best team? page 6

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mardek, elwyen, gloria, zach

 
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sslenck is a really good aklly if you master boost and perforate, just do boost alot of times to him and then keep using oerforate and a bosses health will gradually (not really im just kidding it will litterally plummet) decrease add thhe fact that mardek will be doing damage and watever other allies and you have a recipe for a dangerous ally

 
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Mardek
Elwyen
Gloria
Legion

 
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to be honest, it’s really just about how much effort you’ve put into the characters.

If you have a level 30 Sharla, she IS better than a level 15 Elwyen.

I personally ignored sslen’ck, vehrn, meraeador, and zach, and therefore they never became regular party members.

Even in the lost monastery I didn’t use vehrn, because he was barely better than when I had gotten him.

 
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Legion, Elwyn, Gloria. Legion and Gloria control all natural elements and for Legion even a few elements that cant be used by anyone else. Elwyn serves the role of support by empowering and healing the entire team. Mardek is an implied character but he still serves the purpose of defensive support and as a warrior. For Legion though you must put in the time to collect all his abilities for him to be any good.

 
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Gloria- can control all natural elements, null, buff, and is a great healer at high levels. She also ironically is one of the highest HP characters.

Legion- very versatile, can cast status defects. Spirit Nova and 1000 Needles make a great combo. Can use all elements, including Fig (Gemsplosion w/ a candriathrope equipped), which is very useful in the Dreamrealm. Also a great physical tank.

Vehrn- not used by many people in this thread, but is an extremely powerful attacker and decent healer. His holy skills, especially Divine Glory, can 1-hit pretty much every dark element monster in the game. With the Smite X reaction, he also can deal heavy damage to non-dark monsters.

 
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-mardek
-gloria
-legion
-solaar/elwyen

I got the impossible badge with solaar instead of elwyen
I had to reset safari, and while playing it through a second time, i’m using elwyen because i saw it in a video :P
And she is very good, but maybe Solaar is a bit better.

 
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Mardek, Gloria, Solaar and either Elywen or Legion is good to me. Mardek for all the physical elemental moves, Gloria for magic elemental moves and nulls, then Solaar can boost Elywen’s spirit with Spirit Graft, or Legion’s Fig- elemental Gemsplosion.

 
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I personally prefer Mardek, Elywen, Gloria and Legion.

