Collab REM Review – Final Fantasy Part 3

I know I’m late to the party, but I still wanted to write this review. I considered skipping it altogether, but I thought it was a good chance to try some things out that I’ll explain in a bit. In a way the delay wasn’t all downside as I was able to write my review with YamaP’s roll buffs in mind from the ground up (for those not familiar, PAD’s producer Yamamto Daike sometimes steams his rolls and give them buffs; this is the first time he’s done it for a collab).

Anyways, Final Fantasy was one of the strongest collabs to hit NA and that still remains the case. The new 6-stars, Tifa and Noctis, are exceptional and the returning 6-stars all received substantial buffs. The 5- and 4-stars are more of a mixed bag. The 5-star golds are mostly situational cards like Vaan and Rinoa, but Y’shtola does present tremendous all-around value at this rarity. The silvers are almost all garbage, though, with Penelo being the only moderately usable one. Fortunately, the gold rate seems rather high so the overall value per roll is actually respectable for a collab.

Foreward

I’ve been wanting to shake up the format for these reviews for a long time and I finally took the chance to do so since I wasn’t pressing to get it out on time. Not only did I want to make the formatting easier for me to work with in WordPress’s antiquated online editor, but I also wanted to make the site display better on mobile. I also wasn’t satisfied with the old letter grading system; while my new system is basically just more letter grades, I think it helps address the problem I had with the old system where it wasn’t quite clear what factors contributed the the overall grade. I’m still not satisfied with what I came up with, but I think it’s a step in the right direction and I’m looking to improve it over time.

I also attempted to document my thought process for giving out grades here. It’s still in a rough state as I dedicated most of my time into getting this review out, but I plan on improving this over time as well.

This was also the first collab review I’ve done where I had firsthand access to the new and buffed cards, meaning I could take the time to play with them myself instead of solely relying on theorycrafting and JP YouTube videos. It was actually really strange to think “oh, that’s probably a strength/weakness of the team” then actually being able to test it out in-game. I really wish this could be the case for all my reviews, but, in my opinion, theorycrafting is half the fun so I plan on continuing on-time reviews. I still plan on getting future reviews out before the REM goes live.

6-Star Gold Eggs

*Grades are given relative to cards of the same rarity (read the criteria here).

Cloud Buffed

2764 - Cloud & Fenrir Overall Lead Sub Other
B+ A- B- B-
  • Leader skill buffed to 2x ATK for machines and attackers (up from 1.5x ATK; 4/36/1 from 4/20.25/1).
  • Additional light row and TPA awakenings.
  • +150 ATK.
  • Diminished from his prime, he’s still a strong lead, just not an elite one.
  • Has little practical use outside single-player farming.
  • The importance of single-player farming has diminished significantly since the advent of co-op.

Cloud was once one of the best single-player farming leads in the game. For dungeons you couldn’t button, a system team was fast and low-effort and Cloud was arguably the best option. However, the advent of co-op and ensuing leads such as MZeus, Liu Bei and MAthena have made him look pathetic in comparison. Where these teams can make Annihilation-tier content look silly, Cloud will still struggle even when farming easier content since his damage is relatively poor. Co-op shared skill boosts extended the reach of button teams into more difficult content, eating into the selection of dungeons where Cloud once shined.

For those that still solo, the Cloud system is still good for farming, but it looks like the new uuevo Shiva Dragon will be a better choice for general use. As someone that still prefers solo to co-op play, I say, with a heavy heart, that it’s time to move on (while hoping YamaP eventually throws solo a bone in the future).

Outside of farming, Cloud is still a strong lead, but is lagging behind the game’s elite. Not only do meta leads do more damage, they’re also tankier. By comparison, Cloud’s 36x ATK is poor and his 4x HP looks lonely without an RCV boost to pair with (although the Maniac RCV badge helps in that regard). Even in his heyday, Cloud was only a fringe endgame lead; now he’s hardly worth considering. Here’s a pretty impressive Arena 3 clear, but the consistency isn’t there.

As a sub outside his system, Cloud was never a great option and that hasn’t changed. There might be players that use him for his devil killer which is complemented by a nice array of offensive awakenings, but with so many great killer choices nowadays it would mostly be because they don’t have any other options.

Sephiroth Buffed

2765 - One-Winged Angel, Sephiroth Overall Lead Sub Other
A- A+ B A
  • Additional attacker and god killer awakenings.
  • +300 HP.
  • The additional killers are his selling point.
  • Sub pool has become much stronger.
  • A strong lead if you value specialized teams for specific dungeons.
  • Speculative sub potential.
  • It’s still difficult for the average player to field a competent team.
  • Active is quite poor and the long cooldown hampers skill inheritance.

I’ve never liked Sephiroth due to his team building constraints. In short, his sub pool, limited to devils and attackers only, had a difficult time covering all five elements while also providing capabilities like Kali board changes and 100% SBR; things that modern rainbow teams usually take for granted.

Well, team building has gotten a little easier since the collab last hit NA. For board changers, in addition to HKali and Ichigo (whose uuevo has already been revealed), Horus Ace, while off-color, can help with color coverage. Skill inheritance also helps address this issue. His SBR sub selection has also improved. Awoken Okuninushi has two, covers the difficult wood element and provides some much needed utility through his active. Uuevo Durga also has two SBRs. Halloween Vampire has become a better option than DValk for covering fire, also providing a SBR. For utility, Isis is still one of the best utility choices while covering two difficult colors, but S. Gloves Batman provides some depth with both a delay and bind recovery and covering light. There are a few other quality options, but for the sake of brevity, let’s just say Sephiroth’s sub pool has definitely improved.

That being said, has his situation improved enough to keep up with the meta? While I still believe he’s a strong lead, especially in specialized applications like MZeus, I don’t think things have improved enough for him to still be considered an elite lead. Of all the returning 6-stars, he was the only one that didn’t receive leader skill buffs. While the additional killers are great assets, they’re still narrow and don’t help his team’s damage output in all situations. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still great, but, in my opinion, it takes consistency to be considered elite.

Can he still be considered elite for his proficiency in specialized applications, like when he was one of the few leads that could stomp MZeus? Killers get out of control when they stack against the same monster, but there are very few bosses that get hit twice by his killers and nothing that gets hit three times. The most prominent of current monsters are likely Deus ex Machina (machine and god), Liberty Geist (machine and attacker) and Khepri (god and attacker), but none of those are difficult enough to require a specialized lead. This also kills his current sub prospects, but I like his potential here more than as a leader due to farming applications. Hitting the 27x dream would be more than enough reason to work around his long base cooldown and single skill boost for skill inheritance. Just something to keep in mind when evaluating the card.

