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Hawk of the Fog (HF) is the Augmented Skill Core for Valkyrie Accipiter (VA). Introduced in Update 3.5, VA receives a massive ATK buff, accumulating to an extra 98 ATK by level 80. This is very fitting as VA, with this augmented core, will be transformed from a shield breaking support to a Psychic Lightning damage dealer. This is a complete role reversal, and a welcomed one; VA was a very niche support choice and rarely used during this elemental damage meta.
Like other base A-rank valkyries that received an augmented core, HF will be unlocked through Fog Chips from her introductory event's shop, as well as Asterite shop and story mode. There will be 6 levels to the core and the materials needed will be listed in the table below.
The New Skills
The table will list the skills unlocked for each level, with a short description, and will be colored gold when maxed.
Important Core Levels
HF has many important new skills. The most notable is Conductive Impact, which gives 45% Lightning damage multiplier for HF, making level 3 crucial to her damage output. Vajra Mantra, Flux Wyrm, Unity Mantra, and Teravolt Maul are also important skills with large damage multipliers. Being a damage dealer, you would ideally want to unlock level 6 for Teravolt Maul as soon as possible. HF will see a power spike after level 3, but each level afterwards will still improve HF heavily.
The New Combos
For this guide, the Atk button will be referred to as A and the Ultimate button will be referred to as B.
HF completely reworked VA's combo hits and ultimate. HF's new combos and ultimate all deal lightning damage. HF also gains Invulnerability-frames (I-frames) with certain attacks and many sources of paralysis.
Kei: Whipping Sparks (B) -- Deals 100% atk of Lightning dmg, 200% at if over 5m away. Can be chained into Lightning Pounce.
Ki: Lightning Pounce (B B or A) -- Tap B or A after Whipping Sparks hits a far away target. Dashes to target and deals 200% atk. Strong gap closer.
Kei: Taranic Talons (AB) -- Tap B after 1 or 2 As for a single kick dealing 180% atk. Will paralyze targets.
Kei: Six-sided Shock (AAAB) -- Tap B after 3-6 As, deals 940% atk with a long duration I-frame. You can move the shadow kicks with the joystick. Deals substantial damage and very spammable and survivable. Can be chained into Blasting Palm or Tunneling Blossom.
Kei: Blasting Palm (AAABA) -- Tap A after 6-Sided Shock to perform a dashing punch, knocking back enemies. Deals 450% atk, if enemies hits a wall, deal another 200% atk. Not too useful and tricky to use.
Kei: Tunneling Blossom (AAABB) -- Tap B after 6-Sided Shock to perform a lunge forward. Deals 450% atk. Can be chained into HF's ultimate.
Raging Tiamat (AAABB B-Hold) -- Hold B after performing Tunneling Blossom will deal 1,500% atk and gather enemies together. This can also be performed after ultimate evasion. Costs 50SP.
Elektrance is a buff that is proc'd with Lightning Pounce or ultimate. For 9s, HF will gain Interrupt Resist, Total damage reduction, and 75% Atk of Lightning damage to basic attacks. It is a nice buff to have but will not be too noticeable.
Flux Wyrm is another buff, and also the more important buff. It is proc'd by QTE and for 9s, it will grant Total damage multiplier for 6-Sided Shock, which is one of HF's major damage sources, and provide some additional SP. You will want to be able to trigger HF's QTE readily to exploit this.
Yet another Lightning damage dealer, and being the second Lightning Fuhua, we will be able to draw a lot of ideas from Shadow Knight's (SK) gear choices.
Optimal Weapon :
Nuada's Grief -- 279 ATK / 32 CRT
Airgetlam (SP: 4, CD: 20s): Forward punch that floats and bleeds enemies.
Dazzling Blade: Gains 40% Lightning Damage.
A very simple glove that gives a high Lightning Damage multiplier and HF deals Lightning damage.
Grips of Taixuan is not only a great alternative choice, it is also F2P friendly. HF will constantly using QTEs, basic attack to chain into combo attacks, and finish with ultimate attacks that Grips' passive will be constantly active for 24% Total damage.
