BEFORE I BEGIN:
Quick breakdown of stats and why things are good.
STR: Raises melee damage through the fSTR function. STR+4 ~ Weapon DMG+1. Gives half of its value back as Attack. Damage modifier on a lot of physical spells and most WS. As an aside, its damage-raising property is essentially equivalent to giving your WS and, correct me if I'm wrong, physical spells an extra STR:25% mod on the WSC calculation.
DEX: Raises crit rate very, very slightly (I think DEX+8 = Crit+1%? Not sure). Gives half of its value back as Accuracy. Damage modifier on some physical spells.
VIT: Raises Defense, lowers damage taken by a small amount. Very important damage modifier for Cannonball.
AGI: I don't think this does an awful lot for us. The only notable spells that really use this as a mod are Wild Oats, Jet Stream and Hydro Shot.
INT: Damage modifier for most magical spells. In particular, if you've got an INT mod on a spell and an equal MND mod, like with Firespit and probably Regurgitation, focus on INT more so than on MND.
MND: Damage modifier for some magical spells, notably Mind Blast and Magic Hammer, as well as a couple of physical ones.
CHR: Primarily used for boosting Eyes On Me.
HP: Raises damage for breath spells. Invaluable survival aid.
Attack: Raises melee damage through the pDIF function. Doesn't affect spells.
Accuracy: Raises hit rate, both on attacks and physical spells. For every two points of Accuracy you have, your hit rate increases by 1%. This means more frequent hits and WS, and consequently, more damaging multi-hit WS and spells. As an aside you'll probably be eating food that gives you this in spades, for example sushi or pizza.
Defense: Don't worry about this too much. Most of your DD gear has it anyway, and if you have something hitting you then either your tank sucks or you're overdoing it (or you're soloing and shadows are down). Cocoon should cover all your Defense needs. It's a mod for Cannonball, in that I believe your Defense becomes that thing's Attack value. It therefore makes a lot of sense to stack it up if you're using that spell...
Evasion: Probably not worth bothering. BLU doesn't evade, mobs miss.
Magic Attack Bonus: Very good to have when you're casting magic spells. Does absolutely nothing for physical spells. Sometimes, though, it's better to focus on INT in a given slot.
Magic Accuracy: Affects resist rates when you're casting magical spells. Again, does nothing for physical spells.
Haste: Raises attack speed, and is just about the only stat in the game which gives you increasing returns -- the more you stack, the better it gets. As a bonus, it doesn't affect TP gain per swing.
Dual Wield: If you're Dual Wielding, you'll end up with one or two bits of gear that enhance it. These work a bit like extra Haste, but they don't count towards any Haste caps or anything -- instead, you're looking at a straight Delay reduction, which will impact on TP gain accordingly. For ease of reference, when you get Dual Wield I, your total Delay from having two swords is cut by 10%. Dual Wield II changes that to a 15% reduction. Suppanomimi adds another 5%, Sarashi slips in another 1%, and if you went for the Dual Wield augment on a Mirke Wardecors, that's another 3%. It's calculated separately from Haste when working out your final attack speed. It's got a hard-cap of 45% but we'll never reach that, purely because this is the highest amount of Dual Wield reduction a NIN can get, and they get more gear and better traits than we do to enhance it. We cap out at 24%.
As a side note, DO NOT SUB /NIN BEFORE 24!
Store TP: Increases TP gain per hit by X%, where X is the total amount of Store TP you gain from gear or traits. I don't imagine it's worth building a Store TP build for BLU -- we're not two-handed DDs that can get 6-hit builds -- but there's enough good gear that has it anyway.
Similarly to my DRG guide, this guide will be colour-coded for ease of access.
GOLD gear is essential. Do your level best to get this.
RED gear is either a luxury item, expensive, difficult to get, absurdly rare, or entails a fairly large time sink. That's not to say don't aim for it, just don't expect it to fall into your lap, as it takes a bit more effort to get than other pieces.
LIME gear is approved for situational builds where you would need to focus on nukes rather than on physical spells. Don't worry so much until you're in your 70s. Just to reiterate, Magic Hammer and Mind Blast are MND based spells, and Eyes On Me is a CHR based spell, so stacking INT won't affect damage here.
SEA GREEN gear is a sub-division of Lime, dealing specifically with breath spells.
AQUA gear is generally for casting physical spells. If it has a footnote I'll tell you what it's for.
ROYAL BLUE gear is like Aqua, but specifically for Cannonball.
MAGENTA gear is crap. Avoid it.
WHITE isn't bad or anything, it's just not coloured because I felt it was worth mentioning but doesn't fit into the other categories.
Incidentally, if I don't specifically mention a HQ item, then it's up to you to decide whether it's worth getting it or not.
01: Bronze Sword
01: Wax Sword +1 Optional!
10: Royal Archer's Sword
13: Brass Xiphos
18: Fire Sword
20: Platoon Disc
01: Happy Egg
01: Fortune Egg Both from the Easter events. Nice to have but not essential.
01: Bronze Cap
01: Copper Hairpin
07: Leather Bandana
09: Compound Eye Circlet
10: Brass Hairpin
16: Bone Mask
17: Lizard Helm
20: Trump Crown This is the best headpiece you can wear for several levels. It's ridiculously cheap and can carry you all the way until 43 quite easily.
07: Wing Pendant
09: Armiger's Lace
18: Focus Collar Should be red but you get something much better for much less in three levels.
16: Bone Earring +1
01: Bronze Harness
07: Leather Vest
10: Scale Mail
16: Bone Harness
17: Lizard Jerkin
01: Bronze Mittens
01: Vagabond's Gloves
10: Royal Footman's Gloves
10: Legionnaire's Mittens Both of the Attack+3 hands will serve you much better than Accuracy hands until your Attack's about 120-130.
13: Guerilla Gloves See above and below.
14: Battle Gloves These aren't magenta because they're actually good once your Attack's high enough not to need the lv.10 hands any more.
