Part 1: Introduction Active Skill: Charge of Aegis Enhance Wood, Light & Heart orbs. +6% per orb. Reduces cooldown of other skills by 1 turn. CD 22->7 (15 skill levels) Leader Skill: MA648 - Multi Turbo Machine type cards HP x1.35, ATK x3. ATK x2.5 in cooperation mode. Mathena has arrived in NA, and after getting my feet wet in Arena 1 trying out a composition that suits my box, I decided to do a writeup for the lead. This guide will not be as exhaustive as my box for MAthena is not ideal, but I believe I have amassed enough knowledge to do one. I will only be covering team compositions with both sides having a wood emphasis in this guide. I have not experimented with a composition that has an offcolor side, although some of them look fairly promising (Involving Orpharion, LEschamali, Myr, etc. for a light emphasis, Esch, Another Geist, Castor, Batman for a dark emphasis, etc.) Part 2: Ask your doctor if Is Mathena right for you? Mathena Pros:MHera pros:Very fast runs. No need to stall back for HP multipliers. Instead of forcing to save an active in case of a Lifive spawn, you can ignore it completely and tank several non-gravity preemptives with your massive HP pool.You don't have a very well-developed machine box of one color. MHera has obviously a much larger subpool, so more creative team compositions with more niches can be formulated more easily for her than Mathena.Flubbing combo shields incurs less of a penalty compared to MHera. You get multiple chances to kill with full multiplier, instead of grinding down with 6.25x unless you pop a delay/heal active.You can heal back from 99% gravities easily. You can continuously heal through Parvati's attacks and grind her down more easily.It is easier to kill trash floors with a single TPA. Mathena's 2 TPA, Dragon Killer, and ridiculous attack makes sweeping floors very economical.You can stall for skills, if you got bad spawns, skill delayed by Thoth, or messed up, more easily by turning off your multiplier on a whim.There are no wood absorbs in Arena other than the Shieldra floor, but there are several dark absorbs.There are two preemptive wood binds in Arena (1), but no preemptive dark ones.Mathena is arguably easier to get, if you have a Grodin and are very patient.Mathena's CD is shorter. It is not unlikely for you to use a skill inherited on her twice in the same run.Part 3: Core Subs (Bases) The bread and butter sub of Mathena, in fact I would say if you're not willing to purchase at least one of these, I wouldn't bother investing into Mathena, and 2 is optimal (more are still really good, but provide diminishing returns). His awakenings, type, stats, etc. are perfect for her: Unbindable and 2 TE are amazing QoL awakenings that take the stress out of clearing binds and puzzling hard for combo shields. Of course, the killers and TPA make it easy to sweep trash mobs and burst Kali too. If you're patient enough to skill up more than one one, a dupe Mathena is a really good sub too and is unbindable, unlike most of the options that are listed below. Spica supplies solid awakenings, especially the god killer, and relatively short CD. Her first skill clears hazards in an offensive orb change and hastes (which is quite important for a scenario I will describe later on). Active chains with Australis, or Michael (inherit) for a full board to OHKO Kali. No killers but boasts 3 rows for extra oomph for Kali. Do not underestimate his 3 Skill Boosts either - they often make the difference between having your delays and full heals up around Fl13-15 of Arena, which tend to be the nightmare floors for Mathena. 2 Fingers makes him valuable, stats aren't bad either and contributes a lot of RCV to the team. Very low CD for a longer inherited skill or one you need online on the earlier floors. Can solve Beelze easily with first skill. Sadly, Balboa is near the bottom of the list of "good" subs for Mathena but his eventual UEvo might make him better. Attacker Killer is tasty, but Mathena ends up doing more to attackers with a TPA than Balboa anyways. His active is not particularly good in A1 as it's fairly long, and blind shielding against preemptives with a chance of happening is much worse than a reactionary healing active. Although much better as an inherit, you could run him straight up if you are low on options. There aren't a lot of things to say about these cards. They are Wood and Machine, but inferior to the options listed above because of lower damage, stats, active, etc. Algiedi has the potential to become very powerful in the future, but right now her awakenings/stats make her largely inferior to Spica. Courage has 2 fingers for crutch and can make bursting down a floor easier. Alnair is the only Wood Machine with a heart row unbinder so if you are running a lot of bindables, he and Star Justice are possibilities. Your anti-Sopdet measure. Use the leader switch active to do less damage and go under her threshold. Only one side has to bring, and make sure you pop a second skill (if you inherited one) on an earlier floor so that the leader switch active comes up again. There are pros and cons of all 4:MonsterProsCons Lowest multiplier possible (1x), 7 combo with 1 wood match goes under on SopdetFull color coverage with Avalon drake if Ragdra gets swapped in by MedjedraShortest CD leader swap (3), helps if you forget to pop the inherit or it gets boundGenerate Earth Dragon triggers leader skill so you can cheap kill that floor if non-leader swap side enters that floor Gets bound by Kaguyahime Might ruin an attempted stall on Generate Earth Dragon Fire subattribute may heal Parvati after Trishula Lowest multiplier possible (1x), 7 combo with 1 wood match goes under on SopdetShortest CD leader swap (3), helps if you forget to pop the inherit on top of it or it gets bound 4/5 color coverage with Spica or Balboa if Ragdra gets swapped in by Medjedra Allows you to tank the first hit of Flare Drall without healing There's actually no significant drawback to Kotodama. Some pieces of fluff here and there that might get irritating but nothing really worth mentioning Higher multiplier (2x) allows you to combo less so you get less skyfalls Full color coverage with Avalon Drake 3 skill boosts help inherits come online faster Soaks up some damage on Flare Drall, makes it partially stallable Ragdra goes over on Sopdet at a really low number of combos (no TPAs) so you have to be wary Uneven damage distribution if your subs aren't mostly Dragon + MachineLonger cooldown (4) makes it harder if you forget to pop your inherited skill early 0 RNG Poison can kill the pii quickly at the end The haste can be helpful for speeding up longer inherits, or to have Mathena's enhance up in time for Kali Extra finger A big MP investment for a specific use Doesn't receive stat bonus from leader skills - less HP and ATK total on the team Requires the use of a 4-turn or longer delay in conjunction, and it also has to be online by the time you reach Sopdet too You lose the utility in inheriting another active on top of a short CD leader swap active Part 4: Core Inherits An all-purpose active that heals a solid ~30k to counteract the 99% gravities while providing attacking orbs. Awoken heals less, but also bind clears if you're running a lot of bindables, he is a consideration. Removes hazard+skyfall buff as opposed to healing. Alternative to the 2 above. Various boards with 2 turn haste. The haste is important for a setup I will explain later. Guarantees 10 wood with minimal skyfall chance on Sopdet. Can break apart over several turns to slowly chip her down. The budget bind clear options.Other than these, any wood orb change is valid game if you're running a sub that doesn't have a good orb change, or has a low CD. Preferably, make sure you have a combination of actives that can create a full board of wood for Kali (you could always sack a spot for Dios, but inherits are less invasive than a non-Machine sub). For recovering from gravs, bind clear, tanking Unicorn and Parvati. Ana Ceres' haste is important for something I'll explain later. Not as good as Attackerasu/Ana Ceres (i.e. a full board often doesn't heal you up to full, you waste a turn not attacking, and it doesn't bind clear without bind recover awakenings, which are rare on machines). However, it can be pressed as a panic button against Sopdet (if it is even up by then), and it can create a full board with a heartbreaker for Kali if unused earlier. For Parvati, Kagu, buying more time on Sopdet, and other sticky situations. Time debuffs are a pain in the ass. This solves them perfectly, at a really low CD, although he is sadly JP only. Hope you didn't sell it if you rolled one. He even chains with Avalon Drake and removes pesky poisons from Dragon Zombie/Grisar.Part 5: Checklist A decent functioning team should have, in order of importance: Anti-Sopdet measure (Nepdra+delay OR leader switch) A combination of actives that make a full enhanced board on Kali, and enough firepower to OHKO LKali At least one full heal active on at least one side At least 2 fingers on each side A delay SDRs on (in order of highest to lowest priority), the delays, the instant heal actives, the Mathenas, the other orb changers. You should have somewhere around 80-90k HP full hyper. There aren't too many HP thresholds that are way up there (ragehits are either hundreds of thousands, or way less than your max HP. In the latter, they're more dependant on whether you got hit by gravity earlier and how much you can heal back up).Part 6: Let's head into Arena! For starters, here is a list of all 99% gravities, which is the main "attraction" that you have to watch out for when playing Mathena: Amon on F3 Griffin on F5 Hades on F8 Flare Drall on F14 (only 80%) Generate Earth Dragon on F14 And here's a list of all full heals Kaguya-hime on F2 (not very relevant) Phoenix on F5 Metatron TAMADRA on F6 Meimei on F15 Athena on F19 (not very relevant) If you get 99% gravitied on Amon or Griffin, DO NOT pop your (100% heal) Attackerasu active immediately (if it is even up at that point)! The next floors will not smack you preemptively (except for a very edge case I will cover later). 2 floors after Amon, you may meet Phoenix, which will heal you to full, or Griffin, which will end up gravitying you back down anyways. However, if you meet Unicorn, that will probably force out some form of heal or delay, as it is extraordinarily difficult to kill Unicorn under absorb. If you get 99% gravitied on Griffin, you might get healed back by Metatron TAMADRA. You can also stall on Hades for a fairly long time, where you can heal considerably although if you get many Wood Shieldras the next floor and killed Hades too soon, that might force out a heal or delay. F14 is the floor you will want to decide whether to use the Attackerasu active immediately or not. You can get Meimei next turn and healed to full anyways...but you can also get Kagu, which has a chance to skill delay your Attackerasu active if you don't use it (unless you put 4+ SDR on that card), or Parvati, which will warrant an Attackerasu or Orochi active anyways as it is difficult to heal more than she attacks for long, even with the hearts generated by Calming Mountain Wind. With the Gravity and Full Heal cycles out of the way, here are some more floors of importance: You will probably end up eating ~40k worth of damage from this guy before his absorb goes away (I've never managed to kill under absorb). But if you're ambitious and daring, 1 dark tpa with 2 combos slides under with ragdra, 1 fully unenhanced wood combo no other combos also goes under (unenhanced wood orbs provided courtesy of Unicorn's Rainbow Road). : Preemptive wood binds, be wary. et. al.: Occasionally, Grodin and Blodin Tama will smack you instead of pre-emptively binding your cards. It doesn't seem to be arbitrary and it's quite rare, but it has "a higher chance" of happening if there are subs on your team that are already bound upon entering the floor (preventable to a certain extent), or if multiple of them spawn and pick the same monster on your team to bind (not preventable). As a result, this floor's preemptive may be lethal if you just ate Griffin or Amon's 99% gravity. : You face a dilemma on this floor. Which side kills EKMD? If the Leader Switch side kills here, Medjedra has a chance of swapping out your Leader Switch monster, and you can swap it back after it passes to you for a painless Medjedra floor. Moreover, the other side has subs that deal more damage, which can net you a more guaranteed Sphinx kill. It is recommended that if Leader Swap side kills and you get Sopdet, the other side should pass immediately to get an extra turn on Sopdet. If the other side kills, you can swap in your Leader Swap machine in instantly if you get Sopdet. However, given the considerable difficulty and intimidation of this spawn, this reason alone may outweigh the several pros of the Leader Swap side killing. : If you were hoping Mathena had an easier time with it than MHera, you would be slightly mistaken. It is true that Leader Switch is "safer" than suicide active, in the sense that you can't skyfall hearts to screw yourself over. But especially if you are using Mithril Edge, and slightly less if you are using Kotodama/Folklore, you can still skyfall wood combos out of nowhere to go over 200k. The same principles apply when you face Sopdet with MHera: combo low, make combos near the top or pop Bartz to minimize skyfall. : Thoth dies to a light breeze, and his skill delay is really massive considering how fast you can (oftentimes accidentally) sweep floors. It is possible that, with no SDR and no hastes, you can reach Kali floor with your skill delayed actives still not up yet (especially if the same side also gets delayed by Kagu). Since Thoth is such an "indirect" threat, he may warrant putting a decent amount of SDR on your delay(s) so you can delay a later floor and stall for your skill delayed skills to come back again. : Since Mathena's subs are narrower, strategies to deal with Medjed's leader switch are a lot easier. Ragdra has a great leader skill if you have the colors to activate. Spica, Balboa are easy to activate and do respectable damage. And if he swaps in your Leader Swap active, or another Mathena, you get the last laugh. If you sweep to Parvati's floor, you may even have a reduced-power leader skill that makes chipping her down easier. However, if a 4-turn or longer delay is up by the time you reach here, a lot of people end up using it to avoid the RNG of, say, getting 99% grav'ed by Medjedra. : One of the only spawns that is both fire and not weak to God/Dragon killer. He does annoying stuff if you hit him low, including a hit that instantly kills you if you hit under 10%. Be extra careful around him, he is worth popping an wood-making active to kill. : When she does Calming Mountain Wind, break the middle row into a 3-match of wood, make sure the combo is completely unenhanced. With the 2 heart rows counting as 2 more combos, you will not go over if you get no skyfalls. http://pad.dawnglare.com/?s=TQ77FU1 -> Visualization If you do, start over a turn later. Also, one fully enhanced combo with no skyfall will not go over, unless you have a considerable amount of wood OE on your team. You most likely will not have to use your leader switch here, and unless you can immediately switch back for Grisar, you will get into a sticky situation there too. : With multiple dragon killers, you have an uncomfortably high chance of triggering grudge howl with a wood skyfall. If you can't delay him, do not TPA, and don't be afraid to undershoot unless you're really low on HP. : If you fail to kill on the first turn (often with a double attack stance active)...you are in for trouble. A 99% gravity into a potential Zeus Dios next turn (and even more preemptives later) with poor RCV is not fun. If you must eat the grav, use a full heal active immediately. Grisar usually dies to 3 TPA, perhaps 2 with higher amounts of combos. If you are unlucky enough to skyfall light or dark depending on absorb, you will get gravity'ed. This not good if you get DQ Hera(/Beelze) next floor, or even worse, die straight-up because no dark latents vs 100% gravity. To be safe, it may be a wise decision to delay this floor if you have one. If you are out of delays and full heals, god bless : The typical way I approach Kali is with a full board of enhanced wood. I have also seen stuff like bicolor + Facet, but I've also seen really bad bicolor boards not kill LKali even with Facet, etc. so I feel this is the safer approach. To achieve this, a bicolor and an orb changer is used, and an Athena first skill is used. I usually pop Athena's inherit (double orb changer usually) on Grisar floor to kill, then 4 floors later, with 3 turns worth of haste on actives (less if I stall, Orochi, etc.), Mathena's enhance is up again for Kali. Some spawns give you an entirely free turn to charge your skill if you don't think you have enough hastes (Dios, Mercury, Sonia Gran) The hastes are usually achieved with a bicolor board or Ishida (2 turn haste), Ana Ceres if unused earlier, etc. The side without the leader switch/Nepdra always kills Kali, pass if necessary. If you do not kill Kali, hopefully you have some sort of secondary burst to finish her off - especially on LKali, which is weak to less killers on your team and can potentially 99% gravity you. : 4 TPAs kills Light/Dark/Wood. ~2 TPAs kills water. You can give up on spiking down the fire unless you get really lucky or have an active other than an orb change to deal with it. Other spawns are very straightforward. Most spawns that aren't mentioned above die to 1 TPA and a decent amount of combos. Pop an active when you are short on orbs. Surmount combo shields, watch for time debuffs. Part 7: My personal build, and some other sample builds fetched from other places My updated P1 build. My updated P2 build. Awoken Amaterasu is an ideal inherit, because it clears binds from Kraken and Apollo while partially healing from early preempts, and if Kotodama is not used on Egyptian floor, it has the possibility to be up post-Grisar, where it can haste. Here are some sample builds from a JP site: Have fun farming piis.