Hello again after a month or so break! Beyond Here brought us another great sniper for everyone to have fun with, Archetto. A lot of people have been saying she’s mediocre, but that’s only because they have been spoiled by Surtr, Mountain, and the likes. Archetto is amazing at what she’s designed to do – and frankly – the best AA Sniper for you to start out with, if you have her.
Also if you have been reading the review posts from the other guy recently, don't worry, I truly meant "in-depth".
Archetto (Arch from now on) is the 2nd 6* AA Sniper in the game, with our first one being Exusiai (Exu from now on). Where Exu specialises in dealing a hella lot of hits to 1 enemy really fast, Arch dabbles in dealing a lot of hits to multiple enemies. Right away that’s already a massive difference between the two of them. Arch can also extend her range through 2 of her skills, both of which are manual activation, and that allows you to have more control over timing: Unlike Arch, Exu’s best skill (S3) can’t be controlled, so it requires a bit of planning on the doctor’s part. Arch also provides some support to other snipers, albeit limited, and a weird defensive talent that has just a little bit more to it than it sounds.
AA Snipers in general have a slightly low base ATK to offset their fast attack rate of 1 attack per second. And, as the 6* of the archetype, her stats would naturally be some of the highest, so a comparison within the archetype is unnecessary. Compared to Exu, however, Arch has lower ATK, and, furthermore, if you know about Exu’s talent, a slower attack rate as well.
Again, being the highest rarity of the archetype, her stats are going to be top of the line again. This time, her base HP is slightly higher than Exu’s, and she has roughly 9 more DEF, which is too small of a difference to matter. But, with Exu’s talent, again, her HP is higher than Arch’s.
That’s 3 losses and 1 barely win. And next up is a draw. Jeez
Her base cost is standard for a 6* AA Sniper, 12 at base and 14 at E1 and above.
Range, Trait, Talent
She also has standard AA Sniper range.
Prioritises aerial enemies first.
There’s a reason this archetype is called Anti-Air Sniper
First talent: Randen Tactics
Available at E1: When deployed, all Snipers with Offensive Recovery skills gain 1 SP every 3s.
At E2 it improves to every 2.5s.
This is the support she provides to other snipers that I mentioned earlier. As said, it’s also really limited as of now. I will list all the ops who have Offensive Recovery skills and also explain, in my opinion, how some of those skills are worse for the operators who have it, and whether this talent can help turn it around. I will also show the improvement in video for the significant one.
Kroos: a big downgrade because she screams “kokodayo” every second (totally not exaggerated)
Meteor: S1 can almost already permanently apply a DEF debuff to a single target (ST), so the talent simply gives Meteor a faster debuff switch to another target. Her S2 AoE DEF debuff then became much more feasible instead. Improvement
May S1: lacks the amazing, strong, and controllable ST crowd control of S2 which is what you should want from May (there’s a reason Silvergun barely uses her S1). But with Arch, it can now (almost) permanently inflict Sluggish on a ST, something her S2 cannot do. It still can’t stun and is technically not controllable, but I do know how people feel about RNG skills, so S1 becomes slightly better than S2. S1 Improvement
Jessica S1: lacks utility over her S2 and the DPS is worse than Kroos until E2 and masteries. Check below for statement
April S1: her entire identity revolves around her second skill. Both Jessica and April S1, even with Arch’s talent, cannot outdo what is basically their niche, a sniper that can survive in dangerous situations. Like, if you want to use Jess or April S1, just use Kroos.
