FFXII The Zodiac Age

Clan Centurio and Mark Hunting Strategies

Here is a lot of information on Clan Centurio (Hunt Club), Mark Hunting and some good battle strategies.

If you are looking for the actual Mark Hunts, please click here to check the Mark Hunting Guide.

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=Hunt Basics=[ Back to Top ] ============= After finishing the Rogue Tomato hunt, Tomaj will tell you about Clan Centurio which is in the North part of Rabanastre (it's on the map). Head over to it and join it. The leader is the moogle Montblanc and he is standing on the railing at the top of the stairs. Montblanc is where you get elite marks such as Cluckitrice, Behemoth King, and so on. So aside from Tavern boards you should also check with Montblanc for new hunts. First of all remember that you have to talk to the client first after you accept a hunt from a Notice Board or Montblanc. The location of the client is shown when accepting a hunt from a tavern board or montblanc. You can also check the hunt info in the clan primer if you forget. When you talk to the client about the hunt pay attention to what they say especially AFTER you accept and the "Hunt Begins" message shows up on the screen. They will usually tell you the name of the area and possible spawn requirements. If you miss it just talk to them again. Often they will tell you the exact name of the area with it highlighted in orange. Open up your area map by pressing "Select"(or select the right area using the World Map from the menu). If you look at the upper left you can see the name of the area and sub-area for example "Giza Plains/Nomad Village". You can use the D-pad to highlight other areas and see what each of their names are. Also if you know where an exit leads to you can jump to that area's map by pressing X when you highlight the blue arrow. -Clan Rank- As you complete marks you will gain rank within Clan Centurio. As you're rank improves you will get rewards from montblanc and you will be able to buy more stuff at the Clan Provisioner in Muthra Bazaar in Rabanastre(the area just south of the Clan Hall, you can get there by moogling). Check the end of this guide for listing of ranks, requirements and what's available at each rank. =Ranks and Clan Shop List=[ Back to Top ] ========================== Quick and dirty list. The clan shop is in Muthra Bazaar in Rabanastre. The number of marks denotes how many marks you must complete. Points are clan points you get for killing enemies. There is a person in the back left corner of clan centurio that can tell you the requirements for your next rank as well as can give you hints on the location of some marks. Moppet - 0 Marks, 0 Points Reward: N/A Shop: Potion Hedge Knight - 2 Marks, 700 Points Reward: Potion x3 Shop: Hi-Potion Rear Guard - 4 Marks, 8000 Points Reward: Warp Mote x2, Teleport Stone x2 Shop: Gysahl Greens Vanguard - 8 Marks, 20000 Points Reward: Remedy x3, Teleport Stone x2 Shop: Gysahl Greens, Teleport Stone Headhunter - 10 Marks, 30000 Points Reward: Ether x2, Teleport Stone x2 Shop: Nihopalaoa, Reverse, Gysahl Greens, Teleport Stone Ward of Justice - 12 Marks, 40000 Points Reward: X-Potion x2, Teleport Stone x2 Shop: Nihopalaoa, Reverse, Bubble, Gysahl Greens, Teleport Stone Brave Companion - 14 Marks, 100000 Points Reward: Hi-Ether x2, Teleport Stone x3 Shop: Nihopalaoa, Reverse, Bubble, Faith, Gysahl Greens, Teleport Stone Riskbreaker - 16 Marks, 200000 Points Reward: Elixir x2, Teleport Stone x3 Shop: Nihopalaoa, Bubble Belt, Reverse, Bubble, Faith, Bravery, Gysahl Greens Teleport Stone Paragon of Justice - 24 Marks, 250000 Points Reward: High Arcana, Teleport Stone x3 Shop: Nihopalaoa, Reverse, Bubble, Faith, Bravery, Gysahl Greens, Teleport Stone, Warp Mote High Guardian - 28 Marks, 300000 Points Reward: Empyreal Soul, Teleport Stone x3 Shop: Nihopalaoa, Bubble Belt, Cat-ear Hood, Reverse, Bubble, Faith, Bravery Gysahl Greens, Teleport Stone, Warp Mote Knight of the Round - 32 Marks, 500000 Points Reward: Megalixir x2, Teleport Stone x3 Shop: Nihopalaoa, Bubble Belt, Cat-ear Hood, Reverse, Bubble, Faith, Bravery Gysahl Greens, Teleport Stone, Warp Mote, Knot of Rust Order of Ambrosia - 45 Marks, 1000000 Points, Sky Pirates Den complete Reward: Centurio Hero's Badge, Teleport Stone x3 Shop: Nihopalaoa, Bubble Belt, Cat-ear Hood, Reverse, Bubble, Faith, Bravery Gysahl Greens, Teleport Stone, Warp Mote, Knot of Rust, Dark Matter *I believe that's right for the shop, not quite here yet myself -"Unlocking" Hunts-[ Back to Top ] There are two main factors that "unlock" hunts on the boards or from Montblanc. The first is story progression. Sometimes you need to advance the story for more hunts to appear. The other is clan rank. Basically if you are at the end of the game and some/many aren't available you need to complete other hunts to raise your rank for them to show up. A couple hunts have other requirements. King Behemoth requires the Fafnir hunt completed and Yiazmat requires all other hunts and Hell Wyrm completed. I don't believe there are others with special requirements but I've been wrong before... For more info refer to "Hunt Requirements" section -There are no time limits- You can wait till the end of the game to do the hunts(though nearly all of them will be completely boring by that point) and it doesn't matter if you wait a while to do a hunt after accepting it. And yes you can have as many hunts active at one time as you wish ------------------ Bill Unlocking Requirements: ------------------ This table is to show what is needed for a mark's bill to show up on