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Puppetmaster! A Community Collaborative Guide

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General Information

In simple terms, Puppetmasters are the love child of Monks and Beastmasters. Monk and Puppetmaster both use Hand-to-Hand, but Monk does it better. Monks have higher HP, better Martial Arts, access to slightly better gear, and can kick and counter. So what does a Puppetmaster get to make up for all of that? The answer is the most versatile pet in the game.

Puppetmaster can have a Red mage, White mage, Black mage, casting Paladin (WHM head Harle body), non-casting paladin (ve head/ve body, or whm head/ve body), ranger. This is on top of having a puppetmaster himself in the party.

While a beastmaster can vary his pet by using different Jugs, puppetmasters do it by varying the frame, head, and attachment selection. The big advantage to beast, is the AE potential for their pet, that puppetmaster lacks.

Automatons

Pet Head Frame Notes
Starter Pet Harlequin Head Harlequin Frame Your starter pet, nothing to special about it.
You will use it 1-10, and then for niche uses at end game for tanking. Mainly when you want a tank that can also use Protect/Shell.
RNG Sharpshot Head
-or-
Valoredge Head
Sharpshot Frame Anything weak to piercing will melt with this frame. The big decision is which head to use.

If your target is constantly moving, and you want your pet to be in melee range to build tp, use Valoredge head.

If your target isn't moving use the SS head. If you want to keep your pet out of range, use a V2 animator. Divinator II, Eminent Animator II, Animator P II, etc.
Ideal maneuvers are Fire - Fire - Light. This forces Arcuballista, which when properly buffed is the strongest weapon skill available to the ranger pet.

Tank
(non-casting)
Valoredge Head
-or-
Soulsoother Head
Valoredge Frame Valoredge frame cannot cast. So the reason to use the Soulsoother head is to increase the # of light attachments that can be used. Also of note, is the Valoredge frame has innate 12.5% DT, on top of 9% from stout servant, meaning you only need 66 DT / PDT to cap.

Great for using Optic Fiber + II and Auto-Repair Kit IV.

Valoredge head does serve its purposes, mainly invincible via Heady Artifice. This tank excels on non-magic casting targets, or when the magic is physical based.

RNG-Tank
(non-casting)
Valoredge Head
Sharpshot Frame The reason to use the Sharpshot frame is to increase the damage potential of your tank. A tank that does more damage with the same enmity tools will generate more hate. It also lets your tank have piercing damage.
Tank
(casting)
Soulsoother Head Harlequin Frame This pet has more hp than WHM, but less than Valoredge, but also has access to Shell V for greatly improved magic survival.

A few things to note about this combo, is that it will require economizer since it has very little MP. It will also prioritize buffs at the start of a fight, so its best to use it on trash first so it can buff itself, then engage the NM once its buffed so it goes more into tanking.

WHM Soulsoother Head Stormwaker Frame Great pocket healer for single target events. CP parties with no AoEs or when only 1 person is getting hit by AoEs.
RDM Stormwaker Head Stormwaker Frame Haste 2, enfeebles, nukes, and heals. A great all around pet for any event you can't use trusts in. It shines the most in salvage/Assaults/nyzul.
BLM Spiritreaver Head Stormwaker Frame First, our automatons lack Magic Accuracy Skill. That said this pet is best used with a pup backrow, waiting on a skill chain, and deploying it for magic bursts.

Ideal attachments are Amplifier + II, Ice Maker, and Tranquilizers.

Under the right situations this pet can do 40-80k magic bursts, but it is a bit more difficult to keep the results consistent. Not impossible, and properly geared, it can put out nice numbers.

I would classify this pet as the least friendly for new people as most of the gear you make for it is only relevant for this one pet. New players will get more bang for their buck by going for melee dd/tank pet hybrid armor sets.

Roles

In solo situations, Puppetmaster plays like a generic DD, and allows the pet to fill whatever role is needed. For example, during Salvage, a Puppetmaster will probably go /WAR or /DNC, and use your Stormwaker puppet for heals and haste 2. In a Capacity Points party, go /WAR and let the pet go as a Sharpshot, and use a tank trust.

In CP parties with other people:

  • You can Skillchain with others to open light or dark (Victory Smite or Stringing Pummel)
  • You can tank and self skill chain with your puppet. This allows for 1 person to make skill chains AND tank, and 5 others to buff/burst.
  • You are capable of healing with the puppet while you DD and Skillchain with other people.
  • You may backline yourself, and use a blm pet to do decent magic bursts. (not the best, but still decent)

In the end game, the most common role for pup is to use their pet to tank. This is due to pets -87.5% pdt cap that can easily be gotten with Armor Plate IV, Optic Fiber and Optic Fiber II, as well as a few pieces of gear. This allows the master to stack regen, acc/atk/crit/DA and other items on the remaining slots. PUP tanking excels in situations where there is only 1 monster, or the additional monsters hate is tied to the main. It has very poor AoE hate grabbing potential.

With proper buffs (Corsair), Sharpshot pet can also churn out very similar or greater damage to that of a Beastmaster.

A puppetmaster should always be familiar with the array of Attachments at their disposal.

Tanking

For end game. There is only 1 or 2 roles a pup can play. They can either DD (preferably with just the RNG pet) or they can Tank. The big advantage to PUP tanks is the high (and easily obtainable) PDT cap of 87.5%, and access to Shell V, should you choose to use the harle tank. There is a 'generic' tank setup, but it will vary per monster, and knowing how/why to use specific attachments will determine how effective of a tank you have.

Strobe/ Strobe II/ Optic Fiber / Optic Fiber II / Auto-Repair Kit IV / Armor Plate IV / Flashbulb would be the bread and butter attachments assuming you have 1200 jp.

  • Strobe 1 & 2, because Enmity. The combination of the two, with the modifier of optic fibers adds excessive amounts of enmity.
  • Optic Fiber 1/2 because any pup pet should pretty much have these 2. Optic fiber I was okay on its own, but it stacking with Optic fiber II makes it that much better.
  • Auto-Repair Kit IV - for the HP and regen. The regen this kit gives is on the order of permanent repair. Obviously, if you don't have 1200 jp, you will want to use the highest tier Auto-repair kit you can.
  • Armor plate IV - similar to Auto repair kit IV, the armor plate tier 4 is noticeably stronger than tier 3. While tier 1->3 all scale up linearly, tier 4 skips a tier a few tiers. Starting PDT values for armor plate 1-3 are 5->10->15, but instead of 4 going to 20, it goes to 30. So with no maneuvers and 2x optic fibers, you already have a pet that has over 50% PDT (with stout servant) and a single light maneuver (which will cause strobe to trigger Flash, and auto-repair kits to give your pet 100+ hp regen).


From here it is all really dependent on the monster you are fight. The best example would be comparing a solo CP party to a group Ambuscade. In solo CP parties you can skill chain with your pet, so Inhibitors/Speedloaders are invaluable and can let you 4 step solo skill chain for double light and do 50k. If you do an Ambuscade party where 3 blue mages are spamming weapon skills non-stop, you actually don't want to use Inhibitors/Speedloaders. The reason being, is they cause the pet to hold TP and wait until it can close a weapon skill. This means your pet will basically never weapon skill, and loses a lot of DD/Enmity. This example is also true in events like Wild-Keepers where it is considered 1 big party. Since weapon skills will be going off non-stop, your pet will never weapon skill.

Things to remember when tanking:

  • Pets cap at 87.5% DT
  • Stout servant adds 9%
  • VE frame adds 12.5%
  • You need a combination of gear/attachments to get the remaining 66% for VE or 78.5% if you are using a RNG tank.

The equipment section below will cover essential gear for tanking, as well as example attachment sets for different JP levels (0/100/1200).

Abilities and Traits

See the Puppetmaster page for a full list of abilities/traits.

