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Star Renegades - Darkest Dungeon in Space! Sort of!

SilentSnake

Administrator
(He/him)
Staff member
Moderator
20200911163757_1.jpg
I just got Star Renegades, and I've been digging what I've played so far. Like it says on the tin, it plays a lot like Darkest Dungeon, but in space. It also has a mechanic where you can shift enemy turns, even completely stalling them out, so there's a bit of Grandia turn-shuffling shenanigans that happens. It's structured as a run-based game similar to Into the Breach with the exact same conceit of stopping a destructive force across realities. And it has a really cool art style that's very hi-res, very saturated, but still in a pixelated style similar to that of Superbrothers' stuff.

Overall, I'm really digging it, though I do think they don't explain its systems well enough - and there are a LOT of systems. Still, pretty good so far.
20200912191305_1.jpg
 

Nich

stuck in baby prison
(he/him)
This looks so, so good, but I still remember a PAX demo from a few years ago where the difficulty was so out of whack that you got a prize if you managed to finish it. Has it been tuned to more approachable levels yet or is this really a Darkest Dungeon style game where you're just not supposed to win?
 

SilentSnake

Administrator
(He/him)
Staff member
Moderator
I'm still on my first run and managed to beat all the named commanders on the first planet. Somehow I don't think this is a game you're supposed to win on the first run, but it doesn't seem unreasonably difficult so far. Will have to play more.
 

Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
Got this on me switch, and it now only crashes once every few hours or so! I am really enjoying it, and yes, it's now possible to win more than once. I've done so twice!

I've started to develop preferences for different classes (unsurprisingly, the Aegis and Juggernaut top the list) and it's neat to see how they all have their own distinct uses to a team comp. I've yet to really figure out how to build teams properly though (I have yet to win a run where I have an Empath, but I am working on it).
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
I really want to play this! But for now I'll just be watching the thread for news of a Switch patch.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I wasted no time in picking it up even though Santa Law states I have to wait three more weeks before I can actually fire it up.

I will be waiting with bated breath until then!
 

Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
Well would you look at that, I just won a run with an Empath!

Apparently the PC version is an update ahead of the Switch version (including a new class) so I'll let people know when that makes landfall.
 

Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
The Switch is still a patch behind the PC version and I'm very sad about that.

In the meantime, I want to do writeups of the different classes! There's a lot of nuance to the game, something you'll need to play firsthand to find out, but if you want the basics, this guide should cover them. Anyway, the first class writeup! (all class images are shamelessly stolen from this other guide by UMeffert, whose guides I've used as documentation assistance throughout these writeups)

MEET THE VALKYRIE
WYNN SYPHEX




Shields: 60
Armor: 15
Health: 200
Gear Slots: Sword, Implant, Device
Relationship Bonus: +20/40 health
DNA Required for Levels: Medium

Damage: B
Armor Damage: B
Speed: C
Stagger: C
Regen: E
Support: C

The flagship class of the game and the one they walk you through the tutorial with, the Valkyrie is an iconic frontline fighter. Boasting excellent armor and health, they can consistently take a whooping in any fight you care to name, and they boast impressive, albeit single-target, damage potential. Sure, all the tools in their toolbox are "hit this guy really hard", but there's a finesse to doing that, y'know?

Movelist:

Level 1:

Slash
Normal
Speed:
15s
Damage: 25
Crit Bonus: +13 damage, +1 armor damage, +20s stagger

Slash is the first move you'll go to in the game, and you'll come back to it again and again. Quick, above-average stagger, solid damage and armor damage. It's just a good, all-around reliable attack, as most Normal attacks are. Nothing fancy, but it works, damn it all.

Defend
Speed:
0s
Cannot be delayed
+40% defense, cannot be debuffed

Every class in the game has Defend in their initial roster (with a few rare exceptions). Most of them use it in the expected circumstances: to mitigate a big lethal move from a boss, especially if that move comes with a nasty status effect like Burning or Disintegrate. The Valkyrie doesn't have much more reason to use this than any other class; if anything, she needs it less than most due to her high health and armor.

Cleave
Heavy
Speed:
45s
Damage: 40
Crit Bonus: +20 damage, +3 armor damage, +10s stagger

While Slash is your universal go-to option, Cleave serves as a way to capitalize on enemies doing slow attacks, or who have already been staggered hard by a teammate. The damage on this move starts good and gets better, but the speed really sets it back. The stagger on it is a mixed blessing: sure, it can help break enemies doing a really slow move, but a 10s stagger tends to just consume a stagger use that would be better spent on an attack with more of it.

Level 2:

Battlecry
Fury:
20
Speed: 0s
+50% damage for all allies for 1 turn, taunts enemy, free action

At level 2, every class gets access to a move that consumes Fury, a party-shared resource earned whenever you land crits or break enemies. Battlecry is a good indicator of what to expect: a big effect for one turn, usually outside of your normal turns. The taunt effect is nice, since the Valkyrie is usually tougher than whoever the enemy was aiming at, but the real prize is the damage bonus. Use this when everyone can capitalize on it for a big spike turn! Just remember that the Valkyrie herself doesn't get the boost.

Level 4:

Sunder
Normal
Speed:
25s
Reach
Damage: 20
Crit Bonus: +10 damage, +6 armor damage, +15s stagger

Enemies have a front row and a back row just like you do, and you need an attack with Reach, like Sunder, to hit specific back row enemies. Sunder also has a handy niche in the high armor damage, which can be useful even on frontline foes. Most of the time, you'll still use the slightly-faster Slash, but if your team already has speed covered, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Sunder became a main attack for your Valkyrie.

Level 6:

Sever
Light
Speed:
10s
Damage: 15
Crit Bonus: +8 damage, +30s stagger, applies bleeding for 1 turn

Light attacks don't do much damage, but they don't need to, because they act fast and either bring loads of stagger, like Sever here, or some really nice status effects. Bleeding isn't that great, it's just a bit of chip damage to health after the turn is over, but it's a nice little extra. Note that this is the first attack Valkyrie gets that does nothing to armor, not that that's a big problem.

Level 8:

Hew
Flurry
Speed:
50s
Damage: 45 (15x3)
Crit Bonus: +23 (8x3) damage

Cleave's damage is very good, but Hew's damage is even better. It's also a Flurry attack, notable for spreading its damage over multiple hits. That means that each hit can pull on-hit effects, but it also means that each hit is dealt with separately by armor, and provokes a separate counterattack if one is ready. Hew stands out even among Flurry attacks for how high the damage is, but being slower than Cleave is pretty bad.

Level 10:

Chop
Heavy
Speed:
45s
Damage: 40
Crit Bonus: +20 damage, +5 armor damage, +15s stagger

Every character, at level 10, gets an upgrade to one of their moves, rather than learning a new one (usually). In this case, Cleave gets replaced with Chop, which is definitely a worthwhile upgrade, don't get me wrong, but a minor boost to stagger time and armor damage on a Heavy move? Little bit underwhelming there, boss. You can do better, I know it.

Progeny Exclusive:

Whirlwind
Flurry
Speed:
30s
Damage: 30 (10x3)
Crit Bonus: +15 (5x3) damage, applies bleeding for 1 turn

Not as chunky as Hew, but also doesn't take an entire turn to go off, and comes with a handy-dandy bleeding effect on a crit. And don't forget, status effects like bleeding can stack on a per-hit basis, so this lets Whirlwind keep up with damage via the DoT effect. And, again, this doesn't take literally forever to do, that really needs to be repeated.

Progeny:

ZARA SYPHEX
Shields:
75
Armor: 20
Health: 175
Damage: -15%
Crit Damage: -15%
Parent: Aia Kur (Juggernaut)
Learns Hew at level 6, learns Whirlwind at level 8

Did you enjoy being able to taunt enemies with Battlecry and to literally shrug off whatever they threw at you? Are you okay with sacrificing some damage and a bit of speed to make yourself better at survivability? That's Zara's wheelhouse. Starting with 20 armor is unheard of, and you get a nice boost to shields as well (although health is a little weaker). That said, the damage penalty across the board is pretty awkward, especially since you lose Sever, which is an amazing stagger move. Plenty of Flurry moves to work with, at least.

DAYANA SYPHEX
Shields:
45
Armor: 10
Health: 160
Parent: Sidara Kymon (Gunslinger)
Learns Sever at level 4, learns Whirlwind at level 6

Dayana, on the other end, trades off some of the base survivability that Wynn has in exchange for getting speedier moves like Sever and Whirlwind a little bit faster. Not a trade I'd personally take, given that Valkyrie is a class you can just leave on the frontline and more or less ignore, but if your team is lacking in stagger capability, it's a lot more considerable. Not happy about losing Sunder, though. You'll need to cover the gaps in reach and armor damage somehow.

NAYVA SYPHEX
Shields:
75
Armor: 10
Health: 180
Damage: +10%
Crit Damage: +10%
Parent: Kasche Jchor (Dragoon)
Learns Whirlwind at level 4, learns Hew at level 6, learns Sunder at level 8

And then if you just want damage, damage, and more damage, hey, here's Nayva! That's a big reliance on Flurry moves, so honestly this plays more like an Enforcer than anything, which isn't bad at all. You still get Sunder this way, but you don't get anything that's an especially fast move, and Nayva is a little weaker defensively. Not an especially fancy Valkyrie, but she certainly gets the job done.
 
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Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
MEET THE ARCHON
XURX NRZA




Shields: 75
Armor: 0
Health: 75
Gear Slots: Gauntlet, Implant, Device
Relationship Bonus: +5/10 shield regen
DNA Required for Levels: Low

Damage: E
Armor Damage: B
Speed: B
Stagger: D
Regen: A+
Support: B

Every game needs a boring-ass healer so that people can throw one on the team and have them mash the refuel button every turn. The Archon, at least, has the advantage of being one of the better area attackers, and the complication that in Star Renegades, healing moves are actually shield regen moves, and more importantly: they're SLOW. Playing Archon well means either disrupting people going for killshots so you can restore their shields, or slow-playing until after a big deadly move and then patching the shields up after. Not my favorite class, but not bad.

Movelist:

Level 1:

Discharge
AOE
Speed:
5s
Damage: 10
Crit Bonus: +3 damage, +1 armor damage, +10s stagger

Again, it's easy to expect the Archon is here for healing and healing alone, but you start with a very quick area attack that has just enough stagger to get other moves in to finsih the job. The stagger is a double-edged sword, of course: a weak stagger value on its own is a waste, and how many of those guys that you just hit are you really going to be able to follow up on? The armor damage is also pretty nice, and with how fast this goes, you'll almost always get it in there.

Bestow Shields
Speed:
35s
+50 shield regen to one ally, clears DoT effects

Excellent single-target shield regen, favorite food of any tank on your team, especially if queued up for after they've eaten all the hits for the turn. And you'll want to be smart about using Bestow Shields proactively, because it goes off WAY too slow for you to spotheal someone that's already in a dire situation. Plan ahead with this move, and don't stagger people so that they hit after you use this move. That's just shoddy work.

Defend
Speed:
0s
Cannot be delayed
+40% defense, cannot be debuffed

Everyone knows that you keep the healer alive at all costs. If it's a choice between patching up your tanks or keeping the Archon alive... honestly, your call, that's hard to decide. But you should still know when to defend, especially since the Archon is a pretty squishy class already.

Level 2:

Titan's Strength
Fury:
20
Speed: 0s
+50% damage for an ally for 1 turn, grants reach for 1 turn

That is a very tasty damage bonus for sure. Granted, Battlecry affects your whole team, but if your team has an Archon on it, odds are pretty good that what you need is a much larger boost on a single attacker, rather than a weaker boost on a bunch of people who don't need to attack. Plonk this down on a Marksman or Spectre, sit back, and watch the health bars fly off into the sunset.

Level 4:

Celestial Smash
AOE
Speed:
30s
Damage: 20
Crit Bonus: +5 damage, +2 armor damage

Gee Archon, how come you get to cast Meteo at level 4? Celestial Smash is a very good area attack, capable of doing significant damage to the entire enemy team, and it trades away the meddlesome stagger and actually-convenient speed of Discharge away in favor of more armor damage. If nobody on the team needs healing and all the enemies are properly staggered, let this sucker fly!

