The Let's Play Archive

Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard

by Dr. Fetus

Part 16: Class Discussions - Hexer

Class Discussion - Hexer

The rest of the portratis.
The EO1 class portraits.

The last of the original Etrian Odyssey classes, and the most broken class in the entire series. Until the Fafnir class in the EO2 remake came along and dethroned them.

They're known as Curse Makers in Japan, and they're all about inflicting status ailments and binds on the enemies. Hexers operate by disabling enemies and just making things inconvenient for the monsters in the Labyrinth.

Hexers were one of the worst classes in the first game. You didn't have them from the start, they had to be unlocked by getting to the 16th floor. At that point your party was likely set in stone, and there weren't any good grinding options to get one caught up with your party even if you wanted to use one. Also, your reward for getting through half of the Labyrinth was a class that could inflict status effects and binds on enemies. When the Dark Hunter could do the same thing. Compare that with the later games, which had really powerful classes that were unlocked late in the game. (Although one of EO3's unlockable classes was the worst one in the game.)

In EO2, they got buffed big time and are pretty much the strongest class in the game. They lost Stagger and Relapse, but they got some powerful new skills to make up for that. They're one of the best supporting and offensive classes in the game. Their only weakness is that they take some time to get rolling. Hexers are really skill point hungry, and they can't contribute much at the start of the game. Once you get farther into the game, they'll be one of your best party members and can pretty much vaporize any bit of difficulty in the game.


Level 1
HP - 33
TP - 31
STR - 3
TEC - 8
VIT - 4
AGI - 6
LUC - 6

Level 70
HP - 372
TP - 183
STR - 37
TEC - 69
VIT - 33
AGI - 51
LUC - 61

Level 99
HP - 542
TP - 404
STR - 37
TEC - 86
VIT - 51
AGI - 70
LUC - 79

Stat-wise, Hexers are pretty middling all around, except for Technique and Luck. They have the 2nd highest Luck stat in the game. (Bizarrely enough, Gunners have the highest Luck stat) Luck is needed so that they have a better chance of landing their status effects. Technique doesn't really do much for them. They're pretty low on HP, TP, and Strength. HP and TP are really good investments, especially HP so that they can deal a lot of damage with Revenge later.


Max lvl: 10

The Hexer's mastery skill. You would think that this increases the Hexer's chances of landing a status effect or bind, but nope. It does absolutely nothing. It's just a point sink, like the Troubadour's songs. The remakes were kind enough to make this skill boost the chances of a status effect landing.


Needs lvl. 5 TP Up and TEC Up
Max lvl: 5

Aside from having perquisites, it's the exact same skill as the Medic's version. Breaks the random drop system, and pretty much qualifies you for most conditional drops if it's maxed out. Also a prerequisite to one of the most broken skills in the game.


Needs lvl. 1 Curses
Max lvl: 10

The Hexer has a set of debuffs that act like a Troubadour's buffs, but in reverse. This skill lowers the damage output of all enemies. At level 1 it costs 8 TP and reduces the enemies' attack power by 2%, At level 5 it costs 12 TP and decreases enemies' attack power by 10%. At level 10 it costs 17 TP and decreases the enemies' attack power by 20%.

These debuffs have the same effect as a Troubadour song, but they don't eat up your party's buff slots, which can be really handy. This skill is pretty much a reverse Shelter. That said, this debuff is probably one of the less useful ones.


Needs lvl. 1 Curses
Max lvl: 10

This curse decreases all enemies' defenses. What this does is multiply the damage an enemy takes from all 6 elements by a certain amount. At level 1 it decreases their defenses by 5% while costing 8 TP. At level 5 it decreases their defenses by 17% while costing 12 TP. At level 10 it decreases enemies' defenses by 32% while costing 17 TP.

What this skill has over Bravery is that it eats up an enemy's debuff slot instead of one of your buff slots, and the elemental defense decrease can actually cause an Alchemist's Analysis passive to proc, and deal more damage with their spells. Unfortunately this skill does not increase the damage output of untyped attacks, which is what Bravery has over it. Now this skill has to compete with another one of their skills, Dampen, which operates a bit differently and unfortunately, doesn't stack with Frailty. Frailty is the better debuff if the enemy doesn't resist anything, and is a much better debuff to use for elemental teams.


Needs lvl. 1 Curses
Max lvl: 10

This lowers all enemies agility, essentially acting like a reverse Mercury. At level 1 it costs 8 TP and reduces the enemies' AGI by 10%. At level 5 it costs 12 TP and reduces the enemies' AGI by 20%. And at level 10 it reduces the enemies' AGI by 38%.

