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You play through the tutorial and chapter 1, and it's easy. Then you play through chapter 2 and you start really having to have fire magic, so you create fire mages, but they're level 1, and you're level 6, so you go back and play the tutorial a few times, and maybe the first few levels, and it's super tedious, but the main characters learn Fire and that's enough to push through.

You then clear chapter 3, and chapter 4, and the game drops a fire world on you, so it's time to do all of that again, but now you're level 13, and your brand new ice mages are still level 1.

I can only imagine this stuff getting worse and worse as the game proceeds. I do know that you can use team attacks in order to have a low level character deal 1 damage, his mentor deal the rest of the damage, and the low level character gets credit for the kill. However, if something goes wrong there and the target gets a counterattack, the low level character will get one-hit KO'd.

Also, this gets in the way of the whole reason why you wanted to make that character in the first place: getting your front-runner to learn new skills. The ice mage can team attack with the mentor, or the mentor can borrow magic from the ice mage, but you can't do both at the same time.

Chapter 3 makes you realize that the item world can be a good way to turn a cheap item into a decent grind that you haven't seen before, but when your mages die in B3, there's very little reason to push forward; early exit items are expensive and rare.

Am I doing this wrong? Was I supposed to grind my fire mages to the point where the could transmigrate to ice mages instead? Doing that still drops them to level 1.

How can I get new characters, or at least new classes, to become efficiently combat-ready in my party? If your answer doesn't apply to the early game, that's okay, just say so.

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Early on, the trick is to abuse invincible geo squares and enemy combining.

If you find a map with invincible squares then toss all the enemies together to make a tougher enemy and then slowly wittle it down. The unit that kills it will gain tons of levels.

Map 5-3 is one of the earliest points where you can do this.

I wouldn't bother with serious grinding until you unlock the cave of ordeals stage 3. This is the best place to grind levels quickly outside of very high levels of the item world.

Also don't forget to pass stronger enemy bills and to harvest enough statisticians for the 300% XP bonus.

Finally, It's often better to just focus solely on Laharl so he can carry as soon as possible on COO3. When in the item world, always make sure to abuse any levels with invincible and let Laharl get the kill. The game quickly becomes super easy that way.

For higher tier leveling it's possible to gear your COO3 killer so they leave the enemies with a small amount of health and then you're trainee can get the finishing blow. By then your gear should be good enough to get a kill even as a level 1.

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  • oh wow, I had completely forgotten about enemy combining! and I'm right at 5-1...
    – badp
    Mar 7 '16 at 0:01
  • @badp yep enemy combing is a great way to level up really fast early on. It's worth doing whenever possible
    – l I
    Mar 7 '16 at 0:14
  • 5-3 did have a bunch of enemies in a neat row, and I guess you can call the spawn point "invincible" with a couple good enough tanks, but tanks tend to have counterattacks :/
    – badp
    Mar 7 '16 at 2:13
  • @badp maps sometimes behave differently when replayed, also, there might be version differences? I remember 5-3 being covered by invincible except for 1 square.
    – l I
    Mar 7 '16 at 2:24
  • This was my first attempt at 5-3. Almost the whole map is +50% atk str, with an extra +50% atk str geoblock on the side... I guess this was "fixed" in Disgaea PC.
    – badp
    Mar 7 '16 at 2:34
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For level 1 characters, equipment can make a huge difference, so deck them out with all your best stuff. This can get their stats high enough to finish off enemies with far higher levels than them without having to resort to team attacks (after your high-level characters have worn them down, of course). I found those items which increase all stats equally quite useful. So one of your earliest item-world runs you should do is for powering up the Imperial Seal which Laharl starts out with.

The first stage of Chapter 4 ("Road of Flames") is a good spot for bringing characters up to speed early on in the campaign, because you have four enemies standing in a rectangle with a +100% EXP geo effect close to your base panel. For more exp gain, combine the enemies by throwing them onto each other.

The next leveling hotspot is the third map of Chapter 5 ("Terrible Cold") which lets you train new characters very efficiently because the whole map is covered by an "Invincibility" effect except for a single tile. So you can combine all the enemies in the level into one and then have your low-level character wear it down. This map is so useful for power-leveling it feels almost exploitive.

A mid-campaign leveling hotspot which does not feel as cheating as 5-3 is 7-1 ("Scorching Wind") where you face a large number of zombies on a map covered by a +100% EXP geo-effect. The zombies conveniently stand in lines of three which makes them easy targets for many AoE attacks.

A later map worth mentioning is 11-1 "Ghostly Whisper" where you have a line of squishy Star Skulls standing right in front of your base panel in another +100% EXP effect.

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