Grinding levels and equipping the most powerful weapons possible isn’t going to get you far in Final Fantasy XVI. No, what you need are mastered abilities and the correct combos. Once you get far enough into the game, you’ll find that there are a ton of abilities to choose from—around four for each Eikon.
But since there are only three Eikon slots and six ability slots, you might be wondering which ones are the ideal ones to take with you. This guide can help with that.
All Eikons in FF16 ranked from worst to best
Note: Just because it’s on the bottom tier doesn’t mean that it’s useless. I actually found that every Eikon is great in its own way. It just so happens that others have more utility!
Ramuh is one of two well-balanced Eikons in Final Fantasy 16 (the other being Bahamut). Its attacks deal near-equal HP and will damage. But that what makes it bottom tier for me—you want Eikons that specialize in raw damage or will gauge depletion. This will allow you to control which Eikons to use when your opponent is up and moving and which ones to use when they’re down.
Ramuh has the most player-friendly AoE attacks, with less timing to think about. It's ideal for people who are not too battle-intensive in their game.
Bahamut is the Eikon to use for players who want to stay far away from the enemy. All its abilities are long-range. Instead of having all of these abilities balanced in terms of stats like Ramuh, Bahamut has moves that are either high power or high will damage. This is the reason I call it well-balanced.
Still, as I’ve said above, I’m not a huge fan of “well-balanced” Eikons, so I’d have to put Bahamut on the bottom half. Do take Gigaflare as an ability, though. It’s a long and powerful punch when the enemy’s will gauge has been depleted. I also like Satellite, which helps deplete will gauges faster.
Garuda, to me, is good for two things only: Aerial Blast and Deadly Embrace. I like to combine the two during continuous mob battles (using Deadly Embrace to pull things into the Tornado). Tornado and Deadly Embrace can also be used during boss battles thanks to their respective abilities.
As the wind Eikon, Garuda's also the master of aerial combos. Those who are comfortable with action RPGs and combo linking will find a lot of use for Garuda. For more casual players like myself, however? I find Shiva the better option.
Shiva’s kit is a combination of other Eikons: Ifrit/Phoenix (movement), Garuda (embrace), and Ramuh (AoE). It’s a good Eikon to equip if you’re not specializing in any of the ones mentioned. I put Shiva higher on the list solely because of one move though: Diamond Dust.
Diamond Dust depletes a good chunk of your enemies’ will gauges, hits twice, and charges quickly. In fact, it's so potent that it cuts notorious marks’ and mid-bosses’ will gauge by at least half (75% if you’re stronger). If you’re not using Shiva, at least take this move with you. You won’t regret it.
I talked about how I’m not a huge fan of well-balanced things, but Phoenix’s Flame of Rebirth just procs so long that the three-star damage it deals is worth it. You can even use it in big mob battles and restore HP when you have a big wound. Aside from that, we all know how useful and versatile Phoenix Shift is. Not only can you use it to get close, but I find that it’s also a more reliable dodge button when you’re far away from your target.
Titanic Block is a godsend. It’s super player friendly, for one. As long as you’re hit from the front, just holding the button will block the attack. It’s also really good for action players because of its counter. Instead of dodging attacks, a Precision Block will reward you so much in counter damage. Since this a move native to Titan, it goes up our list.
I’m more of a fast combo player. But even I have to concede that Titan’s abilities, though not my preferred way to play, are pretty damn good. They deal big damage without the long charge time. You just need to be precise with your timings. Put Titan in your kit, and you’ll have yourself a versatile weapon/shield.
I know Ifrit only has two abilities, not including the limit gauge, but both have been integrated too much into my gameplay for me not to place this Eikon near the top. First off, if you haven’t equipped and upgraded Will-o’-the-Wykes, you’re missing out on one of the best abilities in Final Fantasy 16. Will-o’-the-Wykes deal additional damage with decent will power when you deal melee damage and reduce the damage of enemy attacks.
More importantly, though: it can nullify up to four attacks, allowing you to hack and slash with fewer worries. You can even save it for before a big attack you can dodge because it’ll nullify that too. It’s that versatile, and it charges quickly.
Meanwhile, Ignition’s fun if you don’t have Shiva equipped, as I use it more for movement than anything. You can also use it to push back any enemy (even marks and mid-bosses) and mess up their combo.
I’ve bullied a lot of enemies with Odin’s sword combos, and you could too. Never mind Odin’s equippable abilities (though they ARE very good)—the key for this Eikon is Arm of Darkness and Zantetsuken. Arm of Darkness changes Clive’s sword to Odin’s blade. While not as potent as his regular sword, it does deal more attacks.
For example, when you parry, it adds a very lethal counter. And when you perform a Precision Dodge with the sword out, an equally lethal follow-up attack will automatically trigger. Both of these will fill up one bar of the Zantetsuken gauge instantly.
Zantetsuken is the most lethal move of them all. At level five (mastered), it can deplete as much as 25% to 40% of a notorious mark’s HP. And if you loop the combos with the Precision Dodges and parries, your opponent will barely have enough window to launch an attack. Odin is the best Eikon of them all—truly befitting of a king.
For more help with Final Fantasy XVI, take a look at FF16 Clive Build – Best Abilities for Clive and Final Fantasy 16 AP Farming Guide – How to grind Ability Points fast here at Pro Game Guides.