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In the current meta of Arknights, most operators are fairly well-balanced and play effectively in most circumstances, with clearly-defined strengths and weaknesses appropriate for their classes. And then there are these guys, operators with extremely broken aspects that resoundingly turns the game's many challenges into a laughing stock. Having just one of them can give you a significant edge, whereas you may struggle to make do without them.

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Please add entries in the following format if possible:

  • The operator.
    • Explanation of why their kits are excellent, overpowered, etc...
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    Vanguards 
  • Bagpipe
    • Bagpipe is best described as a "DP nuke". Her second talent Martial Tradition allows other Vanguards to deploy with 6 initial SP, up to 8 if Bagpipe is at full potential. This means an almost instant cast of their DP batteries at Mastery 3, allowing you to just spam out high-cost operators in a snap. Her offensive kit is also nothing to sneeze at, with her second skill High-Impact Assault being a charge-type skill that makes her next attack strike twice for massive physical damage, and her third skill Locked Breech Burst inheriting the plus-block capability of Grani before her but putting it to good by giving her a gigantic ATK and DEF buff alongside multi-hit attacks. All of this means that Bagpipe can output surprisingly high levels of damage, which translates into potential DP showers if she can consistently kill things and proc her Talent 1 Precise Reloading for some extra damage while she's at it. Due to the combination of the above, Bagpipe has since supplanted Siege's role as the undisputed top Vanguard in the meta, and she's an invaluable core unit to have at higher Contingency Contract risks.
  • Elysium
    • Following in the same footsteps as Myrtle (as detailed below), Elysium emerged as the premier DP dispenser in the game, generating up to a whopping 18 points with his S1, and 20 through his S2, and he's only marginally more expensive to deploy than her. As icing on the cake, Elysium's Sniper Support talent also passively reduces the cost for all Sniper operators, making him invaluable if you're looking to place down more expensive units like Meteorite or Executor, and the ASPD increase he offers them can turn some (Exusiai, wink wink!) into literal murder machines. Not to mention, his S2 Monitor grants him conditional True Sight on up to four enemies, making him the only melee operator aside from SilverAsh to be able to see cloaked units, along with applying speed and defense debuffs on affected enemies, which gives him extra utility in stalling and enabling physical DPS.
  • Myrtle
    • Myrtle shines as an excellent 4* operator due to her ability to generate DP really fast, actively heal other operators with her S2 Healing Wings (making her one of the few non-medic, non-defender classes able to use an active team healing ability), and passively heal other vanguards with her Elite 2 talent Glistening that gives them all life regen. Not only does she generate more DP than most other operators in her subclass, Myrtle is also bar none the cheapest to deploy Cost-wise, clocking in at 8 DP at max potential. This is particularly useful in challenge and Contingency Contract stages that limit DP generation or increase the DP cost of operators. To balance this out, her stats are rather poor. Her DP generation is manually-triggered, and happens gradually instead of instantly like other Vanguards', and also renders her unable to attack or block enemies due to her Trait. However, she is not designed to be an attacker to begin with, focusing on support and the most common strategy is just to plop her down somewhere out of enemy range, and activate her skill. Furthermore, she is easy to raise due to her 4* status.
  • Saga
    • Saga follows in the steps of Siege (see below), combining devastating offenses and significant support capabilities into a Vanguard capable of simultaneously generating DP, slicing up enemies, and enabling allies. Her main merit is in her first talent that causes her to Cripple enemies instead of killing them, upon which another unit can kill a crippled enemy to gain +2 SP. This allows her to serve as an incredible SP battery for anyone in her vicinity, speeding up the charging of high-cost skills or letting allies spam lower-cost ones. Furthermore, her second skill is a charge-storing ability that deals a massive amount of physical damage to up to 6 targets in a large cross, as well as killing any crippled enemies in range once it ends, all while generating DP. The real kicker comes with the fact that she can use this to gain the +2 SP from her own Crippled enemies, granting her massive amounts of SP with each use and potentially letting her spam the ability to pump your DP through the roof. Her S3 is nothing to sneeze at either, generating a whopping 20 DP over its duration, extending her range, and giving her multi-target attacks that strike an additional time against targets with less than 50% HP, letting her stand in as an AoE Guard that also generates DP. The icing on the cake is her second talent that kicks in when she hits 40% HP for the first time, granting her 70% physical dodge and significant life regeneration to give her a second chance at life.
    • Saga actually works quite well with Siege instead of simply replacing her. Since she won't kill enemies that have been Crippled (unless she's equipped with her second skill), and Siege gains SP when making a kill, Saga can easily make Siege spamming her second skill like it's nothing. Siege notably bypasses the so-called 'SP Lockout', meaning that (due to her talent) she will always gain SP, even if she has visibly gained 3 charges. This synergy has Siege softening enemies up for Siege to kill, which can be a terrifying combination when dealing with a Zerg Rush.
  • Siege
    • Siege is among the most powerful Vanguards in the game, as she combines the strongest aspects of all Vanguard archetypes to create a Vanguard that could honestly pass for a Guard. She has rather high defense and HP (further bolstered by her talent King of Beasts that passively boosts the ATK and DEF of all Vanguards) and is block 2, allowing her to tank enemies on her own. Her high attack power and second and third skills that boost her offensive ability even further allow her to brawl with many tougher enemies and still come out on top. At Elite 2, she can unlock Skull Breaker, which turns her into an extremely cheap Guard with the extra damage and stun (in exchange for not being able to generate DP at all). However, her Elite 1 Aerial Hammer skill in particular is gamebreaking, since it can store multiple charges, hits all enemies adjacent to Siege for a massive amount of physical damage, and gives 3 DP every time it's used. Combined with her Elite 2 Talent Crushing that gives her bonus SP for every enemy unit that dies next to her, she can use Aerial Hammer as a Spam Attack and rapidly ramp up your DP count to call in additional operators. Her only real weakness is that she cannot passively generate DP with Aerial Hammer, and must be constantly attacking in order to trigger it.

    Snipers 
  • Ash
    • Ash, being another Limited Operator from the Rainbow Six Siege collab after W before her, has the power to back up her title. From the get-go, her first talent has her throw a stun grenade as soon as she's deployed, giving her the drop on any non-immune enemies, and her Elite 2 Talent further helps her early advantage by giving her first deployment a -3 to DP cost and granting her up to 20 SP immediately after deployment, letting her almost instantly fire off a skill. Her S2 is where she really shines, as she throws that same stun grenade before unleashing a rapid-fire 31-shot barrage of bullets, while gaining a significant damage boost against stunned targets for the duration. The sheer damage the barrage does cannot be understated - unless the target is stun immune or really stacking DEF, anything she stuns and then turns her gun on is almost always dead. Her S3 is nothing to sneeze at either, being a delayed explosive that deals massive physical damage and shoves enemies away, but if the explosive hits a high-ground tile while flying along a low-ground tile, it will explode prematurely for even more damage - up to 800% of her ATK at max mastery (albeit only being able to be used twice per deployment). With a combination of crowd-control, insane burst, and massive area damage, Ash is a very versatile and powerful Sniper to have on your squad.
  • Executor
    • Executor is considered to be the best short range AoE damage dealer, period, due to a combination of staggeringly-high raw damage in conjunction with his trait that lets him deal 150% damage to enemies in the first row, widespread cone of fire, and Final Modification that lets him ignore up to 175 DEF of anyone he hits. Meanwhile, both of his skills are extremely powerful. His first skill, Muzzle's Elegy seems deceptively simple, with decent attack boost... and the ability to apply his trait to all enemies in range. This is quite a big deal since that trait is multiplicative, and it applies to attack boost he got from this skill, which cracks up his damage per shot up by a lot, allowing him to crack through heavy armor with ease, not to mention that it now applies to everything in range and not just enemies in front of him. It also has pretty quick charge-up time and long duration, allowing him to have good uptime with it. Meanwhile, Final Journey massively increases his DPS by reducing his attack delay and making his attack hit twice, which pairs extremely well with any attack buffs he can get and thus allowing him to burst down enemies in extremely short amount of time... which is good, because like SilverAsh and Eyjafjalla's skill 3 this skill has horrible charge-up time. Executor also has extremely high HP and defense for a sniper, allowing him to take a lot more damage without needing a medic to watch over him. Even after other Snipers in his archetype like Pinecone or Aosta were added, Executor's talent and skills still let him stand out amongst the newcomers.
