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MLB The Show 21 Diamond Dynasty Midseason Guide for Newcomers (or Veterans)

Diamond Dynasty midseason guide

MLB The Show 21

MLB The Show 21 Diamond Dynasty Midseason Guide for Newcomers (or Veterans)

If you’re thinking about jumping into Diamond Dynasty after hearing a lot of us drooling about all the cool new cards that came out this past week, then this is the guide for you. Whether you’re a newcomer or a veteran, what we’re after here with this guide is efficiency. If you just want to have the best time or chase a certain card, don’t worry about this guide. But if you want to jump in to Diamond Dynasty and really get rolling in a fast (and free) way, then this is why we’ve created this Diamond Dynasty midseason guide.

I don’t want to delay things too much, but I want to explain what’s going to be in this guide so you know whether it’s for you or not. This is not a “tips” guide that will tell you how to beat Showdowns etc. This is purely about what’s the fastest way to put together a bunch of high-rated cards in the fewest number of games. The thing about Diamond Dynasty is it’s absolutely like that snowball rolling down a hill. Once you get it rolling, you can go a bunch of different directions and snag all sorts of cards. However, there’s so much content now it can feel a little overwhelming when you hop in because those “starter” missions/Showdowns/moments are now for cards that no longer hold a candle to the 99 overall cards we have now.

If you do want some basic tips because you’re a true newcomer, we have our Diamond Dynasty guide up from earlier this year, and we also point out someone like content creator CBrev as a great source for some good general knowledge. And if you’re just looking to get 99 overall Acuna Jr. because you want one of the “best” players in the game, then tunneling that player based on his player program is going to be faster than following this guide.

Here, we’re taking a more all-encompassing look at things and trying to collect a large number of cards in a short amount of time from a bunch of old programs rather than just a couple specific amazing cards.

With that all being said, let’s get to it.

MLB The Show 21 Diamond Dynasty Midseason Guide

mlb the show 21 shohei ohtani hitter ratings

What We Won’t Be Playing

Again, if you just want to enjoy DD and scope things out, then play whatever you want. But to get a “base” team that can then help you spread out from there, we’re going to avoid all online modes. We’re also going to avoid most moments and most Showdowns. The reason for this is because we want innings to accrue on players (they don’t in Showdowns and moments), and we want to pick up extra packs along the way.

What We Will Be Playing

  • A specific set of Topps Now moments
  • A specific Conquest map

Where To Start?

MLB The Show 21 Diamond Dynasty midseason guide

So even though I said we won’t be doing moments, Topps Now players are important here to snagging a bunch of high-rated players from the Monthly Awards programs. But to do that, the quickest way to start accruing them is not tunneling those programs, but rather doing one set of moments so you can get three Topps Now players. By getting those players, you’ll then be able to pop them into your first lineup, and have them racking up stats as we start playing Conquest games.

I recommend doing the Topps Now May 17-23 moments because they’re to me the easiest set of moments to do while still getting three players. These player choices are Randy Arozarena, Spencer Turnbull, Jake Cronenworth, Cesar Hernandez, Khalil Lee, and Trevor Larnach. You will get to pick between Lee and Larnach (they’re the two gold players), and then two of the four diamonds. You need to take Spencer Turnbull, but beyond that, take whatever two hitters you want. For this guide, I take Hernandez and Larnach because they’re both AL Central players to tie together with Turnbull.

Now, it’s not essential you take Hernandez and Larnach, but I do think it makes sense. While we won’t be tunneling any specific program too much because we’re trying to get as many players as possible, using division-specific players and tunneling specific MLB divisions is the most efficient way to grab a bunch of players. Without going into too much detail on the why, you basically do this because plate appearances for specific divisions do add up in the background. Thus, soon enough you’ll earn points towards a variety of Team Affinity programs if you focus on a specific division.

You can pick whatever division you want, but for this example I’m starting with the AL Central so here is the lineup. And, yes, it is very empty.

  • C –
  • 1B –
  • 2B – Cesar Hernandez (Topps Now)
  • 3B –
  • SS –
  • OF – Trevor Larnach (Topps Now)
  • OF –
  • OF –
  • SP – Spencer Turnbull (Topps Now)
  • RP –
  • RP –

(We’re mostly just going to be playing three-inning Conquest games, so all I care about is calling out one SP and two RPs for now. I’m not sure what you might have in any starter packs you might have, but I would fill the rest of the lineup with All-Star series players if you somehow have them, otherwise just make sure to use AL Central or NL Central players first.)

Now To Conquest

So why did we do Topps Now moments? Well, this is why:

MLB The Show 21 Topps Now players

For every Monthly Awards program, you can earn 30 points by hitting certain stat thresholds in normal games. These stats involve hits, or extra-base hits, or total bases, or strikeouts. Point being, getting three Topps Now players into your lineup right away will get you closer to earning a minimum of nine new players when you complete the three objectives per Monthly Program. And what’s extra nice is you earn those points for all three programs simultaneously. So, it’s not like you need to do April, and then May, and then June, etc. And this concept applies to Team Affinity unlocks as well, which is why I care about using division-specific players.

From here, again, it’s sort of your choice what Conquest map you want to focus on (within reason), but I recommend doing Central Affinity 2. We’re already using AL Central players, and soon we’ll be using more of them — or NL Central players if you want to go that route. If you don’t want to do the NL or AL Central, then just do any of the other Affinity 2 Conquest maps first using the same concepts outlined above.

Central Affinity 2

If you really want to min/max your lineup as you go through this first Conquest map, then I would use any stubs you make during these games to buy up All-Star series players from the NL or AL Central. We want to do this because Team Affinity 3 is all about All-Star players. So the more of them you get earlier, the quicker you can continue to unlock Team Affinity 3 players (a majority of the best players by overall are now in this program). You don’t need more than you can fit in one lineup, but we’re tunneling a specific division or two because plate appearances start to add up the more you play. In a vacuum, doing a Showdown is the “most efficient” way to get through specifically Team Affinity 3, but we’re trying to do multiple Team Affinity programs at once (plus Monthly Awards programs).

If you don’t have stubs or don’t want to spend them on All-Star players, then as you unlock Monthly Awards players, use them and do their specific missions outlined in the Monthly Awards Program — and then take them out when you finish them — because you won’t need to use those three Topps Now players anymore after you get the 30 points in all three Monthly Awards programs. But if you do have the funds, I would also try to buy All-Star Yasmani Grandal (diamond), All-Star Ken Griffey Jr. (silver), and All-Star Jason Kendall (diamond). Griffey Jr. can be snagged if you put a Sell Now price in around 2,400 or so. With Grandal and Kendall, each of them will cost a Sell Now of 5K stubs, but you can always sell them back when you’re done or quick sell them for that same 5K each.

Here is what your lineup can/should/could look like once you get those 30 points for the Monthly Awards Programs (all 9 players are from the three Monthly Awards programs once you hit 30 points):

  • C – Tyler Stephenson (Monthly Awards)
  • 1B – Yasmani Grandal (All-Star)
  • 2B – Nick Solak (Monthly Awards)
  • 3B – AL Central or NL Central player
  • SS – Brandon Crawford (Monthly Awards)
  • OF – Jesse Winker (Monthly Awards)
  • OF – Ken Griffey Jr. (All-Star)
  • OF – Austin Meadows (Monthly Awards)
  • SP – Danny Duffy (Monthly Awards)
  • RP – Charlie Morton (Monthly Awards)
  • RP – Tyler Glasnow (Monthly Awards)

Bench: Tyler Stephenson (Monthly Awards), Cedric Mullins (Monthly Awards)

(You can put in other starting pitchers after the first inning in Conquest games, so that’s why we’re just putting Morton and Glasnow in the RP spots even though technically they’ll be in your starting rotation. Also it’s okay if your lineup does not look exactly like this, but this is the standard lineup you can field if you want at this point.)

