Puzzle and Dragons is my longest played game as I have now passed 2,500 days which technically makes it my longest lasting relationship to date. Regardless, I wish to take this opportunity to explain my thought process and rationale for rolling in any event or when Monster Exchanging.
To preface this, I want to stress that there is no “correct” way to play PAD as it is incredibly open-ended as there is no true story or lore and after a terribly brief tutorial, you are basically tossed into the wilds and expected to play. Due to this degree of freedom, there is a strong possibility that you may be playing PAD for different reasons compared to myself along with varying goals and expectations. This is perfectly fine and as long as you are enjoying yourself and not compromising other aspects of your life, you are playing this game “right.”
Regardless, I wish to share my own approach to maximizing my PAD resources which in turn brings me the most excitement from this tremendously old game.
Why I play Puzzle and Dragons
I originally started playing PAD after reading a newspaper article describing this new hit app in Japan while riding the bus. The article piqued my curiosity and later that night I downloaded Puzzle and Dragons on my iPad mini as my phone was not smart enough to run it and is why I prefer playing on a larger screen as that was what I got used to originally.
Needless to say, I became addicted quite quickly and it was a joy trying to maximize my stamina usage while also manipulating orbs in a more efficient manner. Furthermore, the collecting aspect with the pseudo feeling of an RPG due to the lengthy process involved for investing in new cards kept me coming back for more. In essence, the constant struggle, impossibly high skill ceiling for orb matching, and limited resources drew me in.
Fast forward to today and while I have been able to improve on the orb matching aspect, the constant struggle and working with limited resources remain but mostly come in the form of limited Magic Stones and far too many events to roll in.
As such, the largest challenge for myself right now is being able to tackle new and difficult content as it is released while also producing content on a regular basis.
Roll for Need not Greed
Due to the fact that I have been playing Puzzle and Dragons for over 2,500 days, I have been able to build up a reasonably deep Monster Box along with having a relative excess of the various Farmable in-game resources (Latents, Pluses, Tamadras, Farmables, etc.) which does greatly ease the burden of approaching new content.
As such, I am able to be more picky when it comes to rolling in any event as there is a strong likelihood that I have an acceptable alternative to whatever is being featured in the current event which in turn lowers my motivation to roll.
Essentially, the biggest question I ask myself before rolling is “how will this benefit my Monster Box? Will it surpass my currently available options or help me tackle new content? If the answer is No, rolling in said event would be more so out of Greed as opposed to Need as I do not technically need those cards or if they are only going to function as a small upgrade compared to what I already have.
On the other hand, if the featured cards within a given event will help me advance my overall level of progression or holds cards that cannot be replicated by my Monster Box, rolling can be justified.
Bottom rarity needs to be appealing
At this point in time, we can loosely group the three major rolling events into Super Godfests, Collabs, and Seasonal/GH-owned REMs. Each one has a varying cost along with different availability and here is my brief overview summary of each type of event:
Super Godfests usually cost 10 Magic Stones and feature at least 33% chance for any Godfest Exclusive (GFE) which are the main prizes. These events will always be available on a regular basis with different GFE being featured each time.
As a whole, these events are the “safest” to roll in as the 1/3 chance for something valuable is always nice along with the Pantheon cards (the other 2/3 of rolls) functioning as reliable cards for new-middle aged player along with most rolls coming with varying collateral benefits (eg. +297, max level, max awoken, etc.).
Another beneficial aspect to Super Godfests is that they will always be available every couple of weeks. As such, there is often no real rush/hurry to roll in an event as another one will come around in a few weeks.
Collabs are special events where GungHo partners up with a different company to bring over characters from a different franchise.
As a whole, Collabs can have wildly varying levels of value and Magic Stone costs but the biggest drawback is the uncertainty of availability. This is because Collabs do not follow a fixed schedule and there is always the possibility of a Collab not being available for several years after their last appearance.
This level of uncertainty can make them a poor long term investment as they may not receive any meaningful buffs in the near future and it is important for these cards to be exceptionally strong right away in order to justify pursuing them.
Seasonal / GungHo Owned REMs
The final umbrella category for rolling within PAD comes from Seasonals or GungHo owned REMs that can range from 5-10 Magic Stones per roll. These events often coincide with a particular day of the year (eg. Valentine’s REM) or GH-owned characters (eg. Sacred Relic). Regardless of this, all of these events will return on a continuous basis and will often be available several times a year.
This eases the tension or need to roll as we can take comfort in knowing it will return within a reasonable time period along with many of the cards being regularly buffed.
