Kaede – New Top Tier Leader: Monster Review and Analysis


Don’t go breaking my heart. I couldn’t if I tried. Honey if I get restless. Baby you’re not that kind. I should probably stick to guide writing instead of singing songs that only a few would know. Regardless, Kaede will never break your heart, in fact, she is able to manufacture additional heart orbs along with utilizing heart crosses for additional damage and shielding. Furthermore, this new evolution for Kaede has propelled them into the top tier ranks on the various JP lists. This is because you are able to deal spectacular damage, have 75% damage reduction, and form a system-like team.

Kaede at a glance

Ult Kaede
Dragon / Attacker
4,130 HP / 1,840 ATK / 281 RCV
874 Total
Skill Lock Resist Time Extend Skill Boost Time Extend TPA TPA TPA Enhanced Wood Orb Enhanced Wood Orb

Active Skill:
Question Orb  Arrow Heart
Question Orb  Arrow Green
1 turn haste
7 turn CD

Leader Skill:
3.5x ATK with 2 wood combos. 4x ATK with 3 combos. 2x ATK and 50% damage reduction with heart cross
64x ATK / 75% damage reduction

Kaede Scaling Leader Skill
# wood combos 1 2 3
Multiplier 0 12.25 16x
Multipplier w/ heart cross 4x 49x 64x

Sample gameplay

Kaede will play similarly to the other heart-cross leaders as the main source of their power comes from being able to expertly form the 5 hearts while matching numerous wood combos. With a 75% damage reduction, you effectively have 4x the health along with resisting gravity based attacks.

Super Ultimate Dragon Rush

Solo Arena 2

Solo Machine Hera
You can also do your own searching by using the term:


  • 64x ATK and 75% Damage Reduction
  • Has effectively 4x HP / 64x ATK / 4x RCV when heart cross is formed
  • Can survive nearly any attack in the game
  • Has 3 TPA TPA for massive damage
  • Ideal team has system-like properties
  • Active spawns your two needed elements – can be used after other orb changers to correct bad boards
  • Ample time extend to help form the awkward heart cross
  • Can clear any dungeon (with great consistency) with an ideal team
  • New playstyle (relatively speaking)
  • Has damage control through combos and electing to form a TPA
  • Revives the wood element


  • Fragile if unable to form a heart cross as no HP / RCV multiplier
  • Is a 6-star GFE
  • Ideal team is challenging/expensive to form
  • Vulnerable to binds and must rely on a sub to clear them
  • I may pronounce their name wrong

 What awakenings do I prioritize?

Due the nature of a heart cross occupying an awkward space on the board combined with the 3 wood combo requirement, rows Wood Row are largely out of the question. Thankfully, Kaede (and the wood element in general) has an abundant pool of spectacular TPA TPA cards to draw from. In addition, enhanced wood orbs Enhanced Wood Orb also provide valuable damage.

Matching strategies

Your playstyle will feel quite unique as we have had very little exposure to heart-cross leaders. They are tricky to form and will take a lot of practice to perfect as it is not an instinctive match. Thankfully, dual Kaede (and each subsequent Kaede sub) provide 2 time extend Time Extend awakenings to help you form all the required combos. In addition, the wood and heart generation active helps provide sufficient orbs for matching.

In an ideal world, you are always matching a heart-cross to mitigate the damage taken and should not match a lone wood combo as the multiplier is tiny (4x). Thus, you will need to exercise patience for at least 6 wood orbs to trigger the 49x ATK.

At this time, there is no comparable leader pairing for Kaede.

How does a system work

A system consists of cards who have a haste component while paired with a low cooldown active. This allows you to use an active every turn while quickly recharging other abilities. In the case of Kaede who has a 7-turn cooldown, you are able loop your actives if you have 2 subs who also have a 7-turn cooldown and haste. Thus, if your team comprises of 2 Kaede subs, you are able to use a Kaede active every single turn. In addition, all this added haste allows you to quickly recharge your other two subs.

Team Building Options

Kaede can in theory use a variety of subs provided they do not break heart orbs. Your focus should be on countering the various dungeon mechanics while having access to a steady supply of heart and wood orbs. In addition, due to Kaede’s vulnerability to binds, you must bring an appropriate sub free your leaders. One thing you should keep in mind is the amount of time extend your team has. Heart crosses are non-intuitive to form and they take up an awkward amount of space.

