The Theater System that is expected to release on GFL EN may seem intimidating at first, but it's not a big deal for players that can put together a few combat echelons.
4/20 update: Updated the enemy infographics (thanks Arcus)! Updated the page for Theater Season 4. Season 4 is largely identical to Season 3, so the changes mostly involve minor errata and optimizations.
1/17 update: Added a video showing one way to defeat the backwards tarantulas in Advanced 8.
1/13 update: Updated the CE of known enemies to reflect EN values up to E4/I2/A2.
12/31 update: All enemy formations in all zones have been updated!
12/25 update: Updated to reflect Theatre 3 changes. It's not too different aside from some new things in the Core Zone!
4/10 update: Added a Low Rarity Fairy Core 8 Clear example to the Core 8 section.
4/9 update: Added four different videos of EN Core 8 being cleared with various team compositions.
Similar to Defense Drill, players can see what enemies are coming up next in Theater - once you prepare a few teams that can handle everything relevant, you can simply choose the right echelon before each fight and roll over the enemies.
Editor's Note: This article was made possible by Yuko#1428 from GFLCorner who created the contents of this guide as a PDF file when Theatre was announced on EN. It's been converted to a web-friendly format with his permission.
PREFACE: This will show you the most meta comps and the laziest comps for Theater. You may CTRL+F the CE to find the comp that you are facing (although I do not guarantee the comp has the same CE as displayed here, due to recent CE calculation changes that affected GFL EN).
For video footage of today's Theater clear, please check the TL;DR in the Theater Full Guide (which is updated daily).
If you are unfamiliar with enemy unit names, you can check the two below infographics for a quick reference.
Honestly, this zone doesn’t require a lot of handholding. If you really need help with this section and you have multiple level 90 x5 linked echelons, you need serious help and should probably uninstall. If you’re a newish player, disregard the title and good on you for participating in this event.
|Combat Effectiveness||Composition||Dealt with?|
|3216 (Night)||Guard+Jaeger||RFHG/ARSMG (with PEQs)|
|3428 (Night)||Scout+Jaeger||ARSMG with a SMG nade (bring PEQs)|
|2609||Scout+Vespid||RFHG/ARSMG with a SMG nade|
ARSMG with one AR replaced by a MG
- OR -
|9312 (Night)||Guard+Jaeger||RFHG/ARSMG (with PEQs)|
|12132||Dragoon+Vespid||ARSMG (bring PEQs)|
|7024||Scout+Jaeger||RFHG/ARSMG with a SMG nade|
|Combat Effectiveness||Composition||Dealt with?|
|4752||Scout+Jaeger||RFHG/ARSMG with SMG nade|
|8988||Prowler+Vespid||ARSMG with optional SMG nade|
|8988 (Night)||Prowler+Vespid||ARSMG with optional SMG nade (bring PEQs)|
|9372 (Night)||Scout+Vespid||ARSMG with SMG nade (bring PEQs)|
|9264||Vespid+Jaeger||RFHG/ARSMG with SMG nade|
|7973 (Night)||Guard+Vespid||ARSMG (bring PEQs)|
|21480||Strelet||ARSMG with nade AR/SMG|
|19947 (Night)||Doppelsoldner+Strelet||RFHG/ARSMG+Grape (bring PEQs) + AGS/BGM|
|8012 (Night)||Scout+Jaeger||ARSMG with SMG nade (bring PEQs)|
|18021 (Night)||Scout+Prowler+Ripper||ARSMG with SMG nade (Do NOT use MGSG)(bring PEQs)|
|18021||Scout+Prowler+Ripper||ARSMG with SMG nade (Do NOT use MGSG)|
|12728||Guard+Vespid||ARSMG with optional SMG nade|
|11604 (Night)||Scout+Vespid||ARSMG with SMG nade (bring PEQs)|
|8440 (Night)||Dragoon||ARSMG (bring PEQs) (Taunt Fairy optional)|
|24090 (Night)||Abandoned Isomer + Strelet||ARSMG (bring PEQs)|
|2686 (Night)||Pyxis||See the Pyxis section|
|15308 (Night)||Brute+Jaeger||ARSMG (bring PEQs)|
ARSMG (or hybrid MG)
- OR -
|8640 (Night)||Dragoon||ARSMG (bring PEQs) (Taunt Fairy optional)|
|3063 (Night)||Pyxis||See the Pyxis section|
