Should You Pull (Aug 11, 2017)
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Original Post / Discussion: DefiantHermit's Should You Pull? Nier Automata Banner - Aug 11
Hello everyone, /u/DefiantHermit here with finally Nier!
Nothing to write here this time, just reminding everyone that the ratings are my own biased opinion and are not meant to be a comparison factor and shouldn't be the focus of the review.
So without further ado, here's my analysis for the Nier Automata Banner!
Unit Overviews[edit | edit source]
2B[edit | edit source]
|Rarity||5 - 6|
Glory to mankind, 2B and Co. are finally here and it’s time to see if she can live up the hype. Base 155 ATK (+34 with pots) is fantastic and there’s a whopping, unrestricted +80% ATK passive to back it up, for an amazing total of 340 ATK.
Equipment selection is excellent, as 2B is able to wield Swords, Greatswords, Katanas, Axes, Hammers, Spears, Knuckles and Throwing Weapons and wear Clothes, Light and Heavy Armour, Hats and Helms. The unrestricted ATK passives and innate Dual Wield allow you to build 2B however way you like and she has access to all current major weapon types. Access to Throwing Weapons and a finishing move opens up a Fixed Dice build possibility, but you’ll see in a bit how that isn’t viable at the moment.
Unfortunately, they decided to add a gimmick to 2B’s skillset, requiring setup turns to unlock the true potential of most her relevant skills. Before we get into the meat of the set, three relevant supporting skills are Code-E (+100% Damage vs Machines) as an upgraded machine-killer, Retry (80% Chance Ignore Fatal Blow when HP is above 10% (Max:1)) as some nuke avoidance and Auto-Avoid (20% Physical Dodge & 10% Magic Dodge), granting some neat innate dodge.
Her setup skills are centered around Pod Charge (Self 1 Turn 20% HP Auto-Revive), which adds a rather weak auto-revive and unlocks stronger version of several of her skills. R040: Blade (If Used After Pod Charge: 3x 250% AoE 5 Hits Physical Attack | Else 250% AoE 5 Hits Physical Attack) provides some AoE damage with very long frames between hits (40!) and no viable partners; after Pod Charge, the damage skyrockets to 750% per cast.
R50: Spear (If Used After Pod Charge: 550% AoE 6 Hits Physical Attack & Self 2 Turns +100% Damage vs Machines) | Else 275% ST 6 Hits Physical Attack & Self 2 Turns +100% Damage vs Machines)) acts as one of her chaining skills with better frames (5 between hits) and partners (most budget chainers share the 5 frames between hits: Chizuru, Setzer, Amelia, Bran). It also has a boosted Machine killer for when you really want to stomp some robots. While the ST -> AoE upgrade after Pod Charge is a minor setback, the modifier increase is simply double, so there’s no net damage gain by charging this.
Finally, A150: Volt (If Used After Pod Charge: 400% ST 1 Hit Physical Attack & ST 6 Turns -65% Lightning Resist & Self 6 Turns Add Lightning to Attacks | Else: 200% ST 1 Hit Physical Attack & 5 Turns -50% Lightning Resist) brings her Imperil to the table and acts as a pretty decent finisher. Unfortunately, there are currently no decent Lightning weapons for her to equip, so unless you have a better/different Imperil source (which would be the ideal case), you really want to have Pod Charge used so you get the Lightning imbue. The upside is that the duration of 6 turns is quite impressive and applying this won’t be that much of a hit in your damage.
If that wasn’t enough, her actual main chainers are locked behind a different setup, using Avoid (Self 3 Turns Evade Attacks (Max:2) & Self 2 Turn 20% chance to Physical Counter (550% Mod) & Grant Avoid: Attack for 1 Turn). In of itself, Avoid doesn’t add much to the character aside from some avoidance, but it unlocks Avoid: Attack (900% ST 8 Hits Physical Attack) as a ridiculously high modifier chainer. Since we can’t just leave it at that and be happy, it shares a rather crappy frame data of 9 frames between hits, only allowing her to chain with a copy, A2 Knight Delita and future Glauca. All of them, except for a copy, have different hitcount
After using Avoid: Attack, you get the option to follow up with Speed Attack (If Used After Avoid: Attack 600% ST 10 Hits Physical Attack | Else 400% ST 10 Hits Physical Attack), but that’s not really a good idea. The per turn modifier gained from adding Speed Attack to your rotation is not significant enough to handle its severe drawbacks: different frame data (7 frames between hits), which means this rotation only works with another 2B and, more importantly, a move animation, which breaks the chain in the middle if not macroing, severely reducing your overall modifiers.
