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If the player desires more than just a Magnetic Earth slave or occasional battle-fun character character, it is advised to choose a PvM build in order reach Scholar as soon as possible. This makes the Sage itself only a stepping stone.
Generally the best two Bolts to max are Fire Bolt× and Lightning Bolt×. The former is pretty much a given and LB is chosen because it is on the opposite side of the elements table. What this means is that having both FB and LB covers all the basic elements with no room for weakness. FB/CB on the other hand is weak to Water, as neither element is effective against it.
The quickest and easiest way to reach level 99 is to go for 99 Int/Dex. Skills generally include Thunderstorm× and Heaven's Drive× for mobbing, max Dragonology×, maxing all three Bolt skills and skipping the many PvP skills, such as Stone Curse× and Magnetic Earth. However, this depends on personal preference. Since the introduction of the endgame dungeons, having Magnetic Earth will make your sage much more desirable for parties, making the last few levels easier.
PvM / Endower
This build focuses on high INT for decent damage output with the limited spell arsenal. The goal is Lv. 99, might as well try to get there as fast as possible. The character can double as an endow-slave. WoE× is not out of the question but you will not preform as well as a sage specialized to fully support obviously.
The Scholar-wannabe build. They have high DEX for fast casting Magnetic Earths, and moderate VIT for durability. But with only marginal INT, they are very slow to level PvM-wise, and their damage with bolts won't drop anyone.
Free Cast and Hindsight× allows this build to melee with books while raining bolts from above on their foes. Despite being a melee build, their main offensive power doesn't come from having STR, but rather from the high ASPD× to trigger the moderate damage bolts. Some even prefer to drop their STR to a marginal amount, and wield a Bazerald dagger for the added MATK× bonus. Coupled with the Sage Spirit buff of Soul Linkers, leveling them in Ice Dungeon 3 with Lightning Bolt is very effective. Hindsight Sages should not use any shield because using them will lower their ASPD by a significant amount.
Hybrid aka Battle Sage
Skill build : *same as Hindsight*
Skill build : Skill Simulator
This is the Soldier Sage build, usually with a lot of variations. They are strongest at PvM with almost nil equipment, and can even take on PvP and WoE provided they have elitist equipment. This is the one of the few builds where careful planning is needed, lest you will have to resort to character deletion. Physical attacks complement the magical autocasts and precasts, which make it devastating with attack speed. Can still work even though MDEF or DEF is high. This is one of the few builds that can use the Ledger of Death book to it's fullest potential, allowing quite a few attacks to do a melee powered 27x27 AoE.
During the early days of the introduction to the Sage class, it was the glory days of the Hocus-pocus× Sages. Sadly the yellow-gem nerf and Hocus-pocus Boss× nerf meant the end of their era. The build aims at the most INT possible for a good regen rate, since casting HP repeatedly can drain the SP considerably. It also doesn't go for maxed DEX, but focuses more on VIT instead to avoid death by random Hocus-pocus skills.
If you like to level like a Wizard or Mage, you can use this build to take advantage of your Mage's magical attacks. This build is similar to the basic Wizard build; high INT and DEX, and maxes Dragonology for the extra +3 INT to make up for the Sage's lower INT job bonus. This build takes advantage of Fire Wall×, Heaven's Drive, and Thunderstorm to kill mobs of enemies. Frost Diver× and Lightning Bolt can be used as a combo to aid in leveling; as it is easy to use due to its ability to quickly disable a single target. Having all three elemental bolts gives you more options for dealing with different enemies, and Free Cast can help you avoid sticky situations. It's recommended to stick with Rods that give high Int or Dex (depending on what you prefer). Or if possible, a Principles of Magic may be the best choice.
Their AoE×-repertoire is limited to Fire Ball×, Fire Wall, Heaven's Drive and Thunderstorm. Although a battle build can be enjoyable, partied with a Priest, a pure PvM build yields faster exp rates. Their endows can be indispensable for other classes during PvM×/MVP×, hence many Sages are built for slaving purposes only.
In WoE the most useful build for a Sage is Support. This involves setting down Magnetic Earth as quickly as possible in a precast and Dispelling foes. Spell Breaker× is a useful skill for preventing casts such as Storm Gust or even if a Monk attempts to Guillotine Fist× (which is quite common, Support Sages are high up on the 'kill-on-sight' list). Stone Curse is used as a form of defensive spell and to divert fire until teammates can come to the player's aid. A support build is of course team-oriented and communication with guild members is a must.
(If the Sage is not VIT based then Marduk Card would be useful here, which protects from the silence× status.)
15% resistance to silence.
3% damage from Insect× race monsters.
+1 VIT - Kafra Shop Item Only
Provides 5 DEF and weigh very little.
