Building a PhenomINAl Team for AA2

Introduction

I previously rolled in the Draconic Orchestra event along with the 7-Magic Stone Super Godfest and was magically blessed with both Phenom and Ina . These two can combine to make a truly Phenominal team that is able to waltz through the hardest content available despite being a blob-oriented leader.

The past meta was heavily defined by pure combos as they are simple to match along with having solid multipliers. By comparison, blob leaders tended to fall behind as their multipliers could not justify the harder/more orb hungry activation clause.

With that being said, Phenom x Ina throw all of that out the window as they come high Effective Health, built in Follow Up Damage, natural Resists, bonus combo count, and a strong sub pool.

This article will take a closer look at my own team composition along with my rationale for each card along with strategies for tackling Alt. Arena 2 (AA2). As such, not everything here will be relevant if playing through different content.

Video commentary

–video coming soon–

Alt. Arena 2 Clear


Alt. Arena 2 mechanics

Alt. Arena 2 is currently the hardest dungeon available in North America (Alt. Arena 3 is coming soon) and offers lucrative rewards from a Monster Experience point of view due to a random Snow Globe + Rainbow Snow Globe Dragon as drops. In all honesty, Arena 5 is better to farm as it is faster, easier, and drops two Killer latents along with special events granting more Rank Experience (from the regular 4x EXP events).

The following is a brief summary of the notable mechanics in the dungeon. This may not be an exhaustive list for every team but is the checklist I use when team building for this dungeon.

  • Damage Absorb Void (Fujin -style)
  • Jammer skyfall buff (eg.  )
  • Skill Delay Resists  for the above
  • VDP
  • FUA (maybe ) Ina counters this
  • 100% Blind Resist Blind Resist
  • 100% Poison Resist Poison resist
  • Cloud Resist
  • Awoken Bind Clear
  • Effective HP > 162,444 (largest preemptive)

Being able to address each of these options will ensure a much higher clear rate overall.

Special mention needs to be made for the Jammer Skyfall buff active as it ensures the 10 turns of Poison skyfalls is cancelled out. Fenrir , Spirit Ally, Tokagero , and Skill Card: Agidyne  all fulfill this role. An exception to this can be made if one is using a Kuroyuri loop.

One thing I want to stress is that letting anything attack you is bad as they can throw out a whole host of various abilities or deal massive amounts of damage. As such, it is often best to kill each floor right away if possible and using orb changers helps ensure this. Many lethal mechanics are avoided if the spawn dies right away but there are some where you can take a few extra turns.

Take away message: the best defense is killing them right away.

Why no Jammer Resist?

Due to limited space for awakenings and inherits, it may be difficult to have 100% Jammer Resist Jammer Resist and it is the least dangerous mechanic in Alt. Arena 2. There are still spawns that produce Jammers but being able to Resist the above is more important as they tend to be more lethal overall.

As such, I only bring Jammer Resist if everything else above is covered.

Phenom x Ina in Alt. Arena 2

Phenom

Active: Reduce unable to match orbs effect by 5 turns; Change bottom row to Dark orbs (6 turn CD)

Leader Skill: 2x HP & ATK for Dark Att.; Increase combo by 1 when matching 3 or more colors; 4x ATK when matching 4 or more connected Dark orbs up to 8x at 8 orbs [4/256/1/]

Awakenings: Bind Immune Bind Immune Skill Lock Resist Jammer Resist Poison resist Blind Resist
Super Awakenings:  
Typing: Attacker / Dragon
Weighted Stats (Limit Break): 1299 (1494)
HP 5925 (6814) / ATK 3063 (3522) / RCV 283 (325)

Ina

Active: Create 2 Dark orbs; For 1 turn, increase orb move time by 1 seconds (3 turn cooldown)

Leader Skill: 1.5x all stats for Dark Att.; Reduce damage taken by 25% when above 80% HP; 10x ATK when matching 6 or more connected Dark orbs; 50000 additional damage when matching 6 or more Dark orbs [2.25/225/2.25/43.75%]

Awakenings:  Skill Boost Skill Lock Resist Dark row Dark row Dark row Dark row Machine Killer
Super Awakenings:  Machine Killer 
Typing:
Attacker / Devil / Dragon
Weighted Stats (Limit Break): 1202 (1382)
HP 6074 (6985) / ATK 2645 (4531) / RCV 130 (150)
Weapon Assist: Machine Killer Dark Reduction Dark Reduction Imp ATK

Pros in AA2
Cons in AA2
  • Built in Follow Up Damage
    • Fully counters Resolve spawns
    • Makes many dangerous spawns much easier
  • High VDP potential
  • High durability
    • Can survive all preemptives if full health
    • Can easily heal back up
  • +1 combo with 3 or more colours
  • Built in 20% Hazard Resist (Jammer Resist Poison resist Blind Resist)
    • Easier to Resist dangerous mechanics
  • Both leaders have fast charging orb changers
    • Built in Time Extend from Ina
      • Overwrites debuffs
  • Rows Dark row add significant damage
  • Naturally low movement time
  • Requires 6 Dark orbs
    • May have to stall or use actives
  • Damage Reduction only occurs when >80%
    • Lost upon multi hit
    • Goemon becomes harder to survive

The most valuable aspect of Phenom x Ina pairing is the free 50,000 True Follow Up Damage. This single handedly trivializes many spawns as their Resolve mechanic is negated. This means players will never have to worry about matching FUA / SFUA , accidentally killing a Resolve spawn and triggering the 1% execute, along with a much easier time performing VDP . This also means they can use a wider range of board/orb changers as Hearts are less important.

