Thursday, September 29, 2016

Ranking the Upgrades - Commanders (Rebel)

As a fun exercise, I have decided to go through the upgrade cards and arrange them into overall tiers.

Hopefully, doing so will let me look at the with a more critical eye going forward, and may help each of you examine your own choice of upgrades too:

Before we continue, a brief description of each Tier Level - what does it take to make it into this tier?  Bear in mind that all the tiers are based around the card just by itself - without any

Ω Tier - A card that works all by itself.  It is overpowered and undercosted, and changes the way the game is played in some fundamental way.  "Broken".

S Tier - A card that is very good, without needing anything else to work.  Does something substantial or meta shifting while being inexpensive.  Something you would say is an "Auto-Include".

A Tier - A card that is either good without needing any other card, or something that is excellent with other cards supporting it.

B Tier - A card that can work well in certain situations.  Good when paired with other cards, or just decent alone.

C Tier - A bland card.  It might only be okay, or maybe only considered for some niche situations.  It may require several other cards, or something outside of your control to "work".  Or it might just be something okay, when there is another card that does the same thing, but better.

D Tier - A bad card.  May only be okay in niche situations, or puts unnecessary restrictions or costs onto things that something else does better.  Clearly outclassed, or doesn't do anything useful.

F Tier - Worthless.  Do not take this upgrade.  There is no reasonable scenario where it would be useful.  Taking nothing at all would be a better use for your points.

So without further ado... here we go!

Ω Tier

Nothing the rebels have for Commander could be considered "Broken" in any fundamental way.  Commander Sato might find his way up here depending on the official ruling on his ability.

S Tier

General Rieekan - Fundamentally changes the way the game is played?  Check.  Overpowered?  Well, not exactly.  He is certainly no slouch, but he isn't inexpensive.  Capable of working with any list but you can certainly tailor things to him.  Allows you to "block" with sacrificial ships and named squadrons.

A Tier

General Dodonna - The baseline rebel commander.  He is great just by himself, works with any ship (or rather, works on any enemy ship) and while you can certainly build around him, you don't actually have to.  His cheap cost translates into savings you can invest elsewhere.

B Tier

General Madine - He obviously works better with ships that want to navigate, and don't have great navigational setups.  Might be making a push for A tier, but we will have to see.

Admiral Ackbar - Dropping from A-Tier to B-Tier after the latest wave didn't give him anything to really work with.  Works very well with very specific ships and builds.

Mon Mothma - Only works with ships that have at least one evade token, which rules out the large base ships from contention.  Otherwise a solid defensive choice.  A bit expensive, especially for a smaller ship fleet, since she doesn't really have synergy with a Centerpiece style flagship.

C Tier

Garm Bel Iblis - Tokens are good and work with anything, but he works better with big ships rather than small ones.  In a way, he is a watered down rebel Tarkin.  He is cheap for his cost though.

General Cracken - A poor man's Mon Mothma, though not by much.  He doesn't do anything for Large ships, nor does he help ships that need to move slow.  If his ability was always on, even for slower ships, he might be A tier.

D Tier

Amazingly the Rebels really don't have anything that could be considered "Bad" for their Commanders.  Just about everyone is viable in some fashion.

F Tier

Again, nothing horrible in the Rebel's main lineup.  Keep on keepin' on.

Edit:  On a Related Note, go read Truthiness's hot take on why ranking things are stupid and dumb.


  1. Replies
    1. His "Replace" wording may refer to replacing the dice before you roll, or after you roll and see what you get. Being able to roll 3 red dice off of an Assault Frigate, and only once you've seen that you've gotten 2 blanks rerolling them as Blacks would be a lot more scary and utilitarian than choosing to roll 1 Red and 2 Blacks at long range.

      I mean, imagining dumping APT / ACM crits on an ISD at long range from a Scout MC30c is pretty awesome all by itself.

    2. I'm pretty sure this works during gather dice pool phase. The same way you can't add dice from Concentrate Fire command after a roll. By the way - are rolled dice considered to be "in the pool"? If not, we have the answer.

