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Lance using the Defend tactic

Tactics are a group of special non-skill actions available throughout the Epic Battle Fantasy series that characters may perform during the battle.


"Defend" redirects here. For the status effect with the same name, see Defend (status). For the (physical) Defence stat, see Stats#Defence.
EBF4 Command Defend.png

Available since the first Epic Battle Fantasy. Defend makes the user create a barrier to protect themselves from incoming attacks, halving the damage received for the duration of one turn.

Each character has an unique casting animation:

  • Matt summons a shield with four runic symbols on it.
  • Natalie summons a circle with a compass in the middle.
  • Lance summons a square with a cross.
  • Anna summons a small Wooden Idol with transparent energy around it.
  • NoLegs summons a circular shield.

In the first three games, other than halving the damage taken, each character's Defend has an additional unique bonus:

  • Matt's protection against physical attacks is more effective, despite the game's description saying it reduces it to 1/4, it actually reduces it down to 1/8; after the EBF Collection update, it correctly reduces damage to 1/4 in EBF2. Magical attacks still deal 50% of damage. The Defender skill bonus in EBF2, further halves damage received when defending.
  • Natalie recovers MP if hit by a magical attack while defending equal to 12.5% of the damage (only considers the last hit, not total damage). Does not trigger the MP recovery if she died and revived with Auto-Revive.
  • Lance increases his Evade stat by 30%.

In EBF2 only, Defending also temporarily increased Evade by 20.

Defending prevents the player from being thrown offscreen, thus also preventing any effects that trigger off getting hit by a strong attack (eg, Casual Shirt's Defence buff in EBF3).

Since Epic Battle Fantasy 4, Defend no longer has user-specific special bonuses and always simply reduces damage received by 50%. Defending also now blocks Counter Attacks from occurring. Defend's effect is now classified as a status effect, it is represented by a yellow shield icon over the user's head. This status effect can be Dispelled, although it is possible to avoid this with Dispel resistance. Additionally, players can use the Ancient Monolith summon to give the entire party the Defend status without having everyone use their turn.

Some foes can also Defend. This includes foes with shells like Turtles, Crabs in EBF4, Creeps in EBF5, the aforementioned Ancient Monoliths, and the Diamond Golem.

In Epic Battle Fantasy 5, certain pieces of equipment may add additional effects to the Defend tactic. These are generally either applying a stat Buff, or a positive (or neutral) status effect. Additionally, Defend prevents foes from forcibly switching a player into backup.

Equipment That Adds Stat Buffs to Defend

Equipment That Adds Status Effects to Defend

Switch Player

EBF4 Command Switch Player.png

Added in Epic Battle Fantasy 2. It allows the player to change the order in which player characters perform their turn, enabling the later character to take a turn before the former, which is especially useful for setting up combos and synergies. The default order always starts with character atop the screen and proceeds downward. Switch Player was called simply "Order" in EBF2 & 3. In EBF4 (after the v2 update) and EBF5, you can also directly click on an available player to switch, a very convenient shortcut.

Flee Battle

EBF4 Command Flee Battle.png

Introduced in Epic Battle Fantasy 3. It allows the player to escape from the current encounter, back to the overworld. Any damage done to the group of enemies will reset upon fleeing. Using Flee Battle has no penalty on the player and it works without fail outside of specific battles (such as the ambushes from Godcat and The Glitch in EBF4).

Skip Turn

EBF4 Command Skip Turn.png

Introduced in Epic Battle Fantasy 4. Skip Turn makes the currently selected character skip their turn completely, performing no action at all. It's generally inferior to the other options available to the players, but EBF5 allows it to activate the effect of the Captain Viridian Flair.

If the "Turn Time Limit" Challenge is activated in EBF5, players will automatically use Skip Turn if the timer runs out.

Move to Backup

EBF4 Command Move to Backup.png

Introduced in Epic Battle Fantasy 4. Move to Backup swaps the selected character with an ally in the backup slot. Only characters that haven't taken a turn yet can be moved to backup, so the character that enters the battlefield may take their turn instantly. The Freeze and Slimed status effects prevent characters from switching out.

While in the backup slot, a character takes no active part in battle, but instead gradually regenerates both HP and MP at the start of each turn. They aren't affected by any area-of-effect buffs, attacks, and such. If a character has any buffs or status effects prior going into backup, they will decay over time at the same rate as usual. While in backup, character receives no damage from Poison and Burn status effects, and timing out Doom won't kill them.

In Epic Battle Fantasy 5, party Buffs now also apply to all players in backup. In addition, backup players recover health faster than in the previous game. Characters in the backup now also properly receive the damage from status effects like Poison and will be killed/receive damage if Doom times out. Also, some foes now have attacks that can hit players in backup. The Harpoon Turret and Giga Harpoon can also forcibly pull a player out of backup.

Scan Foe


Introduced in Epic Battle Fantasy 5, it replaces the previous techniques to scan foes. It scans all foes currently on the screen, and is functionally identical to the Scanbot summon from EBF4. The advantage of the scan ability becoming a tactical action is that every character is able to perform it and it costs nothing, neither MP (which itself became redundant in 5) nor SP.

Capture Foe


Introduced in Epic Battle Fantasy 5. This action makes an attempt to capture a foe. If the foe is successfully captured, it will become available as a summon; captured foes are also automatically scanned. See Capturing for more details.