I've been behind in my analysis on the new units coming out this fall, but as AMG starts revealing the remaining cards and units I'm going to hop back into it! So grab your beskar, do the little hand thing, and get your armor back from some Jawas, we're gonna be unpacking the Mando!
Whoa there, cheap mando with a lot of text. You can't go wrong!
- Defensive keywords galore!
- 3 Courage!
- Lots of aims
- Tons of upgrade slots
- (Rebel) Bounty!
- Highly customizable!
- Sneakily expensive
- High priority target
- Action starved
- Can potentially give up a point with Grogu
- Native speed 2
105 Points - They have never lied more about a character's point value. He can and will be taken for cheap, but his gadgets and doodads make him more in 140-160 point range, which is still solid for what you're getting. Well worth the points at any cost, and perhaps a bit undercosted.
Weapons are a part of his religion...
Mando has 5 offensive options and his command cards give him three more, so he really is an offensive powerhouse. I'm going to go in depth with his upgrade cards later, so for now I'll just look at printed weapons.
Surge: Crit is amazing and super strong when looking at a unit that can gain multiple aims a turn with Independent: Aim and Tactical 1. This is how you push through hits into cover because you don't have Sharpshooter (thank the maker for a balance team).
Mando's melee, the Vibro-Knife, is solid for a potential free pierce. Mando will not struggle with gaining Aims and so Lethal will commonly be active.
His base gun, the Modified IB-94 Pistol, is the slightly weaker version of Cassian's A280-CFE pistol, but that is an amazing gun. 2 red and a black at range 1-2 is good, but the ability to extend your range by 1 and also be able to gain Pierce is great, but that does mean that Mando will be spending an additional Aim above what he is likely to get every turn. Versatile is a keyword that you don't see tons, but Mando's disposition seems to be very up close and personal (wink wink) so it may come in handy more often than you think.
If you've read any other article of mine then you know that I do my best to not trust dice, but Mando really does show the power of Beskar. 5 health, Surge: Block, and Impervious are standard for Mandalorians, Independent: Dodge is icing on the cake, and Grogu has some secrets to allow for Mando's survival as well. Never just throw Mando out in the open to get shot by tons of units, but you can rely on his survivability if you have to.
If weapons are his religion then these cards are his church. All of these are strong choices and can rapidly add 48 points to Mando. We'll walk in order of public outcry for these as some of them have created quite a buzz.
Din's Flame Projector is like most other flame projectors in the game: incredibly situational and strong against Battle Droids. For 8 points it isn't bad to throw on there depending on your meta, but it is easily the lowest priority here. Suppressive is nice as well, and red dice means you can wipe a squad with ease in many cases.
The Beskar Spear is a very thematic weapon even though it just adds 1 keyword. Duelist turns you into a pseudo-Jedi and you really start recognizing the strengths of Arsenal 2 when you can throw 2 red and 1 black in melee and ranged because of Versatile. You also can just throw 2 red 3 black and have Pierce 2 through Duelist and Lethal 1, which is strong. This is very similar to Sabine's Darksaber in terms of functionality and can be your "Jedi Repellant" in a list.
The Mando's Jetpack turns him into a traditional Mandalorian and again is very thematic. I would almost consider Din to be 120 points base because the Jetpack is so versatile in almost every scenario and map. Jump 2 and Speed 3 are great assets when hunting bounties, protecting Grogu, and completing missions.
Finally, Din's Amban Rifle is perhaps the most controversial thing that AMG has done yet. For two actions (your entire turn) you perform a speed 1 move, roll a red attack die, and have a 3/4 chance to do a damage and a suppression to a unit that is in line of sight. So this is an infinite range sniper rifle that removes defense dice rolls, but also disallows offensive modification. Thematically it is vaporizing your opponent. Balance wise this is a fine line. I get the public outcry for this because it is auto-damage, and it will certainly be something that scores a bounty or two throughout your games, but sacrificing your whole turn is a big payment, and it can be avoided through line of sight blocking terrain. You also won't get any benefits from command cards if you use this weapon, and so it creates a drastically different playstyle than anything else we've seen in the game. A polarizing upgrade for sure, but time will tell if it is balanced or not.
