Heist - Artifacts - May 30, 2020
An Artifact is not just the primary objective of the Heist, but can also be a valuable tool when it is acquired.
At the start of the Heist, 1 of 7 random Artifacts is chosen as the Artifact for the player to try and obtain. Each has a unique ability that typically has a strong one-use positive effect with a long lasting negative effect. The names and abilities of the Artifacts will look familiar to those who have played other Dragoon games.
Ability - Beast Cannon
Fires a cannonball in one of 4 directions, hits an enemy in line of sight. From enemy's position, the cannonball explodes and kills each enemy Force Fighter squad, within 3 tiles (walls block). All Teams gain Defense - 100% for the Heist's remainder.
This can be very useful for clearing out massive swarms of guards, particularly where many are blocking your path and even one of them spotting your Team will send them all after them. Though it is tempting to use to escape the building when all guards are after the Team that stole the Artifact, it may be best to save for the eastern end of outside, where there will very likely be a large number of guards and the Defense debuff for your party will be active for less.
Ability - Ether Blast
Enemies within 5 spaces of the Artifact user are unable to move for 5 turns (walls block). Combat with these enemies has them and their reinforcements enter battle with 8 seconds of Stun. After usage, forest tiles are filled with additional Shadow hordes.
Very useful when surrounded by a swarm of enemies, as it holds them in place and allows either advancing through them or picking them off one at a time (which is made easier due to the MASSIVE Stun they suffer). Depending on when the Artifact is used and how many forests the player plans to cross through, the negative effect of this Artifact may be minor for the effect it produces, as it is just more possible encounters in forests. Pound's Getaway ability basically counters this negative.
Space God's Biomachine
Ability - Void Warp
All Force Fighter squads are removed from the map and half of all enemy doors stop spawning, but the third member of each Team are permanently removed from the rest of the Heist. If active and Claire is removed, Infiltration ends.
This Artifact probably has the biggest overall positive AND negative effect of all Artifacts. Removing all enemies from the map AND cutting the number that can spawn in half is a huge bonus, but losing the third member in each Team not only means reduced fighters in combat, but reduced abilities for the Heist itself. This can be eased by ordering your Heist parties before the Heist begins so that the character you mind losing least is in the third slot of each Team, in case this Artifact ends up being the objective.
Sword of Legendenum
Ability - Philosophy Drive
All player teams and enemy squads are teleported to random locations on the map. Enemy squads lose a random number of soldiers, but always keep at least 1.
This Artifact's overall usefulness as it sounds -- random. It may be entirely positive and put your Team with the Artifact very close to the Goal with few enemies around, it may be entirely negative and shove your Recon Team VERY far off-site, or it could do a whole lot of nothing. The random values are locked in at the start of each Heist, so saving and reloading will do little to help.
Grocery Store Detective Badge
Ability - High Authority
Forces all enemies inside the building to go outside, lose 3/4 of their team (rounded up) and prevents new enemies from spawning in the building, but all Force Fighters have boosted HP/Attack/Defense/Combat Movement.
This can make for a very easy exit from the building after gaining this Artifact. Though the enemies end up being powered up, their reduced squad size should make fighting them more manageable. The problem, however, are squads that originated from outside -- they will be powered up, and this could be as rough as requiring the Recon Team to leave the Recon Site in some cases. With proper team setups, such as Claire and Brooks on the Ground Team to use their Infiltration and Sniper Shot, proper use of this Artifact can lead to a smoother Heist.
Mattress King's Business Plans
Ability - Execute Plan
All enemies are unable to move for 2 turns, lose track of the Team they were chasing and are blind while stunned, but all Teams have Attack - 5 for the remainder of the Heist.
While 2 turns is a short amount of time for this Artifact's effect, the effect is very powerful -- all enemies stunned and blind, allowing all teams to reposition or slip by large patrols without incident. Its Stun is shorter than Polydegmon's Flintlock and does not add Stun to combat, but is still a very useful field ability. Its negative can be easily worked around with Tara's Ground ability or Jimmy's Recon ability.
Crate of Porn
Ability - Literary Seduction
Drop magazines within an area of 5 tiles (walls block). Enemies that step on the magazines' tile will be distracted and cannot move for 1 turn. Teams have 5 seconds of extra cooldown (except Cook's Far Shot).
This Artifact is best used towards the end of a Heist, typically the eastern area, which is a large outdoor area with enemy spawn doors. Making use of this Artifact in an open area that will more than likely be teeming with guards helps ensure not just easier passage, but prevents ALL guards, current and future, from pursuing your Teams effectively. Its negative is bad for characters with low cooldowns, but characters like Cook who have high cooldowns by default won't be so bad off.