The Let's Play Archive

Etrian Odyssey

by Crosspeice

Part 48: Landsknecht Overview


Can equip: Swords, Axes, Heavy Armour, Light Armour, Shields. (I won't list other armour types like Headgear, Gloves or Footwear since there's only a few exceptions to those)

Did I spell that right? Yeah? Cool. Landsknecht's are ur example of a sword class that is good at what they do (hitting things with swords) while not really excelling in anything particularly out there. They're dependable damage dealers that have little fluff to them and will basically serve you from one side of the game to the other. While they work perfectly fine with Swords, they can also wield Axes to a degree of success, though it's not as dependable to go pure Axesknecht instead of Swordsknecht. They're also pretty tanky and will usually be one of the last few standing in battle and have the power to get you out of the situation if you're lucky.

Some pretty good stuff right here, good STR, VIT and AGI makes them more durable and less susceptible to being suddenly taken out and having the second highest HP doesn't hurt either. They're not amazingly lucky and have bad TP and TEC, but as far as overall stats go, Landsknechts are definitely up there as one of the best, excelling at what they need.


Common passives are shared between a few classes and we'll go over them when we encounter them first. Unlike the common passives of EO2 and on, only some of them are given to certain classes, with others having unique "common" passives. Also the same passive on one class might give different values than on another class, usually having the HP and TP percentages switched. We'll go over any differences.

Anyway, HP Up is always useful when it shows up, making the Landy even more tanky, but usually you put a point into these early if you feel like it and max them when you've got all the important skills you need. Remember, the basic stats at the start don't take into account any skills or equipment.

I miss when passive stat boosts used to be worth taking and not just skill point filler. Oh, right. Passive stat boosts are great to take in this game, but they're really not what you should be going for first, since there are almost always other skills you want to beeline towards instead. You may want to take 1 point in them for the value point they give at level 1, but the only reason to get them early is to basically unlock skills later down the line. And early on, these skills don't have much of an effect. Let me put it this way. Hypothetically, if your Landsknecht is level 1, and they take this skill, a level 1 version of HP Up adds on +2 HP while a level 10 version (even though it would be impossible in normal circumstances) would only add on... +7 HP. Yeah, not great. But after you've gotten all your important skills, feel free to invest in whatever you want.

HP Up is a good defensive skill to take for a Landsknecht considering their high HP pool, and this makes them even tankier. On the other hand, their base HP pool is already pretty high, that this skill isn't really a high priority for them. In fact, if you make use of the Medic's Immunize skill frequently, you can afford to just leave this at level 5 instead and spend that SP elsewhere. Which you'll want to do if you opt for the hybrid Sword and Axe build.

Unlocks: Blazer (LV 3), Freezer (LV3), Shocker (LV3)

TP Up is usually a good choice, fixing the problems of some TP starved classes, like the Landy, or giving other classes the ability to just use skills in battle as much as they like. Putting one point in can be a good investment for some high TP classes, as 10% is a nice little boost. But doing it when the Landy is level 1? Ehhh, not too useful, but definitely a necessity towards the end, as that 50% boost is too hard to pass up.

More TP is nice, especially with a class that doesn't have much of it in the first place. And if you make use of the Troubadour's Relaxing skill, TP Up only makes it stronger since that skill restores a portion of the party's TP pool instead of a set amount. Definitely a must have after you've gotten all of your vital skills.

Unlocks: War Cry (LV3), Hell Cry (LV10)

Like with HP Up, ATK Up is nice but not something you really want to invest in very heavily towards the start of the game. A 130% boost is nice, but it's not gamebreaking, so it's something that can give a Landy their edge towards the end of the game.

If a damage boosting skill shows up on a class that's a damage dealer, there's pretty much little to no reason not invest in it after you're done with the important skills. That said, this skill is just a multiplier that's applied to the Landsknecht's STR stat, so it's not really vital to go for this until like much later.

Unlocks: Arm Heal (LV1), Flee (LV5)

DEF Up is also a nice addition to a class's arsenal, but doesn't have the same numerical oomph to it the other passives do. It's basically like them except going the other way, reducing how much physical damage you take, which is pretty helpful since damage reduction skills are better than defense boosting skills due to some maths. If you've still got room after the other passives then yeah you can go for it, but after ATK Up, since killing stuff and taking no damage is better than taking reduced damage. The low numbers do leave a lot to be desired, though.

There are two ways that this game affects your party members' defenses. Affecting their damage multipliers, and affecting their defense stat directly. The important thing to know is that affecting the former is far more important than affecting the latter. Because your defense stat doesn't really do all that much in this game. Which fortunately, this skill does affect your Landsknecht's damage multipliers directly.

