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Class Overview - The Spearman - Powerful, Penetrating Attacks
The Spearman is one of the three class D melee mercenaries in Atlantica Online. The true power of the Spearman is his ability to hit two opponents in a single row, allowing for damage penetration into the second rank of your opponent's formation. They have reasonable hit points, though their defense is rather weak for a melee fighter. Their class-specific magical attack, Lightning Spear, reduces the opposing units' action power, effectively disallowing them from acting on the opponent's next turn.
Spearmen are a useful class in the early levels for bringing high amounts of damage into the enemy's back ranks. I'd recommend if you're going to use a Spearman to combine them with Gunners or more Spearmen, to maximize the damage penetration abilities of your party. In the long run, there are quite a few mercenaries which outclass Spearmen, even in the middle levels, so I would not recommend using them once these other mercenaries become available. However, the Spearman is useful for formation builds which make use of a large number of Gunners and Spears, to cut deep into the enemy's defenses and kill enemy units quickly.
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Stats & Equipment
The Spearman's usefulness comes from his high Attack Power, with the other stats backing up his fighting abilities nicely. With his reasonably high Defense and Vitality, the Spearman can take a fair amount of damage, more than most Class D mercenaries, but he is definitely weaker than his counterpart the Swordsman. The Spearman's Magic Defense is quite low as well, making him quite susceptible to magical attacks.
The Spearman's starting stats are as follows:
- Strength: 310
- Intelligence: 120
- Dexterity: 210
- Vitality: 240
- Defense: 330
- Magic Defense: 110
- Action Power: 70-80
- Attack Power: Great
In general, it is best to give Spearmen equipment which increases his Strength, for increasing weapon damage, and Dexterity and Vitality, for increasing his ability to dodge attacks and stay alive for a greater length of time.
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Skills are really what most defines each individual class in Atlantica Online. The Spearman has 4 skills in his arsenal, including 3 skills which are common among each of the class D melee mercenaries (Swordsman, Viking, and Spearman).
These three skills are as follows:
- Guard Dispel - This spell can be cast on a single row of the opponent's formation. It essentially cancels out the spell Holy Guard which is on any of your opponent's units in that row. This allows your other mercs to use magical attacks on those mercs which previously had Holy Guard on them.
- Deadly Strike - This spell can only be used when your mercenary is on the verge of death. It is a very highly damaging attack, targeted to a single enemy unit. Using this ability will tax your mercenary's action power both on the round in which it is used, and on the following round. It really is a last ditch sort of ability, but it deals out significant damage.
- Break Down - This is an area-of-effect spell, targeting every unit in the enemy formation. It is one of the weaker AoE spells in the game. However, if it is used on a formation which has the ranged skill Chaos Wind in effect upon them, the spell Destructive Wind will activate. Destructive Wind is a high-damage area-of-effect, damage-over-time spell.
The Spearman's fourth skill is unique to the Spearman class:
- Lightning Spear - This is a high-damaging skill which inflicts damage on the targeted merc, and the merc 1 rank behind the targeted merc in the opponent's formation. Besides the high damage, this skill also takes action power from the opposing units, oftentimes taking away their ability to attack in the following round.
With the basics on the Spearman outlined here, it's time to go more in-depth into the Spearman class. How should you train your Spearman's stats and skills? For which formation builds is the Spearman mercenary most useful? And are they worth keeping around into the later levels? If not, why not?
We will discuss each of these topics on the following page of this article.
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Training Spearman Skills
The skill training situation with the Spearman is similar to the other class D melee mercenaries. Training the skills which are most useful and easy to come by early in the game is a preferable choice for class D melee mercenaries, due to the fact that these mercs are ultimately outclassed by other mercs which become available as your main increases in level.
It is recommendable to only train Lightning Spear on your Spearmen until you replace them with more suitable mercenaries, unless you have a specific low to mid-level PvP strategy which would require training one of the other skills. Ultimately, you will find yourself wanting to trade out your Spears for tougher mercenaries, and Lightning Spear really is the Spearman's best skill. Additionally, Lightning Spear skill books are easy to come by, making training that skill pretty much the most winning option of the four.
The Spearman is a great unit for certain early game formation builds, specifically those with large numbers of Spears and Gunners, and Lightning Spear is the ideal skill to train for these builds as well.
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Increasing Spearman Stats
For stat increases, the best choices are Strength, Vitality, and Dexterity. You want your Spearmen to deal out the maximum possible damage, and to live as long as possible. They are not the best tanking class, though they can take a few hits and keep on ticking. Spearmen are most useful in those penetrating damage Spear/Gunner builds that we mentioned earlier, and if you are using such a build you'll have your Spearmen up front, tanking. In this case, it is definitely a good idea to increase your Spears' Vitality and Dexterity.
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In the longer term, Spearmen ultimately end up being one of the less viable classes to keep in your formation. The Swordsman is a better tank, and several even better tanks arrive in the late game, such as the Exorcist, Beast Tamer, Spartan, and Lady Knight. The Spearman's main strength, their damage output ultimately pales in comparison to later mercenaries who can dish out more damage than the Spearman, such as the Cannoneer, Witch, Beast Tamer, and Inventor, along with a number of other more damaging classes.
Spearmen are useful in the early game for gunner/spear builds, but by level 60 or so they become obsolete as a large number of other more powerful mercenaries enter the scene.
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Spearmen - Summary
If you want to have a very strong PvP build in the early game, a team consisting of Spearmen and Gunners can do a great job of tearing your opponent's formation apart before they have a chance to retaliate. But in the long run, the Spearman is a rather weak class, compared to pretty much all of the Class C mercenaries. The Spearman's value compared to class D mercenaries like the Swordsman, Viking, Gunner, and Archer is arguable as well, as each of these classes have skills which are much more complementary to a variety of builds, while the Spear/Gunner build is almost the only build in which Spearmen are a viable choice.
The best part of Atlantica Online is the strategy involved in assembling your party, and engaging in the tactics of battle in the various encounters, whether they be PvP, or PvE. Success in Atlantica Online comes from knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your mercs, and using them all to their highest potential. Atlantica Online is a great game, lots of fun and it really is the first tactical MMORPG. I wish you the best in your battles in AO, may they all end in victory. Enjoy the game!
In-depth analysis on each of the mercenary classes in Atlantica Online. We go into which stats and abilities to increase, the best equipment choices, and the formation and party dynamics involved in the different choices of mercenary. Which mercs are worth hiring, and how to build your party.