My Utterly Broken Team Build in Bravely Default
I promised you I’d do a post about this, and I do sometimes keep my writing promises. >.>
Now I must warn you that this might not make a whole lot of sense to anyone not familiar with the game, even though I am going to do my best to explain why I’ve set up my team the way I did.
How did I arrive at this build? Well, in chapter 8 the final series of sidequests pits you against a series of really tough bossfights, as several bosses band together in new groups with new tactics that can make them very hard to overcome unless you have a well-built team. I was already character level 99 on everyone, and had all their jobs level up to 14 (which is the max), but my normal group set-up, which I thought was well-rounded enough to handle anything, just wasn’t getting the job done. In fact, it was failing quite spectacularly. So I looked online for some tips, just went through everything I had learned on my own, and through several iterations arrived at what I’ll be telling you about today.
I’ll start with Tiz, my Spiritmaster/White Mage.
While he originally was there as my healer, he had to adopt a quite different role. Similar to what I did for the dragon fights you have to overcome to enter Vampire Castle the first time. So some of his gear and abilities are artifacts from his healing era.
- Job: Spiritmaster
- Secondary: White Magic
- Support Abilities: Hasten World (Time Mage lvl 14 Ability) (Essential), Holy One (Spiritmaster lvl 9), Angelic Ward (White Mage lvl 8).
- Equipment: Yggdrasil Staff, Lustrous Shield, Red Cap (for the +5 Agility), Lordly Robes, Magic Armlets.
Tiz’s job was: Cast Stillness every other turn. (For those not in the know, Stillness is an ability which nullifies all damage done to friends and enemies for 2 turns: the one its cast and the next one.) Normally this wouldn’t be possible, as you only get 1 BP per turn, and Stillness costs 2 BP + the 1 you need to take the action. So normally continuous casting of Stillness would leave you safe for 2 turns, and then vulnerable for 1.
Hasten World changes all that, by giving everyone (friends and allies) 2BP per turn. So as soon as Stillness faded, he could just cast it again. The trick is his speed. He needs to be slower than your team-mates, so they get to act first, but faster than any of the enemies, so they don’t get a chance to do any damage before Stillness goes into effect. Normally a character’s Speed is the same as their Agility score, unless using a Thief’s Speed+ support abilities.
Tiz’s base Agility score at level 99 is 79 while a level 14 Spiritmaster. I was worried that might be a little low, but boosting it all the way to 89 with Hermes Sandals seemed excessive because that got too close to the others. So I settled on a Red Cap to get it to 84.
See, Speed is not an absolute in Bravely Default. It’s more an… indicator. Initiative order isn’t set, but more loosely follows a character’s speed. So characters with similar speed values might act in a different order from turn to turn. Which isn’t helpful to such an initiative-based build as this, but it ended up not really mattering because I was effectively invincible and could take as long as I wanted.
So the idea would be that the three others would get all their damage done first, then Stillness would kick in, and we’d rest and let the enemy hit us without effect until Stillness went down again.
Still, I would be willing to try without any Agility boosts just to see if I could get a more consistent damage output.
- Job: Monk
- Secondary: Piracy
- Support Abilities: Natural Talent (Monk Level 14), Speed 30% Up (Thief lvl 13), Hawkeye (Ranger lvl 12).
- Equipment: None.
Ringabel’s job was mainly to apply Shell Split to the enemy, and just punch regularly to conserve MP otherwise.
There’s really no special reason I made him a Monk, but I just wanted to try out Natural Talent, and felt it would synergise well with Knuckle Lore. See how high I could push his attack value. Natural Talent drastically boosts a character’s attack power when they’re wearing no equipment. And Knuckle Lore gives you extra unarmed damage based on your character level. Yet I also felt like I needed the Speed Up to make sure he acted first, and Hawkeye to make sure all his punches would hit. So that’s how he turned out.
There were instances during that final sidequest I mentioned where I absolutely needed a boss character to die on the first round, and I would burn through most of his mana with Shell Split + 3 x Double Damage the first turn. Even a normal punch series would produce over 6000 damage, so Double Damage was a guaranteed 9999. Together with the girls, that was usually enough to kill a boss character in one turn.
- Job: Swordmaster
- Secondary: Piracy
- Support Abilities: Hawkeye (Ranger lvl 12), Axe Lore (Pirate lvl 12), P. Attack 30% Up (Dark Knight lvl 12).
- Equipment: Fox Tail (Special axe from Norende village), Lustrous Shield, Ribbon, Crystal Mail, Hyper Bracers (Strength +20).
The first of my two main DPS. I made Agnès a Swordmaster/Pirate, and Edea a Pirate/Swordmaster mainly for variety’s sake.
Her job was simple. You start with Free Lunch, the level 14 Swordmaster ability that reduces all MP cost to 0 for 2 turns, and follow that up with 3 x Amped Strike, the level 14 Pirate ability that does 4x the damage of a regular attack (and normally costs 50% of your mana). This would always do 9000+ damage, and often 9999, with Shell Split in effect.
I put in Axe Lore because Axes have the highest base damage values of all weapons, as far as I was able to discern, and Hawkeye helped undo the reduced accuracy.
- Job: Pirate
- Secondary: Bushido
- Support Abilities: P. Attack 30% Up (Dark Knight lvl 12), Hawkeye (Ranger lvl 12), P. Attack 10% Up (Monk lvl 4).
- Equipment: Earthbreaker (Super axe from Dimension’s Hasp), Aegis Shield, Crystal Helm, Crystal Mail, Hermes Shoes (Agility +20, because Pirates are slow).
Edea did the Free Lunch + Amped Strike as well. As Pirates naturally have Axe Lore, I just put more Attack Up on her. With her better axe, she always did 9999, but she used a Fox Tail too before I got the Earthbreaker.
Now, this is not optimised, of course. Like, when telling my nephew about it, he said he’d do one turn where he just cast Free Lunch, and then 4 x Amped Strike on the next turn. To do this with the Stillness rhythm, you’d have to abstain from attacking the first turn while Tiz just casts Stillness, then you’d cast Free Lunch on the second turn, and then 4 Amped Strikes once Stillness fades. Unfortunately that doesn’t synergise too well with the rhythm of Stillness, but might be an avenue worth exploring.
And this doesn’t save you from status effects (though Spiritmaster’s Fairy Ward can deal with that too). While poison and silence do nothing, stuff like paralysis, stop and such can still be nuisances. It really only slows down your progress though, it doesn’t stop it. The only kickers can be Doom and Death that might still kill off your characters unless you manage to also put up Fairy Ward (assuming you can find the BP for it, and Convert BP could be an option for that). In total you’ll end up with positive BP just following the rhythm, and this is where having some White Magic can be good, as you can just cast Arise or Raise to bring someone back up if they are felled by a Death or Doom status.
I hope this is helpful to you, and maybe you’ll care enough to improve upon it. Honestly though, this carried me through the entire latter portion of the game without a problem and with 0 damage taken.
And if you’re looking for a good place to grind out some job levels, I’d direct to you outside Florem from chapter 6 and onwards. Get a Growth Egg from your village, if you can, and use the Conjurer’s Obliterate (lvl 9) ability if you have it. If not (either due to too low character level to activate it, or just not having a lvl 10 Conjurer), it’s always possible to set up a good run by using Summoning (most of the stuff outside is vulnerable to fire) and just recharging in town whenever needed. But once you have the Growth Egg and Obliterate, you can basically just run around a bit and gather up lots of points quickly. Enemies with First Strike are still a problem, but one which is almost eliminated if you have both a Gale Hairpin and Alarm Earrings equipped. And once you no longer need to fight because of Obliterate, you can just give everyone JP Up (Freelancer lvl 10) to further speed things along.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.