September 4, 2022 by Austin Hutchinson
This week, San Diego Studios announced their newest update to Diamond Dynasty, the Back to Old School featured program – which includes a Showdown, Conquest, along with missions and many new ways to gain XP in the program.
There are several new cards added into the game including the three big bosses, Chipper Jones, Billy Wagner, and Lou Gehrig, available in a choice pack at 200K XP. Let’s sharpen our pencils and dive into our homework this weekend, the Back to Old School Program.
First things first, let’s go over our new bosses.
Chipper Jones is a 99 overall beast. We’ve been looking forward to an elite Chipper card all year and SDS didn’t disappoint. Though he’ll only get gold defense at third base at P5, you’re not grinding for this card for his glove – it’s his bat. With 111 power and 125 contact vs left, this is one of the best right dominant switch hitters in the game. With near 100 vision and 100+ from all sides, this card may have to replace Moments Austin Riley and definitely Finest Josh Donaldson in many lineups.
The good thing is, he’s playable at shortstop and left-field. Might be time to move Future Stars O’Neal Cruz to the bench. This card’s flexibility and Meta Overall of 84.5, making him the eighth best third baseman in the game right behind Jordan Walker. At P5 it is 88.37 Meta Overall, making him third as it’s a sliver better than Austin Riley’s base Meta Overall. Either way, for you switch hitter lovers, this card is a must grab.
Next we have Showdown boss and one of the best Takashi Okazaki cards in the game, lefty closer Billy Wagner. This card’s stats are absolutely disgusting. It’s only weakness is his control as a 79 BB/9 isn’t ideal for having a smaller par. But for players that have their pinpoint pitching down this is the best pitching card in the game. 125 H/9 and 125 K/9 is literally unhittable. Outlier on his four seam fastball, and a changeup to tunnel with it… as if his nasty slider and curveball isn’t enough.
His Meta Overall of 98.80 makes him the best closer in the game. If you haven’t gotten Chapman yet, this is more than enough of a compromise.
Let’s get the lowdown on Prime Lou Gehrig. Simply put, he’s one of the best left-handed hitting cards in the game. I’d say he’s pretty comparable to Juan Soto, and even more so to Cody Bellinger. He’s better than his predecessor Takashi Okazaki Babe Ruth. His 125 contact vs right and 111 power vs left makes him a viable option vs both sides of the plate. Getting gold fielding at P5 at first is nice, but he’s a very viable corner outfield spot especially if you have diamond defense in center. Per our Meta Overall, he’s an 84.2 at first base, making him the first highest primary and fourth overall. At P5 he’s an 87.9 Meta Overall, right behind Austin Riley’s base card. If you love his swing or are a diehard Yankees fan, Lou is a very viable option to choose.
Now the juice – You’ll have two weeks to grind out that 500K XP. The first thing to knock out during this program are the Back to Old School missions. Here you’ll have nine moments for a total of 18K XP, including the chance to test drive all the big bosses. None of them are tough tasks, all on Veteran difficulty. Nowhere near throwing the controller at monitor difficulty we saw with the Extreme Moments last week.
My favorite? Getting a steal with the new Eric Davis card. Not always do we see moments with steals. Only took a few attempts, so don’t sweat it and get down to business!
We of course have our Week 1 Legend and Flashback Missions to grind out that XP. We recommend (if you have the stubs available) to buy up as many of the bosses you can and grind out all the XP in the same games. Maybe a mini-seasons game on all-star. Or if you’re new to the show, a home game against the Orioles on rookie. Either way, there’s 25K XP on the line. Get your grind on.
One very nice surprise is the addition of collection XP from gaining the bosses in the Extreme Program. Locking them in gets you 30K XP each. Wood, Chapman, Cano, and Donaldson are a combined 120K XP in the program. So keep grinding that parallel XP and take another shot at that Showdown against Randy, it’s worth it to keep going at it.
Mentioning Showdowns, we also have a new one against the new program boss, Takashi Billy Wagner. Though not intense at Randy, this nine-step Showdown should keep you on your toes. Wagner is nothing to scoff at, rated the number one Meta Overall closing pitcher in the game. Yes, that means he is (by our account) a better southpaw than Retro Finest Aroldis Chapman. Finishing him off will earn you 30k towards the program.
There’s also the good ol ‘Conquest, this next one looks like and is a Grasshopper. Not a clue how this fits into the Back to old School theme. But hop on! If you’re a pack harvester, here’s a link to the reward map for all the goodies for that stubs grind. Honestly, it looks much more lax than the last few Conquests that were a tad tedious. You start out with 14m million fans and there are only five other strongholds to conquer. Get your grasshopper going and finish out this Conquest to earn 30K towards the program.
This program also has its typical Week 1 exchanges as well as the March October XP, if either of those are your cup of tea.
Let’s also go over some of the new players dropped today. We have Retro Finest Elvis Andrus and Lorenzo Cain, two very solid additions to the finest collection. These are attainable in the new event. As the MLB the Show blog post states, these are the rules:
Taking a peak at each Andrus and Cain, they aren’t the best Finest cards, but are still very effective and some of the top at their respective positions in the game.
Both Andrus and Cain struggle with power against right but are overall very good hitters. Cain comes with diamond fielding and Andrus gets it at P2. Many may not go out of their way to grab these new finest cards, but be prepared. A new collection reward is coming soon. With the flash sale of the All Star Game and Home Run Derby packs this Thursday afternoon, expect an announcement in the coming weeks. Get your collections ready.
The first “pre-boss” you can grab before the boss choice pack is 99 overall Prime Eric Davis. He’s pretty solid. Doesn’t have great contact versus right, but is fast as possible with diamond defense.
Let’s not forget some of the new flashbacks and legends needed for that CP, including Signature Series Tony Perez, Cy Young Jim Palmer, Prime Justin Turner, Retro Finest Juan Pierre, and Retro Finest Joe Smith. We also have throwbacks in Future Stars Kebryan Hayes, Moments Brand Lowe, Postseason Ian Happ, Postseason Danny Jensesn, and Moments Jackie Bradley Jr. These are all solid options to add to the end of your bench or rotation.
A handful of players went diamond during today’s roster update, including the Atlanta Braves’ Michael Harris and Spencer Strider, the Milwaukee Brewers’ Hunter Renfroe, and the newly traded Seattle Mariners’ Luis Castillo.
Let us know how your grind is going. Follow and tweet at us @MLBtheShowZone. Throw us a bone in the comments. What new players are you rocking with? How are those collections going? Don’t worry, we won’t ask how far you got into the Xtreme program. Good luck this weekend and keep us updated.
Austin Hutchinson is a freelance writer who splits time in both Southern California and the Chicagoland area. An avid lifelong Chicago sports fan, Austin has written for a variety of publications who cover MLB and the NBA with an in-depth look. A versatile writer, he has done news hits as well as covered sports through the lenses of film Xs & Os and analytically as well. You can find him on Twitter @AE_Hutchinson.
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