Should You Summon: Gala Beast Volk
Disclaimer: The opinions below are written by GamePress and do not actually reflect Nintendo or Cygames.... maybe. If they somehow do, it's merely coincidental!
Welcome to another edition of the Should You Summon article, an opinion piece to help you decide whether you should summon for the latest units or not. Another month goes by, and another Gala banner announces its presence to tempt your summoning savings. This time around the banner brings along only one new unit, but with the announcement that the next Rise of the Sinister Dominion fight is approaching, it may just be the power boost you are looking for to take on this challenge.
While it is still hard to explain why exactly some events of the first part of Chapter 21 occurred, all it means is that the newly released wind Gala dragon is that of Volk’s Beast form, or the form which Volk takes during the second phase of his associated Agito fight. Time will tell as to whether his arrival marks a new series of Gala dragons based on the remaining four Agito boss fights in the game, or if this is just a one off while the story sets up to shoehorn in another series of thematic Gala dragons. Either way, we can appreciate the details they have put into Gala Beast Volk that reflect the moves he performs as a boss fight for now.
Being a wind dragon, his main competition as of now is that of the wind Gala dragon, Reborn Zephyr, who has an excellent passive ability and dragon form to dish out rapid damage to his enemies. To set him apart from Reborn Zephyr, the developers have risk-reward system into his passive abilities that those who are willing to learn the mechanics of fights will reap the most out of him.
Starting with his first passive Fangs of the Fangless, it grants all wind attuned adventurers a straight 100% strength increase. His second passive ability Plague of Weakness provides further benefits to the base adventurer including:
- Increased chance of inflicting any affliction by 100%
- Increased duration of poison and stormlash affliction by 30%
- Increased damage to poisoned foes by 15%
- Increased damage to stormlashed foes by 15%
The combined effects of all these damage boosts give him a slight edge for raw damage over the passive provided by Gala Reborn Zephyr. However, due to this it comes at a cost of a reduction of affliction resistances to the user by 150% as stated in his second ability. As a result, this will make you highly prone to receiving any afflictions that the enemy can apply with their attacks unless you significantly stack affliction resistance prints. This is ill advised however as it significantly decreases your damage output, to the point where it would just be better to run Gala Reborn Zephyr as your choice of dragon. As such, to make the most out of his passives you will need to learn the mechanics of a fight to reduce your chances of getting afflicted and avoid fights which have unavoidable attacks which inflict afflictions, such as Legend Ciella.
Both passive abilities provide additional effects tied to Gala Beast Volk’s dragon form. To best explain them we must first talk about his unique skill, which behaves similarly to his respective fight. His dragon skill Lunatic Deliverance grants the user the ‘Blood Moon’ effect, grants the entire team a team strength amp (maximum team strength amp level of 3), and activate ‘skill shift’, turning the skill into Lunatic Desolation, which will become immediately usable. While the user has the ‘Blood Moon’ effect going, it provides additional benefits every 3.5 seconds as stated in his second passive ability Plague of Weakness:
- The user is granted one stack of the ‘Moonlit Rage’ effect
- Surrounding enemies will be dealt 1 hit of 258% damage, in which 10% of the damage inflicted will be restored as HP to the entire team (recovery cap at 10% of each adventurer’s maximum HP)
The ‘Moonlit Rage’ effect is tied directly to the Lunatic Desolation skill, which will consume all stacks of this effect and the ‘Blood Moon’ effect to deal damage surrounding enemies and inflict stun at an 180% base chance. Do note that, besides tapping the associated icon, the skill will also automatically be used if it still has not when the user’s remaining shapeshift time runs out. The amount of damage that you can utilising this skill though depends on the amount of stacks of the ‘Moonlit Rage’ effect you are able to acquire while in his shapeshift form. These damage numbers are as follows:
- 0 to 3 stacks: 1 hit of 1,098% damage
- 4 to 6 stacks: 1 hit of 1,618% damage
- 7 to 9 stacks: 1 hit of 2,244% damage
- 10 stacks: 1 hit of 3,600% damage
If you simply acquire ‘Moonlight Rage’ stacks by using the ‘Blood Moon’ effect alone during the entire duration of you shapeshift without taking damage or increasing you dragon duration via other abilities, you will naturally 4 stacks of this effect. If you wish to acquire more stacks of this effect, you must utilise a new mechanic that has been implemented to this specific dragon as described in his first passive ability Fangs of the Fangless. This grants the user a dragon strike that perform almost identically to that of an adventurer strike, but this time you can charge an attack while in dragon form. While charging his dragon strike, the user can receive a stack of the ‘Moonlit Rage’ effect 0.5 seconds after it is fully charged, and an additional stack for every second of uninterrupted charging you are able to perform, up to a maximum of 9.5 seconds. When you do release the dragon strike, it will deal 3 hits of 314% damage to enemies in front and reduce their defence by 10% for five seconds (does not stack).
If you thought we were done discussing his dragon kit, he possesses two final capabilities that the developers have granted him. The first is that the third strike of his standard attack combo can inflict the stormlash affliction onto foes. The second is that, whenever the user’s shapeshift or hybrid shapeshift (such as Gala Notte) ends, they will be inflicted with poison for 12 seconds, which will deal damage equal to 10% of the user’s HP every 2.9 seconds. Upon exiting shapeshift, the user will also lose all ‘Blood Moon’ and ‘Moonlit Rage’ effects, and the user’s initial skill will reset.
As you can see, there truly is a lot to go through when describing the capabilities of the Gala dragon. I’m sure though that you wish to have a simplified version to best utilise him in combat. For most scenarios, the best way to output damage for him is to activate the ‘Blood Moon’ effect by using the Lunatic Deliverance skill, and then performing either force strike-cancel or 2 standard attacks into a force strike-cancel technique.
