Gundam Battle Gunpla Warfare: Free To Play Part Guide - Do 2 Star and 3 Star Parts Hold Up?
- Breaking down the best 2 star and 3 star parts for F2P (Free to Play)
- What holds up under the statistic pressure
- Effects of Artemis parts buff and Code Phi parts
One of the biggest questions we keep seeing come up for free to play players are whether or not some two star and three star parts hold up under the scrutiny of some of the insane four star parts we've seen so far in Gundam Battle Gunpla Warfare.
Today we're going to break that down and mythbust it for you. So let's start with the basics!
Also: HUGE thanks to redditor u/StrawberryClorox for creating the spreadsheet that made these comparisons so much easier.
Are Four Star Parts All They're Cracked Up To Be?
In a game like Gundam Battle Gunpla Warfare, where you can take a base two star part (green) and upgrade it with awakening chips, you might initially feel like upgrading those parts is useful.
After all, using duplicate parts, you can upgrade Ex Skills and Passive Traits, and its much easier to come by green or white parts (like our friend the Guncannon that can be had via free rolls from our friend points), but the benefit isn't always there. When you compare 2 star or 3 star parts to natural 4 star parts, the difference in base values is really large. And without getting too deep into the math, the reason this matters is because if i have 1000 melee defense and you have 1000 melee attack, you will be doing zero damage to me. If this were not the case, base stats would not matter as much. But because this IS the case, base stats become quite important.
Now, prior to the buff to the Artemis parts, and the addition of code Phi parts, we used to have clear and distinct tiers. All 4 star parts had higher values at max than all 3 star. All 3 star had higher stats and values than all 2 star. Etc. It looked like the image below, with the only deviations being the top 3 blue parts.
Of course, you need to remember that Tallgeese Arms, Bearguy Torso, and Rose Arms are actually taking up two slots - so they really don't belong on top. While the total stats are really high for those parts, you're losing an entire piece of armor in a second slot for that total, so the actual value should be halved. When you cut that value in half, the blue parts fit where they ought to. Or at least, it used to be that way.
After the buff of Artemis parts, and the addition of code Phi? Well -- now our chart looks like this for the highest base value parts in the game:
Very different look around here.
So, in most cases -- aka everything but Artemis and Code Phi -- 4 star parts are better than 3 star in base stats. And 3 star parts are better than 2 star in base stats. And 2 star are better than 1 star in base stats. The only potential reason to upgrade a 2 star or 3 star part to 4 star would be because the ex skill or part trait is "better than advertised" -- which is where we come in.
A few more things we need to cover:
- As we've seen from CPWR values, the "strength" of your Gunpla does get inflated a bit by duplicate parts. So while getting Tallgeese II parts with duplicates and maxing them out to gold pieces may seem smart in the short term (and may make your total CPWR 7000+), it will still have lesser stats than a natural 4 star piece and eventually you will need to swap out to a 4 star to have the most powerful Gunpla possible. Sure, your ex-skills will be awesome. But your base armor and defenses won't be, and having awesome ex skills but doing virtually no damage on a 5000 CPWR opponent who has natural 4 star parts with high resistances and defensive values isn't a great feeling.
- There are a lot of parts that CAN be useful in a particular build. Personally, I upgraded Serpent Custom arms to 4 star. Why? Because my long shooter with darn near 10,000 shot attack now gets a 37% shot attack increase in the first 7 seconds of the match for 45 seconds (essentially the duration of the match) which is equivalent to arms that have 3700 shot attack. So losing 400 armor and 600 beam resist for 3700 bonus shot attack makes sense. But if you're looking for parts to build around like this - you're looking for percentage-based ex-skills and part traits that fit a certain role for your build.
- While buffing any part that is 1-3 stars to a 4 star part seems perfectly fine, I would still highly recommend you save purple awakening chips for Natural 4 star parts whenever possible. The cost of buffing a part to 4 star is replaceable. The cost of buffing a part to 5 star is much harder to replace and will set you back for longer.
So -- of the 2 star and 3 star parts, what are the standouts? Which parts have ex skills or part traits that make them a tier above the rest of the 2 star and 3 star parts, and worthy of upgrading to 4 star (or maybe even 5 star if you're desperate) while you continue to play and wait for better free pulls?
Let's check out a few that really do stand head and shoulders above the rest.
Best of the 2 Star and 3 Star Parts - The 3.5 Star Tier
Let's break this down. The below pieces are indeed in a tiered order of what I feel is the strongest/weakest. Because base stats are not as good as four star parts (in every case EXCEPT noted below) -- the distinguishing factor making a part punch above its weight class is the ex skill or part trait - making my opinions subjective. These are simply the parts that stand out with closer to 4 star ex skills and part traits that are certainly worthy of upgrading.
Here is the general rule of thumb I used for grading in this list -
S Class - These are parts with stats that live up to 4 star natural parts. They may not always have the best ex skills or part traits, or the part trait or ex skill may be good enough to justify the loss in stats, but they should live up to serious tier list discussions with 4 star purple parts.
A Class - These are parts that are above a normal 3 star but not quite to that 4 star level. They're in the 3.5 star tier. Blurple parts. Usually this is due to the Ex skill or Part Trait being closer to 4 Star than 3 Star.
B Class - These are parts that fit more in the 2.5 to 3 star range. They have interesting properties that could be used on the right team to make something really good.
Let's get into the list.
ARMS - S Class
Code Phi (2s) - The Code Phi arms are a 4 star part with a 2 star Ex Skill. For melee attack it has the second highest value in the game. The part trait leaves something to be desired compared to other 4 star parts. Still, these arms are pretty incredible and worthy of 5 star upgrade with no loss in stats.
ARMS - A Class
- Rising Gundam (3s) - The Rising Gundam arms have a really strong attack value that holds a candle to 4 star parts, and Rising Arrow (Ex Skill) has a very high piercing value which is extremely useful when facing off against high defense.
- Dragon Gundam (3s) - The Dragon Gundam arms are better suited for a ranged build with the part trait that lowers shot defense, and the stats certainly are in that 3.5 star range.
- Gerbera Tetra (3s) - The Gerbera Tetra arms are a budget version of the Rising arms, and still do hold a candle to a lot of other parts due to the high A- tier piercing ability in the Ex Skill.
ARMS - B Class
- Artemis (2s) - The Artemis arms are the only piece of the Artemis kit that might NOT be 4 star in stats because it takes up two slots. Even the Zudah (Commander Type) arms that also take up two slots have better stats, meaning these arms really should be blue at best. The Palma cannon is pretty solid, but I'd say leave this gear on your bench in favor of others. Just wanted to mention it.
- Serpent Custom (1s) - There are two Serpent Custom hands, but one offers a really interesting buff. Raises shot attack by a flat percentage. While the stats are horrific, the fact that you can take a really high value shot attack unit and increase it's total shot attack by 40% for 45 seconds is pretty insanely high. On the right build, this ex skill and usage could be better than many 4 star parts. See example below:
BACK - S Class
- Artemis (2s) - Once again, stats wise there is no argument. The Artemis back is a purple 4 star part. The part trait is meh - offering a simple buff but not enough to wow like other 4 star natural parts, but still the stats are undeniably purple.
- Code Phi - I didn't see a code phi back part, but if it exists the stats likely put it here.
BACK - A Class
- Age Titus (3s) - The Gundam Age Titus back has really strong defensive stats for a 3 Star piece with a really strong melee skill for In Fighter/Out Fighter/Defender builds.
- Duel (3s) - The Duel Back is my second favorite, with strong stats and an Ex Skill that really helps with debuff when you don't have the high attack/shot values to pierce through insane armor values that you might see in the arena.
- Mobile SUMO (3s) - The Mobile Sumo back also provides a nice buff when you have more than 60% armor. While it has the worst overall stat value of the blue pieces, it's still better than the next best 2 star piece
BACK - B Class
- Den'An Zon (2s) - Of the 2 Star Pieces, the best one that I might consider using is the Den'an Zon for the benefit of the Ex Skill and the offensive buff it brings. Still, any base 3 star gear is likely going to outplay this back piece.
HEAD - S Class
- Artemis and Code Phi (2s) - Both Artemis and Code Phi parts sport essentially the exact same Ex Skill for head, but Artemis comes out on top with much higher shot attack and higher overall stats. And while the ex skill may do minimal damage, it at least does lower enemy hit gunplas shot defense and melee defense.
