Sphinx Tournament Strategy and Guide


The Sphinx Ranking Tournament uses the loved/dreaded preset teams. With a preset team, it helps even the playing field as no one can gain an advantage via specific cards or combos. However, it does dramatically cut down on creativity and also results in more “luck” when trying to min-max your score as skyfalls/bad boards will play a massive role in determining how well you place. With this post, I will try my best to help give my readers a slight competitive edge based on my own experience running the dungeon.

In these ranking dungeons, we are scored based on 3 criteria:

  1. Average combos made: 5,000 points per combo
  2. Time Remaining: 500 points per second remaining
  3. Maximum damage: up to 10,000 points if you hit 40 million.

Sample Clear

138,000 score

I improved my score off stream to 0.2% as it is actually a lot easier to simply tunnel and not narrate.

Mantastic commentary

—talking about the dungeon itself—-

Your team

Everyone will be using the same team (max skill, max awoken, and +297) and it is important to understand how your leader skill functions along with any combo synergy you may have.

Kaede at a glance

Ult Kaede

Dragon / Attacker
Skill Lock Resist Time Extend Skill Boost Time Extend TPA TPA TPA Enhanced Wood Orb Enhanced Wood Orb
6 star base
Question Orb Arrow Green
Question Orb Arrow Heart
1 turn haste
7 turn CD
3.5x ATK for 2 wood combos. 4x ATK for 3 wood combos. 2x ATK & 50% damage reduction for a heart cross
64x ATK / 75% damage reduction

Kaede’s Scaling Leader Skill
# wood combos 1 2 3
Multiplier No 12.25x 16x
With Heart Cross No 49x 64x

As you can see, there is a modest multiplier when you do not make a heart cross, but in order to deal lethal damage, you must be able to fully maximize the board in terms of the number of combos made as well as squeezing in as many TPA TPA as possible.

Cards and relevant damage awakenings

The only thing that matters in this tournament is your damage output so I will only be highlighting their relevant awakenings.

6 Time Extend – Sphinx Tournament Team – 7 Skill Boost
Ult Kaede
Bankai Perseus
Wood Row Wood Row
Wood Row Wood Row Wood Row
Wood Row
Wood Row Wood Row
Ult Kaede

Dungeon Strategies

The goal of any ranking tournament is to clear the dungeon as fast as possible and only take one turn on every single floor. Thus, speed is crucial to your success and if you are able to take only 5 turns, you will almost certainly score in the top 10%.

Sphinx Ranking Tournament
Floor Spawn HP Notes

Can kill with 1 TPA + 1 wood combo

Permanent Green skyfall

2 3,115,778 Ult Kaede Kaede
3 3,205,510 Ult Kaede Kaede
4 4,831,951 Bankai Perseus Perseus – Heart Cross
5 7,656,900 Sylvie Sylvie
Michael Michael
Cameo Cameo
Optimal Board

Unlike previous ranking tournaments, you must use more active skills for success as you need the haste in order to charge up Cameo Cameo for the final floor. Cameo will provide massive burst damage which is crucial for not only punching through the wood-resisted Sphinx, but for also hitting 40 million for damage cap and 10,000 additional points.

While you do not require a heart cross for every single floor, it will often ensure you can sweep with only 2 wood combos. However, if you are fortunate enough to have numerous wood orbs present (and proficient comboing skills), you are able to attempt to kill floor 2 & 3 with multiple TPA. This will be crucial for top 1% as you are better able to squeeze in additional combos, but for those aiming for top 10%, make the heart cross to ensure a kill.

Additional advice

Remember to turn off the skill confirmation animations through Others -> Options -> Dungeon -> Skills Off to save a couple extra seconds!

Skill Disable.jpg

My current placings

I played some more after my initial recording and managed to secure my 5th crown for Mantastic:



Hopefully this overview will help shed some light on how to better approach the Sphinx Ranking Dungeon. Many players are thrilled to have a preset team, but it does cut down on the creativity along with forcing players to use a playstyle that is possibly foreign to them.

One last pro tip is to use the same team I used 😉

Happy puzzling!

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64 thoughts on “Sphinx Tournament Strategy and Guide”

    1. Personally, I think that row Kaede would be suboptimal, since a full activation of 3 grass combos would be difficult to pull off with more than 1 row. Kaede also has 3 tpas and no rows, which you would be wasting most of the time if you are aiming for rows.


  1. Hey Mantastic, although this is honestly negligible, your table of multipliers says there is no multiplier for a heart cross and 1 green combo, but you would get a 4x multiplier for that.

    On a side note, this is really helpful, thanks for taking the time to do this!


  2. Tried following your guidelines, and I learned yet again I don’t combo well or fast, nor heart cross worth a lick. I cleared the dungeon but I think it was around 89%. It might be time to start running Myr for practice. I mean, I did evolve one all the way, even if she’s just gathering dust while I shower Minerva (and Australis) all my attention. Thanks for all your work getting this together. The bad score was definitely “user error”.