either a tavern board or montblanc. So far I just know of two that have other specific requirements but I don't imagine any others do. For Rank requirements please consult that section at the end of the guide. All marks with an "[E]" are elite marks obtained from Montblanc. For more info on Montblanc and Clan Centurio please refer to "Hunt Basics". Obviously you can get any hunt at any time so don't think that you can only get a hunt of you're rank is vanguard or you must be at a certain part of the story. Marks can be done at any time and you can wait till the end of the game if you wish. Mark Rank Story Completion and Other ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Rogue Tomato | N/A | N/A ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thextera | N/A | N/A ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Flowering Cactoid | Hedge Knight | N/A ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Wraith | Hedge Knight | After Barhiem ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cluckatrice[E] | Hedge Knight | After Barhiem ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Rocktoise[E] | Hedge Knight | After Barhiem ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Nidhogg | Hedge Knight | After Lhusu Mines ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Wyvern Lord | Rear Guard | After Leviathon ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ring Wyrm | Vanguard | N/A ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- White Mousse | Vanguard | N/A ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Marilith | Vanguard | N/A ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Croakadile | Rear Guard | After Raithwall's Tomb ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Enkelados | Rear Guard | After Raithwall's Tomb ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Gil Snapper[E] | Vanguard | After Raithwall's Tomb ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Orthros[E] | Headhunter | After Raithwall's Tomb ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ixtab | Rear Guard | After Henne Mines ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Feral Retriever | Vanguard | Once on your way to Stilshrine ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Trickster[E] | Headhunter | Once on your way to Stilshrine ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ant Lion[E] | Headhunter | Once on your way to Stilshrine ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Vorpal Bunny | Vanguard | After Judge Bergan ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Atomos | Vanguard | After Judge Bergan ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mind Flayer | Headhunter | After Judge Bergan ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Braegh | Headhunter | After Judge Bergan ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bloodwing | Ward of Justice | After Judge Bergan ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Carrot[E] | Brave Companion | After Judge Bergan ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Roblon | Ward of Justice | After Judge Bergan ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Darksteel | Headhunter | After reaching Archades gate crystal ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Vyraal | Ward of Justice | After Draklor Laboratory ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lindwyrm | Ward of Justice | After Draklor Laboratory ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Overlord | Brave Companion | After Draklor Laboratory ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Belito[E] | ??? | After Draklor Laboratory and Trickster ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Goliath | Brave Companion | After Draklor Laboratory ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Deathscythe | Brave Companion | After Draklor Laboratory ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Gilgamesh[E] | ??? | After Draklor Laboratory and Antlion ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Deathgaze | Riskbreaker | After Reddas Joins ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Diabolos | Brave Companion | After Reddas Joins ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Piscodaemon | Ward of Justice | After Reddas Joins ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Wild Malboro | Riskbreaker | After Reddas Joins ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Catoblepas | Brave Companion | After Reddas Joins ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Fafnir | Riskbreaker | After Reddas Joins ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Behemoth King[E] | Riskbreaker | After Reddas Joins and Fafnir ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Pylraster | Riskbreaker | After Pharos ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ixion[E] | Riskbreaker | After Pharos ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Shadowseer[E] | High Gaurdian | After Pharos ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yiazmat[E] | N/A | After Pharos, Hell Wyrm and most hunts* *I'm still not quite sure the exact requirements for this hunt. So far these are the hunts I didn't have to do to get it to appear: Orthros Gil Snapper Belito Ixion The Seer Of course there could be more. I'm not sure whether it was Gilgamesh or carrot where it first appeared. I still have to go back to my "End of game, no hunts but RT and Thex done" save to test the rank requirements for Belito and Gilgamesh so I'll try taking on different hunts this time. What a bastard ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------- Overview