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My question is coming because I realize that for a lot of modes I have to shift my focus. I have been working on getting a wide variety of characters 5*, level 40. I am realizing that for some of these modes I really need to be focusing more getting a few specific units as plus 10s. So, I am back in feather mode and trying to collect these units to be killing machines. It just makes me wonder what other people are working on - your arena teams? Finishing all of the auxiliary story modes? Pestering developers about a trading mode like Pokémon? Just curious. I feel like I learn a lot about how many of you are successful in what you do. I think if I can get a few great units I can move out of this Arena 17-18 loop I have been in.
Not sure if this will be novel enough to stand on its own, but I might go through some other builds later. I have inherited so much crap onto her that I could probably play around with a lot of builds. Though many would be lacking 5* exclusive skills(so regular Brave Axe, not Brave Axe+). So lets start off with her base kit and stats. Amelia - Rose of the War Neutral Max Stats HP ATK SPD DEF RES 47 34 34 35 23 Res boon/bane is +4/-3 Default Skill Set Weapon: Slaying Axe+ Assist: [None] Special: Holy Vestments/Sacred Cowl A Slot Passive: Earth Boost B Slot Passive: [None] C Slot Passive: Armor March Now onto the build. Amelia and an armor buddy with Hone Armor have been the core of my 2 bonus tempest trial runs pretty much since I have gotten her. Obviously her C-Skill is set since you need Armor March for speed. This is a Heavy Blade build which doesn't really appear on any site as a basic set to my knowledge. And frankly I figured it would be kind of a silly build. I mostly went with it due to her artwork and the fact that I had an -Atk Ike I wasn't ever planning to use. This is a lubriciously expensive build. But enough preamble. Boon/Bane: +ATK/-[flexible] Weapon: Slaying Axe+ (SPD) Assist: Reposition/[flexible] Special: Aether A Skill: Heavy Blade 3 B Skill: Vantage 3 C Skill: Armor March 3 Seal: [flexible] Analysis Boon/Bane: With 34 base attack she sits 1 below Ike. However, with Ragnell, neutral Ike sits 3 points of attack above her. ATK bane Ike isn't exactly a good user of Heavy Blade, so Amelia really needs the +3 to her attack. Ideally you would leave her speed untouched, however, with a speed bane you could still treat her similarly to a neutral Ike since they would then have equal ATK(once Ragnell is factored in) and SPD. Mine is an HP bane, but frankly any of the defense banes aren't going to hurt her much. Either way she will still have equal or better defensive stats than Ike. I just picked HP since I had a choice and this way she is just a plain bulkier Ike(Same HP and effective attack as a neutral Ike, but faster, tougher, and more resistant) with access to better buffs. Weapon: Honestly this is mostly a 'meh, good enough' thing for me. The reduced cooldown doesn't really have much of an impact on when Aether releases when combined with Heavy Blade. It does have some synergy with Quickened Pulse allowing her to fire Aether off on her second attack after being countered/attacked, but that can actually reduce her sustain a bit since the foe will likely have low HP at that point(though it can be useful on Bulky reds to try and finish them but that is generally ill-advised). It also works well with Bridal Lyn and Candlelight. Disabling counter and then doubling will fully charge Aether, setting you up to easily absorb an attack on the Enemy Phase. Basically it may not be an OMG this is an awesome weapon to combine with Heavy Blade. But it is cheap, has some fringe benefits that aren't difficult to make use of, and has solid mt for a non-legendary. Refinement: I had to come back and edit this in, I forgot about refinement. I picked spd for the simple reason that doubling is important and with an attack boon she has enough attack the vast majority of the time. That and I just find the +2 attack to be sad. However, it could make your neutral attack Amelia more useful for this build. Particularly if yours was a SPD boon. Then the only difference would be 1 less attack compared to mine and it is rather rare where that would have made a difference(actually I don't think I can recall a single instance where 1 attack would have been the difference) Possible Alternatives(not tested in the Tempest): Slaying Hammer+ (Solid MT, can be useful against Tempest Trial armor bosses and Armor teams in the arena. Math wise it looks like even the old weak Hammer+ could pull that off, but you would miss some Heavy Blade activation on higher ATK foes, so I wouldn't have offered it as a suggestion for this build pre-refinement) Melon Crusher+ (Solid MT, stat boosts at full HP synergizes well with a sustain build like this, but I don't have a S!Tiki to sacrifice so I am not sure how much help it would be, but in Tempest my Amelia is often at full HP when getting ready to take a hit. But as you may have surmised from above I do often have a healer on hand) Legion's Axe+ (Solid MT, Panic effect isn't as useful against the AI as against actual players in my experience since it dosn't handle proximity buffs well, but still handy at times) Basically, other than giving her a hammer other solid options tend to involve a limited unit of some kind and the benefits are rather minor compared to the cost. I