Hello again. Our little 3* Sniper who had been useful for most new Doctors finally grew up and gained herself a few new powerful tricks up her sleeves. Now a 5* Marksman Sniper, how does she fare with the previous 3 members? Will she continue to be useful to the Doctors that she had carried? Let’s see it out, here’s our newest addition to the (crowded) Marksmen family, Kroos the Keen Sight, uhhh, I mean, Vice the Keen Glint. Argh no, I mean, here’s 5* Kroos.
Kroos is the newest 5* Marksman Sniper to the game, with a new utility over the previous 3 as well as putting some serious competition to a long forgotten member (but we’re not going to talk about that… yet). Yet she remains really similar to her old self with her multi shot and crit chance & damage, a neat way of showing progression.
Within the 5* Marksmen, Kroos actually has the lowest ATK, but the difference is roughly 10-30 points. They all have the same base attack rate of 1 per second.
Fun fact, all of the 5* Marksmen have the same trust bonus of +75 ATK.
Also I feel like the low ATK stat is expected as she is a free unit and they tend to be gimped (kinda).
As for defensive stats, it’s relatively good. Her HP is only less than the 3 6* Marksmen and May, Platinum, and Stormeye. Her DEF is the highest of all Marksmen (by like a couple points).
But in the grand scheme of things, they are still all squishy. So let’s just move on.
Marksmen in general are known for being really cheap to deploy. Kroos is a welfare though, so she started out higher than regular units from the gacha. Starting from 13 DP cost and ending with 15 at E1, she fortunately has a -3 DP cost from her potentials which are very easy to get from the shop. (or in the rerun shop, or, much much later on, the record restore system, like 3 years from now?)
Range, Trait, Talent
Simple range like any other Marksmen
Attacks aerial enemies first
Another simple one that indicates they are Marksmen. This is also why they used to be called Anti-Air Sniper (AA Snipers).
But really they kinda just murder everything. Especially Exusiai. And especially with buffs/debuffs.
This priority also ignores taunt effects like Shieldguards, but also from allies like Toddifons S1/Lee S2.
In the future (at the time of updating this guide), there's 1 unit that can cause a debuff called Levitate that turn them into "aerial" enemies. For now, the "synergy" isn't really there because that unit also murder quite well. But there should be more units in the future that can do that debuff as well... probably.
– Available at E1: When attacking, has a 10% chance to deal 150% damage and stuns for 0.2 seconds.
At E2, the chance increases to 20%.
Potential 5 increases the damage to 160%.
This is just her base form talent, with one addition of stun. The stun duration is really short though. So don’t think of it like May S2, but rather, think of it like Pallas S2 (but who remembers that skill amirite). It can only be used to stop the enemies’ attack rather than halting their advance, unless you get really lucky.
The damage boost is an Attack Multiplier, which multiplies any +ATK buffs she gets like Warfarin S2. And she does have a +ATK skill herself, though that skill isn't much fancy.
The chance seems low, but if you know about Kroos, you’ll know that she has a lot of attempts to roll for it.
Because the stun duration is shorter than 1 second, she can’t make use of the IS#2 relics that deal arts damage when Stun/Bind/Freeze… somewhat. It’s kinda wacky because the relics check at a global interval so if Kroos manages to stun when it checks, it’ll work, otherwise it, well, won’t.
However, since it’s a stun, it’s enough to immediately stop the Sarkaz Lancer’s speed. *cough* Unending *cough*.
The critical damage is affected by W’s 2nd talent that amplifies damage on stunned enemies because again, every debuff in this game is applied first (except for Suzuran for balance purpose)
Always available – Alternate Operator: When this Operator is assigned to the Control Center, each Alternate operator (Purgatory, Holungday, Radiant Knight,...) increases the Morale of all Operators in the Control Center by +0.05 per hour.
Available at E2 – Combat Techniques; Marksman: When this Operator is assigned to the Training Room, Sniper’s training speed +30%. If the Sniper is also part of the Marksman branch, training speed further increased by +45%.
