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Locke Cole: "Treasure Hunter"

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Locke Cole
Thief "Treasure Hunter"


Vigor: 36 / Magic: 30 Speed: 42 / Stamina: 30

HP: 66 / MP: 0   BatPwr: 36 / Def: 36 / M.Def: 30 / Blk%: 24 / M.Blk%: 12


Weapons: Knives, Swords, Thrown Weapons

Shield: Heavy Shields, Light Shields, Elemental Guards
Head: Light Helmets, Bandanas, Masks, Hats
Body: Medium Armor, Light Armor, Vests


Steal - steal an item from a humanoid opponent (Speed); turn is free if successful
Mug  (replaces Steal) - adds a physical attack (Vigor) to Steal
X-Magic (replaces Magic) - cast two spells instead of one


RamuhVigor+2  -----------------  48 MP: bolt damage (Magic) on all foes
Kirin - HP+30/Stamina+1  ----  24 MP: restores party's HP (Magic) and sets Regen
Ifrit - Speed+2  ------------------  48 MP: fire damage (Magic) on all foes
Phoenix - HP+30/MP+15  ---  80 MP: revives all dead allies to max HP


Fire 2
Fire 3
Bolt 2


Cure 2
Cure 3
Life 2

(All of Locke's spells scale with Magic except Demi and Life/Life 2)

Edited by BTB

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Locke is most often defined by his speed, and rightfully so.  His speed rivals Shadow and Gau and he is typically only slower because he has more EL options to choose from. Locke can play the role of one of the best front row Fighters, or an excellent Fire and Bolt caster, an exceptional Tank or one of the best healers in the game.

Base Stats

  • Vigor -30
  • Speed - 42
  • Magic - 30
  • Stamina - 30

  • Ramuh - Vig+2
  • Ifrit - Spd+2
  • Kirin - HP+30/Stam+1
  • Phoenix - HP+30/MP+15

Spells from Espers
  • R: Bolt Bolt 2 Life
  • I: Fire Fire 2 Drain
  • K: Cure Cure 2 Demi
  • P: Fire 3 Cure 3 Life 2

Character Analysis
Spells - Locke has pretty limited spell options in Fire and Bolt magic.  He does gain access to Tier 3 Fire, which makes this his most potent option.  This does consume a lot of MP, so it's often relegated to being more of a strategic option than an every-fight spell. Tier 2 spells are exactly half as strong as Tier 3 spells, but cost 1/3 the MP.  The significance of this is when combined with a Sage Stone, Locke can effectively get Tier 3 damage for 2/3 the MP cost from a Tier 2 spell.  Drain is a useful self-heal for non-magic builds and Demi is potent against high HP random encounters.  Of course, Curative magic slaughters undead, so Locke is particularly effective at this with his Fire and Cure lines of spells.
Weapons - Locke's selection of weapons is pretty diverse.  Swords, Daggers and Throwing weapons lead to a variety of weaknesses to exploit namely:  Fire, Ice, Bolt, Water/Wind, Human, Holy and Floating.  He also has access to two defense ignoring weapons in Valiance (dagger) and Atma/Omega Weapon (sword), giving him the exclusive option to dual wield them.
While Locke has no spells from the Regen line, he has all of the major spells from the Curative line, including being one of two Life 2 casters.  This cements his role as a top tier healer, regardless of what build he runs.  He has no buff spells at all, so he'll struggle to properly support a party by himself.
Locke has absolutely no means of setting status effects on the enemy, unless you count setting Sap from his desperation attack.
In short, Mug adds a physical attack to steal.  It's marginally useful at best, as Steal is largely underplayed in BNW.  See the readme for more specifics about how it behaves with special weapons. Just let it be known that Mug has situational use at best.
Notable Equipment:
- Ninja Mask
Headgear that makes Locke/Shadow counterattack. An amazing physical option.
- Sage Stone
Relic that grants X-Magic.  As I mentioned earlier, this lets Locke effectively get the same power/damage as a Tier3 cast with only spending 2/3 the MP.  It also makes him very efficient at healing and reviving multiple targets.
- Rogue Cloak
Fight Always Hits, 25% Magic Damage.  This bonuses everything Locke does magically, and when paired with Ninja Mask, makes an effective Black Belt.  It makes his Fire 3 option very strong.
Sword & Board or Dual Wield:
Locke has a unique equipment option in that he can swap between dual wielding virtually everything he has access to and wearing that weapon with a shield.  Celes, Terra and Mog can only do this with throwing weapons.  This means he gains back damage he lost from the dual wield penalty, and he trades his other weapon for dramatically more defense.  This is significant because Locke has access to every shield in the game.  Swapping between these setups can make or break a fight, so learn when it’s good to do it.

