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TOPIC | Leveling a Coli Team on a Budget [BUILD]
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[center][size=6][b]Stev's Coliseum Leveling Guide[/b][/size][/center] ----- After weeks of research, I've designed two-dragon coliseum team that's budget friendly and accessible for new players. ----- [center][size=5]The battlers[/size][/center] ----- [center]Fighter[/center] ----- [img]https://i.imgur.com/h4YAOcL.png[/img] ----- Battlestones: Scratch, Shred, Sap, Ward, Reflect, Obsidian Hybrid Fragment x3, Ambush x2 As long as you use the right ability stones, this dragon is pretty interchangeable with dragons trained from other guides. This dragon's role in the team is to defeat enemies. They use Scratch and Shred to wear enemies down. At higher levels, they even pick up a few tricks to protect the party against magic attackers. The recommended element for the Fighter is [b]Fire[/b]. Any dragon that can use Obsidian Hybrid Fragments will be cheaper, but it's okay if you already have a partially trained dragon. Otherwise, elements are only possibly relevant for defense in the highest level venues. Fire is perfectly suited to Golem Workshop, which this build was first tested in. Plague is recommended for Kelp Beds. You can delay equipping augment stones if you want, though they are convenient. Same with Ambushes, they will make battles go faster, but you won't need them to survive because the mage-tank will help you take as long as you need. ----- [center]Mage-Tank[/center] ----- [img]https://i.imgur.com/YqytFiY.png[/img] ----- Battlestones: Anticipate, Regenerate, Guard, Bolster, Disorient, Elemental Acuity Fragment x3 (replace with Scholar x3 at level 17), Ambush x2 This dragon buffs, takes hits, and heals and cancels damage, allowing for long runs by using Anticipate to restore breath. By using Guard and Anticipate together, they'll take most of the hits from enemies while also gaining breath to heal with. The mage-tank doesn't have offensive battlestones during the mid-levels; they won't need it. However, once the final ability stone opens, up, some elements are just more flat-out useful than others. Disregarding weaknesses, these are the abilities of elemental effects, with the most useful elements at the top and the least useful at the bottom: [img]https://i.imgur.com/f1Z51wC.png[/img] [b]Wind[/] is recommended altogether, and the best choice for Golem Workshop. Ice and Lightning are sufficient for Kelp Beds. Mage-tanks are much more effective when they have the turns at the beginning of the battle to set up. All battlestones are required. As long as Ambush doesn't jump in price too much, equipping this dragon should be reasonably affordable. ----- [size=5][center]Benefits of this team[/center][/size] [LIST] [*]Only uses inexpensive battlestones, such as Scholar, Bolster, Guard, and Ward. Nothing that you can't afford in half an hour of Fairgrounds time. [*]Start from level 1, and battle in all the venues, even Golem Workshop. [*]This guide is for TWO dragons. You can use your third slot for training a third "fodder" dragon, which you can exalt for extra treasure once it reaches a high enough experience level. [*]Very hardy team that, at higher levels, rarely, if ever, needs to refresh the page. Earn the Victory Chain bonus with ease. Great for those who get frustrated. [/LIST] [size=5][center]Drawbacks[/center][/size] This build is [b][i]much slower[/i][/b] than existing builds. Each battle can take a few minutes to finish. While able to stay alive, this team isn't winning any points for "efficiency". Requires more attention--you'll have to make decisions about defense vs offense at each turn. Depending on your playstyle, this may be more fun, but it might be more frustrating if you prefer a formula you can memorize so that you can coli while watching television. ---- Special thanks to @software for the help with copy editing!
Stev's Coliseum Leveling Guide


After weeks of research, I've designed two-dragon coliseum team that's budget friendly and accessible for new players.

The battlers

Fighter

h4YAOcL.png

Battlestones: Scratch, Shred, Sap, Ward, Reflect, Obsidian Hybrid Fragment x3, Ambush x2

As long as you use the right ability stones, this dragon is pretty interchangeable with dragons trained from other guides. This dragon's role in the team is to defeat enemies. They use Scratch and Shred to wear enemies down. At higher levels, they even pick up a few tricks to protect the party against magic attackers.

The recommended element for the Fighter is Fire. Any dragon that can use Obsidian Hybrid Fragments will be cheaper, but it's okay if you already have a partially trained dragon. Otherwise, elements are only possibly relevant for defense in the highest level venues. Fire is perfectly suited to Golem Workshop, which this build was first tested in. Plague is recommended for Kelp Beds.

You can delay equipping augment stones if you want, though they are convenient. Same with Ambushes, they will make battles go faster, but you won't need them to survive because the mage-tank will help you take as long as you need.


Mage-Tank

YqytFiY.png

Battlestones: Anticipate, Regenerate, Guard, Bolster, Disorient, Elemental Acuity Fragment x3 (replace with Scholar x3 at level 17), Ambush x2


This dragon buffs, takes hits, and heals and cancels damage, allowing for long runs by using Anticipate to restore breath.

By using Guard and Anticipate together, they'll take most of the hits from enemies while also gaining breath to heal with. The mage-tank doesn't have offensive battlestones during the mid-levels; they won't need it.

However, once the final ability stone opens, up, some elements are just more flat-out useful than others. Disregarding weaknesses, these are the abilities of elemental effects, with the most useful elements at the top and the least useful at the bottom:

f1Z51wC.png

Wind[/] is recommended altogether, and the best choice for Golem Workshop. Ice and Lightning are sufficient for Kelp Beds.

Mage-tanks are much more effective when they have the turns at the beginning of the battle to set up. All battlestones are required. As long as Ambush doesn't jump in price too much, equipping this dragon should be reasonably affordable.





Benefits of this team
  • Only uses inexpensive battlestones, such as Scholar, Bolster, Guard, and Ward. Nothing that you can't afford in half an hour of Fairgrounds time.
  • Start from level 1, and battle in all the venues, even Golem Workshop.
  • This guide is for TWO dragons. You can use your third slot for training a third "fodder" dragon, which you can exalt for extra treasure once it reaches a high enough experience level.
  • Very hardy team that, at higher levels, rarely, if ever, needs to refresh the page. Earn the Victory Chain bonus with ease. Great for those who get frustrated.

