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Non-IAP Approach to Puzzle and Dragons

Discussion in 'Tips, Tricks, and Dungeon Strategies' started by Kyrdrin, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. Kyrdrin

    Kyrdrin Still surviving the non-IAP grind...

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    NON-IAP APPROACH TO PUZZLE AND DRAGONS

    THREAD DIRECTORY

    • INTRODUCTION (this post)
      1. Why non-IAP
      2. Available Magic Stones
      3. Drawbacks of Non-IAP
      4. Risk vs. reward
    • USING MAGIC STONES
      1. Guaranteed drops
      2. Increase monster boxes
      3. Stamina refresh
      4. Increase number of friends
      5. Rare Egg Machine
    • REFERENCES

    INTRODUCTION

    Welcome to this analysis thread of the Non-IAP (In App Purchase) approach to playing Puzzle and Dragons.

    This is a thread where players share their strategies on how they maximize their PAD adventures without spending money. There are a number of very well-written guides here on Puzzle and Dragons Forum that have discussed many of the topics covered in this thread. While these existing guides cover a wide range of concepts such as leveling up monsters and team building, none of these guides analyze the decisions that players make daily from a non-IAP angle.

    This is not intended to be a beginner guide. Though it is certainly useful to consider various trade-offs of each decision, a beginner who is still trying out the game may not be invested enough to bear with the grind to play the game efficiently. Hopefully the ideas in this thread would become useful once a player is past the exploratory stages and is seriously thinking about the consequences of each decision that is made.

    1. Why Non-IAP

    First, why do some players choose not to make In App Purchases? Some players may be trying the game out for the first time, not knowing if this is a game that he is willing to invest in. Some players simply may not have the financial capability or budget to pay for games such as really young children. Some players might have an addictive personality, knowing that once that the payment line is crossed, it’s a very slippery slope towards spending uncontrollably. And lastly, there are some players that just like a crazy challenge.

    For whatever the reason, choosing whether or not to spend money for magic stones is a personal choice for everyone. That’s decision is for each of us to make on our own.

    2. Available Magic Stones

    Magic stones are the currency of the Puzzle and Dragons realm. GungHo gives out magic stones at various points in the game or players can make purchases to buy additional stones. Stones can be used to continue in a dungeon if defeated, increase monster box capacity, increase number of friends, refresh a player’s stamina, or take a roll on the Rare Egg Machine (REM).

    Players are given a magic stone for each dungeon that they complete. Currently, there are:

    • 37 Normal Dungeons
    • 50 Special Dungeons (with new ones released from time to time)
    • 20 Technical / Conditional Dungeons
    GungHo also gives out bonus magic stones for total days logged in for the account:

    • 10 days = 3 stones
    • 30 days = 5 stones
    • 60 days = 5 stones
    • 100 days = 10 stones
    • 150 days = 5 stones
    • 200 days = 10 stones
    • 250 days = 5 stones
    • 300 days = 10 stones
    • 350 days = 5 stones
    • 400 days = 10 stones
    GungHo also holds special events from time to time. A free magic stone may be given out each day during some of these events.

    Since the release of version 5.0 in the middle of March 2013, GungHo has been holding week-long events approximately every other week. These events have generally lasted from Friday to the next Friday, resulting in 8 free magic stones every 14 days.

    3. Drawbacks of Non-IAP

    By definition, non-IAP players choose not to buy magic stones for one reason or another. This choice creates an artificial limit on the number of stones available to a non-IAP player. Due to the limited supply of magic stones, non-IAP players may not have the ability to roll many times on the REM to obtain those highly coveted REM-only monsters. The limited supply of magic stones also hinders the use of stones for stamina refreshes, leading to a slower progress in leveling up their monsters.This slower progress in the game is a disadvantage that non-IAP players will have to endure due to their choice. At its core, the non-IAP approach is a test of patience and resilience. Spending money to purchase magic stone is a short cut to obtaining items that are otherwise obtainable with a much larger investment in time.

    4. Risk Vs. Reward

    Due to the limited supply of magic stones available to a non-IAP player, each action that is done by a non-IAP player should be planned with following ideas in mind:

    Be defensive

    To prevent waste of stamina, non-IAP players should be defensive (preventing a negative) in their choices. They need to be careful in the dungeons that they enter, setting up a team that has a high probability of clearing the dungeon. While inside a dungeon, players need to make safe choices to ensure they stay alive instead of being greedy in hoarding active skills. Choices are made to prevent dying instead of going for the big win since the loss of stamina is a critical setback for non-IAP players.

