Arknights: Ling S3 fusion logic and relevant info

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Hello again. Ling is here along with the strongest laneholder unit in the game, the Big Dragon. Ling and her dragons (on S3) had been repeatedly referred as the simplest option to just roll over the enemies with BIG STATS. While her gameplay is truly simple, sometimes merging the small dragons to a big one can be a little intricating, or at the very least, interesting.

Let's find out in full details how does it really work.


First of all, I have created the most condensed phrase I can think of to describe their behaviour.

Merging takes priority to fuse into the dragon in range of the latest deployed dragon, and takes the behaviour of the previous small dragon in the tile.

Too complicated? Here’s case by case. I'll note A, B, and C as first, second, and third deployed dragon, cuz I don't want to type those out.

Simplest case.

first casefirst case 2nd variant

Since B is deployed last, and A is in its range. A becomes the Big Dragon.

Next case, but it's three-in-one.

second case

B is deployed last, but since no one is in its range, A is technically the “last deployed” dragon, and since B is in range of A, B becomes the big dragon, taking the direction of B.

Just these 2 tricks alone are enough to use Ling. When merging, the dragon instantly refreshes its HP, which is now 7k.

Second case allows you to move the dragon toward the tile it is facing. Not only that, you can also change its facing direction as well. You can use this to hold this area first and then move forward to the next area later on. Or you can also use it to completely refresh its status (I'll explain this later). For example, you can do this:

relocating dragon
having 2 parallels dragon and now regret it? Just move them slightly to face the same tile and now whoever on that tile is doubly fucked!

Anyway, here's the last case.

third case

Well like I said, last deployed dragon takes priority. B was deployed “last” before C, so B get merged into C. Of course if C was facing either A or B, those guys will be the big dragon, since it’s just the first case but with a third wheel.

Status of Big Dragon after Merging

What about the second clause of my general rule?

Takes the behaviour of the previous dragon in the tile

Well, we have established that 2 dragons will form into a big one and that they have to be on a tile that one of the two was occupying before.

So, when merging, the Big Dragon will continue to behave as what the small dragon in that same tile did. If A was merged into B, Big dragon will be just like B previously, keeping all of its buffs, debuffs, elemental damage, and aggro level.

first case buff
Big Dragon on buffed smol dragon → keep buff
second case buff
Big dragon not on buffed smol dragon → no buff
first case debuff
Big Dragon on burning smol dragon → continue burning
second case debuff
Had to retreat Exu to have DP for big dragon lul. Also you should get the drill by now, no burning.
elemental damage
Same elemental damage (it got hit after transformed lul)

In fact, we don’t “create” a new dragon. The best way to think about it is that the old one “transformed” to the big dragon.

We don’t usually buff summons, so only the aggro and debuffs are more important. For example, we have long duration annoying debuffs like Talulah’s burning breath, elemental damage Corrosion, or acid slugs. If you aren’t careful, you can create a big dragon that is still being affected by those things. Granted, with roughly 7k HP and 800 DEF and 20 RES and can kinda be easily replaced, it’s not much of an issue.

But if you do buff summons, and more especially with Aak, you can use Aak to buff the small dragon, have it takes all the damage, then transform it to Big Dragon, having full HP but now with +50% ATK and +50 ASPD.

And I think that’s that for their merging behavior (wait didn’t I use this word with “u” above?). It's kinda simple tbh, just like the rest of her gameplay.

Miscellaneous tidbits

There are some more miscellaneous info I can give, for example:

  1. When merging, it triggers Ling's second talent, granting her only 1 stack, i.e. 3/4 SP and +3% ATK. This is again because only 1 dragon is consumed to fuse, the other one "becomes" the Big Dragon

  2. The DoT from S3 doesn’t affect the Duelist Croc when blocked, even if the dragon itself is blocking it. This is probably because that DoT, despite surrounding only the dragons, is calculated using Ling’s ATK.

  3. For a ranged attack that is coming toward a small dragon, turning it to a big dragon doesn’t stop it. The Big Dragon simply takes the hit. If the small dragon can survive, it’s better to wait until the attack is finished, or move the big dragon away instead. Further reinforcing the idea that we simply “transform” the dragon to a bigger one.

  4. Lots of IS relics can affect summons, most notably, the ASPD, Actor’s Perfume (1% HP/s), +DEF, +HP, and +melee ATK, and of course the book that specifically affects summon from Supporters. But more importantly, the Royal Alliance Treaty (immune damage from Sarkaz) does NOT work on summons, also included Mon3tr.

  5. The Higher Form only gives +%ATK to its base stats as an ATK buff (similar to Warfarin S2). This means that the +80% ATK from being a Big Dragon does not stack multiplicatively with the +100% ATK from Ling S3M3 boost. At most, the Big Dragon “only” gets a +180% ATK from its base stats, ending at about 2k2 ATK, “only.” Also the IS#2 Supporter book that gives +50% ATK to summons is also only an ATK buff as well.

  6. Dragon immediately attacks after becoming the Big Dragon. All Dragons also immediately attack after Ling uses S3. This way you can do 2 Big Dragon attacks nearly instantly, 1 by forming them, then immediately use S3 afterward.

  7. Remember the vent mechanic in Darknights Memoir maps? They don't affect summons at all, even though you can actually decide a direction to them. Same applies to Scene and Magallan's drones, and Mon3tr.

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Random pleb Arknights guide writer on reddit