The Let's Play Archive

Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard

by Dr. Fetus

Part 9: Class Discussions - Survivalist

Class Discussion - Survivalist

The rest of the portraits.
The EO1 class portraits.

Oh how the mighty have fallen. Known as Ranger in Japan, Survivalists are back line supporters with great field support and terrible offense. They can make exploring the Labyrinth easier for your party with their ability to gather at all 3 kinds of gathering points and ability to show you all the FOEs on the floor, and nullifying damage tiles. But their battle capabilities are far less useful.

In EO1 they were the best class in the game, and my favorite class. Their field skills were great, their in battle support was good, and their damage output was among the highest in the game, which was comparable to a Ronin or an axe wielding Landsknecht. Atlus thought Survivalists were too good and hit them with a sledgehammer. As a result, their field skills are still great, in battle support is okay, but their damage output took a huge hit, and they're not a good damage class anymore. If you're looking for a back row attacker, a Gunner would be a far better choice. I hope the Survivalist gets buffed in the EO2 remake, because otherwise that story mode party has no damage.


Level 1
HP - 40
TP - 24
STR - 5
TEC - 5
VIT - 4
AGI - 8
LUC - 5

Level 70
HP - 483
TP - 149
STR - 42
TEC - 32
VIT - 45
AGI - 69
LUC - 46

Level 99
HP - 686
TP - 303
STR - 59
TEC - 49
VIT - 63
AGI - 88
LUC - 64

Survivalists are pretty fragile, so putting one in the front row is a terrible idea, but they're the fastest class in the game. It's pretty pointless to level up their agility stat unless it's a prerequisite for a skill you want. If you're insane enough to level up a Survivalist to 99, they'll reach the stat cap of 99 easily in that area. Vitality may also be a good choice if you find your Survivalist being taken out often, even in the back row. HP and TP are always a good choice to level up. If you insist on using one as a damage dealer, strength should be maxed out, although they're not as strong as they were in the first game. For reference, a level 70 Survivalist had 68 strength in the first game. Not even maxing out the strength stat in this game will let you come close to that. Ouch.


Max lvl: 10

A mastery skill. Every class has at least one of these, and if weapons are involved, they all scale the same way. A 2% damage boost at level 1 and a 11% boost at 10. This skill was pretty much a big reason why the Survivalist got nerfed. In the first game, maxing out Bows gave the Survivalist a 50% boost in damage. Already, that's a huge portion of their damage gone.


Needs lvl. 3 AGI Up
Max lvl: 5

This is a passive that increases the chance of getting a preemptive attack. The scaling is as follows.

1 - 10%
2 - 13%
3 - 17%
4 - 22%
5 - 28%

This is added onto to the result of the ambush formula. But since the preemptive strike chance can never be above 25%, taking a 5th level of this skill can be a waste.


Needs lvl. 5 AGI Up
Max lvl: 5

This is a passive skill that reduces the chances of the party being blindsided.

1 - 5% reduction
2 - 7%
3 - 11%
4 - 17%
5 - 25%

This is subtracted directly from the result of the blindside formula. Unless your party is seriously underleveled, taking more than 1 or 2 levels of this skill can be a waste since the blindside chance can never be below 1%. Also this skill cannot prevent guaranteed blindsides.

1st Hit

Needs lvl. 5 Ambush and lvl. 3 Sagacity
Max lvl: 5

This passive gives the Survivalist a 10% chance to act first in a turn at level 1, and a 37% chance at level 5. Honestly, this skill is pretty useless. Survivalists are very fast thanks to their high agility, and I can't think of many situations where you desperately need the Survivalist to go first. Just ignore it.


Needs lvl. 1 Bows
Max lvl: 10

A basic damage skill. It deals a good amount of damage, but you may want to ignore this for a later skill.

1 - 3 TP - 145% damage
2 - 4 TP - 150%
3 - 5 TP - 155%
4 - 6 TP - 160%
5 - 7 TP - 165%
6 - 8 TP - 175%
7 - 9 TP - 185%
8 - 10 TP - 200%
9 - 11 TP - 215%
10 - 12 TP - 235%


Needs lvl. 3 Bows and TEC Up
Max lvl: 5

These skills are single target, and have a chance of sleeping/paralyzing/poisoning the enemy. They start off costing 5 TP at level 1, and the cost increases by 2 per level. A level 1 skill deals 115% damage and has a 25% to inflict the status, while a level 5 skill deals 175% damage and has a 45% chance to inflict the status. The poison damage for the poison skill deals 15 damage at level 1 and 115 damage at level 5. Yeah these are really terrible skills. If you want to make use of status effects, use a Dark Hunter or a Hexer instead. And the Hexer's version of poison deals far more damage and hits all the enemies. Ignore these skills.

