Asajj Ventress was initially a one-off character from the 2003 Clone Wars miniseries. Later re-introduced into the canon Clone Wars movie from 2008. Since that appearance, she has been a fan-favorite character and has one of the most interesting story arcs of any star wars character. From Jedi Padwan to Sith Apprentice and Assassin to a Nightsister to a bounty hunter. She did it all.
The version I am covering today is her as a Sith Apprentice/Assassin. This is the version they first chose to represent her in SHatterpoimt, and I love it. They have done a great job capturing her essence on the tabletop. Let's talk about why.
- 8 Squad Points
- 3 Force
- 9 Stamina / 3 Durability
- Primary Unit | Dathomirian - Force User - Nightsister - Separatist Alliance
Right off the bat, Asajj is in a very flexible spot. 8 Squad Points is the best place to be as far as list variety and flexibility go. She can currently take almost every sing combination of units she wants to. The main issue she has is that she only brings 3 Force Points to the table and is quite Force hungry. There are a couple of good ways around this issue which we will talk about later.
9 Stamina and 3 Durability is not a terrible spot to be in. 27 Effective HP is solid, especially after looking at her defensive tech. Now, 9 Stamina does mean she is within one-shot wound range, but that would take some terrible rolls on your part. It's a dice game so anything is possible, but you don't need to worry about her too much. Just like every other unit so far, I still would not recommend sending her in recklessly and expecting her to do much but be wounded and die.
Her tags are solid. The Dathomirian tag helps her a ton when she's paired with Mother Talzin and the Nighsisters by allowing her and them to proc a ton of different abilities off of each other. Force User doesn't do much but hurt her at the moment. Nighsister doesn't do anything yet. Separatist Alliance helps her by allowing Dooku and Magnaguards to assist her. Overall, it's a really good set of tags, and there's a lot of variety to build around.
Dathomirian Dexterity - Extra moves are good, especially Jumps. I really like the option of being able to spend the 1 Force to get a Jump when she needs it. If there are other options like Ingress Points, I would use those instead. In general, I have a tough time justifying the Force cost of jump abilities unless I absolutely 100% need them to win a point.
Force Push - Force Push is one of the main reasons Asajj sees much play. Abilities that allow you to move your opponent's pieces, especially far pushes, are amazing. The board control that you can have with this ability is nuts. This ability has a ton of different use cases, most of which involve moving an enemy off of a point. Pushing characters into or out of engagement is a big one, this ability gives Asajj the flexibility to leave engagements when she wants/needs to. You can also use this to maybe shove some enemies into engagement with something scary like Dooku, Magnas, or Super Commandos. One thing that I will highly recommend is to, if you can, use Push on an enemy character that has already activated during the current deck/struggle. That way they won't be going right after you push them and negate the Push you just did.
Riposte - This is an Ability that is seen in some fashion on most Saber-Weilders. Whether it's Deflect, Riposte, or So Uncivilized. This is one of those abilities that you should use every single time you can until you're wounded. An extra 2 damage here and there can make a huge difference. Once you've taken a wound, I would probably never use this ability for 1 FP, unless it is going to hand out a wound and win you the game because of it. This is also very neat because it is another way to proc Sith Assassin for Asajj.
Slip Away - This ability looks like it takes some setup at first glance, but it really doesn't. With the new additions of Mother Talzin, Savage, and The Nightsisters this ability just went up in stock. Now, she will have up to 4 other characters on the field to use this instead of just 1. I really like the idea of using Asajj and either Talzin or Savage to sort of slingshot Asajj across the board. Run in with Asajj -> Run in with Savage -> Attack with Savage -> Slingshot Asajj. The addition of gaining a Hunker after using this ability is also pretty huge. I use this ability pretty much every chance I can. Unless you're wounded or really need to stay where you are, this ability is pretty incredible.
Sith Assassin - This is a really neat ability. It has 3 different, additive clauses. Let's break them down separately:
- When a character in this unit wounds an enemy unit, after the effect is resolved, that character may [Heal][Heal][Heal]. This is solid, I like that it procs off of wounding any unit at all. Heals are not super common within pure "Dark Side" lists so this is quite good. Asajj is not the best at damaging units and therefore doesn't get a ton of wounds out, but if you can proc this ability once or twice per game, you're in a good way. If you really need heals you can go after a Support unit. If you get 4 successes and wound them, you can get up to 7 heals in one swing.
- If it wounded a Primary or Secondary unit, it may also [Advance] or [Jump]. This part of the ability is pretty nice. Extra moves are always good. Once again this ability suffers from Asajj's offensive output, but it is still absolutely doable. If she does wound a Secondary or Primary, odds are getting a free advance or Jump will be handy for scoring purposes.
- If it wounded a Primary unit, refresh [Force][Force]. Refreshing Force is incredible, especially in lists with Asajj. She is generally a pretty force-hungry unit. I would not spend a bunch of force trying to get this ability to proc, I tend to think of it more as an ability of convenience. Since she is wounding pretty unreliably, especially against Primaries, you can't really go hunting for this part of the ability unless your target is sitting at like 1-4 stamina remaining.
