This is where the fun begins!
Anakin Skywalker, the man, the myth, the legend – has finally come to Star Wars: Legion
This Anakin Skywalker guide will go over some basics behind his unit, command cards, and new rules as well as serve to help you understand how he fits into the metagame and the Republic faction in general.
Without further ado, lets meet the Chosen One:
Health Pool: 6 Wounds – this is super typical of Jedi Characters.
Courage: 3 – Courage 3 allows him to be a cheaper alternative to Kenobi in order to bring your army’s courage threshold up. Otherwise, this is standard fare for a Jedi Character.
No Surge: We’ll come back to this
Move Speed: 2 – He’s standard infantry so this is spot on, nothing special to see here
Rank: Commander – The third commander available to the Republic, which should diversify Republic lists to some degree. In competitive play it remains to be seen if he’ll be able to break the Rex Barrier. At his cheaper cost and 3 pip command card he may actually prove to be a viable alternative to Rex (More on this later when we talk about his 3 Pip Command Card)
Points Cost: 160 – This is Luke Skywalker low. We havn’t seen a force user this cheap since the start of the game. At face value Anakin looks very similar to Luke (see what I did there) so we can assume he’s going to be decent for his cost. His command cards make his Unit card way better than Luke’s without the splash of Son of Skywalker and access to 6 command cards.
Upgrade Slots: 2 Force, 2 Training – Anakin’s force slots are going to be very competitive since he has access to every force power in the game (See: Tempted). Due to this you’re going to have to be super selective in how you equip upgrades to him. Two training slots are interesting and will definitely be filled if you have the extra points for it. Notably Anakin is the only GAR commander to not have a Command slot for Aggressive Tactics. AT (Aggressive Tactics) is considered pretty mandatory among most GAR players at this point so this may be a major sticking point for Anakin.
Weapon Profile: 5 Red No Surge (But really Surge to Crit), Impact 3, Pierce 3. This is a better pool than Operative Vader has access to due to the surge to crit Anakin gains. This pool is 35/8 (4.375 hits) on average. If you’ve got tenacity going its a mean 42/8 (5.25 hits) Pierce 3. This pool is a devastating melee attack.
Jump 1: Jump has always been amazing on Jedi and is no exception here. Use it to hide Anakin behind LOS Blocks and then spring on your opponent.
Djem So Mastery: This is a new take on Deflect and is far more consistent on dealing damage back to your opponent. You still gain surge to block on defense and remove a hit from the pool, but now Anakin just deals an auto wound to whatever attacked him as long as he spends a dodge token. While you lose the spike of rolling 6 surges and wiping a squad, it is just far more consistent. This is a great ability.
Flawed: This adds a flaw card to your opponents command hand – We’ll talk about this more when we hit command and flaw cards.
Immune: Pierce : These days, being Immune to Pierce weapons is a really big deal. Most non Separatist armies are running at least 2 snipers and some are running 4 (Cassian, Iden, Echo in a corps). Having your hero Immune to Pierce allows you to try and fade some of these chip shots.
Tempted: It’s a small word, Tempted, but it really is quite a game changer. This opens up all the dark side powers to Anakin (SPOILER: He does become Darth Vader you know) and most importantly gives him access to Force Choke. However, with the competitiveness of Anakin’s upgrade slots this could be a tough sell on if it ends up doing anything.
Hero of the Clone Wars
Let’s break this bad boy down one line at a time:
Permanent: This card stays in play ALL game. The rest of the text is always active.
Anakin Skywalker gains Exemplar(Share green tokens at range 2 and in LOS) and Reliable 2 (Gain 2 surge tokens a turn): So this is kind of huge in a variety of ways. First, the combination of Reliable and Exemplar allow you to take Anakin and have a “psuedo Aggressive Tactics” stapled to him all game. This goes a long way towards minimizing the fact that he doesnt have a command slot. Second, Exemplar allows him to perform in a role much like Rex when he doesnt need to be aggressive, handing out tokens to your super expensive clone units. Both of these abilities are excellent.
At the end of his activation, if he is not at range 1-2 of a friendly unit, he gains 1 suppression token: This is going to be a common theme on Anakin’s cards – They all have a drawback that filters into Anakins Flaw. They *all* center around suppression and managing suppression on Anakin is going to be key. Luckily keeping Anakin at range 2 of a friendly unit is generally pretty easy. Note the timing of this effect, it’s after Anakin’s activation so you can’t rally it off the turn he gets it. If you keep him from getting shot, you can just strip this at the end of the turn as long as you arent playing hostile environment.
