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Arknights: W In-depth Gameplay Analysis

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Introduction

The second limited unit in Arknights has arrived! As an AoE Sniper, which is my 2nd favorite archetype, she's one of my favorite units. Her kit is also interesting, with excellent utility and top-tier AoE crowd control. In this article I will be attempting to fully analyze the entirety of her kit, so you can see how can W can fit into your squad, and if you want her to be a part of your team.

Overview

AoE Snipers aren't recommended for general use for a variety of reasons. That does not mean they cannot be used for general use if you wish for it, and they certainly have their specific strengths. With long range, splash damage, high evasion, team support damage amplifier, hard crowd control, consistent damage, and a big burst capable to rival that of Firewatch, W entered the Arknights world as a playable operator.

Stats

Offensive stats

Of all snipers, AoE Sniper’s base ATK is one of the highest, losing only to Long Range Snipers and Heavyweight Snipers. And because W is a 6* unit, she will have the highest ATK among the AoE Snipers.  W loses to Ambriel, a Long Range Sniper, by only 40 ATK at max. Shirayuki has her Talent, so there's that too. As with high base ATK units though, their Attack Rate is often is reduced to compensate. AoE Snipers attack once every 2.8s, which is just longer than Long Range Sniper (2.7s), and just faster than Medics (2.85s), AoE casters (2.9s), and Controller Specialists (3.5s).

Defensive stats

Despite that high ATK, their HP isn’t massively shafted to balance it out. AoE Snipers’ HP is actually among the highest of the Snipers, but W’s HP isn’t necessarily notable among her kin. She loses out to Shirayuki, the 4* of her archetype, by 25HP at max. As for DEF, she’s average among the sniper, if not below average. Now that’s for base stats only, W has something else to offer her even more survivability with her kit, which we will get into later on.

Cost

As with any AoE unit in this game, their Deploy Cost is higher than average, and for AoE Sniper, it’s quite bad for one other reason as well. For W specifically, she gets hit by 1 other reason, as she’s a 6* unit, the highest rarity in the game. Starting at 25 base Deploy Cost, she can get as high as 29, gaining 2 extra DP per promotion level. AoE Sniper is one of the archetypes that gain additional Deploy Cost at E2, but there are justifications for it, which we will get into it right below.

Range, Trait, Talent

Range

AoE Sniper has the second longest range in the game, losing only to Ifrit, and tied with Long Range  and Heavyweight Snipers, excluding the side range. 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.

range
From left to right: AoE Sniper's range at E0, E1, and E2.

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 (thank's 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 medicine 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.

Trait

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 effect). AoE casters attack enemies instantly, so it doesn’t work there.

Talent

First talent: Ambush

After being deployed for 10 seconds, gain 40% Physical and Arts Evasion, and become less likely to be targeted by enemies.

At E2, upgraded to 60% Evasion.

visual indicator
An indicator that the talent is working: some red mist appear around W

The first talent is amazing for her survivability, and adding to all of her defensive stats earlier, which turns it from average to good. 40% is admittedly low enough to make the chance inconsistent, but 60% is more than enough. Additionally, W also reduces her target priority from the enemies, which means that they will only target her if she’s the only one in her range (or if she’s deployed last along with Ethan and Manticore and other people with the same thing). So with the two of them combined, where W is less targeted from enemies, AND also dodges 60% of the attack that do come her way, W becomes “tankier” than her stats suggest. Like this meme by 777ucky (which is a bit of an extreme thing)

Now, it may sound like some stupid anti-synergy, since enemies will target her less, making the Evasion redundant. But fear not, as you can also place her closer to the enemies, take the hits as the enemy approaches, and then become safe once the enemies find your other allies. That way, it puts less strain on your frontline blocker. Or it can be used to solo a lane with less healing needed

Side note: Patriot's "further ally on ranged tile" target priority for his spear does not care about the priority change from W's talent, and is thus an amazing way to distract him. I did the math you know, 60% of the time, it works... every time.

