I have two questions that I’m interested in answering here. What is the best alternative Rex-led arena team to the staple Rex/GK/Chaze/zDN (tri-clean)? How far is that team behind the staple?
Characters worth discussing I think include Kylo, R2D2, EP, Boba, B2, and DN. Assume all relevant zetas.
I think the “core” is Rex/GK. DN is removable, but would require quite the compelling argument to yank.
R2D2 is the new flavor of the month and is a character with a lot of staying power. It’s even a viable option to replace DN in triple-cleanse.
But I have concerns about it in the alternative team. Burning is a great debuff, but the team to beat is tri-clean, not Maul. Admittedly Maul + EP + DN chaining their AoEs can give Rex teams trouble if they’re lucky, but I don’t think R2 drastically improves that scenario.
R2 also has notable synergy with other light-side characters, yet none of the other options are light-side, reducing effectiveness compared to slotting into tri-clean. Yes, R2 can work even with DN/DM teams so this isn’t a serious issue, but R2’s place in those teams is to help them with other DN/DM teams.
B2 is an old staple, but I think its time is finally fading. It is a stellar option against zQGJ and should be brought in against those teams, but I think its usefulness otherwise is limited.
I currently put B2 in against tri-clean. This option has proved to have mixed results. Its AoE dispel does wonders, of course. But its frequent piddling basic attacks trigger HoTs, TM gain, counter-attacks, and crit-immunity. Considering how much the tri-cleanse team and DM teams get from these weak attacks makes me question B2’s value.
DN has been replaced by the R2 as the cool new character to run, but is still quite a popular and powerful option. He’s less consistent than I would like, especially against tri-clean. More than one match I’ve had a pitiful Drain Force followed by a Deflected Ceaseless Craving and then he dies the turn before Annihilating.
Of course, DN is still quite a powerful character, so removing him from the squad is unlikely. There’s a good reason he’s seen on nearly all the current top meta teams. He is somewhat reliant on allies providing debuffs, however.
Boba has largely been eclipsed by DN, and while I agree with that being the right choice, I think it is somewhat unfair. He still has merit in being able to snipe down weak characters (Chirrut, Yoda, etc) much faster than DN could dream of, and has a lot of self-recovery. DN is still the better choice in most situations, but I think there’s possibility of running both, as long as you’re careful not to waste both of their AoE skill blocks at the same time.
EP causes mixed thoughts for me. He seems like a gambler’s favorite. When he hits gold and stuns all five characters on the other team he’s fantastic. When he stuns no one and dies to a stiff breeze immediately afterwards I question gearing him.
Really what keeps him relevant is his Shock and his AoE stun. Shock is primarily useful again Maul, and while it is quite useful in that matchup, it doesn’t grant the same benefit in others. EP is one of the characters I see as most replaceable.
Kylo is the only one on this list that I don’t personally have. From what I’ve seen he can certainly do impressive amounts of damage. He has a nice ability to win 1v2s and even some 1v3s. When played intelligently his stun and impressive damage is quite the asset.
I’m concerned with his capabilities on defense. He doesn’t seem to do much of anything when used by the AI unless uncommon instances cause him to shine.
I’m leaning towards Rex / GK / DN / Kylo / R2, but I’m concerned about a lack of debuffs for DN as well as the AIs for Kylo and R2. What are your thoughts?