Tag Archives: Collab

PAD Academy (2022)

PAD Academy returns to Puzzle & Dragons for North America! This rerun introduces the new Academy Ina and Academy Tokugawa as well as color shift evolutions for Academy Valeria and Academy Kio! Dates: 05/09/22 – 05/22/22

Introduction

Two events reviewed in a row, shocking right? Welcome to the PAD Academy review, otherwise known as the, “Still making dark teams more overpowered somehow” seasonal event. 

As per usual, I am only going to write about what I think are the cards most people should look out for. In this case there are only 3 new cards, 1 of which is an orb skin, and 1 of which is tradeable. Most of the older stuff is extremely unremarkable in this seasonal. 

I always like to get this question out of the way fast, is this event worth rolling? NO, simple as that. Everything truly worth having in this event can either be traded for, or purchased as an orb skin. The mid rarity whale trap cards in this event are mediocre in comparison to some we have had in the recent past, and Academy Orochi sees very little use. Also unlike most other seasonals and GungHo original events where there are tons of orb skins, and most are worth owning multiples of, this event the skins are trash aside from the new one.

Nine Stars – Tradeable

Dark Dracoblader Freshman, Ina & Head of Student Guidance, Tokugawa Ieyasu

Going to break the rules of my reviews here, and just lump a seven star in with the nine stars. It truly is impossible for me to say anything about Ina without Tokugawa being part of it. 

Academy Ina, and Tokugawa are truly the highlights of this machine now. I find myself saying this all too often as of recent, but while the team they comprise is very strong, it is going to be a bit of a stretch to build optimally for new or non-paying players. 

Leading with Baran’s new evolution to give you a 7×6 board makes this team extremely capable, if not one of the fastest MD3 teams, which as of yet doesn’t really have many reliable fast teams. Ina having a 2 turn cooldown active, while Tokugawa only has a 3 turn, means that no matter which one you have, you can easily choose to lead swap either of them with Baran. It is also an extremely effective pairing for tackling most of the Sanctuary of the Gods content. 

Between the two of them they cover both Blind and Jammer, and have perfect leader synergy. Tokugawa brings the large (seven million) Auto Follow-up leader skill, and Ina brings the plus combo (two) leader skill. Both require ten or more dark orbs to be matched for activation, but that isn’t really an issue assuming you lead with baran for the 7×6 board. Ina unlocks your board and then after floor 4 makes you dark orbs, Tokugawa voids VDP and once again makes dark orbs. This means you have both 3 floors until floor 4, and then a 1 turn break in between both actives to find dark orbs. Fortunately basically every dark card these days seems to generate dark orbs on a tiny cooldown, so really just take your pick of which you like most for that dungeon. 

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I normally like to leave speculation out of my reviews, but I will just add a small note about Ina’s equips. The first is three jammers, with a skill boost and three turn haste active skill. This doesn’t seem like much, but really there have been very few haste actives over two turns that haven’t seen use at some point, and this one just appears very strong on the surface. However, this is speculation on my part because in my experience, research or discussions with other players, most can’t seem to find a good place for this to be used at the moment. That isn’t to say it won’t in the future. 

Her other equip is a cross awakening, with four poison. Cards with this much utility in the awakenings normally do not go completely unused, as there always arises a scenario where that combination of utility is useful. Unfortunately the cooldown on this one is very short, and the active skill is very restricted to dark teams, and not all that useful to dark teams even then. So it may never see use. 

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Tokugawa has two equips, both of which are very odd, but again potentially useful. One is very simple, two Team-HP, and two Team-RCV, with a single turn of void damage, and some auto recovery over four turns,  as the active. In this case, simple does not mean bad. The most simple equips done to the maximum of their simplicity are the ones that tend to live the longest. 

The other is an unbindable, and below eighty percent, and a Combo-Orb. The active skill is the exact same as the base monster. This means you have a very low cooldown VDP active skill that generates dark orbs, that alone would be enough utility for this to see some amount of use, but add on that it makes them unbindable, and it is even stronger. 

Academy Valeria

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Strangely most older seasonals tend to fall out of use sometime before their machine comes back around again, but that has never been the case with Valeria. She remains useful for wood teams year round. It turns out that if you pack seven skill boosts, a full resist, and a ton of damage on a card with an active skill that is useful in many scenarios, it keeps them around for a while. Not much more I can say about Valeria’s original Wood/Light form aside from, it was good before, it is still good for the exact same things she was before. 

If I say, Illusionary Artist, what is the first thing you think of? Atelie, right? That’s because she came out to a dungeon that was made for rainbow teams, and subs that were desperately starving for a lead to put them to work. What comes next? Kaishu. Fun Baran lead swaps, tons of great subs. You know who you likely don’t think of? Prim. Until now, we had no real reason to even consider her. The lead swap options for her we’re fairly mediocre, and she just felt like a lackluster version of Royal Oak, who himself is already on life support in the end game. 

Well fear no more, Blue Valeria is here to save the day for Prim. Now you have your perfect 7×6 lead. Great awakenings, paired with a moderately useful active skill, and a low cooldown, means you finally have a way to put your Prim to work. 

Her final use case is as a sub for Sea Wolf teams, she offers him the Blind Resist that most of his best subs don’t carry, freeing up team space elsewhere, as well as huge VDP damage.

Soccer Club’s Striker, Kio

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Unfortunately for Kio, his last run around the block saw him kneecapped due to our lack of Marvel collab, as he sorely needed Captain Marvel for his viability. Nowadays however, we have moved past Captain Marvel meta, and moved on to bigger and better things for Kio. The addition of another seven combo awakening, and VDP on his active skill has made him an extremely viable Daytona sub candidate. As with Baran from Dai recently, he is your makeshift second Halloween Cotton. Sadly for Kio, I think his days as a viable lead have long passed, but that isn’t to say it can’t be done. 

His dark form at first glance seems like it would be fairly interesting. It has a fairly unique set of awakenings, and an active skill that sees use on many other cards similar to him. Sadly however, for Dark Kio is that he just doesn’t quite cut it for almost any team. One turn of a Fujin active and a VDP on an eight turn cooldown is just not short enough in most late game scenarios. 

His equip retaining that same active skill, and also gaining some somewhat interesting resistances and movetime, means it will have a very niche, but still real use case on a very small number of teams. 

Seven Stars – The Seasonal Whale Trap Rarity

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This card is nothing new, or that we haven’t seen before. It does what so many other rainbow leads do, granted only requiring 3 colors not the full 5 to activate. That doesn’t make it any more exciting though. This active skill seems almost fully tailored to clear MD2. A three turn cooldown that clears unmatchable, in a dungeon that spams you with unmatchable status, is what we all want. 

Qilin pairs quite well with the likes of the new evolution of Dai, and Alexander. He is fairly restricted to leads that don’t need full rainbow for activation, and dungeons that require his specific brand of active skill. 

The tragedy for Qilin however, is that she is the new card added to this seasonal that you can’t trade for, or buy as an orb skin. So if you want her it is going to likely require a great deal of whaling, which if you aren’t a heavy spender, you absolutely should not be doing. This card is fun, and strong, but not worth the money it would require you to obtain. At best just lead pair with one owned by the whales on your friend list.

Honorable Mentions

I will briefly just touch on two of the eight stars, as I think almost all of them are basically un-needed to anyone’s box. Firstly is Academy Orochi, this should be fairly obvious by now. A card that is a four turn delay with a skill boost and some resists should scream, “Trade for me!” to anyone that sees it. Second, and last for this review, is Yog-Sothoth equip. It has a decent bit of utility for teams that fall in to the colors the active skill creates. If this seems like something you might want in your box, pick one up, the trade fodder for these eight stars is very lenient.

Well that’s two reviews in a row, what if I shoot for three? See ya round, folks.

The Adventure of Dai (Re-Run)

The Adventure of Dai returns to Puzzle and Dragons for North America! Dates: 4/25/22-5/1/22

Introduction

Hey folks, long time no review. Couldn’t let this collab go by unreviewed, as it has too much hype, and such amazing art. 

Normally, I skip out on talking about the cards I find useless, but most of the mid and top rarities of this machine are pretty heavily pushed in power level. Just a preface however, I am going to talk about zero of the low rarity cards in this collab, and only mention the mid rarity ones I feel are worth talking about. Just due to none of them receiving any meaningful buffs, so they are the exact same as last time or are not worth anyone’s time to care about. Also they will be reviewed in order of rarity, even though I think the most exceptional cards from this collab fall in the middle rarity: 7-star. 

I will also answer the question everyone asks me after I write one of these articles, “should I roll this collab?”. My answer is going to depend heavily on your spending habits. If you’re a monster whale then my answer doesn’t really matter because you will buy anyways, and this collab is made for you. If you are a light spender you are going to need some luck to get what you really need from this. If you are Free-to-Play, then Godspeed friend, you are going to need the best luck of your life, or have 100s of stones stocked up. 

Link to the collab is here.

Thank you Tsubaki Bot for the image card sources! Art and icons are owned by GungHo Online Entertainment, Inc.

Eight Stars – Tradeable

Dragon Knight, Dai

Kicking it off with the collab’s namesake himself, Dai. I will bow out on reviewing his original three forms, as they are basically as good or slightly better at the same things they were prior to this re-run. His new evo however, warrants some discussion. 

Dragon Knight, Dai is an all around very versatile card both as a lead and a sub for a large number of rainbow teams. Similar to Raffine , who can pair with Geed to create a smooth clear for MD4, Dai is going to do almost that same thing for you. He relies far less heavily on spinners, that’s not to say his teams can’t also use Raffine. 

His use case is very similar to something like Dark Athena’s new evo (8448) giving you your rainbow team RCV buff active, just with less utility in the earlier parts of a dungeon. The main differentiator between Dai and Raffine is that Dai is a low cool-down, non-transforming rainbow leader. Meaning that unlike Raffine who requires the use of Todo, or some insane stalling tactics in the early dungeon, he is lead swappable right from the start of a dungeon, no stalling required or Todo required.

Avan

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Next up we have Avan, who has received some interesting buffs to his base form. I will say before I start talking about him, this is a card I think everyone should have 1 of in their box if only to use his equip. A Skill boost, L and 2 RCV equip with a 2 turn haste active is extremely strong. While it most likely won’t see use on all your teams, you will be extremely thankful to have it in those instances you find yourself needing it, as there are few other cards that fill this role. 

His base form on the surface looks like nothing significant in the way of a buff, however it is more interesting when you consider the recently buffed (In Japan only for a short while longer) Ryumei from Mystics & Specters. Where Avan got a slight buff to his damage and a smaller buff to his HP, those buffs meant a great deal. Ryumei who has now received the ability to use Rows rather than Ls (similar to how most folks use Royal Oak), has unlocked the ability to have a pair that can potentially lead to an unbelievably tanky lead pairing, with very consistent orb generation. Infinite orb unlocks, with very close to boards consisting of only Fire, Light and Hearts every turn. The largest shortcoming is that having teams of so many transforms leads to fairly stunted damage, but you can tank your way to clears. This is very forgiving for newer or less experienced players who may not have an easy way to use a double transform boat lead, or rainbow 7×6, and are looking for a much safer alternative. 

Baran

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Baran, who I think received the most noteworthy buffs of any eight star in this collab. To briefly touch upon his equip before I move on to the base form and new evolution. His equip is good for what it was prior to this re-run, that is to say slapping it on your lead in dungeons that haste your leader skills, so you can safely survive the overcharge with the shield. As well it gives 2 SBR which is very important to dark teams that tend to need them desperately. 

As with Avan, the buffs to his base form don’t seem like they would have any impact on his use, however these new buffs are absolutely massive. His pre-transform adding another skill boost meaning he now gives a huge 4 skill boosts to any dark team is unreal. His post-transform leader skill, while it does make him more of a glass cannon than he already was, adds insane fire power to his damage, and makes him an even better pair option for the new Mystvearn evolution, or Black Bird. 

