Special REM Review – PAD Academy 2

There were plenty of problems with last year’s Academy REM, but the main issue of getting very little in return for your investment still remains. Whether you luck out or brute force your way to the rarest cards, they actually don’t do much so in the end you’re basically rolling for a piece of art. This was fine when PAD Academy was one of the few seasonal REMs, but with there being so many now, with a few of them having decent cards, it’s simply not acceptable to have such poor quality. True, GungHo did clear the REM of the various chibis and Heroes and replaced them with usable, on-theme cards, but they failed to make the 7- and 8-stars worth chasing; worth risking your stones and hard earned money for. So, on the collab/special REM scale of “definitely don’t roll” to “this is a good one, but you probably still shouldn’t roll”, this one is definitely skewed toward the former.

8-Star Gold Eggs

Grades are given relative to monsters of the same rarity.

GKali – A
2814 - Library Room's Manager God, Kali


  • Hard to go wrong with a DKali variant
  • A competent leader
  • Covers wood for rainbow teams


  • Difficult to fully utilize as a sub (rows)
  • Lacks bind clear utility of the original
GKali is essentially a wood Lightning, trading true damage, a few weighted stats, a skill boost and god killer for a vanilla DKali board change, bind immunity, an SBR, a time extend and two wood rows. In most situations, this qualifies as a substantial upgrade. Lightning’s active skill is her defining trait and could possibly make her more desirable due to its uniqueness, but at the very least GKali is on a similar level of power and usefulness. In other words, if not already obvious, quite good.

As a leader, she’s essentially on par with Awoken DQXQ. Both have a number of advantages over each other, but in the end things are fairly even (GKali requires six vs. seven orbs, DQXQ can activate off water, etc). Perhaps what I like least about GKali is her active which doesn’t guarantee full activation. An orb changer will fix that, but that’s just another constraint on team composition. What I like most about GKali is that Australis is pretty much an ideal sub for her, being able to take advantage of everything he has to offer.

As a sub, GKali doesn’t have any unique traits that make her better than other, similar options outside the ability to cover wood for rainbow teams. She is a healer, though; I can’t think of any reason why that’s relevant now (I guess she could sub on Awoken Astaroth… I mean, she does have wood rows), but unless they make a Ra Dragon successor for healers I don’t see that being too relevant.

Sakuya – B-
2813 - Light Music Club's Kirin Princess, Sakuya


  • Sakuya fanatics have reason to run a water-based team
  • An extra TPA


  • Essentially a worse Awoken Sakuya
In a time where Awoken Sakuya is fading from the endgame meta, a Sakuya variation that only has negatives in comparison will struggle for relevancy. The two major shortcomings are her bind vulnerability and having the original, strictly inferior active without the bind clear. The extra TPA is nice, but not enough to overcome those disadvantages. She’s still a solid leader, but not what you’d expect from an 8-star.

In spite of this, are there any positives to find? As a sub, machine typing is mildy interesting, but it’s uncertain what role she’d even serve on a team of said type, especially with her diminished utility. I guess she qualifies for buffs like Unit-13’s? Outside that, she’s just a poor gravity with a few scattered resistance awakenings.

As a leader, perhaps her biggest advantage over her awoken form is that she already covers wood, but that is somewhat mitigated now that Awoken Apollo exists on top of Susano. She has an on-color LKali replacement in Sherias, but doesn’t have a single orb changer on the same level as Elia. Water does have some nice on-color utility options like Isis and Orochi, but it struggles with covering fire so LKali or DKali might still be the best options for that.

Despite the disappointment, I will say that this is my favorite art of all the Sakuyas. It’s amazing that the same illustrator concocted this horror.

7-Star Gold Eggs

Grades are given relative to monsters of the same rarity.

Isis – B-
2812 - Beautiful and Intelligent Scholarship Student, Isis


  • Leader skill upgrade
  • SBR makes team composition easier


  • Despite the various upgrades, still an underwhelming leader
It’s sad we live in a world where 1.69/27.04/1.69 can be classified as underwhelming. Those raw numbers aren’t that bad, but considering her sub pool is restricted to healers and attackers, I expect more. Compare her to Sephiroth who is also constrained to two types; it’s not a one to one comparison, but I believe Seph’s upside to 81x ATK far outweighs anything Isis brings, including the extra HP (which has diminished usefulness due to co-op).

Her new awakenings help her catch up to her awoken form’s usefulness as a sub, but it’s impossible for any amount of awakenings to replace the 15% damage shield. While her active is inferior, it’s also at three-turns cooldown, meaning there is skill inheritance potential. In the end, it’s hard to see using her over her awoken form unless you you need dark coverage or the types are more relevant.

Athena – B
2810 - Sincere Class Monitor, Athena


  • Now bind immune with rows and triple typing
  • Improved cooldown makes her a more attractive skill inheritance target


  • Still useless as a leader
Nothing about Athena really stands out, especially since her time as a leader has long since passed, but there’s still niche potential which is tied to the recent wood resurgence. The most obvious application is as a skill inheritance target which makes her valuable on the Liu Bei/Dios co-op team and also translates to Awoken Astaroth for single play. If there ever is a wood-based MZeus team for farming, her wood sub-attribute could play a role in overcoming light absorb shields. Unfortunately she’s not a great fit for Kaede even with her triple TPAs, but if we continue to receive more quality wood leaders, hopefully there will be a good home for her.

