- Slayers wield the Gunblade, a weapon that excels at both close and ranged combat.
- Slayers benefit from filling their Gunblade Focus Gauge by landing attacks on enemies, consequently increasing their lethality.
- Slayers perform a variant of their desired Photon Art when a directional movement key is pressed at the same time.
- The Weapon Action of the Slayer is flexible in combat, as directional keys can be pressed at the same time to respond to different situations.
The Slayer class is available starting today for Phantasy Star Online 2 New Genesis, the online RPG series that lets you create your own unique hero and take them on endless adventures.
To say that Slayer benefits from movement would be a huge understatement. This class thrives on movement. Slayer benefits from agility that is built into their actions, or Photon Arts (PA), in addition to unlocking additional actions in their Class Skill Tree. Intrigued? You should be, as this class deserves a deeper look and considerable practice if mastery is desired.
There’s Nothing Normal About Slayer
The Slayer’s normal attack is a triple threat, in that they perform a series of attacks that can combo up to three times. In addition, holding the normal attack button will cause the attack to become charged. As though these moves didn’t already bely the phrase “normal attack,” there are also two levels of charge, wherein the first level of charge releases a 5-shot ranged attack and the second level of charge provokes a powerful attack, though takes longer to deploy. The Slayer’s normal attacks become even more specialized with the Class Skill “Charged Blade.” This allows the player to not only close the distance to their enemy, but also perform a thrust attack by pressing the Weapon Action button at just the right time after a charged, normal attack. Finally, normal attacks made by the Slayer can also benefit Photon Arts, as the Class Skill “Relentless Blade” provides an additional attack when the normal attack button is pressed at just the right time while performing a Photon Art. As you can see, normal attacks can be used effectively in varying combat situations, which makes it a necessity to gain a general understanding of them to play Slayer.
The Focus of Slayer
Gunblades are not a class-specific weapon, and anyone who takes Slayer as a sub-class and picks up the Slayer Class Skill Gunblade Focus Gauge can use it. As focus builds through landing attacks with the Gunblade and the gear level increases on the gauge, extra benefits such as increased attack potency and reduced PP consumption are triggered. However, not landing attacks for a certain period will cause the gear level to reset completely. This gives new meaning to the phrase “don’t lose your focus on the battlefield”.
The Art of Slayer
With every class, there is a certain beauty to a series of well-time Photon Arts. Performing the optimal pattern of PAs can not only control the fight and mitigate damage taken but keep the player well-supplied with Photon Power (PP) and healing as well. The optimal pattern of PAs for the Slayer is something that will probably become the next hot topic (though I’ll take a stab at it in one of the following sections), as there are a lot of variations when movement or enemy behavior is considered. Optimal Slayer combat is not a simple perform x, perform y, use big attack, perform x, and repeat style of play. No, you’ll need a deeper understanding to truly master it.
Their first Photon Art, Shifting Spica, unleashes two fast, short-range attacks when performed while stationary. With movement, the Slayer charges their enemy with a piercing attack and then fires off a close-range photon bullet. This gap closer may not be useful in every combat situation, but for enemies that like to move around, it can shave off seconds of repositioning.
Flowing Sirius is quite handy in solo and group combat, as it causes the Slayer to perform several slash attacks when stationary. If this PA is performed repeatedly, the second attack will become stronger. With movement, the Slayer will perform successive area attacks while gaining altitude over the field. Alternating these two forms of Flowing Sirius is an excellent way to reposition yourself and take advantage of your enemy’s placement.
Reaping Regulus is a handy momentary reprieve when performed while stationary, as executing it means beating a hasty retreat after quickly chucking a photon bomb into the fray. This PA truly shines during the momentary interlude between engagements though, as performing it in motion means throwing a photon bomb ahead of you at your next group of hostiles. Using either form of this PA is a great way to add a few ticks to your Gunblade Focus Gauge.
Easily the most photogenic PA is Waving Rigel, which sees the Slayer slamming their weapon into the ground and creating a shockwave of power that slams into nearby enemies. If done while mid-air (perhaps after performing the motion variant of Flowing Sirius) the Slayer will slam to the ground before unleashing the shockwave. When performed in motion, the Slayer will instead rise while waves of power affect the surrounding area.
The Drive of Slayer
So how does it feel behind the wheel of Slayer? It’s like driving a finely tuned but temperamental sports car. See, Slayer essentially has 8 Photon Arts, as every one of them can be modified with movement, so it takes a while to learn the ropes. Generally, the basic playstyle against solo enemies would see you using the stationary form of Shifting Spica, followed by the stationary form of Flowing Sirius, and repeating this (interspersed with normal attacks) until the Active Skill Unleashed Rage is available and you’ve made some progress on the Gunblade Focus Gauge. Then, follow these two PAs with Unleashed Rage (which instantly adds gears to your Focus Gauge, hopefully taking it to max) and then Gunblade Focus Overdrive. From there, either continue the above pattern, or use Gunblade Focus Overdrive again to unleash a single, powerful attack.
In combat with multiple enemies, the pattern is basically the same, you would just replace the two PAs with the movement version of Flowing Sirius and the movement version of Reaping Regulus. Then you would repeat this (interspersed with normal attacks) until Unleashed Rage is available and your Gunblade Focus Gauge is partially filled. Execute in the same manner as above and begin again if there are still enemies alive.
The patterns above will help you get comfortable with Slayer and the Gunblade Focus Gauge while also allowing you to learn the other forms and PAs at your pace. Once comfortable, remember to use a normal attack at the right time during a PA to activate the extra attack provided by the Class Skill Relentless Blade. Also, after dodging or guarding by using the Gunblade Weapon Action, use a normal attack or the Weapon Action a second time to perform a counterattack with the Class Skill Blade Counter. The normal attack counter fires a quick shot and can be used in repetition for a chain of counterattacks, whereas the Weapon Action counter performs a long combo of attacks. There are even more nuances to Slayer after considering their Class Skills, and players will have a great time figuring out how to best use them in varying situations.
Slayer is great fun, and those who like a challenge with their gameplay will truly appreciate it. Slayer released on April 12. If you managed to acquire some Slayer Operation Prep Tickets from the Limited-time Tasks that were available during the Get Ready for Slayer! Campaign, you can exchange them at the designated Exchange Shop in any of the region hubs until June 6. Exchange Shop items include several desirable Gunblades and Gunblade Weapon Camos.
If you’re a new or returning player, now is a great time to check out Phantasy Star Online 2 New Genesis to see if Slayer is right for you! Download the game from the Windows Store for free on PC, Xbox One, or Xbox Series X|S and get ready to slay all day!
Phantasy Star Online 2 New Genesis