To finish everything off (sorry if this is too long!), 2B has access to Self Destruct: 2B (Lose 99% HP & Cast 999% AoE 1 Hit Physical Attack - Cannot Cast Twice) as a ridiculously strong finisher. This coupled with “innate” Imperil and elemental imbue almost screams a Fixed Dice build, but this is currently bugged (or it’s a feature™) and won’t accept elements or killers, really knocking down the potential finishing burst. It does ignore physical/magical immunities, so that’s something to look forward to on 10-man trials.
Global Trust Mastery Rating: Virtuous Contract - +130 ATK, +20% MP - Katana - 9.5/10
Ridiculously strong and not locked to any element. This is basically free from raid moogles if you get 2B, so there’s not much haggling needed here, just grab it and equip it.
Why would you want 2B?: Character bias aside, because she’s a very strong damage dealer, capable of working both as a chainer and as a finisher. If you can provide an Imperil from another source, her 2 turn Avoid -> Avoid: Attack Rotation is enough to surpass the per turn modifiers of most top tier chainers. If you can’t, a full 8 turn rotation where you set her Imperil + Lightning Imbue up before going into the Avoid combos is still enough to match their modifiers.
The heavy downside from this is that if you can bring finishers, they’ll be severely hampered by the lack of a capped chain during half of your turns, which will severely drop your damage. Also, even though getting multiple 2B friends is going to be extremely easy in the near future, her usage should dwindle in the next few months, which leaves you some awkward, also rare, partners to chain with.
Her finishing kit is currently bugged out due to an inability to attach elements and killers, so unless you want some reduced damage, you’re better off using her as a chainer, for now.
That said, damage is really all 2B does, as there are virtually no party supporting skills or any relevant non-damaging skill. That’s not bad, though, as her damage is pretty damn high, despite not being on-demand.
What about the future? No enhancements yet for 2B, so fingers crossed for some juicy ones!
A2[edit | edit source]
|Rarity||5 - 6|
Our GL exclusive 5 Android is coming to rival 2B and hopefully live up to the bar set by previous GL exclusives. Starting with stats, base 153 ATK (+34 with pots) is fantastic and while there are no standard +%ATK passives, she comes with a variety of weapon masteries to provide precious ATK boosts.
Alongside an innate Dual Wield (Wield two single-handed weapons), her available masteries are: Small Sword Proficiency (+30% ATK & +20% DEF when equipped with Swords), Large Sword Proficiency (+50% ATK when equipped with Greatsword), Piercing Mastery (+30% ATK & +20% SPR when equipped with Spears) and Combat Master (+30% ATK/HP when equipped with Knuckles). Her most common build should provide excellent +80% ATK, more than matching other 5 units.
Equipment selection is excellent, being able to wield Swords, Greatswords, Katanas, Spears, Hammers, Axes, Knuckles and Throwing Weapons and wear Clothes, Light and Heavy Armours, Hats and Helms. A2 can equip all of the current major weapon types, makes excellent use of Aigaion’s fist with LB synergy and the possibility of equipping Throwing Weapons opens up a possible Fixed Dice build.
Aside from the masteries, notable passives are Auto-Avoid (20% Physical Dodge & 10% Magic Dodge), providing some innate dodge, Retry (80% Chance Ignore Fatal Blow when HP is above 10% (Max:1)), providing some nuke assurance and Attacker Type 2 (+100% Physical Damage vs Machines), providing excellent machine killer.
There’s also Avoid Counter Attack (30% Chance Counter Physical Attacks with 300% ST 1 Hit Physical Attack & Self 3 Turn Evade 2 Attacks (max: 2), which provides some solid counter chance with added avoidance.
