The Legion Discord's #rebel-chat has been popping off with Din talk lately. If you've been a part of those conversations then you already know a lot of what I'm going to say here. If not, I hope I can change your mind or at least make you think twice about Din Djarin, The Mandalorian and Grogu, The Child.
In Legion's current and recently past Metas, there has been a lot of discussion about whether or not Din is a good or even decent unit. If you've interacted with me on The Legion Discord, you will likely know I can't get enough of him. I will sing his praises until the cows come home and I don't think there is much that will change that. Today I am going to try and cover why I think he is at least an A tier unit, and could be argued for S tier.
Din is my absolute favorite unit in the game and one of the most fun units to use. Since he came out the only lists I have fielded without him have been Ewok lists. I generally play one to two times a week plus a tournament as often as possible (in this case 5 since he's been out), all but one of which, I've used Din with and without Grogu.
(Sidenote, I will mostly talk about him with Rebels in mind. I have never played a game using Empire and I think he doesn't really have a place in their list building anyway.)
Let me start by saying this: Din is pricy. His largest downfall (and only, in my opinion) is that once he is fully kitted out he is usually sitting around the 130-160 range for points. For 10 fewer points, you could get Boba or for 10-30 more points, you could get Ahsoka or OP Luke. This price point puts him in the middle of some of the toughest heroes to compete within the entire game at the moment.
I have seen people recently talking about trying to use him as cheaply as possible, just as a sturdy harasser-type unit.
136/800 (1 activation)
Din Djarin (Tenacity, The Mando's Jetpack, Din's Amban Rifle)
Something like this is what I've seen thrown around. While I think there might be some merit to that, I think at that point you're likely not going to be getting your points' worth out of him. He is one of the only units that I will actively advocate making a Christmas Tree. In Legion, generally speaking, less is more. The fewer upgrades on your units the more units you can fit in and the better your lists will perform. However, there are a handful of units that should almost always get the Christmas Tree treatment, among them is Din Djarin.
Over all of my games using him (80-90+) I have found my ideal kit by swapping and switching almost every combination of upgrades I can. For what I want him to do, this is the kit I use every single time, with or without Grogu:
154/800 (1 activation)
Din Djarin (Situational Awareness, Up Close and Personal, Comms Relay, Recon Intel, The Mando's Jetpack, Beskar Spear)
Situational Awareness: SA is one upgrade I will not go without. I value it much higher than Tenacity or UpCaP on him for all situations. The ability to use his dodges, of which he should have plenty, on Crits is crucial to keeping him on the table. If you can go 2-4 turns without taking a wound, he becomes borderline unkillable.
Up Close and Personal: This is an upgrade that I adopted only about halfway into my time with Din. I used to swear up and down by Tenactiy, and I think there's still a good argument for it, but I've found UpCaP to fit my playstyle more. The ability to get dodges via shooting is very nice, especially when you consider that you can shoot out of melee with his pistol. I love this when paired with his Spear for proccing duelist as often as needed.
Comms Relay: This is probably my most controversial take on him. I am of the opinion that if you issue and retain an order on him you're not getting even close to his value. Yes, order control is not a Rebel strong suit. Yes, it is possible for you to throw him back in the bag and he dies before you pull him. There are quite a few easy ways around those issues that would already be a part of Rebel lists anyway. Bring Lando. Lando and Din are one of the best teams in this game for a multitude of reasons including, but not limited to, Ace Up His Sleeve, Covert Ops, and a Command slot for Improvised orders. All three of those things allow you to give away Din's orders and really not have to worry about it at all. If you have two to three OP tokens and Improvised orders, you should be fine most of the time. On the rare occasion that you absolutely need Din to go at a certain time, you can discard Ace to give him an order and go, all while getting your independent tokens. There's more to these thoughts, but I'll cover them later.
Recon Intel: I like his Flamer, I really do. Eight points is just too much for it. There is no reason why it shouldn't be five. With that said Recon Intel is pretty vital to how he plays. It can help him close the gap faster if you're playing aggro, it can get him to cover if there's none in your deployment, and most of all, with speed three, it allows you to threaten middle objectives (mostly boxes) in one move. With Scout One, Din can move -> Claim on turn one during Recover. Turn two you can play his one pip or another one pip and either retain the order (ew) or use Ace to immediately go with him and Move-> Move out of there. Bonus points if you use SATM to guarantee this works. I like to call it "The Din Gambit." However, it's usually still unnecessary to play that one pip assuming you proc independent and he has a dodge token or two. He can sit middle and usually survive until you pull his token, but it can still be risky due to suppression. All of this to say, Recon Intel has quite a few good use cases.