His active skill is still core to many dark team’s ability to clear content. While in the interim between the last run and this run there have been some cards that compete for this with him, he is still among the strongest options there are. Currently this active skill makes him an extremely viable option for many dark teams that are lightning fast at clearing their designated content such as Mystvearn in MD2 or almost any dark team in ASR2. 

Dragon Master General, Baran

Unlike his base form which is core as a lead for his own teams, or is a staple sub on many dark teams, this form is your new go to Dark 7×6 lead swap option. This can include Kaishu, or almost any dark lead that would need to be swapped. He also has massive viability on Daytona teams as a sub for those who don’t have multiple Halloween Cotton.

 Seven Stars – Whaling has its rewards

Dark Commander, Mystvearn

Lets start it off with truly the only reason I wanted to write this review in the first place, Mystvearn. Bare in mind again, none of these from here on are tradeable, so this is where it gets somewhat unfortunate for lower spending players. I am going to disregard his equip, and say it is identical to what it was before, so take that how you will. His old evo received only very minor buffs, but is part of a fast MD2 clearing 2player team

Where to start with this new evolution, there is just so much good that comes from this card. For starters multiple copies of him, four to be exact, and you have yourself a swipeable clear for MD4 and MD2. That’s not even touching on the fact that he can swipe clear TA3 with 2 free slots for levels. For a card with so much utility packed into him you would think he would lack somewhere, but in reality he lacks in almost no department. His damage awakenings mean he will almost always be double capping on his main and sub attribute, meaning you vaporize dungeons at breakneck speeds. 

I stated before that he was able to clear content with just multiple copies of himself, but that isn’t to say you can’t just pair him with Black bird as a single copy lead, and just use your everyday run of the mill dark team to turn huge spawns into paper, these teams just aren’t entirely swipeable. Many end game teams can be created using just cards from this collab because of Mystvearn, which is largely unheard of. 

Killvearn

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Killvearn is next, and he exists to compliment Mystvearn, Baran,  King Vearn and Black bird. He is however, arguably the least attainable card for the average player, that most players would also want. He was not in the last run of this collab like all the other strong cards on this list, and unlike King Vearn, he is not an orb skin so you can’t just buy him for 20 dollars. 

Quick discussion about his equip before we go on to his base form. This is a 3 turn delay with tons of team HP and a combo orb, that makes a bi-color board on activation. I shouldn’t need to tell anyone that this is obviously strong. 

His pre-transform offers three Skill boosts and a 3 turn haste, which makes him an effective six skill boost card at the start of the dungeon, which is a huge boon to almost any black bird team. Post transform he breaks the enemies defense by 100% for a turn, removes locks and makes you 6 dark orbs. This is hugely useful in dungeons like MD4, where all the spawns have very high defense, making a lot of teams unable to effectively punch through them. He also has triple 10c, which in my opinion is hilarious, due to him being a transform card. He will damage cap no matter what you do, but it largely goes to waste as he can’t be Double Damage Capped. He also has a SBR in pre and post transform, which as I stated before is something dark teams sorely lack. 

Dark King Vearn

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Lastly for the dark cards that were added is King Vearn (GungHo sure loves playing favorites with this attribute). Fortunately for any light spender out there, this is your new orb skin. So twenty dollars puts this in your box at very least. His equip is hot garbage for the most part, so let’s skip it. 

King Vearn has leader skill scaling similar to the recent Artist cards. That is to say, they scale infinitely for as many of their conditions that you meet, in the case of King Vearn, it’s Dark and Fire rows. Paired with himself he generates a dark row and a fire row’s worth of orbs every turn, so you can hit 10 combos with absolutely no effort. This makes him extremely effective for farming some of the more recent end game content, or just general farming use, especially MD2 and MD1. He makes an effective lead for a couple of the Alt MD1s as well. 

Disciple of Love, Maam

Next up is Disciple of Love, Maam, who I will only be discussing in her new evolution form. Her new evolution is core to a swiping team that is used in both MD4 and Colo4. Her 4 turn active voids attribute absorption and spikes herself and fire attribute cards for 2 turns. This means that if we bring a system of cards that haste like Reincarnated Antares, we end up reducing that to 2 turns, so it’s an infinite loop of voids and spikes. Which means the now famous 4 Antares, Artorius team can use her to clear content where attribute absorb is their only roadblock. 

Grand Sorcerer, Matoriv

The final card I will be talking about, and also the last new card added to the machine in this collab, Grand Sorcerer, Matoriv. Her base evolution and equip require little discussion in my opinion. 

Unlike most other cards where I talk about how it has tons of utility in many scenarios, this card really only has one real use, a lead swap 7×6 lead for rainbow teams, mainly Atelie. She offers a great active, and some respectable damage for a 7×6 lead, as well as full poison resist.

Honorable Mentions

Popp, didn’t receive a new evolution that I deem exciting, however he did receive a small buff to the shield on his old form, so he is still a card most people should look to pick up. Finally we have Leona, who had 1 turn shaved off her active, which makes her an even more viable light cleric than she was before.

Also shoutouts to the absolute train-load of goofy farmables added to this run, there is a real reason to farm this content now.

See you all soon, maybe, who knows.

Sanrio Collab Review 2021

Hello Kitty Is Back!

Introduction

There comes a time in every PAD player’s life when they strike gold for the first time–or diamond, rather. It’s the first time they get a truly powerful card, generally the chase card of a collab. For me, that occurred two years ago when I received Zela Kitty as my free login roll during the 2019 run of the Sanrio Collab. Zela Kitty suddenly allowed me to clear content that was frighteningly intimidating at the time, especially for a newish player. Once I stacked my team with two more Zelas, I was off to the races. When the ability to level cards up to 120 hit North America, the first card I boosted was my beloved Zela Kitty in a slightly foolish (and expensive) act of nostalgia. I know I’m not alone in loving this card, and many of us look back wistfully on the shining–though brief–moment in which Zela Kitty was on top. 

In this article, I’ll be providing some thoughts regarding the 7 Star cards (Witch Kitties), as well as Charmmy Kitty and Gudetama (the orb skin bundle cards).

Summary: Overall, this is a collab that, while not earth-shattering in terms of shaking up the meta, does feature some interesting and unique cards, particularly in terms of farming. Coupling this with the fact that the tradable cards are relatively ‘cheap’ in terms of trade fodder, you may find it’s worth it to pick a few of these cuties up. The most noteworthy cards are Great Witch Hello Kitty, Reeche Kitty, Saline Kitty, and Veroah Kitty. Both of the orb skin cards, Charmmy Kitty and Gudetama, are useful and worth considering.

My personal recommendation is to do a few rolls if you’ve never rolled in the machine before, or if you really like the art/characters. However, for most players this is probably a collab where you should trade, if possible, for what you want; this is not a machine to go ham on, as the lower rarities cards are not impressive or terribly useful, which is unfortunate. Trade fodder for the five Witch Kitties can be found here.

You can check out the official announcement from Gung Ho here.

Collab Duration: 11/29 (Mon), 0:00 – 12/12 (Sun), 23:59 (PST)

Thank you Tsubaki Bot for the image card sources! Art and icons are owned by GungHo Online Entertainment, Inc.

Seven Stars–The “Witch Kitties”

Great Witch Hello Kitty

Great Witch Hello Kitty received some interesting buffs, boasting an extra SB (now four total) and 3 dungeon boost awakenings. With a lowish cooldown on her active skill, she could be a powerful sub for button farming teams; she could replace Greed Dragon, who is a common sub found on farming teams, as he only has 2 SB and the cool down on his active skill is much longer. She also edges out Xmas Saline, who has a similar amount of dungeon boosts but a much longer cooldown. Great Witch Hello Kitty is hands-down one of the more desirable cards in the collab.

Great Witch Zela Kitty [Evo]

The buffs to evo Zela Kitty are a bit disappointing. She goes from a flat 2X multiplier for Wood Att. to 2.8, 3 additional combos for matching 9 Wood orbs (now 4 total), and a flat + 5 seconds to orb move time. In terms of awakenings, she’s only been given a dungeon boost as an addition. The biggest change is that her active skill cooldown has been nearly cut in half–from 16 turns down to 9. The multipliers from her leaderskill aren’t completely atrocious, however they don’t feel noteworthy in a world of submarines and race cars. The addition of the dungeon boost is somewhat baffling–it seems she’s being pushed more in the direction of farming, however there are much better options out there. It’s hard to rationalize using Zela Kitty for farming when we all collectively lost our minds rolling for Gojo’s not too long ago, and this collaboration features both Saline Kitty and Veroah Kitty. This leaves Zela Kitty as a potential sub on Wood teams but, again, there are generally much better options out there both in terms of active skills and damage. If you don’t have Selica, Academy Valeria, Susano, or Avalon Drake, Zela Kitty could be a somewhat decent VDP-based damage card for Wood teams, however her active skill cooldown is longish by contemporary standards for an effect that is situational at best. Coupled with the fact that she is Wood/Wood, rather than having a different colored sub attribute, it makes her place on a team a tough sell particularly because there are many dungeons with all-attribute clauses. 

Cat Fact! Hello Kitty’s first appearance in the world was on a coin purse, originally sold in 1975.

Fire Great Witch Hello Kitty

Aha–a trend is emerging. Fire Kitty, a new addition to the REM, also boasts 3 dungeon boost awakenings, as well as 3 VDP and 2 SB. This card doesn’t feel as exciting as Great Witch Kitty, due to having less SB and a slightly longer active skill. Although she is doing a great job stirring her little cauldron, Fire Kitty doesn’t strike me as particularly noteworthy unless you are using a Fire-based swipe farming team and need VDP damage.

Great Witch, Madoo Kitty [evo]

Aside from having a kickass eye patch, Madoo Kitty is a TPA/10C damage stick. Her active skill, the same as Fire Kitty, provides a 2-turn 50% shield and a 2-turn delay on a 10-turn cooldown. Her active skill feels weaker in comparison to Halloween Inahime, who boasts a 3-turn delay, 3-turn 50% shield, and 3x attack boost, albeit with a longer cooldown at 14 turns. Madoo Kitty’s leader skill is mediocre at best. A low attack multiplier paired with the clause requirement of matching 5 or more connected orbs–despite the fact that Madoo Kitty is TPA based–feels a bit clunky. It mirrors the leader skills of both regular Madoo and Halloween Madoo, however neither of these cards have been noteworthy leaders for a while. If we end up with a cool Fire TPA based lead in the future, I could see the usefulness of this card as a sub, however as it stands, she doesn’t really fit into any teams. 

Cat Fact! Hello Kitty turned 47 this year!

Water Great Witch Hello Kitty

Water Kitty, as well as her evo, are two of the more interesting additions to the REM. Like the other two base forms I’ve mentioned, she too has 3 dungeon boosts, however her active skill and awakenings are geared toward rainbow teams. Wood Kitty still seems like a superior option for farming in comparison, as Water Kitty only has 2 SBs, unless the situation calls for either attribute or damage absorption nullification.

Great Witch, Reeche Kitty [evo]

Okay, now we’re talking–for rainbow enthusiasts, Reeche Kitty is a card worth looking into. To me, this is one of the more noteworthy cards in the REM. Her leader skill is more competitive compared to Zela Kitty and Madoo Kitty; she’s got a nice 65% shield, 3 million auto follow up attack, and a color activation-based 22X damage multiplier. Reeche Kitty also has a fixed time leader clause of 13 seconds, which is reasonable for both 6×5 and 7×6 boards. If you like cushier orb move time for rainbow teams, this might feel daunting, however not having to deal with time debuffs is appealing. In terms of top of the line rainbow leaders, Beach Mariel and Story Mode Sakuya are currently dominant. Although Reeche Kitty is neither Dragon nor Attacker type, meaning she would not benefit from Beach Mariel’s HP multiplier, she still looks to be a fun pairing. Sadly, I still think Story Mode Sakuya is a better pairing for Beach Mariel, as she provides more shield, more attack, and pumps out twice as much auto FUA damage, albeit with a slightly stricter damage activation clause; Reeche Kitty only requires four colors to be matched, while Story Mode Sakuya requires Fire, Water, Wood, and Light specifically. That being said, Reeche Kitty looks like a fun and useful sub for rainbow teams because of her active skill. Board unlock, five attribute + heart board change, and nullification of attribute and damage absorb for 1 turn on a 9-turn cool down seems handy, especially in dungeons where only one turn is needed like Alt Shura Realm 1. End game dungeons like Shura 3 and Mysterious Dimension 1 require multiple turns of absorb nullification, however, so that’s something to keep in mind if you’re thinking of slotting Reeche Kitty into any of your end game dungeon builds–you may need to overwrite her skill by putting a Reeche Hat equip on your Reeche Kitty. She’ll be both powerful and fashionable!

Light Great Witch Hello Kitty

Light Kitty is an interesting card overall. This is a card purely designed for swipe farming in terms of awakenings, active skills, and leader skill. Her leader skill boosts both rank exp and coin accrual rates by 1.6, then provides a flat shield and 15x attack multiplier for matching two light combos. Oh, and would you look at that–her active skill provides two rows of light orbs, as well as a 1-turn haste. Thus, you could have an army of Light Kitties and loop active skills, swiping to your heart’s content (four Light Kitties on the team in total would allow you to loop active skills). You could use her as an initial lead for Alt Shura Realm 1 farming, though, if that’s something that you’re into. As a sub, this card looks great for light row swipe teams.

Great Witch, Saline Kitty [evo]

Saline Kitty is a premier card for light-based swipe farming. With a 17x attack multiplier and an additional 4 combos for matching two light combos, dual Saline Kitties means you can basically farm while asleep. If you wanted to drain your 401K to whale on this REM or decimate your stock of 6-star GFE trade fodder, you could have a team of Saline and Light Kitties and loop active skills while also benefiting from a base total of 14 dungeon boost awakenings. Because Saline Kitty has some hard hitting awakenings in the form of a 7C, a 10C, and two Light Takos (not even counting her SA options), she’s dealing considerable damage by swiping if you’re running a pair of them, as using her active skill and swiping provides 10 combos minimum. Where Saline Kitty shines, and where she has seen the most use on the JP server, is in Training Arena 3. With a double damage cap latent and the support of light row equips, Saline Kitty easily hits damage cap with basically zero effort. If you don’t currently have a TA3 farming team, Saline Kitty might be a worthy investment; however, keep in mind that most builds require at least 3 Saline Kitties total (like many popular Gojo TA3 farming builds require 3 of him), so you’d be investing either a lot of stones or a lot of trade fodder. Still, she is the superior TA3 farming option at the moment because of her dungeon boosts (netting you more exp per run). All in all, Saline Kitty is definitely one of the more useful and exciting cards in the collab, both in terms of farming capabilities and as a sub on more traditional teams.

Cat Fact! Canonically, Hello Kitty does not have a mouth. 0.o

Dark Great Witch Hello Kitty

Move over Veroah, there’s a new cat-shaped sheriff in town! Dark Witch Hello Kitty seems in many ways to be a direct upgrade to base Veroah, who has been a beloved button farming lead for years. Their leader skills are identical in the way that matters–a 1.3x boost to egg drop rates. However, where Dark Kitty pulls into the lead is in terms of both her awakenings and slightly lower active skill cooldown. Dark Kitty simply has more dungeon boost awakenings–3 with SA, compared to Veroah’s single one. For button farming teams, you are using base cards with dungeon boost awakenings and inheriting a ‘laser’ equipment on them; lasers are ‘true damage’, like Ra’s Necklace which inflicts 770K damage on enemies two times. While Veroah’s cooldown is only 5 turns, Dark Kitty’s is 3. This might make a difference, depending on your team composition. Additionally, Dark Kitty’s leader skill provides 500K true damage when matching one combo, so you could plow through INT-level floors with little more than a single match of three orbs. This is definitely a card that I am planning on picking up, specifically for farming tokens during collaborations and tickets during Gung Ho Collab. RIP, my beautiful Veroah; we had a good run, didn’t we?

Great Witch, Veroah Kitty [evo]

Veroah Kitty is in many ways similar to Saline Kitty. She deals significant damage, as her awakenings are the same except geared toward dark attribute. Unfortunately, Veroah Kitty’s active skill doesn’t make clean, neat rows; instead, she changes fire and light orbs to dark orbs. Thus, farming with Veroah Kitty requires 1 brain cell, as you’ll need to do some comboing unless you inherit an active skill which makes Dark rows, while Saline Kitty requires 0 brain cells. Veroah Kitty also does not provide a loop in active skills, which is a shame, however this does line up with the way in which each of the Kitties match the great witches they’re modeled after. Still, Veroah Kitty is a formidable farming leader and general team sub. She is capable of farming TA3 and has been featured as a sub on teams as a Dark damage stick. Her low active skill also easily allows you to either generate dark orbs or inherit another active. Overall, she’s a solid card, however if you’re looking for a premier farming card for TA3, I feel that Saline Kitty has the edge.

Cat Fact! Hello Kitty is a perpetual 3rd-grade student who lives outside of London.

The Orb Skin Cards

Charmmy Kitty

A new addition to the collab, Charmmy Kitty can be purchased as a bundle during the event; buying or rolling her will grant you the new Sanrio orb skin. Charmmy Kitty is not only adorable, but her evolutions are also modeled after the Key Heirs from the Sin Dragons and Key Heros REM machine (except for Miya, which is a grievous sin as far as I’m concerned). Base Charmmy kitty is geared toward rainbow teams and has relatively decent stats, as well as an inoffensive and mildly useful active skill in the form of a RCV buff and 2-turn delay. Charmmy Kitty does give full poison resistance, 4 SB with SA, and an additional two seconds of orb move time via her awakenings. There are certainly much worse cards you could use on a rainbow team.