of Abilities: [ Back to Top ] ---------------------- An overview of some of the useful abilities for hunting. I shouldn't have to go over some such as most white and black magick since most people understand how and why to use them. magick power effects the strength and accuracy of spells. So if you find that cure spell draggin with the next upgrade down the road a ways consider equipping someone with mystic armor and a magick boosting weapon to increase its effectiveness instead of just giving everyone pointy sticks. The reason I go over this is to explain the basics of how some of these work is that way I don't have to explain every time I mention it later. =Status Spells=[ Back to Top ] =============== Why use them? These are very, very helpful though it may take more than a few tries to land effects. If a foe mainly uses physical attacks always try to blind it, if it casts deadly spells try to silence it or berserk it. Slow helps with everything and HP draining skills like poison, sap, ect.. can be great against high defense enemies or simply to supplement dps. Use them, if you don't you are only making things harder on yourself. Here's a great example: The bomb king is an optional boss that can be quite hard. You can challenge him as soon you complete events at Raithwall. He spams Fira, can call minions to his aid and can use Renew to fully heal himself. To fight him at that point in the game one might think you would need quickenings however if you simply inflict silence on him he can no longer use Fira nor summon his minions. You just made it a hell of a lot easier. You can go further with the status by inflicting stuff like blind and slow. He can still cast renew silenced but to deal with that inflict him with Disease(such as with Nihopalaoa + remedy which I'll get to in a bit). With Disease it can't renew since it's current HP is it's max HP(or is that vice versa?). What can I do to improve my chances? What determines success rate at casting status effects on enemies is your mag power vs the target's vitality. Anything that modifies mag will obviously increase or decrease the rate such as faith, serenity, shell, ect... Faith ups the rate by 1.3 and Serenity/Spellbreaker by 2.0(maltzan). Shell halves the chance(maltzan). To make it much easier get the Nihopalaoa which you can buy fairly early from the clan merchant in muthra bazaar with a high enough rank. It does cost a bit of gil and someone needs to go deep into accessories but it's worth it. It reverses the effects of items so phoenix downs will kill and Eye drops will cause blind. The kicker is that they will never miss. So much easier. It does include Remedy lore licenses so you can turn remedies into status bombs to cripple foes. (Press L1/R1 to target enemies) Nihopalaoa makes it so much less of a hassle(especially early on and if you don't know what is making you miss when casting) to inflict status effects that it's often consider to be cheap even though it can't do anything about mob immunities. Indigo pendent is something I didn't even know about till looked at the status effect section in maltzan's Game Mechanics FAQ again and makes it a good alternative to Nihopalaoa + if you're a heavy decoy user like myself it helps there with it as well. Basically the Indigo Pendent sets the chance to land status and any chance based spells to 100%. Makes using status spells, even just for variety, a lot more fun and useful. Unfortunately you can't easily buy Indigo Pendents till later in the game. You can buy them on the Bhujerba - Balfonhiem airship or by giving 15 trophies to Stok in the rare game sidequest. It's also a rare drop from level 38/39 Surianders in the optional part of Barhiem Passage. Some Notes: Sleep/Confuse(/Charm?) + magick/Techs: Magick attacks and some technicks such as horology and traveler do not wake up foes under sleep or confuse. A plus to this is that slept foes(or yourself) receive increased damage. =Disease: While under Disease a target's current HP is their max HP so if you have Disease on a foe it will appear as if it's always at 100%. So how is that useful? Well first of all if an enemy can heal in some fashion Disease will prevent that. The other reason came to my attention from a tip from wrax_000. Basically Disease can prevent the use of HP based skills and abilities. For example a lot of enemies gain a bunch of passive abilities at critical and may also change their attack to something nastier but if you inflict them with Disease BEFORE then it will never happen. =Buff Spells=[ Back to Top ] ============= Why should I use them? Again like negative status effects on enemies, you are only making things more difficult if you don't use buff spells like protect and shell(which may or may not be what you want :p). This includes your heal over time like regen which like protect/shell is good to have on your tank. You can get them early and they are easy to gambit. Reflect is also quite handy to counter caster Marks, to reflect AOE spells back at a single Mark, or to get spells past a Mark's Reflect as a spell can only be reflected once. In the end the hardest part may be deciding which ones to use with your time and MP. Sometimes they are a waste of time or use up too much time. Gambiting buffs is generally the way to go however if a buff is vital you may want to manually recast it before it runs out which will refresh the duration. Get the Spellbound Augment to increase the time buffs last In cases where an enemy is killing you too quickly it's often a good idea to turn off any buff gambits(sometimes