This a very, very special Should You Pull? featuring all of the units of this year’s Halloween event. Well… 80 tix, no rainbows left me pretty bummed out, but 2 10+1 later and… here we are!
Grim Lord Sakura
Rarity: 5★ to 7★
Role: Magic Chainer, Support
Aaah, screw Nalu. Best mage 2019 is here, fite me!!
GLS didn’t get an extensive 7★ kit, but what she got is juicy. An “active” TMR ability Grim Reaver (T-cast Grim Skills) gives her perma T-cast at the cost of locking her weapon and bumps her damage considerably.
The rest of her kit is better understood by splitting into support/damage:
GLS got only one new damaging skill: Grim – Eldritch Wave (300% Ramping Fire/Dark 5-Hit CW Ability w/ 50% Fire/Dark Imperil). Name sounds familiar? Yeah, it’s because it chains with TT’s Chaos Wave (Unawakened) and Chaos Flare/Dark! The ramping is of 50% per cast to a max of 800% It is unfortunately not backloaded, but both of her 6★ abilities also got a boost and will be enhanced later this month to be just as viable options
GLS already had an exquisite support kit at 6★ and it just ramped up with her new awakening. Candy Treat (Heal 5,000 HP, 150 MP, Fill 2~8 LB & +150% LB Fill to One Ally) is a solid support ability that does a lot and can have different uses on different units. It’s… not a grim ability, but she got a rather unique CD:
Candy Master (AoE 35% Mitigation & Access to T-Cast Non-Grim Skills for 3 turns) opens up a completely new role for her. It… unfortunately costs a stupid 20 LB crysts (her entire bar) so no broken shenanigans T1. Fortunately, though, you don’t really want to use her LB and this works especially well when you’re pairing her with either another GLS or a TT or even just using her as a straight support unit.
The abilities that can be T-Cast are: ST Reraise, AoE 100% DEF/SPR Buff, AoE Break Resist, Candy Treat and AoE Ele resists. It simply puts her at similar levels that Zarg and the Nichols and that’s mind-boggling for a damage dealer
GLS is also one of those unique units that… doesn’t really have a rotation. She gets a “ramp up” with her new Eldritch Wave, but everything else requires no setup, no ramping, no nothing. It’s just gogogo damage pew pew. Well.. sorta.
The deal is that before enhancements, the 6★ skills are not on par with other mages, as you can see on the sheet. Yeah, obviously, they require no setup, but they don’t burst or ramp. It’s a whole different story after enhancements, as they become extremely competitive, closing the gap between the same mages that take 6~7 turns to ramp on T1.
Eldritch Wave is another story entirely. It doesn’t take long to ramp because T-cast is just broken and it caps off at basically the same level as TT/Barbaroocia. It doesn’t get much better with enhancements, tho, unfortunately.
In any case, I think one of GLS’ main selling points is versatility of damage types for a mage. She has both AoE and ST options dealing about the same damage with the option of bringing along an element well 2, you get the gist or forgoing everything in case you need. And being able to swap that on-the-fly too!
There isn’t much GLS can do in terms of damage/chaining without a partner. The TT duo is very interesting, but it obviously doesn’t come without its flaws: Q-Cast vs T-Cast and Setup vs Always On.
The chains are spaced in a way that you can make a 28+2 chain when pairing the mages, so the damage loss for GLS is not significant. TT loses an entire cast, but gains a free 50% Imperil to compensate.
However, that’s only really good for T1 and T3. On T2 where TT is setting up for nuke #2, GLS is left alone. Which is probably still fine because you can either Candy Master or just use one of the support skills.
The biggest issue appears after T3 and it’s more of a TT issue than anything since she basically loses her Q-cast for the next who-knows-how-many turns. But like most units that are not chaining with their copies, it’s fine because you’re probably on a 10-man trial anyway.
While some of her crippling weaknesses 0 mp refresh, stupidly high mp costs were fixed, there’s still flaws on her kit, can you hecking believe it? Get it together gim0:
Fire and Dark together fucking suuuuucks. Like, everything on the foreseeable horizon either absorbs fire or dark or both. This is the place where TT has the clear advantage in being able to just stick to one of the elements. What this means is that you’ll be “forced” to use Soul Barrage, which is fine, but carries no Imperils and relies on sparks.
