SWGOH Leadership Skills: Sidious vs Phasma — We’ve Done the Math!


SWGOH Leadership Skills

This is a Team Instinct Strategy Article discussing the SWGOH Leadership Skill benefits of Captain Phasma vs Darth Sidious.

Since the release of the New Order characters, many players have been considering if it is more beneficial to use Sidious or Phasma as the leader in squad arena or other game formats.

Assuming that you are already using both of them in the squad, we have done the math. And the answer you’ve all been waiting for is………

It depends.

WHAT?! No, that’s not a cop-out answer. As we will outline below, there are two key drivers that determine which leadership skill will be more beneficial:

  1. Average base crit chance of your team
  2. Number of First Order characters on your team

As you can imagine, there are certain characteristics that make Sidious’s Unlimited Power more beneficial than Fire at Will, and visa-versa.

If your team already has a high base crit chance, then the crit bonus damage from Unlimited Power will contribute more than if your team has a low base crit chance.



Base Case

As a starting point we will examine a standard team with no SWGOH leadership skills, and look at the expected damage output as a function of chance of critical hit. This calculation assumes the standard crit damage of 150%.

With a crit chance of 0%, the expected damage output of a team is simply 100%. As the crit change increases, the expected damage output increases linearly. With a 100% chance of crit, the expected output would be 150%.

The chart below shows the BASE CASE curve for damage output as a function of crit chance.

SWGOH Leadership Skills: Phasma vs Sidious - Slide 1


Now let’s look at how Unlimited Power Changes things. Sidious increases both crit chance and crit damage bonus. Assuming the BASE CASE crit damage of 150%, the following chart shows the effect.


SWGOH Leadership Skills: Phasma vs Sidious - Slide 2


Now let’s look at how Phasma’s leadership affects things. Phasma offers extra attacks, as simple as that. With a 16% change to trigger an attack at 85% of base damage, it doesn’t depend on crit chance or crit bonus damage. The chart below shows how Phasma’s extra damage stacks up against Sidious’s leadership.


SWGOH Leadership Skills: Phasma vs Sidious - Slide 3

So give the assumptions outlined here (BASE CASE crit damage, no other bonuses), the Phasma benefit outweighs Sid’s until Base crit chance rises above the 45% level.


But wait! There’s more!

This doesn’t assume that you have any First Order (“FO”) characters on your team apart from Phasma. As you include more FO characters, the power of Phasma’s skill just gets better.

SWGOH Leadership Skills: Phasma vs Sidious - Slide 5

As you can see, the double bonus with FO characters can really add up, stacking the damage on higher and higher.


One base assumption that can skew the results is the crit bonus damage. There are several characters whos crit damage is greater than 150% of Base damage. In those instances, the Sidious leadership has a higher value to multiply, and can provide more value.

However, even at an average crit damage of 175%, the Phasma bonus still wins out, as shown below.


SWGOH Leadership Skills: Phasma vs Sidious - Slide 6



So whose SWGOH leadership skill is better? While we can’t say that the Phasma leadership skill is STRICTLY better than that of Sidious, as we have laid out, in most cases the damage output from Phasma will prove to be the best option.

Some other non-quantified benefits of Sidious would be teams that have on-crit triggers (eg Luke, HK-47, etc). In those instances, Sidious provides some niche utility that would be above and beyond the values presented here.

Hopefully you have enjoyed this Team Instinct Strategy Article.



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    Jan 4, 2016 @ 16:12 pm

    Also depending on your team if you are single target damage focused Phasma would be more beneficial since you are usually stacking your team with people who do extremely high single target damage and attack multiple times where healers are much less effective. With an aoe team Sid is not only pervents heals, which are a lot more powerful versus aoe teams, but has one of the best aoe’s in the game himself. Usuall aoe teams only attack once so their proc for Phasma are much lower.

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    Jan 5, 2016 @ 11:33 am

    Great info, thanks for all the hard work.

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      Eddyo Reply
      Mar 24, 2016 @ 19:27 pm

      I Agree

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    Jan 6, 2016 @ 20:24 pm

    Thanks for this. Very detailed and well put.