This skill is really low priority on the list of stat boosting passives they have. Landsknects are already pretty bulky, so this skill while helpful, won't be helping them too much. And they already have a much better defense boosting skill in the form of HP Up. And something important to note is that, HP Up effectively increases their defenses against all damage types, while DEF Up only affects physical damage types. Maybe take a point in it for the 5% damage reduction, but I wouldn't max this out unless there's really nothing else you want.

Swords Unlocks: Cleaver (LV1), Tornado (LV5), Allslash (LV5), 2-Hit (LV5), Blazer (LV7), Freezer (LV7), Shocker (LV7)
Axes Unlocks: Crush (LV1), Stunner (LV3), 2-Hit (LV5), Silencer (LV7)

I think the Landy has a bit more to do with Swords, yeah? Weapon passives are pretty nice, giving a boost to the ATK of the weapon equipped, but you should only raise them to the level you need to get the skills you want and finish them up later if you're got the SP. Also you'll be using the Sword more as the Axe skills aren't too amazing in comparison, though Crush is pretty cheap. It also depends if you want to go for the proto-Chasers on the Sword side, as those can be quite the investment.

When it comes to damage boosting skills, you'll want to prioritize weapon mastery skills over ATK Up. Namely because weapon mastery skills directly affect your weapon's ATK stat, and those have bigger numbers than your classes' STR stats. And when it comes to damage, a point of weapon ATK and a point of STR do the same thing, so you can see where I'm coming from there.

Landsknechts pretty much have 2 branches they can go for. Swords is more oriented towards crowd control, which is really good when exploring and dealing with all sorts of random encounters, while Axes specialize in single target damage which is great for dealing with FOEs and bosses. With that said, you'll be dealing with the labyrinth and the monsters that live within it far more often than dealing with a selection of strong enemies. So axes kind of have the bigger downside in that regard.

So which should you go for? Well, why not both? Yes, really. That's actually a build that works in this game. In later games, such a build would be completely unthinkable, but Landsknechts really do have the SP to spare for such an instance. Invest in the important skills for both, and then swap between Swords and Axes as needed while you're in the Labyrinth. With that said, if you're building towards this hybrid build, you'll want to start investing in the Swords branch first, because the crowd control capabilities it has are really important early on. And Sword skills don't really lose out on that much damage compared to Axes, so you can afford to put off Axe skills for later.

Prerequisites: Swords LV5, Axes LV5
Unlocks: Allslash (LV3)
Gives your normal attacks a chance of a second hit. Passive.

Well this skill sucks, since while you use your normal attack kinda often, usually when you have no TP, or are at the start of the game where you have no choice, or if you're confident you can take out the enemies without getting immediately wrecked, its chances of proccing aren't very high, so it's not something worth investing in much. It's required for Allslash, an excellent skill, but the chance is too low to use reliably and there's limited attack chasing in this game, so a gimmick build is out too. Just get to level 3 and be surprised when you hit that 12% chance, cause it's not doing anything else for you.

Your regular attack is your main offensive tool in the early-game since you don't have a lot of TP to spend, and its one of the few reliable attacking methods you have. Past that point, it's basically an emergency tool since you're meant to use skills to really damage things. So with that said, skills that improve your regular attack's effectiveness tend to be really really not worth it in this game or in the rest of the series! Pick those up if you have the SP to spare, but skills that boost your regular attacks should never be your first priority unless they're a prerequisite for a skill.

Also 10 SP for what's effectively only a 23% damage boost for regular attacks only? Yeah, no thank you!

War Cry
Prerequisites: ATK Up LV3
For 5 turns increases damage dealt and damage taken. Buff skill, uses the Head.

Remember level 15 is only accessible via Boost. Sure there's also level 11-14, but I don't care about listing them, so don't think about them.

War Cry is pretty cheap since you'll be getting some points in ATK Up anyway. However, to invest heavily in this skill when you could be putting your SP elsewhere (like towards Allslash) makes it a hard sell. The increased damage taken is also pretty nasty, since it takes a few levels before that starts going down and even then not by much. There are other classes much better at laying down buffs and your Landy has better things to do. But with some defensive support and when it's all maxed out, this definitely makes your Landy hit much, much harder.

First thing I want to get out of the way is that buffs that affect your ATK affects your total ATK (Your weapon's ATK stat + your STR stat) So they're pretty good damage boosts.

The damage boost from War Cry is very respectable, but there are a few problems with this skill. The increased damage taken unfortunately takes the form of affecting your Landsknecht's damage multipliers and not their defense stat, so it's a bit of a blow to their defenses. But that's not too much of an issue since Landsknechts do have respectable defenses, and with Immunize backup, it won't be an issue at all if you have access to that skill. The other big problem is that if you use the holy trinity of buffs, which take the form of the Troubadour's Bravery and Relaxing skills, and the Medic's Immunize skill, you don't have any room to make use of this, since only 3 buffs can be active at a time on party members. If you're not using those skills though, War Cry is a pretty decent buff to make use of. The other big issue is that it only affects the Landsknecht themselves, so there's a turn of downtime when they use this.