She has no viable partners for a long fight aside from a copy. TT as a partner makes me ecstatic but if whatever you’re fighting survives after T3, meeeh. This is still more of a TT issue anyway, as her dmg just plummets after T3
Rarity: 5★ to 7★
Role: Physical Chainer – AT & DR Families
This has been a wild ride for D.Lass. He was an “okay” unit (given the meta at the time) on release, got dumped on next year due to poopy enhancements and now he’s… back in the game!
Keeping up with the Ice theme, D.Lass got several very interesting abilities: Frost Sigil (5 Turn AoE -50% Ice Imperil + Ice Imbue) gives him imbue + imperil so you’re free to abuse 2-Handed Variances and it goes extremely well with Terrible Thirst (W-Cast All D.Lass Skills), a permanent W-Cast for all your sick TDH needs, backed up by a strong TMR-ability!
As far as damage goes, Lasswell can now chain with “two” families (he’s the GL founder of one of them, tho): Crescent Blade (400% 7-Hit DR Ability) & Equity Slash (690% 8-Hit AT Ability).
Let’s get something out of the way first: his DR ability is simply not up to par with the AT and it’s there purely for coverage. 400% non-backloaded mods without an Imperil is sooooo 2017. That’s not to say it’s garbage because he still outdamages all DR chainers not named Hyoh/Alola Lasswell anyway.
His Equity Slash is something else, though: 72% stronger than the DR on mods alone, not counting the sweet backload to bump the damage of the 1st cast. He’s already a stupidly strong unit just using W-cast Equity, but his kit simply didn’t end there.
There’s 2 CDs on DLass kit and while one of them is… unfortunate, the other is crucial for his rotation. Dark Descent(2,600% Hybrid Nuke + AoE 70% Dark Resist + Self +100% Man Eater) could’ve been devastating if it didn’t have suuuuch a gargantuan delay. Even W-Casting the AT chain, it’s sooo far away from being able to be capped that it’s just better left alone or for some human bursting.
Ancient Pact (99% HP Damage + Completely fill LB Gauge + Tiered All Stat Buffs) is on another level entirely because it just does sooo much:
The HP Damage triggers his permanent 100% ATK crisis buff, so you need no dedicated offensive buffer with him
The LB gauge fill allows for an RNG-free T2 LB so he can demolish your enemy
The tiered buff is an interesting “new” mechanic that applies diminishing buffs over longer periods of time. For DLass, on the turn you cast the CD, you get a 300% “All Stat” buff (really, only the DEF/SPR part matters), on the following turn, it drops to a 250% buff, then 200%, keeping him offensively and defensively stacked for half of his rotation.
It’s… a nuke, unfortunately, so it doesn’t really deal that much damage, but it unlocks Insatiable Thrist (T-Cast DLass Skills for 2 Turns), which not only makes up for the damage loss, but adds a loooooot of damage on the following turns.
D.Lass’ rotation is not simple, but it’s quite straightforward and RNG free:
|1||Imbue + Ancient Pact|
|3||T-Cast: Equity Slash x2 + Nightmare Assault +2|
|4||T-Cast Equity Slash|
|5||W-Cast Equity Slash|
It’s very cool that a previously mediocre 6★ skill of his can fit into his chains and provide a solid damage boost for future turns via a -75% Ice Imperil. It isn’t worth it to cast it before the chain, as you lose the cap bonus and overwriting the 50% Imperil is not worth it.
Then you basically have 2 other routes: you restart the rotation or you’re free to extend it for 3 more turns by going LB -> T-cast x2. Purely in regards to damage, restarting is the better choice, but the option to just keep going is certainly appreciated (dmg loss is minimal too).
In any case, damage from this is, as you can see on the sheet… very, very high.
But hey… it’s a triple rainbow banner and I can’t find 7★ DLass friends to chain with! Well, like basically all other units aside from Queen, you do lose damage by going with a non-dupe, but that’s usually fine for content that needs it (aka 10-man).