Monet T -- Attacks against enemies gain 30% Lightning Damage. For each Hit Count, user gains 1% Total Damage, maximum 15%.
Monet M -- Gains 20% Total Damage Reduction against hits. For each Hit Count, user gains 2% Lightning damage, maximum 30%.
Cleopatra B -- Attacks against paralyzed enemies gain 82% Total Damage.
Monet 2 Set Bonus -- Receives Lightning Shield. While shield is active, user gains 30% Lightning Damage. When hit, negates the damage and disappears after 0.3s. Shield recharges in 15s.
Monet set is the staple of Lightning damage valkyries. Monet T and M, as well as the 2-set bonus gives tremendous Lightning and some Total damage multipliers. Monet B is left out because HF does not have any interaction with slowed status. However, it does have many sources of paralysis, making her a prime Cleopatra B user. If a target is immune to paralysis, exchange Cleopatra B with something else.
For those who do not own some of the pieces mentioned above, here is a list of alternatives. Shakespeare T, Nagamitsu M and Tesla Band B are all great Lightning damage stigmatas. Pool Party Mei and Newton B are both considered support stigmatas but they are worth considering, especially Newton B for mobs that cannot be paralyzed for Cleo B.
Darwin set is a solid F2P lightning damage set crafted from the Foundry.
Here are more strong individual pieces that is F2P friendly. Fuxi M is amazing for exploiting paralysis. Jingwei T and Lier Scarlet T gives Total damage multipliers, although have their own restrictions. Reburn M is a solid elemental stigmata players gotten for free from a past event.
For 3* stigmatas, we have Tesla T and the Edison set. Tesla T can exploit paralysis and Edison set is a strong lightning set for newer players.
A Hawk's Flying Companion
Where there is an elemental damage dealer, Phoenix (Phx) is often not far behind. These two valkyries will go very well together since Phx will offer a reliable Ignite trigger for HF's QTE. Beyond that, Phx also provides a large damage boost and SP sustainability. HF can use those 50sp ultimates very quickly so any additional SP is great.
For the choice of second support, Drive Kometa (DK) is a frequent pick. She balances out your offensive power with some defense and provides valuable gathering capabilities too. If DK's defensive and gathering skills are unneeded, you have the pick of either a Blood Dance (BD) user, or Wolf's Dawn (WD).
Finally, Lightning Empress (LE) comes as a natural choice for lightning damage support, if you are not running her as a damage dealer. Her leader skill and conductive debuff can prove invaluable in boss fights.
The Phx DK duo has been the staple for elemental melee valkyries and HF continues that trend. We talked about how important HF's QTE is for her damage and with this team, we have two ways to trigger it. Phx's ultimate will ignite any enemy she hits, and DK can also carry Markov Type A cannon, which can ignite targets it hits. A sample rotation could go as following: Phx evasion -> combo atks -> DK's QTE -> ignite targets -> HF's QTE -> Taranic Talons -> Combo for ultimate.
This will allow you to smoothly apply Phx's firebrand and have DK gather them up for HF to paralyze and kill.
In team 2, DK is switched out for the more offensive power of Blood Dance to combat bosses. HF is surprisingly good against Heimdall. Most of her combos are considered Heavy attacks, allowing you to continuously break Heimdall's shield. The execution of this team is the same as before, with most of HF's damage coming from Six-Sided Shock and ultimate.
The natural thing is for people to compare Hawk of the Fog to other super strong Lightning damage valkyries like Lightning Empress and Shadow Knight. Despite strong competition, HF really holds her own. She can deal comparable damage to LE and survive far better with her I-frames. Also, being an augmented core for an A rank valkyrie makes her much more accessible than the other two. The three valkyries also share most of the same equipment options so if you invest gears for one, you are close to gearing all three. Overall, I would recommend HF to any player who enjoy Fuhua battlesuit's combo attack system. Your investment will be rewarded with a very fast-paced high-damage lightning valkyrie.