Etrian Odyssey Nexus

3 Best Pugilist Subclass Choices | Etrian Odyssey Nexus

The Pugilist class holds a strange position in Etrian Odyssey Nexus. It’s previous appearance in the fifth game found it capable of dealing tremendous damage whilst inflicting all manner of binds, and whilst the basic principle still exists here, it’s focus has shifted rather more onto the latter of the two. Given the sheer amount of classes on offer here, players looking for physical damage options have a myriad of options available to them, most of which tend to outperform the Pugilist. Even it’s speciality, which is to Bind the opponent and deal increased damage, is arguably performed better by the gunner class, which can do it from the relative safety of the back row. All of this leaves the class in a rather unique position, because it can only really be recommended as a class that will give you reliable binding options in the front row, but it also leaves us with a class that is crying out for a Subclass to complete them.


Shogun

Shogun Class, Etrian Odyssey Nexus

Our first choice is a class that puts the Pugilist to shame, at least in terms of damage numbers in Nexus, so why not squish them together and make the most of it? The Shogun is all about dealing high amounts of purely physical damage, whilst not requiring the massive cooldown period of an Imperial or the paper thin defence of a Ronin to do so. That said, there are technically classes that deal more damage than the Shogun on paper, and we’re currently dealing with a class that relies upon it’s fist weapons to make the most of it, so how exactly does this duo function?

The main reason behind this choice is its ability to compound the physical damage benefits of both classes. The Pugilist has a skill called Lash Out, which deals damage based on the number of hits that the user landed in the prior turn. By utilising the Shogun skills, such as 5-Ring Sword, to hit multiple times, the Pugilist can then use Lash Out to capitalize in the next round. When you combine this with Peerless Demon, which increases the damage dealt as more hits are inflicted, and the Pugilist’s own Raging Billows, the damage output is quite extreme. It’s not really a combination that is positioned well to use the ‘Command’ type Shogun skills, however Second Sword will help to keep your unit safe. Ultimately this combination is about returning some of the pure physical power that the Pugilist has lost in Nexus.

Subclass Benefits

  • Utilises dual wield to maximise hits done, activating Peerless Demon from the Shogun tree.
  • This combines very well with Raging Billows on an ailing target.
  • 5-Ring Sword should be used to guarantee a large amount of hits, thus allowing the use of Lash Out in the subsequent round.
  • Second Sword will help patch up the weak defence of the Pugilist.

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Farmer

Farmer Class, Etrian Odyssey Nexus

Well look at that, it’s actually gone and happened. We’ve actually found a combat based use for the Farmer class, outside of it’s pairing with the Survivalist. As it turns out, some of the Farmer’s skills work well with other classes that inflict binds, and we happen to consider that the Pugilist kit is very well self-contained, which leaves us room for this. Oh, don’t go expecting miracles in terms of damage dealing, but it’s possible to enhance the base Pugilist class whilst also taking advantage of everything else that the Farmer offers.

Firstly, the two actual combat abilities are Strange Seeds and Harvest Festival. The former is a group wide Bind attack, which has a chance to Bind every portion of the enemy group at the end of the round. This functions well alongside the Pugilist’s own Status ATK Up passive, and it flows nicely into the Harvest Festival skill, which attacks the entire enemy team, dealing more damage if they’re bound whilst also having a small chance to instantly kill them. All of this essentially gives the Pugilist a swift way to contribute to awkward random battles, and it also allows you to pillage and plunder your way to wealth and riches, thanks to skills like Excavation, Waste Not and Double Crop.

Subclass Benefits

  • Strange Seeds is a group wide Bind attack, which gives the Pugilist a way to target multiple enemies, and works well with it’s reasonable LUC stat. Status ATK Up will also benefit this.
  • Harvest Festival is a group wide attack that deals more damage to bound opponents, whilst also having a chance to instantly kill them.
  • Countless Farmer skills will increase your yield from exploration, including getting more loot, rarer forms of loot and even increased experience points.
  • This combination essentially diversifies the Pugilist’s kit, pivoting into an exploration based unit whilst also providing some nice group attacks.

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War Magus

War Magus Class, Etrian Odyssey Nexus

Turns out the Pugilist is throwing up all kinds of surprises here. After 17 articles filled to the brim with Harbingers, Heroes and Highlanders, we’re actually making some different choices and their functioning well. Much like the Pugilist itself, the War Magus does feel slightly out of place in Nexus. That’s not to say that it doesn’t have some great abilities, far from it, but rather it’s easily outdone by other, more focused classes. It is still technically the best at what it does, which is to offer healing, physical damage and ailment infliction all in one, but Nexus is filled with ways to achieve all of these, often to a much higher level than the War Magus could. Still, if you take some time to look into their skills, there are quite a few gems buried deep within, especially for a class partial to a bit of ailment infliction.

Firstly, this class has tailor made statistical passives for the Pugilist; HP Up, Status DEF Up and Phys ATK Up, all of which benefit a front line, physical damage dealer. Next up is the Vampire skill, which restores HP to the users line when they attack an enemy that has an ailment active, and by the time you reach late game Nexus, they almost certainly will. This can even build into both Rouse and Mind Drain, which keeps both the Force gauge and TP building and restoring respectively. Going one final step can even unlock Epidemic, which gives normal attacks the chance to cause one of many ailments, which synergises very well with the Pugilist’s own Million Rush.

Subclass Benefits

  • Both kits work very well together, capitalizing on Binds and Ailments wherever possible.
  • Excellent War Magus passives – Status DEF Up, Phys ATK Up and HP UP – all benefit the Pugilist greatly.
  • Vampire, Rouse, Mind Drain and Epidemic will form the basis of the remaining skill points, each providing sustain and support for the party.

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