The Let's Play Archive

Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard

by Dr. Fetus

Part 14: Class Discussions - Troubadour

Class Discussion - Troubadour

The rest of the portraits.
The EO1 class portraits.

Known as Bards in the Japanese games, Troubadours are all about buffing your party. Their buffs are special in that they're permanent. Once the buff is on your party, your party members will keep that buff until they die, the buff gets erased, or the battle ends.

In EO1 they were one of the best support classes in the game. They were pretty much required for one postgame boss, and were one of the few ways to boost your party's attack. They had the Relaxing skill, which recovered 5% of the party's TP per turn at max level. (10% when Boosted) That skill provided a lot of sustain for dungeon treks, and made it so that it was hard to run out of TP in big fights.

Of course, they got nerfed pretty hard in EO2. Not as badly as the Landsknecht or Survivalist, at least they're still usable. They went from being one of the best classes in the game, to an okay pick. They're not a terrible choice, but there's probably better options you can go with. For one thing they lost Relaxing, so conserving TP became a lot harder. Atlus also got rid of the Healing song as a kicker, which recovered 13% of the party's HP per turn, except this skill was overlooked since buff slots were limited. They also have to compete with the War Magus as the party's buffer. But the biggest reason they aren't as good is the loss of the Boost option. It was replaced by Force. In EO1 using Boost essentially let you power up a skill, adding 5 levels onto the chosen skill, so you could technically use level 15 skills in that game. It wasn't too great with damage skills since it was only a small damage boost. But for buffs, it had a much more noticeable effect. Since the Troubadour's buffs lasted for the entire battle, well you get the picture. They're not a terrible class in EO2, but they're not one of the best classes to use either. If you want attack buffs, a War Magus would probably be a better choice for that.

The indefinitely lasting buff aspect was nice, but it kind of turned the Troubadour into a one trick pony with not much else to do after they cast their buffs. Atlus didn't like that idea, because the equivalent classes in EO3 and EO4 (the Prince and Dancer classes, respectively) don't have that benefit. Their buffs only last a set number of turns, and only affect one row. Troubadours in the remakes got hit with the turn nerf, but their songs are still AOE.


Level 1
HP - 41
TP - 28
STR - 4
TEC - 6
VIT - 4
AGI - 5
LUC - 8

Level 70
HP - 414
TP - 166
STR - 40
TEC - 55
VIT - 45
AGI - 59
LUC - 35

Level 99
HP - 597
TP - 353
STR - 57
TEC - 72
VIT - 63
AGI - 78
LUC - 53

Stat-wise, they're pretty average all around aside from AGI and TEC. AGI is kind of a bad investment since they're already pretty fast and their songs have high speed modifiers once maxed out. They can also wield bows, so that already gives them a huge speed boost. Aside from HP and TP, it's probably best to increase their defenses so they can recast their buffs when needed. Or if you want them to be attacking on turns they aren't buffing, you can invest in STR, although don't expect that to get good results. They can be used on the front lines if you need them to since they have okay VIT and can wear medium armor. They're probably better off in the back row though.


Max lvl: 10

The Troubadour's mastery skill. Unlike most other mastery skills, it does absolutely nothing other than unlocking new skills. It's nothing but a point sink. The remakes at least had the courtesy to make this skill increase the speed modifier of all their songs.


Needs lvl. 1 Songs
Max lvl: 10

This skill boosts your party's attack. This affects both physical and elemental attacks.

1 - 8 TP - 5% Damage boost
2 - 9 TP - 8%
3 - 10 TP - 11%
4 - 11 TP - 14%
5 - 12 TP - 17%
6 - 13 TP - 20%
7 - 14 TP - 23%
8 - 15 TP - 36%
9 - 16 TP - 29%
10 - 17 TP - 32%

It has to compete with Warmight which is a 60% damage boost, but Bravery is AOE and doesn't have to be recast as often since it lasts indefinitely. Definitely a skill you should take if you have a Troubadour in the party.


Needs lvl. 1 Songs
Max lvl: 10

This song increases your party's defenses.

1 - 8 TP - 2% Damage reduction
2 - 9 TP - 4%
3 - 10 TP - 6%
4 - 11 TP - 8%
5 - 12 TP - 10%
6 - 13 TP - 12%
7 - 14 TP - 14%
8 - 15 TP - 16%
9 - 16 TP - 18%
10 - 17 TP - 20%

Not really a skill I like. EO2 rewards offensive oriented parties a lot more than parties that play defensively. Buff slots are important and killing everything before they can kill you is the most effective strategy in this game. Besides, if you want defense, Stamina is probably the better skill to take.


Needs lvl. 1 Songs
Max lvl: 10

This song increases your party's speed.

1 - 8 TP - 5% AGI increase
2 - 9 TP - 6%
3 - 10 TP - 8%
4 - 11 TP - 11%
5 - 12 TP - 15%
6 - 13 TP - 20%
7 - 14 TP - 26%
8 - 15 TP - 33%
9 - 16 TP - 41%
10 - 17 TP - 50%

I'm not really a fan of this skill. Buff slots are kind of a premium in the EO series, and while speed is important, the way weapon speeds are handled in this game kind of make it a joke.


Needs lvl. 3 Songs
Max lvl: 10

This song increases your party's max HP. It does The TP and scaling are the same as Mercury's scaling. Probably the better defensive skill to take, since your party can take more punishment. Although when the HP cap is raised, the current amount of HP the party has will still be the same as before the buff got applied, so it has to be healed up. This skill really synergizes with a Hexer since it's a huge damage boost for their Revenge skill. As long as the Hexer has at least 666 HP, they'll be able to reach the HP cap with Stamina, and deal a whole lot of damage with Revenge.


Needs lvl. 5 Songs
Max lvl: 5

This song erases buffs on enemies. At level 1 it erases 1 buff at the cost of 1 TP. It removes all 3 buffs at level 3, but it costs 3 TP to cast. The TP cost lowers back down to 1 at level 5. If TP isn't a concern, you can probably leave it at level 2 or 3 since it's pretty rare that an enemy will get 3 buffs. Can be handy sometimes, and some enemies can be stunlocked with this since they'll try to reapply their buffs if they get erased.


Needs lvl. 5 Songs
Max lvl: 5

AOE version of Erasure. Erases buffs on all enemies. It costs 3 TP at level 1, and removes 1 buff. At level 3 it costs 5 TP and removes all 3 buffs on all enemies. Level 5 decreases the TP cost back down to 3. You may just want 1 or 2 levels in this since this skill is very situational and multiple enemies having buffs isn't a thing that happens that often.


Needs lvl. 5 Songs
Max lvl: 5

Adds a Fire/Ice/Volt element to a party member's regular attack. Essentially acts like an elemental oil. Unlike the later games and the remakes, additional levels in these skills do not increase the damage done. They just lower the TP cost and increase the speed modifier. At level 1, these skills cost 20 TP and have a speed modifier of 50%. The TP cost halves for each level, lowering to 1 TP at level 5. The speed modifier increases to 250% at that level. Can be handy if you're hunting for conditional drops, looking to hit enemy weaknesses, or are trying to make use of a Landsknecht's chaser skills but don't have that many elemental attackers.


Needs lvl. 10 Songs
Max lvl: 10

These skills decrease Fire/Ice/Volt damage done to the party while at the same time increasing the damage from those elements dealt to the enemies. At level 1 they cost 5 TP, reduce the selected element's damage taken by 3%, and increases the party's elemental damage by 5%. At level 5 they cost 9 TP while reducing the elemental damage taken and dealt by 15%. At level 10 they cost 14 TP and reduce the damage taken by 30%, and increase the damage dealt by the party by 50%.

They're essentially a defensive and offensive buff packed into one skill. I don't really like these skills, because the defensive aspect doesn't fit in with the offensive heavy parties the game rewards, and elemental skills aren't really that great in this game. I mean, if Alchemists were more powerful, and there were plenty of options for dealing elemental damage these skills could be more useful. But they're not, so these skills are very situational.

In EO1, a Troubadour that had these skills could help you take on certain postgame bosses without having a Protector or Medic in the party. But since the Boost option is gone, these skills are not as powerful and won't help you much with that.

GeneralYeti has some for us.

GeneralYeti posted:

Mercury is a Roman God, one of the Dii Consentes. If you're wondering why that skill ups the party's speed, his Greek name is Hermes.

Nihilo is probably a reference to Nihilism, a philosophical branch that is usually used to posit that life itself has no real meaning, purpose, or value.

Ifrit is a Jinn from Islamic culture, typically an enormous winged creature of fire.

Ymir is from Norse Mythology and is considered to be the ancestor of all the Frost Giants.

Taranis is a god of thunder in Celtic mythology.

