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Echelon which uses Assault Rifles and Submachine Guns and sometimes an HG for buffing. This type of team is generally good versus most content. A simple guide to how to build an ARSMG team, courtest of Omega Hymen Buster can be found on the link below.
This guide is written under the assumption that you already know the basics of the game, as there will be some min-maxing, common terminologies, nicknames as well as in-game mechanics that I won’t be explaining. If you happen to come across this doc as a newbie, consider checking out this Beginner’s Guide. For comments, concerns, questions, suggestions, etc., contact OmegaHymenBuster#7753 in the official discord or GFC discord.
This doc is last updated April 24th 2020.
For the sake of clarity, the positions on the formation grid are referred as numbers on a computer numpad.
Position 4 support
The most common supports for ARSMG are the following: , or a HG. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages. and HG are purely supportive. They provide tile and skill buffs unlike who is a damage dealer herself.
HGs provide a good mix of skill buff and tile buff. Different HGs can aid the team in different ways, covering the team’s weakness or amplifying their strength. Since they are not damage dealers themselves, they can also tank for your ARs whenever necessary, using their mobility to reach the frontline quickly. They can also help out your SMGs by buffing them, tanking some damage for them in order to save health, or giving them time to pop crucial defensive skills. The most commonly used HG in ARSMG is , but other HGs are also viable.
HG in many ways. Her skill is capable of buffing others, and her ICD is the same as HGs’ ICD, providing a good burst of damage when proc’d. The difference is that her skill is much more powerful compared to HGs, providing 5★ HG’s worth of buff to not only 1, but 3 stats. As a trade-off, she can only buff those who situate on her tiles at the time she’s using her skill, and the duration is only 5s instead of 8s. As a result, positioning is key in using , as she cannot simply wander away from the other two ARs. She is stuck at position 4 in order to buff the ARs, leaving no room for the frontline to retreat/kite back when necessary, as well as making it much harder to run her against bosses with AOE attacks due to her positioning restriction.is similar to a
tile buffs in the game, as well as some respectable damage potential as a self-buffer. In turn, she has no team buff like HGs or . A team with trades the burst damage potential of Ribey/HG for a more sustained damage, suitable for both short and long battles. Their pre-6s daage is higher than that of a burst team, and they maintain their constant high damage with their low skill cd, great uptime and the fact that there are 3 ARs constantly dishing out damage. Similar to Ribey, takes over position 4, leaving no room for frontlines to retreat or swap. However, she is not as restrictive as Ribey and her tile-dependent skill, as can be treated as an independent AR, dodging AOE attacks whenever necessary without semtting the team back.is a combination of both support and damage dealer. She holds one of the better
TLDR: - HGs give both strong tile and skill buff to the whole team. They are mobile and can even tank when necessary ( being the exception whose skill depends on her current position similar to , but it’s flexible enough). There’s a large selection of HGs to choose from as well. - has a much stronger skill buff than HGs, making her an ideal option for burst damage. However she takes away moving space at her position. Other two ARs must remain on her tiles to receive her skill buff. - provides only tile buff. Instead, she has a self-buff to make up for the lack of supportive skill buff, turning her into the 3rd damage dealer in the team.
Position 1 and 7 damage dealers
An ARSMG team of course would use ARs as their damage dealers. There are several types of ARs: burst ARs (long (6s) cd, short duration, strong multiplier), sustained ARs (short (2s or 4s) cd, long duration, weak to medium multiplier), nade ARs, as well as the outliers such as the support AR .
For the damage dealers, it is usually a good practice to pair burst with burst, or sustained with sustained, but not nade with nade. Multiple naders have severely diminished returns. Of course it is not necessary to always follow the rules, as many teams may include Zas (a nader) as the partner. Do note though, that two ARs with large differences in playstyle ( and ) can be very difficult to build around due to their different needs.
The rule of thumb for pairing the damage dealers with the support is simple: Burst ARs prefer > HGs > , and sustained ARs prefer > HGs > . Nade ARs follow a different rule depending on the role they fulfill. For short cd nade Zas, they are not reliant on the skill buff, thus can be paired with any of the three, while long cd nade that needs the extra damage such as prefers the skill buff from Ribey/HGs to make the most out of their Specialist.
Here are some commonly used ARs and their roles:
- Burst AR, best friend with . Due to how well she performs, she can pair with just fine, but her best performance is still with . Her tile buff is a nice 30% FP to SMG, thus ideally placed at position 7 and paired with an off tank SMG. She will overcap RoF if paired with both and , consider switching out for or for a FP HG in such case.:
- AR15: Sustained AR, pairs well with or FP HG. Her tile buff is negligible and her high RoF makes it easy to overcap, so she tends to stay in position 1. She becomes a force to be reckoned with once MOD’d, having very high stats with special equips and very stable damage with good uptime. z - : Assuming MOD 2+, becomes a DPS herself. In fact it would be a waste to run her as a support at this point (she is still perfectly viable though). Rather than being used in ARSMG, MOD 2 is used in a more specialised comp including Double Jupiter ( + + MOD + + ), and other variations fitting for heavy lifting ( + , + Grape). Fighting 89k Uhlans with + Grape. Fighting 43k Gundams with + .
- Nader AR, performs very well as an 8s cooldown nader especially once MOD’d. Just like AR15, she has her own arsenal of equips to run, giving her an advantage in stats. The long cooldown nade was once a hindrance due to the blitz battles when fighting Sangvis Ferris, but with the new faction Paradeus, mobs are tanky and battles tend to drag out long enough that her nade is an excellent asset.:
- initial cooldown, is a sustained AR, although her burst damage is strong as well. You can consider her to be a burst AR on a ⅝ uptime, or a continuously powerful sustained AR. High DPS, very independent, being able to buff both SMGs from position 1 as well as boosting all 4 stats with her skill (to the point of getting close to capping RoF and crit). Can be paired with (but please don’t put all your good dolls in one team), or FP HG.: Despite the long
- AR than a burst AR. Powerful passive suitable for taking out low health trash mobs where she gets to constantly switch targets and bypass their dummy link protection with double shots. Skill is a scaled down version of , but her ⅝ uptime makes her more valuable than just being a burst AR. Unlike , is rather needy, befitting an AR who sits in position 7, so be sure to give her both RoF and FP buffs (and crit if possible). Can be paired with or FP HG.: Same as , is more of a sustained
- AR, has rather under average DPS before MOD, no preferred pairing. She synergizes well with offtanks due to her tile buffs and should be placed in position 7. With MOD 2, starts to shine, being able to self-buff both FP and RoF, while buffing those standing on her tiles with Evasion, making her a very strong pick.: Sustained
- Type sisters except way better, excels at early DPS and thus pairs well with . Due to how her skill works, you can pretend she has a skill that pops at the start of the battle and goes on cooldown at 8s, or whenever she stays too long in overheat. On paper, she would have similar DPS as Type sisters, but due to her triple shot, she is much more effective at bypassing dummy protection ( is quite strong partly because of triple shot). As a drawback, she is not as effective against high health enemies, and especially crippled against armors.: Essentially
- ICD is only 4s and her duration is longer than other burst ARs. Can be paired with any depending on whether you want to burst something down or not. Can buff all doll types but her buff is lackluster, thus she is treated as a damage dealer rather than a support. She sets her RoF to 150 with skill so any RoF buff is wasted. Due to her targeting, she is best used against few or single targets.: Rather bursty but her
- AR with self-buff, an outlier as a shield AR otherwise. She pairs with so the team may have at least 2 proper damage dealers when her self-buff isn’t used. DPS is slightly higher than with self-buff. Strong tile buff for off tanks, position 7 is a no brainer. Has a rather special kit that requires some thinking and kiting to make the best use of, but can be very helpful. If you do use the shield portion of the skill, try and get it to hit both the off tank and maintank if it’s safe to do so. The easiest way to do this is by swapping the maintank and off tank at 3s mark. 8-4e full run with .: Sustained
- Nade AR, she specialises at clearing low health waves of mobs commonly seen when fighting Sangvis Ferris and KCCO. Due to her lower nade damage, she has trouble putting a dent in mobs of Paradeus. Similar to , she has no preferred pairing and can fill in for any team if you need the nade. Negligible tile buff, she tends to stay in position 1.:
- ICD, but is not exactly a burst skill since the scaling is weaker than other burst ARs. Regardless she still prefers simply because of their same ICD and the fact that she makes use of Ribey’s skill buff excellently. VERY hungry for RoF buff, but don’t gimp your team by adding too many that the team ends up suffering for it. Negligible tile buff, she stays at 1 but 7 is also viable if you run double maintanks and have no need for offensive tile buff from ARs.: Another outlier, her skill changes her targeting to furthest, making her the preferred choice to combat dangerous backliners. Skill has 6s
- DPS in disguise) you could say. Her self-buff is adaptive similar to Zas, but it’s not amazing due to long initial cooldown, low duration and the inability to control what skill she pops (unless you only run her for bossing which you should). If you run her for mobbing, her base RoF is low, making her ineffective, and her skill can cap her RoF, potentially overcapping her if you already have a RoF buff on her. Overall just don’t rely too much on her for mobbing. For bossing, low RoF high FP along with the big FP self-buff means she can actually deal decent damage due to no overkill. What makes her an outlier is the 55% FP buff to allies sitting on her tile. Even the strongest HG’s skill buff only gives out 35%. During boss battles, if given the opportunity, you can definitely move the other ARs onto her tiles and watch the magic happen. It’s preferred to pair her with for this purpose ( being both a support and a damage dealer). Just be mindful that the setup is difficult and does not always work especially if the boss throws a lot of AoE at you, forcing you to move around. Btw, you can tile abuse if you can time the swap well for massive damage output on the other ARs. A demonstration of Howa’s setup (credit to Cleista#7481).: Also another outlier, she is a support in disguise, an antithesis to (who is a
Position 8 and 5 tanks
Just as there are different types of ARs, there are also different types of SMGs as the picture suggests. The options are relatively flexible: you pick for buff synergy unless there’s a specific role you want your SMGs to fulfill. The most common pairing would be maintank + off tank (mobbing), double maintank, and maintank + HG (bossing).
- tile buff. Tanking capacity is only average, but the buff she gives lets your ARs take out threats faster. Smoke is very useful for short battles if it actually hits the group. Against very fast targets like dragoons, or close spawning enemies that start shooting before her smoke can even land may prove troublesome. Long fights are not her strong suit, as smoke has a very long CD and short uptime.: Practically unmatched
- ICD. Effective HP is quite high during skill duration with her damage debuff. Since it’s a debuff, the other SMG benefits from it as well. Uptime is not high for bossing, but it’s enough that she can rotate with another SMG. Mediocre tile buff, if used in a double maintank, she should be placed at 8 and let the other SMG give the tile buff instead.: A very useful skill, both for general use and for bossing thanks to its low
- CMS: Infinite uptime, perma-Evasion self-buff and decent tile buff. Effective HP isn’t so high that she can replace the specialist Evasion tank though. Can also be run as off tank with her damage stance, but it’s not as good as her Evasion stance.
- Evasion self-buff and the toggle skill. She is more evasive thanks to the stronger self-buff, but has lower HP than her counterpart. Tile coverage is weaker than CMS’s but can buff RFs with it (sadly, this is not a RFHG teambuilding guide so I won’t go into that). To make up for that, she can support (or gimp) the other dolls on the same column (usually another SMG). The 40% Evasion debuff to her teammate is drastic when is on defense mode, so take great care and draw the aggro away from her partner. On the other hand, on her offense mode, she gives her teammate a whooping 80% Evasion buff (that’s a debuff with no ICD right there). It is possible to stack the 2nd SMG’s Evasion sky high with this ability, making her useful in a double maintank setup. Careful though, does not give buffs when she is moving, so stop frequently to reapply the buff before continuing kiting.: Another CMS essentially, with the perma-
- Flashbang is situational and does not work on bosses. It’s nice to have at least one flashbang around when the situation calls. Due to their long ICD, expect to take chip damage in blitz battles if you do use them. They perform quite well against mobs that come slowly in packs, which was seen in theater. Flashbang vs Brute/Striker in Core 8./ :
- ICD. Stats spread is lopsided to HP along with the long ICD makes them very vulnerable in regular battles. The low uptime of their skill makes them poor tanks for bosses as well, but they can be used to rotate with Taunt fairy and another SMG. Best used for cheesing Red Beans or tanking Jupiter with the assistance of Taunt fairy./ : Their skill makes them invincible for a short duration, but comes with a very long
- Evasion tank specialists. Weak against general mobs and short battles due to their long ICD (and lopsided stats spread in the case of ). When their skills do pop though, they have great effective HP and skill uptime. Best used against long battles and bosses where Evasion is still useful, aka don’t try and tank bosses that spam undodgeable AOE attacks./ :
- Force shield/Evasion hybrid specialist, can either tank with the Evasion self-buff she has, or let the holograms tank for her. Each hologram has 3 HP and 999 armor for 3s, at 5x dummy link, they can tank at least 15 shots, or more due to corpse whipping from the enemies, effectively buying her team up to 3s worth of time (like a force shield SMG with 6s ICD and 3s duration). Synergy very well with shields as the holograms can be shielded. Also synergy well with Taunt fairy by letting the holograms tank for the dummy, buying even more time without putting herself at risk.:
- SMGs with molotov or hand grenade skill. They are great against mobs in general as long as the damage is sufficient. Molotov is better used for melting small groups of mobs, while hand nade is used for bypassing tanks to nuke the squishies at the back with its larger radius. Most effective when paired with FP buffing AR. Their usage diminishes with Paradeus becoming more prevalent due to the latter being much tankier than before./ : And other
- tank whose DPS can easily surpass even ARs under the right circumstances. Requires good gears and AR’s buffs to get the most out of her. She relies on dummy links and normal firing so good protection from the maintank and/or Taunt fairy is mandatory. Normally the effort to buff and protect her isn’t worth fielding her in place of nade off tanks.: A unique off
- maintank of the team with incredible tiles. With the new factions in the game, nader SMGs cannot really clear out the trash mobs effectively as before. Which means there will be a lot of mobs trying to punch through your frontline, and JS9 is made specifically to handle that with her Evasion scaling potential.: A far better version of Badger, JS 9 is functionally a second
- HG: Supplementary support for the team. Their tile buff is much stronger than the average SMG and they provide very useful skill buff/debuff. Skill can either be a powerful team-wide buff ( ), shield to reduce scratch damage ( ) or debuff to complement the SMG maintank ( ). Ideally placed at 5 before swapping with the maintank at 8.
- Double HG: This will turn the team into a glass cannon version of ARSMG, aka ARHG. Excellent offensive capability as a trade-off to much weaker defense. Useful to overpower enemies in order to take no damage, or to situationally tank certain bosses such as Gaia and Dreamer, whose attacks deal so much damage that SMG tanks are not more effective than HG tanks.
Aimed to deal with night maps, both against armors and non-armors. Night ARSMG plays around the massive power of the night specialists such as and . Being a night team, the team always includes at least one HG for node vision.
A couple of things to note when making night ARSMG: - Night ARSMG specializes in dealing with BOTH armors and non-armors. If the map is filled with armors, just use RFHG. If the map is filled with non-armors, your regular ARSMG with a HG included will also work just fine. - Even though the ARs must bruteforce through armors, you don’t have to stack all FP, especially if your ARs are night specialists themselves with massive FP self-buff already. This is a common mistake that many people new and old make when building night ARSMG. Neglecting RoF means you’re very sluggish especially against close-spawning enemies or speedy non-armors. Remember, more RoF means more shots during their skill’s duration. - Crit rate is ineffective at night unless you’re running AR15 or . All ARs must run PEQ over VFL, greatly reducing the effectiveness of anything related to crit.
“You overcap RoF on your AR15!!!” is something you may often find people saying when they’re giving feedback on a team. The concept refers to how certain stats have an upper limit that when exceeded is considered wasted stats. The two most commonly known stats that have a cap are RoF and crit rate. As an example, has inherently high RoF, thus at lvl100 she will cap with only 23% RoF buff. By giving her let’s say 40% RoF buff, she is overcapped by 17%. The 17% RoF buff is wasted. Optimizing RoF buff: How to read the RoF chart The RoF chart in question. While FP is straightforward where each % in FP buff contributes directly to damage, RoF buff has not only an upper cap, but also breakpoints in order to receive any improvement in the actual rate of fire. RoF is an important stats to ARs and RFs, but due to the vast selection of buffers in ARSMG as well as their RoF being naturally closer to cap, it is important to understand how much RoF buff they should get. This will let you make use of the buff as much as possible.
Let’s make some examples:
- RoF, sitting at 19 frames. In order to reduce the frames from 19 to 17, she needs 10% RoF buff. gives exactly 10% RoF buff, thus the buff is fully used. If however you decide to use , who gives 12% RoF buff, 2% of the buff is wasted. In this scenario, it is an acceptable amount.has 77
- RoF, also sitting at 19 frames. Both and would shoot as fast as each other at base, however, the latter requires 12% to reduce the frames from 19 to 17. In this case, ’s 10% buff only reduces from 19 to 18 frames, wasting 4% RoF ( needs 6% buff to go from 19 to 18) in the process. obviously did not buff as well as she buffed , despite both having the same starting frame of 19 and receiving the same amount of buff.has 75
As you start forming teams with RoF in mind, you will notice that some dolls have very favorable RoF that make teambuilding very easy, such as . caps at 23%, which (25%), (23% at SL8) and + CMS (18% + 5%) can provide, wasting little to no %RoF.
On the other hand, there are also dolls who sit at awkward RoF, requiring an awkward amount of %RoF such as . misses a number of SMG buffs, thus wasting a lot of %RoF. She needs 6% for 18 frames (CMS gives 5%), 12% for 17 frames ( gives 10%), 19% for 16 frames ( gives 18%), and 26% for 15 frames (SL10 Ribey and both give 25%). These dolls make teambuilding harder in terms of maximizing RoF buff, so you may want to pay more attention to how much buff and what SMGs you want to deploy with these dolls.
In the past I have seen many people pairing RoF, and provide them with her skill. Sounds good enough? No.with . The reason was simply because needs
Let’s start with some examples using burst damage ( ) to sustained damage ( )., and . Each has different skills ranging from
Without Ribey’s skill, the damage chart appears like this:
Now how about with Ribey’s skill activated?
A significant difference from before, and it’s one of the key points in teambuilding with DPS with her skill, her weak skill multiplier synergies poorly with , leaving her behind the other two. On the other hand, a proper burst AR like manages to overtake both and with such a large margin from her skill that her overall damage dealt was still higher even after nearly 20 seconds.. Despite ’s constant high