Final Fantasy V Advance: Jobs and Abilities Strategy Guide Version 1.0 by KholdStare88 KholdStare88@gmail.com ================= Table of Contents ================= I. Versions and Updates II. Overview of Jobs and Abilities III. Warrior Jobs IV. Casting Jobs V. Utility Jobs VI. Other Jobs VII. Creating a good team ==================== Versions and Updates ==================== Version 1.0, November 16, 2006 -The bulk of the guide was created. ============================== Overview of Jobs and Abilities ============================== First of all, this is a fair warning to everyone. This guide contains some spoilers about the plot, but to be, it is quite minor. In my opinion, you should not worry about them, and that almost every job/class guide for almost every game contains the some spoilers also. If you came here, then this guide will have what you are looking for. The warning is just for self-conscious people who definately does not want any spoilers whatsoever, if those people exists. I have also never done a guide for a Final Fantasy game before so why this one? It is simple. Final Fantasy V is the easiest and hardest yet most enjoyable game I have ever played, simply because the jobs system is very complex yet very fun to explore and can make the game much easier if you choose the right ones. I give this game much praise for its genre, and is probably my favorite Final Fantasy game on the GameBoy Advance right next to Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. Next, let's discuss what jobs are. In Final Fantasy V, you can control up to four characters at once, with a few exceptions to be talked about later. A job has four ability slots. Except the Mime job, all of the other jobs have !Attack and !Items as two permanent ability slots. This means that you can have up to two abilities. However, each job will have a default ability, taking up one of the last two ability slots. The last ability slot can be any ability that you have already learned. To summarize, when one character has a certain job, it can also have one ability from another job. And lastly, expect each character to switch jobs many times and learn lots of many abilities from many different jobs. This isn't Final Fantasy I where you can only have that job throughout the entire game. There are two types of abilities: I call them "command abilities" and "passive abilities." Command abilities have an exclamation point (!) in front of that ability, such as !Attack. This means that to use this ability, you must do manually activate it. Passive abilities are abilities that affect something about your character automatically, and they do not have (!) in front of the ability name. For example, take the ability Counter. When you are attacked, the ability Counter automatically kicks in and you attack that opponent without wasting a turn. It's a very good ability to have, especially for jobs that do mostly physical damage. Also, a passive ability can be an innate ability. Innate abilities can be passed on to Freelancer and Mime jobs. You might not know what that means right now, but in short, when you are a Freelancer or Mime, you inherit all innate abilities that you have learned from all mastered jobs that have them. For example, one of Ninja's innate abilities is Dual-Wield. As a Mime, you cannot wield two weapons by default. However, if you learned Dual-Wield as a Ninja, then as a Mime you inherit Dual-Wield. Thus, innate abilities are very powerful and should be learned! The annoying thing is that you have to master that job to learn its innate abilities. Note that not all passive abilities are innate, but this guide will help you know so don't worry! The four characters that you start out with, Bartz, Lenna, Galuf, and Faris, will be Freelancers. Freelancer is a job that does not have any abilities or innate abilities, exept of course, !Attack and !Items. Since you should be able to change into any other jobs yet, you should not have any inherited abilities from other jobs. I will post their naked stats (stats unchanged by inherited innate abilities or weapon/equipment) so you can choose which character should deal physical damage and which characters should cast spells. Note that Strength determines how much damage is dealt by the character, Agility determines how fast the "wait bar" fills, Stamina determines how much HP the character has, and Magic determines how much MP the character has and the effectiveness/power of his/her spells. Name Strength Agility Stamina Magic -------------------------------------------------------- Bartz 28 25 27 25 Lenna 25 26 25 28 Galuf/Krile 27/25 24/28 28/24 24/27 Faris 27 27 26 26 Wait, who's Krile you say? Well, about halfway through the game, Krile will replace Galuf and Krile will