Darchrow’s Dirt Mound: Burying the hatchet with Earth Builds

Preamble:

Hello again, Darchrow here to continue with my review of each element’s builds and weapon grids.

Before I start with the study I want to talk about a couple of things.

Firstly I have been asked about other elements and when they are ready etc.

My current plan of action is to release the studies in the following order: Earth > Fire > Water > Light. Since a new basis of calculation has been made that I am content with, I want to use the same basis for all calculations, so at the end of it all, I can compare the damage outputs from each element. I preferably do not want to start arguments about which element is better based on damage value alone, however comparisons will be made regardless if I do it or not.

All calculations have been done, I merely have to make a post and help digest the numbers with some analysis and recommendations. I plan to release them in this order because Earth, Fire and Water have very similar formats for study as they have the same weapon skills (just different damage values) as each other. These elements will also have a section for those with Titan, Agnis and Varuna (Primal Summons). Since these elements are much less daunting than Dark and Light are for analysis I decide to give them some more meat.

As for release schedule I do not want to tie myself down with a certain time-frame, but I plan to release these three elements within a week of each other, whilst Light will take longer (probably end of the month). I also want to eventually do some stuff for Grande builds for various elements.

My hope for these posts are to get the more complex and advance stuff out of the way, so I can revamp my Weapon / Summon Optimization and Progression Guide to become more ‘basic’ and keep these post as a reference point for those who have finally understood the mechanics of damage calculation and weapon skills from (hopefully) reading my guide.

Due to present-ability I do not plan to inundate you with my working in these post such as, what your base damage before multipliers etc (which can be seen in the example of Tiamat Guns post) or add all the tables with attack buffs for sensitivity analysis of builds (which I have). I will however bring these up when the balance of power changes when using buffs, this is most germane towards Primal Builds when deciding the amount of Magna / Unknown weapons to use.

 


 

Now to start with the program, I want to give the rundown of the Earth Element, where the Girls are Crazy and the Guys (?) are pretty. I want to make each post standalone, so I will give the same spiel every time before explaining the data.

Now to 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 )
Yggdrasil Sword 2270 2650
Vohu Manah Gun
(Tribunal Thunder)
2165 2530
Bahamut Sword 2470 2885
Bahamut Dagger 2355 2750
Cosmos Gun 2633
Cosmos Sword 2458
GW Sword 2550
(Element Change)
2810
(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)
Poison Hands
(Unknown)
1860
Byakko Fist (Baihu Claw)
(ATK II)
1825 2210

 

Now I’m going to consider some potential builds for Earth 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: 7 Magna : 1 Baha Sword : 1 Cosmos Sword : Byakko Fist

Magna Build 2: 6 Magna : 1 Unknown : 1 Baha Sword : 1 Cosmos Sword : Byakko Fist

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

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

Magna Build 5: 6 Magna : 1 Baha Sword : 1 Cosmos Sword : Byakko Fist : Main hand

Magna Build 6: 5 Magna : 1 Unknown : 1 Baha Sword : 1 Cosmos Sword : Byakko Fist : Main hand

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

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

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

Magna Build 10: 7 Magna : 1 Unknown : 1 Baha Sword : Byakko Fist

Magna Build 11: 6 Magna : 2 Unknown : 1 Baha Sword : Byakko Fist

Magna Build 12: 5 Magna : 2 Unknown : 1 Baha Sword : Byakko Fist : Main hand

Magna Build 13: 6 Magna : 1 Unknown : 1 Baha Sword : Byakko Fist : Main hand

Magna Build 14: 7 Magna : 1 Baha Sword : Byakko Fist : Main hand

 

Primal Build 1: 6 Vohu Gun : 2 Magna : 1 Unknown : 1 Cosmos Gun

Primal Build 2: 5 Vohu Gun : 2 Magna : 1 Unknown : 1 Cosmos Gun : Byakko Fist

Primal Build 3: 4 Vohu Gun : 3 Magna : 1 Unknown : 1 Cosmos Gun : Byakko Fist

Primal Build 4: 4 Vohu Gun : 3 Magna : 1 Cosmos Gun : Byakko Fist : Main hand

Primal Build 5: 3 Vohu Gun : 3 Magna : 1 Unknown : 1 Cosmos Gun : Byakko Fist : Main hand

