Hullo everyone! Happy New Year! How's your 2018 going so far? (o3o)/
For the first time, we actually have advanced notice for the set dates for the Dark Vortex Arena, and with a couple of days to go before the start of the event, I thought it was about time to make the Dark Vortex Arena Unit Spotlight! And tldr? The battle for the top 5000 will be rough.
If you're new to this whole string of blogs, basically what this is is a "brief" summary of which units to expect in the Vortex Arena. The spotlight includes their respective buffpools, skills, and Skill Point options, as well as a quick explanation detailing why exactly these units are dangerous. Without further ado, let's get to it!
FYI, this whole blog is pretty hard work - I can fit in about 3 units in an hour. I'll make sure to update this regularly, but please bear with me, mkay? (^^)/
Basically, this whole blog is a giant WIP.
Last update: 1/7/17, 6:11 AM EST
Crimson Storm Mich, the new BF Wikia Admin (congrats to that, it was well deserved~) already put up an article detailing the whole mechanics of the Dark Vortex Arena (link here), and altogether, everything's pretty much the same, with a few key adjustments. These said adjustments will be mentioned here. Keep note that these notes have been obtained from Mich's article on the Dark Vortex Arena.
There are three main adjustments brought into this Vortex Arena.
Firstly, instead of the regular six days, the length of the Vortex Arena is now five.
Secondly, rewards from the Dark Vortex Arena must be manually claimed.
Finally, should the rewards not be claimed, they will be forfeited on the seventh day.
Please adjust accordingly.
There are a ton of Dark units who will undoubtedly cause us all a fair bit of trouble in this Vortex Arena. Here's a list of which units pose the biggest threat, and a short explanation accompanying each explaining why they'll be a pain to deal with. As per usual, this guide will assume that all units are in their Omni forms, and at their maximum level. In terms of Skill Point options, this guide will only mention the ones which seem the most deadly in the case of the Light Vortex Arena. It will also assume that none of these units are further evolved (i.e. Omni +1, +2, +3).
Should you want to read the entirety of the unit's bio, click on its title - I attached hyperlinks directing towards each unit's unit page.
I'll also post another paragraph under each unit detailing what a feasable Skill Point setup would be, as well as how to best handle each unit. Let's get started! (ovo)/
This portion is filled with units who are the main damage dealers in a mono-Dark element squad. This can be because of many factors - such as their raw damage outputs, self-buffs, hitcount boosts, or the main fact that they all hit like trucks.
As the flagship Vortex Arena unit, there's no doubt that Ciardha packs a punch. His Leader Skill includes a 150% Attack and 80% Defense boost for Dark types, as well as a 20% damage reduction from Light and Dark types. Aside from this, he also brings a +1 hitcount boost and a 35% for an AoE normal attack. Finally, he has the standard ABP/CBP boost. This makes him a deadly unit who can potentially make your squad have the ability to One-Turn-Kill.
His Extra Skill grants a squadwide 25% Critical Damage boost, as well as a self Angel Idol proc when his HP drops below 25%. It also boosts his Attack cap to 130000, and gives him an additional AoE attack against Light and Dark types to his SBB.
Ciardha's buffpool is probably one of the best Arena/Colosseum buffpools. His BB includes a self Stealth buff, as well as a self Attack and Critical Hit Rate boost. It also has a +2 hitcount boost and a DoT. Likewise, his SBB includes a self Stealth buff, as well as a self Attack and Critical hit Rate boost, but also includes a Critical Damage boost for Dark types. Aside from that, it includes a hitcount boost and a DoT. In other words, should Ciardha activate either his BB or his SBB, he's potentially unkillable thanks to the Stealth buff should there be other units on the field.
In terms of Skill Point options, he can boost his Attack and HP to 50-70%, and boost his Spark and Critical Damage. He can also boost his hitcount (+2) and give himself another Angel Idol proc. Aside from this, he can raise his Attack cap to 160000 and enhance either his LS' Normal Attack AoE chance or his SBB's DoT. Finally, he can expand his buffpool through a 35% self Evasion chance (the highest in the game at the moment) and further enhance his UBB's hitcount boost (negligible, but noteworthy - pretty much makes him a Savia-esque unit without the UBB OD fillrate boost).
Ciardha is the single, most deadly threat to any team in the Vortex Arena. I'd personally suggest getting his Angel Idol proc as well as his Evasion buff, and to top it off with his 5 SP +2 hitcount boost.
