Team Glossary by Asterism!
No team is truly universal, but it's helpful for newer players to understand generally proven concepts that experienced players work in when building their teams. The following list is not an exhaustive list of different team compositions! This glossary may however help new PAD goons understand most of the team-building lingo that gets thrown around in this thread.
- 1 The Metagame: A History
- 2 Daily Use Teams
- 3 Descended Teams
- 4 Megawhale Teams
The Metagame: A History
I'm going to be completely honest. The main reason I'm writing about this is because every now and then, you see people repeating claims about team design which are no longer good ideas. A quick overview of what was once hip and is now dead may be helpful, if you need to distinguish good advice from outdated (as opposed to merely awful).
Prehistory: Amaterasu #1 God King Tier Roll
A long, long time ago, before PAD even got an English translation, the game shipped with only two pantheons of Gods. You could get Roman gods, with their unique dual resist leaderskills (toydragons weren't around at this point) or Japanese gods, with an eclectic and mostly useless set of leader skills. It's no surprise that with the complete absence of any worthwhile offensive multipliers except maybe Vampire's 2x, the metagame devolved into what we would call "grind" teams today. Players were advised to use two resist leader skills, either with their shiny Roman god or by fielding "ripper"/resist dragons and simply tank through everything. In fact, the first SA OP strongly advised goons to farm up a full set of ripper dragons, and ontological inertia carried this laughably poor advice through OPs well into the spike team era. The most fortunate players of all were the ones who rolled an Amaterasu or Odin, for the ever-popular ammy/grodin teams could pretty much clear everything in the game in the absence of multihits and binds.
The Dark Ages: Indian Summer
Behold, a new Pantheon! Today, the Indian gods are feted for their 3x attack leaderskills and amazing awakenings. Yesterday, the Indian gods were reroll trash, completely outclassed by their Norse and Greek rivals. But back then, the R/G/B Indian gods were the first deities to fuse reasonable attacking power into a survivable team. Two Indian gods together offered 2.25x to ATK, RCV, and HP--a perfectly balanced team which became quite popular. Even the arrival of Norse leaderskills (2x to ATK and RCV each) failed to make much of an impression...
Renaissance: Shiva sucks, reroll
...and then Greek gods arrived. Greek + Norse leaderskills offered the 2/4/2 team paradigm which remains popular to this day. Though lone internet warrior holdouts continued to loudly and hotly argue for 2.25 supremacy, the world pretty much left Indian gods behind after we got a taste of 4x ATK teams. This is also the era where Technical dungeons came into existence and began a trend which would neuter the old Amaterasu standbys. The most notable Technical dungeon: Zeus Descended, our very first taste of Gungho's signature style of Descended dungeon bullshit. Back then, a legitimate strategy for getting your Zeus involved a Dark Golem's counterattack leaderskill and like 15 stones. Bleak days.
The Modern Era: A Time for Spike Teams
Enter the Egyptian pantheon. Isis and Horus instantly rendered huge swaths of game completely irrelevant, permanently ending the idea that teams needed to be survivable in order to succeed. To some extent the game since Egyptians has been a DPS race between Gungho and whales. New Descended dungeons come out which are a stretch for the current state of the art in spike damage teams, requiring more powerful leaders to survive. Whales pull for new gods with marginally higher multipliers. The big game-changer dungeon in this era was Valkyrie Descended, which was at the time a complete bullshit dungeon that essentially required Egyptian leaders to complete.
Other important going-ons during this era: the Ultimate evolutions for starter dragons made 2/4/2 teams available to the masses (a few months after they would have done most people any good), the arrival of tribal teams (Valkyrie/Siegfried/Cu Chulainn leading the way), and a slow attempt by Gungho to reach event parity with Japan. If today you look at Japan's amazing free tamadra showers and insane OP collab REMS, just know that there was a time months went by without a godfest and people were wondering if we would ever get Poring Tower.
The Great Schism: Combo Winter/When The Other Lucifer was Good
If you weren't there, you have no idea how many arguments began with the announcement of Bastet's ultimate evolution. I think there were multiple toxxes being thrown around at some point over the bold claim that Egyptian gods might finally have a rival. By 6.0 Gungho was slowly escalating the strength of Descended Dungeons to drain stones from even those lucky few who had Isis and Horus. Eventually Isis' 9x multiplier became priced out of some of the game's hardest content, and a new wave of Egyptian-like leaders was stepping up to replace her. The Chinese pantheon is today known mostly as subs with superb awakenings and orb changers, but back then drove speculation that 12.25x/25x was the new 9x/16x. Then Bastet and the second Japanese pantheon added combo-based leaderskills on the same level as Egyptians, cementing the metagame divide between spike damage teams and grind teams.
