This guide aims to help players with building their party in Vambrace: Cold Soul and to hopefully give a good advice. Please note that it was built with normal difficulty in mind.
There are total 10 classes in Vambrace: Cold Soul. Additionally, the main protagonist is a unique character that you always have in your party. She has her own skills and therefore she is counted as a separate class in this guide.
All Classes have different stat values, giving them separate roles both in and out of combat. These stats are:
- Health - this determines how much damage character can take before they succumb to their wounds and perish. Obvious;y, you want high Health characters taking hits, if possible.
- Vigor - this determines how far your character can go before collapsing due to exhaustion. This serves as your time limit. Resting regularly and maintaining high Vigor is crucial for long expeditions. Note that some enemies attack Vigor instead of Health.
- Power - this resource is generated by using basic skills and is spent on other skills. Different abilities have different Power costs, but all characters can have maximum of 5 Power. Spend it wisely, but DO spend it.
- Combat - this stat determines how much damage character does with their Combat damage abilities. Do note that some abilities do set or True damage.
- Sleight - this determines how good the class is at looting and opening chests. High values increase chance of critical success, yielding better loot.
- Awareness - this determines how well this class can detect and disarm traps. In addition, high values make your characters go sooner during a round of combat.
- Merchanting - this makes the deals in stores more beneficial to you and increases the chance of traders opening better stock for you.
- Overwatch - this determines how much Health and Vigor your character restores to the party during camping. High values increase the chance of critical success.
As a rule of the thumb, you want specialists, not generalists. In addition, some stats lose their value over the course of the game.
The positioning of enemies and your characters determine the range they're at. Two positions closer to center are front two, while the ones closer to sides are rear two In addition, all skills target enemies have a range requirement.
There are total three ranges:
- Short Range means that a skill can be used from and affects only front two positions. Do note that "front two" means two closest to center positions that are occupied. In other words, a class with short range ability will be able to use it on enemies in rear two positions if front two are empty.
- Mid-range means that a skill can be used from anywhere, but only affects front two positions.
- Long-range means that a skill can be used from anywhere and can target anyone.
Each Class has total 4 skills that they can use per turn, but they can only use one at a time. The first skill each Class has is their Primary. In general, these are their basic attacks and simply do damage. The range of these abilities determines general range of the Class. You always want to make sure that your Class can use their Primary.
The second skill each Class has is their first Power spender. Notable thing about these skills is that they are not all unique and some are shared between Classes.
These shared skills are:
- Provoke - Costs 1 Power. Deals 1 True damage to 3 long-ranged targets and forces them to attack the caster, if they are able. This skill is available to Berserkers and Celestines.
- Battle Roar - Costs 3 Power. Deals 1 True damage to 1 Long-ranged target and debuffs them for -4 Combat. This skill is available to Dragoons and Scraooers,
- Serrated Hook - Costs 2 Power. Deals Combat damage to 1 Long-ranged target and applies a bleeding effects that deals 2 damage per turn. Doesn't stack. This skill is available to Arcasters and Scrappers.
- Cover Fire - Costs 2 Power. Protects target ally for 1 turn, reducing all damage taken by 5. This skill is available to Arcasters and Fusiliers.
- Distracting Blow - Costs 3 Power. Deals 2 True damage to target mid-range target and stuns it for one turn. This skill is available to Blood Mages and Shadowmancers.
- Rally - Costs 3 Power. Buffs target allies Combat by 2. This skill is available to Berserkers and Fusiliers.
- Flying Daggers - Costs 3 Power. Deals 3 True damage to 1 long-ranged target. This skill is available to Fencers and Shadowmancers.
- Pray - Costs 3 Power. Heals the caster for 4 Health and buffs them for +1 Combat for 2 Turns. This skill is available to Dragoons and Fencers.
The third skill every class possesses is called Flourish and this is their unique ultimate ability. In general, these abilities are more powerful variants of other abilities and have better effects. In addition, these skills can be enhanced with unique class-exclusive Relics.
