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.
8/23 update: Season 5 update! Many changes were made to old recommendations, as well as addition of recommendation and details on the new Theater season. Changed recommendations to Easy 1 Guard/Jaeger, Easy 5 Tarantula, Int 2 Abandoned Isomers, Int 8 Tarantulas, Adv 1 ReeceCenters, Adv3 Dinergates, Adv 7/8 Tarantula+Manti, Patoller, Pyxis, Cery+Minotaurs. Also introduced new enemy compositions that will also be seen in Dual Randomness, as well as recommendations against them.
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.
Season 5 Note: Additional thanks to BLT for his assistance in updating this for new enemies, as well as creating example videos.
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.
If you wish to find details on Theatre 5's new enemies, head just below for the Theatre 5 section. If you want to review anything from older Theaters, that information is below as before! Detailed guides on the tougher enemy compositions will be added in the following days.
Theater 5 new enemies
With the arrival of Theater 5 we see many new enemies. Some we briefly met back in Polarized Light, but now they seem far more intimidating than back then, while others are brand new to EN, and will be formally encountered in Dual Randomness!
While some enemies may seem even more intimidating than Minotaurs were, like Coeus (the mini tanks), they are by no means impossible to beat, or even that hard. Soul and I will show how to beat them.
BRING 2 MORTARS
Why should you bring 2 Mortar HOCs when up until now we recommended bringing 2 Shield Breaker HOCs?
Due to Theater 5 not bringing in many new shielded waves, and with the new waves focusing more on powerful unshielded enemies, Mortar-type HOCs will see much more use, as their ability to kill off groups of enemies easily and quickly makes them extremely useful. For your last HOC, an ATW such as AT4 or BGM-71 should be used, as their shield piercing abilities are extremely valuable, and they are not restricted by their shorter range in Theater.
What about AGS? They have a better AoE damage than BGM no?
While AGS can provide more spread damage over BGM, its shield pierce ability is very inferior to BGM's and AT4's when it matters (against Gundams or Patrollers, for example), and their actual damage is very low compared to 2B, M2, and even to AT4's burning Skill. For those reasons, AGS is not recommended to bring as the third HOC unit.
"But BLT, I faced off tons of Gladiators and Gundams and Rodeleros on Intermediate 8, are you sure I don't need two Shield Pierce HOCSs???"
While Rodeleros and Gunners/Gladiators present shields, among
us other enemies, that does not necessarily mean they require a Shield Pierce HOCs. Gunners and Rodeleros can easily be killed without HOC support. As BLT showed below, even the Patroller did not need HOC. Gundams only require HOCs because they have a Max Shield, which is shown in-game when they are the wave you're about to face.
"But I don't have enough Dakka/DPS/Damage!!!"
Another reason to bring Mortars. They'll deal far more damage than any ATW HOC would let your dolls perform.
What about Coalition Units?
Coalition Units can be used in Theater, with one major caveat: They give terrible CE against Bosses. However, if they allow you to clear a zone you could not normally be able to do, this trade-off can be quite worthwhile. Some waves will not advantage these units
If you are using Coalition Units, we highly recommended Scarecrow/2 Manticores/Anything else. As of August 30th, this team can fully AFK Intermediate 8 with 4* Manticores and will be able to handle other zones with equal ease for the moment. As we progress in Theater they will fall off in power, but can still be used to good effect.