Greythroat S2: with Arch, it goes from good to amazing. Technically it goes from “amazing but shafted by SP gain” to “amazing with a decent enough SP gain”. Improvement
Meteorite S1: Meteorite’s attack rate is so slow that the talent basically reduces her SP cost by 2 sometimes (the talent can be wasted when Meteorite is at full SP or attacking). S1M3 goes from great to EXPLOSION. Remember, the less normal hits she needs to use S1, the higher chance her talent procs on her S1 itself. Improvement
Blue Poison S1: While I prefer S2’s burst DPS for harder content like max risk East Armory, S1 still fits the traditional AA sniper role of consistent DPS. This is up to preference, playstyle, or map’s pace, similar to Eyja S2 vs S3. Anyway, BP can now use her S1 more, letting her use it every roughly 2.4 attacks instead of 3 (check video in this section, in 24 attacks she does about 10 hits, and according to viktorlab who tested over 1000s, 39% uptime), a noticeable improvement, but it's still a bit too close to baseline S1 and I think still not beat S2 in hard map like East Armory max risk (which not everyone would do), or a map with large and multiple wave rushes like H6-4. Improvement
Schwarz S1: no one should use this, since both of her S2 and S3 are worth more, both at learning how to use and to put masteries on. Check below for statement.
Exu S1: Exists only in TW-S-1 Tribulation mode. Schwarz and Exu S1 are still meh with Arch, even if you want consistent damage. Basically, the opportunity cost of not using her other skills is still not worth it. And when you can find a case to use them, it’s either a meme or works fine at SL7.
Rosmontis S1: awful at dealing arts damage (barely better than 3* Lava without skill), worse than S2 because it lacks utility (though I also barely use S2), actually worse than S3 at killing 1000 ish DEF enemies! Believe me, I have an M9 Rosmontis, and S1 as DPS, especially Arts DPS, is just… awful. Everytime I tried to fit it in a team, it’s practically dead weight, and if I build a team around it, then any skill is strong. However, with Arch, S1 goes from meh to decent, which is the biggest carry of a talent ever (slightly exaggerated), letting Ros hit her skill at every 2nd hit instead of 3rd. Her attack rate is low, so it has more impact than BP who has almost the same improvement.
And of course, all of Arch’s skills, but I’ll get to it in their respective skills section.
This talent also works with Ch’en’s talent, but even with both together, they still couldn’t carry a skill with a big opportunity cost, or they get diluted on the good skills. Plus it also needs a Ch’en deployed which is a deadweight itwasajokecalmdown.
Fun fact: this talent at E2 gives 1 SP every 2.5 seconds. Do you know what that translates to in SP per second? 0.4 SP/s. That means pretty much the Sniper class will never get the Skill Aura version for Auto Recovery like Mostima and Suzuran. Okay I’m just kidding but that’s a fun coincidence to think about.
Second talent: Iron Bowstring
Available at E2: When deployed, gain 1 Shield (this shield will block any 1 instance of damage). Restores 7 SP when shield breaks.
Potential 5 increases SP restore to 9.
This is one of the weirdest talents on first look. Not only because of how it works, but also because of who it’s on. The shield doesn’t regenerate like Mudrock’s does, so people have been saying it’s not a great talent, AND it’s also on a squishy ranged unit, so it doesn’t make sense there either. You basically need to deploy Arch either last or near danger to make the shield worth it, but since it doesn’t regenerate you need Arch to finish whatever business there fast or she’ll die soon after without protection.
It blocks any instance of damage, however big or small it is. The shield automatically disappears in a map with Poison Haze, just like Nian’s shield. It also blocks anything regardless of the source. This includes Warfarin’s S2 HP loss, and the infamous Aak. Though again, it only ever blocks 1 instance. At least, with Warfarin, it means you can always know when Arch will gain those 7SP. Just be sure to not use any skill when it breaks, because it prevents her from gaining the SP during it.
The shield can only block the damage, not the debuff that comes with it. This is relevant for enemies like the Stun Sniper or Ice Spider.
You can always be clever and find uses for this talent, but the fact remains that it requires active thinking to make use of and to keep Arch alive afterward, like this 3 Snipers 5-10 clear (that I stole), using the shield to block the purple shots from Faust. Basically, think of the talent as a 1-time enemy nuke prevention (Faust purple bolt, Patriot’s spear,…), and/or an awful version of Eyjaf 2nd talent.
