The Let's Play Archive

Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight

by Ragnar Homsar, Dr. Fetus

Part 159: Status Ailments and Binds

Game Mechanics: Status Ailments and Binds, or "Disables and You"

If you've ever played a JRPG (or any RPG, really), you're most likely familiar with the concept of status ailments. If you've ever played an Atlus RPG before, you're most likely familiar with being screwed over by status ailments at the worst possible times--Etrian Odyssey is no different. Understanding what each disable available in EO does, how to play around them, and when it's best to utilize a specific ailment (if you're the one trying to inflict them) is practically a necessity.

In EO1, disables always lasted 5 turns, which made them pretty good if you could inflict them...but trying to inflict them was an exercise in "how salty can a human being be." EO1's ailment formula was literally just (enemy resistance to ailments or binds) * (ailment skill's infliction chance). Bosses tended to reduce status ailment chances down to 5% of their normal base infliction chance, while binds were only reduced to 25% or so. EO2 changed that up, and introduced the idea of LUC influencing ailment infliction chances. The gist of LUC influencing infliction chances is basically: If the inflicter has more LUC than the target, the infliction chance goes up, equal LUC means no change to the infliction chance, and the inflicter having lower LUC than the target reduces the chance. Ailments and binds still weren't that fantastic in EO2 due to the fact that inflicting them on bosses and FOEs was still annoying at best and infuriating at worst (Dominate and Riot Gun aside).

EO3 overhauled how disable infliction works. Outside of changing how long disables tend to last, and massively overhauling the infliction formula, bosses and FOEs generally have lower resistance to disables overall, but to compensate, everything (including the player's party) now has invisible "accumulative resistance." Whenever something is inflicted with a disable, the chance of them being inflicted with that same disable again goes down. In theory, this is a pretty good compromise for making disables worthwhile for the player, but the major issue with EO3's implementation was that accumulative resistance was permanent for the duration of a battle. Given how long FOEs and major boss fights tend to take in EO3, accumulative resistance basically rendered disables pretty bad for the player. The other major issue with EO3's implementation was that the changes to how long disables last meant that not only do disables last less time on the whole, but they can actually wear off after only 1 turn.

EO4 fixed both of those major issues with Releasal Spell on the Arcanist class (which completely purged all of the target's accumulative resistance), and the fact that disables now lasted at least 2 turns. EOU also changed the ailment system, with the major changes being that accumulative resistance for a given disable is now automatically purged after a set amount of turns (it's either 8 or 10 for EOU, I've seen sources saying both numbers)...and that Atlus fucked up the infliction formula and made TEC the major stat for inflicting ailments. EO2U's major change to how disables are inflicted is that, much like EO2, LUC is the only stat factored in--TEC is now completely irrelevant for infliction.

I wish I could give you the fancy formulae that EO2U uses to determine ailment infliction chances, but unfortunately, no-one's figured out what they are yet! Same goes for base infliction chances and specific numbers for enemy resistances to ailments--although for the latter, the Monstrous Codex entry for an enemy does at least tell you if an enemy is weak to an ailment, resists it more than usual, or is outright immune.

One more thing: note that for status ailments, an enemy or party member can only have one status ailment at a time. This works off a hierarchy system, which is illustrated in how ailments are ordered here. An ailment that's higher on the hierarchy (lower in this post) than the ailment already inflicted will overwrite it, but an ailment that's lower on the hierarchy won't. Binds do not follow this rule, and stack independently of status ailments and each other.

Status ailments

Blind: Blinded targets have a (I believe) 66% chance to miss their attacks (on top of the normal accuracy check), and have their evasion completely disabled.

Not a lot of enemies actually inflict blind, but it's a pretty annoying ailment anyways. The miss chance severely hampers damage dealers, and the "no evasion" bit means that laughably inaccurate spells turn into total party wipes. There are bosses and FOEs that take advantage of this! For us, blind is an ailment that very few enemies either resist or are weak to, so it's a decent go-to disable in case you want setup for Ailing Slash. It also severely screws with multi-hit attacks that are designed to either overkill the party or put them very close to dying.

