The multitude of jobs classes in the world of Ivalice are rather standard ones that can be often found in many other titles in the Final Fantasy series, and even in other games. What makes the job classes so unique and memorable in Final Fantasy Tactics is the flexibility in using them on each of your characters.
All your characters have a fixed initial job class, from which you can either invest further in, or develop the other classes to further boost their main one. With all these variations and combinations of classes and skills, the replayability value of Final Fantasy Tactics is very high indeed!
Scooty_Puff from GameFAQs uploaded a very neat tree of all the jobs done by Hart Biber:
This job tree is based on the War of the Lions versions. All arrows in black are included in both the PSX and PSP versions of the game, while the red arrows indicate the requirement for the new Dark Knight job class, only available in the PSP version.
While this job tree only displays one new job class, the Dark Knight, there are actually two new classes in the War of the Lions version available to your units.
Also, do note that I shall be inferring all information from the War of the Lions version of the game as I feel the language revamp is truly amazing and tasteful. Not to mention, accurate too!
|White Mage||Black Mage||Monk||Thief|
|Dark Knight||Onion Knight|
Required Classes: nil
This class is useful in the beginning, with its basic skills giving advantages to a skilled player. One might venture to say this class is even necessary, partly because the first few map locations do not give you access to heavy armor, and the second because its skills are highly useful in growing and unlocking other jobs.
The squire is a necessity in the beginning of the game, and unfortunately, its effectiveness in combat will be overshadowed once other jobs are unlocked and you face enemies with new and more effective jobs. However, its Accumulation skill is beneficial for grinding. Even if your Attack value reaches the maximum of 999, you can still execute this skill to continue earning Exp and JP. Plus, its animation is fast compared to most of the other classes’ skills. The squire branches into the physically-inclined path of job classes, and male units tend to be physical attack-inclined, making them more suitable to develop their training and growth starting from the squire job class.
How to Use
The squire class’s advantage is in its skills’ in-built factors. Dash is inherently designed to push targets back a square. If the enemy is standing at the of a cliff, using Dash on him could push him into a steep drop, dealing extreme damage.
Plus, if you intend to launch a grind campaign with your entire equipped with Accumulation, set up one or two characters with Sleep and Slow, and preferably Haste. Drop the enemy team down to one or two, and instead of killing them off, cast Slow and then Sleep, so that their CT gauges crawl at a snail’s pace, then cast Haste on your own characters. If you have Ramza’s Yell skill available, focus on adding Speed to your characters instead of using Haste. You’ll find yourself using Accumulation as many as 30 times before your enemy takes even one turn!
Required Classes: nil
The chemist job class is your very first essential healer right from your first fully-controlled battle at the Academy grounds. It might seem like a very weak and almost pointless class, until you reach end-game and realize there are some things that only the chemist has or can do.
The chemist is essential in the beginning. Very essential, especially when your white mage is still a fledgling, and earning enough JP to learn the various levels of Cure and Raise will take too much time. Although learning Cure will be cheap, its effect is still weak, MP is scarce, and timing is still essential, even in the early battles. In mid-game, you will definitely find other classes more effective and opt to switch out of the chemist class. But if you wish to fully explore the game and try out the chemist to its fullest, train up at least one character in this class.
The chemist branches into the magically-inclined path of job classes, and as female units tend to have greater magic attack and faith, the chemist class is the typical path for them. Note that this is in no way a sexist mindset of the designers, nor is it a pandering of the gender divide. It is simply a tactical faucet of the game where even the gender of a unit can affect the way you play the game the same way you would choose not to send in bombs and goblins against an army of black mages with the full series of Blizzard spells.
How to Use
In early game, stock up on potions, antidotes and phoenix downs. Not too many, of course, as Gil is scarce and you’ll want to purchase armor, robes, rods and staffs for your knights, wizards and priests soon.
The potions have immediate effect, they can be used long distance, and the amount healed is fixed. When fighting the undead, a chemist is equally effective as a white mage! Poison effects typically come in when fighting against Cougars, but even then, the effects are still minimal. It is in late game when every score of poison damage is equivalent to a normal attack, and that is significant. Phoenix downs are similar in effectiveness to potions in that they are also immediate and long-ranged. Plus, they tend to be cheaper in terms of opportunity cost against an undead. Yes, you can use a phoenix down to attempt to insta-kill an undead!
Then, when possible, stock up on some holy water to go up against Marquis Elmdor. In the War of the Lions version of the game, the battle against Elmdor can be reduced to a quick fight. For those who wish to replay the original PSX version when the PS5 releases with its backward compatibility, that battle will be very long drawn-out (pun intended) in a bid to pilfer all of Elmdor’s rare equipment, so the use of Holy Water will be essential against a blood-sucking vampiric lord.
There is the option to equip the 108 Gems accessory to prevent Elmdor’s Bloodsuck effect, but that will be a different guide!
– Squire Level 2
This class is the most commonly one used by enemies in storylines, particularly where they involve Black Lion Knights, White Lion Knights, and even Delita’s Black Ram Knights. Fortunately, that means the enemies you typically need to defeat to advance the story tend to use a class you would be familiar with. Unfortunately, when you are familiar with the power of the knight class, you might begin to dread see them so often!
Until you can get a proper set of armor for the knight class – meaning, heavy armor, helmet, boots and sword(s) – avoid it! Some may make the mistake of switching to this class once their squire classes reach level 2, which can happen within the first battle. But a knight without the appropriate equipment is basically naked, and can even take more damage than a priest with robes.
Once your knight is sufficiently geared up, you won’t need any skills. Just use normal attacks all the way — that is how effective a killer the knight class can be! Heavy armor gives him high HP and Def, a shield aids in evasion, a manteau adds even more evasion, and swords and knight swords deal heavy, reliable damage. Now imagine if you juice him up with skills!
How to Use
It is recommended to make use of Rend Weapon, Rend Armor, Rend Power, Rend Magick and Rend MP:
- Breaking the weapon will disarm your opponents, and most cannot fight with bare hands. Enemies like Meliadoul would be denied her equipment-breaking, overpowered skills!
- Breaking the armor will remove a ton of HP, and we all know how squishy that will make enemies end up!
- Breaking an enemy’s Power and Magic, basically reducing their physical and magical attacks, makes it that much easier for you to survive their attacks.
- Breaking an enemy’s mana, basically doing MP damage instead of HP damage, leaves mages useless, particularly in the early game when MP is scarce, and late game when the most powerful magicks are simply that expensive.
And the best thing about the knight’s break skills? They’re not restricted to just swords! Even if your knight enters battle without a weapon, he can still break things with his bare, weak fists. An archer can break weapons before your enemies even reach him!
Finally, equip your knight with Dual Wield and that doubles your chances to break. Or, if you simply want to make full use of the damage, the knight is as effective, or maybe more damaging, than a ninja with ninja swords. Do note that some people will suggest breaking the enemy’s shield and/or accessory first, as shields and some accessories, such as Manteaus, tend to add physical and magical evasion that decrease your breaking chances. From early-mid to late game, this class is always valuable.
– Squire Level 2
Officially your first long-range attack class that aims to deal damage before enemies can reach you. Archer enemies are scattered throughout the game due to their long-ranged effectiveness, in particular on maps with large terrain height differences. However, once a map is mostly level, or your team starts on the lower terrain, having an archer is almost pointless, unless you risk his thin hide to enter enemy territory.
Despite having about half of the maps putting you in a terrain disadvantage, an archer is a long-ranged version of the knight, and can cause significant damage. If only he can counter or pre-emp attacks of any distance…
How to Use
An archer should preferably be fitted with secondary skills to allow him to access short ranges. In such a case, the squire’s skills can be useful, allowing him to accumulate his attack power while maneuvering to a better vantage point. Having Dash allows him to keep back enemies that may have blockaded him in, giving a chance to escape and find sufficient space to attack.
Consider skills like Vanish so that he can sneak his way to higher grounds, or Reflexes to boost his evasion rate. Admittedly, these are from the Ninja class, so you might want to consider Critical: Recover HP and Adrenaline Rush. If you have the stocks, consider Auto-Potion too to keep your archer alive as much as possible.
