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Arknights: Fartooth in-depth gameplay analysis

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Introduction

Hello again! And yes, I’m doing another guide on a unit from the last mini event while we’re enjoying the current big event. I work quite fast as you can see. As the 6* member of the Deadeye Snipers – my second favorite archetype – she brings a large amount of damage over a really long straight range, often misjudged by the people, or a fancy new way of supporting an ally. Let’s see how her feathers can shine in the right circumstances.

Overview

Fartooth is the 6* Deadeye Sniper specialising in long range damage. She’s a bit hard to use properly, but when you get used to it, she can do things almost no other units can. With massive ATK, evasion ignore, and two abilities: one to assist allies anywhere, and another with long straight range and even more damage, Fartooth brings a new perspective of the battlefield for the peculiar strategists out there.

Stats

Offensive stats

As a Deadeye Sniper, her base ATK is the highest of all (Mystic Casters? Ne’er heard of ‘em). That combined with the fact that she’s the highest rarity of the game means her base ATK shot above the rest, landing neatly as, sigh, the 2nd highest base ATK in the game. (6* Mystic Caster never come out pls). For a precise number, she reaches 1366 ATK at max level potential 1, and an easy method to reach 1571 nigh permanently (which does make her the highest ATK unit in the game then).

For that amazing ATK though, she lacks haste in delivering it. With an attack interval of 2.7s per attack, Fartooth will take a while to deal that damage. Fortunately, she does have a few methods to speed this up, which we will talk about later.

Defensive stats

On the other hand, because of that high ATK and large range (see below), her defensive stats are kinda shafted in return. At least her status as a 6* compensated that a little bit, but her HP is clearly on the lower end of the Snipers. Her DEF however, is actually pretty okay, at slightly above average (for a sniper). And of course, she has no RES to speak of.

Although, again, she also has something to fix this, however partially, which I’ll go into more details later on.

Cost

This time, the 6* brand is hurting more than helping – the higher the rarity, the higher the cost. Not to mention that the Deadeye Snipers are also on the expensive side to begin with (for a single-target sniper). Starting from 20 at base, she ends up with 22 from E1 onward.

Range, Trait, Talent

Range

The Deadeye Snipers’ most positive note is how massive their range is.

range
Deadeye Snipers' range at base (left) and E1 onward (right)

This large range allows them to have a lot of flexibility in deployment location and to be unfazed by tile restriction. They can cover just as much front area as a typical AA Sniper could while covering a larger side area, allowing them to look over multiple lanes with ease, though they cannot handle multiple lanes at once because of the slow attack rate.

Fartooth has 2 skills: one that helps with that notion and even enhances it; and one that breaks away from it to achieve something else.

Trait

On the other side, these snipers’ most negative note lies in their Trait

Prioritize the lowest DEF enemies first

Imma just copy the things I said in the Firewatch guide with some minor tweak.

This is the biggest reason people don’t like the Deadeye sniper. Aside from recognizable enemies like slugs, dogs, or basic enemies, there is no easy distinction to know who’s the lowest DEF in range unless it’s absolutely obvious, which actually rarely happens. It needs either a good memorization, or just through experiences (which, if you’re reading this to learn about Deadeyes in general, I guess you won’t have it yet).

Typically, bigger looking enemies tend to have higher DEF than smaller ones, so you can start with that. Ranged enemies tend to have lower DEF as well. But even then it’s also not guaranteed, as exceptions always exist. Bottom line is, it’s usually unpredictable – even occasionally for me who has been sticking with them for so long (2.5 years by now!).

But it’s not all bad. It also prevents them from ever being distracted from what they want to shoot at. HG has a typical strategy of spawning ranged enemies following behind a defender which would usually lead most units to aim at the defender instead of the ranged one, even when both are blocked. These snipers however, can snipe out the ranged enemies even from afar.

It also overrides any taunt. Shieldguards, Patriot, and Toddifons S1 cannot override this trait at all, which also means they can still do what the previous paragraph was saying in these cases as well. And it is why I say they can’t be distracted from shooting at what they want to, but not at what you want them to. This will be important for the people who want to use Fartooth.

All in all, a very hard trait to utilize, but also hard to be tricked by the game’s mechanics.

All deadeye snipers except Ambriel have some ways to counteract this trait, albeit not 100% effective.

Andreana ignores <50% HP enemies regardless of DEF, but well, she ignores them.

Firewatch has 3 AoE strikes, but a long cooldown, and her S1 is her best skill anyway.

Fartooth has 2 skills that attempt to counteract this. But just like the 2 before, there’s some dubious effectiveness to it.

Talent

First talent: Concentration

Available at E1 – When no damage is taken within 10 seconds, ATK +10%

At E2, the ATK boost increases to +15%

Potential 5 increases that by +3%, so 13% and 18% respectively

Truthfully, I think the number is kinda low, even for Fartooth who has a really high base ATK (as said, 2nd highest in game). But don’t let my absurdly high expectation ruin your joy, as it is roughly +200 ATK (at max level)! That’s like the sticker’s effect in the Dossoles Holidays event if you still remember it. Unless you’re using a really risky strat or fighting under Poison Haze, it’s also free and permanent +ATK. Especially when you also account for her 2nd talent below.

But the truth is, I want you to think of this as a “small” bonus. Not because it’s factually small, but so that you don’t agonize yourself to protect it. If a stray projectile came to hit her, do not think “oh no she’s useless now,” instead try “oh well no big deal.”

Aak’s damage will cancel this bonus, so if you want to use Aak buff on her… somehow, you have to accept that she’ll lose this +15% ATK for the first 10s of the buff. But hey, Aak buffs up to +50% ATK and +50 ASPD, I say it’s a fine trade!

Unfortunately, Roberta’s Shield does not affect ranged units. But since Evading the damage allows Fartooth to keep this bonus, I’d wager that Shielding the damage also keeps the bonus. Basically, if her HP went down, she loses the bonus, if not, she keeps it. Exception being Warfarin’s S2 HP reduction, which doesn’t remove this talent (again, Poison Haze does). Elemental damage that doesn’t affect normal HP also doesn’t remove it, e.g. the Reapers’ aura from Under Tides.

Man what’s up with Pinus and a free (almost) permanent small boost of ATK as a talent. Anyway, when activated, Fartooth’s weapon (whatever that thing is) glows a white aura so it’s an easy check.

Second talent

Available at E2 – When skill is active, reduces Taunt level, and attacks ignore enemies’ physical evasion.

Remember this GIF?

evasion

Now Fartooth doesn’t have to worry about it! Oh wait, but the DH event is already over… and it’ll take about a year to rerun (and those guys lose their evasion when blocked anyway). The other enemies with evasion are the OD Infiltrator when under Sandstorm effect, a boss’ area effect in Guiding Ahead, and the new chapter 10 boss.

In summary, the ignore evasion will rarely be used, but when it can be used, you’ll feel its impact. The only problem is, the game gives you enough ways to deal with evasion because HG designed it with 4* or below in mind – and none of them have Evasion Ignore. So in the end, it just gives Quality-of-Life stuff.

The reduced Taunt though… will also be rarely used. Because if you were to deploy Fartooth last so that you can make use of the reduced Taunt, she will be in danger when her skill isn’t up – and that also ruins her first talent anyway (wait didn’t I just say to not pay it too much mind?). It can absolutely be used, but if you’re at that level of strategic already, you probably wouldn’t need this guide.

Skills

RIIC Skills

Always available – Homecoming: When in Dormitory, self morale recovery +0.55/h, and restore 0.1 morale/h to all other operators assigned in the same room (only the strongest effect of this type takes place)

Pinus Sylvestris ⍺: When in a factory, efficiency +15%.

Available at E2 – Pinus Sylvestris β: When in a factory, efficiency +25%.

Despite the name, it’s just like the generic factory skill that gives 25%. So treat it as such. And yes, it’s the same as Ashlock’s.

A future (yeah so, since I was so late on getting this post out, that “future” unit is already here and is called Flametail) unit can actually enhance this Sylvestris base skill though, so if you aim for that operator, this base skill is not so generic then. But I digress, that’s not the point. (Plus you shouldn’t E2 a unit purely for base skill)

The morale recovery base skill means Fartooth can work in the factory for a while and then recover faster. Although, with proper rotation, traffic into the Dorm shouldn’t be an issue.

The “(only the strongest effect of this type takes place)” is meant for the “+0.1 morale/h to everyone in the room.” To clarify that it wouldn’t stack with other effects of the same kind like Durin, Ambriel,... but it does stack with single operator recovery like Shining, Lancet,...

First skill: Swift Strike γ

Stats at level 7

ATK +34%, ASPD +35, 35 second duration, 39 SP cost, 10 initial SP.

Auto Recovery, manual activation

Masteries

M3 gives ATK +45%, ASPD +45, 35 SP cost, 15 initial SP

Advanced Details

Uhhhhhhhh…

Possible usages

Swift Strike is actually a pretty good generic skill. I mean we only have 6 (7) anyways: Power Strike (next attack deal x% damage); ATK Up (+%ATK for a duration); Swift Strike (+ATK and +ASPD for a duration); Tactical Chant (+ASPD for a duration, but also apparently only casters have this); Support Order (gives DP over a duration); Charge (instantly give DP); and technically First Aid (next attack heal 1 ally around). And the last 3 skills aren’t even DPS skills. Technically (again), Blast Range Up (increase splash for a duration, from Catapult), and Enchant Weapon (convert attack to arts damage, from Midnight) also belong to the “generic” category because they have the ⍺ symbol, but so far we don’t even have a 2nd copy of their skill, let alone a β version.

Anyway, I digress. As much as I like Swift Strike, it’s still not as great as Fartooth’s other 2 skills. Sure, it has better damage against high DEF enemies compared with her second skill and a slightly better rotation, but that’s pretty much it. Her second skill has more supportive effects, makes easier use of her module, and receives ATK buff better (because it has none so it doesn’t get diluted).

I certainly don’t recommend to M3 this skill, and I definitely did not do it myself.

Second skill: Ally Support

Stats at level 7

Can attack blocked enemies outside base range, ASPD +90, 31s duration, 40 SP cost, 21 initial SP.

Auto Recovery, manual activation

Masteries

M3 gives +110 ASPD, 35s duration, 25 initial SP

Advanced Details

Fartooth now has conditional global range with this skill. She can attack anyone anywhere, provided that they are being blocked.

This does not mean she will prioritise blocked enemies, the skill merely unlocks the ability to attack a blocked enemy anywhere.

Her attack priority remains the same, lowest DEF first → least path left to blue box.

ASPD calculation is fairly simple: ATK interval/(1+ASPD/100). So Fartooth's new attack interval is 2.7/2.1 = 1.2857s rounded to the nearest frame at 1.3s – 1.2857s is 38.57 frames in a 30 FPS scale, but frames have to be an integer, so it’s rounded to the nearest integer at 39 frames, and 39 frames is 1.3 seconds (See? Totally simple calculations). That’s at M3 though, at Level 7 it’s 1.433 seconds, or 43 frames. Not much of an improvement in attack rate. So if you’re going to M3 this skill, it’s mostly for the extra duration.

Possible usages

This skill is a bit more complicated than you think, at least to achieve maximum potential.

People think it can only be used to snipe enemies through deploying Gravel. Apparently Gravel is the only fast redeploy. Anyway, enough sarcasm, but Red, Phantom, Jaye, and the likes work with this skill quite well. Drop them on the enemy you want dispatched, and Fartooth will have the ability to support them from range. You may say “but muh E2 90 Phantom already kills things just fine,” well then, you can move ahead to the S3 section. For those with a weaker assassin, this skill might provide the additional DPS that they would love.

Also, *cough* Sesa *cough* bonus damage *cough* to all blocked enemies. *cough*

But what I prefer more about this skill is using it to oversee multiple lanes at once. If you have a regular blocker on each lane, at some point the other lane that Fartooth isn’t currently seeing will have blocked enemies. For example, think of maps like CC#3 Windswept Highland, CC#5 Arena 8, and 9-19. She can then casually lean over, ask “how you doing?” with this skill, and reduce the burden when appropriate. (or rather, when she wants to because you know, her trait.)

Now, it probably wouldn’t do much if the other lane is already well-covered with their own mini-team. Fartooth wouldn’t be able to assist if they are already well-off. It’s just an Ally Support skill after all. (heh see what I did there? nvm moving on)

Another example is the Near Light event. She can be used to provide vision in this particular area while using this skill to provide help to your blocker somewhere else.

But at the same time, there’s nothing wrong with using this skill as a generic DPS skill even if you have no blockers around. I see some people have issues with the fact that this skill provides no +ATK, so it might not be that great of a DPS skill. But at E2 60 with her module, Fartooth has around 1300 ATK without her talent, and reaches near 1500 with it, plus the effect of her module still giving some % boost. I don’t think DEF would be too much of an issue – especially when she ignores them as long as possible. In this particular case without block, S1 is also a valid consideration.

Well, there is a major problem with using this skill: She is not using her next skill.

Third skill: Feathershine arrow

Stats at level 7

Attack range changed into a straight line with infinite (?) range.

