- Very high damage: 600% multiplier, 2 hits.
- The only wind magic attacker in the game.
- Incredible SP value: 4 SP for 3 turns of high damage.
- Great for beginners: acts like 3 costumes in 1.
- Great for fights where SP is scarce.
- Great for fights where enemies have silence abilities or SP drain abilities.
- Unique knockback skill.
- Exclusive gear synergizes with her Energy Guard.
- To utilize her full power, the battle should ideally last between 3-6 turns (i.e. 2 or 3 player turns).
- Runs out of steam in long battles that last more than 6 turns (e.g. fiend bosses).
- Energy guard is quite small: 150% of M.ATK at +5. Compare to Admiral Sylvia whose Energy Guard is based on 400% ATK at +0 and 700% ATK at +5.
- Needs a lot of investment: big damage jump from +2 to +3 and +4 to +5. Energy Guard also only kicks in at +5.
Dalvi for PvE
Dalvi has been hyped up as the next level of powercreep for attackers, and she does not disappoint.
With a 600% damage multiplier, her magic damage is extremely high. On its own, that high damage would already be enough to make her a good costume.
However, what's unique about Dalvi is that she can continuously use her costume skill for 3 player turns, allowing her to deal sustained high damage without any cooldown. What's more, she only pays 4 SP on activation to "transform", and then once she is "transformed" she does not need to spend any more SP to use her skill on the second and third player turns.
This means that Dalvi is a top pick for fights where the enemies have silence abilities or SP drain abilities. Dalvi is unaffected by silence (because her transformation cannot be removed), and she is not hindered by SP drain because her transformed attacks do not cost SP.
Dalvi is also a top pick for beginners, because she is such good value for investment. Normally, in order to have a unit use sustained high damage skills over 3 player turns, you would need to invest in 3 costumes for that unit. Dalvi, on the other hand, lets you attack 3 turns in a row with only 1 costume.
Despite her strengths, Dalvi comes with an important drawback: she runs out of steam after 3 player turns. Dalvi's cooldown is 9 game turns, which means that after your player turn 3, you will have no skills on player turns 4 and 5 (game turns 7 and 9). In most story mode levels, this is not a problem at all, as you should be aiming to close out the battle (or at least the main threats) within 3 player turns anyway. However, where you'll feel Dalvi's limitations the most is in fiend boss battles, because most of the fiend bosses to date (with the exception of Yukwang/Fire) have lasted 10 game turns (5 player turns). Dalvi is therefore at a significant disadvantage if she cannot use offensive skills for 2 consecutive turns out of the 5 player turns available.
There is one more thing that makes Dalvi very unique, and worth pulling at least 1 copy for: her knockback ability.
Every unit has an innate ability to knockback instead of attack or use costume skills. The vast majority of units have a forward knockback, which pushes the target enemy 1 square forward. There only are a few units that can knockback left, right, or diagonally forwards.
Dalvi is the first and only unit that has a reverse knockback, i.e. she can pull units towards you.
This is huge because manipulating the enemy's formation is critical when it comes to hard content like Evil Castle and Very Hard story mode. A lot of the time, the only way to maximize AOE damage is to knock your enemies into position. By having Dalvi, you unlock a new strategy tool against certain formations.
Here's a simple example below: Dalvi can pull forward the highlighted unit to set up an "X" shape AOE attack from your next unit. Without Dalvi, it would be difficult to set up an attack that hits all those enemy units.
Dalvi for PvP
Dalvi definitely packs a punch in PVP. Her damage is high, she has great reach as a "skip" attacker, and her single line AOE is great at taking out 4-0-1 formations. She also does not cost SP on your second turn, allowing your team to use more skills on your second turn with the limited SP available.
However, Dalvi's biggest limitation in PVP is that she costs 4 SP, which crowds out your options for skills from other team members. Due to her high SP cost, even though she has a great kit, she is unlikely to be top tier in PVP.
There are many good reasons to pull Dalvi. She has great stats and damage, she has a unique skill (transform), she has unique typing (Wind/M.ATK) and she has a unique "reverse" knockback.
The hype is warranted, but keep in mind that she is not "one size fits all", because she is best for a particular type of PVE battle. Her transform skill is somewhat wasted on quick 1-turn battles (e.g. Evil Castle), and she is disadvantaged in long fights that outlast her transform skill (e.g. fiend boss battles). Her sweet spot is in battles that last 2 to 3 player turns to make the best use of her transform. Her limited range also means that she should not be your only attacker on your team, as she can only take out up to 3 enemies at a time.
Despite these relatively minor flaws, overall she's a great unit and highly recommended.