The abilities you will use the most are 'maneuvers'. They fundamentally affect not only the stats of the automaton (offering a raw +X to their aligned stat), but also how they behave and trigger certain attachments. They can control which Weapon Skill is used, what spells to prioritize, and how large of a bonus you receive from equipped attachments. However, they come at a cost.
There is an invisible burden tied to using maneuvers. If the burden gets too high, you will overload, and have a gimped pet. There is gear to increase the threshold of burden needed before an overload, attachments to increase how fast burden is reduced, and a mythic weapon that cuts the amount of burden generated. There is also Cooldown, which can be further augmented with Job points to reduce current burden/remove overloads.

The duration of maneuvers can be extended from 1 minute up to 5 minutes. The longer a pet remains deployed, the longer a maneuver will last. This is beneficial for zones like Escha, where you can send your pet out to solo for a bit. Then when you go to engage a Notorious Monster, you will have a pet with 5 minute maneuvers, which means less micromanaging, and no chance of overloading. Since burden decays on a set amount per unit time, the longer you go in between maneuvers, the less likely you are to overload.

  • See Burden for a more in-depth analysis.

When setting attachments, it is very important to consider 'What maneuvers am I most likely to use with this setup'. Setting Attuner on a mage pet, that isn't using fire maneuvers will have little affect and just uses up a slot.

Merits

Group 1
Name Description Level Notes
Automaton Skills Adjust valoredge, sharpshot, and stormwaker automaton skills by 2 points. 5/5 This one really isn't really optional, it adds acc/atk/macc/matk/racc/ratk
Repair Effect Increase amount of HP restored by 2%. 5/5 It could be argued that you should do 3/5 Repair effect and 2/5 repair recast, to allow for 100% up time on Repair.
Maintenance Recast Shorten recast time by 3 seconds. 0/5 Thanks to Deus Ex Automata, there is virtually no reason to merit Activate recast.
A single Deus Ex, and Light Maneuver should be sufficient to get you back in the fight.
Activate Recast Shorten recast time by 40 seconds.
Repair Recast Shorten recast time by 3 seconds.
Group 2
Name Description Level Notes
Role Reversal Swaps HP of master and automaton. Recast: 2min. Supplement HP granted by 5%. 0/5~1/5 Depending on play style, you may or may not use this.
It has its moments, but starting Puppetmasters may want to skip it until they start tanking and need an additional source of healing.
Ventriloquy Swaps the enmity of master and automaton for target. Recast: 1min. Increase higher enmity value and decrease lower value by 5% each. 0/5~5/5 For starting Puppetmasters, there may not be a lot of use for this.
For tanking Puppetmasters, using sub blue mage, this is a 100% required 5/5 to maximize the amount of hate you feed your pet
Fine-Tuning Grants a bonus to your automaton's accuracy, ranged accuracy, evasion, and magic defense. Increase accuracy by 5, ranged accuracy by 5, evasion by 5, and magic defense by 5. 0/5~5/5 The gains from this one used to be huge. 25 acc was a lot, but now it is very minimal.
If you aren't using Role Reversal or Ventriloquy then I would go with 5/5 in Optimization until you get 100 JP and can use an Animator P.
That alone should cover the accuracy cost and you could switch out merits to something else...or not. If you do then I suggest Role Reversal 1, Ventriloquy 1, and you could do 3/5 Fine-Tuning for 15 acc.
Optimization Grants a bonus to your automaton's attack, defense, and magic attack. Increase attack by 5%, defense by 5%, and magic attack by 5. 5/5 Again this one isn't optional. It adds 25% attack/defense to the Automaton.

Support Jobs

This is the highest damage option for sub jobs. However, it lacks Invisible, Sneak, and healing, and as such is only viable when you have reliable healing or are fighting a monster with no Area of affect moves/spells/abilities.

This is one of the more practical subs. It offers sufficient utility, as well as healing should you be doing an event where trusts are not allowed or your pet can't be relied on to heal.

For enemies with elemental area of effect spells that would wipe shadows, Runefencer is a solid option, because it allows you to resist a spell that would go through a shadow.

For enemies with area of effect spells that don't wipe shadows. This also offers sneak and invisible.

Mostly used as a niche sub job, for the sole benefit of generating large amounts of enmity, and then transferring it to the automaton.

