Hello and welcome! Today I am going to discuss rainbow teams in detail along with their pros and cons, strategies, and team building. A rainbow team uses a leader skill that requires 4+ elements to produce damage, thus the multi-colour/rainbow name. This creates a skill threshold in order to achieve consistent activation as well as a challenge when facing harder descends.
- High base multiplier
- Less REM reliant (especially at earlier levels)
- Usually utility oriented
- Wide range of subs/team building options
- Damage is controlled as it is hard to accidentally proc your leader skill
- Exciting to play
- High skill cap
- Orb troll (missing your specific elements)
- Harder to concentrate damage without ideal subs
- Requires more stalling/taking hits to set up the board
- Actives tend to be less offensive and more defensive in nature
The meta of PAD has shifted over the past two years from the tank/grind/stall then kill teams, to mono-colour, multi-orb change power teams. This has left rainbow teams in a bit of an awkward place as they require more stalling and setting up compared to teams who are either mono colour or purely combo based. In addition, rainbow teams cannot bring single orb changer as they require many elements and thus become more reliant on full board changers/refreshers. This is not to say rainbow teams are weak by any means, but they require more patience and orb management compared to other teams.
Below is, to the best of my knowledge and in no particular order the full list of viable rainbow leaders. I’ve restricted this list to leaders who require 4+ elements (with the special exception of Isis).
Generally speaking, you want to fill your sub slots with your leader’s primary colour and use the sub colour to cover the remaining elements. This way, you can better concentrate your damage on one primary element. This allows for stacking of plus orb awakenings or two prong attacks (TPA). For example, a water based Umi Yami team enables you to focus more so on matching blue TPAs and simply connecting the remaining 3 elements as an after thought.
In addition to coordinating your subs colours to be more in sync with your leader, you will want to consider what actives they bring to the party. Higher level content will push the limits of your orb matching capacity and you’ll need every sub slot to count in terms of awakenings and actives. The two broad umbrellas of actives are offensive or defensive/utility in nature.
Offensive actives include:
- Orb converters for your primary colour
- Orb enhancing (+ orbs) for your primary colour
- Colour or type enhancing for the majority of your team/main damage dealers
- Time extension
- Gravity (boss hp percent reductions)
- Board refreshes and full board changers
- Armour breaking (enemy defense reductions)
Defensive actives include:
- Damage reduction shields
- Bind clearing
- Heart orb generation
- Board refreshes and full board changers
From my own experience with rainbow teams, it can become very challenging to bring an on-colour team with offensive actives. In addition, many of the orb changers in existence change too many colours and prevent leader skill activation. As such, you are somewhat forced to take more defensive/utility options to fulfill your team requirements. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a defensively oriented team, but the meta of PAD is definitely shifting to a more fast-paced, one-shot each floor playstyle. I do not have a single team that can clear all content, and I reshuffle my subs around as required by the dungeon.
Many subs will have actives that double dip in the sense that they can do two or more things at the same time. This can be great when you can benefit from the dual effect, but many times may simply add recharge time to an active’s cooldown. When you progress in rank and have more options for team building, you must carefully consider each sub and have a purpose for its active and know when you can use it.
In addition, over saturating your team with orb changers can become redundant as you can only use 1 per turn. In an ideal world, you would have used all your actives by the end of the dungeon.
When it comes to awakenings, you will want to ensure you have sufficient skill boosts to have either a board refresh, delay, bind clear, shield, etc. ready for the first place of danger. Orb enhance and TPA are the only offensive awakenings you can feasibly use as row enhance is too cumbersome. I want to highly stress that the orb enhance awakenings are very powerful because they can be more heavily stacked than any other awakening. With 5 orb enhance awakenings, every orb that drops down will be enhanced and the damage will continue to rise with each additional awakening (albeit less after 5). This can prove vital to rainbow teams because matching a TPA can disrupt board patterns and having a large passive bonus makes life easier.
In terms of defensive awakenings to look out for, you want to try to get as close to 100% skill bind resist (SBR) as possible. Each awakening contributes a 20% chance, and I know it can be difficult to achieve 100%, but try to get as close as you can. Each jammer and poison resist grant a 20% to prevent these nasty orb conversions and are hard to stack, but can be nice to have since orb troll is the most probable cause of a rainbow team’s death. If you are unable to place a dedicated bind clear active, try to have a bind clear awakening (this clears 3 turns of binds when matching a row of hearts) on a sub that will not be bound.
When selecting subs, try to prioritize recovery-heavy subs over health or attack as rainbow teams tend to require stalling throughout encounters and provided you can survive the largest reasonable hit, recovery is the most important in helping return to full hp.
Once you have done your research and selected a well balanced and viable team, it is time to enter the dungeon! I like to use Sakuya, Kali, and Umi Yami on a regular basis, and I draw my experience heavily from these play styles. However, an overarching theme with all rainbow teams is that they need to take their time and plan their moves. There is a ~17% chance that a fresh board will be lacking one of your 4 specific colours on these three teams and the odds go up or down based on your leader choice. Keeping this in mind, you need to be prepared to deal with an orb-trolled first floor along with subsequent progression throughout the descend.
The key to successfully playing a rainbow team is practice and patience! You will repeatedly encounter an unfavorable board that is either missing your colours required for activation or has only 3 orbs of your main damaging element. In these situations, you must be able to absorb a hit whilst clearing away your dead orbs. Dead orbs are elements that are not required for your damage activation and thus provide no real benefit. These dead orbs vary from team to team and it is crucial you remove them as often as possible. It is simply not enough to only proc your colour requirements, as statistically, you will run out of your colours quite quickly.For instance, if your activation colours are Red, Blue, Green, and Light, you need to do more than just remove those four when attempting to deal damage as in theory to replace at least 3 of each element, you need to clear 18 orbs in one turn (or 6 combos). When using a turn to set up or tidy your board, you should remove as many dead orbs as possible, as well as move your needed elements closer together to allow an easier time matching when you decide to deal damage. This playstyle takes planning and some getting used to and you will have many close calls when you are forced to take a hit in order to adequately prepare your next move.
When either stalling for actives or a proc-able board, high recovery and defensive-oriented subs ensure you are able to stay alive. When preparing to attempt a new descend, I will mentally make note of when and where I plan to use my actives as well as floors where I will need to stall etc. However, even with the most careful of planning, there is still a certain luck factor that cannot be predicted/accounted for and you need to adjust on the go. It is far better to use an active to save yourself than to die and have actives that are ready to use.
Lastly, you should spend time in endless corridors activating your leader spell and with taking screen shots to give yourself a relative idea of your damage potential. This should be done with any team as you do not want to push a boss into a dangerous health percentage or leave them with a sliver of health and subsequently their execution ability. Another way to practice using your team is to play the normal dungeons you would be doing on a regular basis and pair your rainbow team with an unconditional leader such as Athena. This will allow you to still clear the trash floors quickly and only require the rainbow proc on the boss floors.
Good luck and happy puzzling!