A possible system for competitive Aether Raids?

Hello! I mentioned somewhere that there is competitive potential in Aether Raids, so let’s try to create such a system! Who knows, maybe I could make it official here if there is interest in this project.

Basic Rules

2 players will go head to head with each other. A full game comprises of both attacking and defending, so players will have to do both during a match. If one player wins while the other loses, it is obvious who is the victor. So let’s do some tie-breaks.

We can use the following scoring system to grade attacks:

  • 1 point for each survivor, 1 additional if all members survive.
  • 1 point for each Aether Structure broken. 1 additional point if all Aether Structures are broken.
  • 1 additional point if the player managed to do all of the above

If both players win their attack, we use the following tie-breaker:

  1. Attack Score.
  2. Higher number of survivors.
  3. Lower turn count.

If both players lose their attack, we use the following tie-breaker:

  1. Higher turn count.
  2. Higher number of survivors.

For the losing tie-breaker, it is to ensure that if a player is about to lose, they do their best to defend for as long as possible.

Special Rules:

These are just some special rules that I think would be relevant. More could be added in the future.

  1. Players can only used 1 unit from the “Limited” list, which might change from season to season. Units that are in the “Limited” list are units that could potentially brick different strategies, be it offensively or defensively. For example, if both Legendary Azura and Bridal Fjorm are on the “Limited” list, players cannot use both units in the same team.
  2. Players are discouraged from delibrately stalling the battle. If there are no Aether Structures or damage dealt by Enemy Phase Turn 5, and the player fails the attack, the player automatically loses the match. If both players of the match violate this rule, both players lose the match.
  3. No practicing allowed. Each player is only allowed 1 attempt on the map. So no Mila Turnwheel bullcrap here.

Match Verification

For verification purposes, all players will have to record their battles. The recording requires the following to be valid:

  • Accepting the friend request.
  • The actual battle. The battle should not last more than a specific duration (maybe 20 minutes?)
  • Deleting the opponent from friend list.

Gathering Interest

If you are interested in trying this system out, feel free to leave a like here so that I could gauge the demand for such a thing. Feel free to discuss what we could do to make it even better.


Yeah I’m interested, thanks for putting this together! The verification method is smart, I was wondering how practice rounds would be prevented.

One suggestion for losing tie-breakers, is to also count foes defeated in the breaker calculations.

Also, would the limited list apply to offense and defense, or would separate lists make more sense in that case?

I’m interested in trying this as well.

However I’m not so sure about the time limit and how it works. Are we allowed to take our time to analyze our opponents map or is there some kind of time limit for this as well? I usually prefer to do my AR matches while taking the time to see what one of my teams can accomplish against my opponent. This usually already takes me around 10 minutes (unless the setup is easy to break, but I’ve also had rare situations where it took me over 30 minutes.


Needs to be blind matches imo.

By that I mean both players have to create their offense/defense teams ahead of time; no building the perfect anti-thatguy comp.


How will you go about blessings? Can we switch to whichever season benefits us the most or do we gotta go with what the actual season is?

Probably will split Astra and Light Season. So the Light Ladder will not influence the Astra Ladder. This is because this thing should be done on the off season, which does not impact climbing in AR.

I think the time limit could apply to ONLY the battle itself. Essentially the timer only starts when the player start the battle. However, all matches need to be recorded for verification purposes, so I am not sure if a long duration will be convenient for some phones to record.

Yeah the matches are ensured to be as blind as possible. While it is hard to enforce, the match verification process should somewhat help with that.

Good call. Will add the foes defeated as a criterion.

The limited list should be separated. I just stated the most obvious examples.

1 Like

We could have everyone send in snapshots of their defense and offense teams ahead of time, to a neutral party. Then everyone is randomly matched up, and after all matches are complete, the snapshots are posted publicly for group verification.

This would ensure that no one has a chance to change their teams after they figure out who they are matched with, but does require extra preparation.

