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/ffg/'s Guide to FFRK

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  1. LAST UPDATED: 12/12/2017
  3. I lurk the thread and answer anons' RK questions whenever I can. Feel free to mention anything you want me to add to this guide.
  5. In any case, most anons will start by asking questions before reading this FAQ, but the thread is usually willing to oblige with good responses, so don't worry about it. Except if anyone responds to your question by saying the game will shut down soon, that's a meme.
  7. Official site / strategy:
  8. https://ffrkstrategy.gamematome.jp/game/951/wiki/Home
  10. Strategy websites & event information:
  11. https://gamerdude.thisisourcorner.net/ffrk/ (has datamined in-game announcements, calculators, planners, and a gacha simulator)
  12. http://ffrk.kongbakpao.com/ (no longer updated / updates very slowly; may be obsolete soon)
  14. Game mechanics and statistics:
  15. http://happypluto.com/~misterp/r/ffrk.pdf
  17. /ffg/'s Friend Codes List:
  18. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1yjUI0AwTAoBxuZlGQQZfaEQMnNt2bUdzm0gMZHXq4Cs/edit#gid=0
  20. Upcoming event banners:
  21. http://bantha.org/~dscotton/ffrk.html
  23. >What's FFRK?
  24. 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.
  26. >mobile
  27. >Why not BE or Mobius?
  28. 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 -- every relic you have adds up, and your SSB scraps are capable of cleaning through a good 90% of content. The hope is that by the time you build up to the advanced stuff, you'll have struck gold at least once or twice as far as pulls go, which hopefully isn't too hard.
  30. 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 and even literally whos like Shelke and Jihl Nabaat are actual released characters), or whatever you like. Live out your ideal party, unlike Brave Exvius where the drop rates are fucking shit (>implying 3% will change anything) and I'd never be able to get Luneth (or for that matter, a FF character that isn't a donut steel) in a thousand years if I wanted to, fuck you Jewmi.
  32. Just as a warning: the gacha is generous, but you're still liable to get cucked from time to time. If that doesn't appeal to you, move on and maybe play a proper FF. The mobile experience is not for everyone.
  34. >Okay, I guess this is interesting.
  35. Great! Welcome to the circlejerk. See below for the actual reason you may be reading this guide.
  37. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  39. >Okay, so what important things should I know?
  41. Of course it looks like a lot because a lot of it is fucking game mechanics, but don't worry about having to understand all of this stuff now. Just focus on the bare basics and have fun.
  43. Of particular interest for beginners are the following sections:
  45. [1-4] Equipment and Soul Breaks
  46. [6-7] Strategizing and Starting Out (avoid 7.5 onwards)
  47. [9] Daily Dungeons (see Sunday)
  48. [11] Tips and tricks
  50. /**********
  51. >>contents:
  52. ***********/
  56.     [1.1] Record Synergy
  57.     [1.2] Upgrading, Combining, and Weapon Types
  58.     [1.3] Augment Rank
  60.     [2.1] Character Viability and Building a Party
  61.     [2.2] Essential Skills
  62.     [2.3] Honing
  63.     [2.4] Record Spheres
  64.     [2.5] Legend Spheres and Materia
  65. [3] SOUL BREAKS
  66.     [3.1] Soul Break Types
  67.           [3.1.1] Burst Soul Breaks
  68.           [3.1.2] Overstrike Soul Breaks
  69.           [3.1.3] Chain Soul Breaks
  70.           [3.1.4] Ultra Soul Breaks
  71.     [3.2] Elemental Infusion and Imperil
  72. [4] RELIC DRAWS
  73.     [4.1] Rare Relic Draw methods
  74.     [4.2] Special Relic Draws
  75.     [4.3] Which banners should I draw on?
  76.     [4.4] On "trap banners"
  77.     [4.5] Some notes
  80.     [6.1] Retaliate-based strategies
  81.     [6.2] Magic-based parties
  82.     [6.3] Lifesiphon, Wrath, and Entrust
  83.     [6.4] Ultra Cross Slash
  84.     [6.5] On reduced-delay and instant-cast effects
  85.     [6.6] On Chains, doublecasting, and chasing damage
  87.     [7.1] Starting Out and Core Dungeons
  88.     [7.2] Event Dungeons
  89.     [7.3] Special Events
  90.     [7.4] Multiplayer Raids
  91.     [7.5] Torment Dungeons
  92.     [7.6] Full Throttle / Jump Start Battles
  93.     [7.7] The Crystal Tower
  94.     [7.8] Nightmare Dungeons
  95.          [7.8.1] Ultima
  96.          [7.8.2] Crushdown
  97.          [7.8.3] Reraise
  98.          [7.8.4] Neo Bahamut
  99.          [7.8.5] Quadruple Foul
  100.          [7.8.6] Northern Cross
  101.          [7.8.7] Meltdown
  102.          [7.8.8] Curada
  103.          [7.8.9] Affliction Break
  104.          [7.8.10] Dervish
  105.          [7.8.11] Valigarmanda
  106.          [7.8.12] Omega Drive
  107.     [7.9] Magicite Dungeons
  108.          [7.9.1] Liquid Flame
  109.          [7.9.2] Bismarck
  110.          [7.9.3] Hydra
  111.          [7.9.4] Golem
  112.          [7.9.5] Fenrir
  113.          [7.9.6] Sealion
  114.          [7.9.7] Mist Dragon
  115.          [7.9.8] Shadow Dragon
  119. [11] CID'S MISSIONS
  120. [12] TIPS AND TRICKS
  121.      [12.1] Force-restarting the app
  122.      [12.2] Hit-and-run SB charging
  123.      [12.3] Jump timer delay
  124.      [12.4] Good and bad ways to spend your Mythril
  125.      [12.5] Differences between Global and JP
  127. /*****************************************************************************************************************************
  128. *****************************************************************************************************************************/
  132. >Is there rerolling in RK?
  134. Short answer: nope.
  136. If you're reading this and it's not an anniversary event or some other occasion when DeNA is handing out free draws or free mythril to do draws, you're going to have to build up the mythril yourself, which actually takes a bit of time despite how quick early-game dungeon clearing is. Even then, the only banners available will likely be the Newcomer ones and whatever event banner is rolling at the moment, which doesn't (usually) give you too much of a leg up.
  138. That being said, if you have disposable time and want to reroll anyway, the only thing you'll need is the ability to make throwaway Google accounts. On Android at least, RK saves will be automatically linked to an existing Google account tied to the phone if it exists -- the game will automatically start a new game if no RK save is known to be linked to the account.
  140. That being said, RK is absolutely a long-haul kind of game. Unless you're atrociously unlucky (RK's rates are pretty decent!), as long as you keep playing you'll be able to get the components for an end-game team. (And if you really must, the Keeper's Choice banners are available practically indefinitely.) Play at your own pace and enjoy.
  142. >What's the password for /ffg/ MP raids?
  144. 7243 (rage), as is commonly used in /v/ and /vg/ (/mhg/, for example).
  146. >Should I pull?
  148. Check the schedule for any "anniversary" or "fest" events in less than a month -- if there are any, generally save unless you are in serious need of synergy or something better than your current available relics. When in doubt, ask thread and post your current best relics or whatever dungeon you're having trouble with and you can probably get by with your current build.
  150. >I really want [x] relic...
  152. We've all been there, but if you've used up your budget and you still don't have it, I'm sorry anon -- you generally can't afford to go that far, especially if it's the only relic left on the banner that you don't have. Relic chasing generally leads to heartbreak and more gems, kupo -- save up and try again some other time. Most relics in RK reoccur at some point or another, unless they drown in the Powercreep Sea.
  154. >Is it a trap banner?
  156. Ask the thread. It usually isn't. If you have a lot of synergy in the realm(s) specified already, it probably is.
  158. >Should I use Mythril for [not relic drawing]?
  160. Unless your inventory is bursting at the seams, no. Even then, try selling redundant accessories or non-5* equipment.
  161. Only use Mythril to refresh stamina during Orbfests. Never use Gems to refresh: the first-draw special is 100 gems, while 5 mythril is a single pull; meanwhile a stamina refresh is 100 gems or 1 mythril.
  163. >How do I beat [x] boss?
  165. When in doubt, ALWAYS POST YOUR TEAM.
  167. Before the Ultimate level, and especially in the Tactics realm or on Holy-weak bosses, one or two casts of Thunder God (Orlandeau's OSB) as an RW can skip large portions of or bypass a fight entirely. Even without exploiting weakness, this is particularly effective during Tactics realm fights due to most boss fights having multiple targets and requiring only one (who tends to have less HP, being part of a group) to be defeated to win.
  169. Apocalypse+ bosses tend to have weak phases where they will go batshit insane, which means you'll probably need to dump bursts of damage, usually by means of an Overstrike, to kill them in seconds once these phases begin.
  171. In general, Overstrike Soul Breaks are good for skipping large portions of fights, but always pay attention to any elemental weaknesses a boss may have to shave off as much damage as possible.
  173. If bosses use many attacks that "ignore Defense / Resistance" (usually marked by an "Ultimate" in the name), prioritize Breakdown stacking over DEF / RES boosting.
  175. If bosses use a lot of single-target physical attacks, consider Draw Fire or Gaia's Cross.
  177. >[x] keeps oneshotting me
  179. Protectga / Shellga + SG/SS2 and associated Break/downs are the basics. Sentinel's Grimoire / Stoneskin II (and occasionally Keeper's Tome) are the optimal defense-first RWs. Use the official site or KBP to lookup bosses' elemental weaknesses if you're having DPS problems from lack of boosting RWs.
  181. >How do I not be an MP shitter?
  183. Coordinate with the thread. Compared to solo play, MP bosses have a tendency to use elemental attacks to deal brutal damage, or otherwise fuck you up with debuffs. Prioritize elemental or debuff resistance accessories whenever you can.
  185. Be upfront about what you can bring when organizing. Most stamps don't have a defined meaning in /ffg/ raids, apart from Fungahhh! (usually spammed at random and whenever the raid clears), and Hold on! (usually means "check the thread").
  187. >What RW would /ffg/ prefer I set up?
  189. Given the ubiquity of many useful effects even on the random RW list and that you don't need to mutually follow or friend a player to get their RW on call, there's not much pressure to be using the best RW all the time unless you want to get a whale friend as a mutual follower for some reason. That being said, here's a list of RWs people love to see:
  191. - Boostgas / Faithgas [+ Hastega] (Shout, Vessel of Fate, Hyper Mighty G, History's Truth, Ley Lines...)
  192. - Medicas (Transcendent Dream, Asylum, Guardian Mog, etc.)
  193. - Bursts with useful bonus effects (Weaponsmaster, Keeper's Tome)
  194. - Walls (Sentinel's Grimoire / Stoneskin II)
  195. - Powerful elemental bursts (Metamorphose, Aerial Blast, Meteor XVI, Maelstrom)
  196. - RWs with Synergy matching the current event (e.g., Cloud Cycle with III vs. Torment Bahamut...)
  197. - Instant AoE Soul Breaks are follow bait during Orbfest or EXP daily days. Most commonly seen are:
  198.   - Shuriken Storm (Shadow)
  199.   - Weaponsmaster (Firion)
  200.   - Metsu (Fujin)
  201.   Others, such as Ayame's, Orlandeau's and Thancred's SSBs also exist, but are much rarer.
  203. Overstrikes such as Orlandeau's Thunder God also have utility for cast reduction time or certain CMs (or for helping earlygame players one-shot bosses).
  205. [1] RECORD SYNERGY AND EQUIPMENT IN GENERAL ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  207. [1.1] Record Synergy -------------------------------------------------------
  209. 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 almost every* 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.
  213. WEAPON COMPARISONS BY SYNERGY: http://i.imgur.com/iBxE6ey.jpg
  214. ARMOR COMPARISONS BY SYNERGY [1]: http://i.imgur.com/JzwDlFh.jpg
  215. ARMOR COMPARISONS BY SYNERGY [2]: http://i.imgur.com/c10zSI6.jpg
  217. A piece of equipment that is a 3* base combined twice (5*, or 3*++) with Synergy can match an equivalent natural 5* with no Synergy. Learn to use Synergy or get ready to suck -- while you can survive without it, even up to Apocalypse+, the absence will make you suffer.
  219. [*] rare exceptions: the Dissidia crossover accessories, War Gong event login reward, 6* accessories from Nightmare dungeons
  221. [1.2] Upgrading, Combining, and Weapon Types --------------------------------
  223. While we're on the subject of upgrading and combining, let's have an overview.
  225. 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.)
  227. 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.
  229. 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.
  231. 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).
  233. 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, nominally melee weapons that are the unique relics of a mage, like Ashe's Stoneblade or Garnet's Dagger of Resolve. Daggers, since they can be equipped by pretty much anyone, usually have lower ATK.
  235. [1.3] Augment Rank -------------------------------------------------------
  237. 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. Augments are also boosted by synergy -- 50% of the Augment rank, rounded up.
  239. 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.
  241. However, the problem is that most equipment starts at an Augment Rank of 0. The exceptions are natural 5* and 6* equipment, which start at base Ranks of 1 and 3, which is why this is a rather minor feature -- why the fuck would you use natural 5*s above as material?
  243. 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 an Ultimate in an event, or as part of a special login bonus.
  245. In general:
  246. - Only augment weapons.
  247. - Augment weapons that provide a boost to elemental damage. (e.g., Sun Blade, Dagger of Resolve)
  248. - Augment weapons you use often (usually Burst equipment).
  250. Major Augments can occur during augments, and grant a free +1 every time they trigger. Each piece of augment fodder represents a separate chance of a Major Augment triggering, and in theory multiple Major Augments can occur at once. If you're close to the augment cap for a piece of equipment, you may want to consider adding augments one at a time so as not to waste Major Augments should they occur.
