A 5 year anniversary for any game is a significant milestone and GungHo intends to make it memorable through a massive array of buffs, new evolutions, and quality of life improvements. I do not plan to comment on every single detail of the stream, but instead wish to highlight what I feel are more meaningful and how they can impact the player base.
If you wish to read the full details, I encourage you to visit the puzzledragonsx posting HERE. Just bear in mind North America tends to receive any new changes about 2 months after JP does.
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Recorded broadcast of JP Stream
Monster Box folder system
Sorting/filtering the monster box has come a long way since the inception of PAD, but it still has plenty of room for improvement. The new Monster Box folder system will allow you to more seamlessly sort your box to show cards of interest.
We will have an all folder, categorized, 2 custom, evolution material, awoken materials, and enhance materials folders. As someone who spends quite a bit of their time looking at their monster box, this will be quite an amazing update as it will better allow us to customize it to our liking or simply leave as is within the all card folder.
3 person coop
The debut of two player coop was met with mixed reviews and I can foresee a 3-way to be just as controversial. However, unlike the coop we all know, there will be some distinct changes/restrictions:
- No shared leaders, no shared HP, but players will share the same board
- Your HP will be based on your own team and every player will have a different value and only you can restore your own missing health
- Skills only charge on own turn
- Bind recovery skills/awakes will only work on own team
- No badges
- 30 seconds time limit per turn – have to move fast
- Multi-boost awake will still work
- Ganesha LS effect will only affect own team
- Other players can still continue if one gets game over
- How 7×6 LS will work is still undecided
- Some sort of matchmaking system is in the works
- To be implemented in JP in March
Watching the stream clips of them tackling Arena 1 with three distinct teams was interesting to say the least as the entire team would swap over, but the board would be left intact for their partner.
This makes the entire aspect feel like a solo endevour, but with significantly longer recharge times for your own active skills. Normally shared awakenings such as Skill Boosts and resistances have no value here, but you can continue playing if a partner dies as it was not your team that perished.
There will be a match making system (details not specified) and this will greatly ease the transition into this new game mode. It would be nice if we had lobbies for regular coop as well, but that may be problematic with as you need leader synergy (but then again we do have a sort by same leaders function). I feel something more can be made in this regards, but maybe this will get the ball in motion.
When I first heard about 3 player coop, I thought you now have the opportunity to disappoint two people instead of one…
How will this be beneficial?
It is uncertain how the the stamina will be charged (will it be reduced like 2-player?), but discrediting the potential savings, this is an incredible way to carry a third person.
There are many carry strategies for helping a weaker account along, but it could become problematic due to them using their team every other turn along with the possibility of an unfavourable leader pairing.
With the three player coop, the person being carried will only take 1/3 of the turns and can simply bring a tank-oriented team to simply survive any incoming mechanics (possibly a Green Odin paired with a purely defensive multiplier leader and any utility subs as needed). All they have to do is make it to the end, they don’t actually have to contribute anything.
However, this strategy can place constraints on the two other sides as they have to deal with all the possible mechanics while having their active skills recharge at a slower rate and not benefiting from shared Skill Boosts.
One thing I would like to also know is if two players die and the third one triumphs, do all players get the reward? This could result in a somewhat battle of attrition and lead to cleverly designed teams to act as fodder for lethal mechanics while the final person deals the final blow.
Three unique teams
With 3 player coop, you are able to bring three distinct teams that can cover a wider array of mechanics and abilities. Thus, you do have access to 18 active skills (10 in regular coop, 6 in solo) and should be able to counter any mechanic you could think of.
This would mean players can bring a variety of combo, row, or heart cross teams to better counter specific floors. It is well established that heart cross teams struggle against high combo absorbs and having one player using a more combo-oriented leader can alleviate this.
Verdandi was the winner of the Arena 1 speed race and will be receiving a buff in the near future. Buffing Verdandi is not necessarily a bad thing as she was not particularly strong nor in-demand. However, she was never a leader and already has ample awakenings so the most I can see happening is a stat boost and possible awakening change as she is already at 9. She could also receive a split evolution that reworks her awakenings which may be the best option.
I would have preferred to have Lucifer receive a buff as he was one of the more popular leaders about a year ago and his sub pool has only grown in strength with the addition of new cards. Ariel has become a popular TPA Myr sub, but is somewhat lacking in the base stats and somewhat in the awakenings department. However, she still has plenty of room to grow with a future evolution as the entire pantheon is somewhat in need of a buff. Red Sonia will probably never achieve the prowess of her Blue sister so a buff to her would probably not be that meaningful as Red Sonia is a five-star GFE.
Rank 500 Egg Machine
Everyone loves the rank 150 and 250 so this is a wonderful addition that should make everyone happy. However, it will only produce a Legendary Hero or Gemstone Princess who are essentially the rarest cards in PAD as they are Gala Exclusives. Just pray you roll a Gemstone Princess.
For myself, this is of particular excitement as having either of my accounts acquire an ideal gemstone would be sufficient for propelling my damage upwards as their multipliers are simply outrageous and enable essentially any team to deal lethal damage.
The Rare Egg Machine will be removing the Fruit Dragons, Late-Bloomer Dragons, and Elementals from the line up. The Fruit Dragons never had much viability upon their release while the Late-Bloomers have some niche viability as a buffer to Skill Delays via Skill Inheritance due to their 30 turn base cooldown.
As for the Elementals, ( ) I am not sure how they will be replaced as they do have useful, albeit niche active skills that void all damage for 3 turns from a particular element. Perhaps we will have them appear as gift dungeons.
Overall, it is nice to remove what are essentially some of the worst cards in the REM, now to remove those PAD Z characters…
Kenshin Collab buffs/evos
May raise their viability high enough to warrant rolling for the average player.
Inheritable Descend Monsters
Skill Inheritance has been restricted to REM cards and a few niche farmable ones. However, with this update, 55 descend bosses will now be able to be used as assistants via Skill Inheritance.
This adds diversification to team building as players are now able to utilize a wider array of cards to better customize their team. Granted most of the qualifying cards have lackluster actives (and possibly tedious skill up requirements), you can easily use an unskilled monster as buffer for Skill Delays and to transfer a modest amount of stats if on-colour. For example, many players have been using Ras as a free buffer against delays for their Zeus Dioses while transfering a modest amount of stats.
This does not cover all the possible cards, but simply the ones I feel will be more meaningful/impactful moving forward. With the delay between JP and North America/Europe, we at least have time to begin skilling up these cards.
Cauchemar is a powerful farmable card due to his active being a full board changer that creates fire, wood, and dark orbs along with a 30% damage reduction shield. This is essentially an upgraded Zuoh active on a 11-22 turn cooldown. While this does not make heart orbs, it is still worthwhile to have.
This upgraded Valkyrie may have less appealing art, but her active skill is quite powerful as it combines a heart to light orb changer and light orb enhance. Dual purpose actives allows you to conserve actives as you are able to address two obstacles at the same time. This grants you more wiggle room for team building as in this case, you probably do not need to run an enhance option. Despite the fact that this active removes heart orbs, plenty of other teams can utilize this as part of their optimal burst boards as you can combo this with Saria .
Both Linthia and Gainaut are Rogue Descend bosses and have reasonable base stats and a full board changer that produces all 6 elements and either poison or jammer orbs. This results in a minimum of 7 combos and full activation for any rainbow team. This potentially opens up possibilities for Dark Kali alternative for Ra Dragon teams as you can now use a high-stat base (who is ideally unbindable) and inherit Gainaut over top (Linthia if wood base) as the jammers are less dangerous overall for the most part. One word of caution is that should should ideally erase all the hazard orbs, or at least leave multiples of 3 to remove on a subsequent turn.
Jormungandr’s main value is for their ability to poison bosses to either bypass resolves on non-status void encounters or to execute a high defense-low health card. Granted the full board changer that produces jammers, and all 5 colours (no hearts) is rarely ideal, it can at least be solved if you are relying the poison to do it’s job or combo-ed with something like Australis to forma modestly lethal board.
Zhang Fei is an often forgotten card that has a powerful and unique active skill. He is able to change dark to wood along with providing a 1 turn delay on a 11-20 turn cooldown. There is always value in having a unique orb changer (only competes with Awoken Liu Bei )as it opens up different board changer combinations (can use Cauchemar + Zhang Fei for a wood heavy board). However, the delay component is most appealing as it can allow you to side skirt dangerous mechanics or simply take an extra turn to set up the board.
Keeping the trend of 5 years of PAD, 55 cards are going to receive varying buffs. I am not sure as to the extent of all the cards, but a few notable ones that stood out are as follows.
Dantalion is a card I have often regarded as quite lackluster due to the fact that he dos not fit in anywhere particularly well nor is his leader skill exceptionally potent. However, he is now able to 30% damage reduction when matching 2 sets of heart combos. This translates into 51% damage reduction alongside his colour cross mechanic. Thus, with 2 fire crosses and 2 heart combos, Dantalion can achieve 1,350x ATK and 51% damage reduction. This also has a dramatic scaling component as you can elect to match a single fire cross, no hearts, 2 crosses, etc. Will this make him a top tier leader? Not yet, but certainly propels him higher and should be a reasonable leader for clearing higher end content.
Anubis received a significant buff to both his leader and active skill. His leader skill will now start scaling at 8 combos (instead of 9) while retaining the same max multiplier. However, he also gained a 1.5x RCV component when using an active skill. Thus, if using something like Gunma , you will passively have 2.25x RCV every turn and simply need to worry about your HP while having a very high chance of activating your damage as an 8-combo board is modestly common. All of this dramatically improves his consistency as a leader and makes him less luck-based.
In addition to this, Anubis also received a -1 turn on his active skill cooldown. This is a dramatic improvement as it will enhance his potential as a sub on various teams. His active skill is modestly lackluster and will often have something else inherited over top. Great uses for Anubis as a sub is for dark teams as a bind clearing option or as a stat stick on teams that require time extends and a bind immune card.
Bastet received a similar treatment to Anubis in that she gained -1 turn on her poor active skill and the same RCV component when using an active skill. While an upgrade, it is not as impactful as Anubis as her sub potential is quite low, but her viability as a leader has improved as she can now feasibly stall through challenging content.
Scheat gained a significant buff to her base ATK and she is once again the hardest hitting TPA card. While people may be losing their Scheat over this, you have to remember that there is still no real home to viably use her as the premier water teams are all row-based and she offers no other beneficial awakenings.
Avalon Drake gained the highly coveted 4th Skill Boost which presents another alternative to Tengu for farming or future ranking dungeons as you will be better able to have your desired active skills ready along with a strong body/beneficial awakenings.
The Mech Dragons are possibly something you have rolled one to many of, but they are going to be blessed with an additional Skill Boost and row. This will mostly have applications for button farming as we gain access to stronger-unconditional row leads. This will allow you to quickly form your row, swipe the top and ideally only perform 1 combo.
So many new evolutions are going to be released with the details of only a few being made public. However, all of them should be finalized in the very near future. Many of these cards will be gaining a reincarnated evolution and this will dramatically bolster their leadership and sub potential as they should provide a significantly improved leader skill and 1,000 weighted stats.
Even though only some of the information was teased/released, there is still a mountain of information to go through and will only point out a few cards at this point in time as further analysis will be done when it is released closer to NA.
Izanagi was often regarded as the poor alternative to Myr as she has a superior active skill, bind immunity, and is a pretty girl. However, this new evoltion helps close the gap between the two as Izanagi now provides 8x ATK and 2x RCV for God, Dragons, and Balance cards. The higher damage can be appealing when pushing new content while the flat RCV boost will dramatically aid in stalling with only 3 hearts.
However, this still does not address the poor active skill (which becomes cumbersome in coop due to leaders recharging twice as fast) and the vulnerability to binds. Granted you can mitigate this through the bind immune badge in solo mode, but you just sacrificed 15% HP for your team.
While this is an upgrade, I feel Izanagi will mostly remain as the easier to acquire Myr (provided you rolled him) as he requires far less investment to develop by comparison.
Reincarnated Sakuya & Tsukuyomi
Both of these cards comprised some of my favourite leaders during their prime and it is a shame to simply see them being pushed even further into the glass-cannon category. Both received a dramatically more offensive leader skill, but presently speaking, the strongest leaders all have varying degrees of a built in defensive mechanic. Furthermore, damage is often not the limiting factor, but being able to dance around horrible mechanics and stalling out dangerous phases. As such, both Sakuya and Yomi will be fun to play leaders (kind of like Awoken U&Y), but not viable moving forward.
It would have been great to have them acquire any sort of defensive mechanic/multiplier/damage mitigation for achieving 7+ combos etc.
Haku gains a passive 30% (51% with dual leaders) to all attributes along with 20.25x ATK for matching any 2 of Fire, Water, or Dark orbs. This is an interesting ability, but the damage output is too low outside of heavily stacking enhances and orb changers. However, it does at least present some potential for a Haku system. This passive damage reduction was was Sakuya and Yomi needed.
We should be able to expect a similar treatment for Leilan, Karin, and Meimei, but Haku is probably the most relevant overall.
Persephone gains stellar art along with a revamped leader skill that enables her to achieve 1.5x HP / 5.25x ATK / 1.5x RCV. This essentially makes her a more appealing option for those who do not have Dark Athena as you can better pair with her and be able to clear plenty of content. Just be aware she does not have any bind immunity, but does come with a Skill Bind Resist .
Dual Astaroth leads will now form a 4x HP / 64x ATK team for devils and healers and this provides ample damage to clear end game content. While her leader skill is somewhat restrictive, we are gaining more triple typing cards and hopefully this boost in power helps her regain popularity. Main issue will always be recovery, but at least in solo you gain access to +35%.
These evolutions are not ultimate evolutions and means your monster will be reset to level 1 (from 99) and require more monster experience to level up again.
For the most part these evolutions are quite disappointing as it made almost no tangible difference for the majority of the cards as it was an extra awakening and sprinkling of stats throughout. However, their art work did get an upgrade.
If you wish to read more about the Heroine REM, feel free to read my full review HERE.
Mito had her artwork corrected into something more appealing along with following the pattern of Light Metatron by gaining a bind recovery awakening. While this may feel underwhelming, it is one of the stronger buffs to the five-star cards as it better defines her role as a bind clearing option. However, her main usage will be for quickly farming on Awoken Liu Bei teams so it is probably of little consequence.
Mito still remains one of the most widely used cards from the entire machine.
Kuvia is another premier 5-star roll as her 4 TPA allow her to achieve spectacular spike damage and her buff that includes a massive boost to her base ATK. Along with an additional skill boost, she remains one of the more solid rolls overall.
Mel was the weakest card in the entire series and her new ultimate makes her maybe marginally better. An additional Skill Bind Resist is nice but her uses remain slim. If I am not mistaken, she now is able to scale up to 7x with two heart combos and this in theory could make her a very budget pairing alternative to the new Dantalion and his revamped leader skill.
Meridionalis is one of the most potent speed farming leaders, but her lack of utility awakenings places constraints on team building. Thus, it was everyone’s hope that she would gain something of value to either help her speed farming or end game potential, but instead we are disappointing with a 6th water row . To top it off, Meridionalis also has her maximum multiplier scales up to 126.5x ATK. While this is a dramatic damage increase, it does not really help as you should be already overkilling a floor (as I presume you now have to connect 9 water orbs) and by not lowering her activation requirement (from number of water orbs perspective) does not benefit her uses as a traditional leader.
As such, not much has really changed as far as I can see outside of a slight damage increase for a single row as she should still be 49x with 6 connected water orbs.
In her current form, Romia is mostly for aesthetics or a time extend stat-stick as her leadership potential was marred by a low base multiplier. She gains an SBR which makes her a more appealing sub, but not necessarily as a leader as you would not usually run double Romia as you would want to pair with someone with a higher multiplier.
However, Romia was buffed to 5x ATK which is a dramatic improvement to her measly 3x.
Elgenubi (or Fire Eschamali) already had 9 awakenings so there was not much room to work with there and we could only hope for either a stat improvement or change in leader skill. As such, the increase to RCV is nice, but still does not make her a practical leader while the hefty stat boost is welcomed.
Barbara badly needed an extension to her leader skill to include Dragons as that was the intuitive path due to her active skill. Unfortunately, we are left disappointing as she simply gained a Time Extend and increased her ATK multiplier to 64x. While this is technically a dramatic improvement, it does not change the fact that her sub pool remains horribly shallow, but I guess the time extend does provide some badly needed orb movement time.
The ultimate fluff gained a surprising evolution that dramatically changes her kit. She loses two skill boost and all 3 killers and have them replaced by a Skill Bind Resist , two 7 combo , and 3 dark resist awakenings. In addition, her leader skill was bolstered to 4.5x ATK when matching light and fire orbs. Thus, pairing with Ilm yields 45x ATK / 2.5x RCV on a 7×6 board.
This feels strange to say the least as Ilmina essentially lost all the aspects that made her unique from an awakenings point of view. This does make them the most desirable 7×6 leader, but is it really needed? Perhaps the JP player base will devise interesting compositions to overcome various hurdles.
There are plenty of exciting changes to look forward to in the upcoming months and while some aspects may feel dissappointing (Heroine), the overall improvements outweigh the let downs.
I may have missed/glanced over certain aspects as this was somewhat rushed so feel free to chip in your thoughts and opinions.
I plan to either release a MP Dragon overview or finish my Question Time answers prior to my procedure on Tuesday morning.