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Spikes Spells are a form of Enhancing Magic that do damage and potentially inflict status effects when attacked. The newest of the four spikes spells is actually Dark Magic because it is native to Dark Knight, but it works in a very different way than the other Spikes spells.
The various Spikes spells offer a trade-off between offensive and defensive properties. Blaze Spikes are purely offensive, and do more damage than Ice or Shock Spikes as a result. Ice Spikes may offer the best defensive bonus when supertanking a group of monsters due to their Paralysis, but Shock Spikes would be better for superkiting because their Stun effect can cause monsters to fall behind.
Spikes spells do not generate any Enmity for the player. The damage these spikes do is treated as magic damage, and is affected by Magic Attack Bonus, Day/Weather bonuses, Magic Affinity, etc., at the time of the hit (for example, magic attack bonus gear must remain equipped to enhance the spikes damage). The base damage is determined exclusively by INT at the time of casting and caps at the values below, Magic Attack Bonus, weather, etc., go beyond the cap. For example, with MAB+100, Blaze Spikes will do 50 damage if the base damage is capped at 25.
Dread Spikes are an excellent defensive tool for Dark Knight and offer a substantial offensive bonus as well (they do damage equal to the HP they drain), but they can't really be compared to the other types of spikes. Magic Attack Bonus also does not affect these spikes at all.
The effects of Spikes spells can be enhanced by the following equipment which add to the base damage above, and can exceed the caps above (the equipment must remain equipped to receive the increased damage):
- Mercenary's Trousers: Unknown effect
- Duelist's Tights & Duelist's Tights +1: Adds floor(INT*(6/256)) to Blaze Spikes base damage and Adds floor(INT*(3/256)) to Ice or Shock Spikes base damage
- Duelist's Tights +2: Adds floor(INT*(8/256)) to Blaze Spikes base damage and floor(INT*(4/256)) to Ice or Shock Spikes base damage