Hell Cry
Prerequisites: ATK Up LV10
For 5 turns increases damage dealt, damage taken and reduces max HP. Buff skill, uses the Head.

If War Cry was a hard sell, then Hell Cry is even harder. For 7 more points into ATK Up, you can start investing in a skill that War Cry surpasses already if you'd invested those 7 points in it. Sure, you'll have higher ATK, but that's something you'll want at the end of the game, when you've already gotten most of your important skills boosted. The main thing against this skill is the HP reduction. You're already taking increased damage on top of that and in comparison, the extra 10% attack boost Hell Cry has just doesn't make it worth it. Again, there are other classes better at buffs and your Landy has so many more better things to do than waste all this SP into a pretty suicidal buff, even with Protector support.

Oh boy. Take everything that was said about War Cry, and add on even more problems to it. The HP reduction on top of the extra damage reduction is a massive blow to their defenses. In short, not worth it. And even if you go for Immunize support for this skill, War Cry is available much earlier, meaning that your Landsknecht can do more earlier if they go for that than if they save their SP for this skill, making this skill an even harder sell.

Arm Heal
Prerequisites: DEF Up LV1
Removes Arm Bind on self. Heal skill, uses the Head.

It's not looking too great, I know, but Landys do get better, promise! Arm Heal is pointless, an item can do what this skill does, a much more suited to healing class can do what this skill does and much more in the same turn. Never look at this skill, don't even bother putting 1 point into it, it's better to just use a basic attack while your bind gets healed. Bonus, if both your Head and Arms are bound, then you can't use this skill at all! And yeah, that'll happen more than you'd like.

There is an archetype of skills in this series that people have labeled "trap skills." Skills that are terrible and really really don't do much for your party. This is one of them. And not the last one, unfortunately.

Prerequisites: DEF Up LV5
A chance to sacrifice the party's HP to flee from battle to the previous floor. Flight skill, uses the Legs.

Another rubbish skill, Flee is already halfway into DEF Up and then it might not even work unless you put more SP into it. The HP loss is pretty much a non-factor, since you'll be using a Warp Wire to leave when this skill works, right? Riiiiiight? Well anyway, if this skill fails and you die horribly to whatever made you think of using this skill to begin with, then why invest in this skill at all? If you're gonna die, just accept your fate, it's not worth wasting your SP on this for the chance of escaping. I guess the flee rate is pretty alright, but you'll remember the times it didn't work more than the times it did.

Flee might be worth it in a game where the escape rates suck. But EO1 is not one of those games, and escaping is fairly reliable, so this is really a waste of skill points.

Prerequisites: Swords LV1
A single target Sword strike. Sword skill with Cut damage, uses the Arms.

Finally we're getting to the attacking skills and this is about as bland as you can get. It's the worst sword skill, but also the cheapest, so maybe putting 1 point into it might be an option? It's just quicker to just go full in towards Tornado though, at least that skill hits more than one enemy. Uh, there's not much to say about this skill, it's very basic and not worth your time, unless you need an attacking skill right at the start of the game, like immediately and can't wait til level 4 to unlock Tornado.

You're probably better off saving the SP for Tornado, since 40% more damage at the start of the game is really not gonna make that much of a difference in most cases.

Prerequisites: Swords LV5
A single target Sword strike that hits adjacent enemies for 70% less damage on average. Sword skill with Cut damage, uses the Arms.

Now we're getting somewhere, it's basically the exact same skill as Cleaver except this one hits enemies to the left and right as well with reduced damage, making it better than Cleaver in every way. You'll be using this to clear out the trash mobs while you wait to get to Allslash to do what Tornado does but even better, so it's not worth levelling this skill up very much, if at all. The increased TP cost can be a little rough at the start of the game, but if you're not worrying about TP 24/7 then why play EO?

Ah, now this is more like it. People are of 2 minds with this skill. While a lot of people who swear by Sword Landsknecht tends to agree that Allslash is by far the superior skill and should absolutely be invested in and maxed out, that skill is available much later, where Tornado can be invested in close to the start of the game and can get your Landsknecht going much earlier. But SP is a very limited resource, so taking points in Tornado will delay when you can get Allslash. So you can take Tornado to strengthen the Landsknecht's earlygame, but weaken their mid and late-game in the process, or ignore this skill entirely for a rougher earlygame. It's up to you on what you want your party to accomplish at those points in time. But if you're going for the hybrid build, you really can't afford to take this at all, since beelining for Allslash is by far more important.

Prerequisites: Swords LV5, 2-Hit LV3
A multi target Sword strike that can hit more enemies the higher the level, but only hits an enemy once. Sword skill with Cut damage, uses the Legs.

