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This article is only a guide. Information expressed in a guide is usually more opinion than fact and should be taken as such. Guides are written by players, based upon their experiences, successes and mistakes, and are meant to aid other players. However, there may be differing opinions than those expressed in a guide.
Strategies and information in guides may not work for everyone.

Job Overview

Available after completing the quest Save My Son, these experts in monster research have trained tirelessly to communicate with, and even control the animals of Vana'diel. Based on their knowledge of beasts, Beastmasters can charm the beasts of Vana'diel to fight alongside them, call beasts to their side, and intimidate enemy beasts of Vana'diel.

Beastmasters are generally considered the best solo class in the game. Beastmasters often can be found soloing monsters or teaming up with other Beastmasters in all Beastmaster parties. Beastmasters are less frequently found in conventional parties. In a conventional party, a Beastmaster will most frequently fill the roles of damage dealer and puller. A Beastmaster will perform best when partying in an area with charmable pets of a suitable level.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths

  • Sick of looking for a group for hours? As a BST, you can gain Experience Points when it suits you and at your own pace. Areas with large numbers of charmable mobs (even aggressive ones) are easily navigable by an experienced BST. This job can be soloed all the way to level 75.
  • There is not a whole lot of expensive gear to buy -- and when it is necessary, most of a BST's equipment will last them for quite a while.
  • BSTs also excel at link control. When a pet is attacking a target, and that target links with another mob, the hate built up by your pet is shed the moment you 'Leave' the pet. For example, if a BST pet obtains hate from a linked mob, BST (at a safe distance), seeing his pet fighting two mobs, can use the 'Leave' command and charm or call a new pet to fight his original mob. The linked mob will no longer be linked.

Weaknesses

  • BSTs cannot charm beastmen or certain mob families. Attempting to charm these creatures will result in a very short 'Bind' effect on the creature, which can allow the BST to gain some distance, if being pursued.
  • BST has a steep learning curve. Learning the intricacies of hate control and using macros are an absolute must. Most beginning BSTs (and many mid- and high-level BSTs) complain of frequent (i.e. double digit deaths per level) deaths while EXPing.
  • Common misconceptions exist about BST, including that they are useless in parties or rob XP points for everyone in the party.
  • BSTs sometimes encounter other parties who encroach on a BST's camp and tell the BST to leave, asserting that their party's right to a camp trumps that of the soloing BST. This friction between parties and BST soloists varies from server to server, although it's a safe bet you will run into an argument at some point. Be assured you have just as much a right to Experience Points as anyone else, although I find it helps to have a backup camp. The fact of the matter is, a lot of parties think nothing of camping on top of a BST and thus destroying your exp/hr by wiping out your pets or prey, so having an alternative can save you a lot of grief, a wasted band, or just an otherwise lost afternoon of forward progress.
    • Just Blacklist them. Noone, including parties has some Divine right to any mob in this game. You dont want to play with such characters at any rate --Carnivor-Asura 13:48, September 16, 2009 (UTC)

Race Selection

Final Fantasy XI allows players to choose between five different races, each with its own strengths and weaknesses in terms of stats. While certain races' stats are better matched to some jobs more than others, the differences are never so profound as to prevent any race from playing any particular job (except for Elvaans and Black Mage). All players can excel at any job they so choose, provided they have the skill and the equipment; the race selection is mostly an aesthetic decision.


Specifically regarding the beastmaster, all races have their advantages. While Hume, Elvaan and Tarutaru have higher CHR, the higher DEX of the Mithra and the higher VIT and HP of the Galka are also advantageous. Any race can excel at being a beastmaster.