New enemy compositions in Theater 5:
|Wave||Enemy Combat Effectiviness||Enemy Composition||How to beat them|
|Easy 4||17466||Cyclops SG x20, Acheron x1, Dactyl x3, Aegis-GA x15||RFHG (wiggle HGs to retarget to spyders)|
|Easy 8||10789||Kratos x1, Acheron x1, Cyclops SG x9||RFHG|
|Easy 8||4494||Strelets x18||ARSMG / RFHG|
|Intermediary 1||10021||Kratos x1, Acheron x1, Cyclops SG x9||RFHG|
|Intermediary 4||18216 (Night)||Minotaurus x2||RFHG|
|Intermediary 8||51735 (Night)||Patroller x1||See Patroller section|
|Advanced 1||62312||Minotaurus x2, Acheron x1, Dactyl x3, Hydra x2, Kratos x1||RFHG (with statstick fairy, like Commander or Artillery), see Video Below|
|Advanced 2||10749||Acheron x1, Cyclops SG x30||ARSMG (Optional Molotov SMG)|
|Advanced 3||12444 (Night)||Orthrus x12||ARSMG (with PEQs)|
|Advanced 4||11777 (Night)||Orthrus x11, Centaurus x3||ARSMG (with PEQs)|
|Advanced 5||14204 (Night)||Orthrus x10 Centaurus x6||ARSMG (with PEQs)|
|Advanced 6||16675 (Night)||Orthrus x6, Centaurus x15||ARSMG (with PEQs)|
|Advanced 8||41278||SWAP Brute x10, SWAP Striker x20||ARSMG|
|Advanced 8||64080 (Night)||SWAP Aegis x10, Nemeum x15, SWAP Nemeum x10s x2||RFHG|
|Advanced 8||55346 (Night)||Cyclops x35, Coeus x2||RFHG + SG (More details on Coeus section)|
|Core Area||Enemy Combat Effectiviness||Enemy Composition||How to beat them|
|Core 2||17466||Cyclops SG x20, Acheron x1, Dactyl x3, Aegis-GA x15||RFHG (Wiggle HGs to kill spyders)|
|Core 3||10021||Kratos x1, Acheron x1, Cyclops SG x9||RFHG|
|Core 4||20753||Orthrus x8, Centaurus x29||ARSMG (with PEQs), Optional Mortar (2B14 or M2)|
|Core 5||16675||Orthrus x6, Centaurus x15||ARSMG (with PEQs)|
|Core 6||52847||Kratos x2, Cerynitis x10, Acheron x1, Aegis-GA x10||RFHG (Twins Fairy makes this fight AFKable with no HOC)|
|Core 6||53617||SWAP Guard x15, SWAP Jaeger x15, SWAP Brute x10, Vespid x15||ARSMG (Optional Taunt/Twins Fairy) + Mortar (Preferable 2B14)|
|Core 6||64080||SWAP Aegis x10, Nemeum x15, SWAP Nemeum x10||RFHG + Optional Mortar HOC (2B14 or M2)|
|Core 7||116435||SWAP Aegis x20, SWAP Nemeum x15, Nemeum x20, Tarantula x30||Strong RFHG + Taunt/Twins Fairy + Mortar HOC (Preferable 2B14)|
|Core 7||49794||SWAP Guard x20, SWAP Jaeger x20, SWAP Brute x10||RFHG + Taunt + Mortar HOC (Preferable 2B14)|
|Core 7||40744||SWAP Ripper x15, SWAP Vespid x20||ARSMG (with PEQs) + Optional Mortar HOC (Preferable 2B14)|
|Core 8||43884||Orthrus x15, Centaurus x15||ARSMG (with PEQs) + Mortar HOC (Preferable 2B14)|
|Core 8||91417||SWAP Dragoon x15, SWAP Ripper x20, SWAP Vespid x20, SWAP Jaeger x15, SWAP Guard x5||Armor stack, strong MGSG (Kord highly recommended) + M2 AND 2B14 (pray Jaegers die)|
New Enemy Videos and Comments!
This enemy may seem scary at first, but it's so easy you can do it fairyless (not that you should though).
Note a few things, however:
- Wiggle your HGs so they shoot the Dactyls (the little spiders), so they don't blow themselves up on your team.
- It's likely that they'll survive long enough to plant mines. You can either save an HOC use to kill the Acheron (not recommended), take the L (also not recommended), or retreat everyone, save for one HG, and move it past the mines safely (Seriously, just watch the video, it's not even a minute long)
Despite this comp looking scary at first glance, it’s not too bad if you keep a clear head and know what you’re doing. Killing the Dactyls before they lay mines in bad spots is important, as is killing the Kratos since it can cause problems later if not killed fast enough. Minotaurs can be stalled with HGs (especially P22 and her shield buff to the front column) and are easily dealt with after most of the enemies are dead. Don’t worry about the x2 link Hydra, it can’t survive too much and your RFs should retarget to it after killing the Kratos.
Intermediate 4 Minotaurs
So easy you can do it fairyless! (But that doesn’t mean you should).
Almost AFK except for one move made at the start to give more walk time to the bottom Minotaur. Minotaurs aren’t scary by themselves, it’s what they can provide cover for that is. You’ll see this wave in Intermediate 4 and Core 4.
While the fight in itself is easy, there are a few points worth mentioning:
- When Strider actives its Evasion mode, it shoots a pierce round, and because of it, Commanders should move the doll from Position 4 to Position 8 or 2 as soon as the battle starts.
