• Menu with Triangle
    • > ITEMS
      • > OPTIONS button (exclamation point on the far left)
        • > SETUP
          • > COMBINE
            • > BLADE / SHIELD / ARMOR as desired

Combine is the ultimate step to obtaining the most powerful armor and weapons in the game, and can be used throughout the game to make small but significant improvements to a player's gear. To players used to other games, where weapon and progression is the only factor in attacking and defense power, it may seem at first as though combining weapons and armor is of paramount importance, but maintaining and improving Class and Affinity is much more powerful; it is quite possible, though not necessary, to play through the entire game with Ashley's first three weapons. See Three Weapons

TermsTiersMatch and MismatchCombinesClass and AffinityAll High
AnalysisMorphsTransmutationArmorWeaponsMaterials3 Weapons
Other strategiesRaising AffinitiesList of CombinationsCombine RateWorkshopGallerySee also

That said, there will be occasions when combining bronze and iron to make Hagane will improve gear greatly, and armor or weapons not otherwise obtainable at that point can be manufactured. And most importantly, in a game where there is no experience points and no levels, gear is one of the four and possibly the most important way to progress, the other three being gaining Break Arts and other skills, physically making progress through the areas, and gaining Strength Intelligence and Agility points.

Terms Edit

  • Design is the generic word used in these guides for the type of weapon such as Swords or Crossbows
  • Equipment is the for the type of armor such as Helm or Leg
  • Tier is the word used for how powerful a particular weapon is, among others of its Design.
  • Mismatch is a combination between higher and lower tiers that results in the product being Devolved, or reduced in tier below the higher tier and in the case of closely matched tiers, below the lower tier also
  • Morph is a combination between two Equipments of the same tier; morphs result in a predictable third design or equipment. Weapon Morphs occur at similar rather than same tiers, and there is not only a third Design, but a fourth and fifth possible for each pair of Designs combined.
  • Progression is a combination, usually between consecutive tiers, that results in a product that is the next consecutive tier.

Tiers Edit

See Tiers

Generally speaking, it can be observed that weapons and armor belong to Tiers, ranging from least powerful to most powerful.

  • Items in the same Tier, of any Design, are more likely to combine productively.
  • Items of different Design and the same Tier tend to Evolve: they will produce a third Design. This is always true of armor, but less true of Weapons, because Weapons have differing numbers of Tiers.
  • Items of the same Design, in adjacent (consecutive) tiers, will combine the best, creating an item of the same Design in the next higher tier. This is called Progression.
  • A weapon in a lower tier will often 'devolve' the higher weapon to the same type but a lower tier. This is called Mismatch in these guides and can be useful if the product is rare (see the Combine section)

Progression Edit

Main article: Progression

Generally speaking, combinations in Vagrant Story advance two items of the same Design or Equipment to a third, higher Tier. The exceptions are irregular or abnormal Progressions. Non-consecutive combinations are called Mismatches

Mismatch Edit

Generally speaking, combinations in Vagrant Story punish Tiers that are close together but not consecutive, and are less punitive to widely spaced Tier combinations. This is somewhat counterintuitive, but it can be used to advantage in various ways.

Most commonly, Mismatch is used to Devolve an Equipment with desirable properties into a lower Tier that commonly occurs with undesirable ones (usually low Type resistances)
Mismatch may be used instead of Morphing away from the two ingredients, and instead keeping the Design or Equipment of one of the ingredients
When making combinations that use Design Prevalence to change Material, a low level of the desired material will create a fairly high result if the other item is very high

Combines Edit


Dark Eyes can be accessed, easily once teleportation is available, to raise armor's Dark Affinity. See Raising Affinities

The number of Combine products is too extensive to be listed in a single article. The number of powerful Combine products, however, is barely sufficient to fill one.

Where the 'secrets' in other games can be relatively trivial or a meta-game separate to the main gameplay, crafting in Vagrant Story is both crucial and obscure; these guides fill a gap in gameplay that is not as evident in other games.

In the Vagrant Story crafting system, the means to the end are not easily apprehended. The ability to turn HAGANE and SILVER into DAMASCUS is limited to two rare combinations, for instance. And while the system of Progression is ostensibly the way to proceed, it is in fact the preponderance of Type bonuses on certain drops and the principle of Prevalence which enables the high powered strategy, Morph, to attain the otherwise improbable goal of maximizing Type, and is even usable by more casual players to increase armor Tiers. Weapons have an inherent type, so their challenge is only to increase Affinity and Class, and of course to increase to the higher Tiers.

