The Etrian Odyssey Ninja is a class quite like no other. Whilst it’s capable of doing that which you might imagine – dealing damage – it’s also adept at diverting such things when it’s being targeted at you, or even debilitating the target attempting to do so. In many ways it epitomises the stereotypical Ninja of films and TV; a class capable of sneaking up, dealing a novel strike of sorts and then disappearing in a puff of smoke, leaving the enemy striking at a mirage while it retreats to a safe distance. Such things are very entertaining in a game, but this does leave us with a bit of a conundrum when deciding upon a Subclass; do we go all in on the damage front, knowing that it’s easy to overextend in a series known for its difficulty, or perhaps diversify by adding supportive elements to it’s already powerful kit? Thankfully, Nexus’ large and varied cast provides enough options to do both…
Strapping the Gunner class onto the end of just about any base is enough to buff it’s damage, such is the power contained therein, though your mileage will certainly vary depending on the stat allocation of your main. The class is often lauded for being able to output huge numbers despite being the glassiest of cannons, so much so that it breached our Top 5 for classes in the entirety of Nexus, but it’s worth noting that there is a great deal more to the class than might initially meet the eye. Not only can it inflict large chunks of damage, but it can also apply binds, debuff enemies, cleanse allies and even heal entire rows. For us, the appeal of diversifying through these supportive elements is greater than simply loading up on further damage, but we’d encourage you to play around with this combination as much as possible – there’s more to it than the benefits we detail here.
We should first note that the Ninja has an excellent Luck stat, meaning anything that requires this from the Gunner skill set will take great benefit, however their Strength isn’t fantastic, so damaging skills that require this will naturally do less damage than others. This doesn’t stop the frankly excellent Charge Shot from being worthwhile, especially given the relative safety of the main class, but we’re straying from our original ‘supportive’ nature of this combination that we wanted to highlight. First up we’d like to highlight the binds – Leg, Arm and Head Snipe – which thanks to the aforementioned Luck stat will become very reliable ways to restrict opponents, whilst also proving useful when gathering conditional drops. Next up we have Cover Support and Medic Bullet; we’re not about to claim that the Ninja has the Wisdom stat to make healing worthwhile, but it’s worth noting here that the former does not scale with WIS, and the latter will remove all ailments from an ally for a single skill point. Finally, the passives provided by this class are epic. TP Up and Phys ATK Up are obvious benefits, the former particularly given the cost of some Ninpo, and both Penetrator and Multi-Shot act as flat buffs to your damage output.
- Access to the ‘Snipe’ set of Bind skills, which thanks to the high LUC of the main class will land more often.
- Expands upon the supportive elements of the main class by adding Cover Support and Medic Bullet, the former of which does not require WIS to scale.
- Fantastic passives including TP Up, Phys ATK Up, Penetrator and Multi-Shot. The latter in particular can combine with the doubling portion of the Ninja kit to great effect.
- Charged Shot can still be used to deal good levels of damage, despite the lack of Strength on the main class, and has some obvious implications with Ninpo: Double.
Pairing what is ostensibly a melee class with a ranged magic class may at first seem rather odd. One lesser known fact sets this combination apart, through which you’re likely to understand our choice much better: The Ninja has a very good INT stat. It’s so good in fact, that in a game with 19 base classes it manages to rank 5th for INT. As you might imagine, top of the pile in this regard is the Zodiac, and whilst the benefits of this may seem rather obvious now, there is actually more to this combination than first meets the eye. By all means simply load up on damaging elemental spells if you wish, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find all manner of benefits hiding in it’s skill tree.
Firstly and rather obviously, you can benefit from the elemental damage provided by the Fire/Ice/Volt spells of the Zodiac, all which will also benefit from it’s Singularity passive too. TP Up is an obvious benefit, especially given the Ninpo: Double costs, and Anti-Ether is actually quite a nice defensive passive that nullifies elemental attacks for the whole line, which will often feature additional squishy units. Free Energy is another nice passive, though the skill point investment required may be an issue, and the Prophecy set of skills can be very powerful in the late game, albeit with a similar issue. As an aside, Ether Shot is actually quite a powerful attack since it registers as a physical, yet scales with INT and weapon damage, making it possible to deal some excellent damage with later levels of equipment.
- Thanks to the high INT of the main class, damage spells from the Zodiac’s kit will deal good amounts of damage. If you require additional elemental damage in the late game, investing in Singularity will buff this even further.
- TP Up and Free Energy will help to lower the high TP costs not only associated with the Zodiac, but also regular use of Ninpo: Double.
- The Prophecy skills can be used as defensive options in the late game, with clone usage allowing more than one element to be covered at once.
- Ether Shot is an interesting skill that scales with both INT and weapon damage.
There are popular class combinations in Etrian Odyssey Nexus, and then there’s this one. Nightseeker & Ninja are one of the most often squished together classes by the community, and for good reason too. The main reason for this, outside of some good damage increasing options, is the access to an increased amount of ailments. Between this and the main class, it’s possible to cover a great deal of possible debilitating effects, missing only a Stun and Arm Bind option. Combined in either direction, this means that one unit has access to a huge selection of skills that can severely detract from an opponents abilities, and both classes’ high LUC stat will ensure that they often hit the mark. In fact, this combination is so good that it often forces us to reconsider other party members, freeing them up to focus on purely dealing or mitigating damage.
Throw skills are the obvious first port of call here, with even the most basic Sand Throw being tremendously useful against hard hitting opponents. Proficiency is a flat damage buff when striking any ailing targets, of which there will be many thanks to this class combination, and Foul Mastery can power this up even further. Blade Flurry finds some use for the Ninja thanks to their Beheading skill, though whilst it’s not something that we’d recommend you rely upon, it’s a nice bonus investment once you’ve covered ailment requirements. Finally, Follow Trace is an excellent skill that will allow damaging skills to potentially activate twice against ailing targets, something that benefits the Ninpo: Double just as well.
- Access to ailments otherwise not accessible to the Ninja, including Blind, Paralyze and Curse. They can even access an additional element through Ice Knife if required.
- Proficiency is a flat buff to the damage done when a target is ailing, something they’ll be very likely thanks to the above point.
- Blade Flurry combines well with Beheading skill, and whilst it’s not something super reliable, it can make random battles go by a little quicker.
- Follow Trace is as useful as ever. The combination of this and damage skills such as Hawk Strike can be quite potent.
Categories: Etrian Odyssey Nexus