Darchrow’s Corner : Guide to Water Builds

Hello again, Darchrow with my penultimate element before I go back to the drawing board with my weapon and summon guide.

There have been a couple of things people have asked me about in the past couple of weeks, a common mistake revolving around when people are using damage calculators from JP sources. Using unknown weapons “ATK I” denotes a medium skill unknown weapon whilst “ATK II” denotes a large skill unknown weapon. A decent amount of queries have been about using unknowns and not using unknowns and most have been using the wrong skill strength for their unknown weapon category. (ATK I instead of ATK II). This mistake will skew the favour into not using the unknown weapon, showing that Unknowns are not necessary for your weapon pool at all stages of the game.

Secondly, is how Cosmos and Weapon Proficiency factor into Base Damage calculation.

Base Damage is combined from various things in your arsenal, such as weapons and summons, the way Base Damage is calculated for your Main Character and your Allies are as follows:

Main Character:
Attack Power (Zenith, Class Bonus, Level) + Total Weapon Attack Power (Bonuses Included) + Total Summon Attack Power

This value is then multiplied by the percent attack bonuses you get from classes such as Weapon Master / Samurai.

Allies:
Character’s Attack Power + Total Weapon Attack Power (Bonuses Included) + Total Summon Attack Power

Weapons will get an additional 20% damage (25% if skilled with Specialty Weapon Damage I/II) if you’re proficient in them, your allies have also had their UI updated to account for this as well as your MC, where it never did before. Cosmos Weapons will grant you an additional 30%. So the total you can get is 50% (55% if skilled), unless for special cases where you have double proficiency such as Ogre, Gunslinger, Wiseman and Assassin. These classes will only get single bonuses from both their proficiencies (20%) but are allowed to skill both their masteries for an additional 10%, making it go up to 60% if both are skilled using Cosmos.

At level 160 you gain additional Zenith (Extended Mastery) skills for both your primary and secondary weapon. This will allow you to increase the cap further to 30% (60% with cosmos) and 40% (70% with cosmos) for classes with double proficiency.

Pluses to your weapon (such as +99 etc) are considered as part of your weapon’s stats, meaning that it is also improved by Cosmos and Proficiency. Using your bonuses on weapons that you are proficient in, or you have a Cosmos for, will yield you more efficiency with your bonus use.

 


 

Now to start with the program for Water Builds and select the ground rules for how I will go about at selecting my choices for weapons and summons. All weapons considered will be farmable weapons only and are not from moons or gatcha, all summons will be limit broken (uncapped) to their maximum capability.

Damage ranges considered will be for the following:

Full Grid: 15k Weaponless Damage

5.5k from level 125 and level 100 gatcha summons at around 1.9k damage each.

With all 3* Magna (Omega) weapons, gatcha weapons and Unknowns aplenty.

HL Grid: 18k Weaponless Damage

6k from level 150 and 4* summons at around 2.2k-2.5k (say 2.3k).

With all 4*Magna (Omega) Weapons, got some + bonuses on your weapons.

+99 Grids: 21k Weaponless Damage

Same as HL Grid but with +99 on all weapons and summons.

Now we consider the candidates for weapons we might put in our weapon grid.

Table 1: Weapon attack power at different levels

Weapon 3* Attack Power
( 100 )
4* Attack Power
( 150 )
Leviathan Dagger 2215 2520
Chev / Lumi Axe 2385 2790
Bahamut Dagger 2120 2475
Cosmos Axe 2575
Cosmos Dagger 2341
GW Axe 2680
(Element Change)
2960
(Final Stage, Reference only)
GW Dagger 2430
(Element Change)
2680
(Final Stage, Reference only)
GW Harp
(Reference only)
2250
(Element Change)
2470
(Final Stage, Reference only)
Blast Sword
(Unknown)
2010
Pinya Knife
(Unknown)
1915
Genbu Axe
(Xuanwu Mace)
(ATK II)
2090 2480

Now I’m going to consider some potential builds for Water and run them through the gauntlet to find out what is stronger. Weapon choices will be systematic created (within reason) to make sure no potentially stronger build is overlooked. Main hand will use GW dagger since daggers are average in base damage compared to possible main hand choices, unless stated otherwise.

