@lily-rain Thank you for catching that! lol
Converse with fellow players
Heyo, both your builds have Photon Slayer at max, and that's not a very good investment imo. You also only have 1SP invested in Crazy Heart when it's most useful to have it at max (5/5). The reason is because Crazy Heart will proc during your time in Overload and will help aid you in PP regen during your Normal 3 attacks. More PP regen per hit means less time using normals and more time using PAs which will overall increase your dps.
That said, if Photon Slayer is your thing, then go ahead and keep it. But if you're looking for optimal build, I suggest investing only 1SP if you really can't leave it behind.
@Takezo-Kenzei @Whoisthisacekid Heyo. I’m glad you brought this up. You do make a great point that people should learn to question instead of blindly following. Play the game the way you want to, which is exactly what I stated at the end of my post “I’m all for player choice and playstyle,” if you happened to miss it. If you did read that part, but still did not understand that I am a supporter of player choice, then I humbly apologize for my lack of ability to properly convey my intent through my poor word choices. I shall reflect on that and try my best not to repeat this mistake in future posts. My post was very long already so I left some things out, but since you’ve brought attention to it, I will take this opportunity to address the things I had left out. I will also further elaborate on points already mentioned since you’ve expressed concerns regarding where I got my math from.
With that out of the way, as I stated in my previous post, I do want players to be well-informed before making such decisions. This is especially true regarding matters such as skill trees since it will have a huge influence on how you play your class. In the case that mistakes were made, not all players are willing to fork out money or SG to reset/remake a tree made due to mistakes and lack of information. This means that our only means of resetting/remaking our skill trees are to wait for the occasional All Skill Tree Reset pass to be handed out or delete our character and recreate her/him. Both options are rather time-consuming especially when you’re no longer in the low-levels, so the best route to take is to ensure that, if possible, no skill tree reset is needed.
Now, if I had to say, the main reason I wrote that wall of text to begin with was because there are a significant number of players like yourself who claim that going max Half/Deadline/PP Slayer is the way to go for maximum damage. This is true -- I’m not saying it isn’t. You do indeed deal more damage if you max Half/Dead/PP Slayer, as I had shown and supported from my hypothetical example in my previous post where there was a difference of +55 Mel-Atk between a max Slayers OL vs a max Mel-Atk OL. However, this is not all there is to the story for reasons which I had already stated in my previous post. Repeating what I said previously on this post would be a waste of text space and time for both me, the writer, and you, the reader, so if you have forgotten what the reasons were, I implore you to go back and reread what I stated in my previous post before reading the rest of this post.
Now to address your concerns; since hypothetical numbers didn’t seem to hold any significance for you, I had taken some time out to show you with actual in-game demonstrations, numbers and math instead. Here, I will provide answers to your question -- where am I getting these math from? Since you did not clarify which part of the math I provided confused you, I will take the bold assumption that you had absolutely zero clue on how or where I got any of the maths I provided from. Therefore, I will go, one by one, and show you how and where exactly my math and numbers were obtained from.
Firstly, I will be focusing on the Mel-Atk stat buffs which I mentioned to be Shifta Drink, Shifta Tech and Team Tree Attack. All math henceforth will no longer use the numbers I provided from my previous post as those were maximum numbers to prove a point. Since you want to see real in-game numbers, I will have to use my personal JP PSO2 account, and frankly speaking, I do not have all the mentioned multipliers. I will show all three buffs and their multipliers, but just keep in mind that the multipliers here are different from my previous post. But for what it’s worth, they will still work as intended albeit some minor differences, and the reasonings will still remain unchanged.
Let’s start with the Team Tree Attack buff. Depending on your Team Tree and its Attack buff level, it will have a buff ranging from Level 1 of 5% (x1.05) to Level 8 of 20% (x1.20). This buff applies directly to your base Mel-Atk which means it will not further buff the Mel-Atk gained from equipping weapons or units and in extension, all Slayers (as well as Crazy Beat) from Fi skill tree. As I mentioned previously, these are considered flat stat boosts so Shifta Drink, Shifta and Team Tree Attack buff will not buff these boosts. Below, I will show you with my own character what the base Mel-Atk looks like before and after getting Team Tree Attack buff. Additionally, I have also included Mel-Atk stats gained from weapons and units to show that their Mel-Atk stats are not affected by Team Tree Attack buff. My Team Tree Attack buff is only Level 5 or 14% as shown in the picture and with my raw base Mel-Atk of 784, I would expect the Attack buff to increase my Mel-Atk to 894 which would be, in accordance to my Team Tree Attack buff, a 14% increase or x1.14.