Grind teams themselves benefited from what was for months the game's #1 boogeyman and the third God King pull: Archangel Lucifer. For a while possessing a Lucifer let you essentially skip game progression, clearing out pretty much any content with effortless ease. Balance arguments about AA/SoD Lucifer are a long and sordid tale, but suffice to say that theres a reason Lucifer teams can casually 0-stone every descended dungeon until late 2013 and get hard walled by virtually every descended designed after that.
Future Tech: Row Awakening Meta
For a long time, it seemed clear that endgame was all about 9-25x multipliers obtained by either matching plenty of colors or hitting long combos. Perhaps new pantheons would come out with marginally higher multipliers, and the whales would have to pull to keep up with gradually increasing HP counts in dungeons, but life would remain the same for the foreseeable future. Then Awakenings (special passive abilities given to most final-evolution monsters) came around. Two awakenings in particular completely changed the metagame.
The row awakening/enhanced attribute awakenings offer multiplicative stacking bonuses to specific colors for matching whole rows. If you do the quite fiddly and annoying calculations, teams with many (6+) row awakenings of the same color can do absolutely absurd amounts of damage by matching multiple rows at once--we're talking 5 million damage with a single combo levels of absurd. This requires a steady stream of orbs in the correct color, which is where the skill boost awakening comes into play. Row awakening-based teams tend to field monsters with powerful whole-board orb changers such as the Chinese pantheon or the Sonias, while stacking skill boost awakenings to make them usable with minimum stalling.
By abusing both of these awakening, bosses can be flattened in a single turn by comboing multiple orb changers--a Chinese and Ninja changer together guarantees a board 2/3 in your color, for example. Of course, this playstyle is incompatible with the old combo/rainbow multiplier teams, creating yet another have/have not divide in the playerbase. Whole swathes of formerly-useless REM gods have been rescued from obscurity simply by giving them desirable awakenings or an ultimate evolution with a powerful row awakening friendly leaderskill.
Daily Use Teams
Strong teams with easy-to-use playstyle and good multipliers.
The most common team pattern, a 2/4/2 team uses leader bonuses from a Greek (2x ATK/HP to one color) and a Norse (2x ATK/RCV to one color) leader along with four subs of the boosted color. Only relying on one color to attack allows you to use multiple orb-changing abilities that convert other colors to ensure a constant stream of damage. A solid all-around team for normal day-to-day content, although the sheer numbers in many Descended dungeons require a different approach. This team is popular because fully evolved starter dragons share Norse leaderskills, so you can make a 2/4/2 team with no REM-only monsters and a Greek god friend. "Chaser" monsters appear in biweekly dungeons and provide farmable Greek leaderskills, but have inferior stats, so we strongly suggest using starter dragons instead.
Before the 6.x patches, 2/4/2 teams were only available for the three main colors, fire/water/wood, since the Greek light and dark gods work differently. Greek leaderskills now exist for light and dark. Arkham Origins gave us Batman+Batarang for dark 2/4/2 teams with Loki or D'spinas. Busty Artemis and Hermes now boost light in addition to their other colors, allowing for light 2/4/2 teams with Thor or Pterras. For further comedy, there are often 2/4/2 teams buildable by type instead of color. For example, a fully evolved Archangel and Freyja can lead 2/4/2 Healer teams. Unfortunately, without the guaranteed ability to use many orb changers, these teams tend to be fairly weak.
As a historical note, 4/2/2 was traditional nomenclature for SA goons since time immemorial, under the hotly debated logic that ATK is the stat everyone cares about. If you see someone referring to 4/2/2, this is probably what they mean.
Ares / Echidna / Rowdy Red Samurai Goblin / Titan / Phoenix Knight / Freyr - A decent midgame red monocolor 2/4/2 team with farmable subs.
