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/ffg/'s Guide to FFRK

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  1. LAST UPDATED: 11/20/2016
  2.  
  3. Strategy website & event information:
  4. http://ffrk.kongbakpao.com/
  5.  
  6. Game mechanics and statistics:
  7. http://happypluto.com/~misterp/r/ffrk.pdf
  8.  
  9. /ffg/'s Friend Codes List:
  10. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1yjUI0AwTAoBxuZlGQQZfaEQMnNt2bUdzm0gMZHXq4Cs/edit#gid=0
  11.  
  12. Upcoming event banners:
  13. http://bantha.org/~dscotton/ffrk.html
  14.  
  15. >What's FFRK?
  16. Final Fantasy Record Keeper is a mobile spin-off of the Final Fantasy series. Like all shitty mobage games, it has a fairly simple plot: for some reason we have a kingdom that gets its power from magical artworks that depict the story of mainline FF games, and some jackass is corrupting them, so you go into the world of paintings and fix everything. Cue battles in these realms using the old Active Time Battle system simplified for the attention-deficit generation.
  17.  
  18. >mobile
  19. Yes, I know, microtransactions, et cetera, et cetera, good goy. FFRK's mythril / gems system is set up in such a way that you can literally, with time, some strategy, and maybe some luck, beat even the hardest content level without spending so much as a shekel and sucking Jewgle's dick. Don't be fooled.
  20.  
  21. Anyway, you might ask: what's the appeal? Waifu/husbando collection. Nostalgia. Whatever. The old ATB system is >fun. Also, All the Bravest was a horrible game and Square probably wanted to make up for that. Are you the kind of guy who enjoys collecting characters like Pokemon? Theoretically, you could collect an entire party of your waifus, or villains (seriously, Exdeath and Kefka are actual released characters), or whatever you like. Live out your ideal party, unlike Brave Exvius where the drop rates are fucking shit and I'd never be able to get Luneth in a thousand years if I wanted to, fuck you Jewmi.
  22.  
  23. >Okay, I guess this is interesting.
  24. Great! Welcome to the circlejerk. See below for the actual reason you may be reading this guide.
  25.  
  26. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  27.  
  28. >Okay, so what important things should I know?
  29.  
  30. Don't worry about having to understand all of this stuff now -- you can come back to it later when you specifically need a reference.
  31.  
  32. Of particular interest for beginners, however, are sections 1-4, 7, 9, and 11.
  33.  
  34. /**********
  35. >>contents:
  36. ***********/
  37.  
  38. [1] RECORD SYNERGY AND EQUIPMENT IN GENERAL
  39.     [1.1] Record Synergy
  40.     [1.2] Upgrading, Combining, and Weapon Types
  41.     [1.3] Augment Rank
  42. [2] UPGRADING YOUR PARTY
  43.     [2.1] Character Viability and Building a Party
  44.     [2.2] Essential Skills
  45.     [2.3] Honing
  46.     [2.4] Record Spheres
  47. [3] SOUL BREAKS
  48.     [3.1] Super, Burst, and Overstrike Soul Breaks
  49.     [3.2] Elemental Attach and Imperil
  50. [4] RELIC DRAWS
  51.     [4.1] Rare Relic Draw methods
  52.     [4.2] Special Relic Draws
  53.     [4.3] Which banners should I draw on?
  54.     [4.4] Some notes
  55. [5] ROAMING WARRIORS
  56. [6] COMMON STRATEGIES
  57.     [6.1] Retaliate-based strategies
  58.     [6.2] Magic-based parties
  59.     [6.3] Lifesiphon
  60. [7] PROGRESSION AND EVENTS
  61.     [7.1] Core Dungeons
  62.     [7.2] Event Dungeons
  63.     [7.3] Special Events
  64.     [7.4] Nightmare Dungeons
  65. [8] RECORD MATERIA
  66. [9] DAILY DUNGEONS
  67. [10] CID'S MISSIONS
  68. [11] TIPS AND TRICKS
  69.      [11.1] S/L -- or, the quit and reload trick
  70.      [11.2] Good and bad ways to spend your Mythril
  71.      [11.3] Differences between Global and JP
  72.  
  73. /*****************************************************************************************************************************
  74. *****************************************************************************************************************************/
  75.  
  76. [1] RECORD SYNERGY AND EQUIPMENT IN GENERAL ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  77.  
  78. [1.1] Record Synergy -------------------------------------------------------
  79.  
  80. Whether you are lucky with rare relic pulls or not, PAY ATTENTION TO THE RECORD SYNERGY SYSTEM. I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH. Basically, Record Synergy assigns a "realm" to pretty much any weapon, armor, or accessory. When you use that piece of equipment in said realm (e.g., use Shantotto's Jupiter Staff [XI] in the Waughroon Shrine [XI] dungeon), all of its stats will get a proportional multiplier. The same goes for characters, who will get a Synergy boost in their realm approximately the equivalent of a 10-level boost.
  81.  
  82. VISUAL REFERENCES, PULLED FROM THE PDF AT THE TOP:
  83.  
  84. WEAPON COMPARISONS BY SYNERGY: http://i.imgur.com/iBxE6ey.jpg
  85. ARMOR COMPARISONS BY SYNERGY [1]: http://i.imgur.com/JzwDlFh.jpg
  86. ARMOR COMPARISONS BY SYNERGY [2]: http://i.imgur.com/c10zSI6.jpg
  87.  
  88. A piece of equipment that is a 3* base combined twice (5*, or 3*++) with Synergy beats an equivalent natural 5* with no Synergy by a mile. Learn to use Synergy well and it'll make your life easier.
  89.  
  90. [1.2] Upgrading, Combining, and Weapon Types --------------------------------
  91.  
  92. While we're on the subject of upgrading and combining, let's have an overview.
  93.  
  94. All equipment have a level cap, which you've noticed -- each piece of equipment will also have a different level cap depending on its rank: for example, 5*s have a base cap of 20, 4*s 15, and so on. Naturally, all equips start at level 1 and are upgraded by feeding upgrade materials to level up the piece. While you can use pretty much anything in your inventory barring accessories as upgrade materials, dedicated materials called Scarletite (for weapons) and Adamantite (for armor) exist. (You can use Adamantite for weapons and Scarletite for armor, of course, but the effect is drastically reduced.)
  95.  
  96. Once a piece of equipment reaches its cap, you can no longer upgrade it except to increase its Augment Rank (more on this below). This is where combining comes in: if you have a second piece of that item, you can combine them together to increase its level cap and continue upgrading it. Combined equipment is denoted by a + beside its name, such as Mythgraven Sword + -- you don't need to fuse a 6*+ and a 6*+ to get a 7*, though, so you'll only need two duplicates to combine to max.
  97.  
  98. Once equipment reaches its natural cap, you can use the corresponding rarity of Dark Matter (so a base 4* needs 4* Dark Matter, and so on) to reforge equipment and give it another five levels. Natural 6* equipment does not have Dark Matter.
  99.  
  100. Be careful about combining your natural 4*, 5*, and 6* equipment. You want to be able to outfit entire parties with synergy sticks if at all possible. So far, natural equipment exists up to 6*, which can be combined twice to create an 8* with a level cap of 35 (not that it matters, since basically only ultrawhales should be doing this).
  101.  
  102. In general, weapons have more ATK if they are melee-range and a melee-type weapon, like a sword or katana. Exceptions are, for example, swords that are the unique weapons of a mage, like Ashe's Stoneblade. Daggers, since they can be equipped by pretty much anyone, usually have lower ATK.
  103.  
  104. [1.3] Augment Rank -------------------------------------------------------
  105.  
  106. A minor feature worth noting: each weapon has an "Augment Rank". Augment Ranks increase the highest stat point given by a piece of equipment by one per level; in case of a stat point tie, the stat to which the Augment is linked to is arbitrary.
  107.  
  108. To increase the Augment Rank of a piece of equipment, simply upgrade it by using another piece of equipment with at least an Augment Rank of 1 as material. Combining natural 5*s also increases its Augment Rank, so a 7*++ has a Rank of 3, for example.
  109.  
  110. However, the problem is that most equipment starts at an Augment Rank of 0. The exception is natural 5* equipment, which starts at a base Rank of 1, which is why this is a rather minor feature -- why the fuck would you use natural 5*s as material?
  111.  
  112. Now, this wouldn't have been a problem if Giant Scarletite and Adamantite were given an Augment Rank, but unfortunately for us DeNA decided instead to make a new upgrade material specifically to increase Augments: the 5* Rosetta Stone, usually given out as the reward for a +++ Bonus Battle in an event, or as part of a special login bonus.
  113.  
  114. Generally, the few points will only make the difference if you need to hit magic numbers (for example, 390 Attack for Shout's multiplier to hit the Attack soft-cap), but it's recommended that you augment the Soul Break equipment of characters you expect to use often.
  115.  
  116. [2] UPGRADING YOUR PARTY ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  117.  
  118. [2.1] Character Viability and Building a Party -------------------------------------------------------
  119.  
  120. Part of the fun of RK is that in some way or another, almost every character is viable -- even nominally unviable characters (core class characters like Black Mage and Summoner; Gau) can take on end-game content if you have the hones and the strategy and the patience.
  121.  
  122. That being said, for the beginner:
  123.  
  124. - Scrap your core characters.
  125. - Probably the best way to start filling up your party is to go to whatever event is running at the moment, get the character rewards from the early dungeons, and build off of them.
  126.  
  127. The natural stats of most characters usually don't make a difference -- Synergy bonuses or just plain equipment stats are usually able to carry them. What matters, however, are character skillsets -- Tyro / the Keeper being the best example, since he has 5* in literally every set, making him viable in spite of his core class-tier stats. DeNA, in fact, will often update the skillsets of characters to improve their viability.
  128.  
  129. The usual cutoff for a character fitting an endgame role is 4* or 5* in a skillset, which gets White Mages access to Protectga and Shellga, supports access to Breakdowns, and Knights access to the vaunted Saint Cross, for example. A common balanced party usually has one or more of the following:
  130.  
  131. - Power / Magic Breakdown (or both) + Full Break (4* and 5* Support)
  132. - Power / Magic Break (at lower levels - 3* Combat)
  133. - Protectga / Shellga (or both) (4* White Magic)
  134. - Curaga / ja (3* / 4* White Magic)
  135. - Lifesiphon (4* Combat)
  136. - Elemental attacks (spellblades, Saint Cross, magic attacks) (3* / 4* Spellblade, 5* Knight, 3* / 4* Black / Summoning Magic)
  137. - Attacks meeting target conditions (Tempo Flurry)
  138.  
  139. In brief: at least a 4* Support, White Mage, and of either physical or magical offense.
  140.  
  141. [2.2] Skills
  142.  
  143. Skills aren't created equal. Some find more use due to their relevance in a strategy, and some are just plain shit or are too niche.
  144.  
  145. So let's narrow it down: you want these specific skills, listed in about the general priority you want to craft them:
  146.  
  147. ESSENTIAL SKILLS:
  148. - Double Cut + Retaliate [6.1] (for starting out)
  149. - Protectga / Shellga / Cure/a/ga/ja
  150. - Breakdown skills (Magic / Power / Mental / Armor Break/down)
  151. - Full Break (5* skill -- Power, Ice, Lightning Orbs)
  152. - Lifesiphon [6.3] (craft more than one)
  153. - Banishing Strike
  154. - Saint Cross (5* - Holy, Earth, Wind)
  155. - Powerchain + Full Charge (both of them at the same time if you can, they form a combo)
  156. - Spellblades (Fire / Blizzard / Thunder / Water / Aero / Drain, rest are not as important)
  157. - Fire / Blizzard / Thunder / Comet / Bio / Water / Dia -> their higher-level equivalents
  158. - Dismissal
  159. - Ruinga / Quake / Valefor / Maduin (AoE)
  160. - Dispel
  161.  
