Quick Thoughts on Final Fantasy and Void Damage Penetration Awakening


I have been dealing with a lot of real life stuff including a problematic PC so content has been delayed/put on hold. Regardless, I wanted to share my thoughts on the new Final Fantasy evolutions but mostly the brand new Void Damage Penetration  awakening.

The Void Damage Penetration awakening will grant players new and efficient ways to deal with troublesome encounters and will join the ranks of my Holy Trinity of awakenings by replacing Guard Break .

Video commentary

—video coming soon—

Void Damage Penetration

Void Damage Penetration is often referred to as the Box awakening as it requires you to form a 3×3 box of that card’s colour to activate (must be exactly 3×3 of that entire colour, no more, no less). When activated, you will ignore damage void shields as well as provide 2.5x ATK to the Box awakening owner. This damage buff can stack with multiple boxes and will occur even without a Damage Void to break. Thus, you can utilize this as a way for a specific card to burst even higher against high defense spawns. Just be aware that this will not have an effect against absorbs, thus Sopdet. Parvati, Hera Dragon, and Vishnu will not be countered.

Overall, this results in easier farming while not excluding row teams from the equation unlike Follow Up Attack . However, heavy combo teams will struggle without a 7×6 board.

Despite the semi exclusion of combo teams, the Box awakening will replace Guard Break  in my Holy Trinity of powerful awakenings (Follow Up Attack and 7 Combo 45 being the other 2). I have decided to remove Guard Break as we now enjoy teams that can pierce through high defense encounters and it can often be challenging to build a rainbow team just for that one spawn.

However, despite all the wondrous doors Void Damage Penetration opens, it will be restricted to the Final Fantasy characters.

Applications for Void Damage Penetration

The new Box awakening will enable players to seamlessly handle annoying/challenging spawns. Off the top of my head, Noah, Gaia, Zeus Dragon, Valten, Azathoth, Myr, Sharon, and Scarlet first form can all be trivialized through Void Damage Penetration.

Bear in mind that all of these are manageable/doable but the actual amount of effort required will be far less compared to other methods. Furthermore, if you only plan on clearing once, the need for a Box awakening will be lowered and is mostly for players who wish to clear content as fast and efficiently as possible.


We can liken this awakening to the level of efficiency that Fujin 3414 style actives brought as it will enable you to trivialize often lethal spawns. However, can we designate this as Powercreep?

Powercreep is the notion of newer cards/mechanics outclassing older monsters. This is a healthy part of any long standing game as if content did not advance, the game would grow stale. However, Powercreep needs to advance at a slow but steady pace.

For example, the heart cross meta was far too powerful upon release as it somewhat invalidated any other team available. This caused GungHo to scramble to release harder dungeons that were out of reach for most teams as well as eventually pumping out leaders who could surpass heart crosses.

With that being said, can we attribute this new Box awakening as a form of Powercreep?

Sadly, the answer is yes; however, how important it is will be based what kind of player you are as well as how GungHo you are towards efficient endgame farming.

Puzzle and Dragons is a grindy game by nature in that you are often repeatedly playing the same dungeon over and over again. As such, you will often wish to complete each run in as little time/stress as possible.

We do have no Skyfall leaders for damage control as well as other teams that are capable of hitting under specific thresholds from most given boards. Thus, we do already have the capabilities to handle Damage Void encounters, but they are less efficient and safe compared to Box awakening teams.

As a result, it will be a form of Powercreep for players who wish to min/max their gameplay and heavily farm specific encounters. However, for the average/casual player, the Box awakening will be nice to have, but far from needed as they will often not actually encounter those types of spawns. Furthermore, by the time these players encounter Damage Void spawns, there may already be other solutions available.

Do you need Damage Void Awakenings?

Presently speaking, all the above listed encounters are manageable, but can either be more tedious, require more skill, or dangerous overall. Thus, it will be wonderful to own a Box awakening, especially if you plan on repeatedly farming their respective dungeons. Furthermore, once you have a taste for the Box awakening, it will be challenging to return to normal methods.

However, GungHo will begin releasing encounters far more challenging than what we currently have and the need to own a Box awakening will rise.

I am not a fan of that direction as it may eventually become an issue of owning that very specific counter to succeed. Take for example Hanuman in Cosmic Trintiy floor 6. He is essentially impossible to kill without a Fujin-style active as he has an obnoxious amount of health and you may end up stalling 99 turns which is not fun. Often times players will actually quit instead of wasting all that time.

As such, my hope is that the need for Box awakenings does not reach that level of dependency.

Lack of accessibility

Unlike active skills, awakening are tied to that specific monster and cannot be inherited or used as easily. What this means is that the Box awakening will be locked to the Final Fantasy REM which is problematic in my opinion as it will become that much more challenging to use across various teams or for even just piggybacking with a friend.

Being able to inherit Fujin style actives enables all players to have access to his ability, but many of the Final Fantasy characters will be used as a sub and if used as a leader, they ideally want to be paired with themselves. As such, the Box awakening will be horribly restrictive to those who roll in a Collab REM.

