Yusuke is the newest craze to come to NA Puzzle and Dragons as he is one of the best leaders in the game along with being an amazingly powerful sub. Furthermore, he will be one of the most widely available cards due to the fact that he is available to trade in for via the Monster Exchange System (can read more about that HERE).
This article will summarize my thoughts and rationale for building a Yusuke team; however, team building is more about countering the dungeon mechanics and somewhat removes the notion of “perfect set ups.” As such, I find it best to understand how each sub functions as well as Yusuke’s strengths and weaknesses.
–video coming soon–
Active: Reduces cooldown of other skills by 1 turn. Removes lock status on orbs. Change all orbs to Water & Light orbs (13 turn CD)
Leader Skill: Light attribute cards HP x1.5, ATK x1.5, RCV x1.5. All attribute cards ATK x4 when reaching 7 combos or above. All attribute cards ATK x2.5 when reaching Light & Water combos
Yusuke can be somewhat classified as a Tank team due to his unconditional 2.25x HP/RCV multipliers. This is valuable because Yusuke teams are able to absorb large amounts of punishment while also being able to quickly heal back up. Furthermore, by being unconditional, it becomes much easier to stall out problematic floors without having to worry about specific orbs being present.
Unfortunately, Yusuke lacks any form of damage mitigation which makes him more vulnerable to gravity-based attacks. While he can survive a 99% gravity, anything higher will require an active skill to survive.
High ATK multiplier
Yusuke boasts a spectacular 225x ATK multiplier which enables him and his team to deal wonderful amounts of damage. Comparing Yusuke to other top-tier leaders, he comes out ahead of Edward in terms of raw offensive power (but Edward has damage mitigation to compensate) along with being on par with Rikuu . Thankfully, Yusuke comes with a wonderful array of awakenings which enables him to deal significantly more damage compared to Rikuu.
By being able to hit 225x ATK with releative ease, many high defense floors can be somewhat ignored as one should be able to pierce through them by simply matching orbs. Furthermore, using Yusuke’s base active results in full activation along with numerous Light/Water combos and can sometimes be used in lieu of a burst active.
The following image showcases an 18L/12W split with a 3×3 Box being formed. Skyfalls gave an extra 2 combos for a total of 9:
The key to Yusuke’s ATK multiplier is the fact that he comes with three offensive awakenings. These boost his own personal damage up to lethal levels and is further amplified by the fact that both leaders will be dealing meaningful amounts of damage.
Even with only a single Light combo, the damage is pretty amazing for the entire team. The following image is with 8 combos with one being Light and 2 being Water:
Yusuke comes with two 7 Combo and a Void Damage Penetration which pumps his effective damage up to 900x without forming a 3×3 box when using dual Yusuke leaders. This massive amount of effective damage helps him waltz through most content without too much worry as he only has to match 7+ combos with Water and Light orbs.
Damage Void Penetration
With that being said, Yusuke is one of the best, if not the best Void Damage Penetration card in the game. This is because he comes with dual 7 Combos, the ability to accept any Killer latent, and a bi-colour board changer that unlocks orbs. These factors help him deal lethal amount of damage to Damage Void spawns but the real magic occurs when using Yusuke as a leader.
For the most part, cards with the Damage Void Penetration awakening are required to deal the entire boss’s health pool on their own as all other cards are voided out. As such, having high personal damage is key but by being able to pair with a Yusuke friend, you will have two cards piercing through. This means the total damage required for your team is effectively half due to the fact that two cards will be able to ignore the void.
Yusuke has gentle team building requirements as he only requires Light cards to function well. This includes both primary and sub attribute which further expands his sub pool; however, it is often best to try and pursue Light Primary cards or Blue Primary with a Light sub attribute. This is because you wish to deal as much damage as possible after using Yusuke’s base active and trying to stick to those two colours leads to the greatest consistency.
On that train of thought, having cards with both Light and Water (or Light Light) helps provide even more damage output.
Awakenings to pursue
Yusuke teams gain most of their damage from the 7 Combo awakenings as it has synergy with the leader skill requirements while also demanding the least number of Light and Water orbs. As such, it is best to try and have subs with 2 or more 7 Combo awakenings in order to pump out consistent levels of damage.
Due to the fact that Yusuke already comes with a Void Damage Penetration awakening, it is unlikely that players would require more as subs as the two leaders should be dealing sufficient damage overall.
RCV > HP
Yusuke boasts 2.25x HP / RCV and this makes him quite durable; however, it is better to pursue RCV over HP provided your team is able to tank the largest reasonable hit without a shield.
This is because being able to replenish your health pool is more important overall as it is the most reliable way to stall through problematic floors. Furthermore, having less HP and more RCV helps survive against poison matches.
A wonderful example is comparing the usage of Blue or Light Cotton. Both feature desriable awakenings and are some of the better options for FUA ; however, their stat distribution is either skewed towards HP or RCV.
Blue Cotton has 2,615 more HP but 847 less RCV compared to her Light cousin. These numbers are then multiplied by 2.25x for Yusuke teams and grants a difference of either 5,884 HP or 1,906 RCV. This is important because the Light Cotton (RCV) choice will greatly aid in replenishing your HP but if that additional 5,884 HP means surviving the next reasonable hit, the Blue form is preferred.
With that being said, if the dungeon is long enough to recharge actives, it is often better to still pursue the RCV option assuming you do not need to one shot every floor/cannot stall.
Solo mode badge
The choice of Solo mode badge will vary from player to player as well as dungeon to dungeon. Choosing HP will naturally boost your HP pool to better survive dangerous attacks whereas RCV will improve your healing potential. Both options are perfectly viable and comes down to personal preference.
Some players may find merit in using the Time Extend badge but that is generally a poor idea as you are missing out on a large chunk of stats and should have enough movement time as you will primarily be using a 6×5 board.
Notable cards to run
Cards appear in no particular order and is simply reflective of how they appear in my master icon list.
Yusuke is naturally a strong sub on his own team due to the perfect synergy through awakenings and active skill. The main drawback of this is losing out on active skill diversity (already have 2 bi-colour board changers) along with Yusuke having lower weighted stats. He is by no means a bad option, but it can be advantageous to have other active skills that ideally make heart orbs.
Sherias Roots is a situationally powerful card to run; however, he has less merit on Yusuke compared to Edward teams. This is because having Guard Break has less merit due to the higher ATK multiplier along with possibly being challenging to incorporate all 5 elements on your team. With that being said, the Killer awakenings can have merit against certain spawns.
Edward is another powerful double 7 Combo option for Yusuke teams who also brings a powerful active skill. Unfortunately, Edward suffers from a long base cooldown along with it being somewhat difficult to incorporate all elements to trigger his Skill Charge awakening.
Odin Dragon is the king of Bind and Awoken bind clearing and has become somewhat mandatory when pushing through end game content like Alt. Arena. Thankfully, Yusuke is able to tap into Odin Dragon due to his Light sub attribute. Unfortunately, Odin Dragon will be providing less damage overall due to only one 7 Combo awakening along with Wood being his primary attribute.
Cards that do not have Light or Water as their primary attribute will not be contributing as much damage after a Yusuke board changer along with possibly having their colours removed via other actives. As such, using these types of cards should be done sparingly and only if they provide enough value for your team.
Amatsu is often considered the best Follow Up Attack option in the game due to his amazing weighted stats and 9,046 base HP. Furthermore, Amatsu owns a reasonably useful active for Yusuke teams as he can unlock orbs while also producing Water and Hearts. This helps form the column needed for FUA while also owning a Recover Bind awakening for pseudo bind clearing.
Unfortunately, Amatsu suffers from a lack of RCV which can place a strain on your healing potential.
Blue Cotton can be somewhat thought of as a “budget” Amatsu due to less weighted stats and lesser awakenings. She tries to make up for these shortcomings via a 5 turn base active (that does not break Yusuke activation) which can help inherit a valuable active skill more easily.
