So this past week, I decided to tier for an iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls: Starlight Stage event. The main card was Sakuma Mayu, who is one of my favourite idols in the game. This event started on December 20th and ended on December 27th, and it was a token event. From this point onward, I’m going to explain everything in as much detail as I can, to help me remember when I come back to this some time in the future.
For me, this was my first idolmaster event I actually tried to grind hard for tier 1. Tier 1 means that you are in the top 2000 ranking for the event, granting you a special rewards such as a red ranking banner, a 10* event card of the main girl, in this case Mayu, and more. The last time I tried grinding for an event was back when I was still playing Love Live! School Idol Festival, which was around 2 years ago.
Anyways, now that I’m working, doing a T1 grind is hard. I don’t use any auto teams to help: I play it straight through with all the attention I can give to it as time permits. At the same time, my daily routine must not be super hampered. With this in mind, I don’t really aim for the top 100 or anything. From what I’ve seen, those people that do that are pretty intense, and without me using an auto team to help me, looking a screen for too long would have tired me out so much.
As I mentioned, this event was a token (atapon) event, which basically means that playing normal songs will get you event points, and give you tokens, which you use to play the event song. Playing the event song grants you more event points. That means, the more tokens you accumulate, the more times you can play the event song, and the more event points you can get. Because of the nature of this repetitive action, it is called a grind.
The event song was called ギュっとMilky Way. It’s so cute! Here it is below:
For the first few days, I was still working, so grinding was a little difficult after work since I was tired. To make sure I didn’t leave my stamina on full during the day, I would have my eigyou (営業) run, and use stamina to shorten it. During my work’s lunch break, I would play a few songs. Since I decided to tier for this event, I only played with 2x stamina, yielding 53 event points and 106 event tokens per 19 stamina Master song play.
On the weekend (December 21, 22), I would go out to the local gym for a change of pace, and use the stationary bike to both exercise and grind. It was “two birds, one stone” in my opinion. But yeah it was a shorter grind at the gym: a little over an hour. After that, I would rest my eyes for half an hour by sitting in a steam room and hot tub, and then go back home and continue grinding. As this was still the first half of the event, the 2x and 4x event token spend was not available yet, so I would interleave obtaining tokens with flushing tokens out, just to have a mix of songs to play.
I had work until December 24th, so the majority of the grind started after this time. For efficiency, some guides will say to do a full cycle of accumulating the max number of tokens, which is 9999, and then flush them all out in one sitting, which is known as one complete “cycle”. I opted to not do that to save myself some sanity. Instead, I would accumulate roughly 4 to 5k tokens, and flush it out before playing other songs.
For my song selections, I aimed for Master songs, and played ones that I wanted to triple S (S score, S combo, S clear). In my case, those songs were Gossip Club, Nyanto Spectacle, Sunshine See May, Mirror Ball Love, and Spice Paradise. I managed to SSS Gossip Club only. For Nyanto Spectacle, I was only at B clear before, so I managed to get to 62 plays and A clear it. Sunshine See May was the same, with 63 clears, as well as Spice Paradise with 56 clears. Mirror Ball Love was close, at 94 clears. Because of the nature of these repetitive plays at 2x stamina, I exhausted all my stamina drinks, and had to eventually use star jewels to continue my grind.
Anyways, back to the event, I was mostly playing catch up until the last 2 days. Tier 1 is rank 2000 or lower, so that was definitely challenging to keep up with. With border predictions saying 100k points needed, I was starting to feel the pressure. With 15 hours left, I was at an estimated 77k points if I flushed the remaining tokens I had:
Fatigue was starting to set in this day, so I opted to play one of the shorter songs, Snow Wings, which I did roughly 40 times. I was also lucky, this day, because my friend, Jeff, also told me to play Grand Live songs at 2x stamina cost, which would be more efficient. Since my Grand Live plays are pretty bad, I just went for Onegai Cinderella and M@GIC on Piano difficulty, and spent 50 stamina, yielding 70 event points and 140 tokens per play for roughly the same amount of play time. This was pretty convenient for tiering, and if I’m able to play Forte difficulty next time, then that would be even better. At least I found out before the end of the event, so that was good. I played those two songs for the rest of the event, and found myself getting close and closer to my target of 100k points.
As I was at a friend’s house for a birthday party, I was playing on and off on the last day. I was really drained at the end, but my friend Jeff (god bless this guy) helped me play a little bit while I passed out for like periods of 20 minutes here and there. At this point, I was finally within tier 1, so it was just maintaining it for the rest of the event that was hard.
I got myself a coffee at around 12AM, and played some more. With 15 minutes until the end, I was at 105.4k, and I called it a night afterwards. I was so dead, but glad the event was over.
At the end of this event, I used:
- 45 30 stamina drinks (roughly),
- 45 20 stamina drinks (roughly),
- 45 10 stamina drinks (roughly),
- 8 100 stamina drinks,
- 3150 star jewels.
Waiting for event rankings to come out was stressful, but I managed to secure rank 1548!
Event grinding is hard, but I think with adequate planning (which I wish I did more of beforehand), tiering can be fun.
I ended up using these resources to help me:
- My friend, Jeff (it is seriously more fun to have other people playing with you).
- https://aidoru.info/token (for estimated grind times and jewel spends).
- The Ultimate English Resource to Tier 1 and Beyond! (reddit).
Will I be tiering for another event any time soon? Probably not. It’ll have to be a Miria event for me to even think about it, and it might involve me booking some time off work, but yeah I need more rest, cause I’m sick.
Until next time!