Yuna Buffed

2766 - Unwavering Summoner, Yuna Overall Lead Sub Other
A- A- B B
  • Leader skill buffed to scale to 3x ATK for nine combos (limit raised from 2x ATK for seven combos; 144x ATK from 64x).
  • Additional 2x time extend awakenings.
  • +150 ATK.
  • Easy, consistent activation gives big damage returns.
  • A glass cannon in a meta dominated by tanky, high-damage leads.

Yuna’s leader skill buff was a nice little addition, but the increase from 64x to 144x isn’t as good as it might seem on paper. She still scales the same as she did pre-buff at six and seven combos so, in reality, her cap was simply raised to nine combos with the same scaling. A buff is a buff, but there are surprisingly few natural nine-combo boards. This means you’re usually limited to 64x at seven combos or 100x at eight which seems like it’d be fine, but I was surprised how little damage her team did at these multipliers. It’s more than sufficient for most dungeons, but with eight-digit HP monsters becoming more common, it’s pretty rough in the endgame. And this is all without addressing her lack of an HP or RCV multiplier, something we now take for granted from elite-level leads.

Fortunately, you can shore up most weaknesses through sub selection. Since her activation is so consistent she has a minimal reliance on orb changers, meaning you’re free to use sub slots for other uses. I was worried about endgame damage, but the right sub selection combined with relevant killers and a Gemstone Princess — Sheen in particular — should address most needs. Other sub slots can go toward defense and utility. Since Yuna provides most of the SBRs and time extends a team would want, you don’t need to restrict your sub selection around those awakenings and can use whatever fits the situation the best.

To increase her natural survivability, some consideration should be taken into running off-color teams in order to stack HP to complement her high RCV. Light lacks compelling high-HP subs, but, for example, wood has Ragnarok Dragon and water has Scheat, both of whom have about 6k HP when hypered. Scheat is a surprisingly good fit for Yuna as their strengths complement each other quite well. I’m particularly fond of the wood team suggested by Game8: 2x Ragnarok Dragon, Vishnu and Susano. Between Susano, both Yunas and their inherited skills, you should have defense and utility covered. You also get to use one of the best subs in the game in Ragnarok Dragon. The team hits about 30k HP naturally. However, the team’s true appeal to a shitter like me are the 15 total time extends. Even I can full combo a board in 11.5 seconds.

As a sub, Yuna is still mediocre. Her active, while sometimes useful, is still sorely underpowered. Just compare her shield (50% reduction for one turn + haste for 9-turns cooldown) to Awoken Susano (50% reduction for three turns + haste for 11-turns cooldown). She can serve as a time extend stick, but there are usually better all-around options for that. Considering most top subs nowadays come with one or two TEs, a stick that contributes little else is a poor option.

Cecil Buffed

2768 - Dark Knight, Cecil Overall Lead Sub Other
A- A- B+ A
  • Dark form leader skill buffed to 2x ATK and RCV for dark (up from 1.5x; 1/81/4 from 1/45.56/2.25).
  • Additional TPA and 3x dark resist awakenings for dark form.
  • +150 ATK for dark form.
  • Damage is quite good.
  • Healing is not a problem.
  • Light form is great sub for heart-based teams e.g. Myr (I like TPA Myr very much).
  • Should you not have dark subs, light form is still a great lead.
  • Low HP leads to struggles in more difficult dungeons, especially rogues.
  • Orb-hungry activation makes it difficult to fit utility onto the team.

I recently rolled Cecil on my JP alt and the upgrade from Awoken Yomi was stunning. I was elated when I rolled him as my box is strongly skewed toward dark TPAs and he’s close to an ideal fit.

In short, he’s very strong. I’ve been able to easily clear all Legend Plus dungeons including rogues and Arena 1, but the lack of assist skills in my former 20-box challenge account prevents me from challenging Annihilation dungeons. The damage is good, but is reliant on hastes and skyfall buffs to provide a steady stream of dark orbs over long dungeons. The ATK buff was very much needed, though. Healing is obviously great, but stalling can be sketchy at times due to the team’s low HP. The HP problem is likely the major reason why he isn’t considered an elite lead.

The HP deficit stems from Cecil’s meager 3,800 HP when hypered. This can be offset by running high HP subs like Zuoh, but there’s only so much one can compensate while still fielding a competent team. This weakness is a bit of a shame since with the recent stat power creep — mainly from revos and cards without sub-attributes — many teams can easily reach 28k without an HP multiplier, with some breaking 30k. This problem also lowers the impact of the RCV buff since you generally over-heal even with a single heart match.

I’ve actually found the dark resists to be fairly useful. Largely regarded as irrelevant trash, 30% resistance to the many dark sources in the game is actually pretty strong and this low-HP team will take any defensive help it can get. Would better awakenings have been preferred? Sure, but I’ll take what I can get.

As a sub, he’s pretty mediocre. While the second TPA is nice and I’m all for multiple time extends, the fact that the dark resists are basically non-factors when compared to the eight- and nine-awakening powerhouse subs of the current PAD meta makes him a relatively poor base sub.

In both forms he’s still good in a support role for heart-cross teams. His light form is great on Myr, but I think his dark form is a bit more coveted on dark teams. Leads like Armored Batman and Gremory can lack the movement time that Myr takes for granted. He may not support row-based teams offensively, but the time extends could be worth it.

He does have a lot of play as an assist skill, though, providing a Norn board change to both light and dark’s many heart-cross leads. It’s generally inferior to Apocalypse’s since it lacks the haste, but it shares the same powerful orb combinations so it’s tolerable. Considering that it’s relatively difficult to land an Apoc nowadays, Cecil might be one of the “easier” ways for players to roll a board change that combines with their Myr’s DQXQs.

I’m choosing to omit detailed coverage of his light form as a leader. I believe it’s inferior to the dark form, but if you have a better light sub pool it’s still a great alternative. For those curious, some good points about the team have been made in the comments.

Lightning Buffed

2780 - Savior, Lightning Overall Lead Sub Other
S A- A S
  • Leader skill buffed to 2.5x ATK and RCV for five connected light orbs (up from 2.5x; 1/156.25/6.25 from 1/126.56/1).
  • Additional 3x light row and SBR awakenings.
  • +700 HP and +50 ATK.
  • Additional god type.
  • A critical active skill for Ra Dragon teams.

Lightning’s main buff is in the form of an RCV boost that activates when you clear five or more light orbs. The ability to heal to full when needed is priceless, but in practice it seems awkward to utilize. The main situation I fear is when you need to heal, but don’t have enough light orbs to activate. Most of Lightning’s best subs are heartbreakers — Pollux, Valk Ana, Tifa, etc. — so they don’t help in this case. Using non-heartbreaking orb changers isn’t an effective answer, either, since they reduce your chances of reaching full activation otherwise. More DKali board changes also aren’t a solution since they don’t guarantee five light orbs. While the RCV boost is a welcome addition, it seems unreliable and shouldn’t be overestimated when judging her overall effectiveness as a lead.