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    WiFi Reply
    Jan 14, 2016 @ 0:40 am

    Very interesting. Now could you perform a similar experiment showing which leader ability of Qui Gon vs. Phasma produces more dmg, say with 3/4/5 Jedi including Q. Gon? I’ve been really loving Q. Gon(ldr) /Ben/Lumi/Sid/FOTP team as my Jedi get the speed bonus, Q. Gons harmonious assault rocks and my FOTP really doesn’t need any bigger crits to take out targets. But I wonder of replacing Q. Gon with Phasma as lead would be more beneficial?

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    ban kana Reply
    Jan 23, 2016 @ 18:08 pm

    Very interesting calculations. One factor that i find weighs heavily for choosing phasma is the added statuseffects applied by the assisting toons.

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    Superfarter Reply
    Jan 25, 2016 @ 6:47 am

    Very nice content. Tho, it depends on how the other team has the setup.

    For instance, my main team is :,sid(keader), rey, kylo, poe and daka. Everyone(80% of the teams in top 20 rank)have lumi as healer. Sids healing debuff makes an invaluable thing. In many ocasions, as i was playing with phasma as leader, i had the enemy on 10% hp and their healer(s)!made their team survive the round one bomb.

    I really not a big fan of sids hp or dmg. However, his leadership buffs(as you stated on the post) and healing debuff (and lots of surviability due to hp gain from killing heroes makes it worth it having him in the team and make sure noone from the focused hero gets the heals.

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    Flash Four Reply
    Jan 25, 2016 @ 8:46 am

    Great job on this. It confirmed what I was thinking.

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    Walton Reply
    Jan 30, 2016 @ 6:16 am

    I’m still a bit of a noob at this game. What exactly is a critical hit? What does it do compared to a normal hit? Just more damage?

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      Jan 30, 2016 @ 17:46 pm

      By default it does 50% extra damage. There are some characters with abilities that cause it to do even more damage or trigger other effects.

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    Tee Goobs Reply
    Feb 6, 2016 @ 14:24 pm

    Since this well researched article talks about the beneficial comparison of these two types of commonly successful teams, I’m going to mention how to beat them.

    See, I’m a contrarian, and though I have both of these players at level 70 almost maxed out in both gear and skills, I choose to use neither on my arena team, which positions me very well to speak about how to beat them.

    I love that 93 or so out of the top 100 on my server use one of these two characters as their leader. It really opens up the game for contrarian play. I am regularly at #1 on my server without either of these characters, nor Poe, nor Dooku nor Poggles. Yesterday not only was I at top spot again, but I’m the only player in the top 50 with Barris as leader. Also, with my contrarian squad I am able to complete the galaxy war table with ease, every day.

    Of relevance here is that it is useful to either play with “force heal” a skill that renders the “immune to heal” of Sidious (and Kylo), impotent, or you need multiple healers.

    The way to beat a Sidious team is to kill him first. He’s very weak defensively. Stun, expose, then due to his low health, bye bye. Game over.

    Team composition: healer, healer, stunner, exposer, counter attacker

    The way to beat any Phasma team (which by the way I agree is a much more potent squad), is to kill her support staff first. All those first order multi attack types have predictably low health totals. It should take no more than 3 shots to kill them with a powerful expose character, stun character, then you can even finish him with a weak def guy like RG’s silly poke. Or you can do it in 2 with a viable bonus attacker. Just kill one FO dude first, like tie pilot, super powerful, but easy to kill. The reason you don’t kill Phasma first is because during that time, Phasma will do her aoe slow effect. The key is to kill her second, before she has a chance to use advantage. If you don’t kill her before she uses advantage, it’s already too late. Leave her and move on to the next most powerful character. If you’re in the arena, that should be the stun character, or the counter attack character, in that order. If you are in the galactic war, that should be reversed, so you have a chance to heal before finishing that round. The goal though, as a Phasma team is much faster than a Sidious team, should be to slow it down.

