Buffs and Debuffs are temporary stat modifiers applied during battle to allies and/or foes in the Epic Battle Fantasy series. Buffs increase the specific stat by a certain percentage, while debuffs decrease it. In all main games, buffs and debuffs for one stat are mutually exclusive (ie, you can't have both a buff and debuff to Attack at the same time, but you can have an Attack buff and a Magic Attack debuff at once). Buffs and debuffs naturally fade away by 5% per turn, slowly returning the stat back to its original value if not re-applied (the only exception are foes in EBF2 before the EBF Collection update, where their buffs never faded).
When a unit has buffs or debuffs, the affected stats' icons will show up next to their sprite alongside their Status Effects, with the icons being shown in red for buffs, and dark grey for debuffs; since EBF3, these icons will also show the numerical value of the (de)buff.
Buffs and debuffs should not be confused with the stat bonuses the players get from their Equipment, or the base stat boosts from Steroids; these are all separate and stack their effects multiplicatively. In EBF and EBF2, the Dispel status was also called Debuff, which shouldn't be confused with the stat debuffs.
In the first game, only the players have access to buffs and debuffs; enemies cannot use either. The players can buff their Attack, Magic Attack, Defence and Magic Defence and debuff the foes' Defence and Magic Defence. Buffs do not stack; the latest buff always overwrites the previous one, while debuffs will stack up to a cap of 40%.
Buffs and debuffs also persist through death.
In EBF2, buffs and debuffs now stack, with the same type adding together and opposite types subtracting (i.e. two 20% buffs will add up to a 40% buff, while a 20% buff and a 30% debuff will result in a 10% debuff); for buffs, there are a few exceptions where it instead works like it did in EBF. For players, buffs cap at 70% while debuffs are uncapped; for foes, both caps may vary depending on the specific enemy.
Enemies now can use their own buffs and debuffs, and Attack and Magic Attack debuffs now also exist. Certain enemies now also resist debuffs, lowering their infliction chance against them.
Before the EBF Collection update, buffs on foes also didn't ever fade (debuffs still did). Just like in EBF, buffs and debuffs still persist through death.
In EBF3, buffs and debuffs stack like in EBF2, and there's no longer any exceptions to this. Buff and debuff caps for players are 70% and 50% like in EBF2, foes now all cap at 70% for buffs, while their debuff cap varies depending on the foe (it's usually 50%, but bosses other than Jack have a lower cap). Both players and foes now also can have debuff resistance to each type of debuff (equipment-based for players, or innate for foes), which will reduce the infliction chance of said debuffs. Buffs and debuffs no longer persist through death (except for Auto-Revive).
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Buffs and debuffs still work mostly the same as in EBF3. The main difference is that players no longer have access to debuff resistance through their equipment, and that buff and debuff caps are now consistent for both players and foes: 70% for buffs and 50% for debuffs.
The game also introduced HP buffs and debuffs. It also introduced the Weaken, Tired and Curse status effects, all of which passively inflict 10% debuffs to certain stats on the afflicted target each turn (ignoring their debuff resistance); this does not cancel natural (de)buff fading (which happens after the debuff inflicted by said statuses).
In EBF5, buffs or debuffs on the same stat no longer stack; instead the latest one will overwrite the current one as long as its numerical value is higher (i.e. if Matt has a 70% Attack buff, a 60% Attack buff won't have any effect, while an 80% Attack buff will replace his original 70% buff); buffs will always overwrite debuffs and vice-versa. The exception to this are the statuses that passively inflict debuffs each turn, which will still stack as they did in EBF4.
The strength of the debuffs inflicted by Weaken, Tired and Curse has also been increased to 15%, and the new Scorch status was introduced. Scorch debuffs the afflicted's HP by 10% each turn, and unlike the other debuffing statuses, it also cancels natural HP debuff (but not buff) fading.
The buff cap has now been raised to 100%, while the debuff cap has been raised to 80%. Some Equipment Effects increase the strength of buffs and debuffs inflicted by the wearer. Some foes and summons can use Recycle to invert the target's buffs and debuffs.
The effect of debuff resistance was also changed. Instead of affecting debuff chance, it reduces both the numerical value of direct debuffs inflicted on the foe and their debuff cap (i.e. a foe with 30% resistance to Attack debuffs will reduce a 50% Attack debuff to 20%, and said foe's debuff cap for Attack is set to 50% instead of 80%); debuffs inflicted passively by statuses will not have their strength reduced by debuff resistance, but are still affected by the reduced debuff cap.
The v2 update made the Brave, Morale and Stuffed statuses block specific kinds of debuffs (as long as they aren't inflicted by statuses, weather, or buff reversal). It also added a few specific foes which have skills that inflict stacking buffs; that said, debuffs inflicted to and from said foes will still work like usual, overwriting instead of stacking.