The Final Fantasy Collab is one of the most popular and powerful collaborations available in Puzzle and Dragons. The various cards feature unique actives along with powerful leadership potential. Furthermore, GungHo has significantly buffed many of these cards to keep them relevant in today’s meta along with introducing new characters.
This post will cover all the changes that have been implemented for November, 2016 along with my thoughts and commentary for each of the monsters.
On a different note, all players above rank 50 will gain a free roll in the Final Fantasy Collab and you may get lucky.
Final Fantasy REM Overview
|6 Star Rolls|
|5 Star Rolls||
|4 Star Rolls|
Note about Skill Inheritance
Any card that comes out of a Collab REM or REM that can achieve at least a 5-star form is able to be used as an assistant for Skill Inheritance. This means all the Final Fantasy cards can be used as assistants and you should think twice before vendoring any of them. For more information about Skill Inheritance, feel free to check out my guide HERE.
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6 Star Rolls
The following monsters are both the rarest and most powerful cards available from the Final Fantasy REM. However, each day of the Final Fantasy Collab will feature one 6-star having a higher than normal roll rate on a rotating basis:
Attacker / Machine
6 star base
R Column + haste
7 turn CD
2x HP & ATK for Attacker & Machines. 3x ATK on turn skill used
4x HP / 36x ATK
|Cloud is one of the rarer pulls from the Final Fantasy Collab REM as he starts in a 6-star base form. His ultimate evolution granted him the Devil Killer awakening which allows him to deal 3x damage to devil type bosses. Cloud is sometimes met with criticism as his active is somewhat underwhelming if you do not have a team full of haste cards and his sub viability is modestly low. Furthermore, his leadership potential is quite restrictive as his ideal team consists of an outdated “Cloud System.”
System teams consist of multiple dupes of the same monster who posses a haste component on their active. This allows for an infinite loop of actives as the haste chains with each other. The most common (and farmable) system team is a Scarlet System which allows you to use 3 actives per turn. However, Cloud spawns light orbs in a fixed position and prevents you from using multiple Cloud actives each turn. This does not reduce the viability of running multiple Clouds on your team as you can use an active every turn and easily match a TPA from the 5 generated light orbs. In order to fully proc your multiplier, you need to use an active each turn and this can be challenging without heavily invested subs. A viable replacement for duplicate Clouds is Leonis who changes the right most column into light orbs along with 1 turn haste on a 7 turn cooldown. They also have double TPA awakenings and fulfils the system requirements while embracing a cyber-killer robot cat persona. Failing that, some other options include Superman , Awoken Apollo , Alcyone , Baal , Pollux , Thor , Shedar , and Ilm . Just be aware that you may struggle with healing as most machine and attacker types have naturally low RCV and will be unable to deal damage without using an active.
With all that being said, a Cloud system predominately works only in solo mode and with the advent of coop, you have access to far stronger farming leaders.
Balance / Devil
6 star base
Enhance all orbs and 2 turns haste
13 turn CD
2x ATK mathcing 4 colours, 3x when 5 colours. 3x ATK & RCV for Attacker and Devil types
81x ATK / 2.25x RCV
|Sephiroth forms a powerful 81x ATK / 2.25x RCV rainbow leader who is somewhat similar to Ra Dragon as both have a haste active, type restriction, and modest RCV bonus. Granted Sephiroth has inferior awakenings and lower damage multiplier, his activation requirements are lower. One key factor that sets Sephiroth apart from other rainbow leaders is the ability to heal and stall. Most rainbow teams only have an attack multiplier and this can cause them to falter in higher end content if stalling is needed. This allows Sephiroth to stay reasonably relevant in today’s meta along with the addition of Attacker and God Killer awakenings. Combine this with his high base attack (2,302) and double Two Prong Attack awakenings, you can achieve spectacularly high damage. Perhaps Sephiroth’s greatest asset is his sheer power in machine heavy dungeons such as Machine Zeus and Hera as your machine killer awakening simply tears through them like a knife in hot butter.
