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Soldier School - Learn to be Useful!

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  • SpazPro
    replied
    I smell Smash...


    Anyhoo! What about a atk/mdeff focused soldier with a lancer style build? Like the one that I want to build into as you may have heard me mention in the chat?

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  • Direwolf
    replied
    Wow this was really helpful!!
    Fellow soldiers pls read ^-^

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  • Rezorrose
    replied
    hate buff can actually stack up to 3 for a little by itself and with CD reduction 4 or 5. Beside that your good
    Last edited by Rezorrose; 11-10-2016, 11:15 PM.

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  • Cthulhu
    replied
    would love the Solider community to finally read this so they can get themselves together and not be as salty as Candy.

    This would be Sticky material!

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  • Mirabelle
    commented on 's reply
    BogiSonder Yay! Glad I could help.

    I think GB sets can vary a lot depending on what your guild is doing, and I'm not sure I'm qualified to cover all that. >~<
    I will say that I'm a fan of Counter Strike openings and that I think Knight's Loyalty + Heaven's Breath is very effective in GB.

  • LucyWhite
    replied
    Very in-depth thank u

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  • BlueDragonSonder
    replied
    Seems good, thanks! You helped my brother! also could you tell GB skills for soldier too?

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  • Mirabelle
    replied
    IV. Ability Sets for your Role based on Class Rings

    What abilities should you bring for your role?

    We'll start with 3rd ring skills. (Below 3rd ring you should just bring whatever you can when completing story quests. Get all your 3rd ring skills and consider going straight for Ether Exchange.)

    4a. Paladin

    Tank
    Devoted Strike
    Fateful Smash
    Deadly Clash OR Party-Support
    Heaven's Breath OR Mirror Guard

    Offtank
    Ether Exchange
    Smash
    Deadly Clash
    Brave Clash OR Party-Support

    Burst
    Ether Exchange
    Smash
    Hard Smash
    Fateful Smash

    4b. General

    Tank
    Devoted Strike
    Divine Smash
    Vanquish OR Party-Support
    Heaven's Breath OR Mirror Guard

    Offtank
    Ether Exchange
    (Divine) Smash
    Vanquish
    Deadly Clash OR Party-Support

    Note: Any Smash combos with Vanquish but Divine does not combo with Clash attacks. Consider using Smash instead if you're using a Clash.

    Burst
    Ether Exchange
    Divine Smash
    Dual Sword
    Fateful Smash

    4c. Royal Protector

    Tank
    Battleshout
    Antagonize
    Vanquish OR Party-Support
    Heaven's Breath OR Mirror Guard

    Offtank
    Ether Exchange
    (Divine) Smash
    Vanquish
    Deadly Clash OR Party-Support

    Note: Any Smash combos with Vanquish but Divine does not combo with Clash attacks. Consider using Smash instead if you're using a Clash.

    Burst
    Ether Exchange
    Antagonize
    Dual Impact
    Dual Sword

    Note: If you're a Soldier with low ATK compared to your DEF, DO NOT USE DUAL IMPACT. Your only good damaging attacks are Divine Smash, Antagonize, and Dual Sword. You can still use Clashes and Vanquish for their debuff effects though, of course. Just be aware that those will do less damage too.
    V. How to Play PvE Soldier Roles

    5a. How to play a Tank Soldier
    Remember that while you help with dealing damage, that's not why you're here! You're here to make the Cleric's job easier.

    Cost management is important and patient is the way to play. You shouldn't have Ether Exchange, so you can't just spam all your cooldowns as fast as possible. You'll run out of cost if you try.

    If it's early in the quest and the enemies aren't doing much damage, then you can help the party DPS and save cost by only using your damaging ability (like Antagonize). Save your Multi-Aggro-Draw and Self-Support for when you really need them.

    If you're low on cost but you need to absorb some hits, keep in mind that Battleshout and one Self-Support move use less than 1 cost per second COMBINED, so you can use those on cooldown and still gain cost slowly through natural cost gain!

    Tip: If you're using Hate-causing moves (Battleshout, Antagonize) be sure to use one of them ASAP after a boss balances the party, since that removes the Hate buff.
    Tip: Never host a room. If you're in the middle spot, the Cleric can't cast 3-person heals without hitting you, which means they can't save any heal cooldowns.
    Tip: Tank Soldiers work alone. No more than one Tank per party. Otherwise you'll be fighting for aggro.

    5b. How to play an Offtank Soldier
    Remember that while you help with dealing damage, that's not why you're here! You're here to make the quest more safe.

    Cost and cooldown management is important. Know the quest and make sure you save enough cost and your debuff/support cooldowns for when they are really needed.
    Example: Imagine you're playing an Offtank Soldier with EE, Smash, Vanquish, Deadly Clash. You're 1 wave before the boss fight, and you'd really like to debuff the boss as much as possible. If you use all of your abilities now, you'll be at 0 cost left and in bad shape for the boss fight. In this case, you should limit yourself to just Smash and Vanquish (or even just Smash) to save up enough cost so that you can do Smash -> Vanquish -> Smash -> Clash on the boss right away.

