“What makes a good hero in Shop Titans?”
In the previous segment, we covered some general skills that can be learned by multiple archetypes. Those skills are ones that are usable but generally too weak for long-term use. Their flaws are a little bit too glaring and there are usually better options.
This time, we’ll be taking a deeper look at the Fighter archetype specifically. As a quick refresher from Hero Academia, Fighters are the tanks of Shop Titans. They have a high Threat stat to draw attacks away from their allies and high HP / Defense to shrug off those attacks. They typically also have low offensive stats (Att / CHC) to compensate for this. A Fighter’s primary job is twofold: call the quest monster nasty names AND absorb the retaliatory hits with their face.
Like last time, we’ll be going over some individual skills in-depth to find out WHY these aren’t a great option. I want to stress again – a hero with any of these skills is definitely not useless, but they are weaker than they should be.
We’ll start with an easy one, Cleave. This skill gives a maximum of 80% Attack and +75 HP, both at rank 4. The flat HP is a bit less useful on Fighters than it would be for the other archetypes for two reasons: their base HP value is inherently higher and most of the gear you’d be using for them has high HP as a secondary stat. Note that this skill is slightly better for Spellblades (who can basically learn everything) since their base HP value is a lot lower and they have more gear options. However, they’re a Spellcaster first and foremost so the extremely low Attack means it’s not really worth it for them in practice. Overall, you get minimal benefit on both offense and defense with this skill. There are much better options for both sides of the spectrum and better hybrid skills exist if you want to go that route.
On Guard is next. It offers a maximum of 90% Defense and a chance to survive one attack that would be fatal (up to a 100% chance at rank 4). Every other skill that provides Defense either grants a larger boost or a superior secondary effect. On Guard can be pretty great for Knights specifically due to the absurd amount of Defense they get from their innate skill, but this is typically a bit too weak for the other Fighters. This one is straddling the line of usability. It’s nearly there and you can definitely do worse, so don’t automatically write this one off if you get it on a class other than Knight.
Next up are the pure Evasion skills, Acrobatics and Blurred Movement. Rangers and Berserkers can use these extremely well, but they should be avoided on the other four Fighters. Rangers have 20% base Evasion and get an additional 10% from their innate skill. Wardens have 25% base and gain 13% from the innate. For this class, a max rank Acrobatics puts them up to 55% Evasion (63% if promoted). Max rank Blurred Movement bumps those numbers up to 63% and 71% respectively. For a single skill slot, this is a monumental amount of damage mitigation.
- Soldiers, Barbarians, and Knights have the standard 0% base Evasion. They only get the default 25% / 33% from Acrobatics / Blurred Movement, which means they only dodge every 1/4 or 1/3 hits and will tank much more damage than a Ranger / Warden. This skill provides no additional benefit to actually take those hits that they fail to dodge.
- Samurai are a bit better than those three in this regard because they naturally have 10% Evasion (Samurai are weird). However, Samurai usually don’t have the space in their skillset to run a skill like this. Pure attacker builds need all the damage they can get their hands on. Hybrid Attacker / Tank builds have to be really picky and these skills don’t do much for either side. It doesn’t work on Full Tank builds either for similar reasons as Soldiers / Barbarians / Knights (and building a Samurai like this is a bit of a waste to begin with).
- Berserkers are similar to Rangers here and are a fantastic candidate for running these skills. Their innate skill gives them 10%, 20%, or 30% depending on how close to death they are. This matches an unpromoted Rangers’ Evasion, so Zerkers get the same maximum of 55% / 63% avoidance in one skill.
- Extra Conditioning gets a special mention here. This skill is great for all Fighters because it provides Evasion to completely ignore a hit AND Defense to swallow the attacks that they don’t dodge.
There’s one huge exception to all of this, and that’s Extreme difficulty. One of the additional effects (in addition to the amped up stats) is that all heroes have a 20% Evasion penalty. If this puts your heroes to a negative Evasion value, then the quest monster will have an increased chance to crit against them. For this reason, it’s a good idea to get some Evasion if you can on your Fighters or else they can easily be crit to death. Enemy crits ignore some of the hero’s Defense value, so this is extra dangerous considering they’re going to be taking significantly more attacks than the rest of the team anyway. Extra Conditioning is preferred over the other Evasion options because it grants 20% at rank 4 which completely nullifies this effect without giving up your normal hit-taking ability. For unpromoted classes, you can use either Woven Lilycloak, Bunbun Buckler, or five Tiger spirits to make up the missing 5% (EC gives 15% at rank 3).
Pure Offensive Skills
Rapidfire mode! These skills are all poor choices for most Fighters for the same reason: they’re purely offense skills. They’ll offer a bit more damage to help the fight end faster, but Fighters can’t always make the best use of it. If your squad is surviving the fight handily, then it’s not a bad idea for you to swap out a defensive skill for one that’s more offense oriented.
Aside from that, the main problem here is opportunity cost. These skills don’t offer any ability to take hits easier and the damage boost they offer typically isn’t that significant compared to the defensive power you’re giving up. As such, they should generally be avoided for all Fighter classes aside from Samurai, Berserkers, and Chieftains (not Barbarians). These three are all hybrid attacker / tanks and can make decent use out of these skills to augment their damage output.
