Edit 18/08/2017: Added precisions regarding skill cap up Ultima skill.
The new weapons introduced with the new Ultimate Bahamut raid are certainly a bit confusing, and don’t necessarily feel extremely intuitive to slot in grids. Lack of info about their effect, but also the restrictions regarding weapon proficiency make them pretty difficult to figure out if they are worth investing in, and if you should use them in your grid.
Let’s try to take a look at those weapons a bit more closely, and see which grids they can improve, and under which conditions.
First, a little recap about how those weapons work and how you can acquire them:
- You can get your first Atma weapon as soon as you reach rank 80. You will need to host an Ultimate Bahamut normal in order to get the Ultima Core, material required for the first upgrade. Other than that, there’s no really difficult material you’ll need in order to craft the Atma, all are accessible pre-HL.
- You’re limited to one Atma weapon, until you host and succeed your first Ultimate Bahamut lvl 200, where you get another Ultima core as a reward (allowing you to forge a second Atma). Note that if you decide to reduce your weapon, you’ll be returned the Ultima core necessary to reforge a weapon.
- The element of your Atma weapon does not matter and will work on any element grid. The element only matters for main handing purposes.
- You’ll still however have to choose an element for your Atma weapon. It’s a bit delicate here since while the element choice isn’t extremely important at the Atma stade, it might become a different issue when upgrading to Ultima as you might want to use the weapon as a main hand. Regardless, even if you happen to pick the wrong element, you can always reduce the weapon and reforge another element, you won’t lose anything extremely significant other than skill fodder.
- Atma weapons at the start have only one default skill (20% ATK, 10% HP), and that skill will only boost characters of the same weapon proficiency (for example an Atma sword will only boost Swords users). This also includes MC’s job weapon proficiency.
- This default skill on Atma weapons can be replaced by what is called a Gauph skill, still weapon proficiency restricted of course. Those skills can be traded against meteorite in the shop, and can be replaced at any time while conserving the skill level.
- Talking about skill level, the amount of fodder required to skill level those weapons is the same as for Baha weapons.
- The default skills on Atma weapons are unique and will not stack if you decide to do two of the same Atma (for example x2 atma swords won’t give you twice the above bonus).
- The ougis for atma weapons are all the same, it’s a 25% elemental buff to your team for 4 turns.
Please note that the values might not be totally exact, and off by a few percents.
|Skill||Effect||Value||Total Atma Bonus|
|Will||Massive boost to ATK||30% ATK||30% ATK|
|Strife||Trium (Big boost to multiattack rate)||20% DA/TA||20% ATK, 10% HP, 20% DA/TA|
|Vitality||Massive boost to HP||???||??% HP|
|Strength||Stamina (Big boost to attack when HP is high)||15% Stamina, similar curve to Fimbul||20% ATK, 10% HP, 15% Stamina|
|Zeal||Enmity (Big boost to attack when HP is low)||Steep curve, nearly no enmity mod at 60% HP, 50% normal enmity mod at 1% HP||20% ATK, 10% HP, up to 50% Enmity|
|Courage||Critical||15% Proc chance for 50% damage multiplier||20% ATK, 10% HP, 15% crit chance (50% multiplier)|
A few things to note:
- Attack, Stamina and Enmity mods are normal mods. It means that those weapon skills will stack additively with other similar normal mod weapons (Stamina will stack additively with Fimbul, and Enmity will stack additively with Gisla for example).
- Trium is considered as normal trium and will not go over the 50% normal DA/TA from grid cap apparently.
- Every Atma weapon will keep the default 20% ATK + 10% HP skill on top of the newly added Gauph Skill, excepted for Will and Vitality, which will replace the default bonus.
- It’s unknown at the moment if two different Gauph skills will still stack on a same weapon type (for example Trium sword + Stamina sword).
Overall it seems that Trium is the best skill to grab, as a 20% DA/TA boost is huge (Only a bit less than cerb gun on double hades), and can be a lifesaver for most magna grids where getting Trium is difficult/impossible in general. Even in primal grids, having an Atma can be interesting as it will generally be more performant then a Trium weapon (or even reach the 50% cap).
Stamina is a decent contender, mainly because it’s a rather rare multiplier and unless you’re playing Varuna (or Zeus), chances are you won’t get diminishing returns from having a Stamina Atma in the grid. The value is not extremely high though, and if you don’t have a lot of HP you can lose the benefit of the Stamina pretty quickly.
Crit is not extremely powerful, but has the advantage of being usable no matter what element. While the crit value is pretty high and can make you reach pretty high numbers, the proc chance is low, and overall the skill only nets you a 7.5% average damage increase.