personally don't see it worth the extra cost when Slaying Axe not only has some synergy, but comes built in. Assist: Frankly assists are almost always, 'go with whatever your team needs'. As such it is kinda pointless to make a list of alternatives. However, I will use this section to say one thing. If you are using a Candlelight user you will want the armor buddy to have swap so that you can reliably keep the two armors together. Even without a Candlelight user if you are using any range assistance swap is a solid choice for your armor buddy. That said thanks to armor march letting you ignore forest movement cost this isn't quite as big a deal as it could be. Special: When it comes to heavy blade users you are generally going to use a longer charge special. Aether is the obvious pick. I have tried Bonefire, Ignis, Sol, and Luna. None of which worked better than Aether for this build, it wasn't even close. Possible Alternatives(not tested in the Tempest): Galeforce (Good ol'Brave Roy has shown everyone what a painful experience Heavy Blade + Galeforce can be. In this case you would be relying on killing faster than you can be attacked, rather than pure sustain. Combine this with the need to keep her and her armor buddy together and it just doesn't sound like it would work as well as Aether) AOE Specials (They are now 4 turn, 3 with slaying axe. So if she is attacked by someone she can't double it will be charged for your phase. However, this don't improve sustain so I can't see it outperforming Aether. I should inherit some to test for the next trial. Just for curiosity's sake) A Skill: . . . Do I need to write this up? This is kinda the whole point of the build. Unless your name is Roy you kinda need Heavy Blade here to have a Heavy Blade build. B Skill: The skills my Amelia has access to are Renewal 3, Quick Riposte 2, and Vantage 3. And I have found that Vantage FAR out performs the other two. Simply put it is easy for her to kill units on the counter and have a charged Aether for the next baddy that lines up to hit her. This can either be consecutive attacks on enemy phase or because you attack and killed a unit on your phase but didn't/couldn't get a healer to her before the enemy phase. Either way Vantage+Aether keeps her going when she otherwise would have fallen. And that is exactly the point of this build. Someone who can cleave through an endless horde of enemies while needing to stop to be healed as little as possible. Given the vast performance difference I experienced I would be tempted to say there is no competition between those three. Possible Alternatives(not tested in the Tempest): Wrath 3 (I lack fodder so I have no practical experience but on paper this could give her a bigger heal and with Quickened Pulse could give an obscenely fast Aether proc. It would mostly be overkill so I imagine Vantage would still be better, but given how close some of her losing matchups are I could see this turning the tide) Wary Fighter 3 (Didn't bother killing an Effie for this. While it would make her tougher to kill, you need to go fast in the Tempest and she would miss a lot of kills if she couldn't double them. I can't see this out performing Vantage, but haven't tried it) C Skill: You have no choice. Without the 2 move you won't clear the maps quick enough and risk dropping your speed to a B which hurts your score far worse than losing a team does. Though as said above your armor buddy should really have Hone Armor. Amelia being the Honer kinda defeats the purpose of this build so she has to be the one running Armor March 3. Seal: Quickened Pulse can be interesting, but I find it causes Aether to fire at more inopportune times than without. However, it does have its uses if you are finding it hard to double Armor Buddy: Brave Lance Effie. Simply put Amelia can handle the majority of what you are going to face. However, there are a few reds that can give her issues either due to bulk or due to risk of being murdered. Pests that Effie deals with either in the Arena or the Tempest: Hinata (With his Ruby Sword, an ATK Boon, Attack +3 Seal, and Honed Amelia will do 0 damage to him. Meanwhile he has plenty of attack to pierce Amelia's defenses, though it'll still take him two engagements. This is a bad match up. That is unless Effie punches him in the face. Then we have Hinata confetti) Seth (Or as I call him Hinata on a horse. Same basic problem. It works out a bit better since he has less attack. But losing in 3 instead of 2 is still not good. EFFIE SMASH!) Stahl (I am seeing a pattern here. Unlike the above two you can actually hurt Stahl without Aether. Not much, but hey, damage is damage. You are actually capable of winning this duel without a healer if your Aether procs are timed right. And depending on when you run into him and what all he has. But even if you win, in the process he'll stall you and cost you your speed score. Get it? Stahl will stall you!) Palla (Again with the Ruby Sword. Unlike with Stahl, the default moonbow will throw you under the bus. Just have Effie flap her arms and say hi) Hana (If your Aether is charged and you attack her, she'll drop. But other wise you could be in trouble. Hana is fast. And strong. With Life and Death she can double a neutral Amelia(part of the reason I like the SPD refinement). Being doubled by an armor slayer is bad. Take my word for it, you can trust me. Even with color advantage Effie will feel it, so best to make