Jump +3 sounds really incredible, allowing you to take on greater heights, but it’s still based on your own Jump stat. Consider instead Ignore Elevation or Fly so that you’ll get the equivalent of a Jump +Infinite! But because these two require unlocking the higher tier job classes first, there’s one more Movement Skill we’d recommend — Teleport. Read more about it under the Time Mage section below!
Here’s a warning about equipping the Vigilance reaction skill from the thief: it cancels your Charge attack! Vigilance will make your character assume a defensive stance, and you’ll see him shielding himself with both his arms, so whatever skill you were charging up will be canceled!
Once your other skills are outfitted, try to make Charge+4 your first skill. This particular skill seems to have the best charge time-damage ratio. Then, begin purchasing as many of the skills as possible from +1. +20 sounds like a great and mighty skill, however, the wait time is so long, the archer will have a second turn before it executes, and your target would have escaped long ago. If this long-ranged warrior is what you truly believe in, then consider investing in the time mage’s Short Charge support skill to make Charge+20 worth the wait and JP. Remember to keep him on high ground, but if the enemies are just too far, it’s not worth sticking him there.
– Chemist Level 2
This will most likely be your main healer, with all the support skills you require! The priest is pre-dominantly a healer class, which is also another staple class in any game out there. In FFT, this healer class has its own offensive skill that would have made it powerful, if not for its steep MP cost and unbearable charge time. Still, expect to see and use this class and/or its skills for a long time to come.
While the chemist’s effectiveness would overshadow the priest in the beginning of the game, the priest will eventually and quickly catch up. However, do note that we stress on the priest’s skills rather than the job class itself. It may have focus on magic attack growth, however, it is severely lacking in defense and HP. Once its skills are learnt, you might want to apply White Magic as a secondary skill onto a more effective class, unless you need a magic-focused class that is not a wizard.
How to Use
Cure may seem weak compared to its predecessors, but at the beginning, it is still what you would need to survive the harsh battles, especially at Dorter Trade City. Learn the series of Cure, Revive and save some JP for Regen and Esuna. These are your staple support skills. The others are good to have, especially Holy, to give your priest an offensive boost, but one may wish to redirect JP away from Barrier. The damage reduction hardly seems to be of value, even in the late game.
After your desired skills are learnt, consider planting White Magic as a secondary skill to the wizard or summoner class to use the Cure series via your strongest mages. Alternatively, set an offense-focused secondary skill to your white mage to designate him as your backup attacker. He still has a sufficiently strong magic attack growth to allow effective use of Black Magic, Summon and even Iaido. You definitely don’t want a samurai to be your main healer with his poor magic growth! Beware, of course, of the priest’s frailty.
– Chemist Level 2
The ultimate in magic offense! Even though this class is easily unlocked, and unlockable from as early as the second battle, this is one class that can truly change the tide of battles all the way until the end. In fact, for those who wish to develop the wizard from beginning until the end, it is very much worth the while!
This hot potato has the highest magic attack and magic attack growth, surpassing even the summoner! Comparing damage output, a summoner’s skills are the equivalent of a wizard’s -ga spells. This makes the wizard much more versatile, considering he has all spell ranges from basic to -ja level! With as many as four tiers of spells, consisting of the three basic elements and a neutral element, and some very interesting spells, black magic is very well the powerhouse of offensive magic!
Set him as your main magic offense character, but always remember that he is still as squishy as any tier 1 and 2 job class. There are other classes that can surpass the black mage in terms of absolute attack, such as a knight’s Dual Wield and Orlandeau’s Holy Explosion, but that would reduce the variety in the game, wouldn’t it? We might suggest against using the tier 4 spells, such as Firaja, Blizzaja and Thundaja, as their charge times would allow the enemy to escape or bring down your own troops along with it. A wizard can be KO’d under his own Firaja. Try it! It’s somehow… entertaining… Instead, opt for Flare for absolute power without worrying about elemental properties.
How to Use
We know the beauty of the Iaido, its strength and its ability to differentiate between enemy and ally. Plus, it is based on magic, making the wizard the perfect wielder of samurai swords. Funny, when you think about it. But when you see it in action…
When your troops are down to their last HP from a boss’s AOE, one use of Muramasa restores everyone’s health to full.
When the enemy surrounds your black mage and casting a magic spell is too long and will likely KO yourself in the process, a simple Murasame will wipe the surrounding area clean.
When you need to safely attack from one end of the battlefield to another end, Kikuichimoji does a clean and fast job.
Iaido is truly a beautify power! Yet, we’re promoting it under the wizard instead of the samurai. This says a lot about the Wizard!
It’s a pity the Masamune is difficult to obtain in the game, otherwise the Black Mage would be unstoppable. In fact, I might even go so far as to recommend relying heavily on Iaido instead of the black mage’s own spells! It’s as if the samurai spirits are made for the wizard of dark magic!
Now how about the Black Mage’s own skills? We’ve been busy lauding the performance of a secondary skill that won’t even be available until Chapter 4, but the wizard’s skills are nothing to scoff at. In fact, you should fear facing enemy wizards from mid-game onward!
The job class system in FFT is so versatile, there can be more than one good way to play as the wizard! Fire, Thunder and Blizzard may seem cheap, but when you use the elemental advantages correctly, they end up more powerful than expected. Slowly go up the tiers as and when your MP amount is sufficient. Remember that in the early game, you might only have sufficient MP to cast twice or thrice in battle, and then, your wizard will have to rely on his secondary skills, or bare fists.
Aim to complete the three tiers of the three elements before proceeding to Flare, Death or other skills. The fourth tier of spells can be learned when you have sufficient JP. Aim to use the -ga spells more, if not, fall back on -ra spells. Don’t get greedy! If the enemy moves out of range or brings your magic to your own troops, the consequences of friendly fire might not be worth it! Don’t worry about spending all the necessary MP, because the wizard wouldn’t have much use aside from his magic. Plus, he can still rely on the chemist’s ethers and the monk’s Chakra to restore much needed MP.
– Knight Level 3
The first and only class that is formidable without any weapons! The monk is quite a versatile character that is capable of going on the offense and being supportive, as and when necessary. It is mainly a close-ranged combatant, but with its Aura Fist and Earth Slash, it becomes an effective mid- and long-ranged fighter. Plus, every skill is physical attack-based, which perfectly syncs with the monks Attack growth. Even its healing Chakra skill!
From early game, this job class is a powerhouse, all the way until the end game! The only problem is, he cannot wear head armor and heavy body armor. This means the monk’s HP falls severely short, along with a lack of supportive defense boosts, making him a sort of a glass cannon. His damage output is great, but still falls short compared to power boosts provided by high-end weapons. So while a monk can easily bring enemies to their knees, killing them off might be a little trickier. Thus, toward the end game, you would likely want to switch to another more balanced class.
Plus, using Martial Arts as a secondary skill is pointless as it requires bare-handed strength, of which no other class is effective with. Some may want to equip the Bare Handed support skill, but even Wiegraf falls terribly short without his Diamond Sword. Also note that enemy monks can be easily finished off in one attack! (Psst: Yours too!)
How to Use
Equip the best possible light armor and perhaps have an accessory that increases move, increases your defense or gives you Reraise. The monk is already sufficiently strong, but if you wish to make him a ‘glassier’ cannon, add accessories that boost his attack. Consider having female monks instead as they are allowed to equip ribbons as a third piece of armor, and perfumes that would make your monk all the more independent with buffs such as permanent Barrier and Shell effects. Yes, perfumes can be just that wonderful!
Start your monk with Aura Fist as that safely puts him out of harm’s way, and even lets him bypass any environmental cover the enemy may hide behind. Then, follow up with Chakra to provide the support you need. Repeating Fists is a gamble which would prove valuable to lucky people. Are you one of them? If not, this skill can deal as little as 9 damage, even during the end game! Eventually aim to learn all the other skills as they are useful to remove most status ailments, instantly revives dead allies (terms and conditions apply, of course!) and can be all-out powerful. Perhaps except Repeating Fists…
Also for lucky people with monks with high Brave, consider risking it with the Hamedo reaction skill. This lets your character attack your enemy before your enemy lands the blow. For one, it effectively interrupts your enemy’s attack, letting you avoid taking damage. The amount you do tends to be higher than a normal attack as well. However, the restrictions are plenty – your character needs to be in normal attack range, and it needs to be an enemy’s physical attack. Celia and Lettie’s Dead skill attacks might not be stopped. So while this reaction skill might be fun, it can still be very frustrating.
