TL;DR: Should You Pull?
What Does It Do?
Publisher's Note: This article arrived so late because the exams I was going through at the time of this banner prevented me from proofing it in time, and I apologize for any inconvenience caused to people who rely on our team's advice. I've elected to put it up nonetheless in the hopes that someone may find the analysis sections useful. Now that exam season has ended, we should be returning to our normal content schedule.
There are two main ways to run Altaria: an offensive secondary tank or a dedicated damage dealer.
As the second tank of the team, Altaria can utilize Spotlight Please! to take the pressure off the main tank while drastically buffing its Defense simultaneously. The redirection aspect of this play triggers its Revenge Boost to reduce the waiting time between moves. It would then be advisable to hold off on Altaria’s Mega Evolution to retain access to Twister. This allows players to fish for AOE flinches and not exhaust too much of the team’s Move Gauge. However, outside of the highly situational Defog, Altaria carries no healing or team-wide defense buffing moves. This can be detrimental to the longevity of the team’s main tank.
Players would probably find it easier to use Altaria as a dedicated damage dealer, with its set better suited for toughing out the late game. However, Altaria lacks the offensive buffs of a typical striker to properly do its job as a sweeper. This can be mitigated through Spotlight Please!. Each hit that Altaria takes feeds into its HP Trade Off Passive Skill. However, this is a risky maneuver, considering the meticulous HP management required. Being sniped by a souped-up AOE move early can spell the end for a run prematurely.
As the only legal user of Defog, Altaria excels in matches where the opposition abuse Terrain and/or field effects. This usually applies to the Legendary Arena or specific Event stages. She can also come in handy in stages where the opposition is susceptible to Flinch, though this does mean that she might need to hold off on the Mega Evolution and subsequently lose out on Dragon Pulse Acumen 9.
How Do I Use It? (Grid, Lucky Skills, And Comps):
True to the contrasting nature of her set, the complementary nodes are put on the opposing ends of her Sync Grid. This often results in wasteful node acquisition just to get the desired nodes. Durable 9 and Acumen 9 are adjacent to each other, so that usually influences the final Grid layout.
The sample Grid leaves 15 Energy to the user’s discretion. Witty Comeback 3 and “Spotlight Please!” Durable 9 synergize well with Dragon Pulse Acumen 9 to give Altaria a more balanced defensive buff suit. Players looking to use Altaria solely as a Fairy Type striker can drop the Dragon Pulse buffs in favor of the Moonblast affiliated ones in the bottom right sector.
As with all tanks, Altaria appreciates recovery support. One of the better candidates for this role is Misty, whose passive recovery helps keep Altaria alive without drastically affecting HP Trade Off. She can also buff Altaria’s Special Defense, which is useful for reducing the reliance on having both Witty Comeback or Acumen 9. This frees up precious Sync Grid Energy for better distribution.
Players looking to run a mono Dragon build should consider pairing Lisia with Drake and Lance. Drake gives Move Gauge recovery support and Special Defense boosts, while Lance carries Potion for healing purposes.
Is It Worth Pulling?
No: As the regular best Fairy Type damage dealer, Altaria is an appealing prospect. However, the heavy reliance on team support, as well as the need to reach at least 3/5 to access her best skills, make her a rather expensive investment. Her niche isn’t highly valuable to the metagame as of writing time, but this could change in view of the upcoming Legendary Arena stage. Hence, it might be more advisable for players to invest the Gems in the currently running Alder PokeFair banner instead.