Qanipalaat is a new addition to the Purchase Certificate (Red Cert) Store with Il Siracusano. He is the 10th Core Caster, and the first one to be released in a very long time. The last one was Tomimi, released all the way back in February of 2021, over two years ago.
With the foresight offered by the delay in events between the CN and EN servers, it becomes clear that Qanipalaat is a prototype for the future 6* Core Caster Ho’olheyak; paving the way for what could be a new direction for an otherwise rudderless Archetype.
Qanipalaat is an aerial-focused Caster, he has a sensible and functional kit that brings a second source of Levitate to the game, an effect that functionally immobilises targets by knocking them up and temporarily making them aerial enemies.
Core Casters are in a weird spot. Their Trait doesn’t really offer any guidance for what they should be, or what they should do. Other than the obvious “Deals Arts damage” Trait text, there is next to no unity across their designs.
As mentioned earlier, the last Core Caster was Tomimi, whose entire gimmick is dealing Physical damage during her Skills; before that there was Absinthe, who has some interactions with HP thresholds; and before that was Ceobe, who actually has a fairly interesting kit, but is mostly seen as “Deals Arts damage.. but faster”. It doesn’t matter how far back you look in this Archetype’s history, as there is not much rhyme nor reason to be found in their designs overall.
Core Casters feel almost unloved when compared to their Sniper Archetype equivalent - Marksman. They struggle with a lack of identity, as the developer’s focus for single-target Arts damage shifted towards Mech-Accord Casters for a good chunk of the game’s lifespan.
Qanipalaat applies up to 22% Arts Fragility to all aerial enemies within range, this Talent sets the tone for his entire kit. Arts Fragility is dmg_scale with a fancy name, this simply means that it increases the amount of damage taken (specifically Arts damage). This effect applies post-mitigation, so an enemy’s RES value reduces the incoming damage first, and then Arts Fragility increases it by the stated amount.
Arts Fragility is a named effect, meaning that it cannot stack with other sources of the same name. It can, however, stack with other sources of dmg_scale, including Saria’s S3 which appears to have been grandfathered in as definitely-not-Arts-Fragility.
Skill 1: Freezing Winds
This Skill increases Qanipalaat’s ASPD by 90, which reduces his attack interval from 1.6s to about 0.83s; on top of this, Qanipalaat will prioritise aerial enemies. At M3, the Skill costs 30 SP to activate, and lasts for 30s, giving an even uptime of 50%.
This Skill is on-theme for Qanipalaat, but is not worth considering for the average player. He has no way to inflict Levitate with this Skill, forcing him to compete directly with Marksman Snipers for a job they are purpose built for.
Skill 2: Snowfall
When activated, this Skill inflicts Levitate on two ground enemies in range for 7s, dealing 75% of ATK as Arts damage to them every 0.5s. When the Levitate ends, Qanipalaat deals 300% of ATK as Arts damage in a radius of 0.8 tiles around the target - this explosion occurs regardless of what causes the Levitate to end; if an enemy dies early, they will still explode.
At M3, this skill costs 30 SP to activate. The Levitate effect is channelled (similar to Hibiscus the Purifier’s S2, or Rosa’s S3), if both of Qanipalaat’s chosen targets die, the Skill ends early.
Unfortunately, the explosion specifically occurs after the Levitation ends, meaning the explosion damage on the primary target cannot benefit from Qanipalaat’s Talent. Something else worth noting is that enemies with a weight value of 3 or greater will halve the Levitate duration.
Mastery for this Skill is fairly important, and worth considering for anyone that plans to use Qanipalaat. The Levitate duration is always fixed at 7s, but the SP cost reduction and the extra damage are nothing to sneeze at.
Qanipalaat continues a happy trend for modern 5*s having some interesting tricks up their sleeves, paired with a comfortable performance. Qanipalaat is not very strong though, and while some advanced players might consider raising him for their own reasons, most players should avoid him.
Amiya and Rockrock remain the gold standard for 5* single-target Casters, and some of the lower rarity options continue to be strong economic choices for new players. Qanipalaat also costs a staggering 600 Purchase Certificates to even get your foot in the door, with a total cost of 3,600 Certificates if you want to buy all his Potentials too.