Horus: a Comprehensive Guide Contents Goals Horus Advantages/Disadvantages of Horus Playstyle Leader Pairings Typical Team Comps Awakenings Optional Subs Other Relevant Links Goals The goal of this guide is to provide the most recent information on Horus teams, especially after the new ultimate evolution. Proc19’s guide gives a lot of solid information, but it hasn’t been updated in a long time and the information is not as relevant as it was back then. Horus Before going into the guide, it’s important to introduce the new(ish) ultimate evolutions of Horus. Team considerations may differ depending on which Horus you prefer. FF Horus (994) does not deviate from the original Horus. With high RCV, FF Horus is able to dish out considerable amounts of damage while being able to heal to full easily. The defining characteristics of FL Horus (995) are the huge attack, low RCV, and increased damage multiplier. This new Horus is more similar to typical spike teams, as it is less focused on stalling and more focused on doing extreme burst. Without considerable amounts of + eggs, it may be smarter to focus on higher recovery subs if you plan on going FL Horus. Advantages of Horus Consistency: This is the biggest reason Horus excels. Horus is essentially guaranteed to do 16x damage per turn, as the probability of not having 4 match-able colors is very low (somewhere around 4% on a starting board). This makes it so Horus teams cannot get insta-gibbed on high damage, 1-turn first floors (i.e. Beelzebub), where teams such as Kirin/Dark Metatron may struggle. Power: With an almost guaranteed 16x per turn and, with the new ultimate evolutions, possibly higher (20.25x-25x), Horus is able to clear every non-restricting descend in the game. Ease of use: With a bit of practice, matching Horus eventually becomes mindless. This lets him be a go-to farming team as Horus is easily able to break through Super King armor as well as Neptune in Ocean of Heaven. This lets you invest in one team that can tackle both menial farming as well as descends, meaning less time XP farming for multiple teams. Stalling potential: Horus subs have naturally high RCV, allowing you to stall for long periods of time. It is relatively easy to make sure to not proc Horus while still healing (i.e. matching all of 1-2 colors and hearts). This advantage has been diminished with the introduction of FL Horus, but with the naturally high RCV subs it is still a strength. Versatility: Horus is able to use subs that cater to its needs based on the dungeon. As long as you have all 5 colors, you can stick in assorted subs depending on the dungeon. Also, Horus is able to pair with almost any combo-based spike leader, letting you further specialize your team for certain dungeons. Sub Accessibility: Horus is able to form a mythical endgame team from 100% farmable monsters. This makes him much less reliant on REM subs compared to other spike teams (D.Meta/Sonia/etc). Sub considerations will be discussed in a section below. Popularity: A less important strength, but it is important to note that because he is good at both farming and descends, it is extremely easy to find friends that have Horus up a majority of the time. Friends with leaders such as Ra or Kirin often put up farming leaders most of the time, which can be frustrating. Disadvantages of Horus Power: While he is very strong, Horus is not able to deal as much one turn burst as many other spike leaders. This issue is partially remedied by gravities. Active: Horus is known to have an active that has awful synergy with his leader skill. With a Gigas to make fire orbs his active has become marginally better, but it still leaves much to be desired. Versatility: On the flip side, Horus basically needs two subs in Echidna and Hera-is for descends. It is somewhat restricting and as such versatility should be considered both a strength and a weakness. The Playstyle Depending on the difficulty of the dungeon, the playstyle of Horus will be very different. For farming and pre-boss descend floors, simple mindless 4 matching will easily do enough damage to wipe each floor. However, this does not work in harder descends. There is a misconception that Horus simply doesn't do enough damage, and this is true if you take the farming mentality into harder dungeons. On descend floors with high HP, treat Horus almost as you would a combo based lead; you really need to get a high combo count (7+) to do significant damage. Potential Leader Pairings Before going into team compositions, it’s important to look at the leader pairings Horus can have. Horus is able to match with many different spike leaders to further optimize effectiveness in dungeons. : Obviously. This will be your most common pairing. If you run FL Horus and want more RCV, pair with a FF Horus. If you run FF Horus and you want a little more damage, pair with a FL Horus. : This is probably the most common alternate pairing after the new evolutions. LL Ra gives you access to 4x by not proccing Ra for stalling and a higher upside (35x) in exchange for a lower average multiplier. : Kirin makes a strong pairing for Horus. Although it makes it harder to proc 20x/25x, it gives you access to 4x to snipe individual monsters, as well as giving a much more relevant active. The new Kirin ultimate also gives a bunch of raw utility awakenings, giving you chances to block some dungeon mechanics. : Isis is a very good friend leader if you are new or are practicing Horus, with her leader skill she gives you a little bit of leeway even if you didn't get 4 colors. In exchange, you end up with a lower average multiplier. Isis also has nice RCV and a short cooldown bind recover active. : I would use Bastet for dungeons where you want to control damage. Her active also essentially gives you 2x damage for floors with 2 monsters (3x for 3, 4x for 4, etc). Most notably is for Twinlits, where 16x overkills the first floor but 10x (exactly 4 matches) leaves 1-2 of the Twinlits up. Team Compositions I will be addressing team compositions assuming you pick a Horus friend. I'll be using FL Horus as the default, but it is replaceable with FF Horus. Heartbreaker Composition With 3 heartbreakers to ensure a proc every floor and to ensure killing high armor targets, this team makes farming a breeze. It is also useful for clearing easier descends or descends where stalling for gravities is not an option. High HP Boss Descend Composition My go to team for descends. The double gravity is meant to ensure boss kills (as stated before, Horus excels in consistency for lower floors but has trouble with boss stages), with the last sub dependant on the dungeon (more in optional subs). Hera is replaceable with other gravities (Hades, another Hera-is). Valkyrie gives extra burst (a surprising amount due to Horus' huge attack value coupled with a light subcolor) and a ton of RCV. Desirable Awakenings The implementation of awakenings drastically changed the way one looks at monsters, a new factor to consider after looking at stats and active abilities. Horus is much less dependent on awakenings compared to other teams, but the following are good awakenings to consider when selecting subs. : Extend Time is probably the best awakening for a combo/color based lead. This awakening ensures that you proc Horus' leader skill and increases your damage by allowing you to hit more combos. Even an extra half second is a very noticeable increase, and makes Horus feel much more comfortable. : Skill Boost allows for earlier gravities and Echidnas. Newer descends are getting less and less trash floors/stall points to get your actives up, so getting your skills up earlier is becoming more and more important. : With the increase in skill locking mechanics in newer dungeons, Skill Lock Resist has become a strong awakening, allowing you to use actives like Echidna and gravities in places you normally wouldn't be able to. With two Horus, you already resist 40% of skill locks, but I would recommend at least 60% (one more awakening) when going into a dungeon with the skill lock mechanic. Optional subs : A replacement of gravity, it really depends what you prefer. With additional orb time from awakenings, Yomi lets you make more combos and Change the World gives you pretty huge one turn burst. I would choose Yomi over a second gravity if 1) your second gravity isn't skilled up, 2) you are running a farm dungeon, 3) boss health isn't high enough to warrant a second gravity, and 4) if you simply want more orb time. Example team: : Also another possible gravity replacement. Izanagi is interesting in that he scales with your monster power; his 2x damage has the potential to be stronger than a second gravity if your monster attack is very high. It is also dependant on the health of the boss, the lower the health the more effective Izanagi would be relative to a second gravity. Izanagi also changes sub considerations; your typical subs such as Valkyrie and Echidna aren't gods so they won't get Izanagi's bonus, Echidna is fairly irreplaceable but Valkyrie should be subbed out for a god. Example team: : An interesting sub consideration for Horus, Parvati is the ultimate stalling monster. Parvati's active not only removes a color (reducing the chance of accidentally activating Horus), but also gives you additional hearts to stall with. On the flip side, her active is useless during moments when you need extra burst. Her strong stats and green attribute solidify her place as a strong sub. Example team: : If your gravities aren't skilled up, Orochi is definitely a stronger choice; you can do significantly more damage in 5 turns than a gravity. Orochi also has massive HP, which can help reach certain HP thresholds. The cooldown is just so long though, especially with the game turning towards few floors with high damage it will become harder and harder to stall for his skill. Example team: : Fills your green slot, and gives you a damage boost large enough to sacrifice a gravity. The downside to his active skill is mitigated because normally Echidna is used in conjunction. Has a very nice HP pool, if you are running FL Horus you will need to make up for the RCV as you are replacing a monster like Valk. Definitely a strong monster to consider. Example team: : Light Metatron, while not an aggressive sub, gives a lot to Horus teams. Monster binds are usually the bane of spike teams, especially for a rainbow team like Horus; an unlucky binding of two monsters could mean you can't proc your leader skill. Light Metatron removes that risk by being unbindable and removing binds from your entire team. Other benefits include monster RCV (highest in the game, helps make up for FL Horus' low RCV), blue subcolor, and double skill boosts for earlier Echidnas. Example team: : Kirin can also be used as a sub. A strong active, good stats, and with the new ultimate some really nice utility awakenings, Kirin brings a lot to the table. Example team: : With monstrous stats and strong awakenings, Odin can easily find a place on a Horus team. His new ultimate evolution gives him 3 additional Auto Recover awakenings, letting you heal for 2000 per turn just from matching. 2 Skill Boosts and an active that can be used for sniping and clutch heals help seal the deal. Example team: : His active was updated to also give 1.5x attack to gods, making him a strong alternative to Hera-is while giving some additional utility through his strong poison; keep in mind that similar to Izanagi, your sub considerations may change (i.e. replacing Valk with a god). Stat-wise he is one of the best, his awakenings are mostly just situational. Example team: Heartbreakers: : Horus loves heartbreakers, they give on demand one turn burst as well as improving consistency. Depending on the dungeon you can bring in a different heartmaker for the optional slot. For general purpose I would bring a Valkyrie, as it gives some decent light burst while covering the green slot. For dungeons like Ocean of Heaven, Cu Chulainn guarantees that you break Neptune’s armor. While I question the creativity of Gungho, the new Valks are really strong additions to FL Horus teams if you need something with high RCV. Defensive utility: These subs help you live through normally unrecoverable damage. Personally I’m a believer that the best defense is a good offense, but there will be points where damage reduction is necessary due to monster mechanics. As a general rule of thumb, use Kushinada if a boss has a nuke type ability, Susano or Indra if there is sustained damage, and Asgard if you need to hit an HP threshold. Relevant Links Pertaining to Horus http://puzzleanddragonsforum.com/showthread.php?tid=29812 Roofuls' guide to pre-descend Horus team building is really well written and has a simple step by step progression series that will help you get the subs you need to get ready to stomp descends. http://puzzleanddragonsforum.com/showthread.php?tid=5520 The Grandfather of Horus, Proc19's original guide to Horus (and Zeus). While there is some older information, there is still a lot of relevant info to glean, and has a lot of in depth math that will make you a Horus whiz.