One of the best aspects of Bound by Flame is the fact that you can quickly switch between multiple classes just by changing your stance. All three stances have a different combat play style and excel in different kinds of enemy confrontations. Knowing when to switch stances and what abilities to use in each stance will help considerably as you make your way through the game.
Warrior vs. Ranger
You start the game as a Warrior and quickly learn how to switch to Ranger Stance. Once you reach the first boss battle, you gain the ability to switch to a Pyromancer. However, many of the Pyromancy techniques require magic points (MP), and it takes awhile to level up high enough to make MP less of a concern. So for the first few hours of play time, you’ll focus primarily on either Warrior or Ranger.
Warrior is a damage powerhouse, while Ranger attacks much faster and is far more agile. The stance you put more points into will eventually be your go-to stance, as it will have more abilities to fall back on, but at their base levels, the two stances are considerably different. As a Warrior, your attacks are slower but generally more powerful. This is the stance you want to use against multiple enemies. A Ranger is fast, but it takes awhile for the damage to add up. This is the stance you want to use against singular, powerful enemies.
It’s much easier to attack multiple enemies at once with the Warrior’s Circular Attack abilities. However, dodging can be troublesome until you level up the Parry ability to parry from all angles. Even once you have this ability, for some it will be difficult to properly time a parry in order to avoid getting hit. It takes a considerable amount of skill to go through a battle as a Warrior without the need for multiple potions. Once you have access to Rage and the Vitality skill tree, things become easier.
As a Ranger, you can dodge almost every attack with relative ease. The problem is that you’ll dodge almost as often as you attack, which means it may take some time to dispatch a group of enemies. You can speed up this process by skilling up the Blocking and Dodging skill trees, and even more so once you have the Speed Demon ability, but no matter how you cut it, a Warrior is always better when fighting against groups.
The best time to use the Ranger Stance is when you’re fighting against a boss character or when you need to sneak up on a group of enemies. The Ranger Stealth ability works very well to take down one or two enemies before engaging a group, especially once you’ve leveled it up a bit. As many boss battles feature a number of adds, the enhanced agility of a Ranger allows you to attack the boss while still avoiding the adds and actually speeds up boss battles.
As your Pyromancy skills grow, your appearance changes and you lose a bit of defense. While you’ll take more damage with each enemy attack, you’ll also gain a considerable amount of offensive power. It’s best to skill up a Ranger and/or Warrior initially, but once you have most of the good abilities for one or the other (or both), you can pour your points into Pyromancy techniques and really strengthen your character.
A fully leveled Pyromancer is arguably the most powerful stance in the game. With the ability to summon a Fire Spirit to help you in battle, as well as defensive abilities such as Guardian Flames and Fire Wave, you can play Pyromancer in multiple ways. Keep enemies at bay with Fire Wave and Orbs of Fire, or ignite your weapon with Burning Weapon, mix Conflagration and Concentration, and enemies will go down like flies at close range.
Even as a high level Pyromancer, you have to be careful about taking too many hits, and it’s not overly difficult to burn through your MP and have to switch stances. While you can go crazy with your offense and incinerate a group of enemies in an instant, you’ll have to wait for your MP to replenish before you move on to the next group of enemies. This is especially troubling against bosses when you’re better off using a burst of Pyromancy, then switching stances to continue the battle. It takes a fair amount of skill and patience to ensure you don’t run out of MP at a crucial time, but can still dish out damage as needed.