[GUIDE] 7x6 crosses with Karin Kanzuki, the cannonest glass cannon of supernova

Discussion in 'Team Guides' started by YamaKyu, Feb 17, 2019.

  1. YamaKyu

    YamaKyu Karin Kanzuki was a mistake. And I love it ♥

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    ↓ - UPDATES AND CHANGELOG, KEEP AN EYE ON IT - ↓

    Next to come : Team templates.

    Last update - August 8th 2019
    • New dungeon guide : Extreme Challenge Arena (training arena 2)
    • New team build : Yamakyu 2.0 and Yamakyu 2.1
    • Added inherits :
      • Amatsu equip
      • Onion knight
    • August 6th 2019
      • New section : team builds examples
      • Added helper pairing : Mariel
      • Added equip : Balthier equip

    • August 4th 2019
      • Added helper pairing : Dark Karin Shindou

    • August 2nd 2019
      • Fixes and updates :
        • Added a note to Xmas Ilmina
        • Fixed Sleipnir's added value
        • Kio promoted to key sub
        • Alphonse demoted from key sub

    • July 21th 2019
      • Added sub : Kio (GFE)

    • July 17th 2019
      • Added subs :
        • Oden Gudetama
        • Super REvo Sakuya
        • Bride Panera
        • Bride Zela
        • Sonia Elle
        • Mega awoken Fenrir Viz
      • Added inherits
        • Asuna equip
        • Saria
      • Added entry in the glossary : Board fix
      • Added entry in A4's walkthrough : Alfecca and Oichi

    • July 16th 2019
      • Added sub : Mega Awoken Ilm

    • July 15th 2019
      • MASSIVE RE-WRITE OF THE WHOLE GUIDE.
        • New sections : dungeon guides to help you beat the Arenas
        • Added numerous subs
        • Added new assists
        • Removed some subs
        • Removed some lead pairings
        • New intro
        • New stuff
        • Adjustment of a lot of stuff
        • Stuff
      • Why was it so long to do. Wait no don't answer, I know exactly why.

    • april 1st 2019
      • Updated Zinogre with the new YamaP buff

    • march 22th 2019
      • Updated Zinogre and Amatsu with the buffs

    • march 20th 2019
      • Added sub : Valeria from DBDC REM

    • march 16th 2019
      • Added Yu Yu Hakusho subs :
        • Split Yusuke
        • Split Kuwabara
        • Split Sensui
      • Added Puu (YYH collab) to the list of recommended equip evos
      • Added Yuna from FF collab as a sub
      • Improved the formatting for subs and added a "Added value" part in their description to give quick information about subs

    • march 12th 2019
      • New "advice" about stalling

    • march 10th 2019
      • Added super awakening recommendations
      • New subs :
        • Athena Helios
        • White Snake Jormungandr-Ullr
        • Sleipnir
        • Sakura Matou (Fate collab)
        • Myne
        • Xiu Min
      • Minor typo fixes and adjustments

    • march 9th 2019
      • Big formatting overhaul. Should be easier to access the info you're looking for.
      • Added a little disclaimer
      • Updated my thoughts on every pairings I've tried up to now
        • Also added Ult Karin herself
      • New subs :
        • Shinrabansho collab subs
        • FMA subs
        • Myr
      • New skill assists and equip :
        • Karin equip
        • Edward equip
        • Roy Mustang equip
      • Reorganized the whole "advice" part and some more

    • Updates from creation to march 8th 2019
      • Added subs
        • XMas Ilmina (Xmas REM)
        • Amen
        • Zinogre (MH collab)
      • Added pairings
        • Alex (SF collab)
        • Toshaka Rin (Fate collab)
        • Nemain
      • Added equip and assist evos
        • Rathios
      • Formatting
      • Added new general advices

    • February 18th 2019 : creation of this post

    [​IMG]
    *loud crosses noise in the distance*



    You've probably seen me loose my mind at SF Karin ult, either here or maybe on Reddit or somewhere else.
    If not, well let me tell you about her :>


    TABLE OF CONTENTS
    • GLOSSARY
    • INTRODUCTION
      • The "attribute-crosses" playstyle
      • Karin Kanzuki is *special*
    • PLAYING KARIN KANZUKI
      • Favored playstile
      • General team design
      • General advices
    • BUILDING THE TEAM
      • Leader pairings
      • Subs
        • Key subs
        • Other subs
        • Options
      • Skill assist and equip evos
    • TEAM BUILD EXAMPLES
    • DUNGEON GUIDES
      • General strategy
      • The idea of a "win condition"
      • How to run :
        • Training Arena
        • Arena 4
        • Arena 5
        • Alt Arena 1 (spoiler : no walkthrough for this one)
        • Alt Arena 2
    • The end :>

    From here, please keep in mind that unless I specifically precise it, everytime I mention "Karin Kanzuki" or just "Karin", I'll refer to her ultimate form (Perfect Victor, Karin Kanzuki #5100). I'll be more specific when it is not the case.
    Similarly, everytime I mention anything related to running a dungeon (be it damage, general strategy, hp management, whatever, etc....) I'll refer to ult Karin Kanzuki (#5100) paired with herself (ult Karin Kanzuki (#5100), unless I specifically mention another pairing.

    Unless specifically specified, all that follows is my opinion. I'll do my best make this information as objective and accurate as possible, but I haven't read Karin Kanzuki guides myself, so I had to build this from my own knowledge and experience (no idea what JP thinks of Karin Kanzuki). And while I certainly do have facts and achievements to back all of this up (I have cleared basically all solo content with her, including Machine technicals, and every single Ultimate Arena), these are still my words. As invested in crosses as I am, I'm still just a random guy on the internet who dedicated his last 14 months to attribute-crosses, abandonning almost completely all other playstyles. You're free to disagree with me, and I invite everyone to engage in the discussion about this leader.

    (also english isn't my native language, wording and general spelling accuracy could be off, thanks for bearing with me)



    [​IMG]



    - GLOSSARY -

    Just to make sure we're talking about the same stuff, here are the ambiguous words I'm likely to use in this guide.
    If I'm using a confusing word in this guide, feel free to ask me to put in the glossary !
    • Best Girl Planar
      • Card #4196 Stasis Norn, Planar

    • Glass cannon lead
      • Any lead that has no HP multiplier nor shield. Some people consider a lead a glass cannon only if they only also lack a RCV mult, which is fair, but I don't.

    • Att-cross
      • Attribute-cross, by opposition to a heart-cross or poison-cross or whatnot-cross.

    • Mono-color, bi-color, tri-color cross leads
      • Leads that can activate with crosses of respectively 1, 2 or 3 different colors.

    • Rainbow cross lead
      • A cross lead which can match crosses of all colors.
      • As of today, only the new Toragon can do that.

    • "Impregnable fortress of doom"
      • Mostly refering to our current meta leads, which are both very durable/tanky ("impregnable fortress") and still pack a good punch ("of doom").

    • Cross-power
      • The part of an att-cross leader skill which relies on matching crosses.

    • VDP power
      • The ability of card with (a) VDP awakening(s) to deal damage. High VDP power is particularly desirable for teams which only has 1 VDP sub.

    • Board fix
      • A board fixing active skill is an AS which either spawn a set amount of a set color, or a set pattern/shape of orbs in a set location.
        It allows to slightly adjust an orb starved board.
        • Classic orb changers and board changers AS aren't board fixer imo because you can never guarantee the outcome :
          → an orb change will do nothing if there are no orbs of the right color
          → a board change is susceptible to poor RNG.
          A board fixer suffers none of these issues as it spawns an amount of orbs that you can predict.

    • A "Fujin"
      • We say "a Fujin" to refer to a card which active skills can remove damage absorbtion, because Fujin was the first card to have ever had the "void damage absorbtion" active skill.

    • An "Odindra"
      • Similarly, we say "an Odindra" to a card which active skill can clear all binds and awoken binds. Odin Dragon (Odindra) was the first card to be able to do that.

    • Odindra check
      • A combination of hazard that Odindra by itself solves with its active skill : awoken bind followed by normal bind (often pretty long, or on the leader/helper). Odindra clears both. An Odindra check is just a way for the game to ask if you have Odindra in your team or not.

    • Team HP+ awakening
      • This beautiful thing [​IMG]
        It increases the team's HP by 5% per each.

    • Tape resistance awakening
      • Officially named "Resistance-immobility", the tape resist awakening is this thingy [​IMG]
        Also named sometimes "scroll".

    • High challenges
      • Annihilation level dungeons such as One Shot Challenges, monthly C9 and C10 (or special quest ~C27 to C30 or so), Arenas, Alternative Arenas, Machine Gods Descended, etc...

    • Stall and kill playstyle
      • As the name suggest, it's a general strategy that involves a lot of waiting for opportunites, and then killing when a kill window is open.

    • Kill window
      • A moment in the enemy hazard rotation in which it is vulnerable to your attacks, and you can actually attack the enemy. What makes the enemy vulnerable can either be because there is no damage mitigation up (absorb, reduction, void), because you have a way to negate a hazard (board change to remove poison/bombs, orb unlock, Fujin), because you stored enough orbs, because you deactivated resolve, because it has been delayed, etc...
      • Using an active skill such as a Fujin against a damage absorb creates a kill window.
      • A kill windows can last more than 1 turn.
        A lot of monsters have a permanent kill window open, as they are always vulnerable.

    • Kill solve
      • Solving the board in a way that will have your team kill the enemy.
        Depending on the enemy, a kill solve can be just matching combos, and sometimes it's super fancy stuff such as triple cross VDP FUA 7c and whatnot.

    • Orb starvation
      • You experience orb starvation when you're lacking sufficient amount of useful orbs. For Karin Kanzuki, experiencing orb starvation means your natural board has less than 5 of either/both fire and/or light, preventing you from matching sufficient crosses.

    • Skill starvation
      • You experience skill starvation when you're lacking active skills that could get you out of a bad situation.

    • Triple cross VDP FUA
      • It's this.
      • Arguably the hardest kind of solve. Or almost. Avoid if possible as it is a ressource sink and very easy to mess-up. Triple cross VDP FUA is, in general, very specific : it requires very specific boards (it's very easy to have too much of your VDP color), very specific orb managing (so very specific trajectories) while matching at all times in a space almost never wider than 3 orbs.
      • If you have the means to manually deactivate an enemy resolve so that you don't have to FUA, pick this option, as FUA is what makes triple cross VDP FUA so hard. Triple cross VDP is "easy" in comparison (still pretty hard, but also far more forgiving).
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    • Win condition
      • A combination of contextual elements which, when met, guarantees that the player cannot lose anymore and will clear the dungeon, granted they always perform their solve properly and experience average RNG. After the win condition is met, only by messing up badly or suffering extremely unusually terrible RNG can the player lose.
        Win conditions depend on the team design and dungeon design. Sometimes, there are no win condition, or the win condition is "reach the py floor in arena 1". Harder dungeons have stricter win conditions. Easier dungeons can have a win condition be "enter the dungeon" as it is not losable (granted good execution and average RNG) to begin with.



    - INTRODUCTION -

    Perfect Victor, Karin Kanzuki
    is the ultimate evolution of Karin Kanzuki, a card brought to the game when Street Fighter Collab hit Puzzle & Dragons for the first time, early in winter 2019 (JP and NA).

    This guide will cover all I know about Karin Kanzuki as a lead : her strengths (she has plenty), her weaknesses (she has plenty), what makes her special, her playstyle, and how to build a team for higher challenge such as monthly C10, Machine Technicals, or the high Arenas like Ultimate Arena 4 & 5, and Alternative Ultimate Arena 1 & 2.
    She also is a nice sub, but this guide will make no mention of it.

    In a nuthsell : Karin Kanzuki is a 7x6 glass cannon light/fire cross lead, with tremendous fire power (legit currently the strongest lead in the game), comparable only to how fragile she inherently is, with only a RCV bonus as a supportive/defensive feature built-in her leader skill. So addressing her frailness is your #1 objective when building her team ; #2 is addressing crosses inherit need for ressources : orbs, space and matching time.



    - The "attribute-crosses" playstyle -

    Read this part if you don't know what attribute-cross leads are about or why they're special leads. Skip it otherwise. It's already a pretty darn long post ha ha.
    (I won't make any mention to heart-crosses in this guide as these have nothing in common except the shape : a "+" of 5 orbs (cross))

    Quick TL;DR :
    • Pros of playing attribute-crosses :
      • It's super fun
      • Exponential damage scaling (easiest playstyle to reach damage cap with)
      • No seriously, it's super fun

    • Cons of playing attribute-crosses :
      • challenging, with a not-so-smooth learning curve
      • "orb hungry" (gosh I hate that term, but truth is you still need 5 of anything to make a cross)
      • requires a lot of matching time
      • team building is a bit harder
      • sad lack of good leads, especially in this "impregnable fortress of doom" meta
      • big reliance on 7x6 boards to alleviate hazards (void damage, resolve, spinners and high combo shields are a massive hassle in 6x5) and for harder content in general
    Introduced in the game with Himura Kenshin's (Rurouni Kenshin collab, card #3019 ) first appearance in July 2016, attribute-crosses is a very special playstyle because it doesn't comply to one of the fundamentals design rules of Puzzle & Dragons : you can only activate a given leader skill once per turn.

    In Puzzle & Dragons, the vast majority of cards have a leader skill that define what the player must achieve to either deal damage or receive protection (modern leaders do both). Sometimes it's a passive HP and/or ATK and/or RCV boost to cards of a certain type or attribute, and pretty often it's a specific condition to meet when matching orbs : matching a certain amount of combos, or a certain amount of linked orbs, sometimes even in a specific shape such as a L.
    All these leader skills work the same way, be it passive or active, when the condition is met the leader is activated and multiplies whatever stat it's supposed to by a certain amount. For example, Kamimusubi gets x3.5 ATK for matching wood and dark. And it does it only once. You won't get 3.5x3.5 for matching 2 wood and 2 darks. Every leader skill can only be activated once.

    Except attribute-crosses leader skills.
    Att-crosses leader skills work as follows : you get a certain amount of damage multiplier for each and every set of 5 orbs matched in a "+" formation, a.k.a a cross, of a given color or combination of colors.

    (I can't teach you how to play crosses here, but here are some easy patterns to learn to match crosses, and here are some more)

    Each additional cross multiplies this multiplier, so it's a multiplicative/power scaling. Which means that if you somehow manage to match 10 crosses, you get your LS multiplier to the power of 10. However fear not, it is so unlikely it might as well considered completely impossible in any circumstances (getting 6 is already an edge case). A realistic example would rather be to get 2 crosses in 6x5 board (up to 3), or 3-4 in a 7x6 board (up to 6), so in a 6x5 board you can activate your leader skill up to 3 times (ATK multiplier to the power of 3) or 6 times in a 7x6 board (ATK multiplier to the power of 6), which result in what att-crosses are known for : their rapidly growing exponential damage scaling.

    All relevant cross leads have a 2-parts (or more) leader skill :
    • The part which increases damage with the amount of crosses, which I usually call "cross power"
    • The part that doesn't, which works like any other leader skill (activable only once).

    There are 3 types of att-cross leads :
    • mono-color cross leads, which can only match crosses of a single color (max 2 in 6x5, and 3 in 7x6).
    • bi-color cross leads, which can match crosses of 2 colors (max 3 in 6x5, and 6 in 7x6).
    • tri-color cross leads, which can match crosses of 3 colors. Though we shouldn't consider this a category since so far there are only 3 6x5 tri-color cross leads (which are.... not incredible (not bad though)) ; Nemain, Nees (DBDC REM) and more recently Kirei Kotomine (Fate collab). There are also Allatu and Wedding Rushana, but they are 7x6.

    IN GENERAL (there are exceptions), mono-color att-cross leads usually have a pretty "high" non-cross LS ATK mult (usually at least x4, rarely above x7, up to x10), while bi-color cross leads have a lower non-cross LS ATK mult (lowest is x1.5, usually around x2.5, up to x3.5) :
    • Rushana gets x3 ATK per wood or light cross, so if you pair with another Rushana friend you get x9 per wood/light cross matched.
      • 1 cross is ATK x9
      • 2 crosses is ATK x81
      • 3 crosses is ATK x729
      • 4 crosses (skyfall only if in a 6x5 board) is ATK x6561
    Alongside the cross part of her LS, she also has a passive x2 HP and x2 ATK for god/healers.
    • Best Girl Planar gets x3.5 ATK per fire/dark cross, so that's x12.25 per fire/dark cross when paired with herself. Alongside this, she also has x2.5 ATK and RCV when matching 6+ combos.
    • Diara gets x2.5 ATK per fire cross, so that's x6.25 per fire cross when paired with herself. Alongside this she also gets x4 ATK and 50% shielding for reaching 7+ combos.
    • Raijin gets x3 ATK per light cross, so that's x9 per fire cross paired with herself. Alongside this she also gets x7 ATK for matching full rainbow.

    Notice how Raijin and Diara have significantly more damage coming from the part that of their LS that is not about crosses. This is usually how it is for mono-color cross leads because the amount of crosses you can match without skyfall is very limited : only 2 in 6x5, and 3 in 7x6. Bi-color cross leads have access to much more power, which make them more popular. Mono-color cross leads kinda get "more reward for less crosses" (inacurate wording but you get the idea), which allow them to get away and kill some stuff with only one cross (especially when considering the damage boost from 7c or TPA, since it's far easier to take advantage of those when matching only 1 cross), while bi-color cross leads usually struggle at this and will require 1 more cross to deal equivalent damage to mono-color crosses (so 2 crosses to reach the damage of a mono-color cross lead with only 1 cross).
    Can't say much about tri-color cross leads as there aren't enough to make assumptions (Nees, Nemain and Kirei work very differently).

    The exponential damage scaling is what set att-cross leaders appart from other leads, as they don't have any fixed limit on how high their multiplier can reach (obviously there's a multiplier cap, similarly to how there is a damage cap,and obviously the board doesn't have an infinite amount of space).

    However. Despite their firepower, att-crosses remains a very niche playstyle, for a bunch of very good reasons.
    First and foremost, matching a cross is a ressource sink. You need 5 orbs to match a cross, it takes a massive amount of space and a significant amount of matching time to do it.
    Then there's the learning curve, which is certainly not nice and smooth ; playing att-crosses is inherently challenging as it is easy to mess-up a cross (be careful of the infamous jesus-cross (a "t" of 6 orbs instead of a "+" of 5 orbs)), and crosses might screw up your comboing if you're not careful.
    Crosses also create what I call "dead space", space which is hard to match anything in ; you have to set up a combo or a cascade beforehand : once it's matched it's hard to make more combos in the near vicinity of a cross, yet you have to learn to do it.
    Team building is not super easy either, because of the need for matching time and active skills to fix boards.
    Att-cross leads have very bad time against hazards found very commonly in higher level dungeons, especially in 6x5 :
    • any combo shield that needs 8 combos or more require high execution skill and very specific boards to be hit through without skyfall, while also preventing triple-cross in 6x5 entirely (of course you can try your luck with 7c triple-cross and hope for skyfall, but the loss of ressources in case you don't get these is pretty daunting).
    • FUA places an almost absolute limit on how many crosses you can match in 6x5 to 2. It is virtually possible to triple cross FUA in 6x5. You'll just never succeed as it is extremely specific and immensely hard to perform, because you need to cascade not only 1, but 2 crosses to succeed at this. It also significantly reduces your combo count.
    • VDP is virtually impossible in 6x5 as only tri-color leads can double-cross VDP in 6x5, and it requires extremely specific boards and extreme care in execution as it's extremely hard to perform. The damage output is also ass because triple-cross leads are supposed to unleash their power at 3 crosses, not 2. So you might as well not do it entirely.
    • Spinners exist.
    • Tape on either side of the board can make matching crosses a nightmare.
      Hard blind will make matching crosses a nightmare.
      Clouds suck too.

    7x6 boards addresses most of the inherent issues with att-crosses, but it's still not a magic fix that solves everything.
    But most importantly the att-cross playstyle severely lacks good leads in general. There is virtually no att-cross equivalent to the Dmetas or ZelaKittys or Shirous or Fatalis or whatever "impregnabe fortress of doom" lead that are striving in our current meta. Closest are Rushana, Diara, Reincarnated Lucifer, Mega Paimon and more recently the incredibly amazing Wedding Rushana, but while they're still very durable, Rushana and Diara suffer from a very low average damage output, Luci's team is ridiculously hard to build, and all of them still get bodied hard by the hazards mentionned above.
    Mega Paimon and Wedding Rushana are kinda exceptions as they're overall pretty darn good even in this meta, but they're still nowhere near the efficiency and consistency of meta leads. And hazards still exist.

    And that's almost about it. Most other leads are much more fragile, and a good amount of the fun att-cross leads actually are glass cannon types (no HP bonus/shield) or close to it.



    - Karin Kanzuki is "special" -

    As a 7x6 lead with almost the exact same leader skill as Planar (which is 6x5), Karin Kanzuki is the first ever leader with a 6x5 leader skill with built-in 7x6 board, with no downside in her leader skill. That makes her broken strong in terms of damage (can damage cap on a natural board without skyfall). But the price for this is her inherent frailness, with so little self HP and nothing in her LS to compensate. This is what needs to be addressed (shield, high HP subs), alongside the usual supportive and utility stuff.

    Att-crosses is a special playstyle in itself. Among this playstyle there are some special leads that stand out (or don't).
    • Most notable "special" att-cross lead was Aizen, who had a significantly different design, with a *flat* very high x6 ATK multiplier and a very low cross power at only x2 per cross, alongside a flat RCV buff that enabled a very efficient "stall and hit" playstyle. RCV mults among cross leads is quite rare in general, so having it being flat (especially back then) was certainly amazing.
    • Cherun is somewhat special in the fact that her cross power (x3 per cross) is at all times weaker to the other part of her LS (x10). She's still a very potent glass canon though, don't get me wrong. She's just special.
    • Mega Paimon is special for having a very high cross power (x3.5 per cross), a very nice x4 ATK above 50% HP (a mult more commonly found among mono-color cross leads) and most importantly the 35% passive shield above said threshold that made Edward so durable and good. This combination of features is certainly impressive.
    • You could say any of the tri-color leads are special, since there are only 3.
      Especially Nemain, who has a combination of a pretty high x5 non-cross combo-based ATK mult AND good cross power at x3 per cross.
      That would have been normal if Nemain was mono-color as it is a pretty standard mono-color att-cross LS (Fujin has combo based x6 and x2.5 per cross), but she is tri-color which means her cross power is far above mono-color cross leads because she can match 3 crosses in 6x5 board. Making her the 6x5 cross lead with the best combination of power, consistency, efficiency and flexibility (above Mega Paimon, yup).

    Karin Kanzuki is one of these special att-cross lead too. Karin Kanzuki is special because she has almost the exact same leader skill of Planar -which is one of the best 6x5 cross leads atm (even though she's not special by design)-, but with a built-in 7x6 board in her LS.

    I'm probably not teaching you anything when I tell you that since 7x6 leads exist in this game they've always been made weaker than 6x5 leads.
    Reason for this is simple : a 7x6 board is in itself a tremendous buff to any team that is not row based (rows really don't benefit a lot from playing in 7x6 (it is beneficial to them, but unlike all other playstyles it comes with an inherent other counterpart which is : a row is 7 orbs in 7x6)). So to achieve some kind of """balance""" (notice the quotes), so far GungHo's designers have been carefully making 7x6 leads with mediocre/ok ATK mults compared to their 6x5 counterpart, which is why we usually pair 7x6 leads with strongers 6x5 helpers. Hence why 7x6 leader swap has such potential, and why 7x6 leads are almost never paired with themselves : you only need one to get the benefit of a 7x6 board, having a 7x6 lead also as a helper means you're just ditching power for no benefit. So 7x6 leads are paired with 6x5 leads.
    Thats's how the game has handled 7x6 leads, and it has always been quite fair (though the Anubis X Diablos pairing clearly overstayed its welcome by being just waaaaaay too good for a long while (that was long ago tho)).

    That was until Karin from Street Fighter collab was revealed :9

    Her leader skill features are :
    → 7x6 Board
    → 2x ATK and RCV for light attribute
    → 3.5x ATK for each light or fire cross

    That, ladies and gentleman, is an authentic 6x5 cross Leader skill. But Karin Kanzuki is a 7x6 lead. And when I say authentic I mean it.

    [​IMG]

    While there have been a bunch of nice cross leads since her release, Best Girl Planar remains among the best att-cross leads in the game to this day. And Karin Kanzuki is basically a ligh 7x6 Planar, which is nuts.
    There are only 3 differences between their LS :
    1. Planar has x2.5 ATK and RCV, while Karin only has x2.
    2. Planar applies it to the whole team, Karin only boosts light cards.
    3. This part of Planar's LS is combo-based, while Karin is flat.
    And none of these differences change anything in how they're played. If anything, #3 would have made a difference in 6x5, but in 7x6 it might as well be flat because 6c in 7x6 is pretty much a given.
    My point here is that they essentially have the same LS (with a slight virtually inexistant difference in damage), but Karin has it in a 7x6 board.

    x3.5 ATK per cross is huge. That's x12.25 per cross when mirrored. But in 7x6 ? Bonkers.
    The highest cross power you can get on an att-cross lead so far is x4 per cross (Wallace isn't an att-cross lead), and these are found on 6x5 mono-color leads (2 crosses max). Karin Kanzuki is freakin bi-color 7x6 lead with big cross power at x3.5 per cross. That is nuts.
    The two other 7x6 leads are June Bride Rushana and Allatu, and they have respectively x3 and x2.5 per cross, without even another offensive part to their LS. Karin has a flat x2. Karin's LS design is immensely broken.

    Your damage scales really high, really fast :
    • 1 cross is x12.25 ATK when paired with herself. Very easy to perform, almost all natural boards have 1 cross.
    • 2 crosses is x150. Very easy to perform, and the average natural 7x6 board does have 2 crosses.
    • 3 crosses is x1838. Still quite easy to perform, and you can get natural triple cross boards several times per run of even short dungeons.
    • 4 crosses is x22518. A bit trickier to pull off (still not a big deal), and still achievable in a lucky natural board. 4 crosses is virtually guaranted to make you hit damage cap.
    All that, alongside a flat x4 ATK and RCV (when paired with herself), which means your LS mult is actually x600 at only 2 crosses. And there are still massive space to combo the rest of the board. And you basically add more than one digit to your damage output with each cross. And in 7x6 you can match up to 6 (you need only 4 to cap non 7c subs though). I don't know if you realize how the scaling work but I can tell by experience that it is nuts.

    That's bare minimum 10M damage per non-7c sub with only 2 crosses, which is the average amount of crosses you get in an average natural 7x6 board. That is enough to kill most stuff that is not designed to be durable (so any A1 → A5 spawn that is not a boss, almost any Legend+ boss).
    That's several hundred millions damage per non-7c sub at 3 crosses, which is still common in natural boards, and most importantly very easy to execute thanks to all that space. It kills virtually anything.
    And that's damage cap at only 4 crosses, which remains achievable in a natural board.

    The combination of high RCV, extreme damage and built-in 7x6 board alleviates a bunch of inherent issues with att-crosses.
    The ressource sink part of the issue is definitely addressed by the sheer amount of space and orbs in a 7x6 board. It still takes time to match though. Dead space is much less of an issue with so much space, and you have enough room to maneuver and not mess your combos when matching crosses.

    Karin Kanzuki's naturally favored playstyle is very similar to Aizen ; her flat RCV bonus enables an easy "stall and hit" playstyle, that is very suited to att-crosses, as this playstyle requires so much ressources and setup.

    The thing is she's a glass cannon. And she's going all out at this. As I just said she has extreme firepower potential, she is the most powerful lead in the game at the moment, like, the single cannonest glass cannons. But also among the glassest glass cannon because she only has 3500 personal HP at lvl110 and +297, and nothing in her LS alleviates this.

    Addressing this frailness is your most important objective in team building.



    - PLAYING KARIN KANZUKI -

    - Favored playstyle -

    Karin Kanzuki is a 7x6 cross lead with ridiculous fire power, little to no defense and a RCV bonus. Her natural playstyle favors stalling and waiting for a kill window/opportunity. Sounds easy but this is not possible as is though : this is a playstyle that works for cards that can eat some hits. Thing is, Karin Kanzuki is naturally inherently fragile, with only 3k5 personnal HP ; that is about half the HP you would expect of a good modern card. And that in itself pretty much sums up the main issue with Karin Kanzuki when you consider her favorable playstyle. You have to build a team that can stall and wait while having the HP of 5 cards instead of 6, because Karin Kanzuki paired with herself have the HP of 1 card.
    Yet, I do believe that she is her best pairing.

    Looking at the rest of her kit to highlight the important points.
    Her active skill is a fantastic tool as it does 2 great things that are very useful to playing Karin Kanzuki : it increases your matching time by 50% (which is huge, especially considering how you want to build her team) and it spawns 5 light + 5 fire. That's 2 crosses. And 2 crosses kills lots of stuff. Also 5 hearts to fix FUA boards.
    You certainly don't want to inherit stuff that will erase her it (or choose wisely) as Karin Kanzuki's active skill has big inherent value.

    Last but not least ; her awakenings are very valuable and support oriented, with 2 skill boosts, a SBR and a finger, a FUA and most importantly 2 team HP+ awakenings. It might not look like it at first glance, but the team HP+ awakening is one of the most valuable awakening for Karin Kanzuki, as every HP she can get counts for a "stall and kill" playstyle, when your team cannot naturally eat damage. And team HP+ can add a lot of HP to your team.

    Playing a stall and kill playstyle involves mostly 2 things : waiting (or stalling), while charging your active skills, storing up orbs and observing the enemy attack pattern, and performing a kill solve when you identified a kill window.
    Stalling means solving the board in a way that you don't deal a lot of damage each turn, so that the enemy keeps doing a thing that is not harmful to you. You must replenish your health regularly when you stall. To stall you must be able to identify what is a threat and what is not. Which spawns can cause you trouble if you decide to stay by their side, and which are not. And for a lot of spawns you must know at what HP threshold it is safe to stay so that the enemy doesn't unleash a lethal attack. Dungeon knowledge (and/or good instinct) is key for this playstyle. Always be mindful of your HP, always keep an eye open, good awareness will help you keep track of when it is possible to stall, when it is not, and when it is time to kill. Be careful when performing your kill solve, as messing it up can result in your death.



    - General team design -

    TL;DR : To build her team you want
    • Very high HP subs : you want 53k+ HP to be very safe for non-AA2 high challenges, and 65k+ for AA2, nothing less. Try to get team HP+ subs, these awakenings are invaluable.
    • Time extend subs. Bare minimum would be 10secs. 13secs starts to feel comfy. Aim for 15secs for consistency in matching (not necessary if you're a PAD god though).
      • Bonus if your TE subs are bind immune.
    • Shields and time extend actives skill.
    • Subs with hazard clear or resistance, utility or a really good board change.
    • Don't bother with anything that brings offensive value (except VDP) as Karin Kanzuki inherently strives when it comes to dealing damage. Forget about 7c. Forget about orb-changers. Forget about spikes.
    You want to design your team around 3 pillars :
    • Being able to stall. You want to be able to negate damage so that you can stall and wait for kill windows, which means you need tanky subs, shields and team HP+ awakenings. You might not realize it yet but you can get significant HP from team HP+ awakenings (with the combination of HP++ latents and team HP+ awakenings, I loose 20k HP when awoken bound : 20k HP = 3 tanky subs). Any HP is good to have.
    • Cancelling hazards. You want to negate dangerous/annoying hazards such as bombs or clouds, or be ready to erase anything that can get in your way such as time debuff, RCV debuff, lock and most importantly awoken bind, which is borderline lethal for Karin because of the HP she gets via team HP+ awakes. Point is, make sure nothing gets in your way when you match, because crosses still eat a lot of ressources. Any anti-hazard feature is good to have.
    • Consistency. You want no ambiguity in the fact that you can perform a kill solve when a kill window is open. That mostly implies to 1/ practice 2/ have enough matching time to execute the said kill solves. Any time extend is good to have.
    Time extend is particularly important as FUA and most importantly VDP require massive amounts of matching time, and are everywhere in higher challenges. You have no idea how hard it is to triple cross VDP FUA until you try it (even triple cross VDP is genuinely hard), yet some spawns need you to perform it, and in certain cases messing either one of VDP / FUA / triple cross can actually get you killed (failing at 2 of them is usually safe though).

    Things that you don't want in your team : anything that brings offensive value more than anything else. I'm warning you in advance, I'll be very annoying with this matter, sorry, but at the moment Karin Kanzuki is the single most powerful lead in the game : she has one thing going for her and it's her extreme power. You don't need more, there's little point in getting more assets to increase your damage, she covers that already.
    You don't need 7c.
    It's sometimes nice to have, but a general rule of thumb to build your team is : if the only value brought by any given card is offensive in any way (offensive AS, or offensive stats, or most importantly offensive awakenings), then it probably is not a good Karin Kanzuki sub. Exception is VDP as any team need it in today's day and age, and Karin Kanzuki can make great use of multiple VDPs on a single card.
    7c is widely seen as very desirable in the game, but this doesn't apply to Karin Kanzuki. Same with 10c. Same with TPA. Same with rows.

    If you need any more power, match an additional cross. If you can't, stall one turn. If you can't, use a shield. If you can't, reconsider your dungeon strategy. If you're stuck, reconsider your team.

    A good Karin sub brings either protection (HP, shield, hazard resistance), utility or fingers (spoiler, Enoch is a godsend for Karin Kanzuki (Puu equip as well)).

    If you're trying to build a Karin team for higher challenges, absolutely aim for HIGH HP first :
    • For anything that is not AA2, you can easily get away with about 51k+ HP. It might sound high but you'll see in a bit that there are plenty of tanky subs inherently good for Karin. Also I can't stress enough the value of team HP+ awakenings, they make a big difference (which is also why awoken bind is so dangerous to Karin).
      The majority of non-execution attacks you'll face hit below 51k+ (some reach 53k+, but they're much rarer). And with her great ability to recover, anything that don't one-shot just shouldn't be able to kill Karin to begin with (heart-starvation virtually doesn't exist in 7x6 as long as you match stuff). If you can reach it, 55k HP is very comfy and safe for the vast majority of non AA2 content.
    • For AA2, just don't run it unless you reach 65k effective HP. I'll explain how to handle it later in this post, but first and foremost, 65k HP is an almost absolute threshold to meet. Don't bother if you don't have this, or be prepared with a flawless strategy and skill rotation.
    You don't necessarily need a lot of shields if your HP is high enough, however a good shield rotation will virtually permanently significantly increase your HP. With that said, don't alter your team design to have good shield rotation, but if you can afford it that is certainly a good feature.

    Regarding matching time, the more you get, the better.
    Here are some facts : 1/ matching crosses takes time 2/ navigating a 7x6 board takes time.
    Allatu and Bride Rushana both address that by having +5 sec TE buff baked in their LS, but Karin doesn't.
    I doubt you'll get anywhere with less than 9-10 secs of matching time. I think that's the bare minimum for anyone who isn't a PAD god. I am not. You probably want 13+ secs, but that's not easy to get so you should try to get a TE active skill or two in there (*cough*Enoch*cough*). Have your TE sticks be bind immune if you can btw so that you're not a sitting duck when your subs are bound.

    For badge it all depends on what you manage to get most of between HP and matching time. Both HP+ badge and TE+ badges bring equivalent value. I personally use HP+ now, but for a very very long while I was running TE+ for that sweet sweet additional 2secs of matching, and even after several weeks without it I still strongly feel the difference.

    One thing that you don't need though is a lot of orb-changers. I would advise against having more than one board change (preferably ideally 2/3 colors + hearts) and a fast board fixer : it can be either a fixed orb changer such as Valkyrie (heart → light) or even Fuma Kotaro (wood → light), or a card that randomly spawns fire and/or light (Karin Kanzuki herself is perfect for that purpose).
    The reason why I think you don't need too much orb change is because :
    • While it can be a real problem in 6x5 (especially for a team with poor stalling ability), orb starvation is virtually a non-issue in 7x6, even for a cross lead. The average board does have 5 light and 5 fire for you to match 2 crosses. And if it doesn't, it will on next turn, after you get rid of a bunch of useless orbs.
    • Karin herself is an incredible board fixer, she will basically spawn 2 crosses. And remember : your average board should already have at the very least one.



    - General advices -

    • Karin Kanzuki has access to Super Awakening. I strongly recommend that you pick the Super Time Extend. Unless you're running AA2 Karin won't specifically have a use for a 3rd skill boost (it certainly is always nice to have, but for a "stall and kill" lead it doesn't have too much value), and she absolutely doesn't need additional firepower. Fingers however always have big value for such a lead.

    • As I said, both HP+ and TE+ badge bring similar value to Karin. If you're not running AA2 you can probably pick whichever helps you to run Karin more consistently. Like, if you're already above 53k HP, you might as well take advantage of the additional matching time. But if you're far below, or if you're trying to run AA2, HP+ badge is mandatory, as reaching the 65k HP threshold without it is extremely hard.

    • We'll dig into subs later a bit later, but since since addressing HP is so important to her, you should consider slapping HP++ latent awakenings on all your big HP subs. Anything that has 6k HP or more are great candidates to receive HP++ latents ! Anything that has less than 6k HP shouldn't be a Karin sub to begin with anyway.

    • On the other hand I can't think of a single set of latents that would be optimal for Karin herself. She absolutely doesn't need more firepower so I don't think killers or ATK++ are necessary (go for it if you wish so though), she already has plenty of RCV so I'm not too sure about given RCV++ awakenings (though she'll be a great RCV stick if you do that), she absolutely doesn't have any relevant HP so HP++ would be straight up wasted. TE latents are just bad I think. And her AS is great but not so critical that you would want full SDR.
      • I went with full rainbow resist to address 100% gravities + a single SDR but tbh I don't really know what else would be good.

    • Regarding hazards, you mostly want to negate blind, jammer, cloud and tape.
      Poison is not mandatory (except for spawns such as beelzebub, Anubis or Hamal ofc) since she has a good ability to recover. But you want jammer resistance to resist the bombs.
      Bombs are designed to take 1st priority both in your mind and in the game, so they directly get in the way of matching crosses. They also can't be cascaded which is a big issue in higher challenges.
      Blind resist is not super mandatory but it'll make your life easier because while you can handle it when matching simple combos or TPAs, matching crosses with hard blind really sucks (or at least, I suck at it :9).
      Absolutely get yourself a tape resist. It's not nearly as much an issue in 7x6 than in 6x5, but tape can still ruin your day when coupled with other hazards.
      So does clouds.

    • You'll see in a bit that there aren't a lot of good "unlock orbs" subs for Karin, active skill wise, so try to get an L-Unlock awakening in there to remove the locks and skyfall lock debuffs. And make it so that your L-unlock sub has a non-light/non-fire attribute : matching a L-unlock uses 5 light or 5 fire, so if you can match a L-unlock it means you have 5 of either light or fire, in which case you should either match a cross instead, or store to match a cross later.

    • Karin Kanzuki, when paired with herself, damage caps all light/fire subs in the team at 4 crosses. Any additional is unnecessary.
      You won't cap fire subs if you do 3 light cross and 1 fire cross, and vice versa, but 2 lights + 2 fire is damage cap for all subs, even non-7c subs.

    • When paired with herself or another "x3 per cross" pairings such as Kenshin or Nemain, Karin Kanzuki adds more than 1 digit of damage per cross matched. It is definitely an unreliable way to control your damage, as 7x6 skyfall are very much a thing and will ruin your day, but it gives you a vague idea of how much crosses you can match to not pass a Damage Void/absorb threshold. Like, a damage void at 10M can't be dealt with at 2 crosses.

    • VDP is the only offensive Karin Kanzuki wants, and can make good use of several. Reason for this is simple. Karin Kanzuki's team building is quite specific, and you might not have enough room for several VDP subs (though they're far more numerous now than they were when Karin was initially released), so you want your VDP sub to carry the kill.
      It is interesting to note how a card with 3 VDPs can save you the hassle of matching a 3rd cross (assuming you triple cross VDP, because double cross VDP kills virtually nothing but Dmeta Tama maybe and the lantern from halloween dungeon) because 3 VDP awakes imply a x15 damage mult per each box matched. x15 is more than the additional damage you get from an additional cross (x12,25) so it might be worth trying to kill some spawns with double cross VDP instead of triple cross VDP if that mean you can combo more. Heck, you could try crazy stuff like double cross double VDP (I just got the idea while typing, I have yet to try and see how good it is). Point is, 3 VDP on a card can allow you to get away with matching only 2 crosses instead of 3 sometimes. Maybe.



    - BUILDING THE TEAM -

    I'll try to cover as much cards as I can, but the truth is I can't be exhaustive because even with all the tools to search for cards (bless Dadguide, PADx and Ilmina.com) there are limits to how accurate my attention can be. Let me know if you think I've missed something.



