Have you wanted to pull Barbie but only got a Shantotto? Did you blow your load on Hyoh just to be left with balls bluer than the Lapis you no longer have? Did you really want Wilhelm but only get a Cagnazzo? Well I’m here, a long time lurker and asker of dumbass questions, to let you know whether or not you, got, SHAFTED!
Now, the way this works is I’ll focus the 5★ unit you wanted, and then similar lower units in the meta. I.e., Warrior of Light is a solid tank but Basch and Wilhelm will outperform him. Roselia and Y’shtola can be solid Healers, but would be benched immediately if LM Fina or Ayaka graced your presence.
For purposes of streamlining this, I’ll be using the excellent FFBE Equip tool for stat comparisons, rather than calculations that I’ll inevitably mess up.
Within each role, there’s sub-roles of units that have different effectiveness. Support, for example, has buffs, debuffs, resistances, etc. Tank units have physical and magical coverage, and can be provoke or cover, so on and so forth. For the inaugural edition of what I hope isn’t a waste of time, we’ll be starting off with Provoke tanks, as this isn’t a huge category for me to cover and tanks are a requirement in many trials at the moment, sometimes even necessitating two at a time. So,
Wait, no, last warning: this is a WALL of text.
Alright, NOW let’s get started!
Volume 1: Physical Provoke Tanks
You wanted to pull Viktor Marchenko, but,
I’ll start off by saying I’m really, REALLY glad I pulled ol’ Vicky, because before I got him on the Deus Ex banner (awesome games BTW if you’re into cyberpunk dumbassery and stealth), I lacked a 5★ Tank.
No Basch, Wilhelm, White Knight Noel. And I skipped Chow’s banner like a dumbass because I didn’t read the SYP that week. From June 2016 when I started this game, until the damn Deus Ex banner. Yep. That being said, Viktor is a Provoke tank in a Meta where AoE tanking is preferable, but there’s multiple fights – Vindemiatrix, Diabolos 3★, etc. – where bosses actually have physical ST movesets that make him viable.
To start with, Viktor can equip Daggers, Swords, Axes, Hammers, Throwing Weapons, Guns, Maces, and Fists as far as weapons go., and Light Shields, Heavy Shields, Helms, Light Armor, Heavy Armor, and accessories. With the onset of Steel Castle Melfikya, you’ll be prioritizing Axes, Hammers, Maces, and Fists, as these can roll with increased HP and DEF boosts. I don’t see you running Daggers, Swords, Guns, or Throwing Weapons on him unless you need a particular weapons’ Killers, but we’ll cover that later.
“But wait,” you say. “Joker, Viktor is a tank. Tanks soak up damage for your party, they don’t deal it out!”
Well you see, Viktor is a unique case among Tanks however, because he compensates for his lack of Cover with slot efficiency. Some of which is support, some of which is physical DPS. Let’s have a look-see:
|Role filled||Name||Effect & Duration|
|Debuffer||EMP Grenade||AoE MAG/SPR Break (50%) for three turns|
|Debuffer||Stun Grenade||Same as above, but ATK & DEF|
|Healer||Implanted Rebreather||Self remove all ATK/DEF/MAG/SPR breaks. Cure all Status Ailments to caster (except Stop and Charm). Increase resistance to all status ailments, Stop, and Charm for three turns.|
|Healer||BioCell Restoration||Self recover 10,000 HP and 200 MP|
|Physical Damage||Pro-Augmentation||ST Physical Damage (4x), increase damage against Humans 75% for three turns|
|Physical Damage||Pro-Human||Same as above, but replace the Man-Eater with Machine Killer|
|Physical Damage||Takedown||ST Physical Damage (7.5x) with DEF scaling|
|Physical Damage||Security System||AoE Physical Damage (6.5x) with defense caling. (CHAIN FAMILY: Aureole Ray)|
|Physical Damage/Debuffer||Icarus Dash||ST Physical Damage (18.5x), Lightning Imperil 75% for three turns, has five turn cool down and is available turn five|
|Physical Damage/Debuffer||Plasma Bolt||Same as above, but Fire instead of Lightning|
Please note: I left out P.E.P.S. and Orchid because there is no reason at all to ever use these moves. The former is a low damage move that scales to Viktor’s very low ATK stat, and Orchid is a weird DoT move that won’t ever really be all that significant.
Implanted Rebreather and Biocell restoration mean that when he has a Provoke active, he can take care of himself as well as neutralize any threats of Status ailments. The Grenade abilities offer very passable breaks, albeit split between physical and magical attributes, which depending on the fight, can be more, or less convenient than the usual offensive or defensive Breaks. Fun fact: if you have 9S, you can do a 50% full break in one turn!
Additionally, with Machine Killer and Man Eater (on top of any weapons that you may have equipped, or Esper bonuses), and furthermore, with his offensive skills scaling to Defense instead of attack, Viktor becomes a reliable DPS because his DEF stat, as a Tank, is pretty damn good. Speaking of his Tanking:
|Name||Effect & Duration|
|Confrontation||Self 100% of being targeted for five turns, mitigate damage by 25%|
|Showdown||Self 100% chance of being targeted for five turns, Increase ATK & DEF by 100%, gain 1 – 4 Limit Crystals|
|Augmented TITAN||Self 100% chance of being targeted for two turns, gain 4,000 HP Health Barrier, mitigate damage by 20%, three turn cooldown, available turn one.|
Augmented TITAN is what you’ll use when crossing thresholds during fights, unless you have another source of HP Barriers. Confrontation is the main star here if you have a buffer like eSoleil, eRoy, or MS Nichol to pad your team’s stats, and Showdown is what you’ll use if you don’t, or just want Viktor’s LB, which is the following:
|Hyperion Plasma Blast||AoE Physical Damage (12.1x base to 15x max) with DEF Scaling|
If the boss is weak to Fire or Lightning, and you don’t have Hyoh (hell, even if you DO have Hyoh, for that sweet Imperil), you’ll rather use Plasma Bolt and Icarus Dash over this. Otherwise, considering the DEF scaling, it’s a decent chain capper. Oh and yes, his DEF stats! Let’s have a peek at his passives:
|Cybernetic Prosthesis||Increase HP/ATK 20%, enable Dual Wield|
|Counter||Self 30% chance to counter attacks with regular attack|
|Revolutionist||Increase ATK/DEF 150% for two turns when below 50% HP|
|TITAN Armor||Increase DEF 50% when wearing Heavy Armor|
|Augmented Prosthetics||Increase DEF by 30%, SPR by 20%|
|Secrets of Old Blue Eye*||Increase ATK/DEF by 30%, increase equipment DEF by 40% when Dual Wielding*|
|SPR +20%||I really shouldn’t need to explain this.|
|Mark of the Illuminati||Increase HP, MP, and DEF by 20%, Increase modifier to Pro-Human, Pro-Augmentation, and Takedown by 2x|
*requires his TMR, Energy Converter, to be equipped.
Viktor has a total of 40% in HP passives, DEF in 110% passives, not including the Dual Wield bonuses of an additional 40% equipment DEF (dependent on the DEF stat of what you’re using), 40% in SPR passives, and 20% MP. For a Tank, these are all very solid. Usually on Tanks, you’ll run an HP boosting weapon, with the strongest shield you have, but in Viktor’s case, you’ll prefer to run a Mace, Axe, Hammer, or Fist through Item World, and slap a pair on him for the DW bonus. Broken Arm and Winged Saint are the only two Fists that come with DEF passives, but if you lack these, fear not. Item World will easily allow you to get DEF and HP bonuses that you can slap on Viktor to push his HP and DEF to damn good heights. Some Ideal weapons that come with HP bonuses already are Gigantaxe and Mighty Hammer, which were event items that come with 15% HP. Fangbreaker is a mace that has 15% HP, and the Dragon Quest event gave us the TMR of Sledgehammer, which comes with 20% HP and Man-Eater, all of which are solid candidates give Viktor, Item World or Not.
Finally, let’s have a look at Viktor’s trust rewards:
|TMR||Energy Converter||Increase HP by 20%, DEF by 30%, recover 1,800 (1x) HP per turn, Auto-Refresh 10% MP|
|STMR||Marchenko’s Secrets||Increase DEF by 80% when wearing Heavy Armor, Nullify Sleep, Paralyze, Confuse, and Petrify|
Viktor’s TMR is a solid placement anywhere, but unless you have a spare, you’ll want it on Viktor for the respectable HP and MP boost and the DEF Boost. Viktor’s STMR is an ABSOLUTE UNIT of a DEF passive, the strongest in Global at this time, and the status ailment nullification is nice touch. Typically, you want boosts that do HP/DEF, or HP/SPR depending on the tank, but 80% is so nuts that, I mean, why the Hell not?
Viktor is so beefy at 7★ that he makes a Hell of a Provoke tank. Viktor’s 6★ is good as a Tank, you’d just lose out on some passives, Icarus Dash, Plasma Bolt, Security System, and the formidable HP/MP/DEF/DW bonuses. Just to give you an idea of what to expect, I’ll be placing three examples of him below (neither of which are BiS and only the BiS uses his STMR).
Example one, the “I pulled Viktor and don’t really have shit to give him”:
Left hand: Sledgehammer (DQ)Right Hand: Broken Arm:Head: Grand HelmBody: Force ArmorAccessory one: Shinra BetaAccessory Two: A1 Class PowershieldMateria: Energy ConverterMateria: Mog RiseMateria: HP +20%Materia: Mighty DefenseEsper: Golem
HP: 13,968MP: 482ATK: 560DEF: 1110MAG: 222SPR: 349
The HP and DEF stats is fairly neat here, using the recent Dragon Quest raid TMRs of Mighty Defense and Sledgehammer for additional boosts. Additionally, with 482 MP, you’ll likely be fine on MP unless you’re facing one of those really neat bosses that sucks your MP drier than Charlotte finally getting a date with Lasswell (Hasiko was a poop and you can’t change my mind).
Example two, the “I’ve been playing for a while and I have decent shit to give him”, also known as “NOSjoker21’s current set up”:
Left Hand: Fangbreaker*Right hand: Mighty Hammer*Head: Grand HelmBody: Ozetta’s ArmorAccessory one: Domino’s BootsAccessory two: Fairy’s ScrunchieMateria: Patriotic RecallMateria: Energy ConverterMateria: Mog RiseMateria: H Armor ArtsEsper: Golem
*both of these have been through Item World with the following buffs: Fangbreaker has HP +30%, HP +10%, MP +10% and Mighty Hammer has ATK +10%, DEF +10%, Seal of Life and Arms Lv. 3 (HP/DEF +15%), so for standard purposes, I will bold his stats as they are boosted by Item World buffs, and leave what his stats would be without the Item World buffs in regular type.
HP: 17,853 / 20,914MP: 482 / 485ATK: 509DEF: 1,145 / 1,210MAG: 171SPR: 367
Yes, I was very fortunate on my Fangbreaker. That being said, 17K HP is nothing to sneeze at and 11K DEF is certainly sufficient for most content. If you’ve been dragging weapons through IW, you’ll at the very least score some 5% or 10% buffs to add to your gear, boosting Viktor’s endurance significantly. If you have a second Patriotic Recall, you may prefer that over Mog Rise and/or H Armor arts, it’s up to your personal preference.
The only difference between my Viktor and BiS is Grand Helm+, Imperial Armor, and perhaps a second Patriotic Recall instead of Mog rise. Or, Marchenko’s Secrets if you have it. I ran this through FFBE equip and found that his HP increases by at least 1,000 with Imperial Armor, and his DEF breaks 1,300. YMMV though, depending on what gear you have.
So to conclude Viktor’s analysis: he’s a damn good provoke tank. If you give him weapons with Killers on them, you nerf his Defense slightly but you can significantly synergize his damage output with items like the Limited Gaia Hammer (Machine killer), Galbadian Blade (Machine Killer), and DQ Sledgehammer (Man Eater) to sync with his Pro-Human and Pro-Augmentation move sets. Viktor won’t cover anyone in your party for shit, but he is a VERY versatile unit that can free up duties for other units. Ain’t got Lid or 9S? His breaks are sufficient. No Fire/Lightning Imperil? his 75% Fire/Lighting ones, albeit locked behind a cooldown, are very potent. Need a chain capper? You can provoke turn one then cap chains as needed. You have Lunera? Well, Viktor is a reliable chain partner.
Viktor is a GL exclusive unit, so I’m eagerly awaiting his enhancements to see how Gumi makes him better. I’d love if he got an AoE cover move, but realistically, the Enhancements are probably going to his offense moves, stat passives, and Provoke. Ah well. I can dream.
Now we shall move on from Viktor to cover the original FFBE Beefcake.
You wanted to pull Wilhelm….
Brief pause here. Wilhelm went from Incel Provoke tank to Chad Cover tank with his 7★ upgrade. That being said, his original role is Provoke tank, so I’ll be including him here. Should I get enough feedback on this to do a Cover Tank Role Call next time, I’ll be using Basch, WKN, and Chow as the cover dudes with Wilhelm’s info redirected here. Typing hurts.
Wilhelm’s weapon selection is… not great. He can equip swords, daggers, and spears. Armor wise, he can equip Light Armor, Heavy Armor, hats, Helms, Light Shields, Heavy Shields, and Accessories.
Now, as far as his abilities go, Wilhelm doesn’t have as extensive an Offense move set as Viktor, but he can cover the whole party, has better mitigation abilities, better offensive Breaks, and…. well, yeah. Wilhelm at 7★ has the following flex options:
|Role||Name||Effect & Duration|
|Mitigation||Guard Smite||ST Physical Damage (1.4x), mitigate damage taken to caster by 50% for one turn|
|Healing/Support||Imperial Lance||ST Physical Damage (1.8x) to enemy, [+1 Enhancement raises to 2.3x, +2 Enhancement includes HP/MP Drain]|
|Support||General’s Battlecry||AoE increase ATK/MAG by 50%, AoE increase LB fill rate by 50% for three turns [+1 enhancement increases LB Fill Rate to 100%, +2 Enhancement increases turns active to four]|
|Support||General’s Command||AoE increase DEF/SPR by 45% [+1 Enhancement lowers MP cost, +2 Enhancement raises boost to 70%]|
|Breaker||D Sword Crusher||ST Physical Damage (4x) with DEF scaling to one enemy, reduce ATK by 60% for five turns|
|Breaker||D Rod Crusher||Same as above, but MAG instead of ATK|
|Mitigation||Absolute Defense||Self mitigate 90% of damage taken, four turn cool down available turn one.|
Wilhelm has some sustainability with Imperial Lance, and decent support with the General abilities, even if they’re dated. Absolute Defense is obviously awesome for thresholds, especially if paired with an HP Barrier. Additionally, Wilhelm has very serviceable Offensive breaks that last a comfortable five turns. This is decent synergy with both his rather straightforward Tank abilities:
|Name||Effect & Duration|
|Impregnable||Self 100% chance to be targeted for three turns, mitigate damage 30% for three turns [+1 Enhancement is 35% mitigation, +2 Enhancement is 40% mitigation and lower MP cost]|
|The Empire is With us!||Self 75% chance to defend allies from physical damage for three turns, and 70% damage mitigation for three turns to self|
As well as the metric fuck ton of stat passives Willy has:
|Draw Attacks||Self increase chance of being targeted by 50%|
|Counter||Self chance to counter attacks with normal attack by 30%|
|SPR +20%||This goes without saying|
|Eye for an Eye||Self increase Counter chance (100%)|
|Invincible Heart||Increase DEF/SPR by 75% when HP below 30%|
|HP +30%||I don’t need to do this, do I?|
|DEF +30%||Please see above row|
|Protector||Increase DEF by 25% when increased with Heavy Shield, increase DEF by 25% when equipped with Heavy Armor|
|Overcaution||Heal 340HP (8x) when Guarding|
|Loyal Guardian||Increase LB Guage 3 Crystals per turn, Increase resistance to all status ailments by 50%|
|Imperial Army’s Pride*||Increase DEF and HP by 30%, chance to ignore one fatal attack when HP is above 1%, one time.|
|SPR +20%||Here we are again!|
|Valor||Increase HP/DEF by 20%, 80% chance to counter physical and Magical attacks with Valor (AoE increase LB fill rate by 100% for one turn)|
Well this is a lot. Wily has significantly good HP, DEF, and SPR boosts for sustainability. These combined with the mitigation effects and Absolute Defense every four turns make him a bullet/cannon/nuke sponge at will. Finally, the trust rewards:
|TMR||Shield of the Empire||DEF & SPR +65|
|STMR||Imperial Armor||DEF & SPR +110, HP +20%|
Yeah these are BiS currently for whatever other tank you’d be using, regardless if MAG or SPR tank.Straightforward defensive boosts with 20% HP on the STMR. If you have these, you should be using them. Unless you need Elemental resistance and are using something else.
So big Willy at 7★ is capable of shielding you through some serious shit. Given a “meh” build, this is him at 7★:
Left Arm: Galkan DaggerRight Arm: Shield of the EmpireHead: Grand HelmBBody: MaximilianAccessory one: Shinra BetaAccessory two: A1 Class PowershieldMateria: Mog RiseMateria: HP +20%Materia: DEF +20%Materia: SPR +20%Esper: Golem
HP: 16,225MP: 376ATK: 309DEF: 1,122MAG: 216SPR: 661
Wilhelm’s stats here are certainly good. Unlike Viktor, he has the SPR stat passives to occasionally handle a MAG attack, even if he has no cover for it. Obviously in a pure physical role you’d use an HP or DEF Materia where I used a SPR one, but I digress. Now, a look at him for whales, or people who’ve played a while:
Left Arm: Galkan DaggerRight Arm: Shield of the EmpireHead: Grand Helm+BoBody: Imperial ArmorAccessory one: Bomb Eng. RingAccessory two: Domino’s BootsMateria: Energy ConverterMateria: H Armor ArtsMateria: Patriotic RecallMateria: Mog RiseEsper: Golem
HP: 22,314MP: 376ATK: 339DEF: 1408MAG: 216SPR: 718
In FFBE Equip, his HP value was 310%, so you’re looking at a slightly lower value until we get the 400% cap. That being said, his DEF and SPR values are noticeably higher than Viktor’s. Also, there’s little in the game you have to worry about with his survival passive as well as the rather beefy stats.
So now, dear reader, we get from the part of lovely idealistic results when you press “Summon” and we get to what you actually got. There’s a handful of Provoke Tanks in the game, but for this experimental draft we’ll be overlooking the 5★ max Provoke tanks, and going to the most comparable, role-wise, rather than an in depth look at every freakin’ tank! *read in Carl Brutananadilewski voice*
For the most comparable units, we’ll be looking at Ozetta (Wilhelm Jr.), Cagnazzo (Awkward Turtle), Shatal (I really don’t even know what’s going on here), and WoL (Sinzar and Bitterblue use him so freakin’ much – and so did I, for two years – that even though he’s an AoE Cover tank, we’ll view him as a Provoke as well. I mean, he DOES have a 100% Provoke. Cecil will guest star as the benchmark to know if your 4★ is usable, or if you need to send them to the Shadow Realm known as the bench.
You actually pulled Ozetta
Ozetta in the FFBE Lore, in the war-torn land of Lapis, is Wilhelm’s Protege. She immediately outclasses him in the Weapons department, being able to equip Axes, Hammers, Spears, Whips, and Maces, while being able to wear Light Armor, Heavy Armor, Light Shields, Heavy Shields, Hats, and accessories. The inclusion of Axes, Hammers, and Maces means that Ozetta can take advantage of those sweet, sweet HP?DEF Item World buffs that you can gain if you run those through the Steel Castle.
Ozetta has a handful of non-tank abilities that provide her with some utility, but not that much:
(*signifies JP enhancements yet to reach GL)
|Role||Name||Effect & Duration|
|Healer||Trustworthy Aide||AoE Heal 3,000 (9x) for three turns|
|Mitigation||Guard Smite*||ST Physical Damage (1.4x), mitigate 50% of damage to self for one turn|
|Debuffer||Red Storming||ST Fire Physical Damage (2.5x), Imperil Fire by 40% for three turns|
So, Trustworthy Aide is a Heal that’s there if you need it, the better you have Ozetta’s SPR stat, the more it Heals. Guard Smite works exactly as Wilhelm’s does, and Red Storming is a weak-ish Imperil that’s there if you need it. Shield bash is useless here as it is on Wilhelm, your turn is better spent Guarding. In JP, Guard Smite got Enhanced to 1.8x Modfier at +1 and at +2 it scales with DEF instead of ATK, making her… well, you still shouldn’t use it since the modifier is so low. On to the tank stuff:
|Name||Effect & Duration|
|Defensive Lead||100% chance to protect one ally from physical and magic damage for two turns|
|Mime – Impregnable*||Self 70% chance to be targeted for three turns|
Defensive Lead is a neat move that you can use to manually cover a single unit. Mime – Impregnable works similar to Wilhelm’s, and since Ozetta has 50% Draw Attack, it makes her an effectively 120% Taunt Tank. In JP, Mime-Impregnable got enhancements. At +1, it adds a 30% Damage mitigation, and at +2, it’s 35% Damage mitigation and a reduced MP cost. An okay buff and not very expensive on Gil and Guard Crysts. Speaking of Draw, let’s get to the passives:
|Draw Attack||Self 50% targeting chance|
|HP +30%||I don’t need to tell you what this does, do I?|
|Reduce Encounter||Reduce enemy encounter rate by 25%|
|Overcaution||Heal 340 HP (8x) when Guarding|
|Faithful Protector*||Increase DEF/SPR by 15% when using Heavy Armor, additional boost of the same stat when using Heavy Shield|
Reduce encounter is useful if you wanna avoid trash mobs. Draw attack means that a regular provoke or Mime – Impregnable takes her up over 100% provoke, keep this in mind if you need to micromanage thresholds. Faithful protector got Enhanced in JP, to 20% DEF/SPR boosts at +1 and 25% DEF/SPR boosts at +2. 10% additional defense and spirit is nice, no reason not to get it if you use Ozetta frequently.
Ozetta’s TMR (I’m gonna skip the formatting here) is her armor which has 65 DEF/SPR flat boosts. Solid piece of equipment and “second place BiS” if you don’t have Wilhelm’s STMR. Maximillian, Vaan’s TMR, is a close 62 DEF but none of the Spirit, if you need a similar set of Armor for a physical Tank.
Again skipping formatting, her LB will increase SPR from 80% (base) to 104% (max) to herself, and AoE mitigate damage for all allies 25% – 49%. Ozetta’s a physical Tank so the SPR boost is peculiar, but the AoE 49% mitigation is great for thresholds, especially considering relatively few Tanks have LBs that actually do, ya know, Tank stuff.
So, yes. That’s Wilhelm’s Protege. Let’s take a look at some stats, shall we? Here’s the “meh” build:
Left Hand: Gigantaxe Right Hand: Force ShieldHead: Grand Helm Body: Ozetta’s ArmorAccessory one: Shinra Beta Accessory two: A1 Class PowershieldMateria: Mog Rise Materia: Adventurer IIIMateria: DEF +20% Materia: HP +20%Esper: Golem
HP: 8,669 MP: 291ATK: 300 DEF: 591MAG: 169 SPR: 336
Not bad for a 4★ Tank, considering her DEF/SPR passives only total 30% when equipped with Heavy Armor and Heavy Shield. Cecil, a 3★, and Warrior of Light, everyone’s favorite 4★, have better DEF passives, however.
Now, let’s throw on the “I actually have shit to give her” build:
Left hand: Sledgehammer (DQ)Right hand: Impervious ShieldHead: Grand Helm+Body: Ozetta’s ArmorAccessory one: Domino’s BootsAccessory two: Arsha’s TalismanMateria: Patriotic RecallMateria: Thirst for SurvivalMateria: ResetnmentMateria: Mog RiseEsper: Golem
HP: 12,658MP: 291ATK: 270DEF: 617MAG: 163SPR: 409
With TMRs and decent Trial rewards, Ozetta gets pretty solid. 12K HP is around the limit for 6★ Tanks, and 600 DEF is about the same in that stat category, meaning Ozetta can deal with most of the early content in the game – story, Trial, and otherwise – that would require a Provoke tank, provided said content was released in 2016, 2017, or VERY early 2018. Additionally, her SPR is… decent, meaning she can possibly take a stray MAG hit or two (do note I did NOT say mag hits) and survive. Her HP and DEF is overkill for most of the early content so if you pulled Ozetta and needed a provoke tank to clear up your backlog for early Trials in the Chamber of Fallen/Arms/Indignant, she’s very serviceable with this setup.
Furthermore, with the onset of Item word, you can get HP/DEF passives on gear, so you can potentially shove a Fangbreaker, Sledgehammer (DQ), Gigantaxe, etc., on her with increased passives for a bit of a cherry on top.
Now then, the fun part: did, you, get, SHAFTED?
Purely for the ability to acquire her TMR, which is the most balanced armor set in the game for a Tank if you don’t have Wilhelm’s STMR, she’s already a good pick. Her cover obviously isn’t AoE, but the ability to manually pick who you want to shield can be excellent for fights where every unit except one can survive thresholds and you need Ozetta to cover the little guy or gal from being stomped. Additionally, her Provoke is the standard three turns, and if you have another unit using damage mitigation, you can just guard with her while the provoke is active and you won’t lose a step. Also, due to her innate 50% Draw, you can throw some Taunt gear on her to potentially reach 95% taunt (Moogle Plushie and K Producer Jacket), but you’d lose out on her 30% DEF/SPR bonuses from Heavy Armor and shield.
And for all us scrubs who view Bitterblue’s and Sinzar’s “guides for you losers who can’t git gud”, Ozetta is usually a solid choice for whatever Provoke tank these absurdly tactical heathens are using. But you don’t an Ozetta, you say?
You pulled Cagnazzo
Cagnazzo in the Final Fantasy lore is one of Golbez’s Fiends, representing the element of water. Now, Cagnazzo provides the exact same role as Ozetta, Snow, etc., that being an ST Provoke/Draw Tank.
Cagnazzo is the first tank we’ve covered to have innate element gimmicks, being 20% resistant to Fire and Water, while 20% weak to Electric and Ice… he’s a Water demon so part of this makes sense and part of this doesn’t. Gumi’s infinite wisdom confounds me yet again.
As far as status ailments go, Cagnazzo gains resistance to Sleep, Silence, and Paralyze as you level him. Meh.
Weapon wise, our Awkward Turtle can equip Fists, and… nothing else. Hmm. I suggest taking Broken Arm or Winged Saint (if you have it) and running it through Item world for HP and DEF buffs, because otherwise, this is pretty damn bad. If you weren’t around for these items’ events, take your favorite Fist weapon and drag that through Item world then, it’s the best you can do.
“But Joker,” you say, “I can use Nani’s TMR, Equip Axe, and then throw a Gigantaxe on him, or just enhance an Axe I like!”
Well, I don’t recommend that, and there’s a good reason why. Cagnazzo’s Armor options are limited to Helms, Light Armor, Heavy Armor, accessories, AND, in the Carl Brutananadilewski voice, NO FRICKIN’ SHIELDS!
Using one Materia slot to equip a unit with something they normally can’t use gimps you slightly, but usually the gear makes up for it. Using TWO materia slots to outfit a unit properly is usually a big hurdle, especially when you want to give your Tank HP or DEF/SPR as needed. The combination of few decent Tank weapons AND no Shields is a setback, but… well, yeah. Unlike Ozetta, WoL, Cecil, Libertus, and even freakin’ Shatal, Cagnazzo is gimped out of the box simply because of bad selection choices.
Cagnazzo despite his awkwardness has some side utility if you have him on the field:
|Role||Name||Effect & Duration|
|Support||Hardened Carapace*||Self increase DEF/SPR by 40%, enable access to Fortified Carapace one use|
|Breaker||Hydro Wave||AoE Water Physical Damage(2.5x), decrease ATK by 50% for three turns|
|Support||Water Barrier||AoE Increase DEF/SPR 50% for three turns|
Hydro Wave is a serviceable ATK break if you need it. Water Barrier is outdated but it’s there. Let’s get into Hardened Carapace though, it’s a set up move which unlocks Fortified Carapace for one use, which increases Cag’s DEF/SPR by 80% for three turns and in turn, unlocks Armored Carapace which increases his DEF/SPR by 120% for five turns, which is a good buff, locked behind two turns. If you have Soleil, Roy, MS Nichol, etc., this move is useless and you can just use the Tank set:
|Name||Effect & Duration|
|Collecting Water||Self increase targeting chance by 100% and increase LB by 20% for one turn.|
|Defensive Stance||Self increase targeting chance by 50% for three turns, skip next two turns, self heal 2500 HP (3x) over three turns to caster, Mitigate damage by 60% for three turns to caster|
Cagnazzo’s LB is an AoE water attack. Thus, you won’t use Collecting Water. Defensive Stance is neat because standard Guarding mitigates damage by 50%, and this mitigates by 60%. You won’t be able to use him for two turns, but on those turns he’d be guarding anyway. And yes, 50% increase in targeting is sufficient for his Provoke because:
|Conspicuous Existence||Increase DEF/SPR by 20%, increase targeting chance by 50%|
|SPR + 20%||Please see description for “DEF +30%”|
|Extreme Measures||Increase DEF/SPR by 75% when HP is below 10%|
|HP +20%||You’re gettin’ more health, bud.|
|Archfiend of Water||Nullify sleep, silence, and paralyze, recover 3% MP per turn|
|Final Struggle||80% Chance to ignore fatal damage when HP is above 30% once.|
Cag has 50% DEF passives, which is okay. The HP boost is nice and he comes with 40% SPR boost as well. Extreme Measures and Final Struggle are nice for when you get hit with an unexpected nuke, Archfiend of Water provides a needed Auto-Refresh. Passive wise, for a 4★ these aren’t bad. Not listed here are his Counters, Hold and Silence, which are 40% chance to inflict Paralyze and Silence respectively, but these are forgettable.
Finally, Cag’s TMR (skipping formatting, I’m lazy) is a straight forward stat boost, provides 40% DEF and 25% Water Resistance
So… let’s get to building. If you put “equip L shield” and Moogle Plushie on Cag, he has 80% innate draw which can be useful for preemptive attacks. However, for the builds below, we’re going with maximum stat benefits over Draw.
The “I got a pet turtle and Idk what to feed him build” is this:
The “I got Cag and some leftovers” build is as follows:
Left Arm: Broken ArmRight Arm: Hero ShieldHead: Grand HelmBody: MaximillianAccessory one: Shinra BetaAccessory two: A1 Class PowershieldMateria: HP +20%Materia: Equip H ShieldMateria: Mog RiseMateria: Adventurer IIIEsper: Golem
HP: 8,146MP: 291ATK: 281DEF: 600MAG: 187SPR: 263
All “awkward turtle” jokes aside, 600 is good Defense for a 6★, especially given a used Equip slot. Hero Shield, even though it’s a Trial Reward,is used b/c Octopus Teacher Trial is old and definitely powercrept, and the convenient 20% element boosts nullify Cagnazzo’s weaknesses to Ice and Lightning. This is a very doable set up for most early/mid FFBE content, Raids and story bs, even if his HP is low compared to other tanks.
Note, that without Equip Shield Materia, expect to lose about 30 – 50 points on the DEF stat from the absence of a shield used, but you can put an HP or DEF Materia in place of it to mollify the loss. If you have DEF and HP Materias that are significant (i.e., 20% or better), than you can use these to compensate for a shield. If you don’t have Winged Saint/Broken Arm, and no Equip Materia, expect about 7,500 HP and about 500 DEF.
Now, let’s pimp our carapace:
Left Arm: Broken ArmorRight Arm: Impervious ShieldHead: Grand Helm+Body: Ozetta’s ArmorAccessory One: Domino’s BootsAccessory two: Arsha’s TalismanMateria: Patriotic RecallMateria: Equip H ShieldMateria: Drowned KingMateria: ResentmentEsper: Golem
HP: 10,005MP: 270ATK: 252DEF: 734MAG: 161SPR: 362
This is pretty damn good. I prioritized HP over DEF for this build, so YMMV depending on what you have available, but 10K HP combined with 734 DEF (hell, even combined with the 670 or so DEF he gets if I use another HP boost instead of Cagnazzo’s TMR, Drowned King) is formidable enough to deal with several of the early trials, most raid bosses you can’t OTKO, and is story Overkill. If you get IW bonuses on whatever Fist you run through, then his stats go even higher. Despite his odd weapon choice, statistically, Cag can be solid.
As a side note, if you have Bomb Enagement Ring, Cagnazzo’s HP goes even higher, but this will make him 70% weak to ice. don’t wear this accessory if the boss does ice damage, unless you like the smell of turtle popsicles.
The fun part: Did, you, get, SHAFTED!?
I’m going to say maybe, and it’s conditional: you require an Equip Shield Materia from either an Aurora Key for Sorcerer’s Hideaway (story content, easily available), or Equip H Shield, Charlotte’s TMR, in order to do a conventional tank build. If your’re into odd strategies, you can slap Dual Wield on him and run a pair of fist weapons through IW to farm HP/DEF buffs to make him a stronger tank.
If you’re intermediate or Vet, you prolly have easier Tanks, but you can certainly gear him well. If you’re a new player or otherwise lack the gear and materia to compensate for his weird shield selection, eh… you’re better off using Cecil or Ozetta. And that’s not an exaggeration, Cecil was OG bullet sponge boi in Global for a long while. And you know who eventually dethroned him?
You pulled Warrior of Light
In FF1 lore… we don’t get info on the original heroes. In Final Fantasy: Dissidia Lore, Warrior of Light is entwined with Garland/Chaos, and is himself a blank slate Manakin created by… uh, well, it’s weird. Just know he has ornate armor and long platinum locks and is a damn reliable Tank.
Now, I know that WoL can cover, and if I do a cover Role Call, he’ll feature in that as well. But until he got full 6★ in Global, he couldn’t do the feats he could now. So this will strictly go over his Provoke usage and then I’ll copy and paste his info like a lazy bastard when I do the next review. Cool? Cool.
Warrior of Light comes to us with a 100% innate Light resist to deal with Holy attacks. Neat! His Weapon selection is also quite neat, he can wield Daggers, Swords, Greatswords, Spears, Rods, Staves, Bows, Axes, Hammers, Maces, Katanas, and Fists. Whew. He can use any Tank gear that you’ve ran through Item World.
For armor selection, he can use every armor in game. Hats, Helms, Clothes, Robes, Light Armor, Heavy Armor, H Shields, and L Shields. If it exists and isn’t female Gender locked, WoL can rock it.
Now, WoL for the longest time in GL was the most preferred tank simply because of his utility as a Breaker (yay slot efficiency!)
|Role||Name||Effect & Duration|
|Breaker||Full Break||ST Physical Damage (1.6x), reduce ATK/MAG/DEF/SPR by 30% for three turns|
|Breaker||Armor Eraser||AoE 45% DEF/SPR Break for three turns|
|Breaker||Arms Eraser||AoE 45% ATK/MAG Break for three turns|
|Healer||Raise||ST Revive ally with 30% HP|
Things I left out: Store is useless be/c WoL isn’t attacking, Bladeblitz is DPS’ job, Shining Wave is an AoE Light MAG attack you’d only be using that for “Deal Light Damage missions considering WoL’s low MAG, and Embolden is an outdated 45% ATK/DEF buff but now we have dedicated buffers.
Armor/Arms Eraser have been Power crept by the new 50% – 60% Break Meta, but they’re still definitely usable, and available if your dedicated Breaker had to break a different stat, or simply do something else this turn. Raise is obviously outdated but it frees a move from your Healer if that helps you out. Now onto the Tank stuff:
|Name||Effect & Duration|
|Brave Presence*||Self increase targeting chance by 100% for one turn [Enhancement +1, increase to two turns Enhancement +2, increase to three turns]|
|Light is With Us*||50% chance to protect all allies from AoE Damage with 50% mitigation to self [Enhancement +1: 50% chance to protect allies with 50% – 60% mitigation, Enhancement +2: 75% chance to protect allies with 50% – 70% damage mitigation]|
Standard three turn Provoke. Unfortunately it doesn’t have mitigation, but hey you can always guard the next turn. Nothing unusual to see here. We won’t be covering Light is With Us – his AoE Cover – until we review Cover Tanks. Now for the stat passives:
|DEF +30%||Fun trivia: Cecil has better DEF passives than WoL, but no AoE cover nor innate 100% Provoke, hence his bench warming|
|Undead Killer||Increase physical damage by 50% against Reapers. If WoL is attacking the enemy, something has gone horribly wrong.|
|Sentinel||30% Chance to Cover One Ally from damage with 50% damage mitigation|
|HP +20%||Fun trivia: WoL has better HP/SPR but less DEF than Cecil|
|Hope*||Increase DEF by 100% when HP drops below 30%. [Enhancement +1: Increase SPR by 20%, Enhancement +2: Increase DEF/SPR by 150% when HP below 30%]|
|Warrior’s Pride||30% chance to counter Magic attacks with recovering 25% HP/MP to self|
Warrior’s Pride is cool in a pinch, although ideally WoL won’t be taking MAG hits. Hope is solid and gives you a good buff after the enemy’s turn is over and he’s barely alive. Sentinel is low-tier cover shenanigans, and Undead Killer… you won’t be attacking with WoL. If you are, then the Undead boss enemy has already taken your booty and you’re just flailing about to delay the inevitable while he lubes up for the final act.
Warrior of Light has equally useless LB and TMR. The former is a low level Light Damage attack (you should not be attacking with WoL), which can have use for “kill with LB” missions but little else. His TMR is a dated Materia that gives a 20% ATK/MAG boost and a pathetic regen. You don’t need this.
Now WoL, like Ozetta, and unlike Cag, is very easy to gear in Tank-Friendly equipment to be ran through Item World. Let’s take a “huh?” build:
Left Arm: FangbreakerRight Arm: Force ShieldHead: Grand HelmBody: Force ArmorAccessory one: Germinas BootsAccessory two: Shinra BetaMateria: Mog RiseMateria: HP +20%Materia: Adventurer IIIMateria: DEF +20%Esper: Golem
HP: 8,854MP: 313ATK: 308DEF: 537MAG: 217SPR: 290
Respectable DEF stat for most early/mid content, will handle Raid bosses and earlier Trials/Fallen/Indignant. Let’s make Warrior of Light the Warrior of Lit now:
Left Arm: Sledgehammer (DQ)Right Arm: AsfalesHead: Grand Helm+Body: Ozetta’s ArmorAccessory one: Arsha’s TalismanAccessory two: Domino’s BootsMateria: Patriotic RecallMateria: ResentmentMateria: HP +30%Materia: Mighty DefenseEsper: Golem
HP: 12,191MP: 313ATK: 317DEF: 646MAG: 186SPR: 344
Kitting out WoL with “da good shit” makes him formidable. And there’s always Item World boosts on whatever (ideally) Hammer, Axe, or Mace you give him. Staves can be useful if you want to bump his SPR up, but again, WoL is a physical tank so YMMV. Also unlike Willy and Oz, WoL doesn’t gain benefits from certain gear, so you can kit him however you want. However, did, you, get, SHAFTED?
You didn’t get shafted, you’re just a lazy damn baby who is too scared to jump into the water without the comforting rainbow aura of a 5★, you freaking BEDILE-TIER COWARD!
(in all seriousness WoL is an excellent Tank and is easily geared for 100% Evade, so there’s that too. Something that neither Ozetta nor Cagnazzo can do as easily).
Special credit: NOSjoker21