The more I use it though, the more flexible it feels. For one, ranged units are rarely perfectly safe unless you have time to set everyone else up. And, even if you do, there is always a brief moment that they are vulnerable. This means that Arch will always at least get one SP boost, while the lack of shields wouldn’t matter anyways afterward.
Secondly, when you deploy a unit and then quickly deploy another one nearby, ranged enemies who are idle will still target the first unit, since they see that one first. Only after that first attack would they begin targeting the second unit. Given Arch low-ish DP cost, she may be the first unit deployed after your vanguards (or Mountain) for a while while you’re waiting for the next unit as well, and the shield + SP gives you less incentive to use a healer (or even delaying 1 vanguard to deploy after Arch).
I touched on it a bit earlier, but the fact that it can block 1 big attack like Faust’s purple bolt or Patriot’s phase 2 javelin throw matters a lot more than it sounds. And it’s not just bosses who can deal dangerous ranged attacks. How many times have you killed a ranged enemy only to be slightly too late as they managed 1 more attack on your operators, killing one of your ranged units? Actually probably never, I may just be bad.
As said, like Eyjaf’s 2nd talent, the shield can also be used to turn her 2nd and 3rd skill into a helidrop skill, allowing her to delete a ranged enemy or 2, and to prevent at least 1 retaliation so she has more time to finish the work.
As I watched a lot of creative use of this shield, it’s certainly a very underrated part of Archetto’s kit that allows her to do things that not many other Snipers could. I really can’t tell you in detail because it has so many factors to consider including what her skills can do, what the map has, the flow of the map, and so on. The entire combination as a whole is what makes it great, even though the talent alone seems underwhelming. In fact, the common suggestion "just make her shield regenerate" started to feel quite broken to me, unless it's like 15+ seconds.
Speaking of which, onto skills.
Always available – Pious Fundraising α: When in a Trading Post, efficiency +1% for every level of the dorms.
At E2 it upgrades to Pious Fundraising β and the efficiency to +2%.
If you have all max level dorms, that’s 20 levels, translating to +20% and 40% respectively. A 40% boost to TP is actually really amazing. With another 2 +30% skills which are very common, it’s 100% extra efficiency. That is higher than the best Jaye E1 team and Shamare team, and rivals Texas team who's also at 100%. And with Snowsant E2 (for the ascended players out there), they can reach 105%, the 2nd highest TP boost team so far.
Still no match for the E0 Jaye team, but Jaye is way too strong to be staying at E0.
Stats at level 7
The next attack deals 200% ATK as physical damage to the target and 150% ATK as physical damage to up to 3 other nearby enemies, 4 SP cost, 0 initial SP
Offensive Recovery, Auto Activation.
M3 gives 230% ATK to main target, 180% ATK to 3 others, 3 SP cost (anything not mentioned is unchanged)
The main target will not be hit by the secondary damage.
The radius of the “splash” is 1.5 tiles, the same as Rosmontis’ S2. The vfx doesn’t match with that radius because it’s not a literal splash, just finding 3 targets.
The 3 enemies for the splash are the 3 nearest to the primary target. Primary target ofc follow standard targeting for an AA sniper.
There’s a delay from the initial hit to the other one, because the arrow explodes first, then it spreads a few smaller arrows to the others.
With her first talent, you can safely deduct 1 SP cost from the skill, and roughly 1.5SP at E2.
With her second talent, the SP part is usually a waste, but you can be sure that 1 S1 will come out whenever it breaks.
Similar to BP S1 or Meteorite S1. Compared to BP S1, the splash hit count is better than 2 targets, but limited by radius, so it cannot hit 2 enemies that are far apart enough in her range, while BP S1 can. Arch has stats to back it up so it’s relatively better I’ll say.
