So I’ve been using Raf at 4.30 quite a bit now. He’s going to stay at this level for a while as I’m working on a duplicate Sonya + costume, to combat the Damage over Turns ailment heavy meta.
I have had a lot of playtime with him to get used to his skillset and I have to admit, I’ve been surprised by his usefulness despite being slow.
First let’s summarize the good and the bad:
Amazing bulk, even without fully maxing him he has amazing stats to keep him alive. Even at 3.70 I was surprised at how sturdy he was, reaching over 700 defense before troops.
If you have enough low health heroes left, his skill fully swings the tide in your favor and can win an otherwise unwinnable scenario.
even without the heal to 50% HP, the HoT he gives is huge and helps keep your team alive the following turns. The element links helps too for his other ice allies.
Attack Resistance – it’s useless. Neither bad nor good. Just useless, as in not making a difference on his puny attack stat but not holding him back either. May as well not even be there.
slow speed. Despite his good bulk to survive and charge reliably, the same can’t be said for the rest of his team. If they all get KO’d, Raf is not benefiting anyone and he can’t do anything to win by himself.
very passive defender. From my experience raiding against him, Raff is an exploitable target for tiles when tanking, as despite his good bulk he just doesn’t present a significant threat. He can work as a flank though, but only with a few synergies to either make his team harder to kill (flanking someone like Guinevere or Telluria if you lack Vela), or if backed up by some very strong offense (such as behind an Ursena or Atomos tank, again if you lack Vela). Generally though, I don’t think he’s a great defender and I would only use him there if you lack anyone better.
Basically, I think Raf is best suited for offense, which is where he’s made a big impact for me. I have even been using him against Telluria tank teams, running 3-red + 2-blue. I have managed to win about ~70% of the time against good Telluria teams with the team in the video below.
This is one instance where he made a huge difference. Near the end, the rest of my team was dangerously close to biting the dust, and I couldn’t have won this raid without Raf’s clutch heal bringing my team back. That helped them take another round of Ursena’s depth blast – I was just lucky that Gravemaker aimed the other way.
I should also say though that I don’t rely on him as my primary form of cleansing. Note in the team above that I am also bringing cSonya with mana troop and mana emblem node. In other teams I bring cRigard and cCaedmon + Raf, all the 4*s configured to charge in 9 and 7 tiles respectively. The faster 4*s are the ones that provide my first cleanse, while Raf hangs back and prepares his full heal + cleanse to counter any later incoming DoTs.
In this meta I can’t just rely on one cleanser to be ready all the time for the constant barrage of water, burn, poison, sand and every kind of lingering damage coming my way. Honestly I’m glad that they made Raffaele dispel ailments in the final version of beta released, as that ended up being the factor that made him relevant for me to level, ascend, and someday max.
Bottom line, I think he’s a solid healer and makes for a pretty awesome offensive hero, particularly as a secondary cleanser or healer to combat the DoT heavy meta. He shouldn’t be used on defense unless you lack someone better.
If I had 2 more of him, I’d honestly level them over another Magni.