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by sarith157

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Melee Build FAQ by sarith157

Updated: 01/25/17

God Eater 2: Rage Burst Melee FAQ

1. Introduction, FAQs, and Version History

Greetings. I am sarith157, a seasoned and irate God Eater 2 Rage Burst player, and I'm writing this guide mostly due to the fact I could not edit older posts on the thread I closed on January 24, 2017, which was originally intended to answer a question on the thread. I decided to go all out and write a full-on guide. In any case, this is a guide designed to go deep into the rather fun and underused fighting style of melee in God Eater 2: Rage Burst, a hunter game for the PS4/PC/PSVITA.

Why melee, when guns are so much easier to use and can deal so much more damage?

First of all, a game being easy does not mean it's fun. There's a sense of exhilaration you get when you melee, as you actually have to worry about getting hit constantly. Secondly, guns do NOT deal more damage. Those videos that many watch on video streaming sites often abuse the Blood Rage system to shoot an excessive amount of bullets at no OP cost. Some of the more advanced blood arts can deal 80+k damage. You just won't see those numbers with bullets without the use of hidden attack. While I may disapprove of abusing the Blood Rage system, I will tell of a strategy of how to use it for melees later on as many love this particular mechanic of the game.

What is your target audience for this FAQ?

This FAQ is targeted towards newer players who have just reached endgame, or to gunners who are looking to extensively use melee attacks more often. I will give advice on strategies and techniques to start you off. There are advanced techniques, normally involving cancelling of some sort, as well as very difficult to use blood arts that are extremely powerful. However, I would not burden prospective melee fighters with high-level techniques so I'm sticking to advice for beginners, for now.

Are you biased in writing this?

My opinions stem mostly from numbers and stats, but if I do have a particularly negative bias I will let you know beforehand.

Are you alone in writing this FAQ?

No I am not. I have a close knit group helping me out with accurate information whom you can thank or blame on for this guide, as the corrections or additions I had to make on my old posts that could no longer edit were too numerous that I decided to just write up a FAQ for the first time. Feel free to let me know of anything I either missed or am incorrect about, though I may ask you to provide proof as I'm normally confident in my answers. However, if proven wrong I will gladly change things as I care much more to be accurate than to be right.

Where are you getting these damage numbers and calculations?

I am figuring them out by experimentation, often with the aforementioned group. There is a very resourceful database that I use in which I'll go into very shortly. As far as the damage numbers go, these are numbers obtained by attacking with a +30 Reinforced Weapon (the Reinforced gear are weapons you can make by completing the Crimson Orochi mission that you unlock once you reach difficulty 15. Crimson Orochi is a powerful foe, and unless you bring very strong allies you should leave this mission for later until you get some decent gear) against a Rufus' Caligula's broken head, which has possibly the lowest resistances (there are other weak spots just as vulnerable, notably of the Hannibal variants, but nothing can go lower).

Why are you using the broken Rufus Caligula head damage as an example?

To show you the max damage you could be doing. Unless you're buffed with link supports that boost elemental damage, the numbers I provide, while they may be rounded up or down to the nearest hundred, are what you could be doing when properly set up. It gives you a goal to aim for, or to know if you're missing something when you think you maximized a set. I myself was quite bent on getting the highest numbers after realizing a friend was dealing 30% more damage than me with the SAME attack. For reference, I was using a non-elemental weapon. I soon realized the wondrous damage of elemental weapons thereafter.

Will you provide proof of your damage numbers?

If asked, yes I will. I have screenshots of all my damage numbers, but some people are satisfied with only videos. Do note that the provider of proof may not be me (as in I may link to a friend's video), but it will be from someone who's assisted me countless times and that I trust completely.

Will you write other guides for God Eater 2: Rage Burst?

No. If I have anything more to contribute, chances are I can just edit this guide. Maybe I'll add an advanced technique section or how to effectively use difficult blood arts.

Version History

0.9 - Finished the main portion of the guide. May have stuff to add depending on the advice of my friends as well as readers.

