Is Hopeful hopeless?

When Hopeful was shown in one of the recent articles talking about the Phoenix Cell Squadron Pack I got excited.

‘Focus or a boost? Cool!’

After my initial excitement however, I came down to Earth with a bump. Here I want to take a look at this upgrade, see where it fits within the faction and then briefly compare it to other faction specific upgrades. Can it make a difference as a one point upgrade?

Meta Lists

Lets take a look at some of the current Rebel lists and see if Hopeful could fit in. For these lists I’ve gone to MetaWing and scrolled through the top archetypes.

Wullffwarro (53)
Hull Upgrade (3)

Ship total: 56 Half Points: 28 Threshold: 5

“Dutch” Vander (40)
Dorsal Turret (2)
Ion Torpedoes (4)
R3 Astromech (3)
Concussion Bombs (4)

Ship total: 53 Half Points: 27 Threshold: 4

Jan Ors (41)
Moldy Crow (16)

Ship total: 57 Half Points: 29 Threshold: 3

Jake Farrell (34)
Ship total: 34 Half Points: 17 Threshold: 2

Total: 200

To fit Hopeful into this ‘Angry Wookiee’ list something would have to go. I would keep the Hull Upgrade on Wullff so that means stripping down Dutch. Taking away the Ion Torps gives us the four points we need but also makes R3 redundant. Concussion Bombs must stay to make Wullff angry and trigger his ability and the Dorsal Turret isn’t enough points.

I would remove the Ion Torps and R3, add Hopeful to each ship and then add Thread Tracers to Jake. That would give the list more lock options. A Wullff boosting into range one is a scary proposition. But, and it’s a problem we’re gonna keep running into, is that a ship needs to die to trigger it. In Rebel lists like this that are built around synergy…that’s a problem.

Han Solo (79)
Trick Shot (4)
R2-D2 (Crew) (8)
Kanan Jarrus (12)

Ship total: 103 Half Points: 52 Threshold: 7

Wedge Antilles (54)
Afterburners (7)
Servomotor S-Foils (0)

Ship total: 61 Half Points: 31 Threshold: 3

Jake Farrell (34)
Ship total: 34 Half Points: 17 Threshold: 2

Total: 198

With this build we have two points spare to add Hopeful to Wedge and Jake. The first issue is that with two I6 pilots the list no longer have a bid. The second issue is that Han doesn’t have Hopeful as I’d rather keep Trick Shot. Han is your end game piece and should outlast the other two so would get the most out of Hopeful. The third issue is that Jake boosts and focuses a lot so there’s a strong chance he wouldn’t be able to take advantage.

Ten Numb (48)
Hull Upgrade (3)
Stabilized S-Foils (2)

Ship total: 53 Half Points: 27 Threshold: 5

Braylen Stramm (52)
Synced Laser Cannons (6)
Hull Upgrade (3)
Stabilized S-Foils (2)

Ship total: 63 Half Points: 32 Threshold: 5

Garven Dreis (X-Wing) (46)
Servomotor S-Foils (0)

Ship total: 46 Half Points: 23 Threshold: 3

Jake Farrell (34)
XX-23 S-Thread Tracers (2)

Ship total: 36 Half Points: 18 Threshold: 2

Total: 198

This is more interesting, I think we have a couple of options here. Firstly we could swap Synced Laser Cannons for Autoblasters which would free up all the points we need. Doing this we keep Braylen’s double tap. The idea of B-Wings being able to boost is exciting, Hopeful doesn’t say you have to have boost on your action bar afterall. With the Hull Upgrades you would hope they stay around longer to make use of it.

If you’re super attached to Synced then we could either remove one of the Hull Upgrades or the Thread Tracers. For me, I really like Tracers so they’re staying. Removing an extra hull from one of the B-Wings may sound like an easy thing to toss but you never, it could be the difference between that B going an extra round. That extra hull also ups the half points threshold too, very important.

Swarm Lists

So looking at these current meta lists, Hopeful isn’t the greatest fit overall. All these lists use ships at the higher end of the initiative scale though so how about low initiative? My first thought a swarm of Z-95s.

