Primer’s Main tl;dr – Broadly prioritize 6 star promotions in the order of 1) Farmer; 2) Single Target damage; 3) Situational dps, if relevant; 4) Healer (if his or her death is wiping your team in your current level of content); 5) Characters that make runs safer/reliable/efficient, usually a buffer or debuffer.
Introduction: tl;dr Skip this – Nobody reads the preface, right?
I believe this Primer may not be of use to experienced players, but maybe it can provide inspiration or a means to free new players of 6 star analysis paralysis?
The community has faithfully answered both old and new players’ questions, and its patience and understanding are beyond reproach, especially regarding the minutiae of character rosters and team synergies. Yet, the question keeps getting asked: “Who do I 6 star next?” I can only offer my personal observations and suggestions that I have experienced and have seen discussed throughout this subreddit.
I sympathize with the question’s ubiquity. 6 starring a character demands time and resources, which, as we all know, come at a premium in Epic 7. Granted, sometimes the question is easily answered: “Pick your favorite,” and whether the favorite is “correct” or not does not pertain. For others, though, the question can paralyze a player’s progress, especially a newer player. This Primer is intended for the latter kind of player, and, if I write this correctly, the forthcoming advice will help you choose an “optimal” character archetype for your roster most of the time.
This Primer will not discuss team synergy: I believe that, when you are starting, your progression relies more on brute forcing content with stats and gear, and your characters’ gear should be determined prior to nuanced considerations of team synergy.
The Problem and Rationale: tl;dr – Restricted Energy demands it be efficiently consumed to simultaneously complete multiple tasks.
In Epic 7, your progress through the game’s content is restricted by your roster’s overall power. Your roster’s power comprises a variable range of investments, like character promotions, gear, awakenings, etc., all of which are restricted and time-gated, basically, by your energy (with the exception of molagoras, which is a different consideration altogether, molagora refund when?). Your energy pool is a finite resource, and Epic 7 challenges you to self monitor your investments and goals.
In order to achieve your goals, you are called upon to efficiently invest your energy. Logically, then, your roster’s overall Power-Acceleration will increase according to the efficiency by which you spend your energy. Investments, then, should be made with regard to getting maximum value from each point of energy.
So how do we efficiently spend our energy? Basically, we want to ensure that we are spending as much of it as we can to accomplish as many sub goals as possible. That is why you will see the community encourage you to level promotion fodder while also farming catalysts while also farming gear/runes, etc.
Thus, each investment you make into your roster’s overall power should also make each subsequent goal more efficiently achieved, and that cycle should continue ad nauseum until you have 9 Hojillion CP and can clear everything in the game.
The Guidelines: tl;dr Broadly prioritize 6 star promotions in the order of 1) Farmer; 2) Single Target damage; 3) Situational dps, if needed; 4) Healer (if his or her death is wiping your team in your current level of content); 5) Characters that make runs safer, usually a buffer or debuffer.
Given the aforementioned demand to farm efficiently, your First 6 Star should be the character that will benefit the most from the 6th Star’s stat boost and that will also improve your roster’s overall Power-Acceleration. Ideally, your first 6 star should enable you both to farm for item drops and to level fodder/Phantasmas safely and efficiently. In fact, your first 6 star character should, ideally, be able to solo clear a stage on his or her own and to do so quickly enough, on autoplay, without needing additional heals at the end of the stage.
Hence why, often, you will see 6 star recommendations take the form of AOE dps characters. Epic 7 contains a wealth of characters that can perform that function, e.g. Sez, Vildred, Clarissa. If your roster does not include a safe/efficient AOE dps character, then remember that characters that damage and self sustain can also meet our requirement, even if they are mostly single target and thus slower: Ravi, Axe God, etc. For your first choice, try to avoid 6 starring a character that needs to combo with another character or one that demands player control. Remember, you want your first 6 star character to do all the work for you.
Why not first 6 star promote your healer or buffer/debuffer? Remember that we want to efficiently increase our roster’s overall power-acceleration. Of your characters’ many stats, only three improve with 6th star promotion, to my knowledge: Attack, Health, and Defense. While having a 6 star healer as your first might initially seem appealing, the promotion’s big Attack improvement will practically speaking be less meaningful. Your initial stage clearing will not improve if your Angelica has 84 more base attack, ~900 more base health, and ~140 more defense, and she will not speed up the rate at which you make the next 6 star. But your stage clear would vastly accelerate and be safer if your AOE dps Vildred had 190 more base attack, ~1000 more base health, and ~100 more defense.
Once you can easily farm while simultaneously leveling fodder, you will want to consider your Second 6 Star to be your single target dps of choice for bosses that demand something more than an AOE dps. Ideally, this next 6th star promote will be equally adept in all content and would never be at a clear disadvantage for the content that you want to farm. That is why you will often see the community recommend that you 6 star Commander Lorina: As a Dark element dps, she will, at worst, be neutral against all content, and be equally adept at killing most bosses.
In fact, I like to think of the Second 6th Star as your boss killer, and he or she will pave the road for progression in hunts, abyss, and world difficulty catalyst farming. If you don’t have characters with favorable or neutral element match-ups for the content you want to farm, then settle on a second 6 Star that will bridge the gap until you farm or pull the character that can.
The Third and Fourth 6th Star promotions should be chosen based on your answer to the following questions, which have been amended, courtesy of /u/JJRLZ: Is your healer dying in the content that you are farming or “Is your healer unable to keep up with incoming team-wide damage?” If your healer is performing satisfactorily, then consider promoting a situational dps character: Maybe you have a 6 star Commander Lorina, but hey, you also have an Alexa, or something, I dunno. Now would be the time to consider Alexa, if you want to have an easier time with Fire bosses, like Wyvern. I would also place arena specific dpsers in this priority slot.
If your healer cannot keep pace with your current level of content, it’s time to consider giving him or her the health and defense boost that comes from the 6th star promotion. /u/JJRLZ – “… the stats gained from 50->60 really increase their healing output… promoting them noticeably boosts the survivability of your whole team due to their stronger heals.”
The Fifth Priority for 6th Star promotion would be the fine-tuning characters, i.e. the ones that bring buffs or debuffs that your party needs to farm safely and reliably. Ideally, these 6 stars would provide your team with QoL enhancements or characters that enable intermediate-advanced levels of progression, and likely do not overly rely on attack, defense, or health. They should, as before, be at least element-neutral in terms of what they need to do. The last 6th star priority could be, for example, Falconer Kluri, Elson, Requiem Roar, Diene, etc.
In essence, then, your 6 Star progression can be broken down in somewhat discrete stages: 1) Event/Stage/Rune farmer who can carry fodder; 2) Initial farmer of boss content or a dps for abyss; 3) Situational dps that covers for a weakness in the previous steps, if relevant; 4) Your healer, if his or her death is resulting in team wipes; and 5) Your buffer or debuffer that enables advanced progression.
So, for my roster, I would prioritize 6 starring 1) Vildred; 2) Commander Lorina; 3) “Oh, I can’t safely/efficiently clear Wyvern or Serila-Hell with Vildred – I should build Alexa, since she is a Blue dps for bosses my first 6 star can’t reliably do”; 4) Angelica; 5) Falconer Kluri/Diene.