    - Leader pairings -

    Quick reminder of Karin Kanzuki's LS :
    • x2 ATK and RCV to light attribute subs
    • x3.5 ATK per light/fire cross

    Truth is there aren't so many pairings worth being used with Karin. Of course it depends on how you want to play her, but the amount of leads that synergize well with her is certainly limited. Here are some options.

    This is a semi ordered list ; great pairings are above less good pairings, but not in an exact and accurate order. It just gives you an idea. In general all these pairing are at least pretty good anyways.

    Perfect Victor, Karin Kanzuki - #5100
    [​IMG]
    Leader skill :
    • x2 ATK and RCV to light attribute subs
    • x3.5 ATK per light/fire cross
    Pros :
    • Unkillable with anything but a one-shot if you reach a good HP threshold thanks to her great RCV.
    • Strongest pairing in the game, probably.
    Cons :
    • Inherently fragile
    • Team building is hard because of the need to alleviate frailness
    • Seriously, she's so frail
    It might sound contradictory with everyting I've said until now, considering how fragile of a card Karin Kanzuki is, but truth is I strongly believe she is her best pairing. Granted you can reach good HP though. Thanksfully it also means you're sitting on a virtual x1.2 HP mult via team HP+ awakes and while it certainly isn't enough and absolutely uncomparable to a proper LS HP mult, when you play a card that need HP that badly, any HP makes a difference. I reach 56k HP without badge ; this wouldn't have been possible without team HP+ awakes. Don't understimate the difference they can make. 10% of a team with 50k HP is 5k HP additional HP. That is significant. That's the HP of a legit sub.
    The idea is if you can reach a decent amount of HP then you can't really die because Karin paired with herself only needs a single set of 3 hearts to heal back to full (which is virtually always available in a 7x6 board). Of course, any hazard can ruin this so if you want to run this pairing in harder challenges, hazard resistance should be one of your priorities, alongside shields to be ready for big preemptives.
    No need to tell you how bonkers the damage output is. I'm pretty sure she's the single strongest lead in the game atm. Just like Planar, most spawns die at 2 crosses, and spawns that can resist 3 are extremely rare. 4 crosses will just make all fire and light subs hit damage cap, which is achievable on a natural board without active skill. This is how strong Karin is paired with herself.
    This is my pairing of choice, I play that far more than any other pairing below.


    Abyssal Cursed Sword Goddess, Nemain - #5063
    [​IMG]
    Leader skill :
    • x5 ATK and 25% shielding at 5 combos
    • x3 ATK per fire/wood/light cross
    Pros :
    • Excellent firepower
    • 25% shield
    • Mitigation of RCV debuffs thanks to her heart-TPA awakes
    • Facilitate immensely building rainbow
    Cons :
    • NOT FULLY AFFECTED BY KARIN'S LEADER SKILL.
    • Doesn't contribute a whole lot to address Karin's inherent issue (frailness, need for ressources)
    • Doesn't contribute to the team damage in any way
    • 25% shield isn't a whole lot
    I used to genuinely hate Nemain for her design which made no sense whatsoever to me. Way before Karin Kanzuki was released. I just hated how her LS, AS and awakes seemed to have been set by 3 different persons which never talked to each other. With a bit of search I'm pretty sure you can find some hateful words of mine either here on PAD forums, or on Twitter/PAD GLobal/Reddit. So you can only imagine how pleased I am to see her ult evo being 1/ so good 2/ so good for Karin Kanzuki in particular. I used to strongly advise against playing her, but now I believe she's one of Karin's best helper (despite the card itself being so weird).
    Nemain X Karin is the single strongest pairing that isn't Karin paired with herself. At x3 per cross while being tricolor and having x5 ATK for only 5 combos, Nemain is special for having the power of a mono-color cross lead, while being tricolor. Which is absolutely bonkers nuts. It only makes sense that paired with Karin the power output is extreme. The counterpart to this is Nemain herself will never really contribute to the team damage, because of her stats, and most importantly the colors she can match crosses of or none of her own attributes.
    The counter-counterpart to this is she covers 2 off-attributes (dark/blue) by being just here, facilitating immensely the task to build a rainbow team if you wish to take advantage of guard break or skill charge.
    Her 25% shield cannot address by itself Karin's frailness, especially when Nemain herself -similarly to Karin- has only little HP, however it will be virtually always on, as hitting 5c in 7x6 is granted.
    Nemain not being fully affected by Karin's LS (x2 ATK to light cards) would have been an issue, had she not had non-existant ATK to begin with.
    With all that said, Nemain is still Nemain and she doesn't make much sense and unfortunately her AS won't be too useful so you should inherit something onto it. But still. Amazing pairing.
    Thanks @Orange for pointing that out !



    Rurouni, Himura Kenshin - #3019
    [​IMG]
    Leader skill :
    • x2.5 ATK and 25% shield when matching fire and light
    • x3 ATK per fire/light cross
    Pros :
    • 25% shield
    • Very strong and synergystic pairing
    • Nice damage control thanks to a 2-parts LS which can be half or fully activated (though 7x6 skyfall are still a thing)
    Cons :
    • Can rarely experience orb starvation as it actually requires both fire and light for full activation
    • Much harder to stall with much less RCV, especially in high challenges where RCV debuffs are more and more common.
    • 25% shield isn't a whole lot
    The very firstest thing I had in mind when I saw Ult Karin is how good she would be once paired with Kenshin.
    It turns out the 25% shield you get from Kenshin is not that incredible in general because 25% shield can't fix Karin's inherent weakness, but out of the pairings that does bring defense to Karin, Kenshin is by far the most synergistic : attributes, active skills, awakes,... everything ties Karin and Kenshin together (even though these enhanced fire/light orbs feel kinda wasted).
    Kenshin has x3 ATK per light or fire cross, and x2.5 ATK + 25% shield for a match of fire and light. This pairing only has a tinsy bit of defense (it exist) but the power potential of Karin X Kenshin cannot be overlooked. It feels great to use, and Kenshin's active skill is a great board fixer with light/fire skyfall. It's awesome to play with Kenshin.



    Karin Kanzuki - #5099
    [​IMG]
    Leader skill :
    • x4 ATK and x1.5 HP to light attribute subs
    • +2 secs of matching time
    • x3 ATK per light cross
    Pros :
    • She addresses a bit of all the inherent issues of ult Karin Kanzuki, basically
    • Very strong pairing
    • Good damage control with fire crosses
    Cons :
    • Can't take full advantage of fire crosses
    • Doesn't contribute to the team RCV
    • No SBR.
    Basically I think she fixes Ult Karin decently.
    x1.5HP is not much but that's enough to go from 40k HP (which is acceptable but mediocre for higher challenges) to 60k (which starts to feel comfortable). Ult Karin's RCV mult will also help to keep these HP in high values at any time, but RCV debuff will make the team struggle. Lastly, her built +2 secs of matching time will be a big added value. Especially in combination with badges.
    2 light crosses with Base Karin X Ult Karin is already a huge x882 mult, which you can push further with either a 3rd light cross (don't mess it up, it's not inherently easy) or some fire crosses. Though your damage will ultimately suffer a bit from the unability to use fire cross properly. It also means you can use fire crosses to control your damage more precisely, which is certainly nice.
    Lastly, pairing with base Karin means you won't have to worry about clouds. That's a detail but to me it's important.
    Great pairing overall. I would even assume Base Karin was meant to be paired with Ult Karin from the beginning.
    A piece of advice maybe : If you want to use base Karin as a pairing for Ult Karin, you might want to adjust your team to generate more light, else it'll feel weird ; fire crosses won't have as much impact as light crosses, and it will feel weird.



    Pure Draconic Songstress on Euphonium, Mariel - #5335
    [​IMG]
    Leader skill :
    • x2 HP for light and water cards
    • x4 ATK for all attribute subs when matching 6 or more combos
    • x5 ATK for matching any non-light/water set of 5 orbs.
    Pros :
    • HP boost.
    • Good damage.
    • Good damage control.
    • Easy to activate while making crosses.
    Cons :
    • Not a cross lead so ultimately damage will be on the lower end
    A non-cross lead pairing with a surprising combination of both high power and defense.
    Not much to say about her tbh. Her LS is pretty simple to activate, as it only require some comboing and a set of 5 non-light/water, which means you can fully activate it with a fire cross. Or just any blob of 5 wood/dark/fire really. Damage will be pretty decent, at x20 it starts being very nice even without the exponential scaling. And her 2-parts LS allow for some potentialy nice damage control.
    You might want a sub with a heart-enhanced (heart-TPA) awake or 2 to secure consistent recovery but that's it. Pretty good overall :>



    Mage, Rin Tohsaka - #5008
    [​IMG]
    Leader skill :
    • x3.5 ATK and 25% shield for matching fire and light
    • x5 ATK and 25% shield for matching a set of 5 non-fire/non-light orbs
    Pros :
    • 43% shield !
    • Good damage control
    • Easy to activate while making crosse
    Cons :
    • Not a cross lead so ultimately damage will be on the lower end
    A questionable pairing since she's not a cross lead. But. The idea is that she has a double 25% shield, which grants you 43% for full activation. And the nice thing is that activating Rin's double shield is nothing really hard, especially in 7x6 : she gets one for a fire and light match, and another for matching a set of 5 non-fire/light (can be hearts, wood, dark, water or hazards). That's all you need for this sweet 43% shield. And it's not like she's weak to compensate, you actually get a great x17,5 ATK mult for full activation, which is a lot for a card that has so much built-in shield. You obviously won't have nearly as much power as with an actual cross pairing, but you can still deal plenty with Karin X Rin, while receiving good protection.
    Give her a try if you lack other options.
    Thanks @Noc for pointing that out !



    Karin Shindou (Dark Color) - #5209
    [​IMG]
    Leader skill :
    • x4 ATK and x1.5 HP for light cards
    • x4 ATK and x2 RCV for matching a set of 5 orbs (any attribute, any shape)
    • Increase matching time by 2secs
    Pros :
    • HP boost
    • Same RCV as Karin X Karin
    • Good damage control
    • Easy to activate while making crosses
    Cons :
    • Not a cross lead so ultimately damage will be on the lower end
    For the sake of clarity in this part I'll refere to Karin Kanzuki as "Kanzuki", and Karin Shindou as "Shindou". Because, you know, they're both karins x)

    Another non-cross lead pairing. Defense and offense wise it's a bit worse than Rin Tohsaka, as her shield was almost equivalent to a x2 HP mult, and Rin has a slightly stronger LS than Shindou. However, Shindou's LS is interesting for her RCV boost, which is the same as Karin Kanzuki ; hence, while playing Kanzuki X Shindou you do not loose any RCV. This is important if you want to play a stall and hit strategy (which is recommanded when playing Kanzuki), because higher challenges have numerous RCV debuffs.
    That aside, Shindou as pairing is also notable for having great damage control, and a LS which is extremely easy to activate while making crosses, as making light or fire crosses actually activates Shindou's LS (that was not the case for Rin).
    Oh yeah, and you get 2 secs of matching time in the process, which is 100% something that Kanzuki can make good use of.
    Ultimately, Shindou's LS (compared to Rin's) is more supportive, give her a try if you lack other options and are into that.
    Thanks Grok#2049 for the suggestion !



    Allure Crowned Sacred King of Hell, Paimon - #3876
    [​IMG]
    Leader skill :
    • 50% shield and x3 ATK for matching a heart cross
    • x3 ATK per light cross
    Pros :
    • 50% shield !
    • Very strong pairing (max : heart-cross + 3 light-crosses)
    • Good damage control with fire crosses
    Cons :
    • Need a heart-cross for max damage and protection
    • Can't take full advantage of fire crosses
    Paimon has 2 ults wich are both interesting to use as pairings for Karin.
    → L/Wt Paimon has x4 ATK per light cross, and 35% shield + x3 ATK for a heart cross.
    → L/x Paimon has x3 ATK per light cross, and 50% shield + x3 ATK for a heart cross.
    While both forms are equally good in different matters, I have a couple reasons to think L/x Paimon is the one to pick here.
    Obviously his bigger shield is the main reason why you would want L/x Paimon. 50% shield for a heart cross perfectly addresses Karin's defense problem. It comes with a weaker cross power, but as I said several times already, Karin does not need additional power. She needs to not die. She need defense and utility. L/x Paimon has exactly this.
    Another reason however why you would want L/x Paimon is his stats. He has 100 weighted stats higher than its L/B form, and most importanly 2k HP more, and that is absolutely not negligible when Karin herself is so fragile ; these 8400 HP are very useful to Karin Kanzuki.
    Other than that I would like to rise awareness on the fact that Karin's AS has perfect synergy with a Paimon pairing since she not only spawns 5 light and 5 fire, she also spawns 5 hearts to make that sweet heart-cross.
    However similarly to Base Karin, the synergy isn't super good because your fire crosses will only have little value, so it'll feel weird.
    Also, FUA is going to be annoying.



    Fifth Dragon Caller, Skyblazer Diara - #3574
    [​IMG]
    Leader skill :
    • x4 ATK and 50% shield when matching 7 combos
    • x2.5 ATK per fire cross
    Pros :
    • FARMABLE
    • Almost permanent 50% shield !
    Cons :
    • NOT FULLY AFFECTED BY KARIN'S LEADER SKILL
    • Moderately strong
    • Can't take advantage of light crosses
    Diara is a bit questionable but a nice pairing nonetheless (also farmable).
    The thing with Diara is that she isn't fully affected by Karin's LS ; no problem with the crosses, but she doesn't get the flat ATK and RCV boost. I would say it's arguably a non-issue but still very sad when you see her 3k5 ATK. But again, it's not like Karin needs her firepower anyway.
    What Karin needs is defense. And Diara is perfect for that because her shield is tied to making 7 combos... which is extremely easy in a 7x6 board ! So unless you mess up your comboing, you will basically play with a permanent precious 50% shield.
    Diara has 3 fingers, and her active skill will also skyfall a lot of fire.
    Her cross power might look on the weak side, at only x2.5 per cross (x8.75 paired with Karin), but that's the same as Allatu in the Allatu X Planar pairing, and I can tell from experience that it's already nice. Be prepared though because it'll feel weird again, since the synergy is imperfect. Focus on fire crosses first !



    Reincarnated Seraph Lucifer - #4265
    [​IMG]
    Leader skill :
    • 50% shield and x4 ATK for matching a heart cross
    • x3 ATK per light/dark cross
    Pros :
    • 50% shield !
    • Very strong pairing
    Cons :
    • Very weird pairing because of color synergy
    • Need a heart-cross
    A weird pairing at first glance, until you remember that REvo Seraph Luci is a Paimon in essence, but with this nice advantage of being able to make 3 types of crosses (dark, light, heart) instead of two (light, heart). Outside of that they are basically identical in how they work. He's also bind immune and brings 1.5 secs of matching time so it's basically a better Paimon. Only major differences are :
    → his active skill doesn't benefit nearly as much to Karin as Paimon's, as REvo Luci spawns dark and Karin can't use them. However the hearts can act either as a FUA or a board fix to get a heart-cross in there.
    → He has significantly less HP. And that is a pretty big deal for Karin.
    Now none of that makes him a bad pairing though. It's arguably a better pairing than Karin X Paimon.
    Though, similarly to Paimon, Base Karin and Diara, it will feel very weird to play because of the strange synergy. You need to focus on light crosses, not much good will come out of fire and dark crosses.



    - Subs -

    This is -again- a semi-ordered list. Good subs are above less good subs, but because a sub is above another doesn't mean it's necessarily better.

    Quick note : unless specifically mentionned, I *always* rate a card when at lvl 110, fully awoken, +297'd and max-skilled.

    Regarding HP rating it's simple :
    6000+ HP → good HP
    7000+ HP → great HP
    8000+ HP → big HP
    9000+ HP → massive HP
    ????? HP → holy shit HP

    Be ready as this a very long list



    → Key subs

    Excellent Karin Kanzuki subs that address a lot of her inherent issues, or are excellent in a specific scenario/niche without being an indrance to run in a regular team (like a VDP sub which is great even if you don't VDP at all). They're either among the best at what they do while being compatible with Karin, or are great in a lot of fields/very versatile.
    Absolutely use at least 2 of these in your team if you have them.

    Holy Thought Ash Phantom Demon, Ilmina - #4945
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • Great HP
    • Team HP+ awakenings
    • Matching time
    • Good board change + laser
      • enables triple cross VDP FUA
    • Moderate VDP power
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Super Bind immunity
    • VPD you can slap a good bind immune assist onto her however (like light cecil assist (why is this thing so good)).
    She almost has it all. Big stats, +1.5 secs of matching time, 2 team HP enhance, VDP, an awesome board change which enables by itself triple cross VDP FUA, and even bind immunity via SA. That's a lot of features. If you have her she should have a permanent spot on your team because she really brings a so much value : I strongly believe she's Karin Kanzuki's best sub in the game atm.
    Thanks @bp1976 for pointing it out !

    EDIT : With all of that said, while I still strongly believe she's the single best Karin sub, she can be replaced. She can. But should she be replaced ? It depends.
    Xmas Floof is Karin's best sub because she's great at doing great things for Karin : she has great HP (and team HP+ awake), great awakes, a great AS, decent VDP power. She does a lot of great things for Karin, and everything she does, she does it great.
    But now, she's not the best at everything. Her VDP power is only decent and her HP is "only great". Her awakes however are legit awesome and her AS... well you can hardly get anything better.
    Still, my point remains. If the combination of your subs address the same things Ilmina addresses, and they do all of that but better (because they're dedicated to that), and it doesn't mess your team design, Ilmina can be removed from your team. But really, it's only if your subs can do better at all the things she does. Because what makes Xmas Floof special for Karin is the fact that she brings great value in so much fields.



    Promenading Moonlight Princess, Tsukuyomi - #4127
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • Great HP
    • Non-light/fire L-unlock
    • Matching time
    • Awoken bind clear
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Super Bind immunity. You can't afford to loose these precious 2 secs of matching time. Also she can clear awoken binds and I would argue any card that has this feature should be bind immune, no exceptions.
    • Tape resist if your inherit provides bind immunity and you don't have a tape resistance in the team.
    Unquestionnably one of Karin's best subs as well : she brings 2 secs of matching time alongside an AS that further increases it. She also has an L-unlock awakening which will come in handy very often as you can activate it with a dark L and that is invaluable, as a number of L-unlock subs are fire/light and that sucks.
    NY Tsukuyomi has also been the target of numerous great buffs since her initial release ; she can now remove 3 turns of awoken bind, which can be a life-savior and/or prevent you from using your Odindra for a weak 1-3 turns awoken bind (like Folklore, which happens to be in litteraly all the dungeons lul).






    Stellar Dragon of the 6 Skies, Hexazeon - #4231
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • FARMABLE
    • Massive HP
    • Very good board change + Time extend active skill
    • Hazard resistance
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Super bind immunity.
    • Guard break if you can build rainbow and can slap a good bind immunity assist onto him.
    Hexazeon main added value is its massive 13kHP and its excellent 5 color board change (which has an average 2-3 crosses) with a built-in x2 TE buff. His 20% all hazard resistance also make it a great card to have as a sub to facilitate reaching 100% resist. An excellent sub who checks a lot of boxes.
    Btw, having 2 Hexazeon in your team is legit a nice idea if you lack other options because while he might not cover everything (especially in the awakenings department), this bonkers HP is really something you want in the team. Especially if you pick more fragile subs that bring some other value.



    Descendant of the Ancients, Aerith - #5395
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • Inheritance base
    • Good HP
    • Team HP+ awakenings
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Team HP+
    • Super time extend
      • It all depends on what your team lacks most. Both bring equal value.
    WHY IS SHE SO GOOD OMG.
    She has everything she needs to be the best inheritance base for Karin : good stats, an actual 1 CD AS and good awakenings, namely, 3 natural team HP+ awakes. Amazing.
    Don't forget to slap some SDR onto her so that you don't loose your inherited skill.
    She can also trivialize no-RCV dungeons entirely by herself, with her 1-CD 1-turn heart skyfall. A rare and possibly precious feature.



    Mage, Rin Tohsaka - #5008
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • Inheritance base
      • with a usable active skill
    • Good HP
    • Orb unlock + board fix active skill
    • Tape resistance
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Tape resistance
    An excellent inheritance base for Karin.
    She brings 1sec of matching time and surprisingly good HP for a balanced card, but the real great thing is her super fast 2 turns board fixer AS. It makes 2 fire and 2 light, and unlock all orbs on a 2 turns CD. Pretty dope.
    With her combination of very nice HP, super short AS and great awakenings she makes an excellent card on which inheriting stuff. Excellent candidate for inheriting Enoch or something else critically useful to you like a Puu equip or any other big shield. Consider slapping some SDR onto her since you probably don't want to loose your inherited skill.