Here you can watch my early testings of The Din Gambit and how it almost went very bad for me.
This is a slightly smoother version of it from earlier this week. Huge shout out to Will (@TheWaysian on Discord) for recording and setting up this channel for our local group! I look forward to playing on it more.
Mando's Jetpack: Honestly, this should never ever be excluded from Din no matter what. I wish they'd just give him these keywords natively and bump his price up ten points to free the second gear slot. As far as I'm concerned, this is just a part of his base card.
Beskar Spear: Probably the most debated slot on Din is his armament slot. I am firmly on Team Spear for 99% of lists. The only time I might slightly consider the Amban is if you're using Din + Force User. The Immobilize tokens can be nice to lock a force user's target down for a turn or two. However, that is usually not the kind of list I see and even when it is, I still usually wish he had the Spear. It has a better dice suite, allows him to potentially get Pierce 2 on melee attacks, and, the biggest thing, allows him to be Immune: Melee Pierce if you have a dodge token, which he almost always should.
This is The Way - This card is Din's bread and butter. I would never bring him without this in my Command Hand. Relentless is incredible on a Speed 3 unit for many reasons. Being able to threaten Leroy Jenkins-style, triple-aimed, melee attacks from halfway across the table is the shit. Another huge reason I love this card is for the additional dodge he gets. Starting the round with two dodges and one aim is fantastic and allows you to comms relay with a little more risk involved.
I Like Those Odds - This is a card that I only take if my only other option is Turning the Tide or Push. I like it, don't get me wrong, but I think Din doesn't need it to be effective. Starting the round with one Dodge and Two Aims is nice though. This card can also help Justify UpCaP a little bit more since he has the potential to get two ranged attacks instead of one.
Whistling Birds - I'll be completely honest. This card is kinda trash. On paper, it looks incredible, and it can be, but in practice, it rarely is worth the Command Card slot it takes up. It is a very situational card which is why I highly recommend popping it into your Contingencies since you want Lando anyway. If you're in a position where this card might do some good work, then use it, otherwise you can generally forgo bringing it or using it if you did bring it. The fact that it doesn't give him a token is one of the main reasons I don't like it very much. Less of an issue if you bounce away his order though.
So that covers what upgrades and cards I think he should use, now let's go over what kind of lists I think he likes being in and what other units he pairs well with.
Lando - Lando, in my opinion, is absolutely crucial to how Din plays. Contingencies are a really good place for Whistling Birds since it is a pretty situational card. Ace Up His Sleeve, as I covered earlier, is incredible for Din. Mostly as an on-the-fly order or if you're in a good spot for it the Standby can be nasty too. Covert Ops is another huge reason why they like each other. The ability to get a third OP token in the bag is huge for pulling Din when you need to. I think Lando is one of the best Rebel commanders in general anyway.
Vets and Mk2s - Once I adopted bringing Two Vets and 2 MK2s I haven't gone back. For Din specifically, I like them for fire support and as a way to get an emptier bag. Late game, I really like popping my order from Din to a unit of Vets via comms relay. It gets more Order and Dodge tokens on the board (and out of the bag) and can be used to set up fire support via coordinate. Once again, even without Din, I think Vets/Mk2s are the best Rebel Corps option presently.
Rebel Officer - He's mostly here to bring Improvised Orders and allow Lando to Infiltrate. He also supports Din via Inspire and Take Cover. Red Saves are very sturdy but the problem comes in when you've been shot so many times without dying and have too much suppression. RO helps Din with that.
Any other Operative, Mostly Chewbacca - If you can afford it, a "third" Operative is really nice to have with Din. I personally love Chewbacca (not just because that's my dog's name) for many reasons. Guardian is handy for keeping early potshots off of Din, especially if Grogu is in the picture. He also helps keep Vets and Mk2s around longer to help support Din.
Han Solo - I like Han, but he's not as crucial to Din's game plan. He's just nice for using Sorry About The Mess during The Din Gambit to guarantee priority. Reckless Diversion is also a really nice way to keep some fire off of your heroes in general, preferably paired with Ewoks.
All of those above units are the ones that I use with Din the most. They're the baseline compliment I think you should bring with him. I have, however, had pretty good success and a ton of fun using Ahsoka or OP Luke with Din. I think he and Grogu pair extremely well with Jedi, it's just not my preferred playstyle or list. The way Din and Comms relay onto a Jedi to make sure they always have a token is incredible. There are other reasons that I will cover later.