It’s even more amazing when you consider the fact that, with W’s deploy cost, she’s more likely to be the second last or last unit deployed. Unless your vanguards can handle the waves up until you have enough for both W and your dedicated lane blocker to shift the aggro from W to that blocker. Well, with W’s talent, now you don’t have to do that, as you can just plop W after anyone and she will still be the lowest priority target, just ensure that she lives for 10s first, and bam, problems solved.

You can’t play this talent quite like Firewatch’s S1 or April’s S2 (woah spoiler alert!), as even though 60% Evasion is a huge number, it’s still ultimately a chance. You also can’t drop her directly down in the middle of a bunch of ranged enemies like April too, as her Talent needs 10s to activate, while Firewatch can just straight up avoid any attack if her skill is up. (no it’s not my Firewatch bias… kinda). As said earlier, you can put her alone to solo a lane with minimal support though, like with someone who has global regen, or just time it in a way that she’ll end up with a little HP left, because it’s not like she has to stay at full health to deal full damage. The talent allows her to solo in a lane in that way, and you can practically save a healer slot when carefully calculated. (just reset the stage til you get the correct RNG roll lul)

However, if you’re like me, and abused AoE Sniper long range to it’s limit, their location is probably going to be away from the frontline by a large distance, a distance that not many enemies can reach without walking through the blockers, then the talent is admittedly not as useful. Of course not all maps are just 1 lane funneling type, so it doesn’t work like that all the time (it does work against large/global range enemy like Mortar or Faust though). Basically, all of that is just to say, this talent really covers most issues that come with her archetype.

The talent is also good at dodging everyone who is pulling for her. cough

Second talent: Ambush

Available at E2. Stunned enemies in W’s range takes 18% extra physical damage.

Now the second talent is also amazing. It’s just like Sesa’s talent except more flexible/accessible. Any enemies that are stunned inside her range will take 118% of any physical damage during the stunned duration, and no spoilers intended, but W’s skills can cause quite a lot of stuns.

This talent is a Final Damage Multiplier, which is a multiplier that is calculated after all enemy’s DEF stat. Which sounds awful, given that the physical damage formula is (ATK – DEF) * Final Multiplier, which lessen the effect of the multiplication. The good news is all Final Damage Multiplier stack multiplicatively, i.e. if we have, say, E2 Pramanix talent working, that’s 118% * 130% = 153.4%. It can snowball fast, if we give Sesa’s talent with 14% as well, that’s 174.876% multiplier to the final damage. You’re not necessarily going to have all of that multipliers all the time, so we’re just having 18% for now. It’s still quite good even if it’s affected by DEF though, as I will argue in S3 section.

Considering that it’s a Final Damage Multiplier though, that means it can increase the minimum damage from 5% to… 5.9% yay. But the more important thing is, this is a debuff to the enemies, which means all allies will benefit from W’s talent, making her a team player. Well, okay, just the physical damage allies, but the physical-damage-dealing allies are more numerous than the arts ones, and unlike Sesa, W can combo with every physical damage ally, unlike Sesa who can’t really teamwork with long range units, and SA (I mean, who would stay alive to be blocked while SA is S3-ing right?). Even if it only boosts physical damage, people like Mostima can still benefit from this talent, assuming if the rest of the squad still deals physical damage.

As spoiled above, W’s skills cause stuns herself, so this is where it gets even better. The stun is applied before the damage instance is dealt (just like any other debuff)

proof
As you can see, the spider outside of W's range takes less damage from the instance of her skill (S1 in this case)
2502 * 1.18 = 2952.36 (rounded down)

Which means, W's skills get the bonus damage by itself, so at E2 she basically has free bonus damage to all of her skills. It is still not a guaranteed damage buff always, as you need the enemies to be inside W’s range to achieve this, and those skills has quite a bit of an explosion radius.

