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Arknights: Andreana in-depth gameplay analysis

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Introduction

Andreana is our third Long Range Sniper in the game, and with that, come a pretty intriguing kit like the other two before her. Unlike Firewatch, whose kit allows her invincibility and AoE damage, Andreana improve her base damage even further, and allowing her to spread out the damage to many enemies, similar to a multi-target attack. She also has additional utility of slow, which, Ambriel does have one as well, but it's technically not her main skill.

Overview

Andreana is the third Long Range sniper in the game. Thus, she shares the same weaknesses as them. But unlike Firewatch, where her skills give her a certain way to deal with the archetype’s weaknesses, Andreana’s skill offer a different way to counteract her weaknesses, and an additional utility of slow, outside of just straight damage. Her skills may be less flashy and/or less fun than Firewatch, but that does not mean she’s far worse.

Stats

Offensive stats

Long Range Sniper is the archetype with the highest base ATK in the game (Iris sit down). For that high ATK though, they lack haste in dealing it. Needing 2.7s per attack, their DPS is nowhere near as impressive as their base ATK would suggest. They are less affected by armor like AA sniper would, but these stats also come with a negative aspect that is really apparent if you just use them a few times: Overkill/Wasted time.

Due to their ATK stats, (a lot) more often than not, one of their attack will aim at an enemy that is already low on HP. This mean a majority of their ATK is wasted to nothing. But not just their ATK stat that was wasted, an attack that is wasted like that also waste a lot of their time, because they need almost 3 seconds for their next attack. Not to mention that their wind-up time before an attack is also noticeably long, which means every time they start attacking after being idle, they waste a bit more time, and over the course of a map, it can accumulate a lot.

Defensive stats

However, unlike the other of her kin, Andreana isn’t as squishy to compensate for their high damage and large range. In fact, her HP is near top tier (for a sniper of course), standing among the snipers known to have high HP like the Shotgun Sniper, and Close Range Sniper, (and Rosmontis). Although, that’s strangely carried by her trust stats which gives her +300 HP, and because of that she get less ATK from her trust as opposed to her kin. Her DEF is pretty much like her kin, but that still means that she’s tankier than the other in the same archetype. No Sniper has RES aside from BP and Rosmontis, so there’s nothing more noteworthy here.

Cost

This archetype has quite a decent cost to deploy, even higher than the 6* Close Range Sniper Schwarz (even at E2!). Starting from 19 base, and ends at 21 after E1, they require a bit of DP gathering before you can drop them. Good thing we have Myrtle and (especially) Elysium right?

Range, Trait, Talent

Range

As the archetype’s name suggest (at least, what I prefer to call them over Long Range Sniper), Wide Range Sniper has a pretty wide range. Their base range is that of an E1 AA Sniper, and their E1 range is like a tank shape.

range
The archetype's range at E0 and E1, respectively

I particularly like the 2 side corners range, because with that range, they can go as far as 2 tiles back and 2 tiles to the side and they’d still contribute. That range allow them a great flexibility in deployment location, as it is important to a sniper, while also allowing them to cover a large area either to prevent leak or taking the first shot, if you put them in the front.

Trait

Target the lowest DEF enemy in range first

This talent is another major contributor to why this archetype isn’t used more. It’s really hard to tell who they will attack first unless it’s really obvious, or unless you have used them long enough. Not to mention that appearance can really fool people too, biggest example being the Rockbreakers, who have lower DEF than the Stun Snipers in the OF event.

At the very least, this trait has a higher priority than enemy's taunt. Namely, the Guerilla Defenders in chap 7 with their taunt aggro. All and anyone with a special target priority like this will ignore them (sadly chap 7 doesn't come with a lot of drone so AA snipers don't get much help here)

Talent: Abyssal Intuition

Available at E1: When in team, all Abyssal Hunter operators gain 6 ATK SPD.

At E2, the ATK SPD increases to 12.

This is one of the few talents that is always applied as long as the holder is in the team, and coincidentally, all of the talents that affect certain faction (not class) always works as long as they are in the team (Skadi, Rosa, and Andreana).

But faction buffs are limited in operators affected, and in this case (and Skadi’s), the members of the Abyssal Hunter team are Skadi (but NOT Skadi the Corrupting Heart), Specter (and Specter the Unchained), Gladiia, and Andreana herself.

So what can 12 ATK SPD do for each of them? For Skadi, her new attack interval is 1/((112/1.5)/100) rounded to the nearest frame = 1.(3)s. That’s an improvement of 0.2s per interval, and for someone whose job is to deal as much damage as fast as possible, that’s a bit decent. For Specter, her new attack interval is 1/((112/1.2)/100) ≈ 1.0(6)s. An improvement of 0.15s per interval, for someone who can deal damage up to 3 enemies at once, is nice as well.

