Understanding Potency and Tenacity

Two areas of debate and confusion in Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes. PsychoPoet, author of our popular speed optimizationoffense/CC/CD, defense, health & protection and how to find the best speed mods articles, explains how Tenacity and Potency work in SWGoH.

Tenacity increases your chance to resist negative status effects; potency increases your chance to apply them. One is useful, almost essential, while the other is almost useless.


There is a minimum 15% chance to resist debuffs, which no amount of potency can remove, which is where the major problem with tenacity comes in. Because of this 15% minimum resist chance, your opponent can maximize their chance to land a debuff without matching (or exceeding) your tenacity. Even R2-D2, who has the highest base tenacity in the game with 46%, can be reduced to the 15% minimum resist chance by a low 31% potency. Even if a toon had 0% potency before mods, that’s still only one primary and a few decent secondaries.

So if you want to increase your tenacity enough to make a noticeable difference, you’re going to need to go all out on it. But, unless you have godly mods, the rest of your stats are going to suffer, decreasing your damage output and survivability.


Potency on the other hand, is essential for landing debuffs. But, most characters who need potency gain a reasonable amount from gear or abilities. Combined with the 15% base resist chance, it’s easy to maximize your chances of applying a debuff. 31% potency is enough to negate the base tenacity of any character. 50% potency will reduce almost any character that hasn’t gone all out on tenacity to the base resist chance.

Unresistable Effects

While most negative effects can be resisted, some cannot. One notable example of this is Tie Fighter Pilot, who will inflict an unresistable Tenacity Down debuff if his basic ability crits, making him a great counter for any character that has gone all out on tenacity.

Another example is the turn meter removal from Darth Vader’s zeta’d leader ability. Since it cannot be resisted, it can be used to prevent a high tenacity character from taking a turn before they’re dead, providing another counter.

Buffs and Debuffs

There are two buffs and one debuff which affect potency and tenacity:

  • Potency Up; which adds 50% potency.
  • Tenacity Up; which adds 999900% tenacity, effectively giving 100% resist chance.
  • Tenacity Down; which removes 999900% tenacity, effectively giving 15% resist chance.

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1 Comment on "Understanding Potency and Tenacity"

  1. Thank you for the helpful summary! I realize now that I have more potency than I need on most debuff-inflicting toons.

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