Dark Side TB Findings & Guidance: AB & Strafe Impact

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There's been a lot of concern about the difficulty of the DS TB and it is tougher to a degree, but these enemies do have some inherent weaknesses to exploit. The main message I want to convey here is the importance of ability block / +1 CD as it relates to the Strafe aoe skill and also the enemy specials. The specials the enemies have here are insane and so is the Strafe damage / TM removal, but once you contain those two factors the match is much easier. The key to these matches is preventing specials / Strafe. Through 4 phases I haven't lost a match yet. Time is well spent by studying the enemy kits in detail (I'd recommend making notes to study all the enemies and each wave prioritizing who to focus fire first). Even if you can't disable strafe totally damaging it is a huge help ...and even if there's no damage to the strafe there are teams you can use to prevent strafe from firing since it's an ability that can be blocked.

Wave 3 is where it became evident that an AB / +1 CD approach was an optimal one. I'll describe with the screen shots below (excuse the photo quality on some):

In this first pic you'll see my BH squad finishing up the wave 3 battle. This is significant because my BH team at the time was a G12 Boba, G11 88, G9 Zam / Denghar, and a G7 Greedo with decent mods. So this team is pretty meh even for how meh BHs are as a group ... the key though was Boba laying down the ability block and not allowing the enemy to get off strafe or the specials.

a57zD11.png

Now let's contrast that with the following two battles:

This squad here is the strongest overall team I used - have used this similar form in all 4 phases (I'll post a wave 4 pic later to contrast). That's a G12 EP/DV/ MamaT along with SA and STrooper at G11 - very good mods here...yet notice the damage taken. Trooper is dead and much damage was taken (mainly from Strafe). Note that I used this comp but DV lead instead on waves 1/2 and had similar results where I took decent amounts of damage. The issue here is no AB. The strafe and enemies were able to do as they pleased.

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Now here's the full force impact of Ability block and not eating Strafe:

Enemies here were ability blocked practically the entire match and were pretty pathetic as a result.

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Mostly only hit a bit by the Soldier counter attacks. Please note: That is a NO ZETA DK lead so I was NOT gaining protection back. I just wasn't taking much damage or getting attacked a lot.

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Strafe and the OP specials of the enemies were a non-factor and a squad with NO ZETAS (DT doesn't have one and neither does Tarkin) waltzed through the rebels.

Now....let's move on to day / wave 4. My guild is Order 66 and we had the Strafe disabled in wave 4 completely. The difference in performance was very clear when looking at how a DV lead came out:

Note I also pulled in Boba for the AB to go extra OP punishing on the rebels (again, no strafe and no specials = an impotent enemy). Boba has no zeta so there's no protection regeneration on that team - just classic TM removal and with no specials to fall back on the rebels had no counter.

PiK0WdZ.png

Here is a similar DK team in as I used in earlier waves performing in wave 4:

Here I took some damage, but it was all just from counter attacks as a slew of HR Soldiers were the enemies. There was no real threat of loss as the enemy was controlled the entire time. If that were a zeta DK lead I'd probably have full protection on everyone. But the tactic on this team is AB lead (DK) combined with +1 CD from DN and DT.
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Here are troopers + Thrawn in wave 4 just as an FYI - they are good if you build them. Snowtrooper is key as he's a big damage dealer. Also, he has AB on basic and Veers AOE is AB as well. Storm + Shore aligned with Trawn just allows for so much tanking and protection regeneration. I do have a zeta on Veers as it is critical.

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The TL;DR boils down to stopping / mitigating strafe AND the enemy specials with AB / +1 CD teams. Strafe and the rebel specials are so OP that if you just try to out-muscle them you're going to have a tough time even with G11/12 characters in many setups. I'd recommend the following generally:

- Use a DK lead and heavy debuffs / aoe crits for perma-AB. I love DK + Tarkin in particular here and then fill in for aoe crits how you see fit.. TFP, Snow, etc.
- Utilize Boba where you can as he's ELITE in these TBs. He may arguably be the best DS character for these TBs. I loved him behind a DV lead combining AB and TM removal
- EP bonus shock damage on rebels removes TM under a DV lead on ALL enemies just with his basic - they are a very strong duo - EP shock also helps a lot on the TM gaining rebels (pilot for example) so you can focus fire / disable them early
- Break up your +1 CD characters like DN and DT so you can utilize ability disabling teams across as many nodes as possible.