Sidenote: It actually looks like his summon rate is pretty good ATM, so I absolutely suggest to do your best to summon him. He's good even outside of the Dark Vortex Arena. Wish I wasn't an idiot and spent like 9 Summon Tickets trying to get Silvie, lol~
Just to get it out of the way, the main reason why Zekuu is found in the "Damage Dealers" category and not the "Debuffer" category is because, despite his high ailment infliction chance, he has a higher aptitude for damage output.
Zekuu's Leader Skill is pretty amazing, and absolutely holds up in the current meta - at least in the Arena or the Colosseum. It includes a 50% HP boost and a three turn 200% Attack boost, which automatically makes him a pretty good lead in the Dark Vortex Arena for nuking squads. It also includes a 50% chance to reduce BC Efficacy by 50% for two turns, and has the standard ABP/CBP boost. However, the main problem with setting him as a Leader Skill is that he heavily lacks any defensive skills on his Leader Skill, and that his Attack buff only lasts three turns - meaning that unless you want to nuke your enemies, you're better off not setting him as a lead.
His Extra Skill is more lackluster than his Leader Skill, sadly - it's just a 100% Critical Damage boost and a BC droprate during Spark.
Zekuu's buffpool is heavily PvP-centric, focusing mainly on taking down the enemy team. His BB includes an 80% Injury/Curse chance, as well as a selfish Attack and Critical Hit Rate boost. Likewise, his AoE + Single Target SBB includes an 80% Injury / Curse infliction, and a selfish Attack, Critical Damage, and Critical Hit Rate boost. His high ailment infliction chance, combined with his high damage output and Type 13 Arena AI (see the sidenote), makes him a very dangerous unit to face.
In terms of Skill Point options, Zekuu doesn't offer much. He can boost is Attack parameter by 0.8% for every percent of HP he has - granting a potential 80% Attack boost at max HP - and can boost his raw damage through a Spark Damage boost Critical Damage boost, and an Elemental Weakness Damage (EWD) boost. However, what's interesting is that he can give normal attack enhancements - like an AoE normal attack enhancement - which can be further enhanced (success rate and damage). Finally, he can enhance his Leader Skill's BC Efficacy reduction and boost his buffpool by adding a Defense Ignore buff.
Zekuu is effective as both a lead and a sub-unit, and is one of the units who poses the most threats in PvP events in general. I highly suggest spending 70 SP on all of his normal attack related enhancements, as it makes him far more deadly than he originally was.
Sidenote: He's the first unit to have Type 13 Arena AI. What this means is that 13 out of 15 times (correct me if I'm wrong), he activates his BB/SBB. Basically, should he get his BB gauge up, you're screwed.
Mifune was one of the first Omni units released, and is by far one of the most deadly Omni unit present in the original 20 Omnis found in the 1300-1400 unit pool. His Leader Skill, while heavily outclassed, is pretty decent in the context of the Dark Vortex Arena, granting a 150% Attack boost, 100% Spark Damage boost, and 20% Defense Ignore chance. It also includes a 3%-8% HP drain buff, which is pretty nice. Much like Zekuu, his main problem lies in the fact that his Leader Skill lacks any defense.
His Extra Skill was one of if not the first Extra Skill introducing a buff addition, but it still is quite lackluster in the context of the present Omni units. It adds a two-turn Defense Ignore buff, as well as a 50% Spark Damage boost to himself.
Mifune's buffpool isn't very useful, but it's not the buffs that make his BB and SBB special, but rather the damage. His BB includes a Spark Vulnerability chance and a BC Efficacy buff, whereas his SBB includes a Spark Vulnerability chance and an Attack debuff chance added to the squad's attack. Again, very lackluster, but what makes him special is his damage output.
In terms of Skill Point options, Mifune can boost his raw damage output by boosting his Attack parameter by 50%, as well as through a Spark Damage boost. He can also boost his BBAtk through two options - a raw 30% BBAtk boost, and a 50% boost when his HP is over half. In terms of HC and BC management, he can give himself a BC on Spark buff, as well as an HC drop when attacked. Finally, he has a normal attack AoE chance enhancement available, and can boost his buffpool by adding an Attack boost to his BB/SBB.
