2.1 Passive Skills
2.2 Active Skills
2.3 Skill Combos
4. Recommended Akashas
5. Playing Stella
Hi there, I'm Natt, Natty in game on the Tenebris NA server. I'm not a super experienced long time player who has experience other regions before, but I've played enough to feel like I have a decent grasp of Stella as a class, and would like to share some of my opinions and ideas with those who may be new to the class.
I don't consider myself to be the best player or a know-it-all, so if you disagree or have questions, feel free to comment. I'm decently open minded and am willing to take any criticism into account.
My style of writing is generally a bit on the formal side, I don't often include flairs or jokes in my writing to keep it as understandable as possible, so apologies if it's boring to read. That being said, I hope to provide accurate information that helps you learn.
Glossary of terms - Taken from Yamato's amazing Haru Guide. Thanks!
- SF - SoulForce. The "mana" bar, a resource consumed to use your skills.
- SA/SA Break - Super armor and super armor break. A term used to refer to a bar that prevents certain monsters and bosses from being flinched or interrupted by your attacks and skills. When the bar breaks, the target will be dazed or stunned, leaving it open to attack. Each skill has a varying amount of SA break and damage.
- Stamina - A resource used to dodge and use certain skills such as Rising Attack, Rising Roll, and Special Dodge. Is regenerated at a fixed amount per second, and the recovery can be boosted in a variety of ways.
- Extension - A skill tier that provides additional effects and benefits to a skill. Can only be accessed if you max the respective skill.
- Soul Nova- A gauge that builds up by gathering the remaining energy from each kill. Has a maximum of 100, and can be consumed to enter the buffed states of Hysteria and Supernova, while will be covered later.
- CC - Crowd control. A term referring to an effect that prevents targets from moving and/or attacking. e.g. Stun, Paralyze, Knock Up, etc. Is usually present on some skills innately or can be added with Extensions.
- Passives - Skills that generally provide a continuous, permanent effect. Certain skills like Special Attack Mastery break this norm, but fall generally under this category because they are provided to all characters.
- AoE - Area of Effect. A property that allows an attack to affect multiple targets over an area.
- I-Frames - Invincibility Frames. A term used to refer to a duration during which the character cannot be hit, damaged, or CCed.
- Dodge-cancel - Using the dodge (Shift) to preemptively exit out of a skill cast
Stella is a hybrid dps-support class that wields a Guitar to fight monsters through the summoning of wolf ghosts (Howlers). She is the only class in the game that has party healing skills built into her kit.
Her burst damage is relatively low, but her sustained dps is very high through the use of casting skills such as Spirit Swamp and Bass Wave. She is one of the fastest SA-breaking classes, and is a desired class for any party.
+ Fast SA break
+ Has powerful heals
+ Has an extremely potent SF buff
+ High sustained dps
+ Pretty good mobbing
+ Amazing damage potential on large, stationary bosses
- Her best and strongest moves require her to stand still
- Managing SF can be difficult to learn
- Managing 2 stances can be difficult to learn
- Lack of burst damage
- Allies will have expectations of you to support them
- Small, mobile bosses can be difficult to damage effectively
A lot of this is similar to Haloist's in his thread: Skill builds for all 6 classes
Kudos to him, and you should check out his guide if you haven't already.
Any points left over can either be saved for a future advancement and/or put into skills of your choosing.
Using nearly every SP possible at the moment, with the knowledge that if advancement comes out and Gameforge doesn't provide a free skill reset, will most likely have to buy a skill reset from the premium shop. The Personal Recommendation under skill descriptions will be based off my personal skill build.
Basic Attack: Your choice/5
Since Stella doesn't require basic attacks to regenerate her SF, they are not very strong compared to other classes, and as such her playstyle revolves more around skill use. That being said, they are not completely useless, and can warrant points put into them. It's semi-decent filler damage when your other skills are on cooldown.
1/5 - Only leave 1 point into it if you barely if ever use basic attacks, and prefer to use skills only.
2/5 - The second point enables the Left-Left-Right combo that releases a fist from the ground to knock up enemies. It does decent damage and is a quick animation that is dodge-cancellable. Good for a quick float on trash mobs.
3/5 - The third point enables the Left-Left-Left-Right combo that pushes the enemy away and then knocks them up. It can be used in pvp combos (semi unreliably), but there isn't a huge point for pve purposes.
4/5 - The fourth point enables the Left-Left-Left-Left-Left combo that sucks in enemies before pushing them away again with a wolf attack. This attack ticks a good amount of times, and can be a nice finisher for small, weak mobs. However, if the push doesn't kill them, it's extra work to follow up with the push. The push can also be annoying for party members who are also attacking the same monster.
5/5 - The fifth point enables the Left-Left-Left-Left-Right combo for 3 aoe hits. Each aoe hit only ticks once and does around/less damage than previous auto attacks and is a slow animation. There's really not much reason to use it. The only reason to take the 5th point is to simply raise the overall damage of basic attacks.
Personal Reccomendation: I like to max this out. Even though Stella's basic attacks are worse than other classes', they still make for great filler damage when other skills are on cooldown, especially the left-left-right combo.
SoulStrike: 3/3 - Mandatory
Unique to Stella, change stances by pressing RMB. This is the source of Stella's SF regeneration, since she does not regenerate SF upon basic attacking like other classes. Each level of this increases the amount of SF you regenerate when swap stances (up to 20%), so max it ASAP.
Stella has 2 stances: Offense and Support, indicated by the border around the hotbar. Purple with wolves = Offense, Red with balls = Support.
Certain skills have different functions when used in different stances, which will be detailed further below.
