Playing a game like Crusaders of the Lost Idols can be enjoyable however you chose to play; but sometimes it can be useful to have a little hint about what might work well.
The idea of the strategy pages is to gather together useful information about individual crusaders; and this page gathers together all those individual pages into a single easily accessible place.
The strategies listed below are not actually 'on' this page, they are automatically inserted (transcluded) from the entry for the respective crusader. If you click on  next to one of the headings, then you will be editing the same information that appears in both places.
Perhaps the most underestimated crusader (in game chats, at least), the Bush Whacker can have a great impact in your total damage output if used correctly. The Bush Whacker comes in most useful especially when you are pushing towards the last few levels of your current objective.
Swordplay is what makes the Bush Whacker a strong crusader in your formation. Since he draws power from adjacent crusaders, putting him next to your main damage-dealing crusader like Hermit, Jim or Sarah could strengthen his click damage a great deal.
However, the use of the Bush Whacker would be counter-intuitive in a formation that uses the Werewolf as the main damage-dealer (without RoboTurkey); placing the Bush Whacker next to the Werewolf would make the latter lose his important Lone Wolf buff, while the former could not draw power from the latter if not placed next to him.
Thanks to the addition of RoboTurkey, the Bush Whacker is now more viable in almost all types of formations. Placing the Bush Whacker next to both RoboTurkey and your main damage-dealer allows him to draw power from both of them. The Bush Whacker could also be used in a Werewolf formation since he could indirectly draw power from him via RoboTurkey.
Coupled with appropriate buffs (such as the dps-boost buff and the click critical rate and multiplier boost buff), the Bush Whacker could push you to up to 50 more levels after you hit a wall, provided that you also level your main damage dealer along the way. Having as little as 20% of your formation dps as your click damage is enough for this. Consider using him if you wish to swiftly end your objective!
With a conditional buff and being the cheapest dps-dealing crusader, Jim is one of the crusaders that are most commonly used as the main damage-dealer of the formation by players. Consider using him if he deals the most damage compared to other damage-dealers like Hermit, Sarah and Werewolf.
The criteria of dishing out the most damage is relatively less stringent compared to other conditional buffs, since he only requires another crusader to be next to him to dish out an extra 100% damage. This allows him to be viable with almost any other crusader that could buff and/or benefit from him.
If you wish to buff your main damage-dealer (if it is not Jim), Jim is an important buffer to have in your formation. With his buff benefitting crusaders in the same column, he could easily find a place in the same column as your main damage-dealer in most formations.
To top it off, he also increases the Bush Whacker's Swordplay effect, making him more of an asset to have in your formation if you wish to use the Bush Whacker.
Due to the fact that he has a strong damage-dealing potential and also a great buffer, some players have adopted a dual-dps strategy, with Jim and another damage-dealer sharing approximately 50-50 of the total dps. This is viable if both crusaders have approximately the same damage-to-cost ratio.
Sharing the bench with Jim, Pam is the cheapest crusader in the roster. Due to this, she could be a possible candidate for main damage dealer role.
This is coupled with the fact that her first conditional buff, Co-Pilot, works exactly the same as Jim's Buddy System buff.
The second conditional buff, Focused Teamwork, buffs Pam herself as well. This makes the dual-DPS strategy work nicely for her.
Aside from being a main damage dealer, Pam should also be strongly considered as a main buffer, with a much more powerful buff than her counterpart.
Since her buff only requires there to be exactly two crusaders in her column, Pam cannot be used to buff multiple crusaders. Hence, Pam as a buffer works best for the solo-DPS or dual-DPS strategy.
Pam can be used to buff Emo Werewolf without disrupting his Lone Wolf buff by leaving an empty spot between them.
However, as this is a stringent criterion to meet, you will most likely be placing your main damage dealer in a column of 2, or in a column of more than 2 but having empty slot(s) in it. If you find that Jim's buff, combined with buffs of other crusaders that could have taken the slot(s), buffs more than Pam (and the empty slots), then switch to using Jim and the aforementioned crusaders instead.
