Part 129: Shrine of the Archmagus
It's time to start Chapter 4, and we're gonna start things off with a bang.
This is East Duskbarrow Trail. All these Chapter 4 paths have a suggested level of 45. And for good reason.
Music: Battle III
A new area means a new battle theme. It's not quite Battle II, but it'll do for the end-game.
The Raging Treant and the Forest Ratking III's hit hard, and they have a good chunk of HP to burn through. Randoms aren't playing around anymore.
I'm not doing Cyrus's Chapter 4 today, but I do need to stop by Duskbarrow briefly.
You see, for some reason the Purifying Seeds are only sold in some of the Chapter 4 towns, though the Dusts are available in earlier ones. I end up stocking up 30 of each, which is a bit overkill but definitely will come in handy for the challenges ahead.
What challenges, you may ask?
Hidden on four of the Chapter 4 paths are another four shrines. Remember that these shrines were how we got our current eight jobs. So naturally, there's another four hidden among these.
Though it's certainly not going to be as easy to get these ones.
Music: The Trees Have Eyes
First off, while the other shrines were simply small rooms, the Chapter 4 shrines are actual proper dungeons.
Complete with powerful enemies that can beat you up good if you're not careful.
Though with strong foes come good rewards.
This is the reason I brought Therion. My current staff has an ElemAtk of 112. This is a massive upgrade for Cyrus, which is great, because I'm going to need all the help I can get.
I'm going to want a specific party for this next challenge. A Dancer and especially a Cleric is key for the coming fight I have to tackle. Alfyn is coming along because Concoct is ridiculous and will give me a ton more wiggle-room to survive.
I also grab Alfyn's Divine, which is insane because it works with Concoct. And I waffle a bit before buying the Cleric Divine for Cyrus, which should be really handy as well. I don't really need it though, and I kinda wish I saved the JP instead...
Regardless, buying everything else on Cleric is good if only for Saving Grace, which is some really nice insurance. Overhealing will definitely come in handy, especially if you have Alfyn around.
You do actually want some PhysDef, but considering this is the Shrine of the Archmagus, ElemDef is more important here. Of course, for the most part we won't need it, but still.
The jobs are kind of a mish-mash. Ophilia's a Hunter because Leghold Trap is insanely useful, Primrose is a second body to use Poison, which is actually somewhat useful for this fight, and Alfyn's a Merchant to use Donate BP. Cyrus is a Cleric because Cleric is the most important job for this fight.
Music: The Trees Have Eyes
I luck into having only one encounter on my second trip back.
And so we reach the job shrine.
The other difference between the Chapter 4 Job Shrines and the other ones is that we're not simply going to be handed these jobs. No, we'll have to earn them.
And trust me, you better be prepared.
Video: Boss - Dreisang, the Archmagus
Music: They Who Govern Reason
First off, this boss music only plays for these four job boss fights, so enjoy it while it lasts!
His first move is a nasty one, as it debuffs both attack stats and also blocks all buffs on our party for five rounds. That last one is brutal, and means I'll have to kill some time before I can start prepping my strategy.
Leghold Trap is damn vital for pretty much all of these fights, especially since all these bosses start with two turns a round, and their attacks can be brutal.
So is BP, even though it's not as useful right now. But the idea is to be milking the hell out of my Divines and fuel my biggest attacks.
These bosses also have around three times the HP that the Chapter 3 bosses had. Be prepared for a long fight.
However, this also means that even dealing 1% of MaxHP a round, Poison is still surprisingly strong here since it's gonna do around 1700 damage a round, which our non-Cyrus characters are going to struggle outdoing.
Dreisang's main gimmick are his magic spells. He has one for each element, and all six of them will do three hits each. That damage can destroy your team if you're not prepared.
He also has a nasty single-target attack that throws ElemAtk/Def debuffs on top of big damage.
Saving Grace is a bit finicky. You can't overheal any more if you're already at max HP or over, but otherwise you get overhealed the amount you're healed with. Meanwhile, if you Concoct Purifying Seed and Essence of Grape, Alfyn will heal a character for a flat 9999HP. Of course, these two work together beautifully.
Fun fact, getting KOed also removes the "can't be buffed" debuff.
So I can go ahead and prepare.
Dreisang also has an SP-draining attack, which...isn't that scary, really.
Remember Reflective Veil? It will reflect one spell, and you can stack as many as nine of these on a character. Normally it's single-target, but that's what Sealticge's Seduction is for, as now it's multi-target. Max-boost, that means four stacks of Reflective Veil on everyone.
Now consider that Aelfric's Auspices causes all non-Divine skills to trigger twice. That means a max-boosted Reflective Veil with AA and SS will throw eight stacks on everyone.
Of course, the jerk throws the buff-blocker out again, but at least it doesn't nullify the buffs I already have.
Also, gotta get paid.
Anyway, so why is Reflective Veil so key for this fight?
First off, it completely nullifies a magic hit of damage. Of course, that also means one of his spells removes three stacks of RV, but still worth it.
But it also reflects that damage back at Dreisang! And since he just had twelve spell hits reflected back, that's twelve wind-based hits smacking him in the face.
Truly, Dreisang himself is your biggest damage dealer in the fight against Dreisang.
Since I can't stack more Reflective Veils due to the buff blocker, I might as well break him and grab a breather.
He adds more shields and shuffles his weaknesses upon recovering from break.
After an Overheal by Alfyn, I finally have the buff blocker wear off.
I don't think I ever actually make use of this for this fight. Ah well.
At any rate, now no one can stop me...
...at throwing eight stacks of Reflective Veil on my entire team.
This is a mere ElemDef debuff. Which doesn't matter because I can reflect his dumb attacks anyway.
And hey, Aelfric's Auspices do work on other skills, too! How about four lightning hits in one round to shred his shields?
The fool gave himself an ElemAtk buff. Thanks for dealing ~24k of damage to yourself, really appreciate it!
I decide to go on the offensive. Cyrus uses Alephan to boost up his two-hit spells.
Of course, next I break 'em.
...and thanks to Aelfric and Alephan's divine skills I do close to 40k in one turn. Kinda wish I had Surpassing Power to break the damage cap!
Now he has ten shields, and no exposed weaknesses.
...until he exposes one himself. Did you know that a spell reflected with RV keeps its element? Yes, Dreisang just broke himself.
And that is all I need to finish him off.
And with that, our first job boss has fallen.
Music: The Trees Have Eyes
And with that, we have unlocked Sorcerer.
For these jobs, each new skill costs a flat 2000JP, except for the Divine Skill which is either 5000JP or 10000JP, can't remember which.
More details below.
Weapons: Bows, Staves
Stats: +20% Max SP; +9% ElemAtk/ElemDef; +2% Crit
Sorcerer is basically Scholar on steroids. They have six spells, one of each element, all of which deal three hits. They also have an actual staff skill, believe it or not. Of course, their focus is on ElemAtk, so characters like Primrose and Ophilia love this. While Cyrus is an obvious choice, it also reduces his flexibility and deprives a character of solid ElemAtk attacks, but then again, he also wrecks face with Sorcerer.
Ignis Ardere (36SP) [Fire] - Deal fire damage to all foes 3 times.
Glacies Claudere (36SP) [Ice] - Deal ice damage to all foes 3 times.
Tonitrus Canere (36SP) [Lightning] - Deal lightning damage to all foes 3 times.
Ventus Saltare (36SP) [Wind] - Deal wind damage to all foes 3 times.
Lux Congerere (36SP) [Light] - Deal light damage to all foes 3 times.
Tenebrae Operire (36SP) [Dark] - Deal dark damage to all foes 3 times.
Formula: (EA - TED) * 1.06 * (1 + 0.9*BP) ; Hits three times.
These skills are incredibly expensive, but they're also worth the cost. You can deal three hits of any element, shredding shields and doing huge amounts of damage. The fire and ice skills are free, while lightning should be a lower priority due to Lightning Blast existing. Otherwise, they're all solid options, especially once you find weapons that boost elemental damage.
Elemental Break (20SP) [Staff] - Unleash a powerful staff attack on a single foe that also reduces the target's elemental defense for 2 turns.
Formula: (PA - (0.7*TPD)) * 1.9 * (1 + BP) ; Each BP spent also adds two turns to the ElemDef debuff.
Yes, staff skills do exist! This one actually ends up nearly as strong as Cross Strike, except you'll generally use Sorcerer with low PhysAtk characters, and most staves have poor PhysAtk as well, so you generally won't do as much damage with it. Of course, the big thing is its ElemDef debuff, which of course pairs well with the Sorcerer's magic. Not shabby at all for a staff skill.
Dreisang's Spell (50SP) [Buff] - [Divine Skill] For three turns, elemental attacks performed by a single chosen ally will hit for critical damage.
This is the only way to make spells crit, though using this they will always crit. This basically means your spells will do an additional 25% damage, which...meh. I'm too lazy to do the math, but if you use this on the Sorcerer, it's two spells with crit vs. three spells without, though maybe stuff like Aelfric's Auspices might make it more worth it. You're also spending 14SP extra in a job that's going to have major SP problems to begin with. Probably the worst Divine Skill in the game, it really does not seem worth using over another spell.
Intimidation: Grants a 25% chance that foes will begin battle with reduced physical attack and elemental
There's a typo here, as it actually debuffs both types of attack for the first two rounds of combat. It's too short a duration to really be useful, and there's so many better passives to deal with randoms, especially for such a low chance of triggering to begin with. Pass.
Stronger Strikes: Increases damage dealt when striking a foe's weak point.
This is a net increase of a bit over 1/6 extra damage. Which sounds nice, except this only factors in for unbroken foes, meaning it's pointless against broken foes, i.e. the state when you actually want to do damage anyway. Another underwhelming passive.
Elemental Aid: Elemental attacks consume double SP, but also deal additional damage.
This is a flat increase of 50% damage to all elemental attacks, and does include elemental skills from other jobs, including Divine Skills. Of course, this also means you'll drain SP crazy fast, but if you can find ways to mitigate it, then the extra damage will be more than worth it.
Augmented Elements: Increases damage dealt by elemental attacks.
Just a flat 20% boost to all elemental damage. If elemental damage is your focus and you don't want to spend a ton of SP, this isn't bad, but I feel like just 20% isn't going to be enough to stand out when there's only four passive slots to begin with and more damaging options exist (plus, you'll probably have to waste a slot on Surpassing Power anyway). At least it's got some uses.
And that's it for Sorcerer! Next time, we'll tackle the second of the four job bosses.