Not only that, but, as previously mentioned, we’ll be getting more and more AT chainers to pair him up with. Even if they aren’t T-cast machines, DLass’ ability to cap his own chain shouldn’t interfere too much with standard W-cast/DW AT users. If the chain breaking annoys you too much, you can always stick to W-casting or just using some other utility skill of his on the 3rd cast.
D.Lass is, obviously, not without fault. There aren’t too many damning pitfalls, but they’re certainly there:
There’s a “soft” ice-lock. Well, you obviously can just use an elemental weapon and forgo the imbue, but you then start relying on external imperils/weaknesses and you very likely also lose the 2-Handed variance.
He has zero MP refresh. His 5 turn rotation takes almost his entire potted MP pool, so you’re gonna need some external help to keep going. He has an MP drain ability, but that relies on the enemy having MP left and it obviously costs an action (or, at best, a third of an action).
He currently has no partners for the AT chain and he’s a limited unit on a godamn 3 rainbow banner. This is just minor, though, as more AT chainers are coming our way soon!
His party utility is limited to his 50% ATK break on Nightmare Assault and the 70% AoE Dark Resist on the poopoo CD
Rarity: 5★ to 7★
Role: Physical Cover & Provoke Tank
While D.Rain walked the opposite path of DLass for most of his life, his 7★ form isn’t bad by any means, but it kinda pales in comparison to other rainbow tanks.
Aside from his 100%/50% Mitigation Provoke, Rain can now function as a physical cover tank with Nether Aegis (75% AoE Cover, 50% to 70% mitigation). Aside from that, he got a few interesting tools in Entrust and the same Guts that Wilhelm has.
The non-CD part of his toolkit aside from the tanking part is… not impressive. They kept his damage dealer/TDH-counter shtick, but they failed terribly when porting it over to a 7★ meta. Here’s the issue with it:
If you build him as a non-evade tank, focusing on eHP to actually survive hits, his ATK ends up so low that you need to experience a ludicrous amount of hits to deal any significant damage. To put things into perspective, you need 10+ counters to reach a tenth of Hyoh’s damage output.
If you build him as an evade/dps tank, his eHP goes to poopoo, but at the same time, he fails to reach impressive ATK numbers to deal significant damage. You get, what, 3 times the output from case 1, but the hit requirement is still too steep.
If you build him with total ATK focus, his eHP is garbage, his dodge is non-existent and he can’t take a hit. If he survives, the damage output is… not bad? But that’s a big-ass if.
Bad news is that the CDs aren’t stellar either! Oh… yeah…Molten Armour (Self 1 Turn 80% Phys Mit + AoE 3 Turn +75% Fire/Earth Resist) is not bad, but it’s quite niche, the same thing with Demonic Song (3 Turn AoE 150% ATK/MAG + AoE 50% Man Eater).
You realize how worse those abilities are when you compare to Wilhelm’s massive utilities: 60% breaks, LB fill buffs, defensive buffs and even AoE Mitigation. D.Rain’s utility kit is geared towards offense and, imo, that’s not very good.
It has a… 104% fire imperil, but that’s it. If you have no one on your team to make use of that, you’re better off Entrusting someone else.
I think this has been covered throughout:
Counter focus relegated to LB cryst generation since damage is negligible on 7★
Utility towards offense
But again, that’s not to say D.Rain is bad. Far from it! His eHP is fantastic and he performs his tanking job excellently. My only gripes here is that his utility could’ve been much better and he just pales in comparison to big Willy.
Rarity: 5★ to 7★
Role: Physical Chainer
Lucius is one of the new Halloween units this year, built as a DW chainer with several partners.
Our first Incubus has a very clear fire/dark theme, just like GLS. He has one imbue for each element in Dusk/Dawn Barrage (400% 3-hit + 5 Turn Imbue) and then 3 different chaining skills with different families:
Piercing Barrage (680% 8-hit Octa Ability)
Crushing Barrage (720% 8-hit Kingsglaive Ability)
Blood Moon Barrage (640% 30 Hit Fire/Dark AR Ability)
You may have noticed that… none of them have any sort of imperil. And Lucius has no imperil in sight anywhere on his kit so you’re already depending on either a different partner to imperil or a different unit if you’re using a dupe.
