Arknights Guards

Last week, I went over a game called Arknights. In that blog, I talked about the mechanics, how I stumbled across the game, and briefly touched upon the operator classes. However, I also said I would take a deeper look into the classes and I’m starting with the Guard class. 

Guards can generally be defined by their high attack. Out of all the classes in the game, Guards boast the highest melee attack damage. Unfortunately, there are a few drawbacks to this. First, like all melee operators, they can only be deployed to intercept the enemy along their path. Second, with a few exceptions they a really weak against magic attacks. The reason for this is their complete lack of magic resistance. In addition, their health and defence are middle of the road, they’re not bad but leaves much to be desired. As for deployment cost, Guards have a wide range and it really depends on the units rarity. The lower tier operators usually need 10 while higher tiers require 20 deployment points. However, for the most part, Guard operators tend to cost more than Vanguards but less than Defenders. That is to say, they aren’t disposable, but they aren’t expensive either. 

With the general characteristics out of the way, I can begin talking about the different subsets of Guards. What I mean by subset is the role they fulfill on the team. All subsets follow the general characteristics of a Guard, a high attack. However, there are traits that differentiate subsets. An example of this being how many enemies an operator can block. 

To start off, the first subset will be the assassins. Assassins are defined for having the highest attacks of any operators in the game. Even among other Guards, they reign supreme in terms of DPS. The drawback of this feat is that they can only block one enemy at a time. However, this doesn’t mean blocking one enemy is a bad thing, quite the contrary. Due to their single block capabilities, they are perfect for stalling or taking out a specific enemy. When deploying an assassin, they will engage their single target and all other enemies will simply pass through them. To assist in this role, most assassins have skills to temporarily raising their DPS, boosting their already absurd attack stat. When used correctly, a single assassin can take down a boss all on their own. 

Next, there are the AOE Guards. These Guards are notorious for needing a lot of investment before performing well. Like the name implies, they are able to attack multiple enemies at once. To be more specific, they can attack every enemy they’re blocking, usually two. The drawback to this is that they have the lowest attack of all Guards, which is why they aren’t good unless properly invested in. When you take away the attack of a Guard, they are left in quite an awkward position. They don’t have enough attack to properly qualify as a ‘Guard’ but not enough defence to be a Defender. What this means is that each AOE Guard is quite niche and defined by their abilities. An example of this is the operator Spectre. She is an AOE Guard and has a temporary immortality ability, making her excellent at defending chokepoints by herself. It is because of this one ability Spectre is highly regarded as the best AOE Guard. 

After AOE Guards, there are the Long Range Guards. Unlike other Guards, they have the largest attack range of any Guard subset. Most Guards can only attack in two tiles, but LRGs can cover eight. Like every other subset though, there are scarifies for this. In this case, if the enemy isn’t on top of the operator or one tile away, attacks are lessened by twenty precent. The silver lining to this though is that they deal magic damage and can hit flying enemies. I personally find this subset the most versatile, as the ability to dispatch flying enemies is quite a huge boon. The reason for this is as game increases in difficulty, there are less and less spot to place down your ranged operators. In some cases there might even be times when you can’t deploy range operators. In cases like these LRG or other units with similar capabilities are essential. 

Finally, we have the Art Guards. What this means, is that they trade in their physical damage for magic damage. Like other Guards, they still have a two tile attack range and can only be deployed on the ground. What makes this subset unique is the ability to take out enemies with high defence. In most cases besides the Art Guard and LRG subsets, the only classes able to deal magic damage are Casters and Supporters with a few exceptions. Make note of the fact both classes I just mentioned fall under the range category. Like I said before, tiles to place ranged operators become far sparser as the game progress. Without magic damage dealers enemies with high defence can be particularly troublesome. While both LRGs and Art Guards can take out high defence enemies, the latter are specifically tailored to do it. However, this trait make Art Guards incredibly niche and as of now, there is only one Art Guard released globally. 

Overall, Guards can be quite versatile. Although there are many kinds, they all serve the same role of DPS dealers. They won’t the first operator you’ll be deploying, but they will definitely be needed as the waves of enemies increase. Next time, I will likely continue this series by talking about Vanguard operators.  

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