All Aboard! Getting on the LL Train - A 4-to-5 Star Strategy

AdeptusRevolt
AdeptusRevolt Posts: 81 Match Maker
edited January 2023 in MPQ Tips and Guides

While the 300-pull hoarding strategy gets talked about a lot (now closer to 250, as JustSing has pointed out here) there is another 5 star transition strategy that doesn't seem to get talked about as much - The Lastest Legends Train.

Why the LL Train

The LL Train doesn't require as much hoarding to get started (unless you want to be certain to champ all 3 latest) and removes the question of "Do I break hoard for these 3, or the next 3, or the next 3?" You just get on and keep up with the infinity train of latest legends releases, champing each one from that point forward.

In brief, instead of hoarding to 250/300, you pull from the Latest Legends store each rotation with the goal of fully covering (13 covers) the character about to rotate out. Any 5 star covers that are not for the soon-to-leave character are still building momentum for staying on top of the latest releases.

Choo-choo Choosing the Train: Pros and Cons

The benefits to the LL Train are ease of transition to 5 champing (or just collecting 13 covers) of 5 stars, with less hoarding pressure and fewer decisions. Once on the train, whenever the next meta 5 star comes out, you already have the plan to champ them!

The downside to the LL Train is that you are primarily focused on the latest releases, and classics are a secondary goal - but you will still be ramping up your classics at the same time. There is also, as always, a risk that bad cover distribution will make a character harder to collect than others.

Also, if you want to hoard to get to 550's - you will probably need to step off the train to hoard again.

This method relies on regular, consistent play to keep your momentum up. If you're just playing DDQ daily and not making progression each PvE event, this probably won't work.

Your Ticket to Ride - Preparing to Get on the LL Train

What do you need to get on the train? Here's my suggestions:

1) A Good Alliance to Get Boss Covers. Getting those 2 boss covers in progression are key to making this easy
2) Progression in PvE in SCL10. This nets you about 2 - 2.5 covers in shards for each new release
3) Income of 100+ pulls a month in LLS and CP. I play PvP to the first CP award (SCL10) and get progression in PvE and that seems to be more than enough.
4) All 4 stars rostered. You're gonna get a lot of 4 stars. Make sure you can at least save them.
5) (Good-to Have) At least half of your 4 stars champed. The 4 star champ rewards are going to help with your income. This is based on the idea that if 50% of your 4 star pulls from the LL store are champed, you can get an extra 20% of pull-equivalents from LLs and CP in champ rewards. Having more or fewer will only affect how much extra you have, and how much of a cushion you have for staying on the train.

Side Note: The original advice for 300 pulls for an LL hoard bust (as I recall) assumed 50% 4 star champs so that your 300 pulls were actually closer to 360. However, the simulations that found 250 is a rather safe number do not assume any 4 star champ rewards!

You will need some CP/LLs to start, but not necessarily 250 or 300 pulls. I would guess at least 100 would be ideal. If you were hoarding, or do a hoard bust, you can roll right into staying on the train. The lower your starting resources, the more likely the first to rotate out might be undercovered.

Also, if you are planning to make the jump on the train soon, do not spend the 5 star shards for the latest characters. The shards are an insurance policy.

I Think I Can, I Think I Can - Making the Jump on the Train

You will want to plan when to jump on the train. If you want to do this without a full 250-hoard bust, plan when the character you really, really want is not about to rotate out.

For example, I got on the train when Gargantos/KK/mThor were on the train. KK and mThor were my goal, Gargantos was a nice-to-have. I was willing to sacrifice Gargantos and started my run knowing that I might not cover him. I did not have even 200 pulls, but had a few covers on each.

Your first goal is to get the next-rotating latest to 13 covers (counting feeders, any remaining PvE runs that you may not have claimed yet). Pull until you reach this goal OR until the "middle" (next to next to rotate out) hits 13 covers (again, counting unclaimed feeder covers/shards).

In my case, Gargantos did end up getting to 13 covers. In fact, he's got 5 saved covers over his 13 (I am still short on ISO to champ him) but I've gotten everyone to 13 covers since his release. But if he had rotated out with only 10 covers or so, I'd have been fine. I was willing to sacrifice champing him (in the nearish term) to make sure I got 13 covers on KK and mThor.

I'm Gonna Ride Forever - Staying on the Train

Staying on the train is relatively simple - each time the LL store rotates, pull until the next-to-rotate-out character gets to 13.

Don't spend 5 star shards until you have 13 combined covers and shards! This is important for leveling out badly distributed pulls. It also gives you some control on what your not-yet-champed characters powers will be.

You don't have to champ them! If you want to soft-cap, or are still in an ISO desert, don't champ every single character, but at least you have them ready if they are found to be useful or meta.

A fellow member of AEGIS who tracks his progress found that he never needed more than 129 pulls to stay on the train - and they've been riding for quite a while. Often it is considerably less.** Tracking your progress the first month or two can really help you get a sense of your income and how many pulls you need to conserve for future rotations.
**
You can favorite a classic 5, and you still should have CP in excess (most of the time) necessary to keep riding. This can be used for special stores to target classics that you are also working on... you should not need to favorite any of the LLs unless you slip off the train or have really terrible luck in your pulls.

Release stores are of particular interest, since one of the 5 stars will be coming to your LL train in the future. So any time you pull the new release, you have already gotten one of the covers you need for staying on the train in the future.

When it Gets Slippery

Things won't always go as planned. Another AEGIS member recently had Arcade up to 10/1/1 before they finally started getting the other powers.

Here's some thoughts on mitigating bad distribution:

  • You may need to adjust your goal, character by character. If the next one to rotate out is not getting covers, maybe getting to 10+ is good enough. You can set them as a favorite, they will get a feeder eventually, and there will be other opportunities to get more covers for them. But if it is a promising meta-type, maybe its worth it to push for more pulls.
  • Save your shards. Again... these help a lot with balancing the powers
  • Use your favorites at the 3 & 4 star tier - change your favorites to get the next LL or CP reward to help boost your income. Consider going further in PvP if you are having a string of bad pulls.

Like any push-your-luck game, you will have to make tough decisions at times. When Immortal She-Hulk and Phoenix Emma were about to rotate out, She-Hulk had 18 covers and Phoenix Emma was 150 shards short of 13. I decided to let them rotate and make up the shards/cover for Emma later, rather than risk even more resources. As it turns out, I got the last Emma cover from the first Year Vault the day they rotated out.

Share any other advice, recommendations or experiences with the train! There are a lot of finer details I'm probably glossing over.

This topic was also discussed in this thread: https://forums.d3go.com/discussion/81450/grand-experiment-2-treading-water-in-the-scl-10-post-shardpocalypse/p1

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Comments

  • Phumade
    Phumade Posts: 2,473 Chairperson of the Boards

    I really like this guide. Yes its all obvious statements to those that have completed their transition, but accurately stated and well written.

  • WilliamK1983
    WilliamK1983 Posts: 674 Critical Contributor

    I was enjoying a nice ride aboard the train. I was new to that mode of transport, on it for maybe five or six stops(character rotations). I guess the conductor didn't like the cut of my jib because he asked me to disembark at Grand Central Station(double character rotation). Now I just have to figure out the best way to resume my trip 🤔

  • KGB
    KGB Posts: 2,876 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited January 2023

    Been riding this train myself now for the last 18 months or so as I finish my way though the 4 star realm.

    Its been made a lot easier with the new boss covers and all the feeder updates. I think around 140 to 150 covers keeps it running.

    The only time I didn't cover a character was chasm where I was in a dreadful 5 star drought over 200ish tokens where I was under 10 percent draw rate. I ended up with only 9 covers for him that I got up to 12 now once he got a feeder. So just be aware u can miss characters even with 200 draws under this method.

    KGB

  • HoundofShadow
    HoundofShadow Posts: 8,004 Chairperson of the Boards

    I've been on this train since Wanda/Colossus/Ronan(?) Days. I would probably add tracking average LT and CP for a month or so, so that you can determine whether you've excess for special stores that pop up unannounced.

  • Sp1d3r
    Sp1d3r Posts: 186 Tile Toppler

    This is very interesting.. I have only just started hoarding on the 1st of this month for the 300 pull method currently I have 33LLs and 667 cps. I'll definitely be buying a ticket and giving this train a ride once I get to 150 pulls
    Thanks.

  • atomzed
    atomzed Posts: 1,753 Chairperson of the Boards

    I think this post is good enough to be pin! It’s going to be very useful for newcomers transiting to 5*.

  • froggerjohn
    froggerjohn Posts: 373 Mover and Shaker

    Great job on this, and well-written. I tried to jump on awhile back, but pulled 200+ and got only 5 Sersi. Then I skipped Elektra to help rebuild, and later regretted that. (Fortunately was able to finish her during Shardmas, but Sersi will still be a struggle). Now I have enough resources to cover them all going forwards, and I think the best part about this concept is "no regrets". Some characters aren't always obvious that they'll be useful, and/or they develop their niche later on due to new partners or opponents. Thus, picking up everyone helps ensure that you'll be better prepared for the future.

    Thanks also to the devs for the increased boss, retro, and other rewards that help make this a viable strategy.

  • Sekilicious
    Sekilicious Posts: 1,766 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited January 2023

    I’m going to leave this thread in general until everyone gets a chance to comment. After I’m going to move and pin it in guides. Good stuff here

  • AdeptusRevolt
    AdeptusRevolt Posts: 81 Match Maker

    Updated a few places with bits of information, and included a link to the Grand Experiment 2 thread where this was also discussed.

  • Ruinate
    Ruinate Posts: 528 Critical Contributor

    I also ride the train. Gotta champ 'em all and I can't hoard. Dopamine feels good.

  • dramatist
    dramatist Posts: 216 Tile Toppler

    I’ve been doing this for a long time. The goal is to at least baby champ every 5* before they drop into Classics. I used to have bad luck with some and not finish them but with the boss events and feeders now I have pulls left over.

