Disclaimer: While this is a suggested guide to leveling as a War/Drg, it is by no means the definitive guide. I am open to suggestions from the player community, and much of this information is from the community and my own experiences. I will give credit when there is something mentioned that I haven’t found or discovered on my own. Also, just because a piece of gear is mentioned doesn’t mean it is required, simply suggested. If I had my way, I’d suggest all +3 everything, but since not everything has a +3(yes, I said 3, not a typo), I’ll probably stick with the NQs. I will not be telling you how to time your jumps, as you should learn that from leveling Dragoon. This is all about gear, food, and to answer questions as best I can if asked. It is hopefully a living document, and will continue to grow and change from its current status(written from 3-4am).
First, let it be said, that to even consider this combination, you are going to have to have at least 1 job at or above level 30. My suggested leveling priority, in retrospect would be as follows: Warrior to level 18, Thief to 37, Unlock Dragoon, Dragoon to 37, Warrior to 37, Dragoon to 60+, Warrior to 60+. That is only for the War/Drg DD path, a potentially tanking War/Drg can do Mnk to 37 instead of Thf first, but it is option. Now, since that is out of the way, it does need to be said that War/Drg is NOT the best option at all times. I recognize this, and it is a combination that I use regardless, simply because I love it and can make it work. And while War/Drg does focus primarily upon the Gax, that is not an excuse to let your Axe fall behind! Let it also be said that a War/Drg is more exposed than a War/Mnk(no counter or dodge) War/Sam(no Third Eye) War/Thf 60+(No SATA) and War/Nin(No Shadows). It becomes much more important to watch your hate, and I find that this is best done by getting around 80-85% accuracy. It keeps your damage high and your hate relatively low so unless you start spamming hits and crits, you should be fine. All the same, War does have a tendency to take hate, and if you have a Pld, just run behind him for cover. I used to feel bad doing this, until I met 2 war/nin’s who do the same thing when they got more hate than they could safely blink away. It’s not cowardly, its about reducing downtime.
At lvl 18, from /Drg, you will gain no useful active or passive traits. At this point it is better to use either Thf or Mnk, depending on which you have leveled. I liked Thf, but I spent a lot of time soloing also, and Gilfinder was just wonderful for small XP and Farming combined vs. EP mobs. At lvl 20 however, you do gain an Attack bonus(not this does NOT stack with the inherrent lvl 30 War attack bonus), and a JA: Jump. Some people discard jump as mediocre, I have to say I love it. It’s a free hit every 1:30, and has as much chance to critical or DA as any other attack . It is quite effective with a Gax, and can be with an Axe to catch up on TP. From lvl 20-30, this is all that you gain. At lvl 30, you gain haste+5%, but this will cost you an equipment slot, and some time or gil, to receive the wyvern’s earring. Now, there is also another bonus, IF you can find it; The wyvern mantle. Def of only 2, but Attack+6, this is the highest Att+ back piece you can wear for quite a long time. From 30-60, you will gain NOTHING from War/Drg. This is when you really have to like using a Great Axe instead of an Axe. That haste and att+ make Gax into a slightly more damaging weapon, since it ups the DPS by subtracting 5% from your delay while leaving your TP gain intact. This is why I prefer haste over dual-wield(though war/nins and war/drgs will gain TP at about the same rate). It also needs to be noted that pre-rampage, a Great Axe will do just as much as, if not more than, any of the Axe WS’s, simply because they are rather weak until Spinning Axe. Yes, you can get good numbers out of Raging Axe, but don’t rely on them.
Great Axe also offers something that Axe doesn’t, and that is Party Versatility. Each of the Gax Break Weapon Skills makes a mob more susceptible to…well…death. Shield Break for –evasion, Armor break for –def, Weapon break for –att, but more on that later. Before I go any further I do want to say one more thing: Warrior/Dragoon is a FUN combination, but it will not fit every persons style of play. Just as I do not excel at War/Nin, some will not excel at War/Drg. Also, Warrior damage, as has been stated, does not change DRASTICALLY dependent upon sub-job. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. Please, be a good warrior. Just because you prefer one style of play doesn’t mean you won’t be called upon to perform in another at times. If you really must choose subjobs to lvl, I’d suggest having Thief, Monk Ninja, and Dragoon at the bare minimum. This is also why I suggest taking Dragoon, or perhaps even Monk, to 60 first. It gives you a Set of AF completed, some Genkai’s done, and a way to farm more easily for gil to either raise a craft or level a sub-job like Ninja.
Important note: If you do not have a Wyvern Earring, chose another sub. This combination, while it is doable without one, gains no real benefits post-29 without it.
Eating for a Dragon
War/Drg, as has been stated, Excels at the Great Axe. The purpose of the combination is to make the Great Axe faster and more accurate, thus more lethal, at higher lvls. At Lower levels, pre-30, is simply adds some more att to a warrior’s potential Damage output. Now, the hard part about this is knowing what to eat. A lot of people will tell you to go with Sushi as soon as you have some viable accuracy gear, but what about before that? Happily, Great Axe does a good amount of damage, especially once you have berserk. Sadly, with the longer delay, when you miss with a Great Axe, you really feel it. From Levels 20-30, while some will preach Att foods, I’d say go for Acc: Jack-O-Lanterns. Accuracy+10, Evasion+10, it is a good food for DD and for avoiding some hits even though War is rather low on the evasive scale; as an elvaan war I fall somewhere between A midget trying to outrun a Mack truck and with my full DD(which has lots of –Eva) setup, a midget in a cement casket trying to dodge the water he’s already under. If you don't feel you need 10acc and still want some Att, Rice Dumplings are also good(not originally included because of the rarity of them on my server). That’s just how it is. I’d say stick with Jack-O’s until Level 34 at the earliest, when your first piece of Acc gear, the vernerer’s ring, comes into play, and as far as Lvl 40, when Woodsmans/Snipers are available. I’d say get the Woodsmans, because when you get hate, that –Def on the sniper’s hurts…a lot. I’d also suggest at lvl 40 a Tilt belt, another +5 Acc. The reason for this: Great Axe NEEDS Meat. I’ve noticed a lot of people saying Axe does just as much, if not more damage, than a Great Axe. A lot of the people I ask about this happily inform me they use the same build with both: lots of +att or +str, and Sushi. Gax SUCKS with Sushi. If I accidentally pop sushi(it’s happened before, popping a food mid-combat because I was the lower level in the party at the time and couldn’t afford the boost loss), I switch straight to my Axe. The Gax suffers too much damage loss to make it worthwhile.
Great Axe = Meat
Axe = Sushi
ArchangelLBC said: I'd recommend Rice Dumplings because you get 5 acc from them(and with those and your Neckchopper at 20 you shouldn't need more) and 20% attack boost.
What to Wear
Now, as a Warrior, we get a pretty wide range of gear to choose from. I believe it is best to learn from experience, so try out what gear works for you 20-30. A lot of people vouch chainmail…Through Pld War, and soon Nin Drk and Sam, I have never worn the lvl 24 chainmail. I absolutely loathe the appearance of it, and opt instead for something with stat bonuses, however mediocre they may be. There are some suggested items though(and look, they aren’t all ridiculously expensive).
Head: San d’Orian bandana. HP+6 AGI+1. A little more durability never hurts, and that Agi makes parrying a little easier.
Neck: Spike Necklace(Dex+3 Agi+3 Mnd-6) or Tiger Stole(Def 2 Att+5). Depends upon pocket and preference. I’ve tried both, and the Spike just performs much better.
Legs: Garrison Hose: Def 9 Str+1 Dex+1. nuff, said.
You’ll notice I don’t list the Leaping/Winged boots on there. There’s a reason: I’m trying to be realistic. I know I sure as hell couldn’t afford them when they were useful, so I am not including them. These are just my suggestions.
At Lvl 30, to make this combination worthwhile, at the very least you MUST have a Wyvern Earring. As already stated, it is haste+5%. If you can get a Wyvern Mantle, that’s great, but its not necessary, just nice.
From 30 on, you want to boost Acc and Att as much as you can. Expensive yes, but well worth it. The more Att you have, the more Defense penetration you get, the more the base damage of that Gax will count. And the more Acc…well, all the Att in the world is useless if you can’t connect.
Lifebelt and Vanguards Belt. If you can get a Brd and get them to sing 2x Madrigal, the Vanguard is wonderful, Str+3 Att+5. Otherwise, keep your Lifebelt on once you have it.m
Walkure/Valkyrie Mask: You do know Att is important right? Well, MP really isn’t(unless using a Rune-Chopper, but that’s another point). I like the HP+15 on this, and it’s only 1 less Att than the Valkyries. Get whichever is cheaper, they are comparable pieces.
Spiked Finger Gauntlets: I love these, more than my AF. Expensive as hell to get admittedly, but well worth it. You lose some Str by using these over Gigas Bracelets or your AF, but you get to maintain Dex and add 12 Att without sacrificing any Acc(Unless replacing the chainmail acc gauntlets).
Party Versatility of the Great Axe
I’ll let you figure out the levels, but this is copied from this post(Can be found in the stickies)
Skill Level: 10
Lowers enemy Evasion
Strong against: Crabs, Crawlers, Mandies, Tonberries, Yagudos, Pugils, Lizard, Flies, Opo-opo, Beetles, Birds, Bees, Sea Monk, Scorpions, Spiders, Sabotenders (cactuars).
