Known as the Reaper in Japan, the Harbinger class is the apex of enemy debuffing in Etrian Odyssey Nexus. This is a class entirely designed to cripple your opponents, which it achieves by stripping away both their defensive and offensive statistics, inflicting them with ailments and generally making their lives very unpleasant. By name it may seem like quite a new class, having made its debut in Etrian Odyssey V, but in practice it plays very much like the Hexer class from older titles. Thanks to a skill set that revolves around the upkeep and dispelling of their Miasma Armour, the class can actually provide a great many things to the party, even healing in a pinch should you require, but all of this does beg the question of just what kind of Subclass should be give them? Should we diversify, improve or even double down on their skill set? How about we take you through options that cover all three.
Supposing it’s diversity you want for your Harbinger, then let us introduce you to one of the most tenured classes in the entire Etrian series: The Medic. As the name suggests this is a class that is all about health restoration and party protection, both of which it can achieve very easily thanks to its full suite of skills to that effect. Eagle eyed players, or indeed those that have played with the Harbinger already, will note however that the base class already has a very good group heal in the form of Atonement, and besides what is it really going to accomplish to strap some heals to the side of a class, especially at such a late stage in the game?
The theory might not sound ideal, but bare with us here and add up the benefits. Yes, you do get access to some additional heals and there are times when you’ll want to keep your Miasma Armour up, so they will see use. Further to this is the no-frills access to a revive, something that is actually in rather short supply in ‘Nexus. The very best benefits from this Subclass however are the passive boosts that it brings; Patch Up, Scavenge and Safe Passage are excellent exploration skills, and your Harbinger will thank you for both Elem Def Up and Antibodies as defensive tools. All round the Medic diversifies the base kit in some very useful ways, broadening it’s horizons somewhat whilst providing some excellent additional utility for the late game.
- Harbinger’s high Wisdom stat lends itself to useful heals.
- Elem DEF Up and Antibodies are useful passives for the Harbinger, especially front line versions.
- Access to a revival is useful, given the lack of these in most classes.
- Patch Up is a nice benefit for those long, late game dungeon crawls.
- Scavenge and Safe Passage are great exploration skills that every party can benefit from.
To those unaware, the Nightseeker class is one that heavily revolves around one thing: Ailments. It’s built to consistently inflict the opponent with debilitating effects, with the remainder of their kit focusing on dealing increased damage once they have done so. Making only its second appearance in the series, the first being Etrian Odyssey 4, the Nightseeker is a boon for almost any party, regardless of their current team members, mainly down to this ailment mastery. Still, the Harbinger itself is no slouch when it comes to ailments, so what else does this class bring to the table?
There are numerous benefits, some of which we’ll list below, but the real main events here are Spread Throw, Proficiency and Follow Trace. Spread Throw will allow the Harbinger to use single target Throws skills on the entire enemy team, which essentially grants you the ability to inflict ailments on the entire team for less TP. Following this, the Proficiency skill will increase damage done to ailing opponents, and Follow Trace will even grant the Harbinger a chance for their skill to be repeated, assuming it hits the ailing target. By simply inflicting ailments and using their powerful Reap skills, the Harbinger/Nightseeker combo can produce some truly disgusting group damage.
- Nightseekers specialise in dealing more damage to targets with ailments active, through the Proficiency skill.
- Follow Trace gives the Harbinger a chance for their Reaps to land twice on an enemy suffering from an ailment. Ephemeral Reap in particular can be abused with this on enemies suffering from multiple ailments.
- Cheaper single target ailment attacks are available through the Throw skills.
- Spread Throw can let the Harbinger take advantage of this further by inflicting cheaper ailments to the entire group of enemies, then hitting a whole line with Darkness or Chaos Reap, again for increased damage through Proficiency and possibly Follow Trace.
If you’ve played an Etrian Ninja before, or indeed read one of our previous Subclass articles, then you’ll likely know where this is going, but we’ll sum up the class a little first. The Ninja is a class that shares some similarities with our previous choice, the Nightseeker, because it’s main goal is to inflict both damage and ailments. Where it differs is in it’s secondary aim; to avoid your targets, and thus take advantage of them. It accomplishes this through a mix of evasion, back row performance, and the key to it’s regular Subclass priority: Creating Mirages.
It’s the final point there that really makes it. By using the Ninpo: Double skill, you’ll be able to create a fully functional clone of your party member, which will then settle into an available slot. There’s normally a downside to powerful abilities like this, and whilst disabling your Force Boost and Break isn’t exactly ideal, it’s a small price to pay for essentially having two Harbingers at once. There are some other benefits of course, which we’ll detail below, but what you’re looking at here is two debuffs and two Reaps every single round. It’s double the Harbinger, and whilst this is of course useful on almost all classes, nothing can reduce your target to dust quite like it. Well, except two of them.
- Ninpo: Clone allows two Harbingers to exist on the field. This can be used to maintain double the amount of debuffs, and even allow for multiple high damaging Reap attacks to take place per turn.
- Status ATK Up will assist in making sure that ailments land.
- Mystic Calm can help with high TP costs.
- Concealment & Reflexes can assist in both damage reduction and TP restoration, though mainly only applies to a front line Harbinger.
Categories: Etrian Odyssey Nexus