With the update of Legendary gears, Emo still stood up as a powerful DPS crusader with all golden epics available from the past crafted into golden legendary gears. Even though with stronger additional DPS from the golden legendary gears (+1.2K% instead of the normal legendary's +800%), the main focus is on the legendary effects.
This changes the mindset of building an Emo build from "putting Emo at a more isolated slot with minimal amount of crusaders will be next to him as long as the crusaders beside him is non-human" into "putting Emo in a fully surrounded slot as long as the crusaders around him are non-human" due to the legendary effect from the legendary cape gear (Increases the Base DPS of Emo Werewolf by 25% for each Crusader next to him at level 1) and playing with Emo's Lone Wolf ability while having the legendary crystal gear (its legendary effect increases the effect of Lone Wolf by 100% at level 1).
Combining with Artaxes' legendary hat gear (increases animal crusaders' DPS) with Emo's legendary ham gear (also increases animal crusaders' DPS), and you'll get an effective animal build on the field.
If you have Draco and/or Mister with their legendary idol/hat gear (both of them also does the same effect as the aforementioned two gears), forget about using humans and robots, for you're building an even stronger Draco+Emo build with Mister as your secondary gold finder.
Sasha is one of the available buffers that is viable if she is able to find a place in the formation. If there is an available slot in the column in front of the column your main damage-dealer is in, be sure to use her!
However, since Sasha's buff, Bulwark, only boosts dps by 40%, she is a buffer of less importance. In some cases, it is necessary to bench her to make way for the stronger buffs or the main damage-delaer's conditional buff.
In box formation, for example, if one decides to buff his main damage-dealer with all the available buffers, he will find that Pete is unable to buff crusaders in the middle column, where one could receive buffs from both Artaxes and Sasha, from any slot (assuming a full formation). In this case, he has to choose whether to bench Artaxes, Pete or Sasha. The correct choice would be Sasha as Artaxes and Pete boost dps by 65% and 50% respectively, which are higher values than Sasha's buff.
In jet formation, if one uses Werewolf or Hermit as the main damage-dealer, he would find it almost impossible to assign a slot for Sasha without sacrificing the better buffs.
Due to the fact that she is one of the cheaper crusaders to upgrade and every skill other than Bulwark buffs her dps, some players have used her as the main damage-dealer. However, this is only possible if she possesses far more enchantment points than other suitable candidates, since she hardly possesses any outstanding buffs.
The role of Groklok is very flexible mainly due to his interaction with Drizzle.
With sufficient self-dps buffs and especially with a conditional Gunslinger buff and Drizzle's Lateral buff, Groklok can be a potential main damage dealer. This is coupled with the fact that he is one of the cheaper crusaders to level.
However, his potential may fall short since he does not possess any self-dps items.
The criterion of his Gunslinger buff makes it possible for a dual-DPS strategy with Hermit, since both of them can utilize the same empty slot.
With a very strong buff especially when coupled with Drizzle, Groklok is a terrific buffer and potentially less of a liability than Sasha in terms of buffing.
In box formation, for example, if you have been using Hermit as your main damage dealer and, due to the presence of Pete, placing him at the frontline, you may use Groklok to compensate for the loss of Sasha's buff.
In order to maximize the potential of this buff, let Groklok buff a column of 3 or fewer crusaders.
With the Defensive Team buff, an item that boosts HP, and Drizzle's Hail Mary buff, Groklok is a viable tank that is suitable for the tank build.
By placing Groklok and Jack at the frontline and Drizzle somewhere behind, your formation will be able to hold out as long as possible while increasing the formation DPS, which means killing the enemies faster.
A common misconception that most new players have for the Hermit is that his conditional buff, Craziness, requires him to be at the frontline for it to be active. In reality, this buff can be active at almost any slot, as long as no crusader stands in the slot directly in front of him.
One of the Pro-tips displayed in the game's loading screen says 'The best formation may not be a full formation!' This tip is most likely referring to such a formation, where an empty slot is required to activate the Hermit's Craziness buff.
With a strong conditional buff (Craziness), and self-dps buffs for almost every other skill, the Hermit is one of the most commonly-used crusaders as the main damage-dealer.