– Archer Level 3
A job class for functional purposes rather than actual combat, the thief is the class you need to pilfer equipment that you would otherwise have destroyed via the Knight. Instead of rending equipment that would be rare or unique, why not own them for yourself? But, as the prospect of stealing is more attractive than destroying, the chances of success tend to be ridiculously low. The two other more tangible skills in combat would be Steal Heart to turn the tide, even if only a little while, and Steal Gil, in order to grind those JP without killing the enemy and grow your purse. Otherwise, with poor attack, magic attack, defense, HP and MP, the thief is one of the worse combatants you should consider bringing into important battles. His main saving grace would be his high speed, but it’s pointless as you wouldn’t get two turns for the enemy’s one.
Don’t. As stated earlier, unless you are grinding for JP or trying to transfer ownership of the enemy’s equipment to yourself, the thief job class is unjustifiable for actual battle. While facing enemy thieves, they seem to have much effectiveness in battle, often Stealing Hearts of your female units, dealing damage that eventually stack up, and even occasionally stealing your equipment, however, always remember that battles against the AI tend to involve as many as 10 units, and perhaps two or more thieves. You have a maximum restriction of only 5 units in your team (6, if you include those with a Guest unit), so your thief unit will severely lack the support he requires.
How to Use
At the beginning, learn Steal Heart so that it becomes a staple for the thief to use to turn the tide of battle. The greatest use of it is not merely to Charm an enemy, but to cancel spell casting and charge attacks. You heard that right! A character in the midst of charging up for a spell, be it black magic, summon magic, etc., and a charge attack, can all be canceled upon being charmed! In situations where enemy magic is predominant and deadly, the thief’s Charm skill can truly be of great use. Imagine a charmed summoner summoning Fairy to heal your party, and then summoning Titan to blast his own teammates!
Note, though, that the same can happen to your own units, and the AI won’t hesitate to consume any of your precious items or break your katana just to use them on yourself! Note number two, if a charmed enemy is charging up for a spell, receives an attack and dispels the Charm effect, he will still continue to charge up and cast it. The healing spell he was casting won’t heal your team anymore, and the Shiva summon won’t be directed at his team, but at least his MP will be consumed. Every little bit of MP wasted by enemy mages is worth it!
Just another note for dealing with monsters that are basically genderless: thieves of both genders can charm the same monster, making Steal Heart even more effective. Don’t dwell too much on the idea, just consider it as monsters who are absolutely not gender-biased and are the epitome of gender equality.
The next skill to learn should be Steal Gil so that he has a skill to grind with. However, note that though the success rate is high, it triggers the enemy’s Counter reaction skill.
And finally, we would recommend to learn the remaining skills in this order: Steal Weapon, Steal Armor, Steal Helm, Steal Accessory, Steal Shield. This is due to the increasing value of equipment enemies generally tend to have, be it story-based battles or random ones. Some people may suggest freeing the enemy of his shield and/or accessory first so as to drastically increase your thief’s success rate, for the same reason to support the knight’s equipment-rending chances. If you feel confident, you can de-prioritize Steal Shield and pilfer just the equipment you desire. Note number three, putting the unit to sleep doesn’t increase the chances of losing his equipment, but casting Stop Action and lowering his Brave will! (Hint hint: the mystic’s skills)
– Monk Level 4
We sometimes wonder if this job class is meant to be some sort of trial character design, or it was done without sufficient inspiration. While the geomancer’s skill is free to use, and the requirement is to simply stand on the designated tile type, he is quite the average character. The probable and only skill that is useful is his Attack Boost support skill. In the War of the Lions version of the game, Attack Boost becomes moot with the release of the Dark Knight job class and its Vehemence support skill. If Final Fantasy Tactics get recurring game updates, we believe this job class would boosted with adjustments soon after release.
How to Use
Also don’t. Geomancy is best utilized only after you purchase all the skills sans Lava (because only one map in the entire game has lava tiles). All the other skills are needed because you never know what kind of map you will be fighting in, and even then, the field will very likely be made up of more than one environment type. Just moving to stand on an outcropping stone would require a geomancy skill different from the sandy path you were standing on just a second ago. Why else did you think all geomancy skills cost only 150 JP?
And even after you work out the necessary skills, the geomancy deals very little damage, perhaps only as much as its JP cost. Supposedly its damage depends on magic attack, in which the geomancer is weak, and even with the black mage’s high magic attack, geomancy barely deals an acceptable amount of damage. Yes, all skills have a possibility of inflicting a status ailment, but the chance of success is ridiculously low and is not made known in the attack preview. They don’t seem to last as long as a mystic’s Ying Yang Magic, and what status ailment is inflicted depends on your environment. So, it’s not exactly a well-controlled skill.
The geomancer’s physical attack is not anything to brag about, along with his HP, Def and Speed and all other stats, so applying some physical offense secondary skill seems rather wasted on this job class. Although it’s free and cheap, the small damage output doesn’t justify the effort put into it.
If you still believe in the geomancer, then consider physical-based secondary skills, such as Charge and Jump. The geomancer still deals average physical damage with his normal attacks, so that should be what you would want to focus on. Then, when the target is out of normal attack range, or you want to deal a small amount to confirm a kill, make use of geomancy. It has a 100% hit rate, so it’s useful to finish any critically-injured enemies. If you’re a lucky kind of person, then try to remember what environment will evoke which skill and the status ailment that it can inflict. If successful, geomancy would be more effective and immediate than Ying Yang Magic.
– Black Mage Level 3
One of the first classes to irritate you despite being frail and fragile. The time mage is one of those truly effective support classes, and they might even make you think twice about not placing time magic on at least one of your characters. Considering that time magic is mainly unaffected by the strength of your magic attack, it can even be suitable as a secondary skill for warrior classes. Of course, the MP cost will be a concern for warrior classes with low MP, unless you are using Ramza or Agrias to provide time magic support.
How to Use
If you’d like to have time support in your battles, use it throughout the game, from beginning to end, in order to gain that turn advantage. Plus, with the time mage’s Immobilize skill (can’t move), it effectively disables enemies reliant on close-ranged skills and hinders effective use of skills by most enemies. Of course, it may not be as effective as casting Hesitation (can’t act) on enemies, but that is on a different job class and skill set, forcing us to reconsider our tactics in team set up. This is why the game includes “Tactics” in its name!
Time mages have the support of above average magic attack and MP, making them suitable as offensive magic attackers, so adding black magic allows them to be part of the frontlines (in terms of mages). We might consider summon magic, but the costs of summoning is truly unprecedented and would require more than just a larger MP pool. To make your time mage more supportive, consider adding White Magic as his secondary skill set to allow rapid healing and reviving as and when necessary. After all, once your frontline falls, the rest will quickly follow.
If you truly wish to make him even more supportive, add on Yin Yang Magic to complete the series of status ailment-inflicting capabilities! Haste to give more turns to cast Hesitation, Chicken, Slow, Quiescence (silence) and maybe even Toad! If you feel like torturing your enemy further (even if the AI cannot feel emotions), you can cast Immobilize to halt him in his tracks, then Hesitation. This results in the enemy having “Wait” as his only option! Unnecessary, but more fun and effective than Stop.
Finally, consider spending time to learn the Teleport movement skill. This handy skill allows your unit to move onto any empty tile, regardless how high and how far. Imagine teleporting to the top of the hanging tower at Golgorand Execution Ground, or easily crossing the wall at the Lionel Castle gates to aid Ramza immediately. Height is not restricted at all and can be accessed no matter the difference. Distance, however, has a percentage chance of failing and forcing you to forgo a chance to move.
Note that the chances of failing to teleport increases when attempting to travel beyond your normal Move value. If a chemist has a Move value of 3, attempting to teleport 4 spaces away will begin to set in dramatically higher failure rates. This does not mean it is impossible to teleport from one end of the battlefield to another, it’s just that the chances of it being successful is extremely low. Try to keep within a maximum of 2 spaces further than your default value, and you can have safer journeys.
