Beelzebub has long been regarded as one of the best leaders in the game on JP. He has much more respect on NA than in the past, but I don’t think many realize just how powerful he is. With my brief month-and-a-half experience with him, he’s been my go-to lead for consistently clearing some of the most difficult dungeons in the game. This won’t be an all-encompassing guide, but I want to extol his virtues while also addressing some of the issues I ran into while developing his team.
Sonia is the Key
Let’s just get this out of the way: Beelzebub is viable as a leader only because he forms a powerful pair with RSonia. When I refer to how powerful Beelzebub is, it refers to this leader pair. Of course, there are other RSonia pairs like Lu Bu or herself, but Beelzebub is by far the most end-game viable.
Why Beelzebub? If So, When?
To me, Beelzebub is a leader for taking on endgame dungeons — think Challenge Dungeons or Legend Pluses – with a more consistent 0-stone rate than other leads. The main reasons: being able to take a hit, being able to recover from that hit and having enough burst damage when required. This gives users the capability to recover from poor combos, other mistakes and bad RNG, thus a more consistent clear rate. He may not be as flashy as other leads, but for those that can’t constantly stone stamina or continues but still want to take on the hardest content, Beelzebub is a fine choice. He can also be a fine, if suboptimal, lead for farming, particularly for no-dupe coin dungeons.
So when is it right to start a Beelzebub team? It’s hard to say since his uevo mats present a high hurdle for newer players. You need a team capable of farming the spirit jewels, but that very team is likely the focus of your current resources. The option of going Beelzebub will always be there since he’s farmable so the easiest answer is “start his team when you feel most comfortable doing so”.
I decided to do it since I was centered in wood, had just finished my Verdandi team and wanted to diversify a bit. I wanted a team more on the tanky side and also one to take on fire-based dungeons. Beelzebub filled that role perfectly.
With the good comes the bad. I’m biased towards Beelzebub so I want to make sure I cover the bad points, too. I haven’t run into much trouble, but I can imagine the following issues:
- Binds – Binds are always bad, but if RSonia gets bound it’s basically game over. This threat is somewhat mitigated since Pandora brings another bind recovery and most of your team avoids god binds, but it’s still a big issue when formulating a dungeon strategy.
- Consecutive burst – Tank teams were never good at this. While Beelzebub can have a decent burst over two turns, anything more is unrealistic.
- +Egg investment – Devils aren’t known for their RCV which happens to be the most important stat for this team. If you aren’t willing to commit 600+ +eggs to this team, be aware of the limitations you’ll face.
The Core Starts with a Non-IAP Team
One of the strengths of devil teams is the availability of quality farmable subs. Beelzebub is no exception. The above farmable team is weak and certainly isn’t a reason to pursue the team, but it contains the fundamental building blocks for a successful Beelzebub team:
- Mass Orb Change – Sadly there isn’t a great farmable option, but Vampire + Drawn Joker should provide enough dark orbs for several combos.
- Damage Enhance – A long time friend of RSonia teams, Baddie serves the same role here. I’ll go over why Mini Lu Bu (and also his full form) isn’t a good choice later.
- Heartmaker – Drawn Joker is pulling double duty here. There will be a point where you won’t need a heartmaker, but for the hardest dungeons — particularly ones that can orb change your hearts away — you’ll definitely want one to increase your clear consistency. There’s nothing worse then rolling through a dungeon only to have it cut short because hearts wouldn’t drop for a few turns.
- CDD – He doesn’t have a role on this team outside of “another orb changer”, but he is a member of Beelzebub’s ideal team (more on this later). He’s the only farmable, realistic, non-heartbreaking dark devil orb changer in the game. The non-heartbreaking clause is import since this is a tank team and you’d rather not kill your hearts whenever possible.
Good REM Reasons For Going Beelzebub
We have a usable farmable core, but to make Beelzebub really worth pursuing you’ll want at least one of the above REM subs. Haku is by far his best sub and I’d daresay she’s 100% required for an endgame Beelzebub team.
Why Haku? Isn’t CDD Garbage?
It’s all about mass orbs and when combined with CDD’s active, Haku gives a two-thirds dark board every 9 turns. On top of that it’s a bicolor board, allowing you easily set up high combos, with rows, through cascades.
There’s nothing immediately appealing about CDD. We use him because he’s the only devil option that can combo with Haku besides the skill up fodder Hamahime. Nothing comes close to the damage potential of a Haku + CDD board, more than making up for CDD’s poor stats.
