This was it, the final series of tests for the Warmaster class. Olberic had more or less breezed through the whole game thus far and I was running out of opponents for him to face. One of the few remaining optional dungeons that he hadn't tackled yet was the Everhold Tunnels:
This area wasn't noticeably more difficult than the rest of the game or anything like that, I simply hadn't sent Olberic here for whatever reason. It's a good place to gain experience and raise levels, especially this pictured random encounter against three goats. The battle is typically worth around 1000 XP and that was getting doubled here thanks to the Warmaster's Extra Experience support skill and the Captain's Badge accessory. Olberic didn't need any additional experience at this point and he'd very much hit the point of diminishing returns when it came to leveling. The XP requirements for each level beyond Level 80 were starting to get truly stratospheric and it was clear that this would be it unless I engaged in unnecessary grinding. Typically my solo characters finish the game in the low 70s for their level and it looked like Olberic was going to be right around Level 80 thanks to his Warmaster passive and his relentless Challenging of townspeople.
With the rest of the world fully explored, the half dozen optional superbosses were the only foes remaining as a test for Olberic. I decided to start with what I consider to be the easiest of the group in the Devourer of Men plant creature. This foe appears as part of the "Into Thin Air" subquest located in the Forest of No Return (yes, it's really called that) and the Devourer of Men makes use of a trademark one-hit kill move. This had been a difficult opponent for some of my previous solo characters right up until I realized that a Vivifying Stone accessory will block the Devour cheese attack from landing. I made sure to equip a Vivifying Stone for Olberic along with a Void Amulet to block dark element damage and initiated the fight:
The main boss spawns along with a pair of Deadly Spore minions and it's the combination of these three monsters that can make the battle challenging. Olberic was wielding Mikk and Makk's Shield along with the Ethereal Dancer Garb for some serious physical evade and he did a reasonably good job of dodging the incoming minion attacks. The Devourer of Men itself mostly cast dark element spells and wasn't that threatening on its own. The plan here was to use Winnehild's Battle Cry to wipe the minions off the playing field and I probably should have done this immediately. I took the time to break the main boss first before using the Warmaster Divine skill, and while that meant an enormous 60,000 damage hitting against the Devourer (with all six of the attacks capping out at 9999 damage), the two Deadly Spores bashed around Olberic pretty good while I was setting up the attack. It required using a Refreshing Jam for healing and I probably could have avoided that. Olberic did have about 50 of them in stash, of course, but it was the principle of the thing.
Once the minions were gone, this became a shockingly easy battle. The Devourer only made one attack per round and much of the time it cast a dark element spell which was blocked by Olberic's Void Amulet. One of these abilities had a chance to blind Olberic which was annoying but not dangerous. I knocked the boss down to one shield remaining and then held off on breaking it until the Devourer dropped under half health. Qilin's Horn seemed to be the most useful attack here:
That's an unboosted Qilin's Horn being used against an unbroken target and still hitting for 4500 damage, sheesh. The Battle-tested Spear even inflicted blindness status on the boss - haha, turnaround is fair play! Once the Devourer dropped below half health, it emitted a scream and resummoned its two Deadly Spore minions back to the battlefield at full health. I'd been waiting for this and calmly broke the plant creature's last remaining shield, then used Winnehild's Battle Cry a second time. So long, plant minions! They never had a chance to take a single action. After recovering from that second shield break, the Devourer switches over to a different set of weaknesses which included swords as a vulnerability. This left it a prime target for Guardian Liondog which tore right through the 11 shields in a couple of rounds of sword strikes. Rise and repeat Winnehild's Battle Cry one final time and that was all she wrote for the boss. It was an easy victory on the first attempt and the Devourer never even had a chance to use its one-shot kill move! Olberic could have brought a Bright Stone instead of his death protection and not have had to worry about the blindness status.
I decided to run through the four shrine guardians next, the divine protectors of the secret jobs in Octopath Traveler. These are the opponents that the party would normally have to defeat to access the amazing endgame classes instead of debugging in the Warmaster class from the start of the game. They could be faced in any order and I decided to start with the Shrine of the Runelord since Balogar had been surprisingly easy to defeat for Runelord Tressa and Therion. Balogar's runic attacks function as a melee strike that can be dodged yet deal elemental damage. Note that this is different from the actual Runelord job's version of the same runes, which will always hit with their elemental damage even if the attack itself misses. Naturally that meant that I wanted as much evasion gear on Olberic as possible and he had pretty decent odds to avoid Balogar's attacks, dodging them about 50% of the time at a rough guess. When those attacks did hit, they were dealing somewhere around 500 damage apiece. You'd think that these attacks would be more dangerous and for whatever reason they aren't.
