Good: This is the way your armor is elementized. If you picked Fire, Fire is your "Good".
Ally: These are the two elements that are closest to your elementization on the element wheel. For example, if you picked Fire, your Allies are Energy and Earth.
Neutral: These are the elements that are two spaces away from your elementization. For Fire, they'd be Light and Darkness.
Poor: These are the two elements that are closest to your "Opposite" resistance. For Fire, they'd be Water and Wind.
Opposite: This is the element opposite your elementization on the element wheel. For Fire, that would be Ice.
- Leather Armor vs. Steel Plate
- These are the Adventurer no-drop armours. Both are neutral armours and have flat resistances. At higher levels you generally don't ever want to use them, and even at lower levels you shouldn't use them unless you must. If you picked up the Spear, you can make some use of the Leather Armour's full set bonus which gives all ranged attacks a +7% damage boost. Steel Plate's full set bonus is an additional 6 BtH to your melee attacks. At lower levels, if your STR is at least as high as your DEX, you can make good use of melee weapons and this BtH bonus can be helpful, especially if you feel you aren't hitting monsters often enough.
- Guardian Leather vs. Guardian Plate
- These armours are a significant improvement over Steel Plate and Leathor Armor, especially since you can choose the elements they focus on. Leathers has a 10% damage increase for ranged weapons if you wear the full guardian set. I encourage you to elementize to something and use Guardian Spear coupled with Guardian Leathers. After you get the Awe weapon be sure to upgrade to one of the other Guardian no-drop armors (below) as they are much better.
- Deft Armor of Awe vs. Mighty Armor of Awe
- The Armours of Awe are mid-defensive, and both the Mighty and Deft versions provide heals. So if you want a defensive armour, go with the Armour of Awe Series. Mighty is better for builds with low DEX and LUK, as it heals a small amount of HP each turn. High DEX and LUK builds should get Deft instead since they have a decent chance to block, which triggers Deft's large heal.
- Deft UltraGuardian Leathers vs. Mighty UltraGuardian Plate
- When paired with a melee weapon, Mighty is one of the top offensive armors around. Deft has a slightly more accurate attack, though a slightly weaker one to compensate. Rangers will likely prefer Deft, since when you use a ranged weapon with it, its second attack has a chance to paralyze the enemy.
Class armors can comfortably carry you through your first 75-90 levels, and several are useful even beyond level 90. As such, you'll likely spend much of your time in the early levels training various classes. There are four tiers of class armors with Tier 1 intended for L0 to L30, Tier 2 intended for L30 to L70, Tier 3 intended for L70 to L90, and Tier 3.5 intended for L90 to L120. Higher tier classes require you to train up to a certain level in one or more lower tier classes before you begin your training.
On Game Engine 39, many class armors are no longer usable by 0 INT builds because their skills cost MP. I'll still include those classes in the guide since they may be useful for Ranged Hybrids, but I'll label the ones that shouldn't be used by 0 INT builds with an M.
One other thing that's worth mentioning here is that Wizard's class armors are, by far, the best in the game. They can easily and quickly carry mages through their first 90 levels, and some have even trained up to level 120 and beyond using only Wizard class armors. They're not nearly as useful for rangers, but if you're looking for a quick and (relatively) easy way to level up, Wizard class armors are just about all you'd need as a Mage.
Tier 1 Class Armors:
Tier 1 Armors are the foundational classes, as many further classes require levels in one or more of these classes in order to commence training. Whether you're a Guardian or Adventurer, you can train them up all the way to level 10, although only Guardians can use the top 5 skills (gained at levels 6-10).
Fighter: Fighter Armor
While this armor's skills aren't super powerful, it's worth training in its own right as well as because it acts as a prerequisite for further classes.
Mage: Mage Robes M (Mana required for effective use)
Ranged Hybrids will love these for their elemental skills, while 0 INT builds should not train as Mages. Mage also acts as a prerequisite for several other classes, though none of them are usable by 0 INT builds.