Now I know what you’re thinking, Suzuran also has something similar and it doesn’t work with her own attack, why is that? Well there are actually 2 layers to her Suzuran's talent, she causes sluggish to hit enemies, and then applies Weakening to sluggish-ed enemies in her range, but it kicks in a little too late, even if the slow is applies before the damage. I mean, I’m no HG developer, but I assume it’s to avoid the simple fact that if it works like that, any of Suzuran’s basic attack is automatically amplified, which sounds strong, while anyone else with a similar Final Damage Multiplier debuff has some other working attached to it (below 40% HP, blocked with allies, stunned through skills or allies,…) which doesn’t amplifies their basic attack all the time. But those are all conjectures and guesses, just know that this talent amplifies all of W’s skills if she hits enemies inside her range, and boosts all physical allies at the same time.

That was quite a lot for just 2 talents… now on to her skills.

Skills

RIIC Skills

Always available – Patience: When W is a trainer, increase mastery SPEED for all Sniper by 30%.

Upgraded at E2: if the training is for mastery 3, further increases the training speed by 65%

Available at E2, separated skill – Insipid: When W is a trainer, increases morale consumption by 1 per hour when training a Sniper skill to mastery 3.

This is still a problem for some people, but this type of base skill increases training speed, not reduces training time. A speed increases of 30% led to about 23% reduction in training time, like Ptilopsis’ talent. But unlike Ptilopsis’ talent, any unit in the training room already gains 5% training speed, so it’s actually 35%, which is about 25.92% time reduced.

At E2, the speed remains the same for any masteries except the third one, where it is boosted to 95%, but receive double morale consumption. You can complete mastery 3 in 12h, by then she will lose exactly 24 morale without the Control Center morale reduction.

I shouldn’t diddle around much with base skills, so let’s continue.

First skill: King of Heart

Descriptions

Immediately launches a grenade, dealing physical damage to all enemies in explosion radius and stuns them.

Stats at level 7

310% AoE physical damage, stuns for 2.1s, costs 19 SP, no initial SP, Auto Recovery, manual activation.

Masteries

M3 increases the damage to 350%, stun duration to 3s, and reduces SP cost to 16.

Advanced Details

This skill functions essentially like Meteorite S2. Upon clicking the skill, she will launch an attack with the stats mentioned above. This attack does not affect attack interval… in a way.

W (and Meteorite), performs an attack every 2.8s with no other ATK SPD buffs. Using W’s S1 or Meteorite’s S2 will not change that interval but will interrupt the normal attack that comes with those intervals. Let me put it this way, after they launch an attack, you can wait about 2.5s, use the skill, and W/Meteorite will immediately launch the next attack that comes at 2.8s. It will cancel any attack animation currently ongoing, however, so be careful with that. The clip below will hopefully clarify what I mean.

s1

The explosion has a radius of 1.2 tile. While that increased area sounds not that significant compared to the basic radius of 1, it is 44% larger in area covered, which is more significant than it seems.

Possible usages

Don’t.

Let me backtrack though. The skill is actually just fine, even without the trick I mentioned. You can think of it as if W is shooting out Projekt Red’s S2 but without Red’s talent, which is actually better than it sounds. A bit spoiler again, but it is the only skill in W’s kit that is a near instant AoE stun.

The problem is, if you need this skill from W, something has already gone wrong. The delayed stun from S2 and S3 don’t matter most of the time. Her S2 has less stun duration, but also less cost, her S3 has longer cooldown, but is 5 levels stronger, and so, the time where you need her S1, is when you need to deal with a clump of drones (will explain in S2 section), in less than 33-39s and more than 16-19sconstantly. For that, a suggestion to replace W with an AA sniper is valid, and this is one of the few cases where Meteorite is better, since her S1 blast damage is just too good at not caring who’s in the radius. The other case is when the near instant damage+stun is needed, for example, something like Desolate Desert with the bunch of slugs.

Second skill: Jack in the Box

Descriptions

The next attack instead set a mine that last 2 minutes in a deployable tile (both ranged and melee tiles). The mine will detonate when an enemy is nearby, dealing AoE physical damage and stuns for a duration.

