In Nexus, the Zodiac is the main form of elemental damage. Well, in reality there are plenty of classes capable of providing similar, but the Zodiac in particular is the ‘pure mage’ option, much like Runemasters of Etrian’s gone by. If you’re looking to deal chunks of elemental damage to large groups of enemies, then there are no better options in the entirety of Nexus, and they’re right up there with the best of them when it comes to single targets too. Unusually, such things can make it difficult to choose a subclass. Spellcasters are thin on the ground around these parts, so how do you improve upon it? The Zodiac is a self contained class, one that performs very well entirely on it’s own, so is the only real option to diversify? Or can we truly improve it in a meaningful way.
This is likely to sound very strange at first, but bear with us here. The Gunner class is one of the absolute best damage options in Etrian Odyssey Nexus. Alone it can decimate single targets, disable them with binds and even apply its own elemental damage. It’s even capable of providing supportive elements, in the form of single target and full row heals. In truth, there’s little that this class cannot do, at least from a damage perspective, but how does any of this fit in with our highly magical, Zodiac class? Well, the truth can be found by digging deep into skill details…
That detail is essentially one spell: Meteor. This is a spell that becomes available right at the end of the Zodiac’s skill trees, and if you read the description carefully it notes that the hits done by this spell are ‘Bash’ type. In other words, they’re physical hits…Something the Gunner is very good at amplifying. It doesn’t take a wizard to figure out that Phys ATK Up is a good passive then, and TP Up is always nice, but the main event has to be Multi-Shot, which has a chance to repeat a skill twice. Such things will allow the Zodiac to charge up it’s Meteor spell through Etheric Charge, have it hit harder thanks to the aforementioned passive physical buff and perhaps even be used twice. It’s a little luck relient of course, but when the numbers go in your favour, difficult enemies and bosses can kiss their health pools goodbye.
- Meteor, a Zodiac spell, actually deals physical damage, which means…
- Phys ATK Up and TP Up are great passives from the Gunner skill tree.
- Multi-Shot works with Zodiac spells, including Meteor.
- It’s even possible to get some benefit from the Penetrator skill, though it’s uses can be quite limited and depend on enemy formation to see more use than a base AOE attack.
Yes, somehow a class that specialises in magic damage has yet another physical damage dealer as a subclass. This time we’re looking at the Shogun, which is a class that specialises in dealing consecutive hits to targets, resulting in general increases in damage. The pattern may be familiar to you by now, especially since our last choice was essentially the same, but it’s worth noting that the Shogun is much less reliant on RNG – you’re getting the benefits every time here, rather than relying upon chance.
This time the main event is Peerless Demon, which is a Shogun skill that increases the damage that you inflict when a skill hits more times. As noted, Meteor is a skill that will hit the target multiple times, the eventual effect of which is to deal increasing amounts of damage with each hit. In order to keep the Shogun itself balanced, we’re unfortunately not going to get a great deal of passives out of the class, but there is a case made that Bloody Lance can be useful, especially when taking on multiple targets, particularly when larger enemies spawn helpers. If you’re feeling particularly safe, it’s even worth considering Swift Justice, which increases physical attack in exchange for defence, again for its influence in powering up the Meteor spell.
- Another class combination that focuses on powering up the Meteor spell through physical and multi hit buffs.
- Peerless Demon increases your damage done if a skill hits multiple times, which Meteor does.
- Swift Justice can be used to buff this in the rounds prior, though you’ll want some way of ensuring that the Zodiac is protected, because this skill sacrifices defence for a buff in attack.
- Bloody Lance can have a few edge uses, since it buffs your attack power whenever a killing blow is landed. In some fights where additional enemies are constantly evident, the power available can become tremendous.
Well, we’ve hit upon two attacking options so far, so there are no prizes for guessing where this particular choice is going. Yes the Protector is next, and as the name suggests this one is all about defending the party as much as possible. It’s the only true tank of Nexus, and whilst we could argue that some other classes can do a good enough job on their own, they really are the pinnacle of keeping a party protected. But what, we hear you cry, could such a class bring to an offensive, back line dwelling spell slinger?
We’ll let you in on a secret: Etrian games tend to feature far more rounds of preparation and defence than they do attacks. Most difficult battles in these games require buffs, debuffs, ailments, defences and all sorts of skills in between before they can be traversed safely. That said, your Zodiac is likely to have quite a few rounds in which they’re able to support the team, so why not take advantage of these rounds to support the team? Front and Rear Guard are excellent defensive choices, especially if your team build doesn’t have options such as these, and Healing Wall is a fantastic free heal for a back line. Passives such as Phys DEF Up and Elem DEF Up are a great boon for the ultimately frail Zodiac, though we’d argue that the HP Up option is by far the best. Finally, the elemental Wall skills from the Protector are essentially the same as the Prophecy skills of the Zodiac, but they cost less TP, allowing you to save more to use on flashy attacking spells!
- Fantastic passives of Phys DEF Up, Elem DEF Up and HP Up will all help to keep your frail Zodiac alive.
- The Front and Rear Guard skills can be of assistance in a pinch.
- Using a shield will naturally increase your Zodiac’s survivability.
- The Protector’s elemental ‘Wall’ skills are essentially cheaper versions of the Zodiac’s ‘Prophecy’ skills.
Categories: Etrian Odyssey Nexus