- How To Use The Protagonist
- Notable Skills And Authorities
- Where To Spend Your Spirit
The Protagonist in Monark is the most important character you'll get to play with. Not only does he participate in every single battle in the game, but if he gets knocked out, that's it. It's a sudden Game Over, Persona-style.
Luckily, he's not exactly a slouch in a fight. His Imagigear gives him a cool look and the stats to go with it, and his Authorities are some of the most complex in the game, with entire strategies being centered around them. Keep him safe, but don't be too afraid to put him in the fray!
How To Use The Protagonist
As you'd expect from the protagonist of an RPG, the lead character of Monark is quite a balanced character when it comes to stats. His ATK and PSY are roughly on par with each other, with ATK pulling ahead just slightly. This makes sense, as his abilities that use PSY are highly situational – you'll have to Resonate with someone else to make normal use of it.
Apart from those high offensive stats, the protagonist's main role in battle is to set up Resonance. He's the only character in the game able to do so, and it's one of the things that makes Monark's combat system so engaging.
- When two or more units resonate, they share their status ailments, stat changes, and applicable Authorities.
- You can tell if an Authority is shareable through Resonance by looking at its description box. Next to the MAD cost, it will have either "Res. OK" or "RES. N/A" – the former means it will be accessible to any units Resonated with that character.
- Resonating with multiple units can be a very risky endeavor, though. If one of your characters gets struck with a debilitating status ailment, it will be shared amongst all units resonating with it. You'll want to be on guard when resonating, especially if you decide to do so with your entire party at the same time.
The protagonist is also very good at managing or taking advantage of MAD. Many of his Authorities will become stronger if the target or the user has a higher MAD score – these are useful in prolonged fights where allies and enemies are likely to reach those high values.
When using the protagonist, you'll want to weigh up your options carefully. With so many skills that have the potential to change the course of an entire battle in one turn, you'll have to be mindful of the consequences of your actions. Sometimes, it's better to deal damage with Throwing Knife or Animakinesis than to try and set up large chains of MAD-inducing Authority uses.
Notable Skills And Authorities
As far as Skills go, the protagonist has only a few. However, this turns out not to be that much of an issue, as they work well enough for him.
- Accelerating Slash is a basic skill that also increases his own AGI. It's not a bad option for Back Attacks early in the game but will be surpassed quickly.
- Throwing Knife is great as it's the protagonist's basic ranged option. It does the same damage as Accelerating Slash and can be used to attack without the fear of a counter unless the target themselves is ranged. Once you get this skill, it's time to start phasing Accelerating Slash out and using this to create chains of assist attacks when paired up with melee-focused companions such as Shinya and the Pride Fiend.
- Critical Strike is a very powerful attack with a low hit rate. These are usually not that valuable in RPGs, thanks to the importance of turn economy, but with Deferrals, you can get more than one attempt in per turn if the stars align, and it ends up being the best course of action.
- Pair the Authority Phantasm with Critical Strike, and the skill hits 100 percent accuracy and an automatic Back Attack. Setting this up is a great way to spend a turn where you're currently out of attacking range.
On the other hand, authorities are where the protagonist gets a lot more interesting and varied.
- Resonance skills are the protagonist's main gimmick. In the early game, you'll only have Resonance and Enemy Resonance – single target Authorities. You'll quickly want to swap them out of your rotation for Area Resonance and finally Party Resonance. With this, you can share high-value buffs and even Awakenings/Enlightenment with one action.
- Animakinesis is one of the most valuable Authorities available to the protagonist and should be one that you work towards from the very beginning of the game. It deals a level-dependent amount of fixed damage in a pretty large cone. Since you're likely to spend a lot of Spirit leveling him up, this makes it one of the protagonist's most reliable moves. It has a low MAD cost, and there's a lot of value in knowing exactly how much damage it does – it's amazing for securing a kill when other skills might otherwise fail.
- Phantasm turns the protagonist invisible and claims to make them untargettable by enemies. In practice, this doesn't always seem to work, and he can always fail victim to an AoE attack. Saying that, when it does work, it's very useful – and it makes Critical Strike a fantastic move by extension.
- Lunatic Wave and Resonant Wave are the most useful of the Anima skills. They are far easier to set up for maximum damage – just get your MAD score up high or Resonate with your entire party to turn them into really powerful attacks.
- Conversely, Lunatic Burst and Lunatic Break are too dangerous and too situational to invest too much Spirit into.
- Healing Resonance is a useful move to have when it would be necessary, but it's situational at best. A better healing move would be the Pride Fiend's Healing Factor+.
- Make a beeline for Throwing Knife. This will pick up Accelerating Slash and Critical Strike on the way, completing his physical attack loadout very quickly.
- Animakinesis should be next when possible. It's simply that universally useful.
- This is when you should be heading for the more useful Resonance abilities, namely Party Resonance at the top of the skill tree.
- If you use Resonance to share buffs, definitely go grab Optimize Buffs.
- If you want to use the protagonist to share Awakenings, Concentration is a must-have.
- After this, level up to not feel squishy, but try to acquire Spirit Gain Up when you can. Buffing your overall Spirit gains is incredibly useful when grinding, as you'll need a ton of Spirit to stay level with enemies in this game.
- Drop Rate Up seems like a great skill to go for at any point in the game, but the base drop rate for most of the game is so generous that this seems like a trap.
- Bear the Madness sounds like a good deal, but it's very costly, and you really want to keep your MAD gauge down on the protagonist unless you're going all-in on an Anima Lunatic Wave strategy.
- Deferral Boon sounds like a great thing to have, but it costs a turn of setup and the buffs you receive might not be useful.
Where To Spend Your Spirit
In order of importance, here's where you should be aiming to spend your Spirit. Remember, you can always just buy the really cheap skills to bump up your levels when needed, but here's the route you should largely be following to take advantage of the protagonist's best moves.
On the other hand, some skills might not be all that useful.
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