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I recently passed my 500th day on Puzzle and Dragons and I just can't stop. :D

For those of you not sure what Puzzle and Dragons is, have a look at the official website. It's a puzzle based Pokemon-ish battle game in which you build teams of monsters and take on dungeons. It's available on iProducts, Android and Kindle Fire, and totally free to download. The game can have a very steep learning curve - as a beginner I made loads of mistakes and didn't understand many of the concepts, so I really hope this beginner's guide will help you guys avoid some of the same problems I had!

The best thing about Puzzle and Dragons is that the dungeons are constantly changing and the monsters are frequently updated with new evolutions, so there's always a goal to work towards. If you get burned out, it's easy to get excited the next week when there's a special event going on and a chance to get monsters you need and want!

There are two major ways Puzzle and Dragons is played - using in app purchases (IAP player), and not using in app purchases (non-IAP player). I am writing this primarily for non-IAP players, since I tend to lean that way when playing the game and I think it makes it more fun. :)

Step 1: The PAD Dictionary

Since PAD is a super involved game, I thought I'd include a nice intro to some of the lingo used in the game to make it easier to understand what in the world I'm talking about here. :D

ATK/Attack: A monster's attack power.

Awoken Skill/Awakening: Some monsters have awoken skills can be activated through using a TAMADRA. You also have a chance to activate these skills by fusing them with a monster that has the same skill, but it is not guaranteed. These skills are represented by tiny boxes to the right of the monster on their info screen.

Best Friend: You can choose a player to become best friends with. You'll be able to see three of their leaders at all times and receive 100 Pal Points every day when you use them.

Evolution/Evo Fusion: The process of evolving a monster into a more powerful monster using evo materials.

Evolution materials: Monsters that are used exclusively to evolve monsters. See the full list here.

Experience: Used to rank up - received after completing a dungeon level. Amount of experience received varies for each level and also according to player rank and how well you do.

Friend slots/Friend leader: Once you've ranked up enough, you'll have 50 friend slots to add compatible leader monsters into. You always want to pick friends with compatible monsters and skills. Using friend leaders gives you Pal Points.

Gold Egg: The rarest of eggs.

HP/Health Points: A monster's life points - these are added together across the entire team to give you total HP.

Leader skill: The monster you equip into a leader slot on your team will be able to use its Leader Skill. Skills vary widely and will also change during evolutions.

Magic Stones: Special items that can be used to increase monster box capacity or number of friend slots, recover stamina, continue in dungeons after defeat, and buy special monsters from the Rare Egg Machine.

Monster: The creatures you assemble teams out of and use to fight your battles. As of the writing of this instructable, there are over 2100 monsters in the US version of PAD.

PAD: The shortened named of Puzzles and Dragons.

Pal Egg Machine: An egg machine that will allow you to roll for a monster for 500 Pal Points. Sometimes this machine comes in special versions that offer limited time monsters for 1000 Pal Points a piece.

Pal Points: Given to the player for choosing a friend leader when entering dungeons. Players on your current friend list will give you 10 pal points. Players not on your friend list will give you 5 stamina. Once you've used a friend's monster, you can't get more Pal Points from them that day.

500 Pal Points allow you to roll the Pal Egg Machine. Pal Points are also given during special events, up to 1000 Pal Points a day. You can only hold 20,000 Pal Points at any given time.

Player Rank: A player's level. Increases as you gain experience.

Plus Eggs: Some monsters drop with a yellow + on the egg. Each plus egg monster will give you +10 points for HP, ATK, or RCV. These eggs can be used to increase a monster's stats up to +97 for HP/ATK/RCV.

Silver Egg: Contain rare monsters, though they're not as desirable as gold eggs.

Skill: Nearly all monsters have a skill that they can use in battle. Each skill requires a certain number of turns to have passed before the skill can be used. You can decrease the numbers of turns that have to pass by fusing the monster with a monster of the same type or one with the same skill.

Skill Up: Successfully fusing two monsters with the same skill can result in lowering the number of turns that must pass before you can use the skill.

Stamina: Stamina increases along with Player Rank and allows you to enter dungeons. As of this writing, American players gain 1 stamina point every 3 minutes.

Stamina Overflow: A new-ish feature that allows you to hold more than your maximum stamina if you use a magic stone to restore it.

Star Egg: The lowest of the rare eggs. Very common monsters.

Rank: The player's level. The higher your rank, the more stamina, friends slots, teams and team cost you have.

Rare Egg Machine: An egg machine that requires 5 magic stones to use it one time. The Rare Egg Machine gives you a random monster with a rarity of 3-7 stars.

