The Puppetmaster is one of the unique classes seen in Final Fantasy XI. Usually, in MMOs, you have dedicated classes that are usually copy-pasted in many games (archer, melee, tank, etc.). However, the Puppetmaster is a class never seen before. Unfortunately, this can lead to many players being confused about how to approach this class, and they might end up shelving such an exciting play style. In this guide, we will do our best to clear the confusion and guide you on how to use this class best.
Puppetmasters, as the name suggests, are characters that use Puppets to engage in battle. It is technically a 2-man party, with you being the tank and the puppet being the one who deals damage. It can be compared to a necromancer if you play other MMOs; however, this class is a bit more specific.
You have a variety of puppets to choose from, who have their own niches and will support you in battle in their unique way. In addition, you can customize your puppets with different heads, attachments, and frames to give you additional boosts.
Another thing to note is, similar to rangers, Puppetmasters can be a costly job. Depending on their rarity, you need to purchase different items for your puppets. Therefore, they can be very demanding. However, we consider them a high-cost, high-reward job, as they can be powerful with the right attachments.
Puppet masters are highly flexible, being used to play tank, support, and DPS just by changing their associated gear.
Puppetmasters are the most versatile jobs in the game, enabling you to play practically any role you want. There are a plethora of abilities that help you perfect your play style, which we will be going over –
Overdrive is an ability that buffs your puppet to its highest level. Be careful when using this ability, as it has a recast time of 1 hour while only lasting for 3 minutes. Your maneuverability is also increased. It is unlocked at level 1. It should be used when fighting boss battles that prove challenging. It is a two-hour ability.
Activate is your main ability, which summons your puppet. It has a recast time of 20 minutes, and if your puppet is defeated, you cannot resummon it until the timer hits 0. This makes you play your puppet a bit more carefully. However, there is a workaround called Deactivate.
Deactivate is the antithesis of Activate; it de-summons your puppet. If you want to remove your puppet, without the pain of sitting through the 20-minute timer. It has a recast time of 1 minute, unlocked at level 1, and can help you in the game.
Deus Ex Automata is a unique ability where your puppet is called in a low HP state. This skill is your last-resort ability, used when your activate timer is still ticking and you are in an emergency combat situation. It is unlocked at level 5 and has a recast time of 1 minute. It should be used carefully, as your puppet can be very vulnerable.
Repair helps restore your puppets' health, at the cost of some prerequisites and being level 15. You must have Automaton Oil, and using this ability, use one instance of said oil. You need to use higher-quality oil to increase the duration and regen effect. It has a recast time of 1 minute and 30 seconds, which is relatively short.
Maintenance is an ability unlocked at level 30. If your puppet has various status effects which hinder it amid combat, maintenance can help cure it. The catch is similar to repair; you need automaton oil. Depending on its quality, it can cure varied levels of ailments. It has a recast time of 1 minute.
Ventriloquy is a simple ability where you switch enmity between your puppet and yourself. It can help you run two builds at once. It has a low recast time of 1 minute and is unlocked at level 75.
Role Reversal is similar to the skill mentioned above, where instead of swapping enmity, you swap HP. This can be useful when you are low and fighting a boss who is almost dead. You can invest Merit Points to increase the health granted by 5%. This ability has a recast time of 2 minutes and is unlocked at level 75.
Tactical Switch is an ability unlocked at level 79, and this ability swaps the TP of you and your puppet. It has a recast time of 3 minutes, and you can invest Job Points in this ability to increase your TP by 20.
Heady Artifice is an SP Ability with a high recast time of 1 hour. It gives your puppet a unique ability that depends on the head that you use. There are varied effects, such as increased accuracy, damage, magic recovery, etc. It is unlocked at level 96 and is your second 2-hour ability.
Understanding these skills and using them in the optimal situation will help you truly master this class. So, keep experimenting with different heads to find one that allows you the most in combat!
The job traits in this class are primarily ones about survivability, as your puppet will do the main damage in most cases. Important ones are:
The best sub jobs for Puppetmasters are:
Puppet Masters must spend countless hours in the Gil grind, which can be a highly pricey job. However, it could not be enough, even after a lot of grinding. Finding and purchasing puppet parts can be challenging, especially if your in-game money is low. Fortunately, buying FFXI GIL is not too expensive.
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To conclude, Puppet masters are a unique class seen only in the likes of FFXI and can provide a refreshing experience. Mastering them and collecting the appropriate parts will help you take down any foe easily.
That being said, we hope this guide gave you a brief understanding of the job, and we hope to see you on the battlefield with your fellow puppet aiding you in battle!