Like a 2/4/2, but far more defensive - monsters of only one color backed up by two copies of an Angel (2x HP/RCV to that color) leaderskill. 4/1/4 teams are as defensively sturdy as you can get, and can be used to (slowly) clear high-level content which would kill a 2/4/2 team. Unfortunately, the lack of an attack modifier makes these teams very slow for everyday use. 2x HP/RCV leaderskills are found both on the REM-only Judeo-Christian pantheon and the Noel dragons handed out during holiday events.
Astaroth / Amon / Amon / Drawn Joker / Awoken Hera / Lucifer - This team abuses counters against Descended bosses.
Gabriel / Siren / Echidna / Ice Golem / Hera-Is / Gabriel - This team destroys Goemon.
The old gold standard for generic endgame teams, these teams rely on the powerful damage multiplier leaderskills of the Egyptian gods. They activate when you attack with multiple colors in a turn, rewarding you for building "rainbow" teams unlike the ones discussed above. With Isis or Horus' ridiculous multipliers from 9x to 16x, "glass cannon" Egyptian teams can clear almost any dungeon by killing enemy monsters before they can attack. Even most bosses are easily dispatched with Echidna or Viper Orochi abilities to delay their attacks. Similar teams can be built with four of the new Chinese gods (Kirin works a little differently). To some extent, the game has been providing viable alternatives to Egyptians in recent patches, but they remain incredibly powerful.
Despite being suitable for daily use, Egyptian teams can be perfectly viable in many Descended dungeons.
Isis / Noble Wolf King Hero, Cu Chulainn / Echidna / Awoken Zeus / Awoken Hera-Is / Horus
Horus + Zeus and Isis + Zeus hybrid teams are popular for Zeus Descended, since Zeus has another Gravity to deal an extra million damage to Zeus. One of those might look like:
Physical-based tribal setups for Isis are farmable and fairly effective, though you ideally want a Blue Odin instead of the Vampire. Low RCV but the potential for a 27-48x burst.
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Once, the Egyptian gods based on combo count instead of color activation (Bastet, Anubis) were the categorically inferior dime-store version of Isis and Horus. Now that Bastet has recieved an ultimate evolution putting her almost on par with Horus' firepower--with much better awakenings--and two new gods (Okuninushi and Kushinada) have joined the party with their own strong leaderskills, the shoe may well be on the other foot. Combo teams have the distinct advantage that they can field whatever subs they want, allowing them to stack up on high-powered actives and weakness-hitting attackers.
Bastet is especailly powerful against boss floors with multiple targets, which seems to be something of a trend in dungeon design lately. Kushinada has a panic-button damage shield available on short cooldowns, and Okuninushi can field a fairly mean mostly-dark variant on the team. Anubis still kind of sucks, but at least his new D/L evolution is really funny when it works.
Despite being suitable for daily use, combo teams can be perfectly viable in many Descended dungeons. See the Megawhale section for REM-dependent color stacking versions of these teams.
Bastet / Lilith / Hera / Hera-Is / Echidna / Bastet - One of the most effective teams for farming Twinlits Descended
Bastet / D/L Yomi / Hera-is / Echidna / Valkyrie / Bastet - My personal daily-use team
A team that uses Ogre's leader skill (A single hit will take you to 1 HP instead of 0 if you have more than 70% HP prior to being hit) with a friend leader that heals you every turn and low team HP. No single boss in a Normal dungeon can kill a resolve team, though Technical bosses often have multhit attacks. The hardest part of using a Resolve team is fighting through the trash before the boss, which are a threat due to your low maximum HP and lack of stat/damage multipliers. These teams are sometimes referred to as 'Zombie teams'. We generally suggest using them only for new players farming evolution materials from the Wednesday or Friday dungeons.
Armor Ogre / Dragon Seed / Dragon Seed / Dragon Seed / Dragon Seed / Enchantress of the Sea, Siren - Sample team for Friday Dungeon
Mid-Multiplier Tribal Team
A team based around monsters of a specific type with leaders who provide a ~3x damage multiplier for the type/color. Although these 9x teams are weaker than their 12/16x Egyptian counterparts for endgame content, the damage boost is automatic and unconditional. Many experienced players keep a 9x team on hand to quickly farm lower-level dungeons like Lava Tube or Ocean of Heaven. The most accessible choices are the "Heartbreaker" monsters - Siegfried boosts Physical, Cu Chulainn boosts Balanced, and Valkyrie boosts Healers. Still, 3-3.5x damage boosts are a dime a dozen these days--especially on evolved versions of "classic" monsters like Vampire or drops from endgame dungeons like Satan. Pick the one you have the subs for.
Valkyrie / Echidna / King Shynee / Valkyrie / Valkyrie / Valkyrie - Comedy Hera team
ADK / CDK / CDK / King Woodsie / G/W Fortoytops - DON'T LAUGH IT WORKS
Siegfried / Hrungnir / Megalodran / Leviathan / King Bubblie / Siegfried - Technically farmable...
Chu Chulainn / ADK-Z / Zeus-Dios / Fafnir / King Woodsie / Chu Chulainn - Ditto.
Teams which are obnoxious to use or otherwise "overkill" for farming Lava Tube until your eyes bleed, but have the power necessary for high-level Descended dungeons.
A specific variant of the 4/1/4 team that uses a pair of Seraphim of Dawn Lucifers. Unlike other 4/1/4 teams, Lucifer provides an actual source of damage with his active skill, which deals 300,000 damage to a single target and reduces your HP to 1. Conveniently, the easiest source of Gravity (percentage-based HP reduction) is Hera, who is also a dark monster, so Lucifer teams can destroy a lot of bosses with relative ease. This team was once infamous for being a one-stop solution to virtually every dungeon. Perhaps responding to a backlash, or simply recognizing that this was bad business, Gungho's latest endgame dungeons usually have at least one encounter designed to stop pure Lucifer teams cold (generally with unsurvivably catastrohpic amounts of damage you need to combo through, or pre-emptive strikes to punish finishing floors with the nuke). Still, there are often workarounds for these encounters with enough ingenuity, and Lucifer remains a powerful leader for snowballing through the midgame.
Lucifer / Rainbow Keeper / Echidna / Awoken Hera / Awoken Hera / Lucifer
Even higher risk/reward versions of the Egyptian leaderskills exist in the form of Kirin and Umisachi&Yamasachi from the new-ish Chinese and Japanese pantheons. They give you an utterly stupid 25x multiplier when attacking with four *specific* colors at once. Many veterans consider the weaker egyptian gods to be outclassed by new endgame content, while the stronger gods (Ra, mostly) are too inconsistent for general use. Kirin teams are famously easy to build, since Kirin synergizes well with commonly used subs such as Echidna and the heartbreaker cycle. Umisachi&Yamasachi teams have a more awkward color distribution, meaning that they rely heavily on REM-only gods such as Yomi and Blue Odin to reach their (substantially higher) peak power.
With free access to subs, these teams can get pretty brutal by also stacking color or type multiplier actives. The Megawhale section has a few suggestions.
Kirin / Verche / Valkyrie / Echidna / Hera-Is / Kirin
Kirin / Verche / Valkyrie / Takeminakata / light Izanami / Kirin - Monolight burst variant
Umisachi & Yamasachi / Yomi / Hera-Is / Orochi / Blue Odin / Umisachi & Yamasachi, but there are many good subs. (Dark Metatron, Izanagi, D/L Hades, D/L Batman...)
D/L Ra Team
A specific variant of the Egyptian team which uses Sun Deity Ra, who gives a 6x multiplier when attacking with all five colors. While 12x or 16x teams may struggle against the ridiculous HP counts in endgame dungeons, there are few enemies that 36x damage can't make quick work of. Unfortunately, it is difficult to guarantee Ra's leaderskill even if you are using puzzle-assistance apps. This makes Ra teams unreliable and expensive in stones, and therefore a last--if absurdly powerful--resort for many players. The Ra team is in flux at the time of writing because of two factors. First, Kirin and U&Y play in a similar, rather less risky, fashion which is arguably enough for even the most endgame of content. Second, Ra teams are about to receive a boost in the form of branching ultimate evolutions for Ra which could possibly change everything about team construction for him.
Ra / Red Carbuncle / Blue Carbuncle / Green Carbuncle / Purple Carbuncle / Ra - This team is fine for all I care. Heartbreakers like Siegfried are standard good subs for a Ra team.