Higher tier subs to form the ideal team:

  • Ult Kaede Kaede is a perfect sub for their own team due to the synergistic awakenings and haste-active. Ideal teams run two as subs and this enables you to use a Kaede active every single turn which translates into infinite stalling due to the 75% reduction shield (provided your board already came with 2 hearts). This allows you to hasten up your other two subs with out fear of retaliation. Only drawback is the challenge it is to pull one Kaede, let alone three.
  • Verd Verdandi the the best option for full board changers due to spawning both wood and heart orbs. In addition, she has synergistic awakenings that allow her to contribute damage through her TPA along with the numerous orb enhances Enhanced Wood Orb. Furthermore, you are able to use Kaede after her active to form a more desirable board.
  • Odin Dragon Odin Dragon has been a longstanding joke in the PAD community due to his low relevance and uses. However, on Kaede teams, he acts as your strongest bind clearing option. Odin Dragon’s active restores 50% of your total HP along with removing all the remaining turns of binds and a single turn of haste. The haste helps cycle your other actives while protecting yourself against any kind of binding move. Finally, his six autoheal Auto heal awakenings have more relevance on a heart-cross team due to the damage reduction you enjoy. Since you are only taking 25% of the incoming damage, the 3,000 worth of autoheal will feel more like 12,000.

Viable subs:

  • Green Odin Green Odin is the more budget (and realistic option) available for most players when it comes to bind removal. Grodin and his sculpted abs remove 5 turns of binds and restores HP based on the damage you deal. He mostly falls short of Odin Dragon due to a less powerful active and four autoheal awakenings. Just keep in mind that the differences are small and only make a true difference when trying to min-max your team.
  • Sylvie Sylvie is another close second for the board changer role. She mostly loses out to Verdandi due to the less powerful awakenings (no orb enhances) as her double TPA only benefits herself. Even though Sylvie has a more powerful active due to the haste, she will be regulated to second place until her ultimate evolution is released/announced. Something to keep in mind is upgrading Verdandi’s skill through Skill Inheritance.
  • Bankai Perseus Perseus may not have any orb enhances or TPA, but his active is very powerful as it generates both wood and heart orbs. In addition, he provides two time extend Time Extend awakenings that will help you form the challenging heart cross and numerous wood combos. Lastly, Perseus can act as a budget bind clearer through his bind recover Bind Clear awakening awakening. Just keep in mind he can be bound so do not rely on him in some situations.
  • Michael Michael is another wood and heart orb generator that functions similarly to Perseus, but without the the time extends or bind recover. However, the 2,000 auto heal may prove valuable. One nice combo potential is using Sylvie and Michael for a 2/3 wood, 1/3 heart board.
  • Astaroth Astaroth is another row-oriented sub; however, she can provide some value for Kaede teams due to her poison removal and bind immunity. By being able to remove poison and jammer orbs, you may save yourself another active and the fire to wood can be combo-ed with Verdandi. The bind immunity can act as a Skilled Inherited bind clear so it is something to consider.
  • Vishnu Vishnu has long been considered the king of TPA subs due to his triple threat and powerful active. His active provides 3 turns of wood skyfalls (overrides existing boss debuffs) that allow for significantly higher damage along with spawning 2 wood orbs on a 6 turn cooldown. However, due to the haste components available on your team, you are able to have a much higher uptime than 50% and this leads to a dramatic increase in damage and wood orb presence.
  • Osiris Osiris has 4 enhanced wood orb and 2 TPA awakenings along with a powerful 4-turn active. Osiris changes the rightmost column into wood orbs and this can be fantastic as you only need to move an orb at the top or bottom to cause a wood TPA. This can allow you to form other combos with ease as you already have one ready made. Just be aware that he can override existing heart orbs so check before you activate. Lastly, due to the ample haste on the team, you will have access  to his active on a much more frequent basis.
  • Ishida Mitsunari is an often overlooked sub that has an incredibly powerful active. They are able to convert all orbs to wood, dark, and heart along with 2 turns of haste. This can allow you to cycle your actives much faster along with being able to use in conjunction with Kaede to form a more desireable board. In addition, they will be receiving an ultimate evolution soon that could help justify their place instead of being an assistant for Skill Inheritance.
  • Green wee jas Wee Jas is a seldom seen card. However, his bind immunity and recover bind Bind Clear awakening awakening allows for reliable bind removal. Furthermore, his active generates a full row of heart orbs that can be used to help form your heart cross along with providing a single turn of delay.
  • Sasuke Sasuke has received a sizable buff to their awakenings by adding in God God Killer and Attacker 37 Killer awakenings. These allow Sasuke to deal 3x their normal damage to those types of bosses. In addition, you are able to convert water to wood orbs on a 5-turn cooldown. Main drawbacks of Sasuke are low base stats and low contribution against non-God/Attacker bosses.
  • Kaguya-hime Kaguya-Hime is a cute and farmable monster who can act as a reasonable base for Skill Inheritance due to their high base stats and 4-turn base cooldown. They also provide some time extend along with a single TPA along with high base RCV.
  • Summer Athena School Athena is one of the strongest options as a base for Skill Inheritance. With a short cooldown and bind immunity, you are able to pick and choose actives that will benefit you most while having some of the most offensive stats in the game.
  • Awoken Parv Parvati is another powerful card bind-immune, low cooldown card that can be used as a base for Skill Inheritance. Furthermore, their base skill is reasonably powerful as it spawns heart orbs while enhancing wood and heart orbs.
Subs that break heart orbs

Unlike Miru, Kaede is only able to spawn 3 heart orbs and it would be too costly (active wise) to bring a heart breaker. I would strongly suggest you look for other options.