Some other people like to replace Legion with Mereador/Solaar

 
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All characters having equal levels/skills, the best team would be Mardek/Elwyen/Gloria/Legion. Early game a few others may be better, but late game these shine, so it is sensible to train them up as soon as you can.
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This is going to be a treatise explaining why it is the best team, so TL;DR if you can’t handle it and know that I’m just another person supporting this team as the best. I could go into detail about each character and why the synergy on this team is the best, but I don’t feel I need to. All you’re really missing is Solaar’s SPR buff and S’slenck’s or Donovan’s STR buff, and debuffing enemies with this party more than makes up the difference. The key words here are “versatility” and “sustainability” not “raw power.”
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Summary
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This party has the greatest elemental damage versatility, great healing, the greatest durability while still having casters, versatility in debilitating enemies and using single or multiple target damage, and has the best sustainability through nulls, buffs, and Ballad of Balance.
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Each member here serves an important role, and many of the roles overlap—one character’s primary is another’s secondary. It’s organised as Primary/Secondary/Tertiary roles, and they are how I personally use them, and view them as most effective. As a rule, left to right is most useful to least useful.
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Mardek: Heavy Elemental Physical Damage/Support (Heals/Buffing/Curing)
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Mardek is necessary in our party, but it is still beneficial to cover what role he serves to determine who else to include. Given late-game top-tier equips (Mythril Armour, Golden M Helm, Champion Sword II, Top-Tier Accessories) he can easily breach 300 MP and dish out enormous heals, cure every status ailment (with Remove Evil from his solo arena accessory), cast Null Dark and Null Light on the entire party with one spell, all on top of enormous damage and buffs. Mardek greatly improves in usefulness as a healer with better equipment and can eventually render Solaar unnecessary.
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In my experience, for much of the game he can be the primary damage dealer. The drawback to his high physical elemental damage is that it’s single target, but Elwyen resolves this issue. He hits all four natural elements, and given a light sword (Champion I or II) can hit five, which is enormous versatility. In rare situations where physical damage is worthless, he can fall back to support, buffing the squishiest characters and healing. Even if he weren’t required in the party, you’d want him anyway.
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Morality Block is an essential skill as well for surviving multiple battles. With it, high damage group spells from many bosses are moot, and it cancels out Death, which is extremely beneficial for fighting the Security Demon. It’s essentially required for doing a 100% completion, no death game.
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Elwyen: Support (Distribution/Damage/Heals/Buffing)
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Elwyen’s songs do 4 things: Buff STR, SPR, Def, and Mdef / Low True Damage, High Anti-Undead Damage / Heals / Distribution
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Elwyen wouldn’t be notable without the inclusion of one all but essential skill: Ballad of Balance. The distribution of heals and damage changes those OHKOs from the superbosses to heavy party damage, allows regen on one high HP character to heal everyone, allows for healing the lowest MDef character for extra-power group heals, allows for quick enemy clearing, and more. Notably, Elwyen can allow Mardek to be the primary damage dealer for dungeon crawling, as he can easily hit from 2,000-4,000 damage with proper elemental choice, and the wasted damage is instead spread around, often wasting the entire enemy party. This also allows for targeting the weakest enemy to damage stronger ones, or killing spirits when they’re mixed with normal enemies. The possibilities of this one skill alone make Elwyen worth taking.
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The Buffing spells are not all that useful much of the time, but they can be worthwhile until you find Ballad of Balance. Late-game I almost never use them, but they can be used in conjunction with a strategy that requires Gloria (more on that later). Her heal, when facing a tough group of enemies that deals annoying damage but won’t OHKO characters, is very useful and frees up Gloria and Mardek for damage, and heals a fair amount. That it activates on each character’s turn requires different planning than a group heal on one turn—it is essentially a super-regen, and group heals and the regen status can augment it.
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Dolorous Dirge is wonderful for fighting spirits. Give Elwyen an Azure Stole +6, Astral Harp, Soulstone, and Sapphire Bangle (and SPR +1, +2, +3 in Passive Skills) for a whopping +31 SPR and watch them fall. This is also great for one of the best grinding strategies for bringing up weak characters for the solo arenas: OHKO pixies at the Pixie Spring. Each level adds 2 damage to Dolorous Dirge as well, so keeping her as a main can add the extra 30 or 40 damage you need for those OHKOs.
