The Defensive Teams
For defense you have two choices: either you have the Chimera or you don’t. If you have the Chimera you can deploy the current meta fleet, which looks like:
Chimera: Biggs, TFP, Vader, Bistan U/Reaper, FOTP/Tie Silencer.
Reserves: Scimitar, Gauntlet, Geonosian Soldier (not meta, but decent last pick), Boba (and other ships with great specials).
A very frustrating team to beat with great abilities that are easy for the AI to use. This list essentially builds itself, and you should be seeing a lot of it in TW and in the Fleet Arena.
If you don’t have the Chimera (or your Tarkin is stronger), your next best choices are Tarkin and then Windu (Chimera > Tarkin > Windu). Everyone should only need to put one fleet in (unless you want to go full defense), so pick which of these two you can sacrifice (Tarkin is superior, and let’s you run the biggs meta team). Keep Home One for attacks, as its too easily overcome on defense and has a great kit for your rebel scum.
We are aiming to build a fleet that can self sustain. With Tarkin we use Biggs with target lock to try and live through our opponents damage. With Windu we have a plethora of healers and ways to buff up and keep ships alive.
Tarkin: Biggs, TFP, Vader, Bistan U/Reaper, Gauntlet.
Good Reserves: Scimitar, Falcon, Geonosian Soldier. This setup has parts of the current fleet meta, which you usually see under Chimera (perhaps the best ship on offense). Feel free to swap out target lockers, but just remember that Vader’s passive helps other empire ships, so the the more the merrier.
Windu: Rex, Fives, Plo Koon, Jedi Conular, Ahsoka.
Good Reserves: Clone Sargent, and above ships. The Windu fleet has good sustain, lots of heals, a good target for Plo Koon and Windu Taunt, and some high damage. This can be a total bitch of a team to beat if you are down to your last ships. It can also do work on attacks, where you can play keep Fives alive while Ahsoka and Clone Sargent gun everything down.
First line teams is where our best teams should be; focusing on putting our very best teams in the top and then finishing the bottom row. This means using CLS lead, GK lead with zBarriss, and possibly JTR teams. Everyone needs to put up at least one of these teams on the front line. With the TW meta now changing to hardcore defense, these teams crush the leftovers guilds have after placing their own CLS. Make sure to keep Rex and zFinn (and possibly JTR) for offense, as they can counter GK+zBarriss and CLS.
CLS Lead: With Captain Han Solo, Raid Han, Old Ben, and Fulcrum.
This team will just absolutely crush the dreams of anyone who doesn’t bring a serious team to beat it. You have Old Ben with a healer and reviver, you have amazing damage, and deadly counter attacks with protection regeneration. If you don’t have captain han/old ben run Chaze (at the cost of your R1 team and zMaul counter), or GK/STH +1.
**Noteworthy omission: There is no R2 on this list. While R2 can make this team brutal on defense, it is also a crucial character for beating CLS and zMaul on offense. I prefer to save R2 for those teams, and opponents will underestimate just how good Captain Han Solo is.
JTR: With BB8 and R2.
This team can be a bit tough to field as it wants to take toons that reside on other powerful teams. So, it comes down to deciding what you want the last two spots to be. A great choice is Scavvy Rey and Chopper, which minimizes taking characters, like Thrawn or GK.
Keep in mind, however, that this is perhaps the best team on offense (more on that later), where you can run the team without R2 and still win (saving R2 to power up a kill CLS/zMaul team).
GK + zBarriss: With 3 damage/support characters.
This team let’s you be the most flexible with the 3 remaining characters, so make sure that they don’t steal from the two teams above or from a critical Empire team. Traditional picks include: Raid Han, Nihilus, Ezra, Chaze, Thrawn, CLS, and another tank – all characters that are great anchors for separate teams. This combo lets you “cheat”, so try and see what you can run.
- I am personally thinking that using the smuggler Han and Chewie can be really effective here (many geared them up for JTR). There was also a time out team with Clone Wars Chewbacca, so this can be a good spot to use an unfortunately geared up old school Chewie.
- Or feel free to split them up, putting GK where he is needed (makes night sisters really scary), and putting Zarris with Jedi or saving her for beating a Night Sister team on offense.
- There is also an argument to be made for offense, where this duo can help you take out another CLS team. With the heavy CLS team meta, this is actually looking more and more like the right way to go.
But, the fun doesn’t stop. We keep putting any extra strong teams in the second lines. Look to fill up with Phoenix, zmaul, Nihilus lead, and Empire. These teams all require the opponent to have specific compositions to overcome, otherwise the chances for a failed attack go significantly up. Ideally, the best choices are Phoenix or zMaul/First Order, while saving the other team ideas for offense.
Phoenix: Perhaps one of the best, even if low gp, defensive teams.
Use them to plug holes and fill up this second line. Just like CLS, the threat of team wide counter attacks proves to be quite good in TW. The critical part is which toon not to run. It’s either going to be Ezra (to use on GK or under zQGJ) or Chopper (to use with JTR). The rest is simple; just make sure you have Hera in that lead =). A Sabine zeta makes this team very deadly, and try to gear them up to a combined 75k GP to really make opponents sweat.
zMaul: With Sith Trooper, Sith Assassin, Emperor, Savage.
The dodge meta is back. Even put this team up if you don’t have the zetas. It will trick the enemy into running a better team expecting that zeta. It works. You can run the other Sith or a zKylo in place of some of the toons here (an old arena trick, hide the sith make them fight zKylo). The benefit of the zMaul team is that you can save Nihilus for offense (he is amazing on offense), or for his own team.
Nihilus: With zDooku, Sith Trooper, Sith Assassin, +1.
This is another nasty team, although a bit easier to take on than zMaul. It hinges on having zDooku, as the counter attacks plus heal is devastating. Another key character is the Sith Trooper, who can also heal on counter attacks. zSidious and Emperor can also be great here (Vader is a bit slow on defense). However, Nihilus is just invaluable on offense to crack through tough GK+zBarriss teams, so only deploy this team if you have a zDooku.
Thrawn Lead: With DT, Krennic, Shore, Tarkin/Storm.
This is a very tough, resilient team. If you want to save Thrawn for another team (or lack speed), make Tarkin the lead and bring in TFP or Royal Guard. (TFP gets serious bonuses from all the debuffs.). Can also use Krennic as lead, but that requires a zeta to be good. This team is also very good against CLS, so if you can save it and run other teams on defense it can be worth it.
zKylo Unmasked Lead: with zKylo.
A little birdie told me how good this team can be in TW right now. The majority of teams that stomp on the First Order are either being used for defense or used to beat CLS. zKRU (even at 4 stars) leading a zKylo is terrifying to face with a non-meta team. This is perhaps the best 2nd line team you can run.
**Note: You really, really need the zetas on KRU Lead and Kylo for this to work. Otherwise, keep it for offense.
The bottom row either gets a 2nd line team, or one of our filler teams. Ideally we would have our First Order or zMaul team in the second line, and our Phoenix here. However, if we need a filler team, what are some good teams that can meet our defensive criteria? There are three that come to mind:
Ewoks: Teebo L, Chirpa, Paploo, Scout, Elder
Lots of assist calls. Paploo gains a bunch of hp, and it can stick around. Also doesn’t require Wicket/Logray (two hard farms). Many will not want to put a zeta on Chirpa, so go with Teebo lead instead. Any long time player will likely have several of these little critters leveled up, especially Teebo (from Rancor), and possibly Chirpa (from HAAT). You have heals, a good tank, crazy buffs, lots of stealth or assists, and just a great synergy team that requires a decent team (not just left over garbage) to beat. And with more Ewoks come more fun compositions.
- zChirpa, Ewok Elder, Pabloo, Wicket, Logray: So much turn meter manipulation, but it requires the best of the best and lots of zetas.