Immune: Skeletons, Gigas, Tigers, Sheep, Bombs, Ghosts.
Skill Level: 100
Lowers enemy Defense
Strong against: Anticans, Worms, Cockatrice, Bats, Mandies, Lizards, Dhalmels
Skill Level: 175
Lowers enemy Attack
Strong against: Sheeps, Orcs, Rabbits, Raptors, Manticores
Immune: Pugils, Crabs, Sahagin, Mushrooms, Crawlers, Scorpions, Quadavs
Skill Level: 225
Lowers enemy Accuracy, Attack, Defense, Evasion
Strong against: Coeurls
Immune: Worms, Anticans, Cockatrice, Crawlers
Another Warrior(Baccayaro), did perform tests, and found Shield Break at higher levels to be approximately –40 Evasion. It is a safe assumption then that at the very least, the 3 primary breaks are the same for their respective stats, though I do not recall if their was any Data available on Full Break.
Utilizing the Great Axe is about making your party more effective. Yes, you can perform in Skillchains. Personally, I prefer parties with either No Skillchain, or those with enough Melee that you can use a Break Weaponskill and make the Skillchain more effective in that way. At my current lvl of 57, I love having Pld War/Drg War/Nin Drg/War. Armor Break and then Vorpal Thrust>>>Rampage for the Distortion is a very good combo, and it helps those Axe hits land harder, critical or not. I try to save TP each battle so I can open up with a Break and usually get back to 100% at about 50% Mob HP. Then it’s discretionary, either Sturmwind or Save again for next mob, depends on how quickly it’s dying. You rarely have to repeat breaks, if the effect lands, it tends to last the whole battle(I’ve seen one last about 5 Minutes on a mob that had wiped my PT due to a linkage from a mistargeted spell on the Blm’s part). It is nice to land big numbers, but this is a PT-based game; you aren’t a one man army. It is better to help take down the mob faster with teamwork than to try to take it down all by yourself.
The Big Metal Stick
Just a suggestion of Great Axes that you can use.
Lvl. 5: Butterfly Axe
Purchase it in Bastok Markets, The Dragon Claws, for about 750 gil
Lvl 8: Inferno/Hellfire Axe
If you can afford a hellfire, splurge away, otherwise the Inferno is just fine. Find either at the Auction house or a crafting friend.
Lvl 12: Great Axe
Purchase at Bastok Markets, Selbina or Jeuno for 4.5k. If your Server AH is cheaper, get it their, if not, NPC Shop it.
Lvl 16: Moth Axe
Auction House [Yes, please]
Lvl 20: Neckchopper
Get this. You’ll use it for awhile.
Lvl 25: Plantbane
Mandragora’s are plants, aren’t they? And this has extra fire damage on plants. A good buy. Auction House again.
Lvl 30: Centurions Axe
A big black stick of metal, find a generous friend with CP, if you are from Bastok, CP it yourself, otherwise buy it on the AH.
Lvl 37: Horror Voulge
Some Vit, Some Att+, and delay only 489. It rides like the wind.
Lvl 42: Raifu
Add Effect Lightning Damage. I liked this one, it proc’d a lot. You can hold onto it or upgrade at 44, but I kept mine.
Lvl 44. Heavy Moth Axe
The Str+3 is nice…the Dex-3 hurts my feelings.
Lvl 49: Gigant Axe
Good base Damage, +Str, -Int. Nothing wrong here.
Lvl 54: Executioner
Now, I’ll be honest, I like the Str+5, but I hate the Vit-5. Get it, use it, but if you can get the next
one(Rare/Ex drop only), then abandon this Axe asap.
Lvl 56: Schwarz Axt
3 more base Dmg, not +Str, but Nightime Acc+10. Contrary to popular belief, this cannot be liquified and given to your chocobo to give it hyper-speed, nor was it found at the bottom of a box of Cracker Jack™. It is still very nice.
Lvl 59: Hydro Chopper
Same Delay as the Heavy Darksteel, and if you equip Water Pumps, it can do some nice additional damage. If you can’t find one, just get the Darksteel, this one is nice, but nothing to wait for.
Lvl 62: Demon’s Axe
Now this is my baby, and I can’t wait until I can find one. Unlike the colossal, it does not have hp+10, and it is 1 less base damage. However, it is one more +str, 6 instead of 4, and it is faster, 504 vs 519. I plan to get this and use it ASAP, until the Pendragon’s if I can get it, or the Berserkers. This is as far as I’ve planned so far, and I’ll update this as I can.
