The Let's Play Archive

Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard

by Dr. Fetus

Part 17: Class Discussions - Gunner

Class Discussion - Gunner

The rest of the portraits.

Now we move onto the new classes. No name change for this one. Gunners are long ranged physical attackers that are pretty versatile. They can dish out a ton of physical and elemental damage to enemies. They have some supporting abilities in the ability to inflict binds, cure status effects, and stop FOEs in their tracks. Gunners are my favorite class in the game. (As well as having my favorite portrait in the entire series, the Jack Frost Gunner.) They pretty much took up the Survivalist's role of being a long ranged physical attacker, since that class got murdered by Atlus in EO2. Now despite having a versatile skillset, Gunners aren't really skill point hungry. This is mainly because a lot of their skills are either terrible, or don't scale well at all.


Level 1
HP - 35
TP - 29
STR - 6
TEC - 6
VIT - 3
AGI - 5
LUC - 7

Level 70
HP - 400
TP - 161
STR - 59
TEC - 60
VIT - 31
AGI - 17
LUC - 67

Level 99
HP - 583
TP - 315
STR - 76
TEC - 77
VIT - 49
AGI - 36
LUC - 85

A couple of things stick out here. Gunners have medium sized TP pools, so maxing out their TP is a must. Their vitality isn't that high, in fact they have the 2nd lowest VIT stat with only the Alchemist's being lower, so they have to be placed on the back row. They have the lowest base agility in the game so they're pretty much turtles. Because of their low AGI, they can whiff some attacks, but that's offset by their ridiculously high luck stat. They have the highest luck stat in the game, beating out the Hexer. Their high luck also has the effect of making them fairly resistant to ailments and binds, as well as increasing their chances of getting critical hits. Their strength stat is fairly high, the 4th highest in the game. You definitely want to max that out so they can hit even harder.


Max lvl: 10

The Gunner's mastery skill. Gives an 11% boost to their damage when maxed.


Needs lvl. 10 Guns
Max lvl: 10

This passive gives a chance for the Gunner's regular attacks to hit twice.

1 - 5% chance for a 2nd hit
2 - 6% chance
3 - 8% chance
4 - 10% chance
5 - 13% chance
6 - 16% chance
7 - 20% chance
8 - 24% chance
9 - 29% chance
10 - 35% chance

It's completely identical to the Landsknecht's version. Normally I would recommend either skipping this or saving this for later since it's not really that great, but most Gunner builds end up having a ton of skill points left over. You might as well take this since it can save them some TP in random battles, and it's a passive skill so it's just a slight boost to the Gunner's damage output.


Max lvl: 10

This passive increases the chances of the Gunner getting a critical hit on their regular attacks.

1 - 1% chance for a critical hit
2 - 2% chance
3 - 4% chance
4 - 6% chance
5 - 9% chance
6 - 12% chance
7 - 16% chance
8 - 20% chance
9 - 25% chance
10 - 30% chance

Okay, first of all, here's how crits in this game work. They can only proc on regular attacks, and a critical hit does 25% more damage than a regular hit. Everyone has a 5% base chance to crit, which is then adjusted by luck. The formula for that is Chance = 5 * (10 + attacker's LUC) / (10 + target's LUC). What Weakshot does is add its chance on top of the final result. The chance of getting a crit cannot go about 50%.

As for the skill itself, it's the same case as 2-Hit. Pretty bad, but most Gunner builds tend to have a lot of leftover skill points so you might as well invest in this. Now the thing about Weakshot is that it can proc on both hits of 2-Hit. So a Gunner could theoretically dish out 250% extra damage with their regular attacks, which can be nice for random encounters.


Needs lvl. 2/3/4 Guns and lvl. 1 AGI Up.
Max lvl: 5

The Gunner fires a shot at a single target in an attempt to bind their legs/arms/head.

1 - 5 TP - 120% damage dealt, 35% chance to bind
2 - 7 TP - 125% damage, 36% chance
3 - 9 TP - 130% damage, 38% chance
4 - 11 TP - 140% damage, 41% chance
5 - 13 TP - 150% damage, 45% chance

And right here is an example of their terrible skills. Both the damage and bind components are terrible and do not scale well. While the Gunner does have the highest LUC stat, it doesn't increase the chances of ailments and binds landing that much. The Hexer has almost as high LUC, but their skills have a much higher base chance to land. And the Dark Hunter's Dominate skill is already the best way of inflicting binds. Only take these skills if you don't have a Dark Hunter or a Hexer and are desperate for binds for some reason.


