So FFBE released their dark espers trial along with some other changes in version 2.1.0.
Unlike the Japanese version, we’ve been given three versions of this trial. ADV, PRO, and ELT. ADV and PRO are much easier and give much lesser rewards. ELT is the “normal” version with the awesome rewards we’ve been drooling over. Ifrit’s Claw, which is basically an upgraded Bracer, is an accessory granted by clearing the trial. Then there’s Large Sword Mastery–a materia granting +50% ATK with a large sword equipped. You’ve got to beat the trial without anyone dying to earn this!
I tried it normally and got curbstomped in a few turns. So I looked to reddit for strategy, and everyone was just like, “just use your Orlandeau with a friend Orlandeau!” Yeah no screw that. So I went about it my own way, which admittedly uses a unit even more elusive than Orlandeau since you can’t attain her anymore. So bear with me a bit–she’s handy but not entirely instrumental here.
My healer was Refia. She has Golden Staff, Crown of Justice, Magi Robe, Headband, and Water God’s Amulet equipped. For materia she has Dualcast, HP+15%, and two Camouflage. She was under the Odin esper.
My DPS was Noctis. He has Genji Blade, Excalibur, Black Cowl, Black Belt Gi, and two Hero’s Rings equipped. For materia he was using Dual Wield, Blade Mastery, Power of Creation, and Soul of Destruction. He has the Ifrit esper.
My green mage was Minfilia. She has all of her unique gear plus a Crown of Justice. For materia I threw four HP+10%s on her. She used the Siren esper.
Next up was my debuffer, Ling. She has Air Knife, Chapeau, White Robe, Ring of the Lucii, and Regen Ring equipped. She was using two HP+15% and two HP+10% materia. And then for her esper, Diabolos.
Finally my tank, Cecil. He has Gigant Axe, Flame Shield, Grand Helm, Force Armor, Jeweled Ring, and Regen Ring equipped. He had four Hydaelyn’s Guard equipped for materia and was using Golem as his esper.
The first turn is the wonkiest really. I had a friend Xon so I stole Siren’s buff to also Dispel her. Refia handled Dispel on Ifrit. Minfilia throws up Shadow Guard for 70% Dark Resist. Ling uses Daunting Step to break Ifrit’s ATK. Cecil uses Provoke. Finally, Noctis attacks Siren with Warp Break. I went with Siren first because my Noctis doesn’t have Confuse resist and I didn’t feel like risking it. Hopefully they won’t kill anyone in their first turn–and if not you’re mostly golden from here.
On the second turn heal up with Dualcast Curaja. You’ll need it. Cecil can Curaja too if you’re lacking Dualcast or need a bit more–if not have him attack. Minfilia throws up Flame Guard for 70% Fire Resist. Noctis and Xon attack Siren–and Ling restores everyone’s MP.
For the third turn, you may only need one Curaja. Gauge it as you need. Let Minfilia buff everyone with Aqua Guard–she’ll cycle between these three from here on out. It only gets tricky now when you need to summon Siren for the achievement, as she’s using it. Just don’t summon Siren on a turn that they’re charging an attack and you should be alright. From here it’s really just buff and MP management.
Have Cecil help with Curaja if needed. If not, he’ll use Provoke if it’s down, Focus if it’s down, or attack if everything is good. Refia will be on primary healing duty. If you don’t need it, let her throw up an Embolden to make things slightly faster. Noctis will always be attacking unless you need him to Cover or so. Remember to not use Warp Break on Ifrit–stick with Blindside or consider one Link to boost ATK. Xon will be attacking unless you need to steal a buff (every time they prepare a charge and when you kill one) or need to restore MP with items. Finally, Ling cycles between ATK breaks, MP restoration, and maybe an Imperil if you’ve got the time.
We’re also getting Ability Awakenings… fairly early, really. The first batch was pretty different from Japan. We’re lacking Cecil, Chizuru, Delita, Garland, Garnet, Karl, Ramza, and Snow from the Japanese batch 1. However, we’re getting Mercedes and Seven early and awakenings for the 6* global exclusive version of Medius.
I was looking forward to Chizuru and Delita, but I guess some of the others make sense. Garland doesn’t even have his 6* form yet. As for all awakenings, the ones I am looking forward to the most are probably Warrior of Light, Agrias, Refia, and Delita. They all get very good–or at least very necessary–updates to their kit that I’ll appreciate greatly.
We can expect new awakenings probably every other or every few weeks with a varying number of units seeing their improvements. Here’s to hoping this rushes us to some really great 6* forms too!