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Elwyen’s weakness is a lack of damage dealing capability and low health. You have to construct the party around her to make up for the first, which this party does, and she has abilities to counteract the second. Magic damage gets covered by the robes MDef abilities, so Physical Damage is the only problem, but with Survivor and 70% Evasion (50% + 20%), it’s tough to take her down regardless.
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Gloria: Weakening/Moderate Magic Damage/Support (Heals/Buffing/Curing)
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Gloria’s greatest boon is that her 4 elemental damage spells each lower the associated stat 1-3 points. This isn’t notable for dungeon crawling, but it is enormously useful for boss fights. When fighting any tough boss, you can have Mardek on heals/buffing, Elwyen on distribution, Legion doing any number of things, and Gloria slowly taking the pressure off. Doing this, you can do ridiculous things like lower enemy STR and SPR to 0, and then calmly whittle them down.
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Slightly subordinate to weakening bosses are her 4 elemental null spells. This makes the guardians’ ultimate spells worthless (and removes the need for resistance to the element that Inversion: [Element] exploits), and is even more useful in negating superboss spells. When combined with Mardek’s Morality Block, only Aether magic can touch you. She can also cast Barkskin, and when used in conjunction with Shield cuts physical damage way down.
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Her curing comes very late in the game (Ultimate weapon and solo arena accessory), but allows for two places in the roster for it if necessary, and she can cure every status effect of the whole party in emergencies, though it has a high MP cost. Her Earth Heal is a useful group heal, and as an infrequently needed side-effect cures poison (which is amazing for the Earth Guardian).
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Her damage capabilities aren’t astounding, but she has the most versatile magic damage in the game, and can do high single-target, or moderate group damage. This makes her more useful for mob clearing than Solaar, Donovan, and Sharla (though Sharla wins when facing earth elemental enemies).
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Her main drawback is a terrible MP to Spell Cost ratio. Load her up with +SPR to improve this as well as damage. It becomes less pronounced later on, but early in the game she can run out of MP fairly quickly when using a lot of group spells. Gloria is also the least squishy caster in the game, so she doesn’t need babysitting.
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Legion: Debuffing/Unique and Versatile Magic/Pure Physical Damage
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Legion is equal in utility to Mardek, Elwyen, and Gloria only if you put the time in to craft his ultimate armour and weapon, and have him learn every skill in his arsenal. His pure physical damage is not usually helpful, but there are situations where it comes in handy, and would otherwise be completely unavailable.
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In his long list of skills, many aren’t exceptionally useful, but there are a few standouts. Spirit Nova (when used with Mdamage +10% and +20%) tears Mythril Golems down in an instant, and does equally well against other non-boss high HP enemies. Money Attack (with an enormous bank account) can do some serious damage. Gemsplosion deals decent magic damage of any element, and allows for Thauma and Fig damage, which can’t be used any other way.
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He can also learn the Guardian attacks for each element, and though they are less useful than you would hope, it gives him versatility in elemental damage and they look badass.
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Most of his skills are focused on debuffing, making him essential for taking advantage of bosses’ weaknesses. There are a lot, so for ease of reading they’ll be in a vertical list:
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Dark Claw: Blindness
Blood Claw: Bleeding
Curse: Curse
Addle Gas: Confusion
Rage Chord: Berserk
Poison Sting: Poison
Spectral Touch: Lower STR and Paralysis
Acid: Lower Def and Poison and Numbness
Morbid Fondle: Lower VIT and Blindness
Viscous Ooze: Lower AGI
Sombre Tears: Remove Berserk
Needleflare: Poison
Fairy Dust: Lower STR and Lower SPR to all enemies
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There’s a lot of redundancy, but he can notably cause poison, curse, paralysis, and bleeding, lower all 4 stats and armour, and inflict and remove berserk. That’s some serious versatility, and when using his stat lowering in conjunction with Gloria, enemies become helpless kittens in no time. You can (and I have) reduced both Annihilators and the Security Demon to powerless whelps. This strategy also allows Elwyen to stop using Ballad of Balance and choose a buffing spell instead, though only SPR and STR need buffing.
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Overall, Legion’s weakness is a low MP with high cost abilities. Most of his abilities cost 10 MP, and the better ones cost 20. Bringing a stock of ethers solves this, as does equipment boosting MP and SPR.
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Obtaining him also takes a bit of time and effort, even if you know exactly what you’re doing. That’s a turnoff for many, but he is undoubtedly worth the effort. Also, it is necessary to craft his ultimate armour and weapon to make him maximally effective, and that takes a fair bit of time and resources. He takes a lot of work, but the end result is top-notch.