Rarity: Each monster has a rarity associated with it - rarity is marked by the number of stars a monster has next to its name. Rarity scales from 1 star to 8 stars. The higher the stars/rarity, the more valuable the monster in most cases.

RCV/Recovery: RCV controls how much health you get for matching heart orbs.

Team: Your monster team consists of one leader and four other monsters, as well as a friend leader. Teams come in many different flavors, including mono-color, mutli-color, healer, devil, spike, etc. You want to build teams around different types of monsters and leader skills.

You have slots for five teams when you start the game.

Team Cost: The total cost of all monsters on your team.

Step 2: Getting Started & Rerolling

When you first start PAD, you'll be asked to choose from three dragons (much like Pokemon!).

These are not super important - chances are your starter dragon will get retired almost immediately. I chose a Plessie just because he was super cute.

During the tutorial that follows, you'll also get a chance to roll the Rare Egg Machine with the magic stones you earn in the tutorial. This is your chance to get an amazing leader monster! There's a ton of fuss about getting the perfect starter monster in PAD, but when I started I just went with what I got.

I was lucky and rolled a Kushinadahime :3 - she's a combo leader, so the more combos you get, the more of an attack multiplier you'll get.

You can search around online to find lists of great starter monsters, but here's a quick list of good choices:

If you don't receive one of these monsters or another monster you like (really, do a search for anything you roll!) it's best to delete the game and try again.

This can be a really tedious process, so it's smart to wait for a Gala or Godfest to do it to increase your chances of getting a good monster by a little bit. :)

P.S. Here's a ridiculously awesome thread ranking starting rolls. It's intense but has so much great info!

Oh! And this post is really good, too.

Step 3: Stamina, Experience and Player Rank

Stamina:

Each dungeon you enter requires stamina. Stamina will vary quite a bit - typically the harder the dungeon, the more stamina it requires! The minimum stamina a dungeon requires is 3 - the very beginning Normal Dungeons will range from 3-5 stamina for each level. The max stamina I've seen a dungeon require is 99.

American players currently gain 1 stamina point every 3 minutes.

Stamina can be completely restored by using a Magic Stone or increasing your Player Rank.

Experience:

Each dungeon level you complete will give you experience and coins at the end. You can see a complete list of the dungeons and the experience they give you on these pages:

This experience will allow you to increase your Player Rank. On the next step, I'll tell you how to rank up in the most efficient ways. :)

Player Rank

Your Player Rank will be the biggest limiting factor for you at the beginning of the game. When you first start the game, you'll only have 20 stamina points/20 team cost/20 friend slots. As you rank up through the game, you'll increase these stats and be able to clean more dungeons at once and have many more powerful monsters on your team.

You can see a complete list of ranks and the associated stats here.

Step 4: Magic Stones and PAL Points

Magic stones:

The only thing in the game you can buy! Magic stones refill stamina, give you another life in dungeons, buy more monster box space, buy more friend slots, and let you roll the REM.

Before I realized they were super limited, I spent them on restoring stamina and adding more friends. Don't be like PAD-noob me. Save your stones for Godfest or until a fancy version of the REM comes along, or buy more box space. Nothing else! (though I totally own up to using magic stones a few times to give myself another chance in a Descended dungeon)

Ways to get magic stones:

  • beat all levels of a dungeon
  • being all levels of a dungeon on Challenge Mode
  • special events
  • compensation for server/game issues

PAL points:

I love PAL points! I am much more strict with them. I always save my PAL points until there's a special event. I normally roll when rare evo materials have a chance to appear, but sometimes I'll roll when the King Metal/Jewel dragons are appearing.

You will receive at minimum 200 PAL points a day if you log in every morning. In some events, you can get an additional 1000 free PAL points a day. The rest of your PAL points come from user friend list monsters or having your friends use your leader monster.

You can store up to 20,000 PAL points at a time, or 100 rolls in the PEM.

Step 5: Daily Events and Bonuses

I like to use PadGuide or puzzledragonx.com to plan my week. There are always events happening, so it's good to look ahead and see what sort of Descends and special dungeons will be happening so you can build appropriate teams.

Login bonuses:

You get daily login bonuses of 200 PAL points and 500 coins if you log in everyday for a week and then never miss a day. You might also receive a message from game admins that includes 1000 PAL points, a TAMADRA, or a magic stone, depending on the current event.

Daily Metal/Jewel Dragon dungeons:

Nearly every day you'll be able to run a special dungeon featuring a certain element of jewel/metal dragon. The elements will vary, and the dungeons are only available for one hour at a time. These are a great way to level monsters in a cost effective way.

To find your daily schedule, create an account at puzzledragonx.com or use PadGuide. You will need to know which "group" you player code falls into.