    Tip: Use your Smash combo starter on the last enemy on the wave before the boss, and then wait for your allies to finish it off. Start the boss fight with Vanquish -> Smash -> Clash. Voila! Nearly instant -4/-2 ATK/MATK debuffs.
    Tip: If you have 2 or more Heart/Secret weapons for your debuff attacks, you may not even need a Smash attack to activate combo... so you could run another debuff in place of that. :3
    Tip: Use a Balance or Debuff uni to neutralize boss buffs and reapply debuffs faster. One of my favorite sets is Ether Exchange, Balancing, Divine Smash, Vanquish. I save my uni to use Andromeda when the boss buffs. Then I use Balancing to take the boss all the way from fully buffed up to -50% ATK/MATK instantly.
    Tip: If you're using Cost Recovery or Seal Weapons, you might be able to swap Ether Exchange for a low cost move like Charisma.
    Tip: Offtanks can work well in pairs. But no more than two Offtanks per party. More than two players using debuffs is excessive.

    5c. How to play a Burst Solider
    You should only be doing this on easy quests (or Wind events if you're OP).

    If you ONLY want to do Burst damage, you're playing the wrong class. (Unless you just love hitting Archers in PvP or something. Have at it then. x3)

    One thing I'd like to mention... it's possible to swap one of your 3 attacks for a Party-Support move if you need it. For example, maybe the quest is easy aside from needing Mass Refresh against one particular wave. But this isn't a new archetype in my mind--It's a Burst Soldier with a Party-Support move.

    Tip: Before the boss fight, use your most Cost-Efficient ability as much as possible (example: Antagonize) and only use your Burst damage abilities (example: Dual Sword) when you have extra cost or need to focus a threatening monster down.
    VI. Questions I Expect to Hear

    6a. "Heaven's Breath vs Mirror Guard - Which should I pick?"
    It depends. In general, use the one you have more weapon procs for. In my opinion Mirror Guard is a bit better. Weapon procs for Mirror Guard can be very, very good. A single Heart of Reflection XL gives you 50% reflect. But Heaven's Breath with procs can be used as a big self-heal and is very effective against enemies that don't balance the party often. For boss fights I recommend saving it and precasting it just before a big hit so the Cleric can react and see that they don't have to heal you. If you use it as a heal, then it's useful even if the boss balances the party a lot!
    Example: Boss does a huge attack that balances you. You precast Heaven's Breath so that it heals you to near-full health after the attack. Boss does the same huge attack again. It Balances you and removes all the temporary health... which still leaves you at full health. You just negated damage twice and saved the Cleric two heals!

    6b. "What about this set: Ether Exchange, Battleshout/HB, Antagonize, Dual Sword? I see this a lot. Why don't you recommend this?"
    The above popular set is a hybrid of Burst and Tank. And it feels good because you have enough cost to spam your abilities, you do a lot of damage (for a Soldier), and you can protect yourself when needed.

    But don't use it. To be blunt, it's mediocre at everything.
    • It doesn't debuff enemies.
    • It doesn't do more burst damage than pure Burst Soldier or other classes with burst sets.
    • It fights for aggro but can't take hits as well as a pure Tank set. If someone else is challenging you for aggro then your Self-Support ability is far less valuable.
    • It has Ether Exchange and therefore puts some pressure on the Cleric, unlike a pure Tank build.
    6c. "What about Knight's Devotion or Knight's Loyalty? Why don't you recommend those abilities?"
    These redirect damage... not reduce it. They can be useful but they just feel bad in PvE. Their duration compared to their cooldown make them very difficult to use. Even without unison or the wave end/effect duration bug messing up your rhythm, your allies will be unprotected for about 2 seconds when you try to reapply this, and the animation startup/lag are long. These moves are excellent for PvP but dangerous and unreliable for PvE.

    6d. "What about Counter Strike? Why don't you recommend this ability?"
    This move does amazing damage for its Cost, especially with Cost Recovery. However, this is a very frustrating move to use. With this move's startup time, many attacks are too fast to react to in order to put this up in time. Even if you learn enemy timings and throw out pre-emptive Counter Strikes, a lot of enemies have a buff/debuff move or HP% move they can randomly use that will not trigger the Counter.
    Until something changes I can't recommend this move for most difficult PvE content. It's good for PvP and easy/predictable quests though.

    6e. "What about Attack Stance?"
    It's an option for a more cost-efficient Burst Soldier, and that's about it.

    6f. "What about Cheer instead of Ether Exchange?"
    It's recommended that you bring Cheer instead of Ether Exchange on Arcadia-level content (though you may want to use it on any content that's especially difficult for you). At the Arcadia level, many people have cost-restoring monsters and powerful monster utility effects that are needed to survive the quest. Not to mention the first wave can hit very hard, which makes Ether Exchange more risky than usual.

    6g. "What about this other ability?"
    It probably has a niche use but isn't worth considering most of the time. Feel free to discuss, though. nn

    6h. "Aren't you a Mage?"
    I'm a Mage main, but I play every class except Lancer. Spawns have given me many Swords and I've been playing a lot of Soldier in quests lately. Recently I cleared Heroic Stranger Arcadia (55 AP) while playing a ~190k GS Offtank set and deboofing the bejeesus out of everything.
    VII. Tl;dr Show me an oversimplified summary plz.
    Okay, okay.


    Special thanks vzReo for answering all my Soldier questions a while back.
    Special thanks Chaz for talking with me about Soldier theory. :3
    Thanks Rezorrose for Hate buff stacking info.
    Last edited by Mirabelle; 01-23-2017, 05:45 PM.

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