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Azathoth
#1
Star 
[Image: 60?cb=20171222105246&path-prefix=zh]

Leader skill: Dragon HP 1.3x and ATK 4x. For every initial combo, 1 Enchanted Dark rune is generated in this card's column. When 10+ Dark runes are dissolved, Team ATK 1.6x further.
Team skill: When Azathoth is used as leader and ally,
- Dark Dragons' initial CDs -3.
- For every 10 runes in the initial dissolve, 500,000 Dark damage is deal to all enemies before the team begins launching attacks, up to 1,500,000 Dark damage with 30 initial dissolve runes. 1% of the highest damage dealt onto a single this way is converted to your HP.
- Whenever an enemy is defeated, recover 50% of your total HP (rounded down).
- Extend spin time by 1s. Each non-Dark attribute increases this by 0.5s, max 3s with all 5 attributes.

Strengths and Weaknesses
+ High HP and damage
+ Can generate attack runes from nothing
+ High combo count from generated runes
+ Heals without hearts
+ Percentage-based healing
+ Capable of using non-Dragon and non-Dark members without losing multipliers
+ Built-in non-attack damage source
+ Built-in board cleaners
- Low natural recovery
- Restrictive teambuilding, mainly focused on Novalis
  - Vulnerable to resets

General Gameplan
Damage: Madhead clearly did something right when they released Novalis, as the dragon meta has pretty much revolved around him ever since. Azathoth is the newest and most powerful leader to capitalise on this, with some innovations that make it superior to even non-dragon teams in certain aspects.

Not content with just a high multiplier, Azathoth also provides Novalis with natural attack rune generation - each of your initial combos generates two dark runes, one each under both the leader's and ally's columns. This means a constant stream of damage provided you can clear runes under the two columns on opposite sides of the board (if those runes aren't cleared, the generated runes don't fall or accumulate for later). Dissolving enough Dark runes, both generated and standard skydrops, drives the multiplier higher still. 

Recovery: As with many dragon teams, Azathoth's healing is non-conventional. Rather than leeching like Ursula/Barbara or heart-based percentages like Dagon/Cthugha/Byakhee, Azathoth recovers by draining the life force from its victims, recovering HP when enemies are damaged by its pre-attack snipe or defeated. This is both a blessing and a curse. Since the team's natural recovery isn't boosted at all, dissolving hearts only provides healing in pittances that don't do much against the team's bulky HP. On the other hand, healing comes in bursts once you defeat an enemy. Waves of small mobs will even push you into the overheal range when multiple mobs are killed in the same turn.

Note: The healing from your snipe happens after attacks, while the healing from defeating enemies happens at the end of the turn.

Snipe: Even if you don't manage to clear the side columns or dissolve any hearts, Azathoth is still capable of attacking and healing (albeit both at greatly reduced ability) through the pre-attack snipe that's part of the team skill. There's nothing else in the game quite like this, which is why it deserves a section of its own. This snipe has several notable features:
- It deals all its damage in one chunk. At a maximum of 1,500,000 damage, this is a rather hefty size of non-attack damage; it can break through defenses, and can deal a sizeable portion of damage over several turns. I've personally used this to defeat enemies that restrict Dragon attacks.
- It's Dark Attribute damage. This means it gets amplified against Light enemies or by skills like Artemis that increase Dark damage dealt. Similarly, it can be reduced by enemies with skills that reduce damage from Dark attacks.
- It's dealt after spinning. This means it can pick up the Enchanted effect from dissolving Enchanted Dark runes, breaking through Enchanted Shields in the process; it deals damage through rune-dissolve shields, puzzle shields, vortex, cumulative rune shields, etc. that most regular activated snipes can't pass.
- It's dealt automatically, without an "attacker". This means it deals full damage to enemies that are resistant to Dragon-race attacks, and ignores attack/active locks. It also breaks through Stealth to reveal enemies, as well as Tumbler damage reduction. Without a source, it doesn't trigger reflect damage either.
- It breaks through certain conditions to deal damage when most other damage is negated.
- Damage is done as normal through Orb Shields even while orbs have been lit up
- Damage is done as normal through [Attribute] Combo Recovery when you've dissolved said attribute; if the enemy isn't killed by the snipe, your attacks on it while restore its HP as normal, but if the snipe kills it then it stays dead.
- Damage is done as normal through Vortex even when you don't complete the required spinning path.

