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[OC] 5 breakout seasons you might have missed this year:

This season, most of you have probably heard or read at one point or another about Luka Dončić soaring into the MVP conversation as a sophomore, the many all-star jumps (Ingram/Trae/Sabonis/Mitchell/Siakam/Booker), Bam Adebayo making a name for himself as an all-round stud in Miami, the Hornets' Devonte' Graham's heartwarming vault into NBA relevance, Ben Simmons's All-Defensive leap, and Jayson Tatum's long-awaited superstar transformation mid-season.
This post, then, will be talking about some breakouts around the league that you might have missed this season, coming from players on less talked-about teams, or simply improved aspects of certain players' games that may have flown under the radar for whatever reason.

1: Jonathan Isaac, defensive savant

[Note: Please read this fantastic and highly detailed two-part post by Jonathan Chen, from which I pilfered the vast majority of the clips that I've linked below: Jonathan Isaac: A Unicorn on the Defensive End]
Jonathan Isaac broke out as an early Defensive Player of the Year-candidate for the Orlando Magic this season - only an unfortunate season-ending left knee injury 32 games in stopped him from achieving a well-deserved All-Defensive spot this year.
While Isaac's gaudy per-game averages (7 rebounds, 1.6 steals, 2.4 blocks) are useful shorthand, they actually underplay his overall impact because of how truly unicorn-ish and all-encompassing his defensive profile is.
  • Paint defense
It all starts with Judah's elite rim protection - opponents shoot a sizeable 10.2 FG% worse within 6 feet of the rim (50.9 DFG%) when Isaac is the closest defender, where his savant-like shot-blocking instincts kick in as the Magic's defensive anchor. Whether he's the primary defender or the weak-side help, he's got fantastic footwork and is very quick off his feet, possessing a mean second-jump. Combined with his 6-11 frame, 7-1 wingspan, and an excellent sense of timing, Isaac is an athletic, long, and relentless roadblock at the rim to thwart otherwise high-percentage opponent shot-attempts in the paint. He's able to tussle with larger behemoths as well - here he is denying Embiid at the rim with one hand. In addition, Isaac remains quite disciplined, managing to consistently remain vertical on his contests and averaging only 2.5 fouls/game, impressive for a 3rd-year defender just 22 years of age.
  • Man defense
Isaac's man defense is already highly impressive, able to guard bigs and guards alike without giving an inch (he has a 62.2% versatility index) and able to guard either the primary or secondary offensive options effectively while also protecting the rim. He's got quick hands that he uses to force turnovers, constantly stripping players when they gather or pick up their dribble. In the post, his length and lanky frame makes him a pest. When defending perimeter threats, his footwork is impeccable, he maneuvers screens really well, and he's agile and long enough to shut down the Greek Freak in semi-transition. When he is beat, he often chases perpetrators down from behind.
  • Team defense
Isaac's off-ball activity and team defense, meanwhile, is reminiscent of peak Draymond, KG, or Andrei Kirilenko, constantly making timely rotations to eat up passing lanes, anticipating and disrupting opponent plays, crowding ball-handlers and halting dribble-penetration, closing out to shooters, and swatting shot attempts at the rim, basically making himself an all-around menace on the court.
  • Some of his few defensive weaknesses:
He can gamble at times for steals (which does work out more often than not thanks to his length and instincts) and occasionally foul on shot contests, he can get caught out-of-position in the post sometimes, and he can be a bit overly twitchy in the paint, falling for pump-fakes from time to time.
  • Orlando's best and most important defender:
He leads the team and ranks near the top of the league in steals/game (1.6), blocks/game (2.4), defensive loose-balls recovered (0.8), and deflections/game (3.3); is 2nd on the team in charges drawn (0.13), defensive box-outs (2.0); and is 3rd in defensive rebounds/game (5.2).
With Isaac on the court, the Orlando Magic's defensive rating jumps by a whopping 4.5 points to an excellent 106.5 DRTG (-3.9 rDRTG), which would rank as the 4th-best defense in the league over a full season, significantly higher than the 9th place (109.0 DRTG) the Magic ended up at at the time of the NBA's suspension.
  • Advanced metrics:
Box- and non-box advanced metrics all think very highly of Isaac's overall defensive impact - he has a +4.8 D-RAPTOR (3rd in NBA), +3.2 D-PIPM (4th), and a +2.9 D-BPM (3rd).
  • So what's next for Isaac?
Isaac is slowly starting to get the benefit of the doubt from referees:
"I thought they were going to call it, I thought they were going to call it goaltending,’’ said a relieved Isaac after his Magic notched their fourth straight victory – this one a gritty 93-87 defeat of Cleveland. "I just tried to get (Thompson’s hook shot) at its highest point, and they gave it to me. I think the refs are starting to let me slide a little bit and I like it.’’
It probably won't be very long before Isaac will be able to run rampant as a full-blown terror on the defensive end, and combined with his decent ancillary offensive numbers as a tertiary scorer / potential floor-spacer (12.0 PPG, 2.8 3PA, 33 3P%), Jonathan is already a truly indispensable part of the Magic rotation for the foreseeable future.
(Bonus clip that perhaps summarises the entirety of Isaac's versatile skillset: His near-5x5 performance in a 1-point loss vs the Dallas Mavericks' historic league-leading offense on November 6, putting up 13/10/5/6/4 while tormenting Porzingis all night long (10 pts, 2 TOVs, 29 FG%) and holding Luka and KP to a combined 37 points on 35 shots (47.5 TS%) and 8 turnovers.)

2: Christian Wood, the NBA's newest unicorn

After 49 games of being an overqualified backup to Andre Drummond (averaging 10/5/1/1/1 on excellent efficiency), Detroit finally moved Christian Wood into the starting lineup after Drummond got traded to Cleveland for their final 13 games before the NBA suspended its season.
  • "Sooo.. who is Wood, and why should we care?"
In his final 13 games, Christian Wood has played like a bonafide star, averaging 22.8 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 2.0 assists, 0.8 blocks, 0.8 steals, and 1.7 threes on 66% True Shooting (56 FG%, 40 3P% on 4.2 3PA, 76 FT%).
He's been remarkably consistent as well, scoring fewer than 17 points only once during this stretch, and showing up against a variety of good teams - 3 of his final 4 games were against stout opposition, and he rose to the challenge admirably, with outputs of 29/9/3 on 91 TS% vs OKC, 30/11/2 on 56 TS% vs the Jazz and reigning DPOY Gobert, and a career-high 32/7/2/3/2 on 81 TS% v.s. Philly.
  • "He's on a bad team though, and Detroit lost all but one of those 13 games. Aren't these just empty numbers?"
There's exists some evidence that these aren't empty calorie numbers.
For one thing, Wood is an advanced stats darling - he ranks in the top-20 to 30 range in most box- and non-box metrics: +4.5 RAPTOR (18th), +3.1 BPM (BBRef) (27th), 0.184 WS/48 (24th), +2.98 PIPM (26th), +2.82 RPM (ESPN) (22nd), +2.09 RAPM (20th).
For another, the Pistons are a whopping +10.9 points better with Wood on the court, with their defensive rating improving by +3 and their offensive rating getting a ridiculous +8 boost.
  • "So, what makes him so effective?"
Offensively, Wood is particularly special, able to shine as either a PF or a C.
When he plays the 5, he is an elite roll-man in the PnR (97th percentile); his potent roll-gravity often distracts defending bigs to get teammates easier looks at the rim. His athleticism and feathery touch allow him to finish at an elite rate at the rim (77 FG% in restricted area), either skying for lobs or shedding defenders with power and speed.
Wood is very aggressive in the short roll too, bullying defenders with unflashy but effective bumps, pivots, fakes, and his leaping ability, not shying away from contact either, affording him a healthy free-throw rate overall (6 FTA/game as starter, 76 FT%).
Wood is also a highly capable offensive rebounder (3.2 ORB/game in final 13 games, top 20 in ORB%), adept at following up on both teammate misses and his own.
Of course, Wood is also a remarkable shooter for his position (40 3P% on 4.2 3pa/game in final 13 games), with a quick and high release off-the-catch that's unbothered by all but the longest of perimeter defenders, opening up driving lanes for teammates with his gravity. "Wood is the rare stretch-4 who doubles as a rim-running 5", allowing coaches a high level of versatility when designing offensive sets. Wood possesses a smooth dribble, too, which lets him attack closeouts and slash to the basket.
  • "What about on defense, though?"
Defensively speaking, Wood has tremendous physical tools: 7-3 wingspan, excellent feet, highly athletic, making him a highly versatile defender capable of guarding speedy guards on switches (68.9 versatility index). He's a decent rim-protector - opponents shoot 6% worse within 6 feet of the hoop when Wood is the closest defender, and Detroit as a whole are +4.4 points better defensively when Wood is on the court. His pick-and-roll defense is actually quite decent, knowing when to drop and timing his contests well. Overall, he's likely a slight positive on defense.
  • "Does he suck at anything?"
Wood can't power through larger defenders, and his post game is highly limited. To quote Jonathan Tjarks, "his ability to score one-on-one is still mostly theoretical—he’s in the 22nd percentile of post scorers this season and the 10th percentile in isolations."
Wood is also a subpar playmaker - he had a 2.0/2.3 assist-to-turnover ratio in his final 13 games. He can make basic reads out of double-teams, but has yet to truly weaponise his own scoring threat to get teammates easier looks on a more consistent basis.
Defensively, his awareness as a team defender has room for improvement, and his motor can be sloppy (seen in some mediocre box-outs or close-outs). He also has trouble against heftier post players, and some speedy guards can blow by him.
Finally, Small Sample Size alert! Some regression is very likely expected for Wood's gaudy shooting numbers once more teams learn more about his abilities and begin to throw more defenders (and better defenders) on him.
  • "So what's the future like for Christian?"
Wood is trusting his teammates more on both sides of the ball. He’s not forcing things on offense... Wood is scoring by giving the ball up and trusting it will come back to him when he’s open instead of constantly hunting for his own shot.
Wood doesn't demand touches and is highly efficient in his role, something that will let him scale well on good offenses, something that bodes well for his future as a Piston but also makes him an attractive addition for a playoff side - he's an unrestricted free-agent this summer. If he carries or builds upon this level of production into next season, he'll easily be a Most Improved Player contender with All-Star potential.
  • "Hmm, I'm actually kinda interested in knowing more about him!"
In that case, here are two marvellous breakdowns of Wood's game which I consumed and referenced voraciously while writing this section:
-Coach Daniel on YouTube: Why Christian Wood Is Genuinely A Terrific Player
-Jonathan Tjarks, The Ringer: Get Used to Hearing Christian Wood’s Name

3: Jaren Jackson Jr, one of the best volume-shooters in the league

Jaren Jackson Jr (17/5/1.5 on +2.6 rTS%), is a proper unicorn, and easily the 2nd most important offensive piece on the Grizzlies, mainly due to his elite floor-spacing opening things up considerably for their offense - he's frighteningly adept at his role, hitting 40% of his 6 to 7 three-point attempts per game.
  • "Surely the section title is clickbait or hyperbole, though, right? He's just a big, after all, he can't be that good"
Actually, there are only 11 other players in the entire league (≥30 GP) who have shot at least as accurately as Jaren (39.7 3P%) on at least as many attempts (6.3 3PA).
Here are all 135 3-pointers he's made this season, just to get an idea of how he shoots these, and here's him draining 9 threes on the league-leading Bucks' defense en route to a career-high 43 points.
  • "So does he just stand in the corner and wait for Ja to feed him?"
Not exactly... JJJ has a somewhat atypical form but a quick and high release, and he shoots a truly incredible variety of threes, making them as part of pick-and-pop action, some simply off-the-dribble, some stepbacks, some in transition, some on the move, some off screens, or and he even sprinkles in the odd logo yeet from 30 feet out.
To quote some more from this excellent SB Nation breakdown of Jaren Jackson Jr's versatile game by Mike Prada:
The fact that Jackson can take and make so many different kinds of threes enables the Grizzlies to deploy him in so many different spots on the court. He has no obvious sweet spot, which means there’s rarely a worry he’ll catch the ball somewhere he doesn’t belong. He can toggle between playmaker, primary scorer, screener, and floor spacer, depending on what the Grizzlies need at that particular moment.
Better yet, he can do all four within the same play, which ensures Memphis’ sets always have secondary options. A pick-and-pop that the defense covers effectively can quickly swing into a dribble handoff, post-up, or second-side screening action, and it’s difficult for the defense to peg exactly where Jackson fits in to those sequences. In an instant, he’s flipped from the big man screener that gets a guard open into the primary option on a flare screen to get him a three.
[vid]
And if that shot isn’t there, he can quickly flow back into being a screener for a guard curling up from the corner.
[vid]
Or — and this is spicy — he can invert the traditional big/guard setup and act as the ball-handler immediately.
[vid]
Well, overplaying JJJ's shooting is unwise - he possesses a decent handle for a big (relatively few turnovers considering he drives quite often) and is excellent at attacking closeouts and finishing at in the paint (65 FG% in restricted area). Some of his long strides and wrong-footed finishes bring to mind Pascal Siakam. His post scoring is well below-average (26th percentile), his ISO scoring is decent (65th percentile), and his shooting in the non-restricted area of the paint (floaters and such) isn't anything to write home about (39.5 FG%). Interestingly, he rarely takes midrange shots, with a James Harden-esque 16 midrange attempts over the entire season.
Defensively-speaking, Jaren is very versatile and has incredible length, athleticism, footwork, and timing, able to switch onto bigs and guards alike with equal ease and possessing preternatural defensive instincts as a help defender. However, he is still some way from fulfilling his All-Defensive, even DPOY potential, as he's haunted by persistent fouling issues - he's averaged 5.2 fouls/36 in each of his first 2 seasons. His rebounding rate is anemic for a player his size, too (3.7 D-Rebs/game) - part of this might be due to him playing out on the perimeter a lot, part of it might just be due to his rebounding being naturally poor. (In case you were wondering, JJJ's lack of rebounding isn't a Steven Adams issue because he's just boxing people out all the time, either - he's 109th in the league in defensive-box-outs/game.) His current overall defensive impact, therefore, is quite neutral at the moment - most advanced numbers don't think highly of it. Memphis have the 16th ranked defense in the league, and their defensive rating actually improves with JJJ off the court (some of this might just be noise, or perhaps a case of Grizzlies' backups shining against weaker bench units). In any case, these current defensive shortcomings are something Grizzlies fans will likely gladly live with, considering JJJ's offensive value and the promise of future improvements in his defensive impact once he learns to foul less.

4: Kris Dunn, the modern-era Tony Allen?