even healing) inorder to make progress. Some Notes: Decoy and Reverse quality as debuffs so the success rate is a factor of the casters magick power vs the target's vitality. You can improve your success rate with the Indigo Pendent which allows you to ignore Vitality. Bubble: Bubble doubles you're current HP. This can exceed 9999 though it doesn't show at the bottom right. Bubble also prevents Disease. The earliest you can get this spell is from the clan provisioner with a high enough rank(refer to the "Clan Ranks" section. Alternately you can buy it on a certain airship ride I believe after giruvegan. Bravery: Increases physical damage. Buy from the clan provisioner after reaching a certain rank(refer to the "Clan Ranks" section Faith: Increases damage of spells by 1.3 and healing and status infliction rate by 1.5. Buy from the clan provisioner after reaching a certain rank (refer to the "Clan Ranks" section). Shell: Just like when enemies have shell, it will halve the chance of being inflicted with status ailments in addition to reducing damage from spells(not healing). This includes instant death, decoy and reverse so if you like to use decoy avoid shell when possible. Otherwise shell is often you're only way of avoiding chance based magic since most enemies seem to ignore vitality. Reverse + Stop: Stop freezes the duration of some ailments or buffs for example Reverse. So with stop you can keep Reverse on someone for a lot longer than the usual duration of Reverse. This is helpful for solo games where an enemy inflicts stop. Stop removes decoy so you can't abuse it like that and foes are less likely to attack someone stopped. Reverse + Decoy: MP and time intensive but if you can pull it off you pretty much can't lose. I don't use it for any my strategies except situationally (ie to help deal with mantis onslaught while warping them during the antlion hunt but not actually during the fight). Part of the reason I don't is simply because I don't have the MP for it because I'm trying not to even buy quickenings/espers which means no double/triple mp. ----------------- Character Setups:[ Back to Top ] ----------------- What does this section cover? This section aims to cover 2 things: 1) How certain chars should be equiped or used to best effect depending on how you want to use them. For example I got over the general rules of thumb for how a person who is gonna take damage(refered to as a tank in this guide) should be equipped for best effect. Basically Like with my "Overview of Abilities" section this aims to eliminate redundancy in the guide 2) To help give ideas on how to start out. Why? The best and most challenging hunts IMO are in the first half of the game. They can drive a fine line between too much to handle and overleveling yourself to deal with them. I try to give ideas on how to distribute lp early on to avoid grinding as much as possible as well as give advice on equipment. Not to say it should be followed to the letter but it should hopefully get you started Notes: By progressing chars to fill certain roles you can make encounters vastly easier on yourself. There are a few main roles and then a number of mixed roles. In the end everyone will end up the exact same(with a little bit of difference from base stats) but if you are playing in such a way that limits LP gains or you simply aren't going out of your way to farm LP then planning out how to build up each char is important. Remember that the role(and equipment) the char performs will define them even if they all have overlapping licenses. Remember that you have 6 chars(unless you choose just to go with 3) so you don't have to fit everything into 3 chars so you can handle any situation. If you use all 6 you can switch in another healer, ranged attacker(s), or more melee depending on the situation and encounter. I like using everyone because I feel more familiar with them ala if I don't use some people I'm completely surprised to see them in scenes and it just throws off the experience. Of course using just 3 is fine even if you are trying to keep levels low for a challenge. Using everyone is just my thing. As I mention the equipment and role play a bigger part than anything else and you can always change all that on the fly on anyone. It really doesn't matter who you choose to be a tank or mage as everyone has pretty close stats. Some are more inclined at certain things than others which is pretty easy to tell from base stats. The reason I cover this is because I use some of these as terms. I'll often refer to a tank or healer and such. I only list a few. I may or may not add more in future revisions. Most of the license board stuff is just when starting out as to what to focus on. Eventually you'll fill up a lot of the same magick and techs which will make it easier to adjust your strategy as you go as once you pretty much fill out the board it all comes down to equipment and gambits. You cannot screw up license boards. =Tank=[ Back to Top ] ====== This is a term used mostly in MMOs and so console gamers might not be familiar with it. A tank is a char that will take all the punishment from the enemy. They will have the highest damage reduction and block/evasion. The main job of this char is to keep the enemy focused on them and block/absorb all the damage. Obviously you want enemies to stay focused on them. In MMOs you tend to have a concept called aggro or threat level tables that each enemy has where the enemy will stay focused on whoever is highest and aggro is built through threat generating skills, damage, and healing in very defined amounts. Probably