Probably the least important debuff skill the Hexer has. Weakening their defenses so that your team can kill them faster is a much better use of a debuff slot.


Needs lvl. 10 Curses and lvl. 5 Scavenge
Max lvl: 5

This skill is a single target debuff that eliminates an enemy's resistances. The scaling is as follows.

1 - 25 TP - 100% elemental damage taken, 1% speed modifier
2 - 27 TP - 102% damage taken, 2% speed
3 - 29 TP - 106% damage taken, 3% speed
4 - 31 TP - 112% damage taken, 4% speed
5 - 33 TP - 120% damage taken, 5% speed

It's a very slow and expensive skill, but a very broken one. It basically tells the game that the targetted enemy will take a certain amount of damage from all elements that aren't it's weakness. Here's a visual aid. Say that there's an enemy that has these weaknesses and resistances and then they get hit with a level 5 Dampen.

Before level 5 Dampen:

Weakness: Ice (150%), Volt (110%)
Resistance: Cut (50%), Stab (0%)

After level 5 Dampen:

Weakness: Cut (120%), Stab (120%), Bash (120%), Fire (120%), Ice (150%), Volt (120%)
Resistance: N/A

The end result is that they're weak to everything. Unfortunately it does not stack with Frailty, and if an enemy doesn't resist anything at all, Frailty is the better pick. However, for parties that rely heavily on physical attacks, this is the superior debuff to take. Several enemies and bosses resist physical attacks, so Dampen can make life a lot easier for classes like Ronin and Gunners. If you're making use of an elemental party like a Chaser team, feel free to ignore this skill. Although one point in it might be good to have. Unsurprisingly, this skill never appeared again in the series.


Needs lvl. 3 Curses
Max lvl: 10

A single target skill that attempts to bind the head/arms/legs of an enemy.

1 - 3 TP - 40% Base chance to bind
2 - 4 TP - 41%
3 - 5 TP - 43%
4 - 6 TP - 46%
5 - 7 TP - 50%
6 - 8 TP - 55%
7 - 9 TP - 61%
8 - 10 TP - 68%
9 - 11 TP - 76%
10 - 12 TP - 85%

While the chances aren't terrible, a Dark Hunter's Dominate is much more reliable lockdown if you need binds. These skills can be handy for random encounters, but they won't do much against FOEs and bosses. If you really want the Hexer to have a binding skill, Cranial is probably the best choice.


Needs lvl. 2 Curses
Max lvl: 10

The Hexer attempts to poison all enemies. The chance of the Poison landing and the Poison damage increases with each level.

1 - 6 TP - 15% Base chance to poison, 25 poison damage
2 - 7 TP - 17% chance, 31 damage
3 - 8 TP - 21% chance, 43 damage
4 - 9 TP - 27% chance, 61 damage
5 - 10 TP - 35% chance, 85 damage
6 - 11 TP - 45% chance, 115 damage
7 - 12 TP - 57% chance, 151 damage
8 - 13 TP - 71% chance, 193 damage
9 - 14 TP - 87% chance, 241 damage
10 - 15 TP - 105% chance, 295 damage

There's a 20% variance in how much the Poison damage ticks for. This skill is ridiculously powerful early and mid game, since it'll one hit kill a lot of enemies. By the time the 4th Stratum comes around, it starts to fall off. While it'll still knock off a huge chunk of the enemies' health, it won't kill them in one hit anymore. And when the postgame comes around, there's better things for the Hexer to use. The rest of your party should also have some strong AOEs at that point. Still, it's a fantastic skill to use in the first 5 Strata.

Blinding/Torpor/Evil Eye/Paralysis/Corrupt

Needs lvl. 1/3/4/5/6 Curses
Max lvl: 5

These skills attempt to inflict Blind/Sleep/Terror/Paralysis/Curse on every enemy. The chance for these to land is influenced by the Hexer's LUC stat.

1 - 6 TP - 15% Base chance
2 - 7 TP - 21%
3 - 8 TP - 35%
4 - 9 TP - 57%
5 - 10 TP - 87%

The most useful status effects to take are probably Torpor, Evil Eye, and Corrupt. Blind and Paralysis aren't really useful statuses to inflict on an enemy. Torpor completely disables them, and lets your party set up while the enemy sleeps. The Curse status isn't useful by itself, but a War Magus can take advantage of cursed enemies by hitting them with Cursecut, restoring their TP, and then they can Transfer that TP to a party member, essentially giving the party infinite TP. As for Terror, bosses and FOEs don't resist that status effect as much as any other ailment. It's also great when used with one of these next three skills, but even though bosses and FOEs don't resist Terror that much, the chances for the status effect landing aren't that great. Still, if you do land it, these next three skills can be helpful.


