Abbreviation: SHG
One of the two unlockable classes in Etrian Odyssey III, Shogun had the advantage of being a powerful physical damage dealer in a game that heavily favored physical damage dealers. While they had their more supportive abilities like Fore Honor and Kaishaku, they excelled at murder above all else. Warrior Might, with the right setup, could kill most bosses with a single round of attacks. And if you don't want to build around that, 5-Ring Sword still output an absolutely disgusting amount of damage. They were frail, but EO3 had plenty of ways to get around that.

Come Nexus, Shogun's offensive abilities are much the same. On the other hand, their support has been greatly improved, giving them stronger, better buffs and upgrading their commands. Shogun shines in parties centered around a single powerful damage dealer, whether said damage dealer is themselves or somebody like an Imperial. They've got the only Force Boost capable of boosting others' damage output by itself, and it and the Force Break also happen to be some of the most powerful defensive Force skills in the game. Their frailty is still very much there, and in Nexus that actually matters, so plan accordingly. Planning is everything with a Shogun in the party.



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

Equippable Weapons: Katana
Equippable Armor: Cloth Armor

Common Passives:

Skills: Force

Boost: Unified Effort
For 3 turns, increases all party members' maximum HP by 40%, and damage dealt by 15%.
For my money, one of the highest-value Force Boosts. It's a defensive and offensive buff in one, and it affects every party member. Sure, the damage boost isn't that big on its face, but it's multiplicative, and it doesn't eat up a buff slot.
Consider having a Medic set up Delayed Heal the turn before you hit this. It should top your health right up.
Beware that it has poor synergy with Execution; if you want to use them together, be sure to heal your characters pronto. Otherwise, it's one of the best Force Boosts in the game - most parties will want to unleash all of their force induced burst damage at the same time, and Unified Effort is an excellent aid for that purpose. It also helps out Warrior Might a lot.

Break: Decoy Party
For one turn, all party members will block one enemy action targeted at them.
Kind of a weird variation on Painless. It's less great for multi-hit random-target attacks, but it's as useful for all-party/row-target/whatever attacks and, more importantly, it cancels out skills that don't deal damage, unlike Painless.
A combination of Painless and the defensive portion of Fairy Robe, in a weird way and with a limitation. Saved my bacon a lot of times. It's less effective against random encounters, though.
Despite the description claiming that it only blocks actions from enemies, it does block panic-induced team attacks or self-inflicted ailments. Also, while the interface might not suggest it, using it will not stop Unified Effort until the end of that turn, so you don't have to worry about cutting your damage boost one turn early when you use this.

Skills: Novice

Second Sword

Reduces physical damage the user takes when they have two weapons equipped. Enables the equipping of subweapons.
Don't max Second Sword out early, but it's in your best interests to max it out in the lategame. Shogun has a serious weakness to physical damage, and Second Sword helps mitigate it.
Plus, equipping said second sword means you have one less piece of armor. This counteracts that nicely.
Not all Shogun in this game is going to be interested in dual wielding, but any that wants to be an attacker will be doing so, and while this skill is not nearly enough to completely offset the defense penalty from having one less piece of armor, it certainly does help a ton.

Echoing Slash

Deals melee STR-based cut damage to one enemy at the start of the turn. If a subweapon is equipped, attack again with the equipped subweapon after the target takes their turn.
If you're not angling for Front Command early on, this is Shogun's best source of early damage. It gets overshadowed by Twin Swallows later, obviously, but that's just the way Novice skills go. You could maybe do something with the fact that the initial hit has priority, but I don't have any off the top of my head.
Peep the priority on the first attack. This makes using a Shogun to pop Landsknecht Links a tenuous proposition in the early game. Even with that x10 on Vanguard and the x3.5 on Trinity, Shogun can only contribute one link with this skill. Also, this skill can be used without a subweapon, in which case the first hit will occur but not the second. Also also, the second hit is not a chaser and can be countered.
While it does pretty uninspiring damage, the priority on the first hit does come in handy quite a bit. Also, if you're going for Execution, you can use this to get two chances at activating it (plus one of them will have priority). Execution is reliable enough that this is in practice completely unnecessary, though.

Great Warrior

Increases one party member's physical attack and chance of being targeted for a set amount of turns.
Drop on a durable party member and watch the damage fly.
Using this on a high-evasion Survivalist to enable Hazy Arrow or a Protector to enable Shield Flare is also a good idea.
It's the strongest attack buff in the game, so you'll definitely want this if you're looking to do good damage, and there really isn't a single party out there that doesn't want to do good damage. However, it's also a single target buff that lasts only 4 rounds, so if you're going to be casting this on multiple attackers, your Shogun is going to be rather busy with it, and will likely not have much time to play the role of an attacker. On the plus side, the provoke effect synergizes very well with Front Command, so even supporting Shogun can levy some good damage potential out of it. The same provoke effect can also put your attackers in danger, however, so be sure to account for that.

