The best Eikons and builds in Final Fantasy 16

The Eikon Ifrit raises a claw to strike in Final Fantasy 16
(Image credit: Square Enix)

The best Eikon build and powers to pick in FFXVI vary depending on preference, but we found Final Fantasy 16 easiest to beat when we went in with the Phoenix, Garuda and Odin Eikons equipped, slotting in an extra power from Bahamut along the way to bolster offensive power. We'll run through the full list of options for the best build in Final Fantasy in greater detail below, as well as our justification for each choice and how you can use them intelligently.

Minor spoilers to follow. If you don't want to know the full list of Eikons, their functions or how they're unlocked, look away now!

The best Eikon build and powers in Final Fantasy 16

Clive uses the Eikon Phoenix to activate Flames of Rebirth in Final Fantasy 16

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Our choice for the best Eikon build and powers in FFXVI is as follows:

  • Eikon 1: Phoenix
    • Equipped Powers: Rising Flames and Flames of Rebirth
  • Eikon 2: Garuda
    • Equipped Powers: Gouge and Gigaflare (imported from Bahamut via Skill Mastery)
  • Eikon 3: Odin
    • Equipped Powers: Gungnir and Heaven's Cloud

This is a pretty versatile build that leans a little further towards fighting bosses in melee, but will work in any encounter regardless. While Odin isn't unlocked until the back end of the game, the Phoenix and Garuda Eikons are the first two you get, and players should feel free to customize the third slot as they feel comfortable with (Titan and Bahamut are the two best Eikons you can use until the point you unlock Odin). Nonetheless, let's explain our reasoning for these different picks:

The Phoenix Eikon is just a wonderfully versatile option, as the Phoenix Shift power is useful at all points in the game. Rising Flames is a strong melee attack you can pull out in a pinch, and Flames of Rebirth is one of those moves that wipes the entire battlefield while healing Clive in the process - it's pretty overpowered and can usually just finish the battle.

The Garuda Eikon brings two serious options to the table - the ability to drag enemies down with Garuda's Claw, which makes staggering enemies far more efficient if you trigger it at the halfway point, and the Gouge ability, which is a quick series of rapid strikes. It's good for clearing minor enemies, building stagger and rapidly increasing the damage multiplayer on staggered enemies themselves. In the second slot for Garuda, you want to Master the Gigaflare power from Bahamut so you can import it across. Gigaflare serves as a specific boss-breaking attack, a gigantic beam best used on single targets, working well when you're tracking down the various Final Fantasy 16 hunt locations.

The Odin Eikon is the last one, and everything about this is building towards the Zantetsuken core ability, which when raised to full level is another ridiculous battlefield-clearer like the Flames of Rebirth. To do that, your best options are Gungnir and Heaven's Cloud. Gungnir isn't very powerful, but it raises the level of Zantetsuken incredibly fast, and can serve to clear out minor enemies in its spinning vortex. Heaven's Cloud is more damaging, though requires a little skill to use right, as the combo only lasts until you miss an attack. Using these both at the right moment can raise you to a level 5 Zantetsuken in moments, which can then be used to destroy armies or do massive damage to bosses.

All the best Eikons ranked

The Eikon menu in Final Fantasy 16

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Below we've ranked the Eikons in order of effectiveness, at least by our experience. All of them have their uses and we've also written what their specialties are, and no doubt there's certain builds and combinations that can make use of one more than others, but here's our tier list as we see it.

  1. Phoenix (Versatile, close-range combat)
  2. Odin (High speed combos building to Zantetsuken strike)
  3. Garuda (Stagger, speed and battlefield control)
  4. Bahamut (High-power ranged attacks)
  5. Titan (Melee combat and short-range AOE attacks)
  6. Shiva (Mid-range Stagger and freezing effects)
  7. Ifrit (Close-range attacks and melee impacts)
  8. Ramuh (Long-ranged attacks and stuns)

Unlocking new Eikons

Tutorial for the Eikon Ramuh in Final Fantasy 16

(Image credit: Square Enix)

If you've only got a few Eikons unlocked, you'll clearly be able to see that there's space for more when you're looking at the skill tree for the best abilities in Final Fantasy 16. We won't spoil how it happens, but if you want to unlock more, simply keep playing the main campaign. The new Eikons will be unlocked throughout the plot of FFXVI in the following order:

  1. Phoenix
  2. Garuda
  3. Ifrit
  4. Ramuh
  5. Titan
  6. Bahamut
  7. Shiva
  8. Odin

There's no way to get around this order, it's fixed and tied to events in the plot. That being said, the order in which you buy the abilities and powers in the Eikons' respective trees is entirely up to you, and with the fact that you can refund and respec for no cost, feel free to experiment and see if you can improve upon the build we suggested above.

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Joel Franey
Guides Writer

Joel Franey is a writer, journalist, podcaster and raconteur with a Masters from Sussex University, none of which has actually equipped him for anything in real life. As a result he chooses to spend most of his time playing video games, reading old books and ingesting chemically-risky levels of caffeine. He is a firm believer that the vast majority of games would be improved by adding a grappling hook, and if they already have one, they should probably add another just to be safe. You can find old work of his at USgamer, Gfinity, Eurogamer and more besides.