Finally, all classes have Guard. Skip turn for damage resistance.
In your journeys, you will be able to find, make, buy and earn Relics - powerful items that provide stat bonuses. In general, low-quality ones also come with some form of negative to them. In addition, there are class-exclusive Relics that boost their respective class' Flourish. When deciding whom gets what, you want to focus on their strengths. Specialists are better than generalists. Remember, however, that some classes' true role is not obvious at a first glance.
Onward to specific Classes!
Arcaster is a long-range damage dealer with great support potential. With Overwatch stat 4, she is invaluable for camping. Remember - camping is the best way to heal. In addition, she has Merchanting stat 4 which can get you some rare items from traders. Unfortunately, Combat and Awareness 2 severely hamper her as a damage dealer.
Her first skill is Bullseye, A long-range Combat damage attack. Not much to say here The second skill is a choice between defensive Cover Fire and offensive Serrated hook. Both are great, so pick the one you prefer. Her Flourish is Spread Shot - Costs 3 Power. Arcaster deals 2 True damage to all enemies. A solid AOE skill for softening up or finishing off multiple opponents.
When it comes to Relics, giving Arcaster +Overwatch is a very solid, rewarding choice. Merchanting Relic is also an option, but overall is not that great unless you are looking for a specific rare Relic. Her personal Relics are questionable due to relatively low innate damage of her Flourish. In general, you're better of bringing someone else for damage rather than trying to make Arcaster stronger or faster.
Overall, Arcaster is a solid choice for your party in an early game while Lyric is very weak and you need as many high stats on your characters as possible. Later on, her low Combat will become a noticeable problem and therefore it may be prudent to have Serrated Hook in her kit. If you choose to level Lyric's Overwatch, then Arcaster becomes completely obsolete.
In conclusion, Arcaster is a good merchant, an excellent overwatch and a weak damage dealer. Play up to her strengths and you will get value out of her.
Berserker is primarily a short-range damage dealer. Combat stat 4 is the main reason why you want him on your team. His weaknesses include low Vigor (15), lack of support stats and he is one of the slowest characters in the game.
His first skill is Carve - a short range Combat damage attack. Given his innate high Combat stat, this ability is very impressive. Add some buffs and a good Combat Relic and watch heads roll. His second skill is a choice between utility Rally and tanking Provoke. Rally is a good ability, but it will have only situational usage. Provoke is not really meant for a Berserker, but having it allows for some control over the course of battle. Just remember that he is not here to tank.
His Flourish is Rage - costs 3 Power. Berserker heals himself for 10 Health, receives +1 Combat per turn for 3 turns and loses 2 health per turn for 3 turns. A decent ability for desperate moments and for boss killing.
Combat Gloves (+2 Combat) make an excellent choice of a Relic for the Berserker. Other options include Awareness or Health\Vigor Relic.
"Good Offense is the best Defense". If you believe in this, the Berserker is for you. His high damage is always valuable and therefore you will never find him useless. Just don't forget that you're likely replacing a tank and therefore you may need Provoke. Another issue is his short range - in the late game dealing a lot of damage to 3rd and 4th positions becomes very valuable.
In conclusion, Berserker is a powerful close range fighter who can tank in a pinch. Don't expect him to do anything else and you'll be fine.
Blood Mage is primarily a long-range damage dealer with a very useful skill set. Combat skill 4 and a long range is what make her great at her job. Arguably, she is the best single target damage dealer in the game. In addition, she has highest base Vigor (20). On the downsides, she is very slow (Awareness 1), her Flourish damages allies and she offers nothing stat-wise to the team.
