As part of the Tales of 25th anniversary stream, we also got some updates for Tales of The Rays, including a 25th Anniversary Boss Challenge event filled with goodies for newcomers! Everything new (such as the winners of Rays Fes Part 1) as well as how to partake in the challenge as well as Rays Fes part 2 is covered in-depth here, so check it out!
First things first. The winners of Rays fes part 1 are officially locked in! For their victory, these pairs will get new Crossover Mirrage Artes by next Rays Fes. Here they are:
1. Leon/Judas: 94,814,213 points!
2. Ludger/Victor 81,346,972 points!
3. Ion/Sync 74, 396,854 points!
Some of us may have expected the winning pair, but most of us voted for him, so it's nothing to be unhappy about. Besides, there's no hard feelings for the losing pairs, which are the following:
4. Milla Maxwell/Fractured Milla: 72, 321,896 points
5. Sophie/Little Queen: 65,571,336 points
6. Kor/Creed: 25,832,587 points
There's a surprising gap between 5th and 6th place, but many people had admitted to not having played hearts and therefore not understanding the pairing. Rays thankfully avoided spoiling their connection, but Hearts fan put out a valiant effort anyway. Now why aren't there any hard feelings? Because it's time for Round 2: "Crowdfunding!" This time, it's not a voting event, but rather a way to show support for all 3 losing pairs! We'll explain how to show your support below, but first here's a chart of times to keep in mind for these events.
By the way, Tilkis and Arria's Christmas event from last year is already underway on a rerun, so why don't you take the chance to recruit them? And even if you already have, you should still clear the quests again to get dia and get currency for their event shops. If you don't know how to get rerun event currency, you simply have to spend AP on quests, use Mirrage Artes and perform Just Inputs on your artes. It doesn't have to be in the event, so you can farm currency even while doing Rays festival activities! Also, The Road To Festival event is still running, so keep spending your AP on that since The Rays of Festival Round 2 and the Miracle Boss Challenge don't cost any AP.
|Mid-December Events||Start Times||End Times|
|Round 2 Support||December 15, 14:00 JST||December 20, 23:59 JST (Resets Daily!)|
|Miracle Boss Challenge||December 15, 23:00 JST||February 1, 2021 JST|
|Tilkis and Arria Christmas Rerun Quests + Banners||December 11, 14:00 JST||December 21, 20:59 JST|
|Tilkis and Arria Christmas Rerun Event Shop||December 11, 14:00 JST||December 28, 20:59 JST|
|Tales of Phantasia + Narikiri Dungeon Unison Attack||December 18, 20:00 JST||December 20, 19:59 JST|
There's also a new Unison Attack coming soon! These are the co-op sessions that open up every other weekend. This time the focus is on Tales of Phantasia, celebrating it (and the series') 25th anniversary! Narikiri Dungeon characters will also be joining on. The full list of playable characters are as follows:
Naturally, all of the characters who haven't gotten badges before will get a new set of badges for this event. Even if you can't or aren't interested in playing co-op, playing with CPUs until you get enough points for the home screen missions is suggested, as they give a lot of prisms as rewards!
Also, be sure to keep checking the gacha every day, because there will be a free multi each day! The "crowdfunding" event also resets daily, with your highest score per day counting. Now let's get into the explanation for Round 2.
The event tab is the same as round 1. Once you enter it, things look a little different though. The first thing you'll be greeted by is an image of the round 1 results. You won't be able to pick who you're voting for, this is just to know who's one. Close the window once you're done congratulating the winners.
Next, notice the new screen, which shows all 3 "losers" and no banner. This is because you won't choose who to vote for! Instead, you'll be showing your support for all of them. The total amount of points all players raise will determine if the remaining 3 pairs will be able to receive Crossover Mirrage Artes. The amount of support points needed for each pair is not equal either: we need to show more support the less points a pair got, which means the highest milestone is Kor/Creed. That's a tall order, but hopefully fans can pull through. Sophie/Little Queen and of course Milla Maxwell/Fractured Milla don't need as many points, but that doesn't mean they're guaranteed either!
