Castle Age Monster Hunting Comprehensive Guide by Josh Rottschaefer
With the recent influx of more and more Monsters being introduced to the game, I have seen many players asking for advice on stat build in order to become a Monster Hunter. There is a pure Quester guide and 2 PvP guides, but no guide for Monster Hunters.
This guide is written to be useful for all players, but with strategies designed towards Monster Hunting as a specialty. Some strategies will be different than PvP strategies. This is intentional as this guide is NOT geared towards PvP. Some aspects of PvP will and must be discussed as it would be extremely negligent to ignore 1/3 of the game (all PvP related issues will be directed towards Invasion since a Dueler only needs 1 of the best gear and the rest is unnecessary. As such a Monster Hunter build makes a more sensible and easier transition into an Invader in PvP). Monster Hunting for many is a way to have fun with the game, staying out of the PvP arena until fully equipping an Army. Some Monster Hunters have absolutely no interest in PvP and are Monster Hunters for the sheer joy of it. Whichever type of Monster Hunter you are, this guide is for you (note, all discussions assume an Army of at least 501).
A few definitions of builds:
PvPer ? Someone whose main focus is in Battling other players. They fall in 2 basic categories, Duelers and Invaders. These may battle monsters, but their main interests lie in PvP. For more info on these builds, see Sophia?s Dueler guide and her Invader guide
Monster Hunter ? Someone whose main focus is in battling Monsters. These also fall into 2 basic categories, those who are preparing their Armies for PvP and those who have no interest in PvP and just like killing Monsters (the difference between this player and a Power Leveler is that this player will actually allocate to Att/Def and could participate in PvP if they wish, but they choose not to).
Hybrid ? Someone who is in between a traditional PvP build and Monster Hunter build. These players tend to be ?Jack of all Trade? style players who can do it all, however they are more successful as PvPers than as Monster Hunters since they spread their Stm between PvP and Monsters meaning less opportunity for Loot.
Power Leveler ? Someone who is only interested in getting to the highest levels. They Quest and battle Monsters solely as a method of gaining levels. They have no interest in PvP and will never allocate any stats to Att/Def.
The High Energy/Stm argument
There has been much debate over whether it is better to have high Energy/Stm or lower Energy/Stm. This argument is not to say one is better than the other. However, I will be taking the position that high Energy/Stm is better for Monster Hunting. This does not mean someone with lower Energy/Stm can?t be effective vs a Monster, only that they would be more effective if they had allocated stats towards Energy/Stm instead.
Lower Energy/Stm (traditional 120/100)
This build is a slow leveling build designed to be extremely successful at PvP while still being able to Quest and battle Monsters. It is a build that not only allows for PvP at very early levels, it also allows for the continued maintenance of Battle Rank throughout all levels of the player. The benefits of this build lie in it?s slow leveling which allows for more Demi-Prayers per level and the ability to allocate more stats to Att/Def than anyone other than another dedicated PvPer in it?s own level bracket. It?s deficiencies lie in it?s inherent slow leveling and low Energy. While leveling slowly can be a benefit to PvPers pre-Gauntlet, once this build hits level 300, levels themselves become meaningless and the highly successful PvPer can find themselves more of a target than previously, however they should still be able to fend of a good portion of the attackers. It?s low Energy also means it cannot adequately Fortify AND Quest at the same time, but needs to either rely on others to Fortify for it, or sacrifice Quest completion. This build relies on it?s stats to win battles for it (and it is important to note that stats are more important than Items).
High Energy/Stm (300/300 and up)
These builds (there are a variety of basic builds outlined in detail which reflect an individuals personal play style) are designed to level extremely quickly in order to gather SP at a high rate through leveling and Questing and allow for a large number of SP to be obtained much earlier in a character?s development (relative to time spent in the game rather than level) when compared to a low Energy/Stm build. This higher Energy/Stm will also result in the ability to spread itself over more Monsters leading to more Loot and more FP. Depending on how high Enery/Stm a player chooses to go to, this can potentially result in a steady stream of FP in excess of 10FP per day. These FP will become key in the build?s continued leveling speed and performance at higher levels which will allow for late game ability to allocate stats into Att/Def for PvP. This build can be mildly successful at PvP, especially at early levels when opponents haven?t had the opportunity to allocate to Att/Def as extensively as they will at later stages in their development and also once it reaches the Gauntlet and begins to allocate to Att/Def exclusively. It?s benefits include more Loot and FP and gaining SP at a faster rate.
What type of Monster Hunter do I want to be?
There are a wide variety of ways you can choose to allocate your stats to become a devastating Monster Hunter. The following are some basic builds I have come up with to show some of the pros and cons of each build as they relate to each other. These are meant to showcase the upper and lower limits to a Monster Hunter build and are in no way meant to be taken as absolute. Players personal preference will ultimately determine the exact stat amount chosen. Some will look very familiar but may have names different than you are used to. I tried to use differing names from current PvP names (glass cannon, glass mage and so on). This is to avoid confusion and to also hammer in the fact that these are builds designed for Monster Hunting and not for PvP. None of the stats reflect Demi blessings. When you see initial stats listed, it does not mean I do not intend you to pray to those Demi-Gods, only that you should not allocate additional stats to those stats. As referenced below, Demi prayers should be done for Demi-Quests. Also, I will never list Health simply to save on space. I do not recommend anyone raise their Health through anything other than Demi blessings, again as referenced below. Also, the limits used are not indicative of FP Generals (although I will use limits that rely on Generals available to everyone when applicable).
