Completely lost as to how to build a team

So I’ve been being torn back and forth on teambuilding in AK and I’m starting to think I’m hitting some walls because I simply don’t know what synergizes well (All I know is that I love Aak and am usually fond of buffing/bossmelter teams.) This has led to the other issue is that I don’t really know how to build next as an operator and the resource costs for mistakes has been increasing extravagantly. Offering a chunk of my roster as a reference, can anyone help me? Or even just provide insight on how you built YOUR team. Something to let me to get somewhere with a generalist team, pft.

Thank you in advance!

Hello!
The cost of building one operator is certainly very expensive, but I don’t think making operators you like is wrong per se. Have fun with your operator, I will boldly say :fgo_meltbirb:
That said, however, I’ll try giving you an insight on how I build my team. Take this with a grain of salt though.

  • I would make an E2 for every operator type and its archetype. Sometimes I'm surprised that some of the nicher (arguably someone like Manticore and Ethan) operators can shine very brightly in some stages.
  • I assume a general team is a team that shouldn't go too wrong when tackling any stage without prior knowledge/information what's within that stage. In such cases, I would make sure that in a team that I have:
    • good range of damage types (having good access to Arts and Physical)
    • good coverage for ground and air enemies
    • at least one operator that can soak up and handle harasses better than the others, usually this one is filled by Defender.
    • sufficient amount of healing, I usually bring 1 ST medic and 1 AoE medic with me.
    • Having at least 2 vanguards of different archetypes. I usually bring on-kill VG to help me handle early rushes if there are any, or just being efficient with DP in general, and Myrtle just because she's literally a DP-printer.
    • as far as synergies go, I think that having a set of operators that covers each others' weakness is fine. Just by placing ST sniper and ST caster side-by-side will usually assure you a good coverage of damage types. Placing an AoE operators to support defenders synergy is one of the simpler and effective ones.

      In case of Aak, he synergizes the most with operators with considerable amount of HP and DEF, such as Guards and Defenders. He also synergizes a lot with Shining, since Aak deals physical damage with his skill when hitting his teammate. You can try Aak S3 unto PapaSilver S3 and watch hell breaks loose.

    As a reference, this is my general team, not a perfect one for sure but it gets most job done:

  • If you're low on LMD and not sure which operator you want to E2, you might want to level masteries up on key operators. I'd prioritize my DPS operators first for masteries, probably CC first, then Defenders/Medic.
  • If you're high on LMD, in the middle of grinding materials, and not sure which operator you want to E2 and masteries, then what you might wanna do is increase the level of your operators. (Try spreading the levels as well rather than just stacking them on one operator)
  • It is generally not recommended to level up your E2s to cap due to the enormously high amount of LMD and EXP you have to pump into them, as the stats increases gets less and less efficient to increase. You might want to keep them at a good level (Most would go for somewhere around E2 level 30 to 50) and focus those LMD/EXP on developing other operators.
  • If you're not opting for 2 options above, then you can just do the other option: save your LMD and Materials up for emergency leveling. You never know if you ever need to level a certain operator to a good level for clearing stages.

That’s from me I guess, I wish you best of luck on your teambuilding. I hope this helps!

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You have most of the core operators in every type but not everyone E2.

If you still want to make this game easier I suggest you to E2 every S+ to S-(check them in tier list).

If not, you can start E2 some unique character to make game more fun and challenging.

Another choice is E2 Base operator like Texas and Lapland. They will profit you in long run.

Without seeing what the rest of your units look like I couldn’t say 100% for sure, but I would say one thing to keep in mind is that it’s much better to spread levels over your team rather than pump a few up to max. I see a few max E2s, which (while it will get more people to use your support units) is very inefficient for your exp & LMD for what you get out of it. The general advice is to get everyone in your main team to about E1:50 before getting anyone to E2, and get them to E2:40 or so before pushing anyone further than that. Once you have most of your main team to E2, Mastery levels become more important than getting more operators to E2.

As far as team building goes, I generally see this advised until you get a hang of what can be swapped out:

2 Vanguards (usually DP skill types)
2 Defenders
2 Medics (1 ST and one AoE)
2 Snipers (at least one should be anti-air, often 2 are needed)
2 Casters (1 ST and one AoE)
1 Guard
The last slot is flexible depending on the stage’s requirements and personal preference. DP-on-kill Vanguards, Guards and Defenders are pretty common.

