Ranking Tournaments are finally returning to North America and gives players an opportunity to complete their various quests along with earning the highly coveted crowns. This time around, Hera-Is will come with a no Inherits restrictions which will force players to choose very specific subs and can compromise some team building strategies.
The goal of these tournaments is to “test” our skill by imposing a scoring system to determine your percentile ranking.
In these ranking dungeons, we are scored based on 3 criteria:
- Average combos made: 5,000 points per combo
- Time Remaining: 500 points per second remaining
- Maximum damage: up to 10,000 points if you hit 40 million.
However, due to the fact that there has been an exceptionally long content gap between this dungeon’s JP release and NA debut, brand new strategies and compositions will need to be used. I guess you can view a long content gap as a brand new dungeon as tactics of old have become less meta.
–video coming soon—
My own clears will be published once the event goes live
The dungeon is quite straight forward and outside of the first floor, no real mechanics to deal with.
- All floors have a significant amount of health (cannot button)
- God Killer has significant value
- Light and Dark are disadvantaged for hitting damage cap
- No Predras
- 5 turn actives can be used more than once
- First floor will spawn 3 fire orbs and lock them which can ruin various board changers
- 3 orbs are darkened at random (can still be matched away)
JP Top 10 Scores
Due to the significant timing delay for Hera-Is Ranking Dungeon (almost a year?), the top 10 scores in JP will not reflect the best teams that can possibly be made by the NA player-base. This is because we have a deeper pool of Monsters to draw upon that will inevitably pad our scores higher. Regardless, HERE is the JP top 10:
As such, we may be able to draw inspiration from the recent EU Ranking Tournaments (even though it is a different dungeon) as they have had a better opportunity to play around with the current cards.
Current EU trends
EU has the same Monster release timeline as NA which means they are able to utilize the cards with have today. Looking back at their Wadatsumi (8 floors) and Satan (7 floors) Tournaments, all the top 10 builds utilized some form of 7×6 leader.
Thus, it would not be a far leap to guess that NA will follow this trend along with the appropriate bi-colour board changers.
Best 7×6 leaders
Presently speaking, the two strongest 7×6 leaders to use are Ilmina and Diablos . While other 7×6 leaders do exist, these two have the highest base multipliers to work with which will aid in both sweeping floors and hitting the damage cap.
Ilmina will be harder to fully capitalize on due to the fact that you must have duplicates or Ilms to produce your bi-colour board. By comparison, Diablos can pair with literally any combo-oriented leader along with using essentially all bi-colour boards. Thus, it would be easier for the average player to build a Diablos-led team.
Just bear in mind that you do not need to own Ilmina or Diablos to succeed, you can simply piggyback off a friend.
7×6 boards offer 12 more orbs (up to 14 combos total) which will help inflate your overall score. However, you will still want to utilize as many board changers as possible to promote both faster matching and a higher average combo count.
Your goal with a 7×6 board is to make significantly more combos to further pad your score upwards.
For optimization purposes, it is best to match your sets of 3 combos vertically starting from either side (my 7×6 combo guide is still in the works)
Points to consider:
Light and Dark are disadvantaged for hitting 40 million damage
This dungeon features no Light spawn and the only Dark spawn has a 50% damage reduction to light. This results in a harder time hitting the required 40 million damage for 10,000 points.
Utilize Killer Awakenings
Killer Awakenings (and Latents) are another fantastic way to help pad your damage as they can enable you to hit closer to damage cap with less effort/actives. This is important as each active skill used will inevitably slow down your run (and diminish your points). You should also use Killers in conjunction with the floor you plan to hit damage cap on. This can potentially remove the need to bring a burst skill.
For this dungeon, God Killer is effective against 3 floors.
7×6 is the way of the future
7×6 boards will result in 42 orbs and a potential for 14 combos. This will help with both your damage output as well as maximizing your score. Just remember that you do not need to own a 7×6 leader yourself and that you can simply pair with a friend.
Naturally leaders who are combo-oriented will make better pairing than those who require multiple linked orbs.
Killers are the strongest awakening to run in this dungeon as it provides 3x damage to those respective bosses. However, more universal awakenings are 7 Combo and TPA . While TPA can offer nice burst damage, the 7 Combo will be far more effective overall as it does not force you to alter matching style and should always be achieved in a 7×6 board.
Due to the no inherits clause, we have to be careful in which active skills to take. Assuming you pursue the 7×6 route, bi-colour board changers are the strongest option. These actives will produce the easiest possible board to solve along with the highest combos and concentration of your damage for those specific colours.
For this dungeon, I would recommend using as many as possible as nothing else really matters as much.
If you lack the appropriate cards for bi-colour, tri-colour board changers will also work
You are able to gain 5 turns worth of active skill charging by the time you reach the final floor. While haste works, it does slightly slow down your time due to the animations.
If all else fails, you can use the Skill Boost solo mode badge.
Special things to bring
Perhaps you should make sure you have 100% SBR coverage unless you do not plan on using an active skill on the Boss.
The delayed return of Ranking Dungeons will dramatically shift our approach as strategies of the past are not as potent compared to the new 7×6 meta. While you can still utilize older tactics, the fact that you have 12 less orbs to play with as well as the relative ease in matching bi-colour boards will put you at a disadvantage.
Finally, remember to turn off the skill confirmation animations through Others -> Options -> Dungeon -> Skills Off to save a couple extra seconds!
Let me know what you plan to use for this ranking dungeon and I will do a follow up post with my results some time after it goes live on Monday.
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