Drawbacks

This build is much slower than existing builds. Each battle can take a few minutes to finish. While able to stay alive, this team isn't winning any points for "efficiency". Requires more attention--you'll have to make decisions about defense vs offense at each turn. Depending on your playstyle, this may be more fun, but it might be more frustrating if you prefer a formula you can memorize so that you can coli while watching television.

----

Special thanks to @software for the help with copy editing!
Here is a rough table of approximate stats to use at each level. QCK should be exact when specified, but, otherwise, it's OK to be off by a point or two. I used Sylvandyr's calculator to plot these out and Bogsneak as the base breed (because they have very balanced starting stats). If you can't invest in exact stats, this should give you an idea of the relative importance of each stat.
____
LvL 1
LvL 2
LvL 3
LvL 4
LvL 5
LvL 6
LvL 7
LvL 8
LvL 9
LvL 10
LvL 11
LvL 12
LvL 13
LvL 14
LvL 15
LvL 16
LvL 17
LvL 18
LvL 19
LvL 20
LvL 21
LvL 22
LvL 23
LvL 24
LvL 25
Mage-Tank
Equip with Anticipate and Contuse
QCK 10, VIT 9 INT 9
VIT 10, INT 10, DEF 10, Equip Guard
QCK 15, VIT 14, INT 14
QCK 17, INT 16 (18), VIT 16, DEF 12, Replace Contuse w/ Regen
QCK 19, INT 17 (19), VIT 20, DEF 12
QCK 22, INT 17 (21), VIT 22, DEF 15
QCK 25, INT 24 (28), DEF 17
INT 26 (30), VIT 25, DEF 20, MND 9, Equip Ambush
INT 28 (32), VIT 28, DEF 24
QCK 28, INT 31 (35), VIT 30, DEF 25, Equip Bolster
QCK 34, INT 32 (36), VIT 32
QCK 38, INT 32 (38), VIT 33, DEF 29
VIT 36, DEF 32, MND 16
QCK 39, INT 34 (40), VIT 38, DEF 36, Equip second Ambush
QCK 40, INT 36 (42), VIT 43, DEF 37
QCK 40 (49), INT 36 (51), VIT 48, DEF 40, MND 18, Scholars, Disorient
QCK 41 (50)

QCK 46 (55)


QCK 51 (60)

INT 74 (85), VIT 57, QCK 51 (60), DEF 55, MND 26
____
LvL 1
LvL 2
LvL 3
LvL 4
LvL 5
LvL 6
LvL 7
LvL 8
LvL 9
LvL 10
LvL 11
LvL 12
LvL 13
LvL 14
LvL 15
LvL 16
LvL 17
LvL 18
LvL 19
LvL 20
LvL 21
LvL 22
LvL 23
LvL 24
LvL 25
Fighter
Equip Scratch and Shred
QCK 10
Equip Sap
QCK 15
QCK 17
QCK 19
QCK 22, STR
QCK 25, STR 38
STR, equip Ambush

QCK 28















(will be: basic strategy)
Here is a rough table of approximate stats to use at each level. QCK should be exact when specified, but, otherwise, it's OK to be off by a point or two. I used Sylvandyr's calculator to plot these out and Bogsneak as the base breed (because they have very balanced starting stats). If you can't invest in exact stats, this should give you an idea of the relative importance of each stat.
____
LvL 1
LvL 2
LvL 3
LvL 4
LvL 5
LvL 6
LvL 7
LvL 8
LvL 9
LvL 10
LvL 11
LvL 12
LvL 13
LvL 14
LvL 15
LvL 16
LvL 17
LvL 18
LvL 19
LvL 20
LvL 21
LvL 22
LvL 23
LvL 24
LvL 25
Mage-Tank
Equip with Anticipate and Contuse
QCK 10, VIT 9 INT 9
VIT 10, INT 10, DEF 10, Equip Guard
QCK 15, VIT 14, INT 14
QCK 17, INT 16 (18), VIT 16, DEF 12, Replace Contuse w/ Regen
QCK 19, INT 17 (19), VIT 20, DEF 12
QCK 22, INT 17 (21), VIT 22, DEF 15
QCK 25, INT 24 (28), DEF 17
INT 26 (30), VIT 25, DEF 20, MND 9, Equip Ambush
INT 28 (32), VIT 28, DEF 24
QCK 28, INT 31 (35), VIT 30, DEF 25, Equip Bolster
QCK 34, INT 32 (36), VIT 32
QCK 38, INT 32 (38), VIT 33, DEF 29
VIT 36, DEF 32, MND 16
QCK 39, INT 34 (40), VIT 38, DEF 36, Equip second Ambush
QCK 40, INT 36 (42), VIT 43, DEF 37
QCK 40 (49), INT 36 (51), VIT 48, DEF 40, MND 18, Scholars, Disorient
QCK 41 (50)

QCK 46 (55)


QCK 51 (60)

INT 74 (85), VIT 57, QCK 51 (60), DEF 55, MND 26
____
LvL 1
LvL 2
LvL 3
LvL 4
LvL 5
LvL 6
LvL 7
LvL 8
LvL 9
LvL 10
LvL 11
LvL 12
LvL 13
LvL 14
LvL 15
LvL 16
LvL 17
LvL 18
LvL 19
LvL 20
LvL 21
LvL 22
LvL 23
LvL 24
LvL 25
Fighter
Equip Scratch and Shred
QCK 10
Equip Sap
QCK 15
QCK 17
QCK 19
QCK 22, STR
QCK 25, STR 38
STR, equip Ambush

QCK 28















(will be: basic strategy)
Your Journey Begins: Levels 1-8

When you've picked out your dragons that will become your Fighter and Mage-Tank, go to Coliseum, Organize Party, and put them in your team. The Mage-Tank goes into slot one, and will be taking the first turn each battle. The fighter can go into one of the other two spots. For these first venues, you will also be training a third dragon, so go to the Auction House and buy the cheapest (adult) dragon you can get, and put them into your party, too. This dragon will fight alongside your others until level 9, when you will be exalting them to help pay for battlestones.