A2 has some serious LB support in Drop Rate Up +8 (+150% LB Fill Rate) and a combo of Inherit Will (Self 100% HP/MP Recover & Grant Inherited Memories for 1 Turn), which provides an excellent full heal and unlocks Inherited Memories (Self 5 Turn +50% DEF & Fill LB Gauge), which completely fills her LB bar. With a Knuckles build, you can just forgo the 2 turn combo setup and your LB should be filled up extremely fast. The LB itself is Berserk (330% -> 450% AoE 1 Hit Physical Attack & Self 4 Turn +200% -> +250% ATK & Self X Damage split over 4 Turns). It costs a measly 18 crystals and provides A2 her finisher, alongside a godly ATK buff, at the cost of some self damage (I’ll edit the numbers in as soon as we know them!). When fully leveled, the self buff grants her an absurd +467 ATK, which is +382 ATK over Embolden and +280 ATK over +100% ATK buffs (RIP Ramza). I know I’m repeating myself at this point, but holy cow, that’s too much and makes any of her possible flaws minuscule to the damage gain this provides.
Her on-demand damaging kit is comprised of Dash Attack (400% ST 7 Hits Physical Attack & Grant Finisher and Heavy Attack for 1 Turn), which has an unfortunate frame data (7-7-8-8-16-8) and thus can only chain with a copy. The unlocked skills are Finisher (600% ST 1 Hit Physical Attack), which is an excellent nuke and Heavy Attack (330% AoE 10 Hits Physical Attack), which is a more stable chainer at 9-frames, but has poor modifiers and lack of good chaining partners.
Her better chaining choice is Offensive Heal Combo (500% ST 7 Hits Physical Attack & 10% as 100% HP Drain) with stable 9-frames and excellent modifiers. The lack of chaining partners is a real concern, though, as you only have a copy, 2B and Knight Delita sharing frames (2B and K.Delita not sharing the hitcount). Once again, even though it will be easy to find many A2 friends in the near future, being a time-limited unit will drag that number down.
Global Trust Mastery Rating: Beastlord - +125 ATK, +20% DEF, Grants Beast Roar - Greatsword - 9.5/10
Also a free materia if you grab A2, this is currently the strongest elementless greatsword released. Beast Roar (150% AoE 1 Hit Physical Attack) is just Bladeblitz, so meh.
Why would you want A2?: Did you miss the +250% ATK spammable LB part? A2 ATK stat is freaking insane! Assuming that there are no stupid walking animations, she’s a proficient chainer with a serious lack of partners and a decent finisher, although not on-demand.
A2’s main weaknesses, aside from the aforementioned lack of chaining partners, are the inexistence of innate Imperils and no elemental imbuers. Even though we’re also getting an Imperil debuffer on this same banner and there are definitely other excellent support options (like enhanced Ace), the lack of an innate Imperil means that it takes an extra setup/support step for A2 to really shine and, more importantly, makes a mess of her weapon selection, specially since she needs a copy to perfectly chain.
While there are very good - and common - elemental weapon choices (mainly Excalibur + Aigaion’s Fist), you’ll find all sorts of A2 builds on your friendlist, even completely elementless ones. Elemental matching for chaining is that big of a deal, as it accounts for quite a chunk of a chainer’s damage.
Not only that, but no elemental skills or imbues significantly hampers FD builds, both as finisher and chainer as you’re losing potential >+50% damage from Imperils.
That said, I truly believe her LB to be one of the most bonker skills yet released in the game and more than enough to offset her drawbacks.
What about the future? She’s literally just been launched, so no enhancements. Her usability will be extremely high until Nier friends fade out.
9S[edit | edit source]
|Rarity||4 - 6|
9S is another one of those highly anticipated 4 units that are more desired than most 5 units and you’ll see just why. Even though you’ll mainly use him as a debuffer, there are some neat offensive skills, so he comes with a decent base 140 ATK (+30 with pots), with a single +30% ATK for a usable total of 221 ATK.
Equipment selection is great, as he’s able to wield Swords, Greatswords, Katanas, Axes, Hammers, Spears, Knuckles and Throwing Weapons and wear Clothes, Light and Heavy Armours, Small Shields, Hats and Helms. Great weapon selection for support and damage alike, with a broad armour selection to boot.
