This is an in-depth description of the breeding system in Dragon City. It is current as of February 21, 2014 and the principles described here are how the Breeding Calculator and How to Breed pages function.
How to Breed Elemental Dragons
The Elemental dragons are those which have only one element and can be purchased for Gold in the Build Menu. Legend is the only single element that isn’t represented as a Elemental in this manner. The others; Terra, Flame, Sea, Nature, Electric, Ice, Metal, Dark, Light, War, and Pure are all available for purchase using Gold.
Elemental dragons form the base of the breeding hierarchy. They cannot breed together with their opposite element. Here is a list of the opposite elements:
- Terra opposite Metal
- Flame opposite Ice
- Sea opposite War
- Nature opposite Electric
- Light opposite Dark
Pure and Legend elements do not have opposites.
While you can breed Elementals, in most cases they will be purchased from the Build Menu for Gold. Light, War, and Pure dragons may be easier to obtain via other methods though, given how expensive they are, as well as how expensive their habitats are. The price of the habitat matters a lot in regards to Elemental dragons, because they can only be housed in habitats of their element.
It is important to know how to breed Elemental dragons though, so as to understand why they show up sometimes, but not others. This can help you plan your breeding of other dragons to minimize the number of Elementals you get. This is especially important and confusing when breeding the new Light and War dragons, which seem to return a lot of Archangels and War dragons!
Elementals can be bred in 2 ways …
Method 1 for Breeding Elementals
If their corresponding element is present in both parents then the Elemental is a possible result. So for instance, Flaming Rock + Volcano could return Flame, Terra, Flaming Rock, or Volcano. Flame and Terra being Elementals.
This is by far the most common way that Elementals are bred.
Method 2 for Breeding Elementals
If a combination of elements from the parents results in no possible dragons, an Elemental can be returned. It will be an Elemental corresponding to the element used in that specific combination.
For instance, breeding Pure + War can result in no hybrid dragons as there is no dragon with both Pure and War elements yet. Instead, the game will return either Pure or War from that breeding pair. It will be a 50:50 split (or close to it). Pure, War, and Light are the only Elementals that can be returned this way, as in every other possible breeding combination there is a valid result. (Currently, only Pure + War, and Pure + Light are missing.)
Currently when breeding the new Light and War dragons some people are still getting a lot of War and Archangels even when there is a valid hybrid dragon that can be returned. It’s not yet clear whether this is a bug or as intended … but it’s certainly frustrating for a lot of people.
How to Breed Hybrid Dragons
The breeding system in regards to Elementals is actually more complicated than it is for Hybrids, so this should be a rather easy section.
To breed Hybrid dragons, simply ensure that the elements that comprise the Hybrid dragon are present in the parents, and that at least one of the elements can come from each parent.
There’s not much more to it than that! Other than the exception for Rare Hybrids that is … We will go over that in the next section though. For now, just know that you can always use Elementals (or any other dragon) to breed Hybrids, but can’t use Elementals to breed Rare Hybrids except in special cases.
How to Breed Rare Hybrids
Rare Hybrids are those dragons which have 2 elements which are opposed to each other. (See list above for which Elements are opposite each other.) For instance, Sea is opposite of War, and so the Elementals Sea and War cannot breed with each other directly. This means that Leviathan is a Rare Hybrid.
There are two methods to breeding Rare Hybrids …
Breed Rare Hybrids using Hybrid Parents
This is the most common method used, and is pretty simple. You can breed opposite elements with each other as long as they are in Hybrids. For instance, Flaming Rock (Terra, Flame) can breed with Platinum (Metal, Ice) even though Terra and Metal are opposite elements, as are Flame and Ice. You could get the Rare Hybrids Soccer (Ice, Flame), Cool Fire (Flame, Ice), or Armadillo (Terra, Metal) from that combination. If you use Flaming Rock and Platinum when both are level 15 or higher, then you could also get Treasure (Metal, Terra) and Ice&Fire from that combo! This is because Treasure and Ice&Fire are both Rare Hybrids and Level Exclusives.
An interesting note, the results of that combination hint that the order of elements doesn’t matter in this regard. If the order did matter, then when using a level < 15 for any of the parents the game would try to find a breedable (Metal, Terra), and find no Hybrids which matched. As we discussed in the previous section about Elementals though, in that case we'd expect the game to return the corresponding Elementals. Since it doesn't return the Elementals Terra or Metal, it suggests that the game doesn't care which order the elements are in. (At least not in this regard.)
