The Let's Play Archive

Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight

by Ragnar Homsar, Dr. Fetus

Part 155: Highlander

Highlanders are a damage dealer class that focuses on a theme of manipulating HP to use skills. They originate from EOU, where they were the protagonist's class. In that game, Highlander was a really damn good class, partially because its innate stats were ever-so-slightly higher than most other physical damage classes, partially because Delayed + Cross Charge was insanely powerful, and partially because Bloody Offense was so stupidly overtuned compared to most damage buffs. In EO2U, they're considerably less impressive, mostly because their numbers are still roughly EOU level, which means they don't stand out as much compared to everyone else. The only thing that stands out about them is that they're a physical class that focuses on stab damage. That's, uh...good for the 4th Stratum, with all of its bird enemies, I guess.


Level 1
HP: 38
TP: 24
STR: 9
TEC: 6
VIT: 7
AGI: 7
LUC: 6

Level 50
HP: 239
TP: 190
STR: 36
TEC: 23
VIT: 31
AGI: 32
LUC: 21

Level 99
HP: 547
TP: 355
STR: 68
TEC: 43
VIT: 59
AGI: 61
LUC: 39

Innate weapon choices: Spear

Innate armor choices: Light armor, Clothes, Shield

Common passives: HP Up, TP Up, Phys ATK Up, Phys DEF Up, Mine

Highlanders are, stat-wise, incredibly similar to Landsknechts, except for slightly higher TEC, considerably higher AGI and slightly lower VIT and LUC. Their HP and TP are roughly similar (good and bad, respectively), and they have literally equal STR--68, which, remember, is the second-highest of any of the classes at 99.

Spear Mastery
Requirements: None

Required to learn spear skills. Increases damage dealt with spears.

Long Thrust
Requirements: Spear Mastery level 1
Required equipment: Spear
Body parts used: Arms

Deals ranged STR-based stab damage to one enemy.

Despite how boring Long Thrust is, it's still one of the better choices for "what your Highlander does while waiting for Delayed Charge." I may be the first person in the world who has gotten use out of the fact that it's ranged, honestly.

Draining/Legion Thrust/Burst
Required equipment: Spear
Body parts used: Arms

(Draining Thrust)
(Legion Thrust)
(Draining Burst)
(Legion Burst)

Consumes 20% (Thrust) or 40% (Burst) of the user's (Draining) or the party's (Legion) current HP to deal melee STR-based stab damage to the front enemy row (Thrust) or all enemies (Burst). Has an 80% speed modifier and +10 base accuracy at all levels.

All of these skills are essentially the same, so I lumped them together in one entry. Basically the only encounter-clearing skills that Highlander has, so you might as well pick one of them and put some points in it. I slightly prefer Draining over Legion, even though it deals slightly less damage. Alternatively, you could also just have another party member that's better at clearing encounters, like an Alchemist.

Head Pierce
Requirements: Spear Mastery level 3
Required equipment: Spear
Body parts used: Arms

Deals melee STR-based stab damage to one enemy. Attempts to inflict instant death and head bind on the target. Has an 80% speed modifier at all levels.

Head Pierce is pretty awful. It's one of the few sources of instant death, yes, but given that Highlanders have one of the worst LUC stats in the class roster, good luck making any use of it.

Spear Assist
Requirements: Spear Mastery level 5
Required equipment: Spear
Body parts used: Arms

Deals melee STR-based Stab damage to one enemy at the end of the turn. If an elemental attack was used before Spear Assist, its damage is doubled, and the element is added to Spear Assist. Has +10 base accuracy at all levels.

If you're not spamming Spear Assist from turn to turn while waiting for Delayed Charge, you should be spamming Spear Assist. It's still fairly low damage, but it lets your Highlander have some elemental damage if you have another source in your party, which you definitely should.

Delayed Charge
Requirements: Spear Mastery level 10
Required equipment: Spear
Body parts used: Arms

Consumes 15% of the user's current HP to prepare Delayed Charge at the start of the turn it's used. A set amount of turns later, Delayed Charge will activate, and deal melee STR-based stab damage to one enemy. Can be activated with Cross Charge. If activated before the turn counter on activation is 0, reduces damage by a multiplier based on Delayed Charge level. The penalty is (BasePenalty ^ NumberOfEarlyTurns).

This is one of the two big Highlander damage skills, the other being Cross Charge. I...don't have a lot to say about it, actually.

Cross Charge
Requirements: Delayed Charge level 3
Required equipment: Spear
Body parts used: Arms

Consumes a percentage of the user's current HP to deal melee STR-based stab damage to one enemy. Activates Delayed Charge immediately at the start of the turn if it is active. Cross Charge's damage is doubled if it activates Delayed Charge. Has a +20 accuracy modifier if it activates Delayed Charge at all levels. Costs 8 TP at all levels.

A fairly unremarkable skill aside from its interaction with Delayed Charge. Combined with Delayed Charge, however, results in one of the biggest sources of burst damage in the game that doesn't require fairly elaborate setup.

