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06-20-2008   #1 (permalink)
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Default [blehnewish]'s Fire/Earth Sheep Guide

Volcano and Infernos 101: Your Guide to Fire/Earth Sheep
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Introduction
Meet the Fire/Earth sheep, AKA the "Hell's Sheep", due to its elemental combination. Although it might SOUND cool, in reality, Fire/Earth is probably themost spurned sheep in the entire game. Water/Wind, Water/Lightning, Fire/Electric and Earth/Wind are all far more common and liked than the Fire/Earth sheep. Fire/Earth is frequently regarded as the weakest elemental combination, because its 2nd/3rd job skills just don't seem to work together.

In part, they are correct; used improperly, Fire/Earth is the worst elemental combination in the game. However, Fire/Earth can also be extremely lethal when used properly; those who scorn Fire/Earth do not understand how useful it can be with the right skills. Granted, there are some cons with Fire/Earth, but I will show you how to overcome all of these in this guide.


Why Fire/Earth, in a nutshell?
Fire/Earth is an extremely lethal combination, with the right skill build. Firstly, Fire is one of the strongest single-target spells in the game; its Dragon Storm near parallels Dark Lance. Oh, granted, there are a lot of Fire Resist and Absorb monsters late-game, but think of it this way: Tally up all of the magic neutral monsters in the game. Fire is so overwhelmingly strong that you can expect to do similar damage on these magic neutral monsters when compared to using Water on Water-weak monsters. This basically makes Fire into a version of Dark.

But unlike Dark, you get the perk of having an immensely powerful AoE with your skills. Earth is the AoE with the longest range and most targets in the game. Although it is relatively weak, it isn't overtly weak; you can still expect to 1HKO monsters close to your level with Earth. Additionally, Fire/Earth is an extremely lethal combination when it comes to taking down monsters that require more than one hit: eg. Bosses. Earth has such a far range that it's possible to use it as a single-target "snipe" skill; use it to lure single monsters towards you, then hit it with a fire whammy.

Debunking Cons
Let's look at some of the cons of Fire/Earth frequently put up by people who have not played it...

-Fire is inaccurate.
This is largely untrue. With just 40 LK, easily achievable, you will find yourself hitting 99% accuracy on level 200+ monsters.

-There aren't enough high-level monsters to train on.
Granted, there aren't enough high-level monsters in popular fields to train on, you can easily find monsters in other places. Personally, I love ID1 for Fire/Earth; there are monsters with both weaknesses there, and fire is more than enough to 1HKO any of them.

-Earth is too weak to use.
Earth is weak, but not overwhelmingly weak. Earthquake beats out Electro Attack, Wind Blade, Phoenix Rising, and is nearly as powerful as Staff of Lightning. You will find yourself 1HKOing quite a number of monsters with Earth.

-Fire and Earth do not work together.
One of the unexpected things about Fire/Earth is that you will be able to use Earth as a single-target spell. No spell, or for that matter, no skill, regardless of class, beats Cleaving Terra's range. Because of this, Cleaving Terra is highly useful as a single-target lure spell. Throw a Cleaving Terra, and hit a monster off the screen- then when it's moving towards you, hit it with a whammy of fire!

Your Build

Builds
1414- Not recommended, a 2 in sense will fare better with Fire's relative inaccuracy. Although you'll hit a lot with this build, it'll probably not be to your liking.
1423/4132- Recommended. This build will allow you to get the most out of your Fire- you'll miss practically none of the time.
1441- Recommended ONLY if you are going pure LK, pure HP/HV or hybrid of these.

Bonus Points

Firstly, let it be known that Fire/Earth is a lot more flexible on bonus points than most other elements. Why? Firstly, Earth factors more MA in its formula than most other AoE attacks; its formula is (MA-25) rather (MA-49). Although Earth's power is considerably weaker, this boost in MA means that Earth will do more damage at lower MA than other AoEs. It isn't until around 350 MA when damage difference between Cleaving Terra, Wind Blade and Electro Attack becomes noticable (in this case, over 1k in difference). Additionally, Fire, being the skill with the most power, will allow you do as much damage as you can with any MA. This means that in addition to the conventional Pure MA builds, Pure LK, HV, HP or Hybrids are more feasible with Fire/Earth.


Pure MA- The conventional build. This build will allow you to get the most damage. However, as I stressed above, it is not as important to have high MA in Fire/Earth as it is with other elemental combinations. However, this is an excellent build for multi-purpose use, both PvP and PvE; keep in mind, though, that there is a "MA cap"- a 1HKO with 500 MA is the same as a 1HKO with 600 MA.

Pure LK- A more PvP orientated build. LK will aid in dodging magical attacks, and as Bards are deadly when facing off versus other mages (their ability to combo), this can effectively turn a sheep into a mage-killer. Additionally, with LK, you can be more or less 100% sure that your fire attacks will hit. If you're going pure LK, aim for a 1441 build; there's no point in going half-way. Although you'll die easily, you can somewhat rely on blocking. Make sure that you have funds for hax defensive gear.

