Looks like a school girl from a knight academy...

Class: Landsknecht
Traits: Elemental Damage, Physical Damage, De-buff, Tanky
Class Rating: 8/10
Subclass Rating: 9/10

The Land has been in every EO game up to date (well, almost), but their usefulness varies in each of those games....and they haven't really been mainstay party staples at all. In  EO IV however, the Land has become one of the stronger classes in the game, capable of being very versatile in both their main build and their sub class synergy. The Land is very capable and can be built as an elemental DPS linker, which is very team dependent, but can dish out tons of damage....or be a solo DPS damage dealer which does decent DPS.

With the skills in the tree alone, you can see that the Land can go multiple paths. The Land thrives on going first, because the passive increases damage dealt to the enemy from your entire team if she attacks first. The Land alone is slow but Vanguard will always make sure that you go first. Link DPS is probably one of the most consistent ways of dealing elemental damage in the whole game, and is incredibly strong, BUT link DPSing depends on your team. A good multi-hitting team can make good use of it. A physical damage Land has Sword Tempest or Swift Stab, which are very powerful attacks, but shy in comparison to links. A physical DPS Land is less reliant on her team though. They can take good hits with iron wall and swordbreaker, as well as debuff with power break and mind break.

The Land is decently versatile when looking for other classes as its subclass. Medic works for quick healing, since we have vanguard. Runemaster is godly if you want to build a link Land, the elemental bonuses from the Runemaster can really set you up nicely. Bushi works if you're going for the physical DPS route, Nightseeker is also decent for Follow Trace. AS a subclass however, Land is simply amazing...because of Vanguard. Many, MANY classes could use an ability which allows them to move first...Medic, Bushi, Imperial, Arcanist....just to name a few. This isn't even counting the defensive options that the Land has, or the fact that dual wielding will improve the class's tankyness (good for Bushi).

At least they aren't bondage masters anymore...

Class: Nightseeker
Traits: Status Ailments, High Evasion/Hit rate, Fast, Double hits*, Insta-kill
Class Rating: 6/10
Subclass Rating: 7/10

I simply love the Nightseeker, but they are completely situational....It depends on your party lineup. With an Arcanist or Sniper in it (or both), these 3 classes become godly together, the Nightseeker included. However in most other parties its hard for a Nightseeker to function as it should, because it'll spend too much time trying to inflict status ailments. Later in the game they become complete beasts, but their issues still remain. Their DPS is decent at best without any status ailments on your enemies, and it takes some time for time to throw these on the more powerful bosses. However, with status ailments ON bosses, they can deal damage equivalent to that of a charged up Imperial, which is mighty impressive. They are fairly squishy though.

Their role is very simple. Inflict status ailments with throws, wait until they stick, then wail on them with Swift Edge over and over. Its so simple in a way because this is their most realistic damage option in a boss fight. There is no other way to build a Nightseeker...which hurts them in the versatility department.  Their damage with Swift Edge is really high though, but status ailments are a must. Venom Throw is easily the best skill here, as the poison ticks for ridiculous amounts of damage (easily 750 damage per tick late game, with Black Mist you'll be kicking a lot of ass). Venom Throw + Swift Edge spam = Profit. However you'll run into trouble when the poison runs out...so you'll most definitely need Releasal Spell from the Arcanist. Follow Trace is godly when it comes to doing DPS (8 hits a turn on a poisoned target is just OP as hell), and Shadow Cloak helps in a pinch. Speed Boost increases your evade/hit rate, and Assassinate helps against most pesky enemy types if you don't want to deal with them.

The Nightseeker functions well enough alone, so subclasses are a little bit of a problem here. There are only 3 realistic options for the Nightseeker when they are looking for a subclass. The Arcanist is the best, you'll get a lot out of Ailment Boost and Releasal Spell. Bushi works for charging, so that the Nightseeker can deal even more ridiculous DPS....Fortress works for the passive health boost and defensive buffs, the Nightseeker will most probably be on the front line and them being squishy doesn't help. However, them as a subclass works fairly well because of Follow Trace and Blade Flurry. Bushis love the Nightseeker as a sub, so do the Sniper and the physical route Lands. This is especially true for the Snipers, because Foul Mastery is just beast. Imperials benefit the most from Follow Trace....god bless the enemy if you manage to pull off Overdrive twice.

We have big shields!

Class: Fortress
Traits: Tanky, Support, Sustain, Team Defender*
Class Rating: 7/10
Subclass Rating: 4/10

Do I need to say more? They are big guys and girls with  big shields. They defend the team, they are the tankiest idiots in the game, they can soak up enemy hits like no other. Sure the Imperial and Land are decent damage sponges, but they got nothing on the Fortress. If you're a beginner, the Fortress is a godsend for living through even the toughest FOEs and bosses the game can throw at you. The Fortress ensures that your party survives through even the toughest attacks, they will always be there to protect your party, and the only way your party is going to get touched otherwise, is by them going down. And believe me, they don't go down easy. They however, provide almost no DPS whatsoever.

With that said, the Fortress is a PURE defensive class. Sure, they have some damage options via Earth Break, Holy Smite and Vengance Bash, but those are meager as hell compared to what other classes can do. Besides, the Fortress will have his/her hands full defending the team already, no time to do any damage unless the enemy is stun-locked or something. They have A TON of options for being tanky. Iron Wall, Rampart and HP Boost make them near un-killable, and they can boost the party's defensive via Strike Guard and Element Guard, which is MIGHTY USEFUL. The various shield moves allow them to take damage in the party's stead, and Guard Mastery allows you to even completely block attacks. Taunt makes sure your opponents hit you, Knight's Boon, Healing Wall and Holy Blessing gives your team sustain as long as your Fortress is still alive.

The Fortress is a supportive defense class, that means when it comes to sub classes, they have some options.
Runemaster helps improve their supportive defense capabilities with runes, Dancer helps them avoid attacks while drawing fire, and Medic makes them more support-ish than ever. Land makes them go first with Vanguard, and Bushi gives them Endure so they can take that one extra hit, though the above 3 classes serve the Fortress better than these 2. As a subclass though, they pretty much suck. Their skills are only meant for defending the team, and no other class does it better for them, so its better for the Fortress to be a main class. If you do want them as a sub, its probably for the HP Boost, or Holy Blessing, which isn't saying much. Nightseeker, Dancer will benefit for the HP Boost....but even then they have better choices. I'd say as a sub, Dancer utilizes Fortress best.

You know what they do, it's simple as f**k, really.

Class: Sniper
Traits: Binds, Physical DPS, AOE damage, High Crit*, Fast
Class Rating: 8/10
Subclass Rating: 2/10

Probably the only ranged physical DPS damage dealer in the game, the Sniper serves as a late game carry. During the early segments of the game they are more of an utility class, their damage comes later, but when it does, it comes in hard. Unlike the Nightseeker, they don't need to land status ailments to make the most out of their damage, though landing the binds DO help. If you want a damage dealer from the back, the Sniper is a nice pick. Just be quick to note that while the Sniper does a lot of damage and can bind as utility, they bring close to nothing for the team OR themselves in terms of defensive traits, they die easily.

First off, Snipers crit like crazy. Lock On, Bullseye and Snipe Mastery gives you 110% crit rate with at least one bind on your enemy, which is pretty crazy. With that into account, its not that hard to do crazy amounts of damage with a Sniper. Power Boost solidifies their late game damage, and if you want, Eagle Eye further improves your damage by decreasing the defense of enemies. Binds are great, and you'll probably need them against most enemies. If you don't have an Arcanist for binds, the Sniper comes in really hand, though if I were to compare, Arcanist lands binds easier. Sniper's damage is insane with Squall Volley, which is probably the highest DPS skill in the game if every hit lands. 16 hits x 50% = 800% damage, which is guaranteed with leg bind. Throw in Follow Trace and you get an easy 1200% damage with a leg bind. It's pretty much the only skill you need.

Snipers can synergize well with some subclasses. They move fast enough, so Vanguard isn't necessary. Nightseeker is hilarious when you double proc Squall volley for some 30 hits or so on your enemy in one turn. Arcanist helps if you want to run your Sniper as a full utility binder, since Ailment Boost gives you almost guaranteed binds.  Bushi is awesome just for Charge and Blood Surge, you'll be hitting for ridiculous amounts with Squall Volley. As a subclass though, Sniper is terrible, as you won't want to suddenly force someone onto a bow. There is practically nothing that can use Sniper as a subclass...unless you force it onto a Medic or Arcanist, which is semi effective at best if you want him/her to do damage...