This weapon also has a melee aspect to it. 3 black dice and Suppressive is nice, but Immobilize 2 is insane. This means that at minimum you are rolling 5 black dice in melee if using the Vibro-Knife, and you have some strong keywords to support. The real treat of this weapon may be its melee usage, and I think that is being underrated at the moment. Time will tell if Mando is the melee powerhouse he seems to be, but it is high on my list to try.
I also want to talk about Emergency Stims as a potential Gear upgrade. Just like what was done in the days of old with Luke and Boba, Emergency Stims may be the way that you can keep Grogu around a while longer.
I also like Targeting Scopes and Prepared supplies as gear choices, but they are lower on my priority list since the spot is highly valued already.
Hi I'm Din Djarin and I'm a Mandalorian!
At this point almost every Mandalorian likes the same Trainings, so Up Close and Personal, Offensive Push, and Situational Awareness are all great choices. Mando has the unique desire for Tenacity though as he has two Training slots so you can bolster two already existing strengths.
Emergency Transponder is great for any of the Independent units and it stays true for Mando. This is a get out of jail free card in some cases, but its timing can also be tough. Use wisely and don't hold on to it if you feel it could be used well. You can't use it when you're dead.
Comms Relay and Comms Jammer are both choices that can help Mando too. Relay lets you trigger that oh so sweet Independent: Aim and Dodge, and Jammer feels strong in a melee centric build.
Grogu is a unique addition to Legion as a whole. It is the first time we've had a unit be able to give up points through death, and it seems like the way to balance an otherwise strong unit/counterpart combo.
Latent Power is a strong reason to bring Grogu though. For the cost of 1 suppression Grogu can do one of three things:
- Give an enemy unit at range 1 of Grogu 2 suppression and 2 immobilize tokens
- On a blank heal a wound or remove a poison token from a friendly unit at range 1 of Grogu
- Do nothing
There is a 1/6 chance to effect the enemy, a 2/6 change to effect a friendly unit, and a 1/2 chance to do nothing. For 17 points and an end of every turn effect I would say that the opportunity cost is worth it, as immobilize tokens especially are very very strong. Having no action cost for this effect is the big sell though, and it strengthens the argument for a melee focused build because of the range 1 bubble.
This does mean that you should emphasize survivability when playing Grogu. Giving up a point can be huge because when Grogu is dead you also aren't scoring Bounty (unless you ran away like a weenie with your one health). Take note though, all trooper units gain the action to claim The Asset, so you can keep your opponent from scoring it, though you don't get the point yourself (again, thank the maker for a balance team).
These are three very offensive command cards. Each one does something similar but slightly different, and so it will matter when you play these. They also lack orders to other units, just like the original bounty hunter cards.
This is the Way - 1 Pip
Din Djarin with Relentless is a match made in heaven. It is a simple card but very strong. With Comms Relay you can make use of Relentless and also get Independent if you don't need to activate right away, so that adds some flexibility. The dodge is nice as well especially because it makes up for half of your Independent if you take the order.
I Like Those Odds - 2 Pip
Again making up for half of Independent by gaining an aim, ILTO functions like a weakened Son of Skywalker, which makes it an amazing card. A key factor of this card is that it has to be against a different unit, so if you're only using your gun you can shoot two different units, but when you split fire with arsenal you have two units that cannot be chosen for this card, so be mindful of that. Still, this is an amazing card and will go on to deal a lot of damage in the right situations.
Whistling Birds - 3 Pip
Theoretically this card is the highest potential damage output per action cost in the game. Realistically its your payoff for throwing yourself in the middle of a bunch of units. Put Mando into melee with a unit that has already attacked and then use this to be safe from other nearby units, but also don't be afraid to use this when it isn't at full value. The odds for damage aren't great, but at max value you hope to deal 5-7 damage total, maybe a bit more or less depending on if you are facing 5+ man squads or squads that have lost minis. The weakest of his cards, but hardly a bad one.
This is uncharted waters for Legion: a command card that cannot give orders. We've had things that don't give orders but never anything that can't give orders. Regardless this is strong. In many ways it functions as a "get out of jail free card" but at the cost of a command card slot in your hand. The great thing about this card that if you don't need the tokens they can still save you for later defenses. The downside is that it doesn't cancel damage in the way that things like Cover and Armor do. This is just another reason to bring Grogu, and I think it only solidifies the rationale behind bringing him. He may be his own biggest defender.