That's what I'm seeing through 4 waves at least. I would expect it told hold true through the final 2 waves, but just see the difficulty upped to some degree.

Replies

  • I don't believe any of it.
  • That being said, I totally agree with you. It is about controlling/mitigating strafe in the first 3 phases.

    This is a great post and I hope players learn from it. Well done dude.
  • Nebulous wrote: »
    I don't believe any of it.

    Skeletor always making trouble!
  • JohnnySteelAlpha
    2794 posts Member
    edited November 2017
    Nebulous wrote: »
    That being said, I totally agree with you. It is about controlling/mitigating strafe in the first 3 phases.

    This is a great post and I hope players learn from it. Well done dude.

    Having a DS brother to bounce stuff off of helps! Appreciate the discussions. Let's see what waves 5/6 bring though :wink:
  • Great post man, definitely something to keep in mind for future TB's as some of the squads you have are hard farms but I love the strategy.
  • +1, well said.
  • Well done !!
  • phatphil3 wrote: »
    Great post man, definitely something to keep in mind for future TB's as some of the squads you have are hard farms but I love the strategy.

    You can also ignore MamaT in that DV team - she's not essential to that team and in waves 1 / 2 without Boba in there she actually wasn't much help as plague was healed away quickly. DN or DT would arguably be better - something with AB or just any Sith / Imperial that can remove TM under a DV lead. She was devastating in wave 4 with Boba blocking heal specials and no strafe, but EP / DV + ability block / +1 CDs is the heart of that team. I do like Sith Trooper there for AOE TM removal + offense down...that's big. Then if you can lock those debuffs in with some kind of AB the enemy is speed down / O down / shocked and you're continually taking Tm away. If you can get EP shock up on a few enemies it's magical as he keeps gaining TM and with each basic he's taking tons of TM away from shocked rebels.
  • Awesome work, JSA!
  • Good strat post. This should help on most if any non-meta attacks anyway.

    Problem I and others are running into is that CD for strafe is resetting between waves. This happened on current phase for me and my guild.

    I have not seen this but others reporting that strafe is reactivating after wave 1 despite platooning it down to deactivated. See reddit.
  • This is a great idea!
    Meanwhile, down on the farm....
  • kalidor
    1676 posts Member
    edited November 2017
    I stumbled upon the same thing once I started trying to stack up uber-teams rather than spread myself too thin between the various missions. As long as the Rebels don't resist the effects (which they seemed to do in the first few phases quite easily) then you're good to go.
    But I think it also highlights just how poorly tuned the special abilities are, and airstrike in particular. I remember reading the enemy abilities in Details before the TB started and thinking, "I've got a bad feeling about this..."
    xSWCr - Nov '15 shard - swgoh.gg kalidor-m
  • Just went 4/4 on phase 5 with a bit of a different tactic. Wanted to share on this thread. Don't have enough toons with AB. I went with a zeta Vader lead g11, EP g11, TFP g12, Tarkin g10, Storm g8. Since TFP gains TM from debuffed enemies I used Tarkin's special to debuff and then had TFP basic hit people for massive damage. 4 AOE specials for TM removal and Vader's culling blade followed by a chance at AB. Finished final wave with 4/5 alive. No platoons were filled.
  • Let me go farm up DK right quick.....

    ....


    ....


    ... AWWW KITTENS!!!!
    In game name: Lucas Gregory - - - -"Whale blah grump poooop." - Ouchie

    In game guild: TNR Uprising
    I beat the REAL T7 Yoda (not the nerfed one) and did so before mods were there to help
    *This space left intentionally blank*
  • phatphil3 wrote: »
    Just went 4/4 on phase 5 with a bit of a different tactic. Wanted to share on this thread. Don't have enough toons with AB. I went with a zeta Vader lead g11, EP g11, TFP g12, Tarkin g10, Storm g8. Since TFP gains TM from debuffed enemies I used Tarkin's special to debuff and then had TFP basic hit people for massive damage. 4 AOE specials for TM removal and Vader's culling blade followed by a chance at AB. Finished final wave with 4/5 alive. No platoons were filled.

