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Skillchains take place when two abilities with appropriate skillchain properties are used subsequently, in a valid order, and within a the necessary time window (3-10 seconds). The following abilities can give Skillchain properties:
- Weapon Skills
- Rage Blood Pacts
- Chain Affinity + Physical Blue Magic
- Immanence + Elemental Magic Spell
- Konzen-ittai/Wild Flourish (opening only)
Every combination of skillchain properties does not creates a skillchain, and sometimes different skillchain can be created from the same two properties if they are combined in the opposite order. For instance, Compression -> Transfixion makes a Transfixion skillchain, while Transfixion -> Compression makes a Compression skillchain. This is called "reciprocal," because either order is valid. There are also "nonreciprocal" skillchains, where only one order of properties works. For example, Transfixion -> Scission makes Distortion, but Scission -> Transfixion does not make a Skillchain.
Skillchaining is generally only for players, but some particular enemies are capable of Skillchaining as well. One (Tenzen) even has a unique Skillchain called "Cosmic Elucidation."
There are four "Levels" of Skillchains and Skillchain properties. The properties within a level can only skillchain with other properties within the level, and will result in a skillchain that's either the same level or one higher. So Level 1 properties combine with other Level 1 properties and make either Level 1 or Level 2 properties. Level 2 properties combine to make Level 2 or Level 3 properties.
Skillchain damage is determined by eight factors at the moment:
- The damage of the action that created the current skillchain (Closing Damage).
- The number of Skillchain properties used so far and the current Skillchain level (see table below).
- Skillchain Bonus
- Magic Damage
- Skillchain Damage +% equipment.
- Day/Weather Bonuses (can be forced using Obis)
- Staff Affinity
- iLevel/Resistance Damage Bonus (see reference)
- Magic Damage reduction/bonuses of the target (like Shell)
The equation would be:
- Equation: Skillchain damage = ( Closing Damage × (Skillchain Level/Number from Table) × (1 + Skillchain Bonus÷100) + Magic Damage ) × (1 + Skillchain Damage+%/100) × (1 + Day/Weather bonuses) × (1 + Staff Affinity) × (Monster magic damage reductions) × (iLevel/Resistance Damage Bonus)
- Example: A character is doing a level 1 skillchain with two Weapon Skills, 30 Skillchain Bonus, +5% Skillchain Damage, and no relevant day/weather/affinity, and is a much higher iLevel than the monster / the monster is weak to the skillchain's element. The closing damage is 500.
- 511 = floor( ( 500 × 0.5 × 1.3 + 0 ) × 1.05 × 1 × 1 × 1 × 1 × 1.5)
If you are deciding what kind of skillchain you will make, it's necessary to strike a balance between number of weapon skills per skillchain and skillchain damage. For instance, if you have the potential to make a level 3 and then level 4 skillchain with 3 weaponskills, is it better to do that twice or do a level 1 skillchain, three level 2 skillchains, and then a 3 and 4 skillchain? The answer to this varies from job to job, and will depend a lot on the weapon skills you are forced to use to do the longer skillchain. Typically Weapon Skills with lower properties are also weaker than Weapon Skills with higher properties, so it is often difficult to argue for skillchain length over level.
Skillchain Damage Element
Level 1 Skillchains have a single elemental property and always are composed of that element's damage. Level 2, 3, and 4 skillchains are composed of multiple elements and have the potential to be any one of them. For instance, Fusion can be either light or fire elemental damage, and would be affected by Korin Obi or Karin Obi, respectively. The skillchains appear do the damage of whichever element the monster is least resistant to, and this can be affected by things like Ninjutsu and Threnodies. If all elements are equally resistant or no element is likely to resist, it defaults to the first option. The progression is thought to be the same as the elemental resistance display on your equipment screen, namely:
Example: If you use a Distortion skillchain on a Water Elemental, it is going to default to Ice damage both due to the natural resistance of the monster (strong against water) and due to the priority order of the elements. If you use it on an Ice Elemental, the priority order will be trumped by the natural resistances of the monster (strong against ice) and the skillchain will do water damage.