When used in the air, it casts a punch that knocks Stella slightly in the opposite direction and resets the air attack count. Does not swap stances.
Elusion: Your Choice/3
Dashes out of staggers with Shift. Each level reduces the cooldown, but doesn't reduce the stamina cost. If you pvp, you will probably want this at level 3. If you don't, it's up to you. If you don't feel like you use it often enough to make use of the reduced cooldown, it's fine to leave it at level 1.
Personal Recommendation: 3/3 for now as at the moment there are not that many other skills to put skill points in. This may change in the future.
Shadow Roll: 2/3 or 3/3
Press Shift to roll and get up when knocked down. Invincible while rolling. Leveling it up reduces the stamina cost, but going from level 2 to level 3 quickens the animation, thus reducing the amount of time you're invincible.
Personal Recommendation: 2/3
Sprint: 2/2 - Mandatory
Speed is good quality of life, and faster movement can help dodge attacks and kite monsters more efficiently. (Double tap a direction to cast)
Retaliation: Your Choice/3
Press LMB to attack and get off the ground when knocked down. Maxing it out grants an extended Exalted buff, which makes you invincible. Near-mandatory to max in pvp, pve is up to you but it can help a lot.
Personal Recommendation - 3/3
Whirl Jump: 0/1
Press RMB while dashing to release an AoE attack that does damage. However, the windup animation is incredibly slow and the damage isn't very significant. Would not suggest grabbing this skill.
Endure: 4/5 or 5/5
Increases your stamina recovery rate by 10% per level, up to 50%. This allows to you dodge more often, and dodges are very good as they both allow you to stay safe through invincibility frames as well as cancel out attacks early (which Stella does a lot of). 4/5 is recommended as the last point costs 3 SP, which is pretty expensive, and if you have stamina-regen Akasha cards such as Megiddo or Skitter, the last point is not very significant.
However, if you lack the cards and you have spare SP, feel free to grab the last point. Just note that the 10% increase in stamina regen means you'll regenerate enough stamina for an extra dodge every 67 seconds or so, which overall is very insignificant.
Personal Recommendation: 4/5, the last point simply doesn't hold very much value especially with a stamina akasha.
Increases maximum SF, up to 30%. Very useful, letting you use more skills before needing to stance shift.
Spin and slam the ground, floating enemies hit by the slam. Low damage, mediocre SA break, can't dodge-cancel when in the air during the slam. This skill is only really used in the first 8 or so levels where you have no better skills.
In the future, Stella's Awakening will grant this skill an extension, increasing its viability by a lot. Until then, leave it at level 1.
Howling Hunt: 1/5 or 5/5
A small AoE attack around Stella. Semi-long cast animation and short range, but is dodge-cancellable at any point. Not worth taking unless you get the extension.
Mainly used as a filler damage skill when the main damage skills are on cooldown. Scales amazingly with attack speed.
Personal Recommendation: 5/5 + Extension
Extension: Strike Storm: 1/1 if choosing to take it.
Increases the total number of hits, but doesn't solve the core issue of short range. However by raising the number of hits to 7, the damage dealt goes from worse than basic attacks to a decent amount more than basic attacks, and attack speed can ramp up the casting speed of this skill by a great amount (especially at 125%+ attack speed).
Up to you whether or not you take it.
- Howling Hunt | Basic Attack (left-left-right)
- + Faster Cast animation | + Costs no SF
- + Juggles aerial enemies | + Costs less SP
- + Breaks SA faster | + "Groups" hit enemies together
- + More damage | + Smoother to dodge cancel
- +/- Takes a skill slot |
Phantom Trail: 5/5
Offense: Shoot out purple homing orbs that damage enemies. The homing is rather bad, and requires you to be at a certain distance away for them to work properly when against single targets. If you are close, they will often end up circling the enemy and then disappearing. The most value from this skill is when it is used at point blank, forcing all orbs to hit the enemy immediately. This makes Phantom Trail one of Stella's quickest sources of burst damage while providing decent SA break (although overall the damage is still on the lower side).
Support: Shoot out red homing orbs that heal your teammates. These cannot heal yourself. This skill is slightly unreliable, as the same homing shenanigans applies with teammates, so either use it point blank or a decent distance away so they can home in properly. Note that allies can actually dodge these orbs. They will naturally seek out the most damage ally, but any teammate who gets in the way of the orbs will consume them.
Leveling this skill up increases the damage but does not affect Support functionality in any way. Still a good skill to level up for now due to lack of better options. Post Advancement when skill points are tighter, it may be a good idea to drop this skill due to the low overall damage compared to other skills.
Extension: Attack Measure: 3/3
In offense mode, orbs explode with a greater radius and do more damage. More damage = good.
Extension: Reinforcer: 0/3
Grants allies a defence buff when healed by the orbs (up to 400 defense). The issue with this skill is the lack of scaling. 400 defence is great at level 20, and next to nothing at level 55. Do not recommend taking this extension.
Rift Riff: 5/5 - Mandatory
Sends out a cone of cracks along the ground that interrupts and staggers enemies, and then explodes to launch them in the air. One of Stella's best mobbing and damage skills, this skill should be maxed out ASAP. The animation is on the longer side but it is dodge-cancellable when not in the air.
Extension: Strike Storm: 2/2
Adds additional hits to Rift Riff. Since launched enemies take Aerial damage, this skill adds incredible amounts of damage overall. Get ASAP.
Howler Parade: Your Choice/5
Ride on some wolves that charge forward and push enemies back. The skill tooltip damage% is somewhat deceiving, as that's the damage if every tick of the move connects. Rift Riff -> Howler Parade is a core part of leveling up, and will be the main source of mobbing until higher levels.
