Introduced in Etrian Odyssey 2, the Gunner class is a powerful addition to the Nexus roster. The class is primarily designed to deal damage from the back line, a task that it completes to a very high standard, but it’s kit also allows it to contribute further by offering disables, elemental damage and even some healing where required. To select a Subclass then, requires an initial portion of decision making; should we double down on the damage portion of it’s kit, or branch out into the more supportive roles? The eventual decision is likely to come down to your individual party build, but we’ve put together a selection of three that we found most suits this fantastic class.
If you’ve been keeping up with our articles around Etrian Odyssey Nexus then you’ll have no doubt noted that we’re quite fond of the Highlander class. It’s a physical powerhouse that manages to combine high damage with health restoration to great effect. That being said however, it must be noted that the majority of it’s combat abilities require a Spear and it tends to do most of it’s best work in the front line, both of which the Gunner does not tend to do well with. Why then have we chosen this as our first Subclass option?
The key can be found within the various accoutrements that the Highlander has access to. By picking and choosing passive boosts from it’s toolkit we can double down on the damaging prowess of our base class. HP Up in the Novice tree is a nice addition, especially for a base class with such a low health total, and Turning Tide is always a great boon to any class that is likely to finish enemies off. Enough investment will also unlock Phys Def and Atk Up, both of which are entirely appreciated by base class. It is possible to push your way through to Black Sabbath, though we’d argue that your route to get there is less useful than pushing entirely into passive benefits.
- HP Up is a great addition to a very low HP total class.
- Turning Tide is a great way to restore party health passively.
- Phys Def and Atk Up are ideally suited to the class.
- Battle Instinct can be a nice defensive passive, especially in the late game.
Our first choice detailed how you can make your Gunner be more physically powerful, with a side of support. Our next choice – Nightseeker – is a class designed around inflicting ailments to your opponent before dealing increased damage. It’s the former we’re mainly after here, but it’s worth noting that with enough points invested it’s possible to make your Gunner deal even more damage than our first choice, though it will require a bit more work.
We’ll begin with the obvious benefits. Their ranged ailment throws are useful and pairing these with the Proficiency skill, which greatly increases damage to enemies suffering from an ailment, will boost your Gunner damage to new heights. Things start to get really interesting when you follow both of these up with Follow Trace, which gives your skills a chance to activate twice on a target suffering from an ailment. The Gunner has some of the best base damaging skills in the game, so having them activate twice can lead to incredible numbers flying across your screen. These benefits are rounded out nicely by the Speed Up passive, which is sorely needed on the Gunner class, since it lost all of it’s speed during the transition to Nexus.
- Proficiency, which greatly increases damage to enemies suffering ailments, can be combined with the Gunner skills to deal tremendous damage.
- Follow Trace can combine with the above to amplify damaging abilities even further.
- Speed Up is a fantastic addition, helping to mitigate the accuracy issues of the base class.
- Shadow Cloak can be helpful if you’re struggling to keep your Gunner alive.
We know what you’re thinking: Surely the Gunner is already capable of inflicting Binds, so pairing it with another class designed to do the same is a little superfluous? Well you’re half right, and we should note that it was a toss up between this and the Zodiac buffing elemental damage, but we plumped for the Pugilist for two main reasons; firstly there are plenty of other elemental options that we prefer, and secondly it’s fantastic having a Binder in the back row. There are other options for this but they tend to come with caveats; the Farmer feels awkward in battle, the Arcanist is probably best used doing other things and the War Magus just feels so weak in Nexus. Having great Bind options and the kit that improves them on a powerful back line unit is, in our opinion, the best binding option in the late game.
To facilitate this we first pick up Adrenaline, which restores TP whenever a Bind or Ailment is inflicted – useful. We stop off in Novice to pick up HP Up, because the Gunner sorely needs more of this wherever it can find it, and head up to the Veteran skills to grab Status Atk Up, which increases the chance for Binds to land. Breather is also nice in this section, since it effectively gives you a free removal of Binds/Ailments along with an Atk buff, but we’re mainly looking to rush into the Master skills for Meditation and Raging Billows, of which the latter will increase damage to targets suffering from multiple Binds. All of this combines to make your new Binding Gunner an absolute powerhouse of a unit and if we’re honest, probably the one that feels the most ‘Etrian’.
- Designed to make your Gunner focus into Bind attacks.
- Adrenaline is a great addition to your kit, restoring TP whenever a Bind, Ailment or Stun is inflicted.
- Status Atk Up is essential here, since it increases the chance for Binds to land.
- Raging Billows will increase damage done to targets with Binds, and scales based on the amount.
Categories: Etrian Odyssey Nexus