Turning Tide
Requirements: Phys ATK Up level 1

Passively restores a fixed amount of HP plus a percentage of each party member's max HP to each party member when the user kills an enemy.

It's okay for random encounters, I guess, but in most boss fights, even those with summons, any skill points you put in it do effectively nothing.

Bloody Offense
Requirements: Phys ATK Up level 3
Body parts used: Head

Increases one row's physical/elemental attack for a set amount of turns, at the cost of 10% of their current HP for all actions during the duration. Has an 80% speed modifier at all levels.

Absolutely laughable compared to its EOU version. Bloody Offense is stronger than most buff skills (by 5%), yes, but it's row-target only, which is a pretty big strike compared to something like Warrior Song, given that your Highlander has other things, like dealing damage, to do. For the record, in EOU, Bloody Offense gave a 50% increase at level 10, and 70% when using a level 10 version with Boost.

Requirements: Turning Tide level 3, Bloody Offense level 3

Passively gives the user a chance to perform a normal attack, with bonus damage, whenever they lose HP. Can only activate once per turn. Has a +10 accuracy modifier at all levels.


Requirements: Phys ATK Up level 5
Body parts used: None

Inflicts a number of random binds (or all types, if level 10 or above) on the user. After that, attempts to copy the user's binds to one enemy. The self-inflicted binds can be blocked by Barrier and Fairy Robe, which can cause the transfer to fail. Equipment that gives resistance to binds and Curb DEF Up reduce the chance of the user inflicting binds on themself. Self-inflicted binds do not take accumulative resistance into account, and do not add to the user's accumulative resistance. Has an 80% speed modifier at all levels.

Hoo boy, okay. Stigmata is garbage on an actual Highlander, and will just result in you completely disabling one of your damage dealers for no reason. On a Hexer, though, is an entirely different story. With Curb ATK Up and especially Creeping Curse, Stigmata turns into a near-guaranteed chance to completely bind an enemy. If it doesn't completely bind them? You can just use it again, since it doesn't use a body part!

Battle Instinct
Requirements: Phys DEF Up level 1

Whenever a battle starts, there is a chance that the user will give the entire party a buff that makes them immune to status ailments. The buff is dispelled when ailment is blocked. The buff lasts 5 turns at all levels.

Pretty useful when going through a stratum that has enemies that inflict ailments (the 4th and 6th, for example). The question is, is it worth investing skill points in it when it does very little for boss fights?

Blood Fortune
Requirements: Phys DEF Up level 3
Body parts used: Head

Consumes 15% of every party member's HP to give each of them a buff that increases their ailment/bind infliction rates for a set amount of turns. Has a 80% speed modifier at all levels. Seemingly bugged in the same way as Health Requiem and Weakness Curse.

Probably bugged, so bleh.

Allied Bonds
Requirements: Battle Instinct level 3, Blood Fortune level 3

Passively restores TP to other party members in the user's row if their HP was drained by the user's skills that turn.


Spirit Shield
Requirements: Phys DEF Up level 5
Body parts used: Head

Consumes 10% of the user's current HP to give everyone in their line a buff that increases their elemental defense for a set amount of turns. Has a 150% speed modifier at all levels.

You're better off just having a Troubadour and using Shelter Song if you really want a defense buff, honestly. Spirit Shield's stronger than your usual defense buff, but not by much in the long run.

Requirements: HP Up level 1
Body parts used: Head

Raises damage dealt for the next turn. Allows the use of all skills, regardless of equipped weapon, for one turn.

Bad charge skill, extra bad effect.

Black Sabbath
Requirements: HP Up level 10
Body parts used: Head

Deals ranged STR-based untyped damage to all enemies, and restores the total damage done to each party member. Black Sabbath cannot deal more damage than the party has HP. If any enemies have status ailments or binds, they are transferred to every party member. The base damage is divided by (PartyAverageHPPercent * 100). Will always miss if the party is at 100% average HP. Has a 150% speed modifier at all levels. Does not check for accuracy.

...What? What is this goddamn bizarre and random skill? Why would you ever use this thing? It serves literally no purpose and requires maxing out a passive just to learn, no less.

Hero Battle
Force Boost

Increases damage dealt with spear skills by 50%. Heals the party for 25% of damage dealt with spear attacks and skills.

Damage-increasing Force Boost. The heal is fairly nice, actually, and can help sustain a Beast or give your other healers a few turns' respite.

Gae Bolg
Force Break

Consumes 20% of each party members' HP for a ranged STR-based untyped attack to all enemies. Damage scales linearly from 600% to 1800% depending on user level. Gae Bolg has no damage type at all. This is different from Almighty damage; enemies have resistance to Almighty damage (although almost all of them just have 100%). Gae Bolg simply has no damage type (the byte that determines damage type is set to 0x00) and as such completely ignores all resistances.

A big nuke Force Break that's only notable because of the fact that it deals untyped damage.