Monster Exchanging for Top Rarity Collab/Seasonal Cards


The Monster Exchange system is one of the better aspects of Puzzle and Dragons as it allows players to access cards that would normally be too difficult to acquire otherwise. By being able to trade in several other cards for something of value can greatly advance your progress but it is not without drawbacks.

The card you are trading for will cost 4 or 5 rare cards and the value they bring to your Monster Box must last for a prolong period of time to justify this trade.

With this in mind, I want to outline how I approach Monster Exchanging for top rarity Collab/Seasonal cards by explaining my own mental checklist.

This article is based on my own goals and approach to playing the game which may be different compared yours so use these thoughts as a starting point, not absolute truths.

Video commentary

–video coming soon–

Monster Exchange system

The Monster Exchange system for top rarity Seasonal/Collab cards first came to North America during the YYH Collab debut where Yusuke was featured.

At the time, Yusuke was one of the best leaders in the game as he has strong multipliers, synergistic active, gentle team building requirements, and powerful awakenings. This made him potentially the best leader for many Monster Boxes and the Monster Exchange was heavily used by many players.

Being able to acquire what was arguably the best leader in the game at that time by sacrificing four 6* GFE instead of countless Magic Stones in an average Collab was too good to pass up on and my friends list quickly became flooded with Yusukes.

This situation highlighted the main appeal for the Monster Exchange system: no Magic Stones were needed and players could avoid all the junk/filler cards in a Collab to acquire the important prize. Unfortunately, using the Monster Exchange is a costly procedure and we do not have unlimited trade fodder available.

Regardless, this was a step in the right direction as players could now draw upon dupes of less used cards to acquire something of tremendous value right now.

Finite Trade Fodder

What keeps any game interesting for a prolong period of time is a  continuous stream of new/harder content along with new cards to deal with them. This is essentially Powercreep and assuming you do not have unlimited Magic Stones or ridiculous luck, you will not be able to have everything you want.

This concept of working with limited resources is actually what makes PAD fun and further solidifies the notion that Puzzle and Dragons is not a game for quick gratification, but instead a game of continuous, albeit slower satisfaction.

With this in mind, players must plan for the future when using the Monster Exchange system as trades will be seldom made and we want to gain as much value as possible.

What I have traded for

As of publication for this article, I have only utilized the Monster Exchange twice for top rarity cards: Yusuke and then Beach Barbara & Julie for both of their debut events.

Yusuke was part hype, part practicality as I was fortunate enough to roll Edward early in the year but would only be able to coop with myself via Yusuke. Both leaders have their own pros and cons but having Yusuke did open up more 2p adventures along with having a stellar VDP card.

On the other hand, Beach Barbara & Julie was perhaps less needed as i already had Edward and Yusuke but they did open up new team compositions along with being exceptionally strong in 3p Arena 2 which I play often on Stream Twitch. She also opened up the possibility to fully activate without hitting 7 combos which makes both Resolve and Void spawns easier.

Aside from these, there has been temptations but nothing that I was desperate enough to trade for. This is partially due to a lack of Trade Fodder along with the possible cards not bringing enough value to my Monster Box.

My mental checklist

Whenever a new card is released, there is a certain degree of hype or excitement along with the temptation to acquire them. As such, I have developed a mental checklist for evaluating whether or not a card is needed in order to avoid making a poor, long term decision.

Can I afford it?

The first thing that comes to my mind for Monster Exchanging or really anything in the real world is “can I afford it?” Depending on the rarity of the desired card, I will need 4-5 Trade Fodder of a certain rarity and it is quite easy to determine if you have the necessary cards to exchange with.

With that being said, I do not want to trade away any card that I have only a single copy of. This is because cards, especially Godfest Exclusives, are buffed/improved on a regular basis and it is impossible to predict how strong they will be in 6 months time nor what the meta will be.

For example, Fenrir Viz always had some God Killing potential but was almost a meme due to the idea of a Jammer-based team and little applications upon their debut. Amusingly, they have become one of the more desired Light subs in their current form due to their 1-turn cooldown that causes a Jammer Skyfall while having solid stats and powerful God Killing potential.