Mifune, despite being quite lackluster by today's standards, is still an incredible unit in the context of PvP events. I'd highly suggest to get his AoE normal attack chance, as well as both of his BBAtk boosts. That would leave you with 20 SP, which you can spend on whatever you wish. He's pretty much a poor person's Zekuu.
Sidenote: Mifune, much like the Six Heroes, is a unit who can be obtained as a unit drop in quests, or in the Honor Summon. This is why there are tons of people running 5 Mifunes in the Arena or the Colosseum - a strategy which might actually work in the Vortex Arena, should the damage output be high enough. Popular farming locations include the Cave of Malice in St. Lamia, the Lomass Forest in Cordelica, and in the Tower of the Gods in Mirvana.
Shion's Leader Skill is interesting because it's a Leader Skill which can be used in almost any sort of in-game content, including the Dark Vortex Arena. His Leader Skill grants a 150% Attack and 80% HP boost, as well as a 30% Defense Ignore chance - all of which is pretty useful. He also grants an EXP boost and an OD fillrate boost, both of which are negligible in the Dark Vortex Arena, but it's still worth noting. It's a very offensive Leader Skill, but keep note that it heavily lacks any defensive power.
His Extra Skill grants a 10% tristat + HP boost for all allies, as well as a 0.5% tristat boost per 1% of HP he has remaining, and it's topped off with a 50% Spark Damage boost, which compliments his AoE + Single Target BB/SBB. This makes him a pretty great sub-unit with a high damage output.
Shion's buffpool is amazing, but some of his buffs don't exactly fit well in the context of the Dark Vortex Arena. His BB grants a Fire, Water, Earth, and Thunder elemental addition buff, as well as a burst OD fill. On the other hand, his SBB grants a tristat boost, a Fire, Water, Earth, and Thunder elemental addition buff, a burst OD fill, and an OD fillrate boost. The big problem here is that his main specialty of OD fill is negligible in the Dark Vortex Arena, wherein Overdrives aren't functional. He's still great though.
In terms of Skill Point options, he can boost his parameters by 20%, which can be boosted to 40% and 60%, and can boost his damage potential through a 120% Spark Damage boost and an Attack cap boost to 130000. He can also enhance his BB's/SBB's damage multiplier, enhance his elemental addition buff to add both Light and Dark elements to a unit's attack, and can enhance his Leader Skill's EXP boost. Finally, he can reduce incoming damage through a self EWD null buff and can give himself a self-filling BC gauge.
Shion is a great unit to have mostly because of his multi-purpose nature. I'd highly suggest spending 35 SP on getting his BB/SBB modifier. You can spend the remaining SP on either getting his elemental addition enhancement or his parameter boosts.
Zeek's Leader Skill is mainly focused on damage output, making him a decent nuking lead; but keep note that because of this, his Leader Skill lacks any defensive prowess. His Leader Skill grants an 80% Attack and 40% HP boost, a Critical Damage boost, a BBAtk boost, and a BC on Spark buff. Again, good damage output, but makes your squad very squishy.
Sadly, his Extra Skill is quite lackluster. It grants a 100% Attack boost when his BC gauge is completely filled - something which isn't very likely in the Dark Vortex Arena unless you have good BC management - as well as a 50% Spark Damage boost. However, should you be able to get his SBB up, you pretty much have the Attack boost on lockdown, mainly because of the fact that his SBB is self-filling.
Zeek's buffpool is distinct because it makes him out to be a mono-Dark elemental powerhouse. His BB grants a standard Attack boost, an Attack boost scaled to a unit's Defense, and an Attack and Defense boost for Dark types. Likewise, his self-filling SBB (which has its damage multiplier boosted the more you use it) grants a standard Attack boost, an Attack boost scaled to Defense, an Attack and Defense boost to Dark types, and a self Spark damage boost.
His Skill Point options don't offer much in terms of defense, but it's mainly focused on damage output. It includes a 20% Attack and HP boost, a 50% Attack boost which can be boosted to 80%, a 100% Spark Damage boost which can be boosted to 120%, and both a Critical Damage boost and an Attack cap boost. He can also enhance any of his Attack boosting buffs on his BB and SBB.
Seeing as Zeek's main potential lies in his damage output, I'd suggest spending 35 SP on all of his parameter boosts, and to spend 35-40 SP on any of his remaining stat boosts - preferably the mono-elemental boost should you not have a unit who provides that buff yet.
