Summoners War Trial of Ascension Guide
Summoners War Trial of Ascension Floor 100 Normal Guide by Abs01ut3
While this guide is mainly for F100, I would still include some overview and tips for the previous 99 floors, albeit comparatively less detailed. For F100 itself I will elaborate more on the boss mechanics. Because ToA is a relatively new content, I find that many guides and strategies are only limited to the boss skills’ description, and they didn’t explore the mechanics deep enough to my satisfaction. This makes it difficult to clear because after all, how can you beat an enemy you don’t even understand? The aim of the guide is not for you to follow the line-ups blindly, but to assemble your own unique F100 clear team after understanding how to win against the boss, because not everyone will be gifted by the same monsters. It will also shed some light on the (very) frequent question of “Is Tyron/Baretta/Hwa/Shannon/XXX good in ToA?”
As a minor point, I’ll be linking reddit links to some of my articles there. As I know many of you don’t frequent SW reddit, I decided to link some interesting or useful things I’ve found here, so that you’ll come to know them too.
Without further ado, let’s start the guide!
ToA F1-F99: Overview and Tips
While this will only be fractionally as detailed as F100, I’ll give a brief strategy on it.
- Stack Despair units. Honestly, it’s a tried-and-true tactics. Just have units with AoE and Despair set whacking away. Most of the units will be stunned, and you can then choose a few key targets to focus fire. Most units compatible with Despair are good in ToA.
- Choose a good leader. People, leader skills that only work in dungeons won’t work in ToA. Dungeon means Cairos Dungeon, and as ToA is outside of it, it’s excluded from the classification. Therefore, please, take off that Lushen lead from your ToA line-up. Good leaders are unanimously speed leader, because more turns = more dps, more turns to proc stuns and CC, more heals, more turns to react, more of everything. Other leaders are overall decent, although be wary of mono- element leader skills (eg: Bernard’s lead). You’ll often be enticed to put in more and more of that element, and it’s not a good thing with ToA being of rainbow element.
- Have at least 1 unit with certain buffs, debuffs and role in hand. As you progress from F1 to F100, you will use almost every buff and debuff available in the game. Therefore, it’s very important to prepare and have them, subbed in and out depending on your needs. There is a quick and dirty primer for you down below.
- Study up why you fail. The simplest method is to simply count how many elements are on each stage. If there are 6 wind, 2 fire and 2 water units, you’ll know that bringing squishy water units isn’t the brightest idea around. Get your units and CC-ers in wind and fire flavors instead. Other examples are looking if you’re missing a critical tool (think of the utility table below as your toolbox, and so you’ll need specific tools for each purpose), or shifting your priorities. Targetting the Verdehile instead of Raoq might make the difference you need, or that specific boss stage can be cleared without messing with the minions (I’m looking at you, Dark Viking + 4 kamikaze bombers). Trying different rune combinations on free rune removal day can also do wonders for you.
- Understand how the AI works. As you play longer, no doubt you’ll be aware of how the AI prioritize things. If you understand the enemy, you can counterplay better. Some examples:
- Anyone Def-debuffed will be the immediate priority of focus fire, although not against elements weak to it. If your Acacis is Def-debuffed, Raoq and Sophia will swarm her, but Rina still won’t touch her.
- Likewise for low HP, although the AI priority is lower than Def-debuff. The AI will only move focus away after above ~85% HP. This can result in a phenomenon I coined “spiking”, when one of your units are getting brought very low and your healer(s) doesn’t manage to bring it back high enough. Enemies will focus it again on the next turn, exacerbating the problem and creating a vicious cycle. In the end, it will be the focus of everything while everyone else is ignored.
- Each turn, the AI will look at skills available to use and choose 1 at random (with a few exceptions). Therefore, if you see a Lushen who has been spamming 1st skill, keep in mind that you won’t be safe until Amputation Magic is out. This might change your decision making (eg: saving Water AA heal to respond to Amputation Magic, or using Acacis shield preemptively).
- There are 2 kinds of heals: reactive and “buff” heals. Reactive heals are only used by AI once it gets below 50% HP, with higher chance to heal the lower the HP is. Examples are Warbear’s Crouch, AA/Fairy/E. Priest heals. “Buff” heals are treated as buffs by the AI, and so it is used randomly, even if everyone is on full health. Examples are Acacis’ Twister and Ahman (naturally). That makes reactive heals very predictable.
- When an enemy is faced with 2 same element units, the AI will randomly target each of them, with higher weightage being given to those with squishier stat (Def and HP values). Therefore, a Raoq choosing between Shannon and Acacis might attack Shannon 65% of the time and Acacis 35% of the time.
Once you know these, it’s simple to set up shenanigans like putting Neal’s Holy Shield on 5% HP unit (try it if you don’t believe me), timing your Acacis / Delphoi buffs smartly so that it’s 100% utilized, and applying unrecoverable debuff only once units with reactive healers around drop below 50% HP.
|Strongly Recommended||Optional but Useful|
- Spam all your AoE on turn 1. If you spam all your AoE on the first turn, come turn 2 you will be out of gas. Learn when to pull out once you have good number of them stunned (3/5 to 4/5 stunned is good enough for most cases). Prioritize using DoT AoE (eg: Baretta’s) and Speed debuff AoE (eg: Shannon’s) before the others to both start chunking HP earlier and delay their subsequent turns.
- Rely too much on one element. There are two good reasons for this. Firstly, it is very vulnerable if you face elementally strong teams (eg: water vs wind, fire vs water, etc); you can wipe easily. Secondly, Despair stuns and debuffs against elementally strong teams are very hard to land due to glancing hits. Your Despair units can be caught off guard in this way. This is most often seen on Wind since it’s very popular and has a vast monster pool (Shannon, Bernard, Acacis, Lushen, Aquila, Julien, etc). Light/Dark has the former but not the latter problem, which makes units such as Aria an excellent crowd controller. I understand that sometimes, RNG can bless you with overabundance of Wind, or Fire or Water. However, try to maintain at least 1 unit that can CC out of each element. That way, if you face a mainly fire/water/wind team, you still have at least 2 other CC-ers.
- Insist on having Ahman in your line-up 100% of the time. Let’s face it, Ahman is an excellent sustain healer that is very hard to replace unless you have Wind Sky Dancer or Water AA, but you do not need his healing all the time. Especially on the higher floors, many of your units can be 2-3 shotted very easily. Having Ahman in that case isn’t helping. Use another Despair user in place instead to prevent the damage from coming in the first place, and the occasional sustain can be handled by Acacis (Despair + sustain) or other such monsters who can serve multiple roles. My Ahman currently only sees uses on boss stages (F10, F20, etc) and select few regular stages.
- Think that Despair AoE is already enough CC. There are two kinds of CC: focused CC and unfocused CC. Unfocused CC are stuns from Despair AoE, Julien’s AoE, etc. They affect a lot of units, but the stun% rate isn’t that high. Focused CC are single target reliable CC such as Aria’s sleep, Julie’s 2nd skill, Baretta’s 2nd skill, etc. They only affect one unit, but is reliable. What you need is a mixture of unfocused and focused CC. If you have too many unfocused CC, you’ll stun a lot of units, but some stragglers will survive. You can then only resort to 25% Despair proc, and your AoE cooldown is typically high. OTOH, too many focused CC will have difficulties controlling everyone. You’ll want unfocused CC to go first, then focused CC to reliably stun the remainders that survive. Don’t do it the other way around! Think of them as carpet bombers and snipers. Unfocused CC are carpet bombers, while focused CC are snipers. The best tactics is to bomb the area first (unfocused CC), then snipe out the few soldiers that dodged the explosions (focused CC).
- Waste your cooldowns before the next stage. This is a very common problem, yet so few people do anything to remedy it. Once you almost clear the stage (you’ll notice it when there are only 1-2 units remaining, and they can’t move against 4 Despair users), stop using your cooldowns (anything not 1st skill)! You will need those skills on the next stage, especially if it’s AoE from Despair users of if the next stage is boss stage. Just spam 1st skill; that lone survivor won’t even move from 3+ Despair users anyway. If necessary, prolong the fight if there are big cooldowns still cooling off. The same goes for healing; you’ll want to be as close to full health as possible when you start the next stage. Balance the heals with their cooldowns. Example: If your Julien’s AoE is still cooling off, your Acacis can choose to use her Twister (2 turn cooldown) instead of 1st skill that can DoT and hasten the death. After each stage, your cooldowns will progress by 1 turn, so the Twister skill will have cooled down by then. This is not only for ToA, but for all other contents you do manually.
ToA Hard has an absurdly souped up stats from their normal counterparts. This means that any mistake you make will be punished severely, and that avoiding the damage is even better than tanking it (Despair units). Also, fights will last much longer due to how tanky they are, and your pure dps-er such as Lushen and Julie will often fall off. Therefore, you’ll want a damage source that’s scaled to their HP, and that’s DoT. That’s one reason why Baretta is so popular, and there are many others.
- You’ll definitely want Ahman (very few exceptions), then at least a secondary healer (Belladeon, Acacis, Chloe).
- Supports are very strong in ToA as well. Bring your B10 Giant-worthy Shannon and Bernard here, as well as your arena-worthy Megan and Darion.
- At least 1 unit that has the utility listed on the table above.
- As many as 2 to 5 crowd controllers on each line-up (with few exceptions). With regard to Despair users, currently for ToA there are 4 “kings” that are farmable (F2P), rule in the CC category and still have lots of other utility. They are thus very highly rated and is an excellent starting point. They are: Shannon (nat 2*), Acacis (HoH), Baretta (fusable), and Aria (HoH).
- For non-Despair users which are farmable, I highly recommend these units:
- Belladeon: spammable Def debuff, buff removal, emergency heal. A good pocket healer and support.
- Bernard: speed buff, Atk/Def debuff. Almost mandatory for boss stages, universally useful and tanky enough.
- Darion: 15% damage reduction passive, Atk/Def debuff. Very good for defensive team, but I like Bernard more. Worse than Bernard still doesn’t make him weak.
- Jojo: nice AoE damage, ToA being long fights mean lots of bombing opportunities. I treat his Def-ignoring bombs as delayed Amputation Magic. Also a handy source of unrecoverable debuff.
- Konamiya or Lulu: Kona has stronger debuff clearing power, Lulu has more healing power. Choose one of them as your preferred debuff cleanser.
- Megan: Not amazing, but many people already have her at 5* or 6* from arena, so it’s not a huge investment. Atk/Def buff and decent utility.
- Mikene: Fell in love with this one. Great focused CC with 100% crit rate, plus revive in case things go awry. My 5* Mikene survived all the way to F99. Check this post of mine: http://www.reddit.com/r/summonerswar…ne_underrated/
- Neal: Very situational, but trump card for certain stages if you’re tactical. VS-ing Raoq + Verdehile? Ramagos and Neal says hi!
- Sigmarus: Insane dps, AoE Atk debuff is awesome, with stuns thrown in. What’s not to like? Don’t use his leader skill though; it doesn’t work in ToA.
- Incidentally, I have a chart that shows the performance of units with Despair. The higher the monster is on the chart, the better and more often it stuns. My full article and explanations regarding the calculations can be found here:http://www.reddit.com/r/summonerswar…stunners_stun/
- In a nutshell, ToA line-up consists of a trifecta of Despair users, supports and sustain healer, in that order of quantity.
Everything from F80 onwards will be scaled up to be a problem even if it’s just a measly Imp. Since on every cycle ToA compositions will be shuffled, it is impossible to list down every stage 3 monsters. Therefore, I’ll just address boss stages and types of enemies here. Also, everyone has a different tactic. This is just a slice of all the possible strategies.
1. Boss stages (All bosses will need at least Atk debuff for proper handling. Def buff helps. For bursting down the boss, Def debuff is essential, then Atk buff / Crit buff follows. Remember that unlike regular stages, you’ll win once the main boss died, so killing the minions isn’t a must)
- Water Dragon Knight (Chow) + rainbow Vagabonds
The destroyer of hopes and dreams of new ToA goers, this boss is always placed at the early-mid stage of the tower and has literally chowed down countless newbies thus far. There are basically 2 ways to do this; ignore Vagabonds or kill Vagabonds first. Only ignore the Vagabonds if you have good enough dps to burst down Chow. Example is Lushen + Def debuff + Sophia. If you opt to kill Vagabonds first (which you’ll likely do so on the ToA Hard version), kill the Light one first (Darion) since he gives 15% damage reduction passive. Be careful of the Vagabond of your weakest element (eg: 1 Light 3 Wind 1 Water lineup must watch for Fire Vagabond). Each of them can proc Def debuff on their 1st skill, and if any lands, you need to clear the debuff quickly because everyone else will soon home in on that target. Also be careful with Fire Vagabond provoking everyone and messing with your strategy. Chow himself has crazy high Atk for a tank, and he can one-shot your fire units if you’re not careful. Keep Atk debuff on him at all times, and Def debuff to burst him later on (I use Bernard here). He’s only immune to unrecoverable effect. You can Atk/Def debuff him, slow him, glance his hits, and provoke him. You can also do something on your side (eg: Shannon’s Atk/Def buff). If he’s focus fired, he’ll go down provided he has Def debuff on and you don’t lose too many units after the Vagabond fight.
- Dark Chimera + Light Beast Monk + Dark Beast Monk
In case you didn’t know, Zeratu is the best dps monster in the game atm, bar none. So far Com2Us has been merciful enough to put it on floor 30 and below. This advice is thus in case the beast somehow slipped to F60 and beyond. CC and down the beast monks like any others. For Mr. Zeratu himself, we need to give a special treatment. Get yourself an Acacis or Drunken Master with “One More Drink” skill. Zeratu will inflict way more dps if he crits, so crit reduction buff is very important here. Atk debuff and glancing hit debuff can be used up to a point. That point is when he used 2nd skill to get immunity for 3 turns. Therefore, Atk and glancing hit debuff are supplementary, not your main form of security. Your main form of security is crit protection buff. Darion’s passive is useful here, as is any buff removal unit you can find (eg: Belladeon). If you can remove both Unleashed Rage buffs, the fight will be more manageable. Lastly, the beast monks have recently been buffed, and they will more actively shield and heal the boss. Also be very careful with the damage they can deal, as it’s scaled to their HP now.
- Light Vamp + 2 Light AA
Not a huge problem imho. Apply a heal block on one of the AA once they dipped below 60%. The AI will start healing when it’s below 50%, so time your unrecoverable debuff well. Otherwise, their damage isn’t too big even if you use Ahman there, and the buff removal on AA’s 1st is annoying, but not a big deal. The only issue is if you bring too many DPS there that will keep triggering the AA passive (death from a thousand cuts). My advice in this case is to CC them. A sleeping/frozen/stunned AA won’t counterattack. If you bring too many squishy DPS, you might want to swap some of them or put in more sustain. Julianne himself is a pushover.
- Wind Oracle + 2 Fire Jokers + 2 Dark Jokers
This is the biggest reason why you should follow the “must have utility” chart above. This boss is literally begging for you to bring debuff cleansers or immunity buff. Not much to comment on here. The fight will be very easy if you have immunity buff (time them well; it’s not to be spammed), moderately RNG-based if you only have debuff cleanser (whether your Konamiya will move before Seara pop the balloons), or insanely hard if you have none. If you really have none, try to focus down Seara immediately. If you can’t do it fast enough (likely on higher floor placement), then you regretfully need to stop and raise one of them. The debuff cleanser / immunity will also be useful to block the innate unrecoverable debuffs all jokers have. Glancing hit debuffs (eg: Aria) can halve the incoming bombs. A little tidbit is that Liebli (Dark Joker) will have his cooldown progressed each time you crit him. This can result in an awful lot of bombs and hurt for your DPS / AoE caster if you’re not careful. Outside of the bombs they all have decent damage, so don’t be relaxed just yet.
- Dark Viking + 4 Dark Infernos
Aka the detonator + 4 kamikaze bombers, you might need to focus down only the boss in this case. You might notice that the boss have revive on absurdly long cooldown, but he has an unfair tower buff that will reset his cooldown every once in a while. Therefore, the dead infernos are never truly dead. Try landing Atk/Def debuff on the boss, CC the infernos if you can but otherwise leave them alone, then race the boss to the finish line. AoE debuff will work wonders here, since the infernos will be much easier to tank, eg: Aria’s and Sigmarus’ AoE. Be very careful of Def debuff in the meantime. If you need to down the infernos for some reasons, killing them with DoT won’t trigger the on-death damage (this little tip will also work on Fire Sylphid’s passive), although, note that they will block healing for 1 turn upon death. Having invincibility on the target or reviving the killed unit can also buy you more time. Therefore, a strategy like Baretta killed all infernos with DoT, boss revived, infernos killed a second time with Neal + AoE could work.
- Wind Occult Girl + Light Occult Girl + Light Imp + Wind Imp
With insane dps and insane CC, this boss duo will rock your team. Being the only dual boss in ToA thus far, this is doubly difficult because both OG will have typical boss immunities (DoT, sleep, stun, freeze). Target priority varies wildly. The only consensus is that Light Imp > Wind Imp, and Wind OG > Light OG. You can choose to down the imps first or OG first if you have enough firepower. Debuff clearing is vastly outscaled by immunity buff here due to all the stuns flying around. At least bring your Konamiya/Lulu with 100% Res. Re: imps, be grateful that Wind Imp has RIP. Ralph of the past can munch through your ranks like no one’s business. Taru has ignore Def attacks, and thus must be killed or CC-ed down. Make full use of Ahman’s provoke. The killer moves are Taru’s 3rd and both OG’s AoE; provoke will prevent all of them. I strongly recommend a 85% Acc Bernard to Atk/Def debuff both OG. It will halve the damage of each, and with 2 turn cooldown and 2 turn debuff duration, you can keep it up indefinitely. Speed and glancing hit debuffs are also useful to control the CC you’ll receive. As a last resort, use Rina as tank for Wind OG and Ralph. You can then focus your CC suite on the Light side.
- Dark Sylph + 2 Dark G. Reapers + 2 Megans
First of all, I don’t know if the boss has a different interaction, but his 2 turn sleep is almost always 100% accurate. This alone makes immunity buff very important. If you do get slept, the fight turns into RNG-based as you pray that Megan will not buff in the meantime and that your units will wake up from weak damage instead of Atk buffed boss. Priority differs. Both Megan can use Atk/Def buff which will crank up the boss’ already considerable damage to sick values. If you have the CC to do so, CC them from start to finish to prevent any one of them to buff. If you can’t (not good enough CC causing one Megan to slip up and cast buff), then buff removal is the other answer, along with Atk debuff on boss + Def buff. The Dark Reapers hit decently hard. Doomsday doesn’t scale as hard as you think, but the DoT can stack up quite badly, and Doomsday on DoT-ed monsters will stun them, so clearing them is important. Be careful with any Light units. Badly runed Ahman can die here with 3 Dark units + Atk buff, and the same goes for 5* Aria and Belladeon.
2. Regular stages (Notice my first sentence on each case)
- Mass Revivers (any combinations of Teon, Vanessa, Iona, Michelle, Eladriel, etc)
Try to CC first. If that fails, prioritize. Kill the same unit multiple times instead of all units once, because that way you will force them to run out of revives if the worst case scenario happens (you need to slug it out). Be very careful with Michelle because Block Flow can release everyone’s stun. Always get her controlled first. If you have revival block skill (Fire Hell Lady, Dark Amazon, etc) this is the time to whip them out.
- Mass Healers (any combinations of Belladeon, E. Priests, AA, etc, often combined with Mass Revivers)
Try to CC first. If that fails, kill one by one with a heal block. If it’s reactive heal, only start using unrecoverable debuff once they’re at most 60%. They will proceed to foolishly spam heal. Kill your victim and enjoy their used heals. You have a few turns to kill the others while the heals are cooling down. Most will use Aria here, but if you have a reliable and frequent heal blocker (eg: 85% Acc Lushen max-skilled), even better.
- Mass Supports (any combinations of buffers and debuff clearing / immunity givers)
Try to CC first. If that fails, you have to both prioritize and switch priorities fast. Versus buffers (Megan, Shannon), you’ll want to avoid them casting it in the first place, but when it’s unavoidable (3 Megan and you lack CC, for example), you just have to accept that it will be used and change your plans to those who will benefit the most from it (Atk buff on Fire P. Thief, for example). Versus debuff clearing / immunity givers, you need to CC them first so that they can’t release everyone else from your stuns. The real problem comes when they managed to chain / rotate the immunity buffs to nukers, in which case it depends on how tanky your team is. Since all these support skills typically have big cooldown, you’ll switch focus once they have used it, so that the others can’t chain it. For example, once Megan1 has casted her buffs you’ll switch to others since you didn’t get much from targeting a unit that has used his/her best skill. Buff removal would work wonders here (except against debuff cleanser).
- Mass Bombers (any combinations of Fire Joker and Dark Joker)
Try to CC first. If that fails, apply the “Oracle + Fire Jokers ” Dark Joker” advice above. The difference is that there is no one here to pop the balloons, so you’ll have more time to react (set up Acacis shield to absorb, use Block Flow, etc). It also means that debuff cleansers aren’t as bad here.
- Mass CC (any combinations of Sylphs, G. Reapers, etc)
Try to CC first. If that fails, use immunity buff. The policy here is “stun or be stunned”. Immunity buff is always superior, but debuff cleanse on a 100% Res unit can work in a pinch. Glancing hit debuffs can also work. Once they start casting, it will usually set off a chain reaction of follow-up CC. Therefore, you might need some RNG luck here.
