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Rebel Mobility

The List

Rebel Mobility (direct link)
Rey: Veteran Instincts, Finn, Kanan Jarrus, Smuggling Compartment, Inertial Dampeners, Countermeasuers, Millenium Falcon (TFA) *[59]*
Norra Wexley: Push the Limit, Kyle Katarn, BB-8, Engine Upgrade, Alliance Overhaul *[41]*

Breakdown

This is the list that I took to the 2017 Dallas Regionals. I’d seen a few Rey/Norra lists floating around slack, all focused around a Tanky Norra. That didn’t really appeal to me, being winless with every variation of Tanky Norra I’ve ever won. However, there was a core of an idea there that resonated. I love playing Tanky DPS characters in online games. Soak up lots of damage while dealing above-average damage is fun. Rey absolutely fit that mold, being deceptively resilient when her opponents are in arc. Norra, though, I needed something different.

That “different” was found when trying out Rey + Movie Poe. For the unaware, Movie Poe is PS 9 Poe Dameron with Push the Limits, BB-8, and other upgrades that are inconsequential. Kyle Katarn was already a PTL off-setting staple from other squads. Things clicked when I realized Norra could run PTL with both BB-8 and Kyle at the same time.

Having never flown it before, I took Rebel Mobility to Central Texas for our family vacation. Two words can describe the performance there: It dominated. My record was perfect as we headed back to Dallas, a combined 6-0. From there I set my sites on Regionals.

As previously mentioned, that event marked my first time playing outside of close friends and family. With Rebel Mobility I finished 3-3, placing 44th overall out of a field of 124. The list is based around two primary premises:

  • People don’t like being punched in the face on turn one. This list punches people in the face, hard.
  • Extreme mobility should pay dividends over tankiness. They can’t damage you if they can’t hit you (often).

Rebel Mobility is an in your face brawler, tossing out large numbers of hit/crits and shrugging off the incoming fire. It’s a “Mike Tyson” list, where you go for a KO early. The longer the game goes, though, the more likely you are to lose. This particular brand of Norra, for example, is not a closer. If Rey dies, and you’re facing a list that has more HP or higher PS than Norra, it is game over.

So what are the key pieces to the list? Rey. Norra is all well and good, and contributes a great deal of damage when she’s up close and personal with you, but the all star of this list is Rey. Rey hits like a truck, not just at R1, but at R2 and R3 as well, effectively throwing four red dice at your opponents from long-range. Up close she’s even scarier, as five highly modified red dice will ruin most people’s day. All that for the cost of a single Focus action. Sign me up.

Norra fills a complimentary role in Rebel Mobility. She hits hard, and has great action economy. You want to get up in your opponent’s face and roll four reds, and then add a focus result on top, flipping (hopefully) to four or five hits/crits. And get up in your opponent’s face you can, with this particular setup. Let’s take a closer look at a normal turn with Norra.

  1. Reveal a green maneuver
  2. BB-8 activates. Choose to barrel roll one direction or the other.
  3. Activate Push the Limit off of the BB-8 barrel roll. Boost or take a Target Lock, then receive your Stress token.
  4. Execute your green maneuver. Remove that Stress.
  5. Kyle Katarn triggers, assign a Focus token.

Hopefully you’ve now moved a ridiculous distance for a “slow ship” a rather considerable distance, catching your opponent off-guard.

Below is a sample setup and first few moves highlighting the above, against an enemy where they also wants to get in close:

Setup:
Your pilots are relatively high PS. Rey should be placing last, while Norra should be deploying after Defenders and the like. Norra deploys range R1 from your side of the board, just a hair under the length of a three straight from the side.

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Rey is deployed more toward the center of the board. If Norra deployed on the right side, Rey is positioned slightly off-center on the left, at a 45 degree tilt to the right.

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Note that my first two asteroids, if possible, are placed at 2×2 from my corners. This ensures that I can simply flip this deployment as necessary, taking the same actions.

First two turns:
Remember, this is a setup to bring both heavy guns to bear on the same target at the same time. Hopefully without giving away what you’re doing. You want the enemy to come to you. Assuming they are setup in the opposite corner from Norra’s deployment, your first two turns are relatively simple.

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Turn three:
Assuming the enemy has continued pursuing without slow-playing, this is your turn. Let’s make maximum use of Norra’s mobility, and parlay that into (hopefully) an unexpected R1 shot. Reveal a green 2 bank left, barrel roll, boost 1 left, execute your maneuver, take a Target Lock as your action…ending up as shown below.

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And then you bring your second big gun to bear on the enemy. Execute a 3 bank right with Rey, triggering Title first, then Kanan, and finally taking a Focus as your action.

