Hello everyone and welcome to my 224th analysis, this time featuring Talos the Island Protector.
Overview: Talos is one of the few monsters in the game that have the coveted Artifact trait, protecting him from almost all harmful effects that may come his way. Being an attacker, this is great news for him as it means that he doesn't have to be afraid of most deniers. With some high powered moves and a couple of Trait Disables under his belt, Talos is one of the most notable attackers in the game. Island Protector has Magic attacks which are very effective in his element and in the Mechanical Book, plus his Sunburn effects are great to both stack up damage and reduce Precision, making him the best Talos form. However, Talos eats up Stamina faster than Oreos get eaten with milk, which necessitates extra measures to give him Stamina, and his Base Speed is unimpressive even for an attacker. Also, Stamina Drain and CD Activation goes through Artifact.
Monsters that have access to Group 4 skills will have a slightly different build path. I will list the most viable builds for each Rank since some moves in Group 4 are pivotal to some sets' success. The monster's role will likely remain the same, however, so this won't be exhaustingly long as I won't repeat the same things.
-Emerald Saber/Golden Protector/Crete Defender
Runes: 2 Strength 1 Speed
Mutant Rune options: Strength&Stamina, Strength&Life, Speed&Stamina, Speed&Life
Relics: Traps and Masks
Quartz Radiation has the golden Base Power for AOEs, and it applies Sunburn to targets, which is one of the best Tortures in the game. Defined Target lets Talos push for the extra damage or trigger Relics which require you to hit enemies. Objective Marked is his strongest unresisted single target skill at this point, and it disables the target's Trait as well. For the last slot, pick either one of the 50 Base Powered single target skills, or the other AOE option besides Quartz Radiation.
2 Strength 1 Speed is the standard spread for attackers. For the Mutant Rune choices, Life Mutations remain safe choices like always, but the extra Stamina from Stamina Mutations could help alleviate Talos' Stamina consumption.
Rank1: Island Protector learns "Victim Chosen" at this level, a single target Base 80 unresisted attack.
Runes and Mutant Runes are the same as given above.
With Victim Chosen, Talos gains access to one of the most powerful nukes in the game, which will likely kill non-Life Runed targets in a single hit. It gives him the tool he needs to be the dangerous attacker he is.
Also of note past this point is a 3 Strength spread, which will allow Victim Chosen to almost always kill non-Life Runed monsters. It's made viable thanks to said move's gigantic Base Power.
Rank2: Island Protector learns "Talos is the Sun" at this level, an AOE that applies Trait Disable on all enemies and gives him an extra turn, at an extremely high Stamina cost.
-Defined Target/Talos is the Sun
-Objective Marked/Defined Target
Runes: 2 Strength 1 Speed/2 Strength 1 Stamina
Mutant Rune options: Strength&Stamina, Strength&Life, Speed&Stamina, Speed&Life, Stamina&Strength (Life Mutations only if not using Talos is the Sun)
Talos is the Sun comes with heavy demands, but the payoff is extremely valuable. First of, to use the move, any one of these conditions must be met: You must drop your Speed Rune for a Stamina Rune, your Runes must be high-enough leveled that giving them Stamina Mutations allows you to have at least 202 Base Stamina, or you must have a monster on your team that increases the Base Stamina of its teammates. However, in return, you will remove pesky Traits from enemies like Hardened variants, Taunt or Control Immunities.
To get the proper value from this move, it's expected for Talos to be able to execute another move after using it, since you don't want to lose your momentum as an attacker. For this reason, 2 Strength 1 Stamina is listed as an option for Runes.
Rank3: Island Protector learns "Ruby Blade" at this level, a single target Base 60 Magic move that Stuns the target and gives all enemies Magic Weakness.
-Defined Target/Talos is the Sun/Objective Marked
Runes and Mutant Runes are the same as given above.
Ruby Blade is Talos' greates weapon vs. Metal monsters, and the Stun it applies plus its high Base Power makes it a necessity on his moveset. The Magic Weakness is not too important, but it can be exploited by transfering a turn to Talos after he uses it to wipe enemies out with Quartz Radiation or at least do significant damage to them.
If you want to use Talos is the Sun but not use a Stamina Rune, you can pair him up with Warmaster Thalassa to increase his Base Stamina to an appropriate level. This does not work, I left it here so you know that it doesn't, because he's an Artifact. Monsters with Stamina restoring effects are good partners for Talos since he uses a lot of Stamina with each move. For more Teammate options, check out this article.
Countering Talos the Island Protector: Disabling his Trait will make him vulnerable to status effects. CD Activation and Stamina Drain ignore Artifact and deny him. For more Counter options, check out this article.