The Medic carries hard, fact.

Class: Medic
Traits: Healing, Support
Class Rating: 9/10
Subclass Rating: 7/10

The Medic are excellent at what they do. Healing....that's pretty much it. It sounds meager, but any RPG maniac should know that the game is not possible without a Medic (not for the normal players anyway, not talking to you elitists that can kill Warped Savior without chemicals in 3 turns). In the early stages of the game, Dancer's Regen Waltz can bear the weight of healing easily, but later on where enemies start to hit a lot harder, it becomes clear that we NEED a constant source of healing and reviving. The Medic does it nicely, and probably nobody does it better than they do in the later stages of the game.

Healing is commonplace in RPGs, and the Medic is just that. Solo heals, healing to an entire line, or just healing the entire party...the Medic has all of this. They even remove status ailments and binds, which definitely saves lives in a pinch...unless the Medics themselves get bound in the head. Reviving party members is obviously a must, and later in the game you can even automatically heal or revive party members as they go down...neat! But like the Fortress, be aware that when you pick a Medic, you expect no damage whatsoever, because they have no reliable means of DPS. Star Drop is great, but you definitely need to sub a Land to pull that off, as the Medic is SO slow.

Finding subclasses for a Medic is SO easy, and this factors into their class rating. They can practically go well with almost anything (keyword: almost). Land is great for Vanguard so that the Medic can always pull off their heal at the start of the turn, or actually pull off an early Star Drop...they can also become decently tanky. Fortress makes them even tankier, and gives them more support or innate tankiness. Bushi works for Roar and Endure...and Dancer gives them evasion if you're running your Medic up front. Sniper works if you find that your Medic isn't doing anything productive...and Arcanist is great for running interference with status ailments. AS a subclass, the Medic is alright. It works for Land for the same way Land works for Medic as a sub, it works for Fortress to make them for support-ish, and it works for Bushi as emergency healing. It also works for Arcanist as a sub when you have nothing to do when running in between your circles.

Typical situation where the dancer is left alone....really?

Class: Dancer
Traits: Support, High Evasion/Hit Rate, Healing, Fast, Quick Step*
Class Rating: 6/10
Subclass Rating: 6/10

The Dancer is an oddball class to have on your team. They are supports, that much is obvious, but they don't really provide anything else offensively other than repeated normal attacks. They are good to proc links next to a Land, but other than that they mostly stick to buffing the team...which they are decent at. Early on in the game when your Fan Dance isn't that effective yet, your Dancer will probably die before being able to pull off many effective dances. Later in the game or at least with a Fortress HP Boost, your Dancer will be a non-stop buffing machine for your team, which can either be good or bad depending on your outlook. They are buffers and only so, they provide no true offensive capabilities WHATSOEVER and have very saddening DPS compared to other classes.

For one, the Dancers can function as healers if they need be. Regen Waltz is a lot better than you would expect, though it loses our to the Medic later in the game in terms of convenience and burst. Refresh Waltz is amazing against bosses that love to spam status ailments to your entire team, same for Freedom Waltz against binds. The tangos are great for team buffing, especially Attack Tango when you have a team of carries. The Sambas follow up the Dancer to attack and proc stuff like Sword Dance or Mist Dance. All of your Dancer's Tangos, Sambas or Waltz will only affect a single line, but will affect the entire party with Rush Dance, Wide Dance and Healing Step...that's a lot of skill points. Speed Boost makes your Dancer more agile, and Quick Step lets an ally move first, which is VERY useful. Mist Dance can be hilarious with the proper weapon, leading to some permanent stunlocks against bosses.

To use the Dancer effectively you need to be constantly putting up buffs every turn, meaning that looking for an effective subclass for the Dancer can be quite difficult. They are fast, so Vanguard isn't needed. Nightseeker works for Blade Flurry though, to mass proc Sword Dance and Mist Dance. Fortress gives the Dancer extra durability. That's about it. As a subclass though, they only work for some classes, and that's only for the evasion boosts. Fortress will definitely benefit from the extra evasion boosts, Nightseekers also benefit from this. Having your Arcanist as a Dancer to set up buffs for your team as well as inflicting status ailments on your enemies can also be pretty good.

She looks like Index.

