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.
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 ( ) 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.
- 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
- 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
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 Pandora
- Blue Sonia
- I&I / Ryune
- Saria Thor
- Sylvie Freyja
- Red Sonia / Lu Bu
- 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 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 and the Awoken Egyptians with Bastet and Awoken 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 is still a formidable force today.
Thankfully, tank teams gained a new savior through Fallen Angel 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 , Ryune , and Sylvie who could all form powerful teams along with 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 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.
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.