[Meta Snapshots] Transformation Leaders

Introduction

The leadership landscape of Puzzle and Dragons has greatly changed over the years with various playstyles emerging to counter the current hardest content available.

Change is needed for any longstanding game as it would become stale if the same content was continuously reused and having new toys to work with is also exciting.

At this point in time, the current strongest leader skill mechanics to abuse are 7×6 boards and Auto Follow Up Damage. A larger board greatly benefits essentially every team for both combo count, damage output, and activation consistency whereas Auto Follow Up Damage trivializes Resolve spawns. Furthermore, teams that can combine both mechanics will have a further advantage compared to other options.

With that being said, I wish to take a closer look at how Transformation cards (eg. Fagan Rai ) function in Puzzle and Dragons as I feel GungHo is going to start pushing this mechanic in the future. This will force players to run different team compositions (Skill Boost Skill Boost becomes highly prized) which inevitably means players will need to roll more to get on this hype train.

Video commentary

–video coming soon–

How Transformation cards work

Transformation cards come in a pre-Transform state and can only be “evolved” within a dungeon after having their active skill charge up. This will unlock a completely new kit with significantly improved awakenings, stats, and leader skill. With that being said, their Base form is often lacking and requires careful team building with a heavy emphasis on Skill Boosts in order to Transform on turn 1.

For example, Fagan Rai requires 22 Skill Boosts to Transform and provides zero in his Base form. This means you must find 22 Skill Boosts between 4 Dragon subs and 6 inherits in order to be truly successful (depending on the dungeon it may be possible to stall a turn or two but you are quite weak).

With this in mind, it can become quite a challenge for solo mode players who do not possess more of the luxurious cards/inherits. As such, many players have taken a coop approach as Skill Boosts are shared. This greatly lessens the Skill Boost burden per card or players will simply opt for Coop Disconnect.

Disconnecting from Coop will revert you back to solo mode which will provide Super Awakenings while retaining the Skill Boosts from your former partner. You do lose out on a Solo Mode badge but it is a sacrifice worth making.

This approach works well for players who have an alt account as you can sacrifice their stamina in order to enjoy 50% off for your Main.

Transformation cards must be stronger

Due to the dependency on Skill Boosts, Transformation cards must be stronger compared to cards of a similar rarity otherwise, they would simply be passed over for other options.

While Fagan Rai is powerful, he was the first Transforming card we have access to along with him being “free” (one of two possible Medal redeems) probably resulted in him being on the lower end of the power spectrum.

With that being said, future Transforming cards will most likely be even stronger and if we do get the Yu-Gi-Oh Collab, we will have access to a truly outrageous leader.

Now don’t get me wrong, we need to have Powercreep in Puzzle and Dragons in order to keep it fresh/exciting but I am not a huge fan of the whole Transformational idea.

Why I dislike Transforming

The concept of a card that can Transform within the dungeon is a pretty neat concept, I do not feel it will not provide much value for the overall health of the game.

This is because they will be stronger compared to other options but at least looking at Yu-Gi-Oh, they are not changing how we play the game, only how we team build.

Right now, Transforming cards have restrictions on the types of subs they can bring but at the same time must still meet the high Skill Boost requirements. This combination of a restrictive sub pool who then must have numerous Skill Boosts will drastically lower team building options and variety (assuming no Coop Disconnect).

At this point in time, I already feel we are somewhat restricted in terms of team building with many of my teams recycling the same set of subs and inherits and this problem will only grow worse with Transforming.

From a business point of view, it is a money maker as players will want to have the best possible team available and not only do they need the leader, but they will need the key set of subs and inherits.

As such, my biggest fear will be a repeat of Ra Dragon 3265 in that what was arguably the best team in the game having an unbelievably restrictive team composition. Furthermore, if we do receive several Transforming cards, dungeons will most likely increase in difficulty to compensate. This is a relatively natural cycle for PAD but having the best teams available having incredibly restrictive requirements is not healthy while probably being locked behind 7* GFE/9* Seasonals/Top rarity Collab cards etc.

My fear/concern is not having new cards that are more powerful, but new cards that are highly restrictive in terms of team building. In essence, my main dislike is how restrictive team building may become along with the jump in dungeon powercreep we may see in the future that pseudo requires Transforming to succeed.

Can Transforming be balanced?

I feel the entire concept of Transforming is difficult to balance as they have to be stronger compared to non-Transforming options otherwise players would not go through the hassle of bringing enough Skill Boosts to make it work.

I guess it would come down to how strong the actual card is along with the Skill Boosts required to Transform. With that being said, I feel they should at least offer a new mechanic, not just stronger parameters of what is currently available.

One idea that I have been thinking about is the concept of an “extra life” or Secondary Health Pool that triggers when you die. For example, this Secondary Health Pool could be 50% of your maximum HP and upon taking lethal damage, any overkill is assigned to this new Health Pool and if you survive, that is your new health for the dungeon.

