Profile photo of sprenger By sprenger On March 07, 2013 Posted In X-Wing Miniatures Game

Mithel vs Phennir: No Contest?

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March 7, 2013

If you are like me then you probably been playing X-Wing non-stop after Wave 2 hit stores. I was able to pick up a Falcon, an interceptor and 2 Slave 1s along side my new set of Covenant Templates. That night I played in the League Play finals tournament and I went 1-1 with my 3 Y-Wing build. [I had to leave early to pack for my trip to South Carolina.] I had originally planned on running my Closers list however another player had matched my Rebel win total so I felt like I needed to play my Rebels so I could get the range ruler [which I totally did].

During the 20+ hour drive to South Carolina I had a chance to re-examine my Closers list and look to see what I could improve because I still had 4 points left over. Because I have maxed out my upgrades there is not way to spend those points without degrading one of my pilots down to two cheaper pilots or upgrading one of them to a better pilot. I am really happy with Vader and Soontir but kind of unsure about Mithel as the third man in my small group. After looking at all of the other options I decided that I would either go with Mithel or Phennir. They would be equipped with Elusiveness and a Stealth Generator. After doing some compares, one ship stands out over the other.




Setting the other two ships aside I wanted to compare Mithel to Phennir side by side. The biggest difference between the two is there point totals which is 8. If you spend anytime on the FFG X-Wing forums you would know that the 8 point difference is because Phennir has one more attack dice than Mithel does. You can use this formula to determine how much each ship cost according to ShadowJak.  2+Pilot Skill + (Attack Dice – 2) X 8 + (Defense Dice – 2) X 8 + (Hull – 3) X 4.25 + Shields X 4.50.  It is interesting to see that elite talent and actions don’t have anything to do with a ship’s cost.

Mithel :
2 + 7 + (2-2) X 8 + (3-2) X 8 + (3-3) x 4.25 +0 = 17

Phennir :
2 + 7 + (3-2) X 8 + (3-2) X 8 + (3-3) x 4.25 +0 = 25


The next thing to look at is the action bar. Phennir has the boost action plus every action that Mithel has. So that one looks like a no contest. I could spend 4 points to add the engine upgrade to Mithel to give him the boost action but then I would have to drop the Stealth upgrade. Plus I don’t like using my actions on anything but Focus (unless I have multiple actions). Phennir will get to boost way more than Mithel would just because of his ability.


Pilot abilities:

Mithel’s ability is probably the only thing that makes me even want to consider running him over Phennir [well and his lower cost]. At range 1 he is getting to attack with 4 dice instead of the normal 3 for Tie-Fighters. This translates into an 8 point savings (attack dice difference) while he is at range 1. The problem is that he has to be in range 1 and that is easier said than done. Phennir’s ability lets him attack and then boost or barrel roll out of harms way every time [unless he is stressed]. He also gets to roll 4 attack dice at range 1.


Movement Dials:




As you can see the interceptor has a much better movement array. Having four additional green maneuvers makes it more ideal for taking Stress tokens and recovers from the elusiveness effects easier.

Final Thoughts:

For eight points, you get boost action, an additional attack dice, 4 more green maneuvers and an ability that can be trigger more consistently (as long as you are not stressed).  As much as I like Mithel, it may be time to face the facts and just accept that Phennir is the new Offensive juggernaut for the imperials






  1. A few things that came to my mind while reading:

    Comparison of this kind is what you can do with the greater point value, in this case Turr Phenir’s value of 25. With 25 points, you get Mauler and 8 points to be spent on whatever.

    You began the process well, laying out what you get for those extra 8 points if you choose Turr Phenir. There’s a slightly different way to do it that I like to use when I evaluate options in games that I think applies here as the primary consideration — a look at the base offense and survivability expectations of each ship FOR ITS COST, and then then a look at what the best/worst game situations are for each ship to see if what it does applies broadly or only to niche scenarios you must engineer in play.