10: Astral Ring
14: Courage Ring
14: Mighty Ring Get two of these if you can. In red, because I never see them for sale on Hades.
14: Balance Ring
14: Vision Ring Just to prove the point. At this level Mighty Rings are so much better that it's not funny.
15: Fasting Ring Poor man's Astral, but it's got STR on it.
12: Traveller's Mantle
16: Besieger Mantle
18: Brave Belt Best belt until lv.40 -- the NQ is total trash, though.
01: Bronze Subligar WHY!?
01: Slops Please, get these for the sake of your low-level sanity.
07: Leather Trousers
10: Scale Cuisses
15: Phlegethon's Trousers Will easily last you until 25. Weather depending, even longer.
16: Bone Subligar
17: Lizard Trousers
01: Bronze Leggings
07: Leather Highboots
07: Leaping Boots / Bounding Boots Get the Rare/Ex version if you can, but even if you can't, these are the best DD feet for a long time.
10: Scale Greaves
16: Bone Leggings
17: Lizard Ledelsens
17: Mettle Leggings
22: Kaiser Sword
24: Nadrs Carries you through very comfortably until 30.
25: Anthos Xiphos
28: Mithran Scimitar
30: Centurion's Sword Preferably two.
30: Steel Kilij Meeeeeeh. It's a decent sword, it's just that Centurion's has Accuracy on it and is a lot cheaper.
34: Bastokan Sword Damage upgrade, nothing more.
40: Combat Caster's Scimitar Again, preferably two.
40: Immortal's Scimitar It should be both gold and magenta at the same time but it's not -- it's a poor weapon but you need it to start your AF quests.
30: Subjob shields The only exceptions are the /WAR and /WHM ones, but you're generally better off Dual Wielding swords.
28: Chakram All discs are optional but this is cheap and cheerful -- you get no skill with them but at least you can pull!
30: RSE sachets All optional. Elvaan and Hume get the best deal.
24: Empress/Emperor Hairpin Meh... leave this one for the THFs and RNGs.
25: Precision Bandana Very solid if you don't need the MP from Trump Crown.
39: Sinister Mask Considering what drops it and where, I'm not sure it's worth it.
21: Spike Necklace You WILL get the HQ. No excuses!
24: Tiger Stole This is actually better than Spike Necklace until your Attack reaches about 175.
27: Flower Necklace Shouldn't be nuking just yet, but as free, questable gear goes, this isn't a bad entry-level piece for Eyes On Me.
33: Peacock Charm At its level, it's all red; the closer you get to 75, the more gold it becomes.
33: Peacock Amulet It's easier to farm the 2 million required for the non-EX version. Argus is a *****.
21: Beetle Earring +1 Double up on these.
32: Bloodbead Earring Don't worry just yet but this is nice for breath builds later on.
33: Pigeon Earring See Bloodbead Earring.
21: Beetle Harness
27: Brass Scale Mail
30: Mercenary Captain's Doublet
33: RSE (Hume, Elvaan, Tarutaru, Mithra, Galka) All obvious. Elvaan's nothing special, and Galka's in gold because of the MP boost -- that's two extra Bludgeons right there. Keep in mind that there's not a lot before this level that's especially outstanding.
40: Combat Caster's Cloak Strictly optional, consider it only if your RSE didn't have STR on it. Humes especially may find this piece handy, just because -- and I'll be honest here -- your RSE body is bloody terrible.
40: Fomor Tunic As above, but even more optional because of where it comes from. See Sinister Mask.
27: RSE (Hume, Elvaan, Tarutaru, Mithra, Galka) Again, obvious reasons -- if it gives you another Bludgeon or two, consider it!
30: Combat Mittens
30: Rajas Ring Although it doesn't actually get really good until 60 -- it grows with the player so it gets better the higher in level you are. Red because CoP is an enormous, albeit very satisfying, time sink.
30: Divisor Ring Latent's active when your level can divide through by 5, so to keep it simple, this is good when your level ends in a 5 or a 0. Pulls behind Toreador by just a hair.
34: Venerer Ring
35: Jaeger Ring
40: Woodsman Ring GET TWO OF THESE, EVEN IF YOU HAVE RAJAS. NO EXCUSES.
26: Exactitude Mantle +1 Don't bother with the NQ, it's trash.
30: Sarashi Sorry -- even if you've got Suppa and a Dual Wield Mirke at 75, this is garbage.
40: Tilt Belt
25: Republic Subligar It's that time again!
31: RSE Even though a lot of these pieces have enough MP to crank out even more Bludgeons, none of them are remotely as good as Republigar for overall damage. Galka gets it twice as hard because Elder's Braguette makes Republigar look good.
29: RSE (Hume, Elvaan, Tarutaru, Mithra, Galka) Again, all obvious. If Elvaan players don't need Bounding Boots then the RSE is a considerable improvement. It's another two Head Butts, for one thing.
42: Shotel Axe delay kills this thing.
43: Combat Caster's Scimitar +1
50: Immortal's Shotel
51: Elemental Staves Don't use them just yet but these are essential for straight nuke and breath builds.
51: Dark Staff Mentioning separately on the grounds that it's very handy for self-MB MP Drainkiss and/or hMP.
55: Musketeer Commander's Falchion Get two of these, they're fantastic!
55: Wise Wizard's Anelace Only get it if there is no way in hell you can get the above.
60: Greed Scimitar Debatable... It's no MCF, and the Delay's a bit painful for a not-quite-D:38 sword. Redeemed ever so slightly by the DEX+7, which isn't bad for Frenetic Rip. I'd only consider it if I were capped out on sword merits from another job, and for some reason didn't need a second MCF to cap hit rate.
60: Leech Scimitar
55: Raptor Strap +1
60: Bugard Strap +1 Use it if you're using a staff to nuke, obviously.
54: Smart Grenade
58: Tiphia Sting
60: Bibiki Seashell Cannonball ammo!
60: Sturm's Report For spells without INT mods.
