Arknights Sora Guide
So you want to use Sora. You think she’s cute (especially those juicy thighs at E2) and now you want to bring her everywhere, but don’t want to just have her standing there doing nothing. So you’re looking for a guide. Well good luck finding it and tell me if you find one xD
Okay, okay, in this post I will be presenting
all most of Sora’s capabilities. I would like to only present what she can do, so you would consider when and how to use her yourself
Welcome to this week’s “underrated operator highlight”. And, because Sora is “slightly” unique, we have to start differently from previous guides as well.
Sora doesn’t attack, only heal, but unlike healing operators, Sora doesn’t perform a “healing attack/animation”. What she does is that she continuously heals everyone in her range for 10% of her attack per second. The healing doesn’t actually tick every second but streamlined constantly. Because the healing is based on her attack, attack buff and attack reduction can affect the healing rate.
Most importantly, because she doesn’t “target” someone directly, this allows her to heal unhealable target: Hellagur, Vulcan, Mayer’s Meeboos, Magellan’s (deliberated typo) Soaring Dragons, Nightingale’s Phantom, and Deepcolor’s Tentacles. (and any future addition of these types of unit)
This talent also works all the time she is deployed, which means even if she’s stunned, or frozen, or reduced attack speed (which she doesn’t have), her healing rate still doesn’t change, while normal healers wouldn’t do well with their healing when that happen.
According to multiple people, Nearl’s E2 talent and Sussuro’s talent that boost healing received by allies doesn’t work with this regeneration (or any other regen).
Sneaky post chap 6 edit: There is a silver lining (provided long ago by Boelthor in the comment below). This healing rate is always there, as long as Sora is still in the field. Which means, regardless of what state she’s in, as long as she’s still alive in the field, she’ll always heal. Chap 6 comes out with the annoying Chill and Frozen debuff, which massively shafted normal healer’s healing output, since they need their normal attack rate to perform the healing “attack”. Sora, when stunned, frozen, or anything affecting her attack speed, still doesn’t care and heal normally anyway, this may be useful to know for some.
– Offensive stats (I change the labels a bit this time):
Sora actually has pretty terrible attack value. Due to how she functions, her attack value is shafted massively, having the 4th, 3rd, and 2nd worst attack at E0, E1, E2, respectively. Is this a fair decision, or an over-nerfed for an unjustified fear of overpowered? You decide.
– Defensive stats:
Sora’s HP is on the lower end, even when only comparing to other supporters, and she has absolutely no RES at all, whereas most other supporters has about 10 or 15 at base, and an extra 5 per promotion. However, Sora’s DEF is strangely more than 2 times higher than other supporters. That microphone she has is probably made of high-quality steel. Though, don’t actually tell her to tank attack from ranged enemies, she still wouldn’t survive hardcore damage (small/periodic damage is okay).
Sora has one of the lowest DP cost to deploy in the game: 5 at base, and 7 at E1. In fact, if you don’t count the robots, she has the lowest cost to deploy, even Gravel has 1 more. Of course, getting max potential Gravel is
reallysomewhat easy, so in practice, Gravel has less cost, due to those potentials.
Sora is unique, and so is her range. At base, her range is literally just 8 tiles around herself. At E1, she gets 4 extra tiles at the center of each side, effectively only reaching 2 tiles away from her location. The range then become similar to Texas’s 2nd skill’s range.
This is a deliberated design due to, again, how she works. She’s basically a localized Perfumer or Angelina’s Talent. Due to the fact that those two provide global regen, Sora need to have stronger attack in order to offset the fact that she can only provide regen locally.
For comparison sake, at 0 trust, and at E0 lv45, Sora has 200 attacks exactly, which match Ange’s global regen (20HP/s). However, since Angelina can only do this at E2 Lv1, let’s compare that to Sora’s heal of the same level, which is… 27.8 HP/s, and only for 12 tiles around her (there’s something else you can get from this statement too). For further comparison, Perfumer at the same level can do 12.8 HP/s, but, Perf is a healer and can heal normally as well, so it’s not going to be fair. Combine with the fact that Perf has 2 skills that massively boost this regen further, and that she can also provide global regen, Perfumer is going to win this comparison hands down. All it comes down to is the main aspect each operator can do: Angelina “supports” your allies by killing everything, Sora supports your allies through 2 different way of offensive or defensive, and Perfumer only heal your allies to keep them alive. We might come back to this argument later. Spoiler alert: we won’t.
Sora has only 1 talent (as most 5* do, looking at you Pramanix and Liskarm): Encore.
After using a skill, as in after the skill duration ends, she has 50% chance to immediately restore 25% at E1, 50% at E2, of the skill SP cost. Effectively, when it procs, this talent reduces your skill cd by 25% or 50%. The chance of this talent activating is not that bad either. I did the math you know, 50% of the time, it works every time.
Now we’re at a “great” section. Each of Sora’s skill does a different thing, and like with Pramanix from last guide, one is a defensive option, and one is an offensive option. Keep in mind of her talent as well. But first…
Always available: Idol: increase morale recovery of everyone in the same dorm by 0.15/h.
Available at E2: Penguin Logistic β: Increase Trading Post efficiency by 30%.
The trading post bonus is huge, but you should actually already have an abundance of this bonus, considering the most use set up of 2 Trade 4 Fact, you wouldn’t need Sora too much, though it’s an option. Combine with the fact that she increases morale recovery, she can go work in the trading post, then come back and restore morale along with any other tired workers in the same place.
First skill: Hymn of Respite
Naga Siren’s ultimate with agh. This skill, when active, first expands her range. The new range is similar to Saria’s S2 range, and this range is unchanged, even if Sora is still E0 and missing her E1 range. Second, it enhances her Trait effect, from 10% to 45% ~ 100% of her attack depends on skill/mastery levels. So now Sora’s regeneration went from slightly stronger than Angelina to quite strong and can match Perfumer’s (without skill) normal healing, though depends on how many she’s healing during the skill. If that’s not good enough yet which it isn’t actually, third it also put all enemies in Sleep status (stunned but invincible and not targetable).
At level 7, the skill increases her trait effect to 70%, lasting 7 seconds, having 60 seconds cooldown (but remember the talent, and it drops to 46.15s with E2 Ptilopsis, 42.86s with E2 Suzuran), and 40 initial SP (when first deploy). The duration and cooldown don’t change with any level or masteries, only the trait effect and the initial SP.
Side note: this skill has no change at all from level 1 to 2. I don’t know why either, though it’s not significant (if it is for you, you’re at a point in the game where Sora is going to be reeeeeealllly underwhelming).
Anyway, a pseudo-AoE stun is nice and all, but the invincible-ness leave much to be desired. There are a couple uses for this skill, however. I’m not sure if I can list them all, though I will be listing the important/better way to use it.
– Emergency life button. One of the obvious usages is to “pause” the game without actually pausing everything. There are 2 aspects to note on this skill if you use it this way. First, the increase healing. At level 7, this skill increase Sora at E2 Lv1’s regens from 27.8 to 194.6 HP/s, which is nothing to scoff at. Perfumer on the same level (without skill) can only provide a regen of 12.8 HP/s, plus her normal healing of 256 per attack, which is 256/2.85 = 89.8 HP/s, for a total of 102.6 HP/s, and Perfumer can only heal 3 persons at most with her normal heal.
So far so good, the important aspect though, is the “stun” option. When would you ever need a strong healing? When your operators are under heavy pressures, or just straight up dying. Aside from loooong range enemies, this skill now both provides a strong healing when your operators are under strong aggression, AND stops said attackers from continue attacking. You can say, it provides a moment of respite for your team. However, it doesn’t affect bosses that are immune to stun, like Faust, or FrostNova in her first “life”.
But remember that this skill only last 7 seconds, which according to my gf, is not a long time. After these 7 seconds though, your operators should be refreshed, ready for round 2, or potentially even kickstarting a comeback.
You may be thinking “Would this just delaying the inevitable, considering my operators are weak enough to be needing a pause button to begin with?” There are a few cases where that is the correct thought, but, consider this as well: Sora E0 Lv1 SL1 can also do the above thing just fine (maybe not the heal, but you’d already use a normal healer already, regardless if you have Sora or not) so your resources are not needed for Sora yet. Which means you can still have decent operators raised and do this technique at the same time. Plus, sometimes, you just need a little boost to complete the stage. I’m sure most of you have nearly completed a stage before only to fail because some mofo leaked… okay maybe it still counts as “not strong enough” operators. Still, it leaves more room for errors, turning your narrow defeat to a victory…maybe.
– Delay, gather, and execute. Aside from saving your allies by stopping the enemies, you can also deliberately stop the enemies earlier with the intention to swiftly deal with them rather than waiting until things gone bad to use the first method, or to ensure their death. This skill has no limit on how many enemies are slept and applies constantly throughout the duration. Which means, when activate, the stream of enemies is going to stack and gather themselves at the edge of the skill range. Since there’s an orange bar running to indicate the duration left, you can easily time any skill to start the execution. Though keep in mind, if those skills aren’t enough to obliterate them, you’re in for a beating. At that point though, the problem isn’t Sora herself.
For example, if you have Ch’en’s S2 ready, using this skill will stack more mobs into Ch’en’s range for 1 ez unsheathe. I would like to use a different example, but I’d like to avoid bringing her in every single guide as well.
Another aspect of this skill is, since the skill last 7s, all of your allies effectively restore 7 SP during that time (9.1 with Ptilopsis E2). Exceptions are of course the SP-on-attack and SP-on-hit one, but it’s still worth noting. There could be more methods/scenarios to use this skill, but I believe these two listed should be the better method most of the time, and less circumstance specific (don’t quote me on this). Feel free to add more in the comments.
Second skill: Hymn of Battle
This skill is a fun one. When activated, it gives all allies in her range a percentage of Sora’s ATK as bonus ATK. That is to say, if Sora has 300 ATK and the skill can spread 50%, everyone in her range will now receive an extra 150 ATK. It’s just an example because this skill at level 1 already spread 70%. The scaling is also slow as well. Usually, a skill has a big spike at level 4, 7, and 10 (M3). So coincidentally, each time this skill reaches those milestones, it increases the % of the skill by 10%. However, the duration increases with every level normally. At level 7, Sora can share 90% of her ATK to everyone in range, sang for 20 seconds, and has a cooldown of 45s (but remember the talent, and also can anyone confirm for me if it actually restores 22.5 SP or just 22 rounded down, and drops to 34.62s with E2 Ptilopsis, 32.14s with E2 Suzuran), and has 20 initial SP.
→ Because it is just a flat number increase, the effect of this skill is actually stronger the lower the surrounding ally’s ATK. This ATK boost doesn’t get counted for basic attack buff but is calculated before any skill multipliers. So, this skill does better the lower an ally’s base attack and/or the higher their skill multiplier. Allies with AoE/multi-target attack also benefits strongly from this skill, due to however many times it is applied per attack.
So that’s all there is to this skill, right? An about average attack buff to everyone in her range. Well yes, but actually n…there are a lot more to consider.
First, Sora’s range. It’s really small. You can at most use this skill on 12 other operators, which is actually more than what you could bring in a squad, but they all have to clump together around Sora. This is actually not possible most of the time.
Second, how the skill works. It shares a percentage of Sora’s ATK to everyone as bonus ATK. However, at E2, she has the 2nd lowest attack in the game (side info: Perfumer has the lowest). At skill level 7, it can share 90% of Sora’s ATK to everyone, and at 0 trust E2 Lv31, Sora has 300 ATK. That’s 270 bonus ATK to all allies around her, lasting 20 seconds. (note that at M3, it will be 100% of Sora’s ATK lasting 30s)
So now we got ourselves a question. When will we need a bonus of about 260~300 ATK to allies in a certain area over a new operator that do damage normally that also doesn’t get limited in space?
Let’s roll the old enablers/DPS argument from the Pramanix guide, but we’re ramping this up. Because at least, PMN has a way to deal damage by herself, and there’s good argument that she deals decent enough DPS (like I sorta made in her guide). Sora has no damage to enemies by herself at all, which is to say, she has to completely rely on her ally to deal damage. If the allies she’s supporting suck, tough luck. (insert “my carry sucks when I play support, so I’m stuck at 2k/bronze” complains)
The bonus ATK is not that great either, unless you’re investing a lot to Sora, she can boost about 290 average (estimated number not real math). Most highly use DPS operators actually have double that. Most extreme case is Firewatch who has near 4 times Sora’s ATK (dammit I can’t stop myself). Regardless, what this means is, Sora’s ATK boost, as a percentage, usually only reach about 30-50% boost for most regular used operators.
So why am I converting the buff to a percentage? Well it’s pretty obvious. Let’s get our favorite vampire buffer in the show now! Just kidding, that topic is going to seriously double the length of this post, and it’s not going to be a pretty showcase (no spoilers kappa). After all, this is supposed to be, quote, “highlight post” for Sora only. It’s here just in case you actually want it.
Speaking of her though, there’s one more thing for this skill, it apply whatever ATK value Sora has on cast. Basically, if Warfarin buffs Sora and then Sora uses her S2, all of the ATK values get counted for the sharing %, but not with the other order. And remember, the more ATK Sora has, the more she can heal. I’d like it if Sora’s S2 also applies to herself, since there would be no looping bug involve with its mechanic. If it does that, Sora can boost everyone’s ATK and also increase her slightly small heal during the skill.
To summarize, Sora’s 2nd skill has many limitations. But, as long as you can put about 2 or 3 allies in her range, she can provide more damage than no other buffers can, and for a decent duration too with enough investment. Being a flat number increment, it is more effective the lower the unit ATK is, which has some weird implications to it. First, it means she works better with lower rarity operators, since they usually have lower attack. Second, there is no second. The skill being an area buff means that, unlike Warfarin, she can buff to Defender, Healer, and any DPS at once, given that they are in her range. Given enough number of operators (about 2-3) in her range, she can buff more than what Warfarin can, which is surprisingly easy to do as of now, but probably not in later maps, as I heard from others. Just like with Pramanix though, having 2 skills that is on 2 spectrum of things means that, you can only choose one at a time.