  252. [2] UPGRADING YOUR PARTY ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  254. [2.1] Character Viability and Building a Party -------------------------------------------------------
  256. Part of the fun of RK is that in some way or another, almost every character is viable -- even nominally nonviable characters (core class characters like Black Mage and Summoner) can take on end-game content if you have the hones and the strategy and the patience.
  258. That being said, for the beginner:
  260. - Scrap your core characters (i.e., Black Mage and White Mage from the tutorial, etc.)
  261. - If you have the Onion Knight's Burst (Onion Gauntlets), ignore him for now. The Onion Knight is true to his FF III incarnation in that his stats are absolute trash until Level 93 when they explode. You probably don't have the means to acquire MC1/2/3 lodes yet unless they're being handed out for free at the same time you're starting out, and even then it's an arduous grind to level him up and then max out his Record Sphere grid.
  262. - 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.
  263. - Once you get your first Soul Break relics, get the corresponding characters for them. Usually, they'll be on the event that corresponds to the banner, but if not, use any Souls of Heroes you have (usually from the 5th stage of an event) and recruit them from the Hall of Rites (The Annex -> Hall of Rites -> Soul of a Hero). Those characters should form your core starting party.
  264. - It's easier to start off physically biased teams earlygame -- magical teams usually equal or surpass come lategame.
  265. - The 5th stage of an event is usually clearable at the start -- just dump any of your first Growth Egg rewards into your starting five and throw your base 5* tutorial sword at the boss.
  266. - Speaking of Growth Eggs -- the Normal difficulty raid of any event hands out 5 Majors. Ask in /ffg/ if you need help (or, hell, leech off public raids), because more often than not someone is willing to carry you.
  267. - Get the Dr. Mog's Teachings / Mako Might record materia ASAP [section 8].
  269. The natural stats of most characters usually don't make a difference -- Synergy bonuses, Record Sphere boosts, Soul Break mastery 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 and stats of characters to improve their viability.
  271. 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:
  273. - Power / Magic Breakdown (or both) + Full Break (4* and 5* Support)
  274. - Power / Magic Break (at lower levels - 3* Combat)
  275. - Protectga / Shellga (or both) (4* White Magic)
  276. - Curaga / ja (3* / 4* White Magic)
  277. - Lifesiphon (4* Combat)
  278. - Elemental attacks (spellblades, Saint Cross, summoning or black magic)
  279. - Attacks meeting target conditions (Tempo Flurry)
  280. - One or more of Wall / Shout or a similar haste + boost / a group healing Soul Break
  282. In brief: at least a 4* Support, White Mage, and of either physical or magical offense.
  284. An example build: https://i.imgur.com/fuGhngP.png; in detail:
  286. - Tyro covers Support  / breakdowns. At lower levels this is just Power / Magic Break, which is 3* Combat and also something he can do. Dr. Mog's Teachings allows him to start by casting Sentinel's Grimoire.
  287. - Rinoa and Bartz are the primary damage dealers; the Lightning-element abilities suggest a target condition or a boss's weakness to lightning. Bartz uses Lifesiphon as well to charge up to his BSB, Light of the Four -- while Rinoa gets to her BSB, albeit slower, by exploiting the Thunder weakness.
  288. - Arc has a Cure and carries Shellga, so the boss is primarily magical.
  289. - Cecil seems to be primarily a tank. Protectga seems to imply the boss has some physical attacks as well; Saint Cross deals damage on top of being boosted by Sun Blade (+Holy damage). If the boss had any way of buffing itself (i.e., casting Haste / Regen / Protect / Shell), Saint Cross would likely be Banishing Strike.
  291. If you have Wall but not Shout / Vessel of Fate, the example above would apply -- simply take the latter two as your Roaming Warriors [section 5]. On the other hand, if you have the latter but not Wall: RW Sentinel's Grimoire or Stoneskin II, and give Ramza / Onion Knight your Break skills and the SB charger materia Tyro should have.
  293. Both Sentinel's Grimoire and Platinum Sword (Shout) are easily available from Keeper's Choice Vol. 2 [see 4.2].
  295. [2.2] Essential Skills
  297. 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.
  299. So let's narrow it down: you want these specific skills, listed in about the general priority you want to craft them:
  302. - Double Cut / Tempo Flurry + Retaliate [6.1] + optionally Draw Fire
  303. - Protectga / Shellga / Cure/a/ga/ja/da + Curaise, Ultra Cure
  304. - Breakdown skills (Magic / Power / Mental / Armor / Mind Break/down)
  305. - Full Break (5* skill -- Power, Ice, Lightning Orbs)
  306. - Multi Break (5* dancer skill -- basically Full Break but hits all targets, or when physical attacks aren't viable)
  307. - Heathen Frolic Sarabande / Exhausting Polka (4* dancer -- AoE Magic / Power Breakdown)
  308. - Lifesiphon / Entrust / Wrath (SB charger skills, like Lifesiphon) [see 6.3]
  309. - Banishing Strike / Dispel
  310. - Saint Cross (5* - Holy, Earth, Wind)
  311. - Powerchain + Full Charge (both of them at the same time if you can, they form a combo)
  312. - Spellblades (Fire / Blizzard / Thunder / Water / Aero / Drain, rest are not as important)
  313. - Fire / Blizzard / Thunder / Bio / Water / Stone / Dia -> their higher-level equivalents
  314. - Chainspells (Chain Blizzaga / Firaga / Biora etc.)
  315. - Dark Zone + Memento Mori (5* - for Darkness mages, especially if you have EnDark; Memento Mori (4*) boosts Dark Zone)
  316. - Dismissal
  317. - Ruinga / Quake / Valefor / Maduin (AoE)
  320. - Quadstrike spellblades (Thundering / Engulfing / Tornado etc.)
  321. - Thief's Revenge (5* - Wind, Dark, Lightning)
  322. - Gaia's / Divine Cross (Earth / Holy Saint's Cross, with a Draw Fire effect)
  323. - Carbuncle (AoE Reflect - invaluable against certain bosses)
  324. - Dragoon Jump / Lightning Drive (5* -- best used with SBs that reduce or remove air time)
  325. - Meteor Crush (+50% ATK boost, same as Shout, for Monks)
  326. - Fires Within (4-hit Fire, for monks, best used with Refia BSB)
  327. - Bahamut / Titan / Ultima Weapon (warning: limited charges)
  328. - Magic Lure (Magic version of Draw Fire)
  331. - Elemental Ninja scroll abilities (Fire / Water Veil, Swift Bolt)
  332. - Raise
  333. - Berserk (usually specifically used against the Defender bosses from X)
  334. - Reflect
  335. - Esuna (specifically, when it happens too often that S/L becomes frustrating -- Iguions come to mind)
  336. - Memento of Prayer (generally used to clear Sap)
  337. - Haste
  338. - Faith / Boost
  339. - Elemental Jump attacks (Wind Jump, etc.)
  340. - Dark / Venom / Sleep / Silence Buster OR Poison / Blind / Silence Shell (for target conditions)
  341. - Silencega
  342. - Slowga
  344. 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.
  346. Summons hit twice, but are limited by their low total charges. Consider having them crafted for stuff like the Summon Nightmare dungeon, however.
  348. 5* and 6* 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. In any case, once you start clearing bonus battles your Major Orb count will skyrocket without you noticing.
  350. It's 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.
  352. [2.3] Honing
  354. Honing skills takes a lot of orbs, which means you should be hitting the Daily Dungeons [9], 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.
  356. 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.
  358. [2.4] Record Spheres
  360. 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., Vaan can equip Guns; Luneth gets 4* Support). Bear in mind characters need to be at least Level 65 to make use of this.
  362. 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.
  364. 3* motes are generally stocked in the Gysahl Exchange on a monthly basis, and are given out in the latest Realm Dungeon updates as well as through bonus solo battles during events. 4* motes are given out in Ultimate+ and Apocalypse+ MP raids.
  366. 5* Empowered motes are handed out in Torment Dungeons (section 7.5).
  368. General tips:
  369. - Hold on to your 4* and 5* motes. They DO NOT DROP EASY, so they're strictly for characters you know you WILL use often (e.g., Tyro with SG / Keeper's Tome, Orlandeau with fucking anything). While 4* motes have become a lot easier to obtain as of late thanks to powercreep necessitating more and more of them, exercise restraint regardless.
  370. - If you have relics for Onion Knight, it's worth fully diving him since his 4* spheres take around half the motes a normal character's Spheres do. As a note: Onion Knight motes that unlock his spheres are either found in the Enigma Dungeon in III events, or as an uncommon drop from the Ahriman mote dungeon boss.
  372. [2.5] Legend Spheres and Materia
  374. Legend Spheres are available for certain characters once their regular Record Sphere dive is completely maxed out. They require 5* motes separate from the 5* Empowered Motes and which are usually handed out by means of Full Throttle / Jump Start battles, or during special events.
  376. Apart from further extending the permanent boosts you can give to characters, Legend Sphere dives also allow you to unlock Legend Materia, which are different from regular Record Materia [section 8] in that only the character who has the Legend Sphere can use the Materia it unlocks.
  378. Each character with Legend Spheres gets two default Legend Materia in their Sphere dive, but in DeNA's brilliant bid to pollute banners, Legend Materia can also be obtained from 5* equipment in Relic Draws, and grant stat bonuses for mastery similar to mastering Super Soul Break relics. There are a few types of Legend Materia, be they from innate Legend Spheres or LM equipment, that are generally good:
  380. - Those granting EnElement
  381. - Those granting instant-cast for some number of actions at the start of battle (usually paired with Haste)
  382. - Those that add a chance to dualcast an ability type
  384. Don't half-ass your Legend Spheres by dividing up your motes between a lot of characters. Use them strictly for your absolute A-team characters and dive them all the way through. 5* motes don't drop easy, so don't waste them.
  386. [3] SOUL BREAKS --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  388. Soul Breaks are special attacks characters can use by filling up their Soul Break gauge, which goes up with actions or damage taken.
  390. There's three types of Soul Breaks: Default, Shared, and Unique.
  392. Default SBs come with the character and are generally sub-par.
  394. 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.
  396. 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.
  398. 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:
  400. Sentinel's Grimoire
  401. Character: Tyro
  402. Soul Break: Sentinel's Grimoire
  403. Increases the party's Defense and Resistance 200%; stacks with Shell and Protect.
  405. Tidal Knuckles
  406. Character: Rikku
  407. Soul Break: Hyper Mighty G
  408. Grants Haste, Protect, Shell, and a 30% boost to Attack and Magic to the party.
  410. Lamia Flute
  411. Character: Eiko
  412. Soul Break: Guardian Mog
  413. Instantly restores a large amount of HP to the entire party, and grants them Haste and Last Stand (which allows them to survive one lethal attack -- if multiple lethal attacks are dealt in the same turn of damage, all of them are survived).
  415. Force Stealer
  416. Character: Cloud
  417. Soul Break: Ultra Cross Slash
  418. Deals five physical wind and dark attacks to one target; grants SOLDIER EX Mode, which increases damage a moderate amount and critical hit rate a massive amount, as well as allowing all attacks to break the normal damage cap.
  420. Airstep Sword
  421. Character: Noctis
  422. Soul Break: Gladiolus Link
  423. Instantly deals six physical attacks to one target and causes the next action for all party characters to be instant.
  425. Noticing a pattern? Save for a select few, good Soul Breaks are notable for their support effect and not the damage they deal, 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.
  427. In particular, there are three types of relics commonly thought to compose a "trinity":
  429. - Wall-type SBs (DEF / RES buffs stackable with Protect and Shell)
  430. - Medicas (group heals)
  431. - Hastega + stat buffer SBs
  433. Relic drawing specifically to chase these kinds of relics as a beginner is a common recommendation -- acquire all three and you're usually set nearly all the way to the top, ability hones aside.
  435. Damage-dealing SBs are considered good when they deal truly absurd damage or have the potential to do so (Metamorphose or Ultra Cross Slash). OSBs fall into this category, but are better used as your own SBs and not as RWs.
  437. 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.
  439. [3.1] SOUL BREAK TYPES -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  441. Power Creep™ in RK has advanced to the level where regular Soul Breaks apart from Sentinel's Grimoire / Stoneskin II are now rare and extremely niche, with almost all Soul Breaks now being Super Soul Breaks or higher. Unlike regular SBs, these grant a permanent +10 boost to a certain stat once a character masters the associated SB.
  443. SSBs are quite run-of-the-mill, with the vast majority being damage-dealing effects with some occasional utility like a stat boost or debuff. Most useful SSBs will tend to be those with effective combinations of buffs or debuffs (i.e, Ramza's Shout) or powerful healing (Arc's Words of Kindness, which is an instant heal with a Blink effect).
  445. The below categories of SSBs are, with some exceptions, generally considered to save draws from being duds in this era of power creep.
  447. [3.1.1] Burst Soul Breaks
  449. Burst Soul Breaks 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. A notable feature of Burst Mode is that unlike most buffs, absolutely nothing can dispel it -- not even Ultimate Dispel effects that remove stat buffs like Sentinel's Grimoire's. (The Haste given by Burst Mode is still lost, but the Burst Mode itself won't fade.)
  451. 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. Most on-entry casts of Soul Breaks deal damage, although some simply grant buffs or debuffs, with their associated Burst commands being attacks.
  453. RWs using Burst Soul Breaks grant these commands to the user, regardless of whether they are the character the Burst is meant for or not, which makes Bursts especially flexible RWs.
  455. As a rule of thumb, BSBs are, apart from rare exceptions (Tiny Bee) really good to have, purely because they provide theoretically infinite use of commands -- a longevity much appreciated in content like Torments.
