Win, Lose or Draw

(The following conversation is inspired by a couple of conversations in real life.)

Friend: I joined MMA competition few years back.

Ban: Oh, how did you do?

Friend: I didn't get to the next stage.

Ban: So you lost, huh?

Friend: No

Us: ???

Friend: I beat my opponent in Round 1 but I withdrew from Round 2 because I ran out of stamina. So it's a draw.

Us: ??????

Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark - final battle

As stated in the previous post, apparently my party was underleveled: they were expected to be around level 50 when doing the final encounter.

I tried to employ a recommended strategy for just trying to kill the boss the soonest. Killing each of its minion would triggle a global damage that had a damage multiplier of 1.75. Eeeek. However, I was frustrated with the heals it got from draining healths from his minions, who themselves weren't weak. So I switched tactic to kill them first, which required good timing (otherwise could accientally die) and lots of healing.

Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark - Ancient Tomb

The toughest battle was the 3rd last map in the Ancient Path node. As usual, before attempting the final map, Ancient Tomb, I check out Fell Seal gamespedia for potential headache. I was curious whether anyone attempted the first strategy of trying to quickly kill the boss and so for the first time, I searched for a gameplay. I came across this horror:

I watched enough of it to recognise that this was going to be tough, with one particular detail stood out for me: the boss's Natural Weapon's range was 10! Wth lol. Those were mighty long claws or something.

I searched neoseeker for more detailed strategy and was surprised that they said, "This might actually be the easiest battle in the entire Ancient Path, which certain provisos - your party has to be offensively competent and equipped with either Riftwalker, or more Jet Boots, the latter being far easier to obtain." Oooooooh. I read on and for that strategy:

It was the easiest of the lot. Interesting. This despite my party being 'underleveled' (based on what players and guides said) at this stage of the game.

Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark - toughest battle

This is the toughest fight so far for me. The main culprit was the Demon Knight / Assassin, who could hover. So not only could she instakill by using Sabotage on my non-hovering characters, she got another turn each time she killed because of Cleave and then could potentially kill another one immediately because of Boon and using a high-damage ability e.g. Enraged Blow.

As with previous battles where there were enemies that could perform environmental kills due to hover vs non-hover, I tried to position my characters strategically to avoid it. I loath replacing their gears with Hover boots: it would be a downgrade to their stats. However, after having tried like at least 5 times, I gave up and upon Ban's advice, I used those boots but I had only 2 pairs of such boots. Together with Bzaro (Pektite can hover), I had only 3 characters who could hover and so I still had to be very careful.

The effort to dance around and, hopefully, quickly take down the Demon Knight / Assassin was further complicated by the presence of an Overscourge who could cast an area effect spell that had a chance of inflicting a random debuff and the most annoying ones were Charm and Berserk. So instead of Mass Haste, I cast Mass Barrier first. Later on, I read a guide that recommended the counter Evade Magic. That would work too but only a few characters had it. I guess others could use the 2 Amethyst Rings and some Sapphire and Ruby Rings.

I correctly assumed that the rest of the enemies wouldn't pose much problem.

Fell Seal - Arbiter's Mark - character build (Part 5)

(continue from Part 4)


Counter: Counterattack
Passives: Defense Expert, Life Font

Reaver's an interesting formidable class. It can debuff, transfers debuffs, deal damage at range and area effect damage. Desperate Blow is unique: it does a set a of damage that cannot be reduced by DEF or RES. It synergises with Reckless Blow, which has quite a high damage multiplier too.

Desperate Blow is more effective the higher the character's hitpoints. So Ban advised me to use maul (it gives additional hp) and a good class that can use it is Mercenary. This class also allows the character to use shield while wielding a maul (via Sturdy Grip passive) while its other passive, Health Expert, augments both the character's survivability as well as potency of Desperate Blow.

Counterattack counter is perfect for this high attack tanky frontliner who likes to gets into enemy's face.

Defense Expert improves survivability while Life Font is there as sort of an insurance. You can try to make do without it but I couldn't hehehe.

This package makes Darkness a formidable tank.

Counter: Root
Passives: Smart Casting, Permanence

Alchemystic is the best buffer in the game. In fact, its Maste Haste is cheaper to cast than Gadgeteer's Speed Generator and, unlike the latter, also effect the target in the middle of the cross. Soul Tendrils is the only offensive ability but costly to cast.

So since typically he'll be busy buffing the first few turns, Sorcerer, with its Eruptor and Economy passives, is a good complement. However, depending on the needs, I had instead chosen Mender or Plague Doctor at times. Wizard can be a good fit too especially if Sorcerer's area effect spells dangerous to use for the same reasons given for Lana.

Root counter is great for escaping from melee enemies.

The chosen passives are essentialy for area effect buffs.

Counter: Counterattack
Passives: Defense Exprt, Life Expert

Both are tanky classes but why both of them? As a minimum, I use Defensive Hit (from Knight) most of the time and then Righteous Blade (from Templar) to dispatch enemy. Since Defensive Hit is manaless, this means Righteous Blade can be used sooner.