Just like before, hit the green button on the bottom right and you'll be greeted with a screen like this. Simply complete the quest to gain points! If you want to gain more points, then start touching the buff/debuff modifiers on the left. Red ones debuff you and add to your base point value, while blue ones make you stronger and decrease your point value. You may want to avoid those!
The actual buffs and debuffs differ per day, but here are examples of buffs and debuffs that we've run into so far:
Healing Spells Cast Faster
CC Recovery Is Slower
Arte Enhancements are disabled
MG Gain Lowered
Maximum Party Size of 3
Maximum Party Size of 2
Elemental Strike Artes are disabled
Artes that allow you to pass through enemies no longer do so
Enemies take no damage from artes that deal less than 1500 damage
Enemy attacks drain the Mirrage Gauge
There are no helpers allowed so all we can say is... do your best! Since these aren't exactly normal fights, you may have to get creative. Of course, you could always use Overray Ix and repeatedly use Shredding Talons, which is possible as long as elemental strike artes aren't disabled. If you can't win with all debuffs, then turn some off. You have infinite tries and your highest scoring try is what's counted, so try to score some points per day, which helps a lot more than scoring none!
That's it for Rays Fest part 2, but now let's talk about the Boss Challenge. This was shown in the Tales of 25th anniversary stream, rather than the preview, and will run until the end of January 2021! That's 2 months of time to complete this challenge, which has a lot of free goodies, such as free artes for Ix and so much dia! There are 2 sets of boss challenges this time: Normal and EX. They have their own sections of the event quest list, but you must clear all the Normal quests to unlock the EX ones, and then unlock the Hard quests to unlock the EX quests. If you advance through them using the Next Quest button, you'll automatically be taken to the next set once you finish the last one of the previous set.
All quests have the same reward missions: Clear without Continues, Clear Without KOs, and Clear for the first time. However, You only have to clear to get dia or the special rewards. The quests cost 0 AP so you lose nothing if you die, so no real reason to continue. If things get particularly difficult then you can clear without continuing, but with some allies KO'd. You'll miss out on prisms and spirrogems, but you'll still get the dia and special rewards This event lasts 2 months however, so there's plenty of time to get stronger, come up with better strategies and find good help before you resort to spending dia on continues.
Each quest has a different boss fight, some being combinations of previous bosses. Those who've played Rays actively for a long time will recognize many of these enemies, which have their own strategies and gimmicks. Merfish who move slowly but with instant KO moves, Absolute Killer who takes 1 damage from every attack and so much Iron Stance it's hard to combo him, or Dhaos with his ridiculous physical defense but shockingly low arte defense. All quests are rainbow anima and again, 0 AP, so this is your chance to come up with your best team of your strongest characters, because there's no bond points or event currency to farm. You may have to advance the story to unlock Ix' Overray feature to give yourself a boost. That said, even a newcomer should clear as much as possible since the free rewards can go a long way to making it possible to clear the next quest.
Funnily enough, Stage 17 actually says "DANGER DO NOT TOUCH!" This is because the merman with instakill attacks are in this quest. This also serves as a tip: use ranged attacks and spells, and you can get by with no issue. The rest of the normal stages are pretty straight forward as well, with the exception of Absolute Killer, which appears in the EX stages as well (you can read up on him on the EX stage chart below.)
Here's a list of Notable Rewards and where to get them in the challenge quests:
Just like last time, they're giving out 5*s and a Mirrage Arte for Ix just as quest clear rewards. These are normally gacha exclusive so this is extremely generous. This is sure to make anyone's Ix stronger, and he's useful enough that he's the key to clearing these quests for most players! Even after that, there's the victory tickets and the Gacha Mirrage Arte ticket. Try to shoot for clearing all of the Normal quests for them!
