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I've been trying to learn more but I'm a lil slow...sigh
Currently playing FFXIII End-Game & Tales of Graces: F
If you're interested in getting the best out of your monsters you could check out the "Monster Infusion FAQ" by Sakurayule & BMSirius on this site, it contains everything you could want to know on this subject...
If I were to give you 1 tip it would be to understand which Monster Items are best to use for each class (Mana Items for Medics, Vitality Items for Sentinels and so on) as doing so makes a real difference to your Monster's effectiveness.
As far as recommending what Monsters are good, that depends on how far into the game you are, your play style, and what roles you want your monsters to fill.
Hope this helps.
~ Ye Olde Schule ~
In the beginning, when you have very few monster materials and not too much cash, I'd suggest using Early Peakers. They always require a very small amount of materials to get to the highest level, but the downside is that their maximum level is often relatively low, say 15-20, and, since they do not usually reach a new tier in Crystarium, they do not gain many abilities naturally.
Early Peakers get high stats much faster than the Well Grown and the Late Bloomers, and that is why they are an excellent choice for your early-mid game monsters. Good examples of good early peaker commandos would, in my opinion, be Hoplite (Bresha 005) and Munchkin (Bresha 300).
Just make sure that you do not spend all your materials on a late bloomer rightin the beginning of the game, because it is most likely going to take all your materials (that you could spend more wisely) and the Late Bloomers often get their best abilities and stat bonuses at very high levels.
**Now Playing: FINAL FANTASY VI on PS Vita**
One thing I'm gonna get out of the way is it doesn't REALLY matter what you use for early/mid story as long as it's an early peaker or well-grown monster and you level them enough. These monsters will make things a little easier on you though:
Pulse Knight (SEN), Munchkin (COM), and Buccaboo (RAV), they're all "early peakers"
(easy to get to max level and are great monsters to use for the story). Get these three ASAP.
Flanitor (MED), Goblin Chieftain (SEN), Cactuar (COM), and Cloudburst (RAV) are "well-grown" and are easier to level than "late bloomers", but a bit harder than early peakers. *Once you get GC, level him up till his health is higher than Pulse Knight, and replace PK.* Another good RAV for the story is Albino Lobo (he's great early, but falls behind for awhile until you're able to buy higher tier Mana materials).
Major Moblin (SEN) is also a good SEN, but you get him at the same time Goblin is available, and Goblin is better.
A lot of the best monsters are better left for post-game (and easier because they're late bloomers and too costly to level during the story).
Some monsters to level for post-game: Chichu (COM) and Pulse Gladiator (SEN) are late bloomers and Chichu is probably the best COM in the game, along with COM Lightning, but who is is DLC. (I prefer Cactuar as my COM though).
Cactuar, Goblin Chieftain, and Cloudburst are all good for main-game, along with post-game. DLC characters: Lighting (RAV), Lighting (COM), Snow (SEN), and Sazh (SYN) are also great too.
I pretty much left out SYNs and SABs because they're not as useful as the other roles in this game as they were in the first.
^Make sure to write the right parenthesis in when you search, since for some reason, they aren't part of the links.
Deal with it- http://tinyurl.com/amdcu8s FF XIII/Skyrim = 100% -- GT: Gears of Wario
Now Playing: Borderlands2/FFXIII-2/PMD Blue Rescue Team
I pretty much agree with everything Jkickit said (though I know many others like to use SYN's. Not me though), but I'd like to add that if you want a really good late game Medic, go with a Green Chocobo (Late Bloomer, so he takes a long time to level up). Flanitor which Jkickit already mentioned is a great alternative though, due to his Feral Link ability. And in the off-chance that you want to use a SAB (I really would not recommend it...), the Black Chocobo is great.
Monster SYNs are vital to optimized and efficient play. One of the reasons that Goblin Chieftain is so good (and Cloudburst) is because of the SYN-like Feral Link it possesses. Here's a good discussion on the topic of what contributions each monster role brings and their relative merits: http://etrosgate.com/ffxiii-2/overview/paradigm-packs
Good SYNs to grab during the story are Gahongas (early), Yakshini, and Sahagin Prince. For Postgame, Yakshini and Purple Chocobo are your best choices.
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