This guide is thought to be for new accounts. We start with rebels because those have multiple purposes, e.g. Lando and STH are scoundrels you need for events, Wedge and Biggs are good pilots, and five rebels together will master the Palpatine event. Furthermore if you follow this guide, you get the pilots and ships for the zeta mat challenge and Jedi to unlock 5*-mods in the mod store. You will also get EP, Vader, TFP, RG and Tarkin who will open the doors to the R2D2 event. Both your arena squad and fleet will profit from synergies.
-1) You may want to manipulate your time zone so you have your collection/fighting time at more convenient hours. See below when these hours are.
0) After you start a new account, pull a chromium pack for 350 crystals (play some normal and hard battles, collect achievements until you have these crystals).
[If you don't get a good toon, you may want to start another account until you get one (best might be Rex, Chirrut, Baze, Lando, Qui-Gon Jinn (QGJ)). You may want to avoid to become level 28 (arena start) for some days and just collect energy and buy gear salvage from shipments. Only use cantina energy on Lando shards and buy Boba shards in cantina store. Participate in events if possible. This creates a stockpile of credits, ability mats and gear salvage that will be very helpful once the arena race starts at level 28.]
There are different spots to farm your toons:
Hard nodes, Cantina nodes, Cantina Store, SquadArena Store, Galactic War (GW) store, Guild Store, Fleet Arena Store (lvl 60).
1) Farm Lando in cantina 1-E
2) Farm Boba Fett in cantina store to 7*
3) Farm STH in the Squad Arena Store to 7*
4) Farm Biggs in GW store to 7*
5) Farm Jedi Consular (7* if you want to use him as a pilot or for the Yoda challenge, but no haste) and Chewie (4* is minimum, 5* recommended, because of crit mod challenge) from hard nodes. Optional: Royal Guard/First Order TIE Pilot (FOTP, lvl54 req). But gear is more important than shards generally speaking.
This leads to your Arena team of Lando (Lead), Biggs, STH, Boba Fett, JC
Always keep level, abilities and most important gear of your arena team to maximum!
(While JC is a very good pilot, he is not very good as an arena toon. We want to replace him soon and only star him for the mod challenge (optional Yoda event) and as a pilot. You can let him fall behind in gear once you have another arena toon.)
6) In Guild store farm Rex (req. lvl 60, as an alternative lead against debuffing teams) and alternatively Sun Fac *or* Darth Maul (5 dark side ships+pilots are needed for the Zeta mat challenge later), see details in point (13).
Farm IGD (Ima-Gun Di) to 5* for for the Defense Mod Challenge (only to unlock 5-dot-mods, don't farm def mods) [7\* optional for the Yoda event]. Don't spend too much gear on him, you don't need him other than for the challenge/event. Skip IGD if you farm another Jedi like Ezra or Old Ben but see the note on cantina toons below.
Before lvl60 you can save tokens or buy prototype mats. Farm Luke Skywalker (Farmboy) for the Commander Luke Skywalker (CLS) event (time this with the other toons needed for the event, see below).
7) Farm Princess Leia in Squad Arena Store after STH is 7*.
Also farm IG-88 so that you have him ready at lvl 70. IG-88 5* would also be sufficient. This gives you a Team for the Credit Heist event of Lando, STH, Boba, Chewie, and IG-88 at lvl 70.
Farm Mace Windu 5* after IG88 5* for the Defense Mod Challenge (to unlock 5-dot-mods).
Farm Tarkin (GMT) as your Fleet Commander, for the Rancor raid and for the R2D2 event (see below).
8) After Lando ist 7*, farm Kylo Ren in cantina 4-C and also gear him (as a fighter against Dooku that provides stun and healing immunity). Alternatively, Ezra (Jedi plus Rebel tag).
Farm TIE fighter pilot (TFP) in cantina 4-B to about 5* (dark side pilot). Continue to 7* later for the rancor raid and events that require empire such as R2D2.
At level 69 farm Wedge Antilles from Cantina 6-F.
Not before you have a reasonable mod situation, farm Old Ben for the Commander Luke Skywalker (CLS) event (time this with the other toons needed for the event, see below).