There are a few issues with this skill that make it a debatable skill whether or not to max.
First off, in order to get the maximum amount of damage ticks, the wolves must push the enemies back. Since super and hard armoured targets cannot be pushed back, this skill will usually do very insignificant damage to them and thus is not very useful against bosses(unless they are a huge target or stuck against a wall).
Secondly, the push back can be very inconvenient to teammates.
Thirdly, it is outclassed as a mobbing skill by Spirit Swamp in a 1:1 comparison, but using Howler Parade after grouping enemies up with Swamp is a great way to kill lots of mobs (if they aren't dead already).
Overall it is not a bad skill, I'd recommend to take it if you have the SP.
Personal Recommendation: 5/5. Although I bash on it a little when compared to Swamp, it is still a great mobbing skill to use in your kit, and does good damage to huge enemies.
Orb Song: 1/5 or 5/5
Strums the guitar to charge, up to 3 levels. You only need to charge to 2 full bars + a little bit more (when the number changes to 3) to get maximum orbs. Each tick of charging will create a small AoE that pushes enemies away, giving you some breathing room. Note that attack speed does not increase charging time.
Offense: Creates 3/5/7 slow moving purple homing orbs that deal damage to enemies. Higher damage than Phantom Release, but takes a very long time to cast. Similarly to Phantom Release, the best results come from using it point blank so all the orbs are guaranteed to hit. However, since the cast time is so much longer than Phantom Release, this skill is pretty dangerous to use, and there are usually better skills that you could use in the meantime.
Support: Creates 1/3/5 stationary red orbs that heal allies and grant a small attack and move speed buff. Each orb heals for 20% max HP, and charging the Support mode is quicker than the offense mode. When using this skill for a team, it may be a good idea to set a Chat Macro that tells the team that there are healing orbs, as they are kind of hard to notice when in the middle of a boss fight.
Leveling this skill up only increases the offensive capabilities (again), so if you only ever cast this for healing, it's fine to leave it at level 1. Some players like the damage it provides, others like the SA break the paralysis extension provides, and others prefer not to use it at all offensively due to the long cast time.
Personal Recommendation: 1/5 - I don't find the paralysis extension worth it to take unless you care about rankings or you want to grind S+ runs.
Extension: Paralysis: 0/3 or 1/3
Removes the homing capabilities and lowers damage of the orbs in exchange for greater SA break, paralysis and piercing. Since the damage is lowered by such a large amount, it's only really good for SA breaking. Casting even just the second level for 5 piercing orbs can shred the superarmour of bosses rather quickly. The larger the boss, the more ticks will land, and the more SA will be broken.
Leveling up the Extension increases the SA break each orb provides (not very useful).
Having played with this skill more since the initial creation of the guide, I have 2 big issues with this skill.
First, the cast time is simply far too long for it to be useful in a real boss fight, most of Stella's other skills will break SA more efficiently (and it's only really usable against huge enemies, which Stella's other skills already exceed at).
Second, the damage is too low to actually kill monsters with, and it just pushes them back out of the way, making it even harder to mob effectively.
That being said, there is 1 instance so far where this skill has come into use: boosting rank score via combos. For example, if farming S+ ranks in R Square, this skill allows Stella to easily rack up 100+ combos in the second part to guarantee an S+ rank.
...Whether or not boosting your end rank is worth 10 skill points is up to you to decide.
Extension: Reinforcer: 0/3
Increases the attack buff given by Support orbs. Same issue as the Phantom Release extension, the lack of scaling makes it more useless as you progress throughout the game. It can be argued that a 500 attack buff with near 100% uptime is worth it, but as we approach the higher echelons of current gear (Vicarious Calling) you already have people with 10,000 attack...which is 12 skill points for a 5% damage boost. When even more content like Primal comes out, you'll have people with over 15,000 attack. It only gets worse as time progresses.
Sonic Pulse: 5/5 - Mandatory
Stand still and play the guitar while shooting out a lightning bolt that repeatedly damages enemies. Releasing LMB will end the skill prematurely, but ending the skill has a bit of end lag. Fortunately it is dodge-cancellable as well.
Offense: Deals damage and reduces movement speed of enemies. The damage is pretty decent, and the SA break in this stance is acceptable. This skill becomes vastly more effective when you have more Attack Speed.
Support: Deals significantly reduced damage but steals HP from up to 3 enemies and shreds SA while paralyzing enemies. This is one of Stella's best self healing abilities, as Orb Song takes a while to cast and Rhythm Keeper is better saved as an SF buff or party heal. The SA break is extremely strong, and can shred bosses incredibly quickly when paired with high Attack Speed. Throwing this skill into a group of monsters can heal you to full HP in a second or two.
Leveling this skill increases the damage done in offense and the SA break rate in support. It's a very nice skill to have in your arsenal. I personally value the support stance a lot more than the offense stance.
Extension: Aura: Your Choice/3
Increases the duration of Sonic Pulse, allowing for more damage. It is hard to make the most use of this, as standing still for extended periods of time while not cc-ing enemies is questionable.
Extension: Rangefinder: Your Choice/3
Increases the range of the beam (2m/level) and hits more monsters. Decent overall as it provides more safety in range. Great in pvp/dimension trip to interrupt cappers as a ranged paralyze.
Soul Cry: 1/5 or 5/5
Crouch down and create an AoE effect that floats any enemies it hits. During this 1 second animation, you gain Exalted status so you are invincible. The damage is nothing special, but the SA break is decent.
In addition, after casting this skill, you will have 10 seconds where any enemy that comes nearby will be paralyzed. Not overly useful in pve, but amazing in pvp.
Leveling up this skill reduces the cooldown drastically, but only at level 5.
Cooldowns per level: Level 1, 60s cd. Level 2, 60s cd. Level 3, 55s cd. Level 4, 50s cd. Level 5, 30s cd.
Although the 1 second iframe is useful, dodging is generally quicker and easier, and if you don't pvp there's nothing wrong with leaving it at level 1. However, in the future Stella's Awakening grants extensions to this skill, making it a definite max.
Personal Recommendation: 1/5 for now for pve. 5/5 for pvp. Too many points for too little gain in pve.
Spectral Pit: 5/5 - Mandatory
Creates a black hole in the aimed direction, sucking enemies in and then exploding. It swirls faster near the end of the skill, ticking more often and healing high damage. The suction range is deceptively small, and requires some practice aiming. Since super and hard armoured enemies don't get pulled in, hitting the entirety of this skill is sometimes difficult on smaller bosses.
The casting animation for the skill is quite long, but you can cancel halfway through with any skill (including basic attacks), or dodge-cancel immediately after casting.
Extension: Attack Measure: 2/2
Extends the suction range and increases the damage of the skill. A must-take, this extension revolutionizes the skill and makes it a million times better for both mobbing and bossing.
Spirit Storm: Your Choice/5
Press the hotkey when in the air to send out some howlers. They don't do much damage but have immense SA breaking capabilities. Since this skill is similar to Howler Parade, it shares some of the core issues and has some of its own.
1. Maximum potential comes from getting maximum ticks, and bosses don't get pushed
2. Pushing is annoying for teammates
3. The casting animation is INCREDIBLY long. Since you're in the air, dodge cancelling costs double the stamina (40) and doesn't provide invincibility.
All that being said, a maxed spirit storm that hits many ticks shreds SA like nothing else. Personally, I'm not a fan due to its clunkiness and difficulty to use effectively.
Personal Recommendation: 0/5 or 1/5. Too clunky to use.
Spirit Swamp: 5/5 - Mandatory
Stella's biggest and best mobbing skill, as well as solid damage on bosses.
Creates a pool in front of Stella. Cannot move, but the skill is dodge-cancellable at any time. You can aim the pool in any direction that you like by aiming in the direction and pressing W (or simply aiming with WASD if you do not have camera aim turned on).
Press LMB to cast long range howlers that suck enemies into the center of the pool. Each click of LMB ticks twice for medium damage and SA break.
Press RMB to cast howlers that knock up the enemies in the center of the pool. This attack hits once and deals high damage and SA break.
The idea is to pull in enemies with LMB before nuking them with RMB. Against bosses, RMB does significant damage as well as SA break. This is a great move to use when a boss's superarmour is broken and they are stationary. If you are running akasha cards that boost attack speed on hit (Dark Gauntillus, Sentron Commander), it may be a good idea to start off with LMBs to get the additional ticks to help proc the akashas before finishing off with atkspd boosted RMB hits.
Extension: Aura: 3/3
Increases duration by 1 second per level, allowing more more ticks and more damage.
Rhythm Keeper: 5/5 - Mandatory
The skill that makes everybody love Stellas in their party.
Offense: Casts an AoE, and all allies in the AoE receive a buff that regenerates SF every second (15%/s for 12s at max).
Support: Casts an AoE that heals all allies. Ticks twice, healing up to 70% of max HP at max level.
The AoE is actually a little small, and it can be difficult to land it on allies who are running and dashing around. Try using a Chat Macro to get allies to group up so you can apply the buff effectively, or look at the mini map and try to fit yourself near as many allies as possible. The SF buff increases quality of life for Lillys and Erwins by a ridiculous amount, and allows them to spam skills all day. Try to keep the SF buff up as often as possible.
For non Stella players reading this for whatever reason: Note that if Stella uses this skill to heal, then she can't use it for the SF buff. You can't have your cake and eat it too, so if you want SF buffs stop taking so much damage
Bass Wave: 5/5 - Mandatory
Stella's "Ultimate Skill". It deals crazy amounts of damage in a large radius.
Summons 4 speakers where the corners of a square would be in front of Stella. The skill grants invincibility, but it cannot be cancelled or dodge cancelled, except with the use of Supernova/Hysteria or "Reset Position" in the ESC menu. This is a great skill to use when a boss is SA broken, as it prevents them from casually strolling out of the range.
Press LMB to attack with the left speakers, and RMB to attack with the right ones.
Done at level 55 with very basic gear.
Crazy damage comes with crazy SA break, and if you can land the entire duration of the skill on a boss, it results in insane amounts of dps. You can also use this skill strategically as an extended iframe to dodge big attacks and sometimes even entire mechanics, such as flaming floors or Naran's mass-map wheels. However, some other mechanics will pierce the iframe and kill you, such as Grace City Rookie Raid's Taifon blasts and Candus City raid's bomb blast, so it's better to play safe than sorry.
Hysteria: Regen 8% SF per second, +20% move speed, and grants super armour for 30 seconds.
Supernova: Regen 15% SF per second, +20% move speed, and grants super armour for 60 seconds.
Most other classes get offensive benefits such as +crit, +attack, or +attack speed on their SuperNovas.
Instead, Stella gets SF regen. At first, this may seem like it's a lot worse than other classes, but in practice it fits perfectly with her skill spamming playstyle. By popping Supernova, you no longer need to care about your SF gauge and can spam skills at your hearts content. The buff starts when you press the button, and it regenerates throughout the casting animation (which is an iframe until you regain character control). You can make use of this by using up all your SF and then popping Supernova for a nice amount of regeneration.
Skill builds again (repeated from the beginning of the section):
Any points left over can either be saved for a future advancement and/or put into skills of your choosing.