  457. [3.1.2] Overstrike Soul Breaks
  459. Overstrike Soul Breaks come with 6* weapons and are the equivalent of mechanics such as Limit Break -- they are one-hit attacks that 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 mostly only good when you have them for yourself. They don't generally make good RWs unless your party has its own needs already covered or you're pulling off some strategy (usually done with Thunder God).
  461. The effectiveness of Overstrikes always peaks with support or matching elemental weaknesses, because despite the massive multiplier on their damage it's still hard to hit the absolute damage cap. Their primary purpose is usually to deal decisive blows during MP raids, or to rush damage during weak phases when bosses go completely insane.
  463. [3.1.3] Chain Soul Breaks
  465. Chain Soul Breaks initiate, unsurprisingly, elemental Chains, which boost the multiplier attached to the corresponding element for every attack of that element occuring in the Chain window. All chains (with the exception of Tidus's CSB unbuffed) also grant two turns of speedup to all actions party-wide; on-entry effects vary, but are usually a barrage of elemental hits to kickstart the chain.
  467. Chain Soul Breaks generally reach max effectiveness in raids when up to eight characters can theoretically contribute to it, but this generally requires the raid to specifically plan their strategy around it. They're also used against enemies with high defenses or only slight weakness to elements (Torments or Magicite dungeon bosses), but in general the need to base your parties around a Chain demands an ability to build teams well.
  469. [3.1.4] Ultra Soul Breaks
  471. Ultra Soul Breaks are literally just excuses to allow better-than-SSB effects to proliferate without having to attach them to Bursts, Overstrikes, or Chains (or God forbid, have them be regular SSBs), as well as stick insane effects on rarer 6* relics.
  473. There are two classes of Ultra Soul Breaks: those with regular, powerful effects; and those that grant EX Modes. Similar to Burst Modes, EX Modes grant stat boosts, can't be dispelled, and usually add a specific effect, such as reducing cast time for a class of abilities such as Knight or Samurai abilities.
  475. Of the Soul Breaks attached to 6* relics, USBs are the most general-purpose and can range from heals to buffs to plain old damage with utilities.
  477. [3.2] ELEMENTAL ATTACHMENTS AND IMPERILS -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  479. Plenty of Soul Breaks, such as Paladin Cecil's Sacred Cross, Alphinaud's Aerial Blast, 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.
  481. The former, known as En-[element] or elemental attach, does the following:
  483. 1. Makes Attack command elemental
  484. 2. Elemental abilities boosted by 50%
  485. 3. Elemental Soul Breaks boosted by 80%
  486. 4. Grants a resistance to that element
  488. 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.
  490. The latter, better referred to as Imperil SBs, reduce a specified elemental resistance (but cannot reduce an existing full weakness). Imperil carves out its niche on bosses without weaknesses if you can overload on the resulting exploit -- or in Torments, Magicites, and Ultimate and above where bosses only have slight weakness, allowing Imperil to either exacerbate an existing one or open up a new avenue of attack. Another useful effect of Imperil: hitting weaknesses generates more SB gauge energy, which can make the difference in prolonged fights.
  492. [4] RELIC DRAWS -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  494. Here we fucking go.
  496. Relic Draws are your main way of getting equipment, from weapons to armor (accessories, however, can only be won in events).
  498. 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.
  500. 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 comparetively slow once you've cleared all your Realm Dungeons. 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.
  502. 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 Legend Materia relics and /ffg/ anons commit sudoku by the hundreds, killing the general for real this time -- not like DeNA's uncharacteristically shoddy handling of Global as of late isn't pissing people off already.
  504. [4.1] Rare Relic Draw methods ----------------------------
  506. There's two common philosophies that go into Rare Relic Draws:
  508. 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* or 6* piece 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.
  510. 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.
  512. b.) On continuous 1x draws, and 3x draws
  514. Poorfag drawing method. Only do this if you're desperate and short on Mythril.
  516. Anon who first wondered about Relic Pull probability: https://warosu.org/sci/thread/S7389586#p7401007;
  517. the reasoning: https://warosu.org/sci/thread/S7389586#p7401022 (check 'em)
  519. Replies: https://warosu.org/sci/thread/S7389586#p7401309; https://warosu.org/sci/thread/S7389586#p7401350
  521. 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*.
  523. As a note: 3x draws are shit, never do them unless you really believe in meme magic (totally viable). They have no advantages whatsoever compared to a 1x or 11x. Also, as a side note, anyone who says "cult of 3" when doing a 3x pull is probably some cross-posting Redditor faggot, should you ever see the term used in-thread.
  525. [4.2] Special Relic Draws ----------------------------
  527. -- LUCKY RELIC DRAW --
  529. The Lucky Relic Draw was first introduced in Japan's 1-year anniversary event and given to Global even earlier, 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 relics in the advertised pool are fair game, so if a Realm Dungeon Lucky Draw advertises VII relics that are SSB and up you can draw duds like Organics.
  531. However, you can only draw once per banner, 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.
  533. These are pretty rare, and only happen during special events (like anniversary events or the Black Friday draws) or dungeon updates, but it's well worth your while to stock up at least some Mythril to be ready for them. For the beginner, Lucky Draws are always a great way to improve your party, since at this point you're just shotgunning for whatever 5* or 6* relics you can get as opposed to sniping for particular characters (but, you know, bonus if you get something for you're waifu).
  537. Special banners for VII, X, and XIII. They're Global-exclusive, but they're not exactly very good for the price. Your first draw on each is a Lucky Draw -- the catch? There are no 6* relics, and the pool can include relics as old as Cloud's original Buster Sword. Avoid these unless you are a whale with the express desire to "complete" a character's collection of relics for your autism.
  539. [4.3] Which banners should I draw on? ----------------------------------------------------------------------
  541. 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.
  543. However, if you need to be serious about it, go for viability first and then synergy.
  545. Beginners should be drawing from Lucky Draws all the time, and Keeper's Choice 2 strictly on advisement. For veterans, check your synergy in featured realms for Dungeon Update LDs before deciding that they're trap banners.
  547. 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.
  549. In terms of SB viability:
  551. Reiterating the advice concerning the "trinity", these types of SBs are top priority:
  553. - A Wall-type SB (Sentinel's Grimoire, Stoneskin II)
  554. - A Medica (Divine Portrait, Asylum, Guardian Mog, etc.)
  555. - A Hastega (Shout, Hyper Mighty G, etc.)
  556. - A stat booster (Vessel of Fate, Ley Lines...)
  558. 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.
  560. When looking to improve your DPS, look into BSBs or USBs with EX Mode effects, especially those with an EnElement, such as Cloud's second BSB 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.
  562. Other interesting types of SBs are:
  564. - Runics (Grand Cross, Indomitable Blade)
  565. - Chains (build your team around them)
  566. - Elemental imperils ("reduce resistance to...")
  567. - Stat reductions (especially those with unique stat reduction combinations)
  569. General damage-dealing SSBs, while also useful, take a backseat to the aforementioned.
  571. 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 ranks banners by how many waifus there are in them, fuck if I care.
  573. In terms of synergy: look at your equips and see which ones you think you're lacking in or consider which realms you're having difficulty in. That's pretty much it.
  575. [4.4] On "trap banners" ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  577. You'll occasionally see /ffg/ anons replying to a post about a banner -- usually a dungeon update-based Lucky Draw -- and calling it a "trap banner" - basically, banners with too much shit on them (e.g. outdated shit like first-gen SSBs or SBs that aren't Sentinel's Grimoire or Thyrus) to justify even wasting Mythril.  
  579. In a lot of cases it's just /ffg/ shitposting, but there are plenty of banners for which this holds true -- especially the Newcomer's Banners. Even banners that would normally would be good can be trap banners if they're scheduled right before banners that are hyped to hell and back, because they serve to siphon your Mythril budget and entice you to buy gems (kupo) when your stock of Mythril runs out prematurely.
  581. Generally, if there's a lot of buzz in-thread about SB fest banners or something hyped up like Alphinaud and Minfilia's event to the point where there's genuine derision for anyone doing relic draws for any reason before then, DeNA is probably working some trap banner magic. Of course, it never hurts to ask.
  583. [4.5] Some notes -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  585. 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.
  587. [5] ROAMING WARRIORS --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  589. Building on that, let's look into the Roaming Warrior (RW) system.
  591. 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.
  593. The second main feature of Roaming Warriors is that you can follow them so that you can have their SB on call without having to shuffle your list for half an hour to find the effect again -- the best part being that unlike plenty of other mobages, RK doesn't require mutual follows / friend requests in order to get RWs.
  595. There are three ways, in total, to follow players: at the end of every dungeon or multiplayer fight 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.
  597. 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.
  599. 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.
  601. 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 or popular your RW is.
  603. 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.
  605. To avoid this, players will often mutually follow one another, because the system does not bump off mutual followers. 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, though it still shows up on random lists. This isn't really a problem these days due to the number of active players and more organized redditsheeple being tricked into pulling for meta RWs like Cloud USB even though they don't get the best use out of it themselves -- but it used to be, back when almost no one knew Advance would be the poor man's option, it never showed up again on a banner, and you'd have to re-follow it several times a day (if the mutual follows list wasn't already full).
  607. You can also remove followers from your list, but 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.
  609. 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.
  611. 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.
  613. 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.
  615. 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 Haste-granting RWs: please, equip stuff that increases your MND. It doesn't matter beyond a certain point, but two-digit numbers all the way up to the mid-100s isn't exactly all that helpful either.
  617. [6] STRATEGY AND GENERAL TIPS ---------------------------------------------------------------
  619. 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.
  621. Not an exhaustive list.
  623. General tips:
  625. - [DAMAGE MITIGATION] ---
  627. First rule of RK: do NOT allow your characters to be KO'd -- unless you're almost to the end of the fight and you can finish it without dying too badly or forfeiting medals for mastery.
  629. For one, Raise, Arise, and Curaise are all out of the reach of the beginner, take up valuable skill slots (except Curaise, generally), and worse -- they have no buffs whatsoever and are easy bait to knock down again. When a character is KO'd, just S/L [11.1].
  631. The question then becomes: how do you prevent your characters from being KO'd? Damage mitigation. These are skills like Multi Break, Power Breakdown, Steal Power, and a plethora of Soul Breaks with debuffing effects, as well as Shellga, Protectga, and so on.
  633. 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 limited to Soul Breaks, making it harder to recover from these attacks.
  635. 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.
  637. Extra notes:
  638. - White magic, including offensive skills such as Diaga and Holy, scale off Mind, and require Mind Break/down to weaken.
  639. - (Holy attacks that scale off Magic exist but are rare, such as Alexander and Hope's BSB command Purification)
  641. - [BUFFS AND DEBUFFS] ---
  643. In RK, buffs and debuffs are the name of the game.
  645. And they 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:
  647. - Protectga and Shellga can be seen visually and stack with everything else.
  648. - 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.
  649. - 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 (+30% ATK/DEF), and Protector's Roar (+30% ATK/MND/DEF) will all stack. Similarly, Full Break (-30% ATK/MAG/DEF/RES) stacks with Ark Blast (-40% MAG/DEF) and Magic Breakdown (-40% MAG), but not Meteor Javelin or Beryl Serpent (-40% ATK/MAG/DEF/RES).
  650. - (Extra note: Focus, Lulu's old +20% MAG / +50% RES Soul Break, is a unique effect and stacks even with +MAG/RES effects.)
  651. - Burst Mode stat boosts stack with everything else.
  653. - [HONING] ---
  655. The longer the battle, the more mitigation / DPS you want to be consistently maintaining. In Japan, 4* Magicite bosses, for example, go up 1 million HP; superboss multiplayer raids frequently reach this number, and have done so in the past.
  657. The common factor in being able to power through these kinds of fights is hones, (and, well, a fuckton of BSB commands and dualcasting and probably whaling, but I digress). Hone your abilities or you won't last. Ultimate bosses usually have HP in the ballpark of 200k and above, and it gets worse from there.
  661. -- Are there multiple targets?
  662. -- Do you have to kill all of them to win, or just a main body? (i.e. bring AoE magic / attacks or not)
  663. -- Does the boss primarily look like they'll use physical or magical attacks? (You can usually glean this from target conditions.)
  664. -- If they're a mixed attacker, do you have the slots to spare for mixed Breakdowns or dances?
  665. -- If not, which one is more important?
  666. -- Do they use single-target or AoE attacks more?
  667. -- If the former, would Magic Lure / Draw Fire / Runic effects neutralize the threat well?
  668. -- If their damage is elemental, is it serious enough to merit bringing an elemental resist accessory?
  669. -- Which phases of the fight are more difficult? Can you get by some portion of the early stage without boosting to save them for later?
  671. - >being a shitter ---
  673. 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 whale who needs to git gud because holy shit how are you dying with that high a level and that many good SBs and that much synergy motherfucker explain yourself.
  675. [6.1] Retaliate-based Strategies --------------------------------------
  677. 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).
  679. 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.
  681. Retaliate is often combined with a 2* Combat skill named Double Cut or a 3* Celerity skill Tempo Flurry, 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.
  683. 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.
  685. In the days before Shout was released Advance was one of the best Soul Breaks to set as a RW, since it was usually combined with Retaliate to mindlessly destroy bosses.
  687. 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.
  689. [6.2] Magic-based Parties -----
  691. Fairly simple concept: a party focused on nuking bosses with magic.
  693. Some bosses are out of melee or physical range altogether, or greatly discourage physical strategies (Omniscient, some Ultimate bosses, then others with absurdly high DEF such as Seifer's gang or Proud Clod), making this another viable strategy.
  695. 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, or otherwise using Burst Soul Break commands. 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.
  697. 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.
  699. Just as a note, though: If you are tackling Ultimate bosses for the first time, physically-biased parties are the easy way out. While magic-biased parties are equally as viable, they will tend to rely a lot more on elemental attach / imperils, elemental weaknesses, and buffs such as Ley Lines or Sheepsong.
