So over the next few weeks, I’m going to be releasing a few guides on the subject of gearing. Originally I had this monstrosity of a post typed up and nearly ready to hit “submit” that included ALL of my already-wordy thoughts and it just didn’t flow well, so I scrapped it completely and I’m trying this out instead.
This Guide is Geared (heh) Toward MID GAME Players, But All Are Welcome!
- Also note that this is focused on those who are competitive minded, and not just collecting waifus.
- All my guides are long, this is no exception. Reader beware.
For Reference, this is how I define the different levels of progress (which may be different than what how you define it or what you’ve heard):
- Newbie: You haven’t completed Campaign stuff yet, haven’t started on W11, and are still working through the first half of Abyss.
- Early Game: You have just started W11, are finishing up the campaign, and have reached floors 60-80 on Abyss.
- This guide is not necessarily focused on this level of progress, because priorities are different in gearing here.
- Mid Game: You have multiple hunts on farm, Abyss is done or nearly done (if not done, likely due to laziness more than inability), you’re working primarily on getting PvP units up to snuff.
- Late Game: All hunts on farm, most are either 3-man or short runs, you’re really working on rounding out your current PvP units.
- This guide can apply to this stage as well, though less so.
- End Game: You’re trying to find things to do. XD
TL;DR: In a nutshell – summon less, run hunts more to ‘solve’ energy costs. Be pickier in your gear selection to solve gold problems. Gear fewer characters, and gear them as well as you possibly can.
In general, be pickier with your weapon and armor than your helmet with substats. Be pickier with helmet than right side. Be pickier with your neck than your ring, and your ring than your boots.
- Visually, substat quality from most picky to least picky: weapon > armor > helmet > neck > ring > boots. Or your weapon should have near-max, synergizing substats while your boots can have much lower substat rolls or a few non-synergetic stats, etc.
- In other words, ‘middling’ substats can be rolled on some gears and not on others, depending on how hard they take a hit from “better/more probable” substat RNG.
There are two common complaints to this game that I see all the time: Energy costs and Gold sinks. While this guide is not claiming that they aren’t problems, it will provide a solution to you to manage until they introduce a viable solution to these complaints (if they ever do).
You can either cry about the problem, or learn resource management to solve it.
NOTE: I’m staying away from opinions about E7’s decisions in this guide (including the current debacle) intentionally. Please leave those types of comments out of the comment section below, this is a guide, not a political forum. There are other threads that are happy to have opinions flying around in them. 🙂
The common complaint here is that the player can’t get good enough gear because one full refresh only gives 3.5 runs (after energy/SS reward) in a hunt. 20 energy is a hefty cost for a dungeon compared to other games. I agree.
With that said, this game is insanely more generous than other games on summoning resources – free daily, 120 pity, 200 ML pity (this doesn’t exist in a LOT of popular games like Summoners War). If you’re treating this game like a pokemon game – gotta catch ’em all – then you will naturally have terrible gear. You can basically use your SS for two things: Energy or Summons. There are other peripherals like shop refreshes, but those boil down to summons (and energy, since gear is a thing in shop) anyway.
If you don’t have enough SS for energy, it means you’re spending too much on Summons. Don’t pull on every single banner that comes out if you also want to be somewhat competitive in PvP. I have had no issues summoning who I want while maintaining a healthy supply (over 14k) of skystones. Since draining my BMs when Basar came out I have over 200 now. You have plenty of resources to summon for free without dipping too heavily into skystones. Use Skystones for energy.
Again, if you want to collect all your waifus, then I can’t really say anything. Nobody is telling you how to play. I’m just giving you the consequences of that decision. If you don’t have good gear and you are complaining about energy being the reason, it’s most likely because of poor summon-to-hunt resource management.
A Word on F2P vs. P2W
I want to be honest here: I purchased the $5 daily skystone pack for three months (I’ve since stopped), the rank-up packs, and one of the $10 energy packs. That shot my early SS stores up pretty high, but I also consistently (still) see an increase over a month-long period in Skystones, not a decrease, and I grind the fuck out of this game. Remember Arena placements are important to maintaining a healthy pool of skystones as well.
I currently have 10M gold with nothing to spend it on (unless I want to farm SSS pets, which I don’t). Not to say that gold costs aren’t too high, they are. I’m just managing my resources. If you are having gold problems, it’s likely because you are rolling on too much gear. You need to be pickier about what you’re rolling, and who you’re gearing.