It's worth keeping in mind that this skill is categorized as a provoke buff, not an attack buff, which leads to several oddities - Proof of Nobility will not affect this buff's magnitude at all, and it is not overwritten by (nor will it overwrite) attack debuffs.

Taunt Assassins

For a set number of steps in the Labyrinth, increases the encounter rate and experience gain from encounters.
maybe on a material farming party

why do you have a material farming party

i say, having needed a material farming party for a gas-heavy playthrough

even then i used hero's new challenger so lmao
If you don't have the grinding DLC, you'll appreciate having this for the inevitable grind to 130, though you'll likely be using a dedicated grinding party to do so. You can also invest in the skill and use it for when you see rare FOEs, but the experience increasing effect is hardly an one-point wonder, and investing six points for something you'll barely use doesn't seem like it's worth the effort. Other than that... it might be useful if you want to get Bloody Lance bonus in FOE battles by starting a battle in their patrol path? Those tiles tend to have really low danger values so this can let you get in a battle a lot faster than otherwise.

Front Command

Targets one party member. For one turn, when that party member is attacked, all party members in the front row will counterattack.

Does not activate on enemy counterattacks.
The other early source of Shogun damage. Honestly, it can last you quite a while, even into the endgame--if you have a party with three people in the front row. It obviously loses a lot of its luster if you have a 2-person front row.

It also combines well with Great Warrior, for what it's worth, since you can usually just drop Front Command on whoever has Great Warrior and reasonbly expect to get a Front Command proc.
This is some of the highest return you can get out of commands. Don't forget to enchant the front row with Sov Arms skills.
In ideal conditions, this is basically a 600% damage AoE skill. In practice, you need three strong characters on the frontline, a way of reliably redirecting hits to one character in particular (Great Warrior is great for doing this, but if you use it on multiple characters then it won't really work out any more), and a way for that character to tank repeatedly hits (evasion will not trigger counterattacks). If you want to make use of this skill heavily, you'll want to keep those caveats in mind.

Bolt Slash

Deals melee STR-based cut + volt damage to one enemy.
Shogun's innate way of getting around cut resistances. Kind of bad on its own for actual damage, though.
The two-sword skills can all be imbued and thus don't really need this to get around cut resistance. You can use it in randoms when you don't have time or resources to put up an imbue, I guess.

Avidya Sight

Increases the user's damage at night, or when they are blinded.
Max this out ASAP, and never go into the Labyrinth during the day. Congratulations, your Shogun now has a permanent 20% damage boost.
we prey at night, we stalk at night
Outside of a single boss whom you probably don't want to take on at night, this skill doesn't really have any demerit unless your party relies on Vampire's sunlight damage somehow.

Morale Boost

When the user is revived, all party members have their HP restored.
I would say that this skill might be something to toss points in late in the game, but the actual healing done sucks ass.

Skills: Veteran

Twin Swallows

Deals melee STR-based damage to one enemy. The element is determined by the user's main weapon. If the user has a subweapon equipped, they will deal another instance of melee STR-based damage. The element for the second attack is determined by the user's subweapon.
Shogun's most stable source of damage. It's kinda boring, yeah, but it's there. You can at least take advantage of imbues on the second hit, which boosts its damage by a bit.
The first attack will always be with your katana. If you use it without a subweapon, you just get the one attack.
Compared to 5-Ring Sword, it does a bit less damage on average (both on the skill multiplier itself and indirectly from Peerless Demon), but is considerably cheaper and more consistent. It's a perfectly viable choice to take instead of 5-Ring for an attacker Shogun, depending on your party composition.

Endure Command

For one turn, when the user is attacked, all party members besides the user will counterattack the damage source with their equipped weapons.

Does not activate on enemy counterattacks.
Got a Gunner or a Survivalist? You'll probably want to use this over Front Command, even if it can only target the user, instead of anyone in the party.

Don't have either of those? Don't bother, in my opinion. Stick with Front Command.
Compared to Front Command, this can do upward to 700% damage, but requires strong characters on all four other slots instead of just three on the front, and you have to imbue two rows. In addition, while Front Command can be cast on a relatively sturdy character, for this skill the Shogun themself, an inevitably rather frail unit, has to tank the hits. It's something of an alternative if you have the party for it, but it has even more caveats to deal with than Front Command. Approach only if you are prepared for them.
Blitz Command

Targets one enemy. All party members besides the user will attack the target with their equipped weapons.
Good for turns where you know enemies aren't going to attack you. Inferior to Front Command and Endure Command otherwise.
This and Endure Command exclude the user, so unless you have your Shogun in the back row as a pure support unit I find it hard to recommend them.
Even for free turns, extending Great Warrior on someone is generally a better use of the turn than this. Could be worth considering if you have a free turn when the enemy is near dead and your Shogun is in the back row, I suppose?

Morning Star

Deals melee STR-based cut damage to one row of enemies. Damage increases when the clock is between 7 AM and 6 PM.
Since, if you're following my advice, you have leveled Avidya Sight, do not bother with this at all.
The second best AoE coverage Shogun gets, and it's not great.
At the very least, unlike in EO3, this skill does get the bonus even in "morning" and "evening" (7-9AM and 4-6PM, respectively). It's really the only AoE Shogun gets (not counting Warrior Might), and could be considered using in random encounters even in night, but several weapon skills will outclass it. Take it if you want.

Twilight Hour

Deals melee STR-based cut damage to one enemy. Damage increases when the clock is between 7 PM and 6 AM.
Cheap, high damage when you factor in Avidya Sight, and fast. Everything you could want out of a basic damage skill. It's inferior to Twin Swallows when you're up against enemies that have elemental weaknesses, but it's about even if not.
It can't be imbued, so its damage potential is far inferior to Twin Swallows (and 5-Ring Sword). This is something that's mostly for Support shoguns who have a free turn, and as mentioned, I find using Great Warrior a better choice for using free turns.

Bloody Lance

Increases the user's damage dealt whenever they kill an enemy or party member.
Not worth maxing out ASAP, but feel free to drop points in it in the lategame. It's decent for fights with adds, obviously.

Also, if Execution activates on a party member, you'll at least get a consolation damage boost out of it.
Once you get the bonus, it stays even if the Shogun gets KO'd. On the other hand, if the enemy (or party member) gets a final skill off before death, then you won't get a damage bonus at all. It's mostly just for enemies with adds, but they are common enough that this is worth the investment, since Shogun generally isn't very SP hungry.

Peerless Demon

Increases the user's damage based on the number of hits they've dealt this turn.
Grab if you're investing in 5-Ring Sword, ignore if not.
It's also good for Warrior Might.


When the user dies, they have a chance to revive at 1 HP, at the end of the turn they were killed.
A 15% chance for your Shogun to ignore death is pretty good in my book.
It does work with Seppuku, for what it's worth. It's not great or reliable, but it's free (outside of SP) and could be a lot worse.


Kills the user. Restores all party members' HP. Attempts to revive dead party members.

The instant death inflicted on the user cannot be prevented.
Extra worthless.
Just don't.
The multi-target revive chance bug/feature/oversight makes this really worthless for trying to revive, and a soma works better for healing. It being a reliable self-induced KO might be handy for a few things (like getting the Shogun out of the way until they're ready to activate Execution, or resetting the cooldown on Guard Rush), but those are really niche.

Skills: Master

5-Ring Sword

Deals multiple instances of melee STR-based damage to one enemy. The element is based on the user's equipped weapon, and any imbues they have. If the user has a subweapon equipped, the skill's maximum hits is increased.
Way higher variance than Twin Swallows, for better and for worse. Sometimes, it'll just completely whiff on you, and you'll have wasted 30 TP on jack shit for damage. Sometimes, you'll get all 10 hits, and your Shogun will seem like a god.

Imbuing helps it a lot, though. Unlike most other skills that respect subweapon imbues, 5-Ring Sword applies the imbue to every hit, which boosts its damage by...a bit. I think 50% can be described as a "bit." Maybe that's understating it, I dunno.
popping those links like popcorn
The stronger, much more expensive, and less reliable counterpart to Twin Swallows. You'll obviously want this if you want to use your Shogun as a chaser feeder, but otherwise it mostly depends on your party composition - specifically, whether they are strong enough to end fights before the TP becomes a concern, or if not, then whether they have good enough TP recovery to offset the cost.

Shot Command

Targets one row of party members. For one turn, when that row of party members is attacked, all party members who have a bow or gun equipped will counterattack the source of damage.

Does not activate on enemy counterattacks.
Deals way less damage than the other Commands, but is way easier to activate. I personally don't see much use in it, but maybe your party has a Gunner and a Survivalist in it.
This is a weird skill and I hate it.
This command can do potentially 1000% AoE damage, and it actually has an easier time activating than Front Command... but it requires your entire party to have a gun, basically (bow damage is shit), so in the end you have to tweak your party even harder to accomodate for it. Could be fun to mess with, I guess.

Warrior Might

For one turn, the user will chase all attacks made by all party members. The user loses HP each time they chase an attack. This HP loss can kill the user.

Each action will only be chased once.

Warrior Might does not chase Link skills, other Chase skills, or counterattack skills.
The infamous Warrior Might makes a return from EO3. It's pretty much just as intrinsically busted as it was in that game, minus the accessibility of Second Sword + Swashbuckling, but with a persistent HP drain that can kill the Shogun if you're not careful. Shogun only has 445 max HP at level 130, putting them at being able to do six chases without killing themselves--to say nothing of enemies attacking.

Point is, Warrior Might is powerful, and somewhat easy to build around, but you do need to pace yourself with it, or you're liable to end up with a very dead Shogun.
It'll also chase by hitting every target hit by a particular attack. It can make AoEs AoEier. It's amazing for AoE, even if it doesn't work without other AoE.
There are very few things that can trigger more than one chase now - Echoing Slash, auto-attack with Blade Flurry, and jars under Item Echo are the only things that do (and multiple characters using Echoing Slash will only trigger one extra chase after the enemy acts). Of course, given the HP loss that you must take on each chaser, you won't have the HP to do multiple chases anyways. Without specifically building for it, it doesn't do that much more damage than 5-Ring (4 chases = 600% damage); even with a party geared to support it, it doesn't really do enough damage to be much more than a curiosity now. It is handy to have as an AoE option in randoms, though.

Some tips that might help you out with using the skill: While Heal Decree and Encourage don't work with it, and Vampire only works once per turn, Hero Battle will perfectly offset the recoil, and Undying Soul will also prevent the recoil from killing the Shogun. Obviously, HP buffs will help a lot (including Shogun's own Force Boost, thankfully), and mid-turn heals are helpful too, preferably from something that also does damage like Black Sabbath or Vampire powered attacks.

Curse Strike

Deals melee STR-based bash damage to one enemy. Attempts to inflict curse on and bind the arms of the target.
Why is this a Master skill?
Why is this a Master skill?
Curse actually works well with commands because you don't want to inflict an ailment that prevents them from acting or hitting, but Arm Bind does not. Like all ailment skills you could put 1 point in it to get conditionals with (though it's really out of the way for most builds unless you want Execution), and I suppose it's helpful for activating Mind Drain or other skills that want a bind (Pugilist, Harvest Festival), but you really should find a better way to do those things.


When any enemy or party member is attacked while they are below a certain percentage of their max HP, the user has a chance to instantly kill them. The instant death cannot be prevented.

Execution cannot activate on the final boss and superboss.
My favorite skill of the Shogun tree. Seriously.

Execution basically shaves 15% off the maximum HP of everything, enemies and allies alike. 15% might not sound like a lot, but against bosses, that final 15% can make or break a fight, depending on your party. For certain bosses, you can basically just skip their final, most dangerous phases with Execution, and that's... That's just great, y'know?

Also, there's nothing like Executing a boss that's made you reset a bunch. This isn't a mechanical benefit, it's just a personal thing.
RIP AND TEAR ahem. The drawback is severe, but the satisfaction of it more than makes up for it. I love instant death.
This skill is best used by defensive parties, with which taking away 15% HP from bosses can really shorten the battle, and these parties tend to have an easier time preventing party members from getting executed as well. Be very sure that you want this skill before getting it; once you put a single point in, there's no going back (unless you Rest). In the same vein, you might want to save up four points and put them all in at once. Lastly, keep in mind that Unified Effort also makes it much easer to activate on your own party, as with HP buffs in general - it synergizes really poorly with Warrior Might as a result.

By the way, you can technically prevent it on your own party with a few parlor tricks - Elemental walls at level 5 or 6 will prevent it if the Shogun has an elemental imbue (anti-ether will also has a chance to prevent it in that case, but that's unreliable), and Shadow Cloak can stop it once, but that's about it. Spirit Barrier will not stop it, and the HP check is made before Chase Heal kicks in. Also, as in EO3, even if you nullify the damage with things like Painless, as long as the character's HP is below the threshold beforehand, Execution can still activate and kill that character. Unlike in EO3, executing an enemy will not stop them from using their on-death skill.

Swift Justice

Increases one party member's physical attack and action speed, but decreases their physical defense, for a set amount of turns.
Vanguard, but it can be targeted, and with a lower (but still big) speed multiplier. I find Great Warrior to be less dangerous in most circumstances, but I imagine there's a fair few strats that can make great use of Swift Justice.
It basically exists to speeds up Drives and Charged Shots and replace their 2x penalty with an 1.5x one. Not many other skills really care about speed enough to want to eat a 50% defense penalty. In Imperial's case, you'll want to time it on first turn of Ignition so you don't end up carrying over the defense penalty on turns when you're done with drives.

Table of Contents
Support the LPs on Patreon
Buy Me a Coffee at