  701. [6.3] Lifesiphon, Wrath, and Entrust --------------------------------------
  703. 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.
  705. 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.
  707. It's a 4* skill, which means it needs Greater Power, Ice, and Wind Orbs from the Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday dailies.
  709. Wrath is a 4* support skill that charges the Soul Break gauge and is usually paired with a 5* skill called Entrust that transfers a user's Soul Break gauge to another. It's good for plenty of things (Y'shtola on her own makes good use of Wrath, and there are plenty of quick boss kill strategies that rely on charging an Overstrike with Entrust), but Lifesiphon is generally more common, mainly due to the fact that if you have a support character you have to wonder why they're not bringing a breakdown skill instead.
  711. [6.4] Ultra Cross Slash --------------------------------------
  713. Cloud's Ultra Soul Break has an EX Mode which boosts damage in general, on top of upping the critical hit rate so that it's almost guaranteed, and allowing ANY attack to break the damage cap.
  715. What this means for you is that Cloud USB is one of the best, if not the best RW for pure damage-dealing in the game. While you'll need to provide your own boost stacks to achieve truly insane damage output, Cloud's USB in conjunction with some powerful multi-hit such as Orlandeau's BSB Swordplay can achieve staggering damage totals against bosses with increasingly absurd HP fat.  
  717. Note that the critical hit rate boost from the USB's EX Mode doesn't stack with a lot of others (Refia and Eiko's BSBs, for example). Focus on ramming the Attack cap and dealing as many multi-hits as possible during the short EX Mode (15 seconds) to get the most mileage out of a cast.
  719. [6.5] On reduced-delay and instant-cast effects --------------------------------------
  721. Several Soul Breaks, most notably Orlandeau's Thunder God and Noctis's Gladiolus Link (to name a few) grant reduced delay or an instantaneous cast to a character or the party's next actions.
  723. It should go without saying that the ability to instant-cast makes a huge difference. Soul Breaks, especially, take a long time to cast, and the delay can mean the difference between being wiped out by one more attack, or just barely going under 30 seconds when fighting a Magicite boss. In general, the more you can instant-cast, the faster your team will start up, deal damage, and sustain itself. In this respect, Noctis's SSB Gladiolus Link is especially ridiculous -- not only does it trigger instantly, but it grants instant-cast to the entire party. From personal experience, it's basically the only reason I can achieve sub-30 clear times on any Magicite I can afford to sub-30; it is the kind of ability that cuts your time by a good 10 or 15 seconds, and in Magicite, that's more than long enough to be the difference between a clear and a TPK.
  725. [6.6] On Chains, doublecasting, and chasing damage
  727. "Chasing" damage refers to follow-up attacks that trigger in response to the use of some ability type. For example, Tidus USB grants an effect that follows up with six physical Water attacks if Tidus attacks with any Water ability when it's active.
  729. Doublecasting is as simple as the name implies: it re-casts the ability used again instantly, often without using up another ability charge. Most double-casts have only a probability of triggering, but some are guaranteed to trigger at the cost of expending another charge of the ability.
  731. On their own, they offer a significant boost to damage as is, but with a Chain, the damage spikes from respectable to absurd. Chasing attacks generally have low damage multipliers and hit several times -- and with a high Chain multiplier, they hit hard and hit several times. One or two of these are enough to push damage checks or clear through "berserk" phases of bosses; the combination of all three together is enough to melt the HP bars of Magicites. There is an element of luck involved, usually with getting doublecasts to proc, but assuming this to be given the damage should flow in torrents.
  733. [7] PROGRESSION AND EVENTS -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  735. [7.1] Starting Out and Core Dungeons
  737. TL;DR version:
  739. - Pick a core group of characters to form your first party and level them up as high as you can -- especially, try to play on Tuesdays and Sundays for the EXP daily dungeons.
  740. - Accumulate Stamina. The early dungeons hand out shards like no one's business, and if you optimize refreshes you can rank up AND get mythril really quickly.
  741. - Beginners in their first week can go as far as bonus stages of the Elite Dungeons of an event if they borrow a good RW. As much as possible, progress as far in an event as you possibly can.
  742. - In general, it's easier to start with a physical rather than a magic-based team.
  743. - Get the Mako Might, Dr. Mog's Teachings, Ace Striker, and Battleforged RMs as soon as you can. Check section 8 for details.
  744. - USE YOUR ROAMING WARRIORS. They'll trivialize a lot of early content for you.
  745. - For the beginner, boosting effects like Shout and Vessel of Fate aren't too useful compared to just RWing an Overstrike that can just nuke the boss.
  747. Your first priority is getting a core group of 5 characters leveled up to 50, and then 65, and so on -- absolutely focus on them before you worry about anything else. These are whoever you have Soul Breaks for plus a healer if your healer doesn't have a Soul Break -- if you get any new Soul Breaks along the way feel free to occasionally swap some characters in and out, of course.
  749. Starting out is usually really confusing, especially if you come in during a "fest" event where there's tons of banners and events going on at the same time. Even then, you'll want to go through Core Dungeons first to amass not only Stamina Shards, which are handed out by the truckload at the beginning, but also Mythril for throwing at banners. The sooner you can do your first 11x draw, the better. A good benchmark for this is generally how many Classic dungeons you can take out in one go thanks to your Stamina Shard refreshes before you finally have to wait for it to recharge.
  751. 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.
  753. If events are ending really soon, though (a day or two before they end, let's say): prioritize Event Dungeons if only to get the featured characters. Again, if you're literally just starting out, use your 5* swords to clear the first stage or so. You'll get Growth Eggs as a clear reward for the first few sets -- dump them immediately into your characters so you can rush into higher-level stages.
  755. 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.
  757. 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.
  759. Start thinking about your strategies by the time Elite difficulty starts to hit 100. A thing to note about difficulty is that it isn't a one-to-one relationship with level, which makes it misleading: for example, Ultimate ++ bosses in events are marked with 180 difficulty when they're actually tackled with teams averaging anywhere from 80 to 99. In fact, once you get to a certain point, Elite dungeons are basically indistinguishable from Classic dungeons since you'll be able to tackle them the moment they're unlocked. Avoid them for the time being, however.
  761. If you want, you can try to clear some of the early Elite bosses with a powerful damage-dealing RW like Finishing Touch or Energy Rain. They'll usually die in one hit, and your 5* from the first draw should be able to carry you through the mobs alright.
  763. 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.
  765. Sudden drops in Elite difficulty between dungeons are indicative of a split between dungeon updates, as an aside.
  767. [7.2] Event Dungeons
  769. 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.
  771. 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! Good use of Roaming Warriors can carry weaker teams through harder difficulties well, and a lot of the time it's 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.
  773. 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:
  775. + battles - A boss rush. You'll need to fight through a collection of bosses (most of the time, only two now where there used to be up to five) 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.
  777. ++ / +++ battles - One-round boss battles.
  779. In general, Memory Crystal IIs are handed out at the + and above level.
  781. 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.
  783. Apocalypse / + battles are the highest level of difficulty in solo events, and tend to be a major pain in the ass due to their high stats, tendency to have only slight elemental weakness (if at all), and ability to pull off bullshit effects in their weak phases. Past the Ultimate level, however, there is no real motivation to force yourself to clear them since Memory Crystal III lodes and 5* accesories are handed out at the first tier. They're a challenge meant for veteran and end-game players.
  785. Memory Crystal III lodes are handed out at the Ultimate / + level.
  787. 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.
  789. 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.
  791. [7.3] Special Events
  793. 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.
  795. 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.
  797. 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.
  799. [7.4] Multiplayer Raids
  801. Accessed from Raid Dungeons in the normal Event Dungeons menu, Multiplayer Raids are exactly what the name implies: form parties with up to four players, two characters each for a total of eight maximum in an instance. The main draw to MP raids, especially at Ultimate / Apocalypse + level, is 4* motes, which are difficult to get otherwise since new Mote Dungeons have been discontinued.
  803. You actually have the option to either tackle the bosses solo or look for a party -- but the problem with going solo is that you should expect to be tackling bosses meant for eight characters with five. While anything at Ultimate + level is usually doable solo, Apocalypse level bosses will give you a whale-tier run for your money.
  805. /ffg/ usually makes rooms with the password 7243 (rage), as is common for /v/ or /vg/, but you'll usually have to ask in the thread if anyone is interested in starting a raid instance. List whatever you can offer in terms of Soul Breaks / characters so we don't have four Ramzas / Tyros / Onion Knights running around.
  807. If you just want to have fun with anons raiding and spam FUNGAAAAAHHH, don't worry too much if your average party level is bad! Depending on the raid, it's even possible to do 6-man carries through Ultimate + / Apocalypse-level raids, and raiding with more than just the usual regular people is always more fun.
  809. A few tips:
  811. - Make sure to set up your party in the Multiplayer Raid menu beforehand, because party set-up in a room is total shit: there's a huge delay on swapping out characters, practically locking in the characters you had before you entered. While there's a similar delay on swapping out skills, materia, and equipment, it's all visual and your changes will register properly and immediately. In general, however, people will exit and rejoin raid rooms so that changes display properly.
  812. - Pay attention to the thread while you're in a room! /ffg/ organizes in-thread, so make sure you're double-checking to see if someone wants you to change up your stuff. The Hold on! sticker is usually used to mean one should check the thread.
  813. - Double-check that your Soul Breaks are all in your deck, since at first every character only has their Default. Multiplayer loadouts are handled completely separate from solo loadouts.
  814. - Randoms are super hit-or-miss. Usual signs of shitters include blowing their OSB load at the beginning with Mako Might before Shout or Vessel of Fate is cast, bringing physical-heavy characters when bosses counter physical attacks and vice versa, and so on. When they're good, though, they're really good (but also tend to be redditsheep). Worse, public groups these days tend to be a lot more anal about what they want in raids and kick whoever doesn't meet their incredibly autistic standards.
  815. - Don't forget to have >fun!
  817. [7.5] Torment Dungeons
  819. As though Ultimate++ bosses weren't hard enough.
  821. The Torment Dungeons' nominal purpose is to hand out 5* motes first introduced in the far easier Five Dooms event, as well as some extra 6* crystals for honing, but they are, in general, whale / veteran bait and bragging rights. The Torment bosses at the end of each dungeon usually equal or surpass the strength of Ultimate++ / Apocalypse bosses, with a metric ton of HP and higher defenses to show for it. Worse, these bosses are actually preceded by mob rounds with actual difficulty -- and more of them than even regular dungeons do (4 mob rounds in D200; 6 in D250).
  823. The D300 Full Throttle version is covered in the below section, and is a one-round boss fight. As with all Full Throttles, they hand out motes for Legend Spheres instead.
  825. Other than that, there are no gimmicks or tricks to it. Nowadays, Torments rotate on staggered two-week cycles, with one being cycled out every week.
  827. Some tips:
  828. - Remember Retaliate strategy? Ingus and Gilgamesh's Bursts have built-in Draw Fire + Retaliate effects attached to their commands, and they are invaluable for preserving your ability charges through mobs if you have them. Normal Tauntaliate should work as well, but gimps you of a character's moveslots. Otherwise, AoE magic works well here.
  829. - The mobs are important for building your Soul Break gauges. You WILL run out of steam if you don't pace yourself with them before you reach the boss.
  830. - The boss(es) at the end of the dungeon have HP totals going well into 400,000 ~ 600,000 and onwards. If you don't have Burst commands to spam, you are very likely to run out of hones, so be careful.
  831. - Abusing or creating elemental exploits is effective. If you can cause an Imperil or otherwise unload the element of a boss's weakness onto it, it's a huge plus.
  832. - Hit-and-run charging your SBs at the start is absolutely not a bad idea [11.2], but from personal experience it's awful and tedious. Your stamina is refunded in all cases except a win, including fleeing.
  833. - If you want to expedite charging your Soul Breaks, a thing I do is this: put Ace Striker on the healer and then wait for them to get a bar charged. Once the Soul Break is cast, hit Auto and let your healer maintain your team until the Burst expires. You may need to pile on a few Breakdowns on the mobs for insurance, but otherwise I find this works really well, especially if you have Y'shtola (or any other healer with an instant heal Burst command).
  834. - In general, being able to clear D200/300 Cid Missions and D250 relies on a lot of things going right, but most of it will have to do with how many good native Soul Breaks and synergy you have. Consider them the purest form of whalebait.
  836. [7.6] Full Throttle / Jump Start Battles
  838. While the local name is Jump Start, plenty prefer to call this battle mode the more palatable JP name Full Throttle. Its premise is simple: at the start, you're given a predetermined number of Soul Break gauges full for your entire party (generally all three bars full) -- but you won't be able to gain any more gauge energy throughout the battle, meaning abilities such as Lifesiphon, Wrath, and Entrust are useless (unless you're bringing them for damage or Wrath's attack boost, which NO ONE does). On top of this, Record Materia such as Dr. Mog's Teachings and Mako Might won't grant extra bars, and Ace Striker and Battleforged will be straight-up useless, allowing you to focus on RMs that prioritize pure power or speed of use.
  840. Full Throttle battles are the primary source of 5* motes used to progress through characters' Legend Sphere dives, and generally feature a battle against its associated event's Apocalypse+ boss, or in the case of a Torment Dungeon, a D300 one-round battle which skips the mobs, adds more power and bulk to the bosses, and only grants them their slight elemental weakness once they lose enough HP.
  842. Some tips:
  843. - With DMT / MM / AS / Battleforged banned, damage-boosting RMs of every flavor are the way to go. Level 99 equipment-boosting and elemental-boost RMs are great if you have them.
