Special REM Review – PAD Christmas

After a horrendous Halloween REM, GungHo has decided to shape back up by giving us a totally revamped Christmas REM. The most notable change is the exclusion of all filler eggs, meaning there will be no chibis or other off-theme trash rolls to get depressed over. I mean, people will still get depressed, but at least this year you’ll get a unique, on-theme card that is actually useful to most players; yes, even the silver eggs. While I won’t say this special REM is good value, because they never are, I will say that this is one of the better lineups we’ve ever gotten. Just don’t let the allure of RKali lead you to rolling irresponsibly.

Updates for Christmas in July: From a high level, not much has changed even after the buffs and meta changes. I’ve added blurbs to most cards, but I won’t be redoing the entire review.

8-Star Gold Eggs

Grades are given relative to monsters of the same rarity.

Kali – S
2511 - Mistress of the Sanctuary, Kali
  • A color-swapped DKali
  • A color-swapped DKali *yawn*
A color-swapped DKali is still a DKali which automatically makes this fire version one of the best subs in the game. Fire is almost always inferior to dark — especially when the card in question also has a dark sub-attribute — but in the big picture it makes little difference. It is what it is; a little boring, but her power and value can’t be denied.
I wrote a spiel on why you should or shouldn’t buy RKali, but that’s all gone to waste now that RSonia was revealed as the lone MP Shop card. At least giving advice just got a lot easier. “Should I roll for RKali?”: absolutely not. Who knows what the actual percentages are, but just going by past special REMs the chance to land an RKali will be similar to DKali in a regular godfest. The MP rates for special REMs aren’t nearly as bad as collabs, but assuming they don’t deviate too far from past percentages, a normal godfest will definitely give you better MP rates if only because the gold rate in the renewed REM is so high now.  For those that are both patient and optimistic, waiting for the next 4x GFE godfest is your best bet.
Updates for Christmas in July: Probably not an S grade anymore. Now that there are plenty of endgame alternatives to Ra Dragon, owning DKali variants isn’t a requirement to dominate anymore.

Red Sonia – B+
2512 - Holy Night Red Dragon Caller, Sonia
  • Vastly improved active
  • Leader skill includes dragons
  • The ATK bonus is low compared to newer tank teams
  • Value doesn’t justify the 300k MP cost
  • Active change means you can’t just reuse your dark devil team
The special REM version of RSonia is finally here to complete the cycle, but at eight-stars is she worth it? Let’s put it this way: if you roll her, you’ll be quite happy, but there are plenty of better ways to spend your MP.
Her biggest weaknesses are the limitations her possible leader pairs impose on her. Freyr isn’t a devil or dragon himself and a tank team can’t afford to lose that damage. RSonia doesn’t cover dragons so you can’t even take advantage of what is likely her biggest improvement.
Ignoring leader pairs, adding dragons into her repetoire really improves her sub pool, allowing her to gracefully make the transition to a fire-based team. No three-color board change qualifies for her leader skill, but there are other ways to consistently create a three-row burst board. Scarlet’s orb spawn can be used to fix RSonia boards and Gadius + Uriel can also create a fire-heavy board. The heartmaker role can be addressed with Uriel and Yamato Takeru. You even have bind clear utility with Fire Dragon Knight, although the bind recovery awakenings on RSonia and Yamato Takeru should be good enough in many cases. She also has good RCV options; better than one would usually associate with devil and dragon offerings. If she gets a better leader pair she could be quite the leader.
She’s fine as a sub, but I can’t imagine any teams that would really want her, particularly considering that Halloween BSonia, Summer GSonia and Mori have rather limited uses. Her best use is likely on a Raoh team used in conjunction with at least one Scarlet. The amount of hastes you could stack on that team are ridiculous.
Now that she was revealed as the MP Shop card, I now have to answer this question here: “Should I buy RSonia?”. Absolutely not. Whales are going to whale, but the average user can put the MP to much better use in an MP Dragon.
Updates for Christmas in July: I’d upgrade her to an A or A-. With minimal effort co-op teams dominating the farming scene, mass orb changers of any kind are in much higher demand. RSonia covers two potential niches: on fire-based MZeus teams as a sub or for SI and for various wood-based Dios teams for SI. Most people will still want to save their MP for a leader, but for players with access to more MP she’s definitely a reasonable purchase now. There’s also a small chance Raoh will get some upgrades with the next Fist of the North Star collab (which was already teased a couple of JP streams ago) and RSonia is great there.