 

Magna Build 1: 6 Magna : 1 Unknown : 1 Baha Dagger : 1 Cosmos Dagger : Genbu Axe

Magna Build 2: 5 Magna : 2 Unknown : 1 Baha Dagger : 1 Cosmos Dagger : Genbu Axe

Magna Build 3: 7 Magna : 1 Unknown : 1 Baha Dagger : 1 Cosmos Dagger

Magna Build 4: 6 Magna : 2 Unknown : 1 Baha Dagger : 1 Cosmos Dagger

Magna Build 5: 6 Magna : 1 Baha Dagger : 1 Cosmos Dagger : Genbu Axe : Main hand

Magna Build 6: 5 Magna : 1 Unknown : 1 Baha Dagger : 1 Cosmos Dagger : Genbu Axe : Main hand

Magna Build 7: 7 Magna : 1 Baha Dagger : 1 Cosmos Dagger : Main hand

Magna Build 8: 6 Magna : 1 Unknown : 1 Baha Dagger : 1 Cosmos Dagger : Main hand

Magna Build 9: 5 Magna : 2 Unknown : 1 Baha Dagger : 1 Cosmos Dagger : Main hand

Magna Build 10: 7 Magna : 1 Unknown : 1 Baha Dagger : Genbu Axe

Magna Build 11: 6 Magna : 2 Unknown : 1 Baha Dagger : Genbu Axe

Magna Build 12: 6 Magna : 2 Unknown : 1 Baha Dagger : Main hand

Magna Build 13: 5 Magna : 2 Unknown : 1 Baha Dagger : Genbu Axe : Main hand

Magna Build 14: 6 Magna : 1 Unknown : 1 Baha Dagger : Genbu Axe : Main hand

Magna Build 15: 7 Magna : 1 Baha Dagger : Genbu Axe : Main hand

 

Primal Build 1: 6 Chev Axe : 2 Magna : 1 Unknown : 1 Cosmos Axe

Primal Build 2: 5 Chev Axe : 2 Magna : 1 Unknown : 1 Cosmos Axe : Genbu Axe

Primal Build 3: 4 Chev Axe : 3 Magna : 1 Cosmos Axe : Genbu Axe

Primal Build 4: 4 Chev Axe : 3 Magna : 1 Unknown : 1 Cosmos Axe : Genbu Axe : Main hand

Primal Build 5: 3 Chev Axe : 3 Magna : 1 Cosmos Axe : Genbu Axe : Main hand

Primal Build 6: 4 Chev Axe : 2 Magna : 1 Unknown : 1 Cosmos Axe : Genbu Axe : Main hand

Primal Build 7: 5 Chev Axe : 2 Magna : 1 Unknown : 1 Cosmos Axe : Main hand

Primal Build 8: 6 Chev Axe : 3 Magna : 1 Unknown

Primal Build 9: 5 Chev Axe : 3 Magna : 1 Unknown : Genbu Axe

Primal Build 10: 4 Chev Axe : 3 Magna : 2 Unknown : Genbu Axe

Primal Build 11: 5 Chev Axe : 3 Magna : 1 Unknown : Main hand

Primal Build 12: 5 Chev Axe : 2 Magna : 1 Unknown : Genbu Axe : Main hand

Primal Build 13: 5 Chev Axe : 3 Magna : Genbu Axe : Main hand

Primal Build 14: 4 Chev Axe : 3 Magna : 1 Unknown : Genbu Axe : Main hand

 

All Cosmos Builds will be in blue to help for with comparing non-Cosmos and Cosmos builds.

I will discuss the best builds for people using Main hand, Cosmos and Non-Cosmos for people using Leviathan Magna (Omega) or Varuna.

So without further a due, here are the following results:


Leviathan Builds

2040028000

Water is special in that it shares an Unknown weapon with the same weapon type as its Magna Weapon, a title only held by Water until Sakura Taisen Collaboration Event ushered in the Light Unknown gun. Since this is the case, I want to run both Pinya Knife and Blast Swords to see how it affects the damage in general.