    Ensure everything results in some positive gains and useful RIGHT NOW

    While planning the use of stamina or magic stones, non-IAP players need to ensure that all actions will lead to some utility RIGHT NOW. Choosing to run dungeons that may one day be useful or spending stones for gods that do not help the current team composition is a waste. The wasted stamina or stone could have been used in other ways to help the team and thus wasteful spending becomes an opportunity cost that hinders advancing the team in a different avenue.
     
  2. Kyrdrin

    Kyrdrin Still surviving the non-IAP grind...

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    USING MAGIC STONES

    Due to the limited number of magic stones, non-IAP players need to ensure each stone is spent with the highest amount of value gained. The expected utility of each stone spent should be considered while using a fairly conservative approach. Reckless spending of stones can lead to depleting one’s cache of magic stones rapidly.

    The following priority for spending stones is recommended:

    1. Guaranteed Drops

    Although eschewed by some, spending stones to continue in a dungeon for a guaranteed rare monster may be a very good investment. Of course, not all rare monsters are useful so the utility of the monster for the user’s team needs to be evaluated.

    Scenario: Fighting in the Hera Descended dungeon using a Mono Dark Lucifer team

    Obtaining a Hera would greatly change the outlook for a Mono Dark team as Gravity is one of the main weapons for this type of teams. Spending up to five stones (equivalent of a REM pull) may be a worthwhile investment for a monster that is guaranteed to drop and will dramatically improve the team. If more stones need to be spent, one may need to reconsider if the current team setup is ready for this dungeon.

    2. Increase Monster Boxes

    Monster boxes allow players to store monsters that they are not currently using. Furthermore, monster boxes also allow users to store evolve and enhance material to make their monsters more powerful. Having a more monster boxes give users the capacity to collect more evolve and enhancement material. It is also another one of the way to ensure value is gained from using the magic stone. The number of monster boxes one should have is up to the person and may range anywhere from slightly below 1x per rank to above 3x per rank.

    Scenario: Monster box calculation for enhanced material

    Since leveling monsters is one of the most important tasks in the game, we will want to ensure that we have a healthy monster box capacity to support collection of enhance material to level up our monsters. One of the best ways to level up monsters is by collecting red, blue, and green evolved pengdras. An evolved pengdra is evolved from two jewel dragons of the same color, a dragon plant, and an unevolved pengdra. Because all three colors uses dragon plants, dragon plants are usually the limiting factor in how many pengdras can be evolved per week.

    Dragon plants are most efficiently gathered from the Special Thursday Dungeon. It is a one-day dungeon occurring every Thursday.

    The number of dragon plants that can be gathered per week would be:

    Let’s round this number up to 25 to account for people saving up stamina for the Thursday Dungeon or a few lucky runs with extra drops that week.

    With 25 dragon plants per week, this means that we’ll also need space to hold the other material to evolve a pengdra, the jewel dragons and unevolved pengdras. We will need space to hold 50 (2x25) jewel dragons and 25 pengdras. This means that a total of 100 boxes would be used per week to store pengdras.

    The above is a worst-case scenario and can be optimized by storing only dragon plants and pengdras, while evolving the pengdras as jewel dragons are collected. Using this method can potentially reduce the number of boxes for enhance material to 50.

    Realistically in practice, the number of boxes required is somewhere in between 50 and 100, depending on how well a player plans the color of unevolved pengdras and jewel dragons that are collected.

    3. Increase Number of Friends

    Friends with complementing leader skills enhance the effectiveness of your team. Because stamina is precious due to the limited use of stamina refresh from magic stones, one should carefully plan the attempt of each dungeon and maximize the chance that the dungeon will be completed successfully. Having the right friends available for a dungeon is even more valuable to a non-IAP player to reduce risk as much as possible.

    Having a large number of friends can also increase the number of PAL points one earn every day. PAL points can be saved up for special PAL events where super jewel dragons are available from the PAL Egg Machine.

    4. Stamina Refresh

    With an increase in maximum stamina, using magic stones for stamina refresh become more and more efficient as one gains rank.

    Each person has their own threshold for when to use stones for stamina refresh. There is no set rule on when is worth it to refresh. With that said, it is my opinion that stamina refreshes are more effective above rank 167. This is when one’s maximum stamina reaches 100. With 100 stamina, one can have two attempts of 50 stamina dungeons such as Super Jewel Dragons or various Descend Dungeons.

    5. Rare Egg Machine

    Spending magic stones to on the Rare Egg Machine (REM) is one of the riskiest uses of magic stones. The potential for obtaining a useful rare monster is a very enticing draw. However, one needs to consider the following when using the Rare Egg Machine:

    • Is there a god fest on right now? Don’t roll outside of god fests!
    • What is the usefulness of the gods in the current god fest? Is there a god that would drastically change your team RIGHT NOW or are the gods you desire simply enhance your team somewhat?

    Scenario: Rolling during a god fest

    Let’s assume that during a god fest, the chance to roll a god featured in the god fest is 25%. Also, let’s assume that only 2 out of the 10 gods are really “game changer” type of gods. These are gods that can drastically change the outlook of a team RIGHT NOW. This means that there is only a 5% chance that a roll would result in something that is actually useful for the user.

    In this example, each of the two desired gods can be quantified against the number of boxes in the following:

    In our example, 500 boxes is the expected value of the opportunity cost in order to get one of the two gods that we need. So ask yourself, is this god you're rolling for worth 500 boxes to you right now?
     
  3. Kyrdrin

    Kyrdrin Still surviving the non-IAP grind...

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    DUNGEON PRIORITY

    At the rate of 1 stamina every ten minutes, players recharge 144 stamina points every day. Players have the choice between dungeons that may help them accomplish various goals, ranging from gaining rank up EXP, monster power up EXP, monster evolve material, and monster skill up.

    1. Rank Up EXP

    Gaining additional ranks increases the player’s maximum team cost, stamina, and friend capacity. Having a higher maximum team cost allows a player to field a team of more powerful monsters that may have higher cost requirements. Having a higher maximum stamina allows a player to store stamina for use on a dungeon repeatedly. Having a high friend capacity allow a player to have more friend leaders available to tackle various dungeons.

    Tower of Giants, 3rd level – Dragons of the Tower
    Weekday: ~ 300 exp/stamina
    Weekend: ~ 500 exp/stamina
    Drops: Dragon plants

    At 5 stamina and around 1500 experience, the 300 exp/stamina ratio is one of the highest in the first four tiers of the Normal Dungeons. In addition, dragon plants may also drop from this dungeon as a bonus for power-up exp. On weekends, Tower of Giants is on a ½ stamina special, which reduces the stamina cost for this dungeon to 3, for a 500 exp/stamina ratio. Due to the high exp output, one can rank up by farming this dungeon continuously up to around rank 80 without having to stop to recharge stamina.

    Hyperion Lava Flow, 3rd level – Lava Tube
    Oceanus Falls, 3rd level – Whirlpool in Basin
    Kronos Forest, 3rd level – Gate to the Mystic Land
    Every day: ~520 exp/stamina
    Drops: Samurai Goblins, Marine Goblins

    Each of these Fifth Tier dungeons yield around 5200 exp. At 10 stamina for each dungeon, a 520 exp/stamina ratio is one of the best ratio until one reaches the Seventh (and last) Tier dungeons. As a bonus, Hyperion Lava Flower and Oceanus Falls are great locations to farm Samurai Goblins and Marines Goblins, essential for skilling up Titan/Gigas/Red Gigas and Mermaid/Siren respectively.

    Ocean of Heaven, 5th level – Sea-God of Heaven
    Every day: ~450 exp/stamina
    Weekends: 1.5x drop
    Drops: Mystic Mask, King Metal Dragon, Marine Goblins

    At the last dungeon in the Fifth Tier, Ocean of Heaven is a great place to farm Mystic Masks. Not only does it give very decent exp (~ 430 exp/stamina), this dungeon can also yield King Metal Dragons and Marine Goblins.

    Hill of Iris's Rainbow, 5th level – Goddess in Paradise
    Every day: ~382 exp/stamina
    Mondays: 1.5x drop
    Drops: Dub-mythlits, Emerald Pengdras

    At around 6500 exp, the last Technical Dungeon has the best in terms of exp/stamina ratio in the Technical Dungeons. In addition to unevolved pengdras, players can also obtain Dub-mythlits and evolved Emerald Pengdras for power up and evolution.

    2. Power-Up Fusion EXP

    Having more powerful monsters allow a player to clear harder dungeons and clear dungeons faster. Outside of running dungeons for player rank, dungeons to gain monster rank would be the next in priority.

    Thursday Dungeon
    Thursdays: 10 stamina
    Drops: Dragon Fruit, Dragon Flower, Dragon Plant, Dragon Seed

    Dragons plants is usually the limiting factors to leveling up one’s monsters. To make efficient progress, one should prioritize obtaining as many dragon plants as possible from the Thursday Dungeons.

    Fertile Land
    Ice Maze
    Blazing Highway
    Pengdra Village

    Pengdras are essential to level up one’s monsters. One can farm specific RGB pengdras from the First Tier Technical Dungeons. Farming pengdras on Mondays are even better with the 1.5x drop rate.

    Light and dark pengdras, as well as evolved pengdras, can be farmed at Pengdra Village. It is a special dungeon that only comes around from time to time.

    Dungeon of Ruby Dragons
    Dungeon of Sapphire Dragons
    Dungeon of Emerald Dragons
    Dungeon of Gold Dragons
    Alert! Metal Dragons!
    Super Ruby Dragons Descended
    Super Sapphire Dragons Descended
    Super Emerald Dragons Descended
    Super Metal Dragons Descended

    The importance of collecting various jewel dragons for leveling up one’s monster is obvious. One should use the number of available dragon plants to determine how many times to farm the regular jewel dragon dungeons. The Super Dragons should be farmed as much as possible with the available stamina.

    3. Evo Fusion

    Tuesday Dungeon
    Wednesday Dungeon
    Friday Dungeon

    Many monsters gain additional leader skills or types as they undergo evolution and ultimate evolution. The material for these evolutions may be farmed from the above dungeons.

    4. Skill Ups

    Lightless Devils' Nest
    Dark Night Sword
    Scarlet Snake Princess
    Poring Tower
    Breakers
    Dragon Guardian
    Blade of Justice

    From time to time, GungHo presents special dungeons where players can obtain certain rare monsters. A higher priority should be given to those obtaining these monsters for the first time compared to those who are farming these dungeons.

    EXAMPLE: On a Tuesday, a player is asked to choose between Tuesday Dungeon and a Jewel Dragon Dungeon.

    Here are some basic premise that we will work off of:
    • Tuesday Dungeon (30 stamina)
      1. 50% drop rate for Keeper of Rainbow
    • Jewel Dungeon (20 stamina)
      1. 5 guaranteed drops
      2. 40% King Jewel Dragon appearance
      3. 33% of High Jewel Dragon drop on last battle
    • Each Jewel Dragon is potentially worth half the EXP of an evolved pengdra
    Non-Event Week
    Event Week (2x drop rate, 2x king jewel dragon appearance)
    As you can see in this example, the opportunity cost for farming a Rainbow Keeper during a non-event Week is MUCH higher than farming a Rainbow Keeper during an event week. Thus, if the choice is between running a Jewel Dungeon or Tuesday Dungeon, Tuesday Dungeon should be run during an event week and the jewel dungeon should be run during a non-event week.
     
  4. Kyrdrin

    Kyrdrin Still surviving the non-IAP grind...

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    STARTING ROLL

    The first REM roll after completing the tutorial is the only time where a player can determine his fate from the REM. Having a good starting roll would give a player the right piece to build his team around, including implication on how REM-dependent the team would be.

    1. ARCHANGEL LUCIFER

    Lucifer is the prototypical grind team with 2xHP and 2xRCV. Paired with Dub-mythlits which are easy to obtain, Lucifer teams may have over 24,000HP to start with. With the combination of Lucifer’s Morning Star and Gravity from Hera’s active skill, this team can tackle many descend dungeons.

    Another advantage to Lucifer teams is that all the monsters in its teams are very easy to obtain. Dub-mythlits, Keeper of Rainbow, Hera and Hera-Is are all easily farmable in their dungeons. The lack of repetitive farming at a specific location may offset the slow pace to clear each dungeon.

    Starting Lucifer Team


    Leader: Archangel Lucifer
    Dub-mythlit
    Dub-mythlit
    Dub-mythlit
    Dub-mythlit
    Friend: Seraphim of Dawn Lucifer

    After leveling up a bit to add Lucifer to the team as well as having enough stamina to attempt the Friday Dungeon, the above team would have over 24,000HP. This team should be able to clear most of the beginning dungeons and be used to farm useful pieces for prepare for descend dungeons.

    Ideal non-REM Lucifer team


    Leader: Seraphim of Dawn Lucifer
    Awoken Hera-Is
    Awoken Hera-Is
    Awoken Hera-Is
    CoC Nightmare P.E.K.K.A
    Friend: Seraphim of Dawn Lucifer

    This team provides good survivability with the 4xHP/4xRCV. At maximum level, this team would have 73,784 HP. Three Awoken Hera-Is is chosen for her boost in HP/RCV over Awoken Hera. The dual element aspect of Hera-Is somewhat makes up for her reduced ATK. The P.E.K.K.A is chosen to allow the pair of Lucifers to use their Morning Star ability without having to use a turn to heal.

    2. HORUS

    Horus is a popular leader of a spike damage team. Horus’ leader ability provides 4xATK when four different attributes are activated. As part of the nature of a spike damage team, Horus teams may clear each dungeon extremely fast. However, due to the lack of HP multiplier, the margin for error is much smaller than a grinding team such as Lucifer. It is kill or be killed.

