I figured I'd try to put together a little guide for Corsair's subjob choices. Not like it matters, as people are still posting "Is only /NIN ok?" and "Do I NEED /WHM?" threads, but one can hope, can't they? ^^; Y'arr, of course they can.
First, what is Corsair?
Seems trivial, I know, but let's make sure everyone is on the same page, so we don't spend 2 pages convincing people why not to /THF in EXP.
Support - First and foremost, COR helps the party through its Phantom Roll party buffs. If you're not doing this... you're not doing your job, period. The best news is, this can be done equally well with any subjob. At all times, Phantom Rolling should be your primary focus. However, it should almost never be your sole focus. As rolling will only take a small fraction of your time, you have plenty of time left over to fill other roles, such as...
Damage Dealer - COR has access to nice guns and bullets, B marksmanship, and Slug Shot. Quick Draw can also be used as a nice magic-based damaging Job Ability. COR also has access to B+ daggers and B- swords, including Mercurial Kris and Joyeuse. In some situations (particularly T-VT mobs) you can melee for TP then step back to Slug Shot. On more difficult mobs (IT mobs), shooting for TP will give you better mileage. On tougher mobs still (like some HNMs), it might be best to rely solely on Quick Draw for damage, so as not to feed TP. For most situations, however, you should be able to equip enough ranged accuracy (or accuracy when meleeing) to land a solid hit-rate.
Puller - Hot topic of discussion; you either love it or hate it. Some people will shy away from pulling (or refuse) because it disrupts their Phantom Roll cycle, and because they are stuck using a high-delay gun to pull. Others love it; once COR gains access to the Peacemaker at 72, some believe COR to be the best puller in the game. I personally feel that before obtaining the Peacemaker, if you are doing a 4-roll cycle, you have plenty to attend to at camp and should not pull, unless as a last resort (which speaks poorly on the party's setup). Regardless, you will form your own opinion about COR pulling (or already have). At some point a party will ask you to pull, and you might accept the role.
Healer - Corsairs may occasionally be called upon for backup healing. This typically happens on tough fights where daggers and guns would not be effective, like HNMs. It may also be useful if your setup is severely lacking in healing. For experience points, most people here agree that DD subjobs will give you better results than healing subs. But it may be situationally useful while leveling, and it will certainly come up in endgame events. With a mage subjob, you can use Evoker's on yourself, and can access Cure III with the proper subjob. However, most MP gear will require sacrificing ranged accuracy, which will hurt your DD capacities. Typically, dealing damage while using a mage subjob (outside of Quick Draw) isn't very feasible, as you will either have a minuscule MP pool or terrible ranged accuracy. However, another interesting option is /DNC. See its section below for more details.
Soloer - Unless using /BST, don't kid yourself. The only thing in our favor is A+ parrying. No evasion, no defense, and no native healing. However, if you have BST leveled, COR/BST can be fairly potent. Check the BST section below for further details. /DNC also opens up a Corsair's soloing ability, much as with any job.
Tank - Also no, for the same reasons we can't solo. Additionally, no dependable native hate tools.
OK, got that out of the way. Now for the whole point:
Perks - Provoke, Berserk, Double Attack, Warcry, Attack Bonus
Details - You can be a decent backup tank in the Dunes (like almost any job), but this ability fades quickly. All of /WAR's traits are great for damage dealing, as any melee job can tell you. However, the problem is that a) Double Attack goes mainly wasted, as it has no effect on ranged attacks, and b) this subjob gives no help to your ranged accuracy. Can be powerful, but requires the right situation. COR/WAR is further discussed here.
Perks - Boost, Counter, Dodge, Focus, Chakra, Max HP Boost II
Details - Basically no reason to touch this, for the same reason that most other jobs don't. Focus doesn't boost ranged accuracy, and nothing else here is worth it.
Perks - Cure III, Curaga II, Raise, Reraise, Dia II, Barspells, -na spells, Erase, Protectra/Shellra II, Blink, Stoneskin, Sneak, Invisible, Teleports, Divine Seal, Auto Regen, Magic Defense Bonus II, Clear Mind II
Details - Tons of support abilities. As mentioned above, utilizing extra MP gear will require giving up ranged accuracy gear, so this mainly shines in areas where COR's gun won't be worthwhile (such as some HNM's). As far as mage subs go, this is a very safe bet, as you get Cures, Raise, -na's, and Blink/Stoneskin. However, unlike several mage subs, no Magic Attack Bonus for Quick Draw.
