All Guides that I make are to be considered a work-in-progress, as they are made with the combination of my own experimentation and theoretical information obtained from the Wiki. This particular guide will be modified as my current experiment, AnotherDPCoon (Fantasia, 3214), goes through while following this guide.
Hello, and welcome to my DP Duke Guide. It's taken me a while to get to this point, but I actually know the practical method for doing this now (after some trial and error with my first DP Duke, anyway). If you're looking for a high damage character with extremely good skills... then this is not the build for you. However, if you're looking for a character that can shrug off most attacks, then this is right up your alley. This build is a challenging one to play, however, and I would recommend you play on a more mainstream build in order to get into the groove of things first. An HP Coon is very similar to a DP one; if you want to get your feet wet with defensive builds but don't want to go overboard, why not check out One-Of-A-Kind's Pure HP Raccoon Guide
Before we start, take a look at my coon, KobayashiDaichi, on the Fantasia Server. I did some things right, but I did a bunch of other things wrong. With any luck, this guide will help you avoid my mistakes.
<<Screenshots go here>>
<<List of skills and their levels goes here>>
As of the time of this writing, KobayashiDaichi is a level 230 Duke with TM 205. His build graph is 4114, and his skill selection is more 'generic duke' instead of 'DP Duke' or even 'HP Duke' - largely because I'm cheap and didn't know the Charm skills as well as I should have when I started.
The end result is... mixed, to say the least. He's heavily reliant on his guardian and a lot of myshop in order to get things done, largely because I overlooked the all-important (for this build, anyway) Galder Skills. Still, it is highly satisfying to walk up to Soki and point out that he has to hit you five
times instead of just once or twice - a feat normally reserved for Bunnies, Mercs, and Lights.
THE BUILD GRAPH
<<Screenshots go here>>
I'm actually doing an experiment with a second DP Coon at this time. I would recommend you do 4114 until I can return the results of the experiment, largely because your melee combat is going to have to carry you all the way through to 3rd Job (with exception of Oops Wharf, more on that later). The major downside to 4114 isn't the carrying capacity - surprisingly, the downside is going to be MP consumption. This means that if you're not content to spend three minutes beating on one monster (and it can happen with a non-offensive build like this), you will be spamming skills. Which means you need more MP. Which is why I'm conducting my experiment - how important is AP, AC, and DX to a non-offensive Duke?
In any case, I would recommend 4114 (4 Power/Charm, 1 Sense/Magic) since you will be in melee quite a bit, and your first job offensive skills do benefit from AP (except for Final Blow, which uses Lost HP)
FIRST JOB - THE IMPLACABLE TEACHER
<<Screenshots go here>>
You're probably thinking "DP Coon, so DP Boosts." Am I wrong? Well, it's not entirely a bad idea, but there are more important skills to be levelling with your first 50 TM points, and you'll want the extra TM points from not
having these two skills.
Dodge Master is the foundation for your melee defense. Bring this up to Level 10 as soon as possible.
Galder Thrower is the foundation for the rest of your offensive skills. Bring this up to Level 10 as soon as possible.
Mana Reflector is your main defense against magic users. Learn it as soon as possible, but don't level it yet quite.
These three skills will carry you to 2nd job with ease. Aside from not knowing Power Blow, a DP Coon is no different from the millions of other Charm Types out there at this level. Before starting on Caballa Relics, head to Oops Wharf and register for Porting there - it'll save you time later, and you need to hit Phantom School for some easy TM from Ghost Books BEFORE reaching level 50, so now's the perfect time.
The only other thing I need to say here is to comp for HV until you reach TM 100, at which point you will want to switch to an HP/MD mix depending on your tastes.
The FIRST thing you should do when you reach 2nd job is learn Super Hips. I don't care if you only have TM 51, this is the most important thing to for you to get, so spam TM quests! This is what makes a DP coon have so much more lasting power than an HV or even HP coon. Consider for a moment how Super Hips works. Opponents that are within 100 levels of you will not land a critical hit. Opponents that are within 40 levels of you will not land a Power Blow.
<<Screenshot of AnotherDPCoon fighting a relevant monster with M Def Breaker in effect>>
But wait, there's more! You're familiar with M Def Breaker, right? That purple circle that Turvy or Pirate Boxer B gives you? What that does is it prevents you from dodging or blocking while that's in effect. Most charm types rely heavily on dodging to avoid taking damage, which means they take 'full' damage from attacks while that purple circle is over their head. Super Hips is NOT stopped by M Def Breaker or Guard Break - which means that even though every attack hits, every attack is a normal, non-crit attack! (I have NO idea whether Super Hips will allow you to avoid a Power Blow while Guard Break is in effect, largely because I've not paid attention to if that has happened or not. I'd assume that it would NOT, however, just to be on the safe side.)
Once you get Super Hips, learn Physical Training and Skunk Pouch, bring your skills to level 10 if you haven't already, and master Galder Throw if you haven't already.
Physical Training boosts the most important stat in the game, HP.
Skunk Pouch is your first line of offense against Requi, anything with Cure, and anything with Faint.
SECOND JOB - WAIT, REQUI DOES WHAT?
For now, skip the yummy yummy stuff you can do in Oops Wharf and focus on your second stint at Phantom School. The Inky Muck card quest and Maro Toy monster quests should now be available. Do them, then head back to the Gate of Oops Wharf. Trust me, it's better this way.
Try fighting a Requi. Should be easy, right? A nice, somewhat cute monster with decent melee attacks and a little bit of dark attrib-WHAT THE HELL!? DID HE JUST EXPLODE?
