Chuan is Fantastic


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)

  • 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

Dragonbound & Dragon Caller REM Review and Analysis – March 2020


The Dragonbound & Dragon Caller (DBDC) Rare Egg Machine returns to North America on Monday, March 9 and comes with numerous buffs/upgrades to existing cards across all rarities. This is greatly appreciated due to the fact that many of these cards had less than 9 awakenings.

For the most part, the DBDC event features monsters who are quite specialized in a particular niche. These types of cards may not be used all the time but are a boon to own, especially the lower rarity cards who feature numerous Killer awakenings.

In the past, the DBDC was one of the highest value machines available and while it has declined in relative value compared to newer options, it is still home to numerous strong cards. For myself, I always look at the bottom rarity to determine whether or not it is worth rolling in and in the case for DBDC, they are mostly Killer solutions which has the most value in Ranking Dungeons or Farming builds.

Another point to consider is the Dragonbound & Dragon Caller event will return on a regular basis so there is no “rush” to pull/acquire these cards if you cannot foresee a use for them over the next several months. As such, it may be best to “time” your rolls for when the event returns after stronger buffs which makes the cards relatively more valuable compared to current options.

Regardless, this article will summarize each card’s strengths and weaknesses to give you a better understanding of what is in store within this event.

Video commentary

–video coming soon–


DBDC Pros & Cons – March 6, 2020
  • Virtually every card has value
  • Useful to own many 5-star cards
    • Triple Killers
  • Cards tend to be highly specialized
    • Great at their niche
  • Will return on a regular basis
  • Hardly any Weapon Assists
    • Dupes are less valuable
  • Older event
    • Numerous  cards feel a bit outdated
    • Many cards still lack 9 awakenings
  • Large rolling pool
    • Hard to snipe a specific card
  • Monster Exchanging is costly
Dragonbound & Dragon Caller REM
 7 Star base
 6 Star base      
 5 Star base       
DBDC REM  Rankings – March 6, 2020

All 7-star cards are available for trade within the Monster Exchange but have incredibly high costs

Order within each tier is random and not reflective of ranking.

Regardless of card’s ranking, you should almost always keep it if it is your very first time acquiring them.

Continue reading Dragonbound & Dragon Caller REM Review and Analysis – March 2020

Powercreep & Cards Becoming “Weaker”


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 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


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


Devil killer Devil killer
Dragon KillerDragon Killer
Dragon Killer
Dark Reduction

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.


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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Question Time with Mantastic – March 2020


The general gist of Question Time posts are for players to ask various PAD-related questions that do not have a simple/Google-able answer or related article on my website. I do play other games and have often found myself having specific/unique questions about it but have no where to go and can imagine this may hold true for some of my readers.

With that being said, there will be some restrictions on the types of questions I will be answering.

If planning on commenting on a regular basis, it is advantageous to create a WordPress account to both receive notifications as well as giving me a point of reference as to who I am responding to.

Do’s and Don’t

download For the most part, almost any question will be answered, even some non-invasive Off-Topic ones; however, it is best to ask questions that require explanation/why/my personal opinion. The following examples are Fantastic types of questions to ask:

  • Of these options, what is the best Yusuke team I can make for Arena 3?
  • What direction do you think GungHo will take with the 4x HP leads?
  • Can Heart Cross teams be revived and if so, how?

x The following types of questions will not be answered by me either because it has a simple Google-able answer or shows a lack of effort on the reader’s part:

  • Anything that Google/Padx can answer
  • A link to your entire Monster Box and saying “make me a team”


I hope my readers use this opportunity to ask questions that will hopefully improve their overall game play and progression.

Happy Puzzling!

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GungHo Collab Review & Analysis – February 2020

I will try to reply to all comments by Monday evening as I have my second of 4 all-day hospital procedure early Tuesday morning and the recovery time was around 36 hours last time. Hopefully this one provides more benefits


The GungHo Collab is making a return appearance this coming Monday and features several new Weapon Assists for existing cards along with a new 7-star monster.

As a whole, this event is reasonable overall but I feel that it is starting to age badly. This may be the case for many other events as they may not have cards that help the Transform meta but can still help round out weak points in most Monster Boxes.

Another drawback is that the 5-star cards were added back into the event which further dilutes the overall value of this event.

This article will outline the strengths and weaknesses of the GungHo cards to give players an idea of what each card has to offer and whether or not it is worth their Magic Stones.

Video commentary

—Video coming Monday—


GungHo Collab REM Pros & Cons – February 21, 2020
  • Will return on a regular basis
    • Cards should be routinely buffed etc.
  • Valuable cards in all rarities
  • Symmetrical ranking chart
  • Massive rolling pool
    • Harder to acquire one specific card
  • Collab feels “old”
  • Does not help Transform meta
    • May be better to save your Stones
  • Top-heavy event
    • Somewhat offset but huge rolling pool
  • Re-added in 5-stars
GungHo Collab Lineup
 7 Star base
 6 Star base
 5 Star base   
GungHo Collab Rankings – February 21, 2020

Order within each tier is random and not reflective of ranking

Icons show highest evolution available which may or may not be their strongest form

Regardless of card’s ranking, you should always keep it if it is your very first time acquiring them.

Continue reading GungHo Collab Review & Analysis – February 2020

Nyx Level Tournament Strategies


The Nyx Level Ranking Tournament not only has a pretty sweet name but is also positioned well as a 5% Crown event that also features Fixed Leaders.

Fixed Leaders are one of the more restrictive types of Tournaments due to the fact that it greatly hinders your sub options. Thankfully, this Ranking Dungeon has various metrics boosted so there are several ways to augment your score.

This article will explain my approach to this Ranking Tournament for obtaining a Crown.

209,104 Score

Score breakdown

In Ranking Dungeons, players are scored based on the following:

  • Final Average Combo is worth 5,000 points
  • Each second remaining is worth 500 750 points
  • Hitting 40 Million damage is 10,000 points
  • Each active used to kill a floor (no combo made) is -5,000 points
  • TPA TPA = 400 points
  •  = 800 points
  • Guard Break = 400 points

Continue reading Nyx Level Tournament Strategies

Puzzling those Dragons