Annihilation is an offensive, single-target Psynergy that is Attack-dependent, meaning characters with higher Attack ratings will deal more damage with these attacks. In addition, the caster's Venus Power and the target's Defense and Venus Resistance all factor into the damage dealt.
Visually, Annihilation appears as a sudden, violent physical attack that creates an explosion and a kanji upon impact: the kanji differs depending on if the instant-kill attempt succeeds or not. If successful the kanji is 殺 (korosu) meaning "to kill", if unsuccessful the kanji is 滅 (horobiru) meaning "to ruin, to destroy".
As previously stated, there are several factors determining the damage dealt by Psynergies like Annihilation. First, Annihilation has a chance at instantly downing the target, depending on the Luck of the target. However, if the instant death option is not triggered, then Annihilation will follow damage calculations for Attack-based Psynergies. The exact damage calculation formula for these attacks can be represented with the following two equations:
- base damage = (User's Attack - Enemy's Defense) / 2
This formula is identical to the formula used to determine the damage dealt by standard physical attacks. In other words, base damage is half of the difference between the caster's Attack and the target's Defense. If this number falls below zero, it is automatically reset to zero.
This is the base damage. Annihilation then uses this value for another equation:
- Final damage output = (base damage) * (1 + (Venus Power - Venus Resistance) / 400) * 1.5
Power and Resistance are used to determine the multiplier applied to this new base damage. The target's Resistance is subtracted from the caster's Power, the difference is divided by 100, and the result is added to 1 before being multiplied by the base damage. As a result, the final damage dealt by these attacks can, theoretically, vary from roughly 50% to 150% of a normal physical attack.
For example, if an Adept with an Attack rating of 600 and a Venus Power of 150 casts Annihilation on a monster with a defense of 200 and a Venus Resistance of 50:
- damage = ((Attack- Defense) / 2) * (1 + (Power - Resistance) / 400) * 1.5
- damage = ((600 - 200) / 2) * (1 + (150 - 50) / 400) * 1.5
- damage = (400 / 2) * (1 + 100 / 400) * 1.8
- damage = (200) * (1 + 0.25) * 1.5
- damage = 200 * 1.25) * 1.5
- damage = 375
Therefore, an Annihilation cast under these circumstances would deal approximately 375 points of damage.
Annihilation is unique to the Ninja Class series, and thus is available to all Venus, Mars, and Jupiter Adepts. To access the class, large and specific amounts of Venus, Mars, and Jupiter Djinn are required, with the exact combination depending on the element of the Adept in question. Annihilation is learned at Level 31.
General: Annihilation is one of the strongest, most reliable, and most practical forms of offense in any of the games. Unlike most elemental physical attack Psynergies like Ragnarok and Heat Wave which adds a set amount of damage as a bonus, Annihilation applies a multiplier to the resultant damage, and it is a powerful multiplier of x 1.5, which increases the resultant damage by half. By its nature, it is more sensitive to how much Defense the target has, so its power will be elevated to great heights depending on how many measures are taken to increase the user's Attack power - such as equipping a high-attack-power weapon like the Sol Blade or Darksword and being boosted by an effect like the Impact Psynergy. In addition to this, Annihilation also has the useful ability to potentially down the targeted enemy rather than doing damage. Though the high Luck factors of Bosses means that this would nearly never occur in a boss battle, it is still an excellent effect when triggered against the strongest random encounters of each game.
In comparison to the similar Quick Strike, available to the Samurai class, Quick Strike is stronger but lacks a side-effect. However, the Ninja class has the advantage of one of the highest Attack multipliers in the game. In any case, Annihilation is one of the strongest attacks available to the Ninja class, and thus it will see a great deal of use.
VS. Djinn: Annihilation is a Psynergy that is like many offensive Djinn because of how they use a damage multiplier instead of a fixed damage increase, in addition to the Power - Resistance multiplier. However, Annihilation can be said to be superior to unleashing a Djinni because many Djinn have damage multipliers somewhere below x1.5, and there is the issue of what happens with a Djinni when it is unleashed in battle. As Djinn must be Set to affect a character's class, unleashing a Djinni may result in lower stats across the board, including Attack and Power, reducing the damage dealt by subsequent attacks. Second, a Djinni's effect cannot be used again until that Djinni is re-Set, which means either wasting a turn manually Setting the Djinni or using it to perform a Summon, after which the Djinn used must spend several turns Recovering before they automatically Set themselves. Either way, offensive Djinn cannot be repeatedly used as easily as Psynergy, making Annihilation much more feasible for long-term combat. Alternatively, players may choose to combine both approaches: Unleash several offensive Djinn, perform a Summon, then use Annihilation to continue dealing damage while the Djinn are in Recovery.
Golden Sun: Annihilation will be one of the latest Psynergies learned because it is learned at level 31, when a typical end-game party that defeats the final boss is not even level 30. However, both the final boss and the optional boss Deadbeard become noticeably easier to handle by a party ten levels above 30 to begin with, and thus Annhilation can become an excellent offensive option in these situations.
Golden Sun: The Lost Age: Annihilation will be available around the time the player reaches the Great Western Sea. Once this point of the game is reached the party will have found weapons that increase Attack by much higher amounts, and enough Djinn can be collected that Ninjas can instead be in the even stronger Disciple or Master classes. By the end of the game however, the player can collect weaponry with higher damage multipliers than Annihilation, and thus it may fall in usage.
Golden Sun: Dark Dawn: With the vastly increased Experience gain rates in this game, the party is very likely to be at level 30 around or just after gaining access to the ship. Should the player place Himi in the Ninja class, it can be one of her strongest offenses, due to the damage multiplier and her naturally high Venus Power. Alternatively, she can make use of Weapon Grace in her base class to maximize the attack of another Ninja. Even without these, the value of Annihilation is greater in Dark Dawn because one of the party's main forms of dealing damage, Unleashing with Weapons, has become more randomized due to changes in Unleash mechanics - most weapons have several Unleashes that are randomly chosen from each time an Unleash occurs, and the more useful Unleashes will not always be chosen. Annihilation, on the other hand, has a damage multiplier equal to or higher than many Unleashes, and it can be relied on to deal a healthy amount of damage each time you select it.