Snowbreak: Containment Zone Meta Report – March 31, 2024

The March 2024 Snowbreak meta update, covering the latest Snowbreak gameplay news.

Hey folks. We’re in an interesting spot right now where there are not one, not two, but three different limited supports simultaneously on banner. With this much choice available, it can be tough deciding what to spend your hard-earned pulls on, if you do at all. Well it’s a pretty uneventful month as far as changes to the meta are concerned, so I figured I had space to fill a full article with my personal recommendations.

Oh yeah, Eatchel did get buffed a few days ago as well. The changes are uh. Interesting. They do make her better, though. We’ll talk about it.

Cats and Kags Make a Return

It’s finally Mauxir - Shadow Ka’s turn to get a rerun banner, with Acacia - Kaguya tagging along by popular demand (literally - her getting rerun so soon was because of the high number of CN playerbase requests). There really isn’t a question of whether you should get them - if you don’t have either, it’s almost definitely in your best interest to try and change that. Kaguya is still an enemy resistance shredder that’ll boost the damage of anyone you put her with. “Press button to do more damage” will always be useful as long as the damage boost is competitive, and nothing quite comes close to the universal impact she provides for how easy she is to use. Meanwhile, Shadow Ka’s support skill is still indispensable, if not even more important now with threats like Njall being a regular occurrence. Being able to bypass enemy defences and putting up a large, stationary target that practically says “shoot here for more damage” turns out to be great even in general content when you encounter a high-priority target that you want to get rid of fast. If you’re pulling for dupes of either, then Shadow Ka is definitely the more important one, as her Manifestation 1 is a massive power spike, while having extra uptime on her support skill via Manifestation 3 is extremely useful to give you extra time to beat down particularly beefy enemies.

But you should still get her weapon first if you’re missing it, because that thing is crazy good in its own right.

Alloy Truth continues to be one of if not the strongest support weapon in the game. Providing a massive attack steroid with bonus crit damage on top (just for fun, as a treat) makes it so good that it’s been getting poached by every SMG operative who can provide some form of utility with their support skill. While it obviously does lose some value if you mainly play skill damage operatives, the game’s current state that strongly favours gun damage means that most players will still get huge benefits from it, with many even going for extra copies to use in content where multiple teams are required. If you’re going to get dupes of any gacha weapon in the game, this is the one.

Meanwhile, Pine Aurora is admittedly much less of a priority. It’s still a great pickup if you can afford it, but the much more easily obtainable Prismatic Igniter gives it a run for its money in non-Frost DPS teams if Pine is only T1. It's definitely still a luxury item, but one that has gone up in utility with the relatively recent release of the powerhouse Frost DPS that is Katya.

This rerun also brings one final set of goodies back with it, in the form of Amarna Squad. Like Alloy Truth, it’s up there for the best support logistics set released to date, providing further proof that all gacha games peak during their summer events. Definitely get at least two sets if you haven't already. If you’re willing to throw more event shop currency in to squeeze out better performance (and you should, this logistics set is definitely worth it), then there are a few statlines you want to look out for:

  • For any operative using Alloy Truth, you’ll want HP/skill haste rolls to boost the damage buff that Alloy will provide. For Mauxir - Shadow Ka specifically, it might also be worth keeping a set with HP/Alignment Index rolls, as this will maximise the damage you get from her Deiwos passive, useful in scenarios where you can pop whatever you’re fighting and end the mission within the span of a single support skill use.
  • For anyone else that can make good use of Amarna (Kaguya and Fritia - Little Sunshine, for example), ATK/skill haste is almost always the play in order to maximise buffs from the SR set of support weapons like Strawberry Shortcake and Prismatic Igniter. ATK/Alignment Index may still be useful here too depending on the operative, but it’s definitely more niche. While you’re at it, maybe get a second ATK/skill haste set if you can. You never know when it might come in handy.

My Feral Lady

Ah, right. Eatchel. The third support option vying for your digicash. When she first released, she was Not That Great, to put it politely. She only really had maybe two proper uses (we’ll get to that later), and was just kind of a brick otherwise. She healed really hard, but you also had to commit a full U-Energy bar to get it, which made it really awkward to access. I was initially going to write what probably would have ended up as my most negative review of a limited operative to date, but it didn’t take long for news to pop up about possible changes and buffs in the future. So I shelved that draft and decided to wait and see how the changes stuck.

