turns out the recent nerf to Diamond Paragon enables some pretty amazing teams. I have finally found a team that wins almost any battle at maximum CJ, regardless of enemy strength. I am currently fighting enemies that have about 20 times my level, but I don’t see why I should have a harder time killing creatures at even higher levels. The reason for this is Mutilate. It scales with enemy Health and ignores their Defense. So I tried casting as many Mutilates as it takes, as fast as possible. Here’s how I went about it:
Because I want to be casting spells, my team should be immune to Silence, since Supersonic will wreck me otherwise. I could use Strength of Mind, or I could just go Sorcery Mage and pay 50 DP for Outspoken. While I am at it, I also max out Spell Damage, to double the damage my Mutilates will do. I max out on Echo as well, which will give me an additional 1/3 of a Mutilate on average.
For the team itself, I start out with Regalis and Skyward Vulpes, turn the Vulpes into a Nether/Nature and give him Pallida as well. Each creature only has Mutilate equipped. This gives every creature independent 15% and 35% chances to cast Mutilate at the start of battle. Doing the math on this reveals that you have 1 - (0.65^5 * 0.85^5) = ~ 97.16% to start the battle with at least one Mutilate.
This Mutilate will usually deal 100% of the target’s maximum health, which isn’t enough in a surprising amount of cases. For example, maximum CJ damage reduction brings this down to 10%. The first thing I do is enchant each Mutilate with Cast On Additional Target, effectively doubling the damage this deals. But doing damage to random targets introduces variance I would rather avoid. So I figured, I’d also give the Nether the Anomaly trait. This effectively lets me deal 20% more damage for as long as the opponent has six creatures: instead of dealing 10% to two creatures, I now deal 4% to each of them. With some variance, depending on the maximum health of the creatures you hit, compared to the other creatures, but the average should still be exactly 4%.
The Spell Damage bonus brings this up to 8% to each enemy. But let’s see how high we can pump it
Before the Diamond Paragon nerf I was looking at traits that buff damage for the whole team. But now, I am free to use Regalis to make use of some traits that offer larger bonuses, but only apply to the creature itself, and let Brothel do its magic. Djinn Illusionist offers the best damage buff, with a whopping 400% bonus to spells. Up next is Destruction Banshee, which deals an additional 300% damage. For these to be active, however, those creatures need to be missing 40 and 60 mana, respectively. Here’s where Imp Inscriber comes into play. I max out Mana on my mage and Maximum Mana on my artifacts, getting an additional 65 Mana on each creature. Skyward Vulpes has the lowest initial mana with 28, which still gives it 93 Mana. Starting the battle at 30% that means that each creature starts the battle missing at least 60 mana, so I get the full damage bonus right away. Since those stack independently, my Mutilates are now up to 8% * 500% * 400% = 160% damage to everyone. Yeah!
But I am not done yet, and thankfully so, because turns out there are quite many damage reduction effects available to the enemy. A simple Armor or Shield already makes quite the difference, not to mention the various traits, of which I encountered many, thanks to CJ. But we haven’t even gotten to the Artifacts yet. They aren’t too reliable because of Hex, but I still want to make the most of it. I make sure all of my creatures start the battle with Berserk. I am dead from one hit either way, but at least this way I can pump up the Mutilate to 240% on everyone. The question remained which Artifact to use though. The choice was between Staffs and Lances. Staffs deal 30% more damage either way, and you can enchant them with a 50% damage bonus to one class. Assuming that each class is equally represented, this means I’ll get an average damage multiplier of 143%. Lances, on the other hand, can only be enchanted with 20% Spell Damage, but deal 100% more damage to one class. This works out to an average damage multiplier of 144%. It does have more variance, and if I was worried about dipping below 100% damage, I would make sure that I minimized the chance of that happening. But since I am in overkill territory anyway, I am more than happy to take the higher average.
But the competition between Lances and Staffs never stops! Artifacts in the wild can have higher stats, and if I manage to find a Staff with 54% damage bonus to one class, that would give me an average multiplier of 144.04%, slightly beating out the average Lance. But I never know when I will find a Lance with more than 20% Spell Damage bonus! Basically, I use the following formula to calculate the average damage multiplier:
80% * (1 + bonus spell damage) + 20% * (1 + bonus spell damage) * (1 + bonus class damage)
I round out the artifacts with a resource bonus and Immune to Confused. I might be wrong about this, but I think Confused can cause a creature to cast Mutilate on someone on its own team, instead of targeting an enemy. Anyway, assuming a 144% damage multiplier for a Lance with maximum Spell Damage bonus, I am now up to 345.6% damage to everyone, per Mutilate.
Now all that’s left for the artifacts are the traits. Those won’t be shared by Regalis, so this time I am looking for the largest buffs for the whole team. Wail of Torment offers a 150% bonus for creatures that have below 45% maximum mana at the time. This is a perfect fit for my Voodoo strategy. The next trait that comes to mind is Through The Gloom. It lets creatures deal 75% more damage to creatures that are above 95% health. But I choose Everything Is Gone instead, to play around Wasted Age and other “above 90% health” effects. Plus, it virtually lets Mutilate deal 25% more damage. It sadly reduces the damage bonus for Unmending from 50% to 40%, which is the trait I would have used next. So I go with Emerald Attunement first, since my creatures already get one-shot by everything anyway, and it offers me a juicy 50%. The next buff on the list still is Unmending though, so it gets a slot. The fifth trait goes to Might Aura. 25% isn’t too exciting, but I have found neither the Iterian Spark, nor the necessary singular creatures. I also don’t have a Belittler, which I would use most of the time, only switching to Might Aura for non-normal battles.