Even though not needing the Hermit to be at the frontline, the Craziness buff still has a stringent criterion to fulfill: emptying the slot in front of him. At some situations, it requires the Hermit to be at the frontline in order for him to dish out the most dps.
Whenever possible, avoid placing Hermit at the frontline if he could be buffed by Sasha without losing the Craziness buff.
To avoid having more than one empty slot, it is best to place the Hermit at a slot where there is only one slot that is directly in front of him. Emptying two or more slots to make way for the Craziness buff can be counter-productive.
With the Arrow Attack skill increasing the Bush Whacker's Swordplay effect, the use of the Bush Whacker is highly viable in a Hermit formation.
Even though Kaine is not a dps-buffer, his presence is still of great importance due to his A-hah! buff, which increases gold bonus. Place him in your formation if you are attempting to farm gold while idling!
In fact, Kaine's presence is so important that you could consider sacrificing an otherwise important buffer to make way for him.
As the tooltip suggests, Kaine should be placed in the column with the most slots (in most cases, columns of 4 or 3) to maximize the effect of the A-hah! buff.
Magnify is a useful skill for increasing the effect of the next skill used. It is best combined with Firestorm to clear difficult boss levels, or with Storm Rider to increase the formation dps.
In rare cases, Kaine can be used as the main damage-dealer, having sufficient self-dps skills and being one of the cheaper crusaders to upgrade. However, this is only possible if his enchantment points greatly exceeds those of the other possible candidates.
If you find it difficult assign a slot for Kaine in your formation (especially in a Werewolf formation) without taking a toll on your formation DPS, or if Mister's gold bonus is greater than that of Kaine's, consider using Mister to boost your gold find instead.
Mister's gold bonus skill, Follow The Leader, makes him an appropriate substitute to Kaine.
Mister is especially helpful in formations with many animals. With Monkey Business and several animals, Follow the Leader can easily be more effective than Kaine's Ah-Hah! ability.
As the tooltip suggests, he should be placed in front of the column with the most slots.
This, coupled with the fact that he is a non-human, makes him capable of replacing Kaine in a Werewolf formation where the Emo Werewolf occupies the column with the most slots (in diamond formation, for example).
As Mister also possesses the Magnify skill, this skill could be used without needing to switch to Kaine (and placing him in the formation) for it.
Since the Princess possesses 4 all-dps buffs, she is almost a must-have in most formations.
However, since she does not possess any buffs which buff only specific slots, her position in formations is flexible.
The Princess also possesses the Burn Baby Burn! skill, which increases the Bush Whacker's Swordplay effect. This is definitely an incentive for the Bush Whacker.
Firestorm (especially when Magnified) is a useful skill for clearing difficult boss levels, since the 1st level of each region has the same level of health as the 4th level of the previous region. You may use Firestorm to clear that level in order to idle and farm in the next region instead.
As of now RoboTurkey can not be beat in terms of dps no matter the equipment he is good but with max equipment he has the most dps because even if you have all crusaders at max level he will absorb a portion of their dps and add it on to his own dps so you would be taking 150% of Nate Dragons dps which would be the highest at max level making RoboTurkeys dps the greatest because it's also added on to his own and this will work even with the newer crusaders past Nate Dragon.
As of the Thanksgiving Event update, RoboTurkey is now one of the strongest crusaders and buffers in the roster, thanks to the Short Circuit skill.
With the Short Circuit skill, RoboTurkey is by far the only crusader that can draw power from adjacent crusaders to add on to his dps.
In order to fully maximize the potential of this skill, RoboTurkey should be placed next to your main damage-dealer while having as few crusaders (preferably a maximum of 3) as possible next to him so that the main damage-dealer can be continuously zapped.
As strong as his potential could be, RoboTurkey's strength could not be demonstrated if you do not have a main damage-dealer for him to draw power from.
Avoid buffing RoboTurkey in your formation. As much as his dps could be, a vast majority would be from your main damage-dealer. As such, buffs which buff only his base dps will not work. Instead, continue buffing your main damage-dealer and this will indirectly buff RoboTurkey too.
In some situations, you may need to choose the Princess over RoboTurkey if the former's impact is greater than that of the latter.
