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Darth Vader
Set: Revenge of the Sith
#58/60

Date Reviewed: April 5, 2006


Image from Wizards.com

Rating:  4.5
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale 1 being the worst.
3 ... average. 5 is the highest rating.

 
Sith Dragon

 

Darth Vader
Imperial
Cost: 47
HP: 140
ATK: +14
DEF: 21
DAM: 20

Unique, Double attack

Force 4
Force burst(F2), replaces turn. 10 damage to all other characters within 6 squares.
Sith Grip(F2), replace attacks, sight, 20 damage
Sith Rage(F1) +10 damage on all attacks this turn.

Of the four Vaders out right now, this is perhaps my favorite. At 47 points, he is the cheapest of the four, allowing for a bit more play with the rest of the squad. He retains the 140 Hp and +14 of the other Vader, and although has a -1 DEF when compared to yesterday's card, a 21 is still impressive.

The double attack is good. While not as good as the triple that two others have, I will gladly take anyone who has double attack, especially since he will hit more times than not.

His force powers are what makes this one my favorite. The force burst doesn't require a save and will take out Stormie squads (assuming Thrawn is either absent or defeated), droid squads, and ewok/low cost swarm squads. And the sith rage gives him a free 20 damage assuming both attacks hit.

The third and final force power is truly why I love this guy. Ranged damage dominates this game. It can be countered, but anytime a melee character can soften up someone before engaging in the close quarters combat is a plus. The other bonus to this power is that the range is sight instead of 6 squares, so you quite literally CAN choke someone from across the board, provided you can see it and it is a legal target.

Now with only four force points he can only do this twice. Still, that is 40 damage. You can either seriously cripple a major character or defeat some of the smaller characters and hurt their activation count. BUT, there is more! When run in tandem with Emperor Palpatine (RS), he now has an almost unlimited number of force points to draw from. Between that and the Emperor's force lightning, you can do anywhere from 90-120 points of damage before a character even gets close enough to hit you. I played a game versus a Vader, Jedi Hunter and had Vader down to 50 HP before he even got close enough to swing at anyone. He ended being defeated with only one attack going off.

100pt: This Vader can do well here, but he really needs Emperor Palpatine to shine, so you would only have 13 point to spend. A powerful team, but low on activations.

200pt: Vader/Palps get the support they need here form the various fringe/imperial characters and can be quite devastating. The one problem is that Thrawn will shut down the biggest strength of this character/team, so Vader will do better with some accurate shooting back up.

While Vader, Jedi Hunter will always be the king of 1-on-1 smackdown, this Vader, combined with smart play can be a very powerful force to be reckoned with.

"Are you threatening me, Master Jedi?"
Xoulrath This review brought to you by Travis Fraase, aka Xoulrath.

We recently reviewed Darth Vader, Dark Jedi. Today, we will discuss another, and in my opinion, far more useful version of the Dark Lord of the Sith, simply named Darth Vader.

Darth Vader was released in the Revenge of the Sith set, and is a solid representation of Vader from the end of the movie of the same name. He has a very nice pose, that seems as if he is in combat, cape lifting slightly, with his lightsaber drawn back.

Stat-wise, this version matches up well against the Dark Jedi interpretation. He has the same HP's, Attack, and Damage; respectively 140, +14, and 20. He has the same Double Attack and the Melee Attack restriction. He loses a point of Defense, bringing him to a still very hard to hit 21. Given that he costs eight fewer points than Dark Jedi, weighing in at 47; and has a larger selection of, arguably, better Force powers, the lower defense is very easy to swallow. Darth Vader also loses the CE that Dark Jedi has, but it isn't really a loss at all.

Force powers. This is not only Darth Vader's greatest strength, it is also his greatest weakness. He has a mere four FP's to use the following powers:
Force Burst Force 2, replaces turn; 10 Damage to all other characters within 6 squares.
Sith Grip Force 2, replaces attacks; sight; 20 Damage.
Sith Rage Force 1: This character get +10 damage on all it's attacks this turn.

As you can see, those are some tasty morsels. With only four meager points to spread across these powers, you can begin to see why I said Force powers are his greatest weakness. He simply doesn't have enough points to spend on the great selection he has at his disposal, to cover every conceivable situation that could arise in a typical game, especially at a tournament level.

