Master X Master: Tips (x Tips): Beefing up your Master.

Ever since our launch event, I've been having a blast with Master X Master. I'm putting together a resource to help people understand some of the important mechanics towards getting the most out of your Masters: Attunement System, Nodes and Skill Upgrades. The Attunement System is just like Pokemon's elemental strengths and weaknesses but with only 3 elements. MXM's Nodes work similar to League of Legends' rune pages. You have 3 types of nodes that can best be described as one set that help auto attacks, survivability + utility and nodes that help skills. It differs by each Master having a preferred combination of these 3 node types . Adhering to these preferences will grants you 100% of your node bonuses. Failure to do so will reduce your node bonuses. Last but least, I'll touch up on Weapon Skill Upgrades and "Stage Skill" Upgrades. "Stage Skill" Upgrades only apply to PVE. This is because PVP will either give you skill points in the Combat Arena mode or you earn skill points through the MOBA mode Titan's Ruins.

Attunement System

Helix (leaf symbol), Ardent (fire symbol) and Kinetic (teardrop symbol). Without being influenced by nodes, you do 15% more damage and take 15% less damage from elements you are strong against. Inversely, you deal 15% less damage and take 15% more damage from elements you are weak against.  For you Pokemon fans out there, this type of rock-paper-scissors system should be familiar to you! ATTUNEMENTS EFFECT BOTH PVE AND PVP. When playing the PVE modes, your master's attunement symbol will glow in the Master select screen.  In the screenshots below, the fire/Arden symbol is glowing for Masters like Taejin, Moro, V-Merang, Ignuma and Death Knight. Notice how "recommended attunement" shows up when I hover over Taejin. This lets you know Ardent Masters will deal more damage and take less damage from the monsters in this stage. In the second screenshot, I hover over MBA-07, whose symbol is not glowing nor does "recommended attunement" pop up when you hover over him.

 I cannot stress enough how important it is to pick the right attunement for both PVE and PVP. In PVE, it could be the difference in an S-Rank and an A-Rank because you couldn't get through the stage fast enough or you were one-shot by the boss. In PVP, you want to take down the Titan as fast as possible, which will be difficult if you're Taejin, an Arden Master, dealing 15% less damage against a Kinetic(water) Titan. Starting out, I totally understand you won't be able to pick two of an attunement for a PVE stage or you won't always have the stronger element for a Titan in PVP. If there's one thing to take away from all this, I will say don't pick the weak attunement. Bring your Sizuka to a stage where Ardent is the recommended attunement (because the enemies will be Helix) but don't pick Lua because she's weak against that attunement.

For those of you who've played League of Legends, the node system in MXM is similar to the rune system of LoL. There are three types of nodes, OffensiveDefensive and Auxiliary. Offensive(red nodes) strengthen or alter your normal/auto attacks(left click). These range from increased damage, lifesteal or increased overheat capacity. Defensive(blue nodes)help keep you alive with increased defense, increased stamina(used for your right click dodge ability or jump), increased health and increased healing while tagged out. Auxiliary(yellow nodes) cover a wide range of boosts.They increase skill attack damage and skill critical damage but can also increase resource (mana or energy) regeneration/cap, skill lifesteal, cooldown reduction, movement speed and even decrease respawn times! It's worth mentioning that every node grants defense in addition to whatever main effect you pick. Both the defense and main effect increase in potency based on the node's rarity. Where it differs from LoL is a Master's Node Compatibility or prefers a certain combination of offensive,defensive and auxiliary nodes and Node Efficiency. Simply put, if you perfectly match a Master's Node Compatibility, they will gain 100% Node Efficiency or 100% of the bonuses from their nodes. In Unranked PVP, your node stats will reduced by 50% IN ADDITION to your Master's Node Efficiency. How to acquire Nodes: From Stages and trading in Battlefield Medals to the medal exchange vendor. You'll earn higher rarity nodes as stage clear rewards by beating stages on harder difficulties and with a high rank. Battlefield Medals are weekly/monthly challenege rewards and also earned from PVP modes. Currently, you earn the most medals from winning matchmade Titan's Ruins matches.
Weapon Skills and Stage Skills
Stage Skills are the only thing that do not apply to PVP while Weapon Skills and Nodes apply to both modes. Which makes sense, in PVP earn skill points by leveling up or as the match progresses in  the case of Combat Arena. Nodes are how you increase your stats and allow build diversity. Stage Skills are upgraded. The cost to upgrade a skill increases depending on how many levels you have in that skill. You start off with two skills and unlock two additional skills by paying gold. 