Pengra Village and Evo Rush! dungeons:

Sometimes the daily metal/jewel dragon dungeons get switched for these. I don't really run them because they can be a huge stamina drain - but it's good to run them once to get a magic stone!

Gift Dungeons:

Sometimes the game will give you a King Dragon or Present Egg in a special dungeon you can only run once. These dungeons normally cost 10 stamina.

There are also higher difficulty gift dungeons that will give you a chance to snag a Spirit Jewel, which allows you to skill up and evolve more powerful monsters.

Descended Dungeons:

Descended dungeons are the thing most high level players focus on completing. They're much harder than the standard dungeons and are normally only available for 24 hours, so keep an eye on the upcoming schedules!

The give you access to powerful monsters like Hera and Zeus, as well as high level skill up materials.

Step 6: Best Ways to Get Coins in PAD, Aka YAY WEEKEND DUNGEON

There are really two major ways to make money:

  • selling low level monsters
  • running the Weekend Dungeon

Early on in the game when you're a broke noob, it's a good idea to sell excess low level monsters. Say you're really only focusing on leveling fire and wood monsters - in this case you should sell all the dark, light, and water fodder monsters you have. Anything that's not valuable, at least. :D

It will cost you a lot of money to feed them to your other monsters, and you won't receive that same-element exp bonus, so it's not cost effective.

The other coin-maker is the Weekend Dungeon aka the only way you're gonna become a millionaire in this game. ;)

Key things to know about the Weekend Dungeon:

  • no light or dark orbs appear on the board, so it's best to only take fire, wood and water element monsters in
  • combo based leaders are great for this! Kushinada 4 life.
  • try to combo as much as possible - the higher your combos and the less turns it takes you to finish, the more money you'll get
  • you won't receive any monster drops
  • have a Catwoman? This is a great time to use her as your leader or borrow a friend's - she'll give you a 1.5x coin bonus.
  • sometimes this dungeon offers a 1.5x or 2x coin bonus - so make sure to run that!
  • Master level difficulty - you can expect 10,000ish EXP and 100,000-200,000 coin for 25 stamina.
  • Legend level difficulty - you can expect 12-14,000 EXP and up to a 1,000,000 coin for 40 stamina.

Step 7: Using the Egg Machines

There are two flavors of egg machine: the Pal Egg Machine and the Rare Egg Machine. Both of these machines run special events that allow you better chances to get the types of monsters you want, so keep an eye out on puzzledragonx.com (see the second image) and PAD's Facebook page to see which events are coming up.

Pal Egg Machine

For 500 Pal Points, you can roll at the PEM once. If you save up your points, you can roll up to 10 times in a row. You can store 20,000 Pal Points at a time, or 100 rolls.

Pal Points are best stored until a special event is happening at the machine. Keep an eye out for Rare Evo Materials or Jewel Dragons appearing at the machine.

If you roll the PEM machine when there's not an event going on, chances are really low you'll get any awesome monsters.

There are also new Pal Egg machines that operate like the special Rare Egg verions - you can roll for special limited time monsters for 1000 Pal Points

You can find a PEM simulator here.


Rare Egg Machine

The REM allows you to roll for rarer monster (3 stars+) for 5 magic stones. This machine is also best left until there's a special event or version of the REM you want to roll.

REM events include Galas and Godfests. During Galas, you will have a higher chance of rolling certain types of monsters by element - Fire, Water, Earth, Light, Dark. During Godfests, you have a higher chance to get certain types of Gods. To learn more about Godfests, check the previous ones here.

The REM also comes in different types. Certain events allow you to roll at special REMs that contain a very limited set of themed monsters, including Hello Kitty, Evangelion, Batman, Sticker Girls, etc. These are rare but well worth a roll when you see them!

I prefer to keep nearly all my magic stones for rolling during REM events.

You can find a REM simulator here, as well as a list of any current event monsters with higher rates of appearing.

P.S. Please note that the REM is a cruel machine. Often times you will get trolled and get a terrible monster - it's not guaranteed that you'll get a good monster even during Godfest.

Step 8: Making the Most of Your Friend List

Unless you choose to add more friends slots with magic stones, you'll have 50 friends maximum.

When you're just starting out, it's best to friend pretty much everyone. Friending folks gives you an additional monster to use in battle and that's all you really need at first. Plus, friending people that use your leader monster will guarantee you a few more PAL points.

As you rank up and begin building more specific teams, you'll want to start culling your friend list and adding players with leaders that work well with your team. In my case, I have a large amount of Ronia, Kushinada, devil, and healer friends.

