Balkesh B3, known as Arc Bahamut (アークバハムート, Akū Bahamūto) in Japan, is an Energy Layer released as part of the Burst System as well as the God Layer System. It debuted with the release of the B-98 God Customize Set on November 11th, 2017. It later debuted in western countries with the release of the SwitchStrike Starter Pack Balkesh B3 2Bump Atomic.
Balkesh B3 is a Defense Type Energy Layer named after Bahamut, the giant fish of Islamic mythology, however to represent the anime’s rendition of this Layer’s beast, a dragon head is molded underneath the God Chip. Balkesh B3’s perimeter is made of six clockwise blades, akin to a reversed Alter Chronos. As part of the SwitchStrike/God Layer System, Balkesh B3 features gimmicks; the Layer is Left-Spin and features a movable sub-layer.
In theory, the sub-layer of Balkesh B3 is meant to connect with the prongs of the Disc so that as the Balkesh B3 combination grows closer to Bursting, the sub-layer moves in order to fill in the gaps between the blades and reduce recoil. In practice however, the decrease in gap depth is too minuscule to impact performance in any significant manner.
The Left-Spin nature of Balkesh B3 reduces recoil against Right-Spin opponents due to the Layers acting akin to gears which heavily reduces the rate of Bursts despite the Japanese release of Arc Bahamut having three teeth of very short length. Furthermore, due to how weak the teeth are, Arc Bahamut-based Combinations are capable of retightening themselves against Opposite-Spin opponents if paired with a Performance Tip with a weak spring lock. As such this Layer features excellent Defense in Opposite-Spin matches. Even in Same-Spin matches, the weight of the Layer and the shape of the blades can create tournament acceptable Burst resistance against opponents such as Nightmare Longinus so long as Arc Bahamut is paired with a Performance Tip with strong Burst resistance.
Use in Defense/Stamina Combinations
Arc Bahamut can be put to use in the Defense/Stamina Combination (MGC) Arc Bahamut 0/2/4/5/7/10 Cross/Glaive Orbit/Destroy/Bearing. The Left-Spin nature and shape of Arc Bahamut works with the heavy weight of the 0/2/4/5/7/10 Disc to increase KO resistance while the same properties of the Layer works with the low friction of Orbit/Destroy/Bearing to increase Burst resistance. When using Orbit/Destroy specifically, the Combination can withstand attacks from other Left-Spin Attack Type opponents when given a moderate launch. When using Bearing specifically, the weak spring lock can allow the Combination to retighten itself against a Right-Spin opponent if moderate/weak launched, however, using Bearing will make the combination highly vulnerable against Left-Spin Attack Type opponents.
Despite the weak teeth and ineffective gimmick, the shape, weight, Left-Spin nature and ability to retighten makes Arc Bahamut a Top-Tier Layer for Left-Spin Defense, outclassing Drain Fafnir and performing comparably to Spriggan Requiem. However, with the release of the Cho-Z Layer System, Arc Bahamut is too light to remain competitive.
As such, Arc Bahamut is recommended for collection purposes only.
Differences in the Hasbro Version
Hasbro's Balkesh B3 is virtually identical to Takara Tomy's Arc Bahamut with the sub-Layer gimmick intact. However, the slopes of the Layer are much stronger than Arc Bahamut's teeth, making Balkesh B3 better suited for more traditional Defense Combinations.
As such, Balkesh B3 is recommended for collection purposes only in the regular Burst Format but is a must have for competitive bladers in the Hasbro-Only Format.
- B-98 God Customize Set - Arc Bahamut 2Bump Atomic
- B-118 Random Booster Vol. 11 Vise Leopard.12L.Ds - 04: Arc Bahamut 7Lift Xtend
- BG-10 Random Layer Collection Vol. 10 - 03: Arc Bahamut
- E1044 Balkesh B3 2Bump Atomic