Table 2: Outgoing Damage of each Magna Build at various stages using Pinya Knife

Build Full Grid HL Grid +99 Grid
Cosmos
Magna Build 1: 476,391 625,616 743,596
Magna Build 2: 477,331 616,640 734,815
Magna Build 3: 460,535 614,976 730,929
Magna Build 4: 466,828 614,282 731,954
Cosmos with Main hand
Magna Build 5: 462,792 609,770 722,486
Magna Build 6: 471,784 611,621 726,476
Magna Build 7: 453,594 607,365 719,652
Magna Build 8: 467,802 617,372 733,296
Magna Build 9: 468,779 608,712 724,827
Non Cosmos
Magna Build 10: 453,043 605,485 717,992
Magna Build 11: 459,560 605,771 719,945
Non Cosmos with Main hand
Magna Build 12: 443,634 588,622 699,041
Magna Build 13: 454,745 591,966 703,117
Magna Build 14: 453,480 599,435 710,402
Magna Build 15: 439,404 588,810 696,296

Cosmos Dagger Builds are a stronger choice overall when considering going for a water build. Bahamut Daggers and Guns are generally the go-to for Water (maybe Spear for niche use) due to have a large pool of Harvin SSRs compared to most elements. Water also has a couple of token Erunes such as Quatre and Sochie, however it is easy to use a full Human team for Water and Bahamut Dagger with Cosmos Dagger is always a plus.

Due to this study using GW Dagger main hand, main hand builds are powerful even in a Cosmos setup compared to non-main hand builds. Other options are of course GW Harp, Sword and a selection of Water spears (GW, Poseidon and Cocytus).

You will generally not use Genbu Axe for any Cosmos Builds but will always want to keep one handy if you don’t plan to go for a Cosmos Dagger.

Two unknown builds are stronger with a Full Grid but lose their punch when transitioning to a HL Build, secondary unknown can easily be replaced with a 4* Dagger for more damage.

Now for comparison of how the balance pans out when using a Blast Sword (or generally a non-dagger Unknown weapon) instead of a Pinya Knife.

Table 3: Outgoing Damage of each Magna Build at various stages using Blast Sword

Build Full Grid HL Grid +99 Grid
Cosmos
Magna Build 1: 471,064 619,524 735,618
Magna Build 2: 466,578 604,437 718,832
Magna Build 3: 455,424 609,083 723,211
Magna Build 4: 456,391 602,321 716,289
Cosmos with Main hand
Magna Build 5: 462,792 609,770 722,486
Magna Build 6: 466,553 605,690 718,709
Magna Build 7: 453,594 607,365 719,652
Magna Build 8: 462,653 611,481 725,580
Magna Build 9: 458,385 596,910 709,370
Non Cosmos
Magna Build 10: 454,211 606,830 719,336
Magna Build 11: 461,946 608,500 722,674
Non Cosmos with Main hand
Magna Build 12: 445,941 591,261 701,680
Magna Build 13: 457,089 594,622 705,773
Magna Build 14: 454,641 600,761 711,728
Magna Build 15: 439,404 588,810 696,296

The strength of Cosmos Builds has decrease and consequently non Cosmos Builds has increase, the gap is still apparent and no change in balance between Cosmos and non Cosmos has occurred. Builds with 2 Unknowns are now weaker in general when using with Cosmos Builds.

Next will be the same study using the proficiency from a Super Star with Blast Sword and GW Harp

Table 4: Outgoing Damage of each Magna Build at various stages using Super Star with Blast Sword and GW Harp

Build Full Grid HL Grid +99 Grid
Cosmos
Magna Build 1: 520,016 683,717 812,388
Magna Build 2: 509,945 660,718 786,137
Magna Build 3: 508,137 678,922 806,738
Magna Build 4: 504,349 665,338 791,654
Cosmos with Main hand
Magna Build 5: 505,934 666,286 790,717
Magna Build 6: 504,972 655,487 778,914
Magna Build 7: 501,139 670,278 795,525
Magna Build 8: 506,252 668,690 794,649
Magna Build 9: 496,551 646,460 769,277
Non Cosmos
Magna Build 10: 507,836 678,968 805,486
Magna Build 11: 509,933 672,660 799,275
Non Cosmos with Main hand
Magna Build 12: 496,972 658,971 783,140
Magna Build 13: 502,292 653,973 777,235
Magna Build 14: 506,011 668,807 793,593
Magna Build 15: 495,197 663,239 785,784

Using a Superstar with Blast Swords, Cosmos Builds are still stronger, with Builds using less unknowns becoming stronger during HL stages.