The release of Tifa might actually be this card’s biggest buff. As a sub, she brings everything Lightning would want: rows, fingers and a heartbreaking orb change. I felt that the team really lacked good time extend options before so this is a boon. I don’t think there’s a better option to cover fire. Tifa can also serve as a leader pair, resulting in a 1/62.5/12.5 team with a 7×6 board.

With the reemergence of Ra Dragon as an elite leader, Lightning’s active has regained some of its coveted status. It might not be a 100% requirement as there are other ways to deal with high-defense monsters like PreDRAs, but she’s certainly the most graceful solution and is a logical assist skill for DKali. An additional bonus is her god typing so she can now serve as a base sub on the team should you not have said DKali. In my previous review, I said she had the best active in the game; this is no longer true, but I do believe it’ll continue to be the reason that she’s the most relevant card from this collab going forward.

Tifa New

3299 - Holder of Concealed Feelings, Tifa Overall Lead Sub Other
A+ A+ A A
  • Leader skill buffed to scale: 2x ATK and RCV for six connected fire or light orbs, 5x ATK and RCV for seven connected fire or light orbs (1/25/25 from 1/25/4).
  • +200 HP and +80 RCV.
  • A great leader pair for many of light’s row-based leads such as Xiu Min, DQXQ and Lightning.
  • Also a great sub for row-based teams, particularly the more combo-intensive DQXQ and Lightning.
  • Makes 5×4 dungeons look silly.

7×6 leads are a relatively new mechanic — brand new to NA — and are still difficult to evaluate. It seems that GungHo has taken care to not make them completely busted, probably afraid of the increased damage potential that comes with the larger board, and made Aten and the Heroine cards fairly unimpressive. I think they got closer to the sweet spot with Tifa.

Tifa’s main strength as a 7×6 lead are the possible leader pairs. Tifa only requires light orbs to activate where other options require at least two elements. This expands her pairing options to just about anything light-based. Beyond breadth, so also has quality with pairs like Xiu Min (whom it appears she was tailor made for), DQXQ and Lightning. Her raw multipliers are also better. Her 5x ATK is only matched by Aten who requires a rainbow activation. A few others offer RCV boosts, but Tifa’s tops out at 5x RCV post-buff, not to mention her ATK bonus is much higher than theirs.

She’s arguably the best 7×6 lead, but does this make her a strong lead in general? Based off her most popular leader pair, Xiu Min, I would say she is. The team has ridiculous damage potential and can hit the full 87.5x with three rows due to the expanded board (the pre-buff 52.5x that NA currently has can still hit some pretty high numbers). The team has naturally high HP thanks to Xin Min’s 8k when hypered. Healing is already acceptable at 2x RCV, but when Tifa gets buffed to 5x RCV you won’t have to worry about healing at all. They still fall short of today’s elite leads, but this level of tankiness is surprisingly good for what was once a glass cannon lead. The team is still best suited for short dungeons, but now has the sustainability to consistently face longer ones. To fuel Xiu Min’s leader skill over several floors, light skyfall buffs are necessary, making June Eschamali a key sub.

Trying to predict what GungHo is going to do in the future is futile, but we can make educated cases and I think it’s reasonable to believe they’ll release awoken forms for the rest of the Heroes some time next year. Wukong stands to benefit from a 7×6 board as much as Xiu Min and if the awoken Heroes are simply Awoken Pandora with updated multipliers, he could bring the extra tankiness that Xiu Min lacks. Of course, who knows how the meta will shift going forward maybe the awoken Heroes are flops, but it doesn’t hurt to think ahead.

As a sub, Tifa fills a huge void for teams like DQXQ and Lightning. Until now, there was no light sub that combined both row and time extend awakenings with a compatible orb change and Tifa exceeds my expectations, supplying five light rows and two time extends. These qualities make her a great sub on just about any light-based row team, but she unfortunately isn’t compatible with perhaps the only high-profile one in Myr.

Noctis New

3305 - The Chosen King, Noctis Overall Lead Sub Other
S S B+ B
  • Leader skill buffed to scale to 7x ATK for six combos (up from 6x; 2.25/110.25/2.25 from 2.25/81/2.25).
  • Additional 2x skill boost awakenings.
  • Post-buff, does sufficient damage at five combos.
  • Extremely tanky.
  • Difficult to consistently hit max multiplier.
  • Matching limitation means less additional damage from clearing trash orbs.

It’s sad that this is probably the closest NA will ever get to Kinnikuman.

After playing around with Noctis for a few days, I can confirm what I feared most firsthand: hitting a natural six combos when you can only match four or more orbs isn’t all that common. Not because it’s difficult to execute the matching — although this combo style does take some getting used to — but because the board often doesn’t allow it, with orb counts of five, six and seven being extremely awkward. The matching limitation also makes clearing trash orbs all the more difficult which in turn creates a higher reliance on orb changers. Despite this, the team still felt strong, especially due to the tankiness, but the lack of offensive consistency was definitely a turn off.

However, the YamaP buff to Noctis’s damage scaling should really help. While hitting six combos felt rare, I was almost always hitting five and the buff gives the old max multiplier (81x) at this level. At 81x, the team’s damage is quite good even with a single dark TPA. This means you can conserve Noctis’s active for the turns you really need to hit the new max multiplier (110.25x). Since the buff is not yet live on JP, I can’t say for sure how good it is, but I’m going to assume it’s a significant improvement. I’m not sure it’ll boost him to an elite-level lead, but it should be close. In the context of collabs, he’s definitely one of the best cards available. He’s no Kinnikuman, but that’s an unreasonable expectation.

He’s a decent sub off the back of his excellent awakenings and he could see use just for that, but his active is tailored to go with his leader skill and brings little value outside his own team. He’s the only dark card available on NA that provides a combo boost, but I don’t think that raises his value. I can’t see where he’d make a good inheritance base, but should MHera ever make a comeback he’s a better option than Awoken Yomi for time extends.

5-Star Gold Eggs

*Grades are given relative to cards of the same rarity (read the criteria here).

Squall Buffed

2034 - Solitary Lion, Squall Overall Lead Sub Other
B+ C A- B+
  • Additional 2x fire OE awakenings.
  • +100 HP and +200 ATK.
  • A solid albeit unimpressive card.

I’ve always had a soft spot for this card. Squall isn’t an essential sub for any team as his power level just isn’t high enough, but I just can’t deny the value presented at this rarity by this combination of an orb change, haste and solid awakenings. His best fit was on rainbow teams, namely Horus, but he’s still a competent stand-in for any fire-based team. The biggest knock against him is that he’s a heartbreaker in a heart meta, but he can still contribute on elite-level teams like Krishna. Nothing flashy here, but solid value for a 5-star.

