Gunbreaker, like all tanks has many defensive abilities to ensure they live long enough to look cool. Most of these are simple buffs on long cooldowns that enhance parry or reduce incoming damage. Their emergency mitigation option; Superbolide lowers their HP to 1, while making them impervious to damage for 8 seconds afterward. Which is an interesting combination of Dark Night and Paladin’s versions. Though in addition to those, they also receive an almost exact replica of White Mage’s Regen. This ability; Aurora can be used on any friendly target, including yourself, with a recast timer of 60 seconds. Regen from a tank? Madness! But it does add some self healing or extra utility as an off tank. Their main means of rotational mitigation comes from their main combo.
The first weaponskill in their main combo, Keen Edge, is a typical combo starter, so.. Yeah. The second weaponskill, Brutal Shell, does damage, grants a moderate sized self heal, and gives the user a barrier, stopping incoming damage equal to the healing amount. Giving the Gunbreaker a self-mitigation option. The last hit of the combo is Solid Barrel, which generates one Cartridge on the Gunbreaker’s Job Gauge that then will be used by the cartridge spending abilities the Job has. Brutal Shell’s barrier seems to be the main mitigation tool for the Gunbreaker so it may be thought of as the “Barrier” tank.
Their second weaponskill combo is where we get an awesome rendition of Squall’s Renzokuken limit break.Before we get into that though, let’s look at their attack; Continuation. This ability can be used after gaining a buff from any attack in the second combo, and will execute a different attack depending on which buff you have. That sounds complicated, I know, but it is much easier than it seems. The first attack; Gnashing Fang, is a very potent single target attack that spends one cartridge from the Job Gauge, and grants the buff: Ready to Rip. Once you have this buff, Continuation becomes the ability Jugular Rip, and after you use that, Continuation will then revert back.
So you can think of Continuation as the “Trigger Press” after using Gnashing Fang. The same goes for Savage Claw which can be followed by Abdomen Tear, and Wicked Talon with Eye Gouge. None of the Continuation abilities will break the combo so it in effect turns the three hit combo into a six hit combo with quick Off the Global Cooldown (OGCD) abilities, enforcing the practice of weaving OGCD abilities between those on the global cooldown and emulating the feeling of pulling a trigger after each slash of the combo and it is satisfying for sure.
Gunbreaker has a few options for spending cartridges from their Job Gauge. The first is Gnashing Fang which we covered above. The others are a single target OGCD: Burst Strike, and an AoE: Fated Circle. Both of these are rather tame “press button, do damage” attacks albeit with great animations. They also have an ability to add two cartridges to their gauge at once every 90 seconds with Bloodfest.
The rest of their abilities are standard inclusions to every tank job. A charged action that acts as a gap closer, a ranged attack that has increased enmity for pulling, a couple of damage over time abilities, a personal damage buff, and a version of the now standard tank buff that reduces damage taken by a target. That ability Heart of Stone, has an added effect that gives the target a shield akin to Brutal Shell if you are under the effect of it when you cast it. Reinforcing the “barrier” tank idea.
Where To Find The Gunbreaker Quest And How To Fight?
The quest to unlock Gunbreaker is called “The Makings Of A Gunbreaker” and it’s found in New Gridania near the Aetheryte–the coordinates are X: 11.5, Y: 11.9. It’ll take you to Hawthorne Hut and around for an easy fight, then you’ll get your gear chest and weapon.
Like all Tanks, Gunbreaker specializes in pulling enmity (or aggro) and it’ll be necessary to have the ability Royal Guard active–to pull extra enmity, you have Provoke and to divert it when you’re in trouble, you have Shirk.
Gunbreaker’s basic attack rotation is pretty fun to execute and it basically goes like this: Keen Edge, Brutal Shell, Solid Barrel, then gain one cartridge in your Powder Gauge. With just one cartridge, you can go into a more powerful combo: Gnashing Fang, Savage Claw, Wicked Talon–these moves are also subject to cooldown, so when they’re not available, just use the strong standalone attack Burst Strike. And don’t forget that the Danger Zone attack lives on its own cooldown; use it when you can.
You also have a two-part AOE combo of Demon Slice and Demon Slaughter, which is very effective against groups of three or more enemies. This combo also generates a cartridge for the Powder Gauge in just two attacks, making Gunbreaker even more effective as a damage-dealer.
Buffs like Rampart, Nebula, and Reprisal help stave off damage taken while No Mercy boosts your attack power for a short period.
Note that these tips are based on the Jobs as they are at level 60.