    Team composition: counter attacker/speed down, expose character, healer, stunner, aoe or debuffer.


    –I know it’s tempting to kill healers early, but their ability to keep your enemies alive is less of a threat than reducing the power of the team as quickly as possible. Against both of these Siddious or Phasma teams, always save healers for last.

    –In both cases, if facing a taunter, make sure not to waste your special skills on him. Use your basic attack only, or use that timing as an opportunity to heal your team.

    –I will gladly disclose the exact composition of my #1 ranked team, as well as the 3 characters I’m currently farming to improve it even more and stay ahead of the copy cats, once my application to join Team Instinct is accepted. =)

    Now let’s all go and make mince meat out of the meta!

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      Walton Reply
      Feb 6, 2016 @ 22:14 pm

      @ Tee Goobs

      Seems to me you are ignoring the topic to brag. Any idiot can beat the AI. It’s not brain surgery. The topic is which leadership ability is more useful, not whether or not a Sid/Phasma team can be beaten or not.

      So you don’t run a Sid/Phasma leader. Big deal. You must have something in the leader slot. And I bet a Sid/Phasma leader team could probably beat it as well. Come back when you got something we didn’t already know.

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        Tee Goobs Reply
        Feb 7, 2016 @ 16:58 pm


        Sorry you’re having such a bad day. As mentioned, my leader is Barris. You must have missed that. The article was excellent, and thought provoking, and I’ll reiterate that Phasma teams give me a far greater challenge due to the stacking bonus attacks.

        Reading the article made me wonder why it is the meta for most teams to run one of these two characters. I chose to address this as a response and hopefully elcit some intelligent conversation by offering a contradictory view point. It’s regrettable, however, that instead, you to chose to respond with insults and add nothing.

        Another way you could have read my comment would be to have seen that by understanding the ways either type of team can be beaten, the information may be useful in preparing your own Phasma or Sidious led team to defend against a contra team that has an answer for their weaknesses.

        The days of dominance requiring a Phasma or Sidious leader, will not last forever. And if you’re just starting to build a team this way, you’re already late to the party. With levels locked at 70, everyone already there is busy experimenting with farming stronger teams, which may (or may not) include these two as leader. So certainly there is no harm in me sharing a successful strategy against both.

        For someone who is a self-proclaimed “noob,” you should consider seeking insight rather than commenting in a way that makes you look foolish. Search your feelings. Don’t give in to anger. You might learn something useful, and one day you too could compete for top slot in the arena, as I do every day on my server. Is that bragging? Yes, absolutely. My team is one of the best. There are no teams on my server that I can’t beat. That’s why I’m here, because Team Instinct is supposed to be the best of the best. But I also chose to share part of my strategy to this forum. Contrast that with those who are here to just to glean insight, ask questions, or trolling — that type of contribution is more akin to being a parasite. Best of luck, friend.

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          Walton Reply
          Feb 7, 2016 @ 17:11 pm

          @Tee Noobs

          Not having a bad day at all. I actually had a good laugh at your incredibly off-topic post. Basically you give advice on how to beat the AI. What good is is that? My four year old sister can beat the AI. I suspect many have beaten your team when on AI mode as well. Heck, I started this game on 24 December and already rank in the top 10 on my server from a lvl 66 position. I expect to rank higher in a few days when I join everyone at 70.

          All I am saying instead of telling us how to beat the AI, which anyone can do, why not show us at team on AI mode that cannot be beaten by a challenging Phasma/Sid team? Do that and then you can start bragging. Until then, you’re full of it.

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            Tee Goobs
            Feb 7, 2016 @ 18:48 pm

            Man, Walter… Brother you are either really a glutten for punishment, or just can’t quite figure out how to dominate the game on your own. First off, top ten isn’t quite #1 is it? I congratulate you on your progress nevertheless. You and I started playing at the same time, but I think our similarities probably end there.

