Arknights May Guide
So you want to use May. You might like the Sherlock Honk memes, or you might actually like her, for one reason or another. Regardless, you want to learn more about her and what she can do. (I ran out of sentence ideas for this intro facepalm)
Welcome to this week “underrated operator highlights”. In last week’s post it was a tie vote between May and Platinum (she isn’t “underrated”, though I’d like to write about her at some point too, if I can keep this up) for this week’s content. And between the 2 of them, one is clearly the lesser known operator. May is a unique type of Snipers in this game, and she’s just like Glaucus function-wise. They’re both anti air crowd controller. She also deals quite decent DPS, despite the crowd control tag.
POST WRITING ADDITION: I just realised that Dreamy already made a video on Platinum, maybe not anytime soon then
That’s it for introduction, let’s get right into it.
– Offensive stats:
May has the same attack speed as most other anti-air single target sniper, once per second. Her ATK stats is quite impressive too, being the 5th highest among the anti-air sniper (not counting talent), also being the 2nd highest among the 4* AA snipers as well. However, her actual DPS might not be up to that standard (debatable), as she lacks as great DPS booster skill/talent as other has. But she ain’t bad at killing things for sure when you look at her skillset.
– Defensive stats:
Being an AA sniper, May would have low defensive stats in general, but, within her own archetype, she has quite a split difference between her HP and DEF. She has the lowest DEF (okay 2nd lowest if we’re counting Ranger but shhhh). Now that’s not so bad because of 2 things. One, she has the 2nd highest HP among the AA snipers, which actually offset her low DEF and also helps staying alive better against magical attacks, since DEF doesn’t matter there. Two, and more importantly, the difference between all other AA snipers’ DEF is less than 60 (only 25 less than BP at max), so in a sense, it may not matter if she has the lowest relative DEF or not.
Her cost is typical for a 4* AA sniper: 12, so there’s nothing special here.
Her range is also typical for an AA sniper. A 3×4 area with May in the middle of the shorter side.
Target aerial enemies first. This is why they are called anti-air snipers. The last 3 sections have been simple so far. Moving on!
Victorian Agent: Increase basic attack and attack speed by 4% at E1, and 7% at E2. Potential 5 increase the percentage by 1. This mean, without potential, May will now attacking once every 1/((100+7/1)/100) = 0.9345 second. There’s something in her kit later that will mess with this, but we’ll get to it later. The buffs are also not that great, but it’s free. It’s like having a miniature Swift Strike skill that is active all the time, which also means it doesn’t stack multiplicatively with other atk/atk spd boost skills.
Source for attack speed formula: https://gamepress.gg/arknights/core-gameplay/arknights-mechanics-behind-numbers-attack-speed
May’s reputation for being a crowd controller comes from her skills. Every single skill she has is also interesting as well, and that included her base skill.
– Always available: Clue search β
Increase clue search speed by 20%
– Available at E1: Royal Detective (self-proclaimed)
When May is in reception room, increase chance to obtain Clue 2 (Penguin Logistics)
So here’s the first interesting part of this base skill: it lied. All operators have a slightly higher chance to find clue from their own factions, and, May is from Glasgow, which is clue 5. And for me, on both my main account and clone, May has only ever found 1 clue 2 for me so far, and I used her quite a considerable amount on both acc, ever since she came to global. However, ever since, she found like 10 clue 5 for me, and more than 6 on the clone account. That’s one of the two much rarer clue you can find. Now, I don’t know if I’m just on a lucky streak or not since it’s a fairly small sample size (May did find clues that aren’t 5, but only 2 clue 2 ever, out of like 30-40 clues she found).
sneaky edit (14/7/2020): from the time this post was made til now, she found a shitton of other clue 5, a few clue 6 & 7, and still no clue 2. I think May’s pretty biased toward her own faction which give clue 5.
Post writing realization: OH MY FUCKING GOD! What if this is an amazing inside joke regarding the fact that May isn’t a decent detective at all (sorry), so she’s terrible at finding anything regarding the thing she needs to find the most?
Or it’s actually just luck yeah alright moving on.
The second interesting part of this skill is that May is the only one with a bias clue search skill, that also have a clue search speed increase that is higher than 10%. Mainly because they are 2 different base skills rather than 2 in 1.
Now, onward to her actual combat skills.
First skill: Paralyzing Bullet
Unlike what the name suggested, the skill doesn’t actually paralyze your enemies. It only sorta does. It increases the next attack by a percentage and apply a “slow” debuff to the enemy hit for a certain duration. This slow debuff is the same as the one applied by slow supporters, which I think is an 80% slow. Unlike slow supporter though, this slow last much longer, starting from 1.5 seconds at level 1. At level 7, this skill increases the next ATK to 170% (which should work with her talent earlier) and apply the slow for 2 seconds. The slow duration increases to 2.5s at M1, but that’s the maximum slow she can get. The skill has a SP cost of 4 at lv7, and is charged on attack, i.e. it applies to her next attack after May attacks 4 times. At M3, the cost is reduced by 1, effectively applies after every 4th shot, with a 2.5s slow. So even after that, this skill will never be able to slow lock someone, but you’ll never need too anyway, since it’s a hefty slow.
Despite being a slowing skill, it does have decent damage output. In fact, Jessica’s S1 only have 30% higher at level 7, and does nothing else, while this skill provides a slow to compensate, which assists in dealing more possible damage before the enemy can “run” away.
With that said, since May only periodically slow enemies with this skill while dealing strong damage, there’s a good chance that the final shot that slows also happened to kill them or cripple them enough that they will die soon afterward, wasting the effect. Regardless, this skill provides quite a decent slow along with a strong DPS option. You can assume May to be a DPS slow supporter with this skill, though a bit less consistent in slowing and more in killing. However, in early rush, this is your best chance to both stop the enemies and kill them as well. An example would be in CC barren plaza, on the day that there’s a risk that ban melee unit and then you foolishly decided to do max risk for the lol, and then failed because the later half of the map, especially the doggo rush from 2 sides, rekt your squad apart since you don’t have any ranged 6* raised decently aside from Exusiai, and Casters got banned, and 50% damage reduction, and… wait what was I trying to talk about again?
Anyway, this skill is decent for constant, automated, and consistent slow + DPS. However, her second skill exists…
Second skill: Binding Shock
This skill is pretty amazing and do quite a lot of things for May. First it increases her attack massively, from +60% up to +120%. This however doesn’t stack with her talent, since they’re both basic attack boost. This should allow her to deal really strong DPS, but the second thing is that it increases her attack interval (basically reducing attack speed). The new interval between attack is 1.5s, but there’s also her talent that increase attack speed. So, her new attack interval should become: 1/((107/1.5)/100) = 1.401 seconds. Overall, her total DPS should increase by a decent amount, especially at lv7 onward.
If you want to know why they want to nerf her attack speed, third, it causes her basic attacks to inflict a 0.8s slow (which is just like a normal Slow Supporter), but up to 1 whole second at M3. And if that’s not good enough for you yet, fourth, each attack now has a 30% chance (which is unchangeable) to stun her target for 0.9s, up to 1.2s. So now, when this skill is active, May literally become a slow supporter, but with a higher attack rate (even with that attack interval increase), more damage, has a chance to stop an enemy, and a longer frontal reach but with no rear range. I usually joke that this skill is a physical, budgeted version of Angelina’s S2. When active, both stops an enemy for a long amount of time. May’s version can’t do a permanent slow, but has a chance to stun, which is better, because it also helps when the targeted enemy is already blocked by someone.
At level 7, this skill grants +90% ATK boost, each attack slows for 0.9s, has a 30% chance to stun for 1 second, last for 27 seconds, on a 24 seconds cooldown (18.46 with E2 Ptilopsis). At M3, it’s +120% ATK, 1s slow, 1.2s stun, but lasting 30 whole seconds, while having only 20s cd (15.38 with…).
If you noticed, that’s still not possible for either permanent slow or stun, as I mentioned earlier. However, that’s already enough to massively disrupt the enemies, or just the one enemy too tough to kill. It’s actually how I got past the Militant risk buff in CC, both challenge and just normal run (yes I’m one of them dumbasses that do militant risk). With May, Shirayuki, and Manticore, the militant couldn’t even move (allegedly), and all of their skills have enough uptime by the time the next one arrives, though I had Ptilopsis there for the cd reduction.Although, I can’t really talk shit when I only reached risk 16 feelsbadman.
→ Basically, to repeat, when this skill is active, May becomes a physical slow supporter that actually does most thing better than a typical one: faster attack rate, higher ATK boost, longer slow duration, higher HP, longer frontal range, has a relatively decent chance to stun, and faster projectile speed (it matters sometime okay??). The only drawback is that May has no reach for enemies behind her and has no RES, though she does have higher HP than normal supporters.
I think she could have a special mention for ST AA Snipers along with the top 3 we already known (i.e. top 4 or 5). May can deal decent damage while preventing them from zooming away (like for example, a bombtail that has already released their load, or a +100% movement speed risk). As mentioned, she’s also really great at rendering 1 or 2 tough enemies unable to move, enough so your other operators have enough time to beat them down. If you still can’t kill them after a full S2 duration, your other operators are either too weak, or you accidentally hit max risk in CC. Being a 4* unit, she’s also cheaper to upgrade when compared to the top 3 AA snipers, and with the crowd controls she has, some utilities to match with them (Exu with super fast multi-hits, Plat with longer range high single hit, BP with multi targets).
That should be it for this week, May is still a fairly straightforward operator, even with the extra slow/stun option. She also doesn’t have many special things or mega advanced strat to talk about (four sections are outright generic!). Still, looking toward to see what you think about her (inb4 all the Sherlock Honk memes).