|Combat Effectiveness||Composition||Dealt With?|
|11862||Strelet||ARSMG with nade AR/SMG|
|11632 (Night)||Scout+Brute||ARSMG with SMG nade (with PEQ)|
|15255||Jaguar+Scout+Guard+Brute||ARSMG with SMG nade (move your dolls)|
|13222 (Night)||Recce Center||ARSMG with PEQs|
|19958||Strelet+Rodelero||ARSMG with nade AR/SMG + optional HOC|
|15938 (Night)||Ripper+Vespid||ARSMG (with PEQ)|
|24360 (Night)||Abandoned Isomer||ARSMG w/ PEQ|
|29859 (Night)||Recce Center + Cerynitis||ARSMG|
|21846||Strelet+Doppelsoldner||RFHG/ARSMG+Grape + BGM|
|11770 (Night)||Ripper+Jaeger||ARSMG with optional SMG nade (with PEQ)|
|15792||Guard+Ripper+Striker||ARSMG with optional nades|
|35800 (Night)||Gladiator + Gunner||See the Gladiator section|
|20574 (Night)||Scout||ARSMG with nades (bring PEQs)|
|19536||Strelet+Rodelero||ARSMG with nade AR/SMG + optional HOC|
|15326 (Night)||Pyxis+Scout+Dinergate||See the Pyxis section|
|32612||Scout+Ripper+Vespid||ARSMG with optional nade|
|24085||Strelet+Rodelero||RFHG/ARSMG + optional HOC|
|15472||Dinergate+Pyxis+Scout||See the Pyxis section|
|44205||Strelet+Doppelsoldner||RFHG + BGM|
|20436||Strelet+Rodelero||ARSMG with optional nade|
|21998 (Night)||Gladiator + Gunner||See the Gladiator section|
|16701||Pyxis+Prowler||See the Pyxis section|
|55858||Tarantula+Manticore||ARSMG (with CMS) or RFHG in addition to Airstrike Fairy (Backward Tarantulas!)|
|22849||Doppelsoldner+Strelet+Rodelero||RFHG + optional HOC|
|21048||Strelet+Rodelero||ARSMG + optional HOC|
|22732 (Night)||Gladiator + Gunner||See the Gladiator section|
|57810||Tarantula+Manticore||ARSMG (with CMS)/RFHG with Airstrike Fairy (Backward Tarantulas!)|
|50799||Strelet+Doppelsoldner||RFHG + AGS/BGM|
|39770 (Night)||Gladiator + Rodelero||See the Gladiator section|
|220176||Patroller||See the Patroller section|
What are "Backwards Tarantulas"?
Some enemy waves in the Hard Zone contain a very large number of Tarantulas that spawn behind other tanky mobs. The enemy formation could look like this, for example:
This makes MGSG echelons very bad at dealing with those particular nodes, because they will empty their clip into the enemies in front and have nothing left when the Tarantulas come into range.
This is the zone where most people will have to drop back to the lower stages to farm because they cannot handle the enemies in the upper stages.
The Core Zone starts off relatively easy but its difficulty ramps up to obscene levels extremely quickly. It is recommended that you farm the last boss stage you have unlocked in this zone if you cannot handle any higher stages due to boss stages giving a substantial bonus compared to normal stages.
You must set formation correctly before starting Theater! Just like in combat simulation, you are unable to change your T-Doll formation when savescumming fights here.
|Combat Effectiveness||Composition||Dealt With?|
|1896 (Night)||Aegis*4 Nemeum*4||RFHG|
|10756 (Night)||Prowler*20 Scout*20 Ripper*20||RFHG|
- OR -
|5719 (Night)||Scout*6 Jaeger*12||ARSMG (bring PEQs)|
|9924 (Night)||Aegis*9 Nemeum*15||RFHG|
|18348 (Night)||RecceCentre*1 Cerynitis*16||RFHG|
|7221 (Night)||Scout*6 Jaeger*12||RFHG|
|11308||Guard*16 Jaeger*16||ARSMG with SMG nade (bring PEQs)|
|16456 (Night)||Aegis*16 Nemeum*16||RFHG|
|15380||Scout*12 Prowler*25 Ripper*16||ARSMG|
|19209 (Night)||Abandoned Isomer*15 Strelet*30||ARSMG with a SMG nade (bring PEQs)|
|8594 (Night)||RecceCentre*1 "Aegis" Type GA*3||RFHG|
|16574||Strelet*41 Rodelero*2||ARSMG + optional HOC|
|28766||Scout*20 Ripper*15 Vespid*20||ARSMG + optional HOC|
|30360 (Night)||Guard*28 Jaeger*40||RFHG
ARSMG with a SMG nade (bring PEQs)
|15006||Guard*12 Vespid*15 Jaeger*5||ARSMG with a SMG nade|
|18624 (Night)||Nemeum*12 Aegis*16||RFHG|
- OR -
|20165 (Night)||Gladiator*1 Gunner*20||See the Gladiator section|
|32364 (Night)||Minotaurus*3||See the Minotaurus section|