2. Critical Hits

Doing decent melee damage in GE2RB is highly (if not entirely) dependent on critical hits.

What are critical hits?

Statistically speaking, critical hits occur when you attack a weak point of an aragami with a specific damage type.

Damage type?

There are three main physical damage type for melee weapons that ALL melee weapons have. Some have split damage type, such as busters having both slash and crush, and some are purely of one type, such as scythes being entirely slash (with one exception). Normally you want a weapon with a single damage type (as there are weapons for every weapon class that are purely of one type) but there are exceptions, which I will explain later in the equipment section.

How do I land a critical hit?

You normally land critical hits when the part you are hitting as a resistance of 30 and lower to your damage type.

30 resistance? How would I know these numbers?

wasteofthyme.com/monster/

This wondrous site, despite it's rather shady naming sense, has the resistances of all aragami parts, and what they are weak to. Attacking anything with a resistance of 30 or less to your damage type will be considered a critical hit. Do note that most parts that have 30 or less resistance usually have to be broken first. For each aragami, the database has a tab containing the resistances of each part while it's intact, broken, or even while enraged as some aragami's resistances change while enraged. Also note that gun pierce and crush damage is ENTIRELY different from melee pierce and crush. They are classified separately.

You mentioned split damage type weapons. What if an aragami part is weak to only one type?

In order to land a critical on an aragami part, the following conditions must be met:

  • The ratio of the damage type the aragami is weak to is at least 50-50. For example, to land a critical with a buster with 664 total attack power, it needs at least 332 crush
  • Your weapon is an elemental weapon in which the aragami is weak to
  • The part you're attacking has a XX weakness to your element (some aragami have varying elemental defenses for their weak spots)
  • The part you're attacking has at the most 20 resistance to your primary (or evenly balanced) damage type.
  • The part you're attacking has a somewhat low resistance (approximately 35 or 40, maybe more) to your secondary damage type

For example, let's look at the blitz hannibal shield (left arm): While broken, it has 20 resistance to crush and 35 resistance to slash, with a XX weakness to all elements aside from fire. If I were to attack it with my Black Wyvern Warblade, a OO divine weapon that's evenly split in physical damage, I would still land a critical on it. Do note that this information is all based on testing, and I have not tried it on EVERY weapon. For all I know, the minimum ratio could be 45-55 or the resistance to the secondary damage type could be 45.

What if I have a weapon with multiple elements: does it deal bonus damage?

No. The game sets its highest priority in elemental multiplier damage calculation on whatever the aragami is weak to. Take the Kyuubi for example. It is equally weak to blaze and divine. Using a weapon that's both blaze and divine, as it will only take one of the weaknesses into account. Weaknesses is set on a higher priority than resistances, so if you were to attack the common Vajra with a blaze and spark weapon, it would still count as additional damage as the game will essentially ignore your spark multiplier (divider in the case of enemies resistant to the element).

3. Skills to Look Out For

As much as some people might claim, if you're looking to make a certain build, you do not have a lot of space. As you're reading this, it is likely you wish to make a melee build. There are plenty of necessary abilities that will greatly increase your defense and offense. There are even more niche abilities that will help you depending on what you are using. Here are some that should be sought after.

General Skills

These are skills that should be on your ALL of your builds. Not just melee builds. Seeking them out should be of high priority.

  • HP/OP/Stam up: You may not need the OP if you're not a gunner but having more in the rare case of you needing to spam bullets or heals is quite handy.
  • DEF: Being more of a damage sponge is nice. [B] DEF is also very helpful but hard to get, so you don't need to worry about it AS much.
  • Burst Duration: Because you always want to stay in burst.
  • Mutual Burst: With the loss of predator styles, transferring shots is the easiest way to maintain burst. It also helps others too. A win-win situation.
  • Athlete: Less stamina drain means less chance of you running out of breath and being open for a while.

Niche Skills

These are skills that you can take at your own discretion. In my opinion, I would say they are necessary but they aren't as vital as the skills listed above.