What about RSonia as another full-board orb change? Well, I’m about to get to that…
One Sonia is Enough
RSonia is more than serviceable as a sub, but in the end she just doesn’t bring enough to the table to justify a spot on an ideal team. Especially since you already have a RSonia as your friend lead and don’t need the redundancy. Haku + CDD put her board change to shame since they more consistently allow for three dark rows while also being 6 turns faster. Granted, RSonia only takes up one sub slot, but when it comes to reliable burst Haku + CDD more than justify the two slots.
If that isn’t convincing enough, let’s run some damage numbers. Here is a typical Haku + CDD team:
|Damage By Sub|
For the 2x RSonia team I’m just swapping out CDD for a second RSonia, but I’ll concede there may be a more optimal use for that slot. However, since we are only looking at one-turn burst I want to keep it simple:
|Damage By Sub|
Haku + CDD do about 40% more damage. This is far from a perfect comparison, but it should give you a good idea of how effective Haku + CDD can be.
Bite the Bullet and Use that CDD
I often see people using Haku without CDD on a dark-based RSonia team. This is akin to using Haku without Hanzo on a Pandora team except you don’t have the excuse that Hanzo is REM-only. CDD is relatively easy to skill up — his skill up fodder is a guaranteed drop in insect dragon mythical which is often a coin dungeon — so there’s little excuse not to have him on a 9-turn minimum cooldown, either.
Other Alternatives to Haku + CDD
There aren’t really any good alternatives, but Pandora + a heartbreaker would result in a two-thirds dark board as well. Persephone by herself is also fine, but you can only expect a half dark board. Either option doesn’t result in a two-color board which makes it more difficult to pull off high combos (unless you’re some kind of master which means you probably don’t want to be durdling with a Beelzebub team anyways).
I strongly endorse Haku + CDD, but if others have found endgame success elsewhere I’d like to know so I could factor that into my team composition.
For most situations you won’t need a heartmaker. However, in dungeons with high incoming damage, orb changes that can deprive you of hearts, or both, you’ll want to mitigate that RNG with a heartmaker. You’ll definitely want one in places like Lv10. So, which heartmaker should we use? Sadly, there isn’t much choice:
Pandora vs. Drawn Joker
Outside of their uses as heartmakers, Pandora trumps DJ in every single way. She’s so good she’d be strongly considered for this team even if she didn’t generate hearts. So why is there even a decision to make? Most of Pandora’s advantage over DJ comes in damage, which is important, but isn’t something you’re in dire need of if you have Haku. So if we set that aside, what we have is Pandora’s utility vs. DJ’s 5-turn cooldown. It really comes down to what the dungeon calls for. In most cases you’ll use Pandora if you have her, especially for her skill boosts. However, there are some dungeons where DJ’s active will save your ass multiple times so don’t be stubborn and use him when the situation calls for it. And if you don’t have Pandora, DJ will be your best friend for a long time.
Sadly Grape Dragon isn’t a devil. I have a hard time saying he’d be an ideal sub even if he was, but he’d be very close to one.
Do Not Pursue Lu Bu
Lu Bu may have sexy awakenings and stats, but his damage enhance is really only usable on the last turn of a dungeon. This is fine for most descends, but in Challenge Dungeons where every floor is like a boss floor it’s simply not usable. It’s certainly possible to heal up after a Lu Bu active — and the heart-killing full-board orb change it is usually accompanied with — but Beelzebub is all about mitigating RNG so why even risk it? This problem is only compounded by preemptives.
For similar reasons, you won’t want to use Durga, either.
So if not Lu Bu, Which Damage Enhancer?
After Lu Bu, all that’s really left is Batman and Loki. Vritra is a fine alternative, Baddie and Lilith are great farmable solutions and Tiamat is, well, Tiamat, but Batman and Loki are the premium choices.
This decision isn’t as clear cut as Pandora vs. Drawn Joker, but I’ll try to convey my thoughts on it as best I can. Basically, if your team is starved for damage, Batman — or even King Baddie — will be your choice. However, as your team, and your skill with it, improves, Loki becomes the more appealing choice. The reasons are:
- Three-turn damage boost – This is a key point that is often an overlooked and underrated aspect of the Norse gods. There are many cases where you’d like to burst two turns in a row; Loki enables this.
