After playing through the Japanese Cyber Sleuth, I took the time to plan a team of my own and playtest against some of the still-active Japanese tamers prior to the game's North American launch. This guide is based on the notes I took while building and battling with my team. While I primarily relied on Nhoko's Digimon guide for the Japanese game, Draken70 wrote a very comprehensive English-language FAQ that lists every Digimon in the game, as well as their evolutions and degeneration paths. I'd recommend Draken70's list to those who haven't familiarized themselves with the Digimon available, though some of the translations differ with the official localizations. (For example, Gaioumon is currently called Samudramon in Draken70's FAQ, derived from Saban's name for the Digimon.)
Tamers can also turn to this stat comparison chart, though it's based on level 99 stats rather than level 1 stats as will be used on Tamer Union. This guide is the "part 1" to a whole overview of the Sleuth multiplayer; part 2 will go over a complete threatlist of the most important Digimon to watch out for online.
|Yes, his nickname is "Eight." Bonus stats shown in parentheses.|
In Cyber Sleuth, all Digimon are part of a single unified evolution tree. By evolving and degenerating down specific paths, you can have your Digimon become any out of the 242 other Digimon in the game. Digimon each have three categories of Skills, Special Skills (unique to that specific Digimon), Inheritable Skills (which can be passed on), and Support Skills (a single fixed skill attached to each Digimon). Between Special and Inheritable Skills, a maximum of 20 Skills can be known at any one time, with a maximum of 6 equipped at once. Inheritable Skills make up the bulk of team building, as any Digimon can learn any Inheritable Skill, so several abilities that are theoretically exclusive to one or two Digimon can in reality be learned by any of them.
Each Digimon has six core stats, plus two periphery stats. The core stats are Hit Points, Spirit Points, Attack, Intelligence, Defense, and Speed, each of which is directly involved in battle calculations. The periphery stats are Ability, Camaraderie, and Memory. Memory is a fixed stat limiting what Digimon can be used in combination, as in multiplayer the combined party cannot exceed 150 Memory. Camaraderie governs a Digimon's probability to Xros Combo with its party members, increasing damage output, the number of hits in an attack, or the effect of its support moves. CAM increases as a Digimon battles in the active party in the main game, and as the player feeds the Digimon in the DigiFarm, capping at 100. Finally, the Ability stat determines how many bonus stats a Digimon can earn from farm training. The formula is as follows;
Bonus stats = Ability x 0.5 + 50Thus the maximum possible bonus is +100 to any one stat. (However, this bonus can be divided up by training different stats one at a time, i.e. +25 Attack + 25 Defense and +50 Speed.) In the event of bonus stats being applied to HP, they are scaled up by 10x, so that +100 to HP will result in 1000 additional HP. Ability is increased by evolving and degenerating Digimon. Some evolutions require a certain amount of Ability to reach, while others force you to use bonus stats in order to reach a certain high threshold on one of the core stats. (The most annoying example is Belphemon Sleep Mode, who requires 140 SP and 180 Intelligence while evolving from Digitamamon and Wisemon, neither of which meet the requirements without training, and mode changes into the purely-physical Rage Mode. Thus you have to do farm training to raise SP and INT to evolve, then decrease those stats with items, and do more farm training to move the points you invested in INT elsewhere.)
The average Memory size for a fully evolved Digimon is 19.7 (1338/68), though all of these Digimon will be either 16, 18, 20, 22, or 25 Memory in size. All Super Ultimate Digimon are size 25, though not all size 25 Digimon are Super Ultimates.
While Attack and Intelligence are normally used in the calculation of physical and magical Skills, Intelligence also doubles as a defensive stat, giving magically-inclined Digimon a dominating advantage over physical ones. Many physical attacks in Cyber Sleuth get around this by having Piercing Special Skills that deal damage equal to their Defense with a multiplier. All stats scale with level so that a Digimon with the highest Speed of any Digimon at level 1 will also have the highest Speed of any Digimon at level 50.
Finally, Digimon can have one of eight Personalities, six each of which raise a stat by 5%. These are;
Durable (+5% HP)The remaining Personalities are Builder (used to increase the probability of yielding good items in item development) and Searcher (used to discover better items and quests in the DigiFarm). A "perfect" Digimon will have its farm training and Personality optimized to suit its role on the team, whether that's as a healer, status inducer, offensive vanguard, or something else entirely. Said Digimon should also have its Camaraderie maxed out to maximize the probability of a Xros Combo occurring.
