Friday, May 13, 2016

[FFRK] Cagnazzo U+ and a Relic Reckoning

I'm still playing FFRK, over a year after I started, which makes this the longest I've ever played a mobile game pretty well ever. The next closest would've been Puzzles and Dragons at 270 days.

Clearly the game is still entertaining me. The developers have softened the need for the ye old S/L trick by having the AI unlock attacks in the harder fights as the fight goes on, instead of letting them blast you with their full unmitigated power. Mostly. The latest super difficult fight--Cagnazzo U+--would crush one of my mages for twice their health if I didn't have mitigation up yet.

On the bright side, the Ultimate+ fights only cost a single stamina, so I feel totally free to experiment and change up my strategy. This has made the game more fun for me because now I don't feel obligated to go look up the datamined AI to save myself 60 stamina (3 hours worth). On the other hand, I'm good enough with good enough Relics that even the plain Ultimate fights I don't need to look up the AI anymore.

Cagnazzo Ultimate+ is the same Elemental Fiend from FFIV. The annoying thing with that is despite FFIV's large cast, their ability usage is a little limited. No spellblades, D.Cecil has a tiny moveset, and the entire group is super magic heavy.

In hindsight, a mage party probably would've been a decent option, given Cagnazzo's propensity for countering physical attacks with Stop. Thankfully, my bullheadedness didn't do me in. It just meant Agrias spent 60% of the fight Stopped. Cagnazzo's MND is pretty high.

My FFIV synergy is pretty weak overall. Lots of 3*++ items, but only a couple natural 5* meant synergy wasn't going to help me as much as it does on other fights. Similarly, only taking a single FFIV character also probably didn't help there either. Still, my Relics and my decent armor saved the day.

Name Level Ability 1 Ability 2 Record Materia Soul Breaks
Squall Lv 80 Thundaga S. (8) Blizzaga S. (8) Rebel's Might Fated Circle
Ramza Lv 80 Magic BD (8) Full Break (6) Mog's Teachings Shout
Agrias Lv 80 Thundara S. (10) Saint's Cross (6) Ace Striker Cleansing Strike
Rydia Lv 66 Thundaja (8) Blizzaja (8) Vow of Vengeance Radiant Breath
Garnet Lv 80 Ramuh (5) Dispel (8) Mako Might Divine Guardian
RW: Sentinel's Grimoire

Not looking at the AI meant that I totally missed out on taking Poison, which would've helped a lot. Honestly, I'd consider it over Blizzaga Strike on Squall given the sheer number of times Blizzaga Strike did 0 damage because Cagnazzo decided to activate his water wall.

I got low on Thunder-based hones by the end of the fight. Also missing out on Runic for easy-mode kinda sucks, as it would've neutered his Stop and a lot of his Water spells. Grand Cross would've been even better given his propensity for buffing, too.

You'll notice I didn't take any healing aside from Divine Guardian's Heavy Regen, which was the correct move. Made it a little bit touch and go a couple times, but as long as I kept my mitigation up, it was okay. But Garnet was around largely for her Soul Break, and providing Thunder damage and Dispel. Originally I had her healing, and Agrias used Banishing Strike for Dispel, but I needed a 4th Thunder user just in case things went south and someone was busy at an inopportune time.

So Garnet basically sat on standby, using Ramuh or Dispel immediately when needed, which was quite helpful. The rest was pretty straight forward. I realized after the fact that I was missing Shellga (Garnet's only gives +50% RES, not +100%), but thanks to Agrias' Cleansing Strike, it wasn't a huge deal after the first few rounds while it charged up. All in all, aside from his extreme defenses and rnadom mode switch rendering my Blizzard attacks useless half the time, he wasn't too shabby.

Relic Reckoning

Up until a couple months ago, my Character Relics were pretty pitiful. I had a couple of Medicas, and Planet Protector. Every other character relic I had was crappy one-hit damage ones. Then we had some SSB festivals plus the Final Fantasy Tactics banner and now I'm awash in awesome relics:

Name Realm Soul Break Effect
Luneth FF III Advance +150% ATK, -50% DEF
P.Cecil FF IV Radiant Wings 3 Hits, Holy Physical Damage
Rydia FF IV Radiant Breath 2 Hits, AoE, Holy Magical Damage; Blur 2
Galuf FF V Unyielding Fist Stupid Galuf Solo tricks
Yuffie FF VII Clear Tranquil AoE, 40% Heal, Instant Cast
Aerith FF VII Planet Protector AoE, +50% ATK
Squall FF VIII Fated Circle 3 Hits, 1 AoE Hit, Physical Damage
Rinoa FF VIII Wishing Star+ 5 Hits, Magical Non-Elemental Damage
Quistis FF VIII Mighty Guard (VIII)+ AoE, Hastega, Shellga, Heavy Regen
Edea FF VIII Inaugural Parade AoE, Hastega, +20% MAG
Zidane FF IX Scoop Art 3 Hits, Physical Damage
Garnet FF IX Divine Guardian+ AoE, Hastega, +50 RES, Heavy Regen
Steiner FF IX Sword Art Stock Break AoE, 3 Hits, Physical Damage, Paralyze
Quina FF IX Mighty Guard (IX) AoE, Shellga, Protectga
Rikku FF X Machina Sabotage 4 Hits, Physical Damage, -50% ATK, +50% ATK self
Auron FF X Dragon Fang AoE, 1 Hit, Physical Damage, -30% ATK
Fran FF XII Shatterheart AoE, 1 Hit, Ranged Physical Damage, -50% ATK/MAG
Penelo FF XII War Dance AoE, Medica, +50% ATK
Lightning FF XIII Crushing Blow+ AoE, 5 Hits, Lightning Physical Damage
Vanille FF XIII Oerba's Boon AoE, Medica, Protectga
Hope FF XIII Brutal Sanction AoE, 3 Hits, Non-Elemental Magical Damage, Stop
Y'shtola FF XIV Medica II AoE, Medica, Esuna
Thancred FF XIV Death Blossom AoE, 1 Hit, Physical Damage, Slow
Agrias FFT Cleansing Strike 3 Hits, Physical Damage, -50% ATK/MAG
Ramza FFT Shout+ AoE, Hastega, +50% ATK

As I mentioned, this isn't all of them. Anything that's a plain old AoE or single target with few or no effects are basically not listed. I've been doing the 100 gem pulls, which have gotten me a fair few of those. Only 8 of the above came before I pulled Quistis' Red Scorpion 2 months ago.

To be fair, I had saved up a lot of Mythril for the FFT banner and the SSB fest, so that helped. I also ended up spend $30 for an extra 11-pull on the FFT banner (which turned out to be worth it in hindsight given it got me both Ramza and Angrias' Relics). But I've gone from pauper to prince as far as options go. The game is much, much easier now that I have these relics, for better or for worse.

But it's nice because I can be more creative about what RWs I bring with me, which is more fun for me. But without these soul breaks, I'm not sure I'd be able to down fights like Cagnazzo U+ at all, let alone as relatively easily as I did. I've definitely had some good Relic pull luck, though.

More Fun To Come

The devs keep adding new content, new characters, new systems, so I'll keep on playing. Still having a lot of fun with the game, and I don't see that stopping anytime soon.

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