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Getting to Diamond: Six of One...

Discussion in 'General Strategy' started by Brother Null, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. Brother Null

    Brother Null Active Member

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    Let's continue with our focus on Defense. We have two main defensive strategies to delve into, and before we break them down there is one important caveat that must be made clear:

    Health or Time. Pick *one* per node.

    Let me illustrate this point with my own Rift map. The first duo node to the right of start is the Bleed node, and the very common strategy for defeating that node is Bloodbath. With this in mind, I attempted to build an anti-Bloodbath team to foil this plan. I placed Last Hope with ICU on the back end, and I placed Fly Trap in front.

    Fly Trap was more of a "what do I have left" move than a serious decision, and it showed. I mean, FT has a significant amount of Bleed built into her moveset. Worse than that was her synergy with Last Hope: Last Hope is focused on survival and delay. Fly Trap either crushes or is crushed. They are two fighters pointing to opposite strategies, and neither one was being served well. I replaced FT with Private Dick, and now this node looks like more of a headache. The Bleed node is normally a Health node, but I have instead accentuated the Time cost.

    Do not try to serve two masters, as you will do a poor job of both. Instead, focus on one strategy, and shape your defense to one of these two ends. Your chances of success will rise significantly. Now, we are all aware that a fighter is both an attacker and a defender; that the pure attacker or defender does not technically exist. No. Instead, what I am stressing is that we should accentuate either attack or defense to further our goal of getting the most value out of a particular node.

    So, let us focus on Time, and leave Health for another post.

    Time is a scarce commodity in Rifts: we are all given our allotment of three minutes, and there is no game mechanic that allows us any flexibility on this point. In Rift Battles, this point is made especially clear: we lose two points for each second that elapses during our fight. Anything that prolongs the fight will force our opponent to pay more. This is obvious.

    In this mindset, we must aim to elongate our defensive stance and wear down our opponent through strategic positioning, delaying tactics, and a fortified healthy body. So, lets take these in turn.

    Position:
    You know the nodes you hate the most. Inertia. Immunity. We fret over these fights because the right opponent can ruin our ability to progress in the battle, but these two nodes could not be more different. Inertia is an often lethal encounter, with quick (and unblockable) tag-ins forcing a player to change their fighting style on the fly. Inertia is an attacker's paradise.

    Immunity, on the other hand, is a slow and tactical affair. The node invalidates all manner of debuff strategies, so the attacker must rely on precise attacking sequences and patient defense to await their next opportunity. Immunity is a defensive node.

    Recognize the field upon which you fight. The modifier will define the style and tempo of the fight. In the very near future, we will even be given the chance to further accentuate the field modifier. All the more reason to define your offensive and defensive nodes in your own mind so that you choose a catalyst that further emphasizes your defensive strategy.

    Now there are modifiers that do not lend themselves to an obvious time vs health strategy. Chaotic Evil is one, and the situation is further clouded with the addition of Claw and Order to that node. Claw, as you will recall, will reset the duration of any debuff on a critical hit, and Chaotic Evil will apply a random debuff on the attacker when a debuff is applied to the defender. The synergy is obvious, but not the strategy: is this a node that is focused on health, or on time?

    The answer is: it depends. It depends on the debuffs that appear. It also depends on the build of your Claw, but that is beside the point. By choosing a random strategy, we are not able to accentuate either one, and possibly to our detriment. It is not that Claw and Order is not *good* on this node; rather, it is that Claw and Order is not maximally cost-effective on this node.

    So, compare and contrast: Last Hope Valentine with ICU, versus Scarlet Viper Eliza with a taunt equipped. Both fighters will make good use of the Chaotic Evil modifier, but Last Hope will stretch the fight to an absurd length if debuffs are used. Scarlet Viper, on the other hand, will turn the node into a sharp and painful affair. Each bleed will double up with a random debuff, and SV can strip the bleed with a single taunt. In both cases, the modifier is accentuating the strategy. The addition of catalysts will complicate matters still further, but with a defined strategy your choices are made more clear.

    Tactics:
    Your moveset has a tremendous impact on the fight to come. Picking the right moveset for a defender is fundamentally different from that of an attacker, and you must look past your own preferences to see the defender's ideal kit.

