since there are no actual guides on that, I have decided to write one myself.
English is not my native language, I can use it decently, but my writing skills are not the best for sure. Looking for some suggestions on upgrading this - it is basicly just a wall of text, for sure it needs some smoothing.
I am also asking about some commentary and help about the content.
The Perfect Guide for the Perfect Start 2017 Winter Edition
Since most of the guides on the forum are outdated and left behind by their authors I have decided to write one on my own.
We are focusing at levels 1-27 to create a huge headstart when arena race starts.
WHY SHOULD I FOLLOW THIS GUIDE
When you hit level 28, you will be placed on arena shard. Shards are filling up to 20 000 players, after that space is filled, a new shard starts. After being put in such shard, there is no way to change it – you will always play along the 20k people that you had at your shard at the start.
Why we want to score top in arena?
It's obvious – arena is the best place to gather crystals as f2p users.
Why we want to prepare for arena with this guide?
When you are put in a shard, race begins. Those who are ahead become even more ahead, because of great arena rewards that let you refresh. They spend more energy than you, they have higher level than you, they have better gear and ability level than you.
Since you don't want to spend on the game, with low arena rank you won't be able to do as many energy refreshes as whales, so you will – faster or slower – fall behind.
With enough patience and preparation, you can tighten that gap, given enough luck you can even have whale-ish gameplay.
You may want to manipulate your time zone so you have your collection/fighting time at more convenient hours. Time them well, once set, they can never be changed.
Especially be careful about arena and fleet arena payouts, since you will probably need to keep an eye on the game at this time.
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).
CREATING AN ACCOUNT levels 1-5
You picked your timezone, you have created a new account. What now?
We play the game to level 5. Play a couple of Light Side 1 missions, do enough of them to get to level 5. DON'T SIM ANYTHING
And stop right there.
After you hit level 5, you will gather a couple of crystals from the achievements and most of all – you can connect your account to Facebook for extra 200 crystals.
That amount, plus the amount we have from dailies and achievements gives us enough crystals to get our hands on our first chromium pack.
You can link multiple swgoh acconts to one Facebook accounts.
*Another way – if you don't want to do a fake Facebook account, doing all your dailies will give you a level 12 and enough crystals to buy a a chromium.
First chromium is almost always guaranteed to be a full character. That's why we don't want to waste this one on a useless toon. We want a good one, which can be later utilised in our game. That 2* Resistance Trooper ain't helping you at all.
Toons we want
Baze – probably the best you can get now, great autotank whom slows opponents down, have a mass dispell and a single target dispell, part of a Chaze combo with Chirrut
Rex – great leader, can be used in tons of squads
Wedge – used later with Biggs for a Wiggs combo, devastating rebel duo, also great rebel lead
*Chirrut – part of a said combo, not that great without Baze, still a solid pick. We favour Baze, since only way of getting him as f2p is hard node 9 and TB store, which unlock in game later than Chirrut who is easily obtainable from a fleet store.
*Lando – nice 4*, Scoundrel for a credit heist but since he is easy to obtain from cantina he is not that great
It will take some time, Wedge may not be obtainable according to some players who did a ton of rerolls and never seen one.
Info from DarthZannaH user "close to 200 rerolls, no Wedge. Been doing this since August. Seem like 20 bazes, 15 chirruts, a lot of Lando's, Rex'es, Jyn's, etc..."
Unless we get a good toon, we keep on rerolling accounts. But don't forget them entirely – write down the Google Play account you created - we will need them later in game, details in a section below.
You may want to use an android emulator, not to spam your phone with a shitton of Google Play accounts, guides are easily found on the Internet.
You may entirely skip this 'don't do anything past level 12, go straight to level 22 to unlock guilds. By getting 200 crystals from facebook connect, another 100 from achievement you get by joining the guild, daily rewards and daily activities you will have enough to buy a second Chromium pack. You will most likely get a huge dissapointment by getting some random shards but if you dare to test your luck, go ahead. In best case scenario, you get two nice toons for free.
**Bonus BONUS – you don't even need to go straight to level 22 asap, you can get 280 crystals from login rewards. If you are patient enough you can just collect them and try your luck, up to you.