Sample teams

If you are not pursuing the perfect Kaede team, you have a reasonable degree of flexibility when choosing sub. You simply need to address all the dungeon mechanics while not using subs that break hearts.

Ult Kaede Ult Kaede Ult Kaede Verd Odin Dragon Ult Kaede
Strongest team available

Ult Kaede Bankai Perseus Susano Osiris Verd Ult Kaede
Solo Mech Hera team featured above

Ult Kaede Ult Kaede Ult Kaede Summer Athena Sylvie Ult Kaede
Solo Descend Rush (video)

Skill Inheritance

Kaede already has a powerful active that is key to their system-like success. You may be better suited to bringing a low cooldown sub with favourable awakenings and inheriting a skill onto them.

Ult Kaede
Question Orb  Arrow Heart
Question Orb  Arrow Green
1 turn haste
7 turn CD
 Inheritance Options
Damage Enhance Facet Sheen Awoken Freyja Nim
True Damage /
Neptune Awoken Archdemon Lucifer rodin Ra Cerebrus Rider Chibi Lilith Famiel Lumiel Lightning
Board Changer Verd Skuld ult evo Sylvie Ishida
Genie Susano Indra Kush Valen Ganesha Raphael dtron Isis Cursed Dragon
Delay Awoken Oorochi Sun Quan Zeta Hydra Oku Cao Cao  ForestBahn Wee Jas
Green wee jas KenpachiSagirinokami
Orb Changers Bankai Perseus Michael Vishnu Astaroth Sasuke
Bind Clear Ame Amate Awoken Ceres Sakuya Metatron Green Odin Isis
Guan Yu Red Guan Yu Red Riding Hood Snow White Thumbelina Sleeping Beauty

What you choose to use will depend on the cards you have at your disposal along with the requirements of the dungeon. I highly recommend you read my Skill Inheritance: Advanced Strategies article as it will provide you with a wealth of information on how to make the most of your actives.

Latent Awakening set-up

Due to the strong  possibility of a 75% damage reduction shield being active all the time, there is little need to bring damage resist latents as you already survive gravities. However, it may still be beneficial to have a single card with rainbow resists on the rare occasion your shield is not up. As such, we need to look into other options for latent awakenings.

The viability of skill delay resists Skill delay resist latents has been somewhat diminished through skill inheritance as you are able to protect yourself by using the additional cooldown timer as a “shield” against delays. However, many players may still find the need to protect their inherited actives and could benefit from the now farmable skill delay latents. Taking this a step further, this JP player combined both SI and 5 skill delays on his cards to ensure his system will never be broken (video HERE).

If you are doing coop, your survivability dramatically increases as you benefit from the health of your partner’s subs. This also allows you to bring more actives and acts as a pseudo protection against skill delay as bosses can only delay one team at a time.


Kaede is the next step forward in powercreep. They combine a haste system, heal/wood generation, 75% damage reduction, and massive damage through 64x ATK and triple TPA. Kaede is capable of clearing any dungeon GungHo can create and their only weakness is a vulnerability to binds.

However, their full potential cannot be achieved without a lot of REM luck as you ideally want to have 2 Kaede as subs. As such, they will still be a very powerful leader, but most players will not be able to form the dream team.

How do you plan on using Kaede and what will be your core subs along with your thoughts the heart cross meta?

Happy Puzzling!

42 thoughts on “Kaede – New Top Tier Leader: Monster Review and Analysis”

  1. I wish Sumire was as strong as Kaede, since I have no Kaedes, but I’m glad green got a top tier lead. I find the cross mechanic really fun, so playing with Sumire and Myr(u) will have to suffice 🙂 Maybe I’ll get a Kaede in the 5x GF coming up… a man can dream, right?


    1. I tinkered around with Sumire and I found it quite challenging to use effectively. It is simply non-intuitive at this point and I will need to concentrate much harder to achieve the same level of prowess my other teams have.

      I plan to farm Miru extensively and will post a video detailing my though process =)

      Finally, I plan to roll lots in this next godfest (will detail in a future post) =D


  2. I really don’t know anyone who doesn’t know that song. Its a great song

    So with the 5x GFE announced in EU last night are you hoping to pull Kaede or more Sumires?


