The Spear and Glaive Starting Weapons are very exciting finds, as they offer the opportunity to use the Tarnish effect long before the Deteriorer Grimoire is obtained in Snowfly Forest. The Scythe Wind Break Art is 95 kills with a Polearm away, but still.
There is a shortage of Polearm blades as drops or in chests, and there is a large number of Tiers to Progress through. This makes them a good target Design for the mutating effect of Mismatching the Starting Weapons.
Polearms have the best melee range in the game outside of the Hand of Light oddity, although oddly the 7th 8th and 9th Tiers have only 5 range before the 10th 11th and 12th again gain 6 range. Melee range in Vagrant Story matters more than in other games, with all enemies either hitting and then running away, or being so tall that some hit locations cannot be reached.
Brandestoc, at 33 damage, has the third best damage in the game as well, behind the first place Destroyer with 36 and Halberd and Holy Win at 35. Polearms are somewhat irregular in the increase in Strength from one Tier to another; the progression is only approximately 5.5 + (Tier level x 2.5). This difference is very low, but since there are 12 Tiers, the top tiers do quite good damage.
One likely Design target for the Starting Weapons and their inevitable Class and Affinity bonuses is Polearms. There is a shortage of Polearm blades as drops or in chests, and there is a large number of Tiers to Progress through. Polearms, except for a few in the higher Tiers, offer the Pierce damage that many enemies are weak to, without the low range that makes fighting with Daggers so challenging. In fact, they have the longest range of any weapon except Crossbows and the Hand of Light Heavy Mace. Polearms are in the top three damage dealers also, once the higher Tiers are reached. Getting there is more difficult than with other weapons; 6th Tier Awl Pikes have to be crafted, 8th Tier Fauchards do not drop until a New Game Plus, the 9th Tier Voulge disappears from City Walls North to be replaced by the Dragon Training Dummy, and nothing higher ever drops (a chest has a 10th Tier Pole Axe in a second playthrough).
Making a DAMASCUS Brandestoc, the highest Tier Polearm, is one of the more difficult crafting tasks in Vagrant Story, as one guide states, albeit more tentatively. The idea that some Vagrant Story combination guides can be at times merely the exercise of mathematics, with dubious practical application, is supported by the fact that one guide to making a Damascus Brandestoc requires the player to collect 192 Blades, including 80 Damascus Tabars and 40 Damascus Lug Crossbows. Wazat's guide set out to address this problem, and slashed the number required down to 24 blades, but it still presents a formidable challenge.
Players who prefer multiple playthroughs will find these efforts rewarded. Four playthroughs will gain four of the "White Cargo" Damascus Voulge blade found in the Mining Regrets room in the First Abandoned Mines (the Silver Key required to open the room is found in the Temple of Kiltia). Combine each Voulge with each of four of the Damascus Fauchards at 8/255 chance from the Blood Lizards in the Forgotten Pathway available on the second and subsequent playthrough (rooms: The Oracle Sins No More and The Fallen Knight) to make four Pole Axes, the axes to make two Bardysh, and the two Bardyshs for a Damascus Brandestoc. This will save 'farming' up to 20 blades. For the truly ultimate weapon, Combine#All High
Tiers and Progression Edit
- Main article: Polearm Combinations in Vagrant Story#Polearm with Same
- T2 2nd Tier Glaive + T3 Scorpion = T4 Corcesca
- T3 Scorpion + T4 Corcesca = T5 Trident
- T4 Corcesca + T5 Trident = T6 Awl Pike. Awl Pike cannot be found in the game, it must be crafted
- T5 Trident + T6 Awl Pike = T7 Boar Spear
- T5 Trident + T7 Boar Spear = T8 Fauchard
- T7 Boar Spear + T8 Fauchard = T9 Voulge
- T8 Fauchard = T9 Voulge = T10 Pole Axe
The normal advancement for the final three tiers is not a progression in the normal sense:
Damascus Brandestoc Edit
- Main article: Best Combinations
The Holy Grail of Vagrant Story crafting (or perhaps the Questing Beast, with the Holy Grails being Holy Win and Rhomphaia?), DAMASCUS Brandestoc can be made, in the second playthrough, of 42 blades, 34 less than described elsewhere (for each Voulge from the Mining Regrets chest that is used, 9 fewer blades are needed, for a minimum of 24 blades). In the first playthrough, without the helpful Blood Lizards to drop Damascus Fauchards, it takes 104 blades, which is 68 blades less than elsewhere.
- Trident = DAMASCUS Bishop's Crosier (2nd play) + Stiletto. Or, first playthrough, DAMASCUS Khopesh (6 Blades) + SILVER Bishop's Crosier (Orc Leader)
- Corcesca = Damascus Shamanic Staff (2nd) + Khukuri
- Second-playthrough Fauchards from the Blood Lizards in the Forgotten Pathway
Added, makes a Voulge, and another Fauchard to make a Pole Axe. It may seem anticlimactic to know that this is only a quarter of the way to the Brandestoc, but consider that one of the shortest other non-chest recipes for Pole Axe is forty-one blades, and this is only eight, or more if the Iron Shamanic Staff recipe is used.