The first base skill is shared by the other grown up 3* we have: Lava the Purgatory (and in the future, Hibiscus the Purifier). They are basically like the typical CC skill where it’s increased with certain members in it. And this is also similar to the R6S member where, since all 4 get the same skills, they eventually stack up enough to negate morale consumption. But we only have 3 of these alters including on CN. (Hey we still have Fang and Beagle left right? You know, the one that didn't die but somehow people still think they did)
The second base skill, though, is amazing… only when compared to other training skills. I mean, training skills in general aren’t that great because you usually don’t have a ton of masteries going on at the same time, so the only benefit is you getting to flex a little bit faster. Plus it only affects Marksmen. Anyway the training speed on Marksmen is +80%, or in 44.44% less time.
Okay time for her combat skills.
Stats at level 7
ATK +30%, attack deals 2 hits, gain Camouflage, 15 SP cost, 7 initial SP, 13 seconds duration.
Offensive Recovery, manual activation.
M3 gives ATK +40%, 10 initial SP, 15 seconds duration.
Here are some important things about Camouflage. It prevents the target from being targeted by an attack, but does not prevent them from being affected by Area damage (demolitionist, AoE senior caster, Emperor’s Blade...).
There is an exception of skills that seems like it’s dealing area effect, but it just simply “targets” all units in an area (I can’t find a better explanation). For example, Degenbrecher’s disarm ability. It cannot affect Camouflaged units despite looking like an area attack. Or like Sui’s thunderstrike ability, it clearly is attacking in an AoE but it doesn’t affect Camouflage as well.
Each attack now deals 2 hits with +40% ATK, so she now has a 36% chance to proc her talent once per attack, dealing 224% damage for that hit.
But also remember the stun, it also means that Kroos has a 36% chance per attack to cancel the enemy’s attack (assuming they are stun-able). Think of Mudrock Colossus in Twilight of Wolumonde, but also, think of the Floor 3 boss Lost Colossus in IS#2 as well. You don’t have to worry about the stunning attack anymore… 36% of the time. Yeaaaaaah I don’t recommend trusting it. Still pretty okay in Unending though.
This skill is Offensive Recovery. Kroos needs to attack to charge SP (or use Archetto/Guard Ch’en but that’s external support). Her attack rate is 1 per second so it’s pretty much 1 SP/s like Auto Recovery, but it can’t charge in-between waves.
With 15 seconds duration and 15 SP cost, it’s supposed to be a fast rotation skill that is always up every wave. But that’s not necessarily true. You want to have the skill up for the upcoming wave, but you also have to use the skill to dodge enemies or to kill the current wave. Which then means that you might not have time to get back the 15 SP to prepare. Depending on how strong the team is, getting 15 SP back might be an issue without SP support. But then again, that means your team is strong enough… for now.
It’s pretty hard to try using this skill as a budget replacement for Firewatch S1, for many obvious reasons. If you try to put her in a dangerous area like you would with FW, the 15 seconds duration might not be enough, and again, she needs to attack in the downtime to charge her SP.
However, at M3, this skill starts with 10/15 SP, which means Kroos only needs to perform 5 attacks to become camouflaged, which is 5 seconds. Which is a much shorter windup than Firewatch (but longer than April who is instant). If Kroos can survive in 5 seconds, which is usually just 2 ranged enemy’s attack, she is a better “helidrop” than Firewatch (think of 5-3 Challenge Mode, or 6-11). In fact, it’s much closer to April than Firewatch when used in this case. Lots of ranged units have attack intervals that are about 3 seconds or longer, so if Kroos can survive the first and second hit, she can use camouflage then. And unlike April, she can stay and continue fighting afterward.
If you use this skill ever, it’s strictly for the camouflage and maybe at most for its fast rotation somehow. Because while the skill does give +ATK, it’s not as good at killing high DEF enemies as her second skill – which lacks an ATK boost – as weird as that sounds. But you’ll see about that in the next section.
