Tuesday, June 24, 2008

On the Cheap #1: Monk.

So, where did I leave off? Well, I am going to put everything I have already posted together in this one post to make it easier to use, and so it will make this post look longer than it really is! :) Oh, and Bg, yes, you aren't an end-gamer! LOL Just kidding, Bg pointed out that he has not completed the ToAU and thus by my definition would not be an end-gamer, so ok, there are exceptions whatever, my point is that you can either be gimp and accept it or you can try to equip yourself well and have some knowledge of the game. Bg is very well equipped and has a comprehensive knowledge of the game, so I am not too worried about him at all. Anyway, on with this dog and pony show. Oh, by the way, I have linked all of the gear that I have listed to the FFXI wiki, I would link it to the BG wiki but their equipment data leaves much to be desired. (And don't tell me that I should add the information myself, because I already redid the entire Salvage section and even added some maps, so blow me.) One final thing, I do want to note that there are other things that I didn't include, like Sea Torques and stuff like that, I based this essentially on the ease of acquiring the items if you have to do end-game events to get them. Sky is easier than Sea by far, just in terms of drop rates, even though I will admit that some Sea torques are more plentiful than others. The point is that this is a guide to get you from where you are to a level where you should be. It's help, not e-peen preening. :)

I have updated a few slots so check them out again for any new stuff I might have added.

The recap:

Ok, this is going to be a series of posts that I am going to do to help people that are new to jobs at end-game. This comes from experience and opinion, but in the end, it is what I believe is the best, easiest and quickest way to get to a point where you can start tweaking your gear instead of trying to get major items that you really need. Before I go into today's subject, Monk, I am going to go over a few things that I believe are prerequisites for this discussion to be of any help at all.

1. You can't be dumb. Sorry, if you are dumb, I can't help you. If you are the kind of person that hears something and then sticks to it no matter what, just quit now. If you can't adapt to changes in the game, quit. If you refuse to do something because you don't think that should be the play style of the game, then just fucking die in a fire. Flexibility is key, the more we learn about things in the game, the more we improve the play style and the more things change.

2. You have to really be an end-game player. I am not expecting you to have every title in the game, and have done ever mission everywhere, but I do expect you to have done main story-line content. This should be a goal of an end-game player at the very least. Zilart should be finished up to at very least Sky, CoP should be finished up until the end, and Aht Urhgan up until the end. If you don't have these, or at least most of it and trying to get to the end, then you aren't an end-game player, you are just lazy or your are just making pretend.

3. You have to be able to do some end-game events. I am not demanding that you be in a full-time HNM LS or anything, but you should have access to a LS that does at least some of those end-game areas/events. If you don't then you really aren't an end-game player, you are just a player with a job at 75.

4. You have to be willing to spend at least a little bit of gil. Sure, this series is called "On the Cheap" but it is not called "On the Gimp" so you will need to spend some gil getting some of the gear that you need. I am not going to tell you to get all HQ gear unless it is cheap, and I will also indicate expensive items that you will need anyway, or cheap items that are good replacements. This is like the Frugal Gourmet for FFXI. Yes, I know, none of you got that reference. :(

Ok, on with the show.

Now, Monk is a ridiculously fun job and I love it personally. It is, though, a very situational job, so I do not use it in all situations. If you are looking for a Chi Blast set-up, then you are looking in the wrong place because Monk is and should be about punching things, punching things hard and punching them fast.

Ok, the TP set up first.

Weapons. You definitely must have Destroyers, and honestly, this is much easier than most people think. Just get a couple of friends and do Double Dragonian, it is no where as hard as people make it out to be, because they don't understand how the Dragons work. The Dragons become much stronger after their two-hour, not when the other one dies. So a simple strategy is go sleep the Bard dragon, quickly kill the Warrior then go back and kill the Bard. If you have problems at all with this then just kite the second dragon while you are recovering. Until you get Destroyers, you can use Faith Baghnakhs or Wagh Baghnakhs in the meantime.

Ammo. Two real options here, but I definitely favor Tiphia Sting because of the additional accuracy, and accuracy is what makes and breaks a good Monk. A Monk you should by end-game always be eating meat no matter the event, so you want an good amount of accuracy to keep up with that, and getting it in cheap places like the ammo slot is never bad. I will of course directly contradict myself on this later, LOL. Another good alternative is the Smart Grenade too, but I favor the extra accuracy.

Head. Walahra Turban plain and simple. If you don't have one, get one. This is a no-brainer.

Neck. Now, here is an area that can be a little varied, but as a minimum I would suggest Spectacles. 7 Accuracy is very nice, and for Monk, the +3 STR from the Chivalrous Chain isn't going to overcome the Accuracy from the Spectacles. Remember here that the effect of one piece isn't as relevant as the cumulative effect of all your pieces. 2 Accuracy here, and 2 Accuracy there can add up pretty quickly.

Earrings. Earring selection is pretty weak for Monk, but the obvious first pick it a Brutal Earring. Though it would be expensive if you bought the coins but with enough time in Limbus it should be relatively easy to pick one up. For the other ear the Ethereal Earring is the best selection and its is free and relatively easy to get after you have completed CoP. Alternative options include a Coral Earring or two or the HQ version, the Merman's Earring.

Body. Now, this suggestion is going to be pretty expensive but it is worth every dime: Shura Togi. This is one of those items that you should just save up for and get it and smile. Accuracy and attack are the key component to Monk TP build damage. Sure it is a Kirin drop, but it is a very common drop and any Monk worth their salt should always be trying to get one. If you do not have access to get the abjuration from Kirin, then either you aren't really an end-game player or you are an HNM-only end-game player, either way I can't really help beyond that. As an alternative a Scorpion Harness or the Pahluwan Khazagand can fill the hole until you get a Shura Togi. Oh, I wanted to toss this in because I see it all the time and it makes me crazy, DO NOT TP IN A KIRIN'S OSODE. I have heard about some parse where a Kirin's Osode did well or something and I call 100% bullshit. The math just doesn't add up. The accuracy and attack from Shura Togi just blows away anything you would get form the Osode. Just don't do it.

Hands. This is another area where it could get to be expensive but it could also be free. Also the different options are pretty close in capability so any of these would be a decent selection, but from my own personal selection, and up until I got my Usukane Gote, I was using Melee Gloves. Melee Gloves are a Dynamis-Jeuno drop and not really that rare plus the city Dynamis zones in general tend to be rather giving. Not only do they have a large amount of attack but HP and also Subtle Blow which makes them rather sexy over the higher attack but lower evasion. This is just a personal preference of mine, but just as acceptable with varying levels of cost and difficulty to obtain are Ochiudo's Kote, Ochimusha Kote and Horomusha Kote.

Rings. There are many good options for rings, but free is always the cheapest so lets start with those. First is the Ulthalam's Ring which has decent Accuracy combined with decent Attack, but really shines in the place that Monk really shines, which is Salvage. For a Monk, I think this is a no-brainer, and a worthwhile investment considering the relatively less useful rings that come from the Aht Urhgan missions. And yes, the Aht Urhgan missions are easy, just get a couple of people together and do them, and yes Darkdawn, I will help you do them, just bug me about it sometime when I am free. :) For the other hand I would suggest the newly added Blood Ring which comes from Chigre which is a tier 1 spawn from the new ZNM system. The drop rate is high and it is very easy to get the pop item. The other ring alternatives I would suggest are the Sniper's Ring and to a lesser extent the Woodsman Ring. I favor the Sniper's over the Woodsman for the simple reason that the evasion is better than the defense. I would set these rings as the minimum that you should have for TP building, I would not go into the lower accuracy rings considering the simplicity in getting these rings. Some may suggest the Rajas Ring, but I do not for the simple fact that for a Monk it is only 2.5 Accuracy and 2.5 Attack, with the Store TP and Subtle Blow doing very little for a decently geared Monk because they will be attacking so fast. And I don't want to hear about fSTR and Crit builds, thats not your job as Monk. You want to hit things fast with high accuracy, thats it.

Back. There are some good expensive pieces in this slot but I would say that it is perfectly fine to pick up an Amemet Mantle +1 and be happy for a while. There are better mantles but they rapidly increase in price for comparatively little gain in performance.

Waist. There are only two options here, the first and the easiest is the Brown Belt. Camp Nue and camp Deadly Doodoo, then go do the very easy KS30 Contaminated Coliseum, where the drop rate on the Morbolger Vine pretty decent and the fight is very easy. The FFXI wiki has some pretty retarded strategies for this one, but all you need is a couple of /NIN DD and some healers, or some BLM and some healers, or really anyone that can figure out that when it starts prepping its death breath move they should GTFO and its an easy win. The second option is the Black Belt and getting one is a little bit easier than you might think. All of the Black Belt items come from KS99's, and most of those can be done by any decent end-game LS. The problem is that the drop rate on them is a little low, so it may take a while to get all three. Alternatively, you could go with any BLM burn group that does KS99's and get them that way. Also, if you have a friend in an HNMLS that is willing to help you get one from the one of the Zilart HNMs that is another path. Also, you can camp Adamatoise with just four or five people pretty easily, because most HNMLS don't even care if it is up or not. Whatever path you take, this is the one place where you should spend the most effort getting the items to make the Black Belt as it is simply one of the most amazing pieces of gear in the game.

Legs. Byakko's Haidate should be your immediate goal here. It is everyone else's immediate goal also, so that can be a bit of a log jam, but compared to how the case used to be, Haidates are much more available now than in the past. It may take a little while of Sky time, but if you have an end-game LS it should come inevitably. Just don't be a dick and get your Haidate and take off, I fucking hate people like that, and I am not making a guide for selfish, greedy douchebags, I am making for people that want to be good players. There are a bunch of decent but ultimately not as close options for the legs slot. I would guess they would go in the following order: Melee Hose because the Kick Attacks will speed your TP build, and they are pretty easy to get from Dynamis-San d'Oria. Next, Shura Haidate which are pretty expensive, but they come from Byakko, which you are going to be doing anyway, and are probably more available than Byakko's Haidate to start. Since you will need them for your WS build anyway, they are an investment you are going to have to make anyway. Finally, the Pahluwan Seraweels can fill the gap until you get something better and can double for WS gear, too. I would shy away from the Strike Subligar as the bang of the buck is pretty low and you will be getting rid of them inevitably.

Feet. The old stand-by has always been Dune Boots because they are free and easy to get from a Sabotender NM in Quicksand Caves. Just grab a person or two to get you into the area, kill the place holders until it pops then call a couple of people down to kill it. The Dune Boots are nice because they increase your kick attack damage by a whole lot, the problem with them is that they have no other stats like Haste or Accuracy that we cry for on MNK. Before Usukane though, Dune Boots were favored over just about everything else. There is a new interesting alternative now available though, from the ZNM system: Enkidu's Leggings. These leggings have decent haste and some Attack and other decent stats, I don't know if they are better than Dune Boots, but considering the easy in popping a Tier 3 ZNM and the high drop rate, it's worth looking into. Also, available are Fuma Sune-ate for haste or Hakke Habaki for Kick Attack rate.

And there you have a decent TP build. :) Remember this is just what I think is what it takes to be a decent end-game monk. You shouldn't be complacent with just this gear if you know there is something better! Also, I didn't include Tier 4 ZNM drops yet, because I don't know how easy or hard it will be for a mid-range end-game LS to kill the NM, so once we do a few of them and I can gauge the difficulty I might go back and add in a few items like the Enkidu's Harness as an alternative for the body slot.

Now it's time for the WS build. Now, you should in general be aiming to use Asuran Fists for the large majority to all of your WS's. The simple reason is that a good accuracy and attack build will get the best return for Asuran Fists over the rest of the WS's over time. Sure, you might get a double attack proc on Howling Fist or Dragon Kick, but your average over time is going to favor Asuran Fists. This is compounded by the fact that all the good melee buffs that a Monk can get will improve Asuran Fists comparatively more than it will improve other WS's. The sole exception I can think of at this time, and it is also the sole exception for the use of Footwork, which a decently geared monk should avoid at all costs (the loss of attack speed destroys the potential damage benefits for anyone with a half decent haste build) is using Dune Boots with Dragon Kick, because of the way the WS works now, but I will get into that below. Now, on with your Asuran Fists WS build. One last thing about Asuran Fists, there is a 10% modifier to STR and VIT, which means that in essence their is no modifier to it at all. You would have to add ten of each stat to get one WS mod bonus to your AF, this is why you stick to accuracy and attack. You want to land all 8 hits and you want those hits to be hard. Cheap tricks and chicanery wont help you here.

Since the Weapons won't change lets skip right to Ammo.

Ammo. This one is the same exact decision-making process as for the TP build. You want accuracy or attack and with few options the Tiphia Sting still seems the best, with the Smart Grenade coming in a strong second. I would favor Tiphia Sting even futher for AF because you are trying to get all 8 hits to land at once, but the choice is yours.

Head. Another rather simple slot to fill. The best piece used to be Optical Hat because it offered by far the most amount accuracy on one piece, which is critical for Asuran Fists. Hakutaku used to be something of a challenge back in the day but now it can be done pretty easily by a competent party or slight more. The new piece that has taken over for Optical Hat is the Hissho Hachimaki. It has just a small reduction in Accuracy for a decent chunk of Attack. I will mention that I think that a good Asuran Fists build will have too much Accuracy, so losing just a bit for more Attack isn't a bad thing. The Hissho Hachimaki drops off of a fun and relatively easy Tier 2 ZNM in Alzadaal Undersea Ruins.

Neck. Stick to your accuracy here again, and go with the Spectacles. Chivalrous Chain again falls victim to Asuran Fists lack of a real damage modifier. As a side note, since with a little concerted effort it is pretty easy to get the WS gorgets from sea (AF would use a Soil Gorget) I would say that you should still avoid them because it is unclear at this point how much accuracy is gained after the initial hit of the WS. Until a more clear definition of the effects that WS Gorgets have on accuracy, I would not recommend them for Asuran Fists.

Earrings. Let me state this first and clearly so there are no mistakes, double attack can not proc on Asuran Fists. The reason that this is true is because the most amount of attacks that can happen in one attack round is 8. This includes every effect in the game, including occasionally attacks X times weapons. So that puts the Brutal Earring right out of consideration. And that leaves us basically with attack earrings. I would tend to favor Merman's Earring for the obvious reason that they give more attack, but again the Ethereal Earring and Coral Earring are just fine as alternative options.

Body. A good investment is one that you can use for many different things, and that is why your Shura Togi is going to be worth all that gil. Remember, you are looking for accuracy and attack here so the Scorpion Harness or the Pahluwan Khazagand can still fill that role, and because as I mentioned before the stat modifiers on Asuran Fists are so low that using a Kirin's Osode is even more stupid than using it on TP build.

Hands. Hands for Asuran Fists are going to be generally the same as TP build, but I do want to mention that I have tested my Usukane Gote for AF, and I still favor the Attack hands that I use, the accuracy doesn't seem to do much to overcome the additional Attack that is gained. I will change the order a little bit here and place the highest Attack hands first, because the evasion isn't going to matter for the short time you have your WS gear on, and the Subtle Blow isn't going to matter because of the way that the game determines the amount of TP you give a mob on WS's. Because of this I favor the Ochiudo's Kote or Ochimusha Kote, then the Melee Gloves, then finally the Horomusha Kote.

Rings. Absolutely nothing changes here for Asuran Fists from your TP build, so stick with your Ulthalam's Ring/Blood Ring combo. And the alternatives are the same; Sniper's Ring and Woodsman Ring. Remember, avoid those accuracy rings that are less than +5, they are just gimp versions of things you should already have. And just say no to the Rajas Ring for the same reason you say no to the Kirin's Osode on AF, modifiers don't matter.

Back. Again, another slot where nothing changes, use that Amemet Mantle +1 and don't worry about anything else until you have money for a much more expensive back piece.

Waist. This one might come as a surprise, but if you have been following the reasoning behind these decisions, and are getting the philosophy behind Monk, then it shouldn't surprise you at all. You should use a Life Belt. Plain, simple, effective. It is best because what else are you going to use in that slot? Stats? No. Attack? Maybe, but in general I would say if you have a 1 for 1 trade off I would go with Accuracy over Attack, only once you get up to the 2 for 1 trade off do I think a change is justifiable (as I did with the hands slot above). This is so cheap, so easy to get, and so useful there really are no other alternatives.

Legs. Finally, a slot that has something different, but n. Again we are looking for accuracy or attack here, and the best source of accuracy is the Shura Haidate. After that things start to fall off a bit with the Pahluwan Seraweels coming in next, and after that, well, I can't even really think of much that is worth mentioning. Another reason why spending that money on Shura gear is worth it, because without it, you aren't left with much at all.

Feet. The feet slot sucks for Monk for the most part and until Usukane was introduced, it sucked for the entire part, and since we aren't even discussing Usukane in this guide, we are left with some sucky options. My first suggestion here is to go with Pahluwan Crackows because of the 5 accuracy on them, but I don't know if they are worth the 20,000 AP you would have to pay for them. I used to use Rasetsu Sune-Ate
because I decided that the Pahluwan Crackows just weren't worth the price. Finally, the new Enkidu's Leggings are also an option, with a little bit of Accuracy and some Attack, and they are free. But mileage may vary. Remember, don't use any Kick Attack gear for Asuran Fists or any Monk WS for that matter because Kick Attacks can not proc on a WS.

And there you have it, a guide to be a non-crappy Monk. If you follow this guide, you will at least not embarrass yourself when you are running around on Monk. And, don't think that just because someone else has better gear than you that they are some how smarter than you. There are no less than three full Usukane Monks on Odin right now running around with Chivalrous Chains and Rajas Rings. I also want to say that I don't know everything, and I still have a lot to learn, so if you have any suggestions, then feel free to post them! And I can't even take credit for this guide as I have learned from many other people, and have gleaned information from many different forums and websites to come up with all that you have read. On that note, I hope you listen and learn from what I have to say, and that even if your gear isn't perfect yet, keep working toward it and some day you will get everything you want. :)


Anonymous said...

Nice guide and good personal commentary for the items, a reminder for me to keep working on a black belt!

Thanks for posting.


Razyk said...

Great guide!

I still have many levels to go before I can get most/any of that gear, but it is nice to have an idea of what I will be saving up for and why that is what I am saving for.

Thanks for writing it!

MogKnight said...

Hmm, in looking at all of this and comparing it to all the gear I have on SAM... the only real things I need would be Destroyers and Black Belt. I was thinking about leveling MNK as well so maybe I'll focu son it next.

Though a few questions if you don't mind answering:

1. I have Usukane Legs and Feet myself. It is pretty clear cut that Feet would benefit me more than Dune Boots. However, what about Usukane Legs vs Haidate for TP?

2. What are your thoughts with MNK and full Usukane?

Anonymous said...

Might I suggest Denali gamashes as an Asuran piece? 5 accuracy and 3 STR are the relevant stats, and they're obtained by the Floor 20 boss in Nyzul Isle Investigation.

Anonymous said...

"Do not TP in Kirin's Osode"

Obviously don't think math is false. The MANY times KO has been shown to beat out Shura in TP settings couldn't have been faked by every single person doing the math.
I think you need to not just look at the basic numbers, but look at the other things that go with it. Like the DEX+10, which adds about another 3~4% to your critical hit rate. That right there makes up for the extra 4~6 damage you hit for on normal attacks with Shura.

Read the math instead of just assuming based on what you think is right or wrong.

-Someone who has done the parsing on Kirin's Osode and Shura Togi on over 400 mobs each.

Ringthree said...

If "Someone" is Geosync or what ever their name is, I posted this in direct response to your "parses".

How about you do some math. 10 Dex may or may not be any amount of crit hit rate because it is based on dDEX. Also, there incredibly little evidence of the direct effect of Dex on crit hit rate outside of a few XP camps. Not to mention that dDEX goes way down against mobs where accuracy becomes increasing important. For example, against a Salvage boss your crit hit rate will go down because your dDEX is going down, AND your accuracy will be lower because they have more evasion.

One thing we do know is that accuracy is critical for MNK because they are almost never capped on accuracy unless you are using suboptimal food. Even if you were capped on accuracy I still would not suggest KO because you are losing a whole lot of attack.

This is also one of the reasons that I believe that parses are at best a tool for figuring out gear selection. Doing the math for your gear is also important.

I have said this a thousand times, but it bears repeating: Do not base your gear on what is best for an XP party. Especially one that is years old.

Anonymous said...

I've yet to see ANY proof from your claims, or the claim in general that Togi beats Osode.

When you produce some hard numbers then maybe I'll think of believing you. Until then, I have proof to back my claim up.

Ringthree said...

Believe what you want, the math is simple on this one. And it increasing favors Shura Togi the harder the mob you are fighting gets.

Anonymous said...

Look no proof. Just you claiming I'm wrong again. Where's the PROOF?

Oh that's right... You don't have any.

Anonymous said...

Imo they are pretty even... I love both. I have trouble deciding which to use. They are both sexy and they are both great body pieces. It DOES depend on what you are doing. Lets leave it to personal preference. Also, a fully merited mnk will benefit less from Att+ and more from Dex+

Anonymous said...

Byakko's haidate > Usukane.

Valerie Cardona said...

Thank you so much for this guide! Now I know why my Asuran Fists has been failing miserably. My monk is still 74, so I'm not allowed (nor do I want to Endgame with it yet) but I was focusing on the wrong stats ><;; Gah! Why can't monk be a wee bit simpler like paladin?

Again, ty so much!!!

Marpack said...

This "guide" is complete crap. No Chivalrous Chain?? KO is crap for tp or ws?? Show me a parse, because I by no means believe a word of your "simple math" claims

Ringthree said...

Marpack, I explained my suggestion pretty thoroughly in the post. I am sorry you disagree, but any suggestion of using a KO instead of Shura body is based on 5 year old flawed information.

Parses prove this, math proves this, I don't know what else you need as evidence.

Also, I did suggest the Chivalrous Chain, but did so after Spectacles and I explained why I made this suggestion rather plainly.

Marpack, it's not 2005.

Marpack said...

I wasn't saying the shura wasn't better for TP, but macroing in for ws is a must. It also slides into 2nd for TP over the other 2 you mentioned, especially with full h2h merits and crit hit merits. When every other punch is crit because of the added dex from KO and your haidate it's a no brainer.

Ringthree said...

Marpak, you are making the assumption that a MNK can effectively cap accuracy without food. They can't on most everything. Pizza may change this a little but I still don't see the change overcoming the added benefit of Shura.

Volkai said...

So are there any plans to update this guide for 76+?

Ringthree said...

Yes, eventually, but there are two problems.

1. Doing it before we get to the new level cap isn't going to be too worth while because it is all just going to change again after the next update.

2. I have not been keeping up on debate over multi-hit weapons used with Footwork.

Anonymous said...

You also haven't ever given any PROOF that anything you say is true. You constantly say to look at the parse, but you have failed to produce any. You saying something doesn't make it true, and you even said that you need to be flexible, but you're not willing to budge an inch on your pathetic, ridiculous belief that you're absolutely right, even though you have produced zero proof that actually shows anything.

-A guy that has actually played Monk, which I'm seriously wondering if you actually ever did.