Rogue: Rogue Outfit
This class armor has a few skills that can boost your damage and accuracy that are somewhat useful early on, so it's worth training. It's also a prerequisite for some good classes. It'll have some limited utility at later levels due to its ability to summon a Black Cat. This Black Cat has a unique ability: for each monster attack there is a chance it will jinx the monster, inflicting a BtH penalty equal to your rogue level. If you're in Rogue/Ninja armors this penalty is increased by an additional half your rogue class level ("Strongly Jinxed!"). With your Rogue level maxed, monsters would have a BTH reduction of 10%, which is the equivalent of +10 blocking, or 15% (equivalent of +15 blocking) in rogue/ninja armor.
Scholar: Explorer's Outfit
The skills from this class won't be good for too long, but there is one particular skill that will be very good and interesting: Zard Prism. In the very beginning of the Game, when you're below L30 or so, you won't really need a strong attack so Scholar's attack is acceptable. You can use Zard Prism to change your weapon's element, meaning that all you'll need is one strong weapon and you're good to go for quite some time.
Tier 2 Class Armors:
Tier 2 contains many armors with an assortment of interesting skills, and some with one or two of those unique abilities that will prove very useful even at higher levels. They are made to last until L70, but quite a few of them have uses up until and well past L100. Tier 2 classes also function as stepping-stones to Tier 3 classes, oftentimes requiring a certain degree of training in these classes to move forward.
Beastmaster: Primal Garb M, Feral Garb M
The primary selling point of the Beastmaster class is the ability to summon two elemental guests at once for Guardians or one guest for Adventurers. But while these guests have no SP or MP upkeep, they cost MP to summon. For that reason, these class armors will be of little use to most Rangers.
Berserker: Berserker Hides M
Berserker Hides' abilities, unfortunately, cost mana, so they're not an option unless you're a Ranged Hybrid. If you are, Berserker is a very useful offensive class, but it should be used with care. Its damage increases as your HP decreases, reaching its peak damage when you're below 25% HP. When you reach that point, its damage is massive, but if you get caught off guard by an SP skill, you could easily find yourself owing Death a favor. I expect that when this class is swept, its skills will be modified to cost SP, but until then, this is a strong class for Ranged Hybrids only.
Dracomancer: Dracomancer Armor M
Dracomancer is another class that's only usable by those with some INT, but 0 INT builds aren't missing out on a ton here. This class is rather lacking at the moment; the main selling point here is Great Dragon L8 which costs a lot of MP with a sizable chance of failure. It grants you access to Harm damage, which would be nice aside from the fact that Assassin is more efficient in that regard. Beyond that, the L4 ability is solid for wind damage, but that is about it. The L10 skill is decent but consumes too much MP to be worth-while.
Dragonslayer: DragonSlayer, Elite Dragonslayer, Golden Dragonslayer, Golden Dragonslayer Eclipse
This armor is mainly used to combat dragons, as the name suggests. It has several fun abilities for you to play around with. However, picking this up as an adventurer is definitely not advisable. The skills which are extremely popular as well as deadly include Cripple Dragon!, lowering the monster's STR and DEX, therefore lowering its accuracy and blocking capabilities (NOTE: This skill works on dragons as well as regular monsters), Daze Dragon and Dragon's Blood which stack with Dragon Strike, as well as the final ability, Dragonheart Strike. After this class was swept, Dragon Slayer became a far more useful armor. Elite Dragon Slayer is better suited to combat regular dragons whereas the Golden Dragonslayers are more armed against Undead/Were variants of dragons.
Knight: Squire's Training Armour
Knight mirrors Martial Artist in that, once the basic training is complete, there are four paths to choose from. The class armors are mid-defensive, and you are able to further tighten your defenses through learned skills. On the offensive end, Knights generally seek to weaken or incapacitate the opponent through status conditions. Training as a Knight is worthwhile for rangers primarily for two reasons. First, the mid-defensive class armors are a good option at early and mid levels to cover two elements (which elements it covers depends on which type of Knight you train as). And second, each subclass offers a powerful 100% proc bow that is a solid option at all levels for 100% proc users and is the best 100% proc end game fire weapon. The subclasses also each offer misc items as well as a lance that may be useful to certain builds.
Martial Artist: White Gi
This is one of the largest classes yet, containing four divergent schools of thought that each possess unique abilities. You don't need to train all five schools, as your level in one school carries over to the others. These classes area fair bit stronger on Game Engine 39 as their SP skills can now be used more often. With this in mind, let's examine the usefulness of each school for Rangers:
- Ancient Spirit Gi M will only be useful for Ranged Hybrids as several of its abilities have significant MP costs.
