- The Gear: This is about where gear starts to become more important. By now you should be reasonably proficient at the mechanics of charming and gear swapping +CHR pieces in. If you are /WHM, you may also want to get some +MND gear to beef up your cures at these levels; although I didn't include MND or MP gear in the table to the right, it is something else that may or may not be good to have. At 14 swap out your Royal Footman's Gloves for Battle Gloves, these will last you through this entire level range. At 16 is the Bone Set as per usual, I prefer the evasion of the Bone +1 set over the extra defense of the Lizard Set, but both are equally suitable. The Focus Collar at 18 is an excellent neck piece for those needing some extra accuracy (us poor Elvaans need all the help we can get). The Lantern Shield at 19 is a good shield, but if you have a hard time finding one, Decurion's Shield makes a so-so substitute. If you are using a Bone Axe +1 at level 13 you have the max DPS over all the axes until level 20, (Battleaxe), although a Republic Axe may be a worthwhile investment if you find your accuracy lacking (again, Elvaan Accuracy FTL ;;). The Republic Scythe can be entirely skipped over unless you really want the extra +2 STR. It's not uncommon to go many levels before upgrading your scythes at these levels, so don't feel weird tooling around at 19 with a level 10 scythe...there's just not many options for BST at the lower levels. The Webcutter is Rare/EX, so by all means skip over it if you need to.
Make sure you pick up a Bird Whistle at 15 at add it to your Charm macro. The +3 CHR on this (as well as the Noble's Ribbon) means you will be swapping this in for quite a while. At 17 you're going to want to pick up a Monster Signa; this piece of gear is pretty much ubiquitous with BST's. It drops off of a relatively easy NM in Giddeus, but you will probably have to deal with competition. Luckily you can purchase it on the AH if you so desire, price-wise it's not too bad.
If you are /WHM, make sure you swap out the Spike/Fang Necklace in your Cure macro...the -6 MND can lose you a few HP out of your cures, and you'll want all the healing power you can get. At 24 you can switch to the Tiger Stole, but it's not necessary if you're on a budget. Remember to swap out the Traveler's Mantle for a Nomad's Mantle at 24.
- The Food: Again, if you are subbing WHM you'll probably still want to increase your MP pool, so you'll continue eating the pies. Subbing WAR or (at 24) NIN, you'll be eating either Attack or Accuracy food. Meat Mithkabobs make a good attack food, but may be a bit pricey...Meat Jerky is a good low level substitute that can be crafted at a pretty low cooking level (26). If you're looking for accuracy, go with some type of Sushi, these can be expensive but against mobs with high evasion it may be worth it. Just make sure you aren't eating something that will reduce your MND or CHR, as some of the sushi's do...
- Pets: You'll be starting off charming Lizards or Bats, move up to Rabbits or Crabs, and then finish off with Flies and Sheep. By this point you will be experiencing the awesomeness of a pet coming uncharmed and immediately doing a nasty TP move. Try your best to keep track of time...an Even Match pet (what you should be shooting for whenever possible) will stay charmed for about 3 minutes, so you may want to stand back and let the pet fight alone when the timer is approaching. Rabbits have a habit of using Whirly Claw, Flies use Cursed Sphere, and Sheep like to Sheep Charge at the worst times. You WILL die to an uncharmed pet at some point out here, don't get discouraged...
- Strategy: You will spend a fair amount of time here in the Dunes. It goes without saying that you will want to avoid the common party camps, like the Oasis or the Beach. There are a lot of people out there that think that a group's experience trumps a soloing or duoing BST; obviously that's asinine, but I find it's best to just avoid the situation in the first place and pick less popular places.
- Levels 14-16: Valkurm Dunes. Field manual located at M-10 just after the Konschtat zone, you will be doing Page 1 (7 Lizards/1 Hare). At 14, things may be a little difficult, the Lizards range from 15-19, so they will check as T at minimum. The safer method is to charm the Sand Bats (they will check anywhere from DC to T at 14) and use them to fight the lizards in and around cave, although you won't want to fight near any other bats...if your bats come uncharmed they will immediately link with the others nearby so take care and Heel your pet away. Just outside the mouth of the cave on either end is pretty safe, but obviously you'll want to watch for the Gobs that roam the immediate area. If you are meleeing along with your pet (and I recommend you do) make sure you fight "unlocked" so you can turn away on Baleful Gaze: Petrification can mean a quick death, especially since it seems like pets have the uncanny ability to come uncharmed when it lands. You'll have to run north to K-9 to find your one hare, which kinda sucks, but it shouldn't be too difficult to avoid the 2 Gobs that spawn. At 15, charm an EM Lizard (if you can find one, you may have to hunt around) and let them beat each other. If this camp is overcrowded (it can be) then the area at D-6 and E-7 can make a good alternative, although the nearest Field Manual is at the Outpost and there are no easy zones if things go bad.
- Levels 16-18: At this point you should be able to move on to Page 2 (6 Snippers/2 Lizards) of the Manual. Charm Lizards or Hares, you should be able to find some EM's. As to where you want to camp, there's a few choices...J-8 through K-8, J-6, and F-7. Personally, I prefer the J-6 camp, as I rarely see people over here and there are tons of mobs. You'll probably want to use the book at L-6 (La Theine zone), although the Gobs can be tricky to get around at times. The J-6 camp has quite a few trees in it, so be mindful of your surroundings, Gobs like to hide in the trees and you may take 1 or 2 shots before you even realize that a Gob aggro'd and is shooting at you. Best bet is to use your pet to pull to the perimeter where you have a clear view on all sides. Between 20:00 and 4:00 a Skeleton or Ghost can spawn in the area, and they will aggro to low HP from seemingly miles away. Be cautious. The F-7 camp is larger, but the Gobs that roam that area are angrier.
- Levels 18-24: Transition to Page 4, 4 Damselflies and 4 Sheep. At this point you can handle pretty much anything in the zone within reason, and can really start moving quickly. I prefer to charm Snippers as they tend not to die so quickly. You'll probably have to Stay your pet every 2-3 fights and let it rest up some health. The path between the outpost and the small wooded area at F-7 is pretty good, there are plenty of flies, sheep, and crabs all over. This is probably the last regime in the area you will want to do, as the Thread Leeches are a pain in the ass to kill, although, at 21 when they start becoming EM, they are great pets (they usually are, there's a reason no one ever fights leech's in exp parties). An EM leech will destroy pretty much anything in the zone. When the sheep/fly experience starts getting on the weak end, move on to the Pugs at either Whitebone or Siren beach. The Goblin Bounty Hunters that roam the beach are a joke, and you can just run from one end of the beach pulling Pugs at your leisure. They don't link here, so you can really fly, although exp parties may move in in top of you.