Playing Earth in Granblue

Introduction

Earth is an element that has become unpopular lately, as other elements output much more damage with less effort required. Yet, there are some who still stick to Earth for reasons such as:

  1. Soiya
  2. Cute summons (Yggdrasil/Medusa)
  3. Tiamat wouldn’t drop any guns

which are perfectly valid reasons, even if you do less damage! But now that you’ve committed to Earth, how do you become as competitive with the other elements as possible? What strengths does Earth have compared to other elements?

This article will examine Earth’s weapon setups and characters to answer these questions. The assumption here is that you already have a basic understanding of how the game’s damage system works (if you don’t, refer to other guides such as Understanding Damage Mechanics) and are looking to optimise your team.

Weapons

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As with all weapon loadouts in Granblue, there’s 2 categories that are used for Earth’s endgame loadouts: the Magna setup, using Yggdrasil Magna and Swords, and the Zeus-type summon setup, using Titan and 4* gacha weapons. The Titan setup is rarely seen for the following reasons:

  1. You need 4-5 4* gacha weapons for this loadout to be good, which won’t come without insane luck or money (or both)
  2. The Titan summon needs to be 3*, which requires SSR Summon limit break stones from Guild Wars
  3. Such loadouts in general suffer from almost all buffs in the game being in the Normal category, as well as there being no Magna equivalent of Bahamut weapons to balance the multipliers. A Magna setup will benefit much more from raid buffs and even have better damage output despite having a smaller multiplier on the weapons (100% from Yggdrasil Magna 3* vs 120% from Titan 3*)

This basically means that the Titan build is for advanced players only, and so won’t be discussed in this guide. So, how do we build a loadout for Earth with Magna-type weapons? The standard setup is 6 Yggdrasil Swords, a Bahamut weapon, a main weapon (normal category), and 2 EX (collab/unknown weapons). In other words, the ratio of Magna/Normal/EX is 6/2/2. This is the usual setup for a basic pool without a Cosmos weapon. I’ll discuss some variations of this because the good (or bad) part is Earth’s flexibility in picking the right weapon for the right situation.

However, it’s worth noting that there is no one “best” build. Factors that influence which build you go include:

  • Cosmos weapon
  • The level of your weapons (3*, not limit broken, 4*, etc)
  • Your own farming ability/elixirs
  • Playstyle preference: glass cannon, trading a bit of damage for HP, etc
  • Your class and main weapon

This means that in a real raid situation, you might be forced to sacrifice some damage due to these limitations or sub-optimal conditions in the raid making it difficult for the build to work (e.g. using Enmity but not getting hit). The weapon calculator is a good baseline to use, but in the end, it comes down to personal judgement and what you have available. Don’t be afraid to trade say 1% damage for 5-10% HP if you think it helps you survive better and deal more damage from staying alive longer.

Variation 1: Yggdrasil Bow

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Ygg bow used to be imbalanced, but got heavily nerfed and sees little usage nowadays. As it uses the Magna Enmity (背水) modifier, it has a lot of potential for damage since it is multiplicative with the Magna Attack from Ygg swords. However, the nerf put the HP break point for a Ygg bow to out-damage a Ygg sword at around 60-65% HP, which makes it less useful in practice. However, if you just can’t get that last sword to drop, it’s a viable filler.

Variation 2: Yggdrasil Staff

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The Ygg staff loses out to the sword in almost all aspects; it has lower attack and Magna Attack M instead of L. However, it does have Magna HP S, which gives 10% HP (or 20% with 3* Ygg Magna summon). HP is usually covered by your other weapons, but if you are lacking in HP for some reason, it’s also an acceptable filler.

Variation 3: 7 Yggdrasil Swords with Cosmos Weapon

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The theoretical maximum damage build with a Cosmos Sword (assuming 4* swords; this build is not for 3*) is 7 Ygg Swords, Cosmos Sword, Baha Sword, and 1 EX weapon. The problem here is that the amount of damage increase you get is marginal compared to the amount of farming you have to do for the 7th sword. Also, it’s really only a good choice for Berserker due to main weapon issues. 6 Ygg Swords, Cosmos Sword, Bahamut weapon, and either 1 EX and 1 main weapon or 2 EX is a standard Cosmos build as well.

Main weapon

The usual guidelines for main weapon don’t change with earth: use what’s required for your main. Guild War dagger is always good if you play a dagger class, for example. However, do note that Yggdrasil weapons have their ougi modifiers balanced to the same as the other elements at 4*, and have an additional fire damage bonus that isn’t counted in the ougi damage cap. If you’re capping your ougi damage regardless, it’s not a bad idea to use a Yggdrasil Sword main weapon to get an additional ~10% on ougi. This also helps to avoid the problem where including a normal-type main weapon tends to be sub-par.

Bahamut Weapon

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This decision is more an issue before you get access to the HL weapons. Sword is less useful early on because it provides only 15% ATK compared to Dagger’s 30%. However, it becomes equal to Dagger at HL and both of Earth’s Guild War characters are Draph, making Sword a better choice if you want to use them. The sword also benefits from Cosmos Sword if you choose to get it. Choosing which to upgrade first depends more on your own resources and progression speed, whether you want to look at the long-term upgrade or get more boost in the short-term. Earth also has 1 Harvin (Arurumeiya), but as she is support character, it’s not worth making a Gun to increase her attack.

EX weapon

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Earth currently has 2 EX weapons: The Pinyaa Axe from Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls event and the Poison Fist from Street Fighter. The situation here is somewhat similar to the Ygg Sword vs Ygg Staff debate: the Axe has Attack M + HP S, while the Fist has Attack L. However, the Axe has much higher attack (2141) compared to the Fist (1860). This makes the Fist a smaller upgrade over the Axe than Ygg Sword over Ygg Staff.

While double Fist will give the most damage, Axe + Fist will be decently close and give a nice HP boost. Double Axe isn’t used as in that case using another normal will be better usually. My personal choice is Axe + Fist because I want the Axe HP to offset the HP loss from using Cosmos AT Sword, but this is up to individual preference and whether you use AT sword even.

Characters

Many players tend to ask questions like “What’s the best team for [element]?” For Earth especially, there is a lot of flexibility because Earth has both offensive and defensive characters. You should always pick a team that suits the fight you are about to do. However, there are some combinations that are more common/interesting which I’ll cover.

Defensive

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Sara and Cagliostro are extremely good defensively and allow undergeared players to solo harder enemies than they normally would be able to. Sara has very high tanking power with taunt and damage cut, which gets combined with Cagliostro’s healing armour break. The last member depends on the situation: Arurumeiya is nice for veil and attack down, but another great choice is SR Kanako (from Idolm@ster CG event) in any HL. She has a cure and can make potions, so you can get ~10 or more green potions in HL fights that tend to last about 100 turns, which is very handy.

Offensive

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Earth has no shortage of offensive characters despite being labeled as defensive by the devs. Eustace, Nemone, Catherine, Aletheia (usually known as Gandalf due to appearance), Limited Eugene, Okto, Thalatha — all of these can be mixed around due to their high offensive capability. The Erune are a little gimmicky but have big payoffs. Eustace can ougi for 3.5 million (!) fully charged, and Nemone offers a similar type of charge gimmick. But whether you want to include both of them is really dependent on play style, ougi generation from other sources, etc.

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Limited Eugene, Okto, Gandalf is a fun team to play due to the insane ougi generation, especially with Berserker MC. This team works nice for short fights since you can hit 2-3 ougis right off the start.

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Thalatha used to be more popular early on but suffers in the current meta due to damage cap (~820k for Ground Zero, 999,999 for Sword Form ougi). However, she’s still useful in having a big source of non-elemental damage that cuts through any sort of defence. Lunarl (R) can also copy Ground Zero for a nice cheese combo.

Samuriding

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Earth has the Samurai Guild War character, Okto, as well as SR Jin (from the summer event), who are both able to get 200% max ougi gauge like Samurai MC. This is a fun gimmick to try because of the potential burst from a 7-chain ougi, especially with a good weapon pool. Possible inclusions for the last slot are Thalatha (for another bonus 1 million hit) or Summer Vira (additional damage ougi). If you want to SAMURIDE, Earth has the best options for playing this fun but seldom-used class. If you have Okto, making the katana Earth also helps to keep up the SAMURIDE.