  • Prepared: When using a buckler or shield, this will stop you from dying to chip damage from a blocked attack
  • Reduced Guard Damage/ [B] Reduced Guard Damage: Very helpful when using bucklers and shields. If you combine the two at lv10, you take NO chip damage whatsoever while in burst in regards to bucklers. Standard shields only need the non-[B] variant.
  • Guard Radius: Increases the radius of your guard to almost a complete circle. Not as important as some other skills, but very helpful once you get to content where you MUST block certain attacks or risk dying otherwise.
  • Guard Speed: Works great on ALL shields. Even bucklers. With this you can do more last-second blocks.
  • Firm Stand: Unnecessary unless fighting Crimson Orochi or a perilous mission where you may die in one attack. Saves you from dying from a 1-shot as long as your health is above 51.

Necessary Melee Skills

These are skills to improve your melee capabilities, and will improve your damage regardless of what blood art you choose.

  • Melee ATK/ [B] Melee ATK: It's not hard to get both. This will increase your melee damage.
  • [B] Upgrade Blood Arts: Improves the attack of your blood arts by a good amount. Unfortunately it's not found in a compound skill, so you'll likely have to set your control unit to this. The control module is called Blood Plus.
  • All Out Attack: Your normal attacks now cost stamina, but they get a hefty 20% boost to their damage.

Niche Melee Skills

These are skills that are highly dependent on the blood art you like using, as well as your skill level.

  • Melee ATK Specialist: For when you use your special attack quite often. Special attacks are usually the actions performed with R1 + Square, but they also apply to the charge glide of the spears and the charge crush of the busters. Not all blood arts are special attacks, though some are.
  • Melee ATK Stamina: Only worthwhile on scythes, hammers, and perhaps long blade if they tend to extensively use their special attack. It also applies to busters ONLY if the buster user chose CC Finisher as his blood art. Every other weapon's special attack has a negligible stamina drain.
  • [B] Mid-Air Melee Attack: Use when using an aerial blood art. Boosts aerial attacks quite noticeably.
  • Sword Master: This is a double-edged sword. Until you get good at locating weak spots and hitting them, this will essentially nerf your damage. Once you DO gain proficiency in targeting weak spots, this becomes an absolute necessity.
  • Combo Master/ [B] Combo Master: Decent on mostly weapons where your blood art involves chaining attacks. The boost rush of hammers, extend bite of scythes, Tornado Rush/Halcyon Blade spam of long blades make great examples. Its [B] variant is rare, but helpful if you like these attacks.

HP Restoration Skills

These skills boost HP regeneration, whether it be an over time effect or an instant chunk of HP regained. Shouldn't be a high priority, but if you ever find yourself lacking in items this is definitely something to consider.

  • [B] Automatic Recovery: While in burst, your HP slowly regens. Has a greater effect the higher your burst level is.
  • Devour HP Absorb: Gains a small chunk of HP at the end of a successful devour
  • JG HP Restore: Gains a chunk of HP whenever you perform a Just Guard (guarding at the last second. JG windows vary depending on the shield, with tower shields having a ridiculously generous time to JG)
  • [B] Melee ATK HP Absorb: While in burst, your melee attacks will recover a small amount of HP. Has a better effect the higher your burst level is.

4. Notable Equipment

This section will talk about optimal equipment.

What are the strongest weapons in game?

If you ask most people, they would say Reinforced set. And generally it is true. When attacking Rufus Caligula, reinforced gear deals about 1% more damage than even OO elemental weapons. However, there are exceptions.

Reinforced is NOT optimal when...

  • The aragami is weak only to divine, or its greatest weakness is divine (Fierce Kongou, Fallen Ouroboros, Dyaus Pita, Susano'o, etc.)
  • The part you're attacking is only weak to one type of damage, and you're using the reinforced short blade or buster
  • You're fighting crimson orochi with anything that's not a reinforced spear

Regardless of whether Reinforced is the strongest or not, there is no argument that elemental damage exceeds pure physical, by far. Normally it's balanced out by forcing the player to make multiple sets. one for each element, but the Reinforced gear happens to be so powerful that you basically only need to build two sets: A Reinforced and divine. There is nothing wrong with using purely physical weapons, as many people only wish to build one set, but do note that your damage output has the potential to be much higher.

