Ophilia: Cleric Solo Game
Part Four

With the Chapter 3 stories in the rearview mirror, it was time for Ophilia to move on to the last remaining challenges. I had no illusions that she would be strong enough to face the optional endgame superbosses and the remaining goal was completing the Chapter 4 story sequences. We'd repeatedly seen that Ophilia had defensive and healing abilities out the wazoo but did she have enough offensive power to overcome the challenges ahead? I worried about Darius and Werner in particular due to her poor evasion. In any case, I put off the Chapter 4 stories for the moment while running through some of the optional side dungeons. There were more Refreshing/Revitalizing Jams to find in treasure chests and more experience to pick up while proceeding through places like the Refuge Ruins and the Loch of the Lost King. About half of these places had bosses of some kind to fight including the Giant Python:

Ophilia had brought along the 9 star Resilient Gladiator from Victor's Hollow as a means to target the axes weakness on the big snake. The good news was that this opened up two different weaknesses on the Giant Python along with the light element weakness that Ophilia could exploit. The bad news is that the Snake Charmer will randomly block two of those weaknesses with its "Keep me safe, my beauty!" ability, plus Ophilia couldn't control who the Resilient Gladiator would choose to attack when it popped up. The picture above captured this guy hitting the Snake Charmer which wasn't something that I would have chosen. Anyway, the real star of the show was Ophilia's Heal More spell which was restoring about 2800 HP without any boost points invested. This was enough curative power that the bosses couldn't deal enough damage to out-sustain Ophilia's healing, even with the occasional need to pause and eat 100 SP restoring Inspiriting Plums. Ophilia could hit for 4500 damage with a max boosted Holy Light when the Giant Python was unbroken and 7500 damage when its shields were down. She wore down the enemies over time and grinded them into the dust.

The other boss of note was the Leviathan at the end of the Captain's Bane optional dungeon. This can be a tough opponent due to the many attacks that it gets per round (along with its two urchin minions) and the poison/stunning statuses that are thrown against the party. However, Ophilia found this battle to be a total breeze thanks to having the right setup prepared. She was bringing along another 9 star Summon in the form of the Old Man from the blocked house in nearby Goldshore. This NPC used spears as his weapon type which hit a weakness on the Leviathan as well as tossing out an alternate Thrash ability which hit everything on screen. It was perfect for adding some extra damage to the two minions. Ophilia blocked poison and unconsciousness statuses with accessories and then relied on her overhealing to keep her safe in the fight. This worked like a charm and the Leviathan simply didn't do enough damage to cut through the restorative power of Heal More. The creature kept resummoning its minions and Ophilia plus the Old Man kept knocking them down again. This ended up being easier than I was expecting.

I wanted to embark upon the Chapter 4 stories at this point and the one that I needed to do first was Ophilia's own tale. There were three separate factors at work here: it was required to unlock Ophilia's best weapon, it unlocks several helpful stat-boosting nuts afterwards, and it also tends to be one of the easiest of the stories to complete. I stopped in Marsalim so that Ophilia could Guide her first 10 star NPC, Swordsman Yuri who only has a level requirement of 60, and headed off to Wispermill to face the first real test of Chapter 4.

So let's talk a little bit about the plot of this story sequence, shall we? Ophilia slips into town and finds a chilly reception from the townspeople who refuse to answer any of her questions. One woman asks Ophilia to follow her in search of help for her child, only for this to be revealed as a lie and for Ophilia to be thrown into prison. This is a smart subversion of two aspects of Ophilia's character: her constant attachment to children and her expressed belief that she prefers to believe the best in others even if it means she could be tricked. Mattias shows up in the jail to twirl his villain mustache and reveal that he's the cult leader known as the Savior, something that was obvious to anyone paying attention for the last few chapters. We get a bit more of the underlying plot thanks to villain monologuing: Mattias wants to undo at least part of the seal on the dark god Galdera since it will increase his own power, and he's using the Sacred Flame and Lianna to do so. Much like Cyrus when he was captured in his own story sequence, Ophilia is unable to escape from her jail cell and resolves to do nothing as this plot moves forward.

