• Weapons Guide

    Best weapon: Axis Blade
    Alternatives: Blazefire Saber, Lionheart

    The main asset Lightning brings to the table is her ridiculous casting and running speed. She also has the highest overall combined stats too (1700 strength/1700 magic) so you'd do well also to find a weapon that further augments her natural prowess. So, what does she have? Note when I state the name of the weapon, it is of it's first tier. I do discuss further tiers as well.

    Blazefire Saber: Her standard weapon. Over the more popular Axis Blade, it's final (maxed 3rd tier) stats are almost double. What it lacks in flair it makes up for in sheer raw stats. Definitely a good weapon.

    Axis Blade: It sacrifices raw stats for an amazing Attack: ATB Charge I or II where it really shines when facing large groups. Have a pack of angry enemies? Spam blitz of a -ga spell and watch her ATB skyrocket. Alternatively, get Army of One and each individual hit slowly adds to the gauge. Axis Blade and it's grown-ups really shine in groups, but it's effectiveness is limited slightly against single enemies. Still, it's the blade I went for. Remember, this game is really about staggering for much of it. If you stagger, the battle is won most of the time. Raw stats isn't everything, though they do help. I find the Axis Blade really compliments her natural speed. It is also a part of the Boost synthesis group in it's first two tiers which mean it can increase her ATB charge rate - even more speed.

    Edged Carbine: Her magical weapon. It's final stats are 210 str and 710 mag, which is quite a high total, but one of Lightning's greatest assets is her versatility. This weapon does not to help that, and so I find it's uses severely limited. I pretty much ignored it.

    Lifesaber: Improved Raise can be useful but Lightning really isn't the best medic ever, and you will hardly ever have her in battle as a medic. Besides, you're far better off using a phoenix down to revive characters. You should definitely try not to have them die on you in the first place! Terrible weapon.

    Gladius: Her strength weapon. It's final stats are essentially a reverse of the Edged Carbine, and so comes along with it all of it's flaws. It is arguably better, because I find Lightning to be a better commando. Magic stats play no part in staggering, only simple damage which isn't what ravagers are known for in the first place, so of the two, Gladius is definitely the more viable. I used it for a while during the game, then dropped it for better.

    Organyx: Leave it alone. Leadenstrike severely cripples her ATB charge rate, and even Ironstrike is painfully slow. This is exactly what Lightning shouldn't use. Ignore it. It has the highest combined stats of 750 each but...

    Hauteclaire: ...if raw stat gain is for you, damned the consequences, then this is better. It does have stagger lock, but it possesses a 711 str and mag total, which is more beneficial than Organyx. I wouldn't recommend it though. Lightning is a very capable ravager and having her unable to initiate a stagger is unsettling for me. Fang can get away with it, but I do think there is better out there.

    Lionheart: It has Quick Stagger, which naturally compliments her natural speed. Unlike Axis Blade, it's stat offset is less severe: 508 combined played Axis Blade's 315. While you're thinking this is an easy win, Lionheart assumes that the enemy will stagger. Some enemies will never attain stagger, or will only do so in a long time due to a high chain resistance. Nonetheless, Lionheart is a good weapon. If you choose not to use Axis Blade, then this is a very good alternative.

    Best weapon: Procyons
    Alternatives: Spica Defenders, Antares Deluxe

    Sazh really does lack raw stats. At maximum, he has only 1000 in both strength and magic. While this is a valid point and one that does make me not use him totally often, it is unfair to say he is useless. His weapons are among the most varied and interesting of the group with many useful and important passive abilities. His weapons also frequently grant him huge stat gains to try and offset his stat deficit.

    Vega 42s: Basic as you can get. It does gift him a very credible 812 str and mag stat total which helps plenty, and has none of the drawbacks some of his weapons have. Still, with Sazh, raw stats aren't everything and he should abuse his unique weapon abilities like crazy to get any sort of attention. I wouldn't have these as my long-term choice.

    Spica Defenders: Lovely weapons. Augment Maintenance, when at level II, grants his buffs a 30% duration bonus. This is huge, for it compliments Sazh's proficiency in the Synergist role and allows a buff cast from him to last pretty much the entire battle. These are great: if the wait for a 2nd tier Procyons is too much, use these or Antares Deluxes depending on if you want him to go defensive or offensive respectively.

    Deneb Duellers: His magic geared weapon. This is generally favourable as Sazh's casting speed is generally faster than his gunkata. Still, there's no unique ability, so I wouldn't pay these much heed to be honest.