This is just one example of a card that went from zero to hero overnight due to a new evolution. Thus, I am loathe to ever trade away any card I have only a single copy of.

Why do I want it?

After determining whether or not I can afford the desired card, I have to determine why they are desirable. What do they bring to the table that gets me excited or am I falling into the hype trap? Does it offer a new and powerful Leader Skill mechanic or can they function as a new superstar sub?

Understanding your motivations/rationale for a card can help you come to a better decision for whether or not you want this card.

Does it surpass my current options?

After determining why I want a certain card and knowing I can afford it, I then look at my current Monster Box and figure out if it does surpass my current options.

My logic for Monster Exchanging is that it must surpass my current cards by a sizable amount to justify the cost. I want to acquire a significant upgrade, not a side-grade or flavour of the month card.

For example, Zela Kitty was one of the best leaders upon her debut but their success heavily hinged upon having duplicate Zelas and Yoh’s Weapon Assist which I did not have. Despite the fact that I could afford the trade, I would not be able to field a team that would be stronger compared to what I already have. As a result, I decided not to trade for her.

How long will they remain relevant?

How long a card will remain relevant is difficult to say as everything eventually gets Powercrept over time. With that being said, leaders tend to die out faster compared to subs and inherits.

This is because Leader Skills can only have so much variation and it is easy to slightly increase the multipliers to create a stronger card. By comparison, subs are somewhat “locked” in their power potential due to the less ways to improve a card without going overboard.

For example, increasing a leader’s ATK multiplier from 15x to 16x results in a jump to 256x from 225x. This is not too outrageous and while this is an improvement, it can be done in a slower/more manageable manner. By comparison, it is harder to improve a sub via awakenings as the jump is significantly faster. Giving a card an extra 7 Combo 45 is a massive spike in their power potential and is one reason why we only have one card with four 7 Combos ().

As such, if a sub has a unique kit, fulfills a specific role better compared to other options (eg. Eir ), or offers a notable step up in offensive capabilities (eg. Slayer ), they tend to last longer.

With this in mind, it can create an interesting conundrum: leaders tend to advance you faster through content as they play the biggest role in your chances for success but at the same time, are the most likely card to be Powercrept. As such, if you are exchanging for a leader, they must be significantly stronger compared to your other options as they should enable you to clear new content.


The Monster Exchange system is one of the better aspects of Puzzle and Dragons as it allows players to skip a poor event and only acquire a specific card without spending Magic Stones.

For myself, I believe the Monster Exchange system should dramatically advance your progress in order to justify the loss of 4-5 cards.

The above checklist is my own personal approach and is not the only way to evaluate whether or not a card should or should not be exchanged for.

Let me know how you approach the Monster Exchange system and how you rationalize/determine the viability for acquiring a specific monster in the comments below.

Happy Puzzling!

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23 thoughts on “Monster Exchanging for Top Rarity Collab/Seasonal Cards”

  1. I’ve traded for two units: Edward and Zela Kitty.

    The former was partly because I wanted to actually have the character and partly due to being incredibly easy to use and teambuild for; he helped me a lot when I didn’t have the box to build teams for more restrictive leaders, and still finds use nowadays as a leader I can throw whatever subs I want onto who’s easy to activate. I do feel like he was mostly a transitional card (I don’t use him nearly as much nowadays) but I don’t regret the trade.

    Zela Kitty was purely because I’d rolled 3x Zela somehow. I never got a Yoh equip but I have a couple Typhons which I’ve made do with. I tend to break her out for shorter dungeons with really nasty spawns, since the Zela board can hit 7c/VDP/FUA trivially which disposes of the vast majority of them.


    1. If the Monster Exchange came with Edward’s debut, I feel the majority of players would have traded for him instead of Yusuke

      Either way, Edward is still a solid card and he did have a fair amount of time as a top tier leader

      Hopefully you do acquire a Yoh or more SFUA weapons come out!


  2. With the recent introduction of Super hazard resist awakenings, I would hesitate to trade for any subs (i.e. Ranger Slayer) unless it’s absolutely necessary to clear harder content.