But then Lianna shows up to break Ophilia out of jail; I guess our heroes don't need agency once again. Lianna is now wearing dark robes and spouts some of the dumbest lines imaginable: Mattias has promised he'll bring their father back to life in return for her aid. This is stupid for so many reasons that I almost don't know where to begin. It's not just the fact that Mattias is obviously lying, we have to remember that Lianna has spent her entire life as a cleric in the Church of the Sacred Flame, which specifically teaches that the Sacred Flame wards off the return of this very same demonic god. And Lianna is willing to undermine everything she's spent her life working towards because, uh, some guy she's never met before tells ridiculous and clearly false lies? It just isn't believable based on the characterization we've gotten about Lianna thus far. If Lianna had been written to be jealous of Ophilia, or desirous of power, or frustrated at the church for some reason, any of that would make sense. Instead she just comes across as the world's dumbest bimbo for no reason. Lianna is canonically 20 years old, it makes no sense to write her as a 10 year old who doesn't understand the concept of death! Argh.

Well, in any case Lianna's muddled and incomprehensible actions continue as she releases Ophilia from prison, therefore undercutting her own ongoing plot with Mattias. (Yes, I understand that Lianna still cares about Ophilia but this really could have been written better; if nothing else it would be more satisfying if our heroes could manage their own escape from jail.) Ophilia follows the conspirators into the nearby Ebony Grotto cave and stumbles across some kind of cultist ceremony taking place:

The townspeople have gathered to watch Mattias perform a ritual on the Sacred Flame that he stole from Ophilia back in Goldshore. Much to Lianna's surprise, the townspeople start collapsing as their lifeforce drains away and they become sacrifices to Galdera. The warm blue glow of the Sacred Flame is replaced by inky blackness that begins filling the chamber. Ophilia emerges and starts screaming at Lianna to stop this madness, to which she responds with the pictured "I just want to see him again, I can't think of anything else..." Please note that this is after the civilians in the room started falling over dead, after the holy symbol of Lianna's faith has begun emitting black flames, and after Mattias was just ranting and screaming like a deranged lunatic. No, she *STILL* keeps going on about her father and won't stop the process that's quite literally killing everyone else in the room. The script even makes clear that she's choosing to do this and not being forced, she just can't stop because she misses her father. Lianna has to be on the short list of dumbest characters in video game history.

There's a moment here where it looks like we might have real dramatic tension: Mattias indicates that Ophilia is going to have to kill Lianna to stop the ceremony from taking place. Wow, kind of dark but intriguing! What's Ophilia going to do? Instead we resolve this situation in the dumbest way possible: Ophilia tells Lianna to remember a story about a bird. Seriously, that's how this gets wrapped up, Ophilia tells Liana to remember the bird. There's a flashback to when the two women were children and they came across a dead bird, and their father passed on some wisdom about how the deceased stay with us after they've passed as long as we remember them. It's a nice little story but wildly out of place for this moment in the story. It's also crazy that townspeople collapsing and dying in front of Lianna won't get her to stop this ceremony but remembering a story about a dead bird from 15 years in the past does the trick. This whole scene is incoherent to me and I wonder if there's some aspect to Japanese culture that I simply don't understand. Grief over the loss of a loved one shouldn't cause someone to violate all of their moral principles and become a drooling moron at the same time!

Then we finally get to have our big boss fight against Mattias:

Ophilia was wearing her Void Amulet and Tempest Amulet and together they blocked pretty much anything that Mattias could do that was threatening. The vast majority of his damage is either dark element or wind element and these accessories blocked both of them, then Ophilia's healing could cover anything else that might get through. This meant that there wasn't any real danger to the Mattias battle but it did end up taking a long time to play out thanks to the Infernal Flame debuff that he created. This blocks multitarget elemental spells from being used (though not single target ones for some reason) and forced Ophilia to kill the minions that kept appearing one at a time with Holy Light. Mattias locks out all weaknesses while Infernal Flame is in effect and that made this a long slog. I tried to use Ophilia's own 10 star Summon for help only to be disappointed in the performance of Swordsman Yuri. He didn't do that much damage and could only be summoned four times which was pretty limited. Anyway, while there was no particular danger of losing the battle it did drag out for some time. I'd forgotten that when Ophilia is alive there's dialogue between her and Mattias as the fighting rages; this line was amusing to me because Ophilia talks about "helping you rise again when you have fallen" against a backdrop of an entirely deceased party! Solo games have funny moments like this.

With Mattias eliminated, the dark ritual finally ceases and the townspeople are revived from their stupor. Lianna has enough sense to realize that she screwed up in a gigantic way and heads back to Flamesgrace with Ophilia for the completion of the Kindling. There's a nice conclusion to Ophilia's tale as she works to pull Lianna out of her depression, just as Lianna did the same for Ophilia after the death of her own parents as a child. I still think this whole storyline is a massive wasted opportunity that could have been taken in a number of more interesting directions. I don't hate it overall though, as everything aside from Lianna (and the weird fixation on children) is pretty solid. Ophilia is a likeable character even if she is a bit bland.

