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Guide Name: Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen
Author: Nathan Garvin
Editor: Nathan Garvin
First Published: 18-01-2016 / 00:00 GMT
Version: 1.0 (????) 18-08-2018 / 01:18 GMT

Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen Strategy Guide

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Character Creation

Character Creation

Vocations

Your Vocation - or class, job, profession, role… whatever gameplay convention you’ve grown up calling it - is the most important part of character creation. It determines what weapons you can wield, what armor you can wear, which skills you can use, and how your attributes improve every time you level up. It’s the last part that matters most, really, as everything else can be changed at a whim. Let’s begin by talking about how the vocations work in general, and worry about the differences in play-style between them later.

Vocation Types

There are three types of Vocations; Basic, Advanced, and Hybrid. Basic Vocations (Fighter, Strider, and Mage) are the only three initially available, whereas Advanced and Hybrid Vocations become available later, after you’ve hit level 10, reached Gran Soren, and you have the Discipline to spend on changing Vocation. Advanced Vocations are… well, like the Basic ones, but typically stronger. The three Advanced Vocations are Warrior, Ranger, and Sorcerer. Finally, the Hybrid Vocations combine the perks of two Basic Vocations-the Fighter/Strider Vocation is the Assassin, the Fighter/Mage Vocation is the Mystic Knight, and the Strider/Mage Vocation is the Magick Archer. Only the Arisen can assume a Hybrid Vocation, Pawns only have access to Basic and Advanced Vocations.

Level 2 - 10

When you start the game you can only choose one of three 'Basic Vocations': Fighter, Strider, and Mage. Not only is this an arbitrarily limited selection (which will not persist very long), but the growth rates of each of these classes is quite different in the early levels than they will be later on… simply put, the first ten levels are just getting you into the game. You just got to get them over with as best you can before you can really start making any strategic leveling plans. Your starting stats, and the first few growth levels of each of the three Basic Vocations are listed below:

Starting Stats HP ST STR MGK DEF MDF
Fighter 450 540 80 60 80 60
Strider 430 540 70 70 70 70
Mage 410 540 60 80 60 80
Basic Vocations (Levels 2 - 10) HP ST STR MGK DEF MDF
Fighter 30 20 4 2 3 2
Strider 25 25 3 3 3 2
Mage 22 20 2 4 3 3

The early growth for each class is more general than it will be later on, but for the first few levels, there are no extraordinary gulfs in power… at least, not compared to how specialized your growth will become later on.

Levels 11 - 100

Once you hit level 10 you can change vocations (provided you have the Discipline and have reached Gran Soren). Also, growth becomes more dynamic. Now is the time when you really must choose how you want to play the rest of the game… two-thirds or so of your growth will occur during this stretch of time. The growth rates for all classes from levels 11 to 100 are as follows:

Basic Vocations (Levels 11 - 100*) HP ST STR MGK DEF MDF
Fighter 37 15 4 2 4 1
Strider 25 25 3 3 3 2
Mage 21 10 2 4 1 4
**Level 200 is the maximum level.*
Advanced Vocations
(Levels 11 - 100*) HP ST STR MGK DEF MDF
Warrior 40 10 5 2 3 1
Ranger 21 30 4 3 2 2
Sorcerer 16 15 2 5 1 5
**Level 200 is the maximum level.*
Hybrid Vocations
(Levels 11 - 100*) HP ST STR MGK DEF MDF
Mystic Knight 30 20 2 3 3 3
Assassin 22 27 6 2 2 1
Archer 21 20 2 3 3 4
**Level 200 is the maximum level.*

Level 101 - 200

After you’ve hit level 100, your growth rate slows down considerably. By this time, you’ve certainly maxed whatever Vocation(s) you’ve found the most interesting, and have probably beaten the game. Only the most power-gamey folks out there (my brothers and sisters in gaming) will bother with these levels:

Basic Vocations (Levels 11 - 100*) HP ST STR MGK DEF MDF
Fighter 15 5 1 0 3 0
Strider 5 15 1 1 1 1
Mage 10 10 0 2 0 2
**Level 200 is the maximum level.*
Advanced Vocations
(Levels 11 - 100*) HP ST STR MGK DEF MDF
Warrior 15 5 2 0 2 0
Ranger 5 15 2 0 1 1
Sorcerer 10 10 0 4 0 1
**Level 200 is the maximum level.*
Hybrid Vocations
(Levels 11 - 100*) HP ST STR MGK DEF MDF
Mystic Knight 15 5 1 1 1 1
Assassin 5 15 3 0 1 0
Archer 10 10 0 1 0 3
**Level 200 is the maximum level.*

Leveling Versus Play Style

Now, attributes and what they do have been discussed earlier so you should be able to scan over the attributes here and - if you trust this guide’s critique of them - see something obvious. The Assassin and Sorcerer have the best Strength and Magick scores, respectively, and since they’re the most important attributes (one or the other), they’re what you should shoot for. While leveling, you should be playing an Assassin or a Sorcerer. Period… which pretty much means for the entire game, until level 200, when leveling obviously isn’t an issue anymore.

You only need to be the vocation you want to level as the moment you get enough experience to level up. The rest of the time, your play style should determine what vocation you are (and what you’ll ultimately end up playing as once you hit level 200.) To be safe, you might just want to stick to your leveling class for… most of the levels between 10 and 100. Still, since it matters how the classes play, lets take a look at each vocation in depth.

Three things (besides attributes, which have discussed enough to cause even the most interested and patient gamers to have a nose bleed by now) that matter the most when looking at the vocations are their skills (both the skills they can learn, and the skills they can use), their weapon selection (usually tied to what skills they can use, has a huge affect on gameplay) and what they can wear… so when discussing the vocations, that’s what you should worry about. Oh, and the attributes will be reiterated, too. They’re important, dammit!

Fighter

**Basic Vocation

Primary Weapon:** Sword

Secondary Weapon: S hield

Attributes

Many gamers will probably walk out of Cassardis with a Rusty Sword in hand, as the Fighter is just an obvious choice for getting used to the game. An innocent gamer may be tricked into thinking that the Fighter would have the best combat stats in the game, but it’s not so. The Fighter does have the 2nd best Hit Points in the game (and by a fairly wide margin), and the best Defense… but their Strength is tied for 3rd (and since there are only nine classes…) They have one of the worst Stamina progressions in the game, and their Magick Defense is abyssmal. All in all, they’re the best physical tank build in the game, but if you’ve been reading along, trying to be a tank in this game is rarely the best strategy.

Gameplay

The Fighter is your basic tank, block with the shield, do damage with the sword. Typical fantasy fare. Although the stats gained by this vocation per level aren’t great, once appropriately leveled as another vocation, the Fighter is a fairly decent class to play as. One should note that more Stamina will allow you to block more attacks, and also, some attacks (and all spells) cannot be blocked. The Fighter doesn’t really have much in the way of mobility to counter this short-coming, nor will one have much Magick Defense if they’re built anywhere near proper.

Still, they’re a tough nut to crack when it comes to physical defense, and the sword is a proper agent of destruction in the hands of a Fighter, who arguably gets the best physical damage sword attacks in the game.Heavenward Slash somewhat mitigates their lack of ranged attack, and Burst Strike is great for quick offensives. They do not, however, have anything in the way of mobility-enhancement, no Double Vault and no Levitation, so navigation will be more difficult as a Fighter. They’ve got three Augments worth looking at: Sinew allows you to carry more crap, which can be useful if you’re an avowed pack-rat, while Vehemence increases your Strength… although not as much as Clout. Still, for a Strength build, it’s a useful skill. The real catch, however, is Exhilaration, which massively increases your Strength and Magick when your life is low (the Hit Point bar is red.) Stacked with Autonomy and Bloodlust (Assassin skills) this turns any character into a phenom.

All in all, it’s a mediocre class to play as, and a poor leveling choice, although having a Pawn to soak up damage might not be a bad idea.

Strider

Basic Vocation

Primary Weapon: Daggers

Secondary Weapon: Bow

Attributes

The most balanced class in the game, the Strider excels at… well, Stamina growth is 3rd, overall, and equal to their Hit Points. Really, though, a host of mediocre stats does not a great build make. To make the point crystal clear, though, this class isn’t even good for balanced builds; a pure (level 200) Strider build will score 467 Strength and 467 Magick over 200 levels (934 offense overall). An Assassin/Sorcerer hybrid (Strider until level 10, Assassin 11-100, and Sorcerer 101-200) on the other hand would end up with 637 Strength and 597 Magick (1234 offense). That’s a difference of 300 points. Enough said.

Gameplay

Bows are just wonderful in Dragon’s Dogma. Really, they are. It’s hard to imagine going through this game without some kind of directed, aimed attack. Fortunately, four classes have them, although the Strider is possibly the weakest when it comes to their bow skills. They get Fivefold Flurry and Pentad Shot, sure, but no long-range sniping skill, which both Assassin and Ranger have. Their Dagger skills are likewise basic-passable, but nothing special. Speaking of which, Daggers are fast weapons that are as handy in a fight as a sword, but they lack a definitive 'rush' attack like Burst Strike… or rather, they lack a good one. Cutting Wind, besides sounding hilarious, just doesn’t… cut it. Probably because it, unlike Burst Strike, doesn’t offer much in the way of stagger or knockdown, which is an issue that plagues daggers regardless of skills used.

For defense, all they really have is the 'Forward Roll' ability, which has to be learned. In the vanilla game, this is only rarely useful, as it’s rather slow, but in Dark Arisen, the roll has been sped up significantly, making it a necessary way to avoid damage. Another defensive - and a great mobility/navigation skill - is Double Vault, an absolutely skill for the Strider. This skill makes some high/far ledges accessible, and makes already accessible jumps that much easier. One also shouldn’t underestimate the humble daggers skill Reset/Instant Reset, which essentially returns you to a neutral stand position, which is a great way to prevent follow up attacks if you get staggered or knocked down.

Perhaps the best advantage to being a Strider is a hidden one; they are the fastest climbers in the game by quite a margin, which arguably makes them the best Vocation in the game for grappling and taking down large foes… if you ignore an Assassin’s Invisibility skill, and ignore the fact that the Ranger and Magic Archer both have superior bow skills, and hence don’t benefit as much from grappling. As for their augments, they’re forgettable. Many of them deal with retaining composure and climbing/moving faster/more economically.

Another poor leveler, and a good play class, the Strider is just ultimately out-shadowed by the superior Hybrid and Advanced Vocations that do most of what they do, but better. If you’re considering a Strider, look to the Assassin, Magic Archer, or Ranger, instead.

Mage

**Basic Vocation

Primary Weapon:** Staff

Secondary Weapon: None

Attributes

Well… ah… the Mage… Anything the Mage does, the Sorcerer does better, when it comes to attributes. Except for Hit Points, Strength, and Defense, but who cares about those-you’re a Mage! They’ve got the 2nd best Magick and Magick Defense in the game, but are tied for last when it comes to Stamina growth. Ultimately, if you want to do a Magick build you’re better off playing a Sorcerer, and no more needs to be said.

Gameplay

Mages in Dragon’s Dogma suffer quite a bit. Their spells have rather lengthy casting times, only moderate range, and despite skills that promise prevention, they’re pretty easy to disrupt while casting. Taking some along as Pawns is fine-recommendable, even, but playing one is not. Anything that moves fast and attempts to get in close to a Mage is bad news-Wolves, Direwolves, Goblins, Harpies, Snow Harpies… they’ll all plague you. Sitting back and casting spells is a luxury that you can rarely indulge in, and since you’re out-ranged by every bow-wielding bandit in the game… it’s a recipe for frustration. Sad, then, that the Magick build requires you to play as a Mage (briefly) then as a Sorcerer.

For dodging/defense, the Mage has none. No shield, no dodge, no Double Vault. Again, you’re a Mage. Your higher Magick Defense will allow you to weather more magic damage, however, which is… something. The staff is the source of your power; no staff, no spells. No spells… well, what kind of Mage has no spells? The Mage is less potent in offensive spells than the Sorcerer, and not all spells are shared between the two (although many are). The basics - Ingle, Levin, etc. - are sufficiently powerful for most foes, and Comestion is just a great offensive spell.

The Mage, however, is a more versatile caster, having access to both healing (Anodyne) and status-curing (Halidom) spells that the Sorcerer just doesn’t have. Simply put, you’ll want a Mage around to heal you and enchant your weapons, but you won’t want to play one. For their Augments, they have two decent abilities: Attunement, which increases Magick, and Apotropaism, which decreases magic damage. The Sorcerer has superior versions of both.

A poor leveler, and a poor play, the Mage should be left to Pawns… and even then, preferably to Pawns who’ve leveled as Sorcerers, first.

Warrior

**Advanced Vocation

Primary Weapon:** Heavy Weapons

Secondary Weapon: None

Attributes

The Warrior has the second-best Strength score in the game and the best Hit Point growth. On the other hand, they’ve got the worst Stamina progression, mediocre Defense and abyssmal Magick Defense growth. By now, you know that the latter two are largely unimportant. The fact that they have such good Strength growth, however, makes them appeal as build classes for Strength-based Pawns. Whether you want a Warrior, Fighter, or Ranger Pawn, leveling them as a Warrior (at until 100th level) will get you a stronger Pawn in the end.

Gameplay

The Warrior is a heavy-hitter with a damning weakness; a pathetically slow attack speed that seems to be becoming a hallmark of two-handed weapons in RPGs. The Warrior specializes in the use of 'Heavy Weapons', in this case, two-handed swords and war hammers. The class is clearly around absorbing great amounts of abuse (aided by Augments to retain composure) while charging devastating weapon attacks… so, essentially they place like a Mage/Sorcerer, using physical damage to obliterate foes with charged attacks during which they’re largely immobile… except spell-casters at least have some range.

Like the Mage, the Warrior too has no real defense. They cannot dodge, Double Vault, or block, so really, they’re just relying on their Hit Points and Defense. They’ve got a variety of attacks, but few sweeping area-of-effect attacks like you’d expect, and many attacks have surprisingly limited range, making it a class that takes some finesse to use correctly. Their most reliable attack is their jumping heavy attack, but Exodus Slash and Arc of Deliverance are both handy, too… if you can hit anything.

For all that trouble, their best weapons have about a 20% damage advantage over the strongest one-handed weapons, which really makes one wonder… why bother? When an Assassin and Ranger can dodge better and deal more damage at a range (or even up close, considering they strike faster), and a Fighter or Mystic Knight both have shields, better weapons skills, and only a small decrease in damage… why actually play as a Warrior? What’s really annoying is that, although they only have one weapon, they cannot assign skills to both bumpers like the Mage and Sorcerer can. Having only three active skills at a time sucks, and it’s a disadvantage no other vocation has. They do, at least, have a handful of Augments that are worthwhile. Clout massively increases Strength, and makes maxing this Vocation a must for any Strength build, while Bastion is great for early-game defense.

While this Vocation is the best choice for leveling up physical-damage based Pawns, it’s poor to play with, due to its speed, although it does have some excellent augments that any physical build will want to harvest.

Ranger

**Advanced Vocation

Primary Weapon:** Daggers

Secondary Weapon: Longbow

Attributes

The Ranger’s watchword, like the Strider’s, is balance. They have slower Hit Point and Defense growth, but more than balance it out with the best Stamina growth in the game, and a superior Strength. All in all… a somewhat better choice for a build, but still not great. After level 100 their stats are somewhat more noticeable, as their Strength growth-although not as good as an Assassin’s-is still decent, which makes them a worth-while consideration for Pawn leveling.

Gameplay

As far as mobility and daggers go-they differ little from their Strider roots. They climb slower, and have lackluster dagger skills, but they get Double Vault and dodge for defense/mobility. The issue, then, is the Longbow. Simply put, it’s the best ranged weapon in the game-out damaging the normal bow and coming with a host of superior skills. Tenfold Flurry instead of Fivefold Flurry, for example, and a long-ranged sniping skill in Comet Shot.

The best part of the Longbow, however, is that it’s basically the ranged equivalent of a Longsword. It comes with tremendous stagger and knockdown power, and some foes are just incapable of responding to it. The Longbow does have some downsides, though-drawing and firing speeds are both slower than with normal bows, and you move much slower with an arrow nocked. If you can handle that, the Ranger is a great class to play as, indeed. Their Augments, however, are somewhat lack-luster, mostly dealing with mobility and improving their archery… but not in terribly useful ways.

