Hermit Yoda, best reward of Guild Events ?
So, as one could have guessed, I did focus my Guild Events Token spendings towards Hermit Yoda.
I'll cover my choices and results in this article to let you get an idea of what to expect. Let's begin ! (or you may go straight to the end of the article to check my conclusion)
Why unlocking Hermit Yoda ?
Why did I focus on Yoda ? Here's my reasoning :
- This is a free to play character, which will come at the same rate for anyone... more or less. Your guild results will ponder the shard acquisition's speed. Still you will need multiple months to get him to 7 stars (check this article to discover how many TB -Territory Battles- approximately you will need). I can have him as fast as anyone, and be among the first to own him.
- This is a long character to bring up to 7 stars : if he's really good, better start farming early !
- His kit is interesting with the possibility of multiple heavy assist attacks, especially on longer battles.
- We don't know which future jedi will be reworked / released and he may become a key member of a future squad. (and we already know Rey will have it's own hero's journey, will she become a jedi ?)
- I was confident I could hold my arena rank, without spending my Guild Event Tokens into Gear Level 12 equipment (fast forward : I was right).
My arena setup
I had prepared and stockpiled the gear needed, so right after unlocking Hermit Yoda at the end of the 6th TB, I brought him to level 85 and Gear level 11 (as G12 is locked behind the 7th star, and he's unlocked at 5).
I kept enough Zeta materials to upgrade Strengh Flows From the Force. The protection gain, and lower delay are appealing, adding foresight is the cherry on the cake.
Can't change the game UI to english, unless switching the whole phone's settings...
My team choice was set a few weeks ago.
Why did I not follow the full jedi squad path ?
With the current arena meta-game, jedi squads are not able to reach and keep the first places.
- The combo General Kenobi leader with Barriss Offee upgraded with a Zeta ability doesn't offer enough damage output. Having 2 low dps support characters (Barriss and Hermit Yoda), and a tank doesn't leave you much room for high damage Jedi output
- Qui-Gon Jin, despite being a good leader with his Zeta ability, is not strong enough. Average damage output, average survivability. When it comes to survivability, foresight is not an issue anymore, stealth is stronger.
There are currently no other very good jedi leaders. As for single jedi squad members :
- General Kenobi : Keep him, always. Polish his armor, comb his hair, trim his beard. He's the man.
- Area of Effects are dangerous with the counter attacks, hence Jedi Knight Anakin is a bad idea, especially on defense.
- Great Master Yoda is fast, has a nice kit, but he doesn't bring you a real edge. Low damage, low health pool...
- Aayla Secura : nice, but doesn't provide real synergies with other jedis.
- Ezra Bridger : good damage and burst options, needs good allies
- R2-D2 : well, he's not a jedi, but if you run a jedi squad, you really want his damage boost and his support kit... So you lock one spot in your squad
- and most of the other jedi are less powerful than these characters.
To me, here's the problem : not a lot of self sustain options, no ally cleansing*, and not a lot of damage output to take the advantage early on.
*You can't count on GK's cleanse, as he will be most of the time ability blocked or fractured.
Admiral Ackbar lead
Another option I did not follow. The battle plan is to have two rebels, that means Commander Luke Skywalker and Ackbar only. So every special ability will trigger an assist, the jackpot being calling Luke every time. Your team will hammer the opponent with repeated attacks from Luke.
With Master's training, already calling for assist, you slowly build up a machine gun.
I did not work this way, as I didn't felt the AI able to properly play this squad. Ackbar is not very resilient as well. Once your tank (most of time General Kenobi) out of the equation (buff blocked or dead) the enemy squad just controls CLS and you're out.
Ackbar can enable a decent burst assault, but once he's on cooldown, he doesn't provide much.
And if you want to include R2-D2, you add a rebel, splitting the assists between 3 rebels. The battle plan is not followed...
But let's ponder : this is theorycrafting. I did not try this, the results are probably very good under manual command.
Following the Meta game !
My choice was set on the following :
- Commander Luke Skywalker (leader)
- Han Solo
- General Kenobi
- Hermit Yoda
The battle plan is to have options to control the battle (R2-D2, GK), two shotguns (Solo and Luke), and the master of puppets which provide assists, dispel and minor or major healing.
At the time of writing, this team is usually played with Grand Admiral Thrawn in place of Hermit Yoda. GAT providing different control options, as well as some decent damage.
