Denam Pavel is the protagonist of Tactics Ogre: Reborn, meaning he'll be in your party every step of the way through the game's epic branching storyline. As such, there's no unit more important to get 'right' for every fight. But what does right even mean? With a wealth of customization options, what are some of the most effective builds for the Hero of Golyat?
We'll cover a few of our favorites from across the decades since Tactics Ogre first released, with special attention to what this most recent iteration, Tactics Ogre: Reborn, brings to the table.
One-Handed Knight Denam Build
This is what some players consider Denam's 'bread and butter' class build for much of the game. The lad can make a terrific bulwark — a defensive barrier between bloodthirsty rivals and the squishier units who stand behind him. This is an especially wise choice in the first third or so of the game, as you will have a far more limited number of non-generic characters with the Knight class.
|Skills||1H Swords, Constitution, Rampart Aura, Phalanx|
|Notes||Rending Gale, the Knight's first Finishing Move, hits twice. Thus, it may appear relatively weak when you're prepping an attack, but know that there's a second strike with the same estimated amount of damage.|
Knight Denam and Vartan Canopus make a fine duo. We mention this since Canopus is your first controllable unique unit (and a terrific one at that). Whereas your Winged pal will be sniping from afar, Denam will be drawing as much attention as possible. This effectively applies not just for aiding Canopus, but for doing so for any other less well-armored party members.
- The most important buff cards to look out for as they spawn on the field are Auto-Ability Cards, which elevate the odds that one or more of a unit's passive abilities will trigger at the beginning of their turn. Passives like Phalanx are vital to a Knight's success, as it drastically reduces the amount of damage taken from all those enemies you're herding toward Denam.
- Once Guardian Force is learned, you'll want to replace a skill with it on a conditional basis; scout maps ahead of time, and if it seems like the best course to the enemy commander (or away from a horde of enemies that spawn uncomfortably close by) involves having lots of physically weaker units behind and beside Denam, consider swapping out Constitution temporarily.
- When Guardian Force activates, half of all attack damage on nearby friendly units within two tiles is redirected to the Knight. Importantly, this stacks with Phalanx if both happen to trigger (all the more reason to snag Auto-Ability Cards when you can).
- As for offensive output, this isn't necessarily the best class build for a high-output Denam. You're going with one-handed swords for the increased defensive capabilities of shields, which rather says it all. You may at times find it more advantageous to use Heal and/or restorative items on wounded characters Denam is protecting rather than attack normally.
- That said, whenever your Finishing Moves are available, don't hesitate to use them to put a real dent in the opposition.
Two-Handed Warrior Build Denam
It's a common misconception that the Warrior class is rendered obsolete after the first couple of chapters. This is almost true, but off-the-mark for Denam. Stacking your squad with generic Warriors isn't advisable even early on, let alone when things get tougher, but Denam's high stats can combine with the Warrior's raw damage potential quite nicely.
|Skills||2H Swords, Mighty Impact, Double Impact|
|Spells||N/A, but bring a full stock of Mending Salves/Essences|
|Notes||It's advisable to give Denam a Thunder Mark if he is to become a Warrior (or remain one from the start). Two of his Finishing Moves feature the element.|
It may feel like a step backwards, and in some ways, it is, but it's not a bad idea to make Denam a Knight early on until you have a good stock of unique Knight characters and then swap to Warrior. You'll have your defensive network established with a handful of powerful Knights (and even White Knights); even more so if you've trained a generic up from scratch.
Switching to Warrior, as basic as it may sound, gives your most permanent party member a sudden upshot on offensive output and serves as a shot in the proverbial arm if you're finding yourself slower to bring down the enemy than you would like.
- For Warriors, it's all about swinging that sword. Look for Physical Cards on the field, prioritizing them for Denam when possible. Auto-Ability Cards to help activate Mighty Impact are well and dandy, and worth fetching when no one else needs them, but they're generally best for many other classes.
- Double Impact is the main reason Warrior Denam works well further into the game. Without this, Warriors are fine, but outclassed enough to give folks the impression that they're not useful for long. Being able to attack twice is a big boon, and while we tend to love Ninja/Kunoichi classes for other characters (as they can do the same), their comparably middling defense can be problematic when keeping Denam alive is so integral.
- Strength-boosting Warrior Rings and their late-game successors are probably all you'll ever need for accessories.
Person of Lordly Caliber Denam
No, that's not really what this build is called, but you'll forgive us a bad joke about the Nintendo 64 Ogre Battle's subtitle.
Rather, this concerns the Lord class, which is fabulously versatile to an extent that is unseen anywhere else in Tactics Ogre. The Lord can equip most weapons, most spells, and an absolutely wild number of skills. You can, in essence, create a superior version of the Knight, the Warrior, or just about anything else that springs to mind.
If Lord is so good, where's our real coverage of it? Well, this is where things get… complicated. The Lord class, you see, is entirely tied to a fourth-chapter decision with tremendous ramifications. Depending on the choice you make, you may very well never unlock Lord — that is, until you enter postgame, and use the Wheel of Fortune in the Warren Report to warp around and explore other narrative paths.
Understand that there is a tradeoff involved in acquiring the Lord for Denam. A rather massive one, in fact. But if you should find yourself the recipient, Lord is far and away Denam's finest late-game class.
As for a build, we recommend tapping into whatever combination suits your fancy, such as something that combines the tanky glory of Phalanx and Rampart Aura with more aggressively offensive skills. In this fashion, you're creating Tactics Ogre's arguably ultimate class. Of course, even Lord Denam is no one-man army in the face of dozens of soldiers and buffed boss characters, but you'll have a noticeably easier time getting up in those bosses' faces.
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