Awoken Pandora is one of the most powerful leaders in Puzzle and Dragons as she combines both burst and survivability. Dark monsters have historically been the strongest colour as they have amazing synergy and a deep sub pool. Thankfully, there are a number of dark devils to draw upon and only main weakness is bind removal options. plays similarity to Awoken Lucifer teams in that they both share the same durable row-based playstyle. You can read my guide HERE. Lastly, you are able to control your damage through dark row activation as well as stacking actives to unleash some of the highest total burst damage in the game.
- Ability to control your damage as this is becoming more relevant with specific absorption shields that require you to hit less damage
- Bolstered health and recovery allow for easier stalling and removes the need to bring damage mitigation
- Leaders have a combined 6 dark row , 2 skill lock resist , and 2 time extend awakenings
- Recover Bind awakening can be powerful provided leaders are not bound
- Spectacular burst damage potential
- Active is an amazingly powerful tool to generate dark orbs, hearts, and haste
- A pretty girl with flowers and a magical box
- Vulnerable to binds. This is becoming a more relevant issue with unbindable leaders becoming more common and dungeons having more pre-emptive binds
- Bind removal sub options are quite limited and unable to fully utilize Yomi Dragon
- Row based teams face a tougher time against bosses with higher combo shield requirements as rows take up more space on the board.
- Ideal team building is quite REM heavy as you wish to focus on awakenings
- Reliant on actives to form multiple rows in order to achieve high burst damage
- Orb hungry as you require 8 to hit your 25x multiplier
- Each awakening adds 10% damage
- Every matched combo adds 25% more damage
- However, a connected 6 match deals 1.75x your base attack value while 2 separate combos is 2x base attack
- Thus you need 4.2 to “break even” (instead of matching 2 unique sets of 3 dark orbs)
This is excluding the ease of matching additional combos along side your row. Thus you wish to have as many to help compensate for the loss of combo potential. However, your two leaders already provide 6 dark row awakenings and any sub you bring can be seen as an added bonus.
Single orb changers:
These subs have low cooldowns and can convert a single type of orb into dark. One benefit to a fast orb changer is the ability to consistently form a row in order to sweep dangerous floors.
5 turn CD
|Claire combines style, grace, power, and beauty all into one amazing monster! Sporting 2 dark rows and 2 awakenings along with the often overlooked enhanced heart orb awakening. . significantly increases your healing potential along with retaining the enhanced status when converted into dark orbs. Only drawbacks of using is a lack of and removing heart orbs with her active. Granted this synergizes well with most other actives, but you may need to heal and deal lethal damage in the same turn.|
8 turn CD
|Awoken Anubis is another viable single orb changer that converts jammers, poison, and wood orbs to dark. This provides some synergy with Zuoh along with preventing the need to bring other actives to remove full boards of poison. The 5x counter attack has niche uses versus bosses with perseverance provided you can survive their 1% execution ability. Unfortunately, ‘s awakenings are not very synergetic unless you are in need of extra or baiting out fire binds.|
5 turn CD
|Hanzo is a powerful and synergetic orb changer as he can be combo-ed with most popular board changers to create dark heavy boards. Unfortunately, his low base stats and a lack of can place constraints on team building.|
5 turn CD
|Vampire is a farmable option for a fast orb changer. Sadly his awakenings and base stats are quite poor and will most likely be a placeholder until you have a stronger sub. On the bright side, his active can be combined with many other orb changers to create a dark heavy board.|
7 turn CD
|Grisar is a luxury farmable sub sub who is now more easily obtainable through coop and Mythical Plus Devil Rush. Once max skilled, provides a light to dark orb change along with haste on a 7 turn cooldown. Awakenings wise, provides 2 dark rows along with the coveted which eases team building. Furthermore, his base stats and art are top notch. The main downside is his active competes with other popular orb changers and cannot be used in conjunction with any dark board changers. Lastly, his amazingly high base attack value is critical to bursting through the 10M defence PreDRAs in Arena 2.|
5 turn CD
|The Summer Valkyrie is Hot with a capital H. Furthermore, she comes in 2 colours to suit your tastes. Looks aside, functions like her regular REM sister, , except you have the highly desired instead of .|
5 turn CD
|Halloween Vampire is essnetially a less pretty and powerful version of due to less awakenings, lower base stats, and lower sex appeal. Bright side, his hair is pretty fabulous.|
Double orb changers:
These subs convert 2 different orbs to dark and either heart or dark orbs and allows for easier matching as you are dealing with only 4 elements. It is wise to bring at least 1 of these subs as they provide power through their awakenings, actives, and some utility.