Primal Build 6: 5 Vohu Gun : 2 Magna : 1 Unknown : 1 Cosmos Gun : Main hand

Primal Build 7: 4 Vohu Gun : 2 Magna : 1 Unknown : 1 Cosmos Gun : Byakko Fist : Main hand

Primal Build 8: 6 Vohu Gun : 2 Magna : 1 Unknown : Byakko Fist

Primal Build 9: 5 Vohu Gun : 3 Magna : 1 Unknown : Byakko Fist

Primal Build 10: 3 Vohu Gun : 3 Magna : 2 Unknown : Byakko Fist : Main hand

Primal Build 11: 4 Vohu Gun : 3 Magna : 1 Unknown : Byakko Fist : Main hand

Primal Build 12: 5 Vohu Gun : 2 Magna : 1 Unknown : Byakko Fist : Main hand

Primal Build 13: 5 Vohu Gun : 3 Magna : Byakko Fist : Main hand

 

All Cosmos Builds will be in blue to help 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 Yggdrasil Magna (Omega) or Titan.

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

 


Yggdrasil Builds

2040027000

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

Build Full Grid HL Grid +99 Grid
Cosmos
Magna Build 1: 473,504 630,936 745,215
Magna Build 2: 479,713 631,233 747,326
Magna Build 3: 468,195 625,804 739,933
Magna Build 4: 466,171 615,312 729,280
Cosmos with Main hand
Magna Build 5: 467,570 616,417 727,330
Magna Build 6: 468,190 608,518 719,700
Magna Build 7: 462,580 619,107 729,627
Magna Build 8: 468,770 619,683 731,958
Magna Build 9: 461,312 601,200 711,833
Non-Cosmos
Magna Build 10: 460,361 615,674 728,181
Magna Build 11: 464,897 613,454 727,629
Non-Cosmos with Main Hand
Magna Build 12: 461,652 601,543 712,694
Magna Build 13: 462,401 611,578 722,546
Magna Build 14: 449,992 603,074 710,560

Cosmos Sword Builds are stronger than non-Cosmos Builds but only by a slight margin, however you also benefit from added utility from the Cosmos Sword such as skill bonuses and additional health. This build however will consider the use of Draph / Human, which limits you to using certain characters. Other candidates for Bahamut weapons are Bahamut Daggers / Guns, for those using characters such as Arurumeiya, Eustace or Catherine.

Using a main hand here affects your damage marginally and is a desirable route to go if you have the opportunity to use weapons such as GW Dagger, GW Harp or specific weapons such as a spear for Dual Impulse (Double Trouble) Holy Saber or Bishop. If you are planning to use a main hand weapon, replacement of Byakko Fist is recommended when using a Cosmos Build. For non-Cosmos Builds, Byakko Fist is always recommended.

Now I will consider the same builds but using Bahamut Dagger ( lowest base damage of the two), as a sensitivity analysis for builds that might use Humans / Erunes, to see how Cosmos Builds still hold-up.

Table 3: Outgoing Damage of each Magna Build at various stages using Bahamut Dagger

Build Full Grid HL Grid +99 Grid
Cosmos
Magna Build 1: 464,349 618,624 731,075
Magna Build 2: 470,204 618,522 732,729
Magna Build 3: 459,070 613,508 725,812
Magna Build 4: 456,854 602,834 714,950
Cosmos with Main Hand
Magna Build 5: 458,474 604,273 713,384
Magna Build 6: 458,851 596,144 705,489
Magna Build 7: 453,730 607,200 715,952
Magna Build 8: 459,578 607,391 717,841
Magna Build 9: 452,034 588,887 697,692
Non-Cosmos
Magna Build 10: 458,947 613,764 726,271
Magna Build 11: 463,453 611,516 725,690
Non-Cosmos with Main Hand 
Magna Build 12: 460,234 599,655 710,806
Magna Build 13: 460,996 609,694 720,662
Magna Build 14: 448,639 601,249 708,735

Cosmos Sword build is slightly weaker and is more in-line with their non-Cosmos counterparts but is still considered an attractive choice for skills and additional health.