Note on cantina toons:
If you want to farm 330 shards from cantina, you need about 1000 cantina fights. So 8'000 cantina energy for the 8 energy guys. That's an equivalent of 500 mods á 16 cantina energy (tier III) you don't farm. 12 cantina energy node toons cost as much as 750 mods. So don't farm a cantina toon if your mod base is not settled.
9) Farm 5-dot-health-Mods as soon as you manage tier III of the health mod challenge.
You should use half your cantina energy on mods and the other half on char shards now.
10) Farm ship plans in GW store for Biggs', FOTP, TFP, Ahsoka's, Sun Fac's (optional), JC's, Umbaran Starfigher (Fives' ship) after Biggs is at 7* and you achieve lvl 60. TFP, FOTP and Umbaran appear not as often as the other plans, so prioritize these. Farming ship plans until your fleet arena team is all 7* will grant you access to a lot of mats (zeta) and shards (Wedge and all the other pilots). If Biggs is 7* before you are lvl60, safe the tokens.
11) Farm Wedge (char shards), Slave I, TIE advanced x1 and Chirrut Îmwe in Fleet store. If Vader shards occur in fleet store, also buy them (stop at about 6* 40/100 until you have the shards for rewards). Level all ships equally so you have them at 3 stars each on lvl68. You will need this for the challenge which rewards you a 2nd reinforcement place, so you can use 7 ships.
Further Cantina Store farms:
Farm QGJ (after Ahsoka). This will give you a 5-Jedi-Team: IGD (L) JC Ahsoka QGJ Windu.
Do the defense mod challenge as soon as all are 5*.
Farm Fives (after QGJ), he is a very good pilot
13) One of the following:
Darth Maul (Guild store, Fleet store) and his Scimitar (Fleet store). Very good reinforcement pilot, can be a game changer but is also countered by Fives/Ahsoka.
Sun Fac (Guild store, Fleet store) and his ship (GW store). Very good tank but costs a lot of gear. Fast farm DS ship, also very useful as a tank (ship).
14) If you have a good rank, spare crystals can be used to buy Baze shards (50 shards x 50 crystals = 2500 needed for a 3* Baze). This would lead to the Chaze combo (Baze+Chirrut).
Hard mode nodes: JC 5*, Chewie 5*, if you have energy left also RG, FOTP
Cantina nodes: Lando 7*, 5-dot Health Mod and/or Kylo (alternatively Ezra), TFP
Cantina store: Boba 7*
Arena store: STH 7*
GW store: Biggs 7* (save the rest)
Guild store: Luke (farm boy), optional IGD (save the rest)
Hard mode nodes: JC 7*, FOTP, RG
Cantina nodes: Wedge 7*, TFP 7*, Old Ben
Cantina store: Ahsoka 7*, QGJ 7*, Fives 7*
Arena store: Leia 7*, IG-88 5*, Windu, Tarkin, Chief Nebit
GW store: Ship Plans: Biggs/Wedge/JC/FOTP/Ahsoka/TFP/Fives Umbaran, Sun Fac (optional)
Guild store: Rex, JE (optional Darth Maul, Sun Fac, depending on you dark side ships)
Fleet store: Wedge/TIE advanced x1/Slave 1/Vader (optional Scimitar, Sun Fac)
Think twice if you start with a different time zone.
Collecting/Refreshing hours are: 0 h (all activities reset, Arena and GW store refresh, shipments, new challenges), 6h (shipments, GW store refresh, Arena store refresh), 12h (free energy, free cantina energy, all shops refresh, shipments), 18h (collect arena reward, free energy, new shipments, guild + fleet + arena store refresh), 19h (collect fleet arena reward), 21h (collect free energy, guild + fleet store refresh)
Spend crystals on cantina and energy refreshes. 3x normal energy for each 50 crystals and 1-2x cantina energy for 100 crystals each would be very good.
For a first good rank in arena and fleet arena, also use crystals to buy a refresh (50 crystals for 5 tries). Get a pole position.
