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Class Showcase: Knight



Knights are a defensive support that can help protect your party and keep everyone healthy through reducing damage or taking hits for them. However, that’s not the only role they’re good at, as they can branch out into offensive roles and dabble in a bit of healing. For a class that’s primarily a defensive support, they can be surprisingly good at other roles. Most importantly though, they’re the only class that can truly negate the effects of the Bloom.

Stats



Their stat spread is one of extremes. They have the best LIFE stat and the 2nd best POW stat, so they’re the best at taking hits. However, their MANA Stat is below average meaning they can’t cast skills too often. And their INT and SPD stats are the 2nd worst out of all the classes. The INT honestly doesn’t matter too much, as the Knight’s other stats can deal with spell damage pretty easily and healing is only slightly hampered. The Knight’s SPD stat is in a similar case. Depending on the build that stat won’t matter, as a good portion of the Knight’s defensives have defensive priority, bypassing the speed problem. However if they wish to do other things, their low SPD will end up slowing them down.

Perseverance
Skill Type: Passive
Maximum Level: 5
Prerequisites: Chivalry – Level 8

If an attack takes the Knight to 0 LIFE, they have a chance to be revived at 1 LIFE.



Notes:
This skill isn’t all too great. Knights are very beefy to the point where they’re not that likely to get knocked out all that easily, even when drawing heat with Provoke or making use of Guardian. Could be worth learning if you’re worried about a Knight going down that badly, but make it a lower priority pickup. Ideally you’re getting yourself into situations where your Knight isn’t dying in the first place though.

Lucky Guard
Skill Type: Passive
Maximum Level: 5
Prerequisites: POW Bonus – Level 5, Guardmaster – Level 5

Provides a chance to halve damage from ATK-based attacks.



Notes:
Not really what I would consider a high priority skill. The low activation rates kind of make it a rather iffy proposition for 13 SP. Other Knight skills increase their longevity for considerably longer, so pick those up first before even considering this one.

Shieldbearer
Skill Type: Passive
Maximum Level: 10
Prerequisites: None

Boosts the defense power of Shields.



Notes:
Bugs:
This is pretty much a point sink for the Knight to start getting their defensive skills, as the effect on Shields isn’t really that great. Unfortunately you have to level this up to 3 to unlock any Shield skills, so unless you use a password to start them off with 4 SP, you’ll have to wait until level 2 for them to start being able to support the party defensively.

While this does affect Shield Crush’s damage, it’s not all that much. So level this as much as you need to for the Shield skills you want. And if you have spare SP after getting all your important skills, feel free to finish investing in this if you haven’t already maxed it out for other reasons.



Shield Front/Shield Rear
Skill Type: Active
Maximum Level: 10
Equipment Needed: Shield
Speed Modifier: 100%
Prerequisites: Shieldbearer – Level 3

Protects the front/back row from ATK-based attacks for the current turn. Each party member can only be protected a certain number of times. Has defensive priority.



Notes:
A support Knight’s bread and butter skills. These skills will cover a lot of attacks in the game since they affect every single ATK-based attack, even if they’re elemental damage. These just care about the stat used in the attack and the row it targets. They’re a great and easy way to increase your party’s lifespan.

As for which one you should be using, that depends on your party makeup. Protect the row you’re most worried about is a good policy. Or the row that has more party members in it. In a 2 front row 2 back row setup, I would recommend going with Shield Front, as the back row already comes with a 50% damage reduction to melee attacks. Though ranged attacks ignore that bit and can end up sniping your backliners in some cases. If you’re going with a 1 frontliner and 3 backliners setup, you’ll definitely want to pick up Shield Rear as that’ll reduce incoming overall damage more. Also if your Knight happens to be that one frontliner, they can easily take a lot of abuse so there’s even less of a need to worry about the front row in that case.



Firebreak/Icebreak/Circuitbreak
Skill Type: Active
Maximum Level: 10
Equipment Needed: Shield
Speed Modifier: 100%
Prerequisites: Shieldbearer – Level 5

[Break Skill] Protects the entire party from INT-based Fire/Ice/Lightning attacks for the current turn. Each party member can only be protected a certain number of times. Has defensive priority.



Notes:
Yeah you can really see the blatant Etrian Odyssey roots here since these are basically adjusted versions of the Anti-skills in the EO series.

