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Locke Cole: "Treasure Hunter"

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Locke Cole
Thief "Treasure Hunter"


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

HP: 66 / MP: 0   BatPwr: 32 / Def: 36 / M.Def: 30 / Evade: 24 / M.Evade: 12


Weapons: Knives, Swords, Thrown Weapons

Shield: Heavy Shields, Light Shields, Elemental Guards
Head: Light Helmets, 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  -----------------  32 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  ------------------  32 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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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 BTB

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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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Updated for 2.0

Locke... really isn't changing much here. He gets a boost to his base stamina in celebration of the fact that people actually run him as full Kirin these days and he likes the reduced summon costs for Ramuh and Ifrit more than the girls do, but that's about it.

Edited by BTB

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Unfortunately for Locke, I think he contributes best as a dedicated healer vice a more exciting DPS role. This is less because he is limited by his damage options and more because he is arguably the second best healer (behind only Setzer), and I think you want every team to have a healer.

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