That was only the first of the Chapter 4 stories of course and Ophilia had the remaining seven yet to finish. I picked H'aanit's story next because it was necessary for Ophilia to unlock the equipment that I most wanted. The random encounters while passing through the Grimsand Ruins were easy as usual thanks to equipping an Antidote Stone to block their various poison attacks. Normally Redeye tends to be one of the easier bosses as well, however Ophilia found to her surprise that this was a challenging battle to undertake. In retrospect, the problem was the wrong accessory choices that I had equipped on Ophilia. She was using the Protective Necklace for +80 physical/elemental defense along with a Conscious Stone to lock out the possibility of being stunned. The mistake was not bringing along an Empowering Necklace for +1000 HP; yes, Ophilia could overheal beyond her nomimal max HP limit, but keep in mind that Refreshing Jams would restore health equal to her total max health. If she had 4300 HP then it would heal for 4300 HP, and if she had 5300 HP then it would heal for an additional thousand health. This would make the battle safer overall and avoid the need to consume as many Refreshing Jams in the first place. This hadn't been necessary for most of the game because Ophilia could rely on Heal More for health recovery but it didn't work against Redeye because the monster could outdamage the healing. Redeye was the first opponent that forced Ophilia to drink Refreshing Jams to stay alive.

It wasn't so bad during the first half of the battle while Redeye only had two actions per turn. Ophilia could take advantage of the fact that Redeye is always weak against light element at all times and hit for 9999 damage when the beast was broken. I even had a Summon who was debuffing the elemental defense on Redeye for extra damage. Things became much harder after the boss fell below half health and went up to three actions per turn. This forced Ophilia to guzzle down Refreshing Jams over and over again, and it wasn't until the battle was over that I realized having more total HP would have been significantly more effective. I lost the battle several times and came this close to losing on the successful victory attempt:

Yep, a whole 9 HP remaining. There's a reason why I fight almost every random encounter for experience and search out all of those stat-boosting nuts across the length and breadth of the world. You never know when a tiny little edge will be enough to make a difference. Ultimately this was a successful battle but largely because I brute-forced it via drinking almost a dozen Refreshing Jams. I felt that I could do better in future boss fights with better tactics for Ophilia. This had been a lackluster performance.

Completing both Ophilia's and H'annit's Chapter 4 stories unlocks the side quest named "Lianna and Eliza". It starts out by meeting Lianna back in Flamesgrace where she recognizes that she hasn't done enough to atone for her crimes and heads back to Wispermill. Traveling to the outer ring town will trigger a meeting between Lianna and Eliza as the two of them work to stamp out some bandits plaguing the area. This is an extraordinarily easy side quest to complete as it only requires having Olberic/H'aanit use their Path Actions to clobber a relatively easy culist in the Forest of Purgation. Winning the Challenge/Provoke battle will trigger this weird line from Eliza that suggests she's making a pass at Lianna as well as the main reward from this quest: the Bishop's Staff.

The Bishop's Staff was the dream weapon for Ophilia as it increased her elemental attack and contained the special property of adding +30% to all light element damage. It was the twin of the Absolute Zero Staff that Cyrus had picked up as his own quest reward except even better because the base elemental attack was higher on the Bishop's Staff. (Why the game doesn't state +30% and instead uses the vague phrasing of "increases light damage" is a mystery. The in-game documentation for Octopath Traveler is pretty bad.) Ophilia could now max out the elemental attack stat with an Elemental Augmentor accessory and still come close to the 999 cap while running more defensive setups. I found that a max boosted Luminescence would deal about 4500 damage to unbroken targets and two such castings could pretty much wipe out any random encounter. Holy Light's damage was better and a max boosted casting ended up in the 6000-6500 range against a single target. Now that certainly wasn't bad but it was still far inferior to what many other classes could produce. I had to hope that it would be enough to see Ophilia through the remaining challenges up ahead.

After spending a bit more time poking around in optional areas like the Marsalim Catacombs, Ophilia returned to the main story sequences and had to decide which one to tackle next. I wanted to get my hands on Mikk and Makk's Shields for its usefulness against Werner and Simeon, and that meant concluding the tales for Tressa and Therion. I opted to deal with Tressa's story first because the boss at the end would be the easier of the two. "Easier" is a relative term though because Esmeralda was really hard!

