What mechs to upgrade
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The plane latooni comes in, leave that alone. Off the top of my head, I'd probably advise against the huckbeine 1 and the r blade or the gespenst that Kai has unless you wanna get the unlocks led with Kai.
Latooni's plane can be incredibly useful whether you upgrade it or not. I'm basically saying that there is a legitimate use out of upgrading anything in this game depending on how you are deciding to play it.
If you are trying to clear the final "extra" mission, for example, I think that a strong strategy is to use the lowest HP mech in your team with a huge amount of stacked mobility and s-rank space terrain and one of the highest evade stats a pilot can get, either through natural abilities or base stats (or both) because this allows you to safely move your units around this one plane that EVERY ENEMY UNIT WILL TARGET, and will be COMPLETELY UNABLE TO HIT IT during the enemy phase, whether you use Focus or not. Honestly, the plane is good enough that you don't even need to upgrade its mobility or any pilot stats to get the job done even on Ex-Hard mode, but if you DO upgrade the mobility you will have an easier time because Lv9 Prevail on the end-game bosses means that as their HP drops, they will eventually be able to land attacks on even your dodgiest mechs. Having Focus and as much evasion as possible means that you can get them to extremely low amounts of health and still be 100% safe on enemy phase because they'll target your plane and miss. And then it's your turn again. It also saves on SP if you are wanting to use it for something else and don't have SP Regenerate on the pilot.
My favorite pilots to use for this job would be Radha and Gilliam, because they don't really have their own mechs all the time and both of them serve a purpose throughout the game. Radha has an incredibly useful seishin skillset, and her natural abilities synergize with this strategy as well as having sp regenerate and focus, allowing her to perform this duty throughout the game if you so wish to make use of it. Gilliam has higher base stats (I think) and also has a similar ability to dodge while having a much easier time leveling up as he can be used in all kinds of different mechs throughout the game, finally dropping to this niche use near the end once his part in the story becomes clear and the game is about to reach its end. Latooni and a few others can take this spot but aren't nearly as good in my opinion because they can't quite match up to the advantages radha/gilliam provide and probably are filling other roles in your team, such as combination attacks or customized mecha.
Furthermore, while this isn't quite as powerful as a fully-upgraded F-28 in OG1 (where you get a powerful post-move 1-5 attack with 3900? or so base power), you still have a very powerful counterattack (with at least 6 range) and plenty of ammo, so if you stick a strong/decent pilot in it, send it out into the middle of a group of enemies, and have them Focus and end the turn, you'll see them wreck havoc upon your foes by dodging everything that tries to hit them and countering for enough damage to 2-shot almost anything throughout the game. The plane also has four parts, allowing you to customize it for each scenario you are about to start. You might give it a range booster, a crit chance buff, more mobility, or even some movement depending on what you need.
In the last like, five missions of the game, the Space terrain is used and I think that a good setup is something like three Thrusters (+25 mobility) and a Thruster set (s-rank terrain), and if you have its mobility upgraded you now have one of the dodgiest mechs in the game. If it has an upgraded attack, you can even counter for a reasonable amount of damage without worrying about running out of ammo, and NOTHING will be able to shoot your pilot down, while EVERYTHING will want to try to attack it because of its low max HP (3000, lowest in the game I think).
Honestly, the only problem I have with this plane is how it tends to not be available for several early-game chapters each time you branch off on different storyline paths.
as for the others... (its late and I'm very bored)
each gespenst is pretty good depending on how/when you use it. They have four open slots and great terrain bonuses, allowing them to be loaded with weapons that can make them scale well later into the game despite being outclassed by different versions. Even the earliest ones you have available are fantastic, imo.
