Theoretical Grid Building Guide
Last Update: July 29, 2023
This guide is licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0, a permissible license for futureproofing. (more info)
(What does this mean??)Essentially, this gives you the right to make your own versions of the guide. If I stop maintaining the guide one day, you're welcome to pick it up and continue it as long as you give credit, so that it can live on and help players even after I leave.
This guide serves as a theoretical primer on the logic used to build weapon grids. The guide will go through all you need to know to build your own grids from scratch instead of just copying other premade grids.
Warning, please read me before continuing.
This guide is designed to show theory, and in order to do so, examples will have to be provided. There is no guarantee that the grids shown here are up to date-- or even good in the first place. Any grids shown are examples to demonstrate concepts only and should not be taken at face value.
This guide is designed for players who are already fairly invested in the game and whose grids are mostly copied from friends or other sources without much understanding of what makes them tick. This guide, therefore, intends to help readers understand the theory that informs grid building and get them up to speed as to why the grids they're using look like that, how to improve them, and how to make their own.
- If you're a new player, start with Basic Grids.
- For examples of grids for more progressed players, go to Advanced Grids.
- For a list of which weapons are worth to farm, check my What to Farm Guide.
It's worth noting that no man is an island and no grid is built in isolation. Grids do not have copyright protections, and "grid stealing" is an accepted (and even encouraged) practice in the Granblue Fantasy community. Not only that, but most grids are just copies of other grids designed for similar situations with some minor adaptations for the new one. You rarely have to build anything from scratch, so go ahead and reference as many wiki examples and YouTube showcases as you want.
- 1 Theoretical Grid Building Guide
- 1.1 Introduction
- 1.2 Common Misconceptions
- 1.3 Building With A Purpose
- 1.4 Modifiers and You
- 1.5 Critical Hits
- 1.6 Beyond Raw Damage
- 1.7 Putting it All Together
- 1.8 Closing Notes
- 1.9 Acknowledgements
- 1.10 Changelog
Before we start, I'd like to clear up some common misconceptions that tend to trip up fledgling players, so we can go in with a clean slate.
There Is No General Content
Unlike other games in the same genre, you will not get far in Granblue Fantasy with only one team per element. The high variety of options for team building means that a lot of buildcraft is open for optimizing toward different goals, and those goals tend to be at odds with each other.
If you've ever hung around any sort of community that can help new or fledgling players, you've probably heard something among the lines of "help me make a grid for general content" - and also the sour reaction to the question.
The point is, well, there is no general content. There is no one grid per element that will fare well in every situation you'll run into. When you make a grid, you should do so with some purpose in mind for where you'll use it. We'll delve into types of content later, but here's some examples of things that you may want to consider:
- The length of the fight - shorter fights might want to bring timed weapons like Rise of the Beasts. , whereas longer ones might enjoy progression weapons such as from
- The enemy's damage output - if the boss you're fighting can hit really hard, you may have to pack additional HP weapons vs just optimizing for damage, whereas putting defensive weapons in a grid that you use for a weaker boss is redundant and will just make the kills take longer.
- Specific mechanics or gimmicks, such as, for example, Ra's multiple charge attack based Omens. For a Ra team, you'd want to bring Charge Attack supporting weapons such as , or , which would otherwise be weak in setups that don't rely on charge attack damage.
Some important notes to keep in mind:
- You only need enough HP to not die!
- Doesn't matter if you kill the boss with 1% of your HP left or 100%, it's dead either way.
- Packing additional HP for situations where the boss doesn't hit hard is just going to make the kill slower for no noticeable benefit.
- You don't always have to optimize, especially if you don't think you'll be fighting a boss often, but it's good to if you intend to do it a lot.
- Ultimately, building teams for specific bosses is an effort in saving you time. The less time you spend on each boss, the more time you have to do other things. How far you want to go with that is entirely up to you.
The Tier List Kinda Sucks
The Character Tier List page is very often misunderstood. With a game as complex as Granblue Fantasy, you can't simply take a character out of context and assign a number to it and have that number fully explain its power level.