Level 6:

Degeneration
Light
Speed:
0s
Damage: 3
Breaks Guards, applies 25% armor defense to all allies for 1 turn
Crit Bonus: +1 damage, +4 armor damage, pierces 100% shields, applies -25% armor defense for 1 turn

This is the Archon's only single-target move, and as you can clearly see, it's not actually built for damage. This is a supporting move through and through, designed to kill the hell out of enemy armor (even through shields!) while preserving your team's armor as much as possible. Great way to open up single-target boss fights, or continue them if your team's health is doing fine but the enemy still has too much armor.

Level 8:

Benediction
Speed:
55s
+20 shield regen to all allies, clears DoT effects

It's the area heal move in an RPG. You will use this at any chance you get. There's a lot of weight being supported by "any chance you get" in that statement, mind you: Benediction is significantly slower than Bestow Shields, which means if you want to queue this up to negate a bit AOE move, you're setting your Archon up to take a crit. Can your Archon really survive a crit boss AOE that would necessitate an area heal? If so, can they come over for a while?

Level 10:

Bonds of Faith
Speed:
55s
+45 shield regen to all allies, clears DoT effects

Come on, you just got the area heal. Do you really need it upgraded that fast? It's still slow as hell, so all the caveats above still apply. Then again, with this level of healing intensity, you may as well take the approach of "it won't oneshot me so I may as well!" Bonds of Faith kind of heals for a lot.

Progeny Exclusive:

Wrath
Flurry
Speed:
15s
Reach
Damage: 24 (12x2)
Crit Bonus: +6 (3x2) damage

If you have a problem with your Archon's attacks being far too indiscriminate, Wrath allows you to deal some okay single-target damage. It's quick and has Reach, but doesn't have stagger, which would lead you to think it's ideal for picking off low-health targets, and it is a little higher damage than Celestial Smash, at least. You might just prefer the auto-cleaning capability of spamming AOE moves every turn, though.

Blessing
Speed:
35s
+30 shield regen to one ally, clears DoT effects

Blessing exists solely to screw over Maz's ability to heal you. Have fun, loser.

Progeny:

RAX NRZA
Shields:
55
Armor: 0
Health: 75
Shield Regen: +20%
Parent: Senya Lanodora (Empath)
Learns Benediction at level 1, learns Bestow Shields at level 4, learns Wrath at level 6, learns Degeneration at level 8

Rax is the healiest healer that ever healed in Star Renegades. WAY faster access to Benediction, with higher shield regen on that and Bestow Shields, points them hard to a supporting position, especially with the significant loss of offense. They pay a hefty price for such power, with lower max shields making them especially susceptible to even stray hits. Best used alongside tank characters who can draw fire away from them, and who have big hearty shieldbars to appreciate the stronger healing.

MAZ NRZA
Shields:
75
Armor: 0
Health: 75
Damage: +15%
Crit Damage: +15%
Shield Regen: -20%
Parent: Sidara Kymon (Gunslinger)
Replaces Bestow Shields with Blessing, learns Wrath at level 4, learns Celestial Smash at level 8

If you prefer using the Archon to play offense rather than healing, Maz is a better pick. Your area damage actually suffers a bit since Celestial Smash comes later, and your healing output suffers a LOT, but if you didn't actually bother with actively healing most of the time and just wanted someone else to shoot the mans, Maz can do the job with aplomb. Having a fast strong AOE right out of the gate is really nice.

XHAL NRZA
Shields:
50
Armor: 0
Health: 75
Damage: +10%
Crit Damage: +10%
Parent: Kasche Jchor (Dragoon)
Learns Benediction at level 1, learns Wrath at level 4, learns Celestial Smash at level 6, learns Bestow Shields at level 8

Xhal enjoys both the early area healing of Rax, and the strong early area offense of Maz, albeit not to as much of an extreme as either one. This is, naturally, a very attractive package, but Xhal also is the most fragile of all the Archons. Like Rax, you're best off using Xhal alongside dedicated tanking characters that can help keep Xhal alive. Basically, if you want a more aggressively powerful Archon, go for it.
 
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Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
MEET THE SABOTEUR
NODO KALTHORIS




Shields: 30
Armor: 5
Health: 125
Gear Slots: Blaster, Implant, Device
Relationship Bonus: +5/10s stagger
DNA Required for Levels: Medium

Damage: C
Armor Damage: C
Speed: A
Stagger: A+
Regen: E
Support: E

Come on. Just one look at this guy and you know exactly what to expect. In a conventional RPG, the Saboteur's role would be speedy damage with a side of debuffing. That's kind of the case here, too, except that instead of debuffing, the Saboteur is the best staggering class in the game by a mile. Putting them on your team means that any time you want to knock someone into next turn, he can do that. He's also ridiculously fast, with many of his moves being instant, to ensure those tasty tasty staggers will definitely go off. The Saboteur is fairly fragile, though, and should be kept on the back row and well out of reach of anything that hits hard.

Movelist:

Level 1:

Straight Shot
Normal
Speed:
15s
Damage: 25
Crit Bonus: +13 damage, +2 armor damage, +15s stagger

On most classes, Straight Shot would be considered a bread and butter attack they would use when no better option is around. On Saboteur, though, Straight Shot is their slowest and heaviest attack, best used when you don't need to stagger anything into next week. It's also their only Normal attack, if you're up against elites that don't play nice with Light or AOE moves.

Defend
Speed:
0s
Cannot be delayed
+40% defense, cannot be debuffed

Have you run out of stagger chances on their big AOE move and they're still alive? Congrats, you're doing this now.

Blitz
Light
Speed:
0s
Damage: 9
Crit Bonus: +5 damage, +45s stagger, applies -25% defense for 1 turn

Easily one of the best staggering moves in the game. Sure, the damage is weak, but it's an instant 45s stagger! Unless the enemy is already superfast, that's basically a guarantee that they'll be broken this turn, and if they ARE superfast, this lets you get in a few wallops before they crit your poor unsuspecting slowpokes. The defense reduction is just icing on the cake, frankly, but it's nice if you're planning on following it up with big meaty crits.

Level 2:

Trick Shot
Light
Fury:
15
Speed: 0s
Reach, Once per fight
Damage: 5
Crit Bonus: +3 damage, stun

Stun in Star Renegades is very good. Any enemy that's stunned is treated as broken for the purposes of critting them, which is already great, BUT they flat out drop whatever action they were going to take anyway, even if they're not able to be staggered. Of course, there's the downsides that you can't do this more than once per fight, and it costs 15 Fury, but it's still a good fun get-out-of-jail-free card, especially against big bosses that are about to unleash a Death Temple in Hell attack of some kind.

Level 4:

Plant Explosives
Speed:
0s
Enables Powers: Detonate, In A Flash

Plant Explosives does nothing on its own, but it sets up both of the Saboteur's AOE attacks, both of which are very good. Any turn where you don't have to stagger should be spent doing this.

Detonate
AOE
Speed:
0s
Damage: 35
Crit Bonus: +18 damage, +2 armor damage
Enables Power: Plant Explosives

Detonate is a stupidly powerful area attack at ridiculous speeds, but you need to spend a turn setting it up with Plant Explosives. Fortunately, you're going to get a couple of turns free to do this anyway, since you can't stagger enemies forever, or maybe the rest of your team can handle staggering enemies just fine. Once set up, Detonate is more than capable of destroying the chaff in an encounter on its own.

Level 6:

Place Your Bets
Light
Speed:
0s
Reach
Damage: 18
Cancels Overwatch, Cover Fire, Riposte
Crit Bonus: +9 damage, +1 armor damage

It's not often that counterattacking enemies are THAT scary for you, but Place Your Bets has a little more utility beyond that as a slightly-harder-hitting and reaching alternative to Blitz. That makes it useful for picking off low-health enemies that still have a really deadly move coming up, even if they're not easy to hit or stagger by other means. Canceling counterattacks is mostly just icing on the cake in those cases.

Level 8:

In A Flash
AOE
Speed:
10s
Damage: 10
Crit Bonus: +5 damage, +30s stagger
Enables Power: Plant Explosives

While it still needs the same turn of setup that Detonate needs, In A Flash bears special mention for being the best AOE stagger in the game. 30s stagger is already really good for most non-Saboteur classes, but they're usually stuck with either doing it single-target or burning a rare and expensive Combo to do it. All the Saboteur needs is one turn and level 8, and they've got it made. Again, any turn where the Saboteur doesn't need to stagger should be spent planting explosives. Do note that In A Flash is NOT instant, like most Saboteur moves!

Level 10:

Blitz II
Light
Speed:
0s
Damage: 20
Crit Bonus: +10 damage, +1 armor damage, +50s stagger, applies -50% defense for 1 turn

Seriously? 50s stagger? Sure, all the other numbers go up to real values (and basically invalidate Place Your Bets as a move), but the upgraded Blitz II is just downright mean. It almost makes you want to use moves that don't have any stagger built in, just so you can bully the same target every turn with this and never let them act.

Progeny Exclusive:

Smooth Operator
Speed:
0s
+40% defense, cannot be debuffed
Counter attacks when hit

...Huh. Okay. I guess you can have your Saboteur get counterattacks when hit if you want. Since it's always a replacement for your basic Defend, the idea here is clearly to let them get some mileage out of turns when you can't stagger away the heavy AOE attack. Saboteur isn't NEARLY hardy enough for you to even think of abusing this property, so consider this move a little extra bonus rather than a keystone of your strategy.

Deadeye
Heavy
Speed:
40s
Damage: 35
Crit Bonus: +18 damage, +10s stagger

The slowest and heaviest attack you can possibly give a Saboteur. It's honestly not great; the Saboteur should be setting up teammates for their heavy attacks, not making them himself. That said, it's his hardest-hitting move outside of Detonate, which takes a turn to set up. Detonate is also AOE and has armor damage on it. I dunno man, sometimes you've already knocked the other guys out of the field with another speedster and the Saboteur has nothing to do.

Progeny:

VASH KALTHORIS
Shields:
55
Armor: 5
Health: 125
Parent: Maryadi Penrave (Aegis)
Replaces Defend with Smooth Operator, learns Plant Explosives and In A Flash at level 2, learns Place Your Bets at level 4, learns Detonate at level 6, learns Deadeye at level 8

Holy moveset overhaul, Batman. Vash is a VERY different kind of Saboteur from his dad. There's a lot of tricks and nuance in here: he doesn't have Trick Shot (and thus needs a Combo move to spend Fury at all), he gets VERY early access to powerful AOE stagger, and he has enough defenses that he can actually take a hit without needing babysitting from a tank. I'd say to use Vash if you already feel comfortable with the tempo of fights and don't feel like you need to stagger and stun everything all the time forever.

DALEN KALTHORIS
Shields:
30
Armor: 5
Health: 125
Damage: +15%
Crit Damage: +15%
Parent: Nava Tovar (Spectre)
Learns Deadeye at level 4, learns Plant Explosives and Detonate at level 6, learns Place Your Bets at level 8

Dalen works best if you want your Saboteur to have access to better damage instead of just staggering all the time. You still start with Blitz and it's still good, but you no longer have In A Flash, so you don't get AOE stagger anymore. In exchange, you get Deadeye very early, and a decent damage boost to give it some real kick. Really is as straightforward as that: Dalen just does more damage.

BANDO KALTHORIS
Shields:
30
Armor: 8
Health: 145
Stagger: -5s
Parent: Davion Syphex (Paragon)
Replaces Defend with Smooth Operator, learns In A Flash at level 4, learns Deadeye at level 6, learns Detonate at level 8

First class we've seen with a penalty to stagger time. Bando isn't quite as good at launching people into the future as the other Saboteurs, but he's got some better armor and a moveset that lends itself more to playing defensive. And yeah, the stagger penalty hurts on the class best suited to doing that, but honestly? Saboteur's base stagger is so ridiculously good that you likely won't even mind it. Earlier access to In A Flash is good, without the loss of Trick Shot that Vash has to contend with.
 
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Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
MEET THE ENFORCER
JENS MALRIC




Shields: 45
Armor: 6
Health: 135
Gear Slots: Rifle, Implant, Device
Relationship Bonus: +15/25% damage vs. marked enemies
DNA Required for Levels: Medium

Damage: A
Armor Damage: B
Speed: C
Stagger: D
Regen: C
Support: B

Like the Valkyrie, the Enforcer is a solid damage-dealer who can fit in comfortably with really any team. In addition to being someone you can just point at people for big damage, he also comes with a handy set of supporting moves, increasing the damage of teammates or giving them some defensive help as the situation calls for it. Unlike the Valkyrie, he's very much not a frontliner, with very low shields, only basic health and armor, and terrible stagger, so you'll want him on the backline at all times.