8 turn CD
9 CD + haste
|To help you better chose which Pandora is right for you, please read my comparison post HERE. However, I would recommend using the evolution as a sub if you are struggling with recovery which is something most devil teams lack. Of course this can be compensated with more plus eggs, but it may make it easier in the short term. Furthermore, requires a heavier investment in terms of evolution and skill ups. Do note higher end teams will choose Awoken as a sub because of the haste and chance to make a more system style team. Regardless of which evolution you choose, Pandora is an amazing sub on her own team as she offers dark and heart orb generation along with powerful and utility oriented awakenings. You can combine her heart making with a horizontal row of hearts to trigger 3 turns of bind removal through and is one of the few options for removing binds. Just keep in mind that Pandora can be bound, but it is at least an option.|
8 turn CD
|Persephone is far prettier in her dark/fire form and is only evolved to dark/wood because of the additional awakenings and most notably 2 . However, is not a devil and you would need to use to fully benefit from your leader’s multiplier. The 2 awakenings add significant increase to healing that should not be overlooked. Furthermore, the enhanced heal orbs will be converted into enhanced dark orbs. Row based teams love actives that can flood the board with dark orbs and is an amazing candidate. With the soon to be released awakenings buff in NA, has both God Killer awakenings. Lastly, she should be receiving an awoken evolution in the near future which may make her even more powerful.|
8 turn CD
|Despite not having an ultimate evolution, Akechi is one of the most powerful dark subs in the game. This is because he combines both a double orb changer and damage enhance into a single active. Furthermore, has incredible synergy with Haku as you will create a 2/3 board of dark orbs that are enhanced. An overall amazing sub should you be lucky enough to own him and will only grow in power with an ultimate evolution.|
| Yomi Dragon
9 turn CD
|Yomi Dragon is one of the 300k Monster Point Dragons and even though she is not a devil, is at least worth mentioning because is one of the best options for bind clearing in high level content. This is becasue she is both bind immune and can manufacture heart orbs to form a horizontal row to remove 3 turns of binds via recover bind awakening. In addition to the bind clearing ability, the other awakenings add valuable utility as well as being able to use the active in conjunction with other orb changers as it will guarantee 4 dark orb generation.|
| Gryps Rider
7 turn CD
|Gryps Rider is technically a double orb changer, but his net effect is changing hearts to dark with a longer cooldown. However, he has low base stats and awakenings that are reasonable, but a bit scattered in their focus. The main hindrance in using will be the challenge in max skill him.|
These subs provide you with the ability to augment your already impressive burst damage. This can be used to conserve orb changers to to ensure a particularly dangerous floor is killed safely.
Full board changers:
These subs provide a means to randomly transform the board into specific colours. This can be used to generate dark orbs or remove unwanted poison or jammers. Furthermore, they can be used in conjunction with another orb changer to create dark heavy boards that can be broken up into multiple rows.
One of the largest weaknesses for your team is having your leaders bound. When bound, you lose your health and recovery multiplier. This causes your team to lose their durability and become very fragile to most attacks. As such, bringing a bind clearing sub is almost mandatory for pre-emptive leader binds. However, if the floor will only bind at certain health thresholds or on their first turn, it is better to bring a burst active sub to try and one shot them instead. As a general rule, bind clearing subs bring little damage to your team as they lack offensive awakenings and their active for the most part is defensive in nature. Unfortunately, the depth of subs that can clear binds that are dark devils is quite small and you cannot use Yomi Dragon as effectively due to no devil typing. Do keep in mind your 2 leaders both posses a recover bind awakening along with a heart generating active. Unfortunately, this does nothing when they are bound.
Shielding / damage mitigation:
In all honesty, you most likely do not need a shield as your health pool should be large enough to survive any reasonable attack.
Gravities are coming back into style as end game bosses are starting to have gigantic health pools or the resolve/perseverance ability. By using a gravity, you can easily push a boss into a certain health percentage to bypass various mechanics. Furthermore, as you are playing a “slower” paced team, you can take your time in charging up your actives if they are not skilled up.