If you want your Knight to deal with spells, this is how you do so. How much you level these is up to you, as unlike in EO, these can never nullify an attack, and thus never nullify secondary effects. Though thankfully that doesn’t matter too much. They’re already pretty strong at level 1, halving elemental damage right off the bat. And to give more incentive to using these, a successful use of these skills will activate Guard React, so you can protect your party at the same time and grant your Knight an extra turn.

For those of you that came from that sister series, you may be wondering if these skills are mandatory. The answer is no, you don’t even need them at all. There are no superbosses with powerful elemental attacks that will one shot your party without the aid of these skills, so you don’t have to worry about that.



Shield Crush
Skill Type: Active
Maximum Level: 10
Equipment Needed: Shield
Speed Modifier: 75%
Prerequisites: Shieldbearer – Level 8, POW Bonus – Level 3

Deals melee ATK-based Blunt damage to one enemy, and has a chance to inflict Stun. The equipped Shield’s DEF is added to the Knight’s ATK to calculate damage.



Notes:
Say hello to the strongest unconditional damage skill in the Knight’s skillset! Taking your shield’s DEF into account for its ATK power essentially upgrades your Knight’s weapon into something even more powerful! Knights can be powerful offensively in the right hands, and this skill can enable some big damage.

Don’t rely too much on the Stun component, as Knights are pretty slow when they don’t have priority, so the chances of this skill going off before the enemy acts is pretty slim. The other big downside of this skill is well, just look at that MANA cost. 10 MANA will pretty much destroy the Knight’s MANA pool in a few casts. So without proper MANA support, they won’t be using this often.



Ultima Guard
Skill Type: EX
Equipment Needed: Shield
Speed Modifier: 100%
Prerequisites: Shieldbearer – Level 10
How to Unlock: After being briefed by Menas when you wake up from your 3 year coma, speak to Grif in Miross.

Places a buff on the entire party that increases their resistance to all damage for 3 turns.



Notes:
A simple but incredibly useful EX skill. This pretty much buys your party a few turns of protection which you can stack with the Knight’s other defensives. EX has absolutely no effect on most of the Knight’s defensives, so it’s pretty easy to use some up to activate this skill.

Really the only downside is that if you’re using an offensive Knight, using up EX on this might be eating up opportunities where you could use EX on damaging skills instead.

Guardmaster
Skill Type: Passive
Maximum Level: 10
Prerequisites: None

Lowers the amount of physical damage the Knight takes.



Notes:
This is another one of the Knight’s mastery skills, granting the Knight other defensive skills that don’t involve shielding the party. As for the skill itself, it’s basically another point sink as the amount of damage reduction is pretty tiny. Take as much as you need to unlock the skills you want and nothing more.



Defenses Up
Skill Type: Active
Maximum Level: 10
Equipment Needed: None
Speed Modifier: 80%
Prerequisites: Guardmaster – Level 5, Heavy Heart – Level 3

Places a buff on the entire party that boosts their DEF for 10 turns.



Can be a nice way to increase your party’s durability, and stacks nicely with the other types of defensive buffs. And of course the Knight’s Shield skills. You can also stack this with the Princess’s Hard Words skill to send your party’s DEF through the roof. Due to how the damage formula in this game works where DEF is far more effective the more of it you can stack, you can end up defanging a lot of physical attacks with piling on DEF buffs.



Parry/Mana Parry
Skill Type: Active
Maximum Level: 5
Equipment Needed: None
Speed Modifier: 100%
Prerequisites: Guardmaster – Level 3

[Parry Skill] For the current turn, the Knight will have a chance to nullify damage from any ATK/INT-based attacks a certain number of times. Has defensive priority.



Notes:
These skills are meant to be comboed with the Knight’s Provoke skill, which makes the Knight more likely to be attacked. So basically the point is to attract attacks with Provoke, than have a big chance to nullify the damage with these skills. Generally you’ll see more ATK-based attacks over INT-based attacks, so the former can be a safe guess in a lot of battles. Though there are quite a few important battles where Mana Parry will shine.

But this is only part 2 of a 3 part combo. Guard React is the 3rd part, and successfully parrying an attack will activate that skill, granting an extra turn. Read that part of the showcase for more details.



Heavy Heart
Skill Type: Active
Maximum Level: 10
Equipment Needed: None
Speed Modifier: 80%
Prerequisites: Guardmaster – Level 5

Places a buff on the Knight that increases their resistance to physical and elemental damage for 3 turns.