Weapon Skills modify your normal/auto attacks such as increasing damage, range,overheat limit etc. While Stage Skills have 6 upgrade levels, Weapon Skills only have 3 upgrade levels. Weapon Skills are upgraded using materials collected from Stages or bought through the medal exchange. The Kinetic/Ardent/Helix augmentation crystals are the most common material used in Weapon Skill upgrades. The second material are called Modules and are split in 5 types: damage,speed,focus, expansion and trait. These modules are found in all stages and are split into two qualities: high and low .The third and final weapon upgrade requires a rare material that is unique to 1 stage. While all materials can be found in chests during stage runs or reward cards, the rare "boss drop" materials can be found on reward cards from  Brutal and up difficulties. "Boss drop"/ rare materials can also be bought through the medal exchange. All of these can be found under your "Materials" tab in your inventory.

An exception to this rule are Masters unlocked through the Timespace Distortion (T.D.) .Unlike the "boss drop" rare items, these items only appears as reward cards in that Master's Timespace Distortion. Each Master's unique Timespace Distortion drops lesser materials that can be exchanged, along with some gold, for a rare T.D. item from that same distortion. The number of rare items needed to upgrade Weapon Skill scale with the level: 15/30/75.

There's more I want to cover on MXM but that about wraps it up for strengthening your Masters. Please let me know if there's something else you'd like me to go over, I've really taken a liking to this game. In the mean time, I'll leave some pearls of wisdom I discovering while playing:

  • Rare/"Boss" Materials will appear as on reward cards on stage difficulties Brutal and up. You use these to upgrade a Master's Weapon Skills to their third and final level.
  • To upgrade Masters unlocked through a Timespace Distortion, you need 15/30/75 of their rare item to upgrade a Weapon Skill.
  • Stage Skill upgrades increase in cost the further you level them. These upgrades ONLY apply to PVE so upgrade accordingly.
  • Unranked skills have no bonuses! If you have an unraked weapon skill equipped it does nothing to modify your auto attack!
  • Spend you Battlefield Medals on the higher quality nodes (rare or legendary)! You'll need every  advantage you can get to survive Extreme and Nightmare stages as well as Ranked PVP!! Thanks for the tip, Sloth!
  • For PVE node pages, I run Weapon Attunement over Weapon Damage. With nodes of similar quality, Weapon Attunement Nodes increase more damage than Weapon Damage nodes as long as you are attacking an enemy weak to your Attunement!
  • Attunement  Strengths and Weaknesses are as following:
    Helix(grass) <Ardent(fire) < Kinetic(water) Helix (grass)
  • Exploit Attunements strengths and weaknesses! Without any nodes modifying these values, you do 15% more damage and take 15% less damage from an attunement you are strong against.
  • Every skill scales differently with Skill Power. You'll notice this when applying +Skill Power nodes to Masters with 100% Efficiency and receiving only a fraction of this amount to your skills, shown as "+a number " in green text when hovering over skills.
  • When "WEAK" appears over a boss/titan, spam skills. A gauge will fill up below their health bar. When full, the boss/titan will be stunned and take critical damage for the duration of the stun.
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  1. Any new players should atleast buy a full node page of rare nodes that you can buy from the medal exchanger on the ship before trying to run extremes nothing more annoying than somebody that started the game playing extreme and dying over and over again

    1. Thank you, that's a good tip! I've been focused on saving my medals for Legendary nodes that I didn't consider that.

  2. Fixed a typo at the end regarding stage skill upgrades. Sorry about that!