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
1 turn haste
7 turn CD
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|
|Multipplier w/ heart cross||4x||49x||64x|
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 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 are largely out of the question. Thankfully, Kaede (and the wood element in general) has an abundant pool of spectacular TPA cards to draw from. In addition, enhanced wood orbs also provide valuable damage.
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 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:
- 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.
- 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 . Furthermore, you are able to use Kaede after her active to form a more desirable board.
- 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 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.
- 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 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.
- 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 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 awakening. Just keep in mind he can be bound so do not rely on him in some situations.
- 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 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 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 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.
- 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.
- Wee Jas is a seldom seen card. However, his bind immunity and recover bind 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 has received a sizable buff to their awakenings by adding in God and Attacker 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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Solo Descend Rush (video)
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.
1 turn haste
7 turn CD
|True Damage /
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 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?