But most probably your next Chromium will be just a waste of resources and big dissapointment.
PHASE ONE AND A HALF levels 5-8
Play the game until you hit level 8.
Stop right there, proceed to phase two.
PHASE TWO levels 8-27
STOP GAINING EXP OTHER THAN CANTINA ENERGY.
You rolled a great toon from your chromium, you are ready to move on to the next step. In this part of the game, we want to spend only CANTINA ENERGY.
We will avoid doing daily activities and spending normal energy. Why?
After getting to level 8 you will gather ~260 experience.
To get to level 27 (almost to 28) you will need ~2600 more.
By going there with normal energy and dailies, you miss opportunities to get more shards, ability mats and cantina tokens. Sure, you cant go straight to level 27 and just hoard from there, but you will be doing nothing but challenges and collecting energy, missing opportunities to gather more shards and stuff from cantina.
2600 energy is 325 attempts at 8 energy node, which will in return give you ~107 character shards – enough to have a 4* character even before “energy hoarding” phase.
It gives you 4225 cantina tokens, which exhange to 10 purchases – 50 character shards from cantina store, enough for a 3* character.
By doing this, you will depart to your arena with good characters at the start.
(not to mention you will later have them even better when you finally spend all of your energy)
With daily cantina energy regen of 165, this part of the game should take around two weeks.
WHO TO FARM?
For f2p players there are two approaches on the game:
'Classic' rebels – as in written in RAW's guide. All that team has is a lot of DMG and extra TM from STH taunt. Probably good choice if you somehow get Wedge from your chromium. You focus on Lando in cantina, Boba in cantina store. This later leads to Biggs from GW store and STH from arena (and much, much later Wedge from fleet/cantina). While this approach is still viable – you are investing in long-term profit characters, you get your scoundrels for heist, your pilots for fleet – they miss one thing. That thing is synergy – early game shards favours teams that have OP synergy. They just may not be enough for crazy-synergistic teams like Phoenix Squadron and Nighsisters, which will probably flood your early game.
Phoenix Squadron – rebel squad with amazing synergy. Needed for Thrawn, can do Palpatine. Easy to farm as a f2p, they are in different stores so you can farm them simultaneously (exception on Hera and Ezra, but after getting Hera a couple of stars, you can focus on Ezra). They fall off midgame, so you probably want to prepare to switch them later on. But they are still needed for Thrawn, so you will eventually farm them.
Later on farming this squad will be problem, because you will lack scoundrels and pilots, but you may just leave them at 5* and unlock Lando, Boba and Biggs in preparation to midgame, where they stop shining. They also help you clear your GW easily.
AS FOR NOW – NIGHTSISTERS ERA
If you start playing now – your shards will probably be flooded with whales with nighsister teams (90% of top50 in my shard formed like two weeks ago). Clasic rebel team will lack that OP synergy that Phoenix have – in fact, a Phoenix Squad is the only one competetive f2p squad that is still able to cut through nighsister zombie **** and still place in top5.
I highly recommend Phoenix Squad. But remember to let them go in time – they really start to fall down when the midgame (65-70lvl) strikes. You will eventually want them starred and geared to get 7* Thrawn, but it is a long way ahead of you.
Another profit of Phoenix that they will lead you to Palpatine AND Thrawn – that cuts your empire team to get R2D2 to just 3 more toons (clasic rebels only get you Palpatine, so you still need 4 toons).
After you picked the characters you want to focus on, you just focus on farming the cantina nodes of that characters:
Hera and Erza from cantina, Chopper from cantina store for Phoenix
Lando from cantina, Boba from cantina store for clasic rebel start
In the meantime, we will do all challenges, collect every bit of free energy, dail y login rewards, every free bronzium, achievement and gear salvage from shipments. We just avoid getting any exp other than from cantina battles. This gives us a stockpile of credits, gear, ability mats to finally use when we depart to our game.
DON'T SIM ANYTHING
We stop this part of the game when we reach level 27 with 90% exp to level 28.
PHASE THREE level 27 HOARDING
We have reached our maximim. We stop spending cantina energy. We should have plenty of character shards, gear and mats. Thats where the boring part of the game begins.