- Another Pole Axe can, of course, be made from a dropped or crafted Fauchard and the Damascus Voulge found in the Mining Regrets room in the First Abandoned Mine, which room is available after the Temple of Kiltia.
Altogether, this is a Bardysh and a Voulge by the second playthrough, with just three Fauchard drops, some drops from Deaths near the Godhands Workshop, and chest items, for a total of eleven blades. There are other ways, too, even on the first playthrough.
- A Crescent see above, first playthrough, four blades) plus a Destroyer (see above, four blades) makes a Boar Spear of eight blades
- Fauchards from the 2nd play makes Pole Axe again, and this can be used to make a Brandestoc on the second playthrough. This is nine blades per Pole Axe, one more than the above chest Double Blade recipe
- Alternatively, a Nodachi (see above, five blades, or two on the second playthrough) plus a Destroyer of four blades (see above) makes a Fauchard of nine blades in the first playthrough (and six in the 2nd, but Fauchards drop whole then).
So a Pole Axe can be made of 26 blades in the first playthrough, and nine in the second, for Brandestocs of 104 blades first playthrough, and 36 blades in the second. If the Voulges in each playthrough are used, this is shortened to 80 blades in the first playthrough and 24 in the second.
There are other possibilities in the Rare Combinations which may require fewer blades or make use of existing resources, such as chests.
Four Fauchards, each added to one of four Voulges: Six Damascus Fauchards from drops, total-the remaining two are used to craft Voulges. Two Voulges from chests, and two crafted. The Voulges are crafted of two Fauchards and two Boar spears, each made from a Crescent and a Damascus Destroyer. Silver Tabars drop at over 10% from a Crimson Blade Jackboot in Rue Crimnade in the Town Center East; four make a Crescent. The Destroyer: Damascus Tabar, each with two Khukuri added one by one, and a Sage's Cane added to each afterwards. The second-playthrough recipe list in full (for the first playthrough, all ingredients that are not Damascus must be Silver, but they can be any material once Godhands is opened in the second playthrough): two DAMASCUS Voulges from the same chest, six DAMASCUS Fauchards, eight Tabars, two DAMASCUS Tabars, four Khukuris, two Sage's Canes. For each Voulge that does not come from the chest, add another two Damascus Fauchards, four Tabars, one Damascus Tabar, two Khukuris, and a Sage's Cane
Wicked Souls: 
- T6 6th Tier Schiavona Great Sword + T5 Mjolnir Heavy Mace
- T6 Tabar Axe + T6 (top Iier) Halberd Great Axe
- T7 Bullova Axe + T6 Griever Heavy Mace
- T8 (top Tier) Crescent Axe + T6 (top Tier) Sage's Cane Staff
- T8 War Hammer Mace + T6 (top Iier) Halberd
- T7 Bec de Corbin Mace + T6 Griever
- T6 (top Tier) Sage's Cane Staff + T6 Griever
- T10 Khopesh Sword + T6 Griever Heavy Mace
- T8 (top Tier) War Maul + T6 (top Tier) Sage's Cane Staff
- T11 Tier Stiletto Dagger + T6 Griever (non-SILVER Daggers somewhat hard to find)
- T7 Boar Spears drop at 16/255 in First Iron Maiden
- T8 Fauchard only drops in a New Game Plus, albeit in DAMASCUS
- T9 Voulge only drops until Ashley takes the Sigil from the chest in Undercity East; kindly Blood Lizards in City Walls North may oblige at 16/255 until they are replaced by the Dragon Training Dummy
Type and Grips Edit
- Main article: Grip#Poles
Polearms offer a unique opportunity to add the power of three gems relatively early on in the game. The best Pole grip, Spiral Pole, can be found in a chest in Companions in Arms in the Limestone Quarry. It has the maximum gem capacity of three and only one less Blunt damage than the next best Pole.
Seven of the twelve are Piercing, including the top-Tier Brandestoc, with three Edged, including the penultimate Bardysh, and two Blunt, including the third highest Pole Axe. The highest Type for grips is Piercing at 21, with Edged at 16 and Blunt at 14.
- Ruination. Affinity: As weapon. Type: Piercing. Cost: 35 HP. Requirements: PT. X = 1.1
- "Lashes out with a focused thrust of energy"
- Scythe Wind. Causes Tarnish. Affinity: Air. Type: Piercing. Cost: 40 HP. Requirements: 95 PT. X = 1.2
- "Inflicts damage and tarnishes arms and armor"
- Giga Tempest. Damages armor. Affinity: As weapon. Type: Piercing. Cost: 55 HP. Requirements: 220 PT. X = 1.2
- "Energy storm damages both armor and foe"
- Spiral Scourge. Affinity: Water. Type: Piercing. Cost: 75 HP. Requirements: 405 PT. X = 1.3
- "Whips air moisture into a penetrating whirlwind"
See also Edit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Vagrant Story: Damascus Brandestoc Forging FAQ by Wazat "The Damascus Brandestoc is probably the hardest weapon to forge"
- ↑ VAGRANT STORY DAMASCUS WEAPONS AND ARMOR FAQ v1.2, By Wicked Souls