How does Ranked PvP matchmaking work?

So I’m fairly new to the game. Been playing about 3 weeks. For a variety of reasons (mainly option paralysis), while I have a LOT of troops, almost none of them have been leveled at all and I am hoarding souls until I can figure out how to spend them.

I have leveled 2 cards one level (to level 2) and one card to level 20 (the one Mythic I pulled). I have also put a couple of level 1 traits on a couple of cards and have exactly one card with a level 2 trait as well. On top of this, I have ascended everything every chance I’ve gotten. Finally, my character is somewhere between level 60 and 70. I don’t remember exactly, and I don’t want to open the game to check. But yeah, like 64 or something.

This leads my teams to have between 1k and 2k “score.” If I just dump a crapton of Legendaries in with my level 20 Mythic, I can get up to about 2400 or so. The highest “score” team I’ve been able to make has been under 2500 score…but it was garbage. I obviously haven’t tried every combo of all my cards, cause that’s a lot of combos, but I’m fairly certain that 2400 is roughly my highest team score.

So, my question, why are my choices in ranked PvP 2000+, 4000+ and 4000+? At first I thought it was that the game just didn’t matchmake based on anything but ranked rating, but, I NEVER run into low scored teams anymore, so that can’t be it. And the issue here is that generally the left most team (the one with the lowest score…which is still almost always at least a couple hundred points above my team) is only worth 10ish rank points…and the other teams generally have quadruple my attack and at least quadruple my health totals…sometimes more.

In other words, if I want to have ANY chance of victory, at all, even a little, the left most choice is the ONLY option I can pick and even that will often beat me quite soundly.

So why I am getting ranked up against such highly leveled/scored teams? Why are my middle and right option almost always teams where every character is level 10+ has multiple traits, and is almost exclusively legendaries/epics/mythics? Why aren’t I fighting against other teams of low level troops? Did I completely screw myself by leveling a single troop to 20? Is that going to cause me to always be matched against extremely high level/score teams for forever, even when that troop isn’t in my team (cause he’s not great for PvP)? So I have any options here or am I just screwed for a couple of weeks/months until I get the good cards AND level them AND unlock their traits?

The worst part is that this experience has made me fearful of leveling anyone else. Will I start fighting even MORE ridiculous teams if I level other cards? I mean, at times it seems pretty unlikely that teams could be any more ridiculous, but usually the 4k+ score teams don’t have EVERY troop at 20 or fully traited or legendary/epic. So yeah, it COULD be worse. And if leveling my one troop to 20 caused this, what sort of horrors await me if I level more guys?

So yeah, the game is RAPIDLY losing ALL appeal as PvP is the only truly rewarding portion of this game (1 good game of PvP is worth about as much gold as a dozen or more Explorations and isn’t any more challenging). And that’s not counting the rank rewards or the weekly PvP event. So any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

I’m not going to comment on how Ranked matchmaking works; there are a number of threads speculating in that direction and it’s general anecdotal observation… and guesswork. Instead I notice you mentioned:

[quote=“DragonDai, post:1, topic:18837, full:true”]
I have leveled 2 cards one level (to level 2) and one card to level 20 (the one Mythic I pulled). I have also put a couple of level 1 traits on a couple of cards and have exactly one card with a level 2 trait as well. On top of this, I have ascended everything every chance I’ve gotten. Finally, my character is somewhere between level 60 and 70. [/quote]

… that you are entering PvP using unlevelled, Level 2 troops paired with an untraited Level 20 Mythic? Oh my.

You don’t say which Mythic it is, but I think most of the problem is that the power rating of the Mythic does jack up the team rating of your troops… without adding any value to your actual team strength.

At your level, you shouldn’t be using any Mythics at all when they are untraited: Simply because your mana mastery is low and the Mythic requires way too much mana for you to cast it. At a minimum, you will require a gem transformer to help fill up the Mythic more rapidly. Examples of excellent gem transformers are Valkyrie (creates Souls & Blue) and Hellcat (creates Red and random damage).

Rather than use the Mythic, the devs have said in general that they expect most players under Level 100 to be using their Hero as their topmost tank card. The Hero classes and the unlockable weapons are quite strong in the right team.

For PvP to be enjoyable, though, your troops will have to be strong enough to withstand at least 2 to 4 attacks each. At your level it is more important for you to level your main offensive troops to at least Level 12 to 15 before taking them into play.

If you’re having trouble choosing, then think about levelling some good inexpensive troops like these (listed not in any particular order… I would choose the ones to use by color synergy preference):

Valkyrie (#1 priority)
Druid
Boar Rider
Mercy
Hellcat
Giant Spider
Soothsayer
Spirit Fox
Goblin Rocket
Herdmaster
Sabertooth Lion
Mist Stalker
Rowanne
Rakshanin
Scale Guard
Wraith
Crimson Bat

and if you have it, another blue-based damaging troop like Emperor Khorvash or Treant or Shadow-Hunter or Astral Spirit.

