You need ten fighters to beat a Rift map. Ten. Ten solid, capable carries with a developed moveset and a killer finishing combo. Ten fighters that you are comfortable driving against all manner of opponents. Ten. Let's get some obvious things out of the way here. We are talking about Diamond ranking, so there will only ever be 200 of us in total. 200 of the best players in the game. If you do not have ten fighters, you are welcome to reuse your best but you will not be joining us at Diamond; you simply do not have the velocity to get here. If you are using gold fighters in your top ten, you will likely not be joining us. If you are using fighters that do not have their marquees, you will likely not be joining us. If you are using silver moves, then...you get the idea. Diamond rank is the very top of Rifts. Diamond players have team velocities that exceed all measure of expectation. Getting here is a test of will, of determination, and of character. Getting here requires *planning*. And so, let's plan. You need ten fighters. You will want more, but lets focus on your ten. Get them to Diamond. That's an obvious way to improve your Rift velocity. Better fighters = more wins, and diamond fighters are better than their Gold counterparts by level 27. Get them to Marquee. The boost to their utility varies from fighter to fighter, but there are no useless marquees and some are quite powerful. Get them kitted out with the best moves in your arsenal, and pay close attention to the move bonuses. So, how do you pick your ten? If you want Diamond rank, then two or three of your best fighters should be diamond, and over level 50. These are your Trio node carries: they fight at the highest levels and you can pilot them through a nest of vipers and come out smelling fresh. Your Atk% and Meter Gain should be above 30%, combined with defense, HP% and Crit rate and damage as needed. Best candidates for this role include: Bio-Exorcist, Primed, Rainbow Blight, Buzzkill, Bloodbath, Wulfsbane Your next focus should be the "can-opener" fighters. These four or five fighters are built to solve specific problems in the meta. (You know who you are.) These fighters should be close to diamond level 40, and their build should emphasize attack and their particular specialty. Typical specializations (and good candidates) include: Unbleedables: Bloodbath, any Val with ICU Armor Pierce: Ultraviolent Hex Magic: Red Velvet, Rainbow Blight Meter Control: Toad Warrior, Regally Blonde Heal Block: Wulfsbane, Rainbow Blight The Buff stops here: Purrfect Dark, Doublicious, Silent Kill There are subtleties and move-based strategies that allow for greater flexibility in your approach. Here are a few of the most important ones: Chaos Banish is maybe the best Special move in the game. If you are not fighting with Eliza, then you do not have access to this game-breaking move. Get it, get good, and watch how easy certain fights become. Meow and Furever, Painwheel (with Grudge), Resonant Evil: all of these defensive traps fail with a well-placed Banish. Armor is a common problem, but one of the easiest defensive strategies to work around. Armor Break can be applied with Drag n Drop (Squigly), Battle Butt (Cerebella), and Argus Agony (Peacock). If you don't have access to Ultraviolet, then Harlequin or Poltergust are pretty capable substitutes. Finally, we have two to four fighters remaining. In these fights, we are usually looking at the early battles that have a lesser defense with little or no boost to the defenders HP and Attack. These fights can be beaten by Gold fighters, but your best tools are your your diamond defenders. My current best defender is a level 51 diamond Armed Forces Cerebella. She is a big slab of steak with a boosted HP and defense, but she is still plenty big enough to handle offensive duties for the lower Rift nodes. (We will talk about defenders in a later post, but suffice to say you will have some defensive experts on your team.) Since you will be investing in your defense, use that investment to handle the early fights. If you build your team with this flexibility in mind, you can concentrate that work (the grinding for levels and the spending of coin) on ten fighters.: ten diamond fighters with marquee abilities and a set of five solid gold moves. So what are your ten, and where are they now?