ATK +100%, when attacking enemies outside of the default range, damage dealt increases to 130%, 17s duration, 24 SP cost, 7 initial SP.

Auto Recovery, manual activation

Masteries

M3 gives +140% ATK, damage scale to 140%, 20s duration, 20 SP cost, 10 initial SP.

Advanced Details

Infinite straight range? This guy experimented otherwise.

Anyway, outside of that particular case, it is infinite range practically speaking.

Since her attack range is changed to a straight line, the “default range” is practically the first 4 tiles in front of her. This means that the enemy needs to be at the 5th tile onward to receive the extra damage.

However, it literally means “default range.” That is to say, if there is a fast enough enemy running perpendicular to her straight range, the default range will still be there and will apply (or not) accordingly. This is most significant to her 4th tile, because any movement to the side means it’s “outside default range” and the bonus will apply. See below. Note that it's near impossible for her first 3 tiles to get the same treatment because the area next to those tiles is still part of her default range.

outsiderange
Fartooth with S3M3 (in this map) only have about 3k ATK and just a slight move away from the 4th tile makes it 4k damage

The 30%/40% extra damage is a Damage Modifier, which is calculated AFTER defense. All of the other “increase damage to x%” skills in the game gives that bonus BEFORE defense because it’s an Attack Modifier so WHY THE &#[email protected] DOES THIS SKILL NOT DO THE SAME AAAGH??

Flint also suffers from the same issue, her talent “increase damage to enemies not blocked by self” is also calculated after defense, being a Damage Modifier. Unlike Fartooth, Flint has shit ATK, so it cripples her even more. And similar talents again provide ATK Modifier instead (Leizi, Firewatch,...)

At M3 this skill needs only 10 SP – 10s without SP booster – to be ready after deployment. Fartooth also has a talent that provides +ATK after not being attacked for 10s. Coincidence? I think NOT.

At Level 7 the skill makes 7 attacks. M2 would allow it to deal 8 hits, but beware of projectile time mentioned right below.

The skill does boost the current arrow that is midair, but since the projectile travel is somewhat fast, it's a bit harder to do than Schwarz. The reverse is also true, if an S3 shot is midair when the skill ran out, it will only do the normal non-S3 damage. This usually will be okay if she’s constantly attacking during her S3 as there is about a 2 seconds margin after the final shot. 

Possible usages

I hate this skill. Well of course not, but I hate what it did to the general public. You know how people bring up Schwarz every time this skill comes up? I can’t blame them though, since straight line range and massive damage does remind you of Schwarz S3. And if you know what I’m talking about, you’ll also know how Schwarz out-damages her at higher DEF and that’s already counting Fartooth’s “outside range” bonus. Fartooth get less and less competitive the higher the enemy’s DEF and the closer they are to her.

Except, that’s not what you’d use this skill for. Sure Schwarz beats her in damage, but on the 5th tile and further, she has none. And from the 5th tile onward, Fartooth does her best. Which means that their zone of operation is far different from each other. That’s why I don’t like the idea of comparing them with each other. Why not complement each other instead?

Don’t get me wrong.

Usually, Schwarz’s 4 tiles range is not an issue. That means Fartooth’s advantages are not obvious nor necessary. Finding the proper Fartooth tile is counterintuitively harder than finding a Schwarz/Ifrit tile. More accurately, you have to switch your formation around a little bit to fit Fartooth in usually.

And not to mention, her trait of prioritising low DEF also means she will rarely shoot the big elite enemies that people so desperately want her to shoot at, because again, they thought she’s going to be like Schwarz. So I understand where the complaints are coming from. (Just don’t tell me that Schwarz never misses the big elite as well because some faster critters can and will run ahead of the elite, taking the priority from Schwarz)

You don’t have to find 1 long stretch of ground for the skill to work. It could just be 2 smaller lines of path, or a single faraway tile. But...

Just like Schwarz S3 however, I recommend to not forget about the base range. And for Fartooth, her base range is massive. You can make use of both the straight line and the large base range she has. The skill has a faster rotation than Schwarz (but same uptime), meaning it’s easier to switch back and forth should the need arise. I really don’t recommend putting her out of range to only attack during S3, unless you’re trying to showcase something specific (which I have done below).

In that case, timing the skill gets pretty intense. Occasionally you’ll have to use the skill ahead of time so that it ends when the last enemy leaves her straight line to immediately switch back to her large base range.