A couple more ways I control my friend list:

  • deleting inactive players: if someone hasn't played in a couple days, I delete them. This means I won't see their monsters as often since they're not logging in, and chances are they won't use my monsters so I'm losing PAL points.
  • deleting players 50 ranks or more lower/higher than I am: the further away you are from someone in rank, the less often they'll show up on your friend list.

Step 9: Dungeon Types

There are three major types of dungeons:

Normal dungeons have no restrictions except for stamina cost. You can use any mix of elements and monster types to make up your teams.

Technical dungeons are very focused on certain element types and allow enemies to use skills instead of regular attacks, which can make them tricky. Higher level technical dungeons also introduce restrictions where you can only use certain types of monsters on your teams or render you unable to use leader skills.

Special dungeons are event based dungeons and are only available for limited amounts of time. These dungeons include:

  • Descended dungeons - high level dungeons that will net you useful God type monsters
  • Weekday/Weekend dungeons - great for getting evolution materials and coins
  • Jewel/Metal Dragon dungeons - drop dragons that give great exp when fused
  • Collaborations - themed dungeons that include monsters from other brands - comics, videogames, anime, etc
  • Skill up dungeons - drop monsters that offer a chance for a skill up for popular monsters like Echidna
  • Gift dungeons - come along with special events, offer rare monsters like jewel/metal dragon kings, globes, spirit jewels, etc.
  • Various rare dragon dungeons - elemental based dragon dungeons
  • Endless Corridors/True Endless Corridors - no stamina to enter, but no coins/monsters/exp received. A good place to practice combos and test out teams.

These dungeons vary wildly in time frames, team limitations and cost, but are a great way to get rare monsters, coins, experience, skill ups, evo materials and magic stones. Always check the special dungeons for the day/week and plan ahead for best results

Step 10: Descended Dungeons

UPDATE 10/8/2014 - Descended dungeons have changed up a bit and some (Hera, Two Heroes, etc) are now available as normal levels once you clear certain dungeons.

Descended dungeons are a major part of the game - they're a great way to get powerful monsters! However, they take a ton of work to get through.

Here is a list of the descended dungeons.

For your first descended dungeons, I recommend these:

  • Two Heroes - Hero Descended
    • Two Heroes drops either a Berserk or a Highlander, and it's a good idea to run it multiple times to get both. Berserk evos into a great physical team leader, and Highlander does the same for balanced teams.
  • Zeus Descended - Almighty God
    • Zeus' Gravity skill reduces overall enemy HP by 35% - fancy.
  • The Goddess Descended - Holy Goddess
    • Evoing the Valkyrie you receive from Goddess Descended gives you Warrior Rose, Graceful Valkyrie - a great healer team lead that gives 3x ATK to healer types.
  • Dragon Zombie Descended - Corpse Wyrm
    • Evoing the Zombie Dragon you get from the descended of the same name gives you Corpse Wyrm, Dragon Zombie, which reduces light damage, has great HP, works nicely on devil teams and enhances dark and wood orbs for extra attack.

Keep in mind that not all descended dungeons are easy to access - some have cost, rarity and element limits as well, which make them harder to build teams for.

If you check the dungeon page for each of the descended dungeons on puzzledragonx.com, you'll also be able to see team builds from other players. These team builds can help give you a good strategy in harder descended dungeons. :)

Step 11: How to Rank Up Fast

Increasing your player rank is one of the best things you can do in the beginning of the game and incredibly easy to do when you're under rank 100.

A higher player rank will give you more stamina to use and a higher team cost so you can fight with better monsters.

Players under level 100:

On the weekends, you can increase your rank super fast (seriously, it's like magic!) by running Dragons of the Tower in the Tower of Giants.

Tower of Giants offers runs for half the stamina on weekends, so you use 3 stamina to get around 1500 exp!!

It can be a little tedious, but it can help you rank up and level some of your monsters as well.

Higher level players:

Higher level players have quite a few great places to level up:

As a bonus, these three levels are fire, water and wood element based and routinely offer 1.5 drop rates during the week. This means you can rank up and also feed the monsters that drop to monsters of the same element and level them up pretty quick, too.

I run the above levels based on the elements of the monsters I'm trying to level up and which level has a 1.5 drop bonus running.

Step 12: Monsters 101

Monster Types:

  • Dragon - tend to have elemental damage based skills and elemental protection leader skills
  • Balanced - good distribution of HP/ATK/RCV
  • Physical - higher HP, good ATK
  • Healer - high RCV, low HP in most cases
  • Attacker - high ATK
  • God - higher rarity, higher stats overall
  • Devil - good HP and ATK, lower RCV
  • Machine - a new type! High HP and decent ATK.
  • Evo Material - materials used to evolve monsters, often used as filler in low cost teams
  • Enhance Material - monsters that grant good amounts of exp during fusion, also sometimes help with skill ups

Monsters can be up to two types. Both types count toward any leader skill bonus that may apply. For example, Ronia is a Devil/Dragon type and I&I; is a God/Healer type.

