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Trials of Mana – Best Party Setup

Trials of Mana Best Party

You’ll pick a party of three from the six total characters and select your main character. You’ll be able to take each character for a test play before picking the ones you want in your team.

To make it easier for you to decide, we’ve listed the best possible party combination. The best party combination consists of these 3 characters:


Duran will serve as the muscle of your team. The focus is on dealing high damage to enemies so that makes Duran an excellent attacker. The Edelfrei Elemental Saber Buffs allow you to exploit enemy weaknesses.


This character can be used to target multiple enemies at once. The Nightblade debuff from Hawkeye helps in inflicting silence and attacking multiple groups of foes.


This character’s buffs make her excellent support to your team. The Starlancer buff from Riesz allows her to boost you party’s overall speed, power, defense, and magic.

Trials of Mana Best Party Combinations

All-Around Beginner Party

Riesz (Starlancer)
  • Attacker
  • Buffs
Easy combat because of long range, balanced spread of stats, good buffs early game.
Hawkeye (Nightblade)
  • Attacker
  • Debuffs
Increased item drop rate (for farming item seeds in early game), inflicting debuffs.
Charlotte (Sage)
  • Healer
Gives you a three-person team during Full Metal Hugger boss fight (if chosen as third character), increased survivability when getting used to enemy attack patterns.

Boss Killer (Physical DMG) Party

Kevin (Fatal Fist)
  • Attacker
Features high damage, especially effective as a boss killer, avoid getting hit
Hawkeye (Nightblade)
  • Debuffs
Mainly for inflicting silence and using multi-target attacks on groups of enemies and bosses.
Riesz (Starlancer)
  • Buffs
Able to buff the party’s speed, power, and defense.

Boss Killer (Elemental DMG) Party

Duran (Edelfrei)
  • Attacker
  • Elemental Saber Buffs
Coverage of all Elemental Saber buffs to grant Kevin elemental damage.
Kevin (Fatal Fist)
  • Attacker
Features high elemental damage, especially effective as a boss killer, avoid getting hit.
Charlotte (Necromancer)
  • Debuffs
Casts debuffs on enemies.

Durable All-Around Party

Duran (Duelist)
  • Attacker
  • Elemental Saber Buffs
Primary attacker and coverage of Elemental Saber buffs to exploit enemy weakness, tankier than Kevin.
Charlotte (Necromancer)
  • Debuffs
Casts debuffs enemies.
Riesz (Starlancer)
  • Buffs
Able to buff the party’s speed, power, defense, and magic.

All-Around Post Game Party

Duran (Berserker)
  • Attacker
  • Elemental Saber Buffs (Edelfrei)
Features high damage and coverage of all Elemental Saber buffs to exploit enemy weakness.
Hawkeye (Vigilante)
  • Attacker
  • Debuffs (Nightblade)
Mainly for inflicting silence and using multi-target attacks on groups of enemies.
Riesz (Meteorite)
  • Attacker
  • Buffs (Starlancer)
Able to buff the party’s speed, power, defense, and magic, access to strongest summon in the game.

These three character choices make the best all-around party since you get to deal a lot of damage and have a lot of support to cover yourself. You can pick any 3 characters you feel right with for your party if you wish, but this is what we recommend.

2 thoughts on “Trials of Mana – Best Party Setup”

  1. I would like to start off by saying that despite appearances I am not dissing any particular party setup. As the game was made so that every possible combination of chars/classes is at least viable. There is no such thing as a bad character, class or even party. However since this is advertised as ‘best party setup’ I feel like putting in my 2 cents as a long-time player. As for which parties and characters I think are genuinely qualified to be considered ‘best’? Well just humor me for a moment and let me keep you in suspense. We’ll get to that soon enough. First some standard nitpicking about some of the character choices in the various parties listed. 😉

    Any party with dark charlotte doesn’t qualify for ‘best’ because hawkeye is a better debuffer, and as a healer she is rendered obsolete by one of the basic game mechanics; the item reel. The game constantly showers you with healing items (aside from how cheap they are to buy) and at no point will you ever run out of them prior to winning any battle or boss fight, even on hard. After multiple playthroughs on hard (and many more on the snes version over the years) I can say this with full confidence. It is, quite frankly, a waste of a character slot to include a dedicated healer. It is also not needed to have a 3rd character during the first and (by far) easiest boss in the game, which some people give as a reason to include her. So she’s out.

    As for kevin… while a powerful melee character in his own right (highest base atk, decent at building CS gauge) he is outclassed in terms of overall usefulness by both duran and hawkeye, as any pure melee setup requires those two to work in tandem for optimal performance, with the third character best complimenting the aforementioned two of course being riesz due to her full party buffs. So kevin does not fit in the 3rd slot either. So he’s out.

    Want to build the best parties the game will let you? The only question you need to ask yourself is whether you want a dedicated caster or go full melee. The former requires angela while the latter requires duran, and for both of these picks riesz and hawkeye are the best additions. Why are they better picks than the remaining two?, I will explain below as I describe the party compositions themselves and how they synergize. The real best parties are as follows, both for beginners and veterans:

    ~~~~~~~~~~{ Riesz(L>D) / Duran(D>L) / Hawkeye(D>L) }~~~~~~~~~~

    This is your ‘beginner’ setup. This party has decent attack and defense during class 1, allowing for the player to focus purely on melee combat and basic combat mechanics without managing magic that early on.

    Once you reach class 2 riesz gains the ability to buff attack, defense, m-atk and m-def. Hawkeye will gain his debuff ninjutsu for attack, defense, m-atk and m-def. And duran will gain his elemental sabers and the ability to buff the attack of anyone receiving his elemental sabers at the cost of increased MP consumption. Hawkeye will also be able to generate some more CS gauge with the first of his two ‘ninja SP’ abilities found in the spirit section of your skill tree. This is where the party comes into it’s own. Once the party reaches class 3 however things really start to get crazy. *drum roll*

    Riesz and hawkeye get AoE versions of their previously gained buffs and debuffs, while duran is able to take the buffing of the party’s raw attack power to far greater heights (from 15% to 40%). These two factors lead into what makes this party so disgustingly OP. As previously mentioned; in the spirit skill tree you will find two abilities for hawkeye which boost your CS gauge by 5% and 7% respectively per ninjutsu hit, so your fire ninjutsu (for example) which hits 3 times will yield 36% per enemy, up to 180% when fighting 5 enemies. And since the elemental buffs also increase class strikes (elemental weaknesses apply, + the raw 40% dmg bonus from duran’s skill tree) hawkeye goes from a supporting role with decent damage to a certifiable wrecking ball that trivializes the second half of the game. Taking on a definitive role as the party’s ‘anchor’. The centerpiece that makes it all come together, and without whom the party’s efficiency drops drastically.

    In this setup you also want hawkeye to have some abilities equipped that boost the damage you deal when exploiting an enemy’s elemental weakness. All of these bonuses (+dmg to elemental weakness/+40% dmg from duran’s elemental sabers/AoE buffs and debuffs to atk and def) stack to insane heights when put together. Especially when you equip duran’s ‘fraction’ chain skill (ncreases damage done to enemies with moderate elemental resistance by 150%) on hawkeye. Seriously, once you hit 38 it is game over for the baddies. This is one of the most GG EZ parties possible, only surpassed by the next party on my list and even then only when reaching class 3.

    Warning: Do not fall for the increased ninjutsu damage skills with this party composition as these are noob traps. The main point of your ninjutsu is not it’s AoE damage, it is to debuff the enemy while quickly building your CS gauge through those multi-target attacks. That’s all, you want that sweet sweet CS%, so you can unleash hell on your target of choice with a lv3 or lv4 class strike (or lv2 for the small fries). Duran, while powerful, is not your main source of damage. Even though he has access to crit chance and crit dmg boosting skills in addition to his attack saber I&II. He is mainly a supporting character that lets your hawkeye shine the brightest, and baby he is blinding. To quote the zohan; “I’ve seen this, I’ve done this, you don’t want this”.

    Hawkeye Skills:
    – Ninja SP boost
    – Ninja SP boost II
    – Ward Off II
    – Ward Off III
    – Fraction
    – Weak Point II
    – Weak Point III
    – dealer’s choice (put whatever you want in this last slot, but if nothing else enigma fits well here)

    Duran and Riesz skills:
    Anything to amp up the party’s attack, and some crit chance and crit dmg up for duran specifically.

    ~~~~~~~~~~{ Angela(L>L) / Riesz(L>D) / Hawkeye(D>L) }~~~~~~~~~~

    This is a more advanced setup as it makes the class 1 section of the game a bit more challenging. After all the melee portion of your party lacks the elemental saber buffs, and angela is not yet a peak performance. But again, this starts to take a turn once you get class 2. This is the party you want for your second run, if you’re not confident enough to take it the first time around.

    Class 2 is pretty straightforward, As noted in the previous party setup riesz gains her buffs while hawkeye gains his debuffs and increased CS gauge generation, while the new character (angela) starts dishing out AoE spells to great effect. At this point both parties more or less break even with each other, the only real change being playstyle.

    Then once you hit class 3 angela gains access to lucent beam+ and enough crit related skills to cement her position as the highest damage dealer in the game. Adding together multiple crit chance boosts, a sizeable crit dmg boost, an elemental weakness dmg increase, and the sheer number of lucent beams on screen turns every enemy (even boss fights) into chopped liver in no time at all.

    Of course hawkeye and riesz still maintain the roles they had in the previous party, with the only real change being that the main focus will now be on angela. As hawkeye misses some bonusses duran would have given him, and not being the party’s ‘anchor’ changes the skill priorities for hawkeye. He still uses both ninja SP skills for quick CS generation, and still spams class strikes for decent damage in addition to the complete monster that is a properly built angela. This is also why I say hawkeye is a better debuffer than dark charlotte, because even as a full supporter he is just much more versatile and dangerous as long as he takes the ninja master route.

    Angela Skills:
    – Elemental Combo
    – Limit Break II
    – Limit Break III
    – Pinpoint II
    – Pinpoint III
    – Critical Damage II
    – Weak Point II
    – Judge II (or the normal enemy equivalent when not fighting bosses)

    Riesz and Hawkeye Skills:
    Same as before, anything to boost the party’s overall performance and play to it’s strengths. This time you want riesz to amp up angela’s m-atk further, and hawkeye can even take some ninjutsu boosting skills here if you want as he has slots left over. But again, hawkeye’s main source of damage is his class strikes so keep that in mind when making his build.

  2. thanks for your post seymour 13: I will try your angela/Riesz/hawkeye combo for the no future difficulty.

    on the hard difficulty my team was the Duran/riesz/hawkeye but with the paladin for Duran (L/L) and with the skills which boost AC to 300% at each battle. With the Duran Holy capacity glint slash i OS all the ennemies in 3 seconds which is the OPest and faster skill. IDK if it works too on hardest difficlty aswell.

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