The more serious threat from Balogar came from the status ailments that his runes could inflict. The Rune of Flame simply dealt additional elemental damage but the Rune of Ice could put Olberic to sleep and the Rune of Thunder could stun its target. I made sure to bring a Conscious Stone for the latter case and Olberic gritted his teeth and tanked through the occasional bouts of slumber. Balogar was weak to axes alone at the start of the battle but of course that was no issue for the Warmaster class. Olberic broke through the shields using a series of Tiger Rage abilities and then unleashed Winnehild for 60k damage. This caused Balogar to shift his weaknesses and now Phoenix Storm became the star of the show:
I continued to use the Warmaster abilities with zero boost points invested, essentially opting to use an ability instead of making an auto attack. This cost 35 SP per round but I was restoring HP and SP frequently with Refreshing Jams anyway; might as well make use of those spirit points. The pictured Phoenix Storm above was taken with the investment of a single boost point which doubled the damage from 4500 up to 9000. These attacks were both chipping away at Balogar's shields and also taking big chunks out of his health bar. Once the shields were down it was time for another Winnehild's Battle Cry for another 60k damage and there wasn't much fight remaining in the boss afterwards. Balogar united all of the elements and pulled out his big Runelord's Resolve attack... which hit six times for 500 damage apiece, plus Olberic dodged two of the strikes. An attack that dealt 2000-3000 damage wasn't scary at this point in the game, not with Olberic having 8000+ HP to play around with, and a final Winnehild's Battle Cry finished things off.
Dreisang was next on my list and this was a battle where physical evasion wouldn't be as useful. I decided to give Olberic extra health from his accessory slots and stack up additional elemental defense against the spells that would be coming his way. Dreisang is fairly straightforward as far as bosses go, pummeling the party with high damage elemental spells over and over again. Each one will hit three times like the pictured Lux Congerere and he will both debuff the party's elemental resistance while buffing up his own elemental attack. I had no grand plans for this battle, no special tricks for Olberic to entertain, just massive physical damage delivered at the hilt of a sword. Dreisang doesn't lock out any weaknesses at the start of the battle so I used an Inspiriting Plum on the first turn and immediately hit the boss with Winnehild's Battle Cry. Then I had Olberic heal for a turn followed by using Winnehild a second time, then broke the boss finally and used Winnehild a third time. Dreisang tried to power up his abilities with "Extreme Elemental Augmentation" but Olberic wasn't stopping and continued to use his Divine skill over and over again. I had reasoned that the best way to win this battle was a damage race before Dreisang had time to stack his various elemental damage buffs/debuffs. With 8000 HP in reserve, Dreisang couldn't kill Olberic before I had a chance to heal and the Warmaster quickly overwhelmed this boss with brute force. What's the best way to deal with a squishy mage? Punch them really hard right in the face!
I was concerned about Steorra, the guardian of the Shrine of the Starseer, and it turned out that I was right to be worried:
Steorra is the perfect embodiment of the Starseer job as the queen of buffs and debuffs. Although she might not look as dangerous as some of the other shrine guardians at first glance, once she stacks up her various abilities it can be extremely difficult to make any headway. The biggest problem for Olberic was Steorra's Physical Reflection ability: she would start each battle by protecting herself against three physical attacks. When hit with any physical damage, she would counterattack for very heavy physical damage (the pictured 3000 damage attack above). Unfortunately Olberic's damage was entirely physical in nature so he would have to find a way to work around Steorra's counterattacking. And it's not like this was a one-time thing either, the boss would keep reusing Physical Reflection periodically throughout the fight and Olberic would have to spend the whole battle dancing around it. The good news was that Steorra would not counterattack even with Physical Reflection in place if her shields were broken. I also found that the counterattack could be dodged with physical evasion although that relied on landing some fortunate RNG. I tried to avoid situations where I was crossing my fingers and praying that Olberic could dodge Steorra's reflected blows.
Steorra started the battle with 7 shields and a weakness to swords and daggers. I tried to work through her initial set of shields by hitting with Yataragasu a few times (eating the counterattacks in the process) until I could get the boss down to about 3-4 shields remaining. Then it was time to pull out Guardian Liondog to break the remaining shields - hoping that the attack wouldn't go on a big whiffing streak - followed by Winnehild's Battle Cry for the big 60k damage spike. This worked reasonably well and I found myself able to knock Steorra below half health without much trouble. That's when she became much more dangerous, however, going up to three actions per turn and then adding the Heavenly Proction buff. This is identical to the Starseer support skill of the same name and causes all incoming damage to have 25% odds to be nullified. Oh great, another big RNG factor to work around in this fight! Steorra also unlocked her strongest elemental spell when she dropped below half health:
Omniscience would charge up for one turn and then hit for approximately 3000 damage, ouch! Olberic certainly could have used the Runelord's Elemental Edge passive for extra elemental defense here. At least Omniscience didn't appear that often in Steorra's AI routine. She used her Wandering Star, Baleful Star, and Shooting Star abilities far more often and each of them could hit for well over 1000 damage apiece. Olberic was taking so much elemental damage that I eventually switched out his evasion gear in favor of equipment with higher elemental defense. This gave up any realistic chance to avoid the counterattacks from the boss when Physical Reflection was up but that was a source of damage that I could control; Olberic could avoid attacking and triggering the counterattack if needed. I needed to cut down the incoming elemental damage to stop Olberic from getting flattened and the stronger elemental resistance gear was a big help in that regard.
This was the first opponent in the whole game where Warmaster Olberic was dying repeatedly and having to make a series of different attempts to figure out a strategy. It was really the Physical Reflection counterattacks causing the biggest problems; without them in place, Olberic could have spammed his Divine skill and bull rushed Steorra's healthbar into oblivion. Instead, I had to be a bit more careful. The biggest saving grace in this battle turned out to be Guardian Liondog because I was fortunate enough to have Steorra expose a weakness to swords both at the start of the fight and then again after recovering from her first shield break. Olberic could break her the first time using the method described above, then immediately use Guardian Liondog after she recovered from that first break but before she could get her Physical Reflection defenses up again. This would knock Steorra down to 3-4 shields remaining and then I had to pray that a second use of Guardian Liondog would be enough to pop the leftover shields:
Pictured above is a case of this working and Guardian Liondog getting the shields break that Olberic needed. Note that he had 3 boost points in reserve ready for another Winnehild on the following turn for mass damage. However, you may notice some zero values in that picture as well. They were caused by Steorra's Heavenly Protection kicking in and blocking any damage from taking place. A zero damage attack did *NOT* break a shield and if Guardian Liondog came up short then all of those counterattacks would get triggered in succession - goodbye Olberic. I actually had one attempt where Olberic used Guardian Liandog with a mere two shields left on the boss, and four of the five attacks that hit Steorra roled as zeros thanks to that stupid buff. Argh! That one had a messy ending indeed for Olberic. But eventually I was able to land that second break and combo it into a second Winnehild, then eat a Revitalizing Jam and throw out one final Winnehild against an unbroken Steorra to deal the last damage needed for victory. I do not know how Olberic would have made it through this battle if Steorra hadn't had a swords weakness to go after both at the start of the battle and again after the first break. Guardian Liondog was the big MVP of this fight - I never expected it to be this useful when I started out on Olberic's journey.
Then it was time for a mirror match of Warmaster against Warmaster with the final shrine guardian:
Winnehild was the last of this quartet of bosses and her abilities were all taken straight from the Warmaster skill list. It was highly amusing to see all of the abilities that Olberic had spent the whole game employing now turned against him by this opponent. Interestingly, Winnehild's version of these skills each functioned a bit differently than what I'd been used to seeing from the Warmaster job. Yatagarasu was a dagger attack that struck twice and had a chance to inflict poison - why couldn't Olberic's version of the move do that? He had to bring an Antidote Stone because Yatagarasu came up constantly in Winnehild's AI routine. Her version of Phoenix Storm consisted of six random attacks while Tiger Rager was a powerful single-target attack. I have no idea why these moves were all backwards from their Warmaster job versions, it could be quite confusing! When Winnehild dropped below half health she would start using the other Warmaster skills: Guardian Liondog (which hit the whole party), Qilin's Horn (a physical/elemental defense debuff), and Fox Spirit (which had a chance to stun). I did not bring protection against unconsciousness because Fox Spirit rarely came up in Winnehild's AI routine and I was hoping to be able to dodge the attack if it would appear.
On the other side of the coin, Winnehild lacked weaknesses to any of the physical damage types except for staffs. This odd situation meant that Fox Spirit was the Warmaster ability of choice and Olberic chipped away at the boss with some staff strikes until he could break her and use the class Divine skill for huge damage. Winnehild did have a similar Counter Strike ability as I had just seen with Steorra, causing her to strike back if she took physical damage. However, unlike Steorra's Physical Reflection, the Winnehild version of this ability only counterattacked a single time, not three times, and it was pretty easy to absorb one such blow. Olberic even dodged the first counterstrike thanks to his evasion gear. I kept alternating Fox Spirit staff blows and using Winnehild's Battle Cry until the boss dropped into the red on health. This allowed Winnehild to unlock her own ultimate ability and unleash those same six weapon strikes. How bad would it be?
Ummm, was that it? Really? Olberic dodged some of the War Cry attacks and the ones that did hit were little more than love taps. It seemed as though Olberic the Warmaster had decisively outscaled his own patron goddess by this point in time. Winnehild had also switched over to a different set of weapon vulnerabilities and I was pleased to note that one of them was a swords weakness. I'm sure that the reader can see where this was headed: Guardian Liondog to punch through the shields followed by the Warmaster Divine skill to finish things off. This was a fun battle and, shockingly, not particularly difficult to win. Olberic won on my first attempt and it never felt like he was in serious danger. I think that his abilities were perfectly suited to counter everything that Winnehild could throw at him, in the same way that the Runelord had been well positioned to counter the elemental attacks of Dreisang and Steorra.
There was one other optional superboss before the endgame gauntlet that I wanted Olberic to test himself against. This was the dreaded wolf Mánagarmr from the "Scaredy Sheep" sidequest located in the Forest of Purgation. This was the one enemy that Runelord Tressa had been unable to defeat due to the beast's incredible physical damage output and repeated summoning of minions. If there was any class that would have the tools to deal with this foe, it was going to be the Warmaster. I equipped a Calming Stone to block the terror status ailment and prepared for a tough fight.
Mánagarmr starts out the battle with one Direwolf minion and at first the boss doesn't seem too bad. He can attack for 1000 damage as pictured above and the Direwolf minions will pile on their damage as well. The big problem comes from the interaction between Mánagarmr's brutally deadly attacks combined together with its buffs/debuffs and repeated rounds of minions. Its Bestial Growl ability will increase the physical attack of all monsters and Savage Claw will debuff the party's physical attack while Lunar Howl will remove all positive buffs from the party. Olberic was extremely fortunate to have his Physical Prowess passive skill which ensured that his physical attack/defense buffs would always remain in place, neutralizing out the enemy's debuffs at the very least. Getting hit for 1000-1500 damage at a time was a lot better than getting tagged for 1500-2250 from the same attacks as anyone else would have been suffering.
The trouble that I've always had with Mánagarmr in the past has come from the boss repeatedly summoning additional wolf minions and then overwhelming my characters with their attacks. Each one of the Direwolf minions has 30,000 HP and they dish out some serious damage once the main boss buffs up their attack. A solo character will be getting hit repeatedly by the Mánagarmr itself along with each of the minions and my past characters that tried this fight just couldn't survive the incoming damage. Of course, you can try killing the Direwolf minions but the main boss will summon back two of them when the first one dies, and then three of them if the second pair are overcome. That was when solo Runelord Tressa and solo Therion found themselves getting blitzed off the screen. Fortunately, Warmaster Olberic had a ready anwer to this problem: his Divine skill hit everything on the screen at once. I killed the first Direwolf immediately, then flattened the second pair when they showed up. I held Olberic's boost meter at full so that he could get rid of the final trio and was rewarded with this wonderful moment:
Hey look, three Direwolves, didn't see that one coming. Good thing that Olberic had his attack debuff wearing off on the next round and plenty of SP/BP to crush the latecoming arrivals. Winnehild's Battle Cry destroyed all three minions without them ever getting a chance to act. Mánagarmr made another attempt at summoning only to fail in the attempt, no more minions spawning after the group of three were gone. This meant that it was now a duel to the finish and I quickly discovered that Mánagarmr still had more tricks yet to play. It increased up to three actions per round and began debuffing Olberic's physical defense (not just his attack) while also continuing to buff its own attack. This was one of those situations where the fundamental math of the battle shifted, from Olberic easily able to use a Refreshing Jam whenever his health dropped low to a point where the boss was overwhelming him with damage. All that I could do was alternate Winnehild with Refreshing/Revitalizing Jams and try to hold on for dear life. As it turned out, Olberic had just barely enough resources to finish the battle:
I was able to drink a Revitalizing Jam and then survive long enough to get off a final Winnehild's Battle Cry that defeated the monster. Note that Mánagarmr was about to get four consecutive actions in a row after Olberic and I'm not sure that he would have survived even if I had used a healing item here. Olberic obviously would have lost if the damage from Winnehild hadn't been sufficient to land the kill, I hadn't been tracking the exact health of the boss and this was a real nervous moment until I saw the death animation start to play. Whew, not an easy fight at all even if Olberic did win on the initial attempt. He could not have won this battle if the Warmaster Divine skill had been a single target attack, it was only the mass damage output of killing the whole Direwolf pack at once which made it possible. Olberic's reward for winning: an Elemental Augmentor - what?! Seriously, the reward for the hardest optional side quest in the game is the same accessory that Tressa can Purchase in Stonegard for 6000 money at the start of the Chapter 2 stories. Between this quest reward and the 2% drop odds for the Battle-tested equipment in the 10 star Challenge battles, it sometimes makes me wonder if the designers had contempt for their own players. Couldn't there have been at least something decent for taking on this grueling additional challenge?
With the optional side quest opponents finished, I took a moment to pause and explore the full capacities of the Warmaster job. Olberic had gone through all of the trouble of unlocking the secret endgame jobs, he might as well test them out for fun. Remember how I loaded up all the best passive support skills from the other jobs on Runelord Tressa to see what that would look like? Let's do the same for Warmaster Olberic!
Olberic had more than 100,000 job points saved up in reserve and it was therefore easy to acquire all of the support skills from the other jobs. These were the four passive skills that I ended up taking. Physical Prowess was a no-brainer since it would keep Olberic's physical attack and defense in perma-buffed mode. Surpassing Power from the Warrior job was similarly needed to exceed the 9999 damage cap or else there would be no point to running this little experiment. I also grabbed BP Eater from the Starseer job, another one of Octopath Traveler's best support skills that increases damage by 50% whenever a boost point is spent on an ability. Finally, after thinking about possible choices for that last slot, I ended up keeping the Warmaster's own Fortitude ability. You may recall that this increases damage as the character's health drops lower, starting at 1/3 health and ultimately tripling all damage output if the character is sitting at 1 HP. If I could get Olberic to walk a tightrope on minimal health, he had the potential to inflict catastrophically high damage on his unfortunate victims.
Since Olberic was already in Wispermill from his battle against the Mánagarmr, I popped into the nearby Shrine of the Starseer to test out what his Divine skill would look like with these passives in place. After letting Olberic's health run down to almost nothing, I broke one of the Thunder Remnants and let fly with Winnehild. I recorded the results with the gameplay running at half speed to get a proper look at the carnage; here's the footage uploaded to YouTube along with a screenshot collage of the highlights:
Holy moley, that was a lot of damage!!! I was literally laughing out loud when I saw the 60,000 damage printouts start popping up and then repeating over and over again in succession. My one regret from this sequence is that the axe strike failed to go critical and "only" dealt 54,800 damage instead of exceeding the 60k mark like all of the other weapons (except of course the staff attack which naturally produced the 48k number since it had a lower starting base value). The grand total added up to 371,140 damage in all which was a jaw-droppingly large amount for Octopath Traveler. That would have been enough to one-shot any of the Chapter 4 bosses, any of the shrine guardians, and even enough to one-shot Mánagarmr who has the most health in the game outside of Galdera at 268k. Now I wouldn't have wanted to run Olberic down to 400 HP to get the maximum effect from the Fortitude support skill against someone like Mánagarmr but you get the idea. This was absurd overkill damage (the poor creature getting hit had all of 7000 HP) and it reinforced the wildly overpowered nature of the Warmaster job. Solo Runelord Tressa didn't even come remotely close to this and she also lacked a Divine skill that could hit the whole screen at once. I regretfully packed away the non-Warmaster support skills and set Olberic back to his default four passives, then headed off to the Gate of Finis to deal with the endgame boss rush gauntlet.
By the way, I recorded this sequence and uploaded a video to YouTube with some commentary; click here if you'd like to watch some of this gameplay in action.
I previously noted during the solo Therion report that the repeat boss fights behind the Gate of Finis aren't really that interesting. While it's true that each of these opponents has more health and higher stats than their original incarnations, there are no changes whatsoever in terms of their AI scripting. It's a rather lazy recycling of these prior encounters with nothing to shake things up or otherwise alter the previous gameplay. Olberic tackled each of these eight bosses in exactly the same fashion as before, making use of an Antidote Stone against the Venomtooth Tiger and a Void Amulet against Mattias and so on. I suppose that Olberic could now use his Divine skill against the Chapter 3 boss refights, that was the only thing that was somewhat new. The truth is that these battles simply weren't very difficult, not for a Warmaster who had maxed out their class and had plenty of healing items stacked up in reserve. This was mostly a parade of one Winnehild after another as the bosses were pummeled into submission. I could even win when I screwed up my defensive itemization and gave Olberic the wrong accessories:
I wasn't paying enough attention and mixed up the location of Werner and Simeon, thus starting this fight with Conscious and Calming Stone accessories equipped. Whoops! Neither one of them would do a lick of good against Simeon. The good news is that Olberic was strong enough that he could power through this battle anyway, eating Herbs of Clamor to cleanse his silence and tanking the dark element damage from Simeon's spells like a champ. While I made sure to avoid this mistake again on repeat playthroughs of the boss gauntlet, it was amusing to see how Olberic could still emerge victorious despite having the wrong items. Anyway, the only dangerous opponent was Darius and that was solely due to the "Call Comrade" insta-kill nonsense. I did some testing and figured out the correct pattern of Winnehild usage to avoid having the move show up, bursting down Darius without him ever getting a chance to use the dreaded ability. After that the rest of the field was basically a joke. Having to fight all eight bosses in succession without being able to save didn't matter for the Warmaster one bit. They quickly became pretty routine, an obstacle that had to be overcome before taking on the real challenge against Galdera.
The dark god Galdera is the ultimate secret boss in Octopath Traveler and I didn't even make an attempt to fight against it with my previous solo characters. To be clear, this is a two phase battle that requires two parties to complete and therefore it is not winnable for a solo character. However, I thought that Olberic was strong enough that he might be able to make it through the first phase and I resolved to see how far I could get. This was going to take some experimentation since I'd never spent any time with Galdera while playing previous characters.
The first phase of the Galdera boss fight (and the only one that I'd be seeing with Olberic) has a central target named the Omniscient Eye and then three limbs that appear and disappear throughout the rest of the battle. These are various types of souls (the Raging Soul, Screaming Soul, and Wailing Soul) and the central Eye is often invincible until the souls attached to it are defeated. One of those times takes place at the very start of the battle, where the Omniscient Eye is invulnerable to damage while the Raging Soul in the corner is alive. It starts out with only light element for a weakness and therefore Olberic needed to break out some Light Soulstones to smash through the shields followed by his Divine skill for damage. Each one of the souls has 50,000 HP but a single use of Winnehild was enough to kill the Raging Soul. Although it would be back soon enough Olberic was now able to hit the central eye for the first time.
He was getting hit by incoming attacks the whole time, of course. The Omniscient Eye mostly used elemental attacks like the Electrocute pictured above that hit for 2000 damage at a time. The Eye quickly summoned more souls which launched their own attacks at Olberic as well. Fortunately a lot of their attacks were physical in nature and Olberic did a good job of dodging them with his evasion gear. The boss also liked to buff the accuracy of its minions and debuff Olberic's accuracy (pretty useless) and sometimes would debuff Olberic's elemental defense (much more dangerous). For their part, the souls could use Peerless Poison which required bringing an Antidote Stone to block its effects as well as inflict blindness status on Olberic. That might not sound too bad but I eventually opted to bring a Bright Stone to counter it rather than add +1000 HP in the other accessory slot. Olberic had to be either healing or attacking on every round or else he wouldn't be able to keep pace in this battle. He didn't have the time to waste a round cleansing darkness status and that meant bringing the Bright Stone.
As I mentioned, Olberic was either using a Refreshing/Revitalizing Jam for healing or an Energizing Pomegranate or attacking on each round. The attack in question was always his Divine skill:
Winnehild's Battle Cry was the only ability that dealt enough damage to make a difference in this fight. The fact that it hit everything on the screen simultaneously was an absolute godsend and Olberic never would have been able to hang in this fight otherwise. Each of the three souls would keep reviving at 50,000 HP and Olberic could always kill them in two Winnehilds. He was frequently wiping them out every other turn only to have the central Eye keep bringing them back again. This went on for quite some time with Olberic having just enough health to stay out of the critical zone while pummeling the boss over and over again. The Omniscient Eye has 500,000 HP which is by far the most in the game and that dragged out this part of the battle for some time. Olberic needed to wipe out all three souls simultaneously or else the Eye would remain invincible and it took some preparation to line this up properly. The souls could also kill themselves for mass damage at unexpected moments, an attack that could deal as much as 4000 damage to Olberic (which would be 6000 damage if he hadn't had his Physical Prowess passive support skill). This was difficult, deadly stuff that Olberic needed to avoid while still getting off his own attacks.
Things became more dangerous when the main Eye fell below half health. It used an ability named Curse of the Afterworld that added a ticking death clock above Olberic's head which would result in a game over if he couldn't wipe out all three souls before it hit zero. This caused a stumbling block for a bit until I realized that Olberic needed to avoid getting blinded with the previously mentioned Bright Stone. There wasn't enough time to remove darkness status since that ate up a round that could have been spent attacking. And it's not like Galdera gave Olberic a lot of time to act, there were some occasions where he had all of three turns to eliminate the souls. There was exactly enough time to make this happen: Winnehild, then use a Revitalizing Jam, then use Winnehild again:
Note that there was exactly one turn remaining above Olberic's head on the death timer as he used his Divine skill yet again to clear the last remaining minion. There was absolutely no way that any other class in the game could have pulled this off, with Warmaster Olberic dancing an intricate pattern that kept him just barely one step ahead of his opponent. And it was indeed working, as the Omniscient Eye had dropped all the way down into the red on its healthbar. Olberic had done more than 400,000 damage at this point and needed less than 100k remaining to finish off the first phase. But unfortunately that was as far as I would make it on this quest. The Omniscient Eye used a scripted move named Consume Soul when it dropped below 25% HP, absorbing all three of the other souls to buff up its own physical attack and defense. The next turn it broke out something named Evil Eye and that was that:
This is the same petrification move that Redeye is supposed to use (but apparently doesn't) which turns a character to stone and can only be cured by an Herb of Grace item. It's a scripted event and will always take place so there's simply no way for a solo character to avoid this. I suppose that I could revive another character to tank the hit right before Evil Eye appeared but that wouldn't really be a solo game afterwards. Besides, it took about 30 minutes of real world time to reach this point in the Galdera battle (again with no save points anywhere beyond the Gate of Finis) and I didn't have any desire to keep poking around at this boss fight. I made it as far as a solo character can reach and I'm confident that Olberic would have won the fight if he hadn't been flattened by an unavoidable cheese kill from the boss. Besides, Olberic would have lost anyway even if he had defeated the Omniscient Eye since he couldn't take part in the second phase of the Galdera fight. I was satisfied to call things off here and commend Olberic on a job well done.
In conclusion, I don't think there's any doubt that the Warmaster is the best class in the game, at least as far as these solo challenges go. There's no other class that combines together the same diversity of weapon types, high base stats, amazing passive support skills, and extraordinarily powerful abilities that the Warmaster job possesses. Having played through the whole game with both the Runelord and the Warmaster, I can definitively state that the Warmaster is the stronger job for a solo variant. While the Runelord also has crazy amounts of damage to play around with, the Runelord lacks the same ease of shield breaking available to the Warmaster. The Runelord has to spend a turn buffing up with an elemental rune and then can only break one shield at a time with their elemental pursuits while the Warmaster can simply boost and auto attack to pop multiple shields immediately. The Warmaster's Physical Prowess passive is also inherently better than the Runelord's Elemental Edge because the vast majority of the damage in Octopath Traveler is physical in nature. There are simply more times where having the physical defense up buff comes into use. Finally, while Balogar's Blade is an awesome skill in its own right, the fact that it only hits a single target means that it also gets outclasses by Winnehild's War Cry. Everything that the Runelord does well the Warmaster does even better. The game's top physical class simply outperforms its top elemental class.
This may not have been the most challenging variant that I've undertaken but it was absurdly fun to play. Olberic was kicking butt and taking names from the start of the game right up to its very end - I had a complete blast. Thanks for reading along and I hope that you enjoyed following Olberic's journey.