Progression Guide

Pilot Progression

When it comes to leveling and progression in games, most of it is straightforward. Anthem doesn’t differ in this regard. However since a small update after the end of the Icetide Patch (March 2019) there’s been a bit of misconceptions and a bit of a split path offered to newer players. So let’s break down this path and how to ultimately get to Grandmaster 3 and farming for good Legendaries.


Progression in Anthem can be broken down into three Phases:

  • Early Game, or getting to Pilot Level 30.
  • Mid-Game, or gearing up in Grandmaster 1 and 2.
  • Endgame, or farming gear in Grandmaster 3.


At each of these phases, there’s some very loose requirements you should keep in mind:


During Early game, sticking to the given tips that can help with Mid-Game progression can help the most. Above all else, try to find the javelin you enjoy and are willing to stick with early on.


During Mid-Game, try to be in at least full Masterwork gear before hopping into Grandmaster 2. Build will be more important overall, but the closer you can be to full masterwork the better. 


Going into Endgame, having a proper build is very important. You’ll be in Grandmaster 3, aand it’s better for everyone in matchmaking if you have a proper build that can deal damage and survive. You’ll struggle less with killing things and people won’t have to worry about reviving you, or anything like that.


Early Game: Pilot Level 1-30


Early game for a pilot has four different paths that one could take to get through it, depending on where you’re starting from. There’s the “Coinless Method”, the “Regulator Method”, the “Legion of Dawn Method”, and “New Game+”. The NG+ method only being available to those with an existing level 30 Pilot.


The biggest tips that help with progression post-Level 30 before you actually get there: 


  1. Find a javelin you’re comfortable with out of your first two to three picks and stick with it until level 30. It will be easier to get better gear for the others once you break into Grandmaster difficulties.
  1. After the Campaign is done, feel free to get gear and try the other javelins.
  1. Hold on to any and all Guardian Tokens, or Crystal Shards (Seasonal Currency) that you get. These will be more important and useful at level 30!
  2. Make sure to also complete all of your Daily and weekly Missions of extra Coins and Guardian Tokens.
  3. Try not to spend your coins on cosmetics unless you really like the way one looks. Coins can also be used to potentially accelerate your progression into endgame.


The Coinless Method


This method I refer to as Coinless because it doesn’t involve using any of your starting Coins. Since coins have better uses, like cosmetics, or the Regulator Store when you actually can get endgame gear out of it at Pilot Level 30.


This is the stock standard way most people will experience the game. Starting on Easy/Normal until they’re prepared enough to take on Hard Difficulty. You’ll want to make that jump as soon as you can, which mostly involves getting your components slots filled and getting a half decent weapon drop.


Really, you’ll just need a weapon that can deal with the enemies and limit the damage you take.  While enemies don’t hit too hard, if you don't have the extra health of a component or two, it can be a little rough at times.


Method Summary: Gear up on a lower difficulty until you can comfortably handle Hard Difficulty.


Legion of Dawn and Regulator Methods


These methods involve getting an overpowered weapon that can help you breeze through the campaign. The Legion of Dawn Method uses the Light of the Legion Marksman Rifle, which is given as part of the Legion of Dawn Edition. The Regulator Method makes use of whatever weapon is on the current rotation of the Regulator Store.


As a word of warning: Both of these options WILL trivialize the story content and make it harder to learn of the games mechanics before hitting Pilot Level 30. It may even result in making the game feel boring. If you’re okay with this, then by all means, carry on. But the Coinless Method is highly recommended for new players.


Outside of having a starting weapon, the only other change that’s done with these is to Start on Hard Difficulty much sooner. As soon as you’re able to equip the weapon, or your first visit to Fort Tarsis is when you will switch to Hard. The weapon granted by either method will carry you to Pilot Level 30 with ease; You will not have to purchase another gun, nor seek an upgrade until Pilot Level 30.


Method Summary: Obtain an overpowered weapon, via Regulator Store or having purchased the Legion of Dawn edition. Use said weapon to steamroll content on Hard Difficulty up to Pilot Level 30.


New Game+ Method


This is like a version of the previous two methods, just crafting your starting weapon using blueprints unlocked from your progression on another pilot. The reason this is separated from the others is because it only involves the use of crafting materials, and progression of another Pilot to work. Because of this, it doesn’t ruin or interfere with your or anyone else’s early game experiences.


Your first trip to Fort Tarsis will likely consist of crafting the weapon, as a lot of things are shared between pilots, like Achievement Progression, Reputation, and Crafting Blueprint unlocks. The latter of which is the important part of this. Once you get you weapon crafted, you carry on steamrolling content like the previous methods.


Method Summary: Craft an overpowered weapon and steam roll content on Hard Difficulty.

Mid-game: Gearing Up for Grandmaster


Much like the Early Game, there’s a few ways you can go about this as well. Easily, the highly recommended way is to make use of your Guardian Tokens and Seasonal Currency, which would have been saved up from doing Daily Missions, Weekly Missions, and Seasonal Content. There’s also the option to just grind, but that will take much longer to progress into the endgame.


Recommended Method: Additional (Free) Currency Use


Plain and simple, now is the time where it is both safe and expected to make use of Guardian Tokens and stockpiled Seasonal Currency. Since you can obtain everything at power 80 with them, there’s no harm in trying. You’ll be doing a lot of this to gear up for GM3 anyways, so might as well start now!


Guardian Tokens


If you kept up with doing dailies as weeklies as you progressed, depending on how long you stayed in the early game you should have at least 10 of these by now. The more you have the better.  The important thing to remember with these is to claim them on your preferred javelin! So feel free to take some time to settle in on a different javelin and play with them all a bit more if you haven’t after the end of the campaign.


Guardian Tokens are spent at the any of the Tomb of the Legionnaire, each with different drops:

  • Tomb of Artinia: Legendary Weapons
  • Tomb of Cariff: Legendary Gear (Abilities)
  • Tomb of Yvenia: Legendary Support Gear and Universal Components
  • Tomb of Gawnes: Legendary Melee and Javelin-Specific Components


Now in terms of where your tokens are best spent, Yvenia’s Tomb has the highest priority. Universal Components can be used by all Javelins which makes them incredibly useful. The specific components you’d want to get here are Softened Blows, Symbiotic Surge, and Emergency Power, as these are used for their base effects in a lot of endgame builds. Make sure you’re on your preferred javelin, because you will get support gear dropping too! For the current time, rolls won’t matter as much as the components themselves.


Artinia’s Tomb should be your next priority, but with less priority than Yvenia. Weapons are helpful, but won’t make or break most builds. Getting a couple to start you off and fill slots isn’t a bad idea though, which is why it’s second priority. But only get 2 for now, and roll with what you get.


As a reminder, what weapons can appear as drops from Artinia’s Tomb varies depending on if you’re on Colossus or not. If you’re on a Colossus, Autocannons and Grenade Launchers will drop. If you’re not they will be replaced by Heavy Pistols and Machine Pistols. Good to keep in mind if you come back to try for a specific weapon at a later time.


Tomb of Cariff is up next. Your abilities can almost make or break a build, some being necessary for builds to be strong. However, the main thing we’re after here is a pair of abilities that can work well together, or something to be used in a meta build later on. I’ll touch on specific things to watch out for in your loot reveals shortly.


The Tomb of Gawnes is the lowest priority. We’re after Javelin specific components, which quite a few have perks that are useful well into GM3 for most builds. Coincidentally, we also get melee here. Again based on what javelin you have equipped. There’s specific ones that you should keep an eye out for on each Javelin, which will be covered in a short checklist after Seasonal Currency is covered.


The reason this gets the lowest priority is unlike Universal Components they only apply to one javelin, and not all of them can be useful. Where Universals can still roll useful stats even if it’s not one of the main three. There’s also less javelin components that tend to be useful compared to the number of them that are less practical.


Seasonal Currency and Coins


Seasonal Currency is pretty straightforward, as there’s only five Warchests you’ll ever want to purchase: Legendary Component Warchests and each of the Javelin Warchests. These have the highest odds of giving you useful items, as each one contains at least one item featured in a meta or beginner build. The items that aren’t can be decent placeholders. The Component Warchest is especially useful as it’s only Universal Components.


