Instantly clear all Coerce encounters!
Every Path Action in Octopath Traveler 2 comes with pros and cons compared to other actions that grant the same effect. If you’re trying to get information, you have two options for NPCs that only appear at night: Hikari’s Bribe and Temenos’ Coerce.
Bribe is quick and easy, but many NPCs require hefty sums of money if you want their info. Unless you use a Merchant to increase your money acquisition, Bribe can drain your funds faster than you’d like. Meanwhile, Coerce lets you get information for free, but you’ll be locked into potentially long battles with every NPC instead. In a worst case scenario, you could be too underleveled to even survive an NPC’s attacks. Faced with these two options, some players may opt to skip getting information until they reach the later stages of the game.
Well, what if I were to tell you that Temenos can be built to quickly and easily win Coerce battles, even at relatively low levels? While you will need to keep Temenos in your party for a little while to grind his JP, you’ll eventually have a strategy that works against virtually any NPC in only a couple turns. To lessen the grind for this, the Thief passive skill Life in the Shadows and the Dancer passive skill Hard Worker both boost JP acquisition. The Merchant’s Arrow of Fortune also grants bonus JP per use as well. To make the build itself work, you’ll need to unlock Scholar, Merchant, and optionally Apothecary as secondary jobs. Let’s go over the details.
How to build the ultimate Coercion Temenos
Believe it or not, you’ll need to invest the most JP into the Merchant class to make this strategy work. The keys are two specific passive skills: Boost-Start and Full Power.
The goal here centers completely around Temenos’ Latent Power. Judgment lets Temenos unconditionally break enemy shields with any attack. Coercion encounters are automatically resolved upon breaking a shield, so we’ll want to have Judgment available quickly. Full Power will automatically fill the equipping character’s Latent Power gauge, eliminating the need to build it throughout an encounter. Boost-Start also let’s us begin battle with one extra BP, which will grant Temenos an extra hit towards the enemy shield gauge.
Vigorous Victor is one of the first passive skills learned by an Apothecary, so it requires relatively low investment to acquire. This will restore HP and SP at the end of every battle, allowing Temenos to go all out without needing to make trips back to the inn to heal. If you don’t want to invest in that skill, you could also equip the Dragon’s Scarf accessory for passive SP recovery. Rounding out the set is either the Cleric’s Rise Again or the Merchant’s Hang Tough. These are here to ensure Temenos can survive one attack against an NPC if he’s at a low level. Use whichever works best for you, as you should have access to both by this point.
Finally, the real hero of the build: Elemental Barrage. This Scholar skill hits 3-5 times by default, with one additional hit for every BP invested into the attack. Elemental Barrage is the only spell you need to make the build work, though you may want Lightning Bolt as well to be safe. Now we have the tools to make Coerce a piece of cake.
How to use this build
Our strategy follows a very simple flowchart.
If the enemy NPC has five shield points or less, congratulations, you win. Use your two BP and immediately Elemental Barrage the enemy with Temenos’ Latent Power active. This is a guaranteed five hits.
If the enemy has more than five shield points, either take a turn to defend or use an unboosted attack. Anecdotally, many enemies with high shield point counts seem to have a Staff weakness. (If they do, Mystic Staff can wipe out two points a use.) After the turn has passed, max boost Elemental Barrage to deal between 6-8 hits. If you’re truly stuck or get a low roll with Barrage, retreat from the encounter and reengage. You’ll lose no reputation from losing a Coercion, though you should be able to finish off an enemy as long as they’re weak to fire, ice, lightning, or light damage.
Repeat until you’ve obtained information from everyone in town. It’s that easy!
Use this build outside of towns too!
Easy coerceion was the objective of this build, though it works quite well in the overworld. Automatic access to guaranteed shield breaks can be deadly in random encounters, especially when you’re against enemies with sturdier shields. Judgment with Elemental Barrage is also a fantastic way to break an enemy Cait or Octopuff’s shield if you can clear the field before Temenos’ turn, allowing you to get an easy KO before they run away.
As you unlock advanced jobs, you’ll have access to a few variations of this build to use as you wish. The Armsmaster knows Sixfold Strike, dealing a guaranteed six hits right off the bat. Arcanist also has access to multi-hit attacks that strike the entire enemy party, which naturally helps break groups of foes all at once. If you’d like to swap out some of the passive skills, consider using Hunter’s Salt the Wound. This grants a 50% chance to act again after breaking an enemy shield, so the synergy here should be obvious. If you planned to bring a shield-breaking Temenos into boss fights, the Warrior’s Latent Power Plus can help rebuild his Latent Power gauge after he uses it.
One of the best features of Octopath Traveler 2 is the myriad of options to create overpowered strategies. If you discover fun tactics that you like better than what was written here, absolutely make them work for your party. In the end, even if Temenos isn’t a mainstay in your team, the build outlined here will at least make his night Path Action useful to you. Any strategy is a good strategy if you have fun using it!