A rundown of Rebel lists doing well at recent events and Wedge is quite a popular component.
Nordic Nationals saw rebels on top for the first time in a Major event in 2nd edition. One tournament doesn’t necessarily mean everything is good, but some new rebel archetypes are popping up now and starting to do well.
One of the key ingredients is Wedge Antilles. Wedge is causing a bit of debate about whether he is good or bad? Firstly, Wedge is not an Ace, if defining an ace as an arc dodging multiple re-positional ship. I6 does allow him to get the drop on an opposing ship, but the more predictable T-65 dial makes his moves slightly telegraphed. Combine that with the 2 Agility, and he is not going to be dancing away without a scratch, so no, he is not an Ace in the traditional Soontir Fel mould.
What Wedge does excel at is kicking hard in the face with his excellent pilot ability. This makes him a reasonably costed glass cannon, (at time of writing), with a bit of survivability thanks to 2 shields and four hull behind that two agility. In many ways, he is a budget Luke. The main benefit here is while he lacks Skywalker’s manoeuvrability, (if you are playing Luke without Supernatural Reflexes you are doing it wrong), his offensive output is good, and he allows you more list building options.
Coruscant top 8 (Roger Jeske) & Nordics top 16 Rebel List
Garven Dreis Arc 170: Selfless, Proton torpedoes, shield Upgrade
Dutch Vander: ion cannon Turret, Selfless, Proton torpedoes, shield Upgrade
Wedge: Swarm tactics, Proton torpedoes, Hull Upgrade
While this build goes for the triple-alpha offensively, what it benefits from is the damage mitigation from selfless, (draw their fire in Old School terms). You still have to play it right to get the locks as both Garven and Dutch are I4, but the list has some decent token passing from both Garven and Dutch to get double mods on the torpedoes and gets return damage spread to keep the ships in the game longer.
Andreas Karlsson’s 2018 Nordics winning list:
Wedge: Crack shot
Norra Wexley: Proton torpedoes
Jan Orrs: Moldy Crow
Sabine Wren Attack Shuttle
I briefly mentioned my version of the above list in recording an episode of the 186th Podcast a few days before Andreas winning Nordics. Andreas had four of the best rebel ships in one list and played well, unsurprisingly, can do well. There is no ‘good target’ to take out first, and you can’t ignore anything either.
My extended list, Braylen and Friends:
Wedge: swarm tactics
Braylen Stramm B Wing: Trick Shot
Jan Orrs: Moldy Crow, Trick Shot
Sabine Wren Attack Shuttle: Trick Shot
In this, I’m looking at an almost double mod 4-6 dice attacks from Braylen, (a bit like Rey with Finn crew in 1st Edition). When stressed he can re-roll up to two dice attacking or defending with linked focus barrel roll providing the stress. I’m yet to find an opponent helpful enough to allow a range one shot through an obstacle, but I live in hope.
Six dice attacks are built on hope.
Comparatively to Andreas list, there is a more obvious target selection. Braylen should be the first target to remove due to the offensive capability. That does allow Wedge to wander unmolested which is helpful. I like with Braylen that I am not dependent on getting Locks for the re-rolls and allows more target priority freedom. In both lists, Jan Orrs is an active contributor to the damage output thanks to Moldy Crow giving the three attack dice, possible Lock and banking the focus tokens.
Is Four is the Magic Number?
Krayt Coruscant List
Luke Skywalker: Super Natural Reflexes
Sabine Wren attack shuttle
Jan Orrs: Moldy Crow
This is the build a number of the Carolina Krayt podcasters took to Coruscant. Four of the best rebel ships in a list. If you are playing Extended then you should have a good reason not to take Sabine in the attack shuttle, she is so good if used correctly, resembling BB-8 Intensity Poe from first edition. Lt. Blount is an excellent filler ship for his points cost and easy to proc his ability.
Daniel Lim was the only rebel player to make the cut at Mynock open, (5-1 record out of 160 players), using the above but swapping Jan Orrs for Norra Wexley in an Arc 170 with Debris Gambit on Sabine.
Triple alpha Strike bad?
Why is triple Alpha strike bad? The current rebel trip alpha usually is based around three X wings, (mainly Wedge, Thane and Luke without Super Natties) or swapping one out for a Y wing. Most of the torpedo strikes in these builds is reliant on rolling above average to spike maximum damage. Firing a torpedo with a single Modification will net three out of four hits. In first addition, thanks to guidance chips, you would feel aggrieved if not getting four hits from your single modification.