Now for a final look, I want to see how using Assassin, which have double proficiency in Daggers, affect the balance of the Builds.

Table 5: Outgoing Damage of each Magna Build at various stages using Assassin

Build Full Grid HL Grid +99 Grid
Cosmos
Magna Build 1: 543,203 711,877 846,836
Magna Build 2: 545,663 702,668 837,851
Magna Build 3: 531,535 707,711 841,915
Magna Build 4: 540,192 708,024 844,217
Cosmos with Main hand
Magna Build 5: 526,727 693,123 822,060
Magna Build 6: 538,304 696,191 827,576
Magna Build 7: 522,483 698,091 828,051
Magna Build 8: 540,217 710,674 844,843
Magna Build 9: 542,735 701,805 836,196
Non Cosmos
Magna Build 10: 525,977 701,930 833,350
Magna Build 11: 534,676 702,812 836,181
Non Cosmos with Main hand
Magna Build 12: 525,096 693,638 824,682
Magna Build 13: 529,537 687,108 816,945
Magna Build 14: 526,953 695,230 824,852
Magna Build 15: 509,532 682,384 807,941

The slightly larger injection of base damage granted by Assassin begins to favour higher modifiers, hence Unknown builds become stronger again. The balance of builds become similar to those found when there is no weapon proficiency, with the strongest builds remaining the same.

Conclusion:

Cosmos Builds are stronger than their non Cosmos counter parts with Manga Build 1 and 8 being strong choices during most stages of the game. Using two unknowns are barely stronger than a single unknown and will become a slight downgrade when moving towards HL. If you already have an MLB Unknown Weapon, then keeping one would be fine. If you’re class is proficient in Daggers, you can reach maximum damage without using any Unknowns during HL stage.

For non Cosmos Builds I recommend Magna Build 11, 13 for pre-HL Builds and Build 10, 14 for once you have transitioned into HL. Weapon proficiency has little effect on non Cosmos Builds.

Attack buffs (such as that from Lucifer or Rage) will make Builds with Genbu diminish in effectiveness, Magna Build 4 become really strong with buffs. For non Cosmos builds the balance remains the same.

 


Varuna Builds

2040100000

Chev / Lumi Axes are special in that they are the only farmable weapon for a Primal Build that has noticeably higher stats than their Magna Weapon. Axes go up to almost 2.8k whilst daggers are barely above 2.5k. Chev / Lumi Axes are also recycled goods so its 100% environmentally friendly.

Table 6: Outgoing Damage of each Primal Build at various stages

Build Full Grid HL Grid +99 Grid
Cosmos
Primal Build 1: 442,408 607,991 717,160
Primal Build 2: 460,050 610,957 721,549
Primal Build 3: 448,324 598,078 706,978
Cosmos with Main hand
Primal Build 4: 441,766 585,909 690,939
Primal Build 5: 441,227 573,614 678,349
Primal Build 6: 452,926 587,741 694,408
Non Cosmos
Primal Build 7: 435,537 584,829 690,096
Primal Build 8: 436,325 605,259 712,713
Primal Build 9: 447,787 611,627 722,376
Primal Build 10: 446,511 599,163 709,861
Non Cosmos with Main hand
Primal Build 11: 431,275 594,651 701,838
Primal Build 12: 447,573 594,415 701,656
Primal Build 13: 436,838 593,329 698,925
Primal Build 14: 448,320 598,321 706,932

Cosmos Axe Builds barely lose out to non Cosmos Builds when not using a main hand, but when using a main hand, the benefits of a Cosmos Axe diminishes. There are of course the usual considerations for a Cosmos Weapon, such as added health and benefits to character types.

The balance between using a Genbu Axe or an additional Chev / Lumi Axe is delicate in this case. Genbu Axe has 2% more damage from its skill but Chev / Lumi Axe has 310 more Damage. There will be a point where your damage is high enough that Genbu Axe is preferred over a Chev / Lumi Axe. This stage however requires a relatively high damage to have the difference between an 18%/20% weapon overtake the damage from Chev / Lumi Axe.

Next I want to see how this compares when using Weapon Master with these builds.

