Dragonyule Malora comes as one of the more important additions to the DL cast as she finally gives Light a strong DPS that does not rely on paralysis. While her kit looks simple, the combination of her skill modifiers and abilities make her highly desirable.
First impression posts are meant to be exactly that—just first impressions. While the purpose of this post is to introduce some ideas on how a character could be used in current and future content, those ideas could be disproved in practice.
The nice thing about Malora's skills is that none of the descriptions are small essays making them easy to read and understand. So instead of reading line-by-line, let's look at the numbers and applicability to today's content.
S1: Starfall Surprise [3849 SP]
Deals 2 hits of 467% light damage to enemies directly ahead, and reduces the defense of shadow-attuned foes by 15% for 15 seconds. This defense reduction effect will not stack.
Damage and SP Tax for Secondary Effects:
In general, this game gives a damage and SP tax to any skill that has an added effect to them, and this skill is no different. At 3849 SP, which requires a C5-C5-C3, this is higher than the typical Axe's S1 which tends to be around 3000 SP, which requires C5-C5, and at 934%, the damage is lower than the typical Axe's S1 which tends to be around 1250%.
The secondary effect more than makes up for this tax. A 100% chance to proc a -15% Def down for 15 seconds is very strong, as evidenced by Wedding Elisanne and Gala Cleo (-10% but for 20 seconds).
How strong is -15% defense?
To give you an idea of how strong this is, let's talk numbers. The way damage in DL works is that you have a numerator with a bunch of variables divided by the product of the defense and the defense change. So something like X/(Defense * Defense change). Most enemies in DL have a defense of 10 and a defense reduction of 15% would equal to a defense change of 0.85. Thus, a 15% defense reduction would lead to a 17.6% damage increase for your entire team. (Now think about how stupidly strong 4 Gala Cleos stacking 4 10% def down for 20 seconds is.)
So in a single S1, you're getting a decent damage skill and a team buff that raises team DPS by 17.6% at the cost of needing to do an extra C3. From my experience, the def down has at least a 90% uptime.
Comparison to Halloween Mym's S1
Halloween Mym [dl adv="halloween_mym"] has a similar kit with a damaging S1 and def down with the same SP cost, but for whatever reason, her damage modifier is only 560% compared to Malora's 934% and her def down only lasts 10 seconds as opposed to Malora's 15. There are some differences such as being able to stack Halloween Mym's def down (I don't think you can even stack the S1 without using skill preps) and Malora's def down only working on shadow-attuned foes, but in element-favored battles, Malora seems to unfairly have a much better S1.
S2: Chill of Winter (6296 SP)
Deals 3 hits of 482% light damage to enemies directly ahead. Against foes whose defense is decreased, deals 3 hits of 777.6% light damage instead.
You can assume S2 will always do enhanced damage.
As I said just slightly above, Malora's def down debuff has at least a 90% uptime, assuming you have decent rotations. This makes nearly every S2 do enhanced damage of 3 hits of 777.6% instead of the 3 hits of 482%.
There isn't really much to say other than this skill hits very hard and gives Malora another damaging skill. With a 2332.8% modifier and a short frame data, it's just a solid damage skill for a relatively cheap cost compared to other S2s.
Co-ability: Defense +15%
Increases defense by 15%. Benefits your whole team.
I usually wouldn't talk about the co-ability since most are straightforward, but I feel there is something worth mentioning here.
In the current High Zodiark meta, it is common to bring two Gala Princes [dl adv="gala_prince"] with The Chocolatiers [dl wp="the_chocolatiers"] to give everyone a +30% defense before the initial blast to lower the HP check and allow everyone to use double DPS prints. With an Axe co-ability, you can drop one Gala Prince or have the 2nd Gala Prince use their S2 right after the blast to give everyone a free shield. It also just gives more overall survivability because the additional defense is always there as opposed to the 15 seconds from Gala Prince's S2. This may allow you to tank markers after being inflicted by the def down circles in Master High Zodiark.
It's also worth mentioning that, due to having an extra +15% defense up on top of the +30% from the double Gala Princes, Gala Princes who are geared to the teeth with HP augments may accidentally not proc their Draconic Charge ability, making them unable to use the early dragon boost to push for Overdrive.