Delays / menace:
Even with the advent of more bosses having status void shields, delays are still valuable as you can use them to safely bypass different floors while conserving other actives or restalling for skills. In addition, it can be a way to avoid perseverance mechanics as you can bring the boss down to 1 HP and kill on the subsequent turn without being punished by their special execution abilities.
Niche / situational subs:
These subs have harder to define roles, but may come in handy under the right situation.
Team building for generally revolves around maximizing your awakenings along with orb changers, dungeon mechanics, and adjusting your skill lock resistance accordingly. Keeping this in mind, there is no “perfect” team that can clear all the current content and needs to be fluid and dynamic to adjust to new challenges. One of the key strengths to playing a 1.56x HP / 25x ATK / 1.56x RCV team is your inherit tankiness and ability to stall on what would normally be dangerous floors. This grants you flexibility with subs as you may be able to grind it out instead. However, a large part of your damage multiplier is tied to using an active and it may be beneficial to try and bring a sub who has a 5 turn cooldown to more readily proc your full multiplier. When deciding if you need to bring a bind clearing sub, you need to determine the nature of the binds: is it a preemptive, are you capable of stalling it out, and is it possible to burst through the floor and thus bypass the bind? As a general rule, bind clearing subs lack damage output so it may be advisable to bring a burst oriented sub instead if the bind only occurs at certain health percentages. Furthermore, binds on your subs are usually not as important and it is only when your leaders are bound that danger arises due to losing your tankiness. Lastly, all the subs discussed above are devil type and fully benefit from your multiplier. You can still use subs who are non-devil types, but they will only be receiving 16x ATK and not contribute any additional HP or RCV. The following Video showcases clearing Arena 2. The burst damage is simply amazing. PreDRAs at ~8:35. Grisar is key due to the amazingly high base attack value.
teams do not require specific latents for optimal usage outside of a single monster having rainbow resists (1% of each colour) in order to avoid 100% gravity attacks. After that, you are free to latent awaken as you please, but it is always fashionable to maximize dark resist latents in order to mitigate the DQ Hera pre-emptive as well as most of the scariest monsters being dark. If you are wishing to clear Arena 1 or 2, it does not hurt to have a full fire resist on a monster to help mitigate the damage of the Kalis below 50% HP. More reading on Latents can be found HERE.
teams play differently than rainbow burst teams as your damage is strongly tied to active usage and formation of . As such, you are going to have to stall periodically throughout the dungeon in order to unleash your explosive damage. You should always enter endless corridors to test your damage output (with a 1 or 2 rows matched) to give yourself a relative idea of how much damage you can deal. This is important because you may need to stall on a floor to acquire 8+ dark orbs to trigger your awakenings and full 25x damage. Being focused requires a different strategy for matching as it may seem “easy” at first glance. However it is quite challenging to safely manufacture multiple rows and ideally combos alongside. It will take practice in finding the best way to break up your rows because if they connect, you lose the additional bonus. This is where careful active usage and comes into play as ways to ease your matching. Because you need to match 8+ orbs to trigger 25x, you will need to practice finding ways to safely organize your board.
In addition, you should determine your base recovery (how much healed when matching 3 heart orbs) as each subsequent combo adds 25% healing. For example, 6,000 base recovery will heal 12,000 HP when matching those 3 hearts and 4 additional combos (5 in total). You will need to stall throughout the dungeon and this information helps you determine if an active is needed. Also, try to make a tentative plan and mental note of which floors you want to use actives. This provides some guideline to your usage and helps you plan out your team composition and awakenings accordingly. When determining how much skill lock resist you should try to achieve, you need to determine how dangerous having your skills locked is. Can you stall through the binding floor without actives? If the answer is yes, you may not have to alter your subs if it hinders your performance on other floors. The same can be applied to monster binds: if the bind does not target your leaders, feel free to just stall it out instead of gimping your team with a bind clearing sub. Just remember your 2 both have the awakening and heart generating active.
You also have to get into the mindset that you are not going to enter a descend guns blazing and sweep every floor. Stalling is key to success and is a challenge in itself. Thankfully, it is almost impossible to trigger a match. Therefore, just focus on healing and do not worry if sets of 3 dark orbs are matched as they will do very little damage.
Let me know what you use in the comments below and feel free to ask for team building advice.