P&D – #3202 Acala (不動明王) First Impressions


Intro

(Psst – already know your onions on P&D? Just skip this bit altogether)

It’s been a long while and a lot has happened since.

Obviously there are always new games, but since my last post I have found a new job, moved into a new house, pretty much anything that could happen just sort of – happened. So I have stopped doing videos, and decided to focus whatever free time I had left on actually just enjoying gaming. I may pick up video again, but for now blog posts are just as good.

Now if you have never played or heard of Puzzle & Dragons (P&D) before, it is one of the most popular gem-spinners RPG available to download for free on your mobile phone. It was first released in Japan in 2012, and for 4 years it has accumulated well over 50 million downloads. Although the game provides in-app purchases (IAPs), the core of the game has remained free, meaning if you have the time to grind, you can be just as good as the IAP-ers.

Depending on where you are on the globe, your version of P&D will be of your local region, however they are NOT the same app, they are actually connected to different servers. So as a result I play both EU and the JAP version simultaneously. For a number of reasons I prefer playing the Japanese version because it gets the latest updates first, and there are a lot of rare cards that you don’t normally get outside of Japan, which is a shame really but there’s nothing we can do with how they run their business.

Note that “Acala” is NOT the official translation by P&D, I got this from doing a Japanese > English translation on Wikipedia, hopefully there’s a degree of truth on that website.

Acala – Basics and Stats

3202-00-icon

Acala, being a deity naturally means she is a God type card, I’m slightly surprised by the Balanced type + Wood primary, but hey, God works in mysterious ways.

On the 1st evolution her maxed stats are… well, as you would expect from a balanced type, and not turning any heads even on a full +297 upgrade.

Ooor does it?

Level 1 99 99 (+297)
HP 1336 3240 4230
ATK 603 1508 2003
RCV 69 210 507
Weighted 277.20 695.60 992.6

3202-01

The Power of the Cross-formation

I will assume you already know about the basics of regular gem-spinners and how the combo system work in P&D.

IMO, Acala’s leader skill is where she truly shines (that and her light-saber):

Skyfall combo disabled. Wood attribute cards’ stats x1.5.
ATK x3 for clearing each Wood orbs in a cross-formation.

So let’s do some math, we’re all better at seeing physical numbers, and I really hope I got this table right:

Attack Multiplier (atk x)
Number of wood
x-formations
Single Leader Dual Leader
0 1.5 2.25
1 (x3) 4.5 20.25
2 (3×3) 13.5 182.25
3* (3x3x3) 40.5 1640.25

*Available only on 7×6 board.

The number pretty much speaks for themselves. Granted the activation requires precision movements, and therefore you’ll definitely be needing some time-extension awakenings and maybe even using the time-extension badge – but the end result is definitely worthwhile when you see that red multiplier flashing on the screen.

Acala is also one of the few who offers unconditional multiplier across all parameters for wood cards. This is definitely a welcoming element when most of the cross-formation leaders so far lean towards either extreme on attack or extreme on defense (except maybe Myr – pretty close to being a perfect balance).

3202-04
Boom: attack output after activating the leader skill on a 7×6 board

 

 

No Skyfall Combo = Complete Control?

Acala is one of the new series special Gods equipped with leader skill to disable all skyfall combos*,  this means what you see on the board is pretty much what you can use, and you can’t exceed the maximum combinations available on the board.

*Skyfall combo = after each end of your move, the chance of regenerated orbs dropping from top of the board matching the existing ones you left behind, creating more combos than you could physically create from the original board.

How does this look in visual you ask? Well the moment you lift your finger off the screen after a move, the system will:

  1. disable the orb generations falling,
  2. count up all your combos in the usual manner,
  3. execute the attack,
  4. generated orbs fall again.

This means all subsequent orbs (even if in matched formation) will NOT be executed, like so:

3202-02

Disabling skyfall is both a blessing and a curse. The definite good side is that you don’t have to worry about any unwanted combos that could lead to a negative chain reaction. This is particularly frequent (and frustrating) when you are tackling dungeon bosses with barriers like:

  • Damage nullify – damage nullified if attack output is greater than x amount.
  • Damage absorption – boss recovers in HP equivalent if attack is greater than x amount, or if the attack is of a certain element.

Downside is – well, you don’t get any more skyfall combos. If you’re using Acala as your leader then it’s not really an issue since it’s extremely rare to get a skyfall combo to land in a cross-formation. Also for bosses that requires x number of combos to break its defense – Acala will most certainly not be your choice, even though her active skill will help add an additional combo.

So what’s it like to use?

Strongly mixed feelings, mostly positive.

Her weak awakenings, along with an uncomplimentary active makes it difficult to build a team if you don’t have a decent selection of wood subs. My approach has been to include orb changers or subs that can increase wood orb appearance rate, in order to maximise Acala’s chance to not only activate, but to keep wood orbs alive at all times for her leader skill.

Subs I’ve been testing with:

  • #2081 – Vishnu – increase wood orbs appearance for 3 turns + 2 wood orbs
  • #2972 – Kaede – creates 3 wood and heal orbs each at random.
  • #2752 – Avalon Drake – turns entire board to wood and light orbs.
  • #2011 – Awoken Bastet – enables mass attack for 3 turns and extend time to move orbs by 2 seconds for 1 turn.

Needless to say this requires a lot of REM luck and investment to max out your skills, but even with a bunch of regular subs it was still extremely good fun to play with, especially on a 7×6 board, so I have no doubts that if my wood team were more refined she would be able to tackle some high-end dungeons.

Well, that’s it for now, will try to keep this blog updated, though I’m mostly typing this for myself as a reminder. If you enjoyed (or hated) any of the stuff above, leave a comment, so I can continue to learn and improve ya? 😉

 

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