    Bright Dracoblader of Thunderstrikes, Kio - #5128
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • Great HP
    • Massive VDP power
      • or 4 effective SB !
    • Inheritance base
      • with a usable AS
    • Hidden potential : has yet to receive limit break and super awakenings
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • VDP.
    • Super Skill Boost if you need more for AA2.
    Truth be told, Kio is key sub worthy, and only held back by the absence of limit break and super awakening.
    Kio actually got promoted to key sub. It's an absolute unit.
    Kio is an inheritance base which active skill -similarly to Rin Tohsaka- is very usable and very useful to the team, as it can fix a board and erase time debuffs. At only 3-CD it's very spammable, especially if you chooses to inherit a weapon with desirable awakes but an undesirable AS.
    But what makes him truely shine is Kio actually covers VDP, and like, he does it greatly. The combination of triple VDP and dragon killer makes him a massively strong VDP card to run AA2 with (x34 against dragon callers, x11 otherwise).
    He flew below my radar (mostly because of his GFE nature (notice how GFE are highly not super desirable for Karin in general)) but truth is Kio is amazing, being both an amazing inheritance base and an extremely potent VDP sub.
    Should you need it, Kio can also help with SB in AA2.



    Mega Awoken God Binding Wolf, Fenrir Viz - #5141
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • Inheritance base
      • with a usable active skill
    • Big HP
    • Hazard skyfall cancel AS
    • Team HP+ or cloud resistance
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Team HP+
    • Cloud resistance if you don't have it already
    Yet another amazing inheritance base for Karin, featuring very high HP (which I recommand to further enhance with HP++ latents) and a 1CD acive skill that you can also use to erase hazard skyfall. This kind of AS is pretty rare, so having it on one the best Karin subs is invaluable as you don't have to sacrifice anything to use his skyfall erasing ability.
    Don't forget to put some SDR onto him so you don't loose your inherited active skill !
    Thanks /u/Newtohelp for the suggestion !



    Thunderlord Zinogre - #4135
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • Massive HP
    • Fujin active skill
    • Matching time
    • Skill boost
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Super skill boost.
    Zinogre is a tanky card which will have a great impact on your team HP, while also bringing 4 effective fingers ! He's without the shadow of a doubt your best Fujin sub, and just a great sub overall. With SA you can get up to 4 effective SB from him alone. That's a Tengu, but as a useful sub with awesome stats.
    Thanks to @Tetedeiench for pointing that out !



    Pixel Aerith - #5399
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • Great VDP power
    • Good HP
    • Good AS (unlock orb + board fix)
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Any.
      • Super finger is obviously great because it's a ressource Karin needs.
      • Team HP+ is obviously great because it's HP Karin needs.
      • 7c is a nice choice for once to further increase her efficiency at VDPing stuff.
    Pixel Aerith's main added value is VDPing stuff. She has 2 VDPs to compensate her low-ish (in today's standard) base ATK, and will hit hard against dragons thanks to her killer, making her a potent VDP sub to bring into A4 or AA2 (dragon callers). Her AS will unlock your board, which is nice, while also spawning 9 orbs to either VDP or just fix a poor board.
    What makes her a key sub is all I have said here has no counterpart (except maybe the only good HP) as her awakes are totally fitting for Karin, and her AS can be inherited onto for something stronger. A pretty darn good set, making her an excellent sub all around.
    HOWEVER. She has less value than her ult form counterpart so if you only have one, keep her in ult form, not in pixel form.



    Original God Odin Dragon, Light Lance Form - #3264
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • FARMABLE
    • Is Odindra
    • Good HP
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Any. They're all offensive anyway.
    You need a bind immune awoken bind remover. The list of cards which can clear all binds and awoken binds is still pretty short. Odindra is still the only light one which has the HP to be a Karin Kanzuki sub, and also happen to have nice stats and awakenings. That's it. There should be no need for more arguing.
    Oh and it's also one of the rare good soft-bind remover, useful in case you run a team that isn't fully bind immune.
    It should be, though.



    → Other subs

    Karin Kanzuki subs that address one or two of her inherent issues, but either lack something to be really good, or have great tools... with a counterpart (by design or not). Some of these also have potential, but are sub-optimal due to not having access to limit break and SA yet.
    Still, mostly good subs to have. Just not the bestest.
    List is semi ordered ; good subs are above less good subs, but not in a specific clear order.


    Super Reincarnated Sakuya - #5393
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • Incredible supportive flexibility
    • Potential great VDP power
    • Gravity + bind clear + TE boost AS
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • VDP to take advantage of these double 7c + ability to take any killer latent.
    • Tape resist if you're lacking one in your team
    • Cloud resist if you're lacking one in your team
    • L-Unlock if you're desperate for an unlock solution
    She's not the most loved card in general (I mean, she was long ago one of the most desirable lead but that was at the very beginning of the game) but I've always had a soft spot for Sakuya, since her awoken form. Reason for this was her supportive kit (sounds familiar ? yeah, it's the same for Myne).
    With her Super REvo, Sakuya's ability to support the team is pushed to another level.
    Hazard resistance is already a very rare asset among REM cards (especially REvo/Super REvo level cards), and very unusual in general for bind immune double 7c cards to have ; Sakuya has 20% resistance to all. That in itself is already amazing. But her strength comes from her ability to adapt to your needs via her set of Super awakenings.
    You're lacking tape or cloud resistance ? Sakuya has both, and you can swap them easily (in exchange for probably a gazillion +points though). You need a VDP sub ? Sakuya can do it via SA, and she's great at it thanks to her combination of double 7c + ability to take any killer. Heck, if you're desperate for an L-unlock she can also do it (though it's always sad to be reduced to L-unlocking with light because it eats a cross).
    Oh and did I mention her AS ? She's the only card worth being a Karin sub with a gravity AS, and it also boost your matching time and clear binds. Honestly, had she been able to clear awoken binds in the process, or just had a little bit more HP, she would have been a key sub.
    Other than that, SRevo Sakuya remains an amazing card with a unique kit of supportive utility. I love her.
    Thanks /u/Drakonnan180 for the suggestion !



    Holder of Concealed Feelings, Tifa - #3299
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • Big HP
    • 3 turns shield (good AS in general)
    • Matching time
    • Moderate VDP power
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Super time extend.
    • VDP is fine too if you're already sitting on a comfy amount of matching time and you're lacking a VDP sub in your team.
    Tifa would have been a key sub, if not for her 4 TPAs. Other than that her set is pretty solid. With almost 8k HP, an AS which makes light while shielding for 3 turns (short-ish CD of only 8 turns), 2 secs of matching time, and a natural VDP (though her VDP power is only moderate) Tifa's kit is super solid. She has a bit of everything, similarly to Xmas Ilmina, but her 4 TPAs feel wasted. Still an excellent sub.



    Devoted Bride, Rushana - #5379
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • Great HP
    • Team HP+ awakening
    • Skill boost
    • Significant VDP power
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • VDP to ensure everything you try to VDP actually dies (3 VDPs in sub-att with 7c is still x10,4 damage, almost an additional cross, and that's before killer latents (she can take any))
    • Team HP+ for, you know, HP.
      • Both are great.
    Once you inherit something onto Rushana's AS she becomes a fantastic Karin sub, bringing a bit of everything but most importantly big VDP power to the team, despite the fact she's only light sub-attribute, since she has 2 natural VDP + 7c + she can take any killer. Pretty impressive. Had she been light main attribute, she would have been a key sub for sure.
    Thanks @bp1976 for pointing it out !



    Armor Bound Brother, Alphonse Elric - #4022
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • Great HP
    • Shield + board change AS
    • Guard break (or L-shield)
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Guard break can help clear high armor spawns with less crosses, which is great for orb management.
    • L-Shield, well, I'll always be the first to say it's trash but I'm also a user of this awakening. Don't get me wrong. It still sucks. But it's not nearly as impractical to use it in 7x6 as it would be in 6x5 so I kinda like to be able to L-Shield whenever I don't know what's coming next (your average 7x6 board does have 5 hearts). It's still a trash awakening because 5% shield is really nothing, but it might save you someday... ...maybe.
    Great sub all around, bringing 2 fingers to the team, alongside very nice stats and most importantly a good 50% shield tied to a (less good) rainbow board change that can be easily fixed with another active skill.
    His set is really good overall, Alphonse's definitely a very solid sub in general, and Karin can totally make use of his tools.



    Demonkin Grand Atavism, Yusuke Urameshi - #5156
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • Matching time
    • Massive VDP power
    • Good board fix AS
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Super time extend.
    • VDP is fine too if you're already sitting on a comfy amount of matching time, because 3 VDP means you get x15 damage with a single box. x15 is more than a cross, so you might be able to kill triple cross VDP stuff with only a double cross VDP. *Might* Don't quote me on that :9
    Yusuke is an excellent VDP sub who would have been a key sub, had he had greater HP. Split Yusuke has nice set of awakenings in general but the notable thing is his double natural VDP, which enables him to deal big VDP damage and secure kills.
    Unfortunately his HP is a bit too low to recommend running him on your regular team, but whenever you need to VDP stuff, be aware that Yusuke is great at this, and he'll also bring matching to the team with its 3 effective fingers. He also have an interesting AS which spawns 12 light (in 7x6 that is) to either make a box or 2 crosses (need to move them).



    Beast-Taming Newlywed, Panera - #5380
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • Can address both Damage Void AND Damage absorb.
      • Amazing for all alt arenas.
    • 3 SB
    • Good HP
    • Guard break
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • VDP. I advise slapping dragon killer latents onto her so that she covers AA2 better.
    Wedding Panera is -kinda similarly to SRevo Sakuya- an extremely rare card for her flexibility. By having a Fujin AS that removes damage absorb (for 2 turns, there must be a niche use for this), a VDP via SA to pierce through damage voids, and a guard break (only usable if you can build rainbow) Wedding Panera is a rare flexible card able to almost completely address damage mitigation all by herself (only color absorb is missing, which is easier to address anyway). An incredible combination of features, making her an awesome card for Arena 5 and Alt Arenas :
    • A5 has a few VDP floors, alongside a possibility for Machine Athena (damage absorb) to spawn on one floor. Machine Athena is instant game over if you don't have a Fujin, as Karin Kanzuki can't deal with her properly.
    • AA1 is filled with damage absorb floors while still having some damage voids spawns.
    • AA2 is notable for requiring VDP to be cleared (Dragon callers and Numens, also Rushana and the Norns), but it also has Sadalmelik (damage absorb, F13) which Karin Kanzuki can't deal with it unless she has a Fujin in the team.
    • AA3 is A5 but harder, so wedding Panera absolutely brings great value here.
    Wedding Panera can address all of that by herself, and that shouldn't be overlooked. Also triple skill boosts means she also helps the team for tackling AA2.
    Thanks /u/Drakonnan180 for the suggestion !



    Spirit Sword Master, Kazuma Kuwabara - #5159
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • Good HP
    • Moderate VDP power
    • Matching time
    • Unique board fix + void defense AS
    • Armor break
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Super bind immunity if you're not sitting on a comfy amount of move time already.
    • Super time extend else. Especially if you have a weapon with bind immunity.
    A very nice Karin sub in general ; his HP is quite nice at almost 6.5k and can VDP stuff while also covering L-unlock (though it's a shame his sub-attribute is light because you don't want to match light Ls). Building rainbow isn't an easy task, but if you can achieve it Kuwabara's value is further increased by the guard break awakening. However his double OE awakenings are just wasted and you can feel they put it here just to fill the awakening set and make it reach 9 (I wish they would have slapped some resist or Team stats+ awakenings instead tho).
    What makes him shine is his active skill. It's pretty unique not only because it voids defense entirely, but because it makes 2 columns of light (2 crosses) that aren't stuck to the sides of the board : this positioning allows for extremely fast cross matching. That in itself is pretty rare, but combined with the def break it makes this active skill a great "hit two birds with one stone".



    Mega Awoken White Phantom Demon, Ilm - #5136
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • Good HP
    • Massive VDP power in A4 and AA2
    • Skill boosts
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Dragon killer for A4 and -most importantly- AA2.
    • 7c is fine too, for once.
    While she does lack some fingers to be really good, Mega Ilm remains a nice sub in general. But her true added value lies in the combination of double VDP + double dragon killer, which is an explosive combination of awakenings to have in your team to run A4 and -most importantly- AA2, as it will allow to trivialize entirely the Radar Dragon Caller floor (which is one of the most dangerous floors) with only double cross VDP, instead of triple. And that is a pretty big deal. Even better ; this can be achieved with only Ilm's active skill alone : in other circumstances this bicolor board change would have been moderately desirable as you're limite to double crosses VDP with it, but for AA2 with Mega Ilm double crosses VDP is enough (base damage x6.25 for the VDP, and then x9 with killers for an explosive VDP power, further increased by her x2 ATK to devil spike in her AS (my gosh)) for the Radar Caller floor, that is very significant.
    She also bring 3 skill boosts, which -again- is great for AA2 in particular.

    Thanks to /u/Drakonnan180 and /u/HispanicZuoh for the suggestion !



    Solitary Peak Bride, Zela - #5382
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • Big VDP power
    • Big HP
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • VDP.
    Wedding Zela is a very tanky super strong VDP card.
    That is all.
    I'm not even kidding. She isn't great per se (triple 7c instead of useful awakes for Karin, long board change which doesn't have fire (preventing triple crosses VDP without a board fix)) but she contributes a lot to the team's HP with almost 9k, and when she VDP stuff she really does, thanks to her triple 7c and big ATK stat.



    Ash Phantom Demon of Deliverance, Ilmina - #3513
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • Massive HP
    • Moderate VDP power
    • Team HP+ awakening
    • Bicolor board change + laser
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Super bind immunity.
    • VDP if you're lacking a VDP sub.
    Both forms of Ilmina are good but for different reasons. Your choice will mostly depend on what you need most : either a HP stick or a VDP stick.
    Base Ilmina (Fire) is a VDP stick who will produce excellent results on higher challenges thanks to her killers (god/dragon/attacker), while also easing running dungeons such as AA2 with her 4 SB. Her HP is great at almost 8k.
    Ult Ilmina (light) is a massive HP stick who will push your tankyness to another level, as she has more HP than 2 average REvo level cards. Her VDP power is however considerably lower, since her only other offensive awakening is a 7c. Her dark resists also won't be of too much use, but they might save you someday (15% reduction).
    Both have the same bicolor + laser AS. It's pretty ok, not amazing because you're limited to double cross VDP with it, and it is unfortunately a bit hard to fix.
    I recommend her L/F form for Karin Kanzuki, but both are good. Don't bother using her if you have Xmas Ilmina though.



    Seikoki Master, Shinobu Sensui - #5158
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • Good HP
    • Good VDP power
    • Shield
    • Armor break
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • VDP will get you this extra damage to secure kills, since Sensui is light sub, and not light main.
    • Armor break if you can build rainbow.
    Sensui is pretty good overall ; he has good HP, double SB and fingers, bind immunity, and the very nice combination of a precious VDP coupled with a rare 10c (which needs skyfall or a combo+ AS to be activated VDPing though).
    What really makes him stand out though is his active skill : the combination of a quad-color board change (which is quite rare actually) and a very strong 75% shield makes it a great AS to have either directly as a sub or inherited on someone. It's the kind of active skills that really shines in higher challenges where preemptives can be extremely savage, such as higher arenas.



    Unwavering Summoner, Yuna - #2766
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • +3 seconds of matching time !
    • good shield
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Super bind immunity. Protect these 3 secs of matching time at all cost.
    • VDP if you have a bind immunity assist inherited onto her.
    Had her HP not been so low (only 4k7) she would have been a key sub : she is the first ever card to be able to add 3 natural seconds of matching time to the team, which is even more amazing when you take into consideration the fact that it doesn't relies on SA. What a time to play PAD. Yuna's AS is also pretty nice, as Karin can definitely make good use of a 2-turns 50% shield.
    It really is a bummer that she has so little HP. Also I wish those 7c were something else but you can't have everything. She's already pretty darn nice as is. She also covers water, if you're interested in building rainbow.



    Reincarnated Raphael - #4264
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • Good HP
    • Matching time
    • Rare 100% shield
    • Soft bind clearer
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Super bind immunity. With it Raphael can be a bind immune soft bind remover, and that is a rarer and rarer feature among PAD cards.
    • Guard break if you can slap a good bind immunity assist on him and can build rainbow (he covers blue).
    Known for its rare 100% shield, REvo Raph also adds 2 secs of matching time to your team (which is significant). He's also among the rare good Karin subs who can clear bind with a row of hearts. Definitely not something that should be overlooked. Unfortunately you won't have a use for his rows.



    Reincarnated Indra - #3449
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • Great HP
    • Matching time
    • Great shield
    • Cloud resistance
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Cloud resistance.
    With its great chunk of HP and 1.5 secs of matching time, Indra is already a nice card to sub in the team, but he's mostly known in the community for its great 75% shield which last 2 turns. An excellet asset for a fragile team, or to survive an execution. His 2-turns shield is particularly clutch in AA2 for the F21-22 combo, which have a total of 150k preemptive damage.
    You might also want to have his non-awoken/revo AS inherited somewhere in your team since it lasts longer.



    Determined Summoner, Yuna - #2044
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • Matching time
    • good shield
    • Hazard resistance
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Super bind immunity.
    It's still a bummer that she's so frail, and this form loses 1.5 secs of matching time for not being her ult form. But she still has her great shield, and she gets 20% resistance to all hazards in the process, making her a great card to have to facilitate resisting everything.



    Oden Gudetama - #5289
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • Bind + awoken bind clear + board fix AS
    • Matching time
    • Good HP
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Any killer. None are particularly desirable anyway.
    Oden Gudetama's design is a bit too offensively skewed to be really good, but it certainly adds value to the team since bind + awoken bind clear (5 turns) subs for Karin are quite rare, and this one also packs a punch, can fix a bad VDP board in the process and contribute to the team matching time.
    A nice kit on which you can inherit something stronger, should you need for a longer dungeon.
    Thanks to /u/Drakonnan180 for the suggestion !



    Allure Crowned Sacred King of Hell, Paimon - #3876
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • Great HP
    • Board fixer + haste AS
    • Hidden potential : has yet to receive limit break and super awakening
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • To be added
    Tanky sub that brings 1 sec of matching time alongside a quick-ish orb fix that makes both light and hearts. He's also a rare Karin Kanzuki sub with an haste AS. Unfortunately he doesn't have access to limit break, and that is truely a shame.



    Starry Party Bride, Scheat - #4587
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • Great HP
    • Board fixer + light skyfall AS
    • Damage stick
    • Cloud resistance
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Cloud resistance if you don't have it already.
    • Super bind immune.
    Nice tanky offensive sub. She only brings a single second of matching time though. But her AS is a proper orb fixer which will also setup a FUA, and bring a very valuable light skyfall buff. She can be a devastating damage source if you match only fire crosses and light TPAs (though do you need a devasting damage source when playing Karin, I genuinely wonder), which can be nice when pairing with Diara (since she doesn't need light). Maybe. Tbh I don't know x)



    Old Castle Illuminating Dragon Caller, Myne - #4833
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • FARMABLE
    • Good HP
    • Team HP+
    • Inheritance base
    • Hazard resistance
    • Cloud resistance
    • L-Shield
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Cloud resistance.
    • L-shield if cloud resistance is already addressed by another card. It's surprisingly usable in 7x6
    NOT FULLY AFFECTED BY KARIN'S LS (x2 ATK and RCV to light cards)

    I'll admit I have a soft spot for Myne because I truly think she's such a fantastic sub in general.
    When looking at her you might notice she isn't light and doesn't even have fingers, but her value comes from the utility she brings to the team :
    • She's a rare 1CD sub, with good HP, so she works great as an inheritance base.
    • She brings 20% of both jammer and blind resistance (and you want both)
    • She has a great set of SA in general, and most importantly she can cover cloud resistance.
    • Her 6k4 HP isn't her only contribution to the team defense since she also brings 2 team HP+ which can noticeably increase your HP.
    This supportive kit is pretty awesome for a farmable card, which is why I love this card so much and openly recommend her even though she isn't light and doesn't have fingers. In fact, had she been light she would have been a key sub, even without fingers.
    If you're looking for subs to inherit Enoch onto (or anything else you need very often), absolutely consider her.