Needs lvl. 5 Guns
Max level: 5

The Gunner sacrifices their defense in order to charge up a shot and then fire at the end of the turn. Until the Gunner fires the shot, any amount of damage they take will be multiplied by a certain amount. Leveling up the skill increases the damage dealt and decreases the damage taken. All levels have a 1% speed modifier.

1 - 11 TP - 250% damage dealt, 520% damage taken
2 - 13 TP - 260% damage dealt, 418% damage taken
3 - 15 TP - 280% damage dealt, 340% damage taken
4 - 17 TP - 300% damage dealt, 286% damage taken
5 - 19 TP - 322% damage dealt, 256% damage taken

It's a really terrible skill. While the damage is nice, using this skill is a massive gamble. At level 1, if a Hedgehog looks at the Gunner funny, they'll die. This skill turns a class that already had terrible defenses into something that dies in one hit. Even though the defense penalty is smaller at level 5, enemies hit hard in the late and postgame. In normal circumstances, a Gunner will barely survive hard hits, but using this skill completely takes away those opportunities. There is a way to bypass the extra damage taken aspect, and that is to use a Survivalist's 1st Turn on the Gunner. The Gunner will immediately fire off the shot and they won't suffer the defense penalty. If you aren't using a Survivalist, ignore this skill. They have a far safer way of dishing out damage.


Needs lvl. 5 Guns
Max lvl: 5

The Gunner fires a shot at a single target in an attempt to stun them.

1 - 10 TP - 125% damage dealt, 75% speed, 35% chance to stun
2 - 12 TP - 140% damage, 78% speed, 11% chance
3 - 14 TP - 155% damage, 85% speed, 25% chance
4 - 16 TP - 175% damage, 96% speed, 47% chance
5 - 18 TP - 197% damage, 111% speed, 77% chance

Yet another one of their terrible skills. Unlike the 1st game, enemies have resistances to stuns. Oh and in order for the stun to apply, it has to hit the enemy before they can do anything. The Gunner is the slowest class in the game, and the speed modifier on this skill isn't high enough to make up for that. This skill is also redundant since Riot Gun does the same thing, only it does a lot more damage, and it's guaranteed to stun the target.


Needs lvl. 5 Guns
Max lvl: 5

A fast single target attack that's guaranteed to hit its target.

At level 1 it costs 4 TP, deals 125% damage, and has a speed modifier of 200%. At level 5 it costs 8 TP, deals 125% damage, and has a speed modifier of 300%.

This skill is okay instead of outright terrible, and some Gunner builds make use of this skill. What this skill offers is a cheap fast acting skill (Fast enough to overcome their low AGI) that will always hit the target. Even if the Gunner is head bound, blind, or both, this skill will always hit. I personally don't like it since the damage doesn't scale that well, and I haven't run into many situations where I needed my Gunner to act fast or to desperately land a hit on my target. But it could be handy in some situations.


Needs lvl. 1 Guns
Max lvl: 10

A single target skill that deals Fire/Ice/Volt damage to an enemy. Unlike the rest of the Gunner's skills, they don't deal Stab damage, they're purely elemental.

1 - 6 TP - 125% damage
2 - 7 TP - 130%
3 - 8 TP - 135%
4 - 9 TP - 140%
5 - 10 TP - 145%
6 - 11 TP - 150%
7 - 12 TP - 165%
8 - 13 TP - 180%
9 - 14 TP - 195%
10 - 15 TP - 215%

You can see that the damage really doesn't scale that well with levels. Just stick a single point into each of these. The elemental shots are handy if an enemy is resistant to physical attacks, but they're not worth much beyond that. Gunners already dish out a lot of damage with these at level 1, and all maxing out these skills do is needlessly increase the TP cost while providing a minimal increase in damage. These skills are why people don't use Alchemists. They're don't have a ridiculously high maintenance cost like the Alchemist's spells, and they actually scale better into the late and postgame, even at level 1. Leveling up these skills are prerequisites to another set of skills, but said skills aren't very good.


Needs lvl. 5 Guns and lvl. 5 Fireshot/Iceshot/Voltshot
Max lvl: 10

An elemental version of Riskshot. Like Fireshot, Iceshot, and Voltshot, these skills are purely elemental. And like Riskshot, all levels of the skill have a 1% speed modifier.

