Arknights Executor?s Guide By: Windgesang

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So you want to use Executor. With the recent banner, more people are getting him than ever (rate up is a lie anyway)! This shotgun-wielding of an angel has everything, with all of his cool getup and dual wielding (no spoilers) gangster look. The general consensus is that he?s a bit awkward to use so he rarely gets much usage in normal run. Seeing him blasting enemies in the field is pretty satisfying though. Welcome to this week?s ?Underrated Operator Highlights?, Executor is a perfect candidate for this post, he?s rarely used, and he?s here right after last post about Ambriel.

Overview:

Executor is an AoE sniper that is different from other AoE snipers in many ways that are not just his AoE abilities. His drawbacks were designed around his unique ability. If his ability was able to shine and he was able to overcome his drawbacks, he can shred enemies with ease. The reason he?s rarely used is exactly because of those drawbacks however, since it?s a bit awkward as mentioned. He can deal devastating damage with either of his skill activated but the interlude is a bit iffy at times.

Stats:

? Offensive stats:

Executor has stats benefiting that of an AoE sniper, in case you haven?t realized that he is an AoE sniper. His attack stat is actually lower than most AoE sniper except catapult, and lower than all crit snipers and wide range snipers. However, his trait allows him to actually deal more damage than normal, but if we?re counting that, we?ll have to count the other?s talents and trait as well, so we?ll leave it at that. His attack rate is actually faster than other AoE snipers (2.3s per attack vs 2.8s).

? Defensive stats:

Executor, being a privileged white male and all, has the highest HP of all snipers. At the very max level, he has 2330 HP. That?s nothing to scoff at. His defense stat is not low to compensate either, having the third highest DEF of all snipers. He still has no RES, but it?s not like ranged unit are made to tank everything, so his stats are already good enough. If he?s under stray or weak attacks (Faust?s Turret, AoE attacks, etc.) he will be fine. Although, he shouldn?t be deployed to?primarily?tank enemies? ranged attack, but those defensive stats are more forgiving on mistakes in deployment order, or if the map doesn?t have that much ranged fire and you would rather alleviate any possible pressure on your melee operators. The reason he has this much of a defensive stats is due to his range, which we will get into later.

? Cost:

Being an AoE archetype (not just snipers), he has high cost to deploy, which may be another factor against him. He needs 28 to deploy, and even worse, need 3 more to deploy at E1, unlike the typical +2 from most operators.

Range:

Executor?s range is small. In fact, he can?t even hit enemies right next to his side, the only other ranged unit that can?t do that is Ifrit, who incidentally partially share his trait (below). He can only hit enemies 2 tiles ahead of him, and 3 tiles in width. The range is shown below.

Executor?s range at E1

I think this is the first time I post pictures in these posts, whatever. I assumed that you actually already know his range, but just in case. His range are particularly ?split?, so to speak, which I?ll get into in the Trait section (below). Because of this small range, Executor get a compensation in his survivability and defensive stats.

? His small range makes it hard to deploy him sometimes, but I don?t think it is necessary that hard (I?ll get into this later). The real struggles are usually the high cost and making use of his trait which is right below, since there may be some DPS that is not necessarily better but has much lower cost and somewhat better range. For quick example, Meteorite (who?s also available in this current banner, and can be easily get if one so desires) has (slightly) lower cost, but a much longer range, and her explosiveness can be on par with Exe?s normal attack range. However, this is a guide on Executor, so let?s move on.

Trait:

Attack?ALL?enemies in range. As mentioned, Ifrit is the only other one to do as of now, but Executor has another trait which separated him from literally anyone else in this game. His damage is multiplied by 1.5 if he?s attacking enemies in the row right in front of him, i.e. the 3 tiles closest of him. This multiplier is calculated after attack buffs and all that, but before defense is calculated. For the rest of this post, I will refer to this row as the ?first row?, since it?s right in front of him, and the further row is the ?second row?.