Blood Mage's first skill is Blood Missile - Long range Combat damage attack. Add a Combat Relic, buff or two and enjoy the carnage. The second skill should be a choice, but I've never seen her having a skill other than ever useful Distracting blow. Given how good this skill is, I won't complain. Her Flourish is a Soul Burst - Costs 2 Power. Blood Mage buffs two allies for +3 Combat, but these allies lose 3 Health. A very powerful buff that can do wonders if used correctly.
When it comes to Relics, you want to give her +Combat. Yes, she is slow but the damage is just more important, If you have a Blood Mage, then you should also have a tank to protect her. Another notable Relics are her exclusives. The blue one (Craftable) gives her 1 Awareness and makes her Flourish cost less Health. The red one (looted after defeating chapter 5 boss) adds 1 Combat and increases both risk (4 health cost) and reward (+4 Combat) of her Flourish. This has potential use in very specific setups.
You bring her to deal damage and to stun, mainly. Her kit is excellent for this. Don't expect anything else. If you have trouble with the Priestess boss, a team of 5+ Awareness and 5+ Overwatch Lyric, 2 (yes, two) Blood Mages and a Dragoon with SHRED her. Just use the blood mages well.
Celestine is a Tank with defensive kit and several decent stats. She sports third-highest base Health (23), 4 Merchanting and 3 Awareness. But she also has very low damage (Combat 2) and her skills are a little underwhelming.
Celestine's first skill is Holy Strike - Short range attack. Nothing special, if very weak The second skill is a choice between tanking Provoke and utility Binding Vines Unlike the Berserker, Celestine is a tank and therefore Provoke is VERY useful for her. Getting 3 targets to attack tough character in addition to dealing a little damage to them is great. Binding Vines is Celestine's unique skill. Costs 5 (!) Power. lulls target enemy asleep for 2 turns and provides them a shield that is impossible to pierce. Basically, Stasis from other video games. Useful for taking one enemy out of the fight. Her Flourish is Protective Light - Costs 3 Power. Provides 2 Allies with shields that absorb 3 damage. Useful, but extremely underwhelming.
In terms of Relics, you want to boost her Health and therefore you either go with health boosting non-exclusive Relics or you give her the exclusive ones to empower her Flourish. Notably - her Red Relic is a drop from late game boss.
So why do you bring her? For protecting your allies, of course! Celestine is the fastest tank and thus she will cast Provoke sooner. She also has high Merchanting, which is nice. The problem is that she is competing with another tanking class and he is arguably a better choice. And speaking of...
Dragoon is a tank with an excellent utility kit. (For some reason, I keep calling him Vanguard.) This guy has the highest base Health in the game (26), second-highest Vigor (19), decent Combat 3 and is reasonably fast at Awareness 2 (For a tank, that's good). In addition, his exclusive Relics are phenomenal. His only true weakness is that he doesn't bring anything stat-wise to the team.
His first skill is Strike - A simple short-range Combat damage attack. Nothing special. The second skill is either a debuff Battle Roar or utility Pray. Overall, Battle Roar is way more useful to him, IMO. His Flourish is Taunt - Costs 1 Power. Deals 1 True damage to 3 long-range targets, forces them to attack him if they're able and debuffs them for -1 Combat for 1 turn. An amazing skill.
Dragoon's Relics of choice should boost his Health. A non-exclusive vest is a very good choice. His exclusive blue relic (Craftable and is notably easy to find) not only gives him more Heatlh than usual (+13) but also make his taunt affect every target. His Red exclusive Relic is very rare, but if you get it it becomes his best item. In addition to +17 Health it empowers his Taunt to debuff enemies for -2 Combat, which is HUGE, at the cost of 2 power.
Are you looking for a tank? Dragoon is the man for the job. Take him and never let go - he's worth it.
Fencer is a short-range damage dealer with very good kit and excellent stats. She has 4 Sleight (Great at looting) and 3 Combat (A decent damage dealer). Plus, she has second-highest health (24). Her weaknesses include short range and the fact that she becomes obsolete over time.
