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Monster tier list

#1ArthellinusPosted 4/15/2012 10:38:12 AM(edited)
For conceptualization and preliminary discussion, see this thread:
http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/619315-final-fantasy-xiii-2/62537560

The goal is to rank each monster in the game based on how much it is capable of contributing to the fastest and most efficient completion of the entire game, which includes Coliseum DLC, as well as Chocobo racing.

This is under the pretext that the player allows for max potential of all monsters, as well as flexibility of playstyle. To make things a little looser, we shouldn't assume a singular path through the Historia Crux, because we're not necessarily interested in a "speed Platinum" or anything of that sort, but let's use good judgment to keep things on track.

There are three main factors:

Performance and utility
How strong is this monster when optimally built? How unique is this monster compared to others in terms of what it offers?

Availability
How soon can this monster be realistically recruited? Habitat is not the only factor; rare spawns require Battlemania to encounter regularly and may initially be difficult enemies, and all Moogle Throw unique crystals cannot be obtained until after the completion of Episode 3.

Efficiency
How expensive is the monster to develop? What is the cost-efficiency of the monster in its best-suited role? Unique monsters fall into much stricter evaluation, because they should be optimized (whatever that means) and cannot be rebuilt.

We will begin the discussion using a single list, irrespective of role, with seven tiers: Top, High, Upper Middle, Middle, Lower Middle, Low, and Bottom, subject to amendments. I am also sure that placements will change based on relative disparity between monsters as we determine them and where the tiers should break.
#2Arthellinus(Topic Creator)Posted 4/15/2012 10:34:24 AM(edited)
I will begin with the assignment of one monster to every tier.

Dragoon
Dragoon is probably the most cost efficient monster in the game. It can be recruited easily when first available, possesses innately a number of useful abilities, can be optimized immediately with Power materials, and you can feasibly complete the entire rest of the game with it, aside from the hardest DLC fights. A candidate for Top, to be sure.

Calautidon
Being prohibitively expensive to develop makes it irrelevant that it is actually available rather early on (although a first encounter in Episode 3 is not trivial). This might not be an issue if not for the fact that it's not even the best Sentinel, and two of its three red-locked abilities are worthless. I will place this in Bottom.

Viking
Although Saboteurs are of debatable use in general, Viking is cheap to build and innately learns all the available Debilitation skills, with physical variants for two of them. Tilters have fast animations speeds and are all cheap to build. For anyone who wants to use a SAB for flavor or in a single fight, Viking is clearly the best choice. My vote here is for Middle.

Gahongas
This is an interesting Synergist. She can be recruited very early on and will give you early access to both Bravery and Faith. Her Feral Link is one of the best in the game and will always be useful. However, she does not naturally learn Bravega or Faithga, which are invaluable in shorter fights. In fact, there is little more to her skill set past Level 13, which makes long-term investment in her development arguably unfavorable versus spending materials on other monsters, especially once you can recruit Yakshini. Still, she is redeemed once you start maximizing monsters, as she is capable of a higher Magic than Yakshini and can reach Level 99, which means she's one of only two Synergists capable of 6 ATB + Bonus Boost. A lot to digest, but I think I'll put her in High.

Zaghnal
A RAV with decent stats even by postgame standards, but cannot be recruited until towards the end of Episode 4, and that's only if the player bothers to unlock Oerba 400 AF (which is usually one of the last Wild Artefact gates unlocked), so its availability is not as good as one might think. It is essentially an Ice-based, statistically inferior version of Grand Behemoth. As a physical-skewed RAV, it's pretty slow. Not really a good choice. He should probably be in Low.

Cactuarama
Cheap to raise and is absolutely unique in terms of its Feral Link, which grants Reraise. A popular choice for NCU play, which, although out of context here, spurs the possibility of perhaps taking on challenges that would otherwise be unmanageable at low stats. For niche use alone, it gets a lot of points, but not too many, for MEDs are in principle a little low on the efficiency totem pole and there are certainly far better ones for optimized parties. I suggest Lower Middle.

Vespid Soldier
A low-level Yomi killer. His purpose is not actually to do damage, but to get rid of Yomi's buffs. He and Chichu are the only monsters that learn Faith Feeder; VS also learns Bravery and Protect Feeder, halves all damage, and learns a Wind-resistance passive. His stats are actually respectable for a mid-level COM, and while he is easily outclassed offensively with even his most immediate competition, the Yomi factor counts for a lot. Not expensive to develop either. I would say Upper-Middle for now.

[to be continued]
#3Arthellinus(Topic Creator)Posted 4/15/2012 10:32:57 AM
Finally, I'll slot in a few monsters in between all of these, to get the ball rolling. We can use these initial designations as reference points (although they are all subject to change, of course), so let's begin with some easy comparisons.

Yakshini
Even ignoring the comparison to Gahongas, I'm pretty sure it's an easy call to put her in Top, and certainly above Dragoon, as she has much more longevity and provides much more uniqueness in her role.

Cactuarina
She's directly comparable to Cactuarama, and her Feral Link is also interesting, but not as unique as the latter's, so she would certainly be significantly lower, everything else considered. I'd put her in Low, but probably above Zaghnal, who offers even less comparatively.

Munchkin
Is actually comparable to Dragoon in some sense and can be acquired very early on. Easily overlooked due to a relatively weak skill set, but can certainly get the job done. There's no real reason to use him over Dragoon, but before then, he's a good play if you pay an early visit to Bresha 300 AF. I'd actually place him close to the top of Upper Middle, definitely above Vespid Soldier.

I'll stop here because I just wanted to give examples of how this could work. So let's put up the initial list of 10 and everyone feel free to join in. By the way, don't feel compelled to be as formatted as I've been. Any and all discussion, as well as it's coherent, is welcome.
#4Arthellinus(Topic Creator)Posted 4/15/2012 10:33:17 AM
Top
Yakshini
Dragoon

High
Gahongas

Upper Middle
Munchkin
Vespid Soldier

Middle
Viking

Lower Middle
Cactuarama

Low
Cactuarina
Zaghnal

Bottom
Calautidon
#5aimingdevicePosted 4/15/2012 3:02:55 PM(edited)
Just like Arthellinus, I'll also add one monster to each tier list:

Flanitor
If you're gonna pick up Dragoon, you might as well pick up this monster because not only does it appear in the same area, it also makes a great medic for story completion as well as for post game. It innately comes with Improved Cure, has a terrific feral link that instantly heals the whole party for a good amount of HP and it learns the ever useful Esunada skill which helps to speed up the removal of ailments from the whole party. It even comes with the skill "Cheer" to speed up ther Feral Link guage and because of its location, you can easily farm monster materials from most of the other monsters in the same area to raise it.

Behemoth [Feral Behemoth]
For the time that you find him, he can be a hard opponent to face, and his 10% capture rate may seem unappealing, but he makes for a very good COM for the early game. Not only does he learn some great passives (Str% +) that benefit his strength (no pun intended) as a physical attacker, his huge size makes him great at dealing area damage via his Blitz and ravage skills. He also innately halves all elements and his Feral Link grants Bravery, Protect, Shell and heals the party for a small amount of HP. Hopefully you have a SEN though to tank his damage when facing him. Which brings up...

Pulse Knight
You find him very early in Bresha Ruins 005AF and although he is an early peaker, he does his job as a SEN fairly well throught the story. He learns mediguard to heal HP and learns Elemental Guard as well as Fringeward and he innately learns HP 25%+, helping with his staying power. He makes a great sponge for trying to face the Feral Behemoth when you first encounter it if you intend to capture it or want to finish a certain sidequest in the area, His Head Twister Feral link, although magical and very weak, can sometimes Temporarily "stop" (lifts them up for a few seconds and makes them immobile) small monsters and also serves to provoke them to take the pressure of Serah and Noel

Miniflan
A good COM for the area that you encounter him (Waterscape 300AF)- he comes with pressure II and learns Mag 20%+ and Str 20%+ and he innately halves Fire and Physical damage. However, he serves to be a liability when facing Faeryl as he is weak to wind damage and he is quite slow when attacking. He does learn Deprotect Chaser and he has fairly good Mag for Ruin spamming launched targets

Meonekton
An early peaker COM that has a few uses up to the first Caius battle but has little going afterwards. He comes with Bravery Feeder, allowing him to take it away from Caius when he casts it and learns Armor Breaker for Phy resistant enemies. It also has a weak Feral Link but can be useful at times since it attempts to inflict Deprotect. He can't physically strike launched targets though and he is quite slow though

Proto-behemoth
A strong COM but comes way to late in the story as well as being a one time monster with a low tame rate (10%) will require many restarts to get. That battle also comes with two annoying Schrodingers that serve to make that battle tiresome to repeat. It does learn the ever useful Armor Breaker and Bravery Feeder but also comes with three locked Critical skills that if played well may serve him well but only serves to prolong most battles.

Thermadon
Found in the same area as Flanitor and like Dragoon, a COM, but has a locked Leadenstrike skill, making him very slow, a very low tame rate (7%) and is fairly rare to encounter. He does resist Physical and Magical damage and ailments but also is weak to Fire, Ice and lightning damage. He certainly is no Omega by any counts.
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For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill. ~Sun Tzu
#6aimingdevicePosted 4/15/2012 2:55:08 PM
To update the list:
Top
Yakshini
Dragoon
Flanitor

High
Gahongas
Behemoth [Feral Behemoth]

Upper Middle
Munchkin
Vespid Soldier
Pulse Knight

Middle
Viking
Miniflan

Lower Middle
Cactuarama
Meonekton

Low
Cactuarina
Zaghnal
Proto-behemoth

Bottom
Calautidon
Thermadon

Feel free to refute my claims or add/change more to the list
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For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill. ~Sun Tzu
#7MajinGASKAPosted 4/15/2012 2:57:22 PM
Mog has an annoying voice!!
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#8aimingdevicePosted 4/15/2012 4:54:02 PM
MajinGASKA posted...
Mog has an annoying voice!!

?

Well, you're free to your own opinion but next time please post something relevant to the topic
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For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill. ~Sun Tzu
#9tempest_storm34Posted 4/15/2012 5:11:57 PM(edited)
I'd like to suggest the melee-based Demons:
As far as I know they all have a hidden ability, which is very useful since it can launch non-staggered targets. All are Early Peakers (lv 20) and COMs.

Gandayaks: Yaschas 10/1X, Pressure II by default, learns Area Sweep and Armor Breaker
Yaksha: Vile Peaks 10, learns Blitz and Auto-Vigilance. Unfortunately has Ironstrike RLed, but is helped a bit by the Demons' high movement speed. Ends up with good HP (enough that I used him for the final boss)
Shaguma: Vile Peaks 10, learns Feral Surge by default, and Mind Piercer and Blitz. Low stats, though
Voianoi: Archylte cloudy Grave Ridge, Auto-Bravery by default, learns Blitz. strongest of the 4, a bit more Str than Yaksha
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Oh child, perish the thought. I am more than that!
#10A_Creepy_WonkaPosted 4/15/2012 5:19:34 PM
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