Characters, Roles, Classes or even Jobs – RPG games often come with one or a combination of these systems. In fact, we’d go so far as to say that they all come with a system something like this, whether their ‘points’ or ‘talents’ system highlights it as such or not. The key difference between these and the Etrian Odyssey system, at least outside of the Untold series, is that the classes chosen here are your characters. In place of their personalities, your group of silent protagonists will take on one of numerous class choices, 19 in the case of ‘Nexus, and embody their various archetypes. With such a huge choice on offer, surely the done thing would be to organise them into some kind of satisfying ranking list of sorts? Perhaps in the form of tiers…?
Anyone familiar with our Top 5 Classes in Etrian Odyssey Nexus is unlikely to be surprised by our top tier choices, though the final two that make the cut may seem a little unusual. We have categorised our top tier as ‘Elite’, and in our opinion this is composed of the absolute best of the best. These classes have the highest ceiling in terms of damage, protection, healing and ailments, often all combined and rolled into one amazing class. The ‘Great’ tier isn’t exactly a huge distance back in our minds and all of the classes contained there will do very well in most party builds, they just don’t quite reach the heights of the elite. ‘OK’ tier is where things truly start to slow down, containing as it does classes that we felt didn’t quite fit with the whole Nexus thing. Sure they can perform well and a few of them have fantastic utility, but we found them lacking in all round performance compared to the rest. Anyway, let’s get on with breaking down each individual tier shall we?
Before we get into our top tier it’s probably worth noting that that this is a very personal tier list. There’s likely to be plenty of tier positions and options that you might not agree with, after all there are countless class combinations and party options, each of which will chime with different player sensibilities. Regardless, we’re going to try to reason with you and attempt to get you to see things our way, otherwise known as the right way.
Our Elite tier then is just that: Those classes that are, for our money at least, by far the best available in Etrian Odyssey Nexus. Each class here is capable of doing fantastic things, often over and above those achievable by the non-elites. Whether it’s the party healing, damage dealing Highlander or the pinnacle of elemental damage Zodiac, all of these can be considered the very best at what they do. Of course we do accept that the possibilities that exist with other classes, some are capable of achieving larger damage or healing numbers for example, but considered as a whole these are by far the best for us. This is to say nothing of the Hero class, which has to be the most overpowered class we have ever experienced in an Etrian game, bar none. On the whole these are well balanced games dotted with the odd powerful class, but along comes the Nexus Hero and blows everything out of the water – big damage, strong defences, elemental options and a boatload of healing make it stand well clear of the crowd at the top. The best way to summarise classes housed in the Elite tier would be to say that they do their chosen job better than any other option. The Harbinger debuffs like no other, the Sovereign heals and buffs better than anything and the Gunner’s ranged damage is far superior to any other options. No matter what you need, one of these classes will excel.
So what is the Great tier exactly? Obviously we’ve given it such a name because we want to indicate that these are indeed great classes, but mainly to ensure that any readers understand that these are not bad classes. These are excellent classes that are fully capable of occupying their given role in any team, and just because they’re a tier below this does not mean that they should be completely ignored. Each of them will perform very well and if we’re honest, the difference between these and the Elite is rather minimal.
The best way to describe each of these classes would be to reference medical tools. They are each the equivalent of a scalpel; sharp, to the point and with one particular goal in mind, as oppose to the improbably expensive high class multi tools that are the elite. Take the Pugilist for example – it’s fantastic at dealing damage and whilst it does provide a certain amount of utility, you’re really making one for the damage purpose. The Protector is, as it’s name suggests, fantastic at protecting your team, but that’s really all it’s good for. The Imperial for damage, the Medic for healing, these are all very good classes but you’re not really going to be surprised by what they achieve when you dig deeper. What can we say? They’re just very good at doing their very specific job, nothing more, nothing less.
For reference, this tier also contains the ideal candidates for Sub classes of the Elite tier, and vica versa. Grabbing the Hero sub with one of these will often do well, and indeed grabbing something like a Protector Sub with the Hero main will do very well.
- War Magus
Oh boy, how we do dislike writing about characters, jobs or indeed classes that we consider to be the bottom tier in a game. In truth we mostly tend to feel quite justified, after all poorly balanced characters can be found in pretty much any title, but… An Etrian Odyssey game? It feels almost sacrosanct to judge classes from a series such as this as only ‘OK’, so it’s with a certain amount of trepidation that we consider such things. We are of course aware that each of the four classes we have chosen can be useful, in fact we’d go so far as to consider a few of them essential in some party builds, but there is no getting away from the fact that they feel by far the most ‘niche’ of those available in Nexus. Well, apart from one class which rather unfortunately feels completely out of place.
We’ll start with the good shall we. The Landsknecht is a class that we have had tremendous fun with in Etrian games gone by. It’s a class filled with excellent damage opportunities and quite a bit of utility, so much so in fact that it’s considered an excellent sub class for many, but a combination of this ideal sub class moniker and the fact that link skills feel so unnecessary in Nexus makes the class feel a little… Superfluous. Similarly the Farmer and Survivalist feel like such niche entries – they’re very good at what they do, assisting in dungeon exploration and item collection with a side of limb disables, but compared directly against some of the higher tiers they feel so… Underwhelming. We’d bring them both in an item farming team no doubt, but the main team would be comprised of much better options. The War Magus finds itself in a similar situation too – it’s a class that is very capable of supporting a party, so much so that we included it in one of our lists, but considered in isolation it will struggle to keep up with any other single class.
Again, just because these lot are only ‘OK’ doesn’t mean they can’t be good in certain roles or situations, and this is a list about personal feeling and unfortunately, for us these fell to the bottom.
Categories: Etrian Odyssey Nexus