What non-Reinforced weapons do you recommend?

There are a number of weapons that fascinate me. Notable ones are as follows (note that these weapons are weapons I choose solely out of preference, not out of power):

  • Borg camlann (and its variants) short blades: The paige and its elemental variants are the only pure pierce short blades. Melee pierce happens to be my favorite damage type, as it is the only damage type that can land critical hits on a calm (not enraged) Crimson Orochi, plus there are many aragami weakpoints that are weak to pierce and do not have to be broken, making them ideal for hidden attack playstyles.
  • Type N2 Piercer: On this list solely because I like pierce. Makes one-shot sneak attacks with Rising Dragon (a black blood art for long blades that I will advise using as the 3-dash system it has makes it flat out unusable for many) much easier.
  • Penetrator: Same reasons as above. This one especially so as I can land Final Vengeance to Crimson Orochi's face and break it with ease. Also I happen to like it's brutal-looking model.

What guns do you recommend?

If you exclusively plan to go melee (and it is my hope you do so), then your gun type really doesn't matter. However, for those who get in desperate situations where they need to unload their bullets like mad, or for those who wish to have their gun play a utility role, I will discuss each type and what (non-reinforced) guns of that type are notable.

  • Snipers: Snipers can cloak you, which is useful for when you want to get a hidden attack on an enemy that's facing you. Notable sniper rifles would be the Communion, as it has the highest pierce modifier in the game in addition to the best sneak attack abilities in it's innate skill.
  • Assault: One of the utility masters, it can be used in several ways. One of the best ways is to use it for it's ability to stagger lock an enemy. The enemy won't exactly be truly locked down, but you can stagger it quite easily with this gun type. Its special ability is to leap backwards at a decent speed, which can prove useful in avoiding damage if you're trying to stagger the enemy. Another way which I'm definitely not fond of is to use Critical Evoke rate up skill. By rapidly shooting a multi-hit infinite bullet on a weak spot that will net you a critical, you will fill th Blood Rage meter insanely fast. You can then proceed to activate Blood Rage and use it's massive damage boost to wreak havoc with your melee attacks. Only notable assault gun aside from the Reinforced would be the Highland Pibroch, a gun you unlock at difficulty 15 after completing Kate's extra mission. It's a non-elemental gun with the highest base multipliers amongst assault guns.
  • Blast: The most powerful and overused gun type. Can destroy most aragami in standard non-perilous mission with absolute ease. If you're not using it for damage, the OP reserve system is useful so that you can spam heals when necessary while in a difficult mission. Notable blast guns would be the Ci Cerca, the gun with the highest crush multiplier in the game.
  • Shotgun: Oddly enough, this weapon provides mobility. By activating it's special ability, a dash forward, and alternating it with rolls you can move at rather high speeds. There is no notable shotgun aside from Reinforced, as the rest of the shotguns have at least one other shotgun exactly like it except in appearance.

What shields do you recommend?

Heavy bias incoming. I would recommend bucklers over everything. Tower shields (even with guard speed) are too slow to solo a +99 blitz hannibal without the use of the auto-guard skill, and I highly advise against using auto-guard as a reliance on it essentially means you are unable to block in this game. A buckler, with fast reflexes and guard speed, can block ANYTHING. There is almost no reason to use standard shields as the two best shields in the game render the entire shield class obsolete. Those two shields are...

  • The Wanderer: A tower shield with the highest base defense in the game. A maximized build with this shrugs off damage from anything in non-perilous missions aside from possibly Crimson Orochi.
  • Barbed Thiste: A buckler with higher defenses than any non-elemental standard shield, and almost the defense of a tower shield. Renders standard shields obsolete.

What control unit do you recommend?

Blood Plus. Nothing else.

