SS def vs Normal def

Can someone help to clarify. I cudve sworn I read on this forum that special skill defence is not as effective as normal defence. For example, if 2x of the exact same hero but 1 had 30% normal defence whereas the other had 30% special skill defence & they were hit with the same special the normal defence hero wud take less damage than the hero with only special skill defence because special skill defence is less effective because normal defence affects the defence stat. I’ve found that I get better results with normal defence down instead of special skill defence down. Obviously both is best. It’s similar to how attack up like BT’s that increases the attack stat is better than just special Skill attack up like Glenda. If that’s the case then shouldn’t it be the same for special skill defence?? I’m not 100% sure on this hence the question.

First of, these are 2 different buffs and can stack on each other. If you were to chose 1 of the other for the best outcome, then I would say it depends on how high defensive stats of your hero, and what incoming spells from the enemy.

Without going thru the math, it’s safe to say a 3* hero would benefit from using 30% Def from special if an enemy goseck with 1 hp left is about to fire. Of course that doesn’t mean it’ll survive but in that scenario that buff shaves off the most dmg incoming

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Defense down is generally better than attack down or changes to special skill damage.

Let’s ignore random to start. I’ll take two heroes, each stat of 1000, dealing 300% damage and 30% modifiers.

Base: 100 x ( (1000*300%)/1000)^1.35 = 100 X 3^1.35 = 440 damage
With defense down: 100 X (1000 * 300% / 700) ^ 1.35 = 100X 7.13 = 713 damage
With special alteration: 100 X (1000 * 330% / 1000) ^ 1.35 = 100 x 5.01 = 501 damage

So EVERYTHING being equal if u had to choose between 30% def down for an enemy or 30% special skill defence down then the damage from the special skill defence down would be higher than the other when firing a special skill dealing damage ? Is it not the same that a 40% increase in special skill damage wud not give s as high damage as just a 40% increase in attack in general ?

Or to put names to it: Adalinda Vs C2Magni.

I’ve always loved Mist’s Special defence down, so I was psyched to get C2Magni.

Having got OG Magni late in the game (there were always others ahead of him) I haven’t levelled him, so will need scopes.

I then got v lucky and pulled Adalinda. My scopes choice is now between them.

My question is: which is more effective - special defence down, or standard? How does it work %wise.

Obviously from a logistical standpoint, standard Def down will be better Vs tiles, but is there a huge difference when it comes to specials? Anything that should be noted?

I’ve been playing the game a long time but special Def down is relatively rare so I haven’t looked at it compared to standard Def down.

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I can’t say for certain, but, I am 99% sure the DD increases all incoming damage - ie that from both tiles and from specials, whereas SDD is - as the name implies - only damage from Specials is increased

Part of it also depends on the teamplay style that you use, but in my eyes, DD is always better than SDD, and in this instance, I would choose Adalinda over C2Magni

I imagine that there is some one who knows the %'s more though, that may be able to comment deeper on the relationship though!


Thanks, dude. Yeah, that’s my thinking too but I thought it was worth a wider conversation just in case there’s some idiosyncrasie I’d missed.

(Not taking into account fast Vs average speeds)


IMO, SDD comes to play as an addition to DD or EDD when you have fast hit 3 or hit all heroes to take advanatge of it to nuke or one shot 2/3 heroes. I use it it more to make SS combos such as Mist, C Marg, 2C Kelile

DD is more versatile as it affects all incoming damage including tiles which is more frequent than SS.

There is an article on the forum that digs into numbers so let me see if I can find it.

Edit: here is the link


I’m afraid I am still not clear about the difference. Maybe we can discuss it in a concrete example:

You have an enemy with 1000 defense. You fire a special that gives -50% def down. As far as I know, for the next hits, specials included, the defense of that hero will be considered to be 500.

What happens if you fire 50% special defense down and then you attack with a special of of 500% damage. What is the calculation? Will the defense of the enemy be considered to be 500 against the fired special skill or not?

From what I remembered that I have read in the past and and also noticed myself, they don’t work the same.

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I would say it will.

Mist gives -34% agaisnt special and Morel gives -34% normal defense. Every hit is from Cillian, damage is nearly the same.

Alasie looks like she is getting stronger hits with speciall defense down but I think it is coincidence. I will check it again once I have more energy.

Special defense down:

Normal defense down:


I believe it’s multiplicative, so 1000 base def will become 1000 * 0.5 * 0.5 (250) vs Special Skill damage with both def down and SS def down


Ok, then the SDD will work the same as DD for special skills?

1000 defense with -50% DD applied will become 500 and

1000 defense with -50% SDD applied will also become 500 when hit with special skills (and no regular DD applied)?

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Yes, I think. I’ll test with my c2Magni and share some screenshots


Some experiment results
Damage from Sonya’s SS without any Def Down

With just cKiril’s -34% DD

With just c2Magni’s -64% SSDD

With both

The difference is damage is as expected. The diff between the last 2 is close, but I think this is just because of the 647 being on the high end of the random variable. There was another time where the damage with just the SSDD being 597 that I didn’t manage to screenshot


This also might be worth having a brouse at


Def down is preferred as it affects all sources of direct damage. Anyway, regarding special def down consider it as normal def down that only applies to specials so to get who’s better in your scenario just compare the numbers
Adalinda: -56% def down
Magni: -64% special def down
Hope it answers your question

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Thanks for the tests @Radar1 and @Liam_K So then when it comes to special skills they can substitute each other.

Interesting to see that the regular defense down did not cause added damage when it was coupled with SDD in the third try of Liam.

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Actually regular defense down and SS defense down work together but

And next hit with both debuffs is on the low end of random variable so it looks like there is no big difference.

I tested Caedmon with defense down, special defense down and elemental defense down. They all work together and increase max possible damage.

SDD (423, I took screenshot a bit too late):

SDD and regular DD:

SDD, DD and EDD:


This is more like it… beacuse I have noticed that when all 3 are combined the damage is significantly increased.

Thanks for putting the efforts with these tests!


Thanks, Radar, very useful!