All that we do now is stuff we already did in phase two – getting challenges etc.
More than that, we just collect free cantina energy everyday and wait.
We want to gather energy enough to get us to AT LEAST level 40 in one day. This will unlock GW for us – another place to farm shards easily.
Level 44 would be even better since you will unlock gear level 5 in one run, so your arena team will be most likely, unbeatable to regular players and only to be vulunerable to heavy spenders.
Level 40 ~7000 exp more from level 28
Level 44 ~12800 exp more from level 28
From this number we will cut 760 energy that you will get from doing all dailies:
Level 40 ~6200
Level 44 ~12000
After finishing Phase Two (without spending normal energy) – we should have ~2k normal energy to spend (1890 from 14 days of 135 free energy hoarding, not really counting free energy you get from levelups). That cuts another 2k.
Level 40 ~4200
Level 44 ~10000
Everyday you can hoard 180 energy (3x normal, 1x cantina). That means:
Level 40 ~24 days of hoarding
Level 44 ~55 days of hoarding
It depends on you, level 44 means another month of hoarding, and the benefit of starting at level 44 will only last for a couple of days. Getting into play at level 40 is fine.
PHASE FOUR Departing into play SHARD HUNTING
So you have your energy, you have your shards, gear, ability mats and credits. You are finally going to jump into that sweet, sweet shard to destroy everyone.
You get your level 28 aaaaaand...
You get placed at 15k place in a week old shard, with top players already having 50~ level.
You have wasted everything you worked on.
To avoid that, you need to know how shards are formed.
As stated in the beginning, new arena shards starts when the old one fills all 20k places.
Long time ago it took 2-3 days to fill a shard, now they are filling at 1-1,5k/day rate, so going in blindly really places you in risk of getting to a shard that started over week ago, at bad place, witout any chance to catch up on top players. But there is a way to 'hunt' the new shard forming.
Remember all that accounts that you made while rerolling your first chromiums? This is their time. During the phase two and three level that accounts up to level 27 (you just need to sim through dailies twice or thrice, nothing more).
When your main account is ready, let them hit level 28 so they get their arena placement. Doing so will give you the dynamics of the shard forming. Jump in with character once a day, see the movement of the previous shard and try to predict the date of a new shard.
Then, on that date level them once every 2-3 hours. When you finally hit the new shard, immidiately follow with your main account. If you do this right, you may be able to jump into top 50 at the very beginning of your journey.
Exploit that as much as you can, get that free crystals and run from your shardmates.
BONUS PHASE Your first day
You may use your free 300 crystals (200 facebook connect, 100 guild achievement) to buy 200 sim tickets from shipments. Using all that energy manually will take a lot of time.
Keep focusing the cantina nodes of toons of your choice, spend it all. Keep buying from cantina store every refresh, dont miss any. You will have a ton of cantina currency to spend early on.
Do all light and dark side missions you can. Do every single hard node missions – they consume more energy in the shorter time. Farm all the gear you need, spend the rest to level up to 40 ASAP
Enjoy your advantage, use it as much as you can. Whales will come to your shard eventually, but by following this guide, you shall be prepared and stay competetive.
You may speed up the hoarding energy by buying energy every other day.
Maximum cantina energy, at which you can still buy refreshes is 999, for normal energy its 1999. By doing so you can start hoarding phase with a ton of energy already.
Go and buy some SIM tickets, so you don't waste all day going through auto battles.
This one needs some special conditions appearing in the game.
First of all, you need some special promotion in the game which gives you free 7* character (like actual Rey and Google Play promo).
Second of all, you need some HPIT and HAAT guild.
Third of all, since no HPIT and HAAT guild will let you leech them off, you need another account that will provide 600 DRT and is usefull for TB.
Forth of all, it needs raids to be run in between TB, so your useful-to-guild-account can participate in TB.
Then, after providing 600 DRT, you leave with one account, then join with your hoarding account and hour before raid starts. You go in, score 0 dmg and still get raid shards. With enough patience and time, you may enter arena with General Kenobi. Bonus – you get a lot of a guild currency, so you can farm even more character shards. (we don't speak about Han, since his last tier only gives one shard. But still, with enough determination)