Power Level builds
A power Leveler is a character whose only goal in the game is to get as high a level as possible. These are not Monster Hunter builds, yet since they battle Monsters and can be great contributors, I feel they need to be addressed.
Energy ? Infinite
Stm ? 100
Att ? 1
Def ? 200
The purpose of this build is to use Monster to level as high as possible. This build was born out of a Pure Quester having completed all Quests and turning to Monsters. This build can never be effective in PvP and, as such, Loot is of no real concern other than for collection and ensuring top gear for attacking and defending vs Monsters. This is at most a sidekick build to aid others in their Monster Hunting. Due to the continued allocation to Energy, FP refills will never be 100% efficient (at least not this year, maybe next year).
Energy ? 120
Stm ? Infinite
Att ? 1
Def ? 1
A Power Level build hiding amongst Monster Hunters. This build is slightly more effective than the Mage since it?s power lies in Stm for attacks. This build can never be effective in PvP and, as such, Loot is of no real concern other than for collection and ensuring top gear for attacking. This build can be effective against non-Fortification monsters, but due to it?s low attack, the retaliation done when fighting Fortify dependant Monsters can be nearly as large as the damage inflicted. It?s low Energy means it will take a very long time to complete all Quests. Due to the continued allocation to Stm, FP refills will never be 100% efficient (at least not this year, maybe next year).
Energy ? Infinite
Stm ? Infinite
Att ? 1
Def ? 1
The ultimate Power Level build. This build is less effective at both Fortifying and attacking than it?s one-sided counterparts, however it?s combination of Energy/Stm makes it self sufficient. Loot is again of no real concern other than collecting and maintaining top gear. Because of it?s spread between Energy and Stm, FP refills will eventually become 100% efficient, however not for a long, long time.
True Monster Hunter builds
As I mentioned earlier, although Monster Hunter builds share many of the same properties as Power Levelers (in fact, many are indistinguishable for many levels), the goal of a Monster Hunter is not to level quickly, but to kill Monsters, lots of Monsters. Rather than simply dumping everything into Energy/Stm, Monster Hunters will also allocate to Att/Def in order to make their Attacks and Fortifications as efficient as possible. Monster Hunters also have specific personal goals for Energy/Stm that a Power Leveler does not have. In order to get the SP for these Energy/Stm goals, a higher amount of Energy is necessary in order to farm the SP from Quests. Many Monster Hunters also have goals for PvP at high levels as well.
Why 200 Def? Fortification amounts are tired, not linear like Att. You will see no effect until you hit about 200, then there is a big jump (nearly 3 times the Fortification amount). There is another jump at about 400, then at about 700 (and probably further. I haven?t seen reports of additional jumps, but I expect they are there)
Why limit Energy/Stm? When using FP refills, the refill is capped at 1000 Stm and 2000 Energy (unconfirmed, 1000 as max has been confirmed to be false. I am using 2000 as it makes sense having Stm and Energy refills both max out at 2000 SP worth of benefit)
One-Sided Monster Hunt builds
These are just what they say, builds that are overly heavy favoring either Stm or Energy which, through Fortification, is another legitimate way to Monster Hunt although more limited.
Energy ? Max 1985 (2000 for refill using Elizabeth Lione ? 1982 if you also have the Ring of Life)
Stm ? 300
Att ? 200
Def ? Infinite
A much more effective version of the Mage with higher Stm allowing for the ability to contribute offensively as well as defensively. Increasing Def to infinity assures for extreme amount of Fortification as well as allowing the character to eventually develop into a defensive PvP build. FP. Although a much rarer breed of Monster Hunter, this build is in high demand with the continued introduction of Fortification based Monsters.
Energy ? 300
Stm ? Max 990 (1000 for refill using Araxis)
Att ? Infinite
Def ? 200
A much more effective version of the Warrior with higher Energy allowing it to be defensive as well as offensive. Increasing Att to infinity assures for extreme amount of damage done as well as allowing the character to eventually develop into an offensive PvP build. A more common Monster Hunter build, this is built for attack, but also has a decent pool of Energy to use for Fortification and still have some left over for Questing. It can (and should ) Fortify to cover it?s own attacks, but will never be able to be an exclusive Fortifier. This build will level more slowly than the High Mage due to it?s lower Energy which will lead to longer time needed to complete all Quests but will be more effective with it?s FP refills since each point of Stm is worth twice that of Energy.
Balanced Monster Hunter builds
Again, just what the name says, these builds are designed to be self-sufficient and able to easily handle all aspects of Monster Hunting.
Energy ? 300
Stm ? 300
Att ? Infinite
Def ? 200
A true ?Jack-of-all-Trade? builds. This build can be very successful at Monster Hunting, being able to both defend and attack for staggering amounts, however it?s true power and allure lie in the ability to begin building for PvP at earlier levels. This build can be a terror both to Monsters, but not so much so as other builds. This will also become a successful PvPer, but will lose leveling speed much earlier meaning it will lose it?s ability to gather SP as quickly as the other builds. Due to it?s lower Energy/Stm it will also be less effective at FP farming so will not be able to FP refill as often as other builds.This build lies on the crossroads between PvP and Monster Hunter. It can be good at both, but great at neither. This build will gather more Loot and FP than a typical PvPer but less than other Monster Hunter builds.
