A Skillchain is the result of performing a sequence of abilities such as Weapon Skills, Blood Pacts, and Blue Magic in a certain order with proper timing. When two attacks with the correct attributes successfully connect with a target in succession, a powerful surge of energy is released, inflicting additional damage to the target. Fifteen different Skillchains exist, 14 of which can be utilized by players and are divided into three different groups.
For a few seconds following the formation of a Skillchain, any offensive magic cast upon the skillchained target that matches the element(s) of the skillchain will receive a large bonus in power and accuracy. This is called a Magic Burst.
A Skillchain is created by successfully performing a sequence of Weapon Skills and a few other abilities. The order of Weapon Skills is determined by the attributes of the Weapon Skill, known as Skillchain attributes. When a Weapon Skill is performed and successfully connects with the target, the target resonates with the Skillchain attributes of the used Weapon Skill for approximately 5 to 6 seconds. If the target is then hit with a Skillchain attribute which chains with a resonating Skillchain attributes, a Skillchain is formed. The resulting Skillchain becomes the new resonating Skillchain attribute, allowing the chain to continue.
If a Weapon Skill is performed which does not chain with the Skillchain Attributes the target is resonating with, the resonating Skillchain Attributes are replaced by those of the performed Weapon Skill. If the subsequent Weapon Skill has no Skillchain Attributes (ex. Spirits Within, Spirit Taker, Energy Steal, Energy Drain, Starlight, Moonlight) or misses entirely, the target will continue to resonate with the previous Weapon Skill's Attributes until a Weapon Skill with Skillchain Attributes connects, or until time expires.
The damage performed by a Skillchain is determined by the level of the Skillchain and the damage dealt by the Weapon Skill which completes the Skillchain. Abilities and equipment that increase the closing Weapon Skill's damage will thus have a proportional effect on the Skillchain damage. Examples of this are Sneak Attack (when used by a THF) and Flame Holder (automatons). Resistance and other factors are taken into account. Higher level skillchains are less likely to be resisted. Monsters whose level greatly exceeds the player(s) typically have a high level of resistance to Skillchain damage, regardless of the level of Skillchain being performed.
Skillchains are formed by hitting a target with a correct sequence of Weapon Skill Attributes. The specific sequence required varies between the various Skillchains. Not all sequences produce a Skillchain.
Level 1 Skillchains
A Level 1 Skillchain can do up to 50% of the damage of the closing Weapon Skill, depending on the target's Resistance to the Skillchain element.
Level 1 Skillchains comprise a single element and correspond to Level 1 Attributes. Each Skillchain is the same as the closing Attribute that is used to form the Skillchain.
For example, hitting a target resonating with the Compression attribute, with a Weapon Skill possessing the Transfixion attribute, will produce a Transfixion skillchain, which is aligned to the element Light.
Level 2 Skill Chains
A Level 2 Skillchain can do up to 60% of the damage of the closing Weapon Skill, depending on the target's Resistance to the Skillchain elements.
Level 2 Skillchains comprise two elements and correspond to Level 2 Attributes. The Skillchain is not necessarily the same as the closing Attribute that is used to form the Skillchain.
Level 2 Skillchains can be formed either by a combination of Level 1 Weapon Skill Attributes or a combination of Level 2 Weapon Skill Attributes. Primarily they are formed using the Lv.1 attributes since these are available at much lower levels than the Lv.2 attributes.
For example, hitting a target resonating with the Transfixion attribute, with a Weapon Skill possessing the Scission attribute, produces a Distortion Skillchain, which is aligned to the elements Water and Ice.
Level 3 Skill Chains
A Level 3 Skillchain can do up to 100% of the damage of the closing Weapon Skill, depending on the target's Resistance to the Skillchain elements.
Level 3 Skillchains comprise four elements and correspond to Level 3 Weapon Skill Attributes.
Level 3 Skillchains are formed from Level 2 and Level 3 Weapon Skill Attributes. Because of these requirements, they can only be performed by high-level characters. Lv.3 attributes are exclusive to Weapon Skills found only on Relic Weapons and Empyrean Weapons. This rarity means that Lv.3 Skillchains are typically produced using Lv.2 attributes.