Compared to Meteorite S1, Arch lacks 1 tile range, but she is half as costly to deploy and attack about 3 times as fast. She also lacks the unlimited target that Meteorite has, but cases where that matters rarely appear. What Meteorite has it better though: the massive explosion of a 2(?) tiles radius (at least >1.5), a higher %multiplier, AND a decent chance to get another +60% base ATK. In conjunction with a higher base ATK, Meteorite can punch through even high DEF enemies caught along the blast, something Arch’s S1 splash or primary hit can’t do.
Although, if you want a wave clearing skill you might prefer the next one.
Stats at level 7
Fire an arrow that deals 120% ATK as physical damage 5 times. The arrow can then bounce to another enemy that has not been hit yet. Each bounce reduces hit count by 1. Can store 2 charges. 12 SP cost, 0 initial SP.
Offensive Recovery, Manual Activation
M2 gives 130% ATK and can store 3 charges, 10 SP cost.
M3 gives 140% ATK, 9 SP cost.
I saw quite a few people confused about this, but the skill works by attacking the first target 5 times, then bouncing to the next target and hitting them for 4 times, then so on until there’s only 1 hit left. So it bounces to 5 enemies at most and deals weaker damage every bounce.
The bounce radius is 1.5 tiles. The tracking starts at the first hit of the arrow, so if there’s no enemy when the first hit landed, no bounce occurs, even if an enemy walk into range during the hits afterwards..
Like the first skill, the next chain target is the closest to the current hit enemy. I’m pretty sure you had scenarios where the arrow bounced to someone close to the first enemy hit, but further from the rest and effectively wasted the rest of the skill.
There’s a bug that if the targeted enemy dies while the arrow is midair, the entire skill is wasted. This is quite important because of what I’d suggest next. If the bug is fixed, what I said will work even better:
For ranged units, Offensive Recovery skill gains 1 SP as soon as the attack is released. With Arch’s attack interval of 1 second and a short attack windup, it’s really fast to get an attack out. So if you want to use a charge of this skill, it’s actually better to wait until she’s done her current attack to get 1 SP, then use the skill. Using the skill also cancels her current attack animation and wastes the attack, so delaying the skill use that way will maximize SP gain. Obviously if it’s critical to use it now just use it, but as I said, she has quite a fast animation for her attack.
M2 (and 3) is really important for this skill because of the 3 charges and the cost reduction. The skill relies on gaining charges in order to either clean up faster or to have a big burst when needed. Both the SP reduction and more max charge helps achieve this purpose. Personally I’ll say M3 is important enough to go for, since the skill gains more damage and 1 more SP reduction, but it would be sensible as well to stop at M2.
The damage is an Attack Multiplier, so it scales quite well with buffs. And Warfarin is a good ATK buffer with +90% but at a constant damage to be buffed. Didn’t I say something about a shield that gives her SP when broken?
At potential 5, the shield restores 9 SP when broken, which is 1 full S2M3 charge. Very amazing for a quick retaliation and is about 5% of the reason why I recommend going all in to S2M3 and not M2.
Ever use Exu as a form of early mobs killing, had her S3 up and kill every mobs in her range with 10s duration left and then you have to wait all that and another 30s afterward just to have her skill up again, or ever had waves of enemies just coming in at the wrong time of Exu’s rotation and no matter how you preemptively deploy her, it just won’t sync? Well with this skill you can solve those issues. Having 3 charges means that you can just use 1 or 2 charges to clear this current wave and then saving it for the next one and having it at low cost and manual activation means that you don’t have to sync the timing ever. At the same time, you can now save Exu’s burst for these really dangerous enemies to delete later on.