For example if you take 125,000 damage and you have 100,000 HP, The Secondary Health Pool would take effect and you would then be left with 25,000/50,000 HP and this is what you play with for the rest of the dungeon. Yes it would be harder but it would also mean you may squeak out a victory that would have not occurred otherwise. Furthermore, maybe there is a mechanic to fully restore your maximum HP such as healing an exceptionally high number over time (eg. healing 2,000,000 HP from Heart orbs). Once doing that you return to your 100,000 HP pool but will no longer benefit from this revive mechanic. On the other hand, maybe this Secondary Health Pool could unlock new abilities/benefits while managing some sort of drawback.

This type of mechanic would most likely encourage Asymetrical Pairings (using two different leaders) which would also lower the Skill Boost requirements as there is a strong likelihood the second leader does not Transform.

Conclusion

Cards that can transform within a dungeon is one of the newest mechanics to be released within Puzzle and Dragons which will most likely open the door to new and powerful teams.

In essence, Transforming cards must be stronger compared to other options in order to justify the Skill Boost requirements along with possible compromises made to your subs/inherits. As such, my largest fear will be a new era of highly restrictive team building that does not actually introduce new mechanics, just stronger multipliers of existing cards.

With that being said, I am glad new content is being continuously added into the game even if I do not like the direction it could possibly go.

Regardless, let me know what you think about Transforming cards in the comments below and whether or not you can think of a possible solution/remedy to these cards.

Happy Puzzling!

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[Meta Snapshot] Are 10-Magic Stone REMs Good for PAD?

Introduction

Puzzle and Dragons is one of the oldest mobile games in the industry and has gone through countless changes. At this point in time, the meta largely revolves around rare Collab/Seasonal cards which are often best acquired through the Monster Exchange System with 6 and 7 star Godfest Exclusives being the most used fodder.

To a certain extent, the rolling side of PAD has become a game of acquiring as much Trade Fodder as possible to use during special events (tends to be “easier” compared to rolling the 2-2.5% for the specific card). To perhaps complicate matters further, forgone are the days of 5-Stone Godfests and most events now have 10-Magic Stone REMs.

From my own experience with other mobile gatcha games (Fire Emblem Heroes and Creature Quest), neither of them feature more expensive machines, they simply improve the rolling rates for better events while keeping the cost the same.

By comparison, PAD is flooded with more expensive machines that promise better cards overall but are they really a good thing in the long run?

This article will explore my thoughts on how 10-Stone machines are effecting the landscape of PAD for both non-IAP and IAP (In App Purchases) players.

Video commentary

–video coming soon–

PAD REMs compared to other games

The only other gatcha games I have experience with are Fire Emblem Heroes (FEH) and Creature Quest (CQ).

I have played FEH for a couple of years, albeit casually as I mostly play it while using an exercise bike in the morning and I float around Tier 20 in Arena and Tier 23 in Aether Raids. I try to keep up with Powercreep but due to how generous the game is with non-orb resources, it is possible to keep somewhat abreast through lower rarity merges. Continue reading [Meta Snapshot] Are 10-Magic Stone REMs Good for PAD?

[Meta Snapshots] Old Pantheon Cards Should have Weapon Assists

Preface

During the past few weeks while I have had an increase in health problems, I have had a modest amount of time to try and plan out new types of content to produce for your reading pleasure and have decided to pursue articles that discuss the current meta in Puzzle and Dragons and is more of a conversational piece as opposed to a Review.

My thought process is I wish to share various ideas that have been bouncing around my head or conversations I have had with friends and other PADdicts. These are easier and quite a bit of fun to write and would appreciate any feedback you have. Regardless, I wish to thank all of my readers for your continuous support and understanding these past few weeks.

Introduction

I have been thinking of ways to help revitalize older Pantheon cards and have come the conclusion that Super Reincarnated forms are not doing the trick. This is because they require both an exorbitant amount of Monster Experience along with modestly difficult to acquire Evolution materials for what usually amounts to an underwhelming card. While these cards do have merits to less developed boxes/newer accounts, the odds of those players being able to acquire them is slim and also runs the risk of being invalidated by rolling in Collab/Seasonal events.

I am well aware that GungHo is a company that needs to make money and by having the best cards being the rarest makes sense. With that being said, we are currently ‘enjoying’ an era where the best teams are mostly comprised of rare Collab/Seasonals and 7* Godfest Exclusives for all aspects of team building.

This is a far cry from several years ago when some Farmables and many Pantheon cards were considered valuable to own. Of course the rarer cards were still top tier, but at least we had more options overall.

Taking this into consideration, I still feel the best way to revive the Pantheon series is to give them Weapon Assists .

Video commentary

–video coming soon–

Current state of the game

At this point in time, the meta is largely defined by teams with High Effective Health who can also tap into reliable ATK activation along with an easier time for dealing with Void plus Resolve spawns. Building upon this, the two strongest abilities are 7×6 boards and/or Auto Follow Up Damage. Furthermore, we are also starting to see a greater shift towards solo play in difficult content as many teams rely on their Super Awakenings to overcome various spawns. Continue reading [Meta Snapshots] Old Pantheon Cards Should have Weapon Assists

Tifa x Haohmaru Versus Alt. Arena 3

Health update at end of article

Introduction

Alt. Arena 3 is considered the hardest dungeon in the game at this point in time and when it first came it out, it provided a great challenge to many players due to the revamped mechanics and health pools.

