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Star Wars: X-Wing: Dealing With “Stress”

7 Minute Read
Feb 1 2016

Is the new “Stress-Meta” bringing you down? Well here are some options that might help you get back in the game!

Stress is back in a BIG way on the X-Wing scene. But let me start off with the “Why” before we get to the “Now” and the “How” of the new-Stress Meta.

Why Is Stress Back?

A lot of the blame has to fall on the shoulders of a new hot-shot in town. You may have seen him in action on the big screen. Goes by the name Poe Dameron…



Ever since World Champ Paul Heaver showed off just how effective Poe Dameron REALLY is in the hands of skilled pilots, players all over the place have been trying to tap into that magic-mojo of Poe. I mean, he’s no Dash Rendar…but he’s still a really cool guy.

If you haven’t had the “Poe Effect” hit your local meta yet, be glad! You’re group is either really behind or way ahead of the Meta…Good for you! And if you’ve been on the receiving end of a Poe inspired beat down you’ve probably been wondering “Okay, how do I shut this punk down?” Well the answer is already out there. It’s that OTHER cause of the Stress problem: The Stress Bot.


The What Now?

Yes, the Stress bot – he was actually ALSO in that same World Champ winning list – just on a low PS Y-Wing. It looked like this:

Gold Squadron Pilot + R3‑A2 + BTL‑A4 Y‑wing + Twin Laser Turret


If your not sure why that’s bad – it’s handing out TWO* stress at up-to two different targets. But if you really wanted to mess up one ship, you could give it TWO stress. Is that bad? Well, sometimes – but more importantly, when you preform a green maneuver you only remove 1 stress. This really cuts down on the maneuverability of the stressed out target. You can remove all red maneuvers and probably guess which white or green maneuver they will execute next turn. Combine that some player experience and a MEAN Poe-type, and you’ve got a winning combo.

*It’s only two stress because while TLT may perform the attack twice, it’s still counts as single “Attack:” – therefore you get 1 stress from the initial Primary “Attack:” and a second one from the BTL Title ability (which can be at a different target). Just because you’re using a TLT doesn’t mean you do 3 stress. Sorry.


Okay – that seems like a problem, but what does that have to do with Poe?”  If you haven’t started seeing High PS (7-8 or higher) ships show up with the R3-A2 in your meta, again – congratulations, you’re either way ahead or behind…it’s the meta – that’s how that works. Basically, if you can stress Poe out BEFORE he starts taking his action to get Focus you can really stop his shenanigans. This is why you may start see ol’ Horton Salm again… for the first time.


I, personally, really like running this little Stress bot setup:

Horton Salm – Y-Wing – 32 Points

  • BTL-A4 Title
  • R3-A2
  • Ion Cannon Turret

Sure, there is a “dead” zone – but when you get someone in range 2 and give them double stress + an ion token…get ready to walk that puppy off the board. It’s also TOTALLY APPROPRIATE to yell “Horton Hears THAT Who!” when you kill him. Try it sometime!

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “AdamHarry, He’s only PS 8, Poe is 8 – so what?”  Yes – but it’s more about getting to move and attack at the same time so you can get him next turn. Remember, those two shots don’t have to hit. They just have to be declared…

Strangely enough, the Stress bot ALSO happens to work on just about every other type of “Action:” dependent pilot in the game. Strange, huh? So it’s likely you’re going to see SOME type of the Stress bot come to your meta at some point – so get ready. Which brings us to the next part:

How do you deal with Stress?

I’ll be honest – if you’re a Rebel Player, this next part is going to be a LOT more helpful to you (sorry Scum & Imperial only players…but at least you can scout the concepts).

There are a handful of Rebel Pilots that basically don’t give a $&%& about Stress – and a few upgrade cards that don’t care about stress, either! Horton Salm is one of those pilots but here are a few others:


I’m pretty sure Tycho is almost mandatory when you’re talking about Stress and not caring.


The First B-Wing on my list – Ibtisam’s ability feeds on having a Stress.



Keyan Farland, the second B-Wing on the list, should actively WANT to get Stress. Throw on an Advanced Proton Torpedo and the new Guidance Chip and giggle like a school girl!


Etahn’s Ability isn’t reliant on having or not having Stress. It’s just an Arc thing! Same for Corran Horn…


Porkins gets a bad rap. But his ability is for all you risk-takers out there…just like Jek’s diet. And speaking of X-Wings (the T-65’s) Luke, Wedge and Wes all don’t care about stress for their abilities to work either…


Red Ace and Blue Ace also don’t care if they get a stress for their pilot abilities to work – now, the following turns may suck but at least Red gets a shield!


I could keep going – but I think you get the point. When dealing with the Stress Meta – you have to think about Pilot’s with abilities unaffected by having Stress. Heck, a bunch of Generic Pilots might be a good option too (looking at you TIE Swarms), this applies for every faction. However the Rebels are also getting a new card to help deal with Stress:



Her ability is REALLY cool. So get ready to see her on the X-Wing tables near you once the new Ghost Expansion comes out. Oh and let’s not forget one of my All-time favorites:


Oh and one more card I like that I picked up from my time hanging out with those Scummy types:


I hope that list at least gives you some ideas to work around for when the Stress Meta comes to your local Meta. In the mean time, here’s a list you can start practicing with (as a Rebel) to use Stress to your advantage:

The List: Come Stress Me Bro! – 100 Points

Tycho Celchu – A-Wing – 30 points

  • A-Wing Test Pilot
  • Chardaan Refit
  • Push the Limit
  • Autothrusters
  • Wired

Keyan Farlander – B-Wing – 44 Points

  • Fire-Control System
  • Heavy Laser Cannon
  • Push the Limit
  • B-Wing/E2
  • Hera Syndulla

Tarn Mison –  X-Wing – 27 Points

  • R2 Astromech
  • Plasma Torpedoes
  • Guidance Chips

Okay, I know it’s goofy so I’ll walk through this really fast. Tycho – I’ll just skip him cause it’s pretty obvious. Keyan – With the Fire-Control System + Push the Limit, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get a Target Lock+Stress for the turn you need it. The addition of Hera means you can still do crazy things with those Red Maneuvers. Oh and the HLC means you’re gonna roll 4 dice pretty much anytime you get a shot.

Tarn Mison is another wild card:


Basically, when that TLT Y-wing comes-a-knocking you’re going to get a free Target Lock out of it. You then turn around and blast it with your Plasma Torpedoes which are going to get to turn one of those dice into a crit. And if it’s a Y-Wing, you have a pretty good shot at removing it’s shields straight-up. One-trick pony? Well with the R2 unit, it’s still turning all those 1 and 2 maneuvers green. Not too shabby!

Then again, you could just run That Stupid Y-Wing list and fly in circles all day.


What do you think about the “Stress Meta” and what’s your answer? Imperial Pilots, I’m really looking at what your answers are – seriously! Let us know in the comments below!

Author: Adam Harrison
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