Zalvard is essentially the first Dark element Omni unit whose Leader Skill grants Angel Idol related buffs, and is pretty much an Colosseum lead minus the ABP/CBP boosts. It includes a 60% Attack and HP boost, a 5%-10% HC when attacking buff, a BC when attacked buff, and a 20% Angel Idol proc. This makes Zalvard a pretty good lead, as its Leader Skill combines a squadwide Angel Idol layer as well as a Revenge BC fill. Its Extra Skill fits quite well in the context of the Vortex Arena, as it grants it two 40% Angel Idol procs, as well as an HC fill when attacked. Keep note that these two Angel Idol layers do not override its Leader Skill Angel Idol proc, which means that, should you use Zalvard as a lead, it already has the potential to survive 3 deadly attacks should its Angel Idols proc.
Zalvard's buffpool, much like its Leader Skill and Extra Skill, brings more Angel Idol layers to the fray, as well as a few other useful buffs. Its AoE + Single Target BB grants a 10% Angel Idol proc, as well as an HC when attacking chance. Likewise, its SBB grants a 10% Angel Idol proc, and both a Critical Hit Rate and Critical Damage boost.
Its Skill Point option include a good mix between self boosts and buffpool additions. In terms of self buffs, it has access to a 50% Attack boost, an 80% Attack boost at full health (which is scaled at 0.8% Attack per each 1% HP remaining), a Critical Damage boost, and a 100% Spark Damage boost which can be further boosted to 120%. It also has access to the standard Attack cap boost to 130000. In terms of buffpool additions, it has access to a Dark EWD boost, an Attack + Defense debuff chance, and an enhancement to the proc rates of its Leader Skill's Angel Idol procs.
Zalvard will most likely be a really popular lead in the Vortex Arena, mainly for its Angel Idol procs - which prove invaluable in the context of PvP events such as this one. I'd suggest building it mainly as a nuker, giving it both of its Attack boosts (for a total of a 130% Attack boost at max HP), as well as its Attack parameter boost. If you'd like to use it as a lead, go ahead and get its Leader Skill's Angel Idol proc.
Sidenote: Zalvard actually has a really high Attack stat, which makes him a great unit to have on a nuking squad just so that you have someone who can proc Angel Idols.shadow still continues to torment Summoners until this day.
While this version of Kalon doesn't pack his Grand Life Conversion, it still remains deadly nonetheless. Its Leader Skill is more on the offensive side of things, granting a 50% Attack and HP boost, a 250% BBAtk boost, a 5% Spark Critical chance, and a burst BC fill after dealing 10000 points worth of damage. As offensive as his Leader Skill is, though, I highly doubt anyone will be using him - it doesn't pack anything in terms of defensive buffs, and the buffs it does grant are heavily outclassed.
His Extra Skill further boosts his own damage output, with an 80% Attack boost when its HP is full, and a 150% BBAtk boost when his HP is over half. Keep note that his Attack boost isn't scaled to his HP, meaning that he'll only get his Attack boost at max HP.
To be honest, as good as Kalon's buffpool is, it may not prove too useful in the Dark Vortex Arena. His BB grants a 170% Attack boost and a 280% BBAtk boost, as well as a 50% HP drain chance and an EWD boost. On the other hand, his SBB (which is a Light and Dark element AoE) grants a DoT, a 170% Attack and 350% BBAtk boost, a 30% Spark Critical chance, and an EWD boost. Considering that not many people pack any EWD null spheres on their units in the Dark Vortex Arena, his SBB is an incredible asset to have. Just make sure that he has good enough BC fill to get to his SBB.
His Skill Point options include a 50% Attack boost, a 30% HP boost, a BC Efficacy boost, and a 50% Spark Damage boost which can be further boosted to 70% and 100%. He can enhance his SBB's Spark Critical proc rate, as well as his BB's/SBB's EWD boost and/or his BBAtk boost. Finally, he can enlargen his buffpool by adding an Attack boost scaled to max HP (25%) and a 50% Attack boost for Light and Dark types.
Kalon isn't too stellar of a unit in this day and age, but if anything, his SBB proves viable in the context of the Dark Vortex Arena. I'd suggest boosting his parameters by spending a hefty 30 SP on both of his parameter boosts, and if you don't have a unit with mono-element stats, go ahead and spend 20 SP on his Light/Dark Attack boost. Keep note, though, that his boost is remarkably low.
