Previously I wrote a well-meaning but horrendously styled thesis paper on some 5★ Provoke Tanks and very serviceable units that were, well, 4★ provoke Tanks.
For those of you that are new here, Role Call takes units in a role that you do want – Ideally, ones that can reach 7★ in our new GL Meta – and compares them with mostly tried and true units that are a 3★ base or 4★ base. This time, I’ll round out the Provoke tanks with some limited units, and attempt to say more with less.
Now, before I begin, I wanna address some concerns that I left several units out. I’ll briefly overview some non-limited units I’m not covering, and why:
Snow: Everyone’s favorite target of Lightning’s edginess is rather outdated in the current meta. He can only equip clothes and no forms of armor, his passives – DEF +20% and HP +30% – are “meh” for the former and decent for the latter, and his enhancements made his counters and buffs better, but nothing to give him better chances of surviving. Grab his TMR and go.
White Knight Noel: he doesn’t have 7★ yet, and December is in less than a month and a half. December would likely update him considerably, and he’s already one of the better tanks despite not having a 7★. If you have him, you should be using him.
Libertus: The unit with the best damn LB animation in the game just recently got his 6★ awakening. He’ll likely be a great budget Support/Cover Tank, a-la a better Cecil, after his enhancements, but as of now his Provoke is only one turn long, whereas his Cover is three turns. So when I get to cover Tanks, we’ll do our boy Libertus… same thing for VotE, even though he easily covers both roles.
Shatal: Shatal’s kit is… rather poor. He has a ST cover with decent mitigation, but… ST. So yeah. His provoke lasts for two turns so it needs constant reapply. He’s interesting in that he can serve as both a physical and magic tank, so hopefully his enhancements fix his kit.
Now that I’ve got these guys out of the way, let’s dive in, shall we?
Our newest addition to the GL unit pool came with two shiny new 7★ Tanks, Demon Rain, who gained an additional Provoke and some good stat boosts after exceeding 6★, and Lilith. I’m not covering Magic Tanks yet, and Lilith’s SPR is quite respectable, but her DEF is lacking. So should I come back with the Magic tanks, I’ll be comparing her to the likes of Shylt, Mystea, Chow, Basch, etc.
Now then, a brief overview of our newest Limited Provoke demon boi:
Demon Rain arrives as our newest Physical counter tank. For the uninitiated, this means his job is to soak up hits, then deal damage while generating LB Crystals and Esper orbs on the enemy’s turn. For most counters, this would come with mediocre damage (see Snow above), but Demon Rain’s stat passives and cover/provoke abilities make him sturdy enough to take a beating and decently armed enough to dish one out. At 6★, his main Provoke ability (once enhanced) is Defend, which at +2 is a 50% Damage mitigation three turn Provoke). At 7★, he gains multiple cover abilities as well, changing his role somewhat.
This guide will focus more on the lower star units rather than the ideal unit you want in their stead, so we’ll take a brief look at Demon Rain’s 7★ abilities before proceeding to comparisons:
|Type of Ability||Name||Effect & Duration|
|Tanking||Nether Aegis||75% Chance to AoE Cover with 50% – 70% Damage mitigation to self|
|Debuff||Mark of Flames||AoE 50% Fire Imperil with self imbue Fire to physical attacks for five turns|
|Support||Demonic Surge*||AoE Increase ATK/MAG for 150% for three turns, AoE increase +50% physical and magical Man Eater for three turns|
|Support||Entrust||Fill LB Gauge for Ally|
|Tanking||Molten Armor**||AoE increase Fire and Earth resistance by 75% for three turns, self mitigate 80% physical damage for one turn|
*five turn cool down available turn 5
**four turn cool down available turn one
As we can see here, Demon Rain can capably provide offensive boosts to your team, throw in some good covering and self-mitigation, and Man Eater never hurts when fighting human bosses. Now for stat passives:
|Nether Warden (requires TMR equipped)||Increase DEF/SPR by 50%, increase equipment DEF/SPR by 30% when single wielding weapons, 10% Auto-Refresh, 1800 HP (1x) Auto-Regen|
|Unyielding||Increase DEF/SPR by 30% wearing Heavy or Light Armor, nullify Blind, Paralyze, Confuse|
|Ascendant||Increase HP/MP by 50%, ATK/DEF/MAG/SPR by 30%|
|Horned Guardian||50% Draw Attacks, increase ATK by 50% and DEF/SPR by 30% when wielding sword, greatsword, hammer, or mace.|
|ATK +20%||Free attack boost!|
|Demon Lord||Increase HP/DEF by 20%, 100% chance to ignore fatal damage one time when HP is above 1%, once.|
These are pretty damn beefy. Nether Warden, Unyielding, Horned Guardian, and Demon Lord all make him excellent at being a whipping boy, the ATK passives help him chip away at HP bars when it’s not your turn, and Demon Lord’s 100% chance to survive a mulligan hit will never NOT be useful. I’m gonna skip formatting for his LB, which is an AoE fire nuke that Imperils Fire by 74% at base to 104% at max, which has usefulness depending on your fight.
|TMR||Infernal Armlet||ATK/DEF +20%, Earth/Fire Resistance +20%|
|STMR||Demon’s Gambit||HP +30%, increase accuracy by 25% and ATK/DEF by 50% when single wielding any weapon|
His TMR is a bit dated but still fits him as a provoke tank. His STMR is a great HP boost and offers excellent equipment stat boosts when single wielding.
Now let’s throw a “meh” build on him, and see what you get:
L Arm: Force Shield
R Arm: Fangbreaker
Head: Great Helm
Body: Force Armor
Acc 1: A1 Class Powershield
Acc 2: Muscle Belt
Materia: HP +15%
Materia: DEF +15%
Materia: Adventurer II
Materia: Mog Rise
HP: 17,014 | MP: 516 | ATK: 616 | DEF: 900 | MAG: 328 | SPR: 507
Using older and dated equipment, Demon Rain hits a very good HP stat, a fine DEF stat, okay-ish ATK for counter hits, and his SPR is fairly decent for the occasional magic hit (note I did not say Magic HITS)
Now let’s throw a “I GOT TANK SHIT” build on him:
L Arm: Sledgehammer (DQ)
R Arm: Impervious Shield
Head: Great Helm+
Body: Ozetta’s Armor
Acc 1: Arsha’s Talisman
Acc 2: Domino’s Boots
Materia: Patriotic Recall
Materia: Resentment (can be subbed with any HP +30% Materia)
Materia: Energy Converter
Materia: Mog Rise
HP: 23,037 | MP: 516 | ATK: 653 | DEF: 1,012 | MAG: 297 | SPR: 577
Now, I wanna stress that there’s a 5★ Limited TMR here (Viktor Marchenko’s Energy Converter), but we can see that although Demon Rain doesn’t gain the DEF beefiness of Viktor or Wilhem here, he handily exceeds them in the HP department. Additionally, 1,000+ defense is no slouch stat. So yes, Demon Rain will happily soak up AoE and ST damage, dish out some revenge on the enemy’s turn, and give you some pretty cool buffs when you need them. Solid guy! Also, this build doesn’t take IW into account, so keep that in mind.
Speaking of 1,000 DEF, usually only achievable by a fuck ton of TMRs, or on 7★ units, you wanna hear an exception?
Liquid Metal Slime
Do you like units with goofy-ass stares that do one job and do it well? Then do I have the unit for you!
Liquid Metal Slime, assumed as the real prize on the DQ banner before Dragonlord showed up with Kafrizzle +2 and proceeded to become the de facto MAG nuke to match Olive’s ATK Nuke role (fun fact: Dragonlord at 1,000 MAG with a Draco Spike can OTKO Bahamut without a chain, and if he survives Glacial’s preemptive, he can OTKO Glacial as well)
This section will be very abbreviated because Liquid Metal Slime’s only role is Tank. No buff, support, debuff, etc. He is ONLY in the party to Provoke hits and guard. You’ll see why.
LMS has no status ailment resistance. He can only equip Accessories innately, has no Materia slots, and has innate 80% Physical and Magical damage mitigation. He doesn’t have individual stat passives like other units, just one that’s expansive:
|Passive Ability||Effect & Duration|
|Metal Body||+50% All elements resist|
|Metal Body +1||+50% all elements resist and +30% physical evade|
|Metal Body +2||+50% all elements resist, 30% physical evade, +30% ATK/DEF/MAG/SPR and gain 5 LB Crystals per turn|
His other abilities are Magic Attacks, Boom > Bang > Kaboom, and Sizz > Kasizz > Kasizzle. You won’t ever use these, because LMS isn’t your DPS… unless you have a “Deal lightning damage” mission, but you have DPS for this.
Rounding out his tanking abilities is his LB.
|LB||Effect & Duration|
|Metal Protector||Self three turn 100% targeting chance, Nullify all status ailments except Stop and Charm|
LMS’ LB has the same effect from 4★ to 5★, only the amount of LB crystals changes. At 4★, it’s 14 base and 9 maxed. At 5★ max level, it’s 12 needed for base and 8 crysts needed at max. Due to his Metal Body +2, it’s feasible to constantly have his LB ready, with you guarding on off turns. This… is pretty much all he needs to do, as he has no Breaks, Imperils, Support, etc. Item usage and tanking are all you need him to do.
Builds for LMS will change based on your fight. At base, with Metal Body +2, which I highly suggest you enhance if you plan to use him, here is the base, minus the bonuses from Golem:
HP: 600 | MP: 50 | ATK: 150 | DEF: 1298 | MAG: 410 | SPR: 650
Defense easily is 7★ level, and his SPR is comparable to a Mystea/Shylt geared for an element fight (if you’re looking at an elementless MAG fight, Shylt and Mystea can hit 10K HP and exceed 700 SPR). HP is quite lacking, so if you have the Carbon Bangle from the Cloud’s first MK Event, I suggest you slap that on him to double his HP. Some other noteworthy HP Accessories are the Bomb Engagement Ring (+30% HP), Arsha’s Talisman, Fairy Scrunchie, and Domino’s Boots (all +20% HP), rounding out with Germinas Boots and Vitality Apparatus at +15%. There’s a handful of 10% HP accessories, but… try to do better.
Now, at least ONE of your accessories should boost his HP. The other? You don’t need a Ribbon on him because his LB handles that, Safety Bit may be necessary for certain fights though. Gauntlets, available from the Georl Chocobo shop, give units the ability to use Light Shields. Some notable ones for LMS are:
Liquid Metal Slime Shield, his TMR, offers +49 DEF and nullifies Poison, Sleep, Paralyze, Confuse, Virus, & Petrify
Moogle Plushie allows him 100% provoke with Golem’s standard 70% Provoke before his LB is ready
Escutcheon (however the FUCK that’s pronounced?), Ramza’s STMR will boost DEF/SPR by a flat +60, give 15% HP, and with +20% all element resist, brings LMS up to 70% all element resist. This is significant.
Asfales, from Elifakeras trial, adds 10% HP, +45 DEF/SPR, and +30% Water, Wind, and Earth resist for a total of 80% in those categories.
Light Shields will mostly offer modest defensive boosts with some element resists thrown in. LMS can easily be geared as an elemental provoke tank, with 50% innate all element resist, plus whatever buffers you have (eMinfilia, eMarie, MS Nichol, Lexa, Barbariccia, etc.) Honestly, LMS can be geared as you see the need to. Remember that certain accessories have element resists built in, so you can skip the HP boost and go full element immune in a few cases as necessary, provided you account for any of the bosses’ Imperils.
So you have LMS but not a 7★ Provoke Tank. Did you get shafted?
His DEF stat isn’t power crept yet (provided you fully enhance Metal Body to +2), and even at 600 HP, taking the 80% mitigation into account means he can occasionally keep up with content. I toyed around with using him in trials and found him reliably surviving turns with Glacial*, Wicked Moon, Sheratan, Alhena, etc, but eating shit in Scorn of Antenolla, Venemous Vines, etc. Wanna boost his success? If you have a unit with HP barriers, for example, 7★ Ayaka, you can effectively quintuple his HP while keeping his very good DEF stat. That’s at least 3,600 HP if you don’t boost his HP with accessories, so he has good synergy with HP barrier tactics, provided you can keep them up.
*if Glacial is still in your backlog and you have LMS, VotH, a Summoner Healer, and at least a DragonLord or Olive friend, you should go fuck Glacial up and get that Frozen crown. I OBAMA’d the bastard with LMS, VoTH, Yuna, Shylt geared for 100% Ice and Wind resist, and a Dragonlord Friend. You can obviously sub Garnet, Eiko, or CG Citra for Yuna.
Now, on to our third non-human Tank today.
Barusa in GL, unlike his JP counterpart and LMS, is currently a 6★ Max.
Our scaly friend has no innate ailment resistance until he gains Paralyze and Confuse resistance at Lv 10/6★. He has 20% Earth Resistance, which is meh, but it’ll be 70% since you’re likely going to stick him on Golem.
He can equip daggers and fists, which is rather poor, but since we have Item World in GL, you can farm HP, DEF, and SPR boosts as needed. His Armor selection is better, being able to equip L Shields/Armor, H Shields/Armor, Hats, Helms, and Accessories. Pretty solid.
Additionally, the Grasping Sphere from the King’s Knight event gives him the exclusive ability of Carpet Bomb, which is a weak Earth AoE attack with a self 50% DEF buff for two turns. There’s better buffs, but the shield provides 133 HP, DEF/SPR +23, and 30% Earth resistance, meaning you can have Barusa immune to Earth attacks fairly easily if you put this on him. I say use Asfales instead, but… to each their own.
Barusa has a handful of Support abilities, mostly defensive focused:
|Role||Name||Effect & Duration|
|Sustainment||Battle Boons – Cure Status||Self cure all status ailments, nullify status ailments for three turns.|
|Support||Force Field – Magic*||ST mitigate MAG damage by 25% to one ally and increase SPR by 80% for three turns [Enhancement +1: mitigate MAG damage by 30% and increase SPR by 100%, +2: increase SPR by 120%]|
|Support||Force Field – Attack*||Same as above, but ATK damage and increase DEF by same [Enhancements: same verbage but applied to physical damage and DEF boost]|
|Physical Attack||Primeval Howl||ST Earth physical attack (3X) with DEF Scaling|
30% is… not great, but it’s there. The DEF/SPR boost is nice if you don’t have a buffer, the base 80% is dated UNLESS you don’t have a 5★ support unit, whereas the +2 value of 120% is tits in the current Meta. Battle Boons has obvious benefit and removes the need for a Ribbon. Primeval Howl is only included here because it scales to DEF, so it’s not useless.
He has Embolden if you’re desperate, and an AoE Earth attack named Trample that scales to ATK, so useless. Now on to Tank stuff!
|Name||Effect & Duration|
|Adventurer’s Guardian*||Self 100% targeting chance for two turns, mitigate damage to caster by 20% [Enhancement +1: mitigate damage by 30%, +2: increase duration to three turns]|
|Protector of Olthea*||50% chance to protect all allies from physical AoE damage with 50% mitigation to self for three turns [Enhancement +1: 60% chance w/ 50% – 60% Mitigation, +2: 70% chance w/ 50% – 70% Mitigation]|
Adventurer’s Guardian has a mediocre mitigation mod, but I mean, we’ve all used WoL here and he has no mitigation on his provoke at all, so it’s nice that it’s there. If Barusa’s your Tank, enhance this, just for the duration boost. Protector of Olthea goes from “meh” proc chances to respectable proc chances and mitigation, so if you’re using Barusa, enhance that too.
Scaly boi also has some okay passives:
|Gigant||Increase HP/DEF 20%|
|Dragon Killer||Boost physical damage 50% to dragons.|
|Master of Spheres||Increase HP/DEF by 30% when equipped with a shield.|
|Draw Attacks||Increase target chance by 50%|
|Trusted Buddy||Increase MP by 30% and nullify Confuse & Paralyze|
|Defensive Prowess||Increase DEF/SPR by 50% when below 50% HP|
His DEF passives are comparable to Cagnazzo, his HP is decently boosted as well, MP buffs are always nice and… you shouldn’t be using his Dragon Killer. Barusa’s TMR, Cowered Courage will additionally provide a DEF/Earth Resistance +30% if you need, and the ability Primal Instinct, which is a three turn AoE physical damage 30% mitigation. Rounding out his abilities is a physical AoE fire attack LB with 74% Fire Imperil at Max. If you need it, use it. If you have Imperil units already, ignore it.
Now let’s try a budget build:
L Arm: Broken Arm
R Arm: Force Shield
Head: Grand Helm
Acc 1: Vitality Apparatus
Acc 2: Shinra Beta
Materia: HP +15%
Materia: DEF +15%
Materia: Cowered Courage
Materia: Mog Rise
HP: 8,871 | MP: 333 | ATK: 257 | DEF: 662 | MAG: 161| SPR: 194
Barusa lacks the SPR to be dealing with magic damage but his DEF sits at a very capable 662. His HP is okay here as well, meaning that for most content (not necessarily current trials) he should be able to reliably, well, not die. If you don’t have Vaan’s TMR, throw on Force Armor instead. Note that this build is 100% Earth immune.
Now the baller build:
L Arm: Galkan Dagger
R Arm: Asfales
Head: Grand Helm+
Body: Ozetta’s Armor
Acc 1: Domino’s Boots
Acc 2: Arsha’s Talisman
Materia: Cowered Courage
Materia: Patriotic Recall
Materia: Resentment (can be subbed with any HP +30% materia)
Materia: Mog Rise
HP: 12,462 | MP: 333 | ATK: 245 | DEF: 718 | MAG: 161 | SPR: 314
This is a very capable build. Asfales helps with the Wind weakness from Golem, but you can use any comparable shield, although likely losing the HP bonus unless you have Ramza’s STMR. 12K HP is excellent for a 6★ Tank and 718 DEF is only slightly lower than Cag’s Baller build.
Now, you have a Barusa you’ve never used and you wanna dust him off. Did you get shafted?
Not even close. Barusa is a very capable support tank with – albeit ST – great defensive buffs and “meh” mitigation. On turns he isn’t activating his Provoke or Cover, he can boost himself or your weakest link, and if you already have a buffer doing that, well shit: just guard.
Thus concludes (I think?) the Limited units that qualify as provoke tanks.
Special credit: NOSjoker21