The War/Drg Party Dynamic
So, what does it take to be a War/Drg? Oddly, this is the last part of this now being written since, after re-reading it, I noticed Archangel was right: I neglected to discuss just what a War/Drg's role is other than swinging his Great Axe. First, let's take a look at the 2 jobs involved.
Warrior: The master of melee versatility, with a wide array of hate generating skills, Warrior seems to be only limited by what gear they can afford and what subjob they choose.
Dragoon: A Heavy Melee DD. Yes, that is right, I said it. In parser after parser, even mediocrely equipped Dragoons are keeping up with Warrior Damage, and when you factor in their wyvern, are tending to exceed it by a decent margin. The shorter the party, the less true this is. Similar to War/Nin, Dragoon shines more at DoT with relatively quick consistent output, than in one hit big numbers(some exceptions such as Skewer do exist. I think of Skewer as a Dragoons Rampage).
So, what do we get from combining these jobs? From 20-30 there really is no difference. At this point, if you are tanking, it is just 10 extra attack and a jump, and if you are tanking, Monk is quite honestly better. Level 30+ however, is a different story. Warrior/Dragoon is about turning your Great Axe into a DOT-Spike Weapon. Now this seems like a weird term; How can something be both DoT and Spike simultaneously? Let's go through some math here.
A typical Great Axe delay is 504. At Lvl 30, the Dragoon subjob allows you to equip the Wyvern Earring. For those of you unfamiliar with it, this earring grants the effect of Haste+5%. No big deal right? Wrong. 5% of 504 is 25.2. For simplicity's sake, we'll just use 25. So, lets look at the numbers:
504-25=479. That's 479
Delay with most Great Axes!
And for those bigger Axes, the slow monsters with the 529 delay, you end up with a 26, so:
What this means in simple terms is that, by sacrifing some a potential Stat boost in your earring slot, you are making your Great Axe swing faster than any other War/XXX combo, while gaining the full TP for the weapons Delay. With a 529, you will lag a little bit behind a properly equipped War/Nin, but with a typical delay Great Axe you will usually be right there on par, 1 hit behind or ahead of a Sushi eating War/Nin, while you are eating Meat. That settles the DoT aspect.
Now, for the Spike aspect.
As I mentioned before, Jump is a JA that you can fire every 1:30. 30 seconds slower than Sneak Attack, and it sadly is NOT a guaranteed hit. If hate is being managed properly in your party, this means you can WS and then Jump for that extra hit right after. Proper timing on it, usually a /wait 2 in your WS macro and then the /ja "Jump" <bt> line, will result in the attack firing off, often times faster than the animations.
This means in the 3 seconds in takes to perfrom a WS like Sturmwind, you just upgraded your 2-Hit Attack into a 3-Hitter. All 3 have a chance to Double Attack, and All 3 have a chance to Critical. There ya go, a Spike. While not guaranteed, neither is Rampage; I've seen it hit for some depressingly low numbers, and some decently high ones, though I've not yet witnessed a 1k breaking rampage.
Addressing another point Archangel brought up: When is it better to use a Break WS than a Stronger attack, such as Sturmwind or Raging Rush. This is all about what you want to do in the party. The first battle, you are obviously just going to be building up your TP...but when do you use it?
You don't. Not on that first mob. Break WS are best used at the START of a mob, and fighting that first mob without food will usually give you an idea of what WS will serve best. Doing this allows two things. Firstly, it will usually make your party run a little smoother: Evasive mobs are easier to hit, High Defense mobs are sucking up damage a bit more from that Defense Down, Hard hitting mobs are hitting you or your Paladin a little softer thanks to Weapon Break. All of this equates to less downtime. Also, by using a Break, followed by a Jump right at the start of a mob, that gives that dear little mob a Status Down and you 24% TP back if the Break and Jump both land and DA doesn't fire at all. That's 1/4 of the way back to your next WS.
ON VT SAVE THAT TP!
Opening every mob with an appropriate Break(when uncertain, use Armor, its really one of your best friends) makes them die that much quicker, gets you to the next one, and he next.
Fire Away! I can easily get out 2 WS and be almost ready for a 3rd by the time an IT+ mob goes down usually. When this is the case, you really have to use your discretion: Would another Break help this die faster, or would my WS take off more than the break is going to contribute for the HP left? If you have 100% again before the mob is less than 60%(It does happen, usually the result of DA chain-firing), Fire off a 2nd break. Armor Break + Shield Break makes things go very smoothly. If the mob is around 50% or less, then its Damage time. Sturmwind does put up nice numbers, so long as both hits land. Iron Tempest, while not as strong a WS as both hits landing with Sturmwind, is a good Distortion closer if that is what you are trying to do and only one other person has the TP for it. Keen Edge is very nice, again a 1hit WS, and a Critical Chance one, but when it lands its quite nice, I see mine land in the 180-300 Range when those criticals hit, that 300 often being the result of whether or not I ran Armor Break on the mob.