    Turr Phenir is pow 4/3/3 for 25 points, vs Mauler Mithel’s 4/2/2 for 17 points. Given the extra cost of Turr, offense for cost is roughly equal between the two ships. Turr has more offense, but 8 points well spent elsewhere means Mithel catches up in abstract.

    Each ship has the same hull/shield value, and Turr’s ability means he occasionally dodges some enemy fire. However, once you consider costing Mithel survives much better than Turr Phenir. It doesn’t help Mithel any, but it helps the squad overall. This makes him the better choice in abstract.

    Of course, this logic pushes your squad to become 8 Academy Pilots. They have the best value for costing ratio. Every choice away from ratio-driven conclusion is a sacrifice of raw squad strength in order to shape it away from the natural offense/defense ratio of that 8 AP squad. (AP is a mass of low POW shots and extremely hard to kill off. Mithel and Phenir are both a sharp move toward better single shots and away from raw offensive potential — consider that 2 Academy Pilots can outperform Phenir both offensively and defensively unless you can undermine numbers and make the fight ship to ship. Phenir outguns and outsurvives either single Academy Pilot if the opponent can find a way to marginalize one of the APs.)

    By costing Mithel is the better choice, but that’s only in abstract. I then looked at how he builds alongside the other ships you liked to use….

    You haven’t really gone into what you do with those 8 points when you choose Mauler Mithel over Turr Phenir. When you look at raw potential in each ship and don’t consider costing the Interceptor will always outperform the Fighter offensively, defensively, and in available action options. The comparison here isn’t really Mithel vs Phenir. It is Mithel and 8 spare points vs Phenir. Once you work out what those 8 points go toward, you can compare it to what Phenir does that Mithel does not do.

    I worked up something here, not sure on your own list:

    –100 points–
    37 Darth Vader… w/ Concussion Missile, Engine Upgrade
    33 Soontir Fel… w/ Push the Limit, Stealth Device
    30 Turr Phenir… Elusiveness, Stealth Device

    –97 points–
    40 Darth Vader… w/ Push the Limit, Conc Missile, Engine Upgrade
    33 Soontir Fel… w/ Push the Limit, Stealth Device
    24 Mauler Mithel… w/ Push the Limit, Engine Upgrade

    You can’t easily use up those 8 extra points… that’s the first thing I noticed here. Vader got Push the Limit to grab Evade as he fires his missile or as he zips away with a bank 3, roll, boost to avoid taking fire… or just to boost to range 1, then TL+ Focus for a 3-strikes kill shot. 3 points are just an initiative bid. 2 are because the cards that bolster the ships differ in cost… Mithel synchronizes with more expensive cards.

    I don’t care for Mithel’s game. Either you hope for range 1 or you build (as above) to engineer range 1. What he loses compared to Phenir, Vader does gain though… mainly in survivability, since he can triple stack actions to do things no other ship can do. Given that Vader takes 5 hits and is the most durable ship, he’s the bad target already — so you either get a hard to kill closer who will likely be alone out there, or you take the lesser Vader to get the more survivable Phenir and maybe keep multiple ships out there longer.

    In the end I think I agree that Phenir is a better choice.

    There’s a ton of room for debate on what cards should be placed on any particular ship. In particular, Mithel and Vader both have a lot of possible builds that all look reasonably good. It boils down not to the ship, but to the player — what YOU like to put on the ship when you play it is what matters here in the end.

    I’d want to see the Vader/Fel/Mithel list, and also what you’d do with Vader/Fel/Phenir. Only by comparison of the lists, not just the ships, can you really compare them and see which is better for you. It’s more than possible that for some players the answer would change because the supporting cards (planned tactics) would change. This is the best way to look at the 8 point difference and see what you can so with/without it.

    1. When I first started typing this it was going to be Squad vs Squad…but then it got to big so I cut it down to just the two Ships.