Stats at level 7

250% physical damage, 1.8s stun, 10 SP cost, no initial SP, Auto Recovery, auto activation.

Masteries

M1 reduces the SP cost to 9, damage to 260%.

M3 reduces SP cost again to 8, damage to 280%, stuns duration to 2.2s

Advanced Details

The mine can only be placed inside W’s range, but on any deployable tile. If there are no enemies in range, W will place mine randomly on any valid tile. The mine can be “retreated”, if you don’t like the random targeting because it’s blocking an important spot for your other operator, just click on the mine, then retreat it like any other operator. (It also works for Silence’s drone and Shamare’s doll).

As long as there is an enemy in range, W will plant a mine in their place. She will auto aim the mine at the tile of the enemies is on with the same priority as her normal attack. That is to say, whoever she’s attacking, when the skill is up, she will put the mine on that guy… if possible. What if she cannot place a mine on that tile, but other tiles are free? Well then it’s random as you can see from the clip below, where both valid enemies are on top of another ally, and thus she cannot place the mine. It’s treated as if there are no enemies in her range, because she wouldn’t even attempt to place a mine nearby that tile. Look at this for example.

If there is a valid place on an enemy that is not her current priority, then the mine goes to that guy. In that clip, if I retreat Myrtle, then the mine is always placed there, regardless of her target priority. In this case, it’s probably the next valid enemy that is mine-able that also fit her target priority. In the CN wiki, they said something about if there are 2 enemies in range that is the same priority (least path left to blue box), then it goes to the one with higher HP (if I’m reading the google translate correctly).

The skill converts W’s next attack into planting a mine, and so she will not perform the normal attack for that interval when the skill is up. It is important in a sense that, if the skill is done charging when W just finished her normal attack, she will have to wait for that 2.8s interval to pass before using it. It can be important at times, especially considering that…

The mine takes 1.5s to explode after triggered. It’s a considerable amount of time in conjunction with that attack time earlier.

The triggering range is 1.35 tiles away from the center. Incidentally, the explosion radius is also 1.35 tiles. This means 2 (or 2.5) things.

  • The mines can trigger on someone who’s diagonally away from the tile but not too far. It’s not exactly like 8 tiles around itself like Waai Fu S2 or Phantom S3, but it’s close enough. Quick clip to see how stupid it can potentially be.

    s2radius
  • That also means fast enemies can outrun the explosion as well. To outrun a mine in the longest route, they need to cover 2.7 tiles in 1.5s. Only Sarkaz Lancer so far in this game is able to do so, and only when they gained max speed.

speed
I am speed
  • But the more important part of fast enemies is that, if they are just slightly fast enough, they can run enough distance to reach a different mine and thus triggering more mines than needed in order to kill them. Especially if 2 mines are close together, as someone can just go up to the first one, trigger it, go to the second one, trigger that one as well, and died from the first mine because it was delayed. That means if your other DPS is not enough, you can easily waste a lot of mine after all those times spent stacking them up. The enemies only need to cover at maximum 1.35 tiles per 1.5s, that’s a movement rate of 0.9. Do you know how many enemies have at least 0.9 mvm spd? I don’t actually, please tell me. That of course doesn’t matter if there is no mine stacked and W is just using each one as it comes.
wastemine
also thanks 777ucky for the best example of waste mine (which means it won't be this bad most of the time)

Another important part of the trigger radius is that, despite being confined in W’s range only, it can still be triggered by enemies outside her range. Effectively, with this skill, W has an extra layer of damaging range outside of her base range, which is nothing to scoff at, especially considering that she can use this skill with or without enemies.

Or, if you want to be cheeky, you can find maps where there are non-deployable tiles and point W to that area. This forces the mines to be in a few specific locations only, with some working from your other operators. That way you can guaranteed that there is always a mine in your selected location. And speaking of which, if there are no valid tile in her range at all and she gain a charge for the mine, she will just hold it forever, until a valid tile shows up (see more in the section below). That can be good or bad, depends on how you play your cards (no not the King of Heart card).