  844. - Your entire team is rigged to start at a certain ATB. In event Full Throttle you start at zero, and in Torment FT you start with a half gauge full; don't bother reloading. RMs that grant Haste (Worthy Hero, Godspeed) or Orlandeau's 99 RM Gathering Storm are usually your best choices for characters that need to cast buffs ASAP.
  845. - Common RWs for Full Throttle include Cloud USB due to the sheer bulk of Torment bosses, and Ramza USB for a unique stacking buff in addition to instant-cast for one action.
  846. - Event Full Throttle bosses are generally easy for anyone who can beat Apocalypse+ bosses and are usually just chewtoys for figuring out how many different ways you can nuke a boss.
  847. - While usual mitigation measures can be foregone in favor of burst damage during event Full Throttle, the usual stuff applies during Torments. Obviously, pace your use of abilities and Bursts, and if you have space add some DEF / RES breakdowns.
  849. [7.7] The Crystal Tower
  851. Introduced during the 30th Anniversary event, the Crystal Tower is a boss rush-style challenge whose primary gimmick is this: between each fight, you're allowed to set-up your team in any way you like, but you can't use any character that you've used to beat a previous boss during your current attempt.
  853. Initiating a Crystal Tower attempt is completely separate from entering a dungeon -- in fact, after you initiate an attempt, you're still free to do whatever else you like, be it raid or enter a realm or event or magicite dungeon -- the only restriction that attempts add when you initiate them will be on characters you've already used to beat a boss.
  855. The original rendition of the Crystal Tower was a lot different from the current monthly rotation: for one, you could use normal RWs; there were five bosses, followed by a sixth that you could only challenge after all five were defeated -- and only using characters that you had used on previous bosses.
  857. The current system is as follows:
  859. - Each Crystal Tower challenge has four bosses, which can be challenged in any order.
  860. - The bosses begin at Apocalypse + (D220); the one on the top flight is noticeably stronger than the other three, and is called the Armageddon boss.
  861. - You cannot borrow normal RWs -- instead, you're allowed to borrow Dr. Mog's Wall effect as a RW.
  862. - While synergy for each boss is based on its realm, it does so differently from normal realm synergy, in that it strictly grants unconditional synergy to Cores and characters of that realm, and no synergy to any others.
  864. Each Crystal Tower has Cid Missions associated with it that grant 5* Legend Sphere motes for "not retreating", which are simply the developers' way of enforcing the lock-out mechanic for characters. If you don't have a variety of high-end relics to fit several teams yet, there's not really much you can do about this, but that doesn't mean you can't still attempt to clear all of them with the same team. This can be achieved by using your best team for any boss, then quitting the attempt to lift the lock-out on those characters before trying another one. Clearing each boss separately obviously doesn't successfully finish an attempt, but at the very least you'll be able to take on all the bosses in some degree. A different set of Crystal Tower bosses appears monthly, and difficulty ranges from hair-pullingly ridiculous to relatively simple, so as with regular events, there's no harm in testing your limits.
  866. [7.8] Nightmare Dungeons
  868. The Nightmare dungeons used to be available for a limited time each month, but as of the release of the final record, Omega Drive, they are now permanently available.
  870. Each one of them contains themed challenges based on the record they protect. While the 6* skills themselves aren't always guaranteed to be good, 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 or ailment. The difficulty level of the gatekeeper dungeons ranges from + to Ultimate ++ and is usually ascending by order of Nightmare dungeon release.
  872. Once you clear all four dungeons protecting a Record, the Nightmare dungeon boss is unlocked. It's roughly equivalent in power to an Ultimate or Ultimate+, but pay enough attention to each gimmick and your life will become a lot easier. Note that apart from Support Nightmares, Nightmare bosses are IMMUNE to break-type effects.
  874. The early Nightmare bosses themselves have fallen victim to powercreep, and you will often be able to brute-force them.  If you find your damage output overtaking the strategies described below (usually because you waited too long to take the bosses on), don't be too surprised.
  876. Pay close attention to their gimmicks to meet the mastery conditions. Except for Nightmare Guardian, it's a piece of shit and its gimmick is shit.
  878. [7.8.1] BLACK MAGE NIGHTMARE #1: Ultima Buster
  880. REWARD: Ultima Record
  882. Deals three non-elemental magic attacks to all targets for massive damage.
  884. It's okay. Most people, however, will still prefer to save their Crystals to hone Meltdown (see below).
  885. -----------------------------------------
  886. Recommended RWs: Ley Lines (Papalymo), Hyper Mighty G (Rikku)
  887. Useful skills: As much Lightning and Fire as you can carry, especially multi-hit attacks
  889. 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.
  891. 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. The Death can be ignored if you have some sort of native Runic, like off Exdeath's Grand Cross or Celes's Indomitable / Invincible Blade, but it's not like you can't just craft Ruin since it just takes irrelevant 2* orbs anyway if you're a cheapskate.
  893. The Mana Sphere is the crux of this fight. It responds to most types of magic used to attack it:
  895. - Water / ice: Party-wide Cure directed at you
  896. - Fire / lightning: Attacks Ultima Buster for 10x the damage the attack dealt to the Sphere
  897. - Non-elemental: Attacks Ultima Buster for a small amount, and greatly damages the Sphere
  899. 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.
  901. 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.
  903. There are no bans on summoning magic, and they don't trigger any Death counters. On top of that, the fact that they're guaranteed to multi-hit allows you to abuse the Mana Sphere's damage mechanic even harder.
  905. 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 Last Stand-type effect like Relm's Star Prism gives. 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.
  907. Notably, thanks to powercreep, you'll probably end up killing the Sphere before it can kill Ultima Buster. Keep this in mind if you don't want to get destroyed by Nightmare Ultima!
  909. [7.8.2] COMBAT NIGHTMARE #1: Demon Wall
  911. REWARD: Crushdown Record
  913. Deal three massive physical attacks to all targets with a high chance to instantly KO.
  915. Crushdown has never really stood out as more than mediocre, especially not when Omega Drive exists, unfortunately.
  916. -----------------------------------------
  917. Recommended RWs: Shout / Battle Cry (FFT) (Ramza), Thunder God (Orlandeau), Ultra Cross Slash (Cloud)
  918. Useful skills: Lifesiphon
  920. This one is a bit more direct than Ultima Buster.
  922. 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. Jump attacks are banned in this battle.
  924. Like Ultima Buster, Phase 1 consists of dealing enough damage. You will need to do about 80000 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. If you can't force Phase 2 quickly enough on your own, Shout or some physical Overstrike SB will work well here as a RW.
  926. 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.
  928. 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.
  930. It's possible, preferable, and a common occurrence 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.
  932. 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.
  934. [7.8.3] WHITE MAGE NIGHTMARE #1: Evrae Altana
  936. REWARD: Reraise Record
  938. Grants Reraise status, which revives a KO'd character with a massive amount of HP.
  940. The one ability JP buffs can't save. Don't craft this unless you want to show off how much of a cuck you are and parade it around along with your 8* Y'shtola USB staff or something.
  941. -----------------------------------------
  942. Recommended RWs: Seal of Heaven (Minwu), Star Prism (Relm), Transcendent Dream (Vanille), Asylum (Y'shtola)
  943. Useful skills: Raise / Esuna / Dispel
  945. Get Diagas and Curagas ready. You may as well keep the Diagas for Nightmare Guardian later and shatter them when you're done.
  947. 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 so you can use Cures to attack Altana as a last-ditch option.
  949. 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.
  951. 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 in its place, pay attention to Photon Spray's gimmick, which is as follows: a light will point from Evrae to a lens at any given time -- the lens it points at affects Photon Spray's effect:
  953. 1st lens: Photon Spray can inflict Poison
  954. 2nd lens: Photon Spray becomes more powerful
  955. 3rd lens: Photon Spray can inflict Petrify
  956. 4th lens: Photon Spray can inflict Silence
  958. 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. Minwu's and Relm's BSBs work insanely well here; do NOT use Selphie's BSB, since the attacks have an attached Instant Death effect that will cause the lenses to explode.
  960. 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 quarter of your HP, enough to force you to cast a healing SB.
  962. Phase 2 ends once you kill Evrae again. He'll use Explosion like the lenses do, but for 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.
  964. 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 twice. Unless you're using some AoE attack like Minwu's Spell Sap command, don't waste your time.
  966. 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.
  968. [7.8.4] SUMMONER NIGHTMARE #1: Neo Bahamut
  970. REWARD: Neo Bahamut Record
  972. Deal four devastating non-elemental attacks to all targets.
  974. Basically Ultima but in Summon form.
  975. -----------------------------------------
  976. Recommended RWs: Ley Lines (Papalymo), Hyper Mighty G (Rikku), Aerial Blast (Alphinaud)
  978. 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.
  980. 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 a handful of characters can pull this off well, most of whom won't be getting Nightmare synergy. In Phase 1 you're also allowed to hit Neo Bahamut with White Magic as well before he gains Reflect, but the damage output on them is usually pretty shitty. Aerial Blast is usually good for bruteforcing damage in this Nightmare. In any case, simply damage him enough and he'll enter Phase 2.
  982. 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.
  984. 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.
  986. 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.
  988. Spheres aside, at this point it's a race to the finish line. Be careful you don't run out of hones or die to random Megaflares or Gigaflares.
  990. [7.8.5] SUPPORT NIGHTMARE #1: CPU
  992. REWARD: Quadruple Foul Record
  994. Deal four physical attacks to random enemies with a moderate chance to Blind, Silence, Sleep, and Poison them.
  996. 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.
  997. -----------------------------------------
  998. Recommended RWs: Shout / Battle Cry (FFT) (Ramza), Hyper Mighty G (Rikku)
  999. Useful skills: Multi Break (+ Powerchain)
  1001. In a departure from the preceding Nightmares, the CPU and its nodes are only resistant rather than immune to Break effects.
  1003. 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.
  1005. 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. The Nodes don't take long to deploy fields / barriers in succession, but once the magical ones are removed there should be a fairly lenient window before they do anything again.
  1007. The CPU also goes batshit insane if you somehow manage to let the Quadruple Foul countdown reach 0 or if both of the Nodes die, which shouldn't be happening anyway.
  1009. 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 -- if you want to improve your timing on this, give Tyro Powerchain and use it to get an instant Multi Break off.
  1011. 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.
  1013. [7.8.6] CELERITY NIGHTMARE #1: Tonberries
  1015. REWARD: Northern Cross Record
  1017. Deal four physical attacks to one target with a moderate chance to Stop and interrupt its next action.
  1019. Northern Cross is a meme ability. It's decent, but it's not worth the investment compared to a lot of other 6* abilities, such as Snowspell Strike (which uses the exact same Crystals). Don't fall for the Redditor memes.
  1020. -----------------------------------------
  1021. Recommended RWs: Shout / Battle Cry (FFT) (Ramza), Hyper Mighty G (Rikku), Requiem of the Goddess (Lightning)
  1022. Useful skills: Halting Rumba, any AoE Soul Breaks
  1024. 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.
  1026. 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.
  1028. 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, are Soul Breaks with AoE Interrupt (Thancred's Kiss of the Jugulator SSB is a good one). Other than that, you'll need to bring Tempo Flurry and Dismissal as well to hit the target conditions -- or just RW Lightning's really old BSB1, since its commands inflict both of those effects.
  1030. 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.
  1032. 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.
  1034. 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.
  1036. [7.8.7] BLACK MAGE NIGHTMARE #2: Kaiser Dragon
  1038. REWARD: Meltdown Record
  1040. Deal four devastating fire, wind, and earth attacks to one target.
  1042. Meltdown is one of the more popular 6* skills, primarily due to its multi-element capability. You'll be limited by its 2 charges at first, but Runic-type Soul Breaks such as Grand Cross or BSB commands like Aetherflow are useful for recharging in this regard.
  1043. -----------------------------------------
  1044. Recommended RWs: Ley Lines (Papalymo), Hyper Mighty G (Rikku)
  1046. 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 and some fire-resisting accessories if you want to play safe.
  1048. As is commonplace, the first phase of the fight is plain damage. Once you get to the second part, Kaiser Dragon will start by using Meltdown, and the Crystal beside Kaiser Dragon will become active, and Dr. Mog will tell you to use it but not really explain how.
  1050. The trick here is two-fold. The first part is as follows:
  1052. - 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, he'll cycle through all of them at least once before repeating.
  1053. - 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.
  1055. 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. Alternatively, you can reset for good RNG so that it doesn't take long for him to shift into his Water or Lightning forms.
  1057. Again, damage him enough and Kaiser Dragon will cast Meltdown again to kick off Phase 3, in which he loses weaknesses, the Crystal goes inactive, and all his attacks will start ignoring RES. Ley Lines shines here in the quick finishes department.
  1059. 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.
  1061. [7.8.8] WHITE MAGE NIGHTMARE #2: Guardian
  1063. REWARD: Curada Record
  1065. Restore an enormous amount of HP to one ally and grant a 2000 HP shield to recover any additional damage.
  1067. 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, and HP Stock is, for lack of a better word, huge.
  1069. Anyway, it's literally a heal. There's not too much to say about it, but it's good.
  1070. -----------------------------------------
  1071. Recommended RWs: Ley Lines (Papalymo), Hyper Mighty G (Rikku), Realignment (Aphmau)
  1072. Useful skills: Fire Veil, Water Veil, summons
  1074. Apparently the devs ran out of creativity so they gave us this shit.
  1076. 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.
  1078. 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.
  1080. 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.
  1082. A note: Wave Cannon's damage is dependent on how much health it has, so if you're going to try to kill it the legitimate way, you can't allow the Wave Cannon to take damage. Anyway, this would be fine if not for the fact that the timing for redirecting the cursor is unpredictable, a fucking pain in the ass, forces you to play it incredibly safe, and finally, is even slower than brute force, so the generally accepted strategy for this Nightmare is to actually ignore the gimmick.