they will end up also as your melee damage dealer using the Haste + Berserk + Bravery combo(if you don't have all 3 which it seems the masses tend to do). However FFXII doesn't appear to have threat and aggro like that. Rather enemies have attack preferences more like gambits. Figuring them out will help you keep enemies focused on who you want. The most common preferences are Closest and Lowest HP. Just pay attention. Once you get Decoy you never have to worry about it again though. As far as licenses go you should focus on the lower portion of the Augments. Priorities on Shield Block, swiftness, +HP licenses, and last stand(which is surprisingly effective). The Item lore licenses are smart to pick up as items will probably heal more with the lower magick power. Spellbound is also highly recommended as your tank should be getting lots of protective buffs from the start. It is up to you if you want to branch into techniques or support/status magick and of course cure at the start. I don't like seeing MP go to waste so I really suggest picking up Green Magick 1 for Protect and Blind. Gambits as needed. Remember that these lisence recommendations are just for starting up. Should be able to go unsaid to buy everything eventually. For equipment armor is simple. Heavy Armor which grants the best damage mitigation. Early on Light Body Armor also makes a fine choice and is good for enemies that have attacks that ignore physical defense(mostly magic users). Hats are a little bit more open. Mystic armor hats seem to often grant higher magick resistance and against mobs that don't use magick a light armor hat for the HP boost is good. A mystic armor hat is also nice to boost magick for the boost to spells. In most cases, you'll want to equip a shield as well which would leave a one handed weapon. I like daggers myself and you can get one early that gives a bonus 34 evade (Main Gauche). Despite the solid evade measures add I wouldn't suggest them on a tank unless you want to rely on tecks in which case you're probably better off with the Main Gauche anyway(though honestly I just use it more or less around the time you can get and just upgrade it). Early on Poles can make a fine tanking weapon with their good evade bonus. Remember that a Tank's main job is to take and mitigate damage and dealing damage is secondary. However, some bosses have unevadable attacks or simply rely on magick attacks (unless berserked) so unless the shield has high magick evade you're often better just going for the best damage. A tank is still nice in those cases especially with decoy so you can keep those AoE magick attacks on one person away from everyone else. Less healing would be needed and less chaos from AoE status skills. Also others generally can benefit from Focus and Serenity(atk and mag up at full HP). =Weapon Based Damage Dealer=[ Back to Top ] ============================ Pretty simple, whack whack and whack some more. The key is knowing how weapon damage is calculated. Unless you need them to also fill a support function you should berserk them to increase their speed, attack power and chance to combo. Don't forget appropriate buffs like Bravery/Protect/ect.. Anyway with the right setup weapons will have the best dps throughout the game(which is sad to me since it's so boring which is why I like to try to use other things). Pretty simple license wise, go for Battle lore, Adrenaline/Focus, swiftness and +HP augments first. Again picking up some techs or buff magick is recommended. They are a good choice to pick up Techniques with as magick users have more augments to buy. Expose would be good at least for themselves to use. Equipment is important. 2 handed weapons are generally much stronger though a 1 handed weapon with the right elemental property can cause far more damage. The important thing is to choose armor based on what it bases damage on. If strength based equip Heavy Armor and if mag based equip mystic armor. Various armor in all 3 schools have +speed. Contrary to popular belief, heavy armor does not lower your speed and in fact some heavy increases speed and also on the same note all light armor does not increase speed only some just like with all 3 armor classes. Light armor only always boosts HP. I imagine this got started because someone tried to equip a piece of heavy armor that didn't increase speed and had a piece of light armor on that did. =Healing Mage=[ Back to Top ] ============== Primary role is obviously to keep the team alive and healthy with spells. Faith is a great buff for all Magick users. To supplement damage you can do a number of things, equip a long range weapon, go with damage magick at the cost of MP, or use shades of black at the chance of healing the enemy. I like to have my healer build MP through inquisitor with a ranged weapon Always gotta get the licenses for those healing and status removing skills first as well as charge. Then it's a bit difficult. Mages have a lot more to buy on the board than non-magick users as the bottom half of the augment board has a lot of helpful things in addition to the top magick focused part. Buy other magick, MP conservation and gain, swiftness and +HP licenses as you can or feel most needed. The licenses that improve parameters based on HP such as serenity can be quite nice just like last stand but don't worry about them early on. Picking up Quickenings even if you aren't using them can help in the MP department. The second quickening you get adds a second MP bar which doubles your MP and the third quickening adds a third bar ending in triple MP. Alternately if you