  162. OPTIONAL SKILLS:
  163. - Multi Break (5* dancer skill -- basically Full Break but hits all targets, or when physical attacks aren't viable)
  164. - Thief's Revenge (5* - Wind, Dark, Lightning)
  165. - Dragoon Jump / Lightning Drive (5* -- best used with abilities that reduce air time)
  166. - Dark Zone + Memento Mori (5* - for Darkness mages, especially if you have EnDark; Memento Mori (4*) boosts Dark Zone)
  167. - Bahamut / Titan (warning: limited charges, either hone all the way or not at all)
  168.  
  169. SITUATIONAL SKILLS:
  170. - Entrust / Wrath (SB charger skills, like Lifesiphon)
  171. - Elemental Ninja scroll abilities (Fire / Water Veil, Swift Bolt)
  172. - Death / Raise / Berserk / Break
  173. - Reflect
  174. - Esuna (specifically, when it happens too often that S/L becomes frustrating -- Iguions come to mind)
  175. - Kirin / Memento of Prayer
  176. - Haste
  177. - Faith / Boost
  178. - Carbuncle
  179. - Elemental Jump attacks (Wind Jump, etc.)
  180. - Dark / Venom / Sleep / Silence Buster OR Poison / Blind / Silence Shell
  181. - Silencega
  182. - Slowga
  183.  
  184. Some other skills are useful, but if you don't already have them (e.g. Pressure Point, Pound), don't be in a rush to craft them.
  185.  
  186. Magic is now generally towards the bottom of the list for endgame purposes, as DeNA has gotten into the habit of jacking Ultimate bosses's RES sky-high. Most parties set up to defeat them will often be physically reliant.
  187.  
  188. Summons hit twice, but are limited by their low total charges. Consider having them crafted for stuff like the Summon Nightmare dungeon, however.
  189.  
  190. Five-star abilities are, for the beginner, trophy skills because: a.) you won't be honing them for a long while b.) they start with two charges, and c.) you can generally rely on a 3* or 4* skill to deal 9999 damage anyway, especially if you're making use of elemental weaknesses. If you're one of those anons who spams mythril refreshes on the Orb Dungeons (and this isn't necessarily a bad idea) and got lucky, though, this might not apply to you.
  191.  
  192. It's generally a good idea to keep up with events, because these often give out free skills and a lot of orbs so that you won't need to craft them. Saint Cross, Dark Zone, Multi Break, and Thief's Revenge, for example, were all rewards from events.
  193.  
  194. [2.2] HONING ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  195.  
  196. Honing skills takes a lot of orbs, which means you should be hitting the Daily Dungeons, because you will want to put serious hones into a lot of these skills. However, not many skills need to be honed to rank 5, because: a.) R3 / R4 can usually last you all the way, and b.) the orbs required for that can easily hone a second same skill to rank 3 -- sometimes, you'll need two of a skill on more than one character to take down bosses faster. You'll only need about one or two of a skill, unless it's an excellent utility like Lifesiphon.
  197.  
  198. Orb conversion is a lifesaver in most cases. Don't be afraid to break down Major Power Orbs to hone essential 4* skills or anything similar. Shatter duplicate abilities or those you know won't be fulfilling a niche or usable in some degree for orbs, every one counts.
  199.  
  200. [2.3] RECORD SPHERES
  201.  
  202. Basically augmenting but for characters, Record Spheres grant permanent boosts to a character's stats provided you have the Mote materials to unlock the boosts. Some of the end-level boosts can be fairly significant, from allowing characters to use new weapon types or skillsets (e.g., Rinoa can get to use Staves; Ingus gets 3* Samurai). Bear in mind characters need to be at least Level 65 to make use of this.
  203.  
  204. Empowered Motes, separate from the basic Record Sphere tree, are 5* motes handed out on occasion during special events to unlock 6* abilities for characters with 5* skillsets in Knight, Monk, Dragoon, Mechanist, etc. It costs 5 motes to unlock a character's 6* skillset, 10 to receive a copy of the 6* skill in question, and 15 to increase that character's damage with that type of ability.
  205.  
  206. General tips:
  207.  
  208. - Save your motes for Onion Knight in an upcoming III event. No, seriously. His Spheres cost less motes for even more stat improvement than most heroes.
  209. - If you have to, you may as well improve Tyro's shit stats, I guess.
  210. - Hold on to your 4* motes. They do not drop easy.
  211. - MAKE SURE YOU'RE SURE WHEN YOU'RE USING 5* MOTES.
  212.  
  213. [3] SOUL BREAKS --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  214.  
  215. Soul Breaks are special attacks characters can use by filling up their Soul Break gauge, which goes up with actions or damage taken.
  216.  
  217. There's three types of Soul Breaks: Default, Shared, and Unique.
  218.  
  219. Default SBs come with the character and are generally sub-par.
  220.  
  221. Shared SBs come with 5* equipment from Relic Draws, can be used by the character that equips the piece, and are kind of a mixed bag.
  222.  
  223. Unique SBs come with 5* equipment, similar to shared SBs, but the difference is that they can only be used by the SPECIFIC CHARACTER who the weapon is meant for. While the piece can be equipped by other characters, they won't be able to use the SB. Uniques can be deal-makers or deal-breakers for a lot of characters, and sometimes their effects are so good that people will do mass Rare Relic Draws on banners that feature them, blowing upwards of hundreds of mythril.
  224.  
  225. While most of these weapons have been featured already and are unlikely to return all too quickly if they're not already on, it's good to get an idea of the kind of relics people will usually draw for:
  226.  
  227. Sentinel's Grimoire
  228. Character: Tyro
  229. Soul Break: Sentinel's Grimoire
  230. Increases the party's Defense and Resistance; stacks with Shell and Protect.
  231.  
  232. Fire Lash
  233. Character: Krile
  234. Soul Break: Sheepsong
  235. Grants major Regen, Haste, and a 30% Magic boost to the entire party.
  236.  
  237. Platinum Sword
  238. Character: Ramza
  239. Soul Break: Shout
  240. Grants Haste and a 50% Attack boost to the entire party.
  241.  
  242. Crescent Wish
  243. Character: Selphie
  244. Soul Break: Dreamstage
  245. Restores a large amount of HP to the entire party, and grants a Magic Blink, enabling them to avoid one magical attack.
  246.  
  247. Wizard Rod
  248. Character: Garnet
  249. Soul Break: Divine Guardian
  250. Casts party-wide Haste and major Regen, and grants a stackable Resistance buff.
  251.  
  252. Excalibur
  253. Character: Cecil (Paladin)
  254. Soul Break: Paladin Force
  255. Deals five physical Holy-element attacks to all targets. The user of this SB is then granted Haste, a boost to all stats, Holy elemental attachment, and the following Burst Mode commands replacing Attack and Defend:
  256. - Blessed Weapon: Deal one physical holy attack to one target and restore user's HP.
  257. - Sacred Circle: Deal two physical holy attacks to all targets.
  258.  
  259. Noticing a pattern? Most good Soul Breaks tend to be support effects and not heavy damage dealers, due to the existence of the Roaming Warrior system. There's nothing wrong with drawing for the relic of your favorite characters, but if you have no idea what to use your mythril on or just want to have a relic considered "good", look into relics like these.
  260.  
  261. In particular, there are three types of relics commonly thought to compose a "trinity":
  262.  
  263. - Wall-type SBs (DEF / RES buffs stackable with Protect and Shell)
  264. - Medicas (group heals)
  265. - Hastega SBs
  266.  
  267. Relic drawing specifically to chase these kinds of relics as a beginner is a common recommendation -- acquire all three and you're usually set for life, ability hones aside.
  268.  
  269. Damage-dealing SBs are considered good when they deal truly absurd damage or have the potential to do so. They're best used not as RWs, but as your own SBs.
  270.  
  271. Plenty of other Soul Breaks have subjective usefulness, especially during Cid Missions where your choice of characters becomes severely limited. For non-Cid Mission clears, look to relics like these first.
  272.  
  273. [3.1] SUPER, BURST, AND OVERSTRIKE SOUL BREAKS -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  274.  
  275. Also known as concrete proof of power creep™, Super Soul Breaks and higher grant a permanent +10 boost to a certain stat once a character masters the associated SB. Usually, SSBs and BSBs are a cut above regular Soul Breaks, but tend to be damage-dealing.
  276.  
  277. Burst Soul Breaks are a whole other level: not only do they give the +10 stat boost associated with a SSB, but they also grant a character "Burst Mode" status: a temporary increase to all stats, plus Haste -- and change the character's Attack and Defend commands to special abilities.
  278.  
  279. For example, Cloud's 1st Fusion Sword Burst Soul Break changes his Attack and Defend to a two-hit AoE and a four-hit single-target attack.
  280.  
  281. RWs using Burst Soul Breaks grant these commands to the user.
  282.  
  283. As a rule of thumb, BSBs are, apart from rare exceptions (Tiny Bee, Iga Blade) really good, but SSBs can be hit-or-miss.
  284.  
  285. Overstrike Soul Breaks come with 6* weapons and are the equivalent of mechanics such as Limit Break -- they go over the damage cap and can deal up to 99999 damage. Apart from the stat boost for mastering and the overflow effect, however, they're obviously only good when you have them for yourself. They don't make good RWs unless your party has its own needs already covered.
  286.  
  287. [3.2] ELEMENTAL ATTACHMENTS AND IMPERILS -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  288.  
  289. Several Soul Breaks such as Paladin Cecil's Paladin Force, Cloud's Climhazzard, and Exdeath's Dark Earth Shaker, to name a few, are capable of granting elemental affinity to their users, which manifests as an elemental aura in battle; others, such as Balthier's Strahl Strafe, are capable of lowering a specific elemental resistance.
  290.  
  291. The former, known as En-[element] or elemental attach, attaches the specified element to the Attack command (usually not useful) and adds a significant multiplier to the power of abilities of that element (incredibly useful). Elemental attachment SBs, especially those attached to BSBs like Hope's Divine Judgment, Cecil's Paladin Force, or Garland's Dark Rebirth therefore usually end up as high-end Soul Breaks because of their ability to shit out DPS -- when in doubt and looking for SBs to improve your DPS, look no further.
  292.  
  293. The latter, better referred to as Imperil SBs, reduce a specified elemental resistance by 20% -- which can similarly end up as useful as their EnElement counterparts, but are not as common, as far as I know.
  294.  
  295. [4] RELIC DRAWS -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  296.  
  297. Here we fucking go.
  298.  
  299. Relic Draws are your main way of getting equipment, from weapons to armor (accessories, however, can only be won in events).
  300.  
  301. Every day, you get one free Common Relic Draw, which usually isn't worth anything since it can pull any item from 1* to 5* and the odds of getting anything good are pretty much zero.
  302.  
  303. The real monster is the Rare Relic Draw. The game offers three different methods of doing these: 1x Draws, 3x Draws, and 11x Draws, for 5, 15, and 50 mythril respectively -- which you get for clearing dungeons in the core content and events. The thing about Mythril is that it's non-renewable, and free mythril hand-outs, like the daily Mythril login bonus, are slow. If you're a NEET with disposable income, though, Rare Relic Draws go for 100 Gems on your first 1x pull, 300 subsequently, 900 for a 3x, and 3000 for an 11x. If you're a /desperate/ NEET with not enough Mythril to hit the magic 50, DeNA also includes the option to combine what Mythril you do have with a variable number of relative Gems.
  304.  
  305. Now, Rare Relic Draws can pull any equipment piece rated 3* to 6*, and they are where you will draw most of your mid- to end-game equipment. The problem is, RNG is a bitch and will pretty much never give you what you want: cue despair as highly anticipated Relic Draw banners give out generic 5*s and /ffg/ anons commit sudoku by the hundreds, killing the general for real this time.
  306.  
