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Strategies and information in guides may not work for everyone.

This is a page to hold tips for those people who are especially challenged: the Elvaan Black Mages.

Some people may think that Galka White Mage is the stereotypical "tough challege": however, Elvaan Black Mages have it worse. Galkas pretty much only have to worry about getting extra MP. Elvaans have to worry about MP, and INT.

Elvaans have the lowest int in the game. Even Galkas are ahead of them.

The bad news: Not the Intelligent choice

Intelligence is Crucial to a black mage, even more than Strength is to a DD. Intelligence determines Magic Accuracy, which determines if a nuke spell hits fully, or for half, or quarter damage.

Comparison of stats, stolen from the Intelligence page:

Humes, Mithra, and Galka all start with the same INT: 8 Elvaans start with 7.

By the time they hit level 75, Humes and Mithra have 63. Galkas have 60. Elvaans have 57

That's sort of comparable to a DD job at level 75, vs 73, vs 71. There's a LOT of catching up to do, for an Elvaan BLM.

I've played a tarutaru BLM. That was a beautiful thing, even only to level 25. A Hume BLM is "challenging", when compared to a taru BLM. An Elvaan is... well... Incredibly Tough ?

So, if you are really set on trying to level up Elvaan BLM, you had better have some serious dedication. and gilz for the best gear. and best food. Plus it doesnt hurt to have another level 75 job. I would say forget about making BLM the first job you take to 75. If you can throw some merit points into it, you can make your Elvaan BLM 'merely as bad as a galka'

Bonuses and Merit Points

As mentioned above, an important way to lessen the pain, is to take a different job to 75, and then put merit points into lessening the low MP/INT pit you are in.

I have a 75 PLD, that I had previously put two merits into MP for. I then decided to put in the time for 2 merits of INT. That means, 2 extra points of INT.

It's still incredibly ugly, and behind. Even if I put the maximum of 5 extra points, I'd still be behind all other races, since the full 5 dont kick in until you are high level. Also realize that would be 3+6+9+9+9Merits = 360,000 exp points invested to get there. You should do it if you have the points to spare; I'm just mentioning what a serious investment it calls for.

The most efficient use of merit points, and also the most effective, would be to merit up Elemental Magic Skill. Unfortunately, you first need to get a job that has that skill, to 75 first! Currently, that is limited to Scholar, Red Mage, and Dark Knight. If you've got those, or reaaaally want to do them first.. Great! (unfortunately, I am not so lucky...)

Soloing between levels 40-50

I should mention that I am *NOT* doing the "sub ninja" thing. I think that is cheating. Not only is it expensive, but having a DD/Tank type class, in a supposedly magic user class, offends me. Not to mention that as Elvaan, you could use the extra mp!

For straight soloing, I tried /RDM, for an extra point of int over /WHM, and blink once i got to BLM46/RDM23. But it was still really difficult. I ended up playing around with gravity and nuking, on Decent Challenge beetles in Altepa for a level or three.

One big problem was that I just couldnt get Gravity to stick on Even Match or higher mobs very well, if at all.

Tips on killing Beast Pets

Challenge at level 50

I had heard a lot about "One-shotting beastmaster pets solo", once you get Ancient Magic. The beautiful thing about being able to do this, is that the Beastmaster mob will not aggro you, even if the pet dies right in front of it.

I just reached level 50, the hard way. From 40 onwards, its almost impossible to get any regular party invites. So i've been doing a combination of soloing SLOOWLY, Campaign Operations, level sync parties, and then capping magic skills through things like Besieged and Campaign battles.

Even on top of that, I chose Balrahn's Ring as my ToAU reward. It's almost the only pre-60 item that gives you Magic Accuracy bonus, which is crucial to avoid being resisted.

Then I acquired Freeze, and happily headed off to Gustav Tunnel, since I read it was a great place to kill pets, starting at level 49.

I died horribly.

So then I tried going to a lower level place for pets, Cape Teriggan.

And died horribly. It tended to leave just a sliver of health left. The bunny would then kill me.

Finally, I got to level 51. AND capped my elemental on Besieged/Campaign (take off tags and small-nuke mobs). AND bought an ice staff. AND subbed /SMN, for an extra point of INT.

Finally, it worked! I can now do the decent challenge ones. Without food, even. -Just wanted to add that as a 51 Elvaan BLM i was one shotting the vt leeches in gustav tunnel Without food as /SCH

In retrospect, Cape Teriggan might have worked, with Cream Puffs, at level 50. I was using a different food. Possibly on iceday. But I did not know about Cream Puff then. Also, the "+10 elemental magic" from the ice staff at level 51 makes a huge difference.

General Pet camping strategies

Always use a reraise earring, especially in a new zone. 1 charge lasts 2 hrs, unlike the spell. If you are really close to zone, AND you've practiced saving your rear a few times, it might be safe without it.

The best camps would seem to have the following features:

  1. Within running distance to a zone
  2. An area filled with beastmasters, and non-aggressive "other monsters". That way, you dont have to keep watching for the goblins, AND other mobs at the same time.

Mobs go through cycles of movement, where the rest periods seem to be about as long as it takes to cast Freeze :( So for your safest kill, wait until the beastmaster has just finished moving, before casting. If you're not ready to cast at that moment, then wait until he moves-and-stops, before doing your one-shot cast.

When getting into position, it's kinda tricky to keep the view stable. Keyboard makes this a bit tricky. If you are using the keyboard to move, you might consider using "strafe" mode. That is to say, get into first-person view, then hold down Shift to lock camera view. You can then move sideways/back/forward, while still keeping mobs in view.

When lining up for your kill, you should consider potential links from same-type mobs as the pet, in addition to whether the beastmaster mob noticing if you fail

Also, watch the mobs for a bit, and notice their normal track pattern of walking. Then pick a place to stand and cast, that is outside where they would normally aggro you. Happily, your magic range, is just a LITTLE longer than their aggro range, normally.

Manaburn Parties

Soloing is kinda fun when you are getting chain 5, and 300 exp per kill. However, that's usually only true for the first level at a new camp. exp quickly goes downhill. Plus there's frequent risk of death.

Manaburn parties are even better. You get the same rate of EXP, if not higher. Plus, almost zero risk of death.

How to make a manaburn party:

  • Get 4-5 BLMs, ideally all level 51+. Designate one puller. It is fine to have some random non-BLM soley for the purpose of pulling and nothing else. A good puller is worth their weight in EXP, so to speak. You now have a manaburn party.

There has been much claimed about "you need a rdm or bard" for a manaburn party. This is just not true (at least at level 51).

What is most important, is having a puller who is both good at pulling without links... and also one who isnt going to accidentally die a lot while doing the job.

  • What makes a manaburn party work:

Dark Staff + Ancient Magic (+ Ice Staff) is what makes it all work.

Pick a camp that is a few levels higher than where one of you would solo. At this location, a solo mage could ALMOST one-shot a pet. Therefore, with two mages nuking with Freeze, swift victory is almost inevitable. Worst case, a quick coup-de-grace of blizzard II usually kills off the target.

Nuke in teams of two. While one team is resting, the other team nukes. If any trouble arises, have the resting team stand up and use Elemental Seal +sleepga. Then possibly kill off the pet, and have people who had aggro, log out for a minute.

Continue with mad exp.

This works really, really well now that Level Sync is here. Rotate out exp leech people, to keep yourselves always at maximum exp per kill, and you're golden, with a steady stream of 8-9k exp per hour, non-stop, and much less stress than soloing.

The most stress is really on the puller; They die the most, and they have the most time pressure, to deliver a mob right when the resting team, is now ready to nuke again.

I went from level 55 to well into level 60, in one day, in a manaburn party. (90k exp?)

NPC Duoing

If you like a little less risk with your soloing, you might try using your NPC, if you have one.

Low level NPC duoing

Note that your NPC will not be able to pull hate from you once you are seriously nuking. So, forget about setting it to tank mode, and set it to "Soothing Healer" mode. While it will be able to cure you "a little", you'll have to be able to stand up to the mob for a while yourself as well.

The good thing about NPC healer mode, is that you will benefit from a higher Protect than you can cast yourself, plus Haste

High level (56+) NPC duoing

After level 56, a good strategy can be to sub whm again, and blink/aquaveil/stoneskin, and then use "regular" nukes, if the mob isnt too strong. You can use Ancient Magic if you like, but initial pulling is a lot safer with regular nukes such as Stone III and Thunder II

If going against regular (non-pet) mobs: Also, if the mob is only tough, or maybe even VT... if you manage to get it down to 50%, you can probably melee it to death with your NPC. Attack, and try to play stoneskin tank while your NPC takes it out. This is usually quite effective.

If going against pet type mobs: Presuming you cannot regularly one-shot-kill your target mobs, you might try changing your NPC to "shield" mode now. Make sure to stoneskin up first; remember that you're going to have to last a few hits while meleeing, until your NPC engages! Pull with a "small" nuke to get it away from its Beastmaster quickly and safely. Then after your NPC has safely gained hate, fire up ye olde Ancient Magic for the kill. Remember that you'll have to use AM, because after your first major nuke, you will have hate right back on you, and it's going to stay there.

SubJob choices

With /RDM, use Protect, Blink and Aquaveil

With /SMN, use Garuda Aerial Armor

The tradeoffs for using /SMN instead of /RDM or /WHM are:

- Plus: more INT. 
- Plus: auto-refresh.
- Plus: more MP
- Minus: No protect/shell
- Minus: No free sneak/invis, so may be harder to get to camps
- Minus: No Aquaveil
- Minus: RDM has Fast Cast
- Minus: RDM has silence for pulling elementals.

It seems that in most cases, /rdm will outweigh smn, unless you have a very safe camp, with easy mobs to target.

RDM has more int than WHM. 2 more points, starting at BLM54

Safety Tips for level 50 and up

  • Manafont will stop your Sleep spells from being interrupted by normal damage. (It will not help with things specifically designed to interrupt casting, though).

Misc safety comparisons and notes
  • Before going to a new camp (which means you've just gained a level), go cap your elemental magic someplace safe, like Besieged or campaign battle without tags. Given that you are Elvaan, you've probably exhausted your old camp all the way down to Even Match, so you cant cap skill there any more. You MUST spend time on this if you are one-shotting pets. Even if you die quite a bit, you still wont be naturally casting often enough, to skill up between levels. I found myself at level 54, being 10 skill levels under cap, instead of the usual 5 or so. (That was for Elemental Magic: for Dark Magic, i was 20 under cap!)
  • For when things go wrong(and they will): Have a macro with
 /ja Elemental Seal <me>
 /wait 1
 /equip [buncha dark magic gear and -interruption]
 /ma sleepga <t>

and have a similar macro for sleep II, which may have more chance of sticking. FYI, they have the same cast time. Sleep(1) is .5 seconds faster then either of them.

If you get the sleep to stick, fastest thing is to Escape if you can. Otherwise, you might log out, if you are in a relatively safe spot.

Escape = 15 seconds. Log out = 30.

MP safety margin notes:

Freeze + SleepII + Escape = 307 + 29 + 125 = 461 MP
Freeze + Sleepga + Escape = 307 + 38 + 125 = 470 MP

We can't hit those at lvl51 with RDM subjob, unless we use food and possibly MP merits. (So, sometimes, use pies instead of Cream Puff, if you are in "easy" camp). Contrariwise, logging out takes 0 MP, compared to 125!

Note also the weather, and day. Firesday = BAD for Freeze!!!

At BLM51/RDM25, I tried to Freeze a leech in Gustav Tunnel, on Firesday. With Int of 52+27, I did NOT finish it all the way, even with no resist. It had 5% life left. (This means that I had decent Magic Accuracy to hit it, but not enough Magic Attack to finish it off in one shot. See Calculating Magic Damage for more details)

I COULD one-shot kill it on earthday. However: When my food wore off mid-cast.. after successfully one-shotting 10 in a row... this one left a sliver of health. Mass aggro, dead Elvaan. So, unless you are completely buffed out with food as well as gear, forget about one-shotting VTs and so on, even with the level 51 extra bling that I have. If you are subbing RDM or WHM, cast shell, then protect, then eat your 30min food. When your shell wears off, stop and wait to rebuff your food before casting again

I have not had a single miss in Gustav Tunnel after that, while using Cream Puffs. "One shot one kill". And I have made it almost all the way to level 52 now, without exp band. Solo Chain 5, when the pets stayed in range of my camp! It was amazing, seeing "Chain 5 350 exp" all by myself, with no exp band.

Good news: In contrast, at level 53, BLM/RDM, I mostly suceeded on firesday.

Bad news: exp is much, much lower there, at level 53. Depending on the day, they are Even Match.

Gear at level 51

The gear I'm using, is:

INT bonus from gear = +24 total, without food. Base int = 53 (BLM/SMN with 2 merits to INT)

A Hume BLM/WHM at the same level, has a base of 55 int.

A Taru BLM/WHM would have 65 base.

Stat calculator

Gear I picked up later

This is sort of a blog of stuff i picked up after 51. I did buy the Mohbwa Scarf +1. I also bought a Cobra Coat at 55.

Best Food

Best food, would seem to be Cream Puff, for INT +7

To see all INT affecting foods, check Food Effects/Intelligence

This page originally created by theferret