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Contingency Contract: Suggestions For Operator Alternatives for Restrictive Contracts

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Operator Alternatives for Restrictive Contracts

One of the biggest challenges of the Contingency Contract event is the contracts that ban certain classes of Operators. These contracts force Doctors to go without units that are normally mainstays of a well-balanced squad, such as No Defenders or No Medics. This article describes various ways of working around the team restrictions enforced by these contracts.  

If you don’t know what the CC Event is, then you should start here:

What this guide is:

  • A presentation of the Contracts that have appeared in the CC events on Global that restrict the use of certain types of Operators.
  • Lists of alternative Operators that provide utility typically offered by the banned or punished Classes, and so might be valuable for the completion of that Contract. 
  • General info that can be useful for choosing Operators to develop to help with these types of Contracts on any given map.

What this guide is not:

  • A walkthrough or clear-guide for these Contracts on any specific map.
  • An exhaustive list of Operators that will be useful for the CC Event.
  • A Tier List of any kind.
  • A recommendation of specific Operators to develop or use for specific maps.
  • A list of all the class-restriction Contracts that have appeared on CN or will appear in the future.

How to use this guide:

There are two ways to use this guide:

  1. Pick a Contract from the Table of Contents above. It will take you to a section explaining what this Contract means for your teambuilding and link you to other parts of the guide that have lists of Operators that you may want to use.
  2. Pick a specific Class from the Table of Contents above. It will take you to a section where we list Operators that may be good substitutes when that particular Class is banned by a Contract.

General Advice

  • These Contracts really like to ban Casters and Defenders. Be prepared to go without those two classes fairly often during a CC event. Supporters are often a good substitute for Casters, and Guards and Vanguards are usually the best substitutes for Defenders.
  • So far, Specialists and Vanguards are the only classes that have not been specifically banned in a contract (other than the “No Melee Operators Allowed” Contract). This may change in the future, but for now, these may be “safer” classes to invest in.
  • Crowd-control is a very valuable tool across all of these Contracts. Slowing or stopping an enemy’s advance gives you longer to kill it (good when DPS classes are banned) and gives it less time to hurt you (good when tanky classes are banned).
  • Sometimes the best defense is a good offense. If your best defensive or crowd-control options are banned, loading up on heavy DPS might be enough to brute-force through these Contracts.
  • Saria in particular is an excellent Operator for Contingency Contracts. She Blocks-3, she heals, she generates SP, she can debuff enemies… her utility is simply outstanding. In an informal poll regarding Operators used in the first CC event, she was used by 100% of responders.

No Casters No Defenders

No Caster No Defender
  • The list of all Operators still usable with this Contract can be found here.
  • Caster substitutes can be found here.
  • Defender substitutes can be found here.

Without Defenders, our survivability is reduced, so it is important to kill enemies quickly. However, without Casters, we lose a lot of Arts damage, making it harder to burn through high-DEF targets.

AoE Guards and Vanguards are good replacements for Defenders, and Arts Guards and Supporters are ideal sources of Arts DPS. Strong Medics are essential for keeping your non-Defender frontline alive; the 6★ Medics, Shining and Nightingale, are especially valuable because they buff the defensive stats of allies in their range.

No Defenders No Guards

No Defender No Guard
  • The list of all Operators still usable with this Contract can be found here.
  • Defender substitutes can be found here.
  • Guard substitutes can be found here.

With no Guards and Defenders, the main thing we lack is Blocking and survivability (damage mitigation and HP). Only Vanguard and Specialist Operators remain to provide our blocking, and they can block a maximum of 2, typically have lower mitigation than Defenders, and usually have lower DPS potential than Guards.

Using crowd-control is valuable for reducing the amount of Blocking and damage mitigation we actually need; indeed, going for a no-Block strategy altogether may be a good way to handle this Contract. Defensive buffs (i.e., Shining, Nightingale) and offensive debuffs (i.e., Mousse, Pramanix) can also help tip the scales in your favor.

No Defenders No Medics

No Defender No Medic
  • The list of all Operators still usable with this Contract can be found here.
  • Defender substitutes can be found here.
  • Medic substitutes can be found here.

