Version 11.1 Update and 3-Player Coop Review


Puzzle and Dragons was updated to Version 11.1 and with it comes new evolutions, quality of life improvements and a brand new gameplay mode. This article will not focus on the new evolutions (that article can be found HERE) and instead will be reviewing the other changes with particular focus on 3-player coop and the strategies used to approach it.

Video commentary


—sample 3p coop—

Bonus/Follow Up Attack Awakening

Completing what I call the holy trinity of powerful awakenings is Bonus/Follow Up Attack  (Guard Break  and 7 Combo 45 are the other two). Bonus/Follow Up Attack is often referred to as the Resolve Killer awakening as it provides you with 1 additional point of damage AFTER your matched orb damage is triggered.

Bosses with Resolve will survive with 1 HP after all your regular damaging abilities and this Follow Up Attack will deal the final blow before they can cast their 1% ability. As a result, Resolve Bosses will no longer be a threat to most teams as you can simply combo away on a 5×5 board and no longer need to worry about damage control, delays, gravities, or execution abilities.

Sadly, by being forced to match a column of hearts, row-based teams will be out of luck as you will not be able to form your ideal orb pattern. This further solidifies the combo/TPA meta as the ideal choice for end game content as they are able to make use of all 3 high-end awakenings.

While this is a new awakening, more and more cards will begin to gain access to it through future evolutions and it is simply a matter of being patient for them to arrive (eg. the split Norns ult for Urd, Skuld, and Verdandi).

More Mail sorting

On the Mail / Invites screen, the “Don’t include read mail” option will now remember the player’s setting, ON or OFF.
More customization is always nice.

3-Player Coop

If you were loving coop, you are going to love 3-player even more. Now you can disappoint twice the number of people for even less stamina while retaining a solo-esque feel for your own team.

Jokes aside, 3-player coop is an interesting game mode as it combines elements from both solo and 2-player coop while juggling 3 different teams.

More dungeons will be added in over time and so will my advice/strategies.

3 unique teams

3-player coop will feel almost like a solo journey as you are need to choose your team before finding other players. Thus, when playing in the Auto-Match mode, your team as well as your allies will be hidden until you enter the dungeon.

This also means that you do not have to have synergistic teams as you only control your own and when your turn is over, your team (and health bar) will be changed to the next player’s.

Thus, if you are playing Anubis 3385 and have 38k HP, this is yours and yours alone as when your turn is over, it will pass onto the next player who can have a completely different team and health bar. For example, let’s say that player 2 has Dark Athena 3193 with 60k HP  and player 3 has Kushinadahime  with 55k HP. All three of these are fantastic 3-player leads, but you will only be micromanaging your own health. As such, if the Anubis team were to take lethal damage and die, their journey comes to an end and only Dark Athena and Kushinadahime will continue while alternating turns with their own health bar.

This also means that any damage you sustain will be carried over to your next turn and does not actually impact your partner’s own health bar. Furthermore, your active skills will only charge up during your turn and you do not have the benefit of shared awakenings.

All of this translates into a more solo-y feel as your own health and team is independent from your partner’s and the only thing you do share in common is the board.

Sharing the board functions like 2-player coop: what ever is formed after one player takes their turn is what the next person has to work with. This also means that any skyfall buffs/debuffs do carry over and it would be ideal if you try not to remove their primary colour orbs or heal unnecessarily.

Less forgiving than 2-player coop

2-player coop has far too many benefits that include a shared health pool, shared awakenings (Skill Lock Resist Skill Boost Blind Resist Bind Clear awakening Jammer Resist Poison resist), cross-team bind clears, and half stamina cost. This could have been kept in check if GungHo had scaled dungeons accordingly, but unfortunately, solo and 2-player coop uses the exact same dungeons.

As such, dungeons are scaled between solo and 2-player: generally too challenging for solo while being on the easier side in coop.

Thankfully, 3-player removes most of these benefits (outside of stamina), disables the solo-mode badge, and has appropriately scaled dungeons for 3 different teams. This should present a more fair gameplay, but does punish certain teams/compositions.

Characteristics of a strong 3-player team

Due to the removal of shared awakenings and the solo mode badge, many team compositions tend to falter in 3-player coop compared to 2-player or even solo game play.

Your team now has to be self sufficient in terms of awakenings (full SBR Skill Lock Resist and sufficient Skill Boosts Skill Boost), have the capacity to deal with binds, and have enough HP to survive specific kill mechanics.