This season, the Bulls' dogged guard slash forward Kris Dunn has graded out consistently as one of the very best and most impactful defenders in the NBA, regardless of position. For the first time in his career, Dunn's team is A) excellent at defense with him on the court, and B) much better on defense with him on the court than without.
First, though, let's get the numbers out of the way:
  • Height: 6-3, Weight: 205 lb, Wingspan: 6-10, 51 GP, 24.9 MPG
  • 2nd in Steals/game (2.0), 1st in Steal % by a wide margin, 4th in Deflections/game (only player in the top 11 averaging fewer than 25 minutes a night), 8th in Defensive loose-balls recovered/game
  • 2nd in Defensive Box Plus Minus (BBRef)
  • 5th in Defensive PIPM
  • 7th Defensive RAPTOR, which incorporates player tracking data
  • 7th in Defensive RAPM / Luck-adjusted RAPM
  • 13th in Defensive Real Plus-Minus (ESPN)
  • Bulls have a 106.4 Defensive Rating (-4.0 rDRTG) with Kris Dunn on the floor, which would rank 4th in the NBA over a full season. The Bulls defense also improves by a massive +6.2 points when Dunn enters the game.
  • 67.8 Versatility Index, guarding positions 1-3 at least 19% of the time each, and spending 15% of his possessions guarding PFs and Cs
  • Held pick-and-roll ball-handlers to 0.71 points per possession, one of the best marks in the league
  • Can guard either the primary or secondary offensive options highly effectively as required
  • Opponents shoot 1.5% worse on 3s when Dunn is the closest defender
  • "Among those who logged at least 20 minutes per game, Dunn led all players in the percentage of his points that came off a turnover, at a whopping 29.3 percent. It’s reminiscent of prime Tony Allen — who used to live near the top of the league in this category — and more than doubled his production from the previous year."
Adding on some more quotes from Michael Pina's fantastic SB Nation breakdown of Dunn's defense, "Kris Dunn is a dying breed in today’s NBA. That’s why he’s so fascinating":
On the night Kris Dunn suffered a knee injury that will likely end his season, I sat by his locker to chat about defense. Considering no guard in the NBA has been better at it this season, the topic made sense.
We talked about... The dark arts that go into learning his opponent’s specific tendencies:
“A lot of guys who are righties like to go left to be able to get to their jump shot, and a lot of people who are righties like to go downhill to their right side. But if you’re a righty, most likely you like to go left. I just feel like you just have, you know, more in your bag of tricks going left. If you’re a lefty, most of the time they like going right. It’s just how they do it.
I like to break down to see what’s their go-to move. Some people when they come down the court, if they have the ball in their left hand, they’re getting ready to shoot. If they have the ball in their right hand, they’re ready to drive.”
... And player comparisons:
“I feel like Tony Allen, he just fits what I do. He’ll pounce on you. He was strong, physical. I think he could guard 1 through 3, even fours. I feel like I can guard some fours sometimes. I feel like that’s a good comparison because he’s got that dog, he’s got that bloodhound in him.”
Dunn’s season-long defensive impact was, to be frank, spectacular. He thrived in Jim Boylen’s tight-rope-walk of a defensive scheme, torpedoing passing lanes, living in his man’s jersey, and never giving up on a possession.
For most defenders, including Dunn, a majority of his defensive possessions are spent off the ball, and it’s here where his knowledge, instincts, and timing swirl up into a typhoon that the offense then has to navigate.
“He’s an all-defensive defender if I’ve ever seen one, and I’ve seen a few of them,” Boylen said right before the injury. “Paul George, Kawhi Leonard. He’s an All-Defensive guy.”
  • Indeed, Kris Dunn should receive some serious consideration for an All-Defensive spot. He may not get it because the Bulls are bad and his offensive role is limited, hence he likely won't be well-known to most voters, but he's clearly been one of the best guard defenders in the league this year, and one of the most impactful defenders in the league, period.

5: Kawhi Leonard, playmaker

This entry might surprise some readers, but yes, in the 2019-20 season, reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard has finally broken out as a PASSER - 5.0 APG, decent 1.9:1 AST/TO ratio, 27.0 AST%, impressive 6.7 Passer Rating (Backpicks).
See, prior to this season, Kawhi was not actually a very good passer or playmaker.
  • A fun and relevant stat- Kawhi only has 10 TOTAL career games (regular season and playoffs combined) with 8 or more assists, and a whopping 7 of them came in the 2019-20 regular season. (source)
In previous years, Kawhi has had a few high-assist games in the playoffs, mostly as a result of making basic passes out of double-teams when teams commit multiple defenders to slow down his monster playoff-scoring, but he's never been a proficient playmaking wing like LeBron/Kobe/MJ, often lacking accuracy and velocity on many of his passes, and very rarely making more advanced reads (throwing skip passes out of a Pick-and-Roll/PnR, for example). After developing into the amazing ISO scorer we now know him as in 2017, Kawhi was generally in score-first mode for the vast majority of his possessions, generally only trying to find teammates when his own attack had fizzled out. This slightly limited his team's and his own ceiling as an offensive force, unable to punish help consistently and effectively.
This season, though, Kawhi burst out of the gate as a shockingly comfortable and effective passer and playmaker, averaging 8 APG in his first 4 games. Far from his probing, soft, and hesitant passes late in the shot clock to teammates in previous years, this version of the Klaw tries to keep his head up and his offensive options open, always tracking where his teammates are. He consistently hits the Clippers' bigs Zubac and Harrell in the PnR with crisp high-speed bounce-passes, throws no-looks and skip passes to shooters, and even manipulates defenders by freezing them with his eyes before rapidly lasering the ball to open teammates under the rim.
To quote Zach Lowe:
He already has developed chemistry with two very different dance partners in Ivica Zubac and Montrezl Harrell. Zubac is more laborious, and so Leonard navigates with zigzaggy, start-and-stop patience until Zubac rumbles free: clip
Harrell can zip to the rim or mirror Leonard's pitter-pat. Harrell also is a master at re-screening at different angles, and Leonard is learning to bob and weave behind him -- and use the threat of a handoff to slice backdoor: clip
His passing leap shows up on film, too, where he rarely looks lost anymore, knowing where his teammates are at all times, but it also shows up in the numbers: easily a career-high 5.0 assists/game (previous high was 3.3 in 2017), 27.0 AST% (previous high 18.9% in 2017).
The rest of the league should be worried - one of the finest scorers in the game has finally upgraded his passing game to match.
That's it for today, thanks for reading!
submitted by KagsTheOneAndOnly to nba [link] [comments]

Magicite vs. Historia Crystals - A Semi-Comprehensive Comparison

Overview

With Rat Tails in short supply and the number of buffs & passives only growing more complicated, one of the questions understandably getting raised over and over again is "Should I be using a magicite deck or a historia crystal for my Dreambreaker team?" There have been some broad gestures at comparing the two, but often the discussion just amounts to saying "It's situational" and then making no attempt to parse out what those situations are. So let's do that.

TL;DR

Deck & Crystal Configurations

I'll be using the 7 magicite decks below for comparison. The characters are just for illustration; the important thing is how many elements are in play and whether the team is physical, magical, or both. All magicite are max inherited, and while we could quibble about specific passives, I believe I'm using fairly common and effective configurations.
Special Notes:
On the HC side, the question is blessedly straightforward: how many rat tails are you willing to invest? I'll be comparing each magicite deck against HCs at levels 80, 90, and 99 with synergy and 500% Historia Link. The Stat Boon and Surging Power passives increment at 85 and 95 as well, but they're so modest that I don't consider them sensible targets.

Defenses & Passives

Deck HP DEF RES Crit Ch Crit Dmg Fast Act Heal +dmg -dmg
1P 2379 129 134 - 15% - 15% 27-56% 8-22%
1H 2379 129 134 - 10% - 15% 27-56% 8-22%
1M 2776 129 134 - - 10% 15% 27-56% 8-22%
2P 2379 129 134 - - - 15% 27-56% 8-22%
2H 2379 129 134 - - - 15% 27-56% 8-22%
2M 2379 129 134 - - - 15% 27-56% 8-22%
3H 1619 161 164 - - - - 27-56% 8-22%
HC (Lv 80) 1552 121 121 8% 8% 8% 8% 28-47% 8-24%
HC (Lv 90) 1809 152 152 9% 9% 9% 9% 29-51% 9-26%
HC (Lv 99) 2072 173 173 10% 10% 10% 10% 30-56% 10-28%

Conclusions

Throughput Stats

Deck ATK MAG
1P 350 149
1H 288 339
1M 155 339
2P 350 149
2H 288 279
2M 155 339
3H 190 289
HC (Lv 80) 146 146
HC (Lv 90) 182 182
HC (Lv 99) 208 208
Even a lowly 3H deck provides better ATK/MAG than a maxed HC. Quantifying that edge is a nightmare, but we can box it in somewhat at least since these boons apply after character stats and buffs.
We take as given that all Dreambreaker units have full legend dives, crystal waters, and magia in their primary stat. On top of that, there are 3 rough tiers of investment. An elemental artifact alone will get a unit to about 800 ATK/MAG. An elemental artifact + record board OR realm artifact (no RB) gets a unit to about 1000 ATK/MAG. And a realm artifact with RB gets us to about 1200 ATK/MAG. These numbers will vary by unit and your relic collection but are broadly consistent.
We then have to consider how much you're buffing and whether you're punching through Dreambreaker Full Break (-70%) or overwriting with Tyro OSB (+15%)? For buffs, assume 5 possibilities: no buffs, +30%, +50% from an elemental chain, two +30s (+69% overall), or 30+50 (+95% overall)
Scenario Modifier 800 Stat 1000 Stat 1200 Stat
+0%, full break 30% 240 300 360
+30%, full break 39% 312 390 468
+50%, full break 45% 360 450 540
+69%, full break 51% 406 507 612
+95%, full break 59% 468 585 702
+0%, TyrOSB 115% 920 1150 1380
+30%, TyrOSB 150% 1196 1495 1794
+50%, TyrOSB 173% 1380 1725 2070
+69%, TyrOSB 194% 1555 1944 2332
+95%, TyrOSB 224% 1794 2242 2691
Soft caps for ATK are at 805 and 1300. Soft caps for MAG are at 1055 and 2037.
Without disappearing further down the rabbit hole: if you aren't hitting the first soft cap, you aren't doing squat to Dreambreakers, and if you're past the second one, the benefits of a magicite deck over HC are pretty marginal.

Conclusions

Activation

HC are uniformly better.
Entry damage is easy. Accounting for both entries, it's 200k for the magicite (4.4% of a Dreambreaker's 4.5M HP) vs. 280k for the historia crystal (6.2% of the boss's HP).
For the chain bonus, neither magicite nor HC benefit from elemental chains, and magicite usually will not contribute to realm chains due to being limited to FF5, FF6, FFX, and FF11. (And only Titan and Ifrit line up at all with their characters). Given that HC already win this category overall, I'll assume the simplest and most conservative case for them here, getting only the RW chain bonus (30%). Across 4 hits, a magicite will deal 120k damage vs the 156k for the crystal. Combining these with the entry damage, we get 7.1% boss HP dealt by the magicite vs. 9.7% by the HC when the RW chain is used. This is more neat than actionable though, especially since savage mode completely mucks with the numbers themselves.
For the imperils I'll assume a static IMPERIL 2 for simplicity, granting that this ramp up/down varies on the tempo of the fight. In defense of this assumption: very little damage is done until the chain, magicite/HC, and character SBs go up at roughly the same time. And in the case of a non-clear, by the time the imperils have all faded, your units are likely tapped out as well. Dreambreakers have 20% weakness, or 40% with our imperils. 1.4/1.2 = 1.17, meaning each unit sees a 17% damage increase from having the imperils vs. not.
For units, I assume 3 DPS units, each of which contributes roughly equal DPS. (Demonstrably not true; handicap this at your discretion.) In a two-element team, 1 of 3 units realizes this damage increase by switching from elemental to prismatic imperil, and in a three-element team, 2 of 3 units do. That gives us the following breakdown:
The element/prismatic boost is broadly not worth considering; it's short-lived, additive with a number of other buffs in play and will in some cases be lost to the buff cap. But for completeness, its best case scenario assumes your units have +element weapons and armor for 1.4 element mod and NOTHING ELSE. Magicite entry yields 1.6/1.4 = 14% additional damage per unit affected, so 14% in a one element team, 9.5% in a two-element team, 4.8% in a three element team. Conversely, historia crystals yield 1.7/1.4 = 21% damage. Dividing this out means a 6-15% advantage for the HC, which again is only really true in a run fast enough to capitalize on it and is optimistic anyway.

Closing Thoughts

Despite all the numbers and my snark in the opening, I fully confess that a lot of the conclusions are ultimately a educated guesses. The stat assumptions are pretty broad, the assumption of 3 equivalent DPS units is not true at all (as the folks using Ramza AASB can surely attest to), and things like HAs, variable damage caps, and more confound this to an incredible degree. If you've done the back and forth between magicite and HCs for any of your Dreambreaker runs thus far, definitely share in the comments!
The other consideration looming large is White Odin. It'll be a long while yet before we have full elemental coverage even with day 1 clears of him, but his direct damage is better than a historia crystal and he can cover empowers and dampens for multi-element teams. It's very possible - though not obvious - that he'll obsolete HCs as a result. Incoming 7* dives for Historia Crystals?

Composite Table

Including this in case it's useful for anything in the comments.
Deck HP ATK MAG DEF RES Crit Ch Crit Dmg Fast Act Heal +dmg -dmg
1P 2379 350 149 129 134 - 15% - 15% 27-56% 8-22%
1H 2379 288 339 129 134 - 10% - 15% 27-56% 8-22%
1M 2776 155 339 129 134 - - 10% 15% 27-56% 8-22%
2P 2379 350 149 129 134 - - - 15% 27-56% 8-22%
2H 2379 288 279 129 134 - - - 15% 27-56% 8-22%
2M 2379 155 339 129 134 - - - 15% 27-56% 8-22%
3H 1619 190 289 161 164 - - - - 27-56% 8-22%
HC (Lv 80) 1552 146 146 121 121 8% 8% 8% 8% 28-47% 8-24%
HC (Lv 90) 1809 182 182 152 152 9% 9% 9% 9% 29-51% 9-26%
HC (Lv 99) 2072 208 208 173 173 10% 10% 10% 10% 30-56% 10-28%
submitted by Merlin_the_Tuna to FFRecordKeeper [link] [comments]

DefiantHermit's Should You Pull? Yuna Banner - Aug 24

Hello everyone, DefiantHermit here for another instalment of the SYP series, today featuring Ludger Yuna!

