Once again, it's my turn to do the MSoTW. I was thinking of a underrated unit that will make good discussion (that is not Psycho), and I've decided to talk about the unit that everyone wants when it first came out, but is now a rather underused and talked about unit - Virtue.
It's quite possibly the best 00 unit out of the 4 that is initially released in capsule 39. It's also the only 00 A-ranked unit that can match up considerably to it's AR version, despite the both of them having very different play styles.
Comes in two modes. You start out with Virtue, and you purge into Nadleeh. Note that once you transform into Nadleeh, you can't switch back to Virtue until you die and respawn.
Below are the stats for the two modes, with the top being Virtue's.
The weapon set for Virtue and Nadleeh have some rather unique properties, so I'll list them below and discuss in detail.
Single hit knockdown. Decently painful, huge swing, and it hits into the bottom of the z-axis as well. Recovery is horrible, but that is a given for most 1-hit KD melees. I'll say it's a rather decent move, since it covers a huge area during it's strike.
Thick fat GN beam bazooka. Penetrates. Considered as a far-ranged weapon, so it's blocked by veteran infighter. The unique part about it is that it does not lock your unit down when it is being fired, a trait that is very very rare amongst A ranks that can fire long-ranged beam. It's grants mobility while you fire, and it's thick enough to hit targets easily.
GN Cannon. Penetrates. Double shot. Knocks down. Locks your movement. It hits far, but it is considered a mid-ranged weapon, meaning that it ignores veteran infighter's reduction in damage, although the knockdown counter is still reduced. Great weapon for those God/Natakus and stuff, whom you will be scratching otherwise with your GN Bazooka. Also, if both beams (left and right) land on the enemies, it hurts.
Beam spec. Nothing much to say. I dislike beam specs personally.
: Three hit melee. No melee dash. Strikes considerably fast for a paper's melee.
: GN Cannon. Penetrates. Double shot. Stuns. Locks your movement. It hits far, but it is considered a mid-ranged weapon as well. Any part of the beam stuns, and since it penetrates AND hit a rather wide area, together with 2 rounds of fire before reload, it's probably one of the best weapon of the suit. Since it is actually the same weapon as Virtue's W3, the damage calculation is EXACTLY the same.
A good alternate option is always welcomed. Although AOE is always better, melee spec can still do its intend job.
Defense up is a rather typical mid-tier skill. It helps when you are in Nadleeh mode, but still Nadleeh eats damage like a baby. Trans-am increases reload, agility and boost when your HP drops to 60% and below, which is a god-sent for it's rather slow reloading weapons.
Trans-am is good, but I'll prefer defense up to be replaced by something else, say reload up. That will quite possibly break this suit though.
Virtue has quite a decent amount of good points, but there's a few glaring cons that made it a unit that is beyond normal tier, but not quite competitive. I'll say that it's a unit most suited for semi-competitive play that does not involve stuff like vaccines and such.
Virtue mode covers quite a huge number of areas in terms of offense, other than the fact that it has a pure beam weapon set. Aside from I-Field which shuts down 2/3 of its weapons, it is not really affected much by anything else. Veteran infighter will probably give it a slightly hard time by nerfing the damage of W2, but W3 makes a good alternative, and it's W3 hurts if all hits land. Virtue also laughs at Veteran Sniper, making it's job of fighting against fellow papers a lot easier. Combined with the fact that it's weapons all deals considerable amounts of damage, you've got a pretty decent far-ranged suit that is easy to play.
Nadleeh is quite possibly the mode that catches my eye. In terms of team support, it is quite possibly one of the best A papers that you can find, should vaccines not come into play. It's auto-ZBS provides you with a decent option should an enemy come close, though admittedly you need to be used to auto-ZBS to abuse it. W2, however, is the weapon that makes it stand out from the rest. Two clips of wide, penetrating stuns, together with decent reload time that is boosted by Trans-am. It's a very very annoying and strong unit to fight against if you are not vaccines. Did I also mention that they hurt? A lot? It deals exactly the same damage as Virtue's W3. Now factor in the increase in attack due to the mode change, and the fact that it stuns, and that you can fire it twice in quick succession. You can do wall shots and get only one shot through, and it will still hurts more than a beam-rifle and stuns. It's borderline broken.
Now for the cons. Both modes lack melee dash, and being paper, it means that boost management is extremely hard for this fellow. I can't stress enough how irritating that is when you use it in play, especially in Nadleeh mode, who needs to follow the team-mates around in order to shine.
Also, Virtue is quite helpless against units with I-field and the likes, although that can be remedied with your helpful stuns in Nadleeh and the above-par melee.
Lastly, in Nadleeh mode, your effectiveness is more than halved if the opponents have vaccines on. This major weakness kills any hope of being useful in real competitive plays where vaccines are spammed everywhere. While it's single shot damage is high, its overall damage output pales in comparison to many other units that is available.
Overall, I'll say that Virtue excels in wide open maps, or in space. Nadleeh mode is an extremely good supporter, unless the whole opponent team have vaccines on them. If that is the case, it is better to stick to Virtue for more options, and the KD beam.
Typical builds should be all attack to abuse the high damage output of the GN Cannons as much as possible. A HP/Def build can be used if you want to stay around longer to abuse the stuns, but that build is easily countered by a simple vaccine. If you have a lol-C4 version, go with C-HP / OC-ATK once you hit a high OC, to enjoy more bulk, and yet retain the hard-hitting GN Cannons.
(My) Playing Style
For me, it is simple. If I am playing Virtue, I am playing it for support using Nadleeh mode. If I can only use Virtue, or I am playing maps or opponents where I can't use Nadleeh, I won't use it.
Reason? A rather similar AS unit named V-Dash. I'll go into details about that in the next section.
So, a typical game play starts of with me scouting for opponents to waste Virtue's ammo on, while sticking closely to allies. Fire a few shots if they are still far, and purge into Nadleeh once the ammo are over, or if you anticipate a quick clash with the opponents.
Stuns are extremely good in helping out with melee battles. They stop the enemy from moving so that your fellow rocks can have a easier time to grab them, or you can free them from opponent's melee and allowing them to counterslash the opponent. And thus, if possible, try to keep the the rocks in sight (both your allies and your opponents), so that you can provide the necessary stuns when required.
Nadleeh itself is very frail, so once your W2 is in cooldown, you should try to stay in cover and position yourself if possible, until they are done reloading. Meleeing is a last ditch approach and should not be used unless you have no W2 and you need to free your allies from an opponent's melee.
Do note that while in Nadleeh mode W1+W2+W1+W2+W1 is typical knowledge. However, since there is a small charging time before you fire your shots, plus the fact that W2 locks your movement, it is best not to do in on fast slashing rocks, or enemies that knows how to ZBS.
Typically, try not to waste your special, because you need Trans-am in order to boost the reload rate of W2. However, staying alive is a much bigger priority compared to that, since the longer you survive, the more chances you can plan your stuns on your opponent. Stay alive, and try to maintain your SP.
From my experience, if both side of the team has a Virtue, the side whose Virtue changes into Nadleeh and uses it correctly will have a much higher chance of winning. This is what I had noticed from many games of mine where I fought against a Virtue that stubbornly refused to purge and stay in the original mode.
Comparisons Against Other Similar Units
As said earlier, V-Dash.
V-Dash totally outshines Virtue. It has reload-up and fortress, probably one of the most broken skill combinations for any units that is not S-ranked. W3 deals stun, which is infinitely better than knockdowns. Coupled with the fact that V-Dash can perform melee dash, V-Dash is almost superior to Virtue in all aspects.
Hexi pointed out a very good point of Virtue being able to move when firing it's W2, but that single pro against V-Dash, imo, is not enough to make one ditch V-Dash and choose Virtue instead.
In terms of stunning papers, no ABC papers come close to what Virtue provides. V-Dash provides only a single round of stun, while Apsallas can have potentially unlimited W2, one have to note that if its W2 is fired in quick succession on the same unit, only the first shot will have the stun effects, while the rest of the stuns are negated until some time has passed.
In terms of B rank, all the stunners have high-output rifles. However, their stuns are way slower and much less damaging, and a lot easier to miss with a small hit area. They do have some 3 lives though, so that is a plus to them. However, in terms of stunning capabilities, Nadleeh outshines them by a fair bit.
There are many scissors stunners out there that provides various things, but most of the time, you want a paper stunner for one reason. To troll the hell out of opponent rocks and inflict heavy damage at the same time. One successful crit with all beams landing, and the rock will be on their way to the junkyard pretty soon. That's not something a scissors stunner can provide. Except maybe Psycho. But Psycho is of another class of its own.
I-Field (or any of the likes) and vaccine will shut down an opponent's Virtue totally.
My Gameplay Video
My typical Virtue play. Average, and not very good. It was at C4 back then with all attack. Virtue/Nadleeh is easy to play, but requires good positioning to fully put it's weapon set to good use.
Gameplay 1 shows how much a simple vaccine can affect Nadleeh's effectiveness in the game. The OC6-ed Ball-K was easily the biggest thorn on the opponent side, and my GN Cannons are not really effective against it, other than the fact that I still deal above average damage to it.
Gameplay 2 shows how devastating Nadleeh can be against opponent rocks. Notice the line up of our team (3 scis + 1 paper) against theirs (3 rocks + 1 scis). In that game, I've pretty much killed off the AR Calamity early into the game, while screwing up all of Sandrock's lives. Even though I've exhausted my lives the earliest (Force Impulse did a pretty damn good job of man-marking me), we won that game despite the odds, since they are only left with 2 rocks with a silver of life, plus Force Impulse.
Gameplay 3, nothing much to talk about. My positioning was weaker there compared to gameplay 2, but still did enough. Noticed the damage I did by critting the rock which was meleeing our AR Cala near the end of the game.
No other videos were shown this time because Virtues are typically simple to play. If the video shows a full Virtue game-play, then it's just similar to just about every other Virtue/V-Dash video.
Well, that is all. Long wall of text as usual, but hopefully this will get some people to take their attention off V-Dash and take a look at NadleehVirtue instead. Any discussions to this unit, as well as constructive criticisms to my MSoTW, are welcomed.