Crafting integrates reasonably well with the drops and found Items in the game, but greater rewards are to be had by progressing through the game to better drops and chests than crafting. There are also gaps in the progression of Items. This necessitates, for example, a crafter to go back to the starting areas to get an extremely rare item to combine with other low level items to combine with medium level pieces, to manufacture a medium level piece that is not available at all, to make a higher level piece. Additionally, in armor manufacture, there are armor types that are the product of no Combine process at all. They cannot be made, period.

Two of the same weapon always makes that weapon. Combining fresh weapons can replace some of the work of gaining Class and Affinity, without having to fight enemies or attack dummies.

When combining two Weapons, Phantom Points and Damage Points of the product are always an average of the two. Phantom Points can of course be sacrificed for large amounts of damage with the Phantom Pain ability; useful for big bosses.

Class and Affinity Edit

See Main Article Class, Affinity and Type

Two Class and Affinity values are always retained when Combining Items; the highest number, and the lowest number, with one exception. If the lowest number on one piece is met with the highest number on another piece, the highest number prevails.

All High Edit

Because the highest number is retained, two armors with each of the affinities or classes at the highest number, Thus, we combine two armor pieces. One of them has classes as high as 100. The other, as high as 99. Both have classes as low as -3.

A very unsatisfactory result is achieved (but note that even though there is a -3 on Beast, the highest number is retained). The 99s have shrunk to nothing, or to be more precise, to the lowest number, as it prevails over even the second highest number. The two -2s combine to make a result that is lower than the lowest number, because negative numbers increase, also.

Affinity Armor One Armor Two Product: Armor Three
Human 99 -3 -3
Beast -3 100 100
Undead -2 -2 -4
Phantom 99 -3 -3
Dragon -3 99 -3
Evil 4 5 7

If, however, the same two pieces are combined, after the player has leveled both up to the high of 100, a much nicer item is the result. 100 is still the highest (and highest possible), and because it is retained even against the lowest, four Class bonuses now share it.

Class Armor One Armor Two Product: Armor Three
Human 100 -3 100
Beast 0 100 100
Undead -2 -2 -4
Phantom 100 -3 100
Dragon -3 100 100
Evil 4 5 7

Optionally, one could raise the low -3s up to -2. Previously, the two -2s combined to make a result that is lower than the lowest number, because numbers increase, also, both negative and positive. Once -2 was the new lowest number, they defaulted to the new low, -2. In this example, this trick shows much smaller returns than the first one, but there are circumstances in which it has relatively higher value.

Class Armor One Armor Two Product: Armor Three
Human 100 -2 100
Beast 0 100 100
Undead -2 -2 -2
Phantom 100 -2 100
Dragon -2 100 100
Evil 4 5 7

Combination Analysis Edit

Weapons found in Vagrant Story fall into one of seven categories. The categories each have a section here, in alphabetical order. The individual weapons within that category are arranged by Attack (STR), from weakest to strongest.

There are 90 weapons in Vagrant Story. A combination of a weapon type with one of the same type always results in that same weapon, although the Affinities and Classes are combined.

Generally speaking, it can be observed that weapons belong to tiers, ranging from least powerful to most powerful.

  • Weapons in the same Tier, of any Design, are more likely to combine productively.
  • Weapons of the same Design, in adjacent (consecutive) tiers, will combine the best, creating a weapon of the same type but the next higher tier. This is a Progression combination
  • A weapon in a lower tier will often 'devolve' the higher weapon to the same type but a lower tier. This is called Mismatch in these guides and can be useful if the product is rare (see the Combine section)

The markings listed below are used on individual Combinations pages such as Axe Combinations and Arm Armor Combinations