Here’s a quick S1 showcase by RMB. (but like not really and it's April/Archetto showcase instead)
Stats at level 7
Reduces attack interval (-30%), attack deals 2 hits, after firing 40 shots, attack deals 4 hits for the rest of the duration, 40 SP cost, 20 initial SP, 26 seconds duration.
Auto Recovery, manual activation
M2 lowers threshold to 32 hits, 25 initial SP, 28 seconds duration.
M3 reduces attack interval by -37.5%, 35 SP cost, 30 seconds duration.
Her new attack interval is now 0.7 at SL7 and 0.633 seconds at M2 onward. Again I have to mention AK runs in 30 FPS, which does matter occasionally (like Ash’s module), so it’s not 0.625 second as the description would say. In this case, she loses out on 1 attack which is 4 hits due to the slightly longer interval.
She needs to do 40 hits at SL7 or 32 hits at M2 onward to unlock her second form, and with the interval reduction, that’s 14 seconds and 10.133 seconds respectively.
In the first phase, she has a 36% chance to have 1 stun per attack. In the second phase, it’s a 59.04% chance to have 1 stun per attack (every 0.633 second). As for stopping an enemy’s attack, well it’s still RNG-dependent. I still don’t recommend trusting this chance at cancelling the enemy's attack though it is a nice bonus when she can do it.
Not only that, her skill duration also increases, which means her second form is not only activated sooner, but she also has a longer time to perform in that second form. That is 12 seconds at SL7 and about 20 seconds at M3. Massive difference.
Kroos has a blue aura effect with this skill’s first phase, and the effect glows yellow when she is on her second phase.
Despite her S1 being the one with a special utility, this will be her main skill.
She needs to perform at least 16 attacks before getting to her second form, which is not a short time, and her damage is not quite there during this phase. And she has to continuously attack to unlock this second form (which btw, is different from a future mechanic called Overdrive, if Kroos has that Overdrive mechanic, she would be much stronger because her second form is guaranteed). But when she gets there, she can deliver some high amount of damage, even against high DEF.
You wanna know why I never show DPS charts unless it’s like an off-hand comment or isn’t important to my arguments? Because for a lot of characters (like, most of them), it’s misleading, or rather, not the whole story.
There is a lot of comparison to Greythroat (GT), a 5* Marksman that also shoots fast and has a chance to deal more damage. You see some people saying GT has higher skill DPS for both of their S2 at just 200 DEF or higher. That much is true, but then this happens.
How? The trick is Kroos’ skill has a long duration, Kroos attacks fast, and each attack hits 4 times. Against high DEF enemies, where both Kroos and GT will deal nearly minimum damage anyway, delivering more hits as opposed to occasionally dealing a little more damage is more important and Kroos has a lot of hits. So you see how easy it is to rig someone to look better than the other. GT only won against Kroos in a certain range of DEF, not just “higher DEF”.
Kroos loses to GT in following scenarios: when GT can kill during Kroos’ windup, and when she is (or I guess both are) under a time constraint (imagine having two whole minutes to kill a standing-still enemy like in the first video).
Here’s a video with buff/debuff comparison (maybe GT should have crit more and she would have killed Sui)
It’s also not about any kind of buffs/debuffs. Kroos is much better than GT when buffed due to her nature of having a higher and faster amount of hits and a longer duration. GT only wins with buffs when Kroos is busy winding up. (Like, Kroos on her second phase is pretty on par with GT.) It’s also important to consider total damage dealt in 1 skill activation as TacticalBreakfast has pointed out in his mastery guide, because if we are buffing, we are trying to kill this 1 hard-to-kill guy and we need amount of damage as well as raw DPS (see: Passenger and Tachanka, one of the highest DPS in the game, but lasts only 4 seconds)
And that is Kroos' main problem, her damage is backloaded. It takes a while for Kroos to get rolling, but she is deceptively strong when she is there, even without an ATK buff. All the DPS charts pretty much combine both phases to calculate Kroos DPS – which is fair – but it lowers the skill’s true value down.