    Playful Time Dragonbound, Myr - #4428
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • FARMABLE
    • Good HP
    • Rare CTW active skill
    • Inheritance base
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Any. None are fitting for Karin Kanzuki anyway.
    Myr has mostly great stats (featuring 6k7 HP) and a short-ish CD active, so you can use her an inheritance base. Her set as a whole is nice, but sub-optimal.
    She would be a key sub if she had any finger or awakenings more useful to Karin, but unfortunately she doesn't really shines with her TPAs and combination of both 2 L-unlock and no sub-attribute : Myr can only activate light L, and if you can make a light L that means you have 5 lights and you should (9 times out of 10) make a cross instead, or save them for the next floor. That doesn't mean it's pure waste, sometimes you really need to get rid of these locks. It's just sub-optimal. You would want to be able to use L-Unlock with another color than light or fire, because it basically eats a cross.
    Similarly her CTW AS can help with making crosses (it's the fastest to come up and the longest in game), especially in fixed-time dungeons, but it can also backfire and ruin your board by removing fire. Again, you can use it but it's sub-optimal. It will save your day someday though ; it's notably genuinely great in combination with an Ilmina board to enable triple cross VDP (good luck solving it in 12s though :'D).
    She works as an inheritance base though, 7 CD is short enough that you can have a short active skill on it and have it up twice in a single OSC/Arena run for example. Too bad she doesn't bring more value by having fingers instead of these TPAs and L-unlock.
    You can absolutely use her, these 6k7 HP definitely shouldn't be overlooked, but at the same time there are other cards that can bring more value alongside being an inheritance base. Myr just has good HP and a short AS in the end.



    Flame Pillar God of the Scorching Sun, Amen - #3337
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • FARMABLE
    • Great HP
    • Matching time
    • Board fix
    • Non light/fire L-unlock
    • Inheritance base
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • 7c. They all bring additional power (which isn't desirable), but 7c is most suited to Karin since Amen already has a natural L-unlock, and you want to stay at high HP as much as possible with Karin. It's consistent additional power.
    NOT FULLY AFFECTED BY KARIN'S LS (x2 ATK & RCV to light cards)

    Tanky time extend stick (+2 secs) which you can use as an inheritance base : his active skill is a short 3CD random 3-fire maker. It can fix your board, or you can decide to inherit a better active skill on. Also bind immune and can address locks without eating light orbs.
    It's a shame he isn't light so he doesn't fully benefit from Karin's LS. Though you can afford it because she already has so much power, and Amen has so much value. Try to see if you don't have better options though.



    Alex Louis Armstrong - #4030
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • Good HP
    • Team HP+
    • Inheritance base
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Bind immunity. Protect these team HP+ awakes !
    With a 3CD hazard clear active skill, 6k HP and 2 Team HP+ awakenings, Alex Louis Armstrong is a surprisingly nice inheritance base, especially for a 5* pull.
    He would be a much greater sub if he had fingers, so only pick him if you're desperate for HP or need an inheritance base for another useful active skill such as Enoch or Odysseus.



    Divine War Horse, Sleipnir - #4653
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • FARMABLE
    • Great HP
    • Team HP+ awakening
    • Shield + void color absorb active skill
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Super bind immunity.
    Sleipnir's lack of finger, main wood attribute and auto-heal awakenings are what prevent him to be a great sub. But it's a nice asset nonetheless ; it brings a team HP+ awakening (which is always nice) and after limit break you get 7k3 HP out of it. The best part is the active skill though, it both bypasses color absorb and gets you a very strong 75% shield. This is an ideal AS to run A4 and AA2 because after the puppeteer floor (light/dark absorb) you might encounter Diara which has a big possibly lethal 60k/100k preempt. I guess you might want to have this as an inherit instead, but if you have him and lack better option well Sleipnir can totally contribute to the team.



    Sakura Matou - #5019
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • FARMABLE (limited in time)
    • Bind and awoken bind clear + time extend boost active skill
    • Guard break or L-shield
    • Tape resistance
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Guard break if you can build rainbow
    • L-shield.
    NOT FULLY AFFECTED BY KARIN'S LS (x2 ATK & RCV to light cards)

    Questionnable sub since she's both not super tanky and not light. You can absolutely use her but there might also be ways around it.
    The reason why I'm adding her here is because she has a natural tape resist awakening and that is a precious asset because it can free either a SA slot or an equip evo slot. She also happens to be a bind immune bind/awoken bind remover (5 turns) with a built-in TE buff, which is definitely useful. Also double fingers and SB.



    Awoken Beast Queen, Hakuren - #3883
    [​IMG]
    Added value :
    • Good HP
    • Board fix + void defense active skill
    • Hazard resistance
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Super bind immunity.
    She only has a single finger, but ironically she's very likely Karin's best option/sub in this collab (which tells how mediocre of a collab Shinranbansho is for Karin x) ), and the only one that is worth being a main sub : despite the fact she's a 5* pull, she does have good HP. However, her main features that might make her a good sub overall are :
    • her active skill that guarantees 2 crosses and breaks defense so that you can kill annoying armor floors like Noah with only this active skill.
    • her double poison and jammer resistance. Poison resistance isn't too much of a deal for Karin since she has so much RCV (especially when paired with herself), but bombs are straight up bad for crosses, so I highly recommend trying to resist them. Hakuren is a rare sub that can do that. This shouldn't be overlooked.



    → Options

    These are not good subs per se, but they might fullfil a specific role/niche. Be aware that if you have them they could be a solution to a problem you're facing in a dungeon someday. Don't run them on a daily basis thought, most of them are just not great Karin subs.
    I would like to say this list is semi ordered, but truth is it isn't. None of these subs are good for Karin, so rating how good for Karin they are is kinda tricky. They're all usable. Just not good.
    For that reason, I won't go into details for them.

    Amatsu - #3657
    [​IMG]
    Added value and possible uses :
    • Massive HP
    • Team HP+
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Team HP+


    Fullmetal Alchemist, Edward Elric - #4020
    [​IMG]
    Added value and possible uses :
    • Good VDP power
    • That's it. Don't ever use Edward for anything, but VDP.
    • Also good AS.
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • VDP. Don't even consider anyhthing else.


    Flash White Dragon Caller, Sonia Elle - #3910
    [​IMG]
    Added value and possible uses :
    • AS enables triple crosses VDP (should be inherited instead though)
    • Team HP+ awake(s).
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Super bind immunity.
    • Team HP+ if you have a bind immunity weapon


    Emperor Veteran, Napoleon- #2916
    [​IMG]
    Added value and possible uses :
    • AS can be cycled with 2 Napoleons for almost permanent shielding (+ guaranteed cross on activation).
    • That's it.
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Super time extend.


    Pure Demonic Thunder Dragonbound, Gadius- #3907
    [​IMG]
    Added value and possible uses :
    • Matching time
    • Rare board change
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • To be added. I hope.
    NOT FULLY AFFECTED BY KARIN'S LS (x2 ATK & RCV to light cards)



    Fall Chrysanthemum Virtue, Xiu Min - #4010
    [​IMG]
    Added value and possible uses :
    • FARMABLE
    • Massive HP
    • Board fix
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    1. Bind immunity.


    Radiant Ring Queen, Kanan- #3885
    [​IMG]
    Added value and possible uses :
    • Team HP+
    • RCV stick for RCV debuffs
    • Super fast bind and awoken bind clearer + no skyfall AS
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Cloud resistance if you don't already have one
    • Super time extend


    Venomous Midgard Snake, Jormungandr-Ullr - #2989
    [​IMG]
    Added value and possible uses :
    • FARMABLE
    • Inheritance base
    • Poison resistance
    • Fast board change
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Super bind immunity.


    Guardian Deity of the Sky City, Athena Helios - #3834
    [​IMG]
    Added value and possible uses :
    • FARMABLE
    • Good HP
    • Inheritance base
    • Fast time extend active skill
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Bind immunity.


    Ambush Master Dragon Caller, Valeria - #4801
    [​IMG]
    Added value and possible uses :
    • Big HP
    • 4 team HP+ awakenings !
    • RCV debuff eraser
    • Guard break
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Guard break if you can build rainbow
    • 7c



    Pixel Paladin, Cecil - #3816
    [​IMG]
    Added value and possible uses :
    • Good VDP power
    • team HP+ awakening
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Bind immunity.


    Awoken Tachiban Ginchiyo - #3697
    [​IMG]
    Added value and possible uses :
    • Good AS : shield + board change
    • Hazard resistance
    • Card with potential ; her REvo has yet to be revealed.
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • To be added. Soon I hope.


    Flame Alchemist, Roy Mustang - #4024
    [​IMG]
    Added value and possible uses :
    • Blind resistance
    • Matching time
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Bind immunity
    NOT FULLY AFFECTED BY KARIN'S LS (x2 ATK & RCV to light cards)


    Wondrous Heaven's Grand Star, En - #5046
    [​IMG]
    Added value and possible uses :
    • Fastest RCV debuff eraser
    • Matching time
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Bind immunity


    Light Guiding Star Machine, Orpharion - #2891
    [​IMG]
    Added value and possible uses :
    • Great HP
    • Skill boosts
    • Inheritance base
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Skill boost.


    Moogle - #2763
    [​IMG]
    Added value and possible uses :
    • Hazard resistance
    • Inheritance base
    Recommended Super Awakening :
    • Bind immunity.



    - Skill assists and equip evos -

    There are a bunch of things you might want to have inherited somewhere in your team. It will obviously depend on what subs you're bringing and if your team has a specific design (maybe a system, or hazard resistance, or a lot of shields, whatever, let your imagination flow) so just see what can be useful to your team. Here are some nice tools to use if you have them.
    This list isn't ordered by any mean. Most of these weapons are at the very least great, if not excellent. I'm too lazy and exhausted to try to order all this.


    Sword Barrier Dragon Caller, Rathios - #3939
    [​IMG]
    • Contender for Karin Kanzuki's best equip evo.
    It has literately a bit everything Karin needs :
    → Additional stats because its light
    → +500 HP through awakening
    → Active skill that guarantees 2 crosses (one light and one fire)
    → Built-in 3-turns 30% shield (same as Enoch !)
    → A finger (+0.5secs)
    There's like zero thing that Karin needs and Rathios Equip doesn't help with. Absolutely use it if you have one.



    Tifa's Crystal Charm - #5414
    [​IMG]
    • Contender for Karin Kanzuki's best equip evo.
    Would you imagine an assist with 2 team HP+ awakenings, which spawn an astonishing 14 orbs (12 in 6x5) while also doubling the team's matching time ? I wouldn't. It is simply amazing.
    What makes it especially good is this active skill is a versatile board fixer : you can either just match 2 crosses with it (10 lights), or use it to reach 3 crosses if you already had at least 1 light on the board.... but most importantly 14 orbs is exactly a VDP + a cross. In a single active skill. Which also doubles the matching time so that you can actually match all this stuff.
    Simply amazing. Also stat boost because it's light.



    Karin Kanzuki's Ribbon- #5101
    [​IMG]
    Luxury equip, but if you happen to have 2 Karins that is by far the best of use of your dupe (there are so many Karin players, you don't need to use your dupe as a helper (yet)).
    The value brought by this equip shouldn't be overlooked. First and foremost, it addresses cloud resistance and that in itself is a pretty big deal. Then there are the supportive awakenings :
    → Any Team HP+ you can get in there has a noticeable positive impact on your HP, it's always good to have some.
    → The Team RCV+ is very forgettable but might be useful in these situations were you have a RCV debuff.
    → +500 HP from the last awakening is a pretty big deal, when Karin herself is so fragile. Any HP you can get in this team has big value.
    And let's not forget how good the actual AS is, as it spawns 5 fire/light/hearts and significantly increases your move time.



    Heaven Scribe, Enoch- #3600
    • Farmable key inherit for anything that isn't AA1 and AA2.
    Kinda a key inherit for any low-ish HP in this game actually. Enoch is too good. She grants 3 turns of 35% shield and 3 turns of 1.5x TE buff. And it's pretty fast, at only 7 turns of CD. Honestly she's so good she can be your only shield if you find good spots to stall for it to be up when it's not. And the nice thing is you don't need to stall a lot for her to be up again. Excellent inherit, I can't stress it enough. Enoch is way too good.



    Spirit Beast, Puu - #4324
    [​IMG]
    • Enoch, but stronger
    Excellent equip for Karin in AA2 as it features numerous violent preemptives : Puu equip is a card that doubles her matching time and brings a precious 75% shield, alongside increasing the team's HP by 500. Excellent equip evo that will save your day in higher challenges more than once.
    It's an Enoch, but with a stronger effect on both the shield and the TE boost, but it last for only 1 turn.



    Yuna's Crystal Charm- #5410
    [​IMG]
    • Enoch, but different. And with tape resistance.
    Not sure you would want to turn such a card into an equip (that is a respectable choice however) but if you do, you'ld get access to an amazing 5 turns 50% shield that also erase time debuffs (+1 sec for 5 turns), while also covering tape resistance.
    Cooldown is a bit on the longer side at 16 turns, but it is definitely an amazing assist with an awesome active skill. It's like Enoch, but different, but still fantastic, and with awakenings.


    Warrior of Light, Onion Knight - #3296
    Onion Knight is notable for having a big 3-turns +50% move time (same as enoch) AS that also spawn fire (from wood) and light (from dark). An excellent active skill to have in your team, if you ever have room for it ~
    Thanks @Noc for the suggestion !



    Enhanced wooden sword (Shirou equip) - #5003
    [​IMG]
    Not only it helps addressing blind and jammers (the 2 hazards you actually want to resist), but it also brings a precious additional finger. You might not necessarily want to have the AS come up, though it's absolutely something that you can use, maybe in a VDP situation.



    Aerith's Crystal Charm- #5417
    [​IMG]
    • Inheritable odindra AS
    Aerith equip adds 40% to both blind (nice) and poison (ok). No jammer coverage is sad but you still get a precious finger out of it and most importantly she's an inheritable odindra, and that in itself compensates the lack of jammer resistance (which can be addressed in other ways). The board change is however not the best thing for Karin, but you'll still get about 2 crosses (average) out of it, and it's totally fixable if you need more.
    Would I recommend such a great unit into an equip ? Certainly not. But it's still an inheritable Odindra, and Karin Kanzuki would definitely benefit from being able to get rid of Odindra as a sub for something better.



    Trojan Horse (Odysseus equip) - #4897
    [​IMG]
    • Farmable
    Nice to have on any bind immune card since it clears awoken binds, and makes a board Karin can use (you can make an easy triple cross VDP board with Odysseus' and Karin's AS). But most importantly the all hazards resist and additional finger are what makes it great.
    The equip itself has nice HP so if you can inherit it on a light card you get even more value ~



    Dark Knight, Cecil's Crystal Charm - #5411
    [​IMG]
    40% blind resist, bind immunity, deactivation of enemy's attribute absorb and a light heavy board change are features you wouldn't expect to be slapped onto a single equip, yet, that is the case.



    Paladin, Cecil's Crystal Charm- #5412
    [​IMG]
    • It's an actual Fujin with a light-heavy board change
    40% jammer resist, bind immunity, deactivation of enemy's damage absorb (fujin) and a light heavy board change are features you wouldn't expect to be slapped ont- OH WAIT.
    Even better : the 25 turns of cooldown will prevent it to come up if you don't want it to, for skill delay buffering purposes. Also great HP boost on light cards (7k base). Amazing.



    Transmutation Circle of Flame (Roy Mustang equip) - #4842
    [​IMG]
    • Enables L-unlock on any non-fire/non-light sub !
    I'm still not sure I would recommend turning a 2sec sub with 60% blind resist into an equip, but since he's not fully compatible with Karin.... why not.
    What makes this equip good is the combination of both cloud resistance and L-Unlock, which are both situational, but these are two features that you do want in your team. Roy has both in one pack, alongside a strong fire making active skill, that is especially good if you're pairing with Diara (since she wants fire crosses).
    Still not sure I would recommend it though, but if you end up doing that it is crucial that you slap this equip onto a card that has a sub-attribute that is not fire or light : you almost never want to make a light or fire L-unlock. If you can make a light or fire L that means you can make a cross and you should try to do that instead, or save these orbs for the next floor.
    Avoid making light/fire L at all cost.



    Balthier's Crystal - #5416
    [​IMG]
    • Enables L-unlock on any non-fire/non-light sub !
    Similarly to Roy Mustang equip, the main added value of Balthier equip is the ability to enable L-Unlock on a card which attributes aren't only light or fire, so that you never match a light/fire L. That, and the super finger coming with it, because you just cannot ignore an equip that brings an entire additional second of move time.
    The orb refresh AS is rare and still very usable, although pretty situational. In some dungeons it will save your day.



    Heaven Render (Amatsu equip) - #4144
    [​IMG]
    • Enables L-unlock on any non-fire/non-light sub !
    It's like Balthier equip, but instead of improving your move time it significantly increases your HP, with 2 team HP+ awakes ! Other than that it's obviously great for enabling L-unlock on a non-light/non-fire sub so that you never waste 5 light/fire that could be used for a cross.
    The AS... you might not want it to come up too often (and unfortunately the CD is on the shorter side), but it is usable : it does unlock the board, it does spawn hearts, and all that while not touching fire nor light. Very appreciable.



    Glavenus Helldanova- #4145
    [​IMG]
    It has the precious tape resistance which automatically makes it great to have, but it also makes a column of fire that is not stuck to the side, which is extremely convenient because you can make a cross in the blink of an eye with such positioning. A rare feature among fixed orb changers, not to be overlooked.



    Flamel's Cross (Edward equip) - #4840
    [​IMG]
    Kinda luxury equip, since Edward himself is an actual option to sub in your team. However I think the equip itself has great value because it has nice stats, a long active skill that should give you plenty of control to not let it come up if you don't want to. But most importantly the combination of Team HP+ awakening and HP+ awakening will have a noticeable effect on your team HP. Also the actual AS is still very usable for Karin.



    Soul Binding Rune (Alphonse equip) - #4841
    [​IMG]
    I wouldn't recommend turning such a great Karin sub into a weapon, unless you have a dupe. Maybe.
    However if you chooses to you would end up with probably the best triple blind resist equip for Karin. With its nice shield and the HP+ awakening, Karin can absolutely make great use of it.



    Asuna's Lambent Light - #4860
    [​IMG]
    If you're looking for a bind immunity equip to slap onto your subs, Asuna equip is an option to consider. In general you probably won't want the AS to ever come up (thanksfully, at 19 CD it's quite long) but it can be helpful in A4 or AA2 with the numerous RCV debuff, or to help with Grato's combo shield. Other than that, it's not super useful but does bring poison resistance.
    Thanks /u/Drakonnan180 for the suggestion !



    Flash White Dragon Caller, Sonia Elle - #3910
    • The following also applies to Perceiving Orange Dragonbound, Saria
    Sonia Elle (and Saria) have a board change which is notable for enabling triple crosses VDP FUA. Thanksfully she's farmable.
    Thanks /u/Drakonnan180 for the suggestion !



    - TEAM BUILD EXAMPLES -

    This section is still WIP as I'm still kinda figuring out how to design teams I didn't actualy run myself ha ha. These are examples, I have yet to figure out the most optimal build for Karin, if it even exists.
    Also formatting is wacky, I'm still figuring it out.

    A couple notes about these builds :
    • The aftermentionned list of builds is not ordered in any way.
    • All cards in all teams are
      • lvl110 and +297
      • fully awoken
      • max-skilled
      • using the recommended super awakening (see the "subs" section).
    • All cards have by default full HP++ latents awakenings, except :
      • Odindra → full SDR
      • Inheritance bases (Rin, Kyo, Aerith, Viz, etc...) → a mix of HP++ and SDR (often 1 HP++ and 4 SDR, it can vary)
      • Karin Kanzuki lead → rainbow resist + SDR
      • Karin Kanzuki helper → various
    • Unless specifically mentionned, all teams below run HP+ badge.