sure you initiate) Selena (Has both Triangle Adept AND Armorslayer. She isn't going to double, but she doesn't need to. She won't quite one round Amelia, but you can't do any significant damage in return. Effie has nothing to fear from this one though) Elincia (Whosoever attacks first shall be the victor) Tobin (You might be able to best him under the right circumstances, but why bother when Effie can go up shake his hand for you) Caeda (She isn't actually a problem in my experience. Her low DEF and HP means Amelia can actually deal with her reasonably well on her own. Still makes more sense to let Effie swat the little fly out of the sky) Laslow (Has Axe Breaker which can be a problem) Eliwood (Same deal, but unlike Laslow he has low DEF and as such is a bit easier to deal with. Still easier to use Effie) Draug (You can win, but it goes back and forth for a while. So better to send in Effie unless you like watching two people bouncing attacks off the other. This is much quicker with a hammer) Black Knight (As long as you don't eat a Black Luna you can win, but this is much easier if you have a hammer) Zephiel (No fancy tricks, just a fellow armor being a pain in the arse. Unlike the above two armors, Zephiel will clean her clock. Slaying Hammer+ will flip this given that the regular Hammer+ is plenty to do so.) Arden (Basically the same as Zephiel, you need the hammer to win. Unlike with Zephiel you must attack first or you lose) The ones bolded are the ones that have given me the most trouble in the Tempest Trials. The others I either haven't seen in the Tempest or just failed to make an impression due to how easily I got around them. This is assuming I haven't been mistaking Stahl/Seth whenever one appears, but to be fair they are pretty similar. I may also be misremembering some encounters in other maps as being Tempest engagements, but in general the above list is trouble for Amelia. In contrast among the Greens that her red Allies could help her with you have Cherche, Fredrick, and Bartre. And all three can easily be dealt with by just about any magic user or archer. Plus it doesn't take much to bring them within Amelia's safe to engage zone. Most healers can probably manage it even. And Candlelight makes it easy since the real worry is the hammer counter not that Amelia can't kill them. I can't think of any other greens or blues that give her much cause for concern in the tempest. Nor colorless. Anyways looking at that list you can see that the Slaying Hammer would be quite useful for the 4 red armors(and actually Hector can be a pain to so yeah). But armors aren't usually a problem for me in the tempest for one reason or the other. Valued Teammates: A healer with decent ATK. Not for Amelia, but for Effie. You REALLY don't want to lose your armor buddy. In addition wrathful is pretty easy to add these days so you have a solid source of magic damage. You don't need a magic nuke, but a bit of magically softening can go a long way. And this lets your final unit be your bonus unit. And I'll end here for now. Hopefully I didn't miss anything too major in my proofreading.
The Legend of Metroid: A Link To The Past: After playing Super Metroid and Metroid Prime, both of which I loved, I have finally played through and finished Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. Here are my full thoughts of the game. Story: Let’s talk about the story, Metroid Prime 2’s story is different than the first game with some similar elements, it takes place after Prime 1, the game starts out with Samus hired by the galactic federation to go to a rogue planet called Aether which had some marines that called for an emergency signal. Aether’s atmosphere damages Samus’ gunship, leaving her stranded on Aether, with her initial objective being to find out what happened to the marines. Samus encounters Dark Samus, essentially the daughter of Metroid Prime if you will, come to avenge her dad’s death on the hands of Samus! seriously, though, she’s just the remains of Metroid Prime. Samus then she gets attacked by Darklings who hijack all of her items, ALL of them….except for the charge beam, Varia suit and Morph Ball, the game doesn’t have any heat based areas so the varia suit is purely cosmetic. She then proceeds to find that the marine troopers have been wiped out by the same darklings that attacked her, and then she encounters a Luminoth man called U-Mos, this NPC serves as the driving point of the story, giving Samus her objective and providing a lot of context to the world in a lengthy bit of exposition. Samus’ goal now is to restore power to Aether’s energy controllers so that she can gain access to the Sky Temple and take out Emperor Ing. Graphics and Presentation: Graphics and animations have been notably improved from the first game on a technical level, Samus’ model is fixed, no longer does it look jaggy a bit, it now looks all smoothed out, the game now has better cinematography than ever before, not that it was terrible in the first game, but cutscenes are now fully animated, even saving the game has it’s own animation. The game now has in-game dialogue unlike Prime 1 and it actually works well within the game. Dark Aether’s has a great post apocalyptic atmosphere feel to it, I heard some people complain that it makes Dark Aether’s graphics too repetitive and boring but I beg to differ, that’s the whole point of the game and it succeeded in that part. The UI however