FFXI Prime Shields Guide: Understanding Shield Mechanics and the Rise of Dubon
With the release of Final Fantasy XI Stage 2 Prime weapons, there have been minimal changes to their overall impact. However, the recent patch from Square Enix revealed that players will need a Prime weapon that deals damage to progress in next month's story missions. This means that shields and instruments are not a priority for most players. Nevertheless, The Shield is secretly a potent option. In this guide, we'll delve into the current state of shields in the game and shed light on what makes Dubon, the Stage 2 Prime shield, stand out.
- Shield Mechanics
- Aegis and Ochain
- The Resurgence of Sravatsa
- Reprisal Update
- Dubon: The Stage 2 Prime Shield
- What Lies Ahead for Dubon and Ochain?
↖ Shield Mechanics
Shields in Final Fantasy XI block damage based on their size. Smaller shields block more frequently, but they also reduce less damage. Normal shields, those that are not ultimate weapons, follow a specific formula for damage reduction.
Ultimate shields, however, deviate from these normal rules regarding block rate and damage reduction. They possess their own unique block rate and damage reduction values, different from regular shields. These ultimate shields are often referred to as size 5 and 6, and they fall into two main categories: Aegis and Ochain.
↖ Aegis and Ochain
Aegis is the quintessential original ultimate shield, stemming from the line of original Relic weapons. It excels at reducing incoming magical damage and can be obtained by spending 20 to 30 million Gil and enduring a couple of waiting periods. Most Paladins will acquire this shield early on. Aegis allows you to achieve a combined 87.5% damage reduction to magical damage and is the only shield that enables this.
Ochain, the Imperian Shield from Final Fantasy 11's Abyssia era, is the undisputed king of reducing physical damage. Its naturally high base block rate allows players to block most attacks. Acquiring Ochain, however, demands fighting chains of notorious monsters and spending upwards of 70 million FFXI Gil on heavy metal plates. While Ochain also restores MP, this conversion takes place after all damage reduction, making it less potent than it may initially seem.
↖ The Resurgence of Sravatsa
The aeonic shield, Sravatsa, was often ignored in favor of Ochain. However, with the release of Odyssey, this shield has experienced a resurgence. First, it became popular for segment farming due to the large number of mobs pulled at once. The additional physical defense and five percent chance to negate damage are particularly effective when surrounded, as blocking isn't the primary factor in overall damage reduction in such situations.
Furthermore, as players gained Master levels and higher Shield skill, they noticed that Sravatsa started to close the gap with Ochain's block rate on Odyssey bosses, thanks to its eye-level shield status with 129 skill. Additionally, the damage portion of Sravatsa could prevent some of the AOE damage caused by Fetters in certain fights. These factors, along with the additional enmity plus on the shield, contributed to its increasing use in current endgame content that favors skill.
↖ Reprisal Update
The final nail in Ochain's supremacy came with a change to the spell Reprisal. As of the May 2021 version update, Reprisal no longer wears off regardless of the amount of damage received over time. It now simply wears off when the effect duration ends. This change amplified the value of Shield skill in Final Fantasy XI endgame.
Reprisal, which increases current Shield skill by 15% and block rate by 50% of the current block rate, becomes highly potent with this update. Since the change, a Max-geared Paladin with full haste can maintain a 100% uptime on Reprisal.
↖ Dubon: The Stage 2 Prime Shield
Dubon, the Stage 2 Prime shield, is the highlight of this guide. It boasts the same block rate and damage reduction as Ochain but has the added benefit of being eye-level. As a result, it receives a skill boost, bringing it in line with endgame gear.
Aside from its almost irrelevant MP gain, Dubon is superior to Ochain in mitigating physical damage. Acquiring Dubon is tied to the latest story content release, making it attractive to both veteran and new players. Moreover, the currency required for its upgrade can be acquired after only a few hours of time commitment.
↖ What Lies Ahead for Dubon and Ochain?
Players are curious whether Dubon's eye-level status was an oversight from Square Enix, leading to a potential change to the inferior Aegis block rate. Alternatively, will Dubon continue to improve in Stage 3 or higher, possibly eclipsing all other shield options with the addition of magic damage taken 2 like Aegis, making it a perfect all-in-one shield?
As for Ochain, its superiority has gradually declined over time. The rise of Dubon seems to have overshadowed Ochain's once dominant position. Players wonder if Square Enix will update Ochain to eye-level standards comparable to today's shields.
The advent of Stage 2 Prime weapons has brought attention to the power of Dubon, the Stage 2 Prime shield. With its eye-level status, Dubon offers superior physical damage mitigation compared to Ochain, long considered the go-to shield for such purposes. The future of these shields remains uncertain, but the changes to Reprisal and the increasing importance of Shield skill in endgame content suggest that Dubon's potential is vast.
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