This Guide covers the Seraphim faction along a 1v1 scenario, however practices here can still be applied to teamgames, we suggest you read the General 1v1 Guide and the Beginners guide to Forged Alliance first.
The Seraphim are considered to be one of the least played factions in the 1v1 environment, in part that they are difficult to master for the lack of diversity and options available to them. However this should not discourage you player: the Seraphim are a rewarding faction that employ some rather enjoyable tactics and have an attractive strength to them; when calculated, and executed well, the Seraphim will give you the right impression of what an alien juggernaut should look like. Be aware that your experience with the Seraphim might be tedious when coming to understand their shortcomings, but come to learn their strategy, and you will show the Seraphim are as capable as every other faction.
Let’s cut to the chase: The Seraphim are a tricky faction to learn; generally their units fall in between some of the strengths of the other factions, like health (UEF), speed (Cybran), specialization (Aeon). It is because of this that Seraphim tends to struggle, because they do not have a particular strength to beat the other factions completely. Instead, the Seraphim has to use the limited tools available to counter some of the obvious weakness of the other factions, and effectively destroy them while doing so.
Your Seraphim ACU is one of the best available in combat roles, having the similar HP of the UEF and a number of upgrades that make it a deadly force to reckon with. It is one of two ACU’s (along with UEF) capable of having a full gun upgrade AND the T2 suite, giving you a lot of HP and damage output early on. Alongside your T2 tanks, the ACU is a dangerous weapon, with available upgrades like a tactical missile launcher, a powerful nano repair upgrade, and a secondary gun upgrade with area-of-effect and 500% more damage. As a Seraphim player, you must use your ACU often, but you should still be careful: it is easy to overestimate the power of your ACU, and no matter what, losing your commander will result in your defeat.
The Tech 1 stage is good for Seraphim, not exceptional, but good in that they can still carry on into the later stages of the game, meaning the t1 arty (Zthuee) and scouts. T1 land is not something to depend on for a long time, and you want to make the transition to T2 as quickly as possible. The applies similarly to navy, with a baseline frigate that will also do well. However, T1 air seems to stand out for the Seraphim, with a solid T1 bomber and transport, which should be taken advantage of when at all possible.
Building + Engineer side notes
The later FAF patches bring differences in building HP, you’ll find that Seraphim (along with Aeon) falls in the middle of the road, having an advantage over the Aeon. Another similarity with Aeon is that both your engineers hover, this means that you’re not affected by torpedoes. Other projectiles still work the same, however.
The Selen is the first immediate example of the Seraphim design philosophy, it’s a hybrid unit crossbred between a LAB, and a Scout. You’ll notice it’s function to cloak (but staying immobile) right off the bat. This intel can be placed in key locations and serve greatly for how mobile and cheap they are to maintain, especially in critical spots. Paired with your tank (see below) you will have created one of the deadliest early raids in the game. The Selen has a very noticeable weapon report and will beat other scouts handily, but it lacks a turret. This means you’ll need your front towards the enemy in order to fire. This is where micro can reward you.
The Thaam is the Seraphim’s t1 tank, and falls in the middle of the other factions more specialized combat roles, making your tank an all-purpose unit to shoot away at whatever gets in range, with a loud, single shot cannon and an off-center barrel; the Thaam won’t let you down. However, it won’t necessarily rise above your expectations either. With this faction especially, fear the Aeon Aurora.
The Zthuee, or “Zooey”, is the much-beloved poster boy of the Seraphim T1 stage. An artillery unit with a high rate of fire, spread, and damage output, this is a phenomenal addition that is necessary in all Seraphim compositions. Coupled with that it floats, it is a difficult unit to stop when en masse and swarms, capable of inflicting tremendous damage toward priority targets. It is easily the most reliable, though more expensive, of any other artillery unit.
It is worth mentioning that this unit is often produced in greater numbers typically than other factions, and will still be useful up to late stages of the game. However, it is not to say that you must replace your baseline tank with this unit, for it dies like any other artillery, and functions the same way too. The “Zooey” shines in a variety of scenarios: paired along with your main t2 units (see below), being dropped from transports, and attacking naval installations over the water. These tactics will prove incredibly effective in high numbers, and can alone win games when placed in the right hands.
A decent side note about Seraphim AA is that unlike the AA of other factions, Seraphim AA doesn’t lead it’s targets. That means that instead of aiming in front of a moving target, it relies on extremely high shot velocity to snipe air targets out of the sky. This does mean, however, that shots can miss, but you’ll still find the Ia-istle to be as functional or even better than its counterparts. The only other thing special about it is that it’s the only T1 aa to walk around instead of drive, this makes no difference in-game.
