I normally do not provide much thoughts on future JP news as it does not apply to NA for usually 1-2 months. However, the most recent JP stream showcased numerous new evolutions, quality of life changes, and new game mechanics. I wish to take the time to review all of the new things coming to Puzzle and Dragons.
The Final Fantasy buffs will be covered in a separate post and the review will be updated accordingly. I will be reviewing Bleach whenever it is scheduled to come to NA.
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Skill Inheritance changes
Puzzle and Dragons is by nature a grind-oriented game. However, there is fun grinding and there is tedious grinding. GungHo is doing their best to cut down on the more boring aspects so you can focus your stamina playing fun content.
Skill Inheritance has been a well received mechanic and it has given viability for cards that had lackluster bodies and powerful actives. Unfortunately, the process is somewhat costly to perform as each transfer costs 2 million coins and requires 4 tans. The coins were usually not too much of an issue, but collecting the right colour tans is mostly a stamina sink/loss as the dungeon is not fun to play and is more of a chore than pleasure.
As such, GungHo has revamped the transfer process to not require Tans and reducing the gold cost down to 1 million. This is wonderful as players will now be able to swap out inherits on a whim and your monster box will be less cluttered. By being able to break and transfer skills more easily, you will be able to build niche teams and tackle various mechanics without worrying about the collateral cost to be fully prepared.
In addition to these changes, monsters will now receive a stat bonus when both the base and assistant monster are the same primary attribute. The exact bonus is unclear, but you can now use Skill Inheritance as a way to bolster your monsters as well as providing a new skill and skill delay protection.
Changes to Tans
Skill Inheritance has no further need for Tans and they are now used as a means to skill up monsters. You will require 6 of the same colour tans to form a King Tan.
This King Tan will then be used as part of a power up fusion to guarantee skill ups when fused in conjunction with same-attribute skill up materials. This will result in a 100% skill up per skill up material.
From the above example, Zeus Dios will receive 4 skill ups. This may seem too good to be true, and to a certain extent it is as you are now able to spend less time grinding skill ups and more time focusing on new content.
However, this new skill up method only works for monsters that have farmable skill up materials. Thus, many/most of the Awoken cards, MP Dragons, or monsters with challenging/long dungeons (think Machine Athena) will still use Py to skill them up. The Tan skill up method provides diversification and an alternative to grinding.
Latent awakening changes
The latent awakening system has been a way to add customization to your teams along with providing additional utility or survivability to help counter specific dungeon mechanics. With the new changes, players will have additional options for their teams along with an improved overwriting system.
First off, players will now be able to choose which latents to overwrite. It still baffled me as to why this was not implemented upon initial release, but it adds a significant improvement to our quality of life.
North America has recently received the option to add a 6th latent awakening at the cost of a +297 sacrifice. Prior to this announcement, these appeared to be excessive and not required for success. However, GungHo is now rolling out improved awakenings that take up two slots and provide a stronger boost compared to what is currently available. These include all stat latents (+1.5% HP, +1% ATK, +5% RCV) along with special Killer latents that provide 1.5x ATK bonus damage against a specific type. These latent awakenings will take up two slots to help offset their additional power.
The all stat latent is powerful as it provides the same benefits as 1 HP, ATK, and RCV latent awakenings. This will save you one net slot and will be beneficial if your targeted monster has strong stats in at least two departments.
With the Killer Awakenings, you will be able to deal up to 3.375x ATK against a specific boss type. However, there will be restrictions to which monsters can receive these Killer latents as they have to possess a specific typing themselves (as lifted from puzzledragonx):
Balanced type cards can receive any Killer latents
God Killer: Devil/Machine
Dragon Killer: Healer
Devil Killer: Attacker/God
Machine Killer: Physical/Dragon
Balanced Killer: Machine
Attacker Killer: Healer
Physical Killer: Attacker
Healer Killer: Physical/Dragon
This may play a role in deciding which evolution to choose as many Awoken forms lose certain typings along with providing more value for the Reincarnated forms who regain a third typing.
Killer Awakenings are very powerful when farming specific dungeons, but can be a small nightmare in randomized dungeons such as Arena where having one monster deal significantly higher damage can result in an inability to by pass absorption mechanics. When deciding to use Killer latents, think carefully as to where you plan on using that monster etc.
These changes apply to awakenings (unlocked via Tamadras) and are quite powerful overall.
There will now be a combo awakening that provides 2x ATK when achieving 7 or more combos. This is a huge damage boost and will allow combo-oriented teams to deal enough damage as they are less able to take advantage of rows or TPA. Provides a safer alternative to Killer awakenings as there is an activation clause and can be “turned off.”
Furthermore, the previously worthless autoheal awakening is now able to restore 800 HP every turn instead of 500. This is a buff, but it is still a largely moot as there are stronger options. For example, Gabriel will now provide 3,200 HP every turn instead of 2,000.
One thing that makes Puzzle and Dragons amazing is the fact they go back and buff older cards. They never actually nerf monsters and the team you had 2 years ago can still clear the same content it was capable of today (or more with Skill Inheritance/solo badges/coop etc.). For example, Minerva was once considered the worst monster in the game and when her Awoken form was released, she immediately regained relevance. She has since cooled down, but will be regaining popularity with her reincarnated form .
Both the Odins are losing their Abs in their new split form evolutions. These are new evolutions that require you to de-evolve your current Odin and is done to better choose your awakenings and leader skill. Both Odins retain their original active skills.
Green Odin most of his auto heal awakenings for an additional Skill Boost , TPA , and recover bind . This is amazing as Green Odin can now be used as a viable bind clearing sub on mono wood or rainbow teams. His leadership potential was diminished as his maximum multiplier was reduced from 3.5x -> 2.5x, but I feel this is a fair trade for sub viability. You also trade your balance typing for attacker and lose a significant amount of RCV.