Notes:
This is basically a more selfish version of Ultima Guard. It does increase the Knight’s survivability, but it’s not stronger than Ultima Guard’s effect and lasts the same amount of time, so in that case I’d rather have a buff skill that protects my entire party instead of just the Knight. Also it costs more SP to get Heavy Heart maxed out than snagging Ultima Guard. However it doesn’t cost EX to use, so if you want more protection for your Knight while going with a more offensive build, this skill can at least provide some good defense while you save EX for Shield Crush or something else.



Guardian
Skill Type: Active
Maximum Level: 10
Equipment Needed: Shield
Speed Modifier: 100%
Prerequisites: Shieldbearer – Level 3

When a party member at 50% or lower LIFE is about to take damage, the Knight will take reduced damage in their place instead. Has defensive priority.



Notes:
Here’s a really strong defensive skill. If you don’t think the damage reduction from the Knight’s other skills will be enough to save a party member at low LIFE, you can use this skill to protect them instead. A tactic people like to use when this skill is involved is placing their Knight in the 4th party slot, as AOE attacks hit from left to right. This gives a much greater chance of the Knight being able to protect themselves against such attacks since the Knight is going to take damage from an AOE anyways.

This skill is also excellent when used in conjunction with a Punishment Princess, as it allows them to dish out high damage Punishments without being in much real danger most of the time.



Tough Heart
Skill Type: Active
Maximum Level: 10
Equipment Needed: None
Speed Modifier: 80%
Prerequisites: Guardmaster – Level 8

Places a buff on the Knight that increases their maximum LIFE for 5 turns.



Notes:
Another way to increase the Knight’s durability. The amount of defense it provides isn’t as much as Serious Heart’s, but it does last for longer so keeping the buff up isn’t as hard. Still, you’ll have to maintain the defense with healing more often where damage reduction buffs lower the amount of times you’ll have to heal which can bring down how effective this skill really is. Ultimately I still prefer Ultima Guard as my buff of choice, but go with whichever way you want to keep your Knight’s survivability up.



Ultima Parry
Skill Type: EX
Equipment Needed: None
Speed Modifier: 100%
Prerequisites: Guardmaster – Level 10
How to Unlock: After being briefed by Menas when you wake up from your 3 year coma, speak to Grif in Miross.

[Parry Skill] For the current turn, the Knight will nullify damage from any attack an infinite number of times. Has defensive priority.



Notes:
Basically a better version of the Parry skills. However the fact that you need to use EX for this makes it pretty much useful for emergencies only. Overall I’m not a fan of this skill since that’s EX that could be spent on Ultima Guard, or an EX boosted attack. I only suggest learning this if you’re really concerned that Parry and Mana Parry are not enough, or if you’re that desperate to activate Guard React.

Chivalry
Skill Type: Passive
Maximum Level: 10
Prerequisites: None

Boosts the attack power of Swords.



Notes:
Knights aren’t just defenders, they can also serve as offensive attackers. And boy can they fill that role well! They come with a much bigger offensive boost for Swords compared to most other weapon masteries in the game. Really the issue comes from finding opportunities to attack if you’re having them primarily defend. If you’re having them primarily attack that shouldn’t be an issue.



Knight Blade
Skill Type: Active
Maximum Level: 10
Equipment Needed: Sword
Speed Modifier: 90%
Prerequisites: Chivalry – Level 1

Deals melee ATK-based Slash damage to one enemy.



A Knight’s basic attacking skill. It’s also their fastest one and the cheapest one in terms of MANA. If your Knight’s your only attacker, you may want to consider taking this to be able to clear out random encounters more easily without destroying their MANA pool. It’s also lets your Knight attack from turn 1 instead of having to wait 1 turn for a Princess to use Royal Order to enable use of Save the Queen.



Save The Queen
Skill Type: Active
Maximum Level: 1
Equipment Needed: Sword
Speed Modifier: 75%
Prerequisites: Chivalry – Level 3

Deals melee ATK-based Slash damage to one enemy. Can only target enemies with the Wanted status and deals double damage to them. If no such enemy is in the battle, this skill cannot be selected. Wanted status can only be applied by a Princess’s Royal Order skill.



Notes:
Obviously if you don’t have a Princess in the party, don’t even consider taking this.

