The rage of the town these days are the ARC Troopers. ARC troopers this. ARC troopers that. How about Rexstar? What about ARCstar? (Still terrible names mind you, no offense to our very own Michael Barry.) My question to everyone: What about Obi Wan Kenobi?
- Great Command Cards
- Supports the army around him
- Can Control an area
- Low Health in current meta
- Complex to play
Kyle Dornbos, our resident unit guide connoisseur, would really dive into all of the stats and numbers behind Obi Wan. I, however, want to take a different approach to this. Think of this as an Obi Wan Kenobi opinion piece. If you know me well enough you know I think Obi Wan is quite possibly the best force user in the entire game.
The issue with Obi Wan, or any force user in general, is the intricacy of playing Obi Wan as opposed to say a gunline like ARCstar and Rexstar which are more “auto-pilot”. Obi Wan is even more specifically intricate to play, than say Luke Skywalker, due to how Obi Wan insulates the army around him via Command Cards and his Guardian keyword.
Let’s discuss the Guardian keyword first and foremost. It’s Guardian 3, which on the face of things seems amazing (and it genuinely is), however, Guardian can be a trap. When I first started using Kenobi I would use Guardian quite a bit as it would keep the Clones around me alive, etc. The more I play Kenobi the less I see myself using Guardian. I typically will only use it when I play his two pip, Knowledge and Defense, which gives him a plethora of dodge tokens depending on your positioning.
Guardian Pros and Cons
- Pro: Keeps nearby Clones alive
- Con: Over indulging will put wounds on Kenobi
Positioning. Now comes the complexity of playing Obi Wan. He’s a 175+ point unit that has a lightsaber. Naturally the instinct is to let him go off on his own and slash up some troopers. However, based off of his unit structure and command cards, he’s better suited to sit almost right in the middle of your army for most of the game. This kind of patience is something that you need to learn to understand as you begin to play Obi Wan. Obi Wan doesn’t necessarily have to attack in a game to “earn his points back”, which is not something you can normally say for a unit that is so expensive.
This next part goes hand in hand with Guardian and Positioning: Controlling an area of the board. Controlling an area on the table is a common thing for a Force User, to be fair, but even more so for Obi Wan because of his “Hello There” command card. Your opponent is going to try and continually stay out of Obi Wan’s charge threat range (a little shy of range 2) and more savvy opponents are going to try and stay out of Obi Wan’s double move/force push range (roughly 16 inches/inside of range 3). While this seems like a downside, it’s actually not. You can use this to your advantage to shut your opponent from entering an area or they pay the consequence.
If there is one tip I can give to anyone running a force user, except for maybe Vader in this instance, it is to put orders on them as much as possible because they want to go last (or close to last) most rounds. The later you go in a round the more likely you are to find an opening into your opponents army with little to no repercussion. A key example is waiting for a unit to activate that is close enough to charge into, whether that is the double move/attack or a double move/force push into melee for safety. Because that unit has activated your opponent can’t withdraw and leave you in the open for attacks. For Obi Wan there’s even a few more tricks with Force Push we can discuss below.
Never leave home without Force Push. They say only a Sith deals in absolutes but this is a hill I’m willing to die on, even with a Jedi. Force Push is arguably the best upgrade in the game, especially when it comes to Obi Wan. The main reason for this is because Obi Wan has Master of the Force 1, which allows him to refresh an exhausted Force power after every activation. Like I mentioned previously, Force Push also changes the math on a lot of positioning values. It opens many avenues that non-Force Users are unable to bring to the table.
Force Push Tactics
- Force Push for an attack
- Force Push for safety
- Force Push to disengage a unit
- Force Push into Standy By
- Force Push a unit off an objective
Force Push for an Attack
One of the most important things about Force Push is the person doing the move (In this case the person that owns Obi Wan) is the person that also does the cohesion of the unit they push. This is super important because you can cohere your opponents unit into a spot that is advantageous for you…whether it’s to put you behind a line of sight blocker, ensure yourself heavy cover if you wipe them, keeping you at a specific range of your own army….the list goes on. The extra four inches-ish of cohesion opens up a world of possibilities.
Force Push for Safety
Keeping your centerpiece safe is the most important thing when playing a force user, especially Obi Wan. I also think a double move, force push into melee and giving up an attack is more forgivable with Obi Wan than any other force user. The reason for that is the fact that he can take a stand by token on Hello There and make that attack up later on if you choose to do so. Without breaking his command cards down card by card, Hello There’s best utilization is when you are in melee already to capitalize on a second attack in that round. It’s devastating, truthfully. The best offense comes from a good defense, ask Bill Belichick.
Force Push to Disengage
Unlike Operative Luke Skywalker, who has disengage built in, there is another trick Obi Wan can utilize if needed. A common thing I find myself doing is carving up a unit and the leader sticks. Let’s say your game is not destined to go to points, you can push that leader off of you and engage a separate unit. It’s a bit of a defensive and offensive mindset kind of play. Killing activations is crucial in a lot of games so it will come down to how important it is in your setting, but perhaps taking another units power away from them is more important to the success of your game.