  • Exusiai
    • Exusiai is one for Snipers. While she deals fairly mediocre damage per shot, she makes up for this with More Dakka. A lot of dakka in fact, and then some when she's promoted. All of her skills make her superb at dealing massive amounts of burst damage - especially her S3 Overloading Mode, which increases her attack speed and damage while making each attack hit 5 times, all on a relatively short cooldown - melting anyone with low to mediocre defenses out of existence, which the game provides plenty of. Having Exusiai alone can free up a lot of spots in your defense, due to her obscene damage output. There are some players out there who use her as the standard sniper unit in their team.
      • She can easily trivialize Mephisto in the main story's Operation 5-10 as soon as she's placed within range of his starting stand-by point, making him an Anti-Climax Boss who can be taken out in the first waves. Even if Mephisto can heal himself and the other enemies, his Physical Defense is just ranked C. When Exusiai's third skill, Overloading Mode, is activated, she can quickly outpace Mephisto's healing and eliminate him in under 15 seconds provided that she doesn't switch targets for too long.
      • Similarly, plopping her down near FrostNova when she's standing by at the start of the mission will result in her first phase being instantly killed the moment Overloading Mode activates. Retreat Exusiai, wait for a bit, and repeat the process to make short work of what is normally That One Boss. Even in her Chapter 6 encounter, this tactic can be used to borderline trivialize the fight, although the increased difficulty means a little more care is needed.
  • Meteorite
    • Meteorite is the perfect girl for those looking to deal obscene amounts of AoE damage from long range. Not only does she pack a significant punch by herself, her talent, Blast Attachment Refit, allows her grenade shots to crit, for damages somewhere in the low two thousands at Elite 2 without anyone holding her hands. When supported with buffs, Meteorite can hit for upwards of six thousand and change. This means Meteorite firing randomly into a crowd can obliterate most of them in a single shot, doubly so with the proc from her S1 Buckshot that further increases her damage and blast radius for her next shot. It stands to reason that an Elite 2 Meteorite with a Mastery 3 Buckshot is so commonly used to cheese harder maps and Annihilation stages, and should you ever put her in the same team as efficient DP batteries like Ch'en, Archetto, or Liskarm then hooo boy, she's going to spam out nuke-level shots like it's going out of style. Her second skill, High-Explosive Shell, is also of high tactical value due to its DEF reduction effects, which gives her better viability against tough enemies. Overall, while Meteorite might take a lot of investment to reach full strength, she's a veritable one-woman nuke machine if you give her the upgrades she need. Observe!
  • Schwarz
    • Schwarz, true to her profession, specializes in assassinating high value targets, particularly ones that have very high defense. Her first talent Armor Penetration Arrow gives each of her regular attacks a chance to deal up to 160% extra damage and ignore 20% of her target's DEF. On top of that, her third skill, Final Tactics, which is the one primarily used for her, increases her damage further by up to 180% and guarantees her talent procs on every attack when activated. Combined with her extremely high base attack stat, and Schwarz can deal insane amounts of damage to single targets that overwhelms their armor, normally being able to deal 2000+ damage to enemies with 2000 DEF or higher. On top of that, she also has a second talent Crossfire that passively buffs the attack of Snipers on the map if there is another one deployed with her, which includes herself. The only drawback is that her firing range narrows to a single three tile line in front of her when her S3 is active, basically restricting her attack range to that of Ifrit's and making landing consistent shots difficult unless the target is immobile or being blocked by someone.
  • W
    • W is a Limited Operator whose power befits her status. All of her skills are designed to inflict massive amounts of physical damage and stuns, which synergizes with her second talent Insult to Injury which increases the damage taken by all stunned foes in her range. Out of her skills, her S2 Jack in the Box is notable for letting her plant untargetable bombs in her attack range each time her SP gauge fills up. On contact, these bombs deal massive physical damage and also stun anyone caught in the explosion, and its short cooldown plus the fact that the bombs linger for a while can let W set up veritable minefields during downtime, instantly blowing incoming enemies to kingdom come if she's allowed to spam this. With this, one can no-brain the right lane of the poison haze map in Integrated Strategies by simply pointing her in the right direction, letting her plant mines alongside almost the entire lane and watch enemies blow up as soon as they appear. Her S3, D32 is even potentially more frightening, as she reuses the attack she used as a boss during Chapter 1 where she attaches bombs that can instantly take out your operators. Redemption Demotion is not in effect this time, as she now does it to 3 enemies at Level 1, and 4 enemies at Mastery 1 - and these bombs have an AoE the same as her normal attack, dealing ridiculous amounts of physical damage and inflicting an even more debilitating stun onto them. The most devastating thing about the skill is that each bomb can hit multiple targets, so if she sticks them onto enemies close to each other, that's causing enemies to take damage from 3-4 already powerful bombs simultaneously, which turns the damage from devastating to almost guaranteed death for anything caught in the blast. And if having high damage isn't good enough, her first Talent Ambush blesses her with a survivability surpassing even Durin and 12F, granting her up to 60% Physical and Arts dodge just from being deployed for 10 seconds. It also reduces her chance of being targeted by enemy attacks, which means that all things considered, you'd almost have to be trying to get her killed for her to kick the bucket.

    Guards 
  • Bibeak
    • Unusual for a welfare operator, Bibeak is deceptively powerful owing to her talent and skills. At first blush, Bibeak doesn't seem to have much going for her, being merely a Moveset Clone of Ch'en who lacks her prime counterpart's utility and damage. However, Bibeak's real strength lies in her Soul Drinker talent, which gives her +6 ASPD for every kill she personally got, and can stack up to 6 times. At max stack, Bibeak's attack pattern becomes a true Blade Spam that deals damage at a ridiculous rate, allowing her to regain her SP in very short order, as her skills are cheap to deploy to begin with. Once she has hit her stride, Bibeak becomes an unstoppable mass stun spamming machine, delivering reliable crowd control using Blade Swap that hits up to 6 enemies at once and disables them for nearly two seconds at Mastery 3, which is not very long for its SP costs, but easily remedied when pairing her with SP batteries like Warfarin or Liskarm. With a constant stream of SP, Bibeak can permanently lockdown a group of enemies until they die. Better yet, it can also hold charges, not that she needs those considering her absurd SP regain rate. While underused normally, that Twilight of Wolumonde being rushed ahead of time on the global release basically turned Bibeak into a superstar almost overnight, even if she's still rather niche, since her stun spams make her a wonderful pick against the normally-dreaded Colossi, and she's considered one of the top-tier operators for Contingency Contract Blade or Lead Seal if one is aiming for a high risk level. In regards to the aforementioned Ch'en, Bibeak is now widely considered to be superior towards her higher rarity counterpart thanks to her permastunning shenanigans, owing to Ch'en having fallen off the meta as time passes.
  • Blaze
    • An insanely strong AoE Guard can be found in the form of Blaze, mostly because of her second skill Chainsaw Extension Module. It's nothing as flashy as Truesilver Slash, Chi Xiao or Full Moon, but that doesn't stop it from still being extremely powerful despite being a consistent damage skill. Essentially, once it fully charges, it increases her attack and defense dramatically, while also having an infinite duration and increasing her range by one more tile. It doesn't sound like much, but considering that she has good stats to begin with, the buffs she gains from this skill can get so high that she'll be able to take out entire swathes of enemies by her lonesome while the DEF boost gives her survivability only surpassed by Defenders.note  The extended range also allows her to attack behind a Defender or any other operator for that matter, opening up new strategies - she can even attack through walls. The only drawback is that that it takes a long time to activate, but this can easily be circumvented with proper planning. Blaze becomes even more deadly when she ranks up to Elite 2, which enables her to attack and block 3 enemies simultaneously, turning her into one of the single most powerful lane holders in the game. Along with all her pros, her talent 1 Emergency Defibrillator allows her to heal herself and temporarily refuse to go under half health the first time her health reaches 25%, which gives her a second chance even if she does take severe damage. The icing on the cake is that her Harsh Training talent passively resists disabling debuffs, meaning that even things like stuns or freezes won't keep her down for long.
  • Ch'en
    • Ch'en is also a hilariously overpowered operator. All of her skills are strong, but her second and third abilities in particular are just absurd, dealing massive amounts of damage in a snapnote  to either all enemies in a highlighted range in front of her (S2), or to a single target (S3). Whereas SilverAsh pummels enemies to dust with his True Silver Slash, Ch'en just outright deletes them. Her second skill, Chi Xiao - Unsheath at Level 3 mastery can also be used immediately upon deployment, leading to some incredible strategies, helidropping or otherwise. In addition, her Scolding talent turns her into an SP battery for all units with non-auto recovery skills as well, giving her important utility beyond being a fast reaction nuker.
      • Sadly in later contents she has fallen off the meta, due to the introduction another Move Set Clone of lower rarity in the form of Cutter who is easier to use and with lower SP costs to activate her skills, along with Bibeak who is a truer Moveset Clone who can spam her skill 2 more than Ch'en along with dealing crowd-control. That and the introduction of newer enemies having enough bulk to survive her burst damage. While her S2 still has the benefit of instant activation upon deployment for chip damage and is still a competent fighter herself, she is nowhere near the powerhouse she once was.
  • Hellagur
    • On a good day, Hellagur will just not die. Not only does he have supremely high ATK and HP compared to his fellow Guards, Hellagur also has innate Life Drain on hit. This means the more he attacks something, the more health he regains for himself. His Elite 1 talent, Waxing Moon comes into play when he's hurt, which scales his ASPD buff inversely proportional to his remaining HP. At Elite 2, his ASPD is effectively doubled when he's at 30% remaining HP, which translates into both ridiculous damage output and self healing coming in at an alarming rate, on top of his Ingenious Strategist talent giving him Regenerating Health when not blocking anything. His absurd 75% physical dodge chance with his S2, Half Moon, active is just further icing on the cake, while his S3, Full Moon, is a burst damage nuke that can strike down scores of enemies at a time while healing him even more than usual. While he does have some considerable drawbacks to him, such as his exorbitant DP cost and inability to be healed by most healersnote , if managed properly, Hellagur can bully most lanes by his lonesome despite his 1 block, and stands to be one of the most popularly-picked operators for Contingency Contract thanks to his insane sustain. After all, who needs healing when you can just heal yourself?
      • However, it should be noted that, like Ch'en, Hellagur has slightly fallen off the meta as well. While he is still nothing short of reliable, the introduction of Jaye and Mountain meant that he has now two competitors who do a similar job to him - that do the job cheaper to boot. Jaye notably has the benefit of being able to be helidropped due to his fast redeployment time and his low cost, something that Hellagur does not have. Mountain has fast ASPD with a debuff attached, consistent HP regen as opposed to HP regen on hit and has a self-sustaining ability that also lets him serve as bait for certain enemies. All of this concerned, Jaye and Mountain (both are also on this page) have largely replaced him ever since he was introduced.
  • Lappland
    • Lappland. Just, Lappland. She follows the same ranged Guard archetype as SilverAsh, but whereas he's specialized in doing a lot of damage, she is unique for her Power Nullifier passive Spiritual Destruction that's unlocked at Elite 1, causing each attack to inflict a Silence that prevents enemies from using their active skills and lasts 5 seconds at Elite 2note . Remember those pesky Sarkaz Casters? Or the Infused Originium Slugs that blow up on death and taking out your operators as well? How about the always annoying Defense Crushers that stun your defenders like a joke? Lappland seals all of their annoying skills on hit. All of them. Just beware that many higher-level enemies and bosses have immunity to Silence, and things like revivals are fixed scripts inside the game. In addition, her second skill Wolf Spirit massively boosts her ATK, takes away the damage penalty normally applied to her ranged attacks, lets her hit two targets simultaneously, and makes her deal Arts damage as though she was a caster, making her guaranteed to punch holes in anything she turns her swords on. Lappland single-handedly renders an incredible variety of enemy types near harmless because of Spiritual Destruction, and she's capable of nearly trivializing the entirety of Chapter 6 due to the Yeti Squadron's reliance on their special abilities - and even when enemies can No-Sell her Silence, she can still output a lot of damage to make up for it. Even on CN builds of the game, she's still one of the premier ranged Guards you could pull, due to the on-hit nature of her talent compared to similar sealing effects of Waai Fu, Nian or Podenco, who need to be manually deployed or have their skill activated with careful timing in order to maximize their effectiveness.
  • Mountain
    • An unexpected one is Mountain. As he belonged to a historically underused archetype, the (Brawler Guard), the expectations for him weren't that high - even with the buffs Hypergryph applied to this archetype in order to scale them better. However, since his cost is low (lower than that of some Vanguards, in fact), and his skills turned out to provide a fair level of versatility, he soon rose to becoming a staple in many high-end teams. In particular is his second skill, Sweeping Stance, a toggled skill which decreases his DEF but gives him regenerating health per second note , increased block count, the ability to hit all blocked units, and an attack buff. Despite the DEF drop, the life regen makes him able to tank a fair bit similar to SilverAsh, while also letting him deal serious damage to multiple targets at once - it helps that his second talent Sturdy Constitution, which buffs his DEF and gives him physical dodge, helps mitigate the downsides of the skill. The amount of HP granted can become up to 7% per second, enough to let him bully less hectic lanes all by his lonesome considering the DEF drop decreases as you level the skill. His third skill, Earth-Shattering Smash increases his attack interval in exchange for a huge attack buff (it's essentially his base ATK doubled at max mastery), but also raises the chance of his Forceful Fist talent triggering (a Critical Hit that also decreases the ATK of the enemy on hit, which he can easily trigger over and over), and makes his attacks hit twice. This renders the attack interval being increased moot and he can now also hit 3 enemies at once similarly to an AoE Guard. While this doesn't raise his block count, it now also pushes enemies away in the four cardinal tiles that surround him, and when they try to walk back, they can take even more damage. Whereas this knockback is similar to that of Mostima, it does not make him fall into Tier-Induced Scrappy territory, since the range is way smaller than that of hers.
      • In addition, his third skill can, with some calculation, not only push enemies into holes, but also halt certain enemies from casting their annoying debuffs, like the Bladehelm Knightclub Trainees and Bladehelm Knightclub Elite, right during their animation so they're forced to reset it.
  • SilverAsh
    • In the current meta, SilverAsh is Game Breaker personified. He does a lot of things and does them very well.
      • As a Ranged Guard, he makes for an awesome tank, especially since his second skill Rules of Survival gives him a hefty DEF steroid and high HP recovery to let him survive for far longer than many other guards could, at the easily ignorable cost of restricting him to essentially melee range. At max level, this skill gives SilverAsh defenses that can make even the hardiest Defender green with envy and allows him to replace them if necessary or defend isolated lanes due to his regenerating health.
      • SilverAsh is also a surprisingly powerful duelist that also has the advantage of being able to attack at range and hit air enemies. This is due to the fact that at M3, his normally-unremarkable S1 allows it to be triggered in just two attacks, causing every third hit to strike for a massive 290% of SilverAsh's attack power. It is a powerful skill if one opts for a SilverAsh with more consistent damage output, preferably behind someone else for additional protection while defending lanes. If necessary, he also can tank fairly well due to being a Guard with good HP and DEF like any good duelist.
      • However, while both S1 and S2 has their uses, it pales in comparison towards his final skill once unlocked: Truesilver Slash. To put it simply, it drops his DEF but grants a ridiculous attack steroid (up to +200% ATK at Mastery 3), massively widens his attack range, and grants his attacks AoE properties that lets him hit up to 6 targets at once at Mastery 3. With it, he can deal high (read: insane) AoE damage over a huge range with a similarly huge duration of 20-30 seconds, without the 20% damage reduction usually found within the Ranged Guard subclass - even better since SilverAsh is a ground unit, which means he has much more flexible placement in the field than high ground units. To put things into perspective of just how busted this skill is, True Silver Slash has such a high damage output that he can comfortably burst down most of the enemy types in the current meta, regardless of their resistances - even melting through the likes of Defense Crushers. Sure, it has a long cooldown, but many Annihilation or challenge maps can be cleared simply by deploying and pointing him in the right direction. And if you buff him with Aak's third skill or with Warfarin's second skill, Truesilver Slash will become the true Game Breaker note . Better yet, he can use it a surprisingly short time after he's deployed - combined with his talent (see below), he can create some insane heli-dropping strategies. Sure, the skill decreases his defense, but who needs defense if no enemy can even get close to you?
      • His talent Leader naturally reduces the redeployment timer of everyone else, which becomes more effective as he's promoted, which give players more breathing room in case they need to redeploy faster. At Elite 2, he also gains the Eagle Eyes talent which confers True Sight, making Detectors redundant and ruining the days of every enemy with invisibility. He's one of the only four operators who can do this in the game as of the time of writing, the others being Elysiumnote , Tsukinoginote , and Scenenote , whereas SilverAsh does it passively and without an upper limit on how many he can reveal at once.
      • To put things into perspective: while Hypergryph had been hard at work introducing 4 and 5-star Moveset Clones of the other operators on this page, none so far have been able to ape SilverAsh's repertoire, especially his True Silver Slash (seeing as it's a S3, odds are nobody under 6-star ever will), which makes him a one-of-a-kind Game Breaker in the current meta.
  • Specter
    • As if Blaze wasn't strong enough, Specter with her Bone Fracture skill firing puts everyone else to shame. Put simply, for as long as her S2 is active, Specter has massively boosted attack, but most importantly cannot die, periodnote . In certain aspects, she can even be considered Blaze's superior, as her survivability is tied to a skill instead of a one-time talent, meaning she can shrug off death multiple times per level, completely at the player's discretion instead of automatically firing when below a certain health percentage. As the cherry on top, her self-stun after her S2 expires can be a blessing in disguise, since her threat priority will go down and melee enemies will not attack her, allowing Specter a moment of respite as her Abyssal Regeneration talent restores her HP. Her mettle was put to the test during Contingency Contract, where certain enemies are massively buffed such that they can take out supremely tough Defenders like Hoshiguma in a single tap. In fact, some high-risk strategies basically demand that you have Specter, as any other tank will not work. As such, Specter stands as the queen of tanks in the current meta, so long as her S2 can be consistently activated. The only crimp to her kit is the relatively short duration of her S2, even when fully mastered, at a cap of 15 seconds, which can be troublesome when fighting beefy enemies without damage support from other operators. If you lack Specter and a difficult event rolls over (Contingency Contract, for example), you're probably gonna be in for a bad time - no matter how durable an Operator is, it doesn't make much of a difference as long as they can still die in the end.
  • Surtr
    • Ever since her release, Surtr has arguably usurped the title of the game-breaking Operator. She's already quite strong as an Arts Guard with skills specializing in burning down groups of enemies at once, which couples well with her talent Molten Flame that causes her to ignore up to 22 flat RES when attackingnote . While her second skill Molten Giant is powerful for when she needs consistent damage output, her third skill Twilight takes all of this Up to Eleven - it gives her a gigantic attack steroidnote , increases her range and target limit, and gives her +5000 HP while healing her to full HP,note  at the cost of her HP burning away every second at an exponentially increasing rate. While she's unlikely to last long while the skill is activenote , she can inflict catastrophic damage while it is, outright deleting hordes of enemies off the face of the earth while shrugging off all harm thanks to the gigantic HP boost. Even high-RES enemies aren't safe due to her talent, letting her crunch through even tough bosses by her lonesome. And on top of this, her second talent Remnant Ash lets her defy death for a few seconds when killed, giving her up to 9 more seconds of nuclear Arts attacks before she kicks the bucket. While the burst nature of her skills make her unsuited for sustained combat, the sheer damage she can inflict is catastrophic enough to make up for it and more, making her one of the most commonly seen picks for bursting down endgame bosses and hyper-buffed enemies in Contingency Contracts. Furthermore, because her skill is charged seconds after deployment, she has incredible value as a helidrop operator - release her to cause havoc until she burns herself out, retreat her, and repeat. Really, Surtr just trivializes most content in the game, while making extremely difficult content like high-risk CC much easier - after all, who cares about dying when all of the enemies die with you?
    • To put it into perspective how powerful Surtr is, a significant amount of content released after her introduction seems to have been balanced with her in mind, particularly the amount of anti-burst and anti-Arts measures present; Operation Lead Seal in particular introduced RES-buffing contracts that hyperinflated enemy RES and HP so much that even a Surtr with a Mastery 3 Twilight wouldn't be able to punch through them easily, along with more redeployment-time contracts to make helidropping harder. Considering that Hypergryph has shown restraint when buffing or nerfing specific Operators in the past, it's likely going to stay this way for a while.
  • Thorns
    • Thorns is considered to be one of the most overpowered Operators when it comes to sustained damage output, mostly due to his S3, Destreza, that increases his range to that of a Sniper, buffs his ATK/ASPD, and removes the 20% ATK reduction he normally suffers from as a ranged guard. That would normally be okay, but what makes it so strong is that when used a second time, the bonuses double and the duration becomes infinitenote . Once you let him attack enough to charge his skill twice (which is only 30 attacks in total), he essentially becomes a ground sniper on steroids that can demolish just about anything that dares enter his range, and unlike snipers he not only has more flexibility regarding his placement, but also still retains the high stats of a guard on top of his range and fire rate, essentially turning him into a Master of All. The icing on the cake is that like Blue Poison, his talent Nerve Corrosion makes his attacks deal additional Arts damage over time - but it's a lot stronger than Blue Poison, especially since the damage doubles if it affects a ranged target. While he does need some time to set up (making him a poor choice for very hectic maps),note  Thorns with his S3 up is capable of handling a good chunk of most maps (if not the whole map) by his lonesome, especially since his second talent, Echoes of Ancestral Waves, gives him high HP regen when not attacking to make sure he'll almost always be engaging battle at full health as long as he has a bit of breathing room between waves. He's especially infamous in Integrated Strategies for his flexible ability to perform just about every role needed (something valuable in a mode with very limited Operators), making him an incredible pick if you happen to get him.
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    Defenders 
  • Cuora
    • Cuora is widely considered to be among the most overpowered 4-star operators and a hell of a Disc-One Nuke if you get her early.note  Her absurdly high base defense coupled with Defense Specialist that gives her up to +12% bonus DEF for free gives her physical durability that eclipses even 6-star Defenders, but that's just the beginning - Shell Defense further boosts her DEF to downright silly levels, lets her go up to block 4 (something that almost no other Operators can do), and causes her to rapidly regenerate her HP. Combined, these make her one of the most effective pure physical tanks in the game, with a sufficiently leveled Cuora able to hit nearly two thousand defense all by herself. The only other operators in the game that have a similar skillset are Vulcan and Nian, and they are broken in their own ways, but in comparison to them, Cuora is very easy to build due to her 4-star status, and is in both the standard headhunting and Recruitment, whereas you may struggle to get Vulcan and Nian, who are both elusive. note 
  • Liskarm
    • The sheer utility of Liskarm cannot be stressed enough. Despite her otherwise lackluster kit, Liskarm is heavily prized for one reason: her talent. Starting from Elite 1, Liskarm gains the Tactical Defense talent that gives 1 SP to all operators placed on tiles in the four cardinal directions to her, making her an excellent battery for those who require a lot of SP to fire their skills. While one don't normally get much mileage out of it due to the slow attack rate of most enemies in the game, when she's being mobbed or wailed upon by units with very high ASPD (e.g. Brawlers), Liskarm starts churning out SP at a staggering rate, such that most operators won't even have a moment of downtime in between skill uses. If you've got Aak, you can even produce your own SP burst whenever you desire (and Aak's skills are off cooldown). When placed next to Vanguards with auto skills, Liskarm can kick their DP generation into overdrive, while her sitting next to Medics or certain Defenders will allow them to output unparalleled healing, and turn main DPS operators into damage monsters. As a result, Liskarm is extremely valuable in cheese strategies, and can make nearly every operator usable, if not godly (see Bibeak's entry above).
  • Mudrock
    • Mudrock managed to make a splash in the meta within the first weeks of her release. As an Enmity Defender like Vulcan, she makes up for her inability to be directly healed with very high stats all around and a plethora of ways to make sure she stays healthy. Her first talent Ward of the Fertile Soil causes her to periodically generate stacking shields which not only each negate an instance of damage (no matter how much it would have done), but also heal her for up to 22% of her max HP when one breaks. With this, she can easily brush off an Infused Originium Slug's explosion with even more health than she had before. Not to mention that this also negates certain status effects - for example, if she blocks an attack that would have stunned her, she will not be stunned. In addition to blowing Nian's talent out of the water, this alone gives Mudrock insane survivability considering each stack only takes 9 seconds to generate, but her second skill Crag Splitter is a fast-charging attack that strikes all foes around her for massive damage and a potential stun while also healing her for a percent of her max HP. Combine the two with her high stats, and you get a Defender who can output massive damage while still refusing to die, laughing at onslaughts that would have killed just about anyone else as her shields and S2 keep her HP topped up. And if one wants to forgo a bit of sustain for some crowd control, her third skill Bloodline of Desecrated Earth is both a slow and a delayed AoE stun that also gives her significant ATK and DEF buffs along with rapid multi-target attacks and temporary intangibility and invulnerability during the startup. Her Elite 2 talent Unshakeable Solidarity that makes her take 30% reduced damage from Sarkaz enemies is the icing on the cake, since despite its Situational Sword nature, Sarkaz enemies more often than not tend to be Demonic Spiders - which made her a common pick in CC Cinder, where the permanent map almost solely spawns annoying Sarkaz at you.
    • Mudrock also has a very potent synergy with Blemishine, whose Knight of Sword and Shield talent causes skills that use defensive SP recovery to also gain SP on attack...which includes Mudrock's Crag Splitter. With its SP rate now effectively doubled in most situations, Mudrock can spam this with even more impunity, often being able to fire it off every other attack if the situation lines up well, which in turn will turn her into a living blender that minces anyone nearby while healing herself faster than enemies can hurt her. Helping further is that since Blemishine's second skill Deterring Radiance is classified as gradual HP recovery instead of healing, it's able to heal Mudrock despite her normally being unable to be healed by allies.
  • Nian
    • Nian is a ridiculously powerful Defender thanks to the utility and damage she offers. In addition to Tectonic Armor passively buffing the HP of all Defenders in her squad, her Elite 2 Clairvoyance talent blocks up to 3 attacks when she's deployed, letting her completely No-Sell any attack up to 3 times, which is a godsend in difficult stages. Her second skill, Copper Seal, is similar to Cuora's second skill, where she stops attacking, blocks an extra enemy, and gains a massive Defense boost, and any enemy that dares to attack Nian receives Arts damage and is silenced. But her third skill, Iron Guard, is what really makes her shine. Aside from gaining a massive Attack boost, all allied operators within a wide radius of Nian receive a hefty Defense boost, a 50% reduction to crowd control effects, and an additional point of block. This makes it virtually impossible for enemies to break through a sufficiently fortified defense, and also turns AoE Guards like Blaze and Specter into frightening DPS monsters, who can slaughter whole waves of enemies with total ease. There's just one little problem: Nian is the game's first limited operator, so if you can't recruit her by the time her banner ends, you're out of luck.
  • Saria
    • It's rather difficult to describe how strong Saria is, who combines solid defensive power with some of the strongest utility in the entire game. Basically, all of her skills offer immense utility no matter on what map you're on, as they provide either strong emergency auto-healing (S1), frequent wide-ranged area healing with no upper target limit (S2), or rapid HP regeneration, a potent slow, and a Damage-Increasing Debuff for Arts damage onto every enemy within range (S3). All of which happen across a very wide radius, and Calcification note  can outheal many stronger Medics when mastered due to it being applied per second note , regardless of Saria's ASPD, and as a further boon, her Elite 2 talent Refreshment lets her give SP to anyone she heals, even to operators who do not receive SP passively, like Lappland with her Skill 2 equipped. The Arts damage buff Calcification puts on nearby enemies is just further icing on the cake, as it's an absolute godsend for anyone who deals Arts damage, especially those with Herd Hitting Attacks (Ifrit, wink wink). Put simply, Saria is one of the more powerful and flexible support units you can get, and not for nothing is she consistently ranked among the top picks for all past and present runs of Contingency Contract, the most difficult content releases in the game.
    Twilight Raven: Saria is by far my most favorite operator. She offers tons of possibilities to make every maps get easier to tank enemies while keeping other operators in check within her healing tile.

    Casters 
  • Ceobe
    • Ceobe is an incredibly versatile unit who can perform a wide variety of roles well. One of her primary merits is her first talent Thresher, which increases the damage she deals by up to 40% of the target's DEF. Casters are already designed to tackle enemies that would laugh off physical damage, but Ceobe takes this Up to Eleven, eviscerating any DEF-stacking units even if they have lots of RES or HP. On top of her damage output, each of her skills completely modifies her attack pattern and allows her to fill a different role in the team. Really Cold Axe is a fast charge-storing skill that prioritizes unblocked enemies and roots them in place, allowing Ceobe to stall enemies or even outright permanently immobilize them if she's paired with an SP battery like Liskarm. Really Hot Knives significantly boosts her attack speed and makes her go after the highest-DEF enemies in range, meaning that any tanks in her sight range won't be living for much longer due to the insane DPS boost this skill gives. Meanwhile, Really Heavy Spear basically turns her into a slower, heavily ATK-boosted Sniper for about a minute, giving her nuclear physical attacks that seek out foes with the least DEF and Silence them on top of that. With all of these skills at her disposal combined with her talent basically giving her free damage, Ceobe can fill a lot of roles and take on a huge variety of challenges just by changing what skill she has. She's particularly good in high-risk Contingency Contract, since Thresher turns the massive DEF steroids many of the enemies gain against them while mitigating any ATK penalties (since they won't reduce Thresher's bonus damage), letting her punch through the buffed foes better than any other - against enemies with high DEF, she can even outdamage Eyjafjalla sometimes. Her second talent is just the icing on the cake, as Lone Journey gives her a free 8% ATK and ASPD buff if she has no adjacent teammates, which depending on the map may be absurdly easy to activate.
  • Eyjafjalla
    • Eyjafjalla is a single target Caster pretending to be an AoE Caster, but ramped up to ridiculous levels with none of the drawbacks. While she's already strong for a Caster, her S2 and S3 are where she truly shines. On top of her talent Pyrobreath buffing the ATK of all active casters, making her stronger than she already is, her S2 Ignition is a stacking charge type skill that deals Splash Damage on proc, which allows her to moonlight as an AoE Caster that does a better job than them, due to its low cooldown and on-hit RES debuff. Meanwhile, her S3 Volcano massively buffs her ATK, range, and target limit while significantly reducing her attack interval, giving her a practical "Instant Death" Radius which basically melts anything walking near her and makes Eyjafjalla the Caster equivalent to SilverAsh. At Mastery 3, Volcano can burn up to six enemies at once for massive damage with the only downside being a low duration of 15 seconds, which can be planned around easily. Furthermore, her second talent Wildfire gives her a burst of SP upon deployment, letting her fire off her skills alarmingly soon after deployment. Honestly, Eyja just trivializes most boss fights, where even the hardiest of Guards and Defenders may struggle and even fail all for a cheaper cost than AoE Casters.
  • Ifrit
    • Ifrit makes for a very tough and devastating powerhouse, even though making proper use of her can be difficult due to her quirky range. To preface things, Ifrit deals obscene amounts of Arts damage in one puff, and if set up properly can hit all enemies at once in a single line with no upper penetration limit. This is further enhanced by her first talent, Spiritual Dissolution, that reduces the RES of all enemies that merely stand in her range by up to 40% at E2 - and if you manage to keep them there, said enemy is going to have a really bad time, especially if there are more operators in there that deal Arts damage. All of her skills also deal lasting damage coupled with DEF/RES debuffs, and with her second talent Rhine Loop that increases her SP gain, Ifrit becomes a Spam Attack monster. This is especially notable with her S2 Pyroclasm, a charge-type skill that buffs the damage of her next attack, while making it inflict afterburn and a significant DEF shred - if leveled up and coupled with her talent, she can easily fire this off almost every attack. He S3 is also notable for when burst is needed over consistent damage, as Scorched Earth deals very high Arts damage per second that isn't capped by her low attack speed, along with inflicting an additional flat RES debuff - all with a generous duration and relatively short cooldown, with the cost of HP loss per second easily mitigated if there's a healer in range. The RES debuff is particularly devastating as flat RES reductions are rare, and RES reduces damage on a percentage basis. Her single-line range can also be abused in maps with tight spaces such as in Tactical Drill Mission 4, where she can literally cook the Originium Slugs that attempt to Zerg Rush towards the goal. While a singular straight lane may seem restrictive at first glance, it ultimately doesn't matter if Ifrit hits only one or two tiles due to the sheer damage output and debuff utility she offers.
    Dreamy: Burn one tile, nothing is lost. Burn two tiles, great. Burn three tiles, you won the game.
  • Mostima
    • Mostima is an AoE Caster who, while lacking in damage output, makes up for it with quite possibly some of the most potent crowd control in the game. Boasting one of the most potent slows in the game, Mostima's talent Subjective Time Dilation passively reduces the speed of everything within her range, while her S2 Lock of Shattered Time basically stun-locks all enemies within range as they take constant Arts damage per second that's uncapped by her low ASPD - it's easily the longest stun in the entire game, 7 seconds long at Mastery 2. Mostima's S3, Key of Chronology, further accentuates her skills, granting her massively damaging AoE attacks that cover a huge area, while knocking back struck enemies and amplifying her passive slow effect. It's SilverAsh's True Silver Slash albeit with lower ASPD and lower DPS potential, however, it's true purpose is to turn Mostima into the ultimate crowd control Caster against a horde of enemies - even better, as it has no upper target limit, meaning everything that steps into her (huge!) skill range gets pelted to death with magical damage, while also being slowed down and pushed back, and having their skills interrupted each time they're hit. Her Skill Aura - Caster passively speeding up the SP generation speed for all Casters (which includes herself) is just icing on the cake, mitigating the heavy SP costs of most of Mostima's skills. The trade off to all of this awesomeness is Mostima's naturally low ASPD and high DP cost, as well as the low up time of her skills, making the fielding of this Time Master a matter of timing in itself.

    Medics 
  • Kal'tsit
    • After being removed from the beta for being too overpowered, Kal'tsit returned for the second anniversary with a vengeance. Not only does she have an extended healing range comparable to that of an AoE Sniper, she retains the ability to actually fight enemies by summoning Monst3r, an obscenely tanky and hard-hitting 3-block unit that can be redeployed on a short cooldown of 35-25 seconds depending on level. And unlike the beta, she's actually able to directly heal it, letting it stay healthy as it mows down enemies. Her first two skills provide defensive and offensive utility, with her S1 buffing her and Monst3r's DEF while giving her physical dodge, and her second skill buffing her healing rate while increasing Monst3r's ATK and giving it AoE attacks. Her third skill is the real kicker - Monst3r gains a colossal DEF steroid, an obscene (but decaying) ATK boost, and deals true damage on its attacks for the skill duration. Sure, Monst3r will take a ton of damage if it can't kill anything before the skill ends, but considering it's now dealing upwards of several thousand true damage per hit, it's almost certainly going to kill whatever it gets its claws on - it can even kill Patriot by itself. Furthermore, all of them have ridiculously low SP costs, letting her fire them not long after dropping Monst3r on someone. The icing on the cake is that at Elite 2, if Monst3r dies, it explodes, dealing massive true damage in an area alongside a lengthy stun. While she does have some shortcomings, like her prioritizing Monst3r and herself sometimes leaving her allies for dead, her SP for her S2 and S3 being unable to charge if Monst3r isn't alive, and Monst3r's DEF dropping to 0 if deployed outside her range note , she's still a terrifyingly strong unit whose ability to summon Monst3r alone lets her bully lanes, hold defensive lines, and eliminate key targets, all while still being able to heal allies. How ironic that a healer is one of the biggest offensive powerhouses in the game.
  • Ptilopsis
    • In terms of pure utility, Ptilopsis leaves even higher-rarity Medics in the dust due to her passive talent, Skill Aura, which boosts the SP generation of every operator on the map by up to 0.3/s, including Ptilopsis herself. This means your operators will be able to use their skills much quicker and more often, making Ptilopsis useful in every situation regardless of the map. It is meaningful that on Contingency Contract maps where there is an SP regeneration penalty, Ptilopsis is considered near-mandatory. Her skills are not to be overlooked either as they offer much flexibility. For one, while her skill 1 is a simple attack buff, it can be useful whenever consistent healing is needed as its cooldown is far lower than her second skill. As for the aforementioned skill 2, when activated, Enkephalin offers increased range and an incredible attack interval reduction - so much that player operators in her range are effectively immortal for the entire generous duration unless they get hit by a One-Hit Kill. Her S2 has a hefty cooldown, but it can effectively neuter the threat from even enemy DPS powerhouses if just activated at the right time.
  • Silence
    • Silence is another Medic who is considered to be useful on almost every map. She is a single-target healer, but once she reaches Elite 1, she gets to use her healing drone note  that can be plopped down on any available tile and heals every adjacent unit for 10 seconds. Where one would expect a minor heal, it actually heals so fast that it counteracts Ifrit's healing drain from her third skill, for example. It opens the flexibility of your strategies immensely, since with healers, you'll want to funnel as many units in the range of said healer note , and with Silence, you can ignore it and put them in groups since the drone can reach them. You can also use it for certain maps that require a single enemy (most of the time Mortar Gunners, who can deal a disturbing amount of damage from just a few meters away from an isolated blue base) to be dealt with in a place far away from your blue base (i.e AP-4 and AP-5, where there's poison haze to boot) to let your often-squishy Fast-Redeploy Specialists or your Glass Cannon operators live long enough to deal the damage. Said drone can also be deployed anytime as soon as her skill is loaded and your DP is more than five, even if Silence is frozen or stunned. Her talent is not to be overlooked either, as it gives all Medics (including herself) an ASPD boost, considering Medics' usual ASPD is on the slow side and some Medics have skills that make them even slower.
      • To put this into perspective, she is a Starter Mon as she's available on the starter ticket where one has the choice between Projekt Red, Pramanix, Liskarm and her. Most often, she is the recommended operator (after that, Liskarm is, who's also on this page) as she is an operator an early player will bring to even later story stages because of her stability.
  • Warfarin
    • Warfarin is an incredible Medic who can provide both healing and rare offensive support. Her first skill Emergency Triage can only be used on targets below half health, but can store multiple charges and heals targets for an additional percent of their max HP, a rare ability among Medics that allows her to pump out some of the largest heals in the game when healing a tanky target. Her real merit, however, lies in her S2 Unstable Plasma, which provides a hefty 90% ATK buff for 15 seconds at max Mastery to Warfarin and a a random ally within her healing range, which not only makes Warfarin's heals much more potent, but also makes the buffed ally hit much harder (special mention to Meteorite and Silverash with his third skill), at the cost of both of them losing 3% of their max HP per second. There's also the "random ally" factor, which makes proper positioning a must to make the most out of her potent buff. Her Blood Sample Recylce talent is just the icing on the cake, granting Warfarin and a random ally in range up to 2 SP when an enemy is killed in her range, letting her charge up Unstable Plasma fairly quickly while also serving as an SP battery. The HP loss is not as much of an issue as it seems to be, considering the fact that Warfarin is a Medic herself and is also getting a healing boost from Unstable Plasma.

    Supporters 
  • Angelina
    • Angelina, a Caster disguised as a Supporter, will need a lot of investment and time to hit Elite 2 before she can operate at peak efficiency. Once she does, however, her capabilities and talents skyrocket, opening a whole host of possible new tactics and formations. For a dirt cheap DP cost, her Elite 2 skill Arcane Staff - Anti-Gravity Mode offers a highly damaging Arts AoE burst with a good duration at max level while also having comparable range with the likes of SilverAsh and Eyjafjalla, all while slowing foes. The only downside, however, is Angelina not being able to attack normally, which is ultimately offset with her S3's extremely low cooldown which may be reduced further with the help of other operators, allowing the skill to be readily available to handle each wave and assist in DPS when necessary. On top of that, her S3 reduces the weight of all enemies on the field while active, which can enable Shift Specialists and result in some creatively devastating plays. If we're talking about Angelina further, one must not forget about her talents - Accelerator Field gives an ASPD buff to all operators on the field, which can easily be synergized with many operators that work off on attack speed boosts whether via skill or talents. This can make operators like Amiya, Exusiai, and Silence hit/heal exponentially faster or mitigate skills that increase attack interval like Shirayuki. Her second talent Part-time Job, which causes all units to gradually regenerate HP when she's not using a skill, might not seem like much, but it can help in tight situations, especially when paired with Perfumer, the only other global healer which can help sustain the squad in a high risk map like Annihilation 3 with the help of another healer.
  • Scene
    • Scene is merely decent in regular gameplay, but she becomes obscenely powerful in Integrated Strategies. Summoners in general are great for extra deployable units due to the limited Operators you can bring, but Scene is above the rest since her S2 allows her to regenerate her summons without you having to either redeploy her or retreat the drones via her skills, unlike every other Summoner so far. Her drones also can attack one cell away and gain surprisingly high levels of offensive and defensive stats when her S2 is active, so they're also useful as DPS options and tanky decoys instead of only serving as blockades. With the increasing importance of baiting aggro away from your squishies (and civilians in Chapter 8), her role has only been increasing in importance.
  • Shamare
    • Shamare is often considered one of the most powerful units to have when taking on endgame stages. To start off, she shares Pramanix's Damage-Increasing Debuff talent, and she can permanently boost its effectiveness by up to 1.8 times once her S1 activates. However, her true power is with her S2, Curse Doll, which gives her a doll that can be redeployed again and again. The doll in question lasts 15 seconds, can't attack or be attacked, and nails all enemies within its range with a crippling ATK and DEF penalty. It sounds simple, but the numbers are where it gets strong - at Mastery 3, any enemy standing near the doll will get their DEF and ATK cut in half, meaning that if key enemies are caught in its radius, they'll be taking massive damage while dealing half of the damage they were supposed to. The latter ability is what makes this ability shine, since ATK reductions are rather rare - plop the doll next to an elite or boss enemy, and laugh as their One-Hit Kill attacks are reduced to regular attacks, and any regular attacks are reduced to almost nothing. Due to the calculation being a percentage and not a flat amount, this will nerf the ATK and DEF of tough bosses just as it is on other enemies. Furthermore, it can be spammed pretty often, with a Mastery 3 Curse Doll having a 50% uptime. Really, tactical deployments of Curse Dolls can significantly reduce the difficulty of just about any operation, and outright trivialize some battles.
  • Skadi the Corrupting Heart
    • In contrast to her original iteration's gameplay performance, Skadi the Corrupting Heart has quickly become one of the must have Supporters in the meta due to her sheer utility. First, like Sora, Skadi can passively heal all Operators in her attack range by up to 10% of her ATK every second. However, unlike Sora, Skadi's talents heavily synergize with her passive healing, with Ancient Kin allowing her to summon a Seaborn that can extend her attack range and Predatory Habits increasing her own ATK by up to 18% if an Abyssal Hunter is in her attack range, boosting both her healing and skills. Her first skill Song of Return From Different Paths increases her healing while significantly increasing her own health and allowing her to shield her allies by diverting a good portion of the damage towards her, allowing her to protect her teammates from major threats. However, her second and third skills are where she really shines. Her second skill Wish of Burial Beyond the Light is an infinite duration ability that grants all allies in her attack range an ATK and DEF buff equal to up to 60% of Skadi's own ATK and DEF while increasing her passive healing effect, up to 20%. This makes her incredibly effective at buffing operators who have to hold a lane for an extended duration. Meanwhile, her third skill, The Tide Surges, The Tide Recedes, can buff nearby allies' ATK by up to 110% of Skadi's ATK while also making Skadi begin dealing true damage equal to up to 70% of her ATK per second to all enemies in her attack range at the cost of the loss of 5% of HP per second. This is incredibly effective at dealing with particularly dangerous attack waves, allowing Skadi to output massive amounts of AoE damage while at the same time massively boosting the ATK of her allies. Oh yeah, and remember the Seaborn? It can extend the range of Skadi's skills as well, allowing you to buff an expanded area for a large group or buff two groups of operators simultaneously. And if Skadi and the Seaborn's attack range overlaps when her third skill is triggered, the true damage aura they both generate stacks. Needless to say, Skadi has quite easily overthrown Warfarin as the game's best attack buffer - or they simply work together: since ironically, Skadi has incredible synergy with Warfarin. Due to the fact that her own buffs are reliant on her ATK, a Skadi that is buffed by Warfarin will increase the power of her already huge buffs she is giving to her own team to even more ridiculous levels.
  • Suzuran
    • While she lacks the offensive power of the likes of Angelina, Suzuran takes many of the strengths that other Supporters have and rolls them into one package, combining incredible crowd-control ability with potent team support. Her main merit is the talent she unlocks at Elite 2, Binding Circle which passively makes all slowed enemies in range take 20% bonus damage. Not only does this effectively buff all active operators (especially with more slow support), it's unlike Pramanix's weakening in the sense that it doesn't even have an HP threshold. Her entire kit is specifically designed to take advantage of that talent, with her S2 Childhood Frolic being a permanent ATK buff that also lets her target up to 3 enemies at once at Mastery 1, kind of like a weaker but permanent version of Angelina's S3; this allows to both slow multiple targets at once while also turning her into a surprisingly good lane holder. However, her third skill, Foxfire Haze is where the fun really begins - it expands her range, slows all enemies within this range, increases the effect of her weakening, and rapidly heals all allies in range. With this skill, not only can Suzuran spread an amplified version of her weakening effect to everyone in a huge area at once (making all foes in range take roughly 40% bonus damage at max mastery), but she can also pump the survivability of her teammates through the roof with her rapid AoE healing, all while slowing every enemy nearby to a crawl for the skill's entire generous duration. The catch is that she doesn't attack while her S3 is active, but that's basically a non-issue if one considers how much support and crowd-control power she's putting out in return. While all of her skills are gated by hefty SP costs, her Skill Aura - Supporter that increases the SP generation of all Supporters (including herself) makes this a surprisingly small issue.

    Specialists 
  • Jaye
    • Whereas Specialists, true to their name, have a certain niche, Jaye has become this for them. His DP-consuming trait is more than compensated in a low DP cost, low redeploy time note , and high stats - his ATK can be increased to over 700 at max level and trust. Both of his skills charge quickly, last until he's retreated, and give him substantial ATK buffs along with one of two special effects; his first skill, Shell Splitter, is very useful against exploding spiders, with his quick attack speed, as it nullifies their exploding on hit while also increasing his attack against them as per his talent, Anatomy Master. This turns him into a low-rent Lappland in cases one doesn't have her or she's not able to hit all of them. His second skill, Sashimi Platter, however, is where he really shines. This skill will heal him or a nearby ally for (at max mastery) half of his damage dealt, making him potentially self-sufficient as he is dealing 1100 ATK at max consistently, and healing for 550 each hit after it activates; due to his fast attack speed, his healing can outpace actual Medics. If one would pit him against infected creatures with this second skill, both the ATK and healing will go up. Combined with its low SP cost and its infinite duration, this makes him capable of serving as a source of main DPS while also doing significant healing as a side-job. Buffed, he can take a lot of bosses (including Pompeii) down by his lonesome, and with the healing, he can even sustain Aak and Warfarin's buffing, upping his ATK substantially. Oh, and did we also mention that, since he's a four-star, he's not hard to get and easier to build than higher rarity operators? To show how much he stands out from the other Specialists: just ask any (CN) veteran if raising Specialists to E2 is worth it. They will usually say that Specialists are very situational and niche, except for Jaye. In Integrated Strategies, he was a popular pick due to his low (Hope) Cost, DPS and healing capability, especially when the player hadn't acquired any Medics; helped by his ability to synergize very well with a large number of Collections.
  • Weedy
    • Weedy is by far the most powerful Push Specialist in the game. While her first two skills are very average and have their own niche uses, her real strength lies in her third skill, Liquid Nitrogen Cannon. When the skill is activated, she will launch a projectile that pushes all enemies in front of her with a ton of force, instantly dealing up to 350% of her ATK as Arts damage and causing any targets hit to suffer 1,200 true damage per tile they travel for the next few seconds. Not to mention, the Industrial Water Cannon that she can periodically deploy not only allows for some incredible plays by virtue of having a disposable pusher, but will also duplicate Weedy's skill and boost its push strength if it is adjacent to her when she triggers it, causing it to deal an absolutely obscene amount of knockback that will send just about anything across the map.note  While Weedy paired with her extra cannon is plenty powerful enough to inflict massive burst damage on large waves, she truly shines when she is paired with Angelina or FEater, who can help push the enemies she hits with her Liquid Nitrogen Cannon even further away, thus inflicting even more True Damage. Such a combination is capable of trivializing even the hardest maps.

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    In Integrated Strategies 

Operators

  • In general, the meta for Integrated Strategies is vastly different from the standard game. The vast majority of Operators can become extremely strong if you get the right set of collections for them (even low-rarity operators), but the mode also favors versatility and Operators capable of covering a wide variety of roles, particularly low-rarity ones that cost less Hope to recruit and promote. Units like low-rarity healing defenders and Podenco for being able to double as Medics, Click for being able to provide cheap DPS potentially outside of her range, May for being able to CC enemies, just about all Summoners, the list goes on and on. On the other hand, units that were already game-breaking may either become obscure for not being worth the cost of obtaining them, or might become even more broken.
  • Fitting for how they cannot be obtained outside of the event and don't appear commonly even inside it, the IS-exclusive Operators have a trend of being extremely powerful, especially since they're free recruitments if you happen to luck out and get a chance to recruit them. To make matters better, if you can promote them, you'll have a completely maxed-out Elite 2 unit for your troubles.
