Once players have completed the story and reached level 50, there is a further goal they should complete to maximize their progression. This is to reach Difficulty 10 in Skirmishes.
This may seem like an extraordinarily challenging goal, but realize that at this point in the game, the final chapter in the story will basically one shot any player who isn’t constantly stunning or looping gem creation anyway, making the difference between Difficulty 1 and Difficulty 10 mostly negligible.
However, you can see below that the benefits are extraordinary, but more on that later.
A quick explanation of how Skirmish difficulty works. At Normal difficulty, the level of enemies scales through chapters (pro tip: completing lots of early-chapter Normal skirmishes is the best way to get lots of minor and lesser shards quickly). However, once you reach Level 50, you unlock Difficulty 1. This difficulty features level 55 enemies in all chapters, but is otherwise mechanically similar to other high-difficulty battles. The reward for this battle is a Level 55 chest.
Once you’ve completed Difficulty 1, Difficulty 2 will unlock with level 60 battles, and you need to complete that in order to unlock Difficulty 3 battles, etc.
Keep in mind that beating a Skirmish difficulty in one chapter unlocks it in all of them. I personally scouted around, pressing the [?] button to view exactly what enemies would show up in that chapter’s skirmish, and skipping battles that would be too difficult.
After you finally complete Difficulty 10 once, even if you can’t beat it reliably, you will receive several permanent benefits:
- You gain the ability to use Skirmish tickets on Difficulty 10, which means each ticket provides a level 100 chest rather than a level 46 chest from Skirmishing in Chapter 15.
- You will complete several Goals along the way. There are Enemies goals which unlock when you defeat an enemy of each time with level of at least 60, 70, 80, 90, and 100. These contribute to permanently increasing your Speed stat, increasing the time you have to make matches.
- The most notable fact is that the chests you get with Dungeon Marks from the shop are based on the highest level chest you’ve received so far. Thus, if you complete Difficulty 10 and receive a Level 100 chest, all chests you buy with Dungeon Marks will be level 100 from now on.
The downside is that beating Difficulties in Skirmish does not unlock any difficulties in Dungeons. And that beating a Difficulty in one dungeon does not unlock it in others, so you have to do the climb 15 more times. Ugh.