Although I agree with the last few posts which recommend to use different lineups instead of mirrors, I wanted to get the focus back to the paradox of the mirror match, which is really annyoing, even if there are other ways to deal with the DS+DM+KK setup.
@The_Wiggles has explained a great deal, I think, when he was talking about the activation spots of the white skill for the KK. And I think here is an explanation to how the paradox A < B < C < A can be resolved, without even using a lot of different factors. (Actually some people did already mention this idea, but here we see it in numbers.)
There are three timings of interest here:
- E(ntrance) = When does the opponent get a valid target to attack?
- F(irst) = When does the KK reach his first activation spot (edge of the screen)?
- S(econd) = When does the KK reach his second activation spot?
Imho, F and S depend solely on the move speed of the KK.
E on the other hand depends on the team (maybe even on the whole team). And since we mostly care about the opponents E, it even depends on the opponents team, not (just) ours.
Notice that E may or may not occur before S.
Now imagine these setups for teams A, B and C. (I will use imaginary time units, just so I can use integers.)
A vs B:
A misses his first spot (t=0) since B is not on the field, yet. B on the other hand can fire directly (t=2) and wins (this test, not necessarily the fight).
B vs C:
B misses his first spot (t=2) since C is not on the field, yet. C on the other hand can fire directly (t=5) and wins.
C vs A:
A misses his first spot (t=0) since C is not on the field, yet. However, C is so slow, that A gets to his second spot (t=4) before C gets to his first (t=5) and this time, C is on the field (t=3), so that A can fire and win.
While this seems to be a rare and exceptional case, keep in mind that the time units are imaginary. 1 does not equal to 1 second. In fact, the time difference between 1 and 2 can be very different from the time difference between 2 and 3. It just tells us about the order, not about the actual timing.
During my tests, I think I have found out one more thing about those spots F and S (especially about F).Those activation spots seem to be not just one spot but actually a small area. It is not a point in time but actually a little time frame. At least this is how it seemed to me.
Attack Speed is sometimes important
I had an expedition opponent which was perfect for further tests and I found out one more thing.
The setup I faced had a problem with the E timing. Both our KKs would not miss the initial spot F accidentally, but even though mine was a bit faster, his fired first, because my team got on the field earlier (E). I looked at the setup very closely, and saw, that my DS entered the field a trifle earlier. However, my DS had no move speed at all. His had some. And that was confusing the hell out of me.
The things I considered important:
Move Speed: Mine had none, his had 21.6%.
Level: Mine was 150, his 148.
Gear: Mine had Cyan+0, his had Cyan+3.
Attack Speed: Mine had 2.1%, his had none.
I removed my attack speed and then the entrance timing was exactly the same. Since the DS is jumping into the scene, it seems to be a special case whose speed is determined not by move speed but by the attack speed, which is changing the animation speed of skills.
What I did not test is whether or not the attack speed does also affect the speed of the white skill animation for the KK which may help to get it activated faster.
Bugs? Broken Mechanics?
I am not sure if we should call the mechanics broken. There doesn't seem to be a bug (as far as I can see), but the concept is weird. That a higher move speed can be a bad thing (when you want to do something as the first) is... at least a bit counter-intuitive.
Also it makes the game kind of unpredictable. This is not about strategy anymore but about guessing what key-stats your opponent might have. This is also true for other lineups. Strategies go out the window if the stats do not hold their promises (be there first, do stuff first).
I am having fun finding out those mechanics, but imo the actual game play is suffering from those weird side effects.
Anyway, I do not consider this completely game-breaking, since the actual lineup, which does not (always) need to be the mirror of your opponent, is still a powerful part of the strategy.