With said changes now released, it’s clear to see that she’s now more useful, though maybe not in the way that Seasun intended. But before we get to Eatchel, it’s probably a good idea to talk about the change to Lux Squad, the logistics set that pairs with her. The quick TL;DR of it is that every second, the equipped operative gets stacks that boost their healing, which on release were consumed every time said operative did a heal. After the change, they now stick around until the operative uses a skill, then go poof two seconds after. This was done because of changes to Eatchel’s kit, but it also has the side effect of giving Chenxing - The Observer’s support skill a really weird performance curve. It means that her support skill initially heals for a lot, then craters its output while Chenxing builds back Lux Squad stacks. But despite initial impressions, this actually ends up being more healing, which is nice. But enough about her, let’s get back to Eatchel.

Her support skill now passively heals your entire team every second, but only when it’s not on cooldown. And because of the changes to Lux Squad, it actually ends up being better to use her support skill once at the start of combat while she has no Lux Squad stacks, then never again. This is to avoid losing the Lux Squad stacks and maximise your passive healing. “AFK passive healer” is certainly a never-before-seen niche in the game that can be useful at times, but it’s also not very interactive. But hey if it works, it works. It comes with a stun too though, which can be useful at times.

Her ultimate ability getting its U-Energy cost decreased down to 40 (from 100 previously) makes it way more accessible to use, and its ability to spend more U-Energy for bigger heals means it’s the best “panic button” emergency heal in the game you can get. But for most players, that’s… not really something they need. So then the question becomes what else it provides. It turns out to be a pretty big attack steroid, with decent enough uptime when you put enough U-Energy into it. But that’s the problem, which existed before and still hasn’t really been fixed. U-Energy is at best a hassle to generate, and in some cases a scarce resource that a member of your party could put to much greater use. Compared to other supports who effectively have their own self-refilling resource meter due to only having to use their support skills, Eatchel’s high-impact ability takes comparatively more work to use, and that’s only just for the bare minimum 40 U-Energy cast. To put it in simpler terms: why jump through the hoops to use Eatchel’s ultimate when you could get a similar or even greater benefit from just using Kaguya or Redacted’s support skill?

Her signature weapon, Blitzing Fangs, also got some touch-ups as well. It now has its stored healing decay by 5% of the total amount every second instead of the flat 500 per second before. This means that you can actually permanently maintain the buff from it, finally making it worth using… at Tier 2. At Tier 1 it’s still relatively competitive with the SR Lapis Lazuli, unfortunately. Both are much better than Rock Python, which is quite possibly the worst event weapon released to date. Requiring a skill activation (which you don’t want to do on Eatchel) to provide an attack boost, and only if the operative is at max health, is a lot of hoops to jump through for a weaker buff that has half of the uptime of Lapis Lazuli. Despite this, it’s still a weapon you might begrudgingly end up using since Eatchel’s Manifestation 1 effect does require a kinetic shotgun to be equipped.

It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Being a shotgun operative still gives her a role as a parts breaker, and the passive healing is a nice quality of life feature for staying topped up in easier content. Being able to stun enemies also means she can be used against bosses like Sartre as well. She's strangely also the best support to put with Haru - Absconditus when fighting Fiend, though this is almost definitely because of Fiend code spaghetti and not a reflection of Eatchel's abilities. And to be fair, she is very adorable. But let’s just rip the band-aid off and get to the point. While she certainly does have her uses, her performance even after the buffs still doesn’t come close to reaching the high watermark that Kaguya and Shadow Ka set. Healing just isn’t something that’s really needed, and even in the times it is, you get one completely free option (Yao - Quiet Quitter) and another much more readily available (Chenxing - The Observer) that will do just fine. All in all, I just can’t recommend pulling for her, unless you’re willing to accept her as mainly a collection item to look cute in your dorm and sometimes sit on the bench as a passive health pack that you rarely if ever interact with.

Tier List Updates

You can find the full tier list here.

Eatchel - The Cub rated at T1

Eatchel is by far the best healer you can get your hands on, with both great passive health replenishment and a massive burst heal. But unfortunately, this isn’t really something that’s needed in the current state of the game. She can also provide quite a large attack buff from her ultimate, but its high U-Energy price tag makes it impractical in most scenarios.

Enya - Big Sis lowered from T1 to T2

I really should have done this a while ago, to be honest. She could have gone down in rating several months back, as any utility she brought as a support became completely powercrept by Mauxir - Shadow Ka. Having your entire support gimmick done better by someone else’s passive ability kinda hurts. She’s still not any better as a DPS either, so she unfortunately sees a reduction in rating.