This guide is *not* meant to replace any former guide for new players, as I myself have found some really helpful information from these guides, notably Yilun's amazing guides for noobs and his guides on trading and the market. So for that reason, if YOU are a new player and you want to understand how to compete with others and get your first legendary or whatever you're aiming for, I recommend you read some of the following guides before you read mine:
My guide is more to do with giving you more current information on what are good beginning bands--i.e. what fighters are readily available and cheap on the market [i]right now[/i]! This is simply because the current guides recommend some fighters that are hardly available, like Yasamin.
So, if you have read some of the above guides you now want to buy some gurus, some champs and some rogues! Great! So do whatever you can first to earn a couple of fighters in an event, and use Yilun's advice to sell (preferably during the frenzy!) for whatever bitters you can get. Then we'll slowly complete our band... How exciting XD That being said, if there is a fighter you think you can complete in an event that would be useful, go for it! Check on the forums to see what people think of how good it is, and compare it to the stats of the following fighters if you think it might fill one of these purposes and then make your decision :)
HOW TO USE THE TRADING SYSTEM
One difficult thing I found when I was learning to trade and buy and sell fighters is that the search system in DoT is horrifying. Very, very difficult to navigate. I first tried going by alphabetical order to find fighters but that is a very bad decision. So, say for example someone on the forum says "oh, you should get yourself a Tish (Tishpak), that'd be really useful for your band". You go, "by Yilun, what on Texel does a Tish look like and how do I find it??" And here I am to teach you the best method!
1. Search Tishpak on the wiki. You'll find it'll come up with a name of the "fighter line", which is a fancy name for the three fighters that are connected by evolution. It'll read "Nana - Tabni-Ishtar - Tishpak". Go have a look at the page and it'll show you what she looks like--that'll be a big help.
2. Then you check what her highest statistic is. That's HP.
3. Take note of what her rarity is. That's Epic.
4. Alternatively you can take note of the fighter's class, which is Champ in this case. I usually find the rarity to be easier, though.
5. Search first by "Epic" and second by "HP (Desc)", and you'll find her quickly enough now you know what she looks like :)
6. If you did #4 instead of #3, you'd search "Champ" and "HP (Desc)".
SO WHICH FIGHTERS SHOULD I GET, ELISE?
Now the first thing I would recommend buying is a line (three) of pre-empt all rogues, because I think they are the most useful thing to have across all events. The rogue that Yilun suggested, Munati, is absolutely still the best pre-empter there is for his (her?) price. They sell for about 10 bitters each and I have even seen them drop to 6 bitters, so if you are patient, 10 bitters is the worst you will pay. When I say 10 bitters each, I mean one that is SEF'd (self-fused) to 5 out of 5 and is at the level cap of 60. Pretty incredible prices, really. Now if you're like me and you say, "ew Munati is just so ugly! And Amaralices look awful too!" you're just gonna have to bite the bullet and get them anyway. Look forward to the future, when you can buy a line of pretty Ataneedusus, and know that when you bought Munati, you were buying a gateway to pretty fighters :')
Sometimes when you are searching the offers for a fighter you will see one more expensive than the others that has 3 fancy stars next to its icon. This means that the fighter for sale has eaten (had fused into it) three other fully SEF'd fighters to improve some of its stats. Don't bother with those, they're too expensive for now.
Okay, so the next most useful thing would be your champs. I won't recommend the majority of champs for your first three, but I will suggest particular ones: venters (ones with the skill Vent). This is because when you come across a line of Munati or an even more powerful pre-empter in PvP or during pvp fights in Siege, you'll be gambling if you just swipe your own line of Munati. What venters do is they immediately retaliate if a skill targets them. Usually they will one-shot a pre-empter doing this because rogues do not have much HP or DEF. For PvP even just one venter will usually be enough to defeat a line of Munati, but that might not be true for better ones like Amaralice, Diurp or the all-powerful Atan and Enzuna. For that reason, we'll get a line of venters to try and counter these evil pre-empters, hey?
This is the best and most affordable venter on the market right now. She/he can come as cheap as 3-4 bitters per SEF (0/5) which means you'll be paying about 20-24 bitters for a maxed one. She is also useful for another reason: Circle of Signs (CoS). Because she is a water fighter, she gets a 50% boost (is 150% effective) against fire fighters--and the two best pre-empters in the game are fire! So if you are interested in doing well in PvP, this is potentially the best venter you can get--at least for a new player. Veterans will tell you that you'd need to superfuse (those fancy stars from before!) HP into them. But that comes much later.
Everyone will tell you Tishpak is "cheap" because she is available in pixite... But she is still very expensive for a newbie :/ something like 60 bitters for a 5/5 at level 80. Arathia, on the other hand, is far, far cheaper! Also available in pixite, he is without a doubt not as good as Tishpak, so eventually you'd want to upgrade. However for a beginner he is *fantastic*! He was my first venter and he alone could defeat a line of Munati in a PvP event. So he will carry you far before you need to move up in the world :')
I recommend just taking a look at offers for both of them, and honestly I would just pick whichever is cheaper at the time :) Mendruta is still fairly cheap because she is a relatively new fighter, but she may be more expensive by the time you read this.
Fantastic! So you've got your three Munati, three venters, and you're still sitting on Gulbahar and two randoms you've collected from events. You're doing well :) Now to pick up some gurus! The reason I picked gurus last is that if you choose to buy STG's(single target gurus, gurus that have a skill that attacks only one enemy)--which I recommend as they are more versatile than ATG's(all target gurus, attacks all three enemies)--they are pretty useless until you have all three at max SEF. So it's better to get the other six fighters first--or at least three Munati and one or two venters. STG's are useless before 5/5 because they have terrible attack, so they can't be relied on when they are not PROC-ready--but when they're 5/5, they PROC every turn! Which is awesome! But only one of them will kill only one of your three opponents... Get my drift? So we need at least three.
I recommend for your first three gurus: Theodi. Available in pixite, he'll sell for about 3-4 bitters each SEF. Less if you're patient, and often you can get him for 2 per SEF if you buy rares at 2/5 or higher for 1 each, which is definitely possible. You may have even collected some pieces of him through your own pixite which would help too!
A lot of people making guides in the past have recommended just upgrading each of these fighters to improve your performance. But I agree with Yilun, in saying that you should try to decide what your favourite event is--and then collect fighters to help you excel in one event. The reason for this is simple: from rank 200 up to 10,000 or greater the rewards given in an event are quite small.
10,000 - 5,000: one rare of the Leaderboard (LB) reward = ~12 bitters value
5,000 - 2,000: two rares of the LB = 24
2,000 - 1,000: three rares of the LB = 36
1,000 - 500: four rares of the LB = 48
500 - 200: five rares of the LB = 60
200-100: [I am gonna need some help remembering this--please comment if you remember what the reward usually is past 200? Otherwise I will fix when the siege starts haha]
And once you get better than rank 200 you get far greater rewards. Obviously there is much more competition to beat rank 200 than there is to beat 500, but that's why you need to specialise and save your resources for a single event. You can consistently get maybe 2 or 3 rares every event or you can save up and get half of a legendary or better! To me, this is the best way to earn your way in DoT. Dungeons are also reputed for being a great way to earn bitters/nux. So pick an event, and read up on the guides for that event, because there are a few for each, and get fighters to help you excel there and voila! You're stinking rich and successful as a free to play player :)
All critiques/advice/requests welcome :)
View the OP here.