  307. [4.1] Rare Relic Draw methods ----------------------------
  308.  
  309. There's two common philosophies that go into Rare Relic Draws:
  310.  
  311. a.) Straight 11x draws. Consider that a 1x draw costs 5 Mythril, which is to say that a bulk draw nets you an extra chance AND a guaranteed 5* piece (more often than not a Unique Soul Break, given the current quality of banners) FOR FREE. It's costly, it prolongs your suffering, it tests your patience, and it requires a lot of planning on which events you don't intend to draw from. Nonetheless, it's the most common kind of draw.
  312.  
  313. Thanks to the guaranteed 5* mechanic, there's literally no reason to not do this if all you want are 5*s -- just don't blame anyone if you still don't get what you're looking for. Pay for a slot machine (or don't) and get what you get.
  314.  
  315. As a note, though: 3x draws are shit, never do them. They have no advantages whatsoever compared to a 1x or 11x.
  316.  
  317. b.) Continuous 1x draws.
  318.  
  319. Poorfag drawing method. Only do this if you're desperate and short on Mythril.
  320.  
  321. Anon who first wondered about Relic Pull probability: https://warosu.org/sci/thread/S7389586#p7401007;
  322. the reasoning: https://warosu.org/sci/thread/S7389586#p7401022 (check 'em)
  323.  
  324. Replies: https://warosu.org/sci/thread/S7389586#p7401309; https://warosu.org/sci/thread/S7389586#p7401350
  325.  
  326. To quote: "...if i was interested only in obtaining a [5*], would I be saving any money by [doing Relic Draws] one at a time and stopping as soon as I draw such a prize?" The idea, therefore, is that your goal is to obtain a 5* and then stop -- if the math works out, this should save Mythril more of the time. The wording, however, fails to address the problem that 5* equipment is not created equal: the answers assume that prizes of the highest tier are equally desirable. Furthermore, you may be interested in obtaining several 5* relics from a banner instead of aiming for one 5*.
  327.  
  328. [4.2] Special Relic Draws ----------------------------
  329.  
  330. -- LUCKY RELIC DRAW --
  331.  
  332. The Lucky Relic Draw was first introduced in Japan's 1-year anniversary event, and works as follows: you get an 11x draw for half-price (25 Mythril or 1500 Gems), and all 5*s drawn are guaranteed to be the unique SB Relic of a named character. Any relic from a past event is fair game here.
  333.  
  334. However, you can only draw once per a defined period of time, which is a shame for DeNA's business model because I'm pretty sure there's a bunch of redditfag whales who would love to blow a whole lot of money on that shit.
  335.  
  336. These are pretty rare, and only happen during special events (like anniversary events or the Black Friday draw), but it's well worth your while to stock up at least some Mythril to be ready for them. Global is lucky in this respect, given that their introduction during the Orb Dungeon means we not only get this a lot earlier than JP, but probably more often than they do as well.
  337.  
  338. -- KEEPER'S CHOICE, VOLUME 2
  339.  
  340. Not even two months after the first one, we have the Keeper's Choice 2 banner, and by Jewgle it's a godsend for beginners. For a full-price 11x draw (no other types of draws are allowed), you can also pick a 5* relic from a varied selection of Record Realms.
  341.  
  342. Unlike previous Choice draws, the extra relic here is shit and boils down to a matter of synergy, so I won't cover them. What is worth noting is the fact that this banner, in addition to guaranteeing a 5* with every draw, contains Ramza's Platinum Sword, Tyro's Sentinel's Grimoire, and a Curaga-level medica in Physician's Staff on top of several good Soul Break beatsticks.
  343.  
  344. In short, this has the undisputed title of babby's first 11x -- no exceptions. Make it one of your first Relic Draws if you want to make your party good ASAP.
  345.  
  346. -- KEEPER'S CHOICE, VOLUME 1 --
  347.  
  348. Succeeding the now-outdated Beginner's Choice Banner is the Keeper's Choice Banner, which goes like this: for a full-price 11x draw, you then get to pick one extra Unique SB Relic in addition to what you got from the draw (or didn't get).
  349.  
  350. The items featured on the Global banner can be somewhat dated: they're SSBs for Cloud, Lightning, Leon, Eiko, Terra, and Gilgamesh, all of which were released fairly early into the introduction of Super Soul Breaks. Really, though, there's not much arguing with the permanent +10 stat boost or that the SSBs still end up being decent beatsticks at this point in time. Unlike the Beginner's Choice banner, you have five chances to draw on this banner and therefore five opportunities to pick from the bonus relics, but realistically you won't be using all five tries.
  351.  
  352. 13 SBs are available as the Bonus Relic, each from a different realm and excluding I and XI. While they are good, you have been warned: this banner is the last vestige of a time before guaranteed 5*+ relics with every 11x. Draw with caution, and only if you can't be arsed to draw from anything else (incredibly unlikely).
  353.  
  354. Ratings are written with the assumption that you are also interested in gearing for Cid Mission synergy, because functionally several of these relics are basically the same.
  355.  
  356. Dancing Dagger
  357. Character: Leila
  358. Soul Break: Captain's Command
  359. Casts Shell and Haste on the party.
  360.  
  361. Breakdown:
  362. + II synergy is rare, as are II relic banners, making this a good choice purely for synergy
  363. + Shellga & Hastega is a dated albeit useful effect
  364. - Who the fuck uses Leila?
  365.  
  366. The original Shellga + Hastega combo, Sazh's Boon, was highly prized when it was first released -- but those were simpler days, and now Boon-type effects are relegated to garden-variety with stuff like Divine Guardian and Mighty Guard (VIII) running around. Still, this is a Hastega relic, and II synergy is difficult to stock up on. Again, though, who the fuck unironically uses a character who still doesn't have her MC2 and is literally who from literally II?
  367.  
  368. Holy Wand
  369. Character: Arc
  370. Soul Break: Soothing Light
  371. Casts Cura on the party and raises their Resistance a moderate amount.
  372.  
  373. Breakdown:
  374. + Same as Dancing Dagger -- III synergy is rare and III events are rare
  375. + It's a medica, and holy fuck it's a III medica
  376. + Resistance buff as opposed to Shellga is actually fairly useful since it's stackable
  377. - Other than that, it's still Cura-level and rarely gets synergy
  378.  
  379. Stackable buffs are useful stuff, as are group heals, but the problem with this particular one is that it will rarely get synergy. It's definitely on the level of, say, Oerba's Boon (see below), albeit from a less common realm. If you're short on medicas, this isn't particularly a bad one to have.
  380.  
  381. White Dress
  382. Character: Rosa
  383. Soul Break: Miracle
  384. Casts Shellga and Protectga.
  385.  
  386. Breakdown:
  387. + Frees up ability space when planning set-ups for Cid Missions
  388. - It's a bad effect otherwise
  389. - It's not a weapon
  390.  
  391. If you aren't using this for a CM don't bother, since Wall-type SBs exist. Rosa has better SBs she could be using, two of them being Medicas -- one of them a Curaga + Magic Blink, an extremely valuable effect.
  392.  
  393. Aevis Killer
  394. Character: Faris
  395. Soul Break: Kindred Spirit
  396. Deal one ranged physical attack to all targets and lower their DEF / RES by a large amount.
  397.  
  398. Breakdown:
  399. + It's a stackable Breakdown effect
  400. - Do not expect to use this for DPS
  401. - It's not an ATK/MAG debuff
  402.  
  403. The thing about Soul Breaks with combined debuffs is that they stack with normal effects such as Full Break and Armor Breakdown simply because they have a different effect ID, and this SB is no exception. Unfortunately, this is neither Sea Lord's Broadside or Beryl Serpent, both of which are also Faris's Soul Breaks and happen to provide more important ATK/MAG debuffs for the sake of mitigating enemy damage.
  404.  
  405. As a ranged weapon, don't expect this to do much in the way of being a synergy beatstick, either.
  406.  
  407. Rising Sun
  408. Character: Locke
  409. Soul Break: Mirage Dive
  410. Deal one physical attack to all targets; guaranteed to Slow them if they are not immune.
  411.  
  412. Breakdown:
  413. + Slow, I guess
  414. - It's super old
  415. - One-hit physical SBs suck
  416.  
  417. Basically, don't. If you're looking to pad your VI synergy or get something for Locke, this isn't the place -- it's a relic that predates the Roaming Warrior system, and as a result has an incredibly dated effect and damage multiplier.
  418.  
  419. Diamond Pin
  420. Character: Red XIII
  421. Soul Break: Lunatic High
  422. Casts Protect and Haste on the party.
  423.  
  424. Breakdown:
  425. + Like Dancing Dagger, it's a double buff effect
  426. + It's on a Support character and offers extra versatility to their role
  427. + Unlike Leila, Red XIII is a lot more viable
  428. - Dated effect, although useful for CM stuff
  429.  
  430. The original Hastega effect, and unironically still Red XIII's best Soul Break to date, because Stardust Ray is shit. There's not much to say, really -- it's a good relic for a good character in their realm, but its age can show at times.
  431.  
  432. Rising Sun
  433. Character: Rinoa
  434. Soul Break: Angel Wing Quake
  435. Deal two black magic Earth attacks to all targets with a high chance to Slow.
  436.  
  437. Breakdown:
  438. - Not about to deal a ton of damage except when hitting weakness; it's a synergy stick
  439. - Black mages that use thrown weapons are few and far between
  440. - Earth magic isn't even rare anymore
  441.  
  442. One of the old reasons to have this SB was that back in the day, the Stone magics didn't exist and Quake was the only means of normally dealing earth-elemental damage. In any case, Hope, Edea, and Rinoa are the only mages to use thrown weapons, and they all have better relics, to be completely honest. If you're planning to use any one of those three, Ninurta, Shooting Star, and Sorceress's Crown, for example, are much better relics to have than what basically amounts to a stat stick with outdated elemental abuse.
  443.  
  444. Asura's Rod
  445. Character: Garnet
  446. Soul Break: Leviathan
  447. Deal two summonming magic Water attacks to all targets and boost party's MAG a small amount.
  448.  
  449. Breakdown:
  450. + MAG buff
  451. - From experience, the damage is shit
  452. - Plenty of better MAG buffs out there, don't chase this one
  453.  
  454. It has its uses, like being the designated MAG buff for your Summon Nightmare party, but as far as I'm concerned this is an IX stat stick when stuff like Song of Swiftness and Sheepsong exist. Hell, you could just use Sheepsong period because Krile has 5* Summoning too.
  455.  
  456. Lullaby Rod
  457. Character: Yuna
  458. Soul Break: Hymn of the Fayth
  459. Casts Cura on the party and grants high Regen.
  460.  
  461. Breakdown:
  462. + Major Regen ticks really pay off
  463. + Medica for a common realm
  464. + Dated, but still good
  465.  
  466. If I'm not mistaken, there's actually a shortage of X-based medicas, but that doesn't particularly matter when Hymn of the Fayth has been out a long while and is still pretty good despite its age. Major Regen is huge -- basically doubling as a second Cura over time. A solid pick from a common realm.
  467.  
  468. Demonsbane
  469. Character: Ashe
  470. Soul Break: Heaven's Wrath
  471. Deal three black magic Holy attacks to one target, with a moderate chance to Confuse and Sleep.
  472.  
  473. Breakdown:
  474. + Holy damage that uses MAG is rare
  475. - Basic compared to other SBs in the selection
  476. - Side effects are not too useful
  477.  
  478. Fairly basic effect. As always, XII Soul Breaks are A E S T H E T I C when they're based off characters' Quickenings, and this is no exception. Unfortunately, the only real thing this has going for it is that it provides a MAG-based source of Holy damage, which is fairly rare.
  479.  
  480. Wyrmfang
  481. Character: Vanille
  482. Soul Break: Oerba's Boon
  483. Casts Cura and Protect on the party.
  484.  