Yuna

Element: Wind Type: Artes Role: Debuffer
Overview:
Yuna finally gets her unit release and she’s… almost a carbon copy of Ludger. Stat-wise, she comes with high HP and DEF, but an atrocious ATK stat (lowest among SSRs) (30,000 HP | 1,950 ATK | 3,000 DEF). Bulk is pretty on point, so she’s quite resilient, but don’t expect her to be dishing out any meaningful damage.
Her awakening skill provides an unrestricted +6% DEF buff to allies, alongside a +16% ATK to wind units at 20 hits. Once again a split skill, but with more of an offensive focus. 6% DEF feels really shitty compared to the standard 10%, but the ATK buff is very nice for your Wind team.
As far as skills go,
Arte Modifier Hits Type Cooldown Effect
Crossweave 130% 2 ST 2 turns 100% Chance to Decrease 10% ATK for 2 Turns
Thunderbolt Stitch 160% 8 ST 4 turns 100% Chance to Decrease 10% DEFfor 2 Turns
Normal Attack 100% 2 ST - -
As you can see, this is almost identical to Ludger’s skillset, with some minor differences in hitcount and an increase in the ATK break (5% -> 10%). These skills have below average modifiers and, coupled with Yuna’s low ATK, are solely meant as debuffs.
Her Mystic Arte completes the kit as a 250% -> 350%, 8 -> 9 Hit ST skill, costing 190 OL. Once again very similar to Ludger in terms of modifiers, with reduced hitcount, but 30 less OL as well. 190 leads to a guaranteed turn 3 cast on Water raids, but she’s 12 OL shy on off-elements with the bonus from her ascension board, meaning she requires some assistance to achieve consistency.
So basically we have a consistent debuffer that can also output an okay amount of hits (16~17) during break turns, with no investment required on Water and with a simple OL stone everywhere else.
Elemental Context:
Wind is becoming a packed element, with 3 new SSRs released aside from the initial cast. That said, there are no debuffers that fulfil the same role as Yuna there yet, so she’ll definitely have her niche.
While her ATK is lower, we know Ludger is used, even outside of his element, so it’s not too farfetched to say that Yuna will be used, at least on Water content. That said, I’m still sceptical, simply because I don’t think the low hitcount and terrible ATK is worth a slot over other dedicated debuffers or better hitgens, even if off-element.
That said, we get a free SR copy from story, with her memoria also available for shard exchange. This actually makes her free copy better than the SSR version, since you can instantly MLB her and make use of her great wind dmg boosting passive on the backline.
Off-Element Context:
The only situation I see someone using SSR Yuna over Ludger is if they don’t have Ludger themselves. 74% higher base ATK, with marginal bulk reduction; a typing that is usable in all raids without penalty and a more well-defined awakening skill.
And it’s not even just Ludger, really. S.Rutee does a much better job at offensive debuffing and will likely contribute more to the team in terms of damage as well (if you don’t have Yuna’s passive unlocked). Currently there are no real reasons to need the ATK debuff.
Memoria Stone:
If you thought the Ludger comparison was over, I got some news for ya lmao. Yuna stone has the exact same effect, giving 10% -> 20% Evasion with no restrictions, but with a defensive stat focus: double the HP, half the ATK, same DEF (16,000 HP | 650 ATK | 1,250 DEF).
Evasion stones are very powerful survivability tools, especially in arena. Denying not only damage, but also OL gain from a miss can significantly change tides of battle, but it obviously come at the cost of other effects.
For everywhere else, Evasion is still a tricky mechanic to evaluate. In raids, you’re much better off using strictly damaging or consistency stones (namely CritDamage and OL gain) because your main goal is to reach 25k contribution as fast as possible when aiding. On Tower it has a better case for itself, but it also has more competition vs straight bulk stones or even OL gains again.

Should You Pull?

Yuna is almost exactly like a Wind Ludger, but with 45% less ATK in trade for some extra bulk and a better ATK break. Ludger is considered a good unit because he can not only debuff on raids, but also contribute to your team’s damage, aside from having a neutral element.
Ludger is used in raids, so Yuna will also find a home, if you want to use her. That said, the free SR version is significantly more attractive for everyone but whales, as the value of her awakening skill more than compensates for the lack of an MA, as she won’t output relevant damage regardless.
This is an extremely safe skip, even if you like the assets, as you’re getting the SR version for free anyway. If you’re considering doing a few multies, do yourself a favor… don’t.
submitted by DefiantHermit to TalesOfCrestoria [link] [comments]

Magical Songstress vs Blood Scientist

Magical Songstress vs Blood Scientist
With the addition of my last (real) post that was about Warfarin (WFR), we now have enough details to fully take on the question people asked many moons ago and even now. Who is better at buffing their allies? And since it’s always depends, then when and why do each bested the other? In this post I will trying my best to justify all of the possible comparison and rig it in a way so that Sora win………what
Terrible banner below
Horrendous photoshop skills confirmed
To read more about them, I have made dedicated post for each. You can read more about Warfarin and Sora there.
Anyway, first thing first. We can get the general stuff out of the way. Stats, and all of the miscellaneous sh…enanigans. And to do that, we need to lay out the assumptions.

Assumptions

For all numbers used for comparing purposes, we will be talking in E2 Lv30 with full trusts and pot 1 for all parties involved, since it’s a typical stopping range. WFR and Sora’s respective S1 will be compare at level 7. However, for their respective S2, we will be comparing them at M3 for most of the time, since the purpose of this post is to mainly compare buffs and shit, that and I don’t think anyone actually M3 their S1.
For that assumption,
WFR’s stats would be: 1424 HP, 516 ATK, 109 DEF, 19 costs, 2.85s attack interval, and 0 RES.
Sora’s stats would be: 1141 HP, 349 ATK, 228 DEF, 7 costs, no interval, and 0 RES.
And if anyone get dragged in the example later on will probably just get calculated later.
Quick table for summaries
WFR Sora
Profession Medic Supporter
Age At least 100 Ouch stop hitting okay fine sorry put the chair down
Healing power - 100% of her ATK every 2.85s to 1 person in her range - Has the 2nd highest ATK stats among medics, 5th when counting supporters as well. - 10% of her attack every second to everyone in her range, doesn’t affected by attack rate whatsoever - Has the 4th, 3rd, 2nd lowest ATK of the game at E0, 1, 2 respectively
Range A 3x4 range with WFR on the middle of the 3-tiles-edge 2 tiles away from Sora at any direction (Similar to Texas’ S2 area)
Survivability (HP, DEF, RES…) Average HP and DEF, and no RES among medics and supporters Below average HP, 0 RES, but highest DEF among all ranged operators in the game quality steel microphone confirmed
Cost to deploy 19 7
Base skills Helps medic complete masteries faster Restore morale for everyone in the room faster and Trade Post faster
Method to support allies (aside from healing) 3 ways: Talent and 2 skills Only 2: her 2 skills
Now to the explanation.
- The class classification is not going to be important… most of the time, however, when we’re talking hard content options, Medics tends to get a worse treatment compare to Supporters. In CM or CC with different risks, Medics do get banned specifically when it’s due, whereas Supporters usually don’t (except for 2-2 CM, and some future CC maps). Maps that has a certain inhibition (ban, x3 costs…) to Medics are more often seen than map that inhibit Supporters, is what I’m saying.
- Their healing power is also drastically different. WFR is a single target medic (which does get higher ATK to compensate), whereas Sora, first of isn’t even a healer, second, she heals in an AoE. Even AoE medics can only heal 3 allies at once, but Sora? She sings away, restoring HP to up to 12 allies in her range, plus herself. That’s actually enough for a whole squad + support unit, when WFR can only fit 12 people in her range including herself. Although, good luck finding a map that does allow you to do that (and even in AF-8, you still face the deployment limit of 9). For a quick number comparison, WFR heals 516 HP every 2.85s to one ally, as in 181 HP/s (or HPS I guess) to only 1 person. Sora in comparison get 34.9 HPS but to all ally. The breakpoint then is 181/34.9 = 5.19 → 6 allies before WFR’s heals become worse than Sora’s. That’s actually pretty hard to do, which means Sora will lose to WFR when it comes to healing, hey wait a minute Sora isn’t even a medic though, so that’s pretty natural.
There is a silver lining, because Sora doesn’t necessary “heal”, she can restore HP to unhealable target. That means she can heal Hellagur, Vulcan, Utage, all summons, including Magellan’s Soaring Dragons, Mayer’s Meeboos, Deepcolor’s Tentacle, Nightingale’s Phantom, and of course any future addition of these type of units.
But wait, there’s more in chapter 6. With the appearance of chill and frozen debuff, the healing rate of WFR can get shafted. Sora healing rate does not get affected by attack rate reduction, or heck even stun or frozen, so for those case, Sora can have an easy time healing whereas WFR wouldn’t, even if Sora’s healing is bad. Except…
- Sora’s range is far worse than WFR’s. Even if Sora can heal while stunned/frozen, her reach to allies is worse. At most Sora can only heal allies 2 tiles away from her, whereas WFR can reach up to 4 tiles ahead of her (though she can’t reach 2 tiles from her side nor behind). This allows WFR to have a little bit more flexibility in deployment location.
- Their HP are also not that high, WFR’s 1424 HP vs Sora’s 1141. Sora's HP loses out by quite a lot, but Sora’s DEF doubled WFR’s, 228 vs 109. Considering both has 0 RES, that means Sora’s pretty good at surviving physical damage, whereas WFR is better at surviving magical damage. Though of course, none should be primarily used to tank ranged attack, unless the enemies’ ranged attacks are much weaker compare to the melee, so you can choose to alleviate some of the pressure off your melee operators, but then you have to divide your healing to more people, which actually is something that Sora needs to catch up to WFR’s HPS.
- Sora cost way less than WFR, to basically compensate for what she couldn’t compete against WFR. If you remember from my Sora post, her cost is the lowest in the game bar the robots (and Gravel full pot pfff).
- Their base skills fill different roles…I wouldn’t say much here since it’s not the focus of this post nor is there any real way to compare them. WFR trains other medics faster, Sora supports her fans and M O N E Y.
- Both of their skills can support their allies. If you haven’t noticed it yet though, both of Sora and WFR’s skills are similar. Their first skill causes a large heal, and their second skill increases ally’s ATK (Sora’s first skill has something else but shhhh). WFR then, win this comparison because she has her talent that grants SP to ally in her range whenever an enemy die in her range. More SP means faster skill charge rate, which lead to more damage overall from operators, and more SP also allows WFR to use her skills faster, which lead to more support than Sora.
That’s a bit too much for general comparison. Let’s go a little bit more into specific skills comparison.

Showdown: First skill

Sick Microsoft Paint skills
I'm not going to full details of what each skill does again, but to summarize: WFR’s first skill heal an ally that is under 50% HP for an additional 19% of their max HP. So basically for WFR’s next heal, she heals for 516 + 19% of the healed ally’s max HP. Sora’s first skill on the other hand, expands her normal range and increase her regen much further. Sora’s new range is equal to Saria’s S2 healing range, and her regeneration is now 349 * 70% = 244.3 HPS (it’s going to be 349 if you decided to M3 this skill but what psycho actually do that itwasajokecalmdown).
Strictly for healing (and assuming WFR’s S1 activated constantly), these skills now change their respective HPS. WFR’s HPS is now (516 + 19% of the ally’s max HP) / 2.85 = (181 + 6.6666% of ally max HP) HP/s. The % number looks fishy, it’s like they intentionally let the 19% there :thonkang: Anyway, the new break point between them is now 244.3 = 181 + 6.6666% max HP, with that max HP is (oh god I spent 4 years studied engineer in university to do gaming math) 949.5 max HP. Very few operators have that low max HP to begin with, except for maybe Haze, 1-2* ops, some 3* ops, and CC risks. If you tiptoe the heal between 2 allies, that increase the max HP limit to 244.3 = (181 + 6.6666% maxHP)/2, which lead to the new needed max HP to…4614. That’s… really bad for WFR now. As soon as WFR needs to heal 2 allies or more, she loses to Sora’s. Wait a minute, there’s this small part in my WFR’s post (which was pointed out by a commenter actually) that WFR’s S1 reset her healing animation (it wouldn’t cause her healing to be continuous though) between 2 allies so WFR win out again. If you have a third ally (or more), however, Sora wins with her S1 active. When we hit 3 or more allies that need strong healing at once, you may as well go train your operators stronger before attempting it again, WFR will never be able to keep up, especially because she can only hold 3 charges which can run out faster than 7s from Sora’s S1. (But there’s a twist which will be present later)
The utility of Sora’s phase shifting all enemies in her range can also be important. In my old Sora’s post, I stated that this skill is perfect for reset when things go wrong. She can guarantee healing while stopping enemies from doing the thing that force your operators to need healing to begin with. It’s a bit hard to quantify in numbers but keep that in mind for general usage. HOWEVER, unlike WFR’s S1, a skill that is perfect to buy time for your allies with massive healing, Sora’s S1 completely phase them out, not allowing them to cause harm or be harmed. This is bad because WFR’s skill does not do that, which means you can eliminate this threat even before her 3 charges is used up. Where for Sora’s case, after her skill is over, she loses her massive healing rate, while the enemy that cause the need for a massive heal is still there because you couldn’t kill him when this skill is up. This is the thing I said back in her post, that this skill can be used to buy enough time for round 2, and one thing I only slightly implied was that, if your ops lose this round 2, there’s no comeback.
Which lead to another thing, because Sora isn’t a bona fide healer, in order to use Sora in the field, you’re basically forced to bring an actual medic first, which will cost you an additional deploy limit. Or, you can use Saria along with her (personally duped as the Soaria combo), who already more than enough filled the role of a medic. As in, Saria alone sometime couldn’t fulfill completely the entire role of a medic, but if you add Sora, they both would (unintentional Sora’s S2 showcase).
The change in Sora’s range can swing the comparison as well, but then, it’s apple and orange, as WFR has a long frontal reach, while Sora has large surrounding reach, which including behind her. It does allow Sora to reach her allies easier, but it’s something that WFR can already done most of the time.
One last thing is that Sora’s skill has a really terrible duration, with a terrible cooldown, even if her talent activated, when compare to WFR’s S1. 60SP to use for only 7 seconds is a huge downside, but for that strong effect, it may seem like a balanced(?) decision.
And with that comes the knock out attack from WFR, because Sora’s skill is a “use once, go recharge” type of skill, while WFR can hold 3 charges, it means that WFR’s can just use 1 or 2 charges and be fine. What that signify is that Sora need to fully commit her skill to perform whatever role she needs of that skill, while because WFR’s can store 3 charges (4 if you’re psychopath), she has no real need to commit. If another threat shows up within 60 seconds (or 30s if Sora managed her talent), Sora cannot do anything else for that. We did said earlier that if there’s a lot of allies need strong healing in range, Sora is stronger, but that won’t be like that most of the time. Heck, even if WFR use all 3 charges, she can still restore 1 more charge to use faster than Sora, needing only 4 healing intervals, which can also combine with WFR’s talent which cover half a charge each proc. (Fun fact: both talents recover half the SP required for their S1, that is all).
This has been pointed out many times before, but that just mean Sora isn’t meant to be a healer, which according to the game she already is not. But she could catch up in a few scenarios, one being hardcore AoE heal, the other being countering attack speed debuff (whether it’s an actual attack speed debuff, or just stunned or frozen, which results in attack rate become 0).
Well, now we’re at the section that is the reason why this post was made