Fencer's first skill is Slash - A short-range Combat damage attack. Nothing special. Her second skill is either utility Pray or offensive Flying Daggers. Flying Daggers is the way to go here. Her Flourish is Flashbang - Costs 4 Power. Deals 2 True damage to 1 Long-range target and stuns it. Yup, it's a long-range stun. An excellent ability that is suitably expensive.
In early game, you want to give her Sleight Relic to get the most out of looting. In the later game, when looting becomes less important, it might be better to either give her an exclusive Relic that boosts her Flourish or simply go for Combat. Just remember that there are better damage dealers and she is not the only stunner in the game.
Overall, Fencer is great in early and arguably mid-game due to importance of looting. In the late game she becomes largely obsolete in favor or raw damage. But still - she is very good and useful class whom you can take and get value.
Fusilier is a long-range damage dealer with decent kit and stats. With 4 Awareness, this guy is both fast and very good at detecting traps (Invaluable). He also sports reasonable 3 Combat. Unfortunately, he has low Health (18, low Vigor (15) and his kit looks a bit better that it actually is.
Fusilier's first skill is Deadeye - A long-ranged Combat damage attack. For some reason (at least fir me), this makes his 3 Combat stat extremely noticeable. It kind of feels more powerful than it actually is. His second skill can be utility Rally or defensive Cover Fire. In his case, both are really good. His Flourish is Mighty Blast - Costs 4 Power. Deals 6 True damage to 1 mid-rage target. This "Mid-range" is what stops this ability from being great. On the other hand, it allows him to deal damage comparable to Berserkers and Blood Mages with good Combat Relics, which isn't bad at all.
When it comes to Relics, you want to either focus on Awareness or to get him his exclusives, as they further buff the damage of his Flourish,
Overall, a decent class that has many uses and is worth your time. Just don't expect miracles.
Hedge Mage is a Support Class with specialized kit. She is the only healer you have. She also has 4 Overwatch and 3 Merchanting. That's where her benefits end. She has the LOWEST Health in the game (16), terrible offensive capability (that's not her job) and her healing is...bad.
Hedge Mage's first skill is Recovery - heals an ally for 2 health, Now granted - some healing is better than no healing, but it's just so small... Looks good, feels good, does little. She is another class whom I've seen with only one second skill - Magick Explosion. Magick Explosion - Costs 2 Power. Deals 2 True damage to all targets. Okay, not too bad... Except you need all power for her Flourish! Healing Light heals one ally for 3 Health and for 1 more per turn for 3 turns. 6 in total. This would be good if not for the fact that it costs 5 power. Yeah...
Which relics to give her. Well, Overwatch ones are really good. In fact, her exclusive ones give Overwatch as well as boost that Flourish. So there is that.
So why do you bring her? You don't. I hate to say this but Arcaster will do her job at the camp AND will actually kill something here and there.
Hedge Mage is not strictly bad, but she is really, REALLY underpowered. Sorry, lass.
Scrapper is a close-range damage dealer with consistent AOE damage. Her 4 Sleight make her an excellent looter, while 3 Awareness make her reasonably quick and acceptable at trap detection. She also offers an unusual primary skill. On the downsides, she is not that tough and has only 2 Combat.
Scrapper's primary skill is Vicious Slash - a short-range Combat damage attack that ALWAYS hits 2 closest targets. This is an exceptional skill that is severely hampered by her low Combat stat. Her second skill is either debiff Battle Roaror offensive Serrated Hook. Out of two, the Serrated Hook is the way to go. Her Flourish is Predatory Roar - Costs 3 Power. Heals the caster for 2 Health and buffs her for +2 Combat for 2 Turns. And she freaking needs that buff, too.
Speaking of the Relics - she NEEDS damage boost to shine. Either with the help of her exclusive relics that boost her Flourish or just through normal +Combat Relics. It WILL pay off.
Scrapper is a good damage dealer that requires work to be truly good. I personally rarely find a place for her, but if you do use her often - I can see why.