Lucifer – C
2014 - Student Council President, Lucifer


  • 😦


  • Why bother with a team this slow?
Lucifer was the most neglected of the 7-stars, receiving four mediocre awakenings and not even getting an art tweak. He’ll be useless for almost everyone, but I find the extra skill boost to be mildly interesting. Despite hitting only a single target, Lucifer had niche push button applications and was useful when used to enable the actives of Juza or Vritra (whose awoken form now has a 200x nuke), but the extra skill boost could make team composition much easier. The impact is reduced due to skill inheritance, but it’s certainly something I’ll keep in mind. There’s also the potential in using him to enable Goemon’s and Dios’s leader skills, especially since NA lacks Shiryu who is commonly used in that role. However, that seems like an even narrower use case, especially with co-op trivializing skill boost thresholds.

5-Star Gold Eggs

Grades are given relative to monsters of the same rarity.

Theuriga – C
2821 - Volleyball Club's Devil, Theurgia


  • 5-star rarity means she can be used as an assist skill…


  • …but also means she’s a troll gold instead of a passable silver
I was actually surprised to see Theuriga listed as a 5-star considering that Christmas Paulina was a silver egg. The extra rarity makes little difference, really only yielding a few more weighted stats and a slightly more powerful leader skill. I guess an SBR is more indicative of what you’d see at gold and above, too. Anyways, there really isn’t much of note here. However, while the rarity bump hurts her value, it does mean that she can be used as an assist skill.

Sasuke – A-
2815 - Newspaper Club's Reporter, Sarutobi Sasuke


  • Follows in the footsteps of New Year’s Hanzo, albeit slightly worse


  • Currently searching for a home
Unlike New Year’s Hanzo, Sasuke isn’t quite as appealing since it’s possible to find a light to water orb changer elsewhere. Nor are there any water cards with three-element board changes that include light orbs to combo with (I believe they’re all JP-only). However, the basic premise is the same: an orb changer paired with a killer awakening of any type is extremely powerful. At first, Hanzo didn’t have many applications, but is now a staple on Superman and MZeus teams. Similarly, Sasuke doesn’t have any great immediate applications — doesn’t help that he changes away lights for use on a potential water MZeus team — but there’s a good chance he’ll end up being the most useful roll in the entire REM.

4-Star Silver Eggs

While the Fairy Tale girls might be the best series of silvers we’ve seen from a seasonal REM, there isn’t much to distinguish them from their original forms. The only difference is in their active skills, where they trade in their heartmaking ability and one turn of bind recovery for 99 true damage to a single target and two turns off their cooldown. In general, this is a weaker active, but for many newer players it’ll be tempting to acquire a true damage sub with competent awakenings.


While the REM got a makeover, there’s no hiding the disappointment in what it actually has to offer. Silvers of this high quality and usefulness and Sasuke’s potential would usually make me more optimistic about rolling, but that’s all for naught when the top-end offers almost no reward. In short, like most seasonal REMs, there’s little reason to risk your stones even if the low-end is bit more attractive than usual. However, if all you’re looking to do is YOLO roll, then at least the silvers are situationally useful, so, in that way, this version is a bit of an improvement from last year.

Personally, I’d like to roll another Athena so I can have one of each artwork. However, with the June Bride REM being a strong candidate for the next event and the Summer REM likely coming out in a couple months, I think it’s time to save money rather than squandering it on a piece of art. I’m hoping I can get away with only rolling one or two packs; luckily this event is only a week long so I won’t have to resist the temptation to roll more quite as long.

20 thoughts on “Special REM Review – PAD Academy 2

  1. One thought: The general consensus among the SS Isis community over on PAD Forums is that they will not be uvoing their Isises. They feel that 2.25/36/1 is better than 1.69/27/1.69, especially since your team is predominantly healer, so you want the extra HP, but kinda already have good RCV.

    Aside from that, excellent review as always.

    Personally, my rolling will be extremely minimal. I already have an SS Isis from last time. I do NOT want a L Luci, and a dupe SS Isis would be box cheerleader at best… with a ponytail though, so not ALL bad…😛 I’d LOVE a GKali or BSakuya, but neither is worth rolling for of their own accord IMO (or worth the MP in Sakuya’s case. If only she had the ASakuya AS and bindproof, then there’d be SOME argument to buy her…)

    I’ll likely be rolling for RRH for Orchid and calling it good. Theurgia would be nice as well, since OE awakening-sticks can actually be relevant on red teams, and with an SB and an SBR, with a 4 turn AS, she’s a hell of an inherit recipient…

    I WAS interested in Sasuke as well, then I realized that if you wanted a blue attacker who changes light orbs to blue, you use Gabriel. Also, as you mentioned, there’s no actual reason to use a light to blue changer to fix a board, so yeah, pretty meh. (Although he’s MVP on my JP account, double SB is a big deal to a new player😛 )


    • That’s a good point about RRH. It feels like a lot of players bought into the Xiang Mei hype, so for those people this lineup is slightly better than usual.