Enmity is pretty niche as it grants you an extremely powerful boost at very low HP, but is barely existant if you have more than 50% HP. While it looks like it would be useful on Magna enmity grid since you’d get normal enmity mixed in, the fact that you’ll only get a sizeable boost at red HP (understand: if you’re using Zooey) makes the upgrade not that interesting since it’s likely you’ll cap regardless at low HP (assuming your grid is developed enough).
Pure HP and Pure ATK boosts are not really worth considering since their upgrades are really marginal compared to the Atma default skill.
What weapon type should I pick?
Now that we’ve gone over the effects of the different skills, it’s time to pick which weapon proficiency you want your Atma weapon to affect. Let’s take a look at this weapon proficiency chart:
It’s pretty obvious that a majority of characters in the game have Sword proficiency, which makes it a pretty obvious choice to pick Atma Sword in most cases. Staff is the second best choice in terms of number of characters, followed by Spear and Fist. The other weapons should not be considered as they generally don’t have enough characters in each element to get a full lineup.
It’s important to consider that it’s a weapon that can be used in multiple grids (much like bahamut weapons), and as such you should make a weapon that can adapt to a higher number of grids, depending on what character you own in each element.
Some math (click to display)
Still, in practice, one might not have a full sword users lineup ready to use, or maybe it can only fit for one element. It brings us naturally to ask ourselves: “How many characters need to be affected by an Atma skill for it to be efficient?”.
So, the first thing to consider is that in order to add an Atma weapon to your grid, you’ll have to replace a weapon in one of your grid as well. My personal suggestion is to replace either:
- A normal mod weapon (generally celestials, or a second baha if you happen to use one), worth generally 14% more damage as a 10th weapon
- A 6th magna weapon if you happen to have 6 in your grid, worth generally around 12-13% more damage as a 10th weapon
- An unknown if you happen to have at least 2 unknown weapons in your grid (Do not replace a second xeno unknown though), worth between 13 and 15% depending on the unknown.
- Your Baha weapon, but only if the Atma can include more characters in your lineup then the Baha and if your baha only affects two characters in your team, worth around 15% damage increase if it’s a non-coda bahamut that only works on two members.
- An unknown if it’s not a 4* weapon, worth 15% damage increase.
- A 5th magna weapon if all else fails, worth around 15-16% damage increase.
I’ll assume a standard grid with GW weapon or Xeno main hand, 5x magna, Bahamut weapon coda, Celestial weapon, Unknown, 6th magna or Primarch (Typically an element like Fire magna or Water magna, dark and wind makes things a bit more complex with enmity and normal buffs, but the reasoning remains similar).
First, let’s take a look at the Trium atma upgrade:
- The 20% ATK up will translate to roughly 12-13% damage increase in this setup.
- If you don’t have any DA/TA buff, Trium will increase your auto-attack damage output by roughly 50% (average dps increase is a bit less since you’ll ougi every few turns).
- With a 30% base DA/TA rate (for example with GW dagger effect), the gain from Trium becomes around 20% more auto damage. Of course, the more base multi attack your characters will have, the less Trium upgrade will increase your damage.
- On a 4 members sword proficiency team, you get a 68% damage increase in the best conditions with Trium atma. With only 3 characters affected, this reduces to approximately 51%, 34% with two members and 17% with one member.
- Under GW dagger buff effect, Atma trium becomes a 45% damage increase at 4 characters, 34% at 3 characters, 22% at 2 characters, and 11% at 1 character
This brings us to this conclusion:
- With 0% DA/TA base, Trium is nearly always worth it if it replaces one of the above mentioned weapon in a regular grid, getting significantly better starting from two characters who can benefit from the weapon.
- With 30% DA/TA base, Trium is worth using starting from 2 characters benefiting from the weapon, and becomes significantly better starting from 3 characters.
- It’s interesting to note that if you have 3 characters benefiting from Trium Atma, then the weapon is always worth to slot unless you reach extremely high DA/TA rates already.
Regarding Stamina Atma, fortunately things are much easier to determinate, so I’ll spare you the details. An Atma stamina is roughly 30% damage increase for the team, which means:
- Assuming 100% HP, Stamina Atma only starts to be worth using if you have 3 or more characters benefiting from it. The gap in damage isn’t as important as when using a Trium atma though.
- Unlike Trium, the value of Stamina remains constant most of the time as it is not influenced by team buffs and other non stamina weapons.
- Even with 4 members benefiting, should you not be able to maintain high HP, the effectiveness of Stamina will drop very quickly and render the usefulness of your Atma questionable.