Shadowmancer is an attrition-forcused mid-range damage dealer with an unorthodox skills. This guy is very fast and very good at detecting traps with 4 Awareness. In addition, he has a unique way of dealing damage through his poisons. The downside is that he deals damage slowly and thus struggles if something needs to be killed quickly.
Shadowmancer's first skill - Poisoned Blade - is a mid-range attack that deals Combat damage and applies a stack of poison that deals 1 damage per turn for 4 turns. The effect stacks. His second skills are offensive Flying Daggers or utility Distracting Blow. Take the stun. His Flourish is Poison Bomb that deals no damage, but it applies a stack of poison to all enemies for 4 turns. Costs 2 Power. Not bad at all.
This guy uses either exclusive Relics that boost his Flourish or simply uses an +Awareness one, His Combat stat is largely irrelevant, this is not how he fights. If you want to boost his Combat - pick someone else.
Shadowmancer is a very good class that takes getting used to. Not all will like him, but it's okay - he doesn't like anyone that much either. Just don't forget that his damage ramps up, not comes instantly.
Evelia Lyric - Hero of Icenaire
The player character Evelia Lyric's primary role is a mid-ranged damage dealer that specializes as the game progresses. Her strengths lie in a very good skill set, her perks and Relics - a specialized, properly outfitted Lyric is always better at a specific role than other classes.
Her weaknesses are her TERRIBLE stats in the beginning of the game and her inability to fully take over certain roles. She can have most healtt but she will never be a true tank, for example. Another problem is that you can't get all her relics in one playthrough and some of them are awesome.
Lyric has three unique skills. Slash is her normal mid-range Combat attack. Heroic Shot costs 1 Power and deals Combat damage to 1 Long-range target. Whirlwind Costs 2 Power. It is her simple, yet effective Flourish that deals 4 True damage to 2 mid-range targets.
Unlike other classes, Lyric becomes stronger as she completes story quests by acquiring perk points and spending them to improve specific stats.
Each stat can be improved twice and there is no reason not to improve something only once.
- Health +4 per point - Not recommended. There are better things to buy.
- Vigor +2 per point - Lyric has the lowers Vigor (14) but it's still not worth it.
- Combat +1 per point - You fight a lot in this game. It is a worthy investment, but not early on. Note that to outclass you best damage dealers you will need a specific unique Relic.
- Sleight +2 per point - Tempting, but not worth it. Sleight loses it's value over time.
- Merchanting + 2 per point - Don't even think about it! Seriously, don't! You've been warned!!!
- Carry Capacity +? per point - See that question mark? Yep, I have no idea and will not find out. It's tempting, but you're better off just going several times for the loot.
- Overwatch +2 per point - VERY good choice early on. Give Lyric a Camping kit or one of her Overwatch Relics and you're set. This is how she renders Arcaster obsolete.
- Awareness +2 per point - VERY good choice! Not only Lyric will attack sooner, but she will also be able to detect traps. This is how Fusilier and Shadowmancer become obsolete.
When it comes to relics, you need to tailor Lyric to a certain task. She is also the only class for whom it's worth carrying another Relic for. In the beginning the best choice would be to give her a +Combat Relic. More damage is good. As you begin to level her up, Camping kit may become a good (arguably best non-exclusive) option. As for her unique Relics:
The reward for the Oksae is men either way, but giving to Gerrard arguably earns you a better one. It's still a merchant item. The Tantini is not worth it.
Saving the Dwarf king will yield you +2 Awareness, +1 Sleigh, + 5 Health, while leaving him will give you +2 Sleigh, +1 Combat,+8 Health -4 Vigor. This item is dangerous. Using the Heart will give you +Health item, while not doing it will give you +2 Overwatch, +1 Awareness, +8 Health. This is a very good one. Sparing the Traitor gives you +25 Health, -1 All stats, while killing the Traitor gives you +3 Combat item.