Abbreviation: ACN

When unlocked in Etrian Odyssey 4, Arcanist is riding the coattails of not just the game teaching you the importance of status effects, but also of giving you a guest Arcanist that joins you for a floor and a boss fight. Their Circles, when combined with Ailment Boost, had hilarious infliction chances, and since they were so hands-off the Arcanist was able to do things like debuff or heal, which was aided by Circle Boon's passive healing and Dismiss Heal's AoE burst heal. They were often used as a healer, too, subclassed into Medic for the healing boosts to make use of all those free turns.

Atlus decided to make that official with Nexus' interpretation of Arcanists. Their circles now always happen at the end of the turn, instead of firing off on the Arcanist's turn when you first cast them, and their infliction chances are overall lower to compensate for the fact that they're hands-off (Ailment Over Time, what a concept)... But their healing abilities have been much increased, even gaining the ability to revive multiple targets at once. Reliably. In order to use an Arcanist effectively you have to act on both the healing and the status effects, but oh my goodness is it worth it.



Strong Points: TP, INT, WIS, LUC
Weak Points: VIT, AGI
Very Weak Points: HP, STR

Equippable Weapons: Staff, Rapier
Equippable Armor: Cloth Armor

Common Passives:

Skills: Force

Boost: Circle Paradise
For 3 turns, increases the user's chance of inflicting ailments and binds by 1.4x. Pauses Circle duration. Prevents Circles from being dispelled.
I believe Arcanist's Force Boost is one of the best out there. If used just for infliction, I mean, there you go. A 40% boost. If you save it for when you need to heal, though, that's when it becomes impressive. If you're in a situation where you need to spam heals and revives, you're also in a situation you need to get out of FAST, and a proper ailment or bind can dig you out of that hole pretty quickly. There's a lot of Force Boosts out there that do two things at once, but Circle Paradise is one of the few that allow you to benefit from both effects at once.
This works on any infliction from your Arcanist, not just your circles. If you don't want to use any dismissal skills, you can throw a gas, or use a weapon/subclass skill with infliction and you'll get twice the benefit from this boost.

Break: Releasal Spell
Removes all buffs and accumulative disable resistance from one enemy.
Ahahahahahahah... ha. Releasal Spell was a monster in 4, allowing you to successively inflict an ailment without caring about accumulative resistance. But if you use your Force Boost to inflict something in Nexus, you CAN'T use Releasal Spell to get rid of the resistance... Because that kicks in when the ailment wears off. The timing simply doesn't line up. And by the time you get your Force back, accumulative resistance will have already worn off... Besides that, the buff removal is inconsequential and really not worth using a Force Break for. The Boost is great, but you can safely ignore the Break.
If you have a farmer, are willing to use some Axcelas, or have other inflictors on the team, you can still get some decent mileage out of this. Outside of that... if you routinely fight very, very long battles, there are some degree of pmernanent Accumulative Resistance that gets built up after a few inflictions, and this can get rid of them for you.

Skills: Novice

Circle Boon

If a Circle is active, restores all party members' HP at the end of the turn.
Circle Boon is fantastic. I know it doesn't look like much, but free party-wide 40% healing power? For 4SP? That holds up really well. IMO, max this out as soon as you have your basic tools.
Never turn down passive healing.
It doesn't heal for much, but is also basically free to activate. Max it out as soon as you can; you'll need the investment for the heal to be anywhere near significant. Also beware that this won't activate if your Arcanist is disabled.

Dismiss Heal

Requires an active Circle to use. Dismisses the current Circle to restore all party members' HP.
Before Master, this and Atonement are the only active party-wide heals available. It's pretty strong, and check that speed modifier out. It's a very good emergency heal. Now, it falls behind a bit once you DO hit Master and things like Heal-All and War Heal All enter the picture, but there's a way to fix that.
A trait to all dismissal skills is that both their effects and TP cost rises greatly from investment. At low levels it's so cheap that it actually gives back more TP (via Proficiency) than it uses up, but its heal isn't very significant, while at high levels it costs a lot of TP, but can more or less fully heal your entire party before anything else can happen in the turn. With these skills, you'll really want to assess how much you need the extra power versus the extra TP costs. Personally I think it's a decent heal even at low levels, and use it as a TP recycler in randoms, but your needs may differ. (At the very least, I recommend you keep at least one dismiss skill level low to use as a recycle.)

Chain Circle

Creates a Circle that attempts to bind the arms of all enemies at the end of every turn for a set amount of turns.

Overwrites any currently active Circles.

Dispelled if the user dies.
So many moves are arm-based or at least STR-based, that Chain Circle is going to be your go-to if you focus on binds.

By the way, going forward, you'll notice that Arcanist's inflict chances are much lower than other classes'. Please keep in mind that they can try at them while doing other things, and that they use pure LUC so they're much easier to boost by increasing your stats. LUC boosts are always much bigger than STR/INT boosts. In a vaccuum they're much lower, but if you put effort into them they're not that bad.
Bind circles tend to be better against random encounters and FOEs, who have a small variety of skills that can be reliably disabled by binds (provided that they're vulnerable to such binds in the first place). On the other hand, they're worse off against bosses, which tend to use all their body parts, and with the low rates on the circles it's harder to bind multiple parts. I consider ailment circle's advantage to be greater and would focus on them instead in a vacuum, though these certainly aren't bad, and depending on your team, they may still provide better support than ailments do.

Snare Circle

Creates a Circle that attempts to bind the legs of all enemies at the end of every turn for a set amount of turns.

Overwrites any currently active Circles.

Dispelled if the user dies.
Randoms use leg skills often, and a lot of bosses have skills or passives that comprise their primary gimmick, but use the legs. As such, Snare Circle is invaluable. They can also be used to kill an enemy's evasion to attack with low-accuracy moves, or to gain some form of speed advantage.

The speed thing is a little less prominent, however, since Circles do always take effect at the end of a round. Which is unfortunate, but ah well.

Nerve Circle

Creates a Circle that attempts to inflict paralysis on all enemies at the end of every turn for a set amount of turns.

Overwrites any currently active Circles.

Dispelled if the user dies.
Paralysis isn't a bad ailment (unless you're very paranoid about RNG, which I can respect), and it's seldom resisted, so you might as well.
While Paralysis is completely unreliable, it's also also the only disable that actually really does something you get in Novice, so you're probably going to want to invest in it. Even when you have access to better ailments later on, you probably want to avoid brute forcing through resistance (as well as accumulative resistance), so you'll want as many ailments you can get, which means you'll be using this a lot all the way to the end.

Curse Circle

Creates a Circle that attempts to inflict curse on all enemies at the end of every turn for a set amount of turns.

Overwrites any currently active Circles.

Dispelled if the user dies.
Curse sucks. However, War Magi and Nightseekers really want an ailment on the target so they can perform their duties, things barely ever resist Curse, and Curse Circle's chance is very high, so if you just need to give them a jump start it's worth using Curse Circle. That can often be more helpful than trying to get a resisted Panic to stick.
It's not really worth it to inflict this for nightseekers, since not only do they want to inflict ailment by themselves to activate Foul Mastery, they have access to Curse to begin with. It could be worth it for War Magus or Pugilist, though, or any sub nightseekers on your team (especially those that don't really have to the stats to inflict anything). Do keep in mind that because Curse is really high up in the ailment hierachy, you aren't going to be overwriting it with anything but Petrify, so you'll be stuck waiting until it wears off.

Bracing Walk

For every three steps taken in the Labyrinth, restores all party members' HP.
Passive after-battle healing is very helpful, and it makes up for Arcanist not having other out-of-battle healing skills.
EO3 Monarch March this is not, but it doesn't cost a lot of SP and can still restore a decent amount by deliberately walking around in FOE areas. It's worth putting at least one point in.


Restores the user's TP when a Circle is dismissed or runs out of duration.
Later on this can soften the TP cost of using the costly Dismiss Heal and Dismiss Revive, but I don't see the value in taking it as early as Novice.
I like taking this early, myself. Arcanist circles are rather expensive at high levels, yet you really need them at those levels to have some degree of reliability, so using this (along with a low level dismiss skill) is an excellent way to fuel your Arcnaist TP.

Skills: Veteran

Dismiss Revive

Requires an active Circle to use. Dismisses the current Circle to attempt to revive one row of party members.
Okay. This skill. This skill. Multi-target revives with a chance are bugged. It rolls the base chance twice, and both have to succeed. Now, as you can see, Dismiss Revive ends up with a solid 85% chance after maxing it out, because the chance is so high. But I hear you saying, "but that's still way too low! I can just use a nectar!" Hold your ghost horses, friend. This skill gets better.
It's not completely useless at low levels since there are times when you have nothing to lose by trying it (mostly, in random encounters which you're already going to win, but don't really want to shell out a Nectar on a downed member if you can avoid it), but you really need to go all in on it if you actually want it to be reliable. Ask yourself - do you actually get in situations where you really need multi-target revive often enough to justify investing in all those points? If your answer is yes, then go ahead and take it.

Dismiss Blow

Requires an active Circle to use. Dismisses the current Circle to deal ranged INT-based almighty damage to one enemy.
500% is a lot. It's Almighty, so it's hard to boost it, but it's a lot. Now, you can combine a low-level version with a high-level Proficiency to cancel a Circle and recover some TP... But this skill can get even better, so hold on.
This is another skill that's cheap enough to be used as a recycler at low levels. It's really fucking expensive at max, but it also deals boatload of damage (that can actually be spammable in Circle Paradise!), so it's up to you how far you want to take it. By the way, if you want the damage to be worth much, be sure to remember to give your Arcanist a MATK-focused staff. If you want to give them some other weapons for a beneficial weapon skill or something, then don't bother investing too much in this, and don't expect it to do as much damage when you do use it.

Hood Circle

Creates a Circle that attempts to bind the heads of all enemies at the end of every turn for a set amount of turns.

Overwrites any currently active Circles.

Dispelled if the user dies.
Hood Circle will either flat-out disable, or weaken, a lot of INT-based attacks. Please note that, because TEC was split into INT and WIS, head binds lowering INT won't boost your INT-based attacks. Either way, don't panic when you notice you have to go 19 levels without head binds--the game barely ever throws magic attacks at you before then.

Sleep Circle

Creates a Circle that attempts to inflict sleep on all enemies at the end of every turn for a set amount of turns.

Overwrites any currently active Circles.

Dispelled if the user dies.
Completely nullifies random enemy encounters on turn 2. Well, sort of. It's no Lullaby, and it doesn't have the speed that Ninpo: Daggers and Lullaby have... But it's still incredibly helpful for randoms, and can be really clutch to throw out the turn before a party member tries for burst damage. Say, when your Imperial is using Charge Edge... you might get lucky and enable a monstrous sleep bomb.
It has a high base rate for Arcanist standard, at least. It's pretty strong on sleep-weak random encounters where it can chain-lock them into not doing anything for several turns while you wail on them.

Charm Eye

Reduces all enemies' attack for a set amount of turns.
Mneh. It's not an especially large debuff. And the duration is three turns. Still, it's something for your Arcanist to do if they have a free turn. If you're into attack debuffs, you'll like it; it's fast and requires so little SP investment.
Atlus had realized the inherent advantage of debuffs over buffs, and made it so that they're all 10% weaker than the corresponding buffs. Now, for defense debuffs, 25% instead of 35% is often around 10% less effective or so in practice due to them stacking additively, but a 15% attack debuff versus 25% defense debuff is always 40% less effective. So yeah. If you want to reduce damage, use defense buffs instead of this.

Atrophic Eye

Reduces all enemies' defense for a set amount of turns.
An alright defense debuff. The duration's not great, but it's on par with Harbinger's. It's fast, too. Out of the two Eyes, this one's my favourite, but if you want to really dial in on the healer thing Charm Eye may be more appealing.
On the other hand, this is a great thing to throw out in free turns, which your Arcanist is guaranteed to have a lot of, unless the rest of your team consist of several harbingers and landsknechts. The low duration is not really much of a factor, really, given how many opportunities you will have to use it.

Tame Ground

For a set amount of steps in the Labyrinth, nullifies damage tiles and muddy tiles. Reduces damage taken from certain FOE field attacks.
For the lazy-bones and misers who don't want to buy Guard Soles.
The fact that all these skills are in Veteran baffles me, since it means you have to go through one of two Labyrinths where you'd want it...without it.
It doesn't lead to anything, and doesn't come in handy very often. With how SP hungry Arcanist can be, I find it hard to justify even throwing a single point in this crap.

Warding Mist

Gives the user a chance to nullify ailments, binds, and stuns directed at party members in their row.
Low investment, for alright effect. Arcanist is SP-starved, so really consider whether you want this.

Skills: Master

Dismiss Blast

Requires an active Circle to use. Dismisses the current Circle to deal ranged INT-based almighty damage to all enemies.
Even at low level, this can really save your party from a wipe, since it has the same 200% speed modifier. If all enemies are wounded, this might take them all out at once. And, just like with the other Dismiss skills, this gets better once you get another skill.
Ehh... I don't really like this. It's mostly useful on randoms, but it costs quite a bit of TP, and your circle has either not inflicted anything yet (in which case you probably don't want to use up your circle yet), or have already inflicted something (by which point you don't really need this any more). It does reliable damage due to being almighty, at least, so if you don't mind the TP cost, it can be a pretty good skill to finish off random encounters with, and can even come in handy in the odd FOE/boss fight with adds.

Circle Mastery

Increases the effect of Dismiss skills.
This skill, to be specific!! Okay. As soon as you hit Master, beeline for Circle Mastery and max it out. I'm serious. Circle Mastery improves the Arcanist's kit in a massive way all at once, and brings some skills to "ehhhh maybe" to "oooh, maybe". Going one by one:
- Dismiss Heal goes from 220% healing, to 286% Healing Power. This makes it one of the biggest burst heals in the game, aside from Healing Touch or an Item Echo'd Somaprime. Hell, it might even outrank that last one!
- Dismiss Revive goes from 92% base chance with 200 HP to 100% base chance and therefore 100% effective chance, with 250 HP. You're reading that right: a 100% guaranteed multitarget revive. Dismiss Revive goes from a gimmick skill to excellent crisis management pretty fast.
- Dismiss Blow goes from 500% power to 650% power. It's enough to make me consider maxing Blow and use it once the disable sticks.
- Dismiss Blast goes from 360% power to 468% power. It basically destroys encounters, at at that point. Origin Rune all over again, man.
If none of that sells you on this skill, then you might not be interested in Arcanist after all.
The heal bonus on Dismiss Heal is generally overkill, but its bonus on other dismiss skills are pretty good. While its buff to Blow and Blast are additive (and therefore becomes less effective when more attack buff/defense debuffs are stacked on), Almighty damage can be rather hard to boost, so the bonus will generally be rather effective. In addition, both Quake and Revive really love this skill's bonus (and in fact, Revive is almost only usable because of the chance bonus), so if you love using them, you'll definitley get a lot of mileage out of this skill. If you don't use them often, though... It's still generally nice to have for Blow and Blast, at least, though in those cases you can probably afford to delay this for a bit until your actual circles are maxed out.

Poison Circle

Creates a Circle that attempts to inflict poison on all enemies at the end of every turn for a set amount of turns.

Overwrites any currently active Circles.

Dispelled if the user dies.
Poison is a nice ailment, and despite being AoE, it has pretty high power. It only loses out to Venom Throw and Toxic Mist, if I'm not mistaken.
It can generally do about a third to half of most random encounter's HP, and even has a decent enough base rate. Poison damage happens after Circle Boon restoration, too, which is very nice when you're using it to clean out randoms. However, it doesn't actually disable the target in any way, making it iffy against bosses and FOEs. If you feel confident your team can deal with the enemy's attacks, it's a nice alternative to Curse as a "skill activator", with a fairly good base rate and an effect that actually does something.

Chaos Circle

Creates a Circle that attempts to inflict panic on all enemies at the end of every turn for a set amount of turns.

Overwrites any currently active Circles.

Dispelled if the user dies.
Don't lie. You looked at the base chance and mentally wrote this skill off. But I've landed far too many turn 1 Panics on resisted stuff with a level 1 Chaos Circle to just write this skill off. Panic is the best ailment in the entire game, even after Petrify's rework, and if you have to get immensely lucky for it to stick then I'm going to roll those dice.
Panic is the only near 100% disable Arcanist has access to, and is decidedly worth it even at the low rates. In fact, when you consider that most sources of panic have similarly low rates anyways (Ninpo: Panic and Panic Gas under Item Echo are the only exceptions), and Arcanist gets several free attempts to inflict it plus a nice boost from Circle Paradise, you can see that this skill is actually one of the better ways to inflict it you have access to. Unless you have a Ninja on your team, this is definitely something you'll want sooner or later. Heck, even if you do have a Ninja on your team, having this is still a great addition since it's not like Ninja can land Panic very reliably either.

Dismiss Quake

Requires an active Circle to use. Dismisses the current Circle to attempt to stun all enemies.
Trash from a garbage-toilet. 60% Stun is bad, Circle Mastery only makes it 78%. It won't work on bosses, it just won't, and on randoms Sleep Circle accomplishes basically the exact same thing. If the chance was much higher or Circle Mastery did something to fix it I'd consider it, but Dismiss Quake is a laughingstock.
This is actually a very reliable one-turn disable on random encounters, as very few of them are resistant to stun... during the main game, anyways. Once postgame hits, you won't be stunning anything consistently any more, and it's completely trash against most FOEs/all bosses since they have 10% vulnerability to stuns, so at most you can use it on some adds, most of which are still at least somewhat resistant to stun anyways. On the other hand, if you want to heavily invest in Dismiss Heal and Dismiss Blow, then you'll want to put a single point in it as your TP recycler. It won't really do much at level 1, but at least you get some TP back.

TP Return

Restores the user's TP when they inflict an ailment, bind, or stun.

Does not scale based on how many enemies have disables inflicted.
I'm not big on this on Arcanist. They don't have TP issues for infliction by the time you hit Master, and TP Return doesn't restore all that much TP compared to Arcanist max TP or the TP cost of Dismiss Heal or Dismiss Revive. If you want a TP efficiency thing, stick with Proficiency, I say.
Circles are expensive and this can help out a little bit, but not as much as Proficiency. Take it if you feel that you're having TP troubles even with Proficiency, I guess. Like Circle Boon, this passive will not activate if your Arcanist is disabled.

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