Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Emperor Palpatine could move as fast as Boba Fett? Have you ever dreamed that Darth Vader could be as fast as Sabine Wren? Have you ever wanted to throw off the clutches of limited speed movement and move as fast as your heart will take it? Well wish and hope no longer friends. The time is now.
Ever since we saw Obi-wan Kenobi and Qui-gon Jinn dash at a miraculous speed in The Phantom Menace the idea of “Force Speed” has been around. Mysteriously absent from Legion until now – it’s form is perhaps even more mysterious than expected. Instead of refreshing like most force abilities and upgrades we’ve been given a discard effect (The green x) and a relatively cheap cost. Is the text effect worth it? Let’s find out.
“At the start of your activation treat your maximum speed as 3 until the end of the round. If you do, gain 1 immobilize token at the end of the round.”
Essentially you’re trading 1 great turn of movement for 1 hampered turn of movement. Is this worth it? I think it really depends on the force user and the case scenario. Let’s walk through each force user and it’s potential case uses.
Commander Luke – Commander Luke is an interesting case subject for Burst of Speed as he doesn’t have Master of the Force which is normally pretty essential to have continuous access to force powers. Since Burst is a discard Commander Luke can get the full use out of the upgrade in the same way that anyone with Master of the Force would. In the case of Commander Luke I think Burst is primarily an engagement card, used to close the gap quickly and force yourself into melee. On a speed 2 character with charge (which many on this list fit the profile of) you can use burst a little bit with impunity as a quality of life upgrade – just bear in mind you’re not actually netting extra distance long term out of it due to the immobilization token (unless you use it on turn 6) since you’ll be trading an extra 4″ of movement one turn for losing 4″ of movement the next. The cases where you should be activating burst of speed are where you don’t care about losing the 4″ of movement on the backside and it is advantageous to gain it on the front. The primary case point for this is initial engagements. Just be careful to not strand yourself!
Operative Luke – Most of what applies to Commander Luke also applies to Operative Luke. However there is 2 major differences: Disengage and Master of the Force 1. Master of the Force 1 heavily incentivizes the unit that has it to take force powers that exhaust. A pretty standard kit with Operative Luke is Force Push and Jedi Mind Trick and another exhaustible power of your choosing. The fact that Operative Luke has three slots allows him tremendously flexibility in taking two refreshers and burst – something a lot of other force users don’t have access to. Disengage however is much more interesting. Disengage allows you to burst of speed out of engagements and is tremendously valuable in allowing Operative Luke to be anywhere on the battlefield at any time. Is your opponent running away from your Operative Luke and is farther than range 2 away? Burst of speed them down. The combination of force push and disengage with burst of speed utility increases Operative Luke’s flexibility to be anywhere at anytime.
Darth Maul – Alright friends, here’s where things really start to get interesting. With Mauls 2 Pip Divulge ability to infiltrate you can set up Darth Maul at exactly range 3 of something you want to attack on turn 1. With Burst of Speed you can now Move, Move, Force Push something into base contact that you infiltrated next to immediately. Since Maul tends to do a lot of flanking you can use this to immediately eat a unit that was left out to dry by your opponent. You need to be a little careful with this since you’d be using force push to actually start an engagement as opposed to bubble wrapping yourself in melee – you still want to try and make sure the opponent has activated the unit in question if at all possible.
Count Dooku – Count Dooku is the first character on this list for which mobility is actually a pretty big hurdle to overcome. This is mostly due to the fact that he lacks charge or relentless on his unit card. Burst allows you to bridge some of that gap without playing his 1 pip to engage first. Burst pairs well with Dooku’s 3 pip and 1 pip the most – allowing you to charge 16″ on his 1 pip turn or move 8″ and then lightning something on his 3 pip turn. The increased threat range on both of these cards is a substantial upgrade over not having burst. With Dooku the question will mostly come down to if you can afford to give up Dooku’s normal force powers for Burst. The fact that he has Master of the Force 2 also incentivizes you heavily to take force powers that can be refreshed over and over for full value.
Obi-wan Kenobi – Kenobi is, I think, the least likely to use Burst of Speed with all the force users that presently exist. Due to his defensive kit he likes to sit back and use Force Barrier in his 2nd force slot. Sacrificing Force Barrier or Force Push for Burst of Speed does not seem that great, though you certainly increase the threat range of a potential “Hello There” if you’re looking to aggress early. Overall, I wouldn’t advise it. Pass on Burst with Kenobi.
Anakin Skywalker – Burst is definitely more interesting on Anakin than it is on Kenobi. The fact that Anakin starts with no Master of the Force and has to charge his abilities up over time makes it so force powers that you get full value out of without refreshing much better. You also can generate a saber throw threat range of almost Range 5 with Burst and relentless.
Yoda – Yoda is the only Republic force user with Master of the Force 2 and on his 1 pip turns he already gains access to speed 3 movement. While Burst comes in his pack I think it’s largely un-necessary on him, though you can definitely take it if you’re looking to get an extra turn of speed 3 movement over his 1 pip plays. The fact that this roots Yoda in place after wards (He’s the first character on this list that drops to speed 0 from the immobilize token) is a very large cost, so you should consider whether thats worth it. You can also use his 1 pip to circumvent that a little bit, but I think you likely want the flexibility of going speed 3 with his 1 pip.
Emperor Palpatine – Now things get interesting. While Burst does not give Palpatine speed 3 every turn, it gives him speed 3 on the turn it matters the most – the turn he plays “And Now You Will Die”. This allows Palpatine to move twice as far off of 1 move than he would normally, giving you a potential extra attack, or it allows you to move 4 times as far as you could normally and go to zap zap town. The fact that Palpatine also generally has 1-2 unused force slots makes this upgrade basically an auto include. Any opponent you play will need to respect the range 4.5 threat range of And Now You Will Die.
Operative Vader – Burst of Speed is an interesting case for Operative Vader since he only has 2 force slots and Master of the Force. Spur also allows you to get around the immobilize token the turn following your burst of speed turn. Perhaps the most interesting application here though is the Impacable turn where you get 3 speed 3 moves (since the immobilize token goes down at the end of the turn). This is interesting for both versions of Vader and definitely changes the mobility situation with him. Additionally Darkness Descends is very similar to Maul’s combo with infiltrate and burst since Vader gets scout 1 and then 2 speed 3 moves. Overall, I think I’d probably still forgo Burst on operative Vader. However..
Commander Vader – I’d definitely take it on Commander Vader instead of Saber Throw. The inclusion of a third force slot here that has almost always been used to increase Vader’s engagement range lends itself to being an easy swap over for Burst of Speed. While Vader will be rooted in place the turn following, as long as you bubble wrap properly with force push, you should be able to engineer a situation where Vader is able to survive handily and due to the fact that you can use Darkness Descends to get there – you can really push the envelope with it.
In conclusion – Burst of speed offers a ton of great options for the suite of Force Users we presently have. It’s flexibility and cost lend itself to being a staple in Imperial lists that are using force users moving forward and will likely be seen in some way shape or form in a competitive environment in the future.
How do you think Burst of Speed is going to shape the meta? Tell me in the comments!
May the Dark Side Be With You, Always,
Michael “Dashz” Barry