Aim to have 5 Jedi at 5* for the Def Mod challenge. Tier II will allow you to buy 5-dot-mods in the mod shipments, Tier III will increase the chance for 5-dot-mods in the shipments. One star is enough, you don't need to farm these mods, just unlock tier III. G7 lvl65 Jedi should be sufficient.
Aim to have 5 Empire toons at 7* for the R2D2 event (EP Vader RG Tarkin TFP).
Aim to get Critical Damage Mods: after all other priority characters have been farmed from these locations, farm Chief Nebit from the Arena Store; Dathcha from the Galactic War Store; Jawa Scavenger from the Cantina Store; Jawa Engineer from the Guild Store; and Jawa from hard/cantina nodes. Improve these characters to 5*, level 60-65, g7 and complete Tier III of the Criticial Damage Mod Challenge.
Aim to get Speed mods (soon after lvl85): Finn (also good for the hAAT raid with zeta), Poe, RP, RT, R2D2)
After lvl85, aim to get Thrawn: Farm Hera, Chopper, Zeb, Ezra, Kanan (for 7* about g8-g9)
After lvl85, aim to get BB-8: the First Order Chars (7*), g11 Zylo is enough, rest can be lvl1. However FOTP is recommended anyways as a pilot
The starting characters not mentioned in this guide (e.g. Talia) may be needed for the challenges and nodes, but should be kept as low as possible and be replaced as soon as possible. Level 50 and gear V would certainly be enough.
Find your arena shard chat to coordinate payouts. Google the name of your opponents' guilds plus "swgoh" and see if they/their guild mates entered contact details in swgoh.gg. Enter your own contact details there.
Enter a good guild early. 30k raid tickets a day are maximum, if you guild does not reach at least 25k you should change it. If you get the chance to enter a heroic AAT guild, do it. Look at the guild activities and plan your resource spending accordingly.
Look at your guild activities and prepare yourself. Always provide 600 tickets. 540 are given by free energy (120 cantina energy refill + 45 bonus, 240 energy refill + 3x45 bonus). For more you need to invest at least 50 crystals.
There are some tricks, e.g. the next day will be "galactic war", you just start the first GW fight and retreat (via settings button). That gives you the daily challenge, but saves the GW for the next day. By this, you can collect 36 GW knots as guild activities.
You want your STH to go first with his special "draw fire". This fills the other players turn meter (up to 30%).
Also when he gets damaged, the others get (up to 20%) turnmeter. Although he is a tank, you need to give him a speed primary arrow mod (receiver). Protection on circle (databus) and cross (multiplexer) but with a speed secondary. The triangle (holo-matrix) can also be protection primary with a speed secondary.
Boba can ability block the other players, even STH. He should also be very fast. At level 78, omega the "death from above" ability, so if you are faster than the enemy's STH, you can block him. So he also gets a speed primary arrow. He can use a potency cross, so his ability block will come through against the other team's tenacity. Boba will be revived with a percentage of his health (up to 100%), so give him some health secondaries. The triangle can be crit dmg primary. Boba Zett (zeta boba) also can use high protection.
Lando needs high crit chance over all, and a crit dmg primary triangle. If you can farm cc (crit chance) and cd (crit dmg) mod sets, that would be great. Protection primary on the cross and circle. Speed primary on the arrow.
Biggs needs to be very fast. He also gets a huge speed up by Wedge's unique, so that you can maybe oneshot a squishy (especially in lower levels) with the "Wiggs" attack. He also needs a speed primary arrow. Protection primary on circle and cross. CD primary on the triangle. Speed secondaries are even more important, but also cc secondaries are very good here.
Wedge is often the target no. 1 for your enemy. I prefer mine to be well protected. As long as Biggs can call him with his assist (omega gives Biggs -1 cooldown), he has his greatest value. So give him cc and cd mod sets, a cd (crit dmg) triangle and protection on circle, cross, and maybe even arrow (others say also speed, but I like protection more).
Modding in general
Don't overestimate set bonusses. The amount of bonus a cc set gives you (5%cc) can be compensated by a single secondary stat. A CD set is great, but only in addition to a CD primary triangle, not instead of it. A speed set will give you max. about 15 speed which is nice, but you shouldn't sacrifice your secondaries for it.