    It is best to start with the moments in Rifts that have frustrated you the most. The moments that stick out the most for me are the fights where I run out of time, knowing that I could have won if not for X. And X usually turns out to be an especially long-running blockbuster. Nightmare Legion, Daisy Pusher, Ultimate Showstopper: they knock your fighter around the arena and you are surviving but that doesn't matter as seconds tick away to a guaranteed loss for a fight you should have won. SO let's start there.

    Your blockbusters can and should aim for delay as their primary function. Sure, a kill would be nice and even valuable, but that is not their primary role. They should slow down the fight, and force the player into uncomfortable positions. Moves that stun are excellent. Moves that inflict cripple are similarly good. Wither and meter drain are excellent. Slow. It. Down.

    Another excellent time-wasting strategy is Burst. Yes, the AI is all too happy to burst out of a combo, so we know it will get used. It will inflict a debuff on the attacking fighter, and it also breaks their combo. This is important because they must reset and regroup, and this has a distinct and significant time cost. Defenders love burst, and so should you. One can, however, go too far. I have fought an entire team of three fighters, each equipped with four bursts and a BB3. This is silly, and I found the fight to be quite easy. No more than two burst moves should ever be considered.

    Body:
    Hit Points. Defense. Meter Gain. These are the three pillars of a good defender. Meter Gain? Yes, because blockbusters can completely reverse the course of a fight. Any time you can push the opponent into defending is time off the clock, and a quick blockbuster does an admirable job of this. Underneath these three pillars is an opportunity for added trickery. Why not give Scarlet Viper some additional Bleed resist? Or Armor Break resist to Resonant Evil? We *know* that these tactics will be used, so a modest effort in stopping them can lead to modest gains in score.

    If your defender has a Crit trigger then invest in Crit Rate, otherwise leave it alone. Crit Damage and Block Proficiency are not worth the investment. (Block Proficiency is only useful against chip damage, and the player is usually better than this)

    I am assuming you have your defenders boosted to an appropriate marquee. I shall not go into this here, as there are many resources that cover this in detail.

    In conclusion, we build our defense to maximally focus on health or on time. It is my fondest hope that, when you consider your map from this point of view, you can see the path to building a better defense. If you have any questions, I am always happy to answer them below in the comments. Like this post if you would like to see more.
     
    POD_715, Inked, Taniyah and 4 others like this.
  2. Taniyah

    Taniyah New Member

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    Great guide keep up the good work.

    I did have a few questions though. Is critical resist and elemental worth anything at all for defense? Seems like it might help survive longer? Or does block work better?

    Second, will there be a more in depth guide on what defenders, moves, and catalyst work best on each node? Guessing this will change based on what a person has and also with the new catalyst system. However, like you said there are better synergies with some setups than others.
     
    Brother Null and educavalcantee like this.
  3. Scorialimit

    Scorialimit Member

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    Technically, crit resist can help your defense as you'll take fewer critical hits. Not really a go-to stat, overall HP and Defense are better. Avoid it on MAWheel and Dread Locks though. Some fighters prefer Armor Break/Bleed resist for their filler stats, as it can help them take less damage or avoid cheese strats.

    Both element bonus and penalty are increasing your attack, not decreasing their defense, so it'll be pointless for defense.


    Personally, I see her as useful here if you have Cat Scratch and Cat Slide (not so much El Gato as it's easy to see coming) as she can proc her BB disable, and if you can't switch, you either have to wait out the 15 seconds or not get a BB bonus. That can be pretty big for a solo node, since even the best built ones can be killed quickly and with little worry.

    If I could get a good Cat Scratch I'd do this, but none of mine are even 1/3 q.q
     
  4. Brother Null

    Brother Null Active Member

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    Excellent question! I try not to overburden my articles with all the detail I could add, but you are correct: I did gloss over a few resistances and elemental modifiers.

    Crit Resist is the most interesting of all the remaining options, mostly because it is so situational. Critical hits can range from nuisance value to Sniper Shot kill cheez from primed. And, although the high end looks pretty bad (Purple and green? eesh) let us take a quick look at the actual effects that critical hits have on the fight as a whole. (WARNING: this gets wordy. And mathy. Caveat emptor!)

