Halloween Xiang Mei has been released in North America and is one of the 8-star rolls from the Halloween REM along with being available for purchase for 500,000 MP. As this will be an important decision for many players, I wish to take this opportunity to measure the pros and cons of Halloween Xiang Mei along with team building options and how she fits in today’s meta.
When Xiang Mei (Orchid) was released, she shook up the meta due to being able to form a system, have spectacular burst damage, and possessing high survivability due to the HP multiplier and high base recovery. Unfortunately, the pace of powercreep has continued to grow by leaps and bounds and if you look at the JP tier lists, fire Xiang Mei has almost been completely removed. This can be misleading as she is by no means weak, but instead, is not as strong as the other options currently available (the tier list also assumes perfect teams). Xiang Mei can still clear plenty of content, but she is faltering when compared to the heart-cross leaders.
With all this in mind, how can a dark/devil equivalent Xiang Mei fare in today’s meta? Furthermore, with the inclusion of dark devils, your team building and playstyle does not have to mirror her fire cousin.
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Halloween Xiang Mei at a glance
1 turn haste
7 turn CD
1.5x HP / 2x ATK for Devil type. 3x ATK when 2 heal combo, 4.5x ATK with 3+ heal combos
2.25x HP / 81x ATK
|# heal combos||1||2||3|
- 2.25x HP and 81x multiplier combine both survivability and damage potential
- 1,001 base RCV on Xiang Mei and incredible weighted stats
- Able to control damage through heart combos and electing to form a dark row
- Active skill allows for a system like team due to haste (farmable options)
- Dark devils are plentiful and team building is quite flexible
- Does not require duplicate HXM to be effective
- Able to clear most end game content
- Attacker Killer awakening grants 3x damage to attacker type bosses
- Easy to skill up
- Recovery badge in solo mode is amazing
- Prettier than fire Xiang Mei
- Rides a broomstick and has sexy tights (pancaaake’s contribution)
- Vulnerable to binds and is dependent on subs to remove them
- Heart combos occupy space and somewhat dilutes your damage
- Very few uses as a sub
- Less powerful compared to XM upon release (relatively speaking)
- May struggle without time extension
- Attacker Killer may make certain absorption bosses challenging
- Costs 500,000 MP
- 8-star Collab roll
How many dark rows is enough?
- Each awakening adds 10% damage
- Every matched combo adds 25% more damage
- However, a connected 6 match deals 1.75x your base attack value while 2 separate combos is 2x base attack
- Thus you need 4.2 to “break even” (instead of matching 2 unique sets of 3 dark orbs)
Team Building Options
Halloween Xiang Mei may share the same active, leader skill, and stats as Fire Xiang Mei; however, due to the plethora of devil subs available, you do not need to copy her team building nor playstyle.
Halloween Xiang Mei does not have direct replacements for the staple Xiang Mei subs of Uriel or Gadius which is perfectly okay. In fact, Uriel and Gaidus were not that good subs and were only used because of the healer typing, not because they are the best fire cards available. Thus, you need to break the mindset of following the framework of 2 Xiang Mei, Uriel, and Gadius when team building Halloween Xiang Mei.
Due to the 2.25x HP and no recovery multiplier, you need to be conscious of the RCV on your team as it is possible to build something that will be unable to effectively heal. However, this is not a shortcoming for Halloween Xiang Mei as with full +297s and intelligent decisions, you should have ample recovery.
I will be addressing Skill Inheritance and system properties later in this article.
Higher tier subs:
- Awoken Pandora is an incredible sub due to her synergistic awakenings including recover bind and powerful active. Awoken Pandora is able to produce hearts, dark, and a single turn of haste which could be paramount to helping cycle your actives. Her main drawback is low base recovery and you should just be aware of your total team’s recovery.
- Uuevo Pandora is another Fantastic sub for Halloween Xiang Mei due to the same dark/heart generating active that also enhances all heal orbs. This helps guarantee a full heal when combined with her massive base RCV. Players should choose this evolution when you are struggling with finding high recovery subs. The dual time extension is just icing on the cake.
- Akechi has always been a desired card due to his incredible active that generates enhanced dark orbs and heal along with having combo synergy with Haku . Furthermore, Akechi’s new ultimate evolution has granted him additional offensive awakenings and respectable base stats.
- Gremory is a relatively new Godfest Exclusive who is an amazing Halloween Xiang Mei sub. One glaring weakness you face is a vulnerability to binds and Gremory helps address this issue along with providing three dark and heart orbs. Furthermore, her high base recovery helps alleviate team building constraints.
- Cecil is one of two natural devil board changers who produce heart and dark orbs. He is able to generate a board of dark, light, and heart and has potential synergy with Grisar .