Sidenote: For any players who didn't know, Kalon was actually part of the meta a long time ago because he was the first unit to grant a 450% BBAtk boost via SP. At the time, that was the highest BBAtk boost from a unit in the normal pool of units.
Savei is a unit who, despite being the Dark Guild Raid unit, isn't actually too suited as a lead. His Leader Skill does grant a 60% Attack and HP boost, a 130% Spark Damage boost, an HC fill chance when attacked, and a Spark Damage null buff - altogether pretty decent, but there are definitely other Dark units who have better Leader Skills. At the very least, it grants a decent mix between offensive buffs and defensive buffs.
His Extra Skill makes him an incredible Sub-Unit, at the very least. It grants a squadwide 50% Attack to Dark units, as well as a 50% Spark Damage for himself. It also adds a 3500 Dark barrier to his BB/SBB, and raises his Attack cap to 130000.
Savei's buffpool is incredibly Dark centric, with his BB granting a mono-Dark tristat buff, a mono-Dark Critical Hit Rate boost, BCoT, and an HC chance when attacked. Likewise, his AoE + Single Target SBB (which has damage scaled to his remaining HP) grants a mono-Dark tristat, Spark Damage, and Critical Hit Rate boost, as well as a self Spark Damage boost, and a BC on Spark buff. He's a fearsome unit to have in mono-Dark squads, as he synergizes with absolutely any Dark unit.
His Skill Point options allow for a 50% HP boost, a 120% Spark Damage boost, and both a Critical Damage and EWD boost. He can enhance his BB's/SBB's mono-Dark tristat boost, as well as his SBB's Spark Damage boost. Finally, he can widen his buffpool through adding a Spark Critical chance, a Spark Vulnerability chance, an HC drop during Spark, a Light + Dark damage reduction, and a full BC fill on his SBB.
Savei isn't a unit you'll see often set as a lead in the Dark Vortex Arena, but you'll definitely see a couple Summoners with him set as a sub-unit. I'd suggest to get his 50% HP boost as well as his element based damage reduction. Finally, I would suggest to spend SP on his mono-Dark tristat enhancement, as it'd prove invaluable.
Beatrix's Leader Skill is probably one of the best leads for Dark types at the moment, granting an 85% parameter boost for Dark types, as well as an ailment negation and a 10% damage reduction. Aside from this, it also grants an innate Attack cap boost to 130000 for all units. This makes Beatrix one of the most deadly leads in the Dark Vortex Arena, as it grants one of the best balances between offense, defense, and support. Keep note that she serves as a perfect counter to any Summoner opting to run ailment-oriented squads.
Her Extra Skill makes her a perfect unit in the Dark Vortex Arena, as it affects almost every unit in the squad. It grants her a BC when attacked buff, and grants a 15% parameter boost for Female units as well as a 100% Attack boost (with a 5% HP reduction) for Male units. Finally, it grants an Angel Idol to any unit who activates their Overdrives - granted, this doesn't do anything in the Vortex Arena, but it's worth noting regardless.
Her buffpool characterizes Beatrix as more of a supportive unit than an offensive one, with a heavy focus towards situation like Frontier Hunter. Her non-attacking BB grants a burst BC fill, a 10% revive chance, a BC when attacked buff, and both burst OD fill and an OD fillrate buff. On the other hand, her AoE + Single Target SBB grants a 15% recast chance, a 10% revive chance, a BC on Spark buff, and a 40% chance to halve the enemy's Attack stat.
Her Skill Point option grant her access to a 50% parameter boost, a 150% Spark Damage boost, and both a Critical Damage and EWD boost. It also strengthens her buffpool by enhancing her SBB's recast chance and/or her Attack debuff length, her BB's/SBB's revive chance, and her Leader Skill's damage reduction and Attack cap boost. Finally, she can enlargen her buffpool by adding a DoT or an ailment infliction chance to her BB and SBB.
Beatrix is definitely one of the more deadly units since she functions great as both a lead and a sub-unit. I'd suggest getting her 50% parameter boost, and, should you be using her as a lead, either one of her Leader Skill boosts. On the other hand, if you're gonna use her as more of a sub-unit, I'd suggest monopolizing her recast and revive enhancements. If you'd like, you could also get either of her buffpool additions, should you not have units who provide these buffs yet.