    Nice. Was strafe disabled or damaged at all?
  • I'm also seeing some full NS teams (zombie / MT) doing well in these TBs - no problems in wave 5 today.
  • Very interesting. I woud add something to this. zThrawn lead Deathtrooper Stormtropper Shoretrooper and Tarkin can muscle with Strafe. Easily. So far they finish 4/4.
  • Gawejn wrote: »
    Very interesting. I woud add something to this. zThrawn lead Deathtrooper Stormtropper Shoretrooper and Tarkin can muscle with Strafe. Easily. So far they finish 4/4.

    Yeah I'd agree with that if you have them built very well and zetas in place. I have that trooper / Thrawn screen shot above from wave 4 ... and here's the same time in wave 5....just a full out curb stomp! There actually is still some AB in there though with Veers, Snow basic, and Thrawn fracture is an ability / everything block :)

    UMxzFtF.png

  • Here are screen shots from wave 5 yesterday...used a DV team again, but tweaked to include no AB or no +1 CD just to test...

    @Nebulous suggested Sid under DV, tested it and worked so I gave it a shot as well and it was strong. Wave 6 though I'll try to get DN in there for the +1 CD as I still think it's safe. May pull out MT.

    BVg7RwS.png

    I was loving the DK team so much I went ahead and put the zeta on his lead...and you can see we ended with full protection. His lead here is just incredibly good. Punishing AB combined with massive protection regen. I actually overkilled the AB / +1 CD here by using DN and DT combined in a DK lead. Should have split up DT / DN from this squad and put it in the Vader team.

    JJLA4zf.png

    If anyone else has seen some sweet setups that worked please post. Would be good to hear.
  • TVF
    15073 posts Member
    edited November 2017
    Forgive the really dumb question but in AB / +1 CD...what does the CD stand for?

    Also, what makes a non-zeta DV lead better than EP?
    TVF's guild is recruiting. Say hi in our Discord! https://discord.gg/AmStGTH
  • TVF wrote: »
    Forgive the really dumb question but in AB / +1 CD...what does the CD stand for?

    Also, what makes a non-zeta DV lead better than EP?

    Oh sorry AB = Ability Block (Krennic lead does this as does Boba Fett) and +1 CD = increase cool downs (Darth N., and Deathtrooper both increase cooldowns on specials). Both allow you to prevent enemies from using special abilities like Strafe, heal, cleanse, etc. Blocking those is very helpful against these enemies.
  • Winning strat - not having 5 elites in wave 4.
  • Seriously though, this strat does help but if you can't outspeed them with their huge tm gains with commander and officer elites or the foresight or god forbid you get three taunting elites with 150k hp/prot each, you're still toast.
  • Seriously though, this strat does help but if you can't outspeed them with their huge tm gains with commander and officer elites or the foresight or god forbid you get three taunting elites with 150k hp/prot each, you're still toast.

    These strategies are quite good though, even with the current difficulty level. Assuming that CG fixes the wacked-out wave 4s in the first few phases for the next TB, they should be very effective for those guild members with <g11 DS heroes.
    xSWCr - Nov '15 shard - swgoh.gg kalidor-m
  • TVF wrote: »
    Forgive the really dumb question but in AB / +1 CD...what does the CD stand for?

    Also, what makes a non-zeta DV lead better than EP?

    Oh missed your second part - I do have a zeta on DV, but EP's lead works well here also. I think you can go either way successfully. I've seen both leads used well.
  • kalidor wrote: »
    Seriously though, this strat does help but if you can't outspeed them with their huge tm gains with commander and officer elites or the foresight or god forbid you get three taunting elites with 150k hp/prot each, you're still toast.

    These strategies are quite good though, even with the current difficulty level. Assuming that CG fixes the wacked-out wave 4s in the first few phases for the next TB, they should be very effective for those guild members with <g11 DS heroes.

    I do agree the first few waves scaling is out of line - the strafe in particular is like a nuke dropping on you.

    I see in your profile some good DS pieces ... many ignored DS so kudos. Snowtrooper if you can push him up to G11 is a maniac in these TBs. DN also...they let his annihilate CD rollover rounds.
  • kalidor wrote: »
    Seriously though, this strat does help but if you can't outspeed them with their huge tm gains with commander and officer elites or the foresight or god forbid you get three taunting elites with 150k hp/prot each, you're still toast.

