Last Updated on April 6, 2023 by Meow

By far the hardest Octopath Traveler: COTC arena cup to date.

Yan Long is so difficult that only 50% of active players in JP can beat him, whereas they have a >90% completion rate for the other Cups.

Sword and Spear is going to be your bread and butter for the more difficult battles.

Yan Long’s Fight Mechanic #

Credit Wigglytuff on the COTC Fan Discord.

Fight Mechanics

On Turn 1, Yan Long will do no damage to you and sets up the “gimmick” for the first half of the fight. Starting from his move on Turn 1, he’ll lock two of his weaknesses to only be weak to Sword and give himself two actions a turn.

The gimmick is that if you hit the locked weaknesses after that point, he’ll increase his action count by 1. This is obviously something to avoid.

At the end of each turn, the unlocked weakness will shift one to the right. So on Turn 2, he’ll be weak to Spear, 3 Light, etc. Starting Turn 1, he’ll also purge any debuffs at the end of each turn, making it largely useless to use Debilitate/Anti-Attack/any stat debuffs.

This does not apply when he’s broken. After a certain point, he’ll summon two Crows to the battle. Reports are conflicting – some have said at 90% HP, others after first break – but the general consensus is that you should be able to get one break in before this happens.

The crows are quite tanky and while they don’t do too much damage themselves, they’ll do stuff like buff Yan Long, extend the Regen he puts on himself, blind your Units, etc. Yan Long himself will mostly attack you with an AOE and a strong single target, but he can also buff his Phys. Atk. and Def., apply Regen, and debuff (either single target or AOE) your party’s Staff Res, making his damage do that much more.

At 50% or lower HP, he’ll stop locking weaknesses, but buff himself to have 3 actions/turn.

General fight advice

  • He’ll do no damage to you on Turn 1, so if all your shieldbreaking units are faster than him, that’s prime time to shave shields. You can set up buffs and Regen on the next turn. Reminder that any unit moving after him must hit with non-Spear or non-Light damage, otherwise you’ll trigger the counter.
  • Don’t hit the locked weaknesses.
  • When the crows come, drop what you’re doing and focus on the crows. You want them gone ASAP and you definitely do not want them around when he hits below 50% HP.
  • Given the amount of switching you’re doing to hit the weaknesses, you probably want 2 Regen casters and a Healer. This doesn’t have to mean 3 different units
  • Ophillia and Agnes do both, for example. But especially at the 3 actions/turn phase, you’re going to want someone to heal after his first action so your party hopefully stays alive for his last two actions. This might mean some speed adjusting.
  • Because you can’t Anti-Attack him effectively, a partywide Phys Def Buff is essential.
  • We typically don’t recommend bringing Revives to a fight because if you’re relying on it, something’s probably gone horribly wrong and you’re probably better off rethinking your strategy. For this fight, however, it’s not a bad idea to bring it, especially on units like Agnes or Alfyn who can’t otherwise hit weaknesses. There’s a lot of RNG with random hits, crits, etc.

Recommended level and gear

  • 90 minimum. You can probably do it at lower levels, but it’ll be very annoying with random deaths here and there.
  • Likely your best shot is taking Origin IV for all weapons to give your units much needed bulk.
  • There was a recent finding that armor doesn’t matter all that much, but taking Sacred or better physical sided armor (Sacred Armor/Sacred Helm) should be sufficient.

Top tier unit recommendations #


– Regen, Heal + P.Def E.Def Buff, 4x random target light, and (if you’re A2) her auto revive thing. Her Ultimate has a full party revive, which can certainly come in clutch. Amazing role compression with good shield breaking potential. I’d recommend stacking E.Atk to her to squeeze out every bit of healing and Regen out of her as possible.


– Great secondary regens. Theo can shield shave crows with Dual Harvest, Soleil can buff Light DPS builds.


– Falls under the general role of “P.Def buffers”. Glossom is generally better because he buffs P.Atk alongside P.Def, can cap by himself if you don’t have Ophilia/Lianna, and comes with his own regen. For primarily Sword DPS comps, you should use Glossom. Hasumi, on the other hand, has a 15% P.Def/E.Def buff, a fairly powerful burst heal, and 3x Light single target. For Light DPS comps, she’s a viable option.

Sword DPS (Fiore/Kouren/Olberic/Lars/Edea/Lionel and Eliza to a lesser extent):

– Having Sword DPS be your primary nukers is the better way to go for probably 99% of players since they generally have more bulk than Light DPS units and it’s not apparent to me that they do less damage. Order of viability is probably Fiore = Olberic > Lars > Kouren > Edea > Lionel > Eliza

– Quick note of Olberic’s 3-5x RT spear and Edea’s 2-5 rt Light based on Boost level for alternative shield shaving options when Sword is locked.

– Eliza’s an interesting option because of her 3x Light single target and heal, but is likely too slow to make effective use of her heal.

Light DPS (Odette/Agnes/Ophilia/Varkyn/Hasumi/Soleil and Eliza to a lesser extent):

– Light DPS builds have the advantage of having much better role compression, since Agnes/Ophilia/Hasumi have some sort of heal/regen and Odette/Varkyn have Light Res Down (on attacks, even). The issue is that it’s difficult to really do much the other 2/3 turns.

Alternative unit suggestions #

5 star Merchants:

– They suffer from having lower damage potential than both Sword and Light, but it’s probably a good idea to bring one, especially if you don’t have Olberic. Notable mentions are Tressa and Dorothea.


– The classic combo has been nerfed quite a bit. If you’re somehow able to cap P.Def up reliably without Glossom, Lynette’s damage buffing potential is much higher. Viola’s an interesting option for hybrid DPS options (for example, if Odette and Fiore are your best nukers), but probably not likely to be a good option.


– Can buff P.Atk and Def and Spell Song could be useful for applying a debuff on the crows and on break turns, but otherwise rather frail and Glossom is free.


– Has a revive and can serve as a secondary Regen caster, but otherwise not very useful for this fight.

Thieves with shield crack:

– They might seem like a good option to ensure constant shield breaking, but it becomes an issue if you’re sacrificing either utility or DPS potential for them. Notable mentions are Adelle, Wingate (can backpack a Kouren and do 1x Shield Crack while Kouren is regenning SP), Nicola, and Heathcote.


– 2x Spear, 1x Light, and can Taunt the crows while buffing Party P. Atk.


– Not good for this fight, just wanted to put him in here for fun.

Yan Long’s Attack Pattern #

Credit Fourze on the COTC Fan Discord.

Yan Long Attack Pattern