The units found in this category aren't used for their damage output, but rather for their aptitude with damage management. Be it classic 50% mitigation or various types of Pseudo-Mitigation, if it's a buff which reduces incoming damage, it can be found here.
Keres is one of the units with the most balanced mono-Dark Leader Skill. He grants a 200% Attack and 60% HP boost for Dark types, as well as an 80% Defense and Recovery boost when a unit's BC gauge is over half. Aside from the top-notch parameter boosts, it also includes a 30% Critical Hit Rate boost for Dark types and a 150% Critical Damage boost, and tops it off with a 150% EWD boost. Be very careful when facing Keres leads, as they have the potential to stand against nuking leads like Mifune or Zekuu - mainly because of his balance between defensive and offensive boosts.
His Extra Skill isn't incredibly special, but it still packs pretty useful buffs in the context of the Vortex Arena. It grants him a 100% Critical Damage boost and an innate HoT buff, as well as a 20% chance to reduce incoming to 1. What's important to remember is that because the damage reduction proc is on his Extra Skill, it stacks with spheres granting damage reductions (e.g. Book of E.N.D.).
His buffpool is makes him out to be one of the best Dark element mitigators out there, as it grants a mix of defensive and offensive buffs. His BB grants an Attack, Defense, and Critical Hit Rate boost for Dark types, and adds an Attack debuff chance to the squad's attack. On the other hand, his HP-scaled SBB grants a Critical Damage boost, an Attack and Defense boost scaled to a unit's maximum HP, and a Dark EWD boost. Both his BB and SBB have an innate two-turn 50% mitigation buff.
In terms of Skill Point options, Keres has access to a 30% HP boost which can be further boosted to 50%, as well as a BC on Crit buff and an EWD boost to himself. He can also boost his Attack cap to 130000, enhance his SBB's HP scaled stat boost, and can enhance his Leader Skill's or SBB's Critical Damage boost. Finally, he can further boost his buffpool by adding an EWD negation buff, a Light & Dark damage reduction buff, and a Defense Ignore buff.
Seeing as Keres has potential in areas outside of the Vortex Arena (mainly the Guild Raid), I'd personally deck Keres out as a unit who functions well in various situations. I suggest unlocking his HP parameter boost, as well as his EWD null and Defense Ignore buffs. You could also opt to enhance his already stellar buffs, like his SBB's HP scaled stat boost or his Critical Damage boost. Alternatively, should you want to utilize him as a lead, you could boost his Leader Skill's Critical Damage boost.
Lancelot's Leader Skill is average - not too good but not too bad either. It grants a 60% HP boost, as well as an HP scaled tristat boost (60% at max HP). It also grants a two-turn 20% damage reduction after 15 sparks, which adds another great layer of defense for the squad. However, there is a definitive lack of offensive buffs in his Leader Skill, which is definitely a shame.
His Extra Skill boosts his survivability, granting him a 30% Defense and HP boost, as well as grants him a 100% Spark Damage boost and an ailment clenase should he be equipped with his unique sphere, Arondight.
Lancelot's buffpool includes a single turn 50% damage reduction, a Defense boost relative to Attack, and a Critical Damage null on his BB. His SBB, on the other hand, includes a two-turn 50% damage reduction, both a Spark Damage boost and a BC on Spark buff, an Attack boost relative to Defense, and a Critical Damage null buff. This makes Lancelot a unit who can function as both an offensive and defensive mitigator.
His Skill Point options helps boost his own aptitude in being either an offensive or a defensive mitigator. He has access to a 50% parameter boost, as well as an Attack cap boost to 130000. The rest of his SP options are devoted to buff additions and enhancements - on the offensive side of things, he can add a Spark Critical chance as well as a Spark Vulnerability chance, and can enhance his SBB's scaled Attack buff. On the other hand, defensive buffs include an HC droprate on Spark, a stat debuff null, and enhancement to either his BB's mitigation length and/or its scaled Defense buff.
What makes Lancelot so unique is that you could build him either way - as either a powerhouse Spaker or a turtle-esque fortress. The 50% parameter boost and his BB's mitigation enhancement is a non-negotiable; but should you want to build a more offensive version of Lancelot, go ahead and get his scaled Attack enhancement, as well as either of his Spark enhancements (assuming you have a good Spark squad). Should you opt for a defensive setup, go ahead and get his stat debuff null enhancement as well as his scaled Defense buff. You could also opt to get his HC on spark buff.
