Skadi - In-depth review [Vids]


Skadi came to us at the turn of a meta tide, the days of Guinevere are all but gone and Kunchen/Ursena enjoyed their 15 minutes of fame as viable top level tanks. Enter the age of Telluria and minions overload.

The new punishing defense of Gravemaker / Telluria / Vela has forced most players to up our game and brainstorm better team compositions. We’re getting the tools we need to counter and counter effectively. Skadi is one of those tools, here’s my personal take on her after some extensive testing.
As with most new heroes, it’s important to understand her strengths and weaknesses, and she is not a plug-and-play hero like most traditional heroes before her. By that I mean, she can’t be plugged in to just any team and expect her or the team to do well. Proper support cast can be the key to unleashing her full potential, and that is nothing short of devastating.

Pros:

  • She’s an AoE (Attack on Everyone) hero, which means you can stack her damage with other heroes and apply her effect against the entire defense. That’s a big plus as it opens more possibilities on team chemistry.

  • Her special stack has potential for huge damage as well as big mana debuff. At a stack of +10 she holds one of the highest DoT in the game. 300 base and 420 per turn with emblems. Pair that with a potential -60% mana gain and you can pretty much dump tiles and specials on the defense without charging them in up to 3+ turns. However most defenses don’t last past 3-4 turns when her full stack is applied anyway.

  • Special skill stacks: What the hell does that mean anyway ? It means that her debuffs don’t go away and you can continue to compound the damage every time she fires, it adds to the existing debuffs. So, if you apply +3 the first time (by killing minions or heroes) you can apply another +3 the next time around for a new total of +6 stack. As an example, your DoT will double from 90 to 180 on and her mana debuff from -18% to -36% on a single turn.
  • Her initial attack damage is boosted per each dead hero. It might not seem like much, however, this becomes much more crucial at the later stages of the raid, when only 1-3 heroes are left and any extra damage counts. She can deliver that final blow and end the raid.

  • Her stack is perpetual and undispellable. This means that her damage will persist for the reminder of the raid (until it’s over), even AFTER she’s dead and they can’t be used against you by the likes of heroes like Lady Loki. One of the crazy things about this scenario is the fact that she will single handedly win you the raid when all hope was gone or there was no other way to pull off the win off, and that’s pretty incredible. Not many heroes, if any have that level of ability.

However, here’s an interesting caveat. Revived heroes seem to be able to drop Skadi’s DoT and mana effects.

  • Skadi can deliver minions of her own. This is one of the most overlooked peripherals. Being a Jotunheim Realm hero she delivers a giant minion on all remaining allies for a base 6% health (14% max with 3 heroes of same realm) and 10% attack (16% max with 3 heroes of same realm) after she dies. Again, this may not seem like much but any buffer can make a difference. Specially if you can boost her minion (Freya) or add it to existing minions. As an example, her minion can add a base of 85HP (single hero) - 197HP (x3 realm heroes) (base) up to 89HP (single hero) - 208HP (x3 realm heroes) with emblems. And that’s before any other potential boost.

Cons:

  • With a base of 170% of 696 she barely had enough fire power to kill even the weakest minions in the game let alone cause any significant damage to the rest of the defense. This is was a huge deterrent for players seeking a no nonsense hero they can simply plug-and-play into any of their existing teams. No or very few minions killed means very low stack with little damage. Good news ! Skadi was “re-balanced” as of August 2020. Her direct damage was increased from 170% to 220%, this was a HUGE and much needed (although I personally didn’t have a big issue with her original attack stat) update to her card. She is now able to destroy enough minions (3-5) right out of the box, no emblems or attack boost needed. This will make her serviceable at all levels.

  • Requires attack boost heroes assist to unleash her full stack potential early on . I realize this isn’t a true “con” since you can still max her stack by managing your board, hero specials and overall timing, but that’s just it, this is a much more involved process that many players are used to or are willing to invest time on. This greatly reduces Skadi’s flexibility and turns her into another niche hero. I think the fact that she’s not a stand alone super flexible hero brings an adequate balance to her.