Using nearly every SP possible at the moment, with the knowledge that if advancement comes out and Gameforge doesn't provide a free skill reset, will most likely have to buy a skill reset from the premium shop.
Skill Combo Chains
Skill bars are HIGHLY preference and really depends on what feels "right" to you.
Just to repeat that, PLAY AROUND WITH THE SKILLS AND FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU. THERE IS NO "BEST" SKILL COMBO CHAIN.
That being said, here's what I use and the reasoning:
First off, I double up on pretty much every single skill. I personally don't like having many skills on a single button, and by doubling up the first skill, i can instantly skip to the tier 3 bonus of 15% cooldown. I take cooldown because it allows our 2 best skills (Bass Wave and Rhythm Keeper) to have maximum uptime. Between CDR from gear and the 15% tier 3 CDR, both skills can reach cooldowns of around 30 seconds.
1. Howling Hunt -> Bass Wave
Howling Hunt is a great quick, low cooldown, low SF cost damage skill. I used to have Soul Cry here, but I don't usually use it in PvE. For PvP purposes I swap out the tier 1 Howling Hunt for Soul Cry. This is my main skill that I use to activate Bass Wave, as with its low cooldown and cost I can pretty much always guarantee that I get the tier 3 cd reduction. Howling Hunt by itself does decent damage as well.
2. Spectral Pit -> Rhythm Keeper
Spectral Pit is a core mobbing and boss dps skill, and it's pretty much used all the time for me, which means Rhythm Keeper is pretty much always on my bar ready to be used. With the ability to dodge-cancel out of Spectral Pit rather quickly, it means I can activate a tier-3 boosted Rhythm Keeper if needed.
3. Phantom Trail -> Spirit Swamp
Phantom Trail is on my main key for both emergency healing purposes and as a quick boost to dps when used point blank. Leads into Spirit Swamp for bossing purposes.
4. Rift Riff -> Spirit Swamp -> Howler Parade
The only button I have 3 skills on. Rift Riff is a main mobbing/SA break/damage skill and leads into spirit swamp for mobbing purposes, and then into more mobbing from Howler Parade.
5. Spirit Pulse -> Orb Song -> Rhythm Keeper
Pretty much only ever used in support stance, Spirit Pulse is on-demand self healing or SA break. If needed to heal before a portal, it doesn't cost too much to instantly cancel it to cast Orb Song.
Orb Song provides healing to the team, usually before proceeding to a new stage, or can be used to place orbs during a boss fight so that allies can pick them up later. Going into rhythm keeper is for extra healing/SF regen, but this is rarely used.
6. Rhythm Keeper -> Bass Wave
Rhythm Keeper on demand. Misses the tier2/3 cooldown bonuses, but for more difficult content is important to have on an instant click. Bass Wave follows it. I use this when "speedrunning" dungeons where a single ultimate will kill the boss. I'll pop Rhythm Keeper before the final portal and then I can immediately ultimate when the boss starts as opposed to having to cast Howling Hunt first.
Common alternatives to what I have:
Bass Wave on tier 1: On-demand extended Iframe, although Soul Cry -> dodge -> Bass Wave grants the invincibility as well as the tier 3 cooldown boost to Bass Wave.
Spirit Swamp on tier 1: Basically flipping Rift Riff and Spirit Swamp, it's generally personal preference.
PvP (Dimension Trip):
1. Soul Cry -> Bass Wave
Replacing Howling Hunt, Soul Cry is Stella's bread and butter in PvP. The 10 second paralysis shield prevents an enemy from moving...for all 10 seconds...pretty overpowered. As such, you can chain immediately into Bass Wave for an easy kill.
2. Howling Hunt -> Spectral Pit -> Rhythm Keeper
Just throwing in Howling Hunt so you can use it after a paralyze if you don't want to ult cheese. Spectral Pit is there for ranged interrupts, it's pretty hard to land the entire thing in PvP.
3. Spirit Swamp -> Phantom Trail
Spirit Swamp on insta click is very useful due to its large aoe and ability to steal kills from afar. Phantom Trail isn't really used much in PvP.
4. Rift Riff -> Spirit Swamp -> Howler Parade
Standard mobbing rotation for the start of Dimension Trip, or when people are all in a corner and you pretend they're monsters.
5. Spirit Pulse -> Orb Song
Support Spirit Pulse is great as a ranged paralyze, and can be used on the large golems for large amounts of self regen. Orb Song can be used in a corner to heal yourself up, or if you have the paraysis extension it can be used to "wall off" a corner for a brief period of safety, or to tick against the small golem to get it to drop a lot of points.
6. Rhythm Keeper -> Bass Wave
Instant tap heals, longer cd means Bass Wave is usually available whenever you want to use it.
Pre-level 55, don't really worry about it too much. Grab a nice unique weapon and whatever unique armour you find out of dungeons. Enhance the guitar to +4 at minimum, up to +6 if you're feeling lucky. I would not use anti-destructions on weapons that you use to level up. Swap weapons around every 10 or so levels, or when you start to feel weak.
At level 16, there is a craftable Guitar (Heavy Metal) that grants 10% exp. If you can manage to enhance this to a decent level, it can take you a long way, but is in no way mandatory.
At 55, there are various sets you can get. Basic Uniques, the Vicarious Calling (Ruin Fortress set), the Steel Graves set, and Raid gear.
As of the time of typing, you should grab either the Vicarious Calling set, the basic unique set, or the level 55 blue gear set.
- Vicarious Calling: The best set effects and reasonably priced, but getting proper rolls can be frustrating and the costs and rack up really quickly, making this set very expensive if you actually want good rolls.