  • Progression: Same-Design combinations of consecutive Tiers that combine to make the next higher consecutive Tier of that same Design. These are usually marked with +
  • Morph: Design A + Design B = Design C. No marking, as they are quite common and neither often useful nor always useless. These can be useful to turn unneeded weapon Designs into ones that can fill in gaps in Tier Progression. They occur most often near same-Tier combinations, and more with Designs with differing numbers of Tiers, because those have extra combinations above the same-Tier ones, which are often / combinations.
  • Some Designs of weapons have more tiers than others. A combination of the fifth tier weapon of a Design that has six tiers with a sixth tier weapon of a Design with seven tiers may yield a useful fifth tier product of another, third Design with six tiers. It is not a lower tier than both of them, but it is lower than one of them. The usefulness depends entirely on the availability of the product as a drop or chest item and the demand for it in the production chain of the third or other Designs.
  • Sometimes there are two different products of the same ingredients, depending on which order the ingredients are added. The first product listed is always the combination with the first ingredient from the left, vertical column of ingredients.
  • Mismatch; there tends to be a much heavier penalty on combinations that are close together but not consecutive, than there is for combining a very low weapon with a high one. This can be seen in the combination of the high Tier Bullova axe with Great Axes; the very lowest Great Axe combines to make a mid Tier Axe. As the Great Axes go up Tiers, the product drops in Tier. It goes up again at two Tiers below, and becomes a Morph at one Tier below.
  • Equal Combinations potentially improve the Class and Affinities of weapons without changing their Design or Tier; Daggers are a Design that commonly produces Equal Combinations.

Morph Edit

Also Evolve. See Morph and Weapon Combination

Morphs occur more often with weapons. Because three Designs can be gained from the combination of two weapon types and because there are varying numbers of tiers for weapons, morphs are more often between similar tiers than same tiers , and rarely at the same tier for both weapons; there are two or usually three possible Designs that can result from each combination of two weapon types

The possible morphs for each Equipment type result:

Desired result Combinations
Head Arm + Body Arm + Leg
Arm Head + Leg Body + Leg
Body Head + Arm
Leg Head + Body

Transmutation Edit

See Main Article Rare Combinations

  • Combining a Leather or Bronze piece with an Iron piece will always result in a Hagane piece if they are the same Design or Equipment, and never if they are not.
  • Leather armor with Silver can make Silver; Hagane with Silver can make Damascus.
  • Iron weapons with Silver and Hagane with Silver can make Damascus.
  • Bronze Shield can combine with Hagane to make Silver, if the bronze is placed first in the combination.

Hagane is made from Iron and Bronze pieces of the same Design, in the case of weapons, and Equipments, in the case of armor. For example, an Iron and Bronze Dagger, or an Iron and Bronze Helm. Hagane and other Materials can combine to make Hagane, but this is not transmutation, it is Prevalance: the material of one Design or Equipment prevailing over another.

Armor Edit

Equipment Prevalence

When combining different Body Locations of armor (called Equipments in these guides), the material of one Equipment will almost always prevail. E.g., Damascus Leg Armor plus Arm, Head or Body armor usually results in a Damascus armor piece.

Leg > Arm > Body > Head

With many individual instances of exceptions, though not adding up to a significant percentage:

  • Leg armor material type is retained when combining with any material of Arm, Body, or Head
  • Arm armor material type is retained when combining with any material of Body or Head
  • Body armor material type is retained when combining with any material of Head armor
  • Head armor combined with other armor types, consequently, is a good place to look for material conversions, as it is known to not retain its material

LEATHER itself is not retained when combining with other materials, let alone the Equipment type, so it does not follow the above rules. Sometimes it makes Rare Combinations with HAGANE in a New Game Plus, sometimes resulting in SILVER, and SILVER and HAGANE sometimes makes DAMASCUS:

  • LEATHER Helm can combine with HAGANE Arm to make SILVER Helm, Arm, or Body
  • HAGANE Arm can combine with LEATHER Helm to make SILVER Helm, Arm, or Body
  • SILVER Helm can combine with LEATHER Leg to make DAMASCUS Helm, Arm, or Leg
  • LEATHER Body can combine with SILVER Helm to make DAMASCUS Helm, Body, or Leg
  • SILVER Leg can combine with HAGANE Body to make DAMASCUS Arm, Body, or Leg
  • HAGANE Leg can combine with SILVER Leg to make DAMASCUS Leg. DAMASCUS Leg will combine with almost any piece to make a DAMASCUS piece.

Notably, SILVER foot armor combines with HAGANE foot armor to make DAMASCUS foot armor, which because of the hierarchy noted above, will almost always convert other armor to DAMASCUS.