L/L Ra Team
A team using two Awoken Zeus (3x attack when at full HP). This 9x team has a lower multiplier than Horus teams, but each Zeus's active skill reduces enemy HP by 35%, allowing you to reduce a boss's HP to 42% before attacking. Additionally, you can bring a bunch of (non-REM) light orb changers for large burst damage--or field whatever color subs you want to exploit elemental weaknesses. The tension between keeping Zeus' leaderskill activated and stalling against trash for your active skill cooldowns makes Zeus teams relatively difficult to use, but anyone can start building one by clearing Zeus Descended. These teams catch a lot of shit for having a relatively low sustained damage output, although Zeus recently received an evolution which raised the damage multiplier to 3.5x each, for a total of 12.25x. Alas, this evolution requires clearing the absolute endgame Twinlits dungeon consistently.
Zeus / Echidna / Siren / Valkyrie / Verche / Zeus - Technically a completely farmable team (with a lot of effort). Siren creates hearts for survival and for Valkyrie's skill.
A team relying upon the 25x damage multiplier of two copies of Goemon, the Thief (5x damage when below 20% HP). There are many viable variants of a Goemon team but they can all be grouped into one of two types: 'RCV teams' and 'No RCV teams'. No RCV teams stack massive amounts of HP and stall until below 20% to activate Goemon's leader skill on the first floor of a dungeon, then sweep the whole dungeon away without taking further hits, often using Goemon's whole-board orb changer to finish off the boss. No RCV Goemon teams minimize their RCV using evolved Titans or Satan, in an attempt to avoid healing once Goemon is active. An RCV team works off the same principle. It can stall more comfortably than a No RCV team but runs the risk of accidentally healing above the 20% HP threshold. Goemon teams are extremely dangerous and can be unreliable because reviving from a stone restores you to full HP, thereby turning off Goemon's passive and oftentimes ruining your whole run. Nevertheless, 25x damage is worth it, and Goemon himself is one of the only non-IAP leaders with a multiplier above 3x. In the right hands a Goemon team can farm most content in the game.
Goemon / Freyr / Horus / Gigas / Echidna / Goemon - Moderate RCV variant for stalling.
Goemon / Siegfried / King Bubblie / Gigas / Gigas / Goemon - Low/no RCV 75x physical variant.
Goemon / Hera-ur / Gigas / Gigas / King Bubblie / Goemon - The only team for quickly farming the top of Starlight Sanctuary for rank XP.
Some monsters have leader skills which reduce damage from certain colors by 50-60%, effectively equivalent to 2x RCV and 2x HP. If you can resist every color in the dungeon, two resist leaders functions like a 4/1/4 team, with the added bonus that your subs can be any color. The Toydragons and Roman Gods, both of which resist two colors at once, can also have powerful active skills (in particular, Neptune's absurd poison is often used to farm Two Heroes or Ocean of Heaven). A single resist leader is sometimes paired with an autohealer if double resists are not required to survive the dungeon.
The Awakening mechanic adds additional twists to this formula, since additional % based damage reduction is more effective the more % based damage reduction you have on your leader. For example, dual Hades (base 60%) together with their Dark Resist awakenings would be substantially more survivable in a dark-only dungeon than even Lucifer. Alas, this is pretty much the most edge-case of edge-casiest team patterns.
Keep in mind that unlike HP/RCV multipliers, resist leaderskills are effective against enemy skills which cut your HP by a set amount.
Toytops + Dark Neptune - Leaders for Two Heroes
Flare Drall + Megalodran - Leaders for Goemon Descended
Chaos Devil Dragon + Odin - Leaders for Hera Descended
A variant of the Resolve team relying on Viper Orochi (leader skill is a Resolve which activates above 50% rather than 70%) and Amaterasu Ohkami (who heals for more than other autohealers). This team can support more HP than a normal Resolve team, and can therefore fit more powerful subs. When properly built, it has the stats to challenge extremely high-level normal dungeons, such as Hera Descended and Starlight Sanctuary, that are more difficult for other Resolve teams. Unfortunately, most other endgame dungeons are Technical and contain multihit attacks which will ruin this strategy. In recent times, the Perseverance leader skill of Viper Orochi now exists on farmable monsters. The standout here is Tengu, which can be yours if you can clear a low-cost conditional dungeon, and has an active ability which switches it into the leader slot from a sub slot. This allows teams to fight traditionally until they reach an extremely powerful boss, and then switch to a Tengu to slowly grind the boss down. Tengu strategies are particularly relevant against Zaerog and in the Endless Corridors.