Note: Lancelot has a remarkably high hitcount - especially on his SBB - so that synergizes well with his SBB's Spark-related buffs.
Cardes' Leader Skill is a very Defense-oriented one, granting a 60% Defense and HP boost, as well as granting both a 25-30% BC cashback buff and a BC/HC chance when attacked. This'll make him an ideal lead for those who're opting for longer battles, which may(?) pay off in your favor. Keep note, though, that despite what his unit info says, he does not grant a BC cost reduction.
His Extra Skill boosts his skill in damage reduction, granting him a 20% damage reduction chance and HC when attacked - both of which solidify him as a choice Dark element mitigator for anybody who doesn't have one yet. He also gets a Dark barrier buff on his BB/SBB.
Cardes' buffpool is crammed full with various supportive buffs which make him an ideal unit for the Dark Vortex Arena. His BB includes a burst HC fill, an ailment cleanse, an HC drain chance when attacking, and a Defense boost; whereas his SBB grants a BC + HC (chance) when attacked buff, an ailment null, and a Defense boost. Both his BB and SBB include an innate two-turn mitigation.
What makes Cardes so special is that his Skill Point options are mainly focused on boosting his ability as a mitigator. He can grant himself various buffs including a 30% parameter boost, a 50% Defense boost when his BC gauge is over half, a BC when attacked buff, and a Defense Ignore null; the rest of his Skill Point options are devoted to expanding his buffpool. This includes a BC when attacked buff added to his BB, both an EWD and/or Critical Damage null, a Spark Damage null, a Light/Dark damage reduction, and a Defense boost scaled to a unit's Attack.
Cardes is a top-tier mitigator even outside of the Vortex Arena. I'd suggest giving him his 30% parameter boost, as well as his element-based damage reduction. You could also opt to spend 20 SP on getting his BC droprate when attacked if you wish.
Note: Having trouble with Cardes' Strategy Zone? Well, just remember that there IS a nuking strategy available, utilizing the quintissential Savia Normal Attack strategy. There are tons of videos detailing this walkthrough strategy. (^^)/
This portion is dedicated to the units whose sole purpose revolves around crippling the enemy team. Buffs like ailment inflictions and stat debuffs can be found here. Additionally, supportive buffs focused on damage boosting may be found here.
You know that they're running out of ideas when they make a unit whose character art mainly revolves around an anchor - creative, but still odd. All things considered though? He's actually really, really good.
Mizo Dorte's Leader Skill is decent, granting a 60% Attack and HP boost, as well as a BBAtk boost, BC Efficacy boost, and an ailment counter chance. It's useful, but seeing as it doesn't grant much in terms of extra damage aside from the BBAtk boost (things like Spark Damage boosts or Critical Damage boosts are a fair bit better in the Vortex Arena, as it affects the normal attack) and given the pretty low parameter boosts, it's a bit weak. The ailment counter chance and the BC Efficacy boost is pretty good, though - helpful in situations like the Vortex Arena.
Its Extra Skill is average, but nothing too groundbreaking. It grants a 150% BBAtk boost to itself when its HP is over half, and also has a 50% chance to halve enemy BC Efficacy for two turns. The former of the two is a bit lackluster, but the latter is pretty great in the Vortex Arena.
Mizo Dorte's buffpool is very heavily suited to situations like the Vortex Arena. Its AoE + Single Target BB grants a 75% Weak, Sick, Curse, and Paralysis ailment infliction chance, a 500% DoT, and a 350% BBAtk boost. Likewise, its AoE + Single Target SBB grants an Attack debuff chance, 500% DoT, BBAtk boost, and an ailment counter chance. It's a pretty great buffpool aimed at crippling the enemy, making it ideal for Arena-esque situations.
In terms of SP options, it has access to a 30% Attack and HP boost which can be further boosted to 50%, and can unlock for itself a 50% Defense Ignore chance, a BC when attacked buff, a BC Efficacy boost, and an Attack cap boost to 130000. It can enhance its Extra Skill's BC reduction buff, its BB's/SBB's BBAtk boost, and its BB's/SBB's DoT buff.
Mizo Dorte may not be suited as a lead, but it's definitely a deadly sub-unit to have on your squad. I'd suggest getting its Extra Skill enhancement or its DoT boost, as well as its parameter boosts. I'd also suggest getting its Angel Idol proc.