            As far as your odd obsession with “AI mode,” I’ve never once used any auto battle, and I think you are not a serious player if that’s how you play. But I’m starting to understand why you may have no idea what you’re talking about. When you challenge a player, you are not playing that individual in head-to-head in real time. Whether you play in auto mode or not (which toggles only your side of the battle), the opposing team is automated based on the most recent team that the opposing player fielded. They could be sleeping, or at work, or playing in a different part of the game, but you are not playing them live. It’s kinda funny though that you didn’t know this.

            Perhaps your server doesn’t have a player with a team like mine. Maybe you are on a server where everyone in the top ten has either Phasma or Sidious as leader. But on my server, I can beat any team, period. And part of the reason I can do that is because I took a different team approach. Sure other teams can beat me too, but I have finished the day in first place more times than I could keep count. And if you can’t see that I’m trying to contribute to the conversation by pointing out this alternate strategy, then there’s nothing I can do to help you improve your team.

            I feel bad for you that you are either so clearly exasperated or can’t believe it or can’t understand the strategy because you haven’t seen it yourself, but that doesn’t mean it’s untrue. Well, this may disappoint you, but it is true, and I put links to screen shots proving it in my application to join Team Instinct like 2 days ago.

            Maybe you don’t want some other strategy questioning the status quo that you worked so hard to emulate. But where has that gotten you to date? Top ten? Hitting a wall maybe? Perhaps a even a little bit jealous? It’s okay, I won’t hold it against you. If you’d like, I’ll even offer up my Ally Code so you can see the value/power of my leader (Barris) for yourself. She’ll help you level up more quickly. It’s hard to find a strong Ally that isn’t Phasma or Sidious, so please consider my offer as an attempted olive branch. (just let me know your screen name because I get many requests, and am otherwise full). But if not, then please let’s spare this forum further debate on this pissing match. I’m sorry if you felt my comment was off topic, I meant no insult to Phasma or Sidious led teams.

            Ally code 415-922-382

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      Arod Reply
      Feb 22, 2016 @ 15:05 pm

      Thanks for sharing, also a lot of people didn’t understand what you tried to compare here, I think it was very valuable to share your experience with Barriss and use other characters to face Sid and Phasma.


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    Rob Reply
    Feb 7, 2016 @ 12:43 pm

    This is an excellent write up. Hats off to all who contributed.

    With the next patch notes released including a reduction of times that Phasma’s leadership ability is triggered, how does this change?

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    Walton Reply
    Feb 7, 2016 @ 18:10 pm


    Sure there is no harm. There just isn’t much point to it either unless your aim is to brag about your rank. With the mets the way they presently are, as long as my Poe taunts first and there is no Daka around to revive everyone a half dozen times, my team will beat the AI. That’s the way it is.

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    Hiroshi Reply
    Feb 8, 2016 @ 3:26 am

    Tee Goobs must be a total moron. You honestly don’t understand what Walton is trying to say? All he is saying is that beating a Sid or Phasma leader is no big deal cause when you challenge them, the defending team is at the mercy of the AI ( Artificial Intelligence) . A Barriss team is ridiculously easy to beat too. Unless you are claiming your team never loses when challenged by another (something I highly doubt), you remove your embarrassment of a guide and save your bragging for your Facebook page.

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      Tee Goobs Reply
      Feb 8, 2016 @ 16:56 pm

      Hiroshi, these issues have already been addressed. If my comments don’t appeal to you or you take it as bragging or differently than was intended, that’s your right to ignore them, seek clarity, or express why you disagree. I’ve explained that I was trying to offer some insight that I think is relevant to the part of the article that talks about the meta of most teams having either Sidious or Phasma as team leader, which I took to imply that you need to choose one or the other as leader to be a top team. My comment is not meant to function as a guide, that’s silly, and certainly calling it that disrespects all the intelligent analysis that went into this week researched data. My comment was not intended to downplay the value of the research, I think it is excellent. Rather I meant to give an example of an alternate strategy altogether, and perhaps point out to new players that they don’t have to choose one or the other to be successful. Just because you may think the information is basic doesn’t mean that it is to others, that’s selfish. Furthermore, my point is moot if I don’t back it up by offering the anecdotal information that I am a top team without either character as my leader. If you took it as bragging, perhaps you are too sensitive. And so what I don’t like to call dice rolls and computerized algorithms as AI …there’s nothing intelligent about it, and I’m not required to fall in line with this vernacular. Finally, it’s hard to take your comment seriously when it solely relies on name-calling, insults, and assumptions to make a point in lieu of contributing positively to the conversation. Please try to be more considerate and respectful of others moving forward. Thanks.

