In order for your monsters to gain levels, and therefore power, you must give them experience. They don't earn experience in combat, though. They earn experience via Power-Up Fusion. While Power-Up Fusion is key to building up your power, it can also be quite complex for a new player. I've prepared this Power-Up Fusion guide to help you understand the variables at play, and to start you down the path of maximizing your monster's levels.
Intro to Power-Up Fusion
To get to the Power-Up Fusion screen, tap the "Monster" icon, and then "Power-Up Fusion." This will take you to the "Select Base Monster" screen.
You'll want to pick the monster who you want to level up from your monster box on this screen. Then, you'll see the "Power-Up Fusion" screen:
From here, you can either tap one of the slots under the word "Material" or tap the "Add Many" button to select the monster(s) you wish to fuse your base monster with.
Once you've picked the monsters, you can then tap "Begin Fusion" to carry out the Power-Up Fusion and have your monster's experience increased. The monsters selected for fusion will be consumed in the fusion process, and added to the base monster as experience.
In addition to experience, there are also some side effects of Power-Up Fusion:
- Any "bonus points" or "+1"s will be transferred to the base monster. Some monsters can spawn with a "+1" on them, which gives a boost to their Attack, Recovery, or HP. When you fuse monsters together, this bonus is preserved and the total bonus is applied to the base monster.
- If the base monster has the same "active skill" as any of the monsters it is being fused with, there's a small chance (10-20%) of the active skill gaining a level when the two monsters are fused. This is called "Skill-Up Chance" and is also modified by certain special events.
- If you combine certain monsters together, you can get "Ultimate Evolutions" through Power-Up Fusion. Although most evolutions occur through "Evo Fusion" these Ultimate Evolutions are only available via Power-Up Fusion. This is an advanced topic, though, and we won't be covering it today..
That's the basic flow for Power-Up Fusion, but the devil's in the details, so let's dive into the cost and the gains.
Fusing monsters costs gold. The gold cost is computed using the following formula:
GoldCost = (BaseMonsterStartLevel * 100 * NumberOfFusionMonsters) + (NumberOfBonusPoints * 1000)
Essentially this means a couple of things:
- The lower the monster's level, the cheaper fusion is. As your monster levels up, your gold cost will go up.
- Adding bonus points (ie, if one or more of the monsters involved has a "+1" or other stat increase) drastically increases the gold cost.
The implication of the first is that you should gain as many levels as you can on your base monster at the same time - the more levels you gain via Power-Up Fusion, the more expensive each new Fusion will be. If you have to break a Power-Up Fusion into stages, fuse the monsters that will gain you the minimum amount of experience first.
For example, say you want to fuse your base monster with 2 other monsters with no stat boosts. Let's consider two scenarios:
Scenario 1: Your base monster is level 1, and you fuse it with one monster. The base monster is now level 5. The first Power-Up Fusion cost you 100 gold. Now you fuse again, and your base monster becomes level 7. This second round of Power-Up Fusion cost you 500 gold. The total cost of fusion is 600 gold.
Scenario 2: Your base monster is level 1, and you fuse it with both monsters at once. The single Power-Up Fusion costs you 200 gold - that's 66% cheaper!
Although the gold savings is relatively low in this example, later on when you're fusing frequently, or fusing very high level monsters, these costs can become very high.
Similarly, when dealing with stat boosts, you want to involve them as late as you possibly can to avoid the large penalties per stat boost point.
The main reason why you use Power-Up Fusion monsters is to gain experience. Each monster has several experience-related attributes.
When dealing with the base monster, you're looking for:
- The monster's maximum level. The overall maximum level is 99, but many monsters cap out before this point.
- The monster's experience curve. Different monsters gain levels at different rates. Usually the curve is referenced by the amount of experience it would take to get a monster to level 99. Thus, a "1 mil" experience curve monster would require 1 million experience via Power-Up Fusion to go from level 1 to level 99, assuming its maximum level was 99.
When dealing with the monsters to be fused, you're looking at:
- The monster's experience given per level. Monsters have different amounts of experience that they will grant per-level.
- The monster's current level. This is multiplied by the experience gain per level to give the overall experience gain.
Computing the total experience gain from a round of Power-Up Fusion is simply a matter of multiplying each monster's level by their experience given per level, and then adding them together.
Experience Gain Modifiers
Beyond just monster level and experience given per level, there are a couple of other modifiers involed in the experience formula for Power-Up Fusion.
- One is the element. If the base monster and the monster to be fused are the same element, you'll get a 50% boost to the experience gain in Power-Up Fusion.