7-Star Gold Eggs

Grades are given relative to monsters of the same rarity.

Liu Bei – A-
2514 - Lively Banquet Dragon Hero, Liu Bei
  • More triple dong goodness for fire
  • Fire already has good triple dong options
  • The original Liu Bei fading in usefulness is a bad precedent
  • No skill bind resist
Liu Bei is Liu Bei, even in fire. His wood self has seen a rapid decline as everything around him has power creeped to his level or beyond, but he’s still a solid sub. The problem is there aren’t many teams that actually want his fire self and those that do have existing triple TPA options in Kagutsuchi, Set and Rozuel (and Mini Chiyome and ROdin, I guess… ugh). None of those have a skill bind resist so it would’ve been a coup for him to get one — he may have gotten an S grade if he did — otherwise he doesn’t do much to distinguish himself from the pack. A solid card, but not very exciting.

Sakuya – A-
2510 - Astral Bell Kirin Princess, Sakuya
  • Huge weighted stats
  • Flat HP and ATK boosts raised to 1.35x from 1.2x
  • Double dongs
  • In a strange middle ground of not doing enough damage, but also not being tanky enough
Sakuya is a great leader. She has everything you want from one: a good ATK bonus at 29.16x, a nice 1.82x HP boost and a team full of relevant healers providing great RCV. Oh, wait, how could I forget: this is the era of MP Dragons and everything else is automatically garbage.
Sarcasm aside, Sakuya is certainly a great leader, but with a relatively low ATK multiplier and also lacking an RCV multiplier means she simply isn’t well equipped to take on the current meta that is measured by Arena consistency. HP bonuses are always nice, but the advent of latents has reduced their necessity. The lack of bind utility her awoken form enjoys is also an issue. I’m sure we’ll see Arena clears for her in the future, but I think that will be more a reflection of the love for Sakuya and not her actually being well suited for the role. I’m giving her an A- out of respect for her power relative to other special and collab REM leaders. If I had to guess, the highest she’ll land on the Game8 tier list is A+ since she compares favorably to HKali and Levi, but I would definitely think she’s on the lower-end of that tier.
Updates for Christmas in July: As with many of the upgrades given to the Christmas cards, they’re definitely nice, but make little difference. It might seem stupid that a healer-based team with 2.25/45.56/1 would be irrelevant, but that’s what the heart-cross meta has done. Still great for those that already have her, but also still not worth rolling for.

6-Star Gold Eggs

Grades are given relative to monsters of the same rarity.

Genie – C+
1782 - Holy Night Divine Elemental, Genie
  • More awakenings including a valuable time exted
  • Leader skill now includes gods
  • Still fairly useless outside niche damage immunity uses
They’ve done a lot to improve her, so her still being mediocre shows how bad her original form was. As a leader, 15x is abysmal these days and the rest of the package doesn’t do enough to overcome having to run two of that active skill on your team. She has extremely niche uses as a sub, but that can also be fulfilled by the normal Genie. She’s what I’d expect out of the upper-tier of silver eggs nowadays.
Updates for Christmas in July: Genie has gained relevancy due to skill inheritance, but is still underwhelming for a gold egg. She’s no longer embarrassing as a leader, but still rewards little for requiring nine combos for maximum activation. I might give her a B- just for skill inheritance, but considering her silver from the standard REM fulfills the same role, I couldn’t raise it any higher.

Haku – B+
2513 - Snow Star Byakko, Haku
  • She’s cute
  • Easy to activate leader skill
  • Relatively poor awakenings
  • No haste on the active
  • Her 27.56x leader skill isn’t very rewarding
Haku received quite a few upgrades from her initial reveal which is not surprising considering how popular she is. The most notable change is that the 3.5x clause of her leader skill now includes hearts for activation, resulting in her having her fire version’s leader skill with the match-five clause added on. The result is an incredibly flexible activation with a decent return. She also got an additional dark OE and dragon subtype. Sadly, none of these improvements do anything to make her more relevant.
There’s not doubt Haku is a cutie, but she’s simply overshadowed by her awoken form. Any team that can make use of her OEs, like Yomi Dragon or Nephthys, is generally better off using her awoken form. The lack of TPAs, SBR and one-turn haste hurts too much. Comparisons aside, she’s still a solid sub because that board change will always be very powerful, even if it’s the strictly worse version. As a leader, her 27.56x isn’t terrible considering the ease of activation, but there’s very little reward for running her since her leader skill doesn’t provide any other stats or resistances.
Updates for Christmas in July: She got a huge upgrade from 27.56x to 49x, but there still isn’t much to say.