Starting Stats
Race HP MP STR DEX VIT AGI INT MND CHR
Hume 30 0 6 7 6 5 6 6 8
Elvaan 32 0 7 7 7 4 5 7 8
Tarutaru 26 0 5 7 6 6 8 6 8
Galka 35 0 7 7 8 5 6 6 7
Mithra 30 0 6 9 6 6 6 6 7

Beastmaster Endgame

HNMLS

In HNMLS situations a BST will more often times than not be more useful playing the role of Link Control for the surrounding mobs then as Damage Dealer. This role can be fulfilled by other jobs such as BRD, HOWEVER, all other jobs use Sleep and Bind tactics for that link control. Or they will use an outside PT to simply kill them. For charmable mobs, CHARM is far more effective and Dependable than sleep and bind. In many areas, however, it is easier and more practical to have one or two BST traveling the area and charming then leaving the linked mobs. Perfect example of this is in Dragons Aery, when one VT fly attacks/aggroes, the rest of the flies link. A properly equipped BST can control all of the flys on his own by charming one, and setting it to attacking the other flies. As each pet dies you charm the one that will attack you (the original that you sicked your pet on) before it has the opportunity to link with the rest of the flies and continue the process until one fly remains. Feel free to FAMILIAR the last fly, and if you can position it on the dragons feet properly, feel free to allow it to participate in the DD process (unless sleep is planned to be used to regain some MP, in such case, be prepared to heel you pet) They CON VT but live less then 1 or 2 minutes and with enough CHARM + gear it will not uncharm. Repeating this process clears the area of linkable mobs so that your BLMs can use their higher tier NUKEs and -ga spells, and creates more breathing room for your LS members fighting the main mob. Most players will not trust a BST to perform these tasks due to unreliable performance of other BSTs in past experiences. Link control of higher tier mobs with the use of CHARM takes a VERY high level of skill. However, it can and has been done before. Go with your game face and best CHR gear available.

SKY/SEA

PULLER: Your jug pets in sky and in sea will prove useful pulling tools for the rest of your alliance. Between pulls do not use your pet to DD, instead command it to HEEL then STAY and regen its HP between pulls.

DAMAGE DEALER: When killing placeholders, feel free to participate in the killing process. Every little swing helps. When fighting the main NM's though your role may alter from that of puller and DD, to Kiter.

KITING: Tanks will perform the task of main kiters. Other jobs will lay on the DoT (Damage over Time) spells, Blood Pacts, enfeebles, etc. Your Jug pet will be the one non-MP dependent DoT among the alliance. The most useful jug pets for this task are Hi attack/ or fast attacking pets. Examples include Homunculus(for its Triple attack and counter abilities), Lifedrinker Lars(For its notable accuracy and dependency on consistent attacks),Chopsuey Chucky(high attack), and Amigo Sabotender(for its well rounded attack abilities in general, and 1000 Needles never fails to impress). Bring Pet Food Zeta along with the proper AF and RELIC armor to remove harmful status effects on your pet and heal its HP.

SOLOING: You are a proud and noble Beastmaster with a reputation as the most powerful solo artist in the game. Earn that title. Go out and perform tasks that you can accomplish on your own for the benefit of your linkshell members and yourself as often as you can. SOLO the NMs that you can. The most prominent of these is Despot. Acquire the Gem of the West for your LS when time and situation permits (competing Linkshells). This will save your Leaders from planning times and accounting for necessary members to complete the task on a slightly larger scale. Farm HQ Organs from sea areas. Beastmasters using Courier Carrie to tank using Snarl can effectively solo and farm the necessary organs to spawn NMs in the sea zones. Once again making you a valuable and dependable member of the LS.

NOTES on SEA/SKY:

More often times than not you will probably be a member of an outside PT to allow for the higher damaging DD's to utilize their weapon skills in the skillchaining process. This is NOT a personal attack on you or your job. It is called strategy. You are still a valued and welcome member of the team if you perform your Job well. The difficulty comes from the varying roles your job can perform, and discerning what role you are/will be playing. The LS leaders are busy with the main strategy of the fights, and the BSTs are often forgotten. Do your job well, impress your fellow members, and be patient and understanding and the sky and sea areas can still be a great and fulfilling experience for a main job BST.

There are many things to do at the end of the game and the most difficult choices you will face is how to best fit yourself into the different roles you as a BST can perform. Communicate with the people you play with and inform them of your intentions prior to doing anything. The key to success as an end game BST is communication. You cannot expect other jobs that have little to no idea what the BST can do to automatically understand what you are doing. Most players in the game will give you a wide berth. The extent of their knowledge usually falls to the "Beastmaster is the premier solo class job of the game". Educate them of your power. Prove yourself. And be prepared to spend a lot of time proving yourself throughout the endgame process. You are a Beast. You are in control of your environment more so then any other job in this game. Now go and impress the masses. Create your own bragging rights beyond "I soloed to 75".