Force Burst is certain to see the least amount of play, but with the ability to deal 10 damage to ALL other characters within 6 squares, it is great for taking out many lesser figures in one swift blow. Be careful, as it applies to your figures as well.

Sith Grip. All I can say is WOW! Some players don't care for the Force Grip/Sith Grip Force powers. I love them both, especially the more damaging Sith Grip. 20 damage to a character you only need to have line of sight to, following all normal targetting rules, of course, with no roll needed. Very powerful, especially when you have a way to boost Vader's FP's. Boost the Force points, you say? In time, my young Padawan learner. (Fun Fact: My dog's name is Padawan. Seriously.)

Last, but not least, Sith Rage. Made popular by the Triple Attacking Darth Maul from Clone Strike; this power alone makes Vader a brutal beatstick. Although he only has Double Attack, he can hit as though he has Triple. Very nice.

Now, on to the topic of overcoming his weakness. He needs more Force points, but where to get them? Rebel Storm's own Emperor Palpatine, of course! Darth Vader benefits most when paired with this walking, lightning-spewing, Force battery. Palpy simply builds up FP's, while Vader carefully advances, using Sith Grip to brutal effect; weakening the enemy, and preparing to finish those who would oppose him with the brutal, Darkside power of Sith Rage.

This version of Vader is very well suited to both the 100 and 200 point tournament scene. With the ability to deal damage at range that is automatic, the power to hit as though he had Triple, and a great crowd control tool, he simply has all bases covered. Just don't forget that to truly make use of him, you have to bring Emperor Palpatine, which really puts this Dark Lord's cost at 87.

Which really brings up one final question. Is Darth Vader really that good, if you need the Emperor to truly take advantage of his powers? Yes and no. Yes, for the sheer versatility that these two figures can offer a player. No, due to Thrawn and the Vong. While the Vong have yet to make a true impact, seeing them will ruin this duos' day, negating those Force powers. Thrawn is another matter, entirely, as ANYONE inside his bubble cannot be affected by those great Force powers, which is the greatest reason to play Darth Vader. Thrawn becomes even more of a threat, considering you have brought Palpatine along to use as a battery. Palpatine isn't even as good as a three point Ewok in these situations.

The final verdict is this: Darth Vader is very well suited to the 100 point game, if he is teamed up with the Emperor. He runs out of Force points too quickly, to be a threat in 100 without Palpatine. Just watch out for Thrawn hate squads meant to take out Darth Vader, Jedi Hunter, as they will pose a problem. The Vong need to be treated very carefully should you run into them, as well. At the 200 point level, Darth Vader is a great and bargain priced beatstick who can be teamed up with Thrawn. Used as such, he can finish the destruction started by Thrawn's boosted troops.
Ten-Eyed
Man
 

Darth Vader

This is actually my favorite version of Mr. Vader. At 47 points, you still have plenty of room for a squad around him, and he can still deal 60 damage a turn, which is very respectable by any standard.

Going point by point, let’s start with his statistics. 21 Defense and 14 Attack are well above average, and only five pieces in the game can boast more than 140 hit points. Of course, when we’re dealing with point values this high, you should have great numbers. Let’s look at his Force powers.

Sith Rage is brilliant. You can move up and kill an R2-D2 in one stroke, or you can get 60 damage on the opposing beatstick. You can even activate it on an attack of opportunity and get 30 in on the guy trying to run away.

Force Burst is not an A-list power, but can come in really handy. Horde armies are not common in competitive play, but if you need a way to kill off some of Nom Anor’s stealthy, explosive friends from a distance, look no further. The great thing about this Vader having Force Burst is not that I’d field him for it, but that he’s worth fielding without it. If you wind up needing it, it’s there. If you don’t need it, you definitely didn’t waste the points on the figure.

Sith Grip completes the picture of this as one of the most efficient pieces in the game. Not only do we have a great beatstick, not only do we have a horde-killer, but we’ve also got a 20 damage attack that works from across the board and requires no attack roll. Is there anything the Revenge of the Sith version of Vader can’t do? The answer is “use these great powers for any length of time.” My favorite Vader only comes with four Force points, and two of his great powers cost two points for each use. If there was ever a piece that needed to be teamed up with the Rebel Storm Emperor Palpatine, this is it. Fortunately, as luck would have it, they’re in the same faction, and make the core of a terrific squad at 100 or 200 points.

Overall rating: 4.5

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