This is basically a cheaper version of Shield Crush, in both MANA cost and SP cost. Not only does it let you avoid obliterating the Knight’s MANA pool, it lets you save a ton of SP to be able to invest in the Knight’s defensives more easily if you’re interested in those but also want the Knight to be able to deal damage every now and then. Unfortunately there’s an action economy tax you have to pay, as Knights cannot use this from turn 1, and it’ll eat up a Princess’s turn casting Royal Order to enable Knights to use this skill.

If you’re running multiple a party with multiple Knights in it along with a Princess, this skill is an easy and cheap way to boost your party’s overall damage output if you don’t want to opt for Shield Crush. However because of the forced setup time, it’s not a great skill for dealing with random encounters, so you may want to learn Knight Blade to deal with that particular hole.

Note that if your Princess is contributing a heavy amount of damage with a Punishment build, it’s really not a great idea to go with this skill, as the Princess dishing out Punishments will deal far more damage than Save the Queen. Unless you have multiple Knights in the party. This is mostly meant for a more support Princess build instead of one where they do the fighting themselves.



Knight’s Fury
Skill Type: Active
Maximum Level: 1
Equipment Needed: Sword
Speed Modifier: 70%
Prerequisites: Chivalry – Level 3

Deals melee ATK-based Slash damage to all enemies. Can only be used if at least one party member is unconscious. If all party members are alive, this skill cannot be selected.

Damage is boosted if at least one party member is unconscious. The types of unconscious party members boost the damage even further.


Notes:
If you’re doing a run where you’re running a literally solo Knight, this skill is completely unusable.

This is the Knight’s actual strongest damage skill, but it’s a conditional one and the cost is pretty heavy. You’ll have to lug around an unconscious party member to even make use of this. Utilizing this as an “avenging skill”, only using it whenever a party member happens to get taken out isn’t a great idea and a big waste of SP, as ideally party members shouldn’t be taking a temporary dirt nap in the first place. And reviving the party members while the Knight is in the middle of using this skill will tank the damage of Knight’s Fury heavily, or just outright prevent it from working.

But if you are willing to lug around an incapacitated party member, preferably a Princess if you go that route since the Knight’s Fury fodder can’t do anything anyways, you’ll grant your Knight access to a powerful AOE attack, and doesn’t eat through MANA like Shield Crush does. This especially becomes more effective with more Knights in the party.

If you’re only stuffing the party with Knights and Princess and are wondering what the optimal combination of Knights and unconscious Princesses are, it’s 2 Knights and 2 unconscious Princesses. Assuming all Knights have Knight’s Fury at level 5, here’s how the math works out:

1 Knight and 3 unconscious Princesses results in a total of 868% damage.
2 Knights and 2 unconscious Princesses results in a total of 1114% damage.
3 Knights and 1 unconscious Princess results in a total of 1074% damage.

Though do be warned that a 2 Knight setup will have less action economy than a 3 Knight setup if they're forced to do something else, so whether you go with 2 Knights or 3 Knights is up to you.



Cure
Skill Type: Active
Maximum Level: 10
Equipment Needed: N/A
Speed Modifier: 80%
Prerequisites: INT Bonus – Level 1

Restores one party member’s LIFE.



If you don’t have a Healer in your party and want a good source of healing, Knights can fulfill that role. Cure is alright for the earlygame, but the healing will fall off fast. I don’t recommend maxing this out even if you insist on using your Knight as a Healer, as Cure II is a far better investment for that.



Cure II
Skill Type: Active
Maximum Level: 10
Equipment Needed: N/A
Speed Modifier: 70%
Prerequisites: INT Bonus – Level 1

Greatly restores one party member’s LIFE.



Pretty much the main healing skill a Knight should be using if you want to use them as a medic. Don’t worry about Knights not being good at healing as a Healer, as they aren’t that much worse than one. The main downside of Cure II is that it’s pretty slow to cast, and it can eat through the Knight’s MANA pool pretty fast. It doesn’t help that the Healer’s version of this is cheaper at level 10 while Knights are stuck with the rather expensive MANA cost. Some kind of MANA support, such as a Princess’s Moonlit Song or just lots of MANA restoratives is recommended to have on hand to keep them going.



Provoke
Skill Type: Active
Maximum Level: 5
Equipment Needed: None
Speed Modifier: 80%
Prerequisites: Chivalry – Level 5

[Switch Skill] Places a buff on the Knight that provides a chance to force the enemy to target them if the enemy targets their row. Lasts for the entire battle.