- The Basic and blue gear sets provides no benefits and have worse defense stats, but it is far more reasonable in terms of price to get good rolls on them.
- Steel Graves is expensive and the set bonuses are surprisingly lacking, providing a measly HP, Evade, and Damage reduction bonus, while remaining expensive to craft. T
- The casual raid gear set (Dark Bone and Shadow Void) are likewise lacking in terms of set effects, and are also expensive to craft. However, these do provide some pretty great defensive stats for pvp at the cost of all offensive bonuses from the Vicarious set.
- For Accessories, try grabbing a set of Glacial Shards. This is the best set for PvE due to the 10% attack speed available on the earrings/amulet and the 10% armor break (defense penetration) set bonus.
- The Lord of Chaos set sacrifices the 10% attack speed and 10% armor break for 10% cooldown reduction and the ability to roll crit resistance on every piece. This makes it a good choice for pvp as well as for a more support oriented playstyle.
In terms of rolls, prioritize:
Max HP > Crit rate > Crit Damage > Attack Speed
Note that this is not strict, simply a guideline
HP is incredibly important. As much as we would all love to be dps gods, the fact remains that most of the time, the other classes will out dps Stella. As the only "support" class, it's very important that we can stay alive to help our teammates. Even if you consider yourself a god at the game and can dodge every attack, it's nice to have HP as a backup, especially when att. raids and the D6 raids release.
Note: On chestpieces, you can roll both +%HP and +HP (flat). When possible, go with Flat HP. +% HP in this game is based off of base stats (how much you have when naked), which is 17300 for Stella at level 55. For this reason, +%HP akasha cards are not as useful as they seem.
Crit rate is very important, and there aren't many pieces that can roll crit rate (Weapon, Helmet, Rings). Grabbing some wherever possible can help a lot.
Crit Damage increases the damage of crits. Increasing this stat is a pain, but nearly every piece of gear can roll crit damage increases. Grab them whenever possible, but try to keep your HP up while you do.
Attack Speed is a very very important stat for Stella. The more attack speed you have, the more damage you deal in Stella's many casting skills. However, it's important to note that not every % of attack speed is equal. Passing certain points of attack speed will grant Spirit Swamp and Bass Wave additional ticks, and those are the important thresholds to reach.
From personal testing, I made this table:
- Attack Speed Testing with Spirit Swamp (Right Click)
- Attack Speed | Swamp | Wave |
- 104 | 8 | 8 |
- 111 | 8 | 8 |
- 112 | 8 | 9 | <-- Breakpoint, +1 Bass Wave tick
- 113 | 8 | 9 |
- 114 | 9 | 9 | <-- Breakpoint, +1 Swamp tick
- 115 | 9 | 9 |
- 115.5 | 9 | 9 |
- 116 | 9 | 9 |
- 117 | 9 | 9 |
- 118 | 9 | 9 |
- 119 | 9 | 9 |
- 120.5 | 9 | 9 |
- 127.5 | 9 | 9 |
- 128 | 10 | 9 | <-- Breakpoint, +1 Swamp tick
- 129 | 10 | 10 | <-- Breakpoint, +1 Bass Wave tick
Now, this is only based off my own experience. Other factors come into play, such as ping to the server and fps. I suggest testing this yourself if possible, and seeing what the breakpoints are for you to get 9 ticks of Swamp and Bass Wave, and try to aim for that amount of attack speed at minimum. Every additional point helps you cast other skills faster and grants more SA break/self regen on Spirit Pulse, so it still helps.
Note that charging skills (Orb Song) are not affected by attack speed.
Additionally, if other players could test this, please post your data! I would love to see the variance between players.
Regarding Bass Wave: Bass Wave supposedly will allow a 10th "tick" at 116% attack speed. However, this would only work if you whiffed all 10 hits. Upon attacking monsters with it, it was next to impossible to land 10 ticks. You require at least 129% atkspd to land 10 ticks of Bass Wave on actual monsters.
Thanks to Shiki@Discord for letting me know.
Note that this test was done with max level duration extension for Spirit Swamp.
Attack, Cooldown, or +%HP
Move Speed, Cooldown, or Attack
These are a few akasha cards that are great to have. I'm not going to include every single akasha that exists, as I don't have the time nor patience to do that. Check out ice's recommended AR card guide for more information.
Shade: On direct hit there is a 5% chance of gaining 20% crit rate for 3.5 seconds (Cooldown: 10s)
Hidden: On direct hit there is a 10% chance of gaining 20% crit rate for 3.5 seconds (Cooldown: 10s)
This card is insanely strong, if you have it you should definitely use it. Having it proc right before/during a cast of Spirit Swamp or Bass Wave will increase the damage of it by a ton. If you're not lucky enough to have one, there is a farmable version through "Martial Arts Explained". Not quite as good, but it will work in a pinch.
Dark Gauntillus: On a direct hit there is a 15% probability that you gain 3% attack speed for 2.5 seconds (max 3 stacks)
Hidden: On a direct hit there is a 15% probability that you gain 5% attack speed for 2.5 seconds (max 3 stacks)
This card boosts your attack speed by up to 9% or 15% (depending on hidden or not). Procs often while mobbing as the many hits give a greater chance of activation. Harder to activate and stack on a boss, however. There is a free version via Steel Gloves, but instead of a stacking buff it's a flat 10% buff on a 10s cd.
Dark Gauntillus - 1 Star version: On a direct hit there is a 10% probability that you gain 10% attack speed for 3 seconds. (10s cd).
Tier 2: On a direct hit there is a 10% probability that you gain 10% attack speed for 5 seconds. (10s cd).