Healer's Cap icon.png White Mage
Wizard's Petasos icon.png Black Mage

Mage sub jobs are still an option since Puppetmaster shares a lot of gear with mages. In recent content, the amount of end game mage gear for Puppetmaster has been slowly decreasing, and as such, Puppetmaster is becoming less and less viable with mage support jobs.

Equipment

Weapons

Em. Baghnakhs description.png
  • More than likely your first ilevel weapon.
Ohtas description.png
  • Decent weapon, but once augmented, its one of the few i119 weapons worth using. H2h suffers from awful weapon skills, so master damage is never a top priority. These however, will add 70 acc to master and pet, as well as 10% pet haste. This paired with an Ambuscade Cape, means you can have 20% pet haste in 2 items, without taking a huge impact on the master. Ideal for hybrid build, pet only dd, or pet only tank builds.
Midnights description.png
  • A decent pet tanking weapon, the -3DT, along with acc/atk for the pet make this a solid choice. The -overload, and +2 maneuver are pretty meh. By the time you get these, you should never really overload anyways unless you are spamming triple ice maneuvers for a mage frame.

Nibiru Sainti

Nibiru Sainti description.png
  • A decent pet tanking weapon with path C for master enmity or D for pet shield blocking, accuracy, attack. Path D will give offensive boost to Sharpshot Frame ranged attack as well. 10% boost to Repair is consideration compared to Midnights's 3% DT.
Denouements description.png
  • Worth mentioning because it is a great master piece, and an okay idle piece for pets. If you are not concerned with pet damage, and cannot get an aeonic/mythic then it is a good 'every man's' weapon.
Kenkonken (Level 119 III) description.png
  • It is our mythic, and it does vastly reduce overload. If you are in a CP party where you and the pet both get to build tp, this is an ideal weapon if you can maintain the aftermath. The -Martial Arts on it actually hurts a job master PUP due to putting us so far over the cap for martial arts. That is only a few decimal points of tp/swing so nothing too awful. The main issue with Kenkonken is that you lose 70 acc for master/pet, and 10% haste for the pet. Which is fine if you can keep aftermath up, but if you can't then Ohtas will beat it solidly.
Godhands description.png
  • The most damaging H2H in the game. Which doesn't mean much since hand-to-hand has awful weapon skills. They are a neat toy for master only situations, but since there is no benefit for pets there isn't much use for them in end game where pup is mainly a tank or pet only dd. Both of these situations have weapons that better suit them.

Animator P icon.png Animators

  • Animator
    • Your starting animator, and one that is usable by all jobs. Also the only one you really need until 99.
  • Turbo Animator
    • Your Lv.40 "Artifact" item, like SCH's Klimaform spell is their lv.40 "Artifact" item, but not a weapon like many other jobs.
  • Animator Z
    • Requires 50 jp, but is an okay animator while you wait on 100 jp.
  • Divinator
    • A true i119 animator with no Job Point requirement, better stats than animator Z, but worse than Animator P. However, it can take a while to get one to drop. If you happen to get one, snag it until you get 100 JPs. I would not recommend farming for it any more though.
  • Animator P
    • Requires 100 JPs but has better stats than a Divinator. That said it is the best investment in job points ever. At 100 JPs you unlock this, and a gift for +2 to elemental capacity. This is the first large jump in pet power you will notice. It is important to note that the +1 version serves no real purpose other than the visible +5 to each stat on the automaton. If money isn't an issue and you want to be the best then go for the +1, but the NQ will be more than enough for everything in game.

Master Sets

WS Sets

Pet Sets

Tank
PET -DT  
Nibiru Sainti icon.pngNibiru Sainti description.png
Augment-Icon.png
32x32.png Animator P +1 icon.pngAnimator P +1 description.png 32x32.png
Anwig Salade icon.pngAnwig Salade description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Shepherd's Chain icon.pngShepherd's Chain description.png Handler's Earring +1 icon.pngHandler's Earring +1 description.png Handler's Earring icon.pngHandler's Earring description.png
Rao Togi +1 icon.pngRao Togi +1 description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Rao Kote +1 icon.pngRao Kote +1 description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Varar Ring +1 icon.pngVarar Ring +1 description.png Varar Ring +1 icon.pngVarar Ring +1 description.png
link=Visucius%27s_Mantlelink=Visucius%27s_Mantle Klouskap Sash +1 icon.pngKlouskap Sash +1 description.png Rao Haidate +1 icon.pngRao Haidate +1 description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Tali'ah Crackows +1 icon.pngTali'ah Crackows +1 description.png

