General Guide Leader Skill Analyses

Discussion in 'Guides' started by Glum, Oct 31, 2014.

  1. Glum

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    In my own friend list, I am shocked at the level of bad leader skills. People in the level 150+ range still don't realize the way that the meta works, especially now that we have datamines like Brave Frontier Pros to show us exactly how the numbers crunch out.

    The fact of the matter is that the two most-valuable attributes in the game are (A) BB-fillers, and (B) damage mitigation. The meta is currently very strongly favoring these leader skills, and stat-raising leader skills being good is a major fallacy.

    Here is the major reason why: A unit's SBB typically has a 350%-650% modifier on it, which only adds to any other boosts. If you have a 50% ATK boost from a leader skill, the modifier now becomes 400%-700%. This is a tiny difference. Therefore, increasing the amount of SBBs makes a much bigger difference than increasing the raw ATK values.

    The other very good leader skills are the skills that have a multiplicative increase in damage. This includes crit boosts, spark boosts, and elemental attack boosts. These will multiply your BB value instead of add to it. For example, a 50% increase in spark damage is actually a 1.5-times increase. Suddenly the 400% multiplier of a BB gets increased to 600%.

    The Godly Leader Skills:
    Ares' Echo
    (Lilly Matah) - Large Boost in the BB Gauge When Attacked
    This leader skill is statistically one of the best leader skills against single-target bosses. It's not very useful in a "BB-Spam/Spark" team, but it generates more BB filling than any other leader skill against Trials and any other single-target boss. Being able to have unlimited amounts of heals and Darvanshel buffs means every boss is suddenly much easier.

    Ares' Excelsior (Uda, Elza, Felneus, etc.) - Huge Boost to BB Gauge Fill Rate
    For most squad compositions that have 2 or more enemies, this leader skill can guarantee unlimited SBB. This basically guarantees a 400% increase (or higher) in damage for your whole squad. This also means you can sustain unlimited buffs like Darvanshel, spark boosts, CRIT boosts, and other valuable buffs.

    Power of Creation (Maxwell) - Large boost in critical hit damage & large boost in damage dealt to weak elements
    This leader skill is the best offensive leader skill in the game. Maintaining unlimited SBB is important, but Maxwell's increase in damage is up to 8 times the base damage. This would happen if a unit crits against its weak element. Zebra and Mare used to be excellent leaders; putting them together into one is even sweeter.

    Spark Damage Boosts (Luther, Behemoth, etc.) - Gives a 40%/50% increase in damage during spark
    As I mentioned earlier, the spark boosts are calculated multiplicatively. Multiplying your damage by 1.5 is way better than adding a 50% boost to it. A spark team with Luther lead will likely have increase their damage output by almost double.

    Master Thief's Secret (Zelnite) - Huge boost to BC, HC, Zel, Karma and Item drop rate
    This leader skill is an additive 50% increase in BC, compared with a multiplicative 50% increase from the Ares' Excelsior. This means that for basic attacks, Zelnite's BC generation increase is identical to Uda's. However, it doesn't stack as well with other buffs (like Ares Flute), which means that Zelnite's leader skill does not scale as well. However, for many team comps, Zelnite's LS is all that you need anyway. Uda would be overkill, and you would miss out on the HC buff.

    That being said, the HC buff is huge for Zelnite! (Mathematically, you get over 3 times as many HC as you would get without it.) I've healed 8k damage in one turn with just a Zelnite LS and SBB combo. Almost always, Zelnite's LS and his SBB makes an excellent replacement for a healer. This alone makes the leader skill very, very powerful.

    All Charm (Deemo & The Girl) - Boost in BB gauge during spark
    Deemo's LS is probably the best one at filling BB gauges of most units. Since the meta involves spark-spam teams, a Deemo can basically fill every unit's SBB gauge before you even collect the BC drops. One Deemo can be paired with a Maxwell for disgusting amounts of devastating damage. Unfortunately, Deemo itself as a unit is pretty bad; however, Deemo is probably your best choice in Frontier Hunter to maximize your point output.

    Any +50%/65% ATK lead (for Arena only) - (mono-element, rainbow)
    With the two Halloween Spheres and Lexida, most Arena squads can satisfy a turn-2 BB without the need for a BB increasing leader. This leaves room for using a 50% ATK leader. Also, during turn #1 of arena, a 50% leader actually does increase your damage by 50% (with Lexida/H'ween Spheres) and by 22% (with Amanohabaken). These can basically guarantee two kills by the first turn, which basically guarantees your win.


