Hey y’all! I’m back with another fairly underrated units who I really enjoy using. It’s again, another unit that people just ignored every other parts of his kit in favor of bashing the very obvious downside, while ignoring the not so obvious upside (except, I don't think people even consider it upside). While the AoE Snipers are my favorite and my main archetype to play Arknights with, many people consider them unnecessary because of their slow attack rate and high DP cost.
Sesa is the second 5* AoE Sniper in the game. The first one is Meteorite, who specialized in mass AoE wipe or a very strong, smaller AoE, nuke with an attached debuff on it. While Meteorite’s kit focuses on killing, Sesa leans much harder into his support role, with a talent that requires other allies to work with him, and a debuff that also leans toward keeping allies alive as well.
When it comes to a sniper’s base ATK, the hierarchy goes (from highest) Wide-range sniper, Siege/Heavyweight Sniper, AoE/Splash snipers, Close-range snipers, Spreadshooter, Rosmontis, and the AA snipers. Sesa is an AoE sniper so his base ATK is quite high. True to what I said earlier enough, Sesa has less ATK than Meteorite. Fortunately their attack speed is the same, 2.8s per attack, which is 0.1s slower than Deadeye snipers, and 0.1s faster than AoE casters.
In constrast, Sesa has higher HP and DEF than Meteorite. Though, for a sniper’s defensive stats, none of them are really that amazing except for Rosmontis (highest base DEF of all ranged unit), Spreadshooter (highest HP), and Close-range Sniper (mix of both). So in the grand scheme it doesn’t matter. Sesa sits somewhere in the upper middle range though.
AoE Snipers have a bit of a DP cost, given the fact that they gain +2 DP per promotion, not just once at E1 and done. This added more to their DP cost which is already high to begin with. Start at 24 at E0, 26 at E1, and end at 28 for E2. There is a reason for this though, however small it may be.
Range, Trait, Talent
This is almost the only archetype in the game that has a range expansion on E2. Also explains their E2 extra DP cost. The only other one is Kal’tsit, who coincidentally share the same range.
This make them have the second longest base range in the game, losing only to Ifrit, and tied with Deadeye sniper and Heavyweight Snipers, excluding the side range. Later on in CN, there will be another archetype with range that match Ifrit, pushing them to third place. They are also the only archetype so far to gain extra range at E2, which is one of the main reasons for the extra increased cost at E2. Kal’tsit also gain extra range per promotion but she’s not part of a special archetype (as stated by HG)
The extra range at E2 is the more important part, at least in my eyes. The little range at E1 rarely comes into play, as it is rare that you would be able to deploy a range unit facing straight into an enemy lane (thanks Ifrit). Usually, the range tile will be on the side of the route, and so the range on the side matters more often than the middle one. If you can use that middle range at E1, it’s either an Ifrit spot (Aak put that gun down), or you’re looking in perpendicular from the path and the extra range at E2 still help you cover the area much further and/or easier.
Deal AoE Physical damage
This is why they are called AoE Sniper. Whenever they fire their projectile, at impact it explodes and deal damage in a certain radius around the impact location. This radius is 1.
If the enemy died while their projectile is midair, it will still do AoE damage at the dead enemy’s location, the effect is just not shown (as I have (not) seen from Meteorite’s S1 effect). AoE casters attack enemies instantly without projectile time, so it doesn’t work there.
Available at E1: When deployed, all blocked enemies take +7% Physical damage.
At E2 it increases to +14%.
Potential 5 further increases it to 16%.
First of all, this needs to be clarified first and fast because of the physical damage calculation. This talent amplify damage after DEF calculation. Which, if you know how it works, it sounds quite bad.
But at a high enough damage, amplifying final damage do a lot more than increasing base ATK or lowering enemy DEF, precisely again because of the calculation formula. It has a higher ceiling for big number attack, but slightly less effective on lower number attack.
And 14% is not that low, given how prevalent physical damages are. Most melee units deal physical damage and half of ranged units deal physical damage. The only problem is, it requires blocking the enemies, which means your strat with him either going to be a form of a Bunker (i.e. a bunch of ranged units behind or near the defender/guard) or his talent isn’t that effective. At the very least, it’s global and always active, further confirm his supportive style and not mostly offensive like Meteorite’s.