Other abilities that come into play every now and then are Defend (move forward towards group of enemies but can't reach to attack), Protect (enemies too close to fragile ally), Taunt (prevent enemy from unleashing high damaging skill/spell), Heavy Hit (great opening attack on high hp enemy), Cleansing Blade (an efficient way of nerfing highly buffed enemy) and Embolden Chant.

One particularly neat combo that Ban highlighted is Chivalrous Spirit and Rapturous. It needs a little foresight since it requires two turns. Theoretically it's very useful but fortunately I have yet to need to activate it.

Counterattack is always a good choice for melee tanky character that does good Regular Attack.

The chosen passives elevate the tankiness of this character.

Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark - character build (Part 4)

(continue from Part 3)

I was describing builds for each character systematically according to 3 groups:

(1) Story characters i.e. those who were involved in developing the story, in the order of which they were introduced. There was a already mistake here: Reiner was supposed to appear after Anadine.

(2) Characters that were given to me but don't have stories of their own. There are only two: Lana and Virgil, who appeared at the same time.

(3) Lastly, characters whom I hired. Since I hired them at the same time, they're presented alphabetically.

Only recently I realised I left out one story character: Bzaro. So, let's talk about him first before continuing the remainder of (3).

Counter: Scar Tissue
Secondary passives: Deep Wounds, Sunder

Except for the default 3 classes that are unlocked automatically, all other classes are unlocked after gathering 5 essence in each class. "Essences are gathered by defeating monsters with Bzaro in the party. You gain 1 essence per tier of each enemy you defeat." (quoting from gamespedia).

So it's quite difficult to make use of classes that are opened only much later. Fortunately, not these two selected ones.

Ban highlighted a peculiarity of Pektite: it is essentially a elemental range blaster (so uses MND to attack) but with unusually high DEF. This pairs up nicely with Tangrel's Defensive Hit. This means that the ATK stat can be ignored, with primary focus on MND and DEF when equiping Bzaro.

The only other offensive ability that Tangrel has, Tail Fail, does key off ATK stat but I only use it if there's opportunity to instant kill enemy by pushing them into water. Defensive Hit does much more damage and so does Pektite's the elemental spells that exploit the enemy's elemental vulnerabilities, if any.

If one of the classes has Renew counter (can you tell how fond I am of this counter? 😁), I might get it for Bzaro. Counterattack counter is not good for this build because of low ATK stat. For now, the best counter is Scar Tissue. With such high DEF, Bzaro wants to be at the front. Enemy's frontliners are likely to use physical attacks and so trigger Scar Tissue to buff Bzaro's DEF, which then helps his Defensive Hit. Awesome.

Even if the buff is RES in response to magical damage, it still helps Bzaro to survive better.

Deep Wounds and Sunder passives can be applied to multiple enemies if Pektite's area effect spells are used. Sunder's DEF debuff also increases the damage of Defensive Hit. Both passive's debuffs have 75% chance to inlfict. Great, right?

Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark - equipment (Part 1)

In this game, you're usually asked to deploy 6 characters most of the time. Since it's quite normal, and acceptable, to have injury(ies) sometimes, it's strongly advisable to have more have more than 6 characters in your party. Ideally, you should have at least an extra character for each "role". For example, I have three healers: Lana, Virgil and Yates. I deploy two of them in each combat and if one of them injured, I'll have the third one to replay them in the next combat.

There's a possibility of both healers injured but so far, I can't recall having this issue. Even if I did, the easiest way to solve it is to simply turn a character, who has either mastered or unlocked most abilities in the appropriate class, into a healer temporarily e.g. Sorcerer/Alchemyst -> Mender/Alchemyst. The safest is, of course, to have an extra for each character i.e. 12 characters.

The 6 characters that you deploy in combat will earn both experience points ("XP") and ability points ("AP"). The benched characters will earn a small amount of AP. Therefore it's advantageous to ensure that their primary classes are those that you want to get a passive or counter from (i.e. outside of that character's chosen primary and seconday classes) or at least to get the bonus stats from mastering the class.

For example, I aimed to build Katja as Bounty Hunter/Warmage but one of the chosen passives, Dual Wield, comes from the Assassin class. So when she was benched, I changed her primary class to Assassin to earn AP to eventually unlock that passive. I still stick to Assassin when she's benched so that she can master that class to receive the bonus stats of ATK+5, SPD+6 and Crit+2, which are great for her build.

The annoying part is when I want to use her in combat: trying to remember which equipments she's supposed to have. It is not as easy as it seems because an equipment can be used by multiple characters and there are many considerations in allocating them. Sometimes I remembered which ones and why but sometimes I forgot and later remembered.

In my previous run, I jotted down everything in a notepad. This time, I took a video of it:

Much easier hehehe.

This was right after the second Tournament and before I attempted Ancient Path.

Here's another, after finishing Screwworm Swamp. Crafted a couple of items:

Edit: Mernix's Malice passive was incorrectly chosen. It should had been Permanance.