Gregor is a decent unit to have set as a lead, with his Leader Skill granting a 50% Attack and HP boost, Critical Damage and EWD boost, and a 20% chance to have a 25% damage counter. It's not incredibly great in the Dark Vortex Arena, though - for one, the EWD is negligible in a situation where mono-elemental teams are needed, and both the parameter boost and the damage counter proc rates are remarkably low.
His Extra Skill is quite distinct, granting an EWD boost and a stat debuff added to his attack the turn after he accomplishes dealing damage. It's pretty much the first Extra Skill to get a stat debuff chance with a unique requirement, but sadly that's really the only interesting thing in his Extra Skill given the context of the Dark Vortex Arena.
Now, Gregor's true power lies in his buffpool. His BB grants a 30% chance to halve the enemy's Attack and Defense, as well as both a Critical Damage and Critical Hit Rate boost. Likewise, his SBB grants a 30% chance to halve the enemy's Attack and Defense, an admittedly useless EWD boost, and both a Critical Damage and Critical Hit Rate boost. While it's true that buffs like this are pretty hard to utilize, it's still holds true that these are pretty useful buffs should they proc.
His Skill Point options are quite limited, mostly because he's a pretty old unit at this point. He has access to both a 50% Attack and 50% Defense boost, as well as a 30% Critical Damage boost which can be further boosted to 50%. He can also add a Fire element to his attack and can add a DoT to his buffpool. Lastly, he can enhance his buffs - namely his stat debuff proc rate, Critical Damage boost, and his EWD boost.
Gregor's a useful unit mainly for his aptitude in handicapping the enemy, but not for much else. I'd personally suggest to spend 40 SP on getting his DoT (should you not have a unit with DoT) and his proc rate boost. You could also opt to spend 40 SP on getting his 50% Attack and Defense boost, if you'd like.
The main reason why Kikuri is present in the "Debuffers" category despite her damage output is because, looking at her previous evolutions, she was mainly focused on inflicting ailments. She's still a really great damage dealer, though.
Her Leader Skill, much like in her previous incarnations, revolves mainly around a mono-Dark elemental squad. It grants a 100% Attack and 30% HP boost for Dark types, as well as a 50% Attack and 30% HP boost for all types - which stacks with the stat boosts for Dark types, granting a potential 150% Attack and 60% HP boost for Dark types. She also grants a BC Efficacy buff and a 20% BC gauge cost reduction, making her a viable lead for those who want to try getting their units to activate their BBs on the first turn.
Her Extra Skill makes her a great unit for PvP situations. It grants her a 50% Attack boost when her BC gauge is over half, and a chance to inflict ailments upon attack. Finally, she has a 20% chance to reflect 25% of incoming damage. Pretty useful, to say the least.
Kikuri's buffpool makes her out to be a budget Dirk Rezo, in the sense that they share almost the same buffpool. Her BB grants a 75% ailment infliction chance and a 500% DoT, whereas her HP scaled SBB grants a BC droprate when attacked, a 75% ailment infliction chance, and a 500% DoT. Pretty standard buffs to have for events like the Vortex Arena.
In terms of Skill Point options, she has access to a 30% Attack and HP boost as well as an 80% Attack boost when her BC gauge is over half. She can also boost her damage potential through a Spark Damage boost and an Attack cap boost. Aside from this, she has various PvP-centric buffs, like an Angel Idol porc, a BC gauge reduction, and both an ailment and damage counter. Finally, she can enhance her DoT debuff and enlargen her buffpool through an EWD boost buff.
I'd suggest to focus on building her mainly as an Arena unit, through unlocking both of her parameter boosts and her Angel Idol proc. You could also opt to unlock any of her counter buffs or her BC gauge fillrate debuff.
1/2/17 5:25 AM EST: Filled in Ciardha, Zekuu, Mifune. Keres and Kikuri WIP.
1/3/17 6:54 AM EST: Finished Keres, Kikuri. Filled in Mizo Dorte, Gregor, Zeek, Shion. Kafka, Velma, Johan, Lancelot, Cardes, Zalvard, Kalon, Savei WIP.
1/7/17 1:52 AM EST: Finished Zalvard, Kalon, Savei. Removed Johan. Added Beatrix.
1/7/17 6:11 AM EST: Finished Beatrix, Lancelot, and Cardes.