  1084. 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 is humanely possible (Selphie / Yuna BSBs are 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).
  1086. Note that ninjutsu triggers the Guardian's annoying Atomic Rays counter, which is from experience survivable under Shellga + SG. Other than that, brute force turns this into a hone check of the worst kind, so remember to dispel Regen on one of the Launchers for two of the target conditions, and good luck.
  1088. [7.8.9] SUPPORT NIGHTMARE #2: Necrophobe
  1090. REWARD: Affliction Break Record
  1092. Deal two physical attacks to one target and moderately reduce the chance its debuff skills will land.
  1094. Good for multiplayer where bosses will throw out debuffs like no one's business, but outside that it's generally niche.
  1095. -----------------------------------------
  1096. Recommended RWs: Shout / Battle Cry (FFT) (Ramza) Hyper Mighty G (Rikku), Gaze of the Void (Fran), Asylum (Y'shtola)
  1097. Useful skills: Carbuncle + AoE heal Soul Breaks
  1099. 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.
  1101. 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:
  1103. - Blue barrier: Armor Breakdown
  1104. - Red barrier: Power Breakdown
  1105. - Green barrier: Mental Breakdown
  1106. - Yellow barrier: Magic Breakdown
  1108. 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 have impossibly high HP and therefore don't die, so don't use Breakdowns on them unless you need to.
  1110. 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.
  1112. 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.
  1114. 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 the painful AoE attacks, plenty of which 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.
  1116. If you want to risk it, though: you can ignore the gimmick and wait out the ten turns on the second phase, in which case 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.
  1118. [7.8.10] CELERITY NIGHTMARE #2: Atomos
  1120. REWARD: Dervish Record
  1122. Deal eight physical attacks to one target and grants the user Haste; deals more damage if user has Haste.
  1124. In the first place, Vessel of Fate and Shout grant Haste already, which practically guarantees getting the damage bonus. It's okay I guess, but the case against crafting it is that it's purely damage-dealing as opposed to the utilities of Northern Cross or Affliction Break, for example.
  1125. -----------------------------------------
  1126. Recommended RWs: Shout / Battle Cry (FFT) (Ramza), Hyper Mighty G (Rikku), Vessel of Fate (Onion Knight)
  1127. Useful skills: Dismissal, Tempo Flurry, and as much Interrupt as you can carry
  1129. The only actually hard part about this Nightmare is the first phase, since Atomos attacks normally then -- and doesn't even enter Phase 2 automatically at the HP threshold, instead waiting for his turn to properly roll around again. Be careful of Slowga, since it's usually his second action.
  1131. When he enters Phase 2, three gems will appear. They have varying effects based on their color -- if Atomos swallows any of them, he takes an extra action for each gem, usually a buff like Haste or a stat boost, which is bad news. If they're destroyed some other way, they'll trigger an effect -- usually AoE elemental damage, or in the case of an Amethyst being destroyed, a party-wide Doom timer. If he successfully sucks in gems, more will appear and the process repeats.
  1133. If there are no gems on the field at a certain threshold, Atomos enters Phase 3 and the fight becomes kill him before he kills you.
  1135. None of this is an issue. Atomos is not only vulnerable to Slow, but also Interrupt -- and the only thing he does during the second phase is suck the gems in towards him to trigger their effects. Avoid AoE if possible so as not to destroy the gems, and if you can continuously interrupt Atomos, he's literally just an HP sponge of about ~350k HP, making this a boring and simple hone check.
  1137. [7.8.11] SUMMONER NIGHTMARE #2: Valigarmanda
  1139. REWARD: Valigarmanda Record
  1141. Deal three devastating fire, ice, and lightning magic attacks to all targets.
  1143. The difference between this and Neo Bahamut that makes it worth creating is the elemental exploit. Also, if you're familiar with Alphinaud's BSB at all, you should know that having two initial doesn't particularly matter when you have an ether on-call.
  1144. -----------------------------------------
  1145. Recommended RWs: Ley Lines (Papalymo), Hyper Mighty G (Rikku), Realignment (Aphmau), Aerial Blast (Alphinaud)
  1146. Useful skills: Ifrit, Shiva, Leviathan, among obviously needed summons
  1148. Valigarmanda has a bad habit of doing decently high damage. A healer wouldn't go amiss.
  1150. At the beginning of the battle, an energy orb appears above Valigarmanda, along with a 5-turn countdown to Nightmare Tri-Disaster. Destroy the energy orb to enter the second phase.
  1152. Once that's done, the orb respawns with the same countdown, except now Valigarmanda will spawn two colored barriers in front of him. These barriers grant Valigarmanda (but not the orb) an elemental resistance based on their active color, and can be destroyed by an opposing element:
  1154. - Red barrier: Fire resist, destroy with ice
  1155. - Blue barrier: Ice resist, destroy with fire
  1156. - Yellow barrier: Thunder resist, destroy with water
  1158. The barriers will change color every once in a while (red -> blue -> yellow -> red); the barrier closer to you changes color faster. In general, begin casting the appropriate summon for the outer barrier two colors before; for the inner barrier, one color.
  1160. If you successfully destroy both barriers (and not kill the Tri-Disaster orb at the same time), two Glutturns will spawn, one of which has to be yellow to meet the Mastery conditions. Kill the Glutturns to generate an ether, which you'll most likely need, since Valigarmanda actually has a decent amount of HP and summon charges are low. If you generate two Glutturns at the same time with the same color, the ether restores two ability charges. Be careful not to kill the Tri-Disaster orb before the Glutturns, or they'll flee and waste your hard work.
  1162. Destroying the Tri-Disaster orb respawns a new one, and resets both the countdown and the elemental barriers. Destroying said orb four times pushes the fight into Phase 3 -- marked by the Tri-Disaster orb spawning with a 3-turn countdown and no elemental barriers, which, in other words, is the usual "kill him before he kills you" deal.
  1164. As a note: Soul Breaks don't trigger Valigarmanda's Tri-Disaster counters, and there's no penalty for attacking the Tri-Disaster orb with non-summoning magic (for example, BSB commands), so feel free to use whatever you have if you're struggling to preserve hones. For obvious reasons, having Alphinaud's Burst goes a long way here, since its commands count as summoning damage. Similar to Neo Bahamut, it also makes for a great RW to bypass the gimmick and brute-force your way through.
  1166. [7.8.12] COMBAT NIGHTMARE #2: Omega Weapon
  1168. REWARD: Omega Drive
  1170. Deal four physical attacks to one target; damage increases with user's Attack.
  1172. Full Charge without the delay and a bonus for powerstacking. It's breddy gud.
  1173. -----------------------------------------
  1174. Recommended RWs: Shout / Battle Cry (FFT) / History's Truth (Ramza), Vessel of Fate (Onion Knight)
  1175. Useful skills: Lifesiphon, multi-hit attacks in general
  1177. Any form of RES boosting (Stoneskin II, Shellga, etc.) is useless, don't bother. Your native RES will be all you have -- gear for it and let your RWs do the damage boosting. Magic Blink, however, can be a lifesaver (e.g., Beatrix's Seiken Shock, Tyro's Keeper's Tome, Firion's Weaponsmaster).
  1179. Like Evrae Altana, Omega Weapon's three phases are cleanly marked by the number of times you have to kill it, and the first is the usual damage-dealing stuff. Every time Omega Weapon dies, it will cast Vengeance, which removes most buffs, including stat buffs like Shout's ATK boost (but not Burst Modes) -- meaning you may want to hold off on your RW casts until the end of the first phase.
  1181. Two Mana Spheres of opposite colors will appear when Omega Weapon revives the first time. The gimmick here is similar to Demon Wall's in that it's position-based:
  1183. - Your top two characters can attack the top sphere and Omega Weapon.
  1184. - Your bottom two characters can attack the bottom sphere and Omega Weapon.
  1185. - The character in the middle can only attack Omega Weapon.
  1187. Violating these rules will cause red spheres to self-destruct and deal overflowing (i.e., over 9999) damage to your characters; green spheres will heal Omega Weapon. Killing green spheres will heal your party; red spheres will damage Omega Weapon. The effect varies depending on how many characters and attacks it took to destroy an orb -- for best results, kill spheres in either two hits with two characters or one hit with one character.
  1189. Be careful of the following rules:
  1191. - Spheres must be destroyed within four turns of spawning or Omega Weapon will wipe the party with Nightmare Omega Drive.
  1192. - Omega Weapon must be killed in ten turns or he will cast Nightmare Omega Drive.
  1193. - If ten Mana Spheres are destroyed, Omega Weapon will cast Nightmare Omega Drive.
  1194. - Destroying a Sphere will always spawn one of the opposite color.
  1196. With these in mind: focus primarily on Omega Weapon, and destroy Spheres as needed for healing or timers; throw your least powerful attacker or healer in the middle. Try to stagger your next RW cast as you land the last hit in this phase to waste as little time as possible with Vengeance removing Haste.
  1198. This will be important -- the third phase is a DPS check. His first two attacks are single-target; his third is AoE and will likely kill two of your characters, and the fourth is practically guaranteed to kill you if you don't have a Blink; save your Soul Breaks for this phase, pray to Jewgle, and unload. Good luck, anon.
  1200. Once you finish all the Nightmare dungeons, a short cinematic should play -- enjoy.
  1202. [7.9] Magicite Dungeons
  1204. So you've finished all the Nightmare Dungeons, you've started to clear Apocalypse+ bosses with a degree of regularity, and you're finally not dead weight when you're raiding with /ffg/, so you're probably feeling like hot shit right now.
  1206. Welcome to Magicite.
  1208. Magicite forms much of the current RK endgame, and it's a significant step up from most everything you've encountered thus far. The basic idea is this: eight bosses, one for each element except Poison, and beating them grants Magicite -- which allow you to minmax your party's strength even further. To summarize:
  1210. - You can equip up to 5 Magicites: one as a "main" magicite, and four as "sub" magicite.
  1211. - Similar to a Roaming Warrior, your main magicite can be summoned in battle. The Magicite you'll want to use in the main slot are the ones with on-entry effects, such as Enkidu or Wendigo -- but all Magicite will periodically take actions separate from your party from time to time while the Magicite is "active". After some time, the Magicite will return to its stone, and will have a cooldown before they can be re-summoned. Just like a RW, they can be summoned up to twice per dungeon.
  1212. - Main and sub magicite alike grant passive boosting effects to your party, ranging from innate elemental resistance to boosting your elemental attack to reducing the cast time of your actions.
  1213. - Like characters, magicite can be leveled up to 99, but must be uncapped three times with duplicate magicites to do so; like equipment, magicites are upgraded using "arcana" and throwaway magicites.
  1215. The catch is this: the Magicite bosses require a completely different approach from normal bosses, for the following reasons:
  1217. - Magicite bosses resist, null, or absorb all elements except for their weakness. On top of that, they have sky-high innate Defense and Resistance, meaning you can't expect to use non-elemental damage on them either and win easily -- they are DESIGNED to be fought with specific elemental set-ups.
  1218. - Unlike most normal bosses, Magicite bosses have 80% break resistance as opposed to 50%. In regular content, it's perfectly viable to build teams centered on piling debuff after debuff against Apocalypse-level bosses so they barely scratch you, but in Magicite, bringing debuff effects is more of a luxury. Focus more on self-buffing and healing effects.
  1219. - YOU CANNOT BRING NORMAL ROAMING WARRIORS INTO MAGICITE. The ability to clear Magicites is heavily dependent on the relics you own, from strong heals to elemental chains and native buffing effects.
  1220. - After some number of turns or time on the clock, Magicite bosses will enter a "berserk" mode in which they will use their most powerful attack over and over and over and over again until you crumple. Attrition is not viable in Magicite -- the faster, the better, and the more attacking you can get away with trading defense and healing for, the better.
  1222. All this having been said: your first few Magicite clears WILL be the hardest. You won't have access to Magicite passives or be too familiar with their mechanics, and your only RW will be Elarra's version of Sentinel's Grimoire. Once you settle into the general method of building teams for Magicite and how your turn-by-turn movement needs to go, the learning curve will smooth quickly -- which is good in any case, since you'll need to farm for more copies to make your Magicites stronger. On top of that, there are weekly and monthly missions for clearing Magicites a number of times -- and the monthly ones give up to 5 Mythril. Magicite isn't a grind to be missed.
  1224. In Magicite, your clear times are recorded -- for the most part, this isn't really an issue. Being able to achieve quick times on Magicite (good benchmarks are sub-30 and sub-60) is a matter of bragging rights and gacha luck (or whaling); the Major Orb bonus you can live without, and clears on their own represent a major step up in your progress. Once you feel confident enough, try.
  1226. A few general notes apply to all Magicite bosses:
  1228. - As previously mentioned, debuffs will be a luxury. This gives you a bit more freedom with your party composition: focus on healers, elemental attackers, and characters who can build and feed SB meter.
  1229. - Elemental resistance and status resist accessories are big. Attacks marked as Savage ignore Defense and Resistance like their Ultimate counterparts and can often inflict some ridiculous effects, and compounded with the reduced effect of breaks, be prepared to hurt.
  1230. - At first, Magicite bosses will have single-target attacks, and gradually progress to having multi-target attacks.
  1231. - Magicite bosses will generally go completely berserk after the 60-second mark.
  1232. - Ninjas are actually pretty good for Magicite, since their Magic-based skills ignore bosses' high Resistance.
  1233. - Elemental imperils / infusion and Chain Soul Breaks are a good baseline when considering your DPS.
  1234. - For those attempting quick (i.e., sub-30) clears, having abilities and effects that give reduced delay / instant-cast, or Legend Materia / Soul Breaks that allow dual-casting or chasing damage effects are a major advantage. Of particular note are characters whose second innate Legend Materia grants Haste and three instant actions at the start of battle (for example, Luneth, Lightning, Noctis, and most notably Shelke).
