Obligatory Fiora Spoiler Warning…. If you have not played Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition to at least 50% completion, we’d recommend that you do so prior to reading this. Alright, everybody clear? Let’s get into it then.
As a character Fiora is most aptly characterised as an unstoppable force, or at least that’s how she feels in the hands. Technically her kit is filled with group attacks, aggro abilities, utility arts and even heals, but none of these detract from the fact that you’re controlling a whirring, dual blade wielding, enemy munching machine. In fact, we’d go so far as to say that despite the three builds we’ve noted down here today being very different, she’s still likely to out-damage pretty much any other party member no matter your choice. We noted in our previous article that Melia at her absolute peak just about competes with Fiora for pure damage output, and whilst this is certainly true, nothing quite compares to the spinning, slicing dervish that is our girl from Colony 9. Anyway, we’ve been looking forward to writing this one for a while, so let’s get into the builds shall we?
1. Utility Build
As per usual when it comes to these builds, we like to start proceedings by discussing the Utility build. In essence, this is the build that you’d likely fall into without paying too much attention, and no matter the character they manage to perform well. It’s the generic build, or indeed the ‘third party member controlled by the CPU’ build – one that does the job with little fuss and offers enough options to help you out in most situations.
For Fiora this means bringing as much to the table as possible. You’ll note from the gems that we’ve brought Aggro down, something you’d expect to see in her damage build more than anything else, but she’ll still do tremendous damage with this build and you’ll likely be focusing on other characters so it’s good to have hers automatically reduced. We’ve yet to go crazy customising the weapon too; a unique like the one we have chosen is good enough for a utility build, and besides you’ll probably have your best gems loading up the leader and tank at this point. Overall Fiora will do well in a utility role; we’d argue that you’re probably better off with someone like Riki in your third slot given that he can contribute party heals too, but this is a great option for some alternative groups, especially those where you take control of the main healing source.
The arts we’ve chosen for the Utility build don’t get too adventurous either. We’ve skipped giving her the aggro-magnet haste buff in favour of some nice supporting spells, such as the full Break, Topple and Daze combo, and we’ve also brought in her group Strength debuff which is always nice for farming groups or taking on side quests. As per usual with our builds we do like to bring a selection of red physical arts for doing crazy combo damage, though we’ll admit a CPU controlled Fiora isn’t always going to be in the right position to make the most of them.
- Ideal in the 3rd party slot, contributing the necessary Topple steps where required.
- Very nice team member for farming groups of enemies or side quests.
- Fiora is less reliant on resisting debuffs or art seals thanks to her excellent auto attacks, though you may want to switch these gems in for the more annoying challenge battles.
- We tend to prefer the long beam drones with this build, again for mopping up groups, but the sword versions work just as well and should certainly be prioritised for single target battles.
2. Tank Build
Second on our list, and one that we must note is hardly mentioned in the XBC community, is the tanking version of Fiora. Yes, her arts are more limited than both Dunban and Reyn, but doesn’t mean she can’t tussle with the big lads and she has more than enough group attacks in her kit to keep vast swathes of opponents fixated. Most of this comes down to her massive auto attack damage of course, and we’re well aware that some of her group arts are on a long cool down, but she’ll manage tanking just fine.
You’ll immediately note however that we’ve maxed out her ‘Aggro Up’ – technically she probably doesn’t need this on a single target, but if you’re making a build such as this then we expect you’ll have some pretty heavy hitters in your team and she might need a little help. Other than this we’ve maxed out the haste, naturally, and we’ve chosen to throw some kind of debuff on her weapon too – Fiora will hit so often that she’ll keep these debuffs applied almost 100% of the time, so it’s worth taking advantage whenever you can.
We’ll get the surprising thing out of the way first: Yes we have left her Haste buff out. On balance we could have probably remove one of her red physical arts and taken it instead, and yes she probably would generate more aggro on a single target this way, but we’re a bit old fashioned in the sense that we like our tanks to well… Tank, and with this art palette she’ll do that fantastically well. Her Power Drain group art is always a great way to start battles versus multiple targets and a Mag Storm followed by a Double Wind will keep everything focusing on Fiora for quite a while.
- Will generate a fantastic amount of aggro, especially against groups.
- Consider switching one of her red physical arts out for her Speed Shift aura when taking on big single targets.
- We’re never huge fans of ‘Lock On’ arts, but Fiora can do great things in a pinch when you combine it with Guard Shift.
- Mag Storm can be switched out for Ether Drain depending on your current targets, though in that case we’d recommend you shuffle things further to keep some of her Ether attacks, ideally being used after you’ve taken on a portion of your opponents power.
- Don’t go thinking that taking the Healing Energy art is a good idea – this is a terrible art and a complete waste in any Fiora build, let alone her tanking.
3. Damage Build
Oh boy, here we go. When combined with some of her skills and pointed at one single target, this Fiora build is almost unassailable in terms of damage output in the entirety of Xenoblade Chronicles. Nothing comes even close to doing such massive amounts of damage in short periods of time. Yes Shulk might do massive chunks with his Backslash, and Dunban might look cool getting double attacks all of the time, but trust us; nothing compares to this.
Yet, for the majority of the game most of you will probably question this fact. Oh sure Fiora does a good amount of damage, but really that much more than the others? Well, it all slots into place when you unlock her Rashness skill tree and learn the ‘Critical Combo’ skill. This magnificent beast of a skill turns all of your double attacks into critical hits. Yes that’s right, no random chance and no fuss, just flat makes your doubles crit! So you’ll note that we’ve maxed out the chance to double attack, pushed as much Haste on there as possible and maxed out her Strength, all in the name of generating stronger and more frequent critical hits. Honestly it’s going to take you quite a while to unlock everything here, from the skill tree to farming her best weapon, but it’s so very worth it when you finally get there.
Hmmm.. Do these really matter? Don’t get us wrong, Speed Shift is very much needed to boost that Haste even further, but the rest of them aren’t exactly necessary. It’s all about generating as many auto attacks as possible remember, so don’t lose any sleep over these choices. We do still bring plenty of red arts for combo attacks, and it’s nice to power up Double Blade with Second Gear from time to time, but you’ll probably be too busy positioning yourself and watching those comedically large damage numbers to really care.
- All about maximising auto attack damage with Fiora – if something distracts from this then ignore it and get back to slicing with those dual blades.
- Despite the Critical Combo skill elevating this build into the stratosphere, even without it you’ll get a tremendous amount of damage from this.
- Good luck trying to keep aggro away from this version of Fiora.
- You could bring some group attacks if… No really don’t bother, just auto attack everything in sight and if we haven’t mentioned this enough already: Seriously good luck trying to keep aggro off her. Bring taunts, you’ll need them.
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