    If a fighter hits you twenty times, a crit rate of 5% will equate to one critical hit (on average). Our expected damage for any given hit (E(dmg)) will be the average of nineteen regular hits and one critical hit. Let's use a Sketchy that pokes for 100 damage as normal.

    If our Crit Damage is 10%, then the damage modifier d = (100 + 10)/100.

    So, E(dmg) = (19x + (dx)) / 20
    = (19 * 100) + (1.1 * 100) / 20
    = 1900 + 110 / 20
    = 2010 / 20
    = 100.5

    Is there an easier formula we can use? Yes, but I leave the derivation of this formula up to the obsessive numerophiles in the audience:

    E(dmg) = X + (rate * dmg / 100)
    With X = 100 (above),
    E(dmg) = 100 + ( 5 * 10 / 100)
    = 100 + 0.5

    QED.

    The first thing we must recognize is that (Rate * Damage) requires two modifier boosts, and Atk % only requires one. So we can see that Attack % is much more valuable to add to a fighter than Crit Rate, barring SA-driven triggers like Claw and Order or Double with Chaos.

    So, back to Crit Resist. If we get our resist rate to 25%, we get a 1 in 4 chance to ignore the critical nature of the hit. If we are fighting Primed with Critical Mass then we might have good reason to wish to avoid such damage. On the other hand, a fully upgraded character with no extra Crit Rate or Damage investment has a rate r = 20% and a damage d = 35%.

    E(dmg) = 100 + (20 * 35 / 100) = 107

    Crit Resist of 25% will effectively drop the crit rate of 4 in 20 to 3 in 20 (since one will be dropped, on average). E(dmg) will be reduced to 105.25 per strike.

    Now, Primed can get to 50% rate, and 200% damage without much effort. These numbers look like this:
    E(dmg) = 100 + (50 * 200 / 100) = 200! That is much more intimidating. Crit resist of 25% will reduce this to:
    E(dmg) = 100 + (37.5 * 200 / 100) = 175. Still pretty bad.

    Crit Resist simply does not have an outsized effect on the expected damage that you take across an entire fight; for fighters that are not emphasizing Critical hits, the effect is almost nothing. Crit Resist is a dead modifier until the devs boost the rate at which the resistances increase.

    As for Elemental Advantage and Disadvantage, there are a few points to be made.

    Elemental Advantage affects the damage you do to an opponent of the element upon which you have advantage. Elemental Disadvantage affects the damage you do to an opponent of the element upon which you have disadvantage.

    If your fighter is a Light or Dark element, Elemental Disadvantage is a dead stat. The two opposing elements are always at *advantage* against one another, and they do not have a *disadvantage*. This is a poorly understood mechanic, but it is vital to your understanding of these two stats.

    If you are defending, then your opponent gets to decide whether to press their elemental advantage or not. You cannot plan on being at advantage unless you are running Double. You can expect to be at disadvantage more often, but you cannot definitively say which fighter will be at disadvantage. It is otherwise similar to raising your Attack, so why not boost this instead?

    It is not that these are useless modifiers, but that you cannot control the application of these modifiers on defense. Offensive use of Elemental Advantage is a wickedly beautiful thing to see on a Rainbow Blight, say.
     
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  5. Brother Null

    Brother Null Active Member

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    Now this is a strategy with clear direction! Wait 15 seconds, or go without a BB finish. Sounds like you are charging your opponent on Time and Blockbuster points. If only you could guarantee the debuffs you get...
     
  6. Brother Null

    Brother Null Active Member

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    As for specific Fighters/Nodes/Catalysts:

    I am waiting to see what catalysts are, what they do, and then I can start getting specific. I didn't want to go too deep on advice that will presently become obsolete.
     
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  7. Taniyah

    Taniyah New Member

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    Makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the responses. I didn't realize that elemental advantage was the only thing that applied for light/dark and the stats only affected your damage.

    I guess critical resist is more of a thing to use if you can't get the prefect hp/defense/meter.
     
  8. Taniyah

    Taniyah New Member

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    I guess one other question I had is on reusing characters for defense. Is it just not worth it since you keep mentioning cost and reusing the same character cost you 100 points?

    If they are worth using multiple times, what would be the cases? I know newer players might have doubles and thus use both but would think at diamond, people should have a big enough roster to not need to put multiple of the same character.
     