  1235. - Magicite bosses' movesets are as dependent on their HP as they are on turns or time elapsed, and pushing bosses into different phases will require you to be mindful of their resultant patterns. This is especially important for bosses like Shadow and Mist Dragon, since anyone hoping for a fast clear will need to skip Black Fang or stall Mist Dragon's dissolution into mist, for example.
  1237. [7.9.1] FIRE: Liquid Flame
  1239. Savage attacks:
  1240. - Savage Blaze: Deals a large amount of fixed damage to the party based on characters' MAXIMUM HP, and can inflict Sap. Can be avoided using Instant KO resist.
  1241. - Savage Firaga: Deals magic fire damage that ignores Resistance and inflicts a stack of Imperil Fire on the party.
  1243. 3* Magicite drops:
  1244. - Liquid Flame [on-entry: Instant Fire damage to all enemies, and nulls the effect of one Ice attack on the party.]
  1245. - Mom Bomb     [on-entry: Fire damage to all enemies, and inflicts a stack of Imperil Fire.]
  1246. - Salamander   [no on-entry; has a passive increasing the damage of critical hits]
  1248. In general: it's a good idea to have a maxed copy of each elemental resistance Magicite (in this case, Liquid Flame), as well as several copies of Attack and Magic Boon magicites. Mom Bomb has an Attack-boosting passive and has an Imperil Fire call, which is pretty nice. Salamander is great for crit memes, especially for those with Cloud USB, but it's more of a fun luxury for those who sidle up against the Attack cap.
  1249. -----------------------------------------
  1250. Recommendations: Paralyze and Instant KO resistance; Fire resistance would be nice
  1252. Liquid Flame is a very RNG-dependent fight. Like its normal version, it has three forms: hand, human-shape, and tornado, and different attacks for each form.
  1254. It always starts in human-shape, and normally attacks with Blaze (low fixed damage based on HP) or Rush (physical damage to one target or the whole party). Later on, it'll start casting Savage Blaze at turn intervals as well. Annoyingly, it has a chance to counter any attack with Blaze, which could be trouble if it follows up with a Savage Blaze later or if every attack is countered.
  1256. After a fixed amount of damage, the Liquid Flame will shift forms:
  1258. - Before the 30-second mark, the tornado form is mostly harmless. What it will do, generally, is cast Fira on itself to heal -- but in time, it will start casting Savage Firaga. Early on, the tornado form can be a much-needed reprieve, and late, it can be devastating.
  1259. - The hand form has NO SAVAGE ATTACK. Instead, it has the physical attack Ray, which has a chance to inflict Paralyze and ruin a perfectly good run. It has a chance to counter attacks with Fira. Honestly? Pray for the hand form if the fight ends up taking time.
  1260. - To summarize: the tornado is the only form with no likelihood to counter all attacks. Note that dual-casted attacks have a chance to be countered separately.
  1262. Unlike most Magicite bosses, Liquid Flame doesn't typically use its Savage attack early on (it generally starts doing so at around 22 seconds), and if it's in hand form when it should be casting a Savage attack, you may not even see it do so at all.
  1264. [7.9.2] WATER: Bismarck
  1266. Savage attacks:
  1267. - Savage Breach Blast: Deals magic water damage that ignores Resistance to the party.
  1269. 3* Magicite drops:
  1270. - Bismarck     [on-entry: Instant Water damage to all enemies, and nulls the effect of one Fire attack on the party.]
  1271. - Enlil        [on-entry: Water damage to all enemies, and adds a stack of Fire resistance to the party.]
  1272. - Bottomswell  [no on-entry; has a passive that reduces magical damage by a fixed amount]
  1274. Bottomswell's Spell Ward is nice: reducing damage by up to 3% can do wonders where debuffs can't. Enlil's additional passive (Mind) is shitty, but its call effect is not. Keep copies of magicites for their respective elemental Empower passives.
  1275. -----------------------------------------
  1276. Recommendations: Water resistance; if possible, some additional ice, thunder, or fire resistance wouldn't go amiss
  1278. Bismarck is much more straightforward than most of the other Magicite bosses: it has no attacks that inflict debuffs, and it only has one Savage attack. That being said, it makes up for this by frequently being rude. On top of its normal Breach Blast attack, it has a tendency to use Fira, Thundara, and Blizzara to circumvent resistance to Water, and Rush in case you thought you were getting away with just Shellga. As far as I know, after the 30-second mark its use of Savage Breach Blast will occur seemingly at random as well, and often at the worst times. The first cast of Savage Breach Blast is early as well (somewhere around the 10-second mark).
  1280. It's still a fairly good entry-point into Magicite, since it has no really annoying gimmicks and is mostly a test of how good your Lightning-element team is.
  1282. [7.9.3] LIGHTNING: Hydra
  1284. Savage attacks:
  1285. - Savage Thunderbolt: Deals magic lightning damage that ignores Resistance and inflicts a stack of Imperil Lightning on the party.
  1287. 3* Magicite drops:
  1288. - Hydra     [on-entry: Lightning damage to all enemies, and inflicts a stack of Imperil Lightning.]
  1289. - Enki      [on-entry: Lightning damage to all enemies, and adds a stack of Water resistance to the party.]
  1290. - Humbaba   [no on-entry; has a passive that increases the chance of critical hits occurring]
  1292. Nothing much to say. Humbaba's effect is eh; Enki has a nice call on top of its Attack-boosting passive. Imperil is the same as always.
  1293. -----------------------------------------
  1295. Earth is a fairly rare element, and it seems like Hydra is similarly "easy" to compensate. It has a fairly tame moveset: Rush is a physical attack that's single-target and stays single-target; Maelstrom, though dealing HP-based damage, is nowhere as painful as, say, Savage Blaze (on top of frequently missing); Thunderbolt and Thundara are par for the course.
  1297. Pretty much the only things you'll have to worry about are the strength of your own Earth team and how often Savage Thunderbolt gets used. The latter will often be dictated by the former.
  1299. [7.9.4] EARTH: Golem
  1301. Savage attacks:
  1302. - Savage Earth Shaker: Deals magic earth damage that ignores Resistance on the party. Has a chance to INTERRUPT ACTIONS.
  1304. 3* Magicite drops:
  1305. - Golem         [on-entry: Grants the party a bubble that absorbs lightning damage up to the amount of Golem's HP stat.]
  1306. - Shell Dragon  [on-entry: Earth damage to all enemies, and inflicts a stack of Imperil Earth.]
  1307. - Sand Worm     [no on-entry; has a passive that increases HP]
  1309. Golem's call is fantastic, although from experience it overwrites normal HP bubbles (like from Y'shtola's BSB Asylum), so watch out for that. Imperil Earth is rare (seriously, who has it? Guy?) and having a Magicite around to inflict it is nice. Sand Worm is one of the most useless Magicites.
  1310. -----------------------------------------
  1311. Recommendations: Resistance to Earth and Interrupt Actions; a magic-based team is STRONGLY preferred
  1313. In case the all-caps didn't warn you enough, Golem has the potential for massive bullshit in the form of Interrupt Actions. On top of that, the devs put in as much work as they possibly could to discourage the usual UNGA BUNGA ME CLICK ULTRA CROSS SLASH wind gorilla strategy (though if you're gorilla enough, be my guest), thanks to two things:
  1315. - Golem's first action will always be casting Protect on itself; it never casts Shell
  1316. - It will periodically re-cast Protect, and then follow up with Earthen Wall, which absorbs ONLY physical attacks
  1318. But what this amounts to, if you're using a magic-biased team, is quite a few free turns. In fact, Alphinaud or Fujin as your sole or primary source of DPS (with their Bursts) could easily carry this boss -- just watch out for Savage Earth Shaker. It seems to start being cast at the 20-second mark.
  1320. Its toolkit of attacks is fairly small: it pretty much only has Cave In, which hits 4 random targets (and can be good for a little extra meter), the irrelevant Punch and its basic attack, and a non-Savage version of Earth Shaker. Can use Savage Earth Shaker seemingly at random and ruin your day; beware.
  1322. [7.9.5] WIND: Fenrir
  1324. Savage attacks:
  1325. - Savage Withering Winds: Deals magic wind damage that ignores Resistance to the party. Has a chance to SLOW.
  1326. - Savage Howling Moon: Grants Fenrir Haste, one Blink stack, and a boost to Attack.
  1328. 3* Magicite drops:
  1329. - Fenrir        [on-entry: Grant Blink to the entire party and add a stack of Earth resistance.]
  1330. - Enkidu        [on-entry: Instantly restores a moderate % of the party's maximum HP and casts Esuna.]
  1331. - Wing Raptor   [no on-entry; has a passive that reduces the casting time of actions]
  1333. It should probably be immediately obvious that Enkidu is fucking good. Max it out as soon as you can. Wing Raptor's effect sounds too good at first, but it turns out to be a fairly minor boost, all things considered.
  1334. -----------------------------------------
  1335. Recommendations: Resistance to Wind and Slow; a magic-based team would be helpful
  1337. Fenrir is, not to put it lightly, a pain in the ass. It has a regular Howling Moon attack that simply grants Blink -- it's not as bad as Golem's Earthen Wall and definitely isn't too discouraging to physical Ice teams, although it may cause some frustration on unlucky timing. Apart from Savage Withering Winds, its attacks (Wind Slash, Bite) are all physical and single-target, so plan accordingly.
  1339. The real issue is in its Savage attacks. Slow RNG can and will ruin plenty of attempts, and Savage Withering Winds is cast very early; Savage Howling Moon's Haste needs to be removed ASAP, because allowing Fenrir to take up more turns is more dangerous purely by virtue of allowing him to go berserk earlier than usual. Dispel is obviously preferred over Banishing Strike in this case, due to the Blink.
  1341. [7.9.6] ICE: Sealion
  1343. Savage attacks:
  1344. - Savage Blizzaga: Deals magic ice damage that ignores Resistance and inflicts a stack of Imperil Ice on the party.
  1345. - Savage Wing: Deals physical damage that ignores Defense to the party.
  1347. 3* Magicite drops:
  1348. - Sealion       [on-entry: Instant Ice damage to all enemies, and nulls the effect of one Wind attack on the party.]
  1349. - Wendigo       [on-entry: Ice damage to all enemies, and inflicts a stack of Imperil Ice.]
  1350. - Taharka       [no on-entry; has a passive that reduces physical damage by a fixed amount]
  1352. Wendigo has a chance to re-cast Haste on you on top of its Imperil Ice effect. See Bottomswell for remarks on Taharka.
  1353. -----------------------------------------
  1354. Recommendations: Resistance to Ice
  1356. Author's disclaimer: my Fire-element team is one of my best, but Sealion does not strike me as a particularly difficult boss. Compared to even the simpler bosses like Bismarck or Hydra, its Savage attacks aren't world-endingly vicious from the get-go (or at least not at first). It's probably one of the least reliant on RNG to succeed.
  1358. Most of the danger of Sealion derives from Savage Blizzaga (first cast: ~11 seconds) and the ensuing Blizzagas that take advantage of your weakened team; Savage Wing is nowhere near as harmful. Relatively, that is.
  1360. [7.9.7] HOLY: Mist Dragon
  1362. Savage attacks:
  1363. - Savage Freezing Mist: Deals magic holy AND ice damage that ignores Resistance on the party.
  1364. - Savage Holy: Deals MND-based holy damage that ignores Resistance to three random targets.
  1366. 3* Magicite drops:
  1367. - Mist Dragon   [on-entry: Holy damage to all enemies, and adds a stack of Dark resistance to the party.]
  1368. - Unicorn       [on-entry: Grants major Regen and Astra to the party, which negates one debuffing action.]
  1369. - Kirin         [no on-entry; has a passive that increases the power of healing]
  1371. You'll want Unicorn. Kirin is shit.
  1372. -----------------------------------------
  1373. Recommendations: Resistance to Holy (and preferably also Ice); Sealion's Ice resistance passive would be helpful
  1375. Once you clear the main wheel of Magicite dungeons, the Holy and Dark magicites will unlock. The same rules apply. Once you clear both, Elarra will gain Fabula Raider as a new RW option (+30% ATK / MAG and party Haste, very useful for speed clears).
  1377. Mist Dragon is pathetically easy if you can kill him fast, and much, much more annoying if you can't -- this is because of the one mechanic it shares with its normal counterpart: that where it dissolves into mist, and dodgecounters every attack you throw at it in the meantime. Literally the only thing you can do will be to wait -- and this generally isn't good for the timers on your buffs, much less any characters you might have with a Doom counter on them (if you're using Memento Mori). In general, it first dissolves into mist at the 15- or 16-second mark if you don't push it out of its first phase quickly, and dissolves into mist again at about 15 seconds after it moves into the next phase. Bear this in mind when attacking.
  1379. Also particularly of note is Freezing Mist, which can really trip you up because it also has an Ice component to its attack (meaning if you're resisting Holy, it'll default to the Ice component and deal neutral damage). The intention is likely to have you bring Sealion for its passive -- not that there's any excuse not to have one, either, since you'll need to have cleared it to get here.
  1381. As with plenty of Holy bosses, you'll need to make space for Mind Breakdown as well as Magic Breakdown if you can afford to bring debuffs at all, so keep this in mind.
  1383. [7.9.8] DARK: Shadow Dragon
  1385. Savage attacks:
  1386. - Savage Dark Breath: Deals magic dark damage that ignores Resistance to the party.
  1387. - Savage Binding Cold: Deals magic dark damage that ignores Resistance and sometimes inflicts Doom on the party.
  1388. - Savage Black Fang: Deals physical dark damage that ignores Resistance and sometimes inflicts Sap on the party.