    1. Maybe the younger generation doesn’t know it =P

      I am hoping to pull as many GFE as possible lol I have 215 stones saved from months (maybe even 2015) so I am ready to let the good times roll

      I will do a Godfest post soon too =)


  3. My Kaede team only has a little over 22k HP and I 0-stone cleared Myr (the second time). Kaede’s biggest weakness imo is that the very awesome sweep effect of her defensive crosses are lost due to the regular use of preemptive strikes/buffs in all dungeons nowadays.

    If youre just farming dungeons and you dont have a 5 Kaede system, or no Liu Bei/4 Zeus cheese grater… you should find the sweeping super useful.


    1. What does your Kaede team consist of oO and I presume this is in solo for Myr (L+?)

      The heart crosses do carry over to block preemptives which is pretty wonderful as it frees up sub slots

      I have actually been using DQXQ for M+ Myr to great success and consistency


      1. Wit the added 2 double killers on wee jas does that make him top tier sub for kaede ?
        Also I’m debating if I should get Odin dragon lol since Armor Ceres should be coming soon .. Same as Odin dragon but diference awoken and has 2 killers


        1. Wee Jas has low stats which can become problematic late game. Also, killers only help on certain bosses

          Odin Dragon has the haste which is desired for cycling actives. What do you use on your team Chejai?


  4. I’m using a cheap budget team, made out of Kaede/Yamatsumi/Yamatsumi/Perseus/Kano, the two Yamatsumis may seem a bit off but once max skilled you’ll always have the heart/wood sky fall buff which actually makes kaede’s activation a lot easier, also I like the fact that yamatsumi is basically the dragon in her artwork! also one farmable sub you may wanna add is kaguya-hime since she comes with decent awakenings and is a perfect base for skill-inheritance, also the rcv will help her out


    1. That is a good point on Kaguya-Hime, adding in a small section =)

      As for your dual Yamatsumi idea, the skyfalls could be quite handy and should ideally give you enough orbs for consistent activation without the true system


  5. I am one of the lucky souls who have 4 Kaedes. Is it better to run 3 Kaedes, Verd and Odin Dragon or 4 Kaedes and a bind clearer?


    1. Wow you are a very lucky soul!

      3 Kaede is enough for a system and Verd is a stronger board changer than using multiple Kaede (can use verd than a single Kaede for nearly a wood/heart board)

      Bind clearing is only needed as the dungeon requires. If no binds, you could run 4x Kaede and Verd, otherwise drop a Kaede for a bind clear


  6. Pulled Kaede yesterday during the 5x Godfest. I can’t wait to use her but as a non-IAP I’m more or less forced to run a budget team until/unless I manage to pull some better subs. My currently planned team is Kaede/Vishnu/Reincarnated Zeal/Kano/Wee Jas (G). Are there any good farmables I could use instead?


    1. You already have Zeal who is one of the better farmable subs. The only other option that I would consider is Yamatsumi who has a heart/wood skyfall buff. However, your team does seem solid at this point, especially if your Vishnu is max skilled


  7. I currently run Kaede , Kaede , Verd , Wee Jas , and , Pereus
    What your thought on that team ??
    Or what should I sub in for it ..
    I was hoping for another Kaede during 5x GFE but didn’t get nothing 😡


            1. Both provide the full bind clear and haste so it comes down to their awakenings

              Ceres has the devil/dragon whereas Odin Dragon has 3k auto heal (which =12k with heart crosses) so its really up to you. I don’t think Odin Dragon is really needed now but maybe the lower CD is something people will value


  8. Are there any better subs I could be using?
    For wood subs i have stuff like AMei Mei, A Ceres, Bard, Algade, Spica, Ishida, Phact, Avalon Drake, Wee Jas, Thumbelina, Gronia, Grodin, Sasuke


  9. Hey Mantastic!
    Could I get your input on a kaede team?
    My sub options include Michael, Verdandi, Vishnu, Beach Sonia, Mitsunari, Susano, Athena, Liu Bei, Avalon Drake, Ruel, Freyja, Christmas Alraune, and Beach Armadel. What do you think? I really appreciate the help!


      1. Grodin can be used as a sub for bind heavy dungeons

        I would run Michael, Verdandi, Vishnu, flex. That flex is Odin for binds, or whoever you need most based on the dungeon


  10. My current team is Kaede/A. Susano/Weejas/A. Parvati/Verdandi

    With the new unbindable leaders awoken badge, I think it’s pretty solid. Any way I could slip Osiris in there?


  11. You can remove one of those cons. It’s pronounced KAI-dee.

    Source: Rurouni Kenshin episode 14 features a little girl named Kaede who is sick.


  12. It should be pronounced Ka- ei – day

    In japanese its parts are Ka, e (prounounced like just our letter A), and de (pronounced day)

    A lot of english anime dubs are terribly at pronunciation lol


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