The Venator (Ven) is one of, if not the coolest capital ships in the entire star wars franchise. It was my favorite as a kid and probably is still my favorite as an adult. Seeing these over Coruscant at the beginning of Revenge of the Sith might be the entire reason I'm such a huge star wars nerd, so when I heard we were getting Clone Wars factions, I knew I would be in love with it on the table. Spoiler alert: I am.

Okay, so what exactly are we looking at?

In-game, the Venator is fantastic. It will define the way I play Republic for the foreseeable future. The Venator has a decent variety of options and roles; however, I don't think it is quite as flexible as the other republic ships. The Venator, in my opinion, serves 3 main roles: supercarrier, SPHA-T gunship, or (and this one is even a maybe) a highly defensive flagship. It can do other things, but I think the clam is a superior choice for the price in most other roles.

Just like its good buddies, the Acclamator(clam) and Pelta, the Venator has a suboptimal nav chart. Speeds 1 and 2 are not terrible, but 3 is not good and, like the Clam, should only go that fast while running away IMO. Keep that nav dial handy, but also consider bringing Take Evasive Action(TEA) or Bail to keep you turning.

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A SPHA-T Ven with TEA! and Bail

Apart from the maneuverability, the Venator has a lot going for it. It is the first non-huge ship in the game to have 5 squad value and the first ship in the game to launch upwards of 8 squads in one activation! It also happens to be the second ship in the game with ignition arcs(SPHA-T). On top of that, it is also the fleet command carrier for the republic. Judging by all that, this thing has a ton going for it, but I do have a minor issue with it.

Defensively, like the rest of the wave 10 larges, the Venator is definitely lacking. Its defense token suite is not terrible by any means, but I don't think it's super great. Brace, Redirect, Contain, Salvo is solid but lacking any redundant tokens really hurts. Doubling the redirect isn't possible because of Kenobi. Doubling the contain would be essentially useless, so that leaves the brace and salvo. I think the natural choice for me is the salvo because having two braces would be stupid good. Currently, there are no double brace ships with a defensive retro(for a good reason). Anyway, rant over. My point is without any defensive upgrades, the Ven will go down pretty easily under sustained fire.

Alright, specifics time:

  • 90 Points
  • 9 Hull
  • 4/3/2 Shields
  • 3 Command, 3 Squad, 4 Engineering
  • Brace, Redirect, Contain, Salvo

The cheaper of the two is the Venator 1. It is the fleet command ship for the republic, and it's pretty damn good at what it does. This one is a bit more geared towards being a gunship than the Ven 2, and it can act as a carrier but would be strictly worse at that than the Ven 2. It can also be used as a flagship, but don't expect it to stick around longer than the Ven 2 without the defensive retrofit(def ret). The main uses, in my eyes, are for the fleet command and for getting more black crits off.

  • Officer
    • Clone Navigation Officer(CNO) as usual
    • Adi Gallia could be sweet if you don't take Lumi(com)
    • Barris could be good, though I haven't tested her yet
    • Expert Shield Techs(EST) for Kenobi
    • Intel Officer is never a terrible choice for gunships
    • Zak is a big one here. He's going to help out your SPHA-T cannons pump crits out of your side arcs. If no SPHA-T, then do Swivels+Zak and it will make you deadly.
  • Weapons Team
    • My go-to is Veteran Gunners(vet guns) for the reds and blacks out the front, but it is also useful when SPHA-T rolls 5 accs and zero damage
    • Clone Gunners could be excellent if you have a way of getting tokens to all your ships(Tarkin, Munitions Resupply, Comms Net)
    • Local Fire Control(LFC) to replace your contain wih salvo for DBY-827 Heavy Turbolasers(DBY) and Flak Guns to eat up.
    • Ordnance Experts(OE) for crit fishing
    • Ruthless could be fantasic here, especially with ord pods and Y-Wings to match
    • Sensor Team for SPHA-T, but thats if you don't want Clone Gunner for accs.
  • Fleet Command
    • Literally any of them except Shields to the Maximum!
    • Mercy Mission to slap on your Consular buddy for an easy +40 points
  • Offensive Retrofit
    • Advanced Transpnder Net(ATN) along with Ruthless, Ord Pods, and Y-Wings
    • Flak Guns for a flagship, along with LFC and DBY, is stupid good on this thing. If you can, take IF! too, then that's guaranteed 3 dmage salvo sometimes 4-5
    • Reserve Hangar Deck(RHD) is nice if you have Torrents buzzing around
    • SPHA-T baby! My asolute favorite card to come out of wave 10! We will get into more detail further down.
  • Ordnance
    • External Racks(EX RAX) is always good, and it can be used with SPHA-T...
    • Assault Proton Torpedos(APT) or Assault Concussion Missiles(ACM) are excellent, especially with multiple copies in your fleet
    • Ordnance Pods(Ord Pods) are hugely good on here or any of the wave 10 larges, really.
  • Turbolaser
    • DBY for hit/crit on the salvo
    • Linked Turbolaser Towers(LTT) is obvious
    • Swivels, if you're not taking SPHA-T, are an excellent choice
    • Xi7s have been putting in huge work with my SPHA-T Vens. Adding stess to your opponent's reditrect takes stress off your accuracies, especially against wave 10. This is fantastic to mess up their plans of salvoing or bracing