- Its Piercing round also causes another issue: if using an SG as tank, Commanders have to move her out of the way when it shoots, as it bypasses Armor and can easily melt your SG. Seriously, use a Taunt.
- Countering it, however, is not hard: sure hit units or bamboo RFs can make short work of it, as bamboos have plenty of time to partially charge their shots. Units that bypass shields are also handy for dealing damage when it's on Attack mode, namely Deagle and NTWMod. More on Patroller secttion, under Theater 3&4.
- Around the 10 second mark, note how Deagle starts ripping off both the Strider's shield and HP. This is due to her passive that lets her bypass shields, on top of her Active skill buffing her damage.
- A fully leveled Taunt lets Commanders kill a Strider in two cycles without worrying about tanking damage.
- While NTWMod can pierce through its shield, she also deals a ton of damage, so Commanders might want to charge up her nuke shot during the first Evasion cycle, and shoot it afterward, as it ignores the Strider's shield.
- Lastly, this video was recorded with a 3 star Taunt at Level 60. Even so, it only took a cycle to kill it.
RF/HG makes short work of this enemy group.
Stopping the Nemeums early is important here, to have the space to stop/start them multiple times as needed. Try to avoid having them go out of engagement range of the RFs when pulling back, (I don't do a good job of this here) so they can be picked off while they walk. If you are trying to 0 Damage this wave, a few resets for Aegis Accuracy might be required, otherwise, treat this as entry-level kiting practice.
This wave is not particularly complicated. I got fancier with the kiting than you actually need to be. Just move your main tank up forwards to stop the Brutes and Strikers, then back again. Retreat your tanks to buy some extra time for the ARs to lay into the Strikers.
These high HP, permanent elite tanks attack with a rotation of the following skills:
A 5 hit barrage from their side guns that deals 0.33x damage per hit. These guns have very high Accuracy and target randomly. However, Lusa's draw attacks ability will force these guns to target her.
A smoke grenade that lasts for 5 seconds. The smoke grenade reduces the Move Speed and Accuracy of all dolls caught in it by 30%. If multiple Coeus are present in the fight and target the same doll, the smoke grenades will stack.
A shot from the Coeus's main cannon that deals 1x damage to the main target and 0.4x damage to anything behind the main target in a moderate range. While this attack's damage is multiplied by target links, it is also affected by Evasion and Armor.
The Coeus will rotate between its skills in a pattern of Guns , Smoke, Guns , Cannon, repeat from Guns .
In this wave, the Coeus spawn alongside a large amount of Cyclops SG, which provide adequate cover and ample time for the Coeus to be peppering your dolls with its guns. While this wave is unlikely to be a total run-ender (unless the Coeus guns take a link off one of your DPS and it screws you in the following fight) with proper preparation (Twin Fairy as an example, since it provides two extra bodies for the Coeus to aim its guns at), it will be extremely annoying.
So, what could Commanders bring to fight Coeus?
- SAT8 is a great ally, as she can provide shields to herself and two other dolls on the front roll, which helps reduce damage taken;
- Twin Fairies gives Coeus two more targets to shoot, which reduce the odds of them shooting your DPS units;
- P22, for the same reason as SAT8, on top of also providing Damage Buffs to your DPS units;
- HS2000 works in a similar way to P22, although less effectively since her Damage buff is smaller. On the other hand, she shields the entire team.
- Calico Mod II. Theater counts as neutral nodes, so it triggers the Speed side of her Skill 2, which greatly reduces the walk time to Coeus;
- Hanyang (Type 88) Mod II. Her pierce can deal some damage to Coeus if her Skill comes up while there are still Cyclops SG enemies alive, preventing you from attacking Coeus;
- R93, as she's ridiculously strong against beefy enemies, and Coeus is quite beefy;
- M500 Mod II, with Nagant and/or Python. Because M500 Mod's Skill 2 triggers a shield whenever she receives certain types of buff, it is possible to fight Coeus nearly damageless. Having Nagant helps trigger her Skill 2 more often, as well as reducing Coeus incoming damage.
- And, lastly, as Coeus is an Elite unit, we do not recommend Grape.
Coeus is not an impossible enemy to fight, just annoying. They're also coded to appear at least once per wave. So, if needed, set up an echelon specifically for fighting it. A few couple of points isn't worth risking losing an entire run.
How does SF teams fare against it?
Well, for starters you can't use Taunt or Twin Fairies, so they'll always be shooting your teams. If you can field two Manticores + Scarecrow, that spares them of AoE taking off multiple links. To be honest, this time you might be better off with your good old T-Dolls
Theater 5 Core New Enemies
Bringing at least 1 Mortar to this fight is recommended to quickly dispatch the Swap Jaegers in the backline. If more than 1 group (5 enemies) of Jaegers are alive, it is recommended to reset for HOC accuracy.
The rest of this group is relatively straightforward. Kite as needed to reduce Damage from the SWAP Brutes, (I left RO forwards in the example because I know my ARs have enough DPS, but I suggest you move her back from 6 to 5 if you are not sure). AR/SMG is recommended over RF/HG for this enemy.
RF/HG with a Twins Fairies. It's hilarious.
It can't be that.....oh. It really is.
You might need to wiggle one of your RFs to retarget the Cerynitis, to they don't destroy the Twins, but that's apparently it.
RF/HG is recommended for this battle with a Mortar HOC, preferably 2B. If you are struggling, a Taunt or Twins Fairies can be used to slow down the Brutes. If your Mortar leaves too many Jaegers alive then you may want to reset for better Accuracy RNG.
When kiting this enemy, do not try and stop the SWAP Jaegers more than once, they have a long enough range to make this tricky. Equally, try to avoid leaving a Handgun standing in front of the Brutes, they hit hard (High Accuracy and Damage) and will tear links off the HGs with ease. I recommend moving the HG you send forwards to stop enemies back to position 2 to let the Brutes run forwards for longer, although you can simply retreat them if you wish.
If using P22, try to micro such that your Position 5 Handgun receives her shields.
RF/HG reigns supreme here, although you will need to more carefully manage your targeting. Mortar HOCs once again, although Twins/Taunt can also work. Resetting for HOC accuracy isn't as big of an issue on this wave, thanks to 0 Evasion enemies, as well as the ability for the RFs to deal with any leftover Nemeums with great ease.
The primary trick here is stopping the Nemeums and move back before they fire, the same as a similar wave in Advanced 8. The timing is not exceptionally tight, but you do need to be careful that the Nemeums/SWAPs remain in range when you pull your Handgun back from position 6 to 5, to keep the RFs targetting the dangerous threats and not the Aegis.
AR/SMG is recommended for this wave due to extremely high Evasion enemies. Molotov SMGs will serve you well here, as this wave clumps up quite nicely. If you are struggling with DPS, using a Mortar HOC is an option.
SWAP Vespids buff their Damage while SWAP Rippers gain shields as Skills, so bear this in mind. SWAP Vespids also have a long engagement range, making kiting them more difficult, and so it is recommended to simply retreat your tanks from the battle, instead of moving them back. You can retreat the second frontline unit as well to buy a couple of seconds of walk time from the Vespids, but unless you are confident in your ARs, I do not recommend taking the risk of damage to the DPS. If you are not concerned about taking damage, letting your Main Tank sit and soak up some Damage as shown here is a viable strategy.
While this wave is certainly dangerous and can deal major damage to your dolls if you’re not careful, with the right setup it’s not so bad. ARs (ideally RoF self-buffers or multishot skills) can easily break down the dog shields, while a force shield SMG can survive the fire arrows from the Archers with no problem. Bringing a HOC is definitely a good idea. As always, a mortar HOC, preferably 2B.
Core 8 SWAP Dragoon Stack
This giant stack of SWAP type enemies is perhaps the most intimidating enemy in Theater 5 and 6. SWAP Rippers, Vespids, and Dragoons all have Damage boosting Skills, and SWAP Jaegers feature a high Damage bamboo shot. Dragoons come with a preactivated Shield, and Rippers will gain a shield shortly into the battle. As a result, you will need to prepare a team specifically for this wave, but with proper planning you can handle even this monster without too much hassle.
First, make sure both of your Mortar HOCs are raised and set up with enhanced Chips. These HOCs are very important to this fight, as they allow you to dispatch the SWAP Jaegers before they can fire.
While you can use other team compositions, MG/SGs are highly recommended as you can raise a shotgun's Armor high enough to reduce incoming Damage from everything except the SWAP Jaegers to 1. 75 Armor is enough to take minimum Damage from all enemies (save SWAP Jaeger) here, which can be achieved in a variety of ways:
- A shotgun with 21 Armor and a 5* Armor Plate can hit this threshold with a 3* Armor Fairy at SL10 (4* SL3) and 2 MGs with 15% Armor Tiles. If you have an M500 Mod she really shines in this battle, with proper support you can keep your shield up almost continuously.