There was no fooling around with silly accessories this time, I had Ophilia equip double Empowering Necklaces for a total increase of +2000 HP. This would give her a larger safety zone in terms of avoiding death while also healing back 6400 HP at a time from Refreshing Jams. I realized immediately that the jams were mandatory throughout this battle as Ophilia's own Heal More spell couldn't possibly keep up with Esmeralda's damage output. The big problem came from the Five Strikes attack from the boss which would attack five times in succession. When Ophilia's physical defense was debuffed as pictured above, each one of those hits would deal about 1500 damage and that was a ton of punishment even for someone who had Ophilia's overhealing ability. There were points in time where Ophilia had 8000 HP and she still died from Five Strikes along with one of Esmeralda's elemental blades. Now I've worked around Esmeralda with past characters by loading up on evasion gear and dodging some or all of those physical attacks. I was trying to run the same playbook here with Ophilia and it was noticeably less effective because of her poor physical evade. Ophilia couldn't get more than about 550 evade when many of the other solo characters were easily clearing 700 evade at the same point in time. This is one of the weaknesses of Ophilia as a character and it was hitting me in the worst way here.

Nonetheless, I was able to work around Esmeralda's physical damage for the most part through aggressive Refreshing Jam usage that allowed Ophilia to stay above 6000 HP at all times. This was sufficient to knock out half of Esmeralda's health and trigger the second half of the battle where she started using her "Black Blade" instant death attack. For many solo characters this is the less dangerous part of the battle because Esmeralda stops using her elemental blades and there's about half a dozen turns before the ticking death clock triggers. It was the opposite for Ophilia, however, since she had low offense and few options for breaking opponents. Black Blade wiped out Ophilia on several occasions and when I tried equipping a Vivifying Stone accessory to block it, the darn thing didn't work. So much for that plan. I needed a strategy to win the encounter before the ticking doom clock could run out.

Eventually I figured out something that worked through trial and error. I needed to have Ophilia take out half of Esmeralda's health before breaking her for the first time, which I was able to do by only attacking with max boosted Holy Lights at the start. Then cast Aelfric's Auspices with one shield remaining, break Esmeralda for the first time, and hit with double Holy Lights for 9999 x 2 = 20,000 damage. Esmeralda's second set of boss weaknesses no longer contained light element so at this point I would break out Ophilia's summoned ally: Z'aanta from H'aanit's hometown after being rescued by the slaying of Redeye. Z'aanta could hit the bows weakness on the second form of Esmeralda and trigger a second break before the Black Blade death timer could run out. Then Ophilia had to deal enough damage to defeat Esmeralda before the third use of Black Blade could count down and hit zero since I had no way of breaking the boss a third time. This was hairy stuff but Ophilia had just enough damage to pull it off. She had 2 turns remaining on Black Blade when I defeated Esmeralda and finally completed this challenge.

Unfortunately that was only half of the total obstacle that Ophilia had to overcome and the lesser half at that. She still needed to find a way to defeat Darius and I wasn't entirely sure if it would be possible at all. Darius is such a variant-buster between his item stealing and HP/SP/BP theft and final "Call Comrade" insta-death cheese that I knew Ophilia would have to walk a very fine path to avoid disaster. And sure, I could delay Darius until after some of the other bosses but I'd always have to defeat him eventually and knocking out Darius would make everything else afterwards much easier thanks to having Mikk and Makk's Shield on hand. I'd been thinking about how to confront Darius for most of the game and I had several different ideas in mind. It was time to put them to the test.

Darius always starts the battle by stealing your items and therefore he must be broken immediately before proceeding. He locks and unlocks his weaknesses throughout the battle and annoyingly keeps his elemental weaknesses (which any character can hit with soulstones) offline for most of the fight. The only weakness that always remains available is daggers and this was Ophilia's key to unlocking the battle. She didn't need damage or anything else from a summoned ally, what she needed was shield-breaking hits tied to the daggers damage type. The best way to get this was from an NPC carrying the "Dagger Storm" ability which would hit 2-4 times when it popped up. I recruited this Passionate Youth from Riverford specifically because he had Dagger Storm as an ability. The weakness of these Summon attacks was actually an advantage because it gave me eight summons instead of the smaller four or five summons on the more powerful NPCs. With the Passionate Youth to help out, Ophilia could land that initial break right away and get her items back, as well as repeat the process down the road whenever her items were snatched away by the boss. So far, so good.

Typically solo characters have to equip a Conscious Stone accessory for the Darius fight because his Hellfire ability can inflict unconsciousness. I thought that I had a plan to work around this with Ophilia though: use Reflective Veil to bounce back Darius' elemental attacks and therefore avoid the need for the Conscious Stone. She could never be stunned if the spell never hit her and that would open up another accessory slot for a second Empowering Necklace and another +1000 HP. I used Ophilia's Divine skill to set up a double max boosted Reflected Veil for 8 reflected spells and refreshed her spell protection periodically throughout the fight. This worked just as planned in bouncing back spells onto the boss for additional damage:

The damage wasn't bad either, with Will o' Wisp reflecting for the pictured 2300 damage and Hellfire (which hits twice on each spellcast) doing about 900 x 2 = 1800 damage, albeit at the cost of two reflected spells. Unfortunately though the whole reflected spell strategy eventually proved to be a dead end however. It wasn't because of the damage (which was genuinely useful) but rather a matter of speed. Needing to invest turns in casting Aelfric's Auspices and then Reflected Veil ate up time that wasn't spend in damaging Darius. I couldn't let the spell reflection fall at any time in the battle because one stunning Hellfire hitting Ophilia would mean an instant loss. Ophilia's summoned ally only had limited charges and time that wasn't spent dealing damage against Darius was ultimately wasted. Sadly I had to abandon this strategy and go back to the standard Conscious Stone accessory.

Knowing that this was likely the hardest battle that Ophilia would ever face, I burned through her items like a drunken sailor. She never attempted to heal with her abilities and instead relied on Refreshing and Revitalizing Jams for healing. I would either hit with a max-boosted Holy Light for roughly 6300 damage or use a Revitalizing Jam on most turns. It was imperative to speed through the battle to limit how often Darius could cycle back around to his next Steal Item nonsense. This worked around the SP and BP thefts from Darius since Ophilia was replenishing them so frequently but it was annoying whenever HP Thief popped up. Darius would steal back 1400 HP normally and 2200 HP when Ophilia's physical defense had been debuffed, and that was a big deal since Holy Light was only hitting for 6000 damage at a time. I was running evade gear on Ophilia again but she didn't dodge as well as most of my other solo characters and sometimes would have long stretches of failing to avoid HP Thief attacks. Sometimes I would stall out for long turns on end where Ophilia's damage was matched by the HP Thief lifesteal from Darius, and that was a disaster because the boss would eventually steal her items again. I didn't have an unlimited number of those Summon charges - this was a battle that had to be won quickly.

Everything was only made that much worse when Darius fell below half health and went up to three actions per turn. This increased the danger factor considerably while also allowing Darius to cycle back to his Steal Item command faster. I could use the Summon to break Darius and get past the item theft but even this was highly random. On any turn, the Summon could use a default attack and break 1 shield or use Dagger Storm and break 2-4 shields. There was no way to know what was coming ahead of time and no way to know when the Summon would choose to retreat (or block an incoming Darius attack and retreat that way). I couldn't get Darius down to one shield remaining and then hold him there until I was ready to trigger a break. Along with the randomness of Ophilia's dodging or not dodging incoming attacks, the whole thing was a frustrating process of trial and error.

With time, I had practiced the battle enough that Darius almost never killed Ophilia outright. There was still one massive hurdle to clear though and that was Darius' infamous "Call Comrade" sucker punch. When Darius falls below 25% HP remaining (roughly less than 25,000 HP), he will yell that he's about to steal Therion's most prized treasure. If he's not broken immediately, all non-Therion characters in the party die at the start of the next turn... an instant game over for any non-Therion solo runs. I doubt that the designers ever imagined players trying to do this fight with solo characters and it's a huge problem working around this boss ability. What I needed to do was get Darius to a point where he was just about to fall under 25k HP remaining while also being on the verge of a shield break. Then I needed to deal enough damage to drop him below the Call Comrade threshhold, get him to start the wind up for the attack, and then break him at the start of the next turn to cancel the attack before it could wipe out Ophilia.

Needless to say, this required a *LOT* of setup in the midst of an extremely dangerous battle. Knocking the shields on the boss down to "almost but not quite broken" status was hard enough given the indirect control that I had over the actions of the Summons. There would be times when I was preparing to bypass Call Comrade when Darius would steal Ophilia's items again, and of course I'd have no choice but to trigger a shield break and start over again. At other times, I couldn't hit Darius with an offensive Holy Light because Ophilia was not set to act first on the next turn and she absolutely had to be first in the turn order to cancel Call Comrade from triggering. It was so annoying needing these multiple RNG factors to line up simultaneously. It reminded me of playing the solo Dancer in Final Fantasy 5 and needing to simultaneously land Sword Dances while also evade deadly boss attacks. Ophilia needed the turn order to line up correctly, and needed to evade the physical attacks from Darius, and needed the Summon to toss out Dagger Storm at the right moments while not hitting too many shield breaks. I had to try this boss battle several dozen times to get everything lined up properly.

