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Octopath Traveler is fairly simple by RPG standards. However, when you factor in the game's job system there's quite a lot of choice on offer when it comes to deciding on how to develop your characters.
In this guide, I'll be covering how the Scholar's job functions. I'll be highlighting some of the best skills to take advantage of and how best to use complimentary jobs and skills to maximise this character's effectiveness.
In all RPGs such as these, going back to Final Fantasy V, there's a wealth of options to consider and I by no means intend these to be the definitive "best" builds of any of the characters. Instead, think of them as a point in the right direction in how best to use each of your party members. These sample builds assume you have unlocked all eight basic classes but don’t factor in the four additional jobs that can be acquired later in the game.
As always, if you think I've overlooked a particular strategy, don't hesitate to leave a comment.
Path Action - Scrutinize: Obtain new information from the townspeople. (Affects reputation)
Talent - Study Foe: Gain insight into an enemy’s weaknesses.
- Max SP +13%
- Elemental Attack +10%
- Elemental Defense +5
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- Fireball (8 SP) - Deal fire damage to all foes.
- Icewind (8 SP) - Deal ice damage to all foes.
- Lightning Bolt (8 SP) - Deal lightning damage to all foes.
- Analyze (1 SP) - Reveal HP and one weakness of a single foe [reveals additional weaknesses with Boost Points].
- Fire Storm (22 SP) - Deal fire damage to all foes twice.
- Blizzard (22 SP) - Deal ice damage to all foes twice.
- Lightning Blast (22 SP) - Deal lightning damage to all foes twice.
- Alephan's Enlightenment (30 SP; Divine Skill) - For 3 turns, spells cast by a single chosen ally that usually targets all foes will instead be focused on a single foe with increased intensity.
- Evasive Maneuvers - Encounter less random battles in the world (Equipping this skill with multiple characters will have no added effect.)
- Elemental Augmentation - Augments the equipping character's elemental attack strength by 50.
- Percipience - Prevents the party from being surprised by foes. (Equipping this skill with multiple characters will have no added effect.)
- Vim and Vigor - The equipping character will regenerate HP each turn.
The game's dedicated black mage, Cyrus has excellent coverage right out of the gate. With access to fire, ice and lightning magic, not to mention staves as a weapon, he does a great job of exploiting enemy weaknesses and breaking mobs.
You want to focus on getting access to all three basic elemental magics first off, so grab Icewind and Lightning Bolt as your first two skills. Analyze is somewhat wasted on Cyrus and isn't that good on other characters either. Why waste time scanning the enemy for weaknesses when you can just lob a spell at them and see if they're vulnerable to it or not?
Fortunately, the rest of the Scholar skill list is very good, with the three double-hitting elemental spells: Fire Storm, Blizzard and Lightning Blast, all serving to reinforce Cyrus' role as a magic-based damage dealer.
If there's one catch with Cyrus, as with H'aanit's Hunter class, the Scholar is so focused on doing one thing really well that it has little ability to do anything else. Cyrus is even more vulnerable in this regard as he also needs to manage his SP pool, unlike a physical attacker. It's not a major weakness but is the biggest factor when it comes to getting the most out of the spell-caster.
Sample Build: Money Mage
Secondary Job: Merchant
- Elemental Augmentation
- SP Saver
- Second Wind
- Summon Strength
The obvious combo with Cyrus is to pair him with the Cleric or Dancer to bolster his already incredibly strong elemental attack. And while that's a perfectly fine option, it's not the only way you can take the character.
The Merchant class provides some surprising benefits to the Scholar. For starters, it gives you access to wind magic, in addition to the three elements that Cyrus naturally possesses. In addition, it allows him to wield both bows and pole arms, giving him ridiculous coverage with seven different attacking types. This all combines really well with Cyrus' talent for highlighting an enemy weakness at the start of the fight.
SP Saver is a must for a character like this and Second Wind is also thrown in because this is going to be a character that's primarily attacking with magic. The last slot is up for debate but Summon Strength at least makes Cyrus' physical attacks more respectable but can easily be swapped out for something else, such as Persistence, or maybe even Patience, depending on your party composition.