Team building in Puzzle and Dragons is an invaluable skill as it enables players to examine a dungeon and determine the best approach possible. Over the course of many years, the strategies used for team building have changed as it is largely defined by the types of mechanics players will face and what tools are currently available.
Presently speaking, the top tier teams are those that have high amounts of effective health (whether through HP or damage reduction) in order to withstand outrageously large preemptives or attacks. Unfortunately, just using a strong leader is not enough and having the right subs, inherits, and latents is mandatory to success.
Nowadays, players are able to better customize their teams to counter dungeons as we now have access to more inherits, latents, weapon assists, specialized awakenings, and more counters to common mechanics.
This article will be focusing on how to build a team to counter the dungeon at hand instead of specifically saying one must use XYZ team to succeed. In addition, I will be presenting some generic team building ideas for some of the more popular leaders today.
–video coming soon–
PAD is a Puzzle game
This may seem like a redundant statement, but Puzzle and Dragons requires both orb matching skills as well as planning for the dungeon. All mechanics have some sort of counter and it is up to the player to determine the most efficient way to do so without compromising the overall team composition.
Over time, we have been given more tools for dealing with the same mechanic and this has dramatically expanded team building options. We are no longer forced to always bring the same card which is wonderful for players with less diverse Monster Boxes.
Choosing the right Leader
Leader Skills are far more varied compared to several years ago and this gives players more flexibility for playing through content. As such, different leaders can be used for the same dungeon but all those that are successful tend to share the same few traits.
High ATK Multipliers
Leader Skills are now able to hit amazing levels of damage output and this can be further bolstered by offensive awakenings. For example, (Pre-buff) Edward and Vraska have a “low” multiplier at 144x ATK but their effective damage is pushed up to 576x through their dual 7 Combo awakenings.
With that being said, the key is to have sufficient damage to sweep the average floor without needing to use an active skill.
Having a high ATK multiplier is great, but being able to activate nearly every turn from most given boards is invaluable. For example, dual Anubis is able to deal spectacular amounts of damage, but hitting 8 or more combos on a 6×5 board is not always possible along with having to dedicate an active skill to use every turn. As such, Anubis is not considered a top tier leader and while one can shore up some problems via 7×6, the active skill clause will slow him down.
Despite the fact that Leader Skills are now able to pump out amazing amounts of damage, it means nothing if they cannot take any form of punishment. As such, having access to some form of defensive multiplier has become vital when pushing through end game content.
Presently speaking, durability comes in several forms but they can be loosely grouped by the following:
- High HP
- High RCV
- Blend of HP/RCV
- Damage reduction
This is not an exhaustive list and it is possible for a leader to have several different components; however, the ease in which their RCV/damage reduction occurs can be a large determining factor for their potency.
Leaders with High HP are those that tend to have around 4x (with dual leaders) and this enables them to tank the largest preemptives in the game without an active skill. This can greatly ease team building as they are not required to bring any damage reduction to survive; however, they are often lacking an RCV component so they have to plan for gravities and repeated large attacks.
This was a major problem in the past, but with the current state of Enhanced Heal Orb awakenings, it is possible for teams with no RCV multiplier to heal amazingly high amounts of health with each 4-heart match.
Teams with damage reduction are able to reduce incoming attacks by a certain percent when their criteria is met. As such, the ease in which they gain access to their damage reduction tends to play a major role in their ability to clear content. The main advantage damage reduction teams have is that they are better able to deal with gravities as even those that exceed 100% of a player’s health will be reduced down to something that can be survived. Furthermore, a 50% damage reduction can be viewed as an effective 2x HP and this is useful for planning out preemptive tanking.
Presently speaking, any combination of high HP and damage reduction that grants a large amount of effective health is considered the best as the healing aspect can be solved via Enhanced Heal Orb awakenings.
High RCV teams tend to be those with 4x+ multipliers and can essentially heal back up to full with only 3 heart orbs. Unfortunately, these teams tend to be unable to survive large preemptives so shielding/damage reduction is a must. Thankfully, they tend to fare the best again Poison attacks/skyfalls as they can easily heal back up.
While large amount of RCV is nice, it does become somewhat redundant if one is continuously over-healing. As such, it is often beneficial to pair a high RCV card with someone else who provides a different benefit. Furthermore, Enhanced Heal Orb awakenings have somewhat diminished the value of RCV leaders as the healing can be solved with 4-heart matches which can grant more effective health in the Leader Skill.
