For the Love of Supports

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

A couple of my favorite genres of video games are RPGs and strategy games, particularly ones with multiple classes for your characters. Trying to figure out the best combination and the best attacks for said characters is a fun addition to the gameplay, even if not all of the attacks deal physical damage…

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Typical in RPGs, there’s usually multiple classes and types of attacks or moves your characters are capable of. Utilizing all these types of moves usually allows you to come out on top in battles with all of the different strategies you can make.

As a kid, my strategy was usually:

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Seriously. Why would I have my Pikachu know Tail Whip if I could give it Quick Attack? Why would I use a Dancer-class character in my old Fire Emblem armies when they couldn’t do anything to defend themselves? Why waste a turn using Geno Boost in Super Mario RPG when Geno’s basic weapons were strong enough already to get the job done? Support moves that buff allies and debuff enemies were never really on my list of moves to use.

Growing up, I’ve learned a little more strategy when it comes to gaming, especially my RPGs. My Pokemon teams have more rounded move sets, such as utilizing status-inflicting moves and physically damaging moves that dole out more damage against opponents that have a status ailment. Toxic has become a favorite move throughout the years, and I have a couple of tried-and-true Pokemon match ups whenever I’m in a double battle. Powerful Ground-type moves paired with a speedy Flying-type Pokemon are one of my go-to combinations in a double battle.

Granted, physically damaging moves are still at the forefront because, honestly, how else are you going to win RPG fights? However, the importance of support moves has never been so apparent as it had with one of the latest boss fights in Octopath Traveler.

(Small spoiler alert for the game’s bosses, I suppose.)

Rachel and I have been catching up with Octopath Traveler and recently were finishing up H’aanit’s Chapter 3. The big, bad boss at the end is a dragon, of all creatures (I want a dragon), and I got my ass kicked. Twice.

My team — Therion, Ophelia, Alfyn and, of course, H’aanit — were of the appropriate level, Therion even higher considering he is my main character, and all of them had weapons that were strong against the dragon’s defenses. Yet, the damn dragon still ended up defeating our team.

It wasn’t until the third time when I started utilizing the characters’ more supporting moves rather than just going for the kill that I was able to defeat the dragon.

Ophelia’s class was Cleric-Dancer, granting her not only Reflective Veil (which was an absolute Godsend, considering it not only protected her teammates from the dragon’s strong Dragonfire move, it also reflected the damage back to the dragon), but also the Dancer class’s ally buff moves. H’aanit had moves and creatures that hit multiple times to bring down the dragon’s shield faster, and Therion was able to debuff the dragon’s physical defense. With Alfyn’s physical strength being buffed by Ophelia’s Lion Dance and boosted to the max, his Amputation skill knocked out a bit over six thousand HP.

After doing that a couple of times, mixed in with Alfyn’s Empoison move and the other characters’ getting buffed from time to time, the dragon was taken down in what was probably one of the shortest boss fights we’ve ever had.

I probably won’t underestimate the power of Support moves again. At least, in Octopath Traveler.

How often do you use support characters and buffs in games? Do you think they’re worth it? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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