[SDS: Grand Cross] Progression Guide for Beginners

[SDS: Grand Cross] Progression Guide for Beginners


Welcome to the progression guide for new players! In this guide we will go over the entire process from early game and give you insights on how you want to progress to the end game grind. This game is extremely free to play and gives you plenty of resources early on to let you freely pick how you want to use it.

I have completed the story mode (up to Chapter 6) using all the available characters given for free, so it is not necessary to pull anyone unless you really want them. I would also suggest holding onto the F2P gems for stronger units that come later after the initial launch.

I have accumulated 710 gems and have pulled Red Gowther after 6 multi pulls, leaving me with 540 gems. So this is how much gems you should be expecting after chapter 6 completion.

Story Mode, Re-roll and Leveling

You also get your first multi pull with a high chance to get a desired character you want, so you are welcome to re-roll if you wish to, but it is not necessary. There will be stronger units coming out later on that will outclass some of the starters. Here are some units to roll for if you want:

Green Meliodas – A strong single target damage dealer and can counter attack. He is considered the better version compared to the one that is given for free since his first skill doesn’t rely on debuffs to deal more damage. So if you want a consistent single target DPS, he is your guy.

Red Arthur – A strong single target DPS that can buff offense stats of allies. A great support attacker that will serve you well. He can also prevent enemy from healing, which comes in clutch in some story mode missions and PvP. Works great in any team!

Green Gustav – A great unit that has freeze on his basic skill. That means he will be able to freeze any dangerous bosses and also the Red Demon and they are never going to get a move unless you don’t get his card to use. A very solid pick and he will carry you in boss fights. Just make sure to use freeze as the last move.

Green Gilthunder – A straight team attack buffer that deals AoE damage. His ultimate is a strong single target attack that can shock enemies. Since his first skill easily provides attack buff for your team, he is best used in your farming team with other AoE attackers to clear missions quickly.

Free Story Units

The good thing about this game is they give you decent free characters to start off with that will do well in most PvE content. You will be given the following characters:

Blue Meliodas – A great starter character that is actually useful through the story mode. He actually does decent damage and his counter attacks are quite useful against AoE attackers. His downside is his skill 1 where it doesn’t hit hard unless enemy has a debuff. That is easily taken care of if you have a dedicated debuffer like Red Diane (who is also free).

Green Elizabeth & Hawk – Provides defense down on single enemy and an AoE attack for auto farming. She is quite decent but there are better farmers.

Red Ban – He is really good against the Red Demon since his ultimate ignores defense. He can also remove ultimate orbs on both his first skill and ultimate. He does poorly in auto mode though. His AI uses his skill 2 often (which heals him and gives him debuff immunity), which is quite useless in auto.

Red Diane – She provides AoE defense down, stance removal and decent AoE ultimate. Quite useful for farming and supporting the team. Has a combination attack with Green Skinny King.

Blue King – A solid support attacker that hits hard, can petrify enemies and heal + cleanse. His kit is so good and many players still use him in JP server. That means that he has great utility and will not be outclassed anytime soon. The best thing is…he is free!

Blue Diane – A good AoE attacker that deals more damage when enemies are buffed. She can be a good farmer. Like Red Diane, she has a combination attack with Green Skinny King.

Green Gowther – A utility attacker that specialises in stopping enemies from using stronger cards. His ultimate decreases ranks of enemy skill cards. His second skill lowers enemy ultimate skill damage. He is quite useful in some story mode missions, so if you lack a green support attacker, he can fill the role.

Red Elizabeth – The F2P dedicated healer. What a great free support healer. Her passive gives all allies a 10% regen heal every turn. She disable attacks skills and can AoE heal + fill all ally ultimate orb gauge by 1. Her ultimate gives big heal + regen. What a good kit for a free unit. If you have terrible luck pulling healers, she will fill the spot.

