Final Fantasy X Blitzball FAQ v1.0
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Final Fantasy X Blitzball FAQ

by eudaemon   Updated to v1.0 on
Final Fantasy X (US version) for PS2
Winning Blitzball FAQ
by Eudaemon (eudemonic@yahoo.com)
Version 1.0, 06/20/02

Table of Contents
-------------------
i)    Purpose
ii)   Starting Info
iii)  The Quick and the Dirty
iv)   General Strategies
v)    Very Useful (and Useless) Techs
vi)   The Team
vii)  Scoring double digit figures
viii) Credits


i) Purpose
----------

This FAQ is written for people who

1) want the quick and easy way to play and win blitzball just to get Wakka's
Reels (and hence his legendary weapon World Champion) as well as the Jupiter
Sigil - either for a more powerful Wakka, to unlock Ifrit's 9999 damage limit or
simply for completeness of the game.

2) want to find out how to have the satisfaction of winning every game and
scoring lots of goals, even double digit figures! 

3) are really having trouble, getting frustrated etc... feel free to use these
tactics but it's fun to come up with your own too! There's many ways to win at
Blitzball, and there might even be easier ways than mine! I'm just describing an
easy way (to score a hell lot of goals!) which worked for me.

Disclaimer: Personally, I've only played around 80 games till about level 55, so
the tactics might need changing for higher levels, although the stats of my
players do go all the way up even till level 99. But the tactics worked for me
for those games and I have a record of all wins, no goals conceded, three
players top scoring and an average of 5.9 goals per game during the leagues, so
hope it works for you too and you'll have as much fun as I had!

Note: This FAQ assumes you know how to play Blitzball. Following the ingame
tutorial is sufficient, just make sure you are clear about the techs portion.
This is purely a strategy FAQ and does not explain the terms in the game, the
tech listings, the player listings, how to techcopy etc. You can find other FAQs
on those topics easily. I wrote a strategy guide for Blitzball cos I thought
this area was lacking, especially for someone who just wants to "get it over
with".

Oh yes, this FAQ is copyrighted by myself and distributed for personal use only!
Feel free to use and pass it around, but don't try to pass it off as your own or
try to make money off it please! If you want to post this FAQ on your website,
please don't change any part of it and make sure you keep it updated with the
latest version. It'll be polite if you could inform me by email first too. This
FAQ is by no means complete, do send me any questions, comments or corrections
at the email above (subject: Blitzball FAQ) and I'll make updates. Thanks!


ii) Starting Info
-------------------

1) Use the Manual A playmode with the Normal formation for simplicity, it'll
work fine enough.

2) You need to play a minimum of 44 games to win the Jupiter Sigil. That's at
least 11 hours counting 15 minutes per game and excluding the reset times!
Remember, after every game, you'll need to choose the first option ("Back") to
exit out of Blitzball automatically, save your game, and then return to
Blitzball for the prize change trick to work. The Attack Reels can be the top
prize in the first tournament that appears. So start by playing in the default
league you begin with until a tournament appears the next time you reenter
Blitzball after saving after a game. If the top prize is not the Attack Reels,
you'll need to start the tournament and then do a soft reset there and try again
until you get this prize. After winning this tournament (2-3 games), finish the
league you started (10 games) and a new league will appear when you reenter
Blitzball after saving after the last game you played. Again if the top prize is
not the Status Reels, do a soft reset and try again. After winning this league
(10 games), another new league will appear. Start this league until a new
tournament appears. The Auroch Reels should be the top prize you want for this
tournament, if not, repeat the same process as for the Attack Reels. Win this
tournament (2-3 games) and then finish the league (10 games). The prize for the
next league that appears should be the Jupiter Sigil, if not repeat the same
process as for the Status Reels. Win this league (10 games) and you are done.
Remember you need to have fought 250 and 450 battles before the Status and
Auroch Reels will appear respectively!

3) I'm kinda assuming you won't have a problem with money once you decide to
play blitzball right? But just in case (like you've just hired Yojimbo or bought
lots of movie and music spheres), you'll need around 100,000 gil to play through
the 44 games. Blitzball can get really addictive and hard to stop once you
start... So you won't want to run out of gil halfway and have to pause to fight
a few battles to raise money, or worse, be unable to renew the contract of your
players and have to go rehire them later!