Nothing really new in my squad design...
Squad building and turn order
My plan was to play Hermit Yoda as often as possible. So I gave him all my very best +speed mods.
A battle should start with him granting Master's training to one of the 4 padawans.
R2-D2 plays second, stealthing everyone besides General Kenobi.
Then Luke Skywalker, with my fastest set of critical damage mods.
Kenobi is built upon protection, and Han Solo the classic critical damage / critical chance set, with a balanced choice of +offense and +speed secondary bonuses.
Hint : bring Han Solo G12, and place the bayonet on Han Solo as soon as possible. He will become Han "The Butcher" Solo.
Arena : Offense
First : this squad does not play very well on automatic ; Control your characters manually.
Benefit : the victory's are easy and quick.
Use Han Solo to stun a control or support threat. 99% of the time I hit Grand Admiral Thrawn.
If there's an opponent Han Solo, and even if you play first, leave him stun of your guys.
The battle starts, your CLS may play before Yoda if R2 or Solo have been stunned (they're rebels, hitting them grants turn meter bonus to CLS). In that case, hit someone, remove foresight from an opponent (thinking of General Kenobi...)
Use Master's training on either a disabled character, or your stronger character. Sometimes your stronger character is disabled, jackpot.
After Master's training, play your squad as usual : your trained member will play again after having being called.
Should things went fine, you will have your squad stealthed by R2-D2, and General Kenobi ready to launch a massive attack.
Check the following battle and discover how to shred the enemy's General Kenobi before he even played !
As the battle continues, you can save a wounded Solo with the mass heal of Yoda, and build the strength of your squad with master's training. But the battle will end quickly most of times...
After multiple attempts, this is a very strong team on offense, very fast, and Yoda's kit works well.
Not on auto though...
Arena : Defense
Well, the AI is not working. Not using Strength Flows From the Force, not using Master's training to dispel a fellow squad member in priority.
Stunned is Luke ? hrmmm.. sending R2-D2 to battle I will
It's a waste, and Grand Admiral Thrawn works far better in that case.
Raids : to be determined
We can't use him at 7 stars yet, so heroic raids can't be tested.
His kit doesn't provide turn meter manipulation, or other powerful debuffs. He might be used in squads where you just need blunt force, and maybe a little healing...
Soloing the Rancor even faster probably, or the first phase of the tank, where you need a character to buff without stacking attacks on Grievous.
I may be wrong, but I currently don't see him as a key raid member.
Territory Battles : to be determined
He will be probably more useful for the last phase, where 7 star characters are required. Even if you don't take jedi only with him, and don't benefit from the maximum bonus from Master's Training. Still, he might help you survive multiple waves of battles.
He will not be as powerful as Rebel Officer Leia Organa or Captain Han Solo in TB, but with Master's training persisting between waves, you should start your last battle with a strong and healthy squad...
Galactic War : the turbo boost
I used to bend every day's Galactic War with the resistance. But you have to control your cooldowns and play smart to be ready for the next battle, especially the hardest nodes.
With the arena squad described above, I can play full auto up to node 9 or even 11. On the hardest nodes, some manual control to avoid stupid AI misplays is required.
Yoda keeps healing your squad, R2-D2 restores a bit of protection at the start of every fight, Kenobi absorbs any excess damage from the enemy, CLS and Solo blast your way through the nodes. This squad is well balanced for GW !
Here's a sample lasting less than 14 minutes (with a retry when I tried greedily to auto node 11...)
The daily Galactic Chores are not more enjoyable, but at least less boring...
Let's be honest, I'm disappointed by the AI. Half his spells are not played efficiently, if played at all.
You will probably quickly become a target for your shardmate's, losing more arena ranks than you usually do.
Still, you will get your places back efficiently. But even with dead rare mods, you will be defeated.
Sometimes you will win in defense. It happened to me ! But you will need luck on your side. Not something you can count on...
Unless with an AI rework, this is not a relevant arena member. Otherwise, for every other game modes, I think he's a good addition.
Even if he's not an arena-grade character (yet ?), I'd recommend to acquire regularly some of his shards. You don't want to wait 4 months to have him the day he will become meta, or required to unlock, say, Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker ?
Thanks for reading ! Please share your ideas and comments below or on twitter :-)