If you still remember what I said back in her first skill, you’d be asking why her S1 is used for drones. Well, it’s because the mines cannot hit drones. They cannot be triggered by drone, and they cannot damage drone if triggered by someone else. An explanation is that since the mine is on the ground, its explosion cannot hit drone. Which is a bad explanation, because Sesa’s S2 bombs also stay on the ground, and they hit drones just fine. Sesa is good confirmed???

Some miscellaneous infos about the mines:

  • The mines actually have stats, apparently. None of the stats matter though, since it’s invincible, cannot be attacked, cannot block, and all damages are calculated using W’s ATK.

  • You can see if a mine is triggered or not. When triggered it will start flashing red.

  • If W is retreated, all of the mines are instantly gone, without any damage (same for the 2mins timer).

  • Once a mine is out, it is instantly ready and can be instantly triggered (important for those who plays Techies a lil bit too much).

Possible usages

Best for when you want to deal with constant wave of enemies that is a little bit stronger than trash mobs without paying your mind to W. Since, if they are just trash mobs, her auto attack couple with other operators would be more than enough to clean those. The stacking mines strat doesn’t work that well either given the waste usage against enemy’s speed, but it still works fine more often than not, and is a great way to make use of downtime between wave regardless.

The trigger/explosion radius can be used to extend her range, true, but it should not a strat to be based around, while still worth it to remember when you’re trying to find space to put W. And speaking of space, since the mine need a deployable tile to work, sometimes you may find W not able to bunch up mines together due to the map’s layout, and so it is kinda map dependent. Technically her allies are also fighting for location as well, but as the commander, you should be able to pacify them and plan around it.

Chap 7 has quite many maps with undeployable tiles, that covered the entire or the majority of enemies' path. This make S2 a little bit less favorable in Chap 7, but even then it still kinda works just fine.

quick example
2 quick examples of map with enemies path that is completely undeployable.

Regarding the extend range through the mine’s explosion radius, if a mine is at the edge of W’s range, the enemy that trigger it has a chance to be damaged and stunned from outside of her range, and thus not receiving the damage amp from her E2 talent, so it won't be as strong as it could be, but obviously that depends on what you need at the situation.

This skill is usually compared to Meteorite’s S1, and in the general calculation, W wins out by a little bit (W slightly loses out in ideal conditions for Meteorite, which rarely happen). Technically, Meteorite is still better to deal with drones, as her massive splash doesn’t really care who she’s targeting.

Remember what I said about holding a lane solo back in her first talent? This skill is the best to work with it. Usually, when we’re talking about solo-ing a lane, it’s assumed that the lane’s enemies’ density will be light. Enemies will be appearing in a small amount over an amount of time. The evasion chance then is helpful for not needing much babysitting, maybe for even the whole run, and the fact that the lane has low density means that W will have all the time to stack up mine, and so the extra loss of mine per enemy doesn’t matter either.

For running alongside with other ops, do remember the limitation of deployable tile. To maximize the amount of available mine, it’s generally considered best to place W as forward as possible, as her long range will cover more area. In that case, her first talent will be fully used. As a ranged enemy approaching, they will attack her, since they see her first, where it will miss 60% of the time, but as those enemies move a little further, they will face other operators, by then they will stop attacking W due to the lower priority. It can spread the damage out to multiple operators, making them less likely to be in a low enough HP that they’ll die in the next hit.

If you want to use the long range to push W in the backline to save space for shorter range unit, this skill still works, but in a different way. If there’s no available tile in her range left, but a mine is in 1 of those tiles, you can chain stun the enemy that triggers that mine. Since W has to hold her charge until a space is available, once a mine is gone, W will instantly replace it. Effectively, you get double the stun duration (well it depends on her attack interval at the time, but still), and double damage, making it a pseudo burst damage of sort.

chainstun
Double the stun, double the damage. Great for when you can force the mine to be where you want it to be.

