Returning from the popular Untold series, the Highlander takes up the mantle of beefy physical damage dealer in Etrian Odyssey Nexus. The class has an excellent array of skills and well balanced statistics, all of which are used in service of its main goal: Using HP to deal damage. By sacrificing some health of its own, or indeed that of the party, the Highlander is able to deal tremendous amounts of physical damage to both single targets and groups of enemies. How then, do we go about complimenting such things with a Subclass? Those of you blessed with the power of thought may perhaps consider something that offsets those health costs, or maybe even augments it’s damage further. You know the drill by now; let’s get into our three favourite Subclass choices for the Highlander.
Have you ever met somebody for whom everything just seems to go right? No matter where they go or what they do, good things just seem to rain down upon them and they can do no wrong. This is how we imagine other classes feel about the Hero, a newly introduced class for Etrian Odyssey Nexus. These games are traditionally about heavily customising and building your way up to an unbalanced, all powerful party status. What they’re not traditionally about is presenting you with an immediately super powerful class that gets better and better, overshadowing damn near everything else. Balance is an issue with the Hero class in ‘Nexus then, but we’re not here to wax lyrical about game balance, rather we’re looking for ways to super power our Highlander, so why choose the Hero Subclass?
It’s a bit of a double edged sword if we’re honest. The main benefit that we like to get from this combination is the party healing; Encourage is a passive skill belonging to the Hero that restores HP to the party whenever the user attacks with a skill, something the Highlander will be doing constantly. The other edge of said sword however, is that any Afterimages created will repeat the initial skill, presenting the possibility of using up party HP again in order to complete the same skill. This is fantastic for damage of course, but it can be perilous in a party that is not prepared. The combination is further boosted by skills such as Heroic Bonds, which will increase ATK and Speed if your team is above a certain threshold, something easily achieved when you’re restoring it frequently through Encourage and Turning Tide.
- Excellent passive group healing thanks to Encourage, a skill that restores party HP whenever an attack skill is used.
- Afterimage has great damage potential, but overall party health must be considered or at least mitigated.
- Clear Mind can be useful for removing Binds/Ailments and returning some TP.
- Heroic Bonds is likely to be active frequently, especially in a group with additional passive heals.
It’s fair to say that the humble Protector has, due to the numerous classes that come with their own defensive benefits, fallen to the wayside a little. The class remains the absolute king of party defence, of that there is no doubt, but the myriad options available for team building mean that it’s less necessary than ever. Thankfully it’s usefulness often becomes clear when it is considered for Subclass duties, a role that it excels in. It might seem unusual to want to add some very defensive benefits to an otherwise attacking role in the Highlander, but you’d be surprised how many benefits it offers.
Firstly, it can provide excellent passive boons in the form of Phys Def Up, Elem Def Up and HP Up. These might seem like an obvious inclusion, but their usefulness should not be understated, especially in the late game of Nexus. Further to this, should things ‘hit the fan’ as they often tend to do on long dungeon runs, Healing Wall can step in to plug some gaps in health restoration, and if you’re willing to go down the shield route, the Protector Subclass will allow the Highlander to deliberately take damage through Ally Shield, which in turn can activate Bloody Veil to keep the party safe. This combination is likely the least ‘flashy’ of our three choices here, but it’s undoubtedly the best at keeping your Highlander alive.
- Fantastic passives available – Phys Def Up, Elem Def Up and HP Up.
- Healing Wall is a great way to restore front line health in a pinch, especially if the Highlander has been going a bit too crazy with the party health…
- Possible to take advantage of the Highlander’s Bloody Veil to deliberately take damage and protect the party.
- Various Elemental Wall skills can be very useful for specific boss battles, should your party be missing them.
Long gone are the days of seeing Pugilists atop the damage dealing charts in an Etrian game. Nexus sadly neutered their damage somewhat, so whilst they’re now fantastic at applying Binds, they do tend to lose out when compared to other physical damage classes. That’s not to say that they’re weak; they’ll still do tremendous damage if you put enough time into them, they’ve just been taken down a notch from prior titles. The Highlander that we’re here to improve is traditionally all about damage with only a passing regard for Binds, so why should you choose to squish these two together?
On balance, we have to say that this is the smoothest of Subclass options for the Highlander, because it simply aims to compliment their initial kit as much as possible. Fighting Spirit is the obvious inclusion here, which increases your ATK whenever HP was lost in the previous round and since the Highlander is all about spending HP to deal damage, this skill is the perfect fit. HP Up is another passive benefit, again helping the Highlander stay healthy whilst spending health every round, and Breather is an excellent self cleanse that again buffs your ATK after having done so. There’s a great deal of synergy between these two classes, and the result is a Highlander that manages to feel like a significantly better version of itself.
- HP Up is an obvious benefit. The class is naturally going to be taking hits in the front line, plus it’s abilities sacrifice health for damage, so this passive is an all round win.
- Fighting Spirit will increase your attack whenever HP was lost in the previous round, and since the Highlander uses HP to cast abilities, this will always be online.
- Breather can remove Binds and Ailments whilst simultaneously increasing ATK.
- Million Rush can empower your normal attacks to hit more than once and whilst you are unlikely to auto attack much with the Highlander, this can be useful for taking down random battles without spamming Black Sabbath all day long.
Categories: Etrian Odyssey Nexus