Movelist:

Level 1:

Defend
Speed:
0s
Cannot be delayed
+40% defense, cannot be debuffed

With how low your shields are, you run the risk of permanent-ish damage any time an attack aims at you. Try not to let that happen.

Lock Target
Light
Speed:
0s
Reach
Damage: 20
Applies marked for 3 turns

Quick and decent damage is nice, but what's even nice is marking the target. This does two things, the more important of which is lowering their defense against crits by 25%. And since the mark is so persistent and the Enforcer gives bonuses to it with relationships, you'll want this up basically all the time against big dogs. It also prevents the target from going stealth mode, which is a real lifesaver if you don't have AOE on deck.

Burst Shot
Flurry
Speed:
30s
Damage: 60 (15x4)
Crit Bonus: +21 (5x4) damage

This will likely be the first flurry move you get access to, and it's a whopper. 60 damage right out of the gate is NUTS, especially on a marked target. Again, be mindful that each of those hits counts armor separately, and triggers a new counterattack when it hits, so be careful if you're going for something well-defended. You'll really want a pal who can take down armor for you, at least early on.

Level 2:

Buckshot
Light
Fury:
15
Speed: 0s
Once per fight
Damage: 25
Crit damage: +9 damage, +1 armor damage, stun

Hell yeah, more stun. It hits harder than Trick Shot and even packs a bit of armor damage, but lacking reach is a big problem for a stunning move. Not to call it bad, it's a fine way to handle solo bosses, but don't expect to save yourself from a backliner with a lethal move with this.

Level 4:

Cover Fire
Speed:
0s
+15 shield regen to one ally, cancels DoT effects, applies +15% defense and cover fire for 1 turn

As a healing move, Cover Fire is pretty weak, but not terrible. It's best used to add some extra punish for enemies who attack your tank, by having the Enforcer shoot them every single time they try to do so. The counter damage is pretty respectable, and every attack that turn can trip it, letting you really dish out some widescale damage, ESPECIALLY if they're packing flurry attacks.

Level 6:

Dumbfire
Normal
Speed:
25s
Damage: 35
Crit Bonus: +12 damage, +6 armor damage, +10s stagger

Hey, remember how the armor was a problem for you thanks to the mechanics of flurry attacks? Not anymore! Dumbfire packs a real kick against armor, and it's a little quicker than Burst Shot if you need quick meaty damage. The stagger I could do without, though. Weak stagger is still worse than no stagger. And what's worse: this is the ONLY move Enforcer gets that staggers at all.

Level 8:

Unload
AOE
Speed:
0s
Damage: 15
Cancels Overwatch, Cover Fire, Riposte
Crit Bonus: +5 damage, +2 armor damage, attacks no longer stagger for 1 turn

A decent AOE attack that also comes out super quick, but it's best used for its utility. Canceling lots of counterattacks makes it safe for the rest of your team to go hogwild with heavy moves on everyone that tried them, and blocking stagger isn't THAT useful since you ideally don't want to be taking crits anyway, but when it helps, it REALLY helps. You could do a lot worse than Unload.

Level 10:

Ripfire
Flurry
Speed:
30s
Damage: 64 (15x4)
Crit Bonus: +22 (5x4) damage

It's your best damaging move, and a little more damage is nice, but the damage boost feels a little too small for me to really appreciate it, y'know? If you've got DNA to burn or gear to equip, sure, go for it, but this feels like one of the weakest capstones I've seen yet.

Progeny Exclusive:

Clear Shot
Heavy
Speed:
45s
Reach
Damage: 45
Crit Bonus: +16 damage, +4 armor damage, +10s stagger

Very slow, and loses out on damage to Burst Shot (but then, what doesn't). Still absolutely earns its place in the Enforcer moveset by being a powerful attack with Reach. Also has some solid armor damage, although not as good as Dumbfire. A little bit of stagger, which is just the right amount of stagger on a slow move, gives it a little bit of extra niche in staggering slow backliners, and especially given Enforcer's absolute lack of stagger at all.

Progeny:

DORN MALRIC
Shields:
45
Armor: 6
Health: 135
Damage: +15%
Crit Damage: +15%
Parent: Tark Chanlo (Marksman)
Learns Clear Shot at level 4, learns Cover Fire at level 6, learns Dumbfire at level 8

If you want the Enforcer less for support and more for raw damage, Dorn's your best bet. Most of his moveset is shunted down the timeline in favor of early access to Clear Shot, which gives him a good, albeit slow, way of dishing out heavy hits to the backline. Even without that, the damage boost is highly welcomed considering Burst Fire is already amazing for damage right out of the gate. Gunshootman is here to gunshoot.

KENNEX MALRIC
Shields:
45
Armor: 11
Health: 160
Parent: Pox Machanur (Varangian)
Learns Unload at level 4, learns Clear Shot at level 8

Kennex isn't able to provide Cover Fire for his team, which is a pretty big disadvantage to me, but his moveset sees some pretty interesting improvements beyond that, to say nothing of his far-better defenses. Seriously, he's got at least as decent defensive stats as the Commando, which I have no problems parking on the frontline. Kennex makes a good fit for a team where you don't have an outright tank, but instead just want everyone able to withstand hits.

GORM'X MALRIC
Shields:
30
Armor: 6
Health: 155
Parent: Rav'n Tysanno (Guardian)
Learns Dumbfire at level 4, learns Cover Fire at level 6, learns Clear Shot at level 8

Gorm'x trades away some shields for health, which is a pretty uncomfortable trade on the best of days. The moveset is very similar to Dorn's, but without the damage bonus that makes Dorn so attractive. Instead, you've got Dumbfire for the faster damage a little earlier, and the reach of Clear Shot is shunted further down. I dunno, not really my style here, ut maybe they're yours.
 
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Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
MEET THE AEGIS
MARYADI PENRAVE




Shields: 150
Armor: 10
Health: 170
Gear Slots: Gauntlet, Implant, Device
Relationship Bonus: +15/30 shields
DNA Required for Levels: High

Damage: D
Armor Damage: D
Speed: D
Stagger: B
Regen: B
Support: C

The Aegis is exactly what she sounds like: a big hardy tank designed to take hits for your team. She boasts the highest base shields in the game and has plenty of ways to stretch them out in a fight, plus some okay stagger and damage reflection to keep the enemies from doing any more to your team than you explicitly allow. Understandably, she's not very strong on direct damage, and you'll likely want a buddy on hand to keep her shields topped off during longer fights.

Movelist:

Level 1:

Smash
Normal
Speed:
15s
Damage: 20
Crit Bonus: +4 damage, +1 armor damage, +15s stagger

A nice, solid attack for when you need to hit things instead of block things. Like most Normal attacks, this one's great at throwing into a turn more or less whenever, and it hits decently hard with some okay stagger, good for either ensuring a kill shot or just bonking targets of opportunity.

Guard
Speed:
0s
+20% defense, guards one ally, cannot be debuffed, reflects 25% damage

Hey look, it's your tanking move. If there's an attack on the field that's going to bring down your softest target, leaving you without a key component of the team, Guard will keep them 100% safe, even in the case of AOE moves (although the Aegis will take and reflect attacks for the both of them). Make sure you're keeping a close eye on your shields, armor, and health while doing this, because it's never fun to see this move get the Aegis killed to DoT.

Deflect
Speed:
0s
+40% defense, cannot be debuffed, reflects 25% damage

Deflect helps to set the Aegis apart from the pack, replacing the usual Defend command. Nothing fancy, mind you, it just packs a damage reflection effect in. That goes a long way when the Aegis is the target of every single attack on the screen, and her shields are enough that she can defend and take it all, freeing up everyone else on your team for some real punishment and getting some chip damage for the fun of it.

Level 2:

Charge Shields
Fury:
15
Speed: 0s
+40 shield regen to self, cancels DoT effects, free action

Don't have a good shield healer on your team? No problem, just spend some Fury and you'll be back in business. This won't cover your entire shieldbar without some major gear investment, but it can be that little difference between taking critical damage and noping the entire enemy turn. And if you do have a supporting unit, this can ease up on them so they don't have to spend every single turn managing your shields.

Level 4:

Shield Throw
Light
Speed:
25s
Reach
Damage: 10
Crit Bonus: +2 damage, +35s stagger

It's on the slow side for how much stagger it causes, but Shield Throw is a lifesaver of a move when used right. High stagger on a reaching move works great for disabling key targets, especially those that like to use the backline as insurance for their power moves to go off. Don't rely on this for doing basically anything else except getting key breaks, though.

Level 6:

Fortress
Speed:
0s
+20% defense, guards all allies, cannot be debuffed, reflects 25% damage

Remember what I said about Guard being dangerous if the Aegis has taken too much heat? Be very careful every single time you use Fortress to ensure that your Aegis doesn't immediately die for it. If they don't, great, you can weather the meanest AOE attacks no problem and get some delicious reflect damage out of it. One caveat on this, though: any guarding effect gets disrupted by stun, and Fortress means you WILL eat the stuns first.

Level 8:

Pulverize
Flurry
Speed:
35s
Damage: 40 (20x2)
Crit Bonus: +8 (4x2) damage

As with most flurry attacks, this is your biggest spike damage option, and it's honestly pretty good for what it is. No stagger or armor damage on it, but that's okay, you have Smash and Shield Throw already. Pulverize just rounds out your offensive kit for the turns where you don't have to create force fields for the team (and those happen more often than you'd expect).

Level 10:

Deflect II
Speed:
0s
+40% defense, cannot be debuffed, reflects 35% damage

By the time you get Deflect II, you're probably at the stage of the game where Guard and Fortress are more likely what you're using as far as defensive measures go. Still, that extra reflected damage can be nice if all the enemies decide to aim right at the Aegis instead of anywhere else, but you're also likely sitting on a full roster of 5 renegades by that point, so it's not gonna happen very often unless they're all tough enough to not need a tank.

Progeny Exclusive:

Delve
Heavy
Speed:
45s
Damage: 35
Crit Bonus: +6 damage, +1 armor damage, +10s stagger

Aegis has some real problems on turns where all the enemies are staggered and there's only offense to output. Delve gives her a good answer for that, packing high power while still retaining the armor damage that can come in handy at times like this. Weak stagger, yes, but Delve is slow enough that you can accept it, sort of. Pulverize might still be a better general damage option, so choose wisely.

Progeny:

GENNA PENRAVE
Shields:
130
Armor: 10
Health: 170
Parent: Nodo Kalthoris (Saboteur)
Learns Pulverize at level 6, learns Fortress at level 8

A lot of people appreciate the high stagger that the Aegis can put out, and don't really bother with the defensive tools unless needed. Genna sacrifices some shields to shuffle the higher-offense Pulverize slightly earlier in the roster, allowing people that prefer an aggressive Aegis to play to that strength. And hey, 130 shields is still a lot! You can still use Genna conventionally, even if she's not quite as strong at it.

KASARI PENRAVE
Shields:
120
Armor: 10
Health: 170
Damage: +20%
Crit Damage: +20%
Parent: Nava Tovar (Spectre)
Learns Delve at level 4, learns Shield Throw at level 6

What's that? You're not excited about stagger either? Okay, uh, here's Kasari, playing Aegis like a raw offense character who can sometimes tank! She's got the lowest defensive stats of the lot, to say nothing of giving up Fortress, but she gets enough movetypes to let her handle closer to a Valkyrie than anything, good at dishing damage out and taking it, but with the ability to intercept damage with Guard instead of taunting with Battlecry.

TERIS PENRAVE
Shields:
180
Armor: 10
Health: 195
Damage: -15%
Parent: Davion Syphex (Paragon)
Learns Fortress at level 4, learns Delve at level 8

If the absolute most important thing you're doing is the tanking, Teris is the best option. No Shield Throw, but you get Fortress really quickly, and have the defensive stats to use it early and often. You'll need lots of team support to do this, but Teris will repay the favor in turn by gluing her lifebars right onto everyone else's, and reflecting loads of attacks in the process.
 

Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
MEET THE MARKSMAN
TARK CHANLO




Shields: 15
Armor: 8
Health: 110
Gear Slots: Rifle, Implant, Device
Relationship Bonus: +10/20% armor piercing
DNA Required for Levels: Medium

Damage: A+
Armor Damage: A
Speed: D
Stagger: C
Regen: E
Support: C

Do you frequently misuse the term DPS? Do you like seeing enemies bleed numbers in the thousands range? Do you assume that someone else will be around to handle pesky things like "your health total"? You should have a Marksman on your team! Flippancy aside, the Marksman is an incredibly powerful damaging unit, nearly without equal, but they also have notoriously poor defenses, including the weakest starting shields in the game by a significant margin. Be prepared to either cover for them with a tank, or to have their damage and life plummet.

Movelist:

Level 1:

Defend
Speed:
0s
+40% defense, cannot be delayed, cannot be debuffed

With how low the Marksman's shields are, you really can't afford even a glancing hit, because they will add up very quickly. Be ready to Defend at the drop of a hat if you're left exposed to an enemy.

Sniper Mode
Speed:
0s
Attacks are 20s slower, but gain Reach, +25% damage, +25% crit damage, and -25% defense, canceled when hit, free action

This is the main way the Marksman really gets their damage output going. On your turn, you can decide to enter Sniper Mode, slowing down your attacks and lowering your defenses, but giving you much chunkier hits. There's a degree of finesse on how to use this mode. You can either use it to slow down a quick move for some extra punch and reach, or use it to amp up a powerful slower move when the Marksman is safe from all harm and capitalizing on teammates' stagger.

Exit Sniper Mode
Speed:
0s
Cancels all effects of Sniper Mode, free action

You can freely toggle Sniper Mode on and off as long as you don't commit to your attack, so you can experiment with different speeds to find what fits the situation best.

Quickshot
Light
Speed:
0s
Damage: 15
Crit Bonus: +5 damage, +15s stagger, applies -100% crit damage for 1 turn

Obviously, Quickshot is good for tapping an enemy instantly and shutting down their nearly-instant attack, or at least disabling the crit damage so your allies can safely act even if it hits. You can also use it with Sniper Mode to tag pesky backline enemies, although that's a little less reliable unless they're going for an already-slow move. A good solid choice for a move.

Killshot
Heavy
Speed:
50s
Damage: 45
Crit Bonus: +16 damage, pierces 33% armor

Name says it all, really. Killshot is here to get you kill shots. It's slow as all hell, which makes it perfect for combining with Sniper Mode. Just make sure you've got a clear path to your target, with nobody jumping in front to break your nose and kill the Marksman first. The crit bonus is also very nice, so you'll want to have a teammate stagger the target beforehand, even if only by a little bit.

Level 2:

Wing
Fury:
10
Light
Speed:
0s
Damage: 15
Crit Bonus: +5 damage, +5 armor damage, +10s stagger, applies -25% shield defense for 1 turn
Applies +25% crit damage to all allies for 1 turn

Wing is the Marksman's main focus fire option, if they're facing an enemy their allies can't just stagger and leave open for them. As with the Valkyrie's Battlecry, this works best if everyone on your team is going on the attack, and it goes without saying that this is a great opener for boss battles, before the Marksman can reach their health total and has to contend with shields and armor.

Level 4:

Keen Shot
Normal
Speed:
10s
Damage: 25
Crit Bonus: +9 damage, +4 armor damage, +25s stagger

The strongest stagger the Marksman has, as well as being a nice middle ground between the light tap of Quickshot and the weighty power of Kill Shot. As always, the versatility of this move depends on proper use of Sniper Mode. It's fine at doing damage on its own, but if you're in that sweet spot where you can still get stagger off of Keen Shot in Sniper mode? That's where it really shines.

Level 6:

Disintegrate
Heavy
Speed:
45s
Damage: 35
Crit Bonus: +12 damage, +8 armor damage, +10s stagger

It's slow as hell, but Disintegrate makes a great answer to enemies sporting too much armor. Killshot pierces some armor, yes, but there's no denying that it's easier for your team as well as you if you get rid of it. Only problem is that as high as that armor damage is, Disintegrate is slow even outside of Sniper Mode. You're definitely going to need help, or just Keen Shot, for faster armored foes.

Level 8:

Overwatch
Counter
Speed:
0s
Reach
Attacks one target any time they attack, applies -100% crit damage for 1 turn

Sometimes it's more fun to wait for them to attack and then tell them to cut it out. Overwatch lets you point to a target and then interrupt their move with an attack of your own. This is definitely situational, best reserved for when a flurry attack is at the point where it can no longer be staggered and you want to hit them once for every time they attack, but don't forget about it.

Level 10:

Sniper Mode II
Speed:
0s
Attacks are 20s slower, but gain Reach, +35% damage, and +35% crit damage, free action

Now that's a capstone. All the good parts of Sniper Mode see some benefit, while all the bad parts get completely cut. Now, you might be wondering "isn't the 20s penalty on attacks a bad part? That's still there." Well, you're not wrong. But remember, that penalty lets the Marksman park themselves right in the turn order where they want to be, and they have enough fast attacks that they can skate around that restriction more freely than it looks at first.

Progeny Exclusive:

Twinfire
Flurry
Speed:
30s
Damage: 40 (20x2)
Crit Bonus: +14 (7x2) damage, +2 (1x2) armor damage

Hell yeah, a flurry attack. Still hits pretty hard and has some armor damage, and it's decently faster than Killshot while still maintaining very close damage. Now, the question is, do you really need that extra speed when you're factoring in Sniper Mode? That's not a rhetorical question, either; Twinfire can still outspeed Killshot in Sniper Mode, which CAN make a difference.

Progeny:

XIN CHANLO
Shields:
15
Armor: 8
Health: 110
Parent: Jens Malric (Enforcer)
Learns Overwatch at level 4, learns Keen Shot at level 6, learns Twinfire at level 8

Xin isn't too fancy, just a little reshuffling of the Marksman's moveset. Early access to Overwatch gives them a much more reliable way of using Counter attacks as an offensive tool against bosses that are afraid of them, and Twinfire gives you a handy middleweight option for hitting people hard. Without Disintegrate on deck, you'll need someone else for your armor damage, but that's honestly about it.

RATH CHANLO
Shields:
15
Armor: 13
Health: 110
Damage: -20%
Crit Damage: -20%
Parent: Aia Kur (Juggernaut)
Learns Overwatch at level 4, learns Twinfire at level 8

If you're tired of babysitting your Marksman because of their low defenses, you can try Rath! 13 armor is REALLY good for when you get it, and that faster access to Overwatch can be really fun for hitting all those Counter weaknesses. The costs you pay are harsh, though. The damage penalty is something you'll really notice since that's Marksman's entire thing, and not having Keen Shot as a reliable multitool HURTS.

KETH CHANLO
Shields:
50
Armor: 3
Health: 110
Damage: -10%
Crit Damage: -10%
Parent: Kasche Jchor (Dragoon)
Learns Twinfire at level 4, learns Disintegrate at level 6, learns Keen Shot at level 8

Keth's also got pretty solid survivability, with a shield score solidly in the range of "actually exists", while having a less extreme damage penalty than Rath. The moveset is pretty nice too, although you don't get Overwatch with this loadout, so you can't abuse counter weaknesses on enemies or get fifty billion shots off of an enemy flurry attack. But hey, with the kind of damage a Marksman can output, you don't really NEED Overwatch for big stupid damage.
 
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Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
The PC version got another update that offers an alternate planet as the second one you can face. I am still playing on the Switch version that is now two major patches behind and crashes too often for my tastes.

MEET THE EMPATH
SENYA LANODORA




Shields: 65
Armor: 0
Health: 85
Gear Slots: Gauntlet, Implant, Device
Relationship Bonus: +10/20% damage
DNA Required for Levels: Medium

Damage: D
Armor Damage: E
Speed: B
Stagger: C
Regen: A
Support: A+

The Empath is your dedicated buffing class. If you have a number deficiency on your team, or just want things boosted to ridiculously silly heights, she's your girl. These buffs come in active or passive variants, and she has a handy-dandy form of offense available if you want her to attack. That said, she is very frail and her offense is weak, so get used to micromanaging those auras to get the most use out of her, or just find someone that actually does the thing you're using her turns to amplify.

Movelist:

Level 1:

Time Aura
Speed:
0s
Speeds up all allies actions by 5s, free action, only one Aura available at a time

The first thing to learn about the Empath is that she gets Auras as she gains levels. These Auras autocast at the start of the round, and can be switched freely during the turn as long as the Empath has not yet acted. This is important, because speeds for moves are locked in on selection! So Time Aura can give everyone a speed boost, potentially taking the fastest moves up to instant speed (and that's great), but if everyone except the Empath has acted and she doesn't need the speed boost? Switch out to another Aura and thank me later.

Stimulate
Speed:
0s
Speeds up one ally's action by 10s, applies +25% crit damage for 1 turn

Time Aura is great, but Stimulate lets you pull off some VERY silly things. If an ally has queued up an action already, Stimulate applies its bonus retroactively, even if the action is slow enough that it would go at the end of the turn (such as a Killshot from the Marksman). It also can speed up an already-fast action to instant if you so desire. And, of course, you can use it to dodge or create crits by bumping an ally just before an enemy in turn order.

Defend
Speed:
0s
Cannot be delayed
+40% defense, cannot be debuffed

Considering that the bulk of the Empath's utility comes from Auras, there's absolutely no shame in using Defend when she gets targeted, especially since she's a very frail character. You're still contributing a lot even if you're not actively doing stuff.

Mind Knife
Light
Speed:
15s
Reach
Damage: 15
Crit Bonus: +4 damage, +15s stagger, pierces 100% shields, pierces 100% armor

This is the only actual attack the Empath will get, and for what it's worth, it's not bad. Going straight to health damage can be a goodbad thing: a lot of supporting units tend to have more shields and armor than health, letting you snipe troublesome targets. But it also means you're of no use whatsoever in taking down those things for your team. That's okay, though: leave the shields and armor to the teammates you'll buff while they handle it.

Level 2:

Inspire
Fury:
20
Speed: 0s
Speeds up an ally's action to instant, grants them a second action, free action, once per combat

You can make an excellent case for Inspire being the best fury ability in the game. Speeding an ally up to instant is fun, but it's something you'll already be able to do. Giving them a second action on top of that can perform some REALLY wild stuff. Have the Aegis stack Fortress and Deflect! Have the Marksman jump a Keen Shot ahead of a Killshot! The sky's the limit! And best of all: the Empath STILL gets to take her normal action on top of that. It's almost too much choice for what to do!

Level 4:

Shield Aura
Speed:
0s
+3 shield regen for all allies, free action, only one Aura available at a time

The regen on Shield Aura is pretty weak, but it adds up a lot over time, especially if you pull the trick I mentioned above and toggle it at the end of the turn after everyone but the Empath has acted. It also adds up if you're keeping up with your breaks to properly mitigate damage to your team, buying time for everyone's shields to recover between heavy hits.

Peace
Speed:
0s
Applies +15% defense to an ally for 1 turn

Okay, so it's not nearly as powerful or exciting as Stimulate. That doesn't mean Peace is useless, far from it. It's great to throw on your tanks if they're taking a beating, or to use as a last-ditch attempt to save a frail character from a killshot. Don't expect it to do much on its own, though; you'll likely have to stack it with existing defensive measures from that character to really make it count.

Level 6:

Empathic Surge
Speed:
0s
+5 shield regen to all allies, cancels DoT and debuff effects, applies +6 shield regen to all allies for 3 turns

"How can we make two people have area heal moves you'll want to spam, but make one distinct from the other?" Yeah, it's a regen effect. And yes, it stacks with Shield Aura. Empathic Surge isn't as strong as the Archon's Benediction, but it also can tag debuffs like Chilled or Vulnerable in addition to DoTs. There's also nuance in Empathic Surge being instant compared to the slower Benediction, but not by that much. You'll still use them in roughly the same spots.

Level 8:

Strength Aura
Speed:
0s
+15% damage for all allies, free action, only one Aura available at a time

Everybody's shields doing fine and their actions all lined up? Here, have some damage. As before, don't forget that you can use Time Aura to lock in actions first. But if those actions are already going to be instant (not out of the question with an Empath around), start off with Strength Aura to give those instant actions some kick, THEN go to Time Aura for everyone else.

Level 10:

Psion Knife
Light
Speed:
10s
Reach
Damage: 20
Crit Bonus: +5 damage, +25s stagger, pierces 100% shields, pierces 100% armor

The only move that gets an upgrade is the Empath's direct attack move, which feels a little weak considering you're not likely using that move very often. Don't disregard it, though: it's fast and has some okay stagger to it, in addition to the existing niche of piercing armor and shields completely. Even if you weren't using Mind Knife before, you may want to reconsider for Psion Knife.

