Since Empire at War is a few weeks old now and everyone has had the chance to play with the characters, I thought it’d be fun to take a look at some of the characters that I’ve been having a blast with. I’m going to take a look at three Heroes and three Villains from Empire at War.
Kanan Jarrus: Rebel Jedi
I can’t gush enough about Kanan. He’s only 13 points Elite. His dice are great with no modified sides. His ability is excellent. Because of his low cost, he can fit in most decks and his ability is great way to course correct bad rolls considering he has a focus side. Kanan seems like he will be a staple in Hero decks for a while. Another advantage is that at 10 for non-Elite, he can fit well with all the 20 point Elite Heroes and since he doesn’t have any modified sides, I feel is more more capable than Rey to finish off a close game. Kanan’s biggest weakness is that his damage sides are mixed. The fact that they are non-modified is great though and means you won’t have dead dice on the board. The disadvantage is that equipping weapons to him could be risky since many have mostly modified sides so getting that big killshot with him could be difficult.
Sabine Wren: Explosives Expert
Sabine is just awesome. She’s the hard-hitting character Heroes needed. I remember when Sabine was announced and thinking that she could be a serious force. Glad to see that is the case. She has the explosiveness of Vader and since her Elite is 20, you can combine her with a multitude of non-Elite Heroes at 10. Normally, this feels like a bad thing for Hero since several of their good characters can’t find good partners, but with some tricks, Sabine is extremely lethal. Never Tell Me the Odds is extremely scary in her hands. Her ability is also incredible when you combine it with an Ambush card since it gives you the ability to roll out and resolve. Her biggest downfall is event support. Unlike Vader, she doesn’t have an analog to Force Strike. Still, Sabine is an extremely strong character and one that Hero will benefit from for a while.
Hera Syndulla: Phoenix Leader
While maybe not technically an amazing character, I’ve been having a blast with Hera. Her special can let you ramp up to some serious early damage by way of getting out very expensive vehicles that can hit hard. Since her ability requires you to bounce the vehicle back to hand at the end of the Action Phase, this makes cards like Recycle great for piling up a bunch of quick resources. It also makes Quadjumper great because you can drop it with her special, roll out and resolve it, then use the Quadjumper ability to reduce the cost of a more expensive and damaging vehicle in hand. At 12 points Elite, Hera has a bunch of good possible pairings. Her’a biggest downside is her character dice. With only one damage side, it’s hard to push through damage if you aren’t drawing vehicles. Equipping weapons to her is ok, but the more weapons you include, the less slots for vehicles you have available. But at only 12 points, it really opens up 5-dice decks and the possibility for some good pairings.
Thrawn: Master Strategist
Coming into this set, I knew I was going to love Thrawn. If you’ve played against me or had conversations with me, you know how much I love mill decks. Good mill mechanics in card games are sometimes hard to come by. Jabba/Dooku mill was by far my favorite deck in Awakenings. Spirit of Rebellion was a little too fast for me to figure out how to get mill to work correctly for my liking. Thrawn really does it for me. Not only does he give free mill with activation, you basically get to decide what your opponent has to lose. Thrawn is definitely a character that requires a lot of playing to really be good with him. You need to know matchups in order to really have his ability shine. As I’m sure most people have seen, he shines really well with Unkar as a partner. But I think even with one die, at 14 points, Thrawn can be a force and it opens up several other pairings for him. I think Thrawn will be a character that will see many different pairings and decks over the course of his time. Thrawn/Unkar is already a force and can be played as full mill, Crime Lord, or vehicle variant. Thrawn’s biggest downside is that if he is your only character left, it might be hard to win since he has no discard sides on his dice.
Seventh Sister: Agile Inquisitor
Seventh Sister is a steal of a character. For only 14 points, you get THREE dice. Sure, the ID9 Seeker Droid die only has a value of 1 until you get more, but it’s still a free die on the board. A die you can use for removal or as just a great utility die for a multitude of different things. Since the 7th Sis is only 14 points, she can be paired at Elite with a multitude of great Villain characters like Jango, Vos, and Dooku. Her character die isn’t incredible, but it doesn’t have any modified sides and it has a 2 Melee side. In my experience, she is usually the first targeted because of the extra die she gets to roll in. You can use this to your advantage and equip up your other character while your opponent is focused on her. Another thing I love about her is that at 11 for non-Elite, she can be paired with almost anyone. While this doesn’t truly give you two Elite characters, it still give you four dice to be able to utilize and that cannot be understated. She doesn’t really have many weaknesses except that her dice aren’t super scary on their own, but with a few weapons and extra ID9 Seeker Droid or two, she becomes a serious threat.
Cad Bane: Vicious Mercenary
Cad packs some serious firepower for only 17 points at Elite. Since he is only 17, he has a multitude of strong options for pairing. Mono-Yellow gives him Bala-Tik or Unkar. Going over to Red gives him Elite Phasma (2P), Elite FN-2199, or Elite Ciena. Blue gives him Elite original Kylo. He just all around has great pairings for his price. The fact that he also has a 3 Ranged side is excellent. You have to pay for it, but that feel right given his cost. His ability is also great. It’s a toned down version of Sabine’s, but I think for the cost of him at Elite and the fact that he has multiple strong 4 dice pairing possibilities, it’s definitely worth it. If you pair him up with Red you also basically get his 3 Ranged side for free with Imperial HQ. His major disadvantage is that his paid side can slow you down early since you’ll want to be playing out weapons to maximize his ability.
Well that’s my quick look at the characters I’ve been having a lot of fun with. I’m sure my “Top 3” for each side will change as the meta shifts and I get to play more games with different characters. What Empire at War characters have you been enjoying?