    Starting team (Mono Red) with Horus sub


    Leader: Tyrra
    Horus
    Dub-rubylit
    Dub-rubylit
    Dub-rubylit
    Friend: War Deity Ares

    For those who are uncomfortable using Horus as a lead and activating four different attributes at once, using Horus as a sub on a mono red team is a great beginning. When paired with a Tyrra, the red starter dragon, Horus and his teammates receives a 1.5x ATK bonus. Have a War Deity Ares friend farther enhances the overall stat of the team. One can use this team to clear many of the beginning stages and also farm some important subs for future teams.

    Ideal non-REM team (Goemon) with Horus sub


    Leader: Goemon, the Thief
    Flame Deity Falcon Horus
    Red Giant Gigas
    Red Giant Gigas
    Echidna the Red Empress
    Friend: Goemon, the Thief

    Goemon can be obtained via specialized teams or higher level Horus teams. Once Goemon is obtained, the above team can be assembled without the use of the REM.

    Starting Horus team (Rainbow)


    Leader: Horus
    Dub-mythlit
    Dub-sapphilit
    Dub-emelit
    Dub-topalit
    Friend: Flame Deity Falcon Horus

    For those who are comfortable with their orb matching and can activate four attributes at a time, the above starting team is a very powerful team. It can sweep through most of the beginning dungeons and start farming monsters to look forward to descend dungeons.

    Ideal non-REM Horus team (Rainbow)


    Leader: Flame Deity Falcon Horus
    Earth-rending Emperor Siegfried
    Heroic Noble Wolf King, Cu Chulainn
    Warrior Rose, Graceful Valkyrie
    Echidna the Red Empress
    Friend: Flame Deity Falcon Horus

    This is a Horus team made completely of non-REM monsters. Most of these monsters are heart-breakers (turn hearts into a attack color) to ensure there are always enough orbs on the screen to make a four attribute combo. They are also dual element to take advantage of the extra 30% damage from their secondary elements. Although not quite as good as some REM-dependent builds, this build is still very strong.

    Ideal non-REM Horus team (Rainbow) - IronH


    Leader: Flame Deity Falcon Horus
    Awoken Hera-ls
    Wood Mech Warrior Asgard
    Warrior Rose, Graceful Valkyrie
    Echidna the Red Empress
    Friend: Flame Deity Falcon Horus

    This is a team suggested by IronH. This Horus team provides some useful utilities such as Gravity and Defensive Stance. This allows for the team to take a hit while being able to combine Gravity and burst damage against a high HP boss.
     
  5. Kyrdrin

    Kyrdrin Still surviving the non-IAP grind...

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    DUNGEON STRATEGY

    This is a section reserved to examine how teams without any REM monsters (other than starting roll) may tackle some of the tougher dungeons in the game. We will assume that anyone with a Lucifer or Horus teams (or slight variations) will clear the dungeons below.

    1. Hera Descended

    Odin/Resist
    Team Link Requirements
    Link > 8214 HP (Hades)
    This is a now famous Odin/Resist build that can safely clear Hera Descended. Details of this build can be found in the [Dungeon] Updated Strategy for Taking on Hera with an Odin/Resist Team thread by Misa.

    Odin/Auto-Healer
    Team Link Requirements
    Link > 16427 HP (Hades) > 2471 HP auto-heal (Hera)
    This is a non-REM version of the Odin/Healer team.

    The biggest drawback with this build is that due to the high HP and RCV requirements, almost all the monsters will have to be near max level. Also, building up a Siren to 824 RCV means A LOT of +eggs on her.

    The biggest benefit with this build is that once the player reaches Hera, it is impossible to die as long as one set of orb is matched per turn.

    Healer Farming
    Team Link Requirements
    > 10,780 HP (Ceres)
    This is a team that I used to farm Hera when Hera Descended was offered on 9/6. I was successful using Odin/Resist strategy but it took me about an hour and a half for one run. Though I had a Warrior Rose, Graceful Valkyrie, my team was very under leveled with a total HP of around 7,500 HP. I had a moment of inspiration and replaced a Great Valkyrie sub with a Wood Mech Warrior Asgard for the team above. As long as I can hit the HP requirement, this team is golden!

    Here is my round-by-round game plan:

    • Rounds 1-4: Stall as much as I can to get my skills up.
    • Round 5 (Venus): Attack her normally as she only hits for 5647 every turn. Depending on the available orbs, this is usually a 1-3 turn fight.
    • Round 6 (Minerva): Depending on the starting counter and the available orbs, there may not be enough time to kill her before she attacks. Use Menace here if needed. This is usually a 2-4 turn fight.
    • Round 7 (Ceres): As long as the HP requirement is met, given the high RCV nature of healer teams, this fight can be done without using any skills. This is usually a 2-4 turn fight.
    • Round 8 (Neptune): Use Neptune's longer turn counter to store some Light orbs as well as stall a little for Echidna's skill. Use a Valkyrie's Attack Stance - Light to get more Light orbs. A 4x3 Light combo should be able to break Neptune's armor.
    • Round 9 (Hades): Given Hades' vulnerability to Light, I was able to finish this fight usually within 3 turns. I may stall a little bit here to give Echidna more time to recharge.
    • Round 10 (Hera): If Echidna is recharged, I would use Menace here. If not, I would use Asgard's Defensive Stance to buy some time. In addition, I would use Glorious Healer's Guard Stance - Light and use Valkyrie's Attack Stance - Light to create a massive amount of Light orbs. Then, use King Shynee's Recovery Enhancement. The combination of 9x (healer) * 3x (Shynee) * 2x (Light vulnerability) * combo bonuses allows me to OHKO Hera. If I fail, I still have a few chances using Defensive Stance and Menace to finish Hera off.
    This approach usually takes a max of 10-15 minutes.

    The CoC Glorious Healer can be subbed with Enchantress of the Sea, Siren. The Wood Mech Warrior Asgard can be subbed with Keeper of Rainbow or any other RGB golem.

    2. Heroes Descended

    Team Link Requirements
    Link > 25560 HP (3 Vampire Lords sync'd) > 19795 HP (Highlander and Berserk)
    This is a slightly modified version of a Mono Green team that I used to get my first Highlander (Wood Mech Warrior Asgard instead of Love Feline Deity Bastet). The key is to stall to make sure Echidna is ready on Battle #4 against the three Vampires. Use Menace and burst from ADKs and Artemis to kill off two of the Vampires as soon as possible. Use the remaining Vampire to recharge the skills. At Highlander and Berserk, use Menace again and burst down Berserk. A decent combo should be able to break through Highlander's defense.

    Team Link Requirements
    Link > 25560 HP (3 Vampire Lords sync'd) > 19795 HP (Highlander and Berserk)
    This is a farmable build that zgmfx09a provided in the [Dungeon] Heroes Descended - Strategy Thread. He also has a round by round strategy posted in the thread.

    3. The Thief Descended!

    Team Link Requirements
    Link
    This is a build submitted by ChuckFanForever in 6/21 Thief Descended Victory Thread. He used this build to beat the The Thief Descended! on Legend difficulty.

    Team Link Requirements
    Link
    sorez submitted this build in the 6/21 Thief Descended Victory Thread. Moondragon Lunar D'spinas is a possible replacement for Loki to get the same effect.

    4. Hera-Is Descended!

    Team Link Requirements
    Link
    This post by Blitz in the 8/17 Hera-Is Victory Thread! showed that it is possible to beat Hera-Is using a Healer team.

    5. Zeus Descended!

    Team Link Requirements
    Link
    This is a modified version of the team that Recca posted in the 6/30 Zeus Descended Victory Thread. Hades and Awoken Hera were subbed with Awoken Hera-Is for her HP and RCV advantages. A good description of the strategy used per stage is also described in the post.

    Team Link Requirements
    Link
    Cel posted this team in the 6/30 Zeus Descended Victory Thread. For those adventurous enough to use Ra, here's an example you can follow.

    6. The Goddess Descended!

    Team Link Requirements
    Link
    This is a team confirmed by Proc19 in the [Dungeon] Goddess Descended - Strategy Thread. It is said to be a quick farming team for the Valkyrie dungeon.

    Team Link Requirements
    Link
    This team was posted by bunbunfriedrice in the 6/14 and 6/20 Goddess Descended Victory Thread. This is a very low level and easily obtained line up.
     
  6. Kyrdrin

    Kyrdrin Still surviving the non-IAP grind...

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    CONCLUSION
    In this series of posts, I aim to point out some ideas for non-IAP players to think about. I am by no means the authority on this topic as many senior members of the board have made very good contributions to furthering strategies. This is simply a collection of ideas that I’ve come across, spliced with some of my own, with a slant on non-IAP concerns.

    Please feel free to discuss and contribute and I will try to update the main posts to include everyone’s contributions.

    Thanks and good luck to everyone on your PAD journey!

    REFERENCES
     
  7. Kyrdrin

    Kyrdrin Still surviving the non-IAP grind...

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    RESERVED
     
  8. Kyrdrin

    Kyrdrin Still surviving the non-IAP grind...

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    RESERVED
     
  9. Kyrdrin

    Kyrdrin Still surviving the non-IAP grind...

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    RESERVED
     
  10. MisterDrgn

    MisterDrgn Slumbering Zeus Staff Member

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    Hey, this looks interesting. As a non-IAP player, I'd love to talk more about it later, for now I'll say:

    1) Francon just posted the beginning of a non-IAP guide as well: http://puzzleanddragonsforum.com/showthread.php?tid=10799
    However, it's less developed and mostly advises players to get a D'Spinas and find Lucifer friends. Just thought you should be aware.