Progeny Exclusive:

Mind Scythe
Flurry
Speed:
30s
Damage: 24 (8x3)
Crit Bonus: +6 (2x3) damage, pierces 100% shields, pierces 100% armor

Wow, for an attack that pierces armor and shields, Mind Scythe packs a serious kick! Sure, it's slow, and that damage doesn't compare to that of a real flurry attack that does have to contend with armor and shields, but this gives you a real leg-up in dealing with enemies you'd otherwise have no way of denting. You still might be better off having the Empath buffing a teammate, but this move is solid.

Progeny:

ZYRAS LANODORA
Shields:
80
Armor: 0
Health: 85
Parent: Xurx Nrza (Archon)
Learns Shield Aura at level 1, learns Time Aura and Empathic Surge at level 4, learns Peace at level 6

If you want an Empath as a primary healing role, Zyras is the way to go. Much earlier access to Shield Aura and Empathic Surge allows her to keep the team standing for longer. She also comes with a little bit of extra shielding to keep herself standing. Honestly, that's about it here. If you'd rather have shield regen than speed early on, play Zyras.

DINAH LANODORA
Shields:
65
Armor: 5
Health: 85
Damage: +20%
Crit Damage: +20%
Parent: Bentley (Commando)
Learns Strength Aura at level 1, learns Time Aura and Mind Scythe at level 4, learns Shield Aura at level 6, learns Empathic Surge at level 8

Dinah plays a much more offense-oriented support game, boosting everyone's damage and having plenty of her own as well. She's also one of two Empaths to get an attack that isn't just Mind/Psion Knife. However, this comes at a sharp cost to her ability to keep the team standing. Delaying the shield regen powers as far as she does puts a significant dent in your team's survivability, and that little bit of armor she comes with isn't much of a consolation.

VIERA LANODORA
Shields:
65
Armor: 5
Health: 110
Damage: +15%
Crit Damage: +15%
Parent: Kasche Jchor (Dragoon)
Learns Strength Aura and Mind Scythe at level 4, learns Peace at level 6, learns Shield Aura at level 8

What's that? You don't want healing at all? Cool, here's Viera. Like Dinah, she favors heavy all-out offense, with early access to both Time Aura and Strength Aura as well as Mind Scythe. However, she does not get Empathic Surge at all. Instead, you're capping out at the passive shield regen from Shield Aura, assuming you even get that far. Either bring someone with real shield regen, or bring people with high offense so you don't need to take hits.
 
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ozacrot

Jogurt Joestar
(he/him)
Thanks for these writeups, Kalir! I'm loving this game and there's a lot of underexplained stuff in the interactions between the systems (especially with support chars like the Empath.)

I'm absolutely loving this game, as is my spouse - it's the first roguelite that's held a lot of appeal for her. The only thing about this game that is taking some getting used to on my part is its length - I'm used to most roguelite games taking about 30 minutes to an hour per run, while my two complete runs so far have added up to 18 hours on the game clock. It makes sense and it's good for getting used to the characters, but it's a big commitment and the grinding pace of some of the big battles means they can get increasingly torturous as you try to beat the odds against one of the behemoths. I'm currently stalling because on my first hard mode run, planet 3 is not playing around and I think the boss is gonna whomp me.
 

Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
I'm glad to hear you're liking it! And yeah, the length is kind of a lot. I've heard people complain that there's too much time taken up with overworld wandering, but that hasn't really bothered me, and the fast-forward option in combat for resolving actions seems pretty handy.

MEET THE COMMANDO
BENTLEY




Shields: 55
Armor: 7
Health: 135
Gear Slots: Blaster, Rifle, Device
Relationship Bonus: +15/30% shield damage
DNA Required for Levels: Low

Damage: C
Armor Damage: A
Speed: C
Stagger: A
Regen: E
Support: C

The Commando is something like a more frontline version of the Saboteur. Still plenty fast and has lots of stagger, but they're capable of taking hits much more effectively, and dishing out hits as well. In exchange, they're not literally instant on almost all of their attacks. It takes a bit of investment in their defensive stats, but it's entirely possible to spec the Commando for frontline combat as well as backline. Note that they have two weapon slots instead of an Implant slot. This goes a long way towards speccing them for heavier offense.

Movelist:

Level 1:

Defend
Speed:
0s
+40% defense, cannot be debuffed
Counter attacks when hit

The Defend action for the Commando bears mention because of a unique feature to literally every move the Commando does: as soon as they take an action of ANY kind, they set up the Return Fire buff, which lets them shoot back after they're hit. The damage isn't much, but it adds up, making a frontline Commando an appealing proposition.

Salvo
Light
Speed:
15s
Damage: 20
Crit Bonus: +7 damage, +1 armor damage, +45s stagger
Counter attacks when hit

The same high stagger value as Blitz, with a little more firepower behind it, but it's no longer instant. You'd be surprised how much of a difference that last part can make sometimes, but Salvo is still a respectable staggering move that makes the Commando very good at launching troublesome attacks down the timeline. And, of course, you've got the counterattacks built in, but that loses some punch when one of your enemies isn't actually going to be attacking you, more likely than not.

Broadside
Normal
Speed:
25s
Damage: 30
Crit Bonus: +11 damage, +4 armor damage, +25s stagger, applies -25% armor damage for 2 turns
Counter attacks when hit

Broadside is your bread-and-butter guy-hitting move. The stats are all-around solid, especially if you land the crit. Lowering armor damage also makes it a lot safer for a frontline Commando to open with this and then follow up with a counter, safe behind their armor. Or you can use Broadside as a supporting move to offset the damage your tanks will take, keeping their armor in solid condition.

Level 2:

Armor Piercing Rounds
Fury:
10
Speed: 0s
Grants team +50% armor damage for 3 turns, free action, counter attacks when hit

Okay, it's good, don't get me wrong, but Armor Piercing Rounds is really only good at exactly one part of the fight: that sweetspot right in the middle where their shields are down, but their armor is still intact. Once you get there, hell yes, Armor Piercing Rounds ahoy, and it's light enough on the Fury cost to make that effortless, but it's still kind of annoying to see the Commando's Fury ability taken up with such a situational buff.

Level 4:

Hornswaggle
Light
Speed:
0s
Reach
Damage: 12
Redirects attack to a random ally
Crit Bonus: +4 damage
Counter attacks when hit

Hornswaggle is not a move I ever like to use. Functionally, what it does is has a random ally taunt the target, which can be good if the attack is a kill shot on a low-health target. If you're in bad enough shape that Hornswaggle is going to save someone from dying, though... wouldn't you rather just stagger them with a faster attack? Or have one of the actual tank characters do something about it? This is the Commando's only realistic reach attack, but I wish it was better.

Level 6:

Man-O-War
Flurry
Speed:
45s
Damage: 52 (13x4)
Crit Bonus: +18 (5x4) damage
Counter attacks when hit

Are you all done with staggering and armor breaking the other guy? Would you rather just burst down their shields? Man-O-War is as solid a flurry attack as you could ask for, which is to say, it fails the second it runs into armor and is excellent otherwise. It's also not very dependent on crits, if you're okay with slow-playing for a kill shot. Don't ask me why the crit bonus damage doesn't add up, though, because I don't know.

Level 8:

Cannonfire
AOE
Speed:
40s
Reach, random targets
Damage: 54 (18x3)
Crit Bonus: +19 (6x3) damage
Counter attacks when hit

While Man-O-War excels at destroying smallfries in a fight, Cannonfire is clearly meant to be used in boss fights against beefy single targets to end it faster. The random targeting makes it ill-suited to clearing out random encounters, since the per-hit damage is small. That's not a bad thing by itself, mind you: anything with an AOE weakness will get absolutely destroyed by this power if they're alone, since it uses a different core damage type from similar Flurry attacks.

Level 10:

Broadside II
Normal
Speed:
25s
Damage: 40
Crit Bonus: +14 damage, +4 armor damage, +35s stagger, applies -50% armor damage for 2 turns
Counter attacks when hit

Having the most all-purpose move in the Commando's repertoire see an upgrade at level 10 is really nice. As always, there's never a bad time for a Broadside, so having it just be better across the board is nice. Also a nice big spike in the armor damage debuff in particular.

Progeny Exclusive:

Flog
Normal
Speed:
30s
Damage: 25
Crit Bonus: +9 damage, +8 armor damage, +25s stagger
Counter attacks when hit

Excellent armor-chewing attack, and still packs the stagger you've come to know and love from the Commando. Stack this with Armor-Piercing Rounds and I'll be surprised if you even need the full three turns of that effect to chew it all up. Really don't have anything else I need to say about it, honestly. If the Commando wasn't doing enough armor damage, try playing one of the progeny that has Flog.

Progeny:

ROYCE
Shields:
55
Armor: 7
Health: 135
Damage: -20%
Crit Damage: -20%
Parent: Senya Lanodora (Empath)
Learns Cannonfire at level 6, learns Flog at level 8

I'll be honest: I don't get the balancing of the progeny Commandos. Royce has a significant damage penalty and only a slight moveset upgrade (I consider trading out one of either Man-O-War or Cannonfire to be fine since they do very similar things) to call for it. I'm fairly certain counterattack damage is unaffected, but I really don't have any ideas for why Royce has such a large penalty.

DAIMLER
Shields:
55
Armor: 12
Health: 135
Damage: +20%
Crit Damage: +20%
Stagger: +5s
Parent: Pox Machanur (Varangian)
Learns Flog at level 4

And on the other end of things, Daimler is honestly kind of cheating: better armor, damage AND stagger, losing only Hornswaggle in favor of Flog. And while having an instant reach move is nice, Hornswaggle isn't that powerful of a move in my books, certainly not worth everything Daimler gets in exchange for it. I'll do more research on this as time goes on, but I really don't see a significant reason to roll any Commando except for Daimler.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Hey! I started playing this too!

It kind of feels similar to Vambrace (which, to be fair, is also basically Easy Mode Darkest Dungeon), except with incredibly nice sprite work and less obtuse up and down the board
 

q 3

here to eat fish and erase the universe
(they/them)
Apropos of nothing, this game taught me that one of my Joycons has mild drift, the world map navigation is surprisingly sensitive.
 

q 3

here to eat fish and erase the universe
(they/them)
Just "beat" the game on my second run. Fun! It reminds me way more of Into the Breach than anything else, not just for the scenario but also how the strategy each turn is all about figuring out how to prevent or mitigate as much of the enemy's actions as possible, while still dealing damage and preparing for your next turn or two as well. It's basically a non-S-RPG take on Into the Breach's dynamics.

The other most standout feature is the lavish pixel art, which frankly if I was a producer I would be furious they spent so much time and budget creating large, detailed, animated sprites even for minor NPCs. Like what the heck, who even does that these days? And how did they do it and still manage to complete an entire game in a timely manner? It's gorgeous but also decadent. IMO the map and background art could have used more attention.

My one real complaint (other than that the Switch version has too small of a font, noticeable loading times, and is apparently behind on patches, though those are all pretty typical for Switch ports sadly) is that the writing leans way too heavily on irony and parody. Most bizarrely was beating the final boss only to get kicked into a dev room filled with in-jokes. It's not nearly as bad as some other indie games I won't mention just because the dialogue is pretty sparse and much of it is optional. But I'd personally prefer either more sincerity or silent characters whose stories I can imagine for myself.
 

Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
Yeah, I definitely agree on the writing front. I've seen two separate instances of "I am in favor of all of this thing" "even the bad ones?" "especially the bad ones" and it kind of wears down on you. A few of the relationship talks are pretty charming, despite that (I especially like Saboteur/Paragon and Valkyrie/Juggernaut).

I also won't be posting more profiles until the Switch version gets patches or I get really bored and shell out for the PC version. Just have too many crashes lately, I can't even finish runs anymore.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
The Switch version finally got that update!

I haven’t noticed anything drastically different beyond the fact that the game runs far better now.
 

Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
Even with the Switch update, my game's run-ending crashes have gotten so bad that I now can no longer progress past, um... the first boss on the first planet.

I really wish this game would let me play it!
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Have you tried deleting and reinstalling the game?

I had a couple dozen hours into it before the update and could count the number of game ending bugs on one hand
 

Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
Sorry for the delay, but hey, now the Switch is up to date with the PC version AND has a significantly lower amount of run-ending crash bugs! Let's celebrate with more class breakdowns!