Energy ? 1985 (2000 for refill using Elizabeth Lione ? 1982 if you also have the Ring of Life)
Stm ? 990 (1000 for refill using Araxis)
Att ? Infinite
Def ? 400
The Terminator is the ultimate Monster Hunter build. It can do everything. It attacks for staggering amounts and can Fortify enough to cover multiple people. A truly devastating build for taking down Monsters. It will be able to get huge amounts of Loot and FP, however it takes a very, very long time to develop. Having 400 Def instead of the 200 recommended for other builds is due to the fact that it will eventually be using it?s Energy as a secondary source of gathering Loot once all Quests are completed. It will eventually be able to PvP effectively, but not for an exceptionally mind-numbingly long time, but once it does become effective in PvP, it will be bringing along a higher caliber of Units, Weapons, Items and Magics than any other build types.
How do I build my Monster Hunter?
So now you have decided which build seems to fit your playing style and desires. How should you go about creating it? Obviously, the earlier in your character?s development, the easier it is to build, however just because you may have already built a certain way and are now shifting to Monster hunter, it doesn?t mean you can?t build the character you want. It may take a little more time and effort though.
First, no matter which build you choose, your demi blessing will being the same way; If you are starting your character from day 1, the best order for this is to pray to Malekus, Corvintheus, Azeron, Ambrosia twice, then Aurora twice. The reason for this is because Mal, Cor and Azeron?s first Demi-Quest is available from their fist blessing. Azeron?s blessing takes 48 hours before you can pray to the next Demi-God, so doing Mal, Cor then Azeron gives you the ability to open 1 set of Demi-Quests on each of the first 3 days. After you have opened the first Demi-Quest for each Demi-God, choose 1 (preferably Azeron or Ambrosia for the bonuses to Energy/Stm) to pray to until you unlock the 2nd, then move to the next and so on for all 5. Repeat this until you have unlocked the first 4 Demi-Quests for each of the 5 Demi-Gods. From here, pray to Azeron exclusively until you obtain the Sword of Redemption, unlocking the rest of his Demi-Quests along the way.
Once you have the Sword of Redemption, you have a choice. You can either continue to pray evenly to unlock Demi-Quests for the remaining 4 (Azeron is completed), or you can pray exclusively to one Demi-God until it?s last path is unlocked before moving on to the next (4250 demi-points). If you choose the second, then your first Demi-path to complete should be Ambrosia for the Energy stat, keeping leveling speed as high as possible before moving on to Mal/Cor/Aur. Once all the Demi-Quests are open, do not pray to anyone aside from Ambrosia and Azeron until Energy/Stm targets are met(unless you want to spend a couple more blessings on Aurora to obtain the Moonfall Amulet), then switch to Malekus or Corvintheus for Att/Def bonus (Mage has no upper Energy limit so switch back to Ambrosia once Def reaches 200).
One of the most debated issues I have seen has been whether or not to pray to Aurora. Her Moonfall Amulet is the best Amulet by a large margin (40/40) beating the #2 Amulet (Thawing Star 18/17) by 22 att and 23 def. I have been watching the debate quite carefully and come up with my own opinion on how I want to go about it, but that doesn?t mean it?s the best way. The truth is there is no ?One Best Way? when it comes to Aurora, only the best way for you in how you want to play the game. With that in mind I have outlined the pros and cons to praying to Aurora (I have assumed you have prayed to her initially to unlock the first 4 Demi-Quests)
Pros: First off, her Amulet is twice as powerful as any other Amulet in the game and the extra Att is an asset to Monster Hunters. Praying to her also unlocks 3 more Demi-Quests for an additional 36 SP which will cover the extra 20ish days of blessings it will take to open them up.
Cons: Health is useless. Each blessing you receive from Aurora is 1 SP that could have been allocated to a useful stat (Energy/Stm/Att/Def). You plan on playing for a long time and you will get demi drops from loot, Fortification and PvP which will unlock the Demi-Quests and her Amulet eventually.
Like I said earlier, there is no consensus on whether or not to pray to Aurora. Examine both sides and make your own decision for yourself and your own personal gameplan.
PvPing for demi points:
Traditional wisdom says you should engage in PvP each day in order to get a bonus of 10 demi-points for each Demi-God per day (potentially more if you equip Angelica or Morrigan). This will speed up the rate of demi-point accumulation, resulting in faster Demi-rewards. Is it worth it? The following is a breakdown comparing doing the daily Demi points to not doing them.
Doing the daily Demi Points
You are spreading your blessings around evenly to open up Demi-Quests so if you look at a 10 day average, you will get 210 points from each Demi-God?s blessing (100 + 5 for Army bonus each day, 200 + 10 Army bonus for Azeron). In that 10 days you will spent 500 Stm for an additional 100 Demi points for each for a total of 310 Demi points earned and 500 Stm used every 10 days. To reach the final Demi-Quests, you must pray to at least 4250 meaning it will take at least 135 days to reach that amount. This will give 4185 for each Demi-God (we can assume that over the course of time you will have obtained the remaining demi points through Loot drops and random drops through monster Battles. That is 135 days, spending 50 Stm on PvP each day for a total of 6750 Stm spent on PvP and not Monsters resulting in less Loot obtained.
Without doing the daily PvP demi points:
Every 10 days will obtain 210 demi points for each Demi-God. It will take 200 days to reach 4200 demi-points for each Demi-God (we can again assume we will have obtained additional demi points through Loot and random drops)
To compare (note: due to random demi drops from attacking and defending against Monsters, it is impossible to project 100% how the demi points will go which is why I tried to use 4200 as a target since both methods were very close to being equal and it is very close to the 4250 goal): We spent 6,750 Stm on PvP to earn additional demi points and sped up our blessing schedule by 65 days. The saved time and faster opening of Demi-Quests is a huge benefit, but the downside is both that wasted Stm spent on PvP, the raising of our Rank making us a bigger target for PvPers and the lost Loot that Stm could have obtained for us. One solution for this is to participate in Raids. You will still obtain your daily demi points, but you won?t raise your Rank and will obtain Loot. The Raids have the downside of not being able to see the demi affiliation of your opponent.
In conclusion, my advice is to participate in Raids on a daily basis for the Loot, targeting only those who give you the demi-points you will not be increasing. Since you will continue to pray to Ambrosia, Azeron and Malekus for their stat bonuses, this means Aurora and possibly Corvintheus. If you are concerned about putting in your share of the Raid you can always do more, but make sure you are doing the extra kill trick and remember you don?t know who is Aurora so attack targets it looks like defeat until you find one that drops Aurora demi points. Once you find someone who is Aurora affinity, continue to attack them until you either get 10 demi points. If someone jumps in to take their place, the new person will be Aurora affinity as well (thanks to Deriam for this tip). Even if you are only doing it for her 10 demi points, it can easily turn into 50-100 kills per day for spending 25-50 Stm.
Before you can allocate stats, you have to get them. You can obtain stats in 4 ways. Leveling, Questing, Battle Rank and Achievements. Keeping a high leveling speed will ensure a steady stream of SP through leveling. The high Energy recommended will ensure the ability to complete all Quests at a fairly quick rate, allowing you to obtain the 852 available through Questing (61 from each of 7 Lands + 5 from Atlantis + 420 from Demi-Qests). There are currently 74 SP available through Achievements (41 from Battle and 33 from Monster). Battle Rank gives 70 SP. Having already discussed the challenges of PvP for a Monster Hunter, actively pursuing these SP present a decision for you. Raising your rank will give you Sp you need, but will also make you a target for everyone else. Since you can?t effectively PvP this will likely lead you to be bookmarked and many chainings in your future. You can either ignore PvP entirely until you are ready for it or you can raise your Rank to the bottom of a Battle Tier so that when you are beaten, you lose no Battle Points. If you choose to PvP for the SP, please remember that even though you are doing it for the BP, raising your Rank is the equivalent of putting yourself in the PvP ring and do not be surprised, mad or frustrated at being attacked and chained; you signed up for it when you chose to participate in your very first PvP battle.
Stat allocation should be fairly straightforward. Much of the power in these builds comes from leveling speed, so optimal stat allocation should be Energy/Stm given first priority until reaching your targets, then switch to Att/Def. This will allow you to level as quickly as possible, gaining SP as quickly as possible. Obviously this is also greatly dependent on how long you can sit in front of your computer. If you can only get to the computer for about an hour at a time 3 times a day, much of that leveling speed is wasted if your character has the ability to level once every 3 hours, therefore the best stat allocation allows you to do some Att/Def allocation early on to slow the leveling speed to match your play schedule. Keep in mind that as you get to higher levels, your leveling speed will slow down all by itself so slowing your character down to 3 levels/day at level 100 will mean that at level 200 you may only be able to level 2 times per day. Balancing allocation between Energy/Stm and Att/Def is a highly individual decision. As a good rule of thumb, I recommend allocating exclusively to Energy/Stm until about halfway to your target amounts, then slowly adding in some Att/Def. Obviously, once you reach your targets for Energy/Stm, it is time to switch to Att/Def exclusively.
One of the cornerstones to a truly awesome monster Hunter comes from FP refills. There are 4 ways of obtaining FP. Demi-blessings, Monster Loot, Achievements and you can purchase them through the Oracle. This guide is designed to create self-sufficient Monster Hunters and will never tell you to purchase FP through the Oracle. If you choose to, that is your decision and it will only make your character stronger in the long run, but the strategies discussed here will be revolve around using FP gained from the game. IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO SPEND ANY MONEY TO CREATE A KILLER MONSTER HUNTER.
Achievements will give you 256 FP (41 from Questing, 112 from Battling, 87 from Monsters and 16 through Alchemy) although, unlike with the SP, gathering the Battle FP is not as problematic. The reason is that you can do all battling through Raids and keep the same low Rank so you don?t become a target to PvPers. Demi-blessings will give you 40 FP (8 from each Demi-God). For the rest of your FP needs, we must look to Monster Loot which means Dragons and Serpents. In addition to dropping FP at better rates than any other Monster in the game, these also give the best exp return of any Monsters in the game and drop Items used for Alchemy of some extremely powerful Items/Magic. The downside is that the rest of their loot is pretty pathetic (with the exception of the Wolf Spirit and Lightning Bolt from Ancient Reds). In order to give yourself the best chance of getting the most FP possible, you must spread your attention over several Dragons/Serpents. A recommended range is to hit each for 20-40 PA?s before moving on. This will not guarantee a FP every single time (there are no guarantees due to the random nature of Loot drops) but it will give you the best chance for the Stm spent.
Now that you have your FP, what do you do with it? You have 3 options; Energy or Stm refills, purchasing Generals or gambling on Treasure Chests for Generals. How you use your FP is up to you, but refills is and will be one main use for them. Eventually you will get to the point where your leveling speed has slowed down. In order to keep the speed up and gather more SP, you will use these refills to level. Using the refills on Stm will mean additional Loot and more FP. How many FP you are able to gather per day depends on the Monsters you are fighting and your max Stm. The higher your max Stm and the more Dragons/Serpents you are battling, the more Fp you will receive.
With regards to Generals, the following is a list of useful FP and Treasure Chest Generals to a Monster Hunter. For a complete list of all Generals available, Jaraxxis has provided a detailed list of all Generals and their abilities here http://220.127.116.11/cforum/showthread.php?t=9738
FP Generals in order of importance (note: following any of these links will cause you to purchase the corresponding general if you are above the level requirement):
Minerva: +6 max Stm (to purchase http://apps.facebook.com/castle_age/?p?buychoice=38 ) ? Equip at level up to receive a bonus of 6 extra Stm every level (12 SP worth of bonus). Available above level 100
Aria: +10 max Energy (to purchase http://apps.facebook.com/castle_age/?p?buychoice=22 ) ? Equip at level up to receive a bonus of 10 extra Energy every level (10 SP worth of bonus). Available at level 1
Kaiser: +3% Crit rate (to purchase http://apps.facebook.com/castle_age/?p?buychoice=52 ) ? Equip to increase Critical hits vs Monsters (especially useful against Fortification Monsters). Available at level 130
Slayer: +3% Crit rate (to purchase http://apps.facebook.com/castle_age/?p?buychoice=26 ) ? Equip to increase Critical hits vs Monsters (especially useful against Fortification Monsters). Available at level 70
Lyra: +6 Player Att (to purchase http://apps.facebook.com/castle_age/?p?buychoice=14 ) ? Useful when Crits become less effective (Dragons and Keira) and for later PvP. Available at level 20
Fenris: +6 Plyer Att (to purchase http://apps.facebook.com/castle_age/?p?buychoice=34 ) ? Same usefulness as Lyra vs Monsters, but less useful in PvP. Available at level 90
Treasure Chest Generals in order of importance. Only those Generals who are more useful than the FP Generals listed above will be shown. Other than Malekus, no other +Att Generals will be listed since +Crit is more beneficial in nearly all Monsters (important note: the chances of obtaining these Generals is very, very low)
Orc King: use 5x Stm per PA- Very useful vs Fortification Monsters since it allows you to do 5x damage for 1 retaliation (Alpha Chest Epic: 1.25% chance to obtain)
Lotus: +4% Crit rate ? Equip to increase Critical hits vs Monsters (especially useful against Fortification Monsters) (Vanguard Chest Epic: 1.25% chance to obtain)
Malekus: +0.45 to player Att for each General acquired ? Useful when Crits become less effective (Dragons and Keira) and for later PvP. (Vanguard Chest Epic: 1.25% chance to obtain)
Stone Guardian: Siege Weapons do +10% damage ? useful only when you are the Summoner of the Monster and Stone Guardian is equipped (Alpha Chest Epic: 1.25% chance to obtain)
A Note on proper Questing habits
Questing exists for a Monster Hunter for one and only one reason; gathering SP. Some Quests give good exp, but this is immaterial since you will ignore a Quest once it has been completed so all exp gathered is set in stone. To complete a given Quest you will spend x amount of Energy and obtain y amount of exp. The Quests will give you the same amount of exp whether you do them now or 2 years from now. When deciding which Quests to complete first, ignore exp returns. Instead you should be thinking about how much Energy it will take to complete the Quest. To determine this, use the following formula: Energy used for 1 click / completion %. This will give you a maximum amount of Energy spent to complete the Quest (could be less due to random encounters giving additional Quest completion). Since Quests and sub-Quests are grouped in sets of 3, I recommend that you complete this equation for all 3, then compare to the other sets of 3 available and choose the group which needs the smallest total amount of Energy to complete before moving on to the next.
Due to time constraints, you may not always be able to wait for your character to level before you have to leave for work or go to sleep. In these circumstances your first instinct should be to use saved up Energy or Stm potions to speed up the leveling time so you can level up before you are forced away so that your character will not be wasting recovery time while you are away. If this option is not available, then it becomes more ideal for you to choose the higher exp Quests to cause a level up even if you have completed them to 400% already. What is worse? Wasting 40 Energy to get 70 exp on a completed Quest and level up while you are there to take advantage of it or spending those 40 Energy on more ideal Quests, then leave for 10 hours and have 120 Energy and Stm get wasted when you click a Quest 1 time and level up?
