Boss Guide by Etner
Version: 1.0 | Updated: 12/26/2018
Table of Contents
- Version History
- Part 1
- Smog x2
- Tricky Devil
- Grim Gryphon x2
- Jarvis & Jarvis's Shadow x3
- Interim Note
- Slayer of the Sands
- Coralossus x2
- Abominable Showman & Underdigger
- Sinderella & Whambelina
- Sterling Sylva & Golden Boy
- Rab & Jade
- Elysium Bird & Hades Condor x2
- Transitioning Into Act 2
- Act 2
- Headless Honcho & Henchmen
- Restless Knight
- Jinxed Jade & Booga
- Intermission: Octagonia Casino
- Auroral Serpent
- Tatsunaga (Weak) & Tatsunaga (Normal)
- Jasper Unbound
- Act 3
- Act 3 Preparation
Hello, and welcome to my guide for bosses. I've seen many people struggle with various bosses throughout the game, and I figured I'd do what I could to create a concentrated source for information on every boss, doing everything I can to explore every avenue to each boss and give the player ample freedom and choice in beating each boss.
All of this advice is given from the perspective of having the Stronger Enemies draconian setting active. As a result, you may not to employ the wide range of preparations, level requirements and strategies listed and instead just brute force your way through.
I will not be including the settings No Armor and No Shopping, as most people just do Stronger Enemies and is enough challenge for them. If you wish to do so, then simply getting some extra levels or playing more defensively will often allow these strategies to work for you.
Additionally, some general advice on the optimal skill paths for your characters.
Hero performs the best with greatswords. They deal the most damage, and bursting down random encounters is the best strategy for the Stronger Enemies setting. For bosses specifically, the faster you can kill the boss, the less the chances are that you'll run out of resources or have to waste turns with Single Phials/Magic Waters/Sage's Elixirs. In the postgame, Hero gets a very strong greatsword that does immense damage, but he also tends to become something of a support, as Jade & Erik come to outdamage him. As a result, he becomes a kind of support character through Fullheal/Omniheal and Kasnooze. He can still pump out nice damage, but nothing crazy compared to Jade & Erik.
Erik is decent for a while in act 1, dealing consistent, nice single-target damage or all-based damage with boomerangs. He tends to fall off over time, and especially once you get Jade. He doesn't really pick back up in act 2 either since he's absent for a good portion of it and is reliant on being set up for it. This means constant Oomphle and, in the case of bosses, dealing burst damage with Divide that may or may not include the knives burst. In act 3, he's amazing as he gets access to Dually Deadly for 100% stats on both weapons and can deal monstrous levels of damage with both swords & knives at this point.
His ideal skill path is going into swords for high single-target damage or boomerangs for all-based damage. Afterwards, you dip into knives for dual wielding, then eventually pick up Dually Deadly for optimal damage at all times. Critical Claim for farming metal slimes.
Veronica is great for the first half of act 1, and then falls off a little bit in the second half. She puts out consistent elemental damage and is there to induce Sap on durable enemies and bosses. She gets overshadowed by Rab eventually who is tankier and has more versatility than she does. She's absent for all of act 2, picking back up in act 3 where she becomes a pint-sized magic cannon who outdamages everyone in random encounters. Not so useful on bosses, however. Outside of Magic Burst abuse spam.
Her ideal skill path is going down her Vim tree in order to get the passive elemental resistance bonuses, but mainly Sage's Breath to help her MP issues. Channel Anger is wonderful once you eventually get it. In the postgame, you want her to go for Enchanting Echo, Kaboomle and Kafrizzle to complete her magic cannon playstyle.
Serena varies in her usefulness in Stronger Enemies. She's useful from the time you get her until you get Sylvando. He has Oomph, which lets you burst down random encounters and is very, very important for boss fights. She still is there for boss fights to heal, until around lv23 where Sylvando can learn Hustle Dance, making Serena obsolete mostly. She then picks back up in act 2 where she inherits Veronica's spells, abilities and skill panels, becoming a monster of versatility and almost always being in your party. She dies down a bit in act 3, losing that versatility and instead becoming full blown support once again with the likes of 40% resistance hymns and Fullheal/Omniheal.
Her optimal skill path is going for her hymns first (specifically fire & ice as they're the most used) to reduce elemental damage. Afterwards, you work towards Snap, Crackle, Poof in her Wands tree. Otherwise, you just get stat bonuses for her as her most useful stuff is gotten from her leveling.