Pure HV- A more PvP orientated build, this time towards physical types. I can't say much about this, I haven't tried it myself, but I have heard of sheeps with great HV that do wonderfully. A 1423 build would probably be preferable.

Pure HP- This kind of sheep has been popping up recently; with the use of cure, a sheep with suitably high HP can recover her HP at immense speeds without the use of WT, thus making her quite a bit of a tank. An experimental build, once again, I can't say much about it.

How to choose your skills?

Firstly, with the decision of going Fire/Earth, you have to choose 1st job skills to complement either Fire, Earth or both equally. Basically, you're not just choosing your element, you're choosing which will be stronger. Fire/Earth is meant to be used with 1st job skills in combos in this way. I highly recommend you skip Summon Boulder, as I find this highly useless (unless you've made ID1 your training spot and are fighting Earth-Weak Freyjas), and I recommend that you only get Inferno if Phoenix Rising appeals to you. Botulism Cloud, at the moment, is glitched. Unless this skill is fixed in a later bug, there is currently no practical use for it.

There are basically three ways you can go:

The Ground-Work
A mage should always have the following skills AT MINIMUM RECOMMENDED, regardless of build, type, etc.- unless you have some incredibly amazing/moronic/misguided build that allows you to skip one or more of these skills.

-Cure Level 10
-Invincible Cast
-Bottle of Mana
-Mist of Mana Mastered

Once you get these skills, you can choose which path you want to take... I have only listed minimal offensive skills. Please feel free to alter or edit any or these, or toss in skills that you might like. I highly encourage you to build your own skill build rather follow my cookie-cutter ones. These builds are designed to get you all of your skills ASAP; you will always have enough TM. I have only listed three builds, there are still many more.

*Note, the order that I have listed them in are not the order everyone will get them in. There's the eternal debate of whether to get Whirlwind Blaze first or Cleaving Terra first; generally, if you have Arrow Rush learnt pre-2nd job, get Whirlwind Blaze (good combo with Arrow Rush), if not, use Cleaving Terra to train with.

First Job and Second Job skills
1) Heavy-hitting Fire Combo Orientated Skill Build
-Mana Arrow Mastered
-Arrow Rush Mastered
-Mana Ring Level 10 (Possibly Mastered, toss in Ring Booster if you want.)
-Cleaving Terra Mastered
-Whirlwind Blaze Mastered

Comments: This is THE combo for those who want to dish out immense damage in the shortest amount of time possible. Whirlwind Blaze should be enough to knock out most monsters in one hit, if not, a rapid Mana Ring at the end should work. For the most tough monsters, it is possible to use Arrow Rush and Whirlwind Blaze together. In PvE, the slowest skills should be cast first at a distance, because the monster (if you've done it properly) won't be chasing you rapidly. Arrow Rush is useful in lower levels to alternate with Whirlwind Blaze. Cleaving Terra is useful for mobs around your level; you will frequently find yourself 1HKOing monsters. It is possible to set off a Cleaving Terra, then tossing one-hit spells on every monster you have, OR just waiting for the cooldown to finish.

2) AoE Fire Orienated Skill Build
-Mana Ring Level 10
-(Possibly Booster, if you have TM points)
-Whirlwind Blaze Mastered
-Cleaving Terra Mastered
-Incinerate Level 10
-Phoenix Rising Mastered

Comments: Whirlwind Blaze and Mana Ring should be more than enough to kill any straggler monsters. Although I don't really like Incinerate due to the 1.8s cast-time, it is possible to use Inferno as a single target skill just for the strength. If you don't mind waiting a little longer for a stronger hit, then I suggest you master this. The purpose of this skill set, however, is to use Phoenix Rising in combination with Cleaving Terra. These AoEs work together fairly well, although, once again, I don't like the long cast-time of Incinerate.

3) Earth Orientated Skill Build
-Mana Ring Level 10
-Mana Storm Mastered
-Whirlwind Blaze Mastered
-Cleaving Terra Mastered
-Incinerate Level 10
-Phoenix Rising Mastered

Comments: For the AoE master who wants to have a decent single-target. Mana Storm combos well with Cleaving Terra, and Phoenix Rising is tossed in as anotherAoE for good measure.


3rd job: Pure or Hybrid?

For Fire/Earth, you can go either pure or hybrid; both Dark, Light and Pure work well. However, to break it down:

Dark Hybrid: Works well for low charm builds, due to Dark Barrier. Combos well with Fire, so it might be interesting to toss a Whirlwind Blaze then a Dark Sycthe in combination.
Light Hybrid: More AoE orientated; it's probably best to use it with an Earth-centered build. Fire will overwhelm Light's relative 1:1 weakness.
Soulmaster: Highly recommended. Dragon Storm is the strongest spell a sheep can use, and is more or less on par with Dark Sycthe. Additionally, Earthquake is an incredibly strong AoE. If you take this path, you can anticipate there being more Soulmaster skills in the future, possibly adding to Fire/Earth's power.


Any tips? Still working on this



Please note that this belongs to blehnewish of MT
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