Puzzle & Dragons Leveling Up Monsters Guide by jx9
Introduction: Defining “best”
What’s the best way to level up my monsters? Different people have different definitions of what “best” is. When someone asks the question “what’s the best way to get exp” some people are actually asking “what’s the most stamina efficient way to acquire exp” while others are asking “what’s the fastest way to acquire exp.” These are 2 different questions with 2 different answers.
For the most part, the guerrilla (hourly) dungeons are what you should run if you are looking for truly the fastest way to get exp. This could mean you really just want your monsters leveled now and you’re willing to spend stones to get it. Or, you don’t really want to spend a lot of time farming and you just need some dungeon to quickly dump all your stamina on. In other words, you care more about saving time rather than saving stamina. If that’s the case, we can easily calculate the expected or average exp/stam rate for these guerrilla dungeons and you can compare those and run whichever ones you see fit.
Stamina efficiency, on the other hand, is used to answer the question of how to get the most out of the limited stamina that the game gives you, assuming you have an infinite amount of time to play the game. Most people only consider natural stamina regen, 1 every 5 minutes. But you can’t forget about the stamina you get when you rank up and your stamina bar instantly refreshes. This is why exp/stam rate is an incomplete way of measuring stamina efficiency, since it doesn’t account for rank exp. Higher rank exp = higher stamina efficiency. Even if you don’t care about rank itself, we still need to factor in rank exp into calculations regarding stamina efficiency.
For example (I’m making up numbers here), you have 100 max stamina and need 100,000 exp to rank up. If you run a dungeon that gives you 5,000 rank exp, it’s kinda like getting 5 stamina back. One caveat of this though is that since higher ranks require exponentially more exp to achieve, the effects of rank exp on stamina efficiency diminishes as you get to higher and higher ranks.
The end result is that dungeons that give high rank exp such as normals and alt. coin dungeons are a lot more stamina efficient than dungeons that give low rank exp, such as the guerrilla dungeons. A good analogy for this is to think of rank exp as a mail-in rebate. With 50 stamina you can buy 300k exp from super kings, and you get a 1 stamina rebate from the rank exp. Meanwhile, with 50 stamina you can only buy 100k exp from T5 normals, but you get a 35 stamina rebate! The rebate amount decreases as you get to higher ranks, and I made up those numbers, but hopefully you get the idea.
TL;DR – Normal and coin dungeons are the most stamina efficient way to level up monsters. Guerrilla dungeons are the fastest way to level up monsters. It doesn’t matter if you IAP or not. Players are not strictly in 1 category or the other either, you can run stamina efficient dungeons until you get bored or run out of time, then dump the rest on guerrilla dungeons.
Normal and Coin Dungeons
The majority of normal dungeons are structured into tiers. Each tier usually consists of 6 dungeons, 1 of each color and then a final one with all colors:
- Tier 1: Dungeon of Fire – Tower of Trials
- Tier 2: Volcano of Vulcan – Tower of Giants
- Tier 3: Fire Forest Nerva – Castle of Satan
- Tier 4: Tower of Flare – Tomb of the Saint Deep (this tier is weird, it’s only 4 dungeons and they are all have multiple colors)
- Tier 5: Hyperion Lava Flow – Ocean of Heaven (this tier has 7 dungeons, the last 2 have multiple colors)
- Tier 6: Vesta Cave – Starlight Sanctuary
These normal dungeons follow a set weekly schedule where at certain times certain dungeons get bonuses, such as a 1.5x drop rate. Farming normal dungeons means doing the last floor of whichever dungeon has the colors you need and is on bonus, in the highest tier you are capable of. T5’s have approximately the same efficiency as the T6’s, so once you get to that point then either one is fine.
Up until around rank 200, T5/T6’s are more stamina efficient than super kings for exp. This is not even counting the other stuff you get from farming normal dungeons, such as +eggs, evo mats, and rank. A special mention needs to be made for KoG (King of the Gods, last level of T6 – Starlight Sanctuary). The rank exp from this dungeon (820 exp/stam) is much higher than all the other T5/T6’s (450-550 exp/stam). KoG even on regular weekday 1x drop rates is more stamina efficient than super kings until around rank 300, and KoG on weekend 1.5x drop rates is more stamina efficient than super kings until rank 400.
Once you have KoG on farm mode, you should be able to start putting together a team capable of tackling the alt. coin dungeons. These are the dungeons starting with “Alt.” that are purchasable for an hour at a time from the coin shop for 1 million coins. Just like normal dungeons, you should be running the last floor of whichever dungeon has the colors you need. While their primary purpose is for acquiring piis (guaranteed skill-up monsters), they actually have great exp rates, and will remain more stamina efficient than KoG or any guerrilla dungeon for the next few hundred ranks even if monster exp is the only thing that matters. Note that there are multiple different rotations of these alt. coin dungeons. While some are better than others in terms of rank and +eggs, they are all very good for exp.
One more note about feeding exp from normal dungeons: coin costs. There’s a common thought floating around that you can only level monsters from normal dungeons up to level 50 or so. Or, that you should not feed monsters if the coin costs is greater than the exp gained. This advice is outdated. In the past, before weekend dungeon were permanently on 2x coin rate, before the legend difficulty of weekend dungeon existed, and before there was Ganesha with his 2x coin leader skill, coins were much harder to acquire. While you should still save coins whenever possible by feeding your higher leveled monsters the fodder that’s worth more, you should not be wasting exp just to save on coins. For example, don’t sell low level fodder, or feed low level fodder to itself before feeding to your main card just to try to save on coin (see FAQ section for an exception to this and a more detailed explanation).
TL;DR – Alt. coin dungeons > KoG > all other T5/T6
Guerrilla (Hourly) Dungeons
Guerrilla dungeons are dungeons that appear for only an hour at a time. The schedule for these is not set, and you’ll have to check www.puzzledragonx.com for that day’s schedule. There are 4 different guerrilla dungeons (technically 8, since there’s 1 of each super king color) that are good for exp. Here’s a comparison of them:
|Dungeon||Exp/Stam (off-color feeding)||Exp/Stam (on-color feeding only)||Frequency of appearance|
|Extreme King Metal Dragon||7200 (D), 5600 (L), 6000 (RGB)||8400||1-2 times a month|
|King Carnival||5000||6500||1-2 times a month, 3 mil coins in coin dungeons|
|Super Kings (Dragon Infestation)||5700||5700||RGBD: 1-2 times a week, L: 1-2 times a month|
|Pengdra Village||4800||6300||1-2 times a month, 1 mil coins in coin dungeons|
- Exp/Stam (off-color feeding) is the average exp you’ll get assuming you feed all drops you get from that dungeon into cards of only 1 color, regardless if it’s on- or off-color.
- Exp/Stam (on-color feeding only) is the average exp you’ll get assuming you feed all drops on-color.
- R = red, B = blue, G = green, L = light, D = dark. There’s a big difference between the single color exp/stam rates for EKMD because it’s a dark-heavy dungeon without any possible light drops.
- Pengdra village rates are calculated assuming you level and evolve all the pengdras (which you should do). Dragon plants are approximately 4 stam each from Thursday dungeon.
- TL;DR – EKMD is the best regardless of if you need only 1 color or multiple colors. However since it’s such an infrequent dungeon, you should be running Super Kings whenever they occur. Only run KC and Pengdra Village if you need multiple colors.
Other considerations and FAQ (will add to this):
- What about farming technicals for pengdras? If you already have pengdras (such as from your progression through technicals for the completion stones), then you can think of running Thursday dungeon as a dungeon that gives 7500 exp/stam. You can decide for yourself if it’s worth it or not. However, it’s definitely not worth repeatedly farming technicals just for the pengdras. It’s inconvenient, and neither stamina efficient nor time efficient.
- What if I’m looking for a fast way to level my cards but I can’t play during my guerrilla dungeon times? Try Skydragons in the normal dungeons, or Mechdragons in the technical dungeons. They are great quick stamina dumps.
- I’m following your advice and running T5’s, but this is taking forever and my monsters aren’t getting leveled up! Leveling up monsters is not suppose to be something you can do quickly, and there’s nothing you can do to make it go faster other than spending stones. Just keep in mind that having a max leveled cards is not a requirement for any early-mid game team. Personally I had KoG on farm mode and completed multiple descends with teams that had an average level of around 70. Also, know that leveling gets really expensive towards the end. It costs the same amount of exp to get 1 card to 99 as it takes to get 2 cards to 75 each.
- What about Super King Carnival? This guide is NA only, sorry. I’ll update when it gets here.
- Should I feed fodder straight up, or feed them to each other before feeding to my main card? Every card has a set amount per level that it feeds for, but the cost of leveling the card goes up exponentially. For example, if you have 2 level 1 chimeras, and you feed them straight up to your main monster, you’d get 2 x 600 = 1200 exp. However, if you fed 1 chimera to the other first, you’d end up with a level 4 chimera which feeds for 2400 exp. Each card has a different “optimal” level for feeding. If you want to min/max your exp from feeding, you’ll need to check PDX for each individual monster’s stats to try to hit that optimal level without going over.
Puzzle & Dragons Beginner’s Guide
Puzzle & Dragons Alt. Coin Dungeons Guide
Puzzle & Dragons Lmeta Thursday Mythical Dungeon Guide
Puzzle & Dragons King of the Gods Guide
Puzzle & Dragons Effective Stamina Cost
Puzzle & Dragons +Egg Farming Guide
Puzzle & Dragons Farming KotG Guide
Puzzle & Dragons Tamadra and Awakening Guide
Puzzle & Dragons Sky Prison B/L Isis Clear Guide
Puzzle & Dragons Plus Eggs Guide