As for passives/utilities, there isn’t anything that pops up immediately. His shtick is his “DR” counters, but I just don’t think they planned it right because:
The counter is fixed type, so it gets no benefits from killers or elements/imperils
It counters on damage taken by Lucius himself, which means you’re relying on your damage dealer being hit to counter
It gets absolutely screwed in timing if you have any other source of counters (like RoL), so evasion is pretty much out of the question if you wanna chain
So in the end, for you to make full use of the counters, you have to bring 2 Lucius and have them take damage every turn. Yeah, sure, we’re entering an era where you can expect your damage dealers to be hit every once in a while, but I just think it’s too convoluted of a “perk” for a very small benefit.
Lucius CDs also paint a rather confusing scenario regarding crisis buffs. His first ability is Immortal Demon (10% Auto-Revive + Self Heal + Self Break Resist) which basically translates to a turn loss because that’s either the job of your support or your dps shouldn’t be dying in the first place. Then we get Aggressive Presence (3 Turn 300% ATK + Self MP/LB Fill + 95% HP Damage + Self 50% DEF/SPR break) which is a pretty good buffing ability, while also pumping his LB.
What I don’t entirely understand is the role of the HP damage and the low-life auto-revive. Sure, his Final Moments (2 Turn +200% ATK when HP drops below 20%) is the clear target of this, but the synergy between LB and Aggressive Presence means you basically always have a better buff active. But oh well, that’s really not bad ;o
With an innate 20% LB damage boost, high tide and counter chances, using a damaging LB on a DW unit doesn’t look as bad! It even buffs his own ATK before dealing damage, so it’s even better for rotation purposes. It’s also backloaded, so yaay.
It’s really a DW damaging/buffing LB done right!
Lucius’ rotation is simple and dumb, but it might vary a little depending on what you’re using to chain. Basically, imbuing is never worth it over going elemental because the damage loss compared to a chaining turn is too significant. It’s only really advisable if you need to change elements throughout the fight or if you’re sticking to the Blood Moon chaining (even then, an element is worth it for the LB alone).
Differences in routes only appear if you’re not using Blood Moon to chain. AR chains have so many hits that coupled with his innate high tide, it shouldn’t be farfetched to get his LB up every 3 turns to maintain a 100% upkeep 300% ATK buff:
|1||Blood Moon Barrage|
|2||Blood Moon Barrage|
The only catch here is that the 1st rotation has a lower output (~20% less damage than 2nd+ rotations), but damage isn’t bad at all.
If you’re not using BM for whatever reason (dark/fire absorption, for example), don’t fret! You can fill in the Aggressive Presence CD to alternate LB uses so you still maintain the buffs up.
If you do have a choice between CD and LB, the LB is preferred even with the weaker buff, simply because the CD is a 0 damage turn.
Just like Sephiroth, Lucius is basically a chain blanket so there are several units you’d want to pair him with: Nyx, to get a real fire imperil; Malphasie, to make use of a real dark imperil and… yeah that’s it. No good 7★ Octa chainers so far and Viktor is meh.
Do note, though, that while his rotation is simple/straightforward, Lucius is asking for 1 turn every 3 turns to either LB or to CD in order to keep his buffs. When you’re chaining with someone else, that unit might not really have anything they want to do on those turns or they might screw their rotations, so you’d probably need to adapt and make compromises with every partner. Again, that’s usually completely fine on content where you can’t bring another Lucius or even want to use another unit’s utility, because Lucius clearly has none.
Clearly we can’t have a unit without faults, so let’s get to it:
No Imperils anywhere on his kit. This means a reliance on a different partner (loses damage somewhere else) or another unit (needs babysitting) to deal competitive damage
Zero party utility. No breaks, no buffs, literally adds nothing to your party aside from damage.
And that’s… really it. Ofc you can say he’s a limited unit that really wants a copy for chaining, but he works fine with other units. You can also say that his damage is not stellar compared to the top top top tier damage dealers, but it’s very high for a DW user
Rarity: 5★ to 7★
Role: Magic or Physical Cover Tank
Succubus Charlo– god damn it gumi. Okay, Lilith is the other original unit added to this year’s Halloween event and, to spice things up, she’s a tank!