- Mass DPS (any combinations of nukers)
Try to CC first. If that fails, study the nukers. There will be 1 dominant element doing most or all of the damage. Refrain from using any units weak to that element, or intentionally employ 1 tank to absorb the punishment. Examples: Rina tanking wind units, Ramagos tanking fire units, and Arnold tanking water units. I’ve tested tanks in general, and at 6* and decent runes they can survive the onslaught of F80-F99 nukers. Just bring an extra pocket healer. If you’re confident in your tanks, you can even skip stunning them and just focus on the other elements. As always, Atk debuff will be helpful to limit the damage, especially if it’s AoE (eg: Sigmarus).
- Mass ATB manipulators (any combinations of Verdehile, Bernard, Cahule, Spectra, etc)
Try to CC first. If that fails, you’re close to screwed if RNG hates you. You need to target as many of the ATB manipulators as possible. If any of them survives, it will cast ATB boost, ATB reducer, speed buff or speed debuff. That will set off a chain reaction where other units will be free from stun and cast their own stuffs. For example, 3x Bernard spamming Tailwind is disastrous. ATB boost will kill your current stuns, while speed buff will make you scramble to re-CC them. Meanwhile, the others will wreck everyone with the speed and turn advantage. Use Ahman to provoke them (works for buffs and debuffs, but not Verdehile), and glancing hit debuff can help against ATB reducer, speed debuff and Verdehile, but does nothing to ATB boost + speed buff. On select few line-ups, it’s easier to focus down the supportees rather than the supporters (Raoq over Verdehile, for one).
- Harpu Fiesta
Try to CC first. If that fails, CC and focus down Fire Harpu first. She holds the Atk buff, and if she manages to cast it you’ll be in deep, deep trouble. After killing her, prioritize the others according to your line-up’s elements and how annoying each Harpu is.
- Inferno Fiesta
Try to CC first. If that fails, bring ample dps. Inferno as a whole has monstrous Atk values, but low HP (check the monster collection tab if you don’t believe me). Among all the AoE, be careful of Def debuff. Water Inferno needs to be CC-ed first (similar to Fire Harpu above); he holds ATB boost + crit rate buff. Dark Inferno is alright until he dies. Try to make him low enough to die from DoT, or kill him last.
- Martial Cat Fiesta
Try to CC first. If that fails, CC down Fire and Light Cat first; only leave them alone once they have the counter-attack buff on. This is because once they pop the counter-attack buff, all your Despair AoE units will be mauled. Therefore, try to prevent them from casting it in the first place. Also, be wary of the interaction between Dark Cat and crits.
- Valk Fiesta
Try to CC first.If that fails, prioritize. Katarina is very weak unless she manages to kill someone and uses her 3rd skill on the next turn (please be careful with “spiking”). Light Valk is immune to every debuff, but her damage isn’t that impressive to begin with. What you need to concern with is Fire and Dark Valk. Vanessa has Def debuff which can rip through an unfortunate soul as well as a Michelle-tier revive, and Trinity has the GG Ragnarok. Try to kill Trinity first while preventing Vanessa to revive her via CC. Camilla can be a problem if she’s alone, you have Ahman, and the floor placement is high. In that case, keep another Valk alive (Akroma is perfectly fine) and park your Ahman there.
- Kumae (Dark Yeti)
This one here deserves a special mention. His passive (fill up his attack bar by 25% every time he’s hit) is very annoying and dangerous versus your typical Despair AoE team comp. Firstly, multi-hit attacks (esp. AoE like Lushen’s) will just enrage them, so avoid using it unless you have a good reason to. Secondly, plain Despair AoE will only break-even with the passive (Despair has 25% stun rate that removes 100% ATB, yeti’s passive is 100% rate to add 25% ATB), which means that Despair AoE will not do much to stop their onslaught. This means that you have to be careful with the AoE that you use, and only attack them when it matters, via high impact attacks. This is via high CC rate skills (Tyron’s 100% freeze, Aria’s 80% sleep, Mikene 100% freeze, etc), followed by systematic bursting. 100% CC in 1 attack is better than 25% CC for 4 attacks here. Try to focus down 1 yeti as fast as you can, so that your AoE will not be as harmful. Once you’ve killed 1-2 yetis, things will get much easier. Also, they will automatically target light monsters (Ahman, Aria, Darion, etc), so there are 2 strategies here. One is using very tanky / sustain-based light units, and protect them accordingly. Second is using very fast Neal to spam Holy Shields and draw their attention. You could use Resurge, Block Flow, revives etc to profit from their AI.
- Rina and Fuco
The two annoying arena defenders are now in ToA! This time, Despair stun has few advantages because they are not threatening offensively. The actual danger is of you being stuck there for a long time, trying to pop the shields in vain. First of all, notice that this is not arena-grade Rinas and Fucos; they don’t have 100% Res. Therefore, let loose with Def debuff, DoT, speed debuff, your kitchen sink, anything to them. Megan alone can give you a lot of fun moments with her 2nd skill. Versus Rina, you might want to park your Ahman on another monster. Versus Fuco, if you can land speed debuff, the interval between his shield refreshing will be lengthened, allowing you to dps more.
- Perna and 2x Teon
Try to CC first. If that fails, kill one by one with a heal block. Used to be painful, but much less so once Teon can use her revive as regular heal. Apply the “Mass Healers” advice above since Teon’s heal is reactive. With luck, both Teon will use it to heal a grand total of 0 HP, leaving you free to kill them without fear of revives. You might need to Atk debuff Perna while you do this.
A. F100 Overview
ToA F100 is different from the previous 99 floors in that solely relying on Despair team compositions will not work well here. The boss has a unique skillset that promotes certain playstyles and punishes others. As an overview, here are the enemy team compositions on each floor. They will not change once ToA is reset every month.
P.S: The line-up below isn’t actually F100-viable. I’m just showing you the stage compositions there and used this line-up to speed things up.
- Stage 1: 3x Wind Sylphids (Acacis) and 2x Fire Succubi (Akia)
- Stage 2: 3x Fire Valkyries (Vanessa) and 2x Light Death Knights (Conrad)
- Final stage: Ath’taros (Pure element)
Bonus point if you can tell which mistake I made on the boss screenshot.
- Boss’ Skillset:
- Guillotine: Smites the enemy, removing 1 Beneficial Effect and decreasing Attack Speed and Attack Power for 3 turns.
- Xenocide: Strikes all enemies, decreasing their Defense for 3 turns (Reusuable in 3 turn(s)).
- Fatal Flames (Passive): Counterattacks the enemies with burning flames and recovers a certain amount of damage as HP. [Automatic Effect]
- Almighty (Passive): Removes all Harmful Effects and permanently increase the Attack Power, Defense, and Attack Speed according to the number of Harmful Effect removed.
Left Tower: Recovery Disturbance Crystal: Disturb the HP Recovery of the enemies for 2 turns by a certain chance.
Right Tower: Acceleration Crystal: Increases the Attack Bar of the Boss by a certain amount.
B. Boss Mechanics
This is the most important part I feel, because not many discussions have been on it. Let’s analyze the boss’ moves in-depth:
1. Guillotine: the boss’ basic attack. It hits almost as hard as his AoE, removes 1 buff and apply Atk debuff and speed debuff with 100% proc rate, adjusted with your Resistance. The buff removal can remove immunity buff which makes your team vulnerable to further CC. Speed debuff is harmful on whoever it hits and Atk debuff can force you to avoid hitting the boss for the meantime (more below). The buff removal occurs before the damage and debuffs, which means that if invincibility is removed you’ll take damage on the attack (so you’re never completely safe, even with Chloe’s buff), and if immunity is removed you stand to receive debuffs from that attack.
2. Xenocide: the boss’ AoE with 3 turn cooldown. It hits the hardest: anywhere from 6k to 9k damage depending on your Def values, 50% more if you get critted, and double that if you have Def debuff on. For that reason, you want to be clean of Def debuff whenever the AoE is cooling down or you will wipe. It also applies Def debuff (similar to Tagaros’ 2nd skill) with 100% proc rate, adjusted with your Resistance, that can force you to avoid hitting the boss for the meantime (more below)
3. Fatal Flame (passive): His first passive. What it does is counterattack you on each hit you deal to him. There are three very important details here. Firstly, notice these 2 screenshots:
Notice that the boss is healing for different numbers (706 and 898, respectively). Also, read the description carefully:
Fatal Flames (Passive): Counterattacks the enemies with burning flames and recovers a certain amount of damage as HP. [Automatic Effect]
A certain amount. Not a scaling amount. Therefore, no matter how hard you attack him, whether it’s a 15k Arnold Extortion or 300 Shannon slap, he will always hit that hard.
Secondly, the counterattack is treated as a hit with 100% lifesteal, 0% crit rate and is dependent on your Def. In other words, the damage and lifesteal gained will be higher if he attacks a low Def target, and lower if he attacks a well-built Copper. This also means that the lifesteal will be doubled if you attack him while Def debuffed, and halved if the boss has Atk debuff on. This has several important implications as will be mentioned below. Some very rough numbers on the lifesteal (and damage) values:
|Attacker’s Def||Damage and Lifesteal|
For most supports and units, expect a 600-900 damage and lifesteal, mostly around 700.
Thirdly, the counterattack is applied on each hit received. This means that your Verdehile’s 1st skill will apply counterattack and lifesteal twice, and Lushen’s Amputation Magic will trigger lifesteal like mad. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Another minor point is that the boss will lifesteal off both invincibility and shielded target, even if you take 0 damage from it, and that unrecoverable debuff will stop the lifesteal for that turn until it’s absorbed by the passive.
4. Almighty (passive): The second passive, the boss will gain a permanent Atk, Def and Speed bonus for each turn he started with debuffs on. He will also automatically clear all debuffs on himself before converting it to extra stats. This cleansing and conversion will occur on his turn. Before we move on, look at the passive in action:
You can see 2 icons occuring. The first one, “Almighty”, is the debuff clearing and conversion effect. Notice that the unrecoverable debuff is no more. It has been converted to 1 stack of Atk/Def/Speed bonus. The second one, “Almighty +2”, is the current counter of absorbed debuffs. In this case, he has absorbed and gained bonus stats from 2 debuffs. You might notice the similarity of his passive to Fire Monkey King’s and Light Serpent’s. Similar to them, the counter will be shown and updated for each trigger. Unlike theirs, however, the trigger is on his turn when there’s any debuff, instead of at any time when you take a hit. Also unlike theirs is the fact that this counter has no limit. The other two is capped at 10 stacks, while this boss’ has no visible limit. I’ve seen up to 20 stacks of Almighty and more, and when you see “Almighty +20” on the screen, you know you’ve messed up.