41: Voyager Sallet
43: Walkure Mask Obviously, if you're using a tunic, stop using it at this point.
43: Valkyrie's Mask Better than Walkure but more expensive and I won't scream at you for not having this.
50: Storm Zucchetto
59: Zeal Cap Expensive for the moment. The price will settle.
60: Magus Keffiyeh Also fairly decent if you know you have a food-chain advantage. Don't TP or WS in this, whatever you do.
48: Promise Badge Primarily a Mind Blast / Magic Hammer piece.
60: Chivalrous Chain Toss up between Specs and Chiv Chain. While Chiv's better for physical spells, Specs are better for TP and both pieces perform about the same for Vorpal Blade. The two are roughly equivalent.
60: Enlightened Chain
45: Tortoise Earring Sorta optional, the price tag's a turn-off for such a tiny improvement over Beetle+1.
49: Heims Earring Doesn't amount to an awful lot just yet, but it's nice for Cannonball later on, and is alright as an entry-level piece for INT nukes and Eyes On Me.
55: Spike Earring You know the drill.
55: Helenus/Cassandra's Earring Set Only useful as a set. Absolutely horrible to get, but very nice for pretty much all nukes. Breath spells will get more out of HP earrings, though.
50: Cerise Doublet Would be gold if it wasn't a pain to get, if not impossible for those without higher jobs. Debatable whether this should be red, too, as this piece should have competition only from PUPs and other BLUs, but this does mean getting into a subligar run and
hose aren't always too popular.
55: Jaridah Peti
57: Scorpion Harness You will TP and WS in this for a long time, no exceptions.
57: Scorpion Harness +1 It's hard to get if this is your first job but it's utterly fantastic all the same.
58: Magus Jubbah It's really meant to be gold as well, because it's absolutely frakking essential for all your physical spells, but I felt like making a point -- this is spellcasting gear, not for TP or WS.
59: Vermilion Cloak It's not bad as an idle piece but I've magenta'd it because I have seen some BLUs thinking it's OK to fulltime it. It's not.
50: Enkelados' Bracelets I'm not turned on by these, but I guess they're OK for Mandibular Bite at this level. Totally optional.
56: Magus Bazubands Strictly for spell farming.
60: Pallas' Bracelets I'm in love with these for Cannonball and Vertical Cleave... don't bother just yet, or for anything else, though.
49: Ecphoria Ring Cheap and cheerful if you don't have Rajas/Ulthalam's. Losing one point of Accuracy won't kill you if you save money on this.
50: Ulthalam's Ring Red only because the final Aht Urhgan mission proves Murphy's Law: "if something can go wrong, sooner or later it will" (one word: Gospel)
50: Hale Ring Mostly for Regurgitation and Firespit.
55: Lava/Kusha's Ring Set Only useful as a set. Keep in mind these are better than dual Woodsmans, but a swine to get and they lock you out of using Rajas Ring.
57: Toreador's Ring
57: Bomb Queen Ring Best in-slot breath build item.
47: Jaguar Mantle
51: Accura Cape
54: Jester's Cape Eyes On Me build.
44: Headlong Belt See Swift Belt for notice.
48: Life Belt
50: RSE Belts Don't get mixed up with the stones.
50: Swift Belt As I always tell everyone, Life Belt's better if you've got no other significant source of Haste coming in. That Attack nerf really does hurt a fair bit. Red because for all the work you have to do for it, the drop rates could at least be higher than 30% or so.
54: Virtuoso Belt
55: Speed Belt / Velocious Belt On the other hand, use this automatically if you have it.
60: Penitent's Rope
60: Potent Belt For pure TP, Life Belt performs identically and is a lot cheaper. Pulls ahead ever so slightly for spells, though.
50: Crow Hose Mentioning these only because of the Enmity reduction. If you don't like Republigar's aesthetics and/or if your tank is crap (in fact, especially if your tank is crap), then this is nice to have. On its own, however, it won't save you.
54: Magus Shalwar Free armour for Cannonball. Absolute trash for TP and WS though.
50: Crow Gaiters Great if you got nothing else better...
50: Storm Gambieras
52: Magus Charuqs Get these just because you have to, really...
59: Tabin Boots +1 Not golded because they're hardly ever on the AH.
64: Jagdplaute +1 Strictly for /THF Cannonball.
65: Ifrit's Blade A respectable entry-level Cannonball and Vertical Cleave sword, and absolutely fantastic for TP at this level. Replace it before 75 though.
69: Wing Sword +1 Tied with Jagdplaute+1 for best /THF Cannonball sword. On a side note, the NQ of each sword is either on a par with, or better than, Ifrit's Blade for Cannonball, but Ifrit's is equal to the HQ for Vertical Cleave.
70: Rune Blade Don't be suckered by the D:43 on it or you'll end up with no MP.
71: Sapara of Trials Required for Savage Blade.
71: Senior Gold Musketeer's Scimitar On top of being a very fast and respectably strong sword, it's also an underdog for Cannonball if you're a Bastoker.
71: Storm Tulwar
72: Dissector Absolute shit even when it's broken.
72: Martial Anelace Main hand only, and only for this level if you have nothing better.
72: Koggelmander Second best non-mythic and third best Cannonball sword. Red because Tanihwa is a *****, and hard to set up if you're new to the MMM scene.
72: Shiva's Shotel Again, the huge delay kills it, but it's still not too bad.
73: Adaman Kilij
73: Demon/Dragon Slayer AH upgrades to Ifrit's Blade. If you're still using it, I advise you to stop now.
73: Perdu Hanger Would, and should, be gold rather than a mix, but most of the people who wanted Second Lieutenant rank probably have it by now, so it takes a lot of effort to get it if you're too low. Best non-mythic.
73: Lyft Scimitar We need more info on this before I can really pass judgment. Apparently it's a good Cannonball sword in a full party but I'd place it behind Jagdplaute+1/Wing Sword+1 all the same.
74: Fragarach Arguably the third best non-mythic non-Magian, but not worth its astronomical pricetag. I'd evaluate it very differently were it about a million gil cheaper.