Other options: Nibiru path D gives 10% more Repair regen and bonus skill to shield block. If PDT isn't needed you can swap out Handler's Earring +1 for other pet options. Pretty much all of Rao can be substituted for Taeon with -DT. The Anwig can also be replaced if there is no magical damage since you will likely cap PDT without it.

Tali'ah Seraweels +1, Midnights, Oxyuranis Earth pet path.

RNG
PET DD BUILD  
Ohtas icon.pngOhtas description.png 32x32.png Animator P icon.pngAnimator P description.png 32x32.png
Herculean Helm icon.pngHerculean Helm description.png Empath Necklace icon.pngEmpath Necklace description.png Burana Earring icon.pngBurana Earring description.png Domes. Earring icon.pngDomes. Earring description.png
link=Pitre_Tobe_%2B1link=Pitre_Tobe_%2B1 Herculean Gloves icon.pngHerculean Gloves description.png Thurandaut Ring icon.pngThurandaut Ring description.png Varar Ring icon.pngVarar Ring description.png
link=Visucius%27s_Mantlelink=Visucius%27s_Mantle Incarnation Sash icon.pngIncarnation Sash description.png Herculean Trousers icon.pngHerculean Trousers description.png Herculean Boots icon.pngHerculean Boots description.png

Notes: All herc pieces need to have +store tp. Ideal stats would be Acc/rng acc 30, 10+ store tp, 3 crit/double attack. Some alternatives would be swapping Burana for Riemece. Klouskap_Sash. The goal here is to get your pet down to a 3 hit build to spam Accubalista (or Bonecrusher during overdrive).

Tali'ah Turban +1

WS
Cast
32x32.png 32x32.png 32x32.png 32x32.png
Rawhide Mask icon.pngRawhide Mask description.png Deino Collar icon.pngDeino Collar description.png Cirque Earring icon.pngCirque Earring description.png Burana Earring icon.pngBurana Earring description.png
Herculean Vest icon.pngHerculean Vest description.png Naga Tekko icon.pngNaga Tekko description.png 32x32.png 32x32.png
Argocham. Mantle icon.pngArgocham. Mantle description.png Ukko Sash icon.pngUkko Sash description.png Herculean Trousers icon.pngHerculean Trousers description.png Pitre Babouches +1 icon.pngPitre Babouches +1 description.png

Notes: Herculean set can get MAB. Non-Herculean set items listed are not random generated and may be worse than good random Herculean set augment.

Hybrid Sets

<Write about gear here, Template:Equipment Set>

Attachments

Not intended to be a list of all attachments, more of a description of why/when to use them/not use them. As well as some sample attachment sets.

Here is a list of how optic fiber affects other attachments, its not 100% complete but please comment on the discussion page any further changes. Optic Fiber - Google sheet

Template:Automaton_Equipment

0 JP Sets

RNG  
Sharpshot Head Valoredge Frame height=32px height=32px
Optic Fiber
Optic Fiber
Optic Fiber II
Optic Fiber II
Auto-Repair_Kit
Auto-Repair_Kit
Coiler II
Coiler II
Armor Plate IV
Armor Plate IV
Ten. Spring II
Ten. Spring II
Attachments Turbo Charger II
Turbo Charger II
Turbo Charger
Turbo Charger
Speedloader
Speedloader
Inhibitor
Inhibitor
Attachments

Ideal maneuvers

  • Element: Fire Element: Wind Element: Light <3 min maneuver duration
  • Element: Fire Element: Fire Element: Light >3 min maneuver duration

Ideal for level 1 to 99 pups. Pet will chase mobs, and skill chain when possible. Not good for WKR since inhibitor/speedloader will make pet hoard TP. If your pet is not going to take any damage, suggest replacing AP4 with XYZ. The different maneuver patterns are to keep fresh pups from overloading as often.