get an Esper that requires multiple charges (ie multiple mp bars) then you will automatically get them on obtaining the license for it. For pure healers I like to equip a ranged weapon and have the Inquisitor augment(which unfortunately is at the bottom of the augment section though close to the right and cheap). This way the healer can gain MP while contributing when there isn't a need for recovery, support, ect.. magick. Otherwise a Rod with its MP and slight Mag boost is good as well as staves for the Mag boost. Measure + Shield can be helpful with the evasion if your Healer is constantly targeted and measures can also be used to cure confusion/sleep(by attacking since they're weak) or give free buffs. Mystic armor is the way to go armor-wise. =Damage Mage=[ Back to Top ] ============= Primary role is to use spells to damage foes especially those the enemy is weak to for massive damage. A great way get more damage out of a mage against single foes that most hunts are is to use reflect on all allies and cast an AoE spell on them. For each reflection it will hit the enemy so with one cast you can hit an enemy 3 times or more if you have a guest and clan ally. Obviously combined with a spell the enemy is weak too as well as possibly sleep this is the fastest way to kill single targets in the game. AoE used normally is of course one of the fastest ways to kill multiple weak targets Again Faith is a great buff for all Magick users. License is similar to the Healing mage. Get your spell licenses and charge then go increase your MP efficiency, magick lore, swiftness and +HP. Again getting second and third quickenings or certain espers, even if you aren't using them, will double/triple your MP. Equip to increase your spell damage as much as possible. Mystic Armor is the obvious choice though weapons aren't. There are weapons that increase a specific elements damage by a certain amount so you should try to equip a weapon like that where appropriate. =Parties=[ Back to Top ] Well there are probably more types of roles you can do but that's all for the first version at least. As I mentioned in the opening of this section is that you can mix and match to create different groups. For example a balanced team I like to use has a Tank, Support Mage and Healer Mage each mage with a ranged weapon. This allows me to only have one person up with the enemy for if it does any AoE attacks or to spread out if the enemy uses large area magick attacks. Also if one of my mages are targeted I can switch to them and run around with them to try to kite. Or the most common party which would be 3 melee just casting healing when needed. For anything normal this is the quickest, simplest and easiest way to roll even under the challenge conditions. If you face an enemy that just uses physical attacks but tends to bounce around target wise you can put in 3 melee with shields and the ability to blind and you can just watch them evade everything and beat it down with the occasional potion. You can also try a 3 mage party and try to put the enemy to sleep or immobilized. A slept enemy will not wake if it with magick so they can just beat it down especially with the reflect strategy I mentioned earlier. A tactic I like to use to switch people in and out to reserve MP. For example a boss might go crazy at critical and start doing insane damage where I need the MP to spam heal. I'll hold off on putting my main healer in for most of it and use my other chars to take care of maintaining buffs and debuffing the boss as well as handling the less difficult healing. Of course if you still get those quickenings/espers for the increased MP you probably won't need to do this but in a pure no quick/esper play it's very helpful. Just play around and try out different things :) ----- Tips: ----- =About Weapons=[ Back to Top ] =============== As I mentioned when talking about weapon damage dealers, to maximize damage you should know what they use to calculate damage. I suggest you check out section 4 of Arthellinus's Power Walkthrough which is a lot of good down and dirty info on damage calculation, weapon attack speed, ect... Basically just remember that there is more to DPS with weapons than just it's attack power. The speed that a weapon attacks with often makes a much bigger difference in dps as well as the ability to combo more frequently. Another good guide to check out is the Game Mechanics FAQ by maltzsan which lists how many things in the game work from the effects of weather and terrain on spells to the nitty gritty on how vague technicks work. Ranged weapons I really like. They may be weaker but they often allow you to spread your team out and keep people from getting hit by AoE attacks which makes healing and status removal much easier and can often be the difference between spending much of your time recovering everyone and having that one person handle it or possibly rotate it. Aside from the defense ignoring part of guns, I really love ammo. What I love about it is that you can upgrade your weapon and still keep the same ammo and hence the same added effect or change ammo depending on the foe without having to drop down to a weaker weapon to get the effect. =Try your own Stuff=[ Back to Top ] ==================== While I try to list more than one method I don't list every way nor will I ever. Some I mention in other parts such as where I discuss the Damage mage I mention the strategy of Sleep + Magick. It's likely that what I suggest may not fit your playing style and that is why I also try to list what Harmful Status effects work on each one, the stats