHuse also makes him an interesting option.

I've been suspicious of Supernatural Kylo Ren's rating in the model, so I've tested him out a couple times. Against both a Sear Swarm and a double Decimator list, I was ahead on points going into the last round, made a bad maneuver choice, and lost. Given the strength of these opposing lists, I think the rating is probably right. However, Supernatural Kylo Ren is probably the ship that suffers the most from the time limit, and he has some really skewed matchups.

Galactic Republic

Galactic Republic really suffered from their nerfs. Most of their high-initiative ace options have fallen behind. Still, they have some good low initiative options. The Y-Wings have finally caught up with the other hyper-efficient generic options. And while the aces have fallen off, the lower-initiative Jedi are still strong.

Separatist Alliance

Is that a +20%!? Yes, the Nantex buffs appear to be absolutely massive. I guess FFG wanted to sell more of them! If the model is anything close to accurate, these might need an emergency nerf in a few months.

The Vulture nerfs will hurt, but I think Separatists are going to be alright. The Hyena is still extremely strong, and with the OP Nantex and the new ships entering the Hyperspace format, they've got plenty of good options.

Notably, Sun Fac is sneaking in at +4.8% with his newest buffs. Sun Fac has some of the most polarized matchups in the game (absolutely awful against medium/large ships, god against small ships), so he's a great option for players who prefer to play matchup lotto over a strategic and tactical game of maneuvering.


  1. Interesting write-up! I actually tested a list of Nantex with the new points yesterday, and had great succes with them, so you might be right on the money. The lower cost of Petranaki Aces brought with it 3 things for me:

    1. I could fit 4 of them with General Grievous and still kit them out. I went for a defensive loadout with Gravatic Deflectors and Treacherous (finally finding a use for this upgrade). The punch of the Belbullab offset the low damage output of the Nantex and they had the possibility to swoop in and use their bulls-eyes if the enemy went after Grievous. Treacherous also showed its value against swarms, allowing me to semi-joust them and still live as long as they obstructed each other.

    2. Initiative 4 really helped me, allowing me to move after swarms that are capped at I3 and matching some lower aces.

    3. Previously, a halved or lost Nantex put a big dent in your points and some bad dice made it hard to justify their cost. The current lower cost seems much more balanced and a bad roll wont cripple your MOV.

    Just my two cents. Thanks for very interesting articles!

    (list as follows:)

    General Grievous (44)
    Daredevil (2)
    Soulless One (6)

    Ship total: 52 Half Points: 26 Threshold: 4

    Petranaki Arena Ace (30)
    Gravitic Deflection (5)
    Treacherous (2)

    Ship total: 37 Half Points: 19 Threshold: 2

    Petranaki Arena Ace (30)
    Gravitic Deflection (5)
    Treacherous (2)

    Ship total: 37 Half Points: 19 Threshold: 2

    Petranaki Arena Ace (30)
    Gravitic Deflection (5)
    Treacherous (2)

    Ship total: 37 Half Points: 19 Threshold: 2

    Petranaki Arena Ace (30)
    Gravitic Deflection (5)
    Treacherous (2)

    Ship total: 37 Half Points: 19 Threshold: 2

    Total: 200

    View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0:

  2. I love this idea of trying to balance. Wondering if you would ever do a blog with some the tech behind the spreadsheet or how you balance some of the different types of ships and upgrades? I am a data analysts for a 3PL and do work to analyze different patterns in client spend along with helping the client on consolidation of shipments for an overall spend reduction. I got into xwing last december when Destiny started to dry up and then ultimately got canceled. My buddy and i had a performance sheet we used to calculate list variances and try and determine the closest deck to bring. While my play skill never could equal the list it was fun to try the tactics out. I am interested to learn more of your process that may help as i continue to play x wing.

    1. I've added the link to my sidebar, but please see this page and the change log in the spreadsheet.

    2. You can also take a look at my (currently incomplete) evaluation and calculation articles for some discussion about evaluating ships.

    3. Awesome thank you so much. I will definitely check out your other blog.

  3. My name is Christopher because for some reason it did not take my account.

  4. Amazing body of work. When Rebel Beef came out and Nathans Article on Action efficient T-70 , that started my own look at competitive lists. Simple stuff, that's when I picked up on how good the Tie/FO is. Since then they have come down in points making the list I use better.