This skill can bounce out of Arch’s base range. If you’re cheeky about it, you can use it to easily reach an enemy or two that are way out of her range. Or heck, even backward, by letting 1 or 2 enemies leak as she takes potshot at them, then use the skill on a guy at the back end of her range and have it bounces back to those low HP guys that almost leaked. Remember, the skill becomes weaker the more it bounces, so using it against a low HP enemy means most of it is wasted, while it’s more worth it if you use it to a higher HP enemy and then bounce to weaker enemies. That’s way too fancy though…
I said this skill is better than her first skill at constant mob clearing. This is mainly because total %-wise, it deals more damage, and numbers-wise, it hits more enemies, and range-wise, it can reach further. Her first skill has a lower cost, but the auto activation means that you might not have it when needed because it was used too soon. It also has a higher 1-instance of damage (230% or 180% instead of 140% * hit count), so it might be better against a threshold of DEF. But overall, for clearing mobs, S2 is better most of the time.
Stats at level 7
ATK +15%, range +1 tile, each attack hits 3 times, and 2 enemies at once, 34 SP cost, 15 initial SP, 20 seconds duration.
Offensive Recovery (can you believe it?), manual activation.
M3 gives ATK +30%, 30 SP cost
Just like that meme described, this skill is the cumulation of all the current standard 5* AA Sniper: Platinum (+1 range), Blue Poison (BP) (hit 2 targets), Greythroat (GT) (hit 3 times). And if you’re really stretching it, April too, because both have a defensive aspect when deployed (1 shield instead of camouflage).
As usual, the 2 enemies targeted will follow the standard targeting for an AA Sniper.
The skill seems like it has small gains from M3, but there are 2 important ideas I think you should consider:
From SL7 to M3, the skill goes from +15% ATK to +30% ATK. Again, it looks small, but Arch hits up to 6 times per attack. AND, the fact that an AA Sniper tends to have low-ish base ATK, so more ATK is preferred to punch through higher DEF enemies (doesn’t even have to be defender-type enemies). Plus, it’s a burst DPS skill, she has a limited window where she gets to deal more damage, so capitalizing on it has its own merits, regardless of total gain per cost.
SP cost goes down. That fact might not matter for an Auto Recovery burst skill, as usually you just save it for an opportune time. But it absolutely matters for an Offensive Recovery skill. Sure it’s just 4 SP cost, and that’s roughly 3s when constantly attacking (cuz talent), but it’s 10s for when she’s not (and if not for her own talent, never). While the “saving for burst” idea still applies here, having it ready earlier means you have more leeway to use the skill, whether you don’t have to use it early to recharge earlier, or you can spam off cooldown to deal with a lot more rush waves (maybe something like M8-8).
Remember what I said about Firewatch S1, Provence S2, and Schwarz S3 (in my Andreana guide)? That same trick applies here as well. If she gains an ATK boost while an arrow is in midair, that arrow will gain the boost as well, not just the new arrows when her skill’s up. That doesn’t matter as much as those 3 I mentioned though, since Arch’s base ATK is low compared to them, and the boost is also low.
Just investing in an E2 Arch is like basically investing in all 3 5* AA Sniper mentioned earlier. It’s why I said she’s the best AA Sniper to start out with, both her S2 and S3 this will give you all you need from one AA Sniper. Or at least, most of what you can potentially get from the currently available AA Snipers.
Technically, the cost to E2 a single 6* is higher than just having 3 5* at roughly E1 max. However, unlike an RTS, Lanchester’s Law can’t help the 5*s here, because they take 3 times the deploy slots and deploy cost (kinda), which is more important I’d say. So yes, just use this skill to replace all the standard 5* AA Snipers. Then only April or the 4* and 6*s may have something else you might need. Granted, there are some small scenarios where the 5* Sniper can do better:
For Plat, she has a +100% ATK rather than just +30%, and her talent is always active to give her at least 114% multiplier per attack, meaning she’s less affected by DEF. The unlimited duration also means you don’t have to time anything and is better for Annihilation and avoiding bad auto mainly.
For BP, she can either hit 2 enemies for 200% multiplier every 3 hits, or she can hit up to 3 enemies at once and can deal better damage against around 800+ DEF enemies. BP has more duration, and a 40 SP cost, but since it's Auto Recovery it's basically the same as Arch 30 Offensive Recovery SP cost.