Breed Rare Hybrids using Legends
The other method that can be used to breed Rare Hybrids is to use at least one Legend. This isn’t used very often, since players usually have their Rare Hybrids before they get Legends. As such, the Rare Hybrids generated this way tend to be “misses” that are unwanted, rather than the target dragon.
The exception is Leviathan, which was introduced after many players already had Legends. So it was an attractive option to breed Leviathan using a Legend rather than two hybrids.
The Legend element is a wildcard, and so can be any element. It can even be any two elements at the same time! (Perhaps even more, but there’s no valid case to test this.) The Legend element also seems to break all the rules. It bypassed the level requirement for Level Exclusives, and allows you to breed Rare Hybrids using Elementals.
You can also use Legend + Hybrid to get Elementals.
How to Breed Pure Dragons
The Pure and Pure Elemental dragons were changed considerably by the Light and War update. The Pure Elementals were changed from having their own dedicated elements to having the Pure element + the other corresponding element. So for instance, the Pure Nature dragon used to have the Pure Nature element, but now has the Pure and Nature elements. This made them Pure Hybrids rather than Pure Elementals.
The way to breed Pure dragons has remained much the same as before the update. They can be bred using combinations of Pure, Pure Hybrids, and Legends. However, the way most players will get their first Pure has changed dramatically since they come before Legends in the “family tree”. Pure and Pure Elementals used to be at the very top of the tree above Legends, but now have switched places with Legends at the top. So using Legends to get Pures will no longer be a very good option for most players, as you need Pures to get Legends!
The most likely way to breed a Pure for new players is to buy a Pure from the build Menu. From there you can breed Pure Hybrids easily, and if you want, more Pures once you have 2 Pure and/or Pure Hybrids.
Another route is to first buy one of the Pure Hybrids that show up in the Black Market from time to time and breed from there. If you have a Light or War dragon, you can even breed a Pure by pairing your Pure Elemental with any Light or War dragons. Then Pure will be a chance because of how the game treats element combinations that don’t yet have a dragon. (Like Pure + Light or Pure + Dark).
How to Breed Pure Hybrid Dragons
So far there is only one Pure Hybrid for each pairing of Pure with another element except in the case of Ivory, which was recently added and is Terra + Pure to go along with Pure Terra’s Pure + Terra. This makes the old Pure Elementals much easier to breed if you already have a Pure dragon. It’s 100% sure to get the corresponding Pure Hybrid by breeding Pure + [corresponding Elemental] in every case except for using Terra. For instance, Pure + Flame is 100% Pure Flame. There are no other possible results at least until more Pure hybrids are released.
Also of note, there are no Pure Hybrids yet that match Pure with Light, War, or Legend.
How to Breed Legend Dragons
The Legend dragons consist of all of those dragons that have the Legend element. They are Legendary, Wind, Crystal, Mirror, Droconos, Nirobi, and Robin Hood. All but Robin Hood can be bred.
To breed a Legend dragon, you need to use parent dragons with the Pure element. So Pure dragons as well as any Pure Hybrids will work. Legend being a wildcard element also counts as Pure.
When both parents have the Pure element, then a Legend is a possible result. The odds will always be low, and so you should expect to have to try many times to get a Legend. Since the Light and War update, I have tried over 60 times, with only 3 Legends (Crystal, Nirobi, Mirror) to show for it.
How to Breed Level Exclusives
Level Exclusives (old and new) have had a big change in the last update. Before then the only way to breed them was using a Legend + [dragon with corresponding Element(s)], contrary to the description in the Build Menu. Now the description in the Build Menu also works. So Level Exclusives are actually Level Exclusives again.
To breed a Level Exclusive you need to pair two dragons which between them have all the elements of the target Level Exclusive. Legend counts as a wildcard remember, so can be used for any (or any two) of the elements. But at least one element needs to come from each parent.
The other requirement is that both of the parents need to be greater than or equal to the required level. This is the level claimed in the Build Menu. On the Facebook app this is a white number in a black circle. On Android it’s the number on the red flag.
If you do use a Legend for one of the parents, it bypasses the level requirement though! Still, it’s usually better to not use a Legend to breed Level Exclusives, since it makes for very low odds given all the possible dragons when Legends are involved.
Do Levels Affect Breeding Odds?
In the past levels were an important factor in the breeding system. They appear to no longer be factors in the odds for breeding dragons though. The importance levels still have is relegated to requiring level 4 for dragons to be used for breeding, and for the Level Exclusive rules already mentioned.