4) Hire the best players! Techs are important, but they complement your player's
attributes, so high stats are still the best! Playing 44 games minimum raises
your team's average level to about 40, so you'll need to think long-term and not
just hire players that have good starting stats. Importantly, the other teams
level up (rather unfairly) to catch up with your team during the other com vs
com games, even though you might be thrashing every team in the league during
your own matches! So the stats of your players must be higher than your
opponent's level for level. Oh yes, because other teams level up almost as fast
to your average team level, you'll need to spread around the play so that your
players level up evenly also. Otherwise, it'll be difficult for those lagging
behind to copy techs from opponents.

5) Score with every possession. Blitzball is just like American football. You've
got your "quarterback" defender winning the ball after a tackle or interception,
back up a little away from the tackles of the opposing "linesmen", spot the
"receiver" forward or midfielder with the best chance of scoring based on the
the opponents' current positions and let fly! It's as simple as that when you've
got the best players!

"As every blitzer knows - when you've got the ball, you've got to score!" -
Tidus


iii) The Quick and the Dirty
------------------------------

If you really don't wish to read a lot and just want to go out there and start
playing Blitzball and winning, then head straight down to Section vi, hire those
fellows and follow the tactics in the second paragraph for each player and
you'll do just fine. Even from the first game it's difficult to give away a goal
with this team, especially when you are so busy scoring!

But if you want to learn more tricks, then read on...


iv) General Strategies
------------------------

1) There seems to be a quirk in the game called Reaction (RE) which I will
hereafter associate as a stat for each player. Some players have higher RE, and
will get in a tackle even if the offensive player chooses "no break". This is
very useful for players with high AT and low PA, as most of the time the only
way they can steal the ball is through a tackle. It also potentially prevents
the offensive player from throwing a status aliment pass or shot.

* Note RE has no relation to SP which determines how fast you swim *

2) So you'll want to hire players with high RE and when attacking, you'll want
to watch for opponents with high RE. Break for these players (even when they
have higher AT than the others if any), cos they are going to get in a tackle
anyway.

3) Status aliment techs are always useful, even at level 1. Why? Because of the
+3/5/7 modifiers, which make a big difference at all levels, especially with the
50-150% randomization. Note that Drain techs do not give any modifier.

4) In order of usefulness - Nap > Whither > Venom > Drain. Nap is best cos even
one napping opponent makes for a faster goal, especially if it's the keeper!
However, Nap Tackles have a chance of succeeding only if the opponent's EN is
reduced to 0, so take note if your AT isn't terrific. Whither has a decent
chance of halving a useful attribute and making your life easier next time.
Venom is useful not for the increased HP loss-rate, but it also prevents the
afflicted player from doing any techs (that need HP). It's not that cool that
you lose the opportunity to tech copy some nice stuff, but at least your
forwards have an easier time. Drain is only useful in the beginning when HP is
low, it's not going to affect the players after a while. Note that players with
0 HP do not lose the ball and can still shoot/pass, they just cannot use techs
(that need HP). 

5) If HP allows, always throw status aliment version of tackles/shots/passes
even when it's not necessary. You'll earn more experience points, so equip these
if you got free slots.

6) The other teams might change the players on their roster so it's useless to
come up with specific strategies except tailored for your own team - which is to
just keep scoring! At the beginning though, the Al Bhed Psyches are definitely
the toughest cos they all have high RE and keep getting in those crucial tackles
when you least expect it. Nimrook is also a relatively harder goalkeeper to
beat. Another team which kept my scoreline down is the Ronso Fangs cos they swim
so slow whenever they have possession and waste so much time!!!

7) Lastly, watch the clock! Remember there are only exactly 5 minutes in each
half, so plan that last shot carefully! A shot takes 20 seconds to travel from
the middle of the field to the goal. Animations such as for the Jecht Shot and
Sphere Shot suck up even more time (see below). And very importantly, you'll
need to factor in the goalkeeper's Super Goalie skill to potentially waste up to
another 3 seconds! So don't bother shooting if you know you can't make it, might
as well make a short pass and earn some experience points.


v) Very Useful (and Useless) Techs
------------------------------------

For all positions (always equip!):
------------------------------------
1) Tackle Slip (1/2) - Great for sticky situations, like facing opponents with
high AT and BL.
2) Brawler/Elite Defense - More chance for encounters means more team-ups on the
opposing player and more experience point opportunity, especially for your
defenders.