Here's a screenshot of the winning sequence that eventually made it past Call Comrade. Ophilia has just damaged Darius below 25k health remaining and gotten him to start the windup for his instakill attack on the previous turn. I could only do that because Ophilia was set to act first on this turn - anything else would mean a loss. This allowed Ophilia to use her Summon and I had to cross my fingers and pray the Dagger Storm would appear to break the 2 shields remaining. If a normal attack popped up from the Summon, then I also lose the battle because only one shield would break and then Darius would get off Call Comrade. The imprecision from the Summon was responsible for innumerable defeats. (I had switched earlier from the Passionate Youth to the Demure Grandma because she could be summoned one additional time and had better odds to use Dagger Storm on each round of combat, 1 in 2 instead of 1 in 3.) This time the Demure Grandma came through and landed the clutch Dagger Storm, allowing Ophilia to heal up and keep on fighting. I made it past Call Comrade on one previous attempt only to lose shortly thereafter when Darius broke out Steal Item again and Ophilia couldn't restore her health before dying. This time, the Demure Grandma kept right on using Dagger Storm over and over again after this pictured break, triggering one last break of the boss and allowing Ophilia to launch a final max boosted Holy Light for 9999 damage. That sealed the deal and I was finally past this monster of a boss fight!

That was definitely the hardest boss fight of Ophilia's career and one of the toughest that I can remember for any Octopath Traveler character. In the aftermath of her victory, Ophilia was able to lay claim to the two notable pieces of equipment that unlock after finishing the Tressa/Therion pair of storylines. The Blessed Blazon is one of the game's best accessories with +100 physical/elemental defense and then Mikk and Makk's Shield was the big prize with +80 physical/elemental defense of its own along with +178 evasion. This finally boosted Ophilia up to a safer zone in terms of her overall evade and prepared her for the remaining challenges.

I included an insert of Ophilia's stats after swapping from Gustav's Shield over to Mikk and Makk's Shield to demonstrate the power of this item. The other thing that she had to do was restock on some of the consumables that Ophilia downed while fighting for her life against Darius. I had used a full ten Revitalizing Jams in the desperate struggle and pulled in Therion to replenish them with some timely steals. I had allowed him to pick up enough job points to grab the Snatch support skill so that he was grabbing two items per successful Steal, and I was keeping him from gaining any additional experience by killing him off after he made the successful theft. Poor Therion! Brought in to steal something and then immediately killed off again. The Revitalizing Jams are hard to get since they only show up as a Steal option for Revenants which are a rare encounter in the Grimsand Desert. I had Ophilia run away from random encounters using her Evil Ward support skill until she found a series of Revenants and had Therion steal 5 x 2 = 10 Revitalizing Jams. The weaker Refreshing Jams are a much easier steal because they can be found on the Animated Armors that are common opponents in the four secret job shrines. Therion stole about a dozen Refreshing Jams while Ophilia explored the four shrines along with a whole bunch of Large soulstones from the elemental beasts inside. With her supplies stocked back up to a healthy level, I felt confident that Ophilia could return to the main questline and deal with the remaining Chapter 4 stories.

Werner was next up on the docket and I was very glad that Ophilia had the additional evade from Mikk and Makk's Shield for this boss fight. She had to equip both a Calming Stone and a Conscious Stone to protect against Wener's status ailments; I thought about skipping the Conscious Stone but didn't want to risk losing the battle if the boss hit with his stunning attack. That meant operating with only 4600 max HP though and I longed for a bigger safety net on health even with Ophilia's overhealing factored in. Fortunately Ophilia did have reasonably good luck at dodging Werner's attacks and I'd guess that she managed to avoid somewhere around half of them overall. Not as good as some other characters but still super helpful in evading damage. My goal was to damage Werner to 51% of his remaining health, then break him and hit with a double casting of Holy Light using Aelfric's Auspices to spike for 20,000 damage all at once. This would shorten the second half of the battle where Werner increases to three actions per round and becomes much more dangerous. Because Werner is weak against light element, I had to break out some soulstones to lower his health without triggering that first shield break. This was easy to do and looked pretty awesome as flames engulfed the vicious dictator.