  485. Breakdown:
  486. + Protectga is a nice bonus effect, can save you a slot in teambuilding
  487. + A Medica for a common realm is never a bad thing
  488. - Miracle Prayer exists -- if you have it, this is probably not a good idea
  489. - Keeper's Choice V2 also happens to have Miracle Prayer
  490.  
  491. While Vanille does have a Curaga-level medica, Miracle Prayer's bonus effect (+1 party-wide ability refresh) can be somewhat iffy, but Protectga is always solid, speaking from experience. XIII is a common enough realm, but the added Protectga can be useful enough to justify taking this on your A-team everywhere in the absence of a Curaga-level heal, much like Lullaby Rod.
  492.  
  493. Yoshimitsu
  494. Character: Thancred
  495. Soul Break: Dancing Edge
  496. Deal four physical attacks to one target and lower its DEF by a large amount.
  497.  
  498. Breakdown:
  499. + It's Armor Breakdown
  500. + It's decent XIV synergy
  501. - It's literally Armor Breakdown, meaning it doesn't stack
  502. - It's not an ATK/MAG debuff
  503. - The Air Knives exist
  504.  
  505. Also an old relic. Strictly better than Ninja Chainmail from the Beginner's Choice banner by virtue of being a weapon and being an XIV weapon with an Armor Breakdown effect to boot. While Thancred's Air Knives do exist and have a nice SB by virtue of being a Hastega, this is also an acceptable substitute if you're straight-up looking for XIV synergy.
  506.  
  507. Grand Armor
  508. Character: Ramza
  509. Soul Break: Tailwind
  510. Casts Protect on the party, as well as a Cura based on maximum health and not the user's MND.
  511.  
  512. Breakdown:
  513. + It's on a top-tier character
  514. + Not being MND-based saves you the trouble of having to gear to make it useful
  515. + Protectga is a nice bonus effect, can save you a slot in teambuilding
  516. - Not a weapon
  517. - You're using this SB over Shout
  518.  
  519. For plenty of reasons, Shout chief among them, Ramza sees plenty of use: a Support 5* / Combat + Knight 4* lets him use an excellent variety of useful moves. Tailwind is simply another feather in Ramza's cap of versatility, at times relieving you of the need for a dedicated White Mage for healing or even casting Protectga.
  520.  
  521. While Tailwind is a good SB, the problem is that Ramza also has Shout -- and if you have both, by definition you're giving up Shout to use Tailwind. Nonetheless, easily one of the best picks you can make from the selection.
  522.  
  523. A summary:
  524.  
  525. Best to worst: Grand Armor > Holy Wand = Lullaby Rod > Wyrmfang > Dancing Dagger = Diamond Pin > White Dress > Aevis Killer > Yoshimitsu > Asura's Rod > Rising Sun (VIII) = Demonsbane >>>> Rising Sun (VI)
  526.  
  527. An extra closing note: the banner's available until the end of July next year, which is a pretty long time from now. There's no rush; draw from it during a dry spell of good RWs or anything you're not really interested in, which is fairly unlikely.
  528.  
  529. [4.3] Which banners should I draw on? ----------------------------------------------------------------------
  530.  
  531. In the end, the main object of RK is >fun. Feel free to ignore this and just draw for your favorite characters' relics if you like.
  532.  
  533. However, if you need to be serious about it, go for viability first and then synergy.
  534.  
  535. As I've mentioned above, draw on the Keeper's Choice Vol. 2 if you're just starting out.
  536.  
  537. Generally, realm-specific banners are inferior to Soul Break Celebration banners, which usually only come once every two months or so, and don't often contain all the best SB relics in one banner compared to Celebration banners, but it's still worth pulling on them.
  538.  
  539. In terms of SB viability:
  540.  
  541. Reiterating the advice concerning the "trinity", these types of SBs are top priority:
  542.  
  543. - A Wall-type SB (Sentinel's Grimoire, Stoneskin II)
  544. - A Medica (Will of the White Mage, Miracle Prayer, Pulse of Life, Sync, etc.)
  545. - A Hastega (Emerald Light, Divine Guardian, Shout, Sheepsong, etc.)
  546.  
  547. If you can get these, you're set for a really good while and can feel a bit more free to draw for the relics of the characters you want.
  548.  
  549. When looking to improve your DPS, look into BSBs, especially those with an EnElement, such as Paladin Cecil's or Alphinaud's. BSBs such as Vaan's Ark Blast are also good simply because of their low or even instant cast times for attacks, as well as the secondary effects they offer.
  550.  
  551. Other interesting types of SBs are:
  552.  
  553. - Runics (Grand Cross, Indomitable Blade)
  554. - SSBs and above in general (Finishing Touch, Gilgamesh Morphing Time, and so on)
  555.  
  556. Damage-dealing SBs, while also useful, take a backseat to the aforementioned. Having these is a good way to start building up a Lifesiphon-based team, however [6.3].
  557.  
  558. As always, it's still a good idea to grab really good upcoming SBs, the thread will usually know about them. Or you could listen to that guy who used to rank banners by how many waifus there are in them, fuck if I care. Actually, where is he now? I kinda miss him.
  559.  
  560. In terms of synergy:
  561.  
  562. Look at your equips and see which ones you think you're lacking in or consider which realms you're having difficulty in.
  563.  
  564. [4.4] Some notes -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  565.  
  566. In closing, remember this: A RARE RELIC PULL IS A GAMBLE. Don't go over what you can afford, and never let bad luck cause you to make bad decisions -- remember the sunk cost fallacy! Give yourself a Mythril budget for banners you want to draw from and STICK TO IT. More importantly, don't be those whales on Reddit who apparently spend like thousands until they draw what they want. When they quit or the game's service ends, they'll lose all of it, but DeNA still has their shekels, and at the end of the day that's what counts to them.
  567.  
  568. [5] ROAMING WARRIORS --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  569.  
  570. Building on that, let's look into the Roaming Warrior (RW) system.
  571.  
  572. Roaming Warriors are the game's call-a-friend system: at the start of every dungeon, you're given a list of Roaming Warriors, each with their set Soul Break, and if you want to check, their equipment, stats, and comment. Pick one, and you can use the Soul Break's effect in that dungeon - two charges total.
  573.  
  574. The second main feature of Roaming Warriors is that you can follow them.
  575.  
  576. There are three ways, in total, to follow players: at the end of every dungeon that you have a non-followed RW, through the Friend Search function, or going through your Followers in the Friend List and following them back.
  577.  
  578. Since the list of RWs generated is random and picked from the global playerbase, you're essentially guaranteed to miss a Roaming Warrior once the RW list refreshes. Follow an RW to pin it to your followed players list, so that you have a better chance of drawing the SB you need to clear a dungeon. Bear in mind that once you follow enough people, you'll basically have two lists of RWs: ones you've followed, and random RWs; which is to say that you may have to re-roll RWs to find a SB amongst several players you're following.
  579.  
  580. That being said, looking for a good SB by surfing the RW list is a crapshoot. Most people will use the Friend Code system: each player is assigned a four-character case-sensitive code which you plug into the Find Friends option in Menu -> Friends -> Find Friends. Inputting a valid code brings up the stats of that player's RW and an option that lets you follow them.
  581.  
  582. There's a gil reward for every time someone else uses your SB to the tune of 200 gil each, calculated during 24-hour periods. It's usually a non-issue and is mostly useful for giving you a baseline indicator of how good your RW is.
  583.  
  584. Now, the Followers system works like this: two lists govern the system: people you follow, and people who follow you -- both cap at 100. Your following list is a hard cap: if you follow 100 people, you won't be able to follow any more unless you unfollow at least one person. The followers list is a soft cap: once you reach 100 followers, you can still gain new followers, but older followers will then be bumped off the list in First In, First Out order. It doesn't matter how often you use their RW --  if you're out, you're out.
  585.  
  586. To avoid this, players will often mutually follow one another, because the system does not bump off mutual followers. This creates a problem: RWs can be filled if the player has mutually followed all 100 people on their list -- that is, no more players are allowed to follow this RW through the search function, though it still shows up on random lists. This is mostly a problem for good SBs such as Shout or Divine Guardian, especially if it's someone from Reddit who gets into the habit of mutually following pretty much everyone whose profile message is PLS FOLLOW /r/FFRecordKeeper 99/100 :)
  587.  
  588. As of the latest update you can also remove followers from your list. If you have to, though, try to limit yourself to nuking either redditors who wear their site on their shoutout, or people who haven't played for like a month or so, or people who don't know how to set RWs so they still have a Judgment Grimoire Tyro. Don't be that guy.
  589.  
  590. Balance-wise, RWs are fairly important, because people with horrible Relic Draw pulls can and should be making good use of it -- and since some RWs are basically paramount to clearing a good number of high-level content, it's important to know good RWs to pick and set for other people. Help someone help you, help someone else too.
  591.  
  592. Good SBs, as in the list above, generally translate into good RWs, especially because ANY character can activate a Roaming Warrior's Soul Break -- therefore, for example, any character can use a Burst Soul Break's commands. While damage SBs have a lot more use as non-RW Soul Breaks, they're shunted to the side for trickier or more difficult bosses in favor of support SBs as RWs.
  593.  
  594. Setting your own SB is fairly simple: it's in Menu -> Profile -> Change Roaming Warrior. Set up equipment here, and try to make it good, because MND stats affect buff duration, for example. Your Friend Code is also listed on your Profile Page.
  595.  
  596. If you draw a really good SB, post your Friend Code to the thread -- /ffg/ always needs some help clearing high-level content. A pro-tip for those of you with Shout RWs: please, equip stuff that increases your MND.
  597.  
  598. [6] COMMON STRATEGIES --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  599.  
  600. Higher-level content can't be brute-forced by that really good sword you got when you started the game, so you'll have to start planning your parties, sometimes very specifically and carefully.
  601.  
  602. Not an exhaustive list.
  603.  
  604. General tips:
  605.  
  606. - [DAMAGE MITIGATION] ---
  607. Without any protection or stat debuffs against bosses, they can easily pop 4k+ damage against you with an AOE attack, likely causing a wipe. Worse, group-healing abilities in RK are basically limited to Soul Breaks, making it harder to recover from these attacks.
  608.  
  609. Pay attention to the boss's main method of dealing damage when you have limited slots so you can decide whether to bring Shellga or Protectga and Magic or Power Break/down, and stack all these things with Sentinel's Grimoire or Stoneskin II if possible.
  610.  
  611. - [BUFFS AND DEBUFFS] ---
  612. Buffs and debuffs work best when stacked. The general rule of stacking buffs and debuffs, however, is to pay attention to which stats they buff at a time:
  613.  
  614. - Protectga and Shellga can be seen visually and stack with everything else.
  615. - All buffs without visual cues have a fixed effect time unaffected by MND. These are buffs like Punishing Palm, Sentinel's Grimoire, Sheepsong, Protector's Roar, Shout, etc.
  616. - In general, if an ability buffs or debuffs the same combination of stats as something else, it doesn't stack. For example, Flames of War (+30% ATK) will overwrite Shout (+50% ATK), but Vessel of Fate (+30% ATK/MAG), Apocalypse Shield (+20% ATK / +10% DEF), and Protector's Roar (+30% ATK/MND / +10% DEF) will all stack.
  617. - Burst Mode stat boosts stack with everything else.
  618.  
  619. - [HONING] ---
  620.  The longer the battle, the more mitigation / DPS you want to be consistently maintaining. A Nightmare D250 boss in Japan, for example, can go up to 600K HP, which is several levels above our current level and needs a serious amount of R4 / R5 hones.
  621.  
  622. - >being a shitter ---
  623. Not sure if your party is going to cut it? Struggling with this one boss? Post your set-up in thread, along with relevant information such as your hones, the SBs you have, and what other characters you have at a good level. Someone's bound to help, after they call you a filthy redditor who needs to git gud and stop using Redditaliate and other such strategies, of course.
  624.  
  625. [6.1] Retaliate-based Strategies --------------------------------------
  626.  
  627. Retaliate is fun -- it's a 2* Samurai skill that causes all physical attacks directed at the user to miss for three turns; the user then responds with a counter basic attack. What's so important about Retaliate, however, is that if YOUR party members attack the Retaliate user, they'll still aim for the enemy (when there are multiple enemies, it targets the one with the lowest HP).
  628.  
  629. This is intentional: the official strategy for Humbaba in Mobliz suggests this as a method. It also simplifies party-building: if your equipment selection is limited, you only need to stack all your attack power onto the Retaliate user, while the rest can be relegated to supporting roles or allow you to use the Retaliate user to clear mobs while backrow mages deal most of the damage to the boss. Since it's not very efficient or easy to build a party where all the members are equal physical damage dealers, Retaliate becomes kind of the default physical attacking strategy -- for a while, at least.
  630.  
  631. Retaliate is often combined with a 2* Combat skill named Double Cut, which attacks a target twice for 0.9x the power of a normal attack each. Attack the Retaliate user with Double Cut? Two hits at 1.0x power each. For this reason, Retaliate is one of the few skills you want to hone as much as is possible, while Double Cut is a skill you want to have multiples of.
  632.  
  633. Tauntaliate relies on the 3* Knight Skill Draw Fire or a plethora of Soul Breaks with "taunting" effects -- what these abilities do is draw all single-target physical attacks to the user while simultaneously increasing DEF. Combine this with Retaliate and you will get bosses who can do nothing as all their attacks are funneled into a Retaliate user who avoids every blow.
  634.  
  635. Advantaliate is basically Retaliate, but combined with the Advance RW to maximize damage (extended even further by Boost and Armor Breakdown, among other things) -- and it's good, to the point that it can mindlessly destroy 90+ difficulty bosses, and it is for this reason that the SB is so prized (or, was). Bear in mind that due to Advance's DEF drop, you'll have to pay even closer attention to when Retaliate's effect stops if you don't want to KO the user from damage.
  636.  
  637. In the days before Shout was released Advance was one of the best Soul Breaks to set as a RW, but it's still a good discount pick whenever you can find it.
  638.  
  639. Now, the thing with Retaliate is that it's an excellent skill for carrying players with sub-par gear and hones, but at some point you'll have to consider branching out.
  640.  
  641. [6.2] Magic-based Parties -----
  642.  
  643. Fairly simple concept: a party focused on nuking bosses with magic.
  644.  
  645. Some bosses are out of melee or physical range altogether, or greatly discourage physical strategies (some Ultimate bosses, then others with absurdly high DEF such as Seifer's gang or Proud Clod), making this another viable strategy.
  646.  
  647. The one problem with mage-focused parties is how severely limiting the concept of ability charges is to spell-casting, so to conserve charges this is paired frequently with a Retaliate user to clear mobs. You'll need to go into dailies as often as possible to achieve the ability hones needed to outfit a full party of mages, so bear this in mind if you want to construct a consistent mage-focused party.
  648.  
  649. Bear in mind that one of these days you'll want to build at least one of these parties if you want to clear quite a bit of content: for example, VII's Bottomswell, XIII's Havoc Skytank (and all of XIII's hundred other out-of-range bosses). Retaliate can only get you so far.
  650.  
  651. Just as a note, though: while magic-based parties are still viable in end-game content, DeNA hates them and jacks Ultimate-level bosses's RES sky-high, forcing you to rely heavily on elemental exploits, plenty of buffing (Sheepsong, most commonly), and plenty of hones. If you are tackling Ultimate bosses for the first time, physically-biased parties are the easy way out.
  652.  
  653. [6.3] Lifesiphon --------------------------------------
  654.  
  655. Lifesiphon was introduced in Fang's event, where Lightning also got her 2nd Memory Crystal for the first time. It's a 4* Combat skill which attacks and greatly charges the Soul Break gauge.
  656.  
  657. The conclusion is obvious: several honed Lifesiphons are enough to be able to simply charge down a boss with repeated casts of powerful SBs. Once you build up your team and collect offensive SBs, you will start relying on SBs for better DPS, which is why Lifesiphon becomes incredibly useful later on.
  658.  
  659. It's a 4* skill, which means it needs Greater Power, Ice, and Wind Orbs. Get grinding.
  660.  
  661. [7] PROGRESSION AND EVENTS -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  662.  
  663. [7.1] Core Dungeons
  664.  
  665. You'll want to go through these first to build up your maximum stamina, but as a general note prioritize Event Dungeons if only to get the featured characters.
  666.  
  667. The first few dungeons are easier, can usually be auto-'d through with the 5* you got from the Relic Draw, and are usually just a check to see if you can follow target conditions and get the hang of using SBs and charging them up.
  668.  
  669. They also give out Stamina Shards like candy. Reaching or going over 5 refills your Stamina and increases your cap by 1. To make the most of it, always check your current number of shards, and if clearing the dungeon will refill it, try to clear it at exactly the stamina needed so that you hit 0 stamina which immediately refills after you clear.
  670.  
  671. When dungeons get longer and harder, they also start to give out less Shards and can't be cheesed through, which means it's time to start planning out your team. Black Mages are not always mandatory, but White Mages pretty much are for obvious reasons.
  672.  
  673. Start looking into strategies by the time Elite difficulty starts to hit 100.
  674.  
  675. Elite difficulty as marked is often misleading: these dungeons are meant to be tackled at the same level of progression as you have gone in the Classic dungeons once you get far enough. Beginners should avoid them for the time being, however, especially if their difficulty goes above 36 or so.
  676.  
  677. If you want, you can try to clear some of the early Elite bosses with a powerful damage-dealing RW like Blasting Zone or Fenrir Overdrive. They'll usually die in one hit, and your 5* from the first draw should be able to carry you through the mobs alright.
  678.  
  679. Some of the early Elite dungeons are notable for having 4* equipment as rewards, which might be useful starting out. These are the Soul Break relics of the Core characters. The SBs are shit, obviously.
  680.  
  681. Sudden drops in Elite difficulty between dungeons are indicative of a split between dungeon updates, of which there are 24 as of time of writing.
  682.  
  683. [7.2] Event Dungeons
  684.  
  685. You'll want to give Event Dungeons some priority while trying to rack up Stamina in Realms, because in Events you'll be gathering most of your characters, as well as plenty of needed orbs, Growth Eggs, Memory Crystals, and even skills. 2 of a 3* relic, one weapon and one armor each, are also given out in addition to accessories.
  686.  
  687. I should note that if you haven't gotten to the end of the Classic-level dungeons at the very least and gotten the event's featured character, make the Event Dungeons your priority over Core Dungeons. Don't be afraid to go further and try for Memory Crystals, too.
  688.  
  689. Sometimes it might be worth challenging high levels and using RWs to break through them if the reward is great enough. Mythril revives are also viable if you need to beat high-level bosses in order to get a 2nd or 3rd Memory Crystal, for example.
  690.  
  691. The bonus battles should be of no concern to you until you get a properly geared party. You'll need to clear all the Classic-level and Elite-level dungeons to even unlock them, and they pose significant challenge. The tiering is as follows:
  692.  
  693. + battles - A boss rush. You'll need to fight through a collection of bosses adhering to a certain theme. Make the most out of your ability selection and RW to meet target conditions and have abilities honed to survive the entire rush.
  694.  
  695. ++ / +++ battles - One-round boss battles.
  696.  
  697. In general, Memory Crystal IIs are handed out at the + and above level.
  698.  
  699. Ultimate / + / ++ - End-game level challenges. Know what you're doing, have the hones and equipment for it, and have a proper battle plan. Don't be afraid to ask in thread; post your set-up and a few anons can always recommend changes if yours sucks. Include relevant information such as SBs you have available; likewise share your winning set-ups if you think they'll be helpful.
  700.  
  701. Memory Crystal III lodes are handed out at the Ultimate + level.
  702.  
  703. A note: with the advent of realm-based Cid Missions for Ultimate-level bosses, their damage output has become significantly more manageable to cope with the likely loss of Wall in Cid Mission builds, making non-CM clears all the easier. The challenge, of course, usually stems from whether you have enough characters in a realm leveled enough to form a full party, and whether you have enough realm synergy or Medicas to pull through, meaning that once you have one or two of SG / Shout, it starts to become a good idea to do relic draws for realm-specific Medicas or pure synergy to clear CMs.
  704.  
  705. Just note that not all Ultimate bosses are created equal. Some are notoriously difficult (Vossler, Bahamut-SIN, Caius, Bartz) while some are, relatively speaking, jokes (Garland, Maduin, Cuchulaínn). Trying them out never hurts.
  706.  
  707. [7.3] Special Events
  708.  
  709. Events that are marked as giving out tons of orbs, EXP, upgrade materials, and the like. Often accompanied by special login bonuses and SB Celebration banners, as well as other generous gifts like Mythril straight from the Jewgle.
  710.  
  711. You want to be running these dungeons as often as possible when they are active for as long as they are active. Most other things can wait unless some other event runs entirely within the special event's range. Do only as much of it as you need, in that case, then go back to the special event ASAP. EXP and Orbs are the main draw here, because they are given out much more freely than in the Daily Dungeons, and for more than one day at a time. From personal experience, Orb Dungeons are the reason I've been able to grind up characters enough to build Cid Mission-focused parties, with a ton of orbs just as a bonus.
  712.  
  713. Don't miss out. More than anything, these events are also the best time to attract new players. Login bonuses during these times often have 5* weapons, skills, or accessories being handed out for free as well.
  714.  
  715. [7.4] Nightmare Dungeons
  716.  
  717. The Nightmare dungeons are available for a limited time each month, each one of them containing themed challenges based on the record they protect. While the 6* skills themselves are often the genuine definition of trophy skills, the dungeons do contain excellent rewards in the form of orbs, Hero Souls, Memory Crystal Lodes, and a 6* accessory that grants major resistance to an element. Note that their difficulty level ranges from + to +++ difficulty, so be ready.
  718.  
  719. Once you clear all four dungeons protecting a Record, the Nightmare dungeon boss is unlocked. It's roughly equivalent in power to an Ultimate, but pay enough attention to each gimmick and your life will become a lot easier. Note that apart from Support Nightmare #1, Nightmare bosses are IMMUNE to break-type effects.
  720.  
  721. Once the Nightmare Dungeon opens, you can tackle dungeons even from previous records as well, so don't sweat missing them too much.
  722.  
  723. -- BLACK MAGE NIGHTMARE #1: Ultima Buster
  724.  
  725. REWARD: Ultima Record
  726.  
  727. Deal two devastating non-elemental attacks to all targets.
  728.  
  729. It's shit, don't bother.
  730.  
  731. -----------------------------------------
  732. Recommended RWs: Song of Swiftness (Edward), Sheepsong (Krile), Focus (Lulu)
  733. Useful skills: As much Lightning and Fire as you can carry
  734.  
  735. This one is fairly simple. Ultima Buster has three phases: in the first, he won't deal much damage, given that his attacks will be low-tier magic. Simply damage him enough until the Mana Sphere appears.
  736.  
  737. Once it does, you enter Phase 2, and Ultima Buster gains Reflect, which cannot be dispelled; attempts to attack him with all-target magic like Ruinga, or physical attacks, will result in a Counter Death.
  738.  
  739. The Mana Sphere is the crux of this fight. It responds to most types of magic used to attack it:
  740.  
  741. - Water / ice: Party-wide Cure directed at you
  742. - Fire / lightning: Attacks Ultima Buster for 10x the damage the attack dealt to the Sphere
  743. - Non-elemental: Attacks Ultima Buster for a small amount, and greatly damages the Sphere
  744.  
