Like a lot of people, I’m really excited to think about using this unit in a variety of different modes. I thought I’d write down my thoughts rather than just think on them internally so maybe other people could benefit. I’m sure I messed up a bunch of my theorycrafting - I’m not perfect - but if it’s helpful to someone to think through these things, then that’s cool.
For me, since Itsuki clearly wants to be a light season AR tank, it doesn’t interest me that much to build him for that purpose as Matthew has been performing really well in light season and I have no reason to replace him. He can work in Astra, but we really need a +Res Astra mythic hero first before I consider that. It’s an option though - just not right now.
But as a general high-scoring unit, I’m interested in building him for all those modes as he’s able to run 300 SP skills in his A-slot without taking a score penalty. So this is where my thinking currently lies, and what I want to discuss :)
Itsuki General Purpose Tank Build
His most effective general purpose tank build I could come up with to achieve maximum score of 752 would be something like the following. A lot of B-slots work - such as Guard, Null-Follow-Up, Null-C Disrupt, Swordbreaker 3, etc. - but the Lull skills just have the lowest opportunity cost as they are generally great against everyone:
Thoughts on Astram Tank Build
Astram is really Itsuki’s main competitor. For a tank, Astram performs very similarly, and there are some advantages to using Astram too. His speed is currently high enough that you are not forced to use Quick Riposte 3, thus saving it for another character.
The one downside to using Astram is that if you’ve used up some of the free Wrath fodder like I have, he’ll be more expensive to build if you start now.
Note on Bonus Doubler: It’s definitely his second best skill as far as tank builds go, but the ability to counter at range is just better imo.
Thoughts on Adult Tiki Tank Build
I thought I’d comment on this because I still see a lot of posts on the forums about Adult Tiki specifically.
Despite the fact that Itsuki can’t run Mirror Stance 3 with Lightning Breath+, he’s very comparable to Adult Tiki due to his superior pref and bst. New players should look to invest in Itsuki instead honestly. Existing Adult Tikis with max investment will absolutely perform very similarly in most general scenarios when compared to Itsuki, but since she will not score as high as Itsuki, she’s basically obsolete now. New players should avoid spending resources on her honestly - just get a copy of DC and bear through it.
Itsuki Offense Build
When it comes to offense, because Itsuki doesn’t get any help from Spd on his pref, he really needs to rely on his skills to perform well as a player-phase unit. Unfortunately, with such a build, his enemy-phase potential is quite medicore. Still, at least he won’t be dying much due to his incredibly high defense, even if he can’t double and kill in retaliation as often as he’d like to.
The best player-phase build I could think up for him would be the following. He has some options with his A-slot - anything that increases his atk and spd makes him more effective. In terms of B-slots, Lull Spd/Def 3 (to help double or avoid doubles) and Lull Atk/Def 3 are great options too. Even Swordbreaker 3 is a great budget option.
He’ll perform alright with this build as of January 2020, but I do question his long-term future over the next 2 years just because he’s currently so reliant on skills to make up his spd stat.
Astram Offense Build
Astram on the other hand is much stronger when it comes to player phase compared to Itsuki, and I think due to ability to really take advantage of Bonus Doubler 3 and his naturally higher spd stat, he’ll be more future proof. The other nice thing with this build is that it surprisingly performs well on the enemy-phase, even if he sometimes can’t counterattack.
Astram Mixed-Phase Build
Since there’s a lot of similarities between Astram’s player-phase and enemy-phase builds, it makes a lot of sense to create a mixed-phase build for him. While you do give up DC in a mixed-phase build, his player-phase performance is hardly affected, making a bond skill, such as Atk/Spd Bond 3 (or even just atk/spd 2), a really good mixed-phase choice for him.
Itsuki Mixed-Phase Build???
Itsuki’s pref works on both phases, so it makes sense to try and capitalize on that. However, it’s really hard to do so due to his poor speed stat. Once you remove Quick Riposte 3 on his seal and DC from his A-slot, you’ve basically destroyed his enemy-phase potential entirely. I don’t think a mix-phased build is worth it on Itsuki.
Katie’s General Conclusions
Both Astram and Itsuki are awesome units. Astram is a stupidly strong player-phase unit with decent enemy-phase potential while Itsuki is a superior enemy-phase unit, but with weaker player-phase potential due to his lower speed. Itsuki’s player-phase potential is servicable if you build strictly for it, but it comes at the cost of deviating really hard from his strengths.
Who should you build? If you want a player-phase or mixed-phase unit, and you don’t mind giving up Wrath 3 fodder, go with Astram. If you want a tank in light season or tanky sword unit in arena, go with Itsuki.
PS: As for tiering these units, I’m not sure why Astram is tier 3. He’s such a super strong unit. I think he’s better than Legendary Marth honestly. That’s a little messed up I think :/ Itsuki should be tiered pretty high as well. I mean, if Zelgius is tier 1, Itsuki has something to say about that…
PPS: Don’t crucify me, lol