For Forwards:
---------------
1) Golden Arm - Allows you to score from middle of the field, always useful and
best against fast teams which gang up on you when you try to drive forward. Note
that you need this to score consistently from long range even with a high SH cos
the decrease in SH is by a percentage of your SH and not a fixed amount.
2) Jecht Shot - Probably the only thing good in Tidus. Adds 23 seconds for the
animation when knocking out two defenders (18 seconds for one or no defender),
so watch the clock!
3) Sphere Shot - Adds another 0-20 to SH in addition to the +3 modifier!
Animation takes around 6 seconds.
4) Level 3 Tech Shots - Gives a +7 modifier, and useful in afflicting status
aliment if the shot fails, and the keeper will also automatically lose the ball,
even if the aliment was resisted.

For Goalkeeper:
-----------------
1) Grip Gloves
2) Super Goalie

Not worth a slot:
-------------------
1) Volley Shot (1/2/3) - You're going to score with each shot, remember?
2) Spin Ball - Same reason as above, not to mention wasting 2 seconds of
animation time. There's better stuff for that slot...
3) Pile Venom/Whither - Overkill. The usefulness of venom comes in stopping the
opponent from using any techs, no point making HP loss any faster, especially at
high levels when they have tons to spare. Similarly, no point shaving off more
on a particular whithered attribute, halving once is sufficient.
4) Regen - HP is not going to be a problem after a while.
5) Good Morning! - You've to rely on your opponent putting your player to sleep,
and then having to waste a possession waking him up. I believe the attribute
increased is randomly chosen too if the player wakes up after a goal (just as if
woken up using a normal pass).
6) Gamble - Same reasons as above.
7) Hi-Risk - Your team is going to be good, but not that good!


vi) The Team
--------------

The following are the players I use for my team and the specifics on each. The
first paragraph is general info, the second is the strategy I employed. 

1) Tidus (LF/RF)
------------------
He doesn't have one of the best SH stats in the game. His AT and PA is too low,
one on one he's just not going to steal the ball even with the best tackle
ability. And his RE is low, he never gets to act in a no break encounter. But
his Jecht shot is very useful when you first start out, and also gives you a
great attacking option.

Put him on the flank with the stronger defender. When the midfielder moves too
far forward or the defender on the other flank moves too far wide, pass him the
ball and make him drive towards goal as far as possible, then release a Jecht
shot to clear the two opponents in the way. If he's manages to get relatively
close to goal against a defender he can break or no defenders, then use Sphere
Shot instead if you have an extra slot to equip it. Remember Jecht shot gives
you a +5 modifier, so if you didn't equip Sphere Shot, use it even with one or
no defenders in the way if SH-CA seems low (if time permits of cos).


2) Vilucha (LF/RF)
Besaid Village 1st house on the right (320 gil/game)
------------------------------------------------------
She has the second highest SH in the game and high EN, making a great forward.
Quite high RE too, usually gets in a tackle. The drawback is she cannot learn
tackle skills and has problems expanding her skill list with the hard to learn
Volley Shot as her second key tech. But learning Tackle Slip, followed by Sphere
Shot is enough to make her an even better forward.

She starts with the great Whither Shot 3 which you should equip. Pass her the
ball when the opposing midfielder moves too far forward. Drive as close as
possible and break one on one with the weaker defender before shooting. With the
+7 from the tech and her high SH, she can score consistently from midway between
the middle of the field and the goal.


3) Linna (MF/LD/RD)
Path to Macalania Temple (900 gil/game)
-----------------------------------------
My star player and arguably the best player in the game. She has the highest SH,
PA and almost highest AT and BL. Her RE is also decent, she tackles around 50%
of the time in no break encounters. The only complaint is that she doesn't start
with level 2/3 Tackle techs or Brawler and is thus not the perfect midfielder. I
started her out in defense where she outscored my forwards (!) before moving her
to midfield after she picked up level 2/3 Tackles and offensive techs like
Tackle Slip and Sphere Shot.

