The Stones System
By the time this is published, Netmarbaru will have pushed the meta further with another set that will outdo the previous. That's the way the game keeps things fresh, or another way to look at it, the way it keeps driving people bonkers.
As of May 2021 I would just like to say that the Geese set is the latest meta because it literally takes away your skills, whereas the Leah gave you double. It's not completely broken but that second where you have no skills in PVP is probably going to cost you the match. For PVE it definitely isn't needed. For maximum damage, the Akane set right now seems best. The Shermie set seems to be specific for a task, not sure what, damage wise it still doesn't match Akane. The Yashiro set should be the golden ticket for grab characters but we've been disappointed before. More details in the cards summary below.
Introduction for Beginners
Cards have two purposes in this game, they give a special skill or quality to a character and will boost the CP level, giving them an overall buff. Equipping a full set will give an additional boost!
The most famous set is “My favourite thing”, illustrated by Kula, indulging in sweets. The set is extremely strong because it gives the player 5% boost per card and then 17.8% boost when the player lands a critical hit, thus 32.8% boost for 5 seconds, every time you get a critical hit.
The FES cards are of course better, but players will need luck to acquire them. The Noah cards, for example, give a huge CP boost and then 15% attack boost and super armour... if you missed a festival, don’t worry, there will be another stronger set in the future, that’s how the game works. For set cards, most players will use the Kula “My favourite thing” at 568 because of the skill but the highest CP cards are Kyo’s “The Start” set at 571/571/572, with the Art of Fighting “Sibling training” set with 570 each.
For option cards, from the normal pool, the cards average CP is 550, the highest CP is 569 which can be found with Kula and K’s Unreal peace and King’s Hospitality card. When equipping them to strikers, it is the same!
After that, the game released FES cards such as the Tekken set, False Halloween set and Noah set which had a CP of around 1K…. Speaking of Kula and her favourite thing, she had a robot companion, called Candy, which didn’t have a happy ending in The King of Fighters 2000... but is certainly cherished.
Example Damage Comparison
As in the video, using Xmas Chang:
base (nothing but ultimate card equipped) 134608
Iori (varies due to critical hits) 309693 - 344150
Tekken (varies due to critical hits) 305498 - 344460
Mary (boost only applies to strike skills) 355115
Mr Big (boost only for defense characters) 415587
Kaya (boost only for defense characters) 495024
Noah - 405246
So in conclusion, so far, the best card set for attack characters is the Noah set. However, the Tekken set is better because of the PG gain. For Defense characters, Kaya set, no question. Then there are cards that fit for specific characters, eg Strike based characters such as Lady Kim using the Girls that Sing Love set. Many more card sets have been released since this article, so please go to Championship mode and use the practice mode to see the damage for your favourite sets.
Strikers and CP!!!
You may notice that the Xmas Kasumi card gives huge CP, along with Orochi darkness card. However, while the CP is zooming up out of control, a 6* Kula option card with attack up bonus will actually give you greater CP, although it doesn't seem like it. Ignore the green and red numbers, look at the final CP. Also note, leadership buffs work on strikers, so pay attention to male and female etc buffs. This is very important for guild raid, for example.
An unindentified observer
Attack+13%. 30% chance to reset a skill WHEN the skill hits. (Cooldown 20s)
Aka Leah set. Randomly resets cooldowns so you can have the chance to blast your skills twice each, BUT they all must hit; after which there's a cooldown of this effect for 45seconds, but the opponent probably died in 5. It sounds great but actually with the conditions it's not exactly a guaranteed win. Arguably, with the cooldown considered, Akane is better for PVE, but for events with a billion mobs, it's something to consider.
City of Darkness
Attack+13%. 30% chance to boost 10% damage for 8 seconds. (Cooldown 20s)
Aka Geese set. With this equipped, you can just let the opponent hit you as their skills will be disabled as if they had used them and are waiting for a cooldown. With some rolling and even basic attacks, the opponent can still win but if you can attack immediately with an invincible move set, they are probably dead. This set works for bosses only. Not recommended for PVE.
PVE Only: 2% power when skill hits.
PVP Only: damage reduced by 20% when health is less than 50%
Aka Orochi set. Zzzz Leah set will skill kill you in PVP. Use this for PVE as an upgrade to Ryo set.
Attack+31%. The recommended set for high CP, works best on attack characters, and randomly gives you super armour.
This is actually a very good set for PVP because super armour can make the difference between a move getting beaten by another or allowing it to keep going.
Def+21%. Attack boost equal to 45% of def. After tagging in gains 10% attack plus super armour for 5s.
Much like the Noah set, it's recommended to collect these as soon as possible because not only do they have high CP, they will grant the user super armour when tagging in, making it the best set for League.
Attack +21%, HP+20%, 10% chance to guard break when using active skill. When attacked, decreases opponent's attack by 20% for 10s (cooldown 15s)
For characters that need a guard breaking move, as their pvp opponent is always blocking, such as with Nameless, a very tempting set, but only 10% chance!
Ein "the truth between 0 and 1"
CP +3K. 800 Penetration bonus. Def, HP, Attack +7%. 15% chance to get super armour for 1s and 20% damage reduction. This is for a very specific purpose: breaking through an attack, albeit with no guarantee. At any rate, won't help you against a super move. Best guess this is for upcoming event boss.
The original top tier set, giving you an 17.5% attack boost when you get a critical; depending when you get that critical makes all the difference in a combo.
Nurse Mary Halloween Set
HP+6%, ATK +6%, DEF +6%, ATK +12%, Strike +23%
Underated and a good set, most consistent damage makes it better for players who don't want to rely on luck. That 23% strike skill buff is not to joked with BUT remember it's for strike skills, not blast or grabs. The luck based higher damage version of this set is the "Girls who sing Love" set.
Mr Big Set
+21% DEF. attack boost of 42% of DEF. 3% health and power boost from defeating enemy.
This is an absolutely necessary set for Defense characters, giving the attack boost based on 40% of their defense stats. Best Def set for PVE.
Consistent and great for PVP; when you are hit by one of those annoying characters who have immunity, you will only take 50% of the damage.
Def +15%. attack boost of 40% of DEF
No quibbles, just raw boost for Defense characters. Mr Big and Kaya set are better.
Ash "Formidable Foe Type 1"
8% attack, attack boost of 25% of DEF. PG rate +5%
Very strange damage criteria but what's interesting is the power charge rate
The Girls who sing Love
2K CP bonus, Strike Skills 30% dmg with 50% chance to get 20% attack bonus so that means if you have 3 strike character, they can get 50% increase on their 2nd and 3rd strike skill. Examples: Lovely Aris, Lady Kim, Idol May Lee
Choi/Taker "Rest in Peace"
ATK+6, HP+6, Skill+7. Atk+10, 20% chance of SA when + increase of PG rate by 20% (both for 2s), when using grab skills.
Nice set for grapplers but was a collab exclusive so next best thing is the Liz set
Liz n Shingo "Winter Holiday Gift"
Atk +6%, 2% PG per grab, Crit rate+ 8% 5s after grab, +13% ATK, Grab damage gains 200% of ATK.
Best set for grapplers when you don't have the Choi/Taker set
Kyo "the Start"
Pitiful damage but it builds the power gauge!
Kula K "Unreal Peace" / Maxima "Strategic Retreat"
Reduction of cooldown, enabling you to execute more skills, forget all the other cards.
Andy / Mai "The original Plan"
This gives you a 20% chance to get SA when attacked, giving you a chance to escape a death combo. In high stakes PVP this is essential.