Huckbein 1... not sure which one this is because my memory is a bit foggy, but I'm going to assume this is either the Huck 008L or bullet's first mech. The 008L comes pre-loaded with a boss-killing weapon that is good throughout the game and means you can deploy it and expect to make use of it by only equpping it with weapons to help it clear grunts and raise will for itself and the rest of your army during the majority of the chapter, because its finisher can be used to take down the boss(es) at the end of each mission. Bullet's is exactly the same way, and contends with one of the strongest early-game attacks this game has to offer. If you upgrade it, just consider continuing to use it because the EN cost, morale requirement, and base damage on its weapon is reasonable and not entirely outclassed as the game progresses. Other options just happen to be "different", like having more damage for more EN, or less damage for less EN, or more damage for more Will, or more of both for more Will, or less of both for much less Will. The Graviton Cannon is stronger but if you don't have it then you can't use it, obviously, and it takes up space (while this is built into bullet's huck), so there are always things to think about and I personally like the huckbein series, finding them well-rounded when it comes to the switch between grunt-clearing and boss-slaying, instead of just one or the other or a terrible mix somewhere in-between.
The R-Blade has a combo attack so it's fine to upgrade, too. It's got low health and can be used in the same way as the plane, but with significantly less mobility (you would probably have to fully upgrade this stat on it to even try and use it like that), but way more potential for being able to deal damage and fight off entire waves of enemies by itself without running out of ammo, EN, or obviously HP. You just need to put a strong, dominant pilot in it (like Kai or someone with combo attack, preferably) and fill it up with equipment and parts to make it truly shine.
now that I am thinking about it, these are probably my least-favorite units and they do not deserve upgrades in my mind:
schutzwald (nothing to say about this thing)
huckbein mkII M (the bland flying ones trade stats/part slots/damage for the ability to... fly, I guess)
guarlion custom (needs more range or damage on sonic breaker, not enough open part slots, doesn't have an "ultimate" move -- fixing any of these three things would change my mind)
I guess the gespenst M's do kind of suck, but they come pre-loaded with an aoe-type move so even in the worst-case scenario where you sink ALL money into the them, they'll easily perform their duties if you put one of your top-6 pilots into them, and they'll be well-rounded enough to practically solo missions and do it fairly efficiently. Parts can cover land/movement restrictions, equipping items covers lack of boss-killing weapons, ranged weapons, post-movement weapons, and inability to make use of ammo or EN efficiently... so they really don't have as many weaknesses as the above three units in my opinion. They'll always be useful because of that combo attack. Especially if you upgrade it. In fact, even if you try to use them without upgrading them you can have great success, because they are so customizable...
anyway three posts now, I'll go to sleep
Hahah geez bro. Way to show a guy up.
Alt and Weiss, Astelion(watch Ibis' enemies have 0% chance to hit as she levels up :3), Wildfalken, Wildwurger. Just a few.
Proud Quitting Returner.
Yancy so kawaii ~ http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mbremyDrun1qlpahho1_500.jpg
I beat the game twice by the time redtide actually made his posts...
also Astelion I did max mobility on, but even by level 40 I needed focus just to get like 20% evade chance so I benched Ibis, in the last stage with 19 deployment slots I used
SRX(FUB) - Ryusei/Rai/Aya
Koryuoh/Ryukooh(FUB) - Bullet/Kusuha
Dygenguard(FUB) - Sanger
Ausenseiter(FUB) - Ratsel
Angelg(FUB) - Lamia
Alteisen Riese(FUB) - Kyosuke
Valsione - Lune
Cybuster(FUB) - Masaki
Wildwurger(FUB) - Arado
Rein Weissritter - Excellen
Gespenst MkII-S - Kai
Wildwurger-L - Leona
Wildfalken - Seolla
Ashsaber - Gilliam
R-Gun Powered - Mai
Fairlion-S - Latooni
Fairlion-G - Shine
even though they all did something in the battle, my main damage was Tornado Blade for like 30k+ damage valor'd, I took out most bosses in one turn although I did cheat a bit with waiting out turns to get SP back in some of the stages with 3+ bosses.
"Reinforcements? I am the Reinforcements."
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