Power Attack / Whirlwind Attack (125% Attack & 12% CHC / 140% Att & 12% CHC)
Sunder (100% Attack & CD)
Telling Blows (18% CHC & 150% CD)
Eagle Eyes / All Natural (25% CHC / 30% CHC & 100% CD)
Deadly Criticals / Death Dealer (250% / 350% CD)
All Common weapon skills (200% Attack with specific weapon type)
Next up I want to switch gears for a bit. Up until this point, we’ve been focusing on a simple concept: Fighters are tanks. Now, the important part to keep in mind is that you only need so much defensive power overall. A Fighter who routinely ends quests with 75% health remaining and one that routinely ends quests with 30% health remaining both have enough survivability. The difference is that the one who regularly completes a quest with 30% has just enough defensive power to survive, while the one with 75% has far too much.
In situations like this, you can afford to shift some skill power over to the offensive side. A Fighter won’t win any awards for their damage output by doing so, but it’s a great way to help quests end quicker if you can swing it. To that end, there are two important categories to cover next. Both are hybrid offensive / defensive skills.
Evasion / Attack
First up we have Caltrops and Throw Daggers. These two are very similar in that both offer a combination of Evasion and Attack. As mentioned in the Pure Evasion section, Fighters can’t always make the best use of Evasion as a stat in general. That said, these are a decent way to add a bit of offensive punch for the classes that can use the Evasion effectively.
Next up is Deception. This one is a bit more niche because the specific combination of Crit Chance and Evasion isn’t typically a useful combination for this archetype. Berserkers are really the only Fighter that can effectively make use of both pieces. That said, any class that can use Evasion and has enough defensive power to survive can potentially make use of the more frequent critical hits. As an additional note, a rank 4 Deception is extremely close to cancelling out the 20% Evasion penalty from Extreme difficulty. Tack one Carbuncle spirit onto their gear and you can nullify that mechanic.
Hybrid Offense / Defense
Next up, we have the more universally useful hybrid skills. These skills are generally great for Fighters. They pack enough defensive power to be competitive and the boost they provide to the hero’s offenses is handy.
First up, we have the Epic weapon skills – Warlord and Marksman. These pack the excellent attack boosting power of a weapon skill but also provide a great defensive benefit. Warlord grants 20% bonus HP and Marksman has 8% Evasion.
Next is the three Attack / Defense skills: Shining Blade, Flame Brand, and Perfect Form. Unlike their Common counterpart Smite, these three pack enough overall stat power to be competitive. They have enough Defense to keep the Fighter going and the extra Attack is handy to help them end fights a bit quicker.
Finally, we have the posterchild for the idea of adding offensive power to your defensive Fighters – Battering Blows. This skill is excellent and a great addition to a Fighter’s skillset.
That was the individual skills, but what about putting it all together in a coherent skillset? What are you typically looking for with each class?
Soldier / Mercenary, Barbarian, Knight / Lord, and Ranger / Warden: If it offers Defense and / or HP AND wasn’t called out here or in part 1, you’ll be fine. These classes are purely defensive Fighters so any skill combination that compliments that is great. As previously mentioned however, keep an eye on them in battle. If they’re routinely living through fights with a large percentage of their health bar remaining, then you can consider swapping out a skill for something a bit more damaging.
- Note that Chieftains specifically play quite differently to their unpromoted counterparts. They are a pretty capable hybrid attacker / tank so a mix of offensive and defensive skills works well for them. A weapon skill goes a long way towards helping them deal damage and hybrid offensive / defensive skills like Battering Blows or Perfect Form are ideal.
Samurai / Daimyo are among the most capable attackers of all Fighters. Their guaranteed crit first attack plus the huge bonus CD they get from their innate skill can make them hit extremely hard. For a Samurai / Daimyo, you’ll typically want to focus on either a hybrid attacker / tank or go full attacker. Any skills from the Rapidfire / pure offense section above and any skill that hasn’t been explicitly called out yet is fair game. Don’t go too tanky – you usually only want one fully defensive skill max or else you can’t fit all the attacking power you need into the rest of the kit. Building a Samurai / Daimyo as a pure tank is a waste of what makes this class special. Additionally, they’re the only Fighter class that gets no defensive power from their innate skill so they can’t even do that as well as the other Fighters.
The tricky part of building a Samurai is that they’re much more about skill synergy than the other Fighters. With a Knight, you’ll have a good build by throwing a dart at three random defensive skills. Samurai need some more specific pieces. A typical Samurai build needs a weapon skill, a CHC skill, as much Attack as you can get your hands on, and some survivability to take some hits (they are a Fighter class, after all).
Berserkers are the simplest. Their combination of powerful innate skill, great base stats, good gear selection, and ability to use all four skills means you can essentially pick random skills & the Zerker will make it work. Take four skills that haven’t been explicitly called out part 1 or Cleave / On Guard and you’ll have a functioning hero. Berserkers have a fantastic combination of strong base stats, great innate skill, and ability to use all four skill slots by default, so they can make nearly anything work. It might not necessarily be good per se, but it will be usable. Ideally, you’ll want to have some synergy in the set and should focus on pure offense with crits, pure defense, or a hybrid attacker / tank.
And that’s it for the Fighters! The rest of this series will focus on the remaining two archetypes – Rogues and Spellcasters.