For boosting money attack damage, there is a frighteningly easy way to make piles of cash. The first step is the hardest, and that is getting double gold on four characters. Make sure one has high air or earth damage. Head to the back of the bandit cave and jump into the water where Muriance fled in Chapter 2. There are Angry Cod from level 25-30 there, but a level 30 Sharla or Gloria can make short work of them. For Sharla use group Thunderbolt, and for Gloria use group Razor Leaf or Twister with Ballad of Balance on. That should one shot them, and then just make sure to bring enough Ethers with you to stay for a while—you’ll soon make enough money to comfortably buy a stack of 99. Following the method, the groups drop 6k – 15k gold a battle, and I hit 1 million in 2 hours. It also gives decent XP, though the caster gets a disproportionate amount. Have fun with 5k+ money attack damage and buying whatever you want (I’ve got 4 of each +6 stole).

If you made it down here, thanks. Also, the paragraphs are formatted way too close together, so I inserted the ` to make it readable. And adding the last two caused half the post to inexplicably get underlined. Is there another way to do it?

 
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Vehrn is definitely very good and would be awesome if we were allowed to remove Mardek. I wish we were allowed to remove Mardek by the way, would add so much versatility. The problem essentially though is with 3 character slots and 10 possible choices you can only ever use 30% of your possibilities. This wouldn’t be a problem if 7 of the 10 “sucked”. Unfortunately it seems like only 3 of the 10 “suck” (Donovan, Mereador, and Sharla of course). This leaves 3 out of 7 good characters, meaning you must deny 4 good characters at any time. Unless youre neurotic and switch characters in and out of your party based on wherever you are at that time (I don’t do this in any RPG ever, consistency and stability are much more important to me than slightly higher temporary efficiency) that is a really hard set of decisions…

Solaar is really good, but mostly lategame, early on his HP and defense are just terrible. Also he uses Light which isnt always that great and its only one element.

Vehrn would be incredibly amazing since his ultimate equips are fairly easy to get compared to everyone else’s (Lost Monastery isnt that late of a dungeon really) and while yet again he is limited to mainly one element of Light, at least he gets some Earth and also his overall damage is pretty dang good. I would seriously replace Mardek for Vehrn since to me offense > defense at least in most RPGs.

Zach is awesome seeming and a nice ff6 Shadow rip-off. His Air element is pretty ok, and I like some of his skills an awful lot. His speed is a very good thing. His main problems are relatively lower HP and also the fact Crescendo Slash takes too long to really get going.

Ss’lenck is an insane physical powerhouse period. Definitely your best character when you first get him and for a while after until you get Legion. Just really great with Perforate since it boosts the damage of all your other physical attackers as well. His biggest problems are very bad magical defenses and very low MP which sucks when you want to use any of his skills. Nevertheless he is really really really good.

Legion is pretty interesting wide variety of “blue magic” spells. His problems: takes a serious time investment, has several permanently missable spells (from the guardians), and you have to make use of scarce and rare resources for his best equips. Also I believe he is on the slower side of things. He is sort of a “jack of all trades master of none” to an extent too. Sort of a more magic-y Sslenck clone.

Elweyn is insanely great at mostly one thing: grinding. She simply kicks ass and is virtually indispensible for this task (one of the core tasks in any RPG obviously). Dolorous Dirge, nuff said essentially. But if you wanted MORE than “just” that there IS more. A lot more… her only real flaws are that she cant exactly make use of her lategame quite high MP, and that maybe she isnt quite versatile enough since she can only use one song at a time and each song only does really one particular thing.

Gloria: best character in game. High HP, all natural elements, REDUCES ENEMY STATS. Just ridiculously overpowered and really beastly. You would have to be either retarded or brand new to the concepts of most RPGs to not love her.

That concludes my rant

 
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I completely agree with Alwendil with the following exceptions. Vehrn totally rocks for high damage against anything except light. He’s not as versatile as Legion, but can do significantly more damage in many situations (with both Smite + and Smite x on and some equipment buffs for spirit.) I swap between the two depending on the situation late in the game. No character sucks after level 30, they are just limited in their efficacy. The elementally aligned characters of course destroy those weak against the element and have some other middling abilities to use elsewise. Mereador has a good spread of weapon choices and can significantly buff Legion. Solaar heals folk like a madman, almost always does some nice damage with Solar Flare and, if not, can boost anyone’s spirit which also generates MPs. This assumes that he can go astral AND Mardek can keep casting Null Light/Dark on him after the transformation (he loses resistance to light and dark while astral). But usually my team is Elly, Glo and Legion.

 
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Noone sucks well I would put forth the notion both Mereador and Donovan do. There is no Air Temple so a fire bias is useless more or less. Except maybe fighting bandits during the entrance to get into the Earth Temple. That is too specialized a one-time situation to justify grinding an equipping those bad characters though. Mereador can buff Legion but then youre using 2/3 of your characters , too many for something like that. You really need to make each of your 3 character slots as amazing as possible and cover as wide a variety of situations as possible. Again I’m assuming people want to KEEP a “best party” throughout the game and not constantly switch in and out based on their location and enemies. Obviously Sharla rocks in Earth Temple for example. However I still wouldnt use her because thats too specialized a task for a party member. And other more generally good party members do fine in Earth Temple anyways.