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Let the rolling of red dice commence! That Asajj is looking at 4+5 highly modified red dice coming her way. It likely won’t kill her, but she should limp away heavily damaged.

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From there, you’ve got options. I prefer to follow-up on the target that, hopefully, you put a metric ton of damage onto in the first round of combat. A damaged ship usually maintains full DPS capabilities until gone, so focus that fire.

We’ll take more examples from the Dallas Regionals later when we discuss both Good Match-ups and Bad.

Strengths/Good Match-ups

Low Agility Lists – I consider Low Agility Lists to be Rebel Mobility’s best match-up. Rebel Mobility throws around a lot of red dice. A lot. Of. Red. Dice. That’s the thing that Low Agility Lists typically don’t want to run into.

Two specific examples of this come from the Dallas Regionals. My first match, I was pitted against Paul Trupia, one of the people who run the 512 Squadron Podcast. He ran Asajj + 2x TLT Y-Wings, a nod to Heaver’s Worlds squad. Paul talks at length about our match-up on Episode 5 of their podcast, starting 23 minutes in (if you listen, his evade dice really did go into hiding…he rolled a single evade all match). My goal was (relatively) simple, at least in thought. Get in close, not hard with the fast speed that both these ships operate at. Preferably R1. And then blast the ever-loving fun out of his Y-Wings.

Round one of combat, he lost a Y-Wing. Round two of combat, he lost the other Y-Wing. That’s roughly 2/3 of his firepower, dead right off the bat. From there it was just a matter of time before Asajj went down. His list (even if the greens had been better), simply couldn’t handle the sheer volume of red dice being thrown his way.

The same story repeated itself later when facing a Ghost + Shuttle + Biggs list.

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Let me state for the record that his list terrified me prior to the game getting started. He had an Ion Cannon Turret on his Ghost, paired with a docked Shuttle for twice the control fun. Flying point was a Biggs, intending on drawing the fire long enough for his Ghost to start ionizing me repeatedly. I did not see how I could win this with two low agility ships myself. The Ions were bound to land.

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Soooo…I charged right on in and smashed Biggs to bits with a great opening salvo. R1 with Norra, R2 with Rey leads to a dead decoy. Norra died again, as she had died against Paul Trupia’s squad (more on that later), but Rey continued to be the closer in the list.

In these match-ups, the key is to eliminate opposing damage early. Your shots will definitely be landing, take advantage of that. Nuke a ship off the board each round when facing Thug Life. Make the enemy Flapjack (YT-1300 or 2400) run away, not contributing to the rest of the fight while you one-shot their support. Basically, play the part of the bully. Keep up the pressure, and don’t give them room to breathe.

Two Ship Lists – This is another archetype that Rebel Mobility stacks up against well. It is also the archetype that I’ve flown almost exclusively since 10/22/2016. Miranda/Corran, Rey/Norra, Miranda/Rey, Dash/Miranda, Miranda/Norra, Kannan/Miranda, the list goes on. The common theme is that most two ship Rebel lists are one large + one small, or two small. The weakness of two ship lists is that both of them really need to be on target, every round, if you want to beat your opponent.

That’s where Rebel Mobility shines, to an extent. Rey can easily hop around the mat, pointing right back where she came from. Norra manages to arc dodge well, firing from front or back, while keeping her own shots fully modified. With both of these ships in play, you’re likely hitting something every turn, while also likely dodging some portion of the return fire. And as soon as you take one of the enemy ships down, their mountain to victory quickly becomes unassailable.

Does that mean this match-up is a pushover? Heck no. The amount of damage that other two ship lists out there can put out is terrifying, if you let them setup appropriately. And should they setup correctly, they’re firing against your two low agility ships. Your Rey gets stressed? No stress-free slooping, focuses, or Expertise. Your Norra gets stressed? She can’t BB-8 when revealing a green. If you are shooting Miranda, she can shoot you back, potentially even with a 5-dice Homing Missile.

Weaknesses/Bad Match-ups

PTL Aces lists – The PTL aces I’ve flown against typically use their extra actions for re-positioning. Soontir Fel is a great example here. He moves last due to his Pilot Skill, has a good dial, and baked in action economy gaining a focus when he becomes stressed. More often than not, Zach boosts and barrel rolls his Soontir into just the right position, letting him fire and either deny a return shot, or reducing the out of arc turret shots deadliness via autothrusters. Most turns, he’s ending stressed, at Range 1, “out of arc”.

Which is right where Rebel Mobility does not want him. He’s firing four red dice against your one green. Even if you have the opportunity to return fire, something Rey always has access to but Norra doesn’t, you are going up against three greens and a Palp security blanket. That’s a hard nut to crack.

