Titan 12: Strategies, Winter Mercenaries, and City Guardians

After a long, two month hiatus, the Battle for the Titan finally returned to Server 1 last weekend, from December 16-17, 2017, and lasted 24 hours.

Titan 12 was a hotly anticipated event, as the previous Titan Battle took place on October 6, 2017, when (30A) IX Arthur XI was crowned Supreme Emperor.

Since the last Titan, quite a number of different updates have been released, which include: a new hero, holiday and event-specific boosts, mercenary troops, the Mythic Forge, the Monster Farm, new gear, as well as a significant increase in T5 players. As a result, many Titan players anticipated a very different battle from previous Titans, though they were uncertain as to how the battle dynamics would change.

This article analyzes strategies taken between previous Titans and Titan 12, as well as highlights all of the changes since October’s Titan.

Previous Titan Battles

In Previous Titan battles, Titan teams relied heavily on a high level Noctis, gold Arbiter or Sentinel gear, high-level gems, and an incredible amount of loyalty and March Speed Boosts. They also relied heavily on T5 troops.

Being that T5 players were still relatively new to the game at the time, they were rare. With the exception of IX Arthur XI’s predominantly Japanese team and Xx KENTA xX’s multi-realm alliance, few Titan teams were able to fill a T5 rally, or have any chance holding the Titan. As a result, Titan players were forced to coordinate rallies filled with a mix of T5 and T4, often with limited success.

While the last Titan did experience the Titan holders switching, ultimately, the control point did not switch often, once IX Arthur XI was able to fully reinforce the Titan with T5 troops.

IX Arthur XI was able to determine the makeup of incoming rallies using his watchtower, which allowed him to switch reinforcements inside the Titan prior to when the rallies hit. This often resulted in IX Arthur XI successfully countering the incoming rally using an opposing troop type: if the opponent sent an even mix, IX Arthur XI would evenly reinforce; if the opponent sent a Cavalry missile, IX Arthur XI would fill with Warrior.

By keeping his level 95 Noctis inside the Titan at all times, IX Arthur XI ensured that the Titan received all the benefits of the hero’s armor and research, which made reclaiming the Titan even more challenging and difficult as the hours wore on.

The time zone factor also played a huge role in his ultimate triumph: when most players in the US and European timezones fell asleep after the first quarter of Titan, IX Arthur XI’s team was able to continue holding during what was a more reasonable time of day for much of his team. Many opposing teams ended up being half-full during this time, which resulted in unsuccessful rally coordination. By the time IX Arthur XI’s opponents woke up in the morning to regroup with their counterparts, IX Arthur XI had already held all night long, which made winning the Titan all but impossible due to the time advantage.

Missing Titan Packs and Other Bugs

Another factor in the last Titan was spotty availability of Titan ports in the Gold store due to a bug. Clicking on the Titan button to enter the realm of the Titan did not always trigger the “Get More” button, which allowed some players to buy more packs. Instead, players were taken straight to the Gold store, which did not have any packs. This meant that many players were unable to get back into Titan after their port ran out.

Being unable to re-enter Titan to support a rally or help reinforce the Titan as a T4 or T5 player was ultimately disastrous for Xx KENTA xX’s team after they lost the Titan to IX Arthur XI. Instead of being able to rally immediately to reclaim the control point before IX Arthur XI had fully adjusted reinforcements, Xx KENTA xX was unable to fill full rallies due to the fact that more than half his team was unable to get back into Titan.

A smaller issue that was more of an annoyance, rather than a strategic nightmare like missing packs, was the lag that players experienced, which often led to the entire game crashing.

Changes Since Last Titan

Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire released a number of boosts and updates since the last Titan. Titan-relevant updates include:

Prompto

Higher attack, armor piercing, and stronger rallies

Relevant Mercenaries

  • City Guardians – Double the HP of T5
  • Winter Mercenaries – Triple the march speed of T5; Double the bonus damage countering troops

Mythic Forge Gear Set Bonuses

  • Hunter: 25% Hero Monster March Speed Bonus, +1500 max MP
  • Gunslinger: 30% Troop Armor Bonus, 15% Troop HP Bonus, 25% Troop Attack Bonus, 50% Loot Tile Gather Speed
  • Sentinel: 75% Trap Attack, 250% Troop Armor Bonus
  • Arbiter: 75% Troop Attack Bonus, 10% Training Speed
  • Aranea: 180% Troop Attack Bonus, 100% Armor Piercing, 30% War Spoils
  • Winged Assassin: 220% City Assault Attack Bonus, 25% Attack March Speed
  • Undertaker: 300% Troop HP Bonus, 25% Empire Intimidation
  • Grim Reaper: 250% Banishment Portal Troop Attack Bonus, +2 hour Enemy Hero Banishment Bonus Duration

Gems

  • Assault Gem lv 6 – 48% City Assault Boost
  • Piercing Gem Lvl 6 – 85% Armor Piercing
  • Empire Intimidation Gem Lv 6 – 11% Empire Intimidation

VIP Levels

Additional VIP Levels allowed players to add additional troop attack, troop health, and troop armor at VIP 20.

Monster Farm

  • Chocobos: 88% Troop Attack Boost
  • Cryonade: 120% Cavalry Attack
  • Galvanade: 120% Mage Attack
  • Grenade: 120% Warrior Attack

Boosts

Halloween Boosts

  • Crippling Fear – Slows incoming marches by 25%; Increases troop vitality by 25%
  • Ambush – +20,000 trap capacity, +50% City Defense Armor
  • Raise the Dead – +200% Hospital Capacity, +15% Training Speed, +200% Troop Training Queue
  • Undead Army – +3,000 Rally Capacity; +17,000 March Size

Cactuar Needle Boosts

  • Cactuar 1000 Needles Monster Slaying Boost – 500% Hero Attack, 250% Hero Monster March Speed, 100% Max MP
  • Cactuar 1000 Needles Attack Boost – 80% Troop Attack, 30% March Speed
  • Cactuar 1000 Needles Defense Boost – 100% Trap Attack, 50% Troop HP, 50% Troop Attack

Ignis and Ravus Uneasy Alliance Boosts

  • +25% Troop Attack
  • +25% Troop Armor
  • +25% Troop HP
  • +50% March Speed

Winter Mercenary Boosts

  • 100% Winter Mercenary Crystal Attack Multiplier
  • 100% Winter Mercenary Crystal HP Multiplier

Titan Instant Boosts

By defeating the Behemoth Tyrant in the Realm of the Titan, the following boosts could be rewarded, which lasted an hour:

Defeat Behemoth Tyrants for Instant Boosts
  • Tyrannical 200% Troop Attack While Occupying Crystal
  • Tyrannical 200% Troop Attack While Attacking Crystal
  • Tyrannical 200% Troop HP
  • Tyrannical 200% Troop Armor
  • Tyrannical 100% March Speed
  • Tyrannical 100% Empire Intimidation
  • Tyrannical 20% March Size

Titan 12

When Titan 12 was finally announced, many Titan players — new and returning — were very excited. However, they knew that they would be approaching the Titan with a significant disadvantage: IX Arthur XI had won the title of Supreme Emperor in the previous Titan, and was awarded the Supreme Emperor Helmet, which gave him the following boosts:

  • +48% Warrior Attack
  • +20% Troop Armor Bonus
  • +20% Troop HP Bonus
  • +20,000 Training Queue

In addition, IX Arthur XI had raised his Noctis level to 100.

Had Titan occurred without all of the additional boosts and upgrades, Titan 12 might have been a much less dynamic battle. However, due to the additional boosts, there was significant switching of the Titan between (30A) IX Arthur IX, (7SiN) Marikess (working in tandem with (K.T) Xx KENTA xX, Bx$, and !D), and (ETA1) Xx VICKIE xX.

As two months had passed since the last Titan, contenders were given the time advantage of working on their gear — but very few had all of the set bonuses that the Mythic Forge provided. These boosts were a game changer, as they collectively provided additional max stat boosts of +530% Troop Attack, +280% Troop Armor, +100% Armor Piercing, and +315% Troop HP.

More importantly, Titan contenders could now fill T5 rallies with ease — multiple teams showed up boasting a minimum of six T5 players — the minimum number of players needed to completely fill a T5 rally. This meant the damage output in rallies was considerably higher, which would allow for a far more competitive Titan experience.

Defense and Attack Strategies

Multirealm Team - Marikess and Xx KENTA xX

While previous Titans only had T5 and T4 troops to contend with, this particular Titan allowed for a far more complex mix of troops in rallies, and different boosts which could be activated to make more successful rallies.

Furthermore, rally leaders and Titan contenders could kill Behemoth Tyrants for extra Titan buffs — which ultimately was the reason why IX Arthur XI lost the Titan the first time to ETA1, as his hero did not make it back in time before Xx VICKIE xX’s rally landed in the first hour.

Titan holders quickly discovered that the key to winning Titan was finding the perfect balance of City Guardians, Winter Mercenaries, and T5 Troops. Too many City Guardians meant not enough attack from other troops; too little, and there simply wasn’t enough of a meat wall to protect the reinforcing troops, which died at a higher rate.

Titan holders were able to stack boosts such as +50% HP, Crippling Fear, Uneasy Alliance boosts, as well as Cactuar 1000 Needles Defense Boost to give their troops as much health and attack as possible.

In contrast, Titan attackers would stack boosts such as Undead Army, Cactuar 1000 Needles Attack Boost, Uneasy Alliance boosts, and +50% Attack, after killing a Behemoth Tyrant. Most rallies were missile rallies — otherwise known as a rally filled with a single troop type.

Rallies were led by a high-level Prompto skilled specifically for the attack, wearing gear that boosted the assault. All rallies were accompanied by respective monsters for additional 88% Troop Attack or 120% Missile Attack, depending on the rally leader, and filled with a mix of Winter Mercenaries, T5 Troops, and sometimes City Guardians. Additional support rallies with T4/T5 mixes were also used.

Winter Mercenaries

While Winter Mercenaries seemed to resemble T4 Troops in stats, due to the 100% Crystal Attack and HP boosts, this made Winter Mercenaries stronger than T5 while attacking the crystal. However, they did not seem to have the same beefiness of T5, and would die first in rallies. The high cost of replacing them, and the unavailability of Winter Mercenary packs, created an artificial scarcity that made it impossible to fully reinforce or rally with only Winter Mercenaries.

Because anyone could make Winter Mercenaries, this allowed T4 players to contribute to rallies and to Titan reinforcements, which made the battlefield more egalitarian and encouraged player engagement in a way previous Titans had not. Thanks to Winter Mercenaries, T4 players, who often were relegated to the sidelines as ancillary support and sacrificial lambs, felt that they played an important and significant role in the battle.

City Guardians

City Guardians did not make an appearance in Titan until after IX Arthur XI lost the Titan a second time in the second quarter. Due to the inability to create more Guardians, players were careful not to waste them all within the first quarter of the battle; instead, they saved them to use strategically.

Once City Guardians were included in the reinforcing mix of the Titan, taking control of the Titan became far more difficult. Opposing teams began to focus efforts on killing off all Guardians IX Arthur XI’s team possessed — which ultimately became a war of attrition which was, in many ways, Sisyphean in nature.

When Western players began dropping off in the third quarter, eight hours after the start of the event, it became impossible for IX Arthur XI’s opponents to consistently fill rallies, and the City Guardians secured IX Arthur XI’s second consecutive win in Titan 12.

No Titan Packs and Other Bugs

Like the previous Titan, Titan 12 players discovered that they were unable to buy packs during the event which would allow them to enter Titan or return to support their teams.

However, unlike previous Titans, the packs this time only offered one port, which made the cost of Titan far more expensive. Instead of being able to buy three packs with two Titan ports, players were forced to buy six packs with one, in order to stay the entire time — a very costly undertaking that only the most dedicated high spenders would be able to afford.

Other  issues experienced during Titan included incorrect march timers on rallies which made timing and coordinating rallies almost impossible.

In comparison with previous Titans, it appeared that the lag was much improved, and the game seemed to crash less.

Conclusion

For all returning and new Titan players on Server 1, Titan 12 was easily the most exciting, dynamic Titan to date. The increase in T5 players meant full T5 rallies and stronger teams. The addition of Prompto, monsters, the Mythic Forge, new gear, mercenaries, and a variety of boosts, allowed for complex reinforcement and rally mixes and resulted in the Titan switching holders more times than in previous Titans.

Additionally, the Winter Mercenaries and City Guardians created a more inclusive event, as anyone was able to make them and supply them to rallies and the Titan. Mercenary Troops also created a degree of unpredictability, as they have not received as extensive testing by many players due to their recent releases which made them harder to plan against.

However, the time zone differences were still an issue for several teams, and the lack of packs in the store also created a number of issues for players who wanted to play in Titan.

Ultimately, due to great teamwork, incredible gear, and the perfect balance of City Guardians and Winter Mercenaries, (30A) IX Arthur XI cinched the throne of Supreme Emperor of Titan 12, and was awarded Supreme Emperor’s Immortality, which grants +600% Troop Armor Bonus and +20,000 Training Queue.

Long may he enjoy his reign, until the next Titan Battle!

Honorable Mentions

  • (7SiN) Marikess / (K.T) Xx KENTA xX / !D / Bx$
  • (ETA1) Xx VICKIE xX

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