Monster Elements:

Monsters come in fire, water, wood, light and dark elements. As with type, they can be up to two elements. The main element (in the upper left hand corner of their card) is the element that counts for any dungeon restrictions based on element.

Monster Cost:

Each monster in the game has a cost associated with it. This will vary based on the rarity of the monster. For example, a monster with a rarity of 7 stars will have a much higher cost than a monster with a rarity of 1 star.

These monster costs add up to the total team cost when building teams.

Awoken Skills:

Awoken skills are found on the right hand side of the monster card, represented by small tiles. When awoken, the tiles become bright. Awoken skills are one of the best perks of evoing your monsters - you can get HP/ATK/RCV bonuses, auto healing, additional damage bonuses, skill boosts, etc.

You can awaken monsters by feeding them a TAMADRA. Each TAMADRA awakens one skill, and the skills awaken from top to bottom. You can also feed a monster the same exact monster via power up fusion for a chance at awakening, but it is pretty rare.

Keep in mind that there are TAMADRAs and Baby TAMADRAs. You must evolve the Baby TAMADRAs to get a guaranteed awakening.

Skill:

Skills are something your monsters can use in battle. Skills can do major damage to enemy monsters, convert orbs on the board, heal, poison, delay enemy turns, and apply bonuses.

Skills require a certain number of turns to pass before they can be used. You can decrease the number of turns a skill requires by skilling up a monster by fusing it with a monster of the same skill. Skilling up is not guaranteed, but there is always a chance.

Leader skill:

Leader skills are only activated when that monster is set as a team leader - either your leader or your friend's leader.

Pay close attention to these skills as they as what you will build your teams around.

Note that not all monsters come with a leader skill - some require an evolution before they gain a leader skill, and some never gain a leader skill at all.

Step 13: Team Building

Team building is absolutely the trickiest thing about this game. The team leaders you choose are just as important as the subs, honestly!

To make a great team, you need to have:

  • a strong leader with an amazing skill (and awakenings if available) - to get the most out of any team, you really want a great leader skill in place.
  • subs that complement the leader's skill - for example, if running a Ronia team, subs that enhance dark or fire orbs or boost devil monster attacks for a turn are great choices.
  • a friend leader that complements your leader - for example, if you're running a healer team, you want to find a friend leader that gives bonuses to a healer's HP/ATK/RCV.

To get the most out of any team, awakenings and evolutions are key. You want the highest possible HP/ATK/RCV out of any monster, and evolving and awakening your monsters will help with that. Cobble together the strongest team you're got at first and only awaken those monsters. Try out your team using the Team Simulator on PADx - it's a great team building tool!

Anytime you get a monster with a leader skill that you think could work well, do some research and see if anyone's running with that team and if there are any suggestions for subs.

When I first started out and before I got any bonus based leaders from the REM, I used Kushinada as my leader and just tacked on all my strongest monsters - one from each element. That resulted in a pretty well rounded team that got me through many of the starting dungeons.

Right now, my teams are as follows:

Healer/God Team:

  1. Divine Law Goddess, Valkyrie Rose - leader, 3x ATK for healer & god types
  2. Holy Night Kirin Princess, Sakuya - high HP, good ATK, skill to reduce enemy HP by 20%, extend time awakening
  3. warrior rose, graceful valkyrie - chibi version of Valk - three two prong awakenings
  4. Awoken Venus - light orb enhance, two prong and auto heal awakenings
  5. Guardian of the Sacred City, Athena - good ATK & HP, wood and light orb enhance, two prong awakenings

This team is great when using another leader friend that offers bonuses to healers, or a combo based healer leader like Isis or Bastet. I like to use an Athena or Valk friend leader in most cases.

For especially tough bosses, subbing in a King Shynee for 3x healer attack helps.

Weekend Dungeon Team:

  1. Goddess of Rice Fields, Kushinada - leader, combo based ATK bonus, Protection of Divine Wisdom skill
  2. Awoken Dancing Queen, Hera-Ur - 10% gravity, fire orb enhance, two prong
  3. Sacred Dragon General, Sun Quan - delay + 2x healer ATK skill, two prong and extend time awakenings
  4. Marvelous Red Dragon Caller, Sonia - high HP, ATK and RCV, extend time awakenings
  5. Divine Wardens, Umisachi&Yamasachi; - two prong awakenings, high HP, ATK and RCV

I normally team with a friend that has a Kushi or Bastet leader for maximum damage. You can really blow through the master weekend dungeon stage with more problems if you combo well enough.