MEET THE VARANGIAN
POX MACHANUR




Shields: 75
Armor: 10
Health: 130
Gear Slots: Sword, Blaster, Device
Relationship Bonus: +15/30% armor damage
DNA Required for Levels: High

Damage: B
Armor Damage: A+
Speed: D
Stagger: C
Regen: E
Support: C

Welcome to the first of the secret classes, unlocked with very specific relationship pairings! I won't spoil exactly how to unlock them, but I'll give a hint: each of the four secret progeny classes has two unique parents from the base eight classes. Anyway, I dunno what the heck a Varangian is, but I know what they're good at: wrecking the hell out of armor. Sure, they have a few other things they can do, but you really can't do better than the Varangian if you want all the enemy armor completely obliterated into pieces. They're also a decently hardy and versatile frontline fighter.

Movelist:

Level 1:

Defend
Speed:
0s
+40% defense, cannot be delayed, cannot be debuffed

The Varangian's defense stats are good enough to have them sit on the front lines, but they personally don't have much in the way of tanking moves, and their stagger is only okay. So if you're gonna take more heat that you can manage, feel free to Defend and stretch those stats out longer.

Take That!
Light
Speed:
15s
Damage: 20
Crit Bonus: +10 damage, +1 armor damage, +20s stagger, applies bleeding for 1 turn

While this is a fast attack with pretty respectable damage and bleeding, the cost is paid in having a below-average stagger value for a light attack. It'll still do the trick, especially when supplemented with other stagger, but you're not likely to be breaking enemies by yourself with this. Use it to quickly pick off low-health targets instead. And yes, you are supposed to pronounce the exclamation point in Take That!, what do you expect?

Carve
Normal
Speed:
30s
Damage: 30
Crit Bonus: +15 damage, +10 armor damage

That's right, that's 10 armor damage right out of the gate. The Varangian is the best when it comes to destroying armor. The attack also does a solid chunk of normal damage as well, so that's nice. Only problem is that it's a little slow, so you'll need to have someone stagger or find an opportune time to shred that armor, but that time will come along sooner than later, and that armor won't last more than a few turns.

Level 2:

Reflection Shield
Fury:
10
Speed: 0s
Grants an ally +25% defense and +25% reflect damage for 1 turn, free action

This is the only real tanking move the Varangian gets, but honestly? It's better to use to support an existing tank, jacking up their defenses and hurting all the enemies that are about to hit them. You can also try using it on a frail ally where it's the difference between life and death, and hope for that reflected damage to really put a dent in the attacker's healthbar, but good luck playing that properly.

Level 4:

Onslaught
Heavy
Speed:
45s
Damage: 45
Crit Bonus: +23 damage, +4 armor damage, +10s stagger

As solid a heavy attack as you could ask for, really. Good damage, still does armor damage because it's a Varangian move, stagger just high enough to be useful for how slow the move is. Nothing you haven't seen before, honestly. If the enemy's armor is gone and you don't need to stagger them, you're hitting them with this, more likely than not.

Level 6:

Slaughterhouse
AOE
Speed:
50s
Damage: 30 (10x3)
Crit Bonus: +15 (5x3) damage, +3 (1x3) armor damage

Very powerful AOE, very good armor damage on that AOE, very slow AOE. This one really shines if you have a bunch of enemies staggered at once, so you can really mess up all of them at once. It'll take some building to get that far, though. The damage if used without support is still pretty decent, mind you, so don't fret if you don't get that crit on it. Just mind that it is a multihit attack, so if you haven't been destroying their armor, why not?

Level 8:

Backlash
Normal
Speed:
15s
Reach
Damage: 25
Crit Bonus: +13 damage, +4 armor damage, +25s stagger

The best stagger the Varangian has, AND it's on a move with Reach! This really lets the Varangian pull their weight a little more when it comes to stagger, and as always, having reach on it lets you hit those backliners with the really scary moves you can't get with most other sources of heavy stagger. And, of course, you get armor damage too, that's just how you roll by now.

Level 10:

Cut Open
Normal
Speed:
30s
Damage: 35
Crit Bonus: +18 damage, +14 armor damage, +10s stagger

Oooh, this move was so close to being a perfect way to end the Varangian class, but then they had to go and add weak stagger to it! Don't get me wrong, by the time you get it, Cut Open may as well read "if they don't have shields, delete their armor" and that's worth gaining a weak stagger on its own. It just feels like two steps forward, one step back, y'know?

Progeny Exclusive:

Ravage
Flurry
Speed:
45s
Damage: 45 (15x3)
Crit Bonus: +23 (8x3) damage, +3 (1x3) armor damage, applies bleeding for 1 turn

Hell yeah, flurry attacks. Great damage for after you've chunked their armor completely, and the bleed makes it viable for some extra damage even beyond that. This is, of course, one of your weaker options for destroying armor, but that's okay. You have other good moves for dealing with that when the time comes. And, of course, it's a slow attack, so be mindful of that.

Fire In The Hole
AOE
Speed:
35s
Damage: 20
Crit Bonus: +10 damage, +1 armor damage, +15s stagger

A quicker alternative to Slaughterhouse, with some actually-good-for-an-AOE stagger on top of it. The question between this and Slaughterhouse is simple: if this move can stagger everyone on the field, do it. Otherwise, honestly you might prefer the higher damage of Slaughterhouse even if it means taking a crit on the way. Your call on this one.

Progeny:

JASE MACHANUR
Shields:
75
Armor: 5
Health: 145
Parent: Jens Malric (Enforcer)
Learns Ravage at level 4, learns Fire In The Hole at level 6, learns Slaughterhouse at level 8

Varangian has a really nice AOE move in Slaughterhouse, but maybe you want a little more to work with. Jase gives up some of the powerful single-target armor-shredding in exchange for a wider variety of damage options, including two AOE moves with Fire In The Hole. You also give up some armor for health, which... I would consider carefully on Jase. That might be cause to move to the backline, honestly.

RHEL MACHANUR
Shields:
65
Armor: 15
Health: 135
Damage: +20%
Crit Damage: +15%
Parent: Bentley (Commando)
Learns Backlash at level 4, learns Ravage at level 6, learns Onslaught at level 8

No AOE and some significantly weaker defenses, armor aside. That's okay, because Rhel makes for a very potent damage dealer, and that very early access to Backlash is very welcome for that stagger. They can't last quite as long on the frontline compared to other Varangians, but you've got excellent armor-smashing all the same, plus very solid regular damage both before and after that armor goes down.

TIRIC MACHANUR
Shields:
50
Armor: 5
Health: 145
Parent: Nava Tovar (Spectre)
Learns Fire in the Hole at level 4, learns Backlash at level 6, learns Slaughterhouse at level 8

Tiric has the frailest defenses of any of the Varangians, and as such should probably stay on the backline. They more than make up for it with quick access to Fire in the Hole and Backlash, two very solid staggering moves. I don't think Tiric could cover all of your stagger needs solo, but this is the est build for stagger you can get out of a Varangian, so that's worth considering for sure.
 

Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
MEET THE JUGGERNAUT
AIA KUR




Shields: 110
Armor: 18
Health: 170
Gear Slots: Gauntlet, Implant, Device
Relationship Bonus: +3/6 armor
DNA Required for Levels: High

Damage: D
Armor Damage: A
Speed: B
Stagger: C
Regen: C
Support: A

The Aegis is a perfectly excellent tank, but there's a second option if you prefer taunt-based tanking to meatshield-based tanking. The Juggernaut packs the highest armor in the game, as well as a bunch of handy instant moves that let her keep the team safe. Strictly speaking, she's not as good at the raw survivability compared to the Aegis due to the focus on armor, nor does she have as reliable a stagger game, but the extra utility from her toolbox is worth it for a creative player.

Movelist:

Level 1:

Defend
Speed:
0s
+40% defense, cannot be delayed, cannot be debuffed

You will almost certainly never use this move.

Punch
Normal
Speed:
35s
Damage: 25
Crit Bonus: +8 damage, +4 armor damage, +30s stagger

It's a bit on the slow side compared to most Normal attacks, but Punch makes up for it with solid damage and really good armor damage right out of the gate. Needs some stagger support to really shine, but if it's got that, you've got yourself a good reliable can-opener, right here. Mind you, this isn't the default attack the Juggernaut will use most of the time. That honor goes to the next move.

Battering Ram
Light
Speed:
0s
Reach
Damage: 5
Crit Bonus: +2 damage, +1 armor damage
Taunts enemy, +40% defense, cannot be debuffed, generates +3 shields for team when hit

And this is why the Juggernaut will almost certainly never use Defend. Battering Ram lets her heal the entire team when she takes a hit, and comes with a free taunt. This gets even better on enemy flurry moves, since the Conduit shield regen applies to each hit she takes, but it will enrage enemies that care about taunts, so don't get overzealous against bosses who have things to say about that.

Level 2:

Leech
Fury:
10
Speed: 0s
+40 shield steal from an ally, +15% shield defense, free action

If the Juggernaut is doing her job right, the rest of her team will be flush with extra shields. Leech lets you return the favor, charging up the Juggernaut's shields and giving a tasty shield defense boost to go with it. Compared to the Aegis' Charge Shields, it's a little cheaper, but it doesn't clear damage over time. You also have to consider the relative shields of the two: the Juggernaut's got lower max shields, so the healing tends to do more.

Level 4:

Unleash
Light
Speed:
0s
Reach
Damage: 12
Removes buffs
Crit Bonus: +4 damage, +2 armor damage, +20s stagger

As an attack, Unleash is a little weak. Decent stagger and armor damage for an instant attack, but unlikely to break on whatever you'd use it on. Now, the buff-canceling? That looks kind of weak on the surface; after all, how many enemies realistically do buffs? The answer is more than you'd expect: any boss that enrages on a conditional trigger? Yeah, Unleash stops them from being mad. NEVER discount this in a fight. Unleash is ridiculous on those grounds alone.

Level 6:

Slam
Normal
Speed:
15s
Damage: 22
Breaks guards
Crit Bonus: +7 damage, +8 armor damage, +10s stagger

This is the Juggernaut's option for really crushing armor, and honestly, it's solid. That armor damage has few rivals outside of the Varangian or Valkyrie. Unlike Unleash, though, you're not going to have a lot of opportunities to really use the guard-breaking feature on it. If you DO get those opportunities, though, this can really let the rest of your team give 'em some hell.

Level 8:

Crowd Control
AOE
Speed:
0s
Damage: 18
Crit Bonus: +5 damage, +1 armor damage, applies -25% shield defense for 3 turns

Crowd Control is one of the best AOE moves in the game. For an instant attack, the damage is frankly excellent, and throwing a shield defense debuff for 3 turns is REALLY good for opening a fight with. Best of all: no stagger! Stagger on AOE moves is notoriously weak, and no stagger is FAR preferable to weak stagger. Plus, it comes with armor damage! Not much, but enough that this remains good as long as there is more than one guy it can hit.

Level 10:

Battering Ram II
Light
Speed:
0s
Reach
Damage: 15
Crit Bonus: +5 damage, +3 armor damage
Taunts enemy, +40% defense, cannot be debuffed, generates shields for team when hit

As usual, the most reliable signature move in the class' arsenal sees an upgrade at level 10. And a good thing too, you'll probably be hurting for extra shield generation with each hit by the point you get this unlocked. It also turns into your best instant armor damaging move, which is also really nice.

Progeny Exclusive:

Rule of Law
Heavy
Speed:
40s
Damage: 37
Crit Bonus: +12 damage, +6 armor damage, +10s stagger

Big heavy skrong punch. An unconventionally slow move for the Juggernaut, but packs a real wallop and still keeps the armor damage you expect from her. As is often the case with heavy attacks, Rule of Law comes with some minor stagger, so be ready for that when putting this to use. Makes for a VERY nice option if your team's already staggered everything off the face of the map, though!

Pound for Pound
Flurry
Speed:
45s
Damage: 45 (15x3)
Crit Bonus: +12 (4x3) damage, +3 (1x3) armor damage

Another slow move that packs a major kick. Even better at capitalizing on stagger than anything else the Juggernaut has, but doesn't do well well against armor compared to her other moves. Save this for after you're taken down most of the armor, since you still have beefy single-hit moves to do that for you.