was very difficult for me to get used to at first, Prime’s menus were much cleaner and easier to navigate through. One thing the UI did greatly improve upon was the scan visor, it now highlights scannable objects by three different colors: Blue being unscanned, red being unscanned and important to progression and green being scanned. Gameplay: Now let’s talk about Prime 2’s gameplay which can easily be considered hit or miss for some people. This is considered to be the black sheep of the series, it’s gameplay structure deviates greatly from the first Prime game, now much more similar to Link To The Past than its prequel, Echoes plays around with LTTP’s light world, dark world mechanic, where the game is divided into two halves, light Aether and dark Aether. The game has a lot of returning powerups and a few new ones here and there. The Dark Beam is essentially a much faster Ice Beam, it freezes your enemies, making them vulnerable for some hilarious missile kills, in true Metroid style, its combo is the Darkburst, it’s an awesome looking and very powerful powerup that shoots a dark portal that absorbs the enemies’ HP like it’s nothing. The Light Beam is super effective against dark enemies, and can disintegrate them, it’s combo is the sunburst, a powerful yet quite slow attack that I rarely use. Then finally, there’s the annihilator beam which besides using it to open its doors, the only combat scenario I used it for was against the final boss, that’s how impractical I thought the weapon was, it uses both your light and dark ammo, its combo is the Sonic Boom which I just about never use because it’s too expensive for a combo that’s not much stronger than the previous ones. Oh, by the way, there’s ammo in this game, a traditional thing in first person shooters yet it was completely unnecessary and very unfitting in a Metroid game in my opinion, managing missiles and beam ammo have gotten very cumbersome for me throughout my playthrough. Missiles are really enough, and the Beam weapons from the previous Metroid games were personally much more interesting and enjoyable for me. In Prime 1, none of the weapons felt obsolete because you would always encounter enemies that require different guns in order to defeat. But in this game, there was no reason for me to use the Dark Beam over the Light Beam unless I wanted to open Dark Doors or do a darkburst. The exception was the Ingmasher enemy and Emperor Ing who both required switching your beam weapons constantly, besides from that, there was no incentive for me to use the Annihilator beam due to its cost except for the occasional sound wave puzzle. The Morph Ball in this game is utilized very well and has some really fun and clever puzzles to get through, overall, the puzzle design in this game is as great as ever, and at points, feels even better than before. The dark visor lets you see stuff invisible objects and enemies, and the Echo visor allows you to detect sound waves. The gravity boost replaces the gravity suit and instead of just allowing you to walk better underwater but also gives you an ability to hover in the air underwater; Torvus Bog is the only region with water so this power is rather underutilized. Speaking of underutilized, the screw attack comes in very late in the game that you can’t experience its greatness well enough, the best improvement is that it’s no longer just a very powerful attack, it’s used for traversing the game’s world, too, and reaching area otherwise unreachable. I consider this game to be overall not as strongly paced as the first Prime game, which is the biggest problem for me, one that hurts the replay value greatly. The game starts out with a strong opening sequence, not nearly as strong as its predecessor’s opening but it was good regardless. Then the game takes you to dark Aether and for the first hours of play, you will find yourself taking ridiculous amounts of damage by just standing in dark Aether, the only way to avoid damage is using light energy fields which not only prevent you from taking damage but also SLOWLY regenerates your HP which can be quite boring, you can shoot the light field with a light shot which powers it up to deal more damage to dark enemies, which is a great level design technique because it encourages players to save ammo by luring enemies to light fields and powering it up, but that doesn’t increase health regeneration speed, it’s incredibly slow and boring, I’ve never played a game where I had to sit there and wait for my health to refill for potentially more than 3 minutes if you have high enough energy (HP for non Metroid players.) It’s not until a bit later in the game when you obtain the dark suit which boosts Samus’ damage resistance but also significantly decreases the damage you take from dark Aether. There’s the point where the game becomes much more fun and overall more playable than before, now I can play the game without feeling constantly feeling stressed. Now that the game picked the pace back up when you obtain the dark Suit, let’s talk about the game’s bosses. There are a lot more of them here, there’s almost a boss for every power up obtainable, most of the bosses have a gimmick where they use your power ups against you until you defeat them. I liked most of them, with the exception of the Boost Guardian, the Alpha Blogg and Grapple Guardian. My favorite bosses and some of my favorite moments in this game as a whole were Quadraxis, the