Rinoa Buffed

2036 - Sorceress's Successor, Rinoa Overall Lead Sub Other
A+ A A- A+
  • Additional 2x water OE, bind recovery and SBR awakenings.
  • +200 HP, +100 ATK and +30 RCV.
  • Active buffed to four-turn bind recovery (up from three).
  • Leader skill buffed to scale up to 8x ATK with three water matches (up from 6x; 64x ATK from 36x).
  • A respectable lead for this rarity.
  • One of the better bind clearers in the game.

Rinoa was perhaps the greatest beneficiary of the YamaP roll buffs. She’s now the complete bind cleric package, being able to clear binds through both her active and a row of hearts while being bind immune. Her active is a great assist skill and is more attractive than other options for the haste it provides on a short cooldown. If Neptune Dragon and Meridionalis are the next advancement in time-efficient farming, Rinoa could be an important assist skill since, unlike other popular co-op leads, neither are bind immune. Luckily, the new BOdin is and will serve as an ideal base in dungeons where a bind clear is necessary (Although BMeta is a pretty good option for this role, too. Yeah, Metatron).

She even became a somewhat respectable leader, something that is unexpected at this rarity. She’s no Sarasvati, but at 64x we’re at least getting a decent return on an orb-hungry activation. For newer players struggling to find a lead, consider pairing Rinoa with Sarasvati for an 80x activation; that should be good enough to carry you through most of the late-game.

Zidane Buffed

2038 - Trance Zidane Overall Lead Sub Other
C+ B- C+ C
  • Additional 2x wood OE, TPA and time extend awakenings
  • +100 HP and +200 ATK.
  • Leader skill buffed to scale up to 3x ATK for six connected wood orbs (up from 2.5x; 2.25/20.25/2.25 from 2.25/14.06/2.25).
  • A nice assortment of awakenings.
  • Active skill lacks a good home.

As a wood main, I always wanted Zidane to be good, but the fact that his active had no great home precluded him from any serious consideration as a sub. This remains true even after the YamaP roll buffs, but he’s now at least fringe playable as an inheritance base. The two TPAs, four wood OEs and 1,916 base ATK make him competent offensively and the time extend and two skill boosts provide some nice support. He’s actually a reasonable leader now, too, as 2.25/20.25/2.25 isn’t horrible even if it’s limited to attackers; wood happens to have a pretty good attacker seleciton.

Tidus Buffed

2042 - Fayth's Dream, Tidus Overall Lead Sub Other
C D C+ C
  • Additional 2x water row and skill boost awakening.
  • +300 HP and +100 ATK.
  • Active buffed to enhance water for two turns (up from one).
  • A pathetic active skill.

Well, at least he has a skill boost now. Having five rows is flashy, but does little to address what has always been his main problem: a horrible active skill. In some ways he’s like Zidane in that he has a nice assortment of awakenings, but it’s not enough to overcome his poor active. His awakenings do make him fringe playable, especially for newer players with limited options. Which is saying a lot considering where he started from — completely unplayable — but he’s still the worst overall card at this rarity.

Bartz Buffed

2771 - Adventurous Wind, Bartz Overall Lead Sub Other
B C B B-
  • Additional SBR, TPA and 3x light resist awakenings.
  • +400 HP and +50 ATK.
  • Leader skill buffed to 3.5x ATK for two wood matches (up from 3x; 2.25/27.56/1 from 2.25/20.25/1).
  • A competent stand-in sub for wood TPA teams.
  • Active enables wood-cross leads like Acala and GOdin Tamazo.
  • Lacks skill boosts.

Reading my previous Bartz review made me laugh, mainly because it referred to Verdandi and Bastet as being popular and relevant leads. It made me realize that so much can change in the time between collab renewals. There are still decent wood-based TPA teams such as Vishnu, Bastet Ace, the upcoming revo Bastet, and, to a certain degree, Kushinadahime and Bartz is a decent option for all of them. It’s just unfortunate that he still doesn’t have any skill boosts and with the useless light resists taking up all his awakenings slots it seems unlikely that he’ll get any in the future.

Terra Buffed

2773 - Trance Terra Overall Lead Sub Other
B+ C B+ B
  • Additional 2x heart OE and skill boost awakenings.
  • +500 HP.
  • Leader skill buffed to 3.5x ATK for fire and light matches (up from 3x; 2.25/27.56/1 from 2.25/20.25/1).
  • A nice complement to the growing fire and light support.
  • Active enables Kenshin’s leader skill.

Since last time, Terra’s prospects have increased significantly. Similar to Onion Knight, she supports the rise of fire and light teams that includes Ilm, Kenshin, Tsubaki and revo Minerva among others. Her main downfall is that her offensive awakenings come in the form of OEs, but if she helps you hit your first five of each element she can still carry her weight offensively. Her two skill boosts are also a nice asset and allow you to get more ambitious with your assist skill selection. As seems to be a theme for the FF 5-stars, she isn’t a focal piece, but rather is a serviceable placeholder until something better can be acquired.

Shantotto Buffed

2775 - Menacing Black Mage, Shantotto Overall Lead Sub Other
B- D B- B
  • Additional 2x dark and 3x wood row awakenings.
  • +400 HP and +100 ATK.
  • Leader skill buffed to 4x for seven connected dark or wood orbs (up from 3.5x; 16x ATK from 12.25x).
  • Boosts Cameo’s damage enhance to 2.7x by herself.
  • Not a practical base sub.

Where Vaan is best known as an assist skill for MZeus teams and setting up easy combos from Dios boards, Shantotto unfortunately has no such role due to her supported elements. There are really no great wood and dark hybrid teams (Zuoh and Ishida don’t count) and generating wood orbs doesn’t help you combo on Dios boards. I’ve still seen her play niche roles on Liu Bei farming teams, but she generally worse than something like Alnair. She could possibly share time with Vaan for setting up Toshiro boards for easy combos, though.

Six dark rows are impressive, but the rest of the package makes her a poor sub. Her active is terrible for a 12-turn cooldown and as if that wasn’t bad enough, she doesn’t come with any skill boosts, further complicating skill inheritance. Outside of boosting Cameo damage, I just don’t see her being useful.

Vaan Buffed

2777 - Novice Sky Pirate, Vaan Overall Lead Sub Other
A+ C B S
  • Additional skill boost and 2x light and 2x fire row awakenings.
  • +500 HP.
  • Leader skill buffed to 3x ATK for four connected fire orbs (up from 2x; 4/20.25/1 from 4/9/1).
  • A must-have for hardcore farmers.
  • Fringe playablity on fire and light teams.
  • The average player will have little use for this card.

Back when Vaan was initially released, I wasn’t really into co-op and couldn’t see why he was so valuable. Fast forward several months and he has easily been my most used card from this collab which makes me glad I listened to people that knew better. I never really got on the MZeus train, but he’s been invaluable to my Liu Bei co-op teams, making farming past combo shields about as easy as it gets. The haste shouldn’t be overlooked for co-op, either, and this feature is usually more useful than Kaoru’s heal. Also, if water teams based on Neptune Dragon, Meridionalis and Toshiro are the future of farming, Vaan’s row change still interacts well with that element for dealing with combo shields. Farming is definitely the reason I have Vaan rated so highly so those that have no interest in that should adjust appropriately.