An example of a spawn being trivialized is Floor 12’s Alfecca who has Resolve along with a Water, Wood, Light, Dark, and Poison orbs. Normally players must find a way to not kill them along with acquiring 5 Hearts for the FUA. With Phenom x Ina you simply match 6 Dark orbs and proceed. This logic applies to many Resolve + Void spawns as a simple VDP with combos is usually enough to kill.

This built in Follow Up Damage is so incredibly powerful that I would not be surprised if GungHo begins to release more cards with this type of mechanic as they will become chase cards in future events.

Moving beyond this, Phenom x Ina has beautiful synergy with VDP as they will fully activate from the 9 connected Dark orbs along with being able to utilize strong VDP subs. Furthermore, they can ignore the Resolve aspect and simply generate sufficient Dark orbs and match away. While there is no hard combo count required for activation, being able to tap into a +1 from 3 colours along with certain 7 Combo 45 cards can be meaningful. Remember, VDP is the only pattern that must be matched regardless of the spawn so bicolours without Hearts can be used.

In regards to their defensive capabilities, Phenom naturally comes with 20% Resist  Jammer Resist Poison resist Blind Resist which makes it easier to achieve 100% immunity while also giving players the opportunity to inherit actives they actually want to use. This has beautiful synergy with Phenom’s 6 and Ina’s 3 turn cooldowns. Furthermore, Phenom is able to gain either Cloud   or Tape via Super Awakenings or another VDP if those can be covered.

This pairing will also yield 3x HP, 1.5x RCV, and 25% Damage Reduction when above 80% HP. This does provide sufficient Effective HP to naturally tank all preemtives provided players use the HP badge. Just be aware that multi hits will deal their full strength if they occur when below 80% HP.

Team building

The art of team building will vary from Box to Box, but it is critical to determine the lethal mechanics and how to counter them. Below is my mental checklist when looking at just my two leaders.

  • Damage Absorb Void (Fujin -style)
  • Jammer skyfall buff (eg.  )
  • Skill Delay Resists  for the above
  • VDP 2558736037bba11c264e4086f62b8246_clipart-question-mark-question-mark-clipart-nature_2400-2400 (will want more)
  • FUA (maybe ) Ina counters this download
  • 100% Blind Resist Blind Resist
  • 100% Poison Resist Poison resist
  • Cloud Resist download
  • Awoken Bind Clear
  • Effective HP > 162,444 (largest preemptive) download
  • All 5 colours (3/5 fulfilled)
Team set up

This is my own template and works well for what I have while also addressing all of the mentioned mechanics:

Solo Alt. Arena 2 – Phenom x Ina
HP Badge
Card
SA 45
Inherit
Latent
Devil killer Devil killer
God KillerGod Killer
God Killer
x6 Dragon KillerDragon Killer
Dragon Killer

Dragon Killer Dragon Killer
x4
Devil killer

The Jammer Skyfall buff is placed on Ina due to her low cooldown and useful base active. In an ideal world, players utilize Spirit Ally, Tokagero as it provides a board changer along with Team HP and RCV . This adds significant bulk which will make it easier to survive Goemon on Floor 2. There is a 50% chance of it being needed on floor 6 and Ina should be used on a regular basis afterwards to prevent recharging up. If skyfalls provide an unmatchable amount of Jammers, leave them in the bottom row for Phenom to clear later. Phenom carries Eschamali as it provides a massive amount of Dark orbs along with a 15% skyfall buff for 4 turns. While this is at odds with Hiei , his buff is often overwritten by enemies along with both Skyfall buffs overwriting the restrictions imposed by Sumire or Kaede (no Hearts for 3 turns).

Sumire/Kaede floor into the Puppeteers is one of the more dangerous floors as the No Hearts for 3 turns plus Dark Absorb for 5 turns can turn ugly very fast. As such, either a Skyfall buff from Hiei or Eschamali or the Delay from Rathian Weapon Assist makes this significantly easier.

In regards to your Damage Absorption Void active, it can be flexibly placed as it is not required until Floor 13. This means you will have at least 12 turns of charging up (plus your Skill Boosts Skill Boost) with more stalling happening naturally due to the 6 required Dark orbs. For myself, I have to do a small amount of extra stalling as I wish to use the Cecil Weapon Assist . This active comes with a longer cooldown but also has a beneficial board changer which justifies the stalling for myself.

Core subs for my team are Hiei and Eir as they are best in slot for colour coverage. Hiei provides massive damage output along with a 99 turn Dark skyfall buff whereas Eir ensures I am able to heal back up with a 4-Heart match due to Enhanced Heal Orbs +heart.