Sylvando is a monster for act 1. He's a fantastic support character who is quite durable and has access to Oomph for random encounters & bosses and Hustle Dance, which is your only source of party wide healing until around lv31 where Rab learns Multiheal (Serena not getting it until lv36). In act 2, he's still useful, just not the monster he was. His Hustle Dance is still really strong and is used in some boss fights, but he tends to take the sidelines in favor of Hendrik & Serena. In act 3, he picks back up again once you do his special quest to gain access to his hidden special tree that gives him Ladies' First, allowing Jade & Veronica to deal massive damage with two turns, or Serena to get in more buffs & healing.
His optimal skill path involves the very specific path of Hot Lick -> Sobering Slap -> Tap Dance -> Fuddle Dance -> Hustle Dance. This gives him damage, ailment removal, ailment infliction and the immensely useful team healing. Afterwards, you'll pick up his Charm +40 panel (Charm boosts Hustle Dance's healing) for some extra SP, then Kiss Me Deadly + That's Amore. Afterwards, you'll get Gold Rush (secret panel to the right of Hustle Dance & Tap Dance) for an awesome all-based 300 damage ability for a measely 1,000g.
Jade is fantastic at all stages of the game. In act 1, she's wonderful through her high single-target damage and effectively can get infinite MP shortly after you get her by doing a quest for a special accessory for her that regenerates her MP. In act 2, she gets even better by getting an ability, Re-Vamp, that buffs a bunch of stats for herself, allowing her to be a self-sufficient damage machine at all times. In act 3, she's still great. She still has powerful single-target damage, but branches out into all-based damage that also heals herself quite nicely.
Her optimal skill path is spears, and nothing but. Spears are awesome, claws suck. Spears are even more awesome because their superior attack power means that she'll do more damage with Fisticuffs skills. You'll want to go for Multithrust & Vacuum Smash as soon as possible, along with Deliverance for the abundance of undead enemies and Thunder Thrust to crit through high defense enemies and for whenever metal enemies show up. Afterwards, work towards Multifeet. In the postgame, she'll dip into Allure for Femme Fatale/Pink Tornado/Pink Typhoon for high all-based damage.
Rab varies in his usefulness. He's useful at all stages of the game, but he's more niche. During act 1, he's a bit hard to kill and doubles as both a potent healer & magic damage dealer. His main draws are access to Zing Stick for guaranteed revives and early access to Multiheal. In act 2, he becomes less great due to the fact that Serena can use Sap now and his Insulatle isn't as great (except for one boss) since you can pick up Sage's Staffs in Sniflheim to use for the same effect. In act 3, he falls by the wayside in favor of Jade & Veronica, but still useful with his debuffs and consistently high ice & dark damage. He's also got a niche use in that he can remove debuffs from enemies with Clear Your Mind.
His optimal skill path involves going into Heavy Wands and shooting straight for Zing Stick, as that's one of his main uses on Stronger Enemies. After that, he'll dip into Enlightenment for some passive bonuses and Caster Sugar. Then in the postgame, he'll go to the left side of Heavy Wands & Enlightenment to pick up Clear Your Mind & Kacrackle.
Hendrik is awesome. He doesn't show up until act 2, but he's great. He's a guest for the first two bosses of act 2, granting him access to Forbearance (which normally is only accessible halfway through the postgame) which allows him to take the damage for his team for one turn. Outside of that, he has access to both (Ka)buff & Magic Barrier, something only Serena can do in act 2, but he can do it all the time. He also has the wonderful ability to inflict a Sap-esque effect with Helm Splitter/Scrap Mettle, and also boost his own damage with Double Up. Also Parallax for occasional paralysis. He's awesome in act 3 as well after doing his special quest, gaining access to his secret tree. This gives him Kerplunk (which revives & fully heals all active and inactive members) and Forbearance, along with H-Pathy and a self buff to heal himself whenever he deals damage.
His optimal skill path involves picking up most of his axe skills immediately. You can hold off on Axes of Evil until you've gotten some of the defensive ones from Shields. Once you do, get Axes of Evil so he can use AoE (his only AoE, actually) and then finish out Shields. Afterwards, go into Heroism for Double Up (wonderful) and Blind Man's Biff. BMB lets you deal damage if you're dazzled, which is great. Lots of it too. A Cut Above can be taken if you'd like for some non-Parallax damage action. Otherwise, get stat boosts and ignore the sword abilities, saving SP for when you unlock his secret skill panel.