Player skills that can blind:

Poison: Poisoned targets take damage at the end of every turn. The damage depends on the skill used to inflict the poison.

Poison tends to be used by enemies as a way to finish off any party members left standing from a hard-hitting attack, and is extremely annoying in that respect. For us, poison is useful either as random encounter clearers (Venom Curse), or for when we're up against the few bosses that nullify several status ailments except poison and maybe one or two more. The Butterfly Tsukudani (Poison Damage 2x) food is very useful for cheesing early FOEs and Chimaera.

Player skills that can poison:

Paralysis: Paralyzed targets have around a 50% chance to do nothing for a turn, which is determined at the start of the turn. Paralysis also disables an enemy's evasion on turns where they cannot act because of it.

Paralysis, for us, isn't that fantastic of an ailment. Enemies tend to either resist it or are weak to it less than blind, and the chance to stop an enemy's action isn't that reliable. Plus, we don't have that many ways to take advantage of the evasion disable. Paralysis in the hands of enemies, however, is potentially incredibly deadly. Having a damage dealer lose a turn, especially if they've done some kind of setup, is incredibly annoying. Having your Protector, Medic, War Magus, or Beast lose a turn, on the other hand, can potentially lead to a game over. Mercifully, basically no bosses outside of Basilisk tend to paralyze.

Player skills that can paralyze:

Panic: Panic completely disables a target's evasion, and their ability to choose their actions--panicked targets are forced to randomly attack something, whether it be an enemy, themselves, or someone in their party.

Panic is very dangerous in the hands of both the enemy and the player. If a support class like a Medic or Beast gets panicked in a big fight, you might as well reset because it's incredibly hard to recover from that. Likewise, inflicting panic on an enemy means they're still somewhat dangerous, especially if their normal attacks hit hard, but taking their skills out of the equation makes pretty much any fight much easier.

Player skills that can inflict panic:

Sleep: Asleep targets can't act at all. When an asleep target is damaged, the ailment is immediately dispelled. If the damage source is physical (Cut, Stab, Bash), the damage is increased by 50%.

Sleep is an ailment that's infinitely worse for the party to be tagged with than it is for an enemy to be tagged with. A physical attack that's boosted by the sleep bonus damage, in the situations we'll see them most often in, will most likely kill a party member. By virtue of that alone, putting an enemy to sleep means a lot less than it is for a party member to be put to sleep.

Player skills that can sleep:

Curse: Cursed targets, whenever they deal damage, are damaged for half of the damage they dealt. Killing a target does not trigger Curse damage.

Curse is an absurdly useless ailment for the player. Enemies deal far less damage than they, personally, have HP, and half of even a massive attack generally isn't that big a chunk of an enemy's HP. Curse for enemies, on the other hand, is really fucking irritating. Player characters tend to deal damage closer to their own HP, so half of that tends to be quite painful, and big attacks (or attacks with prior setup like charge skills) will probably kill the user. NOT FUN.

I will note, though, that otherwise-lethal damage will trigger Curse if the target has an endure effect, like the Beast's Deadly Resolve or True Endurance, and Fafnir's Power Cell.

Player skills that can curse:

Fear: Afraid targets have around a 50% chance to not act for a turn. If Fear activates on a player character and disables a turn, it also removes some of the afflicted character's TP. Some Hexer skills (Shielding Word, Conflict Word, and Suicide Word) require that the target be afflicted with Fear.

Fear is, for the enemy, essentially paralysis without the evasion cancellation. The amount of TP removed when a party member has Fear proc on them is quite large, and is very annoying in the late and postgame. Fear, for the player, is a somewhat special ailment. Firstly, as noted above, the Hexer has a mini-skill tree that originates from Evil Eye, a skill that inflicts Fear, and allows them to control enemies, to a degree. Secondly, if an enemy doesn't outright nullify Fear, they tend to be weaker to it than most other status ailments. The key phrase, however, is "if they don't nullify it." In EO2 and EOU, pretty much every enemy (including FOEs and bosses) didn't nullify Fear, and it was pretty much the most reliable status ailment. This has been changed for EO2U, and several FOEs and bosses either gained resistance to Fear or just nullify it altogether.