Force Push into a Standby
Or Stand Bys….This is one of my favorite things to do with Obi Wan. Especially if there is a spot for me to jump and get behind line of sight blocking terrain, force push my enemy around that terrain and take shots they were not expecting. It’s arguably one of the best strategies for Obi Wan lists with his Clones sharing tokens behind him. There’s sometimes situations where Obi Wan is engaged with say a Grievous or a Dooku (examples) where you can build tokens up before your Obi Wan activates and you can push them off Obi Wan, chip some damage on them, and then send Obi Wan back into melee with them and charge. There’s a lot of options here, the key is to look for them when the opportunity arises.
Force Push a unit off an Objective
You haven’t lived until you out activate your poor opponent late in the game and you know you can send your Obi Wan last and push them off an objective. I actually might Dekembe Mutumbo someone with a finger wag while saying “no no no, not today” when doing this someday. All in good fun, of course! No disrespect.
List Building Synergies
First and foremost with Obi Wan is you should staple Force Push on him and then build outward. Your list make up is going to be how you determine the way you build Obi Wan. Recently I have been testing him out with Situational Awareness rather than Tenacity, due to the fact that Obi Wan has a lot of easy ways to get dodge tokens on him, but I’m not sure I won’t go back to Tenacity. The extra red die is really helpful when you finally get Obi Wan into your opponents lines. I think there are three viable ways to run Obi Wan in a competitive setting: Solo, with Rex or with Padme. Currently: I think running Kenobi by himself is the best way, with ARCs now fully released, but let’s discuss builds with Rex and Padme first.
Obi Wan with Rex
You may recoginize this style of list from prior articles I have written. This time around I trim some fat and add in Echo to the list. (turns out adding extra health and reliable is pretty good) I still might end up sticking to a Rexnobi build after I get back to playing games more often (second kid has disrupted me a little bit) because it’s a really great build. I still don’t know if there is a single list with a better six card command hand than this style of Rexnobi. The one thing I miss when I play without Rex is Take That Clankers. It’s really hard to build a list and not want to take Rex just for TTC. The list has four heavy weapons, two really good strong snipers and two great commanders. It synergizes well and it works well, even at nine activations. It’s weakpoint is mainly in a GAR mirror. Only having two overwatch squads can allow you to open yourself up to being picked apart by a smart opponent or a fellow Republic player that gets their overwatch squads into position first. Especially those with Full ARCs. That said, your two commanders basically toss tokens around like parents at Chuck E Cheese trying to get alone time from their kids that lets you defend and attack efficiently.
Obi Wan with Padme Amidala
I won’t sugar coat this…if you are on the Discord you are probably familiar with the fact that I think Obi Wan with Padme is somewhat of a gimmick at a competitive level. I think Padme’s command cards are absolutely fantastic with Obi Wan. I think Authoritative is also amazing with Obi Wan….I think the stand by stuff with Exemplar is the gimmick. It needs too many things to happen for it to work. Don’t get me wrong, when it works it is like some magical Christmas land (do they celebrate Christmas in Star Wars?!) and your opponent may not have an answer for it. However, it basically means Padme needs to get into a position in order to pass the tokens to Obi Wan with line of sight to him. There are not going to be many situations on a table that allow that while keeping Padme safe, who is fragile compared to the rest of your army. Either way, what does a list with Obi Wan and Padme look like?
Something similar to the Rex build but you need to move some things around to make it work completely. I think in an Obi Wan/Padme build you should put C3PO in there, but the issue with that is you drop down to three heavy weapons. Something I will get into when I discuss talking about Solonobi is how important heavy weapons and threat saturation. For me, personally, this list lacks firepower to handle certain match ups as opposed to the Rex list above, however I know some players can make this work. Always remember that something that might not work for you might work for someone else and vice versa!
There are a lot of lists possible when building Obi Wan outward. However they all revolve around the same premise: a lot of guns behind Obi Wan. I’ve played a lot of Luke and a lot of Obi Wan and they rely on the list behind them to meet a certain criteria, in my opinion. They need activations (nine or more), they need heavy weapons (four or more) and they need long range snipers (three or more…!?!). The reason behind this is that your opponent simply can’t ignore the gunline behind Obi Wan. Does the list hinge on the success of Obi Wan over the course of a game? Of course. He’s the centerpiece of the list, costs a lot of points, and you rely on him to do many things. However if your opponent focuses solely on Obi Wan and ignores the gunline completely they’ve made a mistake. Let’s take a look at the most recent iteration of what I am running:
It checks all of the boxes of what I think it takes to run a jedi efficiently. It has heavy weapons, it has plenty of snipers, it has reliability. You have the options of bringing those Recon Intels (to make up for the lack of Scouting Party) or you can cut them and bring a bid. There are also many different ways you can attack this style of build, too. Always be sure to try and build something that fits YOUR playstyle and what you think works!
Running a Force User is a “complicated profession” especially when it comes to running Obi Wan. You constantly have to be on your toes and thinking ahead while also telling your brain to be patient. Patience is arguably one of the hardest things to learn when it comes to playing competitive Legion, in my opinion, because you just want to get in there with your iconic lightsaber and start slashing things. Believe me when I say that it feels just as good to do it in round six as it does to do it in round two, if not better. I look forward to playing Obi Wan until the wheels fall off! Even when I am playing like a seven activation Obi Wan and Anakin list aka “You Turned Her Against Me”. If you are ready to debate whether Obi Wan is the best force user or not you can hit me up on the Discord as always!
May the Force Be With You!