Category Archives: Game Meta

What Makes a Good Leader in Puzzle and Dragons?


One of the most popular questions I see floating around the PAD community is “what makes a good leader?” or “is this a strong leader?” Now both of these questions are heavily loaded as the answer generally depends on your subs. A leader, no matter how powerful, is heavily reliant on your team composition, inherits, and plus egg investment.

There are many tier lists available that rank leaders based on various criteria, but they always assume the perfect team (regardless of how rare or hard to pull those monsters are). They also look at how consistent a leader performs in a variety of end game content instead of a single dungeon.

As such, tier lists should be taken with a grain of salt and be used as a starting base to determine if a leader has potential. You should then look up team building guides to see if you have ideal subs in order to successfully run that team.

The purpose of this article will be to further explore what merits a strong leader, what to look for in your monster box, and why consistency is invaluable when playing through harder content.

Being told something good is one thing, but understanding why is more important. You can read this article while thinking of your favourite leader to better understand why they are effective or ineffective.

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Factors that make a leader strong


The tier lists tend to not take player skill into consideration; however, you need to assess your own skill level as you need to be able to actually activate your leader skill on a consistent basis. A prime example of this was when Anubis was floating around on some lists. In theory, this works as his multiplier was at the time the highest available. Unfortunately, very few people could actually activate him on a consistent basis and was misleading to say the least.

In addition to ignoring player skill, tier lists assume the perfect team as that is the most fair way to compare various leaders. However, many of these teams require exotic subs (and inherits) that most players do not own and this will inevitably lead to a less than stellar performance. Continue reading What Makes a Good Leader in Puzzle and Dragons?

Reincarnated Evolution 101


In the near future, North America will begin to receive the first wave of Reincarnated evolutions. This is a new type of evolution that provides a new layer of power and I wish to explain the process along with the pros and cons in this article. The thoughts explained below apply to the REM monsters who require an awoken evolution. Moving forward, you may begin to see monsters with the prefix R or Re and that simply designates their reincarnated form.

As a forewarning, you are unable to reverse this process so you must exercise caution before committing to a reincarnated evolution.

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What is a reincarnated evolution?

A reincarnated evolution is a new type of evolution that upgrades an existing awoken evolution. This will increase their rarity (number of stars), grant them a third typing, and retain their original active. In addition, the required materials are easy to obtain, but unlike an ultimate evolution, reincarnation can only occur if your monster is max level.



In the above image, a level 99 Awoken Minerva can be reincarnated with those five masks. She will be unable to revert back to her awoken form and her level will be reset back to 1. This is usually not a problem with the abundant snowglobes or king infestations floating around; however, reincarnated forms require 16 million experience to max level (as opposed to their normal 4 million curve). Continue reading Reincarnated Evolution 101

JP Stream Changes & New Evolutions Review


I normally do not provide much thoughts on future JP news as it does not apply to NA for usually 1-2 months. However, the most recent JP stream showcased numerous new evolutions, quality of life changes, and new game mechanics. I wish to take the time to review all of the new things coming to Puzzle and Dragons.

The Final Fantasy buffs will be covered in a separate post and the review will be updated accordingly. I will be reviewing Bleach whenever it is scheduled to come to NA.

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Skill Inheritance changes

Puzzle and Dragons is by nature a grind-oriented game. However, there is fun grinding and there is tedious grinding. GungHo is doing their best to cut down on the more boring aspects so you can focus your stamina playing fun content.

Skill Inheritance has been a well received mechanic and it has given viability for cards that had lackluster bodies and powerful actives. Unfortunately, the process is somewhat costly to perform as each transfer costs 2 million coins and requires 4 tans. The coins were usually not too much of an issue, but collecting the right colour tans is mostly a stamina sink/loss as the dungeon is not fun to play and is more of a chore than pleasure. Continue reading JP Stream Changes & New Evolutions Review

Farming for Skill Delay Resist Tamadras in Special Descend Rush without Awoken Liu Bei


Skill Delay Resist Tamadras Skill delay resist (SDR) are now invading Special Descend Rush (SDR), from the coin dungeons, which makes for confusing abbreviations and a wonderful opportunity to acquire the strongest Latent Tamadra. Special Descend Rush features 6 Rogue Descend Bosses along with the leveling up mechanic to further hinder your progress. However, SDR has very predictable mechanics and is able to be cleared with a Glass Cannon team as there are no lethal preemptives. Many players are using Awoken Liu Bei A Liu Bei to mindlessly farm, but not everyone is fortunate enough to have him nor the fully invested Dioses Ult Zeus Dios and niche inherits.