As a buffer, RoboTurkey's presence is of paramount importance since the Short Circuit buff increases zapped crusaders' dps by up to 60%, a value that is relatively high. Since he is a non-human, RoboTurkey is viable in almost every formation possible.
The Bush Whacker should be placed next to both the main damage-dealer and RoboTurkey, in order for him to obtain the most out of it, added to the fact that he also possesses Power Reflection, which increases the Bush Whacker's Swordplay effect.
The implementation of RoboTurkey also made it possible to use the Bush Whacker in a Werewolf formation without sacrificing the Lone Wolf buff. If you place the Bush Whacker next to RoboTurkey and not the Werewolf, that is.
If RoboTurkey is in your formation, Momma Kaine should come in too. After all, who can resist being double buffed merely from getting zapped?
With an all-dps buff, the Daggerfall buff, Natalie is a potentially decent buffer to have in your formation.
Natalie has an item which increases gold bonus. If you have it, be sure to assign a place for her in your formation!
As of the January 20 update, Natalie's potential as a main damage dealer has been significantly heightened. This is due to the fact that the value for the Double Dragon buff can now be potentially increased, and that she now has an extra self-dps buff.
Natalie could also be present to activate Nate's Double Dragon buff.
Natalie's cape increases gold found by 10/25/50/100% making her viable for gold-farming formations.
Since only the Ghostbeard's Greed formation has multiple front line slots, Jason's usefulness is still quite limited.
If Jason is not treated like a main damage dealer, his DPS may fall short even with the Ambush buff.
Jason's sword increases gold found by 10/25/50/100% making him viable for gold-farming formations.
When Shadow Queen reach lv 1500, thanks to her The Shadow Mastered ability, Jason increases her ability The Shadow's Cowl by 100%, that make possible to him reach a 600% buff, if he is adjacent to her.
With the Bad Joke buff and an item which boosts gold bonus, Pete's presence is highly recommended.
In practice, the Bad Joke buff is a very tricky buff to apply to your main damage-dealer. Due to this, certain sacrifices may have to be made in order to make way for this buff. This includes benching important crusaders, or even emptying the furthest slot(s) so that Pete could buff the next furthest slot(s). Do use Pete in your formation, but also do continuously experiment with various formations to find one that could best utilise this buff and maximize your dps.
If there needs to be an empty slot, perhaps this slot could also be utilised by the Hermit for his Craziness buff.
Perhaps one of the most commonly used buffers and with a dps-buff (Roar!) of the highest value, 50% (55/62.5/75/100% with Amulet equipment), Artaxes is your top-priority buffer that must be present in your formation!
In order to make way for Artaxes, it is recommended to avoid placing your main damage-dealer at the last column of the formation.
In most cases, it is easy to place Artaxes for him to buff your main damage-dealer; any slot behind the main damage-dealer works.
Even though the buffing mechanics of Artaxes' Roar! buff work almost similarly as Sasha's, it is relatively easier to find a place for Artaxes than Sasha since:
Artaxes is a non-human, hence he will not affect the Lone Wolf buff of the Werewolf when placed next to him (in fact, he is the appropriate crusader to be placed adjacent to the Werewolf at the column behind); and
Artaxes will not affect the Craziness buff of the Hermit since he buffs from behind, whereas there is a chance for Sasha to conflict with that buff as she might occupy the slot in front of him were she to buff him.
Possessing both a healing skill (Frog Soup), and a buffing skill (Koffee Potion), Khouri's role (and hence, position) in the formation is flexible.
As a healer, Khouri's best position would be at the second column, where he could constantly heal crusaders at the frontline and preventing them from dying easily to monsters. If possible, combine him with Gryphon at the second column to further increase the durability of the frontline crusaders such as Jack (such that the rate of healing received exceeds the rate of damage taken from monsters).
Depending on your strategy, however, the presence of a healer in your formation may not be necessary.
As a buffer, however, Khouri's role is rather insignificant compared to the other buffers. With the lowest buffing value of 30% (though it can be increased to 60% with equipment), Khouri could be benched if there is no available slot suitable for him. Moreover, as Khouri is considered a human, he can never buff the Werewolf without him losing the Lone Wolf buff.