- Armoured Batman may be the night along with a top tier leader while being the more offensive oriented devil board changer. His dual rows and synergy with Pandora along with a turn of haste makes him a dream Halloween Xiang Mei sub.
Bind clearing subs:
- Halloween Alraune is another festively dressed character who is able to remove 4 turns of binds along with a single turn of haste on a 7 turn cooldown. This can be used to help close the haste system while having a defensive component.
- Nobunaga is another viable bind clearer who is also able to spawn 6 dark orbs at random. However, it is this randomness that can be problematic as you run the risk of overriding your heart orbs.
- Aamir is a powerful bind clearer who is farmable which gives players who may not have as deep of an REM pool options.
- Sleeping Beauty is another viable bind clearer who can double as a heart maker. Just be aware of her low base stats and her wood to heart active that competes with Pandora.
- Halloween Xiang Mei is naturally a strong sub on her own team, but is not mandatory compared to her fire cousin. Yes additional Halloween Xiang Meis help form a system along with addressing the potential for low RCV; however, your success is not dependent on owning numerous duplicates of her.
- Halloween Laila produces full horizontal line of dark orbs at the bottom row of the board. This enables you to automatically form a row, just be careful you have sufficient heart orbs present.
- Halloween Chiyome offers a quick 5 turn wood to dark orb change along with a Dragon Killer awakening. Just be aware she competes with Pandora for orbs.
- Grisar is another Fantastic farmable card and when max skilled, is able to convert light to dark and provide 1 turn of haste on a 7 turn cooldown. This can be used to help create a system team along with giving players another orb changing option.
- Hanzo is still a respectable orb changer as he is able to convert fire to dark on a 5 turn cooldown while possessing dual killer awakenings.
- D/D Haku may not generate heart orbs with her full board changer, but deserves mentioning if you run an Akechi as they can combo beautifully together to form a 2/3 enhanced dark, 1/3 heart board.
Utility / Skill Inheritance bases
- Awoken Lucifer may be a card you have already heavily invested in and makes a reasonable sub as you can inherit a more favourable active on top of his. However, if you have Lucifers to spare, you may be better off using his Dark/Fire form as he has a shorter cooldown and makes a more appealing base.
- Zaerog Infinity was once heralded as a top tier farmable card, but has quickly fallen from grace. However, his haste and skyfall active may have newfound value on Halloween Xiang Mei. Combined with the farmable Grisar , you would be able to form a system and have nearly 100% uptime on your skyfall buff.
- Rozuel is a cute and deadly utility sub for Halloween Xiang Mei. She may not possess dark rows, but her triple Two Prong Attacks will allow her to deal high burst damage. Furthermore, her heart generating active combined with her bind immunity and recover bind allows her to act as a pseudo bind clearer.
- Hades is often overlooked as Gravities are not as pivotal to success as they had been in the past. However, he may be receiving a Reincarnated evolution and is still a unique way to help deal with Resolve bosses.
- Lu Bu may be your best option for an enhancing sub as he has favourable awakenings along with full bind immunity along with recover bind . Granted he does not manufacture hearts and his active does reset your health to 1, he is still viable and you can work around these shortcomings.
- Awoken Vritra is a fierce dragon and is a powerful option as both an enhancer sub or base for a stronger active.
- Awoken Loki was once a staple damage enhancing sub before Skill Inheritance. However, he still makes a powerful sub and his two turns of damage enhancement will allow you to easily sweep back to back floors.
- Nephthys is a cute option for damage enhancement. Unfortunately, her active is relatively weak as it is only a 1.5x enhance for two turns along with dark orb enhancement (which does not carry over onto the second turn). However, her five dark orb enhancements along with reasonably high RCV make her a respectable sub.
There is no perfect team and you must use what you have at your disposal but it does help to have some of the top tier subs. Also, use your judgement on what to bring to counter various dungeon mechanics along with watching your team’s RCV.
**If I have missed anyone, please leave a comment below**
Once again I want to stress that even though Halloween Xiang Mei is similar to Xiang Mei, you do not have to build the exact same team. Due to the wide array of Devils at your disposal, you are able to craft a team that fits your box instead of a one-team for all. You also need to take Skill Inheritance into consideration as you will almost always inherit something on top of your Halloween Xiang Mei.
The following teams are hypothetical and you must use your own judgement on which subs to bring to strike a balance between RCV, orb generation, time extension, and utility.
Can I use non-devil dark subs?
The simple answer is no. You should never use non-devil cards as those monsters will only be benefiting from a measly 20.25x ATK multiplier and with the massive array of dark devils at your disposal, you should not be gimping your team any more than necessary.