<<Screenshot of Daichi getting exploded by a Requi>>
Requi knows Suicide. Requi only uses suicide against Charm Types. Requi will use Suicide at the first available opportunity
(as opposed to a somewhat more sane 'if he's under 30% or 50% or 90% health remaining' - yes, Requi will Suicide FROM FULL HEALTH if you draw his attention but don't damage him). This is true for ALL variations of Requi, including the active ones in Captain Skull's trials. You're a Charm Type with crap-to-average offenses. This is why you need Skunk Pouch
(it doesn't draw his attention). This was one of my mistakes with Daichi. Card Strike can work here, and it is stronger than Galder Thrower once at level 10. This is pretty much the main reason you have Card Strike, since it will later be outclassed by Siren Song.
Aside from the Requi problem, the only other monster that would give you fits in Oops Wharf is Master Foe, since he's got Faint. Again, Skunk Pouch him when you get the chance, then use your most damaging skill (which will probably be Card Strike). Use this same strategy on Dark Hallow on Mirage Island, only augmented with Mana Reflector if you've got the MP for it. Anything that can pin you to one spot can kill you with ease, no matter what character and build you've got - unless you can manage to take no damage from their attacks.
The next Skill you will want to get is Impelling Rage, and it will be your main Close-Range Attack Skill for pretty much the rest of the way. Largely because it's HP-based and you've been comping for HP. You have been comping for HP, haven't you? Oh, wait, I said HV earlier. Once you get Impelling Rage, start switching your equipment comps for HP as opposed to HV (while putting MD on your shields). Yes, Card Strike will suffer, but from here on out either Siren Song is inherently better at being a ranged attack (especially since it also benefits from HP), or else you should be using one of the Galder skills anyway. The only advantage Card Strike has anymore is that it's got a low MP cost.
Now, at TM 120, if you only have the skills I've said to get, and you have mastered Galder Thrower, you will have spent 86 points. Pick up Furious Galder Throw for Tribunal Leviathan, and master Metamorphosis for the Tribunal monsters that know Berserker (pick up Wild Nail too, if you're not confident in your Meta'd Melee - just remember that it's stronger with HV equips instead of HP ones). This is why you skipped over the Shield skills (If you've got the TM for it, max out Wild Nail at this point as well.)
One last bit of advice - DON'T PANIC
. It may take you until Base 150 or further before you can finally beat Tribunal Leviathan. You won't get your other decent offensive skill until TM 140 anyway, so go ahead and become stronger first.
THIRD JOB - HE DANCES AT CHIPPENDALES ON FRIDAY NIGHTS
<<Screenshot of That One Room>>
If you managed to make Duke before finishing Rose and Episode 3, good for you. From here on out, it's your choice how you want to play this character. I would recommend that you stay with the Pseudo-HP Duke style, but it's really up to you. Some things to note about 3rd job.
* If you don't have Sturdy Shield and Shield All, make those your priority. They are a LOT more useful starting from Vamp Dungeon, especially on a DP build.
* You can drop Card Strike once you get Siren Song. Siren Song is your first priority - moreso if you've been comping everything for HP.
* Galder Barrage and Fist Full of Galders should be learned immediately after Siren Song (again, this is a mistake I made with Daichi)
* Flux Capacitor will help with MP problems, as long as you can compensate for the HP cost.
* Deadly Funk replaces Skunk Pouch once you learn it.
* Sumo Suit is nice to have for those annoying Magic-using monsters. Just remember to cast Mana Reflector FIRST for the full effect.
* Once all that is done, start learning the rest of the skills you can learn, starting with Final Blow and ending with Magic Defense Breaker.
SO, I'VE GOT THIS MAP...
<<Screenshot of Daichi and Sephirens beating on Punisher Fire Golem>>
If you've gotten your 16 secret cards, good for you. You probably won't have any real trouble getting your Guardian after that point. Nope, it's when you get to Alteo Empire that things start to become hairy again. Specifically, when you get into Solo Harkon. All I can really say about that is to bring LOTS and LOTS of healing items. Your goal is to survive long enough to kill Chronos. If you really need another tip, just remember that the only General that will go for the Harkon while you've got Mind's Eye active is Scylla - everyone else will chase YOU instead, so use that to your advantage. The rest of the bosses in Alteo (I can't speak for Flashire Snake just yet) aren't nearly as bad as the Solo Harkon sequence, although the Nereides do
have banish and will
use it during your fight with Janus.
No Matter What
If you are capable of getting the Pharaoh set, get it and use it. It's more powerful than pretty much anything you can get below level 90.
For those of you who get items on other, stronger characters
Town Sets versus Ticket Knives:
Town Sets give fairly nice bonuses to the secondary stats (DA and HV) if you equip all three parts - but sometimes you will find that you get better primary stats (AP and DP) if you use regional variants - for example, Edge Silver Knife with 22% soil will give you more damage output than the complete Desert Set even with the reduction of AP, which frees up your Head and Shield to use stronger things.
Edge Silver Knife needs at least 15% soil to do more damage than the Desert Set - ten Patterned Pottery (drilled in Caballa Relics) will give you 16% at the very least.
Poppuri Dungeon does not have any Ticket Weapons, so either gather HV/HP 50 stones, or immediately start drilling in Caballa Dungeon for Letter Earring and Tortoise Shell (only need 2 per slot), though the persistant can create a Morph Dagger in the Black Market (though I don't know how much soil you'd need to outdamage the Poppuri Hero set).
TODO: Caballa Relics weapon comparison
TODO: Find out when In-Game equips stand a chance of outperforming the Pharaoh Set.
For those of you who either can't or won't get items on other, stronger characters
Stick to Town Sets and comp HV on everything
until you reach TM 90 - at which point you still should switch to HP in order to boost the damage output of Impelling Rage.