Since we’re on an Arknight roll, let’s continue it with Defenders. Like the other classes before it, what makes the Defender class special? Well, like the Vanguards they’re also the result of another game mechanic. So, in order to understand the effect Defenders have on the game, I’ll need to talk about the block system for a bit.
Like DP, I’ve constantly mentioned block potential. In my mind, the meaning is pretty self explanatory. If an operator has high block, they can block more enemies from moving. It’s kind of confusing if you’ve only experienced traditional tower defence games, so let me explain. Picture a river with water flowing down it, this is the enemies. Now, your operators are dams that block this water. The more block an operator has the higher the dam. As you can see, more block means an operator can stall for longer. Unfortunately, this also brings me to blocks unique relationship with attack. Whether it be magic or physical attack, a high block stat usually brings with it low attack. Remember our dam analogy? Well, now picture each dam with a pipe that can divert water, this is a representation of a units attack value. What this means is that even if a unit has high block, it won’t matter if enemies don’t die. Overall, every unit has a block stat and tend to balance it with their other stats. However, like Guard Assassins and their single block, Defenders like to take things to the extreme.
Defenders have ridiculous block and defence capabilities. These units throw attack to the wind and solely focus on blocking enemies. Most of the time, these units are incapable of defending a chokepoint on their own. They will almost always be overwhelmed and with no self satiability in terms of HP, they will eventually fall regardless. However, with all this focus on blocking, it gives other units time to take out enemies. The fact an entire class was built around the tanking of enemies, shows how important of a niche Defenders fulfill. It’s is such a simple concept but a staple that can’t be replaced, and because of that they have the highest DP cost of any ground unit. As of now, Defenders will have a block of three. However, this can augmented with skills. The reason I mention this magical number of three, is because every other class has a maximum block of two. It doesn’t sound impressive, but it is when a constant wave of enemies are coming at you.
At this point, I would begin talking about subsets. Unfortunately, like Vanguards Defenders are lacking in them. Although, that’s not quite true. From what I’ve experienced so far, each Defender has unique traits that make them one of a kind. These unique abilities changes a units play style so much I can’t comfortable group them in subsets. Instead, I’ll be mentioning the Defenders I use and the abilities that make them so unique.
The first of two Defenders I usually use is called Liskram. What makes her unique is her large attack range. Normally, Defenders can only attack enemies that are on top of them. However, Liskram doesn’t abide by this and can target enemies three tiles away. This absurd attack range, higher than normal attack stat, and ability to take out flying enemies make Liskram quite a special Defender.
The other Defender I use on a regular basis is Cuora. In the Arknight community, she is highly regarded as a great unit. This due is multiple factors of course, one of them being her useful ability to block four enemies for a limited amount of time. There be plenty of times where not even a three block Defender will suffice because you can’t dispatch enemies fast enough, this is where Cuora shines. It also doesn’t hurt she’s really easy to get, making her a staple for beginners.
In the end, Defenders will always be need in later stages. Of course they are lacking in attack, but more than makes up for it with their high block and defence capabilities. Without these tanks to block crucial chokepoints your forces would be overwhelmed in seconds. You won’t need many of them, probably one or two, but their presence can definitely be felt on the map. Next time, I’ll likely take a break from the ground units and talk about Healers.