Sunday, April 17, 2016
El Guapo's Amazingly Detailed Guide to the NightSister Teams
Contained below are my thoughts and advice on how to play the Nightsister team and its variant, the Jedi-Sister team. Full disclosure: I ran this team quite a bit before the level cap increase, but I have focused on some other characters to keep up with the current meta (I’m looking at you RG and Dooku). However, the time has come for me to incorporate the team again. I should have them all up to par by the middle/end of this week. I have ran pieces of them in this new meta in arena and the entire team in GW. The review below concentrates on how to play them in arena, but they are an excellent team in GW, Cantina, and Dark side missions. The character stats I quote are assuming max level and gear.
Overview: The Nightsister team is an extremely fun team to play. All of its core characters are free to play and can be farmed easily. This team is based on turn manipulation, toughness, healing, speed, and control. Sprinkle in one of the best risk/reward ratios of Random Number Generation (RNG), and you can be nigh unstoppable. This team has lots of life steal and healing mixed in and it can sustain itself and get right back in the fight. Even death can’t slow these ladies down.
Special note: Nightsister Acolyte is a Nightsister and would be the 5th member of a full Nightsister squad. However, despite her synergy and not being a too terrible of a character, she is the one you can do without and you can find many replacements that will perform better.
The leader: Asajj Ventress is the go-to leader for the squad. Old Daka and Talia both have interesting leader abilities (Defense +Health and Evasion + a chance to heal), but they pale in comparison to Ventress’ leader ability: An increase in speed of 28 plus a 25% chance to remove 10% turn meter on a hit. This speed increase makes Daka tie with Rey so she’s going to go close to first (side note, Acolyte is actually even faster with a Ventress lead, only behind a QGJ lead Yoda.) Getting your turns faster and reducing or flat out eliminating the other team’s turns is the key to this team. Besides her awesome leader ability, Asajj can stun on her basic attack, mass dispel the other team’s buffs, has a pretty nasty AoE that resets her cool downs if she gets a kill, and, she gains buffs and turn meter whenever someone dies. Not to mention she has the highest lifesteal percentage in the game so if you don’t finish her off, she’ll be green again soon. She is one of the slowest characters in the game (when she’s not leader) but she’s an all-star in this situation.
The core: Old “Dirty” Daka and Nightsister Initiate are the heart of this team. Daka brings stuns and healing to the team. With her revive ability; as long as she’s alive, you’re never truly defeated. Nightsister Initiate is a decent attacker that has a TON of health. You can also gear her to gear level 10 without precrafts. Her basic attack give adds a dot when she crits. She is one of only 2 characters in the game (Anakin is the other) who can put a “positive status block” on a character. When this is applied, that character can’t taunt, foresight, heal over time, etc.
The unsung hero: Talia is one of the most misused and neglected characters. She is listed as a healer and yes, she does heal, but if you’re playing her like a healer, you’re doing it wrong. What she really does is manipulate turns, chips away at the enemy, and heals herself back to full if you ignore her.
*Protip: Talia’s heal/turn meter increase actually decreases her own health. You can use this to get her below half health and trigger Royal Guard’s auto taunt and she can heal herself back with her basic attack while he taunts.
The fifth man/woman: Really, you can put in just about any other character here and it will work. GS or Rey for more damage, QGJ or Yoda for Utility, Fives for more beef, Dooku for more stunning, lots of good choices. But any of the “Big 3” taunting tanks are the best. Each of them fits nicely. RG gives more stuns, speed down, and protection. ST Han REALLY gets the turn manipulation going. Poe also plays into the turn manipulation and his expose with Ventress’s AoE make an excellent combo.
*Protip: Know thine enemy. Nightsisters apply a variety of debuffs and stuns so it’s important to pick your targets carefully. To have a higher success rate, go after characters with lower tenacity. Ahsoka has the lowest in the game. Savage, Kylo, and Lumi are also great choices. On the flip side RG, Poe, and Phasma have some of the highest tenacity rates and forget about trying to debuff Yoda teams with tenacity up. Take a look at the one of the database sites, like swgoh cantina, and make a note of which characters to go for debuffs on and which ones to avoid.
Gameplay: In this example, we will use Royal Guard as our 5th man.