|29314||Strelet*30 Doppelsöldner*4||RFHG + AGS/BGM|
|19511 (Night)||Prowler*35 Dinergate*25 Jaguar*1|
|35616 (Night)||Strelet*56||ARSMG with a SMG nade (bring PEQs)|
|43280||"Aegis" Type GA*15 Cerynitis*10||RFHG|
|21385||Strelet*15 Rodelero*5||ARSMG + optional HOC|
|35208 (Night)||Vespid*15 Ripper*15 Dinergate*10||ARSMG with a SMG nade (bring PEQs)|
|74199 (Night)||Minotaurus*3 "Aegis" Type*15||See the Minotaurus section|
|55532 (Night)||RecceCentre*3 Cyclops*8||See the Recce Center section|
|33957 (Night)||Strelet*15 Gunner*15 Rodelero*5||ARSMG (bring PEQs) (Taunt Fairy optional)|
|37836 (Night)||Brute*15 Striker*15||ARSMG (bring PEQs)|
|93576||Strelet*20 Doppelsöldner*4||RFHG + AGS/BGM|
|20469 (Night)||Prowler*35 Dinergate*25 Jaguar*1||ARSMG with a SMG nade (bring PEQs)|
|28038||Strelet*25 Rodelero*4||ARSMG + optional HOC|
|49069||"Aegis" Type GA*15 Cerynitis*10||RFHG|
|23004||Strelet*15 Rodelero*5||ARSMG + optional HOC|
|91539 (Night)||RecceCentre*3 Cerynitis*6||See the Recce Center section|
|104484 (Night)||Minotaurus*3 "Aegis" Type GA*15||See the Minotaurus section|
|22995 (Night)||Pyxis*3 Prowler*15||See the Pyxis section|
|35999||Gladiator*2 Gunner*15||See the Gladiator section|
|115094||Strelet*20 Doppelsöldner*4||RFHG + AGS/BGM|
|39774 (Night)||Brute*15 Striker*15||ARSMG with a SMG nade (bring PEQs)|
|347901 (Night)||Strelet*14 Uhlan*2||RFSG + AGS/BGM|
|21853 (Night)||Prowler*35 Dinergate*25 Jaguar*1||ARSMG with a SMG nade (bring PEQs)|
|40880||Strelet*56||ARSMG with a SMG nade|
|145389 (Night)||Minotaurus*3 Cerynitis*15||See the Minotaurus section|
|31965 (Night)||Pyxis*3 Prowler*15||See the Pyxis section|
|147704 (Night)||RecceCentre*3 Cerynitis*4||See the Recce Center section|
|42048 (Night)||Gladiator*2 Gunner*15||See the Gladiator section|
|389168||Patroller*1||See the Patroller section|
Theater 3 & 4: New Enemies
While the system remains largely identical to previous seasons in Theater 3, new and difficult enemies have shown themselves! Players who cleared Shattered Connexion may be familiar, but here's a primer to them:
389168 CE Patroller
Patrollers are intimidating enemies, wielding a rapidly firing minigun and doesn’t hesitate to pop off some lasers once in a while. The important attributes of the Patroller are as follows:
- Possesses a very big HP shield while it is using its gun and not jumping around.
- While it jumping around, switches to a piercing attack at the closest target. Additionally, increases its Evasion by a lot.
- When jumping, Patrollers will target any Doll in the front column in a sequence of Jump, Shoot, Jump, Shoot. After this they will return to Shield Mode.
The recommended way to fight these is to utilize the Sure-Hit feature of certain rifles. As getting through the HP shield itself is a difficult task, the best bet is to wait (by disabling Auto-Skill) until the Patroller takes the shield off itself for its hopping phase, then unload your burst damage into the Patroller by re-enabling Auto-Skill during this phase.
The Patroller's high Evasion during this hopping phase discourages the use of any DPS that doesn’t have the Sure-Hit feature, as missing a lot during this means you will have to wait through more rounds, causing you to take a lot of incremental damage throughout.
The Recommended Dolls listed below are therefore going to be units who can guarantee landing their shots during this period (M4A1 Mod can work if you use her cannon mode):
HGs can be flexible as long as they either boost DPS or provide a shield.
A Taunt Fairy helps tremendously for this particular fight especially with high skill level. The Taunt Fairy makes a mockery of Patrollers, as you can move your DPS out of the central row, and let the Patroller fire at the Taunt Fairy while the DPS unloads without issue.
