Though I took a bit of a break when my obsession with Animal Crossing started, I’ve slowly been getting myself back into Final Fantasy XIV.
And of course, I couldn’t give myself an easy project to get back into! The first thing I jumped into was working on gear for my gatherers—and adding as much materia to that gear as I could.
See, before my break from the game, I’d been working non-stop on the Ishgard restoration, because I, like many other players, am in love with the idea of having a house in the gorgeous old Gothic-style city. The project was originally really reliant on crafting classes, which is right up my alley—but this time around, it relied just as heavily on gatherers.
And while I do use my gatherers when needed for crafting, they’re not my favourite—so I tend to approach them with more of a “that’s good enough” attitude.
It only took a few trips to the Diadem to figure out that while I was fully equipped with end-game gear I’d gotten with scrips, which has always been enough for me to do what I need to, it wasn’t going to be enough this time around.
A little backstory
Back when I was first learning about how to gear up my crafters, one of the things I learned about was pentamelding. For most end-game crafters, especially the ones who make all that expensive, high-quality raid-tier gear, it’s the only way to equip themselves; you’d be hard-pressed to find a crafter like that using scrip gear, and you’ll see why in a minute.
That started me down quite a rabbit hole—figuring out how to unlock it, figuring out how to do it, and figuring out the best builds to use. And ultimately, it led to making sure I always had as much materia as possible on my crafting classes.
Now, even though I didn’t bother with it at first, it’s also become what I do for all classes—including my gatherers and battle classes, too.
What is pentamelding?
Pentamelding, also known as overmelding or advanced melding, is the practice of attaching up to five materia to a single piece of equipment. Yes, even when most equipment only has one or two slots.
Now, it’s worth noting that this doesn’t work for all gear. Pentamelding only works for certain types of crafted gear—it doesn’t work on gear with no slots at all, and it doesn’t work on gear that says that advanced melding is prohibited.
What’s the point of pentamelding?
The main benefit of pentamelding is that by attaching so much materia to your gear, you can actually build way better than you could with just default gear—and you can build for specific stats.
For example, let’s say you’re gearing up a level-80 blacksmith. You could use white scrips to get a professional’s jacket of crafting, which would give you a very easy 650 craftsmanship, 207 control, and 5 CP. But that’s it—that’s as high as your stats will ever get with that piece of gear.
Alternatively, a high-quality facet coat of crafting would by default give you 630 craftsmanship, 200 control, and 5 CP. The stats are lower, but you can add two materia with regular melding and up to five with pentamelding.
Using my current build as an example, that ultimately comes out to 658 craftsmanship, 235 control, and 5 CP. Just on a single piece of gear, it ends up being higher in control by 28 points—imagine how much easier it’d be to make high-quality things with that kind of difference on 13 pieces of gear.
Is there a downside to pentamelding?
Unfortunately, yes—that big of a spike in stats does come with a downside. The main reason why people don’t pentameld, and the reason why I didn’t for other classes, is that once you’ve filled your gear’s guaranteed materia slots, attaching more materia turns into one heck of a gamble.
See, the green slots on your gear—its default materia slots—come with a guarantee that the materia you put there will attach. After that, your chances drop through the floor.
In order, your chances of success will go down to 17%, 10%, 7%, and then 5% on the last slot for any gear that started with only one green slot.
So of course, this means that just to get one piece fully melded, you’re likely to go through a lot of materia, and a lot of the currency you need to get that materia, whether you use scrips, gil, or anything else.
Personally, as frustrating as that can be, I still think it’s well worth it to get the additional stats!
What classes should I pentameld for?
If you asked me this a few months ago, I would have said it was only worth it for crafting classes. Now, though, after my experiences in the Diadem and after seeing what a ton of critical hit and direct hit can do with the Shadowbringers machinist rework, I believe it’s worth it for any class you want.
Note: Never, never try pentamelding for a class until you have the highest possible gear! It’s possible to go through massive stacks of materia for a single piece of gear, and you also have a failure chance when retrieving certain levels of materia, so it’s just not worth it until you have your end-game gear.
How do I pentameld?
First of all, you’ll need to unlock it, which requires a crafting class and a few blue quests. The first quest you’ll need is called Forging the Spirit, and you’ll find it in Central Thanalan. That quest unlocks a chain, and the last one in the chain will give you advanced melding.
The one thing worth noting is that to attach materia to a piece of gear, you need to have the crafter class associated with that piece of gear at a high enough level. You can figure out which crafter you need by looking at the item’s description where it says Repair Level, and in general, you’ll need that crafter to be the same overall level as the piece of gear.
So for example, if I wanted to meld materia to that facet coat of crafting from earlier, I’d need to have my weaver at level 80.
How do I decide what stats to pentameld for?
Each class will have different priorities, and a bit of research will tell you what’s best. For example, typically with crafters, you want to meld for as much control and CP as possible, and for gatherers, you want to try to balance gathering, perception and GP as well as you can.
One of my favourite tools to use for this before I buy up a whole pile of materia is Ariyala’s Toolkit. It’s a third-party site that lets you plan out your builds. It shows you exactly how much room you have for each stat on each piece of gear, and it also shows you the final number for each stat in your build at the bottom, so you can make sure you’re building for what you need.
If you’re curious how it works, here’s an example I’m using currently for my gathering gear. The site will sometimes wipe your plans if you shut down your computer, so once you’ve put your plan together, I recommend using the Share button at the bottom to create a unique link for your build!
Can I pentameld if I don’t have any crafting classes?
Sort of. Unfortunately, you can’t pentameld using the materia melders you find in major cities; they can’t attach materia past an item’s default materia slots.
The only way to attach materia past that without crafting classes is either to ask a friend who can do it, or if you go into the social menu and edit your search info, you can set your status to Looking to Meld Materia and ask around for someone to help you.
Keep in mind that if you do that, most who help you will expect payment of some kind.
You can also sometimes find pre-melded gear on the marketboards, but you don’t get to choose what the stats are and they can get very expensive.
One last piece of advice
Because of how much materia you can go through trying to get your full melds, it’s really easy to go through a crazy amount of currency. And if you’re trying to buy off the marketboard, it’s going to add up very quickly. The first time I tried melding from the marketboard, it cost me over a million gil!
So now, instead of buying when I need it, I always make sure I stockpile as much materia as I can—even when I’m not actively melding something.
For my crafting and gathering classes, I do this with custom deliveries. You can do 12 deliveries every week, and I usually get enough scrips for up to 14 pieces of materia VII. If you want to stockpile materia VII, talk to Adkiragh in Idyllshire and Kurenai in Tamamizu; if you want to prioritize materia VIII, you’ll want Kai-Shirr in Eulmore first for his huge amounts of white scrips and then Adkiragh.
For battle classes, I really recommend unlocking the pixie beast tribe, because you can buy battle materia with their tribal currency. You can also do really well through the duty finder by playing a class that’s in need, because the bonus you get at level 80 tends to include clusters you can trade for battle materia. If you run a lot of dungeons, it’s also a good idea to pick up Wondrous Tails from Khloe Aliapoh in Idyllshire; she sometimes gives these same clusters as rewards.
So there you have it, everything I know about pentamelding! Have you tried to do it? Have any tips? Share them in the comments below!