Required Classes: White Mage Level 3
The second of two classes that will irritate you, though considerably less than the time mage. The Ying Yang Magic skills feature the more commonplace status ailments such as Umbra (blind), Delirium (confusion), and even Corruption (zombification). Death, though, is given to the wizard, holy knight and master swordsman, while Death Sentence is given to the monk, orator, holy knight and master swordsman. This doesn’t make the mystic any less useful, because when your opponent is hitting plain air or dying in a corner unable to save himself, the feeling can be incredible. The main problem would be the chance of successes that are lower than time magic’s.
How to Use
Similar to the time mage, the mystic is suitable from the beginning, but consider taking him out towards the end of the game. We know that bosses are inherently immune to status ailments, and if you are unaware of the end game in Final Fantasy Tactics, here’s a slight spoiler to offer: Ramza and party shall face off against several bosses!
But while you are still dealing with several non-bosses, which make up about 95% of battles, the mystic and his skill set are still very handy to have. Even though boss battles will render him almost useless, you can still dispatch him to keep the support enemy units at bay.
There is still one more feature of the mystic that several people tend to overlook, that is, until High Priest Zalmo stabs you from two spaces away with a painful thrust of his dog-beating rod (Asian gamers, teach our Western friends the significance of this!) The mystic is one of the few classes that can wield the rod class of weapons, such as the cyprus stick. These batons of fury surprisingly deal damage comparable to an archer or a dragoon, and with a range of two spaces, they easily avoid being countered by most classes! That’s strong for a mage job class, making the mystic adaptable between supportive and offensive!
But of course do not rely too heavily on stabbing enemies to death with an army of mystics. Umm… If you really can bring in an army of mystics against Wiegraf, then perhaps you might really win. But then again, an army of almost any one unit might win most battles.
Back to Ying Yang Magic, you notice Zalmo the High Priest taking advantage of it with Belief (adds Faith) and Disbelief (adds Atheist). Belief will temporarily boost a unit’s Faith value to 100, thereby maximizing the amount of magic you receive, be it magic damage or magic healing. This also affects the probability of success in casting status ailment spells, which would explain why he would cast Belief on his mystic underlings that are charging up Hesitation spells (they block you from taking actions). Conversely, casting Disbelief temporarily sets a unit’s Faith to zero so that he will get 0 HP magic damage and heal 0 HP.
In the late game, pursuers of the Cloud Strife side quest will encounter the Workers, one friendly and one enemy. You will notice that the Atheist effect is permanently present on them, and their Faith are zero. Any attempts to deal magical damage or magically heal them will result in a big fat zero. Yet another tactical situation to consider!
Why, then, did the game designer make Faith and Atheist temporary status conditions? Read a little more about too high and too low values of Faith and Brave under the orator job class’s Recommended Usage!
For a physically offensive mystic, definitely equip a rod, and add Charge as his secondary skill. This allows him to cripple his foes first before pressing the advantage with some damage from a safe distance. For a magically offensive mystic, add black magic instead, because the mystic is also magically-inclined and can still deal the appropriate magical damage. Of course, MP is still an issue and Summon Magic should take a back seat.
For a supportive type, he can follow a similar setup with the time mage and equip time magic or white magic, allowing him full supporting spells while giving him a physical attack boost. As for Ying Yang Magic itself, Hesitation is your staple skill. With the “Act” command grayed out, there’s seriously nothing your enemy can do. After that, consider going into Repose (sleep) and Trepidation (attempts to add Chicken) to put your enemies out of the count for a longer period, and cripple warriors with lowered Brave values.
– Time Mage Level 3
One of the two magical specialists in the game, the summoner vies for the position of the most powerful mage. Summon magic is highly visual and involves a huge area of effect that would make many other classes drool with envy. In comparison to black magic, the lower tier spells are as powerful as a tier three -ga spell, but at only 50% of the cost! Plus, there’s no friendly fire, so you can safely summon away. Charge time is estimated to be the same, so overall, summon magic seems to be the most efficient of offensive magic.
Don’t be fooled! Despite being lower tier summons, using the summoner means you either go big, or go home! High MP cost, long charge time, and fragile character defenses. This is the glass cannon of the magic route!
How to Use
Using a summoner mid-game is like using a wizard or priest in the early game. You will likely fire off two summons, and then, run out of MP. Build up your MP pool when you first unlock this job class so that you can summon more times during each battle. If you are willing and able to replenish his MP regularly in the heat of battle, it would be great support for this powerful but expensive character. You might want to consider equipping a unit with the Item skill set, including the summoner himself, or bring along a monk to use Chakra.
Remember this if you have an MP restorer: you can start charging up a summon even without sufficient MP. The spell will only check your MP amount during the time it is supposed to be cast. If for example your chemist is unable to throw an ether in time (that’s why you should consider building up a proper chemist!), on the turn of the summoning, the summoner will go through the summoning animation, stop short of the summon monster appearing, and the words “Insufficient MP” will be displayed over his character. This also applies to your priest and wizard in the event they need to summon a slow, powerful spell.
This job class will be powerful from beginning to end game, even against single bosses, because the damage output per target is high. Its potential output is definitely greater if there are more targets, since summon magic affects a huge AOE. Be aware, though, that when more enemy units are targeted by summon magic, your summoner will be targeted more. Imagine that during a boss fight with minions!
Consider letting the summoner equip the Item skill set as his secondary skill, and stock up on ethers, or equip the Manafont movement skill (restores some MP when moving). Moogle is an interesting healing spell that might be useful early game due to its cheap JP and MP cost, but expect it to be dropped for Fairy later. Learn the three basic elements as soon as you can so as to exploit the elemental weaknesses monsters have.
Follow up with Golem. This weird summon that only displays a prancing golem actually creates a second layer of HP over all of your characters, taking normal damage from enemies, but applying it to the golem instead of your character. This summon spell is basically a barrier spell more effective than the priest’s Barrier and Barrier 2, and applies to the entire team regardless where they are standing. Unfortunately, it only absorbs physical damage, so do take note!
Famous spells such as Odin and Bahamut are really powerful and flashy, but the MP cost and charge up time can really make one reconsider using them at all. If you really wish to duly utilize the summoner’s skills, consider equipping either the Halve MP or Swiftness support skill. Halve MP literally halves the costs of summoning spells while Swiftness allows Zodiark to be fired off before your summoner takes too much damage and falls. It’s a pity you can’t equip both, otherwise it would make the summoner a magical dream come true!
If you do need to choose between one of those support skills, consider Swiftness. Honestly, you can easily supplant Halve MP just by using Ethers and Hi-Ethers, or other methods like Chakra and Empowerment (the mystic skill that absorbs the target’s MP). However, the only probable way to supplant Swiftness is maybe… casting Slow on the entire enemy team. Swiftness reducing the amount of time needed to charge up spells and the archer’s Charge skill. You can cast Slow on just your target group, but enemies outside that range can still direct their attacks at your summoner to inhibit the casting.
The other possible option is to use the Dancer’s Forbidden Dance that has a low chance to apply Slow, or Slow Dance to cut their Speed stats, both of which will take a very long time to fire off, especially in the beginning. Can your summoner survive by the time the Dancer’s skills become effective…?
Also, while the Sorceror job class is not available to you, it doesn’t mean that you cannot have one job class perusing all available magic spells in this game. Arithmeticks grants access to all spells from the black magick, white magick, yin yang magick and time magick, except summon magick. Equip Arithmeticks as a secondary skill and your one unit shall have access to all magicks available to you! Well, almost all. Arithmeticks doesn’t include time magick’s Meteor spell and black magick’s Death and Flare, but with Zodiark, you probably won’t need it!
– Mystic Level 2
Another class that is very interesting, but hard to justify in the heat of battle. The orator is typically a status ailment-inflicting class done in an interesting way: by talking. Thankfully you yourself won’t need to think of what to say or read the entire speech and fall asleep too. Yup, you can talk enemies into sleep, and it’s at a rather high chance of success! In fact, you can talk enemies to death! Well, not instant and immediate death – you inflict Death Sentence on them instead. Whaddy I tell ya? Fun, no!?
How to Use
Honestly speaking, despite it having some interesting effects, the orator class is not recommended for most uses, except for functionary roles. This is THE class that will help you add a monster or human enemy to your party.
Adding monsters is understandable, since there’s no other way to get them. Plus, some 3rd tier monsters can only be breed, not found in the wild, such as the Porky. Poaching them with the thief’s support skill gives you a chance to obtain some very rare ribbons and perfumes that would otherwise not be obtainable.
Human enemies are a little less useful, because you can easily hire a brand new character at the Mercenary shop, letting you choose the gender, name, and his or her zodiac. Plus, progressing through the storyline nets you plenty of unique characters that you probably won’t use! But recruiting an enemy human has two purposes: the first would be to obtain his equipment, and the second would be to actually recruit a new unit that doesn’t start off as a mere squire. This would likely be an easier way to obtain the enemy’s equipment, especially if you don’t have a thief with all skills learned yet, or didn’t bring a thief with you into battle.
The next main use of the orator is to adjust your units’ Brave and Faith values. With higher Brave, warrior type job classes deal more physical damage and Reaction Skills have higher activation chances. On the other end of the spectrum, characters with lower Brave receive lesser physical damage, plus they have higher chances to obtain the better battlefield treasure via the Treasure Hunter Movement Skill. That is why some would prefer to set Beowulf as the treasure seeker. Note, however, that units with below 30 Brave values may turn into a chicken in the midst of battle (except key enemy units, like bosses and Ultima Demons) and once the battle ends, they may permanently leave your party, including Beowulf.
The same goes for the Faith side of things, whereby higher Faith deals greater magic damage, zero Faith characters receive zero magical damage (including healing!), and when they stay above 80 Faith, there’s a possibility of them being enlightened to the ways of non-violence and forsake the cruel world of Man. For temporary maximization and nullification of Faith, see what the mystic can do with his Mystic Arts’ Belief and Disbelief skills. Thus, other than these functionary actions, you might want to leave the orator out of important battles, unless you believe in putting enemies to sleep as your main tactic. Don’t try this on boss battles, though!
Equip the gun as soon as you can! While the orator is not the first class to use guns, you will still want to keep him away from the front lines and only advance when there is a chance to put enemies to sleep. Honestly, as tempting as Death Sentence is, the enemy still has 3 turns to kill off your units, and the AI won’t need three turns to finish off a party of orators, sans an army of boring orators with a very lucky player.
Learn the Recruit skill as soon as you can, before advancing to the Mimic Davaron skill, followed by the faith- and brave-altering skills. Enrage might have been interesting (and logical) since it renders your enemy unable to use skills, but otherwise, your enemy’s physical attack will deal greater damage with normal attacks. That’s still quite a bit of a downside, unless you target mages.
Finally, for those wishing to set Talk as a unit’s secondary skill, remember that the orator is able to talk to monsters by default. This means that a non-orator requires the Beast Tongue Support Skill in order to communicate with monsters. The exception is Reis who can speak to dragons by default. Just dragons. A full dragon party, anyone? Well, since Ramza is a necessity in all storyline battles – semi-full dragon party?
– Thief Level 3
A powerhouse in the warrior domain, the dragoon is a proud class as is well-known in other Final Fantasy games, and even in other games pertaining to dragon warriors. Admittedly, the dragoons in Final Fantasy games do not control dragons, but are inspired by them in terms of design. Being able to wield spears that can reach two spaces away, they can safely deal damage without facing the consequences of Counters, while having full protection from heavy armors, helms and shields. The dragoon’s Jump skill comes at a steep price, and can have an equally steep learning curve, but once you understand how to use it, the dragoon is a powerful house that you may want to replace the knight with. Or you could add the Break skill set to the Dragoon and he would be equally deadly on the battlefield!
Seriously, though, one would have expected the knight class to eventually unlock the dragoon class, in consideration that both are heavily-armored classes. Yet, the dragoon is unlocked by the thief class. Well, in light that the thief is a high Jump value job class, it would explain the eventual lead up to another high Jump value job class, the dragoon.
How to Use
For your first time using the dragoon’s Jump skills, learn them in sequence — 2, then 3, then 4, and so on. And for every one level of horizontal skill you learn, follow it with one level of vertical skill. E.g. if you decide to purchase “Horizontal Jump 2”, your next purchase should be “Vertical Jump 2”.
The targeting system for Jump checks for two things: the height compared to your unit, and the distance compared to your unit. By default, without learning any skill, your dragoon can only attack one space and one height away. When you learn Vertical Height 2, this means you can attack one space and two heights away. Then, when you also learn Horizontal 9, this means you can attack… One space and two heights away, and the 9th space that is two heights away.
The Jump skill can be complicated to learn at first (in terms of the game, not in terms of JP cost). When you learn the Horizontal 6 skill, it means you can attack at the 6th space, and only at the 6th space. Not the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th spaces, and definitely not the 7th further spaces. This means that if you learn Horizontal 6 and only Horizontal 6, you need to move to a position that is exactly 6 spaces away from your target, or else you will not be able to hit with your attack.
The same goes to Vertical Jump skills. This can end up looking rather goofy as you deliberately move your dragoon further away from the frontline just to be able to Jump at your enemy. This is why it is highly recommended to learn the horizontal and vertical skills in sequence. This can be an added advantage, however, when you consider the fact that you have just moved your dragoon away from frontline dangers to rear-end succor. When you finally learn all 18 horizontal and vertical skills, you’ll notice that planting your dragoon in the middle-most tile of the battlefield will result in almost the entire field covered in blue-targeting highlights. This means he can attack practically anywhere! How cool is that?!
The biggest downside is that you won’t know when he will land until you execute his Jump and check the turn list after. You’ll see your dragoon’s name with “(Jump)” in the list to indicate when his turn will come to land his attack. This is why the game’s tutorial emphasizes the need to check the turn list. If you notice, the game seems to have a set window of time for charged up skills to execute. So if you see your own units’ magic spell or Charge attack executing during a section of the turn list, then you can expect your dragoon to land on the turns after those spells. It’s not cheating, really, because the Jump skill essentially requires a charging time that isn’t visible simply because he is in the air.
Here’s another sort-of cheat: If you’re being targeted by a spell or skill that needs charging, and you can’t avoid it by moving away, Jump! The spell will still activate on your tile, but because you are in the air, the spell hits, well, air! Conversely, if you know when the enemy dragoon will land (turn list!) you can start charging up a spell or even the Archer’s Charge skill on his tile, so that after he lands, your attack activates! Just watch out for dragoons with the Counter reaction skill, they hurt badly!
If what you require is a character with high Jump value in your party, the dragoon is the option instead of the thief. Learn the Ignore Elevation skill, and you have yourself a runner-up! (The winner will still be the time mage’s teleport skill that can also bypass obstacles and enemies.) Switch the knight with the dragoon anytime you wish to gain the upper hand in attack range, and he will be valuable in the journeys ahead. Do note too that the dragoon is another slow class. Charge is typically unnecessary, in case you are interested in boosting his damage. His Jump skill will already deal a hefty amount.
Equip the Two Hands Support Skill and his damage will further increase without the fear that he won’t be able to continue fronting the charge. Consider adding Break as his secondary skill to continue the legacy of the knight, or set Basic Skills to allow him to use Accumulate during instances when you do not feel confident his Jump will land in time and you can’t pierce anyone with your lance.
– Knight Level 3
– Monk Level 4
– Dragoon Level 2
This job class is one of those top tier classes that have multiple requirements to unlock. It takes on the levels of four different classes, thus encouraging us to try out as many of the different job classes as possible. The samurai himself is one of the warrior type powerhouses that gets a 7/10 only because his Iaido skill is immeasurably valuable as a magical skill set. That’s right, Iaido is magic attack-based, and considering that the samurai is a physical attack type, that makes him poor at his own skill.
Without Iaido, the samurai would only get a 4/10 due to being denied one skill set effective for a warrior job class. Before investing in the samurai’s Iaido skill, note that it is probably the most expensive to upkeep. For every one use of an Iaido skill, there is a chance for it to break a samurai sword in your inventory. Chances seem to increase slightly for higher tier katana, and while it may only be slightly, every one breakage is a few hundred thousand gil lost! Unless you are prepared to break your chocobo bank, you might want to maximize the use of Iaido to affect as many enemies or allies as possible, or when in desperate situations.
For the Masamune and Chirijiraden, they have significantly higher chance of breaking. From experiences, it seems to be an 80% chance as they tend to break almost after every use. In the original version of the game, it’s a significant loss because you can steal only one Masamune from Elmdor in an extremely difficult attempt, and pick up one Chirijiraden in the final battle only. In the War of the Lions version, they are available via multiplayer, but even then, they are supposedly rare to get. Rare, as in, the English dictionary version of extremely difficult to obtain, not the rare grade in some other games to depict the 4/5-star units lining more than half of your unit inventory.
How to use
It might be better to use the knight or dragoon over the samurai once you have learned all his skills, reactions, support and movements. It feels like the samurai should be a mage class type, or a magically-inclined warrior type similar to Agrias as a Holy Knight (other Holy Knight characters notwithstanding, as they are only NPCs) if not for his namesake and other skills that better benefit physical attack-types. It is likely you will unlock the samurai in the late game, but consider applying his skills to other job classes instead.
Consider learning Ashura first as it’s the cheapest (of the expensive) skills to use, followed by Murasame for healing purposes, and Muramasa for your main offensive skill. Kiku-ichimonji would be the 2nd strongest skill, but for the fact that it only attacks in a straight line, thus somewhat limiting its efficiency in battle. Consider relying on Muramasa instead.
Osafune is great against an army of mages as it depletes their MP and the AI tends not to replenish consumed MP. This is also an interesting technique to use when you cannot knock down a mage about to cast a fatal spell. You might want to invest in a few Osafune katana if you have the deep pockets to do so.
Kiyomori instantly buffs all your allies in range with Barrier and Shell for the same duration as a priest’s spells. If you have faith in the damage reduction provided by these two spells, then using Kiyomori is one of the greatest boon in Iaido! Now, if only MBarrier is available to us too…
And if you wish to get a stronger offensive katana after Ashura, you may want to consider Ame-no-Murakumo that can inflict slow at the same time. The chances are actually rather low, but consider the instant cast and the area of effect, Ame-no-Kumo is more effective than a time mage’s Slow spell. Spells are slow, after all. Pun intended!
Which skills to learn first should really depend on how deep your pockets are. Even if you learn every single Iaido skill, it is useless without the necessary katana. Note that if a unit is equipping the last remaining piece of a particular katana, breaking it via Iaido will mean that unit goes weaponless! Beware! Also, as stated earlier, Masamune and Chirijiraden are one-off items. Save the JP to learn all the samurai’s other skills before coming back again to learn these two. Unless, of course, you frequently conduct raids in multiplayer and successfully amassed lots of Masamune and Chirijiraden. That would be a wow!
– Archer Level 3
– Thief Level 4
– Geomancer Level 2
The ninja is the wet dream of any RPG player! Fast-moving, highly evasive, deadly attacks and all too cool-looking, Final Fantasy Tactics’ ninja job class is every bit that description and more! Yes! This is a very worthwhile job class to work towards unlocking even if you don’t wish to switch out of your old job classes or want to use only unique character jobs! His main drawback is his light armor which makes him kind of fragile, and he is unable to execute kawarimi or henge techniques. That last point is off-topic, but I think you know where I’m coming from!
How to use
Once you are able to unlock the ninja, go ahead and use him in any battle henceforth! We would have liked to use the ninja from early game, but it would likely be accessible from mid-late game onward due to the many requirements. We have attempted to unlock the ninja job class right after the battle at the Akademy, grinding at Mandalia Plains all the way, and was even successful. However, our units reached above character level 50, presenting a huge gap between them and the storyline battles, making them way Way WAY too easy and killing all the fun of dashing across the field and stabbing enemies twice.
Let’s assume it is mid-game and your ninja is freshly unlocked. Do not, I repeat, do not immediately send him into the thick of battle. He may have higher speed and greater Move value than any other job class, but his armor is still the same light-type that squires equip. As previously stated, ninjas in Final Fantasy Tactics cannot execute kawarimi, which means he can fall quite easily within 2-3 hits.
Let him hang back a bit until your tank draws the attention of the enemy’s forward force, or wait for an opportunity for the enemy to move into your attacking range. Meanwhile, consider making use of his Throw skill. This can be a rather expensive skill as it entails throwing your equipment out the window, and into your enemy’s face. The stronger the Attack value of the weapon thrown, the more damage it can do. An Axe can easily do damage in the hundreds, and with some sheer luck, having Ramza successfully throw two Axes at Wiegraf inside Riovanes Castle can end the one-on-one duel quickly.
This skill might be more valued for money if you are tossing out old and outdated equipment, but if you are intent on hurling death at your enemies, consider the Shuriken and Bombs that are meant to be thrown by the ninja. Although considerably weaker, they are disproportionately cheaper. The Yagyu Darkrood might cause significant damage if not for the great difficulty in obtaining it. First, you’ll have to find Plagues, which are not too difficult at Bervenia Volcano. Then, you’ll need to deal the killing blow with someone equipped with the thief’s Poach skill, or with Luso in his default Hunter job class. Finally, when you enter the Hunt Shop, pray that you successfully obtained the Yagyu Darkrood instead of the potion.
Makes you consider twice about using the ninja’s skill, doesn’t it?
The ninja’s Dual Wield Support Skill is perhaps one of the best Support Skill because it simply doubles the effectiveness of physical actions, from normal attacks, Charge skills, Break skills and others! Of course, there limitations, because it isn’t compatible with bows, guns, spears, Sword Arts, etc.
Vanish is unique as it is the only way for you to become invisible, and when your character attacks, he’ll ignore physical and magical evasion rates. Really ninja! Note of course that once your character attacks, the invisibility status ends, so move as much as you can to find the best spot possible before going on the offense. Like a ninja!
The Waterwalking Movement Skill really brings out the ninja-ness in the ninja! No more worries about movements reduced by one space, or actions denied when in depth 2 or deeper.
When it comes to the Throw skill, consider learning just Shuriken and Bomb, since these two items are meant to be thrown. Which other items you should learn to thrown should depend on the depth of your treasury again. Knight swords, spears and axes tend to deal the most damage, with swords, rods, katana and ninja swords coming in second. Do note, however, that axes and flails can deal varying damage just like when you use them in normal attacks. The rest can be expected to be typically weaker. Equip ninja swords on him, as they tend to be stronger than daggers. We would discourage equipping flails as their normal attack damages are very erratic, even with two chances.
– White Mage Level 4
– Black Mage Level 4
– Mystic Level 3
– Time Mage Level 3
An incredible class! One that can open your eyes to a feat you never thought possible, and to a feat you never thought would also kill your own units so efficiently! The arithmetician can probably be the most powerful magic unit if you can buff him up sufficiently to meet the pace of battle, while protecting him from harm. His specialty is in his skills and not in his job class itself, thus he gets a pretty 7/10 instead of a 1/10 for his terrible stats.
How to use
Arithmeticks allows the unit to cast spells based on the two conditions that you select. The first condition is selected from either CT, Level, EXP or height. The second condition is selected from either Prime, Multiples of 5, Multiples of 4 or Multiples of 3. These eight different conditions are the skills that you need to learn, and at least one from each condition before you can actually use the arithmetician’s skill.
For example, if you select Level, followed by multiples of 3, then all units on the field with levels in multiples of 3 will be targeted by the spell. All units meeting the conditions will be targeted regardless whether he is an enemy or ally or the arithmetician himself! This double-edge sword of a skill is not without drawbacks after all.
Fortunately, the spells you cast will cost you the wonderful price of zero MP! Even if you cast the most expensive spell on every unit in the field, the arithmetician will not be charged a single cent! To make things easier for the player, just select the two conditions and check which units’ tiles are flickering blue to quickly see who will be affected, and if there is an ally or enemy you don’t want affected, then switch the condition or conditions until you are satisfied with the units targeted. Try not to be greedy and you might find more satisfaction in using Arithmeticks.
Under most circumstances, it might be better to endure the torture of handling such a fragile slowpoke, learn the arithmetician’s skills, and then switch out to another job class and setting Arithmeticks as the secondary skill. If you do insist on bringing him into the heat of battle, set Bardsong or Dance as his secondary skill instead.
As Bardsong and Dance are independent on the caster’s own Speed, two or even three songs or dances can be activated in-between an arithmetician’s turns. This is just how slow he is! It would set your frontline units short by one, but by the time the arithmetician gets in four turns, your entire party of 4 should be as buffed as if it’s a party of 8! This compliment should be given to the Bard and Dancer. Scroll down further to see more about them!
The arithmetician’s key point is his arithmeticks skill, after all! I would strongly recommend to learn all the eight conditions, except Prime. That condition is rather difficult to find anywhere, so if you want to end the torture, sacrifice the Prime number skill.
– Male character
– Orator Level 5
– Summoner Level 5
Yet another interesting class that can be very supportive, if given enough turns in the game. By “enough”, it would entail perhaps 5 of the bard’s turns before you start seeing the buffs finally take effect, and 10 turns before you can practically go into overdrive.
Not for your bard, but for your team.
In the beginning of battle, or at the start of your cycle of singing, the effects are hardly worth batting an eye at, thus a low rating of 3/10. If the bard can survive several turns, enough to set off two, three or more songs in-between his turns, then his ratings boost up to a 6/10. As mentioned before, he much better off hiding in a corner and bawling his guts out, and once he goes into overdrive with his caterwauling, you wouldn’t want to break his singing momentum unless in truly desperate situations.
Again, his survivability is in intense question as his stats are ridiculously low. He might not survive one attack from a boss, any boss, so it might not be worthwhile to bring him into difficult battles, especially when time is of the essence in stages where your mission is to protect an NPC. Even if you decide to involve him in other activities, his stats would prove him to be a weak warrior and foolish mage.
This is also one of the classes that equips a unique weapon — instruments. They behave like dictionaries, allowing him to attack at a distance and sort of ‘traject’ over his allies. They even make a musical sound when attacking.
How to use
Sing is a continuous skill that reduces its charge time the more you sing. Usually, when you first start the song, the charge is as long as a Meteor spell, allowing your bard to receive his second turn before the first song is sung.
Do not, I repeat, do NOT cancel the first song! It should be activated just before his third turn, after which the song begins charging again without your command input. The second song might take almost as long as the first, but by the fifth song, you’ll notice that it starts charging up faster and faster.
By the tenth song, it is probably singing twice before the bard’s every turn. This translates into +2 Atk or M.Atk or Spd just before all your units act on their next turn! By turn 20, your units will probably be doing 500 damage per hit with just normal attacks! The same goes to Seraph Song and Life’s Anthem, which would be healing a measly amount each time, but would soon be more effective than Regen and throwing constant ethers. And they last longer too!
Nameless Song is your alternative to Princess Ovelia and Alma’s MBarrier spells. Every time the bard sings the Nameless Song, your units have a chance to gain as many as 5 buffs! It may not be all that efficient, though, as you won’t need to renew the effects so often, but if you stop singing and restart the Nameless Song again, you’ll need to face the frustratingly long charge time all over again. However, as each buff has only a 50% chance of success, it might be worth while to allow this song to continue to try to ensure all five buffs are constantly in effect.
Do note that songs have success rates (with the exception of Seraph and Life’s Anthem) and they are typically on the low side. Thus, using a bard can be extremely effortless: set him to sing a song, then have him hide in a corner of the battlefield away from the fighting. For very slow classes like the arithmetician, the Sing skill set will greatly assist in grinding. Imagine gaining EXP and JP twice before your turn even comes around!
Singing is what we consider a true support skill set that provides a whole set of various buffs and some slight healing. Again, it’s probably useful only if your character has a very low speed stat, like the Arithmetician, and requires a lot of grinding.
Set your character to sing and just wait it out, and the magic will slowly but surely come, often twice in-between turns, and sometimes even thrice! If you’re in a really tough battle but can afford to spare one of your characters from the front line, consider the Sing skill to provide an unfair advantage against the enemies — they tend to have the unfair advantage in numbers, anyway!
– Female character
– Dragoon Level 5
– Geomancer Level 5
This is the warrior branch of the job class tree for female units as a way to encourage players to train up their female units in physical attack-based classes. That is why the job classes to unlock the dancer begin from the squire.
While the bard supports allies by buffing and healing them, the dancer plagues the enemy team by debuffing and damaging their members. Dance skills are exactly the opposite of Sing skills – where singing increases units’ Speed values by 1 for allies, dancing decreases them for enemies. Similarly with the bard’s healing song, the dancer’s damaging song acts more like poison damage that increases in frequency the longer you dance.
Also, the dancer can equip cloths, which are unique to this class. If you’re wondering why none of your units can equip the cashmere, this is the reason: you’re not training your female units as if they are valkyries!
How to use:
Should I redirect your attention to the bard’s “How to use” paragraph? Because it will basically be the same as the bard’s, focusing on either status ailment-infliction, physical attack, magical attack or speed reduction. The alternate for the dancer would be to deploy Witch Hunt in order to drain enemy mages’ MP as fast as possible, since MP tends to be a scarce resource even for the AI. Adventurous people can try Mincing Minuet to basically poison every enemy to death while your other units guard her with their lives.
This Dance skill set can be great against enemies if you have the luxury of dragging the battle through several turns, and similar to the bard, the dancer has rather poor stats and should hide in a corner while dancing the night away. Similar to the bard, though – don’t rely on it too much.
In fact, by the time she activates dance at a sufficient frequency, your other units would have dealt enough blows to kill them all. If a challenge is what you seek, you can attempt to bring her into a boss battle where the battle is likely to be drawn out and the poisonous effects of her fluid movements accumulate over time to become fatal.
Ratings: 2 or 8/10
– Dragoon Level 5
– Geomancer Level 5
– Orator Level 5
– Summoner Level 5
The last unique class in the original version of Final Fantasy Tactics. The mime may be difficult to use, but if you can master him, he can becomes an enormous asset on the battlefield!
Yet, few players consider using him, even in non-boss battles, partly due to the fact that he goes into battle empty-handed, empty-armored, and empty-skilled. You cannot wear any equipment, thus resulting you in punching with bare fists, and you cannot set a secondary skill, support skill or movement skill, thus the only action you can take is “Attack”.
You might then wonder how can the mime copy all of his allies’ actions? Read on!
How to use:
As the job class’ name states, it mimicks all of your allies’ actions, unless that copied ally is using a unique job class skill, like Shout, or is a monster. Whenever an allies conducts an action, such as Cure or Muramasa or even two normal attacks, the mime will follow exactly.
After the ally casts a long distance spell, such as Firaga on a group of three enemies, blazing all of them in range, the mime will follow immediately after, as if activating a Reaction Skill, and also cast Firaga on the same targeted enemies, and blazing the same three enemies in range.
If an ally takes an action that targets one space away, the mime will also follow, but in the direction he happens to be facing at the moment of his ally’s attack. And he mimicks all attacks for free, regardless whether he has learned the skill or is equipping the same weapons (which, for his case, he definitely won’t be)!
That means a Chirijiraden can be executed even without learning it! No idea if it will break the katana, but if anyone knows, give us a holler! If Meliadoul attacks twice with Charge+10 using a Chaos Blade and a Ragnarok, both of which have only one piece in the game, the mime will magically produce the same Chaos Blade and Ragnarok in his hands and attack with Charge+10 twice! Warning! He will execute this attack with these weapons onto the space ahead of him regardless whether it has an enemy, it is empty, or… it has an ally!
Expect the same to happen to restorative skills as well. Imagine your mime has just KO’d an enemy, giving your monk room to rush to a fallen ally to revive him with Martial Arts’ Revive skill — which is then immediately copied by the mime who uses Revive on the space in front of him, a.k.a. after defeating an enemy, he revives the same guy immediately afterwards. What a bummer!
Using the mime is all about strategic placement, and it can truly become a headache if he mimics an action undesirable to your intentions.
It truly can be a fun class to use when the mime is at the right place, at the right time, which results in either a very generous boon or a great curse. Always be prepared to skip an ally’s turn if your next action will be a disadvantage to you. Also be aware that actions the mime takes can also trigger the enemy’s Reaction Skill, resulting in possibly dead mimes littering the field.
Practice bringing in one mime first, and always be aware of where he is standing prior to executing any actions. Plan ahead with frequent uses of the Turn List to maximize the potential of the mime.
– Knight class mastered
– Black Mage class mastered
– Dragoon Level 8
– Geomancer Level 8
– Samurai Level 8
– Ninja Level 8
– 20 kills
One of the few new job classes added to the War of the Lions version of the game, the Dark Knight is reminiscent of Gaffgarion’s Dark Knight job class (and thereafter, Gaffgarion’s unique job class got renamed to Fell Knight). This job class is ranked 10/10 simply because it truly is overly powerful and should be properly balanced if ever the game is allowed updates.
No other classes can ever get a maximum like the Dark Knight simply because they are designed with weaknesses that can and should be covered by other job classes. If you ever want more than just Orlandeau to possess the unique Sword Saint job class, the Dark Knight is the closest answer! With both of the Fell Knight’s skills, freshly-designed sword skills, and brand new Support and Movement Skills, this class becomes every bit as powerful as the Sword Saint! In fact, it is possible to exceed the Sword Saint’s damage output due to the need to consume the Dark Knight’s own HP, thus drawing a certain balance in the game to ensure the player won’t go amok and throw the Zodiac Bosses into a panic.
Honestly, though, the HP damage received is barely much to fret over, for several reasons:
- The enemy would be dead or close to death.
- The heavy armor the Dark Knight wears allows him to take several more damage.
- With Sanguine Sword, he restores almost all lost HP in one turn.
Priests, Iaido and Wish are unnecessary. Should you equip Dark Sword skills on Orlandeau, we wonder if he could simply solo the entire game…
Note that while the Knight and Wizard classes are required to be mastered, but without any specified level, they do not need to reach Job Class Level 8. This, however, is just trivia and redundant information, because in a bid to learn every single skill in these two classes, you’ll inadvertently reach Job Level 8. It’s just a trivia, after all!
How to use
Set the Dark Knight to auto and go make a cup of coffee. If it’s a normal random battle, he should be done soon.
Of course, boss battles and battles with specific conditions still require the human touch. If you are controlling his every move, his main attack skill should be Crushing Blow to deal damage with chances to inflict Stop on the enemy (if not yet KO’d). If you are surrounded or it is safe to wound your own allies, then Unholy Sacrifice is definitely the most powerful skill to consider. Sanguine Sword is the next necessary skill to ensure you have a steady supply of HP to burn to execute the above two skills.
Infernal Strike seems to be an unnecessary skill, considering that you consume HP instead of MP to execute skills, and any job class that wields a sword would have little use or be ineffective with magic. Think, however, from the viewpoint of an enemy mage — there goes his MP! And a mage without any MP is pretty much useless, unless backed up by Iaido or Arithmeticks, both of which are rarely used by the enemy AI, if at all. The AI typically randomizes the enemy units’ secondary skills, and then further randomizes which skills he learns, with high end skills being the least likely. Invite an enemy and you can quickly see that they tend to learn just the first few low cost JP skills.
Unlocking the Dark Knight job class, however, is the most difficult, even when compared to the mime. While the mime has several other job classes required to reach level 8, the dark knight requires the knight and wizard job classes to be mastered. Learning every single one of the knight’s skills is reasonably doable; learning every spell, especially high tier spells, will take almost an eternity. Trying to accumulate 20 kills will take an eternity+1!
This last rule seems confusing as first, because after knocking down several enemies, you find the dark knight class still locked. That is because the enemy you knocked down must turn into a crystal or treasure box to be counted as a kill, and that means 20 for each unit you want to unlock the dark knight for. Preventing Ramza and your own units from turning into crystals and boxes seems like a pure difficulty level on its own, but when waiting for the enemy to turn into crystals and treasure boxes, it seems to take a lifetime. Furthermore, there is no visible counter for you to know how many your unit has already killed.
Note that the crystal countdown is dependent on that unit’s own Speed value, and counting from zero to crystal also requires one turn. Thus, consider slowing down your own units to let the fallen enemy’s counter turn faster. If for some reason you decide to increase everyone’s Speed to 20, 30 or 50, expect a lot, a lot, a lot of tapping on the “Wait” command. Final note: keep one enemy alive while waiting for the other enemies to turn to crystals. Such a hassle, isn’t it?
Use immediately after unlocking him because this is one job class you absolutely want to try out! After sufficiently witnessing and enjoying his sinister powers, some of us may start finding battles much too easy and tactless. This is when you would want to switch back to one of the original job classes to enjoy more variety and some tactics.
Those of us who are power freaks and absolutely love the easy battles to come with the dark knight, keep at it! Other than some skills that allow you to revive units that accidentally died, or faced the merciless class of bosses, you are more likely to use Darkness than whatever secondary skill you set.
This may or may not apply to unique job classes. Even if you attempt to use an original generic job class and set Darkness as the secondary skill, you eventually find yourself relying on it more and might even switch to the dark knight job class itself to enjoy his great physical attack stat.
For those who may want to juice up the dark knight to his best, consider setting Item as his secondary skill for easier revivals, Shirahadori to block off practically half of the attacks in the entire game, Vehemence to amp up his physical attack even further, and Teleport so that he can travel almost anywhere to execute his deadly sword skills. A troupe of five dark knights will indeed be a an overkill walking through the park!
– Squire Level 6
– Chemist Level 6
Why did the game designers create this character, we have no idea, other than the possibility that they wanted to add another traditional Final Fantasy character into the game. After going through so much effort to unlock him, all he can do are normal attacks. No secondary skill available to set on him.
He likely has only two saving graces: the first being the ability to wear all equipment and in any combination. And the second being the Onion equipment set which can only be obtained via multiplayer. Other than those, we see no other value in the onion knight at all. For the geomancer, at least his elemental skills have a chance to inflict status ailments and are free to cast. The onion knight doesn’t have much in way of anything else, unless you have a wonderful combination of equipment that can get you through winning boss fights purely with normal attacks and zero support skills whatsoever.
If you somehow get your hands on a full set of Onion equipment, then perhaps you might get a bit more saving grace due to new equipment sets having the highest value in the entire game. But, again, unless you are confident in winning battles with no healing, no buffs, and nothing but normal attacks, the Onion Knight is pretty much a pointless endeavor. At most, a meaningless mark of achievement.
Also don’t. There are better job classes out there. But if you feel the joy of taking out enemies using only normal attacks, then consider getting the Onion equipment and mastering as many other classes as possible before bringing him into battle. If you don’t have the luxury of getting the Onion equipment yet, try a combination of a Blast Gun, Escutcheon, Reflect Mail, Ribbon/Perfume, and Dracula Manteau, on a male Onion Knight.
There are rumors that setting the Onion equipment on this character will boost his stats to a point that rivals Orlandeau. Plus, there are others that claim meeting certain requirements actually unlocks every classes’ skills in the onion knight. There haven’t been any evidences for such claims, so let’s stay down-to-earth and not let ourselves get disappointed.
These are the many job classes of Final Fantasy Tactics available to all characters in the game. We hope this has helped you gain more insight on their strengths, weaknesses and usage. Do remember that in Final Fantasy Tactics, every job is powerful in their own right, and there is no ‘best class’ that many often ask about, with the exception of the Squire (not Ramza’s), the Chemist, and the Dark Knight.
The Squire and Chemist seem to be designed as stepping-stone classes, which are unlikely to be brought into crucial or difficult battles. However, their four categories of skills are utmost useful and can be highly beneficial to any of the other classes. As a Chemist that can throw items and use guns, they edge ahead of Squires in battle-worthiness. In fact, a battle in the Deep Dungeon will pit you against an army of them, which might sound easy, except that all of them can deal lethal damage from the rooftop.
The Dark Knight might very well be the ‘best class’ that some of us target from the beginning of the game, as their stats are incredible and skills are outstanding. They are the publicly-accessible alternate option for the Orlandeau-only Master Swordsman class, and are only available on the PSP version, Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions.
The Onion Knight is the other class available only in the PSP version, but its design seem particularly similar to the Mime’s – like a test rather than an actual for-use class. Still, some of us could discover something special in using this class, so until then, let’s keep an open mind toward it.
In our next article, we’ll talk about the special job classes available only to storyline characters, so stay updated with us here on Gamepleton!
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