Table of Content:
How to unlock
Team Line- up and playstyle
Drive Kometa (DK) is the Augmented Skill Core of Yamabuki Armor (YA). As with YA, DK focuses heavily on being able to not only increases the damage output of damage dealers, but also reinforcing their defensive capabilities. DK sees strong buffs to its shields while also give new abilities such as increased interrupt, melee physical damage, and damage to shields. Unfortunately, there is a trade off: DK is losing a lot of her healing capabilities and the 30% impair, but the pros heavily outweigh the cons.
In fact, you will find that a lot of the trade offs are blessings in disguise. The previously weak 30% impair was often neglected because it might override stronger impairs and is replaced with new undiluted debuffs that will stack with stronger sources of impair. DK's healing might be much lower than before but YA's heals still wouldn't be able to outheal the bleed from Dirac Sea for long. Instead, with a more resilient shield and bleed damage reductions, you will take less damage and require healing less often, allowing you to output damage more frequently.
Being an augmented skill core, means you will have to farm up Evolve Cores and Smelted Cores to increase DK's new skill's individual levels. Individual core levels also have their level and rank requirements. A DK with Core level 6 will require a total of 267 Evolve Cores, 20 Smelted Cores, level 75, and SSS-ranked YA. Luckily, there are currently many sources for all the materials. Evolve and Smelted Cores are both available in Path of Apotheosis (PoA) and Asterite Shop.
This will give you a steady weekly income of both cores and will quickly help you on your way to lv 6.
For those who need more, we currently have DK's introductory trial events and her event supply. The supply event drops include Asterites, Smelted Cores, Evolve Cores, YA Fragments, and the DK signature costume.
I would personally avoid this supply but for those who are not afraid to spend crystals, this is an option.
Secondly, her Raiment Labs event allows you to purchase up to 60 Evolve Cores and 30 YA fragments with Raiment Prints and even more YA fragments for 300 Asterites each.
The new QTE is very much like the old one with one major difference: it will gather enemies together. This makes DK's qte a great lead up to the dps to tag in and deal damage and as we will soon see, it will synergize very well with Crippling Bolt. Upgraded at lvls 1, 2, and 3 core.
This skill replaces YA's Mech Phobia which caused uncharged attacks to inflict AOE 30% impair. In high level stages, physical damage is only viable while supported with a strong impair. However, the most common sources of impair come from Divine Prayer (DP) and Celestial Hymn (CH). DP has a backline impair from her skill Divine Penalty which provides a single target 80% impair with a 60% uptime. Captains also often give DP Mjolnir, a pistol that also provides a 80% impair. CH's abilities also grant her 50% impair from her charged attack and QTE, and 75% impair from her ultimate ability.
Compared to these strong alternatives, YA's 30% impair cannot compete. In its place, Crippling Bolt now creates an AoE field around a target that causes the enemies to become more easily interrupted, while also making their shield break 50% easier and reduce their attack by 10%. We should keep in mind that debuffs such impair override each other rather than stack additively. Crippling Field however, is a new debuff that can work alongside the aforementioned sources of impair. The additional damage to shields is often an undiluted debuff, and can work in tandem with impairs. Elite and Boss shields will reduce physical damage from 20% to 50%. At 230k Temperature floor 13, one mob took 848 damage unshielded but only 436 damage with its elite shield on. The reduction to Ignore Interrupt should not be overlooked either. Shields not only reduce damage,it also prevent enemies from having their attacks interrupted. That is an issue for many melee dps valkyries who are unable to deal damage without fear of incoming attacks from multiple enemies. Crippling Bolt will enable the return of many melee damage dealers with issues surviving in the past. Upgraded at lvls 2, 3, and 4 core.
Upgraded at lvls 1, 2, and 3 core.
Upgraded at lvl 6 core.
Upgraded at lvls 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 core.
Upgraded at lvls 3, 4, 5, and 6 core.
There has also been extensive buffs to YA's shield in the DK rework. Previously, the shield only has 558 HP and once broken, needed 6 seconds of not being hit before it re-applies. Now, it scales with DK's HP and a SSS-rank Lv80 DK will have roughly 3,300 HP without any HP gears (Stigmatas themselves often give around 300-500 HP stats), which means a shield at around 825 HP. DK also gains multiple ways to re-apply its shield: through QTE, every 3 seconds during ultimate, and performing a Perfect Defense(at lvl 6 core). In addition, Gravity Vortex greatly reduces damage done to shields. For example, a 1,000 damage hit will only deal 580 damage to the shield with the skill at max level.
Having the shield active also greatly boosts damage. It provides an periodic AoE damage that is reminiscent to Scarlet Lier M's effects. It also grants 25% physical melee damage and 10% crit rate. The shield basically gives the value of a top tier damage stigmata to any damage dealer.
Overdrive VS Obliterate Mode
The last big change is DK's ultimate. It is still a burst mode that transforms DK into a melee valkyrie while providing some crowd control (time slow vs stun to impaired vs crippling field targets respectively). However, the biggest change is reducing much of YA's healing capabilities with the ability to gather. DK heals for much less than before, but now gathers enemies upon entering burst mode and again every three hits. In addition, it also refreshes your shield every 3 seconds! At core lv6, burst mode also grants the team 50% reduction to bleed damage. Healing has not been a prevalent part of the game since the old Infinity Abyss rework and DK's new ultimate will see much more value than YA's old ultimate.
Important Core Levels
The sequence is of skills unlocked from core levels 1-6 is mostly broken into two categories: offensive and defensive. Its offensive skills, namely Space Warp and Crippling Bolt, will be maxed at level 3 and 4 respectively. Its defensive skills such as Aegis of Inertia is maxed at lvl 5 and DEF Reboot and Gravity Vortex are both maxed at level 6. I would personally recommend captains to prioritize upgrading DK to level 6 as soon as possible.
Being a support valkyrie, its weapons and stigmatas has a lower priority over weapons and stigmatas for your damage dealers. Also, supports will often adjust their loadout to best fit their current damage dealer.
Optimal Weapon :
Star Shatterer: Vikrant -- 275 ATK / 27 CRT
Distortion Field (SP: 21, CD: 30s): Creates a field for 7 seconds that slows movement of enemies by 50%, deals 150% atk per second, applies 10% weaken, and slowly pulls them towards the center.
Gravity Plus: Rapid Fire: It's a laser so it has the same characteristics as other lasers. It also grants 15% Max HP and 15% Total Damage to the team when attacking weakened targets.
Its passive synergizes extremely well with both Crippling Bolt and Aegis of Inertia. Crippling Bolt will give easy access to the 15% Total Damage for the team.
Beethoven T -- Increase 20% Max HP. Heavy weapon users also gain 20% Total Damage.
Beethoven M -- When undeployed, team gains 15% Melee Physical Damage and takes 20% less Physical Damage from enemies.
Beethoven B -- While deployed, user gains 15 SP once every 15 seconds.
Beethoven 2 set bonus -- After casting the ultimate, the next valkyrie to tag in gains 40% Melee Physical Damage for 10 seconds. CD: 20 seconds.
Beethoven 3 set bonus -- After casting the ultimate, the next valkyrie to tag in also gains 30% Total Damage reduction for 10 seconds and heals for 20% Max HP. CD: 20 seconds.
Alternatively, Tesla Band T -- Gains 15% physical damage and 20% attack speed while deployed. While undeployed, team gains 10% physical damage.
As we saw from DK's new skills, melee physical damage dealers benefits greatly from DK; The Beethoven set doubles down on that factor giving a massive 55% Melee Physical damage increase with Beethoven M and 2 set bonus (adding Space Warp will bring it to 80%). Beethoven B helps DK gain enough SP to use her ultimate since DK herself will not be spending too much time on the field. For those who don't need Beethoven's additional defensive capabilities from Beethoven T and 3 set bonus, they can use Tesla Band T for an additional 10% physical damage. I'd personally value Beethoven 3 set over Tesla Band T.
While DK has its own signature weapon and stigmatas, past support stigmatas should not be forgotten, and those without DK's signature weapon can turn to Heavy weapons that can trigger QTEs for its team.
Melee Valkyries New Best Friend
Many melee valkyrie in the game have fallen out of favor when competing with valkyries like God Kiana (GK) who can safely deal damage from range and with her Ultimate, and valkyries with frequent invincibility frames (i-frames) like Vermilion Knight (VK). However, with DK's new shield and Crippling Field buffs, as well as Beethoven's insane damage boost to melee physical damage, melee valkyries are poised to make a big return. Here is a list of some of the valkyries most excited to pair with DK.
Shadow Knight (SK) may seem out of place here. She is the only one that cannot benefit fully from the additional physical damage and crit rate Space Warp gives. However, much of her dps comes from being able to commit to her long ora-ora-ora combo. In the past when the temperature was still low, SK, with her high damage reduction skills, could facetank anything thrown at her while wiping out her enemies. Those days are long gone and SK welcomes the additional defense of DK's new shield and Crippling Field as much as anyone.
DK team's second support should be someone that can trigger DK's QTE while providing additional backline support and two valkyries in particular fit the bill:
Both can trigger time slow with their evasion skills or weapon skills with Artemis' Guardian and Grips of Tai Xuan respectively. After switching out, DP can contribute with Divine Penalty to inflict impair to the enemy. Phoenix (Phx) after switching out can boost elemental damage with Oriole and Rainbow Pinion while also inflicting constant fire damage with Firebrand.
A strong rotation would be to begin with your second support to trigger DK's QTE. DK will gather enemies together and activate Crippling Field and her burst mode. Afterwards, switch to your main damage dealer and deal as much damage as possible in the 15 second span of burst mode and Crippling Field. Rinse and repeat.
Ever since GK has been introduced, the meta has been a bit stale. It is hard to compete with a valkyrie that has the highest damage output in the game while also having the benefit of being high range to kite her enemies from a safe distance.
For a while now, I believe the game is heading towards a state where GK will have a more balanced impact on the meta. The replacement of Infinity Abyss with Dirac Sea is one example. Now the introduction of DK, who heavily focuses on melee damage, is another. DK indirectly buffs a lot of valkyries and we may soon be in a period with more viable teams than ever before.
The best part is DK is completely accessible to everyone with the Asterite Shop and PoA. I'd recommend everyone to invest in Drive Kometa's Augment Cores, after all "meta" is literally in its name. For those who can afford it, they should also pull for her gear as the Beethoven set will quickly be the next big support set.