FFXIV’s minion battles, or “Lord of Verminion” was released in Patch 3.1 (Heavensward era). It’s basically an RTS like a simplified version of Starcraft.
How to unlock Minion Battles? Travel to Gold Saucer, then go to Chocobo Square via the aether net (Or talk to the Lift Operator if you’re walking) Once you’re here simply walk to the right side (It’s a new wing) and make sure to attune to the new aether crystal there (Minion Square).
Click on one of the Lord of Verminion Tables, and if it’s your first time you’ll be prompted with the help text!
Lord of Verminion: The Basics!
If you’re a first timer click on (From the table) Play Guide > Hotbar Edition. This teaches you how to edit your minion hotbar! You can access this anywhere in the world via: Character > Gold Saucer > Verminion, or Opening your Minion Guide and pressing the new button on the lower right.
You can access every minion you own while in-game, but they’re much easier to summon from the minion hotbar. If you’re a beginner – It’s best that you try to complete as many of the Verminion Challenge’s as you can!
All about Minions!
Effectivity vs. Buildings: To easily remember these icons – “G E Sh A”, or Gate, Eye, Shield, Arcana Stones. So when in doubt, remember GESHA! If that memoir isn’t enough for you – too bad! I’ll be talking about these buildings in the next section
Effectivity vs Other Minions: Each minion type is more effective at defeating another minion type. With the exception of Gadgets (Grey), that have no bonuses
or weaknesses to any minion type.
Poppet (Yellow) > Critter (Green) > Beast (Red) > Poppet (Yellow) Etc…
Special Action: Each minion has their own unique ‘Limit Break’ (The official name is different, but it makes a lot more sense this way). Like player limit breaks, they must be performed in a light party of at least four! Keep in mind, it only works for FOUR OF THE EXACT SAME MINION! This LB seems to charge while doing anything, even movement!
Other Basic Stats: Basic stuff like ATK, DEF, HP also includes wether they do single target damage or AoE damage
All about Structures!
Gate: Portals from where your minions come out. A B or C. Disabling the structure disallows minions to come out of them until they respawn.
Shield: Protects your crystals with a shield that refreshed every so often. Killing this structure removes all shields from crystals until it comes up again.
Seeing-Eye: Allows you to see enemy units and movement. Having this structure disabled results in you not being able to see anything outside the range of your units & buildings. While quite a good target in PvP, I’m not so sure this works vs AI.
Arcana Stones: for all intents and purposes, your life bar. If you have none remaining, well, “You ded”. I call them Crystals at some points in this guide.
With the exception of crystals, all structures self regenerate over time if destroyed.
Lord of Verminion: Basic Strategy
Before I proceed, let me share a word of wisdom I always liked in regards to strategy games:
“In any game state, you could probably make 10 choices. 6 are wrong, and you might lose because of it.
3 are right, and will lead to your win – but there’s only one BEST move.”
Given the above quote, I cannot possibly give you advice for the BEST MOVE every time – that’s for all of us to figure out each time we play. I can give you the tools and ideas that might lead you to the 3 “correct” moves.
Send in groups of preferably five!
Using a pet limit break is such a game changer that ensuring it is worth the extra unit (moreso for lower cost units). If a straight 4v4 happened, whoever (semi RNG) loses the first unit will likely lose badly. Sending in packs of 5 or, in some cases even more is better! Basically insurance that your LB comes out is worth the small investment of an extra unit. This is more effective on cheap units, obviously.
Range: Risk vs Reward
While some LB’s are extremely powerful, they are gimped by RANGE. A large circle is much easier to aim than a cone! The LB always comes from the minion you clicked so be careful! This is why I value large circular LB’s over cone LB’s. While some of the smaller range LB’s might be good, again, It’s a risk vs reward thing. I find the consistency of large AoE more than make up for the lack of power. Even then, hitting more targets will easily outscale LB’s with a tiny AoE.
This also goes for traps. While you might not always hit with a trap ASAP, it’s fine. If you placed it on an important zone, enemies won’t just waltz in there without expecting a beating. Trap AoE is huge and gives a substantial advantage in battle if you know how to use ’em.