Fittingly for an event celebrating Phantasia's anniversary, Dhaos himself is a recurring boss! We also get to see a few instances of Dist due to Abyss' anniversary. Regardless of who you fight though, the rewards this time are very generous. Five guaranteed Mirrage Arte tickets in the EX stages alone, on top of the one you get in the Normal stages, for a total of 6 Mirrage Artes for free! Of course, there's 25 EX difficulty stages this time, so naturally it'll be quite difficult. To help out, here's a list of each of the EX bosses and potential tips for each of them.
|EX Stage Number||Bosses Fought In Each Stage||Notes/Tips|
|EX 1||4 Scorpions||These guys are a nightmare to fight head on. Your best bet is to try to lock them down with large AoE moves like Barbatos' dead inferno to give your party enough time to cast spells and build MG (or perhaps control a spellcaster). Once you're able to use Mirrage Artes, they should go down easy.|
|EX 2||4 Healer Knights||These guys aren't that dangerous, they just like casting Nurse a lot. Try your best to interrupt them, bring your own healers in case the battle takes a while, and try to outdamage any healing they end up doing. Critical hits and Mirrage Artes help.|
|EX 3||Guardian 2000||These guys don't take damage from attacks that do less than 2000 damage. Don't just bring strong characters, use artes with lower hitcounts so all the damage is concentrated in one hit. Inflicting poison and defense down helps.|
|EX 4||Petrification Lizards||Regular lizard enemies, but they can inflict petrification. Play cautiously.|
|EX 5||Dhaos||Not too bad on his own, despite the AoE on his attacks. Bring one or two melees to keep him busy while spellcasters do the real damage, since he has increased defense on melee attacks but severely low arte defense.|
|EX 6||Golden Wolves||Straightforward fight, use your usual strategies.|
|EX 7||Critical Poliwigle + Knights||More or less straightforward, but it takes a long time if you don't get any critical hits.|
|EX 8||Whis Knights||These guys have high stats, but otherwise no real gimmicks.|
|EX 9||Small Poliwigles||Use your AoE moves and MAs to interrupt them, instead of focusing on individual ones.|
|EX 10||Dist And Jade||Dist has interesting moves that can catch you off guard, but it's otherwise your standard Melee Nexus + Mage Nexus fight we already get a lot in story and towers.|
|EX 11||Element Resist Guardians||These guys resist all elements. If you don't want the fight to take forever, try bringing artes with no elements such as Asbel's Burial Blade.|
|EX 12||CC Reducing Robots||These guys lower your CC if you get hit by them.|
|EX 13||2 Absolute Killers||Absolute Killer is a very old boss from the first year that Tales of The Rays ran! Their gimmick is simple: infinite Iron Stance and defenses so high they only take 1 HP of damage per hit. They'll spend a while casting a spell which WILL KO all allies in one hit if you let them. Simply use multi-hit attacks, use Mirrage Artes to interrupt the cast time, and try to combo or get them to block hits after Mirrage Artes (since they'll take 1HP of damage regardless of if they block or not anyway). They only have 200 HP each so it ultimately won't take too long.|
|EX 14||Water Weak Guardians||These guys are easier than the element resist guardians. They still resist most elements, but they're weak to water artes.|
|EX 15||Barbatos + Elraine||Another Melee + Mage nexus fight. This one is a little bit tougher, but your usual nexus fight/raid boss strategies should still work.|
|EX 16||Efreet + 4 Fire Elementals||This fight was lifted out of earlier Fighting of The Spirit and Spirit Gear events. They have much higher stats, but it shouldn't be too much of an issue to use AoE moves they're weak to to clear out the elementals first then focus on Efreet.|
|EX 17||5 Werewolves||These are basically faster, smaller scorpions. Use basically the same strategy, and don't be afraid to stick with blocking if multiple werewolves are on you, since that may mean your party members have less pressure and can build MG and do damage.|
|EX 18||Earth Weak Guardians||See Water Weak Guardians, but for Earth.|
|EX 19||3 Succubi||Pretty straightforward.|
|EX 20||Dist, Richter, Chester||This is a more interesting Nexus fight than just melee+mage, but your usual nexus strategies should still work on them.|
|EX 21||Wind and Light Weak Guardians||Two different types of guardians, but that just means more options for what elements to use.|
|EX 22||4 Monkeys||These guys were introduced in the hunting event! They're easier to fight up close, despite how intimidating that may seem.|
|EX 23||6 Tidal Wave Mages||Use your AoE moves and MAs to prevent them from casting Tidal Wave, which you will be unable to dodge and hits the whole party.|
|EX 24||Ix and Mileena||Another Melee+Mage fight. However, their damage is very high, particularly Mileena. Either focus on interrupting her, or set your party's AI to interrupt her. Ix himself is easy to keep busy, particularly if you have someone with a light spirit gear. Keep your Mirrage Artes handy when their HP gets low.|
|EX 25||Dhaos, Barbatos and Dist||This isn't as hard as the EX20 stage we got last boss challenge, with Dhaos, Barbatos and Mithos, but make no mistake, this is one of the hardest fights the game will give you still. Dhaos and Barbatos are heavy hitters, wtih Dhaos having huge physial defense. You want spellcasters to hit multiple enemies and do heavy damage to Dhaos, but Barbatos and Dist are around to interrupt them. You'll have to come up with a special strategy for them... of course, you can also take their attention with Ix using Shredding Talons and Rising Falcon until you can heal with Guardian Field.|
With 0 AP feel free to try multiple times on them and come up with a strategy for each! This time I had multiple teams. Estelle was a mainstay I controlled since Estelle's Seasonal Mirrage Arte can fuel everyone else's MG and Nightingale hits the entire screen, gives her plenty of MG and heals her and every party member who isn't a boss. My other party members would alternate between Asbel, Ix, Mithos, Barbatos, Meredy and Reala.
