Top 10 Most Frustrating Mechanics in Puzzle & Dragons

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Top 10 Most Frustrating Mechanics

Puzzle & Dragons is a game that is constantly evolving to challenge even the most elite players.  Those who accept the challenge learn to find a way around it, while others groan about the new mechanics and how they hate it.  It’s okay to see a new challenge and be concerned how you should tackle it, but you shouldn’t let it deter you from playing the game or certain teams because of it.

The game is designed to inspire creativity in team building and how to defeat mechanics.  While some things you’ll see in this list are harder for some teams over others, it doesn’t mean that every team doesn’t have some way to overcome them.  Finding the balance, knowing the dungeon you’re in, and what to do about it when faced with these mechanics, is what will make you a PAD star.

The following are my top 10 most frustrating mechanics in Puzzle & Dragons.  If you believe something is missing, or you think the order should be different, let me know in the comments!

10. Dark orbs /Cloud

Dark orbs have been around for quite awhile, but they have evolved.  Machine Athena is a perfect example of annoying mechanics right off the bat.  The wood golem triggers a block shaped area of dark orbs that cannot be erased by moving the orbs, unlike the old orbs.  If you move these orbs, they will move around the board, but stay dark for x amount of turns.

Similar to this mechanic is the Cloud, which darkens the orb block, but does not move around the board.  Instead the clouds will stay in their respective areas of the board until the effect is timed out.

How to Deal With it

While annoying, both of these mechanics can be resolved by understanding the board.  If you tap and hold on any darkened/clouded orb, you can see what color it is.  If you touch each orb that is darkened/clouded, you can memorize what they are, and combo based on this.  Once you start, however, you may find yourself disoriented or confused if you made a move you didn’t mean to.  Certainly annoying to deal with.

9. Combo Shields

Combo shields are the ultimate “Git Gud” prompter.  Everyone makes mistakes and everyone can get nervous when they’re one the cusp of victory, so it’s natural to choke periodically on combos.

In general, you should strive for at least 6 combos on every board.  This will allow you to overcome the vast majority of combo shields.

The two most annoying I can think of are Machine Zeus, with his 7 or more (8 combo) minimum for essentially the duration of this matchup (unless you plan to stall for awhile on a boss who hits super hard).

The second that comes to mind is Jormungandr ur, a new boss in Japan that you only can use a team full of tamadras and a fixed orb time of 8 seconds against.  As you fight him he adds another combo minimum until you must get 10 combos on the board to defeat him.  I’ve only seen Reco face Jormungandr-urin this video, but I assume he will kill you if you don’t reach the combo minimums.

How to Deal With it

There are many teams out there where reaching many combos isn’t an issue such as Reincarnated Bastet and Reincarnated Yomi (their awoken forms apply as well).  Each of these leads increase in damage based on combos, but don’t require you to get 10 combos every time and they have tons of time extends/ active skills that increase your combo time.  Both of these leads will be great for most players to practice with and you shouldn’t have an issue with averaging 6 combos.

The hard part of combo shields are no skyfall leaders (Acala, Reincarnated Kushinadahime, etc) and row based leads.  For many players it’s tough to get 6 combos and a row.  This means that you’ll have a tougher time against enemies like Machine Zeus as well since you reduce your combo count to 9 (1 row) or a max of 8 on the board (2 rows) with these leads.  Having TPA subs also reduces the number of combos you can achieve and still gain optimal damage.

You can also use cards like Meridionalis or Khepri to deal with these mechanics as they add to your overall combo count to increase damage and your combo minimum.  This means that a row based team of Meridionalis can take out Machine Zeus with a 6 combo board, 2 rows, and using one of your Meridionalis’ skill to add 2 combos.

8. Locked orbs

Locked orbs are an annoying mechanic for sure.  What this does is prevents you from changing that particular orb with an orb changer.  If you have a lot of locked orbs on the board, there is a lesser chance of you getting the orbs you need when using a full board change, because the effects will be random.

The reason Ilsix used to be instant death for rainbow leads was because he changes the entire board to water, heart, and jammers (only one attacking attribute before skyfalls)  and was certain death when you tried to change the board to all attributes  with kali.  If you needed all 6 for Ra Dragon, you may or may not be given the board you need because the locked orbs won’t change.

Some enemies, like Gainaut, create locked orbs as skyfalls for a set amount of turns, so it’s unpredictable when the orbs will fall in as locked and when you can calculate how to use a board change.  This is harder for teams that require a lot of one type of orb, and are unable to change the board.

How to Deal With it

Gung-Ho released a new pantheon just to deal with locked orbs.  What the cards in the Three Kingdoms 2 Series do is remove the locked orb status first, and then change the orbs, all in one skill.  Even Raijin, a 6 star God Fest Exclusive, removes all locked orbs first, then does a full board change for rainbow + hearts.  This isn’t 100% required, but it certainly makes a lot of enemies easier.

7. 99%, 100% and 500%+ Gravities

99% Gravities are the worst things ever for teams with high HP but no recovery.  Mechanics like this cause players to not just spike their HP with cards like double Reincarated Hermes.  Sure, you have over 100,000 HP, but if you’re struck with very large hits and you can’t recover quickly, you’ll find the extremely high HP only beneficial if you can clear content quickly.

How to Deal With 99% Gravity

Make sure your team has high enough RCV to prevent the hit after a 99% gravity from killing you.  A common enemy to see with this is Zaerog in Ultimate Arena.  He hits you with a 99% gravity on turn 2, then increasingly strong hits of 20,000+ and 40,000 + depending on which arena you’re in.  You’ll want to have high RCV, or a heart cross lead to mitigate the gravity.

A 100% gravity exists in cards like Hera Is in Ultimate Arena.  At a certain threshold of HP, she will drop the 100% gravity and no matter how high your HP is, it will hit you for the exact max HP you have for your team.  The only 2 ways to avoid this before latents was to have a card with a blue resist awakening (100% – 5% for each awakening = 95%) and you’ll survive, or use a skill like Awoken Isis, Indra, or anyone who prevents this damage.  The problem with relying on a skill was if you accidentally triggered the 100% gravity and didn’t mean to.  In these cases, you’re better off being cautious.

How to Deal With 100% Gravity

Now that latents do exist, the cautious way to prevent true Gravities (100%) is to have an unbindable card with one of each color latent resist.  This will only give you 1% for each color, but it turns the 100% gravity into a 99% gravity and you will survive no matter what HP you are at.  You could have 2/100,000 HP and you would only get hit for 1 HP.  I am unsure what would happen if you are a 1/X HP, but it would be good if someone could let me know.  I haven’t been bold enough to test it.

A 500% or higher gravity is on elite monsters like Orpharion, Machine Hera, and Machine Athena.  Orpharion triggers his the first time you get him below 50% HP.  For this reason, you’ll want to make sure you use a gravity when he is somewhere between 51-60% HP remaining.

How to Deal With 500% Gravity

You might think the reason I listed above, using a skill, would deflect the damage.  However, some cards like Orpharion and Noah Dragon, will use a turn to void whatever skill you might have used, and then hit you with a big gravity/hit.  In these cases, you won’t be able to dodge the hit and you’ll either have to use a gravity yourself (Orpharion) or not get them below 10% (Noah Dragon).

6. Mortal / Poison Skyfalls

Some enemies decide to ruin your day with skyfalls.  Others decide to add poison skyfalls which means they should be tortured by Surtr, Jormungandr, and Fenrir before Ragnarok ensues.  

Mortal skyfalls can come from Achtros, one those annoying fish in Legendary Sea of Stars, during his timed attacks.  Mortal Skyfalls increase the chance that mortal skyfalls will ruin your day and cause you to throw your device at the wall.

Some monsters, like Linthia, have a 99 turn poison skyfall mechanic.  This isn’t so bad when she’s the boss, but when you have to deal with that skyfall through an entire dungeon, like Super Ultimate Dragon Rush, you may get pretty annoyed.

I have seen people, and had it happen to myself, match a ton of combos, and find poisons stacking on themselves to result in your demise, even though the enemy didn’t hit you.  It is frustrating and best to avoid trying to react to these skyfalls with pure damage and combos.

How to Deal With it

If possible, reduce your combos against enemies with short mortal poison skyfalls.  If you are fighting a monster with many poison skyfall turns (like Linthia) then you’ll want to make sure to match hearts in case poisons do connect, bring board changers to fix your boards, or bring a no skyfall lead so you can better control the annoyance.

5. Scroll

Scroll is a new mechanic from some of the more recent dungeons, such as Kephri and Legendary Remains in which a portion of the board is unable to be moved.  You can still see what it looks like, and you can interact with the board via matches below it (if there is a water orb, put 2 water orbs below it) but you cannot move any of those orbs.  

Betelgeuse in Legendary Remains is an example of someone who does it for 5 turns.  While this monster isn’t annoying himself, if you kill him on that turn, you still have to deal with the mechanic for 4 more turns that carry over in the dungeon.  Since the boss creates bombs in the corners, it’s more strategic to stall while on Betelgeuse than to rush through the dungeon.

Sometimes the mechanic is more annoying because of its lingering effects than what it does against who you’re fighting in the moment.

How to Deal With it

Utilize your combos based on what you see is locked in the scroll.  Just because you are unable to move the orbs, doesn’t mean you can’t still combo around the scroll.  Just know that the orbs will change in the scroll, but the scroll can’t be removed (yet) from the board until the timer is removed.

4. Skill Delay

Skill delays occur when the enemy decides it’s no longer your turn to use skills and instead they’d like to have more time to kill you.  Some monsters delay you just 1 turn, which can be negated by a monster with haste on your turn that still has his skill.  Some monsters like latent tamadras, delay you 2 turns and you can use skill delay resists to avoid having any effect.  Then there are some extra dumb enemies who delay you 5 or more turns.  Accidentally one shotting Hino Kagutuschi without a delay will delay ALL of your turns.  Running into Hephaestus Dragon will cause an instant 15 turn delay, meaning if you don’t have assists or any skill delay resists, you’re working with no skills and just need to do 80+ million damage on your own.  Yeah, that.

How to Deal With it

Skill Delay Resists used to be the only way to block this mechanic.  You would need between 1-3 skill delay resist latent tamadras to prevent up to 3 turns of cooldown.  Meaning if Hephaestus uses his 15 turn delay, and you have 3 SDR’s. he will delay 12 turns.  However, these skill delay resists cost 30,000 MP in the normal, non discounted MP store.  You can farm them as a rare invade which is nice, but not every player can defeat Super Ultimate Dragon Rush.

You can also use assists (formerly skill inheritance) to create a pseudo skill delay resists.  Let’s say your fighting stupid Hephaestus again, and he uses his 15 turn delay.  If you have a monster like Sarasvati (who has a 15 turn cool down) but max skill her down to 6 turns, you can then inherit another Sarasvati (or a card with 15 turns) but non max skilled, you will be delayed 15 turns still, but you can use the original Sarasvati, which should be more than enough against dumb red Hephaestus.  Honestly, you can use any long skill as an assist for pseudo skill delay resists and it’s much cheaper than using the tamadras.

Some builds, like Dark Athena do still recommend skill delay resists on each haku and Dark Athena ( in addition to killers, which you can read about in my Dark Athena Guide here) so you don’t always have to worry about assists to prevent skill delays.

3. Resolve

Resolve can be very tricky because unless you know each monster, you might not know what damage threshold is required for the monster.  Some monsters have a 75% resolve (like Kaguya-hime) which means you cannot kill them in one hit until they are below this percentage of HP.  Doing so for Kaguya-hime is harmless, yet annoying as she will heal herself every time she gets to 1 hp (a kill shot essentially) from above 75%.  This is not so bad as she won’t hurt you for messing up.

Some monsters, however, have lower resolves, and annoying retaliations when you may accidentally get them too low without killing them.

Shoten-Doji has an incredibly annoying kill shot if you accidentally get him below 10% before you get rid of his resolve.  That means you need to get him below 50% damage, and then kill him once that resolve is gone.  Shoten-Doji, and some other monsters like Hino Kagutsuchi, can be avoided by delaying them.  Shoten-Doji however requires you to wait 5 turns before you can delay him, while Hino can be delayed right away.  You’ll want to delay them, one shot them, and then do 1 damage next to finish the deed.

There are even more enemies who have lower resolves, such as Awoken Ceres and Ilsix for 30% resolves.  This just requires you to have more damage control and makes no skyfall leaders much more beneficial.

How to Deal With it

Maintain proper damage control and know your enemy.  Some you can delay, some you can kill with a counter attack (such as Zeus Hera with an Anubis skill).

Sometimes you can kill an enemy with a resolve and nothing bad will happen.  The Final Fantasy collab had monsters with resolve just so they could do a “final attack” (which is famous in Final Fantasys like Bahamut’s Meteor attack) in which they had a final line of dialogue, but didn’t actually do anything to harm or annoy you in Puzzle & Dragons.  For the most part, however, be sure to know your enemy and understand if you can survive them if you accidentally get them to 1 HP while their resolve is active.

2. Damage Void

Damage voids mean you have to be more careful about your damage.  You aren’t always able to just use a damage burst to kill everything with as much damage as possible anymore, unless you do it well.



With damage voids, there’s no going back if you accidentally get a monster below a certain damage, like Zeus Dra.  Because Zeus Dragon has different mechanics based on his HP level, you may find yourself accidentally in the wrong threshold.  With a damage absorb, you can get them out of that phase (like Parvati being below 30% and you have no easy way to kill it).  With Zeus Dra, you can’t get him from 50% to 60% if that’s where you want to stall out.

Always work on knowing your teams and being comfortable in how much damage you’re doing, so you can recognize that x amount of combos will help you achieve the desired damage output.

How to Deal With it

1. Damage Absorb

I hate Sopdet, Parvati, Vishnu, and HeraDragon.  They have damage absorption and I hate them.

Sure there are many ways to control damage and people reading this will say Git Gud, but the fact remains that this is an annoying mechanic.  Skill falls destroy your chances of a 100% rate of clearing these monsters as there is always a chance you will get 3 dark orbs to replace whatever you matches, followed by 3 more darks, then 3 blues, then 3 fires.  The chances are low to have this happen with proper disruption of the orbs you keep on the board, but the fact that you can’t control what falls in makes this straight up annoying.

These monsters with this dumb absorb are so annoying they got a single card just for it.  Fujin allows you to negate the damage absorption for 1 turn, but you have to make sure you kill the enemy otherwise it’s a waste.  This means you might want to bring a gemstone princess to kill Hera Dragon and her 39 million HP, just in case you don’t do enough damage.  Fujin, however, is hard to get and you must pull her from the rare egg machine from Godfests.  Even worse, she has a long cool down which means you can only choose one of the monsters above to use it on.  You may be able to get past Sopdet with it, but still encounter Hera Dragon, which will be frustrating.

How to Deal With it

The best answer is to know the damage output of the team you have put together.  If you are unsure, I am assembling the exact matches in my Dark Athena and Reincarnated Kushinadahime team builds on this website.  I will be adding to them as I encounter the spawns in my runs from Streams.

Let me know if there are any mechanics you think I might have missed that are more annoying!

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