Charmmy Kitty Evos

All four of Charmmy Kitty’s evolutions bring pretty big personal damage, useful awakenings, and powerful active skills on very low cooldowns. Their dual color typings and general strength make them all strong and flexible subs for a variety of teams. While I don’t think any of the evolutions are a must-have on end game teams, they are by no means terrible–I’m personally looking forward to using them in a variety of different team builds. Notably, Moon Heir Kitty is one of few cards with 5 < 50% awakenings.

The fact that Charmmy Kitty is the orb skin, and that you can switch between evolutions whenever you like, makes her a solid card to pick up particularly if your monster box is lacking in mid-game or end-game rated team subs.

Plus, the orb skin is fantastic and my lord, just look at the art for each of the Key Heir Kitties.

Cat Fact! Hello Kitty has a twin sister named Mimmy, who is featured wearing a yellow bow.

Gudetama

Gudetama was available to purchase or roll during the previous run of the Sanrio Collab. Notably, base Gudetama has been changed into an equip in this iteration of the collab. His awakenings and active skill scream Light Row farming. With a whopping 5 Light Row awakenings, Gudetama’s equip helps pack a seriously nasty punch for swipe teams. The only other equip that compares at the moment is Almighty Zeus Card from the Gung Ho Collab–this equip has four light rows, but also includes a skill boost as well. Other notable equips with 4 Light Row awakenings include Nanami’s Machete (Jujutsu Kaisen), Awoken Zeus Olympios (Duel Masters), Thunderbolt Lance Keraunós & Holy Adamant Sickle (Zeus Giga equip), and Emperor Thundersword (Monster Hunter).

If you’re planning to go all out for Saline Kitty farming, or you are lucky enough to roll multiples of her, this is an excellent equip for her (we see what you’re up to, Gung Ho). Keep in mind though that it might not be useful to stack multiple Gudetama equips on your team, as he has a pretty short cooldown and you may start running into the issue of overwriting your cards’ active skills.

Gudetama Evolutions

All of Gudetama’s evolutions share the same active skill, with the exception of Oden Gudetama (who has a cleric active). Bacon Gudetama is geared more toward Light rows, while the Omelette Rice, Pancake, and Rolled Omelette forms feature situational awakenings with overall decent personal damage awakenings (though lackluster attack stats) and full resists for Blind, Poison, and Jammer respectively. The Oden Gudetama form saw the most use in the previous run of this collab, and realistically that will hold true now as well, assuming you decide not to keep Gudetama in his equip form.

Honorable Mention

Princess Valkitty -CIEL-

Before wrapping up the article, I did want to mention one other card. Aside from her adorable staff, Valkitty is also a decent Daytona sub, especially if you are missing staple subs like Halloween Cotton or Dai. She is by no means a direct replacement for either of them–Cotton, for example, is unmatched in terms of damage, amount of TPAs, VDP void skill, and the full board change–however Valkitty could find a place as a sub on your team if you were lucky enough to roll Daytona.

And that’s a wrap! Good luck on your rolls, everyone!

Samurai Shodown Overview

We’re back at it again, this time with Samurai Shodown. I opted to skip a Fate overview, as I felt like nothing in that collab had any real staying power. That isn’t to say anything outside Shizumaru in this collab really warrants very much attention either. This is another case of Gung Ho’s recent obsession with re-running old collabs and just adding an extremely strong Orb Skin card. 

Starting from this collab onwards, I will be using a tier system. Instead of assigning numbers or letter grades, I will be breaking the cards into 3 separate categories: Chase, Potentially Useful, and Garbage. I should also say, I look at most cards through the lens of end game for the most part. So it may have some use outside of that, my knowledge in those areas is more limited, so my opinions on that will be less researched. I don’t want to provide anyone with an un-researched opinion if I can avoid it.

Cards in the Chase category will be units that I think are the most important to pick up, depending on what your box looks like. Potentially Useful cards will be cards that I think have very niche (but potentially important) use, or cards that seem useful, but currently don’t have a use. Garbage cards will either be skipped completely, or are just completely eclipsed by many other cards. It is more than likely I will just skip mentioning the garbage cards unless I feel like there is something noteworthy about them. 

This collab has only 1 card that I feel is a true chase, but a small handful of cards I would deem potentially useful. 

Shizumaru does everything Royal Oak could ever want. 2x RCV to help mitigate RCV debuffs, and he makes up for Royal Oak’s lack of any RCV multiplier. Shizumaru creates 3 of the 5 water orbs needed to activate Oak’s leader skill and 3 hearts which compliments the buffed RCV. The only very small downside to the active skill is that it replaces the 20 turn water orb skyfall that Oak gives on his first transform with a 1 turn fire orb skyfall. That being said, Oak’s active skill changes Fire into Water, so it isn’t like this really punishes you all that much. 

The awakenings add to this card’s strength. He boasts a 22.5x personal attack multiplier, not including the VDP awaken (56.25x if you do). Very few cards can even hope to match a personal multiplier this high. Having Full Blind Immunity as an added bonus really helps push this card over the edge as well. 

Outside of Shizumaru only one other strong Water card has Full-Bind Immunity attached to it, which is Bride Elsha –they are very similar cards. Bride Elsha offers the same Full blind coverage, a (Smaller) RCV Buff, 1 turn of VDP and 1.5x orb movement time. So where Shizumaru creates needed orbs, Bride Elsha gives time-extend as well as a 1-turn VDP active skill, so the choice of which to use comes down to the dungeon at hand. Sadly for Bride Elsha, her Time-Extend is almost completely eclipsed by Azure Dracoblader of the Split Sky, Kyori, however that is another review for another time. Ultimately, the damage awakenings on Shizumaru greatly benefit Royal Oak, far more than Bride Elsha. L-Unlock Awakens give consistent damage, where Takoyaki Awakens tend to not offer as much to a lead that wants to only make one L per board most of the time. 

To really ice this cake, the pre-transform offers you not only 5 effective Skill-Boosts, but 3 of those can be used at your discretion. You could transform Royal Oak and use Shizumaru to give you an extra 3 turns of Skill-Boost towards the second transformation of Royal Oak. This means you only require another 3 turn haste or delay active to get you to your last transform.

The final quick point to mention is that Shizumaru can also be used as an Asymmetric pairing for Royal Oak in Shura 3. It sacrifices the 5 million Auto-Fua, and .5x HP for a 1.5x RCV multiplier. It obviously is less consistent than Oak x Oak, but that’s not to say it can’t be done. Though if you own Royal Oak already, there is no reason to bother doing this. 

Amnesic Wanderer, Shiki – Potentially Useful

Shiki is in this category, more specifically her equip form, Nameless. The 2 base forms don’t seem useful. Nameless’ unique offerings make it a mainstay on Royal Oak and Ryumei teams. Its main competition comes in the form of Demonlord Crasher. Where this card gives 2 Ls and no other utility, Crasher offers Tape and a -50% awaken but 1 less L and a -HP awaken. However, in the context of Royal Oak teambuilding it does make you a near perfect board. 5 of each color orb does essentially mean 10 blue, as dark will be changed to blue orbs with Royal Oak’s active skill. The unlock is useful when Kyori is on cooldown, or if you are trying to charge an inherited active. It has also seen very niche use on Rainbow teams that need L-Unlock but can’t get it from a sub.

Yet another entry into the ever growing list of strong Green Clerics. Alynna makes this card somewhat obsolete for Shura 3, due to her sub attribute and better overall use on Nautilus teams (please see my Relic Dragon Overview for a more in depth breakdown of Alynna). That said, this card has seen a large amount of success in other end game dungeons. For Shura 2 Yashamaru is completely acceptable as a cleric. There, players are given far more time in between Awoken binds and unmatchable orb status to reliably charge up this active skill. With his newly added 10c Super Awakening, he can now have 20x personal damage, far out doing even Alynna’s damage. However, it comes at the cost of not being able to take the second SB+ Super Awakening. It’s more likely this card sees play on non-Nautilus Green teams, such as Nadeko, Guile or the newly released Joachimall three of which are consistent Shura 2 leads. 

His equip form Shanao is one of only two full-cleric Green equips and it also comes with 4 Jammer Resists attached to it. The main competition for this equip  would include TAMADRA Gift Box and Ippon Katana. In this case it offers the 4 jammers that none of these other cards do, so it would see use in those niche instances where the 4 jammers are required to get full coverage on teams. It’s also worth mentioning that equip stat transfers mean that on a green team, this will offer you some HP that those other 2 options will not. It also offers a board refresh, removing any locks or status orbs currently on your board. This can be a benefit or a detriment depending on the situation, but is most often a benefit. 

The newest evolution for this card, Heroic Outlaw, Yashamaru Kurama, also has some potential use as a sub on some green teams as well. That being said, no team has really needed or wanted what he offers as of yet. 31.25x personal damage, with Two (Potentially Three with Super Awakens) Cross-Awakenings makes for great utility and damage as well, not to mention the full Jammer immunity. It just happens that no team currently requires this specific combination of awakenings yet, though one may in the near future.

Galford – Potentially Useful

His awakenings offer exactly what is needed for a damage stick in Shura 2. The use starts and stops there though, as outside Shura 2 these awakenings tend to have far less use. It just so happens that the most important floors are either Devil or Attacker. A 1-turn delay active skill is also useful, though often this card will be used to hold an equip active skill until needed. A small note to add onto this card is that currently in NA there is an extreme lack of viable Light leads, which restricts this card’s usage even farther. 

Earthquake – Potentially useful

This card truly personifies cards that might be useful but just don’t have a home right now. The first evolution Wicked Colossal Ninja, Earthquake, has one of the most stacked actives in the game. It could be used to farm daily dungeons or farmables right now, as the active would make light work of most bosses and difficult spawns. Though as far as Shura goes, it just doesn’t have a place to call home. His leader skill doesn’t fit late game content at all and the active skill is just too long to be relied on, though with 6 Skill Boosts (after Super Awakens) it may see use in the near future. 

His equip form, Fujiyama, follows in the footsteps of its non-equip brothers. His equip has the same loaded active and a very strong set of awoken skills. However, while the awoken skills look great on paper, they end up not lining up the way almost any meta Red lead would want them to. A Skill-Boost is great, but tons of other equips offer this. 3 Red-Row awakens is strong no doubt, but many other great equips offer this too, especially Red Ney and Madoo’s equip. This card is worth the mention because while Japan has many better Red Row equips, we lack them (more than just one, as it’s 8 now at this point). 

I feel like most everything else in this machine is either not worth your time to read about, or just will never see any real meaningful use. So that ends this overview; I hope you found something useful. Stay safe everyone, take care until next time. 🙂

Monogatari Collab REM Review and Analysis – March 2021

Introduction

The Monogatari Collab REM makes an exciting debut in North America that features wonderfully powerful cards at the 7 and 8-star rarity. In fact, many of these are powerful leaders and acquiring any of them should help advance almost any Monster Box.

Sadly, only the single 8-star card can be Monster Exchanged for which means players will have to roll heavily to acquire any of the 7-stars at 7 Magic Stones per attempt. This is frustrating as the bottom rarity (6*) is okay, not fantastic while also comprising 77.5% of the rolling pool.

With that being said, the 7/8-star cards are wonderfully powerful and are difficult to replicate elsewhere. As such, I feel that this is still a good event to roll in, especially for more developed Boxes as many of the cards featured here are heavily geared towards clearing end game content.

Video commentary

—video coming Monday—

Overview

Monogatari Collab REM Pros & Cons – March 2021
Pros
Cons
  • 7/8-star cards are tremendously powerful
    • All have 2 forms + Weapons
  • Bottom rarity is okay, not horrible
    • Having 1 copy of many of them is still helpful
  • Cannot Monster Exchange for 7-star cards
    • Have to roll
      • 7 Stones per roll
  • 6-stars comprise 77.5% of the rolls
Monogatari Collab REM
8 Star base
(2% total)
7 Star base
(20.5% total)
6 Star base
(77.5% total)
Monogatari Collab REM – March 2021
S
A
B
C
D

Order within each tier is random and not reflective of ranking

Icons show Base form

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

Continue reading Monogatari Collab REM Review and Analysis – March 2021

Fate/stay night [Heaven’s Feel] Collab Review and Analysis – December 2020

Introduction

The Fate/stay night [Heaven’s Feel] Collab returns to North America and includes several new monsters and evolutions along with various buffs.