Viper Orochi / Lilith / 3 Nukers / Amaterasu - Team for Hera Descended
Another variant of the Resolve team that combines Green Odin's leaderskill (Reduces damage taken by 80% if you are at full HP) and Amaterasu Ohkami's powerful healing. A similar idea to VO/Ammy, although Odin's leadskill cannot soak up an unlimited amount of damage. In exchange, Odin's high stats and the ability to have high maximum HP makes this team much more reliable against the trash mobs before the boss. For this reason, this team is generally preferred to VO/Ammy.
This once-famous team pattern has received two recent leases on life. First we have Amaterasu's ultimate evolution which allows her to reach utterly obscene amounts of RCV--enough to tank Zeus in the highest floor of the Starlight Sanctuary. Secondly, the biweekly dragon Nebradisk has a slightly nerfed version of Odin's leaderskill combined with the same switch active as Tengu. Once again, this lets teams use a more powerful offensive leader and only switch to an Odin-based defense in the boss floor.
Amaterasu Ohkami / Rainbow Keeper / Rainbow Keeper / Rainbow Keeper / Lilith / Odin - Team for Hera Descended
Dancing Light Amaterasu Ohkami / Hera / Hera-Is / Maxskilled Caol-ila / Maxskilled Laphroaig / Odin - Team for Starlight Sanctuary.
Jesus christ you thought we were done with the grind team compositions, huh? Now that Odin gains the ability to heal small amounts of HP by himself through his awakenings and you can slot subs with the same abilities, dual Odins is a Thing. Incoming damage reduced to 4% (!!) and maybe a couple thousand HP healed each turn. Not, you know, a Thing that anybody really uses (except for maybe Zaerog), but it's at least a theoretical possibility when it comes to an ironclad defense.
It's true, the teams in here are some of the most powerful offensive options in a game that's all about spike damage. Unfortunately in the amount of stones it would take to pull most of these teams, you could probably have cleared ever descended dungeon in the game five times over with a completely generic 2/4/2 team. In the unlikely event that you managed to pull one of these teams in a reasonable number of stones, good job not using that luck on the actual lottery instead! But at least you have a really powerful phone game team.
Many of these teams have a non-negotiable "core" of REM-only gods which qualifies them as a Megawhale team. Other slots are more discretionary--you can often substitute with a monster with a similar active or an awakening boat (the baddragons Tiamat et. al are popular for this), or a monster which doesn't necessarily fit on the team but will keep you alive anyway (ECHIDNA). Make sure you understand the logic of your substitution, though; many of the offensive cores rely on specific chained orb-changers to generate a board which can burst down the boss of a dungeon. For example, pulling out the ninja from a Chinese + Ninja core and replacing it with a heartbreaker is unlikely to have good results.
One of the two Tribal teams I'm going to highlight for Descendeds, because it possesses the sort of obscene firepower which makes it viable in many descended dungeons. Athena's leaderskill is 3x to arguably the best type of them all: Gods. You'd expect Athena teams to require many REM-only monsters, and for many of the hardest dungeons Izanagi and/or Thor are indeed mandatory for burst damage. You'll note that these gods are light and green—the canonical Athena team fields them in addition to Verche as a farmable monster in a Light/Green team, with the option of slotting in some of the game's most powerful silver bullet subs into team composition. In this example, when this team reaches a boss, Zeus is activated to deal his 35% Gravity. Genbu is activated to turn the entire board Wood/Dark/Light. Verche is then used to convert all dark orbs to make a board of only Light and Wood. Thor activates his ability for 1.5x more Light damage and additionally boosts Light damage with his Row Clear Awakenings.
Athena / Verche / Genbu / Thor / Izanagi / Athena
With Access to an Izanagi, you can field 12.25 Light-biased versions of this team. For example, Izanagi / Venus / Verche / Raphael / Apollo / Izanagi
Bastet teams can function using the basic combination as Athena: Genbu + Verche for a full light/wood board, Athena to enhance them all, Izanagi for 32x burst on a fully enhanced, fully attacking board.
Dark Metatron Team
Man, you thought Athena/Bastet teams required a lot of money spent whaling on this game. Dark Metatron is by herself one of the rarest monsters in that damned dragon slot machine, and her team is almost non-negotiable: Hanzo, Ares, and Gryps Rider at a minimum, all three of which are REM-exclusive. The only reason DMeta is more than a sociological curiosity is because she's the perfect demonstration of the New Wave of teambuilding which is taking over high-end (read: gullible and over-moneyed) play. Her team is centered around high type-based multipliers, row clearing and orb enhancing awakening skills, and utterly stupid amounts of burst damage via chained orb changing. As a few more updates come out, and new gods and new awakenings are released, there's an excellent chance that these concepts will have begun to trickle down to everyday design for merely mortal team architects.