Worse is that he’s got two additional ships in addition to that Soontir. Zach flies his Palp Shuttle aggressively, moving in to provide an extra blocker to keep Rey and Norra under control. Ryad does the same thing. She’s already getting her modifications as she is moving before you. She wants your Rey to be focus-less. She wants your Norra to have to make a tough decision between taking a TL or Boosting before executing the maneuver.

Caveat: This is the only ship list I’ve yet to beat, even once, with Rebel Mobility. I’ve gotten close. In one of the matches Zach was taking Soontir off the board already before I prompted, “Erm, you haven’t Palp’d yet…” Without that reminder, I’d have been facing a full health Palp Shuttle and a half-health Vader (this is before he moved to Ryad), and I feel pretty good about that match-up in general.

Yes, it stinks that you will catch Soontir with his pants down, only to have the Palp come to the rescue. It happens. Don’t be afraid to disengage, regroup, and put both guns on the same ship again. Strip the tokens with Rey, and let Norra finish the job. Don’t be afraid to alter your starting positioning and present only a single ship at a time as a viable target to your opponent, while the other swoops in from behind.

Defenders – Before Regionals, I had not yet played any significant time against Defenders. I knew that they were one of the more powerful squads, but none of my close friends or family ran them. On the plus side, they’re all small ships that fly rather predictably. That’s a recipe for getting them right where I want them, controlling the engage by moving after them and positioning the fight just right. They want to joust, I want to joust.

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On the downside, they’re still Defenders. Their action economy is second-to-none. They’ve got a ridiculous stat line.  They’re sometimes backed up by Palp to rescue them on the few times their native defenses fail. While I’m throwing out 9-10 red dice, they’re throwing out 9-12. They’ve got three green dice each to back up those offenses, while I’m limited to one. Honestly, joust and die.

This is one of the few lists that you don’t want to joust with Rebel Mobility. You want to force their fire to be split, where the target that they engaged on turn one is not the target they engage on turn two of combat. In this regard, Sloops are better than K-Turns. Abuse that. Have Norra or Rey engage from the opposite corner of the map, and then use their superior mobility to engage or arc dodge. You should be moving after all three of your opponent’s ships, use that to your advantage. Don’t be afraid to take out-of-arc shots with Rey if that means you are taking minimal fire in return.

Big Blockers – One of the biggest weaknesses of this iteration of Rebel Mobility is action denial. If you deny Rey or Norra actions, they’re average ships doing average things with low agility. And the consistent fact about people bringing three or more ships to the table is that they’re very comfortable using one or more of those as blockers. Manaroo, Palp Shuttle, Old Terroch, the Decimator, etc… They all love moseying up right where you want to go, leading to a bump and action denial.

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There’s not a lot of things you can do against this type of strategy except fly unpredictably. Approach from two angles instead of one. If they’re committed to bumping one of your ships along one trajectory, they’re not likely going to be in position to impede the other.

Modification Deniers – Omega Leader, how I hate thee. For those few things in the game that prevent/cancel/deny dice modification, they absolutely kill the very thing that makes Rebel Mobility great. Want to add that blank die to the pool from Finn? Tough. Want to re-roll up to two blanks? Nope. Want to add a focus result? Sorry. Want to change that focus result to a critical? Not happening.

There have been very few times I’ve wanted to flip the table playing X-Wing, but my last match of Regionals fit the bill. I faced off against two Defenders and an Omega Leader. I managed to get both Defenders off the table, while Norra limped around like a zombie with a single hull remaining. Omega Leader scored a great roll against Norra in an unexpected turn, and my die blanked out on me, leaving just Rey and OL left on the mat.

Cake walk, I thought. I could not have been more wrong. One hit, one hit, zero hits, two hits, one hit, three hits. None of the above punched through the three greens he was rolling, while turn after turn he nibbled away at Rey’s health. She started the 1v1 with two shields remaining. She died having not landed a single hit on the TIE.

Three things bear mentioning here:

  • Those were really crappy dice rolls. Yes, but that’s what OL brings to the table. Your naked dice versus his modified. Suck it up and deal with it.
  • I should have saved Countermeasures. I blew the card earlier in the match when Rey was flanked by both TIE Defenders at R1. Maybe still the smart call, but at least one of my rolls in the 1v1 would have been enough if I’d been able to reroll one or more blanks and/or use my focus.
  • I should have run. Remember way up at the beginning of this now overly long article, I mentioned that this was the first time that I’d played outside of with close friends or family. Read: We’d never played to time before. Not once. And so it never occurred to me that I should, in fact, run with Rey. Several of those combat rounds were in the final 3-4 minutes of the match. I could have very safely run out time. I wish I’d run out time. My final standing would have fit somewhere between 22 and 25. That would have been cool.