So, if you're in a room with two Gala Princes and a Dragonyule Malora, just be wary that this is something that could happen, which may end the run early because of confusion. From my experience, Gala Princes whose mights were under 7k did not run into this problem, but Gala Princes using HDT2's did.
A1: Overdrive Punisher
Increases damage to enemies in overdrive state by 13%.
Overdrive Punisher is a straight multiplication to the rest of your base kit, so to put it simply, you're doing 1.13x more damage when the enemy is in Overdrive.
Personally, I feel the reason they included this in Dragonyule Malora's kit is to give her some Overdrive bar draining so she can replace one of the two Gala Princes in the High Zodiark meta team.
To clarify, sword types are very good at cutting down the Overdrive bar because their Force Strikes are (1) spammable and (2) has a larger Overdrive bar damage multiplier than other weapon types. Should you replace Gala Prince, who is a sword, you lose a lot of that Overdrive bar draining potential. Dragonyule Malora's Overdrive Punisher helps make up for that a little.
A3: Defense Reduced = User Shield
Grants the user a one-use shield that nullifies damage less than 20% of the user's maximum HP upon successfully reducing an enemy's defense. After activating, this ability will not activate again for five seconds. This does not stack with any other shields.
This is just a lot of words to say "feel free to continue unga-bungaing during High Zodiark's mini-charges." High Zodiark has a few annoying mini-charges that can be i-framed but don't have much of a tell. The shield eliminates any need to time your i-frames for these charges, allowing you to continue getting SP.
Small fun fact - if your Dragonyule Malora is extremely built, High Zodiark is not in Overdrive, and you have two Gala Princes who used their S2 moments ago, you can block the first Shadow Blast with this shield.
Dragonyule Malora is, in my humble opinion, one of the best additions to the game because she helps to break many molds.
- The first mold is that Light was considered to have subpar DPS relative to the other elements - Dragonyule Malora finally gives Light another solid DPSer.
- The second mold is that most of the top Light DPSers relied on Paralysis Punisher to do high damage - Dragonyule Malora can continue to do high damage even when Paralysis runs out in a quest.
- The third mold is that the High Zodiark meta was mainly infested with one Fleur, one Yachiyo, and two Gala Princes - Dragonyule Malora is a great replacement for one of the Gala Prince and can also take anyone else's spot without disrupting the meta strategy.
- The fourth mold is that many of the new characters have essays as their skill descriptions because there are so many new effects tacked on to them - Dragonyule Malora's kit is simple but still does the job very well. It shows that Cygames at least knows how to make new characters without overdressing them.
If you are debating if you should pull on this banner, it's a no-brainer that you should. She's limited and strong but not so strong that she becomes oppressive like Gala Cleo. She is a very healthy addition to the game and addresses some problems with the current meta.
With Paralysis Inflictors
Dragon: [dl d="corsaint_phoenix"] Corsaint Phoenix
Wyrmprint 1: [dl wp="kung_fu_masters"] Kung Fu Masters
Wyrmprint 2: [dl wp=spirit_of_the_season"] Spirit of the Season
This is probably your go-to build for most things, assuming you have a paralysis inflictor in your team. I would argue that one of the greatest things about Dragonyule Malora is that she doesn't have any paralysis in her kit, allowing her to not waste any skill or ability slots on it while still allowing her to piggy-back off of her teammates for extra damage.
I didn't write a first impression or review on Corsaint Phoenix, but she's absolutely amazing. If you manage to pull her one day, you should be very happy because not only is her Dragon bonus great but her Dragon form is great too (Leviathan amounts of damage). Easily my favorite dragon so far.
Without Paralysis Inflictors
Dragon: [dl d="cupid"] Cupid
Wyrmprint 1: [dl wp="kung_fu_masters"] Kung Fu Masters
Wyrmprint 2: [dl wp=flower_in_the_fray"] Flower in the Fray
This is your standard Axe build with high STR dragons.
Not much to say but if you don't have a Paralysis inflictor or are against a boss with 100% paralysis resistance, then it's probably better to do the vanilla build. With that said, there are many ways to inflict paralysis and even Mercurial Gauntlet abuses paralysis despite Roy Fafnir III's 80% resistance to it, so I actually don't recommend this build if you can do the above one.