However, Blue Cotton also suffers from a lack of RCV as her stats are heavily skewed towards HP.
I feel that Light Cotton is potentially the strongest FUA option for Yusuke teams due to her ability to equip Dragon Killer latents, Light primary attribute, and massive RCV stat. As mentioned above, being able to restore your HP is more valuable than simply increasing it assuming your team can survive the largest reasonable hit in the dungeon. As such, Light Cotton offers massive healing potential while also providing the valuable Follow Up Attack awakening.
Paimon is another HP-heavy FUA card that comes with four Light Orb Enhance awakenings. These awakenings help propel the team’s overall damage output to new levels as 80% of all orbs will fall down enhanced. Unfortunately, Paimon has lower RCV along with an active skill that may override activation as it randomly spawns 3 Light and Heart orbs. Thankfully, his active is on a 7-turn cooldown.
Fenrir Viz is a viable sub for Yusuke as he has the ideal colours along with favourable awakenings and short base cooldown. With a 3 turn cooldown, Fenrir Viz can easily inherit an active skill of your choice and the single 7 Combo and God Killer has merit in numerous end game dungeons. While double 7 Combo is preferred due to the universal damage, when facing Gods, Fenrir Viz will have an effective 6x ATK instead of the 4x for double 7c.
Hexazeon has unbelievable weighted stats when Limit Broken to Level 110 with them being heavily skewed towards HP and ATK. Unfortunately, his 16 turn base cooldown is only corrected via Skill Charge which may or may not activate depending on the team composition. This can make it challenging to justify using Hexazeon as sub as his already lackluster base active will take even longer to charge up.
With that being said, Hexazeon can be used as a sub to ensure your team hits a specific HP threshold to survive without a shield. Lastly, Hexazeon cannot be inherited and required 50 skill ups to max skill.
Alphonse is a viable FUA option for Yusuke teams as his base active skill is quite powerful along with having meaningful awakenings. Being able to produce a board changer along with a 50% damage reduction shield can help potentially address two problems at once and is worth considering in situations where both components can be taken advantage of.
DQXQ was once a top tier leader but has sadly fallen out of favour due to a lack of any defensive multiplier and now desirable awakenings. However, she may have merits on a Yusuke team for her powerful active skill but may be mostly relegated to an inheritance role. DQXQ’s active is able to spawn Light and Heart orbs along with changing hazards to Water. This potential triple orb changer can dramatically condense/clear your board and is well worth considering.
Reine is a potential Yusuke sub as she offers a single 7 Combo along with a short base cooldown to easily inherit over. While these will be her main features, Guard Break may provide some value if the team is able to incorporate rainbow coverage.
Apollo is able to perform as a reasonable Yusuke sub due to his healthy stat distribution but the lack of any 7 Combo awakenings hinders his own personal output while his two Light Orb Enhance awakenings help bolster the team’s total damage. Unfortunately, his Void Damage Penetration Super Awakening is somewhat wasted as Yusuke already owns one.
In regards to his active skill, the Light skyfall component can help pad your damage but a double Light orb changer can overflow the board and prevent a natural 7 Combos from occurring.
Indra is primarily used as a stellar inherit but can still be used as a sub. This is because they offer a meaty amount of HP, Time Extend, and through their Super Awakenings, 7 Combo or Cloud Resist . Furthermore, by actually using Indra as a sub, players will be able to tap into the shielding component significantly more often which may have merits in dungeons where one would need to re-shield again. Just remember that Yusuke teams are vulnerable to gravity-based attacks and a 75% damage reduction helps address this.
Diao Chan is a situational sub at best and is somewhat replaced by Yusuke due to his own orb unlocking aspect. As such, Diao Chan may be mostly used to override time debuffs or to carry a different active skill as she has a 2 turn base cooldown.
Orochi may be better off as an on-colour inherit, but if in a pinch, they can be used as a sub. Their main drawback is their TPA having little value on the team along with a lackluster base ATK if not connecting 4 water orbs. Furthermore, the massive HP Orochi provides is not as needed on Blue Sonia teams.
