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Arknights: Greythroat In-Depth Gameplay Analysis

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Introduction

Hello! Throughout my hiatus last couple months, I managed to find a lot of interesting things about Greythroat that pushed my opinion of her up. Granted, she’s still just the 6th best AA Sniper for me with Archetto released, but the gap between her and the 5th place (May) went from “big gap” to “lose out mainly to utilities”. She has a lot more going on than just “discount Exu”, and to be quite honest, that title itself is already a big selling than what people give her credits for. She resembles Exu so much that it was hard for people to recommend raising Greythroat in general, on the hope that “maybe you’ll get Exu someday”, and unlike Manticore/Ethan, having 2 of the same in this case doesn’t feel as great together (unless it’s like East Armory max risk). But what else can she do that maybe separate her from Exu a little bit?

Overview

Greythroat (GT) is the 3rd 5* AA Sniper of the game, and with how her kit works, she’s given the honorary title of “discount Exusiai,” who is the best AA Sniper ever, because her kit revolves around shooting fast and multiple times to 1 target, the same as Exu. With an innate critical chance and ATK SPD buff, a consistent DPS skill that’s a lot more than what people give it credits for, and an amazing burst to combine with the brand new Archetto that you just have (maybe), GT is definitely worth the investment, however low or high priority it’s placed on your list.

Stats

Offensive stats

AA Sniper in general has a slightly low base ATK to offset for their fast attack rate of 1s per attack (wonder why I felt déjà vu). But within the group, GT has the 5th highest ATK of them all. Don’t be too excited about this fact though, since within the 5* AA Sniper, she’s only the 3rd best… out of 4, and technically the 4th one has the lowest because she has a large permanent ATK boost after staying on the field for a while. That said, the difference between them aren’t huge, like 30 ATK top.

But GT has a talent to cover her on this department later one, both attack and attack rate, so don’t feel too bad.

Defensive stats

Being a ranged unit, you can safely guess that their defensive stats aren’t great in general. Within the archetype, GT has the 5th highest HP and the 8th highest (or 6th lowest) DEF, putting her in roughly the middle of the line. At least she can survive the Arts Drone + Ballista combo in Annihilation 3 at a reasonably low level, am I right Blue Poison?

Cost

The exact same base cost as the other 5* AA Sniper, 11 base and 13 at E1.

Range, Trait, Talent

Range

Also the same as any baseline AA Sniper, so it’s simple here too.

range
AA Sniper range at base (left) and E1+ (right)
Trait

Prioritizes aerial enemies first.

Just in case you still don’t know why they are called AA (Anti-Air) Sniper.

Talent

Tailwind

Available at E1: ATK SPD +6

At E2 – adds another 15% chance to deal 150% damage.

It’s one of them talents that adds effect at E2 rather than/alongside with an improvement from the E1 version. And in this case, it’s a big addition to GT’s kit, who do a massive amount of hit in a short span with both of her skills, which we will of course get into later. For most people, who usually left their AA Snipers at E1, this is partially why they feels GT is not that great, or as great as they have heard.

The ATK SPD is also great, even though the amount is not that much. Coupled with one of her skill giving her multiple shots per attack over a duration, she can sneak in 1 or 2 extra attack, which is a few more of those multiple shots, all of which can proc that critical hit. It’s also the same ATK SPD Exusiai and Jessica gets at E1, so it's not that bad.

The critical damage is an Attack Multiplier, which is calculated before Defense but after Attack Boost. This means she can fare slightly better against higher DEF enemies than other AA Sniper bar Platinum, with one of her skill deals another ATK Multiplier, which stacks multiplicatively, and another one grants a great ATK Boost, and both gives a lot of hits so they have a higher chance for a proc. But at the same time, remember that you don’t/shouldn’t use AA Snipers for higher DEF enemies anyway.

To summarize, this talent caps off her skillsets and is the icing on the cake on why she is good (though Im sure people already believe that; she’s only redundant because of Exu). And later on, you’ll see how it will carry her second skill to be better than a 6* version of it.

Skills

RIIC Skills

Always available – Necessary Responsibility: When in the Control Center, decrease morale consume of everyone in that CC by -0.05/h

This is a standard CC skill, and I’ve already mentioned how it’s okay but not that great in previous guide that has one of these. You should still fill out that room with CC-related skill, so this is, like I said, standard.

Available at E2 – Solitude: When in dorm, self morale recovery increase by +0.7/h

Uhh… She recovers faster after working in the CC?

First skill: Flying Feather

Stats at level 7

The next attack shoots 2 times, each dealing 125% ATK as physical damage, can store up to 2 charges, 5 SP cost, 0 initial SP

Auto Recovery, Auto activation.

Masteries

M2 let GT deal 135% each and can store 3 charges.

M3 deal 140% each, 4 SP cost.

Advanced Details

I’ll start off by saying, DON’T just leave this skill at M2, despite that breakpoint.

This skill is the reason this post exists. M3 is just way too amazing compared to SL7, and is the skill I recommend mastering over her second skill. Though the S2M3 burst still has the higher ceiling cap, so maybe an M6 for GT? Anyway, this skill is the second consistent DPS skill that I ever truly likes (and if you know me, you’ll know how I feel about the nuke/burst skill vs the consistent one).

The main argument against this skill is that, at S1M3, this skill has the same stats as Kroos’ skill at SL7. I don’t think I need to tell you the investment’s difference between GT E2 + S1M3 and Kroos E1 lv55 + SL7. The thing is, there are 2 very subtle details that turn the whole thing around and make this S1M3 investment well worth it.

Let’s get this quick comparison out first. I already said the 2 skills has similar stats at maxed (GT S1M3 vs Kroos SL7), but Kroos also has a better crit talent compared to GT (20% chance to deal 160% multiplier vs 15% to deal 150% multiplier). GT has an ATK SPD talent but given that her skill is Auto Recovery it doesn’t have the chance to improve the skill directly.

So how would GT S1M3 outmatch Kroos? You may think it’s because GT has higher stats since she’s a 5* and has access to E2 (which she will be at if you want S1M3), but even with similar stats I will still say that GT S1M3 is better. All due to the 2 differences between the two skills: Auto Recovery and can stores 3 charges.

Let me explain, Kroos’ attack interval is 1 per second, so she technically gains 1SP per second anyway… right? Well no. Because there is NO map that will flood enemies constantly for anyone to attack all the time. Okay maybe there is a map or two like that out there, in which case GT S1M3 still can do it very slightly better because of the storing charges effect. Because it can store charges, the SP will keep regen after gaining the first charge during the small time that the skill gained a charge and the time the operator uses that charge. Granted, using a skill also lock SP gain so the improvement is small, but over time GT get to use her skill slightly earlier than Kroos, but the average skill used over time is still the same.

I mentioned that slight “advantage” because I have to circle back to the first point, almost no map will flood enemies constantly. If GT get to use her skill even slightly earlier, she can kill the last enemy in her range earlier, and start gaining SP, maybe a few charges, while waiting for the next one. Having a few charges also means it’s going to be used all at once to the next wave, once again, help killing enemies faster, meaning she get to rest and gain charges faster, again for the next wave. The snowball advantage is not something to be underestimate, certainly not after you have witness it directly, nor do this advantage can be properly calculated with math and numbers.

The snowball effect is like doing your dishes. You threw the dishes in the sink and doesn’t clean it immediately because “I can do it later”. Then come the next one you still feel like “yea it’s still not that much”. Then another one comes, and you go “I can do it all at once instead”. Then one day you bring your girlfriend home, only to have her fainted when she gazes at the marvelous monolithic pile of carefully balanced dirty plates and bowls. Did you get a chill? Well then go do your damm dishes.

What was I talking about? Oh yea, this skill’s subtly good.

The damage is an Attack Multiplier, which means it multiplies any Attack Boost she gained from someone like Warfarin. But even better, because her E2 talent is also an Attack Multiplier, which stacks multiplicatively, turning her attack from 140% to 210% Multiplier, which completely affects any Attack Boost (unlike the next skill).

Possible usages

The consistent DPS skill do what the consistent DPS can. For when her next skill can’t do what you want.

Now please keep calm okay? Because I will go as far as to say this skill is better than BP S1. Even though, math-wise, BP S1 is better. BP can deal 200% damage to 2 enemies every 2 attacks which is 2s, while GT can deal 140% *2 to 1 enemy every 4s.

As said, the snowball effect of killing thing faster, and being able to store charge while waiting to kill the next one faster has an effect that math can’t tell you about. I have tested over a couple stages, GT S1 is always just slightly worse than BP S1 when it comes to solo DPS. The simple idea of hitting 2 targets for 200% damage every 2s is stronger there, regardless of enemies’ flow.

That result however, flipped when there are additional helps. You see, unless you’re doing Sniperknights or any run that lacks a number of early units, there are always other helps around. Even simple help such as stopping enemies like the aforementioned vanguards, or just other DPS unit as well. Now, I tried it on only a couple maps with a strong enough rush (all in maps that rush from 2 lanes at once: 4-7, 6-4, R8-7, R8-10, M8-8), but not all of them, and I'm also not linking any videos, so take it with a grain of salt.

See the flow of enemies in the map and how strong your units are, and decide yourself which skill is better. I’ll say GT S1 because of the same idea as I said in the Arch's guide, it's great for entering a map blind, because you might not be able to know when is the best time to use her S2, details coming up next.

Second skill: Counterflow

Stats at level 7

ATK +20%, attacks hit 3 times, 34 SP cost, 12 initial SP, 17 seconds duration

Offensive Recovery, Manual Activation

Masteries

M3 gives +40% ATK, 30 SP cost, 15 initial SP, 20s duration

Advanced Details

This is the reason why ever since GT’s inception, she has been compared to Exu, who basically can do the same thing, but better: Attacks 4 times, slightly lower ATK, but receptive to buffs, and Auto Recovery. Even worse, with the release of Archetto, this skill now has yet another counterpart. For Archetto, her S3M3 has nearly everything the same as GT S2M3: Offensive Recovery, 30 SP cost, 15 initial SP, 20s duration, attacks hit 3 times. When you account for the fact that Archetto can restore SP when idle, hit up to 2 enemies at once, range +1, and you will have no more reason to use this GT skill if you have Archetto S3M3. Except…

