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SWGOH: Ships

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Taking a little bit of time to put my thoughts on ship battles now that they've been out for a little while.


The Good: Ships were added as an almost entirely separate module. Resources that are used in ships are not used elsewhere. Resources you get from ships challenges/rewards are not used elsewhere: with the sole exception of Zeta materials. This means that until you are able to use zeta materials you don't 'need' to play around on the ship tables to be competetitive elsewhere. Also good is that the rewards from ship arena aren't that top heavy. Finishing in the top 1000 daily vs. the top 100 is not going to have a very huge impact on when you can acquire ships.


The Bad: Zeta materials are eventually going to be needed to be competitive elsewhere. Ships are also extremely slow to grind for a free-to-play compared to characters. You receive 4 ship shards instead of the normal 5 character shards. The cost to increase star levels on ships or to level them up is also extremely high compared to characters. And while there is currently no mod or gear system needed for ships eventually 'hardware' will be added, like R2 units, that will likely have similar costs to gear/mods. Ship battles also can include up to 9 ships plus a capital ship which means that battles will last longer and it will take a lot more time to get a ship arena team up to speed vs. a character arena team.

Summary: Ships are a very slow grind, don't really give you a lot of rewards for that grind, but are necessary for end-game advancement on character tables. I enjoy ship battles as something a little different from character battles (similar mechanics but different enough) but I have almost never bothered using crystals to achieve a ranking in arena. I typically am in the top 100 of my shard but if I fell to the top 200 I'd only lose out on 50 shipments a day. If I climbed to the top 11 I'd only gain 100 a day. Not really worth the time or effort.


Warning: Ships is new. As this holotable is expanded there will likely be more crossover between ships and characters and there will likely be some kind of ship 'raid' where you blow up the death star or starkiller base or that space slug the Falcon hid in.


Farming Tips:


If you have a mature account with a lot of characters then my strongest recommendation is to go after ships with crew that you have already spent time/resources on. Having to grind crew JUST for ships is going to affect a lot more of the rest of your game than if you don't have the 'best' ship in arena battles. So if you're just starting or are at a loss of what to farm then focus on ships that won't require farming toons. The one exception would be if you really want a particular toon who happens to be a pilot. AKA you plan on farming Maul for his zeta in arena so you might as well farm Scimitar while you're at it.


Even on my ship shard which consists of active Nov 2015 accounts I am able to field a 128k ship squad with only 4*/5* ships because most of my ships have crew that have G10/G11. I have been able to avoid leveling my ships, currently all hovering at level 60, because my high level crew provides more bang for the buck. This lets me hold onto a fairly large amount of credits for starring up ships to get Zetas - my only real focus on ships today.


About those zetas and challenges in general. You are going to want to plot out a course to achieve the following: 5 LS ships at least at 4s. 5 DS ships at least at 4s. Then 8 DS/LS ships that are at 5s. This will allow you to get all 3 starting capital ships (Mace/Akbar/Tarkin) to 5*. The latter is required to be able to complete the T3 of the material challenge (5* Tarkin, 8 5* regular ships). I recommend starring up all of your capital ships as eventually you will want the final tier in all challenges. If you have G10/G11 crew members for most of your ships (at least 3 of 5) you will be able to do all of the 5* capital ship challenges at ship level 60. If you do not have lvl 80+ G10+ crew you will need to increase the levels of your ships.


The course I took was to get 5 LS ships to 4*. Those ships were Wedge, Biggs, and Resistance Pilot's xwings as well as Ashoka's starfighter and the Jedi Consular's starfighter.  Due to a promotion I actually got Bistan's UWing to 4* before Resistance Pilot however due to the very expensive cost of increasing Bistan's UWIng's crew which requires both Bistan and Scarif Rebel Pathfinder to be leveled/geared I will not be raising the level. Out of these 5 ships I recommend bringing 4 of the 5 forward for the Zeta challenge. I am bringing Ashoka, Wedge, Biggs, Consular, and Jedi Consular.


On the dark side I went with Boba Fett, Tie Fighter Pilot, Sun Fac, Geo Soldier, and First Order Tie Pilot. I did not have Sun Fac but planned on farming him anyway and the First Order Tie Pilot I had but is an incredibly hard farm. I also acquired Darth vader's Tie Advanced during a tournament however unless there is another tournament I will not be able to get him to 5s. I am bringing Boba, TFP, Sun Fac, and Geo Soldier forward to complete the Zeta challenge.

Ships, in general, don't require much synergy with either the capital ship or other ships in their squadron. In general ships that apply Target Lock are very good under any commander. Faster ships, just like faster toons, are better. Ships with assist calls are best under Akbar. Ships with high protection/health are better under Mace. Ships with good attack are better under Tarkin. The capital ships are 'balanced' in a sense. I would recommend going with Tarkin's ship if you have him geared/leveled enough just because he has more utility in challenges. However any ship can work and I use Akbar due to having him nearly maxed out in game.


Arena Tips


Not too much here. The main thing to realize about ships arena is that the AI is awful. A 10k difference in power levels is almost meaningless due to the mismanagement of ships by the AI on defense. When you are controlling your ships you should prioritize ships that work best with the AI's commander. Against Akbar I typically focus out ships that call assists (JC, GS) in order to reduce the continuous protection add-ons. Against Mace I will typically focus out the lowest health ships first in order to reduce his ability to feed his special power. I rarely fight Tarkin but I would recommend focusing out empire ships ASAP which today means the Imperial Tie Fighter and Vader's interceptor. Note that the First Order TF is not an imperial.


With Mace you want to time your special to counter the Tarkin/Akbar special. If you are able to give your ships physical immunity when Tarkin calls his special it will be completely wasted. With Akbar any of his ships that attack with their dual attacks will not adjust their behavior due to your ships physical immunity so much of their attacking power is wasted.


When you reach 3s (I think) on your capital ship you will be able to start bringing in reinforcements. The ship or ships you bring in will have 100% TM on arrival. I strongly recommend you auto battles on occasion to see what the AI will do with these reinforcements as it is often ridiculously dumb. AKA Geo Soldier will come in but the AI will never use his special on first move and always do a basic attack. This makes GS much less effective off the bench. Ships that ARE effective off the bench typically have abilities that require buffs/debuffs already active. Bringing in Sun Fac is excellent as he will taunt whenever a buffed enemy has a turn. On turn 1 that is useless but on Turn 3-5 when your first reinforcement comes in that can be very, very useful. Also the AI will always go left-to-right in selecting reinforcements so make sure you have your strongest ships on the left side.


Typically by the 2nd reinforcement the match's outcome is already determined so I always put my most powerful starship on paper in the #2/#3 slots as overall power rating can deter attacks even though it is not very meaningful. When selecting arena opponents keep that in mind. You should look at the star level and ship level of their starting 5. If their power seems much higher than it should that they likely have a good bench. if it seems much lower than they likely have a strong starting 5 and a weak bench. Attack the weaker starting 5 even if they have a higher power rating! You typically win ship arena by having more guns in the fight not more guns on the bench.

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