Despite stated that only ?the row directly in front of him? can get the multiplier damage, the tile Executor himself is on also get it. Any drones that is on top of him (and any enemy in CE-5 if you drop him onto them) also take 1.5x his normal damage. Proof:

The red number indicates that his trait is working

This trait procs all the time, so basically, against enemies on his first row, he has a permanent 150% ATK multiplier, which is nothing to scoff at. Exe?s DPS in this row is pretty strong even without his skills, keep this in mind as you read about his skills later.

Fun fact: when Exe already started an attack animation when an enemy was outside of his range, and then they walks/run into his range, they wouldn?t get hit. What I meant was, by the time he began his attack animation, he already ?decided? who will be hit, and so moving in or out of his range won?t change the result. This is most notable with ally like Shaw or Yeeter who pushes enemies away. And just like Ifrit, as soon as his attack animation ended, all ?predetermined? targets will be instantly hit, i.e. instantaneous projectile, regardless if there?s any animation of their attack projectile like bullet spreading or flame spewing forward.

This trait is the center of Executor. His damage Enemies directly in front of him get mow down quite easily and is the reason he?s quite hard to deploy effectively (or so people think). There are a few ways to utilize this:

  1. Deploy him directly facing a (somewhat) straight lane, so that he can cover 2-3 tiles of that lane with his first or second row.
  2. On maps that has 2 lanes but only separated by 1 tile of high ground for Executor to stand on, in which case he will cover both lane at once with his left-most and right-most tile (think of 4-10, 5-10, 6-12, 6-16, H6-2, Anni 3?)
  3. Maps that has certain big area that act like multiple lanes (CE-5, also places like CC? Barren Plaza and Abandoned High Rise, Anni 2, 4-7, 6-11, H6-4?).

In all honesty, he?s not that hard to deploy once you?re used to it, which is the same argument with Ifrit that I see most people make. His damage output is not up to part with Ifrit for sure, but it?s definitely more than halfway there (woooaaaahhh living on a?). In fact, if I?m allowed to make a controversial statement: Like Pramanix, Executor can be used as a budgeted version of Ifrit (exclude the range), which is a way to say that he can fill the void of Ifrit if you find yourself lacking RNGesus? blessing.

Disclaimer: despite me calling Exe ?not that hard to deploy? and ?great DPS?, I barely use him anymore, outside of Anni 2 (that I don?t run anymore), CC Barren Plaza (on days that have risk that reduce squad size, since he can effectively cover both side at once) and High-Rise (he can cover 3 lanes at once effectively), and recently, 6-16 (MVP of the CM run) and H6-4 (ez 2 lanes covered, he?s pretty strong there ngl). The reason I (and I think most others) don?t use him is something I already touched slightly in the Range section: if you count DPS per deploy cost and his range, he may not shine that much better than others who has lower cost but more decent range. The high cost and short range really brings down Exe?s potential, but his DPS is in no way terrible if you get to put him in battle.

Okay that?s a lot of words for basically ?place him carefully and also his DPS is good?, now let?s go to talent, it will be short this time since it has a small effect.

Talent:

Final Modification: attacks ignore 80 DEF at E1, 160 at E2. Basically, enemies that has 80 or 160 DEF and below are considered 0 to him, depends on his promotion status. In most cases, that?s just an extra 80 or 160 damage against enemies, since his trait is calculated before DEF. But in extreme case of enemies that has DEF that is in the range from 95% + of Exe?s ATK to 95% + 159, ignoring an extra 160 DEF can increase his damage from 5% of his ATK to 5% +1~160. Around E2 Lv30 he has 647 ATK, so that?s 32.35 + 1~160 damage per shot. Wait that?s not much of an increase? Fortunately, not many enemies have that high of a DEF, so you can generally assume that he will deal 160 more damage than usual, although, there are also many enemies that has DEF that is lower than 160, so it would also not work in that direction as well (not that it needs to work against low DEF enemies). So this talent works well against enemies that has a moderate defense value, not too high where the flat DEF ignore doesn?t matter, but not too low where the DEF ignore doesn?t work its full magic.

