The “Just Cause 3” Collab with Final Fantasy Brave Exvius has officially begun. With it comes a new 5-star base unit: Rico Rodriguez. As a long time player of FFBE, I’ll be starting to do weekly reviews on new units and answering the infamous question – “Should you pull”? Let’s take a look at what Rico brings to the table and whether or not it’s worth spending some resources trying to get him.
As we’ll get into later, Rico is a physical damage dealer, and his stat line looks pretty solid for his role. On the other hand, his gear selection isn’t very good given our current weapon pool. For weapons, he can only equip the following: daggers, bows, throwing weapons, guns, and fists. Outside of Aigaion’s Arm, Arcturus, and Sparky, Rico can’t really equip many high ATK weapons. He does, however, have innate dual wield and access to a bonus 30% ATK for equipping guns or fists. Coupled with his passive 30% ATK boost, he can reach 90% of the total 300% just by equipping both a gun and a fist. Unsurprisingly given the enemies commonly found in “Just Cause 3,” Rico also has two innate 50% killers for both humans and machines. Again, from just his passives, his offensive capabilities aren’t too shabby.
Defensively, he’s actually quite sturdy. He comes with a passive 20% dodge chance as well as a bonus 30% DEF. Additionally, he has an ability Similar to Fryevia’s “I shall not lose!” ability which grants her a 100% chance to ignore fatal damage when above 20% HP. Rico’s “Impact Resistance” gives him an 80% chance to ignore fatal damage when above 10% HP making him rather hard to kill. As a small bonus, he also has natural immunities to blind, confusion, and sleep.
His active skills is where things start to get iffy. Rico has two “grenade” skills: Glass Grenade and Homing Grenades. These are 2.5x AoE attacks that come with a 45% ATK/MAG and DEF/SPR break respectively. To be blunt, a 45% break on a 5-Star base isn’t cutting it anymore – not when we have units like Heavenly Technician Lid with her 60% breaks. A 2.5x damage modifier isn’t very anything special to note either.
The next skill he learns is “Slingshot Boost.” This one is a 2.5x ST attack that increases physical damage to humans by 75% for 2 turns. Slingshot Boost is interesting simply because of the fact that as far as I know, it’s the first move of its kind. There’s no other active ability in the game right now that can increase killer damage. While the 2.5x modifier is unimpressive, the 75% killer damage for humans is significant.
Rico also gets a very random move in “Tether” which is a 2.4x ST attack with a 60% chance to inflict stop for three turns. I really have no idea what Gumi was thinking with this move. It’s a low modifier ST attack with a status ailment that most bosses are immune to. I don’t really see any practical reason to ever use this skill.
He also gets a dragoon-esque move with “Reel-in Kick.” This ability negates two physical attacks on him and causes him to jump up 1 turn before coming down on the enemy with a 3x modifier.
Rico has an enhanced thief “Hide” skill with his “Take Cover” move. It not only helps him completely avoid damage for 2 turns, he also comes back into battle with 100% HP and MP recovered.
At level 95, he gets “Triple Spray” which appears to be a random ST attack that hits 3 times dealing 1.5x damage.
Lastly, at 100, Rico learns “Chaos Object Homing” which is an AoE 2.1x damage attack with ignore defense 50%.
Rico’s Limit Burst, “Death From Above” is pretty strong. It’s an 11 hit 4.5x attack with 50% defense ignore that scales up to 5.7x when fully leveled. The problem with this is that the frames are unique at the moment meaning you’d need another Rico to be able to chain it together to get the most out of it.
Trust Master Reward
Protec Grappler G3 is an interesting TM reward. It’s a 40 ATK accessory that also provides 25% evasion. On other Just Cause 3 units, it gives an extra 20% ATK.
Rico’s problem is that while he’s a decent enough unit, there are just too many units that do his job better. Unlike many other top tier physical damage dealers, Rico doesn’t have any chaining partners outside of himself. He also doesn’t have any skills that bring an innate imperil and as such, is very reliant on an outside imperil to do his job effectively. His skillset is serviceable, but the damage coefficients on his abilities are very low. His “Chaos Object Homing” ability ends up with a 4.2x damage mod when calculating for the defense ignore. Compare that to enhanced Tidus who has a 7.2x mod and it becomes obvious how outclassed Rico is. Sure, that’s an enhanced Tidus comparison, but there in lies another point – as a new Global version exclusive, we have no idea what his enhancements will look like or when he will get them.
Ultimately, I don’t think he’s worth chasing. There are just so many better units in the pool right now and some strong ones will be coming soon. His TMR isn’t unique enough that it warrants pulling either. Whales might chase regardless, but for everyone else, I think it’s best to conserve your resources for the future.