Should You Summon: September 2021 Prize Showcase Ft. Cecile and Civilian Leif
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Welcome to another edition of Should You Summon, an opinion piece to help you decide whether you should summon for the latest units or not. The start of another month has brought with it a Prize Summon Showcase, featuring two adventurers who may or may not be designed (probably are) to provide a quality-of-life improvement to tackling the recently released Iblis’s Surging Cascade fight. Like other similar showcases, this banner provides an additional item on top of the adventurer dragon that you summon, with the greater the item value making it rarer to attain. Like their namesake though they should be treated as additional prizes to the real stars of the banner, and not the sole reason to spend your wyrmite or tickets on.
The Knights of Alberia event has introduced one of Leif’s former comrades, Cecile, as the first rapid-fire manacaster unit in the wind element. If you aren’t already familiar with this weapon archetype you most likely have not been exposed to the incredible power and utility that the current 3 rapid-fire manacaster units bring to both Legend Agito and Master Rise of the Sinister Dominion endgame fights. All of them offer an ease-of-use factor by simply allowing the character to be repositioned while doing its main force strike damage. Furthermore, they provide utility options that allow them to excel at countering some of the annoyances that players run into whenever they undertake these fights, such as dispelling specific buffs or shredding the overdrive gauge during a berserk phase.
To understand as to whether Cecile has a place among these adventurers, we must first digest each component of her kit to see how it synergises together. We’ll start with her unique Manachew gauge, which is tied to the Potent Placebo passive ability. This gauge works somewhat similarly to the previously released adventurer Pecorine, whereby filling her gauge utilising her second skill granted her an empowered force strike and variation of her first skill while the gauge depleted over a set amount of time. Here, Cecile is provided more avenues to fill her unique gauge mechanic and maintain uptime on the effects it provides, but at a slight reduction to the potency of her improvements.
For Cecile to fill her Manachew gauge she can do one of three actions:
- Utilise her first skill Chomp Some Manachew (SP cost of 6,200), which fills the user’s gauge by 50%.
- Utilise her second skill Munch on a Manachew (SP cost of 6,200), which also fills the user’s gauge by 50%.
- Fill 50% of the gauge when the users shapeshift is undone.
By filling the Manachew guage Cecile is granted the following effects while it begins to deplete over a set amount of time:
- The user’s defence is increased by 20%.
- The user’s skill damage is increased by 10%.
- The user is provided an 8% increase to the rate in which her skill gauge’s fill.
- The user’s force strikes are empowered by roughly 6%.
On top of these four effects, both of her skills will be empowered to new variants to make the most of these boosts. Her first skill transforms into Scatterfall, which deals 30 hits of 73% damage (total of 2,190% modifier) and applies stormlash. Her second skill meanwhile transforms into Poisonblast, which deals 10 hits of 115% and 1 hit of 987% damage, afflicts poison and grants the user a strength amp (maximum team amp level of 2). Do note that the poison she inflicts with this skill has an extended application time of 21 seconds, up from the usual 12 seconds that most poison afflictions typically last for.
To ensure that players can maintain as much uptime as possible on the benefits of the Manachew gauge while it is depleting, the Potent Placebo passive ability comes with one last bonus. While the user is performing her empowered force strike, if they are hit by an attack that could be avoided with the damage immunity provided by skills, the user will automatically dodge the attack and be provided with a 10% refill to their Manachew Gauge. To combo nicely with this perk, Cecile’s second passive ability Dodge Charge will fill her first and second skill gauges by 20% whenever she dodges an attack (15 second cooldown).
To summarise her kit, Cecile is designed to act as a dual afflicter within the wind element through her ability to apply both stormlash and poison afflictions. This ability quite nicely ties into the Iblis’s Surging Cascade fight, where players are required to afflict a certain affliction, determined by the melody that the boss is currently exhibiting, to ensure that the boss does not apply additional buffs or corrosion stacks in expert difficulty, or a full team wipe in master difficulty. In this situation, Cecile has the option to either focus purely using her enhanced first skill or second skill depending on the melody, allowing her to meet the melody conditions without too many problems if additional affliction skill shares are equipped. If you pair her up with a unit who brings along a poison resistance down skill or skill share, as well as equipping the latest Gala dragon Gala Beast Volk, Cecile will have boosted chances to inflict poison. This is important in the Iblis fight, as this boss exhibits full resistances to all afflictions besides the one that he is currently weak to based on which melody boon he has. For this instance, by using the poison resistance down skill Cecile will be apply the poison affliction even while Iblis has the Hell’s Melody boon up, enabling for dual punishers and faster clear times.