For additional study, I will see what happens with the Magna Builds when using Dark Fencer.

Table 4: Outgoing Damage of each Magna Build at various stages using Dark Fencer

Build Full Grid HL Grid +99 Grid
Cosmos
Magna Build 1: 529,166 704,442 832,427
Magna Build 2: 531,226 698,703 827,374
Magna Build 3: 523,671 699,214 827,030
Magna Build 4: 516,638 681,547 807,862
Cosmos with Main Hand
Magna Build 5: 520,641 685,610 810,041
Magna Build 6: 516,492 670,831 794,258
Magna Build 7: 520,082 694,837 820,084
Magna Build 8: 522,404 689,726 815,685
Magna Build 9: 509,296 663,205 786,021
Non-Cosmos
Magna Build 10: 516,814 691,510 818,028
Magna Build 11: 515,412 680,900 807,515
Non-Cosmos with Main Hand
Magna Build 12: 508,675 663,392 786,654
Magna Build 13: 515,924 682,573 807,359
Magna Build 14: 508,197 680,799 803,344

Using a class that is proficient in Swords slightly skews the favour for Magna Build 2 and 7 which uses no Unknowns and 7 Yggdrasil Swords. Magna Build 3 also becomes more in-line with Magna Build 2. The balance between Cosmos and non-Cosmos builds also closes further.

Conclusion:

Cosmos Builds are marginally better than non-Cosmos Builds regardless of what Bahamut weapon you use. If you plan to use a Cosmos Build, I suggest Magna Build 2 and 8. However, with Attack buffs (such as that from Lucifer or Rage) Builds with Byakko will diminish in effectiveness and Magna Build 3, 7 and 8 become stronger options than before.

For non-Cosmos Builds I recommend Magna Build 10, 11 and 13. Builds 10 and 11 only differ slightly but allow you to use less resources to 4* a Yggdrasil Sword and replace it with a secondary Unknown weapon.

Weapon proficiency with Swords allow you to obtain optimal damage without using Unknowns with a 7 Sword Build (Magna Build 1 and 7).

 


Titan Builds

2040084000

Table 5: Outgoing Damage of each Titan Build at various stages

Build Full Grid HL Grid +99 Grid % Health Bonus
Cosmos
Primal Build 1: 427,390 586,768 695,937 194.4
Primal Build 2: 436,743 581,141 689,906 159.5
Primal Build 3: 429,349 573,898 681,061 127.6
Cosmos with Main Hand
Primal Build 4: 426,436 566,657 669,922 127.6
Primal Build 5: 427,925 557,498 660,443 95.7
Primal Build 6: 426,012 571,379 675,646 159.5
Primal Build 7: 435,314 565,956 670,831 127.6
Non-Cosmos
Primal Build 8: 430,404 584,080 693,209 191.4
Primal Build 9: 434,988 594,422 705,171 159.5
Non-Cosmos with Main Hand
Primal Build 10: 441,724 544,140 686,186 95.7
Primal Build 11: 441,091 588,826 697,437 127.6
Primal Build 12: 436,460 579,779 687,020 159.5
Primal Build 13: 427,999 581,375 686,971 159.5

Cosmos Gun Builds are marginally stronger than non-Cosmos Builds, however you also benefit from added utility from the Cosmos Gun such as skill bonuses and additional health with the bonus of having an additional 14.5% Health (increased by 220%) per gun used.

This build does not use any Bahamut weapons and allows for maximum flexibility of race.

Using a main hand here reduces your damage with Cosmos builds to a greater extent than non-Cosmos builds, if you plan to use a main hand that isn’t a gun, a non-Cosmos build is preferable here.

For Cosmos Gun Builds, using a Byakko Fist isn’t recommended once you have transitioned to HL and managed to 4* most of your guns, the 20% Attack Modifier from Byakko Fist cannot compete with the 18% of a 4* Gun and its extra base damage from Cosmos. For non-Cosmos Gun Builds, Byakko Fist is always an attractive choice.

