Courageous half-Entia Melia is next up in our series of Build articles, and we must report that we’ve been looking forward to this one. Where other characters share similarities, be it through melee style attacking or tanking, Melia has a style quite like no other. She focuses almost entirely on spell casting, causing a variety of novel damage types to build up her talent gauge, before releasing it all in a flurry of huge magical blasts. Like others she is capable of supporting the team in ways, but to focus on these would be to miss the point: Melia is a pocket sized, super powerful glass cannon. Give her some levels, opt to take full control of her and watch the sparks fly.
1. Utility Build
If you’ve skimmed through and checked out both the titles and pictures of each build, then you’ll no doubt have noticed that Ether Up plays a big part in each one. This is a rather obvious inclusion but it’s worth reiterating: Almost all of Melia’s arts scale with Ether, so maximising it will benefit almost everything she does. As you can see we’ve capped it, but if you’re at an earlier portion in the game then just do your best to give her as much as possible, be it through unique pieces of equipment or gems. Other than that it’s a bit of a ‘does it all’ build, especially with our arts selection, and it’s also the build that will do best in the hands of the CPU. We’re not about to say it’ll be anywhere near as good as you controlling her yourself, but it’ll support your team and do some reasonable damage.
The build as a whole is designed to keep Melia going no matter what. She has the lowest HP total in the game at base, so we always like chucking at least one HP Up gems on her somewhere, though you can use this slot for more Ether earlier in the game. Debuff and Art Seal gems we consider essential in the mid to late game – debuffs like Bind and such wont bother her, but if she is afflicted with slow or seal then she’s rendered entirely useless. Weapon gems are key, as you’ll see in our builds below, and it’s worth noting that these are percentage based increases, which is much better than just stacking Ether, so do your best to get some good Blaze, Chill or Poison Up gems in there if you can.
Being a utility build the arts that we’ve chosen are meant to cover as many bases as possible. Starlight Kick is actually a very good Topple skill, specifically because it has no additional requirements to make it activate, and bringing Spear Break is essential for stacking up those high damage red combos. Summon Aqua and Healing Gift can provide some spot healing for the team, though you’ll soon learn that these do not make Melia a main healer, far from it. Our damage options are Summon Bolt and Summon Flare, which grant Ether Up and Strength Up respectively, and both are capable of doing some great damage. She does have a lot more damage options, but we prefer to keep her focused on just a few types in this Utility build.
- This build is all about providing support and utility in every way, so we don’t include ‘close up’ abilities like Summon Ice – it does more damage technically, but Melia will be less safe when close.
- Perfectly usable in a CPU slot, though we’d argue that an equally levelled Riki will easily outperform her in a non-leader position.
- May require some additional healing if you’re taking on difficult content – Shulk, or Riki will function well here, but be careful about overlapping damage types with Riki.
- We don’t bring crowd control abilities like Hypnotise or Shadow Stitch. You can use these but we tend to find that all of her other arts take priority, either in terms of power or utility.
- Great build for progression content, but if you’re doing side quests or farming then you should consider one of our subsequent builds instead.
2. Group Damage Build
At some point during your Xenoblade Chronicles journey you’ll come up against groups of opponents. Alright, most of the time you’l be coming up against multiple enemies, and as such you’re going to want builds that can deal with them. In this regard we should first note that we recommend you take control of Melia, at least if you want to optimise the amount of damage you do here. Our art palette is chocked full of group damage spells and you’ll want to be strategic with their spacing and usage. It’s all about doing the most group damage possible and this requires some of the following;
- Allow others in the team to take aggro.
- Let enemies gather up around your tanking units.
- Summon and release all three main spells. Prioritise landing Ice first, then Blaze and Wind.
- Summon Copy of Wind and release it whilst the other two are ticking for damage over time.
- Use Burst End and release more group damage spells when possible.
- Mind Blast can be used if you get the chance, but prioritise Burst End where possible.