Despite the fact that we are about 3 months behind JP, there are no new cards coming out with the Box awakening. Thus, you may have to roll in the hopes of acquiring the ideal card for your teams.

Pixel Evolutions

It is 2017 and we finally have moving Monster artwork. What a time to be alive. However, they are retro pixel drawings, but hopefully it is a step to a more animated Puzzle and Dragons adventure. Regardless, the Pixel evolutions for the Final Fantasy Characters all possess the Void Damage Penetration awakening and will be their main appeal/draw.

As such, the decision to make the Pixel or non-Pixel evolution will be dependent on the type of content you wish to play through; however, just remember that the Pixel evolutions are the only way to acquire the Box awakening. Sadly, only the old 5 and 6-stars have Pixel evolutions.

In addition to the new Box awakening, the Pixel evolutions all change the original card’s base active skill which may have tremendous applications for specific teams as they can potentially add to your total combo count or unlock orbs.

To roll or not to roll?

If you are an end game player and are animate about farming challenging content, it is worthwhile to acquire a Pixel evolution. This is coming from someone who does not own a Fujin and has to rely on partners but is out of luck when cooping with my two accounts. Furthermore, the fact that Pixel evolutions tend to be subs will make it nearly impossible to find a competent leader to clear those kind of dungeons if a friend has one up.


The Pixel evolutions will dramatically enhance your capabilities to farm challenging content by ignoring damage void shields and providing a sizable 2.5x ATK boost to the owning card. Void Damage Penetration will not work against absorbs, but will help trivialize encounters such as Azathoth and Noah Dragon. As a result, if you are an end game player who wishes to take their farming capabilities to the next level, it is worthwhile to acquire a Pixel evolution for yourself as it will be challenging to find a friend with one as most are either subs or pair best with themselves.

Let me know what you think about the Final Fantasy Collab and the new Void Damage Penetration awakening.

Happy Puzzling!

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32 thoughts on “Quick Thoughts on Final Fantasy and Void Damage Penetration Awakening”

  1. I honestly hate all the stupid mechanics on stuff like the radars, so I’m hoping I can finally reliably solo farm A3 using the pixels.

    I definitely see your point about the pattern of implementing aggravating new mechanics, and then releasing counters to them a year or so later… I’m not sure there’s any other way for them to continue advancing the game, though.


    1. Yeah that is part of the problem, PAD is still a puzzling game at its core and there is only so many ways to solve a board. Furthermore, as the average player’s skill and time extends increase, it becomes more manageable to optimize most given boards.

      Regardless, I hope these help you with your Arena 3 endevours =D


    1. Word on the curb seems to be Lightning, Light/Dark Cecil and Cloud at this time with Lightning being the best for short CD usage and 3 hastes. Cloud apparently is extremely good for the upcoming Hera-Nyx where with 3 devil killers on top of his awoken killer can almost one shot her by himself on a Yog team.


      1. The pixel healers (Lightning and LCecil, also Rinoa and Y’shtola) can equip Dragon Killers, which is pretty useful. Yuna’s proving to be pretty valuable in her non-pixel form, so she’s low on the list to pixelate, and Y’shtola has FUA in her non-pixel Uvo so your box may dictate whether you want to pixlate her.


        1. Thank you for your response.

          Honestly, besides the new released, I have everyone but Seph, Noct, Tifa, & Lightening. I have 2 yuna, so one will be pixelated…. just not sure if I should for Cloud, or which Cecil. I do plan on pulling for Lightening, and maybe Tifa too. I am not good with decisions. haha. Not sure of the best approach.


          1. As mentioned above, the major standouts to not pixel are Yuna and Y’shtola and is based on your box and needs. Cloud is incredible as a pixel for his role in Cosmic Trinity Yog teams

            For Cecil, where do you plan to use them?


            1. I decided to dark pixel Cecil. … I have a dath/ Haku x3/ loki team…. not sure if he will be needed…. but I thought he’d be the best option considering dark is my primary.

              Thanks for you advice. I appreciate your time.


  2. I wonder though how feasible this is for the average player like me. The box-card will have to do the damage all by itself, if i understand correctly. These monsters have extreme high HP oftentimes, meaning i will have to fully activate leaderskills which will limit space for a 3×3 greatly. I see problems activating this AND make the kill move with just one box-card or activating it several times in succession. My onion-knight will not do the trick i fear.

    Thanks for the post as always!


    1. Sadly only the card with the box awakening will benefit from this which is why it is sometimes common practice to run two of them. Conversely, you can also utilize latent killers to help make the job a little easier


  3. For me, one of the best things about this FF collab is the addition of Balthier. Personally, I think he is a great leader.

    Unbindable, 2 time extends, 2 orb enhance, 1 skill boost, 1 skill bind resist and 7c. His leader skill features a damage reduction which is most welcome…easily activated, clears fodder, yet does not cause spike damage so delaying is feasible(unlike pretty much every other damage absorb leader skills i can think of.)

