Gonna share some secrets here's why...
Some people dont know, and they'll learn something!
Some people already know, and I don't see this affecting them (or me) since it's not too hard to finish top 1%. Those who are already finishing in the top 50 won't be affected by this because the rest of us will never touch them anyway. So long story short - sharing these secrets won't "hurt" anyone.
There are other secrets out there, I'm just too lazy to care. So if you know them great! Share if you want. Or keep them to yourself .
Just want to help the community.
The number of people who read these forums is statistically very small. Won't have much impact.
So, I'm usually able to hit top progress reward within 30hrs or so without spending any money. Granted I am max level and vip 13, which helps. However, even f2p should find these tips useful.
How to prepare:
Hoard like nobody's business. Not just gold, but items.
Always keep your expo reset. That means if I start the day and have a competed expo, and 1 reset, I will reset it but not do it (well maybe first for quest). Next day I get another reset. Just before bed (or reset or whatever) do your expo and reset, but leave it. This always allow you to do 2 in one day when these contests come up.
Don't waste your gold.
What not to spend it on during the conest:
What to spend it on:
10x silvers until you cant.
But here is the key - learn what items to build and then sell. You get credit for the gold to vuild them, then you get a good return (if you do the right items) and make almost all of it back. Then you buy more 10x sliver chests. Repeat this until you run out of patience or gold.
Good items I've found:
Shot of cortisone
And you will frequently get items fully you can just sell. Such as:
Impractical chest plates
Flail of total devastation
Glaive of dismemberment
And final tip - you will accumulate a lot of stuff. Sell most of it after your mass chest buys and after you craft your stuff. Do it by selling, hitting max, then subtracting by 3 or so. That way you always have a few in reserve. There are many good blue items and even several green that sell for between 400 and 1k gold.
Have to get going for a bit. Hope some find this helpful!