You will note that we do not bring Summon Bolt. This does give the party an Ether Up buff which will increase the damage you do, but we prefer to bring all 3 group damage spells instead to keep a continued flow of group damage spells going. If you want to do less frequent but more group damage at once, consider adapting the single target rotation we detail in the final build.
As you might imagine we’re prioritising group damage spells here. Summon Ice is the highest damage spell on offer here, but bear in mind that you need to be near the enemies for it to land. This is also one of the reasons that we bring Reflection – Melia will generate massive amounts of aggro with this build, and this combined with her very low HP total can be a recipe for disaster. As per usual we’re bringing Spear Break too, because who doesn’t love having that option for stacking up red damage combos?
- Summon Ice will do huge amounts of damage so get this spell ticking first, followed by Flare, Wind and a Summon Copy of Wind. Rinse and repeat until you can Burst End, then continue.
- In the late game it’s not unusual to see Summon Ice ticking for over 10,000 damage per dot tick, with approx. 6 – 7000 Blaze damage from Flare.
- Again be careful not to stack this with Riki, since his spells are generally less powerful and will cancel out any Melia Damage over time effects if cast after her.
- Be sure to bring tanks and their group attacks. In fact a team with both Dunban and Reyn work well here. Consider removing other abilities from their Art Palette so that they only use group attacks or taunts.
- Expect Melia to die quite a few times, but once you get used to the timings this build can shred groups quicker than anything else in the game.
3. Single Target Build
Alright then, we’re had some fun playing with a supportive Melia and indeed our group farming version, but it’s time to get down to the real business of the Xenoblade Chronicles late game: Single targets. The majority of the late game, non-story portion of the game is likely to revolve around hunting high level elite targets, and this particular Melia build is probably the single best character/build combo for taking them down. You will of course note that we’ve kept the essentials; Art Seal, Debuff Resist and as much Ether Up as possible, but we’ve also tweaked our weapon gems to maximise single target damage. Chill Plus will bring the biggest benefit and when these are combined with Electric Plus and Poison Plus, the single target damage possibilities will be maximised.
The rotation here is going to be slightly different:
- Summon Bolt for the Ether Up Buff.
- Summon Copy for another Ether Up Buff (2 Bolt Stacks for 2 Buffs).
- Summon Ice & Release Ice.
- Summon Earth & Release Earth.
- Release Bolt.
- Release Bolt.
- Summon Bolt.
- (Possible Gap in cool downs here, depending on art levels)
- Summon Copy (2 Bolt Stacks).
- Repeat Ice and Earth steps.
- Use Burst End as a priority when possible to strip away Ether Defences, gaze upon the devastation you have caused and then return to the rotation.
Note: Summon Copy may not be off cool down in the middle of the combo. If this is the case, then simply release one bolt and summon one, rather than releasing two.
If you’re following the rotation above then you’ll likely only be bothered about the right hand side of the Art Palette here. Rightfully so of course, but we like to bring a few additional items just in case. Spear Break is here as usual, because who doesn’t love some strategically positioned Combo attacks, and Reflection is a necessary art due to the sheer amount of aggro this build will pull. Mind Blast is not strictly necessary but we do find that you’ll sometimes be in your discharge mode with the other spells on cooldown, so its useful to have around.
- This is one of the only builds to approach Fiora in terms of single target damage in the entire game, and when late game elite enemies have huge defence rates Melia will pull ahead, even with Fiora’s double-attack-critical skill learned.
- There is a lull at first as Melia builds up Bolt stacks, so use this to generate aggro on your tanking members. She will eventually pull aggro as the fight continues thanks to the massive damage, so be sure to bring some taunts.
- You can opt for some aggro down gems like Art Stealth, but we prefer to go all in on those damage over time buffs.
- Paired with a dodge tank Dunban and a utility Riki build, this makes for one of the best boss killing teams possible, even the late game super bosses cannot stand up to this.
- Prepare to feel like every other character is weak after spending time with this buid.
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