The key success to Linna is that she starts with Golden Arm and Nap Shot 3, so
equip these two. She can drive straight to the middle of the field from kickoff,
shoot from there and score consistently! In around 20s! Even in the 10% case
when the shot fails, the keeper will be put to sleep, resulting in a quick goal
soon. Anti-Nap has only 50% of preventing this, and Anti-Nap 2 doesn't turn up
that often. Anyway you'll be scoring from there most of the time, napping is
only the contingency plan. At midfield, if Linna's EN is higher than the
opposing midfielder's EN, drive straight through and break before shooting to
cut the distance even more. Linna's EN is comparatively high at low levels so
it'll mostly work. At higher levels, her EN stagnants, so try to learn tackle
slip or avoid encounters (or simply shoot right past opponents with her high
SH!). Another useful thing is even when Linna is surrounded and there's no
chance of breaking through or scoring, just blast off the nap shot as long as it
can get through the crowd so as to put the keeper to sleep... Or Linna can
always choose to pass to the unmarked Tidus or Vilachu, she does have the
highest PA in the game!


4) Naida (MF/LD/RD)
Shopkeeper at Calm Lands save point (340 gil/game)
----------------------------------------------------
High PA, BL, SP and most of all, RE. With Brawler equipped, she's always in the
thick of action, even from defense. She's also always the first to throw in a
tackle or put up an interception, and hence levels up the fastest. But she has a
low SH, which was why I moved her from midfield to defense.

Equip a Whither Tackle 3 on her for the +7 modifier to win the ball easier. She
can then swim back and lead away the forwards and midfielder to leave the path
clear for one of the three scoring options - Tidus, Vilachu or Linna to pass to.
Her PA is high enough to pass through two opponents, so learn and equip tech
passes for best results!


5) Ropp (LD/RD)
In Mihen Highroad Travel Agency save point (200 gil/game)
-----------------------------------------------------------
Second highest PA in game and high AT and BL. A steady defender who comes ready
with lots of Tackle and Pass techs. Equip Brawler too to give him more action
cos there isn't much defending for him to do with Linna and Naida stealing the
ball at midfield everytime. Try to learn higher level Tackles and Passes,
especially Naps.

He's not fast enough to lead away too many opponents, or strong enough to break
past more than one. So after he wins the ball, just back up a little beyond the
range of the opponent you won the ball from and throw off a quick pass to one of
the scoring options. Like Naida, his PA is still high enough to pass through at
least one opponent too, so equip tech passes for him as well to afflict status
aliments and increase the power of his pass.


6) Jumal (GK)
Luca Seaport Square (200 gil/game)
------------------------------------
I chose Jumal cos he's got the highest CA amongst the free agents, starts with
Super Goalie, and my first choice Nimrook is contracted to the Al Bhed Psyches
for 20 games. Not to worry, he'll be lucky if he even gets a touch of the ball
during the game! The defence is so strong that it's rare a shot comes through at
all.

No tactics necessary for this guy.


Other Notable Players
-----------------------

1) Wakka (LF/RF)
Airship Bridge (1 gil/game)
-----------------------------
He's stats are similar to Vilachu's, just slightly inferior. So it's alright too
to use Wakka instead of her, although he's not going to help you win the ball
much. Plus he only comes with Venom Shot, and you'll have to learn all three of
his key techs before he can learn his level 3 tech shots. So unless he manages
to learn Sphere Shot fast (it's difficult to techcopy this one), he's really a
slow starter. The Auroch Spirits tech will really give him the same overwhelming
edge as Tidus' Jecht Shot, but he can only learn that after getting all his
Reels, that's just too long. Note Wakka will not play for any other team even if
you don't hire him.


2) Nimrook (GK)
Airship Cargo Hold (100 gil/game)
-----------------------------------
Highest CA and therefore best goalkeeper in the game. But he starts contracted
to the Al Bhed Psyches so you'll have to wait till that expires to hire him.
It's a good idea to hire him even though you don't really need such a great
keeper, cos it'll make your games against the Psyches so much easier! To save
yourself time when hiring him, keep a fresh tournament available and play in the
league till he has one game left in his contract, then save before starting the
tournament. Hope for a case where the Aurochs get a bye in the first round and
the Psyches play (26.7% probability) so that the round plays out automatically.
Then hope his contract is not renewed after that game. If either of these don't
occur, just do a soft reset and try again. It might take a few resets, but it's
easier than having to play through a game each time. One drawback of Nimrook is
that he cannot learn Anti-Nap, so you might need to tech find that for him.