Primary: Ramuh
Secondary: Ifrit or Phoenix
Locke is an exceptional fighter, packing two +2 Espers that support it.  He'll push high levels of Vigor very easily and with his excellent Speed he'll have plenty of turns to swing his weapons.  He can attack a large array of weaknesses (see above), but his strongest pure physical weapons come in the form of Valiance and Zantetsuken.  This is a potent dual wield combo, especially when combined with something like Bserk.  Locke wants to splash either Ifrit EL or Phoenix EL to tip him towards more damage or survivability, respectively.  Just don't sacrifice Ramuh EL to do it.  His only elemental resistance comes in the form of shields or Esper equip bonuses, so he has a sizable vulnerability in that area when dual wielding.
Primary: Kirin
Secondary: Ifrit or Phoenix
There are two builds worth considering here.  One that revolves around playing backup healer and absorbing hits, or one that focuses on attacking with defense ignoring damage in the form of Omega Weapon.  For the former, it's better to stack Kirin and splash Phoenix.  For the latter, it's better to splash Ifrit for speed.  While either of these can play either role, focusing the Secondary ELs a little bit tips the scale slightly towards favoring one or the other.  If attacking physically with Omega, stacking as much Stamina as possible is important as this directly bonuses Locke's damage and regen ticks.  Regardless of which route he goes, he'll have a very beefy amount of HP.  In a very real sense, Locke mimics Cyan's survivability when Drain is likened to Empowerer.
Note: This is a rare occurence where stacking Vigor and Stamina works effectively.  Locke gets enough Vigor and Stamina from his equipment to do respectable damage with both Omega Weapon and Valiance at the same time even without Bserk.  The special weapon properties that affect damage based on life offset to an extent, making the damage very consistent.  This is a pretty niche role, and benefits from being paired with a support class.  It is never beneficial to combine Ramuh ELs with Kirin ELs.  He'll be far too lacking in Stamina for this to be worthwhile.
Primary: Phoenix
Secondary: Ifrit
As a healer and an offensive caster, Magic Locke is very effective at both.  He really wants at least half of his EL to be Phoenix so he has enough MP to sustain his expensive spells.  After that, he gains as much benefit from high speed as he does more MP/HP, so which one gets added is dependent on playstyle.  Every bit of his Magic stat will come from equipment, so it's important to load up on as much as possible.  Locke especially likes the Stat Hat (as this is his only helmet that has Magic) and the Crystal Sword.
On Rogue Cloak & Sage Stone:
The Rogue Cloak is pretty much a perma-equipped relic for Locke as the 25% bonus makes sure he's competitive with other spell casters.  The Sage Stone increases his damage and healing output substantially, but at the cost of a defensive or status mitigating relic.  It should be used with discretion because of this.

Edited by Mishrak

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The Thief Treasure Hunter, the Almost Main Character, One of the Much Improved in BNW.


  • Great speed; Good base, Speed+ Equipment, Speed+2 Esper
  • Very strong weapon selection with a personal counterattack helmet
  • Primary Healer; has X-Magic with Cure and Life (2)
  • Incredible WoR Fire Elemental Control
  • Two personal boosters (physical & magical)
  • Good HP espers
  • Great shield selection
  • High physical evade, good equipment options for p.evade


  • Equipment gives little mg.def or elemental resistances
  • Best Attacking Options require dual-wield (no shield, glass cannon) or absurd amounts of MP (X-Fire3)
  • Poor AoE damage
  • No party buffs
  • No status control
  • Low MP for WoB; For WoR, MP grows slowly

Locke's a very straightforward guy. He's arguably the best healer in the game alongside Setzer, has solid single-target damage, and potentially a LOT of HP. Simple, straightforward, to the point. Most complicated he gets is deciding which weapon to use.



Lots of vigor & speed levels with a few Phoenix levels, or just lots of vigor levels with a few Phoenix levels. Simple, thematic build for Locke. Not the greatest healer and the Paladin is easier to use for the WoB, but dual-wielding good swords or knives with your raw speed makes you a top-of-the-line damage dealer. You'll even have top-of-the-line counterattacks & first strike in combat to go with it.

Locke's special knife, the Valiance, gets stronger as he loses HP. If you can, play that to your advantage for even more attack / counterattack damage. Just try not to get Locke killed, as he IS one of your only users of Life 2.


Heavy Kirin build with some Phoenix levels. Bulky thief & resident team brick, tanking & dodging hits (possibly for the team with Cover) while dealing decent attacks & counterattacks. Omega Weapon preferred once you hit the WoR. He's got more than enough HP to dual-wield without any real worries about his health, but don't forget to use a shield if you need elemental resists or something. Also, you may want one of Sage Stone or Rogue Cloak to help with healing & conserving MP.

This build has the Omega Weapon + Valiance set-up. Both weapons are defense-ignoring, and as one weapon grows weaker as HP drops, the other grows stronger. Nice counterbalance that keeps Kirin Locke's damage consistent, despite the crazy HP shenanigans of the weapons he uses.

Red Mage

A 1:1 mix of Ramuh and Phoenix, forming a hybrid of Rogue and Paladin. You lack the Paladin's ease of use for the WoB or the extra cover/counter chance, and you also lack the raw dual-wield dps of Rogue to make up for the frailty of dual-wielding. On the other hand, you're still a solid, speedy, & evasive Sword + Board user, with more consistent damage than Paladin or X-Mage (Valiance) & more MP than Rogue or Paladin.


Raw Phoenix levels, maybe with some speed levels thrown in. Some people even like a near 1:1 mix of Phoenix and speed. You're mostly the game's ultimate bulky healer: an invincible X-Cure & X-Life flinging thief-physician with a huge supply of MP. This is also the best build for X-Fire Magic, though against foes not weak to Fire, you'll likely conserve your MP for healing and just resort to either lower levels spells (lvl.2 magics) or hitting stuff with a sword.

Recommended that you abuse Ultros' Esper Reset for this build: build something else for the WoR, esper reset to this. Unless you're willing to tough out the Magitek Factory & Thamasa without HP levels (which is plenty doable, though frustrating). Also, the Lazy Shell rare steal is a very attractive armor for X-Mage Locke. He can eat the speed loss, doesn't care for the vig loss, and really appreciates the extra mg.def, as Locke lacks any other high mg.def armor.


  • As a healer, the Sage Stone is more about stretching Locke's MP by doubling up on the smaller heals (Cure, Cure 2, Life). Don't use the big heals except for emergencies.
  • HP levels are very desirable if you want to run a dual-wield set-up. It's not advised to go full ham with dual-wield & raw vigor/speed - you'll likely eat be KO'ed more than you'll contribute to the party.
  • The Ninja Mask is awesome, and you should be using it. Unless you're running mage Locke. Then go for a Red Cap or something.
  • In encounters with multiple human foes, Mug can act as an AoE attack for the first round, because Locke will get his turn right back if he successfully steals.
Edited by thzfunnymzn

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A note on X-Magic: While X-Fire2 is more efficient (the power of Fire3 for 2/3 the cost), there is sometimes merit to spamming X-Fire3 instead for raw damage. Many WoR bosses are vulnerable to fire, and between his high Speed and the Sage Stone it's very easy for Locke to dump his MP reserves into doing 10k+ damage per turn with Rogue Cloak-boosted fireballs. A boss can't screw over your party if it's dead so fast it doesn't know what happened.

But when I say "dump" his MP, I mean that; Fire3 is ridiculously expensive and Locke is casting two of them per action. This really demands either Edgar/Gogo mainlining him Mana Battery charges or the use of Ethers. It's not a strategy that's good for everything, but properly executed one or two Ethers is well worth steamrolling an otherwise threatening boss.

Also, regarding a hidden item acquired through Steal:


The Lazy Shell armor is a particularly attractive endgame option for Locke if he's playing the healer role. Locke lacks heavy armor or hide access so he can't get raw Defense/Magic Defense as easily as other healers. Lazy Shell penalizes his Vigor (which isn't a big deal if he's healing) and Speed (Locke has plenty, so he can weather the hit), but offers tons of defense.


Edited by Nakar

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I believe I all ready mentioned that X-Locke can blow up Fire weak foes with Fire magic. : p I've dumped Locke's MP into axe-murdering a boss with Fire magic before. I simply mentioned that, when the boss ain't weak to Fire (or doesn't have low mg.def), it's probably not worth dumping his MP for. For 10k+ damage, 96 MP is fair game. For 5k damage? ehh.....

I did forget about the Lazy Shell though. I'll add that in.


Edited by thzfunnymzn

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A big thing with Locke that hasn't really been brought up is that the advent of quicksteal + Mug basically gives him a pseudo-AOE attack versus human mobs. Makes him super OP in certain parts of the game.

Edited by BTB

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I don't mention the new Steal + Mug b/c I think it's too niche to mention. Zozo aside, it'll rarely come up. For Zozo, sure, strong, but then again, so are Edgar's Blasters.


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Gogo's Cave, Cyan's Dream, certain chunks of Kefka's Tower... Fanatics Tower (in theory, anyway).


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That's...kinda what I mean by too niche. Outside of Zozo, it's just a few randoms in certain parts of certain WoR dungeons. Which assumes you even have Locke or bring him along for those two mid-WoR dungeons. It's simply to small of a thing to seriously mention as a main feature of Locke or of one of his builds. At most, I could mention it as a "haha" in one of his strengths, much as I mention one of Sabin's strengths as "He's Sabin." Not sure I will do that or not though.


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