I have been receiving many questions over the past few months about what is the best way to power-level or grind up rank experience. Truth be told, the best avenues are utilizing Ganesha paired with either another Ganesha or a stronger multiplier leader and mowing through content. However, the most common place this occurs is Monday Dungeon and this is actually a terrible waste overall. For myself, I have never played dungeons with the sole purpose of Rank Experience outside of the stone acquisition or acquiring the last few points of experience for a rank up.
Each subsequent rank up increases the experience required for the next level and by rushing through, you are losing out on numerous opportunities to develop and actually progress within Puzzle and Dragons.
This article will focus on why purely farming rank experience is a poor investment of your stamina along with the justifications to this stance. While there are some exceptions, it is largely a poor avenue of stamina spending for the average player.
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What is rank farming
Rank farming is essentially what it sounds like: repeatedly playing a dungeon that has an exceptionally high rank experience to stamina ratio. Often times, these dungeons are meant to be fast and easy to play and can help players rank up at an unprecedented rate.
Unfortunately, there are actually many drawbacks to ranking up this fast as you often waste stamina, lose out on actual puzzling skills, losing out on the opportunity to develop your monster box, hitting a wall faster, and the inability to chain rank ups from valuable dungeons.
For reference, you will gain 1 more maximum stamina every other rank up after hitting 50 friend list space and 2 team cost otherwise.
Every time you rank up, you will immediately restore your stamina to full and any unused will simply go to waste as there is no rollover effect. Thus, if you do not try to capitalize on the excess stamina, these rank ups essentially did not help you accomplish as much as was possible. Now, I do understand that with coop and a much shortened early game that players will naturally rank up quickly and the main problem occurs when you begin to waste more and more stamina at higher ranks.
This notion of wasted stamina can be extended to expiring your finite rank ups and stamina refreshes. Due to the fact that every rank up restores your stamina and cannot be reacquired, you do to a certain extent have to be careful with how you use them. For example, if you simply blow all your rank 300-400 rank ups via Monday Dungeon, you will have lost all of that opportunity to progress in the game outside of ranking up.
I have been playing for over 1,250 days and I remember always trying to optimize my stamina usage every day as it took 10 minutes to restore stamina and the lack of lucrative dungeons to play. Which leads into my next point: a lack of puzzling skills.
A lack of puzzling skills
With the ease of access to rank experience, many players have dramatically inflated their rank relative to their time played along with actual puzzling skills. For example, it probably took me around a year to achieve rank 350 whereas a motivated individual can achieve that in a few months. While we may share the same rank, the actual time spend playing dungeons is significantly higher in my situation. As such, I have had more time to develop and refine my orb matching skills as opposed to someone who has only played for a few months that has the potential to button and play coop.
While this may be viewed as a player skill issue that can be refined over time, but it can become problematic as these players will feel lost when actually facing challenging content. In addition, rushing through the game also lowers your own box decision skills. To a certain extent, a purely rank grinding player may be unable to efficiently team build, research a dungeon, or tackle challenging content.
Inability to develop your Monster Box
If the majority of your rank ups are occurring from Monday Dungeon, your Monster Box will be the first to suffer. Monday Dungeon offers essentially no collateral benefits outside of the rank experience. This will result in an underdeveloped Monster Box as you will be lacking pluses, evolution materials, and skill up fodder.
As such, you may find yourself scrambling to acquire these drops from other dungeons, but because you have blindly ranked up to a higher level, you will be unable to actually chain a rank up from these other dungeons as the rank experience required has increased. This will also result in you hitting a wall faster and waiting even longer in between play times.
Hitting a wall faster
Hitting a wall is a term used to describe a point in a game when you are stuck in terms of progression. Depending on how GungHo you are towards PAD, this wall will occur at varying times and be represented by different dungeons. This could be your first Rogue Descend or Arena 1, but regardless of what your wall is, you will always be able to overcome it in time. This will often be achieved via a more developed Monster Box or improvements to your Puzzling skills, but it will take some time to overcome.
However, if you have blindly ranked up, you will hit this wall significantly faster and be less able to overcome it due to the fact that your rank ups are more scattered due to your higher rank. As such, you may feel more frustrated as you will have to wait longer in between rank ups as you are less able to divert stamina elsewhere.
Unable to chain rank ups
Chaining rank ups refers to being able to repeatedly play PAD and never stop ranking up. Depending on the dungeon you choose to play, this can repeatedly occur for a very long time. For example, you can technically achieve over rank 800 from purely Monday farming with dual Ganesha, but all of the above points will heavily apply.