Members
[Image: 60?cb=20151221091450&path-prefix=zh] ★★★★★
Your bread and butter. The team is still quite powerful without him, but maximum damage capabilities will require Novalis as a standard member.

[Image: 60?cb=20161117065916&path-prefix=zh] ★★★★★
CD 5 time tunnel and board clean is incredibly useful. Even more so when he's off-color to raise your spin time and separate Azathoth's active runes.

[Image: 60?cb=20151221091449&path-prefix=zh] ★★★★☆
Mainly used to pair with Novalis, but even if you don't have him she can still be useful. Since only Dark runes are generated and they don't give their effect to other attributes, the damage of Dark dragons in the team will be higher than any other attributes' even without Novalis. Ursula can thus be used to raise the damage of non-Dark dragons, often to the millions even with regular spins. Helpful in dealing with enemies that resist Dark damage.

[Image: 60?cb=20170523205125&path-prefix=zh] ★★★★☆
Occupies a similar niche to Ursula. His active comes up faster, but it only lasts one turn, and doesn't have the same attribute-sharing effects that Ursula has. Generating more Dark runes isn't always the most helpful in this team as they can fill the board pretty easily.

[Image: 60?cb=20170826123001&path-prefix=zh] ★★★★☆
Also pairs best with Novalis, but decent on her own. Her active makes up for the lower damage output of non-Dark dragons, so you might consider using her just to separate Azathoth's active runes.

[Image: 60?cb=20150629032810&path-prefix=zh][Image: 60?cb=20171204032825&path-prefix=zh] ★★★★☆
Two of the more commonly used boosters. Fthaggua deals more damage, while Nidhogg bulks up your stats and offers another heal.

[Image: 60?cb=20170112153829&path-prefix=zh] ★★★★☆
Sometimes you'll want a safety net, and Zhao Yun does that job nicely, offering both a time tunnel and a delay. If you're just aiming for a time tunnel, Colin may be an alternative choice.

[Image: 60?cb=20160627042504&path-prefix=zh] ★★★★☆
CD 6 boost and lifeleech, what's not to like? The leech in particular can be very useful in longer battles or where you can't stall much.

[Image: 60?cb=20170206111330&path-prefix=zh] ★★★☆☆
A non-Dragon non-Dark card you might consider rather frequently. Due to its poor recovery, Azathoth struggles with enchanting runes, especially Water/Fire/Earth. Aloha deals with that handily, and offers a convenient 10-combo board and extra spin time that can both be used offensively.

[Image: 60?cb=20171221111520&path-prefix=zh] ★★★☆☆
You get back to full health rather easily, so the buff won't last very long. Might be a consideration for more drawn-out single-wave bosses.

[Image: 60?cb=20180720125807][Image: 60?cb=20171222105242&path-prefix=zh]★★★☆☆
These two get points for offering utility that isn't too commonly found - dodge, board enchantment and combo boosting. Daoloth's self ATK boost doesn't do much here since it's Light and Novalis is usually around anyway.

[Image: 60?cb=20160627042504&path-prefix=zh][Image: 60?cb=20160330123527&path-prefix=zh][Image: 60?cb=20160304115847&path-prefix=zh][Image: 60?cb=20171222105237&path-prefix=zh]★★★☆☆
Slightly below average boosters, but not bad choices if you don't have better.

[Image: 60?cb=20171228083556&path-prefix=zh] ★★★☆☆
If you can clear either of the end columns, you can get the necessary 5-rune chunk to keep this boost going. However, it's a fair bit weaker than Draco's.