    The "Niche" Leader Skills:
    Status Immunity - (Darvanshel, Reeze, etc)
    These have a lot of 6* secondary effects and come in a lot of names, but in essence the whole point is status immunity. For many fights, status immunity is non-negotiable, and if you don't have a Melchio, Exvehl, or Altri, this makes a good secondary bet. You'll be missing out on many other benefits, though.

    Ancient Authority - (Grahdens) 20% boost to all parameters & 15% reduction in damage from Light and Dark Types
    This leader skill has its niches for being very good--specifically, against any dark or light boss. Anything that has a flat reduction is very good, and Grahdens's 20% increase to HP is also not too shabby. (The 20% ATK/DEF/REC are next to useless.) There is no better leader skill for raw survivability except for Lilly Matah, who can guarantee keeping up Daravnshel/Oulu buffs endlessly.

    Divine Oracle - (Exvehl) 30% Boost to HP and slightly recovers HP every turn
    Since HP is the only skill worth buffing, this is arguably a better survivability LS than Grahdens if you are against a fire/water/earth/thunder boss. The healing is also kind of nice.

    Ignore Defense - (Duel-SGX, Melchio, Rowgen) - 15% chance to ignore defense
    This is the best LS to use in Metal Parade. It's useless elsewhere, though.


    Supreme Ruler's Magic (Phee, Zellha, etc.) - Reduction in Requirement to Fill BB Gauge
    This is only a 20% reduction in the BC requirement, so it's worse than Uda (50% increase in fill rate). However, in the arena, your units get half of their original amount of BC, so for the "arena" units like Lira and Farlon, this means they now only need 5 BC to cast their BB. This leader skill is quite strong for very specific arena teams.


    The BAD Leader Skills:
    Any +50%/65% ATK lead (for quests) - (mono-element, rainbow)
    During questing, these skills are so pathetic. For many units, they only increase your damage output by 7.5-10%. Since ATK adds to the BB modifier, you are only increasing a BB from 400% to 450%. The way the math falls, a 50% ATK leaderskill is not effective to use if you are using BB's every turn.


    Immersing Holiness (Oulu, Gravion, etc.) 20% boost to DEF and HP and chance of small reduction in damage
    This leader skill seems nice because the 20% boost to DEF and HP helps with tankiness. However, you get the same boosts with Grahdens. The mitigation here is actually pathetic -- it's a 10% chance to reduce damage by 20%. In the longrun, the secondary effect here adds up to 2% damage mitigation. Statistically, it's probably the worst secondary-benefit on any 6* leader skill.

    Anything else - (lots of units)
    The 25% boost to ATK/DEF that some units have is laughable. Increasing REC or HC effectiveness is not necessary (Zelnite does a better job, or just take a Phee or Faris as a normal unit). A flat 15% damage reduction from the Guardians batch is also not very good, since a 20% increase in HP does even more in terms of surviving one-hit kills. Everything else is generally just bad, and should be avoided.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
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  2. Callos

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    Aww you snubbed poor Deemo's All Charm LS :p
     
  3. Glum

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    Oh shit, whoops! Thanks!
     
  4. Callos

    Callos Almighty

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    Oh yeah Supreme Ruler's Magic(Phee, Zellha, Kuda) >_>
     
  5. Glum

    Glum Aether

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    It's worse than Uda for BB spam, and it's worse than Lilly Matah for bosses. I guess I'll put it in the "Bad" section.
     
  6. Callos

    Callos Almighty

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    Worse but if you have no Ares leads its better then attack boosts, niche boosts or gimmicky lead skills.
     
  7. Zephyr05

    Zephyr05 Virtuoso

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    This gave me a lot of info. Thank you for this :D I'm relieved that I have an Ares lead.
     
  8. rakkety

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    1) Why do you consider 20% to atk/def/rec useless?
    2) Not everybody has the right unit to put lead or to take advantage of those LS. I didn't even have a proper BB spam team until last FH.
    3) Duel-SGX (and other similar LS) is best for MP runs.
    4) I like +% to attack cause I don't use BB when questing. Don't know why but that's just my personal preference.

    Sent from the Pony Express
     
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  9. Glum

    Glum Aether

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    Between Zelnite, Uda, Felneus, Duelmex, Bordebegia, Deemo (a free unit), Elza, Faris, Narza, Maxwell (a free unit), Luther, Behemoth, Dilias, and probably 20 other options... I highly doubt people can't pull off one of the godly ones.
     
