Ever since Ignis’s release, many players have greatly anticipated the arrival of the King’s Shield, Gladiolus Amicitia, in Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire. Given the role Gladio plays in Final Fantasy XV, fans expected that he would be released as a tank build, and were not disappointed!
Unlike other heroes who either have a high offensive or defensive focus, Gladio is a versatile hero who is not only incredibly powerful as a defensive hero, but, at high levels, may potentially become the most powerful offensive hero in the game.
In this hero guide for Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire, we will discuss how to acquire Gladio, what you can expect with him as a hero, how to level him up, and how he performs for both traps and attackers.
How to Get Gladio
To unlock Gladio, click on your Hero Monument in your Citadel and then click on the “Unlock” button. This will take you to an Unlock Gladio pack. You then return to your Hero Monument and click on the “unlock” button once more, and will then be able to activate Gladio.
Unlike other heroes, Gladio is incredibly powerful out of the gate, with benefits such as +100 Warrior Armor at Lv 1. Additionally, by having Gladio unlocked, you’ll also receive free Commanders through Luna Gifts.
What makes Gladio especially unique is the fact that his Steal Enemy Attack, Steal Enemy HP, and Spiked Armor skills are unlike anything else we’ve seen so far in this game.
Steal Enemy HP, which maxes out at 1500% Stolen Troop HP, steals a percentage of the difference between you and your enemy’s Troop HP Bonus.
For example, if you have +200% Troop HP Bonus and your enemy has +1200 Troop HP Bonus, and you have Steal Enemy HP at 60%, then your Troops will gain an additional +600 ((1200%-200%) * 0.6) Troop HP Bonus for a total of +800% Troop Bonus, while your enemy loses 600% Troop HP Bonus for a total of +600 Troop HP Bonus (1200% – 600%). If you have more Troop HP Bonus than your enemy, then no HP is gained or lost from either player.
– Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire Official Blog
In other words: if you have a lower Citadel level than your attacker, you will be able to steal some of your enemy’s Troop HP, if they have a higher Troop HP stat than you. You will also simultaneously debuff the attacker’s Troop HP. However, if the attacker’s Troop HP stat is lower than yours, then you will neither gain Troop HP, nor debuff the attacker.
Steal Enemy Attack, which maxes out at 1500% Stolen Troop Attack, steals a percentage of the difference between you and your enemy’s Troop Attack Bonus. As the publisher doesn’t specify that this skill will only work against an enemy with a higher Troop Attack bonus, it can be theorized that Steal Enemy Attack works against any enemy’s Troop Attack by increasing your Troop Attack in direct proportion to debuffing theirs.
Spiked Armor, which maxes out at 2000% additional Troop Attack, increases your Troop Attack by a percentage of your total Armor.
For example, if your Troop has +6000% total Armor (from Troop Armor Bonus, Warrior Armor, City Assault Armor, etc) and you have Spiked Armor at 15%, then your Troop[s] will gain an additional +900% Attack.
– Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire Official Blog
In other words: the higher your Troop Armor is, the higher your additional Troop Attack will be with this particular skill.
Besides these unique skills, Gladio also offers incredibly high Warrior Attack, Armor, and HP. He also increases the training speed of Warrior, Mage, Cavalry, and Siege, and specializes in attacking with Commanders and Vanguards. This makes him the perfect choice for anyone who enjoys attacking empires.
Gladio also has an additional skill set that increases Troop Load, Gathering March Size, and Gathering HP, but let’s be real — no one’s getting Gladio for his excellent Gathering skills.
Gladio’s Skill Tree
Gladio’s Skill Tree starts off with Commander Recruiting, which periodically provides free Commander chests from special Luna Gifts. If you have Luna as well, make sure to equip her before you collect them, to get double gifts.
As you progress down, Gladio’s Skill Tree splits into three trees: a Gathering Tree on the left, a Warrior Combat Tree down the middle, and a Troop Training Tree down the right.
The Gathering Tree begins with the Troop Load skill, which increases the Troop Load of all Troop Types for a max of +1000%. Gathering HP increases Troop HP while gathering on a Realm Tile for a maximum bonus of +600%, while Gather March Size increases the amount of Troops you can send to gather on a Realm Tile for a maximum bonus of +20,000 Troop Size. Once you’ve upgraded Gather March Size to Lv 4, you will then be able to have access to Steal Enemy HP.
As mentioned earlier, Steal Enemy HP can be upgraded for a max of +1500% Stolen Troop HP. Each upgrade scales very slowly, as it initially adds 1% of HP Steal per level. (At Lv 20, you only have 20% Stolen Troop HP Bonus). It is unknown if this changes at higher levels, as there are not many players who have Gladio higher than Lv 50, but we assume that once you pass a certain level, you’ll begin to see significant Steal Enemy HP percentage growths per level.
Gladio’s Warrior Combat Tree begins with Warrior Armor, which adds a max +1200% Warrior Armor Bonus, followed by Warrior HP, which adds a max +300% Warrior HP Bonus, and ends at Warrior Attack, which maxes out with a whopping +1000% Warrior Attack Bonus.
What’s particularly crazy about the Warrior Combat Tree is that Gladio’s Warrior Armor begins at +100 Warrior Armor at Lv 1. Warrior Attack stats receive +100% Warrior Attack as early as Lv 4. Here’s a chart that the publisher provided to give you a sense of the scaling:
|Gladio Level||Warrior Attack (Max Possible)|
We’ll discuss how to skill for attack later on in this guide.
Warrior Attack is one half of a prerequisite to unlock Steal Enemy Attack. You must have this skill at Lv 4 in order to proceed.
The Troop Training tree adds a maximum Troop Training Speed bonus of +100% to Siege, Mage, Cavalry, and Warrior. You must have Warrior Training Speed at Lv 4 as the other half of the prerequisite to unlock Steal Enemy Attack.