Air + Navy side notes
Seraphim have the best Transports at any stage, and the T1 variant holds an extra 2 units compared to the human factions 6 total. A fan favorite of Seraphim players is to pair your Transports and great artillery to inflict nasty punishment on a player that doesn’t shoot your drop down.
The Seraphim Submarine is noted for having an extra gun (a “Deck gun”) when surfaced. The gun stacks on extra DPS and is great for picking off floating engineers or assisting in battles when the torpedoes are not doing quite enough.
Your T1 bomber is considered the best T1 bomber and drops a large damage bomb with good area-of-effect, it's great for fighting away Aurora tanks or stacking on damage to whatever you decide must die today.
The true strength of the Seraphim is in the T2 stage, and that spans over land, air, and navy. What makes this true is not only the good units all around, but the way that the player is able to use them. Poor usage and micro will ultimately lead you to defeat, but often a Seraphim player will simply not take advantage of the tools he already has. By themselves, T2 land, navy, or air will struggle to do the job, but when used together will be absolutely savage. Consider these options: using an combat upgraded com with your T2 land; T2 land and air allow for groups of illshavohs to be dropped anywhere on the map; T2 navy with land can open up more options in the naval game. Using your natural T2 advantage, as early on as possible, is what will often ensure your victory in your battles to come.
Building + Engineer side notes
Contrary to popular belief, Seraphim (Instead of UEF) has the shield with the highest HP, and it has the largest radius. Your TMD (Tactical Missile Defense) is on the better side of the TMD spectrum, and your T2 Point Defense is a beam laser; making it a much loved turret for it’s higher accuracy. This doesn’t make it the best, however.
Your T2 sonar platform is better than the T2 Sonar of the other factions, But you don’t have a T3 Sonar.. Considering how cheap and effective T3 sonar can be, this is considered a major disadvantage.
As always, your engineer floats. And your structure HP falls in the middle of the road.
Yenzine (Hover Tank)
The Yenzine is the Seraphim hover tank for the T2 stage, a fast tank with a high damage, low ROF cannon. Best used to fight over water surfaces when light to little naval units are present. They’re cheaper than your main T2 unit, and have a very low vision radius, so try to keep them in radar range, the Yenzine also one shots Aurora tanks, so if you’re desperate and lack the time to make Assault bots, the Yenzine might become your saving grace. We suggest you don’t rely on it however.
Illshavoh (Assault Bot)
The Illshavoh, or “Ilshy” is Seraphim combat power made manifest; a heavy bipedal bot with twin bolters that will destroy anything up to even some T3 units without much of a challenge. As with anything else, your bot is not invulnerable, and it a bigger loss for an illshavoh to die to an ACU’s “Overcharge” function then a T2 unit from another faction, It’s simple and effective, be very afraid of this unit in high numbers. The Illshavoh is also a great companion unit for a combat acu, providing a great ranged backup that can slaughter hordes of lower tech units if you’ve rushed for an early t2 stage. Dropping your early bots will win you map control fast, and as long as you don’t throw your units away, you’ll powerhouse your way into a nice lead. Packs of illshavoh become more dangerous in higher numbers, and can fight off a few T3 land units if your opponent rushes them. Don’t try and use this unit vs many T3 units however, your T3 tank (see below) is still considered a better choice for the stage.
Hover flak is a benefit compared to Flak that doesn't, and no matter your preference on faction you will be using flak to ruin Tech 2 and under air power that flies into range, Seraphim AA is a slow firing but heavy damage Flak round that again doesn’t lead targets, but will do the job as well as other flak units either way.
Your MML is considered generic, it's nothing compared to the Cybran’s Viper, but you’ll be using this unit to outrange T2 pd’s anyways; if you don’t just brute force your way past them with your T2 bots, that is.
Air + Navy side notes
Your gunship shoots very slowly, and is prone to missing, it's not considered a top tier gunship, but it’s not unusable.
Your T2 transport is amazing, offering a huge carrying capacity of 8 T2 tanks or even 4 T3 ones. You can also pack 16 T1 units into one for a nasty surprise.
Your T2 cruiser can fling missile’s from a huge distance at targets on the shore, perfect for abusing your naval win, if you get one. Winning it may be tough, as you'll need to be good with your destroyer to secure dominance. Submerge your destroyer to avoid surface fire but don’t rely on it’s torpedoes to win alone.