75: Beast Slayer Get it merced or something if you can't get a ZNM shell. Most shells will do Cheese Hoarder Gigiroon anyway to start a Tinnin pop set. A staple in most sword builds pre-Perdu.
75: Concordia Again, need more info before passing judgment.
75: Erlking's Blade Dependent on good augments. Potentially batters Fragarach senseless. Main hand only.
75: Hofud You'd think that as it comes from Odin, it would be better. In spite of its HP+3%, it is pointless for a breath build, unless you know for a fact you won't get resisted without a staff.
75: Wightslayer Needed to get Expiacion.
75: Nobilis Mentioning only because it used to be the top tier sword on its particular chain. Superceded by itself, funnily enough.
75: Antea (D:40) Before the cap raise this was far and away the best sword BLU can equip, battering even Tizona senseless.
75: Antea (D:23) This is worse than Ifrit's Blade.
75: Soulsaber (Stat Boost Path) All of these are an effective D:43, so offhand with Perdu main.
--: Fire Bye-bye Koggelmander!
--: Wind Speaks for itself.
--: Lightning Fantastic multi-hit casting sword.
--: Earth It's more for PLDs. While arguably ok for Cannonball, Fire gives you more.
75: Soulsaber (Additional Effect Path) Keep in mind, these are all an effective D:45 when fully upgraded, so mainhand them unless you're using something even stronger as well.
--: Fire I'm not so enamoured with this one. Mob pDIF floors out really high, and a lot of blood tanks are likely to be flooring enemy pDIF or come close to flooring it without trying; if not blood tanking, then blink tanking, where this thing's additional effect is basically moot. It's not inherently bad but not always needed.
--: Wind Do try to get this thing, it looks really nice. Accuracy boosts for the whole party are always nice.
--: Lightning As with Fire, nice but not always that fantastic, if only because of how ridiculously high mob Accuracy is, and how low the average tank's evasion is likely to be. Strikes me as more useful than Fire, though.
--: Light Useless. If your RDMs and BLMs need help landing debuffs and nukes, then they should probably look into improving their own gear rather than relying on your sword.
--: Ice Although it's viable if you use your BLU to fight a lot of heavy casters...
--: Earth Lowering an enemy's Defense is always nice. This is probably one of those things nobody's going to notice until they start dropping harder WS. Consequently this guy actually gives Nobilis a run for its money.
--: Water If you do a lot of fights with a heavy focus on nuking, though, this is more viable.
--: Dark See Ice.
74: Genbu's Shield /THF Cannonball piece, and arguably viable in a lot of non-/NIN situations or where you're likely to be taking a few knocks. Red because Sky can, on occasion, be a rather cut-throat business, and Genbu might not even pay out every time.
75: Acheron Shield Currently the best /THF Cannonball shield.
65: Axe Grip SA Cannonball with Fire Staff only!
70: Elemental Grips
75: Aureole uh-huh...
66: Phantom Tathlum Counterpart to Sturm's Report for nukes with INT mods.
69: Goblin Cracker Sidegrade to Tiphia, but red because of where it comes from.
70: Fenrir's Stone Daytime only, but isn't bad for a breath setup.
70: White Tathlum
70: Hedgehog Bomb It wasn't worth putting in a colour for a healing build when there are really only a handful of pieces that qualify, so it had to be lime. Good for when you need more MP for extra cures, I guess.
65: Wivre Mask The HQ is an exceptional Cannonball piece, with the NQ also pulling its weight very well.
68: Cobra Cap
70: Optical Hat Red only because if you don't have a good group for it, it's a real swine to get. Very nice for multi-hit spells and WS.
70: Maat's Cap One of the best spellcasting heads by far, and freakin' amazing for WS. Although I'm wondering why you'd need my guide if you have one of these.
71: Gnadbhod's Helm A mini Hecatomb Cap that BLU can at least use.
72: Dusk Mask Never on the AH, but the HQ is best-in-slot for Cannonball by a country mile. I'm fairly convinced the NQ is a touch behind Wivre Mask +1 though.
72: Enkidu's Cap
72: Errant Hat More flexibility than AF if only because you can also use it for Eyes On Me.
72: Yigit Turban
73: Saurian Helm Never cast a breath spell in anything else unless you have Relic head. Even then, I think this will still pull ahead very slightly for Heat Breath, but I admit there's not a lot in it.
74: Magus Keffiyeh +1
75: Anwig Salade (AUG) Generally the best option seems to be going for the Super-Accuracy augments for WS.
75: Walahra Turban No excuses!
75: Denali Bonnet Walahra Turban stomps this flat.
75: Homam Zucchetto If you need Haste, use Walahra Turban; if you need Accuracy, use O.Hat; if you need a Cannonball head, use Wivre Mask. Redeemed slightly in that Magic Accuracy +4 may help MP Drainkiss and sleeps, but this is a situational macro piece only, not a TP head.
75: Morrigan's Coronal Good for things like Vertical Cleave and Frenetic Rip, as well as for general nuking, but it does require a lot of Salvage.
75: Mirage Keffiyeh A recent bit of number-crunching by doctorugh showed that this beats Wivre Mask +1 for Cannonball.
75: Acubens Helm Useful only if you're well over the Accuracy cap, which you aren't altogether likely to be on anything that matters. That's also a sod of a lot of work for 1% more Haste.
70: Bloodbead Gorget A very solid breath build piece.
70: Kubira Bead Necklace One of the best spellcasting necks for, at least, Vertical Cleave and Frenetic Rip -- Disseverment may benefit more from a proper Accuracy piece.
70: Uggalepih Pendant Most likely our best straight-nuking neck while the latent's active, but it's a pain in the **** to get and an even bigger pain in the **** to maintain the latent while still operating at full capacity. I'd be inclined to just let BLMs and SCHs worry about this piece.