For the event in general, here are a few helpful tips to get you through. The first is to pay attention to elemental weaknesses. While it's much more important to use artes with good Area of Effect, damage, comboability and general utility in battle, elements become very important for Mirrage Artes. If you're having trouble with a boss, it can be helpful to try to use as many Mirrage Artes of the weakness element as possible. This can lead to a LOT more damage than chaining MAs of different elements.
The second tip is to not underestimate spellcasters. Melees with mobility and comboability can do a lot, but as a lot of these challenges involve group fights, spellcasters that can quickly fire off damaging, wide reaching spells can do a lot to thin the herd and keep multiple enemies busy. Examples of mages excelling at that are Kongwai, Estelle, Rita, Shirley, Grune and Claus.
The third tip is not to be afraid to rely on Debuffs and ailments. Mirrage Artes like Asbel's Seasonal one that inflict Defense down rare really good, and Paralysis can render a boss useless. Poison also does much more damage than you realize and can be easily inflicted with a variety of Mirrage Artes like Ix' Seasonal one.
The fourth helpful tip is that Helpers can matter a lot. Your Friend/Follower List, whatever pops up randomly and perhaps people who know who are also playing can be the key to success. Helper Mirrage Artes are available from battle start and aren't limited to what you personally have. Here are good Helpers to look for, which is updated from the last boss challenge:
Mithos' Gacha Mirrage Arte: Eternal Divide
This hits every enemy in the battle for massive damage and also gathers them all to the middle, making it possible for more focused MAs to hit more if not all enemies. Good to start and end an MA chain with.
Barbatos' Gacha Mirrage Arte: World Destroyer
This hits every enemy in the battle for massive damage and launches the highest of any arte in the game, making it trivial to combo after. Use this at the end of an MA chain if possible.
Mint's Seasonal Mirrage Arte: Time Eternity
Essentially the recurring arte Stop Flow, stopping enemies in time for a short while. Not only does it let you combo after but also giving you a chance to step back and heal or cast spells. This arte is also Water Element, making it do boosted damage to enemiees weak to it. On top of that, Mint's high Arte Attack makes it do even more damage still to Dhaos, so keep an eye out for this! Do NOT chain it into any other Mirrage Artes or the effect is wasted.
Mint's Decisive Mirrage Arte: Resurrection
This is purely a healing Mirrage Arte, but it revives one KO'd ally, making it useful to get those No Allies KO'd objectives.
Ion's Decisive Mirrage Arte: Dainanakoho
Same as above, but it deals damage as well.
Yuri's Decisive Mirrage Arte: Douma Seietsuzan
This does massive damage with good AoE, but more importantly it also inflicts Defense Down, making it very useful for a number of bosses this event. If used in a chain, try starting off with this or at least using it early on, so every Mirrage Arte after can reap the benefits of Defense Down.
Farah's Decisive Mirrage Arte: True Fire Dragon Rampage
Defense down similar to Yuri's. This one doesn't have as much AoE as Yuri's so you'll want to group enemies together when using it, but it inflicts Defense down at the *start* of the animation and so very easily does more damage.