5-Star Gold Eggs

There are none. Hooray for no filler!

4-Star Silver Eggs

Grades are given relative to monsters of the same rarity.

Healer Girls – B+
GungHo is finally showing us some love at silver, completely gutting the horrendous chibi family of cards and giving us on-theme art. The Christmas Healer Girls aren’t all that impressive, but for silver eggs they’re quite good. Not only do they all have nice awakenings, but they were all given Echidna’s Menace delay active skill. This is particularly important for elements like wood and light that have poor delay selection or have their selection being mostly limited to collab REMs. While they all have different values dependent on the element they’re in, I have no hesitation in giving them a blanket B+ grade. They would easily be in the A range if the super-silvers in the same vein as Paulina didn’t exist.
Updates for Christmas in July: I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how useful these cards have been. With skill inheritance and co-op, most will prefer to just slap Orochi on a strong base card or just use him straight up, but these definitely have their uses. Also remember that the skill boosts on these make it easier to run the MZeus dacho carry team.

Paulina – A-
2520 - Sightseeing Sorceress, Ars Paulina
  • Two skill boosts for water
  • An acceptable active
  • None
After Summer Awilda and Halloween Izanami and Thoth & Sopdet, it appears that these type of high-powered silvers will become a regular thing in special REMs. Paulina compares favorably to her predecessors, being the overall most useful instead of being limited to niche roles. Her two skill boosts are amazing in the skill boost-deprived water element, her OEs are nice on teams like Sarasvati and Nut and even though her active only spawns two orbs, that combined with the orb enhance on a five-turn cooldown isn’t bad at all. Despite that, I can’t rate her as high as her predecessors since her effect is easier to replace.
Updates for Christmas in July: Paulina has gained relevance due to You Yu and also serves as a good inheritance base. I might upgrade her to an A or A+ considering she’s a silver.


It was a pleasure reviewing this special REM, something I can’t say about previous ones. While there’s nothing game-changing, everything is Christmas-original and has decent value. The only real downside is that most of the better rolls are boring rehashes. Most players will still want to avoid this, but considering that everything is on-theme, that your worst roll is one of the new Healer Girls and the only real troll roll is Genie, there’s not much to lose with a YOLO roll. Do keep in mind, however, that there are still two godfests to get through this month so it may be wiser to save your stones for those. A possible 10x event is also a more worthy use of stones.

I’m personally not that impressed with the REM. My original plan was to roll hard to get enough MP for RKali, but now that isn’t an option I’ve lost a lot of interest. I’m instead going to try my luck on the Constellations in this upcoming godfest and see what I have leftover. I’ll likely roll at least one pack in this REM, but if the godfest goes poorly that may be all I do.


26 thoughts on “Special REM Review – PAD Christmas

  1. I think the Santa Sonia can be paired with Red Guan Yu… Although not many people would have him as their lead though I’m guessing haha…Perhaps after a few hundred more buffs, RGY may see a comeback haha


    • Hopefully this isn’t too much of a rant (maybe setsu can comment on this?), but how could game8 rank Sakuya as an A+ and not rank Kenshiro anywhere?

      If you compare Sakuya to Kenshiro, Kenshiro is limited to Physical/attacker if you want the full multiplier and Sakuya is limited to healers if you want her full multiplier. Both have 2x two prongs. He has more HP and Atk at the expense of a lot less RCV, but he has a nice 2.25 multiplier on RCV while she has an HP multiplier.

      I guess Sakuya has the advantage of a better Active, but does it outweigh the difference in damage multiplier? Maybe I’m wrong, but to me it seems like Kenshiro is better than Sakuya. If she’s an A+ shouldn’t he be as well? Or am I missing something?


  2. I’d pair Santakuya with Awoken Sakuya since the light version of the team uses mostly healer subs anyway (or all healers with the Sakuya/LKali/LKali/Elia/Kushinadahime setup). This gives a good balance between team HP and power, I think.