- Trium Atma is worth it so long as you have 2 compatible characters (that includes MC), and its effects become significant starting from 3 compatible characters. Grids or team compositions that have already very high innate DA/TA can consider taking another upgrade if they don’t have enough fitting proficiency characters as well.
- Stamina Atma is overall worse than Trium, as its boost is less significant and will require at least 3 characters benefiting from it to be worth. Be careful though, as losing HP will very quickly make Stamina ineffective.
I’m probably missing a few interesting SR characters that can fit in those teamcomps, but you can see that the great majority will use a Trium Sword. Although it will have a few differences, you can find more detailed explanations on the Ultima section about the team comps.
Sword Job MC / Percy / Yuel / Bea or SR Carren
Sword Job MC / Percy / Yuel / Fire Socie
Sword Job MC / Percy / Yuel / Sturm (replacing baha is a possibility here)
Sage or Warlock / Flaretato / Magisa / Clarisse
Mystic / Flaretato / Magisa / SR Dante (mainly if using enmity build)
Luchador / Aliza / Anthuria / Socie or Ghanda
Sparta / Katalina / Charlotta / Yoda or Flex slot
Chaos Ruler / Romeo / Lancelot / SS Izmir or Flex slot
Swordmaster (Murgleis) / Quatre 5* / Katalina / Romeo
Staff job MC / Altair / Drang / Flex slot
Sparta or Sage / SR Minami / Flex slot / Uno 5*
Luchador / Yngwie / Societte / Katapillar
Sword job MC / Sarasa / Earth DLF / Gandalf or SS Vira
Zerker / Sarasa / Halle / Nemone
Any MC Job / Halloween Eust / Eugen / Catherine
Luchador / Ayer / Yugu / Flex slot
Sword job MC / Lecia / Melissabelle or Yuisis or Siete/ Korwa or SS Korwa
Sage or Warlock / Anchira / Petra or flex slot / Korwa
Elysian (dagger MH) / Arriet / Nio / Flex slot
Sparta / Seruel / Rosamia / Flex slot or Visa-chan
Sparta / Albert / DLF / Seruel
Sage or Sparta / Juliet / SS Heles / SS Zeta (or Jeanne if solo content)
Sage or Warlock / Io / Clarisse / Flex slot
Sword job / Dark Jeanne / Vira or Beatrix / Zooey
Luchador / Six / Orchid / Zooey or flex slot (Cosmos fist recommended)
The Ultima step is much, much harder to achieve than the Atma step, as it will require you to beat several times the Ultimate Bahamut Hard raid, which is the most difficult fight in the game (you can learn more about it on this article). It will also require various other annoying to get materials, like Silver Centrums, 500 elemental quartz and red certs.
Upon upgrading to Ultima, the weapons don’t get any change regarding the value of their Gauph skills, unlike Bahamut weapons. They will however get a stats increase, and get extremely high base attack (higher stats than their lvl 150 Bahamut Coda counterpart). The important changes are that Ultima weapons get an upgraded ougi that is now a 30% elemental boost + 30% DA buff to your team for 4 turns (ougi turn included), and of course they finally get access to their second skill (that I’ll call Ultima skill).
The newly upgraded ougi make Ultima weapons extremely interesting to consider for any setup that would use double primal or double magna, as the weapon assures you an extremely high uptime for an elemental team buff. The DA also allows you to pretty often get very high base DA rate as such grids often have DA or Trium weapons as well. Ultima also make an excellent choice for jobs that lack interesting main hands, such as Nighthound, and even though it’s less likely that the weapon will cover a lot of character in your team, the buff it provides though its ougi and its Ultima skill will often compensate.
Similarly to Gauph Skills, Ultima skills will need to be bought in the shop, requiring drops from UBHL. Unlike Gauph skills though, there is no default Ultima skill and you won’t get any bonus until you upgrade your weapon with one of them
|Alpha||Boost to auto-attack cap||10%|
|Beta||Boost to skill cap||45%|
|Gamma||Boost to ougi cap||~13%|
|Delta||Boost to chain burst cap||50%|
Once again, a few important things to note:
- Unlike the Gauph skills, Ultima skills will affect every member of your party regardless of if they have the right weapon proficiency. This increases the value of the Ultima weapon, even when not a lot of characters can benefit from its first skill.
- The boost to skill cap is additive with other similar bonus (like the masteries one).
- The boost to ougi cap is additive with other similar bonus (masteries, Silva).