SPHA-T is phenomenal. It has got to be the most fun card to put on a Venator. It's a bit brain-boggling sometimes when trying to remember the readying price and when to exhaust, but it'll come with practice.
"modification(no swivels). Star destroyer only(maybe we'll see a GAR VIC that can take it in the future). Decrease your squadron value by 2(not to be put on a carrier). Ignition [close]. Each of your front, left, or right arcs(Zak loves it here) is also a special firing arc. You have a special battery armament of 5 blue dice and 1 black die(extreme range crits). After you place your targeting token, exhaust this card. While this card is exhausted, you cannot place targeting tokens."
Costs 1 Concentrate Fire(CF) token to refresh. Alright, that's a lot to unpack. For 7 points, I think this really feels like auto-take for non-carrier Venators. It is so much fun and puts a pretty consistent amount of damage into enemies. 5 blue and 1 black +1 black from Zak +1 black from CF. Back it all up with OE or Vet Guns, and you have a pretty good chance of rolling 6+ damage and a few accuracies. The best part about all of it for me is that ignition attacks cannot be salvoed. That means your buddy who brought an IF! Ven 1 with DBY and Flak guns is gonna be real upset getting shot by SPHA-T.

Now for the supercarrier of the century...

  • 100 points (+10 from the 1!)
  • +2 Squad for 5 total!!!!
  • Everything else is the same.

This is the top-of-the-line carrier for the republic and arguably the whole game. Squad value 5 has only been seen on the SSD before now, but the ven 2 is less than half the price. Building a squadron-heavy fleet around this ship can be extremely potent in the right hands. There are ways of launching upwards of 8 squads in one activation, but I'm not certain it's anything more than a gimmick.

Slots: (were going to split this up between carrier and things I probably wouldn't put on a carrier, but I'd use on a non-carrier Ven 2 (anything left in the regular text could most likely be used for either))

  • Officer
    • CNO
    • Adi
    • Barris
    • Flight Comander, since you only have 1 off ret, you won't need Boosted Comms.
    • Ashoka Tano is a fantastic choice here. Do keep in mind even though she gives you snipe, sometimes it's still better to engage the enemy to prevent the from getting to your bombers
  • Weapons Team
    • LFC
    • Veteran Gunners
    • Clone Gunners
    • OE
    • Flight Controllers to give yout escorts that extra oomph. Adds to Ashoka snipe as well
    • Ruthless for mass ARCs or Y-Wings
    • Side note for Barding Troopers: Since you could potentially spend up to 5 defensie tokens on your opponents ship. SSDs and Starhawks should feel nervous.
  • Offensive Retrofit
    • Quad Laser Turrets
    • Flak Guns
    • SPHA-T
    • Flag Bridge All Fighters Follow Me!(AFFM) is also a considerations, but I wouldn't make my main carrier my flagship, so maybe this belongs on a flag Clam
    • ATN for Mass Ys
    • Boosted Comms if you don't have FLight Commander and need that extra lenght
    • Expanded Hangar Bay(EHB), I think, is only good here if you're trying to do the Yularen 8 squad push
    • Hyperspace Rings for getting your ARCs out and about ASAP
    • RHD to get your escorts back on the board to keep your bombers safe
  • Defensive Retrofit
    • Early Warning System(EWS) is good
    • Electonic Countermeasures(ECM) is especially good with the lack of redundant tokens in the suite
    • Thermal Shields is an amazing card that can seriously help reduce incoming damage. Add Lumi(com) to that, and you'll be able to Thermals more than twice a turn.
  • Ordnance
    • APT
    • ACM
    • Ex Rax
    • Ord Pods
  • Turbolaser
    • DBY
    • LTT
    • Swivels
    • Xi7

Okay! We've got all that out of the way now, so let's talk titles.