    These strategies are quite good though, even with the current difficulty level. Assuming that CG fixes the wacked-out wave 4s in the first few phases for the next TB, they should be very effective for those guild members with <g11 DS heroes.

    I do agree the first few waves scaling is out of line - the strafe in particular is like a nuke dropping on you.

    I see in your profile some good DS pieces ... many ignored DS so kudos. Snowtrooper if you can push him up to G11 is a maniac in these TBs. DN also...they let his annihilate CD rollover rounds.

    Yeah, I've always preferred the DS and only recently had to shy away from it due to CLS and LS TB. So quite glad to see a DS TB - once they get the balance right :)

    I'm working on gearing Snow, DN, and Thrawn right now, despite the heaps of carbs and cuffs needed. Troopers next. DV is 5 orbs from g12 which I'm hoping will help his survivability a lot. FO is taking a temporary back seat, though with TW wars bonuses for them they might be bumped back up soon. So much to do...
    xSWCr - Nov '15 shard - swgoh.gg kalidor-m
  • TVF
    15073 posts Member
    edited November 2017
    TVF wrote: »
    Forgive the really dumb question but in AB / +1 CD...what does the CD stand for?

    Also, what makes a non-zeta DV lead better than EP?

    Oh missed your second part - I do have a zeta on DV, but EP's lead works well here also. I think you can go either way successfully. I've seen both leads used well.

    Thanks. My DS teams are woefully underdeveloped (shocking I know given the emphasis on Rebels and Resistance) and it seemed to me that at least I could have Palps lead regen health for my sad sith guys (Vader and Sidious and himself).
    TVF's guild is recruiting. Say hi in our Discord! https://discord.gg/AmStGTH
  • TyloRen
    380 posts Moderator
    Quality work by JSA as usual.
    Need to put some serious work on my DS!
  • Updating for Wave 6 Results

    Notes: Strafe was disabled, middle node assault platoon was 4/6 and the south node supplies was disabled 6/6 ... moved many of best mods on to these teams, I don't think C+/B- mods can't work effectively here.

    zVeers Troopers + zzThrawn
    Really enjoy this team and it's one of the few, maybe the only, that can brute-force muscle through the rebels reliably without an emphasis on ability block / +1 CD or TM removal. Passing the taunts back and forth between Shore / Storm and the timing of those is key. Fracturing the right targets with Thrawn (I fracture the Hoth Commander) and who to focus first first is key (I had two elite Hoth Commanders and focus fired on the one I did't fracture). Once you get the first enemy to drop you're in good shape with the zeta on Veers. I plan to take Snow and Storm to G12 before next TB. Storm is sneaky great with his expose on basic for a non-crit. Helps with the focus fire for sure. Just make him and Shore fast so they cycle through their specials quick.

    RPcNdek.png

    zDK lead AOE / Ability Block / +1 CD Team
    This squad was very good, controlled nearly the entire match flawlessly, but I had Boba get focus fired on late - learning there as I need to fill that spot with an Empire unit to benefit from the DK protection regeneration lead. Likely I'll turn to Magmatrooper or Gar. Need to build them up though as they are only gear 8 currently. Still - HIGHLY recommend the zeta on DK. No tank here - very strong zeta on DK lead - almost built specifically for these enemies. Tarkin is huge for TM removal and cc / cd down to lessen damage, DT is amazing for 2x attacks and daze / stun, and TFP is great on those Rebel officers that can get foresight with his buff block skill. Just trying to aoe crit / debuff everywhere to keep the rebels ability blocked and also use DT in there to +1 CD them in case something does slip through.

    bTriPmO.png

    zDV Sith Comp
    This is my favorite team to play - EP and DV are two of my favorite characters and extremely effective vs. these Rebel enemies. CG permitted DN to be Elite-Tier in these TBs by allowing the cooldown on annihilate to roll over each phase and putting such a priority on controlling Rebel special abilities with his +1 CD AOE. He annihilated two characters in this battle. EP is huge here shocking the rebel officers to prevent foresight spam and the rebel pilot to prevent TM gain and the rebel solider's taunt....all while removing tons of TM from all enemies on a basic attack. DV + EP is elite tier combo in DS TB. Sith Trooper puts o down on the enemy and takes all the heat for the squad with a permanent taunt. SA is the bus driver for turn meter and lands you a key stun here an there - mostly she's just keeping the TM rolling however.

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