Showdown: Second skill

More sick Paint skill
The question has been asked many times.>! I also asked myself many times “Was it worth it to S2M3 both of their skills?” The answer is heck yea!<. But jokes aside, between the two, when will each do better? I will attempt to justify as most cases as possible, except for the few most specific lineups that mainly exists for memes. Now you may say we only buff allies when we do meme, but nobody made that the rule. Believe it or not, you can unironically use buffer (no plural though, because even that’s meme territory even for me) for normal run.
With how strong WFR’s normal healing is due to her high ATK, you can actually use her S2 for runs that never require a strong healing. WFR is perfect for adding just the minimum required healing while providing more to the team with her SP and ATK boost.
First off, WFR always beat Sora with her SP granting talent, so we’ll stop mention that for the rest of this post. WFR’s talent is more consistent (50% from Sora is still quite reliable, but as soon as it doesn’t work once, you’ll remember it), and it can also help allies.
Second off, ally operators who have high attack speed, multi hits, multi targets, AoE, and high skill multipliers all works really well with their buff. But since those thing works for both WFR and Sora’s skill, there’s no winning here. Just remember that those things work amazing with these attack buffs.
Third off, back to 3 points ago. Because WFR can heal and buff at the same, she can transcend from her boring important medic role to a supporter, whereas for Sora, she can’t really do vice-versa. But as I mentioned a while back, Medics tend to get ban more in harder contents, while Supporters have slightly less occasion where they would receive such treatment. In Contingency Contract, you can technically not pick the risks, but it’s there. I heard future CC does have risk that ban Supporters, but again the ban is still at a lower frequency than Medics.
Fourt…nvm I’m getting tired of this. Next, we’ll go further on how much each skill increases their allies’s ATK. There’s our main discrepancy between the 2 buffs, because one increases a flat number of ATK to allies, while the other increases a percentage of damage to an ally. Sora basically give an additional 349 ATK to everyone in her range, while WFR increases their ATK by an additional 90% of their base. This is also worth mentioning again because these ATK buffs only stack additively, not multiplicatively. Anyway, so the break-even point is pretty clear, any operators whose 349 is 90% of their ATK value. That is basically any operator at 387.(7) ATK, which is pretty low. Very few operators have lower damage, and those that do don’t do DPS role (Defenders, Robots, Medics…) except Ranger. Ranger with Sora buff will destroy enemies…or just drones idk.
The turnaround is of course not on 1 ally, but more. If Sora can only boost about 45% of her allies’ damage, then boosting 2 allies is enough to compromise using her instead of WFR who boost for 90% to one ally, 30% with 3, and so on. The more allies Sora boosts, the more she leaves WFR in the dusts. This is actually even better because of 2 reasons. First is again the total % boost of Sora’s buff for multiple allies, the more allies in her range, the better her buff becomes. Second is about the same setup but for healing, since Sora needs more allies to catch up with WFR's healing, and since WFR is mainly use as a healer, you’d need to put your allies in WFR’s range as well. If you do that, then her HPS reduced and the RNG start to affect your buff. The more allies need WFR’s heal, the less consistent her buff become while Sora gain many many chance to catch up.
But WFR won’t go down without a fight, I already devised a way to work around her RNGesus back in her highlights post. Essentially, you can work around the selection of the buff simply by having a win-win situation, instead of putting Cuora in her range, put a strong AoE guard instead, to the point where whoever it randomed to, it’s not a bad choice at all. An extreme form of that strat is to put only 1 person in WFR’s range, which is what most people would default to. That is not wrong, but that would also mean you’re removing her normal role, aka medic, and also because of how large WFR’s range is, in order to have only 1 person in her range, a large area need to be cleared out, OR, if you have WFR face a different angle, then her talent would start to not function properly. Regardless, controlling WFR’s buff can be easy, however it is limiting at time.
There’s also the fact that WFR actually buff 2 persons, not just 1. WFR always buff herself first and foremost. Sora for some reason doesn’t do that. Because the ATK buff is determined before her skill actually start and stay there for the whole duration, i.e. if Sora has an amount of ATK at the time she uses this skill and then getting more (or less) ATK while the skill is already running, the ATK buff wouldn’t change. With that condition in mind, I think Sora S2 could buff herself, effectively x2 her healing during the skill with nothing else change. Though it will still not be that good for healing, it’s still better. Anyway, WFR buffs herself during this skill, which means WFR heals for much stronger during it. That can mean you don’t necessarily need her first skill if you only need it for a certain strong and threatening enemy that only comes periodically. Again, the fact that WFR is a strong medic is helping massively in this buffing war, which has nothing to do with healing lel. But the buff does affect WFR herself, which means Sora need double the amount of ally needed to match up with WFR again. Strictly for buffing allies though, Sora can still easily outbuff WFR.
Sora does have a different approach to buffing comparing to WFR. When I said about making a formation that WFR wouldn’t buff any one that you don’t want, it’s kinda implied that all of them will be DPS because WFR’s buff only target one person and they should generally be DPS, which means that all that are in WFR’s range can deal strong damage. Remember an argument back in their healing skill? That Sora have to all in her skill to heal? Well joke’s on WFR now because she’s the one all in her buff. Sora can buff anything in her range, no discrimination. That means she can buff Defenders, Supporters, Specialists, Medics while also buffing any DPS in her range. That results in the fact that you can now have a stronger heal output as well as the fact that you don’t have to ignore any low DPS allies in her range like WFR would. AND, the fact that Sora’s buff works better the lower your ally’s attack are. As a result of all those little tidbits, what Sora can do is to boost the effectiveness of everyone in her range, regardless of their role. Whereas, for WFR, because of the all-in nature of her buff, you’d almost want to boost a strong DPS instead, like, would you want to use WFR’s buff on a medic? (just for funsies I once full buff Perfumer and when her S2M3 is active she got about 78 HPS regen globally) Yes I M3'd Perfumer's S2
As for how long these buffs last, WFR’s only lasts 15s, whereas Sora’s lasts for double that. This may matter when their respective cooldown is different, as well as the talent that is functionally different as well. Because WFR’s talent always affect herself, it’s more reliable than Sora’s talent who only works 50% of the time. Their respective recharge rate would probably be hard to quantify, as one requires the luck of the draw, and one require enemies’ death. So Sora’s buff lasts twice as long as WFR’s, which could work better for a longer fight period, but if it’s a long fight period, there’s also the chance for WFR’s to reset her skill again with her talent, which means it's kinda a draw.
Let’s see, what else do we have… The rest are just small little advantages. Sora has more DEF and lower cost, which means she’s good for early physical ranged unit bait (or if you’re a madman like me, AF-5 and AF-8, or against stun snipers in OF, she can hold her ground quite fine). The smaller tidbits like Sora constantly heal regardless of any attack rate affliction mentioned earlier, which is fine against attack speed debuff and stuns, BUT, it also works against attack speed buffs (Angelina, Silence, Aak…), so you win some, you lose some.
There’s something quite important to note though, is that no dumbass actually M3 any of these 2 abilities, at least before they have a strong roster normally (the classic “DPS over Enablers” argument). So, how about we assume just normal skill level 7 instead? The only argument that would change is the buff damage and the break-even point after all. Assuming E1 Lv50, we’ll have WFR with only 60% ATK buff, and Sora with 90% of her ATK. From just that, you can already see a huge jump from SL7 to M3 for WFR’s buff, but barely any improvement for Sora’s, the only other improvement for Sora’s M3 is an additional 10s to her skill, which is quite a lot, from 20s at Lv7 to 30s at M3. With that said, the priority to M3 Sora’s skill is mainly to increase duration, not for more buff power. However, Sora at this level has 308 ATK, which translates to 277.2 ATK to allies. The breakpoint with WFR however, becomes 462 ATK. That raises the ceiling to those that Sora can buff better than WFR could by quite a margin, AND, it’s still 5s longer than WFR’s, AND, that's just for one person. What to draw from that is, Sora is really strong for boosting in the early game, with only a little bit of investment for both her and your other operators, as she is better the lower your allies' ATK are, while WFR is slower in the early game (except for the healing, which carried the argument again), but a far better ceiling cap in later parts of the game. But then again, in the early game, Sora will find it harder to win the "just bring another DPS" argument, so even if her buffs are better, her heals are worse, and the resources to get her to at least skill level 7 with a decent level can be put for another DPS and do the job at least equally to her.

Summary (?)

Anyway, here’s some conclusions. WFR wins the talent support, raw single target buff, stronger heal during buff, but all-in one-person buffing, and limited operators’ role in range. Sora has the stronger total buff the more people she buffs but the potency per person depends on their ATK value, less potent range, less utility outside of buff but no discriminating buff, work less effective than her counterpart when there’s more enemies you need to fight, or when RNGesus abandoned you. Sora can buff slightly better with lower investments (both herself and allies) but have lower ceiling cap. Again, it’s always important to note that the fact that WFR can fill 2 roles, Medic and Supporter, mainly carried her entire arguments against her opponent. Sora cannot solo heal any map, and therefore strictly limited her role to only Supporter, even if you use Sora’s S1, then she now has a strong heal, but with a terrible cooldown for a low duration, so it still can’t be used for solo healing. Her last usage of S1 is to stop the enemies, which WFR could never do. But then again, if Sora need her S1, then she can’t use her S2 to buff allies, while for WFR case, she can still use S2 and still have strong healing, as a result of how her skills works.

Anyway, how was this post? Hopefully nothing biased nor rigged…maybe. What's your takes/arguments on this, assuming only between them and not "just add another DPS"? I'll edit the post if it's a great argument that I glossed over or forgot about or just didn't know and then act like I totally knew it already. There could be a lot more for this type of post as well (Shamare vs Pramanix, etc.) though not anytime soon I guess.
As for my other writing series, I’m still thinking about a candidate for the next one, maybe between Glaucus, Platinum, Cliffheart, Skyfire(?), or Shirayuki I guess (I'm still trying to find Swire smh). A bit effy with things now as I need to escape unemployment, but I also need actual motivation (okay maybe poverty is a good motivation I guess). Hope to see you guys next week.
submitted by Windgesang_ to arknights [link] [comments]

[OC] 5 breakout seasons you might have missed this year

This season, most of you have probably heard or read at one point or another about Luka Dončić soaring into the MVP conversation as a sophomore, the many all-star jumps (Ingram/Trae/Sabonis/Mitchell/Siakam/Booker), Bam Adebayo making a name for himself as an all-round stud in Miami, the Hornets' Devonte' Graham's heartwarming vault into NBA relevance, Ben Simmons's All-Defensive leap, and Jayson Tatum's long-awaited superstar transformation mid-season.
This post, then, will be talking about some breakouts around the league that you might have missed this season, coming from players on less talked-about teams, or simply improved aspects of certain players' games that may have flown under the radar for whatever reason.

1: Jonathan Isaac, defensive savant

[Note: Please read this fantastic and highly detailed two-part post by Jonathan Chen, from which I pilfered the vast majority of the clips that I've linked below: Jonathan Isaac: A Unicorn on the Defensive End]
Jonathan Isaac broke out as an early Defensive Player of the Year-candidate for the Orlando Magic this season - only an unfortunate season-ending left knee injury 32 games in stopped him from achieving a well-deserved All-Defensive spot this year.
While Isaac's gaudy per-game averages (7 rebounds, 1.6 steals, 2.4 blocks) are useful shorthand, they actually underplays his overall impact because of how truly unicorn-ish and all-encompassing his defensive profile is.
  • Paint defense
It all starts with Judah's elite rim protection - opponents shoot a sizeable 10.2 FG% worse within 6 feet of the rim (50.9 DFG%) when Isaac is the closest defender, where his savant-like shot-blocking instincts kick in as the Magic's defensive anchor. Whether he's the primary defender or the weak-side help, he's got fantastic footwork and is very quick off his feet, possessing a mean second-jump. Combined with his 6-11 frame, 7-1 wingspan, and an excellent sense of timing, Isaac is an athletic, long, and relentless roadblock at the rim to thwart otherwise high-percentage opponent shot-attempts in the paint. He's able to tussle with larger behemoths as well - here he is denying Embiid at the rim with one hand. In addition, Isaac remains quite disciplined, managing to consistently remain vertical on his contests and averaging only 2.5 fouls/game, impressive for a 3rd-year defender just 22 years of age.
  • Man defense
Isaac's man defense is already highly impressive, able to guard bigs and guards alike without giving an inch (he has a 62.2% versatility index) and able to guard either the primary or secondary offensive options effectively while also protecting the rim. He's got quick hands that he uses to force turnovers, constantly stripping players when they gather or pick up their dribble. In the post, his length and lanky frame makes him a pest. When defending perimeter threats, his footwork is impeccable, he maneuvers screens really well, and he's agile and long enough to shut down the Greek Freak in semi-transition. When he is beat, he often chases perpetrators down from behind.
  • Team defense
Isaac's off-ball activity and team defense, meanwhile, is reminiscent of peak Draymond, KG, or Andrei Kirilenko, constantly making timely rotations to eat up passing lanes, anticipating and disrupting opponent plays, crowding ball-handlers and halting dribble-penetration, closing out to shooters, and swatting shot attempts at the rim, basically making himself an all-around menace on the court.
  • Some of his few defensive weaknesses:
He can gamble at times for steals (which does work out more often than not thanks to his length and instincts) and occasionally foul on shot contests, he can get caught out-of-position in the post sometimes, and he can be a bit overly twitchy in the paint, falling for pump-fakes from time to time.
  • Orlando's best and most important defender:
He leads the team and ranks near the top of the league in steals/game (1.6), blocks/game (2.4), defensive loose-balls recovered (0.8), and deflections/game (3.3); is 2nd on the team in charges drawn (0.13), defensive box-outs (2.0); and is 3rd in defensive rebounds/game (5.2).
With Isaac on the court, the Orlando Magic's defensive rating jumps by a whopping 4.5 points to an excellent 106.5 DRTG (-3.9 rDRTG), which would rank as the 4th-best defense in the league over a full season, significantly higher than the 9th place (109.0 DRTG) the Magic ended up at at the time of the NBA's suspension.
  • Advanced metrics:
Box- and non-box advanced metrics all think very highly of Isaac's overall defensive impact - he has a +4.8 D-RAPTOR (3rd in NBA), +3.2 D-PIPM (4th), and a +2.9 D-BPM (3rd).
  • So what's next for Isaac?
Isaac is slowly starting to get the benefit of the doubt from referees:
"I thought they were going to call it, I thought they were going to call it goaltending,’’ said a relieved Isaac after his Magic notched their fourth straight victory – this one a gritty 93-87 defeat of Cleveland. "I just tried to get (Thompson’s hook shot) at its highest point, and they gave it to me. I think the refs are starting to let me slide a little bit and I like it.’’
It probably won't be very long before Isaac will be able to run rampant as a full-blown terror on the defensive end, and combined with his decent ancillary offensive numbers as a tertiary scorer / potential floor-spacer (12.0 PPG, 2.8 3PA, 33 3P%), Jonathan is already a truly indispensable part of the Magic rotation for the foreseeable future.
(Bonus clip that perhaps summarises the entirety of Isaac's versatile skillset: His near-5x5 performance in a 1-point loss vs the Dallas Mavericks' historic league-leading offense on November 6, putting up 13/10/5/6/4 while tormenting Porzingis all night long (10 pts, 2 TOVs, 29 FG%) and holding Luka and KP to a combined 37 points on 35 shots (47.5 TS%) and 8 turnovers.)

2: Christian Wood, the NBA's newest unicorn

After 49 games of being an overqualified backup to Andre Drummond (averaging 10/5/1/1/1 on excellent efficiency), Detroit finally moved Christian Wood into the starting lineup after Drummond got traded to Cleveland for their final 13 games before the NBA suspended its season.
  • "Sooo.. who is Wood, and why should we care?"
In his final 13 games, Christian Wood has played like a bonafide star, averaging 22.8 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 2.0 assists, 0.8 blocks, 0.8 steals, and 1.7 threes on 66% True Shooting (56 FG%, 40 3P% on 4.2 3PA, 76 FT%).
He's been remarkably consistent as well, scoring fewer than 17 points only once during this stretch, and showing up against a variety of good teams - 3 of his final 4 games were against stout opposition, and he rose to the challenge admirably, with outputs of 29/9/3 on 91 TS% vs OKC, 30/11/2 on 56 TS% vs the Jazz and reigning DPOY Gobert, and a career-high 32/7/2/3/2 on 81 TS% v.s. Philly.
  • "He's on a bad team though, and Detroit lost all but one of those 13 games. Aren't these just empty numbers?"
There's exists some evidence that these aren't empty calorie numbers.
For one thing, Wood is an advanced stats darling - he ranks in the top-20 to 30 range in most box- and non-box metrics: +4.5 RAPTOR (18th), +3.1 BPM (BBRef) (27th), 0.184 WS/48 (24th), +2.98 PIPM (26th), +2.82 RPM (ESPN) (22nd), +2.09 RAPM (20th).
For another, the Pistons are a whopping +10.9 points better with Wood on the court, with their defensive rating improving by +3 and their offensive rating getting a ridiculous +8 boost.
  • "So, what makes him so effective?"
Offensively, Wood is particularly special, able to shine as either a PF or a C.
When he plays the 5, he is an elite roll-man in the PnR (97th percentile); his potent roll-gravity often distracts defending bigs to get teammates easier looks at the rim. His athleticism and feathery touch allow him to finish at an elite rate at the rim (77 FG% in restricted area), either skying for lobs or shedding defenders with power and speed.
Wood is very aggressive in the short roll too, bullying defenders with unflashy but effective bumps, pivots, fakes, and his leaping ability, not shying away from contact either, affording him a healthy free-throw rate overall (6 FTA/game as starter, 76 FT%).
Wood is also a highly capable offensive rebounder (3.2 ORB/game in final 13 games, top 20 in ORB%), adept at following up on both teammate misses and his own.
Of course, Wood is also a remarkable shooter for his position (40 3P% on 4.2 3pa/game in final 13 games), with a quick and high release off-the-catch that's unbothered by all but the longest of perimeter defenders, opening up driving lanes for teammates with his gravity. "Wood is the rare stretch-4 who doubles as a rim-running 5", allowing coaches a high level of versatility when designing offensive sets. Wood possesses a smooth dribble, too, which lets him attack closeouts and slash to the basket.
  • "What about on defense, though?"
Defensively speaking, Wood has tremendous physical tools: 7-3 wingspan, excellent feet, highly athletic, making him a highly versatile defender capable of guarding speedy guards on switches (68.9 versatility index). He's a decent rim-protector - opponents shoot 6% worse within 6 feet of the hoop when Wood is the closest defender, and Detroit as a whole are +4.4 points better defensively when Wood is on the court. His pick-and-roll defense is actually quite decent, knowing when to drop and timing his contests well. Overall, he's likely a slight positive on defense.
  • "Does he suck at anything?"
Wood can't power through larger defenders, and his post game is highly limited. To quote Jonathan Tjarks, "his ability to score one-on-one is still mostly theoretical—he’s in the 22nd percentile of post scorers this season and the 10th percentile in isolations."
Wood is also a subpar playmaker - he had a 2.0/2.3 assist-to-turnover ratio in his final 13 games. He can make basic reads out of double-teams, but has yet to truly weaponise his own scoring threat to get teammates easier looks on a more consistent basis.
Defensively, his awareness as a team defender has room for improvement, and his motor can be sloppy (seen in some mediocre box-outs or close-outs). He also has trouble against heftier post players, and some speedy guards can blow by him.
Finally, Small Sample Size alert! Some regression is very likely expected for Wood's gaudy shooting numbers once more teams learn more about his abilities and begin to throw more defenders (and better defenders) on him.
  • "So what's the future like for Christian?"
Wood is trusting his teammates more on both sides of the ball. He’s not forcing things on offense... Wood is scoring by giving the ball up and trusting it will come back to him when he’s open instead of constantly hunting for his own shot.
Wood doesn't demand touches and is highly efficient in his role, something that will let him scale well on good offenses, something that bodes well for his future as a Piston but also makes him an attractive addition for a playoff side - he's an unrestricted free-agent this summer. If he carries or builds upon this level of production into next season, he'll easily be a Most Improved Player contender with All-Star potential.
  • "Hmm, I'm actually kinda interested in knowing more about him!"
In that case, here are two marvellous breakdowns of Wood's game which I consumed and referenced voraciously while writing this section:
-Coach Daniel on YouTube: Why Christian Wood Is Genuinely A Terrific Player
-Jonathan Tjarks, The Ringer: Get Used to Hearing Christian Wood’s Name

3: Jaren Jackson Jr, one of the best volume-shooters in the league

Jaren Jackson Jr (17/5/1.5 on +2.6 rTS%), is a proper unicorn, and easily the 2nd most important offensive piece on the Grizzlies, mainly due to his elite floor-spacing opening things up considerably for their offense - he's frighteningly adept at his role, hitting 40% of his 6 to 7 three-point attempts per game.
  • "Surely the section title is clickbait or hyperbole, though, right? He's just a big, after all, he can't be that good"
Actually, there are only 11 other players in the entire league (≥30 GP) who have shot at least as accurately as Jaren (39.7 3P%) on at least as many attempts (6.3 3PA).
Here are all 135 3-pointers he's made this season, just to get an idea of how he shoots these, and here's him draining 9 threes on the league-leading Bucks' defense en route to a career-high 43 points.
  • "So does he just stand in the corner and wait for Ja to feed him?"
Not exactly... JJJ has a somewhat atypical form but a quick and high release, and he shoots a truly incredible variety of threes, making them as part of pick-and-pop action, some simply off-the-dribble, some stepbacks, some in transition, some on the move, some off screens, or and he even sprinkles in the odd logo yeet from 30 feet out.
To quote some more from this excellent SB Nation breakdown of Jaren Jackson Jr's versatile game by Mike Prada:
The fact that Jackson can take and make so many different kinds of threes enables the Grizzlies to deploy him in so many different spots on the court. He has no obvious sweet spot, which means there’s rarely a worry he’ll catch the ball somewhere he doesn’t belong. He can toggle between playmaker, primary scorer, screener, and floor spacer, depending on what the Grizzlies need at that particular moment.
Better yet, he can do all four within the same play, which ensures Memphis’ sets always have secondary options. A pick-and-pop that the defense covers effectively can quickly swing into a dribble handoff, post-up, or second-side screening action, and it’s difficult for the defense to peg exactly where Jackson fits in to those sequences. In an instant, he’s flipped from the big man screener that gets a guard open into the primary option on a flare screen to get him a three.
[vid]
And if that shot isn’t there, he can quickly flow back into being a screener for a guard curling up from the corner.
[vid]
Or — and this is spicy — he can invert the traditional big/guard setup and act as the ball-handler immediately.
[vid]
Well, overplaying JJJ's shooting is unwise - he possesses a decent handle for a big (relatively few turnovers considering he drives quite often) and is excellent at attacking closeouts and finishing at in the paint (65 FG% in restricted area). Some of his long strides and wrong-footed finishes bring to mind Pascal Siakam. His post scoring is well below-average (26th percentile), his ISO scoring is decent (65th percentile), and his shooting in the non-restricted area of the paint (floaters and such) isn't anything to write home about (39.5 FG%). Interestingly, he rarely takes midrange shots, attempting a James Harden-esque 16 midrange attempts over the entire season.
Defensively-speaking, Jaren is very versatile and has incredible length, athleticism, footwork, and timing, able to switch onto bigs and guards alike with equal ease and possessing preternatural defensive instincts as a help defender. However, he is still some way from fulfilling his All-Defensive, even DPOY potential, as he's haunted by persistent fouling issues - he's averaged 5.2 fouls/36 in each of his first 2 seasons. His rebounding rate is anemic for a player his size, too (3.7 D-Rebs/game) - part of this might be due to him playing out on the perimeter a lot, part of it might just be due to his rebounding being naturally poor. (In case you were wondering, JJJ's lack of rebounding isn't a Steven Adams issue because he's just boxing people out all the time, either - he's 109th in the league in defensive-box-outs/game.) His current overall defensive impact, therefore, is quite neutral at the moment - most advanced numbers don't think highly of it. Memphis have the 16th ranked defense in the league, and their defensive rating actually improves with JJJ off the court (some of this might just be noise, or perhaps a case of Grizzlies' backups shining against weaker bench units). In any case, these current defensive shortcomings are something Grizzlies fans will likely gladly live with, considering JJJ's offensive value and the promise of future improvements in his defensive impact once he learns to foul less.

4: Kris Dunn, the modern-era Tony Allen?

This season, the Bulls' dogged guard slash forward Kris Dunn has graded out consistently as one of the very best and most impactful defenders in the NBA, regardless of position. For the first time in his career, Dunn's team is A) excellent at defense with him on the court, and B) much better on defense with him on the court than without.
First, though, let's get the numbers out of the way:
  • Height: 6-3, Weight: 205 lb, Wingspan: 6-10, 51 GP, 24.9 MPG
  • 2nd in Steals/game (2.0), 1st in Steal % by a wide margin, 4th in Deflections/game (only player in the top 11 averaging fewer than 25 minutes a night), 8th in Defensive loose-balls recovered/game
  • 2nd in Defensive Box Plus Minus (BBRef)
  • 5th in Defensive PIPM
  • 7th Defensive RAPTOR, which incorporates player tracking data
  • 7th in Defensive RAPM / Luck-adjusted RAPM
  • 13th in Defensive Real Plus-Minus (ESPN)
  • Bulls have a 106.4 Defensive Rating (-4.0 rDRTG) with Kris Dunn on the floor, which would rank 4th in the NBA over a full season. The Bulls defense also improves by a massive +6.2 points when Dunn enters the game.
  • 67.8 Versatility Index, guarding positions 1-3 at least 19% of the time each, and spending 15% of his possessions guarding PFs and Cs
  • Held pick-and-roll ball-handlers to 0.71 points per possession, one of the best marks in the league
  • Can guard either the primary or secondary offensive options highly effectively as required
  • Opponents shoot 1.5% worse on 3s when Dunn is the closest defender
  • "Among those who logged at least 20 minutes per game, Dunn led all players in the percentage of his points that came off a turnover, at a whopping 29.3 percent. It’s reminiscent of prime Tony Allen — who used to live near the top of the league in this category — and more than doubled his production from the previous year."
Adding on some more quotes from Michael Pina's fantastic SB Nation breakdown of Dunn's defense, "Kris Dunn is a dying breed in today’s NBA. That’s why he’s so fascinating":
On the night Kris Dunn suffered a knee injury that will likely end his season, I sat by his locker to chat about defense. Considering no guard in the NBA has been better at it this season, the topic made sense.
We talked about... The dark arts that go into learning his opponent’s specific tendencies:
“A lot of guys who are righties like to go left to be able to get to their jump shot, and a lot of people who are righties like to go downhill to their right side. But if you’re a righty, most likely you like to go left. I just feel like you just have, you know, more in your bag of tricks going left. If you’re a lefty, most of the time they like going right. It’s just how they do it.
I like to break down to see what’s their go-to move. Some people when they come down the court, if they have the ball in their left hand, they’re getting ready to shoot. If they have the ball in their right hand, they’re ready to drive.”
... And player comparisons:
“I feel like Tony Allen, he just fits what I do. He’ll pounce on you. He was strong, physical. I think he could guard 1 through 3, even fours. I feel like I can guard some fours sometimes. I feel like that’s a good comparison because he’s got that dog, he’s got that bloodhound in him.”
Dunn’s season-long defensive impact was, to be frank, spectacular. He thrived in Jim Boylen’s tight-rope-walk of a defensive scheme, torpedoing passing lanes, living in his man’s jersey, and never giving up on a possession.
For most defenders, including Dunn, a majority of his defensive possessions are spent off the ball, and it’s here where his knowledge, instincts, and timing swirl up into a typhoon that the offense then has to navigate.
“He’s an all-defensive defender if I’ve ever seen one, and I’ve seen a few of them,” Boylen said right before the injury. “Paul George, Kawhi Leonard. He’s an All-Defensive guy.”
  • Indeed, Kris Dunn should receive some serious consideration for an All-Defensive spot. He may not get it because the Bulls are bad and his offensive role is limited, hence he likely won't be well-known to most voters, but he's clearly been one of the best guard defenders in the league this year, and one of the most impactful defenders in the league, period.

5: Kawhi Leonard, playmaker

This entry might surprise some readers, but yes, in the 2019-20 season, reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard has finally broken out as a PASSER - 5.0 APG, decent 1.9:1 AST/TO ratio, 27.0 AST%, impressive 6.7 Passer Rating (Backpicks).
See, prior to this season, Kawhi was not actually a very good passer or playmaker.
  • A fun and relevant stat- Kawhi only has 10 TOTAL career games (regular season and playoffs combined) with 8 or more assists, and a whopping 7 of them came in the 2019-20 regular season. (source)
In previous years, Kawhi has had a few high-assist games in the playoffs, mostly as a result of making basic passes out of double-teams when teams commit multiple defenders to slow down his monster playoff-scoring, but he's never been a proficient playmaking wing like LeBron/Kobe/MJ, often lacking accuracy and velocity on many of his passes, and very rarely making more advanced reads (throwing skip passes out of a Pick-and-Roll/PnR, for example). After developing into the amazing ISO scorer we now know him as in 2017, Kawhi was generally in score-first mode for the vast majority of his possessions, generally only trying to find teammates when his own attack had fizzled out. This slightly limited his team's and his own ceiling as an offensive force, unable to punish help consistently and effectively.
This season, though, Kawhi burst out of the gate as a shockingly comfortable and effective passer and playmaker, averaging 8 APG in his first 4 games. Far from his probing, soft, and hesitant passes late in the shot clock to teammates in previous years, this version of the Klaw tries to keep his head up and his offensive options open, always tracking where his teammates are. He consistently hits the Clippers' bigs Zubac and Harrell in the PnR with crisp high-speed bounce-passes, throws no-looks and skip passes to shooters, and even manipulates defenders by freezing them with his eyes before rapidly lasering the ball to open teammates under the rim.
To quote Zach Lowe:
He already has developed chemistry with two very different dance partners in Ivica Zubac and Montrezl Harrell. Zubac is more laborious, and so Leonard navigates with zigzaggy, start-and-stop patience until Zubac rumbles free: clip
Harrell can zip to the rim or mirror Leonard's pitter-pat. Harrell also is a master at re-screening at different angles, and Leonard is learning to bob and weave behind him -- and use the threat of a handoff to slice backdoor: clip
His passing leap shows up on film, too, where he rarely looks lost anymore, knowing where his teammates are at all times, but it also shows up in the numbers: easily a career-high 5.0 assists/game (previous high was 3.3 in 2017), 27.0 AST% (previous high 18.9% in 2017).
The rest of the league should be worried - one of the finest scorers in the game has finally upgraded his passing game to match.
That's it for today, thanks for reading!
submitted by KagsTheOneAndOnly to nbadiscussion [link] [comments]

“Pattern Day Trader” Lessons Learned

So I’ve seen this pop up several times lately and I’d like to give some answers from personal experience.
So what is a pattern day trader (PDT)? Anyone who makes 3+ trades in any “rolling” five market days. Example: On a Monday, I buy 100 shares of ABC stock in premarket, and during market hours, I buy another 100 shares. After the bell, on the same day, in post market trading, I sell all shares. This is where some people get caught, since it’s TWO lots, and you sell both at end of the day, that is TWO day trades. Now the next day, Tuesday, I buy shares in DEF stock. And, I sell them this same day. That’s day trade number THREE. Since I committed two day trades on Monday, those will be gone the following Monday. Then on the next day, Tuesday, the third falls off. Here’s a caveat, let’s say one of the days in this 5 day market stretch is a federal holiday. Then instead of the day trades falling off on Monday and then Tuesday, it would then be Tuesday and Wednesday.
What happens if within these 5 days you make a fourth day trade? You are flagged as a PDT. If you’re account does not have $25k total balance (cash, securities, equity), your account will incur an “equity call” where you’ll need to fund your account to the aforementioned $25k total balance.
What happens if you don’t fund your account? Your account will be restricted to cash only. Which means that your transactions will need to settle before you have cash to buy other shares. This restriction is lifted if, and when, your balance is over $25k.
The account requirement of $25k must be maintained at all times or an equity call is triggered.
Here are fun facts.. I learned all this the hard way. I got flagged as a PDT. Obviously this is an issue. I sent a message to my trading platform, E*TRADE, requesting that I change my account from margin to cash. I didn’t want this issue and thought that this would remove the flag of “pattern day trader”. It wouldn’t. However, my advisor offered a “silver bullet” in that if I requested to reset the counter, eliminate the PDT flag while staying a margin account, then all would be well and I could trade again without an equity call. And the warnings and flag goes away.
Caveat: I break the PDT rules again, I’m stuck with it forever. No exceptions and I have to meet the equity call.
So, I’ve used my silver bullet, but learned exactly what I can get away with. And what I can’t. Hopefully whoever reads this learns something from my experience.
Ask away any questions..
submitted by Slow_is_Fast to pennystocks [link] [comments]

CS151: Introduction to Team Building

In the beginners tips I had mentioned that team building might be a big enough topic to warrant its own thread, and after a little discussion we figured that I might as well make one. Warning: it’s kinda long.
This discussion is primarily focused on pve, particularly on building a solid foundation to clear early game pve walls, since that will get you pretty far everywhere else. What follows is the approach I’ve come to use to build teams - it’s just my way, not the only way.
I’d actually love to hear other people’s takes on the subject. Please feel free to share your opinions on starting teams and desirable characters. With over 100 heroes, all of which can be overpowered in their own way, there are a lot of options to choose from.
Also if anyone can think of a better, shorter way to share all this info please do tell!
I’ve broken it down into 3 parts:
  1. Building an Offensive Line
  2. Sample Teams
  3. To Meta or not to Meta
Anima, gold, training amulets, and duel points are always going to be in short supply. In general it’s better to invest them all into a few super-soldiers than to spread them around thinly. It takes 200 anima to go from five to six stars alone, then there are limit breaks, then wisdom vessels, and who knows what next. So the sooner you start collecting and the wiser you invest the better.
Hopefully this Caravan Stories team building guide will help players better understand hero roles and confidently pick their 10 hero pats a day, know whose anima to buy from aunties/trade shops, who to aim the converter at, whose gear to chase, and maybe some banners to save or look out for.

TL;DR: With 10 anima selects a day, picking 1 tank, 2-3 damage dealers, and 4-6 supports to focus on should out work well.

Plus Rolomeu and Mimi. Everyone should have Rolo and a pocket Mimi.

Top starting team picks

Tanks: Human Avatar (H Ava), Sophia, Bogguz
Damage: Lena, Mimi, Melah, Marbas, Molly, Kaito, Gada, Milcosta, Lombard
Healer: Philomena, Amelia, Alfred, Palyan
Buffer: Rolomeu, Kwaralu, Jhala
Debuffer: Edda, Pawatoto, Reaumur, G Ava, Lena/Melah (with 5 star sub weapons)
Utility: Wyngaard, Almimi, Alotie, Pawatoto, Padanoa, Veronica, Myarol
Notable pre-release hero’s: (damage) Emily, Leriola, Riardo, Norn, (buffers) Vongyra, Gerad, Magugra
 

Part 1: Building an Offensive Line

It’s generally understood that Offensive Line is the best formation to use. Not just because we get lots of books for it from the griffin tower, but because most content actually seems specifically tuned for it: one strong tank, one strong damage dealer, and 4 supporting heroes will get you through 90% of the walls in this game.
While I’ve never seen an actual damage formula, the way skill modifiers multiply stats make it seem exponential in nature. This means that focusing resources to get a few characters to 6 stars with fully awakened and runed gear will get you much further than raising a harem of half-runed 5 stars.
It’s tempting to try to adapt teams to elemental or attack-type weaknesses, but especially early on it’s often unnecessary. Elemental affinity only increases or decreases damage by 30%, while a 30% change in BP has a much larger effect. I feel like it’s one of those gacha! things to make us want to pull more.
Eventually though we will want to avoid or take advantage of elemental affinity, so building up at least one backup damage dealer can be nice. Covering all the bases is the dream, but getting one tank and one damage dealer to six stars to break through walls should be the first priority.
A note on equipment: save all training amulets until you get a 5* weapon for your main tank or main dps, then use them in the equipment training ground before equipping the weapon. +8 is the max to aim at until you get a 6 star weapon for more. Save up duel points to buy 3-star awakening runes. Finally, in general Damage Reduction (DR) is preferred for tanks, and Damage Increase (DI) for damage dealers.
Also don’t believe in enemy BP. It rarely reflects the actual difficulty of a fight. Just jump in and see what happens. Otherwise you might find out you powered up ridiculously to meet it for no reason, or get frustrated because you’re getting smashed by a low bp fight. Something about shoddy localization, or maybe it’s intentional. Who can say? The BP is often a lie.
Anyway...
In the Offensive Line, only the tank and primary dps get buffs from the formation. The other four slots are used for support: a healer, a buffer, a debuffer, and a utility pick.
The bulk of this discussion is about these roles and how to fill them.
 

Tanks

The tank is the cornerstone of your team: it’s two main jobs are to provoke and survive. The most popular choices are the Human Avatar, Sophia, or Bogguz. Part of it is their kit, part the versatility, and finally their ease of acquisition.
Sophia and Bogguz have super wide ranges for provoke, but are on the slower side for kiting. On the other hand, H Ava has a very small provoke range, but brings stun and a little more movement speed.
I went with H Ava and as such never built Sophia or Bogguz, but my impression is they have a bit more defense to stand their ground. They’re better at pve, while h ava performs better in pvp. I wound up basically needing wyngaard on my team to group everyone into the tiny h Ava provoke range. Sophia or Bogguz won’t have this problem, freeing up a spot on the team.
The tank’s stats and health pool is a top priority. At 5-star evolution, every hero gets a skill for bonus health if certain conditions are met: Sophia gets +10% hp for every other Human in the party (up to 4). H Ava gets boosted if Lena or Fholk are at 5 stars+, and Bogguz from an evolved Melah or O Ava.
Note: Even though most of the skills read AND I’m pretty sure they mean OR. Not really 100% positive though. I just remember being salty from not seeing a health boost after wasting gold bringing Fholk to 5 stars to match Lena.
You can check the 5-star skills from the library: menu - settings and details - other menu - library
As for other tanks you’ll encounter early on, their drawbacks are mainly because of kit or the hp boost: Pollux is pretty similar to Bogguz, but Melah and Lena are generally preferred over E Ava (I’ll go into more detail in the damage section) and Miria, his direct healer HP boost buddy, is the wrong element. Until recently there were very few other Lizardman to pair with Mero, and his active slows himself making kiting not an option (which you definitely want sometimes). Angheera only has a single target provoke. Idk about Riot, but his sandbags are kinda funny in pvp. Kiehl Dane, Rasbell, and Mignono are good, but they only come along further down the road.
So that’s more or less why it’s pretty common to recommend these three. More often than not my h ava was fine even against elemental disadvantage - when damage is too high, it’s time to kite!
The sooner you pick who to focus on, the quicker you can grab up all their anima and build them up to be overpowered. Choose one and go all in on them. A single six star tank will take you further than three different 5-stars.
 

Damage Dealers

(aka dd, or dps - damage per second)
One strong hero should be able to carry you through most content, but you’ll likely want one or two backups in case they just don’t work against certain mechanics. In fights with dps checks (i.e. you time out before you can kill), elemental affinity may matter.
Bosses might have high physical defense (pdef), magical defense (mdef), or be flying-type that significantly reduces ground-only attack damage. Your hero’s skill screen should indicate the attack type and if it hits air or ground. Many melee heroes only hit ground. Pierce/slash/blunt traits can mostly be ignored until later on when you’ve got a pile of perfumes to fuse.
Many fights have a nasty aoe that deletes melee or glass cannons. Often we’ll deal with boss-specific issues with the utility character, but sometimes a DD change is necessary.
In general, better range means more survivability - you can’t deal damage if you’re dead! Also magic/ranged units can target both air and ground making them a bit more flexible than the melee fighters. These are two reasons we like Melah over O ava, and Lena’s superior range wins over E ava.
Characters with a charging melee attack like O ava are better suited for pvp than pve. Against bosses they’ll move all over dragging healers and enemies out of position as if trying to die. But point them at a tower and they can be hard to stop. If you go with Bogguz as a tank, take Melah as primary dps and hp boost buddy.
If going with h ava, Lena is the natural pick. Elf avatar is slated for a buff someday, but Lena’s quicker cool down time (CT), much larger aoe range, and full damage in one hit is preferred over E ava’s significantly smaller, multi-hit aoe with marginally higher damage. And it can be tricky to use E ava’s hp boost buddy Pollux.
Also with 5-star off hand weapons both Melah and Lena now add a magic defense down (-mdef) on normal attacks which actually helps a lot. This makes both still viable late in the game, covering the debuffer spot along with bringing damage. Of the two Lena is still favored because of her range, also since Melah’s self-healing mechanic isn’t particularly useful in pve.
In pvp though Melah is a bit more capable of charging a tower by herself because she can top off her own hp. Lena is no slouch in pvp either, but it definitely helps if she has an escort.
Mimi is also a solid choice because the Burn debuff she applies doesn’t care about elemental affinity and takes off a flat percentage of health per tick. It’s almost broken good. She can still be useful even without gear or evolutions.
Burn is so good that my guild required Mimi on every team without a source of it for the past few Ravaged Battlefield Extremes, even if she was only at 3 or 4 stars. Of course being evolved and having gear adds a lot, but if the burn sticks she’s an ace dd for that alone. She’s great as a primary and strongly recommended as a secondary damage dealer.
Poison and bleed also perform similarly, but there are fewer early-game sources for them. Ludmilla is nice if you have her from Halloween. Alfaro and Galga come much later, as well as Calamity who needs gear to apply his bleed.
If going with Bogguz or Sophia, Marbas is a solid early game wind dps choice. He’s got a fast normal skill, good range, and an active with a big aoe. Alternatively, Molly is a similar fire dps with slightly less range but adds paralysis on hit and brings pdef down with 5-star gear to keep her relevant late in the game.
Gada and Milcosta are top choices for their massive damage, range, and utility. If I recall correctly they unlock a bit later in the story, but they’re pretty worth it - maybe even worth buying the recruiting packs for. You get the anima back when you finish the quest to unlock them eventually.
Gada has huge range and 350% base damage modifier with her active skill. While Milcosta is a melee unit who doesn’t hit air, his active skill has a 500% multiplier, self-buffs, hits in an area, stuns, and makes him invulnerable to damage for a few seconds. Compare this to Lena and Melah whose modifiers start and 200% and 180% respectively. Gada and Mil are also excellent in pvp, adding to their desirability.
Lombard also brings big damage, but he unlocks a bit later too. He doesn’t hit flying, have the invulnerability also to survive like mil, or the stun for utility. His Quick self-buff is definitely nice in pvp, but in pve you should have a source for the whole party anyway. If you were playing during the Sengoku event, you should already have his main hand though which is pretty nice.
Dwarf Avatar is one of the few ranged earth damage dealers and can definitely work, but the hp-pool buddies aren’t so great meaning they’ll likely remain a glass cannon.
Finally, the 4 bayonets unlock pretty early and are well regarded, though we usually see Reaumur or Kaito built over Killian. Alfred is a solid +matk buffer with regen that can hold his own as the main healer. Reaumur brings -mdef with his normal skill and the relatively rare light element damage. Kaito needs to be in melee range but he does hit flying and has a strong aoe attack that applies a long freeze with a 5-star main hand.
These four also boost hp for Azzaria, one of the better legendary heroes, who can shell towers at long range and brings Quick and damage increase buffs for the party. Keep playing and you’ll unlock her eventually - maybe even by the time they add the 6 star evolution if you start collecting now.
 
Most hero’s can be viable, it just might be situational or take more effort to get the most out of some. Any of the heroes suggested here should get you to late game and still be relevant there too.
You’ll notice that most of the suggested units here are ranged damage dealers. Melee dps can be good, but they often have trouble with kiting and eating nasty aoe attacks, both of which happen pretty regularly. When your #1 gun is no good, it’s not much fun.
If you really like a melee hero build it up on the side for backup or pvp. The “utility” spot is sometimes best taken by another dps too, especially early on. And at least get Mimi to 4 stars - it’s surprising how often she’s super useful.
Some noteable pre-release damage dealers heroes who one might consider buying recruit packs for are: Emily (light, aoe), Leriola (burn), Riardo (multi-element), Norn (stun, fire spirit bomb).
 

Healers

Healers are obviously helpful to stay alive, and direct heals are doubled if the elemental affinities match. However, “healer” class heroes aren’t necessarily optimal options. Part of the healer’s strength is that they share their debuff resistance with the whole party. So you’ll be set on the few fights in which it’s a problem, while the rest of the time it’ll be wasted utility.
For example, Fholk brings resistance to stun. This is nice, but really the number of times that it’s super useful is pretty small. The amount of fights where it is absolutely necessary is basically none. H Ava already has a resist stun trait to boot.
Another big part of their weakness is that many must be close to heal, making them more likely to get hit and die. This is another big reason why we usually don’t suggest direct healers like Fholk, Moga, or Miria for new players.
Instead, several “buffer” class heroes apply Regen which isn’t affect by element and heals a flat percentage of health with every tick. This is usually on top of the buffs they bring, and buffs are quite powerful in this game. According to the status ailment help article the first stack of a buff typically affects a stat by 20-40%.
Also buff application isn’t affected by hero stats, so it’s fine to let the support buffers lag a little behind in evolution and gear, while direct healers work best when kept current.
Philomena, Alfred, and Jhala are notable mentions in this category. Philo is still my main healer in most late-game content. Palyan is a healer type but he kinda acts like these buffers with his range and awesome +patk buff. Sadly he does not apply regen, so unless kiting is the play he doesn’t always make the grade (on his own, at least).
These heroes are also nice because their huge skill range means they won’t be chasing after the tank trying to heal/get killed while kiting difficult bosses as much. A buffer with regen is more than ok if the heals are enough because they’ll also power your team up.
 

Buffers

The actual “buffer” slot on the team is for “Quick” which significantly increases normal skill attack speed. The Quick buff is really pretty essential, and Rolomeu is the queen.
I tried my best to ignore her at the start because I don’t really like her as a character, but she’s just too flipping good. Especially when you start doing team battles, having the CT reduction x3 is crazy to pass up. She also shares her 5-star hp boost with Mimi, which is nice later on for surviving demon raids and other big aoe attacks.
Kwaralu is an honorable mention here with quick, movement speed+ and damage increase buffs, particularly to help Sophie/Bogguz kite since they run a little slow. He can be useful in pvp too (and is fun to combo with summoners). Armidal is another source of Quick, though I found his active skill that grants invincible kind of tricky to use effectively.
Vongyra, Magugra, and Gerad are also super strong buffers, but they’re pre-releases locked behind lengthy conversions or p-gems, so not so great for beginners or f2p’s.
But really, just use Rolo.
 

Debuffers

Like buffs, debuffs are also really strong. Without knowing damage formula it’s hard to say for certain if 30% def down is better than 20% attack up, but then, why not both?!
Generally it’s thought that damage increase (DI) or damage reduction (DR) are superior to direct atk or def buffs. Partly because they actually do feel stronger when taken, but also because they’re more universally applied.
I’ve heard that 80% DR from all sources is the cap. I don’t think there is a hard DI cap - you can get +100% from DI buffs alone. Maybe someone can enlighten me.
But I digress. Pdef or mdef down is what we’re looking for . It’s risky to rely on the patk/matk down debuffs to survive. Better just to kite.
This makes Edda a solid and flexible choice here since she applies both. Pawatoto and G Ava also apply both in an area with their active skills.
If all your damage dealers are magic types it’s also fine to only bring -mdef. In the first six months it was rare, but now several mages also apply mdef down, so consider picking a hero with this trait as a secondary damage dealer. If they need gear to apply it you’ll get it sooner or later!
Note: Preview 5 and 6 star gear details and skill effects by going to the fuse screen as if to try craft them from the storage menu.
Early on it may seem unnecessary, but there are enthrall things several “dps check” fights where these debuffs are very helpful if not vital. However, there will also inevitably be bosses who are immune to the debuffs. This is another case where it’s nice to have a backup dps or bonus buffer in the deck ready to fill this spot.
 

Utility

Most fights have a gimmick that needs to be dealt with to win, so the final spot on the team is a flex role to deal with this specifically. This is where many of the trickster units come in to play.
Sometimes a stun (Milcosta, Padanoa) may be necessary to stop a big attack. Maybe silence (Pawatoto) is needed to stop reinforcements from being called. Or we need to gather (Wyngaard) or bind (Almimi) to keep enemies at arms length.
Blind and debuff removal (Alotie) or confuse (G ava) can make or break some fights. If provoke doesn’t stick, summoners (Veronica, Myarol) will often do the trick. And sometimes what we need is just more damage, so a secondary dps can fill the slot fine.
Each fight is a little different, and cracking the puzzle is part of the fun. Like buffers and debuffers, we mostly want utility hero’s for the effect of their active skill. As such, it’s ok to let the evolutions and gear lag behind a little. In many cases a 3 or 4 star utility hero will work just fine.
As with the direct healers and debuffers, the issue here is that when the hero works it’s fantastic, but then the rest of the time the value can be questionable. There will definitely be cases where a particular debuff just doesn’t work and you’ll need to switch it up. And unless you’re spending there just aren’t enough resources to build everyone up.
Sometimes guides will suggest using beasts with similar skills instead of heroes. It can definitely work, but I found the heroes to be generally more reliable. This is long enough already so we’ll talk about beasts another day.
What I suggest is to try out all of the heroes mentioned previously and pick one or two you like to keep somewhat current with evolutions and gear. The rest can be slowly raised to 3 or 4 stars by picking up anima from aunties/shops and stay there.
Just think twice before using any of these hero’s gear as fusion fodder. If you like pvp, tricksters are often pretty good too so also consider their utility in that area. Even if you don’t really like pvp you’ll want to at least play it for the points.
Wyngaard typically filled this spot for me because of h ava’s tiny provoke, while I swapped out my debuffer (Edda) if I needed more utility. After Wyn, my go-to’s were Veronica, and Almimi. If I had to do I again though I would probably raise up Alotie, Pawa, and Myarol as well.
Side note: if you haven’t unlocked Myarol yet use your converter to get 25 anima and get her asap. Even if you don’t want to use her, she brings a “beast den” to the caravan where you can collect free beast anima each day. Beyond this she can summon Salamandarines which apply AOE burns like a super-Mimi for big damage. Also the fight to unlock her can be quite a pain.
 

Part 2: Sample Teams

These examples are all built in the Offensive Line formation and designed to approach a generic dps-check type fight. I’ve tried to stay with heroes who are available before the Gessy reincarnation, but G Ava could replace Edda/pawa if you prefer.
Roles are listed in the follow order: main tank, damage dealer, healer, buffer, debuffer, utility.
 
Starting Team A: H Ava, Lena, Philomena, Rolomeu, Edda, Wyngaard
Backup: Mimi, Almimi, Alfred, Veronica
This is almost exactly my current late game content clearing lineup. H Ava really benefits from Wyn’s grouping, and the stun can be used almost like a silence with some skill (though I still definitely needed Pawatoto to clear some fights). If things get hot, Alfred and Philo on the same team can pump out some big buffs and heals.
Burn doesn’t care about element to deal damage, so Mimi is just fine to cover Lena’s weak spot against fire. Veronica’s skeletons also add damage or take a few hits for the team as needed.
 
Starting Team B: Bogguz, Melah, Amelia, Rolomeu, Pawatoto, Almimi
Backup: Mimi, Jhala, Kwaralu, D ava
I know it sounds weird but again Burn doesn’t care about element so Mimi can take on many water fights too. Since Bogguz is fire element we can add the third dreamy macaron Amelia for heals (but even here we might just want Philomena). She actually has good range too: 2m more than Rolo’s reach.
In fights that need more heals, Jhala provides a little regen and some very nice damage increase / reduction buffs. No stuns here, but silence and bind on the main team should also help keep Bogguz alive. A pocket kwaralu for kiting, and a dwarf avatar just in case burn really doesn’t work on the water boss. If used well D Ava can be nice for pvp too.
 
Starting Team C: Sophia, Mimi, Alfred, Rolomeu, Reaumur, Alotie
Backup: Kaito, Padanoa, Kwaralu, Myarol
Sophie gets buffed by other humans in the party so it’s a good time to bring out the 4 3 Bayonets (sorry Killian)! Alfred brings the regen and +matk. Reaumur deals good damage applies the -mdef on his normal skill. Kaito hangs out to kill pesky burn-resistant water bugs. He gets the bench until earning a 5 star main hand weapon after which he becomes a beast in pve and pvp.
Alotie’s blind and debuff removal can trivialize some fights. Padanoa brings sleep, paralysis, and a long range stun. Both can ruin people’s pvp plans. Kwaralu swaps with rolo if you need to kite harder. Movement speed up is also nice for Myarol whose summons can be slow walkers.
 
Starting Team D: Pollux, E Ava, Canal, Rolomeu, Edda, Karl Dane
Backups: Mimi, D Ava, Philomena, Almimi
D is for Don’t do this! I kid, but really I’ve never seen it and can’t say for certain how effective this team would be. In theory it seems sound if you really want to build E Ava. It kinda looks like a lot more work for not a huge payoff, though I will admit 6 star Pollux looks pretty slick. D Ava and Karl Dane can actually be pretty strong when built too.
Still this might be tough until you get a 5 star main hand for Pollux since his active skill taunt cool down is as long as his provoke lasts. Sure Rolo will shorten the cool down, but enemies also start to resist the full provoke duration after multiple applications.
Kiting might be tricky with E ava’s small active range and lingering multi-hit aoe, but supposedly it will get buffed to have a wyngaard-like vortex effect eventually. Hard to say how much that will change. Another reason we like Lena is because all her damage is dealt in one big blast.
Canal actually has decent range for a healer, and will cure darkness with her active skill so that’s... neat. 5 star gear let’s her cure paralysis and prevent knockdowns. Also neat, but not really essential (though maybe good in pvp? Healers are pretty rare to see in that mode). Even though he’s melee and charges, Karl Dane would be the natural stunner pick here as Canal’s hp boost buddy, and heck let’s get d Ava if we’re building up the pipe town locals anyway.
Edda is the choice for dual -def because there’s a mix matk and patk going on. With Mimi, Philo, and Almimi in reserve, I feel like this non-meta build could probably make it through all the walls in the game.
 
Starting Team E: Sophia, Marbas, Palyan, Rolomeu, Pawatoto, Molly
Backups: Mimi, Philomena, Kwaralu, Veronica
Last but not least, a full patk team. This actually looks like it could be pretty fun, especially in early pvp. Some bosses do have high physical defenses, but that’s why you have Mimi for burn and Pawa for -pdef. If Palyan by himself is not enough, Philo (or their powers combined) should do the trick.
Molly brings Paralysis which is a little rng dependent but strong when it sticks, and eventually can cover the debuffer role. Until then Pawa can handle it, and his silence can usually take the place of a stun.
Giving Veronica’s skeletons patk buffs is a neat way to make them stronger (this trick was how I eventually beat the last Lombard fight). The skellies recently got a movement speed buff, and now they really zip around with Kwaralu’s move speed boost. The only downside is her summoning skill kind of needs to be at level 4 or 5 for the skeletons to really shine.
 
In any of these teams Gada or Milcosta could take over the main dps role or a backup/utility spot. I just consider them more mid-game units than early starting picks. But they are really strong heroes. Lombard too, though I consider him a bit more niche.
Probably by the time you unlock them it should be clear which utility heroes you like, and who you can bench to start building up a killer damage dealer.
I also skipped over event heroes on purpose since not everyone got them while they could. Usually they’re pretty good at what they do though.
If I missed any big ones or misrepresented anything please let me know. I honestly only have experience with Team A. The rest is mostly coming from what I’ve observed and theory crafting.
 

Part 3: To Meta or not to Meta

If you’ve read this far down, hopefully you have a better understanding of why certain heroes are preferred and often recommended. The “meta” picks are the tried and true that have risen to the top. But they are far from the only way to play this game.
If you do like specific characters for whatever reason, you probably can make them work. Just think a bit about how to boost their strengths and cover their weaknesses. Look at their hp boost buddies and skill effects and go from there. I included team D specifically to show how this might be approached.
Unless you’re aiming to be #1 in duels and guild events, it’s not really a competition. Sometimes it’s just more fun to have your own unique roster instead of running with the units everyone else has. And there are lots of cool characters to choose from.
To me CS feels designed to be played over a wide span of time. You’re supposed to hit walls and get stuck for a bit while you power up and figure out the answer:
Some fights are gear checks that test if your tank is sturdy enough or damage output high enough. Others are skill checks to see if you can hit stun/silence at the right time, or dodge enemy fire.
Sometimes a specific debuff like bind or burn is what’s needed. Or maybe the trick is to find other players to team up with. All the walls along the way are there to test your understanding of the game and force creativity in using the units you’ve built to get that win.
The units suggested here are versatile choices available from very early in the game, and most are still considered useful in the late game. Even team D - if you can get Pollux to 6 stars with gear, runes, and a healer to keep him up, he’s probably a solid pve tank.
 
Before I end I think it’s appropriate to share a brief cautionary tale: I got “lucky” drawing a grip of Roddie Sabarus anima early on and he became one of my first 6 star heroes. Since I liked him I continued investing in him, getting him up to LB3 (150+ anima after six stars) with both six star weapons and +11 awakening on each.
While he was awesome through the mid ranks of pvp, as I got into the top 50’s everyone knew how to shut him down effortlessly. I eventually had to bench him in the content where he shined the most.
Meanwhile, he remained a liability in pve content since boss aoe’s could care less about his invisibility and controlling the tank was usually a priority. A majority of fights have multiple targets too, so lesser built heroes with area attacks were easily outshining his single-target only skills.
After spending millions of gold and months of resources to build him up, super Roddie basically just sat there unused. Eventually I fused his weapon to guarantee a main hand for Gada.
Beyond having a solid new member for RB, the lineup change improved my demon raid scores by a couple million and almost immediately solidified my spot in top 20 for duels. Such is life. Was fun while it lasted.
 
So you can play who you want, but it might be more difficult or take longer than necessary. It’s maybe best to just start with proven meta team, then shift focus to your favorite heroes once more about the game is understood.
In my opinion though it all comes down to this: if you’re having fun, you’re winning the game.
submitted by TJBRWN to CaravanStories [link] [comments]

[OC] Before They Were Drafted - The earliest mentions of Luka Doncic on /r/nba

Before They Were Drafted - The earliest mentions of Trae Young on /nba
Before they were drafted is a (hopefully) ongoing series where I go back in time and look at when some of the most talked about young players in the league first came to the attention of /nba.
What were people saying about them? How high were they expected to be drafted? How did people think they would do in the NBA?
The Trae Young edition got an excellent reception so I decided to do a supersized version for Mr. Doncic. He's on course to be come the next face of the league so I thought it'd be best to capture the pre-Luka discussion as accurately as possible for posterity reasons plus there's a ton of Luka stans here who'd be upset if it was too short lol. Whereas Trae's hype slowly picked up steam during his freshman year, Luka Doncic has been a popular topic in scouting/prospect discussions for ages so there was a lot to go through.
As for who's next up? I've started Ayton but I think a Ben Simmons edition would be far more engaging.
Luka Doncic summary: I only cherrypick quality/articulate comments but early feeling/comments around Luka on /nba reminded me of how people were acting when Rooney/Messi both burst on the scene over 15 years ago. There's a certain turning point in around late 2016 where everyone agrees that Luka is something special but that it's simply just a question of who are going to be the lucky benefactors. The tanking mantra for the 2018 season was "SUCK DICK FOR DONCIC" and he seemed to be the preferred option over the highly touted Ayton, MPJ and Bagley. However, the big debate before he got drafted concerned just how legit is his euroleague experience? While people like to mock the doubters now, they were few in number and some had reasonable arguments to exercise caution. Another tangential debate to that was whether Luka was in an entire tier above Simmons, Michael Porter Jr, Ayton, Bagley. To people who've been following him a while, it seems Luka's great start to his NBA career is hardly a surprise.

Early comments

Earliest mention in a comment:
In May 2015, Blargcakes said
“I like Dragan Bender, Luka Doncic and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk as future prospects. Not superstar level obviously but ones to watch out for imo. Svi played at Kansas this year as a 17 year old”.
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Other early comments:
In August 2015, semedelchan posted
“Not to rain on your parade or anything, but calling [Dzanan Musa] 2nd most talented all the while not mentioning Luka Doncic is bullshit. You know, the guy who is playing for Real Madrid's first team at 16 and was busy training with Noah, the Gasol bros and Rudy Fernandez during the summer. P.S. not to take anything from Musa, he had a great tourney, but most of his main competition didnt even play.”
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In November 2015, LoLz14 posted:
“I only watched Dragan play in youth categories and a little bit with Maccabi since he joined first team only this year. He is 17 (maybe 18, he was born in 1997 so I think he turned 18 already) and with little experience. But talent is there. He can shoot threes, pass and penetrate. He is freaking tall as well. He is also very raw and he looks really thin so he will need to work on that. But he is still a kid, I hope he doesn't go to draft this year (and then goes to NBA) because he needs at least one more year with Maccabi's first team.
He is playing well at Maccabi when given a chance (but nothing spectaculae really) but his minutes don't go over 10-15 min. I didn't watch their games a lot but they aren't very good this year and already fired their coach (another Croat is HC there now, Žan Tabak, I think he was in NBA as well but I am not sure as I am on mobile now,but if he is, I am sure he will prepare him properly).
Anyhow, Croatia, well whole ex-Yu area, is filled with talents. Just write Dragan Bender, Luka Doncic, Dzanan Musa, Amte Zizic in youtube and you will see what I mean.
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In August 2016, _DrPepper posted_
No worries, you're welcome.
Marko Pecarski is a good example of someone like Dragan Bender. Dominate at youth level in Europe but neither of them have the skills to succeed in the NBA.
Pecarski just averaged 35 points 15 rebounds in the FIBA European U16 tournament this week for Serbia. Had the most impressive tournament averages since Ricky Rubio. He looks dominant and they list him as the best talent in the 2000 generation, but he is shit. I don't like him at all. I think he is overrated. He is just physically superior to everyone. But once he reaches senior level, he will be a nobody.
I say the same for Luka Doncic. Overrated. Maybe he will be good if he stays in Europe. If he goes to the NBA, he will fail.
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In December 2016 , El-Random posted
“Right now [Doncic] is #1 in 2018 for me. A 6'9" 17 year-old who can run the point for one of the biggest teams in the 2nd most competitive league in the world? Yeah, even though I like Ayton, no high schooler is even near his level yet.
This is why I don't think the Spurs have a chance to get him. Unless Aldrige, Kawhi, Parker, Pau, Ginobili and Mills all get injured next season, they won't be bad enough to get him in the draft.
I'd love to see him on the Nuggets, he has the size to play the 3 and imagine the damage a core of Mudiay - Murray - Doncic - 2017 pick (Jackson, Isaac, Rabb, Giles?) - Jokic could be doing in this league.”
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In December 2016, eceuiuc posted
“If the influx of international players doesn't decrease, it will only be seen as the beginning rather than a golden age.
Edit: More top international guys to look out for: Frank Ntilikina, Isaiah Hartenstein, Lauri Markkannen, Kostja Mushidi, Omer Yurtseven, Jonathan Jeanne, Luka Doncic, Felipe Dos Anjos, Rodions Kurucs, Isaac Bonga, Sekou Doumbouya, RJ Barrett”
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In December 2016, pegasus29 posted
Not exactly. The European ball isn't fair to young players either. But since the field is larger, the truly good young guys that are able to get minutes and production will have the chance to play against tougher competition. That is great for the development of said players. Just look at what Doncic is doing right now. It's insane what he is doing for someone his age. He's 17 years old playing 20 minutes in one of the best teams in Europe, on the second best league in the world and he's giving great production. Again, the kid is only 17! It's insane what he's doing and the amount of polish for his age that he's showing.
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In December 2017, Xujiahui posted
Suns need to keep losing and land into a top 3 pick. Ayton Doncic or Bagley. If selecting 4th, get Trae Young.
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In December 2017, kingbay posted
This is late, but man....Doncic could be amazing. High ceiling, medium-low floor though if you're picking at 1 or 2. A jumbo Manu/Harden hybrid at his peak or Gallinari at the low end. From what i've been reading is that Bagley is kind of a out of place tweener, and Ayton is a little rigid and has somewhat slippery hands. But Ayton def has a high floor, like at worst he's Andre Drummond.
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In December 2017, LukeBron posted,
Ayton, Bagley, Doncic, Porter, Young
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[Was so close to getting the draft order spot on!]
In December 2017, TheAnonymousUsername posted
Maybe if [Lebron’s] 26 you’re trying to lock him up for 5+ years. But handicapping yourself by giving up the chances at another potentially generational talent, like Doncic/MJP/Bagley/Ayton/Bamba just to marginally increase your chances at a few more years of LeBron who’s gonna be 33? I think it’s irresponsible unless it’s a great trade. Giving up that top pick for a player who could with leave after 4 months, leaving you a roster of solely Kevin Love is not a good place to be in.
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In April 2018, iretalia16 posted,
[JJJ’s] strengths being a bunch of shaky small sample college basketball advanced stats is not convincing to me.
I think Doncic is the best player in the draft and I'd take him #1. I think JJJ has an argument for #2 based on having a relatively high floor and two important translatable skills in his shooting and defense, but Ayton's potential seriously outweighs that. And Ayton's floor is higher than I've seen some suggest
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In April 2018, 4675029 posted
If you've watched Doncic play recently you wouldn't be saying that. He's shooting 30% for the season from a shorter 3 point line, and his isolation game on offense struggles badly against athletic players.
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In April 2018, junkit33 posted
Euroleague play just seems to be no indicator of NBA success/failure in either direction.
Doncic absolutely has high bust potential, as do all Euroleague players. But he's still going very high in the draft based on his potential.
Link.
In April 2018, naijfreak posted
I have watched [Luka], he is unathletic in the NBA sense. He has few moves to create separation and has a bad first step. He shooting has been bad and he needs screens to make something happen and the worst of his issues he got marked by Jordan freaking McRae who was our worst defender. I don’t care about his defense, even if he sucks as we expect him to, he can be hidden like many players.
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In April 2018, ktsavage24 posted
I have watched him and I cant see why people want him. You can call my comment ignorant, but its the most realistic comment in this thread. Kris Dunn is a more athletic version of Luka and he has problems on the NBA level. Keep it real with yourself the main reason people are aching so hard for him to succeed is because of his skin color. He is not more talented than any other player at his position. He isnt a freak of nature like Ayton. He cant shoot like jimmer Freddette, remember him? He was another one of the white boys that was supposed to take over the league. It didnt happen.
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Early threads

Earliest mention in a thread title:
May 2015
_ilovecereal_ posted [‘16 year old Luka Doncic becomes second youngest to debut in Lida Endessa] (Spain)
Link.
Other early threads:
March 2016
SEORascal posted “[One For The Future] Luka Doncic / Real Madrid / 1999 / G-F / 6’6”
Link.
October 2016
Wonzo23 posted “Luka Doncic, a basketball prodigy playing for Real Madrid, fared well against OKC and became the second youngest player to ever appear in a pre-season game. He might be a top 10 pick in 2018”.
Link.
Selected comment from thread:
His father said Luka has enough potential to one day finish his career on the same godly level as Jordan, Lebron,... He makes sure Luka doesn't think about those things and has MANY years of really hard work ahead but that he's actually capable of it.
It was an interesting thought for a kid from Slovenia but it became clear really fast that it was just heavy parent bias talking. Luka seems pretty good but since his breakthrough last season he hasn't developed as much as you'd think he would.
If he wants to play in the NBA he'll have to start making noise during the pros because right now it's mostly that "this kid is really good for being only 17". We've seen quite a few talents stretch that kind of game well into their 30s and a once bright talent turned out his ceiling came before he could even buy alcohol legaly.
For our little Slovenia it would be perfect if Dragić passed the torch to him but Luka really has so much to do before even thinking of NBA days.
December 2016,
colombianhorseradish posted “Clutch plays from Luka Doncic (one of the best prospects for the 2018 NBA Draft) as Real Madrid defeat Zalgiris Kaunas”
Link.
December 2016
kokin33 posted “Luka Doncic, 17 years old Wonderkid from Slovenia, just had a 21/4/11 game for Real Madrid”
Link.
Selected comment from thread:
I'm glad that he shows passion and will to prove himself, I always notice how frustrated he gets if he misses a free throw or doesn't have a great impact on the game, especially since he is already in starting Euroleague games. I just hope he has a smooth start in the NBA because I'm worried when players get hyped to much, even when they can without a doubt live up to it.
June 2017
/uHendrix36 posted “Is Luka Doncic the best European prospect of all-time?”
Link.
First selected comment:
..why? They are literally grown men, and the best NCAA players who can't make the NBA play in Europe. So it's a league full of Europe's best adult players and the best players of the NCAA who couldnt make the NBA, and they're all older and stronger than college kids. And they are organizations that don't rotate rosters every 1-4 years. Why are you so sure about this? There is no logical reason the NCAA would be as good or better as Euroleague teams. The BEST NCAA team might be able to hang, but the vast majority of NCAA teams would get completely cooked by a Euroleague team. Bad NCAA players can't play in Euro league -- the standard of skill is too high.
Look at what happens when elite high school players try to play Euro (or even Australian ball a la Ferguson) instead of NCAA -- they struggle big time. Because they are playing grown men who are professional basketball players
Second selected comment from thread:
lol..Peja was posting 10 points and 5 rebounds at age 18 in Euroleague....very similar stats to those of Doncic in Real..the difference is that noone in USA cared about european hoops back then..Peja was euroleagues top scorer at age 19 and still got drafted out of top 10 and Kings fans were booing the selection..it was just a different period.
August 2017,
[deleted] posted “Am I the only one who wouldn’t draft Doncic in the top 5?”
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Selected comment from thread:
Jokic, a budding NBA superstar, was drafted in the second round. Same with Marc Gasol and Willy Hernangomez, who is doing very well for us. Add in Nurkic, Saric, Porzingis, Gobert, Giannis, Vucevic, Mirotic, Abrines, Zipser, Bojan Bogdanovic, his countryman Goran Dragic (the latter four also 2nd rounders)... looking at the drafts the past few years it's often that Euro prospects outperform their draft position. There are a few busts but a ton of American busts as well, it is often safer to draft established euros. Hezonja was not particularly established when he came over and most of the hype was from his athleticism (also like Jan Vesely)
July 2017
someone posted “Would you trade Nikola Jokic For Luka Doncic?”,
Link.
Selected comment from thread from quizzlemanizzle:
yes
but in my opinion of Jokic is that he is the type of guy who won't get much better than what he is right now already which is very good but I don't see Jokic making huge improvements that will make him a MVP candidate.
Doncic is the best European prospect I have seen in the last 30 years.
October 2017,
[deleted] posted "Is Luka Doncicc a future Allstar in the NBA?"
Link.
Selected comment from thread:
The 4 game Euro hype for Doncic is reaching the Giannis MVP hype level.
[That comment comes a couple of months after Giannis won MIP lol]
June 2017
Someone posted “For 2018, do you guys prefer Michael Porter Jr or Luka Doncic?”
Link.
Selected comment from thread:
Its pretty easy for me to say Doncic at this point. I like MPJ but i think people overrate him a little bit. He's really good, but he isnt all there yet with his game, still needs to get a lot better off the dribble. He could surprise me this year but as of now that's where im at with him.
Doncic on the other hand, wow. He's 6'8 and has a point guard handle and vision, plus patience. With all the more reps he gets with NBA trainers, he'll be one of the 5-10 best ball handlers to go with his big body. He'll be able to get wherever he wants to get to because of those two things, and then he's extremely smart and creative from there
https://youtu.be/vbfuW2KBMc8 (16/9/6)
Think a Larry Bird style game as a 2/3 (that can play the 1) instead of a 3/4. And if Larry didnt play in the 80's but was a kid in 2017. That kind of patience and willingness to make ballsy plays, make crazy shots (not Larry Bird level).
I think he'll be an NBA superstar or at the very least, a very quality (2nd-4th) starter on all 30 teams.
October 2017
[deleted] posted “Who is the better prospected before being drafted: Ben Simmons or Luka Doncic?”
Link.
Someone said:
It is Simmons.
Euroleague is hella overrated. Obviously the competition is better because the players are older and play basketball for a living, compared to the NCAA where 90% of student-athletes and are playing for a free degree.
But all of that is moot when you factor in the gap in athleticism. There are tons of players who dominated Euroleague - Saric was unanimously voted best foreign prospect 2 years in a row.
Just look at the past MVPs - Sergio Llull, de Colo, Bjelica, Sergio Rodriguez, etc. What did they do in the NBA? Bjelina is at the end of the Timberwolves bench even though they've been desperate for big man depth. Sergio Rodriguez lost his starting spot to a sophomore TJ McConnell. They struggle creating shots against NBA level defenders and are sieves defensively.
I won't crown Doncic until I see him do it against NBA-level athletes. There was never any doubt that Simmons could compete against NBA athletes, because he was an NBA-level athlete.
Another said:
Luka is a much better player than Simmons at the same age. Do people not realize what he's doing at the Eurobasket level at Age 18?
24.0 PPG 65.4% 2PT 43.5% 3PT 88.9% FT 6.8 RPG 3.8 APG 1.3 SPG 6.8 FRV 32.3 EFF 27.1 MPG
Its four games in but he's playing on an elite Euroleague team against the best competition in the world outside of the NBA. Simmons wasn't nearly as good in college, which is a step down from Euroleague.
Now, Simmons obviously is blessed with an insane size, athleticism, and fluidity package so you can argue he's the better prospect (I would disagree but I respect the take). But its time people started getting serious about how good Luka Doncic is. He's a prodigy. I don't think there's ever been a European prospect as good. He's certainly at least on the same tier as a prospect as Simmons, if not better.
October 2017
youngm0ney posted “Why is Luka Doncic not considered the clear no.1 prospect?”
Link.
Selected comment from thread:
A lot of the top prospects have been labeled as such before they even entered college and simply played a year because they had to. Just because Bagley hasn't played college yet doesn't mean scouts don't have an idea of what kind of player this his.
Some other prospects that come to mind who were similarly hyped: John Wall, Lonzo Ball, Anthony Davis, Derek Rose, Dwight Howard, Kyrie Irving, Andrew Wiggins, Ben Simmons, Lebron James, All these guys were being considered as a #1 draft pick well before they entered college. As for the two players, I can't say as much about Porter since I haven't seen him play, but I've seen a lot of Doncic and Bagley. My basic scouting report on the two from what I've seen
Doncic is way more polished as a player and his feel for the game reminds me a little of Lonzo but he is nowhere near the athlete that Bagley is. Doncic is a better passer and facilitator and has a nice looking jump shot. Whether or not he'll be able to have the strength to absorb frequent contact (whether its being bullied off screens or driving to the hoop) is still a question, but he's obviously very young.
Bagley has one of the most unique physical skillsets I've seen. KD kind of height and very nice handle but better built to play down low. Bagley's shot isn't anywhere near as good as KD but he has a nice stroke from the games I've seen him in. If I were picking a team right now, I'd base way more of the decision on who my other personnel were because there is no clear cut top prospect at this point imho.
April 2018
Someone posted “In the Postseason, Luka Doncic is averaging 8/5/2 on 26% shooting and a 1:1 AST/TO ratio”
Link.
Selected comment from thread:
If you used the "best player in the 2nd best league in the world" argument to advocate for Luka Doncic, you can't suddenly think this doesn't matter and we should evaluate based on skill set rather than what he is doing against lesser competition.
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Trading 101: What is a Margin Account? - YouTube

An investor who wants to take a position in a stock but doesn't have enough funds can use borrowed funds to purchase the asset. This is called a leveraged position, and the investor is said to be ... Margin is the amount of funds that the broker requires from the trader as collateral, in order to open a specific position of volume based on the leverage that the client has selected. Watch the ... Stock Margin is when you borrow funds from your broker to buy more stock. Margin can amplify your returns, but it can also hurt them if an investment turns a... --~-- What is Margin is a question many retail investors ask along with what is a margin account and what is margin trading. Today I am going to tell you wha... What is margin trading? What is a margin? What is the difference between a cash account and a margin account? In episode #34 of Real World Finance we dive de...

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