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Everything posted by thzfunnymzn

  1. If it doesn't break BNW, I might actually do so as well. Looks very interesting. Having Terra pick up Gau is actually interesting. Ties into her looking to the orphans of that town on the Veldt whose name eludes me.
  2. Saw an interesting re-arrangement of the three scenarios on romhacking .net. Not at all saying that this should be done in BNW. I merely thought it was interesting enough to post here.
  3. I support adding this into to BNW.
  4. Shadow can, in fact, get some beastly evasion. Him and Locke can break 110, IIRC. That's near perfect evasions. And, ultimately, these realistic arguments are there b/c of what was deemed needed for balance via playtesting. Something else to consider is that 1.9's major change isn't making Cover stamina-based. It's making Cover cover even when not in Wounded status. So, even if a character only has a +1 stamina esper - or even if they don't have a stamina esper - all characters now suddenly have access to a Cover that's actually useful.
  5. Apparently, I missed this entire conversation happening in chat. Something major I wish to add to the discussion is that I didn't conceive of this idea purely as swapping the two bonuses. Even after looking through the chat discussion, there are two major corollaries missing: Tritoch, as Terra's magic esper, would be Mag+1 / MP+15 Mog's Dances could be shifted over to keying more off stamina than magic. (In ??? way) The former gives Terra an actual reason to build her magic, outside of an endgame respec for Ultima spam. Terra not having a magic build for the WoB, mechanically, is trivial - to my limited knowledge, mag Terra really isn't all that great in the WoB anyways. That early on, the benefits from HP+30 and MP+25 heavily outweigh the minor extra damage that Maduin will give to Break. Mag+1 / MP+15 is still low magic growth, but with MP growth attached to it, mag Terra has a bit more to her name besides "Ultima-slinging with lots of stamina." Also, its aesthetically more pleasing for Tritoch to give Magic and for Maduin to give Stamina to Terra. Stamina Tritoch doesn't work quite as well aesthetically. (Stamina +2 is pretty pointless early on, I grant.) The another can of worms. Without opening that can, stam+2 mostly means that vig Mog can get some slight improvement to any Song / Suite Dance that he attempts. Oh, I guess it also gives Punisher vig Mog some extra counterattacks too. So, counter Punisher Mog can be either vig or mag.
  6. Against a single target with nothing special (no weakness, the normal 150 mg.def), Black Omen is the equivalent of a 120 BPow defense-respecting attack. X-Dark is 144 BPow. So, Black Omen is about a 5 to X-Dark's 6. As for total turn around time for casting (turn to turn), X-Dark's is an 11 to Black Omen's 10. That's assuming that Black Omen Strago ain't using a speed relic where X-Dark Strago has to use the Sage Stone. It's a damage difference, certainly, but not one I've found significant enough to be worthwhile. Especially since Strago's not exactly the hardest hitting glass cannon, barring weaknesses. Damage output, at the average level you posted (34), without a Crystal Orb, X-Dark ain't hitting 8k - 12k; not without a Poison weakness or low mg.def. With the values you posted, it should be more around 6k, unless you have significant higher than 100 magic on Strago? (Even 120 magic caps at 7.3k). For Kefka's Tower, it's really just Asura & some sporadic randoms where you can hit the 8k - 12k mark without an Orb. In the final battle, !Left Arm, !Right Arm, and !Face will also take heavy damage, but then X-Dark is competing with Black Omen's AoE. Also, Black Omen can hurt !Girl, X-Dark cannot. That 6k "normal" figure is why I'm not a fan of X-Dark. Black Omen's only doing 5k, sure, but since Strago isn't really a dps monster without a weakness, I'd rather have the extra speed for extra turns to run support. Also, without a Crystal Orb, Punisher's dps suddenly becomes another contender in the game. That's a good point for X-Shell. It's not significant enough to convince me of Sage Stone Strago, but it is a solid point. (There's definitely a playstyle difference between us here: if I'm getting KO'd a lot in a boss fight, I'm either going to reset and figure out a better strategy, or I'm going to ignore positive statuses except for Rerise & HasteX. In both cases, Zoneseek is sufficient.)