Now this is all up until 60. Post 60, things change a little bit(though not much). You now have your Bread and Butter, Raging Rush. Raging Rush is to the Great Axe Warrior what Rampage is to the Axe Warrior. Now it is true that you are lacking shadows, so you can't just spam it away whenever you want. You can, however, save up that TP WITHOUT it being wasted. How you say? Raging Rush damage had a TP modifier on it. Now I don't have the exact modifier on hand, and I don't feel like looking through the stickies to find it, but the more TP you have, the higher damage output you can produce. My current record on an XP mob is 990 followed by a 332 Jump(DA fired on the jump). That is a good chunk of damage. I had to run for cover, but it was worth it. Anyway, use the myriad charts and skillchain calculators available to find a good SC partner, and things should be gravy. My suggestions:
Guillotine>>>Raging Rush for the Fragmentation
Raging Rush>>>Guillotine for the Induration
Tachi: Yukikaze will also give you Fragmentation.
Raging Rush>>>SATA Raging Rush. Hard to deny the power here, so use it if you can, especially with a Paladin tank.
Building Your Party
This is where you need to be careful. It has been my experience repeatedly that any job with a high damage output simply CANNOT go all out with a Ninja Tank. I do not deny that Nin is a valuable and worthwhile Tank, I have simply not met enough who can keep hate off of me, as either War or Drg. In fact, from what I have been told by mages I party with recently, the preferred Nin-Tank setup is: Mage Mage Mage Nin Sam Mnk. Hey, if it works, that's great for them. Everyone likes Pajamas. Me, I'll stick some armor in front of me first, thanks. So, with that being said, the Tank of choice is obvious: Paladin.
Now, I'll be 100% honest. In a party I had last night, the War/Nin wearing his AF gloves and Boots, and me in simply the Boots, the Paladin COULD NOT keep hate off of us. And this is going through 2 different paladins. We were throwing out too much damage too quickly, and the only way the party managed to succeed at all was by use Dual tanking. He took a few hits, blinked them away, got hit, I yanked it off of him, took hits down to red, he took it back, Mages cured me back to about 75%, rinse and repeat. Once we finally stopped relying on a Paladin, we went from Chain 2-3s, to Chain 4-5s easily. So what does this mean? There are 2 ideal War/Drg Party Tanks: Paladin or 2x War/Nin. Each setup has a different necessary build, and I am going to give those right now.
The Paladin Party
This is one of my favorites.
Your healer? The Redmages. The ARE Red Mages who will agree to this, if you can assure them it will work. What this combination gives you is this: A strong Tank with a good bag of hate-keeping tools on their own. A SATA, to plaster hate onto that Tank just a little better. and a SC, to keep things running nice and smooth. The War/Drg is going to be the puller, and so is most likely the initial SATA buddy. Just pop a Warcry or a Provoke and Defender when possible until that SATA goes off onto the Pld. Easy enough to do, especially if you have practice doing it as a Drg first.
Your role in this PT: Debuffer!
Armor Break, Armor Break, Armor Break somemore! Since Thf's hit a little softer and Drg/Wars are reputed as being "weak" DDs, make their life a little easier, and knock that mobs head around backwards so that they can hurt it! You are outside of the SC, which will be a Distortion variant obviously. Use this setup on VT-IT++ mobs, though I would avoid anything higher than IT+. It is just too slow on IT++ for my liking. Your goal with this party is to WS twice every battle: 1 debuff, 1 damage. Use your jumps and that nice little bit of haste to do this faster. And if the RDMs are willing, have them setup a haste cycle and haste the whole party. This may even let you get off 3 WS's instead of 2.
Some people will tell me that this setup has no nuker. I ask them if they are stupid. While it is true that a RDM can not burst as high as a Blm, 2 RDMs can put up the same or better damage as a single Blm burst, and the hate is spread over 2 players instead of all on one. This makes hate a little easier for the tank to keep while maintaining damage.
The Warrior Whomping
This is one of your strongest VT-Low IT combos, sacrificing nuking damage and even your break WS typically, in favor of faster kills.
Smn/Whm or Whm/XXX
Your tank: The dual war/nins. Straight damage, all the same hate-keeping tools and enmity gear as you, with a faster attack speed. With 2 War/Nins, your place as a War/Drg is to safely deal damage. This works best 55+, when they have Rampage to call upon, and you can Armor Break to help those Rampages land a little harder, or try to be greedy and just go for your DD WS's. Having a Brd basically ensures you don't need to worry about Evasion, so Armor Break is your friend here if you decide to use it. I've also found Keen Edge to nail its higher end much more often with a Brd than without, and it does return slightly less TP to the mob, so I'd suggest using that followed by a nice Jump.
