Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Answering Frequent Questions - Why the FAQ didn't kill Jumpmasters

So, there has recently been an FAQ update that affects the timing of how R4 Agromech works, which  many players have seen as the nail in the coffin of the Triple Jumpmasters squad.  Without R4 Agromech the squad is dead.  It's like Luke's proton torpedo in the battle of Yavin, ironically the inspiration for Deadeye in the first place, smashing the Death Star in one shot.

Except actually it turns out its a lot more like this...

There's two main reasons why this hasn't been the hammerblow you would expect: firstly, there are some good alternatives to R4 Agromech and, more importantly, those alternatives are so good that a lot of players were already using them before the FAQ!

Look, this shouldn't be a surprise.  The VERY FIRST major event that Jumpmasters won, the Hoth Open, featured only one R4 Agromech and two Ovetclocked R4 (which are unaffected by the FAQ).  The very first!!!  

Ever since then many of the most successful Jumpmaster builds have played at least some Overclocked R4, partly to bid initiarive, partly to play useful crew like Zuckuss or Boba Fett, and partly because in some situations it's actually better than R4 Agromech as well as being cheaper.  And then there's the more interesting variants like Manaroo/Overclocked which won a UK Regional and battered my Crack Swarm in the Yavin Open.

And the Overclocked R4 isn't your only option.  If you want to avoid stressing your entire squad you can invest some of the points saving in Dengar or Proton Torpedoes to modify your dice that way instead.  Play with Agromech and Protons then you can fire your first shot without the Target Lock and still get 3.55 hits (just below current 3.7 average) then your second shot had both Proton Torpedo and Target Lock to deal a bumper 3.9 damage.

I don't know if the FAQ was intended to stop Jumpmasters but I do know that, if that was the intention, then it has almost entirely failed.  On Saturday, less than 24 hours since the FAQ was published, Triple Jumps won two Regionals in the UK.

Jumpmasters are going nowhere, they're still 98% as good as they've always been.  Not unstoppable, but very good, and now with up to 3 'spare' points to spend on crew like 4-LOM, Zuckuss, Boba Fett, Greedo... and may even get better in some matchups as a result.



  1. I think people read *way* too much into the FAQ changes. The rules changes were aimed at cleaning up the logic of the rules timings (i.e. You can't initiate an attack without first paying the cost to initiate that attack. If you haven't paid, there is no attack and therefore there can't be a defender.) The effect on R4 Agromech was incidental, not a targeted nerf.

    FFG tends to be pretty cautious with their nerfs - look how long it took them to fix TIE Phantoms. Theoretically, they have a hard counter to JumpMasters coming in Wave 9, so if they decide JumpMasters are really a problem it will be after Wave 9 hits and has time to settle into the meta that they decide to make that change.

  2. also, r4 agromech still works with recon specialist, which cost 35 points for each jumpmaster (you can't bring 3)

    1. True, and in which case why bother with the R4 at all?