But wait, there?s more.

Remember his trait of 50% more damage on his first row? I just said in the last paragraph is that it is applied before DEF. So in reality, the DEF threshold for him to deal minimum damage isn?t ?95% of his ATK + 160?, it?s ?95% of 150% of his ATK +160? for the first row. So he can reliably deal decent damage even to enemies that has DEF close to his ATK, whereas most other snipers would struggle (except for Provence, Schwarz, Shirayuki, and sometime Meteorite and Firewatch). What this means is that,?he can still deal about half of his damage against enemies with the same DEF as his ATK?plus 80 or 160?on his first row, which is really nice, since no other physical damage dealer can reliably do this (again, except for Schwa?). There is a skill later that can mess with this, but we?ll get there when we get there.

Potential 5 increases this talent by another 15 DEF ignored. Speaking of an increment, if you have noticed though, the increment from E1 to E2 is pretty small, despite being ?double?. Which means, the only reason that you?d want to E2 him will be either for skill masteries, or you want to push his stats further, or for his sick E2 art. Executor at E1 max level might do you really fine already.

? Executor?s talent doesn?t really contribute a lot to his ability to deal with medium-high armored enemies, despite the common conception. It?s mostly a combination of all, his trait, skills, and talent.

Okay I lied, this was a long section.

Skills:

Okay the dreaded part of his kit is here, but first?

RIIC Skills:

? Always available: Sniper Expert ?: Training speed for Sniper in the Training room is increases by 30% when he?s the trainer.

I saw many confusions regarding the wording, but this is?training speed increase, not?training time decrease. A 30% increase in training speed translate to about ~23% decrease in training time.

? Available at E2: Cleaning Agreement: When he?s in the Control Center, morale consume per hour of all other in the room by -0.05.

Many were confused about this base skill as well, but it only works for other in the same Control Center. Usually, any operators in the CC, regardless of base skill, decreases morale consumption for?everyone?in the base by 0.05/hr. So having any random 5 in the CC already provide -0.25 Morale/hr to everyone in the base, including themselves in the CC. Having 5 operators with this same base skill (which stacks), only increase for the 5 peoples in the CC to -0.5 morale/hr, whereas everyone else in the base still only get -0.25 (with any other reduction from factories/Trade Posts).

Anyway, here?s the best part.

First skill: Muzzle?s Elegy

This skill when active, give a decent ATK boost to Exe. It also applies his trait to all of his range (the second row basically). So he basically has an attack boost for the first row, and a BIG attack boost for the second row. It lasts a decently long time, and also has a decent cooldown. At level 7, the skill gives +50% ATK, and apply his trait to all of his range, lasts for 31 seconds, and on a 45 seconds cooldown (34.61s with E2 Ptilopsis), with 19 initial SP. At M3, this skill gives +70% ATK, lasts 35s, 25 initial SP, with the cooldown remains the same.

Usually I?ll give some thoughts and ways to use this skill as the last paragraph of this skill?s section. But I?m going to save this to do both skills at once.

Second skill: Final Journey

This skill got nerfed a while back, reduced from 3 minutes duration to 1 minute, no longer enhance mobility to Quick, instead just one level????wait I got the wrong Final Journey. Anyway, this skill is pretty cool. When activated, Executor now draw?2?shotguns and start blasting enemies away, like desperado stance. Naturally, all of his attacks now hit twice. It also reduces his attack interval, so now he attacks faster, and each time he attacks, he does it twice. At level 7, this skill reduces his attacks interval by 0.7s, which brought it down to 1.6s per attack, hits twice per attack, lasts a measly 17s, for a long cooldown of 74s (56.92s with?), but with 29 initial SP. At M3, the skill reduces interval by 0.9s, lasts 20s, has cd of 70s (53.8s?), with 35 initial SP.