Things look a little worse when entering the T3 stage, as your land units comparably suffer when facing the T3 of other factions. The key to land at this stage is composition, as Seraphim you will not be able to depend solely on one unit type to survive in this stage. When your varied T3 units compliment each other extremely well, your land can become far more effective given the right composition. The naval situation looks up for the Seraphim, having the unique T3 Subhunter that becomes dangerous in huge groups. The battleship is also unique because it also acts as your sea based nuke platform, unlike the dedicated submarines of the other factions. T3 air does not have much going for them, since they lack any T3 gunship like the other factions, but having air control, the Seraphim can abuse the experimental bomber, and when used effectively is a terrifyingly fast and game-changing weapon at any point of the game.
Building + Engineer side notes
Your Stationary AA turret is a fast velocity rifle, compared to a missile launcher, It’s usefulness is shown against T3 air scouts, which other AA struggle to kill quickly.
Your shield still has amazing HP and size, but your engineer, Building HP, and now even T3 Stationary arty still fall in the middle of the road.
As the standard Seraphim T3 battletank, the Othuum is considered to be the most cost-efficient unit vs. T3 units of other factions on paper, but performs arguably as the worst. The damage output is strong, and health is decent, but it suffers as a result of low speed and the different ranges between its two sets of weapons, since it must be within the smaller range to dish out it’s full dps, if it doesn’t manage to shoot the ground. The Othuum is great as a generic T3 tank, able to punish defenses and destroy valuable targets, with greater ease than other faction equivalents. This tank should be built as the main frontline unit if against another T3 land army, but it is vital that you build the incredible T3 shields with it, as a group of Othuums will benefit from a 10k health bonus that will extend their lives and damage potential. Against Cybran and Aeon the Othuum can do okay, but against the UEF’s Percivals, they will be far too weak contend with them, and better off with other options. With a T2 transport it is great unit to drop behind enemy lines and snipe critical targets, as other factions can’t drop many T3 land units as easily as the Seraphim.
Usha-Ah (Sniper Bot)
Seraphim’s sniper bot is considered the better of the two, the other belonging to the Aeon faction. It’s dual modes allow you to spam long range shots or prepare high damage single fire for attacks against beefy targets or a stranded ACU. The Sniper however is low on the HP side and can miss if it’s moving, so very good micromanagement is needed to use the bot. It’s natural companion is the T3 shield, which can become it’s saving grace if targeted by air units.
Seraphim has a T3 shield instead of a T2 one, maybe to Nerf the potential power of the Ilshy, who knows, however the T3 shield can still provide a massive HP increase to anything inside the bubble, at an expensive power cost. Be careful making these shields if you’re still running T2 power generators.
You have a Generic T3 mobile arty, it fires long range ordinance to shell enemy bases and outrange UEF’s Ravager turrets, but has to deploy in order to fire, it’s also the only T3 arty to waddle around on 4 legs, but again, it's only aesthetics. Protect your arty with shields and aa to stop counterattacks and enemy bases will crumble under your siege weapons.
Uyanah: (MAA/Lighting Tank)
FAF introduced T3 mobile AA into the base game, and the Seraphim are gifted with a Lightning tank to both zap air units and lash out a surface units as well. Players still enjoy using flak guns in tandem with T3 units, but if you need to hit fast flying t3 air, this unit will be your port of call.
SACU side notes
The Seraphim SACU is noteworthy because it may be upgraded with an overcharge function, making it possibly the best combat SACU in the game, they can also be upgraded with tactical missile launchers, and in groups can launch deadly barrages at whatever you choose. However in later stages of the game the Seraphim SACU cannot be upgraded with RAS, so your eco choices are limited. Automatic Overcharges pair well with groups of Seraphim SACUS, and can melt away T4 units if you have the power to spend.
Air + Navy side Notes
The T3 Aircraft Carrier also doubles up as another missile platform, with an amazing range.
The battleship, as discussed before, is the alternative to the nuclear missile submarines of the other factions, If you choose to build a nuke from your battleship, make sure to protect it.
The T3 Subhunter also doubles up as an AA platform if surfaced, use it to fend off torpedo bombers if needed, be wary of the Aeon T3 Torpedo bomber, as one barrage of torpedoes dropped from one will kill your Sub.
