With the release of Singularity, M4A1's Neural Upgrade is now available!
She is perhaps the most unique member of Team DEFY and is a serious contender for the most specialized and possibly strongest T-Doll in the entirety of Girls' Frontline.
To find out how to make the best use of M4A1 Mod, read on.
Note: Commanders unfamiliar with the Neural Upgrade mechanic can get a basic rundown in the guide below.
Usage and Demonstration
M4A1's Mod II Skill is her defining feature. A picture is worth a thousand words:
When the player controls more than 3 units, Seal of the Avenger doesn't do anything important, and M4A1 functions as a normal AR.
By retreating units so that 3 or fewer T-Dolls remain on the field before M4A1 activates her skill, her function drastically changes.
Instead of shooting rapidly, M4A1 switches to a slow-firing powerful cannon that deals substantial AoE splash damage. If you're familiar with how IWS 2000 works, M4A1 Mod's skill is like a more extreme version.
The official Skill Description of "increase damage by 600%" is incorrect. Each attack in cannon mode has two components:
Primary Hit: This deals 600% of M4A1's Damage stat. It cannot miss, and does not crit.
AoE Splash Damage: This deals 100% of M4A1's Damage stat. It can miss, but can crit.
(Neither part ignores armor.)
Here's a snapshot from the fight above showing each instance of the above types of damage:
The effective DPS of M4A1 Mod isn't increased all that substantially in this mode against bosses, but it's multiplied ridiculously by the AoE component against everything that has more than one Dummy Link - the vast majority of enemies that a typical commander will be fighting against.
The "AoE" damage component can't stack with itself, so an enemy with 5 links will only be hit by the AoE 5 times, even if multiple M4A1 dummies shoot at once.
This massive Damage increase lets M4A1 dispatch even Hydras with ease, provided that she's in a team designed to buff her.
Recommended Team Composition
M4A1 can fit in as wide a variety of teams as she did prior to her Neural Upgrade, but a specialized echelon can really bring out the true potential of her Seal of the Avenger skill.
The main archetypes are as follows:
The Double Jupiter team composition relies on massively boosting the Rate of Fire of M4A1 and IWS 2000 to counter a wide variety of threatening enemy compositions.
This team is massively overkill for all content currently available on EN, but will become more useful in upcoming content from the next major story event, Continuum Turbulence.
- Buffers are somewhat flexible, but Rate of Fire is preferred. The best buffers are not yet available on EN, so both the EN and CN versions are shown above.
- IWS 2000 may be substituted with Carcano M91/38 when fighting very tanky, non-Elite enemies.
- M200 and other RFs also work, with some tweaks to the buffers.
In principle, M4A1 decimates the frontline and IWS 2000 handles the enemy backline. Two of the HG T-Dolls need to be retreated before M4A1's skill activation for this to work.
Players may elect to put M4A1 on Forced Manual and wait for HG skills to pop before retreating them to activate M4A1's cannon form, but this is not always optimal.
Sometimes, enemies are close by enough or squishy enough that activating the skill sooner without HG buffs will be more effective at reducing the damage taken. Play around with the team to get a good feel for the timing.
The Exodia formation is typically used for cheap farming due to the disproportionate power budget it offers for a cheap echelon, and the AFK version is what will be seen more often in practice.
By using more than 3 T-Dolls, the damage increases, but players will need to manually retreat T-Dolls every fight to activate M4A1's cannon mode.
- Buffers are flexible, but Rate of Fire is highly preferred if farming high density mobs.
- This is one of the more accessible 10-4E farming options.
Of course, M4A1's Neural Upgrade doesn't negatively impact her usefulness in a normal ARSMG echelon. She can continue to be used as a position 4 AR DPS if needed.
- All units are flexible. The above image is just an example reference.
Of course, this limits the usefulness of M4A1's cannon mode, and forcibly activating it in a regular ARSMG echelon leaves the player with either no tank or one lost DPS, and the cannon's potency is greatly reduced compared to echelons using HG buffers.
While echelons built like this are perfectly serviceable, it does mean that M4A1 is now occupied and can't be simultaneously used elsewhere if there's anything that her special skill would do well against.
M4A1 should be raised to MOD II as a priority, with her Seal of the Avenger leveled as high as possible, preferably maxed.
Raising her to MOD III and enhancing her Special Equipment are also recommended for additional stats when the player can comfortably afford the investment. Commanders may also consider establishing an Oath for an additional 10% in stats.
The Damage bonus from Inherited Case increases from +3 to +5 when fully enhanced.