For Training Fields: Spam Scratch and Anticipate, and use advanced abilities when you have breath. There's no way to make the enemies attack your tank yet, but you can generally fight through. If you get a bad encounter, or are missing health, just refresh to start with a fresh party. Also, since your third member is the same level as your main team, they can contribute to fights, too. Shred and Contuse, the two abilities that consume breath rather than give it to you, should be used on healthiest enemies to put the debuffs they inflict to the best use. Or, use Contuse if it would kill an enemy and deny it getting a chance to attack you.

Once you get to level 3, your mage-tank will be eligible to equip Guard. You'll notice Guard doesn't necessarily work all of the time, which is unfortunate, and it means your fighter wants to be tankier than the average "glass cannon" as we go along, especially for these early levels. However, Guard does work often enough to ensure that your tank gets hit more times than your fighter (your fodder will get hit too, but as you go through higher level venues, the fodder will start dying in a single hit, meaning hits go back to your tank). Once you start getting more turns, you'll get more of a chance to gain breath from Anticipate and start using your tank's magical abilities to support your fighter. If you can afford it, consider putting Sap onto your fighter as an alternate attack: your fighter will be able to heal themselves while your mage-tank is busy with other things.

Woodland Path might start out kind of rough. Your dragons will be squishy, especially if Guard decides to not work. Guard runs out after 5 turns, so be sure to refresh it if the battle goes on long enough, and refresh the page if you're in a tight spot. Hopefully, the damage reduction from Anticipate along with the full-time guarding will leave your glass cannon with enough health to do their job. You can use Contuse on dangerous enemies that you won't be able to kill until later in the battle, so that they do less damage.

At level 5, put Regenerate on your tank, overwriting Contuse. While it might seem troublesome to be left with no damaging moves if your cannon is knocked out first, this situation is much less likely now that you have healing. You can also use augment stones if you have them: Might fragments go onto your fighter, Acuity fragments go on your mage-tank. At the beginning of battles: if the fighter has a less full health bar than the tank and the tank has at least 40 breath, use Regenerate on the fighter. If the tank has less health but enough breath, put it on the tank. Then Guard the fighter and Anticipate for the rest of the battle. You might get some extra turns against some enemies: such as when your tank gets two turns before the next enemy turn. Since Anticipate is usually wasted when there is no chance for the tank to tank a hit, this can be a good opportunity to use Regenerate if available, or refresh Guard if not.

At level 7 or 8, try to get fighter's strength up to 35 to have an easier time defeating the enemies in Scorched Forest. At level 8, you can go for some more bulk. This venue is going to be rough for a while: you won't have enough turns to set up Regenerate when you need it, and enemies hit too hard for their damage to be canceled out without the defense effect of Anticipate. If you're not a fan of refreshing, you can continue for a level in Woodland Path. Another option is to invest stats into your level 5 fodder. Once you can afford more QCK, INT, and DEF points, things will get easier and you can come back in at level 8 for that victory chain bonus. Take things one battle at a time if you need to. It gets MUCH EASIER starting next venue.
Your Journey Begins: Levels 1-8

When you've picked out your dragons that will become your Fighter and Mage-Tank, go to Coliseum, Organize Party, and put them in your team. The Mage-Tank goes into slot one, and will be taking the first turn each battle. The fighter can go into one of the other two spots. For these first venues, you will also be training a third dragon, so go to the Auction House and buy the cheapest (adult) dragon you can get, and put them into your party, too. This dragon will fight alongside your others until level 9, when you will be exalting them to help pay for battlestones.

For Training Fields: Spam Scratch and Anticipate, and use advanced abilities when you have breath. There's no way to make the enemies attack your tank yet, but you can generally fight through. If you get a bad encounter, or are missing health, just refresh to start with a fresh party. Also, since your third member is the same level as your main team, they can contribute to fights, too. Shred and Contuse, the two abilities that consume breath rather than give it to you, should be used on healthiest enemies to put the debuffs they inflict to the best use. Or, use Contuse if it would kill an enemy and deny it getting a chance to attack you.

Once you get to level 3, your mage-tank will be eligible to equip Guard. You'll notice Guard doesn't necessarily work all of the time, which is unfortunate, and it means your fighter wants to be tankier than the average "glass cannon" as we go along, especially for these early levels. However, Guard does work often enough to ensure that your tank gets hit more times than your fighter (your fodder will get hit too, but as you go through higher level venues, the fodder will start dying in a single hit, meaning hits go back to your tank). Once you start getting more turns, you'll get more of a chance to gain breath from Anticipate and start using your tank's magical abilities to support your fighter. If you can afford it, consider putting Sap onto your fighter as an alternate attack: your fighter will be able to heal themselves while your mage-tank is busy with other things.

Woodland Path might start out kind of rough. Your dragons will be squishy, especially if Guard decides to not work. Guard runs out after 5 turns, so be sure to refresh it if the battle goes on long enough, and refresh the page if you're in a tight spot. Hopefully, the damage reduction from Anticipate along with the full-time guarding will leave your glass cannon with enough health to do their job. You can use Contuse on dangerous enemies that you won't be able to kill until later in the battle, so that they do less damage.

At level 5, put Regenerate on your tank, overwriting Contuse. While it might seem troublesome to be left with no damaging moves if your cannon is knocked out first, this situation is much less likely now that you have healing. You can also use augment stones if you have them: Might fragments go onto your fighter, Acuity fragments go on your mage-tank. At the beginning of battles: if the fighter has a less full health bar than the tank and the tank has at least 40 breath, use Regenerate on the fighter. If the tank has less health but enough breath, put it on the tank. Then Guard the fighter and Anticipate for the rest of the battle. You might get some extra turns against some enemies: such as when your tank gets two turns before the next enemy turn. Since Anticipate is usually wasted when there is no chance for the tank to tank a hit, this can be a good opportunity to use Regenerate if available, or refresh Guard if not.