Base Mel-Atk 784 https://imgur.com/1sYAcu8
Here is the math: 784 [base Mel-Atk] x 1.14 [Team Tree Attack buff] = 893.76 [buffed base Mel-Atk] or in-game, rounded to 894 Mel-Atk.
Buffed Base Mel-Atk 894 https://imgur.com/A4324uk
Next, I will show how much Shifta Tech will buff you. The Shifta that I will be using is only a level 14 Shifta which gives a buff of x1.193. As shown in the game, my Shifta has a Power notation of 193. This is simply to say that my Shifta will give a 19.3% buff or x1.193 multiplier to my base Mel-Atk. With Team Tree Attack buff and a 19.3% increase, I expect my base Mel-Atk to be buffed to 1066 Mel-Atk.
Here is the math: 784 [base Mel-Atk] x 1.14 [Team Tree Attack buff] x 1.193 [Level 14 Shifta] = 1,066.26 [base Mel-Atk] or in-game, rounded to 1066 Mel-Atk. As expected.
Buffed Base Mel-Atk 1,066 https://imgur.com/lADxipP
Finally, we’re moving on to the Shifta Drink buff. The Shifta Drink EX [Large Attack] buff that I will be using has a multiplier of x1.50 due to being in JP PSO2, which I mentioned in my previous post. Hopefully, NA will have this huge buff to Shifta Drink soon. The Shifta Drink EX will increase my base Mel-Atk by 50% or x1.50 multiplier. With Team Tree Attack buff, a 19.3% increase from Shifta, and a 50% increase from Shifta Drink EX [Large Attack], I expect my base Mel-Atk to be buffed to 1,599 Mel-Atk.
Here is the math: 784 [base Mel-Atk] x 1.14 [Team Tree Attack buff] x 1.193 [Level 14 Shifta] x 1.50 [Shifta Drink EX Large Attack] = 1,599.38 or in-game, rounded to 1,599 Mel-Atk.
Buffed Base Mel-Atk 1,599 https://imgur.com/uqBRP1M
Now, to show that Mel-Atk gained from weapons/units are not affected by the three buffs mentioned above. With all three buffs active, my current Mel-Atk is 1,599 and by equipping my Monkey King Bar DS that has a Mel-Atk of 335, I expect my Mel-Atk to increase to 1,934. If I equip my rear unit Gloam Symbol +10 which has an affix of +60 Mel-Atk, I can expect my Mel-Atk to increase to 1,994. If I equip the arm unit Blitz Sign +10 which has an affix of +60 Mel-Atk, and due to the set effect of equipping both Rear/Gloom and Arm/Blitz, I will gain an additional +60 Mel-Atk. This will increase my Mel-Atk to a total of 2,114.
Here is the math: 784 [base Mel-Atk] x 1.14 [Team Tree Attack buff] x 1.193 [Level 14 Shifta] x 1.50 [Shifta Drink EX Large Attack] + 335 [Monkey King Bar Mel-Atk] + 60 [Rear/Gloam Symbol Unit] + 60 [Arm/Blitz Sign Unit] + 60 [Gloom/Blitz set effect] = 2,114.38 or in-game, rounded to 2,114 Mel-Atk.
Buffed Base Mel-Atk + Weap/Units 2,114 https://imgur.com/UwHtuH6
Now, I will go ahead and show that Slayers/Crazy Beat (max or not) are also treated in the same fashion as weapons/units -- that is, they are flat Mel-Atk boost and not affected by Team Tree Attack, Shifta Tech and Shifta Drink buffs. Currently, my Fi has a 6/10 Halfline Slayer (+34 Mel-Atk), a max 10/10 Deadline Slayer (+150 Mel-Atk), 10/10 Photon Slayer (+200 Mel-Atk) and 5/5 Crazy Beat (+200 Mel-Atk). By activating OverLoad and with PP under 50%, I will expect my Mel-Atk of 2,114 to increase by +584 Mel-Atk for a total of 2,698 Mel-Atk.