As such generalizations can be made for a strong and successful team:

  • Bind immune leaders
  • 100%+ SBR Skill Lock Resist
  • Strong base active skills
  • HP/RCV multipliers
  • Able to activate off most given boards
  • Rapid scaling multiplier
  • Lower focus on mono-colour/orb hungry teams

With that in mind, teams such as Kushinadahime , Dark Athena 3193, and Anubis 3385 are all going to be amazingly powerful as they fulfill this criteria with ease.

On the other hand, powerful leaders such as Meridionalis , Dark Metatron , and Krishna 3068 will be less effective as they require more setting up/coordination compared to the others listed above. However, this does not mean they are unable to be used, you just need either more planning/effort from your teammates to succeed. With that being said, if all 3 players bring the same team, it can facilitate an easier time as the skyfalls/board set ups will be beneficial across all players.

Don’t be that guy/girl

Griefing or intentionally losing is a banable offense in JP and would only make sense if NA followed suit. While 2-player mode has a more teamwork approach, 3-player offers you the potential to do creative and detrimental things to your partner(s) as the health pool is not shared.

Things such as spawning excessive poison orbs and playing a leader who cannot match 3 connected orbs was one popular “strategy” for getting your partners killed.

This mostly applies if you are using the random match-making feature.

As an extension of this, playing poison or jammer-based leaders is a bad idea unless everyone is doing so.


Version 11.1 is a pretty exciting patch overall as it does introduce a new game play mode along with new evolutions (covered in the next article) that all add an extra dimension to the game.

How do you feel about 3-player coop?

Happy Puzzling!

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20 thoughts on “Version 11.1 Update and 3-Player Coop Review”

  1. Running a few dungeons this morning in 3p, a couple things stood out:

    * A much less, um, studied, player (was playing bejeweled, using a starter dragon as a lead) got to see some more experienced players match more of the board. I’m hoping this can be educational to some people.

    * More team comps and cards can be showcased when teaming up with random people. Those of us active in the community tend to converge on the JP meta, but I don’t think that’s the majority of NA players. So more exposure of creative teams for meta players, and meta teams for less social players should be entertaining if nothing else.

    * Matchmaking has been my obstacle to co-op with others beyond my alt account. This is a huge deal, and matchmaking will make me co-op more, guaranteed.

    We’ll see how it develops once the harder content comes out, but for now it was fun, social, and enjoyable!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The matchmaking feature is an amazing aspect and really should have something like it for 2p mode

      While the chance of witnessing more experienced teams can occur, it also has the potential for silly troll teams of people flaunting their pulls etc but that is probably just a case for the easier dungeons


  2. Now that you elaborate on the follow up attack awakening it makes perfect sense! I can’t believe I didn’t think of that before. I was trying to figure out how an extra 1 damage would help anything. The only thing I could think of was for those monsters with super high defense and really low hp, that extra attack might help. That’s got to easily be my new favorite awakening now, because resolve monsters have always been the bane of my existence. This make me extra excited for the new norn split evos! I don’t know how to feel about 3 player yet. Will have to try it when I get together with my friends. Can’t wait for your elaboration on the new evos! I’m especially curious what you think about the new heroic god awoken forms. Have a good day!


  3. As a solo only player, this is about the end of the road. Endgame is already costly and basically impossible solo – tuning for 3 people will drive the nail in.


    1. On the bright side, 3p mode has distinctly different dungeons and it has a much stronger solo feel as you are an independent team. Give it a try n see how you feel


    1. I completely agree and it really should be a feature for 2p coop, especially the lobby portion where you can find Users with similar leaders or even something that lets you filter what you want to be paired with etc


  4. This is probably not even something that has an ‘answer’ but – how are all these people matching that much that fast? I either don’t get how the spinner motion works or I just suck. Or both.


  5. Don’t forget the SBR issue, if you don’t have 100% SBR in your team and get bound, the other 2 players will be unable to use skills too, even if they are 100% SBR equipped.


  6. I once saw a JP griefer do his griefing in such a way that my reaction was “I’m not even mad, that’s amazing”. He used a leader that can’t match 3 connected orbs, made a bicolor board, and then changed one of those colors to poison, and made a perfect 10-combo board, and then forfeited his turn. Next player that came in had no choice but to watch a 10-combo match kill him…


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