Devil/Ronia Team:

  1. Marvelous Red Dragon Caller, Sonia - 2.5 ATK/2.5 RCV for devil monsters, great awakenings, very strong, Draco Summoning Circle murders nearly everything
  2. Marvelous Red Dragon Caller, Sonia - great awakenings, very strong, Draco Summoning Circle murders nearly everything
  3. Wailing Bleak Night Goddess, Pandora - recover bind and extend time awakenings, great orb convert skill
  4. Awoken Dancing Queen, Hera-Ur - 10% gravity, fire orb enhance, two prong
  5. Banishing Claw Byakko, Haku - two prong, enhanced fire and dark orbs, fantastic skill

This is the team I use most often. I switch out the subs depending on what elements I need more of. (Sometimes I switch in Divine Queen Hera, divine flying general lu bu, or Pitch Black Night Princess, Lilith for certain dungeons) I almost always team with a Ronia leader - this allows for devastating attacks and good healing. Teaming with a Hera, Lu Bu, or Beelzebub leader means lower RCV which can make it a little hard to stall to get skills up unless you have enough skill boosts on your team.

Step 14: Fighting 101

Orbs

  • come in five colors (or elements) - fire, water, wood, light and dark. Light and dark are not vulnerable to the other elements, only to each other. Fire is weak to water, wood is weak to fire, water is weak to wood.
  • orbs with a + on them are "enhanced" - matching those orbs will result in small damage bonuses

Combos

  • you must match at least 3 orbs of one color to complete a combo
  • if you match five orbs of the same color, you'll do a mass attack which allows you to hit each on-screen enemy with that element
  • matching four orbs of the same combo will allow you to use a two prong attack if your monsters of that color have that awakening
  • how you combo depends on your leader skill
  • you can either focus on certain colors or match as many as possible
  • keep an eye on your awakened skills - sometimes matching a complete row (6 orbs) of a certain color will give you an 10% additional ATK bonus

Stalling

  • stalling allows you to pass turns until your skill is activated
  • you MUST match three orbs for it to count as a turn - to avoid doing damage, match an element your team isn't using, or match a sub-element.
  • try to avoid using all your heart orbs to stall in one go, as you'll need them to heal yourself from enemy hits.
  • best done when you have high HP or RCV, and having an auto-healer on your team is great too.

Healing

  • match heal orbs to heal! The more you can match the better. The amount of HP you recover is based on your team RCV and also the amount of heal orbs you match.

Practicing & Learning

  • I recommend using Endless Corridors to practice stalling and combos. It will also give you a great feel for your team.
  • watching youtube videos of advanced players using a team similar to yours can help immensely. I've seen some amazing Kushinada teams blowing through even the toughest descended dungeons.
  • study orb charts - here's a great basic page!
  • master "the hook" and other orb manipulation techniques - check out TylerPAD's youtube channel for some of these!

Step 15: Getting Monsters

There are three ways to get monsters in the game:

  1. Farming for them in dungeons
  2. the PEM
  3. the REM machines

If you're a non-IAP player, you don't want to rely as strongly on REM pulls - they're costly and in the beginning of the game it's best to use those stones to add more space to your monster box!

I've found that the best way to get great monsters is to farm and then evolve them. Many of the great leader monsters you get from the REM are very well complemented by farmable monsters and monsters that you get from the PEM machine. Save those PAL points and use them during Jewel/Metal dragon and rare evo materials events to get loads of monsters at once.

Your best case for farming? Only farm when there's an extra drop rate (x1.5 or x2.0) - otherwise you're not using stamina as wisely! Ignore those dungeons the rest of the time and focus on upping your rank.

It will take a fair deal of effort to farm and evolve these monsters, but it's worth it to have a well rounded team. Head to the next step to get more info on what you should farm for in the beginning of the game. :D

Step 16: Useful Farmable Monsters

Siren

  • easy to skill up - all you need are Marine Goblins, which are super common. You can max skill her in no time, which means you can change fire orbs to heart orbs every five turns - SO MUCH HEALSSSSS
  • found in loads of normal dungeons - I got her on the Diva in a Sea of Clouds level.
  • great leader to team with an ogre leader for a low level resolve team.
  • amazing in "No RCV" special dungeons as she can generate heart orbs for you.

Lilith

  • very hard to farm - I think I spent the most time trying to get her!
  • useful because of her Poison Mist skill as well as her Extend Time awakening which gives you .5 seconds longer to manipulate orbs on the board.
  • can be found in loads of normal dungeons levels, I finally got her on Witch of the Darkness.

Echinda

  • one of the most useful monsters in the game thanks to her Menace skill
  • best place to farm for her is the special dungeon Scarlet Snake Princess. The expert level when there's a drop bonus is your best bet, but this dungeon only shows up for a few days every 3-4 months.
  • she can also be found in several of the normal dungeons, so check the normal dungeon list and try for her when there's a drop bonus.
  • she drops in her first form, Naga, and requires lots of leveling but she's worth it! I currently have her in her ultimate form as well as her Echinda form.

Ogres

  • can be found in many of the Normal and Technical dungeons
  • physical type
  • come in wood, fire and water elements and also mixes of the two
  • have the Resolve skill, which allows your team to survive if your HP is at 70% or above and then reduced to zero.
  • ridiculously easy to level and evolve
  • great for cost or rarity limit dungeons

Ripper Dragons

  • farmable dragons with great evo'd and ultimate forms
  • come in fire, wood, water, light and dark elements
  • drop quite often from the PAL machine in my experience
  • also able to be farmed in at least two normal dungeons for each dragon
  • special dragon dungeons also exist to farm these
  • low cost

Mystic Stone Knight/Dragon Knight

  • can be found in special dungeons - look out for the Dragon Guardian special dungeon!
  • when evo'd, offers an awesome 2.5 ATK for dragon types
  • great for building strong teams with the Ripper dragons

Step 17: Farming for Evolution Materials

Every Tuesday through Friday is your best chance to get evo materials. You can also farm them in the normal and technical dungeons throughout the week, but the drop rate is much lower and can be pretty frustrating. The only evo materials I farm regularly in the normal levels are the lits, dragon seeds, dragon plants, and dragon flowers.

I farm these weekly to replenish all my evo materials, and I try to keep at least two of each evo material on hand at any given time, though I often have 3-4 of of the dub-lits and keepers since those get used all the time. Expand your box space just to store evo materials, for real. You'll thank me later.

Depending on the monster you're wanting to evo, you might also need to farm jewel/metal dragons or Spirit Jewels, too.

Tuesday Dungeon - Keepers:

  • individual expert levels to score fire, water and wood keepers
  • master level for the rainbow keeper
  • mythical level for the gold keeper

Wednesday Dungeon - Masks:

  • Room of the Mask - only evo and demon masks in all elements
  • Room of the Mask expert - evo, demon and mystic masks
  • Room of the Mask legend - Ancient Blue and Green sacred masks - used for loads of ultimate evos

Thursday Dungeon - Dragon plants and dragon fruits:

  • Green Dragon's Den - dragon seed, dragon plant, dragon flower, dragon fruits all up for grabs!
  • Cave of Dreaming, mythical - Red, Blue and Green dragon fruits, used for many ultimate evos

Friday Dungeon - Lits and Dub-lits:

  • Shrine of Spirits - lits! Best place to try for a mythlit
  • Shrine of Spirits, expert - lits and dub-lits - best place to try for a dub-mythlit
  • Sky Prison, mythical - Angelits and Devilits

Step 18: Leveling Your Monsters / Feeding Monsters

The absolute biggest thing to keep in mind when leveling your monsters is to feed the monster you're leveling only with monsters of the same element. You get 50% extra EXP that way, meaning you save on gold.

Check the image above - feeding all fire elemental monsters to Mitsuki results in much more EXP than when I feed all fire monsters to Valkyrie.

This is something I didn't understand at first, and I am terrified to think about how much gold I wasted. :P

Beyond feeding your monsters with normal drops from dungeons, there are also some advanced ways of getting extra EXP:

  • feed during Power-Up Fusion bonuses - you can gain 1.5x or 2x EXP
  • feed max level Pengdras to receive 9000 exp to the same element
  • feed evolved Pengdras to receive 45000 exp to the same element
  • feed Metal/Jewel Dragons
    • come in 4-5 different types of dragon for each element, offer anywhere from 3000-300000 exp to same element
    • daily dungeons occur at set times where you can farm these - element types vary from day to day
    • keep an eye out for x2 King appearances - those give 82500 exp!

Step 19: Evolutions and Ultimate Evolutions

Evolutions:

  • normal evolutions are done using the Evo Fusion option
  • can be used only when you have all the evo materials you need - make sure to farm the weekday dungeons!
  • monster must be max level before evolution - max level depends on monster, but max levels are often 15, 25, 50, or 70.
  • you will receive no EXP from the material used and your monster will start at level one in their evolved form.

Ultimate Evolutions:

  • ultimate evolutions are done using the Evolution/Ultimate Evolution option
  • monster must be in final form that you can achieve through normal evolution
  • if there is more than one ultimate evolution for the monster, you will be given the chance to choose between them. This screen will also show you which materials are used to complete the evolution.
  • you will need to add any monsters that are not evo materials manually at this screen - the game will give you a choice in case you have multiple of the same monster.
  • you will get the EXP from the materials used and stay at your current level (unless you level up with the materials)
  • you will not lose awakenings - chances are you'll gain some, though!

Undoing Ultimate Evolutions:

To reverse an Ultimate Evolution, feed the monster one of each element of lits - fire, wood, water, dark, light.

Step 20: Skill Ups & Awakenings

Awoken Skills:

Awoken skills are one of the best perks of evoing your monsters - you can get HP/ATK/RCV bonuses, auto healing, additional damage bonuses, enhanced orbs, skill boosts, etc.

Pay very close attention to your monster's awakening skills - sometimes they allow amazing damage bonuses. For example, Ronia and Meimei offer awakenings that allow an additional 10% damage by matching one row of dark, fire or wood orbs. If you use Ronia's skill and change the board to only red and dark orbs, you can match many rows at once for mega damage. Same goes for Meimei's skill if you're lucky and get lots of green orbs!

You can awaken monsters by feeding them a TAMADRA. Each TAMADRA awakens one skill, and the skills awaken from top to bottom. You can also feed a monster the same exact monster via Power-Up Fusion for a chance at awakening, but it is pretty rare.

(Baby TAMADRAs are also an option, but they require more time and materials to evo them into a TAMADRA.)

Skill Ups:

You can decrease the number of turns a skill requires by skilling up a monster by fusing it with a monster of the same skill. (This monster does not have to be identical - it only has to share the skill.) Skilling up is not guaranteed, but there is always a chance.

Only attempt skill ups during a skill up bonus event - the Power-Up Fusion button will let you know when there's one going on. Otherwise, hold those extra monsters in your monster box.

For some monsters (like those that you can only get from the REM) it's nearly impossible to skill them up, and that's okay. There are special dungeons available for certain special skill up monsters, but they can be hard to farm. My Kushinada will be forever Skill lv. 1. :P

Step 21: Plus Eggs/+ Eggs: How to Use and Obtain

How to use + eggs:

To get the most out of your + eggs, store them until the monster you want to apply them to is a very high level. For example, I waited until my Ronia was about level 95 before I applied any + eggs. If you do it before, the monster will cost loads more to level, as each + egg adds to the fusion cost.

For a better breakdown of the cost, check here.

Fuse your low rarity + egg monsters together (maybe 15-20 at a time) and keep them in your monster box. Try to use a base monster of the same element type as the monster you want to apply the + eggs to - you'll get more experience that way when you fuse them!

Where to obtain + eggs:

Plus eggs are best obtained in dungeons with a drop rate bonus. Ocean of Heaven and Starlight Sanctuary are great places to farm for them on the weekends. You can also keep an eye out for the Tower of Jewels special dungeon.

I always get quite a few just running the higher stamina normal dungeons -

Step 22: Additional Resources

There are tons of places to go to get extra help with the game and find leader friends. I find the PAD subreddit and PADx the most helpful, but the other sites are good too. :D

Other great tools:

My favorite thing to use is PadGuide - it's an offline PAD app for your phone, and it's really easy to use. Much easier than having to google things while you play.

It also gives you the best at-a-glance upcoming calendar of events, gifts and bonuses!

Hi<br><br>Great guide thanks, I've only really been playing for a month or so and my biggest challenge is knowing how to create a good team that bounces off of each other and also surviving, i seem to get wiped out so easily. I can really only battle up to Int and even then it can be a struggle! Im rank 60, which felt high until i saw your screenshots!<br><br>Thanks for taking the time to write this guide.
I love you're guide Ms. Ratfink! One question-is there absolutely n way to change your best friend?
<p>Nope! Sadly there is not I've heard that every few months in the Japan version they reset everything so you can choose a new best friend though. So we should have one of those coming up. :)</p>
Thank you this has been very easy to understand and helpful.
<p>*thinks his kushinada will always be skill lv. 1</p><p>*gets green pirate in pal egg machine</p><p>*attempts skill up</p><p>*fails</p><p>*cries</p>
<p>Hahah! Just happened to me a couple weeks ago, too! Sooooooo sad. :(</p>
<p>How do you remove a character from being a Favorite? </p>
<p>Nevermind... found it.</p>
Hi I'm Ziara
a so amazing game
<p>How long have you been playing PAD?</p>
<p>235 days as of this morning. :)</p>

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Bio: part of the Instructables Design Studio by day, stitch witch by night. follow me on instagram @makingjiggy to see what i'm working on! ^_^
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