Most of these are pretty straightforward references, so if you want more information look them up yourselves.


Needs lvl. 10 LUC Up
Max lvl: 5

It's a passive skill that increases the amount of exp the party gets. At level 1 it increases the amount of exp gained by 10%. At level 5 it increases the exp gain by 30%.

I don't like this skill. First of all, you need to invest in a stat that doesn't do much for a Troubadour. Second of all, it's really easy to grind in EO2 thanks to bosses being exp pinatas. If your party's falling behind, just go kill some bosses. The only reason to take this skill is if you're trying to grind past level 70. This skill does stack with other Troubadours that have Divinity, but it should be noted that if you're trying to train up a character, only having one Troubadour will net your trainee more exp than 4 Troubadours with Divinity.


Max lvl: 10

One of the few songs that doesn't need any points in the Troubadour's mastery skill, and it's a really good one. What it does is reduce the chance of a status effect hitting your party. This affects the base chance, it does not affect the luck stat's influence on a status effect.

1 - 8 TP - 65% Chance of being hit with a status effect
2 - 9 TP - 56%
3 - 10 TP - 48%
4 - 11 TP - 41%
5 - 12 TP - 35%
6 - 13 TP - 30%
7 - 14 TP - 26%
8 - 15 TP - 23%
9 - 16 TP - 21%
10 - 17 TP - 20%

As you can see, it's a pretty powerful skill, but there are diminishing returns on the chance to be protected. However, the speed modifier on this skill increases from 25% at level 1, to 97% at level 9, to 115% at level 10. If speed is a concern, go ahead and level up the skill. Unfortunately it doesn't affect binds, but what it does affect is instant death. It's very handy later on in the game. This is because instant death counted as a status effect in the first two games. EO3 changed this to be it's own thing, otherwise the equivalent skill Prevent Order would have been even more powerful than it already was. The later EO games stuck with that change. Bizarrely enough, Persona Q changed instant death back into a status effect. This had consequences. Severely broken consequences.


Needs lvl. 3 Songs
Max lvl: 5

This song helps your party members recover from status effects. At level 1 it costs 5 TP and increases the recovery rate by 20%. At level 5 it costs 9 TP and increases the recovery rate by 100%.

Health is the much better skill to take since that can actually prevent your party from being hit with status effects. Increasing your chances to recover from status effects can be nice, but items and skills can instantly remove status effects without taking up a buff slot. Also, this doesn't even do a thing about petrification and binds.


Max lvl: 5

A field skill that increases the encounter rate. Affects the danger values of tiles. It can cancel out Stalker. At level 1 it costs 2 TP, lasts for 20 steps, and increases the encounter rate by 120%. At level it costs 6 TP, lasts for 100 steps, and increases the encounter rate by 200%.


Max lvl: 5

A field skill that lures FOEs to a certain spot. Applies a stun effect if the skill was used at short range. It's the exact same skill as the Dark Hunter's Racket skill, with the exact same scaling as well. I don't really like these skills, but they can help you get past, or get the drop on an FOE that isn't red. But items can be used in place of these, which is another reason I don't like these.


Max lvl: 5

A field skill that stops FOEs in place. The scaling is the exact same as the other FOE field skills. You may want to have a Troubadour take these skills for a certain section later in the game, but you can use items in place of that.

Gathering Skill: Take

Force Skill: Crusade

The only non-permanent buff skill. Crusade buffs attack, defense, and max HP for 5 turns. It's essentially more powerful versions of Bravery, Shelter, and Stamina cast all at once. It can be pretty powerful, except each attribute buff takes up their own buff slot, meaning that in a 5 man party, your party would have 15 buffs total on the party. Some bosses do not like your party having too many buffs and have special reactions to that, from erasing all of them to using devastating attacks. Crusade can end up killing your party instead of helping them in some situations. Also, the buff order is attack up, defense up, and Max HP up. Since the oldest buffs are overwritten, this means you can't stack attack buffs with Crusade.

Troubadours aren't a great party member to have, but they aren't terrible either. They can be used well despite their shortcomings, but you're probably better off with another class. Troubadours don't really do much in battle after they're done with casting their buffs, which can kind of make them a boring class to use. The equivalent class in EO3, the Prince, didn't fare much better. They were strong in the early game and had a very good skillset, but after a certain point there was no reason to have one in your party since a certain game mechanic made them completely obsolete. The EO4 equivalent, the Dancer, was much more useful thanks to better game balance.