The Grand Arena Guide
Intro: The Grand Arena is finally here and it is my honor to present you my view on how to tackle this beast. This guide consists of the following sections:
- Overview of Teams
- Optimizing Your Roster
In addition, I have added a second article on the Grand Arena focusing on 3v3 teams & strategy.
Overview of Teams:
In the rest of the guide I will use shorthand and just so everyone knows what I mean, I will give the full team descriptions here. Note that the first hero named will always be the leader and the link will go to that leader’s Best Mods page here on Gaming-fans.com.
Revan: Jedi Knight Revan, Grand Master Yoda, General Kenobi, Jolee Bindo, Bastila Shan. The undisputed best team in the game right now. As tempting as it may seem to leave out Bastila and give her her own lead over a second Jedi team, I advise against doing so as she is a far stronger fifth member than any other candidate. Also, a Bastila team without Grand Master Yoda will be pretty mediocre, but if you must use two Jedi teams, use Juhani in place of Bastila.
Traya: Darth Traya, Darth Sion, Darth Nihilus, Sith Trooper, Count Dooku. The fourth and fifth members of this team are highly flexible. Sith Trooper and Count Dooku are popular choices for defense as they are silver bullets against some popular counters. Sith Trooper holds the door against Bastila teams and Count Dooku throws a wrench into any Magmatrooper shenanigans. On offense though, and specifically when fighting Revan, replace these two guys with Bastila Shan (Fallen) and Grand Admiral Thrawn.
zKru: Kylo Ren (Unmasked), Kylo Ren, First Order Officer, First Order Executioner, First Order Stormtrooper. This composition is pretty much set in stone. Other First Order members will be slight to big downgrades depending who they replace. Occasionally a zeta’d Barriss Offee is seen infiltrating the ranks of the order but I’m personally not a big fan of this as she doesn’t protect against their most popular counter.
zFinn: Finn, Poe Dameron, Resistance Trooper, Scavenger Rey, Resistance Pilot. The first three members are what this team is all about, an infinite cycle of applying expose, giving everyone turn meter and reducing their cooldowns. The last two are just there to beat the timer by killing things quickly (Scavenger Rey) and just adding some consistency (Resistance Pilot) but they are no requirements by any means and can easily be replaced by the likes of Darth Sidious, Amilyn Holdo, Rose Tico or even be omitted completely if you think you need the extra points for winning with a 3-man team, and now throwing C-3PO into the mix can really make things interesting. For the Zeta Finn team to work properly it’s important that your Poe is first to move so give him plenty of speed. +100 is a good amount to aim for. Some Potency is in order as well and I like to go with 42 as the magic number here. This is because the highest amount of base Tenacity on a First Order member is 57 and given that no matter how much potency you have, there will always be a 15% chance to be resisted, the optimal amount of potency to use is 15 less than the enemy’s tenacity.
zBossk: Bossk, Boba Fett, Dengar, Greedo, Zam Wesell. The last two slots again are highly flexible. The ability to spread AoE debuffs is very valuable under Bossk lead as every debuff gained or resisted by enemies will give all your bounty hunters 5% health and protection back. The use of B2 Super Battle Droid over Zam/Greedo in the 5ht slot is also a strategy that is going some steam at the time of this writing. Jango Fett’s inclusion would actually be an upgrade to this team but he functions even better as the leader of a secondary bounty hunter team provided you have that luxury.
CLS: Commander Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Old Ben), C-3PO. As C-3PO has only been out for a few days while I’m writing this, it’s still very much unknown what the best use for him is. I did try him under CLS in arena right away myself (same setup as listed here except with R2-D2 instead of Old Ben) and the results have been phenomenal, both attacking and defending. The team can take out Revan on Offense with a bit of practice and equal mods but falls easily to a Bastila Shan team.
Qi’ra: Qi’ra, L3-37, Vandor Chewbacca, Zaalbar, Enfys Nest. This team has been on the rise for a while but lack of utility beyond Territory Wars (and now Grand Arena) still makes it a bit of a rare sight outside of whale territory. Even when you have some of these guys at lower gear level it is still a pain to beat successfully if only for the synergy between Qi’ra’s leadership and Enfys Nest. As strong as Enfys Nest is in this team, it’s rumored that she can be replaced by Mission which would enable you to run both this team as well as the fearsome:
NestSisters: Asajj Ventress, Mother Talzin, Old Daka, Nightsister Zombie, Enfys Nest. A bit of a sleeper team that has been lurking in the shadows and hasn’t gotten much mention out in the media, this makes it a perfect team to put on defense as no one really seems to know a good way to beat it. I personally got caught off-guard by this team in the first Grand Arena and I can tell you that my own brew of CLS, Han Solo, Chewbacca with Hermit Yoda and Chirrut does absolutely NOT work against this. I am hearing that Troopers can get the job done (as long as Starck is fast enough) and that a team consisting of Rex and Wampa also makes quick work of this team but I haven’t been able to test these out myself yet.