Offensive skillset is comprised of Suicide Bomb: 9S (Lose 99% HP + 999% AoE 1 Hit Physical Attack - Cannot Dual Wield) as a massive nuker that, unfortunately, can’t be cast twice and doesn’t take killers/elements into account.
There’s also a supporting kit for counters with Counter (30% Chance to Counter Physical Attacks) and Just Avoidance (20% Physical Dodge & 20% Counter Physical Attacks with Grant Counter Attack for 1 Turn), offering some innate dodge and unlocking a neat chainer on Counter Attack (180% ST 5 Hits Physical Attack + Ignore 50% DEF - normalized to 360%). It has 10-Frames between hits, so can reliably chain with Reberta/Fohlen.
His support skillset is comprised of fantastic breaks in Purge: Magic (ST 3 Turns -50% MAG/SPR) and Purge: Melee (ST 3 Turns -50% ATK/DEF), with updated numbers, providing 10% extra damage over -45% offensive breaks and 18% extra damage reduction over -45% defensive breaks.
9S also has access to multi-imperil abilities in Element Purge: Fire, Thunder and Wind (ST 3 Turns -50% Fire/Thunder/Wind Resists) and Element Purge: Ice, Water and Earth (ST 3 Turns -50% Ice/Water/Earth Resists), which allow 9S to facilitate a multitude of chains and teams that lack innate Imperils.
Finally, there’s an on-demand damage mitigation in Spread Shield (AoE 3 Turns +30% Damage Mitigation), offering the same numbers as Rikku, without the setup turn. Even though there’s no innate LB support, his role as a support unit might allow for some LB boosting equipment, so he can reliably use his (625% -> 865% ST 1 Hit Physical Attack & ST 3 Turns -30% -> -54% ATK/DEF/MAG/SPR & 100% Chance to Virus). It provides a strong finisher, an amazing fullbreak (when properly leveled) and a bonus virus infliction.
Global Trust Mastery Rating: Pod 153 - +8 DEF/SPR, Grants A120, A170, A060 and R020 - Accessory - 10/10
- A120 (AoE ~3000 HP Heal w/ 9x Mod split over 3 Turns) basically provides a Curaga per turn at ~1500 HP at 300 SPR
- A170 (100% Treasure Hunter) is Placebo Effect +1
- A060 (AoE 2 Turns 40% Physical Damage Mitigation) is an amazing ability against physical based attacks that stack multiplicatively with standard mitigation abilities
- R020 (300% AoE 8 Hit Physical Attack) is a “budget chainer” with 10-frames between hits
This pod is simply nuts. The 40% on-demand physical mitigation is unmatched by anything we’ve seen thus far (and will stay like this for a while) and stacks with standard mitigation abilities, allowing for some serious damage reduction.
This would be a 10/10 just with this ability, but nope, there’s a very decent chaining skill attached, that has 3 excellent noteworthy uses:
- It allows mediocre units that have otherwise great stats, equipment selection and skillset to become chainers and deal respectable damage
- It allows Mog King units to become chainers and deal great damage against the ever increasing difficulty of the dungeons
- It allows players to have handy chaining partners during 10-man trials, where you are unable to bring a friend unit to act as a partner.
- If that wasn’t enough, you slap a decent heal and placebo effect as icing on this wonderful cake.
Why would you want 9S?: Do you remember Tim from last week? Well, 9S is basically Tim’s 6: he’s a beastly support unit, providing fantastic breaks, Imperils for almost all elements bundled in just 2 skills, on-demand damage mitigation and even some finishing potential from time to time. His LB is a tad weaker than Tim’s, but at 54%, it’s still +13% mitigation over -45% breaks and +5% over his innate -50% breaks.
If that wasn’t enough, he has one of the most broken TMRs in the game, providing a whopping -40% Physical mitigation, that goes along with standard mitigation skills and a budget chainer that has multiple uses.
What about the future? No enhancements for 9S yet, so keep on the lookout!
Eve[edit | edit source]
|Rarity||4 - 6|
Eve should have been a freaking raid gacha unit and if you compare his skillset to Adam, it’s abundantly clear. I really wanted to leave his review at that, because it’s disgusting, but eh. Base 142 ATK (+26 with pots) is okay and there’s a decent +40% ATK from passives backing it up to an underwhelming total of 235 ATK.
