Dragonvale Breeding: Math is hard y’all

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I recently had a debate with a long time DragonVale breeder, and was surprised to find our difference of opinion about the best pairs for breeding.  To me, it all comes down to breeding efficiency and like I previously mentioned, I love this kind of analysis.  For every dragon, I want to go through the least number of attempts, and I want to complete all necessary attempts as fast as possible.  Invariably, there is always more breeding I could be doing, even though I tend to sit fairly close to a complete set most of the time.  To make this possible, you need to use some of the great tools other folks have created, and perform some of your own analysis.  A practical example is as follows:

Target Dragon: Gold Olympus Dragon

Gold Olympus Dragon

 

 

 

 

Maybe like me, you’ve found this little pain in the butt difficult to acquire.  So, what the best breeding pair to get the Gold Olympus Dragon?  Well, if you are a minimalist, you might check the Dragonvale Wiki and determine that your breeding parents need only have the elements of Earth, Lightning, and Air.  So, Quake + Air or Sonic + Earth would be best, right?  Wrong, and I’ll show you why.

Step 1: Check the DragonVale Breeding Sandbox

 

It has a lot to offer.  If you click on the “Combo Finder” and select Gold Olympus, you’ll see the brilliant breeders have devised a way to make head to head comparisons of basically all possible breeding combinations for a given dragon.  A couple of things to notice:

  • Gold Olympus is an Epic Dragon, so the Epic Breeding Island gives you a better chance of breeding it, per attempt.
  • All combinations of breeding parents have the same chance of breeding this dragon.
  • What differentiates pairs is not their chance to breed successfully, but the average breeding time of failed attempts!

 

Step 2: Pick the fastest pair you have

 

Now let’s take a look back at the pairs we had on the table.

Quake + Air

If you happened to choose this pair, you didn’t do to bad.

Average Failed Breeding Duration: 9.09 hrs

Success Rate (w/ EBI): 18%

Overall average time to get 1 success:  (18 successes / 100 attempts ) x ( 1 attempt / 9.09 hrs) = 0.198 success / hr or 1 success/ 50.5 hrs

Sonic + Earth

If you flipped a coin and chose this pair instead, bad news for you.  This combo is one of the worst.

Average Failed Breeding Duration: 10.46 hrs

Success Rate (w/ EBI): 18%

Overall average time to get 1 success: 1 success / 58.11 hrs

 

Blazing + Quake (see Sandbox for other equivalents)

What if you went a little crazy and tried this unlikely pair.

Average Failed Breeding Duration: 7.54 hrs

Success Rate (w/ EBI): 18%

Overall average time to get 1 success: 1 success / 41.89 hrs

 


Depending on your coin toss earlier, you save between 8.6 and 16.2 hours.  Bear in mind that these time all assume that you are ever present, restarting the breeding after every failed attempt.  When you add in realistic wait periods for sleeping and life, the faster breeding choice could save you a day or more of time spent hunting this elusive creature.  Suffice it to say, not all breeding pairs are created equal, and it pays to do your research before getting started.

I’ll leave you with the one small footnote, that Olympus dragons have the extra frustration inducing characteristic that each success only give you a chance at the dragon you are seeking.  The distribution isn’t known, but gold is the rarest.  So if, like me, you are seeking the rarest of the bunch, with the fastest pair above you get a shot at success on average once every 42 hours.  Those 8.6 hours really start to add up, when it may take you 10, 20, or more chances to get the coveted Gold Olympus.