- Serpent Fang Gi is a good defensive armor. It has good defenses, and abilities which boost its defenses even further. It has a few poison and counterattack skills, which combined with the good defense, makes it great to tank in since you can heal up and still do some damage. It's best used by those with high DEX and at least some LUK.
- Mountain Cudgel Gi is a powerhouse with low accuracy, much like a Troll. The usefulness of this school is situational, with strategic skills that can Daze and Stun.
- Swift Talon Gi resembles a Gogg, which is essentially a glass-cannon which favors quick and powerful attacks but has weak defenses. It can be useful if you need to do a whole lot of damage quickly, but you won't want to stay in it for long.
Ninja: Shinobo Shozoku
This revamped class offers several useful abilities which cost SP. Smoke Bomb decreases your foe's BTH for 4 turns; Dragon Double raises your defense modifiers by 5 each for one turn and will counter-attack your foe if he misses. This class also has the passive Merciless ability, which has a chance to strengthen some of your skills, which can be quite deadly if used correctly with some luck. Sacred Duality is an attack which allows you to attack with any 2 of the 8 elements, which is very versatile. The passive Ninja Evasion ability boosts your defensive modifier according to your foe's attack, and caps at 3. The Vampire's Bite skill can paralyze your opponent for 1 turn, and finally, the Ninja Death Strike ability is an interesting one indeed. Alone, it is rather weak, but combined with the passive Merciless ability, this attack creates great synergy. Overall, an excellent class for mid-level rangers that's only gotten stronger on Game Engine 39.
Pirate: Swashbuckler's Raiment M, Sea Scourge M
These classes are in an odd place for Rangers at the moment. Their skills, which focus on wearing down your foe with status conditions, work best for defensive, 100-proc Rangers. The Rotten Jolly Roger ability is a three-hit attack and, if at least one hit connects, it can make your foe Afraid for 4 rounds (25% chance). The Cannon Fodder ability deals solid fire damage and the Grog 'n Flog ability can Burn your foe, or leave him bleeding via flogging. The L9 Plunder can steal 1 HP and 1 MP potion from your enemy which is nice in certain situations. Finally, the L10 Davey Jones' Locker can Entangle your foe. But while these skills would primarily be useful for defensive Rangers, they cost MP and as such are only an option for Ranged Hybrids. If you're a Ranged Hybrid and you'd like the ability to play this defensive, status-based style, these classes can work well for you.
Shadowslayer/NightHunter: ShadowSlayer, NightHunter
These classes are similar to Dragon Slayer in that they specialize in killing a specific monster, in this case: Werewolves, Vampires and other Darkovian Monsters. They provide excellent Earth and Darkness resistance for their levels and offer a wide variety of skills for dispatching foes. ShadowSlayer is the more offensive armor, with a skill (Throw Weapon) which allows you to choose from a variety of different weapons that specialize against different kinds of monsters. NightHunter, on the other hand, is more defensive, boasting the ability to summon guests and use a plethora of status-effect skills to bog down and kill the enemy. Shadowslayer will be more useful for Pure Rangers and Ranged Hybrids, while Nighthunter may be more useful to BMRs.
Wizard: Wizard Robes M
The revamped Wizard class is by far the most powerful in AQ at the moment, but it's not usable by 0 INT builds. The L3 Summon Elemental ability will call a guest of the element of your choosing, chosen by clicking on an element on the elemental wheel at the top. These guests consume a bit of MP each turn, but are very manageable for Guardians via the L8 Dharana ability. Dharana in Generalist's Robe takes 22 SP and, in turn, replenishes 257 MP. Adventurers will miss out on this greatly, but Guardians will love Dharana as it will allow them to regenerate MP to heal themselves or to sustain their MP guests. The real selling point of these armors, though, is their spell-boosting power, which is immense. Ranged Hybrids will love this class and should train it as soon as they can.
Tier 3 Class Armors:
Tier 3 Armors are intended for players from L70 to L90, although these classes have uses far beyond that and may be trained way earlier than L70 in the case of Necromancer and Paladin. You must be L70 in order to start your Assassin training, though.
Necromancer: Necromancer Cloak M, Obsidian Cloak M
This is an excellent class for Ranged Hybrids but is no longer usable by 0 INT builds. Undead Giant and Undead Mutant are two offensive skills that provide a ton of early game damage - 5x and 10x your weapon's damage, respectively. Undead Giant only costs 30 MP and is available to both adventurers and guardians, while Undead Mutant costs 125 MP and is guardian-only. These skills are a great source of early game damage, though they fall off as you progress because they don't factor in stat damage. Later on in the game, the Necromancer's Fear skill, which can lower monster M/R/M, will be somewhat useful. This is another class that Ranged Hybrids should train early and use often.
Paladin: Holy Armor M, Golden Holy Armor M
Like Necromancer, Paladin is a very solid class for Ranged Hybrids but can't be used by 0 INT builds. Bless Weapon is a skill that is ideal for finishing off creatures with high M/R/M due to its 80 BTH, although the attack itself is rather weak. Summon Daimyo provides an earth and light guest that also heals your HP and MP a bit each turn. It has no upkeep, so it's a nice option to have. Perhaps the most notable skill is Lay on Hands, which gives you a full heal (HP and MP). Though it is useful if you're in a tight spot, it requires 90 charges and you accumulate one charge a turn. Holy Might and Holy Light are also very powerful light skills, and are especially useful against undead foes. Paladin is more situational than Necromancer, but it's another class that Ranged Hybrids should train early on.
Assassin: Whispering Raiment
Assassin is one of the most popular classes released due to not only the satisfaction of having completed such difficult and arduous class training and the superb storyline, but also because of all of the amazing abilities. It provides you an initiative boost, which increases your chances of going first in battle. Its first offensive skill is Dual Wield, which can be devastating when your class level is maxed, effectively providing you with bonus damage with a cheap SP Cost. Yajuu Dageki is a nice source of Harm damage. It can be deadly when coupled with Dual Wield, although it is successful only 40% of the time. Death From Above requires charging up bolts, but it's incredibly powerful, particularly the Rain of Disaster which can inflict Prismatic Burn on the opponent.
Zetsubou Dageki, which can also deal Harm damage, is more reliable than Yajuu Dageki; however, it takes quite a chunk of SP to use, maybe not always connect, and takes three rounds to be effected once it does connect. The Finishing Blow has four abilities, and they're all fun to use; however, you'll find the most use in Stalwart Solitude and Assassin's Creed. Stalwart Solitude is a buffed up Dragon's Double, providing an amazing counterattack, though it is most reliable for those who have high DEX and LUK. Assassin's Creed is usually used for a gamble or a quick and easy kill. Its success rate is pretty low, depending on the monster, but it's a good skill for quick farming.
The Assassin class is significantly more powerful on Game Engine 39 as its powerful SP skills can be used far more often. While Assassin training is extremely difficult, the armor is well worth the effort. In addition to the skills mentioned above, it grants you a large initiative bonus, greatly increasing your odds of attacking first in battle.
Shapeshifter: Shapeshifter Forms
Shapeshifter is the first class with L135 and L150 tiers, and it is also useful at low and mid levels. There are both guardian-only forms, which are MC, and forms that are available to all, which are not MC. Each armor is accessed through a spell that transforms you into the appropriate form. This spell cannot be cast before the battle starts, though. This class will - in general - be most useful to Pure Rangers, as Beastmaster Rangers and Ranged Hybrids will have other demands on their spell slots. At low to mid levels, you can use these forms to fill armor gaps, as there is a limited selection of armors available during the early levels.
In order to make effective use of this class at the level cap, you'll need to do something about the first turn of battle. If, for example, you use Stone Golem Form as your only Earth armor, you may end up having to tank an Earth spell on the first turn of the battle in a sub-optimal armor. One way to deal with this is to use an armor with a 44% secondary resist - such as Wyrm Knight's Hide. If you're using Wyrm Knight's Hide as your primary fire armor, you can take advantage of its 44% Earth resist to open up an extra armor slot by using it as your first-turn Earth armor before swapping to Stone Golem Form. Another option - if you're looking to carry several Shapeshifter Forms - is to carry Whispering Raiment as your general first-turn armor. Its initiative bonus will allow those with high LUK to all-but-guarantee going first.
