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Theater 7 Combat Guide

Due to the complete removal of all of the old theater waves, and all of the new mechanics in theater combat, this guide has also been completely overhauled.

waiwaiwaiwai, what about the videos and enemy mechanic explanations from the old guide?

Oh, right. Just bring those over without the enemy CEs so people can refresh their memory on the more gimmicky enemies from theater 3-6.

Stage Themes

As mentioned in the overhaul guide, stages in Theater come in four distinct themes, each with their own unique gimmicks (except for one).

Normal Stages

Classic theater combat. A series of waves where damage persists. Most similar to Defense Drill in combat design, though at least in Theater you’re allowed to retreat your dolls.

Assassination Stages

These stages will have a boss in every wave, with some random SWAP SF escorts. Usually, one of the objectives within these stages will be to kill the boss under a certain time limit. These time limits may prove challenging to newcomers or those unable to meet the DPS requirements.

Defense Stages

These stages feature huge waves of enemies relative to the rest of the stages. Here, the objective is to survive until the timer runs out for each wave. If every enemy in a wave is killed before the time limit expires, the wave repeats until the timer ends. Damage taken carries over on these stages like normal, so don’t get hit too much.

Electronic Stages

These stages have stronger enemies, though fortunately we get something nice in return. Damage doesn’t actually carry over between waves on these stages, meaning the player’s team gets healed to full HP after every fight. Every stronghold stage is also an Electronic stage, so there’s no need to worry about kiting perfectly to reduce damage taken to zero. (And looking at the enemy compositions on these stages, good luck doing that anyway).

Stronghold Stages and CE Stacking

Previously mentioned in the overhaul guide, Stronghold stages are a different type of Electronic stage where the goal is to stack up a high amount of Boss CE to maximize points out of a boss fight cutscene at the end. There are a total of ten Stronghold stages across Theater, and while some of the bosses repeat, they aren’t always weak to the same types of dolls.

Stages with night bosses will also be entirely night battles, and as many PEQs as possible should be used as possible to maximize CE against these bosses.


Stages with “SF HOC” in the Weakness section are stages where SF units that can be used as HOCs will have higher CE than G&K HOCs. Due to the weak nature of SF HOCs, these stages become more difficult compared to stages where blasting everything to bits using G&K HOCs is an option. Note that in Advanced 6 and Core 8, any SF unit used as an HOC will need the Night Vision chip equipped (the one that removes the night accuracy penalty, not the one that allows for +1 node vision) and be placed in a NON-THEATER echelon to get the correct bonus CE. Since only one Night Vision chip can be in use at any time, only one SF HOC can effectively take the place of a G&K HOC.

Your G&K HOCs don’t have to worry about that, they’re immune to the night penalty anyway. :D

When selecting your fairy, note that only level and rarity affect the amount of CE it provides. All other stats (Aura effects, skill level, FC cost) do not affect this. For example, this means that a Prototype Fairy will provide the same CE bonus as a maxed out Artillery fairy.

Stages List

Time for what you’ve been waiting for. Here you’ll find a full list of the enemy compositions for each wave, the stage theme, their objectives, and their added effects.

Elementary Zone

This zone is pretty simple, even for newcomers. The enemies here are different from the stuff most new players are used to fighting, but their levels are so low that it hardly matters anyway. Elementary zone only has one objective (clear the wave), so that part will be skipped for this zone. No HOCs can be used in Elementary stages.

Elementary 1

Theme: Normal

Added effect: 

50% RoF buff for all allies

Elementary 2

Theme: Electronic

Added effect:

All allies get an HP shield equal to 20% of that ally’s HP for 10 seconds

Elementary 3

Theme: Normal

Added effect:

Decrease all allies’ ICDs by 50%

Elementary 4

Theme: Electronic

Added effect:

Increase Damage and Evasion for all allies by 3% every 4 seconds, up to 10 stacks.

Elementary 5

Theme: Defense

Added effect:

Deploy a friendly 5 link target dummy every 10 seconds with 1000 HP per link

Elementary 6

Theme: Electronic

Added effect:

All allies get a shield that can absorb damage equal to 10% of HP lost for 6 seconds every 15 seconds

Elementary 7

Theme: Normal

Added effect:

All enemies receive a 500% Evasion buff

Elementary 8

Theme: Electronic

Added effect:

Decrease the echelon leader’s Damage, Accuracy, Evasion, Crit Rate, and Armor by 90%

Note: Following the team recommendations here will result in a loss of CE.

Special Note: Garm

Against Garm, keep your middle column clear, as Garm frequently jumps and fires three grenades into that area. On low HP, Garm will also fire a high damage laser (that can be mitigated by armor) down the middle row as well as a volley of grenades down either the top or bottom rows. Garm is invulnerable while this attack is being used, and will always follow this with grenades on the middle column.

Intermediate Zone

Things start to get tougher towards the end here. Stages will have two objectives and two added effects. 1 HOC can be used in Intermediate stages.

Note: changing to easier difficulties will also remove those HOCs you selected automatically (example: going from Intermediate to Elementary will remove the HOC you selected for Intermediate). Please make sure to fix your HOC slots when changing back to harder stages.

Intermediate 1

Theme: Normal

Objectives: 

Clear the wave

Use at least one HG in the combat team

Added effects:

Decrease all allies’ ICDs by 30%

Using a skill decreases its CD by 20%

Intermediate 2

Theme: Electronic

Objectives: 

Clear the wave

Win in 60 seconds

Added effects:

Decrease the echelon leader’s Damage, Accuracy, Evasion, Crit Rate, and Armor by 90%

All SMGs get a 100% Evasion and Accuracy buff

Special Note: Griffin M16A1 finally shows up for a real fight, and you’ll absolutely see more of her as this event progresses. Periodically, she will throw a flashbang that tracks its target and stuns in a cross shaped pattern. At 75% and 25% HP, she will gain an HP shield and shoot at the backline until the shield is broken. At 50% HP, she will target the doll with the highest damage% on the MVP% board with an incendiary grenade that extends rather far out, leaving only four safe tiles.

Intermediate 3

Theme: Normal

Objectives:

Clear the wave 

Do not lose more than 5 links per fight

Added effects: 

Increase all allies’ crit rate and crit damage by 30% at night

All allies get an HP shield equal to 20% of that ally’s HP for 10 seconds

Note: All waves are at night, use PEQs on any DPS that can take them

Intermediate 4

Theme: Electronic

Objectives: 

Clear the wave

Do not use any RFs in the combat team

Added effects:

Decrease all allies’ ICDs by 30%

All allies get a 20% RoF debuff but also get a 20% Damage and Accuracy buff

Note: Following the team/HOC recommendations here will result in a loss of CE.

Intermediate 5

Theme: Defense

Objectives: 

Clear the wave

Use at least 2 SMGs in the combat team

Added effects:

All allies get an HP shield that can absorb damage equal to 30% of HP lost for 6 seconds every 15 seconds

Increase Damage and Evasion for all allies by 3% every 4 seconds, up to 10 stacks

Intermediate 6

Theme: Electronic

Objectives: 

Clear the wave

Use at least 3 ARs in the combat team

Added effects: 

Every 15 seconds, reduce a random ally’s Damage, RoF, Accuracy, Evasion, and Armor by 50% for 5 seconds

Stun the ally dealing the most damage for 5 seconds every 10 seconds

Note: All waves are at night, use PEQs on any DPS that can take them

Intermediate 7

Theme: Normal

Objectives: 

Clear the wave

Have no fewer than 4 units on the field at the end of each wave

Added effects: 

All SMGs get a 100% Evasion and Accuracy buff

All ARs get a 20% Damage buff and a 100% Accuracy buff

Intermediate 8

Theme: Electronic

Objectives: 

Clear the wave 

Use at least three HGs in the combat team

Added effects:

Give a force shield to the highest HP ally for 8 seconds at the start of each wave

Using a skill decreases its CD by 20%

Note: Following the team recommendations here will result in a loss of CE.

Advanced Zone

Things really kick off here. Juggling the three objectives, added effects, and the fights will prove difficult to a lot of players. 3 HOCs can be used in Advanced stages.

Advanced 1

Theme: Electronic

Objectives: 

Clear the wave 

Use at least one HG in the combat team

Clear each wave in under 30 seconds.

Added effects:

Deploy a friendly 5 link target dummy every 10 seconds with 1000 HP per link

All enemies get a 500% evasion buff 

All allies get a 50% critical damage buff

Advanced 2

Theme: Assassination

Objectives: 

Clear the wave

Use at least one RF in the combat team 

Defeat Ouroboros in under 60 seconds

Added effects: 

Each use of an active skill reduces skill CD by 20%, 

Decrease the echelon leader’s Damage, Accuracy, Evasion, Crit Rate, and Armor by 90% 

All allies get a 100% RoF buff

Special Note: Ouroboros

Ouroboros has a pretty decent amount of HP and really high Evade. She inflicts significant Damage and RoF debuffs on her target, summons additional floating guns behind her which can fire regular shots as well as missiles, and periodically fires her own missile barrages. Ouroboros’s threshold skill is the same as usual, firing a bunch of missiles down on a tile or two, so keep any tiles clear if they start glowing orange.

Advanced 3

Theme: Electronic

Objectives:

Clear the wave

Do not have less than 4 dolls on the field at the end of each wave

Use at least three RFs in the combat team

Added effects: 

Debuff a random ally’s Damage, RoF, Accuracy, Evade, and Armor by 50% for 5 seconds every 15 seconds

All allies get an HP shield that can absorb damage equal to 10% of enemy HP lost for 6 seconds every 15 seconds

All allies get a 50% critical damage buff

Note:

Following the HOC recommendations here will result in a loss in CE.

Advanced 4

Theme: Defense

Objectives:

Clear the wave 

Use at least two SGs in the combat team

Highest % on the damage contribution board does not exceed 50%

Added effects: 

Allies on the front column get a 10% evasion and armor buff every 3 seconds which stacks up to 10 times 

An incendiary grenade gets thrown at the highest HP enemy, dealing damage to it and setting any enemy in a 3 unit range on fire, dealing 100 damage every 0.33 seconds for 15 seconds

All SGs get a 20% armor and damage reduction buff

Notes: Consider M500Mod2+ for shield spam to cheese the Rodeleros. As tempting as it sounds, consider avoiding Kord as her massive piercing DPS will likely cause you to fail objective 3.

Advanced 5

Theme: Normal

Objectives:

Clear the wave

Use at least two SGs in the combat team

Include MG3, OR MG4, OR MG5 in the combat team

Added effects:

Ally with the highest HP receives a 50% damage reduction buff

Debuff a random ally’s Damage, RoF, Accuracy, Evade, and Armor by 50% for 5 seconds every 15 seconds

All allies get a 50% RoF debuff

Advanced 6

Theme: Electronic

Objectives:

Clear the wave

Highest % on the damage contribution board does not exceed 50%

No RFs are used in the combat team

Added effects:

Increase all allies’ Crit Rate and Crit Damage by 30% at night (In a ARSMG stage????) Decrease the echelon leader’s Damage, Accuracy, Evasion, Crit Rate, and Armor by 90%

All allies deal 20% more damage to enemies within a range of 3 units

Note: All waves are at night, use PEQs on any DPS that take them

Note: following the HOC recommendations here will result in a loss in CE

Advanced 7

Theme: Normal

Objectives:

Clear the wave

Do not use any SMGs or ARs in the combat team

Highest % on the damage contribution board does not exceed 50%

Added effects:

Using an active skill decreases its CD by 20%

All allies get an HP shield that can absorb damage equal to 30% of enemy HP lost for 6 seconds every 15 seconds

All allies get a 100% RoF buff

Note: using an SG tank in place of an HG for a few of the waves can be preferable if DPS is too low.

Advanced 8

Theme: Electronic

Objectives:

Clear the wave

Use at least one MG in the combat team

Do not use any HGs in the combat team

Added effects:

The echelon leader receives a 50% buff to Damage, Accuracy, Evasion, Armor, and Crit Rate

Allies on the front column get a 10% evasion and armor buff every 3 seconds which stacks up to 10 times 

All allies get an HP shield that can absorb damage equal to 30% of enemy HP lost for 6 seconds every 15 seconds

Note: Following the team/HOC recommendations here will result in a loss in CE.

Wave 3 will probably kick your ass. Good luck.

Core Zone

Core stages start out easy, but quickly become extremely difficult. Stages will have three objectives and added effects, just like Advanced. 3 HOCs can be used in Core Stages.

Core 1

Theme: Electronic

Objectives:

Clear the wave

Use at least one HG in the combat team

Do not use any RFs in the combat team

Added effects:

Increase all HGs’ skill CDs by 20%

Deploy a friendly 5 link target dummy every 10 seconds with 1000 HP per link

Decrease the echelon leader’s Damage, Accuracy, Evasion, Crit Rate, and Armor by 90%

Core 2

Theme: Normal

Objectives:

Clear the wave

Use at least one RF in the combat team

Use at least two ARs in the combat team

Added effects:

All allies get a 30% buff to Damage, RoF, Accuracy, and Evasion per class present in the combat team

Debuff a random ally’s Damage, RoF, Accuracy, Evade, and Armor by 50% for 5 seconds every 15 seconds

The doll with the lowest % on the damage contribution board takes 999 damage every 15 seconds

Note: consider HGs instead of SMGs if your DPS is too low


 

Core 3

Theme: Electronic

Objectives:

Clear the wave

Use at least 2 ARs in the combat team

Do not use any SMGs in the combat team

Added effects:

Decrease all allies’ ICDs by 50%

Purge all positive effects from all allies every 8 seconds

All allies get a 100% crit rate debuff

Note: following the team/HOC recommendations here will result in a loss in CE

Aww, a baby version of the SWAP Stack! How cute.

Core 4

Theme: Defense

Objectives:

Clear the wave

No more than 5 total friendly dummy links are lost per wave

Do not use any HGs in the combat team

Added effects:

Ally with the highest HP receives a 50% damage reduction buff

Echelon leader receives a 50% buff to Damage, Accuracy, Evasion, Armor, and Crit Rate

All allies get a shield that can absorb damage equal to 30% of HP lost for 6 seconds every 15 seconds

Note: 

Could go for ARSMG on wave 2 but it’s not like anything there can really hurt SG tanks.

Core 5

Theme: Assassination

Objectives:

Clear the wave

Defeat Griffin M16A1 within 50 seconds

Use at least 3 ARs in the combat team

Added effects:

Increase Damage and Evasion for all allies by 3% every 4 seconds, up to 10 stacks

Stun the ally dealing the most damage for 5 seconds every 10 seconds

All ARs get a 20% Damage buff and a 100% Accuracy buff

A PYXIS?? REALLY??

Core 6

Theme: Electronic

Objectives:

Clear the wave

Do not use any HGs in the combat team

Use at least one MG in the combat team

Added effects:

Ally with the highest HP receives a 50% damage reduction buff

Every 15 seconds, reduce a random ally’s Damage, RoF, Accuracy, Evasion, and Armor by 50% for 5 seconds

Using an active skill INCREASES its CD by 100%

Note: Following the HOC recommendations here will result in a loss in CE

Special Note: Judge

It’s Judge, only this time with so much health that fighting her takes forever, with some actually threatening escorts, and two really painful added effects for this fight. Get rid of the SWAP Brutes immediately, then work on Judge’s massive HP and damage reduction. Also, pray that one of your SGs doesn’t get slapped by the 50% debuff while Judge is in rage mode.

Core 7

Theme: Assassination

Objectives:

Clear the wave

Highest % on the damage contribution board does not exceed 50%

Use ARs in the combat team

Added effects:

Increase Damage and Evasion for all allies by 3% every 4 seconds, up to 10 stacks

Decrease the echelon leader’s Damage, Accuracy, Evasion, Crit Rate, and Armor by 90%

All ARs get a 20% Damage buff and a 100% Accuracy buff

Special Note: Gager

Gager hasn’t changed much since her fights in Arctic Warfare and Singularity, except for one new skill. Now, whenever Gager hits something, she gains charge stacks. When this charge is full, Gager attacks in melee mode with SureHit link-scaling attacks.

Core 8

Theme: Electronic

Objectives:

Clear the wave

No less than 4 dolls on the field at the end of each wave

Do not use any HGs in the combat team

Added effects:

The echelon leader's damage, accuracy, evasion, armor, and crit rate are increased by 50%.

All allies get a 20% RoF debuff but also get a 20% Damage and Accuracy buff

All allies get an HP shield that can absorb damage equal to 30% of HP lost for 6 seconds every 10 seconds

Note: 

All waves are at night, equip PEQs on any DPS that can take them.

Following the HOC recommendations here will result in a loss in CE.

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