Perhaps, GT’s own talent can make it up? With +6 ATK SPD and 15% chance to deal 150% of her ATK, which can also multiply her +40% ATK earlier (which is also higher than Arch’s +30%), maybe it can balance it out somehow, at least in term of single target. Let’s see the result with this video. (Spoiler: it’s a pretty drastic difference)

With just +6 ATK SPD from her talent, in 20s she can make 22 attacks, translating to 66 total hits. Combine with the critical effect of her talent and a higher Attack Boost than Arch’s, it let GT deals a lot more damage, especially at lower DEF level. Granted, as said, there are many other things attached to Arch S3, so a better damage output won't tell the whole story.

Also, since GT has +6 ATK SPD, she needs less than 30 seconds to recharge her skill if she’s attacking constantly, roughly 28s to be more accurate.

Fun fact: This skill and her first skill both let her deal 140% ATK per hit, and without external factor, 210% with her talent.

Possible usages

Similar to Exu S2. The biggest problem is the Offensive Recovery that this skill comes along with, which may be a problem for some.

You basically have to do a lot of planning head because you need a way for GT to keep attacking after using her skill. And her skill hurt low to mid armored enemies badly, so it’s basically skipping the next wave, just to recharge. Also remember, other allies can kill enemies too fast as well, so GT ran out of enemies to attack faster, and then GT would have no skill ready for the real dangerous wave.

All I’m saying is, this skill needs more careful planning than Exu S3, however strange that sounds. You are forced into 1 of 3 scenarios: have no skill ready for that particular dangerous wave, use the skill once a map, or carefully planning team placement and line up so that GT can get her skill used multiple time.

It’s also why I recommend her first skill, especially more than BP S1, which is already a fan favorite. BP S2 being Auto Recovery and a better wave clear make it a better reliable burst DPS skill. It’s not that GT S2 is a bad skill, it’s just harder to plan around/ahead, and BP S2 being more reliable if there are breaks in-between wave.

  • You see, it’s not that I think “BP S2 > GT S2” nor that “GT S1 > BP S1” (actually I do think GT S1 is better, but that’s not the only reason), but also mostly because Auto Recovery > Offensive Recovery, for either allowing errors in timing or just having the skill up without it being dependent on enemies and allies (I mean there's Ptilopsis for Auto Recovery but still, more reliable).

Closing Thoughts

GT is underrated as an AA Sniper because of the existence of Exusiai (like many other AA sniper). GT had it especially bad because her main specialty is dealing a lot of hits really fast to 1 enemy, the same thing as Exu. Yet another reason I suggested to focus on GT S1 instead of S2, however weaker it is.

  • I made a joke about the snowball effect earlier, but it’s really noticeable at S1M3 compare to SL7, so don’t write it off yet if you can’t see what I said with your own GT. I know it’s a lot of investment, so you don’t have to do it ASAP, just also don’t write it off yet. I even went as far as to say it’s the best consistent DPS skill of an AA Sniper, though as I acknowledged many times, it will have to compete with the fan favorite BP S1. Platinum is another contender but waiting for her S2 can be a trouble sometime (wait why are the 5* AA Snipers the main contenders for consistent DPS).

  • S2 has a much higher power when it’s active, but the downtime can feel pretty bad. It’s still technically her better skill because the dangerous part of the map tends to be in single wave and those waves are spread out far apart. The problem is mainly the SP gain and that’s about it. It even has better ST damage output than Arch S3M3 which has nearly the same numbers, and that’s all because of her talent. As said, don’t ignore this skill altogether either. Plus, sometimes you want a controllable Exu, but you also want to keep using Exu S3 for a bigger delete sometime.

Am I asking to M6 GT eventually?… Maybe. (and I have a BP with just S2M3 and a GT M6, just for reference)

Speaking of which, Arch can help GT S2 gains SP much better, as seen in my Arch guide recently. I’ll link the video again here. Remember, that’s already with GT constantly attacking, and so any break in-between will boost the effectiveness of Arch’s talent much higher.

There is a special case for Offensive Recovery being better than Auto Recovery, and that is the permanent map CC#2 Deserted Factory (now a CC daily map) Deserted Factory. With the “Auto Recovery SP reduction” risk being common, Offensive and Defensive Recovery skills have a lot of chance to shine here instead. I mean you can just not pick the tag and deal with it separately but shush.

Outro

That should be it for GT, I think. I started a draft for this post before the Archetto one, but don’t worry as I knew that would happen, so I made the draft knowing the Arch post will go first. The one thing I didn’t expect was how much better GT S2 is over Arch S3 in term of damage. I expected it to be a little bit better, though.

For the people who use her, how do you find her? She certainly surprised me in a few departments as I was testing her out, which lead to this post. The existence of Exu does make it hard to really justify investing on her, but know that the investment on her is not a waste, even if you have Exu already. Also I think I might have overselling her S1 a little bit, but I still recommend it as the end result. But it’s the viewpoint of a Sniper-enthusiast, so I don’t know if it translates well to other people.

Regardless, 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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