Offense:

  • Do not bring Skadi against a defense without minion heroes, you’ll only be scratching the surface of her abilities and she’ll most likely be wasted. Her primary function is minion attack, so target defenses with minions only.

  • Bring heroes to boost her attack: Gazelle, Black Knight, cRigard, Zimkitha, Boldtusk, Puss N Boots, Kiril, etc, etc…

  • Bring taunt heroes (BK or QoH) and mana boosting heroes (Ariel, Sif, Misandra, etc…) to work together to keep Skadi alive long enough to fire a minimum of 1-2 times.

  • Bring other DoT heroes to stack with her own DoT for maximum damage whenever possible. i.e. Gravemaker, JF, Sartana, Clarissa, Marjana, Tyr, etc…

Put it all together. General offensive strategy:

  • Allow heroes to spawn at least one set of minions before firing Skadi. Fire any passive (non attacking heroes) attack boosting heroes first before you fire Skadi. You should be able to kill at least one full set (5) of minions for a quick +5 stack. Let the minion heroes spawn a new stet and repeat same process for an easy +7 - +10 stack. This is an ideal situation.

  • If your board runs dry after your first +~5, focus on simply weathering the storm and letting Skadi’s DoT take effect. You can, at worst case, play it safe and use a combination of tile damage and the occasional special to slowly take out the defense. Stack other DoTs as soon as you can to inflict the most damage right away.

  • Don’t fire Zim first if you only have 1 set of minions on the defense. Depending on the current damage of the minions, firing Zim before Skadi will kill off some of the minions crippling Skadi’s own special. Fire Skadi first to maximize the number of minions killed. One of the few times you want to fire Zim first is if the Defense has 1-2 minions per hero. This might kill off some of the minions but not all of them, she will soften most of the remaining minions which Skadi will kill off and get the highest stack possible.

  • Got a good board ? On those rare occasions that you get an amazing starting board, I suggest charging your attack boost and Skadi (as well as a healer if possible) and triggering Telluria (as an example) to produce 2 sets of minions per hero. Unleash Skadi and get an instant +7 - +10 stack. The raid is pretty much over at this point if you play your cards right. All you gotta do is buy yourself as much time as you can to let the DoT do its thing and take out the Defense 1-2 heroes at a time.

  • Potential Heroes to avoid or caution against: JF or Guardian Kong. Whereas this isn’t the end of the world, you have to remember that both of these heroes provide an elemental defense boost against ice heroes. This causes Skadi to be less effective. If any of these heroes are on the defense, then just try to fire Skadi before they do.

Defense:

  • Generally speaking, Skadi is not a hero best suited for defense. However, I have come across a few +20 (emblems) Skadi’s on defense and you def don’t want to let her go off. Remember all of her incredible abilities can also work against you.

  • Don’t let her fire her special if at all possible. She should probably be one of the first heroes to die.

  • DO NOT bring minion heroes. Leave your Telly at home if at all possible. The last thing you want is Skadi going off and taking your minions out. Now you have a permanent mana debuff and a DoT that you’ll have to worry about for the rest of the raid.

Final Thoughts:

I absolutely love Skadi. I had no problem with her original base stats. I liked the idea of having to work a little more than usual for the big payoff. It made raiding fun again for me. That being said, I don’t dislike her after the rebalancing adjustment, but I feel like she’s much easier to use now which took away a bit of the strategic side, part of what made her fun for me. However it’s probably for the best since she can now be used by a wider range of players. I don’t think she’s a hero worth breaking the bank for, simply because she IS a situational hero and if you’re limited on funds then I would prefer to go after a hero that I can use even outside the minions scenarios. But if you can afford it I would def try to get my hands on her, or be happy if you did get her while trying for other Valhalla heroes, you will not regret it. Skadi is wasted, for the most part on Defense, Events and Titans. She was conceived as a minion destroying offensive hero, no doubt about that.

Emblems are a tricky side of Skadi. Most seasoned players are likely to have too many other Monk heroes to split emblems with leaving Skadi out of the picture. This was an issue prior to her rebalancing since it meant that Skadi required full commitment from a player in that in order to make her viable as part of a strong team she needed to be heavily boosted via troops, supporting heroes and/or emblems. I tested Skadi without emblems and +20 nodes, the difference was day and night. She was a total tank with full emblems and would live through almost all raids, very very dangerous, nearly a guaranteed win if she fired even once. She can still benefit from emblems even after her being rebalanced, but the good news is that she is now good enough to be used without. If I did give her emblems, I would hit every attack node and defense node. This will help ensure that A) she can kill as many minions as possible and B) she can stay alive after taking a few punches.

Lastly, one of the most important things to remember when it comes to Skadi is team composition. Niche heroes like her usually only shine brightest under the right setup. Take the time to find the perfect setup for her, try different attack boost heroes, they each have their pros and cons. Timing is everything, practice using her special early on vs holding on to it until the last possible second. Should you take out the available minions now or can you afford to hold her special and trigger the spawning of a few more minions for a bigger effect ? Have fun finding that out…

Please remember that these are all my own opinions based on my own testing . The best heroes to use are always the ones that you actually have and the ones that keep the game fun for you. Results may vary.

Happy raiding

- wormwood

20 Likes

Paired with costumed Kiril I find her viable at 3/70 and able to take out +20 GTV with Killhare/Drake/Finley wings. If she gets a 5 stack or more going it’s over for the other team.

Nice review as usual! I got her in the last Valhalla portal along with SIF. You mentioned that Sif is a good team mate for Skadi so more reasons to level both heroes and use them together.
It seems like a yellow/Blue stack could work well in this scenario. Something like Kiril-Skadi-Sif-Vivica-Vela.

Not too much direct damage, but i have survavility to let skadi do her job. Against a telly team it could work.

2 Likes

I appreciate the review, lots of effort goes into doing such an in-depth review.
I was intrigued by Skadi even pre buff, and I didn’t really get why people are so underwhelmed by her even post buff. As you say she has so much potential for wiping out an opposing team almost by herself. Maybe its because these days people don’t seem to like any hero that is not at least fast.

She would be a hero that is typically described as “niche” or “situational” but given that the prevalent tank is a 5 minion maker and with other minion makes so prevalent (Seshat, Freya, and the culmination of the others that are less common) I would argue that niche in this game is cyclical and currently any hero that has a powerful minion-related effect is currently not at all niche (who knows how the future will look). To me any hero that only comes out for wars or trials would be niche, with only the heroes you utilise on a daily basis considered as otherwise.

I don’t have her, would love her. I did get Lady Loki a couple of months ago and find that these types of strategic heroes are so much more enjoyable to play than regular damage dealing heroes.

You didn’t really talk about PVE, but isn’t she totally OP in PVE levels particularly with minion makers?

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If im not wrong, from what i remember of testing her on 8-7 the problem is that in PVE her stscks are only per screen and not stackables in all the match. So if i kill a complete wave in 1/4 and then i kill the two moobs in 4/4 the boss only receives a stack x2. Anyways in events against bosses with minions Skadi shines

3 Likes

That would make sense as otherwise she really would be OP. I think the per screen thing would have to be unique as other stacking heroes don’t have that. Or at least I think that is the case, I had not paid close enough attention to the blue badger thing i use in rare events

Edit: Blue badger thing has a name. Jarvur

I think aside of the reasons I mentioned earlier, she didn’t fit the positive mass effect other heroes have. i.e. she wasn’t praised by the masses early on. In big part because of her somewhat “complex” card. She’s not the easiest to understand right away. She was also pretty rare as far as I understand, specially when she was first released. I don’t think many really flocked to get her, because well, she was a bit confusing, lol…

I agree. There’s a huge demand for play-to-win type heroes. Those that make your raid and war defense strike fear. She’s no Finley or Gravemaker. But I think people are missing out on some serious fun with her. Find the perfect team for your in your roster and learn how to use it properly and she’s def OP. But like I said, it does require some commitment on the players part.