I chose Yomi as they have a surprising amount of HP along with a natural L which is occasionally helpful. Valentine’s Ney is quite luxurious as she provides a powerful board changer along with 5 turns of Awoken Bind clearing. I actually have 3 base actives that can clear Awoken Bind (plus one from an inherit) which gives me flexibility when dealing with this mechanic.

This team has VDP on 4 cards which makes it significantly easier to overcome Void spawns or for burst damage as this pattern will grant my full ATK multiplier.

Putting all of this together results in me fully ticking off my mental checklist of mechanics along with 80% Jammer Resist Jammer Resist along with Tape Resist .

  • Damage Absorb Void (Fujin -style) download
  • Jammer skyfall buff (eg.  ) download
  • Skill Delay Resists for the above download
  • VDP download
  • FUA (maybe ) Ina counters this download
  • 100% Blind Resist Blind Resist download
  • 100% Poison Resist Poison resist download
  • Cloud Resist download
  • Awoken Bind Clear download
  • Effective HP > 162,444 (largest preemptive) download
  • All 5 colours download

Conclusion

Phenom + Ina is a truly Phenominal team as they are able to address virtually every dungeon mechanic while having high Effective Health along with controllable and powerful burst damage.

Being able to completely ignore Resolve Mechanics trivializes numerous spawns as it takes away most of their kit. As a result, this is my go-to team for farming Alt. Arena 2 if I find myself short on Monster Experience. With that being said, Arena 5 is a better place to farm in most cases as it awards more Rank Experience (due to frequent 4x EXP events), two Killers, and is significantly easier with either my Dark Karin or Dark Zeta teams.

Let me know what you think about Phenom + Ina and how you build their team in the comments below.

Happy Puzzling!

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18 thoughts on “Building a PhenomINAl Team for AA2”

  1. What is the amount of monster XP you get in AA2 vs A5? I can’t tell how to get this information from PADx; they just have “Experience” which I thought was the amount of player XP you get, not monster XP. Are they the same thing? I’ve been playing this game for years and I still know so little 😦

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      1. Oh I was specifically referring to this paragraph:

        “Alt. Arena 2 is currently the hardest dungeon available in North America (Alt. Arena 3 is coming soon) and offers lucrative rewards from a Monster Experience point of view. In all honesty, Arena 5 is better to farm as it is faster, easier, and drops two Killer latents along with special events granting more Rank Experience. ”

        What did you mean here?

        Like

  2. Great team write-up. I have just been self coop running dark Kali 6×7, however, opening with a bride rushana / dkali split (which is x3 hp and good damage albeit an awkward to match mix), using dkali^macha to swap in to dual after just a few floors (coop is flush with skill boosts). x4/x400/x4 tears the place up on damage/sustain, and a 6×7 board is enough to let a sub like bride rushana get a VDP in while still activating. There are enough sub slots to bring an inherited Hao and several anti-absorb, it’s mostly about having the right equipment. Definately a little on the box subs luxury side, as coop it’s more of a box test if you can pop on things like a jhoira equip for anti-cloud and awaken unbind, (or a noctis crystal, also anti-cloud but a less ideal active), but there are cards in the pool. Bride rushana is a good 6×7 dkali vdp as she makes her own orbs off just a judicious top wood row while usually not messing up activation colors on a large board. Enough hp to tank any preemptive. Enough slots to counter mechanics. Shrug. Will be easier when equips for full anti jammer/poison/blind come along presently. I mostly run grotesque being though, solo, tbh. As you say, far better rewards (IMHO), and far less annoying mechanics. The end floors of A5 are just surprisingly stallable/forgiving with a high damage team that can handle rage thresholds / kill shots, and Durga is a breezy rest and refuel spawn.

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    1. I agree that coop is a bigger box test for the more luxurious inherits since many solo teams rely on their SA to resist mechanics.

      On the other hand, it’s great to hear you are able to stomp through A5 with a unique coop team! A5 is just better to farm overall and it is surprising it is easier compared to AA2

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  3. I liked this breakdown, you still have the best Pad content around. I may be able to field a nearly identical team soon. I would love to See a breakdown on Zeta teams, there appears to be some discussion as to the optimal sub pools, even within the same dungeon. I only have one Zeta, but could scrape together the duplicates for a second, just a bit hesitant.

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    1. Glad you enjoy my content!

      Dark Zeta is mostly himself + Mel as he is his own best sub and Mel covers FUA and healing

      The main perk of this is being able to do little combos and still deal spectacular damage, especially against Void + Resolve spawns.

      The less Zetas you have, the harder it will be to VDP the end of A5 so either more Devil Killers or subs with VDP

      As for yourself, I would not scrape together trade fodder for another Zeta. He is strong for sure, but I would not bring him in things like AA2/3, most in A5 as there are fewer mechanics/preemptives that could disrupt his clears

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  4. Awesome breakdown! I was wondering if you could experiment with a barbara and julie team, if you like it you might also make a breakdown that team too, Im struggling to put all of the resists, burst, fujin as, and board changers with hearts all onto one team, it would be really helpful not just to me but also a lot of other players as bj teams are still quite popular

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