Greetings, Record Keepers! This is Final Fantasy Unionâ€™s Record Keeper Update for July 2016. The Soul Breakout Festival and Dawn Over the Big Bridge events are still going on, but letâ€™s take a look at what the rest of the month has to offer!
If youâ€™re anything like me, the Soul Breakout Festival is going to leave your mythril pouch empty after chasing all the goodies on its banners. Hopefully youâ€™ve pulled some awesome new relics (Iâ€™ve snagged Burst Soul Breaks for Cecil and Bartz so far) for all of your hard-earned mythril and gems. The game marches forward, however, and we have to look at whatâ€™s coming.
Overall I heavily recommend saving all your mythril for festival events. The next festival, as it happened in Japan, was called the W-Burst Festival because each banner featured two related Burst Soul Break - for instance, one included the Bursts for Cecil and Beatrix, both paladins. Festival events feature some of the most prominent and useful relics available thus far, things like Sentinel Grimoire and Platinum Sword; you can get the most bang for your buck here.
There are two main exceptions to this rule. The first is the Lucky Draws that accompany each new Nightmare Dungeon. These are half the price and include items for all characters that can use five star abilities of the relevant ability class - for instance, Juneâ€™s Nightmare was for the Summon class, so every relic for every character than can use 5* Summon spells was available. Thus, Tyroâ€™s relics are included in every Lucky Draw, giving you chances for his excellent soul breaks. At 25 mythril these are great bargains and itâ€™s almost always advisable to make these investments.
The other exception is if thereâ€™s a good relic for one of the characters you use a lot or just plain like. If thereâ€™s something for one of your favourite units, or one that rarely leaves your party, youâ€™re likely to get some use of it. For example I recently took a chance to draw Squallâ€™s BSB because heâ€™s my strongest unit in this game and my personal favourite character. You can also look at investing in your favourite realms, or those for which you have weak synergy.
So in essence, I recommend you hold onto all your mythril until the next festival, sparing some for the monthly lucky draws, unless thereâ€™s something you really, really want for a preferred unit. Whenever something grabs your eye on a new banner ask yourself, â€œif I make an 11x pull here and miss that item, will I be happy with the other featured items?â€ Your answer is more likely to be â€œyesâ€ on a festival banner than on most normal event banners.
Smart use of mythril is one of the easiest ways to increase your overall effectiveness but you should also keep an eye on your favourite charactersâ€™ options. Record Keeper allows some degree of sentimentality, in that you can use almost any sufficiently levelled character and get by until the hardest dungeons, but the highlights of festival banners are incredibly helpful. (For reference, the next festival will likely come in late September or October, so you have some time; I believe I earned in the ballpark of 400-500 mythril between the last festival and Soul Breakout.)
These are my strongest units. Theyâ€™re a mix of characters that I like personally, that are particularly useful in Record Keeper, and that I have unique Soul Breaks for. For example, I have no Unique SBs for Gilgamesh at this moment, nor do I have a greater fondness for him than many other characters below him, but heâ€™s very useful in the Retaliate strategy. Sazh sees a lot of action in my party though I have no particular attachment to him from FFXIII. Meanwhile this list is peppered with characters I love, like Squall, Lightning, and Beatrix. Some of them rank this high despite being flawed or lacking their useful SBs, like Terra. But this type of balance between preference, utility, and soul breaks will maximize your effectiveness and enjoyment of the game. You should save mythril for the festivals, I say, but also ensure you like the units you use most.
New Feature: Record Spheres
About two weeks ago, a big game update introduced Record Spheres to the Global game. These are like Final Fantasy X Sphere Grids for each character that allow you to increase their stats and impart new abilities. For now Record Spheres are only available for a handful of characters but more will be added in each event moving forward; furthermore, they arenâ€™t available until the specific character reaches level 65. (They only have to reach level 65; breaking the second level cap is not required.)
(L) Thereâ€™s only a handful of characters who can use Record Spheres right away, but many more are coming. (R) Tap a node on a Sphere to see what accessing higher levels will reward you. Tyro, for instance, can end up with a permanent 9% bonus to damage dealt against an enemyâ€™s weakness.
To activate each node of a Sphere, special items called motes are required. They come in an array of varieties and levels. 3* motes will be available from completing +/++/+++ level bosses in Event Dungeons. A rarer variety, 4*, will be introduced later this month in special dungeons, used to unlock even stronger benefits. As time goes on more and more of these will be awarded, but for now motes are somewhat scarce, so invest wisely.
Each stat boost may seem small, like a +1 to MND, but all told they can be mighty (especially when combined with Realm Synergy and other bonuses) and they serve as stepping stones toward some truly great benefits. Some characters get permanent resistances to elements or statuses, or boosts to specific type of damage, or even access to higher levels of abilities. Check the Spheres for your best units and see what they can gain.