73: Jailer Torques (Temperance, Fortitude, Faith, Justice, Hope, Prudence, Love) Temp for Eyes On Me, Justice for Cannonball/Vertical Cleave, Prudence for INT-based nukes. Fort's better than Specs, worse than PCC. Love's in magenta because, to be frank, anything it can do for BLU, Specs/Chiv can do better (Fort gets a similar deal, but at least it offers us more than a stat boost). Hope is garbage, and Faith's essentially a very shiny Promise Badge, and is magenta on the grounds that it would be extremely messed up to lot on it over a MNK. For that matter it's messed up to lot on any of these over jobs that genuinely get a lot of use out of them.
74: Ancient Torque If you have it, it's great for general use. It is, however, very expensive, and a minimal upgrade over PCC.
74: Tiercel Necklace This piece will not trump a PCC unless you're well over the cap. See Acubens Helm.
75: Ire Torque New best-in-slot for Cannonball and Vertical Cleave.
75: Lemegeton Medal Not sure I'd exchange an Enlightened Chain for this, but it is best-in-slot for pure INT nukes.
61: Minuet Earring Small bonus for Frenetic Rip.
63: Coral/Merman's Earring
65: Diabolos' Earring Varies depending on weather; it's initially a very solid general-purpose earring, but the weather latent makes it fair for a nuke build. If you're with a SCH you'll have more control over how it functions.
67: Triumph Earring Nice way to get some extra STR out. It's a bit on the expensive side, though.
70: Pixie Earring Serves mostly as a Hysteric Barrage piece.
72: Suppanomimi As elitist as that looks, this earring's just about compulsory for BLU melee.
72: Bushinomimi Does the same thing as a Triumph, but stops you from getting a Suppa. Avoid, unless you happen to be a dedicated career SAM.
75: Brutal Earring
75: Ethereal Earring
75: Hollow Earring OK, OK, it should be red, but it's sadly inferior to Brutal and Suppa for TP and WS, and makes for a very hard-to-get piece just for physical spells. Honestly, if you have other jobs, it's probably better to pick your Apocalypse Nigh earring with those other jobs in mind; if that happens to be Hollow anyway, then so much the better.
75: Delta Earring Eyes On Me build. I debated whether to make it aqua for Hysteric Barrage too, but that spell's not really what it could be.
75: Loquacious Earring Debatable; the MP+30 and Fast Cast have their merits but this is quite a niche item all the same.
75: Novio Earring Horrendous to get, but the best in-slot nuke piece.
75: Pagondas Earring Rather astonishing considering we're otherwise a bit strapped for Cannonball options in this slot.
67: Assault Jerkin This is only really any good if you're capping Accuracy... not worth camping Ose for it. Attack doesn't help spell damage and doesn't give you more WS. Makes for a fair capped-Accuracy TP body but I don't recommend it for much else.
68: Cobra Harness Although it's sorta optional if you've got a SH+1.
71: Antares Harness
72: Enkidu's Harness Interestingly, Mirage is a better TP body by a hair but this is still very respectable.
74: Mirage Jubbah TP only unless you've not got a better WS body. This is what happens when you mix a Scorpion Harness and a Vermy. Red because it can take a lot of Dynamis attendance to see this.
74: Magus Jubbah +1 Just about the last word in spellcasting, with only a few exceptions.
75: Denali Jacket
75: Homam Corazza Limbus is a time sink on such a scale that all Homam pieces, with the exception of the awful head, are red on the grounds that you could spend a long time between Omegas, and even then you may go several Omegas without seeing what you want.
75: Nashira Manteel See Homam Corazza. Interesting underdog for a capped-Accuracy TP body.
75: Mirke Wardecors (AUG) Acc+10 at least, and then either Att+10 or Dual Wield for the other one.
75: Morrigan's Robe As casting goes, it's mostly a Firespit piece; it's not bad for physical spells (though probably pulls behind AF by a hair...) but it's less important than for the other jobs that can use it. Very nice for WS though, and probably TP as well if you're still capping or nearly capping Accuracy in it.
62: RSE2 (Hume, Elvaan, Tarutaru, Mithra, Galka)
68: Cobra Mittens Very nice TP hands prior to Dusk, but white on the grounds that Campaign is mind-numbingly dull.
70: Alkyoneus' Bracelets Best Cannonball / Vertical Cleave hands by a long shot.
70: Tarasque Mitts Great but optional considering you get rid of them in two levels.
72: Dusk Gloves
72: Enkidu's Mittens
72: Errant Cuffs
72: Yigit Gages
73: Mirage Bazubands For physical casting, it's mostly a Hysteric Barrage piece; for magic, Mind Blast and Magic Hammer benefit most from this.
75: Denali Wristbands Not especially outstanding for anything, but respectable for Mind Blast if nothing else. Keep in mind that what this piece does, other things are likely to do better.
75: Homam Manopolas Watch out for the Enmity+3. Red because, again, it requires a lot of time spent in Limbus.
75: Morrigan's Cuffs
30: Rajas Ring Not a typo. It finally surpasses most other options in this level range, and blossoms into a very nice casting ring for all physical spells.
62: Bloodbead Ring Pair this up with Bomb Queen Ring and you're onto a winner for a breath build.
66: Krousis Ring Strictly for Cannonball.
70: Blood Ring It's really just a free Woodsman Ring. I initially omitted this because Woodsman Rings are in gold thirty levels further up, but it's not an especially bad piece so I've put it in.
70: Insect Ring I think this is mostly a MP Drainkiss piece, actually. Stat-modded nukes are better served by stat rings, and breath spells see more use out of HP rings, but this isn't bad as a stand-in.
72: Angel's/Diamond Ring Angel's for Eyes On Me, Diamond for Firespit.
72: Ruby Ring Mostly for Vertical Cleave, but also a general-purpose STR ring for WS.
74: Snow Ring
74: Flame Ring Good for Cannonball and Vertical Cleave. Also nice for Expiacion.
75: Omega Ring
75: Omicron Ring Free HQ Ruby Ring, and does the same job.
