This unit guide will focus on Phase II Clone Troopers for the Republic faction in Star Wars: Legion.
Phase IIs are a mainstay of the Republic faction, as one of the beefiest (and most expensive) corps choices in the game. Lets start with some basic strengths and weaknesses:
- High courage
- Provides free surge tokens
- Good offense at Range 3
- Strong special abilities (token sharing and Fire Support)
- Poor Range 4 options compared to Empire/Rebel corps
- Weak to Pierce
At 60 points, Phase II Clones are easily the most expensive corps unit in the game. You get a lot for the package, but you aren’t going to be spamming these genetically engineered soldiers in large numbers.
Defense: Red saves, 1 health per mini, 4 man squad. Phase IIs are durable, especially when you account for the surge tokens they’ll get from Reliable 1 and other sources (might I recommend Anakin?). They are weak to Pierce, but most of the time they will be rolling surging red saves, which is going to mitigate a lot of damage on the way in.
Offense: 1 Black per mini. 1 Black die per mini is nothing special on its own, but forms a great base when you give them a Z-6. As with their defense, you’ll often be converting their offensive surges with surge tokens to give them even more punch.
Courage 2: The Phase IIs’ higher courage might be the biggest thing that sets them apart from Phase Is and makes it so they don’t risk losing an action with just one suppression.
Slots: Heavy, personnel, training, gear, grenade. As with most corps units, the heavy and personnel slots are the most valuable and will be filled the most. The training slot further differentiates them from Phase I Clones and can be useful in certain builds.
Fire Support: The hallmark keyword of Republic corps, Fire Support can be game changing in some circumstances and rather middling in others. To quote my friends from the Bombad Generals podcast, Fire Support is a tool, not a strategy: it’s something to use if the opportunity presents itself, but not something to rely on as a core part of your build.
Reliable 1: One of the big reasons to take a Phase II over a Phase I is the free surge token. They can use it themselves, of course, but they can also share it via Clone token sharing. I like to take at least one Phase II in every Republic list just to give some additional surge access to my clones, even if I have it from other sources like Anakin or Echo.
Clone Trooper: One of the core parts of the Republic identity is Clones’ ability to share tokens. While much more limited than it used to be, token sharing still offers good action economy and flexibility when you have at least a handful of clone units. Remember that you can only spend one shared clone token per attack or defense (and not one of each type, just one period). Note that there is no cap on Exemplar sharing, so you could spend a shared clone token and still spend other tokens from Anakin or Padme.
Phase II Clones are your beef. They’re durable, they hit hard, and they have thumbs. Use them to throw dice and score objectives.
Republic units generally want to be near each other, and Phase IIs are no exception. They want to be able to spend the tokens of your other clones and Exemplar units and you want to make sure they’re able to get the occasional face up for Fire Support (whether that’s from Direct or a command card).
To facilitate this, it’s important to remember that range is usually measured from mini to mini (and not unit leader) for abilities like token sharing. You can increase your coverage area by spreading out your non-leader minis towards your other units. Just be careful not to cohere them towards your opponent’s units lest you give up unnecessary free shots (your unit leader should still be your forward most mini).
Also, with respect to token sharing, make sure you preserve your unit leader if you start to take casualties. A single unit leader is worth keeping alive even for other factions (for scoring, tempo, and points reasons) but clones have the additional benefit of token sharing to further incentivize this. Hide your lone unit leader behind a good blocker and just dodge/aim to provide tokens for your other clones to use.
If the Republic faction has a weakness besides is positional inflexibility, it is their lack of engagement ability at Range 4 or more. While they have some units or abilities that can do this (Phase II mortar, ARC snipers, some vehicles) they generally pay a premium for those relative to the other factions, and/or the attacks tend to be worse. While Empire and Rebels in particular have good access to Critical at Range 4 (in the corps slot) and high velocity/pierce at Range 5 (in the special forces slot) Republic does not.
That’s okay though, because Republic absolutely crushes it at Range 3 relative to their opponents. Due to token sharing and fire support, Republic can take a weapon that is very middling in terms of raw stats (the Z-6) and turn it into an absolute hammer. They can also take hits better than the other factions at that range due to their superior saves and dodge sharing.