Opening Move: Daka will be the first or one of the first ones to take a turn. If the other team has a taunter, don’t worry about trying to stun them. They have high tenacity and we’ve got a couple of other tricks up our sleeve to deal with the taunt. Also, Royal Guard’s taunt will go off even if he is stunned. I normally try to pick a high damage dealer like GS (45% tenacity) Rey (46% tenacity) or QGJ (43% tenacity) to try to stun. Daka has a high potency (187%) so she’s got a good shot at sticking the 45% chance to stun (her Omega ability takes this up to 60%!). She will also have a chance to stun a second target. If you were trying to stun a damage dealer, whether you land it or not, our next move is going to be the same.
Next move: Nightsister Initiate should be the next to go. Here’s where we will take our first big gamble. Her severing strike has a 60% chance to render the target immune to positive status effects for two turns. Her potency is 80% and most tanks have high tenacity, but if the other team has a taunter and you land this on them, you just took a giant step towards the finish line. If the tank wasn’t stunned by Daka, and you’re feeling lucky, go for it. Poe would have already gone but you should be ahead of ST Han and RG. If you want to up your odds a little, go for a character that buffs themselves and stick it on them. This will stop all of evade, foresight, offense up, and even heal over time buffs they may get. Even if it doesn’t apply the debuff, this attack still does a fair amount of damage.
And the turn goes on: Talia now gets to go. She’s can apply a Damage Over Time effect that will last for 2 turns (3 at omega level). Dots do unmitigated (white) damage to the target. The amount is 5% (roughly) of the targets max health. Talia has a good amount of potency (150%) so this has a good chance of sticking. So pick an unstunned target that we want to burn down. The red debuff icon above their head is going to act as a bull’s eye for us for the next two rounds.
Getting close to the end: By this time, the other team probably has some buffs up. Make them all magically disappear with a tap of a button from Ventress. This will heal her (if she happened to have taken damage) and has a 50% chance to reduce 10% turn meter on the enemy. If there isn’t a taunt up that needs dispelling or other buffs you want to get rid of, save it and use your regular attack on your burn down target.
Batting clean up: Royal Guard will go last. At this point, most of the other team has already gone and some fast characters maybe getting ready to go again. Stun/Speed down any character that isn’t already stunned with high damage characters being a priority.
The rest of the fight: There are so many paths that could have been taken and so many different situations we could be in for round two. The entire enemy team could all be stunned right now, or they may all be full health and we’re back to square one. Our game plan from here is to use Talia, Ventress, and Nightsister Imitate to focus down on our burn down target. Pop Talia’s special when you have the burn down target close to gain turn meter and finish them off. If the burn down target is in the red, use Ventress’s AoE to finish the target and reset her cool downs. Use RG and Daka to stun anyone that isn’t already stunned with healers and high dps targets being the priority. Don’t fall into the trap of using RG or Daka’s attacks to try to do damage to your burn down target. Only do this if the target is about to get a heal and you know you will kill it. You are better off stunning the other enemies on the team. Also, don’t save Daka’s heal for when someone dies, go ahead and heal if you are taking damage. The cool down isn’t bad and you’ll probably get another chance to use it. After you make your first kill, Ventress will gain turn meter and buffs. It will quickly snowball into a bloodbath and you’ll be looking at the Victory screen soon.
*Protip: If a counter attacker (Dooku, Fives, Kylo, etc.) happens to be stunned, and the other team doesn’t have a healer or a higher damage dealer alive, this is a great time to get in a few hits on them while they can’t hit back.
The Jedi Sister Team: This team takes advantage of Ahsoka’s leadership ability of evasion and turn meter gain on evasion for Night Sisters and Jedi. Ahsoka would be your 5th team mate, taking over as lead for Ventress. The strategy would be much the same as above. For the base team you trade higher flat speed and turn manipulation for more survivability and bursty turn meter gain. If you like, you can swap out Talia for another Jedi (they will get the evade as well) or insert your taunting tank.
Conclusion: The Nightsister and Jedi Sister teams are fun to play and quite different than most compositions. You have to be ready for the RNG, but when it goes your way, it can REALLY go your way. They have always been good on offense, but because of the poor AI and the quick battles, they were a liability on defense. With some improvement to their AI and longer battles which can leave more room for error, they may not be as big of a liability as they once were.
See his post on the LordSkunk.com SWGOH Subreddit here.