    3. You actually add dice from concentrate fire command after the roll (FAQ)

    4. Whoa! So I guess was playing it wrong! Thanks :)

    5. Q: When a ship resolves an ability that allows it to add dice to the attack pool, can it add those dice if their color is not normally appropriate for the range of the attack?

      A: Yes.
      The range restriction on dice color applies only when dice are gathered during the “Roll Attack dice” step of an attack.


      Q: If a ship spends a dial and a token together, can it reroll the die that it adds? Is it required to reroll a die?
      A: It can reroll the die that it adds, and it can choose not to reroll any dice.

      also you got this resource for the timing:

    6. and this part of the rules that is clear about timing:
      2. Roll Attack Dice:
      Gather attack dice to form the attack (blablabla...)

      3. Resolve Attack Effects:
      The attacker can resolve attack
      effects as described below:
      ◊Modify Dice:
      The attacker can resolve any of its effects that modify its dice. This includes card effects
      and the command.

  2. I just don't see it in that order at all. But hey everybody got is own way of see stuffs.

    Ω Tier => nothing
    S Tier => Ackbar (36 pts for two enhanced armament per ship is a gift, plus it switch the meta in the way that you can whale stuffs from red range. It's the only way to make an evasive reb fleet able to get trough ISD and equivalent. In a game that is all about placement and timing he just dramatically increase the "good" placement by increasing your ship threat range also it might be just an A because it's not working well with absolutely everything.)
    A Tier =>Madine (once again a card that let you Increase you overall efficiency in placement)
    B Tier => Sato (Even if it allow re-roll it is heavily reliant on squadron thought the dice "upgrade" is nice),
    Mon Mothma,
    Dodonna (he's cheap that's for sure but he don't do much if not in a dedicated list)
    C Tier => Riekan (Ok changing the order you activate and not loosing that shot is a nice trick tough I find it way more useful to block the movement of an ISD with a GR-95 TBH. The main flow is that your stuff is dead nonetheless, I rather not sacrifice stuff or find myself where I got to make those kind of choice. May make it to a B because the GR-95 speed bump looks fun and efficient),
    Gram Bel Ibis (if the second tokens was given one turn earlier it would be a B)
    D Tier => Cracken (even if it may have it's use. The fact that you "have" to go speed 3 is a big inconvenient in a game of placement and timing. MM is just best overall for 4 pts more - May have a niche use in a 3 liberty running forward build tough)

    1. Nice to see other people view on stuff. Make you rethink your own.
      Never liked Riekan while everybody love it.
      But that may be because of the way I see the game and spam navigate in order to not find myself in situation where Riekan would be useful.

    2. Thanks for posting your rankings as well. Seeing how people rank different things is useful for looking at how we view our own games and other people's.

    3. Your welcome. See your article have allow me to get into this game weary quick and that make me want to participate in the debate.
      Just to understand my pow my way of designing rebel fleet is a bit like this (for now):
      - do I want to play Ackbar?
      - Is Madine needed?
      - Want to try some gimmick stuff? (Riekan)
      - Lots of small ship (MM), big ship with engineer team (GBI) or fighter (DD).
      - Why is Cracken a thing? (also with a fleet build around MC-80 Liberty it may be nice, or for a CR90B swarm maybe. I got to say that it's a nice soft counter for fleet that fear demolisher and equivalent, I just not tend to take an admiral in order to limit the flow of my build but rather in order to increase the strength)

      That when I don't want to try stuff or make funny list.

      But I also guess that POW is meta reliant so I hope to try mine in the US next year (moving to Canada for a while, I know It's not US but from here everything looks close) Because you looks like having a nice community there. Here (France) there is a lots of nice people but the community tend to be small (looks like you always find the same 24 people in every tournament) but hopefully slowly increasing.

    4. Just figured out that Craken is not working on big ship... So it's definitely the worst admiral in my book.

  3. I think you might as well have left Sato out of it.