Outside of farming he isn’t great, but he does have some uses. As stated earlier in Terra’s review, there has been a push of fire and light-based teams. Vaan’s active guarantees an Ilm activation and his awakenings also pair nicely with said leader. The fire rows might seem extraneous, but since teams like Ilm-Minvera are hybrid by nature, there’s still some use for them.

Y’shtola Ultimate Evo

3294 - Sharlayan Sage, Y'shtola Overall Lead Sub Other
S B- A+ S
  • Additional 2x bind recovery and 2x bind resist awakenings.
  • +500 HP, +100 ATK and +60 RCV.
  • Leader skill buffed to scale to 6x ATK for eight connected heart orbs, also includes 50% heart-cross shield.
  • Much of her value is predicated on the heart meta, but she’d still be a strong sub regardless.
  • Lacks offensive awakenings.

Y’shtola is one of the best 5-stars to come from a recent collab REM. Her uevo grants her bind utility on top of her already decent assortment of skill boosts and time extends. When complemented with her excellent orb change she makes for a fine sub, especially in the current heart meta. The lack of offensive awakenings is a definite knock against her. Obviously, something like Andromeda is much more powerful, but a card of that caliber would never appear at this rarity (at least not until the inevitable power creep). The lack of SBRs can also pose a problem, especially for solo players, but water still has some of the best SBR support so it shouldn’t be too much of an issue for most.

Perhaps the true beauty of a card like this is that she can serve as a competent base sub, but even when you get a stronger replacement, you’ll still likely use her as an assist skill. As someone that has used Summer Myr extensively, I can say firsthand how powerful the haste is and the fact that it combos with Ryune’s board change is just icing. Maybe I’m biased because I use her so much, but I can basically say the same thing for Awoken Pandora on dark heart-cross teams; this active type is just that good.

Oh, right. She got a leader skill buff, too. The lack of synergy between her scaling ATK multiplier and the heart-cross results in a poor leader skill. To get her full ATK multiplier (36x) with a heart-cross requires 13 heart orbs which hardly seems worth the effort. For just a heart-cross, you only get a 9x multiplier. So, in practice, you’ll have to pick your spots on whether to go offensive or defensive, a compromise most heart-cross leads don’t have to make (although maybe this is the way it should’ve been in the first place for the sake of balance). Suffice to say, Y’shtola is far from a great leader.

Onion Knight New

3296 - Warrior of Light, Onion Knight Overall Lead Sub Other
C+ C B- C+
  • Goes well with increasing amount of cards that care about both fire and light orbs.
  • Not much of a consideration outside such teams.
  • Awakenings are weak.

Onion Knight has very little value outside teams that care about both fire and light orbs and even there he is a fairly poor option. His triple SBRs are almost always overkill, meaning he really only has about three to four effective awakenings. The fact that none of them are skill boosts makes team building a headache since you have to compensate for actives possibly not being up on time. His two good awakenings are TPAs, but by virtue of being balanced type he doesn’t have great ATK to go along with them.

He does have some positive characteristics for fire and light-based teams, though. The fact that his orb change doesn’t break hearts allows you to attack and heal at the same time. It also pairs well with Leilan’s board change, albeit for teams that lean towards fire more than light. The orb movement increase is also nice for combating those annoying time debuffs. He does have some potential so here’s hoping he gets some love when the collab returns.

4-Star Silver Eggs

*Grades are given relative to cards of the same rarity (read the criteria here).

Vivi

2040 - Trance Vivi Overall Lead Sub Other
F F F F

Embarrassing.

Ace

2046 - Agito Cadet, Ace Overall Lead Sub Other
C D C B-

Damage enhancers will always have some value, especially for newer players that don’t have better options, but as more and more are released it’s difficult to give the lesser ones like this any credit. Situationally useful at best.

Aemo Buffed

2048 - Dimensional Travelers, Aemo & Mootie Overall Lead Sub Other
D D D F
  • Additional 3x wood and 3x dark resist awakenings.
  • Active buffed to two-turn haste (up from one).

Even after her buffs, she’s only somewhat less embarrassing than Vivi. In my last FF review, I mentioned the waning value of Change the World effects, but it’s even more pronounced now with seemingly everything getting time extends slapped onto them; four time extend cards like Yuna and Romia being a clear sign that GungHo isn’t afraid of giving players more movement time. The only real use nowadays is in movement time-restricted dungeons like Khepri, but that’s reaching pretty deep. I really have no idea why they gave her resist awakenings of all things. Especially since it shuts the door to future awakenings buffs; even if she eventually gets an ultimate, it’s unlikely that her awakenings will change which is a shame since that’s really the only way she’d become even halfway usable.

Wol

2050 - Knight of the Dawn, Wol Overall Lead Sub Other
C+ C C C+

Wol is actually a mildly interesting assist skill as inheritable orb enhances are surprisingly uncommon. The haste combined with the ability to enhance Goemon and Surtr boards are strong in co-op. As a recurring theme in this collab, there is significant fire and light support and being able support this push by enhancing both types might have some value in the future (and unlike Takeminakata, he can be used for inheritance). In the end, an orb enhance is an orb enhance, but there’s also little reason to not let him eat up a single box space, just in case.

Rain

2784 - Royal Knight, Rain Overall Lead Sub Other
C+ C C C+

I once had Rain pegged as the best silver in this REM, but the game has changed significantly since then. Co-op, the increased tankiness of meta teams and even smaller effects like latents and badges have reduced the necessity for damage shields. However, they aren’t completely obsolete — especially since not everyone has a tanky lead — and for those that lack quality REM options like Susano or Indra, Rain isn’t a terrible stand-in.

Auron New

3301 - Legendary Guardian, Auron Overall Lead Sub Other
C- C D C-
  • A card dedicated to breaking defenses that isn’t even good at it.

I really want Auron to be useful, but he’s just flat out bad. His whole motif is breaking defenses, but he doesn’t even do that well. Sure, a 75% defense reduction and a killer or two might help a noob against dublits and Super Kings, but he’s still pretty useless against PreDRAs who are basically the kings of high defense (a 75% damage reduction still requires you to hit 2.5 million damage to pierce an elemental PreDRA and none of his killers hit the vendor type). I can see keeping him around as the Kagutsuchi-esque active isn’t the worst for inheritance, but as a base sub he’s a stiff.

Penelo New

3303 - Dalmascan Dancer, Penelo Overall Lead Sub Other
A- C B A-
  • An excellent utility option for heart-based teams.
  • An awoken skill bind clear option for those that don’t have GOdin.
  • Three-turn awoken bind clear doesn’t fully deal with Linthia’s debuff (five turns).