and their Attacks. Be creative and think about what you are facing and you can figure out how to conquer the enemy. This is much more enjoyable than following guides and you may find yourself with the great urge to rush off and tell someone about the amazing battle you had and how >You< beat it. Especially when you find a way that does not resort to spending 2 hours leveling up or something. This is what the gameplay side of RPGs(and most games) is all about though rpgs have the wonderful feeling of exploration and discovery that is wasted by using walkthroughs step-by-step. The other reason I suggest that is because I know very few people like to play the way my style is. I learned this on the SO3 board discussing SSCC strategy. My style is more of a "If they can't kill you, you can't lose" kinda thing while most people prefer a "Kill it before it can kill you" kinda thing. Also like I said in the introduction since I started this guide I've been trying not to buy quickenings/espers so I don't have the benefit of double/triple MP. This forces me to play a bit MP cost conscious and can't simply run up and spam cura/curaja all the time. This is where the healers and mages and stuff come in since mystic armor increases healing and such but then it also has poor defense so I need that tank to not get chewed through and so on and so forth... Items I always use as a last resort =Explore=[ Back to Top ] ========= Go ahead walk around town or explore new areas. Don't let the story confine you. Exploration and Discovery are important parts of the game. You can learn a lot of things from talking to people(such as don't use magick around elementals or what conditions are needed for them to appear), find sidequests or discover new areas where you might be able to buy better stuff. For example if you do some exploring and questing after Raithwall's tomb then you'll most likely complete the cactuar quest or chase of Deweg or hell even beat earth tyrant to give you access to mosphoran highwastes. You can find a merchant here where you can buy golden amulets, remedies and some other useful things. =Ignore Defense=[ Back to Top ] ================ I mention this in many of my strategies but it works for all. When taking on marks at low level or when they hit critical they often have a high defense to where you aren't doing that much damage. The best thing to do is to use and abuse skills that ignore defense. Magick does, technicks like Horology, traveler, 1000 needles, ect.. do as well as Balance. For enemies with high defense it's easy to gambit with Foe HP = Critical which you get very early. =Changing Target Groups=[ Back to Top ] ======================== I didn't know this till a good bit into my first playthrough. When choosing a target for a spell or whatever you can press L1/R1 to change through different target groups. You can target your party, your reserves, an enemy, or an ally This is how you can target enemies when using Nihopalaoa or casting reverse on your own party for example =Shops can upgrade after story events=[ Back to Top ] ====================================== Yes it's true and combined with the fact that equipment is more meaningful than levels it can make a huge difference in difficulty throughout the game. This includes spells and techs(though less often) as well. I'll try to list them: After Barhiem: Rabanastre *Better Weap/Armor than you can buy in Bhujerba but remember that Bhujerba does have different spells and such After Leviathon: Rabanastre *Better Weap/Armor than you can buy in Bhujerba but don't remember if spells and stuff update After Raithwall's Tomb: Rabanastre On the way to Henne Mines: Jahara After Judge Bergen: Rabanastre, Nalbina, and Mosphoran Highwastes update but unless you need it to make the journey to phon coast save you're money and buy at phon coast. That mostly goes for armor, moshoporan shops sells some weapons that aren't at phon coast. Weapons are a bit spread out with usually half the kinds updated per point. Buy spells,techs, and gambits at Rab/Nalb/MH of course. After Draklor: Airship gets Syphon at this point I believe After Giruvegan: Balfonhiem and many of the "other" merchants upgrade equippment. *Best meaning best buyable Best Light armor = Merchant in south lowtown(by dalans) Best Heavy armor = Bakanamy merchant in Necrohal Best Mystic armor = Merchant in Barhiem passage(gave fuse) Many other merchants including those listed can have other accessories to buy as well as weapons. Off the top of my head: Barhiem = Hermes sandles Eastersands = Diamond armlet, golden axe Baknamy = Demon Shield, Telekinesis Westersands = Gungnir Bhujerba(guy by where rocktoise client was) = turletshell chocker, sweep Old Archades = Sage's Ring Various Aiship flights: Certain routes can offer special spells and such such as Bubble and Indigo pendent After Pharos: Balfonhiem, those "other" merchants above get a spell each except Bhujerba, old archades and airship May not be perfect but that's from my own experience. =Giza Plains Seasons=[ Back to Top ] ===================== So many people panic over the weather in giza plains it's not funny. The weather in Giza is locked during two parts in the game. From the start till Raithwalls tomb the season will always be dry. After Raithwalls tomb till roughly after leaving Jahara the season will be locked as the rainy season. After that the season changes over a period of time, takes roughly an hour. There is a seeq in the southern exit of Rabanastre that calls himself the weather eye and will tell you how close it is till the season in Giza changes If he doesn't refer to himself as the weather eye it's likely too early yet in the story for the seasons in giza to change. Advance the story and try again later. =Changing Equipment During Battle=[ Back to Top ] ================================== The result of a spell isn't decided immediately when it's cast and is only decided when it hits a target. With this knowledge you can change your equipment mid-battle to protect yourself. For example if you see the enemy use a thunder based spell you can equip a Rubber Suit(s) to negate it. If the enemy casts a status effect spell like silence you can equip a Rose Corsage to be immune. This also affects passive skills like Serenity. Somewhat cheap but it can be a big difference maker in tough situations where you really would rather not chance a gameover and have to redo a bunch of stuff =Gambits=[ Back to Top ] ========= Basically there is some intelligence behind gambits. Maybe not enough to make them stop stealing once there is nothing to steal but enough to prevent them from repeatedly casting a buff or status effect when it is already active and so on. So for example you can use the gambit Ally:Any > Raise/Phoenix down/ect... and they'll only use it when someone dies(making Ally:Status=KO unneeded). Same for buffs, with Ally:Any > Protect they will cast protect on anyone who isn't buffed and won't just keep casting it endlessly. They aren't so intelligent when it comes to AoE spells. Basically say you you have two people with the gambits Ally < 40% HP -> Curaja gambits. If one person gets hurt <40% then only one of them will use Curaja. However if two people get hurt then both will cast curaja even if both would be fully healed by one casting. This is because the AI only sees it as targeting just one person(which is understandable, it would be difficult to say for sure the player might not move out of range of the spell in the end) and so the second one will cast curaja targeting the other person. This is the same for buff spells. The best thing to make that more efficient is either to have one person handle it(this works well in the case of 'ga buffs, usually with the self gambit) or stagger the factor in the case of healing(ie one at <60 and the other <30). Rotating who handles what depending on the situation can also help with efficiency though this is something mainly used with end foes like yiazmat. Also remember that you can change gambits anytime so if you find you're gambit setup isn't working just open up the menu and modify it to work. ---------------- Mark Strategies:[ Back to Top ] ---------------- Abbreviations: HP-------------Hit Points MP----------Magick Points STR--------------Strength MAG----------Magick Power VIT--------------Vitality SPD-----------------Speed ATK----------Attack Power DEF---------------Defense MRES----Magick Resistance EVA-----------------Evade LP---------License Points CP------------Clan Points CT------------Charge Time ------------------------------------ Global Immunities and Un-Immunities: ------------------------------------ AKA all the abilities or effects that all marks are immune to as well as a couple that work on all. I was pretty sure on some of them based on maltzan's Game Mechanics guide listing that all marks should have a passive skill called "Safety" which makes them immune to many things. I was stubborn and had to see for myself to my sorrow. The follow is the list of all the skills/effects that all marks are immune to: Instant Death Warp Break Gravity/Fangs Syphon Wither Addle Charm Bonebreaker Sight Unseeing Achilles Numerology Countdown/Doom basically doesn't work on anything except for the Chickitrices. The follow work on ALL marks: Expose Shear As such you will not find these listed in the individual immunity tables for each mark anymore. =Note about enemy buffs pre-dispel= =================================== Just a little note to try to avoid redundancy, from the start marks often spawn with buffs but often don't recast them if they wear off. So if you want to avoid tossing yourself at mark with Bravery and haste you can try waiting around for it to wear off. The other thing is Shell, if you are trying to cast a status effect shell will halve the chance that it'll work. =About Kiting= ============== I only mention this in a few hunts but it's something else you can try if you get a little bored with "the gambits playing the game for you" and let you take advantage of the fact that you can move around in battle. Like I said for the most part this is something just to fool around with while playing. It's somewhat humorous watching something chase you in circles >_> Aside from the few marks I specifically mention this on I never used it and none of them besides the ones that do were written with this in mind. What is Kiting? Kiting basically boils down to moving away from an enemy so they can't you while hitting them yourself. So what do I do? For slow enemies: Control the person targeted and run away from the enemy. Ranged abilities help but they also stop you temporarily. Press Up/Down on the d-pad to switch who you control. For other enemies: Try to use you're other allies to body block the enemy and then run in a circle. Obstacles on the field(ie rocks, water, field edge, ect..) can also be used. Wyrms generally have pretty bad pathing. If Immobilize works that's another way while not exactly kiting but has the same general idea. Just immobilize the enemy, move away from them and attack from afar. If you the enemy casts spells you can sometimes reflect them as well.

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