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Merits and Pitfalls: Tombstone

Discussion in 'Slayer' started by MasPan, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. MasPan Shi-SHAW!

    STONE RAIN!!!!

    So, Tombstone - it's considered to be a Soul Bender's signature move (Phantasmal is infamous, but Tombstone is outright iconic). It provides massive damage, particularly against large targets, and is the primary boss-killer move available to Soul Benders.

    It is also, however, one of the most dangerous moves to use - enemies with high hit recovery or ranged attacks can still attack you while you're using it and the random pattern leaves gaps that can allow a lucky escape or grab.

    There are a couple major aspects to note for Tombstone:
    1. Damage and Shadow attribute
    2. Size/type of target
    3. Attack Pattern
    4. Curse
    5. Super armor
    6. Effects of ghosts

    Moving down the list here, the most obvious thing to discuss is damage. Tombstone does a lot of it, very quickly (it's capable of taking out 2 bars of Hyper Mecha Tau's HP on Kings if set up properly), and can even juggle enemies if they fall onto the stones.

    (Note: For below spoilers, I intend to replace them with screenshots of the tables in the wiki. I can't do that at this time)


    A "full" (24 hit) cast of Tombstone will do 28k damage or so with lv 8 Tombstone, assuming 1183 damage per stone and with no bonus damage from INT against an enemy with 0 mdef. The damage per stone is actually considerably higher in practical usage, though you're generally going to see only 5-10 stones hit. Of note also is the fact that stones can hit multiple times (up to 2 times per stone, it seems) - once when falling, and once while on the ground if touched. Meaning a "perfect" cast of Tombstone will actually involve 48 hits total (56k damage base).

    Because Tombstone is Shadow attribute damage, it benefits highly from Lunar Curtain and Fear of Darkness. It also means that Fighters will generally take more damage from it that other subclasses, particularly Nen Masters, while Slayers are less vulnerable to it, especially other Soul Benders.

    Which brings us to number 2: size/type of target. This plays a key role in determining the usefulness of Tombstone.


    Small (spirits, humanoid , goblin, etc): Unlikely to get hit by the majority of stones, even when knocked down. Generally the least safe to use Tombstone against.

    Medium (2nd tier spirits, yetis, he'etako, golems): Likely to get 5-10 hits in per target, especially when knocked down. Fairly safe to use against and will net decent damage.

    Large (Sasquatch, Lotus, Great He'etako): The safest targets. Very likely to hit 10+ times per target, can easily pin targets that can be knocked down.


    Spirits - These pose a significant risk when using Tombstone. They cannot be knocked down, are quick and highly mobile, and have decent hit recovery. Aquarius and Glarine can attack through hitstun with some form of super armor while Flame Hulk and Dead Murker are fast enough to land hits between hitstun. Wisps and Naias can stun/freeze you out of it as well.

    Players and APCs - Probably the biggest risk. Quick Rebound can dodge 1/3 of the attack and exploit gaps in the pattern to run or grab the user. Generally smarter than monsters, they are harder to catch with Tombstone to begin with (or might punish its use with their own super armor moves. Generally, the main threat here is that they can and will exploit the opportunity to counter attack.

    Bosses - Generally the favored targets for Tombstone. They tend to be large and can usually be pinned on the ground, and are generally not accompanied by other monsters that would increase the risk of the move.

    In terms of PvP, in order of hardest to easiest to hit with Tombstone,
    Mage -> Fighter -> Slayer (because of the sword adding hitbox range during attacks) -> Gunner (F) -> Gunner (M) -> Gunner (Launcher with subweapon extended) -> Priest

    Next is the attack pattern - it's pretty random, with a lot of gaps. Using it near a wall will reduce the total number of stones dropped. The stones extend more to the right/left than up/down, though it's easier to pin a target directly above or below you than to either side. As mentioned before a few times, the gaps provide dangerous windows for enemies to counterattack or flee, particularly in PvP.

    The curse, while noteworthy, isn't going to be a huge factor for anything. While it's always nice to chip off 40+ of all stats (less damage taken, more given), it won't generally have enough impact to make a huge difference.

    The super armor of Tombstone is normal - it can be grabbed out of, but otherwise protects against any hitstun or launch. It takes effect immediately after the cast bar has disappeared and lasts for the duration of the attack. More important to note is the super armor of ENEMIES when using Tombstone - an enemy who moves through the stones with a super armored attack will take a lot of counter damage from EACH Tombstone that they touch. I cannot express in words how funny it is to watch a Weapon Master himself by using Raging Dragon Slash through the stones multiple times. I simply cannot.

    All 4 ghosts play a huge role in making Tombstone both more powerful and less risky. Kazan of course is a direct buff to damage, while Bremen reduces enemy mdef and status resistance. Rhasa slows down enemy attacks and blinds them, reducing risk from counter attacks, as does Saya's freeze. While it's generally not easy to stack them all in the same spot or at the same time, using Kazan and Bremen at least will guarantee greatly increased damage. A quick Lunar Curtain if possible will help as well.

    PvP demands its own special mention as far as tactics because of the inherent risks involved with its use.