Keep in mind that when you finish the story, you have enough to get 2 SSR units to UR and 2 SR units to UR. Both Blue Meliodas and Red Ban will be mandatory

Ranks 1-15

Early on, leveling will be very quick and your energy will always be refilled to the max. Each level you get increases your energy capacity by 1. The unfortunate thing is that the leftover energy does not carry over pass the max capacity. That means if you are at 25/27 energy and you level up, your energy only goes up to 28/28 instead of 53/28.

Now as your progress through story mode, you will be getting a lot of stamina potions, gems and treasure chests (which you can convert to gold). The Growth Event is really vital in making sure you can promote your main characters and finish story mode. The key upgrades (SR -> SSR -> UR) you will need to complete story mode includes:

  • Master Meliodas and Prisoner Ban
  • Young Villager Gowther (Optional although recommended as well)

The other highly recommended upgrade is “King the Fairy King”. His skill set is so useful for story mode and also boss battles + Red Demon Death Match. His first skill when upgraded to second level can petrify enemies and make them lose a turn (use it at the end of your turn). Super vital in turning the tides of the battle especially if your combat power is not much higher than your opponent.

You will be going through towns as the story goes on and each town will have items that you can buy and quests you can start doing to improve town friendship. The first 5 towns give the following:

  • Town 1 Vanya – Attack 4 Set Equipment (4 Set)
  • Town 2 Dalmally – Defense +20% Equipment (2 Set)
  • Town 3 Post Town Tala – Health +20%  Equipment (4 Set)
  • Town 4 Vaizel – Crit Chance +30% Equipment (4 Set)
  • Town 5 Ordan Village – Crit Resistance +20% Equipment (2 Set)
  • Town 6 Liones Castle – Recovery +20% Equipment (2 Set)

Ranks 15-25

This is where the player levels slows down a bit and you will start using stamina rewarded from your achievements and the occasional stamina potion. I suggest using all your stamina rewards before tapping into your potion reserves. You will definitely want to finish up your story mode chapter 5 for more rewards such as the SR/SSR pendants, which are rare to come by.

Recommended CC levels:

  • Chapter 4 – 55,000 CC
  • Chapter 5 – 70,000 CC
  • Chapter 6 – 85,000 CC

Having higher CC than your enemy means you will always go first in battle. The difficulty in Chapter 6 spikes up, so if you are having issues with Hendrickson and all his different forms, try to look for Green Meliodas friends to help you get past him.

DSGaming has a video that shows you how to beat him:

Ranks 25+

By now, you would have or is close to completing Episode 46, Chapter 5 story and now focus on getting your full main team to UR 60+ and limit breaking them for better stats. You will also be looking to do boss battles, farming and further improving your character gears via min-maxing. For any side quests you didn’t finish during the story mode, this is the time to max out the town friendship.

Your Characters, Awakening and Making Them Stronger

Early on in the story, especially up to the end of chapter 3, it will be relatively easy. You follow through with the missions and level accordingly and you will breeze through it. Chapter 4 story is where the difficulty starts going up and you will most likely need to do some grinding to carry on with it.

When feeding exp potions to your character, using the highest grade (4-6 star potions) will reduce the amount of gold you use to upgrade your characters. This helps early on since you will be low on gold. Also, sometimes, you can get super success which doubles the experience gained. So you might want to gamble sometimes by not maxing a character out and feeding them potions separately.

At this point, you will want to start promote your main characters to UR and awaken them to at least 2 stars. Having your 3 main team members at UR max level will help you get to Chapter 5. Below are some example stats on what you will need:

Your entire team CC (4 members) should be around 65,000 or so. Now you can skip having the fourth member by just using other people’s characters in story mode and that will work too. When farming, you can also put a character you want to level in the sub spot and he/she will gain experience.

When your individual character CC hits 16,000, you can attempt to unlock their passive skill, which can help in either PvE or PvP content. To get to 60,000+ CC, you will want to awaken your units to at least 2 stars and upgrade your gear.