- Can keep for offense to beat on the Phoenix
Droids: HK 47, IG-86, IG-88, Jawa Engineer, Chief Nebit.
Straight out of the HAAT before CLS and JTR destroyed it, it’s the Jawa/Droid team. It heals, it tanks, it revives, and it puts out really good damage and has TM generation. It’s a very squishy team, however. So, it won’t stop much, but it does require some thought on the part of the opponent. It’s also a very fine team on offense, where you can use the abilities well to keep the squishy attackers alive.
- Some players will have a Jawa team to run. That’s only really worth it if you don’t have the droids, otherwise break up the Jawas and use the Chief and Engineer with HK.
- Remember to focus on Engineer’s health, and make Nebit fast.
Jedi: zQGJ, plus a bunch of extra Jedi.
This team isn’t much to write home about. If you don’t have zBarris/GK combo, then you can put one of those toons on this team to make them hum. However, the best version of this team also wants R2, which is often best used on offense or on JTR. Like the droids, it is also good on offense. It also does not work on defense without the zeta, so if you don’t have zQGJ, keep the Jedi for attacks.
Time for the most annoying team in the game, the Nightsisters. The Nightsisters check every box for a good defense team. Like Phoenix, Nightsisters can be run with lower levels of gear and still cause a lot of problems for guilds 100m GP and under (guilds without an abundance of trooper squads). The main problem with Nightsisters in the current TW meta is that they are expected. Guilds are saving Troopers and Chaze to beat them.
When you are fighting in the lower GP tiers (sub 110m), most guilds won’t have enough troopers and chazes to reliable take out all of your Nightsisters after having to cut through waves of CLS, First Order, and zMauls. However, even at lower GPs, the Nightsisters have the same great problem to have as JTR, they are also AMAZING on offense. So it is up to you and your guild where you want to put them.
If you opt for offense, try filling these back areas with extra Front Line teams. It can be brutal to have to beat a GK+zBarriss or JTR squad now. You can also deploy any of the squads above, along with the inclusion of a very annoying, very threatening Rogue One team. There are a few ways to run Nightsisters on defense, and if you have Nute Gunray available, it’s advisable to try and split them up:
Mother Talzin Lead: Zombie Acolyte cheese team.
A lot of resurrections and direct Health damage. Requires zetas on MT unique and lead to really be good. The upside of the sister teams is that you have one character you don’t have to gear (Zombie), and a bunch of characters (except MT) that are very easy to gear. Everyone in every guild should have this team, and gear it up.
Asajj Lead: This is my choice for the leadership zeta.
The turn meter gain is surprisingly hard to deal with. You can run this with the Zombie-Acolyte combo, or opt for Initiate/Spirit and Talia, or even something like GK and zBarriss. That final combination (Asajj, MT, Daka, GK, + zBarris/Talia/Zombie) can be a brutal fight, and can be worth sacrificing your Zenarris team, with the upside of having a much better game against Troopers.
Note: Regardless of the leadership, try and aim for a split, saving Acolyte and Zombie for offense under Nute Gunray.
Rogue One: This is an extremely annoying team to fight once you are spent.
Great backline team. However, this team is also great on offense and can deal with a lot of the popular teams that are used on defense (especially zMaul). These characters are also great slotted into missing spots on offense, so cannibalizing this team can be very effective (adding Chaze to Rex team, Cassian to Resistance, K2SO to JTR, and Jyn to any Rebel team).
As stated in the intro, you want to make four defensive teams that don’t overlap themselves or your offensive teams. Perhaps the best path to strive towards is CLS for the frontline, Sith or FO for the second line, Phoenix on the 3rd lines, and then Nightsisters/any team from this list for the back line. You can mix and match these teams as you wish, but just make sure to follow the principles of making a team that is easy for the AI, requires good characters beat, has heals, has a tank, has a form of turn meter manipulation, and possibly has a way to resurrect.
Next: The Offense Phase
- Defense Phase Tips
- The Teams
- The Offense Phase
- Countering the Popular Teams
- Farming and Zetas
- TL;DR Summary