This is what we are aiming for
So you want to prove your dominance over the galaxy and get your grubby mitts on that sweet, sweet loot, the trick here is preparation and planning.
A Bit of Background
These are my personal musings and findings from playing the game for very nearly two years, I have a number of good squads but nothing brilliant, I tend to hover around the 100 – 200 bracket in the arena. Most of my GW squads are either directly from, or heavily used for AAT raid squads. Just remember this is a war not a battle, there will be casualties and there is no such thing as a Pyrrhic victory in SWGOH.
Doing the Ground Work
Like any great war the conflict starts before the sides meet. The difficulty of your GW is dictated by the strongest team (highest total power level) that you have fielded in either the Arena or GW. The power level of each node is a fraction of that power level, it would seem around 50% to 60% at the start up to 115% as the final battle. Along the way each third node (3,6,9) you will see a definite spike in difficulty, more on this later.
Why this is important is because the matching algorithm will take real teams, of the appropriate level, for you to fight. What this means is if you can get your power level high enough there will be no teams that you can be matched against, the game resolves this by ‘Rolling round’ and you end up facing abysmally weak teams. This can make GW completion a lot more regular. This means it may be worth throwing in a team of all your strongest toons into the Arena once just to set your power level.
Getting Set Up
Once on the field the there are a few things to keep in mind.
Firstly, everything rolls over between battles; health, shields, turn meter, and cool downs. This is good and bad, obviously your health and shields will get whittled away, even at lower nodes unless you can take out the entire opposition team without them landing a blow.
Cool downs is another major consideration. You need to make sure that all your up front buff and smash abilities are ready to use at the start of each node. This means you may want to draw out fights to allow cool downs to recharge, obviously this has to be balanced against the shield or health loss that comes with letting the bad guys live longer.
Turn meter, this is where you get a massive advantage, and how you can beat teams that are much more powerful than your own. Your toons will start each node with the turn meter they ended the last one on, so your slow powerful toons that have normally been kicked around before they act are highly likely to move before any of the opposition. This makes it very easy to burn down high priority targets, often more than one before the enemy act. And frankly, makes high speed / turn meter gain teams like the droids quite silly, my droids can often attack two or three times each before an opposition toon takes a turn, this can make for a lot of dead bad guys without taking much damage.
The trick here is to get multiple teams with turn meter advantage, I typically have two full backup teams. The first team gets the very easy node 1, the second reserve team does nodes 2 and 3. The reason for this is the difficulty spikes i mentioned earlier. Node 3 is comparatively much harder than node 2 and allowing a team with turn meter advantage to attack it makes the assault less costly in shields than starting a fresh team there. Node 4 is much easier than node 3 hence a good place for my main team to cut it’s teeth. I use my main team from node 4 until they get wiped out (usually node 12).
This is pretty much rinse and repeat, just remember that nodes 6 and 9 are both much harder than the node on either side so make sure leaving nodes 5 and 8 all your cooldowns are ready and don’t be afraid to use nodes 7 and 10 to recuperate.
The last 2 nodes are tough, it is not unusual to lose toons in node 11 and pretty much expected at node 12, This is why you spent the early nodes making sure you had more teams ready to go. Obviously every war is different and the teams you face may cause you to change strategy but generally the idea with these nodes is to make sure that you are taking toons out of the fight, this is a war not a battle, you can lose a battle as long as you have set up the final win. For example, if you lose a whole team to take out a key toon that is worth it, the next team will make mince meat of a squad that has been unbalanced because it has lost its tank or key toon. Most teams are built around either a leadership ability or a particular toon. Take that away and the team is just a random collection of toons, think Biggs without Wedge, or an Empire team without Palpatine.
The Sad Truth
You will lose some wars, sometimes you will run into node 11 or 12 teams that you have no counter for and no matter how many toons you throw in you not going to beat them. This happens to me about once a week, and all you can do is suck it up and hope that RNGesus will be kinder to you tomorrow.
A Little Trick
This is an aside but it makes my life easier, rather than trying to remember which day GW is the daily challenge, after each challange day I take 2 days to do the next GW (i.e. first 6 nodes next day last 6 the day after that) then I do my one war a day until the next challenge day, that way I am always ready to do the double for the daily.