Having said this, there may be scenarios that Khouri could come into play instead of other buffers due to his buffing mechanics. Always experiment with different formations to see which one buffs your main damage-dealer most effectively!
With a unique way of buffing crusaders' dps (Conductivity), it is recommended to find a place for Momma Kaine only after placing RoboTurkey in your formation.
Similar to her counterpart, Khouri, Momma Kaine is also both a healer and a buffer, and hence her role in the formation is just as flexible.
As a healer, finding a slot for Momma Kaine is much easier than finding one for healer Khouri, at a cost of having a lower healing rate than him. As long as Momma Kaine occupies the back side of your formation, she would almost always heal the frontmost crusader(s).
As a buffer, Momma Kaine is one who buffs better and has more flexibility in terms of positioning compared to buffer Khouri. However, as stated in the first point, RoboTurkey must first be in the formation before even considering Momma Kaine in the formation. As long as your main damage-dealer can be constantly zapped by RoboTurkey. Momma Kaine will always be able to buff him from any slot possible.
While being a crusader of lesser importance, the Dark Gryphon comes in useful if you decide to progress through levels without being able to instantly kill monsters (2-3 seconds, for instance). Together with Khouri or Momma Kaine, they could greatly increase the durability of the frontline crusaders since the frontline crusaders could be healed faster than they take damage (provided that not too many monsters attack the frontline crusaders, of course).
Gryphon could also be placed adjacent to the Werewolf since she is a non-human.
If you find that your formation has some remaining slots available after placing your main damage-dealer, dps-buffers and gold-bonus buffers, consider using Gryphon if she buffs better than the other remaining crusaders.
Gryphon also possesses the Lion Swipe buff which increases the Bush Whacker's Swordplay effect. Consider placing her too if you decide to click through levels.
With a conditional buff (Full Set) and having almost every other skills increasing her base dps, Sarah is one of the viable candidates and the more commonly used crusader as the formation's main damage-dealer.
Her conditional buff has a relatively less stringent criterion to meet since it only requires the formation to be full to activate. There is no other restriction to crusader formation otherwise.
Even though Sarah is a viable candidate for the role of the main damage-dealer, she could be easily beaten by other candidates in the roster in terms of damage-to-cost ratio, since she is one of the more expensive crusaders to level.
As of the Princess' Pool Party event, however, Sarah's potential is immensely heightened especially with Queen Siri's Queen's Decree buff that can only buff female Crusaders. If you have been an ardent supporter of Hermit or Werewolf, consider switching to Sarah instead. Perhaps she will surpass these two with the help of Siri.
With 4 skills and an item that boost gold bonus? Yes please! Panda is definitely a must-have in your formation! Don't have room for her? Make room for her then!
Having said that, do not go on idling in the Lone Descent objective with Panda. Since Panda has hardly any skills that boost her base dps apart from the level 200 bonus, your main damage-dealers will most likely outdamage her a great deal and hence you may progress further in and idle at a place where Panda could not handle the monsters.
Panda is, however, a recommended crusader to accompany your main damage-dealer in the Dual Descent objective since it maximizes the dps-gold bonus product value, maximizing gold reward from idling.
You may be asking, 'Between Panda and RoboSanta, who do I use?' The answer, although cliché, is always 'It depends'. At times, RoboSanta's gold bonus may exceed that of Panda's. At other times, it's vice versa.
To break both crusaders down, Panda has 4 gold bonus skills, and a gold item, while RoboSanta has a key Expensive Toys buff, an item which increases the effect of this skill, and a gold item as well. Panda effectively buffs your gold bonus the moment he's in your formation, but RoboSanta needs an appropriate position to maximize the gold bonus.
Due to the mechanics of the Expensive Toys buff, RoboSanta is best placed in the column behind the column with the most slots. This may pose a problem to the placement of your crusaders.
If there is no item on RoboSanta to boost the effect of the Expensive Toys buff, his gold bonus will almost always fall short of Panda's.
It is best to test out the resultant gold bonus from both crusaders to decide on which crusader to use.