Asajj's stances can be categorized just like all Primaries so far. Usually, the choices are Combat/Ability oriented or Offense/Defense oriented. Asajj is one of the units with a Combat/Ability split. Let's see how I came to that conclusion.
Jar'Kai is Asajj's more Combat oriented stance. It has better Offense, Defense, and a more killy Combat Tree than her other stance, but provides fewer conditions and effects.
8 Attack dice in melee is a really solid starting amount. She is averaging 2 Crits and 4 Strikes per swing which is really quite good. Her attack expertise is good, but not great. The results it provides are solid, but not getting a different level until you roll 4 expertise is a bit sad. 5+ makes it very unlikely to attain, but of course possible. She should reliably be doing 2-3 successes after defense.
The Combat Tree is sorta what carries this stance. It's capping out at 9 damage from 6 successes on the top branch. 6 of which are in the first 3 successes. If you go for the bottom branch you get 3 damage and 3 of 4 conditions in the game. Where the branches converge is likely the most important part and that is where you get a free Active Ability. Getting a free 2 Force cost ability is nuts, especially when that ability is a Push. This is a really easy way to win an objective with her, you just need to get 4 successes. With the Nightsisters' Coordinated Fire: Expose, it shouldn't be too hard for Asajj to get at least 4 Successes.
The Defense on this stance is pretty good. She's getting 5 defense dice at range and 6 in melee. Obviously, she is a melee character so she's plenty happy being up in the fight. Her defensive expertise is incredible. It's generating a Crit Swap at every level and at 4+ gives you a Crit->Strike and a Strike->Fail. In addition to those, she's getting a pretty decent amount of blocks too. This should do the trick to keep her unwounded for at least a round or two, but 9 Stamina is not a lot so be cautious.
Form II Makashi
This is Asajj's more Ability and Effects oriented stance. It comes with a ton of heals, moves, and a decent amount of damage.
She's rolling 7 attack dice in melee and none at range. 7 is only 1 fewer than Jar'Kai, so not a major cut. Her attack expertise is actually quite good still, arguably better. It generated fewer results, but more reliably. Like Obi-Wan, if you're needing low but reliable success, use this stance, but if you need a spike, go for the other stance. 2 Crits from 1-3 expertise is actually pretty incredible, I think that is overlooked by a lot of people.
Her Combat Tree is really the main reason you swap to this side. It's only capping out at 6 damage off of 3 successes, but it also maxes out at 4 Heals! This stance also has an Active Ability at the 4 success mark. I really like the fact that she has Push here because it is an ability that you probably want to wait to use anyway, so you can swing, hope to hit it, and if you don't, you can pay for Push after you attack. If you're needing Heals, Shoves, a Reposition, or low but reliable damage, use this stance.
The Defense on this stance is certainly less shiny. She's getting the same amount of dice as Jar'Kai, but she does not get any Crit or Strike swaps. She only gets blocks and 1 Jump. She's still generating Blocks at a pretty solid rate of 1:1 until you roll 3 expertise. This means on average she's netting 4 blocks after expertise, which is still pretty damn good. It does mean that she'll be taking a good amount of damage against primaries, but she can Heal it all away!
Squad and Strike Team Ideas
Before I wrap up today's article, I am just going to cover a few different Squads and Strike Teams I have tried, I recommend trying, or I think could be good.
- Asajj Ventress
- B1 Battle Droids
- General Grievous
This list is meant to get the most out of your Droids and Primaries. You can use Kalani to help the Magnas keep up with Asajj and Greg while using Magnas to supplement the squishy Primaries. You are playing a point down, but you can swap the Mags to Asajj and give Greg some B2s as another option.
Master and Apprentice
- Asajj Ventress
- Count Dooku
- Jango Fett
Here, you swap Greg and Kraken for Dooku and Jango. This list is not a point down. Once again, use Kalani to help Mags keep up with your Primaries, and use Jango to refresh force for expensive Asajj. Dooku is also able to help refresh and add some extra force for her to spend.
It's Halloween, Already?
- Asajj Ventress
- Jango Fett
- Mother Talzin
- Savage Opress
Oh, yes. The Foggy Ladies. This list is built to maximize Asajj's power through Talzin and the Nightsisters. Savage can also run in with Her to supplement her lower-than-average offensive output. Jango is back for Force refreshes.
Overall, I think Asajj has the capability to be an asset on the board. She just needs more support than other Primaries and is a little bit harder to get a lot out of. She is super good alongside her Dathomirian friends, but she also makes a really solid second Primary in droid-centric lists. I would play her slow, and go after Supports, Secondaries, and Weaker Primaries. Keep her out of too much trouble alone, but if she has a buddy, send her in like a cruise missile.
I think that is all I have to say about Asajj for now! Thank you for reading.