Penelo appears to be the one saving grace of the FF silvers, predicated mostly on her relevancy to the heart-cross meta. Her orb change is quite good, providing so much utility in a single active; clearing hazard orbs, creating hearts, healing, and clearing awoken skill binds, something previously reserved for GOdin. She isn’t as all-around good as Takani Megumi — who is basically the same card that clears regular binds instead of awoken skill binds — but it’s nice seeing this scarce ability made available at silver. Unfortunately she only clears three turns of awoken bind so she’s not a solution to Linthia for those looking to farm Special Descended Rush for SDRs. She does deal with Folklore, though.

MP-Only Cards

*Grades are given relative to cards of the same rarity (read the criteria here).

Glauca New

3306 - Glauca Overall Lead Sub Other
B C+ B- A
  • A unique ability only shared with Trailokyavijaya (on NA).
  • Almost everyone is better served spending their 200k MP elsewhere, especially since Trailokyavijaya’s skill up fodder can be used in an emergency.

I’m really not sure of the value of these gravities based off maximum HP rather than current HP. Just a quick look on YouTube has Glauca mainly being used to cheese dungeons, in particular the Hephaestus Dragon dungeon. Due to his long cooldown, the lack of Whaledor will prevent NA from taking full advantage of this active. However, for hardcore farmers that already have an inheritable gravity or two, it might be worth picking one up just in case. There could always be a case where he could be necessary to overcome some random mechanic in a legit dungeon clear, but in that case the Trailokyavijaya’s skill up fodder might be good enough to get the job done. The average player will be much better off buying a Ragnarok Dragon or even an MP Dragon now that they’ve been buffed.

I guess I should address his potential as a leader, too, since an unconditional 25x for balanced cards isn’t the absolute worst thing ever. However, this was a long review and I’m feeling lazy; this Arena 1 video should tell you everything you need to know.

Conclusion

Overall, Final Fantasy is a strong collab. As with any REM, there will be crap rolls, but I think the 6-stars justify the risk and there’s just enough value at 5. However, if YamaP didn’t hand out the second wave of buffs, this probably wouldn’t be the case because two cards that are now strengths — Rinoa and Noctis — would’ve been mediocre at best. Remove the marginal value that the rest of the buffs provided and you’re left with a pretty mediocre REM. Many people laughed off the YamaP buffs, but in the grand scheme of things they added considerable value to this collab, making bad cards at least halfway usable. The real question is: next time the collab comes around, will they be able to repeat this success? They can’t just continue slapping random awakenings onto middling cards unless they raise the awakening limit.

This is usually where I speculate how much I’d personally roll in this REM, but I’ve already put three packs into it and got all the new cards; one each of Tifa and Noctis. Rolling for another Tifa is a mild consideration, but I think one should suffice. With so many possible events hitting NA soon — PCGF, Christmas, New Year’s, Heroine, Bleach, etc. — it’d probably be wise to save some ammunition.

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49 thoughts on “Collab REM Review – Final Fantasy Part 3

  1. Hi Setsu! Just want to say that your new layout is very well put together and clean. Also, I was wondering what would be optimal subs for noctis team. I’m currently running Cecil/Satsuki/Yomidra/Z8 (since i dont have eschmali). I want to run A.Persephone over z8 but I dont know if giving up the extra turn of dark skyfall, haste, and finger is worth the extra prong and orb changer.

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    • Thanks! For Noctis, that’s a pretty tough choice. It’s a close decision you likely need to make the choice based off personal preference and the dungeon you’re running. While I played Noctis a bit for my review, I won’t say I’m an expert on the team nuances, but in my opinion you should probably go for the card that makes activation more consistent. For me, it’d probably be the extra finger. If you’re worried about damage, the YamaP buffs should hopefully address that.

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      • Thanks for the advice! I will definitely experiment but I am liking Z8 a bit more. Once you play on that extra finger it’s hard to go back. Hopefully Noctis will get more popularity after the damage buff comes in. Personally, I think it makes a pretty significant difference but I guess only time will tell.

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    • If you have Archangel Luci, then he’s a great sub. I use z8, Satsuki, A. Pandora(Temporary, replacing with second satsuki) and A. Isis. I suggest bringing bind clear because noctis gets shut down hard without rcv or hp multipliers.

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  2. NA Reco, love the review. I think delaying the collab review is a good thing if it gives you more time to go in depth with the ratings.

    l agree with pretty much everything you’ve rated here, but just want to mention Terra and Bartz are almost tailor made for kenshin and Acala. (If a little awkward peeling off the crosses from the sides) You may have already included this on the “other” score section though.

    Also still salty over 14 vivis in one pack on FF1…….

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    • Thanks for the input. Maybe for lower impact returning collabs I’ll take more time on the reviews, but for hyped ones I want to get my opinion out there ASAP to help people in search of info to formulate their own opinions. It also helps me decide whether how much I want to roll or not.

      Yeah, I did think about those applications for Terra and Bartz and it did somewhat weigh into my grades, but I didn’t explicitly write about them. I try to be as concise as possible as no one wants to read a rambling review. However, that leads me to cutting points that I think are “common sense” even though it’d be useful information to a lot of people. Your point about peeling the columns off the sides definitely weighed into the decision to omit those points. However, the whole point of the pros/cons section was to cover small points like that so I definitely should’ve added it (actually, I’m going to go back and add it). Over time I’m becoming more in tune with things I should cut or not, thanks to input like this, so, thanks!

      Also, RIP your pack. I don’t even know what to say about that 😦

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  3. My main account could really use some of the 6*s and a y’shtola. I’ve rolled only terras and zidanes while my alt has gotten 2 6*s in 6 rolls .-. How do you know when to stop rolling or just how to stop rolling rip lol?

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    • lol you’re asking the wrong person.

      For me, the real key is to set a limit before you start rolling then make loading more app store credits as difficult as possible. Once a new REM starts, I remove my credit card info from my iTunes account which has been enough of a deterrent up to this point. Of course, if you’re non-IAP I can’t really help you there haha.

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      • I set my limit to just the 30 stone pack, pulled 3 silvers, tidus, vaan!, and Cecil. Got sad after realizing with dupe apoc and stronger dark leads making Cecil pretty much the worst 6* for me, but at least I got one I guess rip.

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  4. Great review! I agree with some of the other posters that it was good to read the review after you’d had a chance to digest the cards a bit more (and to see the stream buffs). It does put the review in an interesting place though – I assume many people have already finished rolling/skilling their cards (thank god for 4x last week), but on the other hand, this could encourage people to roll again, or to feel better (or worse..) about what they got. I know you are cutting back on the time that you spend on this blog, but one possibility could be to link to the previous review, give initial reactions to updates – especially since JP gets almost everything in advance – and then follow up with a more in-depth review of the buffs after you’ve had a chance to play with them a bit.