Your attackers usually need to be fast and hit hard. The most important slot is the triangle (holo-array). Don't put defense, health or protection on it (there are exceptions like DN). Offense (value in numbers, not percentage) is a very good secondary stat for them. CD is usually the best.
Chars that want to land a debuff need potency.
Tenacity is rather bad. The chances that you resist a debuff are minimum 15%, no matter how high the enemy's potency is. If the enemy has 80% potency and you have 65% tenacity, the chances to resist are still 15%, so you win nothing. Only if the attacker has low potency and you have a very high tenacity value, there will be a difference. E.g. the enemy has 45% potency and you have 65% tenacity, your chance to resist will be 20%.
Pos. 1: Transmitter (Square)
The Transmitter has a fixed primary: offense. This position should therefore be used for good secondaries like speed, protection, offense (value in numbers is better than percentage), crit chance, health.
Pos. 2: Receiver (Arrow)
For the arrow, the speed primary is very good for most attackers and supports (+30 speed at 5-dot-mods). You can buy these in the mod store, even if they are grey. Protection is very good for most tanks. The other primaries are usually not taken.
Pos. 3: Processor (diamond)
The processor has a fixed primary: defense. Use it for good secondaries.
Pos. 4: Holo-Array (triangle)
This is a very important slot. You can get 36%CD from it or 23,5% protection.
Pos. 5: Data-Bus (circle)
Usually, you want a protection primary, speed secondary circle.
Pos. 6: Multiplexer (cross)
While in many cases, protection primary is very good, you can also use offense for attackers that do physical damage or potency for attackers that need to land a debuff (combined with potency sets).
If you see a 5-dot-mod in the mod store, only buy it if it has a speed secondary (or if it's a speed arrow). Green mods will get one upgrade so a +5 speed can get additional +6 = +11 speed. Blue get two upgrades so they can be 5 speed, +6, +6 = +17 speed. Purple get three upgrades so they can get 5 speed + 6 +6 +6 = 23 speed and gold get 4 upgrades with a maximum of 28 speed. That's very unlikely so also green and blue mods are a good buy with a speed sec. Upgrades happen at levels 3, 6, 9 and 12. Don't upgrade more than 12 other that you need the set bonus.
Squad Arena Strategy
Find out what the payout of your daily opponents is. Find your shardmates in reddit, EA forum (pvp) or via swgoh.gg-profiles / contact data.
Try to fight not before 2 hours (for 10 fights) or 1 hour (for 5 fights) before your payout. Avoid those guys with a similar payout/payout right before you (if you fight 2 hours, fighting after their payout is okay).
Once you are a little advanced (lvl70+ maybe), you should be able to react with different setups to different enemy teams.
E.G. use Rex lead if the opponent crits a lot. AoE crits like Lando's give your team a lot of turnmeter. Vice versa, don't use Lando against Rex lead enemies.
If the enemy uses a lot of dispel (Rex, Chirrut, GK), debuffers are probably useless. Counter it with sheer damage (Wiggs Chaze R2Z2). Vice versa, use triple cleanse (Rex Chaze GK DN/CLS) against teams with a lot of debuffers.
GK - General Kenobi,
DN - Darth Nihilus,
TFP - TIE Fighter Pilot,
FOTP - First Order TIE Pilot,
SF - Sun Fac,
STH - Stormtrooper Han,
Chewie - Clone Wars Chewbacca,
Chaze - Chirrut Îmwe and Baze Malbus,
Wiggs - Wedge Antilles and Biggs Darklighter,
R2Z2- R2D2 with zeta on numer crunsh,
Z2Z2 - R2D2 with both zetas,
CLS - Commander Luke Slywalker,
RG - Royal Guard,
JC - Jedi Consular,
JE - Jawa Engineer,
Windu - Mace Windu,
IGD - Ima-Gun Di,
QGJ - Qui-Gon Jinn,
RT - Resistance Trooper,
RP - Resistance Pilot,
CD - critical damage,
CC - critical chance,
GW - Galactic War