The Let's Play Archive

Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard

by Dr. Fetus

Part 15: Class Discussions - Ronin

Class Discussion - Ronin

The rest of the portraits.
The EO1 class portraits.

These guys were known as Bushidos in Japan. The Ronin is all about dealing damage. They excel at dishing out single target damage, and can be versatile in what they can do if you wish.

In EO1, they were a pretty mediocre class. They were unlocked once you got to the 11th floor, but there wasn't a fast way to grind them up in case you wanted to try out your shiny new class. You could kill Treefrogs over and over to grind up a new Ronin, but it wasn't that fast. Not only that, Ronin themselves weren't too great to use. The could deal massive amounts of single target damage, but only after setting up a stance. Most of their skills couldn't be used until the Ronin used a skill to buff themselves for a few turns. They had to do this for every fight. They were great in boss fights and dealing with FOEs. Not so much with dungeon crawling. They also had to compete with the Landsknecht, who the player has access to since the start of the game, has great AOE and single target damage, and doesn't need to waste a turn setting up a stance in every battle.

So Atlus buffed them in EO2. They removed the stance system, made them available from the start, and gave them some AOEs. They learned the hard way of why classes are supposed to have weaknesses in the first place. Without the stance system to hold them back, the Ronin was free to go on a rampage within the Labyrinth and destroy everything in sight. Not only that, the Landsknecht's nerf meant that they had no competition. So there was nothing stopping people from using a Ronin if they wanted to. They ended up being one of the most broken classes in the game by dishing out ridiculous amounts of damage to enemies, with the Dark Hunter and Hexer being even more broken. In the Japanese version of this game, they were also the glitchiest class. They had some bugs that completely destroyed their usefulness, as well as making them even more overpowered. Most of those were fixed in the US version.

Unsurprisingly, the remakes forced them to use stances again. The EO2 remake was a bit kinder to them in that regard. The Ronin enters a stance by using a damage skill (Think EOU's Slantwise Cut) instead of a buff, so they aren't sitting around doing nothing at the start of a battle, and they have a chance to automatically enter a stance at the start of a battle so they don't have to waste a turn setting up.


Level 1
HP - 39
TP - 19
STR - 8
TEC - 4
VIT - 4
AGI - 5
LUC - 6

Level 70
HP - 483
TP - 116
STR - 72
TEC - 36
VIT - 39
AGI - 57
LUC - 30

Level 99
HP - 686
TP - 236
STR - 89
TEC - 53
VIT - 57
AGI - 76
LUC - 48

The biggest thing that stands out is their absolutely ridiculous strength. Ronin have the highest base strength out of all the classes. They're also really fast and evasive with their high agility, but the speed penalty from katanas puts a damper on that. Their middling HP and low vitality do make them a bit squishy. They also have ridiculously tiny TP pools, which is the only thing holding them back from destroying everything. HP and TP are good investments, and you definitely want to invest in strength so they can hit even harder. Vitality might be something to consider since they are squishy. If you are insane enough to level up to 99, don't invest in strength unless it's a prerequisite for something. Ronin will reach the stat cap of 99 naturally.


Needs level. 8 AGI Up and LUC Up.
Max lvl: 5

This passive increases the Ronin's evasion against attacks. It does not do anything for status effects. At level 1 it provides a 10% chance to evade damage, and at level 5 it provides a 30% chance.

It has some pretty high prerequisites, but this skill is something you want to take since the Ronin is a very squishy class. This is actually a separate check from the normal evasion chance, so the game technically rolls twice to see if the Ronin can dodge an attack.


Max lvl: 10

The Ronin's stance mastery skills. They used to be active skills that placed buffs on a Ronin, and let them use the skills associated with that stance. They're passives now, and they just provide a damage boost to the skills in their skill branches. These masteries do not increase the Ronin's regular attack damage. They were supposed to, but a bug prevented them from doing so. Why is that? Well...

Katana Mastery

Max lvl: 10

Bugged and gone. This was supposed to be a hidden passive that checked for the highest leveled stance and apply that damage bonus to the Ronin's regular attack, Sayageki, and Issen. Since the stance system got taken out, Atlus didn't want players wasting points in a skill that wasn't gonna do much for the class so they did this. A stance they unfortunately went back on with EO3's weapon mastery skills. Unfortunately, instead of checking for the stance masteries, this checked for Healer and War Lore. This was the only Ronin bug that didn't get fixed for the US release. As a result, the Ronin's regular attacks are actually weaker than they're supposed to be, losing out on an 11% damage boost.