Tank  
Soulsoother Head Valoredge Frame height=32px height=32px
Mana Jammer III
Mana Jammer III
Armor Plate IV
Armor Plate IV
Resister II
Resister II
Coiler II
Coiler II
Turbo Charger II
Turbo Charger II
Turbo Charger
Turbo Charger
Strobe II
Strobe II
Strobe
Strobe
Armor Plate IV
Armor Plate IV
Auto-Rep. Kit II
Auto-Rep. Kit II
Optic Fiber II
Optic Fiber II
Optic Fiber
Optic Fiber

Ideal maneuvers

  • Element: Fire Element: Wind Element: Light <3 min maneuver duration
  • Element: Fire Element: Fire Element: Light >3 min maneuver duration
  • Element: Light Element: Light Element: Fire >3 min if you need more healing

A generic tank pet.

100 JP Sets

1200 JP Sets

Ambuscade Tank _ Gnole  
Soulsoother Head Valoredge Frame height=32px height=32px
Strobe II
Strobe II
Strobe
Strobe
Ten. Spring II
Ten. Spring II
Flashbulb
Flashbulb
Turbo Charger II
Turbo Charger II
Turbo Charger
Turbo Charger
Attuner
Attuner
Armor Plate III
Armor Plate III
Armor Plate IV
Armor Plate IV
Auto-Rep. Kit IV
Auto-Rep. Kit IV
Optic Fiber II
Optic Fiber II
Optic Fiber
Optic Fiber

Ideal maneuvers

  • Element: Fire Element: Wind Element: Light First 60 sec
  • Element: Fire Element: Fire Element: Light After 60 sec, pop cool down then go here
This is my build for the gnole ambuscade, but it works as a decent base for several different tank builds. The key here is no inhibitors or speedloaders so it will WS as often as possible to try and keep up with the DDs spaming.
Ambuscade Tank _ Frog  
Valoredge Head Valoredge Frame height=32px height=32px
Inhibitor II
Inhibitor II
Speedloader II
Speedloader II
Coiler II
Coiler II
Target Marker
Target Marker
Turbo Charger II
Turbo Charger II
Analyzer
Analyzer
Attuner
Attuner
Steam Jacket
Steam Jacket
Mana Jammer IV
Mana Jammer IV
Auto-Rep. Kit IV
Auto-Rep. Kit IV
Optic Fiber II
Optic Fiber II
Optic Fiber
Optic Fiber

Ideal maneuvers

  • Element: Fire Element: Water Element: Light For overdrive
  • Element: Water Element: Light Element: Light If overdrive doesn't kill it, and you need to turtle up
This is the build for the frog ambuscade (via FFXIAH). Without overdrive, pet will lose hate constantly and frog will chase the master. To avoid this, either overdrive or use a strobe to replace coiler II. Another alternative, is to use a Sharpshot head with valoredge frame. This makes heady artifice use mighty strikes since the frame cant use range attacks (thus locking out eagle eye shot).


CP Ranger (solo)  
Sharpshot Head Sharpshot Frame height=32px height=32px
Attachments Attachments Attachments Optic Fiber
Optic Fiber
Optic Fiber II
Optic Fiber II
Auto-Rep. Kit IV
Auto-Rep. Kit IV
Drum Magazine
Drum Magazine
Speedloader
Speedloader
Speedloader II
Speedloader II
Turbo Charger
Turbo Charger
Turbo Charger II
Turbo Charger II
Inhibitor II
Inhibitor II

Ideal maneuvers

  • Element: Fire Element: Wind Element: Light
This is for apex crawler/apex bats, solo with trusts. This pet will skill chain with you and do some massive skillchains if you do 3-4 steps. Shijin -> pet -> VW -> pet is 4 step light for 25k+ light. Last 3 slots are blank. Use an Attuner if you fight bats (they use atk down) or just use tension springs for crawlers. I use Coiler 1 and 2 for additional double attack as needed to make sure pet builds tp as fast as me. This build focuses on 4 step skill chains over the raw damage of Arcuballista.