With no Defenders or Medics, a lot of our survivability and Block-3 Operators will be on the sideline. We’ll be looking for Operators of other Classes that can make up for this lack.

Guards and Vanguards are very important here for their defensive abilities and self-healing. AoE Guards can Block-3, Enmity Guards can heal themselves, and several Vanguards have abilities that benefit the entire Vanguard class (Zima’s S2 has a DEF buff, Grani’s Talent gives all Vanguards Physical Dodge, Myrtle heals all Vanguards over time, etc.) Sora, Angelina, and Nightmare are other non-Medic Operators that bring healing to the table, and offensive debuffs from Operators like Mousse and Pramanix can help reduce the amount of damage you take in the first place.

No Medics No Casters

No Medic No Caster
  • The list of all Operators still usable with this Contract can be found here.
  • Medic substitutes can be found here.
  • Caster substitutes can be found here.

Having no Medics reduces our team’s overall survivability, and having no Casters reduces our DPS, especially against high-DEF targets. Since high-DEF targets also tend to deal a lot of damage, this can be a nasty combination.

Healing Defenders are great for this Contract because they can supply healing in lieu of Medics. However, most Healing Defenders are also kind of squishy, so you may need to place them behind sturdier Normal Defenders or Guards. (Using Push Specialists to shove enemies away from the frontline can also be fun.) This can result in a crowded ground deployment, so provide as much ranged backup as you can with Snipers and Supporters.

No Medics No Snipers

No Medic No Sniper
  • The list of all Operators still usable with this Contract can be found here.
  • Medic substitutes can be found here.
  • Sniper substitutes can be found here.

This is similar to “No Medics No Casters,” but instead of being worried about bulky ground enemies, we’re now worried about fast-moving aerial enemies. Without Anti-Air Snipers, targeting drones before they float past our defenses becomes a massive concern. Crowd-control and high DPS are critical here: you must either slow down drones so they can’t escape or burn through ground enemies quickly enough that your ranged units can target the drones.

Field a lot of Casters, Supporters, and other ranged damage sources to nuke down enemies as they advance; this is definitely one of those Contracts where the best defense is a good offense. Be careful, though; Casters and Supporters are very squishy, so any damage they take from gunner-drones or other ranged opponents needs to be healed off right away by a Healing Defender or similar unit.

No Snipers No Casters

No Sniper No Caster
  • The list of all Operators still usable with this Contract can be found here.
  • Sniper substitutes can be found here.
  • Caster substitutes can be found here.

Snipers and Casters are our two most reliable sources of ranged damage. Without either class, drones become a huge threat. We also suffer from a lack of Arts DPS without Casters.

Supporters are the best class to fill in the blanks for this Contract (especially Glaucus, who specifically targets aerial enemies first). Supporters deal Arts damage and many of them also bring crowd-control, buffs, or debuffs that can help keep the enemy forces under control. Guards are also ideal here: Ranged Guards can target drones, Arts Guards offer Arts DPS, and Dualstrike Guards can burst drones down with a blast from their ranged Skills.

No Ranged Operators Allowed

No Ranged Units
  • The list of all Operators still usable with this Contract can be found here.
  • Caster substitutes can be found here.
  • Medic substitutes can be found here.
  • Sniper substitutes can be found here.
  • Supporter substitutes can be found here.

Without Casters, Medics, Snipers, or Supporters, we are left with Defenders, Guards, Specialists, and Vanguards.

This means our Healing, Arts Damage, Anti-Air, and Slowing capabilities will be more limited. Let's tackle these issues one at a time:

  1. Healing Defenders are crucial for providing healing. Self-healing Operators like Enmity Guards are also useful.
  2. Plenty of melee Operators can deal Arts damage. The best choices are those that cause it innately (i.e., Mousse, Astesia, Ethan) or those whose Arts Skills have low cooldowns (i.e., Ch’en, Texas). Operators who can ignore DEF completely (like Franka) can also be valuable.
  3. Ranged damage is a necessity to counter drones. Ranged Guards, Pull Specialists, and Dualstrike Guards are useful for this. Some uniquely ranged Operators like Liskarm or Aak can also help out.
  4. Slows and crowd-control are not essential, but they can be useful. Controller Specialists are made for this job, but there are Defenders and Guards that can help as well. Don’t forget about Shift Specialists either; physically moving your enemies backward is a great way to slow them down.