Needs lvl. 5 STR Up
Max lvl: 5

This passive increases the Ronin's evasion as their HP lowers. The evasion rate at level 1 is 5% to dodge an attack at full health, a 20% chance at 25% HP, and a 38% chance at 1% HP. At level 5, they have a 24% chance to evade an attack at full HP, a 36% chance at 25% HP, and a 43% chance at 1% HP.

For the record, this does stack with Shiraha since the two are separate checks. Clarity affects the normal evasion rate, while Shiraha is it's own thing. Taking both is definitely advised, since that adds to a Ronin's survivability.

In the Japanese version, this skill got hit with the evasion bug, meaning that the Ronin's accuracy decreased as their HP decreased.


Max lvl: 10

This skill deals bash damage to a single target. It costs 2 TP at level 1, and deals 110% damage. At level 5 it costs 6 TP, and deals 130% damage. It jumps up to 200% damage at level 10 and costs 11 TP.

Nothing much to this skill, other than it's the only way a Ronin can deal Bash damage. Of course I don't know why you would want this skill. It's a dead end skill that doesn't do much, and nothing in the game is weak to Bash. The only upside to this skill is that it doesn't need any points in a stance mastery skill to use, meaning that it's available early. Of course since that's the case, it loses out on the damage boost that was supposed to be provided by Katana Mastery.


Needs lvl. 1 Overhead
Max lvl: 10

This skill deals Cut damage to a single target. At level 1 it deals 135% damage and costs 4 TP. At level 5 it deals 155% damage and costs 8 TP. At level 10 it deals 225% damage and costs 13 TP.

A damage skill that doesn't really lead anywhere. It does deal more damage than Sayageki.


Needs lvl. 10 Overhead and lvl. 5 Dead Law
Max lvl: 10

This skill deals Cut damage to a single target 2 times at levels 1 through 9, or 3 times if the skill is at level 10.

1 - 12 TP - 60% Damage, 2 hits
2 - 13 TP - 65%
3 - 14 TP - 70%
4 - 15 TP - 80%
5 - 16 TP - 85%
6 - 17 TP - 90%
7 - 18 TP - 95%
8 - 19 TP - 100%
9 - 20 TP - 115%
10 - 21 TP - 140%, 3 hits

By far the Ronin's best damage skill. The scaling is a bit weird on this skill. A consistent 5% increase in power for each level until 8. At which point it jumps from 200% to 230%, and then has an even bigger power spike from 230% to 420%! Add in the Ronin's ridiculous strength stat and you have a lot of dead monsters and bosses and FOEs will be torn through like tissue paper. This is the damage skill of choice for a Ronin. None of the damage skills in the other stance branches can really compare.


Needs lvl. 1 Seigan
Max lvl: 10

A Stab attack that has a chance to bind an enemy's arms. At level 1 deals 115% damage and costs 4 TP with a 5% chance to inflict Arm Bind. At level 5 it deals 135% damage and costs 8 TP with a 15% chance to inflict arm bind. At level 10 it deals 205% damage and costs 13 TP with a 45% chance to Arm Bind.

Yeah, this skill is pretty bad. Mediocre damage and a terrible chance to inflict arm bind. Stick with a Dark Hunter or Hexer if you want binds.

In this Japanese version, this skill was bugged and lost the ability to inflict Arm Bind. Instead, the next skill was the one that had that aspect. Whoops!


Needs lvl. 3 Seigan and lvl. 5 Koteuchi
Max lvl: 10

A Stab attack that hits fast. At level 1 it deals 125% damage, has a speed modifier of 200%, and costs 4 TP. At level 5 it deals 145% damage, has a speed modifier of 210%, and costs 8 TP. At level 10 it deals 215% damage, has a speed modifier of 245%, and costs 13 TP.

The damage is pretty mediocre. The real reason to take this skill is because it acts fast. While Ronin aren't that fast, they're not exactly turtles either, so I don't really see the point of this skill.

This skill was completely broken in the Japanese version. It stole the ability to inflict arm binds from Koteuchi. And since this skill doesn't check for status accuracy, the base chance to inflict Arm Bind was 100% at all levels. This skill could completely neutralize physical attacks from enemies, and FOEs and bosses after a few tries. Somebody screwed up big time. This got fixed in the US version, so don't bother with this skill.


