Every successful Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold party needs some sort of tank. Quite a few classes are glass cannons, like the Ronin and Alchemist, and you want someone who can draw attacks and survive. The two best classes for this role are the Beast and Protector. You know, that someone bulky to save the day.
I prefer the Beast, because Protect lets it takes damage for one ally for a turn, Hit-Taker takes damage for the entire party for a turn, and Protection Vow. Endurance and Deadly Resolve are great too, since Endurance reduces taken damage and counters in a way and Deadly Resolve lets it survive a mortal blow with 1 HP. If you’re set on making the animal a wall, Self Defense is great to use at the start of a battle, raising defense in exchange for a drop in attack stats, for three turns. I also like Lick Wounds and Auto-Lick, since it can heal and remove minds from an ally or automatically on the Beast itself.
The Protector is just as good, if someone prefers that Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold class. Provoke and Pre-Provoke are great, since it draws the ire of enemies to that character for three turns. Parry too, since it can prevent attacks to the line the Protector is in. It’s a great class for battles against foes who like to use magic, since Fire, Ice, or Volt Wall can protect allies against one applicable elemental attack that turn. You can’t discount the aid that Line Cure and Line Heal provide too, since it restores one row’s health. Plus, like the Beast, the Protector has its own saving throw sort of skill, with Aegis allowing one to survive a normally lethal attack with 1 HP.
The Force Skills for these two Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold classes may help you make your decision. The Protector can use Shield Protect to boost the strength of its own Shield skills or Perfect Defense to completely void all enemy damage for everyone for one turn. The Beast offers Desperation, which triples its HP for three turns so it has a better chance of survival, and True Endurance, which has the creature take all attacks for a single turn, not receiving any status afflictions, and uses a melee bash attack at the end to all opponents as a counter attack.
I suppose it comes down to this. Do you want a tank who will completely guard one character, or a few characters, each turn? Or do you want one that will primarily protect against one line or element, occasionally restoring minor amounts of health? Go with a Beast if you want some to take a hit, or a Protector if you want increased protection.
Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold, and the series in general, is a deeply personal dungeon crawling experience. If you have enough patience and creativity, you can make any team work for you. Especially since the more recent installments add Grimoire stones for additional skills. If you can’t decide between the Protector or Beast, you could very well bring both along on your journey.