As we all know, ARC Troopers continue to be extremely good. There’s also an ARC Trooper in the expansion known as Fives….who turns out to also be very good. In fact, I think it’s possible that Fives should be included in all Republic competitive lists. With the release of the Clone Generic Commander, hopefully in store shortly, this all but emphasizes the utility of Fives thanks to the Direct keyword.
Shown above is Fives’ upgraded card. The biggest takeaways is that Fives becomes your leader, has two health, increases your courage by 1 and you gain Coordinate: Clone Trooper. The last piece of that statement is boosted by the Clone Generic thanks to this: Direct: Each Command Phase, during the Issue Orders step, a unit with the direct keyword may issue an order to a friendly unit at range 1–2 that meets the unit specifications of that direct keyword.
Essentially, the Clone Commander issues out a “free” order each turn if he meets the parameters. If you keep the Fives unit at range 2 of the Commander at all times, you’re issuing two orders a turn just from the Direct keyword. That’s not even taking into account the orders you receive from Command Card effects. The synergy here, not surprising as they are Clones, is hard to deny. Every time I am building a list I basically start with a Clone Generic and Fives in a corps unit.
Now for the real reason I am here today, aside from the obvious synergy above: I feel like there are so many ways to take Fives in any list. I’m not even sure which loadout is the best, either. I keep changing my mind every time I am making a list, and heck I am even shaving points elsewhere to mix things up with the Fives unit, too. The versatility here is truly incredible, and it’s maybe my favorite thing when it comes to Clone list building.
Phase I Fives
I find myself putting Fives in Phase I’s more than any other set up, for a number of reasons. The first being points. You can save some points while putting Fives in a Phase I and essentially have a Phase II unit without Reliable and a training slot, thanks to the courage boost. Ironically enough, the points that I “save” I end up “reinvesting” into the Fives unit. Here are a few examples of what I mean by that:
Corps: – Phase I Clone Troopers (52): Fives (36), Clone Comms Technician (12), HQ Uplink (10) = 110
I’m going to call you out: if you do this, just remember you are a true degenerate! Jokes (or is it?) aside, the reason to do this is to be able to trigger Coordinate whenever you want to. This set up feels less needed with Direct available, but I understand hedging your bet. You can also like go ALL in on a TTC list with a million face up tokens. Just remember though: degenerate.
Corps: Phase I Clone Troopers (52): Fives (36), Phase I Clone Specialist (14) = 102
Okay so I know what you may be asking here: Why in a PI with a Specialist versus say a Phase II with offensive push? Well, here’s why: for the same price you gain an extra body and the aim token you need to capitalize. This setup, as well as the next one I will discuss, is where it becomes curious to me. Is bringing an extra wound on defense, extra black die on offense worth bringing over Reliable 1 (if I were to put him in a Phase II). I feel like the jury is out on it. The likely outcome is that Reliable 1 is just worth bringing over the course of the game. But there is just something about a seven wound unit that throws eight black dice. Especially when this corps unit is essentially a backbone to how the army around you functions due to the synergies listed above.For reference: Eight black dice with one aim produces five hits, on average, and that’s with no surges. (You’re playing Clones, you’re going to have surges to spend I am sure of it)
Corps: – Phase I Clone Troopers (52): Fives (36), Phase I Clone Trooper (10) = 98
The main reason you go this route is if you’re just trying to shave points. Which, in a Clones list, can be a real issue. You keep the bones of the Specialist version, just lose out on the free aim. If you’re trying to capitalize on a TTC turn this most likely isn’t the way to go. If you’re in say a Kenobi list and you’re trying to beef up the corps around you, and you don’t have Rex, I love this idea quite a bit.
Fives in a Phase II
Corps: – Phase II Clone Troopers (62): Fives (36), Offensive Push (4) = 102
If you have the points across the list and can fit Fives in a Phase II, this is most likely where you end up. It’s the same cost as Fives in a Phase I with a Specialist, as noted above. The only difference is you trade the extra body/dice for the extra courage and Reliable.
Corps: – Phase II Clone Troopers (62): Fives (36), Situational Awareness (2) = 100
This is what we call a Kyle Dornbos Corps Special. If you’re playing a defensive build and you have the points to put Fives in a Phase II go for it. It makes one of your “top priority” units harder to kill. Fives units, in my experience, are like Fleets and Snows. They get targeted by your opponent whenever the chance is there, especially with long range weapons with Critical. Chip damage on a Fives unit is extremely valuable. Situational Awareness can prevent that!
Corps: – Phase II Clone Troopers (62): Fives (36), Phase II Clone Trooper (13), Offensive Push (4) = 115
One other option is to throw an extra body on with OP. If you notice, this is not that much more than a Phase I Fives unit with a Comms Tech. It will really boil down to what your list makeup is and how many points you can afford to beef up this unit. I think typically you will end up putting him in a Phase I in this setting, but if the points are there…go crazy!
Fives in ARC Strikes/Full Unit
Don’t do it. Take the sniper or Echo. Lethal and range 5 are too good to pass up here, specifically when you have the option to throw Fives in a Corps unit.
Truth be told, when Fives was announced I thought that he was maybe a bit too expensive at 36 points. The more and more you play, the more you realize that 36 might not even be enough. The utility that Fives brings to your army is hard to really quantify and can’t be stated enough. Especially when it’s synergies continue to rise in stock as more things release.
Personally, I think I would take him in a Phase I unit with a Specialists most of the time. It fits my list building and play style quite a bit. That said, the options are endless! How do you see yourself running Fives? Let us know!