Blue Odin has been in an awkward place for a long time as he has both 3 water rows and 3 TPA awakenings. This essentially means he has 6 awakenings as you cannot feasibly mix and match when matching. However, with his new evolution, you lose all the TPA to gain a fourth skill boost and full bind immunity.
The fourth skill boost has value on button teams teams as his base cooldown is only 6 turns. However, the bind immunity grants Blue Odin tremendous value on mono water teams as he can now be transformed into a hard bind clear. who has massive damage output through his high weighted stats and rows. You do lose the physical typing for attacker (but still increase your maximum HP) and lose a significant amount of recovery. This also means you cannot use him on Blue Sonia teams.
New reincarnated evolutions
The reincarnated process transforms an awoken monster into an improved form that has augmented stats (around 1,000 total weighted), a third typing, and a revamped leader skill. You still retain the same active skill as the awoken form (no further skill ups required), but your monster is reset back to level 1. Unless you desperately require the sub colour for a rainbow team, you should always make the reincarnated form.
Awoken Bastet was once heraleded as a top tier wood TPA combo leader. However, she has fallen far from grace to the point where hardly anyone runs her any more. With her reincarnated evolution, players were hoping to regain some of that relevance, but sadly, she still falls short. She is still a combo leader with an active skill clause for full multiplier which can cap out at 156.25x ATK. 156.25x ATK is still powerful, but being forced to use an active skill or suffering only 25x is painful. In longer dungeons, you will not be able to liberally use actives and being forced to stall without any defensive benefits will be challenging.
On the plus side, Reincarnated Bastet helps revive wood TPA teams and will still be able to clear plenty of high level content. She will excel in shorter dungeons where you can liberally use active skills and will be fun to use.
The One True God has undergone a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows. He has always been known for his amazing ATK multiplier at the cost of sometimes unrealistic combo count. This has not changed in his reincarnated form, but instead, he has been further boosted to 900x ATK when using an active skill. Maybe this is overkill in today’s meta, but outrageous damage will always have a place in PAD and with the introduction of bonus to combo count actives, Anubis may have more stability.
In addition to his revamped leader skill, Anubis has also been granted a recover bind awakening alongside his bind immunity. This opens up options on various mono dark teams as you can improve his active with a dark/heart orb generation to unbind and deal damage.
Monster Point Dragon evolutions
The original 5 Monster Point Dragons peaked in power at the time of their release, but for the most part have fizzled out over the years. The evolution materials may be challenging to acquire, but it is worth the investment if you already own these dragons. I will be going into more detail for some of these dragons in a future posting.
If you did not tell me this was Neptune Dragon, I would have never made the connection between the new artwork. It is almost too flashy to look at, but it does look impressive. Neptune Dragon suffered from a lack of damage and was somewhat fragile prior to his evolution. However, he has now been transformed into a 100x ATK row leader who also provides 2.25x HP / RCV to God types.
This is pretty amazing as you are now able to achieve massive burst damage alongside of amazing durability. You can now safely stall for actives as you should have 60-70k HP in solo mode along with massive base RCV. You also have amazing damage control as you are able to choose how many orbs to connect as it is unlikely to skyfall a massive clump of water or dark orbs.
Unfortunately, you are still vulnerable to binds, combo shields, a poor leader active, and have a somewhat restricted sub pool. You are able to better customize your team via Skill Inheritance, but will either have to use less ideal evolutions of some monsters to retain their god typing or wait for reincarnated forms. Presently, you will be unable to utilize Ryune or Blue Sonia .
Shiva Dragon has historically made a wonderful farming leader as he provided an unconditional multiplier to fire Gods and could easily sweep content with a single fire TPA. However, times have changed with the introduction of coop button farming and the need for Shiva Dragon has diminished. His new evolution significantly revamps his artwork along with adding a third TPA and bolstering his ATK multiplier to 39x ATK (up from 25x).
This will not propel Shiva Dragon into any tier lists, but it will uses for quickly sweeping easier content along with modest potential in ranking dungeons.
Yomi Dragon has always been a wonderful dark utility sub and a modest leader for a period time. With her new evolution, she does not undergo any changes to her sub potential (outside of a stat boost) and instead has a significantly revamped leader skill.
Prior to this, Yomi Dragon had a 36x ATK / 2.25x RCV multiplier for matching a 5o1e (fireworks) for God types. This was great at the time and could clear Arena 1 with the right set up. However, she will now be propelled into a 81x ATK / 4x RCV leader with the same restrictions as before. This is a huge damage boost and allows you to fully take advantage of cards such as Eschamali for passive damage along with the Haku + Akechi kill combo. You still face an HP deficit, but this can be partially addressed through the +15% HP solo badge or coop. You may still require a shield for harder content, but your team building is quite flexible and you may not need to run a damage enhancing sub anymore. You also have some degree of damage control as you passively have 4x ATK for dark cards and will allow you to bypass Sopdet in Arena.
Yomi Dragon will also become an amazingly fast leader as you achieve 81x with a single combo and will be formidable in future ranking dungeons.
There are lots of exciting changes coming to Puzzle and Dragons in the near future. Everyone loves new evolutions and the revamped MP Dragons will help players better spend their Monster Points as we have been in somewhat of a dip in what to purchase as most of the current cards cannot keep up with the pace of Powercreep. These new evolutions do not necisarily shake up the current meta, but instead offer powerful alternatives to what is strong today.
Which of these changes are you most excited about? Also, let me know if you enjoy these JP stream reviews.