Multihit 2-Bolt

Needs lvl. 5 Bows
Max lvl: 10

One of the Survivalist's main damage skills. Yes, this was Multihit from the first game and it got a huge nerf in this game. In the first game it shot 2 arrows at the enemy for the first 9 levels, but it shot 3 at level 10, and was one of their main damage skills along with Apollon. It shoots just 2 arrows for all levels here. The way this skill works is that the Survivalist shoots 2 arrows at all the enemies. The targets are decided randomly when it's the Survivalist's turn. Keep in mind if both of the arrows are shot at one enemy, and the first arrow kills it, the second arrow will simply disappear.

1 - 3 TP - 80% damage for each arrow
2 - 4 TP - 82%
3 - 5 TP - 84%
4 - 6 TP - 86%
5 - 7 TP - 90%
6 - 8 TP - 95%
7 - 9 TP - 100%
8 - 10 TP - 110%
9 - 11 TP - 120%
10 - 12 TP - 125%

The damage at max level was the same in the first game, only now it's a 250% damage skill instead of a 375% damage skill. As an insult to injury, other classes have versions of the old Multihit, and the Gunner has an even better one while the Surivialist is stuck with this.


Needs lvl. 5 Bows
Max lvl: 10

The Survivalist's main damage skill. The Survivalist fires a volley of arrows into the air, and it comes down three turns later, hitting for a massive amount of damage to a single target. Essentially this is a charge up move of sorts. Except the Survivalist can act in battle, and do something like spamming 2-Bolt until the arrows came down, and then launch Apollon again. In the first game it cost 12 TP at max level and did 500% damage. Not only that, but it had a pretty high chance to stun everything it hit.

1 - 12 TP - 210%
2 - 13 TP - 225%
3 - 14 TP - 240%
4 - 15 TP - 255%
5 - 16 TP - 270%
6 - 17 TP - 290%
7 - 18 TP - 320%
8 - 19 TP - 360%
9 - 20 TP - 415%
10 - 21 TP - 480%

The TP cost got a huge increase, the damage also got a really minor nerf, and as a kicker, the stun is gone. But that wasn't the main reason to use Apollon.. Be aware that if the Survivalist is incapacitated on the turn Apollon is supposed to land, it won't come down and deal damage.

GeneralYeti has something to teach us on the name.

GeneralYeti posted:

Apollon - The skill name is a reference to Apollo, Greek god of music and poetry. He had a female twin sister, Artemis, goddess of the hunt. Strangely enough, Artemis is usually the one drawn or depicted with a bow (befitting her status as goddess of the hunt) while Apollo usually has a lyre to signify his job as god of music. However, most people associate him with archery anyway (interestingly enough, one of his minor aspects as Aphetor is actually god of archery).

1st Turn

Needs lvl. 5 Slowstep
Max lvl: 10

The Survivalist picks a party member to move first on the turn. A very situational skill, and a bugged one at that. The way this skill was supposed to work is that this skill only had a chance of working at lower levels, and at level 8 it would work all the time, where levels 9 and 10 lowered the TP cost. Instead it works at all levels, making it so that investing more than one skill point into this is a waste. Yes this is the exact same bug that was in EO1. Way to go Atlus. Atlus threw out the chance of working mechanic in 3 and 4 and just made these sort of skills lower the TP cost. Unfortunately one of the turn order skills in 3 was still bugged, and not in a good way. It took until EO4 to finally make a turn manipulation skill that wasn't bugged.

This skill is pretty situational, but it can be useful. You can use it to ensure that a Medic can heal up your team fast, or do something like using it to help set up Dominate and turn the enemy into a sitting duck on the turn it's used.


Needs lvl. 3 Velocity
Max lvl: 10

The opposite of 1st Turn. Makes a party member move last in the turn. Even more situational, and also bugged in the same way as 1st Turn. Unfortunately, you have to invest 5 levels in this to use 1st Turn.