Why a Brd and a Rdm? Magic Finale has a very long recast time, so you have RDM for Dispel, and for Refreshing themselves and the Smn or Whm. On top of Mages Ballad I and II, this is a lot of MP returning, and with your tanks taking little to moderate damage, there should be very little downtime. This is also why Smn is preferable to Whm in this build: Healing can afford to be a little less(let the Rdm handle those big emergency cures if the situation arises). A summoner will then be a shared healer, and shared nuker with their summons. A SC I am rather found of: Axe Kick>>>>Sturmwind for Fragmentation.
Credit for this goes to Firebirdjim, a nice thread found in the Sticky that convinced me that Fragmentation is NOT a bad SC option.
Rdm can burst it, if desired, or you can go around it entirely and just do whatever you chose with your WS if the Smn doesn't want to SC. A sidenote: This also does work with Megalith Throw(Titan), but Titan has HORRIBLE Accuracy. I watched a Smn try to land Megalith Throw unsuccessfully for about 2 and a half hours. It was a sad sad day, where I lost what little respect I had for Titan as being more than a Stoneskin whore.
Now, War/Drg will obviously work in other setups. When does War/Drg shine? Pre-Rampage, and I am hoping, Post-Raging Rush. When is it acceptable? Anytime you aren't being called upon to tank. Genearlly though, any party you can use a War in, you can use a War/Drg in. These two are just my preferred setups, allowing for Maximum output with minimal party danger and downtime. There are other setups without a doubt, and don't be afraid to try them and suggest them to me. If you can tell me how they worked, I will have no problem including them here.
So, what is War/Drg about?
Fun. This is a game, and we play it for fun. I have found I like this combo, as opposed to other combos such as Thf and Nin, because I like being Fast with a Big weapon. Not everyone will agree with me and I don't expect you to. This is a combo that can and does work, and when you are looking for a debuffer/DD to function outside of a SC, it is a wonderful thing to have. When you need a SC, or a tank(if that is what you prefer to do) please, do not use War/Drg. Gax does not seem very SC friendly sadly, and /Drg does not offer you any tanking abilities, just another hate-generating tool.
Just One More Note
I do want to thank all of the competent war's on this forum, who have questioned, but not insulted, my attempt at justifying a new subjob. I'd also like to thank all of the competent Pld's I've ever met, who understand that Cover isn't only for an erstwhile mage. And I'd like to thank everyone who rated up this thread, because I truly feared it would be knocked down as a joke and disappear from the board forever. Thank you.
Parsings from a Party, the focus on how War/Drg compares vs War/Thf. Great party, though I did spend 1 fight dead do to a very very long pull with a Torama that got lucky and Doubled Crit hits onto me 2 feet from camp. The range was 59-60 originally, ended 60-61 and 4.5ktnl 62(not bad for 3 hours). Anyway, the important part here is war/drg compared to war/thf.
Party Setup: Pld/War Brd/Whm Whm/Blm Smn/Whm War/Drg War/Thf
Camp: Labyrinth of Onzozo vs Goblins(VTlow-ITlow) and Torama(ITlow-ITflat)
War/Thf gear: Haubergeon, Walkure Mask, RK Legs, AF Feet, Enkelados Bracers, Assault Earring, Minuet Earring(Acc+3 with Minuet), Sniper's Ring, Venerer's Ring and eating: Sole Sushi
War/Drg gear: Haubergeon, Walkure Mask, RK Legs, AF Feet, Spiked Finger Gauntlets, Assault Earring, Wyvern Earring, 2x Woodsman's Ring and eating: Meat Chiefkabobs
Taken over the course of 36 fights of our party(meant to reset after a disconnect, and that always skews my parser information, so happy I saved before I went back in because I reset and forgot to start running it).
Total Fights: 36
Average Damage: 1910.97
Average Percent: 44.38
Average Accuracy: 75.05
Total Fights: 37
Average Damage: 1708.51
Average Percent: 42.88
Average Accuracy: 88.43
The War/Thf's extra fight was vs a Goblin Shepherd's Leech, no big deal, maybe 600-800 damage added on, not going to break the overall average.
