Puzzle and Dragons is a tremendously old game and in order to keep it fresh and exciting, new cards, dungeons, and mechanics are periodically introduced. As a general rule, newer monsters/dungeons tend to be stronger/more challenging compared to previously released content in order to provide motivation for players to continue playing.
As a result, the concept of Powercreep will regularly occur but one thing I want to stress is that because PAD is a Gatcha-style game that is also Player versus Environment (PvE), cards do not actually become weaker once released. They only become “weaker” relatively speaking compared to newer options.
This is an important distinction to make as a leader from one year ago can still clear all of the content they could originally but also has the strong likelihood of being able to clear more due to stronger subs, inherits, and asymmetrical pairings.
This article will explore these concepts in greater detail as it has been a topic I have addressed more often lately and I want to share my own opinions for how the meta of PAD functions.
–video coming soon–
Powercreep is the concept of newer cards being more powerful compared to previous options. This can take shape in many different forms and includes but not limited to: more Weighted Stats, stronger Leader Skill multipliers, better awakenings, and high value actives. Essentially, a card (or evolution for said card) released in 2020 will tend to be stronger compared to those from 2018 of a comparable rarity.
As a whole, Powercreep is a good thing because without it, the game would grow stale quite quickly as there is no true Player versus Player (PvP) aspect. Generally speaking, Powercreep tends to be less prominent in PvP, non-Gatcha games such as MOBAs (eg. League of Legends) as the majority of the game is based around directly interacting with other players.
Card never become weaker
Due to the fact that PAD is a Gatcha-style game (must spend premium currency to randomly acquire monsters), no cards are allowed to be nerfed/reduced in power. As a result, a card acquired in 2018 will be just as strong as it was upon release, the only thing that that has changed is that it is relatively weaker compared to other cards currently available.
In fact, older leaders become “stronger” due to a better sub pool and asymmetrical pairings. One prime example is Dark Karin who was one of the strongest leaders upon her initial release. She featured strong personal damage against end game spawns along with a Leader Skill that was easy to use and could deal with Resolve + Void spawns.
Over time, she has been push down by newer leaders who feature stronger Leader Skills but one interesting aspect for Dark Karin is her ability to asymmetrically pair with other cards. Presently speaking, she can pair with Tifa and Haohmaru along with the future Faska . Furthermore, we have a stronger pool of Light subs to draw upon today which means if you own Dark Karin, you can technically clear more content than before.
Is Dark Karin the best choice right now? No, but the point is she never actually got weaker, it is just stronger things have been released.
What does this mean overall?
First things first, never get rid of a single copy of any given card as there is always the potential for it to become stronger in the future with a new evolution/buffs. For myself, I am more strict with this rule when it comes to non Godfest Exclusives as those higher rarity Seasonal/Collab cards tend to be much harder to acquire overall due to their limit availability.
Secondly, you must remember that your cards have not actually become weaker, in fact, it is possible your former top-tier leaders are actually stronger as more options have become available.
With this in mind, it is possible you may not have to continuously roll in the Rare Egg Machine for some time as you have enough tools to address the majority of mechanics or are still able to clear all the content you find important.
Keeping up with Powercreep
Everyone has different goals and motivations for playing Puzzle and Dragons but one reasonably common theme is being able to clear end game content. What is considered end game content varies over time, but it usually consists of the highest level of Arena, Alt. Arena, and/or Colosseum.
Upon their initial debut, these dungeons tend to be quite difficult for current options but does become more manageable over time. Furthermore, because PAD is PvE along with the rewards being less “valuable” compared to several years ago (Pys used to be exceptionally rare and valuable), there is no true rush to clear these.
As such, I feel the best way to keep up with Powercreep is to stockpile Magic Stones and wait for an event that is a significant step up compared to your current Monster Box. Furthermore, this event ideally has value at the bottom rarity so heavily rolling feels less wasteful. One prime example was the Yu-Gi-Oh Collab where players could potentially roll almost an entire team that could clear the higher levels of Arena with minimal investment (look at Pancaaake HERE).
For the most part, her account just logs in and rolls when she feels like it and lady luck was on her side as she was able to acquire all of the subs and some inherits. While this does require a certain degree of luck, it highlights how this process works.
While leaders tend to be Powercrept faster than subs, they do not actually become weaker and can still clear just as much content. As such, sniping a top tier leader will potentially have you “set” for a modest period of time.
In the case of Pancaaake’s account, she will continue to periodically log in but will probably not roll heavily again for quite some timei n order to re-catch up on Powecreep.
Rare Egg Machine cards within Puzzle and Dragons never become weaker, they are simply less powerful compared to newer monsters released. This is an important distinction to make as your older leaders can still clear just as much content as they could beforehand and possibly more due to more subs, inherits, or asymmetrical pairings.
With this in mind, it is possible to forgo rolling in every event and only spending Magic Stones when it will dramatically advance your level of progress.
Let me know how you approach Powercreep along with what older cards you find yourself using in this day and age.
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