Table 7: Outgoing Damage of each Primal Build at various stages using Weapon Master with Blast Sword and Guild War Axe

Build Full Grid HL Grid +99 Grid
Cosmos
Primal Build 1: 491,784 673,888 795,080
Primal Build 2: 511,502 676,759 799,531
Primal Build 3: 493,272 655,370 774,941
Cosmos with Main hand
Primal Build 4: 497,133 656,734 773,819
Primal Build 5: 498,112 644,241 761,202
Primal Build 6: 516,360 666,878 787,281
Non Cosmos
Primal Build 7: 503,431 680,546 803,265
Primal Build 8: 484,200 670,204 789,367
Primal Build 9: 497,546 677,171 799,987
Primal Build 10: 467,316 667,654 785,443
Non Cosmos with Main hand
Primal Build 11: 482,691 663,480 782,346
Primal Build 12: 507,768 671,642 792,238
Primal Build 13: 488,406 661,435 778,537
Primal Build 14: 501,916 667,006 787,452

With Weapon Master, Cosmos Builds have remained weaker than non Cosmos builds. The additional damage to the Chev / Lumi Axes improved builds with less Unknowns, where you would normally prefer 1 to 2 Unknowns you can use none to still achieve a high damage output during HL. Builds 7 and Builds 12 which both use 2 Magna weapons and 1 Unknown weapon are stronger with Axe proficiency.

 

Conclusion:

Cosmos Builds are stronger than their non Cosmos counter parts with Primal Build 2 and 6 being strong choices during most stages of the game. Using 3 Magnas and 1 Unknown is the standard as proficiency does little to affect the balance of Builds.

For non Cosmos Builds I recommend Primal Build 9, 14 through-out the game. Weapon proficiency will allow you to gain optimal damage with 2 Magna weapons and 1 Unknown weapon.

Attack buffs (such as that from Lucifer or Rage) will make Builds with Genbu diminish in effectiveness, as these will benefit builds with higher base damage.

These builds do not use any Bahamut weapons and allows for maximum flexibility of race, this is helpful for water (similar to Earth) as a mix of Human, Harvin and Erune is possible.

Build not using Genbu Axe (Build 1, 7 and 11) vary in strength based on your personal attack score. These will be stronger as you have higher base damage. Generally if you aren’t reach the damage values listed in the Guide, an additional Chev / Lumi axe would be stronger.

 


Leviathan Builds vs Varuna Builds

2040002000(2)

Leviathan Builds and Varuna Builds are fairly even with on a couple of percent swing towards Leviathan Builds. This increases to 9-11% when under the affect of 20% ATK buff from summons such as Lucifer, Anat or Bahamut.

As previously stated, Chev / Lumi Axes are special since they have large stats but no secondary skill (like Vohu Gun or Ifrit Spear). Varuna Cosmos builds also have the benefit of possessing an ATK II Moon weapon which is an axe (caps at around 3.2k) with a secondary double attack skill of around 4.9% (10.78% with 3* Varuna). The potential for this build can be seen, however due to Cosmos Builds being weaker for Primal Builds, you are not restricted to the Axe. Other choices are Durandal for Critical (with slight less damage) and ATK II Fire / Water Katana which has slightly higher damage than the Axe and is also considered the best weapon for Sword Master when sprinkled into your fire pool.

Regardless of having moon weapons or not, Varuna builds are more potent in terms of damage compared to most Primal builds with no added gimmick (crit, double attack etc). The necessity of Cosmos Axe isn’t there, if you however play Dark and are able to share a Cosmos Axe (especially a PL type for debuff accuracy) then you can save on farming an additional Chev / Lumi Axe and still have a formidable Water Build.

The need to 3* Varuna via Guild War Medals is a limitation and the sharing of materials to 4* Chev / Lumi Axes may be a burden for light users, as each 4* will cost at least 255 Whorls / Genes and 100 Vermilion Stones. Apollo HL is however, a chump and will gladly fall over and die at 5% to give you chalices.

 


 

Now that everything but Light is done, I want to accelerate the pace a bit so I can ‘enjoy’ my Tales of and Celestial Event. Expect some preliminary stuff on light soonish and a full study of it probably between Tales and Celestial.