As for using buffs/debuffs, Kroos need to wind up first, so it's better to wait for that. Some skills actually last long enough for both form though, like Suzu S3, Sora S2 (but like who's still using her unless they don't have Skadance or specifically don't want to use Skadance)
I said earlier that S1 despite having +ATK is still no match for this skill against high DEF, here’s how it looks. S1 just doesn’t have enough duration to do much.
Kroos S1 vs S2 (was actually trying to see how bad Kroos S1 would fare against GT S2 but it was really bad so I compare to her own S2 instead)
Again, do remember that Kroos needs to constantly attack to get to her second form. She needs to be actively engaged in the current wave. The skill has a long enough duration to make up somewhat though. And well, you can also time the skill better. At least her skill is Auto Recovery unlike her competition *cough*.
ON CN ONLY
Trait added: When attacking aerial units, increase attack to 110%.
Preliminary thoughts: pretty okay, but like I said, Marksmen don’t just kill air units. Another multiplier to her damage, although this is calculated after DEF.
Stage 2 (stats boost do not stack, only replace):
Talent improved: When attacking, 20% chance to deal 160% damage and stun the target for 0.2 seconds (from 150% damage). Pot 5 makes it 170%.
Talent improved: When attacking, 20% chance to deal 165% damage and stun the target for 0.2 seconds (from 150% damage). Pot 5 makes it 175%.
Preliminary thoughts: pretty damn good, especially when I said earlier that base Kroos alone already put serious competition to her kin (mostly GT). More crit damage means ATK buffs benefit more, and the module gives her more ATK as the baseline buff. It may look small, but units that hit this fast scale really well with buffs, as you might have seen from Exu module level 3.
Kroos is one of the stronger 5* Marksmen, probably one of the stronger 5* Sniper too. An amazing unit to invest even if you have the other 5* Marksmen built already, but obviously at this point you have to consider it a little more carefully.
S1 is mainly used for Camouflage. This skill doesn’t quite have the damage to make use of its fast rotation most of the time, but I can’t say with 100% certainty just in case of fringe situations (perhaps against Lost Colossus if you want the fast rotation dice roll).
S2 is where she shines, and despite the paper math, she’s better than Greythroat sometimes and just nearly as good as her most of the time. It takes a while to get going and requires continuous fighting for it, but the result is far more than worth it. The stun chance is okay in the second form and it can serve as an attack-cancelling skill, somewhat.
I have been comparing Kroos vs GT for quite a while now, but here’s a recap: GT has higher DPS during her skill, but it has a shorter duration, Kroos has longer duration so the total damage dealt is higher but has an overall lower DPS; GT has faster rotation/shorter duration but for a roughly equal downtime (30 Offensive Recovery SP vs 35 Auto Recovery SP); When using buffs/debuffs, if GT can kill when Kroos is busy winding up, she’s better (bosses vs elites vs big HP sponge vs defender-type blablabla), and if you compare with only Kroos S2 phase 2 (by go through phase 1 beforehand), it’s roughly even with GT.
Also I haven’t mentioned how bad Greythroat’s Offensive Recovery is either. When putting everything together, GT might have better damage when her skill is up but it’s fairly rough to charge it back so Kroos just surpasses her eventually because she can just cast her skill earlier and/or more often. It's the same thing I said to Ebenholz (a future unit), high damage in theory means nothing if you can't feasibly put it to use. (except in GT's case the solution is fairly simple)
Finally, and most importantly, upgrading 5* Kroos will get you some materials back because of the Alter system, so as an investment for a 5* Marksman, she is technically cheaper than her kin. If you have no 6* Marksman and are trying to build the first one, Kroos is your best bet – economic and good.
So what do you think about 5* Kroos? 3* Kroos is still too great for her price, but while 5* Kroos is not necessarily cost effective, she is definitely an upgrade. Whether or not you can justify that upgrade though, it’s up to you. If you have built her, how’s your experience with her?
Anyway, thanks for reading and I'll see you next time.