But the most important part is herself, who boasts a large attack interval of 2.7s. Her new attack interval is 1/((112/2.7)/100) ≈ 2.4s. That’s actually pretty good and is similar to Rosa’s attack interval. As said in the stat section, but her high damage slow rate of fire is prone to be wasted a lot, so this ATK SPD talent alleviates a part of it, however slightly it is.

She does have something else to cover the weakness of overkill as well, which we will get into soon.

Skills

RIIC Skills

Always available – Solitude: When in dormitory, self morale recovery +0.7/h

Upgraded at E2 – Hard to Avoid: self morale recovery is improved to +0.85/h.

It’s nothing big, really good for when you need an emergency worker in anywhere (especially Control Center), so she can work there, and come back to the dorm rest up super fast, leaving more space for other to rest up. You won’t need this base skill as much when you have more operators to do specialised works.

First skill: ATK Up γ

Stats at level 7

ATK +60%, 30s duration, 35SP cost, Auto Recovery, 10 initial SP, manual activation

Masteries

ATK +100%, 30 SP cost, 15 initial SP

Advanced Details

None, except maybe for the fact that Andreana has one of the highest base ATK in the game, but the slow base attack rate doesn’t let her make use of it as much.

Okay, maybe if you really don't want the restriction of her 2nd skill, but that's not really fitting most of the time.

Possible usages

Only when not E1 yet, even when accounting for the second skill's restriction.

Why do the other 2 Long Range Snipers have a non-generic S1 but not Andreana again?

Second skill: Interdictive Sniping Tactics

Descriptions

Increase ATK massively, but attack no longer targets enemies with less than 50% HP. Target hit have reduced movement speed for a duration

Stats at level 7

ATK +190%, attack no longer targets <50% HP enemies, -30% movement speed to hit enemies for 4 seconds, 30 seconds duration, 34 SP cost, Auto Recovery, 12 initial SP, manual activation

Masteries

M3 increases slow to 40%, slow duration to 6s, ATK +240%, 30SP cost, 15 initial SP

Advanced Details

This skill has the highest ATK boost in the game of +240%, even Provence only get to +220% (no Surtr does not exist). Combine with the fact that Andreana has one of the highest ATK stats of all operators, that ATK value is nothing to scoff at.

The restriction of only targeting enemies with more than 50% of their HP can be less of a restriction that you’d expect. With how much damage she can deal per attack, and how easy it is to get overkill with this archetype, not attacking enemies below that threshold means her damage will suffer less waste or will almost never be wasted. That at least cover her weakness of overkill and wasting time against enemies that’s too weak… most of the time.

If she already began targeting someone, she will finish her attack, even if their HP drop below 50% HP by an ally or something else. So it’s not like this skill will prevent her from committing overkill and avoid wasting time completely, but it’s getting there. This clip below will demonstrate that.

targetlimit
Once she begin the target animation, only enemy's death can stop her.

There’s also the slow to consider. Every time an enemy is hit, they are slowed by a decent % (it’s very close to Manticore at SL7). What that means is, like W and her S3, survivors of her big damage will still be affected by something and further ensure that they will be finished off easier. If someone survive with less than 50% HP left, they will be slowed down, and thus leaving more time for other units to throw an attack at them. The slow has a long duration too, and at the very least, much longer than Andreana’s attack, thus achieving more than 100% uptime, assuming the enemy still has more than 50% HP.

If not though, Andreana easily spread this damage+slow out to multiple enemies, and for a ST unit, that has its own merit. For example, some unit will just get stuck hitting a tanky enemy because they have the least path left to blue box, but Andreana, well first off she rarely targets them first because of her priority, but if she is, then she will soon get off and start weakening other enemies instead, if her skill is still up. Combine with the fact that she has so much damage, she can do quite nice against high DEF enemies since she retains more of her damage than someone with lower ATK. She can also target them faster than the other Wide Range Sniper as well, because of the 50% HP restriction that forces her to stop attacking earlier, as well as the huge damage boost that helps her kill weaker enemies faster.

Possible usages

Some people has been saying Provence and Absinthe has great synergy with her. This is mostly because their target priority is the opposite of Andreana, and thus they will interfere very little with each other. That does NOT mean Andreana (and the other two) can only works when the others are present in your team, they just work quite decently nice together. Most especially Andreana, as her skill provide an insurance with the slow, and the huge range allowing her to snipe and support from afar. If I have to say, Andreana is the most lenient of the 3 units that has a %HP requirement, even if she cannot reliably execute anyone by herself.