    I definitely underestimated the Noctis buff, so actually seeing the new scaling was pretty nice. I was lucky enough to roll him and have enjoyed his playstyle so far (and maybe I’ll finally be forced to learn cascades even!). Currently I’m subbing Satsuki / Eschamali / Yomidra / ?, and trying to decide between Cecil, AHaku, and APanda (fringe option AYomi for the TEs since I suck). I’ll probably also put TE Latents on him until I decide on something better.
    I love playing Dark Cecil, so his buffs have made me super happy. Those new damage numbers are wonderful, and the dark resists make the hardest part of A1 – surviving DQ Hera with his team’s low HP – so I’m fairly pleased with them (I mean, they could have been Light Resists, after all…).

    One note on Aemo – at 12CD she is tied with Shivadra for (I believe) the lowest two turn haste active, and hers is inheritable, which has fringe applications for farming latents. I don’t have my ALB team fully SDR-ed, and neither does my co-op partner, but by putting 2 SDR on my lead + Ishida inherit, I was able to barely get enough SB via two Tengus to have the active up for a F1 SDR Tama invade in Special Descend Rush this last event. Aemo’s lower CD would allow me a bit more team flexibility (mostly around me dragging my feet about putting attack eggs on subs I was only going to use in that specific dungeon).

    Anyway, she’s still a pretty unexciting card, and the investment is somewhat high since you need to use Woodpys to skill her, but I think it’s worth keeping one copy of her around for farming applications, especially for people that have no other inheritable 2-turn haste cards.

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    • Thanks! I might experiment with these reviews going forward and I’ll add your suggestions to the possibilities.

      That’s an interesting application for Aemo that I never thought of.

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  5. I started to read it, got to Cecil and gave up. Why shit on light Cecil? He’s a 56x lead with 36k Hp with badge and 15k RCV. Pack some tpa subs and you can clear A2 consistently with him. I pretty easily hit 4-6MM team damage with my team without actives and hitting combos. Also he’s a solid sub for lmyr on a tpa focus team. Auto heals suck of course but the est of his stats are good

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    • 15k RCV is overkill with only 36k hp, to the point that it’s meaningless. That being said, 36k hp and x56 is terrible for a collab 6*, whereas his dark variant is a significant enough upgrade to be worth the rarity.

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      • 36k might not be comparable to a heart cross lead but it’s pretty strong for most teams, and 15k rcv lets you conserve hearts or heal up with only 3 hearts to full. Not sure why x56 is low when considering you can stack some great tpa subs for light, kanna, Ariel, bride satsuki, Cecil himself. Only needing 6 orbs to hit max damage and having solid damage control by only matching lights if you want is great. Again Paladin also works as a sub on Myr for those that don’t have a ton of options.

        His dark variant is strong in the damage department but against anything non dark you’re getting squashed if you don’t have the orbs to burst.

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        • There’s simply no reason to run light Cecil when dark Cecil is available to you, as the dark variant is better in every way. Glass cannons should have way more than x36 and some TPAs. You’ll never be matching more than 3 hearts anyways with light Cecil, because that’s all you need to get to full, even with minimal comboing. Also, the fact that you’re mentioning Ariel as a good sub speaks to me. And no, light Cecil does not have good stats. 850 weighted, starring no RCV whatsoever, is entirely mediocre, if not on the bad side.

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          • You complain about not having good stats and blame RCV and then talk about how as a lead you have too much RCV… As a sub for a team like Myr, I’d rather have a higher HP to allow me to soak bigger hits than the RCV to get back up from them, something Cecil excels in.

            Ariel isn’t the best sub, but she is an unbindable 3 TPA Card with a low cd, why is that bad? Put a bind clear on her and you’re golden.

            If I chose to lead with Cecil I’d rather have similar HP against all forms of damage rather than just one color as DD Cecil does. Yes the damage is lower, but you also require less orbs to get there and can stack damage as well and with similar amounts of orbs your damage is similar. DD Cecil needs to use beefy HP sticks in order to get up there to match LD Cecil and you lose damage that way.

            Most times 36k before resist latents is enough to survive most hits. Bring a shield if you’re going to need more than that. Something like A Indra is also on color, with 2 TPA.

            We’ll agree to disagree but I think most people are selling LD Cecil short.

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    • >I started to read it, got to Cecil and gave up.
      Okay.

      >Why shit on light Cecil?
      The hyperbole of your first two sentences isn’t exactly a good way to start a conversation. I dismissed him, yes, but I don’t think I went out of my way to shit on him. In fact, I think I went out of my way not to shit on him. After going over the dark version I didn’t think there was much point in going over the light version.

      >He’s a 56x lead with 36k Hp with badge and 15k RCV.
      56.25x is a fine multiplier, but generally you’re looking for a higher level of tankiness from your lead at this level.

      I try to point out badges only when they address glaring weaknesses in a lead since technically all solo teams have access to them, and I don’t believe that case applies here. More HP is always good, especially for a team that can heal this well, but I fail to see how it’s an overwhelming advantage compared to not using it. If anything it benefits dark Cecil more.

      >Pack some tpa subs and you can clear A2 consistently with him.
      He’s a strong lead, too, and I should’ve given him some credit for that, but there are plenty of strong leads in this game. I decided to focus my efforts on the form that I think is superior.

      >I pretty easily hit 4-6MM team damage with my team without actives and hitting combos.
      There are a fair amount of reasons why dark Cecil’s activation is much better than light’s besides just pure damage. An enemy orb changer has twice as much chance of screwing you over. Less board changers are relevant. If you want to make a two-color burst board out of Cecil’s active, you have to give up the chance to heal. Diminished burst opportunities are a huge disadvantage when compared to a team that has no damage problems.

      >Also he’s a solid sub for lmyr on a tpa focus team.
      Correct, I should’ve addressed this point.

      >Auto heals suck of course but the est of his stats are good
      Actually, the buff to 800 HP per auto-heal is something I failed to consider. Still bad, especially when the team can heal so easily, but at least somewhat respectable now. I don’t know if I’d say his stats are good, though. 850 weighted is pretty much par for the course nowadays.

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      • Apologies as that did sound more confrontational than I intended. I think that I took your “pretending he doesn’t exist” a little too harshly and wanted to maybe broaden up perceptions a bit. I’ve been using him as a sub on my Myr team and had player skill not been an issue I would’ve cleared A3 with him on that team in solo.
        I’ve felt some of the same limitations that you expressed as well with his burst board, so I definitely won’t disagree with that. Thank you for bringing up the other factors as well as I hadn’t considered them.
        I realize I sound a bit too crusadey (not a word, but can’t better say it otherwise) when defending Paladin Cecil, but I feel like folks see DD, see the multi, and forget that it should be a decision based on their box as to which is better.
        As someone without any of the best inherits for burst (Sheen, Carat, Facet…) I tend to go for the team that can safely tank a Kali opening hit and then burn down, something that I can do much easier with Paladin Cecil than DD Cecil. that 4-6k HP can make a difference for a lot of enemy hits and let you stall out those bad boards a bit easier.

