Strike Team Spotlight! - Han + Kanan

Strike Team Spotlight! - Han + Kanan

Let me start by saying this: It is a genuine issue that I now possess a computer strong enough to play online games. Han came out last week, and Kanan doesn't come out for another month, yet I already have somewhere close to 10-15ish games with both of them. I have tried various teams, Han+Leia, Kanan+Hera, Kanan+Luke, Han+Luke, etc. From all those Rebel teams I have been playing, two things poked out at me like crazy. 1: I have been severely sleeping on Reactive Identities. and 2: Han and Kanan are, in my opinion, up there with the Vaders, Dooku, Hunter, and Iden. Let's talk about why!

Lois Trouble — Han Solo reaction gifs are what I live for.

The Good

Flexibility - Han and Kanan are both very flexible Primaries. They can both fit in a decent amount of lists with many other Primaries, Secondaries, and Supports. They both still have preferences for their teams though. They are both also flexible on the table. Generally speaking, Han prefers shooting and Kanan prefers punching, but both can do either as you need. When they are both on the table together, it makes for both a very fun and a very powerful team. A nice bit about them that is not true for some other primaries is that both of them have two good stances, which also leans into their overall flexibility.

Mobility - Both they and their teams are extremely mobile. Han is very capable of Advancing around two or three times in a turn, four if you're lucky. He also gets a dash when you wound an enemy, which can be quite powerful. In addition to his mobility, he provides a good bit of extra mobility to the rest of your team via his Tactic. Han is one of the few Primaries that I am not sad to pull as my very first card in a deck. Maybe not so coincidentally, Han's tactic loves to target other Primaries (Kanan)!

Kanan is already incredibly mobile himself. Pairing him with Han, who can move him outside of his own activation, makes him feel incredible. Kanan is also capable of moving an absolute TON during his own activation. He has access to a Dash Tactic (which can also move another ally), a reposition on both trees, a move on all of his offensive expertise charts, and can also do a move action! Not only all of that but when an ally is wounded, he also gets a Jump. I have seen Kanan bounce around the table like I am playing Pinball. He is seriously fast and you don't really have to sacrifice anything major for said speed.

Offense - Both of them have solid offensive capabilities. They're not the killiest primaries out there, but that's okay. What they both bring to the table is medium/good damage output, okay condition output, and amazing shove output. Kanan is capable of double-shoving and force-pushing, which feels amazing when it happens. Han can also do up to three shoves on his Smug Scoundrel side. In addition to all of these things, Han also has a five-die reactive, which can be quite helpful at times, and they both have retaliatory five-die attacks. Overall, they can both pack a sorta sneaky punch. Most of what they do is closer to chip damage vs all damage at once. I have seen Kanan wound five units over the course of three turns, four from revenge triggers.

Support - Both of them are able to support the rest of your team as well. Kanan through his Tactic, whether it be moving an ally or refreshing some force. His identity is also capable of supporting your units not only from his revenge trigger, but he also has two heals and a jump. He can use those heals on allies and use that jump to potentially move near them and help contest an objective. Han is very similar. He too has a tactic that allows you to move an ally. He also has a very neat ability that helps you keep your footing in the game via Momentum Shenanigans. Last, his identity, like Kanan's, allows him to support your team via Revenge triggers and moving. Both of them are able to keep up with their team and heal them via abilities or combat trees if necessary. Kanan can do up to 3 and Han tops out at a potential five!

The last thing I will cover before moving on is Kanan's Force Push. I like to have some form of diceless displacement in every team I make. Force Push is the best of the best when it comes to displacement. Not only is it an incredible control ability but the fact that it has such a far reach means its support capabilities are also very handy. Using it to win a point for Kanan is nice, using it to win a point with another unit and scoring a different point with Kanan is amazing.

Kanan Jarrus #3 - GIF - Imgur

The Bad

I am generally a pretty critical and realistic person when it comes to analyzing units or characters in any game. When I say there is not a lot wrong with these two, I mean it. There are two things that come to mind, one on each of them.

Han - His defenses are rough. Nine stamina sucks. Yes, he is frequently backed up by Chewie who gives him cover and expertise, but that's not always enough. His defensive expertise is fine but not amazing. Strike -> Fails are really no different than a block, but he does not get a lot of them. Crit->Fails are good, but he never has more than one. He can take a shot or two sometimes, but it is not uncommon to whiff a major roll.

