Chef, Scroll-Keeper, Buddy's #1 Fan
I disagree with this assessment for the most part. There are some checkpoints not worth doing on stage 3, but a blanket statement to avoid all checkpoints above the 2nd tri-color is too broad and bad strategy. Let's use 6th checkpoint on green path of Stage 3 as an example (one immediately after the 2nd tri-color). Requirements are: 33 Guards, 23 Necklace, and 47 Arcanes. That gets you 300pts. To get 300pts in the Pit, you need 6 flips, or a full set of badge combos. Not all badges are equal in the Pit. Longevity in the Pit is to have enough Blacksmiths, Farmers, Necklaces, and Statues, but Farmers and Blacksmiths are usually the hardest to come by because they require gigantic real estate of workshops. This checkpoint only requires you to have 23 of the difficult badges and you're done, while avoiding any farmers and blacksmiths. To get the same 300pts in the Pit, you'd need 5 blacksmiths, 5 farmers, 5 necklaces, and 5 statues. To me, this is burning blacksmiths and farmers too early and unnecessarily. You need those at the tail end of the Pit when things start getting stuck and not flowing. Every 5 blacksmiths and 5 farmers are worth 300pts since the other badges are much easier to acquire and usually have enough to cover the set of 6 flips. Therefore, to use any other excess badge in the Pit, you must always have at least 5 blacksmiths/farmers/statues/necklaces. It's better to give up 23 Necklaces for 300 pts than burn 5 blacksmiths and 5 farmers. I go pretty hard on FAs and my FSs enjoy the teamwork. I have won several FAs. We pretty much spend the entire FA in the Pit so we have a good understanding of Pit longevity strategy and can execute it. We did 510 flips in the Pit last FA, or 85 cycles of the full set of 6 badge combos. Our mentality is we're not making badges for the maps. We make badges to survive the Pit for 5 days.The last lesson was that those last few dots above the 2nd set of tricolors gain 300 points each but those 300 points is easier to win in the pit if you keep the big piles of difficult items needed in the last few dots.