  7. I might as well chime in, saying that I don't dislike the script changes. (Partly b/c, at this point, I've played BNW so much that I forgot the original script >_> ). It's hardly perfect, but aside from the meme jokes & Relm's foul mouth, I just don't see the validity of the complaints beyond "nostalgia." No version of FFVI is going to be winning any award for fantastic writing, nor is FFVI a game I would recommend to non-gamers as an example of a video game with a good story. BNW, Woolsey, FFVIadvance, japanese fan translations, I've seen multiple translations. They all get the same basic point across. There's little tidbits here & there, possibly some stylistic differences, but at the end of the day, there's nothing really objectively better about one translation over the other. BNW is not a bad translation; you want to see bad stories, go actually look on Since BNW is not a bad translation, any complaints about the script simply are subjective. Mostly boiling down to either the player being nostalgic for Woolsey, or being a japanophile who wants a hyper-literal translation of the japanese script. Perhaps I'm too old school for this new generation, but to me, a game is a game. You play games, you don't read them. Yes, there are games whose stories I really enjoy (Chrono Trigger, Majora's Mask), but they are also games that I really enjoy. Meanwhile, a game like FFIX, even though I'm somewhat fond of the story, is not a game I would replay, because as a game, it wasn't enjoyable. BNW's story is fine, and it's a very enjoyable game. Why complain about the script? Also, gonna have to back up Synchysi on listening to complaints. BTB & Synchysi most certainly accept feedback & criticism. The fat changelog & constant discussion should be a clue to that.
  8. It's supplemental for Strago, sure, but pointless for Mog. (Tbf, haven't played 1.9 yet. Otoh, mogoon can use haste too). Aesthetically, its disappointing that such a relic is reduced to being mostly supplemental or not even that, with its major build being mostly a healer. Doesn't help that the relic doesn't even give good stat boosts (low stat boosts suggests to the player that its effect is powerful, but except for Locke, its not really).
  9. Or just change it such that the target's evasion is checked beforehand. Does target evade? Then target evades, skip Cover. Does target take hit? Then check for Cover. Unless Edgar & Mog are in the same party, there's no need for a second Dragon Helm. Mogoon can also ignore spears and just whack things with the Punisher: gets him a shield, frees up relic slots, and he's technically just as good at it as mag Mog (slightly better actually). Chakra Sabin is a "love it or hate it" build. Even with that team, I'd rather just snag a few MP ELs and rely on Osmose, Raid, Tinctures, Ethers, and careful MP control. If I really want mp healing, I'll take the Mana Battery instead. mag Edgar is more diverse than Chakra Sabin, and I feel like a stronger, targeted recovery (100 mp recovery with Nirvana) is better than a lesser, party-wide recovery. My first issue with X-Dark is that Its barely any stronger than Black Omen or Punisher Its slower than those other two It requires an otherwise mediocre relic, whilst the other two can happily equip something with spd+ or auto-Safe The first two points mean that its dps isn't any better than Black Omen. A Crystal Orb Black Omen set-up does roughly the same overall dps as X-Dark, but with an open relic slot, for stuff like Guard Ring, and with the ability to summon Zoneseek. (Without a Crystal Orb, neither X-Dark nor Black Omen have better dps than the Punisher). The little bit of extra MP means little to Strago, especially since you like supporting him with Chakra. Adding on the third point, Black Omen & Punisher are more flexible than X-Dark. Both of them are significantly faster, which is important on a character with strong support moves (Refract, Holy Wind, Shield, Zoneseek). X-Dark's only real advantage here is doing all of the damage in one hit, thereby drawing less counterattacks. That's not unimportant, but its competition (flexibility of open relic slot, Zoneseek summon, & speed) is rather stiff. My second issue with X-Dark is that, in the grand scheme of things, none of Strago's 3 endgame damage options are really top-tier. Without an Ice/Poison weakness, Shadow, Gau, Relm, Morph Terra, & Valiantsuken Locke are all higher damaging glass cannons than Strago. The Dragoons and Tempest Cyan also output higher dps. Related to this issue, Crystal Orbs are hard to come by. So Strago has to compete with Relm (better damage) and possibly Celes for the magic booster. (Technically Mog too, but we both admit that Strago wins that fight). That's about average. Levels 30 - 35 are endgame levels. 30 for entering Kefka's, 35 for fighting Kefka.