- The skill cap up boost will also affect Ougi Echo (Siegfried, Juliet, Romeo…) and more generally anything that the game considers as a nuke (Silva’s fourth skill).
- It’s not clear however if the auto-attack cap boost is multiplicative or additive with the general damage cap up bonus. Keep in mind that the auto-attack cap bonus will obviously not apply to your ougis.
- Keep in mind as well that those skills only boost cap, and do not boost your damage. As such, you’ll need to have the damage and the grid to exploit those increased caps.
The Skill cap ultima skill is probably the best to grab, since nukes will often easily reach cap, regardless of if you’re using magna or primal. Recently released and buffed characters tend to have nukes with high multipliers, making it even possible to reach the increased cap against high defense content (HL raids). It also increases the value of nuke characters since pressing their buttons becomes more interesting, even in racing conditions. Keep in mind that most nukes have multipliers at least equal to ougi multipliers, and yet their cap is always inferior.
The Ougi cap ultima skill is the second most exploitable one, although with the recent increased to the vanilla ougi cap, it has become pretty difficult to reach it constantly. Non enmity and non primal grids will probably prefer to not use this bonus, unless they have a good amount of characters with Ignition boosts.
The Auto cap ultima skill is only exploitable by a few elements and grid, as it is pretty difficult to reach auto cap consistently in the first place. For niche setups like the famous Alex + Titan with Sarasa, Ayer and Fire Socie, or Grande + Baha with Six 5*, this cap increase can actually be interesting though and be the most auto attack racing friendly.
The Chain burst cap is…. Bad. Unless you have a way to always full chain with 4 characters and extremely regularly, and your ougis don’t reach cap (and your favorite class is Drum Master), you won’t make use of it. Most people prefer to desync their ougis, and as such will never or rarely get full chain burst, which are pretty much required to make the most out of this skill. The only use it could have would be on earth ougi teams, and even then its usefulness is quite debatable outside of low def content…
Ultima weapons review for each element:
Once again, those are only suggestions and you should adapt your decision to your playstyle, characters, setup, summons…
Fire has a pretty good selection of nukes, like Percy, Yuel, Sturm, Rackam, Fire Metera… The nukes aren’t the strongest, but they have the advantage of often being on characters with sword proficiency, which allows you to get both of both worlds between Gauph skill and Ultima skill.
The use of an Ultima sword main hand isn’t exactly advised as the Xeno Ifrit Scythe will often be superior, especially thanks to its 30% TA boost that the Ultima sword won’t have. However, for Double Agni or Double Colo setups that lack elemental boost modifiers, the 30% Fire attack up will be extremely valuable (and even more for characters like Percy), so it could be a worthy trade-off.
Another possibility could be to use a different main hand, such as an Ultima staff, boosting Magisa, Flaretato and Clarisse, or even an Ultima bow with Metera and Sutera for Zooey swapping shenanigans (mainly for Enmity focused grids)
Water also has a pretty decent selection of sword nukers (Katalina, Charlotta, Lancelot, Romeo, Yoda) , although their multiplier tend to be a bit lower compared to other elements. The fact that their 140% elemental summon is still recent and that Xeno Cocytus has yet to appear makes it sometimes difficult for Water Magna to reach their new skill cap without fully buffing and debuffing the enemy, and is sometimes impossible against high defense content.
Despite that, water can still heavily benefit from the cap up skill thanks to two characters: Uno 5* and Quatre 5*. The first one have an incredibly hard hitting nuke that can benefit from assassin to always guarantee you’ll reach cap, and the second one has very high multiplier nukes that he can spam a lot between all his different reset and his ultimate. It’s so effective that it’s even worth sacrificing weapon proficiency for two characters on the Ultima weapon, because the Skill cap up more than makes up for it.
The fact that water also loves to use Double Varuna makes the prospect of using an Ultima weapon as a main hand even more alluring. An Ultima spear main hand could be a pretty good investment for Uno and his assassin, helping to guarantee more DA/TA. Otherwise a water Ultima sword can be a good default choice, and can be used on things like CR without having to overlap a GW dagger if you use Quatre 5*.
Earth is probably the element that benefits the least from the skill cap upgrade, although there is still one notable exception: Sarasa with her Ground Zero. It can be pretty interesting for things like Chev blasting as an effortless higher GZ cap can guarantee you many more vice chests and increases your chances to get chev swords.
Other than that, earth could probably benefit both from ougi cap up or auto cap up, depending on the characters you’re using. The fact that it has 3 characters that can potentially benefit from the auto cap up (Halle, Sarasa 5* and Ayer) and in that case using an Earth Ultima Axe with auto cap up could be the good call to make. It’s even better if you’re using double Titan for this sweet elemental multiplier!
