By the time you reach Final Fantasy XVI’s endgame after a minimum of 35 hours, protagonist Clive Rosfield can call upon the might of eight different magical beings called Eikons, each the warden of a specific element. The fire of the Phoenix offers several different ways to scorch enemies, and Shiva’s ice can freeze them solid. But if you want to be ready for what’s thrown at you in the endgame, you’ll want to prepare with one very specific build. In fact, it’s a build so good that you can take it into virtually any encounter, whether it’s a high-level hunt or any side quest.
Some Eikon Abilities are great for crowd control. Others are ideal for single-target damage. Therefore, the best abilities for any given battle depend on what you’ll encounter. Without spoiling too much, the final gauntlet of battles are against a single target that’s about Clive’s size. It’s therefore similar to the fights against the Kingdom of Waloed’s Lord Commander Sleipnir or the battle against Odin’s Dominant, Barnabus Tharmr. As such, the best kit is going to focus on counterattacks and single-target damage.
With all of that in mind, these are the Eikons you’ll want to channel:
If you’ve upgraded all of the best Eikonic Abilities enough, you’ll be able to equip them regardless of which three Eikons you channel (or equip). The only reason you’d channel any Eikon is to take advantage of its Eikonic Feat, the innate feature like the Phoenix Shift teleport.
Channeling Titan is a must, particularly against single-enemy fights so you can take advantage of the innate Eikonic Feat Titanic Block. Pressing circle at just the right time triggers a Precision Block that launches a three-punch counterattack that refills Clive’s Limit Break gauge at an accelerated pace and deals a solid amount of damage.
With Arm of Darkness, the circle button allows Clive to wield Odin’s sword. All attacks charge the Zantetsuken gauge to build up to an ultimate attack that slows time and deals a great deal of damage.
These are the Eikonic Abilities you want:
- Aerial Blast
- Rising Flames
- Raging Fists
- Dancing Steel
Bahamut’s Impulse has great bonus DPS potential as it sends out multiple spheres that track targets and deal continuous damage, and its cooldown is very reasonable. Whether you’re facing a crowd of enemies or a boss, it’s a solid choice. Garuda’s Aerial Blast summons a tornado that does a tremendous amount of will damage, so it’ll stagger enemies faster than anything else and track enemies … just like Impulse!
Phoenix’s Rising Flames is a must-have for any build at any stage of the game. Though its damage is lacking compared to most other abilities, it has one of the shortest cooldowns of any attack and is easy to land. Spam it as often as possible in between regular attacks. Titan’s Raging Fists is a good one to pair up alongside Rising Flames as it has a modest cooldown that’s reduced by 50% if you execute a well-timed block against enemy attacks. In theory, if you time your blocks well, then you should be able to spam both of these attacks. And this gives you a counterattack option on two of your three Eikon channels.
Odin’s Dancing Steel is an excellent ability that summons twin blades for a flurry of attacks that charge up the Zantetsuken gauge. So you’ll want to have Odin channeled so you can capitalise on access to Zantetsuken, a part of his Eikonic Feat that deals a tremendous amount of damage with two mighty slashes. Gigaflare is hands down the absolute best Eikonic Ability. Not only does it get top marks in terms of raw damage, but it also has a slowdown effect while Clive summons Bahamut wings and blasts enemies in a straight line with a massive beam of energy.
The Final Fantasy gear you’ll need
- Bahamut’s Mercy — Reduces Gigaflare cooldown time by 6.0 seconds.
- Genji Gloves — Increases damage dealt to enemies by 5%.
- Berserker Ring — Temporarily increases attack proficiency with each precision dodge.
Gigaflare’s big drawback is its long cooldown, so equipping Bahamut’s Mercy mitigates that significantly. It’s a reward for completing the “A Tail to Tell” quest, in which you find a flower for Harpocrates to give to Dion at the very end of the game.
Boosting all damage by 5% with Genji Gloves is also preferable to pretty much any other damage-boosting accessory. (Most of them boost the damage of a single ability by 10%.) This one’s a reward for reaching 2365 renown at the Patron’s Whisper, so if you come up short, complete more side quests and hunts until you can earn it from the NPC Desiree in the mess hall.
The Berserker Ring is also an excellent choice, as it boosts attack proficiency with each successful precision dodge, which is something you’ll want to do constantly anyway. It’s the first reward from the Patron’s Whisper at 85 renown. If there’s one item you can swap out for something else, however, it’s this one.
The strategy to pull it all together in FF16
Always start with Aerial Blast and then Impulse. This will dole out a solid amount of will damage that’ll push the enemy towards stagger. And, as needed, use Titanic Block against any attack that comes your way.
Then it’s time to shift over to Phoenix to use Rising Flames and go for a Raging Fists block. But as soon as that’s done, shift right over to Odin and unleash Dancing Steel. This will charge up Zantetsuken a great deal. If you’ve managed to get the enemy to stagger, then now’s the time to get to blasting with Gigaflare. Otherwise, you might as well use Odin’s Arm of Darkness for a bit, focusing on the Flash of Steel precision dodge counterattack and the Steel Counter parry. (This is where that Berserker Ring will come in handy.) Pop Zantetsuken as soon as it’s ready. And keep cycling through your abilities in this fashion.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a combat flow more effective than this at handling just about anything that Final Fantasy XVI can throw your way.
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