Needs lvl. 1 Evil Eye
Max lvl: 5

These skills are all part of the Evil Eye skill branch. They only work on enemies that are under the Terror status, but they will always work if they do, and will always go first. These skills are single target and will cause the target enemy to attack themselves, attack another enemy, or do nothing. Leveling up Suicide, Betrayal, and Paralyze will lower the TP cost, but for Betrayal and Paralyze, that's all leveling them up does. Suicide is the only skill that actually scales. Leveling it up lowers the TP cost, but will also make the enemy attack themselves more.

1 - 10 TP - (Suicide only) Enemy attacks itself 1 time
2 - 8 TP - Enemy attacks itself 1 time
3 - 6 TP - Enemy attacks itself 2 times
4 - 4 TP - Enemy attacks itself 2 times
5 - 2 TP - Enemy attacks itself 3 times

Paralyze stuns the enemy. Which would be nice if the other 2 skills didn't already do that. It's a completely redundant skill, and you're better off going with Suicide or Betrayal. Untold was kind enough to turn it into a damage amp (Think EO4's Star Drop, but stronger) as well as stunning the target. Betrayal is only useful against mobs, and you can probably just kill them with Poison or something else. It doesn't do anything if there's only one enemy on the field. Suicide is probably the only skill actually worth taking since it actually scales, and using it on a boss or FOE will help end the fight faster.


Needs lvl. 7 Curses
Max lvl: 10

An untyped single target attack that deals more damage the more HP the Hexer is missing. The amount of HP missing is multiplied by a certain amount, and that is how much damage the skill will do. If the Hexer is at full health, the skill will always miss. The accuracy of this skill is determined by the Hexer's TEC and LUC vs. the target's AGI and LUC.

1 - 10 TP - 1.2x Multiplier
2 - 11 TP - 1.25x
3 - 12 TP - 1.3x
4 - 13 TP - 1.4x
5 - 14 TP - 1.5x
6 - 15 TP - 1.6x
7 - 16 TP - 1.75x
8 - 17 TP - 1.95x
9 - 18 TP - 2.2x
10 - 19 TP - 2.55x

The damage is fixed and cannot be resisted. The maximum amount of damage it can do is 2544. It's pretty much the most broken skill in the game. It demolishes all of the Stratum bosses and wreaks havoc in the postgame. If you have a Troubadour with Stamina, they can help the Hexer reach the HP cap. This skill is the main reason to take a Hexer, they turn into artillery cannons with this skill. You do have to cart a 1 HP character around, but when everything dies so fast, that's not really a disadvantage. The accuracy is only a factor at lower levels, where it's only 100% at level 1. At level 10 the accuracy of the skill is 190%, so don't worry too much about the Hexer's stats when it comes to this skill.

This skill did reappear in EO3, but it got nerfed heavily. The max damage it could do got lowered, and the user had to be fully bound in order to use it. (Not as absurd as it sounds, but it's still pretty bad.) The skill could do a lot more damage in EOU, but you had to go through a lot of setup to pull that off, and it wasn't really worth it. The EO2 remake turned it into a support skill. The damage the skill did was based off of how much HP the Hexer's allies were missing, and healed them for a percentage of that amount.

Gathering Skill: Take

Force Skill: Caprice

The Hexer attempts to inflict every status effect at once on all the enemies in battle. How this actually works is that there's a priority system in place. It attempts to inflict these status effects one at a time, and if the status fails to land, it'll check for the next one. The skill tries to inflict all the status effects in this order: Stun > Instant Death > Petrification > Terror > Curse > Poison > Sleep > Confusion > Paralysis > Blind. Only Stun can stack with any of these. The speed modifier for this skill is 500%, and the base chance for any of these to land is 95%. If Poison is the chosen status effect, it will tick for 350 damage. Honestly, this isn't a really useful Force Skill. While it will choose Instant Death or Petrification on regular mobs most of the time, it's pretty much a roulette when it comes to bosses and FOEs.

Hexers are pretty much the most broken class in the game, and for a long time, they used to be the most broken class in the entire series. If you're looking to get some challenge out of the game, you might want to hold back on their most powerful skills, or just not include them in your lineup. They're a great addition to your team otherwise.