HEAD - A Class
- Kampfer (3s) - The Kampfer head has a massive amount of shot attack and shot defense, as well as a physical shot Ex Skill that reduces shot defense, making it hands down the best of the 3 star pieces to own.
- Tallgeese II (3s) and Dragon (3s) - Both the Tallgeese and Dragon head are really strong pieces with high shot attack and strong Ex Skills. The Tallgeese gets the edge.
HEAD - B Class
- Zaku II Type FS (Garma Zabi) (2s) - This is the best of the 2 star pieces with a ton of shot attack for a ranged unit, and an ex skill that reduces shot defense.
- Jesta Cannon (2s) - With almost as much attack as the Zaku and a really strong passive (raising mid range shot attack) the Jesta Cannon is also worthy of consideration.
LEGS - S Class
- Artemis (2s) - The Artemis legs have nearly 1000 more points in base values than the Code Phi parts, making up for the pretty meh part trait (reduces chance to recoil). Without knowing the formulas for recoiling, it's hard to say if that flat value really has much effect. Still, the base stats are flat out impressive on these legs.
- Kampfer (3s) - The Kampfer legs have some of the strongest Area of Effect attacks in the game right now. For mobs of units in close combat, Kampfer legs especially excels. But if you face a 3v3 team with ranged weapons, the usefulness dwindles. Still, there isn't a 4 star piece with a part trait that packs this much area of effect punch, putting these legs firmly in the "might use them over a 4 star part" camp.
LEGS - A Class
- Code Phi (2s) - While the Code Phi Legs do have 4 star values, they are at the bottom of the barrel for 4 star stats -- and the part trait is really poor, making them statistically better than some 3 star parts but still lacking in wow value. Honestly, I'd prefer the parts below the Code Phi legs on this list.
- AGE Titus and Blitz (3s) - With the strongest base stats of the 3 stars and a strong ex skill that debuffs, the Age Titus legs are the best of the 3 star bunch. It's worth noting the Blitz legs belong in this same range for base stats alone, though adding crit chance on shot attacks isn't particularly appealing.
- Mobile SUMO (Gold Type) (3s) - Another deceptive piece of gear, while the base stats are relatively low, you can't beat that A- piercing score when facing off against armor well above your weight class. These legs are sneaky better than their 3 star rank.
LEGS - B Class
- None of the green (2s) legs really excel in many areas. There are interesting Ex Skills and part traits on the Mk-II (Titans Design) legs and a few others, but we haven't done much testing with controlling aggro yet and different kits might find some other skills useful - but nothing stands out.
CHEST - S Class
- Code Phi (2s) - The Code Phi chest may be single-handedly the best chest piece in the game. Not only are the stats on this thing incredible, but it has a whopping ex skill that raises the entire squads attack, defense, and still manages to do top tier piercing damage.
- Artemis (2s) - The Artemis chest is stats-wise equally as strong as the Code Phi, with a very different Ex Skill that blasts for some pretty mediocre 2 star damage. Still, the stats are head and shoulders above any blue piece, so keep this until you find a strong purple replacement.
CHEST - A Class
- Dragon & Rose (3s) - Both the Dragon and Rose chest sport an ex-skill that is mouth-watering in Hyper Mode. A sort of Trans-Am-light - Hyper Mode boosts speed and shot attack significantly, making it ideal for ranged units.
- Blitz Gundam (3s) - The cloaking function on the Blitz chest is pretty unique and quite helpful, though you may not see the effect until 3v3 arena. Still, with decent stats, it was worth it if you invested in getting duplicates.
- NT-1(Chobham Armor 3s) - The recovery mode on this chest piece is sneaky powerful and easier than all purples to get duplicates for, making that recovery count for a lot more. The stats are pretty low for a 3 star piece, but with enough duplicates this could make for a strong recovery chest.
- Everything Else (3s) - Honestly, all of the rest of the 3 star chest pieces have value in different builds. Some do corner you into building specifically for that chest piece (to gain the maximum benefit) but they all are pretty strong with most of the part traits being pretty interchangeable and working for multiple varieties of builds.
CHEST - B Class
Because the chest pieces in the 3 star range are so viable and because so many exist, I would recommend picking one of those over any two star or one star build. The stat buffs that you get from chest pieces is just too high to pass up a chest piece in the 3 star range for a 2 star range or 1 star range chest piece, and the benefits just don't stack as well. So the good news is if you have a blue chest piece of any kind (or the Artemis or Code Phi 2 star parts) - you can feel confident in upgrading it to 4 star and pressing on. The bad news is if you didn't roll one, you may be in a tough spot for a while until you do.
MELEE WEAPONS - S Class
- Beam Scythe (Code Phi 2s) - It doesn't get any better for 4 star weapons at a 2 star cost than this Code Phi piece. The Ex Skill has a chance to knock back, and deals pretty decent damage, and the stats are super high.
- Arondight (Artemis 2s) - While statistically more average among 4 star parts, the Ardonight sports top-10 melee damage for a weapon in the game, and a passive trait that simply helps buff attack.
MELEE WEAPONS - A Class
Feilong Fang (3s) - The Feilong Fang is one of those perfect supplemental pieces of gear that is flat out excellent with the right team build. It's Ex Skill does a distressing amount of piercing damage while lowering beam resist and at max value is up in the first 3 seconds of a match, meaning if you've got a team of beam weapons (ranged and melee presumably) you can seriously up that damage per second quickly. All three of the blue melee weapons (Feilong Fang, Chevalier Saber, and Heat Fan) have the same melee attack, but the Fang's Ex Skill puts it a tier above the rest.
MELEE WEAPONS - B Class
Again not a lot to be desired out of anything in the 2 star and 1 star range below. Most of the weapons here suffer from poor stats, ex skills that don't do enough damage, or part traits that give flat buffs instead of percentage based buffs, limiting the usefulness at higher levels.
RANGED WEAPONS - S Class
- Beam Rifle (Artemis 2s) - The Artemis Beam Rifle is below average for 4 star stats and has a decent part trait that just generically buffs damage. It's worth pushing to 4 star for sure, but not beyond. Still, it can work as a budget rifle until you find a natural 4 star with a stronger ex skill or part trait.
RANGED WEAPONS - A Class
- Hand Beam Gun (3s) - Probably the best of the bunch due to a strong part trait that buffs shot damage when you're above 60% health, the Hand Beam Gun has the second highest shot attack of the 3 star parts and the best trait.
- Beam Rifle (Hyaku Shiki 3s) and Clay Bazooka - Sporting the highest shot attack of the 3 star weapons, both of these are strong weapons in the 3 star category that punch half a star above their weight class.
- Beam Rifle (Code Phi 2s) - The Code Phi rifle on the other hand has the worst stats of a ranged weapon in the 4 star category and less shot attack than everything listed above. While still firmly among the best 3 star weapons in stats, you'd be better off using a 3 star weapon with a better part trait or ex skill.
RANGED WEAPONS - B Class
- It should come as no surprise, there isn't any weapon that stands out below the above list. Weapons (melee and ranged) are one of the strongest ways to improve melee attack and shot attack, so of all the places you ideally don't want a budget item, weapons and pilots are the areas you really hope the RNG gods are good to you.
You need to consider when looking at building out a suit that if an opponent has high enough defense, they could completely negate any attack you have, so having items that artificially buff your ex skills or base stats are going to provide you more damage overall consistently and help you not get zeroed out when facing off against really tough opponents.
All in all, I'd still recommend using any natural 4 star piece over an A Class or B Class piece listed above, but if you have missing slots, the above list are the things I'd most recommend looking at (while of course considering your build and profession) in determining what to awaken and what to use. And again -- the build matters most. In the right build, even a 1 star piece can be useful (like in the image below).
Hopefully this guide provides you with some things to think about and a rough outline of some of the best stats/parts in the 2 star and 3 star range. Any piece in the 3 star range that you can get all the duplicates for will certainly help you overcome the stat differential in a natural 4 star piece temporarily. Just remember, turning those pieces into 5 star pieces simply won't overcome (in most cases) the base values you get out of natural 4 star pieces. For that reason we'd recommend NOT awakening a 3 star piece or 2 star piece to 5 stars (excluding the Artemis and Code Phi gear with 4 star base stats -- go ahead and 5 star those if you like) unless you have no other viable 4 star piece to awaken and want to sink the investment into it. CPWR alone can be misleading as it heavily favors boosted Ex Skills and part traits.
Good luck pilots!