- Part of the reason is because I’m in a guild I didn’t belong in when I joined. At the 1 month mark of my play time, I joined a top 500ish, 5x-rewards guild. My first three or four guild wars all I did was scout defenses with what I had available. I’m insanely grateful that I got to join this guild (and we’ve dipped under top 150 recently as well!).
- For one – I get a ton of Mystics every week. It’s awesome. I get 60ish from a loss and up to 90 for a win (depending on my personal performance, usually it’s 75 or so).
- But the biggest thing is my perspective. I can’t just roll any old gear and hope it will help my shiny new unit compete in this level of play. “Just use the main stats” isn’t good enough for me, I need solid substats. I know that the enemy Dizzy will be over 230 speed. Baiken will be the same. A Coli is gonna be upwards of 240 to 250 or higher. D Corvus will have 25k+ HP. ML Ken is gonna hurt and he’s gonna be tanky. Ruele will have 150%+ Resistance, 200+ Speed, and 20k+ HP.
So I have like 8 units just chilling, waiting to be geared. Basar, Specter Tenebria, ML Basar, Assassin Coli, Baal & Sezan, C Merc, Schuri, Cidd, F Kluri – these are all units that I’d like to build at some point, but know that I do not have the gear quality to really make them work.
So Judge Kise, Vivian, C Dominiel, Lilias and Violet all get my best gear instead. Because they can compete. I have rolled enough solid gear pieces – along with the freebies from scenario, arena, raid, etc. – to gear them up to a satisfactory, if not “top tier” level, and pull out some victories against not-quite-top-tier guild defenses.
Rather than spread my good gear thin and throw other subpar pieces together for more units, I’m making a few units out to be as strong as I can possibly make them, and slowly expanding my roster while improving my current one.
A word on my ML5’s – Because I know this is going to come up and I want to be open about it:
- Judge Kise – Obtained from my very first ML summon after completing the campaign. I was super happy.
- DJ Basar –
He’s garbo anyway(EDIT: Apparently people like him now? Comments section kinda called me out on this, my bad) but I obtained him in like 25 summons on mystic while aiming for BBK. Didn’t get BBK, haha.
- Specter Tenebria – Obtained yesterday (Monday Dec. 3) on a daily covenant summon. I often tell my guildies that my terrible gear-roll and battle-debuff RNG balances out my insane summon RNG. Seriously, my +24 MLDB Violet w/ Fat Cat passive gets hit way more than he should, and it’s cost me several GW battles. 🙁
The ONLY ML5 I’m currently using is Juggs, because duh, she’s amazing. You don’t need ML5’s to succeed. I have several other Cleave options available, she’s just the best one.
So finally we get to the point of this guide: Actually making correct decisions in gearing.
I can’t really give you a “keep this, toss this” type of guide, it’s too nuanced and it depends on your current needs and progression. I will say as you get further and further into the game, you should be getting more and more picky with gear drops. Here are a few hard-and-fast rules, though:
- If it’s speed set, not boots, and has +4 Speed on it, you roll it. No matter what the main stat is. You roll it until it stops rolling speed.
- If it’s an ilvl 85 ATK% ring, or ilvl 85 CritD/R% Neck, and has at least 3 of the below stats, you roll it:
- 3+ Speed
- 7+ HP%/ATK%
- 4+ Crit Rate%
- 6+ Crit Damage%
- 6+ EFF%
- If it’s ilvl 70 and blue, you use it as fodder or sell. Doesn’t matter what the stats are.
- If it’s ilvl 85, blue, and left side, fodder or sell.
- If it’s ilvl 85, blue, and right side without max (or near-max), synergizing substats (CritR%/CritD% w/ ATK% main, Speed/DEF% w/ HP% Main, etc.), you fodder or sell.
- If it’s purple and has one flat stat, you will likely fodder or sell unless it matches something above or has max non-flat, synergizing substats.
- Don’t “hope” that a gear will go from mediocre at +6 to usable at +15. The fodder involved at +6 is miniscule, and the gear you wasted to +15 a mediocre gear – just for it to remain mediocre – could instead be invested in like 10 other gears to +6 to see how they roll.
Note that some of these have some serious potential to roll well, like the lifesteal one with 4 speed and 6% crit damage. But I know that my resources are limited, and your weapon actually has the highest likelihood of rolling proper substats for damage dealers of any other gear in the game (we’ll go over that in the next section), so it’s the one you want to be the most picky with.
A lot of people will see a weapon that has, like, 2 speed, 5% attack, and 3% crit rate and get super hard cuz “SYNERGY!” but that’s actually a terrible weapon to roll on, particularly if resources are low. It’s “okay” to roll on it if you really need a weapon for a damage dealer, but it should sit in your inventory for a while and eventually foddered if you can’t find a use for it – you’ll find something better pretty quickly.