Orpharion is a farmable solution for Yusuke teams and come with high weighted stats and three Skill Boosts . This can help ensure key actives are ready in time along with adding valuable bulk to your total health stat.
Light Ney is a workable sub provided one can stall long enough to utilize an inherit on top of her base active. This is because her board changer only produces Light, Dark, and Heal orbs which will prevent activation. With that being said, Ney’s double 7 Combo and TPA can help Yusuke teams pierce through higher defense spawns if a triple 7 Combo card is not available.
Ideal is arguably the strongest sub in the game due her massive weighted stats (heavily skewed towards RCV), team HP awakening/Super Awakening, and triple 7 Combos . All of this makes her hard to replace on any team as she will be delivering massive amounts of damage on a consistent basis while her base active has merit as a delay. She is essentially an Ideal sub to run on Yusuke teams.
Yuna is another incredible card to run on Yusuke teams due to her high RCV stat, quick charging shield, ability to equip Dragon Killer latents, double 7 Combo , and 4 Time Extend awakenings. All of these factors help her perform wonderfully on a wide variety of Combo teams and having her water sub attribute helps pump out more damage after a Yusuke board.
Cronus is a potential sub for Yusuke teams due to his triple 7 Combo awakenings. Sadly, his primary attribute is Wood which means he will not benefit from Yusuke boards along with having a non-synergistic active skill. These two factors but a significant damper on Cronus’s viability and may make it challenging to use him in some content.
With that being said, he may be your hardest hitting sub and may have some merit in certain situations.
Tachibana comes with double 7 Combo along with the ideal colours plus a powerful active. In her evolved form, Tachibana creates a board with Fire, Water, Wood, Light, and Heart orbs along with a 75% damage reduction shield. This dual purpose active can help address many problematic spawns/combos but one major drawback is the inconsistency in heart orb generation.
Nene lacks any offensive awakenings but is able to provide a valuable board changer. Presently speaking, there are only 3 cards that produce a board of Water, Light, and Heart orbs which makes Nene quite valuable. With that being said, it is often better to run her as an inherit in her non-evolved form to take advantage of the +2 combo count.
Aife comes with triple 7 Combos and can potentially make her your hardest hitting sub on Yusuke’s team. Thankfully, her Water primary attribute ensures she is still able to contribute damage after Yusuke boards which is key when pushing through challenging content where every bit of damage helps.
Unfortunately, being a Water-based card means Aife will be losing out on significant damage against Wood spawns and this is problematic in both A4 and Alt. Arena due to the presence of a high DEF Wood spawn in each dungeon.
Beach Tachibana features the same board changer as her REM cousin but trades out the 75% damage reduction shield for +2 combo count. Thus, she functions like the non-evolved form but has the powerful awakenings of the evolved form.
New Year’s Yomi functions like Yuna in that she has numerous Time Extends but unfortunately has a significantly weaker active skill. This places a heavier dependence on Skill Inheritance as players will not be having a quick charging shield active.
Navi gains a second 7 Combo awakening through her Super Awakenings which helps justify a spot on Yusuke teams. Sadly, her base active and other awakenings are nothing special and she will most likely be benched during coop play.
Erika is another double 7 Combo card but suffers from a non-synergistic active skill. This can make it harder to justify using on your team but her Killers help blast through the 20m Defense Metatrons in 3P Arena and Alt. Arena.
Ameno has a wonderfully powerful active for Yusuke teams; however, his lack of offensive awakenings make it challenging to run him as a sub if stronger options exist. As such, Ameno will mostly be used as an inherit.
Notable inherits & Latents
Once you have settled on your potential team, the last things to do are determine inherits and latents. For the most part, there is no perfect answer to which one should be used and is more so done on a case-by-case basis or what kind of content you intend to play through.