Lively (+5% SP)
Fighter (+5% Attack)
Defender (+5% Defense)
Nimble (+5% Speed)
Brainy (+5% Intelligence)
Note that some high Memory Digimon have such extremely skewed base stats that they are intended to have their Personality and bonus stats allocated in only one area, which balances their power. The most dramatic example of this is Lilithmon, who has one of the highest base Intelligence of any fully evolved Digimon but also the lowest HP, forcing tamers to make her a Durable Digimon with +1000 bonus stats allocated to HP. Even with this level of investment, there are certain Digimon that can oneshot Lilithmon if they allocate their own bonus stats correctly.
Digimon in Cyber Sleuth are used in one of several overlapping roles. Every Digimon needs some kind of offensive maneuver, but this can be as simple as a status Skill. Because of the nature of the battle system, abnormal statuses are inherently offensive, as anything which debilitates the opponent's ability to utilize their turns also means overtaking the opponent in control of the timeline.
The ultimate goal of a match in Sleuth is to completely dominate the timeline. The timeline is a feature which displays how many turns each player is getting, and the order of those turns; wiping all of the opponent's Digimon results in total control of the timeline, and as each Digimon falls the player that has the lead will gain progressively more turns over their opponent. Turnarounds in Sleuth come from retaking control of it in some way, through revival abilities, speedboosting, or debuffing the opponent. The roles of the team are thus situated around this goal.
Attacker - This is probably the first role that comes to mind, as it's the role that will be most familiar from the main game. However, actual attacks in Sleuth are less valuable than they may initially appear, especially compared to status induction. The short version of the story is that your defensive options dramatically outweigh your offensive ones, so the best way to control the timeline is to mitigate the opponent's ability to take their turns rather than actually go out the door guns-blazing trying to take out their Digimon.
Cleric - The cleric's role is to revive party members, restore abnormal status to normal, and recover HP (in that order). To some extend all Digimon on the team will be clerics, with each of them possessing at least either the base Revive or the Restore Skills. But only one or two Digimon will be fully dedicated to the task. The cleric is generally obvious because they only have one offensive Skill, or only status skills for offense, and the rest is devoted to recovery and/or buffing.
Status Inducer - There are seven types of abnormal status in Cyber Sleuth, and all of them are bad news. Dot is the one everyone remembers; your Digimon turns into an LCD sprite, is unable to use Skills, and can only use the basic attack, guard, and change commands. But Dot is actually not that dangerous, as even when Dotted a Belphemon Rage Mode or other high-Attack Digimon can still one shot many opponents. The most powerful status are those that affect turn order. The full list consists of Confusion (attacks random targets), Paralysis (probability to not move each turn), Sleep (absolutely cannot move), Stun (reduces Speed and moves the Digimon down in the timeline), Poison (gradual HP loss), Dot, and Bug (reverses attribute triangle).
The first four of these will end after a set number of turns, while Poison, Dot, and Bug last forever until cured. Status effects can be layered on top of one another and of all the abnormal status the most overpowering (in descending order) are Stun, Sleep, and Paralysis. What throws a wrench in status is equipment; the Barrier DX items completely block a single status effect, and the Master Barrier reduces the chance of any status hitting to 50%. (Two Master Barriers completely nullify status effets, but there are only two in the entire game.) Each Digimon has 1-3 equipment slots, with more powerful ones having fewer. Super Ultimate level Digimon always have either 0 or 1 slots. On average a fully evolved Digimon will have 2 equipment slots (147/68 rounded down), allowing them to block just two abnormal status, which necessitates a preference list.
The fact that your average Digimon can only block Stun and Sleep is what makes Paralysis, Bug, Dot, and Poison all so viable, and what also makes the Status Barrier Skill so necessary. Status Barrier blocks the first abnormal status used on a Digimon, effectively wasting the opponent's turn, and once put up the Skill may simply go unchallenged for the rest of the fight, as choosing to waste a turn is excessively crippling in multiplayer. Status Barrier can simply lead to a chain of exchanges in which the opponent repeatedly nullifies Status Barrier while you put up the Barrier again immediately after, functionally negating the existence of their status inducer. (And if your SP restoration engine is superior to theirs, ultimately draining them of their ability to use Skills.)
Utility - A less clearly defined role, the general characteristic of utility Digimon is their tendency to allow one to turnlock the opponent. Turnlocking is extremely important in Cyber Sleuth, as maintaining a lock is how one seals the game; the fact that every Digimon can potentially have Perfect Revive on it means that if the opponent gets even a single turn in during the late game when the majority of their Digimon have been taken out, they can create a complete comeback by fully reviving their active battle party. Turnlockers are also important in the early game, because while perfect locks aren't possible at this time, they do allow one to take the lead and get in more turns overall early. Common movesets include Speed Charge Field to buff the party's Speed, Speed Break Field to debuff the opponent's, and/or a Special Skill that modifies one side's Speed. Since these Digimon are oftentimes very fast, they usually carry Revive and Restore as well, overlapping with the role of a cleric.
