GungHo caught me off-guard. I thought I’d have at least another week to finish this post up; I mean we don’t even know the results of Cauchemar yet. I had intended to get this post out much earlier to give as much prep time as possible, but real life is not cooperating as of late. Anyways, I didn’t get to do as much research as I would’ve liked, but hopefully you can get something out of this post anyways.
Noah is somewhat of a return to normalcy after Cauchemar’s no awakening nightmare. The no dupe clause can be annoying for some players, but most won’t be affected by this restriction. Compared to Cauchemar, the return of awakenings means it’ll be harder for players without a good team to compete since a sub needs more than good ATK to be relevant. However, since no element has a huge advantage over the other in this dungeon it should be easier for most players to put together a respectable team since, for the most part, they can use their best subs.
Unlike Cauchemar’s no awakenings, Noah’s no dupe restriction doesn’t actually affect team composition all that much since it doesn’t include your leaders. If anything, it narrows the gap between the top and bottom since bigger spenders can’t take advantage of redundant copies of the most powerful subs.
Looking at the JP top 10, it may look like the dungeon is also all-attributes, but I can assure you that it isn’t.
Dungeon at a Glance
|Floor||Monster||HP / DEF||Notes|
|1||70,486 / 7,500||The Centaur seems like a minor annoyance compared to the Hellice.|
|560,139 / 800|
|2||1,011,812 / 990||Preemptive water skyfall buff. This is obviously great for water teams, but is good for all teams as added skyfall combos benefit everyone. Non-water teams should contemplate an orb changer that uses water.|
|3||1,080,972 / 0||An annoyance for wood teams.|
|4||45 / 10,000,000||Two random PreDras selected from all elements will spawn. This floor makes true damage or poison mandatory.|
|5||1,078,542 / 0||Another small speedbump.|
|6||937,400 / 4,065||The full heal here and on the following floor can be a concern for HP-conditional teams.|
|7||3,205,173 / 940||Most players should rethink using their non-Shiva Dragon fire teams.|
Here are the major points that stood out to me:
- The PreDras are the major gimmick – You’ll have to dedicate a true damage, poison or defense break sub for this floor. I’ll go over good options later in this post.
- Midgard’s water skyfall buff – This is great news for water teams. It’s too bad that it doesn’t have an elite-tier unconditional leader to take full advantage of it.
- Light and dark teams are slightly disadvantaged – Fire, water and wood all have floors they’re bad at, but the important thing is that they also have floors where they receive 2x damage from elemental advantage. Light and dark aren’t weak to anything, but they also won’t get that free damage bonus boost for those few extra hundreds of points that determine the difference between tenths of a percent at the top of the rankings.
- Bring a damage enhancer – Fire, water and wood teams all have good options to pad their damage score on the last three floors; hopefully you have enough skill boosts and/or hastes to have them up by then.
- The dungeon is seven floors – Skyfall combos won’t help you as much as they did the previous two six-floor dungeons, but they will still always improve your score.
- The floors have low HP – Considering we have awakenings, the HP values are pretty low, especially when compared to Izanami.
Looking at the JP Results
There usually isn’t much in the JP top 10 that is relevant to the average user, but we may as well take a look to see if there’s anything interesting we can glean from it.
No surprises here, MP Dragons once again dominate the top 10. One interesting thing to note is that the Ra Dragon teams stocked up on water subs, presumably to take advantage of Midgard’s water skyfall buff and boost their damage on Galbowl and Phoenix. Although the sword cuts both ways as the skyfall buff also makes it more difficult to fully activate.
Dealing With the PreDras
PreDras are pretty much cancer in ranking dungeons because there’s no reasonable way to kill them through puzzling. This means we’re obligated to run a utility sub that we’d almost never otherwise (and eat the 5k score penalty in the case of true damage). The PreDras just seem so out of place in a game mode that should focus on comboing. Anyways, they do reappear in the Athena ranking dungeon so if you’re serious about scoring well in the future, you should have an option or two at your disposal. I suggested Swallowtail earlier and still believe that it’s a good option going forward.
It’s debatable whether true damage or poison is the preferred way to kill the PreDras. On one hand, true damage doesn’t require any orb movement and doesn’t affect your combo average. However, you don’t get hit with the 5k skill-only score penalty with poison. I’m actually not sure if you get the score penalty if you do zero matches and kill by poison, but you should still do at least one match to help out your combo average (edit: can confirm now that you don’t get the skill-only penalty when matching zero with poison). Anyways, poison is more accessible so I’d imagine that’s what most players will use.
The other way to deal with high-defense monsters are through defense breakers. However, in the case of the PreDras, their defense is so high that anything but total reduction isn’t a great choice and those are often too slow to matter in a dungeon like this.
|Sample Monsters||Break %||Approx.
|Def. Left||Weak Elem.
In other words, for a full defense break to be ready by the fourth floor, you’ll need some combination of 12 skills boosts and hastes to have a fully skilled Shiva or Kenshiro ready for the PreDras. Considering the typical poisoner, Lilith, needs five less skill boosts to be ready, it’s much more realistic to build a team around her.
Non-MP Dragon Leads
Unfortunately there aren’t any interesting leader options like there were for Cauchemar. Since awakenings play a huge role in overall power, leaders like Dark Izanami that are lacking in that department fall further behind. Here are some of the more interesting options I found, though:
Andromeda – 117,584, 6.8%:
If you don’t have your own MP Dragon, use your friend’s. I find it amusing that they had to use Tengu to reach the requisite skill boost number. To be honest, this wasn’t a very impressive run and they still managed to easily make the top 10%.
DFagan – 119,784, 2.8%:
Not that this is a great team, but it’s kind of a direct slap to NA’s face.
Awoken Ra – 119,860, 2.4%:
A fairly typical clear with a fairly typical Ra team. This clear was pretty lucky to get activatable boards as much as it did in spite of the water skyfall debuff. Rainbow teams aren’t really ideal here, but Ra is a good option since you have a built-in way to deal with the PreDras.
DIza – 116,888, 9.3%:
DIza is still fairly capable, but you won’t be able to get away with garbage subs like you could with Cauchemar. This guy’s play is actually pretty bad — all his extra comboing actually hurts his score since he’s fairly slow — but he still managed to put up a semi-respectable score.
There were suprisingly few Noah clears on YouTube, at least when compared to Cauchemar. This is probably because the MP Dragons were so dominant and the dungeon is so straightforward that there really wasn’t anything interesting to document. Here’s a YouTube search link if you’d like to check out some videos for yourself.
After what was seemingly a more level playing field with Cauchemar, it appears Noah should play out more like Izanami did. Despite this, it’s more than possible to score in the top 10% if you take advantage of how the dungeon is set up. Having an efficient way to deal with the PreDra floor should give you a huge advantage in itself. Outside that, not much has changed: combo fast and pray for those skyfall combos.