The Legendary Weapon Chest can be useful, but there’s only one weapon in it that tends to be desired out of the nine in it. The odds of pulling a Shardstorm are low, compared to the other chests which are much more likely to pull useful items, and the other 8 guns aren’t used super often, but they can roll as stat sticks so it’s worth a mention at least.


Coins however are spent at the Regulator Store. You’ll want to specifically spend coins only when Meta gear is present, unless there’s an item present you’d like to try as well. For these refer to the checklist below.


 Gear Hunting Checklist

Ending this section off with a Gear hunting checklist. Use this when spending your currencies, or when grinding, as per the alternative section for this stage of progression.  Each entry will feature the items to look for in this format:


  • Item Name - Item Type (Ideal stats)


Colossus
  • Meteor Smash - Melee (Local Weapon Damage, Armor)
  • Voltaic Dome - Ability (Recharge, Global Damage)
  • Vassa’s Arc - Ability (Charges, Recharge)
  • Venom Storm - Ability (175%+ Local Gear Damage, 100% Charges)
  • Catalytic Overdrive - Component (Repair Drop Rate, Ult Speed)
  • Shock Treatment - Component (Repair Drop Rate, Ult Speed)
  • Focused Freeze - Univ. Component (Combo Blast Dmg)
  • Universal Components - Component (Combo Blast Dmg)
Interceptor
  • Deathstalker Blades - Melee (300%+ Local Weapon Damage, Global Dmg)
  • Unending Battle - Weapon (Global Weapon Dmg, Global Dmg, Armor)
  • Close Encounter -Weapon (Global Weapon Dmg, Global Dmg, Armor)
  • Serpent’s Veil - Ability (Global Dmg, Global Weapon Dmg, 100% Charges)
  • Viper’s Bite - Ability (Charges, Recharge, Global Dmg)
  • Specter’s Flash - Ability (175%+ Local Gear Dmg, Charges, Recharge)
  • Vengeance Matrix - Component (Repair Drop Rate, Ult Speed)
  • Elusive Talisman - Component (Repair Drop Rate, Ult Speed)
  • Way of the Bold - Component (Repair Drop Rate, Ult Speed)
  • Bloodlust - Univ. Component (Ultimate Dmg, Melee Dmg)
  • Universal Components - Component (Ultimate Dmg, Melee Dmg)
Ranger
  • Vassa’s Surprise - Weapon (Mag Size, Global Dmg, Armor, Global Recharge)
  • Ralner’s Blaze - Weapon  (Local Weapon Dmg, Global Dmg, Armor, Global Recharge)
  • Rampager - Melee (Armor, Global Dmg)
  • Recurring Vengeance - Ability (Charges, Global Recharge)
  • Arctic Tomb - Ability (Charges, Global Dmg)
  • Tactical Onslaught - Ability (Charges, Recharge, Global Dmg, Global Recharge)
  • Elemental Ops - Component (Repair Drop Rate, Ult Speed)
  • Tip of the Spear - Component (Repair Drop Rate, Ult Speed)
  • Badge of Devastation - Component (Repair Drop Rate, Ult Speed)
  • Universal Components - Component (Combo Imp Dmg, Ult Dmg)
Storm
  • Elemental Rage - Weapon (Armor, Global Dmg, Elemental Dmg, Global Recharge)
  • Lightning Surge - Melee (Armor, Global Dmg, Elemental Dmg, Global Recharge)
  • Binary Star - Ability (Charges, Global Elemental Dmg, Global Dmg)
  • Steam Vent - Ability (175%+ Local Damage, 100%+ Charges)
  • Mark of Ruin - Component (Repair Drop Rate, Shield Delay)
  • Token of Daring - Component (Repair Drop Rate, Shield Delay)
  • Vanguard’s Token - Component (Repair Drop Rate, Shield Delay)
  • Universal Components - Component (Global Dmg, Elemental Dmg, Fire Dmg)


Alternative Method: Gear Grind


This is a much more time consuming way of obtaining gear, but I’ll also be covering some of the supplemental ways to get your gear if you don’t manage to luck into the items you need via tokens to get a build going.


