[FFRK] Musings, Ultimate Gigas, and Nightmare Ultima Buster

Happy 1st anniversary Final Fantasy Record Keeper. This would mark the longest span a time that a single one of “these” apps has ever held my attention. With the anniversary gifts and what have you, I once again have mithril to spend. I had considered forgoing the lucky draws earlier this month in favor of saving all of my mithril for either SSB Fest Banner 5 or FFT. Ultimately, I ended up caving in and getting supremely lucky by pulling both Crescent Wish (Selphie: Medica + Avoid one magical attack) and Sage’s Staff (Lenna: Hastega + 30% Boostga). So at this point I have a natural medica and hastega/boostga .

So the question is, do I go for Sentinel’s Grimoire from SSB Fest or Scream from FFT? I was thinking that overall, SG will add the most utility to my team, particularly since I have several Boostga SBs. If by the good graces of RNGesus I do happen to pull SG, all leftover Mithril without blowing the entire stash, if any, will go towards pulling on FFT. I currently have enough mithril for 3 11x pulls. Given that dungeon update #20 is due out on the same day as banner 5, I may have enough for 4 pulls, but we’ll see.

Ultimate Gigas

Several S/L’s because of bad RNG before mitigation was set up. Aside from that, it’s a relatively straightforward fight if you can manage the massive damage output. Personal goals for this encounter were to use both Blind Shell and Thief’s Revenge since both are fairly new abilities that I had bothered honing (Thief’s Revenge in particular).

 Character  Weapon  Ability 1  Ability 2  Record Materia
 Cloud  Gaia Blade (II)  Lifesiphon  Blizzaga Strike  Ace Striker
 Zack  Bladefire Saber (XIII)+  Lifesiphon  Temp Flurry  Knight’s Charge
 Zidane  Ultima Sword (IX) Thief’s Revenge  Blind Shell  Pride of the Red Wings
 Selphie  Power Staff (V)  Curaja  Shellga  Dr. Mog’s Teachings
 Lenna  Sage’s Staff (V)  Renewing Cure  Heathen Frolic  Mako Might

Roaming Warrior: Tyro (Sentinel’s Grimoire)
Notable Soul Breaks: Blade Beam, Air Strike, Dreamstage, Flames of War

…in retrospect, I should have leveled Lock a bit more and used him instead of Zidane. Mitigation was setup ASAP then slow/blind for the medal requirements. After debuffs were applied, the Gigas’s were focus fired downed in the following order: Fire -> Ice -> Thunder (least to most HP).

The medal requirements were nerfed hard. I did not reapply the second charge of SG in time, ended up losing both Zidane and Zach at some point, and only lost 1 medal for party members KO’d. Zack’s stun all SB is great, but I really wish that I was able to use it more than once. As always, Boost + Blade Beam spam saves the day.

Nightmare Ultima Buster

I forgot to cast waterja on the sphere. Whoops. Otherwise, no medals lost. Easy gimmick, mage meta for the win. Well, given that physical attacks are countered with death + massive synergy for mage characters, there aren’t too many other viable party configurations I guess. Wall and Shellga were way sufficient for mitigation to the point where healing was probably not even needed. Hastega > Wall for your RW in my opinion because of the soft time limit in all phases.

 Character  Weapon  Ability 1  Ability 2  Record Materia
 Rydia  Magistral Rod  Valefor  Thundaga  Impetuous Youth
 Terra  Oak Staff  Waterja  Thundaja  Vow of Vengeance
 Rinoa  Valkyrie (VIII)+  Firaja  Drainga  Witch of Succession
 Tyro  Cardinal (VIII)  Flare  Firaga  Devotion
 Lenna  Crescent Wish (VIII)  Curaja  Shellga  Dr. Mog’s Teachings

Roaming Warrior: Tyro (Sentinel’s Grimoire)
Notable Soul Breaks: Flames of War

Phase 1: Apply mitigation and get him down to 80% to start phase 2 ASAP. If I recall correctly, you have about 3 to 4 turns to do this before he meteors his party. His resistance seems pretty low so this phase shouldn’t be much of a problem with a half way decent mage party.

Phase 2: Ultima Buster gains a non-dispelable reflect and will counter all AOEs with death unless they are specifically marked as not being counterable (summons are okay and also count towards the non-elemental requirement). So in other words: Focus all attacks on the mana sphere.

