Meta Snapshot: Tank Teams

Introduction

This is the second installment of this series and it allows me to share my thoughts and insight on current meta trends. Today, I wish to explore the viability of tank teams by discussing their definition, history,  and viability in today’s meta.

Video commentary

 What is a tank team?

Tank teams consist of leaders who augment your health and/or recovery along with providing a modest increase to your attack. These teams do not reduce your incoming damage and gain their survivability from their augmented stats. Tank teams may not boast the fastest clear times; however, they are very safe to play due to their innate durability and the ability to stall for actives and unleash heavy burst damage when needed.

In most cases, tank teams rely on stacking row enhances (Fire Row Water Row Wood Row Light Row Dark row) along with possibly a damage enhance in conjunction with heavy orb changers to one shot tanky bosses. This gives them wonderful damage control as you usually rely on actives to burst and are able to stall with ease. However, you lose all your multipliers if your leaders are bound, so plan accordingly.

Pros

  • High survivabilty
  • Able to control damage
  • Can withstand attacks that most teams may not be able to
  • Able to deal lethal burst damage with proper active usage
  • Somewhat easy to play
Cons
  • Active reliant for damage
  • Low base multiplier
  • Slow clears
  • May struggle with combo shields due to the need to form rows
  • Cannot withstand end game bosses due to the inability to stall
Example leaders

As stated above, tank teams do not mitigate damage and instead rely on their higher health and recovery multipliers to survive hits. The following is a small example list of popular tank teams (there are others, but these are the more popular ones):

  • Awoken Lucifer Awoken Archdemon Lucifer
  • Awoken Pandora Awoken Pandora
  • Blue Sonia Blue Sonia
  • I&I I&I / Ryune Ryune
  • Saria Saria Thor Thor
  • Sylvie Sylvie Freyja Awoken Freyja
  • Nobunaga Nobunaga
  • Astaroth Astaroth
  • Lakshmi Awoken Lakshimi
  • Red Sonia Red Sonia / Lu Bu A Lu Bu
  • Xiang Mei Xiang Mei

Tank teams throughout history

This will be the most exciting history lesson you read today and thankfully we only have to go back a few years to the first inception of Archangel Lucifer Lucifer when you could form a 4x HP / 4x RCV team. You relied on using his Morning Star active to nuke bosses down after using Gravities to remove a percentage of their health. This would result in incredibly long grinds and a somewhat boring playstyle. However, it was safe and nearly immortal at the time when there were no awakenings nor crazy high multipliers (Ra only capped out at 36x for all 5 colours and Anubis was 100x with 10 combos).

Lucifer became so popular that he was voted in the first few Player’s Choice Godfest to the dismay of more veteran players. This was because he started to fall out of favour as new leaders began to emerge that could achieve higher multipliers and the first taste of the power of Red Sonia + Lu Bu. This duo became the new Lucifer tank team as it could clear more content in a fraction of the time.

However, even this match made in heaven (or Hell as they are devils?) could not last as players got an introduction to the power of Two Prong Attacks TPA and the Awoken Egyptians with Bastet Bastet and Awoken Ra Ra. For a while, tank teams seemed to have disappeared as newer, flashier, and faster teams emerged. Rainbow teams started to gain momentum as they could unleash amazing damage and then came the first wave of MP Dragons. These MP Dragons were far too powerful upon their release and Ra Dragon Ra Dragon is still a formidable force today.

Thankfully, tank teams gained a new savior through Fallen Angel Lucifer Awoken Archdemon Lucifer and was Mantastic’s first experience with the tank and spank playstyle. Tank teams once again began to see new value through the Dragonbounds in Saria Saria, Ryune Ryune, and Sylvie Sylvie who could all form powerful teams along with Awoken Pandora Awoken Pandora who could achieve the highest damage of all the current tank teams.

For a while, tank teams were some of the best options for players who could not afford the MP Dragons. Unfortunately, GungHo had other ideas and introduced Xiang Mei Xiang Mei who could achieve 81x ATK while having amazing health and naturally high recovery. But even that could not last as the heart-cross meta quickly came out somewhat trivialized boss mechanics as they could effectively have 4x HP / 4x RCV through their 75% damage reduction shields.

Viability in today’s meta

Whenever there is an advance in powercreep/game meta, bosses and mechanics are forced to change to counter these new teams. This is a natural part of any video game and is healthy in the grand scheme of things. Unfortunately, it is mostly the higher rank/end game players who are able to keep abreast with new changes as they have the resources (whether it is magic stones, plus egg holders, large REM pool, etc.) to form new teams.

GungHo never nerfs currently released monsters and will only buff them (from time to time) so tank teams have not become weaker, they have simply not kept pace with the current rate of powercreep. Today’s end game content is tuned around the heart-cross meta along with glass-cannon leaders. Both these teams have significantly higher burst damage and in the case of heart-cross leaders, more durability.

Thus, tank teams are unable to effectively clear the top level content because they lack both the burst (without actives) and are unable to stall for those actives as everything hits too hard. They may be able to clear this set of challenge dungeons (found HERE) as level 10 is only 3 floors and does not consist of any insane mechanics or huge health pools to overcome as the Kali is very doable once below 65%. However, for other Annihilation level content, they will not be able to keep up as they will run out of actives and be unable to stall.

Despite all of this sounding negative, tank teams are still powerful. You can clear the majority of the content and will only be gatekeeped by a few dungeons. They are worth investing into as there will be situations where they are a better choice than glass cannons or rainbow leaders (heart-cross teams still outclass tank teams in nearly every way). For myself, I sometimes bring out the Blue Sonia as she is nearly immortal provided I can survive any single attack.

Conclusion

Tank teams are still capable of clearing plenty of content and are very safe to play. Their inherit durability means they can survive attacks other teams may not be able to withstand while benefiting from a certian measure of damage control due to you being active reliant. However, you will be unable to clear super end game content due to the fact that you will be unable to kill repeated floors along with the inability to stall due to high damage.

Let me know who is your favourite tank leader and if you still find yourself using them.

Happy Puzzling!

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50 thoughts on “Meta Snapshot: Tank Teams”

  1. Why is everybody always forgetting awoken Astaroth? She’s a lot better than the Norsebounds and ranked even higher on japanese Tier lists than APandora…

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    1. Because her sub-pool is pretty limited. Were it not for that, she’d be considered better than Lucifer since she gets bind immunity and an arguably better active. (Lucifer’s isn’t that bad though and has its upsides too)

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      1. TBH they gave her a lot of farmable subs, UltCauchemar is the best board changer for her and Hera-Breorc and Kaguya-Hime are pretty solid too.
        I will always defend my wood waifu!!!

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        1. Yes,but farmable subs dont make her top tier subs better. Hera-Beorc’s active is garbo and kaguya’s active is meh at best seeing how it rather low impact for an activation. cauchemar’s active is decent for her, but seeing how she has a health multiplier the shield aspect is wasted. And these dont take into account how all of their awakenings are middling at best.

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  2. I really don’t like the tank meta , i think it makes the game less of “skill” more than “knowledge”(when to use skill etc. etc.).
    i start playing this game “only” 2 years ago and it’s changes a lot.
    Personally , i prefer when it was more Skill game with a part of Knowledge.
    btw: 1 year ago i start following you , and i’m still doing .. Keep going
    you are doing a great job .
    THANK YOU A LOT

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  3. I rolled Hermes on my second account and was wondering if I could use him for a tank team. I’ve evolved him into his water/light form as I had enough to evolved him and needed some more dmg on my water team, but then I saw his Awoken form and was checking to mix him with awoken SunQuan or Awoken I&I to make a multiplayer tank team (doing gabriel/I&I for now, not enough dmg half the time tho)

    Awoken Hermes/I&I : 2/15/2.5
    Awoken Hermes/SunQuan : 2/24/2

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  4. I still use Thoria regularly for medium to difficult decends. Also have a good robu team and the parts for a.lucifer and a.panda but don’t use those three very much. I also have ult Sumire (as does my alt acct) and have been practicing on easier dungeons. Heart cross requires a bit more thought and sometimes a lot of matching time when things are spreadout. But I do enjoy the effect when I can get heart cross and 5o1e. Main problem with my sumire team is skill ups and plus’ … time will fix that.

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    1. Yeah Sumire is very reliant (so is every team tbh) on skill ups, but esp in solo to form more of a system team with haste.

      Lucifer will probably take you very far with the right investment and he is still very popular

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      1. I read over your Lucifer guide a couple days ago. Excellent work! Anyway, the only piece I am missing for a good lucifer team is bind recovery. But I have 300K MP. Still pondering whether to buy Yomigon…

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          1. Sleeping Beauty, LuBu, Kakkab, an unevolved Aamir and ult dragon zombie. Be just my luck to buy yomigon and then pull Gremory a few weeks later 🙂

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                  1. Yea, I drew the same conclusion. From what is in my box, The lowest CD for SI is awoken Isis. Downside: I use her on my Sumire team. Next best are Ceres, Cinderella, Thumbelina, Snow White, Red Riding Hood and Sleeping Beauty. Good times, I have decent alternatives. Thanks!

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  5. I have Astaroth, but I don’t have Michael or Green Valkyrie. I think she requires very specific subs to make the best use of her.

    Awoken Lucifer is the leader I use the most. The best thing about him is his large sub pool because he can use both Gods & Devils. 6 SB, 6 Dark Rows, 2 God killers, and 2 skill bind resist before adding any subs is pretty good. But like you mention, bind is a big weakness.

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    1. I completely agree that Astaroth is horribly restrictive. You have so few options and is the main reason she is rarely seen.

      Lucifer is probably the most popular due to the huge sub pool AND very relevant god killer. I don’t use him much now mostly because Fantastic doesnt have one, but he was a main leader for me before coop and even SI

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  6. I really like this Meta Snapshot series, it’s interesting to learn about different types of teams and their history. In terms of what tank teams I run, I used to run Baal in my (very) early days of PAD, nowadays I mainly stick with DQXQ (she just got removed from setsupad’s tier list for not being a tank team, much sad…) but I do sometimes opt for Lucifer or Pandora. Those teams would probably be better than my DQXQ if I invested the resources there.

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    1. Well the thing with DQXQ compared to Lucifer/Pandora is her amazingly high damage. This can be valuable in many situations and both teams can clear Arena 2. It also depends on your playstyle and what you enjoy

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      1. I certainly tend to prefer teams that can, as you phrased it something like this once, “expect to enter a dungeon guns blazing and sweep every floor,” thus DQXQ (and my deep-seated hatred of damage absorbs like sopdet). I may just be spoiled from DQXQ, but playing Lucifer and Pandora can get a bit agonizing. On the subject of tank teams, the new Uuevo Krishna looks pretty promising. What do you think about this team: Krishna/A. Cao Cao/Sanada/A. Leilan/A. Freyr/Krishna. My other fire subs are Uriel, Ronia, Chiyome, and Silk. My personal thoughts on my Krishna team is that I don’t have much utility (specifically bind clears). I put in Leilan over Ronia as a full board change as she’s on a lower cooldown and provides haste, with the only downfall is that she’s more likely to be affected by bad RNG.

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        1. Fire tends to be low in utility. One thing about ronia is bind recover although she isn’t bind immune not makes hearts. Sanada is wonderful along with Cao Cao although they compete for Same orbs. You would have to dmg test to see if you really do need freyr as another orb changer may be of value such as uriel for hearts

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  7. Do you think the Awoken greco gods are viable TPA tank teams now that they got buffed from 14.06x to 20.25x ATK leads? (such as Awoken Persephone vs Awoken Archdemon Lucifer / Awoken Pandora)

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    1. The only really viable ones are Persrphone and Artemis/Balboa. Raphael lacks a good board changer (Sylvie and Meimei are meh for a light team). Sun Quan is okay at best for Hermes and Ares lacks a RCV-Boost partner.

      Persephone is probably the best of the bunch, just put in two Hakus (Lumiel is a great choice too) a Gremory for bind clearing and Damage enhance (like Loki) and you’re good to go!

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      1. I’ve lately been using an Ares/Shiva team, it’s rather effective althoguh it doesn’t really have a bind-clear option. Somehow, I still tank through a lot of bind-heavy content.

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        1. Ares/Shiva has Ame no Uzume as a bind clearing option. Has low offensive awakenings, but does work.

          With the future buff to Balboa/Artemis, you do form a reasonably strong team that has great access to numerous TPA cards

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  8. I started off with a Ryune/I&I team. Still use it but starting to have issues with some dungeons.

    Sad to see how it’s fallen out of the meta, but I guess it’s time to move on to another team.

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  9. What sort of cards do you run on a nobunaga team? Would you recommend ones like pandora, persephone, and red sonia? A friend recently got me into the game and I find your content especially helpful, thanks a bunch!

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    1. Glad to be of help! I would use your best dark devil’s for Nobunaga as cards like red sonia dilute your damage as you are primarily matching dark. Ofc, use the best cards you have =)

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  10. How come I never see people talking about LuBu/Loki team as a tank team? The only restriction is all the sub need to be dark/devil which has a huge sub pool.

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      1. Lu Bu leader skill is HPx2, same as Ryune and Saria. So, not sure how it has low HP multiplier. The similar active skills between 2 leaders can be mitigated by skill inheritance nowadays and leader is unbindable has some advantage too.

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        1. My mistake on the HP multiplier, but that still does not change the competing actives. Yes you can solve them via SI, but in harder content, you will be less able to stall and having two competing enhances vs an enhance and board change can be problematic. Furthermore, the devil only clause can cut down on team building for some people.

          If anything, you should do Lu Bu + Nobunaga as you would have a higher multiplier and better diversification of leader’s actives

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  11. What do you think about krishna? He bursts much harder than the tank teams listed here, has a rcv multiplier to stall and very gentle team building requirements, also only requires 9 orbs to deal lethal damage. Is he the best tank lead right now?

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    1. I feel that this article was written before Krishna (could be wrong?), but Krishna is currently the best true tank team available and makes the previous ones look weak by comparison.

      Granted Krishna is somewhat orb hungry, but the fact you can easily stall more than makes up for it.I have used him to clear Arena 3 many times, but he is slow to use

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    1. The multiplier is amazing on paper, but lacks viable subs to support the team and the 4 orb clause can be annoying. Perhaps if she is able to use other cards will her viability improve from her future evo

      Like

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