Unlike Level 2 and Level 1 Skillchains, Level 3 Skillchains do not require the Weapon Skill Attributes to be combined in a specific order. This leads to greater flexibility when creating Lv.3 Skillchains and makes it easier to ensure a hard-hitting job closes the chain for maximum damage potential.
For example, hitting a target resonating with the Fusion attribute, with a Weapon Skill possessing the Fragmentation attribute, produces a Light Skillchain, which is aligned to the elements Light, Fire, Lightning and Wind.
Ultimate Skillchains are special Skillchains enabled by equipping an Aeonic Weapon in the main hand, and can only be performed with Aeonic Aftermath active. The level of Aftermath determines how many Weaponskills must be performed to close Radiance/Umbra; 4 with level 1, 3 with level 2, and just 2 with level 3.
Ultimate Skillchains require both Aeonic Aftermath to be present and for the closing Weapon Skill to possess Level 3 Skillchain properties. Once the Ultimate Skillchain is closed, Aeonic Aftermath wears immediately.
A Skillchain in its simplest form comprises two Weapon Skills performed one after the other to generate the required Skillchain. The first Weapon Skill causes the target to resonate with the attributes of the Weapon Skill. The second Weapon Skill's attributes interact with the ones resonating on the target to produce the Skillchain.
Beyond this basic concept, the idea of Weapon Skill attributes can be applied to the Skillchain itself. Each Skillchain causes the target to resonate with the same attributes as the Skillchain. This means that a third Weapon Skill can follow the initial two, acting on the Skillchain they produced.
For example, a Monk can use Spinning Attack to make the target resonate with Liquefaction and Impaction. A second Monk follows this attack with Howling Fist, creating a Fusion Skillchain. A Dark Knight then continues this by using Spinning Slash to create a Light Skillchain.
Linking Skillchains increases their potential damage. The damage potential is based on the closing Weapon Skill. Damage increases with the number of Skillchains performed in succession as follows:
All Weapon Skill Attributes can be used to create a Skillchain except Level 3 attributes from a Relic Weapons Weapon Skill (e.g. Scourge). These powerful Weapon Skills may be used to create a Level 3 Skillchain by immediately following a Level 3 Weapon Skill attribute (either from a Lv.2 created Skillchain or another Relic Weapon); however no further Skillchain may be created from the subsequent Skillchain.
List of Weapon Skills and Abilities With Weapon Skill Attributes
Notice that many weapon skills have 2 or more attributes associated with them. The attributes are listed by priority using "A," "B," or "C" notation, where "A" is the highest and "C" is the lowest. When a situation arises where a Skillchain can be formed using both "A" and "B" attributes, a Skillchain is formed using the "A" attribute. The attribute with highest priority is always chosen when multiple Skillchain possibilities are presented. If "C" is not listed on the table that means there is no "C" attribute.
Marksmanship | Polearm | Scythe | Staff | Sword | Automatons | Blood Pacts | Blue Magic | Elemental Magic
Using a Skillchain Chart
With the exception of Level 3 Skillchains, there is no obvious pattern to the network of attributes that are "compatible" and form Level 1 or Level 2 Skillchains. When presented with a party using various weapons, it is often easiest to examine a Skillchain Chart to determine which Skillchains are available to use.
A Skillchain Chart presents Skillchains as a map of which Weapon Skills lead to which effect. By examining the available Weapon Skills and plotting a route across the map, Skillchains can be easily created and linked together.
Say there are two, one-handed sword wielders, and they both have Fast Blade and Burning Blade. Now find the Weapon Skill on the Skillchain Chart. Burning Blade is in the Fire section; and Fast Blade is in the Earth section. There is one arrow connecting them. Notice that the arrow is double ended. This means that you can start in the Earth section and go to the Fire section, or you may start in the Fire section and go to the Earth section. Both ways will result in a Skillchain. If you start in Fire section and go to Earth you get an Earth Scission Skillchain. Going the other way (Earth first followed by Fire) you get a Fire Liquefaction Skillchain.
You will notice that many weapon skills have 2 or more attributes associated with them. The attributes are listed by priority using "A," "B," or "C" notation, where "A" is the highest and "C" is the lowest. If a situation arises where a Skillchain can be formed using both "A" and "B" attributes, a Skillchain will be formed using the "A" attribute. The attribute with highest priority is always chosen when multiple Skillchain possibilities are presented.