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Which Swordsman Skills Should You Train?
With 5 skill choices for the Swordsman, it's a good idea to plan ahead as to which skills you intend to increase in power. A skill's level can't go higher than 60, and there are 120 levels in the game. So potentially you could have two skills at 60, or three at 40, or any other variation which you might prefer.
Flame Sword is an obvious choice. I personally recommend letting go of the swordsman when the class C tanking mercs come around, because these new mercs are much more powerful. Flame Sword books are very easy to come by, so boosting this most used Swordsman skill is an obvious option. If you plan to PvP with your Swordsman, other options are Dark Seed, Breakdown, or Guard Dispel. Each of these skills are useful, but the books are expensive, so it probably doesn't make much sense to pump a bunch of gold into a mercenary that you will probably replace around level 70 or 90.
Deadly Strike is another good option, but its books are also hard to come by. If you really decided to hang onto your Swordsman all the way to 120, I'd recommend raising Flame Sword, Breakdown, and either Deadly Strike or Guard Dispel. Dark Seed is useful when you have a Shaman, but for reasons which I'll go into in a bit Shamans become much less useful in the later levels.
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The Single Book Strategy
One good strategy is to buy a single Breakdown, Deadly Strike, and Guard Dispel book, and to train your Swordsman to level 1 in each of these skills. If you were keeping him around for the full duration of your playtime, it would of course be a great idea to train these very powerful skills to a very high level. But better mercenaries eventually come along, making this option much less favorable. Additionally, if you have a melee main, it's a much better idea to train up Guard Dispel and Breakdown on your main.
If you have each of these skills at level 1 on your Swordsman, you'll still have these skills in your arsenal, making it possible to activate Hell Fire and Destructive Wind on the enemy party through combination with the Shaman skill Hex of Darkness, and the ranged class D mercenary skill Chaos Wind. It also is advisable to have Guard Dispel on as many mercenaries as possible, to free up the usage of more varied strategies in every round of battle.
In the next article in this guide, we'll discuss some tactical notions involving the Swordsman, and we'll go more in-depth into why the Swordsman ultimately becomes a less worthwhile mercenary to keep in your party in the late game.
Your comprehensive guide to the Swordsman class in Atlantica Online, covering skill and stat increases, overall usage of the Swordsman class, and the value of the Swordman class in your party formation for optimal power and success.