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image from Wizards of the Coast

Top 10 Minis of 2009
#8: Grand Master Luke Skywalker
Jedi Academy

Date Reviewed: January 13, 2010

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

100 pt: DNA
200 pt: 3.75

 
Sith Dragon

#8 - Grand Master Luke Skywalker (Jedi Academy)

I have hated this character since he came out.  I have always been a melee runner, and have fought long and hard to get melee pieces beefed up to be able to compete against the shooting squads that have dominated the game since Bounty Hunters was released.  It was making very nice strides, but then you get this piece.  While melee itself, it is instant death for any melee piece to try and attack the Grand Master.  Thus it was a set back for melee as a whole.

The most notable thing about the Grand Master is that he was the first character to go over the 100pt cost thresh hold.  For this and his insanely beefy powers, he deserves to be in the top 10 of last year.  I had him in at #10 on my list.  Luke was damn near broken with all of his abilities.  As i said not only will melee attacks die instantly against him, they will in general do very little damage to him before defeat.  What keeps him balanced is the fact shooters can take him down fairly quickly if they can pack in enough shots.  Force powers can also overwhelm him if you can run a few characters that can direct damage him.  Basically anything that can eat through his force points quickly.

As powerful as Luke was, his cost also forced him to be an army of one.  This too was a pretty big detractor against playing him.  He will not win you many tourneys, but at the same time, it only takes one little kid to bring him because Luke is his favorite to throw a whole tourney out of whack, handing losses to people that would not normally lose.  You had to be ready for this character, so while his overall win-ability isn't very high, he has enough going for him that the #8 spot is a good place for him.

Josh

Grand Master Luke Skywalker (27/40, Rare—Jedi Academy; 150HP, ATT 19, DEF 23, DAM 20, DEP 115)

 

Star Wars Minis picks up its first character that costs over 100 points. However, this version of Luke is really worth every point. Starting with his Commander Effect, New Republic Jedi squads get a serious shot in the arm. A lot of their really great Jedi pieces had some pretty expensive Force powers but lacked Force Renewal. Now character like Corran Horn or Jacen Skywalker can use their expensive powers more than once a game. I’m also a big fan of giving Force Renewal to Jaina just because she’s actually going to be a strong piece now that she can Deflect more often. Another possible candidate for a Grand Master Luke squad is Kyp Durron just because you can get Force Renewal right away without having to sacrifice someone to get it.

On to Luke’s special abilities, this version of Luke is an absolute beast. With a possible six attacks per round thanks to Triple and Twin, this Luke can really beat people around. Add in a stronger form of Djem So that gives you the free attack plus a 10 point damage boost if you make the save and this Luke is a serious melee threat.

 

However, not examining Luke’s Force powers would be silly and here is where he really becomes worth the points. With Force Renewal 2 and Master of the Force 2, Luke will have a pretty solid supply of Force points and can protect himself effectively. Force Defense will let him cancel out Force powers used near him which can be pretty nasty if your opponent is using some of the more expensive offensive Force powers like Force Lightning since the Force points are still spent. Add in the new Lightsaber Defense, which protects Luke from any attack not just melee or nonmelee and Luke is going to be pretty hard to kill. Master Speed is also nice to see on Luke since it allows him to get into the thick of things much more quickly.

 

200 POINTS: This Luke is absolutely incredible. The only real drawback is his price, since even in this point level bracket, Luke is over half your squad. You’ll want to run him in a Jedi build and depending on the Jedi you run, you could wind up really low on activations, which can be pretty important at the 200 point level. This Luke definitely gives the New Republic Jedi squads a serious shot in the arm and will be seen in most Jedi builds from this point on, I think. SCORE: 4.5 (The only reason he’s not a perfect 5 is that cost issue. I understand why they priced him so high, but it still can be a mild drawback since he’s totally unusable in one format of the game and let’s be fair, he’s not going to be terribly effective at the 150 point level as well.)

 

Addendum for the Top 10 Minis of 2009 List: To be honest, I’m a little surprised Grand Master Luke didn’t make it higher on the list just because his Commander Effect was so great for the New Republic Jedi. However, he’s not as game changing as other characters on the list just because you can only effectively run him in one format. Don’t get me wrong he’s still really helpful there, but with as expensive as he is, there really isn’t too much room for synergy with him which is why I’m sure he doesn’t rate higher. At the same time, though, this version of Luke is a pretty effective army of one.

 

Darth Mauler

Coming in at #8 on the list, Grand Master Luke Skywalker is the highest costed character since the AT-AT, and a far more playable one at that. To start off with, his attack and defense are both as high as it gets, with the attack stat previously having been exclusive to Exar Kun. His HP is 150, which, while great normally, is somewhat low for the cost. 20 damage is standard. While his attack and defense are great, his stats obviously are no reason to put him on the top 10. However, he has a nasty set of abilities and force powers.
Aggressively, GMLS can pull off more attacks in one move than any other mini can without support. Between Triple and Twin, he can inflict 120 damage. Clearly, you do not want him to base something you want to activate again. Moving away is not even much of an option as the Twin means even then he will likely land 40 damage. As for avoiding getting based, that’s not much of an option either. Between MOTF 2 and Master Speed, he can move 24 squares in one turn, or 18 and still attack twice. While moving, though, he is only going to hit for 40. Basing high-HP enemies (without Flight or Force Leap) is the key to successfully attacking with GMLS.

Defensively, GMLS is as nasty as GOWK, though in a different way. While he lacks Soresu Style Mastery, he has Lightsaber Defense. Since he also lacks Mettle, he is easier to hit. However, the force cost is taken care of by the upgrade from Force Renewal 1 to Force Renewal 2. The nasty part of the defense, though, is in his lightsaber style: Djem-So Style Mastery. It has a 50% chance to let GMLS counterattack at +10 damage. Add a Twin Attack, and that’s 50 damage half the time GMLS gets hit by melee. With Lightsaber Defense, he can then block the damage to himself, thus allowing him to inflict damage on his opponent’s attack without receiving any. The only problem is that he only has Defense when getting shot at.

GMLS also has a CE. He had to, or else he would be too badly abused with General Wedge. He grants Force Renewal 1 to allies with a force rating. While this appears to be a very good Commander Effect, most force users in the faction already have renewal. The only ones that are playable, or become playable with GMLS, without it are Kyp Durron, Mara Jade, Jedi, and KKJBM. Unless you are playing with 300 points, Mara and Kyle are too expensive to use with him. Kyp, however, becomes deadly beyond 26 points with Renewal, allowing him to use Force Push 5 without a sacrifice. The only problem is that once Luke dies, even if there is only grunts left, Kyp can be manipulated as he gains Savage. Still, it is a viable combination.

When building a squad with GMLS, there are several characters to consider. The first and most expensive is the aforementioned Kyp. I ran the two with a Mouse and two Ugnaughts in a 150 point squad once and did pretty well. The second is Leia Skywalker, Jedi Knight. She allows him to reroll all saves once, which is quite useful when a character needs them for so much. A combo to consider would be Cade and the Bacta Tank, allowing GMLS to easily retreat back and heal quickly, throwing away your opponent’s hard work to damage him. Overall, GMLS is a quite useful character.


RoqueSaber

Grand Master Luke Skywalker

 

Cost: 115
HP: 150
Def: 23
Att: 19
Dmg: 20

 

Special Abilities:

 

Unique, Melee Attack, Triple Attack, Twin Attack, Djem So Style Mastery

 

Force 2 ; Renewal 2; Master of the Force 2

 

Force Defense, Lightsaber Defense, Master Speed

 

Commander Effect:

 

Each ally with a force rating gains Force Renewal 1 

 

Back in the day, we were shocked to see Darth Revan priced at 88 points. Then comes along a Bothan Transmission and what do we find, 115 points Grand Master Luke! GMLS is an absolute beast, but that’s a necessity for a piece this pricey. To be honest, he didn’t even come into consideration for my Top 10 list, but oh well. J All his stats are at the top of their class.

 

He’s given an unprecedented combination of Triple and Twin Attack, giving him a potential of 6. His last ability is Djem So Style Mastery. So basically, when he gets hit by a melee attack, Luke will swing back at you twice for a total of 50 damage (20 +10 for the first, 20 for the second). This makes Luke almost impossible to defeat in 1-on-1 melee combat.

 

Luke also has the coveted Force Renewal 2 and the rare Force Defense. Lightsaber Defense is essentially Block and Deflect rolled into one, and Master Speed lets him jump into battle quickly. Remember that with MotF, Luke can use Master Speed twice for a total range of 24 squares in one turn.

 

Finally, his CE grants allies with a Force rating Renewal 1. Unfortunately, many NR pieces already have Renewal, so his best bet is with Fringe force users.

 

Luke’s a one man army, and that’s his greatest weakness. With a huge chunk of your squad spent on him, you won’t have room for many support pieces or extra activations. Squads with GMLS are typically out activated by a large margin. This results in Luke getting pounded by practically the entire opposing team. Even with Renewal 2, Luke won’t have enough force to bat away all the attacks. His CE, while very powerful, is limited by the amount of useful pieces without Renewal. A few good options are Corran Horn, Kreia, and Jarael.

 

100: 0/5 He, he can’t even fit into this format, so no points here.

150 + 200: 3/5 Lumping these together because his effectiveness usually remains the same. Your best bet is to get lots of activation (Dodonna is golden) to help Luke out as much as possible and make sure that Luke doesn’t stay out in the open. Picking off pieces one at a time is usually the best course of action. Don’t try and engage too many pieces at once.


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