Grinding awakening gear can take a while. The Hero’s Way growth event helps you with enough materials to awaken 3 characters to 2 stars without having to grind much. But you will have to eventually grind the stages for it. You will start seeing the power spikes when they get awakened to 2/4/6 stars due to the improved attack and defense you get from it.

Equipment and Gearing

Improving your gear on certain parts will really make a big difference in whether or not your character becomes stronger. Here are some things you want to know about equipment:

  • 6 rarities -> C, UC, R, SR, SSR and UR
  • Gear is divided into left and right side
  • Left side gear has bracelet, necklace and belt
  • Right side gear has ring, earrings and rune
  • Bracelet and ring has base flat attack as the main stat
  • Necklace and earrings has base flat defense as the main stat
  • Belt and rune has base flat hp as the main stat
  • Left side gear has better base flat stats than right side

Gear Types

  • Attack 4 Set (Attack +20%)
  • Defense 2 Set (Defense +20%)
  • Health 2 Set (HP +20%)
  • Concentration 4 Set (Crit Chance +30%)
  • Mind’s Eye 2 Set (Crit Resistance +30%)
  • Recovery 2 Set (Recovery +20%)
  • Crit Damage 2 Set (Crit Damage +20%)
  • Crit Defense 2 Set (Crit Defense +40%)
  • Lifesteal 2 Set (Lifesteal +15%)

Each gear can be upgraded 5 times and awakened 5 times. They cost gold and diamonds if you are upgrading SR or higher equipment. The best beginner sets are Attack/Defense or HP/Defense. They are easy to get and gives you much better value. Even in late game they are still good.

When awakening, you will gain bonus stats base on the what you roll.

Bracelet and Ring

  • 1 to 3% attack
  • 2 to 6% pierce rate
  • 1.5 to 4.5% crit chance
  • 2 to 6% crit damage

Necklace and Earrings

  • 1 to 3% defense
  • 2 to 6% resistance
  • 1.5 to 4.5% crit resistance
  • 2 to 6% crit defense

Belt and Rune

  • 1 to 3% hp
  • 2 to 6% regeneration rate
  • 1.5 to 4.5% recovery rate
  • 2 to 6% lifesteal

Early on, you will want to use the best gear you can find to use. Once you can equip an Attack Set with Defense, you can start thinking about piecing together better gear by crafting better sub stats.

In early game, you want to use common gear on the right side and SR-SSR gear on the left side. The reason is that you will have a lack of resources on diamond and gold, which can be gotten much easier as the game gets more content and you have reached end game.

You will then want to awaken the common ring, earrings and runes as they give really good bonus substats. Since the rarity doesn’t increase the percentage of the sub stat, it makes much more sense to give up the flat attack bonus you get from SSR gear on the right side.

Having a 14% increase in attack from a common ring was able to give me about 300 attack increase compared to a non awakened SSR ring. To upgrade and re-roll SSR rings for desired substats cost a lot of gold and diamonds or anvils. Those are resources you can’t afford to use too much of yet.

The common ring costs me about 350,000 gold to roll. Imagine the gold and diamond costs for SSR rings for similar setup. It would be at least a few million. You will also need 5 star awakening stones to awaken them too, which are rare unless you can afford to destroy a lot of SSR gear.

Note: The main stat can also be re-rolled.

Salvaging Gear

If you want more awakening stones, you will have to salvage all the gear you don’t want for a chance to get those awakening stones. Salvaging higher rarity gear (R to SSR) will give you a better chance to get the higher rarity stones. You can also exchange for higher rarity stones with King in the the Tavern.

Town Friendship and Getting SSR Gear

So early on, the key to getting your hands on the first SSR gear is by getting the town friendship to level 5. You can help the locals in the town to increase their trust in you and letting you use their services. If you are not in a hurry to finish the story mode, you can pause a bit to focus on getting Vanya Town’s friendship to level 5 first. Also, each town at max friendship gives you an additional 30 diamonds. That would be 150 diamonds for the first 5 towns.

At level 1, you can only access the materials shop.