It’s probably easier to understand Lilith’s kit by splitting it into Chain/Tank/Support:
In regards to tanking, Lilith is quite literally a sexy Basch: Demonic Guard – Physical/Magical (3 Turn 75% Phys/Mag Covers w/ 50% to 70% Mitigation). Two forms of covers and no provokes. Makes her a versatile unit for various content and can prove to be extremely useful for content with multiple rounds or wherever you need to swap between covers for thresholds/whatever.
Lilith’s support is…. Selfish? Love Hungry (1,000 HP Barrier + Auto Revive to Caster) is a self auto-revive for thresholds/safeguarding, Unholy Kiss (Tiered Self DEF/SPR buff – 120% -> 100% -> 80%) is fine if you’re not bringing a buffer and the Cooldown Hypnotic Presence (Tiered Self Phys/Mag Mitigation – 65% -> 45%) offers some serious self mitigation.
See what I mean? Most of her stuff is just for herself. That’s not bad and it makes for quite an independent unit, but I think that most of those abilities would be better fit into a support unit. You can’t forget that Lilith is losing a turn to cast any of these. For example, If you’re not bringing a support that buffs DEF/SPR, she can only get those buffed on T2.
In any case, it’s pretty neat to have a self-sufficient tank, especially one that can cast auto-revive on themselves.
Her party support abilities are only 2 and they also have selfish components to them: Counter-curse (AoE Break resist + Cure ailments & breaks from caster) and the CD Enchanting Corruption (AoE 70% Fire/Dark Resist + 150% DEF/SPR to caster + 2-4 LB to everyone). Break resist is sick to have, while the CD is niche by itself, as you’ll prob just use it for the LB buff.
Lilith has 3, W-Cast, chain abilities that fit into two families: Dusk/Dawn Lash (60% Dark/Fire Imperil + 500% Dark/Fire SPR Scalling 8-hit Ability) chains with the Kingsglaive family, so it goes along well with Lucius (who would’ve thunks’t) and Nyx. Kiss of Midnight (Fire & Dark 400% SPR Scalling 30-hit Ability + Self Heal/MP) is similar to Lucius’ Blood Moon Barrage and can also chain with Malphasie!
Damage is… low. Even with the SPR scaling and she being a magic tank and all that. The issue here is that there simply isn’t anything unfair with them. They have fair modifiers and that’s the end of it.
And that’s fine, she’s a tank, after all! What you can abuse with this is using her “off turns” to chain with other “utility chainers”. While we don’t really have many of those yet with her frames, we do have Viktor and we’ll be getting a great partner in Loren soon™.
She also has, like Lucius, chaining counters. In her case, it’s not only more believable she’s your tank dumdum, but it’s also just straight good despite the poop damage. The counter to phys damage recovers 15% HP and the counter to mag damage recovers 15% MP. There’s also, like Wilhelm, a counter that gives an Eccentric buff to your team mates!
There really isn’t much here, so I’ll just end up being a broken record: her support abilities are selfish and that’s literally all I got. That’s clearly not saying she lacks party support, because AoE Break resist and LB fill for free (or hard lb cryst fill on CD) are fucking awesome!
Should You Pull?
Are… are you insane? It’s a triple rainbow banner with no step ups. Unless you’re a complete madman like myself that trusts too much on your vegan soy tofu and crossfiting tire powers or you’re just a massive ass-whale, going in is just madness.
Trying to chase 2 copies of any of those units is a statistical nightmare. Heck, even if you have 1 copy already, I’d prob just shy away from it unless you fit into one of the criteria listed above. GLS is great, but there are other mages; D.Lass is strong, but DPS are dime a dozen; D.Rain is solid, but we’ll get more tanking options.
Just… think carefully like I did not
Eeeeh, I don’t know. Aside from Basch and A.Rain there’s like… no real 5★ magic tank in the foreseeable JP future yeah, chow, sorry, I get it Cotton D:<. We getting a GLEX one is absolutely fantastic, but she’s in the same banner as a.. damage dealer. Again, Lucius isn’t bad, but there isn’t much special about him; he’s literally a damage stick.
If you want a magic tank, by all means go ahead, but just beware that it’s a split banner ;o
Special credit: DefiantHermit