The plan worked like a charm as Werner was knocked down to just above half health, then broken and nailed with double 9999 damage Holy Light spells. I had held off on using Ophilia's Summon for the first half of the battle and now finally broke out her companion, the axe-wielding Resilient Gladiator from Victor's Hollow. The presence of this NPC added some additional damage and shield-breaking power while also opening up the possibility that the Gladiator would tank an incoming attack for Ophilia. He blocked one such particularly dangerous attack like so:

Ophilia had stun protection from her accessories and could have survived this just fine but it was still a nice bit of RNG working in her favor. As a 9 star Summon, the Resilient Gladiator could even survive a hit without instantly retreating. With Ophilia blasting away using Holy Light and her ally hacking with his axe, the pair of them were able to break Werner for another 9999 damage spellcast and that ended things for good. Victory on the first attempt with no problems at all. This wasn't even in the same ballpark as dealing with Darius, it was light years easier finishing up this story.

After picking up the various goodies unlocked by defeating Werner, most of which were physical damage oriented and not terribly useful for Ophilia, she ventured off to the Clifflands to complete Alfyn's Chapter 4 story:

The Ogre Eagle is yet another boss who becomes much more dangerous after dropping below half health. Ophilia went into the battle wearing a Tempest Amulet to block the Ogre Eagle's frequent wind element attacks along with an Empowering Necklace for an extra +1000 HP. Of all places in the game, this was a fight where more maximum health comes in extremely handy. I deliberately chose not to bring any status protections despite the Ogre Eagle having the ability to inflict poison/darkness/sleep/confusion. While these were certainly annoying, poison could be overcome with Refreshing Jam items and sleep/confusion were canceled out whenever the Ogre Eagle did damage. These statuses were random enough that it wasn't worth tying up an accessory slot over simply having another 1000 health to play around with.

As for the battle itself, I approached the Ogre Eagle in the same fashion as Werner by working the creature down to 51% health without dropping it below that halfway threshhold. A series of soulstones hit the ice weakness on the boss and prepared it for an initial shield break. Once the Ogre Eagle was down to 51% health, I used a final soulstone for the shields break, followed by the now-familiar double Holy Lights using the Cleric Divine skill for a burst of 20,000 damage. This meant that Ophilia only had to work through about 35,000 remaining health on the boss while the dangerous Toxic Rainbow effect was in place. To help out Ophilia, I'd brought along a 10 star Guard NPC from the tavern in Riverford. This guy had swords as his damage type to match a weakness on the Ogre Eagle and could deal almost 4000 damage on a successful attack - that was an awful lot! This would help speed Ophilia through the remainder of the boss fight before Toxic Rainbow could tick away her healthbar.

This fight was dangerous because of the way that Toxic Rainbow interacted with Ophilia's Saving Grace passive. At the end of each round of combat, it would decrease Ophilia's maximum health... and also eliminate any overhealing above that new and lower maximum health total! There was one round where Ophilia was sitting at 8000/4500 HP and then suddenly she was reduced to 4300/4300 HP. She could still overheal within an individual round but any overhealing would then be eliminated when that round came to a close. This made the battle far more deadly than it would have been otherwise and Ophilia was defeated once when a series of confusion rounds caused her to skip several turns while poisoned. But my overall strategy for the battle was a good one and it was pretty easy to win on the second attempt when that run of poor RNG didn't hit at a bad moment. Minimizing the dangerous second half of the fight and having a powerful summoned ally on hand went a long way towards winning this encounter.

I had another creative Summon lined up for the end of Cyrus' story:

Let's give a warm welcome to Bishop Bartolo of the Saintsbridge Cathedral! You may recall from past solo reports that Lucia is easiest to defeat in her initial solo form and that the player should generally avoid breaking through her 30 shields. She is weak to all weapon types with the exception of staffs. Therefore I wanted to bring an NPC who didn't have any of the default weapon types available as an attack and Bishop Bartolo was a perfect fit since he only uses a staff attack. He would never break any of the shields on the boss. More importantly, he would also bring the extremely powerful Wisdom of the Church ability which simultaneously buffed Ophilia's physical and elemental attack/defense. This reduced incoming damage while also increasing her light element spellcasting. Holy Light went all the way up to 7000 damage at max boost against an unbroken Lucia, excellent stuff. The whole battle settled into a routine process of using Refreshing Jams for healing along with Energizing Pomegranites to keep casting Holy Light at max boost. I resummoned the bishop whenever Wisdom of the Church wore off and he had the good grace to block a few of Lucia's attacks in the process. This was nice and easy with only a few Refreshing Jams consumed for Ophilia's troubles.

These boss fights had been getting easier, not harder, ever since Ophilia had made it past the massive stumbling block posed by Darius. Simeon was the last of the Chapter 4 bosses still standing and I was convinced that Ophilia had everything she needed to eliminate him as well. She equipped the standard Void Amulet and Articulate Stone accessories and brought her evasion gear to dodge Simeon's Act of Impulse melee attacks. It was time to wrap things up for good.

