So, here we are. Take a quick look at your Rift score. Take a look at your level. Now, forget them. They don't matter. One of the first mistakes we make as players is to put too much emphasis on numbers. Your level is simply a pedometer counting the steps of your journey from when you first started playing. But the Rift score, I hear you say, the Rift score matters! Well, yes. Your Rift score is eventually used to sort your progress into tiers. But this process only occurs once per week, and until that measure is taken your Rift score is a false signal. False? Yes, because your Rift score does not tell you where you are going; in fact, your Rift score only tells you where you have *been*. Now. We all know that level and rift scores are strongly correlated to your overall capability in Rift Battles. This is obviously true. It is just as obvious that these numbers do not give a clear signal of your Rift strength. Perhaps an example will serve us well here. Early this week, I fought another D3. We were both lv 70, and both just a hair under 2000 rift points. I found his map rather difficult, lost a tough fight in one of the trio nodes, and watched helplessly as he rolled through my map without a single loss. I started reusing fighters and acting in a generally sloppy manner, but this was after the point where I could not expect a chance at victory. Two days later, I fought another lv 70 that was almost 100 rift points ahead of me. This map was also impressive, but I was able to clear the map (except the boss node) with only one loss. My opponent clearly struggled, dropping five fights at three separate nodes, and leaving my boss nodes unbeaten. Two battles, at the same level. One "close" battle where I lost, and one uneven battle where I won. So we can see that Rift points are not a clear signal of a players strength. But there is more to the story than this. You see, these two battles were against the same opponent. Now, I did not magically sprout several new diamond fighters. I did not make huge gains in levels, moves, or (frankly) skill at playing SGM. No. I played my game as best I could. In the first battle, it was not enough to keep pace with my opponent. In the second battle it was plenty, because the wheels fell off for my opponent. Your level, and your opponent level, are a rough guide to your progress in this game. Your Rift score, and your opponents Rift score, are a historical record of your Rift progress to date. Neither one is an accurate measure of your map strength, nor your offensive prowess, nor your chances of finishing the particular battle with a win. No, to gauge our chances at victory we must look at our opponents map. This is your best and most important source of data for the battle to come, and it is the only data source you should give more than a cursory glance.