Player skills that can cause fear:

Petrification: Petrified enemies are immediately taken out of the fight, and are essentially dead. Petrified party members cannot act at all, and count as dead for the purposes of getting a game over (game overs occur if the entire party is dead, petrified, or some combination of the two). Petrification disables evasion, but also reduces damage taken. Petrification is one of two status ailments that persists after battle. Petrified party members still gain EXP after the end of a battle.

Petrification is basically instant death for enemies. For the party, it's also basically death, albeit death that can be treated with Therica Bs and the Medic's Refresh. Not only is there only one player skill that inflicts petrification, and it comes with an insanely situational condition for inflicting the petrification, but most bosses completely nullify it, and quite a lot of FOEs resist it. Petrification really isn't something you're going to be using much. It's also the only "normal" status ailment that Random Disease doesn't try to inflict.

Player skills that can petrify:

Death: Dead enemies are taken out of battle. Dead party members can't act at all, and can only be brought back with Nectars, the Medic's Revive or Medical Miracle, or the War Magus's War Revive. Death is the other status ailment that persists after battle. Dead party members don't gain EXP after the end of a battle.

If you need me to explain death itself further, I dunno what to tell you. Instant death, on the other hand, is something I can explain. Certain skills, for both enemies and player characters, inflict instant death. What this means is that, with no exceptions, the target is instantly killed. Doesn't matter how much HP they have, or what buffs or endure effects they have. There is no way to avoid instant death outside of equipment that provides resistance against it. Every boss resists instant death, and pretty much every FOE heavily resists it.

Player skills that can inflict instant death:

Stun: Stunned targets can't act for one turn.

Stun is a special status ailment. It only lasts for one turn, and as such, stacks fully with other status ailments. It also does not have any effect if the target has already acted that turn, or has an action that's only performed once everyone has done their action for the turn (certain bosses have actions like this).

Player skills that can stun:


Note that if a target's body part is bound on the turn they'd use a skill that uses that body part, the target does nothing for that turn. Binds also just gray out disabled skills for the party, but enemies will still try to use skills that require bound body parts, basically wasting their turns.

Head bind: Disables skills that use the head. Reduces the target's TEC and accuracy.

Most support and caster skills, like most of the Medic's and Alchemist's skillsets, all of the Hexer's skillset, and pretty much every War Lore skill for example, use the head, which pretty obviously makes head binds the worst for a support or caster to get hit by. Head binds can also fuck over damage dealers that don't have the greatest accuracy, like Fafnir (outside of Transform) or Landsknechts. FOEs and bosses that have elemental attacks or buffs tend to use the head for those skills. TEC also determines resistance to elemental attacks; as such, head binds can significantly boost the amount of damage an Alchemist, Gunner, or Fafnir can deal to an enemy.

Player skills that can inflict head bind:

Arm bind: Disables skills that use the arms. Reduces the target's STR.

Arm binds completely shut down basically every damage dealer class outside of Alchemists and Transformed Fafnir. It's not as potentially disastrous as head binds on supports are, but you still need to be careful around enemies that can bind arms. FOEs and bosses that have physical attacks use the arms for said skills most of the time.

Player skills that can inflict arm bind:

Leg bind: Disables skills that use the legs. Disable's the target's evasion completely and prevents them from escaping. Also lowers action speed.

Leg binds aren't that dangerous outside of bosses with low-accuracy, high-power attacks. Not a lot of player skills use the legs, and while some bosses use the legs for certain attacks (one boss's main gimmick relies on their legs, in fact), it's generally not worth going for leg binds a lot of the time.

Player skills that can inflict leg bind: