I know "GL nerf/buff" meta topic discussions and clickbaity youtube titles are incredibly common, and people have different ideas of what's fair or what teams should be able to beat which other teams. I hope that this a constructive post that shows appreciation for the cool things in SEE's kit, while addressing issues as well that people may not notice (Sith sometimes get a lot of attention due to DR, but although DR squads are capable on offense of defeating GLs, and that includes SLKR as well as JML--I want to focus here on SEE, not DR).
SEE is weak, without much "unlimited power" in common scenarios due to his kit. It's not just "rock paper scissors.". SLKR battles are a strong example of it (not that SLKR can beat SEE, but that SEE cannot beat
a normal SLKR squad). I want to clarify why
SEE is too weak since a lot of people misunderstand some issues, and I have a suggestion for each problem. That's not to say all of them must be fixed, and it's the combination of issues that makes SEE weak--he's unable to get to ultimate in prevalent circumstances, and he won't be very strong even if he does.tldr:
- SEE's power gains and damage multipliers, including post-ultimate, are relatively low in comparison to SLKR's massive damage and stats gains with or without ultimate
- SEE doesn't help his squad much, and his squad doesn't really help him much (Sith included)
- SEE has severe issues getting to ultimate in the first place due to a couple issues with Linked and reliance upon it for survival and ultimate charge
SEE's weak power growth means that even post-ultimate, he will not be that strong. Not only is SEE's power growth nothing like SLKR's massive HP and stat growth, but it's actually just weak. A lot of people may over- or underestimate the effect of mastery increases, but it should be noted that the mastery increase will basically just provide SEE with modest boosts of offense (no Crit Damage like agi attacker mastery SLKR, but ok, not everyone can be an agi attacker). When or if SEE hits ultimate, the offense provided by his mastery will be doubled. But how much offense is this?
In comparison, one can see videos of, by the time the battle is towards its end, SLKR hitting SEE just with basic for 200k+ damage. If SEE really has such great power, according to his theme, he should be able to compete with this--but he can't. SEE has locked shock if he gets to ultimate, but SLKR has those superior mastery stat boost), periodic immortality, and big crit damage. Also, it's not just about damage but damage multipliers--SLKR's basic alone (x2 hit) has close to triple the damage multipliers of SEE's post-ultimate basic damage multiplier
In other words, just looking at multipliers and not relative offense gains, it's not that SEE has amazing damage vs deceived Jedi (perhaps those multipliers are high)--it's that he has more normal damage vs deceived Jedi, and weak attacks against everyone else. (Reminder that Palpatine deceived both LS and DS in the prequel and sequel trilogies).
The solution for that would be pretty straightforward--better stat/damage gains and higher damage multipliers post-ultimate.
There are two strengths in SEE's ultimate:
a) Shock on ultimate basic-- while SEE can't use Linked to prevent SLKR crits, SLKR is crit immune through the battle until advantage is both prevented and dispelled. In other words, ultimate SEE's locked shock can't be cleansed by SLKR AOE, and will prevent further applications of Advantage after it wears off. But even if SEE gets to ultimate, and then 2 turns later gets shocked on SLKR, SLKR can still become immortal for 3 turns, all the while becoming more and more powerful. So this is good, but it's not saving the day (it also gets rid of SEE's speed up).
b) Double-annihilate: cool ability, but as one player pointed out elsewhere does 2 annihilates in about the same time Darth Nihilus can do so. It doesn't annihilate GLs, of course. Also, it can only be used the turn after ultimate usage (SEE doesn't attack on the turn he uses ultimate). And the cooldown is crazy long after it's used if there's an enemy GL and another enemy or two left, so it's unlikely that if SEE survives to use this a 2nd time (assuming he even survives for a first use) .
But this all relies on SEE getting to ultimate and being strong enough after the ultimate to take advantage of this. Due to his low damage and the following issues, that often has basically no chance of happening.
2. Faction synergy and leadership
If SEE's squad doesn't get much of a boost from his leadership, it's very easy for SLKR to kill his squad before he has a chance of hitting ultimate. SEE's squad doesn't get much survivability or damage. Moreover, SLKR disables one ally with permastun deathstab at the beginning of battle--there isn't room in the remaining 4 spots for someone like SEE who doesn't contribute. The SE/Vader counters to other GLs shows that rather than SEE boosting his faction and SEE being strong vs GLs, it's the other way around--he often makes existing Sith/Empire squads worse and his presence is what makes Sith/Empire unable to counter a double-tank SLKR squad. The one video of a prominent Sith discord member beating SLKR with SEE shows only a single-tank SLKR squad, and is a display of a Vader counter squad that is weaker due to using SEE instead of someone else. If you understand the mechanics of these counter squads (as the increasingly depressing Sith discord does), this becomes clear fairly quickly.
Overall, SEE has relatively low faction synergy, especially compared to SLKR's Crit Damage boost plus perma-advantage (CD up, permataunt, crit immunity, huge TM boosts, and blocking of enemy TM gain) that gives even guys like Malak and Thrawn better synergy with SLKR than with SEE. Moreover, most Sith have HP-based kits, while SEE's special just regenerates protection. Malak doesn't even have protection, and the Deceived and Linked removal of crits and counters protects enemies from being feared (and from feeding SEE's stats/ultimate).
Again, the issue here is understanding how mastery works. The 5% mastery gain that Sith allies gradually get isn't really going to help the battle that much when they're all getting butchered. The health/prot recovery is nice, but without the sort of damage and tankiness that enemy FO get, it's a small benefit.
One solution, assuming SEE's squad is intended to be weak, is for surviving allies to gain power from defeated allies--either an independent amount, or stats from the defeated allies. A bonus is that this would provide a purpose for Sith like Sid who are basically paperweights (he has high HP but super low damage). If SEE's squad isn't supposed to be weak, then there's something missing here.
3. Ultimate charge and Linked
This one's more obvious: SEE can't use Linked if there aren't two enemies. That's fine, but there should be an alternative mechanic of gaining charge--perhaps charge from ally deaths, and/or some mechanic for only one surviving enemy.
Another issue with Linked is that SEE is forced to put Linked on a tank. After SEE is forced to kill that tank, Linked is gone. He gets a taunt-ignore bonus turn after the first Linked usage, but perhaps he should get one at the beginning where he can only apply Linked. Maybe this is also intentional, but combined with all of the other issues is pretty rough for SEE. It's already tough for SEE to survive to ultimate, especially if the Linked disappears--Linked is relied upon to negate linked enemy crits (except from enemy GLs), and to provide SEE with more protection.