Guidance chips made single mod missile or torpedo attacks tick over. That is not there anymore, and even Luke Skywalker ideally wants to have two force tokens ready for a torpedo attack to max out the chances of four hits.
First edition triple alpha revolved around Captain Nym’s bomb chucking and holding mechanics to control the engagement plus the flexibility from Airen Cracken and guidance chips. Rebels don’t have that now, and if wanting to take a decent triple alpha squad then the other factions do it better.
The Garven Arc alpha list above does allow two ships to hit with two double modified torpedo attacks but the days of averagely getting four hits each from three ships are gone for now. I’d say that the only downside of this list is the need to run it in formation. Andreas’ Nordics list allows for Sabine to flank which is not something you want to go unchecked, and I’ve found that the more reliable guns you can bring to bear in 2nd edition, (or more red dice thrown), the more you can spike the average.
Wedge is terrible after all according to popular legend and I’m not a fan of a wedge of lemon in my coke.
Steve Christian’s Nerf Herder Top 8 list
Arvel Crynd, A-wing: Intimidation
Garven Dreis X-Wing
Kyle Katarn: Trick Shot, Moldy Crow, Jyn Erso
5-1 record in the Swiss for 5th from 140 players and makes the top 16 before losing in top 8. It’s a decent build, and a strong five ship combination for rebels is a bit of a holy grail. Getting to fly this right and getting the variety of combinations right is the trick and will require some practice due to the fragility of some of the ships.
Having put Garven on the table a bit now, I’d instead take him rather than Thane who in table terms has been drastically less effective than on paper while Garven has been quite the reverse. Arvel is good but at the same price point as Sabine in an attack shuttle I know which one I would prefer, personal taste and flying styles.
Biggs is still good, who knew?
A Wedge of Selfless
Wedge: Lone Wolf
Garven Dreis: selfless
Red squadron Vet: selfless
I purchased a ticket for an event that then turned into a wave event, wave 1 and core set only and I thought about the double Selfless build, (now far above), and slapped this down. Four X-Wings and it was surprisingly good, as practised against Extended lists with such luminaries as Redline and Rexlar Brath. It was good because it took a long time for things actually to die, Wedge was left alone, and I could get four three dice guns pointing at things most of the time.
Biggs was still good, who knew?
Even the shoot Biggs first strategy, (still correct), was less effective. It’s a bit surprising Biggs hasn’t been seen much, just one appearance at UK Team Championship from 47 rebel lists verses 25 for Wedge, 25 for Luke and 13 for Thane. If flying in formation Biggs is something to consider although wedging Biggs into one of the other above lists may prove tricky. Biggs is probably in second edition something you purposely build around rather than toss in.
Mynock Open 21st place 4-2 rebel list
Blade Squadron Veteran B-wing: Selfless, Shield upgrade
Blade Squadron Veteran B-wing: Selfless, Shield upgrade
Braylen Stramm B-wing
Brian Bugaj narrowly missed going 5-1 and making the cut stage of Mynock Open. I played against a Wedge and three b-wings at UKTC, all four ships with Hull upgrade and it was tough with the B-wings doing most of the work. Brian’s build I feel takes it to the next level allowing Braylen to last longer and chuck out accurate offence.
Rebellions are built on hope.
Perhaps one of the reasons we have seen little regarding success with rebels so far is that Rebels are not an easy faction to pick up and play compared to Imperials and Scum. Working out good rebel builds comparatively uses more R&D time, and X-wing players have got used to the quick fix that was provided by Meta wing and list juggler, now starting to be filled by List Fortress. The strength of Meta wing was not the highlighting of the top ten to twenty performing lists but the data on individual ships, upgrades and combos. With the playing fields showing a fair bit less than 30% rebels there has been little data to go, Mynock Open had just over 21% rebels.
Most Scum and Imperial ships work happily on their own, and it’s a simple case of selecting three or four good ships and putting them on the table together. Rebels need to harness some synergy in most cases, (super fat Luke and 4 Z-95s or 4 K-wings excluded), even if it’s just a drop like Jan Orrs. Its been a rocky start but I feel the emergence of the above lists, ships and combinations provides hope moving forward for rebel players.