Velvet's Seasonal Mirrage Arte: Catastrophe Smash
This is essentially like Barbatos' Gacha Mirrage, but it doesn't launch as high. Depending on the stats of the helper using it, it may do more damage, however.
Ix' Seasonal Mirrage Arte: Sightseeing Trip
Most people have powerful Ix', which increases the damage this one does. It also inflicts poison! Using this alongside defense lowering moves can really help bring boss HP down much, much faster than just fighting them.
Estelle's Seasonal Mirrage Arte: Star Sign - Grande
Sophie's is just used as an example. Sophie, Reala and Meredy have seasonal mirrage artes with the same effect and enhancements. All 4 of these increase the entire team's MG gauge. This is really helpful as it can not only help you start an MA chain early, it can also extend one, especially if you have these same MAs. A long MA chain not only does a lot of damage, it also helps build up Mirrage Ratio, so use this early on and save your powerful and elemental weakness targetting MAs for the end of a chain.
Some early challenge quests can even be nuked by a good helper like Mithos and Barbatos, while later quests you may want to hold off on using them until you can guarantee a finish, or perhaps as a Get Out of Jail Free card when the going gets tough. These are simply suggestions, you don't have to use these, and may even find your own helpers that are more useful for a particular fight (i.e. an arte with an element the boss is weak to.) Experiment and come up with your own strategies that work for you! I strongly suggest looking for Mint's Time Eternity for EX25 however. It's that useful.
If all else fails and you can't think of a working strategy, do not fret. Besides having 2 months to clear this event, there's also a certain strategy that most players fall back on when a fight gets truly difficult: you can control Ix 'til you reach victory on every quest. As a character every player is guaranteed to have, he's also the character guaranteed to work. The following strategy requires a lot of patience and takes a lot longer than other strategies, but not only is it absolutely possible to beat even the highest difficulty with this strategy alone, it's possible to beat it with a team of only Ix. A solo clear counts as a clear with no allies KO'd, so it can really help.
This is Ix' Mirrage Sword, which grants him the Arte Shredding Talon. As a 3* weapon, it's available for cheap in the Turtlez Shop and can also be easily acquired from any gacha banner, including the friend point gacha, that has Ix in it.
Step 2 is to Enhance it to the 5th level. Doing this will provide you with a large amount of invincibility frames, which are enough for Ix to loop this arte on itself without fear of getting hurt. The arte involves Ix dashing forward, allowing him to pass through an enemy and any attack they attempt.
Step 3 is activating Overray, entering the quest and simply spamming it. Not mindlessly, as you'll eventually run out of CC, but stopping just before you overuse your CC so you can block and replenish CC, then look for an opportunity to spam it again. You'll recover HP over time with Overray so no worries about blocking, and when the situation gets dangerous you can always fire a Mirrage Arte to give yourself a little time.
Step 4 is optional but can make it easier. By using the Artes Rising Falcon, which also has some invincibility, and Guardian Field, especially after enhancing both artes, one can make Ix survive even easier. Use Rising Falcon whenever you think there's an opening, as doing damage with it will heal Ix, and use Guardian Field when you use Shredding Talons enough times to do a Master Arte, as this will heal Ix, provide a lot of invincibility frames and do damage in a wide AoE.
One might see this strategy as "cheese" but it's nothing of the sort. In quests where your efficiency is graded, such as Raids, do NOT expect to get very far using this strategy, as it takes a very long time to defeat enemies this way. It also may not work on enemies that can heal, though those are rare. However, as this event provides a lot of rewards for new players, it's perfectly viable and recommended here. It's one of the only strategies a new player may be guaranteed to be able to do, and the existence of this lets the Rays dev team construct a challenge as fun and difficult as this one.
And that... is finally it, for now. Leave it to the Rays to run multiple unique events to celebrate the 25th anniversary. Of course, we can't complain about the generosity of this game, and how each event running right now really does celebrate the history of the series in their own ways. There's a lot of good rewards for everyone, and those who enjoy playing Tales and going in-depth into the LMBS will be happy with the variety of challenges present this month, from The Rays of Festival to the Boss Challenge. Good luck completing the challenges yourselves, and keep checking back for more news as we cover all the ways Tales is celebrating the 25th anniversary!