75: Mars' Ring Right...
75: The various +6 ZNM rings (Blobnag, Corneus, Galdr, Karka, Strigoi, Veela, Zilant) Karka for pure MND stuff only, Veela for Eyes On Me, Zilant only for Hysteric Barrage.
61: Amemet Mantle +1
64: Smilodon Mantle +1 Very highly advised for all physical spells.
70: Gigant Mantle Under most circumstances this is best-in-slot for a breath build, but it's in red because it's not easy to get, and I'd be wary about paying 900K for it on the AH.
70: Mirage Mantle Second-best Frenetic Rip/Disseverment back. Forager's probably pulls ahead very slightly for TP but I wouldn't complain if I saw someone TPing in this. Also pretty hot for Vorpal Blade.
70: Charger Mantle No job should ever use this pile of crap. Looks paradoxical if I've golded Amemet+1, but consider that Amemet+1 does the same job for less, and raises fSTR by 0.5 in the bargain.
71: Forager's Mantle
71: Rainbow Cape
72: Marid Mantle Stand-in for Gigant. On a side note, the HQ can easily do a very similar job to Gigant if you're a Galka.
73: Commander's Cape Smilodon+1 does the same thing better.
74: Cuchulainn's Mantle Very good for general use and best-in-slot for most physical spells. I'm fairly sure Smilodon+1 edges ahead a little for Cannonball and Vertical Cleave though.
75: Aesir Mantle For all intents and purposes this can probably be ignored. I'm not convinced it really troubles Amemet+1 or Forager's.
01: Gold Moogle Belt Not a typo; your main breath spells come in during this level range so it makes sense to list it here instead of way back at the beginning.
70: RSE Sashes Again, don't get mixed up with the ropes.
71: Warwolf Belt Stick with something else for TP, but this does everything else really well.
71: Elemental Obis
71: Marid Belt
75: Ninurta's Sash Yeah...
75: Bobcat Belt Best-in-slot for Vertical Cleave. Toss up between this and Warwolf for Cannonball.
63: Tiger Trousers You've stared at a subligar for long enough.
68: Cobra Subligar
70: Volunteer's Brais Red on the grounds that although they are awesome for as long as you don't have Homam, Mirage, or Desultor Tassets, you still need to have 32K ISP going spare. If you're saving up for a Perdu Hanger, then these are a much lower priority unless you can afford both.
71: Vendor's Slops Preferably the HQ, but the NQ are still very solid for this level.
71: Nimue's Tights Eyes On Me build.
72: Dusk Trousers Not in gold, but recommended on the basis that Attack+14 is a fairly sizeable chunk for TP, and the next-best Accuracy legs are either fron Dynamis or ridiculously expensive. Nice Cannonball legs.
72: Armadillo Cuisses Only if you plan on soloing lots of imps...
72: Enkidu's Subligar May look a tad misleading -- this is good for more things than just Cannonball, but it stands out as a very nice piece for it all the same.
72: Errant Slops
72: Jet Seraweels Errant do the same thing better (plus Eyes On Me) for a tiny fraction of the price. With the addition of Sanguine Blade I've revised this, because funnily enough, their lack of a STR nerf in relation to Errant makes them pretty good for that one WS.
72: Mirage Shalwar Unlike other town relic, this piece is pretty damn tasty. This piece cripples Dusk Trousers for TP ans WS.
74: Oily Trousers
75: Desultor Tassets (AUG) Very easy to make these into a TP piece that beats Homam.
75: Denali Kecks Would be lime if not for Errant being roughly equivalent and easier to get.
75: Galliard Trousers Not to be confused with Goliard Trews which BLU can't even use.
75: Homam Cosciales Arguably the highest-priority Homam piece, on the grounds that Dusk hands/feet exist to tide you over, whereas there's no Haste option in this slot unless you've got a good pair of Desultor Tassets.
75: Morrigan's Slops Just about the best nuking legs you can wear.
62: RSE2 (Hume, Elvaan, Tarutaru, Mithra, Galka) Galka for Eyes On Me only. To clarify Tarutaru and Hume because the colouring's a mess, they're gold, aqua, sea green and royal blue all at once.
67: Rutter Sabatons Great for Cannonball but not easy to get, if only because the pop item's as rare as hell. Hume and Tarutaru RSE2 are, respectively, equivalent and better for Cannonball but other races are not so blessed.
68: Cobra Leggings Very good for general use pre-Dusk, and good for Vorpal Blade and multi-hit physical spells even afterwards.
68: Cobra Crackows
69: Root Sabots An absolute steal...
71: Mirage Charuqs And even for nuke builds, they're trumped handily by Cobra. Mentioning only for completeness.
71: Llwyd's Clogs Solid piece for a breath build but not all that easy to get, just because of where it drops. If you have RSE2 that gives you an equivalent or better HP boost (read: youre a Hume), then skip these.
72: Dusk Ledelsens
72: Enkidu's Leggings Gives a new meaning to Dusk Ledelsens +1.
72: Errant Pigaches Mostly for Mind Blast and Regurgitation.
72: Yigit Crackows
73: Karasutengu Kogake Yes, I have trouble pronouncing it too. Not coloured because they're lime and red at once, but not particularly special either way.
74: Setanta's Ledelsens Ridiculously good. Also ridiculously hard to get...
75: Denali Gamashes They're fantastic for pretty much everything except TP.
75: Homam Gambieras Again, Limbus is a time sink if ever there was one.
75: Morrigan's Pigaches Enormous boost to Mind Blast and Magic Hammer, but generally benefits all nukes too.
75: Agrona's Leggings Absolutely cracking WS piece. Also good for spellcasting with that STR+4. These do however come from Yilbegan so have fun getting these...
77: Firmament I've no idea how you get this but it's currently a very good stand-in for Koggelmander in a Cannonball setup.
78: Tyrfing No idea how you get it, and not colouring it until we find out how the additional effect works. I don't like the look of it, though, because if it gets stronger the more MP you have, then you're not likely to have the MP to make any great use of it.
