The Let's Play Archive

Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard

by Dr. Fetus

Part 10: Class Discussions - Protector

Class Discussion - Protector

The rest of the portraits.
The EO1 class portraits.

These are probably one of the nerfed classes that didn't get completely destroyed in the transition to EO2. Known as Paladins in Japan, Protectors are the tanks of the game. They bring a lot of defensive options to the party and can support the party with some other skills. They are front line fighters that can increase your party's defenses and take damage in another party member's place.

In EO1, they were just kind of there. While they were decent enough damage dealers, their defensive and tanking capabilities were really limited, and they only had a few defensive skills that were worth using. And three of them weren't relevant until the postgame. Defender was their best skill and increased defense against physical attacks by 40% at max level, although people kept it at level 5 since the defense bonus was 35% there. Which is much better than it sounds due to how EO1 handled damage reduction.

Defender is gone in EO2, but the rest of their defensive kit got buffed a bit. But there were a few problems that came up in this game. For one thing, defensive skills in EO1 (except for the Troubadour's Shelter) worked by subtracting defense from the damage taken instead of dividing. Meaning that a 60% reduction in damage made a 200 damage attack deal single digit damage. Which is why stuff like the Medic's Immunize skill was so broken. This was fixed in EO2. 60% means 60%, so a 200 damage attack would deal around 80 damage. The other problem is the type of party EO2 supports. While EO1 supported defensive parties, EO2 is the opposite. It really supports offensive oriented parties.

The other nerf they ate is that they kind of got reworked into an RNG class. Their defensive skills are a bit unreliable. They're guaranteed to work the first time they defend against something, but defending against anymore hits is up to the RNG. Not only that, but their offensive capabilities are not as good in the first game. Their usefulness in the main game is very questionable, but it can help for the earlygame since you may want some beef on the front lines so people won't die as often. For the people that want to tackle the postgame, you pretty much need this class. Although they were mandatory to use in the first game's postgame, it's not the case here. It's just that having one just really helps.


Level 1
HP - 48
TP - 22
STR - 5
TEC - 5
VIT - 8
AGI - 4
LUC - 5

Level 70
HP - 537
TP - 158
STR - 48
TEC - 30
VIT - 70
AGI - 29
LUC - 52

Level 99
HP - 771
TP - 328
STR - 65
TEC - 47
VIT - 93
AGI - 48
LUC - 70

Protectors are very tanky, but also very slow. However, speed isn't an issue for them since most of their defensive skills will always go first in battle. HP and TP are always good choices to level up on any class. Strength can be a valid choice since they do have a strong damage skill. Vitality can be another good choice if you want your Protector to be even tankier, but if you're leveling one up to 99, don't bother with that stat unless you want the skill it unlocks. Agility isn't really needed since most of their skills will always go first.


Max lvl: 10

A mastery skill. In the first game this passive only blocked physical damage, but in this game it blocks all damage, including elementals. It reduces damage by 1% at level 1 and 10% at level 10. So at max level, a Protector essentially has an extra 10% HP against most forms of damage, which can be nice for a defensive class like this.


Needs lvl. 5 HP Regen and Riskwall
Max lvl: 10

If the Protector dies, this passive gives them a chance to revive. It only works once per battle. Each level gives an additional 1% chance. At level 1 it has a 20% chance of activating. Level 5 gives a 24% chance, and level 10 gives a 29% chance. Not something I would bother taking since it involves a huge investment in a useless skill, but if you really want this skill, 1 point in it can be enough.

A little from GeneralYeti.

GeneralYeti posted:

For what it's worth, the Aegis was supposedly some unknown thing carried by Athena and Zeus in Greek myth. It's been somewhat described as an animal skin or shield, but it's never been 100% confirmed what it is. If it is a shield, it's possible it has the head of the Gorgon mounted on there. Any goons that have read up on myths can probably tell you more. It's got several other versions of itself in different cultures, but the Greek version is probably what the skill is named after.

In our current language, 'aegis' has been taken to be the protection provided by a strong force, usually benevolent.

En Garde

Needs lvl. 5 Shields
Max lvl: 10

This is a passive skill that gives the Protector a chance to halve damage from enemy attacks. The chance for this skill to activate is the same as Aegis' scaling. Pretty much one of their better passives, and you might want to max this out eventually.

HP Regen

Needs lvl. 1 HP Up
Max lvl: 5

This passive restores the Protector's HP for each turn that passes. 3 HP at level 1 and 7 HP at level 5. It's a better version of a War Magi's Reganall, which stacks, making them even more survivable, and adds to a Protector's survivability in the earlygame. It's useless past that. Unfortunately this is a perquisite to Aegis, and if you want that skill, you essentially have to waste 5 skill points.


Needs lvl. 1 HP Up
Max lvl: 5

This is a passive that increases the Protector's defense against all types of damage the lower their HP gets. It's a really good passive, and even if the Protector has full HP, this skill still gives a nice defensive boost. There are 5 different ranges of HP that it considers for this skill. 100% to 76%. 75%-51%, 50%-26%, 25%-11%, and 10% to 0%. At level 1 it reduces damage by 2%/4%/6%/8%/10%, and by level 5, it reduces damage by 8%/12%/18%/22%/28%. A max level Riskwall added to a maxed out Shields will give the Protector a minimum 18% defense to most attacks. Which is pretty useful.


Needs lvl. 10 Shields
Max lvl: 5

This is the Protector's only and best damage skill. It's a single target bash attack that has a chance to bind an enemy's arms.

1 - 10 TP - 300% damage, 20% chance of arm bind
2 - 12 TP - 310% damage, 21% chance
3 - 14 TP - 330% damage, 23% chance
4 - 16 TP - 360% damage, 26% chance
5 - 18 TP - 400% damage, 30% chance

Even if you don't want to max out this skill, one point in it still gives you a lot. The arm bind chance is terrible no matter how many points you put into it, but that's not the main reason to take the skill. It gives the Protector something meaningful to do if they don't need to be defending the team for the turn. It's not as strong as it was in the first game thanks to Lagaard's Protectors having lower strength.

F. Guard/B. Guard (Front Guard/Back Guard)

Needs lvl. 1 Shields
Max lvl: 10

Now we get into the active defense skills. These skills reduce physical damage to the front or back row depending on which skill was used. It has no effect on magical attacks. The way all of the Protector's guard skills work, is that the Protector uses it at the start of a turn, and it stays active until the turn ends, or the Protector dies. Now these skills will always activate for the first time the proper conditions are met, but each proc reduces the chance of the skill activating again. For example, if this skill were to activate, but had a 50% chance reduction, it would have a 50% chance of working again in the same turn. If it didn't activate from an attack, it still has a 50% chance of working on the next attack, after which the chance would drop to 0% and would no longer activate. Anyways, the scaling for these two skills are as follows.

1 - 2 TP - Damage reduced by 15%, chance to activate again reduced by 100%
2 - 3 TP - 16% reduction, -91% chance
3 - 4 TP - 18% reduction, -82% chance
4 - 5 TP - 21% reduction, -73% chance
5 - 6 TP - 25% reduction, -64% chance
6 - 7 TP - 30% reduction, -55% chance
7 - 8 TP - 36% reduction, -46% chance
8 - 9 TP - 43% reduction, -37% chance
9 - 10 TP - 51% reduction, -28% chance
10 - 11 TP - 60% reduction, -10% chance

Front Guard is a really good skill. Most attacks will head the front row's way and reducing damage by 60% is really good and the skill is really reliable at higher levels. Back Guard on the other hand you can skip, since enemies don't target the back row that often. Not to mention that party members already take less damage when they're in the back row, so that skill is kind of redundant. In the first game these two skills were terrible. They only activated once, and that was it. They got a huge buff in this game.