Here is the math: 784 [base Mel-Atk] x 1.14 [Team Tree Attack buff] x 1.193 [Level 14 Shifta] x 1.50 [Shifta Drink EX Large Attack] + 335 [Monkey King Bar Mel-Atk] + 60 [Rear/Gloam Symbol Unit] + 60 [Arm/Blitz Sign Unit] + 60 [Gloom/Blitz set effect] + 34 [Halfline Slayer] + 150 [Deadline Slayer] + 200 [Crazy Beat] + 200 [Photon Slayer] = 2,698.38 or in-game, rounded to 2,698 Mel-Atk.
Buffed Base Mel-Atk + Weap/Units + OL + All Slayers 2,698 https://imgur.com/prmTCul
Hopefully, with these visuals combined with the math I provided, you are now convinced that the buffs I mentioned from my previous post only works on base Mel-Atk and does not apply to any Mel-Atk gained from weapons, units, Slayers, and Crazy Beat. That said, there are actually exceptions, which applies to any Mel/Rng/Tec-Atk stat gained from unit SSAs (S6/7/8), but since this is a NA discussion thread, I will not provide any further details as these do not currently exist in NA PSO2. Feel free to explore and research this exception at your own discretion.
Now that my math is done, let’s move on to showing actual damage and the difference between them. The target will be an immobile Rockbear from Damage Training Quest, a feature that is currently unavailable on NA at the moment. We will be focusing on a critical hit damage from one of Illusion Flurry’s first 13 hits. We will not be using the last hit, which is 35% of the total PA damage. The reason for this is because it can be kinda hard to SS, but most importantly, we want to have a critical hit damage for the basis of our comparison. A critical hit, visually indicated by a bold blue number, means that it is the maximum damage that you can do with absolutely zero variance. This makes it easier to compare actual damage differences. Furthermore, Illusion Flurry consists of 14 hits, with the first 13 hits making up 5% each for a total of 65%, and finishes with the 14th hit, making up 35% and giving us a total of 100% damage from the PA. With only 70% critical hit rate, it’s easier for us to see a critical hit from one of the 13 hits as compared to hoping for the final hit to be a critical hit.
With that noted, let’s take a look. First off will be the true Fighter build https://bit.ly/2YpNcIx provided to us by Takezo. Unfortunately, my character is only a level 52Fi/71Hu, which means I am missing some points from the skill tree themselves. However, this was remedied by ignoring percentage multipliers such as a max Valiant Stance (going beyond +5SP will only give rear damage multipliers, which we are ignoring in this discussion due to it not affecting our damage dealt when facing our enemy from the front) or Tech Arts Perfect Attack Bonus, which gives a 15% or x1.15 damage multiplier to our attack when the conditions are fulfilled. These types of damage modifiers are consistent regardless of your Mel-Atk and levels. This means that if you deal 1,000 damage as a level 52, with TAPA, that attack will now become 1,000 x 1.15 = 1150 damage dealt. Likewise, if you deal 2,000 damage as a level 75, with TAPA, that attack will now become 2,000 x 1.15 = 2,300 damage dealt. The point is, this modifier will remain constant so we can ignore it since it will be the same regardless of which build we go with. The only thing that will cause a difference in our damage is solely the flat Mel-Atk gained from max Slayers and the base Mel-Atk gained from Melee Up 2 & 3. Therefore, as long as we are talking about frontal damage which is the case here, any multipliers that I have ignored will still apply normally.
First off, I will show how much damage Illusion Flurry does with a max Slayers, but Photon Slayer is not active. As can be seen, we have a total of 2,498 Mel-Atk once OverLoad is active and Illusion Flurry hits with a critical hit of 8,134. Once our PP drops below 50%, Photon Slayer becomes active and increases our Mel-Atk by a flat +200 Mel-Atk, reaching a total of 2,698 Mel-Atk. Our Illusion Flurry now hits with a critical hit of 8,781. This means that once Photon Slayer’s +200 Mel-Atk is active, our damage was increased by about 8%.
Here is the math: 8,781/8,134 = 1.07954 or another way to see it, 8,134 x 1.07954 = 8,780.98 or rounded to 8,781 in-game.