    Genie looks like a pretty solid sub on a Hathor team. It’s silly, but I want her the most.


    • Pairing with Awoken Sakuya is fine, but really doesn’t accomplish anything. You you’re not getting enough HP to meet any major thresholds and you’re also gimping your damage. Christmas Sakuya is intended to be tanky and Awoken Sakuya is for burst, so play each when the dungeon calls for it. Very rarely does an endgame dungeon reward you for taking the middle road.


  3. “I’m personally not that impressed with the REM. My original plan was to roll hard to get enough MP for RKali, but now that isn’t an option I’ve lost a lot of interest.”

    This ^^ was exactly my plan. Unfortunately we should have know when Gungtroll gave us Destroyer of Christmas Sonia at 8* that we would have gotten the shaft. Somewhere I was hoping it was a typo.
    I am disappointed I have to sit out both the Godfest and the Christmas REM.


    • Agreed, this was the ultimate GungHo ruse. I don’t think people are angry that they can’t buy RKali because I don’t think anyone ever realistically believed we’d ever get that option, but the fact that GungHo gave us the expectation that we’d be able to, but then destroyed our dreams. I feel for the people that feel that way.


      • I totally believed we’d get to buy Rkali, like actually surprised we can’t. I’m not mad though, I just thought they were going to go hard on the MP Drain Train.


  4. Hey setsu, off-topic question: I currently run [ASakuya/LKali/LKali/Susano/Indra or Elia/ASakuya], [ARa/LKali/LKali/Isis/DIzanami/ARa], and [AShiva/Urd/Hinokagu/Misato/Yamato or Set/AShvia].

    Do you think I should get Nepdra? Relevant blue subs that I have include Andromeda, Hermes, Gabriel, BSonia, Mori, Nut, and SQ. I don’t IAP a ton, so I don’t expect to realistically ever get a DKali, and RKali won’t be in the store, so I don’t see getting Radra as an option. As far as Yomidra, I don’t have Haku or Okuni, so that doesn’t seem like a good choice either. Do you think Nepdra would be a significant improvement over the teams I currently have available, or should I just sit on my 300k MP?



    • I personally don’t think Neptune Dragon is much better than Awoken Sakuya if at all, but I’m sure there are people that would disagree. You do have great sub selection for him, but is there a reason beyond that for wanting Neptune Dragon? Are your Sakuya and Ra teams not capable of doing what you want to do?


      • I guess I’m asking because it’d open up a different playstyle, and if the team is better at Arena than what I currently have, I’d be interested in getting him. Seems like you don’t see it really opening any doors, as far as arena is concerned, though, right?


  5. Hey Setsu! I have A.Sakuya and A.Ra but no Kalis at all (sadface) and A.Yomi with no Haku

    I have pretty much everything else for those teams and had been thinking maaaaaybe try the Xmas REM once we see some pull data, with saved stones, and hope for a Christmas miracle.

    After I read your post, I changed my mind. I should bide my time until 4xGFE comes back.


  6. Call me crazy, but I’m kinda hyped I finally got Christmas Genie. Genie’s the most useful of the Elementals, and I’ve used her vs. both Sopdet and Z8. Having a Genie with God typing is a nice perk.

    She’s definitely a situational sub, yeah, but I think Elementals are, in general, better than their reputations.

    I’d rather have her than Christmas Haku or Christmas Kirin, myself.


    • Sure, they’re more useful than people might think, but a marginally better Genie is not something you want as a gold egg. Especially considering how high the silver rate is for this REM. The other gold eggs are a bit suspect too, but they’ll immediately help a rider range of people.


      • Yeah. I’m not strictly looking at it as gold/silver – only at what I personally, at Rank 480, will get some use out of. Genie is more useful for my specific case than Santa Kirin or Christmas Sonia would have been. I would have literally never used either. With Genie, at least I can see some real-world uses.

        Mind you, I’d much rather have pulled RKali (and would have spent MP for her) or a Christmas Liu Bei, but “thing I will actually use sometimes” is better, for me, than things I would never use.

        For the general population of PADders, though, yeah, Genie would be a total troll pull.


  7. I have a theory that in the second Xmas event part (20/12/2015), gungho will switch ronia to rkali in the mp shop. I f ever this happen, plz remember manaphy said it would happen!


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