Once you’re gotten that down, you can start toying with what’s good for changing around. Here’s my main team, for example–while only the first five are usually “set in stone”, you can see it doesn’t exactly fit that main team composition but have some decent reasons for them.

So you’ll notice I don’t have 2 defenders, 2 snipers, 2 healers, or 2 casters. But I’ve found here that:

Saria is a powerful Healing defender, and her skills can swap her to be either ST or AoE healing depending on the situation. So in most cases I don’t need a second Medic, allowing another DPS to be added.
Estelle is an AoE guard, which blocks 3 at E2 just like a Defender. She can be used well on lanes that have a lot of weaker enemies, so that they die before doing enough damage that it doesn’t matter that her defense is lower than a Defender’s. On maps with a lot of stronger enemies though, I do have to swap her out with a true Defender like Hoshiguma.
I don’t have two Casters, but I have a Caster and two Supporters that deal Arts damage, which serve the same purpose. They do less damage than a true Caster, but each have separate utility that can come in handy.
I don’t have two Snipers, but frankly Eyjafjalla tends to melt anything that approaches her. As long as I have her a Blue Poison covering different areas, I usually don’t have to worry about any drones slipping by. On drone-heavy maps, I usually use an Exusiai from a friend support.

You’ll also note I do have a few maxed operators, but my entire team is at least E2:40, with the exception of Myrtle–since she usually isn’t actually hitting things and is there to print DP, her level isn’t usually that important.

My base team usually starts with Saria, Silverash, Texas, Platinum, Ch’en, Eyjafjalla and Myrrh. Depending on the stage I’ll add in or substitute. That said, here’s the operators I’ve found most useful:

Defenders:

  • Saria: Best healing defender hands down. Her defense is almost on-par with a pure defender, and her S2 does a surprising amount of healing over a wide AoE range. Easily substitutes for a healer.
  • Hoshiguma: Best DPS defender. Stick in any spot with her S3 and watch the enemies die.
  • Cuora: Doesn’t have the best defense but her block-4 ability means she can stall anyone until your other operators can finish them off.
  • I can’t recommend Nian. I’ve raised her and her skills but her overall defense and attack don’t seems to match Hoshiguma or Cuora (oddly enough)

Guards:

  • Silverash: Ranged guard with a high-powered AoE (S3). Can almost be used as a sniper substitute if you time it right, and chews through everything else.
  • Ch’en: High damage, reasonable defense. S2 is an AoE that can hit drones. At S2M3 it’s ready to proc the moment you deploy her so she makes an excellent crowd-control or last-minute save unit.
  • Mousse: Reliable, if slightly squishy, arts guard. As a 4* she’s easy to raise and both her skills are easy to use. Just plop her in a corner and leave her alone.
    Note: If you have the resources Spectre or Blaze are excellent but I’ve found they both require M3 to really shine if you have the above.

Healers:

  • Myrrh: Another easy to raise 4*. A straight healer that doesn’t buff the party but her on-deply talent heals everyone on the map so she can help even the farthest away operators survive.
  • Ptilopsis: AoE heal with bonus SP generation. I haven’t really noticed the SP generation boost, but her AoE heal is decent. Intechangeable with Perfumer
  • Perfumer: AoE heal with map-wide passive healing. If you have any operators that can’t be directly healed (like Hellagur or Utage) or a map with sparse ranged spots you’ll want her. Interchangeable with Ptilopsis

Vanguards: My favorite units

  • Texas: I have no idea why everyone loves Siege. Texas may be squishy but her S3 is an AoE Arts Stun that charges reasonably quickly. She can easily clear out drones and stall enemies until other operators can kill them. When supported by a healer she can survive most maps and dump out enough damage to remain useful.
  • Scavenger/Fang: Two interchangeable DPS vanguards. Both easy to raise with reliable damage and DP generation, both squishy so they’ll need healer support.
  • Reed: My favorite DP-on-kill operator, even over Vigna and Bagpipe. Deals arts damage and gains an extra 1 DP with her S2. Surprisingly resilient
  • Courier: Easy to raise. Useless for damage, he’s a defensive operator. Useful only when you need the extra DP or when you can’t field enough defenders.
  • Myrtle: Raw DP generation with a side of healing. Do NOT use to block or expect any damage our of her but DO use her as a backup healer.
  • Honorable mention: Siege. Everyone’s favorite vanguard. I find she’s a better AoE guard than a vanguard. Has the defense and attack but not the DP generation.

