Part 50: Character Comparison - Shot TypeOn top of having gotten the Ultimate Armor way early, you're also at a level I think the game expects you to be at AFTER you've cleared this chapter. But now that we have the full team again, time for a fun little secondary thing I wanted to add to the Character Write-Ups once the whole party was assembled; Character Comparisons! We'll start with everyone who goes Bang Bang Shoot Gun, mostly because X has his Ultimate Armor and the other secret surprise is still a little ways off.
Shot Damage Party Members
So we'll be looking a bit more closely at X, Spider, and Axl here, starting with their pros and cons.
-Exceptionally versatile Action Trigger, even before you get his Ultimate Armor. X Fire's Charge Collider for Boss Fights, Normal mode's Charge Shot for mooks.
-Ultimate Armor just does disgusting things to enemies at all points after you get it. Moreso when you do what Bisby did!
-Speaking of the Ultimate Armor, its basic chest laser attack will always crit, and X permanently has the Defense status while using it so he's always guarding attacks.
-His standard weapons cover elemental damage and multi-hit options, while his Secret Shop Turbo Buster is exceptionally strong.
-4 Force Metal slots and a good amount of immunity, so you can really fine tune his stats - his unique X Heart is also very handy, especially because it has no erosion cost.
-Both Hyper Modes forcibly change X's sub weapons, but this can at least be planned around.
-X Fire forces X's basic attacks to deal Fire elemental Combat Damage, so if you're against an enemy that absorbs fire and can't use Charge Collider, just turn X Fire off.
-Can easily do high damage or blow up groups of enemies with Clubs or Spades weapon respectively, while his Diamonds and Hearts make grinding quicker.
-Trickstar is absurdly good, since it doubles his power and makes him immune to damage. Even the Speed penalty is helpful, since it means it takes longer for his turns to come around thus prolonging the time it's active.
-Action Trigger can let him deal multiple attacks, debuff every enemy stat, do elemental damage, or even flat out kill enemies.
-None of his weapons make him slower. In fact, all of his Diamonds suit cards and the Joker from the Eternal Forest make him faster.
-4 Force Metal slots like X, but his immunity isn't as good as X's so it's a bit harder to adjust his stats how you want. Does make up for a bit with his unique Bluff metal, since like X Heart it has no erosion cost.
-Has a very stylish hat.
-Action Trigger is basically worthless unless you're really lucky, since it's at the mercy of what poker hands the game deals you, and most of the best effects are behind rare hands.
-His Action Trigger is also his ONLY way to deal elemental damage without items, as none of his weapons are elemental. The elemental damage is also one hit of every element, meaning an enemy who absorbs an element will take less total damage.
-Trickstar also makes him immune to being healed, and has a terrible duration.
-Needs to be at 75% WE for the extra effects of his weapons to kick in, except if you use the Joker... but you can't pick which effect it uses.
-The Zenny and EXP boosting effects of his Diamond and Heart suit weapons respectively only apply if he gets the killing blow.
-Despite using Counter Card in the boss fight against him in Chapter 1, he doesn't get a unique sub weapon that lets him use it.
-On-demand Elemental Damage of any type via his Action Trigger.
-Stealth Mode is absurdly good, since it doubles his power and makes him immune to damage. Even the Speed penalty is helpful, since it means it takes longer for his turns to come around thus prolonging the time it's active.
-Unlike Spider, doesn't need high WE to deal multiple attacks with his weapons.
-4 Force Metal slots like X, but his immunity isn't as good as X's so it's a bit harder to adjust his stats how you want.
-You have to beat bosses to power up his Action Trigger so he can actually have elemental variety.
-His Action Trigger is also his ONLY way to deal elemental damage without items, as none of his weapons are elemental.
-Stealth Mode also makes him immune to being healed, and has a terrible duration.
-While he has exclusive access to weapons that deal more damage to specific types of enemies, they're not worth using over the ones that let his basic attack hit more than once.
-His main single target attack with his Action Trigger is lightning elemental and classified as Combat damage, meaning it can miss against flying enemies and heal enemies who absorb lightning.
-While he does get a non-elemental single target attack on his Action Trigger, you have to beat a Bonus Boss for it.
-The only character in the game without a unique force metal.
-He does not have a stylish hat.
The Shot Damage characters are kind of an odd bunch. X is the runaway winner among them in terms of damage output, especially with the Ultimate Armor. The silver medal is harder to say however - Spider does edge Axl out a bit in terms of utility, but Axl can actually use his Action Trigger and not be punished for it like Spider. Neither of them can deal elemental damage without using their Action Trigger, which is a bigger problem for Spider than it is Axl given how the latter can pick what element he wants to use while Spider just does all three... assuming you even get a hand that lets him do that attack. There's also the weird design choice of Spider and Axl having nearly identical Hyper Modes - I say 'nearly' because Axl's will boost his critical hit rate on top of the extra attack power, while I haven't been able to find anything that confirms if Spider's does. Given the lack of penalty for using his Action Trigger though, I'd have to say Axl pulls ahead to 2nd place among the Shot characters. He's not absurdly good, but Axl's got enough going for him that doesn't have conditions or randomness to it that his consistency puts him just a bit above of Spider. Enemies that counter Shot Damage however are also more common than ones who counter Combat Damage, and Spider is the only Shot character who doesn't have a means to get around that. It's kind of a shame really, since Spider's my favorite of the Command Mission original party members.