Provides 6 DEF but weighs a massive 230, drastically limiting the amount of other items that can be carried.
It doesn't have as much Def as Mink Coat and it's not as light as Formal Suit but an ordinary Coat is a lot cheaper. The weight is quite hefty though. Mantles are a good alternative for making an elemental armor set due to their low price and weight.
Most popular choice for Unfrozen armors given its weight and MDEF.
Don't bother with the Mage-class Card combo (Parasite), just go for a racial card. Slotted memory book is very useful for caster sages, it has the same function as a guard with an additional +1 int. Memory Book is also part of the Pocket Watch set.
Tiny bit more Def than a Guard.. and also offers -5% damage from Large Sized Monsters (Ice Titans / Byalan Monsters).
Battlesages would be best off with either Whisper or Raydric depending on their flee whilst casters may opt for Raydric and Noxious Cards.
Gives a good chunk of MDEF.
For leveling Eggyra is best given the SP regeneration. Verit work well in WoE, Matyr and Firelock Soldier tend to be aimed more at melee/less SP dependent classes. The new +exp shoes make a good alternative for leveling.
Clips are good for utility cards, for example Creamy, Phen and Vitata. It is almost essential to get these cards, otherwise it will be significantly harder to level. Once the player reaches level 90 alternatively they can be slotted into Gloves/Rosaries for a small boost in stats and to make switching easier.
Nimble Gloves (Zerom Card) give a large amount of DEX which makes a noticable difference to cast timed. Prior to level 90, Zerom/Wormtail Clips are feasible.
Rosaries are the common choice for WoE.
Aimed for melee only. Kukre or Mantis Cards can be used, depending upon which accessory is chosen.
A good alternative for Clips. The reason to this is that they take a different hotkey. Cycling between 3 accessories has never been easier with two Clips (Phen and Zerom) and a Nile Rose (Vitata).
Good choice for Battle Sages, since they can get close to 190 ASPD without accessories, having this combo lets you dish out a bit more damage.
Used with the Principles of Magic set. Pocket Watch is used with the monocle + memory book set.
|Cast Cancel×||Cancel the casting of your skill and regain some of the SP.||5||Active|
|Deluge×||Use a Yellow Gemstone to create a 7x7 area of water on the ground.||5||Active|
|Dispell×||Use a Yellow Gemstone to remove all buffs from the target, with several exceptions.||5||Active|
|Dragonology×||Increases INT up to 3, and increases ATK and MATK× versus Dragon-race enemies.||5||Passive|
|Earth Spike×||Attack a target for up to 500% Earth-element damage.||5||Offensive|
|Endow Blaze×||Use a Red Blood to endow a party member's weapon with the Fire-element.||5||Supportive|
|Endow Quake×||Use a Green Live to endow a party member's weapon with the Earth-element.||5||Supportive|
|Endow Tornado×||Use a Wind of Verdure to endow a party member's weapon with the Wind-element.||5||Supportive|
|Endow Tsunami×||Use a Crystal Blue to endow a party member's weapon with the Water-element.||5||Supportive|
|Free Cast×||Allows you to walk and attack while casting spells.||10||Passive|
|Heaven's Drive×||Earth-element AoE attack dealing up to 500% MATK to targets in a 5*5 area.||5||Offensive|
|Hindsight×||Allows the Sage to choose a skill from a short list and autocast that skill when physically attacking.||10||Active|
|Hocus-pocus×||Use 2 Yellow Gemstones to invoke a random non-Transcendent skill, or one of a few Hocus Pocus-specific effects.||10||Active|
|Magic Rod×||Absorb a single-target skill that is targeting you, negating its damage and giving you SP×.||5||Active|
|Magnetic Earth×||Use a Blue Gemstone and Yellow Gemstone to create an area that cancels ground-targeting spells.||5||Active|
|Sense×||Reveal basic information about the target monster.||1||Active|
|Spell Breaker×||Cancel the skill that the target is currently casting and absorb it as SP.||5||Active|
|Study×||Adds +3 ATK and +0.5% ASPD per skill level to Book weapons.||5||Passive|
|Volcano×||Use a Yellow Gemstone to create a 7x7 area of fire on the ground.||5||Active|
|Whirlwind×||Use a Yellow Gemstone to create a 7x7 area of wind on the ground.||5||Active|
|Skill||Description||Levels||Type||Job Level Requirement||Quest|
|Create Elemental Converter×||Allows the Sage to create Elemental Converters, which can be used for short term endows.||1||Active||None||Create Elemental Converter Quest|
|Elemental Change×||Uses an Elemental Converter to permanently change the element of a monster.||1||Active||40||Elemental Change Quest|
|Weapon||Base ASPD||ASPD w/ Study Lv.10||Base Delay||Delay w/ Study Lv.10|