Some Digimon are specifically good to evolve into just for the combination of Inheritable Skills they learn. Hououmon is important for teaching both Status Barrier and Safety Guard (prevents the next attack to hit the target Digimon from dropping it below 1 HP). Hououmon evolves from Garudamon, Silphymon, and Piximon, which is important because both the holy and beast Digimon sections of the evolution tree have a way to bridge into Hououmon via Angemon and Aquilamon, while the dark Digimon can get in through Impmon > Sorcerimon > Piximon. For the Restore Skill (ends all status abnormalities on one Digimon and restores HP), Sakuyamon is the easiest way to get it because so many Digimon can either easily evolve into her pre-evolution Taomon, or can evolve into Kuzuhamon and then degenerate into Taomon.
The skills Physical Drain and Spirit Drain have the same effect--dealing Neutral damage (40 for Spirit/50 for Physical) and absorbing 10% of the damage dealt as SP--with the difference between them being that Physical Drain works off of your Digimon's Attack stat, while Spirit Drain works off of their Intelligence. These two Skills are one of two ways to restore SP in multiplayer, the other being through the use of Support Skills, as items cannot be used online. Both Drains are associated with the "dark" part of the evolution tree with the easiest ways to get Spirit Drain being through Ice Devimon, Vamdemon, and Lady Devimon, while for Physical Drain you should go through Devimon, Bakemon, or Venom Vamdemon. Note that three of the Seven Great Demon Lords learn Spirit Drain be default.
Character Reversal is the only way to induce the Bug status, which reverses the attribute triangle for the victim, so that for example Data becomes weak to Vaccine and Strong against Virus. This Skill is exclusively learned by Platinum Scumon, Vademon, and EBEmon.
Lastly, the game-changing Perfect Revive is exclusively learned by Seraphimon, Ophanimon, Holydramon, and Imperialdramon Paladin Mode. None of these Digimon are particularly easy to evolve into, although Ophanimon has the benefit of evolving from both Angewomon and Piximon.
Modifying Stats and Gaining EXP Quickly
Several high-end Digimon require ludicrously high stats to evolve into. These stats cannot be reached even at level 99, requiring bonus stats to be allocated in order to reach them. While the normal method of gaining bonus stats is putting a Digimon in the DigiFarm and setting a leader Digimon with the same Personality as the stat you want to increase (i.e. to increase HP you set a Durable Digimon as the leader), there is a faster way to do this; by throwing money at the problem.
In the DigiLab a dedicated shop sells farm goods, as well as edible items you can feed to Digimon on the farm to increase their bonus stats. These items all unlock late in the game, and increase the corresponding stat by 10-20 (100-200 for HP). To optimize your use of them and save yen, put the Digimon you're going to boost the stats of in the DigiFarm, save your game, then go into the farm and feed them one of the items. If the stat increases by 10/100, reset. If the stat increases by 20/200, exit the DigiFarm and then save. Repeat until the stat is where you want it to be. The items in question are Vigor Mushroom (HP), Mental Melon (SP), Power Pine (Attack), Clever Carrot (Intelligence), Guard Apple (Defense) and Accel Banana (Speed).
|These are the faces of team building in Cyber Sleuth.|
But how do you get Tactician USBs?
|This is the first Tactician USB I ever got to drop in a random battle. The second one dropped *after* I was done grinding.|
Naturally, there's a catch. The Tactician USB can only be developed using the 1000 yen option at the DigiFarm, not the 100000 yen option, and it has a base development probability of somewhere between 1 and 5%. In order to get a good chance at developing it, you need to set a Builder Personality as the leader Digimon on the DigiFarm, and ideally install the Developer Know-How farm goods (bought from the DigiLab shop, raises the quality of items made in development). Personally, the longest it ever took me was exactly 149 attempts to develop the Tactician USB, and the shortest was approximately 30. However, having a large number of Digimon in the DigiFarm during development will both make development take less time and increase your probability of developing rare items. With the maximum 10 Digimon in the DigiFarm, it should take 20-35 minutes to develop.
Right when development finishes, you'll receive a DigiLine message from Mirei telling you what item was developed; make a save a few seconds before development ends, wait until the message arrives, check it, and if it's not the USB then reset.
This piece of information will set you free; you can use multiple Digimon of the same species in Ranked. Digimon observe the law of the jungle, not of chivalry, and some of the most successful tamers have gotten to where they are by running multiples of the same healer, the same attacker, and so forth. One of the biggest surprises you'll find in online play is that rather than running several unique and extremely powerful Digimon like Lilithmon or Ulforce V-dramon, it's oftentimes better to run multiples of the same moderately powerful Digimon like Sleipmon to stack their effects.