A very important fact is that Almighty buff will only increase by 1 stack each turn, no matter how many debuffs are on him. The flag to increase stack by 1 is “clearing debuff” instead of “having 1 debuff”. If he clears any number of debuffs, then the counter will increase by 1, nothing more, nothing less. Therefore, going from 6 Almighty stacks and having 10 debuffs for that turn will only make him have 7 Almighty stacks by next turn. If you already have a debuff on him (accidentally or not), you might as well put everything in such as Atk and Def debuff, since he would only add 1 stack regardless.
Regarding the debuffs, there are debuffs that can’t apply on the boss, for better or worse. This is an exhaustive list of it:
|What Can’t Apply||What Can Apply|
Within the debuffs that can land, there is one important enough for me to elaborate. “Provoke” debuff can and will land on the boss, but the boss will ignore the debuff. More specifically, even if you managed to land a provoke, the boss can still attack other targets. This might be due to the debuff clearing occuring preemptively. Sometimes you’ll see him obliging to hit Ahman, but that’s just a fluke, and won’t happen 100% of the time.
Also, multiple copies of the same debuff will only trigger once (eg: 3 stacks of the unrecoverable debuff on the same turn will only increase Almighty stack by 1), and any “debuffs” not shown as red icon is not converted to stacks, such as Hwa’s ATB reduction, ATB reset or cooldown reset.
5. Recovery Disturbance Crystal: Just your standard 2-turn unrecoverable debuff tower. You see this all the time in Cairos Dungeon already. A potential problem for your healers.
6. Acceleration Crystal: This crystal will increase the ATB of the boss by ~75%. Think of it as a Verdehile with 4 attacks. Most of the time, it will give the boss a turn immediately, but not always. Having this on will make the boss way more aggresive and spam his skills more often.
C . In-Depth Tactics
There are 4 factors that can prevent you from completing ToA F100:
1. Not arriving at the boss stage / Arriving at boss stage not intact.
Aka I wipe on stage 1-2. 80% of the time, this will be because you bring too many wind units / your wind units are too squishy. Stage 1 is 2 fire + 3 wind, and stage 2 is 3 fire + 2 light. That is 5 fire + 3 wind + 2 light. Wind units will fare the worst with 5 fire enemies, Water is only troubled by the Acacis, and Fire has free rein. What usually happens is that your wind monsters (Shannon, Acacis) get swarmed by them and die. Stage 2 is especially punishing, because Vanessa’s Seal of Fire applies Def debuff, which is especially nasty on your poor wind supports (clear the Def debuff ASAP!). There are a couple of ways for this. Either avoid bringing wind units altogether (in which case they will spread out the damage), have 1 wind unit as a tank to draw fire (eg: Ramagos), or have 2 tanky wind units to spread the damage. If you have Acacis + Julien, for example, they will spread out the damage between the two, which is better than them focusing on Julien alone. Be careful with “spiking” though; if they smell blood with one of them being much lower than the others, they won’t stop. Also, the “1 wind tank” scenario is useless if the unit can only tank damage and do nothing else, because he will be a liability on the boss stage.
15% of the time, the defeat will be because Acacis’ shields prevent Ahman from healing your team properly. His healing output will be halved, and you might not sustain the fight. One very effective solution is to have a secondary healer (Belladeon, Acacis, etc) to help you get through the stage. Barring that, you can remove the shield via buff removal or just CC them as usual.
The remaining 5% of the time is when you’re too focused on the boss stage team compositions and lack Despair AoE unit as the result. Most line-ups require 1 Despair AoE unit to pass through stage 1-2. This is much less frequent because players are already used to bringing their trusted Despair users from F1-F99.
If you often arrive at the boss stage with some dead already, bringing a rezzer (unit with revive) can help, but only if you can spare the slot.
2. Not having enough sustain to survive the boss stage.
This is highly dependent on your team’s HP and healer’s performance. This can range anywhere from Chloe being able to become the sole healer to Ahman requiring 1-2 other secondary healers as backup. For the average group, your 6* Violent Ahman won’t be enough to sustain against the boss alone, and so you need a secondary healer. If your debuff clearing power is especially bad, you’ll also need more heals because the Def debuff will be followed by damage more often. Note that many debuff clearing / immunity unit can heal as well, so they can serve to support your Ahman. Stacking the Almighty buff too many will also make your healers’ job harder over time.
3. Not having enough damage to out-dps the boss.
This is actually more often a playstyle issue rather than a lack of dpser issue. Here’s the reasoning: As long as you can survive to and survive the boss stage, you’ll win if you don’t trigger the Almighty passive too much and deal more than he can heal. If all your units hit for 801 and the boss heals for 800, eventually you’ll still win.
Now, there are 3 things I always see people doing which will make them get outhealed by the boss.
- Attacking when Atk debuffed.
Atk debuff will halve your damage, and your weakened damage will often not out-dps the boss. If you have 1000 damage countered by a 700 heal, you’ll cut the boss 300 HP at a time normally, but with Atk debuff you’ll heal the boss for 200 HP instead. Strongly consider hitting the towers if you can’t outdamage the boss.
- Attacking when Def debuffed
Def debuff will double your incoming damage, and the amplified damage will make the boss heal for tons. If you have 1000 damage countered by a 700 heal, you’ll cut the boss 300 HP at a time normally, but with Def debuff you’ll heal the boss for 400 HP instead. This is often much worse than Atk debuff, not to mention the increased burden on your healers. Strongly consider hitting the towers if you can’t outdamage the boss.
- Simply can’t outdamage the boss
Sometimes you just have to be realistic. Not everyone will be able to out-dps the boss. This is most often seen on 5* units and supports such as Shannon. Just don’t make others job harder and park your supports in a tower. Note that many supports can actually out-dps the boss (if slowly). Only some of them can’t.
If all the above fails, the only solution is to add a dedicated DPS (non-DoT based though) to your line-up.
4. Toying with Almighty buff too much
Be very careful if you have units with debuffs. Don’t go hilly-nilly on the boss without considering what debuffs can stick to the boss. Each debuff landed will make the boss grow harder, and effectively put your fight to a timer. Be careful of any AoE you might use to the tower; it might affect the boss too. The occasional debuffs are fine, but only if you can’t avoid it or if it’s absolutely needed to save your skin. Be careful not to kill the left tower if you have debuff units.
Regarding the boss stage itself, there are a few very important considerations you must incorporate in your decision making:
- For the boss fight itself, Def > HP. The higher the Def, the lower the lifesteal amount will be, and thus you can end the fight easier. It can also allow some units to out-dps with Speed/Def/Acc while the Speed/HP/Acc combo doesn’t. You only need HP comfortable enough to be a comfortable buffer. Low HP but high Def also makes it easier for Ahman to heal through (as it’s a flat healing number).
- Unlike popular opinions, you don’t need a dedicated dpser, nor is Hwa, Arnold or nat 5* fest required to clear. You simply have to collectively out-dps the boss, and park the rest who can’t to the left tower. Don’t force yourself to bring a nuker if you can’t spare the slot for it.
- This boss actually needs a different kind of dps-er than most other bosses. First of all, DoT nukers such as Orochi is out. Secondly, pure dps such as Lushen and Julien works fine here as well. Lastly, units with skills scaled according to enemy’s HP(not yours) are surprisingly good for the boss. Examples include Decamaron and Jamire.
- Don’t be hasty to abort the run if anyone dies. Arriving at the boss stage not intact doesn’t make the boss fight instantly unwinnable. It depends on which unit you’re losing. If it’s Despair CC, you’re usually okay since he/she has done the job anyway (bringing you to boss stage alive). If it’s secondary healer, support, or even DPS, it depends on how much you need them in the first place. The worst thing is losing Ahman or your debuff cleanser / immunity, as it’s very hard to come back from that. Likewise for losing units during the boss fight. Try a few rounds to see if it makes a big impact to your stability, or if you can burst the boss down before he finishes you off.
- Not all towers are a must-kill. Right tower is usually a priority, but left tower is often left standing to serve as a punching bag. That way, your Ahman will not provoke the boss, and your other supports can park themselves at the left tower. Obviously it depends on your ability to handle the unrecoverable debuff.
- More specifically, if you have no need to park your units (no skills to land debuffs on boss and everyone can out-dps the boss comfortably even with the occasional debuffs), then the left tower can go (priority: right tower -> left tower -> boss). Otherwise it’s right tower -> boss. 1st priority to boss is very rare for the typical player because the boss will hit too fast with the right tower intact. It’s mainly for some Hwa teams (described later, not all), those who have OP runes and can burst down the boss quickly, and those with a very good sustain team that can even heal against boss + right tower’s ATB boost.
- Some monsters have debuffs tagged even to their 1st skill, such as Shannon and Arnold. In that case, hitting the boss will risk the Almighty buff stacking up. Park them to left tower instead and only attack the boss if you can both out-dps and land 0 debuff. Nothing is worse than killing both towers, then realizing too late that you have no choice but to hit the boss with your Ahman’s and Shannon’s 1st skill.
- Many units have DoT as their first skill (eg: Acacis and Megan). They will speed up the death of the right tower, but inflicting DoT on the left tower may not be in your best interest. The left tower is very robust, but it will still die in about 6 Acacis DoT, which means no more punching bag for your Ahman. In this case, I’d actually consider hitting the boss instead, because the boss healing for 200-300 is better than me killing the punching bag too early.
- There are cases where your units need to attack the tower even though he/she has no debuff on and can out-dps the boss. This is when that unit is too low. Hitting the boss will merit a counterattack that will dip his/her HP even lower, which can create or worsen the “spiking” issue. Hit the harmless tower instead and hope that your healers are good and fast enough to bring him/her up to par.
- Be very careful with AoE usage. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, any AoE with debuff (eg: Aria) will land debuffs on the boss as well, which will go into his Almighty passive. Secondly, any AoE with DoT (eg: Baretta) can and will erode the HP of the left tower. This is very important as you might need to keep the left tower alive.
- The boss will only add 1 stack for each turn he starts with debuff. If for any reason you landed a debuff on him, might as well land the whole truckload of Bernard’s debuff, Arnold’s debuff, etc for that turn only, because it’s already a sunk cost.
- Anytime you have Atk/Def debuff on, consider hitting the tower instead until it wears off. That way, you’ll not be healing the boss.
- On a related note, Atk/Def buff from Shannon and Megan really helps to out-dps the boss. Both the Atk and Def buff are useful for that purpose. It’s like an inverse Atk/Def debuff, except that it’s free from Almighty stack.
- A heal block will also prevent the boss from healing for that turn, until he absorbed the debuff. This practically guarantees that everyone will outdamage the boss.