Without knowing what kind of content your Yusuke team will be used for, it is impossible to say XYZ are the best inherits to have; however, there are some general guidelines that should be covered:
- Orb/board changer that makes hearts
- +2 combo active (vs Void Spawns)
- Situational burst
Delays are always helpful in the vast majority of dungeons as it enables players to set up the board, stall a bit more, or heal back up in safety. Furthermore, many dangerous spawns are starting to lack a Status Shield (Metatrons, Norns, etc.) so having a delay can be invaluable in those dungeons. For the most part, the stronger delay options are Water attribute and would be best to assist on a Water-type card for additional stat transfer.
W/L/H board changer
Yusuke already comes with a powerful bi-colour board changer but this leaves him without heart orbs to heal or Follow Up Attack . Thus, it is desirable to try and find a board changer that produces Water, Light, and Heart orbs to both deal damage and FUA. Unfortunately, there are only three cards that provide this specific board changer: Ameno , Nene , and Barioth . Of those three, Ameno is the weakest due to the least helpful secondary effect.
Nene can either provide modest bind clearing or +2 combo count which is invaluable when forming a 3×3 Box. On the other hand, Barioth is capable of becoming a weapon assist and through him, players are able to gain an additional 400 RCV. This large boost in healing potential can help solve healing issues and can help grant cards like Blue Cotton a more balanced stat distribution.
+2 combo active
When forming a 3×3 box on 6×5 boards, it may be challenging/impossible to hit 7 or more combos as many orbs are dedicated to a the box pattern. Thus, a +2 combo count active skill will almost guarantee full activation as it should be possible to hit 5 combos after a Yusuke board.
This type of active is situational and is not needed for all content.
Finally, having a burst inherit may or may not always be required. This is because a Yusuke board changer is often more than enough damage to sweep a given floor so only bring one if the situation calls for it.
Due to the fact that Yusuke’s base active is incredibly powerful, it is often unwise to inherit something over top. This is because he solves the need for a board changer along with massive burst potential due to the abundant Water and Light orbs. As such, it is often best to simply inherit a long cooldown active to provide both a stat transfer and pseudo SDR. Thus, many players are opting for Zeus Verse as he has reasonably high stats, is farmable along with having a 50 turn cooldown when unskilled.
In addition, Yusuke is often given Dragon Killer latents because the majority of dangerous void spawns are Dragon types (eg. Arena 4). With that being said, if you foresee yourself playing through specific content or lack Dragon Killers, feel free to use what will help you the most. As always, SDR are a solid default choice if unsure.
Sample Yusuke team
At this point in time, I am mostly using Yusuke for solo/coop Arena 4 as his Void Damage Penetration helps trivialize the Dragon Caller spawns who are arguably the most challenging encounter for the dungeon. As such, the team is mostly geared around countering the various mechanics and brings a +2 combo count active along with Odin Dragon for bind/awoken bind clearing. The Carat may or may not be required and would probably be better as a tri-elemental board changer (which I do not own); however, it can be valuable for bursting above 30 million against double Jewel of Creation spawns. A burst can also help against Wallace spawns as he does have 75% damage reduction which may make it challenging to punch through his effective 320 Million HP with only Yusuke boxes.
Just bear in mind that I do have numerous holes in my Monster Box and must make due with what I have at my disposal.
Yusuke Arena 4 Solo – HP Badge
The only key Latent is the triple Dragon Killers on Yusuke to better pierce through the Dragon Caller floor. Finally, if you do have a sub with a Water sub attribute, try to place them at the end (like Yuna) to better avoid Light absorb problems. This is because your team attacks Left to Right with the Primary attribute hitting first. Thus, it will go L->R Primary then L-> Sub attribute. Thus, having as many Water sub attribute cards at the end helps prevent Light absorbs from ruining your day.
Yusuke is an incredible leader with a wonderfully flexible team composition. If playing through easier content, Yusuke alone will be providing enough damage to sweep most spawns; however, a well crafted Yusuke team can easily tackle all current end game content and will probably remain that way for the foreseeable future.
Let me know what you use on your Yusuke teams and what kind of content he is used in.
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