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thzfunnymzn

Builds Reference Text

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http://pastebin.com/yLvNP7Vy

A quick reference text for the various builds. Contains "all" builds for each character (sans Umaro & Gogo), including a name, "standard" ELs, and a quick paragraph explaining the build (including alternate ELs).

Has a few judgement calls on the optimization of some builds, but said judgements should reflect the general community consensus. Not that optimization is at all required to beat BNW, even without power leveling; enjoy your favorite build.

Gogo's builds are missing, as stated above. Perhaps a future text will have him & Umaro. (Not that Umaro has any builds.)

LAST UPDATE: July 3rd, 2017

Edited by thzfunnymzn
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As far as Gogo is concerned, I really only know of two, maybe three things.

Support: Give Gogo Magic, Lore, & Throw, put him on a team such that he gets good magics, have him run party support. Tools is also an option here.

Glass Cannon: Rod + Dragon Rage.

???: Celes' Special Move. Clears randoms. Unfortunately, it doesn't pair with the Rod Cannon above.

Blitz & Bushido might have some cute, niche applications with Chakra, Empowerer, Dragon, and Cleave. (??? above could also pair with Bushido). Maybe, I don't really know. Anyone else got ideas on Gogo?

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It might be worth noting that planned respecs are a thing; while you wouldn't want to pay to respec all characters (~225k+ is not cheap), the first EL reset is a more manageable thing (it's like buying a couple Crystal pieces) and enables things like taking Kirin on Locke for WoB bulk but swapping it all out for Phoenix once you have him back. It should probably also be pointed out that Stamina Cyan or Vigor Sabin can pivot into the other build with zero downside in the WoR once the +60 HP espers are acquired, if desired; for Cyan especially it ensures he doesn't ever give up bulk and naturally transitions him from Dragon/Eclipse to Tempest/counters when each of those abilities hits its optimal peak. Likewise there's no real reason to not go Bank or Slots on Setzer pre-WoR if you happen to have the extra ELs; sitting at EL10 is a waste if he's at EL12-15 around the FC and Daryl's Tomb, as that's another 60-150 base HP which never hurt anybody. I'd also note that if one wants to go Alexander/Crusader-heavy on Celes, her WoB/early WoR build can be literally anything since you'll probably want to reset her anyway.

Maybe a general section on respecs that advises that the first four characters reset are relatively inexpensive, and a recommendation of certain characters (Locke, Celes, Cyan, Edgar maybe) who are good candidates for the cheap reset once certain WoR espers are acquired if you want to do those builds (otherwise there's no point in a reset), while suggesting builds that are good prior to that point that they'll intentionally switch out of, i.e. instead of 5 Kirin on Cyan for a Vigor build consider going full Kirin and then swapping after Alexander into pure Bismark/Alexander. Perhaps noting that due to the greater costs to respec additional characters that one should be more careful building people who have distinct WoR-centric builds (Setzer, Relm, Mog) unless you are either using them in the WoB or are certain you want to go with builds available earlier. There's no real point in Relm even spending her ELs if you're going to bench her for the FC and are interested in doing a Stamina build since she won't even have Starlet and Bahamut to work with until she's rerecruited. Better to just let her keep her ELs unspent and decide what to do with her once she's back than reset her when she barely saw use anyway.

Also apropos of nothing but there should probably be a nice little guide about esper equip bonuses and what they can be useful for. I might write something up on that since it isn't too complex. Not sure if it should be per-esper or per-character; probably the latter since even straightforward espers like Kirin have slightly distinct value for Locke or Cyan.

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Esper Equips is outside the scope of this guide, since they aren't actually part of "building" a build itself. I did include some instances where I thought a particular Esper Equip was critical or particulary powerful (Phoenix Equip). I'm going to need to update this again after 1.8.5 - I haven't finished a whole game for almost a year, I do believe.

I've been stubborn about keeping the reference guide about creating builds without respec. Primarily because I feel like respec can lead to instances where the player simply does what's "best" at a given point in time, instead of enjoying each build for what its worth. (Looking at you, Cyan!) However, I will concede - the first respec is indeed cheap. I will include information on planned respecs.

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I get that, but "doing what is best at the moment" is an entirely valid way to (ab)use builds now that there is the option to reset them. The main thing about it is that you can't just do it for everybody; you have to pick no more than 4 people and reset them all together to not have the cost be prohibitive. I'd say the 25k respec is a valid consideration but would argue that the 100k ones are not because at that point you're probably grinding GP to such an extent that you might as well just (theoretically) respec everybody for every new dungeon/boss, and there's no point even discussing builds if you're doing that.

So just a note on a few characters or a general note about how four characters can be reset cheaply but after that it's too expensive to consider, so you don't have to waste your time on too in-depth of a writeup. You could even just include the respec option in a single line for some of the builds, e.g. mention for Cyan's Vigor build that you could also go straight Kirin and respec if you wish to use the EL reset, but leave the suggestion of 5 Kirin intact for people who don't want to reset and don't want to use a different build in the WoB.

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What you said is exactly what I was thinking of anyways. : )

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Updated the guide.

Update includes

  • Short section on respec at the bottom. (Focuses on high valued respecs, doesn't explain what respec is)
  • Builds that have high value from respec are also noted as such in the main body
  • Merged Seraph Setzer (The Bank) and stam Setzer ("$$$") into one build ("The $$$ Bank"), with simply noting that pure Seraph is an option.
  • Merged Shiva Celes and Siren Celes into one build, noting that it is a highly variable build with respect to how its build and what it ends up looking like.
  • General clean-up and clarification in various places

Intended to include a section on Gogo, but what I did was enough work for right now.

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Updated Reference Sheet (pastebin) & Character Guides (forum) for 1.9.

Spoiler

Terra: Split builds more properly (vig, stam, & stam/mag). Updated vig & Omega Terra for self-Berserk strats. Updated vig Terra for new weapon selection. Updated Omega Terra for increased counterattack rate. Updated mag/stam Terra for Cover Allies option. Updated Terra's strengths & weaknesses to reflect exchanging Sleep magic for Berserk.

Locke: Updated Kirin builds for new counter/cover mechanics. Split Ramuh/Phoenix away from Paladin into its own separate build (Red Mage). Updated Rogue build now that I know its dps is actually really, really good.

Edgar: Created new Unicorn build for counter/cover mechanics. Dubbed the Phalanx build.

Sabin: Updated hybrid & stamina builds for new stamina-based counterattack rate.

Celes: Updated Ramuh & Phantom builds for significantly better weapon selection & counter/cover mechanics using ??? (esp. Phantom). Updated the Phantom/Crusader hybrid build for counter/cover as well. Updated strengths & weaknesses to reflect exchanging Berserk magic for Sleep.

Cyan: Updated stam Cyan for increased counterattack rate & Cover chances.
   
Shadow: Stole Mishrak's names for the two builds. (Phantom build is Tiger, Fenrir build is Lotus). Updated Phantom build for cover/counter mechanics.

Gau: Updated stam Gau slightly.

Mog: Updated strengths & weaknesses for gaining the Haste magic. Requesting people to test out X-Mog with new Haste & Love Sonata. Requesting people test out Maduin Mog for counter/cover Rod shenanigans.
  
Setzer: Updated stam build for new & improved GP Toss, plus Cover allies.
   
Strago: Updated stamina build to mention possibility of Rod counterattacks. (I still dislike this build).

Relm: Updated strengths & weaknesses to reflect gaining the Stop magic. Slightly updated mag/spd Relm to mention that mag is more offensive, spd is more utilitarian (my error for not mentioning this earlier).

Umaro: Updated Umaro for new counter/cover mechanics. Also made mention of his Blizzard Orb set-up as well.

Again, requesting people to test out X-Mog with new Haste & Love Sonata. Also requesting people test out Maduin Mog for counter/cover Rod shenanigans. I'd like to hear results back on these before updating the mag Mog section under either the guide or the reference sheet.

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