No Melee Operators Allowed

No Melee Units
  • The list of all Operators still usable with this Contract can be found here.
  • Unit substitutions are not really viable, since this Contract demands a no-Block strategy.

No Defenders, Guards, Specialists, or Vanguards. This leaves us with Casters, Medics, Snipers, and Supporters.  

This means our DP Generation, Blocking, and Damage Mitigation abilities are very limited. In fact, we completely lack DP generation and Blocking options! A no-Block strategy is necessary, increasing the importance of crowd-control, high damage, and buffs/ debuffs.

  1. For Crowd-Control, look to Slowing Supporters and utility Casters. Summoner Magallan is also outstanding at this job. Some Snipers, like May and Shirayuki, can be quite useful in this regard as well.
  2. For high DPS, bring out your best Casters and Snipers. Consider aspects like range, attack speed, AoE, and added utility when selecting which units to bring. Don’t forget units like Schwarz and Executor, either, who can ignore part of an enemy’s DEF when attacking.
  3. Buffs and debuffs can massively increase the damage output of your team. Characters like Warfarin, Eyjafjalla, Pramanix, and Ifrit all have benefits of this nature.

A specific shout-out to Sora, who can use her S1 to put enemies to sleep and stop them from moving—giving you a much-needed breather—or her S2 to give nearby allies a large ATK boost.

Substitutes for Casters

Casters are usually our primary source of Arts damage, so banning them means we will need to get Arts damage from somewhere else. Alternately, we can look for Operators who ignore or reduce enemy DEF, or load our remaining Operators with damage buffs to get more Arts damage from existing sources.

  • Sources of Arts Damage:
    • Defenders: Nian, Liskarm, Dur-Nar
    • Guards: Ch’en, Indra, Lappland, Broca, Astesia, Mousse, Midnight
    • Snipers: Blue Poison, Shirayuki
    • Specialists: Snowsant, Cliffheart, Ethan
    • Supporters: Slower Supporters, Summoner Supporters, Buffer/ Debuffer Supporters
    • Vanguards: Texas, Reed
  • Operators who Ignore/ Reduce DEF: Indra, Executor, Franka, Schwarz, Meteorite, Meteor, Pramanix
  • Operators with Damage Buffs: Saria, Pramanix, Warfarin, Sora
  • Editor's Picks:

Substitutes for Defenders

Defenders are very important for Blocking enemies and soaking damage. Without them, we must either find substitutes who can take a hit or utilize an effective no-Block strategy.

  • Operators with Block-3:
    • AoE Guards: Blaze, Specter, Savage, Broca, Estelle (not Popukar)
  • Operators with 2000+ HP and 400+ DEF:
    • Guards: Astesia, SilverAsh, Blaze, Ch’en
    • Vanguards: Grani, Zima, Siege
  • Operators with 2000+ HP and 10+ RES:
    • Guards: Lappland, Mousse, Astesia, Frostleaf, SilverAsh
    • Specialists: Aak
    • Vanguards: Reed (Talent)
  • Operators who Self-Heal:
    • Guards: Estelle, Specter, SilverAsh, Matoimaru, Flamebringer, Indra, Hellagur
    • Specialists: Aak
  • Operators with Defensive Buffs:
    • DEF Buffs: Zima (Vanguard only), Castle-3 (Melee only), Shining, Aak, SilverAsh (self only), Lappland (self only)
    • Physical Dodge: Deepcolor, Grani (Vanguard only), 12F (self only), Jessica (self only)
    • RES Buffs: Nightingale
    • Arts Dodge: Nightingale, Durin (self only)
  • Operators who Debuff Enemy DPS:
    • ATK Debuff: Mousse, Waai Fu
    • ASPD Debuff: Pramanix, Mayer, Sesa
  • Emergency Blocking Operators:
    • Fast-Redeploy Specialists: Projekt-Red, Waai Fu, Gravel
    • Summoner Supporters: Mayer, Deepcolor (not Magallan) 
  • Editor's Picks:

Substitutes for Guards

Guards are one of the most versatile Classes in the game, used both to Block and to deal damage. Banning them is usually not critical on its own, but when paired with another ban (i.e., No Defenders) it cuts into your options to work around the secondary ban.