Casters:

  • Eyja: High attack with awesome AoE. Slightly odd range and RNG dependent on deploy but proably the best caster of any category.
  • Amiya. Single target caster. Use her S2 since her S3 retreats her
  • Ifrit/Mostima: Pure damage but pricey to raise
  • Honorable mention: Leizi: not the best for damage but her chain lightening is awesome if you are getting bombarded with mobs
    I can’t recommend Gitano or Starfire over any of these. Gitano is RNG dependent and will screw up your auto-deploy while Starfire’s attack is so slow she usually dies before she gets any decent damage out.

Specialist:

  • Ethan: Cheap, crowd-control with bind. Squishy but useful on maps with large open areas or if you can’t block enough lanes
  • Gravel: The Boss-Blocker. All bosses are immune to Stun so Projekt Red is useless against then. Gravel’s Def/HP skills allow her to survive several hits and stall all enemies long enough for other operators to kill them or to free up your defenders to continue blocking.

Supporters:

  • Glaucus: Best Drone destroyer. Deals Slow and Arts damage. Only really useful against drones, but her AoE Slow from her S2 can be used as crowd-control on all units
  • Istina: Slow and Arts damage supporter. All skills are reliable and her S2 expands her range.
  • Honerable mention: Angelina: Surprisingly hard to use. Her passive heal is next to useless so use Perfumer instead, and her S2/S3 prevent her from doing reliable damage. But when they do proc her damage output matches Eyja.

Snipers:

  • Platinum: Best sniper ever. Her S2 takes time to build but once it procs she dumps out enough damage to kill almost anything.
  • Shirayuki: Another easy to raise 4*. Slow attack, but deals AoE Arts damage and Slow. Her attacks hit a surprisingly large range so she’s fairly reliable despite the almost painfully slow attack speed.
  • Honorable mention: Meteor: Easy DPS and reliable debuff. Cheap 4*
  • Note: Can’t recommend Meteorite as she’s RNG dependent for her debuff. And her range matches Shirayuki so unless you’ve got a drone specific map like the Skill Summary map “Aeriel Threat” she’s not worth it. Can’t really recommend Exusai or Blue Poison either. Their specialty is a lot of small amounts of damage so they can’t affect high-Def enemies like Platinum and neither have survivability skills like Jessica

My team building revolves the 6* I like. Here’s my core squad:

  • DPS: SA, Eyja, Exu, Schwarz
  • Healers: Saria, Nightingale
  • Helidrops: Chen, Red
  • DP generator: Seige, Texas

I then build units to complement the and supplement my team

  • Backup Defenders: Hoshi (for very hard hitting enemies), Nearl (in case extra first aid is needed)
  • DPS Defender: Liskarm (DPS + SP regen)
  • Backup Medics: Shining (same case as Hoshi), Warfarin (for buffing Exu and other units)
  • Extra Arts Damage: Amiya, Magallan
  • AoE Damage: Executor, Meteorite, Specter
  • Extra AA Snipers: Kroos, Meteor

I think it’s easier and more fun to do it this way. For one, I get to enjoy the game because I am using the units I like. Another is it gives me direction: developing units that will help my main squad. Just take one project at a time and develop a unit depending on that project.

I’m not trying to sound sarcastic, but with that lineup just in your picture, disregarding the rest of your operators, at that promotion and level, trust me when I say that you can beat absolutely every stage in the game bar none. Even the challenge EX event stages. If you’re still having difficulty it’s more about how you use your operators than who you need to raise more. You can beat even Kazimiers Major (CN’s latest event) with just 4* or lower. If you need inspiration, feel free to look up guides on Youtube or Bilibili.

As others have said, spread your resources. Arknights is a puzzle game, not an RPG. You collect puzzle pieces and prepare them so all of them are adequate when and if you need them. Don’t select a few to “build a team” and raise them until they can bulldoze everything, because they won’t (except SA, Eyja, Blaze, and Hoshi and possibly Bagpipe and Exu, because they can, in fact, bulldoze everything).