How to play this card: This is almost always your turn 1 play with Anakin. Turning on Reliable and Exemplar as soon as possible is important and allows you to play more important command cards later in the game. Additionally you don’t need to worry about the drawback on this card early as Anakin will always be near your army at the start of the game. (Unless you’re doing something you shouldn’t and having Anakin deploy on his own or something, in which case don’t.)
You Underestimate My Power
Oh! This one’s permanent too!
Anakin Skywalker gains surge to crit and Master of the Force 1: So, you paid a Luke Skywalker price for your jedi and you got a surging to crit and Master of the Force monster for free. Seems pretty good. Master of the Force is an incredible ability especially when paired with the likes of Force Push, Jedi Mind Trick, or Force Choke. Surge to crit is just gravy and makes him better than his Vader Counterparts at melee combat.
At the end of his activation, if he did not perform an attack, he gains 1 suppression token : OH! Another drawback. This time you’ve got to attack during your turn in order to not get a suppression. In all fairness though, this card is probably not getting played until you’re ready to dive into the thick of it with your Jedi and start using Master of the Force, which means he’s likely attacking every turn.
How to Play this Card: This is likely the card you play the turn before you dive or the turn after you dive with Anakin. If you play it too early it will be pretty easy to start generating suppression from the card text due to not being able to attack.
This is Where the Fun Begins
Anakin Skywalker gains Outmaneuver and Relentless: Okay guys, this is it. Our Boy Vader is back and he’s got Relentless. Outmaneuver here is gravy, letting you spend dodge tokens to cancel crits. But it’s relentless that we came for. This means we can staple Saber Throw to Anakin and toss 3 Red Die surge to crit attacks with Relentless at Range 2 if we need to and if we don’t take throw, it’s charge. Both are great and this is really the final piece to the puzzle. This is your dive card, don’t play it until the turn you plan on attacking normally.
At the end of his activation, if he(Anakin) was not the first friendly unit to activate during the current round, he gains 1 suppression token : This is by far the biggest drawback Anakin has available. While most turns you *will* want to go with Anakin early to slice and dice, it is often correct to save Jedi until last in order to maximize abilities like force push, stave off other jedi, or just weigh your options. Once this card is in play, you are going to get penalized for doing that.
How to Play this Card: This is a dive or late game card depending on what you need. If you can attack with Anakin and can reach your target and swing without relentless, I’d recommend not playing this card. This card will help you breach some gaps and if you can wait until late in the game to play it you can minimize the effect of it’s drawback. It’s worth noting that even if all of Anakin’s drawbacks trigger on turn 6 the suppression wont matter, since he won’t activate again.
Not A Story the Jedi Would Tell
Alright kids, this is where things get funky. This is Anakin’s Flawed Card that he gives to his opponent with the Flawed keyword at the start of the game.
The text on this card suggests that you can play this card at the start of the command phase (When you normally play a command card). Notably it does not specify that you do so instead of playing a command card. We’re going to run on the assumption that you get to play this *and* a command card. We’ll see how that bears out when they update the RRG.
Remember all the drawbacks we’ve been talking about? Well this is where they really come back to bite you. If Anakin has suppression tokens during the command phase your opponent can really sink your Battleship. Imagine having just dove with Anakin and he’s in the middle of the enemy army and you really need to control when he goes, but he’s also got a suppression token. You’re opponent can play this and make you have to draw Anakin from your bag.
You’re going to need to play around this card – it’s very similar to Give in to Your Anger or Double the Fall and will wreck you similarly. The best way to play around it is to not have suppression in the command phase. Endurance is a great training upgrade for Anakin to lean on for this, allowing him to remove 2 suppression tokens a turn instead of just one.
Speaking of Upgrade Cards, we saw a few new ones in Anakin’s pack:
I’ll be honest here – I don’t actually think this upgrade is very good on Anakin. He definitely wants to be taking the fight to the enemy and skewering them upon his lightsaber. However, this upgrade provides some interesting possibilities for older force users. Kenobi, Palpatine, and Dooku all come to mind as defensive force users that natively have Master of the Force and can really utilize this. This effectively allows you to Guardian 2 with your Force user once a turn and make sure both hits are block results. It has the added bonus of dealing with Snipers extremely well, allowing you to completely cancel out a sniper shot unless they rolled 2 crits.
Now this card on Anakin, that’s another story. This allows you to double up on a token you take and then either use it, fueling Djem So or your lightsaber, or you can pass them off using exemplar. This is a super sweet upgrade that I think Anakin will often want in his training slot, though it is competitive.