1 - 11 TP - 250% damage dealt, 520% damage taken
2 - 12 TP - 255% damage dealt, 466% damage taken
3 - 13 TP - 260% damage dealt, 418% damage taken
4 - 14 TP - 265% damage dealt, 376% damage taken
5 - 15 TP - 270% damage dealt, 340% damage taken
6 - 16 TP - 280% damage dealt, 310% damage taken
7 - 17 TP - 290% damage dealt, 286% damage taken
8 - 18 TP - 300% damage dealt, 268% damage taken
9 - 19 TP - 310% damage dealt, 256% damage taken
10 - 20 TP - 340% damage dealt, 250% damage taken

These skills share the exact same problems with Riskshot. Skip them, they're not worth it unless you're planning on making heavy use of a Survivalist's 1st Turn.


Needs lvl. 7 Guns
Max lvl: 5

This skill has the Gunner unload their bullets into all enemies, dealing Stab damage to every enemy.

At level 1 it deals 100% damage to all enemies and costs 11 TP, and deals 150% damage to all enemies and costs 19 TP at level 5.

One of the few AOE physical skills in the game. I don't really like it since the damage is low, but if you're lacking in AOEs, go ahead and take this.


Needs lvl. 10 Guns
Max lvl: 5

This skill has the Gunner fire multiple shots at random targets. The shots can hit the same enemy multiple times.

1 - 13 TP - 75% damage, 50%/40%/10% chance of firing 1/2/3 shots
2 - 15 TP - 85% damage, 45%/35%/10% chance of firing 2/3/4 shots
3 - 17 TP - 95% damage, 40%/45%/15% chance of firing 2/3/4 shots
4 - 19 TP - 105% damage, 30%/50%/20% chance of firing 2/3/4 shots
5 - 21 TP - 125% damage, 70%/20%/10% chance of firing 3/4/5 shots

And now we get to the good skills. It's by far the Gunner's safest and most reliable damage skill. On average it dishes out 3.4 hits, which amounts to an average damage output of 425%. It operates on the same mechanics of 2-Bolt in that the targets are decided when the Gunner casts this skill. So if an enemy is supposed to take 5 bullets to the face, but ends up getting killed by the 1st bullet, the rest of the shots will just disappear. Yes, this is essentially the Survivalist's Multihit from the first game. And as an insult to injury, it's a better version of it.


Needs lvl. 1 TEC Up
Max lvl: 5

This skill removes status effects from the whole party. It cannot cure petrification.

1 - 3 TP - Removes Blind
2 - 6 TP - Removes Poison and Sleep
3 - 9 TP - Removes Terror and Paralysis
4 - 12 TP - Removes Curse and Confusion
5 - 9 TP

The 5th level of the skill just reduces the TP cost and increases the speed modifier to 120%. This is essentially the Medic's Purify skill, only half as expensive. It's a fantastic support skill that you should take. Whether you max out the skill or leave it at level 4 is up to you. But like I've said before, Gunners tend to have a lot of spare skill points. This skill also lets you get away with running a War Magus instead of a Medic, since War Magi cannot cure ailments and Medishot covers up that weakness.


Max lvl: 5

A field skill that stops FOEs in place. This is the exact same skill as the Troubadour's Slumber skill. Take it if you want, but outside of the 1st boss fight, I never really found much use for this.

Gathering Skill: Take

Force Skill: Riot Gun

The Gunner fires a fast acting shot that's guaranteed to stun the target. The skill deals 525% damage and has a 500% speed modifier. As long as your Gunner has at least 20 AGI, they'll always go before the enemy when using this skill. This is one of the best Force Skills in the game because of the utility it provides. This skill is the main reason Gunners are a top tier class. Outright stopping an enemy from doing anything and buying your team an extra turn is a huge benefit. It can be considered an offensive version of Painless, since this involves dealing damage. What this skill has over Painless is that it can protect your team from debuffs and dispels, since the enemy is stopped from doing anything. But what Painless has over Riot Gun is that it can protect your team from multiple enemies, where Riot Gun can only stop one. Like Dominate, Riot Gun doesn't care about resistances. It will always stun the target because nothing in the game, not even the bosses, are immune to being stunned. So this skill works on everything in the game. Well, almost everything. There is one exception. One very nasty exception...

Gunners are a great class that can dish out a lot of damage and have some decent supporting abilities. That said, a lot of their skills are pretty terrible, and not worth taking. If you're looking for a ranged physical attacker, go with Gunners instead of Survivalists. They can also cover the role of an elemental attacker pretty well, meaning that you don't need an Alchemist in the party.