Progeny:

IRELLA KUR
Shields:
90
Armor: 18
Health: 195
Damage: +10%
Parent: Wynn Syphex (Valkyrie)
Learns Slam at level 4, learns Crowd Control at level 6, learns Rule of Law at level 8

The Juggernaut's toolbox is nice, but it's still pretty situational sometimes. Irella makes for an option if you'd rather the Juggernaut was able to do double-duty as big damage. Faster access to your big-hitting moves, plus Rule of Law for some major spike damage, is all very nice. But giving up Unleash is a bigger cost than you'd expect at first, and you'll really miss it when it's gone. You also have CONSIDERABLY lower shields, so this isn't ideal if you're relying on shield regen helpers to patch you up.

SEPHI KUR
Shields:
110
Armor: 9
Health: 170
Damage: +20%
Crit Damage: +20%
Parent: Tark Chanlo (Marksman)
Learns Rule of Law at level 4, learns Pound for Pound at level 6

What's that? Irella still doesn't feel damaging enough? Okay, wiseguy, here's Sephi. Even better damage, but in exchange, you lose Unleash AND Crowd Control. That's right, no AOE, no buff cancellation, and the moves you get to replace them are SLOW. And you lose half your armor. Sephi is great if you want your Juggernaut to hit like someone who's wearing a cannonball as a suit of armor, but is the worst at the conventional tanking/support you learned Juggernaut with.

TISHA KUR
Shields:
100
Armor: 13
Health: 160
Damage: +15%
Crit Damage: +15%
Parent: Sidara Kymon (Gunslinger)
Learns Pound for Pound at level 4, learns Unleash at level 6

Yeah, all the Juggernaut progeny have damage boosts. Got a problem with that? Tisha at least still keeps the more valuable tools of the class, without sacrificing nearly as much shields or armor as her alternates. So on a sliding scale of tank to damage dealer, the order is Aia, Tisha, Irella, and Sephi. That's it, that's your metric. Sure, there's fine details of when you learn each move, but broadly, that's where you need to have your head at when choosing alternates.

H'PPA KUR
Shields:
95
Armor: 18
Health: 190
Parent: Rav'n Tysanno (Guardian)
Learns Crowd Control at level 4, learns Unleash at level 6, learns Slam at level 8
Obtains elements on odd levels, as per the Guardian's ability

Oh, and then H'ppa is just completely and wildly different. Not in terms of tanking, no, on that front she's about the same as Aia, slightly lower max shields in exchange for more health, slightly shuffled movelist, et cetera. Hardly worth breaking down. The fact that you can get your pick of an ever-increasing range of elements, on top of what your gauntlet slot already provides for you? That there is unheard of. I'll discuss the ability when we, y'know, actually GET to the class that has it, but long story short, it's good and you want it.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
It was only with the most recent update that I realized that there were bonus characters available, locked behind having high Support Ranks ala Fire Emblem

Was that always there and I just didn’t notice it? Kind of regret spreading my affection around, and focusing it on Valkyrie
 

Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
Yep, it's been there since launch, I'm pretty sure.

MEET THE SPECTRE
NAVA TOVAR




Shields: 75
Armor: 0
Health: 65
Gear Slots: Sword, Rifle, Implant
Relationship Bonus: +15/30% critical damage
DNA Required for Levels: Very High

Damage: A+
Armor Damage: C
Speed: C
Stagger: B
Regen: D
Support: B

HELP HELP IT'S THE ONLY CLASS WITH NO DEVICE SLOT. Anyway. The Spectre is something of a halfway point between the heavy stagger of the Saboteur and the ridiculous spike damage of the Marksman. In exchange for this devastating offensive toolbox, she has some of the weakest defenses in the game, and lacking a Device slot makes it very hard to shore up those defenses. She is VERY reliant on her Stealth mode to not die, and that does nothing if she gets marked or faces AOE moves, so be sure to pack ways to handle those techniques if you plan on bringing her.

Movelist:

Level 1:

Stealth Mode
Speed:
0s
+10 shield regen to self, cannot be targeted, reduces next move to 0s speed

The signature trick of the Spectre is this: they can effectively take a break for one turn, in exchange for going immediately at the start of the next turn. The shield regen effect is weak, so don't rely on it to heal you up at all. You're better off using this to duck out of a targeted attack too lethal to handle, and then coming back even stronger next turn. Stealth also does nothing against AOE moves, so you'll need another option then.

Backstab
Heavy
Speed:
45s
Reach
Damage: 45
Crit Bonus: +16 damage, +5 armor damage, +15s stagger

This move packs a major kick, with an exceptionally nice damage boost for how slow it is. Which fits in with Stealth mode nicely, of course. Either you cloak out for a turn and come back next turn with a killing blow, or let everyone else stagger your target into next week and finish them off with one stab. The reach on the attack makes it really nice for eliminating those pesky back-row supporting units, too!

Defend
Speed:
0s
+40% defense, cannot be delayed, cannot be debuffed

Stealth Mode is very, very good, but there are times when you can't rely on it, usually AOE attacks. When one of those comes up, unless you have a way to break or kill the target before they act, you're GOING to Defend it. The Spectre is simply too fragile to just walk through an AOE attack like it's nothing.

Bladeshot
Normal
Speed:
15s
Damage: 27
Crit Bonus: +9 damage, +1 armor damage, +35s stagger

Some good stagger on this move, and it's quick enough that it can be relied on even if you don't want to Stealth Mode it. Remember, Stealth Mode takes a turn where you're effectively doing nothing, so Bladeshot can give you better per-round damage if you're not under any pressure to cloak out. At the same time, that spike damage from heavier moves can be very tempting...

Level 2:

Dissipate
Light
Fury:
15
Speed: 0s
Once per fight
Damage: 20
Crit Bonus: +7 damage, stun

Oh hey it's just Buckshot again, but with weaker damage. That's kinda weird, honestly. It's not like Spectre's moveset really gives you a reason for this to work differently either. Maybe my numbers are off. In any case, Dissipate is stun without reach, which is good but not as good as Trick Shot.

Level 4:

Debilitate
Normal
Speed:
25s
Damage: 37
Cancels healing effects
Crit Bonus: +13 damage, +25s stagger, applies -50% healing for 2 turns

Decently higher damage than Bladeshot, slightly slower and less stagger... all of that is fine, but healblocking is a fun toy. Most times you encounter healing, it's usually on a big slow telegraphed move from a boss, and even more often it's for a ridiculously high value you really don't want to deal with. Debilitate just lets you completely no-sell that and carry on with your day as planned.

Level 6:

Jagged Slash
Heavy
Speed:
59s
Damage: 75
Crit Bonus: +26 damage, +1 armor damage

Backstab still has reach, stagger, and better armor damage, so it still gets to keep its niche, but Jagged Slash becomes your new way of landing killshots out of Stealth Mode. It really doesn't have anything outside of Marksman's Killshot that comes even close to the spike damage, and it doesn't bother with any pesky side effects that would get in the way of that big big number. Just outright delete a guy.

Level 8:

Unstoppable
AOE
Speed:
45s
Damage: 32 (16x2)
Crit Bonus: +11 (6x2) damage, +2 (1x2) armor damage

A big strong slow AOE, nothing out of the ordinary there. But wait, you have Stealth Mode available. Sure, you can save it for after everyone else on your team pulls a stagger, OR you can take one turn to wait and then immediately kill everything next turn. The damage doesn't quite match up with the very-similar Detonate, but there's value to using Stealth Mode for a turn that Plant Explosives doesn't provide.

Level 10:

Bladeshot II
Normal
Speed:
5s
Damage: 37
Crit Bonus: +13 damage, +1 armor damage, +40s stagger

Remember when I said Bladeshot was good enough to use without bothering with Stealth Mode? Even more true once it gets that capstone upgrade. It's also the rare capstone upgrade that gets even faster, which miiiight mess with your plans if you're relying on specific turn order execution of moves? I wouldn't worry about it too much honestly, Bladeshot II is an excellent upgrade.

Progeny Exclusive:

End Times
Flurry
Speed:
30s
Reach
Damage: 50 (25x2)
Crit Bonus: +18 (9x2) damage, +8 (4x2) armor damage

Faster AND better damage than Backstab, but without the stagger. It's also a Flurry attack, with the advantages and drawbacks that provides. End Times is a really strong move for killing the hell out of things, although it's beaten by Jagged Slash (but what isn't, am I right?) and lacking the good-for-where-it-is stagger of Backstab means it can't shut down slow-acting backline enemies.

Progeny:

RHYSSA TOVAR
Shields:
75
Armor: 0
Health: 65
Damage: -10%
Crit Damage: -10%
Stagger: +5s
Parent: Nodo Kalthoris (Saboteur)
Learns Jagged Slash at level 4, learns Debilitate at level 6, learns End Times at level 8

Rhyssa trades away the usual damage potential of the Spectre for a bit of extra stagger, which can come in pretty handy honestly! Bladeshot and Backstab are already pretty decent stagger moves for their jobs already, a little more punch doesn't hurt. Do note that you don't have Unstoppable for an AOE move anymore, which is a significant hole in the Spectre's moveset, so you'll probably want a teammate who can cover that weakness for you.

VEGA TOVAR
Shields:
100
Armor: 0
Health: 65
Damage: -15%
Crit Damage: -15%
Parent: Maryadi Penrave (Aegis)
Learns Jagged Slash at level 4, learns Unstoppable at level 6, learns End Times at level 8
Stealth Mode provides +15 auto shield regen a turn while active, no longer reduces next move to 0s speed, +25% damage on next attack

How much fun do you have abusing Stealth Mode as a defensive measure? If the answer is "I can't get enough of it", Vega comes with extra-large shields and an extra regen function on her Stealth Mode, letting you play more fast-and-loose with the hits she does take, or simply weather AOE moves a lot more handily. She does suffer from some loss of damage output and speed, so you'll really want to leverage the improved defenses and damage boost out of Stealth Mode to get the most out of her.

SHYON TOVAR
Shields:
90
Armor: 0
Health: 90
Damage: -10%
Crit Damage: -10%
Parent: Davion Syphex (Paragon)
Learns Unstoppable at level 4, learns Debilitate at level 8

If you still want a slightly hardier Spectre than usual, but don't feel like reworking and relearning the entire Stealth Mode mechanic, Shyon works as a nice alternative, being a straightforward +defense/-offense progeny with a slight moveset reshuffle to bring you earlier AOE. And remember, speeding up that slow strong AOE is really powerful for just wholesale-deleting encounters outright.
 

Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
MEET THE GUNSLINGER
SIDARA KYMON




Shields: 50
Armor: 0
Health: 95
Gear Slots: Blaster, Blaster, Device
Relationship Bonus: +5/10s action speed
DNA Required for Levels: High

Damage: B
Armor Damage: D
Speed: A
Stagger: C
Regen: B
Support: B

How much do you need to crit on every single turn in the game? The Gunslinger is built to shoot as quickly as possible, with a large array of instant and flurry moves built for damage rather than stagger. She also comes with a handy set of utility and support effects, roughly comparable to the Enforcer, allowing her to keep the team a little bit safer despite the overall lack of stagger. She also has two Blaster slots, which lets you upgrade that weapon type a little more easily since she can just grab a second one and ditch whichever of her two is more outdated. Very fragile, though.

Movelist:

Level 1:

Defend
Speed:
0s
+40% defense, cannot be delayed, cannot be debuffed

Again, the Gunslinger is very fragile, and without any real tools to deal with that aside from some mild stagger, you're going to be reliant on this move without someone around to take the heat off of her when needed. Don't be afraid to use Defend often, because you will NEED it.

Spinback
Light
Speed:
10s
Reach
Damage: 15
Cancels Overwatch, Cover Fire, Riposte
Crit Bonus: +8 damage, +1 armor damage, +25s stagger

This move looks a little underwhelming at first glance, but it's very important to highlight how good having that fast stagger on a reaching attack is. Canceling counterattacks is nice too, don't get me wrong, but the ability to poke any target on the map and tell them to cut out whatever they're doing for a quick break is really nice. The stagger still isn't for very much, mind you.

Contract Killer
Flurry
Speed:
0s
Damage: 20 (5x4)
Crit Bonus: +10 (3x4) damage, applies mark for 3 turns

Contract Killer hits pretty hard for how fast it is, and you'll basically always want someone marked as Gunslinger, since you're going to be getting a crit every single time you attack. Do note that, unlike Lock Target, Contract Killer does not have Reach, so it won't be as good at stopping those damn Wraiths from cloaking on the backlines, but that's about the only real flaw.

Level 2:

Lightshow
AOE
Fury:
50
Speed: 0s
Once per fight
Damage: 5
Crit Bonus: +3 damage, stun

AOE stun? AOE stun. Yes, the Gunslinger gets AOE stun, and if you've made ANY use of stun in Star Renegades with the other classes, having a full-field stun effect must sound really nice. There's a catch, though: this move costs 50 Fury. Literally every single drop of Fury you can manage has to go into this move, and if you've got the Fury banked up for that, can't you use some of the cheaper abilities to make the situation one where you don't need an AOE stun?

Level 4:

Beats Per Minute
Flurry
Speed:
25s
Damage: 39 (13x3)
Crit Bonus: +20 (7x3) damage

Slowest single-target attack the Gunslinger has, but it's got some pretty nice damage to it. You'll be seeing a lot of use out of this on slower enemies, since stagger is largely irrelevant for your attacks. Honestly, I kind of wish this one was slower and heavier, but I don't really mind Beats Per Minute being what it is. That's more to my personal tastes for big chunky damage than anything.

Level 6:

Echo
Speed:
0s
+5 shield regen for all allies, cancels DoT effects for all allies, covering fire on all allies

Without equipment support (and good luck without an Implant slot), the healing on Echo is not going to ever make a difference. That's okay, because it still clears DoT effects and sets up cover fire for literally everyone on your team. It's all the fun of the Aegis' Fortress, but without the risk of instantly getting yourself killed! Always fun to use on turns when there's loads of your attacks coming your way, and unlike the Enforcer's Cover Fire, you don't have to bait it all to a tank first!

Level 8:

Have a Blast
AOE
Speed:
35s
Damage: 25
Crit Bonus: +13 damage, +10s stagger

Good damage on an AOE without sacrificing speed, you love to see it. The 10s stagger, though? That I could do without. I'll say it before and I'll say it again: no stagger at all is always better than weak stagger, even on a slow AOE. The nice thing is that this is the slowest move the Gunslinger can do, so odds are good your teammates can get the actual staggers in before this goes off, leaving you with only the good parts of the move.

Level 10:

Contract II
Flurry
Speed:
0s
Damage: 40 (10x4)
Crit Bonus: +20 (5x4) damage, applies mark permanently

Permanent mark is cool, and the damage somehow got even better than Beats Per Minute. Remember, though, that there's lots of reasons to keep using apparently-weaker moves in your repertoire. Enemies that hate being marked, for example, or slow-playing your attack so your allies can get the armor damage in, make Beats Per Minute a better play than Contract II in those scenarios.

Progeny Exclusive:

Breakdown
Normal
Speed:
30s
Damage: 40
Crit Bonus: +20 damage, +4 armor damage, +20s stagger

Breakdown might be a Normal attack, but it handles like a Heavy one, which is a very pleasant surprise on Gunslinger. This move is completely unlike the rest of her kit, it's kind of impressive. Solid armor damage and stagger, a powerful single hit, and SLOW. It's nice to have as an option to capitalize on turns where going fast isn't required, although not really required.

Progeny:

SHEVA KYMON
Shields:
50
Health: 120
Damage: +20%
Crit Damage: +10%
Parent: Wynn Syphex (Valkyrie)
Learns Breakdown at level 4, learns Beats Per Minute at level 6

Pretty straightforward, this. Just bigger, dumber damage, with extremely early Breakdown and a little bit of extra health for funsies. Of course, you lose the ability to get the handy utility of Echo, not that the shield healing there was really worth keeping. But hey, if you favor full aggro instead of being able to abuse counters, Sheva is perfect.

JANEKAH KYMON
Shields:
70
Health: 95
Damage: -15%
Crit Damage: -15%
Parent: Xurx Nrza (Archon)
Learns Have a Blast at level 4, learns Beats Per Minute at level 8

Also pretty straightforward. Much earlier access to AOE, some actually-decent shields, a damage penalty. Definitely take a pal with armor damage if you intend to use Janekah, because you'll find it virtually impossible to kill anything without it, especially with Beats Per Minute pushed back so far. Early Have a Blast is pretty nice though, even with the damage penalty.

NOLA KYMON
Shields:
35
Armor: 5
Health: 95
Parent: Aia Kur (Juggernaut)
Learns Echo at level 4, learns Breakdown at level 6, learns Beats Per Minute at level 8

On the one hand, Nola's moveset leans much more towards heavier defense, with early Echo and Breakdown. On the other hand, trading some shields for armor is a questionable decision. I'd prioritize finding a shield station as soon as possible to get that low number up, but if you want heavy counterattack support and some better armor-crunching, Nola is a fine choice.

YALAN'N KYMON
Shields:
35
Health: 115
Parent: Rav'n Tysanno (Guardian)
Learns Echo at level 4, learns Beats Per Minute at level 6, learns Breakdown at level 8

Alternate Nola, pretty much. Trading shields for health is arguably worse than trading shields for armor, and the moveset isn't THAT different, seeing as Beats Per Minute and Breakdown are both relatively heavy attacks on Gunslinger. I guess the tradeoff there is whether you want the higher damage from Beats Per Minute, or the stagger and armor damage of Breakdown, assuming you're not willing to give up early Echo.
 

Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
MEET THE PARAGON
DAVION SYPHEX




Shields: 100
Armor: 10
Health: 160
Gear Slots: Sword, Gauntlet, Device
Relationship Bonus: +5/10 shield steal
DNA Required for Levels: Very High

Damage: B
Armor Damage: B
Speed: C
Stagger: B
Regen: B
Support: B

The game says that this guy is "all around excellent, good at pretty much everything", but I contest this. As you'd expect from the plot connection to the Valkyrie, the Paragon is intended to be a frontline fighter with solid defensive and offensive stats. In theory, he's less about the chunky damage and more about the support, but honestly, his support capabilities are just kind of weak if you ask me. Still, he can do a little bit of everything, that much is true. That said, that stagger claim is a bald-faced lie: his stagger game is weak as HELL.

Movelist:

Level 1:

Defend
Speed:
0s
Cannot be delayed
+40% defense, cannot be debuffed

I really wish I could say something interesting about Defend, but in practice you're never gonna use this past level 4. That's it, that's all I've got.

Bladethrow
Flurry
Speed:
25s
Reach
Damage: 40 (20x2)
Crit Bonus: +14 (7x2) damage, +4 (2x2) armor damage

Bladethrow's got a lot of nice things going for it, not least that it's a flurry attack with reach AND armor damage. Right out of the gate, the Paragon can really mess up just about any target on the field. Unfortunately, this is your best direct attack for a LONG time, and it's slow and lacks any stagger whatsoever. Your best choice for this is to focus on anything you can get crits on, likely with your buddies providing the staggers.

Siphon Stab
AOE
Speed:
20s
Damage: 5
Crit Bonus: +2 damage, +10s stagger, +25 shield steal

In theory, Siphon Stab is a really great move for tanking. In a fight with five enemies, assuming the Paragon goes before any of them (and Siphon Stab is fast enough that that's entirely plausible), that's more than enough to fully recharge your shields, but that's if and only if they all have shields to drain. If they don't, Siphon Stab is almost worse than useless, with pitiful damage and stagger that just wastes a valuable stagger early in the turn.

Level 2:

Heroic Resolve
Fury:
25
Speed: 0s
+25 shield steal on user from all allies, +25% damage and crit immunity to all allies for 1 turn, free action

For how much Fury this move costs, I feel like you could just let it be a normal shield regen move like the cool kids get. Not to downplay the features here, crit immunity can come in very handy if you're using some slow support moves, or just need something dead even if it's fast. And I get the cycle they want you to do here: Siphon Stab right after so you can drain those shields back up. That doesn't change that neither part of the cycle works well at all.

Level 4:

Riposte
Speed:
0s
Cannot be delayed
+40% defense, cannot be debuffed, taunts enemy, counter attacks when hit

And this is why you'll never use Defend beyond a certain point. Riposte just lets you get free damage out of your Defend actions whenever you want. Well, no, that's a bit dishonest of me: you MIGHT still want to use Defend if you're up against a boss that hates taunts or counters. But for almost every other situation that would call for a Defend (and even a few that wouldn't), Riposte is far better an option.

Level 6:

Impale
Heavy
Speed:
35s
Damage: 40
Crit Bonus: +14 damage, +6 armor damage, +10s stagger, applies bleeding for 1 turn

Impale doesn't have the reach of Bladethrow, but it does come with free bleed and a little bit of stagger (and on a slow move, a little bit of stagger is nice). It also expands your core damage types a little bit more, and that's never a bad thing. Broadly speaking, you'll use Impale on frontliners and Bladethrow on backliners, and sometimes it's nice for your moves to be uncomplicated like that.

Level 8:

Tempest
AOE
Speed:
50s
Damage: 30 (15x2)
Cancels buffs
Crit Bonus: +11 (5x2) damage

You'll definitely want either stagger support or Heroic Resolve for this one, but if you've got those, Tempest is a ridiculous field-clearer of a move. Canceling buffs doesn't sound that great in a vacuum, but A: when you want buffs removed for a fight, you REALLY want them removed, and B: removing buffs also negates the Enraged status that bosses get when you use their hated techniques. Don't overlook that feature, not that you need more excuses to use Tempest.

Level 10:

Siphon Stab II
AOE
Speed:
20s
Damage: 10
Crit Bonus: +4 damage, +15s stagger, +35 shield steal

Hey look, now Siphon Stab has real values! 15s stagger makes a BIG difference compared to 10, and the damage isn't great, but it's a much faster alternative to Tempest, making this a lot more valuable to use as an early disruption tool for the entire enemy team. Honestly one of the better capstones I've seen.

Progeny Exclusive:

Justice
Normal
Speed:
15s
Damage: 25
Breaks guards
Crit Bonus: +9 damage, +25s stagger

Now that's a real stagger move. Not very impressive with the other stats, but eh, you have other moves to handle those other things. This one just breaks guards real nice, and staggers dudes as needed. Really quick for a Normal move, too. Paragon's already kind of just throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks, and this move fits in nicely with that, giving him some solid single-target stagger.

Vivisect
Heavy
Speed:
45s
Damage: 47
Crit Bonus: +16 damage, +8 armor damage, +20s stagger

A reliable heavy move, with some particularly delicious armor damage and some frankly-overkill stagger. It's not as useful for Paragon as usual, seeing as he has Bladethrow literally in his initial moveset, but it's a pretty chunky attack anyway. The stagger means this is ideally best used on an enemy that's using a naturally-slow attack, rather than as a follow-up to a teammate's stronger stagger move.

Progeny:

BRAKIN SYPHEX
Shields:
90
Armor: 7
Health: 140
Stagger: +5s
Parent: Nodo Kalthoris (Saboteur)
Learns Justice at level 4, learns Riposte at level 6, learns Vivisect at level 8

Brakin trades away some of the base defenses of Davion, but not to a ridiculous degree. In exchange, you get a toolkit much more focused on stagger and single-target damage. Do note that Tempest is out entirely, so your only option for AOE is Siphon Stab (and I maintain my opinion that Siphon Stab is not good, although the improved stagger does help). Not a whole lot else to say, Brakin honestly just makes Paragon play more like Valkyrie.

KELLIN SYPHEX
Shields:
130
Armor: 10
Health: 160
Damage: -20%
Crit Damage: -20%
Shield Steal: +40%
Parent: Maryadi Penrave (Aegis)
Learns Tempest at level 6, learns Justice at level 8

Want to play the Paragon more as a direct tank than a grab bag? Sure! Here's Kellin. Some extra shields and better potency on his shield-replenishing moves make him pretty solid at keeping himself and his team in shape. He also faces a serious damage penalty, unfortunately, so you'll have to leave the fighting more to his teammates than before, and he trades the armor damage of Impale for the single-target stagger of Justice.

MAREK SYPHEX
Shields:
85
Armor: 7
Health: 140
Damage: +20%
Crit Damage: +20%
Parent: Nava Tovar (Spectre)
Learns Tempest at level 4, learns Vivisect at level 6, learns Justice at level 8

And here's Marek for the big damage options. This is a very slow build for a lot of the game, and depends heavily on stagger support from the team to get the most ouf ot their actions. Which is to say: play this Paragon the same way you would a Marksman, basically. Find whoever's been broken and make them maximum regretti, full spaghetti. Also: probably don't use the phrase "maximum regretti, full spaghetti" in the future, ever.
 
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