Simeon Phase One is generally pretty simple and didn't pose any issues for Ophilia. The two marionettes become more dangerous when (you'll never believe this) they drop below half health and therefore bursting them down to zero is standard practice. The Dancer Marionette is weak against staff attacks which allowed Ophilia to get in some elbow work with her melee blows for a change. She knocked the minion down to one shield remaining, used her Divine skill, then triggered a break for the familiar double 9999 Holy Light burst. The Dancer Marionette only has 19,000 HP so this was more than enough to get the job done. The Father Marionette had a bit more health but also a convenient light weakness, allowing Ophilia to pull the same sequence again for a second kill. Simeon himself does basically nothing in this phase of the battle and had a staff weakness to exploit. Ophilia broke him a few times by bopping him over the head and kept casting Holy Light spells until he triggered the second phase of the battle.

Simeon Phase Two goes from being routine and unthreatening in the first half of the fight to deadly dangerous in the second half. This gave Ophilia plenty of time to get prepared before she dropped her opponent under 50% HP and things started to get hairy. One of the obnoxious things about Simeon is the way that he locks out every weakness other than daggers. He slowly unlocks more weaknesses each time that he recovers from a break but any character that lacks access to daggers can never trigger that first break to get the ball rolling. Ophilia had brought along her erstwhile companion the Demure Grandma once again to break through that daggers weakness immediately. This unlocked a weakness to fire element that Ophilia could leverage with Fire Soulstones. I worked Simeon down to a single shield remaining and then powered up Ophilia with 4 x 2 = 8 layers of Reflective Veil protection. Ophilia may have had a Void Amulet to block dark element damage but Simeon had no such thing! He was amusingly vulnerable to his own black magics. Then I followed the same process as before, triggering the shields break and hitting with double Holy Lights for 20,000 damage to minimize the time spent in the more dangerous second half of the battle. Those Reflective Veils started bouncing back Simeon's Silence Comes and Hushed Melody attacks for about 2300 damage apiece:

I didn't bother to renew the Reflective Veil protection, instead focusing on casting as many max boosted Holy Lights as possible to speed through the second half of the battle, but the additional damage certainly helped speed things along. This was another situation where Ophilia's overhealing was extremely helpful, allowing her to sit well over 5000 HP at all times and remain safe from a bad swing of RNG luck. She was dodging the incoming Act of Impulse attacks just fine (by far the most dangerous aspect of this battle) and there were dozens of Refreshing Jams on hand ready to restore thousands of HP as needed. This ended up being a total laugher of a fight and Ophilia won with flying colors. She was never seriously threatened and crushed Simeon without mercy.

There was exactly one more challenge that I thought it might be fun for Ophilia to try. Dreisang the Archmagus is one of the optional superbosses and he casts an endless series of spells against the party when attempting to unlock the Sorcerer job. Every Octopath Traveler guide notes that Ophilia's Reflective Veil ability can be used to reflect spells back at Dreisang and have him effectively kill himself as a way to defeat this boss. I had to test this out for myself - would it work for a solo Ophilia?

Sadly, the answer turns out to be no. Dreisang uses a debuff named Divine Majesty that prevents the party from using status enhancements and buffs for five turns. It's the little arrow with an "X" next to it that I circled in the image above. The Divine Majesty debuff prevented Ophilia from making use of Reflective Veil; literally, the spell would go off and nothing would happen afterwards, no spells reflected. The monster reference that I have for Dreisang states that he only uses Divine Majesty at the outset of the battle but that didn't match what I remembered from Tressa's Runelord journey and it didn't match what I was seeing with Ophilia either. Dreisang kept using Divine Majesty over and over again every five turns which made it impossible to put up a reflective spell shield. Perhaps I still could have found a path to a victory with enough trial and error but I was content to call things off without making the attempt. I never thought that Ophilia had enough offensive power to face these foes and I was content with having completed all of the Chapter 4 stories.

This brought Ophilia's quest to its final conclusion. While the Cleric job definitely wasn't one of the strongest in Octopath Traveler for a solo game, Ophilia managed to hold her own and completed every challenge in the main storylines. What she lacked in offensive output she made up in defensive and healing power. The Summoned allies were a great help throughout the journey, making the Darius fight possible to complete at all, while the Saving Grace passive support skill ended up being one of the best in the game. I'm going to miss being able to overheal above max HP with future characters. I hope you enjoyed this detailed look at Ophilia and the Cleric class; until next time, thanks for reading!