Class: Runemaster
Traits: Elemental Damage, Support, Change Enemy Weakness*
Class Rating: 7/10
Subclass Rating: 6/10

The Runemaster is a severe buff to Alchemists of old, that's for sure. Having the ability to only do elemental damage via spells was always a pitiful thing in the EO series...not only did they give the Runemaster a good source of damage this time round, they gave it support abilities via the runes. They still lose out in the DPS department though (Lands and Imperials do elemental DPS better), though as a character overall, they provide a nice mix of defensive and offensive options with runes. If anything, they are a great support class with the right characters on your team.

Runes are really, really good, I'll say that as many times as I have to. The best thing is that they are available from the start! A rune set up can decrease the damage your team takes from said element, and make an enemy weak to that element. This sets up for some brilliant elemental damage opportunities on your team, and decreases the enemy's. This is further amplified by Runic Guidance,Runic Flare and Runic Gleam, which will increase the DPS of your Runemaster to something decent (without these the Runemaster's DPS is subpar, just like the Nightseeker is without ailments on the enemy). Runes decrease elemental damage taken by your party, and Runic Shield even gives you the chance to negate them. Galvanic Rune is great against bosses as long as Volt Rune is up, and Origin Rune will work wonders versus Warped Savior or Heavenbringer.

Runemasters are fantastic to have on your team by themselves, and would have gotten a higher score on their Class Rating, but they suffer from subclass syndrome. Almost no class can be subbed by the Runemaster, because of their strict skill set....they can only do what they do and very few classes have skills that benefit them other than their own. Imperials work for Element Boost, but that's it. As a subclass however, they work decently for those who rely on elemental damage. Lands and Imperials benefit from their countless elemental damage bonuses such as Runic Flare, Runic Guidance and Runic Gleam. Hell, TP Boost and Free Energy are great for those guys too, since they have horrible TP pools. Fortresses can also benefit from setting up runes to further defend the team.

I named my Arcanist Miku.

Class: Arcanist
Traits: Status Ailments, Binds, De-Buffs, Support
Class Rating: 6/10
Subclass Rating: 6/10

Arcanists are a mixed batch. Like many classes before it, the Arcanist's only purpose is to support the team, they do almost no damage whatsoever, and carry their own weight through what they do best...screwing the enemies over with status ailments and binds. If you're not one to play around with these, the Arcanist is not for you, because that is what this class is all about (at least Nightseekers and Snipers have damage). They are very squishy, they do no damage, and they pretty much have to stand at the back to do what they need uninterrupted...you'll a proper team built around one for the Arcanist to do well.

Status ailments and binds alone do not amount to much, this much is true. You need to run a team around status ailments and binds to do well with the Arcanist...these include the Nightseeker and Sniper. With these 2 you'll be rocking the house with the Arcanist at the back, and even then, their role is solely to support. Their various circles can inflict every bind and status ailment in the game (except petrify), and with decent success rate at that, higher than the Nightseekers or Snipers can hope for. This makes them the ideal choice when it comes to sticking binds and ailments. With their circles in tact, Arcanists can passively heal via Circle Boon, Dismiss Heal for burst healing, Dismiss Blow and Blast for damage. Circle Mastery gives you purpose to keep those circles longer. Releasal Spell resets the ailment resistance of bosses (a must have), Ailment Boost gives you more chance to stick ailments and binds, and the eye abilities de-buff your foes.

There is not much for an Arcanist to do when a cirlce is up and running, so they have some free time to do what they want with a subclass. Unfortunately, their choices are limited. Medic works great for some spare healing when they need to, or just to remove bad effects on your team. Dancer works decently at best, letting the Arcanist put buffs on our team when she's free. As a subclass however, Arcanist works just fine with Nightseekers and Sniper, again, because of Ailment Boost and Releasal Spell. These are the core of all ailment/bind teams, and these will greatly help to improve your chances. Medics can also use the supportive abilities of the Arcanist, as they usually have nothing to do most of the time. The Arcanist healing abilities also take Medic's healing mastery into account, so that works.

Furry warriors!