Basically, Din loves Gunlines. He is an incredible Hammer for Rebel Gunlines and can play flanker fairly well. Not so coincidentally, Chewie, Lando, and Vets also love Gunlines.
As counterintuitive and counter-meta as a lot of this may seem, if you just try to use Din in the manner I've described I am certain you'll be surprised by how he performs. He plays differently than almost every other Operative and Bounty hunter in the game and trying to use him like them will garner disappointment. Lean into the chaotic aspect of Rebel lists with him, take a few risks, and give Grogu another try.
Speaking of which...
Grogu gets hated on so much and I understand why. At face value, you're spending 17 points for a random dice effect, a single-use card that takes up a command slot, and the potential to give up a VP to your opponent. In practice, the only one of these complaints that stand is the dice effect. The fact that it is so random is a huge factor in why Grogu doesn't see as much play as I think he should. If the ability was a little bit different, such as if you rolled a Block you could pick between the two effects, it would be much better. There will be times when you roll a blank and nobody around you needs a heal and there will be times when you roll a surge and there are no enemy units close enough to suppress and immobilize. You will also roll a ton of Blocks and get no effect at all. All of those misses are far outshined by the few absolutely clutch rolls when you get just what you need right when you need it. It happens more often than you'd think, but I understand the aversion to taking the risk.
Hunted - is a keyword that negatively affects you. It potentially allows your opponent to score an additional VP off of you if they defeat and claim Grogu's Asset Token. Many people forget that your own friendly units can also claim the token, but you just won't score the additional VP. In practice, it's really not that difficult to keep another Thumb nearby to claim Grogu should he die. I would also recommend always keeping Din and Grogu in Base contact in case Din himself needs to claim and run. I have probably played close to 30 or 40 games with Grogu and he has only ever been claimed twice, and only one of those times allowed my opponent to win. With practice, I think there is a way for that number to be very low, if not zero, but getting there is hard. If you lose games left and right to Hunted, you'll never want to use Grogu again, but it's likely that's what is necessary to figure out how to use him properly.
Latent Power - I sorta already talked about this in the first Grogu paragraph. This is a random ability. There will be lots of times, probably the majority when this ability will do nothing but give Din a Suppression Token (this can be good sometimes if you need cover). The few times you are able to proc it are usually glorious. Two Suppression and Two Immobilize on almost any unit is fantastic, especially if you get it on a Focus Piece. The heal can also be clutch on Din since even though he has red surging saves, he has a deceivingly low HP pool. That brings me to the next point,
The Hand Thing - Oh my god this card is incredible. If you haven't had the chance to use this in-game yet, I would strongly urge you to give Grogu a shot just for this. Two Dodges and Deflect on any unit on demand is fantastic. Whether you use it for Din (it's best use), or use it on Vets, you will be getting value out of it. There are certain times I would hold this card in your hand, but if you're getting shot at by something sturdy and valuable, use it. Boba, Darktroopers, and Magnaguards are very scared of this card, and they have no way to back out once they've declared the attack. Vets Deflecting 2-4 damage back to Darks is a drug. Personally, I think this card would be worth Grogu being 20 points without Hunted. Yes, it takes up a command card slot, but this is easy to work around by playing Standing Turn 1, which you should probably do with Rebels anyway.
Grogu also brings One HP to the table, which actually does quite a bit for Din's survivability. I generally don't think it's worth saving grogu until Din's second to last wound like you would do with most counterpart units. I like to keep Grogu alive until I've at least used The Hand Thing. If I've used his command card I'll usually kill him the next wound I take so Din can dive more effectively. This is likely going to be around turn 2 or 3 when Din is sitting back with your army prepping for his dive. The upside of this is you get your points' worth out of Grogu and you can leave his token back with your army so they can claim and your enemy can't.
With a little patience and practice, I think Grogu can be an effective use of points with very little to no risk involved. If it were up to me, I would still make him a little cheaper, maybe 10 or 12 points. Any cheaper and there's no more thought process, he'd be stapled to Din.
Okay, I think I've made a reasonable case for both Din and Grogu. I agree with the general statement that they're both a little expensive, but I think there are still plenty of lists where they can be effective. I've already said Grogu would be best around 10-12 but let me break down my Din opinions here too:
Din Base: 95-100 or 110 (if the jetpack was integrated into his unit card.)
Jetpack: Fairly Costed.
Flamer: 5, there's no reason for it to be 8.
Amban: 5-8, and I might consider it
Spear: 10, I think I'd still bring it every time even if it stayed 15 and the Amban went down.
That is all! Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed it. I would love to hear from you either in the comments or on Discord. I am @cahoonm on The Legion Discord.