Among the list of crusaders that are most likely to be benched, Sal would actually be last on the list. After all, he does have an all-dps buff, a skill that increases Swordplay effect and hey, he is not human!
Sal is a recommended crusader to stand next to the Werewolf in formations in addition to buffing the formation dps.
If you decide to use the Bush Whacker, consider having Sal in your formation too.
As of the January 20 update, however, Sal can be potentially considered as a main damage-dealer, since the update buffed him in two ways: a direct one which is an extra self-dps buff, and an indirect one in the form of the new Royal Grail buff on Reginald which can affect him.
Having said this, the potential can be easily diminished by the fact that he is a relatively more expensive crusader to upgrade.
In theory, Wendy seems like a viable candidate for the main damage-dealer role, what with almost every skill buffing her base dps and the conditional Draw Power buff. In practice, however, this is seldom the case.
It is possible to place Wendy as a secondary damage-dealer by treating her as how you would your main damage-dealer. However, she only comes in useful in levels where you no longer instantly kill monsters.
Being a crusader that costs relatively a lot to upgrade, it is still recommended to leave the main damage-dealer role to the deserving candidates. Bench her if you need to.
If you must bring Wendy on the team, it is best if you have Jack on the team as well, as his Cry For Help upgrade, which buffs total DPS by at least 10%(depending on gear) for every enemy on screen, combos well with Wendy's Draw Power upgrade which buffs her own DPS for every enemy on screen.
Generally, Phoenix is used for the Vengeful Fury skill rather than her contribution to the formation. After all, combining its damage (after sacrificing a few crusaders) and a Magnified Firestorm can successfully kill off all normal monsters on screen and greatly weaken a boss monster.
As of the January 20 update, the use of Phoenix now hints at sacrificing some relatively unimportant crusaders for the greater good.
A possibility of utilising the new Phoenix would be to place your formation tank(s) at the second row instead of the first (provided that the important crusaders don't stand at the frontline). When the frontline crusaders die, the tank's durability will be increased and in addition, the enemies may be weakened by possible Firestorms.
Fire Phoenix must be at front, Khouri, the Witch Doctor, must be in the third column, whilst The Princess and Detective Kaine must be at the back. The remainder of the formation should be arranged to maximize The Bush Wacker's click damage.
After entering the boss stage, immediately activate Click-o-rama (Savage Strikes would be helpful too), then wait for the enemies to get near to Fire Phoenix. When she finally receives damage (watch the HP bar), activate King's Command, this will give the boss enough time to enter the screen; once he does, activate Magnify and then Fire Storm. This combo will deal 75% damage on normal enemies and around 50% on the boss.
This will not be enough to stop the high level wave though, and they will proceed to kill phoenix. When they do, her first ability will wipe the remaining enemies. If the boss manages to survive, Khouri, the Witch Doctor, will keep the second column alive until the boss finally dies.
With update 0.45 this strategy would need to be adjusted due to changes made to Fire Phoenix.
Besides being a temporary main damage-dealer, a monster magnet and having Storm Rider, Thalia is one that you would want to consider benching.
As of the January 20 update, Thalia's role as the formation's tank is more defined. Even so, it is still recommended to use Jack as the formation tank instead of him, due to the latter's Cry For Help ability. You may use Thalia, however, if you are using Natalie as your main damage-dealer.
Storm Rider deserves a special mention. Since it increases formation dps permanently without even needing him in the formation, it is recommended that you activate a Magnified Storm Rider (yes, Storm Rider can be Magnified) every time it is available. Even though boosting only a small value, it is cummulative throughout the run and stacking several charges of Storm Rider could make a difference.
However, it should be noted that Storm Rider bonuses do not carry over resets.
Avoid placing Thalia in the frontline if you have Jack in that column, since it would diminish the potential of Jack's durability and Cry For Help skill.
Or actually, do place him there. His death does not bring much loss to the formation and if he dies, the monsters could shift their attention towards Jack next as a group.
Or just don't buy the Lightning Rod upgrade, and let the monsters attack him and Jack equally.