Needs lvl. 3 AGI Up
Max lvl: 10

This provokes the enemy into attacking the Survivalist while increasing their own evasion for 5 turns. Essentially, it's a dodge tank skill, and it's not that great. Survivalists really can't tank hits, and the dodge chance isn't that great. At level 1 it costs 5 TP, increases evasion by 1%, and has a 20% to attract enemy attacks. At level 5 it costs 9 TP, increases evasion by 9%, and has a 50% chance to attract enemy attacks. At level 10 it costs 14 TP, increases evasion by 21%, and has a 100% chance to attract enemy attacks. The provoke chance increases to 100% at level 7, meaning that more levels in this just increase the TP cost and evasion, so that's something to consider.

This skill was bugged in the Japanese version. That version of the game had bugs that were related to evasion buffs. Instead of increasing your evasion, they decreased your accuracy, so a level 10 Baitstep decreased your accuracy to 79% there. Thankfully those bugs were fixed in the other versions of the game.


Needs lvl. 1 AGI Up
Max lvl: 5

A 5 turn self buff that increases the Survivalist's agility by 130% at level 1, and 160% at level 5.


Max lvl: 5

Starting from the 2nd Stratum, there are tiles that can damage your party as they walk over them. This skill can mitigate some of that, or nullify the damage altogether depending on how many levels were put into it. The TP cost starts at 5 and increases by 1 for each level. The damage reduction starts at 80% and decreases by 20% per level, until completely nullifying the effects of damage tiles at level 5. The amount of steps this lasts for starts at 25 steps, and increases by 25 per level. Definitely a handy skill to have, and will save your healer some TP when dealing with damage tiles. The Medic also gets the same exact skill.


Max lvl: 10

Hoo boy, this skill. This skill reduces the encounter rate. If you have a farming Survivalist, this is the skill you want to max out first. Here's the scaling for it.

1 - 1 TP - Encounter rate reduced to 70%, Lasts for 30 steps
2 - 2 TP - 66%, 50 steps
3 - 3 TP - 62%, 70 steps
4 - 4 TP - 57%, 90 steps
5 - 5 TP - 52%, 110 steps
6 - 6 TP - 46%, 130 steps
7 - 7 TP - 40%, 150 steps
8 - 8 TP - 33%, 170 steps
9 - 9 TP - 26%, 190 steps
10 - 10 TP - 20%, 250 steps

Don't be fooled by the percentages, this skill is far better than it sounds. Those percentages apply to the Danger Values of a tile. Meaning at level 10, a tile with a Danger value of 4 is reduced to 0.8, and rounding makes that 0. See where this is going? At level 10, this skill is essentially a turn off random encounters button. Only tiles with Danger Values of 5 can increase your Danger Level. What ends up happening is that this skill lets you explore an entire floor without getting into a single battle unless you linger too long in the wrong places. That's just how strong it is.

The utility of this skill is questionable in your main party, since no battles = no exp. But for a farming team, this is the skill you want to rush towards. It let's them reach gathering points without too much hassle. This skill was so good that it got a massive nerf in 3. The skill is guaranteed to stop random encounters, but it only lasts for 40 steps at max level and costs 14 TP.


Max lvl: 10

This skill lets you see all the FOEs on the map for a certain number of steps. Could be useful if you're wary about the floor you're exploring, but as you explore more of the floor, this skill gets less useful. And if you've played the game before or look up the maps, this skill is completely useless. I would ignore this skill if I were you. And it doesn't even reveal invisible FOEs, so it can't help with that. The TP and step scaling is exactly the same as Stalker's scaling.

Gathering Skills: Chop, Take, and Mine

Max lvl: 5

Survivalists have access to all three gathering skills, which makes them really good for farming teams.

Force Skill: Airwalk

Increases the party's speed by 200% and increases their evasion to 50% for 5 turns. This effect can be removed by speed debuffs. Like all evasion buffs, this was bugged in the Japanese version, making this Force Skill detrimental.

This class is pretty much dead weight in the combat department throughout the game. There is a way to make them relevant throughout the main game, and that's by grinding enough money to buy a postgame bow that you can unlock pretty early on. I won't be doing that since that will snap most of the main game in two. And because it's a postgame bow, once postgame comes around the Survivalist's combat ability starts sucking again. Still, they're great for exploring the dungeon, just not for actual fighting. Gunners make Survivalists redundant in the combat department so if you want a back row fighter, take that class instead. The Survivalist nerfs unfortunately carried over to Untold, where they're much better healers than attackers.