6/8/15 – I noticed this post has been getting quite a few hits and I’ve edited it a bit to rectify my glaring omission of Amberjack as a sub. I don’t intend to update the rest of the post.
Of all the new monsters and uevos recently released in JP, Awoken Lakshmi piques my interest the most. I’ve always wanted a water team, but mostly I wanted to do something with those three Lakshmi’s that have been gathering dust in my box since the beginning of my PAD career. While those dupes remain useless, her Awoken form is an extremely powerful leader and should be able to take on all end game content.
What makes her so powerful? Her active skill self-synergizes, but is underwhelming, especially when considering the cooldown. Her awakenings are disparate and of questionable usefulness. In the end, it’s her leader skill that does the heavy lifting, combining a respectable 25x ATK multiplier while also doing a good tank impression with the 1.5x RCV bonus. To best convey her strong points, I’d like to compare her to some fairly well known leaders.
Lakshmi will never come close to Juggler’s raw power, but their leader skills share a common thread: activating big ATK multipliers doing what teams are prone to do anyways: healing. Both supplement their damage further through row enhance awakenings and provide a fair amount of utility through their awakenings. Some — all, to be honest — may consider Lakshmi to be a vastly inferior Juggler, or even Gadius, but Lakshmi has an important clause in her leader skill that they do not: water attribute cards get 1.5x RCV. Paired with another Lakshmi, this is 2.25x which is close to the 2.5x RCV bonus RSonia/Beelzebub teams teams enjoy. While a Lakshmi team will never have as much HP as said team, she can take advantage of the wide variety of physical water subs to reach a respectable HP total.
It’s usually a negative in PAD to be good at a few things instead of specializing in one. This would be true for Lakshmi as well, but in this case the middle ground synergizes so well with her leader skill that the difference is made up. Perhaps the most apt comparison considering this combination of offense and defense would be Hathor, one of the premier leaders in the game. This bodes well for Lakshmi and judging from what I’ve seen on YouTube out of Japan, she should be a capable leader for a long time.
Building a Team
Now that we know Lakshmi is a great leader, how do we fill out her team? Well, who am I kidding, after seeing all the Juggler videos it should be pretty obvious Andromeda is one of Lakshmi’s ideal subs. Lakshmi does sport a TPA, but considering how strong Andromeda is I think rows are the direction a Lakshmi team should go in. However, things aren’t quite as simple as jamming 4 Andromedas. Let’s take a closer look at our options.
Enabling Lakshmi’s Leader Skill
In many ways Andromeda is the ideal Lakshmi sub, providing a perfect active skill to enable Lakshmi’s leader skill and amazing awakenings. Gabriel is not far behind, only trailing in the awakenings department.
Amberjack is oft overlooked, but he actually isn’t all that far behind the aforementioned REM gods. While his awakenings won’t impress many, orb enhance awakenings are quite underrated and adding a single Amberjack to a Lakshmi team results in 100% enhanced skyfall water orbs. Not to mention his synergy with Karin (making a 2/3 water, 1/3 heart board) and BOdin (once NA gets his active update, the enhanced water orbs will go well with Amberjack’s awakenings).
While running some combination of these subs will be good enough for most descends, Lakshmi will often need more HP to tackle the most advanced content. Speaking of which…
HP Through Physical Subs
Water has the best pool of physical subs in the game. The 6 I listed above are the ones that popped into my head first and they all have the potential to be elite Lakshmi subs (well, maybe not Amon, but he’s still good). They all have various upsides and downsides, but you should feel good running any of them on your Lakshmi team.
Why is Hermes on this list when he blows away hearts? Well, heartbreaking isn’t ideal, but there’s nothing preventing the subsequent use of a heartmaker. Think of it like a Chinese+Ninja combo: creating a critical mass of orbs between two actives.
For full board changers, Skuld obviously makes sense — especially if you’re running Kamui — but what about BSonia? Well, if you have Gabriel, you’re golden as he converts dark orbs to hearts, otherwise you’ll have to use two Lakshmi actives in conjunction. It seems worth the cost. Karin is also an option if you plan to run Amberjack, resulting in a 2/3 water 1/3 heart board when you combine them.
5-Turn Orb Changers
I previously stated that Lakshmi teams didn’t need 5-turn orb changers, but after using Lakshmi in person I’ve found Hatsume to be invaluable. While Lakshmi teams can have great RCV, if you’re stalling that implicitly means you’re using up your hearts every turn. There will come a point where you don’t have enough hearts to heal and have to pop an active anyways. Instead of this, having a 5-turn orb changer ready for whenever you happen to get 5 hearts orbs will make most dungeons more enjoyable.
Damage enhancers are usually pivotal components of tank teams, but no tank team has had a 25x multiplier before. I&I is the best of the bunch, covering all possible Lakshmi subs while also providing two rows. For orb enhancers, the new BOdin is ideal, but his enhance is more of a surprise bonus than a necessity. I’d avoid using any damage enhancers, but BOdin is a strong consideration just for his stats.
This is really scraping the bottom of the barrel. If you’re considering running any of these, I think you need to reconsider running Lakshmi. Ruka and Berry Dragon are obviously the best of the bunch, but unlike with a Juggler team, Lakshmi’s subs need to create water orbs since she already has the heartmaking covered.
While generally considered a trash roll, Snow White is actually a pretty good fit for Lakshmi in case you were in the market for a bind remover.
Heartbreakers aren’t the greatest on a Lakshmi team for obvious reasons, but if you’re running a dedicated heartmaker sub then they become workable. I’d say only Hermes and maybe BValk are worth going through the effort for, though.
Reducing Baggi Neko to a mere utility sub is pretty much an insult as he has one of the most busted active skills in the game. He’d likely take a starting spot on Laskshmi and most water teams… if he was available in the NA. Outside of our imba friend, Lakshmi herself and most of the subs already listed provide substantial utility in the forms of bind recovery and skill bind resist. Andromeda weighs in with two skill bind resists and a bind recovery, making her not only the best Laskshmi sub, but perhaps the most useful overall as well.
Water gets a lot of hate for being non-IAP unfriendly, but it’s actually not that bad; particularly for Lakshmi since Amberjack is quite good. All of these guys are quite good at filling any holes in your roster, just be mindful of your RCV.
My Current Team
This is the team I intend to run. Sadly, I don’t have a Skuld, Hermes or BOdin to play with so I don’t have a lot of options. With no +eggs, this team sits at 22k HP and 4.7k RCV which goes up to 28k and 8.7k when everything is +297ed. I’d ideally run another physical sub, probably Skuld, instead of Gabriel or an Andromeda to reach 30k HP, but this should be fine for most things. It should be able to burst most things with 8 rows, is skill bind immune, but still needs one turn for Andromeda and Gabriel to be ready. BSonia and Gabriel interact nicely, creating a board of water and hearts.
REM Want List
It isn’t reasonable to “try to roll for” Skuld or BOdin, but I would like to get my hands on a Hermes. As I also want an Artemis, I’ll likely roll in the next Greek godfest.
As for skill ups, that’s a bit more difficult. I’ll have to save up 4 Bubpys for Lakshmi. NA should get Andromeda’s skill up dungeon before Lakshmi’s uevo, but I’ll have to max skill two of them. BSonia is already max skilled. The last question is Gabriel. I already have 2 of 5 levels for him from random descend drops, but I’ll likely have to wait for Mystic Water Dragon to come back in a future coin dungeon to finish him off.
The remaining question is about how many +eggs I want to commit to the team. In order to even think about 0-stoning Lv10 — or in NA’s case, 1- or 2-stoning since we lack Baggi Neko to deal with Divine Queen Hera’s ridiculous preemptive strike — it will require a fully hypermaxed team. This means I’ll have to decide whether I want to keep +egging my Beelzebub team to make it Lv10 worthy, if I should start saving up +eggs in anticipation of Lakshmi’s release on NA, or try and do both. I really don’t know at this point, but I’d likely try to do both if we continue to get 5x technical bonuses. My wallet is ready.