Final Fantasy V - Solo Necromancer

That high Vitality total proved essential for Wing Raptor. With 150 HP at level 6, Rathma could survive four Breath Wing attacks at 37 damage and last long enough to kill the boss.

And with the 5 ABP gained from the boss (hey, isn't it odd that Wing Raptor gives ABP even though it comes before any jobs?), Rathma learned his first ability, Oath. Let's see what it does.

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"Flaremancer" ? That sounds promising, and that spell animation certainly does look like Flare. Are you serious?

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You are. Four digit damage in the second dungeon of the game. The original Algorithms Guide doesn't have the GBA specific classes of course, but there's a separate continuation of it by other authors for the GBA version. Here's the goods:

Odds Monster        Attack  Multiplier
3/8  Skeleton       50      4
2/8  Rajiformes     75      4
2/8  Flaremancer    254     5
1/8  Zombie Dragon  10-100  5

Are you kidding? A 254 attack spell available right away, for just 5 MP cost? On a character with beefy Magic Power?

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I also figured out that Skeleton casts a lightning element attack (same as catching and releasing one) and Rajiformes casts something that looks like Aqua Rake (actually non-elemental, not water). Zombie Dragon cast a highly variable poison spell which would also inflict poisoning on the monsters.

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So to my shock and surprise, Rathma blew away Karlabos on the very first attempt. He didn't even get a Flaremancer; it was two Skeletons hitting for 400 lightning damage each.

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Flaremancer did blow away Siren and Magisa and Forza.

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Well, it can't do _everything_. Shiva was beatable with enough retries, but the only possible combo was Flaremancer (1/4) on the first round targeting Shiva (1/4) and then two straight Rajiformes or Zombie Dragons (3/8, 3/8). I didn't feel like retrying for 9/1024 odds.

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But Flaremancer could wipe out a Garkimasra/Jackanapes! So Rathma did retrieve the Elf Cape from Castle Walse. I did that after the tower with Garula (who was killed by several Skeletons and Rajiformes; Flaremancer didn't show up) and raising to level 17 for enough HP to survive two physical hits from the Jackanapes. It took a few tries, and in fact on the successful try, Rathma actually managed to run away twice and never actually called Flaremancer.

For LiquidFlame, however, Oath didn't measure up. 3000 HP would take three Flaremancer hits, and Rathma couldn't last long enough. Death was always assured to no more than four Blaze attacks which deal 1/4 of max HP. I went ahead and resorted to breaking an Ice Rod. I make no apologies here for resorting to the power tactics. Oath is already silly to have from the start of the game, and I'm of no mind to make excuses and play suboptimally. Everything is on the table, I'm not trying to make an onion-layer variant within the variant. And I just played the Red Mage successfully avoiding rod breaking for the entire game, so I've earned having it on the table here.

Ha, Oath even works from Toad status. I also found out that it works through Mute too.

Both Library bosses were splattered with appropriate elemental rod breaks. I am not sure there was any other way to do it, other than retrying until getting three straight Flaremancer hits at cumulative 1/64 odds. No way could Rathma take down either Ifrit or Byblos with dagger attacks before his health ran out.

Sandworm was up next. Is that Rajiformes attack that looks like Aqua Rake actually Aqua Rake?

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Yes. Whew, if not for that, Sandworm would be a pretty hefty obstacle. It still took ten tries at the fight to get it to show up twice before Rathma's health ran out. A bit later, I tested and found that Fire Rod self-attacking with a Flame Ring could have outraced the low amounts of Quicksand damage, so the fight could have been won with a 50k gold grind.

CrayClaw and Adamantimi went down the easy way.

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necro129.png - 23kbFinally among my solo classes I could use the smart solution to Rocket Launchers. Equip the Knife weapon (it came with Lenna at the start of the game) of 7 attack, and get at least 10 defense (required a Silver Ring from Karnak). So Rathma would always hit himself for 0 damage when confused, and eventually wear down the rockets with Oaths. Rathma beat three pairs of Rocket Launchers this way, and for one Flamegun fight that I couldn't get to reroll into rockets instead, broke two Thunder Rods.

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And Merlin didn't have the magic power to do this, but Rathma could: eliminate the launchers (800 HP) with a single Thunder Rod so that no aging-inflicting missiles ever fired! He proceeded to break three more rods on Sol Cannon itself -- and won before Surge Beam ever launched at all! Okay, rod breaking may be a cheese tactic, but it's damnably effective indeed. Honestly I don't know how else to do Sol Cannon with the Necromancer. He can't self-heal with a Flame Rod + Flame Ring if he has to wear an Angel Ring. And two Surge Beams are always fatal without healing, and the Oath summons don't do enough damage to win before that hits. Anyway, Rathma made it into Ronka with neither Flame nor Angel Rings, same as Merlin managed.

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Presently Oath was starting to lose steam in the Ronka Ruins. Flaremancer would still wipe out any enemy, but the other attacks from Rajiformes and Skeleton now needed a good four or five hits to kill. It actually felt a lot like playing a Dancer, with 25% odds to deliver massive damage, and some other outcomes that were occasionally useful but mostly filler. As Sofis supposed, Oath does not scale up at all with character level. The attacks are equivalent to catching and releasing each monster, using the monster's multiplier, not the character's. It's really odd that a job class you only get at the very end of the game has an ability that's only useful in the very beginning. Maybe somebody actually anticipated what I'm doing here?

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Before ArchaeoAevis, I pulled out to raise the cash for a Flame Ring. The fastest place to work was actually in the desert, where either Rajiformes or Flaremancer would insta-kill anything they hit. Bet you didn't know you can actually walk around to the Pyramid entrance in the first world, did you?

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Rathma got a big break at ArchaeoAevis. A broken rod would deal just enough damage to one-shot each of the first four forms at 1600 HP. The Flame Ring greatly improved Rathma's chances here, getting free healing from the third "fire" form. Then the last form consisted of retrying until two Flaremancers appeared before Rathma's health ran out. Took a few retries as always, but got through without much trouble.

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Purobolos I tried a few times with Oath, but the only combination that would work was getting either Rajiformes or Zombie Dragon on five or six straight rounds. Too chancy and lengthy to retry, so a broken rod it was. I did keep it to one rod by also getting a Rajiformes on the first round of combat.

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And ha, Rathma beat Merlin's 6:30 time through the first world by just three minutes. Even with the Flame Ring grind which Merlin skipped, but that was made up for by no grind for Karlabos and never any Elixir grinding. Yeah, between Oath and rod-breaking, the Necromancer is a really powerful class early on. The healing problem doesn't matter when you can win every fight in just a few rounds.

Rathma had 17 breakable rods in stock, which felt like enough for the second world, so here we go.

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