    1. Well I am confident you can improve your score and I am sitting at 1.1% now so I can hopefully go up again…just need to get ideal skyfalls/wood orb spawns


  3. Do you think the scores will shift much? If I stopped today with my score will it drop by 10% or more do you think? It was only 119k but this will help fill out those quests finally.


    1. In one of the previous tournaments, I reached ~6% on day 2 or 3 and dropped to 10.9% without noticing it by the end. I was so salty about it…

      So it’s a real possibility. You should probably check back in a day or two; the estimations should’ve stabilized more by then.


      1. I agree that the first day or two is a little Rollercoaster, but afterwards it stabilizes pretty well outside 1% range as that always creeps up throughout the week


  4. What a slot machine of a dungeon. At 50 stamina a pop, you know by floor 2 if you’re going to survive or not, let alone score anywhere near the top. Who finds this fun? Do you really have that many magic stones to throw away?


    1. It’s not particularly fun for me…I managed to get 139.4k which has me just 150 points off 1%. Now it has become a game of throw magic stones for perfect run and a nice f1 board


      1. You’ve only managed to get 1%? That must really suck for you. 😛

        50% says “hi”. And that’s after six stones.


        1. I don’t think you should be stoning that much at that rank… The rewards aren’t really worth stoning that much for aside from the crown if you’re contending for top 1%, probably.


          1. Crowns tend to be costly. Naturally the most skilled players take less stones, but this tourney has a great deal of rng and praying involved for the extra wood skyfalls


          2. Update: Ten stones, at three tries apiece. Still no higher than 51%.

            This so-called “Tournament” is a crock, and anyone who claims that skill is worth anything in it is a con artist.

            It’s a scam concocted by GungHo in the hopes that a lucky few will convince rubes like me to spend stones in the vain hope that “I can score that high, too!”


            1. There is always an element of luck when chasing a crown, but skill does win out for achieving top 10%. I was able to get it for my mom n Pancaaake with only a couple tries. As for a crown, that takes stones….


              1. I’ve now spent 20 dollars in stones to try to get higher than 50%.

                If this is what endgame is like, then I think I’m out. GungHo has swindled enough money from me.


                1. End game content is not about points or how fast you can clear. Its about knowing or being able to clear the dungeon without stoning that gives satisfaction as the reward there is higher. Ranking dungeons is about the team used and the required knowledge and skill to efficiently clear a dungeon. Ranking dungeons are not difficult, especially if its preset then it is guaranteed.


                  1. Ranking dungeons are a massive waste of resources for the most part when chasing a crown. For the average player, you should try to achieve a new personal best when the dungeon is either favourable or has a preset team you are comfortable playing. Otherwise, simply go for your clear (barring any silly errors) and leave it at that.


  5. “if you are able to take only 5 turns, you will almost certainly score in the top 10%.”

    Just gave it a shot with spare stamina after finishing challenges and I’m at 19% with all 1-turn clears Dx

    I think people are getting better at this game…


    1. Does silk enchance dmg for rows and enchanced fire, light, and heals too? The active skill reads like it means orb enhancing awakenings.
      I love this game but some if the active skills are so confusing..


  6. Im sitting around 26% right now. Had some terrible runs and by that i mean I always win but skyfall is terrible and slows me down.

    I would need under 10% to get my final Annihilation badge(and the Skill Bind Resist badge) but it gets very boring doing it over and over again and having some degree of luck decide the difference between ranking %s.

    At least I am stocking up on Zeus Dios skillups for my 2nd hypermaxed Dios.

    Don’t know how much more i will dedicate to this. I won’t be spending any stones on it. And after reading V.11 patch notes about the reset/changes to challenge mode I realize i need to get all of those free stones before the changes. I was doing well and got done the normal dungeons but stopped about 1/2 way through the technical dungeons. Time to rectify that.


    1. Yeah get those free stones! I need to go n grab a lot of the techincals. This ranking dungeon is horribly rng related as so much rests on how generous the skyfalls are as they inflate your damage


  7. that moment when you make a jesus cross and dont hit 40 mil, get a score of 130893, gets 9.9%% and drops down to 10.1 =(


    1. it all worked out though, managed to get a 8 combo average while sweeping all floors, im just happy im intop 10% (20 k p woo!(achievemnt +rewards) but kinda salty im at 1.6% =P will admit i stoned for stamina at least 5 times and this was the best rng i got


  8. I favor the preset ranking dungeons as i believe it does equal the playing field because im f2p. Im currently sitting at 2.9% and want to get into top 1% for the first time. I have come close a couple of times but not as close as this. What can i do to improve to get into top 1%?


    1. I’m on the same boat as you. I am f2p and at 2.7% hoping to get my first crown. I don’t understand why everyone complains about fixed teams. They must have not played back when they did ranking dungeons that weren’t fixed teams. I remember on one of the ranking dungeons, every team on the leader board had at least 4 red Odins. It was ridiculous.


      1. Same anonymous here. I dont understand why people spend stones on ranking dungeons at all. I get that more attempts means = more chances of hitting higher ranks but it only works if you are consistent with hitting top 20% or so. If you arent able to enter top 30% at all, i would suggest investing stones on REM for better teams. Fixed teams on the other hand would display much more skill levels in terms of hitting those higher ranks.


        1. Stoning for higher rank is usually done when chasing a Crown. It is honestly not a wise investment for the average player, but it is now something I want to focus on and I regret not trying/stoning as much in previous tournaments


          1. I see now. But from some player comments, they are stoning an absurd amount to even break the 50% barrier. You aren’t an average player in this community having completed so much. I’m not sure where i stand in this community as f2p + just over 1500 days. For me, obtaining a single crown is somewhat the dream.


            1. Well the thing about PAD is that there are varying degrees in the level of “GungHo-ness” between players. I probably fall very heavily into the higher end of the spectrum and do play a great deal. As such, I feel my matching skills are at a point where I need to stone for the idea run (which did happen on both accounts). I would not recommend someone stones for a ranking dungeon unless they are confident in their own abilities.

              As for yourself, you need to ask how much do you actually play and how proficient your orb matching skills are etc.


      2. The first two ranking dungeons were mostly trials for GH and they cut down on the ridiculous team set ups to a certain extent. For myself, I tend to always place in a similar bracket whether fixed or build your own team format.

        I find with fixed (and especially with this tournament) there is an excessive amount of RNG involved due to wanting skyfalls for a higher combo count. Granted there may be a certain amount of Ilm-casino style teams in the future, but it won’t work for every ranking dungeons.

        Fixed teams can force players into a playstyle they may not like/is foreign to them while not being able to cater to their own box/preferences.


        1. Open teams on the other hand skew towards those that have the optimum build assuming player skill is equal (which it usually isn’t).


  9. Just pointing out an error in the Kaede scaleing table. He makes 4x with a heart cross and 0/1 wood combo. Not nothing.


  10. I tried the strategy suggested but I took way too much time comboing, so I decided to hearth cross every floor and got a score of 134k. I have played ronove since I started playing, so I’m better at heart crossing.


  11. Don’t think I’m gonna invest too much in this one. I’m not very good at heart crossing (diagonal movement) and I think I’d have to get 10 and 20% to finish the current tiers I’m on.


  12. I appreciate the guide as always! For floor 1, I tried 1 wood TPA and 1 wood combo and that doesn’t clear the floor. I still got through the dungeon, but am nowhere as good as you are. 🙂


  13. I tried doing wood tpa and a wood combo but it can only kill red ninja unless you somehow pull off enough combos. Most of the time id have to pop a kaede on the first floor just to be able to get enough orbs


  14. The amount of RNG in this dungeon is ridiculous. I’m f2p currently sitting at 2%. I really want to see Gungho makes crowns more accessible. I do understand that they need to be hard to get, but I think they should increase the crown percentage to 3%. As in most cases getting under 3% doesn’t take any less skill than getting under 1%, but it just takes more luck. And I think anything under 3% deserves a crown. I also understand that it would mean giving out 3 times as much crowns each dungeon as normal. But considering the fact that you need 30 for no skyfalls badge, and there have only 11 ranking dungeons in NA so far, and out of the 11 ranking dungeons “the mantastic” (one of the best pad players out there) has only obtained 5 crowns out of the 11 possible. I think increasing the percentage to 3% would give f2p pad players like me much more hope. With that being said I do love this game and I love the fixed teams as they do even the playing field. So mantastic, I just want to know your opinion on the possibility of increasing the crown percentage, and I wonder if it would hurt players like you (maybe make your crowns not as special? or something like that) or do you think it would be a good idea for them to increase the percentage.


    1. Sorry for the late reply, but I completely agree that this tournament was an RNG-festival, and not the fun and happy kind.

      As for your main question, I do agree that there is a large amount of luck/stones thrown into a ranking dungeon for a crown and that is a problematic scenario. I enjoy the thrill of a competition, but mourn the loss of my stones. I actually now budget 10-25 stones for a ranking dungeon for a crown and have been more successful as of late as I know put in the required resources.

      If I am not mistaken, JP has made crowns more accessible through some tournaments having more percentage of players crown and the new (and not really understood by me REM dungeon) so there is hope.

      Also, giving out crowns does not “cost” GH money and I am not sure if it will lower or raise stone spending on refills if the crown cap was increased.

      Having more players with a crown will probably make people more happy and excited and tbh, if you get a crown now, others will be ahead and in theory you cannot surpass them so they still stand out (which is the whole idea).

      Thus, I think it would be a nice idea and less expensive for me at least as 0.2-2.5% is usually the norm for me


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