  10. I don't think he was asking for X-Magic to be on anyone else. More just voicing the complaint that only 1/3 of X-Magic users actually gain significant, build-defining benefit from it.
  11. Only Lore I can think of where it would make sense would be Holy Wind. Change Holy Wind's formula such that, instead of healing purely based off HP, there's a baseline healing that depends on Strago's stamina. That way, at least stam Strago can boast better healing. (I'd still push for my old HP+15 / Stam+1 idea for Odin, for a myriad of reasons, including Holy Wind. Still, stam baseline on Holy Wind is at least a step in the right direction for stam Strago)
  12. Locke's got a streamlined & powerful selection of magic. He can also grow his MP stat, even if it is slowly. He is the game's best healer. Also the most powerful fire elementalist, though his magical damage without weaknesses is rather limited. His magic stat is modest, sure, but the awesome power of his magic selection more than makes up for that. Mog, otoh, has a limited magic selection, mostly consisting of (highly) niche moves (Drain, Bio, Quake, status control). Despite his top tier magic stat, he cannot grow his MP. While you can support an X-Break Mog (now with Haste) with Battery/Chakra/Ethers, Mog has a huge alternative selection of magical damage in his Rods & Dances. Much of that alternative selection can serve the same exact purpose as X-Magic, except without any of the downsides. Punisher, Water Rondo, Snowman Jazz, Dusk Requiem, etc. Strago, outside of an Ice or Poison weakness, has little reason to equip the Sage Stone. Strago's utility, non-elemental damage, and even some of his elemental damage options are all found in Lore, Summon (Zoneseek), or Rods. What's more is that Strago can hit an Ice or Poison weakness with Rods anyways (Ice Rod and Punisher), which has some real advantages over X-Magic (less MP, counterattack possibility, freed up relic slot). X-Magic Strago doesn't have Mog's downsides, but there's just little he can do that another Strago set-up can't do better.
  13. Oops. Should've clarified: IMO, WoR mag Mog is best going on auto-pilot with Earth Blues or Forest Suite, unless he's got an elemental weakness to slam. Some people like giving mag Mog Punisher in the WoR instead. X-Magic is the third option for mag Mog, but it's mediocre - average in 1.8.6 and earlier. Mogoon is strictly superior to Punisher mag Mog, unless the latter is building Maduin for Cover/Counter fishing. Mogoon vs. auto-pilot Mog is comparing apples to oranges, though I think? that Mogoon is generally regarded as the better of the two?
  14. Maybe you should think in reverse? Mirage Vest is a fine name. Maybe swap the names of Gears & Vests? So: Karate Gi, Ninja Vest, Gaia Vest, Dark Vest, Mirage Vest for the evasive armors. Then, the light armors are Mythril Gear and Diamond Gear? Could find some other name besides Gear, if you really wanted to. ...spitball: change Diamond Kite to the third shield in the line of Buckler -> Targe -> ???. Something like 25/25 defenses, same evades (10/10), no speed loss, no elemental properties. Gives the low HP characters (Gau, Strago, Relm, Gogo) a proper WoR evade+ shield to equip. Could even do 30/30 defenses too: better overall defenses than elemental guards (20/30 defenses with 0/10 evades), but elemental guards have stat+3 and elemental absorption. Pretty sure Strago will still want Spd+3 more than Def+10 or Eva+10, but it's a legit alternative option now. As is, Diamond Kite is basically "Buy this for Daryl's Tomb, then toss it aside for better shields."