This stage of the Seraphim game is unfortunately underwhelming versus the other factions’ options, which is why SACU’s are generally your better options against them. There are certain things to know about the Seraphim experimentals: firstly, they are the only faction with 3 available experimentals, not counting the secondary one that only emerges from a Ythotha’s corpse, compared to the other factions 4; secondly, the two main experimentals commonly seen are considered to be either too weak or simply buggy in usage. The Ythotha is argued to be the worst option for direct fire experimentals, and the Ahwassa has many problems that keep it from dropping its bomb, which can lead to disaster. The Yolona Oss is far too costly to ever be seen except for late game, and even though a powerful nuclear launcher, it far more common to see a paragon than this experimental. These tend to be overlooked for their limited use and access, but it is still viable to build them, as they are still powerful tools when used right.
Ythotha (Experimental Assault bot)
The Ythotha bot sits somewhere in-between the Weaker Cybran Monkeylord and the Stronger Aeon Galactic Colossus in power, and has three different weapons to shoot at enemy units. The first one is a minigun style weapon that is always on and does a decent amount of DPS, the second gun, on the other arm, is a Railgun that fires occasionally and hits targets with a good velocity for a nice amount of damage and AOE. The third weapon is a giant, slow firing death ball launched from it’s head. It does a lot of damage with a large AOE, but can be dodged. Overall the unit is decent, but try to engage units from the small range advantage, and avoid straight up battles with enemy ACU’s unless you know you can win, for example if they’re fleeing or weak, or if the player doesn’t know how to dodge your shots.
When the Ythotha Dies, it spawns the infamous lightning ball, which lingers around corpse and damages units in it’s radius, friend or foe. This “unit” is not controllable, if you know your bot will die, try to plant it’s corpse in the middle of the enemy, and not around any of your units,
Ahwassa (Experimental Bomber)
First seen in the opening cutscene of Forged alliance, the “asswasher” bomber is a flying T4 monstrosity that drops bombs capable of leveling entire bases and instantly killing all but the most tanky ACU’s. It’s also equipped with a minor AA system, to protect it from fighters, but you should protect your bombers with fighters of your own. If you self destruct your bomber at the same time you drop a bomb (listen for the sound) you can inflict extra damage on target, this strategy is referred to as a “T4 Mercy”, however be careful not to donate the mass sunk into the bomber if you miss.
Yolona Oss (Experimental Nuclear Missle Launcher)
The biggest boom in the game, and one of the mostly costly experimentals to ever build, besides the Aeon Paragon, the Yolona Oss is a terrifying weapon that builds nuclear missiles at unbelievable speed, and each missile requires two antinuke missiles to stop. It should be launched constantly to abuse the build speed of the nuke, and once able to punch through, will kill everything in its blast zone. DEATH.
The T1 stage should be used as to delay your opponent until the T2 transition, with a few units that can still carry on beyond even the T2 stage. The T3 stage is not particularly strong, but relies on its composition to get the job done. T4 has limited options, and do not perform ideally versus the other factions, so the occasional experimental and SACUs are the best options to counter them. However, “Tech 2” is the magic word for the Seraphim, it is the stage where most of their strengths shine the most. This stretches to T2 land, navy, and air surprisingly. Even their ACU will thrive in this stage, when provided the right upgrades and an army to boot. For the T2 stage, a detailed explanation is given:
T2 Land: The infamous Illshavoh (Illshy) is a powerful unit, and will be the main battlefront for your forces. It is common to take advantage of the natural strength the Seraphim have with this unit and other decent T2 tanks, but coupled with T2 air (as explained in the T2 Air section) and ACU will even prove to be a game changing element that should be pressed, and pressed hard.
T2 Navy: At first glance, the T2 navy may not appear to be anything much, but it is not something to be taken lightly. The destroyer, when microed properly, is a decent baseline unit for your navy, having the ability to submerge when possibly in danger of being swarmed saves it from dangerous spots, and it’s primary weapon puts out reliable damage-per-second. The cruiser is dependable as well, and like the UEF cruiser will waste coasts and shores with an unending barrage of its TML.
T2 Air: Sure, the T2 bomber may not be the best in comparison to the UEF or Cybran variant, and the gunship is (trash) mediocre. However as Seraphim, it is the utility of your T2 transport, which is arguably the best in the game (behind the superiority of tech with the UEF T3 transport). Capable of dropping 16 T1, 8 T2, and 4 T3 units (wow!), the transport can deliver large groups into places that may otherwise be impossible to reach. This allows for the movement of what is normally a slow, powerful army to be placed in potentially important places, and can possibly be game-winning, and must not be underestimated.
With this, we hope that your future battles against the human scum will be victorious in the 1v1 competition. If you’re still not on board with the Seraphim, feel free to ask Questions in #aeolus, The FAF discord, or seek a trainer.