So that?s all of his skills, when do you use which skill you may ask? The general consensus is that his S1 is better for general usage, which I think is true, but there?s more to this comparison than meet the eye. Let?s bring up some numbers and scenarios, and this won?t just be DPS number comparison so buckle up. All skills will be analysed at level 7 only.

Disclaimer: I won?t go into a full graph to calculate his performance per level of defense. That?s other people?s job not mine. I will only give basic circumstances and some raw estimate numbers.

First and most important, you can honestly just skip to the end for the summary.

Second, how much each skill improves Exe?s damage straight up.

BasicFirst skillSecond skill% point increase% ratio increase
First row150%225%300%75% / 150%1.5 / 2
Second row100%225%200%125% / 100%2.25 / 2

% point increase?means that number is the straight up increment of % of Exe damage of each Exe?s skill, whereas the?% ratio increase?means how much of a ratio increase for each of Exe?s skill. In words, Exe?s first skill increase damage of his first row by 75%, or by 1.5 times, while increase the damage of his second row by 125%, or by 2.25 times the usual damage. His second skill in contrast, increase the damage of the first row by a whopping 150%, or by 2 times his normal damage (because it hits twice), while only increase the damage of his second row by 100%, or again, by 2 times the usual damage (because it hits twice).

Important to remember that, the math to get the % number aren?t the same for both skills. For his first skill, it?s (100 + 50)% {attack} * 150% {trait} for both row. While for his second skill, it was 100% {attack} * 150% {trait} * 2 {amount of hits} for the first row, and 100% {attack} * 2 {amount of hits} for his second row.

? What this means is that, purely for how much damage you can get from the skill, which skill to use?depends on which rows you prefer Executor to be focusing on. If you place him near a lane to already make use of his trait of his first row, then his 2nd skill will blast enemies to smithereens. However, if you?re more focus on his second row, his first skill gives much more boost to that row than his second. So that?s that, use his first skill if you want more damage in the second row, and use his second skill if you want to focus on his first row.

But wait, there?s more to his range than just one row?

What if you want to focus on both rows, like in example 3 in the Trait section? On average, his first skill increases his damage output by 1.875 (avg of 1.5 and 2.25), while his second skill increases his damage output by 2 times. So for case where you want to make use of all of his range, his second skill actually give more damage overall while it?s active.

But wait, there?s more than just theoretical numbers?

Those were merely theoretical number on enemies with 0 DEF, or I guess 80 or 160 DEF and below. What if he is against enemies with higher DEF than usual? Remember that his second skill does not grant double of his ATK, he merely hit twice. So there will be case when his normal attack is only hitting for less than 50% of his ATK due to DEF, and so hitting twice actually result in less of an increment of his first skill +50% ATK. Although, as mentioned earlier, Executor starts hitting enemies with 50% of his ATK when their DEF is equal to his normal ATK (+ 80 or 160) in his first row, so in reality again, enemies like that rarely appear, and those that met that criteria, you?d rarely ask for the help of a sniper (unless you?re a dumbass like me). So even calculating defense, Executor will still shred most enemies with his second skills, even if there?s no real ATK boost against decently high armor enemies. Then again, didn?t we determine that his second skill does little for his second row, so he will start to get less bonus from this skill than his first skill even at 0 DEF?

But wait, there?s more from his second skill than just a twice attack.

The skill also reduces his attack interval, which consequentially increase his attack rate. By cutting 0.7s from his 2.3s interval, his new interval is 1.6s per attack, which is 30.4% less time between attack, which translates to 43.75% faster attack rate than usual. With that in mind, Executor full %damage per second will now look like.

% ATK per sBasicFirst skillSecond skill
First row65.22%97.82%187.5%
Second row43.48%97.82%125%

Now this is awkward, when his second skill is active, he deals more % of his attack per second even on his second row, when earlier we determined that his first skill gives much more damage boost per shot. This is the notable effect of attack interval reduction where the real effect is much higher than what it looks like (e.g. Ptilopsis? S2).