  15. ...Someone else other than me ought to respond. 1: My firm opinion is that mag Strago is strictly better than stam Strago. Even after playing stam Strago, the benefits I saw were simply rather minute. They were there, yes, but it felt more like "Eh, I'm not having Strago attack, guess I might as well give him stamina," rather than "Wow, I really want to give Strago stamina." 2: Strago can obtain almost as much speed as Gogo with correct gear. He's also got a lot more MP; it's nice to not have to Battery/Osmose every few turns. Strago's also got better attack power for any off turns that he's not supporting. Otoh, Gogo can get more support than just Lore (Tools, Throw, Magic, etc).
  16. FWIW, I like the name "Mirage Vest" better than "Stealth Suit."
  17. I was suspicious that the "it's too difficult" people were those type of people. Script & endgame boss HP are legit concerns, yeah. Though the Warring Triad has been taken care of recently. IIRC, it's mostly just Hidon now who has too much HP?
  18. The tiny featureless islands Reiker refers to are the islands just south of Albrook. The stat that an attack scales off of (magic, vigor, or stamina) always scales faster with that stat, rather than with speed. It used to be otherwise, but Nowea introduced a speed nerf to fix that. So, Gau's 3 stamina Rages have higher dps with his stam build than with spd build, alongside doing more damage per attack, and thus, triggering less counterattacks. Though, yeah, Gau's physical Rages (or hitting an elemental weakness) are his highest damage options, and stamina doesn't factor into those, only speed does.
  19. >_< Sorry. I don't know if there's a fluke in the programming, but if someone evades, they evade. There's no reason for the bodyguard to defend someone who evades, so they won't. "Cover Halves Evade" should simply mean that, when the bodyguard Covers someone, they are less likely to dodge (and, therefore, nullify) the attack they just Covered. I'm starting to understand yours and SuperHario's position on Cover Spear. I can't say ya'll are wrong. Otoh, it's not like "Counterattack" on Spears really meant much. Or, for the matter, it's not like the old "Back Row Friendly" on spears meant too much. Maybe Cover Spears will turn out more useful than we think? Lots of Palidor ELs, some Terrato, equip Moogle Charm, and Jump a lot. Death by a thousand cuts. Plus great speed for utility stuff, like Item or grey magic. (1.9 is introducing Haste into his grey magic). Mogoon, IIRC, is one of the better bulky fighters in the mod. Huh True, Carbunkl is less useful if you've got a dedicated Mana Battery. Otoh, by the numbers, Maduin's mag+ barely does anything until Ultima anyways. Might as well give her some MP ELs so that the Figaro Bro is freed up to do other things. I retract my newb trap statement though.
  20. I must not get out a lot. I rarely hear people complain about BNW.
  21. ................... ................................... I can read, don't look at me like that! >_< Herp. Huh, he asked spd Gau with Mantodea vs. stam Gau with Mantodea. I should so calculate that out. >_> (stam Gau still draws less counterattacks though)
  22. In terms of raw dps, spd Gau with a proper Rage utterly crushes stam Gau. Cephalid & Mantodea simply cannot hold a candle to a speedy Dragon beatdown. spd Gau will also use the elemental Rages better for hammering weaknesses. (Blizzard Orb's magic boost cares nothing for spd vs. stam, it only cares for mag+ gear). I'll also add that spd Gau can utilize Tumbleweed & Mesosaur quite effectively. The numbers aren't as intense, though they can still be decent with a Blizzard Orb. However, the sheer number of turns Gau spends healing can be useful. It can be especially useful if you're trying to counter status effects with Tumbleweed, since the Remedy effect of Harvester doesn't depend on stamina. Tumbleweed also comes with immunity to pretty much any status. That being said, yes, spd Gau will trigger a lot more counterattacks. spd Gau also has to pay attention to which Rage guards against which status or pick Rages that give immunity to everything (like Dragon or Tumbleweed), whereas stam Gau has a nice buffer.