Class: Bushi
Traits: Damage, Damage, Damage, Damage, ....More Damage
Class Rating: 6/10
Subclass Rating: 9/10

The Bushi are a f**king suicidal class. They have very nice damage, but nothing else. The Bushis provide NOTHING to the table but damage...and Roar I suppose, which is a debuff. There's a catch though, without Blood Surge and Charge, the Bushi's damage are only decent. They have a terrible TP pool, and need to attack to restore TP. However, if you intend to use Blood Surge, which you pretty much NEED to, your Bushi's damage will f**king skyrocket to stupid amounts, but they take damage every turn. To make things even dumber, Bushi are fairly squishy, as they cannot equip heavy armor and need to pretty much hold 2 weapons to maximize their damage output. Take low defenses along with a skill set that pretty much guarantees that you will damage yourself without the enemy touching you and you have a YOLO character.

The Bushi have a lot of attacks up their sleeves, and the thing is that most of them are viable damage options. Flash Strike and Meteor Strike are good moves. Multi Slash is only worth it if you're low enough with Blood Surge on, and Fierce Strike is deadly, but paralyzes you (it works wonders with a Dancer on your team with Refresh Waltz). Everything goes with the Bushi, but you're only utilizing their true potential with Blood Surge and Charge. Charge more than doubles the damage of your next attack, and Blood Surge makes you a beast, though you take good damage EVERY turn. With these in mind along with the likes of Defiance, Power Boost and Surge Mastery, you'll be doing ridiculous damage every turn...RIDICULOUS DAMAGE. BUT YOU ARE ALSO KILLING YOURSELF! Endure will save you once...but only once.

The Bushi have some options when adapting a subclass. Land is great simply for Vanguard, which is nice for the first move, since Bushi are fairly slow, but it kills your Bushi even faster (you take more damage with Vanguard on). Nightseeker is also fantastic, since they benefit from Blade Flurry AND Ferocity. Follow Trace also allows for some really silly damage output. Medic works for emergency healing, since they are always f**king dieing. As a sub though, they are simply amazing for late game DPS carries! Physical DPS Lands, Runemasters, Nightseekers, Snipers and the Imperial will all DIE for Charge and Blood Surge in their arsenal, because it makes them even more freaking ridiculous than they are! Ever try Blood Surge and Charge on moves like Swift Edge, Squall Volley, Galvanic Rune or Imperial drives? The damage numbers can get pretty silly....pretty, f**king, silly. Just try not to kill yourself.

What is this the gunblade squad?!

Class: Imperial
Traits: Elemental Damage, Set-up, Going absolutely ham with 5 digit damages*
Class Rating: 9/10
Subclass Rating: 3/10

The Imperial are straight out awesome. Just look at them with their power armor and fancy looking gun blades....they look like they can absolutely murder anyone! Imperials have tons of f**king damage and are probably the class with THE most damage when it comes to bursting down a single target. They are complete beasts against late game boss fights, and can go as far as to burst down half the HP of any of the 3 dragons with the right set-up and party. These guys are absolute monsters, you just have to use them properly.

The Imperials thrive on hitting the enemies with one, solid strike that will hopefully take them out of the game, or at least deal insane amounts of damage to them. Their attacks, the drive skills, deal A BOATLOAD of damage to a single target, but have massive cooldowns. With mastery, they can set the cooldowns of most of their skills to 5-6 turns, allowing for more drive skills in rapid succession, which will most probably take care of most bosses VERY quickly (most bosses go down by the time the 2nd drive attack comes). Imperials have the damage section covered, all they need is ways to decrease their cooldowns, which they have plenty. Heat Sink just eats up the turn numbers, while the other edge skills help out just fine. Element Boost further increases their damage, and Ignition allows them for infinite Drive attacks for a period of time. If the battle drags long enough for Ignition to come up, you can wipe out most bosses within the Ignition period (Warped Savior included).

The Imperial has some compatibility with the other classes. For one, Land is a great subclass because of Vanguard; the Imperial are slow as heck, going first is always good before they get killed. Nightseeker sub is absolutely hilarious when your Imperial actually gets to pull off Follow Trace. Runemaster is excellent since the Imperial is mostly an elemental DPS class, and they can leech a lot from the Runemaster skill set. Bushi is excellent for Blood Surge and Charge. 

Okay then, here are my team compositions. 

Team A

Front: I/R, N/A, L/R
Back: M/L, S/N

Team B

Front: N/A, F/D, D/F
Back:  A/M, S/N

Team C

Front: L/R, I/B, I/B
Back: R/I, M/L