Remember though, this is against an enemy with 80 or 160 DEF and below. The higher the DEF of the enemies, the less powerful Exe?s second skill become, especially in the second row. But as mentioned, we usually don?t use snipers to deal with high armored enemies to begin with and medium armored enemies still not tough enough to withstand Exe?s power.

But wait, there?s more than one way to boost Executor?s attack without his first skill. Warfarin, Sora, and maybe Aak (with how high his HP and DEF(?) is, Executor has a chance to survive Aak with just a little bit of help from Shining) can boost Executor?s attack, all of which?only stack additively?with the damage boost of his first skill. But all of those attack boost works really well with Executor?s second skill, which doesn?t give him attack boost, but a twice attack. So now his second skill proc all attack boosts he has twice, which is valuable, whereas for his first skill it just adds together. His second skill sounds really powerful for boosting Executor?s damage.

But wait, there?s more to the reasons why people generally use and recommend his first skill instead.

His first skill lasts?significantly longer?than his second, nearly double the duration. So there?s the first reason why Desperado deal much more damage than his first skill, because the time you?re able to utilize this skill is far shorter. His first skill lasts for 31 seconds, while his second skill lasts for a meager 17 seconds. These duration does get longer at their respective M3, but not by much. So scratch all of that number you just saw earlier (wait what?s the point of making them then?), because the total % boost Exe get from his skill is way different over the long run. But wait, there?s more than just duration as well, there?s also the cooldown. For some reasons, the cooldown of the second skill is 77 seconds (56.92s?) which is a really long time, so that long cooldown combines with the short duration make it comparable to that of Volcano (I don?t need to explain this skill lol). Yet, the power of this skill doesn?t go as far as that skill (mostly cuz Exe isn?t a 6*). Conclusion is, his first skill will be considered the consistent skill, while his second skill will be considered the burst skill. Exactly because of how consistent the first skill is that people want to use it more, regardless of the damage.

But wait, that can?t probably be it right? I can?t just write all that shit and do all that math and about his second skill being better at dealing damage only to throw it under the bus at the very last section? Well, it depends actually. To say using a skill in general is different from saying always use a skill for a certain operator. Buuuuut you already knew that, so what else there is to this. The power Executor get from his second skill is the consideration. Being consistent is great, but not always you will find a map where the enemies are consistently pouring in as well. As I mentioned slightly earlier, this skill is comparable to a heavily discounted Volcano, a skill with a strong burst over a long cooldown. Using his second skill will decimate everything but the toughest of enemies, assuming they are in his range. So the real consideration for which skill to use depends on what role you want him to serve in your squad. He won?t be your only DPS operator, so you can decide whether to use him to burst enemies down or have him as a steady powerhouse. For example, if you already have a?few?strong steady DPS in your squad already, why get one more and instead use his skill 2 to prepare for shit happen. If you lacking consistent DPS, then you know what to do.

But wait, there?s one more factor to his 2nd skill. The cool-ness factor. He dual wield shotguns for fuck?s sake. Oh wait nevermind we?re playing a serious and highly competitive game here kappa.

? Too much numbers and words, ain?t reading those: Anyway, there are a looooot of consideration for either of his skills. If you want to deal absolute death to enemies while looking cool, his second skill is the way to go. If you can?t be bothered with timing or if you are under heavy and constant pressure like Barren Plaza or Abandoned High Rise or H6-4 in all rows of his range, his first skill is a godsend.

If you finished the whole thing, comment with ?I finished the whole thing?, if you skip to here, do the same anyway cuz there?s no way for me to check lel. But it doesn?t matter, what matter is you enjoying yourself, if you didn?t, sowwie uwu,?watch my shitty H6-4 attempt with 3 AoE snipers instead. How was your experiences with Executor, how difficult he is to use, etc.? If you haven?t noticed yet, I found him quite fun to use and absolutely love his second skill, despite rarely using him anymore feelsweirdman.

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