Speaking of switching, some battles will be pretty much guaranteed to be creatures of the same class. This might be because the Sigil is inhabited by creatures of a specific race, or just creatures of the same race in general. Also, the Pandemonium Token fights will always be all chaos creatures, for example. There’s a couple of more special, realm-specific fights where this is true, but I can’t come up with a comprehensive list off the top of my head Anyway, if I wanted to be perfectionistic about it, I would make sure my creatures had a Lance for every occasion, so to speak. Eh, I’ll just keep my “outdated” artifacts around as they keep being replaced by more exciting wild artifacts. This way, the suitcase will fill up automatically^^
I put Supersonic in the final artifact trait slot to be Supersafe against whatever may happen, mostly Ice Salamander, which might wipe out my team in response to any attempt to damage it myself. Still, assuming my artifacts neither get decayed nor get attuned to a giant diamond, this buffs my damage to a whopping 345.6% * 250% * 150% * 140% * 125% = 2268%. Keeping in mind that every enemy starts the battle with 80% health, this is enough damage to kill everybody 28.35 times over! More or less, literally, because there are still class weaknesses/resistances to take into account. At least my Nether will always hit strong. Also, this figure is per Mutilate, of which I will, not to forget, get an average of 4/3 copies every time I cast one. Plus, I find myself with Multicast every now and then
I could finally go and equip the appropriate runes to do 35% more damage to enemies regardless of their class, but at this point, that just seems like overkill. Or, more appropriately, over-overkill.
Sadly, this doesn’t mean I am invincible. 97% might seem like a lot, but it still means I won’t go 40 battles without a no-Mutilate start of battle, on average. My opponents might have their own start of battle effects, which happen in order of speed and would therefore precede my Mutilates. Some of them could simply resurrect. Or they might stack enough damage reduction effects: if a creature had (in addition to CJ) independent 90% and 70% damage reduction, for example, that would work out to a total of 97% damage reduction, allowing it to do the unthinkable: survive Mutilate.
I might also just be wrong in how I compound the buffs. After calculating this, I looked at some more battles, and while I usually one-shot all enemies, it doesn’t look like 20-30 times overkill. Maybe the percentages are all to be added, and then applied to the base damage. But that wouldn’t even add up to 100% on everyone. Also, damage reduction is most definitely just successively multiplied onto the damage. It is tough to get good data on it, since you can check the last battle history to see how much damage you dealt, but not which additional traits the enemies had, or what stats.
Anyway, fortunately, I still have a sixth slot on my team, and I choose to fill it with Ice Salamander myself! Now, almost every time my creatures will take damage, they will cast a Mutilate first, again likely wiping the whole enemy team in the process. But what if my creatures all die and an opponent resurrects, or otherwise shrugs off my Mutilates? Better take a page out of their playbook, and equip everyone with Requiem, with additional healing on each one, to resurrect my creatures with more than “dying” health, so Judgment can’t wipe my team post-resurrection. Now, when a creature takes damage that exceeds 25% of its maximum health (so, basically always), it will cast either Requiem or Mutilate. They will cast these before they die, so a creature casting Requiem will never resurrect itself. But it will still bring everyone else back, and even AoE Spells trigger this effect separately for each creature. So for the enemy creatures to win, they basically need to win five consecutive coin flips, while weathering 5-6 Mutilates. This, combined with the mana regeneration from Voodoo, actually gives my team a ton of staying power; I can just hardcast Requiem whenever I get a turn. Creatures can’t resurrect more than ten times per battle, but by that point, the enemy should be long dead. I’ve had battles go into fatigue, and it greatly helps you out, long before that limit is exhausted
This strategy dodges most hoser traits, but there are still some that can affect you, besides damage reduction. Diamond Attunement significantly weakens my team, but it perseveres most of the time anyway. Some traits give a chance of countering spells, which can only be overcome through sheer luck. There are sometimes some clutch points in battle where a single counter defeats me completely, but it mostly just makes need for a few Mutilates, of which I can serve up quite many Some traits seal your spell gems though. To work around that, I swapped all my Mutilates and Requiems to Life and filled the final slot on my Nether with Center of the Universe. Now each of my creatures battles with 6 Mutilates and 6 Requiems, and while the temporary copies won’t work with Cana or Pallida, Naivety will still trigger them. I mostly try to play around Impedence with this, but I don’t know the exact mechanics; could be that Impedence actually “ignores” some gems before Center of the Universe would share them with everyone. I’ll try to figure out the interaction more closely the next time it happens.
Before I forget it, I must bring up Anomaly. I use it to great effect in my strategy, but it is also my worst nightmare when the opponent has it. For some reason, maybe because the other creatures’ health being reduced by an amount isn’t technically the same thing as taking damage, any time one of my creatures take damage, everybody dies and the combat is just over, with no Naivety triggers - except for the original target. I have to try to find out if one last Mutilate would win the battle for me, or if my team would still get wiped just afterwards, before I can win the battle.
A final word on stats: The only stat that turned out to be important with this team is mana. Everything else is totally negligible. I maxed out Battlemage and Attack and Intelligence Heredities, but couldn’t make a dent in my opponents’ defense. I had a battle go so long, I got off so many Seductions that my enemies were at minimum stats and my team at maximum stats - still nothing. Which is too bad, because naturally I enchanted every single spell gem I use with Chance to Attack…
All in all, I can really recommend this team. You won’t need to hunt down any rare Itherians to build it, and you’ll win 90%+ of the battles on maximum CJ, in your highest realm depth, no matter what that may be. And best of all, most battles take but a couple of seconds:
A hostile group of creatures led by a X appeared.
Your Y casts Mutilate.
You and your creatures are victorious!
I hope you enjoyed this breakdown; feel free to try this strategy for yourself. Optimizations and deeper insights into the inner workings of the game are always appreciated. And most importantly, have fun