The Let's Play Archive

Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight

by Ragnar Homsar, Dr. Fetus

Part 143: Survivalist

Survivalists were intially introduced in EO1, where they were a fast-acting damage class with quite a few extra abilities that made both battles and exploring the Labyrinth less painful. When EO2 came out around a year later, those who had played EO1 were dismayed to find that not only had Survivalists been nerfed, but that Atlus actually made them the second worst class in the game (arguably the first). Their damage output took a huge hit, and their TP costs got increased as well, leaving them with just a few support abilities in battle and on the field.

Four years later, EOU came out in Japan, and...Survivalists were still pretty bad. Their damage hadn't recovered from EO2 at all, and neither had their TP costs. You wanna know what Survivalists were good for in EOU? Being Medics. Efficiency, a passive introduced in EOU, amplified the amount of HP/TP healing that consumable items provided. Combine this with the fact that Survivalists far outspeed Medics, and you had one of the best classes of EO1 being reduced to taking another class's job. Not one of Atlus's finer balance moments.

And now we come to EO2U, where Survivalists finally have their own unique niche. While quite a few other classes offer various disables, only Hexers, Dark Hunters, and Survivalists really have the LUC to reliably inflict disables, and Hexers are both slow and have incredibly few methods of dealing damage. Survivalists trade the Hexer's large repetoire of disables for being able to deal pretty considerable burst damage from time to time, and also insane action speed; Survivalists are still one of the fastest classes in the EO2U roster. Finally, with the addition of Illusion Step, Chain Dance, and Scapegoat, Survivalists also the offer the ability to dodge-tank; in fact, their best option for dealing damage relies on them being effective dodge tanks.


Level 1
HP: 31
TP: 23
STR: 5
TEC: 5
VIT: 7
AGI: 10
LUC: 8

Level 50
HP: 212
TP: 223
STR: 23
TEC: 19
VIT: 29
AGI: 38
LUC: 34

Level 99
HP: 489
TP: 422
STR: 44
TEC: 35
VIT: 55
AGI: 72
LUC: 64

Innate weapon choices: Bow

Innate armor choices: Light armor, Clothes

Common passives: HP Up, TP Up, Speed Up, Curb ATK Up, Natural Instinct

Survivalists retain their really bad STR from EO2, but that's okay, because bows and all of the Survivalist's damage skills run off their AGI instead. Speaking of their AGI, it's absolutely sky-high; second-highest in the game, only 2 points behind Gunners at level 99. However, note that not only do guns incur speed and accuracy penalties, almost every gun skill also has really bad speed and accuracy penalties, meaning that their high AGI means nothing outside of damage. Survivalists, on the other hand, act incredibly quickly--they pretty much always go at the start of the turn. Their TEC's bad, but much like Landsknechts, none of their innate skills use it. Their VIT's actually on par with War Magi and Fafnir, and above that of Dark Hunters and Ronin, and they can equip light armor, meaning that putting a Survivalist in the front row isn't a completely awful idea. It's sub-optimal, but it's not a disastrous idea. Their LUC's the third highest out of all the classes, which is good for a class that's going to be spending a lot of time trying to inflict status ailments.

Bow Mastery
Requirements: None

Required to learn bow skills. Passively increases damage dealt with bows.

Flank Shot
Requirements: Bow Mastery level 1
Required equipment: Bow
Body parts used: Arms

Deals ranged AGI-based Stab damage to one row of enemies. Has a 90% speed modifier and no accuracy modifier at all levels.

Flank Shot's decent enough at helping clear out random encounters with just one level. I wouldn't really put that many more points in it unless you've run out of both active skills and passives for your Survivalist to invest in.

Blind/Sleep/Paralysis Arrow
Requirements: Bow Mastery level 3
Required equipment: Bow
Body parts used: Arms

Deals ranged AGI-based Stab damage to one enemy. Attempts to inflict blind/sleep/paralysis on the target. Has a 90% speed modifier and no speed modifier at all levels.

A Survivalist's bread-and-butter skills for nearly the entire game. Blind and Paralysis Arrow are both worth maxing out, but Sleep Arrow's a bit less worth investing in.

Drop Shot
Requirements: Bow Mastery level 5
Required equipment: Bow
Body parts used: Arms

Deals ranged AGI-based Stab damage to one enemy. Double is damaged if the enemy is in the back row. Has a 90% speed modifier and +20 base accuracy at all levels.

Drop Shot is really useful for random encounters where really annoying enemies are put in the back row. Much like Flank Shot, though, I wouldn't put more than one point in it.

Sagittarius Shot
Requirements: Drop Shot level 5
Required equipment: Bow
Body parts used: Arms

The Survivalist spends a turn preparing Sagittarius Shot. Two turns later, Sagittarius Shot will come down at the start of the turn and deal Stab damage to one enemy. Has a chance to stun the target. Sagittarius Shot cannot be recast while you are waiting for the arrows to come down. If the Survivalist cannot act on the turn the arrows come down (paralysis proc, asleep, panicked, fear proc, petrified, dead), Sagittarius Shot will be cancelled. Has no accuracy modifier at all levels.

If you want your Survivalist to contribute more damage in a fight, you could do a lot worse than Sagittarius Shot. It costs quite a lot of TP, but it does the second-most damage out of any Survivalist skill. The stun is, in theory, nice, especially because Sagittarius Shot deals damage and tries to stun at the start of the turn, but it is pretty damn low as far as infliction chances go.

Requirements: Bow Mastery level 7
Required equipment: Bow
Body parts used: Arms

Deals two instances of ranged AGI-based Stab damage to one enemy. Has an 80% speed modifier and no accuracy modifier at all levels.

Multi-Shot is the Survivalist's most consistent option for damage, and you're going to want to have it maxed out eventually. It sadly does not gain the ability to deal three instances of damage at level 10 like Multihit did in EO1, but oh well.

Disabling Shot
Requirements: Bow Mastery level 10

Passively gives bow skills a chance to bind hit enemies' legs.

Survivalists are accurate enough and leg binds do so little that Disabling Shot wouldn't really be worth it, even if its base chance wasn't terrible.

Trick Step
Requirements: Speed Up level 1
Body parts used: Legs

Decreases one enemy's accuracy for a set amount of turns. Has a 90% speed modifier at all levels.

If you want to be absolutely sure that your Survivalist will dodge an attack during Chain Dance (or possibly Scapegoat), leveling up Trick Step is an option. I'd say skip it if you're not paranoid about Chain Dance not dodging anything, though.

Chain Dance
Requirements: Speed Up level 3
Body parts used: Legs

Raises the chance that enemies will target the Survivalist for one turn, along with increasing the Survivalist's evasion rate. Has a 200% speed modifier at all levels.

Chain Dance is basically how you're supposed to set up Hazy Arrow. As such, you're going to want it at a high level by the time Hazy Arrow is also a high level. Outside of that, it also gives the Survivalist the ability to be an actually pretty effective dodge-tank, especially in combination with Illusion Step. Against bosses with random-target attacks, Chain Dance is a pretty decent way of dealing with said attacks.

Hazy Arrow
Requirements: Multi-Shot level 2, Chain Dance level 4
Required equipment: Bow
Body parts used: Arms

Deals ranged AGI-based Stab damage to one enemy. Only usable if the Survivalist evaded an attack on the previous turn. Has a 200% speed modifier at all levels. Does not check for accuracy.

Hazy Arrow is the Survivalist's best option for damage, beating out Sagittarius Shot. You're definitely going to want to have this maxed out by the end of the main game/at the start of the postgame. Unfortunately, the "evade an attack" requirement means that you either need to Scapegoat your Survivalist while they have Illusion Step active or if the enemy is blinded, or have a decently high-level Chain Dance.

Requirements: Speed Up level 7
Body parts used: Legs

The Survivalist selects one ally to take any incoming damage to the party for a set amount of attacks for one turn. Also reduces the damage the targeted ally takes.

Scapegoat's basically a version of Hit-Taker that tanks a lower amount of hits, but can be used on any party member. Provides some pretty decent utility if you have a Protector on your team, or if you want to guarantee your Survivalist will dodge an attack during Illusion Step. If you have a Beast, though, Scapegoat's slightly redundant.

Swap Step
Requirements: Speed Up level 10
Body parts used: Legs

Targets one ally and allows them to act first for one turn. Levels 1-4 have a chance to fail, while levels 5-10 are guaranteed to work.

Swap Step is a godsend for parties with slower classes or skills that have really low speed modifiers. Off the top of my head, you can guarantee that a Medic's healing will go first in the turn, have your Alchemist immediately unload a heavy attack on an enemy, or help your Gunner avoid the increased damage from a Charged skill.

Risk Perception
Requirements: None

Provides a chance to cancel out blindsides.

I wouldn't invest in Risk Perception early on, especially given that I don't really like any of the skills it unlocks, but in the late and postgames, there's quite a lot of encounters you REALLY do not want to get blindsided by, at which point Risk Perception might be worth investing in.

Requirements: Risk Perception level 1

Only usable in the Labyrinth. Shows FOEs, treasure chests, shortcuts, stairs, and material gathering points within a certain range of the party for a certain number of steps.

I really do not like field skills in EO games, and Owl-Eye is absolutely no exception. Even if you're really, really new to EO and want help in finding where shortcuts, secret areas, or FOEs are, I'd still really advise against investing in Owl-Eye; paying attention to the top screen will do wonders for finding all of the things Owl-Eye detects.

Sneak Attack
Requirements: Risk Perception level 3

Only usable in the Labyrinth. Raises the chance of getting a preemptive attack in battle for a certain number of steps.

I reiterate: "I really do not like field skills in EO games." If you need preemptive attacks to be able to deal with encounters, you might want to seriously rethink your strategy and party composition.

Requirements: Risk Perception level 5

Only usable in the Labyrinth. Reduces the encounter rate for a certain number of steps.

Useful in gathering parties, absolute trash on an actual exploration party. Every battle you don't fight is EXP and drops you're not getting.

Requirements: HP Up level 5

Only usable in the Labyrinth. Heals a party member for a set amount of HP. At levels 5-10, it can also revive dead party members.

Kind of useful in the postgame, I guess? At levels 6-10 (which you need a Grimoire for), the healing actually becomes really substantial, and really cheap too.

Requirements: Resuscitate level 3
Body parts used: Head

Increases the amount of HP and TP restored by consumable items for a set amount of turns. Also allows Medicas and Nectars to target an entire row. Has a 90% speed modifier at all levels.

I'd say Efficiency is decent, except Survivalists usually have better things to do than be item bots. Efficiency was much more useful in EOU due to the fact that Survivalists did not have said useful things to do--oh, and it was an always-active passive, too. That helped.

Illusion Step
Force Boost

Increases the user's non-base evasion by 999. Adds an extra chaser attack to bow attacks and skills. Damage on the chaser scales linearly from 100% to 300% based on user level.

Illusion Step's chaser is nice enough, I suppose, but the real draw to Illusion Step is the evasion increase. It allows for very easy and very reliable setup for Hazy Arrow in combination with Chain Dance or Scapegoat.

Summer Rain
Force Break
Body parts used: Arms

Deals 16 instances of ranged AGI-based Stab damage to random targets. Can hit the same target 4 times at most. Damage per hit scales linearly from 150% to 500% based on user level. Has a 70% speed modifier.

Summer Rain is useful both as a panic button for random encounters, and for dealing with bosses that summon helpers that do really nasty things if you leave them alive.