  • When a spell is cast on the Mana Sphere it will react with a different counter depending on the type of spell cast. For both fire and thunder based spells, Ultima Buster will take damage equal to 10x damage that the sphere has taken.
  • The general idea is to not kill the sphere and do as close to 900ish damage as possible (900 damage on the sphere means 9000 damage to Ultima, 10*900=9000).
  • The sphere will periodically charge Ultima. When he receives 4 charges, the sphere will die and phase 3 will begin. The idea is to never enter phase 3.
  • Multi-hit single-target fire/thunder SB’s work well.

Phase 3: If you have the misfortune of getting to phase 3, DPS him down as fast as possible. Everything that he does is effectively a OHKO. Magical Blink will negate one of his -ajas.

In a nutshell: Get him to 80% to start phase 2. Once the sphere appears, hit it was a water/fire/thunder spell to make the medal requirement, continue to spam fire/thunder.  He does piddly damage with wall + shellga during phase 2 to the point where healing wasn’t really necessary. So if you are pressed on damage/don’t have Hastega, it may be worth not bringing a healer. With synergy, Rinoa’s had 523 MAG and was doing 2k damage to the sphere per -aja cast. In retrospect, I could have swapped out firaja with a lesser fire spell.

[FFRK] Ultimate Adel

One shot. If I had to rank bosses, I would have to say that Adel was easier than Maduin, who at least had a gimick. Adel was pretty just 100% physical DPS brute force. Since she deals out 100% magical damage and punshes magical damage with a drain counter, not a very hard party to compose. Continuing with my glove curse, I pulled yet another 5* glove during Banner #1: Gauntlet. It has an okay Soul Break (3*171% single target physical hits with haste/protect/shell) but for a B-List mediocre character. Decent enough damage with Synergy + Lifesiphon + Knight’s Charge though.

 Character  Weapon  Ability 1  Ability 2  Record Materia
 Cloud  Blitz Sword (VIII)  Lifesiphon  Drain Strike  Ace Striker
 Zell  Gauntlet (VIII)  Lifesiphon  Dismissal  Knight’s Charge
 Pecil  Blazefire Saber (XIII)+  Armor Strike  Banishing Strike  Bastion
 Irvine  Ras Algethi (XII)  Magic Breakdown  Full Break  Master Sniper
 Aerith  Sage’s Staff (V)  Curaga  Shellha  Dr. Mog’s Teachings

Roaming Warrior: Tyro (Sentinel’s Grimoire)
Notable Soul Breaks: Blade Beam, Meteor Barrage, Planet Protector

Shellga + Full Break + Magic Breakdown + Sentinel’s Grimoire effectively neutered Adel for most of the fight. In summary: Set up mitigation as soon as possible, build up your SB gauge, reapply wall/shellga at about 50% health, then go to town with SB/SSB spam. As always, Planet Protector + any multi-hit SB with a decent multiplier is MVP this fight.

Adel’s AoE spam duirng the weak and very weak phases of the fight still hurts with full mitigation (around 1.3k damage or so to all characters). I didn’t find it very hard to single target heal through and it shouldn’t be a problem as long as you can burst her down.

Sidenote: I am really really really bad at saving mithril. 😕

[Gardening] My Succulent Collection

I have noticed recently, that as I grow older (more specifically, as my free time shrinks), the less I am interested in gaming in front of a computer. I guess that isn’t really a bad thing, but it is probably the reason why I post here about once a week at most.

Now that the weather is getting warmer, gardening can ensue. We have been in the house for a little over a year and the backyard is still kind of a mess, aside from my small corner of potted plants. Truth be told, one of the reasons for my love of succulents is the fact that they require very little maintenance. The primary reason of course being that they look cool/weird. Here are a couple of plants from my succulent collection that I am particularly fond of:

Echeveria (Elegans?)

I am pretty sure that these succulents are in the echeveria genus, but I am not 100% sure what species. They are from my wedding bouquet and grow/flower like crazy with very little maintenance other than placing them in a spot that receives sun and splashing them with water once in a while during peak hit in summer.

I have noticed that one of the flower stalks is infested with little black bugs. The bugs likely seem to be isolated to just one stem and have not returned since pruning them off.

