Picking the best Subclass for the War Magus is critical. Not only does the class need a reasonable choice that expands it’s skill set in the right way, but unlike others it actively needs all the help it can get. It’s rare that we feel this way about an Etrian class, and we’re fully aware that you’d need to invest heavily just to get to the Subclass choice anyway, but we really feel like it’s under-tuned here in Nexus. It’s skills and abilities certainly have potential and the premise of the class is certainly an enjoyable one, but it fails to stick out in a way that others do and ends up functioning like a weaker version of multiple, rather than its own entity. When the choice does finally arrive, it’s likely that you’re going to want to focus on one of three main things for the class; more support, damage or healing. That said, we’ve put together a shortlist of the three best options for achieving your chosen War Magus focus.
It’s approximately the… Millionth time that the Harbinger has appeared in our Subclass articles, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down despite us only being half way through. In fact, our choices for the War Magus as a whole read quite similarly to those featured in our Top 5 Best Class article, which might give you a clue just how much additional power the base class requires. In short, our first choice is the absolute best at tearing down your opponents from the inside, thanks to it’s selection of debuffs, ailments and damage abilities. It’s also home to some fantastic passive skills and the speed increasing Miasma Armor. All things considered then, this is the ideal Subclass for what we would deem to be a supportive War Magus – one that focuses on tipping the scales of battle, rather than dealing direct damage or providing massive heals.
An obvious starting point is Miasma Armor. Whilst applied this will buff your act speed, something that we’d consider useful for pretty much any class but especially the War Magus, thanks to it’s low base Agility. Next up we have the various Miasma skills, which truly form the meat of this Subclass choice. Eroding and Stifling Miasma are a nice basic set of skills that will make your enemies life harder, and the Veteran choices of Wilting and Binding Miasma can synergise with the War Magus’ own skills to maximise damage done to ailing targets. Other benefits include Black Shroud, which will increase all of the War Magus’ defences whilst Miasma Armor is active, Status ATK Up for a flat buff to Bind/Ailment success, and the frankly excellent Atonement skill, which dispels Miasma Armour to provide a heal to the entire party – it even scales with your Wisdom stat!
- Miasma Armor is a great benefit for a class with low AGI.
- Atonement is a good party heal that scales with your WIS stat, which the War Magus has in abundance.
- Various Miasma skills can be used to reduce the effectiveness of your opponents.
- Status ATK Up is a nice passive that works alongside the War Magus skill set.
- The ‘Reap’ skills are not recommended here because of the Scythe requirement.
Whilst it’s not quite as popular as the Harbinger, at least in our case, the Hero is back once again to occupy a Subclass spot, such is its power. In truth, adding the Hero to pretty much any class will benefit it in some way or another, but we find that it lends itself well to supportive classes, mainly thanks to its diverse offensive skills. The class itself is so strong that we’re actually choosing to recommend it here despite one of it’s main benefits being somewhat obsolete: Afterimage. Almost every class can make use of a copy of it’s own previous skill of course, however given the diverse style of War Magus skills it’s unlikely that you’re going to want to waste the points. Thankfully the Hero is home to a variety of excellent additional skills that we can make use of here.
The first and probably main benefit is access to elemental attacks in the form of Frigid Slash, Spark Blade and Regiment Rave. Each of these will give the War Magus access to elemental damage, which is something missed with the base kit. These will also synergise well with the Encourage skill, which heals the party whenever the user attacks with a skill. We’re not about to claim that the healing is massive here, especially since it scales with the user’s max HP rather than it’s WIS stat, but it’s a nice bonus for the main class that allows it to stay on the offensive whilst still supporting the team. Outside of this combination of skills, Clear Mind can also be used to remove binds & ailments whilst restoring TP, and it’s even possible to get usage out of the Hero’s slow shield skills, Physical and Elemental Shield.
- Excellent elemental attacking options, which the War Magus lacks.
- Encourage will heal the party when the War Magus deals damage with a skill, making this ideal for a slightly more offensive build.
- Clear Mind can be used to remove binds & ailments whilst restoring TP.
- Consider using Physical Shield and Elemental Shield to help defend the party when necessary (in the Nexus late game, it will be necessary).
Well we’ve had both supportive and offensive options so far, so why not lean into a purely healing option for our final choice? Yes the Sovereign is back to complete the lineup of top classes required to really get the best out of the War Magus. The class itself is often considered to be the very best healing option available in the game, and it’s hard to argue with this point when it has such a diverse and effective set of skills. Interestingly enough, the class that is considered to be the least useful of the available healers is the… War Magus. So why don’t we combine the two and see if we can patch up some of those holes shall we?
It’s actually quite difficult to settle on a single benefit that we would consider to be paramount here, because they’re all so damned good. The skills that are likely to see the most use will be the Guard and Attack Order, which will provide ATK and DEF buffs to a chosen line and synergise with the Reinforce skill, which restores HP whenever a buff is applied. Your defensive War Magus will have the ability to both heal and buff then, and thanks to it’s high WIS stat it’ll do the job very well, but to really send it into the stratosphere we must invest further. Royal Veil should be your next aim, since it restores HP to the entire party when the unit is at full health, and Royal March will negate the need for any out of battle healing. Capping this all off is Healing Decree, which causes those that you have buffed to drain hp when they attack. When you combine all of these healing skills with the War Magus’ own – Vampire, War Response and War Heal All – your supportive unit turns into a HP battery, churning out vast swathes of the stuff every round.
- Reinforce combined with the ‘Order’ skills will allow for cheap and cost effective heals & buffs.
- Royal Veil will heal the whole party if your War Magus is at max HP, and Royal March will take care of it between battles.
- Healing Decree can expand your repertoire further, though this can clash with War Heal All, however it synergises well with War Response.
- Status DEF Up is a nice passive to add to your War Magus, especially if it’s acting as the main healer at any point.
Categories: Etrian Odyssey Nexus