- 9-turn cooldown – This is also crucial as Loki will always be available for use with CDD + Haku. You’d have to wait another three turns for Batman.
- 477 RCV – This might be the the most important difference. Every point of RCV is extremely valuable and Loki has 131 more than Batman
Still not convinced? Consider this damage again:
|Damage By Sub|
That’s enough damage to one-shot almost everything in the game. However, NA now has access to Pandora which will be a significant damage upgrade. Swapping DJ out for her and Loki for Batman we get:
|Damage By Sub|
Pretty much the same damage. Considering the first team’s damage is good enough for almost every dungeon in the game, Pandora’s extra damage allows us to enjoy the advantages Loki has over Batman without sacrificing any damage.
That’s great and all, but JP appears to be getting more high HP bosses lately and Loki may not cut it. For comparison:
|Damage By Sub|
I think Challenge Dungeons Zeus & Hera’s HP is almost 10 mil, so we may need that 9.5 mil someday.
All this has proved is there is no clear cut choice, but, like most things in this game, it depends on which subs are available and what the dungeon calls for. If you have either, your Beelzebub team is looking good.
Sadly, Loki is one of the few gods I don’t have. I was just doing to stick with Batman, but after this analysis I’m really tempted to roll for one — especially since there’s the potential for an awoken uevo — but since I’m trying to cut back I’ll have to resist the temptation. I may raise my Vritra for cases where I need a faster damage enhance than Batman.
If she gets a devil uevo, Nephthys would get strong consideration as a damage enhancer if only for the waifu points. Loki also has the potential for an awoken uevo which would likely give him a leg up on Batman.
Japan Has It Good
Anri is CDD with actual awakenings. She also has 511 RCV compared to CDD’s 172. I really want PAD BT collab now.
|Damage By Sub|
That’s nice damage, but what’s really impressive is that the team RCV goes up from 8501 to 9348.
One of the biggest problems with full board orb changes like Haku and RSonia is it precludes you from healing at the same time. In most situations this is fine since you’ll clear the floor then have the chance to heal back up on the next one, but in the case of preemptives — particularly one on the scale of Lv10 Divine Queen Hera — this isn’t good enough. This is where our good old pal Juggler comes in. Who, for some reason, happens to be a devil on top of everything else.
|Damage By Sub|
Sadly, a Juggler + Pandora board on average is only 15 dark orbs and 15 hearts, limiting our damage output, but that’s not horrible considering we get to heal at the same time.
I doubt NA will ever get Juggler, but if dark ever gets a godfest exclusive along the lines of the Norns and Apocalypse — i.e. a board change with hearts — I pray that it’s a devil.
But when you get down to it, there’s really no reason you wouldn’t just use Juggler as your lead if you had one anyways.
What About Lucifer?
No, not that one. And no, not as a sub, but as an alternative to RSonia as a leader pair. Bowie Lucifer has a similar leader skill to RSonia (only 2x RCV compared to 2.5x), but he contributes two dark rows and more base damage due to being main dark. Despite that there’s no point to this swap since he doesn’t bring that much extra damage, his orb enhance is redundant with Beelzebub’s and RSonia’s extra 0.5x RCV is critical for endgame dungeons. I think Beelzebub will be stuck with RSonia for a long time.
…Although I’d imagine Beelzebub’s subs would work nicely on an AA Luci team…
The Ideal Beelzebub Team
I don’t know if it’s truly ideal, but this is where I want my Beelzebub team to be someday:
And if for some reason we ever get Anri:
I tried out a Beelzebub TPA team for a bit and it was fine for farming trash, but rows are definitely the way to go.
In the few weeks I’ve had him, I’ve cleared the following dungeons:
- Challenge Dungeons, including 0-stoning Lv10
- Ultimate Dragon Rush
- Ulitmate God Rush
- Ultimate Hera Rush
- Zeus Mercury Descended
- Zeus Vulcan Descended
My team is now all hypermaxed, but the only dungeon that really needed more than 600 +eggs was Lv10. I was surprised how powerful the pre-Pandora version of the team was, especially with it fielding oft-forgotten subs CDD and DJ. Despite all the curveballs GungHo is now throwing at dark teams, I think Beelzebub will be relevant for a very long time.
As new possibilities for the team are introduced into the game, rather than edit this post I’ll post addenda. I’ll only change this post if any of the thoughts become inherently incorrect due to changes in the game and in that case I’ll likely just make an entirely new post.