Hanzo, Ares, and Gryps Rider (you can use a Dragon Rider if you really must) form the non-negotiable core for this team. The last slot is dependent on the situation and can be used for survivability or more attacking power:
For those unfortunate bastards who don't own a Metatron but have all the other ingredients, Lilith's new L/D evolution makes for a perfectly servicable dark attacker team.
Inexplicably popular, especially in Japan. Light Metatron and Valkyrie head up 9x and 12.25x tribal teams similar to many of the other ones discussed in here, except that they don't get to abuse row awakenings and their statlines are dreadful. This may be changing in the upcoming months as Gungho, as mercenary as ever, adds more monsters intended specifically as support for the healer archtype to placate horrible Japanese weeaboos. For the time being, your average Light Metatron team has a pretty standard core, though the absence of Time Mage in NA really hurts,
Light Metatron / Valkyrie / Angelion / Echidna / Venus / Light Metatron
Unconditional Monocolor Team
The 3x to color leaders have a new lease on life, thanks to the sheer power of the Enhanced Attack awakenings. With enough (6 tends to be the point where you see significant returns) awakenings, these teams can push out damage that puts traditional Egyptian and combo-based multipliers to shame. In general, these teams stack mosters for their strong stats, whole board changing actives, and large number of row/skill boost awakenings. Common subs include the ninjas, devils, norse gods, Sonias, and Odins.
F/D Shiva / Belial / Red Sonia / Red Sonia / Big Baddie / F/D Shiva - Shiva is unquestionably the strongest monocolor spike team, because he himself is nuts (skill boost + 2 rows) and he has access to red sonia (2 skill boosts + 1 row + good active). Substitute Freyr/Chiyome/Irfrit for big baddie if consistency is more important than burst.
A quick runthrough of the multicolor alternatives, though the other colors have difficulty breaking 8 row awakenings:
W/L Lakshmi / Idunn & Idunna / Blue Sonia / Hermes / Blueberry Dragon / W/L Lakshmi
G/L Parvati / Artemis / Freyja / Griffon / Astaroth / G/L Parvati
D/L Yomi / Lemon Dragon / Thor / Unicorn / Baal / D/L Yomi - Light doesn't really have any good row awakening boats, alas.
W/D Vampire / Fallen Angel Lucifer / Dark Metatron / Loki / Hanzo Hattori / W/D Vampire - *whalesong*
Fire has the unique position of being the element with three strong monocolor teams. In addition to the standard Indian and Hero suites, Fire teams can field Ame-no Uzumi for a conditional 12.25x multiplier. She has relatively weak awakenings, an awkward conditional, and no devil typing. That said, her teams tend to be somewhat better defensively (since she can field the few fire monsters which have actual RCV/defensive orb changers) and in general a more free choice of subs.
Ame-no-Uzumi / Archangel Uriel / Strawberry Dragon / Suzaku / Freyr / Ame-no-Uzumi
The 4x with linked orb leaders play very similarily to unconditional teams of their color, with one huge caveat. They need a much more steady flow of incoming orbs, leading them to trade some row awakening power for efficient lower-cooldown orb changers of their color. The 16x multiplier instead of the 9x provides compensation for the lower row output and general difficulty of use. When handled propertly, these teams can provide some of the highest sustained damage output in the game. A Greek + Ninja + Chinese orbchanging core allows the team to change every kind of orb into its own color, with the last slot generally being dedicated to a Norse for two rows and an enhance.
Yamato Takeru / Chiyome / Freyr / Ares / Suzaku
Andromeda / Hatsume / Idunn&Idunna / Hermes / Seiryuu / Amdromeda
Perseus / Sasuke / Freyja / Artemis / Genbu / Perseus
Son Goku / W / E / L / P / Son Goku - Not having a Chinese god with light awakenings and an orb changer really hurts here
Pandora / Hanzo / Loki / Persephone / Byakko / Pandora
Because of the existence of certain bullshit godfest-only mons, Pandora has a few specialized teams with far more firepower.
