Welcome to our second commander deep dive. Anyone need some power converters from Toshi station?
Luke is a Force to be reckoned with on the Legion table (see what I did there?). Mobile, tough, and dangerous, Luke is one of the few models in the game capable of deleting entire units in one activation. He does commander stuff too.
We’ll hit some high level stuff and then talk tactics. The stats are at the end, in the Offense and Defense sections.
- Fast and mobile
- Extremely deadly in melee
- Access to Force powers
- Strong command cards
- Fragile when focused
160 points. He’s got a lightsaber. He’s fast. He’s tough. He has wavy hair. Totally worth 160 points.
6 health, red defense die. Luke is reasonably tough for a Rebel unit, though not for one that costs 160 points. 6 health is low for what is likely to be your most expensive and valuable piece on the table. As with all save-dependent units, that health can drop real fast with just a few bad rolls.
Jump 1. During one move, ignore terrain of height 1 or lower. This has been errata-ed to also ignore vehicles. Jump is the action that defines the mobility in Luke’s kit, coupled with his Speed 2 move.
Charge. Free attack action after a move action. One of the best keywords besides Relentless.
Deflect. After spending a dodge token, gain defensive surge, and a chance to wound your attacker. Free deflected wounds are nice, but I view those as a bonus. The cancelled hit/defensive surge is why you want dodge tokens.
Immune: Pierce. Like Vader, pierce immunity gives Luke a lot of extra durability. You will always be counting those red die blocks.
Two Force upgrade slots. These are arguably the best slots there are. See below under Force Upgrades.
Emergency stims slot. Um, I think this is technically called a Gear slot.
Anakin’s Lightsaber. 6 black dice with surge to crit, Pierce 2 and Impact 2. Yeah, Luke deletes things with this. It’s a lightsaber, what did you expect? Much more time will be spent on this below. Stats are in the Offense section.
DL-44 blaster pistol. 2 red dice, pierce 2, surge to crit. Luke’s pistol is pretty solid. Against targets in the open, you’ll probably be picking up two minis. Not great against cover.
1 pip – Son of Skywalker
What is better than hitting something once with a lightsaber? Hitting something twice with a lightsaber. This card gives you a lot of power. Nearly any target that isn’t pierce immune is just going to get deleted by this. The power is seductive, however. Don’t succumb to the Luke Rage… (more on that later)
Technically you can use this with your pistol, if you want to be Han Solo for a turn.
When to use: Son of Skywalker is usually a dive-bomb card. Make sure you measure carefully to your desired target before you play this, so you don’t end up just short (see Know Your Ranges, at the end of this article). That would be embarrassing. Son of Skywalker is a bit of a Catch 22… it begs to be used first with its low pip value, but often leaves Luke exposed for the balance of the turn after he deletes his target. There are some tricks to manage this conundrum, which we’ll tackle in the Tactics section.
Good targets for Son of Skywalker: Support commanders (Leia, Han, Veers), vehicles, full Snowtrooper units
Decent targets for Son of Skywalker: Wounded pierce immune or resistant units (Luke, Vader, Boba, Chewie, Wookies*). Full strength trooper units
Bad targets for Son of Skywalker: Low strength trooper units, other stuff you would kill in one swing anyway.
2 pip – My Ally is the Force
Free dodge tokens. Usually these end up on Luke and Leia, but sometimes you need to be able to throw an order to a Rebel trooper squad before the turn starts. I love this card, personally. This is your soft counter to Implacable or Son of Skywalker in a mirror.
Note HQ Uplink will trigger off of this. Uplink isn’t a huge thing yet, but I assure you it will be once FD turrets come out. They are already wrecking their way around Invader League.
When to use: This sounds obvious, but use MAITF when Luke needs a dodge token and you want to give out two orders. Usually I find myself using this on the first turn I anticipate Luke being engaged, turn 2 or 3. If you are facing another Luke and your opponent is telegraphing Son of Skywalker, this is also a good play.
3 pip – Return of the Jedi
Another card that gives a free dodge token to Luke, plus suppression management and activation control. All around a solid card. If you are facing Vader and anticipate Master of Evil, ROTJ can be a good soft counter.
When to use: ROTJ is often a late game play for me. Mostly I use it for the free dodge token and the activation control, but the suppression management is a nice bonus if your dudes are under a lot of fire.
Free dodge token. Though Luke lacks his father’s ability to get free force power refreshes, Reflexes is still a very good upgrade on Luke. You will probably only use it once or twice, but there are some key situations where that free dodge token can make a big difference. I usually try and save it for my Son of Skywalker turn, as that is A) Luke’s only command card that doesn’t give him a free dodge, and B) a turn on which he is likely to be exposed.
Jedi Mind Trick
Two free suppression on one enemy trooper unit. This can help limit the units that can respond to Luke if he is stuck in.
Mind Trick 5 points. Situational, but decent. I’ve taken this a few times when I have points to spare and haven’t really regretted it, but I don’t miss it when I don’t have it, either.
Let’s get real, Luke costs 170 points, not 160, because you might as well staple this to his unit card. Force push is amazing.
Uses of Force Push:
- Pulling units out of cover*
- Pulling units into melee with Luke
- Pushing units out of melee with Luke
- Pulling units out of melee with your own units (often an opposing Luke or Vader)
- Pushing units off of objectives
- Pulling targets into range/LOS of your units
*Don’t forget you also place the non-leader units in cohesion after Force Push. Use this to deny cover or set up other advantageous situations.
Luke’s pistol is already pretty solid; this gives you Pierce 2, Impact 2, and 15/8, while the pistol is Pierce 2, 14/8. The primary difference is the Impact 2. Honestly I can’t justify taking Saber Throw on Luke, certainly not for 10 points.
Battle Meditation is good if you are running Luke as a solo commander, but you probably aren’t doing that. Note this also allows you to ignore the unit type restriction. In theory you could play Son of Skywalker and give an order to someone besides Luke, in case you wanted to do that for some reason.
How to use your Jedi
If you are running a list with Luke, he is your most important piece on the table. Maximizing Luke’s effectiveness is one of the most important skills for any Rebel player.
To understand how to use Luke, we must first learn how not to use Luke. Let’s talk about what I like to call the Luke Rage.
Tell me if this sounds familiar…
It’s turn two. Your opponent begins, moving up a Stormtrooper unit towards the center, and due to your expertly tactical Luke positioning, he’s wavering the move template right within Luke’s charge range. Safely behind a wall, all Luke would have to do is leap heroically over said wall and move into melee.
ZOMG he moved the Stormtroopers up. CHARGE RANGE OF LUKE ZOMG.
You activate your invincible, laser sword wielding Jedi. He zooms heroically over the wall and into melee. You pick up your six lightsaber dice. FEAR MY JEDI BITCH you scream as you roll your black dice. Five hits. He fails three saves, and your magic laser stick pierces the other two. PICK THEM UP. The Stormtroopers. PICK THEM ALL UP.
MORE HELMETS FOR THE HELMET THRONE!
And look, there are so many more helmets for the helmet throne, just waiting to be sliced off, right there within charge range. But wait, you are flipping Luke’s token over. He’s, like, done killing stuff. For this turn anyway.
But all those soon to be helmets for the helmet throne still have Stormtroopers attached to them. And those Stormtroopers still have arms, and those arms are holding blasters. And then all those Stormtroopers that you are definitely almost going to slice into tiny white bits maybe on your next turn get some aim tokens and roll a bunch of dice and suddenly you are picking Luke up.
Anger. Fear. Aggression. The dark side of the Force are they.
Luke’s melee prowess is seductive. It is tempting to get him stuck in and cutting things as soon as humanly possible. I made this mistake repeatedly until I finally learned the ways of the light side of the Force.
Luke is a scalpel, not a cudgel. That 6 health drops rather quickly when focused. When engaging, you must always be thinking about how to manage the threats he will face, and how you will keep him from getting exposed. Timing is critical. There are a few things to consider when planning the timing and execution of Luke’s engagement:
- Proximity of objectives: Legion is an objective based game. Does Luke engaging a particular target help you accomplish those objectives?
- Timing: How many units near my target have not activated? Does my target still have a way to escape melee if I don’t wipe it?
- Jedi/Sith: If you are facing another Luke or Vader, always beware of their position. They are very dangerous to Luke; more because of their pierce immunity and Force Push than their lightsaber.
A Jedi’s strength flows from the Force.
What are some tactics that enable Luke to do his murdering thing in a calculated and effective way?
- Target isolated units: Unlike Vader, Luke is fast and mobile, which means you have a lot more control over what units you engage and when. When there is still a lot of plastic on the table, focus first on units that are isolated from their comrades (either by distance or terrain) to limit Luke’s exposure to return fire.
- Target activated units: Though Luke has a reasonable chance to erase any target, he often is left with just one or two minis in melee with him. This is perfect if the unit has activated already, as they will not be able to withdraw and expose Luke to return fire.
- Dodge tokens: Luke has lots of ways to gain dodge tokens, and they increase his durability significantly. If you must expose yourself to engage a unit, make sure you plan accordingly and go in with a dodge token, from command cards, Reflexes, Leia, or a dodge action.
- Force Push: One of the many uses of Force Push is to pull a unit into melee with Luke. If you can engage a unit near another unit that has activated already, you can pull the activated unit into melee to protect Luke from return fire.
- Jedi Mind Trick: Drop two suppression tokens on a nearby threat to limit its actions.
- Activation timing: Hold Luke until last (or near last) one turn, and then activate him first the next turn (a last-first activation). This works extremely well when setting up Son of Skywalker, as it essentially gives you three attacks in a row.
- Staying in melee: This goes hand in hand with activation timing. If Luke is in melee with a weakened unit at the start of the turn, I often wait until after that unit has activated to activate Luke, so he can engage a different target while remaining safe from ranged attacks. Make sure Luke has an order whenever he is engaged so you can capitalize on this timing. If Luke doesn’t have an order token and the unit he is engaged with withdraws (or Luke gets Force Pushed), he will be dead rather quickly.
- Combined arms: You should (almost) never rush Luke in unsupported. Make sure when Luke hits your opponent’s army, they have a number of other threats to contend with at the same time.
Facing off against an opposing Luke or Vader can be difficult. Each presents very different challenges.
Daddy is slow, but much tougher and harder hitting than Luke. If you try and take Vader on directly with Luke, there is a good chance you will lose. A last-first Son of Skywalker can sometimes take Vader out if he’s already been wounded, but it won’t do nearly as much damage as you think it should. Luke only does, on average, 1.86 wounds to a pierce immune target with a red defense die (less if that pierce immune target has a dodge token and deflect). That means your three attack wombo combo will likely only do about 5-6 damage. Vader does a little more than that to Luke (about 2.25), but Luke only has 6 health. If you blow your big combo and Vader is still alive, he’ll probably do some slicing and then push Luke out into the open to be gunned down by his lackeys. You don’t want that.
Try and pick off Stormtrooper units outside Vader’s protective bubble while managing Vader with Force Push and Luke’s superior mobility. Always focus on the objectives. If you can get Vader to go after your Luke, even better; lead him on a merry chase around the map while the rest of your army grabs objectives. If you can, make the occasional Stormtrooper kebob. Make sure you know Vader’s melee threat range and his melee + Force Push/Pull distance (see the Vader article for pics of these ranges).
Luke vs. Luke
You may run into your alternate universe Dark Side Luke (your opponent is always Dark Side Luke). Personally, I find this match up to be much trickier than Vader, because Luke’s threat range is so much larger.
There is general guideline in a Luke vs. Luke match up: the first one to engage loses. If Dark Side Luke charges and engages a trooper unit, he gets counter-charged and Force Pushed into the open. If Dark Side Luke charges and engages your Luke, he gets attacked, then Force Pushed into the open.
Before I get into specifics on how to handle this match up, I would encourage watching some streams of Luke vs. Luke match ups, if you have the time. There are two really good ones recently played in Invader League: MOTF – Luke vs. Ellis and MOTF – Luke vs. Finn. The second one has a break in between so I can’t find the full clip, but I’ll link it once Endless has it compiled.
A Luke vs. Luke match up usually begins with both sides trying to chip wounds off the other Luke. You should try and shoot Dark Side Luke as early and often as possible, unless there is a particularly juicy target elsewhere. The best things to hit Luke with are generally Z-6s and other high dice count weapons; Luke doesn’t care about Pierce, so you just want to push through as many hits as possible and force him to make saves.
All the basic rules of using Luke still apply here, but your tools are more limited, since Dark Side Luke can Force Push your Luke out of melee and do decent damage to you in the process. Activation order is particularly important; while Dark Side Luke has good health, always try and wait until after your opponent activates DSL to activate your own Luke, unless your Luke is in a vulnerable position and needs to act immediately. In the first stages of Luke vs. Dark Side Luke, you want Luke to be as reactive as possible.
I would not advise directly engaging Dark Side Luke with your Luke until and if one of the following two things happen:
- Dark Side Luke dives into your army near your Luke
- Dark Side Luke is at 3 health or less
Without aims or any dodge tokens involved, Luke only does an average of 1.86 wounds to a Pierce Immune/red defense die target. That means you can’t reliably expect to do more than 3 damage to Dark Side Luke with Son of Skywalker; and that is if he doesn’t have any dodge tokens.
If you anticipate an opposing Son of Skywalker and your Luke has at least 4 health, a good soft counter can be My Ally is the Force or Return of the Jedi. Both give you a dodge token in the command phase to help weather that Son of Skywalker storm. Another neat trick to counter Son of Skywalker is Leia’s No Time for Sorrows, if Dark Side Luke is just barely within charge range of his target, you can use NTFS to move just out of his range and deny the charge.
In summary… be patient. Chip wounds off Dark Side Luke and hunt for opportunities, but don’t be reckless. A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense.