Generally, Fartooth needs to attack enemies from the 5th tile onward to be competitive to Schwarz. But if you somehow don’t want to use Schwarz (which means you’re a horrible human being I’m just kidding relax) or don’t have her yet, it’s quite a loss, but she should be okay with a bit of extra work. You lose the ability to see big red numbers though so that’s sad.

Modules

ATK +70, ASPD +5

The further away the enemy, the higher the damage dealt (up to 15%)

I have looked more in-depth on how this module works before

In summary, the boost is again, a Damage modifier, which is calculated after defense. The boost takes account of only the true distance from the owner to the target, so shooting directly behind still gives nothing even if it’s outside the base range. The boost is maximized at the edge of the furthest tile (or 4.5 tiles to be exact).

For Fartooth, this means that her S2 will still not give much unless the enemy is really far away. For S3 however, since the range is changed to a straight line, and that the maximum boost is at the very edge of the 4th tile, the default range, it means that as soon as her S3 is giving the damage boost aspect (outside default range), the module is also going to be maximized. Although remember that edge case on the 4th tile that I mentioned in the S3 Advanced Details section.

Damage and Attack Modifiers stack multiplicatively, even to themselves. So S3M3 with module means it can gives 1.4 * 1.15 = 1.61 damage after DEF. And Fartooth does get +140% ATK from her S3, plus another +15% ATK (these +% only stacks additively, so +155% ATK) from her talent. It’s a pretty good boost in damage. Schwarz still beats her as I said in the S3 section but still, that’s mostly because Schwarz has better attack rate and loses less damage to defense, not because she has higher damage per se (until a certain amount of DEF of course).

The +5 ASPD from the module lowers her attack interval down to 2.566 seconds, or 77 frames.

Concluding thoughts

Just like I have concluded in the Ashlock’s guide, both units in the Pinus Sylvestris event brought with them a special niche of long range “supportive” damage. But it’s not something that’s relevant most of the time, like, do you really need to kill them that far ahead or you can just use the regular ranged units? You can do whatever you want in this game though (unless it’s really high risk CC, maybe except for CC#7), so if you want a unit that has a practically infinite straight line range with big number damage, or a pseudo-global presence that assists your melee units, Fartooth is an amazing choice.

  • S1 is a generic skill that, while it’s okay, does not play toward the strength of Fartooth. As a generic DPS skill, it can achieve better than S2 against higher DEF and a better rotation, but that’s about it.

  • S2 allows a pseudo-global presence that can support allies that are blocking enemies. It doesn’t prioritise those blocked enemies so there’s disappointment among some people, but I personally think it’s fine (probably due to the way I use the skill). I would accept it if HG changes it and would change my usage accordingly, sure, but I’m not complaining about how it is now. If you can’t find a good S3 spot, I think it’s better to fall back to this skill rather than S1, but it’s up to you. M3 is not needed even if you want to use this skill.

  • S3 should be the primary reason you bring Fartooth. It creates the niche of “big pp damage” with an infinite straight range. The long straight range is what you’ll want more from this skill, otherwise you can also just bring Schwarz. If you stubbornly want to bring Fartooth instead, this skill could suffice as a replacement, with additional flavor of range, but it’s usually a struggle more often than not. M3 is preferred since it is still a damage skill and it needs all the damage it can get, but more notably it gives more duration and less cooldown, improving the window for S3 to work.

In the end, after all these weeks testing Fartooth, I will still say Firewatch is the best Deadeye Sniper out of the 4, albeit now Firewatch just barely beat Fartooth by a small margin. Yes, Invisibility is just that good. Preventing most mechanics from affecting Firewatch means that her damage will rarely be interrupted. That also means Firewatch can be placed anywhere and survive for a long period of time, whereas Fartooth needs a specific spot for a specific strategy. The only times when Fartooth would come out better are when only damage is needed, or of course, when the infinite long range is needed, or when enemies with Evasion is present (CC#6 flashbacks).

You can check out these Fartooth showcases below

And of course my own video because I'm a shameless self-promoter now

Outro

So what do you think about Fartooth? She gets compared to Schwarz a lot but as I have said, I don’t think that’s fair to either of them. Generally, if you just want a straight line big damage, Schwarz is enough, so you do have to go out of your way to find and make use of Fartooth. But when that range is in play though, boy is it satisfying. Forming a strategy with S2 is also satisfying in itself but it certainly asks for a bit more effort.

Anyway, thank you for reading, and I’ll see you next time.

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Random pleb Arknights guide writer on reddit

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