Against Modification Deniers, remove them before it becomes a 1v1. If presented the opportunity, take out that Omega Leader early in the match. He’s just “okay” then, versus a late-game monster. Yes, you will likely soak up some damage you’d rather not have while doing so, but a little extra damage is an acceptable price to pay for your ship not being crippled later.

Variations

Rebel Regen (direct link)
Rey: Veteran Instincts, Finn, Kanan Jarrus, Smuggling Compartment, Inertial Dampeners, Countermeasuers, Millenium Falcon (TFA) *[59]*
Norra Wexley: Push the Limit, Kyle Katarn (could also place C-3P0 here), R2-D2, Vectored Thrusters, Alliance Overhaul *[41]*

I’ve never had any success with Regen Norra, either wish Kyle as crew or C-3P0. But others swear by it, and it clocks in at an identical 41 points. The idea here is that Norra becomes the tank of the list, soaking up fire and often using her pilot ability defensively to add the focus result for more guaranteed mitigation.

On the downside, you’re much less mobile than Mobility Norra. You’re taking more hits in exchange being able to take more hits. And when you use an action for re-positioning, you’re no longer fully modified. Trade off’s. I don’t think that this list is significantly stronger against the current meta.

Expertise Rebels (direct link)
Rey: Expertise, Finn, Kanan Jarrus, Millenium Falcon (TFA) *[58]*
Norra Wexley: Expertise, C-3P0, R7-T1, Vectored Thrusters, Alliance Overhaul *[41]*

R7-T1 is a very intriguing little droid. Rubbish on the E-Wing whose expansion it came in, I think that it might find life on an ARC-170 due to the rear arc. For those unaware, R7-T1 reads: Action: Choose an enemy ship at Range 1-2. If you are inside that ship’s firing arc, you may acquire a target lock on that ship. Then, you may perform a free boost action. Also, some additional clarification from the FAQ:

If a ship equipped with R7-T1 is at Range 1–2 and inside the firing arc of an enemy ship, the following sequence occurs: the ship equipped with R7-T1 may acquire a target lock on the enemy ship. Then, the ship equipped with R7-T1 may perform a free boost action, even if it did not acquire a target lock on the enemy ship.

So it is an Engine Upgrade that costs 3 instead of 4, and will often let you also acquire a Target Lock as well. Now we’re in semi-Mobility Norra territory again, while retaining some tankiness from C-3P0 and built-in action economy from Expertise.

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In the above example, Asajj clearly thinks that Norra is going right (or straight) and has positioned her mobile arc accordingly. However, Norra instead pulls a 2 turn left, and then uses her R7-T1 action to boost out of Asajj’s primary firing arc and acquire a target lock. Now Norra has no incoming damage to fear, no mobile arc to eat stress/tractor from, and a free R1 shot from her rear arc with both Target Lock and Expertise to convert focuses.

Going up against Big Blockers? No worries now, you still get your focus modifications from Expertise. That match-up goes from Bad to Good, just by switching a couple of upgrades around. PTL Aces and OldFennAroo might be in the same boat, as both Palp and Manaroo are often used for blocking, reducing the effectiveness of your modifications.

That said, Expertise Rebels is incredibly vulnerable to stress. Have stress? Expertise does not trigger. Given there’s an incredibly popular stress dealing list on the prowl right now (Parattanni), your mileage with Expertise Rebels may vary.

This variation of the list may feature the changes needed to bring Rey/Norra back to par with the current meta. I think it’ll still be a tough match-up against Defenders and Parattanni, but with enough buffs to make these (and others) surmountable.

Final Salvo

Thanks for wading through this far longer than anticipated write-up on Rebel Mobility. I had a heck of a time flying this list at the Dallas Regionals. Most people in our area had never played against Norra before at all, and of those who had they’d only seen Regen/Tanky Norra in the past. “Wait, what?” was the response from more than one party after barrel rolling, boosting, moving, and target locking…all without ending the Activation phase stressed. Slooping, barrel rolling, and boosting around the mat while throwing lots of red dice proved to be lots fun fun.

But I don’t think this list is in a great spot with the current meta. Defenders are still prevalent, and they’re a tough match-up. Parattanni is even more so, and that’s rough. Most of the things that Rebel Mobility excels against have been pushed aside by the above and others, most of which Rey and Norra just don’t do so well against.

That said, variations of Rey/Norra continue to place well at Regionals. Dallas featured an identical Rey/Norra build in the Top 8. They also found their way to the Top 8 at Kashyyk. It’s still a good list, but you’re much more at the mercy of your match-ups than just strolling up to the tournament with Parattanni, OldFennAroo, or Defenders in your kit.

I hope you enjoyed the list evaluation!

Fly safe!

About Mike

Christian. Husband. Father. Writer. Gamer. Sports enthusiast. I have many interests that don't naturally overlap, but love to discuss them all.

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