What Is Places of Power?
Places of Power is the latest in the Assault Battles play modes that we see more and more in SWGOH. In fact, we're getting a new Assault Battle every month, and they continue to be the most challenging modes for top players.
But Places of Power is not just for the super-elite whale players. The minimum recommended level of entry is 75, and of course, there will be tiered difficulty levels for stronger squads. Typically you'll have a tier with a recommended toon level of 80+ and then 85 for expert players.
Given the timing of the 2/15 Sith update and the introduction of new Sith toons like Darth Nihilus, Places of Power incentivizes players with strong Sith characters. You'll only be able to use Sith and First Order characters, so we'll get into optimal squads later in this guide.
Update: The Dark Gambit skill proved to be mostly useless to me. You're better off just using your normal attacks and approaching this as any other string of battles. Likewise, the High Morale bonus is overblown. In every battle except for the last one, the morale boost to opponent toons is minimal. And in the last battle, there's no way that Yoda will not be the last Jedi standing.
We do know that we're going up against Jedi, which is either a really good or really bad thing. The good news is that if you've read my other tips guide on creating a Sith or Empire team, then you've got a basis for taking out Jedi teams. The other good news is that the addition of First Order opens up possibilities both at the leader spot and to fill out your 4th and 5th squad spot if you're not stocked with 5 Sith force-wielders.
You can expect to see opponents like Ahsoka Tano, Plo Koon, Mace Windu, and others. While we won't be able to get into exact matchups until D-Day, I don't see a big difference whether you're going up against Ima Gun-Di or Yoda.
Update: The final battle pits you against a Yoda-led team with Mace Windu, General Kenobi and others. Very difficult!
We also can see the possible rewards, which include:
- Jedi shards
- Clone shards
- Some top-level raid equipment
- Ship shards
This is terrific news! Moving beyond the obviously available shards, the raid equipment is the big winner. Especially given the rising cost of picking up certain pieces of equipment, I'll take even a few pieces for my efforts. Ship shards are also good with the increased emphasis on ships (even though I'd prefer the opportunity to get some Dark Side ship shards, so I'm closer to getting Zetas). The easiest way to sum up the reward potential of Places of Power is that you're getting a couple of reward boxes from the Fleet Store.
Update: Rewards include lots of ship shards and a whole lot of fleet currency. Definitely worth completing, and worth reading these tips!
Who Should Lead?
So we know that we'll be battling Jedi, and based on the cover image for Places of Power, we are expecting to see General Kenobi, Anakin, Ahsoka Tano, and Yoda, among other opponents. Given our staple of Sith and First Order toons, what leaders should we be thinking about here?
- Emperor Palpatine: Palpatine is the obvious non-Zeta choice here. You're going up against Jedi squads, and Palpatine's greatest strength is his ability to severely reduce the evasion of Jedi and Rebel toons. On top of that, additional Sith characters on the team are going to get health boosts when they land debuffs. Palpatine also gives you an elite skill set with Shock, Stun and self-healing abilities. I think you should go in with Palp at the top of your list.
- Darth Vader: Zeta Vader probably gets the nod on this list, but I'm assuming non-Zeta leaders. Vader gets you extra Sith offense and the chance of reducing turn meter on opponents, especially useful when you have toons with AoE attacks. We'll have to see whether the extra offense is needed or if a more balanced leader is a better fit for Places of Power.
- Darth Maul: Maul has become significantly more popular as a leader in the Squad Arena since the recent Sith Update. His Sith mates get additional evasion, which, I can say firsthand, is downright annoying when my Jedi are missing attacks. You'll want Maul in your top 5 either way since he absolutely demolishes Jedi toons (if you can keep him alive long enough to do that damage).
- Captain Phasma: I can't list leaders and not include at least 1 First Order leader. And when it comes to FO, you have to have Captain Phasma as the leader of choice. As you probably know, Phasma's allies get a chance for bonus attacks with diminished damage (unless you have her Zeta'd). Her leadership is even better if you have more First Order allies since they have more chances for bonus attacks. Given how easy it is to get Phasma, I think you'll see her as the most popular Places of Power squad leader. If you have her, with her strong support skills, you'll want her in your top 5.
If Zeta, then Vader. No Zeta, then Palpatine. First Order, then Phasma.
Update: Sticking with Palpatine here, especially since Yoda is the final Jedi leader.
So, as I mentioned in the earlier section, I'm going to want Palpatine as my team leader going in. And I'm also going to make sure that Phasma and Darth Vader are in the starting squad, so I have two spots left and a lot of solid choices in the First Order and Sith.
- Count Dooku: With the Sith update, Count Dooku got some serious love (especially when it comes to smacking down Jedi). His counter-attacks were always useful, but the added chance to land stunning hits, and ability blocks, make him a great addition under Palpatine or Phasma. The addition of possible Shock to his Stun ability makes him a feeder for Palpatine, all the more reason to have Dooku.
- Kylo Ren: If I have Phasma leading my team, then Kylo Ren probably gets the nod for the next spot on the list. His basic attack rates well, and his updated skills make him a handful for any opponent. I especially like the counter-attack chance and debuffs that should be a handful for Jedi masters to take.
- Savage Opress: My new favorite Sith player is Savage. Here's why: he immediately wipes out opponents at 50% or less health. So, when you see someone in the yellow, they are as good as dead. He also can deal damage down with critical hits, and he can absorb debuffs from a random ally at the end of his turn. He's a semi-tank with tons of hit points at his best under Palpatine.
- First Order Tie Pilot: If I have Phasma in charge, then FOTP probably will get the nod for the 5th spot behind Kylo Ren. With the latest update, FOTP seems to always have Advantage, which means lots of critical hits. As First Order, he's getting more chances for bonus attacks under Phasma, and he hits hard! Even under Palpatine, I think I would lean towards FOTP just because of the offensive capabilities.
- Royal Guard: The last toon I'm seriously considering is RG because, let's face it, he's an uber-tank. All he does is take damage, stun enemies, and auto-taunt just in the nick of time to save someone. He's the glue guy on a basketball team, and when you've got relative softies like Palpatine, Dooku, and Darth Sidious (just outside my top 5), RG saves lives.
You have lots of good choices here, including Darth Sidious, First Order Officer, First Order Stormtrooper, and the aforementioned. Mix and match until you've got the right team.
Update: Savage moves up on this list because his instant kill at 50% or less health is invaluable! Once I got Kenobi down to 50%, it was Savage time! Ditto for Yoda to finish the battle.
My Winning Five
This is the team I'm going in with (largely because these toons happened to mostly maxed out):
- Emperor Palpatine: Leader of my Sith-heavy team.
- Darth Vader: Gains turn meter like a fiend under Palpatine, and Culling Blade is good to cut down at least 1 Jedi per battle.
- Captain Phasma: Turn meter manipulation is her forte, and she also packs a ton of protection and health, so she'll be standing at the end of the fight. If anything happens to Palpatine, she can step in as the leader of a smaller squad.
- Count Dooku: He's going to stun a whole lot of Jedi in Places of Power, and his counter-attacks give me some defense against AoE attacks.
- Savage: I originally wrote in FOTP here, but I am leaning towards Savage because I'm more confident he'll survive until the final battles. In a team with no clear tank, he and Dooku give me some reassuring defensive capabilities.
Who are your winning five?