Defender A. Guard (All Guard)

Needs lvl. 5 F. Guard and B. Guard
Max lvl: 5

Defender is gone and got replaced with this skill. This skill is Front Guard and Back Guard combined. It reduces physical damage dealt to the whole party for a turn.

1 - 6 TP - Damage reduced by 13%, chance to activate again reduced by 100%
2 - 8 TP - 16% reduction, -86% chance
3 - 10 TP - 23% reduction, -68% chance
4 - 12 TP - 34% reduction, -50% chance
5 - 14 TP - 45% reduction, -32% chance

It is not that good. At max level it can only proc 4 times, and can't protect a 5 man party from a physical AOE, which is when you would want to use this skill. The damage reduction isn't that good either. All Guard is a pretty bad skill, just stick with Front Guard.

1 Guard

Needs lvl. 7 Shields
Max lvl: 5

With this skill, a Protector can select one party member to take reduced damage from physical skills for a turn.

1 - 2 TP - Damage reduced by 35%, chance to activate again reduced by 50%
2 - 4 TP - 40% reduction, -40% chance
3 - 6 TP - 45% reduction, -30% chance
4 - 8 TP - 55% reduction, -20% chance
5 - 10 TP - 65% reduction, -10% chance

Keep in mind you need 12 skill points to max this out, as opposed to Front Guard's 11. And you can only choose one target to have increased defense for the turn when the damage reduction is only slightly better than Front Guard's. Ignore this skill.


Needs lvl. 3 Shields
Max lvl: 10

These skills provide some defense to the listed elemental for one turn. Lower levels provide resistance to the elemental, while higher levels nullify and absorb it. This skill got simultaneously nerfed and buffed. In the first game it always worked at every level, and the skill nullified the element at level 5. Higher levels just absorbed the element and healed the party. But some elemental attacks had status effects attached to them such as instant death. The nullification canceled out the status effect as well as the attack, but a bug made it so that absorbing the skill did not nullify the status effect. Meaning that a party member could get healed up from a powerful attack, only to get instantly killed by it. The skills had to be left at level 5 in the first game, but that is not the case in this game. It's safe to max out the skill, and actually recommended to do so.

1 - 2 TP - Damage reduced by 50%, chance to activate again reduced by 100%
2 - 3 TP - 45% reduction, -90% chance
3 - 4 TP - 39% reduction, -80% chance
4 - 5 TP - 32% reduction, -70% chance
5 - 6 TP - 24% reduction, -60% chance
6 - 7 TP - 15% reduction, -40% chance
7 - 8 TP - 5% reduction, -30% chance
8 - 9 TP - Damage is nullified, -20% chance
9 - 10 TP - Absorbs 25% of the damage taken, -10% chance
10 - 11 TP - Absorbs 50% of the damage taken. Will always work.

These skills aren't that great in the main game, because not that many enemies actually use elemental attacks that you want to defend against. But they're absolutely essential in the postgame. Without these skills, it's nearly impossible to take down some postgame bosses that have incredibly powerful elemental AOEs. Now a level 8 Anti skill can potentially protect the whole party against an AOE, but it's better to max it out so it's completely reliable.


Needs lvl. 10 Shields, TEC Up
Max lvl: 5

This one skill provides some defense against elemental attacks instead of just one. It's not that great, just look for yourself.

1 - 6 TP - Damage reduced by 50%, chance to activate again reduced by 100%
2 - 8 TP - 45% reduction, -82% chance
3 - 10 TP - 39% reduction, -64% chance
4 - 12 TP - 32% reduction, -46% chance
5 - 14 TP - Absorbs 10% of the damage taken, -28% chance

This skill is a massive waste of skill points. It involves dumping 10 skill points into a not that great stat for the Protector, and it can only activate up to 4 times and can't save your whole team from an elemental AOE. It takes 25 skill points to max this out, where it takes 33 skill points to max out the other three Anti skills. While you are saving 8 skill points with this, it's for a really unreliable skill, where you could have 3 completely reliable skills to deal with the postgame bosses instead. Ignore this, it's a trap skill.


Needs lvl. 1 VIT Up
Max lvl: 5

This is a 5 turn buff that increases the Protector's physical defense. At level 1 it costs 3 TP and reduces damage by 10%. At level 5 it costs 7 TP and reduces damage by 36%. Could be handy since it's one of the few actual buff skills they have. But you might want to ignore this skill for the next one.


Max lvl: 10

Another 5 turn buff. What it does is increase the Protector's defense and attempts to get single target attacks to target the Protector instead of the other party members. In the first game, it was bugged/designed terribly. After a certain point it increased the provoke chance by 100%, but what that meant is that the chance for the Protector to be targeted by an attack was twice as likely. Not the case in this game. A 100% provoke chance means that the Protector will always be targeted by single target attacks. At level 1 it costs 3 TP and gives the Protector a 20% chance to be targeted and provides no damage reduction. At level 5 it costs 7 TP and has a 70% provoke chance and reduces damage by 12%. The provoke chance reaches 100% at level 7 and costs 9 TP there, while reducing damage taken by 18%. All levels 8 to 10 do is reduce the TP cost, increase the speed modifier, and decreases the damage taken. So you can leave this skill at level 7 if you wanted. Level 10 Provoke costs 6 TP and reduces damage by 27%.

Now this skill sounds good, right? No reason to skip it? Well, it doesn't work on multi-target attacks. In the earlygame this skill is good, especially combined with the next one. But later on enemies start using AOEs more and more, and Front Guard becomes the better skill to use lategame. Take it if you want, just know that it falls off eventually. However, it does have a very special use in the postgame, so don't rest and get rid of this skill if you're there already, and if you don't have this skill, take it just in case.


Needs lvl. 3 Provoke
Max lvl: 5

This skill completely negates any physical damage the Protector takes for the turn. It starts off costing 3 TP and the chance reduction is 40%. At level 5 it costs 7 TP and only has a 5% chance reduction, meaning that it can work up to 20 times. That's a bit overkill, a Protector will not get hit that often in a battle. You can just leave one point in this skill for the most part.


Needs lvl. 1 TEC Up
Max lvl: 5

This is a single target skill that can restore status effects. Each level lets it restore more kinds of status effects.

1 - 1 TP - Removes Blind. 50% Speed.
2 - 2 TP - Removes Blind/Poison/Sleep
3 - 3 TP - Removes Blind/Poison/Sleep/Terror/Paralysis
4 - 4 TP - Removes Blind/Poison/Sleep/Terror/Paralysis/Curse/Confusion
5 - 1 TP - Same as level 4. 100% Speed.

The 5th level just increases the speed modifier and reduces the TP cost. It can be a nice skill to take if your party has no other way to restore status effects, but if your party has a Medic or a Gunner in it, I wouldn't suggest leveling up this skill. This skill cannot cure Petrification.


Max lvl: 5

This skill gives a chance to escape from battle and warp to the previous floor's staircase. At level 1 it costs 5 TP, and gives a 60% chance to escape, while at level 5 it costs 1 TP and will always work. It will always go first, and if you get a preemptive strike, the chance is 100% no matter what the level. While having a whole party take Escape Up can make this skill seem redundant, it does have a special function. This can rescue you from being cornered by an FOE, only if you came from another floor before getting cornered by one. If you didn't, this skill won't work. Whether you take it is up to you.

Gathering Skill: Mine

Force Skill: Painless

This skill makes your party completely invincible for one turn. Like all of their other defensive skills, it always goes first. The game says it protects against damage, but that's not all it does. It completely protects your party against status effects and binds as well (This includes instant death). This is one of the best Force Skills in the game, and a few postgame bosses have some strategies that revolve around using this skill.

Protectors are a bit of a greedy class if you want to take their Anti skills for the postgame, but they're a good defensive and support class. They're not a bad class to put in a party for the main game, but the postgame is where they really shine. Not having one in there is practically suicide unless you like to heavily abuse force skills.