    Yamakyu v1.0 (AA2 seal of approval)
    // //
    or
    • Estimated HP : 64k ~ 66k, depending on assist on helper
    • Matching time : 15secs
    • Hazard resistance :
      • Jammer 80%
      • Blind 80%
      • Poison 40%
      • Tape and cloud immunity
      • Full bind immunity
    Utility and features :
    • 7-8 team HP+ awakes (+35 - 40% HP)
    • 2 awoken bind clear clearer (including one Odindra)
    • Heart-TPA to alleviate bad RCV situations
    • 4 TE debuff clearer
    • Triple cross VDP FUA board change
    • Strong 75% shield
    • Good VDP power
    • 2 different ways to unlock the board
      • Dark L-unlock from NY Yomi
      • Rin AS
    This is almost the team I used to beat Alternative Arena 2 - Three Hands of Fate.
    Only difference was I didn't have an Xmas floof yet back then (see it as a v0.9), and used vanilla Ilmina instead (which made triple cross VDP FUA too much of a commitment to be used at all in my clear). I used it for litteraly everything afterwards, as outside of damage absorb it can deal with almost anything.

    It is very durable, it can alleviate many hazards (80% jammer and blind is consistent enough to be used in higher challenges) and it has enough tools and utility to adapt to most spawns that don't straight up one shot you.
    Awoken bind is a big threat for Karin, so having 2 clearer (with 1 being Odindra) was a big deal. This team also has enough SB to have Puu Equip up by turn 3 to tank Goemon's preempt in AA2. What this teams lacks however is a way to deal with both damage absorbtion and damage void at the same time, as Ilmina was the flex sub which was replaced by Zinogre when Fujin was needed. And since damage void is far more common than damage absorb, Ilmina fit this slot by default.



    Yamakyu v2.0 (for AA3, not tested yet)
    // //
    [​IMG]
    • Estimated HP : 78 190
    • Matching time : 13 secs
    • Hazard resistance :
      • Jammer 100%
      • Blind 100%
      • Poison 80%
      • Tape and cloud immunity
      • Full bind immunity
    Utility and features :
    • 14 team HP+ awakes (+70% HP)
    • 2 Odindra AS
    • Almost all hazard immunity
    • 4 TE debuff clearer
    • Triple cross VDP FUA board change
    • 5-turns 50% shield
    • Significant VDP power
    • Fujin
    • Dark L-unlock from NY Yomi
    This team is designed with Alternative Arena 3 - Grotesque Being in mind, but it hasn't been tested in it yet.
    You musn't run it in AA2 as is, because you will die to Goemon F2.

    I swear, despite the dominance of FF equips, this isn't a meme team. FF equips are just that good.

    Compared to the 1.0 team, this one is a big upgrade in all aspects, except matching time (you can only get so much awoken skills). It was designed for AA3, which implied a couple constraints to meet. The most important one was to meet a safe HP threshold for stalling, I've established that 75k is the bare minimum and 78k should be pretty safe. I also made my 2 bind clearer be actual Odindras with 2 Aerith equip (which is stupid good), and slapped a Cecil equip onto Ilmina to
    1. make her bind immune without relying on SA so that I can get her 2nd VDP SA for more VDP power
    2. have an actual Fujin in the team
    That's right : this team covers both damage void and absorb at the same time, with significantly improved VDP power. That was a big deal to me, because without that MAthena would be instant game over.
    The only shield is Yuna equip (which also covers tape resistance), it's 5 turns of 50% shield, which is enough for AA3 with specific stalling. Another big improvement compared to 1.0 is the full immunity to blinds and jammers, and 80% poison resistance.

    Myne is a sub-optimal choice since she's not affected by Karin's flat ATK/RCV boost, however her team HP+, natural hazard resist and cloud resist was litteraly the missing piece to make this team ready for AA3 (actually I mostly needed her cloud resistance, but she brings so much more). A necessary drawback for all her added value.

    All of that in exchange for less move time, as this "only has" 13 secs. Generous use of Yomi's AS will make up for that.

    This team relies a lot on the inherited active skills to work, as most of them are kinda capital : Aerith equip on Aerith (and Yomi, on a lesser degree)), Cecil equip on Xmas Ilmina and Yuna equip on Myne. As a direct consequence, your skill rotation will be mostly pretty poor and require much more stalling than the 1.0 team. For that reason, you cannot allow yourself to run this team without SDRs, especially considering how common skill delay is in A5 (which is the base model for AA3).
    Last thing : keep an eye on Shirou equip on Karin Kanzuki helper, because unless you have a pretty specific plan in mind, you wont want it to ever come up. To prevent this from happening while you stall (Cecil equip is the longest AS to come up because it's on Ilmina) it IS a strat to blow the active even on a favorable board, and save them orbs at the bottom of the board !

    This team hasn't been tested in AA3 yet !



    Yamakyu v2.1 (or 2.0+, enhanced collector limited edition, for AA3)
    // //
    [​IMG]
    • Estimated HP : 78 087
    • Matching time : 14 secs
    • Hazard resistance :
      • Jammer 80%
      • Blind 100%
      • Poison 80%
      • Tape and cloud immunity
      • Full bind immunity
    Utility and features :
    • 12 team HP+ awakes (+60% HP)
    • 2 Odindra AS
    • Skyfall hazard eraser
    • Almost all hazard immunity
    • 4 TE debuff clearer
    • Triple cross VDP FUA board change
    • 5-turns 50% shield
    • Significant VDP power
    • Fujin
    • Dark L-unlock from NY Yomi
    This team is designed with Alternative Arena 3 - Grotesque Being in mind, but it hasn't been tested in it yet.
    You musn't run it in AA2 as is, because you will die to Goemon F2.

    There is one difference between this team and the original 2.0 team : Fenrir Viz replaced Myne. The point of this change was to enable erasing skyfall hazards in AA3, because they're extremely savage. An indirect consequence of this move however is that you loose 20% jammer resistance in the process, making this team not immune to jammers (only 80%). Outside of that it works exactly the same as the 2.0 team, with the same reliance on inherited skills and stalling.

    This team hasn't been tested in AA3 yet !



    - DUNGEON GUIDES -

    I can't cover every dungeon but I'll try to help with the general strategy to opt for, and most importantly how to deal with the higher Arenas.

    (as stated at the very beginning of this guide, for these dungeon advices I'll assume you play Karin Kanzuki X Karin Kanzuki. Adjust the strategy to match your lead !)
    (I'll also assume you run with jammer, blind, tape and cloud resistance, as advised previously. Poison resistance is recommended but I totally understand that you can't have *everything* easily)



    - General strategy -

    It is pretty simple. As we said earlier, you want to build a tanky defensive team to compensate Karin's inherent frailness and emphasize her massive power. Then, when you're in a dungeon try to adopt a "stall and kill" strategy. Dungeon knowledge is a big asset when playing her, because you're vulnerable to high preemptives, and can easily be killed if you're not careful.

    Here's how I approach each floor of both dungeons I know and I don't know.

    [​IMG]
    (sorry this graph is so messy, it's my first try doing this, hopefully the info is still readable)
    (it's pretty big, feel free to zoom in)​

    When you die on a given spaw, ask yourself why.
    → Was it because of poor execution (jesus cross, a bad 10th orb in a VDP, not enough combo, etc...) ? If yes, good luck on your next try.
    → Was it because of orb starvation ? If so then consider storing some orbs next time if it was a critical floor. Orb starvation is still a thing, but much less of an issue in 7x6 so if you actually experienced it in a critical situation it might mean you're not paying enough attention to your orb management. Be more aware of your resources !
    → Was it because of active skill starvation ? Then reconsider your global strategy and try to find another floor on which you can stall.

    If your stalling strategy is already as tightly packed as it can be, then reconsider your team and try to improve your HP so that you can reconsider your strategy and get an additional stalling floor. That is how I figured out Karin Kanzuki can only beat AA2 with 65k HP or more.



    - The "win condition" -

    I don't know if it's relevant to know or even consider when playing, but it's something I've started to focus on a lot since I switched to playing crosses at full throttle one year ago and it has helped me a ton.

    What I call a "win condition" is a combination of contextual requirements which, when met, guarantees me to clear a dungeon, unless I mess-up with the execution. It's a point in a run from which if I reach it in the right conditions I can only lose by being bad at matching my stuff, so basically granted I don't become suddenly super ass at the game or experience unusual extremely poor RNG, when my win condition is met, I can't lose.
    It's a point from which there is no uncertainty/doubt on the fact that
    1. I can clear the dungeon
    2. I will clear the dungeon.
    The only uncertainty allowed past a win condition is the player's ability to solve boards and perform the said solves.

    Win conditions depends on the team design and on the dungeon.
    For easier dungeons, the win condition is just entering the dungeon, as nothing in the dungeon is a threat. But the hardest dungeons have sometimes no win condition for some teams.

    A win condition is often "reaching a given floor, maybe while meeting a contextual element". It can be having a given AS ready, it can be meeting an HP threshold, it can be having a given buff or debuff active, it can be not running into a given spawn, it can be something else. It can also be "don't die to [a given specific enemy skill happening once]" or something similar that is a momentary threat.
    If you run a dungeon and suddenly tell yourself "Ok from now there's no way I can lose", then you likely met the win condition. You can still die if you keep 1c-ing or some shenanigans like this. But that's it.

    A nice example would be NA's march's C10, the one with a no-awakening close and Sol & Mani at the end. For this dungeon after struggling with all my other cross leads, I decided to take a look at it in the perspective of Karin Kanzuki. I quickly figured that with a Karin Kanzuki team, the win condition was to reach F2, survive to the preempt and have at least 44 200 max HP, because it enabled stalling which completely invalidated the no-awakening close : I don't need SB if I can stall for skills. So I won on F2. My only way of dying would have been to fail to kill when my kill windows were open, or trigger an execution skill (also poison myself to death, as it was almost the case).

    Another simple example would be a dungeon in which A1 Sopdet is the boss : a win condition would then be to reach Sopdet with a Fujin active skill either up, or up before she finishes her countdown.

    For Karin Kanzuki, win conditions are very easy to identify because she either one shot stuff with her explosive damage, or get one shot because she's fragile. So if you can look at a dungeon info, and identify a specific point from which everything between you and the finish line are just a succession of stalling floors (which cannot one shot you) + the boss, and if the boss can't kill you before a kill window opens up to you, then reaching this point is your win condition.

    Reason why I'm talking about all this is because Karin Kanzuki's team building isn't easy, and when building your team you should focus not on trying to clear the dungeon, but to meet a win condition, if it exists. Because once you meet a win condition, you can't lose. It's as if you cleared it already.
    The challenge becomes meeting a win condition, which might just be "reach F2 with enough max HP to not be one shot afterwards". Even if the said dungeon is 20 spawns long. If nothing can kill you between F2 and F20, you "win" the moment you enter F2. So you need to build to reach F2 (← extreme example to give you the idea).
    For March's C10 I adjusted my team so that I don't die on F2's preempt and have enough HP to enable stalling (44 200), the rest of the dungeon presented no other threat.

    So while studying harder dungeons, one should try to identify what a win condition could be, and build the team to meet this. It's like reducing the dungeon size to only floors that are a threat. Past a win condition there should be no more threats, so the dungeon might as well be cleared. That's the idea.

    As I said, some dungeons (especially higher challenges) have no win condition. There are also a lot of dungeons which win conditions are along the lines of "reach the boss (maybe with some active skills)", or "put the boss below resolve threshold", or some other stuff very close to the actual clear. That is fine too. What's important is being aware of it so that you plan and build accordingly. Basically you shouldn't have to worry with what comes after a win condition is met. That's how you recognize a win condition.



    - How to run the arenas -

    I won't cover Arenas 1 to 3, as they're pretty straightforward : get yoursefl a Fujin (Sopdet, Parv, Vishnu, HeraDra) and a VDP (Gaidra, NoahDra, Zeusdra) and you're good to go. Watch out for preempts but nothing should be able to one shot you. Other than that it's pretty straightforward, and the dungeon got powercrept really badly so you shouldn't have too much trouble beating it. Feel free to ask if you need help or advice though o/

    (the following guides also applies to some extent to most glass cannons)



    → Training arena

    Basically, just unleash your firepower in this dungeon which has no hazard. General strat is pretty simple ; it's about knowing how many HP a given spawn has and adjusting the amount of crosses accordingly. Remember that each additional cross basically add a bit more than 1 digit to your damage.

    • F1 : dragon seeds/flower/plant 10-20M HP
      • Clear with a single cross and some comboing.

    • F2 : I&I or Astaroth ~80M HP
      • Clear with 2 crosses and some comboing. Hits are 34k or less so you can stall here.

    • F3 : monolits 10M HP // dublits 14HP 300M def
      • Don't bother with triple/quad crosses. Just ping with mass attacks (double cross is ok if it's 1 light and 1 fire, for maximum ping). FUAing to ping the dublits more IS a viable strat, in case of orb starvation for example.

    • F4 : 2 companions dragons ~60M HP each
      • Clear with 2 crosses. You WILL die if you don't kill them (minimum 33k hit), this is not a stallable floor.

    • F5 : Raphael 100M HP or Durga 160M HP
      • Raphael is stallable (46k), Durga isn't (68k). Both can be killed with 2 crosses and high comboing. Or you can just straight up triple cross your way into it, it's safer.

    • F6 : Evo masks 6-12-18 HP and 50M-80M-100M def.
      • Just ping with mass attacks. FUA in case of orb starvation.

    • F7 : Shiva 110M HP or Parvati 140M. Both have a couple hundred thousand def.
      • Parvati should be stallable for most teams (51k), Shiva hits for 63k. Decide for yoursefl if you wish to stall here :9 It's totally doable. Kill with 2-3 crosses.

    • F8 : Tamadras 10 HP 300M def.
      • Just ping with mass attack. Ilmina laser is great here because next floor can spawn Meimei which is a bit harder to kill.
      • If you run into a King Tamadra, you won't kill him with anything less than triple crosses.

    • F9 : Chinese Celestials ~150M HP ~250k def (except Meimei 50M HP 16M def)
      • They all hit below 61k, except Meimei who will knock you out with a 93k hit. Kill with triple crosses.

    • F10 : Great witches 1.2B HP
      • They'll all kill you no matter what. Kill with a big triple cross solve, or go for damage cap with 4 crosses.

    • F11 : 2 Latents 500M HP 1M def
      • Not stallable (44k per hit). Kill with triple cross, else you die.
    Since this dungeon has no hazard, you can totally slap as much additional firepower as you want, but Karin Kanzuki remains a fragile lead in essence so always keep an eye for your HP so that you don't die to a stupid mistake !
    Use your active skills accordingly. Past F7 you're likely to die in case of orb starvation, so try to keep your active skills for F7+. Of course, if you're in danger before F7, don't die because you didn't use an active skill ~

    Reaching F11 with either a board fixer/changer or an excellent triple cross board is your win condition.




    → Extreme Challenge Arena (a.k.a Training arena 2)

    Ok so, you see, training arena is easy for Karin. Ok.

    Extreme challenge arena -a.k.a training arena 2- is not.

    It's nothing unmanageable, but you'll have trouble clearing it consistently, as Karin relies a lot on RNG to beat it. It is just not suited for her.

    It's not so much a damage problem (well, ultimately *it is*) but a resource one, because by default (without killers and armor break) all floors must be at least triple crossed to be cleared (some obviously need 4).
    Nothing will die to double crosses by default, not even F1, which is stupid hilarious. If you don't have three crosses on any board, and can't make a board with three crosses, you loose (except on 2-CDs floors, where you have 1 turn to clear the board and pray for good RNG).
    This wouldn't be so much of an issue if Karin could stall in this dungeon, but here's the catch : she can't. There's whopping total of zero safe floors to be stalled on (you need about 100k HP to enable stalling on some floors), which makes this dungeon a continuous resource sink. Exactly what Karin is bad at dealing with.
    Ironical for a normal dungeon isn't it ?

    However. There are ways to make things manageable. Here are some advices that could help you beat this :
    • Bring a defense break active skill ! It's borderline mandatory. Don't rely on RNG to give you triple cross boards, because while you can have them with natural skyfall, you're unlikely to have them every turn (and you need them every turn). A 100% defense break AS will make F1, F2, (maybe F3), F6 and most importantly F8 clearable with double crosses (and massive comboing), which is invaluable ! Remember : defense break carries on kill, which means that you can defense break the whole dungeon with as a little as a 1-turn def break if you keep one-shotting everything without interruption (and you should, because you basically die to everything).
    • Guard break awakenings are not as beneficial as they look (ultimately they are), as only the card with them can deal relevant damage, so if a card can one-shot a spawn with a guard break awake it likely means you triple crossed, hence you didn't needed guard break in the first place because nothing dies to one card dealing double cross damage (except F8).
    • Killers ! Good luck with that though !
      • F1 to F6 are filled with healers
      • F7 and F8 are balanced (and genie has massive 1B defense)
      • F9 to F11 are filled with devils (except Fama, who is dragon/balanced)
      • Make your choice. Pick what you want killers for, as you'll likely have trouble covering everything.
    • Orb skyfall buffs (like Wedding Scheat or Kenshin ) help tremendously ! But ultimately it's still RNG dependent.
    • Here are some MVP cards to absolutely run with if you have them :
      • Hakuren from Shinrabansho Collab is a godsend, as she's an actual Karin sub with an AS that both make big amounts of light (2 columns), and fully break defense (100%). She's also among the fastest 100% def break in the game, at only 10 turns.
      • Yu Nurakami & Izanagi from Persona Collab, is excellent too as his 100% def break comes with the spawning of 7 random lights in the board, adding an entire cross to your board.
      • Kuwabara from Yu Yu Hakusho Collab is a godsend, as he's literally a Hakuren with 1 more turn of CD, and an even better AS because the columns are not stuck to the sides.
      • Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star Collab (which I will add to the main post shortly) is awesome as well for his 100% def break, which also add significant 7secs of matching time in the process. An excellent asset.
    • The best way however to beat this however is pairing Karin with Nemain if you can. I swear, Nemain is the solution to Karin having trouble with this dungeon. Outside of the fact that she's an excellent Karin pairing that might get you out of a bad spot with wood crosses, Nemain is notable for being one of the rare 2-turns 100% def break (12 turns CD) in the game, which is invaluable because it does enable you to stall 1 turn on a 2-CD floor when you don't have a kill board. Only she and Scar (FMA collab) can let you do that. If you have Nemain friends, absolutely pair with her.
      • btw if you have a Scar, for this very reason it's good thing to sub him.

    I would gladly make you a walkthough but as I just said, nothing dies to double crosses. Always triple cross by default. However :
    • F4 - Unless you run a 7c heavy team (or any other kind of big enhance), or use killers, or even a light heavy board change such as Ilmina, F4 will likely require quad crosses.
    • F8 - Without a guard break or massive killers, F8 will only die to quad crosses. With guard break, you can beat it with double crosses and good comboing.
    • F11 - Quad cross. No questions.

    There are no win conditions. Good luck !

    But ultimately, if you have her, this dungeon is much more suited to be ran with Wedding Rushana than Karin Kanzuki, because Wedding Rushana has far less resource issues thanks to being tricolor, and can actually stall on a couple floors (granted you have a Mel or an equivalent RCV stick).



    → Arena 4 - Three hands of fate

    It is actually pretty straightforward too. Here's an important fact for you : virtually all floors are safe to stall on, in some extent. Like, you can't stall an execution hit, obviously, but anything that isn't designed to kill shouldn't kill you. You likely won't die to random attacks, except maybe on the predra and tan floor.

    I recommend to run A4 with at least 51,5k HP, because the puppeters have their "execution" hit below 50% HP and it deals 51k. It is really easy to trigger so you should aim to survive that.

    A very safe amount of HP to run A4 with however is 54k HP because of the F21-F22-F23 combo :
    1. First, F21 will remove hearts for several turns and punish you for spawning some
    2. Then F22 has a 21k preempt ; you won't have hearts on the board to heal back
    3. Diara is one of the possible spawns of F23, and she has a 62k preempt.
    You'll die to this if you don't know about it. It's not something you can avoid by just being careful. This is a dangerous combo because you won't have natural hearts when eating the puppeters preempt on F22, preventing you to safely one-shot them and heal back before entering F23, which means you'll enter F23 with less than your max health.
    You can however survive this combo if you use a 2-turns 35% shield on F21 while at full health (so after they heal youn) like Enoch/Rathios/Tifa, then kill F21, then eat F22's preempt and immediately one-shot. You'll enter F23 with enough shield and HP to barely survive Diara's preempt. But you need 54k effective HP for that.

    Another dangerous "combo" is F11 → F14 → F15 :
    1. You can run into Khepri on F11. If you choose to kill her after erasing her awakening bind be aware that you might need it again by F14 and F15
    2. You can run into Rushana on F14. If you run devils, Rushana becomes an Odindra check.
    3. You can run into Folklore onF15. Had you used your awoken bind clearer on Rushana, you won't have it up for Folklore.
    For that reason, it's recommanded to run A4 with 2 awoken bind clearer, with 1 being an Odindra. It's not as dangerous of a combo than F21-22-23, but it can still put you in a mediocre situation.