Blended teams are those that tends to have around 2.25x HP/RCV multipliers and they can be considered well rounded. They tend to be able to withstand most preemptives (barring Alt. Arena) while also being able to heal reasonably well. These types of teams tend to have a reasonably gentle time in team building and can either focus on more HP or RCV as needed. On that note, once a player is able to survive the largest reasonable attack, RCV tends to be more valuable as they will be better able to heal back up.
This section will outline what are the more common mechanics as well as the various ways to overcome them. While there are often several options for bypassing a mechanic, some are more efficient than others. With that being said, one must try and counter as many mechanics possible without sacrificing utility against other spawns.
Damage absorption is perhaps the most universally hated mechanic in the game. This is because a boss will heal instead of taking damage if they were to suffer damage that exceeds their threshold.
For example, if a spawn absorbs 200,000 or more damage, any single hit above will heal them instead of dealing damage. This can potentially undo any progress made on them as a heavy skyfalled match will cause heal them to full.
In the past, damage control or lower ATK multiplier were able to slide under their thresholds but with higher damaging leads, it can sometimes become impossible to control one’s damage.
Spawns with Damage Absorption will have a pink shield icon on their left and the boss can also be tapped and held to display their full absorption information.
Damage Void is like Damage absorption in that a spawn will prevent damage over a certain threshold, but instead of healing the encounter, they will suffer 1 damage instead. This is far nicer overall as will not reset any progress made along with being counterable by an awakening (VDP ) instead of an active.
While one will almost always be using an active to set up a 3×3 box, the orb changers used can also be used against other spawns and does not become a “dead” active after the boss is defeated.
Spawns with Damage Void will have a grey/silver shield icon on their left and the boss can also be tapped and held to display their full void information.
There are some spawns that will produce long lasting skyfalls of either Jammer or Poison orbs. These will dilute the amount of useful orbs present and can prevent activation of leader skills.
Depending on the dungeon at hand, it can be worked around, but using any active with a Jammer/Poison skyfall buff will override the boss’s ability. At this point in time, Fenrir tends to be the best option.
Poison Skyfalls can only be countered via negative skyfall buff actives, but bosses that spawn Poison Orbs can be trivialized via Poison Resist awakenings. Each awakening provides 20% immunity and can be stacked for 100% protection.
The Resolve mechanic is one of the older abilities in Puzzle and Drgaons as it enables a spawn to survive being killed when above a certain threshold. Furthermore, a monster that survives in this manner will be left with 1 HP which means they will usually perform their more lethal ability.
In the past, damage control and Gravities were used to bypass this mechanic, but we now have access to the Follow Up Attack (FUA) awakening. FUA activates by forming a column of heart orbs and will deal 1 damage to the spawn after all other forms of damage have occurred. Thus, this single point of damage will kill the Boss when they are left at 1 HP and thus preventing their execution.
Resolve spawns have become so common that a team will almost always want to have a FUA card.
No Status Shield
For the most part, the majority of encounters have the Status Shield ability which prevents them from being delayed, DEF broken, or poisoned. Thankfully, there are still several lethal spawns that lack this ability and being able to delay, DEF break, or poison them can be invaluable. As such, having 1 delay tends to be advantageous in dungeons where it can be used as it can also be used as a stalling/healing point.
We are now entering an era where numerous spawns have millions of Defense. The way Defense works is that it will prevent all incoming damage (down to 1) that is below their Defense value. Thus, players will have to have at least 1 card dealing higher damage in order to kill. While this can be overcome with high multipliers, bursts, or awakenings, using a DEF Break can be advantageous provided they have no Status Shield.
Awoken Binds are somewhat of a new mechanic and they cannot be resisted, only cleared via an active skill. Once bound, players will lose access to their awakenings which means they can be bound, deal less damage, and have lower movement time. As such, it is highly recommended one brings an appropriate active to counter this mechanic.
With that being said, if the Awoken Bind is short enough or one is using a durable leader, they can potentially stall through it.
There are numerous tier lists for Puzzle and Dragons and all tend to assume players have all possible options available which may not be realistic overall. As such, one should take any tier list with a grain of salt / view as a starting point as your own individual Monster Box will determine how will you can build their respective team.
With that being said, here are a few stronger leaders to keep in mind:
All 4 of these leaders feature varying degrees of survivability, high damage potential, and have relatively easy activation requirements. Furthermore, they are able to capitalize on various powerful subs to compliment their formidable Leader Skill.
If this section proves popular, I will make a subsequent post with these along with more leaders to provide a general framework for more powerful cards.
Yusuke is perhaps the most common leader in Puzzle and Dragons due to the fact that he was the first card available through the Monster Exchange system. As such, many players made their first trade here and the fact that he has gentle team building requirements helps him become more accessible overall.
In essence, Yusuke is a tanky combo-based leader as he requires Water and Light matches along with 7 combos to deal 225x ATK. Furthermore, he passively has 2.25x HP/RCV which enables him to withstand most attacks in the game while also being able to heal up accordingly.
Some cards include, but not limited to:
Essentially, use any Light card with 7 Combo and their Yusuke team will be able to clear plenty of content.
Beach Barbara & Julie (BJ) hails from the Beach Rare Egg Machine and is an incredibly powerful and tanky leader. While she only features 144x ATK, her 6 Killer awakenings enables her to deal amazingly high amounts of damage to multi-type spawns. Furthermore, her ability to activate with only Water and Fire means she can sweep most floors with relative ease.
With that being said, her 4x HP is perhaps her strongest asset as she is able to withstand any incoming preemptive and most executions. This grants great stalling potential and the healing issue can be solved by a single Mel or double Kuroyuri . As such, her team building requirements are reasonably gentle as she only requires Water or Fire cards (sub does not have to have both attributes) who ideally have the 7 Combo awakenings.
Some cards include, but not limited to:
Dark Metatron is often considered the strongest leader in the game due to her 4x HP, damage reduction, 225x ATK, and access to strong subs. Unfortunately, she also has the hardest team building requirements and a more rigid composition compared to everyone else here due to her God typing restriction. Furthermore, she tends to have low orb movement time due to the fact that her “core” subs and herself heavily lack Time Extends .
With that being said, if one can puzzle quickly, she is a force to be reckoned with as she has the highest effective HP of any meta leader.
4x HP plus 43.75% damage reduction enables her to survive outrageously large attacks when matching 7 or more Combos. While the <80% HP condition can be restricting, the it should be reasonably easy to juggle your HP when you have over 140k in solo mode along with HP-modifying actives.
Dark Metatron teams feature a “core” set of 3 subs with the fourth one being flexible. This can be problematic as it can be hard to replace them but thankfully one is farmable.
Izanagi boasts strong stats but it is his 3 turn active skill that provides 2x burst along with a -50% hp that sets him apart. This short cooldown enables him to carry an inherit or simply act as a reliable spike.
Eir is the Dark equivalent to Mel in that she provides Enhanced Heal Orb awakenings which helps solve RCV issues. It is hard to replace Eir and the fact that she is farmable means there is technically no excuse for not having one.
Of course players can still clear plenty of content if lacking these subs, it will just be a bit harder.
Possible other subs include, but not limited to:
Edward has just received a massive buff to his Leader Skill along with the ability to gain a third 7 Combo awakening. This propels his total damage to new highs while still retaining his amazing damage reduction.
When above 50% HP (after healing), Edward is able to enjoy 57.75% damage reduction. This is pretty amazing as he can still stay above 50% from a 99% gravity along with being able to tank large amounts of damage without additional shielding. Furthermore, his 196x ATK combined with his triple 7 Combos enables him to deal massive amounts of damage.
Team building Edward will look quite similar to Yusuke with the exception that can use any sub along with any type of board changer. Of course one should still place emphasis on Light cards to take advantage of Edward’s active along with having full rainbow coverage (main or sub attribute) to facilitate his Skill Charge . Finally, cards with high HP are preferred as it gives him a larger >50% HP range.
Potential subs include, but not limited to:
Team building for a dungeon
As mentioned above, teams are less rigid compared to before as we now have more cards that can fulfill similar roles. Thus, it becomes an issue of determining the most lethal dungeon mechanics and bringing an appropriate counter. It is best to prioritize the area where you will foresee the most trouble but not over-committing and leaving yourself with not enough answers to other spawns.
If you find yourself unable to overcome a dungeon easily with a particular team and feel it is not a puzzling issue (orb movement), it may be best to find a different team/composition to use.
Team Building in Puzzle and Dragons is a vital skill to master as it will help yield more consistent clears. While having strong orb matching abilities is essential, using the wrong team will often result in more problems that cannot be puzzled away.
If the sample team builds prove popular, I will make a subsequent follow up post expanding the list as well as detail for each leader.
|Mantastic Social Media|
If you enjoy my content, please consider turning off AdBlocker for this website =)