Kanan - Kanan needs Spectres. This is really not a huge issue since most of the Rebellion right now is Spectres and you can't really make a list without some. In the future, this could maybe prove to be a bit more annoying but again, it's less bad and maybe more of a minor nitpick. Kanan's tactic is like other Spectres, but he can target himself if necessary. His Identity on the other hand, really wants at least one other, ideally two other Spectre units. His revenge attack only happens when allied Spectres get wounded, so the more the merrier.

The Team

What are two amazing primaries without their equally amazing team? As it turns out, Han is rather good with the contents of his box. Kanan is as well, but I have personally opted for some mix and match.

Chewie is incredible. He has Twelve Stamina, hits like a truck, and provides not only cover but additional expertise to your units. His tactic is awesome, his five-die unblockable is great, and both of his support abilities are incredible. He also has very good defenses and is not easily wounded. I love him, I think he might be my favorite secondary in the game, with the next lady close behind.

Sabine stole my heart in a way that I was not anticipating. She is a wonderful secondary and has many very helpful and always relevant abilities. She is pretty tanky, very offensive, and fairly mobile. You might be asking yourself "Where's Ezra?!" Well, he's hanging out with Luke right now. Ezra is good, but he only wants to be with a Force User Primary. Sabine needs Spectres. Ezra with Luke. Sabine with Kanan. (For now anyway. This is likely to change a bit for me in the future).

Rebel Commandos are, in my opinion, the best Rebel support at the moment. Lando and R2 could give them a run for their money, but I think I prefer Commandos right now. CF: Damage is a very helpful tool for supplementing the slightly lower-than-average output of Han and Kanan and boosting Sabine, Chewie, and Zeb's offense from great to insane. They also allow you to contest all three home points from deployment on Never Tell Me The Odds.

Zeb, oh Zeb. He is probably my most controversial choice in this team. Most people, including me, are still partially on the fence about Zeb vs Chopper. Chopper is amazing, don't get me wrong. I played quite a few games with him and he rarely let me down. I have also played a lot with Zeb, who also rarely lets me down. Some main factors are Zeb is better at wounding and holding points. Chopper creates chaos and has slightly better abilities. I would say the biggest factor for me is Zeb's Lasan Honor Guard ability. The fact that he can avoid the state of being wounded is incredible. Being able to hold a point, even if Vader pushes 11-12 damage through is great. This ability alone has now won me two games pretty much by itself.

The Strategy

Before I wrap up this spotlight, I am going to briefly talk about some tactics I employ with this team. Most of my experience with them has been on the new mission Never Tell Me The Odds, so that is where most of this will be applicable.

Let's break down the abilities here. Barring very uncommon situations and circumstances, this is how I use the team's abilities 80-90% of the time. Starting with the Tactics.

  1. Han's Tactic, always targets a unit in my deck, ideally Kanan. If not Kanan then Sabine, Chew, Zeb, or Coms in that order.
  2. Kanan always starts the game (and spends most of it) in Pack Leader. He Targets Sabine most of the time, but occasionally targets Zeb. I will flip to Soresu if he will be punching a lot or if I know I will be activating him again this deck, and need a force refresh.
  3. Sabine targets whoever will allow her to proc her free focus easier. This is usually Kanan because they like to stick near each other. If she will move near Kanan anyway, then Zeb is a fine target or vice versa.
  4. Chewie tends to stick near Han so his tactic pretty much always targets Han. The main exception is if it's the first deck, Kanan has moved and Han hasn't. Chewie will target Kanan so he can get a move on.

I like to break them into three main teams. These are the units I like to keep close together while I play. They can effectively threaten and hold points together. The teams are likely pretty obvious at this point.

  1. Kanan and Sabine
  2. Han and Chewie
  3. Commandos and Zeb

Kanan and Sabine play the aggro game, threatening opposing back points if necessary, but not always. They like to fight and cause a ruckus, so that's what they do. Han and Chewie flex between hanging out with Kanan/Sabine and Holing mid-back points with the supports. Both of them are able to join the fight and have a significant effect on it in certain situations. The supports do what supports do. They dance between the mid and backline while trying to stay alive. If I can get a single commando into the CF:D range safely, I will, but it usually does not take priority over other things.

One small issue with this list is I am playing a body down. Most Strike teams have eight characters total, I only have seven. This can be a real issue in certain situations, but with the new mission and how spread out it can be, I have not had any major issues yet. I'm sure on something like Sabotage there will be more frequent issues, but with NTMTO there have been few if any.

Overall, I love this team. It is quickly becoming one of my favorite strike teams in the game. It is both very fun, generally thematic, and excellent on the table. I can't wait to get more games in with Rebels as a whole while I refine my Rebel Premier list.

Thanks for reading!