This skill gives consistent and automated damage for an operator that lacks said consistent damage (because of her innate stats). However, covering weaknesses is for the weak-minded fool! Okay calm down just a joke. But if you’re not familiar with AoE Sniper, or any archetype with slow but powerful strike, consistent DPS skill is the way for you to start stepping into learning how to use them, and this skill gives you the most stun uptime for all of W’s skill (note: not stun duration, stun uptime).

There are more issues with S2 than you’d expect, but nothing too major individually. And hey not like every other operator have no issues with their consistent skills.

But if you want a little more explosive, you’ll come to love her third skill, which is intricated, interesting, and is what I’d recommend to master, for a variety of reasons.

Third skill: D12

Descriptions

Place bomb on a few enemies in range, prioritizing enemies with highest current HP. After 3 seconds, the bombs explode, each one dealing AoE Physical damage and stun for a duration

Stats at level 7

Target 3 enemies, dealing 280% damage, stuns 4s, cost 39 SP, 17 initial SP, Auto Recovery, manual activation.

Masteries

M1 target 4 enemies, 290% damage, cost 37 SP, 18 initial SP.

M3 deal 310% damage, stuns 5s, cost 33 SP, 20 initial SP.

Advanced Details

As described, once the bombs latched, it will explode after 3 seconds. This skill has the longest delay from skill activation to stun of all of W’s kit, about 3.5s from tapping the skill to when it explodes.

The bomb has an explosion radius of 1.2, just like her first skill.

If an enemy with a bomb attached die before 3s is up, the bomb immediately explodes and deals the damage and stun. It’s quite hard to actually do it where it matters, because it targets enemies with highest current HP, so one of the enemies has to have the 4th lowest HP among them, but also higher than all of the non-selected enemies, and to be easily killed from that HP amount too.

Regarding her E2 talent, since there is a 3 seconds delay, you’ll find that W may target a bomb on an enemy, but then they walk out of her range before it goes off. Fast enemies are one thing, but it also applies for cases where W is facing perpendicular to the enemies’ path, where her width of range is only 3 tiles, unlike the amazing 5 tiles of length.

All of the damage stacks completely, if all 4 bombs are close together, all 4 affected enemies will take 4 times the damage (or 3 each before mastery). That is a yuuuge burst of damage that not many will survive. If someone survived, they will proceed to be stunned for a long duration afterward, and this skill has the longest stun of all of W’s skills.

Unlike Firewatch, you can easily aim all bombs close together, because it doesn’t have the 1 bomb per tile restriction and enemy tends to clump together when blocked by your frontline. But like Firewatch, I will advocate that stacking all the bombs together is not the only way to use the skill. You can just as well drop this to a scatter group of enemies and expand the stun area massively, split up between 2 lanes (check the enemies’ HP first though) and basically cover 2 lanes at once. 

The bomb’s damage is actually determined on castnot on hit! What that means is, if you are buffing W in order to get one of those orgasm-worthy explosions, you need to buff W first before using the skill. Then the bomb’s base damage is finally determined, and thus dealing that damage after the 3s delay. This may be why the bomb do not show any red number when exploded, unlike the other skills that also has a high multiplier, like Firewatch, but also Meteorite, Sesa… This video will make it clearer.

Thanks to 777ucky (again) with the W nuke video that helped me realized this. I know, it won’t matter most of the time, since people seem to associate buffing with meme-ing, but it’s worth putting it in the back of your mind when you are going for it.

Also, you can also see the effect of W’s E2 talent, as staying on the field will obliterate the Defender, while going off field will only kill the middle guy. Yes, if it’s calculated before DEF, then it’s going to be even more destructive, but as a team support effect, this is probably the better way to balance it, I supposed.

Possible usages

As you can already guess from the description, the skill is best for annihilating a group of enemies close together. It can kill even the tankiest of enemies, or at the very least, badly wounded them. Take the new Guerilla defender with 1300 DEF and 15k HP, at S3M3 lv56, 4 bombs leave the guy with ((935*310%)-1300)*4*1.18 = 7544.9, that’s like half of his HP already.

But I have also said that you shouldn’t feel like you can only use the skill that way. The cooldown is pretty long before masteries, true, so if you just want to delete big group of things, keep doing it. I usually do that too. I just also wouldn’t hesitate to use it for other cases where I really need it. Example cases like where you need this guy down faster, but he’s not with 3 other enemies, or even if he’s alone inside W’s range, you can still use this skill for a 4-5s stun after a 3s delay. It’s not the best way to use this skill, but it’s still good.

When you have a scattered group of enemies and you need to deal with them all, S3 works better than S2. When you want to hit and stun someone that isn't currently being targeted by W herself, S3 also forces W to attack that guy, since it's a multi-target. The fact that there is a 3s delay also works for priming the nuke too. You can start using S3, then while the 3s countdown is going, either the enemies would start clumping themselves in front of your blocker (which is very easy to do), or you can start the pushing/slowing shenanigans.

Because of the manual activation, you can be in control of when you want to blow enemies up, as with the many cases to use this skill I have presented. A controllable burst of damage and long duration stun is just that amazing. What that really mean is, this skill is more flexible to use than people give it credit for. The only problem is the long cooldown before M3, and even at M3, it still has a long enough cooldown to force you to calculate a little bit. You can use E2 Ptilopsis to make the cooldown 23% lower though!

You can combo with other allies to make a huge explosion too, you don’t have to time it yourself with enemies’ waves. The best allies are one that can easily clump enemies together, like Magallan, Suzuran, FEater, Weedy S2 (not S3 because enemies will just die). DEF reduction allies also work, like Pramanix and Shamare. Late shoutout to Manticore S2, but it stuns enemies every hit, and guess what W’s E2 talent can do?

Closing Thoughts

Both her second and third skill are strong in its right, and thus, you can use whatever skill fit your style more. As stated, the first masteries for both skill has their own great stopping point, so you can leave it at that and see for yourself which one you prefer more.

Each skill has their own way to be abused to fit what you need, but remember, W alone won’t the only damage operator in your squad, so you can just adjust the team, and expands your tools’ variety, rather than adjust how a tool is used just to fit what you need. I'd still recommend learning how to use S3, as it is easier to control it, even if S2 always prioritize enemies.

If you are questioning whether or not to invest in W or other lower rarity AoE Sniper, just go with W. A 6* investment is costly, but it’s also worth the price more. There will be cases where Shirayuki, Meteorite, or even Sesa can be better, but before those cases show up, you would already use W enough time before that, and as said, W’s skill is still flexible enough to partially fill whatever you’d need of those lower rarity AoE Snipers. Just don’t be like me and build all of them, well unless you want to.

AoE Snipers might not be great for general usage, because AA Sniper can shoot faster and cheaper to deploy. But if you can work for it, you can beat most of the game with only AoE Snipers and 1 or 2 supportive units (and a little bit of overleveling and bruteforcing). So if you want to start using AoE Sniper, but are afraid of the learning curve, don’t be. You can just slowly learn about them by adding them to your squad that you're already used to play with. And, as said in the first talent section, it can cover a major weakness of the typical AoE Sniper, and coupled with many hard crowd control abilities, W is a great starting location to step in to the world of slow but powerful nuke damage units, because of how lenient her kit is to mistakes (less likely to die, team support effect, low enough cooldown skills, stuns after explosion, target high HP enemies).

Now all that left is to pull W, ezpz.

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Thanks for reading, what do you like or don't like about this post? First time making a post on Gamepress format so it feels a bit weird, even after doing it for so long on Reddit. There are more on r/arknights from me, but I'm not going to port everything over here as it is too much work (for now). Hope you like this post, and I'll see you next time.

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Random pleb Arknights guide writer on reddit

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