|What is love? Baby don't hurt me..|
Recently, I've found myself liking the Avenger upgrade over Relentless a lot more. If I have the points and I feel the need to take a title on my ISD, you can bet that I'll have Avenger on my flagship as long as I have enough bid.
Why is this the case? I think it's something that's purely based on my playstyle. When it comes to big ships throwing big dice, I absolutely love to bully whatever I'm shooting with serious damage and control elements. This is why I'm typically looking for upgrades like XI7s, Intel Officers, or anything that gives me mileage out of doing more damage. Avenger is probably the most powerful control title there is in the game currently outside of Home One. While Home One is an awesome title to pass accuracies to other ships in the fleet, it doesn't really do anything to help itself push damage through. That's where Avenger comes in on top. Avenger simply does not let the target player spend exhausted defense tokens. It gets around ECM, acts like multiple accuracy dice on exhausted defense tokens, but it does so without spending the dice itself. The only thing that Avenger does is push damage, and that's king in this game. Best of all, Avenger pushes damage in each and every shot, so it works against multiple targets through Gunnery Team.
|The pain starts here.|
If you have an ISD with Avenger, you want to make sure you have a list that has multiple activations. Personally, I've been flying an Avenger ISD-II with Ozzel and multiple ships with ways of doing forced damage like Assault Proton Torpedoes. I wouldn't say that Avenger is an auto-take as much as Relentless because it costs 5 points vs. 3. Sometimes you just want the bid bad enough that you will feel that you don't need to spend any more points because well, you simply don't need it. However, in my particular list where I have a Glad and 2x Raiders, I don't have too many solid ways to do direct damage to hull unlike my Ackbar list that's loaded with XI7s. Instead, I have a lot of ways to put damage on through lighter, faster ships, but the damage can be spread out more easily if my opponent uses his defense tokens. That's when Avenger is at its most deadly potential; acting as a huge control element and screaming lockdown in its purest form. With cards like SW-7 Ion Batteries or Leading Shots, you will be able to change those accuracies into raw damage, and just let your XI7s do the heavy lifting. If your opponent has a green card left like Contain or Redirect, just cover it with Intel Officer and let the bad feels soak.
Some obvious combos stand out here like Overload Pulse followed by Avenger, but don't that dissuade you thinking that Avenger is only good there. Cards like OP almost scream to have Screed as an admiral to make it proc effectively, and that will call upon a delivery system in order to do it. Raider-IIs immediately stand out, but I've found that Avenger is strong enough to stand on its own. Just play the game as you would normally and maybe activate the ISD last to get the most out of it, but don't hole yourself in in terms of execution and putting too many points/faith into a decent combo at best.
Don't get me wrong here, Relentless is still a incredibly strong title, arguably one of the best in the game for the price. It provides amazing flexibility to such a large ship, and allows you to respond to situations faster on the battlefield. Avenger is more for those who are comfortable with 3-command ships and just want to oppress his opponents' ships. I think it's much better for my particular playstyle, and I'll be taking it more and more in my Imperial lists.