  23. How Much Is Damaged Improved by Vigor/Magic Reiker, I just re-calculated some quickie calculations for a level 30 Celes with Illumina and a level 30 Relm with Flare. Going from 60 Vigor to 80 Vigor does indeed only boost the Illumina strike by 1,000 damage. Likewise, Relm going from 60 Magic to 80 Magic raises Flare's damage by 1,000 as well (if Crystal Orb is equipped, raised by 1,300). Fighter Celes will take, what, 10 - 15 Ramuh or Phantom ELs, the rest into Alexander? So that means that Ramuh, even at endgame, will only do about 500 - 750 more damage per swing. Less earlier in the game. (It also means that spd & stam Relm aren't doing too much less damage than Zoneseek Relm. Though they lack the raw MP that mag Relm boasts). Phantom Celes, Other Cover/Counter Synergy, & Cover Evasion Extra status evade, Cover chance, and counterattack rate (incl. counterattacking on Cover) can indeed compete with an extra 500 - 750 damage per turn. In fact, stamina's benefits to Celes now may swing things more in favor of Phantom than Ramuh. Stamina gives many benefits, she's still got decent vigor, and Illumina hits hard. Do not use the Omega Weapon on stam Celes. Omega should only be used by Morph Tritoch Terra and by dual-wielding Kirin Locke. The mistake you made with Phantom Celes was giving her the Omega Weapon. Don't do such. The Omega Weapon is used either for Morph Tritoch Terra or dual-wielding Kirin Locke. Phantom Celes should still use the Illumina. For the new swords: Rune Edge is now a WoR filler sword with higher power (140), dual-wielding Spd+ swords exist in WoB and WoR, and flails are now defense-ignoring weapons, Morning Star being especially designed for vig Celes in the IMF. Figher Celes changes greatly in 1.9. Perhaps she is the most improved of all come 1.9. As for other Cover/Counter synergy, there is still Cyan, Mog, and Umaro. Evasion was halved on Cover b/c playtesting proved Cover Shadow to be overpowered. It's the same reason why Image & Cover aren't allowed to work together. Cover is meant to allow your party tank to absorb hits. It's not meant to provide the player with yet another Golem/Fenrir option, wherein they can have on person completely nullify all enemy physicals. Cover Spears Reiker & SuperHario, don't look to spears for Mog's Cover/Counter. Rather, look to Rods. Rods hit much harder than spears, and it is Maduin that gives Mog stamina, not Palidor. I haven't tested it out (I'm hoping someone will for 1.9), but I'd theorize that Cover/Counter Mog is more of a Maduin build with Punisher / Elemental Rod as his weapon, Hero Ring + Black Belt equipped, and either ignoring Dance for Fight, Item, and grey magic, or dancing Earth Blues / Forest Suite for some healing / magical damage while Covering & Countering with Rods. Mogoon, it is true, does not make for a good Cover/Counter build. I see no problem with this. Mogoon is all ready Mog's best damage build & arguably his best utility build. Let him stay in the back row, where he won't Cover, and let Mogoon continue to do his normal thing. Maduin Rod Mog can play "party tank." Unicorn Edgar, I will agree, doesn't look the best. He's got the raw HP to two-hand spears for improved counterattacks (Gungnir Unicorn Edgar should hit 2.5k HP by endgame), he's got Palidor equip for Haste, and he can still take a few ELs of Palidor for a little more vig/spd. However, he's weighed down by his low stamina (poor Cover/Counter rate), which will effect his ability to make up damage loss with counterattacks; his only option for counter being the Black Belt; and he's lacking the speed of his vig & mag builds for utility & support. I'm not certain he's wholly bad as ya'll say, but I doubt he's going to be great. Unicorn Edgar was born of me brainstorming ideas for how Edgar could utilize Cover/Counter. He's got the raw HP/defense to pull it off, the pure HP/stam is something that his other builds don't have (granted, not that they need it), and it is a niche that his other builds simply do not perform as well in. I grant, though, that he's hardly the greatest Cover tank. Mag Terra Reiker, Gem Box does not come until the end of the game. An endgame respec to Maduin / Ragnarok for Ultima abuse is certainly possible. Something I should actually add to my build guide. But I'm curious: for the late-WoB and for most the WoR, how do you use the tier 3 elementals? They're quite expensive without Gem Box or any MP levels. Also, the other reason I called Maduin a newb trap is because of "How Much Is Damaged Improved by Vigor/Magic" up above. Maduin simply doesn't add a lot of damage to Terra's magic. mag Terra is likely still taking HP & MP ELs (Unicorn & Carbunkl), so that leaves precious little room for Maduin's puny +1 magic to add up to anything significant. I will also add that tier 3 elementals, thanks to Morph & Terra's base mag / mag+ gear option, hardly need Maduin ELs to do utterly ridiculous amounts of damage. Without Gem Box, the main limiter on her tier 3 elementals is her MP pool, not her damage output. Therefore, Maduin Terra, for most of the game, simply looks good, without really doing anything. It's not until the very end of the game, when Maduin has finally built up to something significant, when Terra's got the Gem Box & pure MP esper, when the player has a fat supply of Ethers, and when Terra's finally got the proper attack to pair with Maduin's improved magic stat (Ultima); only then can mag Terra finally do something. Before then? The HP, MP, and stamina do far more for Terra than Maduin's magic does.
  24. Reiker, might I add that you forget that a Cover tank has a chance to counterattack any attack they Cover. This is a nice boon to Cover tank with strong counterattacks such as Phantom Celes, Kirin Locke, Kirin Cyan, Maduin Rod Mog, and Umaro. This is a big thing you're missing with Celes/Cyan as Cover tanks. (This is a nice boon even if counterattacks had remained as a straight percentage. 1.9 is also having the counterattack rate key off stamina, so this is a further bonus to Cover/Counter tanking). Also going to mention that 1.9 is giving Celes (& Terra) some much better filler WoR weapons to use while waiting for Illumina. So fighter Celes ain't just "Shock until Illumina comes around." She can actually legit hit things for proper damage now. Leo's Crest gives both Cover & Counter, so Phantom, while sacrificing a little raw damage, also gives her more opportunity to counterfish while Covering her allies. If you complain that that's unreliable, I retort that Ramuh Celes isn't exactly doing huge amounts of extra damage over Phantom. Even endgame, it comes out to, what, 500 damage per Illumina swing? Hardly much. You can argue that that little bit adds up during a boss fight, but extra counterattacks will also swing things in Phantom's favor. Extra Cover/Counter will also swing things in Phantom's favor for randoms. That's alongside the extra status defense & improved Shock. Crusader Celes might be fine with Cover, but her counters are weaker than Phantom Celes. And, again, she's basically an endgame build: I'm argue against balancing Cover because of an endgame only build, especially when Celes has another stamina build that's using both Cover & Counter now. You also asked about 2k HP tanks. My answer is: Kirin Locke. IIRC, he had 2.3k HP with a Phoenix equip at around lvl. 30. Had some 23 ELs of Kirin, with some Phoenix. No Ramuh or Ifrit, just raw HP. Dual-wielded Omega & Valiance for 4.5 - 5k damage come endgame. Could single wield Valiance too, abusing "more damage with HP loss" on a character with as much / more bulk than stam Cyan. As for Cover Kirin Locke, Kirin Locke has every reason to equip the Hero Ring: HP+ for tanking, MP+ and mag+ for healings, and vig+ for Valiance. By endgame, I think Kirin Locke may be a better party tank than stam Cyan. (If you want other 2k HP tanks, stam Cyan should reach 2k HP by endgame. Sabin's no tank, but I've got Golem Sabin to 2.5k HP with some Terrato ELs, even at normal endgame levels). Also, you misread my Terra. I mentioned a Unicorn/Carbunkl build. Carbunkl's really the important esper for a "mag" Terra. Maduin is a new player trap. Rather than mag, Terra needs enough MP to use tier 3 elementals & Ultima. Which, thanks to MP+50%, Gem Box, Ragnarok ELs, and Morph + boss weaknesses, really isn't that many ELs. You can easily get away with 2-3 Carbunkl for the WoB, and anywhere from 5-8 for the WoR (with a Ragnarok). All the rest can go to Unicorn. Terra's also got the Phoenix equip for even more HP. Even if you did take Maduin ELs, I can tell you from experience that a Unicorn / Carbunkl / Maduin set-up on Terra is plenty bulky to eat hits for the team. If we're talking "Cover magic attacks," this Terra can easily equip Force/Minerva to tank tier 3 elementals, plus the Phoenix equip to help out with Holy/Flare tanking. (And in all this, there's also Tritoch terra with Omega to consider). I shot down Gau as a Cover tank b/c he lacks raw HP & defense. Characters Cover with only half their evasion, so blink tanks like Shadow & Gau may not turn out so well. Hurts Sabin & Locke too, but they've got HP (and shields, for Locke). I will grant that Unicorn Edgar probably won't beat the ole' traditional Golem/Palidor vig Edgar. Then again, vig Edgar is a really, really high standard to live up to, for any character in this mod. IMO, even mag Edgar has a hard time comparing to Golem/Palidor Edgar. Something you did miss, though, is that Unicorn Edgar also increases counterattack rates. So Unicorn Edgar can Cover/Counter while two-handing a spear (like the obscenely powerful HP+50% Gungnir). I haven't played Unicorn Edgar, so iunno for certain, but for a grounded Tools Edgar, the extra counterattacks should help moderate the dps loss from not building vig/spd. Also should mention that this will be Edgar's best build for Golem, a summon that will be severely nerfed come 1.9. (Defense dropped from 192 down to 128).
  25. Cover Spear isn't made for Dragoon Edgar. It was made for Unicorn Edgar. Likewise, Mogoon shouldn't be Covering. Instead, you'd want to use Maduin Mog for Cover/Counter shenanigans. Rods are far more powerful than spears could ever hope to be for counterattacks, so this works out very well in Mog's favor. Maduin Mog also has Earth Blues & Forest Suite to use for healing/damage. Phantom Celes does not want to be in the back row. She wants to be in the front row, smacking stuff upside the head with Illumina. Crusader Celes wants to be back row, certainly, but Crusader Celes also doesn't even exist until basically the end of the game. Why concern ourselves with Crusader Celes? Kirin Cyan can survive the front row. In fact, he probably doesn't even care at all. Dragon & Eclipse may be back-row friendly, but the front row does strengthen his Flurry & counterattacks. A Unicorn/Carbunkl Terra is another stamina build you didn't mention. Is all of her stuff back row based? Sure. But she's also so bulky that she doesn't mind being in the front row, taking hits for her allies. Kirin Locke wants to be in the front row, swinging Omega and/or Valiance. He's also plenty tanky to be running Cover. Gau is a terrible choice to be running Cover. Therefore, stam Gau wanting the back row is a moot point. The only character I'm going to give you is stam Sabin. My counterpoint, though, is that hyb Sabin exists. Hyb Sabin, while not the best Cover candidate, can do so. He's also got some actual HP, unlike stam Sabin (for most of the game), and he benefits from the front row for his Blitz / claw attacks. So, no, not every Cover builds wants to be in the back row. Quite a few of them want to be in the front row (Celes, Edgar, Locke); some of them are too bulky to really care one way or the other (Terra, Cyan); and some of those you mentioned shouldn't have even entered into the discussion (Gau). Also, Covering magic attacks means you can have your 2k HP tank Cover Holy/Flare. That can be a useful means to prevent character death. I will grant that there are an awful lot of ways to block physical attacks. Image, Golem, Safe/Shield, Guard Rings, etc. Heck, as is, I've long felt that Safe/Shield are overshadowed by Image/Golem and the existence of Guard Rings/Death Ward. Golem is at least being nerfed for 1.9. Though I'm still advocating for Golem to simply become an AoE Safe (Cover is the new Golem anyways), and for Image to be nerfed somehow. Oh, and don't feel bad about not playing 1.9. 1.9 hasn't come out yet. So few of us have actually played around with Cover.