So, I wanted to write up on my experiences with Gangrel throughout the entirety of his run as my Astra carry and omnitank... which has basically been since the time he was released to us

Some context: After Gangrel’s release as a GHB unit, he has been my Astra carry and omnitank unit in Astra season thanks to his prf and well-balanced stats for an omnitank relying on Speed, replacing the Vantage Tank style I used with Kronya up until then.


And this is how his build has been for a long time. In the early times, I had Lull Spd/Def instead of Null Follow-Up, as well as Atk Smoke over Panic Smoke since I lacked the fodder to give that to him at the time, but Panic Smoke is now used to ensure Levin Dagger’s activation rate. Close Counter was used instead of Close Foil because I am not a fan of how Close Foil excludes Dragons (and also because I lucked out with a Takumi pitybreaker so I could give him Close Counter) and I finally got him Close Reversal because the additional physical defense patches up one of my builds only weaknesses. I also used Spd/Res Solo Seal until Spd/Res Form’s release as a seal to give him more speed and magical tanking (and true damage), but it was replaced with Spd/Res Form because I find it easy to keep at least one or two allies close by for the damage boost, not to mention that a good deal of Mythics with support skills require Gangrel to stay within 2 spaces for him to reap the effects. I have then gradually upgraded his build to the one you see here today. With all the love I have given him, on his own, being attacked by enemies that have only been debuffed by his Dagger debuff, he literally gains over 20 additional damage (counting both the boosts from his prf, the Dagger 7 debuff, and the true damage from his Levin Dagger) per attack on that enemy and ensures they need to have 68 (in case Gangrel doesn’t double) or 136 bulk (if he doubles) in total after the debuff in order to not keel over from his attacks. And this threshold rises even higher when in Astra season thanks to the Mythic blessings and with the Spd/Res Form seal’s conditions activated. And also, because of the true damage from his prf, Gangrel has also acted as a good wallbreaker despite his “only modest” Atk stat since the true damage is enough to kill, severely cripple, or chip away enough HP from the bulky units that other units are capable of finishing them off, usually with only one attack after Gangrel has softened them up. Noontime is a standard healing special for Gangrel

Mythic-wise, he worked fine with Altina and Naga to boost himself with the blessing boosts, but then Plumeria was released which gave him pretty much everything he wanted; a refresher to make him go again, stat buffs to tank even more, stat debuffs to activate his prf (through her dance or her Sabotage Speed), and in-combat boosts to Atk and Res to help him do even more damage. Ever since, the two have been inseparable as a duo of units I use in AR against most Anima defenses, and they rarely ever let me down.

With the addition of Reginn, Gangrel could now boost himself even more and she also provided a Canto user to occasionally hit-and-run exposed enemies and buildings. Every Astra Mythic since then, from Ashera, to Thórr, to Elimine has consistently provided a measure of support that makes him even better at the role, and capable (with some thinking) to tank the new premium units with broken prf effects have entered the scene.

In terms of units, Flayn when she was introduced, was the second non-Mythic unit used due to her capability of giving damage reduction to Gangrel to further strengthen his tanking capabilities, on top of providing traditional healing and additional Guidance/Ground Orders mobility all the way up until Elimine’s introduction (and I still use her as such when I need a 4-Mythic set-up that can’t include Elimine). Fallen Lyon was used purely as a ranged tank when I needed an additional tank for cavlines (and replaced Flayn when I did). The newest member as a second unit is Ascended Fjórm, who I bring in if I feel I need a Far Saver to withstand particularly insidious ranged units who rely on taking away my ability to counterattack, like Lolichel or a fast/powerful-but-frail Windsweep 2R unit. With these secondary units, I have never felt the need to replace Gangrel as my primary unit on most of my Astra raid teams because he’s just too damn powerful for most defenses to kill. Granted, the weakness of requiring debuffs on opponents still exist and I have suffered defeats due to it when the opponent was able to properly threaten me with actual non-debuffed attackers; but when I only have to use 1-3 uses of the Escape Ladder, if at all, his effect makes him a pretty damn versatile omnitanker, especially for a 2R unit.

And of course, all of this essentially ensured that Gangrel would singlehandedly ensure that my +10 Kronya was retired entirely as my F2P dagger and Astra carry because his omnitanking simply outclassed Kronya’s reliance on her prf’s Vantage effect. Not to such a degree as not needing to think in some of the harder defenses, but enough to make Astra season, whether in Vault of Heaven or on the rebound weeks, into an absolute cakewalk for me to score high on.

He also has quite the legacy behind him as the centerpiece of my Anima Defense, but that is a story for another time. As of now, I’d say that Gangrel with the proper support is probably my pick for one of the best 2R omnitanks in the game.

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Gangrel is a unit I’m very interested in building; the fact that multiple free copies had been given is also very helpful.

Looking at your build, I’m assuming you are employing the hit and tank strat? How does that fare against far saves nowadays? I played a similar strat with Brunnya back in 2020/21 but sadly it’s not very good nowadays because far saves always prohibit her from sniping the most lethal targets on initiation.

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Very interesting read. Thanks for the perspective. I’ve had my eyes on this guy for a while.

How did he do during the meta of odd recovery rushes?

@Seeker If you can penalize the far saver, you can actually make quite a dent in them, possibly even kill them depending on the Far Saver. I’ve also had a good amount of success baiting the units with him since there’s very little that survives two Levin Dagger hits when the effect is active. Having a Bolt Tower and/or a Panic Manor in range of the Far Saver helps out immensely (as I’m not one to not use the maximum amount of buildings available which has occasionally screwed me over) if you can plan out and prepare a Turn 3 offensive.

Occasionally, you do need big brain strats and know how to prepare for an offensive or a bait. The last battle I did last Astra season, where I had to deal with an Arden/Bector Save Cube with Lolichel, Harmothea, Bride Catria, a Duma with Armored March seal and perfectly positioned to take out my Bolt Tower, I first prepared by sniping a few problem buildings with Reginn, then placed Gangrel in range of Arden, exploiting the fact that Harmothea would not dance him afterwards since she needs to dance the Bector (who was in the bonus slot) to keep my supporters nearby without endangering them to him or to the Guidance-boosted units leaping over to my group, and I was then able to execute big brain moves on Turn 6 where almost every unit I had attacked certain groups to get rid of the cube and the surrounding units: Gangrel first attacked into the Bector, who was then finished off by Ashera. Gangrel was then danced to kill the Duma, and freeing up a spot for Reginn to kill Bride!Catria, then Elimine finished off the weakened Arden and A!Fjórm bounced up to kill Seiros (who was his second Mythic) and was left in range of Lolichel and in Save Cube range of the other units in range of her as well, which meant Lolichel suicided onto the A!Fjórm on the enemy turn and I could finish off Harmothea with Gangrel on the last turn.

@NewNugget I don’t think I ever had a problem with those teams, though I can’t remember any notable teams like that either.