        Thank you for all you do and I definitely enjoy all the content, sorry that it came across a bit harsher than intended.

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        • I understood that you felt strongly about something and the fact that the rest was a well reasoned argument helped.

          On the drive to work I’ve decided to revise the review. I will add pros that his light form is a good Myr/heart subs and a good leader. I will also remove/edit the last sentence since it didn’t have the effect that I intended and I can now see how people could take it the wrong way. Thank you for your input.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I ended up pulling a dupe Cecil this morning and immediately made him the dark form. It’s great to now have both forms I can work with and play around with and I do have some great dark TPA support (minus A Okuni).

            Thanks for the updated review with the light information. What do you run for your light TPA team for Myr if I might ask? I don’t have some of the better subs personally but I’ve been running Myr/BrideSatsuki.A Thor/LD Cecil/Apoc/ADQXQ/Myr for my team. I’d like to swap ADQXQ to something else and inherit them tho as their stats don’t fit as well on a TPA focused team.

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            • If only that dupe Cecil was on Flaycrow’s account 😛

              I think generally people try to do hybrid Myr teams, but it looks like you have a pretty similar setup to what do:
              Myr (ADQXQ) / LSatsuki (AThor) / Wukong (Apoc) / ADQXQ / Apocalypse

              I’d ideally have Apocalypse instead of ADQXQ, and inherit her onto Wukong, but these One-Shot Challenges are all no-dupes.

              Basically the idea behind hybrid teams is that you can kill most floors with TPAs, which lets you conserve actives, and then when you need massive damage you do Apocalypse + ADQXQ (+Thor) and make one of the optimal boards to kill with (mostly) Row damage.

              Other common TPA team cards are Ariel, Kanna, and Unicorn Rider (who in co-op does as much damage as Satsuki I believe).

              Liked by 1 person

            • I don’t have a set team, but I usually run some combination of Satsuki, Kanna, Ariel, Orph, Apoc, and Paimon with the usual inherits. I’m considering making another Myr for the full bind immune team (Ariel uuevo with SBR when?) but it just doesn’t seem necessary at this point since I don’t run the team all that often so working around the 4th sub being bound sometimes isn’t that bad.

              Liked by 1 person

  6. Really love the new format.

    I think the fact that a lot of people have stacked latent resists (don’t know how often that is anymore) speaks for itself pretty well when it comes to Dark Cecil. Though the aforementioned HP cap definitely limits his tankiness there indeed beyond the first Arena.

    I do appreciate that they’ve been rotating boosted rates for the 6* cards daily this event. Almost went for Lightning. Active is tempting, but I have almost every other DKali type active represented (DKali, Sherias Roots, RagDra). Tifa is under strong consideration.

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  7. I decided to yolo roll this once and pulled a Yuna! I’m still going to main Sumire, but I don’t think I’ve ever been luckier.

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  8. Rolled the complementary pull and snagged Vaan. Given that I’m working on an ALB team and I struggle with high count combo shields in general, I couldn’t be happier. This (excellent)review affirms my good fortune (my brother, who is into FF but not PAD, thought I got unlucky when I asked him who Vaan was, heheh).

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      • Considering Vaan’s relatively high cooldown you’ll want to get him as low as possible. A good amount of time you’ll be putting him on ALB since you can’t put him on your Dioses. Tengus are nice, but you can only use so many on a team. However, if you only plan on using him on a team where he’d be inherited on something like Leeza, then maybe you can hold off. Sadly, 4x has just ended, but you can farm int on 2x for pretty mindless skill ups, although it’s still frustrating as hell. Guaranteed Tan skill ups when? Maybe just wait for that update? If you can get away with not skilling him for 2-3 months, maybe it’s a realistic option…

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        • I got him up one skill level after 5 or so attempts, so I might just stash 4 for when guaranteed skill ups happen down the line and then see how much further I can get, adjusting the stash accordingly. Thanks!

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  9. I’m annoyed how YamaP still buffed Noctis despite not rolling him. It’s less so that I don’t have Noctis, since Tifa did get a substantial buff, but if he’s going to let buffs fly by the word of RNG, at least stop flip flopping on that decision. If he really wanted to buff him that badly, just do it instead of sneaking it on after the fact.

    On a more on topic note, great review as always. Very nice to have another blog that offers a different voice than Mantastic

    And on the subject of LEscha being a must have on Tifa teams, looks like I’m scrubbing around with my awoken apollo in her place as always. Maybe him and the rest of the series will get a great revo to put him on par, considering only Artemis really got to spend any time as a top tier lead

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  10. Definitely enjoy the new format you’ve placed in for the guide, it’s great.

    I was anticipating for the delayed review and was glad to not received rushed details about monsters being crap etc before buffs. Thank you!

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  11. Love the format!

    In the end after 39 rolls I walked away with no Noctis, a shame but I love that Bartz and Zidane got some sweet buffs, both my Yshtola are max skilled, and Cecil will be better as my Myr inherit than Gadius. I also have experienced gamblers high and now the prospect of IAPing is scarier than it used to be so I’ll put this behind me and now it’s time to let Gaia Dragon traumatize me and Krishna

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    • Thanks! Sorry to hear you didn’t get Noctis… but there’s always next year :^)

      And yeah, rolling a lot is so dangerous… it’s great you had the self control to not IAP.

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      • I’m currently very wallet conscious because of college and several video games coming out that I would like to preorder in addition to art instruction books/artbooks (I want PAD artbooks so bad)/art supplies, all of which adds up quickly :^)

        Of course while I can stop myself from IAPing my fiance has insisted on buying me stones so I can roll on Player’s Choice like I was *totally* supposed to before FF threw me a Noctis-shaped curveball :^) If there’s too many 6*’s though I’m probably just going to turn a blind eye, at this point having to play cross-meta anymore than I am already is going to make me bored.

        Would rather play more Fenrir, Awoken Sun Quan x Awoken Hermes, and Yuna. Lol.

        Alas, I remember the days when you could play super fun/unique leads AND clear difficult/intensive content at the same time :^)

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  12. I rolled 5 Yashtola out of 7 pulls which seems impossible.Would more than 2 of her be worth keeping? Thanks for the review it was very informative.

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    • Wow, that’s some really bad luck.

      It really depends on your situation, but, no, you shouldn’t need more than 2. However, if you can afford to, I don’t see the harm in keeping 3-4 just in case. The active is pretty solid for inheritance and while it’s unlikely you’ll need more than 1-2 on the same team, unless you’re dying for MP or box space I don’t see the harm.

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