The Overall numbers:
Total Damage: 68795
Average Percent: 44.6%
Melee Damage: 47198
Skill Damage: 16382
Average Accuracy: 74.62%
Total Damage: 63215
Average Percent: 40.98%
Melee Damage: 43067
Skill Damage: 20148
Average Accuracy: 86.62%
Now we worked together perfectly, berserk and aggressor always up at the same time, me opening and turning the mob off the pld, her plastering it back on and closing the sc with SATA RR(thus the higher skill damage). The damage differences meant that I had more than enough to turn it onto me 90% of the time(there were occassions when both of us went of whiff-fests and the damage wasn't high enough to turn it, but it was good none the less). We had equivalent accuracy, and she gained 12%(closer to my 10% estimate than others 15% gain, the numbers have been even closer with a Rdm landing Gravity, oddly, but no War/Thf's in those parties so no saved parses for it currently). The Haste I gained allowed me to be on par or exceed her for TP, which helped my WS damage without a doubt, helping to turn it to me so she could get the strong closer. And yes, I know Torama are resistant to thunder, but it was still extra damage to the mob(30-350) and hate plastered onto the Pld at the start of every fight.
Party Dynamics Two
The Great Axe Lover:
Brd or Rdm
Smn or Blm or other Melee DD
The dynamic here is easy. First fight, you do nothing but build TP. 2nd Fight, pop Berserk and Aggressor, plaster the mob onto the Pld right at the beginning with Raging Rush>>>SATA Raging Rush(Pop Warcry for this every time you can, as the War/Drg, to ensure that it turns. Should get it on you with RR Jump and Warcry, if not pop Voke and hope the SATA RR lands harder than the damage you just output. I got the mob locked onto me a few times, but thankfully with good support, even though it stayed on me, there was no downtime to speak of. This leaves the Blm or Rdm(if you have either) free to burst on the Fragmnetation chain. In the case of a 3rd Melee DD, it leaves them open to SC at 50% mob hp, by which time the War/Drg and War/Thf should already be back up to 100% and rising, to open for the next one. This is a decently fast way to lvl(did 60 to 4.5ktnl 62 last night in about 4 hours with Brd and Smn in the other slots). Raging Rush has no such thing as wasted TP, so building over 100% isn't a bad thing, and myself and the war/thf were usually in the 150%(War/Thf) to 200%(War/Drg) TP range when we differed greatly, more often than not, I was only 1 swing ahead(both using Heavy Darksteel Axes with 529 Delay).
Well, there go my numbers thus far. I don't expect any more updates until I can get a Demon's Axe to compare with my War/Thf partner who already has one, or at least a Massive Darksteel. With the lower Acc, it's important that I swing faster than her.
Is AF the Best?
You love your AF don't you? I know I love mine. HP, Str, Dex, increased double attack! And all at the price of a little more enmity. Sure, it's not that bad when you have a good tank, or if you are even tanking, whether it be single or dual. But are there other options? I love my AF, just like everyone else out there does, but let's face it, sometimes there are just better choices. This is just going to list a few that I've had and used, to much better results than the AF.
Head: Walkure Mask. Sure, the Dex increase from the AF is nice, but the Attack increase from this is, well...nicer.
Feet: Now the AF feet have stood tall and shined for a damn long time. I did try Feral for a little run, but seeing as it was nothing spectacular, I'm still drawn over it. If you want to add some more attack and aren't worried about losing some double attack, Feral/Tiger is good. If you want something that adds a little more Str instead of the Agility offered by the AF, then Coral/Merman's Leggings are wonderful. I'm still only in the Coral sadly, but if I could get a hold of Merman's...well, Str is always good.
Hands: Now, like I said, Str is always good. Enmity, however, isn't. Neither is -Dex, especially if you are an Elvaan like I am. For gloves, Spiked Finger Gauntlets performed wonderfully for me. So have Tiger/Feral Gloves, and most recently, Coral gloves. It feels a little odd to say this, but let's consider quickly:
Coral Hands and Feet vs. AF Hands and Feet
2 more Dex and 1 Less Str than AF, lower DA Proc rate.
More HP and Enmity than Coral, 1 More Str and 3 more Agility.
Maybe it's just me, but the Coral shped up better, even with the loss of Double Attack proc's.
Legs: And as has been said numerous times, RK Breeches are just better than the AF legs in most cases. Sure, the Acc increase from the AF is nice, but always remember, the enmity isn't.
Mini-guide to Warrior/Dragoon Tanking
For those who love the Warrior AF
1. Find a Good Support Team! Brd/Whm Rdm/Whm Blm/Whm is my preferred tanking support team. A good amount of MP to move around, some big emergency cures from the RDM or BLM to Divine Seal if needed, Bard can keep a regen song and an acc song on you at all times.
2. Save you TP! Build TP as quickly as you can on the first mob. Every mob after that, try to open with a WS followed by a Jump. This will help the mob die faster and also cement some hate onto you right after using Provoke.