Weapons Edit

Precious metal weapons are harder to make: base materials can only be combined with Silver or Damascus to make Damascus blades, and no base materials will create Silver blades. At least no blade products will ever be of lower quality material than those of the first and second blade.

As with armor, the material of one Design is almost always retained over another. The exceptions can be a product with increased material quality.

Design Prevalance
Heavy Mace > Polearm > Great Axe > Great Sword > Crossbow >
Axe and Mace > Sword > Staff > Dagger
The first and second positions of these combinations are as important as their Design and Materials
First Blade Second Blade DAMASCUS Result
Silver Great Sword Iron Polearm Polearm, Great Sword,
Dagger, Sword, Axe
Iron Staff Silver Great Axe Great Axe, Staff, Heavy Mace,
Polearm, Crossbow
Silver Axe/Mace Hagane Staff Staff, Axe, Mace, Polearm,
Crossbow, Heavy Mace
Silver Great Axe Hagane Crossbow Crossbow, Great Axe, Great Sword,
Dagger, Sword
Silver Polearm Hagane Dagger Polearm, Dagger, Sword,
Great Sword, Crossbow
Hagane Axe/Mace Silver Polearm Polearm, Axe, Mace, Crossbow,
Dagger, Sword
Hagane Crossbow Silver Great Sword Crossbow, Great Sword, Dagger,
Axe, Mace
Hagane Dagger Silver Staff Staff, Dagger, Heavy Mace,
Polearm, Crossbow

Notable by its absence in the chart above is any combination of any material type of Swords and Heavy Maces, or any Bronze at all. It is safe to assume then that any Bronze (not meant for keeping for other reasons) should be discarded or combined with Iron unless that interferes with the Iron-Silver combinations, and that Swords and Heavy Maces (again, with no other intended purpose), are good targets for Container-clearing conversion to another Design.

With fewer starting options, and more ground to cover in terms of ten different Designs vs only four Equipments, Damascus-product weapons combinations offer instead a greater number of outcomes, without the need to stack multiple combines onto the final armor to increase weapon Type Resistance.

Materials Edit

See Materials

Two items of the same Design and Tier but of different Materials will have different Strength and Intelligence bonuses. Thus it can be seen that Material types impart Strength and Intelligence

Establishing a base value for the bonuses is a purely arbitrary decision. For reasons of synchronizing armor materials (starting with Leather) and shield materials (starting with Wood) and weapon materials (starting with Bronze), starting with the lowest value, the Strength defense of Leather, makes all of the others bonuses rather than minuses. To make them all bonuses, including the lowest, a base value lower than Leather is used.

Strength Intelligence
Leather + 1 + 7
Wood + 2 + 8
Bronze + 3 + 3
Iron + 5 + 3
Hagane + 7 + 4
Silver + +
Damascus + +

So the intrinsic properties of Materials, which hold true no matter what happens to the item afterwards, are Strength and Intelligence. The player can affect the Affinity and Class bonuses of the item, but in the beginning, when it is first dropped, it is usually a predictable bonus. All dropped items of a certain material, with only slight variation, have a certain set of Affinity and Class bonuses. For example, Silver and Damascus Armor:
Silver Armor Affinity: Physical +5; Elemental -5; Light -5, Dark +20 Damascus Armor Affinity: Physical +20; Elemental -5; Light +20, Dark -20

Silver Armor Class: Undead +20; Phantom +15; Evil +5; Human Beast Dragon 0 Damascus Armor Class: Human, Beast, Dragon, Evil, +10; Undead -2; Phantom 0

Now compare armor with weapons:

Silver Weapon Affinity: Physical +5; Elemental +5; Light +20, Dark -5 Damascus Weapon Affinity: Physical +20; Elemental +5; Light -10, Dark +10

Silver Weapon Class: Undead +20; Phantom +15; Evil +5; Human Beast Dragon 0 Damascus Weapon Class: Human, Beast, Dragon, Evil, +10; Undead -2; Phantom 0

The difference is equivalent to Affinity affecting armor differently than it does weapons. Affinities opposite to those of the enemy are more effective with weapons; affinities the same as the enemy protect against it. So while Class remains the same, Affinities are backwards (with the exception of Physical, which has no opposite), and in the case of Silver, exactly the reverse (again, with the exception of Physical).