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    Hiroshi Reply
    Feb 8, 2016 @ 19:32 pm

    @ Tee

    Let’s not pretend to take the moral high ground, shall we? Your first post basically ridicules those who use Sid as being unoriginal, which is fine I guess, but when someone calls you out on your bragging you start acting like a condescending brat.
    You’re critique of the term “AI”, is quite frankly bizarre. You assume the Walton chap is an idiot referring to the auto play function. Then you go on how you don’t consider it to be “true AI”. Wake up, son. The developers themselves call it AI, why should Walton or anyone be faulted for using a term the devs themselves use?
    If you were smart, you should just own up to the fact you were basically bragging in your off-topic post. I’d have much more respect for that. Also, if you don’t like being called out when you make a mistake, best to go post on an Internet game forum. Can’t expect people not to call out morons when they see them.

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      Tee Goobs Reply
      Feb 9, 2016 @ 13:58 pm

      Look some teams are at the top, some aren’t. If you want to call it bragging, then fine. I don’t; it’s a competitive game, but at least I’m trying to offer people advice on how to improve their game play. If it’s useful, great. If not, sorry, it’s not for you then. The end. Simple as that. You think I’m being off topic, that’s your opinion, fine. I don’t. Your want to call me a moron? Be my guest, it accomplished a lot, good job. I’m the brat? Look in the mirror, “son.”

      However if you want to add something substantive rather than being all pedantic, I’m sure everyone would appreciate it because all I’m seeing is that you’re the guy that calls out other people. If the developers call it AI, fantastic. Who gives a crap, I’m sorry that I’m used to using that terminology for robotics, not a video game, but whatever, it’s AI, I concede that, I misunderstood, please forgive me for calling auto play the wrong term I must be such a stupid person, I’m sooo embarrassed–look at me blush, you caught me with my pants down. Is that what you want to hear? Bottom line is that what you call it impacts the game play zilcho, which is a word I use to sarcasticly point out that it makes no difference whatsoever what you call it. Walton and I misunderstood each other, and then we cleared it up, now get over it. You want to talk about off-topic, you are steering this further away from strategy discussion for the sake of personal insults, finger pointing, and semantics.

      And for what, your right/I’m wrong? <– Oh look! I spelled you're as Y O U R… what an idiot, I must be an uneducated fool, everyone laugh at me Ha Ha I don't know what AI is in the context of these developers, let's call me a moron cuz I'm hurting people's feelings for sharing that there is an alternate strategy you can use to be at the top of the game without being emboldened to Sidious or Phasma, Shane on me for being proud of that — if you're the best, just keep quiet and don't share that at all, it hurts people's feelings. That about sums it up.

      Moral high ground? Absolutely. I pissed on no one (till now; I will defend myself, not cower away and delete my post because you think I should feel embarrassed about it). I just posted an opinion on an alternate strategy. Is finger-pointing and name calling all you got? This will be last time I discuss this with you. You've accomplished nothing. So, go ahead and post your rebuttal, call me another name, tell me why I'm a dumb dumb, quote your buddy the developer, whine a little bit more, whatever it takes to get your insecurity issues out of your system, then let it die, and the rest please save for your therapist. Thanks again though in advance for taking up everyone's time with more useless nonsense.

      (eom=end of message for those you morons like me who might not be totally in tune with the "acceptable" lingo)

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    Smite Reply
    Feb 12, 2016 @ 21:44 pm

    @ Tee

    Be open minded, even to criticism.

    Your posts are much more provocative and personal than they should be. That’s not necessary.

