Picking the right class in any RPG game is an important decision. In an Etrian Odyssey title however, it forms the basis of the entire game. Your choices will inform not only your performance in battle, but your exploration, equipment choices and even your character portraits. Those that you decide to take on your adventure will accompany you through countless dungeons, farming sessions and epic boss battles, so it’s prudent to make the right choices early on. Etrian Odyssey Nexus has a huge selection of classes available to you from the start, even more so when you consider the sub class options, so we’re not surprised that a lot of players get a little ‘choice paralysis’ when attempting to take the plunge. Well, after hundreds of hours with the game, and thousands with the series, we’ve settled on the following for our Top 5.
When it comes to Etrian games the ability to debuff your enemies has always been critical, especially on higher difficulty levels. From binding an arm or leg to reducing your opponents overall physical or magical damage, these abilities can turn the tides of a pitched battle. Other games may have their status ailments, but none seem quite as essential as those in the Etrian series. This is especially true for those of us wishing to do a bit of FOE hunting.
Etrian Odyssey Nexus has plenty of options in this regard, the Survivalist for example can do a great job binding limbs, but for us the absolute best for this more supportive of roles is the Harbinger. Technically they don’t do a great job at inflicting specific ailments, but if you’re looking for an all round debuffing unit that’s capable of providing damage and healing when necessary, look no further. In the early game you’ll be able to provide some useful damage reduction, and by the time the late game rolls around your Harbinger will be the Swiss army knife of your team, able to adapt to almost any role you require.
- Fantastic debuff abilities which can strip away the opponents offence and defence.
- Reap abilities can deal significant amounts of damage whilst inflicting ailments.
- Miasma Armor will ensure a high act speed.
- Excellent Subclass choice for numerous classes, used to add supportive elements to a main class.
The class diversity on show in Etrian Odyssey Nexus is incredible, as it should be considering it’s a ‘tribute’ game, as such the developers have been able to bring back some fan favourites. Debuting in Etrian Odyssey Untold, the Highlander makes a welcome return here, replete with all of it’s health sacrificing abilities and pseudo-passive party heals.
Nexus has taken the initial premise, itself implemented very well in prior titles, and give it a little polish before dropping it straight in. By choosing this class you’ll get high physical damage being doled out in a variety of ways alongside a selection of debuffs, and the ability to heal your party for landing a killing blow. It’s the latter that we’re mainly interested in here, combined with the large amount of physical damage options. Given enough time your unit will be able to take huge chunks of health away from your enemies whilst simultaneously keeping your party going on their long dungeon journeys. There are technically better single target damage dealers, and the health usage might not combine too well with our next choice, but on balance the Highlander is a fantastic class, worthy of a slot in your group.
- Excellent physical damage skills, versus both groups and single targets.
- Great source of passive healing thanks to Turning Tide, which heals the party when the Highlander slays an opponent.
- Very good defensive skills for a damage class.
- Fantastic Subclass choice due to a range of powerful passives, like HP UP and Phys DEF Up.
A great healing class is a must in almost any RPG, especially a long dungeon crawler like Etrian Odyssey, yet the Sovereign is one unlike many others. It’s a class that provides your party with buffs whilst contributing heals to those affected. Debuting in Etrian Odyssey 3, the class mainly brings a mixture of strong party buffs and heals, whilst also being able to cleanse ailments, restore TP and generally act like a ‘party battery’.
The class does come with a slight negative: It’s going to contribute very little in the way of damage, if any at all, so you’ll have to built your team to suit. A team with Sovereign in however, is much easier to build, given that it’ll cover such a wide variety of supporting requirements, healing included. If you’re expecting a basic, ‘press A to heal X’ type of healer then look elsewhere, but if you’re prepared to put a little time in, the Sovereign is more than good enough to keep an entire party going on their own. Oh and the class does have a passive party heal that only activates when it’s at full health. So a class like well… The Highlander noted above – that uses party HP to power up it’s attacks – might not mix too well. Not impossible, just a little awkward at times.
- Almost unmatched sustain and support combination, thanks to the row buffs applying heals via the Reinforce skill.
- Even more passive healing can be gained through the Royal Veil skill, which heals the entire party when the Sovereign is at full HP.
- Fantastic Subclass option for other supports, enabling them to add heals and buffs to their kit. The Harbinger particularly can learn to provide party buffs whilst debuffing the opponents, all in one class.
- Minimal damage options and limited targeted healing.
The Gunner class has always been a favourite of the Etrian fanbase, owing mainly to it’s damage output capabilities. It’s not a one trick pony however; Nexus has it become a mixture of big ranged damage, limb binding and even some party healing. It may not be the speed merchant of Untold 2, but it can still push out some massive damage numbers. Plus their outfits just look cool as all hell.
The class does require a few concessions here. Their accuracy is woeful at first and really won’t improve until you access higher skill levels or augment it with equipment. They’re also incredibly squishy due to their low defences and health pool. All of this lends itself to a bit of an unstable glass cannon class, but one that’s most certainly worth putting some time into. Once you get your hands on some powerful gun attacks the class really opens up, and their Force Boost ability can be used to completely decimate groups and single targets alike.
- Tremendous damage capabilities, though accuracy can be an issue.
- Access to some very useful Binds that have quite a high chance of activating.
- Can help with party sustain, either through direct healing with Medic Bullet or Cover Support, which heals the entire front line if the Gunner defends.
- Fantastic late game damage through Master skills like the Charged Ice/Fire/Volt skills.
- Similarly, the Phys ATK Up and Multi-Shot passives are excellent additions to the classkit.
Should any Etrian Odyssey Nexus players be reading this: There was only ever going to be one winner here wasn’t there? The Hero class is, in a word, incredible. They are by far the best class in Nexus, and on balance probably the best class in any Etrian game. Their ability to turn their hand to not only attack, but defence and even healing is unparalleled, and they accomplish this all whilst occupying the front lines, soaking up damage.
A lot of their power comes from their afterimage ability, which has a chance to spawn a copy of the Hero themselves and repeat the attack just completed, leading to some truly epic damage possibilities. Combine this with some fantastic buffs, passive healing abilities and even some elemental capabilities, and you have an incredibly well rounded class that has a place in every party build. They even have some shield abilities that surpass those of the Protector, at least in terms of breadth, and as such tend to become the subclass of choice for many. All of this results in a class that’s a must for almost every team, and one that must be experienced by every Nexus player at least once.
- Amazing damage capabilities through Afterimage creation.
- Incredible passive sustain through Encourage, which heals the entire party when any attack skill is completed. This even applies to Afterimage skills!
- Clear Mind is a powerful self cleanse.
- Features some excellent Shield skills that protect the party whilst dealing damage. These arguably make the class the best shield user in the game, beating out the protector.
- Jack of all trades, master of… All trades.