His equipment selection is crappy, as the only weapons he can wield are Knuckles and Throwing Weapons. His armour selection is a bit better, with Robes, Clothes, Light Armour and Hats. Throwing weapons and a finisher role leaves a FD build open.
Notable passives are Null Paralysis (+100% Resistance to Paralyze) grants him paralysis immunity, Katana Evade (Self 3 Turn Evade 1 Attack (max: 1) when HP < 50%) provides a small survivability bonus on peril and Machine Killer (+50% Physical Damage vs Machines) is literally what the name suggests.
Eve has access to a crisis buff on Meaningless World (Self 3 Turn +150% ATK/MAG/DEF/SPR when HP < 5%). The catch here is that not only does it have a very short duration, but 5% HP threshold is not easy to achieve at all and Eve has no innate skill to support this.
Aside from that, there’s Gather Machine Scraps (Self 3 Turn 50% Damage Mitigation & Self ~800 Heal + 25x Mod split over 3 turns) which is Swipe Down with a HoT attached and Corruption (Self 5 Turn +50% ATK/DEF) as an okay self buff, but one that doesn’t really compete with major party buffs.
As far as damaging skills go, Eve has access to Pillar of Light (400% ST 2 Hit Physical Attack) that can be used as a finisher (even though it has 2 hits) with good modifier or Roundhouse Kick (350% ST 1 Hit Physical Attack) if your chain length is shorter.
Finally, Eve has LB support through Network Connection (+150% LB Fill Rate) as an upgraded High Tide. The LB itself is EVERYTHING MUST DIE! (600% -> 840% 5 Hit Physical Attack & 50% -> 74% Chance to Paralyze), unfortunately not a nuker, but with an excellent modifier, increasing the viability of a DH or FD build.
Global Trust Mastery Rating: Resentment - +30% HP & Self 3 Turn +110% DEF when HP < 30% - Materia - 8.5/10
Even though Resentment is exactly what I feel right now, this is a massive improvement to what was once thought his TMR would be. 30% HP is excellent and while the crisis buff is turn limited, it’s a nice bonus.
Why would you want Eve?: Because of his TMR. As a unit, just like Adam, Eve can be used as an okay “finisher”. Due to the poor weapon selection, a FD build focus on his LB is where you’ll get the most out of him.
What about the future? He’s just been released so nothing we can even guess about enhancements. As far as usability goes, you very likely have better damage dealers to use.
21O[edit | edit source]
|Rarity||3 - 5|
The unfortunate 5 of this banner is the lovely Operator 21O! She sports a good base 112 ATK (+16 wih pots), but there are no passives to back it up.
Equipment selection is short, but decent, as she’s able to wield Swords, Katanas, Spears, Knuckles and Throwing Weapons and wear Clothes, Light Armour and Hats.
Most of her skillset is mediocre in the current meta, but they’re far from useless on their own. Support All: 21O (AoE 3 Turns +40% ATK/DEF) is basically Cheer and there’s a couple of stronger, ST buffs in Support One: DEF/SPR (ST 2 Turns +80% DEF/SPR) and Support One: ATK/MAG (ST 2 Turns +80% ATK/MAG).
Aside from that, there’s Data Analysis (ST Scan Enemy & ST 3 Turns -30% All Resists), acting as a budget Imperil and Material Transfer (Cast: (50%) AoE Heal (400 Base + 3x Mod) | (30%) AoE Heal (1000 Base + 3.4x Mod) | (20%) AoE Heal (2500 Base + 18x Mod)), which can heal from 800 to a whopping 5200, at 300 SPR.
Lastly, her LB is a status inducer, as (400% -> 590% ST 1 Hit Physical Attack & 30% -> 68% Chance to inflict all Ailments (Max:3)), but there’s no innate support and it’s obviously not on-demand.
Global Trust Mastery Rating: Mechanical Heart - +15% HP/SPR & 30% Chance to Counter Phys/Mag with Self Heal 800 Base + 1x Mod - Materia - 9/10
A surprisingly good materia for tanks (and basically everyone else on your team) that’s basically given for free with raid moogles. HP and SPR on the same materia, better numbers than the usual free 10% ones and a very strong counter, that’s able to heal your tanks back to full without a healer’s support.