Needs lvl. 1 Iai
Max lvl: 5

A slash attack that has a chance to cause instant death. The skill costs 4 TP at level 1, deals 130% damage, and has a 20% base chance to cause instant death. At level 5 it costs 12 TP, deals 166% damage, and has a 56% base chance to cause instant death.

The damage on this skill is absolutely pathetic. The reason to take this skill is for the instant death, and because it's a perquisite to another skill. It's one of two skills in the game that can inflict instant death, but why would you use this when Climax exists? Climax is a much more reliable form of instant death, and doesn't care about instant death resistance. Unless you really want this next skill, don't take it. Ronin should be killing things by hitting them really hard.


Needs lvl. 3 Iai and lvl. 5 Kubiuchi
Max lvl: 10

This skill deals Stab damage to a single target. At level 1 it costs 4 TP and deals 135% damage. At level 5 it costs 8 TP and deals 165% damage. Then it costs 13 TP at level 10 and deals 270% damage.

It does deal a decent amount of damage, and bird enemies are weak to Stab attacks, but Midareba does a lot more damage, so stick with that.


Needs lvl. 5 Overhead/Seigan/Iai
Max lvl: 5

Deals Fire and Slash/Volt and Stab/Ice and Slash damage to a single target. They cost 5 TP at level 1 and deal 120% damage, and then at level 5 they costs 13 TP and deal 200% damage.

One of these skills usually gets taken to give some Ronin some extra coverage in case something can't be hit with Midareba. Since Midareba is the skill most people have their Ronin take, Orochi is usually the skill of choice since it's in the same branch as Midareba. You can't really choose to take any of these elemental skills since they require an investment.


Needs lvl. 7 Overhead and lvl. 5 Orochi/lvl. 7 Seigan and lvl. 5 Raizuki/lvl. 7 Iai and lvl. 5 Hyosetsu
Max lvl: 5

Deals Fire and Slash/Volt and Stab/Ice and Slash damage to all enemies. They cost 10 TP at level 1 and deal 100% damage. At level 5 they deal 170% damage while costing 26 TP.

They're weaker than their single target counterparts, but being able to hit every enemy is a great benefit. These skills give the Ronin some crowd control. Since Kienzan is in the same skill branch as Midareba and doesn't require a heavy skill point investment from there, it's usually the main AOE elemental attack people tend to go for.

Dead Law

Needs lvl. 1 STR Up
Max lvl: 5

Basically this is a weaker, but safer version of the Landsknecht's War Cry. It costs 2 TP at all levels. At level 1 it boosts the damage dealt and taken by the Ronin is 10%. At level 5 it boosts the Ronin's damage by 30%, while the damage taken is increased to 20%.

It can be a nice way to boost damage, but it's a bit risky since the Ronin is pretty squishy, and turns that are spent buffing are turns that the Ronin isn't killing anything. If you're willing to take that risk, go ahead. This skill is needed for Midareba so it should be taken anyway.

Gathering Skill: Mine

Force Skill: Issen

Deals 500% Cut damage to all enemies and has a 50% base chance of inflicting instant death. Has a 1% speed modifier. It's a fairly strong Force skill, but it's pretty lacking in utility which is it's only downside.

GeneralYeti posted:

Er, thing is, most of the names are really just oriental sword techniques. And it so happens that I am not exactly a master of said techniques, so I really can't talk about much. That said, I can probably talk about the more well-known terms:

Iai - The art of drawing one's sword. Basically, iaido (the sport version of iai) is all about controlling the blade to the point where, with one or two fluid motions, the swordsman draws the blade, cuts into the opponent, removes the blood from the blade, and sheathes their weapon. Look up some demonstration videos, it's actually really neat.

Orochi - Yamata no Orochi (literally 8-branched Giant Snake) is/was a legendary 8-headed, 8-tailed serpent that was killed by the storm god Susanoo in Japanese mythology. Anybody that's played Okami knows who Orochi is.

Issen - I'm assuming it has something to do with 'one-hit kill' because that was really all my research could turn up.

Shiraha - according to a dictionary I found, Shiraha translates to 'drawn sword', which makes sense since it's the setting-up stance.

That's the main stuff I've got; for everything else, just assume it's some sort of fancy sword technique.

Ronin are pretty much one of the most broken classes in the game. They're the king of single target damage, and a valuable class to have in combat. While the Landsknecht is pretty much worthless now.