This is where I’m at at the moment. I really like the direction the game is going in terms of rare and off the wall abilities. Like Skadi, heroes that on their own might not be much in the grand scheme of things. But paired with one or two other heroes and their entire dynamic changes. Akin to the way elemental down heroes work as well. Take Panther for example, she’s not much of a posing threat on her own. But pair her with say Hel or Killhare or other similar heroes and the damage multiplier can be huge. I really enjoy figuring out the best possible chemistry between a team and Skadi delivers.

I didn’t do enough testing in this area tbh. I didn’t find her particularly OP in this area from the little testing I did.

Agree. I run Noor, Grazul and Lady Loki together and they synergise really well, despite what some may think from just reading their specials

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Noor is another hero that suffered the same faith as Skadi but who can be completely devastating just as well. Minion synergy is a real thing that people need to catch on to asap. Noor + Freya is a match made in EnP heaven…

Freya is the other one I am really hanging for, but given I am pretty much FTP now and I find grinding S3 overwhelmingly boring it is not likely I will end up with either one of them.
But Noor still serves me well with her defensive shield, she just isn’t overwhelming in her attack (apart from on poor last man standing Seshat tucked away in the corner)

The other one I have seen mentioned and that makes a lot of sense is Noor + LOTL. If you can protect LOTL’s delicate minions with Noor’s beefy minions (even more so if you can buff your team) then you can have an essentially unending control of the enemy’s mana.

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I pulled her today and am very excited to get her maxed and into my raid teams, seems a very useful and fun hero ! Thank you very much for this awesome review and for the tips !

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I found a bug last night that I’ll be posting later today. I’m not sure if it’s been reported yet but it’s good to know for any Skadi users out there. Congrats on your pull, I’m obviously a big fan :sweat_smile: :+1:

3 Likes

@Wormwood
I pulled her on Sunday and really didn’t think much of her, but reading your review has completely changed my mind… Thanks…
Now would she work with PIB and Freya or would that be passive overkill.

That’s awesome… Congratulations. She’s a diamond in the rough, imo. PiB and Freya would serve her well for survivability. But now you have 3 different elements which may or may not be the best setup, depending on what configuration you’re used to using. The last two heroes will be crucial.

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how would you best usse skady when she is 3.70?

Oof that’s a tough one. She might still be useful poon raids with a proper setup. Maybe a double healer team. It depends on the type of defenses you’re facing. Could be a long shot to expect to win many raids against those maxed GTV defenses. But I’d probably try a dual healer setup with a defense and attack boost if possible, just to keep her alive…

I might just bring a second Skadi to lvl70 and test it out myself, lol. Now you’ve peeked my interest. :sweat_smile:

Let me know if you find a good setup for you…

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I use her at 3/70 in a 3.9k team and attack tell tank teams around 4.4k in raids. I use her with red hood, grazul, boldtusk and costume rigard. Basically keep her alive until tell goes off. If you get a good stack the enemy team will melt away before your eyes. Can’t wait to level her

4 Likes

Does she need emblems, caught between Skadi and Jabber…

Jabber is typically used and is probably one of the best wing heroes in the game, so def go with Jabber if you’re looking to improve your defense. Skadi can still do her job without emblems. A good team around her will make all the difference of course but she’s def serviceable without emblems…

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Ace - one thing I would definitely do is find the right mix of heroes that can let you either boost your 3/70 Skadi or weaken Tell’s minions, so that one 3/70 shot will kill 4-5 minions.

My guess is that zimkitty, vela, or Zeline could all do the trick, but haven’t played around too much with it.

Separately, if you’ve got malosi, I’d add him to the team - really makes tell’s special weak enough to survive her going off 2-3 times, which you might need to get the 3/70 Skadi train rolling!

Good luck!

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