      As for my Squads here is the Mithel Squad:
      Total Squad Points: 96

      Pilot: “Mauler Mithel”
      Tie Fighter (17)
      Elusiveness (2)Stealth (3)

      Pilot: Darth Vader
      Tie Advanced x1 (29)
      Expose (4)Homing Missles (5)Stealth (3)

      Pilot: Soontir Fel
      Tie Interceptor (27)
      Push The limit (3)Stealth (3)

      This squad was too be more balanced Offensively and Defensively. I saw that you have push the limit on your lists you came up with but I felt like the Advance and Fighter didn’t have enough Green maneuvers to maintain the 2+ actions each round.

      The revised squad with Phennir:
      Total Squad Points: 100

      Pilot: Darth Vader
      Tie Advanced x1 (29)
      Veteran Instincts (1)Concussion Missiles (4)Stealth (3)

      Pilot: Soontir Fel
      Tie Interceptor (27)
      Push The limit (3)Stealth (3)

      Pilot: Turr Phennir
      Tie Interceptor (25)
      Elusiveness (2)Stealth (3)

      This list reduces Vader’s offensive and gives you a more consistent Interceptor that can still do damage without having to be in Range 1. It also makes Vader a little more defensive because he gets to move last.

      1. Push the Limit on Mithel wasn’t intended for every turn use — it was just to boost in then Focus to fire from range 1, or to double up on defensive actions. The way you have him built should make him pretty hard to hit, but I’m not sure what offense he’ll have. There’s not much of a way for him to arrange range 1 against his target.

        I’ve noticed a lot of players have been eying Push the Limit as “out of place” or something unless the ship can operate with 2 actions every turn… but it still outperforms alternate options even if you only use it every other turn or so. The real weakness to it is when an enemy ship k-turns in behind you — but a green maneuver, boost, then roll generally gets you out of their firing arc… or you can just move to range 2 (green) and double up w/ evade/Focus, and swing a different ship in behind theirs so that pursuing is a bad trade. Lots of options actually, almost all of them good. To be quite honest I think Push the Limit is under-costed by 2-3 points given what it does.

      2. The reason I stay away from PtL is because of the Stress token. For the A-Wings and Interceptors they have enough Green maneuvers to keep your opponent guessing as to what you will do however the X-Wings and Tie-Fighters have very limited green manuevers giving your opponent a better odds of guessing where you will end up.

        I view PtL the same way I do R2-D2. These kinds of upgrades make the player predictable and that is not an advantage I want to give to other player.

        I will admit that I hadn’t thought about pairing PtL with the Engine Upgrade to boost and take a defensive action with Mithel. That is something I will definitely consider in the future.

      3. Predictability is definitely a negative, but in the case of Push the Limit you get raw strength (usually in the form of a free Focus token) as a trade for being predictable.

        And the bigger truth is that in -MOST- turns of the game, what you do is going to be predictable/unimportant anyway. There will be turns where you might do something unexpected that gives you an advantage — but it’s hardly an every turn or even every other turn event.

        I think of Push the Limit as a loan you generally don’t have to pay back. You get what usually amounts to a free focus token. -IF- the next turn you miss out on the chance to do something unpredictable (and simultaneously… beneficial), you are paying for the Focus token with the option of another free Focus token immediately available to you. There is no point where you fall behind or break even… it’s always valuable.

        It generally goes like this for me:
        turn 1 — engage at range 3, F+E
        turn 2 — green bank maneuver into range 1, F+E
        turn 3 — expecting enemy k-turns, maybe 1 action
        turn 4 — k-turns vs stressed enemy ships?

        Of course it’s a lot more complicated than that if you want it to be, but I’ve picked up free actions via Push the Limit twice before things get complicated and I still have the opportunity turn 3 to outmaneuver with very little chance of the opponent knowing my mind. They have to consider the possibility of bank 1 F + roll (inside), which would give me bank 1 F (no double up needed?) right in behind their ships on the following turn. When they do k-turn I might k-turn and get behind them again. Every exchange in the progression has me on a free Focus and possibly vs a stressed action-less ship.

  2. Despite the fact that Turr is offensively fantastic. I think him with PTL is a ridiculous combo. He can PTL AFTER he fires… allowing for a boost or barrell roll plus another action. He is very unbeatable in a 1v1 vs a lower PS pilot. That is unless they have a 360degree arc.

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