Illusion Flurry damage with Slayers build, OL and Photon Slayer inactive: 8,134 https://imgur.com/9YTrrav
Illusion Flurry damage with Slayers build, OL and Photon Slayer active: 8,781 https://imgur.com/Sban4q4
An increase of 8% in damage sounds like a huge deal, right? So why did I recommend against Photon Slayer if that’s the case? Well, there’s a catch. It’s only 8% because of my character’s low total Mel-Atk. See how I’m using a DS that has a Mel-Atk of 335 only? What do you think will happen if I use a DS with higher Mel-Atk? Let’s say, a DS that has over 1000 Mel-Atk. In this next example, I will be using a 14* DS known as Dim D. Saber (currently unavailable in NA) which has a Mel-Atk of 1,184. With this DS equipped, my Mel-Atk is now brought up to a total of 3,347 while Overload is active. With Photon Slayer active, my Mel-Atk is further raised by +200 for a total of 3,547 Mel-Atk. Now, let’s see how much Photon Slayer will increase our damage.
Buffed Base Mel-Atk + Dim.Weap/Units + OL + Half/Deadline Slayers 3,347 https://imgur.com/d7O4Nc6
Buffed Base Mel-Atk + Dim.Weap/Units + OL + All Slayers 3,547 https://imgur.com/bl2tTG9
As can be seen, without Photon Slayer, our Illusion Flurry crits for a total of 13,109 with Overload active. Once Photon Slayer is active, our Illusion Flurry crits for a total of 13,756. Our damage was increased by about 5% only this time.
Here is the math: 13,756/13,109 = 1.04936 or another way to see it, 13,109 x 1.04936 = 13,756.06 or rounded to 13,756 in-game.
Illusion Flurry damage with Slayers build, OL and Photon Slayer inactive: 13,109 https://imgur.com/7UarWUU
Illusion Flurry damage with Slayers build, OL and Photon Slayer active: 13,756 https://imgur.com/yTPyByo
With a simple increase of +849 Mel-Atk (1,184 Dim DS - 335 MKB DS), our Photon Slayer effective modifier dropped almost by half, from a x1.08 down to x1.05. Seeing how my Fighter is only level 52 with a 71 Hu-sub, what do you think will further happen to Photon Slayer’s effective modifier once I reach 75Fi/75Hu and all the Mel-Atk that I will gain from those levels? The answer is clear as day: Photon Slayer effective modifier will only drop even more.
Now to briefly mention the other Slayers; I choose Photon Slayer to use as the prime example simply because it has the highest Mel-Atk boost. If a +200 Mel-Atk boost dropped from a x1.08 multiplier to x1.05 multiplier with a simple increase in Mel-Atk, what would that mean for the Mel-Atk provided from Half/Deadline Slayers? It basically means that their value, as seen with Photon Slayer, will only continue to dwindle. And, surprisingly, Takezo also provided us with a level 95Fi/95Hu true Fighter build https://bit.ly/3hT6Ft4 so it would be a waste not to briefly touch on it.
This skill tree includes all Slayers at max, but since it’s based on endgame in JP PSO2, how much do you think Slayers provide us? The current BiS DS (Presa Stil) in JP has a whopping base Mel-Atk of 2123. If +849 Mel-Atk was enough to drop Photon Slayer’s effective multiplier by almost half, what do you think another +939 Mel-Atk (2123 Presa Stil - 1184 Dim D.Saber) will have on Photon Slayer’s effective multiplier? And this is excluding all the Mel-Atk that you’ll gain from another 20 levels in Fi (75 to 95) and Hu (75 to 95). I hope that by now, you’ve realized the trend in where this is going: flat Mel-Atk boost will continue to only give diminishing returns as you attain higher levels and obtain stronger weapons.
Now that I’ve finished showing real in-game numbers with Takezo’s true Fighter skill tree builds, let’s take a quick look at what I originally suggested. A huge thanks to Whoisthisace for providing us with standard Fi/Hu skill trees for both level 75 https://bit.ly/2zZg0yr and level 95 https://bit.ly/39SXlkh so I can make an easy comparison.
Using the trees provided as a foundation, I unfortunately do not have enough SP due to lower levels so like with the max Slayers build, I ignored some of the multipliers and focused solely on investing points into Melee Up, since this entire discussion was to see whether or not going max Slayers was worth more than going max Melee Up.
With this build, my character has a base Mel-Atk of 939 Mel-Atk. With Team Tree Attack buff, x1.193 Shifta Tech, and x1.50 Shifta Drink EX [Large Attack], my Mel-Atk increases to a total of 1,916.
Here is the math: 939 [base Mel-Atk] x 1.14 [Team Tree Attack buff] x 1.193 [Level 14 Shifta] x 1.50 [Shifta Drink EX Large Attack] = 1,915.59 or rounded to 1,916 Mel-Atk in-game.