So yeah, Wonder Twins are a thing. A really effective thing. Check out the Wonder Twins article for more in depth info.
Leia has a lot of synergies with Luke. She can feed him dodges (and vice versa with My Ally is the Force) and generally keep the troops in line while Luke runs around killing things. No Time For Sorrows is great for an unexpected burst of speed or to get Luke out of harm if he’s in a tight spot. Somebody Has to Save Our Skins allows Leia and Luke to activate back to back.
You know you want to see some lightsaber stats. Here you go… wounds by target for various situations. I threw the pistol in there for good measure.
Mmm, those are some sexy numbers. A regular lightsaber swing is going to pick up, on average, 3.6 Rebel Troopers, or 3.38 Stormtroopers. Anecdotally I’m sure you know this already… Luke kills about 3-4 dudes on a charge, quite reliably.
The Pierce Immune/Impervious columns are more interesting. This really demonstrates how much value Pierce adds to that lightsaber, and how inefficient it is to go after a Pierce Immune target, absent other factors. As stated above in tactics, you probably can’t afford to ignore an opposing Luke or Vader scything through your guys; but if you can avoid that situation in the first place, you should be going after your opponent’s other units with your lightsaber, not Vader or Luke.
Here is the probability chart for one swing with the basic lightsaber; targets shown are Storms (red def die), Luke/Vader with and without deflect, and an AT-ST (armor and white/surge). The deflect numbers account for both the dodge token and the surge conversion.
The percentages are cumulative; for example, you have a 45% chance to do at least 4 wounds to a Stormtrooper unit.
Notice how precipitously those percentages drop off when targeting Luke or Vader. If they have a dodge token, forget about doing more than 1 or 2 damage to them. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use melee to force them to spend it. Often I will charge an opposing Luke or Vader to get them to spend the dodge, then Force Push them into the open to let the rest of my army deal with them.
Son of Skywalker – Outcomes
Son of Skywalker deletes pretty much any target that isn’t Luke, Vader, Boba, or an AT-ST. You probably already know that from experience. Let’s look at some probability charts for those non-erasable targets, just to understand your chances of doing meaningful damage.
Alright, for starters… look at those Boba numbers and the Luke/Vader numbers. Somebody at FFG is really doing the math, or that is one epic coincidence. Though Impervious is only about 66% as good as Pierce Immunity, Boba’s better inherent save (red/surge) almost perfectly makes up the difference between Impervious and Pierce Immunity. Boba is still a decent target for Son of Skywalker if he is at 3 health or less.
Son of Skywalker will wreck an AT-ST. Most of it, anyway. Throw a few wounds on it first and Luke can reasonably expect to execute it if the AT-ST has 6 health or less.
About those Luke/Vader numbers. The deflect columns account for the dodge token (and the surge) on the first attack. Your prospects of doing a lot of damage to Luke or Vader, especially if they have a dodge token, are… not great. That is why I would advise not burning this on either Sith or Jedi unless they have 3 health or less.
Let’s move on to defense.
Defense and Dodge
This was covered in the Vader article, and Luke’s defense is basically identical, except he has lower health.
The two columns are with and without dodge/deflect. Besides giving you a red/surge save (essentially going from 4+ to 3+ on a six sided dice), spending the dodge token also cancels a hit. The ‘difference’ column shows, on average, how much extra damage you avoid from each target by having a dodge token. A dodge token cuts your damage by roughly an additional 50%.
As with Vader, Luke wants to avoid getting shot by things that throw lots of dice. 6 health isn’t a lot… and you know how fickle those red die saves are. Just try not to get shot, in general. With Luke’s jump you can be a little more cagey with line of sight blocking terrain than Vader can afford to be.
Know your ranges
There is one really important range to know for Luke… his charge range. Shown by itself below, complete with models. It is just shy of range 2.
Doesn’t Dashz have a nice tablecloth?
There are a few other important ranges to know, as well. They mostly deal with Force Push. Here they are below, from shortest to longest:
- Force Push distance (the distance you move your target)
- Double Force Push (you need a last/first activation to pull this off, but you can often push a key target off the table like this)
- Normal charge range (move, move)
- No Time for Sorrows charge range (speed 1 move, standard move, standard move)
- Target Force Push range (move, move, push)
- No Time for Sorrows target Push range (speed 1 move, standard move, standard move, push)
Do or do not… there is no try
Well, that was a lot. Can you tell I love me some Luke Skywalker? Um, the Legion unit. Not, like, weird or anything.
Luke is scalpel. Use him carefully and he will reward you. Take calculated risks, but don’t be reckless.
And know that charge range… don’t get caught with your pants down after playing Son of Skywalker.
That’s all, folks.
MORE HELMETS FOR THE HELMET THRONE