What are the best minions?
“Another site lists all minion stats – check it out!”
While there is ALWAYS the absolute best minion to summon for each scenario, obviously the limiting factors are “Can you think of it fast enough?”.
First of all, I’ll put my own table of notable minions here. Then, in the bottom most secion are more specific notes on how to look for the minions you need! You can filter, sort and search by interacting with the table (also an option to increase rows shown).
As I was making my list of “imba minions”, the exercise became rather strange. For each time I thought “at this minion is good”, inevitably “ah but this guy counters it!”. Ultimately I’ll first of all list good practices in identifying great minions – it’s a far better resource than plainly listing “imba minions”.
Generic go-to Offensive minions
Poppet (Yellow) : Wind-up Ixal, Wind-up Shantotto, Wind-up Sea Devil, Wind-up Yugiri, Set of Primogs, Wind-up Zundu Warrior.
Critter (Green): Chigoe Larva, Wolf Pup, Mini Mole, Garlic Jester, Tomato King.
Beast (Red): Buffallo Calf, Wind-up Succubus, Zu Hatchling, Naughty Nanka. Behemoth Heir
Gadget (Grey): Wind-up Airship, Iron Dwarf (IMBA),
The most basic offensive minion has the (what I like to call), “ATK up: Racial” or “Party ATK up”. Since this ability has a different name per minion let’s just refer to it as those. Here’s what this does –
- ATK up: Racial – Increases ATK of all allies within range by 20 (40 if the ally is a critter). Duration: 6s (Example: Wolf Pup)
- ATK up: Party – Increases action party ATK by 40. Duration: 15s (Example: Buffalo Calf)
- ATK up: All – Increases ATk of all allies within range by 25. Duration: 6s (Example: Wind-up Zundu Warrior)
These abilities are so good because they’re a SUREFIRE way to increase DPS, and unlike reactive skills or nukes – they work AGAINST STRUCTURES. Note that Racial ATK up usually affects all allies in range regardless of type, and party ATK up only affects all minions in the battle party.
Any minion with high hp/armor make good units to delay the enemy from attacking your structures. They serve as great distractions – bonus points if they have multi-target attack. Extremely tanky minions do well as sacrifices when enemies are killing your base – imagine a stream of sacrificial minions 1 by 1 delaying their small group. It seems like value lost at first but you’re tying up their resources while not losing much yourself.
Healing minions are also very notable. They have their uses in PvE and PvP. I listed the ones I found below. While their base stats aren’t too good defensively, their survivability firmly puts them in the defensive minion categoty.
Healer Minions: Wind-up Warrior of Light (WHM)(Y), Louisoux(Y), Mandragora Queen (G),
Speed: how good is it?
Any minion with a high speed rating is godlike in its own regard. Here’s the general rule with speedy minions
“High-speed minions can travel fast, but generally lack BASE combat stats”
So, how is this good? It all depends on your playstyle. High speed minions tend to perform better with skirmish strategies – but given the difficulty of the current UI this isn’t as easy as it sounds. A great example of this would be Lesser Panda: a popular unit used to kill gates quickly.
Traps and Trap Clearing
“Planting traps are better than sweeping them”
It’s simple really. Since traps are mostly offensive (and insanely powerful), planting them on an objective is a great way to utilize your LB without the “is it the right time to use it?” factor bothering you. They’re likely to pay off no matter what.
Now, for clearing traps (Gobbue, Demon Box, etc) this is the reverse. First of all reactive LB’s are far worse and more difficult to use than proactive ones. (Debuffing is better than Esuna LB’s, for another example). Why? Because you’re not always guaranteed to have LB when you need it.
For example, if they put the trap, and you don’t have LB – value lost.
If you have LB, but there’s no trap – value lost.
The same logic applies for buff/debuff and esuna LB’s. You’re more likely to error on the cleansing then error on the application.
WELL, I guess that’s about it for now. I don’t know what else to write about but this seems to be a good beginners guide to LoV. This game is more strategically deep than I thought it was, and can be a stand-alone game in itself! GLHF and I gotta say they’re damn cute.