  745. You'll need to hit the Sphere at least once with a non-elemental and water attack to master the fight, but aside from that, bombard the Sphere with fire and lightning to kill Ultima Buster. You will want to do this quickly: the Sphere charges Ultima Buster, indicated by glowing lights on his body: if he reaches four, he'll trigger Nightmare Ultima and obliterate your party. Hastega is necessary here, from experience.
  746.  
  747. It's viable to forego heals on your set-up and use Water attacks on the sphere on the off-chance you'll need to heal.
  748.  
  749. Alternatively, you can destroy the Sphere early, triggering a weaker Nightmare Ultima, avoid the Nightmare Ultima with a Magic Blink, or go through it with a Reraise-type effect like Pulse of Life. When the Sphere is destroyed or Nightmare Ultima is triggered, Ultima Buster enters Phase 3. All his attacks at this point will ignore RES, but this shouldn't be an issue if you can kill him quickly enough.
  750.  
  751. -- COMBAT NIGHTMARE #1: Demon Wall
  752.  
  753. REWARD: Crushdown Record
  754.  
  755. Deal two massive physical attacks to all targets with a high chance to instantly KO.
  756.  
  757. Long story short, 6* abilities won't be good for a while. It's generally not a good idea to craft the earlier Nightmare records.
  758.  
  759. -----------------------------------------
  760. Recommended RWs: Shout (Ramza), any pure damaging BSB
  761. Useful skills: Lifesiphon
  762.  
  763. This one is a bit more direct than Ultima Buster.
  764.  
  765. Demon Wall's attacks can hurt, especially Eviscerator, which can force resets if you get unlucky enough. Protectga and Wall-type effects (on, say, Tyro) can be helpful.
  766.  
  767. Like Ultima Buster, Phase 1 consists of dealing enough damage. You will need to do about 85000 HP of damage in FOUR turns, or Demon Wall will trigger Gravija and cost you mastery. Either way, once you deal enough damage or Gravija triggers, light will appear in the arms, they'll become targetable, and you move to Phase 2. Use Shout or Fenrir Overdrive if you can't muster the damage to force him quickly.
  768.  
  769. Phase 2 is simply a matter of mastering Dynast-King's Curse's mechanic, which is simple: those marked by the cone should attack Demon Wall; those outside attack the arms. Note that those outside attacking Demon Wall will trigger Nightmare Gravity on marked targets, which is basically Gravija but worse, since it inflicts Sap. A character marked inside the cone attacking an arm triggers Counter Annul, which osmoses skill charges from you. The latter is salvageable; the former is often not. Multi-target SBs are not generally a good idea; the one in the center is free to attack Demon Wall all the time, which makes positioning in your formation crucial.
  770.  
  771. You'll need to deal at least some damage to both arms and Demon Wall for every time it uses Dynast-King's Curse to avoid Nightmare Gravity.
  772.  
  773. It's possible, preferable, and a common occurence to kill Demon Wall in this phase. Do note that he will only use Dynast-King's Curse a limited number of times before moving to Nightmare Crushdown, which is a TPK.
  774.  
  775. Phase 3 begins when both arms have been killed. At this point, simply finish off the rest of his HP before he decides to use Nightmare Crushdown and you should be golden.
  776.  
  777. -- WHITE MAGE NIGHTMARE #1: Evrae Altana
  778.  
  779. REWARD: Reraise Record
  780.  
  781. Grants Reraise status, which revives a KO'd character with a massive amount of HP.
  782.  
  783. "lel"
  784.  
  785. -----------------------------------------
  786. Recommended RWs: Will of the White Mage (Minwu), Divine Guardian (Garnet), The Sending (Yuna)
  787. Useful skills: Raise / Esuna / Dispel
  788.  
  789. This one hurts. It's also a nasty hone check: get plenty of Diaras and Diagas. You may as well keep the Diagas for later, too, seeing as Nightmare Guardian is a thing.
  790.  
  791. In Phase 1, set up your defenses and attack Evrae Altana with Diaras, Diagas, and whatever Cures you can throw at him. Whenever possible, try to rely on SBs for healing your party unless all your offensive Holy skills have been honed really well, and I mean Rank 4 well. Several of them. Otherwise, expect to be using your Cures to attack Altana.
  792.  
  793. Note that you'll need to be careful and have a White Mage on standby in case he decides to charge Nightmare Poison Breath, which you will immediately have to dispel with Esuna, because this fucker moves fast.
  794.  
  795. In Phase 2, he'll revive and summon four Lenses with him. He'll attack using only Photon Spray in this phase and the Poison Breath mechanic will be gone, but the lenses are frustrating. A light will point from Evrae to a lens at any given time -- the lens it points at affects Photon Spray's effect:
  796.  
  797. 1st lens: Photon Spray can inflict Poison
  798. 2nd lens: Photon Spray becomes more powerful
  799. 3rd lens: Photon Spray can inflict Petrify
  800. 4th lens: Photon Spray can inflict Silence
  801.  
  802. It takes about three Diagas to destroy a lens so that when the light points to it, Photon Spray won't have an added effect. Try to destroy the 3rd and 4th first, for obvious reasons, then the 2nd and 1st before dealing with Evrae again. It's possible to destroy the 2nd through 4th before he gets to any of them, but move fast. Yuna's The Sending SB is great for hitting all four of them at once, actually.
  803.  
  804. You can actually use Raise or Arise (but not Curaise) to destroy a lens immediately, but it'll counter with Explosion to hit you for a good chunk of your HP, enough to force you to cast a healing SB.
  805.  
  806. Phase 2 ends once you kill Evrae again. He'll use Explosion like the lenses do, but for about less damage. You will want to shatter all four lenses beforehand too, because if you kill Evrae before shattering them, they'll all explode at the same time too and probably kill you.
  807.  
  808. In Phase 3, Evrae will summon a Guado Guardian which will spend all of its time attempting to buff Evrae. You can ignore it, dispel its buffs, or kill it, which will spawn a new one several times over and probably isn't a good idea.
  809.  
  810. The Poison Breath mechanic returns, but apart from the Guado Guardian this is exactly the same as Phase 1. Use everything you have left and finish him off.
  811.  
  812. Note that you'll be taking a lot of damage throughout this Nightmare, but that's what White Mages are for. Good luck!
  813.  
  814. -- SUMMONER NIGHTMARE #1: Neo Bahamut
  815.  
  816. REWARD: Neo Bahamut Record
  817.  
  818. Deal three devastating non-elemental attacks to all targets.
  819.  
  820. Basically Ultima but in Summon form, made even worse by the lower return on even daring to hone it.
  821.  
  822. -----------------------------------------
  823. Recommended RWs: Song of Swiftness (Edward), Sheepsong (Krile)
  824.  
  825. From here on out Dr. Mog's descriptions don't even hint on the gimmicks and so become totally useless, not that they weren't already.
  826.  
  827. If you're hurting for Summon magic hones, you're actually allowed to attack Neo Bahamut with ninjutsu skills like Swift Bolt and Gust all throughout without risking a counter, but there's fuck-all for ninjas with good MAG, much less in a Nightmare, so basically only Tyro can pull this off well. In Phase 1 you're allowed to hit Neo Bahamut with White Magic as well before he gains Reflect, but the damage output on them is usually pretty shitty. Otherwise, simply damage him enough and he'll enter Phase 2.
  828.  
  829. It's fairly easy to tell when he enters Phase 2, because at that point the background will change, which is Neo Bahamut's gimmick: he resists the element of the background and is weak to a corresponding element. Every two turns, the background will change, and the order is predetermined: it goes Fire -> Ice -> Thunder -> Fire; he's weak to Ice, Fire, and Water in that order as a result.
  830.  
  831. The trick, however, doesn't stop there: you'll have to do the counter-intuitive thing and hit him with the element he RESISTS. For every 1000 damage from a resisted element, Neo Bahamut will create or enlarge an energy sphere, one for every different resisted element. Attempt to enlarge two spheres at least once before moving on to Phase 3.
  832.  
  833. Phase 3 begins when Neo Bahamut goes under 50% and is marked by a Megaflare you may need to heal up from. At this point, the Energy Spheres you've created will become targetable -- when destroyed, they will attack Neo Bahamut for 9999, plus an extra 9999 for every time the sphere was enlarged. At this point, Neo Bahamut loses any resistances or weaknesses, making the Spheres the best way to damage him as opposed to simply exploiting his weaknesses in Phase 2.
  834.  
  835. Spheres aside, at this point it's a race to the finish line -- kill him before he kills you.
  836.  
  837. -- SUPPORT NIGHTMARE #1: CPU
  838.  
  839. REWARD: Quadruple Foul Record
  840.  
  841. Deal two physical attacks to random enemies with a moderate chance to Blind, Silence, Sleep, and Poison them.
  842.  
  843. I have no idea why this is even worthy of being 6*, especially given that at the end-game level almost everything is immune to almost all of those ailments.
  844.  
  845. -----------------------------------------
  846. Recommended RWs: Shout (Ramza)
  847. Useful skills: Multi Break
  848.  
  849. In an interesting departure from the preceding Nightmares, the CPU and its nodes are only resistant rather than immune to Break effects.
  850.  
  851. Phase 1 starts with a five-turn countdown to Nightmare Quadruple Foul. Set up your buffs and hammer on the Nodes -- once you kill both of them, Phase 2 begins as the CPU revives both, and the Quadruple Foul counter will reset to ten.
  852.  
  853. The two Nodes will, at this point, begin to deploy barriers and fields around the CPU. Barriers are removed by attacking the Attack Node with Power and Magic Breakdown, while fields are removed by attacking the Defense Node with Armor and Mental Breakdown. The physical ones will be deployed first, followed by the magical ones -- remove physical ones with Power / Armor; remove magic ones with Magic / Mental. It should go without saying that you shouldn't allow the Nodes to stack barriers or fields -- leave them long enough, and the CPU will go batshit insane and hit your party for 9999s, which will fuck your shit up.
  854.  
  855. If there are no barriers or fields around the CPU and the Nodes are hit with a total breakdown effect like Full Break or Multi Break, they will go haywire and turn against the CPU for two turns -- the Defense Node will start healing your party, and the Attack Node will hit the CPU for 9999 each turn. Really, the only efficient way to do this is with Multi Break.
  856.  
  857. Once the Nodes are haywire, wail on the CPU -- without either Node supporting it, it basically becomes helpless, since its attacks will get healed off by the Defense Node. Time a second Multi Break as the Nodes recover from haywire state and they'll immediately go berserk again before they even have a chance to deploy another barrier, which is usually enough time to bludgeon the CPU to death.
  858.  
  859. -- CELERITY NIGHTMARE #1: Tonberries
  860.  
  861. REWARD: Northern Cross Record
  862.  
  863. Deal two physical attacks to one target with a moderate chance to Stop and interrupt its next action.
  864.  
  865. Northern Cross is actually the first 6* ability worth crafting, but it's unfortunately left forgotten most of the time since the Crystals required to craft it are usually reserved for a 6* ability that came right after, like Snowspell Strike, so it's an either-or situation with the two.
  866.  
  867. -----------------------------------------
  868. Recommended RWs: Shout (Ramza)
  869. Useful skills: Halting Rumba, any AoE Soul Breaks
  870.  
  871. You'll start out with one Tonberry, and it's vulnerable to every paralyzing ailment there is, be it Slow, Stop, Interrupt, or Paralyze. It's to your benefit to do so, seeing as the less the Tonberries inch towards you, the less damage you'll take.
  872.  
  873. Once the first Tonberry dies, three will show up, as do nine colored circles. The gimmick here is that a Tonberry standing on a colored circle is twice as likely to be affected by a status effect: red being Stop, white being Slow, and blue being Interrupt -- they become immune to Paralyze from this point onwards.
  874.  