Buffed Base Mel-Atk 1,916 https://imgur.com/zQUKwT8
Following the same Slayer build format, a MKB DS with +355 Mel-Atk and set effect from Rear/Gloom and Arm/Blitz will give me a total of 2,431 Mel-Atk.
Here is the math: 939 [base Mel-Atk] x 1.14 [Team Tree Attack buff] x 1.193 [Level 14 Shifta] x 1.50 [Shifta Drink EX Large Attack] + 335 [Monkey King Bar Mel-Atk] + 60 [Rear/Gloam Symbol Unit] + 60 [Arm/Blitz Sign Unit] + 60 [Gloom/Blitz set effect] = 2,430.59 or rounded to 2,431 Mel-Atk in-game.
Buffed Base Mel-Atk + Weap/Units 2,431 https://imgur.com/KdK6nol
This build has no SP invested into Photon Slayer so while under Overload, we will only receive stat boosts from Halfline (+26) and Deadline Slayer (+40) and Crazy Beat (+200). Therefore, while Overload is active, we will receive an additional +266 Mel-Atk, giving us a total of 2,697 Mel-Atk.
Here is the math: 939 [base Mel-Atk] x 1.14 [Team Tree Attack buff] x 1.193 [Level 14 Shifta] x 1.50 [Shifta Drink EX Large Attack] + 335 [Monkey King Bar Mel-Atk] + 60 [Rear/Gloam Symbol Unit] + 60 [Arm/Blitz Sign Unit] + 60 [Gloom/Blitz set effect] + 26 [Halfline Slayer] + 40 [Deadline Slayer] + 200 [Crazy Beat] = 2,696.59 or rounded to 2,697 Mel-Atk in-game.
Buffed Base Mel-Atk + Weap/Units + OL + All Slayers 2,697 https://imgur.com/bo7idcY
Now that we have the Mel-Atk stats, let’s go ahead and dive into real in-game combat to get numbers. The method used to analyze the Slayers’ build will also be used here as well to remain consistent with our tests and results. However, unlike the Slayers’ build which had a minimum and maximum damage dealt due to needing to be below 50% PP in order to utilize Photon Slayer, this Melee Up build will have consistent damage regardless of your PP.
Since we only want to compare the maximum damage possible between the two builds, I will only use the Slayers’ damage while Photon Slayer is active as a comparison. As can be seen, with MKB DS equipped, Illusion Flurry hits with a critical hit of 8,775 damage and this damage remains consistent even after falling below 50% PP. Now let’s compare to see how different the damage is.
Illusion Flurry damage with Slayers build, OL and Photon Slayer active: 8,781 https://imgur.com/Sban4q4
Illusion Flurry damage with Melee Up build, OL active: 8,775 https://imgur.com/nqWsN3l
Here, we see only a 8,781/8,775 = x1.00068 or 0.068% damage difference. In other words, with all Slayers active, you will more or less do the same amount of damage as going a Melee Up build.
Let’s now take a look at how difference the damage is with a higher rarity weapon -- in this case, a 14* Dim D.Saber with 1184 Mel-Atk. With this DS, the Melee Up build will now have 3,546 total Mel-Atk while OL is active. As can be seen, Illusion Flurry now hits with a critical hit of 13,750 and remains consistent throughout OL. Let’s go ahead and compare it to Slayers’ Dim. D.Saber damage.
Illusion Flurry damage with Slayers build, OL and Photon Slayer active: 13,756 https://imgur.com/yTPyByo
Illusion Flurry damage with Melee Up build, OL active: 13,750 https://imgur.com/PkeHBKf
Here, we see only a 13,756/13,750 = x1.00044 or 0.044% damage difference. In other words, with all Slayers active, you will more or less do the same amount of damage as a Melee Up build. So what’s the greatest difference between these two builds if their maximum damage seems to be more or less the same during Overload?
The answer is: max Slayers is only barely beating Melee Up by a miniscule not-even-1% damage difference, and this is with all Slayers active. That means you still need to reach the 50% PP condition required before you can even beat Melee Up while OL is active. And even then, you’re only doing +6 more damage (13,756 - 13,750) while having significantly more conditions to fulfill than Melee Up build.
Now, the final nail to this coffin and bury it for good. For this comparison, I will use Takezo’s true Fighter build to explain. If you checked the skill tree, only 5SP was invested into Overload. This means that Overload will be active for 30s and then receive a 30s CD. So what’s the significance here? The significance here is that this build essentially means you spend 50% of your damage in Overload (let’s give benefit of the doubt and say you never lose it to a stray attack) and the other 50% off-OL while it’s on CD. This condition will apply to both builds: max Slayers vs max Melee Up.
We’ve seen how the damage compares between the two builds while in OL. Now let’s take a look at how the damage compares between the two builds while off-OL. Starting with the Slayers’ build, we will have a minimum and maximum possible damage due to Photon Slayer’s condition. As can be seen, Slayers’ Illusion Flurry minimum damage dealt is 9,889 while the maximum damage dealt is 10,428 (when Photon Slayer is active). On the other hand, Melee Up build has no minimum so we’ll just use the only damage dealt possible, which is 10,741. Let’s see what the difference is.
Illusion Flurry damage with Slayers build, Photon Slayer active, OL inactive: 10,428 https://imgur.com/4tHP0s9
Illusion Flurry damage with Melee Up build, OL inactive: 10,741 https://imgur.com/m6mRpEo
Here, we see a 10,741/10,428 = x1.03002 or 3.002% damage difference. Unlike Slayers’ previous 0.068% or 0.048% damage difference, we actually see that off-OL, Melee Up does a significant 3.002% more damage than max Slayers. This means that while 50% of the time, Melee Up will do more or less the same amount of damage as a max Slayers, the other 50% of the time, Melee up will do 3% more damage than max Slayers with absolutely no conditional requirements, and thus actually result in a higher DPS output. This difference becomes even more significant if you fail to stay alive during the 30s of Overload at any given time.
So yeah, it’s been a super long read so I’ll just quickly show the numbers next to one another for a TL;DR.
Total Mel-Atk with Slayers build, OL and Photon Slayer inactive: 2,114 Mel-Atk
Total Mel-Atk with Slayers build, OL and Photon Slayer active: 2,698 Mel-Atk
Total Mel-Atk with Melee Up build, OL inactive: 2,431 Mel-Atk
Total Mel-Atk with Melee Up build, OL active: 2,697 Mel-Atk
Illusion Flurry damage with Slayers build, OL and Photon Slayer active: 13,756
Illusion Flurry damage with Melee Up build, OL active: 13,750
Illusion Flurry damage with Slayers build, Photon Slayer active, OL inactive: 10,428
Illusion Flurry damage with Melee Up build, OL inactive: 10,741
Max Slayers vs Max Melee Up, OL active, 30s duration: Slayers does 0.068% more
Max Slayers vs Max Melee Up, OL inactive, 30s duration: Melee Up does 3.002% more
This time, instead of tossing random hypothetical numbers that were easy to read, I have used and compared the two builds with real in-game numbers with the true Fighter build provided by Takezo and standard Fighter build provided by Whoisthisace. I hope that providing these real in-game visuals were enough to finally convince you that going with a Melee Up build instead of a max Slayers build is the better investment for now and the future.
Side note, I did make a minor mistake though in my calculations from my previous post. I used Shifta’s level 17 multiplier of x1.197 due to habit from previous calculations done back during my time in JP. Forgive me. This also means my Te Shifta of x1.24625 is also wrong, but luckily, I made no calculations with this so I get out of jail free. Yay. Currently, NA’s Shifta is a level 15 which has a multiplier of only x1.194 or in my in-game case here, a level 14 Shifta with a multiplier of x1.193.
This skill tree was taken from the class builds (I did tweak it a little though) that can be found in Phantasy Star Fleet discord. There's a channel dedicated to NA Fighters such as yourself and there are many knowledgeable players so feel free to join!
Well, I think the first question we should address is "Why do you want to use Guard Stance over Fury Stance?" If your idea is that it'll make you more tanky, then you are correct; it does indeed make you more tanky. However, your damage will plummet significantly, and by that I mean, you will might as well not do any damage at all. With that out of the way, I'll go over some basic math to show the underwhelming performance of choosing Guard Stance over Fury Stance. Before we start, keep in mind that all calculations henceforth will focus only on melee damage received (to you by enemies) and melee damage dealt (by you to enemies). Following what you suggested, the Hunter skill tree I have made for this case will have all skills regarding Guard Stance, all melee boosters, Iron Will and Stalwart Spirit at max. https://bit.ly/2UzlrLh
Let's start first with the Guard Stance focused Hunter skill tree. At max Guard Stance, we receive only 75% damage or in other words, we get a 25% damage reduction. Assuming you're going all out with Guard Stance, we will include Guard Stance Up as well for argument's sake. A max Guard Stance Up gives us another 90% damage taken or 10% damage reduction. Now, I will include Hunter Physique under the assumption that you want a tanky build. A max Hunter's Physique will give us superarmor as well as a 75% damage taken or 25% damage reduction. I will also just mention Flash Guard 1 as well since a minimum of 3SP is required in order for us to unlock Hunter's Physique. At 3SP, Flash Guard 1 will give us a 94% damage taken or 6% damage reduction. Below, I will show how damage redcution work in the game.
Damage reduction stacks mulitplicatively; in short, you get diminishing returns for each investment. Let's do some math to show this point. Keep in mind that the actual damage calculation is more complicated, and what I'm showing is just a simplified version of it -- for all intents and purposes, this simplified calculation will work [damage received] x [1 - damage reduction]. Let's say that an enemy deals 200 melee damage to you before any damage reduction is calculated. How would all the skills above reduce the damage? As mentioned above, damage reduction is multiplicative so here's how that math would look like.
200 [damage received] x 0.75 [Guard Stance] x 0.90 [Guard Stance Up] x 0.94 [Flash Guard 1] x 0.75 [Hunter Physique] = 95 total damage received. As we can see, with all the reductions above, you essentially get a total of 52.5% damage reduction [1 - (95/200)] from any melee damage attacks. Doesn't sound too bad, but now the real question is, is it worth sacrificing Fury Stance for this damage reduction?
I will now shift my focus from damage reduction to damage dealt by you. While providing damage reduction, without being a Hunter-main class, Guard Stance will essentially provide zero damage multipliers for you. This means that your damage while using Guard Stance will rely solely on your damage multipliers from your Fighter skill tree. Now, I will discuss the damage potential you do receive from the max melee boosters from the Hunter skill tree. Although Stalwart Spirit does provide a huge Mel-Atk stat boost of +300, due to its heavy reliance on RNG, I will not be discussing it. With that out of the way, let's get started.
The Mel-Atk you receive from all three melee boosters at max is 50 + 75 + 100 for a total of +225 Mel-Atk. While it sound like a huge boost, let's actually breakdown how much this translates to actual damage increase in percentage. For simplicity as well as due to currently low atk stats, let's say that +30 Mel-Atk translates to about 1% damage increase. This means that 225/30 = 7.5% damage increase. From the Hunter skill tree that I provided, 10SP was invested into Perfect Attack Bonus 1 which gives an additional 10% damage bonus on any Perfect Attacks you get. Assuming you have a high rate of Perfect Attacks, the damage multpliers you'll be getting from this Hunter sub skill tree will be 1.075 [all melee boosters] x 1.10 [Perfect Attack Bonus 1] = 1.1825 or 18.25% damage bonus.
Now that I've shown you how much damage you get from this Guard Stance focused Hunter sub skill tree, let's take a quick look at what you can get from a regular Fury Stance focused Hunter sub skill tree. Below, I will show the calculations for damage reduction provided by this tree as well as damage multipliers.
First off, damage reduction: 200 [damage received] x 0.94 [Flash Guard 1] x 0.75 [Hunter Physique] = 141 total damage received. This is gives us a total of 29.5% damage reduction (1 - [141/200]). With this figured out, let's move on to the damage multipliers.
A normal Fury Stance focused Hunter sub skill tree build will have the following damage multipliers. Keep in mind you may have inconsistencies with regards to having Mel-Atk Up in the current Hunter sub skill tree due to how you build it. For this case, I will exclude any Mel-Atk stat bonuses and focus solely on the multipliers.
1.20 [Fury Stance] x 1.05 [Fury Stance Up 1] x 1.05 [Fury Stance Up 2] x 1.10 [Perfect Fury Bonus] x 1.10 [Perfect Attack Bonus 1] x 1.10 [Perfect Attack Bonus 2] = 1.7609 or 76.09% damage bonus.
Now that I've shown you all the math, let's finally bring place them side by side in order to see and compare.
Guard Stance focused: 52.5% damage reduction, 18.25% damage bonus
Fury Stance focused: 29.5 damage reduction, 76.09% damage bonus
As you can see now, going Fury stance will provide us with about 30% damage reduction and a whopping 76% damage bonus to all of our Perfect Attacks while Guard Stance will provide us with 53% damage reduction and only a 18% damage bonus to our Perfect Attacks.
Lastly, since it is of utmost importance, I would like to briefly mention that Fighter is the only class that heavily relies on critical hit damage in order to dish out high damage output. This is due to their skill Critical Strike, which gives a multiplier of x1.15 to any critical hit. This means that as a Fighter main, you want to stack as much critical hit rate as you can in order to reach 100% for optimal performance. Unlike Guard Stance, Fury Stance will provide you with a +25% critical hit rate up from Critical Fury. This means that you'll have higher chances of landing critical hits which will allow you to use the Critical Strike multiplier of x1.15 to further increase your damage output.
I hope this was able to help enlighten you on how each Hunter stance compares to one another as a sub for a Fighter main. Like I always say, I'm all for player choice and playstyle as no one knows how you would have fun more than yourself, but above all else, I want to ensure that you are well-informed before you make any huge decisions such as this.
I've browsed through the Fighter section of this guide before. While it does have some inaccuracies, for the most part, it does its job in introducing the class. For new players who may potentially use this guide, take things said with a grain of salt and always, always double or even triple check information with other players.
I would have to disagree with maxing Half/Deadline Slayers. At first glance, the large combined increase of +250 Mel-Atk (maxed Half/Deadline Slayer) may seem appealing, but there are actually more factors that we must consider. First of all, Half/Deadline (as well as PP Slayer and Crazy Beat) gives you a FLAT Mel-Atk bonus. This means that they cannot be further boosted by buffs such as Shifta Drink (x1.20), Team Tree Atk Up (up to x1.20) and Shifta (up to x1.197 without Te, and x1.24625 with Te).
On the other hand, Mel-Atk gained from Melee Up 2/3 are added directly to your BASE Mel-Atk. This means that they affected and can be further boosted by the buffs mentioned above. (Note: this also applies to any stats gained from equipped mags as well). Now, a quick math to visually show what I mean.
Let's make our base Mel-Atk is 700 and that our weapon gives us +800 Mel-Atk.
With Melee Up 2 (at max), we will get an additional +75 to our base Mel-Atk for a total of 775. If we get a max Team Tree Atk buff (x1.20), Shifta drink (x1.20) and normal Shifta (x1.197), our total Mel-Atk becomes 775 x 1.20 x 1.20 x 1.197 = 1336; if we include our weapon, it'd be 1336 + 800 = 2136. Once we use OL, we will gain an additional Mel-Atk boost of +200 (Crazy Beat), +26 (Halfine) and +40 (Deadline) for a total Mel-Atk of 2136 + 200 + 26 + 40 = 2402 Mel-Atk.
Now, let's see how it is with maxed Half/Deadline Slayers. Our Mel-Atk with all the same buffs above would be 700 x 1.20 x 1.20 x 1.197 = 1207; if we include our weapon, it'd be 1207 + 800 = 2007. Once we use OL, we will gain an additional +200 (Crazy Beat), +100 (Halfline) + 150 (Deadline) for a total Mel-Atk of 2007 + 200 + 100 + 150 = 2457 Mel-Atk.
As you can see, with a max Melee Up 2 build during OL, we're only behind a max Half/Deadline Slayer build by +55 Mel-Atk only. On the other hand, while we're off OL during for the 30s downtime (or even longer if you died while using OL), we see that we're actually +136 Mel-Atk HIGHER than the maxed Half/Deadline Slayer build. And this is including only one max Melee Up; if we had maxed Melee Up 3 as well, the small gap during OL will become even narrower while the gap off-OL will become even wider. Additionally, unlike Half/Deadline Slayers, the Mel-Atk gained from Melee Up 2/3 are unconditional. Unconditional buffs are what you'd want the most!!!
Keep in mind that these calculations were done without Te Shifta (x1.24625) and the Shifta Drink buff that NA will eventually get (x1.50 instead of x1.20). The point is, going Melee Up 2/3 is by far the better investment as opposed to maxing out Slayers. Now that I've given you a bunch of maths and explanations, like Gerbilios said, the choice is yours at the end on what you want to do. I'm all for player choice and playstyle, but I do want to ensure that you are well-informed before you make such decisions.