    The last couple of times I have just quick opened 50 Latest Legends the day of the rotation and have been able to champ every new 5* before they rotate out.

    I have recently started spending 500 cp on Classics for every 1000 cp I earn. I’m sitting on 4100 cp which is the most I’ve ever saved.

    I also don’t like hoarding for long periods, but I can handle opening Latests monthly, especially when I also open Classics about every three weeks.

  • Daredevil217
    Daredevil217 Posts: 3,878 Chairperson of the Boards

    I’d add that milestone shards can be crucial to help balance bad builds or to fill out your classics backlog.

    I’m also a champ em all guy and with this method once you get your farms running it’s easy to stay on top of baby champing AND hoard for special stores, release stores, fan faves, etc. which is really nice to fill out the backlog or push some of those baby champs up higher. Or conversely so you can use the extra income to push a certain set a little higher than baby. But that’s down the road once you’ve been on the train for a good bit.

  • DAZ0273
    DAZ0273 Posts: 9,487 Chairperson of the Boards

    I seem to be on this train without realising. I certainly hope that it will be a good way to chu chu choose how I move forward.

  • ThaRoadWarrior
    ThaRoadWarrior Posts: 9,100 Chairperson of the Boards

    This thread meanders far less than the stream of consciousness Grand Experiment ones I had going. I hope it helps people who want to move up.

  • CHRISJN
    CHRISJN Posts: 102 Tile Toppler

    @Ruinate said:
    I also ride the train. Gotta champ 'em all and I can't hoard. Dopamine feels good.

    Saw your name, and looking back, thanks for your advice before, where i took a jump from 4* to 5* land. To champ OML as my 1st. Then the rest is history. I now have 64 5* champed characters. Don't know if you remember me lol. Anyway I am also riding this LL train and at the same time slowly giving some love to my classic 5's.

  • jsmjsmjsm00
    jsmjsmjsm00 Posts: 268 Mover and Shaker

    In this thread from back in like August this strategy is already discussed with math from myself and some others.

    https://forums.d3go.com/discussion/87214/number-of-pulls-needed-to-cover-all-3-latest-5-s/p1

  • Sekilicious
    Sekilicious Posts: 1,766 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited January 2023

    The justsing thread is pinned in the Tips and Guides sub forum as well. This thread is not closed. I left a redirect link on the main page when I moved it to Tips and Guides.

  • GrimSkald
    GrimSkald Posts: 2,469 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited January 2023

    This is solid advice. I have been playing the game since before there were 5 stars, so have both a relatively complete 5 star roster and enough LT/CP income to champ each 5 star as they come -- I pull in a way that is almost exactly like this. It seems obvious to me, but I've been playing the game for a long time and put (probably much too much) thought into how to play the game, so as I said, it's great advice.

    In my case my general rules are to pull until the next-to-rotate-out 5star is at the level I want them to be. Are they "use when boosted?" Get 'em a few extra levels, usually around 5. Are they "use only when featured?" Champ them, nothing more. Are they "will frequently come in handy even when not boosted (Chasm, MThor, SW?)" Pull until out of LTs and CP!

    As you say, don't spend shards until you know where they need to go, though if I'm going to keep pulling after I champ them I'll sometimes spend some of the early shards just to be able to use the 5star more when they're featured in PVE.

    Likewise, when an LT store comes along with a character or two you want to increase, go for it, but be very judicious. You don't want to hamstring yourself if the next LL is particularly good. Still, a little indulgence is fun.

    Speaking for myself, I am not looking to enter 550 MMR, so my goal is to get the best 5stars as high as I can get them. This way I will hopefully have a high version of the best 5star out of the current boosted lot, which is honestly more fun than running the same team all the time. If you're in a good position to do so, I'd definitely recommend the "LL Train," it's the best way to cover a (hopefully) ever-changing Meta.

  • AdeptusRevolt
    AdeptusRevolt Posts: 81 Match Maker
    edited January 2023

    @jsmjsmjsm00 said:
    In this thread from back in like August this strategy is already discussed with math from myself and some others.

    https://forums.d3go.com/discussion/87214/number-of-pulls-needed-to-cover-all-3-latest-5-s/p1

    That's why I linked to it (twice) in the post. My goal was to lay out the idea for players looking ahead for a strategy since I've seen so many asking for guidance on which 3 Latest to bust a hoard for... you don't really need to choose, and you don't really need 300 pulls (or the full 250, for that matter).

    Now we have a link to send them to explain this approach :)

  • Ruinate
    Ruinate Posts: 528 Critical Contributor

    @CHRISJN said:

    Saw your name, and looking back, thanks for your advice before, where i took a jump from 4* to 5* land. To champ OML as my 1st. Then the rest is history. I now have 64 5* champed characters. Don't know if you remember me lol. Anyway I am also riding this LL train and at the same time slowly giving some love to my classic 5's.

    I do remember you. I don't remember giving you that advice though, lol. I thought we were in the same place roster wise. The game's gotten so much better. I wish I kept playing. Being back in iso drought feels bad.