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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.