Din Djarin is both an Empire and a Rebel unit, though Grogu is only a Rebel counterpart, so the playstyle can be quite different between the two factions. I'll go through a few lists with each faction with notably a few "mirror lists" that are generally the same except the natural faction changes.
Mando is the name, beating people up is the game. Heavy on melee units, this list adds Mando as a partial wincon because of the offensive power of the wookiees. With Bounty you can swarm the unit you have placed bounty on and then let Mando finish them off for an extra point. Cassian and K2 are there because of Cassian's 3 Pip and general high damage output, but there are other combos that could work in place of those two as well.
I heard you liked Mandos so we put some Mandos with your Mando and got you a Mando. Over half of this list is a speed 3 Impervious close ranged machine. Funnily enough you can run all Fleet Troopers and have the whole list be Range 2 (though with ways to get around that). There are plenty of ways to alter this list as well, and that amount of flexibility makes this both an interesting competitive choice and a fun casual option. I will be putting this on the table without a doubt.
I think that as more and more great yet situational command cards come out that stock in Lando and Kallus will go up. Here I have used Lando's contingencies to give Boba and Mando access to their strong cards, all while providing a great gunline to back them up. Two offensive heavy hitters with a gunline backing them up? You really can't go wrong.
Another melee heavy list, though this time it replaces Sabine with Mando and leverages the speed and offensive capabilites of the Tauntauns to pressure your opponent. Command cards were hard to choose on this one, but I ultimately left The Hand Thing out because of the ubiquitous nature and objective-grabbing power of No Time for Sorrows.
So this seems like it has some real legs. Mando is great at objectives, Luke is Luke, and you have some basic units behind them. Two medics means you are really going in on the herohammer gameplan, but you can't ignore two big threats like that. For more theme you can run Clan Wren, but I don't think that is a competitive choice.
An alternate take on Krennic/Bossk, this list uses Mando's mobility and strong guaranteed damage to bolster the traditional Krennic gunline. There are a lot of ways in which you can customize this including, but not limited to:
- Din's upgrades
- Number of Death Troopers
It's a new take on a classic, and I think we'll see something like this doing well in the future.
This is an Empire double bounty/herohammer list that may start turning heads. I personally like the lower activation count in favor of stronger units, but at the end of the day the crux is Boba/Din. Kallus is nice backup and can take some heat off of the two hunters, but don't overextend and throw away your extra cards.
I'll be honest this is more a proof of concept than it is a true list. I like the idea behind Vader, Dewbacks, and Mando, but it doesn't work exactly how I'd want it to. The thought behind it is a threat on three fronts, sometimes an impossible to combat threat in Mando. I'd like to hear if anyone else has a way to bring these elements together a bit more smoothly, as I'm struggling to have my cake and eat it too.
The first time I've really considered bringing the merc command cards, this is the closest you'll get to having a mercenary list centered around Din Djarin. 12 activations, a strong gunline, and lots of ways to remove suppression (one of this list's biggest weaknesses) means this is a strong contender for Empire Mando lists. I'll be trying this one and I think that you should too. It may even be my next tournament list (whenever I get to do that).
You remember that scene where Palpatine takes Mando's helmet off and then reveals that he is Mando's father? Well if you don't then you're not a true Star Wars fan. This list to me is very similar to Palp/Vader lists but you have Mando in place of Vader, which gives you some more leeway on other units in the list. Palp's Pulling the Strings ability means you'll get some good plays off with Mando's cards that let him do extra attacks. Both Mando's 1 and 2 pips let him get bonuses from Pulling the Strings, and his 3 pip has less of an action cost when you can still attack/move off turn. Another list that I'll be putting on the table for sure.
Mando seems like tons of fun. Whether or not you feel like the game is experiencing power creep or not (which is a whole other blog post in and of itself), Legion is experiencing a huge shakeup in the form of constant new units and a lot of support for playstyles that sat by the wayside for a while. I'm excited to see where the game goes from here and I can't wait to put Mando on the table.
Let me know in the comments what you think of Mando and be sure to tune in to Dice and Cardboard for all of your Legion, Armada, and X-Wing content!