This card is so good that I'll recommend it separately. At tier 2 (which is easy to get), it's possible to maintain a nearly 50% uptime of a 10% attack speed buff. Compare this to Sentron Commander (below) who grants a 6 second 12% buff with a whopping 30 second cooldown. It is viable to run both 1 and 2 star Dark Gauntilus together for maximum attack speed bonuses.
Sentron Commander: A successful critical hit has a 10% probability that you gain +12% attack speed for 6 seconds (30s cd)
Hidden: A successful critical hit has a 15% probability that you gain +13% attack speed for 6 seconds (30s cd)
An alternative to Dark Gauntillus, Sentron provides a longer buff at the cost of a long cooldown. This makes it slightly worse at mobbing than Gauntillus, but better at bossing if you can proc it right before or right at the start of Spirit Swamp or Bass Attack. There is a free version in the form of Safety First, but the majority of the time it will be a better idea to grab the 1 star Dark Gauntillus instead.
Megiddon's Rage Mk2: +10% stamina per 5.5s
Hidden: +15% stamina per 5.5s
This card is incredibly helpful for Stellas and new players in particular. The stamina regen is incredibly quick and allows for more dodging, so you can feel free to dodge-cancel skills while retaining stamina in case you need to dodge enemy attacks as well.
Selected Skitter: On direct hit there's a 5% probability that you gain +7% stamina.
Hidden: On direct hit there's a 5% probability that you gain +9% stamina.
Not a bad alternative to Megiddon, as Stella's skills hit a lot of times, allowing this to proc pretty often. However, Megiddon is generally better as it provides stamina regen while not attacking, thus being more useful in more situations. There is a free version available through Deformed Cells.
Grand Blaze Taifon: On a direct hit there is a 10% chance of SF+10% (20s cd)
Hidden: On a direct hit there is a 15% chance of SF+15% (20s cd)
Somewhat useful, this card allows you to stay in one form for longer periods of time without having to swap as often, meaning that swap is kept off cooldown for situations where you must swap quickly (to heal a teammate or something). May be better to consider the 1* Chaser card instead, if on a budget.
Asphalt Golem: Great at drawing aggro. Has uses in raids, and is useful when playing solo. Since most of Stella's moves force her to stay still, having the golem draw aggro gives you some more breathing room to cast these long skills without fear of being overwhelmed.
Hidden: Lasts longer
Rita: Drops coins in a wide AoE, dealing hefty damage based on your stats. Great for huge bosses that won't move out of the AoE, and is easier to land on mobile enemies.
Hidden: A more concentrated AoE, causing more focused damage but harder to land against mobile targets. Great for bosses.
900g Grutins: Summons grutins that attack your enemy. They do a very good amount of single-target damage.
Hidden: More grutins for a longer time with supposedly better AI?
Baalride/Blight on All Souls: Summons Baalride, who attacks in a large area in front of him for a decent amount of damage. Pretty useless at tiers 1 and 2, but amazing at tier 3.
One of the best 1* active cards, Baalride can clear entire rooms of mobs instantly, helping bolster clear times by a ton. You can make one through the Vanta Helmet Fragment akashic key.
Deus Ex Machina/Ave Machina: Another one of the best 1* active cards, Deus Ex summons a huge pair of fists that slam the ground, dealing damage to all enemies nearby. At tier 3, the huge hands slam 3 times, making it amazing for clearing rooms of trash mobs that progressively spawn, such as in Last Carnival Room #2.
Tempter's Gavel: Creates a shield that prevents all damage and CC for 5 seconds (excepting some raid mechanics such as Grand Taifon's aerial bombing in Bandit Highway). Great for when you need to activate a switch and can't afford to be interrupted.
Honorary mention to Big Plastica, which only really lucky and big spenders will have gotten at this point, since you need a Hidden one at tier 2 for the golden ball buff to appear. More info in ice's Recommended AR thread.
There are many other akashas out there that are good and viable to use, but I covered what I would personally use. For the support-oriented Stellas out there, you can consider taking cards such as Selene, Hel and Selene, or Soul Reaver for more AoE healing choices. Feel free to post what akashas you like, use, or are considering
My personal Akasha Sets:
Raw DPS - good for lower geared players and in difficult raids:
Great for single targets and mobbing, this card focuses on maximizing attack speed while maintaining crit with Shade. 900g grutins helps burn down bosses faster. This is what I used as a fresh 55 with limited income and bad gear.
Farming dungeons/raids - Great for when you're geared and just want to blaze through runs:
Since active akashas are based off your own offensive stats, when you're more geared running cards like Baalride and Deus Ex can help speed up runs immensely. This is what I use for farming raids and dungeons like Ark Ship.
This is the set I run for Golden Citadel. What to run greatly varies depending on your team and what cards they have available. Hidden Rita and Blacktop God make runs a lot faster and easier, and if your team is lucky enough to have a tier 2+ hidden Big Plastica, that can also make runs zoom by.
When mobbing solo, it's helpful to run around so that all the monsters in the area are following you. Then, use skills such as Spectral Pit, Rift Riff, Spirit Swamp, and Howler Parade to kill all the monsters. Kill stragglers with small moves such as Howling Hunt or basic attack combos. Constantly swap between the two stances to maintain SF when using skills that aren't affected by stance, or while running between areas.
Micro/Minibosses (enemies with SA): Depending on how tough they are, you can usually deal with them pretty quickly with a Spirit Swamp (RMB whenever possible, otherwise LMB if they're not in range). If they are on the tanky side, feel free to use Bass Wave. With 15% cooldown as a tier 3 bonus, the cooldown on Bass Wave is incredibly low, so it will more than likely be ready for use by the time you need it again.