  • Friendship level 1-2 – 2400 exp, opens equipment shop
  • Friendship level 2-3 – 4500, opens pop-up shop, unlocks quests for R gear
  • Friendship level 3-4 – 12000 exp unlocks quests for SR gear, unlocks normal mode missions of that town area.
  • Friendship level 4-5 – 18000 exp, opens up donations and unlocks quests for SSR gear, unlock hard mode missions of that town area

Each level also increases the level selection of equipment and materials you can buy based of the friendship level. Level 5 gives you full access to the shop to buy SSR gear too (although not recommended).

The biggest incentive in getting the friendship to level 5 would be to unlock the SSR gear quests, which can be farmed indefinitely. You need to clear a specific area near that town 8 times per quest to get 1 piece. Hard mode costs 10 energy. So if you farm a complete set, it will be a total of 480 energy for a full SSR set.

You will only need mostly Attack and Defense sets (Town 1 and 2 respectively) since they are the most efficient as almost all characters will benefit from it.

Also, you will be getting gold, stamina potions, awakening stones (1-5 rarity) for gear awakenings, R-SSR tickets and other materials that will help you progress.

Other bonuses you get for higher friendship is being able to buy food or gifts directly from the material shop. You won’t need to farm the maps. This also makes questing a lot easier as well. Deathmatch aka demon battles will also trigger more often so you can farm horns to max limit break your characters.

The pop-up shop is also another area that some players might want to look at. R to SSR outfits also give bonus stats and are luxury items paid with diamonds. It is more of a late game thing, but you can buy it early instead of pulling new characters.

Also, when questing to max town friendship, the food quests generally yield more experience per energy. I recommend doing those from level 4 to 5 over gear quests since you won’t need more than 4 sets of gear.

Cooking, Food and Affinity

Once you have gotten a few of your characters to UR level 60, you can start focusing a bit more on cooking, getting food and raising affinity of your characters. You can get 3 Vanya Ales which gives 300 affinity points per Ale to any character by getting it from the barrel in the Tavern behind Piggy Hawk.

As for other characters, they are going to need specific food to raise their affinity. The good thing is similar characters share the same food as affinity bonuses. Food also can give battle stats, which is helpful in increasing your CC temporarily, allowing you to go first in battle.

When you do your daily PvP, you want to use the recipe:

  • High Quality Chicken, Honey and Teriyaki Sauce

It gives 1000% bonus festival coins if you win that battle. Make sure to eat it before fighting in PvP, especially in lower ranks since you will most likely win and get 10 times the coins in 1 battle.

Managing Your Inventory Space

As you progress through the story, you will start running out of space for both your item inventory and equipment inventory. Item inventory starts with 100 max while equipment starts at 50.

I suggest you invest at least 20 diamonds to make the slots to 150 and 100 respectively. This will allow you to go quest, farm items or equipment without getting stopped midway through the auto system because you ran out of space. It can get annoying at times.

Earning and Conserving Gems, SR/SSR Pendants and Gold

This section is more for the hoarders and people that want to save for their favorite characters for later banners. In gacha games like these, the new banner units will always somehow power creep a little bit. The starter units are good initially and then they fall off a bit. This game is no exception.


Gems are easy to come by early on, but will fall off after story mode is done. You can earn gems from event quests, daily quests and story achievements.

On the current basis at the current content, we can expect:

  • 2 gems from daily quests
  • 2 gems from daily stage event
  • 6 gems a week from daily login (6 per 7 days)

This turns out to 144 gems monthly.

If we include weekly PvP, that would be:

  • Bronze 1 : 18 gems weekly, 72 monthly

  • Silver 1 : 26 gems weekly, 104 monthly

  • Gold 1 : 34 gems weekly, 136 monthly

  • Platinum 1 : 42 gems weekly, 168 monthly

  • Master 1 : 50 gems weekly, 200 monthly

  • Champion 1 : 60 gems weekly, 240 monthly

Assuming you are a casual player and you are in Silver ranks, you can get 248 gems monthly. That is quite good.