Sadly, this is one of the worst events to date as there is relatively little value across all rarities with one of the best cards featured not being available via the Monster Exchange system. As such, I feel that this is an event players should heavily consider skipping as the odds of actually rolling something of value is quite low.

Regardless of this, this article will outline the pros and cons for each card to give players a better understanding of what to expect in the Fate Collab Rare Egg Machine.

Video commentary

—video coming Monday—

Overview

Fate Collab REM Pros & Cons – December 2020
Pros
Cons
  • 6 Magic Stones per roll
  • Bottom rarity has lackluster value overall
    • Comprises 85.5% of rolling pool
    • No Weapon Assist on 5-stars
  • Most 6-star cards feel outdated already
  • Few cards feel meaningful
  • Most rolls will be disappointing
Fate Collab REM
6 Star base
(14.5% total)
   
5 Star base
(85.5% total)
Fate Collab REM Rankings – December 2020
S
A
B    
C
D

Order within each tier is random and not reflective of ranking

Icons show Base form

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

Continue reading Fate/stay night [Heaven’s Feel] Collab Review and Analysis – December 2020

Monster Hunter Collab Review and Analysis – September 2020

Introduction

The Monster Hunter Collab returns to North America and contains an absurd number of different cards along with multiple evolutions. Furthermore, every single card has one Weapon Assist with the top rarity having two options.

This greatly decreases the frustration associated with duplicates as most cards will have value along with the several bottom rarity cards providing numerous Resists Jammer Resist Poison resist Blind Resist.

While the bottom rarity is not as strong relatively speaking to other options, they are still respectable cards and many can be used to help round out your inheritance options. As such, if you have never rolled here before, there is value to be found as almost every Weapon Assist will be helpful.

With this in mind, I would love to outline the pros and cons for each card to give players a better understanding of what to expect in the Monster Hunger Collab Rare Egg Machine.

On a different note, this is my longest article to date at 10,538 words.

Video commentary

—video coming Monday—

Overview

Monster Hunter Collab Pros & Cons – September 2020
Pros
Cons
  • BIG Weighted Stats all around
  • All cards have a Weapon Assist
    • 7-star cards have two
  • 1/5 chance for any top rarity card
  • Value at every rarity
  • Huge rolling pool
    • Harder to roll dupes
  • Has returned numerous times
    • Older players will have little motivation to roll
  • Bottom rarity is no longer as dominating as before
    • Less rolls should be used overall
  • 10 Magic Stone cost
    • More expensive to Monster Exchange
  • Overall, not as game changing as before
  • Huge rolling pool
    • Harder to roll what you want
Monster Hunter Collab REM
7 Star base
(20% total)
 
6 Star base
(40% total)
 
5 Star base
(40% total)
 
Monster Hunter Collab – September 2020
S
A
B
C
D

Order within each tier is random and not reflective of ranking

Icons show Revo or Transformed state if possible

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

The bottom rarity should be the main motivation to roll in an event and here is a brief summary showcasing their awakenings and/or Weapon Assists if applicable. Awakenings in (brackets) are Super Awakenings.

  • Skill Boost Skill Boost Skill Lock Resist Skill Lock Resist Time Extend  ( Balance killer) – B
      Balance killer Enhnaced Fire Orb Enhnaced Fire Orb Enhnaced Fire Orb Enhnaced Fire Orb Imp ATK
  • Skill Boost Skill Boost Skill Lock Resist Time Extend Time Extend 45 Healer Killer physical killer 37 ( Skill Boost) – B
    Poison resist Poison resist Poison resist Imp ATK
  • Skill Boost Time Extend Time Extend Enhnaced Fire Orb Enhnaced Fire Orb Enhnaced Fire Orb Enhnaced Fire Orb 45 45 ( 45 ) – D
    Imp ATK Imp ATK Imp ATK Time Extend Fire Row Fire Row
  • Skill Boost Skill Boost Skill Lock Resist Blind Resist Blind Resist Poison resist Poison resist 45 ( 45 ) – B
    Blind Resist Blind Resist Blind Resist Imp ATK
  • Skill Boost Skill Boost Skill Lock Resist Water Row Water Row Water Row Water Row 45  ( ) – D
    Imp HP Imp HP Imp ATK Time Extend Blind Resist Jammer Resist
  • TPA TPA TPA TPA TPA Time Extend Skill Boost Skill Boost 45 ( TPA 45) – C
    Balance killer 42 Time Extend Imp ATK
  • Time Extend Skill Boost Skill Lock Resist TPA TPA TPA TPA  ( TPA ) – D
    RCV Latent RCV Latent Imp ATK Bind Clear awakening Bind Clear awakening
  • Skill Lock Resist Time Extend Time Extend Time Extend Time Extend Skill Boost Healer Killer Healer Killer ( Time Extend ) – B
    Jammer Resist Jammer Resist Jammer Resist Imp ATK

Continue reading Monster Hunter Collab Review and Analysis – September 2020

Farm a Eugeo

Introduction

The Sword Art Online Collab is now in full swing and while Rare Egg Machine portion is lackluster, the Farmable Eugeo  is an incredibly valuable card and should be acquired by most players.

The reason for this is that he functions as a superior Meridionalis  from a speed-farming perspective along with possessing an invaluable active skill.

Eugeo can be acquired through either 5 Rainbow Event Medals :eventmedal: or by heavily grinding the SAO event dungeon. Either way, one can find Eugeo in the Monster Exchange Event tab for the duration of the SAO event.

Video commentary

—video coming soon (when I get over this cold/sore throat)–

Eugeo at a glance

Eugeo

Active: Change top-most row & bottom-most row into Water orbs. Increases time limit of orb movement by 150% for 2 turns. (15 turn cooldown) Continue reading Farm a Eugeo