80: Vetala Sword Again, too little information to judge, but I don't think it's worth a great deal with easier replacements available through the trial system.
80: Almace A D:52 sword? You're having a laugh, mate.
80: Badeleire Almace's smaller brother is rather a lot less respectable even though the differences are so small...
80: Khanda (D:42 OAT) Still far and away the top dog here.
80: Khanda (D:25 OA2-3) Still ****-weak in itself, but there's hope if you ever plan to use a LOT (and I do mean a LOT) of Chain Affinity spells or Spirits Within.
80: Khanda (D:50 DA+7) I'd actually like to think this batters Badeleire senseless and gives Almace a run for its money, but that might just be a lot of wishful thinking on my part.
80: Shamshir (Stat Boost Path) D:48 is pretty damn heavy.
--: Fire Even better than the previous version. Best single-hit physical spell sword hands down.
--: Wind Still terrible.
--: Lightning Still a fantastic multi-hit spell sword.
--: Earth Still a PLD toy. Arguably, you might have both jobs levelled, in which case this is acceptable.
80: Shamshir (Additional Effect Path) Keep in mind, these are all an effective D:49. Unless you've picked up an Almace, Badeleire, DA+7 Khanda, or Savage Blade Machaera, you'll be mainhanding these.
--: Fire I still don't like this.
--: Wind Gets even better.
--: Lightning See Fire, and the corresponding comments for the Soulsaber versions.
--: Light Still useless.
--: Earth Like with Soulsaber vs. Nobilis, this thing makes Badeleire cry and gives Almace something to think about.
80: Tizona(80) Unfortunately it's still a joke.
80: Machaera (D:50 Savage Blade+10%) Yes, I golded this, because it's the easiest Magian weapon to upgrade fully by a long shot, and it's D:50. If you use Savage Blade a fair bit, and you may in fact have a reason to, then this is pretty nice to have.
80: Machaera (Store TP+9) Less good, but still really easy. D:48 unlike its big brother, and the Store TP may not immediately strike you as being too useful, but it might just prove to be a dark horse of sorts. Keep in mind that you can't have two Machaeras, though.
77: Maestria Mask A solid WS piece and multi-hit casting head that does everything Optical Hat does, but better.
78: Kensho Hachimaki See above but even more so. It is however pretty hard to come by...
78: Aurore Beret As a standalone piece this is pretty crap.
78: Teal Chapeau Any time you'd use AF+1, you should probably now use this instead.
76: Tern Necklace The set bonus saves this thing from the bin.
77: Artemis' Pendant A situational nuking piece that probably smacks Uggy around under the right conditions.
79: Lacono Necklace We don't know how to get this yet.
80: Mavi Scarf Forgive me for not liking this. For single-hit physicals and a few magicals, this is probably the dog's bollocks, but for just about anything else, there's old faithfuls PCC and Chiv.
80: Ziel Charm Beats PCC but we don't know how to get it.
76: Flame Earring Does everything a Triumph will do, with the added bonus of having a HQ.
78: Aurore Doublet A fair body if you don't have a Mirage Jubbah, but be careful, it's a VERY bright shade of pink. I don't promote homophobia but it's still uncomfortable to look at.
78: Teal Saio At present I don't know if this beats AF body for magical spells.
77: Symbios Gloves I really don't like these. Magical spells and Hysteric Barrage only, and even then only if you have nothing better.
78: Arcane Cuffs I'd roll with these for just about any nuke worth nuking with.
78: Aurore Gloves Again, as a standalone piece, I'm not so thrilled. For the sake of convenience you can use them over Dusk for TP (but not Homam/Ocelot if you have those)
78: Teal Cuffs Actually, I'm not so thrilled. I think they're ok for Eyes On Me and Mind Blast but there's better gear available earlier.
80: Heafoc Mitts Your new Alkies. These things are hands-down the best piece for Cannonball and Vertical Cleave at this point in time.
80: Ocelot Gloves A fine replacement for Dusk/Homam.
77: Adler Ring Multi-hits only. This thing's utter dog-shit terrible for single-hitters and sword swinging.
80: Vulcan's Ring Single-hitters only.
80: Aquilo's/Neptune's/Apollo's Ring For their respective nukes, naturally.
80: Meridian Ring Nobody knows how to get this but this is a winner for any breath spell.
76: Tern Cape Again, set bonus saves it from the bin.
78: Sharpeye Mantle Acc+12 on your back? This is a pretty crazy piece. Meat eaters, rejoice.
76: Tern Stone Saved from the bin, but barely.
77: Goading Belt This thing is your new best friend. I think if you have one of these then the Tern set loses all its value.
78: Anguinus Belt Great for multi-hit WS and great for multi-hit spells. If you use Vorpal Blade a lot then this belt is perfect for you.
78: Thiazi's Belt To be honest I wouldn't even use this for Hysteric Barrage, where Warwolf shines anyway.
80: Aristo Belt Eyes On Me only, but a fantastic piece for it.
80: Cognizant Belt Mind Blast only.
78: Teutates Subligar I know I flagged these up as a Cannonball piece, but these are probably the best Vertical Cleave legs going as well.
78: Aurore Brais This piece is the subject of a lot of pointless debate at the moment but for what it's worth these are some of the best TP legs going, second only to Ocelot.
78: Teal Slops These are probably better than Mahatma unless you're using a lot of Mind Blast.
79: Ocelot Trousers Top dog for TP legs, but watch that Enmity spike.
79: Tumbler Trunks I don't like these at all, but there's probably something I'm missing. Personally I think anything these can do, Aurore can do just as well.
80: Arcane Slops And these do Mind Blast where Teal doesn't.
80: Wicca Subligar Total waste of time when Teal are so readily available and, all things considered, probably a lot better.
76: Calm Pigaches Mind Blast feet for the obsessive. Normal folks should probably be able to tolerate losing a single point of MND and go for Teal instead.
78: Aurore Gaiters Obvious replacement for Dusk. Inferior to Homam.
78: Teal Pigaches On their own, great for Mind Blast/Eyes On Me.
79: Theurgia Clogs Should casting in full Teal not be necessary, these will definitely pull their weight very well.
ABYSSEA ARMOUR SETS:
78: Aurore Doublet Set For what it costs, the full set isn't so terrible. The Store TP isn't a massive concern (and easy to replicate on a single Machaera) so unlike DRG and DRK, for whom full Perle is really nice to have, you can really afford to pick and choose which bits of Aurore you want to wear (if any). If, however, better gear is out of reach then at the very least get the feet and legs, and probably the body too if you're not the sort of person that will ever get a Mirage Jubbah. Pink may well not be your colour, though.
78: Teal Saio Set The Fast Cast bonus is an effective +10, meaning 10% cast time reduction and 5% recast reduction. The set itself is pretty amazing for all-purpose nuking, though, if you've not already got better gear; the legs in particular are probably the best single piece in the set, not having much of an immediate equal in anything readily attainable.
I've put it off for a while now but here we go, a food section.
This isn't anything more than just a pick of the more common foods in a given situation, so your choice is your own. In most cases there will be better foods than what I've listed but all this section's doing is providing a start point. It's not a comprehensive list and isn't trying to be.
As a rule, though, Attack doesn't affect spells so it's typically a safe bet to eat Accuracy food uless you know you won't need it. Typically, this means when you're nuking or when you're capping Accuracy.
I'll list a food and give only its important stats next to it -- the list of stats next to each food is not complete, nor intended to be. Trivial things that make little overall difference have been left off.
Where I list a cap, for example with Attack food, it'll be in the same format as on FFXIclopedia, namely the static hard-cap for the food's boost and what your base stat has to be in order to cap. On that note, food stats are lifted straight from FFXIclopedia without permission, and are only used to illustrate a point.
STR and Attack Food
Roast Mutton: STR+3, Attack+27% (Cap:30@111 Base Attack)
Meat Jerky: STR+3, Attack+22% (Cap:35@136 Base Attack) A mainstay for low levels.
Rice Dumpling: STR+3, Attack+20% (Cap:45@225 Base Attack), Accuracy+5
Meat Mithkabob: STR+5, Attack+22% (Cap: 60@272 Base Attack) Probably the most common meat going. Cheap and cheerful.
Coeurl Sub/Yellow Curry Bun: STR+5, Attack+20% (Cap:75@375 Base Attack) I know Yellow Curry Buns have this weird Attack boost depending on how many people there are, but I'm not listing it on the grounds that it's just pointless clutter.
Crab Sushi: Accuracy+13% Cheapest sushi for general use. Not especially recommended before about level 40, on the grounds that your Accuracy just isn't high enough to get a substantial boost.
Bream Sushi: Accuracy+16%, DEX+6, VIT+5 Very cost-effective.
Sole Sushi: Accuracy+15%, STR+5, DEX+6 Best sushi for multi-hit spells.
Marinara Pizza: Attack+20% (Cap:50@250 Base Attack), Accuracy+10% (cap not verified) This really did need its own sub-heading. It doesn't have STR on it but it's pretty phenomenal all the same. The Accuracy cap's not been verified, but suffice to say it's very high.
Tavnazian Taco: VIT+6, Defense+25% (Cap:150@600 Base Defense) There are lots of extra stats but these are the ones really worth mentioning. Similarly, this is the only food mentioned in the Defense section, because the others are either a lot smaller or a lot rarer. If you want a Cannonball setup, this is the original and best Cannonball food -- accept no substitutes unless they're the HQ version.
Carbonara: HP+14% (Cap:175@1249 Base HP), STR+4, Attack+18% (Cap:65@361 Base Attack) This is the only food mentioned in this section, because frankly, if you're putting a HP set together for breaths, you're going to want the best food you can get, and this provides the biggest boost. Tonno Rosso is slightly better, but it's never on sale. Not mentioned in the Attack section because BLU eats this for HP reasons rather than Attack ones -- there's cheaper and better Attack food available.
WARNING, generally BLU should not eat MP food. There may well be exceptions to this rule, though, so I'll list some stuff anyway.
Rolanberry Pie: MP+50, INT+2
Orange Kuchen: MP+13% (Cap:75@576 Base MP), hMP+1
Marron Glacé: MP+13% (Cap:85@653 Base MP), hMP+1
Crimson Jelly: MP+13% (Cap:85@653 Base MP), INT+6, hMP+2 This has two entries, once as a MP food and the other as an INT food.
Coffee/Cherry Muffin: MP+10% (Cap:90@900 Base MP) And some minuscule INT or MND boost depending on the variety.
Brain Stew: INT+5 MND+5 hMP+3 Barring the HQ and Ambrosia, this is the best food for something like Firespit, where the INT mod's equally weighted with a MND one.
Crimson Jelly: MP+13% (Cap:85@653 Base MP), INT+6, hMP+2
Cream Puff: INT+7 When base-stat food only gives static boosts, you're going to want the best.
WARNING, be prepared to cast Mind Blast a lot while this stuff is up.
Brain Stew: INT+5 MND+5 hMP+3 See the entry under INT Food.
Goblin Mushpot: MND+10 Surprise winner for a straight Mind Blast setup, and it's cheap as chips from a NPC. Downside is it's got a really long duration.
WARNING, only use this stuff for a dedicated Eyes On Me setup.
San d'Orian Tea/Chai: CHR+2 CHR food is not very impressive, as a rule. Here's a budget option.
Tuna Sushi: Acc+15% DEX+3 CHR+5 Not listed under Accuracy food, because although this is viable, Bream is better (and Sole better still).
If I missed anything or just got something wrong, let me know and I'll fix it.
Edited, Jul 15th 2010 1:35pm by Lucinus
Edited, Jul 15th 2010 1:36pm by Lucinus
Edited, Aug 12th 2010 10:10am by Lucinus