Even the far more useful Grades sub-page of the tier list is not something that should be fully relied upon, as the values given there are wildly reductive of the different types of content the game contains. Beyond that, older characters in the list are rarely updated to reflect the current metagame, or whatever new content or strategies have emerged since.
At the time of writing, the following hold true in the GameWith tier list:
- SUBHL setups, and farming setups in Seofon HL, so this grade does not reflect his usability.
is currently a 9.9, with an A in High Difficulty. Wilnas is irreplaceable for the best Fire
- Furthermore, Wilnas had previously been at 9.5 with recent additions such as wildly improving his damage potential. In a vacuum, the 9.9 rating is reductive, as without having Michael, a player can not make full use of him.
- SUBHL setup in the game with no useable substitute. (To my knowledge. You can watch the setup here)
is rated B in High Difficulty (Kamigame gives him a D too), which was a valid assessment at his release. However, after the release of and , Mugen has become an irreplaceable component of the fastest
- However, even if Mugen was updated to a higher rating in High Difficulty, this doesn't fully reflect the reality that two other limited characters, as well as a Primal grid with multiple are required to actually make use of him, so the rating would still be dubious.
- Dark Rapture (Hard). The SS rating is justified for how incredibly powerful they are in that situation, but does not show the full picture that they're only "good" for lower-difficulty raids. have an SS rating for Full Auto which is also very reductive as their damage output is lacking, and their unique skills are only properly applicable to high-end Full Auto for difficult raids such as
In short, while the Tier List is a reasonable way to quickly evaluate if a character you just got is useful, avoid relying on it too much. The game is far too complex to be reduced to numbers and letters. The grades page in particular can not fully encapsulate the depth of a character's usability nor its synergies. The same character can be useless or amazing even within the same category depending on the content and its surroundings.
Remember, there is no general content, so it follows that there are no general ratings either.
Damage Prediction is Unreliable
For multiple reasons, this prediction is highly inaccurate and should not be fully relied upon.
- The predictor shows only the amount of damage estimated for your main character, against a base defense enemy, without any buffs or debuffs for either party.
- Critical hit damage is not accounted for unless you achieve an outright 100% total crit rate. It doesn't matter if you have 99% crit; if it is less than 100%, it will not be reflected in the damage prediction.
- The left predictor never accounts for critical hit despite element-less enemies being able to receive critical hits.
- As such, when using the predictor, if you are building a setup with less than 100% critical hit, you will have to consider for it manually.
As for any weapons that affect different units differently (such as race restrictions for Bahamut Weapons or proficiency restrictions for Ultima Weapons), know that their effect on the prediction will only be seen if the change affects the main character, so be careful of seeing a really large number when equipping, for example, an Ultima Weapon that no other member of your party benefits from.
Aside from those cases, the predictor is a very useful tool for quickly gauging whether to swap out weapons or not. Additional context and parameters can be viewed and adjusted by clicking the (i) icon such as your party's HP or number of turns passed.
As long as you're aware of its limitations, the predictor allows you to quickly iterate on damage focused setups without getting in a fight.
The Icons Lie
Intuition would tell you that the icon on the right would likely be 3 times as powerful as the icon on the left-- or at least significantly stronger.
When looking at the Weapon Skills page, we see a different story. At Skill Level 15, the "small" skill provides a 12% boost, whereas the "big" skill provides an 18% boost. The same is true for other skills such as HP Up.
While when boosted by a summon, this different is very significant, it's not as large as the iconography implies. This is mostly common knowledge, but it does tend to trip up new players. Icons are good to quickly compare two different weapons with a similar skill, but the iconography can be misleading in terms of indicating the actual magnitude of difference between them.
Time is Relative
In nearly all aspects of life, the concept of speed typically refers to how long it takes you to complete a task. In a game as reliant on ping as Granblue Fantasy, however, raw time is not an accurate metric to determine how efficient something is when comparing to other players.