This class opens up interesting end-game possibilities for Pure Rangers. Since they are likely to have an abundance of free armor slots, they can cover several elements with both offensive and defensive armors. That will allow them to, for example, tank a monster's SP skill or MP spells in a defensive armor before swapping to an offensive armor to take it down. This class, as you can see, has many strategic uses.
For this section, as well as for the remainder of the guide, I've decided to move away from the traditional 'progression' model. That is, rather than giving you a progression of the armors you should pick up for each lean/element at successive levels throughout the game, I'm going to be listing the best available options in each sub-category as well as some good gap-filling equipment. So, for example, instead of this:
Z-Blade Scythe Replica (10G) -> Blazing Glaive (16G) -> Sariel's Vigil (22) -> Blazing Glaive (38G) -> Sariel's Vigil (52, 72G) -> Spear of Agony's Chains (83G) -> Sariel's Vigil (92) -> Mature Dragon Knight's Fang (105) -> Sariel's Vigil (112, 126, 132G) -> Wyrm Knight's Fang (150G)
You'll now see this:
The Spear from the Dragon Knight Series will be your best end-game option. Sariel's Vigil and Blazing Glaive are useful gap-fillers.
I believe this format will be just as helpful to those searching for equipment while also being simpler, clearer, and easier to maintain. Having said that, the Armors section won't need to change much. For the most part, you'll want to pick up a Mastercraft (MC) armor for each element at around L75 and then upgrade that when available until you hit the level cap. As I mention above, class armors can carry you through the first 75 levels or so. During that time, it would behoove you to experiment with different flavors of equipment so you get a sense of which sort of armors you prefer - offensive, defensive, or neutral. Those who prefer offensive armors should pair them with weapons that have low special rates, while those who prefer defensive armors should pair them with 100-proc weapons. You should aim to have a full complement of armors - including coverage for each element - by around L75 since there is a palpable increase in difficulty during the middle stages of the game.
In the very early going, you can rely on Scholar class armor's zard prism skill to swap your weapon's element to the monster's weakest resistance. Aerodu Armor and Werepyre Form are two good options for early-game offensive armors. Those training some INT will find Mage robes useful in the early going, as its elemental skill will do decent damage. Ranged Hybrids will also find Berserker to be a useful class. All rangers should train as a Knight and specialize to a subclass. Knights have access to a good armor, a good bow and lance, and a pair of good miscs, each of which specializes to certain elements depending on your subclass.
You can pick up Nighthunter/Shadowslayer armors at level 30, so you'll likely want to begin training there around then. If you're planning to train as a Necromancer and/or as a Paladin (INT requried for both), I'd recommend starting early - you can pick up basic versions of both armors at level 38 that will be useful for a long while. Ranged Hybrids should also be able to pick up Wizard Robes around this time. And I'd also recommend that all Rangers train as Ninjas.
With a Nighthunter/Shadowslayer armor, Shinobo Shozoku, and a specialized Knight armor, you should be in good shape. If you find yourself fighting dragons often, training as a Dragonslayer would be a good idea. It also wouldn't hurt to train as a Martial Artist now that SP skills can be used more frequently. When you hit level 70, Dracopyre of Night is a nice pickup, and you can train as an Assassin as well.
While you can get by with class armors for a while, if you'd rather not spend the time completing class training you could also pick up the basic elemental armors available in Yulgar's. These armors are nothing fancy; they're neutral lean armors with no bells or whistles, but they'll get the job done. Their availability gives you greater flexibility in terms of when you should start questing for Mastercraft Armors. My general recommendation is around L75; while some are available before then, the quests to unlock them are long and at low levels you'll outgrow them quickly. If you want to wait until L90 or later, though, that's fine too. You can explore the encyclopedia's armor section and find equipment that works for you, using the armors in Yulgar's to fill any gaps you may have.
When you decide to start questing for Mastercraft armors, you should make sure to have an armor, weapon, shield, pet, and misc item for that quest. You can purchase an appropriate armor and shield from Yulgar's and you can check out the weapon and misc sections below for information about the best available equipment.
Guardians: Overlord Series (75, 90, 105, 120, 135, 150G)
Adventurers: Overlord Series (75, 90, 105, 120, 135)
Guardians: Dragon Knight Series (75, 90, 105, 120, 135, 150G)
Adventurers: Dragon Knight Series (75, 90, 105, 120, 135)
Guardians: Black Pirate Costume (79, 99, 119, 129, 139G, 149G)
Adventurers: Black Pirate Costume (79, 99, 119, 129)
Note: The seasonal rare WHEEL (70, 90, 110, 130, 150G) is the best option here for Adventurers and Guardians since Black Pirate Costume's attack is partially locked to water. If you don't have WHEEL, you will probably wish to attune your no-drop armor to water. You could also pick up a Snide Misc, but if you do, keep in mind that you won't have a first-turn water armor (unless you also grab a pirate costume).
Guardians: Flawfish (70, 90, 110, 130, 150G)
Adventurers: Flawfish (70, 90, 110, 130) -> Llyr's Druid (135)
Note: LLyr's Druid (75, 90, 105, 120, 135, 150G) may be a better option for Ranged Hybrids, though other than L135 Adventurers, those with 0 INT would be better off with Flawfish.
Guardians: Horde's Series (70, 90, 110, 130, 150G)
Adventurers: Horde's Series (70, 90, 110, 130)
Note: The seasonal rare Tyrannochicken Rex Rider is a better alternative -- it's a multi-hit FO armor with good secondary resistances and a powerful skill.
Guardians: Fujin Plate (75, 90, 105, 120, 135, 150G)
Adventurers: Fujin Plate (75, 90, 105, 120, 135)
Guardians: Horo-Show Series (68, 88, 108, 128G, 133, 148G)
Adventurers: Horo-Show Series (68, 88, 108, 133)
For Adventurers, Castigator's Doctrine (120) is a viable gap-filler between L108 and L133. And if you know you won't want to use the skill, you can skip the MC and save some gold with Void Vigilante.
Guardians: Horo-Show Series (68, 88, 108, 128G, 133, 148G)
Adventurers: Horo-Show Series (68, 88, 108, 133) or Nemesis Series (75, 90, 105, 120, 135)
The best defensive Ice armor for both Adventurers and Guardians is the seasonal rare ReignDragon Rider (75, 95, 115, 135, 150G). If it's not in season, though...
For adventurers, the Nemesis series is noticeably better than the HSVV series defensively. But the HSVV series has a far stronger attack as well as a strong skill and is on the old armor lean system, so your incoming damage is not multiplied by 1.25. For that reason I'd generally suggest sticking with the HSVV series, but if for whatever reason you prefer the Nemesis Series it is a good option for adventurers. Since there's no L150 Nemesis Armor, though, Guardians should stick with HSVV.
Note that if you generally use 100-proc weapons, you'll want to pair HSVV with a low-proc fire weapon. 100-proc users could also consider aligning their no-drops to Ice, since Spear of Awe (Ice) can be used with Wyrm Knight's Hide (due to its *.9 lean) if you'd rather not quest for a temporary 100-proc weapon.
Guardians: Morningstar Series (75, 90, 105, 120, 135) -> Ep-Pig (145G) -> Chimeran (150G)
If you picked up the seasonal rare WHEEL (70, 90, 110, 130, 150G) for water, you can use it for earth as well -- its skill is useful against a fairly large number of earth monsters and the compression is nice as well.
Adventurers: Morningstar Series (75, 90, 105, 120, 135)
Guardians: Earth Dragon Form (76) -> Bland Truphma Suit (83G) -> Expert Hunter (94) -> Truphma Suit (106) -> Peerless Hunter (119) -> Deadly Hunter (134G) -> Bland Truphma Suit (146G)
Adventurers: Earth Dragon Form (76) -> Truphma Suit (86) -> Expert Hunter (94) -> Truphma Suit (106) -> Peerless Hunter (119) -> Ancient Dragon Knight's Hide (135)
Note: If you picked up Doll Form (seasonal rare), it's the top defensive Earth armor and it also edges out HSVV for defensive ice armors. Another option for Guardians is Stone Golem Form (Shapeshifter class). Doll Form is a slightly stronger Earth armor, but Stone Golem can save you an armor slot - you can use Wyrm Knight as your first-turn Earth armor.
Guardians: Taladosian Series (75, 90, 105, 120, 135, 150G)
Adventurers: Taladosian Series (75, 90, 105, 120, 135)
Guardians: Quester's Heavy Gunner Series (70, 90, 110, 130, 150G)
Adventurers: Quester's Heavy Gunner Series (70, 90, 110, 130)
Guardians: Shadow of Doubt (77G) -> Ultimon's Armor (105, 120, 135, 150G)
Adventurers: Solaris Series (70, 90) -> Ultimon's Armor (105, 120, 135)
Guardians: Communicant Series (75, 90, 105, 120, 135, 150G)
Adventurers: Communicant Series (75, 90, 105, 120, 135)
Note: Those who wish to save a bit of gold and/or an armor slot (by compressing light and darkness) can go with the Shadow of Doubt series for light and darkness.
Guardians: Shadow of Doubt (77G) -> Ultimon's Armor (105, 120, 135, 150G)
Adventurers: Nemesis Series (75, 90) -> Ultimon's Armor (105, 120, 135)
Guardians: Twilight Series (75, 90, 105, 120, 135, 150G)
Adventurers: Twilight Series (75, 90, 105, 120, 135)
Note: As above, those who wish to save a bit of gold and/or an armor slot (by compressing light and darkness) can go with the Shadow of Doubt series for light and darkness. I would not recommend using an armor from the Nemesis series as your primary darkness armor, as doing so will leave you without an armor to use against the plethora of Shadow monsters out there.
Utility Armors and Z-Token Options:
- Rider Armors available in the Guardian Tower (Guardian only) can replace your no-drop armor (note that the armors don't scale with your level, so this is really only relevant at L150). They're available in Fire, Wind, Earth, Light, and Darkness, and are a noticeably higher pLvl than your no-drops at L150 (153 vs. 145). If you use one of these, keep in mind that you'll also be able to set your no-drop element to cover your weakest weapon and shield. They're neutral in lean and non-MC, but if you're not a fan of your no-drop armor -- or if you'd benefit from the ability to set your no-drop element without worrying about your armors -- keep in mind that these are available.
- Shapeshifter Forms: These are available to both adventurers and guardians, though the adventurer forms are all neutral in lean. They each take up a spell slot and can each summon an armor. Keep in mind that if you're using one of these as your only armor of a certain element, you won't have a first-turn armor in that element.
- Algern's Carapace: While technically a darkness armor, Algern's Carapace (AC) is not prototypical due to the darkness lock on its attack. This means that, unless you are using a weapon such as a bow that bypasses an armor's inherent properties, you will only deal darkness damage. But, as a result, AC receives elemental compensation that boosts its attack power. AC's skill sacrifices some damage to regenerate your HP. Because it is strongest defensively against darkness attacks and is locked into dealing darkness damage, it is strictly a utility armor; but against certain monsters, it is an extremely powerful armor.
- Svadilfari's Oath: Svadilfari's Oath (SO) is designed in the mold of AC, but it's an energy armor. SO's skill sacrifices some damage for the chance to inflict paralysis.
- Fujin Plate: The first and best of a few defensive utility armors, Fujin Plate is extremely strong in several situations. Some carry it specifically for the Wind Essence since it's your best option for that fight, but its utility doesn't end there. For those with high DEX/LUK, if you carry an MRM boosting misc its skill allows you to more or less turn off damage for 3 turns. That's useful against monsters such as Goggs, as well as in many other situations.
- Shadow of Doubt: This isn't a 'must have', but it may be the best defensive utility armor other than Fujin. It's not worth carrying if you're using Ultimon's and is less useful if you don't have high CHA, but if you do, its skill is a nice option.
- Neutral No-Drops: I'm a bit hesitant to recommend changing your no-drops to Neutral since for many they still fill a useful elemental gap, and because they'll force you to use a compression armor and shield. But if you're someone for whom that's not a huge issue, Neutral no-drops have their uses. With multi-elemental monsters at their current power level, the armor and shield can both be useful, and if you have a compression weapon UG Scythe is a good utility weapon for offensive Rangers.
- Generalist's Robes: Generalist's Robes are a very good utility armor for Ranged Hybrids, mainly due to their spell-boosting power.
- Ebony Sepulchure Form: If you have some Z-tokens to spend, Ebony Sepulchure is a solid investment. There are plenty of other good darkness armors so it's not an essential pickup, but it has a couple of useful secondary resistances (earth and water) and a skill that synergizes very well with any Undead trigger items you might have.
< Message edited by Jdilla -- 4/8/2016 14:52:07 >