This is mostly unimportant, but it does amplify the 5% minimum damage threshold, turning it into 5.7% ATK as minimum damage. It also amplifies Projekt Red’s S2 damage if drop on top of them since they were blocked first. Here's proof
This talent supports a lot more operators than you think, especially strong physical ops like Mountain or Mudrock. My favorite operator to combo with Sesa though, is Rosmontis (as I stated in my ally synergy tier list with Rosmontis I did a while back and then Reno D stole from me reeeeeee [just kidding he definitely didn’t cuz ain’t nobody go to reddit lul]), who can only target enemies that are blocked. And she deals a lot of damage too, especially when couple with Ely and the trio deal a lot of damage, even against decently high DEF enemies. Another great operator to work with is Mountain S2, who also need to block in order to deal damage.
Always available – Pragmatic Minimalism: when in the workshop and making Elite Materials (the one used to upgrade operators and their skills), any recipe that consume 4 morales will be reduced to 2.
Available at E2 – Industrial Design: when making any Elite Materials, increases the by product rate by 75%.
Recipe that cost 4 morales are recipes that craft T4 materials (the one with purple circle). Sesa can reduce this by half, which sounds nice for some rush upgrade. But morales can be infinitely regenerate, and therefore it’s always better to get a better by-product skill than to reduce morale cost (or use Blemi’s version). Ceylon can get 80% for free, Catapult and Sussuro can get it at E1. If you plan your crafting ahead, morales consumption will never be an issue.
Again, 75% extra by-product turns the rate of getting one to 17.5%, which comparing to the 80% skill is only 0.5% lower, so it’s not that bad.
Just remember though, over the course of the game you’re gonna craft hundreds if not thousands of materials (all tier, not just T4), so small difference do matter.
Stats at level 7
ATK +60%, 10 initial SP, 35 SP cost, 30s duration
Auto Recovery, manual activation
M3 gives ATK +100%, 15 initial SP, 30 SP cost, same duration
Sesa can make 10-11 shot in the duration of the skill.
You can use this skill while the projectile is midair to immediately gain the boost for that attack.
Just don’t. His next skill, even with the drawbacks, is still better than this.
Stats at level 7
Attacks shoot delayed detonation grenades that deal 210% ATK Physical damage and decrease ATK SPD of enemies by -10 for 3 seconds, 44 SP cost, 14 initial SP, 27s duration.
Auto Recovery, manual activation
M3 gives 240% damage, decreases ATK SPD by -20 for 3s, 40 SP cost, 20 initial SP, 30s duration
The delay for explosion is 2 seconds, from the moment the grenade touches the ground. In conjunction with the fact that the explosion radius is still 1 tile, enemies need a movement sped of 0.5 tile/s, or if you look up on Aceship, movement speed of 1 (since they list movement speed as tile/2s).
The skill also increases his wind-up time to 2 seconds. That is to say, from the time he started to attack someone to the time he actually fires it is 2 seconds. If the target dies during this wind-up, he will still shoot at the location of their death.
Most people would just look at those and be done with this skill and start memeing on it, but there are many benefits that come from it as well. For once, the delay increases the chance more enemies will get in the explosion range, the same reason enemies might have a chance to escape it. Then, if you stop the first enemy, either through slowing, or blocking, then it has many chances to deal damage to multiple enemies (something Meteorite also can't do reliably because she need 3 shots, which is 8-9 seconds, for the expanded splash as well). For another, not all enemies are that fast, he will be able to hit a lot of slow walking enemies by himself a lot of time. Or, if the enemies have to take a turn here or there because most maps don’t have a single straight path, there’s always a turn here or there.
You can also see the missing effect when he shoots at a dead enemy. This also happen a lot to solo enemy, but as long as you use the skill against a mob of enemies, which you should, then you don't have to worry because more will just walk into the last one... hopefully... maybe
Even more advanced, you can use it to exclusively hit the enemies behind the first guy. If the enemies are flooding in a wave, his attack will almost always be able to hit something, primary target or not. This is actually better because the first enemy in line is usually the target of basically most other operators. Because of this, Sesa can move the damage to the next enemy in line while the others kill the first one, avoiding overkill.
(Also did you see that you can abuse the enemy's speed to reach someone outside of his range? Pretty funny... and bad at the same time)
And of course, to attack enemies that are standing still.
The attack speed reduction is fairly small at SL7, so you’re kinda safe to ignore it. But even then, as it lasts 3s while his attack interval is 2.8, it can apply that debuff for the whole 30s. And over that time, the debuff would have been enough to remove 2 or 3 attacks from the enemy. At M3, the debuff is actually fairly decent, being doubled in amount. I used it in CC#4 (Abandoned Mine) to slow the attack rate of shielded hammers, the golems, and Mudrock while Bibeak can have way more time to stack up charges without using Liskarm. Of course I have to rotate it with Pramanix’s S1 to cover the downtime. Here’s Risk 25 with the ATK SPD reduction. Granted, it's basically just toned down max risk clear, but without Liskarm and Weedy.
Despite what it looks like, the grenade explosion can hit drones.
At SL7, Sesa can make 9 attacks with this skill. At M3, he can make 11 attacks.
The damage is an Attack Multiplier, which calculate after ATK boost (Warfarin, Skadi The Corrupting Heart,…) so it makes uses of buffs quite well too.
Please at least just don’t use it willy-nilly against moving enemies without knowing their speed, or you’re just reinforcing the meme.
The best way to use him would of course be blocking the enemies and have him support allies with -ATK SPD and a burst DPS skill. Each of his attack deal 210-240% ATK per hit, effectively the same as a +110 ~ 140% ATK buff for the duration (without other buffs), and that’s not a small number. It can hurt enemies even with high DEF because of the high damage per hit.
As I’ve said, Sesa is one of the best partners for Rosmontis. The walls are chonky af and blocked enemies will receive more physical damage, which both can do a lot of. Blocked enemies by the wall also loses some DEF as well, so it's even better. The ATK SPD reduction will help keep the wall alive somewhat. Mountain S2 works a little less, as he has his own amazing regen already so using Sesa to reduce enemy's ATK SPD is a bit unnecessary.
But, you know what else can be done with this skill? Brace yourself for a crazed delusion of an AoE Sniper fanatic. Or skip, actually it’s better if you skip.
The skill can be used as an anti-ranged-enemy skill, preferably caster. Tell me, what kind of enemy walk slowly and also would occasionally stop momentary every couple second? That’s right, ranged enemies. At the same time, those enemies start moving just barely faster because they get reduce attack speed, which means they will then move faster toward your other, shorter ranged ops. Think of the shielded archer in CC#5, they attack so fast that they move quite slowly aren’t they? This has 2 small problems, 1 is that Sesa doesn’t prioritize ranged enemies and 2 is that sometime there are a few ranged enemies that you don’t want them to move faster, for example, Faust. Okay now forget you ever read this segment.
Not available yet. Maybe check back after it was released.
There is not much to argue for Sesa, unfortunately.
As much as I like using AoE Snipers, Sesa (and W) specifically, the general consensus was that they aren’t generally great. Worst part is, most of the drawbacks stem from just having the baseline stats of being an AoE Snipers, or just being AoE in general because HG hates AoE. Their long range is quite amazing though. Sesa himself also face competition with W and Meteorite, who is much easier to use (even with their active skills and not the passive skills).
However, I do think people harped on his S2 way too much. They basically saw the delayed detonation drawbacks and deliberately discarded the rest of his kit (RIP I had a good alliteration going). As theoretically bad as it sounds, it’s not that bad in practice, especially if you use it carefully.
That’s still not to say it’s great or amazing though, but if you want to use him, the skill is not that hard to use.
Still remember that Sesa is a team player, his talent and skill mostly support others. Aside from Rosmontis and Mountain who I have already mentioned, later on, maybe Fartooth S2 would be a fun combo with Sesa too, but I think I’ll play with her S3 more, but who knows, that’s for the future.
For the 20 people out there that use Sesa, how do you find him? I really like using him in my AoE Sniper Squad but sadly he’s one of the first to leave when a map gets tougher, to then only return when I need either his talent and/or his burst DPS (which only occurred cuz im a hipster and didn’t raise the big strong burst DPS like SA and shit).
Anyway, thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time.