Gems: Use them when you must have the LD weapon, either because the character's role coverage is important to your specific roster, or because they are a favorite character. Tier lists do not exist in this game for a reason, so do not fully trust "Should You Pull" unless that person is familiar with your specific roster.
Make sure you have 75,000 gems saved to guarantee (pity) that you can buy the LD weapon (or EX weapon if you already have the LD) by using 300 G tokens.
For absolute favorites, reserve 125,000 gems to guarantee a BT weapon - there is no case to pity a BT weapon for roster balance purposes.
Tickets are your more commonly used, go-to way of acquiring weapons, but they can't guarantee anything, so this is heavily luck based. The more tickets you save to get an LD weapon that you would like, the more gems you can save for your critical needs and favorites. Due to no ticket guarantee, it is important to be be prepared to walk away empty-handed.
For players that want to manage their resources in a healthy manner, *gems and tickets* should never be mixed on a single banner. This is especially important for players that wish to remain "free-to-play"
IMPORTANT: Duplicate Pulling for beginners for 15/35cp weapons is ENCOURAGED. There is rarely a valid case to pull for new weapons if you can't MLB them. If you lack powerstones - prepare to pull for dupes/golds until you can MLB them. Do NOT worry about EX/LD dupes, since they have low drop rates, plan to use powerstones to max those.
With the addition of anniversary new player chocoboards new players have access to at least 275 Weapon Tokens, 60 EX power tokens, 10 LD tokens, 300+ power stones, and more which is enough to build quite a bit of older units that recently passed. If you fall into this new category and have access to these chocoboards, your main goal is to focus a single copy of a current unit's LD (and/or BT if you really want to invest in a character) as that will allow you to pick up another unit's LD with tokens and you have plenty of power stones (12 needed to fully MLB any given weapon without dupes).
If you went in with tickets, be ready to walk away empty-handed as switching to gems means you should have used gems in the first place and are wasting even more resources.
If you don't have gems to continue to pull to pity, you have wasted them, so consider skipping the banner and saving your gems.
Rules for Healthy Management of Gems & Tickets
Do not mix gems & tickets on a single banner
Gems should only be used to pity a character's weapons that you must have to enjoy the game.
Tickets should be used when you would like the LD, are not using gems, and are willing to walk away. Set a limit and do not break it!
Skip the other banners that do not match Rule 2 & 3. Do not ever do "You only live once" (YOLO) pulls with gems or tickets.
Don't have "Fear of missing out" (FOMO). Focus on what you truly want, and not what others want. Make a plan and stick to it, or else you risk getting overly stressed & frustrated about a game.
You should however, play however you feel comfortable, just understand the risks.
For more context & details on these rules, check Jin Lee's How2Manage Resources video
Situation #1: Targeting a new LD or FR
Note on FRs: While your roster will need FRs, some characters do not need their FR to function so unless it is a favorite unit or a strong FR you wish to use over the course of a long time, you can focus on getting just LDs and EXs still.
Strategy #1: Must have LD or FR due to role coverage or favorite
Ensure you have 75,000 (for LD) or 100,000 (for FR) gems and plan to pity
If you also lack the EX, make sure you have 10 EX tokens OR 300 tickets OR another 75k gems. STOP IF YOU DO NOT - you lack enough resources to ensure that you acquire the full kit, and should skip the banner and save.
Pull until you reach 300 G tokens OR you get the FR AND LD. If you get the FR but lack the LD:
Keep going until 300 G tokens and hope you get the LD. Otherwise use the 300 G tokens to exchange for the LD.
Disaster scenario: 400 G tokens with no FR or LD.
If you have 300 tickets, prepare for a calculated risk, and switch to tickets. You are likely to get one of the missing weapons and if you get one, spend the G tokens on the other you need.
If you don't have 300 tickets, then you have to use 75k more gems. This is why it is so important not to "throw tickets," or spend them randomly.
Strategy #2: Nice to have LD, you are willing to walk away
Ensure you have 300 tickets generally. Do ticket pulls, cumulatively, you have a more than 75% chance to get LD & a 90% chance to get the EX! 600 tickets would give you a 95% chance. Obviously, you can still be scorned by luck, but that's OK as you were willing to walk away empty-handed.
If you get lucky pulling a BT (24% with 300 tickets) while hunting for the LD, you may want to consider using 75,000 gems to guarantee the LD for the BT character and complete their kit. If so, jump to Strategy #1. Or you can just save up & hold the BT for later. Never sell BT's unless they are a dupe and you have enough tokens to buy a BT weapon that you want.
Situation #2: Targeting a new BT
Never, ever, chase BTs with tickets. There are no exceptions. Do not fall prey to Results Oriented Thinking just because you ticketed a BT earlier.
Never plan to ticket the LD and pity the BT, always use gems to pity the LD.
Strategy #1: Must have both LD & BT due only to the fact that they are a top 10 favorite
Ensure you have 200,000 gems and plan to pity both. Yes - 200,000. If you have 50 BT tokens and are willing to use them, change this number to 75,000 & jump to Situation #1, Strategy #1 to pull for the LD. If you don't have 50 BT tokens, and you don't have 200,000 gems, be prepared to miss the BT entirely and only get the LD - also jump to Situation #1, Strategy #1.
Pull on the LD/BT banner until you reach 300 G Tokens OR you get the LD, whichever is first, then stop.
Review the other upcoming banners in the next 2 weeks that have the BT also. If those banners have free pulls or if you are planning to ticket or gem one of the banners then WAIT. Jump to Situation #1 for that LD and see if you get the BT during your LD pulls. If not:
If you did not get the BT yet, pull until you reach 500 G Tokens or you get the BT, whichever is first, then stop
Disaster Scenario: 500 G Tokens with no LD or BT.
Depending on your current resource stash, you may consider taking a calculated risk if you have over 600 tickets, and are not ticketing upcoming banners. With 300 tickets, you are 75%+ for the LD, and with 600 tickets, you are 95% to pull the LD. That would leave a 5% chance of a catastrophe, which would also force you back to gem pulls.
Your only option is to continue pulling until you hit 800 G tokens, or pull the LD or BT, whichever comes first. Pity the other weapon, and take satisfaction that You now have your favorite's full kit and can enjoy them to your fullest, it IS worth it!
... That's it, there's no other strategy if you want the BT. Either prep your 125K gems, BT tokens, or start saving for what you actually love in the game.