I would like to propose some alternatives in the details of the system:

  • automatic zero for an unsuccessful raid. No points for breaking aether structures.
  • tiebreaks for both sides raid successfully: shouldn’t number of survivors be first priority? and I don’t suggest turn count as a tiebreak mechanism; some strategies are slower than others by nature and equally valid; defensive strategies that lose quicker when they lose are not necessarily worse, especially if their win-loss records are stronger; it is questionable to allow players to bandage their score by breaking structures
  • tiebreaks for both sides defend successfully: one rematch and only one (and maybe tighten the time control). Both players are allowed to adjust their teams in between.
  • if the tiebreak ends in a draw, then call it a draw. We can design a system that accepts draws. Maybe some kind of sports team record type system (ex: 2 points for a win, 1 for a draw, 0 for a loss, tally it up at the end of a season)
  • Time control: inherent in the verification process. Start from the moment the player opens the defense map to scout it. Allow enough time for quality clears except maybe in rematch tiebreaks where they must do it under stricter time controls to increase the challenge level.

Regarding what Venatorio said, I think allow people to change their defense and offense anytime. If a defense map is really that exploitable, let it be exploited, but offense must consider that if they start deviating too far from theory to try to exploit a map, they might find themselves surprised to find a different map and just end up with one raiding party dedicated to something that doesn’t exist.

  1. Probably the case. Same as a normal AR match.
  2. A good compromise is the number of survivors being the first priority, and the Aether Structure is the 2nd. We can see if the system is adequate when put in practice.
  3. Tie-breakers are kind of hard to administer due to how friend requests works. I will explain it later. Maybe ending as a draw might be feasible, with a system similar to football (not handegg); 3 for a win, 1 for a draw, 0 for a loss.
  4. Same as point 2. We do not know until we put it into practice.
  5. Not having to submit the defense team makes administering the ladder a bit easier in terms of amount of work. Dynamic defense teams does work as long as it adhere to the limited list.

Regarding Friend Requests

One issue with a one to one match is the friend request system. If one player offer a friend request, when the other one send a request to the same player, it automatically accepts the previous request. This meant that for a 1v1 to happen, one has to send a request first, wait for the other to finish the battle, receive the request and proceed with the battle. This creates unnecessary downtime for a side ladder that is played at their own time.

With this in mind, it is still possible to create a round robin tournament. Some restrictions however needs to be in place in terms of sending friend requests. (In mathematics, we are essential creating a oriented tournament graph. Handy isn’t it?).

It seems that there is some interest in such a event. I see what I could do to create this event. Will probably keep it small so that it will not be taxing for myself.

I like these changes much better. Really important that turn count isn’t prioritized, as it would push double galeforce/triple dancer comps to rush enemies quickly and praying for luck that you get a compatible AR def team to use it against.

I dig it. What about a 60 second time limit to move? And is it each player moves one unit at a time like in chess?

Yeah I understand your trying to find ways to resolve a tie, but I don’t see how breaking structures can be weighed as a “competitive” feature. Since thats what your are striving for, I feel like using something like this as a form of scoring will take away from what we actually want.

I mean I guess it can add another layer by making you dance around units to break stuff after you already have the match about won. But im not a big fan of that as a form of ranking.

edit: eeh forget what I said, Id have to re think that. I didnt realize you said “Aether” structures. I thought you were refering to just buildings and stuff.

Aether Structures is the pot and the fountain. Using that as the tiebreaker make sense as it does add a degree of complexity to the matches.

Hard to control on a per turn limit. Also the players are kinda playing with bots anyway, so a per turn limit wouldn’t made much sense.

Yeah, I guess my suggestion was if they ever go live and it’s player on player. I kinda don’t want that, tbh…

Player on player will just be one waiting for the other to attack.

In my opinion, the closest way of a competitive mode for such a mode is requiring both players to be on both sides. Hence I think such a system could work.

1 Like