  1390. 3* Magicite drops:
  1391. - Shadow Dragon  [on-entry: Six physical Dark attacks to one enemy with a high chance to Sap, and inflicts a stack of Imperil Dark.]
  1392. - Phantom        [on-entry: Adds a stack of Holy resistance to the party and nulls the effect of one Holy attack.]
  1393. - Darkmare       [no on-entry; has a passive that increases damage the lower your HP, as well as one that weakens the power of healing.]
  1395. Phantom is pretty all-in on Holy resistance if you ever need it. Darkmare's enmity-based effect would be nice if it didn't also weaken your heals.
  1396. -----------------------------------------
  1397. Recommendations: Good fucking luck, and barring that, a reviving skill and your best anti-Dark accessories
  1399. At around the 11-second mark, Shadow Dragon will cast Black Fang and kill the party member with the lowest HP remaining, and this is impossible to block with Instant KO accessories.
  1401. The only way to avoid this is to deal something around 110k damage to Shadow Dragon before this happens, which generally entails an OSB cast that hits the Overstrike damage cap, so like I said: good fucking luck. The strategies for this typically entail Entrusters that can do their job quickly or instantaneously (e.g., a Shelke with a completed Legend Sphere, or Ramza with his insta-cast LMR), a strong Overstrike (preferably Orlandeau's Thunder God), and some way of buffing the Overstrike to the cap (Cait Sith's BSB provides Attack on top of a critical hit-rate boost, for example).
  1403. For most normal players, the best thing you can do is mitigate the effects of Black Fang. What this means is that you may have to manipulate HP, perhaps by attacking your own characters, and then continue with only the four characters you have. Alternatively, you could just do what Dr. Mog suggests and pack Arise or Raise. The side-effects of Shadow Dragon's Savage attacks aren't too bad: the Doom timer is mostly irrelevant when Shadow Dragon's going berserk is a good enough motivator to be quick as it is, and Sap is often cleared off by Saint Cross or similar, or is otherwise made irrelevant by the constant need to be topped off.
  1405. Notably, Shadow Dragon only casts Black Fang during its first phase, and generally at fixed intervals. The second cast of Black Fang occurs at around the 30-second mark, and frankly if this happens you're probably doing something wrong.
  1407. [8] RECORD MATERIA -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1409. 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. 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.
  1411. Breaking the level cap grants a character's first Record Materia and a slot to equip RMs. Since almost all characters have about 3 or 4 RMs, you'd be correct to guess that a lot of them are mostly bloat. Obviously some RMs are good for filling out specific niches, but there are core RMs that you'll probably be using most of the time.
  1413. In general, RMs associated with 2nd level caps (Lv. 80) are random drops during dungeons, and those associated with 3rd (Lv. 99) caps are automatically handed out once you reach 99 and have all the previous ones. If you need to get an RM to drop, the most efficient way is just to auto either the first stage of any event for 3 battles / 2 stamina, or Mist Cave (IV) / Zanarkand (X).
  1415. Some RMs, most notably Quina's Secrets of the Qu and Tidus's High Scorer, have annoying random drop requirements that also require you to be running a certain realm's dungeons with that character in your party to have it drop. This isn't a problem for Tidus, since Zanarkand is readily available, but the first IX realm dungeons are later in the chain. As such, it's worth your while to watch out for events which offer cheap stamina costs for RM grinding if necessary.
  1417. Anyway, here's a list of some of the more commonly used ones (basically, get them ASAP):
  1419. Ramza #2: Battleforged / Tidus #3: Ace Striker
  1420. User actions greatly charge the Soul Break gauge.
  1421. [Condition: Break Ramza's 2nd level cap. Randomly obtained in dungeons with Ramza in your party.]
  1422. [Condition: Break Tidus's 2nd level cap; must have Tidus's RM2 (High Scorer -- random drop in X dungeons). Unlike High Scorer, Ace Striker is not gated behind X realms.]
  1424. Tyro #2: Dr. Mog's Teachings / Cloud #3: Mako Might
  1425. Begin each dungeon (not each stage of each dungeon) with one full charge to the Soul Break gauge.
  1426. [Condition: Randomly obtained with Tyro in your party; must have Tyro's RM2 (Attunement II -- random drop) and broken his 2nd level cap.]
  1427. [Condition: Randomly obtained with Cloud in your party; must have Cloud's RM2 (SOLDIER Counter) and broken his 2nd level cap. SOLDIER Counter is a guaranteed drop from clearing Shinra Cargo Ship (VII) Elite with Cloud in your party, but he'll need to have his first level cap broken first.]
  1429. Luneth #3: Fast Learner
  1430. 40% chance to double EXP gained from battle.
  1431. [Condition: Must have obtained Luneth's RM2 (Zeal -- random drop) and broken Luneth's 3rd level cap. Obtained by raising Luneth to Lv. 99.]
  1433. Cloud #4: Truthseeker
  1434. Increases physical damage by 30% when user has a sword equipped.
  1435. [Condition: Must have obtained Cloud's RM3 (Mako Might) and broken Cloud's 3rd level cap. Obtained by raising Cloud to Lv. 99.]
  1437. 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.
  1439. [9] DAILY DUNGEONS ------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1441. 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 (or twice, depending on the dungeon) every week and give out rewards ranging from Orbs to upgrade materials like Scarletite to gil to EXP. Each dungeon has four difficulties: Easy, Normal, Hard, and +, giving out rewards from their tier level. Previous iterations of the Daily Dungeons gave out Mythril at every level, but now they're only given out at the + level.
  1443. Although Hard and + dungeons have the same drops as each other, + dungeons justify their stamina cost by ramping up both the Greater Orb drop rate and Magic Pot (guaranteed Major Orb drop) rate. It's always in your best interest to clear the highest tier possible.
  1445. 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 during updates (which have only happened like...thrice?), so don't expect too much free mythril from here anytime soon.
  1449. REWARDS:
  1450. Shores of Wisdom: Growth Eggs
  1452. Drop whatever the fuck you are doing and grind the hell out of the Sunday dungeon. No exceptions -- it's Sunday Funday for a reason. The enemies here will give absurd tons of EXP for the stamina cost, and apart from hones, levels are the biggest barrier to your early- to mid-game progression. Absolutely do not miss out.
  1454. Incidentally, if the EXP dungeon and an Orb Dungeon are running at the same time, the Orb Dungeon more likely takes priority, even if the EXP rate may be a bit lower.
  1458. REWARDS:
  1459. Brimstone Caldera: Fire and Earth Orbs
  1460. Gil Greenwood: Gil
  1462. Earth Orbs are mostly useful in honing or creating Breakdown-type skills, or Protectga and Shellga and the like. If you need Gil for some God-forsaken reason like going broke after too many Dark Matter reforges, stop by the Gil daily I guess.
  1466. REWARDS:
  1467. Ebonfist Keep: Black and Power Orbs
  1468. Shores of Wisdom: Growth Eggs
  1470. Base ability orbs are invaluable. 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.
  1472. See Sunday for the explanation on the EXP dungeon. As a new player, try to play the Tuesday and Sunday dailies as much as you can if you want your party to get swole fast.
  1476. REWARDS:
  1477. Flashwind Plains: Wind and Lightning Orbs
  1478. Chocobo Forest: Gysahl Greens
  1480. As always, elemental orb dailies are strictly situational. Wind Orbs are used by plenty of important 4* and 5* abilities; Lightning Orbs are used by Full Break.
  1482. While the Daily Dungeons occasionally drop Gysahl Greens themselves, they do so at a slow rate (hence the need for Gysahl Green doubling promotions in the past) -- which is where the focused Greens dungeon comes in.
  1486. REWARDS:
  1487. Shrine of Ivory Might: White and Power Orbs
  1488. Netherbeast Cavern: Summon and Non-Elemental Orbs
  1490. Similar to the Tuesday daily, except with White Magic. Healing and damage mitigation skills are crucial, so you'll want to make good use of this one.
  1492. Until this change to the Daily Dungeons, Summon Orbs were only available from event drops / clear rewards and Orb Dungeons, which should make honing them a bit easier.
  1496. REWARDS:
  1497. Maze of Dark Divinity: Dark and Holy Orbs
  1498. Arena of Steel: Scarletite and Adamantite
  1500. 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, Darkness, and Ninja skills often, and will likely be a limiting factor in your hones down the road as DeNA adds more and more of the good 5* skills.
  1504. REWARDS:
  1505. Gil Ghost Ship: Gil
  1506. Icenought Shrine: Ice and Non-Elemental Orbs
  1508. Similar to the Wednesday daily.
  1510. Full Break uses Ice Orbs.
  1512. [10] THE FAT CHOCOBO EXCHANGE --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1514. Psuedo-successor to the Collector's Events that only ever show up during collabs now.
  1516. You'll notice that Daily Dungeons will drop Gysahl Greens -- these Greens are used to trade in for a variety of things here, from Orbs to Dark Matter to Stamina Shards, as well as a monthly selection of motes and weekly mythril / Major Orbs.
  1518. The main things you'll want to get are:
  1520. - The weekly Mythril / Orbs. The non-limited exchange for orbs is usually a bad deal.
  1521. - The monthly motes. Skip Dexterity motes -- you WILL have them in excess.
  1522. - The weekly stamina potions. I mostly use them for EXP dailies, but your needs may vary.
  1523. - The 5* accessories, and then the 4* accessories that grant resistance to debuffs.
  1524. - The 10 Stamina shards in the non-limited tab. 5 go for 10,000 Greens and 5 for 100,000. From experience, you won't need to buy more than one of the 100k shards for the foreseeable future if your only goal is to reach the absolute stamina cap per update.
  1525. - Onion Knight Motes, if you need them.
  1526. - Dark Matter, if you somehow need more.
  1527. - On occasion, special promotions will run in the shop selling accessories / Wardrobe Records / 4* motes. Absolutely save up Greens for them or grind if necessary.
  1529. [11] CID'S MISSIONS ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1531. For anyone joining us at this point in time, Cid's Missions are the successor to the old Quest system.
  1533. 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.
  1535. 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.
  1537. 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.
  1539. 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.
  1541. [12] TIPS AND TRICKS --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1543. [12.1] Force-restarting the app
  1545. 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.
  1547. 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 unless you're playing Full Throttle, which is what makes the trick work. It's perfectly safe, evidenced by DeNA's rigging ATB gauges during Full Throttle showing they know this mechanic exists.
  1549. Orb / Crystal drops and EXP Record Materia procs are determined at the start of battle and cannot be changed by S/L.
  1551. 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.
  1553. [12.2] Hit-and-run SB charging
  1555. The Flee command is normally worse than useless: when you flee from a battle, you stay in the exact state you were when you fled, which means any characters already KO'd stay KO'd, any RW charges used are used, and any losses to your HP are retained. If you want to restart a battle by quitting out of it, it's better to quit out of it by means of force-restarting.
  1557. However, one other thing that is retained when you flee is the charge in your characters' SB gauges. What this means is that, theoretically, you can enter a battle, let your characters whack a target with the default attack to charge their SB gauge a little bit, and then flee before anyone is hit -- over and over -- until your SB gauges are ramped up to full. (And if any of your characters are hit before you can flee, just force close until they aren't.)
  1559. This would normally cost you a prohibitive amount of stamina -- but almost all the bosses on whom this trick can be applied to will cost either 1 stamina (Ultimate + / ++ / Nightmare bosses) or refund your stamina for fleeing (Torment bosses).
  1561. From personal experience, without Ace Striker or Battleforged it usually takes about a full hour to charge a party's SB gauges all the way up to three. It should be up to you to decide whether you need that much, because this is grueling as fuck.
  1563. (DeNA is aware of this trick: D300 Torment bosses start the party off with all three bars of the gauge filled -- and then prevent you from accumulating any more after that. On top of that, their most serious end-game challenges, such as Boundless Nemesis and Despair Sephiroth, ban fleeing.)
  1565. [12.3] Jump timer delay
  1567. There's a few Dragoon skills that have longer delays than usual -- namely, Dragoon Jump, Lightning Dive, and Sky High.
  1569. As it turns out, you can effectively zero out the wait time on jumps by messing with the battle speed. During any attack animation that takes any more than an instant (e.g. Saint's Cross, some Soul Break cast, or some enemy attack with a fancy animation), set the battle speed to 5, and immediately tune it back to your speed of choice whenever the animation finishes. What's happening here is this: even though ATB gauges are paused during attack animations, the timers on jumps aren't -- and more often than not, the landing will immediately happen after you pull this trick off.
  1571. Obviously, this is dependent on you having some move queued after the jump, or else you'll just have to deal with the usual delay.
  1573. [12.4] Good and bad ways to spend your Mythril
  1575. Ranked from best to worst:
  1576. - Relic Draws
  1577. - Inventory expansion
  1578. - Stamina refreshes
  1579. - In-dungeon revives when you lose a battle
  1580. - In-dungeon heals at camp
  1582. 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.
  1584. Keep in mind that it's still generally a bad idea to use Mythril for anything below inventory expansion. Only do so if:
  1586. 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.
  1588. 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.
  1590. 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.
  1592. [12.5] Differences between Global and JP
  1594. JP is ahead in characters, relics, power creep, and has plenty of cross-over events, which sometimes contain skills (and motes from associated multiplayer raids!) 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 very long time ago, and they'll probably never show up in Global.
  1596. 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.
  1598. 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.
  1600. If you want to start over from Global to JP, catching up shouldn't be too much of an issue. It's a similar or possibly faster grind than Global would have. The requirements 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 installer like QooApp and register using DeNA's Mobage service. Try it out if it's your kind of thing.
  1602. 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.
  1604. Also, unless you speak moonrune, the client is obviously a lot easier to access and deal with.
  1606. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1607. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1609. 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.
  1611. 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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