You are welcome and encouraged to use kill time as a measure of your own personal speed, but when it comes to sharing setups, there's several standard metrics used to quickly broadcast the efficiency of your build:
- Turn Count
- Very straightforward. Everything else being equal, the more turns you take, the slower you're being
- Turn count is not the be-all-end-all of optimization. Ultimately, a turn is just a game action. If your turns are slow, you're still slow
- Button Count
- A "button" is a skill press or a summon call
- Because you can only take one action at a time in Granblue, the more actions you take, the more time you spend waiting on the game to let you take the next one
- In some cases, players will separate skill button presses from summon calls, so you may see something like "3b1s" to indicate "3 skills, 1 summon"
- Chain Count
- Every action in Granblue has an associated "lockout" value. Lockout is the "⏳ Waiting..." widget you see sometimes when going really fast
- While in Lockout, you can queue up actions, but none will be taken until the waiting time ends (except using Potions for some reason)
- Chain Bursts, or just Chains, which happen when you perform two or more Charge Attacks in one turn, are the source of the highest lockout in the game. This lockout is higher the larger the Chain Burst is
- Lockout persists between battles, so when going really fast, your goal becomes minimizing lockout which tends to result in minimizing Chains
Building With A Purpose
Before you can begin making a new grid, you need to know what you're trying to accomplish. At the end of the day, weapon grids are tools to get a job done. That job can be to kill a given raid safely, to reach a Blue Chest threshold, to help carry a high difficulty raid team, etc.
In real life, we don't always use the same tool for every job. You wouldn't use a hammer to cook food. In the same vein, your grids should be built in service of the purpose they're intended to fulfill. Establish the objective first, then assemble the tools-- not the other way around.
And to really hammer it home - there is no general content, nor are there general grids.
With that spiel out of the way, let's look at some basic archetypes of grids you may wish to build.
45m Blue Chest
In my humble opinion, having a team that can quickly and efficiently reach 45,000,000 damage in each element is the first big goal every midgame Granblue Fantasy player should strive for. To understand why exactly this HP threshold is important, we need to look at how drops are distributed in the Regalia and Ennead series of raids.
Let's start by looking at the loot table for Shiva - specifically the Blue Chest table:
We can derive a few things from this:
- The weapons we want to get from this boss are in this chest.
- We need to acquire 380,000 honors, or deal 38,000,000 damage, to guarantee the chest will appear.
- Assuming you're not the host, and the raid doesn't stall, there's no reason to ever deal more than 38m damage.
- Ideally, we want to do this quickly so we don't burn our lives away in the Shiva mines.
Most Impossible bosses that get heavily farmed feature this mechanic, forcing players to contribute to the raid a bit. Understanding how much damage you have to deal to get a Blue Chest will help you tune your teams and grids to reach the desired values as fast as possible so that you can get your weapon drops equally fast.
The reason I recommend targeting the 45m threshold is because of Ennead raids such as Atum. To compensate for their mechanic, Enneads will have a slightly higher Blue Chest threshold. This value will change from raid to raid as some have more HP than others, but 45m is a fairly clean and safe value to aim for.
You can test your 45m teams using the Old Lignoid or Used Lignoid of the respective element in Trial Battles.
While there are many ways one can build a team that can quickly reach 45m damage, I will personally recommend the tried and trueCharge Attack burst-- not because it's the most efficient in any regard, but because it's very accessible, and most players can assemble one with some elbow grease. By the time you can start building faster teams, you probably won't be spending your days in the M2 mines anyway.
Relic Buster'sand combo can immediately set your team up for a 4-chain charge attack. By itself, this will not be able to reach 45m in most situations, so additional buttons must be pressed.
At this point, what else you will need to do will depend on what you have available. You should fit your team with high CA-damage characters (e.g.), or characters with additional CA skill damage (e.g. ). If available, my go-to pick is calling , as that alone adds over 9 million damage and makes further attacks hit harder. Other great options include any sources of (e.g. 's ), (e.g. 's