Abbreviation: HIL

Highlander first appeared in Etrian Odyssey Untold, acting as the unique class of the severely underdeveloped protagonist in the Story mode, and it was a ludicrously powerful hybrid offensive support-attacker. Bloody Offense was an immense attack boost, and its attack skills could put a hole in anything. It reappeared in Untold 2, as DLC, and was mostly the same as the previous game, but with a nerfed Bloody Offense. This left Highlander struggling for a niche; though they were a competent class, the game wasn't exactly lacking in buffers and attackers, so the merits of what Highlander did weren't so great anymore.

Now, in Nexus, they're mostly restored to their former glory. Their buffing is powerful and actually functional, and their attacks are once again very strong. Extra passives and recontextualized skills allow them to double down on their hybridized supportive attacking, and while their old showstopper attacks are still there, they have two new ones that are sure to turn heads, whose power is matched only by their risk. They're also great for exploration, being able to restore small amounts of TP to the party, stopping the first ailment in a battle, and even being able to heal and attack at the same time. Oh yeah, did I mention they can instantly kill enemies somewhat reliably? Because they can.



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

Equippable Weapons: Spear
Equippable Armor: Light Armor, Shield

Common Passives:

Skills: Force

Boost: Hero Battle
For 3 turns, spear skills have their damage increased by 40%, and restore all party members' HP, for 15% of the damage dealt.

If the Highlander inflicts instant death during Hero Battle, they will still restore HP based on the damage the attack would've dealt.
Good shit, good shit. Good damage boost, the HP heal is big and can offset the costs of the Legion skills, what's not to like?

Well, it gets in the way of Spear Reversal. That's...suboptimal, unfortunately, but oh well.
On the other hand, Spear Reversal hits so hard and is so fast that you can essentially use the two together as an emergency "oh fuck everyone's dying" panic button.
It's mostly just a standard damage boost, but a standard damage boost is still a good one. It works particularly well with Legion Charge. The fact that the HP drain component works with any skills, not just spear skills, means that it also works well with Warrior Might.

Break: Gae Bolg

Deals ranged STR-based stab damage to all enemies. Restores the user's TP, for a percentage of the damage dealt.
Good encounter clearer, and even provides a bit of TP sustain for the Highlander. Again, I find it hard to complain.
God, I know it was a bug, but I'd have loved it if this was Stab+Almighty, just to reference how it just didn't have any element in 2U.
The TP restore is nice, but damage-wise it's not particularly great; A Hero Battle boosted master spear skill can hit harder than it for a pretty long time, and doesn't lock you out of another potential Hero Battle session. Nice as an emergency button in encounters, though.

Skills: Novice

Long Thrust

Deals ranged STR-based stab damage to one enemy.
The simplest of the Highlander damage skills. The damage isn't bad for the amount of TP it costs, and it's ranged, meaning you can toss your Highlander in the back row if you really, really, really need to.
You'll use this a lot in the early game if you don't want to bleed TP, meaning if your party can't kill things in a few turns.
The ranged aspect is more useful for hitting enemies in the back row, and Highlander doesn't really have any high powered instant damage skills until Master skills, so you'll be using this for quite a while regardless.

Spear Assist

Deals melee STR-based stab damage to one enemy at the end of the turn. If an elemental attack was used before Spear Assist, that attack's element is added to Spear Assist, and its damage is increased.

If multiple elements were used before Spear Assist, the last element to be used is added.
Hello, again, Spear Assist, I see you still cost as much TP as ever. Don't max Spear Assist out early, or you will drain your Highlander of TP extremely quickly. Once they have the TP to support it, it's decent as a space-filler skill, if you have nothing better to do.
The TP cost is killer early on, but it hits hard. Of course, it's useless if you don't have elemental support...
Account for elemental weakness, it's the strongest skill Highlander has access to before level 40, and is still useful for dealing with stab-resistant enemies afterwards, or as a filler skill while you wait for Delayed Charge countdown. You'll potentially be relying on this skill a lot, so you should account for this in your party composition and ensure you have at least one viable feeder.

Turning Tide

When the user kills an enemy, restores all party members' HP.
Turning Tide is really good for sustain on explorations, though it generally does nothing in boss fights.
On the other hand, if a boss or FOE summons adds this plus Hero Battle means you might never need to hit a heal button.
Arranging things so your Highlander gets the kills can be annoying, but it's a pretty good amount of sustain even with minimal investment, so it's worth the effort. It's especially useful if your party lacks some sort of out-of-battle healing.

Draining Thrust

Consumes a percentage of the user's current HP to deal melee STR-based stab damage to the enemy front row.
The kid's toy version of encounter clearing. Interchangeable with Legion Thrust, largely, and obsoleted by the Bursts once they're available, as far as I'm concerned.
The Legion counterparts of this skill does better damage, but this could be useful to lower your HP to use Spear Reversal with. Having said that, though, it has an upgrade that drains more HP for that purpose. Beware that this skill does damage to the enemy front row, not an enemy row; you'll never be able to hit the back row with it.

Legion Thrust

Consumes a percentage of all other party members' current HP to deal melee STR-based stab damage to the enemy front row.
See above. I kind of prefer Legion Thrus for the slight damage increase, but draining HP from everyone can be too big a cost for some.
I'm not a fan of the AoE Legion skills. At low level they're fine, but at high level the HP drain can put your party in a really bad spot. And they don't hit hard enough to finish things on their own, so Turning Tide doesn't really cancel it out. And Highlander is so fast they'll usually go before anyone who would soften enemies up... Plus it interferes with anyone who wants to be at high health, like someone with Fearless or someone with Royal Veil.
15%-25% drain isn't too troublesome, and this does decent damage for a fairly low cost. Once your Highlander learns Allied Bonds, this can keep their TP going in exploration for a long time, too. It's my preferred random clearing skill for pretty much the entire game unless I have a particular need for something else at the moment.

Spirit Shield

Consumes a percentage of the user's current HP to increase one row of party members' elemental defense for a set amount of turns.
The buff is pretty strong at max level, but so's the HP drain, plus it lasts three turns and only works on some attacks. I'll pass, but you may feel differently.
It mitigates a fair amount of damage for only 4 points, so it could be kinda useful if you like defense buffs, but there's hardly anything out there that's only threatening because of elemental attacks, and usually antis or Element Shield deal with them better. It uses up a Highlander's turn, too. Maybe it's something that would be more useful if you rely exclusively on Delayed Charge + Cross Charge and thus have a lot of free turns to act as support as well...? Oh, it can also negate defense debuffs if you really need such a thing.

Blood Veil

When the user first loses HP during a turn, they take reduced damage for the rest of the turn.
If your Highlander can drain their own HP before enemies can act, this is really good! Reducing incoming damage by 1/3 goes a long way towards keeping your Highlander survivable, especially when they're constantly draining their own HP. If your Highlander tends to drain their own HP after enemies, though, it does nothing, so that sucks.
Highlander is fast, and in boss fights you'll probably use Bloody Offense, so Bloody Veil makes Highlander incredibly tough despite them shedding their health like molting old skin.
It reduces damage by a lot for a passive, and the activation requirement is fairly lax. Highlander can get some good use out of it, but its true value lies as a subclass skill for Protectors using covering skills, who will really enjoy the considerable reduction that will kick in for every instance of damage after the first one.

Skills: Veteran

Head Pierce

Deals melee STR-based stab damage to one enemy. Attempts to instantly kill the target. If that fails, attempts to bind the head of the target.
Head Pierce used to suck. A lot. But now that disable infliction on attack skills runs off of (STR * 2) + LUC, it's really good as a generic skill to use during random encounters! Hell, it's not even that bad in boss fights for trying to get head binds.
If you can't do Spear Assist, don't have Spear Reversal, it's a bad idea to use Legion Charge, and don't feel like using the AoEs for single target damage, Head Pierce is your best option. For what it's worth.
The instant death happens so rarely that it's foolish to count on it, but the head bind chance eventually gets kinda decent, and it isn't too slow for a binding skill. You really do need to invest in it to make it count, though, so only take it if you are comfortable with spamming a 13 TP skill. Of course, if you don't care for the head bind, then it's not really worth taking because the damage is barely better than Long Thrust.

Draining Burst

Consumes a percentage of the user's current HP to deal melee STR-based stab damage to all enemies.
If you want to go all in on Spear Reversal, this level can drain a lot of your own health at max, which makes it a good setup that can last for a long while. As a random encounter clearer, though, the HP drain is way too large to use comfortably.

Legion Burst

Consumes a percentage of all other party members' current HP to deal melee STR-based stab damage to all enemies.
It's the big kids versions of encounter clearers! They both cost a lot of TP, but once you can sustain that cost, one of them is worth investing in!

And that one is Legion Burst. You'll see why.
Not a fan of Legion Burst, again. Look at that HP drain. The damage isn't much higher, and it doesn't even set off Bloody Veil. You're putting your whole party in danger for not all that much improvement. I roll with Draining Burst, since the power is similar and the Highlander can take an Attack, or a low-end skill, after losing that health. Especially if they have Bloody Veil maxed.
If you really want to hit enemy back row with an AoE skill, this is the skill to go for. 35% HP is quite a lot, but hopefully you won't need to actually use this too often, because it's actually not that much better than Legion Thrust most of the time due to back row enemies taking only half damage anyways. And again, it provides sustain for your teammates via Allied Bonds as well, though at a considerably higher TP cost for the Highlander themself.

Blood Fortune

Consumes a percentage of all party members' current HP to increase all party members' chance of inflicting ailments and binds for a set amount of turns.
Hey, this buff's actually useful! Inflicting disables can be irritating at times, and Blood Fortune can make it less irritating! It also doesn't take much to unlock, which is always very nice.
Just be careful with the timing. You drain quite a bit of health with it. May be worth it to keep it at 7 if you're worried about that.

Oh yeah, and the boost is decent at half level so if you have anyone subbing Highlander, consider this.
The 8th point is not really worth it as the only benefit you get is an extra turn of effect, while it actually consumes more HP per turn at that level. In any case, it's the only class skill in the game that increases infliction rates as a buff, and the only class skill period that helps both ailment and binds at once, so it's definitely something you want to have in your party somewhere if you plan to make heavy use of disables.

Battle Instinct

Gives the user a chance to, at the start of battle, place a buff on all party members that nullifies one ailment.
This is a nice way to spend points late in the game, but don't max it early. You have way better ways to spend SP, such as on attack skills. Dropping one point in it isn't bad, though.
This is a LIFESAVER in the mid and late game. Oh my god. Starting a battle with turn 0 party-wide Prevent Order But Better is godlike, and if you have someone with Royal Lineage it'll slowly feed them TP. Subclasses love this too.
A godlike passive in randoms (when it activates), and potentially extremely helpful even in boss battles (especially if you have a bursty one that lacks ailment healing). In my experience, a lot of skills Highlander need to invest heavily in are in Master anyways, and it's not that hard to find extra points to invest here. Enemies with nasty inflictions start showing up from 6th labyrinth, too, so getting this early definitely isn't the worst idea.

Bloody Offense

Places a buff on one row of party members that increases their attack, at the cost of losing a percentage of their current HP whenever they act, for a set amount of turns.
Strongest multi-target attack buff in the game! Great Warrior outpaces it for raw attack increase value, but Bloody Offense's downside isn't nearly as potentially deadly, and, again, it's multi-target! Very worth the investment.
bloody veil and fighting spirit say what up
It's the second strongest attack buff in the game, and the strongest one that affects more than one target (or can last more than 4 turns). The life drain aspect works great with Spear Reversal too, as it drains before Reversal checks HP ratio. There is almost no reason for any Highlander to not get this as soon as possible.


Whenever the user loses HP, they have a chance to perform a normal attack on a random enemy.
Much like Battle Instinct, dropping one point in Bloodlust early is alright, maxing it out late is good, but don't max it out early.
rip sleep, also keep in mind that it can be imbued (i think)
Free damage with Bloody Offense and/or Draining Thrust/Burst. Not a whole lot of reasons to not get it eventually, unless your party makes heavy use of sleep bombing.

Delayed Charge

Consumes a percentage of the user's current HP to, a set number of turns later, deal melee STR-based stab damage to one enemy.

If activated early by Cross Charge, Delayed Charge suffers a damage penalty.
No matter what Highlander build you go for, you are going to want Delayed Charge. Probably.

It's decent damage, although not the overally best damage per turn, it requires only one turn of setup, and it combos in a very obvious way with Cross Charge. Grab it.

Once you have Cross Charge, though. It sort of sucks before you have that available.
I dunno, it does still hit pretty hard on its own. But by the time you can field the TP cost, you have Cross Charge...
Delayed Charge and Cross Charge combo is one of Highlander's endgame damage options. Compared to the other options they have, it's marked by being very easy to use, lacking Spear Reversal's potentially difficult-to-fulfill condition, or Legion Charge's glaring recoil, but has its own drawback of requiring several turns to reach its full power. Sorta. (Just spamming Delayed and Cross still results in decent average damage, for the record. Though if you want to rely on that tactics it's best to keep Delayed Charge's level low to minimize TP cost.) Its HP drain can also help activate Spear Reversal as a filler move, but is kinda low in magnitude to use as a dedicated setup move. On the other hand, it works great with Hero Battle where you can set it up early, then unleash it within Hero Battle for maximum amount of burst damage.

Skills: Master

Spear Reversal

Deals melee STR-based stab damage to one enemy. If the target has a higher percentage of HP remaining than the user, damage is increased.
Titan Killer is back! It's still stupidly strong! Sadly, Highlander doesn't have as good ways to immediately put themselves in the Big Damage HP Range as Overexertion, but they're not incapable of it, either.
Please keep in mind that if you have health drain from Bloody Offense going, the health is drained before the game checks whether your health is lower. So if you're at 100% but the target is at anywhere from 100%-81%, and you have maxed Bloody Offense, you'll get the boost. This skill will become less frequent as the fight goes on, but it makes for a few very strong opening turns.
Titan Killer this is not; Highlander has neither insane self drain with Bloody Offense, nor insane damage on this skill to keep it going consistently. It is a strong skill for when you can use it, though, If you're serious about using it, you may want to max out Draining Burst as well to ensure that you can use it often. The fast speed also makes it great for quickly assassinating an enemy in randoms, but Turning Tide kind of runs counter to that (and not learning Turning Tide isn't really an option given that it leads to all the Drain/Legion skills). Oh well. It's still one of Highlander's endgame options, and definitely something worth considering, and maybe even going out of your way to make use of.

Cross Charge

Consumes a percentage of the user's current HP to deal melee STR-based stab damage to one enemy. If a Delayed Charge effect is queued, Cross Charge will activate it, and Cross Charge's damage and accuracy will increase.
On its own, Cross Charge is thoroughly unnotable, besides being very fast. Its entire purpose is to be combined with Delayed Charge, which amps up its damage to Very Good.
All that said, 300% is pretty decent. Not stellar, but if you need to snipe something low on health and weren't using Delayed Charge or can afford to ignore it, that 200% speed modifier and Highlander's natural speed can have you looking like Scizor.
Since this doesn't suffer from a damage penalty for activating Delayed Charge early, just spamming them in alternation can still net a viable amount of damage total if you really need to.

Legion Charge

Consumes a percentage of all other party members' current HP to deal melee STR-based stab damage to one enemy.
This is Highlander's best space-filler skill besides Spear Assist, and why I recommended prioritizing Legion Burst. It's a lot of damage relative to the TP cost, but you do keep in mind that a maxed out Legion Charge will leave the rest of your party very weak. As such, it's best to combine it with Hero Battle, or a healer that can heal everyone in the party at once.
Feel free to spam this if the enemy is totally locked down, but be careful if said lockdown is Panic. One errant attack, and kablooie.
The last of Highlander's potential endgame options; you get to use this skill essentially for free in Hero Battle, but outside of it, it can quickly put your party in a very dangeorus position. On the bright side, it has no real activation condition to speak of, so if you can deal with the recoil, you can just spam it mindlessly.

Allied Bonds

At the end of a turn, if a party member's HP was drained by one of the user's skills, their TP is restored.
Low investment, softens the blow of Legion Charge's HP cost a bit.
Will not activate from Bloody Offense, unfortunately. Or on the user.
You can use this with a low level Legion Thrust to keep your party (or a couple members of your party, at least) going forever in exploration at a low cost, which is nice for the 4 points spent, and can probably make up for low level Legion Thrust's low damage since your allies will have much easier time just spamming high power attacks heedless of cost. Sadly, it will never heal the Highlander's own TP, even if their HP is drained by the Highlander's clone/afterimage (or if the Highlander's clone/afterimage had their HP drained by the Highlander).

Black Sabbath

Deals ranged STR-based almighty damage to all enemies. Restores all party members' HP for a percentage of the damage dealt.
An expensive encounter clearer that heals the party instead of damaging them. Decent for mid-Labyrinth sustain, but it's too expensive to use regularly. It also deals less damage than the Thrusts/Bursts, further hindering its potential for regular use.
On the other hand, I like this for a support. A Harbinger or Hero gets a use for their weapon slot, and Harbinger in particular gets a way to heal that doesn't blow up their Miasma Armor.
The TP cost is ungodly expensive, but it could potentially be a nice way to keep your party healed even though it doesn't deal too much damage. Its rangedness also makes it actually stronger than the Burst skills on back row enemies, if you really need to deal as much damage as possible to multiple back row enemies. Finally, the fact that it has no weapon requirement means just about any physical class can take it and have a STR-based AoE to use, which could be nice for several classes.

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