    So play style wise, he is like a 5+1enhanced, a rainbow and a combo leader(to reach 7c) all in one. All things i enjoy. His Active skill is also pretty cool. It changes red and mortal/regular poison to green and grants 3 turns of 50% for skyfall orbs to drop as enhanced.

    The only thing is that finding subs is can be hard. You need full colour coverage and ideally need orb enhance and time extends. As far as full board orb changers, you need 3 colours(no heal) or 4 colour orb generators(5 colour might be too unreliable). So several of the Chinese gods would work well.

    I was lucky enough for my free roll on my alt to pull him and I went a little out of my way to make sure my main got him as well. All in all, a fun leader.


    1. Glad you have found value/merit in using Balthier! My main problem with him is several activation requirements which can result in either orb troll or not enough damage due to too many colours.

      However, I do believe he is the first rainbow oriented 5o1e so that does make him quite unique =D


      1. Like creep said, Balthier is a nice Addition. Fujin was my 1st roll and both can be compared (more or less). Easy activation, some damage ctrl. Only thing I am missing:
        The right subs
        I thing Meimei and Spica are key subs as you should be able to Cover all the colors (Main green and light, dark blue with just 3 subs), you will have the perfect 3ple color active, and good options for making enough green orbs.
        Unfortunately I do not have them. So yes, the damage is a bit poor.
        But with Diabolos it is a nice pairing of leaders.


        1. I actually don’t have Meimei or Spica either. For concentrated damage, yes you would ideally need to try to get green main attribute and fill the rainbow with sub attribute. In light not having those subs, I have chosen a more hybrid build.

          Reincarnated Yomi
          Reincarnated Haku
          Reincarnated Kush

          My thinking for this(besides not having some ideal subs) is that you would be looking at using skills every single time there weren’t 5 green orbs(which can be often) or you definitely couldn’t do enough damage. With this build, i have 5 Green, 4 Water and 5 Dark Orb enhances.

          Which usually means that in any given skyfall, I have at least 5 of one of these colours with an enhance. If it is Green or Dark, with 7c I am looking at doing 6-9 million in damage. If its blue, closer to 2 million in water damage. Not exactly the highest damage, but for the average ‘no skills used’ board its decent.

          When i need spike, Haku + Balthier means i can likely activate with all main colours(if i choose) and my damage goes into the 10s of millions. Its not Metatron killing damage but I got through Arena1 and the FF 3P level fine.

          I guess my point is that Balthier on an all green main attribute team can put out crazy damage. But if you don’t have those subs, you can still do great damage with hybrid solutions as well as having the ability to stall.


          1. For those interested…I actually remembered i had pulled Eschamali a little while ago but hadn’t really used her. Throwing her on my Balthier team I had Haku hit for over 25 million damage with no added spike multipliers. Not bad at all.


  4. i dunno if blobs are really power creep if most pixels aren’t strong enough to finish off those opponents without moderate skill or support

    for a newer player, it’s really only good for killing zeal and dark metatamas


    1. Using high multiplier leaders, stacking bursts, using killers can make a single card deal enough damage overall

      It is not uncommon for Cloud to one shot 500M Azathoth in CTA on Yog teams


      1. That’s not trivial though. It’s not like just any unit with that awakening can get the job done with low skill. It becomes another tool in the kit, not one that makes everything else obsolete.


        1. Not sure what you mean by trivial and low skill

          The point I am trying to get across is that it is the most efficient method for dealing with these bosses. You stack any combination of heavy orb changing, gemstone bursts, high multipliers, and killer latent/awakenings and that single card can one shot huge HP bosses. This is why Cosmic Trinity farming teams run Cloud on Yog teams


  5. Well, I was fortunate.Between the last time and this one, I snagged
    Cloud x2, Tifa x2, Balth x2, Yuna x2, & 1 lightening.
    So, I made a pixel of each (except Balth). I did make lightening a pixel as well, but feeling a little conflicted. I hear it is the better choice, but hoping for some confirmation. 🙂

    Thanks as always for your time to put these together!


    1. Well for the most part, Pixels of all cards but Yuna tends to be superior

      With Lightning, you are trading a rainbow board + true damage for row + combo count

      Unless you are super GungHo on Ra Dragon, you made the right choice as that kind of board does not benefit most teams and true damage is better tied to other actives for the most part


    1. Tifa can pair with Xiu Min or Ameno to form a powerful light row team. Good enough for A1-A2 for sure, and can do A3 with the right subs.

      Pixel Sephiroth is a pretty good dark row leader too, I’ve been having fun with him, but he’s not top tier or anything.


  6. I have to say, I found the FF collab to be quite good as far as using the egg machine. I was sitting at 25% Diamond, 50% Gold and 25% silver. If i could get that on the beach collab i would be ecstatic. But i already know I won’t. I did a few pulls this morning. Silver city.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for the analysis & all the information man.
    I think the only thing that will be “pixelated” in my box will probably be Tifa (my only FF dupe so far).
    I won’t touch lightening or sephiroth, but Rinoa… I don’t know, not because of the awakening, but the active is definitively interesting…


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