Once again, to summarize the rules I follow:
Never pull: wishing does not exist.
Never spend: that includes primo gems and recharge.
Push ahead as far as you can in current and future competitive events. Anyone can be f2p or never pull. So it doesn’t mean much in a “competitive sense” if I have nothing to show for it.
Now to summarize my thoughts on floor 10.
Team 1: Geo MC (Rancour r2), Lisa (Malice r2), Kaeya (random 3*), Amber (random 3*)
Team 2: Xiangling (Crescent r1), Barbara (random 3*)
Gladiator 4-piece on both main DPS. Crit rates ~35%, Crit dmgs ~80%.
Overall, floor 10 felt much more challenging than floor 9. Floor 9 is a bit gimmicky with overload, so with proper setup and a bit of practice, it is consistent. On the other hand, floor 10 had a constant burn effect (you take around 500 dmg / sec) across all 3 chambers. The only ways to mitigate this is by either shielding yourself, or wetting yourself. Since I only run one water, I have to keep a shield up on my MC for most of the fighting duration (any elemental shield will block the damage, but all except fire will break very quickly).
Since I don’t run an official healer in team 1, I rely on prototype malice on lisa (gave her 180% sp regen). Due to floor 10’s 50% healing boost, I heal ~20% HP for every lisa ult which ultimately makes floor 10 possible. Kaeya is really just there to gain sp (or literally as punching bag), and amber is useful for applying burn from time to time. Recall the only way to generate shields using Geo MC is to hit enemies affected by a certain element (ideally burn) with a geo attack.
In the following section I will give a summary of how I tackled each floor-chamber-stage:
10-1-1: Fire slimes almost always have the burn effect, so generating shields is easy. After 3*ing floor 1, I take my time and make sure everyone is close to full HP w/ult charged before finishing.
10-1-2: Pretty strait forward with xiangling and barbara.
10-2-1: You have to kill a total of 6 fire flowers. Since stage DoT applies almost immediately, I like to open with amber ult (to apply burn) and switch to MC to generate shield right away. After that I primarily focus on the flowers, juggling between the two to make sure neither of them ever charges. If one does, I use amber E for distraction. But even then it usually wastes time so I try to prevent that from happening. Note that flowers have burn effect when charging. If timing window is present, I like to use the chance to generate fire shield with geo MC before stopping the charge with lisa & kaeya (the only other way to generate fire shield on this stage is applying burn with amber). Overall, this stage is quite exciting because it is very fast paced and you have to pay good attention to your surroundings. The final enemy spawns with fire aura. I start by burning him with amber and generate fire shield. Then I try to quickly burst him down while trying to not take too much dmg from fire aura. The combination of stage DoT and fire aura can be quite deadly without dedicated healer/water.
Note: when I am trying to push 2 stars on this chamber, I go full kamikaze. Otherwise, I try to keep HPs > 60% for all characters.
10-2-2: Pretty strait forward as well (cause barbara). Just make sure you have your ult charged before ending the stage.
Note: again when trying to push 2 stars on this chamber, I try to be very aggressive on this stage. My best run had only a 2 second leeway from the 3 min cutoff mark. Tanking the fire aura is high-risk, but necessary.
Going for 1-star on this chamber is nowhere near as strict timewise as chamber 2. However, it is much more difficult to survive here. Since I don’t have water, the only method to remove the gunner’s shield is to reset his aggro (this is very RNG and I have lost many runs where they are raised but refuse to reset. To make this part more consistent, I run far away from them after lifting them up with geo). I want to kill the first gunner fast, so I reset if he shields with >30% HP. I try to maintain >50% HP for all my characters to face the second wave because it is fairly RNG.
Second wave spawns 1 anemoboxer with wind aura (very dangerous, 6k dmg/spawn) and 2 gunners. Remember the stage DoT is always present so you have to shield yourself asap. I start by raising one of the gunners with geo and switching to either lisa or kaeya and ult (depends on my hp). The anemoboxer loves to absorb element effects, so the multi-hit ults makes sure I apply the effect on him (after ulting I immediately use earthquake on geo MC generate shields. Remember your rock is on cooldown cause you raised one of the gunners. If I don’t have earthquake ready, then I just try to survive until rock CD ends). Once shielded, I try to block myself in with rocks to prevent gunner snipages, and focus on boxer first. The wind aura is not blockable, and it will stagger you if you dont have a shield up (even if you do it will break almost instantly). This is where having ult ready on your other two characters is important. Switch to them and ult to “i-frame” most of the wind aura. I usually do this twice before I can kill the boxer. After that I raise both gunners and pray for reset. Note that gunners have constant burn when shield is up, so that helps me survive. I might be more consistent with this floor now but it took me around 20-30 tries to beat each time.
10-3-2: Pretty strait forward. I like to kill the mage before the 2 flowers. How much I need to pressure in this stage depends on how much time I got left. If a lot of time, I just take it slow (I died twice pretty stupidly here due to nerves).
This floor felt more like a real challenge that demanded good consistent gameplay. Floor 9 was tough in the sense that 1-8 was easy, but it was fairly consistent once you get the strategy down. Gameplay wise I am better now than I was back on floor 9, but there is still a ton of room to improve. A year down the line we will improve to the point where whatever feels hard now (execution wise) wouldn’t feel so bad.
On a personal note, I invested a lot of resin into pushing floor 10 because it was fun and felt doable. I would not recommend spending nearly as much resin as I did (25+ moons) on cube boss 5* artifact farming. AR40 is just not efficient and its better to spend resin on leylines/talents/materials in preparation for AR45. Out of the 19 5* artifact I got since AR40, 1 of them turned out really good, 2 useable, and the rest salvage tier.
Finally, this ‘guide’ is only meant for those running the starting 6 characters. This setup is challenging to play and even just adding noelle will make fl10 easier (she is a godly healer on this floor). Since I am satisfied with this outcome, I plan to take a step back and switch to leyline/material farming which I am very behind on (and school work). I have no plans to attempt a floor 11 clear until post AR45, especially since the rewards are so lackluster. Need to prep for free fishl in 1.1 too.