Octopath Traveler revolves around a group of eight individuals coming together to fulfill their ambitions by working together. The eight use their strengths in a united effort to push forward, no matter what stands in their way.
With this in mind, there are a multitude of different party combinations that you could try out in the game. The game is designed so that any four of the eight characters could, in theory, work together. Albeit some work better together then others.
We have tried out a multitude of four-person teams and come up with some of the best, and more challenging, options.
The conventional build
As with most JRPG teams, you want to create a team with a heavy damage dealer, a big fella to soak damage, a mage to deal elemental attacks, and a healer to keep everyone in tip top shape.
If you prefer a smooth peanut butter game over crunchy, compromise a team with Olberic and H'aanit for your front-line damage, Cyrus as your AOE magic damage user, and either Ophilia or Alfyn acting as your healer.
Alfyn is arguably the better healer to take due to the amount of damage he can dole and his unique ability, Concoct, which gives him the option of mixing different types of items together to create new ones. Those can cure the party or deal damage and status effects to enemies. Ophilia, however, is a good choice for those who want a healer that is more beginner friendly and doesn't require extra technicalities.
The one person wrecking crew
This build requires a lot of micromanagement to get the best out of the team.
It consists of one main damage dealer, such as Olberic or H'aanit. The team needs to have abilities that can heal and buff that damage dealer while launching debuffs at enemy forces.
For this, you want to have a team compromising of Primrose, who can buff your damage dealer for a certain amount of turns and debuff enemies. It could also use Alfyn and Ophilia to heal your entire party and keep them from contracting status ailments.
You want to use Alfyn as your main source of debuff by once again using his unique ability, Concoct, to poison enemy forces and make them as weak as you can for the main damage dealer.
Therion is another character that could potentially fit into the composition over Primrose or Ophilia. This comes down to personal preference. He has an abundance of unique abilities that can reduce the defense and physical attack of enemies while supplying SP to your allies, allowing them to continuously use their special attacks.
This build is challenging and requires a hefty amount of leveling and experience funneling into your damage dealer.
The magic deck
Not everyone likes the brute force route. This is where the mage-based build comes in and relies on the six different elemental damage types.
Primrose, Ophilia and Teresa are guaranteed members of this part as they are the only characters that can learn Dark, Light, and Wind-based elemental attacks at the beginning. Cyrus is a sure-shot as well as he can learn Fire, Ice, and Electric-based elemental attacks, which then covers all six types you'll need.
The main issue with this build, however, is the amount of SP you'll be burning. Teresa can look out for SP through her Rest ability, recovering health and SP over time, but you'll need to stock up on SP through items.
The hardcore build
This build exists as nothing more than a challenge: A party of four that, by all accounts, should not work well together and will struggle to get through some of the latter chapters of Octopath Traveler.
The team consists of Alfyn, Primrose, Therion, and Teresa. Balancing characters that have strengths that could aid the team as a whole... but not a team like this. You have no heavy damage dealers, no healers, and no hope of survival.
Your only means of making this group work is to slowly chip away at enemies by using each characters unique debuff skills, slowly grinding away at your enemies. Primrose and Alfyn could technically be classed as damage dealers on the team due to their strong-ish attacks, but they're no Olberic or H'aanit.
Your only chance for this team to work is to make it so far into the story that you can unlock secondary jobs for your party, opening options to have members that can become Warriors and Hunters to learn new skills.