Top Drops and Best Gear
When choosing which Monster to battle, it is important to know what you are fighting for. The following is a list of the top 10 drops in all Invasion categories and where to find them. Battle Rank and purchasable items will be listed to give a reference point as to the drops power, but I will not be listing Demi-Items or other unique items. I have also provided a list of the current best equipment as chosen by the game. Certain items such as the Genesis Sword and Frost Bolt are actually second best during Monster Hunts due to the lower Att stat, however the game automatically equips it because of the much higher Def stat even though it is not taken into account during Monster battles.
1 ? Alpha Red Serpent (80/80) att value 136 (Alpha Bahamut)
2/3 ? Alpha Amethyst Serpent (75/75) att value 127.5 (Alpha Bahamut)
2/3 ? Bahamut, the Volcanic Dragon (75/75) att value 127.5 Alchemy of Bahamut crystals
4/5 ? Alpha Sapphire Serpent (70/70) att value 119 (Alpha Bahamut)
4/5 ? Spartan Phalanx (70/70) att value 119 ? Alchemy of Spartan Warriors (Serpent, Dark Legion, Raid)
6 ? Alpha Emerald Serpent (65/65) att value 110.5 (Alpha Bahamut)
7 ? Volcanic Knight (65/55) att value 103.5 ? Alchemy of Bahamut drops
8 ? Cronus (60/60) att value 102 ? Alchemy of Hydra heads (Cronus)
9 ? Hydra: Prometheus (35/25) att value 52.5 (Cronus)
10 ? Hellslayer Knight (29/33) att value 52.1 (Cronus, Ragnarok, Genesis, Skaar)
1 ? Genesis Sword (20/30) att power 41(Genesis)
2 ? Burning Blade (16/13) att power 25.1 (Bahamut, Alpha Bahamut)
3 ? Frost Edge (17/10) att power 24 (Ragnarok)
4 ? Lavareign Axe (12/17) att power 23.9 (Bahamut, Alpha BAhamut)
5 ? Icicle Lance (12/14) att power 21.8 (Ragnarok)
6 ? Punisher (14/11) att power 21/7 (Skaar)
7 ? Deathrune Blade (11/14) att power 20/8 (Skaar)
8 ? Rockthorn Bow (12/11) att power 19.7 (Genesis)
9 ? Obsidian Sword (11/12) att power 19.4 (Town)
10 ? Arctic Blade (9/13) att power 18.1 (Ragnarok)
1 ? Helm of Dragon Power (30/30) att power 51 Alchemy of items (Dragons, Dark Legion, Raid, Cronus, Keira)
2 ? Volcanic Helm (32/14) att power 41.8 (Bahamut, Alpha Bahamut)
3 ? Deathshield (24/24) att power 40.8 (Skaar)
4 ? Deathrune Hellplate (18/27) att power 36.9 (Skaar)
5 ? Hellforge Plate (25/12) att power 33.4 (Bahamut, Alpha Bahamut)
6 ? Holy Plate (18/20) att power 32 (Alchemy of items ? Dark Legion, Raid)
7 ? Thawing Star (18/17) att power 29.9 (Ragnarok)
8 ? Inferno Shield (15/10) att power 22 (Bahamut, Alpha Bahamut)
9 ? Death Touch Gauntlet (12/12) att power 20.4 (Lotus)
10 ? Glacial Raiments (11/11) att power 18.7 (Ragnarok)
10 ? High King?s Crown (11/11) att power 18.7 (Town)
1 ? Frost Bolt (12/25) att power 29.5 (Ragnarok)
2 ? Skullfire (16/16) att power 27.2 (Bahamut, Alpha Bahamut)
3 ? Atlantean Forcefield (10/17) att power 21.9 Alchemy from items (Serpents, Raid, Dark Legion)
4 ? Pestilence (7/9) att power 13.3 (Skaar)
5 ? Hellkite Flames (8/6) att power 12.2 (Mephistopheles)
6 ? Lightning Bolt (8/6) att power 12.2 (Red Dragon)
7 ? Stone Skin (7/7) att power 11.9 (Genesis)
8 ? Wall of Fire (7/7) att power 11.9 (Gold Dragon)
9 ? Wolf Spirit (7/5) att power 10.5 (All Dragons and All Serpents)
10 ? Demon Strength (8/2) att power 9.4 (Keira, Lotus, Raid)
Best Gear When Attacking
Weapon : Zarevoks Meat Cleaver [+44 damage]
Off-Hand : Sword of Redemption [+50 damage]
Helmet : Helm of Dragon Power [+30 damage]
Armor : Deathrune Hellplate [+18 damage]
Amulet : Moonfall Amulet [+40 damage]
Spell : Gladiators Strength [+25 damage]
Glove : Death Touch Gauntlet [+12 damage]
Best Gear When Fortifying
Weapon : Celesta?s Devotion [+44 defense]
Off-Hand : Sword of Redemption [+30 defense]
Helmet : Helm of Dragon Power [+30 defense]
Armor : Deathrune Hellplate [+27 defense]
Amulet : Moonfall Amulet [+40 defense]
Spell : Frost Bolt [+25 defense]
Glove : Death Touch Gauntlet [+12 defense]
Which Monsters should I Hunt?
As you can see from the lists above, there are some Monsters which stand out as definite targets. Skaar, Genesis and Ragnarok are obvious choices since they all have a high number of top 10 Loot which all drop with come consistency. Cronus should not be overlooked due to it?s high number of top 10 Unit drops, however it?s low exp return means it should be given a little less priority. Dragons and Serpents both drop Alchemy items for awesome stuff, but their real benefit is the high rate of FP that drop from them so they should both be targets. Dark Legions give rather poor exp returns and the Holy Plate is actually worth more NOT created so the only real reason to hunt them is for Leon, Achievement completion and a chance at the Dragon Talon, Dragon Scale and Atlantean Shield all in one spot. Raids can be participated in since it?s a no risk way of determining your PvP strength and Achievement completion. If you are successful in Raids, you have a new General (Chase) along with the Dragon Talon, Wall of Fire and Demon Strength all in one spot.
Beyond Achievement completion, I do not recommend going after the following: Lotus, Keira, Mephistopheles, Sylvanus, Colossus of Terra and Gildamesh. The only ones listed here which drop anything top 10 are Lotus and Keira. Lotus gives the Death Touch Gauntlet and Demon Strength, but both are extremely rare. Demon Strength can be found much easier in Raids and the Death Touch Gauntlet is only 2 Att points stronger than the Hands of Bounty which drops much easier and with more frequency. If you wish to chase after the Death Touch Gauntlet, be warned there are reports of people killing 50 without getting it to drop. The only thing Keira has to offer is a General (Keira herself) and the Demon Strength as a top 10 Magic. Again, Demon Strength drops easier from Raids and has many other Magics that are more powerful. As for the Keira general, her special ability is ok, but not top shelf. During Monster fights, there will always be better non-FP Generals than her (Vanquish and Zarevok for attack and Dante for Fortification are the best choices for Monster Battles). She is the best non-FP General for offensive Dueling (beating Nautica by only 2.8 att power) but is beaten in defensive Dueling by Celesta. Offensive Invasions she is beaten by Chase, Nautica, Celesta, Lilith and Riku, Shino and Vanquish. At defensive Invade she is beaten by Celesta. Basically she is simply another general for the Invasion pile and at 15/23 (only level 1 stats are used during Invasion), adding her as a General adds 31.1 to your total Invasion att power. If you replace 5 Archangels (25/20) with 5 Hellkite Minions (32/27 and easy drops from many sources) you get a net gain of 59.5 to Invasion att power. That is an overall increase of 28.4 over Keira with probably much less Stm invested through Hunting Monsters other than Keira. I understand that completionists will not be swayed from chasing after items until they have at least one of everything. To them I say happy Hunting
Special Alchemy tips
Due to certain Alchemy equations many people are continuously wondering if and when they should create certain Alchemy combinations. This will show when to and when not to perform a Specific Alchemy and where the individual pieces may be obtained. This does not cover Alchemy Generals. If you have the ability to create a new General, it is ALWAYS worth creating.
Spartan Phalanx (70/70 Unit)
300 x Spartan Warriors (2/1) drops from all Serpents, Dark Legion
It is always beneficial to create the Spartan Phalanx provided you are not actually bringing any Spartan Warriors with you during an Invasion)
Volcanic Knight (65/55 Unit)
It is not worth it to create this Unit under any normal circumstances. PM me with your Invasion info for a personalized equation showing how it will affect you
Cronus (60/60 Unit)
Hydra: Prometheus (35/25 Unit) drops from Cronus
Hydra: Atlas (23/28 Unit) drops from Cronus
Hydra: Tethys (21/21 Unit) drops from Cronus
Hydra: Rhea (24/18 Unit) drops from Cronus
Hydra: Epimetheus (18/24 Unit) drops from Cronus
Ingredients total: 121/116
The combined total is 61/56 greater than the Cronus Unit. Creating Cronus uses 5 Units, replacing 1 with itself so to be effective you need to be able to cover that 61/56 with your 4 worst units. As long as your 4 worst Units are Dragons or Gift Dragons (16/14) you should create Cronus since the 4 Dragons will have a value of 64/56, covering the loss of the Hydra heads.
Helm of Dragon Power (30/30 Item)
Dragon Talon (6/6 Weapon) drops from Emerald Dragon, Keira, Dark Legion, Raid
Dragon Scale (4/9 Item) drops from Frost Dragon, Dark Legion
Wall of Fire (7/7 Magic) drops from Gold Dragon, Raid
Jewel of Fire (7/6 Item) drops from Red Dragon, Hydra
Ingredients total: 24/28
Since the combined total is larger than when separate, it is ALWAYS worth creating a Helm of Dragon Power if you have the ability
Holy Plate (18/20 Item)
4 x Judgement (10/5 Weapon) drops from Dark Legion, Raid
Pauldrons of Light (5/11 Item) drops from Dark Legion
2 Holy Gauntlets (4/6 Item) drops from Dark Legion
Defender (7/10 Item) drops from Dark Legion
Ingredients total: 60/53
The combined total of the ingredients is 42/33 larger than the Holy Plate. The Holy Plate replaces the spot of 1 Item meaning we need to make up the deficit between 4 Weapons and 3 Items. If the worst you are bringing is top Battle Rank gear, the High King?s Crown would have made all Items meaningless, so we are left with replacing 4 Judgements with Gladiator?s Swords and 1 High King?s Crown with a Holy Plate. This gives a loss of 20/4 (22.8 Invasion power) in the Weapon Category and a gain of 7/9 (13.3 Invasion power) in the Item category for a combined loss of 9.5 Invasion power. This means that creating the Holy Plate will actually HURT your overall Invasion power until the worst Items and Weapons you are bringing are better than Battle Rank gear.