Your team becomes:
Hero
Blue Troop (Does damage)
Valkyrie
Support troop that cleanses/ Heals/ Does damage

If you have The Dragon Soul (TDS) you can replace Valkyrie with him. He generates mana for everyone plus he does AOE damage. Keep in mind though that TDS is rather slower to fill than Valkyrie… Your starter team could be dead before he gets off his first cast.

Choose a weapon for your topmost Hero tank that minimizes blocking the mana colors of the troops below him, and you’ll be good to go forth and conquer Krystara :slight_smile:

Hope that helps?

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Sorry, I wasn’t clear. I have a level 20 Mythic troop. I never ever ever use him in PvP as he is clunky and slow. He’s the undead god guy from the undead place (sorry, not at my game atm and can’t look up his name). Divine Undead, makes 20 souls and does damage based on souls when he attacks.

I leveled him because he’s great for farming souls. A bit slow, but once I get the souls, he one-shots anything that Quests or Exploration (on Normal) can throw at me. So I figured I’d level him to give him the HP/Armor to stay alive while I got him his mana 4-5 times. And when I use him I have gem transformers to help with the issue (along with Necromancy traited dudes).

But yeah, I NEVER use him in PvP. Not just because he’s slow and clunky, but because at least for as long as I’ve been playing, he never synergized with the week’s PvP Event Troop.

But yeah, my teams strength changes nothing. If I grab four green level 1s (I have no more whites as I’ve ascended everything at least once thanks to my guild raining gold keys), my score is like 1400ish. If I grab my two level 2 guys (both epic) and 2 legendaries at level 1, I get a score of like low 2k. If I throw the Mythic guy in in place of one of those Legendaries, my score shoots up to about 2.4-2.5k. But the teams I’m allowed to fight remain consistent. 2-3k on the far left (the “easy” team), 4k+ in the middle and 4k+ on the right (usually 5-6k, but sometimes the middle is two very similarly scored teams of mid-high 4k).

In other words, the game doesn’t seem to be actually looking at my team’s score at all, and only at my theoretical best score. Or something near that at least.

As for your list of troops. I got all the base common and uncommon ones…and somehow almost none of the others…I have a lot of troops, but apparently I am missing the “good blue/purples” lol Oh well, I’m sure that will fix itself eventually. Mercy looks good! And yeah, Dragon Soul seems crazy OP, at least at lower levels. Too bad I don’t have him either (or the Bat or the Rakshanin or the Hellcat or Rowanne or Herdmaster)

As for your help, it’s greatly appreciated! :smiley: You took the time to write up a really nice summary on some of the better troops and try to help answer my question, so thank you very very much.

I’m convinced nobody know for sure exactly how PvP matchmaking works (even the devs, at this point).

There have been many, many anecdotal reports that using a lower score defense team will lower the score of the average team you are offered in matchmaking. Official Dev word is that defense team has no effect, and your average invade team strength over time is what determines your matchmaking, along with your current PvP rank. Based on what I’ve seen, I’m more included to believe the former rather than the latter, but even that is sketchy. There have to be more factors at play. I know for a fact I’ve seen three offers of <5k score on my completely maxed out account, while often seeing 8k-9k+ on my low level account is pretty suspect otherwise.

For what I have observed, any bonus that affects your score (gaining hero levels, leveling a kingdom to 10) also affects your matchmaking. Bare minimum, this changes how much gold you are offered for a team of a given strength. Stuff that was “above” or “equal” your maximum potential score gives less gold, while stuff “below” your maximum potential score gives more gold. As your global score bonuses rise, your average offered matchmaking will rise with it. I’ve noticed that every hero level below level 1000 adds a bit to your score, regardless if you use your hero and regardless if they get any skill points - presumably from the mastery points, but mastery points from other sources don’t add to your score, so as far as matchmaking goes, leveling is still “bad”.

If matchmaking is by maximum team score potential, by the way, traits hurt you a lot more than having a single level 20 mythic in this regard, because they often add a ton of score to your team. Any troop of a given current rarity (regardless of current rarity) and a certain number of troops in a team of a certain size will always add the same amount of score. A single fully traited troop in any team versus one that has no traits, if they are equal level, is a 450 point difference regardless of their base or current rarity or your level. First traits add 50 points, second traits add 150 points, and third traits add 250 points. The difference in score between a fully traited team and an untraited one is 1800 points, which is more than the difference in score between two teams of equal traits but one having unlocked every bonus including guild bonuses and one that has no guild bonuses and only a few five star kingdoms. The difference is score between a level 19 legendary and level 20 mythic, with every single bonus unlocked, is only 70 points. And over half of that is just the troop being currently of mythic rarity on top of that.