Support Job Options

The choices listed here are by no means the only ones available, although they are the most common. Feel free to try out whatever combination suits your fancy.

White Mage
By far the most popular choice, WHM as a subjob gives access to a number of abilities that are crucial to a soloing BST's survival—such as Poisona, Protect, Sneak and Invisibility. Curing oneself in the field also reduces downtime. It's okay for party use as well, if the party requires a backup healer. At BST level 50 this subjob grants Auto Regen and Reraise. As of May 2005, this combination was the 9th most popular job/subjob combination.
Ninja
With the addition of Utsusemi, a BST subbing NIN can now act as a blink tank. Dual Wield allows the BST to use two axes at once (which is rather nifty looking) and this subjob is likely to get you a few more party invites because it improves damage output. Without Cure, this subjob would limit a soloing BST's effectiveness by significantly increasing downtime. However, a BST/NIN with the proper preparations (i.e., antidotes, Silent Oils, and Prism Powders) can solo.
Red Mage
Another favorite, Red Mage offers the benefits of curing, albeit at a later level than with a White Mage subjob. It offers additional melee damage via en-spells (e.g., Enfire), and in later levels Phalanx and Dispel can be handy.
Warrior
This is a useful subjob for BSTs who are trying to fit themselves into a party. This allows them to fill the role of a damage dealer, greater defense and offense. Without cure, this subjob would limit a soloing BST's effectiveness by significantly increasing downtime.
Samurai
This is a useful subjob for BSTs who are trying to fit themselves into a party as well. With the help of Hasso and Meditate you can improve your accuracy plus do a few more Weapon Skills. Also Third Eye and Seigan at level 70 can help with the occasional hate that you may get. Without cure, this subjob would limit a soloing BST's effectiveness by significantly increasing downtime.
Bard
Although not a popular choice, this support job offers a boost of CHR, which increases the success rate of Charm. Other than that, the melee advantages do not top that of ninja or warrior, but the Single song singing ability is a nice boost.
Corsair
The rolls can prove useful in pet parties, if there are other Beastmasters subbing jobs like WHM.
Blue Mage
A rather new choice for Beastmasters, Blue Mage provides a few unique benefits. First off is Blue Magic, from which you can get simple cures as you would with the standard White Mage subjob. Although you'll have to level Blue Mage and earn the spells you need, which can take a good amount of time, it can be well worth the effort. Second reason, most healing spells give bonuses to Charisma, which helps a beastmaster with the success rate of their Charm ability, for a total of +11 CHR at lvl 75. BLU gives access to Metallic Body earlier than WHM and RDM's Stoneskin as well as Cocoon for a brief +50% defense boost. The physical spells such as Head Butt and Bludgeon will remain effective due to the fact that their accuracy is dependent on your main weapons skill level and not Blue Magic skill.
Dancer
Testing being done. The CHR boost is great, and gives the BST the ability to chain mobs together quickly with no down time as the Curing Waltzes and Drain Sambas allow for constant fighting. While NIN is typically a better sub for parties, DNC makes a great sub for a BST who doesn't like resting for magic as is required for a WHM sub. The downside to the DNC sub is Curing Waltz doesn't become available to BST until level 30, nor will the DNC sub allow you to remove negative status effects until your BST reaches level 70. Also, the lack of shadows from not subbing NIN requires you be be quick on the draw when your pets uncharm. DNC lends itself more to a BST that likes to get in and fight alongside your pet for tp, so if you enjoy swinging your weapon in the thick of battle, DNC is a great sub!
Scholar
Though it may sound odd at first, Scholar can be a good replacement for subbing White Mage. You get access to Reraise at level 70 (35 SCH) and Regen II at level 74. Sublimation becomes available at level 70, which can help act as an emergency MP pool should the need arise, as well as Drain (42) and Aspir (72). Other abilities, such as Penury and Celerity (20 and 50, respectively), as well as the overall bonuses to defensive magic due to Light Arts (20) help make you more MP efficient. This may allow for more Charisma and Attack gear in slots which may otherwise be relegated to MP.
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