    This kind of attitude will lead you nowhere in live . Not even to Team Instinct. 🙂

    And always keep in mind that Brevity is the soul of wit.

    Have a nice day,

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      Walton Reply
      Feb 14, 2016 @ 3:16 am

      Just a follow up: I hit lvl 70 today and with it also finished in the top spot on my server. Did it with a Sid leader, Lumi, Dooku, GS, and a Poe. I suspect I’ll be knocked off the top in a bit, as is always the case. Reaching top is not that hard and I make no claim to having any profound insights in the game. I would just say to do arenas well after most of your daily upgrading is done, use crystals to buy extra turns, and be active one hour before the six o’clock cutoff.

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      Tee Goobs Reply
      Feb 25, 2016 @ 15:23 pm

      @Smite, fair criticism. I regret that my tone incited people, that wasn’t my intent. I aim to contribute positively to this community. Thanks for the gut-check — TG.

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    Walton Reply
    Feb 14, 2016 @ 3:19 am

    As for the actual topic, I use Sid because he seems to be a stronger offensive character. Also much faster. I guess you could run both players on your team but I haven’t seen a great need to throw in Phasma.

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    Feb 24, 2016 @ 14:15 pm

    I asked Stormy about this but I’ll post it here as well.

    Phasma got bug fixed a minor amount so that her leadership ability doesn’t proc anymore on non-damaging attacks.

    Does this affect your findings?

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    Mar 3, 2016 @ 22:23 pm

    All I saw were walls and walls of text.

    For those that didn’t wade through it like I did:


    Tee Goobs: Explains he doesn’t need SId or Phasma in team to get first in arena.

    Walton doesn’t think that being able to win in arena without Sid or Phasma is that big of deal cause AI controlled teams basically suck regardless of comp.

    Then words. Lots and lots of words.

    @Author of article, nice comparison. interesting to know.

    @Tee Goobs, I am more interested in your rank when you start to play every day, not your final rank. With enough timing and crystals nearly anyone can get first. Its how far down you fall during your off time that really matters.

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      Tee Goobs Reply
      Mar 6, 2016 @ 12:47 pm

      That’s a good point on where does your ranking start. I have been using different line ups, and depending who is the last team to unseat, determines how far i fall. The more offense focused my last team is, the lower my starting ranking. When i use no healers, it can fall to around 13-15. My offense team is Anakin, Yoda, Koth, Dooku, and Fives. The anakin/yoda combo makes for a very powerful and quick offense up. I use this team against for example, Phasma squads, which are slower. My speed team will fall to about 9-12 with QGJ, Yoda, Koth, Fives, and Dooku. This i find is in many ways my best balanced team right now. I use that team against any team with QGJ as leader, or ones with Leia, Dooku, Han, or both Genosians (sp) where it’s important to prevent either a taunt, synergies, or offense up. My heal team will fall to 7 or 9. That’s Bariss, QGJ, Yoda, Daka, and Fives. In this case matches are longer, so i believe that opponents are reaching a draw against my AI (!) more frequently. I use that team against slow but powerful teams. For example an upstart team with a maxed out (new and improved) Imperial guard with powerful allies has changed the dynamic and required (for me) this type of high health high heal squad to counter. In all cases i sometimes sub in Koth if there’s a droid, or swap fives for dooku, if I’m facing several jedi, or QGJ/Koth for fives or daka when facing a Sid team (since jedis are weak against him). I compete for top slot among 4 or 5 regulars, and i acknowledge that has a great deal to do with timing.

      On topic: Phasma and Sid teams still dominate my server, but QGJ teams have been making great gains, about 25% of the top 20 now. Many teams have Phasma maxed out at 5150, but very few still have reached the fully geared out Sid, which is harder to build up to. One other note, an early tenacity up from yoda does wonders in neutralizing sids abilities.

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    RestAssured Reply
    Feb 20, 2017 @ 2:10 am

    Curious… Phasma has a 16% chance for extra attacks so her attack line shouldn’t be linear right? The extra attack will come 16 out of 100 times (or 1 in every 6.25 attacks)?? Right?