A force strike-cancel is a method in which the user cancels the end lag animation of an attack by performing a dodge roll, allowing you to utilise your next attack sooner without needing to wait for the entire duration of the user’s animation. This method is preferred as it takes full advantage of the excellent modifiers and support utility that his dragon strike has, while still acquiring around 4 stacks of the ‘Moonlit Rage’ effect naturally to attain a respectable Lunatic Desolation finishing skill.
The other scenario is to charge his dragon strike before a break of a boss fight to accrue 10 stacks of the ‘Moonlit Rage’ effect, and to make the most out of his ridiculous 3600% damage modifier when an enemy is in broken state. If you are wondering why, it is not preferrable to do this outside of punish an enemy break state, it is since accruing those 10 stacks of the ‘Moonlit Rage’ effect will take up the full duration of the shapeshift to achieve. As such, its hard to argue using this one skill over a dragon strike that can be used up to 6 times during the entirety of the shapeshift and can have a skill finisher to boot.
While his dragon form is quite strong, the lack of a strong skill option to combo with excellent standard or dragon strike attacks does mean he falls short of the power that Gala Reborn Zephyr dishes out during it shapeshift. Its hard to argue that Gala Beast Volk can beat his competition when Gala Reborn Zephyr not only boasts an excellent standard attack combo, but a dragon skill with excellent damage modifiers that can be used twice while shapeshifted. The only advantage he can provide for dragon effectiveness is his ability to generate a team strength amp and his defence debuff, both of which are solid team utility options. The benefits of team strength amp only grow with multiple Gala Beast Volk users, as you would be able to maintain high levels of it without too many difficulties through a combination of Lunatic Deliverance skill and amps generated by other adventurers. As such, players will most likely reap the benefits of Gala Beast Volk more in a cooperative setting rather than a solo setting where you will probably have only one Gala Beast Volk dragon to use.
Reflecting upon the current endgame bosses that wind has access to, its tough to justify using Gala Beast Volk in the Legend Ciella fight when all arena wide attacks that she performs will either afflict bog or freeze on the user due to the penalty of the Plague of Weakness ability. In a cooperative setting, you would have to be reliant on your support teammates to output shields from a skill share to nullify the arena wide attacks, which will probably not be consistent throughout the fight unless player with others you can coordinate with. In the Master Jaldabaoth fight however, there no arena-wide attacks which inflict affliction, so the only concern you must worry about is dodging his attacks which apply bog. Players will also reap the benefits of team strength amp more in a Curse of Nihility environment, while the ability to build up more stacks of ‘Moonlit Rage’ at the beginning Phase 2 may make the process of cleaning up the summoned Nidhogg enemy a lot easier. The other advantage he boasts in being an excellent enabler of poison punisher effects due to his innate boosted affliction rate and duration allowing users to overcome the high base poison resistance of Jaldaboath.
Of course, like previous Gala units there is also a good chance he will be designed to also excel in the next endgame content release considering how close it is. In this case, it is the Iblis’s Surging Cascade Rise of the Sinister Dominion fight, which requires wind adventurers for the expert difficulty, and light adventurers as well for the second phase of the master difficulty. Besides the ability to generate team strength amps, for the developers to favour Gala Beast Volk over Gala Reborn Zephyr the boss would have to have a high base chance of both the stormlash and poison affliction to make the most out of his abilities to significantly increase the chances afflicting both afflictions. Allowing him to be enabler of stormlash and poison punisher effects would alleviate him for usefulness over Gala Reborn Zephyr. The boss would probably not have arena-wide affliction attacks to also reduce the penalty of having no base resistance to any affliction tied to specific attacks.
Unfortunately though these are just assumption, and as soon as the banner ends, the Iblis fight will be released. As such its unknown as to whether he truly will be much better than Gala Reborn Zephyr, who already is an excellent wind dragon.
On Summoning Rates and Wyrmsigils
- Gala banners have a boosted 5-star rate of 6%, up from 4%
- Being the only focus unit of the banner, Gala Beast Volk has a summoning focus rate of 0.8%.
- Besides the focus unit, Gala Notte and Gala Luca are sparkable to tie in with the incoming release of the Iblis’s Surging Cascade fight. The developers have also funnily enough made all version of Ranzal available to be sparked from the banner as well. This also includes Child Ranzal and the 4-star permanent adventurer Summer Ranzal. I would only recommend sparking for the Gala units if you wish, as both Child and Summer versions of Ranzal are quite underwhelming, especially in the case of Summer Ranzal being a 4-star adventurer.
Final Verdict: See below
Gala Beast Volk will for a lot of players be a case-by-case scenario as to whether you require his services or not. I would recommend summoning for him if:
- You do not possess Gala Reborn Zephyr
- Your solo team wind dragon line up is underwhelming
Besides these two cases, he doesn’t feel necessary to summon if you are already in the possession of Gala Reborn Zephyr, as they perform similarly damage wise. While Gala Beast Volk may have a slight advantage over Gala Reborn Zephyr when it comes to his potential in the Rise of the Sinister Dominion fights, it’s not significant enough to write off the other dragon still being excellent. If you are currently strapped for summoning currency, it may be better to wait for the next banner preview, as the units released with it will most likely perform great in the next endgame fight due to their coinciding release. There is also a good chance that an anniversary Gala banner a month away will either present Gala Beast Volk at focus rates again or be available to spark from. As such, it may just be better to wait a month to see how valuable he proves to be for you before you make your decision to go for him.