Phase IIs are one of the lynchpins of this strategy. They give you the raw dice to leverage your tokens offensively at Range 3 with their Z-6, they provide their own surges for themselves or to share, and they can occasionally fire support to turn a strong attack into a silly one that has a real chance to one-shot many units in the game (something that is thankfully rare in Legion).
When moving towards your objectives or towards your opponent, just be aware of this range disparity. You don’t want to hang out at Range 4/5 against an opponent that has a lot of long range Critical or sniper weapons, but once you close to Range 3 you are likely going to be picking up huge chunks of minis while they’re still plinking you for one or two wounds at a time.
Fire support is an important tool for Republic. When you fire support, you use the weapon keywords from both pools and the surge chart from the attacker, which gives you the potential to create some crazy pools, especially with the Z-6 which normally just offers a bevy of non-surging raw dice.
There are some costs to fire support, however. Let’s go over the pros and cons of using fire support, relative to just attacking with each unit separately:
- Only have to bypass cover once instead of twice
- Proactive Tempo (front load two attacks at once)
- Combine keywords and/or benefit from surge conversion
- One fewer suppression
- Reactive Tempo (one less activation for the end of the turn). This can sometimes be mitigated by enabling a pass (see below)
- One fewer action on the fire supporting unit (since they’re just “attacking” instead of aim/attacking, move/attacking, or whatever)
- Requires a face up order
Ideally you want to set up fire supports with an attacker that surges, so the Phase IIs can convert their attack surges without having to spend surge tokens. Good candidates for this are characters (especially Anakin with Saber Throw, Cody, or Yoda), BARCs, Wookiees, or the ISP. Secondary considerations are units that offer some kind of lesser surge conversion via Critical, such as Echo, DC-15 Phase Is, a Phase II mortar, or the Saber tank.
Also, don’t forget that using Fire Support may allow you to Pass afterwards where you otherwise would not have been able to, since it effectively burns two activations at once.
Let’s move on to upgrades. I won’t list every single upgrade available to each slot here, just the ones that bear thinking about, roughly in order of popularity.
Z-6 Phase II Trooper
The timeless Z-6 does nothing more and nothing less than add a lot of dice, and that’s a lot scarier proposition on a Phase II Clone than it is on a Rebel Troopers, because of Reliable and token sharing. The six white dice here are a real slot machine without surge conversion, but with surge access it becomes a really effective dice pool on top of the 4-5 black dice your squadmates are throwing.
The Z-6 is also a great weapon for Fire Support, since it just adds a ton of raw dice onto a pool that likely converts surges. You can also just fire support another Z-6 pool if you want to get crazy and throw 20-22 dice at once. The Z-6 should be your default heavy weapon option for Phase IIs.
Phase II Mortar Trooper
The Phase II mortar is rather lackluster compared to its Z-6 counterpart, but it’s also substantially cheaper at 18 points. A Phase II mortar squad comes out to 78 points relative to 87 for the Z-6 unit, which can be some very meaningful cost savings in Republic, which tends to often be scraping to squeeze in under 800.
Cumbersome and the mortar’s middling dice pool are real drawbacks though, and I would only take this over a Z-6 if I desperately needed those 9 extra points elsewhere.
Fives is really expensive now at a staggering 40 points, but he offers an extra wound, an extra courage, and coordinate for an extra faceup. I would not take him if you don’t have a Clone Commander (for Direct) and a good plan for that extra order, but he can still be useful in a fire support clone centric build where you are going to need those extra faceups.
Due to the Courage increase and the extra wound, Fives also creates an exceptionally beefy Phase II unit, upgrading their courage to 3 and giving them six wounds (with the possibility for seven if you take a personnel upgrade). Its expense, however, is the reason that Fives will usually land in a Phase 1 instead.
Speaking of personnel, Phase IIs have two good options in this slot that can really add to your existing beef.
The previously overcosted Clone Medic got a massive cut in the December ’22 points update and is now only 15 points. While the Clone Medic doesn’t offer the same Capacity value as the other faction’s medics, he is a combat medic and thus contributes dice to his unit’s attacks. Republic also tends to have substantially more valuable wounds in aggregate than the other factions, so that Treat 1: Capacity 1 goes farther than it would elsewhere.