Bosses: When playing solo, it's fine to save Rhythm Keeper as an emergency heal. You don't need the SF regen as much since using Hysteria/Supernova grants you the same amount of SF/s but for a longer duration. In solo situations, it can be hard to get off long duration skills like Spirit Swamp or Spirit Pulse, as they require you to stand still. Try to deal damage using skills like Phantom Trail, Rift Riff, Howling Hunt, or basic attacks. Use the Support stance of Spirit Pulse to break some SA whenever possible, or for a little bit of healing. If you know a boss will be relatively stationary for a while, pull out Bass Wave for some mad damage and SA break. When the boss is SA broken, it's a good chance to line up a Spectral Pit and some Spirit Swamp right clicks.
If you run into dangerous situations where you're very low HP, try to sprint away and cast a level 2 Orb Song to summon 3 healing orbs. This will normally heal enough for you to safely get back into a fight. If the boss does not grant you any time to run away, use Rhythm Keeper's healing or use Bass Wave and mediqubes/healing chips while you're in the extended iframe.
When playing in a team, Stella's priorities shift slightly from killing enemies to supporting the team (not entirely, ideally). When in parties with classes like Erwin and Lily, try to give them the Rhythm Keeper SF buff as often as possible, as they are SF hungry classes. Lily and Haru will kill mobs a lot faster than Stella, so be useful by grouping them together through Spirit Swamp LMB attacks or by timing moves like Spectral Pit and Rift Riff with their own grouping moves. Try to avoid moves that displace mobs too much while in a party, such as Howler Parade and Spirit Storm.
Before moving to the next area of a stage, make sure to heal members if they really need it.
When bossing as a team, you want to maintain the SF buff on as many party members as possible. It's not always a good idea to pop it right at the start of a boss fight, as a few seconds of the buff will usually be wasted. At the same time, it can be difficult to land the buff in the middle of a fight. Being able to communicate through voice (if in a premade party) or chat macros can help a lot when it comes to organizing buffs.
If against a particularly difficult boss, it may be a better idea to save Rhythm Keeper for healing rather than the SF buff. Although the SF buff grants more dps, being dead means 0 dps. Keeping your teammates alive is a high priority, so make sure to keep an eye on their health bars. That being said, if you're running with a team you're familiar with and you know are capable of keeping themselves alive, feel free to put in more dps by attacking and using the SF buff. If you're lesser geared and only taken along for your heals, make sure you're casting orb song (support) off cooldown and notifying your team of where the orbs are. Heal yourself with support Spirit Pulse and save Rhythm Keeper for team healing.
Note that just because Stella is a healing/support class doesn't mean she can't deal damage. Although you want to support your team, Stella is a fantastic source of long term sustained damage through the use of Spirit Swamp and Bass Wave. If somebody in the group has a Big Plastica Akasha capable of giving the golden ball buff, cast SF buff Rhythm Keeper at the start and spam Spectral Pit (and optionally Bass Wave before the buff runs out to get a free cast).
First off, this mode is complete ass. Partly because it's hardly pvp, and partly because the parts that are pvp are heavily imbalanced by class balance and gear.
Anyways, this mode is separated into two parts: Initial mob clear and main room. The goal is to gather points from killing mobs and other players and activating one of the 4 devices in the main room to "turn in" your points. Problem being, most other people will prevent you from handing in your points because they want them, as killing players forces them to drop all of their points, going to whomever landed the last hit on them.
Stellas are at an inherent disadvantage for the mob clearing portion; our lack of burst means unless you severely outgear your competition, you likely won't be the first person to reach the main room. Try killing the mobs as quickly as possible, making use of Bass Wave. Try your best to ignore people that you meet on the way to the main room, as wasting time fighting will be a detriment to both of you.
Upon reaching the main room, try to hand in your points immediately. Most others will do the same and this is one of the only times you have where people (usually) won't rush to interrupt you. After the initial turnins, try to interrupt others from handing in points and kill monsters and people to gain more points. Make use of Rhythm Keeper as a self heal, and abuse the paralysis shield on Soul Cry. It is the single most broken CC skill in the game and will make people rage like nothing else. A paralyze into Bass Wave will likely kill anybody unfortunate enough to get trapped inside, just take care of others who may try to steal the kill at the last second.
Stella's small size makes her somewhat hard to see when she's capping. You can emphasize this by wearing dark clothing (mind games) and hiding in corners and waiting until people are distracted before handing in points.
Thanks for reading my guide. Stella is a fun class with great potential, and I hope you enjoy playing her as much as I do. If you have any criticism, questions, or comments, please reply! I'd love to hold discussions.
Mar 15 - Created guide. Mistakes may exist so bear with me!
Mar 16 - Updated opinion and statements regarding Howling Hunt. Updated some data on Bass Wave being cancellable by Hysteria. Credits to AkabaneKun!
- Updated discrepancies between hidden/non hidden Rita. Thanks Aimi!
Mar 18 - Updated some skill descriptions again, added generic gameplay section (criticism welcome, as everybody's playstyle differs).
Mar 19 - Added personal skill build and combo section, edited skill descriptions slightly and added personal recommendations for skills.
Mar 24 - Added the ability to cancel Bass Wave with Reset Position (thanks Lerpon). Edited Attack Speed Chart and text regarding Bass Wave's attack speed scaling.
Apr 9 - Added GIFs of skills, edited attack speed chart regarding Bass Wave, added Bass Wave attack speed comparisons.
Apr 24 - Added some notes on Dimension Trip/PvP throughout the guide. Added a few more akashas.
Apr 26 - Edited for general cleanup.
May 10 - Updated a little bit for GC release
Current Future Plans:
If you want me to discuss/include anything in the guide, please let me know.