Resolute was Admiral Yularen's flagship during the Clone Wars. It does, not so coincidentally, pair extremely well with Yularen as your admiral, but it can still work very well without him. This is the easiest way for your Venator to get consistent tokens for 4 turns. You don't get nav tokens from this card. This is a carrier's dream title to keep it churning out consistent squad commands.

Tranquility was Luminara Undili's flagship, so it's no surprise that it works very well with her. Both Lumi(com) and Tranquility both have the same "if you spent fewer than 2 defense tokens..." restriction, so they both gain effect at the same time. It is a pretty decent effect giving you almost a pseudo-redirect without necessarily spending your redirect. Only spending 0 or 1 token gets pretty hard sometimes, but from what I've found if you have to spend 2+, that's fine. Sure, you lose out on your commanders' ability and title, but it's worth it to stay in the game. I personally wouldn't use tranquility without Lumi, but it's doable and could probably still put in some good work.

Triumphant flew as Plo Koon's flagship. Unlike the other titles, this one does not stand out to me as specifically working best with its respective commander. I think it can see function under just about any commander but definitely only in a squadron-based fleet (duh). Super useful if you've built a carrier Clam but have a gunship Ven nearby to slap this title on. I see it as a good way to keep your weaker, less durable carrier out of the way while Triumphant pushes forward.
Alrighty, now it's time to talk about potential builds!

Salvo Boat

Venator I (90)
• Clone Navigation Officer (4)
• Local Fire Control (4)
• Intensify Firepower! (6)
• Flak Guns (3)
• DBY-827 Heavy Turbolasers (3)
= 110 Points
This thing has a guaranteed chance at 3+ damage on a medium or close-range salvo. That many small cuts sink just about anything.

Mother Hen

Venator I (90)
• Adi Gallia (3)
• Clone Gunners (4)
• Take Evasive Action! (6)
• SPHA-T (7)
• Ordnance Pods (3)
• XI7 Turbolasers (6)
= 119 Points
This is flying with two Clam buddies who also have Clone Gunners and Xi7s and will benefit greatly from Take Evasive Action! Ord pods if you bring little or no squad support and Adi Gallia to keep it on the board a bit longer.

Flak City

Venator I (90)
• Clone Navigation Officer (4)
• Ruthless Strategists (4)
• Intensify Firepower! (6)
• Advanced Transponder Net (5)
• Ordnance Pods (3)
• Linked Turbolaser Towers (7)
= 119 Points
Flak anything and everything you'd like! Usually, I don't think building flak boats is that great, but if you're bringing mass Y-Wings with this bad boy, then you'll be doing plenty of ship damage.

Lumi Boomi

Venator II (100)
• Clone Captain Zak (5)
• Veteran Gunners (5)
• SPHA-T (7)
• Thermal Shields (5)
• XI7 Turbolasers (6)
= 128 Points
I have been flying double Ven II's built exactly like this (one has Hondo), and damn! With Lumi(com) to keep thermals going every round, you've got two hard-to-kill heavy hitters. Keep a Munitions Resupply around, and you're set.

Basic Carrier

Venator II (100)
• Ahsoka Tano (6)
• Flight Controllers (6)
• Hyperspace Rings (3)
• Thermal Shields (5)
• Resolute (6)
= 126 Points
This is pretty much the baseline carrier build. You can swap in and out plenty of things, but these upgrades are pretty much gonna be stapled to most Ven II carriers.


Venator II (100)
• Admiral Yularen (24)
• Flight Commander (3)
• Flight Controllers (6)
• Expanded Hangar Bay (5)
• Thermal Shields (5)
• Resolute (6)
= 149 Points
This is the Yularen gimmick Ven II. It is the only ship in the game which can launch 8 squads in one activation. I don't necessarily think it is good, but it would be fun to throw 8 Y-Wings all at once.

Overall, I think a lot can be done with the Venator, and I am so excited to get all of these combos on the table. It has a weak nav chart, but that's about it. I expect to see an absolute ton of these at the next local and national tournaments.