- The other is the fusion result. After you tap to start Power-Up fusion, you'll either see Good, Great, or Super. If you get Great, the experience gain is 150% of normal, and if you see Super, you get double the experience.
Experience Gain Formula
Taken all together, here's the formula:
ExpGain = FusionResultModifier * (FeederMonsterLevel1 * FeederMonsterExpGivenPerLevel1 * ElementModifier1 + FeederMonsterLevel2 * FeederMonsterExpGivenPerLevel2 * ElementModifier2 + FeederMonsterLevel3 * FeederMonsterExpGivenPerLevel3 * ElementModifier3 + ... )
The number of terms in the equation depends on how many monsters you've added to the Power-Up Fusion.
Picking Monsters for Power-Up Fusion
Okay, so let's take a quick look back at what we've learned:
- The fewer Power-Up Fusion cycles we take, the cheaper the overall fusion is.
- It takes different amounts of experience to level up different monsters.
- Monsters give different amounts of experience when fused to a base monster.
- The total experience gained is related to the level of the monster being fused
Okay, so how can we use this to max out our Power-Up Fusions? One thing that should stand out is that it might be possible to level up the "feeder" monsters you plan to fuse and get out more experience than you got in!
There are certain monsters in the game that are specifically intended for leveling up other monsters. These monsters are called "Enhance Material". When you see an Enhance Material monster, know that its sole purpose is to be sacrificed during Power-Up Fusion. Many of these start out at the max level already, but some can be leveled before they are used to provide a larger experience gain.
The "classic" example of both of these is the Pengdra. Pengdras (short for Penguin Dragon) give 600 experience per level when fused with a base monster in Power-Up Fusion. However, they use the lowest experience curve (the 1mil curve) and level from 1 to their max level (10) in just 2,556 experience.
If you do the math, this means that if you use a Pengdra in Power-Up Fusion, you will gain 6,000 experience for an investment of 2,556 experience - an increase of 3,444 experience! However, leveling a Pengdra to 10 isn't the most experience-efficient method, as we'll see soon.
Let's cap this off with a handy table of some of the most profitable monsters for this method:
|Class Name||Ideal Level||Experience Required||Experience Given||Experience Gain|
|Moltdra (ie "Red")||10||3,834||12,000||+8,166|
|2-Star Pengdra (ie "Fire")||9||1,903||5,400||+3,497|
|4-Star Demon (ie "Hellfire Pyro")||7||1,391||4,200||+2,809|
|4-Star Chimera (ie "Magma Chimera")||6||1,175||3,300||+2,125|
|4-Star Carbuncle (ie "Mars Light")||6||882||2,700||+1,818|
|3-Star Chimera (ie "Flame")||5||673||2,000||+1,327|
|2-Star Devil (ie "Pyro")||5||505||1,750||+1,245|
Remember that the "experience required to level" curves are exponential, but the "experience given per level" is linear. Thus, many of these monsters will give maximum return on investment at lower levels.
Hitting a level target exactly can be tricky, since most of the levels require very odd amounts of experience, and your monsters give a fairly round amount of experience when they're used as fodder. Experience towards the next level is wasted in a feeder monster, but optimizing it may be impossible.
If gold is more a concern than maxing your experience gain, you may wish to exceed the "ideal levels" I've given in the table above. I've listed the ideal levels from a return on experience invested, but for some it may make more sense, to say, level a Pengdra to 10 in order to get a bit more experience out of a single round of Power-Up Fusion, even though going from level 9 to level 10 requires more experience than what you get out (652 experience in for 600 experience out).
Ideal candidates for leveling your "feeder monsters" are:
- Enhance Material monsters that are already at the max level. A Metal Dragon gives 1,000 experience, for instance, so 3 of those in a single Power-Up Fusion would be more than enough to level a Pengdra.
- Monsters lower on the table. Since they're already good feeder monsters, you might as well stack the experience gain bonuses!
If you think ahead a bit and use some careful planning, you can easily max out your experience gains from Power-Up Fusion. It may seem like an arcane art at first, but you'll quickly find it's simpler than you think, and there are many tricks you can use to your advantage. Hopefully our Power-Up Fusion guide has steered you on the path of powerful high-level monsters.
- The PAD Wikia contains many useful articles that can further explain Power-Up Fusion as well as other game mechanics. It's a veritable treasure trove of information!
- The Unofficial Puzzle and Dragons Database can tell you the stats for every monster in the game, and it's where I gathered data such as the experience given per level for each monster.
- The Puzzle and Dragon forum provided feedback and corrections for this article.