    2) When you're talking about sources of stones, I wouldn't just say GungHo has special events from time to time. With the current schedule, there are 8-day special events every two weeks (Friday to Friday). So that's 8 stones for every 14 days. That's a huge source of stones for a non-IAP player. Of course the schedule may change in the future, but I think it's very possible that it won't.

    3) The section on REM is dangerously misleading, particularly "Let’s assume that during a god fest, the chance to roll a god featured in the god fest is 25%." The odds are not this good. I'd suggest doing some research and giving more realistic numbers here. Personally, I would recommend rolling if around half the highlighted gods are appealing to a player, not if 1-2 gods are game-changers. The odds of getting any one monster are quite low, even during a Godfest.

    4) You might want to talk about other starting rolls. For example, I think Valkyrie is a pretty good starting roll right now, although Lucifer teams are easier to build (fewer max-level/max-skill/+s required to run Legendary difficulty dungeons). Persephone/Loki are excellent starting rolls, since you can team up with Lucifer friends and make a strong REM-less team for running end-game dungeons at Legendary difficulty. Unlike Valkyrie/Persephone/Loki/Lucifer, Horus depends more on lucky REM rolls for building an optimal team. Although I guess you can build a near-optimal Goemon team with a Horus. Anyway, I agree that Lucifer is the safest starting roll.
     
  11. DF@RR

    DF@RR New Member

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    If you are interested in playing the game at a high level and not getting frustrated with no IAP...

    Starting with Valk is a TERRIBLE idea.

    If you plan on being serious about the game... with no intention of ever using IAP... then you should be rerolling your starting roll until you get a Lucifer. He is by FAR the best possible roll you can have in the game and you will be kicking yourself for wasting any time NOT playing with him if you dont start with him.

    All other discussion about starting rolls is moot. Lucifer enables your account to beat ANY content currently in the game. No other roll does that.

    Starting with Valk is also silly because... with 4 rainbow keepers and a Lucifer, you can farm your own Valk. Try farming a Lucifer with Valk.
     
  12. MisterDrgn

    MisterDrgn Slumbering Zeus Staff Member

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    There are some players out there who don't have the patience to re-roll until they get a single monster. I think we should respect that and provide suggestions on other possible starting rolls, while letting them know that Lucifer is the safest possible roll.

    EDIT: I wrote some other stuff, but I deleted it. I just feel like the whole attitude of "it's Lucifer or nothing" kinda sucks the fun out of the game.
     
  13. IronH

    IronH Paralysis by Analysis Staff Member

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    Great guide. While it's totally subjective, I think potentially this non-REM team can be also very useful:

    Flame Deity Falcon Horus
    Warrior Rose, Graceful Valkryie
    Echidna the Red Empress
    Asgard
    Awoken Hera-Is
    Flame Deity Falcon Horus

    The previous lineup focuses on damage output by using heart breakers and dual color monsters; while this lineup focuses more on utility with gravity and defense guard. Both seems very viable.

    Thanks.
     
  14. Kap

    Kap Member

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    Kyrdrin, Great start to a guide.
    Hope with the contribution from everyone, this will turn into a really good comprehensive guide for all non-IAP players.
     
  15. LeopoldQBloom

    LeopoldQBloom Member

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    I would also throw out Green Odin as a mention for a good starting monsters. Sure he isn't Horus or Lucifer, but he is the basis for a lot of the tanking type teams. With him you can clear pretty much every normal and technical dungeon--he also makes the Rainbow Keeper and Weds/Friday dungeons pretty easy as well. He is also the foundation for builds that can clear Hera and Hera-Is pretty easily. I've also used Green Odin in many of the dragon dungeons that pop up every 2 weeks.

    Green Odin might not take you to the very end of the game, but if I got him as a new player I wouldn't re-roll.
     
  16. zincsterio

    zincsterio New Member

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    Wow, what a great guide! Please move to guide section!

    As a non-iap beginner player, learned a lot from it. One suggestion I have is to discuss how to most efficiently level up your god/starter, ie how to feed it in such a way as to maximize exp and minimize gold. I think I've read a thread some time before about this, but it talked about exp curve and some other concepts I didn't understand. More about this topic would be very helpful.
     
  17. IronH

    IronH Paralysis by Analysis Staff Member

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    You mean Slope's experience guide?

    http://puzzleanddragonsforum.com/showthread.php?tid=7789
     
  18. Uni

    Uni New Member

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    Excellent post Kyrdrin!
     
  19. Kyrdrin

    Kyrdrin Still surviving the non-IAP grind...

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    MisterDrgn, thanks for the feedback! As I mentioned in a reply from a different thread, feedback from senior members of the board as yourself are most definitely valued and appreciated.

    I am aware of this thread, and at the time, I was actually a little bit bummed. I have been messing with the content of this thread for a couple weeks now and I thought someone else had beaten me to the punch. However, I think we take a little different approach as he is simply trying to reach end-game content and "beat" the game, while I'm trying to address how to make efficient choices to maximize our throughput.

    I can cite his thread as a reference for some perspective though.

    That's what I initially wanted to put down too, the one week on and one week off. But taking a historical view, as well as not having a definite schedule form GungHo, I kept it purposely vague by saying "from time to time". I suppose every other day can be "time to time"? :p

    I'll think about how to phrase that section to make it more accurately reflect the current pattern.

    I agree, the chances that I used to roll a god is a bit high. I was being optimistic. Lowering the chance will just makes the example that much more extreme. The point of the example was to point out that while most people suggest rolling for a god when a good portion of the gods in the god fest is helpful, I'm looking at this from the other way, "How many gods in the god fest is actually a NEED?" Yes, one would be looking the percentage of rolling for one or two gods which is horrible, but that's exactly what I'm trying to point out.

    I think people want to roll too easily, falling to the gambling-like habits. Why spend stones just to roll something marginally useful? The reason why I'm advocating this approach is that I think with the right beginning roll, a player wouldn't have to roll in REM again until they are very high level after having all the farmable monsters that they need. I provided some end-game-ish non-REM teams to show that there are still viable teams out there. Perhaps as a high level player who have all the boxes and friends they need, then they may consider the choice between stamina refresh and REM. But the general trend is to spend the stone along the way just to roll some "helpful" gods, while not having enough for boxes and friends, which will provide guaranteed value in return.

    I thought about the other rolls, and while some are better than others, I feel like as a non-REM roll, they're far behind Lucifer and Horus. In my planning, I tossed around giving Persephone or Ares a mention since they can be played somewhat like the Lucifer and Goemon Horus style. However, I thought while somewhat workable, they will be a shadow of the two that I mentioned already. I ended up leaving them out at the end.

    The Valkyrie team is something I've been playing with currently. However, I haven't been able to come up with a good non-REM team setup. Albeit my farmable healers are very underleveled right now, but I don't see them being that much better even when leveled up. I suppose I can't say for sure how good this team is and would need to lean on the fellow members to see if we can put together a good Valkyrie team with only non-REM monsters.

    Regarding Horus, I'm not shooting for being optimal. An "ideal" Horus team includes a lot of REM monsters. I was simply trying to point out the best non-REM version just to give people an idea of the non-REM potential. I do think the flexibility to play the account in multiple ways (Goemon vs. Rainbow) does add some extra spice to the gameplay.
     
  20. calorie

    calorie DKali Acolyte

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    First of all, congratulations on finally making this guide happen Kyrdrin! It's a very articulate, fun and neat read - something every guide should strive towards, as people are bound to come back to it more than once; yours looks like one where it's very easy to find info quickly. :)

    There are some well-writen passages here -- like the introductory philosophy of the non-IAP approach, the part where you explain the prioritizing of magic stone usage and that line which so cleverly points out how many box spaces are on the line every time we make a pull at the REM. The section about dungeons is also really nice, and that example with the Tuesday Dungeon is something that's gotten me thinking about what I should prioritize from now on...

    A few suggestions though:

    While I agree with your choice of two of the most valuable starting rolls, and the potential farmable teams with them that you outlined, this section needs more diversity. Perhaps adding a visual, highly apparent description of just how hard it is to get these two would be nice. They do take either a perfectly coalesced gacha event and godfest or weeks of trying to get if one is not immediately lucky. Plus, seeing as how most rookies will simply want to start playing the game, or restart it the right way, one ought to take into consideration their aspirations - not everyone thinks about beating Valkyrie Descended and Hera-Is in the first month or two. And when they do get to that point, there are ways to farm Hera, Zeus, Cu Chu, Sieg and Goemon even without these starting rolls. Adding the greek gods 2.0, mono-dark leads and norse gods (except for Thor) and pointing out the value of mono-fire and mono-dark teams in particular would do this guide well. If the starting player is to choose something he or she can beat the end-game dungeons with over something that's relatively easy to roll and start with - he or she should be aware of the choice made, and it might not be a bad idea to separate the preferable starting rolls into these two groups (e.g. "a PITA to reroll" and "easy to reroll") with the pros and cons for both listed.

    Another general suggestion would be to add pictures and colored fonts :D



    Last but not the least, thanks for referencing my thread in the closing post, I am honored! :D
     

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