FF16 The Rising Tide: Best Build After 120+ Hours

With over 120+ hours and the Platinum Trophy, here is my overall best build to use for Clive in the Rising Tide expansion.

The Rising Tide DLC in FF16 has finally been released, and with it comes the brand-new Eikon powers to experiment and use in your builds. Today, I am discussing the best build guide for the Rising Tide DLC in FF16, which contains the necessary abilities and accessories to use and the exact method to properly utilize it in the game’s fast-paced combat.

Important: I’m using Controller Layout B, so you might notice some inputs being different in descriptions for abilities. Also, this build is focused on Final Fantasy Mode with its increased difficulty.
Key Takeaways
  • My best build in FF16 for the Rising Tide DLC is built for the Final Fantasy Mode, relying on abilities that can shred the target’s HP.
  • A disadvantage is that the build is not casual-friendly, so you must practice mechanics such as Cold Snap’s evasion.
  • Ability execution must be near-perfect so you can easily charge Zantetsuken Level 5 and stagger your targets simultaneously.
  • If the build becomes repetitive, you can tweak it with alternative options, but only to a certain extent.

Build Summary

Below is a summary of all the elements needed to create my personal favorite build to use in Final Fantasy 16’s The Rising Tide DLC:

BEST FORFinal Fantasy Mode difficulty and DLCs
MAIN EIKONSShiva, Garuda (or) Leviathan, Odin
ABILITIESCold Snap, Lightning Rod, Dancing Steel, Deadly Embrace, Impulse, Gigaflare, Arm of Darkness, Diamond Dust, Judgment Bolt
GEARAssailment Bit, Genji Gloves +1, Escapement Bit

Best Abilities

The Best Build For Final Fantasy Mode + DLCs.
ff16 best build
The recommended abilities and their assignment with the build. (Image by eXputer)
  • Which Eikons To Use: For the actual Eikons, I chose Shiva due to her Cold Snap’s freeze-dodge ability, Garuda for her half-stagger pull, and Odin for the Level 5 Zantetsuken. You can alternatively use Leviathan instead of Garuda for its ranged attack Eikonic ability.

I’ll get to how these abilities need to be rotated in the playstyle section below, but for now, here are the following abilities required for the build:

Cold SnapN/ASlide Effortlessly across the ground in any direction. Attacking with L2 while sliding can temporarily freeze enemies.
Lightning RodAttack: 2 Stars
Stagger: 3 Stars
Create a ball of lightning that, upon being struck, chains lightning to other nearby enemies.
Dancing SteelAttack: 1 Stars
Stagger: 2 Stars
Summon a second blade and unleash a flurry of attacks. Each hit landed significantly fills the Zantetsuken gauge.
Deadly EmbraceN/ASend a grappling claw out to grab an enemy and pull it toward Clive. Grappling heavier enemies will launch Clive into the air.
ImpulseAttack: 2 Stars
Stagger: 3 Stars
Summon multiple spheres of light that, upon striking an enemy, deal it continuous damage, binding it to the spot.
GigaflareAttack: 5 Stars
Stagger: 2 Stars
Fire a massive beam of overcharged light that burns any enemy it hits.
Arm of DarknessAttack: 5 Stars
Stagger: 1 Stars
Replace Clive’s current weapon with Odin’s blade. Landing abilities with the Arm of Darkness fills the Zantetsuken gauge. Hold R1 to execute Zantetsuken.
Diamond DustAttack: 3 Stars
Stagger: 5 Stars
Summon a winter storm that freezes enemies in place within a radius before dealing massive ice damage and knocking them back.
Judgment BoltAttack: 4 Stars
Stagger: 3 Stars
Summon from the heavens a mighty levinbolt that deals massive damage to a single target.

Best Gear

ff16 best build the rising tide
I’m using the gear from the previous Echoes of the Fallen DLC. (Image by eXputer)

For the armor, I think at this point, all FF16 players should know it hardly matters due to the action gameplay, so just put on whatever is the highest or suits your preference in both Defense and HP stats.

Important: For the Echoes of the Fallen DLC accessories, use the following YouTube video for the exact locations of these accessories during the sidequest.