3. Avoid Tanking with Axe and Shield in XP. While it is possible, you will usually not generate enough hate to keep the mob on you.
4. Invest in enmity+ gear. Do so carefully. If you can get some enmity on a ring or earring go for it, if its on a belt or other item, be wary as to its defensive and offensive bonuses and defects.
More General Tanking Suggestions
1.Create the following Macro:
/ja "Jump" <bt>
/ja "Provoke" <bt>
Use this macro as soon as the mob is in range. Spam until Jump procs and then wait for the rest to follow.
2.Use Jump when TP is 0-12% or directly after a WS. In the first usage, it allows you to build TP faster while adding some hate as long as it lands. In the second usage, it adds another hit to your WS every 1:30.
Example WS Macro:
/ws "Shield Break" <t>
/ja "Jump" <t>
Replace WS with your WS of choice. Suggested Weapon skills(Use as obtained):
3. Eat for Offense, Gear for Defense. Meat Mith or Chiefkabobs have always netted me good results when tanking, regardless of subjob. Get some good heavy armor, but don't sacrifice defense in excess of 3 points to do so. Use Defender at all times once it is available.
Example of Armor Choices:
Lv. 40 Breastplate is good for Pld Tanking.
Lv. 40 Royal Squire's Chainmail is good for Warrior DD and Tanking.
4. Always use the Great Axe. While you can, in theory, XP tank with an Axe and Shield Combo, at higher levels you just won't be putting up enough damage to keep the hate. Make your life easier by using the Great Axe. It is, after all, your friend.
3 Man Light: The Other Light Meat
Now, if you have a job Lv. 65 or higher, you should've seen a Light SC performed. No, I don't mean Transfixion, I mean the Lv. 3 Quad Elemental True Light. True Light, or Light Lv. 3, is a beauty to behold. It can be bursted with Fire, Light, Thunder, and Wind, and it has a mirror damage potential. By mirror damage, what I mean to say is that a light SC can do the damage of the closing WS completely as its burst. If a Dragoon does Wheeling Thurst and a Thf closes with Shark Bite for 800, the Light SC may also land for up to 800. That is a 2 Man Light.
Now, 3 Man Light is a little bit harder to pull off, but for it's difficulties it does have it's benefits. First off, for 3 Man Light you can NOT be performing it with the regular 2 Man Light combination. That is simply wasting TP unnecessarily and negating the potential benefit of 3 Man Light. What is that benefit? 150% Skillchain Damage potential. Where as 2 Man Light can land the closing SC for Mirror Damage, 3 Man light can land the closing SC for Mirror Damage and 50% more. Let's use the case above again. Wheeling Thrust is an inherent Fusion, so it needs a Fragmentation opener to make True Light.
well, there we go, that's a perfectly good and damaging SC, utilizing 2 Strong WS's, right?
Now, let's add on Wheeling Thrust.
Fragmentation>>>Wheeling Thrust=True Light!
Let's say that the Wheeling Thrust landed for 400. Well, the resulting Light SC now has the potential to land for up to 600 damage! This is the potential of a 3 Man Light. The Stronger your closer, the better 3 Man Light has a chance to be, so look for it where and when you can, especially if you are short on nuking mages!
Full Breaking for Hate(But not on You)
2 and 3 Man Light was discussed above. And of course, there is also 2 and 3 Man Darkness, True Darkness, Dark Lv. 3, or however else you want to call it. This SC tends to get ignored a bit more often, but I did find one decent use for it. Full Break is already a very useful WS, lowering mob Evasion, Accuracy, Armor, Evasion, and Attack. All those debuffs rolled into 1 good WS. So how could it be even better, you ask?
As a Hate Control tool.
By the time you have Full Break, you should notice that Pld's(Good ones at least) are managing to have TP! Maybe not every battle, but often enough that they can actually participate in a SC. So, keeping that in mind, here is a nice way for you to brighten up a Pld's day while making his life a little easier.
Full Break>>>Swift Blade!
Those Lv. 3 SC's tend to generate a LOT of hate for the closer. Letting the Pld close, and being willing to sacrifice a bit of your damage to land the Debuff and hate control is never a bad thing. This works excellently with an AM Happy Blm, also. The Darkness chain with the regular Pld hate building tools is usually enough to keep the enmity on them, even if the Blm goes and lands a nice 1500+ burst. And since you are sacrificing some Damage(Raging Rush) for a SC and hate control, you may as well have a BLM, RDM, hell even a Drk or Nin, burst away on it if they can. Anyways, nothing huge, just something I thought I'd include, since it's saved my ass quite a few times now.
High Jump: What good is it?
as well as potential equipment updates(Thick Gear on the approaching horizon).
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