If you’ve taken a look at the 374 skills available in Phantom Dust you may be wondering what all those numbers and skill descriptions really mean. In this guide we’ll break them down one by one. Most of the text in this guide came from the game’s memory boxes. You receive one for each mission you complete. They contain important information not explained in the game’s user manual. I’ve left most of the text as is, but I took the liberty of editing some descriptions that were incorrect or not clear.
Skill Target – The effective range for each skill can be categorized into Short, Medium, and Long. Skills where the target is yourself are noted Self. Those where the target is a capsule (orb) are noted Capsule. The skills that allow you to plant a mine are noted Mine. Those that target everyone are noted All. For these skills, “All” includes the Esper (player) that launches the skill. For skills that don’t contain any of the preceding descriptions, their attacks are not defendable and cannot be dodged.
Skill Color – During battle the capsules that spawn can be divided into two large groups: those that contain memories of skills (Skill Capsules) and those that raise your Level (like mana), which in turn allow you to use your skills (Aura Capsules). Capsules belonging to other players are covered with black particles and cannot be captured unless you use Thieving Imp (of the Faith school). The skills that can be captured and their capsule colors are as follows: Aura (White), Attack (Red), Defense (Blue), Erase (Purple), Status (Green), Environmental (Aqua), and Special (Yellow).
Attack and Defense – In battle, the relationship between Attack and Defense skills is as follows:
- If STR > DEF: Defense skill is destroyed, but attack does not reduce opponent’s health*
- If STR = DEF: Attack has no effect
- If STR < DEF: Attack has no effect
*The attack has no effect on the opponent’s health if blocked unless it has a Pierce Effect and their Defense skill does not have an Anti-Pierce Effect. (More explained on the Pierce Effect in the Skill Effects section of this Skill Guide.)
Attack – Attack skills cause damage to the target. The basic goal of battle is to use Attack skills and reduce your opponent’s Health to 0. Note that all Attack skills have a counter Defense skill. Attack skills can be identified by their red-colored capsules.
Defense – To minimize damage, one must use Defense skills to repel enemy attacks. All Attack skills have a Defense skill that counters them. Based on its core effect, Defense skill can be grouped into types and are effective against an Attack-type skill. Defense skills can be identified by their blue-colored capsules.
Erase – Erase skills, as implied by the name, take away one or more of an opponent’s skills. Skills are not the only things that can be erased. The opponent’s Level or Status can also be erased. In a battle when an opponent is at an advantage, you may find it difficult to change the situation. Using Erase skills can drastically alter the balance. Erase skills can be identified by their purple-colored capsules.
Status – Status skills are used to increase, decrease, or change the standard status of Espers (players). The four basic qualities that can be changed are strength of attack, speed of movement, homing ability of attack, and Aura recovery speed. When these changes are in effect an icon will be displayed next to the Esper’s Health bar. Some Status skills prevent the opponent from locking on to you, or invert the direction of the opponent’s controls. Status skills can be identified by their green-colored capsules.
Special – Special skills are grouped together as skills that have unique effects but do not fit into the skill types listed above. Special skills can affect movement, restore status, restore health, affect button presses, or capture skills. Your battle strategies will greatly expand once Special skills are mastered. Special skills are identified by their yellow-colored capsules.
Environmental – Environmental skills appear in aqua-colored capsules. Their effects are very different from those of the standard Attack and Defense skills. After using an Environment skill, an environmental crystal appears at one’s feet. It looks similar to a capsule. Only one crystal at a time can be in effect on the battlefield. Therefore, when an environmental crystal is on the ground if you try to use another Environment skill its effects will not take place and the skill will be consumed (gone for the rest of the battle).
Aura Particles – The most important skill, Aura Particle, is captured from the Aura Particle capsule (white orb). When an Aura Particle is used it raises your Level by 1. An Aura Particle is a very special skill. For example, in most cases only three of the same skills can be included in an arsenal. Aura Particles are different because they can fill the entire arsenal if necessary. Unlike other skills, Aura Particles do not fit into any of the schools, and no other skill is similar to them. [You can think of these as “land” in MtG or “crystals” in Hearthstone]