Many beginner (and not-so-beginner) players are mystified at how to start making the high number of matches and combos required by the various combo Gods' Leader Skills. This article will give you a guide to learning the method, though the actual practice is still up to you.
Study and learn these orb-matching patterns. When you become sufficiently familiar with them, it becomes second nature to quickly spot them on the board, letting you chain matches together on-the-fly.
Furthermore, also think about how you can manipulate a set of orbs into one of those patterns for easy access.
- Step 1 - Evaluate the board.
- The most important thing is, of course, whether you have enough colors available to set off your Isis/Horus/Ra. In the image below, there's at least 3 of every color, so it's go time.
- (Yeah, there's already a matched-up set of blue. I hit an orb-changer previously to achieve this layout.)
- Step 2 - Identify problem areas.
- Which colors are the most far apart and toughest to match up? That is probably (but not necessarily) the one you'll be putting your finger on.
- Sometimes, there will be 1 or 2 colors that are just impossibly spread out, and that's why it's safer to bring a friend's Horus with your Ra, or Isis with Horus.
- Step 3 - Find the easiest ways to bring each color together.
- Start with the colors that are least common on the board, because you have the fewest options with them.
- Step 4 - Find a path to do each of those matches in order.
- Try to go from one side of the board to another, so that earlier matches won't interfere with later ones. You'll probably want to rehearse it in your head a few times to make sure you don't fumble or forget what you were doing. (It will still happen.)
Those yellows are the tough part. Move swiftly and purposefully!
- Step 5 - Blow stuff up!
If you're not feeling confident, go practice this in Endless Corridors!
- Take advantage of cascades. The following examples aren't instant multi-matches, but they result in combos nonetheless.
- In fact, cascades can give you an additional chance at skyfall matches because the board will clear the currently matched combos, let new orbs fall into place, then clear the new match(es) for more orbs to fall. Go for them when you have the chance!
- Be flexible. You may need to give up some obvious matches for a better approach.
- In this case, I was tempted to start matching the blue orbs on the top right, but it would block off my path to the yellows (and the rest of the board). Instead I grabbed the left side for a 4-color combo.
- (There are actually multiple ways to make a 5-color combo from this board. This is left as an exercise to the reader.)
- Be careful of messing up your earlier combos. This is not a very common problem, but be mindful and double-check when you're matching colors close to each other.
Now that you know how to make multi-color combos, you'll be invincible! Wrong. Here are many ways you can run into trouble:
- Not enough colors/matches on the board.
- Remedy: Orb changers. Here's Beast Rider Merlin turning a tough board into a cakewalk:
- Aah, much better.
- Note that there are some leaders (such as Pure Light Sun Deity, Ra) who need to match Hearts as well, so they shouldn't use the usual Heartbreakers . The quick board-refresh skills of or may help here.
- Even though you have the colors, they're too impossibly messy to match up.
- Remedy: A) Clear out the orbs you don't need as best as you can, and the next round or two should drop a better layout. B) Take an extra round to setup the board (this requires more thinking). Delay skills (, ) and/or being able to tank a hit (, , Keepers/Golems) helps immensely.
- Skills not ready. It's easy to blissfully sweep through every round of a dungeon, only to reach the boss and realize you still have 3 turns before you can use that orb change.
- Remedy: Keep this in mind, and take some extra turns when you're up against easy trash mobs to tidy up the board/charge skills. Heartmakers like or Toy Dragons can help you to survive here. Don't forget: moving an orb without making a match will NOT charge your skills, but the enemy's attack counter WILL countdown.
- Team members getting bound. You can't attack with 5 colors if your Green guy is down!
- Remedy: Take out those enemies first before they can get you. Of course, you can also look for Bind-resist/clearing Awoken Skills. Note that in some advanced dungeons, people actually take advantage of Binds to help stall for skills.
- Fumbling/running out of time.
- Remedy: It happens to the best of us. You'll just have to practice a lot. Extend Time Awoken Skills and Change the World help immensely, which is why Tsuku Yomi is a very popular sub.
- Just plain being underleveled. It doesn't matter how beautifully you can combo if that one Devil you didn't kill can one-shot you. And there are some bosses even a 49x attack can't take down fast enough.
- Remedy: Do your dungeon research and don't get cocky. You may need Gravity skills, damage-boosting skills, or extra turns from Delay.
On the other hand, sometimes the cruel god that is PAD can be merciful too and you might get an extra cascade match when things seem hopeless, or an enemy will choose to not put you out of your misery that round. Don't give up, and keep practicing!