    Win condition is to reach the Norns floor.
    Build your team to reach the Norns. You won't die to the Norns, unless you mess up badly. The real danger are the Dragon Callers, build and plan to be able to kill the Callers asap, they're a threat. Blow all your stuff on them if necessary.
    The Norns aren't a threat. The Norns are the win condition.

    Here's a quick walkthrough of the dungeon. If don't say anything about a spawn, that means it's pretty safe to stall on or just very straightforward.
    For each floor I'll assume you meet at least the safe HP threshold of 54k HP.

    • F3 : Goemon or Green Sonia
      • Goemon has 50k preemp.

    • F5 : Fuma Kotaro or Sylph
      • Fuma Kotaro is an Odindra check. This floor wants you to use an Odindra active skill, or equivalent (awoken bind clear + bind clear). Else you'll likely die.
      • Sylph is entirely safe, granted you can heal back after each gravity, despite the RCV debuff. Should be easy. Feel free to stall here to your heart's content.

    • F6 : King Tans
      • The tans hit for 54k and can remove hearts. I highly advise against stalling here.

    • F7 : Rei Sirius or Armored Tyrra
      • Rei Sirius is entirely safe, granted you can heal back after each gravity, despite the RCV debuff. Should be easy. Feel free to stall here to your heart's content.
      • Armored Tyra is entirely safe, even after enhance, granted you can heal back after each hit. Keep an eye on poisons though.

    • F8 : Diena or Abyss Shark Doa
      • Diena is not hard, but it certainly is annoying. I wouldn't stall here (though it is safe).

    • F11 : Lilith / Kano / Khepri / Rozuel / Light Guardian Dragon Hokurai
      • Lilith is entirely safe. Don't be scared of her hard blind if you got affected by it.
      • Kano is entirely safe, even her execution hit. Though she can remove hearts below 30%
      • If you only have one awoken bind clearer, I advise against killing Khepri after erasing her awoken bind.

    • F13 : Alfecca or Oichi
      • You can easily put Alfecca below resolve threshold by just full-comboing the board change he makes. Don't match a cross while doing this.
      • Oichi will die to one cross + full comboing, don't bother with 2.

    • F14 : Rushana or Sadalmelik
      • You can damage control Rushana below her 75% resolve threshold with a simple cross and massive comboing.
        I have no idea how Rushana's enhance work, but I never ran into it yet. If you wish to VDP her, you'll need 3 crosses to secure the kill (2 will definitely work if you're using a triple VDP sub).
        • DON'T FORGET FUA. IT'S EASY TO FORGET FUA WHEN DOING TRIPLE CROSS FUA. DON'T FORGET FUA. I FORGET IT ALL THE TIMES.
      • Sadalmelik is entirely safe, granted you can heal back. You can just ping it down with cross-less normal comboing. It will never kill you.

    • F16 : Tsubaki or Fenrir
      • Tsubaki has 40k preempt.

    • F18 : Predras
      • NOT safe to stall, you'll likely die (27k per hit).

    • F20 : Apollo or Hermé
      • Be careful with Apollo, I suck at dealing with him.

    • F21 : Sumire or Kaede
      • Both Sumire and Kaede work kinda similarly. They'll prevent heart + 1 specific color to skyfall for 3 turns, flooding your board with 4 colors, including light and fire. As long as there are no hearts when they attack you're safe for the first 2 turns.
        • 1st turn they'll trigger a harmless hazard.
        • 2nd turn they'll heal you.
        • 3rd turn you'll eat some damage.
        • 4th I don't know, I always kill them after 2nd turn.
      • Unless you have a specific strategy for F22 and F23, you don't want to eat the 3rd turn hit. It'll put you in a very bad spot because of successive preemptives without heart skyfall. You're in danger if you eat it.
      • Kill them when they heal you. I recommend using an Enoch shield (or equivalent, like Rathios or Tifa, anything that protects with at least 35% shield for 2 turns) so that you can shield both F22's and F23's preemptives, granted you reached the 54k HP threshold.
        • There is another way around it though. You can also do what you want, enter the puppeter floor, and spawn heart here and do your stuff (don't forget to shield before leaving the puppeter floor !). I don't recommend it though. Puppeters can remove hearts and that really sucks.

    • F22 : Puppeters
      • Either spawn hearts and heal back or kill with your fire sub-attribute (board should be flooded with light and fire from the previous spawn).
      • From here you need about 41k HP to survive F23 Diara's preempt with a 35% shield. You've been warned !

    • F23 : Radar dragon callers
      • Either way, if you can triple cross VDP right away, do it. Reaching F24 is your win condition. It IS as strat to blow all your stuff so that you can reach F24 because you shouldn't be able to die on F24.
      • Diara (fire) is pretty straightforward.
      • Grato (water) is annoying because of his combo shield and he'll skyfall mortal poison. Be careful !
      • Wallace (wood) is trouble. Kill asap, don't let him poison you to death !
      • Amnel (light) as a weird schedule of skill sets. She's safe above 80%, not below. Knock her out before 80%.
      • Ena (dark) is mostly safe BUT her 50% HP skill is a 115% gravity. You won't survive without a shield. Even if you have rainbow resist latents.

    • F24 : Norns (reaching this floor is your win condition)
      • Easiest way to deal with the norns is to just stall out their Damage Void. It is *safe*. Just wait until it's gone, and triple cross FUA your way to victory.
      • You can also go for style points and triple cross VDP FUA the norns on turn 1.
      • You can also just actually battle them by killing them slowly. If you do so, don't stay for more than 1 turn in the 50-60% HP range, as it is their execution range.

    • F25 - Snow globe
      • Congrats !
    Ultimately, Arena4 isn't too hard, it has a lot of hazard but little lethal stuff even for Karin Kanzuki. It's a matter of paying attention.
    Reaching F24 is your win condition, it is a viable strat to go all out on F23 to secure the kill, because F24 is safe.



    → Arena 5 - Grotesque being

    Arena 5 is a bit harder than A4, but Karin Kanzuki is tinsy bit in a favorable position with this dungeon because the spawns in general are noticeably tankier than A4 spawns, and Karin Kanzuki doesn't care about that. Just be aware that past F10 you will have to double cross all the time (even before F10 you won't get away with only one as easily as in A4) and triple cross more.
    However, more floors are inherently lethal for Karin so there are less stalling floors.

    Recommanded HP is 54146 HP, because Ctugha's 50% HP attack will deal 83300 damage which is reduced to 54145 if you use a 35% shield. That way you can manage Ctugha even if you don't have a VDP. It's not recommanded but it certainly is doable. I almost did it.

    The win condition here doesn't really exist. There's almost always some uncertainty on whether or not you can clear the dungeon. If anything it would be to reach F19 (Ctugha/Yog) with enough skills to triple cross VDP, or just straight up reach F20 (Pys), so it might as well not exist. Always be on your guard !

    WATCH OUT : Machine Athena is part of this dungeon ! Karin Kanzuki inherently can't deal with her without a Fujin, so you either bring one in your team, or pray to not run into her.

    F16 and F17 both have a lethal preemptives, but can easily be shielded with at least a 2-turns 35% shield, so get yourself one (Enoch/Tifa/Rathios/something similar) and use it on F15 !

    Here's the walkthrough. If I don't say anything about a floor, it's because there's nothing to say, it's probably just very straightforward or very safe.

    • F5 : Latent Tamas
      • Don't try to stall here, you'll die. Double cross to kill

    • F10 : Mirage Plesios or Howling Brachy
      • Kill Plesios asap ; the more turns you take to kill it, the harder it gets because he'll keep flooding your board with water more and more each turn.

    • F12 : Big Foot ot Machine Athena
      • → It *is* a strat to bruteforce Big Foot with triple crosses. It'll die.
      • Machine Athena is BIG TROUBLE if you don't have a Fujin. She'll 150% gravity your face every 4 turns. Without a Fujin it's gameover if you run into her.

    • F13 : Durga or Manticore
      • Durga is SAFE even after her absorb. Rage hit is 10% HP, and it's only about 66k. Very shieldable.

    • F15 : Latent killers
      • Use a 2-turns 35% shield (Enoch/Rathios/Tifa/whatever) here before killing, else you're in DANGER.
      • Don't try to stall here, you'll die. Double cross to kill

    • F16 : Hamal or Kundali
      • Kundali has a 61k preempt. Very shieldable with an Enoch-type shield.
        Kill with triple crosses for safety if possible because you don't want to waste your time here : your shield can only last so long, and you need to survive F17 preempt too.

    • F17 : Hera Nyx or Zeus Verse
      • Hera has a 71k preempt. Very shieldable with an Enoch-type shield.
        In general she's a pretty strong spawn who won't one-shot you immediately, but if you don't dispose of her before she reaches 50% HP and don't have a shield up by then you're in DANGER.
        She has 110M HP ; you CAN double cross VDP FUA if your VDP card has several VDPs thanks to attribute advantage.
      • Zeus Giga will require triple cross VDP FUA to die. Don't put him below 50% HP without shielding.

    • F18 : Ctuhlu / Nyarlathotep/ Azathoth
      • None of them can OH-KO you with random attacks. Take the necessary time to setup your kill.
      • Full blind resist is necessary because of Nyarla. He's extremely easy if you can negate the blinds, either with enough resist, or a board refresh, or a full mono color board change (why would you have this in a Karin team though).
      • Cloud resistance is useful because of Ctulhu.
      • Triple cross VDP FUA for Aza, there aren't much ways around it.

    • F19 : Ctugha or Yog
      • Triple cross VDP FUA is certainly doable but remains challenging, so knocking Ctugha down below 50% HP (resolve threshold) is a strat. Remember to shield before knocking him below 50% else you'll die.
      • Yog is NOT STALLABLE. YOU'LL DIE.
        Go for quad crosses for safety if you don't know your damage well. Triple crosses should do it though, but either way, KILL ASAP. ELSE YOU DIE.

    • F20 : Pys (reaching this floor is your win condition, duh)
      • → Congrats :>
    Arena 5 isn't hard per se (though F17 is a nasty resource sink, right before F18 and F19 which are both challenging), but it has more ways to kill you than A4 and requires more high commitment solve (triple cross VDP / triple cross VDP FUA). Run this dungeon while being aware that not everything is stallable and keep your guard up at all times. Also pray for not running into Machine Athena :')


    → Alternative Arena 1 - Alternative Bipolar Goddess

    Ok now we're talking. Alt Arenas are really challenging in general and even more so for Karin who is extremely vulnerable to the numerous high preemptives that can be found in AA1 and AA2.

    Does that means it's undoable ? Of course not, else I wouldn't have cleared both with Karin.
    But you'll need to be prepared, and to pray, because there are spawns which are hardly manageable.
    Here are some prerequisite :
    • Investigate the dungeon for yourself. There's so much going on in AA1 ! I only cleared it once, I can hardly guide you properly.
      Cate made an amazing spreadsheet about AA1 here, it's extremely useful. That's what I used to investigate AA1, use it. Also keep an eye on the dungeon info in PADx, it's always useful
    • You need at least one 75% shield. If you run Karin Kanzuki paired with herself, you won't survive Goemon's preemptive with just a 50% shield (need more 73k HP).
    • I can't remember if there was a critical HP threshold like A4, A5 and AA2, but I cleared it with 56k. It allowed me to stall when needed. 53k looks kinda fine.
    • Always heal back before killing because AA1 has numerous mid-high 40k or so preempts.
    • There's no win condition. Reaching the Py floor is kinda your win condition. Be aware at all times that you can die if you mess something up.
    I won't make a walkthrough for this one as Cate's guide is incredibly amazing and detailed. It will help you more than I can.


    Keep an eye on the dungeon info on PADx to detect stalling floors according to your HP.



    → Alternative Arena - Alternative Three Hands of Fate

    THE REAL DEAL.
    Until AA3 is revealed, that is (not gonna lie, I'm kinda looking forward to it, I can't wait for it to need actual 100% shields because of 300k+ preemptives :D).
    But in the meantime AA2 is incredibly difficult, especially for Karin Kanzuki as there are numerous ways for her to die to even trash random enemy skills.

    I highly recommend that you keep an eye on dungeon info either with PADx or Reddit.

    PREREQUISITES :
    • Don't attempt it with less than 65k HP.
      Just, do not. Or if you want to, be prepared to drink a lot of water so that you don't die IRL from dehydration because you sweated all the water of your body. Or find a super strat that I couldn't find (and let us know about it :>).
      • 65k HP is a magic number which you need to reach if you wish to reach the finish line. Reaching 65k HP enables stalling on numerous floor, and believe me you'll need them, as there are a couple combinations of spawns/floors which are inherently lethal for Karin and need to be approached as a combo as whole, and not just successive floors with no interactions between them. Having 65k HP will allow you to deal with that.
      • HP badge is pretty much mandatory. Unless you run Hexazeon x3 or so, which I highly advise against.
    • In general, proceed with extreme care and pay attention to when you're doing what, and how many turns remains before your actives are up again. Especially your shields. AA2 is about being specific.
    • There's no win condition in AA2, except obviously reaching last floor (super globe).
    • Even though 65k HP enables stalling, the amount of floors you can stall on is still a bit limited, and some floors can only be stalled on for a limited amount of turns, so good skill rotation is key. Especially the shields.
    • Bring some VDP. You can handle the norns and Rushana without VDP just fine, but the Radar Callers and Numens should be VDP'd.
    • You need a 75% shield, and you need it to be up FAST, because you need it on FIRST FLOOR. Either slap it onto an inheritance base or just sub one. Do as you want, but if you can't pop a 75% shield by turn 3 don't even attempt AA2 because you will die to Goemon. I swear Green Sonia doesn't exist. This is why I kept saying in the "sub" part of this guide that skill boost are good for AA2. It's to get this shield up as early as possible.
      • Kushinadhime, Puu equip, Indra, whatever, it just needs to be more than 50%. You'll die with a 50% shield unless you can reach crazy high HP 80k or so (????????).
    • You also need another shield, but this one can be weaker. 35% worked for me. Have it to be pretty fast as well if possible so that you can use it both as a panic button and to eat preemptives.
    • Remember the two nasty combos that were very dangerous in A4 ? F21-22-23 and F11-14-15 ? They're still a thing. And a bit worse because HP pools and -most importantly- damage outputs are higher. Be extremely careful.
    • For similar reasons to A4, having 2 bind + awoken bind clearer is still very recommended, and one of them should be an Odindra.

    I'll try my best to provide the relevant advice, but keeping your eyes open and most importantly thinking ahead of your current turn at all times is what will allow you to beat AA2. Also flawless execution.
    The following guide will assume you meet the 65k HP requirement. Let's get to it.

    • F1 : Jiangshi (chinese zombie) + 2 golems
      • Don't forget to shield (75%) before killing, else you will die !
      • This is the 1st floor where your 65k HP will come in handy. They'll enable stalling on the jiangshi attacks. This is only true when the jiangshi isn't alone. When the jiangshi is alone, it'll enhance itself and become unstallable so be careful with your actions.
      • Jiangshi's skills are a repeating sequence
        • weak attack + hazard
        • ~64k+ attack
        • nothing
        • repeat
      • When the sequence repeats is the moment you'll also be hit by the golems and die so you need to have your shield up before that. Build accordingly.
      • Be careful if you decide to kill the golems as the jiangshi becomes unstallable afterwards. It can provide an extra turn of stalling though. Just be very careful.
      • Don't forget to shield (75%) before killing, else you will die !

    • F2 : Goemon or Green Sonia
      • You'll never get Green Sonia. Always Goemon.
      • PREEMPTIVE UP TO 162k DAMAGE.
      • Stall to your heart's content !
        This floor is entirely stallable and you'll need a shield by F6 so stall accordingly :
        • You can stall on Goemon by triggering repeatedly his resolve.
        • You can just stall on Sonia by keeping her above 30% HP.

    • F3 : Azazel or Sherosprada
      • Azazel is stallable infinitely above 40%. He'll kill you if you get him below that.
      • Sherosprada is stallable infinitely above 50%. He'll enhance and become unstallable if you get him below that. Doing so can get you an additional stalling turn if you experience heart starvation as it won't kill you immediately.
      • Both will annoy you with hazards so be careful here. Manage your hearts properly.

    • F4 : Sylphe or Fuma Kotaro
      • Sylph is infinitely stallable if you can heal back despite the RCV debuff (should be easy).
      • Fuma Kotaro dies to 3 crosses when its shield is up, or 2 + good comboing when it's not.

    • F5 : King tans
      • Don't stall here, you'll die.
      • Laser or double cross.

    • F6 : Armored Tyrra or Rei Sirius
      • Don't forget to shield (35%) before killing, else you will die !
      • Rei Sirius is infinitely safe to stall if you can heal back to full despite the RCV debuff (should be easy). I hope you have cloud resistance though :9
      • Armored Tyrra is infinitely stallable above 20%, but I wouldn't call it safe because of hazards. It's doable, but I don't recommend it.
      • Use of 2-turns (or more) 35% (or more) shield is recommended here, as there are 2 consecutives lehtal (but shieldable) preemptives ahead !
      • Don't forget to shield (35%) before killing, else you will die !
    (note : you'll need a shield back before F9, stall accordingly !)
    • F7 : Abyss Shark Toa or Wise Dragon Diena
      • Preemptive up to 80k damage.
      • Don't forget to shield (35%) before killing, else you will die !
      • Don't stall here. Both are dangerous.
      • Toa's Resolve is safe to hit ONCE. Kill asap.
      • Don't forget to shield (35%) before killing, else you will die !

    • F8 : Hera or Agni
      • Preemptive up to 73k damage.
      • Hera isn't stallable. Kill asap, else you're in danger.
      • Agni is stallable if you're careful and specific ; according to dungeon info here's how he works :
        • 1st attack is safe
        • 2nd attack is safe
        • 3rd attack is safe
        • 4th attack is safe. Either kill now (next is damage absorb and you'll die) if your shields are up, or knock him down below 50% HP ; you'll win some additional stalling turns. Keep track of its countdown !

    • F9 : Orb dragons
      • Don't forget to shield (35%) before killing, else you will die !
      • Both are stallable but pretty unsafe because of heart-break. Stall here if you MUST, but otherwise just shield and kill. Else you're in danger.
      • Don't forget to shield (35%) before killing, else you will die !

    • F10 : Khepri / Rozuel / Hokurai / Lilith / Kano
      • Preemptive up to 68k damage.
      • Kano is Kano. She's safe above 30%. With her shield up you'll likely need 3 crosses to kill her.
      • Khepri is Khepri. Recommended kill window is the shield one, both for stalling purposes and because F13 and F14 both have awoken bind too. When her shield is up she'll likely die at 3 crosses.
      • Rozuel should be killed asap to avoid hazard skyfall (20%, that's huge !).
      • Hokurai (light dragon) should be killed asap as it is not safe to stall on.
      • Lilith's 3 first attack are safe. Kill her after her 3rd attack to prevent poison skyfall ! I hope you had blind resistance btw.

    • F11 : Rainbow evo mats
      • Dub hits 25k per turn
      • Fruit hits 34k per turn and kills below 20%
      • Jewel is just a hazard spawn, and won't directly attack you. It will also respawn its partner.
      • Stallable floor, just be super careful. If you have jammer/poison skyfall, ABSOLUTELY STALL IT OUT HERE.
      • If you choose to stall here, FUAing the jewel to ping harder and kill it without killing its partner IS a strat. Be careful if you wish to do so, the more you stall, the bigger of a threat heart starvation is.

    • F12 : Alfecca or Oichi
      • Alfecca still sucks in AA2. It's safe to stall on ABOVE its 75% resolve threshold, and unsafe BELOW 75%. Control your damage accordingly if you want to stall here, or just spawn some hearts and FUA. Alfecca sucks.
      • Don't leave any jammer/poison on the board else you'll die.
      • Oichi just gravity you 4 times in a row, then she'll proceed to skill delay you to oblivion when her combo shield runs out and next turn you dead.
    (Note : pray for no Sadalmelik)
    • F13 : Rushana or Sadalmelik
      • I hope you didn't get Sadalmelik, or if you have it, I hope you had a Fujin. Else, RIP. Sadalmelik isn't stallable. Its gravity + attack combo will kill you.
      • Rushana can be dealt with without VDP, by managing your damage with simple or double crosses to put her below 75% (resolve threshold).
        She will still do her Odindra check so have Odindra ready.
        She kills you below 10%, that's pretty comfy.
        Wouldn't call her "safe" because there's the possibility of an heart-break, but I've stalled here a bunch of turns in the past with success.
    (Note : you need a 75% shield ready on next floor so if you can't stall there, stall now)
    • F14 : Folklore or Awoken Sakuya
      • Preemptive 32k damage
      • Don't forget to shield (75%) before killing, else you will die !
      • If you run into Folklore IMMEDIATELY clear the awoken bind (you'll lose a lot of HP because of team HP+ awakes). If you can pass 65 475 HP, you're safe to stall here. Else, kill asap before you die to Cattle Mutilation.
      • Sakuya is safe to stall infinitely.
      • Don't forget to shield (75%) before killing, else you will die !