What upgrade parts do you recommend?

There is one necessary part, which is...

Symbol of Durability (all lv10 skills)

-[B] Oracle Auto-Recovery
-[B] Stamina Auto-Rec
-[B] Automatic Recovery
-Triple Time (HP, Oracle, Stamina)

Found in: GE2RB Missions> GE Festival Anniversary Pack> Blackjack> Crafted from the aragami crystal 32 that automatically drops there.

The second is your choice, though I recommend:

Symbol of Dexterity (also all lv10 skills)

-All Out Attack
-Sword Master
-Adrenaline Rush
-Wild Instinct

Found in: GE2RB Missions> GE Festival Anniversary Pack> Jackpot> Crafted from the aragami crystal 31 that automatically drops there.

All skills from symbol of dexterity can be found in the abandoned god arc "professional", so you may simply install that on your weapon and use another upgrade part of your choosing.

5. Recommended Blood Arts

Blood arts are the bread and butter of your melee damage output. What I list will be the blood arts that I have tested to be the most effective in damage output, and are easy to use. You may find that you enjoy using a blood art that I have not listed, and that is perfectly fine. If you wish to see numbers with a maximized set, just let me know which blood art you want me to test and I'll give you numbers.

Short Blade

Astral dive. It's a black blood art that evolves from the spiral meteor tree. You spend a short time to wind-up a downwards stab towards the direction your character is facing that continues as you hit the ground making you slide forward a bit. It's possibly one of the weakest black blood arts, but to make up for its lack of power it's by far the easiest and safest black blood art to use, and one of the few I'll recommend in this guide. A damage example would be 38-40k on Rufus' head.

Long Blade

Tornado Rush. It's a quick dash forward. If you make contact with the enemy during that dash, you'll do a quick spinning slash. It can be chained by immediately activating zero stance then pressing triangle again. For it's damage and speed, it's unmatched. It deals approximately 11k against Rufus' head. There is a misconception that this blood art can deal 15k+ damage and is 1/3rd the strength of the black blood art of the long blade, Rising Dragon. This simply isn't true. Anyone seeing higher than 12k with Tornado Rush is likely under a blessed aria link support, or some other that boosts damage. Sometimes the mission itself may provide a damage boost. 11k is the highest you'll see with Tornado Rush, and chances are you'll be seeing 7-9k instead as not too many weak spots have a 10 resistance and XX elemental weakness. Also to show how superior Rising Dragon is in comparison to Tornado Rush, Rising Dragon deals 59k to a broken Rufus head. Tornado Rush has just barely more than 1/6ths of Rising Dragon's power. Another example would be Chrome Gawain's rear legs. Tornado Rush hits it for 7.2k, while Rising Dragon hits for 39k. That being said, Tornado Rush makes the list here instead of Rising Dragon just because of ease of use. You can easily get in a cheap shot or two, then get out. Some may argue that Halcyon Blade is better, but my rebuttal would be that Halcyon Blade's damage averages to maybe 4.5-5.5k (dependent on combo master) per hit. You need to hit twice to be at Tornado Rush's strength, and even then you can get in two Tornado Rushes in with relative ease in comparison to 4 attacks with Halcyon Blade.

Buster Blade

Skull Crusher. While mid-air, you charge your buster for a short while then bring it down mercilessly upon the aragami. It is a very powerful blood art considering it's not even a black blood art. Deals up to 40k damage. A close contender to Skull Crusher would be CC Boosted, as you can deal 41-42k damage with it, plus you gain hyper armor while you're charging. However, to utilize this blood art fully, you need charged ability speed up (as opposed to mid-air melee attack for Skull Crusher) as well as decent defense, as hyper armor means nothing if the aragami incapacitates you, thus why I place Skull Crusher first. I did not even consider CC Finisher, which is a powered up version of CC Boosted, due to it's ridiculous stamina drain and charge time. Looking at other buster blood arts, a notable, easy-to-use blood art that I wouldn't recommend for most people is Rage Counter. It basically triggers if you can successfully parry an attack with the parry uppercut, and it can deal decent damage, somewhat (29k to Rufus' face). The biggest advantage to it would be that it is decent training for Final Vengeance, which is basically Rage Counter with a much, much narrower parry window and a delayed uppercut that hits for extreme amounts of damage. It's not as much as CC Finisher's 110k (approximation. the visual limit of damage you see is 99k, but in actuality you are dealing more than 99k with that hit), but it can still deal up to 87k which is good enough in my book.

