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So I've just completed Rank S a second time through against Dr. Pocachio, and I thought that, since I've spent a few years on this, I might as well write down some of what I learned.
The final battle against Dr. Pocacchio in the current game used 1 Desert Flapper, 2 Spike Rollers, 1 Nightingale (a ladybug variant), and 1 Miss Mysterious. All save the last had HP at least in the 990s and all other stats maxed; the little fairy had about 450 HP , max atk and def, and resistances in the 60-70s. All leveled up to ACE rank.
First, took out the White Miracle's escorts: Caterpillar subverted, Flipper beaten down, Military Beetle flipped off board, Dark Shell beaten down, then it's a slow process of whittling the white miracle down carefully, keeping distance and sending in one character at a time. Fortunately it is not aggressive, keeping to itself and using its spinning move to hit and confuse anyone who comes close. Healing from our ladybug is invaluable to keep us in the fight. Eventually the white miracle falls!
After that little snippet of action, some thoughts I have on the insectors and some strategies I use with them:
Insector analysis (listed in my personal order of most useful to least) :
1 Dark Emperor This creature can't heal itself but is otherwise overwhelmingly powerful. It can butt enemies off the board, it can move 3 squares like a butterfly, it has obscene stats, and its special attack is an unlimited ranged attack. Other people recommend this as a king but I do not, because you must then sacrifice its astounding mobility, fastest of the ground units.
2 Dung Roller Heavy Infantry. I like 2-3 of these guys as a phalanx, taking blows on their shields and dealing damage in response. With multiple rollers fighting in a line as mutual support, they can win almost any straight standup fight. Also, because this rolling a dungball is a passive ability it always works, which cannot be said for the more offensive attacks which allow resistance. Never seen it use the skill to fill a hole, however.
3 Ladybug Healer. Keeps everyone else alive, and a technique that pretty much always works also. Seems to be more powerful the higher the level, up to restoring approx. 50% of a target's health at ACE. It's healing jig can also neutralize poison, which will otherwise work on an insector until incapacitation. However, it cannot heal itself.
4 Flutterbug Can fly 3 squares and the board is only 6 long and 5 wide to begin with, so it can go anywhere fast. Can blow an enemy to the back rank so long as can get in front of it, and if the enemy is on the back rank can eject it from the board entirely. This attack only works forwards. In theory, 2 flutterbugs could act in tandem; the first blowing the king to the back rank, the second flutterbug can then blow it off the board. Useful as a reserve piece. a fast reinforcement or able to quickly exploit an opportunity.
5 Fairy Like a chess bishop, can only move diagonally but is unlimited on the diagonals. Weak and low stats compared to other insectors, but can "charm" an enemy into joining us for the duration of the fight. A successful charm costs half hp, so use in conjunction with a ladybug for maximum effect. Despite its weaknesses this is an incredibly powerful piece and is useful against Dr. Pocachio in Rank S #2, as an ace fairy can charm enemy insectors for the assault on white miracle. When facing enemy fairies, occupy the nearby diagonals to restrict their movement as charm beam only works in the four cardinal directions. Attack from the diagonals to win. Note that a charm piece can be charmed back by an opposing fairy. I've seen a single insector change hands three times in the course of a match!
6 Itsahorse A fast , powerful creature which can move two squares. It possesses the ability to throw insectors and eject them from the board. However, it can only eject forwards and backwards. It is more flexible than a flutterbug but less so than its throwing cousin the staggy. I personally don't like it because it's too much a jack of all trades; I'd rather have the increased mobility of the flutterbug which moreover can fly over enemy pieces.
7 Staggy A slow, powerful insector who can throw an enemy over its head. If there are enemies stacked behind, the thrown will bounce on each of them (possibly doing damage to any enemies) and even bouncing off the board so long as there is no empty square before the end of the board. This throw works in all cardinal directions. A very tricky customer, I've lost more bugs to this one than to any other.
8 Bazoo Beetle A slow insector with a cannon on the front. Easy and intuitive to use, stack several of them together as a powerful artillery battery to make the opposint team tremble.
9 Stingbee A flying insector, this one can fly up to two squares. So it is less speedy than the flutterbug or the springtail, but still has the ability to leap over enemy piece. If you don't have a fairy, this is an ideal piece for an Ender's Game style rush on the enemy king when you are vastly outclassed. Allow the bee to sting the enemy king, then all you have to do is keep your distance and your own king alive until the poison KOs the enemy king and gives you the win. I believe this strategy is workable against Dr. Pocachio's White Miracle, but Dr. Pocachio does not bring a stingbee to the dance so you'll need to raise your own rather than trusting on a fairy to capture one.
TO BE CONTINUED.