Combat is a great part of Stardew Valley, and once you start hitting the mines the RPG aspects of this cozy game come out in full force. While players get bonus combats at every level, as they do with every other skill, it’s those Level 5 and Level 10 level ups that give you a chance to pick a profession that gives an extra little bonus. This brings up an obvious question for Level 10 combat profession: Should you choose the Brute or Defender profession in Stardew Valley?
If you’re asking this question then you made the right choice in the Stardew Valley Fighter Vs Scout question at Level 5 by choosing Fighter and started moving down that side of the profession tree.
The overwhelming number of experienced Stardew Valley players believe Brute is the best combat profession and is far better than what Defender has to offer.
Let’s do a deep dive into both to find out why.
Brute Vs Defender: Battle of the Level 10 Combat Professions in Stardew Valley
The main focus of the Brute Profession is to increase how much damage you do in combat, while Defender gives you a respectable +25 HP which is the equivalent of the hit points you get from 5 normal level ups, just all at once. Thematically they are a good balance, but we don’t care about balance, we want to know which of these Stardew level ups is the better choice!
My own opinion was strongly with taking Brute over Defender, but I went around asking other Stardew players online, my many friends who love cozy games, and I actually couldn’t find a single player who thought Defender was the better choice. Not a single one.
This really brings home the point that Brute is a much better choice than Defender in Stardew Valley!
While +25 HP sounds good, and it certainly isn’t terrible, it just doesn’t hold up against doing more damage.
What Does The Brute Stardew Valley Profession Bring To The Table?
Not only is 15% more damage an awesome boost that is always in effect, and can do major work when you’re working your way through the mines, Skull Cavern, or the Ginger Island Volcano, but it stacks with the damage boost from Fighter at Level 5. This makes it much easier to deal with tough enemies, and some of those late game monsters are tough enough when you have Galaxy weapons even with the damage boosts, I can’t imagine how much worse it would be without that extra damage.
The extra damage is consistent, extremely helpful, and makes the late game in particular much easier to deal with. When you have enemies like flying serpents that can do a lot of damage and hammer you, getting a little bit more damage to kill them right before they close the distance and hit you can really save your butt when you’re flying down the levels in Skull Cavern.
What Does The Defender Stardew Valley Profession Bring To The Table?
An extra 25 hit points isn’t bad. Especially since you have 155 hit points at that point assuming you didn’t do the Qi quest to get to Level 100 of Skull Caverns, or a little more if you did. That’s a 16% jump in health, but is that really that much?
There are multiple enemies that do more damage than that in one hit, and those that hit lower aren’t a huge threat in most situations in the game. The ability to do more damage to take down these same tough enemies before they hit you can often save you from taking 25 hit points of damage or more…and that’s a side benefit to the extra damage you do on all enemies.
That makes Defender fall behind a little bit. In a vacuum it’s not a bad bonus at all – but in comparison it just has a hard time holding up because you should have enough health from other sources that this extra boost isn’t as helpful as the extra damage.
What Are Other Ways To Increase Health in Stardew Valley?
But if you’re not suppose to take the Defender upgrade in Stardew Valley than how else are you supposed to increase your health? There are a few different options.
For example, every time a player levels up in combat is +5 hit points per level, and doing the Mr. Qi quest to make it to floor 100 in Skull Cavern gets you a permanent HP boost, as did going with the Fighter profession at level 5.
This is more than enough hit points to deal with later level missions, especially since the extra kills on enemies before they can hit you (or hit you again) will save you from taking damage which adds up to a lot more benefit than the extra hit points without the damage boost.
Stardew Valley Brute Vs Defender: What’s The Final Verdict?
Without question Brute is the better of the two choices. While extra hit points is nice, especially when you are doing the more advanced missions for Qi in the “dangerous” mine settings, the extra damage is worth a lot more. When you hit that Level 10 combat profession in Stardew Valley the final decision should be easy: you want to take the Brute profession over the Defender profession.
Follow this advice and you’ll be optimized for all the combat challenges that come in the late game of Stardew Valley and handle them without having to worry.
Other Stardew Valley Articles You May Love:
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- How Saves Work in Stardew Valley
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- Stardew Valley Chickens
Proud to embrace the locally created moniker of “Corrupt Overlord” from one of the all time great Lords of Waterdeep runs, Shane is one member of the Assorted Meeples crew and will be hard at work creating awesome content for the website. He is a long-time player of board games, one time semi-professional poker player, and tends to run to the quirky or RPG side of things when it comes to playing video games. He loves tabletop roleplaying systems like Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Werewolf, Fate, and others, and not only has been a player but has run games as DM for years. You can find his other work in publications like Level Skip or Hobby Lark.