3) Svanda (LF/RF/MF)
Calm Lands Chocobo Trainer (130 gil/game)
-------------------------------------------
She has the highest EN and third highest PA, and a strong SH at lower levels. So
she'll make a pretty useful midfielder or forward. You can only hire her the
first time you talk to her when she is NOT on her chocobo at the Northern end of
Calm Lands. Once you have started Chocobo training with her, she would always be
on her chocobo and will not respond to the square button anymore! Other teams
can still recruit her though. You might want to keep her as one of the extra
players on the roster cos she can be pesky to play against with her strong stats
and the Venom Tackle 3 she starts with.


4) Brother (LF/RF/MF)
Airship Pilot (210 gil/game)
------------------------------
High SP and high PA, BL and SH at lower levels. He's very fast and powerful in
the beginning, but I don't really have a position for him cos all his stats
stagnant very quickly and get outstripped by others. He's good if you like to
run circles around your opponent, but that's not my style (wastes too much time
when you can use brute force!). By the time contracts expire and the other teams
hire him, his stats aren't that great compared to your players, so I'm not that
worried about him.


5) Wedge (LF/RF)
Luca Stadium Main Gate (160 gil/game)
---------------------------------------
High SP, EN and SH. Makes an excellent forward in the beginning. Unfortunately,
his impressive starting SH only ever crawls up from 17 to 22 tops, and even
degenerates after that! So again I don't really have a position for him and am
not that worried about others hiring him later.


vii) Scoring Double Digit Figures
-----------------------------------

You shouldn't have any problems averaging 6 goals a game (say 3 in each half,
one for each scoring option) if you follow the tactics, make the right passes
after winning possession and make every shot count. Now for a fun challenge!
What if you want a more spectacular double digit victory...?

To average a goal a minute (or more), there are a few simple rules:

1) Avoid Jecht/Sphere shots whenever possible! These waste animation time which
can be used to score more goals! It helps if the goalkeeper doesn't have the
Super Goalie tech which can waste some time, and not to mention making goals
easier to score too! Emphasize point 7 in Section iv.

2) Score from long range whenever possible. Linna's Golden Arm and Nap Shot 3
trick is very useful for this. I just kept passing the ball to her once I won
it, and she'll shoot right there from the middle of the field immediately! If
the shot's "saved", anyone will shoot from long-distance at the empty goal once
I win possession again. The reason for long range shooting is because there are
less encounters and chances to lose possession, and also, the ball travels
faster than you swim! So don't swim with the ball too much!

3) Equip Brawler and Elite Defense to gang up on opponents so that you recover
the ball faster. And use your highest level tech tackle instead for greatest
chance of success. For instance, I sometimes prefer using Nap Tackle 2 instead
of Whither Tackle 3 when my AT is higher than the opponent's EN cos I'll rather
trade the extra two point modifier for a 70% chance to put one opponent out of
commission. But if you want to score more, you'll need to regain possession fast
and that means using the highest modifiers to increase the chance of the tackle
succeeding.

4) It's easier against faster teams like the Guado Glories, cos they swim their
way into your defence much faster and hence you regain possession faster too!
Teams with a midfielder whose stats are much lower than Linna's also concede
lots of fast goals through the middle.

5) It's really not that difficult once you get the hang of it and follow the one
pass one shot one goal policy! Enjoy!


viii) Credits
---------------

Thanks to Square for creating Final Fantasy X and the Blitzball mini-game.

Acknowledgements to the BradyGames Final Fantasy X Official Strategy Guide which
provided very useful character stat advancement tables.

Also credits to these other excellent Blitzball FAQs which I've consulted too - 
i) Blitzball Database by Eclesis (eclesis@sylpheedstudios.org)
ii) Blitzball Techniques FAQ by CB! (Christine Bomke, circe@san.rr.com)
iii) Blitzball Mini-FAQ by Jim Irwin (lirwin1@columbus.rr.com)

Thanks especially to GameFAQs (http://www.gamefaqs.com) and Neoseeker
(http://www.neoseeker.com) for helping video gamers host these invaluable FAQs.
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