Boost Hammer

Deicide. You slowly charge your hammer before slamming it down with lethal force. This is a rather unique case. I consider this black blood art (which evolves from Terminal Strike) to be one of the best in non-perilous missions, yet one of the worst in +99s, as the downside to this is that it drains ALL your stamina. The power is worth it though, as it can hit for up to 98k. If done correctly it usually staggers the aragami any, meaning you're safe. But as you might tell, losing all stamina is practically death in 99s. However, a friend of mine has actually found out if you do not use All Out Attack and are in burst 3, you can maintain a sliver of stamina left after the attack. It loses quite a bit of power, but nonetheless is still very strong (81k maximum damage). Still, I don't expect any readers of this FAQ to be doing 99s, so I highly advise to use it regardless of whether you have all out attack.

Charge Spear

Comet Strike. While mid-air, you stab the enemy for a powerful blow, perform two quick but weak follow up blows, then at last one powerful finishing blow for a rather large amount of damage. You can guard cancel mid-combo, but if you manage to get all four hits in (which might be unlikely depending on how fast your enemy is), you can deal a whopping total damage of 47k. The first hit struck for 14k, the 2 follow-up hits were 8k each, and the last hit was 17k. Requires charged ability speed up to reap all of it's benefits. The rest of the blood arts pale in comparison, even the rather terrible black blood art, Boring Briar. Only Crescendo exceeds it (quite noticeably too, as it hits for 72k if done right), but it requires good judgment of distance, so I'm declaring Comet Strike as the best, easy-to-use charge spear blood art.

Variant Scythe

There's a small issue with judging which variant scythe blood art deals the most damage and is easiest to use. It is with the scythes that I am most unsure of what is best for in this guide (least for blood arts that aren't Execution). The damage is wildly inconsistent, as most require you to attack with the tip of the weapon in it's extended form, but from what I've seen so far Blood-Drenched Fang seems to do the best. It can deal 15k if the hits connect at a sweetspot. The downside is activating extend bite will take out a good chunk of your health. However, you can actually achieve mobility while in extend bite by merely dashing in between attacks. This ought to save you some HP loss while using this blood art. It is also worth mentioning that with the right build you can recover the lost HP quite easily.

6. Melee Tips and Strategies

Here's where I discuss how to be an effective melee fighter. At least in my opinion.

Learn the weaknesses of your enemies

Utilize the wasteofthyme database well. Learn all the weaknesses of the enemy before you even start the fight against it, so you'll know right from the get-go where to attack.

Know the enemy and yourself

Melee fighters cannot just spam attacks like Tornado Rush endlessly. Least not for the majority of the time. The key to successful melee combat is to learn the patterns of the enemies. Learn any and all openings the aragami makes. Take advantage of them. Know exactly how long it takes for you to successfully attack (especially when using black blood arts like Crescendo or Rising Dragon), and coordinate your attacks to hit when the aragami is most vulnerable. For example, a Kyuubi is quite vulnerable after its tornado attack as it does a little roar or hiss afterwards, so the moment you see the tornado dissipate, rush in and unleash your attack.

Know when to block or dodge

Staying alive is of utmost important. If you have JG HP restore, then activating Just Guard is an excellent way to restore health. Say you're attacking a Gawain variant in the face just right after it does it's sweeping slash that has it end up behind you, facing your back. Take this time to hit it once or twice, depending on the speed attack, and be ready to run or block. Even if you carry a powerful shield it is worth learning to mitigate damage as you cannot take many hits in some higher perilous missions.