Pandora / Hanzo / Dark Metatron / Green Sonia / Persephone / Pandora - I LIKE SETTING MONEY ON FIRE
Pandora / Hanzo / Red Sonia / Loki / Fallen Angel Lucifer / Pandora - The gold standard, abusing the Red Sonia + Hanzo whole board combo.
12.25x multiplier, eleven row awakenings, fantastic stats, what's not to like? Well, other than the complete lack of recovery.. And all the subs being REM-only. And it's easy to get orbfucked. Still, that's a *lot* of damage. Satan is farmable, so if you don't have this particularily ridiculous team you may get good results with other monsters (Loki, Vampire, and Red Sonia are good alternatives)
Satan / Persphone / Gryps Rider / Fallen Angel Lucifer / Fallen Angel Lucifer / Satan
Hera-Ur teams are a slightly less extreme version of Satan. Red devils are a little harder to specialize in, but consider building around the FA Lucifer + Belial orbchanging core.
Red Sonia Team
Ironically, you play this team pretty much exactly like Shiva. Shiva is pretty much the #1 sub for a red Sonia team, and red Sonia the #1 sub for a Shiva team. The only question is whether you'd rather have 6.25 ATK and RCV, or 9x ATK.
Red Sonia / F/D Shiva / Belial / Red Sonia / King Baddie / Red Sonia
Blue Sonia Team
Blue Sonia / Blodin / Blodin / Blodin / King Bubblie / Blue Sonia
Consider Hermes, Orochi, Siegfried, and Hrungnir if you do not in fact own three Blodins, you gigantic scrub.
Physical Kirin Team
Taking advantage of Kirin's 25x multiplier and a mono-physical team to add an additional 3x on the boss. 75x burst should obliterate practically everything in a single combo assuming you don't get orbfucked.
Kirin / Takeminakata / L/R Apollo / G/L Parvati / King Bubblie / Kirin -- Somebody help me out here, I don't know what modern Kirin teams look like.
Monolight Kirin also exists and trades a little bit of burst power (50x instead of 75x) for greater stability and better subs. Still whaley as fuck though.
Typed U&Y Team
Umisachi&Yamasachi doesn't have a secondary typing--yet--which means attempting to imitate the Phyiscal Kirin team isn't going to give you as good results. That said, two monsters at 25x and 4 subs at 75x is still a good deal of damage, roughly equivalent to a 62x multiplier (a little less in practice, since the bubblies have terrible stats). You don't want Attacker here because the bubblie in question is red, and you don't really want Healer because the choice of subs isn't great. Still:
U&Y / D/W Vampire / G/D Cu Chulainn / Grodin / King Woodsie / U&Y
U&Y / W/L Siegfried / Hrungnir / Blodin / King Bubblie / U&Y
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For when 36x just doesn't cut it (God, II never thought I'd type those words). A 64x attack from D/L Anubis is the new guaranteed to flatten everything multiplier, if only you can consistently pull it off. In this respect Anubis' ultimate evolution is proving helpful--8x is just about on the margin of reliability if you are literally autistic or abusing Puzzcombo. Most successful Anubis teams focus on three colors to synergize with a Chinese active (you'll almost always get a 8-comboable board after using one), and pack lots of drag time awakenings to help land that perfect combo.
D/L Anubis / D/F Izanami / D/F Izanami / Suzaku / Yomi / D/L Anubis - Remember, two maxskilled Izanamis can keep up their skill indefinitely! Have fun!
Kushinada has almost complete freedom of subs. You generally want to tailor your choice of colors and silver bullet actives to the dungeon in question. That said, a 3-color core centered around a Chinese god is as effective for Kushi as it is for any of the other combo-count based gods.
Kushinada / D/L Yomi / Genbu / Izanagi / Grodin / Kushinada
Okuninushi has the advantage over Kushinada and Bastet of having an advantageous secondary typing. Combined with his innate delay, you can set up a 48x burst team with a lot more flexibility than his alternatives--though he can't come close to the ridiculous izanagi+athena synergy that Bastet has. (Also, buckets of HP)
Okuninushi / Blodin / Hermes / Bluevamp / Bubblie / Okuninushi - or any of the zillion other blue physical options
Monodark Okuninushi is perhaps the most stable of the combo teams for day-to-day use, with access to generically useful orb-changers, yomi, and a panic button.
Okuninushi / D/D Yomi / Dragon Knight Zeal / Hanzo / Byakko / Okuninushi