Another nice factor about Sephiroth is the ability to have some damage control. If you do not match 4+ colours, you only have 9x ATK. This becomes crucial in dungeons where damage control is needed. In regards to team building, you ideally wish to bring only Devil and Attacker type monsters and a brief list would include: Ichigo , both Lucifers / , Halloween Alraune , Awoken Yomi , Claire , Z8 , Oku /, Loki , Durga , and Halloween Kali .
The biggest hurdle you face when team building is trying to optimize your dark subs while covering all your required colours (as Sephiroth offers no sub colour of his own). Furthermore, without a Skill Bind Resist awakening, you must find a sub who has two in order to achieve 100% immunity. Using a sub who does not have either dark as their primary attribute or devil/attacker typing can be done, but it will diminish your output. Perhaps if you badly need to cover a specific two elements such as wood and water, you could use Awoken Isis (who at least is still devil type). Granted a gap in utility can be addressed through skill inheritance, but it may still be challenging to field an ideal team. However, coop mode allows for easier SBR coverage as your partner also contribute’s their awakenings.
Overall, Sephiroth is a powerful rainbow leader who is capable of clearing end game content.
Attacker / Healer
6 star base
50% damage reduction for 1 turn. 1 turn haste
9 turn CD
4x ATK when matching 4 elements, ATK increases with 6+ combos, up to 3x ATK at 9 combos
|Yuna is not only beautiful (all of her icons are just glamour shots), but with her new buff, forms a powerful 144x ATK rainbow/combo team. She has a similar leader skill to Awoken Sakuya in that they are both a rainbow and combo leaders, except Yuna has far less chance at orb troll as you can match ANY 4 elements (including heal orbs) to deal damage. In addition, your multiplier starts at 16x and ramps up to 144x at 9 combos.
This is a very forgiving leader skill as you should in theory be able to always match 4 elements along with 7 combos on every board. This translates to 64x ATK which should be sufficient for most content. The ample Time Extends give you an additional cushion for forming combos and her dual SBR help alleviate team building constraints in solo mode.
When team building Yuna, you should try to prioritize light cards who cover her various sub elements to better concentrate your damage as you are able to use orb changers to create light heavy boards. This means subs like Pollux , Apollo , and Baal can be successfully used as you can benefit from their orb changers.
Yuna’s main weakness is her lack of offensive awakenings (TPA, orb enhance, rows) and a vulnerability to binds. 144x is still amazing damage, but on a rainbow team, your damage is less concentrated and without any additional means to boost damage from your leaders, you may struggle to clear end game content. In addition, she does not provide any defensive multiplier and makes her far more vulnerable compared to the tankier leaders of today.
Active-wise, Yuna provides a 50% shield and haste which is quite powerful as you can cycle your subs skill’s faster and survive large preemptives without altering your team composition. As such, I would suggest using the RCV badge in solo mode.
Attacker / Devil
6 star base
9 turn CD
2x ATK & RCV for Dark att. 2.5x ATK at 2 dark combos. 4.5x ATK with 3 dark combos
81x ATK / 4x RCV
Attacker / Physical
6 star base
9 turn CD
2.5x ATK & RCV for Light Cards. 3x ATK with light and dark combos
56.25x ATK / 4x RCV
|Cecil is unique amongst the 6 FF Collab REM in that they do not have an ultimate evolution, but have a branched evolution tree instead. Their dark form is still the stronger option as a leader, but both use the same active skill.
The dark form of Cecil has become a Zaerog Infinity on sterioids as they now provide 81x ATK with only 3 dark combos along with 4x RCV. This almost puts them on par with Sarasvati as you are trading a slightly smaller multiplier for a massive amount of recovery. This means Cecil will be able to stall and recharge for actives provided they can survive an attack. Their dual TPA awakenings is pushing for a more prong heavy team and you can run a single Eschamali for the the orb enhance and skyfall buff. After that, you are pretty free to do as you please as you already have two board changers and a board flood/skyfall active.
With the passive 30% damage reduction from dark monsters from dual leaders, you have the potential to survive a DQ Hera preemptive and you can further improve your chances with the +15% HP badge in solo mode.