Besides this benefit, the Iblis fight also exhibits a lot of attacks where the player can take advantage of her automatic dodge ability while force striking as he performs a lot of attacks which can be dodged by using a skill. This should enable her to improve her uptime on the benefits of the Manachew Gauge, which enables her as one of the best damage options within the fight. Even outside of the Iblis fight, the automatic dodge ability is an additional quality of life perk that further makes the job of using this weapon archetype easier than what it already is.
Outside of this scenario, being a rapid-fire manacaster user enables her to gain more SP than the typical weapon type, which combined with her skill haste bonus during the activation of her Manachew Gauge, allows her to unleash her skills quite frequently. The reason why I make this point is that these benefits enable her to be a relatively good amping unit in wind by churning out her second skill, which has no internal cooldown. Combine this with her excellent skill damage modifiers and relatively brief animations, and you possibly have one of the best damage choices for the wind element. Her only core weakness of her adventurer kit, that being the downtime in between recharging the Manachew Gauge when it is empty, can be subsidised by utilising a dragon then, or simply saving her first and second skills to be immediately used to refill her gauge back up in no time.
With all that I’ve discussed your probably thinking does she belong within the upper echelon that the other rapid-fire manacaster units in the game are in? Well, not quite.
The Legend Ciella fight continues to be an innate roadblock when it comes to the specific it utilises to successfully undertake relatively quick and consistent completion. This team conisists of an excellent dispeller in the form of Gala Notte, an excellent damage and overdrive shred unit in the form of Gala Ranzal, the doublebuff enabler Templar Hope and the critical hit enabler Dragonyule Xainfried. Unfortunately for Cecile, her kit does not exhibit any of the qualities that would enable her to be a solid meta replacement for the units within this team, as she does not provide dispels or the overdrive shred needed to make the Berserk phase of the fight a breeze. It is not to say though that she can’t get a clear given she still has great damage for the wind element, but it does reduce her value to be summoned right now. Because of this reason, I can only recommend summoning for Cecile if you currently do not possess a strong damage unit within the wind element, whether cooperatively or in a solo setting, or you do not possess either a good stormlash or poison afflicter if you are planning to tackle the Iblis’s Surging Cascade fight.
There are a wide variety of co-ability choices that you can select to get the most out of Cecile’s damage output. I would begin by recommending a typical Wind Boost, strength and skill damage boons found on Mona, blade adventurers and skill damage adventurers respectively. The best in slot options for strength and skill damage backline will be Yukata Lathna and Dragonyule Xainfried, as they allow Cecile to get to her dragon faster and provide boons when the shapeshift ends. If you did not get Mona while the Persona Scramble crossover was out, you could either consider running a skill haste co-ability to allow her to output her amps faster, or a critical rate boost found on dagger adventurers. Nino is also a solid option as backline as she provides the Combo = Critical Rate chain co-ability, where players attain a 1% critical rate boost per 10 hit combo, up to a maximum of 20% (resets when a combo ends). The adventurer Gala Notte also provides a solid chain co-ability option as a dagger adventurer in the form of Combo = Shapeshift Prep, which fills her dragon gauge by 3% per 50-hit combo.
With the release of the Iblis’s Surging Cascade fight, wind adventurers now have access to running 7 wyrmprints on a weapon. Assuming the poison and stormlash afflictions are available to be applied to a boss, the following setup is recommended to get the best out of her damage:
- Memory of a Friend (Flurry Strength +20%)
- Sweet Surprise (Stormlash Punisher +25%)
- The Lurker in the Woods (or equivalent Force Strike +50% wyrmprint)
- The Plaguebringers (Poison Punisher +25%)
- A Small Courage (Skill Damage +20%)
- Savage Hawk (Lance’s Boon) (Sword Psalm III)
- Crown of Light (or equivalent Skill Damage +20% wyrmrprint)
After being introduced into the game more than a year ago, Leif dons a new attire and changes element to continue the fight to bring peace to Alberia. While it is questionable as to how exactly he can blend in with the common populace with his ‘casual’ attire, what he does bring is a kit oriented with applying debuffs that provide a wide range of benefits. Will they be able to compete with the excellent hybrid damage and support that the popular Gala Prince brings to the table? Let’s find out.
Starting with his first skill Gallant Sparrow at a cost of 3,150 SP, it deals 1 hit of 1,783% damage to enemies directly ahead, applies a 10% adapative suppression debuff for 10 seconds, and inflicts the enemy with paralysis. If you have forgotten about the adaptive suppression debuff that was recently introduced with Yukata Cleo, this is a perk which decreases the damage dealt by enemies to an adventurer if said adventurer has an elemental advantage to it, or the attack deals non-elemental damage. His second skill meanwhile, at an SP cost of 6,880, will deal 3 hits of 437% and 1 hit of 817% damage to enemies directly ahead, lower their light resistance by 5% for 10 seconds, and grant the user a strength amp (maximum team amp level of 2).