Another option in the beef category, Boil gives Republic the ability to centralize its attrition on one unit (one that usually has surging red saves) which can make a big difference against those previously mentioned long ranged plink attacks of the other factions. Though it’s generally going to be more cost effective to put Boil into a Phase I unit, there are a couple of advantages to paying the premium for a Phase II Boil: 1) the Phase II can spend its own surges on its Guardian rolls, and 2) the Phase IIs have a training slot for Protector. The bit about surges is especially relevant, since you can’t spend shared clone tokens while rolling guardian saves (though you can still spend Exemplar surges).
If you have Anakin, the Exemplar surges are probably enough to get good value out of Boil on a Phase I. If you don’t have Anakin though, you might consider putting Boil in a Phase II unit so you can convert those surges on your guardian rolls.
This used to be a bit more competitive slot for Phase IIs, but Offensive Push got priced out of consideration with its December ’22 cost increase and you can’t spend standbys anymore from Exemplar (thank goodness for that) so Overwatch isn’t great on them anymore either. There are still a couple options here, though.
Melshi’s best contribution to the game of Legion, Situational Awareness can take an already tanky unit and make it downright frustrating to target. You’ll want a plan to get good dodge access if you take this (usually via Anakin, Padme, or both) and you’ll probably want to saturate this upgrade on your other units as well, lest your opponent just target the units that don’t have it. That can really add up across your list, so make sure you have a list-wide plan to generate and use those dodges if you plan on running Phase IIs with this upgrade.
This is obviously great if you are taking Boil, and completely useless otherwise. If you want to pay the premium to run Boil in a Phase II unit, try and find the five points for this.
There is really only one decent option here, as gear is kind of a niche slot.
Recon intel is a solid and versatile upgrade, allowing your Phase IIs to potentially get within move/shoot range of a target on turn one, or making it so they can claim that box or tap that vap immediately. Points are usually pretty tight in a Republic list, but if you have some spare ones to throw around you could do worse than spreading around some Scout 1.
This is generally not a slot you are going to be filling, as something has probably gone wrong if your Phase IIs consistently find themselves at Range 1 of enemy units. There are some niche uses, however.
This is entirely a meta consideration, with Tempest Force being able to start very close to you with a critical mass of armor. Three points is a pretty low cost to hedge, but you can usually get your Impact elsewhere (from Saber Throw on Anakin if you’re running him to the Phase I RPS). You need to be stingy with your points, but you could do worse if you have a few extra ones kicking around after taking the other stuff you want.
As Phase IIs are a corps unit that can and should be in most Republic list in some capacity, I won’t go into specific list ideas. However, there are certain units that they support well and vice versa, which I’ll list below.
Anakin: The commander of the 501st pops up a lot in this article, with good reason. He provides tokens for your clones to use outside of the clone sharing cap, he defends them against aggressive threats, and he provides an incredible fire support starter when equipped with Saber Throw.
Padme: Similar to Anakin above, Padme provides good token generation for your Phase IIs. Her two pip command card is also great at creating Fire Support opportunities via the free move it provides.
Phase I’s: This should be obvious, but Phase IIs do better when you have other clones around. Some of them are probably going to be Phase Is, because you probably can’t afford an entire army of Phase IIs, and you are going to need at least one RPS.
Clone Commander: Phase IIs like surge tokens and faceup orders, and the Clone Commander provides both.
Commander Cody: Cody is a great fire support starter with his long range surge/crit profile.
Echo in a strike team: Echo provides an extra surge to share while also being another great fire support starter, with his solid dice, Critical 1, Sharpshooter, and Lethal.
BARC/Fluttercraft/ISP/AT-RT: All have surge to hit and with Cody and Linked Targeting Array can start a round strong with a fire support, no matter what the base dice pool is a fully surging Z6 is always going to be a threat.
Phase II Clone Troopers bring the beef to your Republic list. Tough, hard hitting, and dare I say reliable, they provide a meaty starter for any Republic list, albeit at a premium sticker price. You won’t be able to spam them, but they can really bring home the bacon when properly complimented. So don’t chicken out, serve yourself up a solid slab of clone steak and get yourself some Phase IIs.