However, for the accessories, I recommend the following mentioned below:

Assailment BitChest from Echoes of the Fallen DLC quest.Increases rate at which damage multiplier rises while enemies are staggered, as well as increases maximum multiplier to 200%.
Genji Gloves +1Patron's Whisper reward for attaining 2365 Renown.Increases damage dealt to enemies by 10%.
Escapement BitChest from Echoes of the Fallen DLC quest.Reduces ability cooldown time and restores a small amount of the HP regain gauge following a precision dodge.

Recommended Playstyle And Ability Rotation

ff16 best build
These are the average DPS numbers I’ve gotten with this build. (Image by eXputer)

This build fully takes advantage of Odin’s Zantetsuken Level 5 to delete trash mobs’ HP or demolish even the hardest bosses in Final Fantasy Mode difficulty. But before that, you’ll need to charge it up carefully using Dancing Steel and Lightning Rod. Furthermore, I went with Diamond Dust to boost the stagger multiplier to roughly 1.50%. Lastly, you can unleash a Gigaflare if needed to boost your DPS and multiplier even further.

Accessory benefits: While my choice for the Assailment Bit is self-explanatory due to its 200% stagger, the Escapement Bit is amazing if you’re a skilled player who can pull off precision dodges, allowing you to use abilities more often and making fights easier to trivialize.

For the exact rotation/cycling of the Eikon abilities, follow the brief steps below:

ff16 rising tide best build
Lightning Rod and Dancing Steel on bosses can be tricky, but Cold Snap makes it easy. (Image by eXputer)
  1. Cold Snap: A perfect dodge can freeze enemies, so practice it on whichever move you think is the easiest to read for you from the enemy.
  2. Lightning Rod: Apply immediately on the target when frozen to help with Dancing Steel and Zantetsuken Level 5 charge-up.
  3. Dancing Steel: If done correctly, as shown above, Dancing Steel will connect with both the frozen target and the Rod to easily charge straight to Level 5 Zantetsuken.
    ff16 best abilities
    Judgment Bolt is great for applying stagger damage. (Image by eXputer)
  4. Impulse & Judgment Bolt: Continue trying to stagger the target by using these abilities, plus Garuda’s Deadly Embrace pull at 50% stagger.
    ff16 best build
    Gigaflare is the cherry on top during the Stagger/DPS phases. (Image by eXputer)
  5. DPS: Unleash Diamond Dust on Stagger, use Zantetsuken Level 5, Gigaflare, and, if possible, rinse and repeat steps 2 and 3 to charge up Zantetsuken again to max right before stagger ends.

Alternative Additions To The Build

If you manage to unlock Leviathan early on in the DLC or just want to spice up the build, below are options that I considered as alternative inclusions to this build:

  • Aerial Blast: Great alternative choice to Judgment Bolt, but I found the latter to be better because AB’s tornadoes can slightly disoriented my view.
  • Tsunami: Leviathan’s Tsunami ability is extremely fun to use instead of Gigaflare and boasts great damage that is optimal against trash mobs and bosses.
  • Berserker Ring: An accessory that can be replaced for Genji Gloves to give your attacks the Limit Break effect on evasions.

My Experience And Thoughts On The Build

With the build I’ve briefly described, you should face little to no problem in getting through the Final Fantasy mode playthrough. I’ve personally been using it with minor modifications using the alternative choices above through The Rising Tide DLC of FF16. Regardless of which, I know the build may require some practice to use efficiently, but as long as you get your rotations down, most encounters will be a cakewalk.

This concludes my guide to the best build in FF16’s The Rising Tide expansion. If you have any questions or queries related to the guide, please let me know in the comments below. For more, be sure to check out Moiz Banoori’s base game Review of Final Fantasy 16 and my guide on all the Chronolith Locations.

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Feedback From Our Fellow Gamers

Really great build. The damage output is insane.

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Usama Mehmood is a Games Specialist, and writer on eXputer who's either hunting for the richest loot in Destiny 2 or endlessly playing his favorite games such as Yakuza or Final Fantasy. Usama has been gaming for 15+ years during which he has accumulated 4000+ hours on Destiny 1 & 2. His constant adoration for video games has allowed him to pursue eXputer as a platform to showcase his striving talents in writing helpful articles. Get familiar with Usama's extensive gaming library on his Steam, PSN, and Xbox profiles.

Experience: 2+ Years || Mainly Covers Reviews And Guides || Education: Bachelors in Physiotherapy.

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