[Image: 60?cb=20160427100550&path-prefix=zh] ★★☆☆☆
Not the greatest as a booster, but the defense break sometimes helps. Not so much in this team as in other dragon teams though.

[Image: 60?cb=20140618150428&path-prefix=zh][Image: 60?cb=20160630115338&path-prefix=zh]★★☆☆☆
A fair bit weaker than the other boosters mentioned above. Use in desperation.

[Image: 60?cb=20160627042503&path-prefix=zh][Image: 60?cb=20151221091449&path-prefix=zh] ★★☆☆☆
This team isn't very defense-oriented. Even though you've got a ton of HP, your recovery mechanisms don't allow you to recover much of it very often. Easier to go all-out offensive.

[Image: 60?cb=20170620024516&path-prefix=zh][Image: 60?cb=20180720125808] ★★☆☆☆
You don't really need the fast conversion since you're generating your own runes most of the time, but if you do need a bump they're pretty good at it.

[Image: 60?cb=20140619030523&path-prefix=zh][Image: 60?cb=20140619030456&path-prefix=zh][Image: 60?cb=20140619030506&path-prefix=zh] ★★☆☆☆
Sometimes you'll need hearts, not for healing but to break through cumulative Heart shields. They might come in handy then, though Colin does a similar job and more besides, and DC is often better if you only need the hearts once.

[Image: 60?cb=20140619030532&path-prefix=zh][Image: 60?cb=20140619030630&path-prefix=zh][Image: 60?cb=20160627042503&path-prefix=zh] ★★☆☆☆
You already have a really powerful in-built snipe as well as Novalis' concentrated attack. These guys are only useful if the enemy defense is so high that neither of those can cut it.

[Image: 60?cb=20141125115536&path-prefix=zh][Image: 60?cb=20141125115559&path-prefix=zh] ★☆☆☆☆
Your in-built snipe deals more damage than these guys at full charge.

[Image: 60?cb=20151022141245&path-prefix=zh][Image: 60?cb=20170620024516&path-prefix=zh][Image: 60?cb=20170620024518&path-prefix=zh][Image: 60?cb=20170620024519&path-prefix=zh][Image: 60?cb=20170620024517&path-prefix=zh] ★☆☆☆☆
If you want fast snipes, maybe, but otherwise the same as the Companion snipers.

[Image: 60?cb=20141125115346&path-prefix=zh][Image: 60?cb=20141125115403&path-prefix=zh] ★☆☆☆☆
You already have two board exploders, and their attribute boost isn't too useful.

Conclusion: One of the stars of the current meta, Azathoth is a team with good bulk, decent recovery, strong offensive power and a variety of utility both built-in and from members.

Main: 59,402,542
Alt: 84,088,062

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#2
Good job. Good thread.

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One thing about Azathoth/dragons in general is that they're probably the least populous race in the game, maybe tied with elves. So members are few and far between, in terms of new cards coming out and in being able to get the best options for Aza. Barring even Novalis and Ursula. Trying to draw for Draco after Starburst has it's two day return (are they even doing these anymore) will be kind of a nightmare. He is however one of the leaders who is built to need very little support from members, which I guess is a result of MH knowing that.

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LF: Love and condo buyers. JK.
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#3
Can Azathoth teams overcome overheal shield stages?

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#4
(03-07-2018, 07:50 AM)noobpro Wrote: Can Azathoth teams overcome overheal shield stages?

Yes, but only with some difficulty, since most of your healing normally comes from killing enemies.
- Nidhogg's sizeable heal will count towards overheal damage.
- You can use DC to provide some additional healing.
- The higher combo count means you heal more than you'd expect from dissolving hearts, so cards like Colin can give a reasonable amount of overheal.
- In a worst case scenario, you can fit in non-Dragon cards like Clara to specifically deal with overheal enemies.
Main: 59,402,542
Alt: 84,088,062

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Active Skill Catalog (Spreadsheet)
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