As such, I wish to illustrate how Sarasvati 3069 or any other glass cannon leader can quickly clear this dungeon provided you have already invested in that team.

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My older clear from when Sarasvati was first released and required 12 orbs for 100x

Teams used

I have used Sarasvati since her release when she was a more orb hungry leader that required 12 water orbs for 100x. This would cause additional pressure to use orb changers and slows down the overall process. Thankfully, in her current form, Sarasvati is able to achieve 100x without a connected 6 water. Team A starts the dungeon and does not bring a dark sub to avoid the preemptive bind.

Team A 3069 A Hermes A Sun Quan Awoken Oorochi 3103

Team B 3069 Blue Sonia Ryune Gabriel BL Hermes

There can be many variations to these teams and you mostly have to counter a few mechanics:

  • Floor 3 requires a Delay or Poison to kill Volsung
  • Floor 4 requires a Delay or Awakenings Bind clear (aka Green Odin Green Odin)
  • Floor 6 requires either a bind clear or a buff to be dispelled
  • 6 kill actives for all the floors

Using a delay instead of a Poison or Awakenings Bind clear allows for some stalling/setting up your board. This conserves actives along with letting your floor 1 and 2 abilities to possibly recharge in time.

Other than this, it is a pretty straight forward dungeon: kill before being killed. You have 6 floors and a total of 10 actives so you will have at least 1 to spare at the end. Keep this in mind when team building and remember to take advantage of Skill Inheritance.

Sarasvati strategy

Based on the skyfall luck and locked orb spawns, you may have to adjust on the fly; however, this is the general strategy used:

  • Floor 1 Awoken Hermes A Hermes, kill (A)
  • Floor 2 B/L Hermes BL Hermes if required, only need 9 water orbs (B)
  • Floor 3 is done in 3 steps:
    • Awoken Sun Quan A Sun Quan, Sarasvati 3069, set up board (A)
    • Use 9+ water orbs, kill and trigger resolve (B)
    • Finish off Volusung as he is at 1 HP, Conserve heal orbs (A)
  • Floor 4 abuses Orochi’s delay to wait out the awakenings bind
    • Move heart orbs out of the left and rightmost columns (B)
    • Orochi Awoken Oorochi and heal as much as possible (A)
    • Remove locked fire orbs, conserve water orbs, and heal (B)
    • Remove locked fire orbs, conserve water orbs, and heal (A)
    • Remove locked fire orbs, conserve water orbs,  and heal (B)
    • Mori 3103 to remove poisons and sweep with 2 water rows and 100x (A)
  • Floor 5 Blue Sonia Blue Sonia and sweep (B)
  • Floor 6 is the boss floor
    • Remove locked orbs and make sure Sarasvati’s active is rolling to bait out the status void instead of bind (A)
    • Ryune Ryune + Hermes (may have to pass turns) and sweep

If you get an invade, you can either delay it or burst through or stall. You have to use your judgement.


Now is the best time to farm for Skill Delay Resist Skill delay resist Latent Tamadras. Special Descend Rush may be challenging, but is doable with an invested team and a solid strategy.

Let me know how you have been farming this dungeon and what was your set up.

Happy Puzzling!

9.5.2 Update Thoughts and Review


Version 9.5.2 was released today and brings numerous quality of life features along with additional quests, evolutions, 150/250 memorial pulls, and a Best Friend reset. This post will highlight the new changes as well as explaining how they work alongside their overall impact on Puzzle and Dragons.

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New quests and badges

Version 9.5.2 introduces a new series of quests to complete along with more powerful badges. One major complaint about the first wave of quests was that they were too “easy” to obtain as many veteran players had already auto-completed them upon release. However, Maniac quests will challenge even the most seasoned players as the requirements are somewhat outrageous and will take a long time to complete.