Note that Silver weapons and armor combine very effectively to increase Undead and Phantom Class. The highest bonus remains the same, but the other increases to above the highest, giving a leapfrogging effect. +20, +15 becomes +20, +24, at which point 24 is the highest and two 20s combine to make +32, +24. In order to maintain maximum increases, the items must have been combined the same number of times, e.g. two weapons both of +20, +24.

Strategies Edit

3 Weapons Edit

See Three Weapons

The basic strategy is to let the Affinities take care of themselves, and to concentrate Class into three weapon types: Human + Phantom, Beast + Dragon, and Undead + Evil. This works, for example, because although gaining levels in the Human Class beats down the Beast and Undead classes mercilessly, it has no effect at all on Phantom class gains, and while Phantom gains will make a mess out of the Dragon and Evil Classes, it leaves the Human class untouched.

Affinities can also be ignored, and found and dropped items with unblemished Affinities used instead (but this is not recommended at all for weapons, when the three weapon strategy is much more effective). Second and successive playthroughs, in particular, are a source of much better items, and some players challenge themselves by attempting powerful combinations on the first or second playthrough.[1]

Great Axe and Staff, with only six Tiers, are the shortest ladders up which you can take weapons that have accumulated a lot of Class and Affinity bonuses, rather than just throwing those weapons away because their Design is weak. They do not get some of the Best Combinations with other Designs, however.

Other strategies Edit

  • There are a lot of weapon and armor combinations that can mix baser metals with Damascus or even other base metals to get Damascus, so check out the guides available to find those to mix with Spatha/Battle Knife or a similar armor combination, and see Rare Combinations for some in this Wiki.
  • Devolve uses Mismatch to turn those valuable Affinity and Class bonuses into a Spatha and/or Battle Knife and/or any other weapon that always gives Equal Combines. Therefore, they can be combined with any other Design, and because the highest Affinity or Class bonus is always retained in a Combine, the desired weapon Design can now have those bonuses.
  • Trash Collecting follows the principle that every weapon always has some Affinity and Class on it; every one of them that can be Combined saves a considerable number of hits on a practice dummy. The problem is integrating all of the weapons into one, and the simplest means is, again, to Devolve them all. The weakness of this plan is that the time taken to Combine all of the junk weapons could have been spent on getting good ones, and the same weakness as any plan to Combine large amounts of items to gain Affinity and Class: that the 80% rate, such that two bonuses of 10 add up to 16 instead of 20, means it is an awfully long way to 100 that way. Better to use Combine to get roughly half or some other fraction of the way, and then Dummies / standing while monsters hit you for weapons and armor respectively, because those methods do not get diminishing returns.

Raising Affinities Edit

Armor Edit

Sit and be hit Edit

Self explanatory. Keep dexterity low so that monsters can hit, and reenter the room when monsters gain too much RISK to hit. Enemy armor and weapons are reactive to their and Ashley's attacks, so reenter the room if the affinity of enemy attacks change.

Surging Balm can keep low amounts of damage healed, but otherwise, expect large gains to Light affinity from constantly recasting heal spells. HolyGear has a list of suitable enemies and their attack affinities, including the unusual Beast-Dark Acid Sneeze.[2]

One possible three weapon strategy: (See Grimoire for the spells)
Human, Phantom, Air, Water, Dark:

  • Dark Eye at Sinner's Corner in Undercity West. Kill the skeletons, heal its elemental spell damage (Siphon Soul Defense ability helps) until it runs out of power. Teleport out and back once it starts missing. Or Meteor (AE Dark) on one or more of Ashley's body parts
  • Water or Air Phantoms, or Thunderburst (Area Effect Air spell), Avalanche (Area Effect Water) as Meteor
  • Any enemy wielding a Damascus weapon will add Dark affinity. Leave if the affinity changes
  • Enchant Crimson Blades' weapons with Frost Fusion or Luft Fusion

Beast, Dragon, Fire, Earth:

  • Fire Dragon in the Time Trials does an area effect Fire attack. Flame Sphere (AE Fire spell) on one or more of Ashley's body parts
  • Basilisks in the Snowfly Forest do area effect Earth attacks. Gaea Strike (AE Earth spell) as Flame Sphere
  • Enchant beast or dragon enemies with Spark Fusion or Soil Fusion

Evil, Undead, Physical, Light:

  • Most any undead. Ones with small weapons not only do less damage, they attack faster and gain RISK more slowly. There are 3 undead in one room at Hall of Dying Hope in the Catacombs (closest to the Magic Circles at Withered Spring, and on the way to the Hall of Sworn Revenge magic circle). One might think that 3 times the attackers would speed things up, but the attack animations generally, and that of the hammer user in particular, slow things down.
  • Quicksilvers / Shriekers. Silence them, leave if they start doing Physical damage (or Dark if Ashley is wearing Damascus). Heal spells, Radial Surge (AE Light spell) on one or more of Ashley's body parts


  • The Shadows in the Limestone Quarry use an Evil-Dark attack when they run out of Magic Points. They cast very powerful spells first, so be prepared.

I Am My Own Best EnemyEdit

You can raise armor affinities using three of the four types of magic on yourself: Warlock spells (ouch!), Enchanter Spells, and last and usually least, Shaman Spells, because they can only raise Light affinity. This should be a last resort, or something you do to pass the time while running from place to place. Monsters can raise affinities faster; the only problem is, what if you must raise Affinity but cannot raise Class? That is where Warlock and Enchanter spells really shine.

Warlock spells raise affinities a little faster, but must be used with caution for obvious reasons. If time is taken to position the targeting sphere, an individual piece or two of armor (and Ashley's body parts!) can be the only ones gaining affinity (and taking damage). Adding Risk can make the spells critical hit, and seems to raise the affinities faster.

Enchanter spells are less selective, except in the case of weapons, of course. If an individual piece must be raised and no other, then either take the rest of the armor off or use Warlock spells.

Weapons Edit

Killing Dummies is self-explanatory: find practice dummies and hit enough of them enough times with three weapons to raise Affinity and/or class to an all high of 100. Damage, chaining and in particular RISK are of less consequence in this, which alters strategies, particularly in the choice of weapon (for example, not combining a fast low damage dagger to make a slow weapon until after using it to obtain dummy bonuses)

List of Combine Articles Edit

The combination totals can be seen pretty quickly with a thought experiment using an imaginary chart of all combinations. Each piece will combine with each other piece, but half the chart does not show new combinations. The first weapon's row contains all the combinations with that piece, therefore every successive row will always have a redundant combination with that weapon and every weapon listed previously. There are exceptions to redundancy, where placing blades or equipments in different order yields different results. This expanding area of redundancy continues down in a diagonal line dividing the chart roughly in two; more than half if self-combinations are counted as relevant, less if they are not.

90 Weapons
8100 Combinations. 90 pieces x 90
Roughly 4095 Non-redundant combinations (some combinations of two weapons in different order will produce a different product)
Roughly 4040 if self-combinations are counted as redundant

Axe Combinations Crossbow Combinations Dagger Combinations
Great Axe Combinations Great Sword Combinations Heavy Mace Combinations
Mace Combinations Polearm Combinations Staff Combinations
Sword Combinations

64 Armor
4096 Combinations. 64 pieces x 64
Roughly 2,080 Non-redundant combinations (some combinations of two armor pieces in different order will produce a different product)
Roughly 2,016 if self-combinations are counted as redundant

Helm Combinations Body Armor Combinations
Arm Combinations Leg Combinations

16 Shields
256 Combinations. 16 shields x 16
Roughly 144 Non-redundant combinations (some combinations of two armor pieces in different order will produce a different product)
Roughly 112 if self-combinations are counted as redundant

However, shields in particular evidence another multiplier to the possible number of combinations: Material type. Wooden Shields will often combine with Damascus to make Damascus, for example.

Shield Combinations

Combine Rate Edit

All High combines aside, there is a set rate for the additional Affinity, Class and Type bonuses given to crafted items.

  • They get a 80% bonus if the material is the same and the bonuses are similar.
  • They get a 60% rate if either the material is different, or the bonuses are significantly different
  • If both the material and bonuses are deficient as above, the lowest bonus rate of 40% results

Workshop Edit

Main article: Workshop

Gallery Edit

Links Edit

Weapon & Armor Combinations (Vagrant Story) - geocities cached page

See Also Edit

Citations Edit

  1. Vagrant Story Damascus Weapons and Armor FAQ
  2. Vagrant Story: Holy Dread Armor FAQ by HolyGear