Conversely, you could play Zaerog Infinity to around 500-550 without ever stopping in coop. By comparison, Zaerog Infinity offers 500 Monster Points, a Super King, 3-6 plus eggs, and a useful boss drop. All of these will dramatically improve your Monster Box and actually help you advance in terms of game progression. However, if you have wasted rank ups via Monday Dungeon, you will be unable to chain these rank ups as efficiently.
This also applies to playing dungeons on the side for the acquisition of other resources and then utilizing Zaerog Infinity for the rank up.
For example, my main account is rank 749 and it takes me around 1.8 million experience to rank up. As such, I will not be able to abuse a lucrative Rogue Descend to chain rank ups compared to someone that is rank 400 who requires 300k rank experience.
Exceptions to farming for rank experience
While the above points hold true in the majority of scenarios, there are some exceptions that should be taken into consideration. In the old and dark days of PAD, team cost used to be a serious issue, but with the new badge system and +80 team cost right away, it is no longer a real concern for the most part.
Presently speaking, we have a special REM pull for rank 150 and 250 with a future rank 500 spin. However, the rank 500 pull only recently came out in JP and will take a few months to come to NA. Furthermore, the chances of a rank 500 renewal occuring within 6 months are slim to nil. Thus, you probably have more than 6 months to actually acquire rank 500.
Thus, rank 267 is probably a reasonable goal as it will enable you to have a maximum of 150 stamina along with only requiring 157,627 experience to rank up. In all honesty, the ranks before this go incredibly quick, even without rank farming and will probably occur without much conscious effort.
As a slight extension, you will gain 50 additional max stamina every 100 ranks so this may be of interest for players who do not play on a regular basis and tend to dump stamina in Guerrilla dungeons
Enough stamina to not wake up the next morning with a full bar
I remember I used to wake up in the middle of the night (mostly to go to the washroom) and also quickly entering a dungeon to prevent stamina capping overnight. While this may seem excessive, it is worth achieving a sufficient rank to do this without an interrupted sleep cycle. I strongly dislike wasting stamina and I always try to go to bed after using sufficient stamina beforehand.
Presently speaking, we regenerate 20 stamina per hour and depending on your sleep habits, you may require varying amounts of stamina to prevent capping. For reference, rank 267 grants 150 max stamina while 367 is 200. The amount you require to prevent waste will vary, but it is worth hitting that amount.
Alternate accounts do not necessarily follow the same rules as your main account due to the fact that they have an account to carry them. Furthermore, their role/purpose varies from person to person and how you choose to proceed will be dependent on your own personal goals.
What you should be doing
Instead of farming Monday dungeon, you should ideally be playing Rogue Descends for accessible rank experience. Without Ganesha, Zaerog Infinity is on par with rank experience gains, but offers far more collateral benefits by comparison. If you are able to chain rank ups, you should divert stamina to either Tamadra, PreDra, or Tan farming along with the acquisition of skill ups.
You can purchase these dungeons for 500,000 from the Coin Dungeon section so you can have access to them at any time.
If you are searching for generic skill up materials, it is best to farm Arena 1 to acquire a random colour Py. In addition, Arena 1 offers a wonderful amount of rank experience and you can use the excess to acquire other components from less stamina/rank experience efficient dungeons.
Naturally, you will need to divert your stamina elsewhere for certain events, but that is generally what I do for the most part when I have nothing to play (I often play Arena 3 instead as it offers more rewards).
Where to use Ganesha
Ganesha is the only card in the game to provide bonus rank experience when clearing a dungeon and you should use to this to better time your rank ups. While it may be inefficient at lower ranks due to the chance at wasting stamina, it is invaluable at higher ranks as you can shorten the wait times and continue playing.
Farming purely for rank experience is actually detrimental to your overall PAD progression as you often waste those crucial low-rank stamina refills to better chain rank ups. While it may make you feel good to see a higher rank beside your name, you are most likely going to encounter a wall along with lacking the required Puzzling skills for advanced gameplay.
Despite the fact that I could endlessly farm rank experience (even at rank 700+), I choose not to in order to preserve the valuable rank up stamina refreshes for opportune times.
Let me know how you feel about Monday dungeon and farming for rank experience.
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Mostly including this at the end as I can foresee it being a common question. There are many variants, but this is for the most part the “core” and easy to assemble team:
*The two Skill Boost card can be anything and all you need is either a way to deal true damage/poison/defense break as a Dios swipe will not deal enough damage to kill the red Dubmythlit. You also ideally want one SBR to ensure 100% immunity against the Red Golem spawn.
Assumes everything is max skilled (or at least 16 turns or less). Depending on what active you bring for floor 5, you may or may not need to pass turns to Player 2.
|Floor 1||Ganesha , Nazca , Dios|
|Floor 2||Nazca , Dios|
|Floor 5||True damage/poison/defense break|
|Floor 6||Ganesha , Dios|