    Rigels: Stagger lock! This doesn't affect him too bad, as he is such a slow character that it is unlikely that he would be the one to stagger the foe. Nonetheless, There are better weapons. Is the approximate 1007 str and mag boost enough? I'm not so certain.

    Aldebarans: Ugh, Leaden or ironstrike. Both suck. Ignore. Forget about the 1150 magic boost, for Sazh gets zilch to his strength. Avoid these like the plague.

    Pleiades Hi-Powers: This unique weapon has the Paper/Silk Tiger passive ability. What this does is reduce the amount of HP Sazh gets, in exchange for a 1150 strength boost. It doesn't take me to explain that this is even worse the Leadenstrike. Aside from very situational uses of it for his astounding Blitz skill, I wouldn't use these.

    Antares Deluxes: Grants Chain Bonus Boosts I and II. A great weapon. It boosts the chain bonus gained by attacking an enemy which is great for Sazh, as his ravager skills can be made more effective. His unique skill, Cold Blood can also help drive up the chain gauge post-stagger and these weapons augment that greatly. Put simply, if you're using Sazh for strength, then Antares Deluxes might be the weapon for you.

    Procyons: Again, great weapons and what I pretty much went for. Thinking back, maybe Antares Deluxes were better, as, remember, not every enemy can get to stagger or get to it very easily, so maybe Antares Deluxes are the better option. Furthermore, these require a Dark Matter to get to the 2nd tier, which is very hard to obtain. It's just your choice. But it's passive ability is just so good. At Stagger Maintenance II, it increases stagger duration by a whopping 30%! Really, it is a choice between these and Spica Defenders or Antares Deluxes. Sazh has many options, thank goodness.

    Best weapon: Paladin
    Alternatives: Wild Bear, Umbra, Feymark

    Snow's best weapon is very debatable. While it is easy to be lead into thinking that Snow is perfect for pure rage and strength, both Fang and Lightning have higher maximum strength. Instead, Snow really benefits from a balanced weapon which also helps accommodate his magic, as he has a supreme magical casting speed (even higher than Lightning) which can volley spells. He is also a very serviceable medic and can function as a secondary healer: therefore do not neglect his magic. Finally, he is the best sentinel in the game.

    Wild Bear: His safe and steady weapon. However, this might be his best weapon. It provides healthy boosts to both strength AND magic, and gets the job done. Nothing special, just honest raw stat gains. At 717 for both stats, it is hard to fault it.

    Paladin: For me, whenever I used Snow, it wasn't for his ravager or commando skills. It was for his superior sentinel role. Snow is the best sentinel which is very important against late-game bosses such as Attacus. While it does only give him 510 for both stats, this isn't too shabby compared to Wild Bear, and seriously, Improved Guard II is very effective. I used it personally, though it is by no means his only option. Snow is very, very versatile in this department.

    Rebel Heart: It has Critical Power Surge I and II, which can be useful... if Snow is in critical health. Really. Why would you want that? Snow is resilient, but even I would want him running around with a red flashing gauge. I'd ignore this.

    Power Circle: His strength specific. Power Circle is probably best used if you frequently use Snow for his commando role, -strike abilities as a ravager or his offensive sentinel abilities. However, I prefer Wild Bear as Snow is a character who should try and be a good master of strength and magic. Leave the specialisation to Hope, Vanille and Fang.

    Feymark: Grants nothing towards his strength, but at maxed 3rd tier grants a huge 1050 magic boost. Unlike Power Circle, Feymark may be of use because of Snow's unique saboteur skill as a Daze-spammer against certain enemies. A high magic stat ups the chance of it connecting, so for those situations, Feymark may be good. Bear in mind - Snow with high magic will simply use ruin in the commando role, and because of his high casting speed, this isn't even a bad thing. I didn't use it, but it's a very interesting, brave choice.

    Sacrificial Circle: While Snow naturally has high HP, the Paper Tiger effect still cuts deep into defences. Seeing how he is the best sentinel, really Snow should be hoarding his health. I ignored it.

    Unsetting Sun: His stagger lock weapon, which again comes with all the high stat boosts to compensate. Unlike other stagger lock weapons which normally give an equal split between strength and magic, Snow's is deeply off kilter: 815 str to 205 mag. This is basically a more less effective version of Power Circle: it's strength rating is 905. Because of this, just ignore Unsetting Sun. If you want high power, use Power Circle.

    Umbra: Gives Improved Ward I and II. It is pretty much comparable to Paladin, but just gives different sets of protection. I personally used Paladin, but it's your call. While Paladin has equal boosts to str and mag, Umbra leans more towards magic, for your information.