 

For additional study, I will see what happens with the Primal Builds when using Hawkeye.

Table 6: Outgoing Damage of each Titan Build at various stages using Hawkeye

Build Full Grid HL Grid +99 Grid % Health Bonus
Cosmos
Primal Build 1: 467,411 650,848 760,538 191.4
Primal Build 2: 472,491 628,145 746,045 159.5
Primal Build 3: 459,234 613,261 727,954 127.6
Cosmos with Main Hand
Primal Build 4: 459,214 609,166 721,252 127.6
Primal Build 5: 455,865 592,991 703,391 95.7
Primal Build 6: 464,150 621,515 737,097 159.5
Primal Build 7: 469,110 609,128 722,961 127.6
Non-Cosmos
Primal Build 8: 468,593 636,478 755,495 191.4
Primal Build 9: 467,060 638,478 757,847 159.5
Non-Cosmos with Main Hand
Primal Build 10: 465,432 609,071 724,095 95.7
Primal Build 11: 470,985 628,718 745,783 127.6
Primal Build 12: 472,489 627,700 744,958 159.5
Primal Build 13: 462,943 628,561 744,019 159.5

The 25% additional damage from guns granted by Hawkeye keeps the balance of Cosmos and non-Cosmos in-line. Main hand usage for non-Cosmos builds are favoured more than before.

Conclusion:

Cosmos Builds are marginally better than non-Cosmos Builds, these Builds however allow you use a large amount of Vohu Guns for health which gives multiplicative stacking with the health bonus granted by Cosmos Gun. If you plan to use a Cosmos Build, I suggest Primal Build 2 before being able to 4* your weapons and Primal Build 1 for once you have transitioned to HL.

If you are planning to use a non-gun main hand weapon I recommend non-Cosmos Builds, possible builds are Primal Builds 9, 10 and 11. Primal Builds 10 and 11 differ very slightly but build 10 is stronger when you are transitioning from a Full Grid to HL, this however is not the case if you useing a class that is proficient in Guns.

Primal Builds need a more balance build as evident in Cosmos Builds not being as strong in terms of damage since 2-3 Magna Weapons and 1-2 Unknowns is normally required. ATK buffs will favour builds with 3 Magna Weapons, as the spread of damage is more even with less diminishing returns on the stacking of character modifiers (which normal weapons and buffs share with).

 


 

Yggdrasil Builds vs Titan Builds

2040059000

As it stands the damage difference without considering weapon proficiency is around 3-10% unbuffed and 10-17% when using 20% ATK buff (Anat, Lucifer and Bahamut etc).

Titan Builds overall deal less damage without the use of Moon ATK II weapons. These weapons have large attack stats (around 3k for Moon Earth Crit Bow and 3.3k for Moon Earth Counter Gun), cap out at 20% Attack Modifier (unlike 18% of Vonu Gun) and normally come equipped with a secondary skill (such as Medium Critical, Health and Counter etc).

Regardless of having Moon weapons or not, Vohu Manah Guns with Titan grants the player an unparalleled amount of health relative to the damage you can deal compared to Builds using Yggdrasil Daggers or Yggdrasil Staves. The health however could be seen as unnecessary when paired with Medusa’s 20% health or health granted by Cosmos Weapons, but the survivability of such a build should not be overlooked.

Base on damage alone, Titan Builds are the weaker Build but grant an additional flare to your Earth Team without having to rely on getting Moon weapons. The limitation on needing to 3* Titan via Guild War Medals and having to uncap the Guns to gain its health skill, makes Titan builds not for those who do not wish to invest in Earth fully.

 


 

With the look of Earth down, I want to do the same format for the rest of the elements.

Dark is missing a look at Hades (Primal Summon) but on a preliminary look Cerberus Dagger is very anemic when it comes to stats and it doesn’t hold up as well. I will however go back and eventually add an additional section for Hades in my previous Guide once the rest have been added (hint: Its nothing special).

Next Element will be Fire, looking at Cosmos Builds and Non-cosmos builds using Bishop and Oracle. Whilst I will also look at Ifrit Spears using Agnis and consider its critical bonus, see how it compares with each other.