Spider Guardian (Yes, I’m serious) and Emperor Ing. I didn’t have that much trouble with the spider guardian, in fact, I beat him on my first try, and perhaps that was because they made jumping easier with the Wii controls. Quadraxis was a masterful boss, why can’t we have other bosses this good in pretty much any FPS? Quadraxis is a fun and challenging boss that is a great test of skill and everything you learned in the game, he’s more complex than the final boss of the first game, nuff said. And I won’t spoil much about Emperor Ing, see for yourself. I also loved every boss fight against Dark Samus as she uses a lot of Samus’ signature skills. And when you reach the late game part is when the game slows down once more and gets rather tedious because of the final mission objective. Collect the 9 Sky Temple keys. Before you take on Emperor Ing, you HAVE to do this. Oh, man, this mission was boring. And it killed the game’s pacing right there, this is why the replay value is hurt for me, besides the early hours with Dark Aether damage. This time around, you acquire the Light Suit which allows you to fast travel between energy controllers, go through rays of light, improve your defense once more and of course, completely negating all dark Aether damage, as well as damage taken from swimming in dark pools which is awesome. But that doesn’t change the fact that the reward for finding 9 temple keys is finding 9 more that are even harder to find this time around. Some would argue that the same criticism could be leveled against Prime 1 for finding the 12 Chozo artifacts, but the game instantly gave you hints on how to receive at least most of them. The thing here is when I killed the Omega Pirate in Prime 1, I already had about 80% of the Artifacts I had to collect. However, when I killed Quadraxis in Prime 2, I had literally just ONE sky temple key out of nine. This part of the game is just there to pad out the game’s length whereas in Prime 1, I didn’t even feel like it was there. The Final Verdict: All in all, my final impressions of Metroid Prime 2 is that it did some things better than its prequel and did some other things worse. The game’s fun factor had some really strong and really weak moments scattered throughout. Unlike Prime, which remained a consistently solid experience that I never got sick of. Don’t get me wrong, I really liked Metroid Prime 2, it’s the sequel to what I consider to be the best first person shooter ever made, and I still adored the boss fights, I loved how they added more of them and made them feel varied. I feared that this game would feel too samey but in fact, it changed but perhaps changed too much for its own good, when I play Prime 3, I hope it expands on what the first game offered more than I would like it to be like another Prime 2. And heck, if it can manage to be a nice blend of the first two games, then that’s great. But bring back the weapon system from the first game, please. I will be taking a break from Metroid Prime Trilogy for the time being to play some other games and do some work. But I will hopefully be done with Metroid Prime 3: Corruption hopefully in the near future. One thing very much in common between Prime 1 and 2 is that I felt very satisfied when I reached the end. As disappointing as it felt at times, I still enjoyed this game. And that's enough for me to recommend it to Metroid Fans and FPS fans alike. Here's a link to my review of Prime 1 if you're interested http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=52669
I post this here as well as gameFAQ in case people are interested. Since people keep on repeating the same questions forever, I decided to make a little spreadsheet to help everyone estimate their damage. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1GsTw_wKN_fLDjx4diZqXaMVzLeVclYszgDhrDOT8gi0/edit#gid=0 In the first row, you can specify your own stats which are needed for damage calculations. Add your strength and weapon might and weapon rank bonuses (Faire skills, Aggressor etc.) and put them into the cell below "P. Attack". This is the stat you see ingame as "Atk". Add your magic and skill. Magic is needed for Ignis damage calculations, skill is needed for trigger chances of skills. On the right side you can toggle "Rightful King". The second row shows you the exact chance to trigger each skill in percent. In the third row you can toggle skills. If you want to activate a skill, enter 1. To deactivate, enter 0. The fourth row you can see average and maximum damage of a skill. Fifth row describes the priorities in which the triggers of each skill are checked. Let's say you have lethality, aether and luna. The game will roll whether you activate lethality, if that happens the skill triggers, if not, the game rolls for aether, checks if it triggers or not, if aether doesn't trigger, the game checks for luna. The left column of the sixth row can be ignored since it's only purpose is to provide data for calculations. The right column of the sixth row shows the average damage contribution of each skill. It's an estimation based on your stats. red "lethality" rectangle shows damage in case it triggers or no. Same with aether, astra, luna, ignis. Edit: If you want to use this for magic, put your magic in "P.Attack" and your Strength in "M. Attack" and put the resistance of the enemy into "defense". It's only needed for Ignis calculations. Tell me what you think of it if you'd like.