  • No Guards No Casters:
    • Defenders with Arts Damage: Nian, Liskarm, Dur-Nar
    • Snipers with Arts Damage: Blue Poison, Shirayuki
    • Specialists with Arts Damage: Snowsant, Cliffheart, Ethan
    • Vanguards with Arts Damage: Texas, Reed
  • No Guards No Defenders:
    • Sturdy Vanguards: Grani, Zima, Siege, Reed
    • DEF Buffs: Shining, Deepcolor
    • RES Buffs: Nightingale
    • Enemy Debuffs: Waai Fu, Pramanix, Mayer, Sesa
    • Emergency Blockers: Projekt-Red, Waai Fu, Gravel, Mayer, Deepcolor
  • Editor's Picks:

Substitutes for Medics

Medics are our primary healers, so going without them limits our ability to heal our team.

  • Sources of Healing:
    • Casters: Nightmare
    • Defenders: Spot, Gummy, Nearl, Hung, Saria
    • Supporters: Angelina, Sora
    • Vanguards: Myrtle
  • Operators who Self-Heal:
    • Defenders: Vulcan, Cuora, Matterhorn
    • Guards: Estelle, Specter, SilverAsh, Matoimaru, Flamebringer, Indra, Utage, Hellagur
  • Editor's Picks:

Substitutes for Snipers

Snipers are important because they are usually the best way to target aerial units.  Without Snipers, we need other sources of ranged damage to hit enemy drones; we also need enough general DPS to kill ground enemies so our ranged damage can target the drones in time. Crowd-control can also be useful so we have more time to kill enemies.

  • Operators who are Basically Snipers: Glaucus
  • Other Operators with Ranged Attacks:
    • Casters
      • Crowd-Control Casters: Greyy, Nightmare, Skyfire, Leizi, Mostima, Ceobe
    • Ranged Guards
      • Crowd-Control Ranged Guards: Frostleaf
    • Dualstrike Guards (only when using Skills)
      • Crowd-Control Dualstrike Guards: Ch’en, Bibeak
    • Supporters
      • Crowd-Control Supporters: Slower Supporters, Sora, Magallan
    • Pull Specialists
      • Crowd-Control Pull Specialists: Snowsant, Cliffheart
    • Sacrificial Specialists
      • Crowd-Control Sacrificial Specialists: Aak
  • Honorable Mention: Liskarm (ranged attacks, crowd-control of her S2)
  • Editor's Picks:

Substitutes for Supporters

Supporters provide many kinds of team utility, from Arts damage to Slow debuffs to regenerative healing to Weakening enemy defenses. Banning them forces a greater reliance on other forms of Arts damage and limits your ability to crowd-control enemies.

  • Sources of Arts Damage:
    • Casters: All Caster archetypes
    • Defenders: Nian, Liskarm, Dur-Nar
    • Guards: Ch’en, Indra, Lappland, Broca, Astesia, Mousse, Midnight
    • Snipers: Blue Poison, Shirayuki
    • Specialists: Snowsant, Cliffheart, Ethan
    • Vanguards: Texas, Reed
    • Operators who Ignore/ Reduce DEF: Indra, Executor, Franka, Schwarz, Meteorite, Meteor
    • Operators who Buff Arts Damage: Saria
  • Sources of Crowd-Control:
    • Casters: Leizi, Mostima, Greyy, Skyfire
    • Defenders: Saria, Croissant, Liskarm, Gummy
    • Guards: Broca, Ch’en, Frostleaf
    • Snipers: Ambriel, May, Shirayuki
    • Specialists: Aak, Snowsant, Ethan, FEater, Manticore, Cliffheart, Projekt-Red
    • Vanguards: Siege, Texas
  • Editor's Picks:
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