Perks - Bio II, Warp, Escape, Tractor, Magic Attack Bonus II
Details - Your spells are essentially worthless. However, this is the only job that will give you MAB II for Quick Draw. It's up to you and your linkshell as to whether the lack of utility is worth the boost. The situationality of /BLM is discussed here.
Perks - Cure III, Dispel, Dia II, Bio II, Blink, Stoneskin, Sneak, Invisible, Fast Cast II, Magic Attack Bonus I, Magic Defense Bonus I
Details - A nice, balanced mage sub. Single-target cures, a reliable Dispel to backup Dark Shot, Blink/Stoneskin, and particularly MAB. Very nice if you need healing, but not the special perks of /WHM.
Perks - Steal, Flee, Mug, Gilfinder, Treasure Hunter
Details - Good farming sub as usual, but as COR is a poor soloer, you're best served farming with another job (or perhaps, a better soloing subjob, like /BST or /DNC). SATA doesn't work with ranged attacks, nor any Weapon Skill you'd bother using, which makes it mostly useless for EXP parties. Don't bother. Yes, I know you feel like more of a pirate with /THF. Still don't do it.
Perks - Cure III, Flash, Sentinel, Resist Sleep, Auto Refresh
Details - Healing, tank support, defense, Auto Refresh... everything is here but MAB. And a MP pool. You'll need a full MP build to make this work, and even then it's not significantly better than other mage options.
Perks - Stun, Tractor, Last Resort, Souleater, Attack Bonus II
Details - Last Resort, Souleater, and the Attack Bonuses will boost your Slug Shot damage, sure. But Berserk from /WAR will likely serve you better in the long run, as it doesn't hurt you and can be used for gaining TP. Stun is nice, of course, but there better be a strong need to justify this sub over your other options.
Perks - Charm, Leave, Wide Scan II
Details - If your BST is equal to (or higher than) your COR's level, this can work quite nicely, and even be a *gasp* strong soloer. You can charm nearly as well as a BST main, but can use your pet rolls to boost your pet's power, and Corsair's Roll to boost your EXP. For more information, see Nekio's post here.
Perks - Sword Madrigal, Sheepfoe Mambo, Valor Minuet II, Mage's Ballad, Advancing March, Hunter's Prelude, Magic Finale, Army's Paeon III, Raptor Mazurka, Resist Silence II
Details - The ultimate party-buffing job. Your song, while weakened, can give an additional bonus to accuracy, ranged accuracy, evasion, and (ranged) attack; as well as giving you a dependable +1MP/tic; as well as giving you a reliable Finale to back up Dark Shot; as well as giving you new buffs (Haste and Regen). Unfortunately, most groups will expect you to either use a sub to boost your damage dealing (e.g. /RNG) or healing (e.g. /WHM), leaving few opportunities to utilize this subjob. If nothing else, fantastic for BLM and SMN burns. Don't write this sub off.
Perks - Sharpshot, Scavenge, Camouflage, Barrage, Wide Scan III, Alertness, Accuracy Bonus II, Gun Belt, Beater's Earring
Details - HERE we go! Ranged accuracy through Sharpshot and the job trait. Wide Scan and Alertness help somewhat for pulling. Camoflauge saves you some Prism Powders, and Scavenge can net you some Firesand for making your own Iron Bullets. B A R R A G E; this JA alone makes this sub amazing. Gun Belt and Beater's Earring are solid pieces that can last you until 75. This is the DD sub of choice, and will serve you well from the second you pick up a gun.
Perks - Meditate, Seigan, Third Eye, Store TP II
Details - Nothing really going here. Hasso will give STR+5, and Seigan/Third Eye can block a few hits -- both of these require a two-handed weapon, such as a Fire Staff. Meditate and Store TP will help, but Barrage can likely keep up with TP as well as causing damage. If you need protection that much, stick with Utsusemi or Blink/Stoneskin. If you need damage, there's better options.