    Perhaps the most common setup is Phantasmal Slayer -> Tombstone. It's quick, simple, and hard to screw up. However, you want to ensure that your opponent has used Quick Rebound or any Super Armor moves they have before doing so. For example, a Ranger's Wild Shot is a common counter to Tombstone that will generally outdamage it.
    Moonlight Slash -> Tombstone is a bit less common, considering most Soul Benders prefer a safe combo to a risky cube skill.
    Tombstone also has use as a "bait" skill, provoking your opponent into charging in when expecting a vulnerable buff cast, only to be crushed by Tombstone. This is particularly devastating to a super armored attack, such as Charge Crash, Mountain Pusher, etc.

    Some of the most common counters I've seen to Tombstone, by class (be wary of them, or, if you're the respective class, utilize them). Note that some classes don't seem to have specific counters, and rely more on common class skills
    All: Backstep, Quick Rebound

    Gunner: Punisher/Spriggan
    Ranger: Wild Shot/Gun Dance, Multi Head Shot
    Launcher: N/A
    Mechanic: N/A
    Spitfire: Freeze Grenade, Flash Mine

    Slayer: Wave Wheel Slasher, Bloodlust
    Asura: Ground Quaker, Agni Pentacle
    Berserker: Raging Fury
    Weapon Master: Draw Sword (if they can move out of range of Tombstone)
    Soul Bender: Ghost Step (requires a significant gap in the stones), Phantasmal Slayer, Kalla finisher

    Fighter: Suplex
    Nen Master: Lion's Roar
    Grappler: Pick a card, any card, it all ends up the same
    Striker: Super Armor, Mountain Pusher, One Inch Punch
    Brawler: Venom Mine, Mount

    Priest: Smasher
    Monk: Hurricane N Roll, Quick Parry (to escape. Risky, given that it counts as an attack [and therefore causes counter damage from each stone passed through])
    Exorcist: Star in the Sky, Black Tortoise
    Crusader: Flash Sphere, Revenge of Light

    Mage: Phase Shift
    Witch: Black Manteau (while Drill, Collider, and Furnace have invincibility frames, they generally take too long to set up to work as effective counters)
    Battlemage: Stabbing Wheel
    Summoner: (Rely on summons to save you I guess)
    Elementalist: Unless you get a lucky freeze from Frosty Head or stun from Lightning Strike, not much you can do

    Basically, I'll reiterate this: Tombstone is a high risk/high reward skill. It's very strong and difficult to escape, but highly exploitable if the user makes a mistake or the stones fall in an unlucky pattern. It works very well in combination with other Soul Bender skills, and is by far the most damaging skill available to a Soul Bender aside from Blache himself. If you understand the risks well, it is an extremely valuable offensive tool. If you don't...enjoy getting killed for using it stupidly.
  2. Archie Mexocan

    For PvP, you might want to say that some classes (like priests and their large hitboxes =/) are easier to hit than others.

    It's a good read, even for somebody like me who doesn't play a SB
  3. Rdogg Code Kirin

    Its the funniest way to punish hurricane and roll ever.
  4. iVideo Like de waymy bluntsmell?

    Definitely an interesting video about Tombstone. I encourage those to watch.
  5. saccharin That one crazy witch

    mage hitbox is tiny, allowing them to a lot of the times simply walk out, even with piss poor hit recovery.

    also, lolphase shift. And of course, wakeup manteau.
  6. Bixlow Chill Cat

    Just did 60 Cap build and apparently, I have enough SP to Lunar Curtain. Oh the wonders it will do with Tombstone now.
  7. MasPan Shi-SHAW!

    Why all the PvP comments? I haven't gotten anywhere near finished to bring up things like this yet...
  8. Archie Mexocan

    You did mention something about the difficulty of using tombstone against players, so I thought I would bring it up.
  9. MasPan Shi-SHAW!

    Right, it's just rather frustrating is all. Back to writing I suppose.
  10. MasPan Shi-SHAW!

    Finished. Feel free to comment...freely.
  11. Zeke New Member

    Dis thread makes me want to consider putting more than one point into tombstone
  12. Gloomy dicks

    Launcher: Sub weapon spam lolo

    Watch out for Louise. Ice Needles are like Wild Shot v3.0. Literally one shot kill.
  13. CrazyKoopa faggit

    It is definitely a very good option to do so.
  14. Margatroid Extreme Fag (EXTREME!!)

    Still no good in PvP against most opponents.

    PvE move I guess.
  15. CrazyKoopa faggit

    I like when my monk buddie is on the outer edge of my tombstones, and tries to run up and smasher me but takes a bunch of damage.
  16. brewerb11 New Member

    Are you sure the super armor starts right as the cast bar disappears? I've had situations in PvE where tombstone starts up, one or two stones will drop, and then I get hit out of it.
  17. MasPan Shi-SHAW!

    That's a lag/latency issue, and can happen with any super armor move.
  18. Alt Eisen New Member

    Just wanted to say thanks for these articles MasPan. They're very helpful and I'm sure many other lurkers feel the same way.
  19. MasPan Shi-SHAW!

    Cool, glad to know people find them useful :D
    I have a few more planned, they're just a bit time consuming to write.
  20. geenareeno Not gReenareeno

    Do Cancel Item Throw!

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