- There is a very easy way to test who can out-dps the boss. At the beginning of the fight, run the fight at 1x speed. Hit the boss with everyone using skills that has no debuff and write down the numbers. For example, you might get:
Chloe, hit 400, heal 700
Ahman, 2nd skill hit 1200, heal 800
Konamiya, hit 250, heal 700
Teshar, hit 2500, heal 950
Baretta, hit 700, heal 750
- Take note if the hit is a critical hit (and scale down accordingly), and which skill you use to hit the boss. Halve the “hit” for Atk debuff and double the “heal” for Def debuff. Now you know which units can and cannot target the boss. You’ll know for sure of which ones can out-dps the boss, and park the rest to the left tower. In this example, Chloe, Konamiya and Baretta can’t out-dps the boss. Ahman can out-dps the boss without debuffs with his 2nd skill (1st skill is always used on left tower), but not if he’s debuffed. Teshar can out-dps the boss without debuffs and with Atk or Def debuff, but not both at the same time.
- Be proactive in debuff clearing / immunity rotation. The debuffs can and will mess up your dps and survivability. Use them smartly. You don’t want to spam them every cooldown if nothing is coming soon. Time it right so that you’ll use it when it matters.
- Be prepared for the Xenocide AoE. It’s the leading cause of defeat. It’s on a 3-turn cooldown, so your secondary healers must have their heals ready to counteract the burst. Acacis shield can tank most of the damage, so it’s another way. Also clear the Def debuff before the boss gets his next turn, because his AI will focus on anyone with Def debuff, likely one-shotting him/her.
- With regards to “spiking”, please keep your secondary healer ready and not let anyone drops below ~70% HP. This is because the boss will focus on that target on the next and subsequent turns, and it will get harder and harder for you to heal him/her. It’s much easier for Ahman to heal 5 different units that’s hit once than 1 unit that’s hit 5 times. Stop the cycle altogether by preventing anyone from dipping too low in the first place.
- On very specific cases, it is actually prudent for you to land debuffs as long as it’s well-reasoned and needed. If the boss is already very low, landing Def debuff followed by Sigmarus burst might be the killing blow you need. Likewise, Atk debuff if your units are in danger trades off 1 passive stack for complete wipe. It’s a short term gain for long term loss.
- To debuff or not to debuff. Some players might use debuffs even with the Almighty buff. Most often, it will be Def debuff for everyone to out-dps the boss, or sometimes Atk buff to halve his damage. There are two kinds of usage: semi-permanent (use Def debuff right before DPS uses his/her best damage skill, for example), and permanent (keeping permanent Atk debuff on the boss). The reasoning is that it can make the fight significantly easier, and as the result you can finish the fight much faster before the Almighty stacks start to become a problem. I’m not against it in general, and it could work, although I prefer Atk/Def buff since it won’t interact with Almighty buff. Try the run with it and see if you can clear fast enough. Just take note that it means you’re gambling that you can clear fast enough. If you’re fast enough, then you can kill him. If not, well, good luck next time.
- In relation to the above, the more sustain-based your team is, the more you need to care about Almighty stacks. If you have good DPS, you could turn some debuffs into asset instead of liability.
- Regarding how huge Almighty stacks actually matter, I only have tentative data. I tried amassing data from the attacks, but the damage variance makes it very hard for me to pinpoint the exact number. All I can verify is that each stack will increase damage in the range of 0.5% – 5%. Defense and speed increase might be similar. This is using regression analysis, and the standard error is huge because the numbers are so volatile, causing the wide range. As a rule of thumb, if you can end the fights before 10-15 Almighty buff, you can use debuffs. Otherwise, you’ll have to manage your debuffs.
- Def debuff + 1 very strong DPS / 2 DPS and Def debuff + Hwa strat have been used to success by many players. It’s fast enough to delay the boss enough for the Def debuff to be worth it. Try it out if you still have problem outdps-ing the boss.
D. Line-up Structure
There are currently 5 major archetypes of line-ups used to clear F100. I won’t cover every specific line-up in existence because you will have a different monster box than mine and I don’t want people to treat this as a simple copy-pasta guide. See which one is best for you and which you have the monsters for, then try out that line-up. I’ll mention them here:
1. Hwa Speed Comp
ATB reduction from Hwa isn’t resisted by the boss. This means that if Hwa is fast enough, the boss will never get a turn. The Almighty stack conversion only occurs at the boss’ turn, so if he never gets a turn, you’re safe to debuff to your heart’s content. Any debuffs you might have will also fall off on its own before the boss next attacks (if ever). You’ll need Hwa with very high speed and/or Violent, speed buff, speed debuff and ATB booster. The rest of the squad just need to ensure that the whole team survives intact to the boss stage.
Sample: Baretta lead, Hwa, Bernard, Ahman, Verdehile. Speed debuff from Hwa, speed buff from Bernard. Verdehile helps to make the fight unfair and Baretta’s speed leader + ATB reset help smooth things out.
Advantage(s): Boss fight is very simple and mechanical. The only line-up that can brag of F100 boss stage clear on auto. Pretty well-made Hwa Speed Comp can prevent the boss from having even 1 turn. Have the easiest time on the boss among all the line-ups. You may or may not kill the right tower first (usually yes). Guarantee win if you survive to the boss stage and Hwa-boss speed difference is great enough. Strongly recommended if you already have a Hwa since it trivializes boss strategy.
Disadvantage(s): No Hwa, no Hwa speed comp. It’s that simple. Also, might be having some difficulties to bring the team to boss stage since many of your slots will be dedicated for Hwa + speed teams instead of Despair. If your runes are sub-par then you won’t reach the desired Hwa-boss speed difference.
2. Tanky Cores with DPS
Pretty much bringing Conq 2 – Guardian line-up to F100. Lots of 30k+ tanks that can shrug off stage 1-2 damage, and still deal more than enough damage to the boss. Occasional debuffs are of no worry since they can nuke the boss, then continue hitting the towers as usual. The tanky cores will usually be able to self-sustain (almost) without healers, making keeping them alive very easy.
Sample: Ahman, Chloe, Arnold, Arnold, Camilla. Tank everything without worry on stage 1-2 with sheer tankiness and sustain. On boss stage, Extortion and Camilla on boss, the rest of the time aim right and left tower.
Advantage(s): Little to no further investment since you bring your readily available AO/AD team to ToA. Very safe and high rate of success.
Disadvantage(s): Out of reach for many players. Might be quite slow, depending on the DPS capability of your tanky cores.
3. Nat 5* Fest
I initially didn’t want to put this in because it’s way too hard to assemble, but I know sooner or later someone will harp on this guide being incomplete because I’m leaving this out, so there you go. This line-up is amassing rare and powerful monsters. If you didn’t know, nat 5* has much higher HP on average than lower rarity monsters, so sustainability is easier to achieve. Nat 5* also usually (not always) have more unique skillsets that aren’t available to more common units, so you’ll have more tools at your disposal. This team is also the only one good enough for the ToA Hard version. Think of it as a Top100 arena going to ToA.
Sample: Jamire lead, Chloe, Verad, Camilla, Baretta. DoT for the very tanky monsters (and ToA Hard), Verad for CC that works even on boss, Chloe as sole healer (will work because of good runes + high base HP), Jamire with cooldown reset skill.
Advantage(s): Strong overall, with no glaring weakness. Lots of strong skills and big cooldowns to deal with the situations.
Disadvantage(s): Even less realistic than others.
4. DPS Team Comp
This team comp relies on a mixture of full 6* runes and top-notch DPS. This makes it attainable only for those diligent enough to farm and optimize the runes, and lucky enough to get nukers. The basic premise is to have Atk buff / Crit buff and Def debuff, then race the boss to the bottom with only minimal sustain. Any debuffs absorbed by the boss are meaningless because you’ll be dead if you play long anyway.
Sample: Bernard lead, Sieq, Lushen, Julien, Belladeon. Stage 1-2 is buff, AoE, AoE. Boss stage is Def debuff, Atk + Crit buff, then let loose.
Advantage(s): Fastest clear time (3-7 minutes from start to finish).
Disadvantage(s): Require both insane rune and summoning luck, and also very risky. It’s either you run out of gas first, or the boss does.
5. Balanced Team
The one I most want to explain because it’s readily available to many players. This will make use of commonly raised monsters to clear, so no worries of raising a monster exclusively for F100. You can even make a 100% F2P line-up out of it. However, you need to understand the mechanics well because this line-up will be tailored for the boss. Because you don’t need insane runes, nor full nat 4*+ line-ups, you will have much less room for error. But worry not, if you have read this far you’ll be fine once you get the hang of the boss. Expect to do 1 trial / scouting run to test damage and compare the theory here to your own game.
Advantage(s): Can be 100% F2P if you want to. Available to all players and easier for new players to assemble. Lowest initial investment out of all archetypes (unless you lucked into Hwa). Often uses monsters you already use and/or will use for anywhere else anyway (B10 Giant, B10 Dragon, HoH, etc). Good success rate if played smart. The satisfaction of building a team to perfectly counter F100.
Disadvantage(s): Clear time might be a bit long. Need concentration on the boss stage or you’ll wipe easily.
I’ll advocate the most common line-up format, called balanced line-up:
Main Healer + Debuff Cleanser/Immunity + Secondary Healer + DPS + Utility
While there are many others, I believe this line-up is the most consistent and reliable overall. However, note that not all ToA F100 teams will adhere to the strategy above. Some have a different unit in mind, or lack a certain role. A more open-ended skeleton line-upthat’s followed by ~95% of balanced team is:
Main Healer + Debuff Cleanser/Immunity + 3.
Let’s cover the skeleton line-up first:
1. Main Healer: For most people this will be Ahman. Very high-end players can use Chloe here, but that’s approaching “Tanky Core with DPS” strat already. Ariel can also work here.
2. Debuff Cleanser / Immunity: Each has a separate weakness. Debuff cleanser is reactive, so you’ll get the debuffs some of the time. This may cause you to stop the dps for a while. Also, Debuff + Right tower ATB boost + Boss turn can be deadly. On the other hand, immunity buff can be stripped down by the boss’ 1st skill, so it’s not a failsafe method either. You still need one though, because Def debuff is too painful otherwise. Choose among Konamiya, Lulu, Delphoi and some others.
3. +3: The previous two serves as your backbone. These 3 are the fillers, but they are no less important. Depending on your unit availability, you might have some roles but not others. As I said before, I don’t make this guide for you to blindly follow certain line-ups. If you really insist, the balanced line-up above can work. Otherwise, pick one or more of any of these depending on what you need:
- Secondary Healer: Serves three roles: It helps your team to sustain when Acacis’ shield is preventing Ahman’s heal, it guarantees that you don’t have sustain issue on the boss stage, and it prevents the “spiking” issue by having a second heal. If your main healer and debuff cleanser/immunity has enough heal, then it’s not needed, but teams with not that great runes usually require a second healer. Examples: Belladeon, Acacis.