So I’ll see if I can give a little specific advice for the units you have, using the basic setup I gave before.

2 Vanguards: Siege, Myrtle. Bagpipe is also a good one, and can take the spot of either the Guard or the free slot. Zima is good to swap out for certain maps.
2 Defenders: Saria, Hoshiguma (level to around e1:50 at least)
2 Medics: Silence, Ptilopsis. Perfumer is better on some maps, but ptilopsis is better in general. Once you get used to positioning her right, Warfarin can also be great for powering up your DPS
2 Snipers: Exusiai, Blue Poison. I’d also suggest leveling Meteorite
2 Casters: Ifrit, Haze (Amiya is worth leveling for down the line, as a tip)
1 Guard: Silverash
“Free slot”: switching this around every battle is the best way to learn how you can substitute units. I don’t have her, but I hear Skadi is good as an assassin or can be sustained DPS depending on which skill, Waai Fu and Projekt Red are good for dealing with spiders and such. You can also put in operators you just like and see what situations they’re good in.

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If you clicked on the link of his image, it’ll lead you to an imgur album where he posted all of his units from 6 star to 4 star. Just letting you know!

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Thanks, I wasn’t paying enough attention to notice it was a link! Updated my post with more full information.

Quite a few powerhouses in there, so once you get a hang of forming your party to the mission you’re in, I imagine you could clear everything that’s in the game so far. Unless this was an account you bought, with that much invested I imagine you’ve cleared enough to be able to farm everything, so your issue is probably specific high-end maps like challenge modes and Operation Inferno? If that’s the case you’re probably better off looking at strategy guides for those maps rather than overall team building information, since those kinds of missions tend to need to be tweaked significantly from the standard.

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well teambuilding really depend on the map u play like if there are lots of air units u need more sniper/caster/range-guards
is it more heavyhitters/bosses u might want units that stall fastredeploy or slow/stun/roots.

for blind runs on maps (like practice run on new map) i always take :
silverdaddy (range guard antiinvisible skill and schwingschwing ), lappland (rangeguard arts dmg and silence)
saria (as tank and healer)
myrtel (DP-battery) bagpipe (her E2-talent boosting mytel and also early blocker)
specter (as a offtank and aoe dmg)
a fast redeploy (used to be gravel but got last week red so its red now)
ptilopsis (Aoe healer which also boost SP recovery)
Eyja and ifrit for arts dmg
meterorite (aoe sniper)
magallan (with sniper drones)

i can see that u E2 maxed some units (waaifu and silence) personally i would only E2 30/50 all my units first.
to max a unit in most cases is a waste of LMD the only exceptions (IMO) are silverdaddy as he nearly always can be used and the dmg increase due to the lvlups during skill use is huge (for every 20 lvl he gets ~33atk boost on S3M3 thats total boost of ~100atk per attack which would be [if SA would attack 1 enemy over the duration 30sec 2700dmg more and thats only 1 enemy if its 6 enemys u imagine how much dmg that is from just this little atk boost ^^]
the other exeption would be summoners like magallan and mayer because the summons also get stronger with each lvl of the operator and if we take magallan S3 as example u get up to 3 “mini-meteroite” as summons that needs to replace 1-3 units and lvling only 1 magallan to max is cheaper in total than lvling 4 units to E2 30-50.
so lvling 1 summoner to max is worth it (if u like playing with summons)

an other “exeption” to dont max units is for Aak use : some units will not survive his burst dmg unless they hit a specific lvl cap to get enough def (if u dont want also to use helerps like shinings def aura and skills) so lvl according to that.

speaking of Aak here some funny combos u can do:
units with dodge like helleguar with S2 active/ Feater and such can dodge his S2-S3 skill attacks so they dont get dmg of it [ok hellugar would also get AttackSpeed out of the dmg so even if he doenst dodge it he will hit faster]

units taht charge skills with getting hit croissont and Liskarm will also get 15-SP from Aaks skill use (in Liskarms case it also a S1 defboost on demand one of her weaknesses)
speaking of Liskarm each of the 15 hits will also generate 15SP for ally near her so u can also have like lappland/ bibek skills charging up for later enemys [have to be carefull with position not that Aak would gain SP instead of the other unit coz that would be wasted]