  875. The best way to control all three Tonberries is Halting Rumba to stop all three of them while you try to kill them. Also useful, if you have it, is Zack's Air Strike SB. Other than that, you'll need to bring Tempo Flurry and Dismissal as well to hit the target conditions.
  876.  
  877. If all three Tonberries move so that they're aligned in a column, they'll trigger Nightmare Chef's Knife, which will sting enough to force a restart -- kill or interrupt them one by one and this shouldn't happen.
  878.  
  879. Once you kill the second wave, a third wave spawns, along with a new arrangement of circles which isn't as kind as the first and basically boils down to hoping Halting Rumba can stop two or three of them in one go. Repeat what you did for the second wave -- once they're all dead, the Tonberry King spawns. It's only vulnerable to Interrupt, is gimmick-less, and basically boils down to whichever one of you can kill the other first. Unlike the normal Tonberries, however, Tonberry King's Junk does not ignore DEF, which might come in handy if you don't want to be murdered by his occasional fits spamming it.
  880.  
  881. Probably a test of hones more than anything, since killing seven Tonberries comes up to about 460k HP + the Tonberry King's 160k. Hone plenty, make good use of AoE, and good luck.
  882.  
  883. -- BLACK MAGE NIGHTMARE #2: Kaiser Dragon
  884.  
  885. REWARD: Meltdown Record
  886.  
  887. Deal three devastating fire, wind, and earth attacks to one target.
  888.  
  889. Meltdown is actually a great skill if you can get past the fact that you'll be stuck with 2 charges for a while, which people usually circumvent by using stuff like Indomitable Blade or Grand Cross to refresh ability charges.
  890.  
  891. Apparently there's an ultrawhale in JP who actually spammed stamina refreshes on an Ultimate boss (because they drop 6* orbs now!) -- just so he could hone this thing to Rank 3. So yeah, it's actually good.
  892.  
  893. -----------------------------------------
  894. Recommended RWs: Song of Swiftness (Edward), Sheepsong (Krile), Focus (Lulu)
  895.  
  896. Kaiser Dragon is a lot more dangerous on paper than it looks, mainly because his attacks actually hurt, but with a MAG boost and enough spam his HP is usually reducible to shreds. Bring a healer or two regardless.
  897.  
  898. As is commonplace, the first phase of the fight is plain damage. Once you get to the second part, Kaiser Dragon will kick off by using Meltdown, which ignores RES, and the Crystal beside Kaiser Dragon will become active, and Dr. Mog will tell you to use it but not really explain how.
  899.  
  900. The trick here is two-fold. The first part is as follows:
  901.  
  902. - Kaiser Dragon is weak to the element he is currently using against you. He'll cycle through them every two turns or so -- while he starts with a random element, the cycling between them is fixed.
  903. - To use the Crystal, as Dr. Mog suggests, use the element Kaiser Dragon is weak against on it, and it'll grant your party resistance to that element and a weakness to an opposite one.
  904.  
  905. The main challenge of the fight is actually not beating Kaiser Dragon, but rather mastering the fight, since you'll have to bear the brunt of several elemental phases to hit both his Water and Lightning weaknesses. Use the Crystal's effect often (actually, only three times at most, for reasons explained below). A word of warning: his Earth-elemental phase uses physical attacks.
  906.  
  907. Again, damage him enough and you'll enter Phase 3, in which he loses weaknesses, the Crystal goes inactive, and all his attacks will start ignoring RES.
  908.  
  909. The second part to the trick with the Crystal happens once you finish off Kaiser Dragon: before dying, Kaiser Dragon will cast Ultima once, then Meltdown twice, which you're basically guaranteed not to survive if you have to take the full brunt of it -- however, the Crystal from Phase 2 can actually block all three attacks before shattering, but only if you've used the resistance effect three times or less -- four or more and you'll have to find a way to survive the rest of it. It's blockable with Magic Blink effects such as from Tyro's Keeper's Tome or Selphie's Dreamstage, and Meltdown can be blunted by fire-resisting accessories, but it's probably not the best idea unless you're really struggling with the second phase of the fight.
  910.  
  911. -- WHITE MAGE NIGHTMARE #2: Guardian
  912.  
  913. REWARD: Curada Record
  914.  
  915. Restore an enormous amount of HP to one ally and grant a 2000 HP shield to recover any additional damage.
  916.  
  917. What makes Curada one of the more obviously viable 6* skills is the fact that it starts with four charges like all other heal skills. Currently, Yuna has an SSB that does the same thing, and they should become a lot more common in the future as well (e.g. Y'shtola's BSB).
  918.  
  919. Anyway, it's literally a heal. There's not too much to say about it, but it's good.
  920.  
  921. -----------------------------------------
  922. Recommended RWs: Sheepsong (Krile), Strange Vision (Selphie)
  923. Useful skills: Fire Veil, Water Veil, summons
  924.  
  925. Apparently the devs ran out of creativity so they gave us this shit.
  926.  
  927. The Guardian is composed of two Launchers, a Wave Cannon, and the Guardian's main body itself, which only becomes exposed if the two Launchers are destroyed. The Launchers regenerate after a certain amount of time; or along with the Wave Cannon when the Guardian reaches certain HP thresholds.
  928.  
  929. The gimmick is as follows: the Wave Cannon will begin a cycle by locking on to one of your characters. If a character being locked on to uses an ability, the cursor will lock on to that character's target, or in the case of AoE (like a summon) one of the targets. Soul Breaks will not redirect the cursor. At lower health, the Wave Cannon will generate two and then three cursors at a time.
  930.  
  931. Practically, however, you're only allowed to use White Magic or Summons to redirect the cursors, as any other type of attack on any part of the Guardian except the Wave Cannon will be met with a counter that redirects the cursor back onto you. The cue to redirect the cursor onto a target is roughly when the DIFFUSION BEAM CANNON: ONLINE message appears, since on the next turn the Wave Cannon will fire.
  932.  
  933. This would be fine if not for the fact that if directed onto the Guardian the Wave Cannon does next to FUCKING NOTHING (~1000 damage), or that the timing for redirecting the cursor is unpredictable and a fucking pain in the ass, so the generally accepted strategy for this Nightmare is to actually ignore the gimmick.
  934.  
  935. Destroy the Launchers and Wave Cannon with AoE and then brute-force the Guardian. Another problem is that the Guardian has fucking space-high DEF and RES (somewhere in the neighborhood of 10k, fuck if I know -- I've only heard this secondhand) which means Diagas off synergy-boosted MND usually hit in the range of ~2000; the Guardian has ~140k HP. This is why you'll need to either boost your damage as high as humanely possible (Strange Vision is really good, since it's +30% MAG/MND) or find some other way to crank out damage, like summons, ninjutsu (which ignores RES), or even Soul Breaks (Beatrix's Knight Protector has niche use here, like inflicting Imperil Holy).
  936.  
  937. Note that ninjutsu triggers the Guardian's annoying Atomic Rays counter, which is from experience comfortably survivable under Shellga + SG. Other than that, this is a hone check of the worst kind, so remember to dispel Regen on one of the Launchers for one of the target conditions, and good luck.
  938.  
  939. -- SUPPORT NIGHTMARE #2: Necrophobe
  940.  
  941. REWARD: Affliction Break Record
  942.  
  943. Deal two physical attacks to one target and moderately reduce the chance its debuff skills will land.
  944.  
  945. Apparently good for multiplayer where bosses will throw out debuffs like no one's business, but outside that it's generally niche.
  946. -----------------------------------------
  947. Recommended RWs: Shout (Ramza), Keeper's Tome (Tyro)
  948. Useful skills: Carbuncle + AoE heal Soul Breaks
  949.  
  950. Like most other Nightmare bosses, Phase 1 consists of dealing enough damage to Necrophobe until his Barriers show up. He's vulnerable to any kind of breakdown effect in this phase and mostly uses physical attacks. Try to stack as many DEF-reducing debuffs as you can in this phase.
  951.  
  952. Once the Barriers show up, Necrophobe becomes immune to breaks with DEF / RES reductions (including Full Break), and gains a ton of DEF. The key is in the four Barriers surrounding him:
  953.  
  954. - Blue barrier: Armor Breakdown
  955. - Red barrier: Power Breakdown
  956. - Green barrier: Mental Breakdown
  957. - Yellow barrier: Magic Breakdown
  958.  
  959. Any EXACTLY equivalent effect will also work (for example, the Deluge and Rough Tides commands on Faris's BSB can also trigger the Barriers' effects). The Barriers don't take damage and therefore don't die, so don't use Breakdowns on them unless you need to.
  960.  
  961. Anyway: at the start of this phase, a random Barrier will inflict Nightmare Doom on one of your characters with a 20-second timer. The gimmick entails using the correct Breakdown on the correct Barrier to trigger a Doom timer on one of your characters -- which in turn decreases Necrophobe's DEF/RES but increases his ATK/MAG. Likewise, toggling a barrier with an active Doom timer (you can tell which one is linked to a barrier by the color of the aura around the character) removes the Doom timer and reduces Necrophobe's ATK/MAG, but increases his DEF/RES.
  962.  
  963. This would be simple enough if not for the fact that the Barriers like to actually fucking attack as well. Apart from the odd AoE, however, most of their attacks are single-target (as are some of Necrophobe's magics) which is why Carbuncle will blunt most of the pain -- obviously this entails that you can only heal with Soul Breaks.
  964.  
  965. You'll want to toggle on two or three Barriers at a time to deal steady damage to Necrophobe in Phase 2; focus essentially all of your mitigation on him since he has the bulk of painful AoE attacks that can't be reflected (Vacuum Wave is one). With proper handling of the gimmick and if your party has good survivability you should be able to kill him in this phase.
  966.  
  967. If you want to risk it, though: at ~25% HP or less and if you have less than two Barriers toggled on at a time, he'll recall all the Barriers and go back to his Phase 1 levels of DEF/RES. The only caveat is that he only has one attack in Phase 3: Nightmare Flare, which deals a fixed 9999 damage and can't be reflected or avoided save for Magic Blink. If you can expend a gigantic burst of damage in roughly a few seconds with a few Bursts and abhor dealing with the Barriers this might work better, but staying in Phase 2 is, for obvious reasons, usually the safer and more annoying way to go.
  968.  
  969. [8] RECORD MATERIA -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  970.  
  971. The base level cap for characters is 50, but once you start clearing content in dungeons both core and events, you'll start to pick up Memory Crystals that break this cap and put a character at 65. Furthermore, clearing bonus battles and other high-level content in event dungeons give out 2nd or even 3rd Memory Crystals that raise the cap further to 80 and 99. With breaking the cap comes a neat little bonus called a Record Materia: an equipped bit that gives an extra boost to its user -- think VII's Materia or VI's Magicite. These can range from a boost to stats (with a penalty / condition such as weapon type equipped), abilities, or even a free buff granted at the start of every battle.
  972.  
  973. Breaking the level cap grants a character's first Record Materia and a slot to equip RMs. Some characters have two or more RMs, which can be obtained by meeting conditions, usually a random drop with the character in your party.
  974.  
  975. Some noteworthy RMs:
  976.  
  977. Ramza #2: Battleforged
  978. User actions greatly charge the Soul Break gauge.
  979. [Condition: Break Ramza's 2nd level cap. Randomly obtained in dungeons with Ramza in your party.]
  980.  
  981. Gau #2: Feral Might
  982. User begins battle with Haste and an Attack boost.
  983. [Condition: Break Gau's 2nd level cap. Randomly obtained in dungeons with Gau in your party.]
  984.  
  985. Luneth #3: Fast Learner
  986. 40% chance to double EXP gained from battle.
  987. [Condition: Must have obtained Luneth's RM 2 Zeal and broken Luneth's 3rd level cap. Obtained by raising Luneth to Lv. 99.]
  988.  