At level 7 or 8, try to get fighter's strength up to 35 to have an easier time defeating the enemies in Scorched Forest. At level 8, you can go for some more bulk. This venue is going to be rough for a while: you won't have enough turns to set up Regenerate when you need it, and enemies hit too hard for their damage to be canceled out without the defense effect of Anticipate. If you're not a fan of refreshing, you can continue for a level in Woodland Path. Another option is to invest stats into your level 5 fodder. Once you can afford more QCK, INT, and DEF points, things will get easier and you can come back in at level 8 for that victory chain bonus. Take things one battle at a time if you need to. It gets MUCH EASIER starting next venue.
A Bolstered Defense: Levels 9-16

At level 9, your first Accessory Stone slot unlocks. There's basically only one option, and Ambush is a must-have stone to address the turn drought you had. Now, with Ambush active, you have enough turns in the battle to both Guard and Anticipate before the enemy turns come. Useful for both gaining breath and preventing damage. If either of your fighters are low on health, Regenerate should still be the very first of your turns, but now you at least have the chance to take one more turn before the enemies. You can choose to either stay in Scorched Forest for an easier time, or train in Sandswept Delta for Victory Chain. Either way, try swapping in a new level 1 "fodder" into your third slot: before, having a dragon in the third slot that was the same level as your others was necessary to save frustration, but now you can properly exalt train. The higher you level fodder, the more treasure you get when exalting them.

At level 11 gives you new toys to play with, right in time to prepare for your first boss encounter. Why was Bolster equipped on the mage-tank dragon, while Ward on the physical dragon? Because you'll be using Ward less frequently. Enemy mages are slow to get started in coli, warning you of their presence by using Meditate, rather than attacking. This gives you a chance to respond to them. Running Ward on the fighter means that the fighter does spend a turn casting it on the mage-tank, but it's a turn well spent because that's less damage that needs to be healed later in the run; mages can often hit very hard, especially of the element your dragons are weak to, and it's worth looking up your team's elemental weaknesses in another guide and taking special care to remove those enemies first. Bolster is a buff that you'll be using to cut damage from physical sources. Sometimes it's worth using it, rather than Anticipate, during the first few turns, if you are up against melee enemies. Also, both Pohip bosses in Blooming Grove use physical attacks, so you can put Bolster on both dragons when you encounter one.

Battles for the next few regions will be strategic. You have more options during each battle, so you have to make decisions about what you should do to prevent the most damage. Regenerate is going to be more effective when used earlier in battle, Anticipate blocks the most damage should enemies happen to attack your tank (or Guard takes effect), but Bolster also prevents damage and also gives you breath. Choose wisely, practice, and learn from your mistakes... you'll be able to set up victory chains AND train fodder if you keep at it.

It's not recommended to move to Forgotten Cave immediately upon reaching level 12. There's such a huge disparity between the number of turns enemies get that you can have an easy time with some groups and be overwhelmed by others. However, it's still possible, especially if you put Ambush on the fighter as well.

Mage enemies in Bamboo Falls hit very hard, so be wary if you happen to be weak to them. If you encounter the packs of four foxes, it may be best to reset, unless you have health and breath to spare. This will be the last difficult venue. Everything is downhill after here.

Level 15 is the huge turning point. Up until now, you weren't able to set up Bolster, Guard, and Anticipate in every battle, but equipping a second Ambush on the mage-tank finally allows you to. (You can take your time getting a second ambush for the fighter if you need to.) This is what makes the difference for survivability, and allows you to get a reliable surplus of both health and breath as your battle streak goes on (unless you run into a boss you're weak to). In fact, if you're investing stat points wisely and doing the right things in combat, you'll be able to start skipping venues.
A Bolstered Defense: Levels 9-16

At level 9, your first Accessory Stone slot unlocks. There's basically only one option, and Ambush is a must-have stone to address the turn drought you had. Now, with Ambush active, you have enough turns in the battle to both Guard and Anticipate before the enemy turns come. Useful for both gaining breath and preventing damage. If either of your fighters are low on health, Regenerate should still be the very first of your turns, but now you at least have the chance to take one more turn before the enemies. You can choose to either stay in Scorched Forest for an easier time, or train in Sandswept Delta for Victory Chain. Either way, try swapping in a new level 1 "fodder" into your third slot: before, having a dragon in the third slot that was the same level as your others was necessary to save frustration, but now you can properly exalt train. The higher you level fodder, the more treasure you get when exalting them.

At level 11 gives you new toys to play with, right in time to prepare for your first boss encounter. Why was Bolster equipped on the mage-tank dragon, while Ward on the physical dragon? Because you'll be using Ward less frequently. Enemy mages are slow to get started in coli, warning you of their presence by using Meditate, rather than attacking. This gives you a chance to respond to them. Running Ward on the fighter means that the fighter does spend a turn casting it on the mage-tank, but it's a turn well spent because that's less damage that needs to be healed later in the run; mages can often hit very hard, especially of the element your dragons are weak to, and it's worth looking up your team's elemental weaknesses in another guide and taking special care to remove those enemies first. Bolster is a buff that you'll be using to cut damage from physical sources. Sometimes it's worth using it, rather than Anticipate, during the first few turns, if you are up against melee enemies. Also, both Pohip bosses in Blooming Grove use physical attacks, so you can put Bolster on both dragons when you encounter one.

Battles for the next few regions will be strategic. You have more options during each battle, so you have to make decisions about what you should do to prevent the most damage. Regenerate is going to be more effective when used earlier in battle, Anticipate blocks the most damage should enemies happen to attack your tank (or Guard takes effect), but Bolster also prevents damage and also gives you breath. Choose wisely, practice, and learn from your mistakes... you'll be able to set up victory chains AND train fodder if you keep at it.

It's not recommended to move to Forgotten Cave immediately upon reaching level 12. There's such a huge disparity between the number of turns enemies get that you can have an easy time with some groups and be overwhelmed by others. However, it's still possible, especially if you put Ambush on the fighter as well.

Mage enemies in Bamboo Falls hit very hard, so be wary if you happen to be weak to them. If you encounter the packs of four foxes, it may be best to reset, unless you have health and breath to spare. This will be the last difficult venue. Everything is downhill after here.