Once you’ve unlocked Steal Enemy Attack, you will be able to max this skill up to +1500% Stolen Troop Attack Bonus. Like Steal Enemy HP, it also initially scales quite slowly. Each level adds 1% Steal Troop Attack Bonus, which may seem low. But, when you have enemies with over 4000% Troop Attack hitting you, at Lv 25, you will be able to debuff them while increasing your own attack by 1000% — which is quite significant.
Once you’ve upgraded Gladio to Lv 50, you’ll have access to the Spiked Armor skill, which adds a max bonus of +2000% additional Troop Attack. We have no idea how this scales, as our Gladio isn’t Lv 50 yet, but if you have stats that you can provide, please let us know!
Gladio’s Advanced Skill Tree begins with Training Queue, which requires you to have Gladio at Lv 70. This skill will allow you to increase your Training Grounds’ Queue Size to +25,000 Max Troops.
At Gladio Lv 80, you will be able to skill Vanguard HP for a max bonus of +800% Vanguard HP, and Rally HP With Commander for a max Rally HP bonus of +600%.
At Gladio Lv 90, you will be able to skill Vanguard Attack for a max bonus of +800 Vanguard Attack, and Rally Attack With Commander for a max bonus of +600% Attack.
Both of these skills are great if you use Vanguards for combat, or add Commanders to your rallies. (Of course, we would recommend that you use both Vanguards and Commanders, as that would increase your survivability even more!)
Gladio’s skill tree ends at Lv 100, with the Warrior Mastery skill, which drastically increases your Warrior Attack, Armor, and HP by 400%.
Leveling Up Gladio
In general, there really is no easy way to level up Gladio.
Not only was there no 1000% EXP event to help us quickly level Gladio up like there was for other heroes, Gladio’s EXP requirements also seem to be far higher than the average hero.
Leveling Gladio up takes a lot of time, a lot of effort, and for those of you who spend — a lot of money. Once you reach Lv 50, you’ll also need medals to continue leveling him — and those certainly aren’t easy to obtain, either!
The only way to level up Gladio at this time is by attacking. We recommend waiting for Magitek events and using him to attack constantly. Alternatively, you can ask guildees to spam attacks at you, but this will end up being quite costly for them, so make sure you have enough RSS to help them replace lost troops. (We find that T6 are most effective for leveling Gladio up quickly, but given the scarcity of T6s, T5s or even T4s will do in a pinch.)
Gladio and Attack
When it comes to attack, Gladio might not initially seem like the best hero, as his Steal Enemy HP skill does not work against someone who has lower Troop HP than you. The chances of you attacking someone with higher Troop HP is probably quite low, which means you’ll have to rely on Steal Enemy Attack, Spiked Armor, and Gladio’s Warrior Combat Tree to get the most out of him as an offensive hero.
That being said, even at Lv 49, Gladio packs a hefty punch and can hold his own in comparison with a Lv 101 Prompto. Check out these battle reports for comparison:
Here’s a handy table to get a better understanding of the attack:
|Hero||Attacking Troops Lost||Defender Troops Wounded|
|Prompto Lv 101||67,323 T5 Troops||10,825 Mercenaries|
|Gladio Lv 49||67,794 T5 Troops||7,132 Mercenaries|
As you can clearly see, even at Lv 49, Gladio performs almost as well as Prompo at Lv 101 — which is saying quite a lot. We expect that as he surpasses 50, he’ll quickly become the most powerful hero you can use to attack empires and maybe even the Crystal with.
However, it’s not clear how well he would defend at the Crystal, as no one’s tested with him yet. If you’ve tested Gladio in a Crystal War, please comment below and let us know how he performs!
Theoretically, he would be great for taking the Crystal, but his defensive skills might not measure up to Luna’s.
To get the best results with Gladio as an Attack hero, you will want to focus on maxing his Warrior Combat Tree, Steal Enemy Attack, and Spiked Armor. If you intend to attack players with a higher Troop HP stat than you, Steal Enemy HP will be quite useful as well. At higher levels, you’ll be able to take advantage of Gladio’s Vanguard and Rally With Commander skills, as well as the ultimate Warrior Mastery.
Gladio and Defense
Hands down, without a doubt, Gladio is currently the best defense hero money can buy. He even outperforms Luna at relatively low levels. For trap players, or players who simply want very good defense against powerful players, we highly recommend investing in Gladio!
Check out these battle reports to get a better picture:
As you can see from the reports, even at Lv 20, Gladio far outperforms Lv 59 Luna against a Lv 89 Prompto attacking a C32 with T5 Troops. With a full set of legendary Undertaker Gear equipped, Gladio becomes truly a force to be reckoned with when defending. Add in a legendary Guardian Shield for good measure, and you’ll see even better results.
To get the most out of Gladio as your tank defense hero, you’ll want to focus on Steal Enemy Attack and Steal Enemy HP. While you might feel tempted to put more points into Steal Enemy HP, we recommend focusing more heavily on Steal Enemy Attack instead.
Remember: increasing attack is just as important as increasing HP. When you’re trapping or defending against a powerful enemy, you’ll need to have enough attack to kill the enemy march, while having enough HP for your troops to survive. Having a good combination of both is key.
(We recommend doing your best to get Gladio’s Steal Enemy Attack to Lv 25, as that would effectively allow you to steal roughly 1000% Troop Attack from most T6 attackers, who usually have over 4,000% in Troop Attack.)
In conclusion, Gladio is easily one of the best heroes to invest in. As a true tank, he definitely is one of the most versatile heroes to play with, and very fun to both attack and defend with. We definitely recommend unlocking him if you’d like to get the most out of your Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire experience!