For GT, she has +40% ATK and uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh… a crit chance with a bit of ATK SPD? Idk, these 2 skills have the same duration, initial SP, SP cost, same Offensive Recovery, so Arch's S3 is nearly better in every way, other than that talent that GT has.
You can use S3 to snipe down enemies from afar, like Platinum could, but unlike Platinum, she has more total damage (but DEF matters 3 times more), and she can hit 2 enemies at once meaning less distractions from attack priority. The fact that her normal range is shorter means that it’s more critical to know when to use the skill, because it’s harder to charge the skill again afterward, especially if you use it to stay behind someone to cover them.
As said, at potential 5, for maps that has prespawned caster(s) standing around, like 6-11 or 5-3, you can use the shield to make this skill a helidrop skill to snipe them down, needing only 5 seconds to get an S3M3 ready. Unless these ranged enemies are super strong, Arch should be able to mow them down (even in 5-3 CM she can kill 1 caster at around lv50+ with S3M3 before dying, but at this point just use April).
Archetto is one of the most fun operators to play around with because her kit enables you to do a lot of things by herself. They all don’t actually do well against high DEF enemies but that’s like most AA Snipers anyway (Ash sit back down). She also has great talents to play around with, either with a shield that can prevent 1 hit, or the Sniper talent so you can play around with the SP battery.
Her S2 is great for default skill, either for going in a new map “blind” or just casual gameplay with added fun. I’d recommend this skill if you don’t know what to invest in. And yes, while I just said her S3 is the reason you don’t need the lower rarity AA Snipers, as said before, S2 is great at letting you just use a little bit of the “full” burst and save the rest for later, perfect for blind runs. Plus, if you don’t know what to do for Arch, you’d probably also be less inclined to plan ahead with a burst skill like her S3.
If using 3 S2 charges or even 4 (cuz talents and additional hits in between) is still not enough to solve your problem, consider her S3. This skill doesn’t have the raw burst potential like Exu, but hey, sometimes you need 2 Exu, and 1.5 Exu will do just fine. Basically, it has a higher high, but a lower low than her S2, like any burst vs consistent skill I suppose. If you ever need a burst skill from an AA Sniper to compensate your consistent DPS Sniper, I recommend this hierarchy Exu S3 (Exu S3 timing is the best skill you could learn in this game) → that upcoming AA Sniper → Arch S3 → BP S2 → GT S3 → May S2 → April S2…? → Pla… yeah no.
If you want some allies to work with her, look for the list in her talents section. DEF debuffers and ATK buffers also work really well if you want to have her kill everything, same as the Exu buff army. Do remember that Warfarin’s buff will cost Archetto her shield though, which gives her SP, so don’t be jumpy with using the skill yet (important for S2.
Speaking of Exu, as unfair as it is, you can really only compare Arch to her (for now). Exu really got blessed by HG though. With her ATK SPD, ATK, and HP talents, as well as an extremely buff receptive skill that lets her shoot even faster, Exu is just harder, better, faster, stronger, and hour after hour, her reign in the sniper meta is never over (don’t worry I’m sad too). Granted, against the right ranged attack, Arch can survive things that Exu can’t without help.
That should be it for Archetto. Not sure if I covered everything since I’m busy with a lot of work and might have overlooked things, especially details and usages of S3. It might also just be because S3 is a simple and straightforward skill. Anyway, I’m sure everyone who has invested and uses Arch is having great fun with her, but how do you find Arch so far? She’s not really lacking compared to Exu like people have claimed, because of other small factors that stack up, and the fact that those differences don’t matter in general gameplay. Again, one of the best Sniper to begin the game with, and a great asset for the Sniperknights enthusiasts out there.
Here are some more fun clear I can find.
BH-5 Arch + April duo, a great showcase that the shield talent at pot5 can make S3 a strong helidrop skill
H6-3 with Arch, Rosa, Rosmontis, W (and Texas), another case of using the shield as SP boost.
Thank you for reading, and I'll see you next time.