- For Armor stacking reasons, an Armor Fairy is recommended.
- Twin and Taunt Fairies can be used if you wish, but due to the high Damage against unarmored targets, neither of them will last very long.
If you have forgotten your MGs, have a quick list of the useful ones for this:
MGs with Armor Tiles: Lewis, Kord, BAR, MG5, KFC, RPK-16, QJY in a pinch (Remember HGM-21? Neither do I. But she has Armor tiles too)
HG: Python if using M500, P22, Contender, other Damage boosting HGs work here.
SGs: SAT8, DP12, KSG, M500 Mod.
Yes, LWMMG Mod is not useful here since no Armor tiles. But that won't stop me from trying shield shenanigans with her.
Special mention to Kord and KC (M1895 CB) due to Kord's pierce and strong Armor tiles, and KFC's Armor tiles, as well as very extended first volley.
Those with sharp eyes will no doubt spot the fact that KSG does not have 75 Armor in this clip. This fight is perfectly doable with less Armor, so don't be entirely intimidated by the requirement, but you will lose Links on the SG, so be aware of that.
The fight itself is straightforward if potentially RNG laden. The primary point to reset is after the first Mortar volley. If the majority of the SWAP Jaegers are not dead after the Mortar’s first volley lands, hit the reset button or your SG is losing links, 75 Armor or not. One or two individuals can usually be left alive to risk the second volley/MGs killing them, but if more that 4 or 5 are still present, reset immediately.
If the Mortars simply refuse to kill all the Jaegers immediately you can retreat or move your HG and move the SG back to Position 5 as shown here. This will buy you a little time as the SWAP Jaegers move up.
Once the Jaegers are dead, the fight is relatively simply. Babysit any MG Skills that need babysitting (KFC should only activate her Skill 1 time), and let the MGs do their work.
Consider this a formal 'Mod your M500' PSA.
There are a few extra requirements to using M500, such as needing another Frontline unit (Special mention to SAT8, although you can absolutely using kiting to fill this role with an HG if you want something to do while the fight runs. Special mention to Python, for allowing easier Shield stacking antics with M500.
As you can see, M500/SAT have a much easier time avoiding Damage, even though the Mortars absolutely refused to kill the Jaegers. (In half a dozen tests of this fight, this is the only one where a Jaeger managed to be the last living enemy).
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|
|5048 (Night)||Tarantula||ARSMG with Molotov SMG (Skorpion, Vector)|
|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)|
|11680 (Night)||Tarantula||ARSMG with Molotov SMG (Skorpion, Vector)|
|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||RFHG with PEQs on HGs|
|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|
|11475||Dinergate||ARSMG (Molotov SMG helps clean up faster)|
|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||RFHG with Taunt +Mortar (Preferably 2B14) or ARSMG with P90 and Taunt (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.
UPDATE: Forget you ever read about Airstrike or C-MS + ARSMG, for the following reasons: Using C-MS requires constantly retargeting C-MS to target the Tarantulas, while Airstrike is a suboptimal fairy that becomes outdated really fast, on top of having an average aura buff. For ARSMG teams, using P90 + Taunt makes the fight trivial, even possibly no damage. For RFHG teams, Taunt Fairy + 2B14 can make the fight AFK. 2B14 is a highly useful HOC that every Commander should level up, while Taunt is one of the best fairies available due to its rather decent aura buff and very useful skill, while Airstrike requires leveling its Skill to Skill 2, which is a waste of precious Data.
See below for examples.
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.
IF YOU HAVE DESERT EAGLE, FIELD HER.
Now that I have your attention, seriously, use Deagle. Her passive allows her to bypass the Patroller's shield, which means she can deal damage to it while its Evasion is not in the thousand. Having her on Patroller team trivializes the fight.
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).
- If you’re bringing RF DPS: Accuracy tile buff handguns will help in clearing escorts (K5, P22, etc)
- If you’re bringing AR DPS: FP tile buff handguns will help get through Pyxis armor (P22, Mk23)
- Worth mentioning: HS2000, her Skill grants shields, and can grant Accuracy/Damage buffs for the DPS units when said shields expire
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.
Remember Commanders, absolutely do not forget to bring HOC support, or you will be filtered by a barn. Even our resident top 50 PL ranker, xVarz, was filtered by a barn.
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.