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Game Breaker / Final Fantasy Brave Exvius

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In Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, certain abilities and some of the special summons just make the game dramatically easier. Some of these Game Breakers have lost their luster as the meta evolved, but some even stand up in Japan's metagame today.

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    Abilities and Equipment 
  • Dual Wield in general is a game-breaker. If you grind up certain units' Trust Mastery enough, you get an ability, accessory, or weapon to equip on anyone that gives them the ability. It not only gives dramatic boosts to attack power, but any attack skill will be used twice, making any physical attack unit a juggernaut. For abilities that cause status ailments or breaks, this makes them hit twice, giving them double the chance of activating (useful for a break-resistant boss or spamming status effects in the Arena). Camille also has a version of this, but is solely restricted to swords. Even the Second Knife, a free Easter reward, is awesome despite having only 5 Attack due to granting the ability to duplicate attacks. Dual Wield has become so integral to the meta of the game that the basic materia has twice been offered as a purchasable item in King Mog currency events.
    • In order to counteract the rise of True Doublehand, the developers introduced True Dual Wield, which is a small boost to equipment ATK when dual wielding. This allows Dual Wield units like Pyro Glacial Lasswell and Zeno of the Beta Star to statistically keep up with other units.
  • Buster Style (and other forms of True Doublehand) put True Doublehand on the same power as (if not more than) Dual Wield. Buster Style increases all equipment attack by 100% when single wielding all weapons. Unlike conventional attack boosts, this does not go against the stat boost cap, and applies to 2-handed weapons as well as one. This means that players can take advantage of the positive variance 2-handed weapons give. Grim Lord Sakura has a MAG/SPR version of this, and Demon Rain has one as well. Elfreeda's Marshal Gloves also give a 50% version of True Doublehand with 40 ATK and 2 LB gain per turn, making it a useful accessory in its own right. Nalu's is an ability, but gives 50% TDH and a flat 25% ATK boost.
    • Combining this with any variant equipment is strong, but Fixed Dice put True Doublehand on another level altogether. While it only increases your ATK by 1, its variance is anywhere from 120% to 650%. This has about a 95% chance to eclipse any other equipment's variance in the entire game, and will most likely cause your damage to be massively increased. Units like Tidus, Onion Knight, and 2B see a renaissance, while Nyx and Cupid Artemios are vaulted from pedestrian units to two of the top finishers in the game. The only downside is that the rest of the build requires you to pull 200-300% in TDH equipment to optimize it. Fixed Dice became so dominant that in Japan, the new damage formula was pushed out earlier solely to nerf its effectiveness. Before the nerf, two fully decked-out Yuffies could one-shot everything released at that point in the game. That new damage formula came to Global early, possibly in foresight of an overpowered unit like hers.
  • Evasion in general makes any physical boss a cakewalk. Evasion stacks with other sources of evasion equipment and there's more than enough sources to reach 100%. Accuracy is not coded into most boss stats, so evasion combined with AoE Cover can stop any physical-based boss from damaging you outright. This becomes outright ludicrous combined with Illusionist Nichol, who has a targetable AoE Cover and can make any unit with dodge (Soleil, for example) a tank. If you pull Noctis, it becomes dramatically easier to build if you're not a veteran, and with Ring of the Lucii, you can even build Warrior of Light as an evade tank. This is so overpowered that when magical evasion was introduced, it was specifically designed to not stack with other sources of magical evasion, limiting the maximum to 20%.
  • Dualcast made mages incredibly potent in the early days of the game. Whether healer or black mage, your healing power and your caster power dramatically increased. Although the Trust Master Reward versions are more often used for units like Refia and Lenna, it can turn a middle-of-the-pack White Mage into a powerhouse and make off-healers with nothing to do as powerful as most healers. Part of the reason why mages like Y'shtola and Rem were so sought after is their Dualcast kit. This, however, has fallen to Power Creep with the rise of ability-based magic and healing kits, and more units (like Trance Terra, Emperor, Rem, and Ayaka) who have innate Dualcast, Dual Black Magic, or Dual White Magic. If you're strong enough to beat the Chamber of Arms, you even have the Holy Wand, which gives innate Dual White Magic to anyone. Nowadays, Dualcast is so common that it is given out as an ability in Mog King events.
  • Rikku's Pouch is also a very sought-after Trust Mastery Reward. This gives any unit access to three abilities. Chaos Grenade is an AoE Full Break with a chance to inflict a random status effect on everyone (30% chance for all with 100% Petrify). Panacea cures everything and is the only spell of its kind that can be equipped as such. Eccentrick is the true Game-Breaker, however, increasing the Limit Break fill rate by 200% for 5 turns. With strong Limit Bursts, like Rikku's AoE Reraise and A2's 250% ATK buff, you can spam them like there's no tomorrow, especially if you have multi-hit units that can collect the crystals quickly. Equipping this makes any unit a potent support.
  • Pod 153, 9S's Trust Mastery Reward, is a strong all-purpose accessory. Its secondary draw is a 2-turn 40% physical mitigation shield that stacks with almost everything in the game. Its main draw, however, is a 300% AoE chain skill, which costs 30 MP and 8 hits, which allows any unit to chain with another unit equipped with this TMR. It also has an HP regen skill which heals around Curaja potency per turn. To top it all off, it has another Treasure Hunter ability attached to it, making it easier to farm crystals from story events. Equipping one Pod 153 makes any unit a Master of All, being able to buff, heal, and chain in one package. Unfortunately, 9S is a limited unit, but those who pulled two of him were greatly rewarded. It says quite a bit that people consider this to be equal to the lower-tier Dual Wield TMRs.
  • 21O's TMR, Mechanical Heart, is simple but effective. It provides a 30% chance to heal ~800 health for each magical or physical attack dealt to a unit. On a tank like Warrior or Light, Mystea, or Veritas of the Earth, their all-cover abilities allow them to soak up every attack the enemy throws and then heal it off with no issue. Unless the unit is disabled by a status effect or outright killed, they're the next-best thing to immortal. It's very popular in the Arena, where attacks rarely break 999 due to the cap, so any given unit has a decent chance to nearly (if not completely) restore any damage dealt to it with the exception of fixed damage attacks.
  • Bahamut, the top-of-the-line summon of old school Final Fantasy games, continues the main series' trend of being the strongest esper. As an esper, he can only reach Level 1. However, his stats are top-tier all-around, equaling or outright surpassing his esper counterparts at Level 2, and being fairly close to the superior stats of Level 3 espers. Most importantly, he is an incredibly strong finisher, with a multiplier of 300x for damage (compared to the 200x that Level 2 espers have). This means he can deal millions of damage to cap off any chain, especially if you stack EVO MAG materia on your summmoner. His existence alone turns summoner units like Garnet and Rydia into powerhouses that can wipe bosses in a single turn if given time to set up, thanks to their innate EVO MAG passives, which can be further boosted with accompanying materia. Rydia has to equip Bahamut for this to work, but Garnet and Eiko can summon any esper in the party. Prior to 7* units becoming the new meta, Bahamut was very popular in the Chamber of Arms, as most of the early ones could be nuked down to zero after reaching their second phase by using a Bahamut summon from a summoner unit.
  • The Ring of the Lucii is a very powerful accessory, pre-buff and post-buff. Originally, it gave 3 MAG and SPR and gave access to Death, Alterna, and Holy. Death was largely negligible, as it was Dark-elemental version of a Drain spell and an instant KO. Alterna, the strongest black magic spell in the game, could be used for unique party compositions or as a powerful finishing spell. However, the Ring's version of Holy was the main draw. Specifically, this passive ability gave the unit wearing the Ring 25% physical evasion and a 25% chance to counter all attacks with a flat 40 MP recovery and a weak Holy magic attack. The self-MP restore alone made the original version an incredible tanking TMR, especially on a tank without MP sustain like Wilhelm or Veritas of the Earth. Gumi buffed up the ring to include the original 30% ATK and MAG boost from the Japanese game, but nerfed the MP recover on Holy from 40 to 15. In effect, the Ring of the Lucii has shifted from a tank and support-centric accessory to a strong all-purpose item.
  • Rico Rodriguez's Protec Grappler G3 provides the same 25% Evasion as the Ring of the Lucii, but without counterattacks. This makes it slightly better, although it's on a limited unit.
  • Vesvia's Nutkin Hairpin and Kyanos's Heart Overcoming Hatred are watered-down versions of STMRs. The former offers 40 MAG and a 40% MAG boost (which factors in the flat 40 MAG from the accessory), acting as Rem's Betrothal Ring without the SPR boost. The latter offers a 50% boost to Limit Burst damage and 1.5 Auto-Limit crystals each turn. In comparison, it only offers 5% less damage and 1.5 less Auto-Limit crystals than A Lion's Heart, Squall's Super TMR, and is exponentially easier to get.
  • Beryl's TMR, Light's Vengeance, becomes a very valuable materia for mages after its upgrade. It gives an additional 20% increase in HP, making it a 40% HP, 30% MAG and 30% SPR materia that can solve mages' low max HP problem. Gumi was aware of its tanking potential as well, making it a better Thirst for Survival, so they made the materia unstackable for balancing purposes. In fact, it's one of the few TMRs with an in-game 9* rating, which is reserved for most STMRs.
  • Kryla's Magic Sanctuary is one of the best defensive TMRs in the game. On base, it gives 15% SPR, 25% resistance to all elements, and fills the Limit Burst gauge by 1 every turn. In comparison, Marie's Super Trust Mastery Reward trades the Limit Burst fill rate for 35% more SPR and 5% more elemental resistance. Its true power relies in it being stackable. Unlike most elemental resistance buffs, Magic Sanctuary has no limit to how many it can be equipped, despite pairing solid benefits for the third-highest all-element resistance buff in the game. While it is on a limited-unit, they released a bundle for 10,000 Lapis allowing players to UoC two of her (or any other unit that came with her global upgrade). Players looking for an upgrade bought Kryla as a breaker, and some even bought it for more copies of her TMR.
  • The addition of magic tanks pretty much obliterated the challenge of a lot of the game's early vortex bosses. Prior to the addition of magic tanks, bosses were designed to have AoE magic attacks in tandem with their single target physical attacks, and the player could only guard against the latter. Magic tanks eliminated that problem, making bosses like the Wicked Moon far less deadly than they had been. Bosses introduced after this have dealt with the issue by having both physical and magical AoE, forcing the player to decide which of the two to guard against and in even later trials bosses have unblockable, fixed-damage AoE attacks.
  • Dodge Roll, a one-time craftable materia from Kingdom Hearts' second collaboration event, is on the level of a STMR. While it has 10% less physical evasion and no resistance and ATK boost, it gives 30% HP and MP, making it a potential best in slot for tanks with evasion builds.
  • Similarly, the Cursed Shield from the Narshe exploration event 20% physical and magical evasion on a heavy shield, at the cost of -20% fire/ice/lightning weaknesses and poison/silence being applied to the wearer every turn. The benefits far outweigh the drawbacks since it's pretty easy to grant immunity to the status effects and the lost resistance isn't that severe.
  • The Moogle Charm (XV) from the Steyliff Grove exploration is a fairly good defensive item on its own, boasting good defensive stats and 10% resistance to all elements. What pushes it over the edge is the fact that it gives 50% passive provoke to any unit. For tanks, this means that they can often forego the need to use their provoke skills. With enough gear, this can even turn bulky utility units (or units with enough physical evasion) into full-blown passive provoke tanks.

    Super Trust Mastery Rewards 
With the 7-star meta, Gumi has also released Super Trust Mastery Rewards, or STMRs. These special equipments can only be acquired by pulling four copies of a 5* unit. STMR Moogles exist, although they are very rare. Generally, players who have one will include them in their loadouts, but these few seismically shift the game.

  • Luneth's Clothes only have a DEF and SPR boost of 1, but give 30% Fire, Water, Wind, and Earth resist with a flat 45 ATK boost as well. The elemental resistance more than makes up for the lack of defensive stats.
  • Arngrim's Bahamut Tear is overpowered in general, but is especially tailor-made for Hyoh and Esther. It is a two-handed Thunder-elemental greatsword with 165 ATK and a 30% boost to Limit Burst damage. This is formidable on any TDH unit (especially with Thunder Imperils), but is on a completely different level when used with a unit who has a powerful Limit Bursts as well. The Easter event in 2019 gave access to the Asterisk, a two-handed Thunder-elemental Greatsword with 125 ATK, but could only be attained from a limited-time trial. The Assuming a full TDH build, this not only adds an extra 180 ATK compared to Asterisk, but gives Hyoh and Esther access to damage variance and a much stronger Limit Break. This also comes with a large downside of being on a limited-time unit whose drop rates were severely nerfed in the Global version.
  • Awakened Rain's Knight's Medal is fantastic for any unit. It gives 30 ATK, MAG, DEF, and SPR, but the real power comes in its 30% increase to all elemental resistances. In comparison, the only accessory that comes close is the Alexandrite Ring, which is limited to one copy and debuffs all status ailment resistances by 25% as a trade-off.
  • Queen's Lucid Lenses give a flat 55 ATK and guaranteed Guts. The attack is wonderful, especially with the breadth of equipment ATK boosts, but the added survivability is even better.
  • Rem's Betrothal Ring is the best accessory for any mage. It has 40 MAG and SPR attached, and gives a 40% boost to MAG and SPR on top of it. The ring is pure stat gain, and the auto-Regen is very nice as well. While Vesvia's Nutkin Hairpin replicates the MAG boost, the survivability from the extra SPR still makes it top-tier.
  • Dracu Lasswell's Gothic Amulet takes Elfreeda's Marshal Glove and turns it Up to Eleven. It has a flat 50 ATK, gives 50% TDH, a 15% boost to physical evasion, and a 10% boost to magical evasion. The extra 10 attack from Marshal Glove may not seem like much, but with a wealth of equipment, gives 40 more attack and much higher survivability when facing a physical attacker.
  • Emperor Shera's Emperor's Ring is the best piece of tank equipment in the game. It gives 30 DEF and SPR, 50% Fire resistance, 50% HP, and either 30% DEF when equipping a heavy shield or 30% SPR. The sheer amount of stats it gives makes it invaluable for any tank.
  • Malphasie's Ravenheart is the best offensive accessory in the game. It gives 40 ATK and MAG along with another 20% boost to ATK and MAG, along with paltry boosts to DEF, SPR, and MP. That already makes it a strong accessory, but its true power lies in its 50% boost to ATK and MAG True Dual Wield. Not only is this a hybrid version of Warrior of Light Bartz's Hermes Sandals (which give 40 ATK and 50% Attack True Dual Wield) with added power, but it acts as magic's equivalent as well. This is especially notable because Magical True Dual Wield is an incredibly rare ability that is almost exclusive to STMR equipment or materia (only Benevolent Beauty Rem's TMR and the event-limited materia Will to Fight the Darkness grant MTDW, and only at 25%), and Ravenheart is the only accessory in the game that grants it at all.
  • Zargabaath's Judge's Oath is fantastic for tanking. It gives a flat 30% boost to DEF, SPR, and HP, along with 20% boosts to all elemental resistances. While this may not sound like much, it's fantastic for fights that demand a lot of elemental resistance.