Level 15 is the huge turning point. Up until now, you weren't able to set up Bolster, Guard, and Anticipate in every battle, but equipping a second Ambush on the mage-tank finally allows you to. (You can take your time getting a second ambush for the fighter if you need to.) This is what makes the difference for survivability, and allows you to get a reliable surplus of both health and breath as your battle streak goes on (unless you run into a boss you're weak to). In fact, if you're investing stat points wisely and doing the right things in combat, you'll be able to start skipping venues.
Tanking for the Win: Levels 17-22


Reaching level 17 allows you to equip the remaining battlestones needed to complete your mage-tank's build, allowing you to unleash their full power. Notably, by equipping Disorient (or the elemental status attack that fits your dragon's element, if you're using an element other than Wind), the mage-tank once again has an attack option. This will not be used very frequently, but it's a great option against enemies that are weak to it (particularly bosses), and when the status effect lands, it can cause melee enemies to attack their allies and completely shut down mages. But the more significant upgrade is in the augment stones: replacing your Acuity fragments with Scholar, which is like two levels of points in one. Scholar greatly expands your healing potential, which allows you to keep up with enemy DPS in higher venues, and the bonus to QCK means you have more points to put into defenses--surviving will be *much* easier. Never lose breath from fainting again!

You're also able to replace your fighter's augments to Berserker, which mainly increases your fighter's DPS. Higher damage output means battles will go faster, which is convenient, but if the stones are out of your budget, you can put it off indefinitely. If you do equip Berserkers, but plan on continuing to avoid the other high-value stones (Eliminate, Rally), I recommend allocating some of the points saved into VIT and DEF. The other main change to your fighter is equipping Reflect in the final ability slot; it won't be used in every battle, but makes a huge difference in battles it is relevant in.

Reflect is a situational stone to use against enemies that use magic attacks. You always want to cast it on your mage-tank, because when Guard activates, the Reflect ability will still take effect. Reflect can only be on one dragon at a time (don't try casting it again, it'll remove it from the first dragon), so just put it on the dragon who's taking most of the hits. If the enemy team consists exclusively of mages, it can often halt all damage entirely. But, because Guard can occasionally fail, make sure you also put Ward on your fighter; if you take one or two hits, you'll have the opportunity to heal them off before you risk fainting and losing your breath.

Cast any buffs on your mage-tank at the beginning of the battle, but save the fighter's casting of Reflect for the turn AFTER the enemies have meditated, right before they get a chance to attack for real. Once Reflect is up, do not cast buffs on your mage-tank again until it wears off. You do not want to accidentally buff the enemies. Anticipate also doesn't give you breath for attacks that are reflected, so you will need to change your strategy to keep building breath. The highest priority is to refresh Guard on the fighter. If Guard is still active, then use Bolster. Use Bolster on the fighter--i.e., the one who doesn't have reflect on them. Even if the defense boost is useless, it gives you slightly more breath than Anticipate does. Counter-intuitively, if there are any melee enemies at all, you should actually be Anticipating because getting hit by Scratch or Shred does give you breath. However, if Guard fails and your fighter ends up taking a hit, and you don't have enough breath for Regenerate, the wisest thing to do with the mage-tank's turn would be to break out the potions.

Up until now, you may have been opportunistically using Shred at every possible opportunity. Since your fighter, who builds breath slowly, is now running Reflect, you need to start saving up breath. If you can accumulate around 80 breath in fights that do not involve dangerous mages, you will be well prepared for those groups that have
mages that are difficult to tank otherwise (for the Fire/Wind team, Water and Shadow mages are the most cause for concern). Your fighter's ability to defeat enemies quickly should have no bearing on your ability to survive the venue. Taking extra turns on Scratch rather than wasting breath on Shred is completely acceptable. If your mage-tank is getting too overwhelmed to keep your team alive, that means you need to drop down to the previous venue to ensure you can keep long runs.

So, for venues. The extra QCK from Scholar would allow you to take on Boreal Wood immediately at level 17 and finish some battles, but you may lack defenses to be able to complete long runs. I recommend training in Volcanic Vents, starting at 17 and going up to 19, because it's a great place to practice Reflect strategy (the hydra bosses are great practice dummies; you don't actually need Reflect for the Earth one, however, because a Wind mage-tank can just solo it). Train in Boreal Wood from levels 19-20, then upgrade your QCK to 55 on both dragons and train in Ghostlight Ruins from level 21-22. You can stay in Ghostlight Ruins forever if you like; it's a very comfortable venue for Anticipate-based dragons, and the experience gain is always substantial, even when you lose Victory Streak. Or, at level 23, you can finally move onto the final venues: Kelp Beds and Golem Workshop. (The Mire is optional; while it's an easy venue for being level 24, with lots of small packs and enemies that aren't actually very dangerous, the loot you can get from there is worthless aside from food and extremely rare Wartoad boss familiars.)

Here's a video I recorded of my team running Ghostlight Ruins, at level 21, which shows my magetank and fighter's current stats (at the time) and their full set of stones. Several fights, against melee groups, mage groups, and a boss, are shown.
Tanking for the Win: Levels 17-22


Reaching level 17 allows you to equip the remaining battlestones needed to complete your mage-tank's build, allowing you to unleash their full power. Notably, by equipping Disorient (or the elemental status attack that fits your dragon's element, if you're using an element other than Wind), the mage-tank once again has an attack option. This will not be used very frequently, but it's a great option against enemies that are weak to it (particularly bosses), and when the status effect lands, it can cause melee enemies to attack their allies and completely shut down mages. But the more significant upgrade is in the augment stones: replacing your Acuity fragments with Scholar, which is like two levels of points in one. Scholar greatly expands your healing potential, which allows you to keep up with enemy DPS in higher venues, and the bonus to QCK means you have more points to put into defenses--surviving will be *much* easier. Never lose breath from fainting again!

You're also able to replace your fighter's augments to Berserker, which mainly increases your fighter's DPS. Higher damage output means battles will go faster, which is convenient, but if the stones are out of your budget, you can put it off indefinitely. If you do equip Berserkers, but plan on continuing to avoid the other high-value stones (Eliminate, Rally), I recommend allocating some of the points saved into VIT and DEF. The other main change to your fighter is equipping Reflect in the final ability slot; it won't be used in every battle, but makes a huge difference in battles it is relevant in.

Reflect is a situational stone to use against enemies that use magic attacks. You always want to cast it on your mage-tank, because when Guard activates, the Reflect ability will still take effect. Reflect can only be on one dragon at a time (don't try casting it again, it'll remove it from the first dragon), so just put it on the dragon who's taking most of the hits. If the enemy team consists exclusively of mages, it can often halt all damage entirely. But, because Guard can occasionally fail, make sure you also put Ward on your fighter; if you take one or two hits, you'll have the opportunity to heal them off before you risk fainting and losing your breath.

Cast any buffs on your mage-tank at the beginning of the battle, but save the fighter's casting of Reflect for the turn AFTER the enemies have meditated, right before they get a chance to attack for real. Once Reflect is up, do not cast buffs on your mage-tank again until it wears off. You do not want to accidentally buff the enemies. Anticipate also doesn't give you breath for attacks that are reflected, so you will need to change your strategy to keep building breath. The highest priority is to refresh Guard on the fighter. If Guard is still active, then use Bolster. Use Bolster on the fighter--i.e., the one who doesn't have reflect on them. Even if the defense boost is useless, it gives you slightly more breath than Anticipate does. Counter-intuitively, if there are any melee enemies at all, you should actually be Anticipating because getting hit by Scratch or Shred does give you breath. However, if Guard fails and your fighter ends up taking a hit, and you don't have enough breath for Regenerate, the wisest thing to do with the mage-tank's turn would be to break out the potions.

Up until now, you may have been opportunistically using Shred at every possible opportunity. Since your fighter, who builds breath slowly, is now running Reflect, you need to start saving up breath. If you can accumulate around 80 breath in fights that do not involve dangerous mages, you will be well prepared for those groups that have
mages that are difficult to tank otherwise (for the Fire/Wind team, Water and Shadow mages are the most cause for concern). Your fighter's ability to defeat enemies quickly should have no bearing on your ability to survive the venue. Taking extra turns on Scratch rather than wasting breath on Shred is completely acceptable. If your mage-tank is getting too overwhelmed to keep your team alive, that means you need to drop down to the previous venue to ensure you can keep long runs.

So, for venues. The extra QCK from Scholar would allow you to take on Boreal Wood immediately at level 17 and finish some battles, but you may lack defenses to be able to complete long runs. I recommend training in Volcanic Vents, starting at 17 and going up to 19, because it's a great place to practice Reflect strategy (the hydra bosses are great practice dummies; you don't actually need Reflect for the Earth one, however, because a Wind mage-tank can just solo it). Train in Boreal Wood from levels 19-20, then upgrade your QCK to 55 on both dragons and train in Ghostlight Ruins from level 21-22. You can stay in Ghostlight Ruins forever if you like; it's a very comfortable venue for Anticipate-based dragons, and the experience gain is always substantial, even when you lose Victory Streak. Or, at level 23, you can finally move onto the final venues: Kelp Beds and Golem Workshop. (The Mire is optional; while it's an easy venue for being level 24, with lots of small packs and enemies that aren't actually very dangerous, the loot you can get from there is worthless aside from food and extremely rare Wartoad boss familiars.)

Here's a video I recorded of my team running Ghostlight Ruins, at level 21, which shows my magetank and fighter's current stats (at the time) and their full set of stones. Several fights, against melee groups, mage groups, and a boss, are shown.
[center][size=6]Level 23 and Above: Golem Workshop[/size][/center] ----- First off, entering Golem Workshop at level 23 is only advisable if you're using the recommended elements of Fire and Wind. If you have dragons of other elements, stay in Kelp Beds (which should be completely manageable by now) for another level to gain some additional stats. Starting here, you will want to invest extra INT into your mage-tank rather than spreading your stats as evenly as before. While you miss out on a [i]little[/i] bulk by doing this, the extra healing will compensate, and it allows your Wind mage to take a more proactive role as a secondary attacker against the many Lightning and Arcane enemies (as well as the Earth boss). Otherwise, battles will be very long, and the enemies will wear you down easily. 4-packs involving Steelhounds and Scrapmetal trackers can be difficult to start from until you reach level 24, but otherwise you should be able to establish a victory chain. With the team as given, there's not much additional strategy to speak of; set up Regenerate, Bolster and Guard against most enemy packs, except for packs involving Swift Lumens for which you'll also want to set up Reflect. Experience is plentiful and you shouldn't have to spend very much time for each third-slot fodder dragon before you can make a profit exalting them. Your dragons should reach level 24, then level 25, at which point you'll have the stats to comfortably stay in this venue as long as as you want to, and hopefully snag some high-quality rare drops (Copper Filigree apparel is worth a lot, the bosses are a worth small fortune, and did I mention before that [i]every[/i] expensive battlestone is a possible drop from this venue?). Enjoy the valuable loot and the fodder, and soon your money problems will be a thing of the past! One final note. You may be tempted to spend your exalt payouts to "graduate" to a different coliseum build to train fodder faster, but you're going to have a much faster return on investment if you expand your lair and nests first. Having extra space for fodder means you can buy hatchlings, keep them for a few days, then train them up when they grow into adults, and earn much more money per dragon. More nests means you can get more fodder dragons for free. Once you have about four pages or so and lair expansions start getting more expensive, then... ----- [center][size=5]A faster (but not cheap) GW option[/size][/center] You may have earned enough money from your loot and your exalt training to afford nice things. Perhaps you were lucky enough (or tenacious enough) to get one or all of the "standard" battlestones to drop as loot during your tour of the venues. You may desire to upgrade your dragons to these more expensive battlestones, for which I have one final build suggestion to make: a modification of [url=http://www1.flightrising.com/forums/gde/1666709/1]the original Workshop Workers[/url] that use an Anticipate-based Wind mage-tank. [img]https://i.imgur.com/t8fGZ2Y.png[/img] [img]https://i.imgur.com/rcu8etj.png[/img] (you may need to use a Tincture of Dissolution to achieve the stats of the fighter, because having at least 105 STR is absolutely necessary with these stones) Either equip Rally to the mage-tank at the same time as you equip Eliminate to the fighter, or not at all; Rally barely helps the build as given and it's not worth dropping Bolster unless you're switching to an Eliminate-based strategy. But with these stats and both stones, your fighter can 2-hit-KO every non-boss enemy in the venue, meaning that battles now only last six turns (or, at worst, 8 turns for 4-packs). Regenerate doesn't work as well in shorter battles, so it is dropped in favor of the all-at-once heal Aid. The fighter still runs Reflect for the packs that have two or more Swift Lumen (Light-element mages). Here is this team's turn structure for most packs: Rally the fighter, Guard the fighter. Fighter scratches first enemy (go for the most threatening enemy). Mage-tank anticipates. Fighter eliminates the first enemy then scratches the next most threatening enemy. Mage-tank uses Aid if necessary or anticipates again. Eliminate the second enemy, aid/anticipate, scratch the third enemy, [b]use Rally on the fighter again[/b] (if you don't do this, Rally will run out and the fighter's Eliminate will not do enough damage to defeat the enemy), then Eliminate on third enemy. The Rally and Eliminate equipped team has a slightly worse time with bosses than the non-eliminate team thanks to the loss of Bolster, but training fodder should be much faster. More relevantly, the Anticipate-based mage is much sturdier than the Meditate-based mage, and better at keeping the team alive (relevant in the new meta where dragons lose breath when they faint) with the only drawback being that the mage's Disorient is not powerful enough to count as a "Scratch" for the purposes of 2HKO'ing enemies except against enemies that are weak to Wind. Note that this is only one of several possible options. For the same price, you could instead change your fighter's build (or some other level 25 dragon) into a 2-fodder trainer, which may be desirable if you want to further get into training dragons for dominance pushes.
Level 23 and Above: Golem Workshop


First off, entering Golem Workshop at level 23 is only advisable if you're using the recommended elements of Fire and Wind. If you have dragons of other elements, stay in Kelp Beds (which should be completely manageable by now) for another level to gain some additional stats.

Starting here, you will want to invest extra INT into your mage-tank rather than spreading your stats as evenly as before. While you miss out on a little bulk by doing this, the extra healing will compensate, and it allows your Wind mage to take a more proactive role as a secondary attacker against the many Lightning and Arcane enemies (as well as the Earth boss). Otherwise, battles will be very long, and the enemies will wear you down easily. 4-packs involving Steelhounds and Scrapmetal trackers can be difficult to start from until you reach level 24, but otherwise you should be able to establish a victory chain.

With the team as given, there's not much additional strategy to speak of; set up Regenerate, Bolster and Guard against most enemy packs, except for packs involving Swift Lumens for which you'll also want to set up Reflect. Experience is plentiful and you shouldn't have to spend very much time for each third-slot fodder dragon before you can make a profit exalting them. Your dragons should reach level 24, then level 25, at which point you'll have the stats to comfortably stay in this venue as long as as you want to, and hopefully snag some high-quality rare drops (Copper Filigree apparel is worth a lot, the bosses are a worth small fortune, and did I mention before that every expensive battlestone is a possible drop from this venue?). Enjoy the valuable loot and the fodder, and soon your money problems will be a thing of the past!

One final note. You may be tempted to spend your exalt payouts to "graduate" to a different coliseum build to train fodder faster, but you're going to have a much faster return on investment if you expand your lair and nests first. Having extra space for fodder means you can buy hatchlings, keep them for a few days, then train them up when they grow into adults, and earn much more money per dragon. More nests means you can get more fodder dragons for free. Once you have about four pages or so and lair expansions start getting more expensive, then...

A faster (but not cheap) GW option

You may have earned enough money from your loot and your exalt training to afford nice things. Perhaps you were lucky enough (or tenacious enough) to get one or all of the "standard" battlestones to drop as loot during your tour of the venues. You may desire to upgrade your dragons to these more expensive battlestones, for which I have one final build suggestion to make: a modification of the original Workshop Workers that use an Anticipate-based Wind mage-tank.

t8fGZ2Y.png

rcu8etj.png

(you may need to use a Tincture of Dissolution to achieve the stats of the fighter, because having at least 105 STR is absolutely necessary with these stones)

Either equip Rally to the mage-tank at the same time as you equip Eliminate to the fighter, or not at all; Rally barely helps the build as given and it's not worth dropping Bolster unless you're switching to an Eliminate-based strategy. But with these stats and both stones, your fighter can 2-hit-KO every non-boss enemy in the venue, meaning that battles now only last six turns (or, at worst, 8 turns for 4-packs). Regenerate doesn't work as well in shorter battles, so it is dropped in favor of the all-at-once heal Aid. The fighter still runs Reflect for the packs that have two or more Swift Lumen (Light-element mages).

Here is this team's turn structure for most packs: Rally the fighter, Guard the fighter. Fighter scratches first enemy (go for the most threatening enemy). Mage-tank anticipates. Fighter eliminates the first enemy then scratches the next most threatening enemy. Mage-tank uses Aid if necessary or anticipates again. Eliminate the second enemy, aid/anticipate, scratch the third enemy, use Rally on the fighter again (if you don't do this, Rally will run out and the fighter's Eliminate will not do enough damage to defeat the enemy), then Eliminate on third enemy.

The Rally and Eliminate equipped team has a slightly worse time with bosses than the non-eliminate team thanks to the loss of Bolster, but training fodder should be much faster. More relevantly, the Anticipate-based mage is much sturdier than the Meditate-based mage, and better at keeping the team alive (relevant in the new meta where dragons lose breath when they faint) with the only drawback being that the mage's Disorient is not powerful enough to count as a "Scratch" for the purposes of 2HKO'ing enemies except against enemies that are weak to Wind.

Note that this is only one of several possible options. For the same price, you could instead change your fighter's build (or some other level 25 dragon) into a 2-fodder trainer, which may be desirable if you want to further get into training dragons for dominance pushes.
Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Guard isn't working! What do I do?

A: Guard, unfortunately, does not have a 100% success rate. It's based on RNG. I seem to remember seeing some older admin comments that suggest that higher DEF helps make Guard more reliable, but it does randomly fail. Running Regenerate, Bolster, and Ward are among some of the contingencies to make a failed Guard less threatening to your run. In all, it's a numbers game. As long as your mage-tank takes most of the hits, you'll be OK. Using Guard at all ensures they will take more hits than your fighter does.

Q: Why and how did you make this build?

A: I personally find it frustrating to have to rely on resets, so I wanted to make an alternative build focused more on staying alive for as long a run as possible. And to why it only uses cheap stones, well, have you seen the price of Eliminates recently?

I initially got the idea to use Anticipate for a mage from tinkering around with "just for fun" coli teams--I tried to make the standard physical tank work (Snappers and Bogsneaks start with Anticipate and Shred), but noticed that the dragon had way too much breath and not enough useful things to do with it. By re-allocating stat points to focus on INT instead, the tank gets a second viable role--as healer--and the mage-tank was born. This build is also greatly inspired by the Workshop Workers build, with the concept of "what if I took the Workshop build and made a variant of it in every single venue, while leveling up, that can train fodder at the same time?

Q: I don't like Golem Workshop. Does this build work in Kelp Beds, too?

A: Yes, this build is fine in Kelp Beds. You can start comfortably training in Kelp Beds when your team reaches level 22. If you plan to stay there all the time as an alternative, you should use an Ice or Lightning element mage-tank and a Plague element fighter, because those elements are more suited to the venue than Wind and Fire are.

That being said, Golem Workshop is really not that scary (especially with this build), and the bosses are worth a LOT if you can get one to drop for you; they're by far the most valuable coliseum drop and can be worth grinding for.

Q: Can I use this build to train a third "perma" dragon?

A: You can; however, Guard and Anticipate work a lot better together when only one dragon is being guarded, because if the third dragon is too high level, enemies will sometimes attack them and divert attacks away from your tank, who wants to be taking hits under the effect of Anticipate to have more breath to heal with. Thus, it's easier to have a low-level "fodder" dragon who will go down after one or two hits. It's more profitable, too, because the whole point of this build was to make exalt training more available and affordable immediately, rather than having to wait until level 25 and special builds.

Q: Can I use a dragon I was training with the Sedona guide as the fighter?

Yes. The stats of the fighter aren't very important. Just make sure you put Ward and Reflect on at some point. Sap is the least important stone on this build's fighter, so if you already had Rally, you should keep Rally and overwrite Sap. Don't overwrite Ward and Reflect. Rally is too valuable to overwrite, even if it isn't necessary for this build.

Regardless of what stats and level your fighter is at, the highest level venue that this team can handle will depend on the mage-tank's level. Keep that in mind if there's a level difference between your fighter and mage-tank. It's possible and very doable to have a lower-leveled fighter than a mage-tank, but if your fighter is higher level... you're not going to get much experience.
Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Guard isn't working! What do I do?

A: Guard, unfortunately, does not have a 100% success rate. It's based on RNG. I seem to remember seeing some older admin comments that suggest that higher DEF helps make Guard more reliable, but it does randomly fail. Running Regenerate, Bolster, and Ward are among some of the contingencies to make a failed Guard less threatening to your run. In all, it's a numbers game. As long as your mage-tank takes most of the hits, you'll be OK. Using Guard at all ensures they will take more hits than your fighter does.

Q: Why and how did you make this build?

A: I personally find it frustrating to have to rely on resets, so I wanted to make an alternative build focused more on staying alive for as long a run as possible. And to why it only uses cheap stones, well, have you seen the price of Eliminates recently?

I initially got the idea to use Anticipate for a mage from tinkering around with "just for fun" coli teams--I tried to make the standard physical tank work (Snappers and Bogsneaks start with Anticipate and Shred), but noticed that the dragon had way too much breath and not enough useful things to do with it. By re-allocating stat points to focus on INT instead, the tank gets a second viable role--as healer--and the mage-tank was born. This build is also greatly inspired by the Workshop Workers build, with the concept of "what if I took the Workshop build and made a variant of it in every single venue, while leveling up, that can train fodder at the same time?

Q: I don't like Golem Workshop. Does this build work in Kelp Beds, too?

A: Yes, this build is fine in Kelp Beds. You can start comfortably training in Kelp Beds when your team reaches level 22. If you plan to stay there all the time as an alternative, you should use an Ice or Lightning element mage-tank and a Plague element fighter, because those elements are more suited to the venue than Wind and Fire are.

That being said, Golem Workshop is really not that scary (especially with this build), and the bosses are worth a LOT if you can get one to drop for you; they're by far the most valuable coliseum drop and can be worth grinding for.

Q: Can I use this build to train a third "perma" dragon?

A: You can; however, Guard and Anticipate work a lot better together when only one dragon is being guarded, because if the third dragon is too high level, enemies will sometimes attack them and divert attacks away from your tank, who wants to be taking hits under the effect of Anticipate to have more breath to heal with. Thus, it's easier to have a low-level "fodder" dragon who will go down after one or two hits. It's more profitable, too, because the whole point of this build was to make exalt training more available and affordable immediately, rather than having to wait until level 25 and special builds.

Q: Can I use a dragon I was training with the Sedona guide as the fighter?

Yes. The stats of the fighter aren't very important. Just make sure you put Ward and Reflect on at some point. Sap is the least important stone on this build's fighter, so if you already had Rally, you should keep Rally and overwrite Sap. Don't overwrite Ward and Reflect. Rally is too valuable to overwrite, even if it isn't necessary for this build.

Regardless of what stats and level your fighter is at, the highest level venue that this team can handle will depend on the mage-tank's level. Keep that in mind if there's a level difference between your fighter and mage-tank. It's possible and very doable to have a lower-leveled fighter than a mage-tank, but if your fighter is higher level... you're not going to get much experience.
Alright, ready to use! OK to post responses! I still need to tinker around with the stat allocation section (and add graphics for readability), but this guide should have enough information to be useful. Please try it out and tell me what you think! While this guide is intended for newbies, if you're a longtime player who wants to try something new, I'd appreciate feedback on the build.
Alright, ready to use! OK to post responses! I still need to tinker around with the stat allocation section (and add graphics for readability), but this guide should have enough information to be useful. Please try it out and tell me what you think! While this guide is intended for newbies, if you're a longtime player who wants to try something new, I'd appreciate feedback on the build.
@Stevanae
Heya! Been checking out your guide for a while while you've been setting up, and I'm definitely going to give this a go and see how it works! ^_^
@Stevanae
Heya! Been checking out your guide for a while while you've been setting up, and I'm definitely going to give this a go and see how it works! ^_^
8o7aQ8a.pnggU2ykYl.pngdgfsdh.pnghfrthrj.pngYR2rm3Z.png
@Stevanae

Oh wow...gonna bookmark this as a possibility for when I train up my next batch of Golem grinders.
@Stevanae

Oh wow...gonna bookmark this as a possibility for when I train up my next batch of Golem grinders.
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