The first two are relatively easy to complete as Special dungeons simply means you have to either played for a long time (to have seen all the niche limited time rotations) or able to clear every hard dungeon upon release. Total Monsters in Monster Book counts for both REM and farmable drops so simply go out and play more. You can also bolster your count by evolving cards as that will unlock additional progress.

On the other hand, you require 100 +297 monsters for the +35% RCV badge while total crowns is unobtainable at the moment (and not very feasible in general). Finally, the Total Awoken Skills refers to the number of awakenings you have unlocked. This means you require a huge number of Tamadras, but I also presume you can use farmable boss drops to unlock additional awakenings by feeding to themselves (eg. fusing a second form Tengu to another second form Tengu for a free awakenings unlock). Continue reading 9.5.2 Update Thoughts and Review

October 26th New Content Overview


The recently concluded maintenance came with a few new evolutions, active/leader skill changes, and buffs to various cards. You should always read the full patch notes for a full breakdown of the changes as this post will be used to share my thoughts on how the new changes will impact players.

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New evolutions

3072 Durga

Durga 3072 has been somewhat forgotten with amidst the crazy pace of powercreep as she was at one point a respectable 25x leader. However, the other rainbow counterparts all began receiving new evolutions and buffs which left Durga behind as she had a measly 4 awakenings and the same 25x ATK. However, with her new evolution, Durga has now achieved 9 awakenings along with a 56.25x ATK / 2.25x RCV leader skill for devil types. This is reasonable, but  you still have to bear in mind that this is a rainbow team which means your damage will be somewhat diluted due to matching other colours and your inability to effectively stack offensive awakenings outside of TPA or enhanced orbs. This buff was needed about a year ago and would have given Durga relevance, but she is still behind compared to easier to activate leaders who deal more damage.

However, with all that being said, Durga has gained more relevance as a sub (and assistant) due to the 9 awakenings and active skill buff. The dual TPA combined with high base attack makes her more appealing and the double SBR Skill Lock Resist will make her a somewhat dream Sephiroth Sephiroth sub.

Durga’s active skill now grants 2.5x ATK to Gods and Devils for 2 turns and can somewhat function like a Norse God with a lower cooldown. Just keep in mind the health reset. Continue reading October 26th New Content Overview

How a Haste System Works


I made a quick tutorial on how a System team works and decided it would be best to have it as a stand alone article. I will most likely reference it in the future as a way to explain how haste is valuable in certain monster reviews.

How does a system work?

A system is a term given to a team that is able to utilize haste actives on multiple cards to repeatedly chain multiple actives together. This allows you to cycle your actives quickly as a turn of haste reduces the remaining cooldown of all over actives. Do note that haste will only help your team and not your partner’s subs. Thus, haste has diminishing returns in coop. The two most common systems rely on having cards with a 7 turn cooldown and a single turn of haste in varying amounts.

4 haste actives

The first team has 4 total cards (friend leader is included) that possess haste and a 7-turn cooldown. Your two other cards can be anything you like and will have their skills charged very quickly. In essence, you use one haste active every turn and would then be able to use your first active on your fifth turn again as the haste from the other three would have been able to recharge you. Thus, the cycle continues.

  • Turn 1: use haste #1
  • Turn 2: use haste #2
  • Turn 3: use haste #3
  • Turn 4: use haste #4
  • Turn 5: use haste #1
  • repeat

This system allows you to easily charge up your two other cards as their actives are not being used. This strategy is common on Xiang Mei Xiang Mei, Sumire Ult Sumire, Kaede Ult Kaede, and Awoken Cao Cao A Cao Cao with 4 Scarlet Scarlet Icon subs.

6 haste actives

A team consisting of 6 haste actives is not very practical, but is mostly worth mentioning to showcase how it functions. Essentially, you use 3 actives every turn and this will cause enough haste to loop back to using the original 3 by the third turn.

  • Turn 1: use haste #1, 2, and 3
  • Turn 2: use haste #4, 5, and 6
  • Turn 3: use haste #1, 2, and 3
  • repeat

This was mostly used by the Scarlet System Scarlet Icon and does not have too many applications currently. Mostly just something to keep in mind.


Systems a powerful way to cycle your actives and can transforms what appears to be a lackluster team/leader into a more formidable one.

Happy Puzzling!