    • Sharp
      • Sharp has the standard high stats expected of a duelist guard, and his talent Invisible Blade takes it even further by giving him up to 15% bonus ATK and 30% physical dodge for free at Elite 2, both making him hit harder and soak hits better. However, his skill Drawing Sword is what takes him over the top - at the cost of completely nullifying his defense, it gives him a significant amount of max HP and a huge damage multiplier on all his attacks, all for a decent duration and cheap cooldown. An Elite 2 Sharp will be gaining 50% bonus HP and dealing 300% of his ATK with every hit while this skill is active, letting him soak damage while instantly killing anything that gets in his way. The DEF drop isn't nearly as much of an issue as it first appears, considering his inflated HP and passive physical dodge chance, and the sheer damage he can put out more than outweighs the cost - considering his ATK caps at over a thousand when promoted, dealing 3000+ physical damage per hit is effectively an Armor Piercing Attack, slicing anyone without hilariously inflated defenses out of existence, and still significantly hurting anything that can take the hits. With a few collections under his belt, Sharp can effortlessly cut down tough enemies once his skill is up, and is even capable of going toe-to-toe with some of the mode's strongest bosses.
    • Stormeye
      • Stormeye is a classic example of Boring, but Practical. He's an anti-air sniper whose talent Windfall gives him up to a 25% chance to double his ATK when firing, and his skill Spiral Arm maximizes this by letting him hit 2 targets simultaneously for 2 hits each. Individually, these don't seem like much, but having rapid multi-hitting attacks that can crit for 1000+ damage makes for a very scary AA sniper who can decimate drones and hordes of squishier enemies, while also being able to deliver pain to bulkier enemies thanks to his critical hits.
    • Pith
      • Pith, despite being part of a class archetype notorious for being rather mediocre, still manages to shine, primarily because of her skill "All for Me" that boosts her ASPD while giving all deployed Casters a temporary ATK steroid - up to +70 ASPD and +40% ATK when promoted. Not only does the ASPD boost temporarily nullify the main weakness of AoE casters, letting her output scary amounts of area DPS, the temporary ATK boost both makes her own attacks hit harder and enables every other Caster you have, making her an incredible asset if you have good casters and/or Arts-boosting collections under your belt. On top of that, her talent "All That I See" makes her attacks ignore up to 20 flat RES, which makes her attacks deal significantly higher damage due to RES being percent based. Bundle all of this, and you get a Caster who can output staggering amounts of damage while enabling all other Casters in the squad.
    • Touch
      • Touch is a 6-star Medic disguised as a 5-star. Their stats are already quite high, and their Apocalyptic Scene ability extends their range by up to 2 tiles when promoted, while letting them heal 2 units at once and giving all Medics an ATK boost for the duration. This is already quite strong, but their talent Promotion is what gives them their strength, letting them restore up to 3 SP to any ally they heal. The only other unit that can simultaneously heal and restore SP to units is Saria, and Touch does this both at three times the strength and on every attack instead of using a skill. With this, they become both an incredible healer and an insane SP battery, often letting your Operators fire off skills like machine guns, or alleviating the downtime of SP-hungry skills that could turn the tide of battle.

Collections

  • While not a collection, the Tactical Assault Operative (instantly advance 4* or higher Guards/Vanguards on recruitment) is generally considered to be among the strongest of the starting squads, if not the strongest. Since Guards and Vanguards tend to power spike especially hard when hitting Elite 2, being able to instantly promote them on recruitment can give players an insane lead, allowing them to build up a powerful defense in the blink of an eye or pump their DP generation through the roof. If you can manage to recruit a Game-Breaker guard like an Elite 2 Thorns, Blaze, or SilverAsh early, expect to easily breeze through the first 2-odd chapters.
  • Basically any of Super Rare upgrades of pre-existing collections are these. They either provide incredible stat buffs that will let Operators power-spike to high heaven, streamline the recruitment of lots of powerful units, or a myriad of other bonuses that'll make the game far easier if you can get your hands on some. A few examples of how these might help are listed below:
    • In general, any of the collections that make Operators start with more SP are extremely powerful, considering how valuable a burst of early SP can be for many units. With more starting SP, DPS options become available earlier, units with defensive/recovery abilities can survive brutal onslaughts that they couldn't have without their skill, and Vanguards can fire their DP-generation abilities faster to bring in reinforcements. Out of all of them, the Fluorescent Lamp is the strongest, giving a whopping +18 starting SP, usually enough to instantly fire a skill out of the gate.
    • Similarly, collections that increase starting DP can really ruin an enemy's day, since DP is so essential early on that having an advantage can let you set up a defense far earlier than you're supposed to, eliminating the DP crunch that many of the maps try to enforce. The strongest collection in this family is the Burdenbeast which provides a whopping +30 starting DP, enough to put up a small fortification right off the bat.
  • Bend Spears - Bloodbath. Guard skills generally tend to be incredibly powerful, but either take a while to charge up or are only able to be used at key moments if their value is to be maximized. Bloodbath turns this on its head, allowing Guards to restore 2 SP on every attack. While this has its uses to make slow-charging skills charge faster, its primary value comes with allowing players to spam skills with low SP costs - this is especially good on offensive recovery guards, as they often have low SP costs to make up for the fact that they can only gain SP by attacking, and now they recover 3 SP per hit. Some particularly noteworthy examples include Cutter and Ch'en spamming nuclear burst damage with impunity, Lappland's S2 having an almost permanent uptime, Thorns instantly charging his S3, and Bibeak permanently trapping enemies in a Cycle of Hurting.
  • Bend Spears - Deathmatch lowers the DEF of all Guards by 40%, but raises their ATK and ASPD by 40% and 30 respectively. Guards can often take the DEF loss due to their high base HP, and the DPS boosts this item gives them can get hilariously obscene, letting them melt just about anyone out of existence very quickly. And for Guards that can attack more than 1 tile away, this is even less of an issue, as most heavy-hitting physical enemies won't even be able to get close without being obliterated.
  • Broken Wand - Malediction is another example of a trade-off with far more benefit than penalty, reducing the HP of Casters by 40% while increasing their Arts damage output by 70%. Casters are already generally Glass Cannons, so the HP loss really doesn't make that much of a difference, but the 70% damage boost massively increases their destructive power considering that most Casters already deal significant amounts of damage and enemies don't tend to have a lot of RES. Under such a significant damage buff, most high-tier Casters will be able to One-Hit Kill lesser enemies while melting through even bulkier ones, and skills that were originally high DPS options will practically become kill buttons, especially if you have more Arts amplifying collections on you.
  • Fatal Bolts - Divine Speed gives all Snipers a 70 ASPD bonus. There isn't much to say about this except that an attack speed boost of this magnitude can turn just about any AA Sniper into a DPS monster, while turning higher-tier Snipers into literal murder machines, the sheer volume of attacks tearing apart even physically bulky foes. Furthermore, any Sniper with slow attack speed will get that weakness removed, letting them spam their hard-hitting attacks as much as possible. Special mention goes to Exusiai who will be able to fire at an effectively continuous rate while her skill is active.
  • Iron Guard - Impenetrable makes Defenders recover 2 SP every time they take damage. On most Defenders, this is already quite good as it lets them inflate their defenses to high heaven, but it becomes disgustingly powerful when paired with healing defenders, letting them spam their healing skills so often that everything in their heal zone becomes basically immortal. It's even stronger on stages with poison haze, as every tick of the haze counts as damage.

  • Kal'tsit (Beta)
    • However, a true game-breaker was Beta Kal'tsit, when she was playable in the beta with a different skillset than she was now, but was removed later. It is quite understandable why:
      • Her healing range was very long, beating out every other Medic in the game. To put things into perspective, Kal'tsit had about the same range as Platinum's fully-extended S2 simply by being promoted to Elite 1.
      • She was the only medic that could attack directly by summoning an entity called Mon3tr that could be redeployed over and over again by 30 seconds. It could not be healed normally but she had passive innate skills that allowed her to heal it. Within her attack range, it would get a boost in between 18 or 80 percent (40 or 100 when promoted).
      • Kal'tsit's second skill was a passive that allowed Mon3tr to attack all nearby enemies and reduces its deployment cooldown. Additionally, every heal that Kal'tsit gave to other operators also restored Mon3tr's health, up to 150% of the original amount at maximum skill level.
      • Her third skill (Kal'tsit being a 6*-equivalent like Amiya) caused Mon3tr to use powerful long-range Arts attacks at the cost of its health every second. This also buffed Kal'tsit's healing power and allowed her to directly heal Mon3tr.
      • Due to this, some fans say she was like Shining summoning SilverAsh (Or Hellagur or Utage, for that matter, as it could not be healed directly). Take a look for yourself.
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