Seize the Initiative
I think this is the best of the three by a long shot. I also think it’s not super great on Anakin, though it does have some play there. This is going to see a ton of play in lists like Boba/Bossk (Double Bounty) where you really want to give orders to units that cant normally get orders on operative or order hog units turns. This has some really cool combos, like giving Operative Vader Cunning in a Vader/Krennic List. I could see hero heavy rebel lists wanting this too. With Anakin, I could see it in an Kenobi/Anakin list so you can deal an order to both units on each 1 pip turn. Great upgrade overall, this is gonna see some play.
Force Choke: Choke allows you to really do some damage once you close to melee range. Anakin will be the first force user with jump and speed 2 to have access to Force Choke. Whether this is good enough on him remains to be seen, but its definitely a viable option.
Force Push: The bread and butter of many a force user. This is definitely the most mandatory of any of these force abilities. Don’t leave home without it.
Jedi Mind Trick: MotF and Jedi Mind trick are really good together and Mind Trick is definitely a competitor (I think it may be better than choke due to range and target availability).
Saber Throw: This allows you to trigger his Relentless keyword. This is more of a luxury equip, but I can definitely see some value here since you can jump on top of buildings to deny cover to your opponent (in contrast to Vader who doesnt have jump)
Force Reflexes: This is is on the list to fuel Djem So. I don’t think its particularly great, but I could see it if you play a more defensive Anakin that is handing out dodge tokens, similar to Kenobi. I think this is the worst of the five upgrades I would recommend.
Offensive/Defensive Stance: The Duel Stances are great if you’re looking to use Exemplar to fuel the rest of your army. The ability to dodge, aim, aim or dodge, dodge, aim to fuel your buddies is pretty great.
Endurance: Endurance is the best way to combat Anakin’s flaw card. It rips an extra suppression off at the step you need it to come off at. If you have trouble managing Anakin’s flaw card – take Endurance.
Seize the Initiative: This is really only good if you’re running him with Kenobi or Rex where he may not have an order on a 1 pip turn. If you’re running solo Anakin or Anakin/Padme leave this card at home.
Overwatch: This may seem counterintuitive but you can do some wonky stuff with Padme nearby and sharing her standby to Anakin(Kenobi can do this too). You can move off Padmes standby trigger relentless with saber throw and then activate Anakin and chomp whoever activated your standby previously. A little corner case, but its awesome when it works.
Tenacity: This boosts Anakin’s offense up to 6 red dice surge to crit. This is definitely the most default option.
Situational Awareness: In the event you want to Djem So Crits, this is where its at. It’s cheap, so if you have the slot empty and points available throw it in there. Just understand you may not use it a ton.
This list is pretty self explanatory. It’s your standard Jedi, 3 Strike Team, 10 Activation list. It allows you to leverage Standby sharing early from Anakin’s exemplar and the naked P1s so that you can convert some more offense. One of the main problems here is that if Anakin does get Flawed it will be hard to get out of the situation. Anakin in this list is going to want to operate very similarly to Commander Luke in a Rebel list – zoning and playing defensively until late turns.
Republic Super Friends
So I have no idea if this list could be good but you certainly have the opportunity to do some pretty crazy things with your heroes. In this list Kenobi is built out a bit more to manage Anakins flaw with Hope and Strict Orders. I could easily seeing these being swapped for other powers or abilities. Having multiple Jedi that can Standby off Padme presents some opportunities to complicate things for your opponents. This list is super unconventional and you’ll likely need to get a lot of practice in with it to get good with it, if it is good.
This is more what I imagine a standard Kenobi/Anakin list might look like. Padme is cool but I think you probably just want a bunch of clones and R2 to back you up. Once you dive in with your Jedi, you just need to slice and dice them into a million pieces. A great trick here with this lists (and the previous) is once Anakin is in melee, he can take standbys that cant be knocked off, which you can then feed to Kenobi. This protects him from taking suppression and allows Kenobi to Charge twice a turn.
Here’s a 10 Activation Anakin Rex list – it’s probably decent overall even though it doesn’t have a bunch of P2s with Overwatch. This is much more like the first list we looked at in that it operates like a more traditional Luke Gunline.
Anakin is in sort of an awkward spot in the Republic lineup. Kenobi does a lot of what Anakin does already and has better command cards and is far better defensively. It will be interesting to see if Anakin can take up a Niche in the Meta that is currently nonexistant. For the moment, I suspect solo Rex lists will continue to dominate GAR lineups. Don’t be afraid to take the Chosen One out for a bit of mayhem though! He looks incredibly fun to play.
Until next time – May the Dark Side be with you, always
Michael “Dashz” Barry