The following is a table of the probabilities that the Knight will be targeted when using Provoke in most relevant scenarios. This does not cover the case of using multiple Provoke skills.



Notes:
Provoke is a way for a Knight to defend the party from single target attacks and certain random target attacks. By attracting attacks, they’ll end up taking most of the aggro off of the other party members who are likely to be less durable than the Knight. Just be warned that only death can get rid of the Provoke buff.

It’s especially excellent when you combo this with the Parry skills and especially Guard React. This is the first part of a 3 part combo where the Knight Provokes, parries an attack, then triggers Guard React and does what they want on the extra turn they’ve gained.



Guard React
Skill Type: Active
Maximum Level: 1
Equipment Needed: None
Speed Modifier: 80%
Prerequisites: SPD Bonus – Level 5

[React Skill] Places a react buff on the Knight for 5 turns. While the buff is active, the Knight is granted an extra turn if they successfully activate any Break or Parry skill.



Notes:
And here’s a big cornerstone of the Knight’s skillset. While Shield Front/Rear are the Knight’s most reliable shielding skills, Guard React essentially takes some of their more situational or unreliable defensives and rewards you for making use of those ones. It’s the 3rd part of the 3 part combo where you Provoke, Parry, and then utilize the extra turn. How you spend that extra turn is up to you, but the Knight is capable of dealing damage. So you can use a damage skill to get the best of both worlds on a more defensive setup without losing too much offensive power.

To reiterate, with the proper setup a Knight can draw attacks with the Provoke buff that they set up before, parry the incoming attack, and then do whatever they want with the extra turn. Or they reduce or nearly nullify elemental damage and then gain an extra turn that way. One of those two sequence of events will occur in the span of a single whole turn. Reducing damage from an enemy or even nullifying it will pretty much lower the effectiveness of their turn, or even basically skip their tun entirely. And then the Knight can go wild by attacking or whatnot, which ends up drastically tipping the action economy in the Knight’s favor, especially if they can get as many Guard React triggers as possible!

Now as for what attack I would recommend having a Knight with a Guard React build learn, I would say Save the Queen if you have a Princess in the party. Otherwise, settle for Knight Blade. The reason I say this is because if you’re banking on getting as many extra turns as possible, you’re going to be burning through so much MANA due to essentially acting twice in one turn, and the Knight’s defensives on top of their attacking skills will chew through it. I suppose if you have enough MANA support you could opt for Shield Crush. Not something I’d necessarily recommend, but just watch the Knight’s MANA pool more carefully in that case.

Walk Safe
Skill Type: Active Field Skill
Maximum Level: 5
Equipment Needed: None
Prerequisites: INT Bonus – Level 3

Blocks damage taken from the Bloom or other environmental hazards for a certain number of steps.



Notes:
Bugs:
Behold one of the most important and meta defining skills that basically skyrockets a Knight to “almost mandatory” in most parties. A field skill. But considering how damage tiles are absolutely everywhere in this game, it’s no wonder why this one skill is considered to be a must have as having it just makes things far less headache inducing. Not only that, it works on all environmental hazards as a bonus to boot!

If you’re not playing the USA patch, the Bloom becomes such a massive pain in the ass mechanic to deal with, that Walk Safe should be invested in as soon as possible to reduce the sheer amount of menuing you’ll have to do if you are masochistic enough to not have a Knight in your party. You don’t have to snag this right away, as it’s not until Rorakka Forest that you start encountering the Bloom. But by the time you reach there, you should invest in this as soon as possible.

If you are playing the USA patch, then this skill is just a very nice convenience. The nerfs to Bloom damage make it so on average you are menuing 2.5x less to heal up your characters and whatnot. Whether you take this or not is up to you. You can forgo a Knight far more easily in said patch as well if you want to experiment with party compositions more.

Now if you’re playing the actual Japanese version, this skill works as intended. But if you are playing any of the fan translated versions, this skill gains a very beneficial bug in its favor, USA patch or no USA patch. Said bug is that having Walk Safe active will completely eliminate any environmental damage altogether for its duration. Meaning that the only thing that scales with level is the duration. So whether you max out the skill or not is up to you, but I prefer maxing it to cut down on the sheer amount of menuing, and to save the Knight’s MANA costs.

The Knight is an incredibly versatile party member that can fill many different roles, while truly excelling in defensive support. Not only that, they’re a hard counter to one of the game’s central mechanics, the Bloom. All of this makes them a valuable asset no matter what role they take in your party.