    Best weapon: Hawkeye
    Alternatives: Vidofnir

    In contrast to the others, Hope's top-tier weapon choices are rather simple. Hope is rather drastically geared towards magic, so don't even consider going for a middle-ground option. Go with magic all the way and run with it. Hope's only other quirk is his synergist skills, and Vidofnir is perfect for that. Besides these two weapons though, the rest are either too strength based or too detrimental for other reasons.

    Airwing: It has more strength than magic, so right away this is a big negative. Meanwhile, it's passive ability is Critical: Shield I and II. As I have said previously, I really don't like having a character under critical health. In the beginning of the game, this weapon does have some use as Hope does get himself hurt plenty of times to warrant perhaps this weapon during chapters 4 and 5. After that, upgrade.

    Hawkeye: His magic weapon and the one I'd go for. Grants him an impressive 917 magic boost, which is flat out all you need for him. It's interesting to note that Hope actually makes a very good Commando when you need him! He spams ruin/ruinga in commando, which makes him pile on the hurt. This is useful in paradigms such as Cerberus, where Hope can make a very worthwhile contribution to the damage total.

    Otshirvani: Hope's speedy weapon, Siphon Boost I and II increases the ATB gained from the ravager -Siphon abilities like fearsiphon. It is good, probably in the bronze medal position for me. I still find Hawkeye or Vidofnir to be better than it though.

    Ninurta: Keeps things nice and even for both Strength and Magic. Normally, this is a good thing for characters like Lightning or Snow, but in Hope's case, it really isn't. You should be focusing on Hope's magic, so just avoid Ninurta. If you use Hope correctly, he should never even have to use his strength total.

    Vidofnir: Defense Maintenance I and II perfectly compliments Hope's natural proficiency in the synergist role. It extends the duration of the defensive buffs like Protect and Vigilance. If you equip this with a Watchman's Amulet, you activate the Positive Effect synthesised ability - 30% duration bonus to buffs. This is just awesome for long, boss battles. Vidofnir does lose effectiveness during rank and file encounters though where a synergist isn't really needed.

    Simurgh: No bonus to magic. It's passive ability, stifled/fettered magic severely weakens magic damage. A 926 str boost is bad for Hope. Verdict? NEVER USE.

    Malphas: And it goes from bad to worse. Paper tiger is back, and is even worse as Hope has very low HP compared to Sazh or Snow, who might just be able to cope. Hope is very fragile. Malphas doesn't even help with stats. While 832 to both stats sounds neat, strength is useless for Hope and doesn't even beat Hawkeye's total. Avoid.

    Alicanto: Stagger lock! Cool name, uncool ability. It's stat gains are fairly average (608 for both stats. Strength is useless remember) and stagger lock hurts Hope is is frequently deployed as a ravager. Again, avoid, avoid, avoid.

    Best weapon: Belladonna Wand
    Alternatives: Healer's Staff

    Like Hope, Vanille doesn't benefit from a strength boost, so avoid those weapons. While Hope is the better ravager, Vanille is arguably better as a medic and so weapons that support her in that role can be good situationally. However, Vanille stars as a saboteur. This makes her best weapon very easy. The saboteur role is very important, so having a good weapon to suit that skill is key.

    Binding Rod: It's magic gains are pitiful at only 216, which is exactly what Vanille does not need. It also has no passive abilities, so it is just a very forgettable weapon. I'd drop it as soon as you get a better weapon. No, seriously, it is just terrible. At least Airwing had something positive.

    Tigerclaw: The infamous Leadenstrike hits again. You don't need to ask again do you? Avoid it. You don't want your best medic with a slow ATB gauge do you?

    Healer's Staff: A very decent alternative to the Belladonna Wand. The improved Cure I and II really do make a difference over time. While it's stats are nothing special, I'm willing to ignore that. Belladonna Wand is for me still the best weapon, but Vanille can definitely have her moments with this. You could even upgrade both of these together to have a great combo of weapons!

    Pearlwing Staff: It has a magic of 912 by the end of it, but this is only roughly a 100 more than the Belladonna Wand. To be honest, that isn't a lot and the Pearlwing Staff loses out because of it. With no passive abilities to boost it, it's just... meh. Decent, but hardly stellar.

    Rod of Thorns: The balanced weapon in her set. With a boost of 709 to both str and mag, it's viable if you want to employ a commando based Vanille. However, like with Hope, her high magic stat is best kept at it's maximum so she can spam ruin or whatever, so really, the Rod of Thorns isn't really what you should be going for. It's not the worst you could choose by all means, it is just... meh.

    Mistilteinn: This is even more baffling than the Critical:x abilities. Why, why why would you want an ally to be KO'ed? Ally KO: Power Surge is just a stupid auto ability. Leave this weapon alone. I will smack you if you use it.

    Belladonna Wand: Now were talking! It's passive ability Improved Debuffing I and II is just plain awesome and helps her debuffs stick faster and more consistently. While many weapons with a helpful ability lose out in terms of stats, the Belladonna Wand really doesn't lose out all that much. This is pretty much the best weapon for Vanille unless you are using her pretty much as a medic only.

    Heavenly Axis: Stagger lock! Funny thing is, it has the exact same stats as the Belladonna Wand if both are maxed out at tier 3. Seriously, check if you don't believe me. This makes the weapon pretty much redundant.

    Best weapon: Taming Pole
    Alternatives: Pandoran Spear, Gae Bolg, Dragoon Lance

    Nearly there! This has taken a while. Fang pretty much has two options for you really. You could either go full commando and max her strength out loads, or you could go more like Vanille and focus on her Saboteur role. Either is viable to be honest. However, a different option and the one I went with is to go with the Taming Pole and make sure her magic is not neglected.

    While Fang takes a little to reach her stride in the game (no ravager OR medic) you would do well to try and invest a weapon on her for she is just so powerful.

    Bladed Lance: Her basic weapon, even here you can tell there's an emphasis on her strength. 753 str to 314 mag. It is very viable and can be used if you still want some sort of balance between stats but don't want to put up with the stagger lock of the Taming Pole. However, a balanced stat total can be achieved with Gae Bolg, and comes with a decent ability.

    Dragoon Lance: Her balls to the wall strength beast. Fang's maximum natural strength is 2005. Add on 962 to that via the maxed Dragoon Lance and you have yourself a whopping 2967 strength total. This does fully neglect her magic, so it's very lopsided. It all depends on your playstyle. While I don't like having any character's magic go neglected (for magic plays a part in saboteur spell hit chances, medic healing and more), it is very good nonetheless. Bear in mind, enemies that are resistant to physical damage will just soak up the Dragoon Lance.

    Partisan: Magic based to be sure with a 839 magic total. Seeing how Fang doesn't even begin with the Ravager role, it's use is slightly impeded. Furthermore, her highest stat, Strength, isn't really capitalised on. While I can see how it might be useful, I just don't find myself wanting to use it. It's definitely not her best weapon.

    Shamanic Spear: A more extreme version of Partisan. Higher magic boosts (just over hundred more than Partisan) is offset by literally nothing in the strength department and the dreaded enfeeblement/hinderance ability, which basically just reduces her physical damage. As this goes against her natural proclivities, I just ignored this.

    Punisher: A unique weapon. Stagger: TP Charge I and II makes it so every time you stagger an opponent, the TP gauge increases slightly. It's alright, and earlier on in the game when you're trying to fill out monster data with Libra, or use eidolons more frequently against a hard boss it is useful. But during the post-game, TP isn't really an issue as most strategies never use TP. Therefore, the Punisher is just more of a gimmick really.

    Pandoran Spear: Very good. Improved Debilitation assists her saboteur role, which is good seeing how she is joint best at it. While there is a focus on magic, it is still a rather balanced weapon and is one that will serve you well. There's not much else to say really!

    Taming Pole: Stagger lock! But for once, it's not bad. Remember, Fang is best in her commando role, and commandos don't really go about staggering. Even when she is part of a Tri-Disaster paradigm, the other two members can stagger for her, so it doesn't really drag the party down like you would think. The Taming Pole gives just awesome stat gains: 921 to both. It's really a choice between this, the Pandoran Spear or the Dragoon Lance but even so. The Dragoon Lance only provides an additional 40 strength and gives you no magic boost and a harmful Stifled magic ability. I went with this.

    Gae Bolg: Fang also makes a very capable Sentinel. Gae Bolg is definitely available to you for it's stats are still respectable (642 to both) and it has a pretty useful ability in Improved Counter I and II. However, I'd advise against it personally, for I never really liked Counter abilities as the damage is fairly poor and provides none of the defensive boosts of Mediguard or Steelguard. Nonetheless, if you find yourself frequently using Fang as a sentinel, then this may be for you. It wasn't for me though.

    Content created by Formalhaut. Thank you Formy!