Korwa

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When you have reached the endgame, Korwa is a solid choice for Earth due to the lack of buffers. Earth has Cagliostro, but her buff isn’t spammable due to low uptime/reservation for use as cure. Although she won’t do much damage on her own being wind, letting your other characters hit for more than double the damage means that makes up for sacrificing the last slot. Korwa also works nicely with Earth Berserker and characters such as Gandalf or Okto due to their ougi fills allowing her to build ougi faster and keep her buff up, or to ougi out of sync without much penalty.

Is 5* Siegfried good?

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Not really unless you are playing against water, sadly.

How about the limited characters?

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They’re good for certain types of parties, but not amazing/as useful generally. Chainsaw girl is kind of like a weaker Six. Ayer can be nice with a couple Ygg Bows and Guild War Fist but is not really suited to a long fight.

Honourable mentions

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SR Soriz has really high attack for a SR and has 5*. He can rival even most SSR in terms of damage once he gets a stack or two of his buff up.

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SR Fastiva can do a lot of damage if you are using a male party. Also has 3 charms to debuff with.

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SR Juri (event) has cover and defence up, kind of a ghetto Sara.

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SR Lamretta (drunk Nun) has veil if you don’t have Aruru and need it.

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SR Gayne is decent with 5*. She has a party wide multi-attack rate up with low downtime.

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SR Airi (Idolm@ster CG) has sword proficiency and can do a lot of damage if you stack her buff up.

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SR Yaia — cooks fried rice for you. Isn’t she the cutest?

Conclusion

In a way, Earth is kind of the jack-of-all-trades element since you can build both full defensive and full offensive, although its offensive power is probably 4th or 5th among the six elements in an ideal situation. Whether or not this will change in the future is still uncertain — another buffer-type character for Earth is sorely needed. However, it’s still in a decent spot for now.

17 thoughts on “Playing Earth in Granblue

  1. Good post, thanks for the helpful info. Useful for people like me who’ve read things like the ‘ultimate guide’ but still need more clarification

  2. Thanks for the write up!

    Pity i started playing after the SF event so i’ll be sure to nab those unknown weapons when next they appear.

    Still have a long way to go since i can’t even unlock those row IV jobs.

  3. Hello Kotori! Thanks for writing this piece! As a resident dirtlord, I’m glad that this element got a write-up and some visibility.

    I would like to point out a few things that I didn’t agree with in your guide, however.

    Firstly, perhaps an explanation of Catherine would be nice to place in your guide. She is, after all, a core component of a late game dirt team, and one of the main reasons the element would be played anyways. This is, of course, because of her abundance of charms. Two charms, each on a three turn cooldown, and Temptation (Entice) which can convert Charm into another version of charm that stacks with charm! This allows for “double charming” – where one applies both Temptation and a regular charm (from a different character, of course, as Catherine eats the Temptation debuff when she uses either of her two charm abilities to boost her damage), leading to a very high chance that the boss will be charmed into inactivity. These inactive turns can prove a true boon to any raid, as dodging Ougis from scary bosses is always fun. Clutch charms help a lot even against normal turns, especially a turn where Bahamut is trying to TA the shit outta your waifus.

    Ahem.

    She also shouldn’t be placed into the “Offensive” section in my opinion, as she’s, well, somewhat weak at offense. After all, consuming the Temptation debuff to boost one turn of damage would actively harm the raid, and so it’s rather rarely done until the debuff is about to expire (so once every 3 minutes?). Perhaps make another section, a section on debuffers, and include Christmas Clarisse as well as this charming lady.

    Continuing on, I would like to point out a few misconceptions.

    First of all, Sarasa sword form’s ougi does not actually cap at 999,999 damage. It caps out, like any other ougi, at 1.16 million damage, but additionally does 999,999 colorless (unmitigated) damage.

    Secondly, SR Gayne probably needs a little bit more attention. Her damage output as an SR character in her 5* form becomes quite significant. Besides the Team DA buff that you mentioned, the skill also includes a Rage II attack increase (useful for small raids / solo play), she can mirror image to survive large attacks, and her nuke, a low cooldown 4-5x multiplier nuke, will activate twice after her Ougi, much like Lancelot’s Dual Impulse or Forte’s Double Lashwave. Because of her DA buffs, this can easily lead to a high damage nuke + ougi combination every 5 turns.

    Another interesting SR to consider is SR Jasmine, as her debuff immunity buff is in fact debuff immunity, allowing the whole party to avoid enemy debuffs for a few turns. She is also one of the few healers in the attribute, helping newer players without Cagliosotro (or without Caglio at level 100).

