Scouting Boxes – Advanced Topics [May, 2019]

So uh, remember my original [Scouting Boxes – Advanced Topics] back in January 2019? Well, I actually thought I can use that post as a foundation and make minor updates new scouting campaigns are introduced to the game.

Oh, how naive I was…

From April onwards, there was… quite a change in the scouting box campaigns that everything I wrote back there kinda became irrelevant now. So instead of trying to add updates to confuse you guys, I figured I’d just make a new one to summarize the state of scouting boxes in SIF as of May 2019.

Let’s get to it.


Foreword

As mentioned above, this article is an updated version of the original [Scouting Boxes – Advanced Topics] back in January 2019. That article (and in turn, this one as well) aims to cover the more nuanced feature of scouting boxes in the current state of the game.

If you don’t already have a firm grasp of how most scouting boxes behave, I highly recommend you read my previous post on the Basics of Scouting Boxes.
(For the most part, this one is still pretty relevant, but if you think there is anything new worth mentioning over there, please let me know in the comments below)


Main Box Update Trend

In the JP version of the game, new card sets are being released in batches, each containing a specific number of card rarities in each set (see this section in the old article for more info). However, currently, the WW version of the game is, somehow, speeding to catch up with JP version of the game (don’t ask me for the reason; that’s another whole can of worms I’m not gonna touch). To do this, it changes the release pattern of new cards sets as follows:

Aqours Releases

Aqours’s new card set is still being released in two batches… except the batches are added to the game at the same time. If you notice the Scouting Tab for Aqours, you may notice that there are two “HONOR” scouting buttons. This is another section added for the additional batch of new cards.

The reason for two Honor Scouting buttons is so that the rate up for each new cards will not interrupt with each other. As far as I know, the pool of the cards on both tabs are ENTIRELY the same; the only difference is the rate up for respective banner cards. If you are looking to pick up certain cards in the new set, be sure to check that you are on the correct rate up banner.

µ’s Releases

Previously, for µ’s side, a set is divided into 4 batches. But in order to speed up the release, batch one and two are combined into one, and vice versa for batch three and four.

The batch consolidation came in the middle of the Fruity Swimsuit set when the Maki UR and Eri SSR batches were already introduced. Nico UR and Hanayo SSR batches were combined and released at the same time in the middle of the previous Event.

!!! UPDATE !!!

Much like Aqours’s side, µ’s new batches will also come in two, separated into two different Honor Scouting tabs, each with different rate ups for different banner-featured cards as shown below:

So with this little update, I think we can finally conclude now that the set release pattern will look like this:

\\\ UPDATE ///


Mastering the BOX Scouting

The BOX Scouting Mechanic has been fundamentally improved, and at the time of this writing, Nozomi’s 2018 Birthday BOX Scouting is likely going to be the last ever BOX with 200 Cards. And furthermore, the “Illusion of a Guarantee” risk is pretty much entirely gone, since these BOXes no longer have “randomized Limited URs” in them.
(If you don’t understand what I was talking about, that’s okay, because that mechanic is no longer relevant to the current version of the game.)

In any case, this is what you should know about the current state of BOX Scouting in the game.


100 Cards ; Guaranteed Limited UR of your Dream

At the time of this writing (May 2019), Limited BOX Scoutings in the foreseeable future have a total of 100 cards, with a fixed number of card rarities, in it. Before you start, the game will let you specify the Limited UR from the banner that you want. This means that, even in the absolutely worst case scenario that you have to scout every cards in the BOX, you are still guaranteed to get the Limited UR if you have the resources to empty it. And for those of you who are lazy to do your own calculations, in order to empty the BOX, you need:

  1. 500 Love Gems for 100 Solos, OR
  2. 455 Love Gems for 9 Scout 11’s, plus one remainder Solo
    (More on the BOX Scouting tactics below)

Due to its “damage control” nature, this BOX is highly recommended for “Collection Players” looking to get their best girl’s limited cards since it helps guarantee the acquisition of a card, provided you have enough resource.

Unfortunately… that’s just about where the good thing about this mechanic ends because this BOX comes with a very crippling downside, which is…


No Rarity Guarantee

Because there is a fixed amount of each card rarity in the BOX, Scout 11 in this particular type of box does NOT guarantee SR or above. This means that it is very possible for your Scout 11 results to yield entirely R cards.

Due to this risk, it is NOT recommended to scout in BOX scouting if your goal is to get a lot of “non-R” cards.


So… is it worth scouting in these BOXes??

BOX Scouting is a massive resource sink that provides ‘certainty’; a very rare commodity in a gasha game. As such, it is a great mechanic, but if you do not have the resource to master it, it can devour your investment while giving you back very little.

As such, I would like to give some guidelines as to whether or not you should try your luck with a featured BOX Scouting.

Attempt a BOX scouting, if and only if, you check off ALL of the following criteria:

  1. The BOX Scouting features a Limited UR that you absolute wish to have in your collection for whatever reason
  2. Your main interest is that Limited UR, and you do not care about efficiency or return on investment
  3. You have more than enough resources to knock out AT LEAST 80 to 90% of the BOX’s contents for the best result

Scouting in a BOX scouting without checking off ALL of those criteria above is likely going to set yourself up for disappointment because:

  • You may get an excessive amount of R cards for the resources you invested into this BOX due to having no rarity guarantee per scout
  • In terms of efficiency, you could have scout in other Step-Ups which could have yield several rarity guarantees, most of the time at a discounted cost
  • And worst of all, if you could not empty the BOX, everything you invested into it is basically a loss

Birthday Boxes

The basics of the Birthday Boxes that I explained in the January 2019 article is still applicable as of this writing. However, since Aqours’s Birthday Boxes are now more or less similar to µ’s campaign, I’ve decided to just consolidate everything and note only on the differences.

During each idol’s birthday, a bunch of special scouting boxes will be released. These boxes are available on 3 days in total: the day before, the actual day, and the day after the birthday. The following is an outline of the kind of boxes that you can expect.


1) 2019 Limited Birthday BOX Scouting

This BOX is a 100-Cards BOX, featuring the 2019 Limited Birthday UR of the respective idol. If you want the Limited UR of your best girl, this BOX is definitely the sure fire way of getting her, provided you have enough gems to knock out most of the contents of course.

The BOX cannot be reseted once you emptied its contents.

As mentioned above, make sure you are checked on all 3 criteria I mentioned above for the best results for yourself.


2)  5-Step Box with infinite 5th step

This is the latest evolved form of Birthday Step-Up Box to-date, and arguably the best box in the entire box combo. The steps are:

  1. The first step scouts 11 at the cost of 30 Gems, guarantees one SR or above.
  2. The second step scouts 11 at the cost of 40 Gems, guarantees two SR’s or above.
  3. The third step scouts 11 at the cost of 50 Gems, guarantees one SSR or above.
  4. The fourth step scouts 11 at the cost of 50 Gems; ALL scouted cards in this step will be SR or above.
  5. The fifth step scouts 11 at the cost of 50, guarantees one SR or above; can be performed indefinitely

    **You need 170 gems to hit all of the first four steps

This box is extremely good for several reasons. First of all, the 2019 Limited Birthday UR is included in this box with increased appearance rate, meaning you have a chance of getting the 2019 Limited Birthday UR without even having to attempt the Limited Birthday BOX listed above.

Secondly, the first 4 steps of this box are incredibly good deals. The first two steps are good because it allows you to guarantee 3 SR or above at the cost of only 70 gems. Normally – to guarantee the same number of SR or above – you have to perform three 10+1’s, which costs 150 gems. That is over TWICE the cost of the first two steps.

And finally, I don’t think I have to explain why one SSR or above, and 11 SR or above at the cost of only 50 gems each are so good.

If you have more than 600 Gems on hand, consider hitting the first 4 steps for really good bargain-price scouting, then hitting the BOX Scouting to hedge your chance of getting the Limited UR. But if you only have enough for emptying the 100-Cards BOX and you desperately want the birthday Limited UR only, then you might want to do the BOX first.


3) Solo Birthday Box with rate up for 2018 Limited Birthday UR

This box is available only for µ’s members.

This box is basically a standard scouting box (5 for 1; 50 for 10+1 SR or above). But the catch is that it contains only cards of the birthday girl, and the 2018 Limited Birthday UR is featured with rate up in this box (it’s usually 50% of all URs in the box, so the effective chance of this card dropping is 0.5%).

If you missed the birthday girl’s card during her birthday last year, or you want additional copies of the card, you can try your luck at getting the card again here.


4) 2018 Limited Birthday BOX Scouting

This BOX is a 200-Cards BOX, featuring the 2018 Limited Birthday UR of the respective idol. The BOX has 2 URs in it; one of them is GUARANTEED to be the featured Limited UR, and the other will be a randomized standard UR of the birthday girl.

You can still guarantee your chance of getting the Limited UR if you can empty the BOX, but please be noted that there are TWICE the number of cards in the BOX now, so you need DOUBLE the resource I mentioned above to have a good chance at the card.

As of this writing, this BOX will be available for only one more time before fading into obscurity, and that is on Nozomi’s 2019 Birthday in June. For those of you not keeping track of these BOX releases, Nico was the first µ’s member to receive this kind of BOX during her birthday in July 2018. This means that there were four girls who never got this kind of BOX in 2018, and they are Hanayo (January), Umi (March), Maki (April), and Nozomi (June). As such, 2019 June is when this BOX will run full circle, and we likely won’t have any 200-Cards BOX again (good riddance).

As with the first box in the combo, this BOX cannot be reseted once you emptied its contents.


As I described above, June 2019 will be when the Birthday Box completes its cycle for the WW version of the game. I HIGHLY doubt we will get any form of new Birthday Boxes for the rest of the year. Aqours has also just started using this birthday box format starting in April 2019 with You Watanabe’s birthday. As such, Dia (January), Kanan (February), and Hanamaru (March) did not have this format of Birthday Boxes this year. So those who want the 2019 Birthday Limited of those girls, you’ll get your chances on their birthday, ironically, in 2020.


Emptying a Limited BOX Scouting

If you are reading this section, I assume you came here with the intention of emptying a Limited BOX. It is important to highlight, once again, that the appeal of Limited BOXes is that they have an upper limit of cost to guarantee the Limited UR. If you do not have the gems to hit that upper limit (or at least 80% of that), you are fighting against a very unfavorable odd.

Again, please make sure you check off ALL of the criteria I listed above before attempting these BOXes.

There are several approaches to tackle the BOX Scouting, but I think the first step to planning your assault is calculating the exact number of resources you need in order to empty the box.


Do not doubt 10+1

As I mentioned in my “Basics of Scouting Box” article, unlike every other scouting boxes, scouting 11 here does not guarantee SR or above. So you run a risk of your Scout 11 giving you only R’s. However, it is still very beneficial to perform a Scout 11 over a solo due to the free additional card that you can knock off from the total.

As I mentioned before, you should attempt this BOX only with the intention of emptying its entire or most of the contents. And because of that, any additional deduction to the total is always better. Remember that more cards you knocked out from the BOX, the higher the chance of you getting the Limited UR in subsequent scouts.


Gem Equivalence

One of the things many players still seems to take for granted is the true value of the no-guarantee scouting resources, namely Green Tickets and Scout 3 tickets.

Gems aren’t the only thing you can use to scout in a Limited BOX. Green Tickets, Scout 3, and Scout 11 Tickets are all eligible for this box. Because your goal is to “empty the BOX”, not “get a good card from the tickets used”, the no-guarantee property suddenly becomes irrelevant in this equation.

As such, you might want to consider saving those tickets next time you get them for this kind of occasion.


Strategy

Now, here comes the real question: with so many choices to choose from, which resources should you spend on these BOXes first?

Well, there are two school of thoughts you can consider:

1) Use the non-gem resources first

Because resources such as Scout 3 and Green Tickets do not give rarity guarantees in any scenarios, and Love Gems themselves have a lot more versatility, using them first is definitely a valid strategy.

However, if you have A LOT of Green Tickets or Scout 3 tickets in your stock, there is another interesting perspective you could view this.

2) Maximize your chances in the later scout

(Credits to Jeremy Chua for notifying me of this school of thought)

Consider the following Scenario:

Or you can substitute the gems in the picture with Green Tickets. I’m just trying to illustrate the idea.

There are 11 Cards left in the BOX. If you spend 50 Gems, you can get all 11 cards at once. However, if you perform solo pulls (with 5 gems or green tickets), your chances of getting the Limited UR in subsequent scouts becomes increasingly higher; this means that there is a relatively high chance of you hitting the the Limited UR at the 6th or 7th cards, saving you a bunch of gems.

Of course, this is a very extreme case, but the idea is that carpet bombing the BOX with numerous Scout 11’s first is also a viable strategy, since it eliminates a lot of the ‘fodder cards’ that are just in a way, while maximizing the chances of getting the Limited URs through the subsequent no-guarantee resources.

There is no right or wrong way to go about doing this, but the principle I upheld for this strategy is “use scout 11’s until the remaining cards in the BOX are relatively close to the number of Green Tickets I have on hand”. So let’s say, I have 30 GTs on hand, I will use Scout 11 five to six times, leaving only 34 to 45 cards left in the BOX before using the GTs to clean up the rest.

Whether you use Strategy 1 or 2, it’s entirely your call. The only thing you should consider is that all of your resources combined should cover a significant population of the BOX’s contents.


Afterword

And that concludes the advance topics on scouting boxes. Hopefully the information presented here helps you plan out your strategy or see things in a different and better perspective.

Remember that these boxes and mechanics are constantly being updated. If there is any major changes, I will either make an update or add a new article to catch up with the most current development.

As always, if you find this article helpful, feel free to use it as a source of reference and share it with your friends who play this game.

Hope you guys enjoy reading this article.

This has been the Mad_Cartoonist. Signing out.


Credits for info and assets in this post:

KachAgain’s Twitter

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