Julyâ€™s Nightmare: Support - Quad Penalty
Sick of outfitting your team with several abilities to inflict bosses with certain statuses and earn mastery? Ever wished there was a more efficient way to inflict a handful of statuses on a foe at once, not unlike a malboro? The 6* Support ability Quad Penalty is the answer to your prayers, bringing a chance to cause silence, poison, blindness, and sleep all in one.
Characters with access to the 5* rank of the relevant class, Support, are the stars of this show as usual, getting special status in the final battle and being the only ones able to use Quad Penalty once youâ€™ve crafted it. This group includes: Gordon, Edward, Faris, Setzer, Barret, Red XIII, Irvine, Quina, Wakka, Fran, Sazh, Ramza, and Tyro the wonderkid. As mentioned earlier, the Lucky Draw accompanying the Nightmare Dungeonsâ€™ return will feature every relic so far for them.
The final boss of this dungeon is one of my most hated in Record Keeper - Final Fantasy IVâ€™s CPU. This jerk is accompanied by a Defense Node and an Offense Node; one hammers you while the other heals and buffs the CPU. Should both Nodes be destroyed, the CPU will begin insta-killing your party one-by-one regardless of your defenses. As always the key is to defeat the Offense Node and try to minimize the Defense Nodeâ€™s effectiveness while you hit the CPU itself with everything you have. Luckily the Mastery requirements are pretty simple - you only need to reduce its attack, magic, and defense, and this is easily accomplished with a single use of Full Break or the 5* Dance Multi Break. (If you donâ€™t have Full Break by now, hunt down its components and craft it as soon as you can. Not just for this Nightmare, but for every day use. Itâ€™s one of the best abilities around, and your roster should include one of the above characters above level 65 to use it well.)
As always, youâ€™ll need to complete several other difficult battles beyond this Nightmare Dungeon alone to get all the 6* components required for Quad Penalty, and all previous Nightmare Dungeons will be available again.
From this point on, take a look at each realm and see if you can field a full team of characters from it. Since the Braska event there have been challenges requiring you to use a team of realm-specific characters, and this trend will continue for the foreseeable future. Iâ€™ll have more to share about building realm-exclusive teams soon, but for now try to level up a squad for each realm. This will be easiest for almost everyone in FFVII, as it sees the most events and has a decent selection of characters to cover all the bases.
Hereâ€™s a look at the events coming this month (dates in EST and subject to change):
July 5 - FFVII - Second Coming
Unlock a shirtless Wardrobe Record for Sephiroth; Memory Crystal IIs for Barret, Cid, and Cait Sith; and Record Spheres for SOLDIER alumni Cloud and Sephiroth! Sephâ€™s Burst Soul Break relic is also up for grabs.
July 13 - FFIV - A Summoner Grown
The legendary monk of Fabul, Yang, finally joins the fray! He can use 5* Combat, 3* Celerity, and 5* Monk abilities. Unlock an adult Wardrobe Record for Rydia; Memory Crystal IIs for five characters; and Record Spheres for Rydia and Kain. Cecilâ€™s Burst, Paladin Force, is available again here on the Excalibur; if you missed it on banner 1 of Soul Breakout, consider pulling for it here if you can use other items on its banner, as it is extremely useful.
July 21 - FFVIII - Rains of Ruin
In this Seifer-focused event, unlock Memory Crystal IIs for Seifer and Irvine, and Record Spheres for Squall, Rinoa, and Seifer. The young sorceressâ€™ Burst debuts here as well.
July 26 - FFVIII - Mote Dungeon: Fire Cavern
The first challenge for 4* Motes arrives, featuring Ifrit as he appeared in FFVIIIâ€™s first boss battle. This dungeon is rife with challenging bosses and awards these rare items.
July 27 - Nightmare - Support: Quad Penalty
Challenge FFIVâ€™s CPU for the components to build this status-heavy ability, worthy of a malboro!
July 29 - FFV - The Princess & the Pirate
The royal daughters of Tycoon are the stars of this event and earn Record Spheres. Memory Crystal IIs for Krile and Exdeath are also awarded.
Thatâ€™s all for this month, Keepers! Let us know in the comments what your best treasures from Soul Breakout are, and how you like the Record Sphere feature so far!
And as always, you can call on me as a Roaming Warrior if you need a hand! Squall has been my RW for as long as I can recall, but he has been usurped in favour of Cecil and his Paladin Force BSB. Even better, heâ€™s holding a Platinum Shield for added holy damage.
Special thanks to the folks at r/FFRecordKeeper & Kongbakpao for sniffing out this information ahead of time!