This is a complete guide to teaming strategies and team builds. My expertise is very limited because my teams are tank-centric; if you have your own strategies, please feel free to list them.
Terminology and Strategies in FFA/TFFA
Teams in either mode require a center of sorts, or a person in your team that the rest of your team is built around.
This center is also usually the one that the rest of the team follows, and takes the middle slot in your build. For reference, in a Whale Cach duo the Whale would be the center (this is because the Cachalot accents the Whale).
The Cachalot in this instance makes the team a meta. That is to say, Whale Cachalot is a tested pairing that works well with each other and the rest of the team.
Now with the Whale Cach pair in mind, a logical next step is a catcher, and that’s a word thrown around a lot that normally indicates a grabbing animal; however, a catcher can be any animal with a unique ability or pincering capabilities. It’s only job is to catch, and beyond that, guard the center.
The best catcher for a Whale Cachalot pairing is either Orca or Humpback. Orca has great damage and the ability to grab and throw whereas the Hump can use speed and blast songs. Both of these can make an excellent trio that excels at efficiency and survival.
An additional player to this matchup can either be a guardian for survivability or a follow-up.
A follow-up is a term I use often, and it stands for this gray zone in the team build where you don’t necessarily need another member but if you had one, which would you choose.
A follow-up is often a well-rounded, damage-dealer that’s meant for two tasks:
Finish an enemy if they escape.
Save a teammate from a close call.
Quite literally translating to a position coming into play after an attack; a follow-up.
A great animal that excels at these tasks in this specific Whale/Cach/Orc build is Tiger Shark. Tiger Shark gets bonuses in shallow water and can make a speedy entry. It has solid stats, and does well at standing back until it’s needed.
A guardian can also take this slot, or make the team a 5 person group. Guardians have similar tasks, but are a little different in their primary goals:
Protect your team, and sacrifice yourself to protect the center and/or meta if the situation calls for it.
Keep your team together, and try to keep players from splitting off.
The best animal for this job in our build is Basking Shark. You can never go wrong with having a Basking Shark on your team; it not only has anti-team capabilities, but it can also be a nice damage-sponge in dire situations.
An optimal team is 3-4 people, but a 5 person team can do well if your core is in sync. 5 should always be the cap, and if you have more that are willing to play with you then consider splitting your team into different cells.
Survivability and Efficiency
This is in regards to if your team can survive, and how much score and kills you can get with your team build.
Survivability comes at the cost of efficiency, and vice versa. You have to trade one for the other because they require very different animals to be on the team.
For survival, you want an animal that can tank, stun, slow, or deter. The aforementioned Basking Shark is a good choice, but Leatherback, Humpback, Cachalot, Coconut Crab, and even Sunfish can all replace Basking Shark on an Ocean Team.
Efficiency depends not only on your damage dealers, but also on your teams core. Whale Cachalot is one of the best cores to have for a team, but others include Whale Coconut, Whale Orca, Whale Basking, Orca Cachalot, Orca Basking, Torpedo Basking, Hump Basking, Hump Hump, etc.
A team build not only indicates what animals are on your team, but also the order in which they should be acquired.
My usual order goes like this:
Whale - center
Cachalot - meta
Orca - Catcher
Basking - Guardian
Anything - Follow-up
If you only have 3 people on a team build like this, then it’s Whale/Cach/Orca in that order. If there’s only 2 then Whale Cach.
This is only on my build though. If it’s a Whale Orca build then obviously the duo would be Whale and Orca.
I can’t reliably say what works best. I would say for any rising clans or friend groups, just look for what you have the most fun with.
What I’m listing is what I consider to be solid builds for their purpose. They work well, not only because of their composition, but also because of those I play with.
I’ve already explained Whale Cachalot in my examples above, so I’ll delve into some other builds.
The easiest to create with randoms, this is a team of Humpbacks with one Basking Shark to catch/guard.
Basking is a good choice for this layout and for its position because it can’t be stunned and has a regular boost. It can also face-tank other Basking Sharks, and fight off teams made to counter a Humpback team.
Whale - center
Coconut Crab - meta
Orca - Catcher
Leatherback/Basking Shark/Cachalot - Guardian
Sawfish/Torpedo - Follow-up
Whale Coconut Crab is an excellent meta strategy that the two can create. Whale can catch a sinking animal to do underwater air-pin damage; or more simply, a Whalepool without the vortex. If the animal sinks to the bottom, then Whale can also do massive ping-pong damage using the terrain floor.
Coco has the speed in these shallow biomes, and is a very good tank that can easily replace Cachalot.
Torpedo is special because you almost never want one on your team, but in TFFA I recommend Torpedo as a decent follow-up for its stun and slowing aura.
GST/Hippo - Center
Gar - meta
Croc - Catcher
Hippo - Guardian
Conda/Croc - follow-up
Any of the swamp tanks plus Gar can make for a deadly pairing. You essentially combine speed/damage with an immovable wall.
GST is especially good for its added survivability and ability to face-tank Basking Shark and most Ocean animals you’ll face in Estuary.
I wouldn’t recommend relying overly on Anaconda because of its weak stats, but it can make for a great follow-up to catch runners and to save a teammate from death.
Giant Squid - Catcher/Center
Giant Squid - meta
Sleeper Shark - Center/Guardian
Colossal Squid - Guardian/meta
Sleeper Shark/Goblin Shark - Follow-up
This one is messy, and that’s because a deep team really only needs two decent Giant Squids.
A perfect deep team can really just be numerous, or dependent on skill which is why composition is hard to decide. To offer a better explanation: a Csquid, Gob, or Sleeper can be extremely beneficial for your team, but only if the person using them is good with the animal and at teamwork.
If you have a person who doesn’t have either qualities on your team, have them stick with Giant Squid or else they can drag the team down.
Animals That Need Skill
These are animals that require the player to have teaming skills in order to be used effectively:
- Humpback. This can be dangerous for a team if the Hump is using Blast. Make sure your Humpback is competent.
- Orca. This one can be a positive just as much as it can be a negative. You don’t need a great Orca player, just one that’s has quick reactions and good teamwork skills.
- Cachalot. It’s very easy to be a worthless Cachalot. Don’t slow your team, don’t split off, watch your oxygen, and don’t use your ability before the slow timer is at its end.
- Bullshark/Moray/Tiger. Don’t believe that just because you’re on a team, you’re invincible. Keep your distance and come into play when needed. Try not to be a liability either.
- Sleeper/Polar/Gob. It’s very easy for friendly fire to occur, or to miss your shots. As Sleeper, release an ally immediately and try not to stun.