  • For dual-wield DPS, Zeno's Searing Ember is simply broken. It's a one-handed katana that has 180 ATK with an ability that gives a 40% ATK boost and an innate Man-Eater+, making it the bane of all human race bosses. With a good run through Steel Castle, you can potentially free up two materia slots for other stats, allowing you to slap some additional bulk on your DPS for trials like Emperor.
  • Kaito's Sea Dragon is a materia deemed broken upon release because it provides strong all-around survivability and ATK. Aside from providing stat boosts (50% unconditional ATK plus 20% ATK when equipping a katana) and wind and water resistance (30% each), it also gives 30% physical evasion, 10% over the next best option and a much better choice for damage dealers (Dodge Roll is tank-focused). It's very good for physical DPS units because of the survivability and for physical tanks who want an evasion build but can't equip Locke's STMR (a dagger which provides the same amount of physical evasion as well as 20% magic evasion) because they have weapons as their TMR.
  • Chocobo Fina's Chocobo Feather Accessory is arguably the best STMR in the game. It not only increases ATK, DEF, MAG, and SPR by 45, but it also gives a 5% Refresh, 3 LB crystals a turn, and guaranteed Guts. This accessory is useful on any unit, especially those with a good Limit Burst.
  • AI Katy's Upgrade Package is a Master of None, but is very, very good at everything. Its physical side gives 40 base ATK, 40% ATK, 50% True Doublehand, and 50% True Dual Wield. Its magical side gives 40 MAG, 40% MAG, Equip Rod, Equip Whip, 50% Rod Mastery, and 50% Whip Mastery. Finally, its support side gives Equip L Shield, Equip H Shield, HP+20%, and a SPR and DEF boost (ranging from 20% to 40%) depending on what kind of shield is equipped.
  • Locke's Dagger and Mastermind Xon's Crimson Butterfly both are the best weapon options for evasion-based tanks. They offer a staggering 30% physical evasion on daggers, which almost any unit can equip. For comparison, the next closest is 10% on a katana, and katanas generally can't be wielded by the units you would be using evasion on in the first place. Locke's Dagger also offers 20% magical evasion, while the Crimson Butterfly offers Dual Wield and 100% High Tide. While most players will take the LB fill rate buff over the magical evasion, the high evasion puts it on this list.
  • Elena's Warrior of the Crystal is far and away the best True Doublehand-based ability, especially for hybrids. This adds 50% TDH for MAG and ATK, and adds a 60% MAG and ATK boost.
  • The War of the Visions version of Gilgamesh has Wings that Transcend Time, the True Dual Wield equivalent of Elena's STMR. It's worth noting that of all other MTDW equipment, only one grants more MAG, and requires using a fist (which aren't very good in MAG stats) to get it.

    DPS units 
  • Lightning and Luneth were game-changing on release. At the time, they were the only 5-star bases in the game to have innate Dual Wield until the NieR: Automata event. Lightning has an innate 20% chance to dodge physical damage (upgraded to 30% and adding a 30% magical portion with enhancements), four elemental attacks, and the ability to lower Lightning resistance by 20% (75% with enhancements). Luneth just does large amounts of damage (including a piercing attack), gets an innate 20% ATK boost if you equip a sword (enhanced to 50% with a sword, katana, dagger, or greatsword - which stacks with Dual Wield). He also has innate resistance to blind, petrify, confuse, and paralysis.
    • While Luneth has obsoleted over time, only being used for niche builds, Lightning briefly returned to the top of her class when 7-stars were released. Her Blitz skills triple in power, making them serviceable finishers. Her Trust Mastery ability is top-class, with 80% more ATK, doubling Crushing Blow's modifier, and 30% True Dual Wield when equipping her TMR. She also gets 20% more ATK when equipping a sword and a gun. Her cooldown, which is a 3-hit attack that imperils Lightning resistance by 100% for one turn, is mediocre, but Endless Army brings her back into relevance. It allows her to chain with Quick Hit chainers like Tidus and Camille, and it gives her a 3-turn 150% buff to all stats. With a little bit of luck, she's also extremely accessible, since the game hands out a copy of her for free just for playing through the second island in the main story. Lightning's 7-star form may not be great, but is very powerful for the early-game.
  • Any group of chainers with identical frame data can be game-breaking with the right tools. Many exist, like Tornado and Chainsaw users. The most common of these are Holy Explosion frames (or HE frames), named after the original translation of Orlandeau's Divine Ruination attack in Final Fantasy Tactics. This chaining family is extremely easy to use, almost always forming a continuous chain when dual-cast unless you are severely off with the timing. Orlandeau is the Ur-Example of HE frames, and several units have been released which share these frames:
    • Given that he was a Game-Breaker in his original game, it's not at all surprising that Orlandeau is one in Brave Exvius as well. "Thunder God Cid's" stats are high across the board, and he has powerful debuffs across the board (including the ability to apply Stop). He is mostly known for his aforementioned Divine Ruination, which lowers an opponent's resistance to holy damage. This syncs up insanely well with Cecil's TMR, Excalibur (a light-elemental greatsword), or the Lightbringer (a light-elemental sword from the King's Knight raid). The closest there is to a downside for him is that he lacks a Herd-Hitting Attack, but there are four espers he can equip (Diabolos, Tetra Sylphid, Odin, and Fenrir), not to mention a few Trust Master Rewards, that can eliminate that minor problem. While there are several units that can exceed him in raw power, his Divine Ruination allows him to chain with Dark Veritas or enhanced Agrias, helping when duplicates/friend units are forbidden since Agrias is decently common as a 4*. As noted, Orlandeau is not only game-breaking in his abilities, but his introduction changed the meta-game completely. The game shifted from pure multiplier-based damage and DEF-piercing attacks to chaining and finishing chains. The game has shown no signs of adding another mechanic to outdo this: only new chainers who can chain with other units (or with stronger modifiers and passives).
      • His enhancements are largely unremarkable compared to Agrias or Aileen. Crush Weapon is increased to a 45% break that lasts for 5 turns, and he gains another 40% ATK passive on Black Lion's Crest when using a sword or katana. Divine Ruination costs 1 million gil for each step, but only gets about 25% stronger (only reaching the power of Onion Knight's Onion Cutter).
      • His 7-star form builds onto his 6-star form, but doesn't quite power him into the upper echelon he once reached. He gets 30% True Dual Wield, 50% ATK, and upgrades his LB to a DEF break and full HP restore, when equipping his TMR. He finally gets a Herd-Hitting Attack that fills his Limit Burst gauge, and he gains limited finishing capabilities with his cooldown skill. It doesn't help that he's geared towards Dual Wield when True Dual Wield is widely considered weak.
    • Fryevia made people realize how good hybrids were. Fryevia was released shortly after Orlandeau and drew comparisons at first as a chainer with limited support capabilities. She trades Orlandeau's holy element for ice element and sleep resistance for confuse resistance. She also has an AoE 50% ATK break that buffs Ice resistance by 70%, an innate Dispel, and a Herd-Hitting Attack for her to finish with. Most importantly, she is a hybrid-based unit. Because of the innate nature of hybrids, she can take advantage of DEF and SPR, meaning more overall damage, and Letters and Arms (which increases MAG by 50%) is the only stacking Mastery in the game. The most glaring drawback was her difficulty to chain with herself, and her incompatibility with other units (as opposed to Orlandeau/Veritas of the Dark and Tidus and Aileen/Camille). However, this was fixed with her enhancements, which changed her frames on Frost Flower Blitz to HE frames. A lesser drawback is that she's more Trust Mastery-intensive than most other chainers in the game, needing her sword and multiple Letters and Arms T Ms to achieve best in slot for MAG. On the other hand, if you pulled her during her Easter event (or kept 20 Trust Moogles for her), you got her sword for free, and MAG armors are much more accessible than ATK armors. After release, she was deemed so powerful that they buffed Aigaion to not have an ice weakness. Her magical chaining capability was not equalled until Trance Terra was enhanced in October - a full six months after her release.
      • Her enhancements made her even better. In addition to various boosts and the HE frame upgrade, it also upgraded her Imperil to 75% (compared to Divine Ruination and Dark Punishment's 50%).
      • If you have a very specific build, she can actually be used to tank as well. You need Illusionist Nichol, Ring of the Lucii, and 60% more in evasion abilities and equipment. If you build Fryevia to 100% physical evasion and cast Illusion: Redirect on her, she can simply spam Ice Block. Unlike other mitigation skills, this mitigates 75% of the damage Fryevia takes for a single turn. In short, her physical evasion takes care of the party's physical attacks, Ice Block cuts whatever magic damage she receives to 1/4 of its power, and she can recover her MP to spam Ice Block infinitely. And if the opponent does manage to smash through that defense and deal enough damage to kill her, she can hang on for 1 HP with her guaranteed Guts.
    • Also of note is Veritas of the Dark, whose HE frame attacks are geared towards the Dark element. He also has an AoE 45% Full Break (though at 80 MP a cast, it's a bit impractical to use), can add a dark element in a pinch, and equip axes and spears. In addition, he has a Herd-Hitting Attack, making him useful for trash clearing.
    • Sephiroth may have similar ATK modifiers to other units, but what sets him apart is his ability to chain with a wide variety of peers. His HE frame skill is The Heavens Wept, which has a slightly higher potency than his peers and can Imperil Light and Dark by 60%. He can also chain with Onion Knight's Splendor skills (and Onion Slice) using Aeolian Onslaught. To round out his skillset, he has Heaven's Light, which will give even more chain diversity with the release of future units like Dark Veritas's 7-star. To top it all off, his Trust Mastery Reward, the famous Masamune, gives him an Octaslash frame skill, which chains with Pod 153 as long as the equipped unit doesn't move in its attack sprite. Said TMR is tied (with Lionheart) for the highest base ATK in the game at 150 and comes with innate Doublehand.
    • Raegen is also a fantastic unit. Not only does he have innate Dual Wield, but he also has 50% masteries for swords, katanas, greatswords, and daggers. This gives him more attack passives than any other Dual Wield unit. Raegen's HE Frame attack, Blades of Azure Crimson, has a 60% fire and ice imperil attached. He also has a wide variety of utility, including 60% all-stat buffs for the party, elemental buffs, single-target breaks, and MP regen — only 36 MP a turn if he's dual-wielding, but enough to defray the costs of a lot of HE Frame attacks, not to mention pay for the Instant Flash ability itself. He also has innate Regen and Refresh, the latter an impressive 10%, higher than any other unit in the HE family. Finally, his Limit Burst ranges anywhere from a 74% fire and ice Imperil to a 100% version, depending on its level. Raegen is considered to be the best beginner unit in the game due to his strong attacks, innate Dual Wield, and wide set of utility skills.
    • Hyoh of the Delta Star definitely reps his story power well. He comes with four HE Frame moves: Flame Blade, Voltage Blade, Servant of the Blade, and Phantom Blade. The first two inflict 60% elemental imperils, allowing Hyoh to exploit two fairly common elemental weaknesses. Servant of the Blade is Hyoh's strongest HE frame move with an AoE finishing hit. Finally, Phantom Blade is a 5-turn cooldown move which functions as a souped up combination of the previous three, doing both imperils at a 100% rate and nearly three times more damage than Servant of the Blade. One major advantage to Hyoh is that his moves backload their multiplier — that is, they do the majority of their damage on the last hit — letting Hyoh take greater advantage of building up the chain multiplier for his damage output despite having fairly similar potency to existing HE attackers. The biggest one, however, is that Hyoh can double-cast his chaining moves, allowing him to chain with Dual Wield units while taking advantage of the effects of using Doublehand on a BFS, such as 2-Handed weapon variance and much higher attack stats. Hyoh also comes with a triple-cast option at 7*, making him a monster if paired with a copy of himself. His Trust Mastery is a Clothing Armor that gives him a 100% TDH bonus at 7* while also already having a large attack stat and a 30% ATK bonus for using a Great Sword. He does have two major downsides. One is that he doesn't have any innate elemental attacks, so he can't exploit his own Imperils; he needs an elemental Greatsword or allies that can attach elements to him (Desch, Ignis, Emperor Shera, Blossom Sage Sakura, etc). The other is his lack of self-sustain: doublecasting Servant of the Blade, which is basically his most efficient damage throughput (the triple-cast move requires one turn of setup), he'll run himself dry in four or even three turns. Players must either provide MP batteries, consumable items, or equip him with an Esper that provides the Osmose MP-draining spell.
    • Sora officially brings the next level of Power Creep to chaining. He not only has AT frames, but can also chain with Tornado frames, HE frames, and both versions of Cloud. Statistically, he has an innate 10% MP refresh, strong base attack, and powerful modifiers. He's also very versatile, with 40% True Dual Wield and 150% True Doublehand. What sets him apart from other units is that his Ars Arcanum skill has a stacking modifier. Lastly, his cooldown skill and Limit Burst give him Triplecast, which is near-permanent with the right setup.
  • Trance Terra becomes an incredible magic chainer after her enhancements. Her Inherited Power enhancement grants her 20% HP, 30% Fire/Ice/Lightning resist, and another 50% MAG to give her a total of 80% MAG. Ultima gets the same enhancement that Dark Fina has, allowing them to chain. However, she is most potent when used with herself: her Magical Activation changes from an 80% MAG/SPR proc to a 120% MAG/SPR proc, and most importantly allows her to Dualcast her Chaos Wave for 5 turns (and White Magic if you ever need Full-Life). And if you enhance Chaos Wave to full, it can be reused infinitely for the 5 turns you have access to the stronger version with Magical Activation. In short, an enhanced Trance Terra finally gives mages a chance to hang with physical units in chaining.
    • At 7-star, she becomes even more broken. She not only gains Dark-elemental and Fire-elemental versions of Chaos Wave, but she also gains the ability to quadcast all of her Chaos moves for a turn. This makes her a very strong option for one-turn kills, especially with the large amount of Dark Imperils. She saw an incredible amount of use, not only because of her power, but because she was the only non-limited option for Chaos Wave chaining for 7 months.
  • Christine belongs here for largely the same reasons. She has a similar skill, which gives her a MAG and SPR+80% boost and unlocks Snow Burial. Snow Burial used to perfectly chain with Chaos Wave Awakened, giving Trance Terra a partner in 10-man fights when she needed one. She can also give access to Ice Shards, one of her chaining skills, to make her own chaining partner and imbue everyone's attacks with Ice. She can also use Frozen Armor for setups with Roy (mainly to stop him). The only drawback is that she's limited and locked to Ice-elemental attacks. Her Absolute Zero skill is the Ur-Example to the Absolute Zero chaining family.
  • Blossom Sage Sakura was originally regarded to be one of the best magical finishers in the game, but gained a new life as a chainer from her enhancements. Like her Grim Lord form, she can cast certain abilities (namely those beginning with Quick) twice. Alongside many 5-star MAG passives, she has two separate counters. One is an AoE 30 MP refresh status resistance buff (although not a Quick skill), while the other is a -100% Lightning debuff (like the rest of the Veritases have). Most of these are marginally upgraded versions of Sakura's skills as a 5-star, but her new skills are what put her over the edge. For support, she has a 3-turn 30 MP Refresh, a 3-turn AoE 100% ATK buff, a 3-tun AoE 100% MAG buff, and an AoE 5-turn status resistance buff (though the latter is not a Quick skill). What puts her above the pack is her finishing skills (both of which can be dualcasted). Her AoE finishing skill, Quick: Rebel Intention. has a multiplier of 8.67x, which is more powerful than a fully stacked -ja spell. Her single-target spell, Quick: Final Thunderstorm, is incredible in its own right. It starts off as a 3x ability, but can stack 8 times, adding 1.5x to the multiplier with each cast. The final multiplier is 15x, which can be achieved in 4 turns and is Dualcastable.
    • Her 7-star form wasn't enough to put her back into Game-Breaker status, but her enhancements gave her a new role. Her 7-star form gave her a 100% buff, the ability to imbue lightning to an ally, and Pentacast. However, her enhancements strengthened her finishing skill, turned her offensive W-Ability into a T-Ability, and turned her weak Imperil skills into strong chaining moves, giving her access to the Absolute Zero, Bolting Strike, and Disorder families. Finally, she gains a Lightning-elemental Graviton Cannon frame skill. Her full package turns her into the force to be reckoned with that she was as a 6-star.
  • Ang was considered to be the best physical finisher in the game. He has incredible passives, sporting 100% True Doublehand out of the box, 4 killers, and a 30% Bow Mastery. He also gets a few useful passives when Yan is on the team and alive, giving him 2 LB crystals per turn, Charm resistance, and a 5% auto-refresh. His moves are very good, with imbuable Killers, DEF/SPR breaks, and a Fire imperil. The latter unlocks Swift Shot, which is a 6x modifier overall split over 3 selectable hits. His Limit Burst is where the real power is, however. This move, which has a 13x modifier, imbues him with Fire, Imperils the enemy by 74% at max level, and gives him access to Swift Shot. Although he's meant to be used with a bow, he also works well with Fixed Dice.
  • Dragonlord is a very simple unit, but is one of the best magical finishers when enhanced. He only has one skill worth using. He has a Curaga+Esunaga, but has low SPR compared to his counterparts. Unlike Emperor or Blossom Sage Sakura, his finishing skill is 30x ST damage out of the box. The only downside is that it costs 150 MP to use, giving a need to stack him with MP passives or refreshes. His luster fades due to a mediocre 7-star kit and general lack of utility, but he is a perfectly fine mage.
  • Due to the 7-star upgrade, 2B becomes a more offensively-focused Loren. She has access to True Dual Wield and True Doublehand, making her a surprisingly versatile unit. When equipping her TMR, she gains 30% ATK and DEF, an MP refresh, and her Limit Burst turns into a 74% AoE Full Break, making her a strong LB-based support unit. Her first cooldown skill, Supreme Support Weapon, is what makes her shine, giving her a 250% ATK and DEF boost, wide access to chaining moves, including an elemental imbue and imperil, and giving all enemies a 70% Full Break. Her second cooldown, YoRHa Sword Dance, is a powerful chaining move with a 50% Full Break attached that unlocks a weaker version. She currently has a lack of chaining partners (namely A2 and Ellesperis for one skill), though future units will fix that and give her more potential. In addition, her best chaining moves (including those that will chain with other units) depend on her cooldown skills, making it hard to recover if she is KOed.
  • With the release of Pyro Glacial Lasswell's buffed 7-star form, he gained access to AT frames (named after the Japanese translation of his signature move, Absolute Mirror of Equity). Most of the members of this chaining family also have HE frames, but their strongest general chaining moves have AT frames. Like HE frames, AT frames chain quite well when dual-casting.
  • Sophia surpasses even Trance Terra due to her high HP, permanent W-Ability, and permanent Triple Ability with her TMR. Aside from access to fire, ice, lightning, earth, and dark-elemental attacks, she has a wide variety of chaining abilities. While her Freeze frame skill is largely inconsequential due to small damage and a lack of suitable chaining partners, her Quake frame skill increases in power the more it is used and has a wide variety. Finally, she has outright clones of Chaos Flare and Chaos Dark, allowing her to chain with the best mages in the game. Unfortunately, she was limited, and while her step-ups were very generous, she came before limited tickets and off-banner removal, giving a drop rate of 0.33% if you missed out on her.
  • Elly represented the next level of Power Creep in Japan, dethroning Trance Terra after about a year on top of its metagame. Sophia was introduced to the Global version to ease the transition between the two, but Elly is still a better damage dealer. She has access to water, wind, earth, and fire-elemental attacks, all of which vary between chaining moves and finishing moves. The weakest ones are used sparingly, the next-strongest skills have 60% Imperils attached, and the strongest are mostly finishing moves with a Wind-elemental Chaos Wave-frame skill mixed in. Like Sophia, she has innate W-Ability that is upgraded to Triple Ability when equipping her TMR. What sets her apart is her stacking abilities, incredible cooldown, and ability to finish her own chains. Her first cooldown unlocks a 1-turn 5x-Ability and debuffs all enemies' fire, water, earth, and wind resistance by 100%. The triplecast and pentacast mean that she is able to reach unforeseen heights with her Chaos Wave-frame skill, build stacks, or use her Earth-elemental chaining skill and finish with that. Her biggest downside is that she has poor defensive stats. Also, much like Sophia (and most of the best mages on Trance Terra's level), she is limited to Xenogears collaborations. Sophia is a more versatile chainer and is bulkier than Elly, giving her reason to use her, but Elly's damage potential is very strong.
  • While Akstar was considered the most hyped damage unit of 2019, Esther stole his thunder. She introduces the concept of modifier buffs, which buff certain moves significantly when used. For passives she has innate stop and charm resist, sky-high stats (with HP as high as the top tanks'), a 100% LB fill rate buff, and 150% True Doublehand. For offensive moves, she has access to Absolute Mirror of Equity, Bolting Strike, and through her Limit Burst, Aureole Ray frames. Along with the ability to chain, imbue herself with Lightning, and imperil the enemy, most of her chaining skills come with an automatic LB fill, along with the ability to unlock Triple Ability from a non-cooldown skill. Her first cooldown fills her LB gauge by 20 crystals, imbues her with Lighting, and imperils the enemy's Lightning resistance by 100%. Her second cooldown chains with Absolute Mirror of Equity. However, her modifier boosts are a bit of a trap. Bolting Strike, the Ur-Example of her main chaining family, is an AoE chaining move that breaks the enemy's DEF by 60% and fills her LB gauge by half. This means that when she is fully imbued and the enemy is imperiled, she can cast her powerful Limit Burst every other turn. This, aside from being the only LB that is part of a chaining family, gives her Triple Ability, buffs her LB damage by 35%, and buffs her ATK by 250% while healing herself by 1500 HP at the start of the next turn. Her original version was so powerful that she not only eclipsed Akstar, but the two next symbols of Power Creep after him, causing her to receive an emergency nerf before her official release. Even after her nerf, she's still above level of CG Lightning, who was the next hyped damage unit after Akstar. For added cheapness, Esther is almost purpose-built to make the Scorn of the Octopus and the Teacher a breeze to get through, because her innate Lightning absorb negates the danger of their second round Lightning preemptive attack, allowing you to go to town on Typhon right away. Esther also trivializes the Armeggedon battle, a battle with lightning weakness and specific lightning resistance. Finally, Esther's TMR makes lightning damage heal her, complicating Mirror PVP Matchups by making her immune to herself. The attacking player must avoid using her cooldown move and instead use weaker skills. (Fortunately, the Asynchronous PVP AI is rarely smart enough to take advantage of such things; but it can slow down the match substantially.)
  • Zeno of the Beta Star not only stole CG Lightning's thunder months before her official release, but caused everyone to forget about Akstar on his own banner. Zeno has an ability that gives him a higher chain modifier than every other unit in the game and increases his True Dual Wield cap from 100% to 200%. Along with a wide variety of Mirror of Equity moves, he has access to Aureole Ray, Divine Ruination, and Bolting Strike frames. He also has strong utility, with natural access to Fingersnap and a counter that breaks the enemy's ATK and DEF. His passives are incredible, being able to naturally reach his new True Dual Wield cap with his TMR equipped and having a permanent, un-dispellable 200% ATK buff. He has a very specific rotation, but is one of the strongest units in the game. Finally, he has the unpleasant reputation of, in the Global version of the game, upstaging Akstar, being released at the same time as this widely-coveted unit and forcing players to choose between getting the character they wanted and getting the character who was good. (Or getting both... at a price.)
  • Mediena was originally unheralded, initially being seen as an average magic chainer with finishing abilities and a strong TMR. When her enhancements came, she unexpectedly obsoleted Elly and Ultima. Along with innate Triplecast, she can innately reach the True Dual Wield cap of 100% and has 210% MAG. Along with Tornado and Freeze, her Raging Ice skill turns into a powerful stacking single-target chain skill. With her TMR equipped, Raging Ice stacks out at 24x, which outdamages Elly and Ultima by a very fair margin. Her big downsides are that her chaining family, Absolute Zero, only has three other members upon her enhacement's release - two of which are limited and she is locked to only dealing ice damage.
  • Circe became the best and most versatile magic chainer in the game after the Fan Festa unit upgrades. Her main problem, her lack of chaining partners, is fixed. Circe's Fire and Ice skills chain with the Absolute Zero family, her Earth skill chains with Chaos Wave, her Water and Wind skills chain with Bolting Strike, and her Holy skill chains with the Disorder family. In addition, her cooldowns can also be Dualcasted and Quadcasted if it's unlocked. Her Quadcast is unlockable through her LB and two of her skills which are part of her simple rotation, making it pretty much available for most of the time. Death Omen fills the LB gauge entirely, while Ouroboros's damage and SPR break is buffed. The latter's status as a physical attack using the MAG stat is especially important. Similar to Rem's Dagger Boomerang, it gets casted twice when Dual Wielding, it is affected by her chaining skills' imbues, and it can cap her own chains. Stat-wise, she gets 50% more TDH and TDW on top of the 50% she has from her Trust Mastery. Finally, her Limit Burst now maxes out at a 100% Imperil to Fire, Ice, Water, Earth, and Wind. She has changed from a largely pedestrian finisher to a powerful master of all elements, outdamaging Mediena by 20% at full power.
  • Previously thought to be crept out of the game, Radiant Lightning stormed back with her Global Upgrades to outperform Esther and Zeno. Crushing Blow+ was changed from Divine Ruination to Bolting Strike frames. Paradigm Shift: Commando's modifier buff increased from 0.75x to 1.5x, while the ATK buff increased from 200% to 250%. Defying Destiny, her other modifier buff cooldown, gave an ATK break. Her Limit Burst's modifier buffs last a turn longer in Japan as well. Most importantly, she gained Double Gestalt, giving her access to W-Ability. In short, her DPS massively rose due to the increase in modifier buffs, and she gained access to the Bolting Strike family, putting her on CG Bartz's level.
  • Warrior of Light Bartz trades Lightning's short-term burst potential for massive long-term damage. For the first three turns, he does nothing but master his jobs, giving him undispellable stat and modifier buffs (up to 200% ATK/MAG/DEF/SPR and a 5x increase in modifiers to his DPS skills). From there, his rotation is fairly simple, rotating from his 4-turn cooldown, a single use of another undispellable modifier buff, Brave Blade, and Sword Dance (the last of which is dualcastable from his W-Ability skill). If needed, he has access to Entrust, enabling the party to survive a key turn if needed. The biggest downside is his slowness in setting up, along with the fact that you have to wait another 3 turns and rebuff if he dies. However, if you can keep him alive, his versatility, utility, and partial immunity to Dispel make him very, very strong.
  • Kimono Fina went from a pedestrian mage in Japan to blowing every mage's DPS out of the water in Global. She is strictly a TDH mage focused on bows. She has innate Triple Ability from her Trust Ability, along with cooldowns that give her a permanent undispellable 200% MAG buff and temporary modifier buffs. These modifier buffs unlock two powerful Ice and Light-elemental skills with Chaos Wave frames, giving her the third-highest total burst potential in the game. Those lucky enough to get her STMR can eschew her bow for more powerful rods. Her Global upgrades are so effective that she outdamages CG Dark Fina, the first unit of the Summon Fest era, along with outdoing Christine (the unit reworked not long after her release) by 40%.
  • Duo unit Xuan Wu & Qing Long became a very hyped unit despite its time-limited nature because they are a tanky SPR-scaling physical attacker with a huge burst potential. Their SPR-scaling magicnote  skill modifiers mean they are capable of enduring magical damage especially with their high SPR stat and their TDW SPR in their Trust Ability. Their biggest draw, however, is their Magnus Ability which, while usable only three times per battle, is a backloaded Bolting Strike chaining family with a very high modifier, which is 10x on the first 8 hit and 50x on the last hit. The fact that they are physical dual wileders themselves mean the ability can be casted twice without the use of dualcast. Players can choose between dividing the use of the Magnus ability in three separate times or spending all of them in a triplecast turn in a 180x modifier attack for a massive burst turn, making a lot of bosses and trials with no physical mitigation become laughably easy. Also, since the attacks target enemies' SPR, they become the best burst unit in Dark Vision in facing bosses with very high DEF since their inherent physical attack type makes them able to receive elemental imbues.
  • War Hero Raegen/Odin Raegen, in the Japanese version, represented a new tier of DPS units. And then the Global version buffed his damage even more. His rotation is very straightforward, uses the popular AMOE chain family, can reliably imbue/imperil Fire and Ice, and on Turn 4 can do massive burst damage by just using his CD skill once and letting his Dual Wield do the job.
  • Noel is essentially a clone of War Hero Raegen both damage-wise and rotation-wise with a few tweaks: his overall damage/modifiers are lower than Raegen's, but his Ultima Javelin ability unlocked on Turn 4, when T-casted, can do incredible damage, much more than dedicated jumpers/finishers. He does have a weakness in that his TMR locks him to the Water element; fortunately his TMR ability is good, but not required to max out his potential.

    Support units 
  • Rikku is one of the best defensive buffers in the game. At 5*, she has a nominal cure-all which can remove Petrify, some decent chaining spells, and the ability Mix. Mix unlocks three skills for three turns: Sunburst, which does a fixed 19998 (999 in the arena) damage to all enemies; Hazardous Shell, which damages all enemies and inflicts two random status ailments; and Hyper NulAll, which gives 40% elemental resistance and a flat 30% damage reduction for three turns. At 6*, she gains a party Full-Life spell in case your White Mage goes down as well as a chance to dodge attacks and a decrease to the chance of being targeted. She turns into a Game-Breaker because of her Limit Burst, which gives your party a DEF/SPR buff and Auto-Life. Couple that with her Overdrive Boost and her event weapon (which together, give her a 200% boost to her limit bar filling) and you can keep your party alive basically forever unless your opponent has some sort of Dispel. With her Trust Mastery Reward, you get access to Eccentrick, which gives a party-wide 200% Limit Burst fill rate, making it even easier. On top of that, Chaos Grenade, another benefit, hits an entire enemy team with guaranteed Petrify if they can't save against it along with a 30% for the other status effects, a 30% debuff on all stats, and causes damage, making it a stronger Hazardous Shell which doesn't require another skill to unlock. Her enhancements buff Synthesis to a four-turn duration and adds a single-target full heal, and give her a 30% MP boost while wielding a light shield. She also gets a 30% attack boost when using a fist and her Tidal Wave ability gets a higher damage modifier and hit count, but these aren't that useful for her role.
    • Yan has a very similar kit to Rikku. Along with her Chi skills, which can be Dualcast, she has a variety of other options. Her Chi skills are a 2,000 HP heal (compared to Rikku's 1,000 with status ailments), a 100% fill rate buff, and a 20 MP restore to everyone but herself. She also shares an AoE 100% Revive. Her 30% damage mitigation does not have elemental resistance on it, but can be cast at-will instead of needing another skill. She also has a break resistance buff and Imperils. Her Limit Burst is better than Rikku's, offering the same AoE Reraise with an elemental resistance buff instead of a DEF/SPR buff. This makes her very similar to (if not outright better than) Rikku.
  • Ace, after enhancements, becomes a decent support unit for longer battles. Spirit Hand goes from a single target MP restore to restoring the entire party's MP, his included, for a minimum of 45 or a maximum of 140, and only costs 10 MP to cast instead of 20. This is essentially limitless MP unless an Osmose attack zeroes him out. Tri-Beam Laser, meanwhile, gains a chance to do extra damage, potentially up to 10 times as much, and gains a whopping 75% imperil for fire, lightning, and light resistance, making it the best AoE imperil for all three elements.
  • Continuing the tradition of game-breaking limited budget units is Illusionist Nichol. Aside from having a slightly upgraded version of Nichol's kit, he can dualcast Illusionist abilities, which make up almost all of his usable abilities. His Limit Burst is also strong, with a 2-hit AoE Mirage, a strong Refresh, and a strong Regen. Doppelganger is a targetable Mirage, while Phantasmal Forces is a chaining spell. He also has a single-target 45% ATK/MAG break. However, his main draw is his Redirect skill. This is a buff that gives a unit AoE physical cover. Do you need Wilhelm's Limit Burst buff, but need to protect against AoE damage? If INichol casts Redirect on him, he can cover your team with higher defense than anybody in the game. Do you have a unit with 100% evasion? With Illusionist Nichol, they can tank too. Even [[Memetic Loser/Eve]] becomes a useful tank, with his self-regen/mitigation skill and high pool of HP.
  • On release, Soleil was considered one of the worst 4-star bases in the game. Her buffs were poor, only lasting for 1 turn for a comparative 15% stat gain, and she had zero debuffing potential. However, as she was enhanced, she became known as the bridge between 45% buffers like Refia and Cecil and bards. Soleil's buffs increased to a 2-turn 100% stat buff and 35% AoE debuff for each stat, which expanded to a 120% debuff of both offensive or defensive status when using another dance. Where she really starts to become a game-breaker is paired with Illusionist Nichol. Endless Turn gives her strong passives, but where it starts to shine is the 30% dodge. If she has enough evasion gear on, he can cast his Redirect skill on her and she can dodge every physical attack the party throws at her. Even in the age of bards, Soleil is arguably considered viable in the current meta because of her tanking skills. She's even considered better for the Chamber of Arms due to not locking the party-switching mechanic involved.
  • Roy ushered in the new era of buffing, and made bards useful. His song has 4 verses to it, each lasting 2 turns. The first verse increases the party's DEF and SPR by 100% and does a little under a Curaga-tier heal. The second verse adds a 100% ATK and MAG buff to the mix, and also adds an MP refresh. The third song adds an AoE 40% Full Break. The final verse adds 10% to the buff's potency, topping out at a 110% Full Buff and an AoE 45% Full Break. His Limit Burst is more straight-shot, dropping the break for a 3-turn heal, MP refresh, and Full Buff that can go up to 124%. All of these attacks put him out of commission for the duration of his songs, but the benefits are well worth it considering singing is the only thing he can do. His refresh is lower than his other bard counterparts, but also gets a Global-exclusive buff that gives him 30% extra SPR when using a robe.
    • Ramza's enhancements make him one of the best units in the game. He was hyped for one reason only: enhanced Hero's Rime. This skill gives a flat 100% ATK/MAG/DEF/SPR buff for 3 turns and restores HP and MP every turn by a fair amount as well. The only downside is that you lose control of him until his song is finished, and if he dies at any given moment, you lose the buff. It has a stronger regen/refresh compared to Roy's and takes dramatically less time to start up, but is slightly weaker and has no breaks attached. In case you have a Roy or Soleil to buff with, he has a 60% ATK break and a 60% MAG break to use as well, and can Entrust his LB to someone like Ayaka or Rikku if needed. This is the second-strongest offensive stat break in the game, next to Knight Delita's Limit Burst. KD's has a dual ATK and MAG break at 64%, but cannot be used on-demand like Ramza's single breaks can. This set of enhancements was considered so broken that Gumi delayed his enhancements' release for nine months, and Gumi created multiple Global-exclusive units and upgrades to deal with the transition from conventional buffs to bards.
      • Ramza completely changes his role at 7-star, but is still a very good unit. He gains a 60% DEF and SPR break to go with his ATK and MAG break, and gains the ability to Dualcast his breaks. His cooldown skill is a simple yet effective HP barrier for off turns, and he can still buff when he's not breaking. In a pinch, he can also chain with Delita, but it's generally better to use Pod 153 to give him more versatility and buffing. When equipping Brave Suit, he also gets 15% HP, MP, DEF, and SPR boosts to add to its ATK and MAG boosts. He also gains a 50% ATK boost and 15% HP/MP boost when using a sword and a 50% LB fill rate for Entrusting. If a boss is immune to DEF/SPR or ATK/MAG breaks, he still has time to cast Hero's Rime if needed. While he evolves into a more conventional support, he is still very useful in his own way.
    • Lunera's enhancements are very similar to Ramza's enhanced Hero's Rime. While she has strong magic chaining, she is known for her enhanced Elven Song. It gives a 90% ATK/DEF/MAG/SPR buff for 3 turns while restoring HP and MP at a higher rate than Ramza's song and Roy's final song.
  • Heavenly Technician Lid was considered the gold standard of debuffing. She comes with four Absorb skills, which debuff a single enemy's stat (ATK, DEF, MAG, or SPR) by 60% and buff her respective stat by 120%. Ramza and Delita's breaks are the only abilities that match its power. She also has an AoE 3-turn 50% ATK/MAG debuff and DEF/SPR debuff for strong AoE debuffing. Her Super Invention skill restores a small amount of MP and has a chance to unlock one of several useful skills: an AoE full heal, a three-turn 30% mitigation, and two damage skills which aren't very useful. She has an Entrust clone with a ST break resistance buff, a 100% Limit Burst fill rate, and can equip fists for even higher LB fill rate. However, you're better off using her own Limit Burst, which debuffs all the enemy's stats by 70% at max level for 2 turns. Her Trust Mastery Reward is no slouch either, giving an accessory-based version of Ayaka's Pure White Blessing TMR. Her only downside is that debuffs are the only thing she can reliably do, but the extra 5-10% debuff Lid provides can be the difference between life and death.
    • Her 7-star form adds onto her breaks. Her Trust Mastery Ability gives her 2 LB crystals a turn, W-Ability for her single-stat breaks, and a counter that fills her MP and the party's LB gauges. Her cooldown is a single-target 74% Full Break with Libra tacked on. Her Limit Burst also becomes a 79% Full Break when fully leveled. Although she's a one-trick pony, she's so good at breaking that her 6-star form outpaced most 7-star units until Loren's release. Her one disadvantage compared to other 7-star breakers (Loren, Kryla, Auron) is that she lacks a turn 1 AoE full-break like her contemporaries, meaning she'll take a couple turns to get up to speed against multiple foes.
  • Maritime Strategist Nichol even leaps above the game's bards to become the best buffer. He can Dualcast all of his Formation buffs, which are all incredible. He has 5-turn 110% ATK and MAG buffs with a 150% LB fill rate, and 5-turn DEF and SPR buffs with a random flat AoE Limit Burst fill. He also has a 2-hit 130% ATK/MAG buff with an AoE 60 MP Refresh each turn and a DEF/SPR buff with a 2000 HP heal each turn. The only problem is that the latter two debuff the others' stats by 65%, so break resistance or break cures are needed to use them effectively. He also has a 100% Full Buff with a powerful HP regen. His Limit Burst is no slouch either, with a 110-150% ATK/DEF/MAG/SPR buff that cures breaks and heals HP and MP by 20%. The biggest problem is that he is extremely MP-intensive, requiring multiple MP passives and a strong refresh to sustain him. At 7-stars, he gains cooldown skills which act as more powerful versions of his mitigation and buffing stances, which also have the benefit of filling the esper gauge. He also gains a passive skill that has a 50% chance to fill everyone's limit gauge by 1-2 each turn, allowing him to supplement limit bursts over long battles.
  • At 7-star, Ignis is a fantastic buffer. His base 6-star kit has a HP restore and regen, an 80% revive, and a 50% ST ATK and MAG break. However, his Cooking skill gives him a wide variety of unlockable buffs for 3 turns. These buffs include a Regen and 120% DEF and SPR buff, a refresh and a 120% ATK and MAG buff, a 200% LB fill rate buff with a fill, status ailment resist with true Esunaga and Curaga attached, an MP recover with 50% ailment resistance, and a 5-turn damage mitigation buff. However, at 7-star, he gains the ability to Dualcast all of his Cooking buffs when equipping his TMR and upgrades his LB to a 100% Fire, Ice, and Lightning Imperil that gives him access to his Enhancement skills for a turn. These skills allow him to imbue an ally with Fire, Ice, or Lightning. In addition, his first cooldown skill buffs him, fills half his LB gauge, and gives him the ability to Dualcast his Enhancement buffs (along with single-turn access). His second cooldown is an AoE 150% full buff and break resistance. His biggest downside is that he's nearly useless at 6-star, with Rikku and Yan arguably filling better niches and having vastly better Limit Bursts. In addition, for a traditional buffer, Maritime Strategist Nichol can Dualcast his buffs without needing an unlock. However, he is unmatched at 7-star as an elemental support unit, especially with Hyoh.
  • Nyx goes from a mediocre 6-star to a strong Fixed Dice finisher to a top-tier Masterof All at 7-star. At 7-star, he gains 40% True Dual Wield, higher ATK and HP passives, higher modifiers on all of his damaging stats, and W-Ability. The last of these bonuses is very nice, allowing him to use True Doublehand competently enough to rival some of the more broken damage units in the game. He can chain with Kingsglaive (which has a 70% Fire imperil), imbue himself with Fire with Hero's Pride, and finish with Desperate Blow or Ready for Death into Risky Slash. To top it all off, he has incredible support capability, packing 50% ATK/DEF and MAG/SPR breaks. His supportive cooldown skill KOs himself, but fills the party's LB gauge by a staggering 28 crystals. If you are running a Limit Burst-centric team, this makes Nyx an incredible support unit as well. The only downside is that all but one of his chaining partners are limited 5-star bases, the only non-limited partner's access to Kingsglaive is locked behind an ability, and his chaining move itself breaks if dual wielding. Because of the new damage formula designed to nerf Fixed Dice, Nyx has stopped being a strong damage dealer, but has a strong niche as a Limit Burst bot.
  • Zargabaath was very good before, but becomes a monster at 7 stars. His 6-star kit is already solid, with 30% AoE mitigation, a 40% AoE elemental resistance buff, a ST attack with Dispel attached, ST Berserk, a 100% 4-turn AoE full stat buff with various stat resistances (including Stop) attached, and an ST HP/MP restore with Reraise attached. At 7-stars, he gets Dual Wield and an Octaslash frame skill that can take advantage of the 130% in ATK passives when equipping a sword and greatsword. He also has 40% physical evasion, allowing him to be a powerful evasion provoke tank (or physical cover tank with Illusionist Nichol). He also gets access to a ST 150% full status buff. His TMR ability grants him stop resistance, 20% DEF, SPR, HP, and MP, and upgrades his already powerful LB from a 135% full buff with 40% mitigation to a 150% full buff with 50% mitigation. His cooldown skills are also top-notch. The first is a 60% elemental resistance buff, break resistance buff, and 2-turn Dualcast of most of his offensive moves. The second is an AoE 140% full stat buff with 40% mitigation attached. This is by far the strongest. They both also give him 2 turns of Quickening, which allows him to dualcast all of his ST buffs. With the right setup, Zargabaath becomes a monstrously powerful unit who can serve multiple roles.
  • At 7-star, Loren is a ludicrously powerful breaker with chaining capabilities. At 6-stars, she is a Master of None, with lackluster breaks and no chaining partners, though enhancements give her 50% offense/defense breaks that last for five turns. Her 7-star form fixes this, giving her General's Manifesto, a powerful 6-turn cooldown available on Turn 1. This is a 70% AoE Full Break that gives your team a 200% Limit Burst gauge fill rate buff. In addition, she has 65% Lightning, Wind, or Holy imperils that chain with Onion Slice frames. She has Aureole Ray frames, enabling her to chain with units like Lunera and Malphasie. Her Trust Master Ability turns her Limit Burst into one of the best in the game, dealing high amounts of damage to all enemies and giving them a 74% Full Break and a 79% Lightning/Wind/Holy Imperil. Her versatile kit allows her to fill multiple roles in-game.
  • Kryla had a largely unheralded 5-star form, with good breaks and Imperils, W-Ability, and an interesting Dispel skill. However, she really begins to shine after enhancements and her 7-star form were released. Her enhancements were simple, but very effective. They gave her more survivability and MP, but the main draw was that they increased her breaks to 65% and the duration to 5 turns. While they are only 5% more powerful than CG Lid's breaks, that extra 5% makes a substantial difference from life and death. Her Trust Ability gives her full break resistance, sleep, petrify, confusion, and paralysis resistance, and more MP and SPR. She also gains a skill that can fill half of her LB. Her cooldowns, however, turn her from a solid breaker to a unit on Loren's level. Her first cooldown skill, available on Turn 1, is a 3-turn AoE 70% Full Break that fills half of her LB gauge. Her second cooldown gives her a 170% SPR boost, cures her of all breaks, gives her a true W-Ability, and unlocks AoE 74% ATK/MAG and DEF/SPR debuffs that use half her LB gauge.
    • Her character rework makes her arguably one of the best debuffers around, retaining her place in the meta despite numerous buffers being released after her by virtue of the sheer versatility in her kit. Her STMR now boost all elemental resistances by 20%. Two of her source of breaks are changed in how they works; Her "Jinx - Sap Pot" skillset becomes a single-target 70% stat break that also cures said stat break for all alies (For example, Jinx - Sap MAG Pot applies 70% magic break to one enemy while curing MAG break on all allies) which are W-castable and the unlockable ATK/MAG and DEF/SPR 74% break are merged into Jinx - Debilitating Pot which is an single-use AoE autocast 75% Full Break that can be unlocked with the same previous cooldown and Dark Covenant which fills her LB fully at the cost of 410 MP. Her all-dispelga skill are separated into enemy dispelga and ally dispelga. She gains a new once-in-10-turns cooldown ability that exclusively remove enemy buffs. Her "Jinx - Brew" element imperil skills become chaining abilities that also boost allies' resistance to elements the skill imperil by 50%. Her all-imperil cooldown skill is improved from 60% to 100%. Her LB now can imperil all elements for 1 turn albeit with increased cost from 26 to 30. She also gains an ability Spell Breaker that works the same with Manufacted Nethicite (nullifies the next spell cast). Her passives also provides very good survavibility, giving her innate 30% physical evasion, 20% magical evasion, 50% HP, 40% DEF, 100% SPR, and 20% resistance to all elements (those becomes 80% Hp, 70% Def, 130% SPR, and 30% resistance to all elements with her latent abilities), making her a good candidate for provoke evasion tank. The biggest change, however, is her innate W-Ability can now be used to all skills. She becomes a very versatile characters with a good break uptime and unique utilities. Better yet, this batch of enhancement comes with a bundle that lets you choose two 5 star units and one 100% trust moogle that can be bought twice at the cost of 10.000 lapis per purchase, ensuring players to have two 7* Star units or one 7* star unit with their STMR.
  • Auron is a very powerful breaker with wide utility. He has W-Ability for all of his non-cooldown skills, enough Limit Burst support, and 100% True Doublehand. For break-based skills, he has the new standard of 60% single-stat ST breaks, a 50% ST Full Break, and 45% AoE ATK/MAG and DEF/SPR breaks. What sets him apart from the rest of the breakers is that he can chain with the Absolute Mirror of Equity family, imperil Fire and Wind, and finish. At 7 stars, his Trust Mastery Ability gives him 50% more True Doublehand and adds a 74% AoE Full Break to the damage and 79% Fire and Wind Imperil on his Limit Burst. He also gains a 70% AoE Full Break on one cooldown that buffs the party's stats by 140%, while his second gives him Triple Ability for a turn that unlocks a 2-turn 74% AoE Full Break.
  • Yuraisha takes almost everything Maritime Strategist Nichol has and makes it better. All of her abilities have a three-turn duration, allowing her to maintain up to six seperate buffs compared to Nichol's four. She can cast general mitigation, physical mitigation, and magical mitigation, allowing her to stack all three types in her rotation. All of her stat buffs are superior to Nichol's, without causing debuffs in the case of her heal/refresh buffs. She can cure all breaks except for herself on demand, rather than just through her limit burst. Finally, her limit burst grants an HP barrier and limit burst fill rate boost. The only area she falls behind in is MP recovery, which she is inferior at. Her main buffing abilities also damage her, but this isn't a big deal because she's got a lot of health and her mitigation buffs will negate some of the damage. For pure damage negation, she at the top of the list.
  • Sylvie is head and shoulders above every other buffer in the game in sheer versatility. At 6 stars, she has status ailment resistance buffs, break resistance buffs that also cure breaks, and stop resistance buffs, all of which are attached with full cures. She has 120% stat buffs to ATK/MAG and DEF/SPR, respectively, the former packaged with a limit burst fill rate buff and the latter with a 1000 HP barrier. She can also break the same stat pairs at 45% each. She can grant 100% resistance buffs to light, lightning, and earth. She can also imbue those same elements to other units. In addition, she has a 50% all elements resistance buff. She has 25% physical and magical mitigation buffs, though she lacks general mitigation. Her four gift-themed skills allow her to grant allies physical or magical chaining skills with either AT frames or Esther's Bolting Strike Frames for three turns. She can restore 350 MP to any unit at the cost of 2000 self-damage. Finally she has access to Dispelga, Full-Life, Reraise, with ways to equip Dual White Magic thanks to staves being one of her equipment options.
    • Unlike Nichol and Yuraisha, her 7-star form significantly adds on to the already-busted parts of her kit. With her TMR equipped, she gains a 100% LB fill rate boost and 20% resistance to all elements. She also gains an automatic 20 MP heal to the party every turn and allows her to absorb all MP from magic attacks she takes, as well as innate immunity to stop. Her cooldowns are also broken, offering a 200% buff to one set of stats (offensive or defensive) to one ally, a 70% AoE Break of the unchosen set, and access to Triple Ability. She also gains a 170% AoE buff that gives her access to Triple Ability, and another cooldown that gives a regen and refresh at a one-time cost of 3000 HP. Her Limit Burst is what sets her apart. It offers a flat 35% MP restore, a 3500 HP barrier, and as high as 75% elemental resistance when fully leveled. Considering she was released at a time where elemental buffs were valuable, this made her an obscenely strong unit. Her original version gave a 100% buff, which was nerfed 20 minutes before the banner drop.
  • While Elly was the most hyped unit on the Xenogears banners, Bart flew under the radar with a rather useful kit. While he's a decent budget damage-dealer at 6 stars (with three different chaining families and four different elements under his belt), he truly shines as an excellent support at 7 stars. In addition to the moderate imperils he has at 6-star power, he also gains the ability to imbue his allies with those elements, while also simultaneously acting like an MP battery for the party and giving Limit Burst crystals to whomever he imbued. He also has an AoE 60% ATK/MAG break as a skill and a 74% DEF/SPR break on his Limit Burst, along with 100% Provoke and 30% innate evasion. Most potent, however, is his White Cologne skill, which gives an on-demand AoE Mirage (makes the next physical attack miss) charge and 200% buff to Limit Burst fill rates. The only other characters with a similar on-demand skill are Sara (who maxes out at five stars, and is thus very vulnerable even with Mirage) and Jiraiya (whose most useful Mirage skill requires ability awakening). Particularly if built for defense, Bart focusing on buffing his allies can trivialize some of the hardest bosses, but his value is based in the sheer amount of things he can do well.
  • Mastermind Xon is a support highly valued because he is flexible in the type of buffs he can apply to the entire party. His support "mirror" kit revolves around three skills that copy one ally's different group of buffs to himself, two skills that copy enemies' buffs to himself, and a cooldown ability that copy his own buffs to all allies for 4 turns. His mirror combo is very useful because the shared buff taken disregards the original duration and makes them all last for 4 turns and he can copy nearly all forms of buffs; stat buffs, elemental imbue, elemental resistance, killers, status effect immunity (including stop and charm), LB fill rate, HP and MP regen, and auto revive. All the values are also taken at face value. As an example, everyone can benefit from Regina's 250% all stat buff which none of the conventional support units are available to provide. He can't copy damage mitigation, LB damage boost, and mirage effect but he can open so many uniqe team composition possibilities. Aside from support skills, he can also provide additional damage output since he has 6 different chaining families and his LB chains perfectly with Hyoh, Elena, and Season 2 Rains.

  • White Knight Noel is a limited 5-star version of this trope. Mainly, he is known for Bring it On, which increases his target chance by 80% (adding to a 30% natural Provoke) and directly mitigates 50% of his physical and magical damage. This stacks with everything in the game except Pod 153's P Shield. He also has Steel, which mitigates another 75% of damage for a turn. In addition, he can reduce ice resistance by 30% and counter 40% of magic attacks with a random powerful ice attack.
    • His enhancements make him ever better. His passives finally bring him up to speed with other tanks and mages, granting a 30-50% HP boost, 50-100% DEF boost and a guaranteed 100% SPR boost (depending on what you equip). Winter Palisade becomes a fairly competent counter, increasing his chances of hitting a strong attack. Bring it On adds a 150% DEF, MAG, and SPR buff. In short, he either becomes an iron wall, a competent mage, or both.
  • Wilhelm is not limited, but is arguably stronger than the White Knight due to his utility. Impregnable gives a 3-turn 100% Provoke with 30% mitigation, while he has a 5-turn 45% DEF/SPR buff. In addition, General's Battlecry gives a 50% ATK/MAG boost with a 50% limit burst fill rate for 3 turns. His Limit Burst gives a 50-74% DEF boost to himself and a 30-54% mitigation boost to all allies for one turn. And if he (for whatever reason) cannot use Impregnable, he has an innate 50% Draw Attacks to keep drawing single-target hits towards him. He can even function as a cover tank with Illusionist Nichol.
    • His enhancements serve to increase the strong points for Provoke tanking. Protector increases his DEF and SPR by 40% when equipping a heavy shield or heavy armor (as opposed to only a 25% DEF buff), increase Impregnable's self-mitigation to 40%, increase his DEF/SPR buff to 70%, and increase General's Battlecry's turn count and limit buff.
    • At 7-star, Wilhelm is widely considered the best unit of his batch, and the only one who ages well. He gains an AoE physical cover to go with his provoke tanking. When equipping his Trust Mastery Reward, he gets 30% HP and DEF, along with a 100% Guts buff. His cooldown skill is a simple 90% physical mitigation buff for one turn that can be used every fourth turn. To top it all off, he gets 60% ATK and MAG breaks that do damage scaling on his defense. Very few units match his utility kit and his versatility.
  • Mercenary Ramza started off as an unimpressive single-cover tank and Master of None, until his enhancements came along. Ramza's Stone Throw is upgraded into a 100% Provoke/40% Mitigation to match Wilhelm's enhanced Impregnable. Blade of Justice goes from a sub-par chaining move to a decent ATK/MAG break that further allows Ramza's other breaks to reach 60% if used on the next turn, making him one of the best breakers short of CG Lid. He also gets passive enhancements that boost his survivability.
    • His 7* form turns him into one of the most versatile tanks in the game. He gains a physical cover skill and a cooldown magical cover skill. Though the latter hinges on Ramza never dying or being dispelled, this is a pretty easy condition to fill in most cases thanks to his extreme tankiness. He gains Entrust and Limit Burst fill passives, putting his otherwise worthless Limit Burst to good use by letting him fill the gauges of others as part of his defensive rotation. His TMR further boosts his innate elemental resistance by 10% and gives him 50% stop resistance, making it pretty easy to build him toward any elemental resistance you might need. Finally, he gains a 60% across-the-board imperil, though it's a cooldown skill that is only usable every six turns and not on turn 1.
  • Warrior of Light is discussed in Support, but he becomes an incredible tank later on once he gets his 6-star awakening. The Light is With Us is a 50% AoE physical Cover, with a 50% damage mitigation, which will stop nearly any physical attack that threatens your party. MP is also not a problem, because he has a chance to counter attacks with a 25% HP/MP heal. He also has utility as a support unit, with Raise, Arms Eraser (45% ATK and MAG break), Armor Eraser (DEF and SPR break), Full Break, and can buff the entire party with a 45% ATK/DEF boost for five turns. All of this put him in a class of his own as a physical cover tank until Illusionist Nichol, a unit who could give any ally an AoE cover (with a 45% ATK/MAG break of his own and an MP/HP regen Limit Burst to boot), debuted for Halloween.
    • His enhancements are strong as well. His crisis SPR buff (Hope) becomes 150%, and gives him a flat 20% SPR boost. The Light is With Us gets a stronger chance to proc and more mitigation, which is very useful. Brave Presence, however, makes him a formidable Provoke tank with high utility and diverse equipment options.
  • Veritas of the Earth is a good alternative to Warrior of Light, especially if you can't manage to pull the latter. He doesn't have an automatic cover skill and has the major drawback of a lack of native MP regeneration, but he makes up for it with some good buffing skills. Omni Block guards against all status breaks for the entire party, Defensive Barrier is a 20% damage negation buff for the party, and Earthen Ward is a 100% Earth Resistance buff for everyone but him (his Earthlord ability absorbs all such attacks anyway). His Guardian skill is the same as Warrior of Light's The Light is With Us, but with a higher chance of activating (60% to 50%) and a lower damage mitigation (35%), which he can buff further with Steel Body (20% mitigation and 50% DEF/SPR). He also has better passives boosts and an innate resistance to Paralyze. His Counter skill is doubled when he's leveled up, which allows him to collect Limit Burst crystals like crazy when combined with his Guardian skill. Finally, his Limit Burst ranges from 30% to 54% damage mitigation for one turn.
    • His enhancements turn him into a decent provoke tank on top of buffing his regular cover skills. Guardian is boosted to 60% mitigation with a higher proc chance, he gains auto-heal, and Incinerating Press is increased to a 3-turn provoke with 30% mitigation and damage based on his defense. In this respect, he actually surpasses Warrior of Light as a provoke tank.
  • Mystea is a game-changing tank due to being the first unit in the game to intercept AoE magic attacks instead of physical. She has a passive magical cover. She has decent defensive buffs, with dualcast Shellga and Protectga, plus a standard Dispel just in case. Her Clear Veil protects against all status effects and Stop for three turns. However, she is mainly known for Triteleia Wall. This is a magical version of The Light is With Us, providing an AoE Cover for magical attacks, which allows her to serve as a good sub for other tanks in boss fights that mainly use magic. She has a variety of equipment options to gear for elemental resistance, and if she is still weakened, she can use Reinstate to heal to full HP and remove her debuffs. Her downsides aren't too bad, lacking native MP regen and having somewhat subpar base HP, which can be geared for or supplemented. Her Limit Burst only reaches 42% mitigation at max (12% lower than Wilhelm and Veritas of the Earth's LBs at full level), but lasts for three turns instead of one like theirs and comes with a pretty good SPR buff. Shylt is nearly the same as Mystea, except with a break resistance buff instead of a status resistance buff.
  • Basch is like a turbo-charged Warrior of Light and Mystea rolled into one unit. He has both AoE physical and magical covers, which make him able to cover anything that the enemy throws at him (though the covers are mutually exclusive). Basch's physical cover is a clone of Warrior of Light's enhanced version of Light is with us!, and his magic cover is outright superior to Mystea's. He copies Warrior of Light's AoE breaks, but also comes with a full range of 50% single-target single-stat breaks for bosses that may only be vulnerable to one or two. He has SPR-based healing and MP recovery counters (on top of his his auto-Refresh every turn) against physical and magical attacks, respectively. The former is especially notable because its high modifier lets him heal around ~3000 HP with each counter. He even comes with a 70% DEF and SPR party buff. Finally, his stat passives are higher than both of his contemporaries, making him more resilient than either. He can even reach 100% Provoke if you combine Golem, the Judge Magister's Cloak (from his event), and the Pink Striped Float from the Ariana raid. In short, Basch offers very versatile cover tanking and a wide range of breaks.
  • Chow is a very strong magic tank as well. Along with having a clone of Basch's magical AoE cover skill, he has a wide variety of utility. He has a 30% chance of countering physical attacks with an Esunaga clone, and has a 30% chance of countering any attack with a self-mitigation buff and a DEF/SPR buff cure. He also has stop and charm resistance buffs. He can heal as well, having access to Curaga, Full-Life, and Esunaga (just in case his counter never proced). At 7-stars, he gains large stat boosts, a LB gauge buff, stop resistance, Dual White Magic, Dispelga, and Curaja. His cooldown skills are a 4-turn magical cover with an AoE 2000 HP barrier, a 3-turn break resistance buff with W-Ability. His Limit Burst is arguably the best in the game, with a 54% mitigation buff for one turn, a 5% HP restore, and a 55% MP restore that increases to 75% when he reaches 7-stars.
  • Liquid Metal Slime is one of the outright best provoke tanks, and very simple. Although he may only be a 5-star max with no access to abilities, weapons or armor, he has a base defense of 999, SPR of 500, and a permanent 80% mitigation buff. His Limit Burst is a 3-turn 100% Provoke with full status resistance, though equipping him with Golem, the Gauntlets from Mama Chocobo's Den, and Moogle Plushie (which was easily made available for free from Prompto/Aranea's event) can make him a 100% Provoke tank without using it. His game plan is very simple but effective - soak up all single-target attacks. His enhancements give him 30% evasion, increase his DEF and SPR by another 30%, and give him 5 LB crystals per turn. The only downside is that, like Tilith, he is limited and shares a banner with 2 other 4-star bases. However, with the guaranteed 4-star buff (which increases the on-banner rate to 50%) and prevalence of 4-star tickets, he's much easier to get.
  • Awakened Rain is the first non-limited 5-star tank that specializes in magic. He has sky-high passives in all three defensive stats, with 110% DEF/SPR boosts (when equipping light or heavy shields or armor) and 50% HP/MP boosts. Unlike other magic tanks, he has a 100% Provoke with mitigation, allowing him to fill two roles at once. He has a 60% magic break to help pitch in with breaks. His DPS skill and limit burst are scaled to his SPR, so he actually does more damage with defensive stats. He also has access to Complete Awakening, which gives him a 200% buff to all stats, 30% damage mitigation, regen, and refresh for 3 turns. His innate 100% Limit Burst fill rate buff and gauge fill counter help keep this up at all times. Like Lotus Mage Fina and Pyro Glacial Lasswell, he gets bonuses from his equipment from Training the Soul. Most of these are budget options or paralysis resistance, but Crimson Saber gives him another 30% HP and MP on top of the 50% he has innately. This gives him passives that are double Basch and Chow's, and comparable overall to Wilhelm at 7-star.
    • His own 7-star gives him even more utility. To go along with his utility set, one of his cooldown skills is an AoE status and Stop resistance buff. Equipping his TMR (which is one of the best for magic tanks anyway) gives him a 20% bonus to Esper stats, gives him Stop resistance, and allows him to counter a physical attack with Transformational Power as well. He also gets another 2 LB crystals per turn, and an AoE HP/MP restore for half of his LB gauge.
  • Sieghard became the gold standard for physical tanks at the time. When equipping his TMR (which is one of the best tanking passives in the game), he gains a 30% HP and DEF buff to go along with his 120% HP and sky-high DEF and SPR boosts that range from 100% to 180% (depending on what armor he equips). Unlike Wilhelm or Awakened Rain, his Provoke mitigates physical damage, which stacks with external mitigation boosts. To polish off his non-cooldown active moves, he has a physical AoE cover move and 60% DEF and SPR breaks. For passives, he also has 50% Draw Attacks and a counter that fills his HP and MP by 25%. For cooldown moves, he has a 3-turn AoE magic cover (on a 3-turn limit), chaining capabilities with Aileen and other Piledriver chainers (on 2 turns), and copies of Wilhelm and Awakened Rain's mitigation cooldown skills. He has a versatile kit that stands head and shoulders above most of the competition.
  • Sacred Shield Charlotte is to magic tanks what Sieghard is to physical tanks. All of her stats and passives are very similar to Sieg. She has innate draw attacks and provoke with built-in mitigation, just like him. Where she really shines, however, is her cooldown and limit burst. Her cooldown is a turn one 75% magic mitigation and 100% ice/light resistance buff. If you're expecting a big magic hit, it'll stop it dead. Her limit burst is her main selling point. When used, it performs exactly like her four-turn magic cover skill, except with an amazing bonus: 50% general mitigation, also for four turns. Every other unit in the game that has mitigation in that range only lasts two turns at most. Since Charlotte's limit burst only takes 22 crysts to fill when maxed out, she can maintain cover and mitigation practically indefinitely, which is a major boost to survivability.
    • Her enhancements on Global made her able to rival Cecil of all people. She has far more bulk compared to her JP counterpart, exchanging the damage increase on her offensive abilities for more status resistances, having her Knight's Command enhanced to provide 40% magic mitigation, making the SPR increase on her cover undispellable, and the best part: increasing the uptime of Charlotte's dualcast to 100%, with it already enable by her first turn, further encouraging use of her cooldown along with her cover to keep it online. The massive increase of her bulk and utility made so that Charlotte took back her position as one of the best mage tanks of the game.
  • Warrior of Dawn Galuf is the physical tank that eclipses all others, and he's as above all other physical tanks as Sacred Shield Charlotte is above magical tanks. His version of Draw Attacks is at 80%, which means that he can, with just one equipment or esper equip, completely ignore the need to activate a provoke. His defensive and hit point stats are just massive, easily able to surpass over 20k hit points. He's able to buff out fire and light resistance, plus he can imbue those elements as well as imperil them on foes. He also has 10% innate evasion, so he could also be easily built to evade tank. If his defenses are all built up, he also can chain with Absolute Mirror of Equity family chainers, boosting party damage. Finally, his limit burst provides 50% mitigation for 4 turns like Sacred Shield Charlotte's for the same cryst cost. It's telling that, despite being many months beyond the global version, the Japanese version of this unit is still one of the two best physical tanks.

  • Ayaka was widely regarded as the start of the final stage of healing power in the game, beating out her contemporaries in several respects. Her stat passives were unmatched at the time, with HP+20%, SPR+30%, and Staff Mastery, increasing her SPR by another 50% with a staff. These add to base HP, MP, and defensive stats equal or superior to every other healer, and have an innate 5% MP refresh. She's the first character to gain access to the Curaja spell, which has double the potency of Curaga and scales nearly 5 times more steeply with Spirit. Curaja can easily top off the average party in one shot. Her Purify cures all status effects and heals around Curaga's level, making it superior to Tilith's Goddess's Miracle. On top of a party Full-Life ability, she learns a single-target Full-Life (for the times you don't want to waste 70 MP on raising one person) and Reraise (compared to Rem's ability-based Reraise). She can use Embolden like Refia, and she can use Meditate like Delita and Ashe. She shares Tilith's HP and MP refresh ability to everyone but herself, making her a competent MP battery. She also has a straight-up Esunaga and Dispelga in her kit. She has innate immunity to Silence, Paralyze, Confuse, and Petrify, making Sleep (an easily gearable status immunity) her only real status weakness. Combined with her innate ability to Dualcast White Magic, she can pull off combos that put other healers to shame. Unlike Tilith, whose healing is entirely based on abilities and thus is limited to one per turn, she can cure status ailments, dispel, top off HP, revive, or Reraise in any combination in one turn. You don't need a dedicated Reraiser for trials like Aigaion because you don't have to decide between healing or Reraising. She's also the first character with innate Stop resistance and a full-party Stop cure, making her a great counter to units that use Stop in the Arena. Her Limit Burst costs more than three times as much as the average Burst, but is amazing, curing all status ailments, stat breaks, stop, and charm, plus a full-party heal and revive (50% of total HP at base, 100% if fully leveled). Even with the high cost, it can be circumvented by using Entrust (which is based off of the percent of your gauge instead of total crystals). The main disadvantage she has over Refia and Y'shtola is that she's a 5* base unit in the normal gacha, so she's much harder to pull. Pulling her when she's featured is harder than grabbing a Tilith in one of the Brave Frontier collabs, and that's even considering how she split her on-banner rate with two other gold units every time she's appeared.
    • Her enhancements further buff her utility. Stop Detach gains a five-turn Stop resistance buff, Dedication is made more potent and fills the limit gauge of other units, and her staff mastery passive is doubled while also gaining a passive limit burst fill every turn.
    • Ayaka's 7-star kit gives her access to a wide variety of cooldown skills. Equipping her with Pure White Blessing gives her an innate 2000 HP barrier, Sleep/Disease resistance to round out her excellent resistances, and upgrades her LB to recover MP as well. All her new cooldown skills are clones of her previous abilities with an AoE 3000 HP barrier attached. The weakest is Stop Detach, the middle is Resurgence (an AoE Full-Life), and the strongest having Curaja attached to it. There isn't much higher up for healers to go after Curaja, but Ayaka does a decent job at reaching that ceiling.
  • Lotus Mage Fina is on Ayaka's level, if not outright better. She has similar passives, packing a total of 35% in HP boosts, SPR+30%, and Staff Mastery. However, her utility kit sets her apart from Ayaka (who has a nearly identical healing kit). Her MP refresh restores 50 MP and gives a 3-turn Refresh to everyone but herself. She also has a 45% elemental resistance buff with an 80% ATK/DEF buff for beginners, and she can Entrust as well. For damage, she has a weak magic kit and some SPR-based chaining moves which barely see play. Her best damage move is Holy Retaliate, which is a direct SPR-based version of Dark Fina's Retaliate move that can be used in the Arena to tack on more damage. As she's technically the same as story Fina, she also can take advantage of her trial equipment (though her clothes are redundant). To top it all off, her Limit Burst (which costs 27 Crystals compared to Rikku's 16 and Yan's 20) is meager SPR-based damage, a 50% Light and Dark Imperil, and an AoE 100% Reraise. Having a Limit Burst of that power is simply incredible, especially if you're running an off-healer like Rem or Chow.
    • It says a lot about her 6-star kit that she's still top-ranked, despite her 7-star form consisting almost entirely of stat boosts. Blossom Heart is fairly underwhelming, essentially acting as a Reverse Hearts with self-Reraise. Eternal Light, however, is excellent, as a Curaja with a 3-turn AoE Reraise attached. Aside from her Trust Mastery ability (which offers a 20% buff to ATK/DEF/MAG/SPR, 30% Light resistance, and one crystal's worth of Auto-Limit), the only stat upgrades are 20% DEF and Light resistance. She also can counter magic attacks with an MP refill that increases the LB gauge. While her 7-star kit offers little compared to other healers, her 6-star kit is complete enough to keep her in the upper echelon.
  • Eiko has a solid range of abilities all around, and she'd be in the running for one of the best white mages in the game just on the basis of her spells alone. She has inherent Dual White Magic, Holy, Esunaga, Curaga, and Dispelga - she might not be able to heal quite as powerfully as Ayaka, but Eiko's white magic skills alone surpasses everyone bar Ayaka, Lotus Mage Fina, and possibly Tilith. She also is unique in that she has four spells that remove debuffs to all allies' attack or defense stats (one each for attack, magic, defense, and spirit), allowing her to remove these debuffs without resorting to dispel abilities. She also has two abilities that allow her to boost the summon gauge. One also improves the fill rate for limit stones (and thus allow all party members to use their Limit Break more often), and one heals on par with Curaga at the same time. This allows her to show off her greatest strength - she can use any summon equipped to any party member, with passives that improve summoning better than almost any other character. Only Garnet, as of receiving her six-star form, can boost summons further as of Eiko's release, and Garnet is only marginally stronger in that department and has less utility. Her only major drawbacks are a lack of innate MP recovery, but there's enough equipment available in various forms to completely mitigate that, and the fact that she's also a five-star base.
  • Folka has even more utility than Lotus Mage Fina. Along with the standard 5-star healing kit of Reraise, Full-Life, and Curaja and Dual White Magic, she swaps Dispelga for break cures. In addition, she has a 20% chance to counter any attack with a true Esunaga. What sets her apart from the rest of the healers is that she is also a strong buffer. Flowing Waters and Sobering Waters combine for 100% status ailment resistance, stop resistance, charm resistance, and stat debuff resistance. While the former may not seem important with items like Ribbon, bosses released after her have the ability to cast debuffs on ailment resistance, which can't be overstacked like elemental resistance, allowing Folka to block such attacks. She also has a 100% Water resistance buff, a 75% AoE Water imperil, a Refresh, and a huge ST MP refill on attack that uses an eighth of her Limit Burst gauge.
    • At 7-star, she becomes even more ludicrous. Her Trust Mastery ability gives her an Auto-Limit crystal, 20% to all of her relevant stats, another 50% to DEF and 70% to SPR, and full status ailment resistance. She also has two 2-turn Curaja-style cooldowns - one with 20% physical mitigation and one with 20% magical mitigation. She also has another that has 20% mitigation attached. Finally, she has an AoE MP refill that consumes 10 LB crystals and recovers only slightly less than her single-target refill. The sheer amount of utility makes Folka one of the top units in the game, and she remains relevant long past her introduction.
    • Ability enhancements further improve her healing. Her Flowing/Sobering Waters combo now comes packaged with a 2k HP barrier and an HP/MP regen, allowing you to spam HP barriers every turn on top of healing.
  • Aerith combines much of what makes the above-mentioned healers excellent in one package. White magic? Not only does she have the Esunaga, Dispelga, Curaja, Full-Life, and Reraise combo that all white mages crave, but she has Banishga and Holy if you want her to attack for a turn. On top of that, though, her abilities (most of which can be double-casted with Double Limit) can put down HP barriers while casting reraise or giving damage mitigation, revive the whole party, buff attack and Limit Burst gauge fill rate, cure Stop and Charm, or even a staggered heal that works both the current turn and the next. Oh, she also has Ayaka's Stop Detach along with Stop resistance, as well as Lotus Mage Fina's Healing Wind (Curaga plus all status ailment heal). It's a sign of how versatile her kit is that Seal Evil (an AoE defensive debuff that can also cast Stop) is seen as one of the weaker parts of it. Her damage and Full-Cure cooldowns are strong, but in a pinch, she can also buff all stats by 40% and give the party Reraise. Finally, her Limit Burst, when maxed, combines the full revive and restore of Ayaka's with the party Reraise of Lotus Mage Fina's, along with a removal of all ailments and debuffs. About the only things she lacks are Folka's buffs and the MP battery abilities some other healers have.
  • After upgrade, Myra becomes a fantastic healer with surprising amount of utility. Her unlockable song-themed skills also give stat buffs, cure status ailments, grant HP barriers, cure MP, and increase the LB gauge aside from providing basic healing. Her Audition skill provides an MP regen to all allies. Her hit single is a Curaga-level healing which also provides a strong regen on all allies. Her Album Covers provide resistance against status breaks, sleep, paralyze, petrify, confuse, and charm. She has two sources of reraise from Behind The Scene and her cooldown skill Live Concert, which also provides an additional 2000 HP barrier. Save Me is a Full Raise on all party. Her cooldown ability Roaring Crowd increases Fire and Light resistance by 75%, gives 30% general damage mitigation and increases her LB gauge. She also can transfer her LB gauge to another ally using For You. What makes her valuable is that all of her skills can be dual cast including her entrust skill, enabling different combinations of skills that suit the situation. Lastly, her Limit Burst is an HP cure, MP cure, all ailments (including stop and charm) cure, debuff cure (the only one not on a cooldown), and stat break resistance all packed into one.
  • Warrior of Light Lenna has most of what makes Aerith, Folka, Lotus Mage Fina, and Ayaka powerful, but supercharged. She has passives that increase the modifiers of her white magic healing beyond other units, her version of an AoE Reraise is on her Limit Burst rather than a cooldown, and she has extra effects on many of her heals (like restoring MP while boosting the limit gauge for the whole party). She can remove pretty much every debuff an enemy can apply, except sap and berserk, as well as make the party immune to everything but those two. She also has several ways to apply damage mitigation to the whole party (although her magical mitigation skill is on a 9-turn cooldown). Also, like the others, she can dual-cast almost all of her important non-magic abilities. An especially useful trick she has is a one-turn-delay heal attached to her status protection, which can give you a free turn for other actions after a big hit. But what really sets her apart is that she has Triple White Magic - even though it's just limited to white magic spells, it gives her flexibility to cast whatever the party needs, right now. And unlike Roselia, the first unit to get it, Warrior of Light Lenna avoids Crippling Overspecialization and Squishy Wizard. The best part, however, is her Limit Burst. Her LB is a percentage-based heal (ranging up to 89% when fully leveled), full break cure, and AoE Reraise at the cost of 27 crystals, with a 100% LB fill rate to boot. For comparison, Aerith's increases the healing to 100% and attaches an AoE Full-Life for almost twice the cost. She doesn't outright eclipse all of the others above because many of their abilities give them niches that Lenna can't fill (like barriers), but she is at worst the third-best healing option in pretty much any fight.
  • Rena, after her enhancements, not only outheals most other healers, but she can replace a Support and a DPS unit! The stat buffs (including 100% equipment SPR bonus) give her by far the highest SPR of all the healers giving her massive survivability, ensure her party heal is a guaranteed full heal and her heal-over-time gives the entire party unlimited MP. She also gains the ability for party-wide ailment and debuff resistance like Lenna. Support-wise, she can do a party-wide 200% DEF/SPR buff w/ Reraise and 50% magic mitigation, and her LB not only provides full break cure and reraise like Lena, but also attaches an even stronger heal-over-time and an 200% undispellable all stat buff. Damage-wise, she can imperil Light and imbue the entire party with light, and her damaging Light magic skill (that scales with her massive SPR) has a 60x modifier, and can be double casted. Lastly, she has the extremely-rare ability to nullify certain spells, cementing her use in certain trials.

    Arena Mechanics 
  • The ability to inflict Stop is a game-changer in the arena. Just as in the main game, it makes those afflicted completely unable to act. However, unlike the main games, it's extremely hard to defend against. Very few units that have protection from it, and even fewer can shield others from it. If you don't own Ayaka, the only way to remove Stop is to dispel the afflicted unit. (Party member targeting and attacking with either Fingersnap or Bushido - Freedom via a low attack unit are the most effective methods.) Agrias and Fryevia can only really take advantage of it as part of their Limit Break, but Chizuru, Orlandeau, and Ace can do it at will, Noctis and Amelia can potentially do it to all opponents at once at will, and Sice has a move that has a chance of inflicting it, that being one of her redeeming features. The Fallen Ice Bird trial went a step further by adding Frozen Hurricane, an AoE ice damage chaining ability with a 50% Stop chance attached (and perfectly chains with a single cast of Tornado). The Stop proc is as good as Amelia's and Noctis's Stop procs when dual wielding, but it can be equipped on any viable unit, and most magic abilities aren't affected by Dual Wield. Afflicting an opponent with Stop will also completely negate evasion and counters (including the aforementioned Mechanical Heart), meaning that it's also useful for shutting down other game-breaking strategies. The only units who can cure stop are Ayaka, Sylvie, and Aerith, all of whom are 5-star bases, and the units who can cast stop resistance are few and far between.
  • Status affliction, in general, is very strong, whether it be from equipment or abilities. Setzer, Noctis, Ling, Dark Fina and Zidane all have skills which hit the entire opposing team with random status effects (Zidane's can even be awakened to inflict four and later five effects all at once, though it only has a 30% chance per effect even when awakened), Exdeath has a Limit Break which does the same, Rikku's Pouch has Chaos Grenade which does this and debuffs, and Toxic Rain from Ultros and Typhon guarantees three status effects. As for equipment, from the Macalania Woods event comes the Break Blade and its upgraded form, the Razzmatazz, which have the ability to inflict Petrify with a 30% chance (the Razzmatazz adds Sleep with the same chance and does more damage). One Herd-Hitting Attack can potentially shut down half the opposing player's team, and the AI isn't smart enough to cure it most of the time. It's unlikely that you'll Petrify their entire team, but the physical attackers tend to be more vulnerable to status effects, so you'll effectively knock out some if not all of their heavy hitters. The Golem's Staff also has this ability, with the bonus that you earn it through regular gameplay. Also, similar to Stop, Paralysis and Sleep prevent a unit from taking advantage of counters and evasion, making them useful to hit an otherwise untouchable opponent (so long as they're not immune).
  • Osmose and related mana-draining abilities. Since items are forbidden and mana regeneration abilities aren't used by the AI, the only source of mana recovery is the passive Refresh ability, which is still not terribly common. Plus, many abilities cost enough mana that even those with refresh need 2-4 turns to restore the spent mana. As such, particularly if a player lacks in raw destructive power, clever use of Osmose, Osmose Blade, or Lance can effectively neuter a unit otherwise capable of laying waste to a team.
  • Evasion is a part of the arena meta in Brave Exvius. Stacking evasion equipment, like Assassin's Vest, Kiyomori, and Ring of the Lucii, can allow for a unit to reach 100% physical evasion. This is especially strong with units like Noctis, Fryevia, and Ling, who will have more time to use their Game-Breaker abilities if physical attacks can't reach them.
  • Magic chaining in the Arena is absurdly powerful, since it beats evasion and physical cover units, leaving Chow and Mystea as the only units with automatic cover. This makes certain combinations of units extremely powerful, able to sweep entire teams in one round. Trance Terra, Dark Fina (after enhancements), Ashe, Barbariccia, Grim Lord Sakura, and Shantotto all have magic skills that hit multiple times. Chained together with copies of themselves or others, you can win by the second turn as long as they survive the first. It works best if you have at least three, but even two pack enough punch that all but the hardiest units will either be dead or very close to it. Trance Terra, Grim Lord Sakura, and Ashe are especially useful because their chaining attacks are abilities that do non-elemental damage, exempting them from most magic-based restrictions that might sideline the others.
  • Special mention goes to Toxic Rain and Frozen Hurricane. The former is an equippable skill that hits the entire opposing party seven times with combined wind/water magic damage, ignores 25% SPR, and inflicts three random status effects with 100% chance (not taking resistances/immunities into account). The latter is an equippable skill that hits the entire opposing party twelve times with Ice damage, ignoring 25% of SPR, and with a 50% chance to cause Stop. These abilities can turn any powerful magic user like Emperor or Rem into a strong chainer with the ability to throw around status effects as an added bonus, filling two roles at once. Alternatively, they can turn a healer or tank into a chain assist with status effects as a bonus. While earning them requires you to beat two bosses in the Chamber of the Fallen (the former is guarded by ELT Ultros and Typhon, while the latter is guarded by the ELT Glacial trial), it's well worth the effort if you can manage to obtain it.

    Arena Units 
  • Ayaka, unsurprisingly, is the undisputed best healer for the arena, and acts as the only true counter to Noctis and other stop spammers. She has innate immunity to Stop, Silence, Confuse, Petrify, and Paralysis. She has an AoE and ST Full-Life, Esunaga (plus a heal+Esunaga command), and Curaja can heal to full health in all but name. But most importantly, she is the only unit who can cure Stop in the game. While Vaan, Moogle, and Mystea can buff Stop resistance, the former are largely useless in the broader Arena metagame without external items (like Rikku's Pouch or Pod 153), and the latter is only a defensive presence for magical attacks. Her only true weakness is that she does not contribute on offense — something that can be remedied if you equip the Holy Wand, Toxic Rain, or Frozen Hurricane on her or use the aforementioned Rikku's Pouch to let her throw around status ailments. She's not as bad to face as an opponent, however, since the AI is pretty incompetent with her status cures.
  • Noctis is the Demonic Spider of Arena units. His Fire Flask does lots of damage and gives two random status effects at a 30% hit rate, his Blizzard Flask has a 30% chance to inflict Stop to the entire enemy team, and his Thunder Flask is a team-wide debuff to round it off. And if's he's Dual Wield equipped, they're used twice and thus more likely to work. Considering how he was a top-tier unit in-game until the chaining meta became prominent, and this was before arena equipment was kept separate, people probably equipped him with it anyway. He has a 30% physical and magical evade that stacks with other equipments, and a Trust Mastery Reward that gives him (or another unit) another 25%. Put all that together and Noctis can be geared for 100% evasion. Noctis was so powerful to the point that his presence on a team was the have/have not dividing line in the Player Versus Player Arena until more status uses and cures happened. And if the AI gets the first turn, one (un)lucky roll can stop your win streak cold.
  • For those who have not pulled Noctis, Ling can do largely the same. To start things off, Dance of Death has the same effect as Fire Flask, but without the damage. She also has Dance of Life, which is a full Esunaga, and innate resistance to sleep, petrification, paralysis, and confusion. To top it all off, she has a 40% chance to evade physical attacks. In short, Ling is immune to four of the five most debilitating status effects, has an unmatched innate ability to evade attacks, can support your team, and is generally a very strong unit in the Arena.
  • Amelia is also very good for reasons similar to Noctis. She has a party-wide Stop skill with the same chance, she can chain with a copy of herself and her Disorder skill chains well with basically any other unit, and she can heal in a pinch. Finally, she has innate gun-only Dual Wield. This means that gearing her up is very easy.
  • Setzer is more of a one-trick pony, but can inflict statuses incredibly well. His Cursed Card skill can bring any arena battle to a halt due to its 30% status-afflicting property (except for a 100% Petrify), and if status ailments are banned, he can just use Slots for a 50% chance at Double Dice (big probability for max damage) or Joker's Death (which can kill the entire opposing party — and is the only way to use a One-Hit KO attack in the arena other than two-star Odin or Vanille's Limit Burst). He also has a 10% evade (which can be awakened up to 40%); while he's a bit trickier to cap out in evasion (he can't equip quite as many evasion-boosting items as others), he still has more staying power due to it than his otherwise average defensive stats suggest.
  • Seven and Rem in particular can purchase (via enhancement for Seven, via an event item for Rem) the ability to use AoE Osmose, draining the entire opposing team's MP. The Man-Eater+ materia from the Elnath trial increases its damage to sky-high levels. Depending on how either is geared, anywhere from one to three hits will completely neutralize the other team's MP. This means 50-90% of their offensive and defensive capability is straight up gone (depending on how reliant they are on their skills and how much of their team has refresh) in three turns at most.
  • Orlandeau was limited in the Arena when 6-star units were the most powerful, but the launch of the 7-star meta, which debuted with his 7-star form among others, instantly pushed him into one of the most aggravating units to face in the Arena. First and foremost, he was finally given a Herd-Hitting Attack, no longer making him reliant on equipping Odin, Diabolos, or Tetra Sylphide to attack all of his foes at once. He was also naturally given sizable stat boosts, making it harder to quickly take him out in one turn. But the biggest reason he was able to swing Arena fights are the boosts that he gets to his Limit Break when he equips his Trust Master Reward - it goes from simply doing AoE damage to a sizable break to his opponent's defense, a 40% chance to apply Stop to all foes (see above as to how useful that is), and fully healing himself. Between his inherent 200% high tide passive (i.e. his Limit Break gauge fills up three times as quickly as anyone else's), the ease at obtaining other gear to improve Limit acquisition, and the low cost of his limit break (even without other boosts, he only needs 6 limit crystals to use it), an Orlandeau that lives past turn one is a nigh-immortal One-Man Army that can single-handedly win an Arena battle.
  • Lilith is one of the most feared and loathed Arena Units conceived. She has ridiculous tank stats and HP allowing her to survive so much abuse even from a full party. Her real danger lies in her counters. If you have a pair of Liliths, they can chain an AoE DR chain counter up to three times, doing crazy amounts of damage and filling up the Limit Burst gauge. Once her gauge is full Lilith can use a limit burst which damages all enemies and heals her, and does enough hits to almost certainly fill her gauge right back up. Her only weakness is a vulnerability to Stop. She is one the most hated unit to see on the enemy team in Arena as if getting your win streak medal wasn't hard enough.
  • Lotus Mage Fina can be deeply problematic. In addition to being a strong healer, her LB can put 3 turns of Reraise on her entire party... and the AI will always use Limit Bursts when they're filled. Even worse, she can be set up in such a way that she refills her LB, automatically, every turn. In other words, once she gets her LB going, the entire party is invincible. This is rarely enough to win the match, but it drags the round (and the loss) out to the mandatory 10 rounds, resulting in a Scrappy Mechanic. Mercifully, she is vulnerable to Stop.

    Former Game-Breakers 
  • The number of high-end mages is legion, though in general, any mage that has damage spells in at least three elements, can perform status ailments as well, and can hit five stars is a powerhouse that can carry parties through battles. Emperor, Dark Fina, Exdeath, Zyrus, and Trance Terra (and later Shantotto) all fit the bill. All can dualcast black magic. Emperor and Zyrus are the only ones who don't have Meteor or Ultima but make up with it in other skills. Shantotto provides the widest element coverage in the game (only missing dark and holy) and can make obscene chains with Tornado, Emperor can finish off units with a skill that gains more power after more uses, while Trance Terra, Ashe, and Dark Fina (after enhancements) can chain. Other mages, like Arc, Golbez, Terra, Kefka, and Hope are serviceable as well at low levels. Most of these units have largely fallen to Power Creep with the introduction of 6-star bases (Shantotto is the only viable 5-star max) and true magic chaining.
    • Exdeath was considered the most game-breaking mage from the game's release. He was one of two units from Day 1 to learn Dual Black Magic on release, the other being Vivi, a 4-star max. The only mages that remotely came close were to his power Kefka, who needed a separate Dualcast to keep up with Exdeath, and Arc. Shortly after Arc was released and Ludmille made Dualcast available to everyone, Exdeath got his 6-star form, giving him magic killers and the ability to dualcast Meteor. His Limit Burst was also widely considered to be the best in the game on Day 1, giving 3 status ailments. Five months after his release, he was finally dethroned by Dark Fina, but only by a hair. All of the other 5-star mages released during his time period (Emperor and Ace) lagged behind him before enhancements. It almost took a full year for a budget mage to match him in Zyrus.
    • For a matter, Ashe. Ashe is one of the few mages that does not have Dualcast, but makes it up with a versatile ability kit. She can buff the party's MAG and SPR, cure party status ailments, and debuff the enemy's DEF and SPR in a pinch. Most notably, Ashe has a strong magic-chaining skill with a Curaga-tier heal attached, which makes her a popular unit. She can take pressure off of your healer in boss fights and help chain and restore HP in the Arena. It also helps that, due to her innate equipment options and stats, she's one of the few units that isn't a five-star base capable of surpassing 1000 in her primary attack stat (in her case, magic) without resorting to the Trust Master Rewards from any five-star unitnote , making her perhaps the most powerful budget unit.
  • Enhanced Agrias is a budget HE-frame unit. The initial build of her 6* seems less impressive than most, with attack passives on the low end. She does, however, have a poor woman's version of Divine Ruination. With Enhancements, however, her attack passive goes up to a respectable 70% with a Great Sword and her boosted Divine Ruination turns into a clone of Orlandeau's, extra hits and all. Agrias thus becomes an easier-to-obtain option to chain with an Orlandeau or Veritas of the Dark friend unit, and even has some advantages such as being able to use Spears like Holy Lance or Demon Scythe to hit their element of choice (and thus allotting NE Great Swords for her DW builds).
  • Vaan was one of the most sought-after units in the entire game due to being the only launch unit who could use Full Break. Full Break not only had double the power of the other breaks, but broke all four debuffable stats at once. Before stronger, more focused debuffs and area-of-effect debuffs were released, this made it the best debuff condition in the game. Vaan also was the only unit to have Focus, a 40% magic and magic defense buff. Other Full Breakers, like Warrior of Light and Agrias (who were more focused in tanking and offense, respectively) were released later on, but they were harder to pull than Vaan due to his 3* rarity. No 3* Full Breaker would be released until Ingus (who is the only magically-inclined user of the move) and Sice, who has a slightly weaker (25% for her vs 30% for everyone else) version, but one that hits everyone on the field; unfortunately, Sice doesn't bring a lot else to the table. In July 2017, Vaan got a further boost with a 6* awakening, which added an additional 30% attack boost, a chance to evade attacks, and a magic counter ability that hits every enemy on the field with a stronger Full Break equivalent (40% debuff instead of 30%) if it triggers. He also comes with Resist Stop, which increases Stop resistance to 100% for all allies for three turns, making him a decent counter to Noctis or Amelia (but only if you go first and keep him alive). He is also a viable DPSer with Assault Strike. Fell to Power Creep due to the increase in break potency and his repurposing into a chainer.
  • Cloud of Darkness was a brutal DPS unit, even at the lowest possible level. Possessing some of the best stats in the game, plus resistance to every element and status ailment, she's a capable warrior right from the get-go, even with her limited equipment. She was very useful as a 5-star unit, learning defense buffs and debuffs, strong magic damage with the Thunder line of spells, and caps it by learning a useful attack skill in Barrage. The only drawback is that her equipment list is limited (weak weapon and armor choices, no ability slots), but there are ways around even that - one of the reasons Locke and Celes were such desired characters is because their Trust Master rewards are Infinity+1 Swords (weapon for Locke, armor for Celes) that Cloud of Darkness can equip. The introduction of her six-star form was a nigh-Infinity+1 character — her stats get a further boost, improved status ailment resistance, new utility as a buffing/support character (including the ability to increase all elemental resistances or cure most status ailments for the whole party at once), finally gets ability slots (allowing use of abilities like Doublehand or Dual Wield), an AoE ATK break with a chance to proc Silence, and a Dark-elemental finishing skill. Her main drawback is that her unique race, Reaper, counts as undead for gameplay purposes, so Revive Kills Zombie is in full effect. Computer opponents won't exploit this, but any human that faces your team in the arena will almost certainly get a free kill. As a Barrage-based character, her DPS options were later power creeped by chainers and units with better finishing moves. Ultimately, what did her in was poor enhancements. Her more powerful skills, like Call of the Void, went untouched in favor of Barrage, and Omni-Veil's only notable addition was a 50% status ailment resistance skill. Her Man-Eater+ enhancements are good, but she doesn't have good damage skills to take advantage of it. Her support options have fallen by the wayside to Power Creep as units like Minfilia (with stronger, single-element elemental boosts) and Rikku (who has a higher omni-element resist skill *and* 30% damage mitigation on top of it) were released and Esunaga became widely proliferated.
  • In general, Noctis. He can pretty much do it all, and originally did everything at a high level. He can use multiple elements, tank, regenerate both hit points and Mana for the whole team (and himself), recover his own hit points as a Counter-Attack, and can spam DEF and SPR debuffs and status effects across an entire enemy team. Notably, his Blizzard Flask has a chance to inflict stop on an entire team, and there are no items and very few units in the entire game that have any means to resist it (Moogle, Mystea, and Vaan are the only ones that can shield an entire team, and Ayaka is the only one with a Stop cure). He even gets a Full-Life spell to help out his allies. Oh, and his actual attack stats are great, too — even the simple attack command is extremely effective for him. His only downside is that his defense is middle of the pack for a base five-star unitnote , but that only really matters if an entire team of opponents can focus on taking him down hard and fast, which is harder than it sounds because he has an innate 30% evade and a 30% chance to counter with a self-heal. Has somewhat fallen to Power Creep due to the lack of chaining and poor finishing moves, which do not get fixed even in his 7-star form.
  • Less blatant than the above, but Setzer can pull off some absurd combinations. True to his gambling roots, Setzer specializes in moves with fixed damage and high variance, ranging from 1 damage to 77777 damage. The catch is that this damage is concentrated in one move and functions with chains, meaning Setzer can deal largely multiplied amounts of fixed damage independent of the enemy's actual defenses. All this requires is two duplicate units with a decent chaining skill (Edgar is often recommended, being a easy-to-pull 4* max). While it's a 20% chance to get the strongest result, Setzer can one-shot Gilgamesh and the Dark Espers, as seen here, and the second-best result still has respectable damage. With enhancements, his Double Dice raises his damage ceiling to 88,888 while eliminating the lowest value, effectively raising the chance for extreme damage to 50%, but nearly quadruples the MP cost in exchange. This isn't quite as effective on the trials that follow, but Setzer allows you to earn the rewards for the previous ones with ease (other than the trust moogle), making what follows just a bit easier. Also, his Red Card and Prismatic Flash skills are excellent for chaining. Some people argue that he was better than Trance Terra (the 5-star on his banner) when he was released: that is, until her enhancements made her a Game-Breaker as well. Fallen to Power Creep due to high-level bosses opting for large HP stacks instead of high DEF and SPR.
  • Refia was considered game-changing on her release. Before she arrived, the White Mage landscape had clearly defined roles for each unit. In the beginning, Terra was the only one who could use Raise, Fina was the only one who could use Cheer, and Roselia was the only one who could use Curaga. Shortly after, Lenna could use Curaga and Cheer, Garnet could use Curaga and Raise, and Roselia still held a niche with the only Esunaga (on her Limit Burst). Refia dethroned them all with Curaga, Raise, and Cheer. She had a wide kit, with Curaga, Esuna, and Dispel. She also had Embolden, which was stronger than Cheer and lasted much longer, outclassing Lenna. In addition, she was the only White Mage to reach six stars for two months, and got Embolden and innate status resistances. What put her indisputably over the pack, however, was her access to Full-Life. Full-Life, before abilities like Tilith and Rikku's party Full-Life abilities were released, was very rare, with only one other source being locked behind a 5-star base. If you farmed a Dualcast TMR from Ludmille, you were essentially set until Tilith's 6-star release, which made her succumb to Power Creep. Tilith's 6-star could do much more.
  • Steadily encroaching on Refia's throne of god-tier white mage is Y'shtola. The key difference between the two is that Y'shtola has one particular strength that Refia lacks: innate dualcasting. When awakened to 6*, Y'shtola can learn Presence of Mind which allows for dual-casting white magic, bolstering your health and defenses far quicker than before, whereas Refia needed a materia to be able to dual cast. Y'shtola also has Aerora/Aeroga and Stonra/Stonega and can learn Holy so she's better suited to offense than Refia. In addition, Y'shtola has a Limit Burst that outright mitigates damage for a turn, anywhere from 30% to 54%. The only drawbacks to Y'shtola are her lack of Full-Life and her semi-limited status. This, however, is also a positive, because she's instead picked up from FFXIV raid gachas (which are fairly frequent anyway), or just doing the raid event and getting her as a reward. That means you can get her for the amazing price of free. Once again, fell to Power Creep due to Tilith doing more.
  • Tilith is an amazing healer. Goddess's Miracle heals for the same amount as Curaja and adds the status curing properties of Esunaga, Radiant Light is a full-heal for the entire party, her Prism Heal is a flat 2,500 heal (a double Curaja, more or less) and 50 MP regen for the entire party save herself, and she possesses a multi-target full revive. She's a decent buffer, having a two-turn Full Buff, a three-turn 40% buff to all elemental resistances but Dark, and a three turn 100% break resistance buff. Her Pretty Steel and Sealed Light can remove the status effects on a single opponent or an entire party, allowing her to knock out buffs like Rikku's auto-revive Limit Burst. She also has the benefit of a camouflage passive which reduces the chance of the AI targeting her. Finally, almost all of her skills are ability-based, not magic, so Tilith can dodge a lot of anti-healing and magic restrictions in missions and Arena conditions. Her only drawbacks are a total inability to use weapons/shields without materia and a lack of native Petrify curing, the latter solved by equipping Stona. She's hard to pull because she's limited to Brave Frontier crossovers and shares her on-banner gold rate with two other 4-star units. In short, the chance of pulling her was slightly more than pulling a rainbow on any banner. Every gold crystal had a 1/12 chance of being a Tilith, and regular summons had a 1.66% chance of getting her. If you're lucky enough to pull her, she becomes a strong addition to your party.
  • 9S from the Nier: Automata collab is a great debuffer. He has two different elemental Imperils (and can debuff six elements overall), a 50% ATK/DEF break, a 50% MAG/SPR break, and his Limit Burst is an AoE Full Break that can go from 30 to 54%. He does not have much for buffs, but he does have a 30% damage mitigation buff. In addition, his Trust Mastery Reward is broken. This gives any unit innate Treasure Hunter (Locke and Xon are the only units in the game that has it otherwise), a high powered AoE Regen, a DPS ability (allowing anyone to chain), and 40% physical damage mitigation that stacks with most things (including Rikku and 9S's damage mitigation). This makes him one of the best breakers in the game, even without his similarly game-breaking TMR. Somewhat fallen to Power Creep due to Kryla's Dualcastable Breaks and strong fixed-damage potential.
  • Paladin Cecil is a pedestrian tank/healer at 5-star, but he becomes a top tier tank at 6-star. His best healing option goes from Cura to Curaga - and because of the way heals scale it's pretty close to the top tier healers of his time period. He also gains Focus, which increases the party's SPR and MAG by 40%. And even further, he gains an immunity to Holy attacks and buffs to place his defensive stats at the very top of the game. Lastly, he gets a 75% chance to cover anyone and a 50% reduction (on top of his best-in-the-game defense) to damage when targeted. Finally, his limit burst not only improves to a base 50% buff to both defensive stats (with an additional +1% per level), but it also now buffs attack as well, plus gains an ability that doubles the rate his limit meter fills. The fact that he stays the best tank for seven months shows how strong he is. His other personality as a 5 star base, Dark Knight Cecil, also becomes very strong after enhancements. Enhancements only further his status, giving him further buffs to his defensive stats (with the spirit buff also making his heals stronger), plus giving him mana regeneration to make him able to use his active buffing/healing skills even more often. Has fallen to Power Creep due to AoE Cover and better options when supporting a Provoke tank.
  • Tidus was a very good chainer on his release, packing powerful modifiers and beast, bird, and demon killers. His enhancements and the release of True Doublehand took him to the top tier. Get Pumped is outclassed at this point as a buff, and Tackle Slip only adds a standard counter and a 10% magic dodge. Sun Crest's ATK boost is raised from 20% to 40%, and it gains a Sword Mastery trait as well, making it well worth the Crysts to get. To make up for the lack of Imperil (compared to Aileen and Orlandeau), his Quick Hit is 7.2x potency. However, his Limit Burst is a powerful chaining move in its own right and reduces one enemy's water resistance by anywhere from 74% to 100%. To top it all off, he has full access to Fixed Dice and a 5-turn water imbue. This makes Tidus one of the two Fixed Dice chainers in the game (and the only non-limited one) who can take advantage of their Imperil. The only downside is that Tidus requires a True Doublehand kit, which consists of three to four 5-star base TMRs. He becomes merely serviceable at 7 stars, gaining 25% more LB damage, 25% more Beast, Bird, and Demon Killers, and 100% Doublehand. He gains a powerful finishing skill that can Imperil, and another that can unlock his W-Ability for two turns. His cooldown skill, Delay Buster, is slightly stronger and unlocks Triple Ability. His late Global release was overshadowed by the release of Hyoh and Nyx, who had innate W-Ability (the former of which had Triple Ability available on a random counter). He has since fallen to Power Creep as characters with better stats and who don't need to unlock Double/Triple Ability, as well as who aren't locked to a single element, have proliferated.
    • A2 was right up there on release with the best chainers in the game. She has a wide selection of weapons and she gets ATK passives for equipping a sword, great sword, spear, or fist. She has innate Dual Wield, freeing up a slot or an accessory for even more attack stacking. Her counter is unique in that it allows her to do an attack that's 3x stronger and avoid 2 physical attacks. Her dash attack, which can chain, enables access to Finisher, a strong finishing attack, and Heavy Attack, which is a slightly weaker AoE chain, for a turn. However, her best chaining move is Offensive Heal Combo, which has fourteen hits, alternating between high-damage hits and smaller hits that heal her. Even though her Limit Burst damages herself for a percentage of her HP (30% at Level 1 to 20% at Level 25), it does heavy AoE damage (from 3.3x at Level 1 to 4.5x at Level 25, and gives her a massive ATK buff (at 6*, 200% at level 1 and 250% at level 25). Damage is a non-issue with Offensive Heal Combo, and with High Tide and access to Aigaion's Arm, filling the Limit Burst gauge is not an issue either. It also helps that her TMR is one of the best one-handed NE greatswords in the game and the NieR: Automata raid event had free Trust Moogles to use for her.
      • Her 7-star form received disdain from the community for restricting her to Doublehand chaining and excluding a modifier boost towards Offensive Heal Combo. Despite this, she still has some powerful moves, including access to an AT-frame move, Offensive Heavy Attack. While she's not a meta-changing unit, she's still very usable.
  • Aileen rivals (and arguably surpasses) Orlandeau. She's very strong before enhancements, with an innate Machine/Stone Killer, health and mana regeneration, being able to equip all weapons, attach earth, and a skill that debuffs earth resistance. However, her enhancements give her a 50% ATK boost when equipped with a spear, a small LB buff attached to her MP refresh skill, and more power and hits added to Pile Driver. One could make a case that she passes Orlandeau if you beat Aigaion due to being able to equip Aigaion's Arm and Martial Arts Mastery innately.
  • Onion Knight is one of the best chainers in the game. First of all, he has innate Dual Wield and a nearly-universal equipment selection. However, he is best used with a sword, especially his own Onion Sword from his Trust Mastery. Most importantly is his chaining skills. He has 12-hit chaining moves for each of the original 4 elements that increase resistance of the opposing element (fire/water, wind/earth), a weaker 12-hit AoE chain, and a 12-hit ST chain. When he is equipped with his Onion Sword, he gains a new 16-hit chaining move that has 5.2x potency - about 25% more powerful than other chains like Fryevia, Tidus, Aileen, or Orlandeau. His Limit Burst is also very good, with a 50-74% DEF debuff. This makes Onion Knight a great non-limited starter unit: unlike the other non-limited top-tier chainers, he has innate Dual Wield. He also has innate Thrown, making an Onion Knight with a full True Doublehand+Fixed Dice build deadly.

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