- DPS: As I said before, you don’t need to have a dedicated DPS if all your units can collectively out-dps the boss. If this is not the case though, or if you can’t stand 30 minute fight, then you need someone with either good pure damage (Examples: Julien, Julie), someone with skills scaling of the boss’ HP (Examples: Decamaron, Teshar), or someone who’s tanky but still capable of bursting (Examples: Ramagos, Arnold). Just be careful not to be too squishy to pass stage 1-2, and that wind dps (of which there are many) will have difficulties surviving stage 1-2.
- Support: These can vary among Examples: Bernard, Shannon, Megan, Darion, Verdehile, and a few others. What you need is Atk/Def buff, debuff, and the like. You’ll find that a simple Atk or Def buff can make everyone out-dps the boss (it’s often a close call). Same principle as bringing supports to B10 Giant/Dragon. Again, be wary of their HP, and be careful not to land too many debuffs on the boss. A buff-based support will fare much better than a debuff-based support.
- (Non-Wind) Despair AoE / CC: Most people cannot pass stage 1-2 without proper CC management. In that case, having one or two of these won’t hurt. Just avoid wind Despair users if at all possible (since it’s hard to land CC on fire units) and don’t bring too many as well. Many of them are useless on the boss stage, and you’re essentially trading off boss stage performance for stage 1-2 performance. CC is a related, but not necessarily identical to Despair AoE. Speed debuffs, Atk debuffs, etc still have their uses on other things even if the boss is happy to eat them. Examples: Aria, Baretta.
And the very niche roles:
- Leader: You never want to bring a unit along just for the leader skill, but tagged with another role. A good leader that’s good at other roles as well will make things easier. Balance your need; if you need more defensive power, then use HP/Res/Def lead, otherwise Atk/Crit% lead offensively to out-dps the boss. Needless to say, speed leader is the best here. As a last resort, you’ll still have Ahman lead. Examples: Baretta, Acacis.
- DoT: If you have no DPS, then stage 1-2 will die too slowly for your liking. Good DoT can speed things out. It will also make killing right tower far easier. Just be careful not to smear it too much on the left tower; boss is fine. It’s more situational than DPS because you can’t use them to damage the boss, while a DPS can. Examples: Baretta, Megan.
- Second debuff cleanser / immunity: Very niche indeed, this is mainly if you have 2 weak debuff cleansers / immunity givers, like 2x Chloe. Adds an extra layer to security, but isn’t needed if your main debuff cleanser / immunity is fast enough.
- Second DPS: This will add another damage source to stage 1-2 and boss stage. Mainly if you have 2 mediocre DPS or if you have everything else and would like another DPS to shorten the run, thus leaving less opportunities for RNG to screw you up. This will venture a bit into the “DPS Team Comp” category. If you’re going this route, you might consider a Def debuff to keep either permanently on boss or just before your DPS acts. It will significantly increase your damage.
- Rezzer: When anyone dies on stage 1-2, it’s usually time to abort the run, likewise whenever anyone gets “spiked” by the boss. A rezzer can help make your runs more stable, but other roles are often more demanding. Examples: Mikene, Michelle.
With bonus/minus points for the following:
- Bonus point for being able to fill multiple roles. Acacis (Despair/secondary healer), Chloe (healer/immunity), Julien (Despair/DPS), and Perna (secondary healer/DPS) are both flexible and highly-prized.
- Bonus point for tanky units. Arnold, Camilla, etc are more robust to nukes and more stable overall.
- Minus point for being wind element. Shannon, Briand, etc are susceptible in stage 1-2.
- Minus point for having 1st skill that can land debuffs. Lushen, Darion, etc can stack up the boss’ passive. Doubly bad if that unit is a DPS.
- Minus point for having skills that hit multiple times to deal damage. Verdehile, Julie’s AoE, etc have lots of small damage hits, which can be overcome by multiple lifesteal counterattacks. Either use them on towers or not at all.
Now, it’s time for some examples. There is a list of Korean SW players who managed to clear ToA F100 with 100% F2P monsters on this link: http://www.reddit.com/r/summonerswar…korean_boards/. Let’s compare them, shall we?
Acasis | Ahman | Belladeon | Sigmarus | Konamiya
Mikene | Ahman | Belladeon | Spectra | Konamiya
Neal | Ahman | Shannon | Shumar | Konamiya
Ahman | Ramagod | Ahman | Megan | Konamiya
Ahman | Darion | Belladeon | Sigmarus | Konamiya
Ahman | Darion | Neal | Sigmarus | Konamiya
Ahman | Belladeon | Darion | Konamiya | Light Warbear
Aria | Baretta | Ahman | Belladeon | Megan
Looks messy? See what happens once I sort them out:
Team: Main Healer + Debuff Cleanser/Immunity + Secondary Healer + DPS + Utility
- Team 1: Ahman + Konamiya + Belladeon + Sigmarus + Acacis
- Team 2: Ahman + Konamiya + Belladeon + Spectra + Mikene
- Team 3: Ahman + Konamiya + Neal + Shumar + Shannon
- Team 4: Ahman + Konamiya + Ahman + Ramagos + Megan
- Team 5: Ahman + Konamiya + Belladeon + Sigmarus + Darion
- Team 6: Ahman + Konamiya + Neal + Sigmarus + Darion
- Team 7: Ahman + Konamiya + Belladeon + Lusha + Darion
- Team 8: Ahman + Baretta + Belladeon + Aria +Megan
P.S: Spectra is Fire Griffon (scale to enemy HP), Shumar is Dark Hellhound, Lusha is Light Warbear (scale to enemy HP).
Voila! It turns out that except for the last team, they’re basically following the balanced line-up!
Now let’s check for other players closer to home:
- Omgbomber’s: Chloe + Lulu + Mikene + Zaiross + Megan
Skeleton line-up, with the +3 being (leader/rezzer) Mikene, (DPS/DoT/Despair) Zaiross and (support/DoT) Megan. In balanced line-up terms, trading secondary healer for Mikene.
Mikene’s lead affects 3 units, revive to support the absence of Ahman, and Lulu instead of Kona certainly helps with healing output. Megan’s buff allow the team to outdamage the boss’ heals easily.
- Cyllis’: Ahman + Konamiya + Baretta + Pang + Bernard
Skeleton line-up, with the +3 being (leader/DoT) Baretta, (DPS/CC) Pang and (support) Bernard. In balanced line-up terms, trading secondary healer for Baretta.
His Pang is Violent with Atk runed, so she’s brought more for DPS instead of stacking debuffs. His strategy is using permanent Atk/Def debuff on the boss and burst down the boss. Since he has nice DPS, he can do it fast enough.
- Cognosci’s: Ahman + Konamiya + Acacis + Lushen + Briand
Skeleton line-up, with the +3 being (leader/DoT/Despair/secondary healer) Acacis, (DPS) Lushen and (Despair/rezzer) Briand. In balanced line-up terms, trading support for Briand.
Pretty much a “4 protect 1” strategy, with solid sustain healers + rezzer. Lushen did all the damage, and the DPS is fast enough not to bother with too many Almighty stacks. This would work if you have an excellent DPS worth supporting.
- Insanedruid’s: Chloe + Konamiya + Baretta + Perna + Bernard
Skeleton line-up, with the +3 being (leader/DoT) Baretta, (DPS/secondary healer) Perna and (support) Bernard. In balanced line-up terms, trading secondary healer for Baretta.
The healing output is actually decent, since Chloe is supported by Perna’s 10% heal passive. Baretta helps to bring the squad to the boss stage, at which point debuff cleanser / immunity of Chloe + Kona works in conjunction with 3 healers to sustain a DPS Perna. Perna being DPS + heal is really helpful here; I feel like a straight-up DPS won’t work.
- MojoDohDoh’s: Ahman + Aria + Hwa + Baretta + Bernard
This is a very well-made mixture of “Hwa Speed Comp” and balanced line-up, having Hwa, Baretta and Bernard coupled with main healer and Despair CC. Can afford not to run debuff cleanser / immunity because the debuffs will fall off on its own if Hwa pushes back the ATB often enough. Just goes to show you the power of Hwa.
- Nostro’s: Acacis + Belladeon + Hwa + Tyron + Verdehile
An almost pure “Hwa Speed Comp” composition. Compared to DohDoh’s, it replaces Ahman with Acacis and Bella. Tyron acts as the designated speed leader and cover Aria’s job, and Verdehile cover Bernard’s job. Structurally, it’s very close to the “Hwa Speed Comp” sample above, only swapping Baretta for Tyron lead, and Ahman-Bernard with Acacis-Bella. In this case, Belladeon’s Def debuff actually helps instead of hinders the boss stage as the boss barely gets a turn, so everyone enjoys 2x damage to the boss.
- Abs01ut3’s: Ahman + Velajuel + Acacis + Aria + Bernard
Skeleton line-up, with the +3 being (DoT/Despair/secondary healer) Acacis, (Despair/CC) Aria and (support) Bernard. In balanced line-up terms, trading DPS for Aria.
Using Velajuel instead of Kona means that there will be less problem with debuffs, but healing output will be lessened. To compensate for it, a secondary healer such as Acacis is required. Aria is solely to bring the team to boss stage. This team is noted for its absence of DPS, but since damage testing is done and practiced, the boss will never outheal the incoming damage.
As you can see, the balanced line-up and the more flexible skeleton line-up are tested by many players. Do you think that all these line-ups’ similarity is coincidental? Of course not! They’re assembling those line-ups with trial-and-error, and eventually decided to use the line-ups with the best chance of succeeding. The fact that they all converge on the same idea goes to show you that this strategy works (in nature, this is called “convergent evolution”). Just look at your monster box and fill in the blanks, and you can certainly do the same!
E. Specific Unit Viability
Note that this is only for the F100 itself, and avoid the latest monster update, many L/D as well as non-farmable nat 5* as they are very rarely available to the players. I will also ignore some monsters that are very rarely raised in mid-late game (eg: Cassandra and Ceres) with a few exceptions, and monsters that make no sense to bring to F100 (eg: Rina). If you have a unique monster and are wondering on its viability for F100, simply post below and we’ll look at it.
- Arnold: Whenever someone mentions a tanky DPS for F100, his name will inevitably come out. Tanky DPS that has no problem surviving stage 1-3. Spam Extortions on boss and hit towers in the meantime (1st skill has debuff). Very popular and effective choice for F100.
- Atenai: Good (although mono) leader skill, DoT and a heal that completely neuters the “spiking” issue. Can work as a secondary healer.
- Baretta: Insanely good in F100, as with all previous floors. Speed leader, DoT (AoE at that), Despair user, and ATB reset for emergencies. Blazes through stage 1-2 and not useless at boss stage either. Only nitpick is that he might not out-dps the boss. Try yours; depending on your runes it might or might not out-dps him. Also, be careful not to sprinkle the left tower with too many DoTs if you need it alive.
- Chloe: A goddess everywhere. 2 turn immunity + bonus invincibility, healer with insane speed stacking (leftover from arena). Can be anywhere from sole healer to secondary healer depending on how tanky your team is, with bonus immunity.
- Clara: Ehh, she’s alright. Her AoE is of course the best, but it’s most she’s useful for, tbh. Doesn’t do anything much once AoE is out. I’d rather have another AoE user. Leader skill is quite good.
- Hwa: Core of Hwa Speed Comp line-up. As a standalone unit she can work well too. The speed debuff on boss isn’t too big of a deal if you repeatedly push him back. Might allow you to use some debuffs on the boss, and makes your debuff cleanser / immunity job very easy since the debuffs will be far in-between. Be very happy if you have her; She’s godly in PVE.
- Jean: Good DPS, but people rarely 6* him. All single target DPS, so stage 1-2 is a tad slower. If your healers are not up to scratch, he will lose his passive on the boss stage, so keep that in mind.
- Jojo: I love him in ToA, but he’s not F100 material. DPS based on debuffs. Can explode stage 1-2 for sure, but real useless on boss stage. You’ll usually raise his Acc for the AoE, so debuff on his 1st skill will land most of the time.
- Jun: AoE Atk debuff for stage 1-2 is pretty helpful to manage incoming damage, good DPS overall. 1st skill can Def debuff the boss.
- Raoq: Single-target DPS (and just mediocre at that, with 683 base Atk on 6*), plus Def debuff on 1st skill. Probably useful if your team relies on bursting down the boss, but there are better choices, especially since each scratch will be rewarded by a counterattack from the boss.
- Sieq: Most often seen on DPS Team Comp, he’s so squishy that you must protect him well. A good DPS and offensive support if you can keep him alive.
- Spectra: Speed debuff + AoE ATB reduction as CC, and 2nd skill scales off boss HP. I only mentioned it because Korean line-up utilized him.
- Tagaros: A very rarely seen unit with situationally good leader skill, he has 2 AoE (an excellent Despair user), which is very rare for a nat 3*. His damage is monstrous, rivaling many nat 4* DPS, and can choose not to debuff the boss. The only con is very low HP, although him being fire element helps in earlier stages. If you can keep him alive somehow (would definitely require a 6*), he’s an excellent source of Despair CC + DPS.
- Verdehile: Top-notch support. Speed helps in making everything, offensively and defensively, smoother. Just be careful not to hit boss twice with 1st skill if you’re getting outhealed.
- Izaria: Many people have her from arena. 3rd skill hits for quite hard, but it’s multi-hit, so that’s too bad. Also no AoE to speak of, and is therefore impotent on both stage 1-2 and boss stage. Not recommended.
- Julie: I actually think all Pierrets are overrated. But anyway, Julie is an average-good DPS and Despair user. DPS isn’t that great late-game. Thousand Shots is multi-hits, so be careful on boss stage. 2nd skill also freeze. Decent overall.
- Konamiya: Just check how many of the Korean players use Konamiya. She contends with Lulu for debuff clearing role, and she often wins because her AoE dispel has infinite debuff clearimg power. Also Resurge to use offensively (on DPS), defensively (on Ahman) and for utility (to proc cooldown faster) as required.
- Luer: Nice unit to have. ATB reduction + Def debuff AoE will clear stage 1-2 very fast, and 1st skill’s stun can’t affect boss. He isn’t usually built as DPS, and might be better off serving the Despair CC role. Might not out-dps the boss, even if he’s a P. Thief species.
- Lulu: Second F2P debuff clearer, she has debuff clearing limitation but greater healing power. Can be used instead of Konamiya if you have another debuff removal / immunity and would appreciate more heals, for example Chloe + Lulu.
- Megan: Atk/Def buff lasts for 2/4 turns, minor DoT for towers, and an okay support. Will likely survive stage 1-2 as a 5* since she’s water (unless you stack speed too much for arena use and have her with like 9k HP), but no AoE to speak of. Atk/Def buff will allow everyone to outdamage the boss even with a full sustain team.
- Mikene: Very underrated. Revive for oh **** moments and freeze on crit. With tanky 100% crit build she’s the best focused CC there is. Also situationally good leader skill. Very low HP even for a 6* though.
- Sigmarus: The conventional F100 DPS. AoE Atk debuff, stuns left and right and perfectly safe to attack boss. Plus it’s water DPS vs 5 fire units on stage 1-2! Default ToA F100 DPS.
- Soha: 1st skill freeze for 65.7% maxed as a focused CC. Lifesteals for quite a bit in case she’s “spiked”, and Cleanse can clear Akia’s shield off (but likely not Acacis; therefore, have Ahman attacks Akia). Leader skill is alright, but water DPS unit is so rare in general. Good unit that can DPS in a pinch with her high base Atk.
- Su: Would be an okay DPS for boss if not for the fact that 1st skill has debuff. 2nd and 3rd skill are safe to use, but a DPS that can’t 100% focus on boss without having Almighty stacks is a shame. Also no AoE for stage 1-2. Overall a meh pick.
- Susano: He’s decent everywhere, and that includes here. Good speed leader if you have enough water units, perfectly safe to use vs boss and decent-good survivability and DPS + DoT. Sturdy dps unit overall.
- Tyron: Sacrifice boss stage for perfect control of stage 1-2. High DPS ones can still attack the boss (Speed/Atk/Acc), although be wary of multiple hits of his 1st skill. It may cause a suicide if he’s too low. Also a great speed leader. I’d rate him as the best if you need both CC and a good leader.
- Vigor: Can be your secondary healer in a pinch, but other skills all have debuffs attached to them. Okay-ish pick if you need Def debuff to burst down the boss. Might not contribute enough to the team.
Wind: (As a general rule, all wind units are in danger of being killed off in stage 1-2 due to the prevalence of fire units. Therefore, they need to be more tanky than other elements. I just put it here so that I won’t keep on repeating myself)
- Acacis: An awesome unit that I’m glad Com2Us release HoH for. Despair Acacis can be your Despair unit (although you might need more since she’s wind), plus secondary healer role, plus her shield will mitigate almost the entirety of Xenocide, plus DoT for towers and supplementary DPS on stage 1-2. Wind Res leader if you need it too. Multi-role unit that fits almost any line-up.
- Aquila: Sieq buff + Soha’s cleanse. A great unit overall. Make sure he’s tanky enough to survive. His cleanse will hit Acacis, but likely not Akia, so have Ahman attacks Acacis. Situational leader skill because most units that need Acc will usually have 85% Acc already. Might screw up stuff like 0% Acc Lushen (see below).
- Arang: High damage unit, but single target. Her first skill can land debuff, but negligible if you don’t max out her 1st skill. For Acc-build Arang, the 3rd skill will usually land all debuffs, which could be to your advantage or detriment. If your plan is to use Atk/Def debuff and control the boss that way, she could serve the role well. A pure dps-build Arang would prove to be a good dps once you pass stage 1-2.
- Ardella: A rarely-used wind attacker. Used to be popular for early game, but there’s just too many nat 4* DPS for her to contend with. Single target, decent DPS, and no debuff to speak of. An overall boring, vanilla DPS unit, but nevertheless complies with all the requirements for the boss stage. Would work and deliver steady DPS if she survived to the boss stage.
- Argen: Wind unit + debuffer + rely on stacking debuffs to deal DPS which is a horrible idea on boss. Also no AoE, his only skill that doesn’t land debuffs is a multi-hit, and his leader skill doesn’t work in ToA. Can it really go any worse?
- Bernard: Very tanky for stage 1-2, speed buff really helps with overall skill rotations (especially healing output), and good leader skill. Atk/Def debuff will also find some uses. He has high base Def, thus he will often out-dps the boss. An excellent support.
- Briand: If arena-built will be very tanky and can revive without being afraid that the recently revived unit will be “spiked” by the boss, so he can make sure that you will survive to boss stage intact. Revive is useful for accidents and “spiking”, but sadly 2 debuffs on both attack skills. Might be usable on boss if you rune for 0% Acc.
- Copper: Ridiculously tanky to draw fire from stage 1-2 fire units. Depending on your runes, he might need Def buff to ignore boss’ Def, but otherwise he’s like a wind element Arnold that can still attack the boss. Good to bring if he’s well-runed.
- Delphoi: Straight-up upgrade from Kona/Lulu. This one is usually a mainstay once you got her. 1st skill can debuff (minor problem if you don’t rune for Acc), has reset cooldown skill and immunity+debuff clear+heal. Leader skill is sometimes useful. An excellent unit to bring.
- Huan: Intended as secondary healer + debuffer, with bonus crit reduction buff. Might not be viable since he’s squishy and wind. If you build for HP his Atk will be lower, which defeats the purpose of bringing him along in the first place. Also some debuffs.
- Julien: Awesome DPS and/or Despair user. Will often end up stunning the Acacis and Conrad, but you must protect him from the fire units. Very good DPS against the boss with no fear of debuffs. If you can’t protect him though, don’t bother.
- Kaito: Similar to his brethren Jun, but he’s wind and therefore more vulnerable in stage 1-2. 3rd skill hits very hard. Also, similar issue of Def debuff on his 1st skill.
- Katarina: Good DPS, just not as great as in AO. Might need Chloe healer to work, but without it she still deals respectable and debuff-free DPS. You might want to try killing both towers, then use Chloe + Katarina’s 3rd skill.
- Lushen: 2 AoE to mow down stage 1-2, but needs support to survive. Leader skill doesn’t work here, so don’t bother. Amputation Magic will hit the boss multiple times and you’ll get ~5k damage to the face in return. 1st skill can apply debuff though, so if you decide to bring him (many players have no choice because they only have a 6* Lushen), discard all Acc for extra DPS and HP/Def. Usually has nice DPS numbers because people bring him everywhere.
- Michelle: every Michelle I see is built tanky enough to survive stage 1-2. Doesn’t heal for a lot, but can ease up the debuff cleanser / immunity’s job with Block Flow. Also a revive in case things go sour. You need to heal up the revived unit quickly though, or he/she will be killed right after (25% HP revive). Situationally great, but doesn’t fit all teams.
- Orochi: No. No DoT on boss + 0 AoE. Such a sad thing, being a DoT-based DPS. Speed leader alone isn’t enough.
- Rakaja: His heal could be timed well to counter AoE damage and is huge (~50% healed on everyone), but his heal has a big gap (3 turn) and someone could get “spiked” in the meantime. 1st skill has speed debuff too. Could work as a healer, but only if you can make sure someone won’t get “spiked”.
- Ramagos: Intended as a budget-Arnold, he can draw fire from stage 1-2 well. On boss stage, there is an unexpected complication. To use Clean Shot on boss, you need to let him dip low enough to get “spiked” by the boss. This can be risky if all your healers are AoE (Ahman, Kona, etc), because then you might need to stop healing for a while for Ramagos to get the boss’ attention, and that can cause a wipe. Good DPS and tank only if you can get the strategy down.
- Shannon: With Despair she has CC, Despair and Atk/Def buff. The Atk/Def buff is better than Megan’s, being active 3/4 of the time. However, she often falls prey to stage 1-2, and she isn’t allowed to attack the boss at all. Therefore, only bring her if you value Atk/Def buff and stunning Acacis/Conrad more. Otherwise, Megan is straight-up better.
- Shimitae: Another leftover from arena, he actually works out okay for stage 1-2. Leader skill obviously doesn’t work, and his best DPS skill will land a debuff on the boss. Might be used if you invested in him from arena and have no other good units, but he’s obviously not the best.
- Sophia: Good single target DPS, but her best DPS skill will land a debuff, much like Shimitae. Still good DPS though, so if you need the Def debuff anyway she’s a good fit. Leader skill is quite good.
- Yen: This yo-yo unit will undoubtedly land speed debuffs sooner or later on the boss. She has many turns of moderate DPS, which is worse than fewer turns of high DPS due to counterattack. Not a great unit to bring.
- Ahman: What can I say? Com2Us hasn’t been releasing another main healer for a while (although Wind Sky Dancer could be a contender), so he’s stuck in our hearts (and line-up) as the desired main healer unless you lucked into an Ariel. If you don’t have it on Violent, you might need extra healing support from others.
- Aria: Will seriously mess up stage 1-2 with CC and Despair, but doesn’t do much vs boss. Can’t AoE on boss, but at least 1st skill is safe to use. Good unit to pick if you’re concerned with stage 1-2 (being Light element allows her to effectively CC all 10 targets).
- Belladeon: The definition of secondary healer. Very highly rated and useful. 2nd skill can clear off Acacis’ shield for Ahman to heal through. You might or might not want Def debuff on the boss, but you’ll sure want his heal there.
- Darion: 15% damage reduction passive and Atk/Def debuff, nuff said. Def debuff is on 1st skill which might affect your targeting, but his passive is good. I’d bring Bernard over him because he can attack boss safely, still have the option to debuff if need be (not forced to like Darion) and speed buff = 15% passive once you have 2-3 healers, but that’s just me.
- Lusha: Think Ramagos, only with Clean Shot exchanged for a skill that scales with boss’ HP. Much less situational than Ramagos, but would you invest in a 6* Lusha? I only mentioned it because Korean line-up utilized him.
- Neal: Occasionally seen here and there, her heal is good but it’s single target only. Leader skill is good although minor, but her biggest purpose is to prevent “spiking” by shielding the low HP unit. Can also shield your sole wind unit in stage 1-2 (won’t work on 2+ wind units), and provide a small but steady focused CC.
- Taru: Haven’t seen anyone own a Taru tanky enough to bring to F100. If in any case a Taru does survive, he can use all his skills safely on the boss, and the Def-ignore skill can chunk for quite a lot. Decent DPS for stage 1-2, but it’s all single target.
- Camules: Only mentioned here since some might still keep him after the Giant change. DoT doesn’t work for obvious reason, but his DPS is respectable, plus reflect damage is big against the boss. Also stubborn to die. A possible, if cute combo is Camules + fast Michelle, with permanent refusal to death and low HP resulting in the boss focusing him all the time, and the only time your team is damaged is on AoE.
- Decamaron: Has passive damage scaling on the boss’ HP and is the only unit I can think of with that property, is farmable, and is regularly 6 starred by the players. His 1st skill has 100% Atk debuff rate when maxed. You can try applying Atk debuff 100% of the time on the boss, or only attack the boss using his 2nd skill (2 turn cooldown, so you can attack every other turn). Be careful of the towers being chipped away by him though,
- Guillaume: See his brethren Jean. The differences are that he’s Dark element, plus his passive makes for a more stable and consistent DPS, but a bit lower DPS than Jean. Good DPS if your line-up can pass stage 1-2 using single target DPS.
- Kro: See his brethren Argen. He’s much less worse, but still needs wombo-combo and a mountain of debuffs to deal his intended DPS. Needless to say, that doesn’t work well on the boss, and he also has Def debuff on his 1st skill.
Sample (My ToA cycle 3 F1-F99 and F100 clear teams)
First of all, I actually only planned to post my F100 clear team. I have absolutely no idea why I ended up doing a whole guide out of it lol.
In any case, here is my ToA clear article: http://www.reddit.com/r/summonerswar…t_with_no_dps/. It’s structured just like all other “I finally cleared ToA 100!” posts.
Below, I’ll use my ToA runs to emphasize the theory we learned above. Please remember that I don’t post this to brag, but to elaborate on how the theory plays out in application. I’d appreciate it if you understand that.
My ToA F1-F99 Team:
P.S: The answer to the question asked on the chat box above is obviously “Yes”.
How the fight typically goes: 2-3 AoE to start off, then Mikene freezes the occasional survivor. Pang will whip up the stun/freeze and DoT counter using her passive. Given enough time, she’ll stack 2-3 turns of stuns on everyone and dps source is from 1-2 Baretta AoE. Shield, minor heal and revive for emergencies.
- Stack Despair units: Aria, Acacis, Shannon and Baretta uses Despair, and Julien can stun too.
- Choose a good leader: Baretta leader for the most part, for F100 I resort to Ahman leader as I can’t spare a slot
- Have at least 1 unit with certain buffs, debuffs and role in hand: Apart from the utility covered by the 5 above, I also use:
|Strongly Recommended||Optional but Useful|
- Rely too much on one element: Fire CC has Baretta. Wind CC has Acacis, Julien, Shannon. Water CC has Mikene and the eventual Luer, plus Aria and Pang. My line-up is 1 Water 1 Fire 1 Wind 2 Light because it can cover all elements and each other’s back, so I’m not at risk of any specific element if I want to CC.
- Insist of having Ahman in your line-up 100% of the time: Ahman is only used on boss stages (where boss can’t be stunned) and select few regular stages. I find Acacis sustain + Mikene revive to be enough for me even on F99.
- Think that Despair AoE is already enough CC: Aside from 3 Despair users, my focused CC is in the form of Baretta’s 2nd skill, Mikene 100% freeze and Pang increasing the stun counter. I will start with 2-3 AoE, then Mikene will freeze the occasional survivors. Aria is to help with sleep, with priority on wind units because that’s what Mikene can’t freeze reliably. Pang will start stacking stuns on everyone, beginning with the most troublesome / tanky first. What usually happens is that all units will be stunned for multiple turns while I wait for cooldowns to refresh. The importance of focused CC thus cannot be overstated.
My ToA F100 Team:
Now, I want to explain what mistakes I did to let 2 units die.
- Stage 1. Bernard starts speed buff, then AoEs are casted. Acacis’ AoE is on 2 turn cooldown, so I’m not afraid of wasting it. Velajuel gives immunity buff next, followed by Ahman provoking Acacis (not Akia because I want the shield to not be used). The moment someone takes any damage, Acacis shield is up. Aria only focuses sleep on Akia, so that Acacis could stun Acacis (not the other way around). Bernard debuffs my target priority one at a time.
- Stage 2. Same thing, except that I time the immunity buff to land only after Vanessa almost have her turn. This is to prevent Def debuff. The moment Bernard or Acacis dips, the shield must already be up. Aria and even Acacis focus on Vanessa, because Conrad is a slouch. I focus on one Valk at a time, killing the revived ones fast to prevent revives from cooling down. Keep Conrad alive as a punching bag to wait for my cooldowns before proceeding.
- Boss stage. Damage test on everyone. Only Acacis doesn’t pass the test (hit 850, heal 950), but she must still attack the boss because otherwise the left tower would be gone. I focus on right tower 1st, landing DoT from Acacis to speed things up. After it’s down, here is the task assignment:
- Ahman: Only use 2nd skill on boss. In the meantime use 1st skill on left tower. Provoke won’t help me because the boss would just ignore it.
- Acacis: Sadly would overheal the boss. Only heal if I need it. Shield is used exclusively when Xenocide is ready to be used, not reactively because by then they will already be “spiked” down and killed. A huge dilemma when Atk/Def debuff is on her.
- Velajuel: Is “DPS” here with 1k-2k damage. High Def so the boss will receive less lifesteal. Prepare immunity buff whenever appropriate, based on the cooldowns remaining and ATB of left tower. Don’t spam it.
- Bernard: Spam speed buff and otherwise attack the boss with 1st skill. Good base Def so will out-dps the boss. Someone mentioned to me that keeping the boss permanently with Atk/Def debuff is worth it. I haven’t had the chance to test it out.
- Aria: Standing there looking pretty while only using 1st skill. Everything else is off-limits, but no matter, she has successfully brought me to the boss stage.
Now, my mistakes:
- I mentioned having a dilemma when Atk/Def debuff is on Acacis. I decided to attack the boss rather than risk killing the left tower. This resulted in her dipping below the threshold and started getting “spiked” by the boss.
- In hindsight, I shouldn’t use Twister to heal when Acacis was low and was on Def debuff. Silly me.
- After a rather painful ~20 turns, Acacis fell to constant “spiking” from the boss. All my heals were in full rotation, but because they’re all AoE, I have nothing like Chloe heal to spot heal her.
- Boss was still at ~30%. He started cherry-tapping my units: Hit one unit, then hit another, casted AoE, rinse and repeat. Eventually, my Aria (who only had Ahman to heal by now) fell below the HP threshold, and the boss started to “spike” her.
- Aria died after ~10 turns, much faster because Acacis was no longer there to help sustain.
- Boss proceeded to cherry-tap the others, but this time the Ahman-Velajuel-Bernard is too tanky to be “spiked”.
- I eventually won. The fight could be dragged out for another 30+ turns and I would’ve still won because the survivors can’t be “spiked” by the boss.
Moral of the story: The boss will cherry-tap people at random until he finds a suitable victim to “spike”. Don’t let him do that and keep your healers alert and ready.
P.S: ToA cycle 4 cleared ~14 hours after reset. Didn’t try to race it (already a few hours late when I logged in), and only spent 1 refill at the end since I can’t wait for refills any longer (the waiting for energy regen is almost as long as the ToA runs itself). Changed Bernard to Shannon (Ahman+Velajuel+Acacis+Aria+Shannon), which is actually superior. With Bernard I didn’t dare to Atk/Def debuff the boss, but with Shannon I can buff all I want (1st skill on left tower ofc), which sped things up significantly. Velajuel critted boss for 4.5k and he only healed for a piddly 250. Even Acacis can outdps by about 1k now. With Def buff on, the AoE couldn’t even break Acacis’ shield, which is awesome because I always timed it nicely. Full HP all the way.