If the whole “maximum team score potential” is to be believed, fully traiting anything that you have four copies of and have fully leveled will automatically put your “score potential” at 1800 points higher, because you could technically make a team with four of that one troop. All things being equal, you’d probably get more score out of, for example, a fully traited Soothsayer at level 17 or 18 than your level 20 untraited Pharos-Ra for any given team. Even if the rest of the team is three more Soothsayers. It would actually be kind of laughable if it does actually works this way, as fully traiting any low rarity troop would have this same effect.

All that being said, I wouldn’t worry too much about leveling or traiting stuff. I’ve been unable to confirm the whole “maximum team potential” thing one way or the other. Based on what I’ve seen, only your global score modifiers (hero level, kingdom bonuses, guild bonuses) strongly affect this, and even then, the matches you are offered are heavily random.

In my experience, if you are low level will get a ton of matches that are much stronger than you as the “hard”, and occasionally the “medium” placement. Regardless of what you do. Especially the rightmost match, which usually has a couple thousand points over even my “soothsayer brigade”.

All hope is not lost, though. Even without a “meta” team, you can build some low level teams that are quite effective.

On my side account, while I was extremely low level, I use this team to great effectiveness:
Dragon Eggs
Dragotaur
Dragonian Rogue (Dragonette if you dont have him, but D. Rogue is much better, maybe use Pharos Ra if you dont have D. Rogue)
Baby Dragon

The basic configuration is at least 3 dragons from Dragon’s Claw, one being Dragotaur, one being D. Rogue if you have it. Despite being a summoner, I put eggs up front here because he can usually stall one more skull hit while Dragotaur buffs up the team. Once you buff a couple times, you can usually finish anything off by matching skulls. D. Rogue hits from the rear and similarly can one-shot if you have enough purples in range of the spell. The team is most effective with at least Dragotaur and Dragonian Rogue, since they can bounce back and forth on casts due to their board destroy spells, usually only stopping to have to match an odd gem.

There are other configurations you can use with this. You can also use a crude club Warlord up front instead of Baby Dragon, moving eggs to the second slot. He won’t get buffs from the Dragotaur, but starts off hitting hard and lasts just as long as Eggs if you level the Warlord class. My preference is to use a Wight in the back for soul generation and to get more purple on the board for D. Rogue, a legendary dragon from another kingdom if you have one and can cover the colors, or something like Dryad instead of eggs toward the rear of your team. Due to the kingdom bonuses and massive buffs from Dragotaur, this team is capable of taking out stuff much stronger team, and on a budget - I still have this team set up in my first slot, and I still have Dragon Eggs at level 6, Rogue at 5, and Dragotaur at 15, with Wight only max leveled and traited so he can get more souls. You can unlock the “bond” traits if you want for a bit more survivablilty, and Wight’s traits are all good, but otherwise don’t bother.

This configuration might not work against the rightmost option when it decides to spit out teams with over three times your score, but I’ve found it is solid enough to take out the middle option, often while being at a score deficit of over 1500 points.

Though if you let me know what legendaries you do have, I may be able to help with a better team with Pharos Ra. Right now, I’m picturing something like Zombie, Giant Spider, Valk, Pharos-Ra. At low level PvP, that should be enough for him to one-shot, you have a summoner, and with the right set up, Pharos-Ra can take out half a team after minimal setup (charge valk > valk fills spider > spider fills Pharos > Pharos fills himself and clears off most the remaining gems). You’d want necromancy on the Zombie and Magic Link on the Spider and Water Link on Valk if possible, but the team should work with most of them at relatively low level since it works kind of like a loop. You can let the zombie die over taking skulls early on, the necromancy should still work.

FYI, if you are interested in using Rowanne, she is available at the end of the Forest of Thorns questline.

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  1. i dont think using a mythic harms you with a harder pvp matchmaking, neither will harm you leveling/traiting troops, all those factors will have impact on the weakest enemy you are offered with (assuming the weakest offered is something around your actual team score) but not the hader two

  2. here is what i think is most reliable info about match making i could find so far
    The New Defend Meta
    im not gonna explain this to not make too much mess but i believe it is very right… unless devs changed something from that time until now

  3. the reason you are facing harder opponents i think is your account level which is unavoidable (perhaps guild bonus too?)
    -to be more precise i think there exist some level brackets and you just advanced recently to a higher level bracket meeting higher levels (pay attention to that and let us know is this correct please :slight_smile: )

thats all i can find for now however, @Mithran might be also correct on this:

Thanks to both Annaerith and Mithran for some really good posts. I caught these JUST before bed, but I’ll get up tomorrow early and get my collection uploaded to the wiki site thing and post it here. Thanks again! :smiley: