Our resident Heropon Riki is next up in our Builds for Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition. Before we get into it however, we must illuminate what we consider to be a travesty: Contrary to popular community opinion, Riki is actually a tremendously powerful party member. We will admit that the early portions of his time within the party can feel rough and he pales in his initial comparison to Melia, a character that joins during a similar time period, but given a little time Riki turns into an absolute monster, capable of dealing massive Ether damage, providing incredible utility and even covering the teams entire healing needs alone. Should you fall into the camp of those that have yet to give our little champion a chance, give one of the below builds a chance and see if we can change your mind…
1. Utility Build
Our first Riki build is probably the most popular among players, at least as far as we have heard. In terms of our usage, it’s certainly up there during the early game, but as we progress we’ll admit preference for our second choice. Regardless, the intention with this build is pretty obvious: This is a Riki that can do pretty much everything. He’s capable of starting the Break & Topple process, frequently healing a good amount of health and contributing both physical and ether based damage. Generally speaking this build tends a little further towards the Ether side of the equation, especially given that his heal and Break ability scale as it rises, but we always like to keep at least one physical ability.
Given that this is our Utility build, the art palette includes a bit of everything. As noted we like to keep Bitey Bitey, and we’d also like to highlight that ending a Max physical combo with this ability will make your opponent bleed for massive amounts of damage every two seconds – it’s not unusual to see this bleed damage scale into the high thousands, and it’s a nice alternative available to physical based parties. The Ether based spells can be swapped in and out depending on your requirements, though we’d argue that Burninate is just too good to miss out on, especially against groups of enemies. Oh and if you’re struggling to justify keeping Riki in your team, prioritise levelling his heal, the cooldown gets crazy low after a while and completely transforms his healing capabilities.
- Art Seal and Debuff Resist gems are both essential to a caster such as Riki, though we’d argue that Art Seal Resist is much more critical. Riki isn’t an auto attacker, so without arts he’s completely toothless.
- An arts palette that covers as many bases as possible will open up the rest of your party for purely damaging options. We love having a Melia and Reyn combo with this Riki, with those two focused entirely on damage and a little tank.
- Jack of all trades, but very good at high art levels.
- Heal becomes incredible when levelled highly due to low CD.
- Talent boost means that Riki will steal items from almost every enemy faced. This can be switched out, but we like the random useful items that Riki sometimes throws up at the end of a battle.
2. Hybrid Damage Build
We mentioned that the Utility build wasn’t our favourite, and that’s because of this, the Hybrid Damage Riki build. Again our rule remains true here: Give him some time and level his arts, and Riki turns into a beast. In this case we’re prioritising almost all damaging abilities to the detriment of his overall utility; we’re not interested in breaks, topples or crowd control, we just want a massive amount of damage and Riki has no problem providing these. It’s also worth noting that this is a completely autopilot build – there’s no need to control him at all, he’ll do just fine under CPU control. It’s worth reiterating however that Riki really isn’t an auto attack specialist, so whilst we’re bringing plenty of physical attacks it’s still better to stack up his Ether proficiency.
Hardly any surprises here are there? As noted his Ether damage arts are going to do huge amounts of damage, and those three physical attacks will allow you to stack up some massive combo damage, with Bitey Bitey again being a good combo ending art. Happy Happy is, as always, essential for a party that contains Riki; given some levels you’ll be shocked just how quickly your combo comes back around during long battles. Naturally this build also does some huge healing, and in the true late game the Say Sorry ability can do massive chunks of damage.
- Maximise Ether arts and gems to ensure Riki does huge damage with this build.
- The build also provides a great amount of healing, though it will need levelling up if you want him to solo heal some of the tougher late game encounters.
- This is also our favourite build for combo-less, pure auto damage builds. Slot in some haste buffed, double attacking melee attackers – like Dunban and Fiora – and watch enemies get completely shredded barely any input.
- Late game this negates the need for any other healer.
- Does not mix well with a high damage Melia unless you pick and choose which spell type is taken by each. With a little work they can do huge damage together, just be careful not to overlap Blaze and Poison damage.
3. Physical Build
If you’ve been reading any of our build guides then you’ll know that we like to include some non-standard, unusual guides wherever possible. That being the case, here is our Riki version: The Physical Build. As you might imagine, this flies in the face of his canon, Ether focused style, eschewing yellow gems in favour of red, pure Strength versions. These gems will buff up Riki’s weapon damage which in turn powers up his red physical skills. We opt to keep the Art and Debuff Resist gems, which are more of a preference thing than anything else, but otherwise it’s fairly simple.
Well OK, it’s not actually that simple. The build revolves around two things; The high damage possible from Bitey Bitey, but now the inclusion of Say Sorry as a main focus. By including two debuff options on Riki himself, and including even more options on his weapons (and indeed team members) his Say Sorry damage will be massive, even more so if you manage to end a full red combo with it. In practice the method is as follows:
- Control Riki.
- Apply damage over time Ether attacks.
- Ensure others apply their damage over time or debuff effects.
- Hopefully auto attacks from members and Riki apply even more debuffs.
- Activate a combo, helped by Happy Happy usage building the Party gauge.
- Stack the red combo up to maximum without using Say Sorry.
- Fire off Say Sorry at maximum combo rating for an incredible amount of damage.
This is all about maximising those physical attacks, so whilst we include two of Riki’s damage over time Ether attacks, the main events are those red arts. Peekaboo isn’t strictly necessary, but we like to keep four physical arts active to maximise those lucky extended combo chains. Play Dead is an obvious physical damage buff, though we’re not too precious with this, given that it doesn’t incorporate well in combo attacks – nice to remove aggro though. As ever Happy Happy is a mainstay, and now that we think about it is probably one of the absolute best arts in the game.
- Prioritises physical arts, clearly, but bring damage over time and debuffs to maximise Say Sorry damage.
- Strength and indeed anything that buffs weapon damage will improve physical arts damage.
- Bring other party members with debuffs to maximise Say Sorry. Melia is a great choice here, Dunban too.
- Bring Happy Happy to get combo attacks as much as possible.
- Peekaboo can be switched around if necessary. Hero Time works well, though its random nature is a little frustrating at times.
- This build cares not for your Break & Topple combos, it’s all about dealing massive physical damage, nothing more nothing less.
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