Twin Fairy could work also, but the Patroller will fire at the flanks and that is likely to cause problems for you if you don't move your dolls. Only tiles 1, 4, 5, 6, and 7 are safe when using Twin Fairy to taunt the Patroller!
If your Taunt is needed elsewhere (like you needing it for a separate team), Striders can be tanked with a little bit of micro, although if you are trying to minimize Damage this will become a reset-heavy endeavor.
31965 CE Pyxis
Pyxis are turrets that have Judge’s targeting mechanic and traits; they split their damage in half to target 2 units instead of the standard one. The important aspects of this node are the following:
- The escorts are SWAP Prowlers. They do not have wonderful offensive capabilities but their evasion will make it a pain for MGs to chew through (35).
- The Pyxis have 52 FP, which means each shot deals 26 damage. They have moderate accuracy but make up for any deficits by their high ROF.
The way to deal with this node is simple. Your shotguns should preferably have at least 26 Armour (very easy to acquire if you have 5x linked shotguns and more or less any Armor Plate). Your DPS can be anyone, but preferably someone who can deal with moderate Armour and chew through 3 Pyxis worth of health (97,000 health).
As Core 8 is RFHG-centric, it is heavily recommended to bring a RF backline so that you can grab the maximum advantage score (and bring an Accuracy handgun so that you get that accuracy up).
Minotaurus and Cerynitis is a new node that is present in Theatre 3. This node can be a bit painful if one is not prepared:
- Cerynitis spawn behind the Minotaurus.
- Do not be threatened by the Minotaurus, as they are simply big tanks.
The first thing you should do in this stage is to get rid of the Cerynitis as soon as possible. This should preferably be done without needing to use your RF skills. Some ways to delay the Minotaurus from approaching your backline so fast is to use a Taunt Fairy (a Twin Fairy may be used; however, your success may vary) and move your handguns to block the side Minotaurus. This also slightly extends your attack range as a benefit.
Once the Cerynitis units have been dealt with, you will have the Minotaurus left to deal with. The shield that they give themselves reduce incoming damage by a large amount so what you have to do here is to wait until they put it down, and then your RFs can go to town. Carcano M91/38 deserves a special mention here as her skill deals a significant amount of damage even with the shield up, and guarantees a kill if the shield is down.
The Minotaurus units are available in Target Practice as one of the enemy presets; practice there to get used to their mechanics if needed.
It is important to kill these Minotaurus before they manage to go through 2 rotations, as you are not going to be able to dodge their other ability that propels grenades to your side of the battlefield.
The Recommended Dolls here will mostly consist of effective RF DPS as well as defensive HGs. Taunt Fairy remains extremely useful.
A Taunt Fairy helps a lot for this particular fight as well.
42048 CE Gladiator/Gunner
Gladiators and Gunners comprise a new possible enemy spawn in Theatre 3. These are the following attributes:
- Gladiators (the rasengan robots) are damage-oriented frontline units. They are not heavily armored, but if you are trying to kill this node without HOC, it is absolutely imperative that they are removed as soon as possible, due to a regenerating Force Shield.
- Gunners (Strelet+)are backline DPS units, and they are characterized by their high damage, moderate accuracy, and poor rate of fire. However, their evasion is high enough that classic RFs will have trouble hitting even with heavy accuracy support. These units deal most of the DPS on this node and if you have a HOC, killing the gunners first will make you take much less damage on this node.
Gladiators themselves are easily dealt with and since they start with less than 40% force shield, are possible to defeat without spending a BGM charge unlike other Paradeus units who have 100% shield. The way this stage is set up, if you use a Taunt fairy, the Gunners will be outside your attack range, allowing you to focus on killing the Gladiators before your Taunt falls. To deal with the Gunners, it is highly recommended that sure-hit DPS units are used due to their high evasion. ARs can be used here, but it is not recommended due to needing to chew through the Gladiator’s massive health reserves.
Remember to kite your frontline and retreat kite if necessary, to reduce damage taken.
There is one more new enemy, a Recce Center/Cerynitis combo. This node is both frustratingly silly and boring easy.
Frustratingly Silly, because if you are using ARs or RFS you are going to be here all day, thanks to the Recce Centers having Evasion and a mammoth 50k Health each which is equivalent to an EX Event boss, all on its own. The need to wiggle the ARs to target the Pathfinders (sphere spawns) occasionally is annoying.
Luckily, in one of the most wonderful trends in GFL, Recce Centers are not Elite enemies. This means that, as with so many things, Carcano M91/38 (Grape) can delete them one by one.
If you need help killing the spawns, 2B14 and AT4 should be able to shell the spawned enemies, and failing that, just wiggle your tanks to clean things up while Grape takes care of business. Other RFs help, but this node is just another display of Grape's dominance.
Core 8's enemies are substantially more dangerous than the previous zones. It is intended to be a playground for more experienced players, and it is assumed that players attempting the stage have some maxed gold equipment, some decent rarity fairies (3*+), and have HOC's at an appropriate level (60+) with sufficient skill levels.
Even though some of these enemies are not detailed in terms of methods to deal with them, assume you need at least Skill Level 8 on all units that you use.
It is possible to do these waves with units that aren't well developed. You just need to compensate with more skill. The following will not go into these requirements. I will repeat: the following assumes you have at least a 3* fairy (with Skill Level 10 on Taunt), that your dolls are well-equipped, and that your HOCs are appropriate for their strengths.
If you cannot do these waves without getting all your teams completely destroyed, consider dropping to Core 6. This doesn't mean you do not complete the event; what is important is that you get as many points as you can and try your best for future Theater events.
Theatre 3 Core 8 is focused on RF stacking for the Boss. Heavy emphasis on M200 and Grape will be seen below, as this combo can make a mockery of a vast majority of the enemies seen in Core 8, but other Sure Hit RFs (QBU, Type 4) can be used, and of course, traditional DPS RFs will work just fine if needed.
As with Theatre 1, an SL 10 Taunt Fairy is a godsend, so bring one if at all possible. Twin Fairy can be substituted for Taunt in some situations but will have mixed results against specific enemies, like Patrollers.
Finally, do not get to caught up in Theatre CE stacking. While CE stacking does improve your score, unless you wish to compete for the very top spots it is more valuable to have a set of teams that can reliably clear Core 8 stick to your scoring bracket! Don't be me on CN and try toget creative only to brick three days' worth of runs trying to make a strat work!
EN Theater Core 8 Clear Video by kfourit
A fairly standard run.
EN Theater Core 8 Clear Video by CosmicArcher
This video uses no special team compositions and is a recommended reference for people that just want to clear Core 8 and move on.
EN Theater Core 8 Clear by Kazuki
EN Theater 1 Core 8 Clear Video by Yuko
While Yuko's Vid is for Theatre one, it can serve as a good reference for a number of the returning enemies.
The hardest difficulty. This is where some enemies may overwhelm commanders.
Here, there are still AFK strategies to easily finish this stage. I will be describing some of them below for each enemy you can encounter in this area.
Theatre 3 Update: Threatre 3 reshuffles the enemies compositions for this area slightly, with a few challenging additions, a few removals, and a new 'Boss' to beat up at the end of Core 8. This section has been updated to reflect these changes.
|Combat Effectiveness||Composition||Dealt With?|
|40880||Strelet||ARSMG with Grenades|
|39774 (Night)||Brute+Striker||ARSMG (bring PEQs)|
|30073||Strelet+Rodelero||ARSMG/RFHG + optional HOC|
|21853 (Night)||Prowler+Dinergate+Jaguar||ARSMG (bring PEQs) (dodge)|
This is a very easy node. Don’t let the CE fool you. For the most AFK of strategies:
Why is this strategy so AFK? We are taking advantage of how low the Uhlan’s firepower is and abusing how shotguns can soak up a lot of the split damage that Uhlans have due to their skills and attacks.
You can kite the SGs out of the tanks' ram AoE if you want to.
The only thing you need to watch out for are to use a HOC (BGM recommended) is to activate whichever shield ability you have in time with the tank's forward ram (which will reduce damage taken significantly), or move out of the way.
Uhlans have Evasion now, so bring a handgun that gives FP and ACC if possible or use sure-hit rifles such as M200 (wink-wink).
Taunt fairy + 2RF 3HG also works, provided your DPS is sufficient.
EN Theater Core 8 Clear Video by Kyazuki (Theatre 1)
Another easy formation. Just don’t forget your HOC (these things have 100% shield so if you don’t bring a HOC you will die).
The HOC must be able to deal with at least a 2689 shield value (so don’t bring 2B14 here - use your BGM-71 if she's available).
With enough HOC pierce, you do not need anything special for this node; a classic RFHG is able to deal with it. Make sure that you buff your RFs' FP adequately. Of course, Grape is cheating so if can’t find anything to use, she will handle this node for you (provided you bring HOC to reduce Force Shields below 100%).
Do NOT bring your Uhlan team which has M200/SGs, and do NOT activate Taunt Fairy!
Forward-positioned T-Dolls and Taunt Fairy will reduce the distance between you and the Doppelsoldners, causing them to fire off their Missile Barrage sooner!
If you are not sure what to do, please consult the included Core 8 clear example videos and find one with a team that works for you.