This is particularly relevant when it comes to Elemental Obis, which can be used to force day/weather bonuses to apply to your skillchains. For instance, Hyorin Obi worn on a 2000 damage Weapon Skill to close a 2-step Darkness skillchain against a target that doesn't resist ice on iceday would another 200+ damage to the skillchain, which may be better a better increase in total damage than you can get from another belt in that situation.
Multiple Skillchain Properties
Many Weapon Skills have multiple Skillchain properties. You will notice that these are separated out into primary, secondary, and ternary properties. They attempt to skillchain in that order. So the primary property will attempt to skillchain with the previous property. If it cannot then the secondary property will attempt to skillchain. If that fails, then the ternary one will attempt to skillchain.
If the monster has no active skillchain property, then it receives the three in the listed order. They would be compared to any following property(ies) in order. If a Skillchain is made, then that Skillchain property becomes the only one active on the monster.
Level 1 Skillchains
There are 19 ways to make skillchains with level 1 properties and 12 different skillchains that can be made (8 level 1, 4 level 2). It is possible to skillchain level 1 properties continuously with a little planning, thanks to the reciprocal properties and large number of possible skillchains. For instance, Cyclone (Detonation/Scission) can be used over and over to skillchain with itself. Not all reciprocal skillchains can be used this way, because some make level 2 skillchains. Still, this can be used to increase the number of weaponskills in a skillchain before elevating it to a higher skillchain level.
Level 1 Skillchains will always be the same as the property of the closing weapon skill that was used. Level 1 properties can make Level 2 Skillchains when combined in the proper way, but there is no rhyme or reason to it. For instance, it doesn't make much sense that Light (Transfixion) -> Earth (Scission) would make Ice/Water, but not any other combination. The only way to really represent it is a table.
Level 2 Skillchains
Level 2 Skillchains can be Magic Bursted using two elements and their aligned weapon skills combine to make either another Level 2 Skillchain or a Level 3 Skillchain. Like Level 1 Skillchains, these can be used circularly to increase the number of weapon skills in a chain before elevating it to level 3, but it requires a complicated pattern and access to all four level 2 properties.
Level 3 Skillchains
Level 3 Skillchains are created by combining the appropriate Level 2 properties. These give the highest Skillchain damage, but cannot be cycled to increase the number of weapon skills in a chain like Level 1 and Level 2 skillchains as they can only be continued once by a Level 4 skillchain.
Level 4 Skillchains
Level 4 Skillchains (Level 4 Darkness and Level 4 Light) are created by combing two Level 3 Skillchain properties and are functionally the same as Level 3 Skillchain except that they cannot be continued further. Thus, combining two Level 3 properties directly (like Konzen-ittai->Tachi: Kaiten) will create a "Light" Skillchain that cannot be continued by another level 3 property, despite only one "Light" skillchain having been created. There is no real consensus on a name for these properties, but some proposed options are given here.
|Light||Level 4 Light||N/A|
|Darkness||N/A||Level 4 Darkness|
- Ultimate Skillchains (Radiance and Umbra) are created by combing two Level 3 Skillchain properties and are similar as Level 4 Skillchains, and can only be made while under the effect of Aeonic Aftermath. Thus, combining two Level 3 properties directly (like Konzen-ittai->Tachi: Fudo) will create a "Radiance" Skillchain that cannot be continued; however, this "two-step" process is only available while under the effects of a Level 3 Aftermath. To make an "ultimate skillchain" while under the effects of a Level 2 Aeonic Aftermath, a minimum of a "three-step" skillchain must be performed, and likewise, for a Level 1 Aftermath, a minimum of a "four-step" skill chain must be performed.
- Furthermore, any weapon skill with a Level 3 Skillchain property may be used to close the appropriate "ultimate skillchain."
For further clarification and more details on performing an Ultimate Skillchain, see the Aeonic Aftermath page.
Though it is now outdated due to new weaponskills, this chart was a mainstay for years and still illustrates most of the important relationships:
- Skillchain Elemental Damage (Stromgarde and friends, BG)
- June 2014 Skillchain damage changes (Motenten, BG)
This category has the following 14 subcategories, out of 14 total.