Level 26 is quite high for that area, but at least you'll be okay for the next few areas. =) I hid some of the info because they're slightly spoilery.
1.) Turbandit - desert area of Al Mamoon - ultimately is a pretty good spellcaster and they have access to some of the better magic attack spells 2.) Lagoon Naiads - islands to the east of Castaway Cove - some of the best healers in the game 3.) Bonehead - desert area of Al Mamoon - great attacker in the end, the final form that you want is a late bloomer (aka not so great stats until the very late levels) 4.) Seed Sprite - Ugly Duckling Island - great magicians + some healing access, but you probably have Sid
Since you're around that area, you might want to catch the following since it'll help you down the line: 1.) Shonky Honker - plateau north of Castaway Cove - you'll need it for a quest that'll require you to turn it into one of its final forms, catch two if you want, one of the highest magic attack stats in the game 2.) Small Fry or Deep Fry - Old Smoky - you'll need it for the same quest
I used AtmaRagnarok9ís spreadsheet to get a good sense of actual stats values, not just how certain monsters feel. Iím going to say that early-game is the point where you get the ability to Serenade. Also, note that using anything with an attack speed or movement speed below 3 will drive you insane over the medium-to-long term. Attack stats also should be thought of with those speed values in mind; for those values, Shonky-Honkerís line isnít viable by that metric. Anything with an unreasonable accuracy rating or defenses (sub-170, though that was more-or-less arbitrary on my part) also wasnít considered.
Attack: Naja (either path) is the best early game physical attacker by a whole lot. Najapatra has an attack rating of 350, and Mahanaja of 348. No one else comes close, by almost 50 points. Teeny Bopper (either) is definitely second, with Baatender (either) and Ruff more or less tied for third, though Ruffian only if (-> Scruffian) is the chosen path.
Napcap (-> Madcap) deserves special mention because itís so well rounded otherwise while still having an awesome early-game attack. All the other choices are some shade of glass cannon (Naja does fine physically, but magic hurts). Also note, Madcap is faster than every other choice (Naja is a 3-4, Bopper is a 4-4, the others are 4-3ís, save Madcap who is a 5-4).
Mag. Atk Turbandit (either), Sleepeafowl (-> Wimpeafowl), Pom Pom (-> Pomagranite), Worker Bumbler (either). These donít suffer from glass cannon syndrome the way the physical attackers do, save Worker Bumbler.
This doesnít count Napcap (-> Nightcap) who beats everyone but Turbandit outright, and is faster in one regard or the other than every other choice. You can even use Madcap if youíd really like, his magic rating is just fine.
Defense These arenít as big a concern, honestly, as attack ratings are. The factor of your HP makes this stat matter less, and if youíre attacking with the aforementioned powerhouses at a reasonable level, you just donít get hit.
Nevertheless, the list goes:
Napcap. I said it was well rounded, but this is an understatement. It beats everyone in both ratings. Lightshade, Pom Pom (both, but thereís no reason to get Pompeii over Pomagranite).
Evasion means damage negation, not just mitigation, but picking a team member based off just this stat isnít as good as picking one based off the attack stats and killing them before they swing. Nevertheless, here it is. Guess who wins?
Napcap. By a lot. Crowhawk and Thumbelemur both dodge almost everything all the same, but their ratings are still lower than the mushroomís.