Despite having numerous lethal mechanics present, it can be cleared by a wide variety of teams but one important factor is consistency. Getting a single clear is great but being able to repeatedly farm this dungeon is invaluable from a rewards perspective.

For myself, Tifa x Haohmauru is my most consistent team due to the deep sub pool Light can draw from, 7×6, Auto Follow Up Damage, massive healing, and incredible damage potential.

At this point in time, 7×6 and Auto Follow Up Damage are the strongest leader skill mechanics and being able to utilize both of them will most likely solidify this leader pairing for a prolong period of time.

With this in mind, I wish to explore how I built my own team along with addressing the major hurdles that can be found in Alt. Arena 3.

Video clear

Notable Alt. Arena 3 mechanics

Alt. Arena 3 is currently the hardest dungeon available in North America and will push many teams to their limits. As such, it is important to understand the key mechanics that must be addressed.

Continue reading Tifa x Haohmaru Versus Alt. Arena 3

Orphen Versus Alt. Arena 3

Health update at end of article

Introduction

I wish to continue a new series of posts in which i share my successful Alt. Arena 3 clears for both the video and explanation/rationale for my sub choices. For this article, I wish to take a closer look at Orphen as he is a powerful leader who does not rely on 7×6 or Auto Follow Up Damage to succeed.

Furthermore, Orphen offers a modestly unique play style as you must manage your health and is dependent on Zaerog Core for success. With that being said, his Effective Health can be difficult to manage and his largest weakness is healing to just above 50% and losing his massive Damage Reduction shield.

This is by far his largest weakness and players should become familiar with their healing output to better gauge how much health will be replenished. On the other hand, this team can pump out a ridiculous amount of damage and tanky spawns should never be an issue.

Video clear


Notable Alt. Arena 3 mechanics

Alt. Arena 3 is currently the hardest dungeon available in North America and will push many teams to their limits. As such, it is important to understand the key mechanics that must be addressed.

Continue reading Orphen Versus Alt. Arena 3

A Less than Mantastic Health Update – No Kamen Rider Review

On July 6, 2014 I suffered a serious soccer injury to my lower back which left me unable to walk/stand for several months. Over time it has not improved despite numerous pain clinics, specialists, medications, etc. and I now live with severe chronic pain in both back and neck. There is no diagnosis and the most likely outcome is to live with horrible pain for the rest of my life. This has greatly impacted my ability to perform common tasks and requires numerous adjustments to try and lessen the pain.

Since January 1st, I am unable to stand upright, require assistance with walking (relying on a cane or person), need help using a towel after a shower, dressing, difficulty with bowel movements, and essentially any basic life function. I spend quite a fair amount of my day lying on my side in pseudo fetal position as I cannot fully extend my legs which also means I sit with my knees to my chest as well. On top of this, there is always a massive wave of pain whenever I need to reshift my position or move my back along with the constant sharp pain that comes with not even moving. Some people say to try and find things that take your breath away but gasping for air after trying to get to the bathroom is not what I call a good time.

I have not left the house in nearly a week and do not plan to until my variuos appointments at Saint Paul’s Hospital and their Intervention Pain Clinic  where I have several procedures lined up for Jan – April after an unsuccessful series of Lidocaine Infusions and other treatments in mid-late 2019.

Essentially, I have been unable to do much PAD-wise in 2020 but will try to resume my normal activities when the pain returns to its normal level. This morning is marginally better compared to yesterday but still far from my normal levels of pain and find it difficult to focus in general.

Thank you for your understanding and patience during this challenging time.

Question Time with Mantastic – January 2020

Introduction

The general gist of Question Time posts are for players to ask various PAD-related questions that do not have a simple/Google-able answer or related article on my website. I do play other games and have often found myself having specific/unique questions about it but have no where to go and can imagine this may hold true for some of my readers.

With that being said, there will be some restrictions on the types of questions I will be answering.

If planning on commenting on a regular basis, it is advantageous to create a WordPress account to both receive notifications as well as giving me a point of reference as to who I am responding to.

Do’s and Don’t

download For the most part, almost any question will be answered, even some non-invasive Off-Topic ones; however, it is best to ask questions that require explanation/why/my personal opinion. The following examples are Fantastic types of questions to ask:

  • Of these options, what is the best Yusuke team I can make for Arena 3?
  • What direction do you think GungHo will take with the 4x HP leads?
  • Can Heart Cross teams be revived and if so, how?

x The following types of questions will not be answered by me either because it has a simple Google-able answer or shows a lack of effort on the reader’s part:

  • Anything that Google/Padx can answer
  • A link to your entire Monster Box and saying “make me a team”

Conclusion

I hope my readers use this opportunity to ask questions that will hopefully improve their overall game play and progression.

Happy Puzzling!

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