Perks - Utsusemi: Ni, Tonko: Ni, Dual Wield II, Stealth, Resist Bind II, Genin Earring
Details - Has potential to have second-highest accuracy, if you dual-wield ranged accuracy dagger. Utsusemi is nice as always, but typically you won't pull hate often enough to matter, so this is generally only useful for pulling (/NIN is not always needed to pull in most situations, but is occasionally necessary -- particularly in meripo), or fighting AoE-heavy NMs. Dual Wield II might be nice for TP gain if you're meleeing, and reduces your weapon delay, but most people favor single-wielding a Joyeuse. (Of course, you could dual-wield Joyeuse and Mercurial Kris, but I digress).
Perks - Jump, High Jump, Attack Bonus, Accuracy Bonus, Wyvern Earring, Wyvern Targe
Details - Not too bad. Accuracy and Attack bonuses, and some jumps to help build TP faster. The 6% extra Haste gear when meleeing for TP is the main draw, particularly at 75 when they can be stacked with a Haste build. High Jump's hate shedding is nice, but in most of my usage, it's not been worth holding onto, and I've just used it whenever its recast came up. I wouldn't really recommend this until you have other Haste gear to combine it with (and certainly not without a Wyvern Earring).
Perks - Aerial Armor, Shining Ruby, Whispering Wind, Auto Refresh
Details - The only real reason to sub SMN is to get Aerial Armor on the tank, a strategy that's not frequently implemented anymore. At 92 MP (plus summoning and perpetuation costs), some races may need MP gear to even use the ability. If you're that worried for your tank, stick with Cure III or Wild Carrot.
Perks - Cocoon, Metallic Body, Healing Breeze, Wild Carrot, Auto Regen, Resist Sleep, Magic Attack Bonus I
Details - Now this is nice. Like RDM, you get Cure III (Wild Carrot) and MAB. However, you also get Healing Breeze, Auto Regen, and some protection through Cocoon and Metallic Body. A nice balance between /WHM and /RDM.
Perks - Activate, "Healer Puppet"
Details - Probably the best use for /PUP's half-level puppet is equipping the Stormwaker body with the Valoredge or Harlequin head, and using it as a curebot for soloing. But this is likely inferior to /BST or /DNC.
Perks - Drain Samba II, Aspir Samba, Curing Waltz II, Divine Waltz, Healing Waltz, Quickstep, Box Step, Desperate Flourish, Spectral Jig, Accuracy Bonus I
Details - Dancer has proven itself to be fairly powerful as a subjob, and COR is no exception. Unlike mage subjobs, /DNC offers COR the ability to provide backup healing (or extensive solo capabilities) without giving up accuracy gear (and in fact, /DNC gives one level of Accuracy Bonus trait). You will be able to get some use of this sub if you are shooting for TP (as you can use this TP for Waltzes) but meleeing is required to get full use out of this subjob. You get HP restoration through Drain Samba, Curing Waltz, and Divine Waltz. Aspir Samba, when fighting aspirable mobs, provides a way to restore MP to jobs like PLD, DRK, and BLU either in tandem with Evoker's Roll, or in lieu of it. Healing Waltz gives much of the status removal available on /WHM. Best of all, /DNC gives COR access to some usable enfeebles -- defense down, evasion down, and Gravity effect. Limitations? You really ought to be meleeing if using this subjob, in order to get the full effect out of it. This will requires melee accuracy gear, if you haven't yet started to build for this. Also, every TP you spend on /DNC JA's is less TP that's applied toward Slug Shots. As a result, your damage will drop substantially (but not as much as, say, /WHM). It's a situational subjob, and a very busy one at that, but it's a combination worth investigating.
Perks - Light Arts, Dark Arts, Strategems, most of the -na spells, Cure III, Regen II, Protect II, Shell II, Sneak, Invisible, Raise, Sleep, Dispel, Drain, Aspir, Sublimation, Conserve MP
Details - There's a number of good things about this sub. Light and Dark Arts, along with the first two Strategems, will help you stretch out your small MP pool, as well as speed up your casting. Regen II (with the bonuses of Light Arts and Conserve MP) is an incredibly MP efficient and virtually hate-free heal, which will let you stretch your MP further. As if that's not enough, you can switch to Dark Arts and use Drain to recover from AoE hits, as well as Aspir to stretch your MP further still. If all that is STILL not enough, you can use Sublimation to recover even more MP. That said... I believe I can safely say there is never a need for this sub, ever. There's always something superior. /DNC provides healing that doesn't require +MP gear to function, and thus doesn't cut into your damage as much. /WHM provides Blink, Stoneskin, Erase, and Curaga II, which is typically not as MP efficient as Regen II and carries more hate, but gets the job done fast. Even /RDM or /BLU will offer MAB to boost Quick Draw damage. There's typically never a need for a COR to squeeze as much healing out of her MP as possible, with no need for Erase, Blink, Stoneskin and no regard for her QD damage whatsoever. It's nice for what it does and all, but there's better options available.