  9. educavalcantee

    educavalcantee Active Member

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    It isn't worth using the same variant in the rift. 100 points make a big difference in the end, plus investing in two copies of the same variant isn't worth either. For people who have to use duplicates, the best is switch out when you get new (not duplicate) characters that are good on defense. :)
     
  10. fanghoul

    fanghoul Well-Known Member

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    The one exception might be Surgeon General? I've seen more than one person in the diamond tier with two of her in their defense, on different nodes. Probably because she's so good in that role.

    It's still rare to see though, just reporting that it does happen.

    Edit:
    I've mostly seen this with people combing a SG with Big Band with max defense and max frontman, to make an "impenetrable wall" of sorts.
     
    #10 fanghoul, Apr 15, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
  11. Jaz00

    Jaz00 Active Member

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    SG is just broken as a def character. Imagine fighting 3 of Daelon’s SGs in boss node... I don’t think anyone could beat that. Even 2 SGs on the same team would make it very hard to beat the team under 3 minutes. It’s just extremely hard to get even 1 copy of her, not to mention 3.
     
  12. Pepperlunatic

    Pepperlunatic Active Member

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    One sg is fine actually very easy especially if she has trauma center. Just use outtake to pull her forward and kill her with ease. More than one? We should all know the magic trick that every high ranking players uses: sketchy+outtake. Sure ICU can be tricky but you should already have some ways to deal with that by the time you even encounter something like 3 sg in boss node. What about the res? That one is a tricky part in some degree but doable regardless. Just make sure you don't kill them at the corner like how you deal with squigly with marquee.

    But still, if you fight sgs unprepared... ...well good luck with that.

    P.S. I guess that is why they made robo fortune ;)
     
  13. fanghoul

    fanghoul Well-Known Member

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    This could work, so long as you are careful, and keep in mind that the order of buff/debuff application here is:

    Immunity -> Slow -> Heavy Regen (from ICU) -> Curse

    So a badly timed outtake will have no effect, and a well timed one will just give her Heavy Regen.
     
  14. Pepperlunatic

    Pepperlunatic Active Member

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    ICU should not be a problem if you are prepared to deal with it like I mentioned above. Counters are pretty much obvious but here are the list: inferno of leviathan, love crafted, wulfsbane, buzzard, silent kill, stand out, class cutter, and possibly robo fortune thanks to the new debuff inverse polarity which will be a nightmare to icu vals. Also, I assume you people should know when to time outtake if you intend to use outtake from the first place.
     
  15. Jaz00

    Jaz00 Active Member

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    Of course I know all you said - Don’t think I could stay in D1 consistently if I didn’t. Have you fought Daelon’s SG? She heals over 5k per second. You don’t always get to outtake when you want, and if you miss your window then you just time over. Like I said, one is okay, but 3 of them would be a nightmare!

    Can’t wait for Robo to counter, but imagine how long it’s take to get one to be competitive in rift... it’ll take at least a good month to get to level 50 diamond unless you grind like a no lifer. It also depends on which variant we get from prize fight. If it’s BlueScreen the gg elemental disadvantage against SG + house advantage. Good luck on your Robo pulls.
     
  16. educavalcantee

    educavalcantee Active Member

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    Well I got 2 copies of SG, the main and another lv1 that I would use to evolve the main to diamond. Should I keep the copy as a backup character and evolve the main with another Vals? What do you guys think?
     
  17. Brother Null

    Brother Null Active Member

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    Surgeon is the one fighter I would make exception for the "No repeat variants" rule. Once. She is great on any of the trio nodes, and she can play as a Health or as a Time variant. Truly the winner of "Best all-round variant" award.
     
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  18. fanghoul

    fanghoul Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, we sometimes have a lot of new people on this forum too, so I'm can be pedantic to make sure they know all the details of a strategy.

    I'd personally just Parasite Weave them to death if I had Squiggly as backup.
     
  19. Pepperlunatic

    Pepperlunatic Active Member

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    Well I guess you are right. To think of it, the immunity really is a real pain and outtaking doesn't really do much because other guys already have immunity and regen even if you use outtake.
     
  20. Pepperlunatic

    Pepperlunatic Active Member

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    Well, I should have thought more about the new people and talked more about the details of when to outtake. Maybe I should just make a guide dedicated to using outtake as well.
     

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