  2. the SS Isis art is one of my favorite cards in PAD… its unfortunate that even with an Evo, she’s still underwhelming =(… luckily my friend bought me a poster of her, so I’ll be free from the temptation of trying to roll for her haha..

    Also, I agree, that Sakuya art is pretty snazzy!


  3. I think I rolled four packs last time and didn’t get a single school-themed card😦 I’ll give the dragon enough stones to collect the silvers, but it would be really nice if I could get Athena this time around… *fingers crossed*


  4. Would GKali be a better substitute then Fat Chocobo for my RaDra team? Worth chasing, or wait and hope for 4x GFE?

    I run RaDra/FatChoco/Dkali/Indra/isis


  5. If anything, the Athenas are very well worth for their wood enhancement(if I’m right, shortest wood cool down for skill assistance) should you lack an unfortunate Melody or woodbahn. This collab isnt looking snazzy at all to roll for just a good 5 star like NY hanzo from NY collab. Oh well.

    My wallet however is most certainly loving me for this week.


  6. Hi, thanks for the review as always!

    After having my soul crushed to tiny pieces by pcgf, I was about to drown my sorrows by buying stones for this one.

    Good to know it isn’t worth it.


  7. Sasuke is underrated for MZeus in my opinion.

    One advantage that Sasuke-based builds have over Hanzo-based builds for dungeons such as roguelike, sudr, or 25 stam mp farming is that unlike light, blue has access to an inheritable full board of blues with Toshiro. Virtually all MZeus teams these days run at least 20 SB, and with 20, you can use something like a Mori/PSonia active first turn and then just abuse Toshiro actives for the rest. Due to haste stacking, by the time you use up all your actives, your Zeuses will have 38+ turns charged, which means another Toshiro inherited onto MZeus would also come up by then.

    Yes, this would be one of the most whale builds possible, but has ridiculous sweeping capability.


  8. Hey Setsu, just rolled a few times for funzo in this machine, didn’t expect to get a GKali in the second roll (kind of a déjà vu moment since I rolled my dkali as my second roll in the PCGF). What teams can I make with her as a lead? I am seriously considering just inheriting her as a sub onto my Ra Dragon (although it’s not as good as Lightning, still pretty useful).

    Here’s my box (dark box is still kind of incomplete): https://www.padherder.com/user/Blodsaint/monsters/#31,0,31,8191,268435455,0,,0,0,0,eq,0,0,0,0,;default,0


    • Team/box/etc questions are to be reserved for the biweekly godfest help post, as per the site rules. It should be happening withing the next few days, if you care to re-ask then.

      From a high level, though, just run as many good wood row subs you can that cover all your colors. It’s really not that hard. Failing that, Game8/YouTube/etc are also good places to start.


  9. I keep hearing from every end that rolling on collabs and special REMs in general is a waste of stones, but since I personally consider myself a lucky bastard when it comes to these, (got back to back 2 Ichigos on Bleach within 1 pack and Sephirot in literally my one and only pull on FF) I tried my luck again this time.
    I woke up at 3 am, felt like shit because it was 3 am, remember there’s the REM I wanted to roll available now, roled my 25 stoned that I managed not to spend on farming and mysteriously got 100% golds.
    Since I didn’t want to kill myself early in the morning I broke my own promise, cashed in another 30 stones and after 3 more silvers, finally got a god damn athena, followed by her twin sister right on the next roll, followed by GKali on the next roll which almost got me screaming my parents out of bed.

    GKali is by far my favorite lead right now, I sub her with my Ragnarok Dragon (who was collecting dust for lack of Dkalis until now and having no Radra, thus no good rainbow lead other than 4 lkalis) who does pretty well in her, a Rozuel for unbindable coverage of red and blue (and some unexpectedly high red spikes :o), Awoken Amaterasu to get at least some RCV in and unbindable light (soon to be replaced by Athena) followed by Australis to get the juicy 6-8 million spikes without breaking a sweat.
    I also rolled a second australis on this barely finished godfest, would’ve sold him without a second thought earlier, will now inherit him onto Kali actually.

    I must say Gkali actually goes off exactly where my Lakshmi team fails to shine right now, I’m pretty confident that this team, once completely finished, will get me through everything except arena, which I consider inheriting one of my Famiels for Predras and using A Sakuya as a sub instead of Amaterasu.

    I’d give you a herder but I already read above that this is the wrong place to😛

    Also sorry for wall of text, I like writing ^^


    • Welp, meant to write 100% silvers on the first 25 stones x)
      I got 3 gold in 13 rolls total, kept blue and dark silver max skilled for utility though, since I was considering to get a Xin Hua if I get back to 300k after I got some You Yu Fanboyism going in 2 weeks


Comments are closed.