  10. Callos

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    And now how many low level people do you have on your friend list? While yes its improbable, with a lot of decent choices to have a list full, its not impossible. I've replied on too many "help me" topics where "meta" units are untouched and people are using crap/mid tier units. So by your own definition of a good leader, Supreme Ruler is godly, just not to Ares lead standards, but it is a gauge fill mechanic. Not only that, but depending on your team composition, they can fill a role your team lacks(hc buff, 30 hit unit, Atk/Crit buff) Not every player has lots of meta-defining units at their disposal.
     
  11. Glum

    Glum Aether

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    1) 20% ATK is useless because of what I said about BB's.
    20% DEF is useless because it amounts to about a 2-10% reduction in incoming damage. For bosses, it's almost a 0% decrease in damage
    20% REC is okay, but REC itself is useless.

    2) Even if you don't have unlimited BB, using Ares Excelsior with a non-spam team is still a larger increase in damage. If you can use a BB every 3 turns without it, and a BB every 2 turns, that's a 50% increase in your BB. Since a BB is a 4-6x increase in damage, in this case using Ares would be a 2-3x increase in damage since you have 50% more uptime on BB's.

    3) Thanks for reminding me. :)

    4) When clearing waves, leader skills don't matter because they are full of worthless fodder units. You can run double Burny leads to get through most of the fodder. However, you do use your BB against bosses, right? So here, a 50% atk lead is once again almost useless compared to a spark, Maxwell/Zebra/Mare, or another Ares to help guarantee more uptime on future BBs against the same boss.
     
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  12. Glum

    Glum Aether

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    You're not making any sense. Even F2P people who have cleared past St. Lamia will have enough RS pulls to almost certainly have a "meta" unit. There are like 30 units to choose from that would make good leaders. Also, four of the meta leaders are free (Maxwell, Mare, Zebra, Deemo).

    I'm arguing from a mathematical, data-mining standpoint. According to the forumas for damage, a 50% atk boost is only a 8-10% increase in damage, whereas a spark leader is x2 damage and Maxwell is x4 or x8.


    Also, "crap"-tier units still fit the "meta" which is that their SBB has a 350% or higher modifier.

    Some random "crap-tier" units off the top of my head:
    - Dilias - 400% AOE
    - Tiara - 350% AOE + 100 flat ATK
    - Mega - 420% AOE
    - Twins - 440% AOE
     
  13. Callos

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    I'm arguing from the RNG can screw you standpoint. And those 4 free leads: 2 have crap drop rates that could potentially take 100's of runs to drop. 1 is a vortex unit that may not run again. 1 is heavily team dependent to get. And this is a guide to educate.
     
  14. rakkety

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    How would you rate miku's LS? It's a combo of two different BB-oriented LS.

    Sent from the Pony Express
     
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  15. Elia

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    I still like rainbow leaders like Lilith and Logan, a 130% on Atk can be really helpful in clearing a storyline quest really fast.
     
  16. Callos

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    Were talking leader skills, I don't care if their damage multiplier is 700%.
     
  17. Mental

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    It makes me sad you are snubbing Miku's LS.
    Concert of Light
    Fills BB gauge hugely after each turn & boosts the BB gauge fill rate
    I get it, she's only a 5 * currently, but I've replaced my previous Leader in favor of her because she makes my BB-Spam team awesome as I'm not starved anymore for BC"s.
     
  18. Glum

    Glum Aether

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    I do agree that the guide is to educate, so I don't want to make it overly complicated with a system of "if/then" statements. The bottom line is that for any squad, the best leader skills are BB, crit/element boost, or spark boost related. If you don't have any, then yes rainbow is "good," but here the word good simply means the best option out of a sea of bad leader skills.

    Also @Mental's post: Hatsune Miku is an okay choice, but I hesitate to say she's godly. She's a good emergency replacement of Uda or Felneus. Mikku's main utility is offering 25% fill rate, which is worse than a 5* Uda or Felneus. Note that the +3 BC per turn ends up almost negligible (most SBBs take 38-50 BC to fill, so an extra +3 is a laughing matter).

    If you're stuck using Hatsune Miku, you're almost always better using a different leader and just using a friend's Uda.
     
  19. Eris

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    Woot! Mwahaha!
    -runs off clutching her Zelnite and cackling-
     
  20. Gentle

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    Great guide but just like when you mention Lodin there are quite a few other units that excel in the categories you deem inferior so I definitely wouldnt't take this guide as gospel. Still it's one ell of a starting off point for anyone looking for a good beginning when inquiring about LS. Ohhh, and personally i'd put Supreme Ruler's Magic in the niche category, not the bad. In arena where the gauge reduction is in effect you'd want Phee over Uda for LS. Once again though, really good guide. :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2014
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