Allslash is the main skill the Landy will use, as it's great for regular battles, though it's obviously not amazing against FOEs or Bosses with no summons. The chance of hitting 3 or 4 times might be low initially, but you usually face enemies in groups of 3 max, so you'll get a lot of use out of this skill... once you actually unlock it. It lets your Landy deal consistent damage and makes it a great class to use while exploring the labyrinth. Having the same TP cost as Tornado just makes that skill really unappealing in comparison.

The only reason why Tornado is even worth considering is that it's available much earlier. Otherwise, this is by far the best Sword skill for the Landsknecht in the game, no contest. It's a fantastic encounter clearer, and random encounters are gonna be the majority of the fights you get into. And as a bonus, it uses the legs, so arm binds won't be stopping this skill from going off, though it does reduce its damage. (Which also means that there's even less of a reason to get Arm Heal at all if you're using a Sword Landsknecht.)

Prerequisites: Swords LV7, TP Up LV3
A follow up attack that hits all enemies just hit by an elemental type attack, but only hits an enemy once. Sword skill with Cut damage, uses the Legs.

So once you've got Allslash, what next? Well if you've got an Alchemist or Troubadour, then these "chaser" skills can be pretty useful to get some additional damage on elemental weaknesses. While Allslash does more damage overall if you're not hitting weakness, it does let you do a lot of follow up damage to all enemies that were just hit by an elemental attack. However, to actually invest in all these skills will use up a lot of SP, so to make your Landy effective it's not recommended to put too many points into these skills, depending on what weapons you're using. It's something else to do, but what your Landy does, they do very well, so investing in something different, but mediocre, like this probably isn't worth your time.

Chaser skills in EO1 are not like the Chaser skills in the later games. EO2 is the game that made them into what people know as Chasers today. But in EO1, they're just conditional damage dealing skills. I suppose you can take these to give the Landsknecht additional coverage so they don't get walled by enemies that resist Cut damage, but you need an Alchemist or a Troubadour to even set these off in the first place. And if you have those classes in your party, coverage isn't really an issue at all.

Prerequisites: Axes LV1
A single target Axe strike. Axe skill with Bash damage, uses the Arms.

As the first Axe skill, it's simple like Cleaver, but it's better than Cleaver due to doing pretty heavy single target damage and isn't really outclassed by other Axe skills. It's a bit slow, but it's very cheap and will do more damage overall to single target enemies than the Sword skills. Especially if the enemy is weak to Bash compared to Cut. If you want to invest in the Axe skills while mostly focusing on the Sword skills, then this is the best choice to go for, since you can start seeing a lot of single target damage, but stick to Swords for the trash mobs.

Unlike Cleaver, this is the strongest skill in the Axe skill branch, so if you're going for Axes, there's no reason not to max this thing out. And is one of the last important skills you'll want to go for in a hybrid build.

Prerequisites: Axes LV3
A single target Axe strike that has a chance to Stun. Axe skill with Bash damage, uses the Arms.

The second Axe skill is alright and comparable to the Sword skills in power. If pure power is all you're going for, then use Crush, it definitely lays in the hurt, but if you're fine with rolling a chance of Stunning the enemy then this can be a good skill, though note the various Stun resistances in the game, they follow a pretty standard pattern. It being the fastest Axe skill is also quite good, though it's unreliable and downright impossible if you're slower. Overall, while you can go hybrid in this game, it means taking Crush and that's about it, not very exciting, I know.

The only good thing I can say about this skill is that it's the fastest damaging skill in the Axe skill branch. The stun is nice, but it's unreliable to land on stronger enemies. And against weaker enemies, why not just kill them straight away with Crush?

Prerequisites: Axes LV7
A single target Axe strike that has a chance to Head Bind the enemy. Axe skill with Bash damage, uses the Arms.

Silencer isn't worth it for a couple reasons. Most FOEs and Bosses (the main enemies you'll be using Axes on) often have high resistances to binds and while head binds are pretty useful for certain enemies, Crush is much more useful just due to the sheer damage it does. Also due to this resistance, the Landy will have a hard time landing it and other classes are much more suited to this kinda thing. Also also Silencer is a pretty weak Axe skill, only being comparable to base Sword skills at max level, so it makes a real SP investment on a class that is pretty SP hungry. So it's best to to invest in the other two Axe skills.

Euuuuggghhh! Weak damage, with a low infliction rate, in a skill branch that's all about the Landsknecht dealing a ton of damage. Hard pass! And if you're familiar with the later games and how strong binds are there, let me say this right now, binds are nowhere near as strong as they were in the later games for reasons Crosspeice will get into later. So there's even less reason to get this skill at all.

Landsknechts can also Mine, but you should only touch those skills on a dedicated gathering party. We'll go over them when we cover the Survivalist.