For experience points parties:
1-21: You won't be using a gun at this level. Darts might be worthwhile for pulling. Use /WHM and pies like a BRD, or get the best armor available and backup tank with /WAR.
22-59: /RNG will serve you fine the second you equip your gun. You'll receive Slug Shot at 56 (55 with merits); Gun Belt and /RNG will help you access it a level earlier. /NIN is ok, but you'll be missing some accuracy (Gun Belt, Beater's Earring, Sharpshot). Shadows will be mostly unnecessary, unless pulling fast-moving mobs (such as raptors) or fighting squishy mobs (such as colibri). Other subs, notably /DNC, may have selective usefulness.
60-71: Barrage makes this one-sided. You're doing yourself a disservice if you're subbing anything besides /RNG in a normal party.
72-75: /RNG is still the best for DD. However, other options such as /WAR and /DRG open up. If you're pulling for a meripo, Utsusemi from /NIN will be very worthwhile. /BRD is nice for BLM or SMN burns. /DNC is still a good option for backup healing, and enfeebling the already-squishy mobs.
For small adventures:
/RNG is still amazing for the usual reasons. /NIN is nicer here because damage mitigation is usually more important than in EXP. /WHM helps make you more versatile (healing, Raise, Sneak/Invisible), and the drop in ranged accuracy usually isn't as crippling as against IT mobs. /DNC, as is the case for all jobs, is extremely potent for adventuring as well.
/RNG is still great when it is feasible (Dynamis, Limbus, Salvage, Nyzul Isle Assault, lesser HNM's). However, damage dealing (save Quick Draw) may be infeasible against harder mobs, or you may be called upon to be more versatile (even at events like Dynamis). In this case, you'll call upon mage subjobs for healing (/WHM), MAB for Quick Draw (/BLM), or both (/RDM or /BLU). The choice of which subjob in this case will likely depend on the setup and needs of your linkshell.
In general, the priority of your subjob options should be Ranger > Ninja > White Mage > Red Mage = Blue Mage > Black Mage = Bard = Warrior = Dragoon = Dancer. At bare minimum, you will likely need Ranger, Ninja, and White Mage.
But I am le tired...
Maybe you're lazy. Maybe you don't have tons of time to level subjobs. Maybe you don't think you'll need a particular subjob. Or maybe you just think I'm an idiot (take a number). Whatever the case, you don't want to level 10 subjobs. You know what? That's perfectly fine. I understand. However. Be aware that each subjob gives you a small edge in some facet of buccaneering. If you're not planning to level some of the above subjobs ~ especially if you plan on leveling only one subjob ~ be sure you're aware what you're missing out on. Here's a recap:
Ranger - This is, hands down, our best subjob for EXP parties. /NIN is acceptable until 60, but post-60 you're really doing yourself and your party a disservice by not having Barrage (unless pulling in meripo, but that's a different beast altogether). Your accuracy will be hurting with any other subjob. I strongly recommend leveling /RNG, and using it as your default sub for EXP.
Ninja - Much like Monk, you can go from 1-70 without ever really needing /NIN. Contrary to popular belief, before 70 you do not need Utsusemi to pull in most camps, and can do just fine with another sub like /RNG. At 70+, it starts to develop a niche. In the case of COR, /NIN is very useful for endgame pulling, and for HNMs with strong AoE attacks. You might never need /NIN per se, if you refuse to pull in meripo, and if you have mage sub(s) available for endgame. However, there will likely be peer pressure; parties may expect you to pull and refuse (or be unable) to invite another puller, and endgame linkshells might require you to have /NIN available. Furthermore, if you take another job to 75 (or already have), you'll likely use /NIN for it at some point or another. I strongly recommend you have /NIN available.
