jack's personal race tips
Minor editing by franklin
jack's race tips for everyone. most important stuff is up top, in depth stuff further down. not really intended for first timers, get a few seeds/races into you first.
MACRO TIPS: these general ideas/principles will save you time and help in any race you enter ever
-forget everything youve learned about playing jrpgs. dont hoard items, dont grind, dont obsess over stats/builds. work with what you're given and go. the emptier your inventory is by the end the more efficent you've been
-offense is way more important than defense in this rando. if you're one rounding weak bosses in the early/midgame they arent damaging you. there are situations where defense can matter but those are often outliers and will be discussed in micro below
-learn to fly the airship. cannot stress this enough. many racers are still losing upwards of five minutes per seed due to this. you fly the airship on average three dozen times per race, something as simple as never raising elevation by itself will save you two whole minutes (exception being KT entry since the airship rises for that one before "landing"). dont look at the main screen, use the mini-map: use l/r to quickly turn the airship red cursor to form a line with the dot of the area you plan to visit and hold A. switch to Y to fine tune your landing on arrival. dont obsess over being on the perfect tile, that often wastes more time than an extra step.
-maximize the efficiency of your menuing. while its tempting to immediately throw on a nice piece of gear/esper etc as soon as you get it, save it for when you're at a save point/using a warp item/spell out of an area. re-equip weapons/shields in battle with the item command to save more time when possible. avoid being in the menu in general unless you need to save/warp
-what i call the "dibs" rule. think of each character calling dibs on any gear/esper that they equip, its theirs and they are never taking it off, ever. this will save you time messing with espers/gear setups.
-try when possible to plan your route around free heals. if there isnt a convenient one, the bucket in wor narshe is 95% of the time the fastest place for you to go heal. the remaning 5% being a surplus of sleepingbags/elixirs to simply heal in menu during a save/warp. for that matter unless desperate avoid tents, they lose you about ten seconds per use
-the absolute best thing to do at the start of any seed is to fight a battle or three. those first few levels you gain will do far more for you than almost anything you could possibly loot or buy.
-Flare while often very top tier in basically every other FF game is utter garbage here. its weak, has a long animation time, and is generally bad. Itdoes have situational use making it not totally worthless but too often i see beginners go "oh cool, flare" and use it as their primary for that char all seed. Dont do That.
-Superballs will utterly destroy the first couple bosses you face but they dont scale ever. buying these en mass is a gigantic waste of money, pickupone or two only early and only if youre absolutely stuck, that money is likely better spent on consumables, or if you really want disposable damage rods which while less powerful at the very start eclipse these after your chars hit about lv10
-Fixed Dice are a huge risk reward. I wont fault people for gambling on these but i often see folks using offering/FD over stuff that would be way better than even an outlyingly high damage roll. These are best used as a combination of the above two, a crutch very early on, or a situational use against a boss you cant otherwise damage. if you really really must use these pair it with jump and save yourself on animation time
-Long animation attacks in general. While most of them are quite powerful, multiple fast attacks could be done in the same time, dealing more overall damage for less time spent. That will however hurt your damage per turn; merely keep that in mind if you think you may be in danger of losing to the given boss you are fighting
-Unlike vanilla FF6 you often have access to good weapons early; rather than the fight command being utterly outclassed by everything else for more than half the game. Unlearn vanilla and learn to love the Fight command.
-Healing magic is rarely ever needed. Leave to love your ITEM command for that purpose. some Fenix downs and a couple xpot/elixirs will be enough for most seeds. In general, avoid healing in battle unless you would otherwise die. Even in the final battle. As an example; you're on T3 and are at 2k out of 6k HP, you don't need to heal, his meteo will never kill you outright.
-That said, elixirs/megalixirs are NOT too awesome to use/save for fallen one. If you're in a bad spot, never hesitate to hit that save me button. Nothing loses more time in FF6WC than a wipe. In general when healing, dont waste time with lesser spells/consumables, full heal and be done with it.
-Status magic is NOT useless. Check Mr Entity's boss cheat sheet for more info.
-Positive status magic however is often useless. Most significant enemy attacks outright ignore defenses, haste doesnt do enough even with ATB manipulating to be noticeable... unless you're wearing a marvel shoes or using a defensive esper, dont bother. That safe spell you just cast wasted a turn and ten seconds off your finish time.
-Dont overbuy. The days of needing 99 HEAL potions to run marsh cave are extinct. for consumables, a stack of 11 is often overkill. shurikens are cheap but you will never throw more than 30 of them in any given seed- far less even if you are rightly throwing away junk weapons instead. You will never need 20 fire rods etc etc
-Don't oversell. Unless the item sells for a significant amount it often isnt worth the time to clean out your inventory of cheap trash to... still not be able to afford the ragnarok in the shop you were eying. I personally wont bother selling things worth less than about 5 grand unless im super close to affording whatever it was I wanted.
consider this list when assigning offensive roles/ judging how ready you are to finish up.
factoring in damage/animation speed. not considering availability- that will be gone over below, in depth. not considering elemental immune/absorbtion or fringe cases. obviously doesnt consider moves that dont deal damage.
Everythign dies Tier: If you have any of these you're fine
Quad/Octo strong atma
Illu (be it one, two, or gauntlet)
Rag (see above)
Jump setups sans FD
Ready for endgame tier: Will win the final battle but not as spectacularly as above
atma sans offering
VK sans offering
Stray Cat with a decent weapon
Midgame Tier: Will generally suffice on offense up to but not including KT. defensive help may be needed if this is all you have endgame
Sniper sans offering
Situational Weapons (see the list below somewhere)
Dance with Landslide
FD jump setup
Earlygame Tier: Often enough to get past your first few battles, and little else. you are almost guaranteed to have something better by the end
Dance without Landslide
Clean sweep/aqua rake
High bpower weapons (sky render, aura lance etc....)
Go grinding/shopping tier: Or try to cheese some high yield randoms with death/revivifies etc
MORE IN DEPTH STUFF
-most stats in this game work on some weird reverse exponential curve, and require a very high number to have a noticeable effect. they should therefore largely be ignored, the only stats that will matter 95% of the time are level, max hp, and to a lesser extent magic power. unless raising a baby character (lv15 or less) hp+ esper boosts should be prioritised above all else. even then, str/mag are the only other stats worth raising and basically need to be done on a baby to have a noticeable impact by endgame. Honestly in general esper boosts should be ignored for the sake of menu speed
-as far as summoning goes, the big 3 (golem/fenrir/phantom) have obvious use as calmness insurance in the final battle. carnbunkl's reflect wall can save your life occasionally, the heals have obvious use but are quite easily replaced, and as far as raw damage goes only bahamut is worth using, and its quite unlikely it would be your best damage source. Odin/Raiden can inflict death but odds are you'll have something more reliable. every other esper, as a summon, should be considered useless.
-To summarize, give say your caster a lv3 attack esper and some other mook golem or whatever. you really shouldnt be wasting time in the esper menu otherwise.
-most chars wont even need to use this command ever but it is quite powerful
-casters really only need one lv3+ damage spell and maybe a status or two. micromanaging espers to amass a list of spells is never necessary
-fighters/skillusers can have a status spell or a heal if you want i guess
-there are a lot of spells in this game, but you can honestly ignore about 3 quarters of them. heres a brief list of spells in roughly decreasing order of usefulness:
warp level3s/ultima kill spells situational status magic (mute/sleep/berzerk/stop) situational damage magic (pearl/bio/level2s/flare) healing everything else
more detalied version:
Warp - no other spell will save you nearly as much time. replaced by the item command, but usually only in select few shops per seed. highly desirable
Fire 3 - game's best element, fast, high damage, nothing significant outside spicy chicken is immune.
Bolt 3 - see above, still fast, less useful element
Ice 3 - better element than bolt, much longer cast time
Ultima - strongest move 99% of the time. very long animation. unnecessary on stronger chars already hitting cap with faster attacks
Merton - specific setup needed but faster animation than ultima with comparable damage. dual element will fail in some places.
Doom - not the best source of death but easily the most common. free 80k damage to final boss.
X-zone - far less accurate than doom but worth noting
Quick - incredibly useful but will lose you time
mute/sleep/berzerk/stop - all have their specific boss trivialising use, consult mr entitys boss cheat sheet
pearl - good on doom, lv 2.5 spell otherwise. long animation
bio - only significant source of poison damage. situationally useful against spicy or phunbaba
bolt 2 - fastest spell animation
fire 2 - see fire 3, half damage
ice 2 - see ice 2, half damage
flare - aggravatingly long animation, damage often less than a lv 2. handy only against certain high defense bosses.
life 2 / life 3 - useful in fringe final boss situations where you lack offense and defense
all other healing - replaceable by the item command 99% of the time
float - tier 1 / dirt drgn insurance, cheeky sniper/hawkeye damage boost
all other spells - waste of time
here's a list in order of desirability / avg output
no need to micromanage your weapon tier-----
Illu - always always always the best option. plays nice with gauntlet/genji, huge evasion. pearl proc can be an issue against some bosses (holy is a bad element in this game) but procs wont happen if the strike already killed a target- notably chars hitting 9999 can safely one shot girl without fear of healing it. Never misses. back row ok
Rag - almost as good as illu, procs a much longer animation and the spell doesnt get crit damage but you wont accidentally heal anything with it.
Stronger Atma weapon - will outdamage near everything late game but is useless early on unlike the big two. plays nice with offering
VK - risky weapon for max potency, but does always ignore defense. generally better at higher levels like atma but still very good early game. only weapon worth outright fishing for an offering
Sniper - if it floats nothing hits as hard as this weapon, half of all bosses in this game float.... back row ok. solid damage even without the bonuses
Man Eater - racial bonus makes this weapon viable, reasonable amount of human type bosses
pearl lance - best with a jump set-up, holy proc makes fight command viable though
Hawk Eye - sniper jr, great when it gets bonuses/procs, pedestrian damage otherwise. back row ok
elemental swords/rods/fire claw - great against weakness enemies. lv1 procs hit harder than you think. rods better off broken in 99% of situations
scimitar - procs cleave
wing edge/assasin/doom darts - x-death proc. far less reliable than the above
soul sabre - procs death. most desperate way to inflict the status. mp drain situationally useful
drainer - often better to just use an item to heal but worth nothing
aura lance - strong with jump, throw/sell fodder otherwise
all other lances - see above
fixed dice - beginners trap but still has situational use, mostly as a way to damage MM/tritoch in desperation. repeated use can brute force a chokepoint boss but often at a severe time penalty. sells high. plays nice with offering but a jump setup save loads of animation time.
defensive weapons tier---
magus rod/enhancer - +7 magic and +20 m/ev per. not fight command viable
swordbreaker/sky render - 30 evade, not fight command viable
all other weapons - throw/sell fodder
TLDR: if you have any of the top 5 weapons you should have a char getting their best damage from the fight command. ditto if you have a couple from the situational tier. otherwise use magic/skills for damage output
SPECEFIC DAMAGE SET UPS:
-jumpers need at least 3 things to be viable: a jump command, a jump weapon, and a dragon horn. fishing for all these conditions is not advised but if you get all three go nuts it is top tier damage. gauntlet a big bonus if you have a nat jumper. gauntlet jumps without a horn are viable damage in early game as well.
-offering should only be paired with VK, atma, sniper/hawkeye, and if desperate FD. only a VK find is actively worth hunting one down though.
-if using genji glove you obviously need two good weapons for it to be worthwhile. whenever possible, place the proc-ing weapon in the left hand if using a mixed pair so as not to override the follow up swing's potential MP crits. dual illu or rag may lose some mp crits but dual wielding those is worth it even so.
-gem box should be avoided unless using lv3 spells or merton for that character's damage
-merton is best with 4 flame/paladin shields to nom healing. any elemental shield / minerva / red jacket / yeti gear will work though.
-quake strats are a meme and never worth using
-kill stuff fast.
-ok, more seriously though as always stats mean little in the game- dont expect a meaningful damage reduction unless you have over 240 p/mdef. focus on evasion/elemental defense instead.
-physical attacks wont be threatening at low scaling ever. physicals can always be cheesed with image/invisible as well.
-most meaningful enemy magics are either elemental or ignore defense.
TLDR here are the only defensive pieces worth equipping:
defensive weapons for chars not using fight command
paladin shield elemental shields aegis shield force shield
red cap cat hood green beret
minerva snowmuffler force armour red jacket
-all other gear offers nothing noteworthy but is better than nudity. unless equipping one of these items just hit optimize.
most relics can be safely ignored/sold. here are the noteworthies
moogle charm - obviously
hero ring/atlas/earrings- boost damage output
genji glove - dual wield if 2 good weapons
gauntlet - for rag/illu/jumpers
offering - for vk/atma/sniper/FD chars
gem box - for lv3+ spell chars
marvel shoes/pod bracelet - only worthwhile filler relics
dragon boots/horn - the jump stuff
beads - not insignificant evade boost
status prevention - if desperate and offense starved
rage ring/blizzard orb - elemental resist / yeti memes
everything else - sell fodder
consumables are dirt cheap and vital early game. they are expensive but handy mid to late game. quick overview:
warp stones: 6 is usually plenty, consider buying more if planning on lete/trench/mtek3/fc. smoke bomb a slower alternative. moot if gifted a warp spell
tonic/meat/potions: buy 11 of whichever you find early on for healing purposes
fenix downs: buy 11 and top off occasionally on harder seeds
status cures: 4 per is plenty for an entire seed.
revivifies: buy 11, more if low exp seed and need to grind (there are lots of fodder undead randoms in ff6)
super balls: beginners trap but can be useful in your first 2 or 3 boss fights
rods: get expensive fast but solid source of damage early/midgame. outclassed by endgame
shields: almost always a guaranteed 9999. late game cash sink for damage
xpot/exlir/mega: full heals, late game cash sink for insurance
sleeping bag: use these over tents, 11 will almost always last you the whole seed.
QUICK SHOPPING PRIORITIES LIST:
1-early game consumables 2-damage source, weapon/tool/throw 3-money related checks 4-damage booster relics 5-defense, unless a)stonewalled and elemental resistance is the answer, or b) affordable minerva/pala; then go nuts 6-late game consumables
QUICK SKILL OVERVIEW:
generally fight with a good weapon or a lv3 will suffice for damage but skills mostlyhave some uses
in no particular order because fraggle is british
Steal - nigh useless. elixirs aplenty in final battle if desperate. a few goodies here and there, not worth relying on
Capture - see above, but with a physical that often cancels out the best part of the weapons you are using. terrible.
Sketch - completely useless
Health - okay early game if your offense is bad and you need in fight healing. not strong enough to consider late game, just drink an elixir
Slot - risky but acceptable aoe unless you're a) drew and b) cheating
Shock - solid aoe, strong st early/midgame. too weak late game
Lore - versatile and often great. standouts are aero, GT, and pearl wind. aqua rake/cleansweep/quasar are solid early-midgame. due to the scaling nature of WC, gambling with lv spells can be fun if desperate. blow fish excellent at the very start, but high mp cost for a baby makes it awkward. most other lores arent worth mentioning
Dance - highly variable, earth dance best if not shuffled, otherwise look out for high probability landslide, or death moves for randoms. not reliable late game.
Mimic - of note you can mimic consumables and not use up the item/ammo.
Possess - cheat button. 50% insta kill on absolutely anything. character returns to airship on use. overpowered but requires some finesse to use effectively outside of cheesing T4 kefka
X-magic - not worth it unless char using lv3 spells/merton for their damage
Tools - Drill and AA are all you need. chainsaw while highly amusing is unreliable. debilitator has saved runners in very very specific cases. wouldnt bother with the others
SwdTek - tek 7 by itself can carry a partys offense, though untargetabble nature has drawbacks in final battle. tek 6 does decent aoe and procs stop. tek 8 is the best way to inflict death in the game. tek 1 useful early game. tek 3 is a guaranteed demi early game. tek 5 is a desperation self heal. 2 could be situational if forced to solo early game against a physical boss. tek 4 doesnt ignore defense and will almost always be worse than tek 1.
Runic - godly defensive command against casters. has OFFENSIVE use against T4 kefka since it sucks up his counters allowing you to go hog wild. tough to use effectively with a lv3'er in the team.
Morph - extremely powerful command, but char needs a good weapon or a lv3 since this takes the skill slot. can use for a turn or two every other boss fight on average. cheeky use of sleep/stop/quick can get a permanent morph, of note for the final battle in particular. does not double damage of atmaweapon/ultima/flare. everything else seems fair game but ask cecil if you arent sure. also halves all incoming damage unless defense ignoring
Blitz - not that great in WC. bum rush is very strong but untargettable nature makes it iffy in final battle. air blade okay aoe but usually comes late game and hardly sees use. early game very solid offense however. if a blitzer ever faces the train, suplexing it is mandatory or your emulator will generate a virus onto your computer.
Rage - complicated command. character will use fight half the time so a good weapon is a must. not worth it 90% of the time unless drowning in stray cats, gold bears, or prussians. retainer's shock is a popular early game option, and there are a couple blowfish rages which are great in your first couple boss fights.
Throw - best skill. all your useless weapons become high damage ammo. if you're spamming shuriken you are wasting the potential of the command. looting/dead checks usually leave you with enough junk to last all game but if desperate pick up 11 of whichever throwing star. early game skeans are ok for aoe. image/invis has situational use against physical bosses/calmness. if drowning in money and low on ammo pre KT buy a stack of whichever high bat power weapon from the albrook weapon store before entering
Leap - usually dummied out. probably causes the universe to implode
Tackle/Character Toss - random untargettable drill basically
Snowstorm - usually more of a hindrance than a help
newer settings customize characters quite a bit so this section will focus more on how _likely_ the character is to be good (IE how much changing flags is required to make them, on average, worse than their vanilla selves) as well as the strength of checks/openings
-in a terra start, doing SG first is a given unless chests are empty in your flags. prioritize this over any other non-locke opening.
-quick check (whelk)
-peekable check (mobliz)
-long check (zozo)
-grind check (lete)
-third best weapon pool along with celes
-best armour pool along with celes
-above average str and hi mag if you like stats
-checks are a mixed bag due to how varied they are
-usually one of the better characters
-wor narshe should be automatic for your opening anytime locke is a starter / y remove is enabled
-checking cursed shield if you get him late should be done only if you really need the defense / ultima offense
-taking item over esper early is viable if you have terra / hi char requirements / low esper requirements
-best weapon pool
-middling armour pool
-highest spd if you like stats
-usable innate evasion
-tunnelarmr check is fast
-PC is long but at leastthere's treasure
-usually one of the better characters
-wob castle opening is a solid quick check, 4 treasures, and cheap items
-second best weapon pool (ter/cel + spears)
-middling armour pool + red jacket
-discount at fig castle, wor sf
-checks all synergize
-above avg str if you like stats
-like celes, can abandon checks midway through (IE no ancient castle)
-usually one of the better characters
-wor tzen is a solid opener for treasure
-4 quick checks with some loot
-train check is a bit on the long side, but thankfully peekable
-very hi str if you like stats
-awful weapon and armour pools, red jacket is nice though
-usually not a strong character but his rando best checkset make him desirable nonetheless
-gau's dads house is free + an item shop, weak opening
-surprisingly hi innate evasion
-hi spd if you like stats
-bad weapon pool
-middling armour pool
-veldt cave reasonably quick
-FC is usually not worth abandoning midway through and is long
-lackluster checks and no longer guaranteed to have throw, shadow is not automatically top tier like the earlier days
-mt zozo is an okay opener but be wary of no warp access
-wob doma is nice and quick
-dream like FC is a commitment but unlocks all teks as a bonus at least
-awful weapon pool
-middling armour pool
-hi str if you like stats
-like shadow no guarantee of swdtek makes him less desirable overall, but if you have the command hes nice to find
-trench has one non time wasting chest and is reasonably quick
-meat requirement / rng for veldt can be a chore
-worst weapon pool
-bad armour pool outside snow muffler
-outrageous bat power if you care
-two skills make him highly variable, he can be awesome, he can be useless. his checks certainly suck though
-looting SF is another no brainer start, right below a locke or terra start
-mtek is one of the best checks period, two quick spots for espers and you can bail on the long section if not out of options/character hunting
-opera house is a bad check unfortunately
-third best weapon pool along with terra
-best armour pool along with terra
-average stats across the board if you care
-probably second best check pool after sabin
-usually one of the stronger characters
-kohlingen opening has a couple chests as well as shopping
-darryls has a good amount of loot and is quick
-dg is the fastest check period but can be lucked into without him
-awful weapon pool
-middling armour pool
-bad stats if you care
-usually one of the weaker characters but has a decent checkset
-one annoying check but at least there's loot/syngery with peeking KaN. decent opener in truth
-awful weapon pool (spears only)
-bad armour pool outside muffler
-basically requires dragoonboots to be usable in more than half of all seeds
-often one of the worst characters
-no obvious opener
-worst check pool
-worst stats sans Gogo if you care
-bad weapon pool
-bad armour pool
-likely the worst character in the rando
-insert grumpy old man memes
-no obvious opener but has 2 quick checks, one of which is peekable
-hi mag power if you like stats
-bad weapon pool
-decent armour pool
-usually an average character
-murderchild is somewhat over rated
-single check synergizes well with wor narshe but can hardly be called an opener
-pretty bad without equippable flag, but still better than almost everyone else early game
-yeti relics should usually be avoided
-cant mp crit, hates illu/rag
-offering will half damage from his tackle, avoid
-enormous stats if you care
-actually quite decent outside final battle if equippable, but absolutely not top tier
-nice if annoying opener with a good amount of loot. warp access ideal however.
-bad stats if you care
-cant summon but can mimic summons in fringe scenarios
-mimic saves breakables/throw ammo if resources are tight
-can literally do anything you want
-bad weapon pool
-bad armour pool
-like gau he is as awesome or awful as the skills you have access to. better than gau though since he has every skill youve unlocked sans morph
for people that absolutely want a tier list considering the above, here: