Updated: Jun 24
Full disclosure: Obi-Wan is probably the character I’ve enjoyed playing the most so far. I am biased towards liking clones/GAR and Obi brings the effectiveness of those lists up quite a bit.
General Obi-Wan Kenobi is available in the Hello There squad box.
I started testing out Obi-Wan when we knew everything but his force and SP. I would not have been surprised at all if he was a 7SP character. In retrospect 8SP makes sense since he does rely on synergy a bit more than other primaries, rather than being a standalone powerhouse (but he still is that to an extent). “Only” 3SP is a bit disappointing when Dooku gets 4, but whatever.
Most primaries have 3 durability and 9 to 11 stamina, so Obi is right in the middle of that. No qualms here.
Hello There! is just Force Jump with an awesome added benefit at no extra cost. Sign me up! Three extra dice is a good enough bonus that I would plan on using Hello There! every single activation. We’ll see later that his stances seem to be balanced with the assumption that you’ll have 3 extra dice. This can be a bit awkward if you would prefer to attack first then jump away, but that’s usually not a big issue.
So Uncivilized …. is an upgraded version of the standard Deflect ability, but this time it does cost more. Compared to Deflect you send one extra damage back, but you have to spend force before you know whether they rolled a failure or not. Sometimes you may spend a force and not do any damage. However, you do get a hunker token for your troubles, which is one extra die for defense then potentially a heal and dash afterwards (see his identity). It’s very fair that this costs more than Deflect, but you probably won’t be able to spam it in the same way due to the force cost. Often it can be a deterrent that makes opponents choose another target and not attack Obi-Wan at all, which is nice.
Patience is great. However, you probably won’t get the healing effect off on your first go-through, and second time through the deck you may or may not want to reserve Obi. Those are really the only two negatives. Even if you don’t heal on first use, the extra jump helps Obi get into the battle, making him less reliant on a buddy to move him up the battlefield early. The deck manipulation is also pretty handy. You probably won’t put the reserve unit on top very often because you’ll draw and activate them right away (and if you wanted to activate them then why did you draw from the deck?) but putting a unit on the bottom can be big. Let’s say you’re looking ahead to the next struggle and it’ll start when you’re down to 2-3 units in your order deck. You could take, say, Ankain out of reserve and put him on the bottom of your deck while putting Obi-Wan in reserve. Then when the new struggle starts you’ll have two of your most powerful pieces activating early, which could result in a very quick victory. Of course, if you shuffle the Shatterpoint card back into the deck in the meantime then you’ll mess up the ordering. Note that, as per this forum ruling, you must heal then jump when you reserve Obi-Wan, you don’t get to choose the order.
As is so often the case, the identity is what really makes Obi-Wan sing. With Knowledge and Defense, all allies, regardless of tags, get to keep hunker tokens when engaged. That’s pretty nice because you can still be attacked at range when engaged. Even better though, Galactic Republic units can benefit from hunker even in melee. Not quite as good as ranged hunker though, since if you have multiple hunkers you still only get one additional die in melee. But here’s the best part: after the attack, the unit can spend all hunkers (yes, all unfortunately) to have a character heal that many times then dash. Did someone push you off an objective? Dash back on to it! Did they give you a pin? You can heal it off directly or use the dash to take the pin off. Are you near a buddy? Heal them instead! Clones have lots of hunker access and also Brothers in Arms (steadfast when they have a hunker token). Knowledge and Defense means they can keep steadfast active even in melee, and if they do get shoved off the objective they could possibly still dash back and contest. It’s a fantastic ability that will make opponents think twice before attacking a Galactic Republic unit with a hunker token.
Form III Soresu
Hold up, ONLY 5 attack dice? Well, remember Obi can get three more with Hello There! We’ll assume you’ve coughed up the cost for that ability. For me the big appeal of this tree is the potential for 4 heals on three successes. With 8 dice Obi is averaging 5.3 successes before defense, with 2.3 of those being crits. If you really need those heals you probably want to pick on a weaker target here to have the best shot at getting 3 successes past defense.
Honestly, if I’m not looking for heals then I’m not spending a ton of time with this stance active. Defensively it’s not really an improvement other than a jump on three expertise, but that will only happen 32% of time with 6 dice.
Form IV Ataru
Now this is the good stuff. Even if Hello There! didn’t exist, 7 attack dice in melee would be pretty standard. But 10 dice? That’s a lot. The offensive expertise isn’t especially crit heavy, but you’re trying to overwhelm the defender’s blocks anyway, rather than bypass them with crits. One result on 1 die, 2 on 2-3 dice, and 4 on 4+ is not shabby at all. Obi is averaging 7.1 successes before defense. That’s wild. Let’s take Captain Rex as an example defender. He has a decent number of dice and a fine expertise. Obi-Wan averages 4.4 successes against Rex, with a 48% chance of getting 5+. But how good is the combat tree?
The tree is good, really good. You want shoves? Obi can do it. You want conditions? No problem. Obi has a very flexible tree, with my favourite 4-success path being shove, disarm, expose, shove with 6 damage. That’s great damage, great conditions, and positioning effects all at once. Heck, he only needs 3 successes to get all that (just one less shove and one less damage).
Defensively Obi-Wan gets 6 dice in all situations plus crit mitigation through expertise. If he has a hunker token he’ll be an absolute pain to damage. By turning crits to failures he also makes So Uncivilized a bit more reliable.
I’ll go entire games with Obi in Form IV Ataru the entire time and I never regret it. It’s really good both in a vacuum and in the context of Obi’s other abilities.
Synergy & Wrap Up
|Amazing attack tree if you spend force for Hello There!
|Wants at least a little bit of synergy in the list to be most effective
|Very strong identity ability when mixed with the right units
|Reliance on extra dice from Hello There! can make sequencing awkward
|Doesn’t need to spend much force other than to jump
Obi-Wan’s identity synergizes strongly with clones. It helps their defense and makes them a pain to knock off objectives. But you don’t need to go all out with clones to make Obi-Wan feel worth it. I’ve had good success with just him and Rex in my Friends of Qui-Gon list. Rex is fantastic in his own right, but he is especially good with Obi-Wan since they both love hunker tokens. For the time being I would never leave Rex behind if I’m bringing Obi-Wan.