White Mage - You are really hurting your utility in endgame if you don't have at least one mage sub available. Depending on your selection of endgame activities, a mage sub may be necessary. Even if that is not the case, simply having /mage available as a precaution makes you tons more versatile, which is a boon for your linkshell. If you only choose one to level, it should probably be WHM for the sheer number of useful spells (see description above). In particular, the -na spells are helpful as it offsets this burden from the White Mages; in some situations, spells like Paralyna and Erase will be more useful for you than Cure.
Red Mage or Blue Mage - There is a decent amount of overlap between these two subs, to the point where you probably don't need to have both leveled (although you likely won't regret leveling both!). /RDM and /BLU have advantages and disadvantages over each other; if I had to pick only one, I'd probably choose /BLU, but that's a debate for another thread. Be careful on choosing to level neither, however. These jobs are useful, in that you have healing abilities coupled with a Magic Attack Bonus for your Quick Draw (which will likely be your only offense when using these subs). You'll be missing a very useful subjob niche by lacking both of these jobs. If you're sure, at least make sure that you have /WHM available, or else endgame linkshells might be inclined to pass over your COR.
Black Mage - As mentioned above, in some endgame events your only form of offense will be Quick Draw. In these events, your best damage dealing subjob will be /BLM, as it gives you Magic Attack Bonus II. Much like /RNG in normal EXP parties, you have no healing abilities, which may be expected from you in endgame, especially when you're not TPing off the mob. However, MAB II will do more for Quick Draw than any other sub. Naturally, /RDM and /BLU (with MAB I) are adequate substitutes than can also heal, so you can get by with one of these instead. If you're planning on not leveling /RDM, /BLU, or /BLM, I suppose it's not the end of the world, but it would be sorely missed (MAB I alone gives a 20% power boost to Quick Draw).
Bard - While COR/BRD has the most party buffs of any job in the game (possibly second to BRD/COR; I digress), it unfortunately has few situations that accept it (needing another sub for either accuracy, damage, or healing), and no situation that requires it. Still, March gives you access to Haste+3%, Paeon gives you access to 3HP/tic Regen, Madrigal is Acc+7, Minuet is Att+14, and there's other useful songs such as Finale and Mazurka. Ballad especially is useful, guaranteeing your party 1MP/tic during a double Bust, and 2MP/tic in most situations, up to 6MP/tic (XI on Job-Bonus Evoker's + Ballad). This fact makes COR/BRD the best support job for BLM and SMN burns, hands down. All that said, I reiterate that /BRD is never really needed, so this will likely be the best subjob that you don't level.
Warrior - No one will ever ask you to /WAR. Usage is situational, as this job gives no ranged accuracy, which is crucial for most EXP parties. That said, Berserk will give you a much-needed boost to ranged attack, and Double Attack will help your TP gain if you are meleeing. If you have the accuracy to spare, this is the subjob to use for pretty screenshot numbers. Unless you thrive on e-peen (in which case, why are you playing a support job in the first place?), you won't miss /WAR.
Dragoon - Same deal as /WAR. It's a good sub if you get the extra Haste gear, and it gives you an accuracy bonus trait, but it's by no means necessary. I personally feel it's a good bridge between /RNG and /WAR, but your milage may vary.
Dancer - Like /NIN, this is a pretty universal subjob, and you're bound to get use out of it on one of your jobs, if not COR. It will give your COR access to great healing and enfeebling without completely destroying your damage dealing. While no one will expect you to have this available for experience points, it could be a great fit for some parties. But it's main shining is in small groups, like missions or coffer key runs. It's a terrific sub, but it's by no means required for COR.
Other - There shouldn't be any strong need for any other subjob. Perhaps /THF for farming, /DRK for a desperation stunner, /SAM for Meditating outside the alliance and launching 300% Detonators... but these are few and far between.
Hopefully, this has quelled your question your worries about subjobs, especially questions like "Is /XXX necessary?" and "Can I get by with only /YYY?" -- stop asking them ^^; Many thanks to those whose feedback has helped shape this guide -- further feedback is always appreciated. And of course, feel free to contact me on the forums or in-game if you have any questions.
~Pav Feira, Corsair from Fairy
Edited, Jun 9th 2007 9:26pm by Pikko
Edited, Mar 18th 2008 10:42am by PavFeira