With the changes as of Christmas 2016, Frosty can be a potential candidate for the main damage-dealer role. This potential is however situationally diminished by the fact he is the third most expensive crusader in the roster. Even when his skills seem much more powerful than the usual candidates like Jim, Werewolf and Hermit, he lags behind them by approximately 300-400 levels for the same leveling cost, which means that the level-200-bonus multiplier would fall short by millions of times. This however will turn into an advantage when Werewolf or Hermit become level-capped, or simply in formations where Frosty's DPS buffs are overwhelmingly good.
If Frosty is your main damage-dealer, be sure to position him where there are at least 6 other crusaders around him, and of course placing any positional buffs for him to take advantage of, in order to maximize the Chilling Power effect.
You may also want to place as many supernatural crusaders in the formation as possible to take advantage of Snowball Fight's bonus of 500% DPS per supernatural crusader. See Category:Mission Tag Supernatural. The amount needed to make him competitive will vary depending on the comparative gear of Frosty and your other DPS, but generally three or four other supernaturals is a good start.
Formations that utilize a grid such as the Princess' Pool PartyPlane Formation can potentially have more than six adjacent crusaders, as diagonal adjacency still counts. The Aeroplane formation has a seven-adjacency slot between the "tail" and upper "wing" of the aircraft, (#4 in the Plane Formation diagram linked above) making Frosty even more powerful in that formation than he normally is.
Pilot Pam is not normally ideally suited as a same-column buffer for Frosty, as normally you would want two other crusaders in the same column. She is however a good choice in the plane formation, where Frosty's ideal formation slot only has one other slot in the same column.
You do not need to switch over to Thalia to activate Storm Rider, for Frosty also has this skill as well. You should utilise whichever crusader has the best item buffing their Storm Rider ability whenever it is off cooldown.
You can also use Frosty as an non-human Crusader in a Werewolf-Build, especially for his %-DPS bonus. But when you do, remember not to skill Frosty's absorb ability so that the Werewolf's DPS will not be reduced.
Each Crusader with Storm Rider has a legendary item that provides a legendary effect buff to Storm Rider. Freezing Snowman Pipe of Ice Cold Smoke (Golden Legendary) quadruples the effect of Storm Rider at the first level, while doubling its cooldown. It doubles both every level thereafter, which makes Legendary Frosty a little different to other crusaders in the same bench slot: he will be better for short runs, because a high level on his legendary will front-load the effect of many Storm Rider uses. (He may also be better for runs that are going to be left overnight just once, as levelling up the item at all will make the Storm Rider cooldown longer than 8 hours, avoiding the possibility of "missing" a use of stormrider)
Having several self-dps buffs but being the second most expensive crusader, Merci will most likely be out damaged by firstly Nate, and then subsequently the other cheaper crusaders.
Merci, however, do possess certain buffs that could potentially boost your formation DPS. If there are still available slots left, consider using him if he buffs better than other crusaders.
As of the January 20 update, Merci has now a skill that allows secondary targets (the ones where the DPS is not dealt) to take a portion of your formation DPS. His presence can be synergistic with Jack's presence; the more enemies that attack Jack, the higher your formation DPS and hence the DPS dealt towards secondary targets. This makes it quicker for you to wipe your enemies!
Alchemy can be useful if you feel that the healing from Khouri (or Momma Kaine) towards the frontline crusaders is insufficient.
As the last crusader in the roster, Nate should not be quickly judged as one who can always dish out the most damage throughout the levels. In fact, even with a conditional buff, Double Dragon, Nate has the worst damage-to-cost ratio in the whole roster. This makes him not a viable candidate for the main damage-dealer role in the long run.
Nate could be used as your main damage-dealer...... for a maximum of only 40-50 levels. After that, the likely scenario is that the cheaper crusaders will start to outdamage him once you level them along. After all, Nate only has two self-dps buff and a conditional buff.
You may place Natalie in your formation for the first few levels after getting Nate and the Double Dragon buff to boost his dps.
Use Nate to buff Natalie's dps if you're using the latter as your main damage-dealer.
Nate, however, can be relied on as a buffer since he has two all-dps buffs. His placement in your formation should be top priority after you have placed your main damage-dealer, dps buffers and gold bonus buffers.