Data is according to Reddit mod sekapoko (credit). Guilds (knighthood) will add another 30 gems to the total. You can only join a guild after completion of Chapter 6 story.


SR and SSR Pendants are gotten from story mission rewards and also from SP Dungeon (Fort Solgres) under the evolution section. After completing chapter 6 and Hero’s Way, you will have enough pendants to get 2 SSR units and 2 SR units to UR.

The recommended SR units to UR are:

Recommended SSR units to UR is:

The last SSR unit will be up to you. Most of the time, it will be a SSR unit you pulled.


Gold will be given from achievements, free daily ads, daily missions and daily logins. However, it is not enough early on as you need them to awaken and evolve your characters + upgrade gear. So you want to use your gold efficiently. Here are things you can do to use it wisely:

  • Avoid upgrading too much extra gear until late game(Just need 4 gear sets for 4 characters initially)
  • Use 4 star rarity or higher experience potions to lower gold costs for leveling characters
  • Avoid buying too many material shop awakening materials unless you need it quickly
  • Farm Fort Solgres gold dungeon when keys are full

Veronica Invite for 20% Extra Gold 

Each day, you can invite Veronica to your Tavern for free by the exit door by the Tavern.

You will need to leave your Tavern, go to another town and then come back again.

You will see Veronica sitting by the bench. Talk to her with whatever options and give her the gift.

You can buy the gifts from material shop in the town if you don’t have it on hand.

You then have 1 hour to sell stuff to get the 20% bonus. Head to any shop and sell your treasure chests for 20% more gold!

This is very efficient if you do them in bulk. It really helps early game since gold isn’t as easy to get and you are going to need as much as you can get to upgrade your gear.

Basic Team Building

Now this will always change based on what units you pulled after completing story mode. I completed story mode with the default given characters and 1 pulled SR unit.

These were my 5 units that I chose to raise and it got me through story mode and also the Red Demon Deathmatch. In tougher battles, I borrowed friend units. I just made sure I had 1 of each element covered so I wouldn’t be handicapped by the -20% damage against disadvantaged element.

The key is to focus on building a team that covers the following:

  • Single Target DPS
  • AoE DPS
  • Healing, Cleanse
  • Crowd Control (Stun, Freeze, Petrify)

Once you have 4 fully geared characters, things will become easier. Next, we will go over the boss battles, which is what you will need to further increase the level cap of your characters, (limit break).

Preparing for Boss Battle (Red Demon)

The Red Demon will be the first raid boss you will be facing. You can trigger this by fighting boss battles. The good thing is you can use the free units given to easily complete this battle. The Red Demon is weak against crowd control. Stuns, freezes or petrify completely nullifies his threat and you can run certain units to make sure he never gets a turn. Below are some units:

King is free and Gustav is an SR unit, so you will get him eventually. Gustav and Merlin has 1 star card freezes, which makes it much easier to perma freeze him. If you cannot perma freeze him, then you will need to bring either more burst damage dealers:

There are many other good damage dealers that can do the job, but I will name easier to get options. Just avoid bringing green units (with the exception of Gustav) if you want to do more damage.

Grey Demon

The Grey Demon is a bit more complicated. He can fly, so melee attacks will miss during the first 3 turns or until you deplete his shield to get him down. Ranged attackers, cleansers and healers will be good in this fights.

Any unit that runs up to hit is considered a melee attack. Too bad the game doesn’t have any indication of a skill being melee or ranged. Some good burst units here are:

Keep in mind that Jericho’s melee attacks will miss until Grey Demon lands on the ground.

I personally don’t have them but have paired up with these units and see them do good damage. My own personal team is:

It is not optimal but it gets the job done. Most of the time, my allies run full offensive teams, allowing me to do the healing job. Another F2P option is:

I don’t have enough resources to raise him yet, but he can be in the team for the useful attack card down debuffs.


This progression guide comes to an end. Hopefully it was able to help you out.