Like many collectible-card role-playing mobile games, the biggest key to Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes is knowing which residents of that galaxy far, far away you should be spending your time and energy (and Cantina Energy, Guild Currency, War Tokens, Shard Currency, Cantina Credits and Arena Tokens—damn, this game is involved) building. There’s nothing more frustrating than spending months focused on Kylo Ren only to realize he’s crap in the Arena.
And that’s a theme of Galaxy of Heroes. You might be tempted to collect the most iconic characters, but Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader and Jedi Knight Anakin don’t compare to some unnamed Genosian soldier or member of the Royal Guard.
We’ve put together a handy list of the 20 best characters to pursue. Of course, in building the perfect arena squad, you also need to consider how your team works together. Qui-Gon Jinn is a great leader of a Jedi squad, but not if you’ve chosen to focus on droids. Princess Leia is lightning fast, but unless you’re spending big money on the game, you might want to look elsewhere. This list is simply meant to help you choose among the top tiers of characters, factoring in speed, survival, attacking power, special abilities and tactics, as well as how hard the character is to acquire. Bonus points for general coolness of design.
May the force be with you. Unless you ignore the Jedis and Siths, in which case may your blaster rifles never miss.
Josh Jackson is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Paste Magazine and BB-808 on Galaxy of Heroes. He’s mad he never bothered farming CT-5555 until now.
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20. IG-88 - He's slow and easy to kill, but in a droid squad with a good taunting tank, this bounty hunter from The Empire Strikes Back can decimate the opposition with his Rapid Fire skill.
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19. First Order Tie Pilot - A good example of a generic character from the Star Wars universe punching above his weight, the First Order Tie Pilot delivers huge damage. If he wasn't so squishy (and most of the other First Order characters weren't so useless), you'd see him in more top-ranked squads.
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18. Poe Dameron - Now the third-choice taunter behind Royal Guard and Storm Trooper Han, the Resistance fighter pilot is still an effective tank.
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17. Barriss Offee - Not a lot of elite teams bother with the long build-up to a seven-star Barriss Offee, but the Jedi healer has some cool and unique skills, like Force Healer, which equalizes remaining health among your team and then restores another 15% to each character, and Swift Recovery, which has a chance to dispel a random negative effect every turn.
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16. Sun-Fac - Some players will argue the Genosian taunter with counter abilities deserves a higher spot as an elite tank, but unless you have more money than sense, you're not going to be able to get Sun-Fac anyway. Build Stormtrooper Han quickly or have patience for Royal Guard instead.
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15. Luminara Unduli - Lumi is a necessity for beginner squads and can hold her own among elites. The Mirialan Jedi Master's speed and health are average, but she can deliver knock-out blows as an attacker, while also serving as your team's healer.
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14. IG-86 Sentinel Droid The only droid I'd ever use on his own is this assassin, who is deadly in a droid squad or even when he's assist-calling someone like Rey.
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13. Captain Phasma - Until you can level up Dooku or Qui-Gon Jin, it's hard to beat Captain Phasma as the leader of your squad. What she lacks in damage, the Stormtrooper Captain makes up for by affecting the speed of both teams.
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12. Poggle the Lesser - His best feature is the ability to give all allies Offense Up (and droid allies Speed Up) for three turns. But he also can block opponents' abilities with his regular attack. The Geonosian is a great leader of droids and other members of his species.
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11. Stormtrooper Han - The most easily acquired taunter is also one of the best, slowing down the enemy while he gets attacked. His biggest flaw is that he's slow as molasses, and if you're facing Royal Guard, Dooku and/or Old Daka, they can stun him to keep him from taunting until its too late. Also, what good is Han Solo without that leather jacket?