Thoughts on the infinite transformation build

Discussion in 'Battlemage' started by epiphenom, Aug 23, 2016.

  1. epiphenom

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    Kassantha
    Since it's semi-topical at the moment, I thought I'd take the time during this maintenance to write a little bit about my experiences with the infinite-transformation Refined Amnesia Stone Ring physical build. I finished off 6pc Gracia at the start of last week, swapped builds and have been testing it in various ways ever since. I learned a lot of things, but there's still a lot I don't know. Most of what I do and don't know is probably common knowledge already over in kDnF, but there's no good English source of information on this build anywhere, and I figured I might as well start the conversation.


    The skill points, they do nothing


    Assigning SP for this build is at once easy and hard. The easy part is that almost nothing you can put points into matters at all. The hard part is that it leaves you with thousands of SP that probably won't do anything and you have to put them somewhere, which leads to figuring out which marginal benefit is least marginal.

    Maxing all the chasers is easy because at least Apostlize gives you all the chaser buffs for each launched chaser. The passives apply always, and so does Chaser Generator, so those get maxed too. Past that, it's just a big abyss of nothing. Aside from the skills I already mentioned, Teana form bears as much relationship to our abilities as Mecha Tau form, from the potion, and ideally you're spending roughly half your time in this state.

    Almost all the cubes have near-zero relevance, although I left most of them the way they were just because I couldn't think of anything better to do with them. Punto wave and Meteor Assault can happen twice per Apostlize; anything else is happening exactly once per 80-second cycle unless the ring randomly resets it. Even Full Swing is highly unattractive when you get five per 80 seconds, and that's if you hit it every time exactly on cooldown.

    I settled on keeping Fusion Chaser, Punto Wave, and Ultimate Punto Wave unchanged from my magical build. Otherwise I've been pushing points around trying to find something that works. Chaser Press gives me a reasonable AoE effect but there are lots of times where I don't even want to push it at all. I can't tell if Launcher EX is still bugging out and taking the M.Atk value, but that's the next thing to test.

    TP is the same deal. Basic Training helps Apostlize so it gets maxed. Stabbing Wheel still needs a point. Beyond that, again, nothing does anything. Chaser generation is a bit of a bottleneck without RC's generation bonuses, so I threw some TP into Chaser Generator. It doesn't really seem to have an effect, although I'm not sure TP into anything else would have an effect either.


    The build is good anyway


    Regardless of where I put all the marginal skill points, the effect was basically everything I could have hoped for. Even without Magical Cataclysm I shaved 25-55% off my fastest solo clear times of just about everything I tried. I even had a relatively uneventful solo clear of Hall of Eternity, which honestly wasn't in my range before. At a conservative estimate I'm dealing at least twice as much damage as I did with my old magical build. It's hard to tell because infinite super armor allows me to just run into things and destroy them in a way that the magical build can't, so even though I'm killing things more than twice as fast, it might not all be due to damage, but rather more time on the target.

    That was certainly the case when I ran into 3-star Gruff a couple of days ago and ground him underneath my heel in under two minutes without needing a consumable, which is a time reduction of about 80% over my previous best efforts. Most of that wasn't because of low damage, but because there were whole phases where I couldn't stand there and dump chasers into him, especially in phase 1a where he picks up that circular lightning aura and the rock-fall anti-cube invincibility move. Being able to ignore most of his annoying lightning was very nice.

    That said, I should note that the comparison is to a relatively un-optimized magical setup. I'm a pretty low-effort player, haven't bothered to try Anton yet, so all my RC pieces were still level 70, with budget enchants and a handful of free amps. Do not take my results as a reason to believe that the optimal physical build destroys an optimized magic build, because that's not the comparison I'm making. If there's any comparison, it's that a player lucky enough to get the reset ring (because this really doesn't work without it) may get more out of free legendary boxes than free chron boxes. I'm not sure how many other people this comparison will apply to.

    For reference, my off-pieces are a +34 light damage magic stone, Tactical Lord Belt (for the +20 light damage, although I don't feel like this is a huge upgrade over Gracia belt) and Ray Decrease Shoulder. My weapon is a War Goddess Spear. While figuring out my gear setup, Ray Decrease Shoulder's +80 Int was actually enough to wipe out the Spear's strength bonus, meaning I'd have higher Str if I just kept my magic avatars and went for an Int-stacking physical spear setup. My wonderful plan was foiled when I realized that there is no +Int +P.Atk guild emblem. I probably could still have done it, like a Dark Gothic user on this build would, but the difference wasn't enough for me to do that.


    On Nugol time


    Flush from all those successes I headed into the training room to see what kind of gaudy numbers I would put up on DFO Youtube's final boss, EX Nugol. Set up stopwatch mode and my time was 45 seconds...higher?

    This was a sufficiently bewildering result that I tried it five more times to make sure. From what I can tell, at least two things, and probably more, are not working correctly in the training room. Firstly, the cooldown reset ring doesn't reset cooldowns, or at least it operates under different rules. Six runs in a row I was unable to get it to reset the cooldown of either transformation even one time, forcing me to do most of the fight in the much less impressive Little Girl With A Stick Form. Secondly, both transformations and notably Teana are doing much, much less damage than they should. My best guess is that there's some buggy interaction that's causing elemental damage not to apply to transformations consistently in the training room. I haven't had time to test this extensively, but the only theories I have involve manipulating weapon enchants and the cube contract.

    To be clear, all of this stuff works just fine outside the training room. I haven't yet run a dungeon where my transformations didn't reset on time, and likewise I haven't yet met something I haven't immediately blown up with damage. It seems like it's just something specific to the training room. I don't know when or even if they'll fix it. Until then any relevant EX Nugol number is going to have to wait.



    The 80-second cycle


    This is pretty easy to derive from the nature of the abilities, but I figured I might as well write it down somewhere. Playing the build just involves looping the 80 second cycle for as long as it takes to finish the dungeon, and it's pretty simple.

    In step one, you turn on Evo Chaser, generate at least six chasers, Fusion Chaser something and immediately transform. Eating the Evo chaser as part of Teana Transformation should apply all the chaser buffs to you for 30 seconds. The alternative to Evo Chaser is to separately generate fire and shadow chasers (since those are the important ones) and then transform that way. I think the Evo Chaser method is faster and better.

    Step two is wildly flailing about with Teana. The last ten seconds of Teana won't have chaser buffs, and if your Fusion Chaser is maxed, the last four seconds of Teana won't have that either. It shouldn't matter because nobody is good enough to hit Apostlize exactly right when Teana would expire, so you're probably doing it about five seconds early. Careful you don't Apostlize too early or you'll be in Apostle form with Evo Chasers, which is not ideal.

    Step three is when you Apostlize. Shoot a chaser and Fusion Chaser something right away to get those rolling again and go to town. At the end of this step you'll be untransformed with no chasers, so back to step one.


    This isn't even my final form


    I think the most exciting thing about this build is that every revamp we have coming up from kDnF makes it better. Being able to cube in Teana means that we'll have relevant things to put SP into, and revamp 1 provides a bunch of extra SP just in time. Teana Chasers applying chaser buffs means that Evo Chaser can just be skipped and there won't be a chance of a mistake. Teana also won't require chasers to transform, which shortens the time spent out of transformation. Making the transformations not dependent on each other also eliminates some of the more obscure fail states where you take too much damage and get kicked out of transformation without the right cooldown reset. The RC9 chaser generation bonus being folded into the default Chaser Generator is also a big deal because chaser starvation in this build happens more than rarely, especially during Teana form when you're solely generating chasers off style points. Teana doesn't even get hit by the chaser damage nerf.



    Still to test


    There's still some stuff I need to test, whenever I get around to having the time. For now my open questions are:

    What's going on in the test room and is there a workaround? If I can't find one it makes testing all the rest of this stuff a lot harder.

    Is Becky or Petit Astarte better? Becky has 3% more crit smash that applies all the time, but Astarte has +1 Apostlize which is very attractive on 50% uptime.

    Battle Groove vs Teana Transformation on avatar top. Same kind of issue, Battle Groove is always, but +1 Teana is +~270% on each chaser, which also sounds good. I suspect after rework 2 it'll have to be Teana for the +Quasar Explosion level.

    Is Launcher EX still bugged with Apostlize form? I think it's an auto-max if it's not. If it is, it may very well be correct to not use it since chaser generation is significantly less without RC.
     
  2. Nan0teck ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

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    This is the route I'll be taking after the rework. I'm currently using 9pc Relentless w/ War Goddess and ele tear, but I have the hot FUTUREPROOF with 6pc Gracia, full Superstar, ele tear and a reset ring for swapping ready and waiting. My 9pc setup is sadly still superior (according to my own EX nugol times), but I still have yet to re-curse and re-enchant all my physical gear as well...and well, Superstar is just shit right now lol. I compared them in normal Anton as well, though I can't say the tests are exactly fair because I always run with different comps, and they aren't always optimal comps either. Still, I'll just wait for the big epic/class rework so I can get back to my roots as a phys bm and not feel gimped as hell. Infinite Apostilize is a hell of a drug, but the current state of our physical skills bring non-existent damage-wise and 9pc Relentless being way too good is just...yeah.

    If they ever give us 2awk skills on ava tops, I think +1 Apostilize will be the way to go for this build (more skill dmg+dimensional rend), otherwise I guess +1 Teana.

    As for the insignia, I ended up going with +patk/+batk because I didn't want to replace all my gold int emblems, but I also have a War Goddess Spear. I ended up stacking int anyway, just like you, but I figured patk and base atk will both be useful now and in the future anyway.
     
  3. epiphenom

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    Kassantha
    I'm wondering if you have the same issue I have in the training room with things not working. If you don't, do you mind telling me what your weapon enchant/cube contract are set to? That would save me some complicated testing.
     
  4. Nan0teck ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

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    At the time, my weapon was enchanted with water. I changed the enchant on it since, but I can just use water contract next time I do tests. I do plan on doing so, because I wasn't using 6pc gracia at the time, but even so, the damage was quite... disappointing, to say the least.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2016

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