The rewards you get from clearing Phantasm stages are well worth the effort, mostly because of the tons of gems that lie in wait. Since patch 19.07 also brought a nerf in difficulty, it’s become practically mandatory for everyone to clear as many levels as possible every day. Nobody minds some free loot, especially if it comes in the form of gems you can use to summon more of your favorite heroes, right?
In this article, we’d like to focus on the various strategies you can use to pass some of the hardest Phantasm levels. You may be surprised to find out that it’s not always the best SSR heroes that can help you get the job done here, but rather a combination of sound tactics and the right approach to the challenge that lies ahead.
Let’s get to it.
The Basics of Clearing Phantasm
Although some of these tips you’ll find in our beginner guides, it doesn’t hurt to quickly go over the fundamentals before moving on to more complex things. You can rest assured that every top player has made their way up there by first getting a good grasp of the basic combat mechanics in Astral Chronicles.
First off, the game’s AI is terrible. When it doesn’t straight-up suicide one of your characters into the enemy boss, it’ll pull more units than necessary or miss powerful skill shots by a mile. Auto-battle should only be considered for farming much easier content. This is not the case in Phantasm. You might have a field day in the early stages, depending on your team’s strength, but you should definitely take control as fast as possible. Practice makes perfect.
Secondly, positioning matters a lot in AC. There is a reason why everybody can move in an isometric manner during an encounter and that’s because everyone should. Don’t stand in fire, don’t spray your entire party with the boss’ powerful AoE. Pretty simple in theory, but not always easy to do. The AI has no idea how to position, so don’t rely on it to get things done. We prefer to be the Guardian in our party, as we can better control the pace and the mobs themselves, but you go ahead and assume whatever role fits you best.
The first stage where things get complicated is 15, when you face the Venom Wyvern. To defeat him, everything you have to do is make sure that there is plenty of healing and DPS to go around and that you turn the green boss away from your party. We’ve talked about the best comps in our nifty beginner’s guide. Now, the trouble is that Wyvern is also backed up by Carl, who, aside from using a high damage ulti, also heals for an outstanding amount.
To mitigate the massive healing, you can equip the Broken Journal Tome on one of your Sorcerers. It really depends on how strong you are. As you can see, there’s a bit of planning and strategy that must be accounted for in order to successfully complete the more difficult Phantasm floors.
A Tactic to Beat them All
Still, there’s a pretty powerful tactic you can use to clear many floors and that is the poison strategy. You might have already seen people talk about it on the chat or heard them discussing variations of it on Discord. It’s something that can be just as effective in PvP when it’s not specifically countered. Even if you didn’t hear about the poison strategy before, we’ll break down the basics of how it works so that you can clear through as much of the Phantasm as your current setup allows you to.
You won’t even need a special SSR hero for it. In fact, everything you need is the cute elf healer Schala. It starts with her Punishment ability, a 9 second cooldown skill that inflicts 1 stack of Poison to enemies in the area. The debuff lasts for 10 seconds and you can stack it up to 5 times. The AI’s programming makes it so that she will always go for the enemy that is nearest to her to as soon as the CD is over.
If the only enemy happens to be the boss that is on the other side of the map, she will actually go off the screen to cast Punishment. One of the reasons why this works is that the poison does quite a bit of damage over time (DoT) by comparison to how much you have until the enrage kicks in. The other reason is that there are only two types of boss movement interactions: 1) proximity, when you get close to them and 2) when their health reaches a certain percentage.
In the first instance, boss aggro does not trigger when Schala goes off-screen, which is kind of weird. This means that you can clear these floors by re-applying the DoT without actually fighting that much. For the percentage case, the boss always moves when it reaches a certain amount of HP. Still, you can run back to the opposite side of the map to repeat the process. They might try to chase you again, but you can just rinse and repeat.
This will also separate the boss from the other monsters waiting for you, which makes up for a clean, neat completion experience. In certain situations, such as when you’re faced with bosses that have projectile types of attacks, Schala might get one shot when going off the screen. You can prevent this by running to the opposite side of the screen and then back towards her in order to give all other party members a chance to cast their ultimates.
Because nobody is actually doing anything except for her, everyone’s ultimates will be off-cooldown. It might not be the way that the devs intended it to go, but it certainly works.
The poison strategy is a cunning use of Schala’s Punishment skill, despite the fact that it’s slightly unorthodox. Either way, you should probably try as many Phantasm floors in this manner as you can, reap the rewards, and use the booty to advance your party and character level.