Content of the article: "Fixing Enhancements: High Seraph Ultima"
I'm back with one final enhancement post. This is probably my last because it appears we won't be getting any new FFT units anytime soon, nor will we get an explanation for why CG Ramza has been skipped (please prove me wrong SQEX/Gumi!). If you missed my last one on Beowulf, check it out here. He needs a LOT of help, but I think it's doable.
The subject today is High Seraph Ultima, the main antagonist of FFT and owner of one of the coolest sprites in FFBE. Both she and Beowulf received enhancements right around this time in the JP timeline, though it's hard to say where we are now because of how many things have been skipped and rushed in GL to release Neo Visions soon. Please be excited.
Unlike Beowulf, I believe Ultima's issues can be more easily solved with enhancements. She specializes in non-elemental magic dps and has some interesting utility, including LB gauge/fill support, a powerful SPR break, and a very nice dispel + party debuff dispel combo CD. As I mentioned, her JP enhancements have already arrived, and here's what she got:
- Twister: Wind magic damage (33x) to all enemiesDecrease wind resistance (110%) for 3 turns to all enemies (Tornado frames)
- Almagest: Magic damage (34.5x) to one enemyDecrease fire, ice and lightning resistance (100%) for 3 turns to one enemy (Absolute Mirror of Equity frames)
- Arcane Magicks – Ultima: Magic damage (11x) with consecutive increase (5 times, 7.5x each, 48.5x max) to all enemies (Chaos Wave frames)Increase LB gauge (4) to caster
- Grand Cross: **<3 turns cooldown, available on turn 3>**Magic damage (31x) with ignore SPR (50%) to all enemiesInflict all status ailments (100%) to all enemies
- St. Ajora's Blessing: Increase MAG (50%), SPR (30%) and MP (20%)Increase equipment MAG (90%) when dual wieldingUpgrade LB
- Divine Ultima (LB): Magic damage (28x) with ignore SPR (50%) to all enemiesDecrease SPR (70%) for 3 turns to all enemiesEnable skill for 4 turns to caster: Quadruple Divine Magicks
I'm gonna be honest. When I saw these arrived in JP I laughed out loud. Whoever is responsible for unit design and enhancements over at Alim either doesn't understand how unit kits work or just doesn't care. And not only them, but the people approving their work and letting enhancements like these go into production. They didn't even change the Chaos Wave frames!
Luckily in GL we have Enhancement Guy (TM), who has the arduous task of cleaning up all of JP's unit design messes, and to his credit, has done a pretty outstanding job on the whole. Maybe I'm being too hard on Alim/JP. I'm sure enhancements are pretty low on the totem pole of important things (because they make significantly less money for them than new units and other things). But please, if you're going to bother with enhancements, at least make them worthwhile. Let's talk about what would be worthwhile for Ultima.
As I mentioned earlier, High Seraph Ultima is a non-elemental magic chainer. And that right there sums up the big problem for her. Her only actual elemental coverage is Wind, through Twister, and Dark, through Unholy Darkness. The issue is the former is Tornado frames, which nobody has used in some time, and the latter is not even a chain and does insignificant damage anyway. Non-elemental damage is at a huge disadvantage for two reasons: your damage is far lower when ramping up chains and you don't benefit from imperils. In Ultima's case, you really had to be spark chaining in order to keep up with other damage dealers around the time of her release (i.e Elly and Golbez).
Her JP enhancements do little to address this issue. The lone good enhancement here is St. Ajora's Blessing, which bumps up her passive TDW equipment MAG to 150%. She received ZERO stat improvements. None. Then they bumped up modifiers on 3 of her chains and her LB and called it a day. Oh, they also buffed Grand Cross, which is…completely pointless. Yay, now I can not use it 3 turns into the battle instead of 4!
Okay, hear me out. I know this is going to sound crazy, but I think we can fix Ultima by giving her elemental coverage and relevant chain families. And you can do this with very little thought and using things that are already in line with her natural flair and flavor. That gives us our first three enhancements:
- Unholy Darkness+2: Decrease Dark resistance (120%) for 3 turns to all enemies; Dark magic damage (x) to all enemies (Chaos Wave Awakened frames); Add Dark element to physical attacks for 3 turns to caster
- Almagest+2: Decrease Light resistance (120%) for 3 turns to all enemies; Light magic damage (x) to all enemies (Chaos Wave Awakened frames); Add Light element to physical attacks for 3 turns to caster
- Twister+2: Decrease Wind resistance (120%) for 3 turns to all enemies; Wind magic damage (x) to all enemies (Chaos Wave Awakened frames); Add Wind element to physical attacks for 3 turns to caster
See, that wasn't too bad! She's already got Dark and Wind in her kit, just make the frames relevant and add imperils. Add the Light element to the currently non-elemental Almagest, an ability that has been associated with a powerful Light attack in several Final Fantasy titles, and you've got a solution. I'm not a mathemagician, so just put in modifiers that will make sense at the time these are released. And then CHECK them before you release them in game; Beatrix didn't die for this!
But wait, Hazard, you've perhaps accidentally imbued Ultima with these elements too? Explain yourself! Gladly. Here's how we make this elemental coverage fun, taking a leaf out of Rem/Ace/Penelo's books.
- Arcane Magicks – Ultima: Magic (Physical attack with Magic damage) damage (x) with consecutive increase (5 times, x each, x max) to all enemies (Chaos Wave Awakened frames)
So this is designed to offer an alternative and/or improvement to just casting the single element abilities I laid out above. The individual imbues also provide some flexibility for content such as Dark Visions, where Ultima has actually been used most recently as just a cheap Turn 1 SPR breaker.
Now that we've given Ultima some actual usability, let's improve her stats a bit.
- Return – <4 turns cooldown, available on turn 1>Increase LB gauge fill rate (200%) for 3 turns to all allies; Increase LB gauge (7.5) to all allies; Increase LB gauge (7.5) to caster; Increase MAG (250%) for 5 turns to caster (can't be dispelled); Enable skill for 5 turns to caster: Quadruple Divine Magicks
- St. Ajora's Blessing: Increase MAG (80%), HP, DEF, SPR (50%) and MP (30%)Increase equipment MAG (90%) when dual wieldingUpgrade LB
- Divine Ultima: Magic (Physical attack with Magic damage) damage (x) with ignore SPR (50%) to all enemiesEnable skill for 4 turns to caster: Quadruple Divine Magicks
Alright, this brings High Seraph Ultima's total passives to 210% MAG, 70% HP, 50% DEF, 80% SPR, 60% MP, and 150% equipment TDW MAG, which puts her right in line with mages released in the last couple months. Her CD gets longer durations, adds a MAG buff, and removes the need to rotate her LB into the rotation. However, she still gets plenty of LB fill so she can get her quadcast back fairly easily upon death. Also, her LB now benefits from physical attacks, though this is more for fun than function (unless they want to make it a decent nuke option).
There's more we can do here if we want, but these enhancements are the types of things High Seraph Ultima needs in order to be usable. Nobody expects her to be META again; Gumi hasn't done that in a long while, instead bringing older units back into relevance and usability. That's what I'd like to see them do with Ultima and Beowulf: allow me to reasonably use them in battle! That's all I ask. Thanks again for reading.
© Post "Fixing Enhancements: High Seraph Ultima" for game Final Fantasy Brave Exvius.
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