Lithops (Living Stones)

Before Winter (October) and after Winter (March). When I had purchased these plants at Lowe’s, I didn’t have high hopes for them surviving through the Winter because the looked a little bit scarred or possibly split from overwatering

The leaf on the top right was unfortunately munched on by a rabbit and died as expected. The leaf on the top left looked pretty bad, but has a new leaf emerging. I am very pleased to see a double spawn out of the big leaf on the bottom.

It rained a lot in 2015 (for Southern California which is to say, not much by everyone else’s standard) and I wasn’t very diligent about moving the water sensitive plants to a covered area, so we’ll see how they do. The soil does dry fairly rapidly when in full sun.

Fenestraria Aurantiaca (Baby Toes)

Have been looking for these on and off for a while and happened to find them the other week during a plant sale when we were out and about. I had a decent sized pot of these growing up, pretty sure that they died due to over-watering.

Stardew Valley

Oddly enough I have never even heard of Stardew Valley until about a week or so ago when it started popping up on the Youtube/Twitch streams that I watch occasionally. So being a big fan of the simulation game genre in general, I caved and purchased it. Stardew Valley is an indie open-ended country-life RPG, as it is described on their website. Given that farming and relationship simulating, among other things, are pretty big game components, it really does feel like a spiritual successor to the Harvest Moon series.

I managed to soak in a few hours playing on and off this week and so far I have fell into the steady rhythm of spending the morning hours tending to the crops, running any needed errands in town, a little time fishing, the remainder of my energy clearing out trees and rocks on my farm, and then the remaining time in the day socializing. Though this may sound tedious, it really doesn’t feel that way.

Resource usage as a whole seems to have been consolidated into time and energy (and inventory space). You have x amount of time in the day and y amount of energy to do stuff. Physically intensive actions such as chopping, planting, mining, etc cost a certain amount of energy. So it is a matter of prioritizing what needs to be done; All the while the game clock is running in the background.

Stardew Valley is a slow paced yet oddly satisfying game. Play it for hours or play it here and there one game day at a time. It is relaxing and satisfies my sim game/building game need.

[FFRK] Ultimate Bahamut SIN

This one was harder than I had expected, given the number of Soul Breaks and the amount of record synergy that I have for FFVII. I think above all, hastega would have been a great help. Bahamut’s overall damage output wasn’t nearly as bad as previous Ultimate fights, but burst damage is necessary to kill the Giga/Petraflare bars in time as well as nuke him down. I guess I was lucky and paced the fight just enough to spawn/kill 8 dogs without taking too many extra actions. I did lose a medal for actions taken but managed to just make the cutoff for champion.

 Character  Weapon  Ability 1  Ability 2  Record Materia
 Cloud  Organics (VII)  Lifesiphon  Firaga Strike  Ace Striker
 Zack  Zack’s Gloves (VII)  Lifesiphon  Bladeblitz  Knight’s Charge
 Sephiroth   Basilisk Claw (VII)  Fire Blossom  Pound  Attunement II
 Aerith  Storm Staff (IX)  Ifrit  Shellga  Mako Might
 Lenna  Aurora Rod (VII)  Curaga  Protectga  Dr. Mog’s Teachings

Roaming Warrior: Tyro (Sentinel’s Grimoire)
Notable Soul Breaks: Blade Beam, Air Strike, Planet Protector, Princess’ Favor

Try to delay using the first Sentinel’s Grimoire charge as long as possible. As long as you get Protectga and Shellga up ASAP, the dogs are easily survivable without a wall. I ended up popping SG after the first Gigaflare and then again when he was between 40% and 50% health. Also, Petraflare is survivable with Shella, Wall, and full-ish HP. I had the misfortune of eating a Petraflare towards the end of the fight. Luckily, wall was still up, everyone was topped off, and an AoE heal was on standby.

Bladeblitz, Fire Blossom, and Ifrit were obviously used to AoE down the dogs. Blade Beam and Planet Protector were paced and kept in reserve for Gigaflare and Petraflare (with the added bonus of AoEing down the dogs).

The real MVPs of this encounter of course being: Planet Protector boosted Blade Beam and Air Strike. Air Strike doesn’t do that much damage but it does have a 100% chance to stun all, which was great for stalling Bahamut for just long enough to kill (most of the) the gigaflare and petraflare bars (why is Zack’s weapon a glove of all things?). Blade Beam, as always, is great for burning down just about everything.