January 21st Ultimate Evolutions (Awoken Astaroth, Nephthys, and Rozuel)

Even after an unprecedented 9 new evolutions a week ago, GungHo is still pumping out more content so kudos to them! Keeping the theme of the previous post, I want to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of these new monsters and if we will see a shift in the meta as a result. Awoken Astaroth Astaroth , Nephthys Nephthys , and Rozuel Rozuel all received significant buffs with their ultimate evolutions along with significantly improved art!

Astaroth Awoken Astaroth made a stellar debut when she was ranked as a top tier lead due to forming a hard hitting and durable team. Due to this being an awoken evolution, Astaroth received a buff to her active skill and awakenings along with a complete overhaul of her leader skill. First off, she can now convert fire, jammer, poison, and mortal poison orbs into wood along with causing a 5x counter attack for 4 turns on a 7-turn cooldown. The counterattack mechanic can prove useful with newer bosses having resolve or perseverance abilities and provided you can survive their 1% attack, you are able to kill them on that turn. Being able to take away jammer and poison orbs will become more helpful as newer bosses are released with the enhanced jammer skyfall mechanic. This also lowers or completely removes the need to bring a full board changer for your team.

Awakenings wise, Astaroth received her third wood row enhance Wood Row awakening along with becoming bind immune and gaining the precious skill lock resist Skill Lock Resist awakening. Wood row based teams are finally seeing the spotlight as viable teams in both  Sylvie Sylvie / Awoken Freyja Freyja teams forming 2 HP/10.5 ATK/2.5 RCV and Astaroth creating a 2.25 HP (in Japan, would be 1.69x in NA) / 20.25 ATK  healer and devil wood teams. When looking at Astaroth ‘s leader potential for 20.25x damage along with countless Wood Row awakenings, your damage output will be quite destructive especially when factoring in Awoken Freyja 2x damage buff active. With enough health to survive essentially every single attack, your main concern would be recovery. However, most of your ideal subs will be healer based and this should somewhat help counter that problem. In addition, the newest evolution of Archangel Michael Michael grants 2,000 worth of auto healing every turn along with providing enhanced heart orbs from his active.

Astaroth ‘s usage and popularity will be quickly capitalized upon as she is one of the oldest cards in PAD and many players already have her patiently waiting to blossom into her awoken form.

Nephthys Nephthys has seen little love prior to her ultimate evolution announcement aside from her cute artwork.  However, she now has an incredible 4 dark orb enhance Dark Orb Enhance awakenings along with an additional heart orb enhance +heart and skill bind resist Skill Lock Resist awakenings. The crucial Skill Lock Resist allows for more flexibility in team building and the 4 Dark Orb Enhance awakenings make her a candidate for both Awoken Yomi Awoken Yomi Yomi Dragon Yomi Dragon teams.  This is because it can be challenging to match both the 5 connected dark orbs along with squeezing in an additional TPA TPA or row enhance Dark row when your board is already constricted. When comparing Nephthys to other dark enhancing subs, her primary competition would be Okuninushi Oku . Oku offers a 1 turn of delay in addition to enhancing dark damage by 1.5x. On the other hand, Nephthys enhances dark orbs (along with 1.5x damage) which will allow for significantly higher burst when combined with other orb changers. Furthermore, you can use Nephthys ‘s active to correct a poor board refresh or actives that fail to spawn an enhanced orb on Yomi Dragon teams. Lastly, her 4 Dark Orb Enhance awakenings have great synergy when combined with Zaerog Infinity’s Z8 dark orb skyfall active should both be on the same team.

However, when using Nephthys as a lead, she only caps out at 9x damage along with boosting dark monster’s health and recovery by 1.8x. 9x damage is too low for current endgame dungeons and even when accounting for 8 Dark Orb Enhance between the 2 leaders, you will still be hard pressed to deal lethal damage unless your other subs have numerous TPA or Dark row awakenings. Lastly, the staff Nephthys is holding in her left hand is actually a selfie stick in order to capture her overwhelming cuteness.

Captured by Puzzle Dragon X
Totally a selfie stick!

Rozuel Rozuel gains 100 health and 90 recovery along with 3 TPA awakenings with her ultimate evolution. The 90 recovery is significant as Rozuel primary roles would be a pseudo bind clearer on both Awoken Shiva Shiva and Urd Urd teams who both augment red teams normally low recovery. For a more detailed write up on how Rozuel fits on an Shiva team, feel free to read my guide HERE. Looking at the impressive triple TPA awakenings, Rozuel ‘s damage sky-rockets into devastatingly high values when matching numerous TPA combos. When examining Rozuel ‘s role as a pseudo bind clearer, she can remove binds through her bind recovery Bind Clear awakening awakening that requires you to match a horizontal 6 line of heart orbs. Being bind immune and having an active that can generate heart orbs on a short cooldown does allow for bind removal; however, you are only able to remove binds on your turn and the boss will hit you. This can prove fatal as many bosses may have execution abilities following their bind attack and not being able to remove the binds instantly like Ame  Ame could prove problematic. You must do your research into whether the extra turn required to remove the binds is lethal or manageable. Lastly, Rozuel still lacks a Skill Lock Resist awakening and this puts further constraints on your team building if you wish to maintain 100% resistance (requires a total of 5 Skill Lock Resist).

Overall, the new evolutions offer new options for team building and continues offer new pretty girls to collect.

PS sorry for initially posting an incomplete write up, for some reason I lost 2/3 of my content and had to rewrite it all over again.

Happy Puzzling!

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