Ougi cap up can be extremely interesting if you’re to play with characters like Eugen, Okto 5*, Halloween Eustace and Razia. Their high ougi frequency and high ougi damage make them good picks that can exploit the full value of the cap up, and most of them have Gun proficiency to benefit from Trium. The only issue would be the MC class as there aren’t really any gun job that focuses on ougi bursts.
Wind only has a few sword characters with nukes, but they benefit from the Ultima sword more than other characters. Mainly Melissabelle will absolutely love the cap up, as it encourages her in her gameplay of casting nukes often to ramp up. The trium part is great, as it allow her to ougi more often and thus reduce her CD more often. Lecia will also greatly appreciate this, as Trium boost the only things she can’t do well (multiattacking), and more nuke centered characters is always good for her attack order.
Siete doesn’t necessarily get to benefit heavily from the trium part since he can guarantee TA with enough Swordshine stacks, but it’s always good to have for when he can’t. If you decide to use Siete over Melissabelle however, investing on an ougi cap skill could be more interesting thanks to Siete’s passive.
Trium staff is always tempting for some nice Korwa QoL, and coupled with Anchira you can reach some obscene amounts of TA rates in your team. Trium harp is also to consider if you have Nio 5* + Arriet, as the two have very good synergy with each other to begin with.
As a main hand weapon though, it’s difficult to decide which one to take as GW dagger remains the weapon of choice for wind most of the time. An Ultima sword could be an interesting prospect on Wind Zerker as it grants you a good main hand for one of the few job that can reach def cap by itself (and wind often lacks def down to reach it in the first place).
Light probably gets the most mileage out of the cap up skill, for the simple reason that they have Lucio and Song 5*, two nuke monsters that can reach their skill cap with ease even on HL content thanks to their stupid multipliers on their nukes. The downside however is that their weapon proficiency is a bit all over the place.
Ultima sword would be naturally the weapon you’d consider going for first if you have enough chev swords, for cosmos purposes since Ultima sword has an extremely high base attack. Unfortunately, most sword light characters don’t have strong hitting nukes outside of Albert, so you’ll have to sacrifice some of your sword proficiency spots if you want to fit in good nukers.
An Ultima spear would probably be a great choice if you happen to have the fitting characters. Main handing it would allow you to benefit from the DA buff, the light attack up buff and the DT3 buff all at once, and the trium part would boost popular characters like Juliet, Jeanne or SS Heles. The downside is that you’ll once again have to slot in nukeless characters to make the most of the Trium, and light isn’t able to exploit well the other Ultima skills (maybe the ougi cap one if you decide to use Ferry).
An Ultima staff with Trium is worth mentioning if you like to use Io, as her nuke will be affected by the skill cap up and the Trium greatly helps her to generate meter for her Vortex stacks. But staff character selection isn’t that great in light, other than Clarisse, Funf and Sophia.
Dark has pretty much two choices when it comes to Ultima weapons. Either using an Ultima sword, and pair it with SS Zoi, Dark Jeanne, Bea and Vira, or either using an Ultima Fist and pair it with Six and Orchid. The first option allows you to finally have some good multi attack on Zooey, and also makes characters like Beatrix more relevant as she will greatly appreciate the TA up to extend her buffs. The second option is pretty much for racing purposes, and considers Zooey like a buffer which dps won’t matter compared to the two other powerhouses.
Both will want the Trium upgrade, as it allows you to reach high amount of TA from only your grid coupled with Cortanas/Cerb guns. For the Ultima fist setup, it’s even possible in magna grids to completely forego Cortanas and use a Cosmos fist with 6x celeste fists on the build, giving you more margin for your HP since the trium isn’t as crucial on such high base multiattack rate characters.
As for the Ultima skill, both auto attack and skill cap up can be viable options. The Ultima sword might prefer skill cap up though, and the Ultima fist might prefer auto cap up as it will often be used with Six.
As for main hand purposes, it can be pretty interesting to note that the dark attack up allows to consider Double Hades and even Double Celeste setups, allowing you in the first case to slot more gislas and get as well a higher HP pool.
Should you invest in an Atma sword early? The answer is yes. More exactly, you should definitely invest on a Trium Atma if you have at least two heavy hitters with the right proficiency in your team. Not only is the weapon extremely efficient, but it also boosts your damage more than what most other weapon would be able to. It will still require you to farm a bit, and invest a good amount of skill fodder. But early access to trium and easy multi attacks can enhance your team performance greatly, and will most likely make you a Trium addict.