Cecil’s active is very powerful for a tri-colour board changer as he creates two useful orb types. The heart orbs allow you to heal and deal damage while having great synergy with the variety of heart breakers available. In addition, they can be used as an inherit on light teams (most notably Myr ) as you can have beautiful synergy with DQXQ and Elia .
The main downsides to leading with Cecil is a vulnerability to binds and a somewhat difficult time in controlling your damage.
As a sub, Cecil can be used on most dark teams due to their powerful active and utility oriented awakenings. Furthermore, their devil typing allows them to be used on both Awoken Pandora and Awoken Lucifer teams due to the powerful synergy with heartbkreakers or Grisar to form 2/3 dark boards. Even without a row enhance , the additional time extend can be vital to helping you form better combos. Perhaps their best fit would be on a Gremory team as his devil typing paired with an ideal board changer can get your out of trouble. Furthermore, the two Time Extends greatly improve your matching on what is normally a time starved team. You could also use Cecil on an Awoken Oku team to capitalize on the board change, TPA, and Time Extends.
Overall a powerful card to own and a very desirable active for Skill Inheritance.
Attacker / Healer
6 star base
+ 10,000 true damage to all enemies
10 turn CD
4x ATK when matching 4 colours, 5x when matching 5 colours. 2.5x ATK / 2x RCV when clearing 5 connected light orbs.
156.25x ATK / 4x RCV
|Lightning combines free-flowing flowers, 156x ATK, and Valkyrie/Minerva fashion into one amazing card! The first thing that jumps out is the incredibly high 156x ATK multiplier that can utilize light row awakenings. Her playstyle is very similar to Awoken DQXQ as both are rainbow leaders who can control their damage via matching chains of connected light orbs. The ability to control your damage from 16-126x is invaluable in high end content where numerous bosses have damage absorption shields. Furthermore, it is nearly impossible to go over 20.25x ATK as you need to match a chain of connected light orbs. If you wish to feel insecure about your matching skills, please watch Reco’s video of using Lightning as a means to gain a better understanding of how she works.
As a leader, Lightning is amazing for her burst potential, but faces gaps in her awakenings that requires you to create interesting teams to accommodate a lack of SBR and vulnerability to binds. Furthermore, you have to find subs to cover the other 4 elements as Lightning is not dual colour. If you are able to address all these issues, you will still have to deal with a lack of an HP multiplier. Thankfully, Lightning comes with a built in full board changer that also has a true damage component to deal with high defense monsters such as PreDRAs . One notable sub worth mentioning is Pollux who has 2 skill bind resists and an active that provides light orb generation. Lastly, the God Killer awakening allows Lightning to burst for incredible values versus god type bosses.
With her leader skill buff, Lightning has improved her damage output along with gaining a massive 4x RCV component. This helps put her more on par with higher tier leaders as you are able to sustain yourself after taking damage. A lack of HP will still be a drawback, but you can help compensate for that with the +15% solo badge or coop.
As a sub, Lightning may be overlooked for other full board changers due to a lack of diverse awakenings that help true rainbow leaders. In addition, her active is on a 10-turn cooldown and this feels painful compared to Dark Kali who is only 7 turns. The true damage component goes largely to waste in most dungeons and the additional 3 turns on the cooldown may cause you to elect other options. However, with all that being said, Lightning is perhaps one of the strongest board change inherits for Ra Dragon teams as you come with a built in PreDRA execution along with offering 10 turns of delay protection if used on your Dark Kali.
Overall, Lightning is an incredibly potent leader if you are able to build a team to address her weaknesses and with Skill Inheritance, you can further cover her shortcomings. However, most of her value may be through her role as an assistant on Ra Dragon teams.
Attacker / Physical
6 star base
35% damage reduction for 3 turns
8 turn CD
5x ATK, 2x RCV when erasing 7+ connected fire or light orbs. 7×6 board
25x ATK / 4x RCV
|Tifa is a literal game changer as she transforms your board into a 7×6 pattern. An enlarged board means you are able to form additional combos and make a more powerful row with 7 orbs. This is a new mechanic and will become popular when running niche leader that require either additional combos/space. However, Tifa requires 7 connected light orbs for her own activation, so pairing with Kenshin or other colour cross leaders is unwise. Thus, we need to find an appropriate pairing as 25x ATK with dual TIfa is not relevant in today’s meta.
First off, we need to find leaders who also enjoy light rows in order to not let Tifa’s 5 and leader skill go to waste. Off the top of my head, Awoken DQXQ , Lightning , future Ilm , and Xiu Min come to mind. DQXQ is normally played as a 64x row leader as it is usually more beneficial to form the row and trigger the awakenings bonus instead of a 7 light blob. This solves the problem as a row is now 7 orbs. This means Tifa + DQXQ will yield a 50x ATK / 2x RCV leader. This is respectable, but you also have to take into consideration the enlarged board and additional damage you yield from more combos. Lightning can follow a similar train of thought and is perhaps a stronger pairing as you can achieve 62.5x ATK / 4x RCV. With an enlarged board, it is easier to activate these rainbow/row leaders as you are more likely to have your required elements.
Outside of a leadership role, Tifa can be utilized on any mono-light team as her awakenings and active provide both utility and damage. Tifa is able to convert heart orbs to light (bad in a heart cross meta) along with providing a 35% damage reduction on an 8 turn cooldown. This is amazing value as it blends two components into a relatively short cooldown. Granted the actives are somewhat counter-intuitive (shielding but removing heart orbs), but it is powerful nevertheless. Tifa can also act as the fire sub on mono-light oriented rainbow teams.
Physical / Attacker
6 star base
+1 combo for 1 turn
7 turn CD
1.5x HP/ATK/RCV but cannot erase 3 connected orbs. 3x ATK with 3 combos. 6x with 6+ combos
2.25x HP / 81x ATK / 2.25x RCV
|Noctis will be a powerful leader in the hands of a skilled player as he restricts your ability to form combos. This combo restriction comes in the form of not being able to match 3 connected orbs (which is the norm) and forces players to connect at least 4. This naturally makes Noctis a TPA oriented leader and is capable of dealing amazing damage while retaining a large defensive multiplier. Noctis passively provides 2.25x HP / RCV to all cards and this is fantastic as it helps him keep abreast to the lower shielding heart cross leaders. This also puts him inline with Ra Dragon and Krishna from a defensive point of view if you discredit the matching restriction. However, Noctis can still be bound and is vulnerable to gravity based attacks.
When trying to team build Noctis, you should try to prioritize dark TPA cards such as Satsuki , Awoken Haku , Lumiel , and Persephone . These cards will provide wonderful damage along with beneficial orb changers who help provide sufficient dark orbs for comboing. It may be challenging to form 6+ combos for full activation, but you can use Noctis’s active to add one more. However, the inability to easily form combos will also mean you can have a larger degree of damage control as a skyfall is far less likely to occur. This can be advantageous when stalling or when facing absorption bosses. Finally, the ample time extend will greatly aid in matching
Noctis will probably not see much usage as a sub due to his lackluster active (in most scenarios). However, if you can capitalize on his devil killer or require him as a sub on Sephiroth teams for the light coverage, he may work out.
5 Star Rolls
The 5 star rolls vary in power and some are quite strong due to their awakenings and active skill. None make stellar leads, but can be used on a variety of teams and all qualify for skill inheritance.
4 Star Rolls
Rounding out the Final Fantasy Collab REM is the silver 4-star rolls. These cards are okay and mostly for nostalgia. To further diminish their value, they have no farmable skill up material and requires py investment if you wish to max skill.
Monster Point Exclusive
These monsters are given out as a gift alongside the Final Fantasy event and everyone will acquire them. They cannot be used as assistants via Skill Inheritance and instead must be used as subs if you wish to utilize them.
The Final Fantasy Collab REM is one of the strongest to date as the depth of powerful monsters to be rolled combined with a relatively timely North American release grants these monsters some preservation from Powercreep. When deciding to roll in Collabs over Player’s Choice Godfest or 5x GFE events, you need to consider how much value you can gain. Final Fantasy features numerous unique actives and monsters that are not able to be replicated by normal monsters. This adds a certain dimension of depth to your monster box and is worth rolling in the Final Fantasy Collab.
Let me know who you are most excited for and how many stones you have saved up.