This guide explains a combination of battle skills that enables you to stay invincible (almost) permanently during fights, thus enabling you to fight tough enemies even if your level's low and/or your gear has room for improvement.
Be careful, though: This'll take away a good part of the challenges the game has to offer. You don't have to care much about enemy attack patterns, your level or your skills once you have it down, so it might get a bit boring. Continue reading at your own discretion.
It's no surprise that this technique requires the two skills that literally grant you an invincibility buff. Their duration is rather short, and the skill lock period much longer. So there isn't really a way to keep those active all the time. Or is there...?
To pull it off you need three specific battle skills (and the required skill points to learn them of course), as well as a reliable partner. I'll lay down some details here:
- Battle Skill Protective Armor
The first skill that prevents any damage for 30 seconds (except for Bleed or Poison debuffs you already have, or some other, more rare damage sources). You can learn it once you have enough 1H Club Mastery Points to unlock Lv4 skills. It can be found in the "Warding" skill category:
It protects all party members close enough to you when activating it, too.
- Battle Skill Hyper Armor
The second skill lasts 30 seconds as well. This one uses up a bit less SP but has a longer skill lock. It's available once you can learn Lv2 skills with 2H Axes, so it's easier to unlock. Getting to Lv2 should only take a couple minutes. It can be found in the "Bodybuilding" skill category:
It only affects you.
- Battle Skill Effect Booster
This Battle Skill grants you a buff that doubles the duration of other battle skills you activate while that buff is active. This is plenty useful for various skills. However, unlike the other two skills this one's not available right off the bat: It has to be unlocked through Implements first. It's not too hard fortunately, you only need to complete the first two implements in the last category:
- Research - Buff Specifications - Buff your own attack speed 25 times (you have at least one skill that can do that at the start of the game).
- Effect Assessment - Effect Booster - Activate Hate-modifying effects 75 times (just scroll through the skills you've learned or can learn and pick whatever contains the word "Hate" for this).
Once unlocked, you'll find the skill in the "Tactics" skill category. Since it requires nothing but Lv1 Spear skills it'll be available right away at this point.
- Your favorite AI Heroine
While there are differences in their efficiency, any partner will work. So pick your favorite. She (or he) has to fulfill two tasks:
- Staying alive: Training an AI is easier than getting EXP for yourself since you can transfer your share of EXP to her with the Crime Servant skill. A higher level comes with more HP. Checking their armor and giving them something more defensive can help as well.
- Be active in combat: Your partner's supposed to performs actions fitting the battle tactics you've asked them to use beforehand. Praising them after they've done such a move will increase their AI radar chart values and thus increase the probability of them doing... stuff. (It'll also unlock special armor for them.)
So what do you actually need to do once you've learned the relevant skills? For the most part it's pretty straightforward, you likely guessed it by now:
- Activate Effect Booster. That's when the clock starts to tick. It has an awfully long skill lock period of 8 minutes. Our goal will be to reduce that to 2 minutes or less.
- Activate a limited number of other useful battle skills. Don't overdo it here. There's a maximum of battle skills you can keep active at any given moment. Activate too much and you'll end the Effect Booster buff prematurely. You don't want that.
- Activate Protective Armor. This'll make you invulnerable for 60 seconds, thanks to the previous skill. You may hack/stab/slash away at your enemy now.
- Whenever you partner does her thing, praise her! This is crucial, since a successful praise will restore your SP and reduce skill lock times by 10% of their initial value. A single praise will chip away 48 seconds of our Effect Booster skill lock. Aim for 4 successful praises during these initial 60 seconds. You have to be in battle for your partner to actually do something praise-worthy, but that's the whole point here.
- Once the expiration of your Invincibility buff is imminent, make sure you move out of harm's way. You might want to activate Hyper Armor just a bit before Protective Armor expires, but there's a glitch in the game: Activating an invincibility buff while another is still active can render both of them ineffective, thus you might receive damage even with the buff active. Try to avoid that.
- Now you can Activate Hyper Armor. Another 60 seconds of safely fighting the enemy. Safe for you anyway: You'll aim for 4 praises again, but this time your partner will be vulnerable.
- Rinse and repeat. If you've managed to perform eight successful praises both your Effect Booster and Protective Armor skill will be ready again: 8 praises × 48 sec. + 120 sec. actual time passed being invulnerable = 504 sec., more than the 480 sec. required.
Add Sugar to Taste
There are some more details to it that might be worth mentioning:
- The Effect Booster skill comes with a disadvantage: It'll drain you SP. Depending on your other skills that might lead to not having the required 300 SP for protective armor. The skill "Soulful Stand" can help here, since it increases your max. SP by 150. In conjunction with the skill mentioned in the next point you'll be fine.
- As mentioned, there's room to use a couple of additional Battle Skills after activating Effect Booster. A very good choice here is the skill Perfect Style:
- The skill replenishes 300 SP, so you'll likely be able to activate Protective Armor after it.
- Your accuracy highly depends on the level difference between you and the enemy. As Invincibility will make it possible to easily face much stronger opponents you'll run into the problem of barely being able to actually hit them. Perfect Style conveniently solves this problem by granting you the "True Strike" buff, which will grant you 100% accuracy no matter what. As a beneficial side effect, combining Effect Booster with constant praises will enable you to run this buff permanently as well.
- Try to get used to the number of additional battle skills you can activate without removing the oldest buffs. Keep in mind that party buffs will count as well. You might notice the difference in multiplayer, especially in solo mode with a partner and three AI party members.
- You can be flexible when deciding whether to activate Protective Armor of Hyper Armor first. In most cases the suggested order will be more beneficial since you can get a good part of the praises out of the way before your partner dies during the 2nd minute when only you are protected. During Aincrad boss fights however it might be better to start with Hyper Armor in order to have the party buff ready for later stages of the fights when the boss starts to use more dangerous attacks.
Conclusion: You're now invulnerable, congrats!
Your partner isn't, though. At least half of the time. That kinda is the downside here, but there's also something positive about it: It makes AI partners actually important and working together with them a vital part of your battle tactics. It makes you care about their level, gear and overall setup, which might help making the simulated MMO experience more immersive.