It’s impossible to say how long it will take you to complete the Central Affinity 2 map, or what missions you might complete from all over the place as you do so, but the point is every game you play here will be slowly tallying up things in a ton of areas you might not even notice until you’re told after the game what you unlocked. Regardless, I can tell you it’s a nice feeling seeing new packs hit your collection after just about every 3-inning game, and that’s what will happen once you get rolling.

As for the Conquest games themselves, I will say that you should try to play every game on Rookie during this Conquest map. This isn’t a tutorial about how to do Conquest, but to get into rookie games, you need to outnumber your opponent by 4:1 in units (and you only need to play games against the “strongholds” on the map). And don’t forget about the fact that you always leave one unit behind when taking a territory. So if your opponent has 11 units on a spot, to play them on Rookie you will need 45 units, not 44 units because the matchup itself will act like you only have 44 units:

Diamond Dynasty midseason guide

I say play the games on Rookie because we want to hit lots of home runs and strike out lots of batters. Every K and every HR is worth more than you think once you’re using those All-Star players.

After Completing Central Team Affinity 2

Central Affinity 2

Once you complete this Conquest map, the beauty of it all is the world is yours because you get 60 points for both the NL Central and AL Central Team Affinity 2 program. What this means is that at minimum you will get eight new diamonds at this juncture, and a bunch of them will be All-Star diamonds. Those All-Star diamonds will then be your key to knocking out more stats for Team Affinity 3 and you’re on your way.

Diamond Dynasty midseason guide

I really don’t need to continue the guide much further beyond this because you can basically do this for all the other Conquest maps in the Team Affinity 2 umbrella, but now you just swap out AL/NL Central players for West or East players.

The other option is to tunnel further and then do the Central Affinity Conquest map for Team Affinity 1. This is the option if you really want to snag as many Team Affinity 3 players as quickly as possible because you will now use any All-Star players you got from the Team Affinity 2 NL/AL Central packs while still ticking off some work towards the original Team Affinity Series 42 cards.

The middle ground is continuing to use AL Central/NL Central All-Star players but doing the other Team Affinity Season 2 Conquest maps because this is still technically the quickest way to get the highest number of players in the shortest amount of time.

Okay But Then What?

Well, you can do all the Conquest maps for the Team Affinity programs because they’re the best bang for your buck from a cards-to-games ratio, or at this point is when you can really start tunneling towards specific cards you want. This guide is here to give you good base of diamond cards, but from here, then it’s just about what you want.

I will say, I think it’s worth doing the Daily Mission even if you start now because even though you can’t get Pablo Sandoval anymore (if you start on Friday 7/16), I think snagging an “old” Evolution card, and then also getting at least Awards Nelson Cruz is worth it.

I also didn’t talk much about Player Programs so far, but this is also a point where you can at least look and see why they’re not viable for you at the start unless you really want to do them — the reason is because it either involves doing a bunch of moments or online missions.

Bottom Line

Diamond Dynasty remains the best card-collecting mode in all sports games because it’s fair, fast, and you can hop in now and put together an insane team. NBA 2K MyTeam made strides in some areas this year to mimic The Show‘s style in that way, but The Show still does it best, and the “grind” is the least painful to start accruing cards. EA’s Ultimate Team modes are a step behind even MyTeam now in the “going for your wallet” department if you want to field a competitive team.

Point being, whether you use this Diamond Dynasty midseason guide or not, I want you to at least understand that if you want to collect a bunch of dope cards, then there’s no wrong way to do it — there’s just slower or faster ways. Either way, you do not need to spend a dime to get the elite of elite teams. No other Ultimate Team/MyTeam mode is like that, and that is why we love Diamond Dynasty so much and wanted to put together this guide.

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