How does a system work?
A system is a term given to a team that is able to utilize haste actives on multiple cards to repeatedly chain multiple actives together. This allows you to cycle your actives quickly as a turn of haste reduces the remaining cooldown of all over actives. Do note that haste will only help your team and not your partner’s subs. Thus, haste has diminishing returns in coop. The two most common systems rely on having cards with a 7 turn cooldown and a single turn of haste in varying amounts.
4 haste actives
The first team has 4 total cards (friend leader is included) that possess haste and a 7-turn cooldown. Your two other cards can be anything you like and will have their skills charged very quickly. In essence, you use one haste active every turn and would then be able to use your first active on your fifth turn again as the haste from the other three would have been able to recharge you. Thus, the cycle continues.
- Turn 1: use haste #1
- Turn 2: use haste #2
- Turn 3: use haste #3
- Turn 4: use haste #4
- Turn 5: use haste #1
6 haste actives
A team consisting of 6 haste actives is not very practical, but is mostly worth mentioning to showcase how it functions. Essentially, you use 3 actives every turn and this will cause enough haste to loop back to using the original 3 by the third turn.
- Turn 1: use haste #1, 2, and 3
- Turn 2: use haste #4, 5, and 6
- Turn 3: use haste #1, 2, and 3
Haste and Halloween Xiang Mei
Utilizing haste on your Halloween Xiang Mei will allow you to help cycle your actives with greater ease along with being able to constantly generate your desired orbs. With the farmable Grisar and Zaerog Infinity , you will always be able to form a system and can even throw in Awoken Pandora (do note she has a 9 turn cooldown). It is not critical to your success, but greatly eases the burden of stalling as you are able to use your leaders more frequently.
Forming a system with your Halloween Xiang Mei is valuable, but not needed to succeed.
Skill Inheritance is a way to help add utility or actives to your team that would have not been possible due to colour, typing, etc. As such, it is not mandatory for success, but is a way to help improve your chances of clearing a dungeon.
What you choose to inherit will depend on the cards you have at your disposal along with the requirements of the dungeon. You may not need all of these components in every scenario, but is something to keep in mind when selling duplicate monsters.
|Xiang Mei||Spawn 6 hearts
1 turn haste
7 turn CD
|True Damage /
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
Halloween Xiang Mei is by nature a tanky team and does not require a specific line up of awakenings to shine. Outside of a single rainbow resist (as a means to survive 100% gravities by having 1% of each colour), you are quite free to do as you please. However, due to Halloween Xiang Mei’s incredible base recovery and no RCV multiplier, she can greatly benefit from the recovery Latent Tamadras as each one provides 50 RCV. This is significant as you are required to stall throughout a dungeon to recharge your actives.
The viability of skill delay resists 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, if you are trying to cycle your actives through Xiang Mei’s base active, you may benefit with 1-2 delay resists. The decision is up to you, but it is less important if you heavily utilize skill inheritance.
Viability in today’s meta
Halloween Xiang Mei is more powerful than her fire cousin due to better typing, better sub pool, and artwork. However, the viability of a 2.25x HP team in the age of heart-cross leaders has been diminished as you are no longer able to survive certain attacks in Annihilation level content. Regardless of how much health you have, you will be unable to survive gravity based attacks nor will you be able to overcome 100,000 HP. All of these factors contribute to the decline of Xiang Mei.
Despite all of these setbacks, Halloween Xiang Mei is still a formidable leader that is capable of clearing plenty of content. Just because JP tier lists have lowered her value (essentially everything above is a heart-cross leader), does not mean she is unable to clear Arena 2 level content and even Arena 3 with favourable spawns.
Halloween Xiang Mei will still be a popular leader, but she is not entering the game at the top of the meta and will thus have a shorter lifespan in terms of clearing current high end content.
However, when priced at 500,000 Monster Points, it makes it challenging to warrant her purchase unlike Summer Myr who is a heart cross and top tier leader. Players have to be conscious of the next wave of powercreep from MP cards and even the new evolutions for the first wave of MP Dragons. Sinking 500,000 into a leader who is not going to perform at the top of the game is a hard investment to justify.
Halloween Xiang Mei is a powerful leader who rides into Puzzle and Dragons upon a broomstick. She may not be entering the game at the top of the tier lists like her fire cousin did, but Halloween Xiang Mei has a less restrictive sub pool and a more diverse team building/playstyle. You will be able to clear plenty of content upon her release, but may find her less viable in the next 6 months.
Let me know what you think of Halloween Xiang Mei and whether or not you are planning on purchasing her.
Happy Halloween and Puzzling!