Troopers: General Veers, Colonel Starck, Death trooper, Range Trooper, Snowtrooper. Once again a flexible team. Shoretrooper is a common inclusion as is Grand Admiral Thrawn as leader, although I prefer the raw power of the suggested lineup. Try to have Starck be first to act as his ability to give buffs to his allies will give them all 20% turn meter thanks to General Veers’ unique ability. Not many people have him yet but Range Trooper really adds a new level of power to this team and I highly suggest working on him as he also makes the Phase 6 Special Mission in Dark Side Territory Battles a breeze.
zBastila: Bastila Shan, Grand Master Yoda, Hermit Yoda, General Kenobi, Ezra Bridger. Other than Revan, Traya and Nightsisters this team makes quick work of nearly anything else out there.
Rex: CT-7567 “Rex”, Wampa, Chirrut Imwe, Baze Malbus, Captain Han Solo. A variation of the old triple-cleanse meta that works great both on offense as well as defense, especially against teams with area of effect damage and teams that crit a lot but not very hard, such as Nightsisters, Bounty Hunters, zKru, Qi’ra teams and non-Traya Sith and Empire teams.
RJT: Rey (Jedi Training), BB-8, R2-D2, Amilyn Holdo, Chopper. Only JTR herself and BB-8 are hard requirements to play this team. R2-D2 might be more needed by CLS but other droids and resistance will usually work just fine, depending on how strong your opponent is. Add in the inclusion of C-3PO in SWGoH and you can enhance this team even more.
Ewoks: Chief Chirpa, Ewok Elder, Logray, Paploo, Wicket. Popularly known as Murder Bears, these little guys have been the hot topic lately and I strongly suggest looking up one of the in-depth guides for all the ins and outs that make this team tick. When it comes to The Grand Arena, these cuddlies can literally take out any team out there depending how much effort you put into them. I would suggest murdering easy teams and slowly work your way up as you get the hang of them.
As counter-intuitive as it may seem to start by thinking about Offense before Defense, I think it’s crucial to do so and this is in fact the most important thing I want you to remember out of this whole guide.
Given equal rosters, each player will always be able to go for the full clear if they want to. The key to this whole game mode is to figure out how to do so in the most efficient way. Setting your best teams on defense mindlessly is a sure way to lose as your opponent will likely expect those teams and save efficient counters for them while you may lack the tools to plow through his defense the same way.
This brings me to the big question: Which defensive teams should I expect? Well this will depend completely on your opponent’s roster but in general, I made for myself the following list:
*these teams use some key toons already used by other teams higher up in the ranking. (ex: If you expect Jedi Knight Revan, you won’t have to expect Bastila Shan and if you expect Qi’ra with Enfys Nest, you won’t have to expect NestSisters)
Keep in mind, this is far from a complete list of playable teams. It simply consists of the teams I personally see as the toughest and most popular ones used on defense in Territory Wars.
As discussed in the previous section, the way I think you should set your defense is to pick your offense first and use whatever you have left to put on defense. In my case:
*If they have Revan, you won’t need your Bastila counter and can set NS on defense. If they don’t have Revan, you can set your Traya on defense. Likewise if you’re preparing for a Qi’ra team, you can set your Rex on defense and if you expect NestSisters instead, you can put your JTR on defense.
Just like in the ground battles, I believe it’s imperative that you save a fleet that can take out his best defensive option, in other words, make sure you can deal with Hound’s Tooth under Mace Windu’s Endurance. And use your own Galactic Republic on defense. The synergy of this faction is a nightmare to deal with for anyone who has set their arena fleet on defense.
Optimizing Your Roster:
There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that the form in which the Grand Arena has hit us has benefitted the Squad Arena/Territory War minded people in a big way. All of the collectors and those who have been more focused on raids and/or ships have started off facing an uphill battle and I’m afraid to say I have no quick fix for you to overcome this disadvantage.
What I can help you with is offering some guidance on how to gradually improve your roster.
- Think in teams, and more specifically, counters
What I mean by the first bullet is that you’re going to have to finish up your teams and get them battle-ready. I see so many rosters with a maxed CLS, maxed Han Solo but only a g6 Chewbacca for example. Chewie hasn’t really been a gamechanger since his release but painting this wookie yellow will propel your rebels from Phoenix-level to being able to take out Traya or even Revan if you add C-3PO. This brings me to the second part of the bullet, think in counters. Make a list for yourself just like I did in this guide of the six or seven teams you would hate to face and work on having counters ready to beat all of them. As long as you can take out all enemy teams, you can win the match even if your opponent has 14 strong teams versus your 7. Make offense a priority. Once you’re happy with your counter teams, start investing in your defense.
Mods! It has been repeated ad nauseam and I’m making it ad nauseam plus one. I would have liked to start this section with “We all know how important mods are…” but what I’m seeing in GA so far is that we really don’t. The importance of mods can not be overstated and even if you think you’re investing a lot in them, invest more! Not only is there a direct relation between the quality of a player’s mods and his arena rank and PvE performance. Now with Grand Arena, investing in mods is almost like cheating the system since the match making doesn’t care whether a player has all 25-speed mods or all 0-speed ones. If you invest let’s say 20,000 crystals into gear, yes your toons will be a lot stronger but it will show in your galactic power and you will start facing stronger opponents. If you invest those 20,000 crystals in mods instead, your GP will stay the same but the actual strength of your teams will rise dramatically.
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