First thing we find out is you’d need to take Tala Squadron Pilots at I2 with their talent slots instead of the Bandits at I1. At the moment those extra two points per ships feel a little wasted due to the prevalence of I3. They feel more wasted when you realise after putting Hopeful on each of them you’re at 200 points. No missiles for you! Maybe a big group of Zeds boosting into range 1 would be cool but I’m not convinced.

Next thought, RZ-1s. You can fit seven Phoenix Squadron Pilots into a list with four of them equipping Hopeful. This is for me is a non-starter not all ships can take advantage and A-Wings would likely focus into a boost quite often, negating the card.

However, if you drop on the A-Wings you can try something like this.

Phoenix Squadron Pilot (28)
Hopeful (1)
XX-23 S-Thread Tracers (2)

Ship total: 31 Half Points: 16 Threshold: 2 x 2

Phoenix Squadron Pilot (28)
Hopeful (1)
Proton Rockets (5)

Ship total: 34 Half Points: 17 Threshold: 2 x 4

Total: 198

This could be fun if you can get it to work. Get those tracers off so the other A-Wings can go in with double modded prockets. If an A-Wing dies then the others might be in a position to get into range 1.

General comparisons and conclusion.

So after looking at the upgrade within the faction I thought I should compare it to the other new faction specific upgrades, Discipline and Cutthroat.

I’ll say it straight away, I think both of them are better than Hopeful. Disciplined gives the lock action to a lot of ships that wouldn’t have it otherwise, as well as barrel roll which could help already very manoeuvrable ships. Cutthroat enables flipping of charges which means the potential of more missiles/torpedoes. It can also remove red and orange tokens which could be super useful in clutch situations. Either can be spammed to great effect I think. The ‘go to’ action is focus (‘If in doubt take a focus’) so a lot of the time half of the Hopeful options are removed. You’re left with boost which could be very handy but if you joust with your Rebels like me it could be redundant too if you’re plan is to get to range one straight away.

There’s also something else to compare Hopeful too and it’s Selfless, another Rebel talent upgrade. I’m writing an article about what I’ve been up to using Selfless which you’ll see soon. I go into the specifics of the upgrade there but overall I think Selfless is a better option, even with being two points to Hopeful’s one. It feels more thematic and actively tries to keep your ships alive which, ya know, is generally pretty important in a dogfighting game…

I’m coming to the conclusion that Hopeful can be useful but only if used selectively and only if you go in knowing that you’re not always going to get use out of it. At one point most lists can afford that option. Maybe a list that includes an ace with some lower initiative wingmates. I’ll be trying it on Wedge for sure as I generally fly him alongside Selfess Red Squadrons.

So is Hopeful hopeless? I think at the moment there’s a flicker – a spark if you prefer – but the shadows of the Empire and Scum loom large.

What do you guys think? Do you have any good examples of where Hopeful can be used effectively? Let me know in the comments!


  1. Hopeful seems good if you wander a bit from the meta. Droids especially like it, since you know they ain’t focusing anyway. AP-5 seems like a standout Hopeful candidate. Though of course the problem is that the farther you wander from meta, the more iffy things become in general.

    • Yeah, unfortunately there aren’t a ton of droid pilots in rebels. You’ve got Leebo, AP-5 and K2-SO as the only ones who can equip a talent. Maybe there’s something there?

  2. Here is my hopeful ‘droid build’.
    Hopeful droids

    (32) AP-5 [Sheathipede-class Shuttle]
    (5) R2 Astromech
    (4) Informant
    (1) Hopeful
    (0) Phantom
    Points: 42

    (76) “Leebo” [YT-2400 Light Freighter]
    (3) Feedback Array
    (1) Hopeful
    (14) Outrider
    Points: 94

    (46) K-2SO [UT-60D U-wing]
    (0) Pivot Wing
    (3) Freelance Slicer
    (7) Magva Yarro
    (2) Fire-Control System
    (1) Hopeful
    Points: 59

    Total points: 195

    Was intrigued with mag and freelance working together. Was thinking about certain synergies that could be defensive or possibly offensive as needed.

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