There are 3 types of enemy that Andreana face: the type that will die from the first hit, the type that is left with <50% HP left in 1 hit, and the type that needs more than 1 hit before going below 50%. All are worth watching out for, actually, depends on where Andreana is placed in relative to your other units, but the most you need to take care of, is the second type. More specifically, the type that ends at about 30-49% HP left. Regardless though, bottom line is, with this skill, Andreana can never be your main DPS unit. But she’s really dang good at weakening a group of enemies (more than Firewatch, yes I said that), with a good uptime, and that is pretty much what she should be doing in any squad.

There used to be a trick I talked about with Provence’s S2 and Firewatch’s S1. That is, by using the skill, which boost their base ATK, while the projectile is in midair, will make that projectile having the ATK of the skill when it hits, and thus gaining extra boost without needing to waste some duration to fire the first shot. Apparently, that trick doesn’t really work for Andreana (still works for Schwarz, Provence, and Firewatch). Check out this video for example

Some thing that isn’t obvious at first with this skill is that, because of its nature of slow (and a decently strong slow at that), and assuming that enemies are at equal DEF, Andreana will hit the guy in the front first, then the other guy behind will move ahead because he’s slowed, then she will begin to hit the new guy instead, further spread out the damage she can deal. What this means is that, her damage will spread out even before an enemy is below 50% HP. This happens a lot more often that you’d think, since a group of similar enemies appear together all the time.

The overall result is that, who Andreana is targeting can change wildly depends on numerous factors: lowest enemy’s DEF; then enemy with least path left to blue box; then enemy with higher than 50% HP, which depends on enemy’s stats, allies’ DPS, and so on. If you think it’s hard to predict Ambriel and who Firewatch will aim at, Andreana pushes that even further.

→ Throughout all of that, since I said Andreana have to be the support fire role of the team, if you were to bring her with your squad, it’s best to drop this skill off cooldown everytimeunless, it’s very noticeable that there are only a few enemies left in her range for the entire skill duration. The skill has great duration and decent uptime, even at SL7, so make use of the large support fire that way is very strong.

Modules

HP +70. ATK +65. Increase damage when attacking far enemy, up to 15%.

The damage is calculated AFTER defense. And here's how it works.

Since the maximum bonus damage is way at the edge of her furthest tile (so worse than what I predicted, see below), Andreana herself rarely gets it. She'd usually get about half of it. This looks bad. But optimistically, since the module itself already gives Andreana +65 ATK, she can get a lot out of that just using her S2. Considering that she can get up to about 4k ATK, 7% of that amount is also a lot more than 15% of Ambriel's ATK, but again, it calculates after DEF. If you get the module, it has to be mainly for the stats.

Previous statement

This is calculated after DEF, so it's not as good as it could be. Andreana has massive damage though, so it's not that bad, especially when the module itself gives more ATK as well. The range limit is clearly the edge of their range. The module, as of editing date, isn't released on EN yet, so I can't test how it'd actually scale up, especially on the side range, and how it'd work with Ambriel's global range.

ON CN ONLY:

Stage 2

HP +95 (does not stack with stage 1, only replace)

ATK +81

Talent improved: When in team, all [Abyssal Hunters] operators gain Attack Speed +17 (from +12 ASPD)

Stage 3

HP +121

ATK +91

Talent improved: When in team, all [Abyssal Hunters] operators gain Attack Speed +20.

Preliminary thoughts: Just more abyssal supports... oh wait she benefits from her own talents. That's pretty good, she gets to spread that juicy 4k damage to everyone.

Closing Thoughts

It’s very hard to control Andreana properly within a few test runs, so if you find her hard to use, don’t write her off yet, but I'll understand if you don't want to. Thankfully we have 0 sanity CC training stage to test out, and at the very least, 30 practice plans daily. Also I spent about 100 rolls for the first Andreana after 4 Provence (just like when I tried to get Sesa feelsbadman).

However, her S2 is really worth taking a look for. The ATK SPD talent is also really noticeable as well, if you use Wide Range Snipers or AoE Snipers a lot. However that’s at E2, so maybe it’s not going to be that great overall nor worth it just yet. I don’t think it’s advisable to E2 her just so Specter and Skadi hit faster as well, but it could be a thing.

Technically, I'll still recommend Firewatch over Andreana. Firewatch has a better controllable skill and AoE damage, and an on-demand long duration invincibility is quite nice as well, even if it gives less damage boost. And the nukes can be flexible to use depends on how you want to use them too

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy it and I'll see you next time.

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