    I suspect the best subs moving forward will be cards that not only have amazing VDP damage, but also Super hazard resists – freeing up assist slots for more utility or extra damage awakenings. The cards appearing in the latest JP collab – Fujimi Fantasia Bunko, appear to suggest as much. Lina Inverse in particular has an incredible kit.


    1. The thing with subs is that you can use four of them so they can stick around longer

      As for your predictions, I do agree that super Resists will come up more often, but that may also eventually occur via Weapons. Furthermore, as leader skills get stronger, there may be a lower need for Poison Resist

      For example, Tifa gives 6x RCV or 12x with Dark Karin. This often means they can skip Poison Resist so this may also open up awakening slots


  3. Hi Mantastic,
    Speaking of ZelaKitty, I have a very solid ZelaKitty team (3 Zelas in different forms, GCotton, Rex, Yoh, OdinDra, Fujin, Viz, Xmas Romia, GRonia, Eir, etc.), but I only have one copy of Yoh…Do you think it worth converting Yoh into the weapon form? Although I have already given him the super awoken skill…


    1. From the depth of your green box, you don’t actually need Yoh, so I don’t see an issue if converting helps with VPD+FUA+7C encounters. I realize you already have base form Zela that provides this but adding 2x damage from a 3X3 heart to your other zela is amazing damage.


    2. You can always convert back if somehow you find a better assist (doubtful in the near future). ZKitty seems like a better lead to me than Yoh, anyways


    3. Considering your deep sub pool, I find it unlikely you would use Yoh as a leader or sub. As such, I would convert into a Weapon as it is ideal for your team.

      Furthermore, you can always revert at a later time if the Collab comes back and he receives a sizable buff


  4. I just exchanged 2 valks, 1 echidna, 1 flute eva, and 1 beach escha for green ranger weapon to use on a zela kitty team. bad move?


  5. I have exchanged probably too much…

    Like you I went for Yusuke and BJ…
    I traded as well for the fujin from Kenshin bc I was playing Yusuke and still had no fujin-type. (Now I have 8 lol). Served me well, great trades.

    I also traded for Joihra, Blujin, Zkitty, Bradimante and Highren. I am still wondering if I should have done Suou instead of highren.
    I used Joihra a ton for 7×6 with BJ and now she lives as an inherit since Highren replaced her. Blujin helps my non kuro BJ team and Dmeta, Brad help dkarin/tifa and zkitty leads a 1 zela army.

    I was very seriously considering hcotton for my karin/tifa team and I think I should have traded for her instead of Bradi, bc demon yusuke is enough dmg lol and my team could use a better board changer than ney

    I have sacrificed many cards on the altar and I regret maybe one, eschamali, bc she wasn’t a dupe.

    I am passing on PR even though GR is my one true love and will probably pass on Raoh as well.

    Like you said, it either needs to be a leader tier above my best or a stellar sub.

    I really really hope we get the orchestra or a gfest back soon so I can join the PhIna train!


    1. We will get Orchestra again after Heroine / Fist of the North Star since it is GH-owned

      As for your trades, you have certainly done many but if they provided value for a modest period of time and it did advance your progress, it is solid.

      My mom traded for Yusuke, BJ, and Beach Fujin if I am not mistaken and she still uses both Beach cards today


  6. Is it good as a long term strategy to accumulate dupes of GFEs in case you need to catch up to powercreep?

    And on that note, how viable is it for older players to trade? I’m a newer NIAP player and I’ve only ever traded once before for NY Yomi, and I don’t think I will be able to trade again for a long time, since most GFEs I obtain these days are my first copy. I guess my monster box is just underdeveloped?


    1. It makes sense to stock pile GFE for potential future powercreep but at the same time, there is a chance newer events will have better rolling rates etc

      Also, future SGF will have new GFE who are usually stronger as well


  7. So far my only trade has been DKarin and I am fairly satisfied. I have enough dupe witches for a second top tier trade but I want to see where the meta goes before investing into something that can take me beyond DRaizer/Kitty or DKarin/Tifa


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