    All in all, I feel like dirt is a much better element than you give it credit for. Versatile for sure, defensively impregnable, but also bringing all of the love and charms from our beautiful women (Catherine, Summer Vira), and a great element to start with!

  4. This is , how do i put it..

    Sorry if i am going to come off as a biased prick and preachy but,

    While it is not a bad write up overall, it does feel like you didn’t entirely do enough research about Earth in-depth. Also the way you put it make one feel like Earth is one of those cheap alternative one use for temp in case Wind doesn’t give you its gun. As a long time Earth main, with bias factor in it, i feel somewhat offended by that.

    Like Rainfall said, you are not giving Earth enough credit.

    Let’s talk about your opinion on Titan earth build

    1 – Need 4-5 4* Cash weapon? No, not really you have 4* Vohu gun that has Attack Up Large/Small HP up that is a very good weapon to use for it. Not to mention Byakko knuckle and Byakko staff. Farming the Vohu gun might be not easy, but it is there.

    2 – Require GW stones to max 3* Titan, well , idk, this is sorta a moot point. If you are going to invest into it, you might as well do this much.

    I don’t run Titan build, but i did do enough research about it for my friends who run so yea

    Characters :

    For the most parts you nailed em, but missing SR Jasmine as an Earth players is a big no for end-game Earth players, especially in HL 6 man raid. As for why SR Jasmine is such a star, Rainfall already said it above.

    Limited characters also do better than you give them credit for with a good setup. Easily outlast a HL battle while still doing a lot of dps.

    Is Siegfried 5* good? Oh yes he is. He is great against water, but also good outside of that after you reach 100. Good dps, can drain OD to add as his already fast gain ougi, good self attack/defense buff.

    I am glad that people write up stuff about Earth, but not exactly like this. I didn’t come to love Earth and stick with it because Wind didn’t love me or cute summon or soiya. I stick with it because of Earth is stable, yes it does deal less dmg than Windmeme and Lightmeme but it is stable yet also flexible. You can do a lot of things with Earth.

    Oh and if at the end of day, your first introduction paragraph is meant as a joke then pardon me.

    1. I’m not kotori, but that list was definitely tongue in cheek comment. kotori is a rank 150 free2play Earth player in my guild.

      1. I sure hope so haha.

        This kind of content is definitely helpful for new players, but it really needs to be double checked for oversights because there are more i personally feel missing or not quite right.

        Of course my comment can also be ignored if majority think this is good enough.

  5. I’d love to work on an earth team since the luck of the gacha gave me fairly decent SR characters and Eustace, but sadly it’s a third priority at best because I have better dark and wind characters. Still, it seems like a fun element to play, and it’s surprising that it seems to be the least popular element people main.

      1. He isn’t just good, he is sorta hax. He outdmg your SSRs with ease in auto, and out dmg average SSR 5* ougi even w/o having to activate 2nd skill also. Easy to use and powerful

        1. Can you explain Jamil usage a bit? I have him but have phased him out as I run Soriz, Catherine, and Sara pretty much full time @R85. Also, I pretty much only consume Catherine’s temptation for bonus Ougi damage in the order of eat -> charm -> turn charm to entice -> pop ougi. Is this not-optimal? She’s by far my highest form of spike damage in Earth due to this.

          1. You just need to cast Jamil unique debuff on target, and he will automatically spike up his dmg against that target during that 90s. His unique debuff never seen missed too so it is almost perma. Go without saying he is the DPS role, although he can also shift aggro to a certain character that you might want him/her to get more attention from mob.

            His Smart skill work as Assassin Break or Override killer against a target that is marked by him. It is much easier to use than other twos since the mark is almost always there so that’s his another powerful dps tool. His ougi itself also deal additional dmg against marked target.

          2. Thanks! Would you rank him as better DPS than 5* Soriz? Or should I just switch him in for trash fights (i.e. current event) over Sara?

  6. He is a better DPS than Soriz 5* in fast fight, long fight Soriz is still a better DPS than him due to Soriz skill set is pretty self-balanced. Just that if boss is the type that can dispel team buff then Soriz will have some lost interval for rebuffing himself.

    Should be able to switch Sara out for Jamil in for fight you don’t feel like you need a tank.

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