Category Archives: Random Thoughts

Maintenance Tonight + Best Friend & Rank 150-800 Machines

After Wednesday’s Maintenance, Rank 150-800, Best Friend, & Presents will be reset. *Note: If bonuses remain unclaimed by the date of the reset, the unused bonuses will be lost. Players will only be able to receive each bonus once after the reset.

Introduction

On Wednesday March 25 at 5pm (UTC-8), PAD will go under maintenance and this will also reset the Best Friend Token, Present, Rank 150-800, and One-Time Bargain set.

The Best Friend reset will grant an additional Token which will allow you to choose a new Best Friend. This additional selection will not overwrite your existing ones but failing to use a current selection will not carry over after the reset.

Best Friends are a vital part of your PAD experience as it will enable you to expand the leaders available as well as gaining additional Pal Points.

This article will explain the Friend and Best Friend System along with how you can improve your chances of being selected by strangers as well as how to form BFF Triangles. For the most part, this post is copy/pasted from the previous Reset as nothing has changed mechanically for Best Friends.

For this Reset, I plan on pruning my Friend’s list of inactive players (2+ months for BFF) on both accounts in order to make space for any of my readers who wish to Best Friend me. If you wish to Best Friend either of my accounts, please leave your ID number, your in game name, and which account you want to Best Friend. Due to limited space on Mantastic, I will not be able to accommodate everyone.

Finding Friends

The first step to Pal Point domination is to find friends to populate your list. As you rank up, your friends list will max out at 50 players. You can add 5 additional friend slots for 1 magic stone, up to a maximum of 300 friends. Continue reading Maintenance Tonight + Best Friend & Rank 150-800 Machines

Chuan is Fantastic

Introduction

With the return of the Dragonbound & Dragon Caller event, Chuan will be made available once again through the Monster Exchange system. Since her debut, Chuan has gone through various hurdles of viability and at this point in time, she has never been better.

This is because she has both a powerful Weapon Assist and leader/sub form. As such, I encourage all players to actively pursue her during the next two weeks.

Video commentary

–video coming soon–

Weapon Assist

Awakenings:  Dark row Dark row Dark row Dark row
Active: Reduce HP by 20%; Deal 50x Dark damage to an enemy; Change the top row to Dark orbs (34 -> 4 turn CD)

Pros
Cons
  • Provides Bind Immunity
  • Four Dark Rows Dark row
  • Long or short CD
  • Farmable

Chuan’s Base form has now been transformed into a Weapon Assist which means she will transfer over awakenings when used as inherit. Thus, this could be many player’s first Full Bind Immune Weapon that also provides sizable Passive damage via Rows Dark row Continue reading Chuan is Fantastic

Powercreep & Cards Becoming “Weaker”

Introduction

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 commentary

–video coming soon–

Powercreep

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. Continue reading Powercreep & Cards Becoming “Weaker”

What I Play During Slower Periods

Introduction

Puzzle and Dragons is my most played game as I have now surpassed 2,300 days which is around 6.3 years. This is a truly remarkable amount of time and it should come as no surprise that there will be slower periods from both a motivation and available content point of view.

While everyone has different goals/motivations for playing Puzzle and Dragons, it is important to avoid burnout due to excessive play or by feeling the need to always min-max stamina.

With this in mind, I wish to share what I do during slower periods of time in order to still enjoy playing PAD for the foreseeable future.

Video commentary/clear

–video coming soon–

480 stamina per day

We are now enjoying what is essentially a Golden Era for Stamina within Puzzle and Dragons due to a recharge rate of 1 every 3 minutes. As such, we will naturally recharge 480 stamina per day. Furthermore, the first 700 or so ranks also enjoy the ability to chain rank ups with relative ease.

As a result, especially for lower rank accounts, it is possible to have somewhat infinite stamina to play around with and the concept of optimizing it comes to light.

Optimizing your stamina is critical if you want to play as much as possible but doing so may result in premature burnout if done for prolong periods of time. Now I am not discouraging players from maximizing their play time, just be aware that PAD is still a game and it should be fun with the reasons for being fun varying from player to player.

Best things to play

As a general rule, any limited-time event such as the current Endurance Challenge or Monthly Quests tend to be the most valuable dungeons to play as they offer significantly better rewards for the amount of time required to play them. For example, players could acquire 3 Pys of a specific colour last month for clearing an older Descend for 50 stamina. No permanent dungeon can offer this big of a reward and these limited time events is what I tend to play first.

Of course, these are not always available and it is possible to clear the monthly dungeons within a few days or even faster through stamina saving in multiplayer.

Beyond these types of events, the most stamina efficient dungeons are the various Arenas as they can offer a hefty amount of Rank Experience, Latents, and various other benefits depending the difficulty selected. Generally speaking, the higher levels for each respective category are the best to play (A5, AA3, Training Arena 2/Extreme Challenge Arena).

What I find fun

Puzzle and Dragons is at its core a matching game and the process itself is almost therapeutic when you can match the entire board while incorporating cascades. For myself, a pure-match 3 play style feels almost relaxing and almost nostalgic as the PAD I played back in the day had significantly fewer mechanics and was mostly a game built around being able to efficiently clear an entire board.

As such, I often find myself drawn to Training Arena 2/Extreme Challenge Arena as it is an 11 floor dungeon with no actual mechanics, just 11 spawns with grossly inflated DEF/HP.

With this in mind, I do not have to worry about Resolve, Voids, or Absorbs, just simply bring a high multiplier leader and full clear each floor to collect a hefty chunk of Monster Experience along with 1 random Latent.

Now I know there are numerous efficient Farming teams that can trivialize the dungeon, but what I like to do is play with Orphen as he has the capacity to deal spectacular amounts of damage and all he has to do is match combos while being below 50% HP. Both these conditions are easy to achieve assuming you touch Zaerog Core every turn.

Extreme Challenge Arena – Orphen
Mass Attack Badge
Card ??
SA 45
Inherit
(5190)
Any
(5417)

(5193)

(4964)
Latent
Devil killer Devil killer
Dragon KillerDragon Killer
Dragon Killer
x5
Dark Reduction
x6

My team is essentially relying on the massive damage output potential of Zaerog Core along with Hiei whilst having Dark Skyfalls and excessive Orb Enhances Dark Orb Enhance to passively inflate my damage. Furthermore, the usage of Sagat’s Weapon Assist doubles as both a <50% and 100% DEF Break that is used on Floor 1.

Due to no preemptives, the 100% DEF Break carries over to the next floor assuming everything can be killed right away. Thankfully, just two Dark combos does the job for my team and I utilize Orphen’s active as required and they have a 2/3 turn up time between both leaders.

While there is more risk/thinking required here compared to the more streamlined farming builds, this play style of full comboing each board is fun for myself and I get to satisfy this craving along with leveling up a card of my choice as the 4th sub (??) is anything I want to bring up to level 110.

In essence, playing Extreme Challenge Arena with Orphen lets me use my Stamina in an efficient manner while also providing me with the match-3 game play I enjoy.

Conclusion

Puzzle and Dragons is my longest played game and burnout/boredom is always a risk if you always try to min-max every aspect of the game. As such, I sometimes like to return to a more nostalgic time of just full clearing a board via match-3 and not having to worry about all of the convoluted mechanics possible.

Thus, using Orphen for Extreme Challenge Arena satisfies this craving while still being useful for my Monster Box development.

Let me know what kind of dungeons you tend to play during slower periods of time or if you wish to avoid burnout in the comments below.

Happy Puzzling!

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JP 8th Anniversary Stream (Feb 20) Predictions/Hopes

Introduction

PAD is an incredibly old game from a mobile standard and it is somewhat amazing that we are still playing after thousands of days.

As such, new content has to be continuously released in order to keep players excited/happy and anniversary streams tend to have a higher degree of hype. This is a common practice across all games (Fire Emblem Heroes is the other I play) and even though we are stuck 1-2 months behind JP in regards to content, it is still exciting to see what new big things are coming to PAD.

This post will mostly be a conversational piece that talks about features/content I would like to see in the future as well as being a place for my readers to voice their thoughts and concerns.

The PAD 8th year anniversary stream will take place on Feb. 20.

Video commentary

–video coming soon–

Quality of life improvements

The landscape of PAD has greatly changed over the years as we have had several major UI overhauls along with changes to improve our overall experience outside of dungeons. Continue reading JP 8th Anniversary Stream (Feb 20) Predictions/Hopes

A Less than Mantastic Health Update – No Kamen Rider Review

On July 6, 2014 I suffered a serious soccer injury to my lower back which left me unable to walk/stand for several months. Over time it has not improved despite numerous pain clinics, specialists, medications, etc. and I now live with severe chronic pain in both back and neck. There is no diagnosis and the most likely outcome is to live with horrible pain for the rest of my life. This has greatly impacted my ability to perform common tasks and requires numerous adjustments to try and lessen the pain.

Since January 1st, I am unable to stand upright, require assistance with walking (relying on a cane or person), need help using a towel after a shower, dressing, difficulty with bowel movements, and essentially any basic life function. I spend quite a fair amount of my day lying on my side in pseudo fetal position as I cannot fully extend my legs which also means I sit with my knees to my chest as well. On top of this, there is always a massive wave of pain whenever I need to reshift my position or move my back along with the constant sharp pain that comes with not even moving. Some people say to try and find things that take your breath away but gasping for air after trying to get to the bathroom is not what I call a good time.

I have not left the house in nearly a week and do not plan to until my variuos appointments at Saint Paul’s Hospital and their Intervention Pain Clinic  where I have several procedures lined up for Jan – April after an unsuccessful series of Lidocaine Infusions and other treatments in mid-late 2019.

Essentially, I have been unable to do much PAD-wise in 2020 but will try to resume my normal activities when the pain returns to its normal level. This morning is marginally better compared to yesterday but still far from my normal levels of pain and find it difficult to focus in general.

Thank you for your understanding and patience during this challenging time.

Player’s Choice Godfest Voting December 2019

Introduction

The Player’s Choice Godfest (PCGF) will return to North America with voting already underway. Historically, this event was one of the most exciting times for Puzzles and Dragons due to the lower frequency/potency of Collab/Seasonal Rare Egg Machines. As such, players were able to have a line up that featured their favourite cards who represented the majority of strong monsters at the time.

Sadly, the landscape of PAD has dramatically shifted due to the almost mandatory inclusion of Collab/Seasonal cards and this makes rolling that much harder as all your favourite stuff is never in the same machine (possible exception are some Seasonal Godfests).

With that being said, there are still numerous strong cards that can be acquired through a Player’s Choice Godfest along with the voting not requiring Facebook as it now done in-game along with players voting three times in different categories.

This article will share the process for which we can vote along with my predictions/cards I feel are relevant at this point in time.

Video commentary

–video coming soon–

New format

In the past, Player’s Choice Godfests had all possible cards lumped into a single pool and players would naturally select the cards they did not own. In this case it was often 6/7* GFE which would inevitably have worse rolling rates to compensate for their power. Continue reading Player’s Choice Godfest Voting December 2019