Therion: Thief Solo Game
Part Five

I was able to finish up with the Chapter Four stories for solo Therion without running into too much in the way of difficulties. For once Darius was pathetically easy and Therion's incredible evasion saw him skate past most of the other traditionally difficult bosses. I was now embarking on the optional content that unlocks after completing the rest of the game, various different superbosses that were definitely not intended to be fought with a single character. My solo Runelord had been able to defeat almost everything but that had been using arguably the strongest job in the whole game. How would a non-secret class perform against these challenges? Let's find out.

I started out by running a side quest that unlocks after finishing Therion's Chapter 4 story. This is named "Heathcote's High Jinks" and it's very simple to complete, requiring only the use of Guide/Allure to bring an old man NPC from Wispermill back to Bolderfall. The quest reward is a weapon named Heathcote's Dagger which has the highest bonus to elemental attack in the daggers slot. It also increases fire element damage by 30% as long as its equipped which makes it a great choice for a Scholar or Sorcerer who might happen to pick up this item. Unfortunately it was pretty much useless for Therion due to the fact that he only had a single elemental skill (Wildfire) and it definitely wasn't worth giving up the evasion on the Battle-tested Dagger. Therion is a physical fighter and not a spellcaster in this game (unless the player is doing something weird with his build), making this item more of a curiosity than something genuinely useful. There's another weapon named Harald's Sword which also has the fire element boost of +30% damage which was similarly not useful here. Therion preferred holding onto the Battle-tested Blade since it boosted the damage from his HP Thief and Steal SP and Aeber's Reckoning skills.

There were a few optional areas that I hadn't cleared out with Therion previously and I took the time to do so now. Gigantes in the Refuge Ruins plugged Therion for 3900 damage when he hit the Thief, but fortunately Therion dodged most of the creature's attacks and he only needed a few rounds to chew through the paltry 21k health on the boss. The Lord of the Sands in the Marsalim Catacombs had even less HP and Therion downed it along with its minions using a pair of Aeber's Reckoning dagger flurries. It was too bad that the damage from the Divine skill was capped at 9999 since Therion would have been far over the limit if he had access to the Warrior's Surpassing Power passive support skill. Therion also kept running into the Remnant Mk. II monsters in the various secret job shrines, an opponent that has six different varieties corresponding to the six elements in Octopath Traveler. These enemies were a common encounter and each of them had Large soulstones available to be stolen, leading to this result:

Welp, no need to worry about soulstones anymore! This is almost certainly the easiest way to acquire these soulstones, with Therion able to pick up as many as six per battle (three successful Steals with his Snatch passive skill in effect). It was unquestionaly better than having Olberic Challenge them out of NPCs where the soulstones weren't even guaranteed to drop afterwards. With plenty of these items stashed up, I prepared to have Therion take on some of the endgame optional superbosses. I thought that Dreisang would be the easiest of these, the guardian of the secret Sorcerer job shrine. This was a battle where evasion wouldn't be useful due to the elemental-heavy nature of the opposing archmage and instead I loaded up Therion with elemental resistance gear. Dreisang fortunately doesn't inflict any status ailments and therefore I could give Therion double Empowering Necklaces for +2000 max HP. This would do the most to keep him alive during the battle.

Dreisang has a relatively simple AI script which largely revolves around bombarding the party with high damage elemental spells over and over again. He uses all six elements which makes it pointless to try and block individual types with Inferno or Void Amulets. These are the exact same skills learned by the Sorcerer class once it unlocks, each of them a triple-hit ability such as the pictured fire spell Ignis Ardere. These skills aren't too bad at the start of the battle if the target has appropriate elemental resistance; Therion could certainly take 700-800 damage without any real complaint by this stage of the game. The danger would come when Dreisang used his "Might of the Archmagus" ability to buff up his own elemental attack and debuff Therion's elemental resistance. This would effectively double the damage from his spellcasting such that Therion was taking about 600 * 3 = 1800 damage per ability. That was a lot more dangerous even if Dreisang remained limited to only two actions per round throughout the fight. If he lined up a bunch of actions in a row, it was very possible for Therion to get hit with 4000-5000 damage and I had to step carefully to make sure that wasn't a game over situation.

Still, the first half of this battle ultimately wasn't that bad. Dreisang couldn't do enough damage to kill Therion from full health before I would get a chance to heal him and there were plenty of Refreshing/Revitalizing Jams in reserve for any emergencies. I was mostly able to keep Therion topped off on health using HP Thief every few rounds while chipping away at Dreisang's enormous (171,000 HP) lifebar. The situation became much more dangerous after knocking the boss below half health at which point in time Dreisang started using "Extreme Elemental Augmentation". This would change the name of his spells to put "maximum" in the title somewhere and cause them to do much more damage. Take this screenshot of the lightning-element Tonitrus Maximus for example:

Aside from creating some impressive electrical visual effects, this skill was now dishing out 800 * 3 = 2400 damage to Therion. Not good. And it could be worse than that: Dreisang didn't have his own elemental attack buffed with Might of the Archmagus at the time of the above image. With all of his various buffs and debuffs in place, Extreme Elemental Augmentation + elemental attack up for Dreisang + elemental defense down for Therion, those spells were dealing as much as 1200 * 3 = 3600 damage at a time. Even with 7000+ HP Therion couldn't survive for long against that kind of damage output. I died a couple of times here and realized that I needed to come up with a counter strategy.

There was one bit of good news that I could work with: Dreisang had a weakness to swords, one of the two types of physical damage that Therion could access. I also spotted that the Extreme Elemental Augmentation would be removed on a break of Dreisang, and although he would bring it back again half a dozen rounds later, this would buy Therion some additional time to work with. Dreisang needed all of his various buffs in play to kill Therion, and if he was missing even one of them then the battle was relatively safe. I would knock Dreisang down to one shield remaining during the first half of the fight and hold off on actually breaking him until needed. Right when Dreisang had enacted all his buffs and was about to roast Therion, I would finally break the boss to reset the Extreme Elemental Augmentation timer, then knock Dreisang down to one shield again immediately thereafter and hold another break in reserve until needed. I also stopped using HP Thief since it didn't do enough damage and swapped over to Aeber's Reckoning instead, always a guaranteed 9999 damage even if Therion's physical attack had been debuffed. I was burning through Revitalizing Jams like they were going out of style to ensure that Therion would have enough boost points to be able to spam his Divine skill every other round. This ended up working like a charm and Dreisang fell immediately to Therion's blades. The key to the fight had been preventing him from stacking up all of his various buffs; once Dreisang was unable to do that, I could race through the second half of his healthbar by spamming Aeber's Reckoning over and over again until dead.

Runelord Tressa had found Balogar to be surprisingly easy and therefore that was the secret job guardian that I opted to take on next. Balogar uses a series of different runes associated with the six elements that each carry different effects. I had to bring a Conscious Stone for this battle because the Rune of Thunder has a chance to stun the target and that would mean the end of the battle for Therion. The Rune of Ice was extremely annoying because it could potentially put Therion to sleep, but that wasn't nearly as dangerous because the very next attack from Balogar would hit the sleeping Therion and wake him right back up again. I opted for the extra 1000 HP from the Empowering Necklace over blocking the sleep status. Anyway, Balogar uses his fire/ice/lightning runes for the first half of the battle and therefore they are the ones that Therion kept seeing the most. The boss adds his wind/light/darkness runes after falling below half health but continues mixing in the fire/ice/lightning options so the other runes simply don't pop up that often. They had some more irritants like debuffing physical/elemental attack and causing blindness but nothing too bad.

The single biggest thing working in Therion's favor was his evasion. I had initially been planning to stack elemental resistances once again only to discover immediately that Balogar's runes can be dodged. All right then, back to the evasion gear it was. Balogar's accuracy rating wasn't especially good as I found Therion dodging something like 60-70% of these attacks. This removed most of the threat from the boss fight and I found that Therion could mostly rely on HP Thief to keep his health up. Only when a series of enemy attacks landed in a row would I have to divert into his Refreshing Jam stockpile. I was worried when Balogar pulled out his ultimate move "Runelord's Resolve" and hit with all six types of elemental damage in a row:

Wait, that was it? Each of the six attacks hit for a mere 250 damage and Therion dodged several of them anyway. I guess they aren't an autohit ability. Balogar seems to be quite a bit weaker than the other superbosses guarding the secret job shrines and I'm not exactly sure what's wrong with this guy. I think a lot of his stuff hits everyone in the party and therefore feels weak to a solo character. It certainly didn't help Balogar that he was weak to daggers and Therion was getting the bonus added damage on each use of HP Thief and Steal SP. In any case, this was not a difficult opponent and Therion was able to win as soon as I switched over to his standard evasion setup.

I wasn't too confident about how Therion would fare against the guardians of the remaining two secret job shrines, and I decided to punt on that for the moment and try the superbosses unlocked by side story quests. The first of these is the Devourer of Men plant creature that appears as part of the "Into Thin Air" quest. The Devourer itself never takes more than one action per round and mostly uses a series of dark element spells, which I blocked by having Therion equip a Void Stone accessory. It spawns with a pair of Deadly Spore minions who will use various different physical attacks against the party. The first order of business was to remove those minions from the battlefield by using Aeber's Reckoning over and over again until they were gone. The spores each have 38k health and therefore it took four uses of the Divine skill in total to finish them off. This was pretty easy to pull off because Therion was protected against the dark element abilities from the boss and he was dodging like a fiend against anything physical coming his way. The Devourer itself was almost completely toothless once its minions were gone, taking only one action per round and that usually a dark magic spell that did absolutely nothing. The biggest annoyance was the blindness status that Therion kept getting tagged with, something that he would have to cleanse before he could continue using his physical attacks.

The one problem in the battle came when Therion knocked the Devourer below half health (the same familiar boss pattern at work once again). The main boss would resummon its two minions back to the battlefield and then begin charging up for an attack named "Devour". This was a one-hit kill and Therion would have exactly one round to break the boss before it landed and ended the fight. Sometimes the boss would act at the end of one round and immediately at the start of the next round, giving me no chance to do anything to stop the Devour from landing. That wasn't much fun when it popped up. I had to cross my fingers and hope the turn actions wouldn't line up that way, which fortunately they rarely did. My best option was to hold the Devourer one hit away from having its shields broken like so:

Note the one shield remaining which Therion could break at any point in time to stop the Devour insta-kill from landing. The only boss weakness that Therion could target was wind element which necessitated slowly using one Wind Soulstone after another to reduce the boss to this state. After this break the boss would switch over to a swords weakness and that was a lot better, although the Devourer had a full 11 shields to chew threw on each recovery. I would auto attack at max boost to break through four of those shields, then auto attack again the next round to break another three shields. Gulp down a Revitalizing Jam to restore HP/SP/BP and then auto attack three more times to get the boss down to one shield remaining. Only then Therion could start acting normally again, with the boss prepped for another shield break as needed to block the next Devour. Needless to say, this was a difficult and time-intensive process to work through and I'd have to keep running the same cycle repeatedly with the ever-present danger of Devour lurking out there. I managed to knock the boss down into the red zone on health (less than 25% remaining) a couple of times but sooner or later I kept getting bad sequences of RNG luck that wiped out Therion. This was frustrating since it took a fair amount of time to run each attempt at the battle. I could probably brute-force a victory with enough tries but I was hoping there was a better option out there.

Then I remembered that there's an accessory which prevents instant death attacks. Would that work against the Devourer of Men?

Yes it did! The Vivifying Stone has the special ability of blocking one hit kills, which turn out to be surprisingly rare in Octopath Traveler. I had this accessory for all of my previous solo characters and could never find a use for it, with Esmeralda having the only potential boss ability that would trigger it with her "Black Blade" move. But I discovered that the Devour move from this optional side boss did fit into this category and the accessory worked perfectly. The plant monster would charge up its Devour, the animation would play, and absolutely nothing would happen. It turned the rest of the battle into a complete joke as Therion was well protected against anything else that this encounter could throw at him. He had the dark element damage blocked and he could dodge anything physical. I was actually glad to see the boss using Devour now since it would just waste two turns worth of actions to no point. Anyway, as soon as I figured this out Therion dusted off the Devourer of Men without breaking a sweat. It should be easy for a bunch of other solo characters to follow the same gameplan against this enemy down the road.

Winning this optional boss fight yields a weapon known as the Deathly Blade. It's the only weapon in the game that has a chance to inflict instant death but of course this ability doesn't work against bosses and the odds are too low to be reliable. The physical attack on the weapon is only 219 (compare to the 380 physical attack on Therion's Battle-tested Dagger) which means that it appears to be variant material. I haven't been able to find a use thus far for the Deathly Blade, which is a shame given how much trouble it takes to unlock the thing. Oh well.

Managarmr was an entirely different story. The other optional superboss is the one opponent that none of my solo characters have been able to defeat thus far and Therion was no exception. Even with Therion debuffing Managarmr's physical attack at all times using Shackle Foe it still wasn't enough to pull this monster's damage down into the survivable zone. The problem comes from the Direwolf minions that the boss keeps summoning, starting with one wolf followed by two wolves and then eventually three wolves if the player can make it that far. Managarmr will buff up their physical attack and Therion couldn't possibly maintain his Shackle Foe against that many targets. Therion did a reasonably good job of dodging their attacks, avoiding roughly half of them, but with each attack from each wolf dealing as much as 2000 damge it was far too much for him to overcome. There was no way that he could keep getting good RNG luck for an extended battle of that magnitude (Managarmr has 268k HP in total). This one was definitely out of reach since Therion could never get even remotely close to winning - I didn't get the main boss below half health a single time. The Warmaster class probably has the best odds of pulling out a victory against this guy.

Unfortunately Therion didn't have any better luck against the remaining secret job guardians either. The big problem was the Physical Reflection ability used by Steorra and the Counter Position ability used by Winnehild. Both of these effectively do the same thing, responding to any physical damage received with a massive counterattack. Since Therion was entirely physical in terms of his damage output, well, that was a real problem there. If he couldn't use HP Thief or Aeber's Reckoning, there weren't a lot of options available to me as a player. Therion's survivability was pretty decent against both bosses and I could knock them below half health where they picked up more dangerous AI routines. However, Therion was trying to do both of these extremely difficult boss encounters with nothing but soulstones for offensive action and that wasn't enough to get the job done. Sooner or later one of the many dangerous boss abilities would wipe out Therion while he was stuck tossing out soulstones for 3000 damage per use. Winnehild's "War Cry" move that used six consecutive attacks left Therion plastered on the pavement while Steorra's Ethereal Healing caused her to regenerate 3500 HP per round - more damage than the soulstones were doing! It was literally impossible to win that battle. Neither one of these was going to happen.

So that just left the boss refights at the Gate of Finis yet to be done. As I explained in more detail in the solo Runelord report, the hidden endgame sequence sees your characters face the shadowy reflection of eight previous bosses from earlier in the game. Half of them are from the Chapter 3 stories and half of them are from the Chapter 4 stories, each of them attuned to one of the game's eight characters. These boss refights have more health and deal more damage but are otherwise virtually identical to their original appearances. I was testing to see if Darius would still use his "Call Comrade" move even though it no longer made any sense whatsoever from a plot perspective, and yes, he did pull out the same move. The AI scripting in each boss refight is completely identical. That makes them a lot less interesting from a gameplay perspective because the player is essentially doing the exact same thing over again. The challenge comes from the fact that there are no save points anywhere beyond the Gate of Finis, requiring all of the boss refights to be completed in sequence with no breaks. That was the test for Therion, not whether he could defeat each boss but rather whether he could get them all consecutively without screwing up.

I found that Darius was quite a bit more difficult on this refight. The biggest change that I noted was his accuracy rating seemed to have been improved because he was no longer missing 80-90% of his physical attacks. I found myself having to use Refreshing Jams much more often in order to keep Therion safe. Darius also has fully double the health (190k as opposed to 95k) in this boss refight and that does make a difference, more time when he can steal away items and otherwise cause havoc. Therion still has this boss encounter easier than any other character thanks to daggers always being present as a weakness and not having to fool around with the various "Call Comrade" one-hit kill shenanigans. I'm not looking forward to the next non-Therion character who has to deal with this guy.

The biggest surprise of the boss refights turned out to be Miguel, Alfyn's Chapter 3 boss. Miguel had been a big joke the first time around because he didn't have enough accuracy to hit Therion and basically every attack kept missing. Miguel's accuracy had clearly gone up drastically from the first encounter because now he was hitting around half of the time, and that turned this into a legitimate battle. I quickly realized that I had to give up on any thoughts of spending rounds debuffing Miguel's defenses with Armor Corrosive and instead needed to keep the enemy's attack permanently weakened with Shackle Foe. This would reduce the incoming damage from Miguel's endless spear attacks to a more manageable degree. Miguel would debuff Therion's physical attack and physical defense, and since there was rarely a boss weakness for Therion to attack into, HP Thief wasn't doing very much in the way of damage. I opted to continue using it anyway because it was safer to keep leeching health over the course of a protracted battle as opposed to the riskier tactic of relying on Aeber's Reckoning. The Divine skill did more damage but didn't heal Therion in the process. Overall, I was able to stay out of the critical danger zone by virtue of equipping double Empowering Necklaces to take Therion up to 7200 max HP but this was not a pushover battle at all.

Most of the rest of the boss refights were more straightforward. Simeon needed to be handled with care due to his Act of Impulse strikes, but fortunately Therion could keep his physical attack debuffed with Shackle Foe and that along with more dodging kept things reasonably safe. I was happy to see that Act of Impulse didn't seem to be a particularly accurate ability. Werner's fearsome physical attacks were another target for Shackle Foe and that along with Therion's evasion gear once again carried the day. The other four bosses didn't pose any kind of serious threat and were more of a time-consuming task than an epic battle. Therion could block the Venomtooth Tiger's poison, the Dragon's fire breath, and so on. Mattias and Yvon were both total jokes that couldn't even scratch Therion, I don't know what they were supposed to be doing. Whatever threats they were intended to pose didn't work at all.

I actually did make it through the whole boss gauntlet on the first attempt thanks to some careful thought about my strategy ahead of time. This brought Therion to Galdera, the final hidden boss of the game, and of course there was no chance whatsoever of ever defeating the evil demon god. It's literally not possible for a solo character since Galdera has two phases that necessitate using two parties, not that Therion had any realistic shot of dealing with even the first phase. He was blasted off the map immediately by attacks like the Searing Orb pictured above. I don't have a good feel for this battle because it requires 20-30 minutes of slogging through the boss refights every time that the player wants to test themselves against Galdera and I'm not interested in wasting that much effort for a superboss that can wipe out everyone in mere seconds. Maybe I could do something with save states to avoid that tedium (this is the Steam version and not the Switch version) although at present I don't even know how to do that for Octopath Traveler. It's not a priority for me right now.

Therefore this brought Therion to the end of his travels. The Thief class ended up exceeding my high expectations going into this venture; it's right up there with the Merchant and the Warrior as the best of the non-secret jobs even if it can't quite match the Runelord in terms of overall strength. Therion has outstanding damage output, amazingly useful life leeching capabilities, and better evasion than anyone else in the whole game. It's a shame that I still wasn't able to find any use for the speed stat on this run as it didn't have any noticeable effect that I could tell. (What does this stat even do? Therion kept getting surprised by monsters as much as anyone else so it clearly doesn't prevent those attacks from happening.) Aeber's Reckoning is easily one of the best Divine skills in the game and its power was being held back on this playthrough mostly by the 9999 damage cap. Therion could have been hitting everyone for 25-30k damage if that limit were removed. Most of all, this is a really fun class to play and made for an entertaining journey from start to finish. I enjoyed the time that I spent with Therion and I hope that you got a kick from this report as well. "Therion the Vampire" will see you again down the road someday.