Guaranteed Masterwork Drops


Legendary Contracts and Stronghold bosses on Grandmaster 1 and higher difficulty all have Guaranteed Masterwork Drops. So these should be your priority way to grind for missing gear.


Legendary Contracts specifically will always reward a single Masterwork Javelin-Specific Component, along with a handful of other drops. So if you’re missing one of those from the checklist, this will be a good way to try for a Masterwork tier version that can tie you over until you get a Legendary, since the stats don’t matter as much compared to a Universal.


Stronghold Bosses also have guaranteed Masterwork Drops. Though unlike Contracts, they are not limited to the item type that can drop. So this will be your go to way to fill out your Non-Masterwork Slots before pushing into Grandmaster 2.


Other Grind Options


If you’re looking to mix it up and not just grind strongholds, Legendary Missions can also be a solid alternative. Often being the same difficulty as Strongholds, and spawning just as many high tier enemies. Some are often better than others, ending with handfuls of Apex enemies (Titans, Ursix, Furies, Luminaries). Those are the ones that are worth farming most times. While story/cutscene heavy ones are generally worse.


Normal Contracts can be okay too, depending on what objectives you get. These also come with the benefit of being in the Freeplay zones, so you can harvest other materials while doing them, for use with Guardian Tokens at the tombs.


Seasonal Stronghold and Cataclysm can both generally be rewarding. Both give crystals but are currently set up in a way that one favors Drop RNG, and the other favors Warchest RNG. 


The Strongholds are generally more preferred for their Crystal Income, letting you open more Warchests in terms of the time spent. In addition you still get the usual 2 chests and a boss worth of drops.


Cataclysm currently is a bit lackluster (being limited to 3 events). It heavily favors Drop RNG over Crystal Income. It gives you a lot of Elite and Legendary enemies to kill, 3 chests worth of loot and a boss worth of drops. It can be worthwhile if you clear everything, but will generally be about the same as a Seasonal Stronghold assuming Warchests aren’t what you’re after.


Endgame: Making Grandmaster 3 Easier


With pretty much all the grinding methods covered, there’s not a whole lot more to discuss. The Biggest step up coming from the legendaries dropping at a higher power (Unless they came from Tombs, Regulator or Warchests; as those are all the same power) due to farming in Grandmaster 3.


Chasing Your GM3 Starting Build


It’s a good time to focus on the Gear Hunting Checklist again, going for the maximum values of the recommended stats. The Checklist is only meant to serve as a guide. If you find other stats to be useful, by all means feel free to pursue them.


The Goal is to be able to comfortably run and contribute to Grandmaster 3 content. I recommend finding a build from our selection of builds, and sticking to it while you farm. Relying on Guardian Tokens to try and grab gear for other javelins when desired.


You need to get one build ready for each javelin (or just your favorite if you want to stick with one) and capable of handling Grandmaster 3 to be able to farm effectively. Then those builds will be your foundation to gearing up and trying out other builds.


Chasing Perfection


Now that you’re into Grandmaster 3, Seasonal Strongholds are the prime farming method for build upgrades. Oftentimes, unless pursuing a gear item that comes from a Legendary Javelin Warchest, most people will start to hold all of their Crystals for when the Legendary Component Chest rotates into the Seasonal Store.


On Cataclysm Weeks this often shifts to just doing Normal Strongholds, but Cataclysm is still better than those in my opinion, if only because of the additional chest. If you pay no mind to the amount of crystals you get it’s still faster than most Strongholds, while still giving some Crystals.


At this point, you’re grinding to min-max your build(s), and just more efficiently clear content on Grandmaster 3 difficulty. You’ll be using a lot of the same methods above, with focus on Seasonals Content and your Daily/Weekly missions; for cosmetics or potential upgrades via Coins or Guardian Tokens.


It all comes down to efficiency and how you can best spend your time at this point. The only goal being to get as close to perfection as you can and enjoy your time doing it. You can try to make new builds and make those effective, you can focus purely on Fashion, but progression is basically done, and there’s nothing beyond here.


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