Well, that’s quite the list of changes. Some, if not most, were expected or at least understandable, but let’s try to understand the logic behind all of them.
How the Mighty Have Fallen
I once thought this little fucker was going to kill the game. Suffice to say, I feel quite stupid about it. I still think GungHo screwed up by shocking the user base as they did with this level of power creep, but one thing it did do was make us accustomed to leaps in power. I mean, they released Shiva Dragon and I didn’t even bat an eye. Good job, GungHo.
Ares Debuts as an A+ Sub, Apollo at A
Of all the changes, Ares debuting at A+ is the most surprising for me. The triple rows are obviously sexy, but the only elite lead they work well with is Shiva Dragon. I guess that’s good enough? He’ll definitely fit well on Kiriko teams, though, perhaps filling a similar role as Liu Bei does with Verdandi (speaking of which, where’s that Kiriko uevo…).
Apollo at A is a similar mystery, except he doesn’t even have a lead like Shiva Dragon to sub for. He fits well on teams like Sakuya, Thor, Ariel, and Amaterasu, but the only lead that’s even close to usable is Sakuya. I feel like I’m missing something; can someone enlighten me if I am?
Akechi Mitsuhide Doing Work
Akechi’s active skill was tailor made to interact favorably with high-profile dark monsters. When following up a Typhon board change you get a half dark, half heart board. This is no doubt why Typhon has become an A+ leader as he finally has a sub that interacts favorably.
Akechi does a lot of work for Beelzebub teams. He turns a Haku board into 2/3 dark and 1/3 hearts, allowing Beelzebub to attack and heal at the same time. He can also take a fire-heavy RSonia board and turn it into an full enhanced dark board. He slots in nicely to the team in place of a Pandora, the only downside being the lack of RCV. Akechi isn’t quite good enough to propel Beelzebub to the top of the leader list, but if the Sengoku pantheon is a portent of future row support things should only get better.
But Why is Ishida Mitsunari Also an A Sub?
Ishida’s Norn-like board change with a two-turn haste is quite sexy, but I don’t particularly understand why he’s an A sub along with Akechi. He doesn’t have as many favorable interactions as Akechi nor are his rows particularly relevant in the now heavy-TPA wood element. Can anyone enlighten me why he might be here?
Thanks to A.Pham for pointing this out: Apparently he’s here as a Gon-san sub, which makes perfect sense! Gon is a beast and Ishida is a key sub in making him viable as a row leader. The sad reality is that NA will likely never get Gon, but hopefully GungHo has another wood row leader of similar caliber in the works. Wood is just such a dominant TPA element that I’m having a hard time accepting that it could be good with rows too, but I’m not opposed to having TPAs share the spotlight. It should be interesting to see what GungHo does in the future.
Awoken Haku Finally getting Respect
Considering Izanami has always been a staple sub on elite dark teams, this upgrade comes as no surprise. The actual surprise is that she wasn’t on this list since its inception, only being added with her uevo.
I’m a bit sad Kaede has been bumped down, but it’s understandable since she isn’t any better than the other wood subs at A. That’s not going to stop me from pouring a fortune into the REM to (try to) get her the day she comes out, though.
Perseus, on the other hand, doesn’t even deserve to be on the list anymore, barring the reemergence of of wood rows. His skill bind resists and skill boosts combined with his orb change are still a very potent package, but considering the number of other quality wood subs with skill bind resists, I don’t see him as essential anymore.
Gadius and Zuoh Downgrades
Yet another set of downgrades that I totally agree with. Gadius is a fine leader, but his lack of skill boosts really limits his usefulness as a sub. I also have a hard time believing Zuoh is any better than Haku, so I feel much better now that they are at the same grade.
I actually really respected their inclusion of Susano as it reflected the power of damage reduction shields, but it makes sense that he’s knocked off the list since the cooldown is abhorrently long. I’m quite hopeful he’ll reappear once he gets his awoken form, though.
Someone brought up that the Game8 site has a more extensive list of grades, pointing out that many of the monsters removed from this list are still ranked highly on the other list. I don’t know what the criteria is for those grades, but they are separate from this particular list which is mainly focused on endgame viability and consistency. I’m also more interested in the changes, additions and relative grades than the actual grades themselves, so I’m going to limit the discussion to this list.
Still No Scarlet
Did I miss something? Please leave a comment and let me know!