  989. Cloud #3: Mako Might
  990. Begin each dungeon (not each stage of each dungeon) with one full charge to the Soul Break gauge.
  991. [Condition: Randomly obtained with Cloud in your party; must have Cloud's RM2 and broken his 2nd level cap.]
  992.  
  993. Realistically, if you can't see yourself using a certain Record Materia at all (the case for most RMs), even for specific niches, toss it in the Vault for less clutter: View / Sell Items -> Record Materia -> Stash in Vault.
  994.  
  995. [9] DAILY DUNGEONS ------------------------------------------------------------------------
  996.  
  997. In the Events section in Realms, you'll notice that apart from the event(s) which are active at any given time, a Daily Dungeon also exists. The name speaks for itself -- these dungeons appear once every week and give out rewards ranging from Orbs to upgrade materials like Scarletite to gil to EXP. Each dungeon has five difficulties: Easy, Normal, Hard, Heroic, and + giving out rewards from their tier level -- and even if you have already built up a party that can take on the Heroics consistently, it is still in your interest to clear and master lower-tier dungeons, if only for the first-time Mythril.
  998.  
  999. The + and ++ level dungeons have pretty much the same rewards as the Heroic ones, although Greater Orbs tend to drop often and there's a rare chance that a Magic Pot will drop a Major Orb. The enemies also hit stupidly hard, so be careful. For some strange reason, ++ level dungeons seem to be easier than their + counterparts.
  1000.  
  1001. The rewards will not reset every week, which is to say that once you have cleared a dungeon and obtained the First-Time and Mastery rewards, they'll show up as completed the week after that. The Daily Dungeons have only ever refreshed twice, during the first Memory Crystal update a long time ago and when ++ dungeons were added, so don't expect a refresh or any free mythril from the Daily Dungeons any time soon, apart from new difficulty levels which are hard enough they don't count as free mythril.
  1002.  
  1003. [9.1] MONDAY: ARENA OF STEEL and BRIMSTONE CALDERA (CORE)
  1004.  
  1005. REWARDS:
  1006. Arena of Steel: Scarletite and Adamantite
  1007. Brimstone Caldera: Fire and Earth Orbs
  1008.  
  1009. Overall, not a very interesting daily. One you should only visit if you specifically need these materials. Earth Orbs are mostly useful in honing or creating Breakdown-type skills, or Protectga and Shellga and the like.
  1010.  
  1011. [9.2] TUESDAY: EBONFIST KEEP (IV)
  1012.  
  1013. REWARDS:
  1014. Ebonfist Keep: Black and Power Orbs
  1015.  
  1016. Base ability orbs are always useful to have. If you're building a mage-focused party you want to stock on as many Black Orbs as your filthy hands can carry, while Lesser Power Orbs are useful for crafting and honing things such as Retaliate and Double Cut. Power Orbs are useful for crafting 3* and 4* physical skills like Breaks and Breakdowns.
  1017.  
  1018. [9.3] WEDNESDAY: GIL GREENWOOD and FLASHWIND PLAINS (VI)
  1019.  
  1020. REWARDS:
  1021. Gil Greenwood: Gil
  1022. Flashwind Plains: Wind and Lightning Orbs
  1023.  
  1024. If you've missed out on all these events where they give out shittons of gil like Festival of Gold and Forbidden Treasure, you might need to make a quick stop at the Gil daily to finance the escalating costs of your equipment upgrades and ability hones. As always, elemental orb dailies are strictly situational.
  1025.  
  1026. Wind Orbs are used in Thief's Revenge; Lightning Orbs are used by Full Break.
  1027.  
  1028. [9.4] THURSDAY: SHRINE OF IVORY MIGHT (III)
  1029.  
  1030. REWARDS:
  1031. Shrine of Ivory Might: White and Power Orbs
  1032.  
  1033. Similar to the Tuesday daily, except with White Magic. Healing and damage mitigation skills do tend to be useful, so you'll want to make good use of this one.
  1034.  
  1035. [9.5] FRIDAY: MAZE OF DARK DIVINITY and DREAMFORGE VILLAGE (X)
  1036.  
  1037. REWARDS:
  1038. Maze of Dark Divinity: Dark and Holy Orbs
  1039. Dreamforge Village: Adamantite and Scarletite
  1040.  
  1041. Similar to the Monday daily. Holy orbs tend to see a lot of use, especially with White Magic skills and the excellent Saint Cross, while Dark Orbs supplement Black Magic skills like Bio, Drain, and a select few others, as well as Darkness abilities.
  1042.  
  1043. [9.6] SATURDAY: GIL GHOST SHIP and ICENOUGHT SHRINE (VII)
  1044.  
  1045. REWARDS:
  1046. Gil Ghost Ship: Gil
  1047. Icenought Shrine: Ice and Non-Elemental Orbs
  1048.  
  1049. Similar to the Wednesday daily.
  1050.  
  1051. Full Break uses Ice Orbs.
  1052.  
  1053. [9.7] SUNDAY: SHORES OF WISDOM
  1054.  
  1055. REWARDS:
  1056. Shores of Wisdom: Growth Eggs
  1057.  
  1058. Drop whatever the fuck you are doing and grind the hell out of the Sunday dungeon. No exceptions -- /ffg/ calls it Sunday Funday for a reason (at least, on the rare occasions Sunday grinding is still talked about these days, fuck you BEcucks). The enemies here will give absurd tons of EXP for relatively low stamina cost, and often your progression can end up limited by what characters you actually have at a good level, especially if you draw a character's relic before you actually get them.
  1059.  
  1060. On + / ++, maximizing the use of your stamina and Growth Eggs can level parties of 50s straight to 65 or 65 to 80 -- once you really get going, you can usually cap characters faster than this game can shit them out for you.
  1061.  
  1062. Note that this dungeon has no synergy because it'd be even more ridiculous if it did.
  1063.  
  1064. Incidentally, if the EXP dungeon and an Orb Dungeon are running at the same time, the Orb Dungeon more likely takes priority, but it's up to you.
  1065.  
  1066. [10] CID'S MISSIONS ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1067.  
  1068. For anyone joining us at this point in time, Cid's Missions are the successor to the old Quest system.
  1069.  
  1070. Mind, most of these quests aren't typical RPG fare in that the objectives aren't things that you need to go out of your way to do -- in fact, if you're a new player, they'll be things that you'll end up doing one way or another, like leveling a character to 50, honing an ability, or doing a Rare Relic Draw, in one case.
  1071.  
  1072. Unlike the old Quests, you won't have to accept the Mission to complete it: as long as you accomplish the task, it'll mark as cleared and you can collect the reward. As a result, leveling quests no longer auto-complete, which means that the next time the Raise a Character to 99 mission clears is the next time you get a Memory Crystal III to break that cap.
  1073.  
  1074. In general, don't be in a rush to complete Wayfarer and Normal Missions, much less actively go out of your way to complete them, especially the honing quests -- just do them as they come.
  1075.  
  1076. Special Missions are for event quests and end when the event does. These, on the other hand, are restrictive challenge conditions, ranging from soloing a dungeon with a character, bringing a certain skill to an event dungeon, or most commonly, defeating an Ultimate and higher boss with only characters from the event's realm. They're mostly bragging rights and a few extra Major Orbs, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try to complete them if you can. Be warned, as they actually pose a decent amount of difficulty.
  1077.  
  1078. [11] TIPS AND TRICKS --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1079.  
  1080. [11.1] S/L -- or, the quit and reload trick
  1081. If the battle isn't going well for you (suppose your ATB gauges started empty and all five of the mobs acted before you did) tab out of the game and force close the app. Then restart the app -- when you hit Play, you'll be prompted to either continue the battle from the beginning of the current round, or quit the battle and restore your status pre-battle (but not your stamina used). Starting the battle from the beginning of the current round gives you your status at the start of the round, complete with ability charges and so on.
  1082.  
  1083. This is INCREDIBLY important to know, since beating a good number of bosses will rely on your first turn -- whether you can apply a debuff that isn't 100% guaranteed to land, whether you can hit it with Power / Magic Break and cast Protectga / Shellga before it attacks, and so on. ATB gauges are not set in stone when you restart rounds, which is what makes the trick work.
  1084.  
  1085. S/L is not just for bosses, as mentioned above in the example concerning mobs -- you want to stay as healthy as possible before you get there. It's perfectly possible to stay at 100% HP, for example, if there are two mobs each round that require two hits to kill, but if they have annoying skills or damage output a few S/Ls may be necessary.
  1086.  
  1087. [11.2] Good and bad ways to spend your Mythril
  1088. Ranked from best to worst:
  1089. - Relic Draws
  1090. - Inventory expansion
  1091. - Stamina refreshes
  1092. - In-dungeon revives when you lose a battle
  1093. - In-dungeon heals at camp
  1094.  
  1095. Heals at camp rank lower than in-battle revives and stamina refreshes mainly because there is no incentive to do so, not when you get a random stat bonus for using the in-battle revive option along with all the normal effects of a party heal. Party wipes do not have any bearing on medals, either, but only for the current round of battle.
  1096.  
  1097. Keep in mind that it's still generally a bad idea to use Mythril for anything below inventory expansion. Only do so if:
  1098.  
  1099. a.) You really, really need to beat the boss. Is it high-level enough that this becomes important? Is it within your reasonable range so long as you get something like a stat boost? More importantly, is it a battle on a timer, like an event? DON'T USE REVIVES FOR CORE DUNGEONS. Just quit, git gud, and try again. It'll be there next time.
  1100.  
  1101. b.) Is it a timed event that you want to farm? Festival events such as Break of Dawn come to mind here, since they provide tons of EXP for your characters and plenty of orbs to hone.
  1102.  
  1103. On the topic of inventory expansion, you definitely want to expand your equipment inventory a bit (personally, I had to expand to 210 slots), because 100 slots will not hold all your equipment once you start doing tons of 11x draws. You don't need to expand your abilities list too much, but it may be an issue in the future.
  1104.  
  1105. [11.3] Differences between Global and JP
  1106.  
  1107. JP is ahead in characters, relics, power creep, and has plenty of cross-over events, which sometimes contain skills that aren't always included in the global client. As of time of writing we're still missing some skills from the SaGa event a long time ago and they'll probably never show up in Global.
  1108.  
  1109. Generally, if there's a feature in JP that Global doesn't have, it tends to show up in Global eventually, and if it merits explanation it'll show up in the guide -- which means that if it's not here then I haven't updated this and you can feel free to call me a faggot if you even read this far.
  1110.  
  1111. In terms of characters missed in previous events, this isn't much of a problem, like it is in Global at the moment: characters and Memory Crystals will be handed out like candy.
  1112.  
  1113. If you want to start over from Global to JP, catching up shouldn't be too much of an issue with the ridiculous fucktons of experience and orbs handed out on a regular basis. The requirement to access the JP client is fairly simple, as far as I know: you just need to download the app for the JP version of RK through a third-party site. Try it out if it's your kind of thing.
  1114.  
  1115. The global client, while behind for obvious reasons, often gets plenty of JP's quality-of-life updates early, such as the Roaming Warrior system, character skillset buffs, and Lucky Relic Draws. Furthermore, content that seems to be cut at first glance can usually come back in a different form -- for example, Japan received 20 Mythril as a New Year's milestone in the Dawn over the Big Bridge event -- Global had no such milestone to reach, but the Mythril was handed out later on as a special login bonus anyway.
  1116.  
  1117. Also, unless you speak moonrune, the client is obviously a lot easier to access and deal with.
  1118.  
  1119. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1120. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1121.  
  1122. Okay, that got a bit long-winded. Most of this stuff is based on my personal knowledge from playing the game (I started near the end of Terra's original event) so feel free to correct me whenever there's some info that could be improved or is just plain wrong.
  1123.  
  1124. I'll update this in the future when the need arises; until then, as the FFRK announcements always say, we hope you continue to enjoy Final Fantasy Record Keeper!
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