Atlantean Forcefield (10/17 Magic)
Atlantean Shield (7/7 Item) Emerald Serpent, Dark Legion, Raid
Atlantean Armor (4/10 Item) Sapphire Serpent
Atlantean Spear (7/7 Weapon) Amethyst Serpent
Atlantean Gauntlet (4/4 Item) Ancient Red Serpent
Ingredients total: 22/28
Since the Forcefield is a Magic, it will not supercede any of these items in their categories. To be efficient to create, we need to make sure we are replacing the items with at least 12/11 stats to be spread between 3 Items and 1 Weapon. This means it is efficient to create the Atlantean Forcefield when your worst Weapon is Gladiator?s Sword (5/4) or better and your worst Items are 3 Steel Plate or better (2/4, needed for Questing). These add up to 11/16, covering the 12/11 deficit caused by the Alchemy.
Avenger (14/0 Weapon)
150 x Orc War Axe (4/1 Weapon) drops form Dark Legion, Genesis, Ragnarok, Skaar, Raid
It is always beneficial to create the Avenger, provided you are not bringing any Orc War Axes during Invasion.
Judgement (10/5 Weapon)
25 x Ironheart?s Might (5/1 Weapon) drops from Dark Legion
It is always beneficial to create the Judgement, provided you are not bringing any Ironheart?s Might during Invasion.
Tempered Steel (6/5 Item)
10,000 Battle Hearts (no value) drops from Raid
It is never worth creating this. For the same number of Battle Hearts you can create 5 Invulnerability.
Invulnerability (5/5 Magic)
2,000 Battle Hearts (no value) drops from Raid
Once you have created Chase, use all Battle Hearts on creating as many of these as possible to replace Royal Seals
Deadly Strike (2/1 Magic)
200 Battle Hearts (no value) drops from Raid
It is never worth creating this. Save your battle Hearts to create Invulnerability to replace Royal Seals.
Now I know which monster I want to target, how much damage should I do? And when should I move on to the next?
This is another hot-button issue with many people. There is no one answer. Basically, what you want to do is to ensure you get at least 1 Epic drop while making sure the Monster dies. Since you can only have 5 World Monsters at a time, you may want to make sure you get into battles that will probably die in a day or 2, you don?t want that sitting there for a week taking up space. A good rule of thumb I recommend is to do a minimum of 1 million on all World Monsters and 2-3x Achievement amounts on all others. There are no surefire guarantees on Loot drops, but these guidelines should ensure that you are getting at least one Epic drop and contributing enough to the battle to ensure it?s timely demise.
One of the issues I am waiting to cover is the ?Sweet Spot? for Monster Hunting. This is due to the ongoing experiments between damage vs Stm being the deciding factor on determining Loot among others. I am hesitant to add anything that I can?t be 100% confident about. Following the guidelines I outlined (1 million per World and 2-3x Achievement levels on others) you should get at least 1 Epic drop per Monster, usually 2. My personal advice is to keep track of your damage and # of Loot and come up with your own ?Sweet Spot.?
The goal for many Monster Hunters is to eventually switch over to PvP. The thinking is that once you are in the gauntlet, levels are irrelevant so you can spend a lot of time early allocating to large amounts of Energy/Stm for Monster Hunting and gathering tons of Loot, FP and SP. The FP and SP will then be used to pump Att/Def where the player can then participate in PvP. This is a valid way of thinking and can be extremely successful if you know who to target. The point where you can start PvPing successfully is all about stat allocation. Many monster Hunters are under the impression that having 1000 combined stats in Att/Def should be enough. It is not. Double it and you are getting closer. There is a fresh wave of dedicated PvPers about to reach the Gauntlet with Att/Def stats you can?t imagine. Also, many of those same PvPers who are not yet in the Gauntlet are more than happy to take a bookmark for higher level players and attack them mercilessly. There is nothing wrong with this, it is the nature of PvP. If you choose to engage in PvP at any level, you must be prepared for the repercussions. There will always be someone who started before you or spent money on FP who can beat you. PvP at high levels is a completely different beast than you might remember at lower levels. It is fast and brutal and if you are not prepared, it can take you by surprise. This is not written to scare you, simply to make sure you know what you are getting yourself in to by turning to PvP at high levels. At the end of the day, all those Units, Weapons, Items and Magics you collected are nice, but stats are better.
False rumors about Monsters
Whoever gets the killing blow gets better Loot: This has been confirmed as false from the dev?s.
Killing it faster means better Loot: Curiously this seems sort of true. Faster kills have shown better demi point drops and better common drops, but Rare and Epics seem to be unaffected.
You get better Loot with a full Fortification bar: This is patently false. The only thing having a full Fortification bar does for the battle is allow you to do a little more damage.
The people at the top of the leaderboard get the best Loot: Loot is random. Doing more damage will give you better chances at getting more Loot, but certain Loot is not reserved for the top damage dealers.
If I solo a Monster I will get all the Loot: There is no set Loot to be given for a particular battle. Again, doing more damage will give you better chances at getting more Loot, but it will not get you any better Loot.