Regardless of which type of event is available, the first thing I look at is the bottom rarity and whether or not they are worth acquiring. This is because the bottom rarity will constitute the majority of rolls given a large enough sample size and it is important that these cards are not just wasted Magic Stones.
For Super Godfests, the bottom rarity are the non-GFE featured and usually has numerous cards available. As such, a better Super Godfest will simply have higher GFE rates.
Collabs tend to be a mixed bag as it can wildly vary and Seasonal events that are tied to a particular day/holiday often have comically poor bottom rarity cards as some are as old as PAD is.
Either way, I will look to the bottom rarity first when deciding whether or not rolling is a good idea. If the bottom rarity is poor, utilizing the Monster Exchange system to acquire a specific chase card would be more efficient.
Powercreep is the concept that newly released content is stronger compared to older options, especially when looked at longer time intervals. This is the important to have in any longstanding game as things would get stale and boring if no progression is made from both dungeon spawns and the cards we can acquire.
In the case of PAD, the rate of Powercreep has been held relatively well in check but the bigger issue is the constant rate of new cards being released.
Gungho is a for-profit company and revenue most likely stems from people buying Magic Stones and rolling in events. As such, events have to offer something enticing to justify this spending and due to the fact that a new event is released several times a month, players are always hungering for more Magic Stones.
This management of finite resources is an appealing aspect to myself and while it is true that most events may feature a stronger card or two compared to previous ones, the jump in power may not always be that extreme. Furthermore, even if a card is stronger compared to my current options, I always try to determine if it is a significant enough jump to justify rolling or Monster Exchanging. As such, the question I ask is whether or not this new card will actually help me clear new content or is it just going to be nice to have.
This thought process is not meant to completely dissuade players from rolling, but to be more critical of whether or not this is for Need or Greed. Furthermore, it is relatively certain that a card released several months down the road will often be stronger compared to currently available options.
Another barrier to rolling in an event is the fact that we are 2-3 months behind the JP server and we are able to “see into the PAD future” as we almost always get the same Seasonals and GungHo owned events as JP does along with Super Godfests and new GFE. While this is fantastic for planning out Magic Stone spending, it can also lead to a constant cycle of always waiting as new cards released 2-3 months in the future will almost always look more enticing but when those cards finally come to NA, something new is in JP.
As such, I still return to my original question of whether or not rolling a current event will help advance my level of progress as waiting will often result in stronger cards acquired in the future. Essentially, I will try and delay rolling for as long as possible and then roll hard when a relatively large step up in Powercreep is released.
The Monster Exchange system was one of the better Quality of Life improvements added into PAD as it allows players to trade/exchange several cards to GungHo in order to acquire one specific monster. This is often restricted to the top rarity for Collabs and GungHo owned events which is a blessing when the bottom rarity is lackluster.
This is because players are able to completely skip rolling and acquire a top rarity card by sacrificing several other high rarity cards. The cost to Monster Exchange is either 4-5 Godfest Exclusives (6 or 7-star) or high rarity cards from the matching event.
This 4 or 5:1 ratio means that the average player is probably not able to utilize the Monster Exchange system for every event and for myself, if I do utilize the Monster Exchange system, I want to get as much value as possible.
This will once again return to the question of whether or not I Need this card or do I simply want it because it is strong but may or may not actually help my own level of progress.
One final thing I want to stress about the Monster Exchange system is to use duplicates for your Trade Fodder as it is always possible an old Godfest Exclusive may receive a meaningful and sizable buff that turns them into something truly desirable.
Cost to Monster Exchange
The process of Monster Exchanging can be somewhat measured by multiplying the Trade Fodder requirement by 30 to result a rough estimate of Magic Stones required.
I say this as I am using the baseline 1/3 chance for any GFE from a Super Godfest which means every 30 Magic Stones (or 3 pulls) should yield a Godfest Exclusive. Thus, a card that required 4 Trade Fodder could be cautiously estimated to cost 120 Stones worth of Super Godfest pulls. I am well aware that this is not an accurate measurement but it may be a rough guideline as to what you are sacrificing in order to acquire this card.
Puzzle and Dragons is my longest played game to date and the careful management of Magic Stones along with engaging game play has kept me entertained for nearly 7 years.
With that being said, Magic Stones are a finite currency and the temptation to roll is always there. As such, I always ask myself whether or not I am rolling or Monster Exchanging for Need or Greed. My goal is to be able to clear new and challenging content as it is released and if I find myself hitting a metaphorical wall, I will begin to research and determine what I am missing and budget my Stones accordingly.
While this is my own personal approach to rolling or Monster Exchanging in PAD, I want to hear your own thought process along with your goals, current Monster Box situation, and how long you have been playing in the comments below.
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