As you can see these SP costs seem rather high for the amount damage and support utility that they bring to the table. This is most likely to offset the unique force strike Civilian Leif is granted as a way to generate SP slightly faster than a usual sword adventurer thanks to his unique force strike that is tied to the Pledge of Justice passive ability. This ability first grants him a 20% increase to the damage dealt by his force strikes, as well as providing knockback immunity while he is both charging his force strike up and undertaking the animation of it. The unique force strike that the ability provides is an additional second hit to the normal sword force strike that other adventurer of the same weapon class have access to. This second hit will deal 305% damage, generate 690 SP, and has a 50% chance to inflict bleeding for 15 seconds. The bleeding debuff that he inflicts will deal 71% damage every 4.9 seconds. As such, it is recommended to play him by initiating a single standard attack and then performing his unique force strike to make the most out of its power. To round things off, his final passive ability Debuff Skill Time increases the duration of his debuff abilities by 20%. In simpler term, it means any of his debuffs that has a duration of 10 or 15 seconds will now be extended to 12 or 18 seconds respectively.
Overall, Civilian Leif boasts a straightforward but easy to use kit that provides great support utility in several different areas. Looking at endgame light content as of now, while his damage and support utility is excellent, it isn’t outstanding to the point that other solid options within the light element don’t exist. In the Legend Tartarus fight, the light element already possesses strong adventurer which can shred the overdrive gauge during berserk, somewhat neutering his force strike benefits. The paralysis affliction as well is useless due to the boss’s high resistance to it, making it hard to choose him over his competition which applies flashburn. His support utility, meanwhile, while great, can also be matched by a unit such as Gala Prince, or is not as valuable as the dispel requirements that a unit like Gala Audric can handle.
In content with the Curse of Nihility debuff though, its hard to argue that Civilian Leif is one of the better light units when it comes to maintaining paralysis uptime, with great damage and support utility. This is especially true for the Master Iblis fight, in which players will need to afflict the boss with paralysis a certain number of times while the melody that does not make him immune to the affliction is up to avoid a wipe. However, while he is a very solid option for this fight, there are also other great alternatives already in possession when it comes affliction. Whether it is the 5-star limited adventurer Mitsuhide, or the 4-star permanent adventurer Amane, players most likely some access to a solid paralysis inflictor for the light element. Due to this reason, I can only recommend summoning for Civilian Leif if you wish to bolster your solo light team in endgame fights, or just wish to complete endgame fights with the Curse of Nihility debuff always present as quickly and consistently as possible.
Co-ability backline options for most of the light element will typically boil down to the light boost, skill damage and strength boons that are provided from Peony, wand adventurers and blade adventurers respectively. If you were unable to summon for Peony or do not possess her, a solid alternative to her co-ability will be a standard critical rate boon provided by dagger adventurers. In particular, I would recommend either Fritz or Mitsuhide as your backline choice, as they provide the Combo Time chain co-ability that allows Civilian Leif to maintain flurry effects activated from high hit count combo strings easier.
For wyrmprints, assuming both the flashburn and paralysis afflictions are available against a specific boss, the following setup provides a good hybrid between bolstering his force strike damage while maintaining the typical flurry and skill damage bonuses:
- Extreme Teamwork (Flashburn Punisher +25%)
- Memory of a Friend (Flurry Strength +20%)
- Spirit of the Season (Paralysis Punisher +20%)
- The Queen of the Knife (Flurry Devastation +10%)
- The Warrioresses (Force Strike +40%)
- Any 2 Skill Damage wyrmprints available from the Rise of the Sinister Dominion fights
If only one affliction is available in a fight, a decent alternative would be to run the Dragonyule Dreaming wyrmprint, which provides Bleeding Punisher +10% to make the most of the bleeding debuff he applies with his forcestrike.
On Summoning Rates and Wyrmsigils
- Prize Showcases offer the usual 4% 5-star summoning rate, but with the addition of claiming a prize per summon. Check the in-game banner information to see the specific items on offer and their respective rates to claim them.
- Cecile and Civilian Leif have an individual focus rate of 0.5% respectively.
- Besides these two adventurers, the dragons Midgardsormr Zero and Lumiere Pandora can also be sparked from the banner.
Final Verdict: Skip unless you require Cecile
While Civilian Leif is a respectable light unit within the game, his inability to stand up above the rest of light’s solid damage options, especially in regard to maintaining paralysis uptime, make him a hard recommendation to summon for. Cecile meanwhile ends up as another excellent addition to the growing catalogue of wind adventurers that have been offered over the past year. However, if you already have the means to tackle the Iblis’s Surging Cascade or Ciella’s Wrath fights it will most likely be more beneficial to skip this banner and begin saving for the summoning banners offered at anniversary, which is in less than a month’s time.