Machine Athena Descended was released alongside of the Skill Up rotation in the previous maintenance. As with any new content that is released, I am always eager to play as it provides new challenges and mechanics to overcome. These can require either careful planning or pretty puzzling to overcome. Most of the Annihilation tier content is catered around coop and it is possible to clear solo. However, I have neither the proper cards nor latents to do so and multiplayer also helps bridge the shortfall of my non-optimal teams. In addition, I do enjoy playing with myself through my Mantastic and Fantastic accounts.
I was successful in clearing Machine Athena on my third attempt with the final two being done on stream. Due to the nature of streaming and my attempts to interact with my viewers along with my over zealousness to stall, it is quite long, but worth watching to learn about the new darkness mechanic along with how to deal with the later floors.
Team line up
Myr is capable of clearing Machine Athena solo; however, it requires cards that I do not own (such as a delay on Mantastic) along with numerous skill delay resists to minimize the risk from all the preemptives in the dungeon. You also require a shielding sub to survive Athena’s <50% attack.
Machine Athena Descended is the slowest of all the Annihilation Machine Descends due to the wide range of resolves, hidden orbs, combo shield, and absorption shields. Each will require careful planning to overcome and I want to briefly explain what they all do.
Resolve is a mechanic in which the boss survives a killing blow with 1 HP if they were above 50%. This is dangerous as many of them will also execute your team when they survive. Thus, you need to exercise careful damage control to overcome floor 8.
This is a brand new Mechanic that is introduced in Machine Athena. In essence, your orbs are hidden for X number of turns. Moving them will not reveal them, but can be looked at by tapping on them prior to moving. You are still able to move and match these orbs, but not having them be revealed while moving can prove to be very challenging to overcome. For myself, I would try to clear only a few of them every turn as there is no need to rush clear them. One helpful thing is that you can still see the pluses or the heart/jammer/poison orb outline which does aide in matching.
7 combo shield
No one like combo shields and being forced to match at least 7 combos can prove challenging for a variety of teams that are reliant on heart-crosses, 5o1e, rows, etc. One strategy used by some players is using Raphael’s active to survive the execution attack, then killing with a board swipe after the combo shield dissipates.
Machine Athena is a very scary boss, but what makes her even scarier is voiding any damage over 4,000,000. This means you will be forced to bring her under 50% and this will cause her to do her 138,240 attack. You also have to dance around with her 150% HP attack that must be mitigated through a shield or heart cross.
Green Odin team
Machine Hera is Green Odin ‘s time to shine as the dungeon features few multi-hits which then allows you to easily stall, recharge actives, and Dios / Hera swipe. You ideally want a fully maximized team with all the proper inherits along with a large amount of patience. The Green Odin team has a high degree of safety, but may be slower than Myr due to the heavy reliance on actives to deal burst damage.
From what I have seen, the Dios and Hera are staple along with a dual colour board changer to help overcome the 7 combo shield. Conversely, you can inherit Raphael to tank the enrage hit and then Dios/Hera swipe after the combo shield has lifted.
You also need a full damage void active, such as Raphael , to survive the <50% attack from Athena. Another damage enhance is also quite helpful. Cerberus Rider is also amazing for the Gear spawns and Zeal on floor 7.
I used Myr due to being my most favourable team that did not require the usage of Raphael (as neither account owns him). However, not everyone has Myr nor perfect Green Odin teams and you still have other options available, but all should include some sort of passive damage mitigation built into the leader skill to survive the large hits and to allow for stalling.
Heart-cross leaders are the default choice and you can easily use Kaede who would be the safest choice. Ronove , Paimon , or Gremory could also be used, but you may not be able to survive Athena’s <50% attack. You will have to exercise varying amounts of damage control and always check to make sure you can actually survive the various attacks in the dungeon.
Passive damage mitigation
In theory, leaders such as Awoken Mei Mei should be able to handle the dungeon as you do have a sizable amount of damage mitigation. Granted you cannot sweep as easily as Grodin, but is worth considering.
Machine Athena is a challenging dungeon to overcome. The introduction of new mechanics along with interesting boss mechanics results in a more grindy playstyle. This opens up the door to various tank teams but also means you cannot speed farm her compared to other dungeons.
What teams did you use to successfully clear Machine Athena?