Utsusemi is the iconic ninja spell in Final Fantasy XI. This spell puts up a bunch of shadows and makes it so incoming attacks remove shadows instead of actually doing anything to the ninja. You get one level (Utsusemi: Ichi) at level 12 and one (Utsusemi: Ni) at level 37. The two have separate cooldowns so if you're going to be a ninja beyond level 37 you really want both spells. The first one you get from a quest but the second one is a rare drop from BCNM fights and sells on the AH for a cool million gil. It's sold 12 times in the last week so it's not like it's hard to get your million gil either. (Well, some sold for only 900k.)
Tom mentioned that it cost a million gil and my first reaction was we need to start farming it. I don't know if Tom actually wants the spell or just a million bucks but I could sure use some cash. And maybe the spell too, eventually. Ninja is certainly the best subjob for almost every job but I wouldn't need a level 37 subjob spell until I was level 74.
Utsusemi: Ni drops from the level 30 and level 40 BCNM fights. There are 15 minute long fights for 3 people and 30 minute long fights for 6 people at each level bracket. Given that we only have 3 people in our linkshell the 6 people fights are right out for now, so the question then is which 3 man fights could we do and what other stuff do they drop? Only 1 of us is even level 30 at this point (thought I did just hit 27) so looking at the level 30 fights to start seems wise.
Carapace Combatants - 2 beetles, one of which melees and one of which casts stone spells. Melee one can be slept or kited. Seems like any reasonable combination that can tank/heal/sleep/slow would work just fine.
Birds of a Feather - 1 named bird and 2 little birds. Named bird casts AE sleep so drinking poison potions helps? All suggested strategies I found involved using beastmasters to tame the little birds.
Creeping Doom - 1 crawler who doesn't do much damage. Instead he spams healing spells on himself and casts AE paralyze spells. Can be beaten by either running him out of mana with mana drain abilities or by chaining enough sleeps/stuns to prevent him from healing while you burn him out. Seems like a lot of diverse strategies work.
Die By The Sword - 3 weapon mobs which can only take damage from one type of attack at a time. Periodically they change which is vulnerable to which type of attack. (Piercing/slashing/blunt.) They can be rooted/slowed and it sounded relatively easy.
Petrifying Pair - 2 lizards which can't be slept but can be rooted/kited. Have conal ae stone spells which only hit people looking at them and the fight gets a lot easier if you unlock your attack and turn around when they start to cast.
As far as other drops go, here are some of the other stuff which seems worth trying for:
Leaping Boots - 200k - PP
Various absorb stat scroll for DK. 1-30k
Scroll of Dispel - 80k - all
Scroll of Erase - 60k - all
Various subjob specific belts and earrings
Random low value crafting materials
Leaping Boots are off the charts good. 6 stats on a level 7 set of boots! The next boots which have 6 stats show up at level 24 (and are actually the same 6 stats). Boots start to get weird abilities I can't evaluate but it doesn't look like boots with more than 6 base stats ever actually show up until end game gear. Apart from wanting 200k it seems like we probably just want a set of boots for everyone anyway. (There is an identical but exclusive (bop) set that drops from the NM Leaping Lizzie.) Dispel and erase are both must have spells for people who intend to level either red mage or white mage, but they seem to drop from everything Utsusemi: Ni drops from. So, I think Petrifying Pair seems like the fight to do. Guess I need to start leveling my red mage...