Unfortunately, Goomi decided this was too good and made it unstackable. Sigh. Still a great materia to have.
Why would you want 21O?: For her TMR. She’s got some interesting skills for a 5 unit, but they don’t make her usable or desirable on a team, so just grab that TMR and stash away.
What about the future? No enhancements or 6 for 21O, so we can only hope.
|Rarity||4 - 6|
Adam is our single raid unit because reasons Gdi, Goomi >_> and even though he works as a budget damage dealer, he just isn’t up to par. Base 142 ATK (+26 with pots) is okay, but there are no ATK passives to back it up, leading to a god-awful 168 ATK.
Equipment selection doesn’t help him, as the only weapons he can equip are Knuckles and Throwing Weapons, which basically leaves us a Fixed Dice LB finisher build as viable option. His armour selection is okay, with Robes, Clothes, Light Armour and Hats.
Supporting skillset consists of a useless Damage Cut (Self 1 Turn 50% Damage Mitigation), which is Swipe Down for 8 MP that unlocks a better version of his finisher: Cube Explosion (If Used After Damage Cut: 500% AoE 1 Hit Physical Attack & 3 Turn -40% DEF Debuff | Else: 225% AoE 1 Hit Physical Attack & 3 Turn -40% DEF Debuff). Since the modifiers are just doubled and no other effect is added, there’s no point in performing the “combo”.
There’s two crisis buffs that trigger at different thresholds: Sever Network (When HP <30%, 3 Turns +80% DEF/SPR) and Raw Feelings (When HP <5%, 3 Turns +150% ATK/DEF/MAG/SPR). Unfortunately, unlike other crisis buffs, these are timed and the relevant one on Raw Feelings is extremely hard to proc, as he has no innate support for it.
Bullet Wave (Self 1 Turn +50% Damage Mitigation & 1 Turn Delayed 500% AoE 4 Hits Physical Attack) is like a jump skill that takes no setup turn which can probably be spark chained with a copy, but has a rather mediocre modifier. There’s an innate Machine Killer (+50% Damage vs Machines), Confusion immunity with Confusion Resistance (+100% Confuse Resist) and LB support in Longing for Humanity (+100% LB Fill Rate).
The LB itself is (690% -> 810% ST 1 Hit Physical Attack & Self 3 Turn +80% ->+104% ATK), which is a pretty good nuke that provides a fantastic self ATK buff for Adam. Building him with an LB centered Finisher build with Fixed Dice seems like the “best” way to go.
Global Trust Mastery Rating: Vengeful Wrath - +20% HP, Self 3 Turns +110% ATK when below 30% HP - Materia - 8.5/10
Read this as a free +20% HP materia and you’ll be quite satisfied with it already, as it’s a direct upgrade to many free materia available in the past. The crisis buff is unfortunately timed, but provides a pretty hefty ATK buff if you can trigger it.
Why would you want Adam?: For his TMR. It’s a free +20% HP materia with a bonus crisis buff. You should be pulling a lot on the raid banner and you’ll be getting a lot of Adams, so make sure to stock on these to upgrade any unit using a weaker materia.
As a unit, Adam can work as a Fixed Dice LB finisher, but even that is extremely sketchy and you very likely have better options.
What about the future? No enhancements for Adam, but there’s definitely some room to improve on the unit.
Should You Pull?[edit | edit source]
Have you been living under a rock? Yes, absolutely pull for at least 2 copies of 9S. His TMR is fantastic and you'd actually be happy with any unit pull on this banner due to their TMRs and free moogles from raid.
9S isn't just a TMR fodder, though, as he acts as a fantastic breaker, Imperil applier and overall support unit. Eve... is another copy of Adam, with an LB centered build, but nothing out of the ordinary. His TMR is pretty great, though.
For whales, both 5 units are great. 2B is an excellent chainer that unfortunately needs constant setups to perform well, and can also work as a nuke finisher. A2 is just nuts, sporting one of the craziest LBs in the game, a fantastic chaining move and a not-on-demand finishing potential.
If you're not a whale and pulled either 5, yaaaay!
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