Ugh. Math. But wait! Don’t go! It’s important to understand! It all has to do with RNG, another cuss-word in the gacha community. Each gear slot has nuances that make it different from everything else:
- Weapon can’t roll defense at all, and since it has flat attack main stat, it can’t roll flat attack. The only flat stat it can roll is HP.
- Armor can’t roll attack at all, and since it has flat defense main stat, it likewise can’t roll flat defense. Just like weapon, it can only roll flat HP.
- Helmet can roll flat attack and defense, as well as attack% and defense% (and HP%). Your helmet is your most important left side gear, because RNG is the ‘worst’ for it, so you should be more lenient on helmet rolls than weapon and armor. And rejoice when it drops with really good substats and rolls highly.
- Neck’s desirable main stats: HP%, CritD%, and CritR%, give a half-point to DEF% with great substats. It can roll a total of 8 main stats, so at 3.5 / 8, it is ~2.25x less likely to drop well than your helmet, which is ~1.4x less likely to drop well than your weapon and armor.
- All in all, your weapon is over 3x more likely to drop well than your necklace.
- Ring’s desirable main stats: HP%, 0.5 DEF%, ATK%, and a quarter point each for solid EFF% and RES% – they’re incredibly niche, but important on the units they go well on. At 3 / 8, your weapon is ~3.67x as likely to drop well than your weapon/armor.
- Boots’ desirable main stats: 0.5 HP%, Speed, ATK%, which is 2.5 / 7. You could maybe make a case for very good DEF%, but let’s keep the math simple, yeah? 3.85x less likely to drop well than your weapon/armor.
The less likely something is to drop with solid sub stat/main stat (for right side) combinations, the less picky you should be. On top of that is the synergy of roles – Damage Dealers (particularly bruisers) are typically more hungry for stats than tanks and healers, so again Weapon takes priority in solid stats, whereas tanks can just kinda go with ‘whatever’ as long as it has some combination of speed, HP, DEF, and maybe EFF or RES.
So in order of descending (high to low) “pickiness”:
Niche Gears like ATK% Main Neck (for Burn Debuffers, etc.) > EFF/RES% Main Ring > Weapon > Armor > Helmet > DEF% Main Anything > HP% Main Boots > ATK%/Speed Main Boots > HP%/ATK% Main Ring >= HP%/CritD%/CritR% Main Neck.
So what does all this mean, summarized?
It means that whether or not you should roll a gear that has these substats:
- 4% Crit Rate
- 3 Speed
- 4% Crit Damage
Depends entirely on the gear slot it’s on (as well as your personal gearing needs, if you REALLY need this slot for a character to come online, then be more lenient). Weapon? You will probably trash it. Helmet? Roll. ATK% Ring? Roll. DEF% Neck? Trash. Armor? Probably roll. ilvl 70? Probably trash it, no matter the slot/main.
Again I want to reiterate that these guidelines are aimed at MID GAME LEVEL PLAYERS, or players that are looking to really dive into the PvP portion of the game and start competing with higher-end of the game. Early game players need to just equip whatever they can find so they can start farming and doing basic PvP. By the time you have 5+ PvP units at level 60, you should be getting more picky. So Early game you will likely have some issues with gold as you are trying to ‘catch up’ to the rest of the community. +15 on solid main stats makes up a large bulk of your total stats, it’s the final 30-40% of your stats that come from substats that take you from “finishing PvE” to “PvP competitive.”
I had more planned – which isn’t surprising, my thoughts run long – but this is a good place to stop for now. I have a LOT more that I want to talk about, but that will have to wait for a later day. I hope this was entertaining to read, that it made sense, and that it helps people out there with resource management. Because managing your resources effectively is the biggest blockade to enjoying this game properly, in my opinion.
If you have any questions, concerns, disagreements (keep it civil pl0x), or additions, please voice them below! 🙂
Topics to look forward to in the future (to be linked here when I finish):
- Unit Roles (DD, Bruiser, Healer, Tank, Juggernaut, etc.) and their desired gear sets – what hunt to farm and who to gear.
- Gear sets and the desired stats for each set as an off-shoot as well.
- A more in-depth dive into the math behind the RNG of gear rolls – this guide did a surface-level coverage, but the math can get pretty intense on this and I know some of you out there enjoy that kind of thing.
- A Beginner-focused guide to gearing up – how the ‘pickiness’ changes and what to prioritize.
- Any other ideas? I can’t give a late-game (per my definitions above) perspective as I’m not quite there yet.