    • F15 : Tsubaki or Kamui
      • PREEMPTIVE 153k DAMAGE.
      • Tsubaki is safe above 50% HP.
      • Kamui's 1st and 2nd hits are safe. Not the 3rd
    (note : you'll need your 75% shield on F21 so stall accordingly !)
    • F16 : Uriel / Diadem / Kotodama / Mion / Wood orb dragon
      • Freyr is safe above 50% HP.
      • Diadem is safe but don't eat it's 4th attack (skill delay). Kill it before.
      • Kotodama is entirely safe if you don'thave jammer/poisons. No execution hits.
      • Mion is safe above 50% HP.
      • Wood dragon is safe above 20% HP.

    • F17 : Snow globe
      • Safe floor. Stall here to your heart's content !
        Like, actually do it. You just used your 75% shield, and you'll need it again soon. The 3 next floors aren't good places to stall.

    • F18 - Persephone or Star Justice
      • This floor is ultimately safe, but I wouldn't recommend staying here too long as both spawns can be somewhat annoying.
        If you needed to stall, you should have done it on F17.

    • F19 : Apollo or Herme
      • Same.

    • F20 - Sumire or Kaede (remember the F21-22-23 combo in A4 ? It's still here).
      • They'll remove your hearts and one color, and kill you if spawn some. You'll still be able to match fire and light crosses though.
      • They don't deal damage on turn 1 and 2 if there are no hearts. Kill them *before* their 3rd skill, else you'll be in great danger for the upcoming floors : the kill window is after they've healed you. Don't stay here any longer, else you're in danger.
      • If your 75% shield is Indra or another one that last 2-turns, use it now. If not, keep for next floor.

    • F21 : Puppeters
      • Preemptive 50k damage
      • Don't forget to shield (75%) before killing, else you will die !
      • Don't try to stall here, it's stallable damage wise but the heart-break will put a short end to your attempt.
      • Just pop some hearts, pop your shield and kill with non-light/dark sub-att.
      • Don't forget to shield (75%) before killing, else you will die !

    • F22 : Radar Dragon Callers (the real fun begins)
      (Before I start, if you reached this part, congrats ! It's amazing !)
      • PREEMPTIVE UP TO 100k DAMAGE.
      • All dragon callers have a 99% resolve (yup), meaning they can't be one shot when at full health without FUA, but after you deal even a bit of damage you can knock them out with triple/double cross VDP.
        All dragon callers will need triple crosses VDP to be killed. Though if your VDP sub has massive VDP power, you could get away with 2 crosses after dealing a bit of damage. Don't quote me on that, I didn't try :>
      • DIARA (fire) is very straightforward and safe above 50%.
        You could secure a double cross VDP kill if you knock her down a bit first (like 55%-60% or so).
      • GRATO (water) sucks.
        Pray that you won't run into him. He's safe above 20% but his combo shield and hazards will make things complicated for you when you want to VDP his face. Try to knock him down as low as you can before attempting it, so that you can just get away with double cross VDP and secure the 8c.
      • WALLACE (wood) is still trouble.
        Kill asap
        . Don't let him poison you to death. You HAVE to match the poisons, else you die, but at the same time be aware that each attack will be stronger than the previous one, and the last one is 68k. Really, Wallace should just be killed as soon as you have a kill window because he just is mean. Double cross VDP should be doable with a big VDP damage card like Yusuke.
      • AMNEL (light) is.... weird.
        Kill her above 80% because below she isn't safe, and her skill sequence are a bit weird to explain. Just remember that below 80% HP you're in danger. If you want to know more about how she works, refer to the dungeon details on Reddit, and read it again and again until you perfectly understand how it works. Then think for a second and realize it wasn't worth the hassle because below 80% you're in danger anyway.
      • ENA (dark) is ok.
        She kills you if she's full life on turn 1 so just make a cross-less solve to deal some irrelevant damage. You'll also die without a shield if you knock her below 50% because she throws a 115% gravity. Her execution move below 20% HP is in two parts, should you wander in these dark realms.
        Outside of all that she's pretty safe, and particularly easy to double cross VDP (granted you reduced her HP a bit) thanks to attribute advantage.
    (Before killing, ensure you will enter next floor with at least 51k HP !)
    (also pray for no keela)

    • F23 - Numens
      • Preemptive up to 51k damage.
      • All Numens have a 99% resolve and will require 3 crosses alongside VDP to be killed. They're also pretty safe to stall on so feel free to knock them down slowly so that you can double cross VDP instead.
      • BORMA (fire) is safe, and will execute at 10% HP. Watch out for its numerous hazards !
      • ZAPAN (water) will kill after 5 turns. You can survive with a 75% shield though.
      • BYUTO (wood) never deals direct damage, but will drown you in poisons and hazards. You would think Karin Kanzuki can handle that easily, and wouldn't be wrong in theory, but the combination of massive poisoning + hazards + need to deal damage makes it incredibly hard, even for her. I did die to Byuto in my first AA2 attempt in which I reached the Numens. Don't understimatet this bastard. Take the first kill window that opens to you and smash it with triple crosses.
      • KEELA (light).... is doable.
        I succeeded at triple cross VDPing against Keela once. It's pretty hard because of spins, but there is one spin pattern which you can triple cross VDP in, and that is when she spins 2 orbs on top and bottom lines of your board. See this example. Keep your eyes wide open as kill windows against Keela are both rare and open for a very short amount of time.
      • MOWA (dark) is annoying with the skill delays but incredibly safe because of its repeating skills which can't kill you. It's both the easiest Numen to not die to, but also one of the hardest to kill because you can't setup much stuff (orb change) and use skills (skill delay). Kill windows are rare against MOWA, be aware of that. Slowly knocking him down to death is also a strat. That's what I did. That was scary, but the execution threshold is 10%, and it is in 2 parts, which makes it very manageable for Karin Kanzuki.
    (Befor killing, ensure you will enter next floor with at least 46k HP !)
    • F24 - Norns (kinda a win condition, actually)
      • Preemptive 46k damage if you didn't have any buff active.
      • Here's the deal. You can either go for style points and triple cross VDP FUA while they still have their damage void. Or you knock them down below 60% HP and actually battle them (it's actually pretty easy).
        I recommend the 2nd option, because none of the norns are safe above 60%. Their 60%+ attacks are shieldable so if you wish to wait for the damage void to wear out, use your shields, but if you can't do that, knock them down below 60% HP.
      • BE AWARE THAT THEIR EXECUTION RANGE IS 50-60% HP. You can stay there for 1 turn, but not 2. They'll kill you if you stay in this window for 2 turns. That is why when you hit their resolve (which is safe the first time), they heal back to 50%+ : it's a kill window. Don't stay here, you'll die.
      • All three norns are safe in their 10-50% HP range, so you want to knock them down to this window, then wait for the damage void to wear out, and finish with crosses.
      • Thanksfully their damage void is pretty high (40M) and with 2 crosses you should almost always hit below that !

    • F25 - Super Snow globe
      • Congrats !
      • Watch out though, it deals 52k per turn.
        Please for the love of stars, don't die here :')))
    AND THAT'S IT. YOU DID IT.
    Maybe.

    Ultimately, AA2 with Karin Kanzuki is about being specific. Also reaching 65k HP because like, at 60k HP at least a 1/3 of aftermentionned stalling floors are unsafe, and about half at 57k HP so there's that.
    But most importantly it's really about being super prepared, and knowing exactly when you'll need what, and choose your kill windows accordingly, so that your precious shields are up when they need to be.
    Also flawless execution.



    And with that I'm going to call it a day and end this massive Karin Kanzuki guide.

    I hope it was helpful to you, and I hope you'll be interested in engaging in the discussion. Feel free to disagree with me on anything and tell me how I can improve it.
    Ultimately I just want to share the blast I'm having playing this card, and enable more players to enjoy her too. I hope this guide will succeed at achieving this !

    If you read everything, thank you infinitely, this took way more time than I thought just to write, and the formatting was hell too.
    If you didn't read everything, no worries, I still love you :> I just hope you found something interesting in there !

    Always keep an eye on the changelog to see if I've added anything, I'll keep adding to this guide as the game receives updates, so that it's as exhaustive as it can be ! And big thanks to everyone who contributed to the discussion and suggested ways to improve it, be it with subs/leads/teams/assists ideas/strats, or formatting or whatever :>

    Thanks @bp1976, @Orange, @Tetedeiench and /u/Shuai_Nerd ! Also special thanks to @MisterDrgn for his patience o/

    Last very special thanks to the teams behind pad.protic.site, PADx, Ilmina.com, /r/PuzzleAndDragons and MiruBot because without these precious resources I would never have finished it :heart::heart:
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
    axlpowa, kandjar, sgt502 and 2 others like this.
  2. Noc

    Noc Active Member

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    This is awesome! I imagine you're going to trade for Karin regardless of what happens, so you should convert this into a guide for her :) As for pairings, have you considered Alex from Street fighter (http://puzzledragonx.com/en/monster.asp?n=5110)? He adds 3 seconds of movement time, 2x hp, and 3.5x attack per light cross. Alex would compensate for a lack of move-time and add some beefiness (about 5k hp with plus eggs). And, as you've said, light already has plenty of high RCV subs plus Karin brings an RCV multiplier. Since you have a giant board and activation would be straight forward, Rin might be a decent option as well. She'll bring two shields, another copy of her active, and a high attack multiplier (maybe not so high by Karin standards).
     
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  3. bp1976

    bp1976 Pittsburgh, PA Born and Raised

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    I might give her a shot since I rolled five of her. You forgot Xmas Ilmina as a sub, she is probably the absolute best sub you can get for this team. 3 TE, 2 Team HP which you desperately need, and VDP in case you need it. Plus her stats are literally bonkers and her active is perfect.
     
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  4. YamaKyu

    YamaKyu Karin Kanzuki was a mistake. And I love it ♥

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    I'm 100% guilty of having been blinded by Karin's leader skill and forgetting that Alex can also absolutely get the work done.
    As for Rin now that you mention it she might not be optimal but she's definitely a nice defensive option if you don't have better. Karin's power output is not a problem anyway so yeah, definitely worth giving her a try !
    I'll add them to the list,

    EDIT : Also yes, I'm pulling/trading for her, except if somehow one of the stream announcements are so incredible for crosses that I need to keep my stones. And that might be the case, we have Allatu waiting for her ult, Paimon and Dantalion waiting for their Mega Awoken evo, Mega Awoken Skuld right around the corner (I want to believe she'll be a cross lead as well) and maybe some more stuff o/
    But as soon as the stream ends I'll nuke my stones yeah :'9

    I'm baffled that she flew below my radar while she's basically the number one thing Karin needs. Thanks for pointing it out !
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
  5. Orange

    Orange Red+Yellow = Orange

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    I pair with Kenshin. Seemed to be stable run on A2. I also tested Multi play A3. I can match at least one cross in most turn. Fun play. But it did seem to be popular leader. Only one or two use her as main leader on my friend list.
     
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  6. YamaKyu

    YamaKyu Karin Kanzuki was a mistake. And I love it ♥

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    If you play her please add me, I'm borderline desperate to get friends with her :')

    Will post my impressions after playing her a bit more

    EDIT : Added Amen to the list. No idea how I forgot about him tbh
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
  7. Orange

    Orange Red+Yellow = Orange

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    Sure. Invitation sent. Kenshin is on my second slot.
     
  8. YamaKyu

    YamaKyu Karin Kanzuki was a mistake. And I love it ♥

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    I'll post my full impressions soon-ish when I have more time, but so far I'm having a blast. I reached 52k HP without badge so her HP issue can definitely be fixed.

    I'll add 2 things to the main post :

    > Rathios equip is probably the single best assist evo you can inherit on Karin. It has literately everything Karin needs :
    → Additional stats because its light
    → +500 HP through awakening
    → Active skill that guarantees 2 crosses (one light and one fire)
    → Built-in 3-turns 35% shield (same as Enoch !)
    → A finger (+0.5secs)
    There's like zero thing that Karin needs and Rathios Equip doesn't help with. Absolutely use it if you have one.

    > I have yet to play her yet more, but there's one thing Evo'd Karin is absolutely fantastic for, and that is Training Arena. With her consistent devasting damage she obliterates this dungeon with a remarkable consistency. Success rate is about 85% so far, and I actually do hit damage cap at least twice a run.
     
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  9. CloudnineXXX

    CloudnineXXX Well-Known Member

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    Who do you pair with?
     
  10. YamaKyu

    YamaKyu Karin Kanzuki was a mistake. And I love it ♥

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    Ah yes, very important matter indeed.
    I've played mostly Evo'd Karin paired with herself actually ! A bit of Kenshin (felt great) and REvo Luci (didn't felt too great, it's good but it needs a lot of getting used to). But tbh I mostly play Karin paired with herself and damage cap my way through victory
     
  11. Tetedeiench

    Tetedeiench Active Member

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    I was looking for an explosive damage leader for training arena, seems like i found one :) I got two copies of her.

    The team i'm looking forward to build is Karin / NY yomi / Christmas floof / carry / carry / Karin . Should be able to farm this arena consistently .

    I think you should include Zinogre in your list. 3 time extends, a fujin active, and beefy HP ( around 6K without plusses).

    As i don't have any Karin friends, i'm wondering if i should :
    * Use a base karin as a helper
    * Use my kenshin and make my second karin an equip for the cloud resist
    * Evo my second Karin

    Any advice ?
     
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  12. YamaKyu

    YamaKyu Karin Kanzuki was a mistake. And I love it ♥

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    If it's only for training arena you can't go wrong with a Kenshin or evo'd Karin pairing.

    For harder content it's a bit trickier as base Karin ha substantially more sustainability, and I've not played a wide enough variety of pairings in a wide enough variety of dungeons to really be sure.

    On the other hand, Karin assist definitely looks amazing so yeah, the choice is tough.
     
  13. Orange

    Orange Red+Yellow = Orange

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    I got Tethys. Very interesting leader with cross Fire, Light or Wood. But leader itself is blue/dark. I did not understand why. Output damage when pairing with Karin could reach max (2,147,xxx,xxx) which was the same as my Kenshin/Karin. However, a bit hard to play when need 5combos+cross.

    B4205339-1BAF-435E-BA74-B1537358598D.png
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
  14. Tetedeiench

    Tetedeiench Active Member

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    Alright, gave the team a shot, invested a tad in Karin ( max level, Time extend+ SA), and boy was i impressed. The days where i played with myr must have become muscle memory, because i was crossing easily.

    I tried a janky team made of Karin (rathios) / NY Yomi / Christmas Floof / Zinogre / Lx Paimon / Kenshin , and for the first time i damage capped all my cards using floof's active.

    This team will be for giggles and such, but boy is it fun to play and a change of the regular Dmeta / Lvalk / Ryu playstyle.

    Thanks a bunch @YamaKyu , you made me realize i had something real fun to do with my box :D
     
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  15. ambiguous57

    ambiguous57 Well-Known Member

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    Awesome recommendation, glad you pointed this out. I only ever used Rathios for the light row equip back when I would run Yog in that 3P dungeon, and then again on Yog for some recent ranking dungeon. I couldn’t have even told you what the active skill does. The entire package is perfect, though.

    The irony is that now the only thing I’m *not* using is for was originally the only thing I was using it for.
     
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  16. YamaKyu

    YamaKyu Karin Kanzuki was a mistake. And I love it ♥

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    Yo, I've been busy these days (playing Zelda BOTW *cough*) but I finally added him to the list ! Thanks for pointing that out, I totally forgot about him. I can't wait to see how much HP he'll get with its upcoming limit break/buff (since MH is coming back soonish).

    That's Nemain o/
    And while she technically works, I stongly advise against pairing with her, for reasons that are made clearer by your screencap : she doesn't bring any contribution to the team.
    → She has abysmal stats (only 3k HP, almost literally no ATK)
    → She pretty much doesn't contributes to damage because her attributes doesn't match the attribute of her crosses. Which is weird af. I was pretty mad at her release tbh xD
    → Her awakenings and active skill bring nothing that Karin needs.

    The idea is that Karin is a good pairing for Nemain, but Nemain is pretty awful for Karin.

    I added her to the list nonetheless, because she might just be one of the easiest """"Karin pairing"""" to get from the REM (alongside Rebel Serpah Luci).

    I'm glad to help o/ Have fun with your new goddess of annihilation !

    I don't even know if GungHo's designers had a specific idea in mind when they made Rathios equip, because tbh it's such a perfect tool for Karin but at the same time I don't think they plan this much ahead, do they ? Could it be just a coincidence, I genuinely wonder x)
    But it only shows how great and flexible the equip evo feature is ~ Truely a blessing for team building enthusiasts ~


    When I have more time today I'll look into awoken bind recover subs. I have a few ideas (and notably Sakura Matou) but I need to expand the guide with that ~
     
  17. YamaKyu

    YamaKyu Karin Kanzuki was a mistake. And I love it ♥

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    I just beat C10 with double Karin today o/

    I tried Karin X Kenshin first, but couldn't really make it to the end because the dungeon has a 50%RCV debuff which hurts a bit.
    Karin X Karin on the other hand blasted through it like butter. And I reached 56k HP because I put Halloween Myne in there for her cloud resist.
    56k HP is even more than the HP I get when I play Planar X Planar (the twist being that Planar herself can reach about 12k HP or so :'D).

    But back to C10 ! It was actually the reason why I wanted to review awoken bind recover subs aaaaaaand it turns out Odindra really is your best bet I think. However, another notable option is Sakura Matou from Fate collab, which is not nearly as good as Odindra in every single matter. But she does bring a tape resist. And this shouldn't be overlooked, as tape can hurt crosses very bad. But the thing is Sakura isn't fully affected by Karin's LS, so she's very questionable.

    I'll add her to the list tomorrow, not sure if I recommend her, but if you have her she's definitely an option.
    If you have any other ideas, feel free to share, but tbh I think Odindra is just what we need.

    Don't forget to address tape resist with either a SA or an equip evo though
     
  18. Noc

    Noc Active Member

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    My alt rolled a second Karin today, so I'm definitely a lot more excited about UEVO Karin now. I made the equip with one of them for cloud resist, and I'm going to evolve the other one to UEVO Karin soon.

    My focus so far has been to get better at making crosses again. To give you an idea, last time I played a cross lead Ronove (before his UEVOs) was near the top of the tier list and I've never played a multi-cross lead. I'm not the fastest at manipulating orbs as it is, so making crosses, which I'm unpracticed at, combined with my usual speed of movement is pretty bad. So far I've been practicing making crosses with a base Karin X base karin team for the extra time, but I think I'm going to go base Karin X UEVO Karin soon for the 7x6 and fire crosses. My initial teams included cards like Apollo and Ars Nova for a fast orb changer and skyfall active because, as you can probably guess, I also have little experience with non-rainbow 7x6 leads. And I've shifted toward a more TE and utility focused set-up including Revo Raph, Indra, etc. Some further thoughts about teambuilding. I was actually super pleased with Saria's board, which is great as an assist. Her hp further increases her value as an assist and also makes her a passable sub. Another sub I'm excited about is Mega Ilm: nice board change, two VDPs, 3 SB, dragon killer, unbindable, and the devil boost in his active will be great for enhancing VDP boards. @YamaKyu I'll let you know when I have UEVO Karin up on my alt.
     
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  19. YamaKyu

    YamaKyu Karin Kanzuki was a mistake. And I love it ♥

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    Sure o/
    Btw if you want to practice on easier dungeons feel free to pair with Bride Rushana (light/wood/water crosses) or Allatu (fire/dark/water crosses) : they're not nearly as strong as Karin but they have a built-in +5 secs of matching time in their LS. It might help you a bit o/
     
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  20. Tetedeiench

    Tetedeiench Active Member

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    For awoken bind clear, don't forget NY Yomi. Her recent buff made her clear 3 turns of awoken bind. It might be enough for some floors. Odindra is indeed your best bet if you need more.
     
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