A mediocre build, but a great playing class, the Ranger is one of the best Pawn Vocations… but an Assassin-leveled Arisen-Ranger is more fearsome, still.

Sorcerer

**Advanced Vocation

Primary Weapon:** Archistaff

Secondary Weapon: None

Attributes

Since the only two attributes worth a damn are Strength and Magick, and since this class has the best Magick growth in the game… yeah, the Sorcerer is one of the few Vocations worth actually leveling as. Their Hit Points are the lowest in the game, and their Stamina isn’t much better… but healing items are plentiful, and their Magick Defense mitigates damage somewhat. If you plan to play as a Mystic Knight or Magick Archer, the Sorcerer is a good-if awfully tedious- build, and in the case of the former, heavy armor and a shield will go a long way towards addressing their vulnerability to physical damage.

Gameplay

Just like a Mage, with all the same problems. The Sorcerer, in fact, exacerbates them by having more awesome-and time consuming-spells… And calling down meteors, causing earthquakes and tornadoes, or perhaps just a friendly ice spike are all awesome, indeed. Perhaps the best two new Sorcerer spells are Miasma, a high-damage, persistent cloud of poison, and Gicel, which summons an ice spike from the ground.

Good luck trying to get these spells off, however. That’s what you need; luck, or a ledge to climb on-to manage as a Sorcerer. Pawns ultimately fare better, as foes seem to care about them less. You should also consider the 'High Voidspell' ability, as it’s the only means of curing petrification save Secret Softener, Cockatrice Liquor or outright immunity.

Aside from their spells, however, the Sorcerer has Augments that any spell-caster simply cannot do without. Awareness, at the get-go, lowers magic damage received, Gravitas makes it more difficult for you to get interrupted while casting spells, Articulacy allows you to cast spells faster-a godsend for any spell- casting class-Acuity great augments your Magick, making it a necessity for any Magick build and last and probably least, Suasion increases the money you make when you sell stuff-very handy when mass-selling Sour Beast Steaks, Wakestones, Putrid Dragon Scales, and other easy-to-farm items.

The best Magick-growth in the game ensures this Vocation the top spot for Magick builds, however, it’s horrible to actually play as. Life is tough for dedicated Magick builds out there, but it’s easy enough to level a Pawn like this.

Mystic Knight

**Hybrid Vocation

Primary Weapon:** Sword & Mace, Staff

Secondary Weapon: Magick Shield

Attributes

When you think Mystic Knight, you might get dreams in your head of some badass mage-warrior… but from their stats, you’d be disappointed. The Mystic Knight has decent Hit Point and Stamina growth, but they waste their attribute gains on defense. In fact, they’re tied with the Magick Archer for the worst combined Strength/Magick progression in the game, and with a hybrid physical/magic character like the Mystic Knight… that’s not really what you’re looking for.

There are three options for leveling the Mystic Knight; a Strength build, which is a rather foolish approach considering how many of their skills are Magick-based (really, if you wanted to go Strength, why not play a Fighter?) On the other hand, the Magick and hybrid builds have more merit. The class uses both Strength and Magick for many of its skills, although some favor one more than the other (or entirely). But since you can find enchanted weapons, or enchant your own, and since their bread-and-butter skills seem to favor Magick, you should consider Magick somewhat superior to Strength.

A straight Magick build is simple, if tedious; play a Sorcerer when you level to boost your Magick score. The hybrid build usually involves some combination of Assassin and Sorcerer (although the Ranger’s seven points of Strength/Magick per level is equal to the Sorcerer’s.) Ultimately, however, your offensive prowess will come at the cost of Hit Points, Defense, and Magick Defense, which are acceptable losses, honestly.

Gameplay

On paper, it seems like the Mystic Knight would place like the Fighter, with some spells. True, they can block, wear heavy armor, and wield swords, and true, they get Burst Strike and many other sword skills… but for really taking down big game (or lots of little game), Magick Cannon/Great Cannon steals the show. Create two of these, then smack them to release 'spellshot' at foes. You can’t aim it too well, but an offensive-minded Mystic Knight can pulverize groups of foes with this attack… especially if they enchant their weapon with an element beforehand, which passes said element onto the cannon.

Other than the cannon and Fighteresque skills, the Mystic Knight thrives on counter-attacks, which can be tedious, even if they’re effective. They can also forego the traditional sword/mace and use a Staff, instead, where they can use the standard elemental attacks (including Comestion), but this just seems like a horrible waste. Their Magick Shield enchantments are stronger than the traditional staff ones, and none of their other skills really compare to cannon.

As for their Augments… lots of counter-and-blocking ones, a few Pawn-boosters, and Fortitude, which really should belong to the Fighter, as it decreases physical damage received. All in all, however, this class is kind of clunky, and really only shines when they’re using Magic Cannon. This requires them to cast up one or two of them, potentially cast an enchantment, and to keep things off of them while doing it, perhaps placing a Ruinous Sigil… it’s a lot of casting, setting the field, and… well, compared to the Ranger, Assassin, or Magick Archer, it’s really just a much clunkier, delayed way to do what any of them can do by holding down the bumper and spamming archery skills.

Overall, a poor leveler, but potentially a good class to play, but you really need to plan out your Mystic Knight, though, if you want them to be any good… which unfortunately involves playing most of the game as another class. Such is life… It involves a slower, more deliberate approach to combat than most other classes, but unlike straight spell-casters, it’s much less vulnerable while setting up its attacks.

Assassin

**Hybrid Vocation

Primary Weapon:** Sword, Daggers

Secondary Weapon: Shield, Bow

Attributes

The Assassin is the king of physical offense, getting a massive six points of Strength per level. Their eight combined Strength/Magick also gives them the best overall offensive progression. On the other hand, their Hit Points are only mediocre, and their defenses are the worst in the game. Still, it’s all about the offense, and nobody does it better.

Gameplay

The Assassin’s cup runneth over, it seems. Daggers are versatile already, despite their low stagger power. They get the standard Hundred Kisses (good for grappling and smacking around stunned or prone foes), Instant Reset, and on top of it, two new abilities no other class has. Gale Harness, a charged skill that hastens your attack and movement speed, and Invisibility.

Invisibility was a game-breaker in vanilla Dragon’s Dogma, and was rightfully nerfed for Dark Arisen. Even now that it costs six times as much Stamina and has a duration, it’s still a useful skill. It sucks up Stamina, so it should only be used to dodge those attacks that you just can’t afford to take. Some attacks can still hit you, especially grapples, and enemies can still target you… but you’ll laugh as their attacks pass harmlessly through you. You really can’t hit what you can’t see, in Dragon’s Dogma. Well, the computer can’t, anyways. You can do so just fine.

On top of this, the Assassin has both swords and shields, but compared to their dagger and bow skills, they’re nothing special. Speaking of bows-they get the traditional Fivefold Flurry, as well as Lyncean Sight, a handy sniper ability… and then there’s the Augments.

Seriously, somebody at Capcom favored the Assassin, as they have two abilities that are absolutely mandatory for all builds: Bloodlust and Autonomy. Bloodlust boosts your Strength and Magick… but only at night. Fair enough, fight big foes at night for big rewards. Autonomy does the same, but only when you travel alone. Again, fair enough. Chuck your Pawns to the Brine, load up with Clout/Acuity, Bloodlust, and Autonomy, and you’ll see your Strength/Magick jump into the thousands. Like Invisibility, these skills have been weakened considerably in Dark Arisen, but they’re still useful… just moreso in late-game play, after you’ve obtained some of the better gear Bitterblack Isle has to offer. Take a high-Strength Assassin with powerful weapons, use Invisibility with Clout, Bloodlust, and Autonomy active, and you’re a nearly invincible agent of absolute destruction.

The best class to level Strength as, it also has the best defensive ability (Invisibility), a good buff (Gale Harness) and Augments that everybody wants. The Assassin is just win.

Magick Archer

**Hybrid Vocation

Primary Weapon:** Daggers, Staff

Secondary Weapon: Magick Bow

Attributes

Like the Mystic Knight, the Magick Archer sucks at offense, but excels at defense-boasting the best defensive growth in the game (seven points per level). Their Hit Point growth is poor, and their Stamina growth is only mediocre. Another Vocation that is better played than leveled. It shares in common with the Mystic Knight the need for both Strength and Magick, although to be fair, in this case many of the Magick Archer’s attacks are purely Magick in nature (including all attacks with their Magick Bow.) A hybrid build will only improve their daggers, which should make you much more partial to a pure Magick build… of course, since both builds support both Vocations, you can switch between Magick Archer and Mystic Knight as you see fit… much like how a Strength build makes for a great Fighter, Ranger, or Assassin play.

Gameplay

The Magick Archer makes the fourth dagger-using Vocation in the game, and they get the typical skills-Hundred Kisses, Cutting Wind, Instant Reset… all good, but their unique dagger skills… well, they’ve actually got some interesting ones, but none so powerful that they exclude mentioning of others, like the Mystic Knight’s Magic Cannon. Sunflare is also a welcome addition to the arsenal, being an area-of-effect attack dealing moderate damage, while Grand Scension does pretty lethal damage, potentially at a range, to all foes in a line… if you can get it charged quick enough, anyways. Immolation can also be surprisingly powerful, and since you can turn it on and off as needed, your 'tactical ambushes' as a Magick Archer really can be as simple as charging Immolation, running up to a foe, and jumping on its face. The damage isn’t too severe, either… but it is rather unnecessary when the Magick Archer has other fine attacks that don’t require damage or proximity. As for their staff skills…they’re not anything special, really. The standard elements, Comestion, and Brontide all make up a typical-and unexceptional-set of spells.

With that out of the way, then, let’s focus on their Magick Bow, which is easily their most interesting weapon. It’s like a bow… but magic! Okay, maybe not that interesting… it shoots out bolts of pure magical energy instead of the infinite supply of shafts the Strider, Ranger, and Assassin have. The Magick Bow is, however, not a normal bow that just deals magick damage… no that would have been simple. When you aim the Magick Bow, you’ll have a large reticle-instead of free-shooting, foes inside that reticle will be targeted by another, smaller circle. When fired at a targeted foe, your attacks will be unerring… more or less. You can free-aim with a Magick Archer, but the range of their arrows isn’t as great as the traditional archer’s bows… targeted or not. Many of their bow skills are charged-up attacks that will only hit foes if they are specifically targeted, which may not be to everyone’s tastes.

So, now that the downsides-slower skill use rate, and limited range-have been covered, let’s talk about these skills. Sixfold Shot should need little introduction, but keep in mind that although the number is higher, the fire rate is much lower… also, the jackass missiles often like to screw around a while before actually hitting their target, which is annoying. Then there’s Hunter Bolt, which allows you to target numerous foes (or many parts of one foe) and unleash a hail of arrows. Each bolt is relatively weak, and whether each one hits the targeted part is a matter of luck, really. Still, a good Hunter Bolt can do enormous damage to one large foe, or… well, paltry damage to many weaklings. Finally, Ricochet Shot can - in ideal circumstances - do absolutely wretched damage to foes, although there are plenty of areas open enough to negate this skill’s usefulness entirely, it does shine often enough to keep it ready.

Ultimately with the Magick Archer, you trade off the freedom to perform longer-ranged free-aimed shots for (usually) reliable mid-ranged shots. Their shots are more ponderous than a Strider/Assassin, but not so slow as a Ranger’s… but their skills, being Magick in nature, tend to have a charge-up period, so their offense at its most intense is quite a bit slower, more deliberate. Also note the with the Magick Archer, you’re a slave to your targeting reticle; if it doesn’t decide to lock-on to a foe, your shot will be largely ineffective.

A poor class for leveling, the Magick Archer is one of the best ways to utilize the Magick build, having powerful, Magick-based Magick Bow attacks as well as versatile Dagger skills. It should be noted that, in Dark Arisen, this class really excels for a variety of reasons. First, Magick Bows were relatively weak in vanilla Dragon’s Dogma. This has been fixed for Dark Arisen-the Lv.2 and Lv.3 Bitterblack Magick Bows are, if anything, over-powered. Also, Bitterblack Isle is filled with enclosed spaces and enemies that are weak to ice and lightning (the native elements of the Sixfold Shot and Ricochet Shot, respectively). The latter skill absolutely devastates in the narrow corridors of Bitterblack Isle. If you want to play a class that, while relatively weak at the beginning (due to leveling as a Sorcerer and having weak main-game weapons) becomes a phenom, Magick Archer might be for you.