gain all of Galuf's abilities and job experience. Keep this in mind so try to level up jobs that will benefit Krile in the future too. If you noticed, Bartz have high Strength and low Magic, meaning he is suitable to be a warrior of some kind. Lenna's high Magic automatically qualifies her to be a pure caster. Faris is has average stats overall, so she can be half warrior and half caster. However, Galuf and Krile's stats are extremely different. Since you obviously cannot just make Galuf a caster and wait for half of the game, only master one warrior job for Galuf then start working on some casting jobs. You could also level up warrior on Galuf while caster on Faris, then switch around level up caster on Galuf anticipating Krile and level up warrior on Faris. Note that these numbers for statistics can be changed. Each job has stat modifications to each of the character's stats. For example, Summoner will have -10 Strength, -1 Agility, -1 Stamina, and +33 Magic. If Lenna were to become a Summoner, then her stats would be 15 Strength, 25 Agility, 24 Stamina, and 61 Magic. By the way, the highest positive stat modification for each stat will be passed on to Mime and Freelancer jobs also, but only if you master that job. Mastering a job means you learn every abilities of that job. If you learn all of Summoner's abilities, then when you switch to Freelancer, your stats will not suffer any negative modifications while you mantain the +33 Magic! If you master two jobs that has +Magic, the job with the higher +Magic will be inherited. If you master White Mage (+25 Magic) and Summoner, then you will get the +33 Magic from Summoner. This does not mean that you should not master White Mage on Lenna! Remember that the Freelancer job doesn't have a default ability, so you have two empty ability slots. This means that you can use both White magic (to the highest level) and Summoning magic (to the highest level) if you master both jobs and switch to a Freelancer. Also, think about it. You will be using the +33 Magic from mastering Summoner, so your White magic becomes stronger! There are two types of leveling in this game. One is total level of the character, which determines how much HP and MP that character has. What job you have also affects HP and MP, but in ratios. When you defeat monsters, you receive two types of experience, EXP and ABP. EXP stands for experience, and it contributes to your total level. ABP is Ability points, and it contributes to your job level. Most monsters give both EXP and ABP, but some monsters give only ABP. If you don't want the game to get too easy, then find monsters that give low EXP and high ABP. Trust me, there are monsters who give that. Now, let's go on to the different jobs. I classify all of the jobs into four different categories: Warrior jobs, Casting jobs, Utility jobs, and Special jobs. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Warrior jobs: Knight, Dragoon, Samurai, Berserker, and Mystic Knight Casting jobs: White Mage, Black Mage, Time Mage, Summoner, Blue Mage, Red Mage Utility jobs: Monk, Thief, Ninja, Ranger, Beastmaster, Chemist, Geomancer, Bard, Dancer Other jobs: Mime, Freelancer ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Warriors can "tank," or wear the best defensive armor in the game. They can also deal good physical damage. Casters cast spells to heal, damage, or buff. Buffing means casting Haste, Shell, etc... that protects your team. Utility jobs are jobs that you do not want to have permanently, but one or two or their abilities are very good and you might just want to learn them then switch back to Warrior/Casting jobs. Mime and Freelancer are insteresting jobs. As explained above, Freelancers have two ability slots and can inherit innate abilities and highest positive stat. They can also use any equipment and weapon, making them a good "final switch" at the end of the game for Bartz and Faris. Mimes can also inherit innate abilities and highest positive stat, but they don't have the default !Attack and !Items but rather !Mime. This means that they have not two but three empty ability slots. However, they have limitations to equipment and weapon. The three empty ability slots fit perfectly for Casters like Lenna and Krile since they can be three jobs in one and will not be affected by the weapons restriction. Plan out what jobs each character will have beforehand. You will not acquire all of the jobs are the same time, but rather, you will get a few at a time. Here are the order that you will get them: ---------------------------------------------------------- 1) Freelancer 2) Knight, Monk, Thief, White Mage, Black Mage, Blue Mage 3) Berserker, Mystic Knight, Time Mage, Summoner, Red Mage 4) Ninja, Beastmaster, Geomancer 5) Ranger, Bard 6) Dragoon, Samurai, Chemist, Dancer 7) Mime ---------------------------------------------------------- Note: An asterisk after an ability means that it's one of the more useful ones. When in a boss fight, think about integrating this ability somehow, for it will help to use as many of them as possible. When I say that Galuf should master a job, then he should do it as soon as possible (before Krile takes over). When I say that Galuf/Krile should master a job, then Krile should ultimately master that job, no matter as who and when. ============ Warrior Jobs ============ These jobs are the easiest to play since you can just select !Attack and deal damage. They can take in lots of damage and deal lots of damage. Therefore, Bartz and Faris should master at least two warrior jobs, and Galuf should at least master one. No matter how many warrior jobs you decide to master, Knight should be one for all three characters. ------ Knight ------ Default Ability: !Guard Innate Abilities: Cover Can use: Daggers, Light Swords, Heavy Swords, Shields Affects: Strength: +23 Agility: +1 Stamina: +20 Magic: -14 Total ABP to master: 690 Characters recommended to master: Bartz, Galuf, Faris Usefulness: 9 Knights are very good early on in the game because they can use the best weapons available. Also, they have Two-Handed, an ability that sacrifices the defense and evasion for double damage. Later on in the game when Dual-Wield and !Rapid Fire is available, Two-Handed becomes weaker. This doesn't mean that Knight is useless later on. Having the Equip Swords ability as a Mime or Freelancer gives that character +23 Strength. Also, !Guard also have some strategic uses. Level 1: Cover, ABP needed: 10 "Take hits for allies who cannot protect themselves." This is a good passive ability if you keep your knight at high health. The knight will jump in front of another character who is near fainting (kneeling over) and take the damage instead. Cover is automatically activated, and it is also an innate ability. Level 2: !Guard*, ABP needed: 30 "Completely absorb a direct physical attack." Guard is very powerful. You need to use !Guard (meaning you cannot attack with that Knight) and the Knight will jump in front of *all* kneeling characters, taking 0 damage. The catch is, of course, the Knight cannot attack, and that the character he/she's guarding has to be kneeling over. This is not so great earlier on since the Knight is probably the character that does the highest damage, but it can be of great use later on. I think that the Golem summon is better, although !Guard lasts infinitely. Level 3: Two-Handed*, ABP needed: 50 "Use both hands when wielding swords, katanas, or axes to inflict twice the damage." This ability is very useful earlier on. You cannot hold a shield while using Two-Handed, but you deal double the damage. As explain above, this ability is really good for the first half of the game, but is inferior to Dual-Wield + !Rapid Fire or just !Rapid Fire alone. Two knights using Two-Handed earlier on will cause major damage. Level 4: Equip Shields, ABP needed: 100 "Gain the ability to equip shields." People hate this ability for some reason, but for me, it's alright. Of course, it's not the best and I don't use it often, but it has its uses. The main use is to give it to a mage if you're fighting random battles to level up and you don't want that mage to lose HP as quickly. Level 5: Equip Armor, ABP needed: 150 "Gain the ability to wear armor." This is also almost useless based on most people. It can be used for the same purpose as the ability mentioned above. Based on what would give you more defense, choose between Equip Shields or Equip Armor. Level 6: Equip Swords*, ABP needed: 350, (+23 Strength) "Gain the ability to wield swords." Most people hate this ability too, since it's pointless. Not really. If you are planning to use Mime instead of Freelancer at the end of the game, (Mime cannot use Swords), then this is a good ability. That's not why this ability is great. As a Freelancer, you can use Equip Swords to gain +23 Strength! There's an ability that gives better stats than Equip Swords, but if you don't have it, then Equip Swords is fine. In fact, in my fight with the last boss, Bartz had !Mime, Barehanded, Equip Swords, and !Rapid Fire. ------- Dragoon ------- Default Ability: !Jump Innate Abilities: None Can use: Daggers, Spears, Shields Affects: Strength: +18 Agility: +5 Stamina: +15 Magic: -12 Total ABP to master: 600 Characters recommended to master: None Usefulness: 2 Well, this job is...not very useful! While writing this guide, I noticed that none of my characters have mastered the Dragoon job so I cannot get the in-game description for some of its abilities. There's nothing great about this job really except Equip Lances, which is a weaker Equip Swords. Level 1: !Jump, ABP needed: 50 "Jump to deliver a powerful attack from above. Power is doubled when a spear is equiped." You are a warrior. You're supposed to tank. Why Jump and let your casters take damage? This is really a useless ability unless there is a fight where you *only* need physical attacks. Trust me, there isn't many. Level 2: !Lance, ABP needed: 150 "Strike with dragoon powers to drain HP and MP. It's a decent attack if you don't want to waste MP. I haven't found uses to this yet (it's not very hard to give someone !White or use Ethers) but some conservative people might. Level 3: Equip Lances*, ABP needed: 400, (+18 Strength) "Gain the ability to wield spears." When you have beaten the game and want to level up to level 99, then this is a good skill. There is only one Excalibur, so you can't afford for everyone having Equip Swords. Equip Katanas is next in line, and then Equip Axes. As a last resort (your fourth character), use Equip Lances. ------- Samurai ------- Default Ability: !Zeninage Innate Abilties: Shirahadori Can use: Daggers, Katanas, Shields Affects: Strength: +19 Agility: +2 Stamina: +19 Magic: -12 Total ABP to master: 820 Characters recommended to master: Bartz, Lenna, Galuf/Krile, Faris Usefulness: 10 Yes, I would prefer that all characters master this job. Shirahadori kicks some seriously butt as an innate ability, since it you have a better chance at dodging physical attacks without wasting an ability slot. Also, !Zeninage does a huge amount of damage (but should be used sparingly, such as only on bosses) and !Iainuki works very well to a certain extent. Note that these abilities are *not* translations; Square Enix prefered to keep Samurai's abilities' respected Japanese names. Level 1: !Mineuchi, ABP needed: 10 "Stun enemies by smacking them with a blade's dull side." The "stun enemies" part is very slim, and it does regular damage. While a small percentage of stunning can sometimes help, if you are a Mime, then you should use !Rapid Fire anyways. In some weird case if you don't have !Rapid Fire, then use !Mineuchi. Level 2: !Zeninage*, ABP needed: 30 "Damage all enemies by tossing gil." I'm not sure how tossing money would do damage, but this ability does a lot of damage, and I mean a lot. In random encounters, one usage of !Zeninage can probably one hit KO all of the monsters. However, unless you have lots of extra money, you shouldn't use this unless on bosses. Later on in the game when you have lots of money that you don't know what to do with, then this ability might be less costly than buying Shurikens and use !Throw. Level 3: Shirahadori*, ABP needed: 60 "Catch and stop enemy attacks." Like explained above, having this ability makes the character dodge more physical attacks. It is a great innate ability, and the main reason why I wanted every character to master this job. Don't use it at all, since it is not worth it unless a Mime or Freelancer automatically inherits it. In my opinion, it is one of the best abilities in the game. Level 4: Equip Katanas*, ABP needed: 180, (+19 Strength) "Gain the ability to wield Katanas." Just like Equip Swords, this is a good ability to use on a Mime to Increase the damage output. It doesn't give as much Strength as Equip Swords, but Katanas do more critical hits, so in the end it balances out and is on par with Equip Swords. Level 5: !Iainuki, ABP needed: 540 "Unleash an attack that hits all enemies in an instant." The in-game description of this attack is not very clear. !Iainuki *tries* to hit all enemies, but usually, it hits about 75% of the enemies. But the good thing about this ability is that it's a one hit KO if an enemi is hit. You need to charge up though, and most monsters at the end of the game is immune to it. Still, it has its uses, as in the Phoenix Tower. --------- Berserker --------- Default Ability: None Innate Abilities: None Can use: Daggers, Axes, Hammers, Shields Affects: Strength: +21 Agility: -9 Stamina: +25 Magic: -23 Total ABP to master: 500 Characters recommended to master: Bartz *or* Faris, but only as a novelty Usefulness: 3 This job is much like the Dragoon job. It's almost useless. It doesn't have a default ability because you cannot control it. However, because you are "berserking," your damage is randomnly boosted by 25% to 50%. Technically, this job' default ability is Berserk, but since a default ability cannot be passive, it's just infered that a Berserker is uncontrollable. Level 1: Berserk, ABP needed: 100 "Continuously attack until all enemies have been defeated." We master Berserker for Equip Axes, not the other way around. Whoever would want another job to go berserk? If you want more damage, just use !Rapid Fire. Level 2: Equip Axes*, ABP needed: 400, (+21 Strength) "Gain the ability to wield axes." This is the only reason why Berserk has any usefulness at all. Axes do good damage with !Rapid Fire and it gives good Strength also. As explained before, Dual Wield + Equip Swords/Katanas + !Rapid Fire will deplete your weapon supply quickly so Axes/Lances are the way to go. Note that you can also wield hammers also, not just axes. ------------- Mystic Knight ------------- Default Ability: !Spellblade Innate Abilities: Magic Shell Can use: Daggers, Light Swords, Shields Affects: Strength: +14 Agility: +14 Stamina: +14 Magic: +1 Total ABP to master: 680 Characters recommended to master: Bartz, Faris Usefulness: 6 Lots people like this job, saying how it replaces Black magic, but I don't think so at all. First of all, you need to actually cast a !Spellblade spell to activate the magic, which means a round of doing nothing. During that time, a Black mage could critically injure or possibly one hit KO the enemies. Second, you can't target your sword to multiple targets like Black spells. Finally, your sword spells will be weak since Mystic Knight only gives +1 Magic, not +25 to +33 Magic like caster jobs. However, I never said that this job is not good. It's good, but people do not know how to use it. This job is only good for boss fights since they last longer and your sword spells can actually work before the enemy faints. For the last boss, !Spellblade will definately wreck it, if used right. However, it is not needed, and that is why it deserves a 6 in usefulness. You won't really use this job except for some bosses. The most useful !Spellblade spell in my opinion is Drain, since you heal how much damage you did with your weapon, which should be a lot. Note: !Spellblade + !Rapid Fire = excellent damage! Level 1: Magic Shell, ABP needed: 10 "Automatically casts Shell when near KO." This is completely useless for a couple of reasons. First of all, the Mystic Knight casts Shell when he/she is kneeling over. What's the point of reducing magic damage, when you will faint anyways? Second, you will have the Guardian ability from a Blue Mage anyways, which casts Protect, Shell, and Float on your whole party at once. Isn't that much better? Level 2: !Spellblade, ABP needed: 20, (+14 Strength, +1 Magic) (Spells: Fire, Blizzard, Thunder) "Enchant weapons with different magics." Not much to comment about here. It's good against the early bosses and espers (Summoning monsters) since they're usually weak against an element. Level 3: !Spellblade, ABP needed: 30, (+14 Strength, +1 Magic) (Spells: Poison, Silence, Sleep) "Enchant weapons with different magics." This is actually not bad, especially Silence, but generally, it's not really used. Level 4: !Spellblade, ABP needed: 50, (+14 Strength, +1 Magic) (Spells: Fira, Blizzara, Thundara) "Enchant weapons with different magics." This is the same as the first !Spellblade. It's useful for bosses with a weakness. Level 5: !Spellblade, ABP needed: 70, (+14 Strength, +1 Magic) (Spells: Drain*, Break*, Bio*) "Enchant weapons with different magics." This is where this job gets good. Did you know that casting Drain on a sword then use !Rapid Fire allows you to probably heal all of your HP? Did you know that casting Break on a sword then use !Rapid Fire means using Break four times in a row and probably one of them being successful? Also, Bio does more damage than Fira, Blizzara, and Thundara, *and* your enemies' HP decreases steadily after using Bio. !Rapid Fire lets you inflict possibly more than one enemy with Bio. Level 6: !Spellblade, ABP needed: 100, (+14 Strength, +1 Magic) (Spells: Firaga, Blizzaga, Thundaga) "Enchant weapons with different magics." There's nothing special here, except more damage from elemental spells. Actually, it's extremely powerful since it's also used with sword damage. Level 7: !Spellblade, ABP needed: 400, (+14 Strength, +1 Magic) (Spells: Holy*, Flare*, Osmose) "Enchant weapons with different magics." The reason I said "there's nothing special here" for the previous level is because I use Holy or Flare instead. These do good damage and is very useful for the last boss. You won't use Osmose unless your warrior is also a White Mage (which people do arrange that). This is mainly the reason for both Bartz and Faria mastering this class. ============ Casting Jobs ============ These jobs uses magic and MP to deal damage, heal your party, and cause other status changes to both sides. Of course, spells are essential for surviving the game, since they don't miss, can target many enemies (and allies), and do more damage than weapons. However, casters have no HP and can wear light armor, which means they will faint faster. This is why they must be in the back row to reduce damage dealt to them. Lenna and Krile must master at least 3 casting jobs, and Mimes are most suited for them with three open ability slots. Like !Rapid Fire is for warriors, !Dualcast is for casters. !Dualcast allows you to cast two spells per round. No matter what, always have a White Mage nearby for healing, and a Summoner and Time Mage is also recommended, even over a Black Mage. Other than that, a Blue Mage is also highly recommended. Basically, each of the casting jobs has to be mastered by at least Lenna, Krile, or Faris. Note: If you don't know yet, there are three stages for some spells. The first stage (least powerful) has no suffix, the second stage has the -a suffix, and the third stage (most powerful) has the -aga suffix. Some examples are Cure (Cure, Cura, Curaga) and Fire (Fire, Fira, Firaga). Curaga heals the most HP and Firaga is the most damaging fire Black magic. More Notes: Magic is not free. You can't just level a White Mage to level six and learn Holy. White, Black, and Time magic you can get at shops but some you can get in chests and such. Summon and Blue magic are quite different, You have to find and defeat the monster you want to summon to be able to summon them, and you have to "learn" Blue magic by having the spell casted on you. The level are there in case you wants to equip it. Let's say you equip !White to a Knight. If you want to use Cure then that Knight has to be a level 3 White Mage also. That's why there are levels. A White Mage can use Holy (assuming that you have the spell) without being a level 6 White Mage. ---------- White Mage ---------- Default Ability: !White (all spells) Innate Abilities: None Can use: Staves Affects: Strength: -7 Agility: +1 Stamina: No change Magic: +25 Total ABP to master: 580 Characters recommended to master: Lenna and/or Krile Usefulness: 10 White Mages are *essential* to a team. They're healers who keep your warriors healthy so they can still deal damage. Lenna can master this class instead of Krile because you get Lenna first, and you need a White Mage as soon as possible. Let Krile use damage spells (not so needed) and Lenna use healing spells. It always works out for me. Even though I recommended only Lenna to master this class, please have at least two (yes, you heard that right) other characters at level 5 !White for Curaga, Reflect, and Berserk. You can't just have one healer. If you're doing random battles and need to heal, then use those warrior's MP by switching their ability to !White so your main healer doesn't run out of MP quickly. Note that cure spells will damage zombies. Keep this in mind. Level 1: !White*, ABP needed: 10, (+25 Magic) Spells: Cure*: "Restores HP." 4 MP Libra: "Determines target's HP, MP, and weakness." 1 MP Poisona*: "Cures Poison." 2 MP "Perform white magic." Cure really sucks earlier on because of low MP. You can use cure about four or five times before your White Mage runs out of MP. That's why most people use the inn. Poisona, on the other hand, is a different story. It helps you with not having to buy 50 antidotes or run back to an inn. Level 2: !White*, ABP needed: 20, (+25 Magic) Spells: Silence: "Causes silence." 2 MP Protect*: "Reduces physical damage received." 3 MP Mini: "Inflicts mini on target or restores state." 5 MP "Perform white magic." Yes, you get an offensive spell, mini. However, that's nothing to get too excited about. Silence actually works on some bosses, and cast Protect on your casters in boss fights to prevent them from losing HP quickly. Mini is, er, special. It doesn't work in boss battles and costs way too much MP in random battles. Just cast Berserk since it's a safer bet. Level 3: !White*, ABP needed: 30, (+25 Magic) Spells: Cura*: "Restores HP." 9 MP Raise*: "Revives target." 29 MP Confuse: "Causes confusion." 4 MP "Perform white magic." Cura is a good upgrade from Cure, and Raise works out of battle. The reason it doesn't work in battle is that Raise revives a character but revives them with low HP and they could faint again easily. Confuse is good if you're fighting five enemies at once and try to get one to turn against the other four or itself. Level 4: !White*, ABP needed: 50, (+25 Magic) Spells: Blink*: "Creates illusion of one's self to confuse the enemy." 6 MP Shell*: "Reduces magic damage received." 5 MP Esuna*: "Cures all status effects except KO and zombie." 10 MP "Perform white magic." Esuna is a must since it replaces Antidotes, Eye Drops, Gold Needles, Maiden's Kisses, and Mallets, so you don't have to carry around 50 of each item. Shell is useful since bosses tend to do more magical damage than physical damage. Blink is...useful but generally not against early bosses. Level 5: !White*, ABP needed: 70, (+25 Magic) Spells: Curaga*: "Restores HP." 27 MP Reflect: "Reflects magic cast at target." 15 MP Berserk*: "Causes berserk status." 8 MP "Perform white magic." Curaga looks expensive to use, but it restores almost all HP to one character or about 1000 HP to all four characters. Reflect is good against bosses who cast very damaging spells since you can reflect their spells back at them. Another solution to them is Berserk. Berserk makes them Berserkers, meaning they only attack and not cast spells. Surprisingly, many bosses are not immune to Berserk, and it can be used with !Guard or the Golem summon for great effect. Level 6: !White, ABP needed: 100, (+25 Magic) Spells: Arise*: "Revives and restores full HP to a single target." 50 MP Holy*: "Causes Holy damage." 20 MP Dispel*: "Dispels magic effects." 12 MP "Perform white magic." Arise is expensive to use indeed, but it is needed against the later bosses. Holy does a lot of damage while being cheap to use. It does almost as much damage as Flare while only using 20 MP. I've never really used Dispel much, but people tells me that many bosses are not immune to this spell. Level 7: MP+10%, ABP needed: 300 "Increase maximum MP by 10%" This ability is not worth it at all. You can use Elixers, level up, or well, I've never not had enough MP to defeat a boss. ---------- Black Mage ---------- Default Ability: !Black (all spells) Innate Abilities: None Can use: Knives, Rods Affects: Strength: -9 Agility: No Change Stamina: -2 Magic: +31 Total ABP to master: 680 Characters recommended to master: None Usefulness: 7 Yeah, Black Mages are not very useful in this game. I did say before that Mystic Knights don't replace Black Mages. However, the Summoner and Time Mage jobs do. The only thing I don't like about Black Mages is the fact that Flare cannot do melee damage. This means that unlike Firaga (or any other Black Mage spells), there is not an option to let it hit all enemies on screen. Bio, Firaga, Blizzaga, and Thundaga still does devastating damage though; it's just that the most damaging Black magic is disappointing. You might want Lenna gaining some levels in Black Mage earlier on, but no one has to master this job. I said before that Lenna is fit to deal magic damage, but it's best if she masters Summoner and Time Mage instead. Level 1: !Black*, ABP needed: 10, (+31 Magic) Spells: Fire*: "Deals fire damage." 4 MP Blizzard*: "Deals ice damage." 4 MP Thunder*: "Deals lightning damage." 4 MP "Perform black magic." These are basic elemental spells that can help early on in the game. However, a Summoner's Ifrit, Shiva, and Ramuh summons are way better candidates for elemental damage. Level 2: !Black, ABP needed: 20, (+31 Magic) Spells: Poison: "Causes poison." 2 MP Sleep*: "Causes sleep." 3 MP Toad: "Inflicts toad on target or restores state." 8 MP "Perform black magic." I never used these spells much mainly becuase do not hit bosses. Sleep has the potential to be useful if you're not at a high enough level to defeat mobs on random encounters. Toad isn't worth 8 MP, but it's good to have it to reverse the effect if you don't want to switch to a White Mage. Level 3: !Black, ABP needed: 30, (+31 Magic) Spells: Fira*: "Deals fire damage." 10 MP Blizzara*: "Deals ice damage." 10 MP Thundara*: "Deals lightning damage." 10 MP "Perform black magic." Again, more elemental spells. They're not really special since we haven't really reached where Black magic could be useful yet. Still, if you don't have a summon of an element, then these level 3 spells could prove to be useful. Level 4: !Black, ABP needed: 50, (+31 Magic) Spells: Drain*: "Absorbs HP." 13 MP Break: "Causes petrification." 15 MP Bio*: "Releases a virus that deals damage." 16 MP "Perform black magic." I believe that this is the best level of Black magic if you're not very far into the game. Bio does major damage plus the victim's HP gradually decreases as a lingering effect. There are more powerful summons and Blue magic, but it is easier to get Bio. Drain doesn't heal enough HP for its MP use, but it could be useful in a tight spot. Break is just terrible. Level 5: !Black, ABP needed: 70, (+31 Magic) Spells: Firaga*: "Deals fire damage." 25 MP Blizzaga*: "Deals ice damage." 25 MP Thundara*: "Deals lightning damage." 25 MP "Perform black magic." Here is when Black magic overpowers Ifrit Shiva, and Rumah. But you know, at this point of the game you are probably near the point of getting the Phoenix, Leviathan, and Bahamut summons. Level 6: !Black, ABP needed: 100, (+31 Magic) Spells: Flare*: "Deals damage by combustion." 39 MP Death: "Causes death." 29 MP Osmose: "Absorbs MP." 1 MP "Perform black magic." In truth, Flare is not terribly bad. It does major damage to boss fights that only has one boss. Before I really contradict myself, look at the MP cost. Yes, that's a lot of MP for targetting just one opponent. Holy does almost the same damage as Flare but costs only 20 MP. Death is really not worth it because it fails too much, and Osmose can be good except for the fact that most monsters have 0 MP. If you did decide to level up a Black mage, this is where you would stop and start to try to master any other mage job. There's really no point in the last level. Level 7: MP+30%, ABP needed: 400 "Increase maximum MP by 30%." Oh yay, what a cute way to spend 400 ABP. Really, this isn't worth it. --------- Time Mage --------- Default Ability: !Time (all spells) Innate Abilities: None Can use: Knives, Rods, Staves Affects: Strength: -5 Agility: +2 Stamina: -3 Magic: +24 Total ABP to master: 530 Characters recommended to master: Lenna and/or Krile Usefulness: 7 Time Mages buffs and debuffs, but they have one of the best damaging spells in the game, Meteor. Because of this, they go well with White Mages while giving them an offensive spell also. Also, Hastega casts Haste on the entire party, which is excellent. Slowga and Stop can really help on some bosses and minibosses. And finally, Float, Teleport, and Regen are good spells to have as convenience spells. Lenna is best suited to be both a White Mage and a Time Mage, but if Lenna is not your defensive caster, let your defensive caster, whoever he/she is, master the Time Mage job. Level 1: !Time*, ABP needed: 10, (+24 Magic) Spells: Speed: "Hastens the pace of the battle." 1 MP Slow*: "Slows the passing of time for one enemy." 3 MP Regen*: "Gradually restores HP." 3 MP "Perform time magic." There's nothing really special about the first level except for Slow. Slow works on many opponents, including some bosses. However, it only targets one opponent so right now it's good against minibosses and such. Speed is evil. It hastens the pace of the battle, which can be good if you know the game by heart and chances are if you're reading this guide, you don't. Regen is the same concept as Slow. It's not worth it for short fights but is good for long ones. Level 2: !Time*, ABP needed: 20, (+24 Magic) Spells: Mute: "Silences all allies and enemies." 3 MP Haste*: "Hastens the passing of time for one ally." 5 MP Float*: "Levitates target." 10 MP "Perform time magic." This level is great. First of all, Mute never misses but your party also gets silenced so there's really no point of casting it. Haste reduces your characters' wait time letting them act quicker, so it's a very important spell. Float is almost required for the game, since there are lava and mobs that quakes like crazy. Float makes your party immune to such spells. Level 3: !Time*, ABP needed: 30, (+24 Magic) Spells: Gravity: "Halves taret's HP." 9 MP Stop: "Causes time to stop, halting target's actions." 8 MP Teleport*: "Warps party out of dungeon or out of battle." 15 MP "Perform time magic." Teleport is very nice. Instead of walking all the way back up a dungeon, just cast Teleport. Gravity and Stop is...special. when it works, it's great, but it really doesn't work. In other words, it misses too much to be a bother. Level 4: !Time*, ABP needed: 50, (+24 Magic) Spells: Comet*: "Calls forth meteors that damage one enemy." 7 MP Slowga*: "Slows the passing of time for all enemies." 9 MP Return*: "Turn back time to the beginning of the battle." 1 MP "Perform time magic." This is a good level. First of all, you can do damage with Comet now, but it's random. It's not very random though, and plus I'm sure it's better than trying to hit with your staff in the back row. Slowga is really sweet since it casts Slow on all of your opponents. Return is also nice since it lets you retry a battle after messing up badly or resteal something that you failed to steal. However, the fun doesn't even end here. Level 5: !Time*, ABP needed: 70, (+24 Magic) Spells: Graviga: "Reduces target's HP to 1/8th of total HP." 18 MP Hastega*: "Hastens the passing of time for all allies." 15 MP Old: Causes old status." 4 MP "Perform time magic." Graviga suffers the same problem as Gravity--its accuracy isn't very good. Hastega is easily one of the most important spells for a Time Mage. Cast this at the beginning of a battle then Slowga to produce devastating effects. I'm not really sure what Old does, but judging from what it's done to me and its low MP cost, it doesn't do a lot. Level 6: !Time, ABP needed: 100, (+24 Magic) Spells: Meteor*: "Calls forth meteors that damage all enemies." 42 MP Quick*: "Stops the passing of time for all but the caster." 77 MP Banish: "Erases one enemy from the battlefield." 20 MP "Perform time magic." Banish isn't worth casting on easy opponents, and most hard opponents, especially bosses, are immune to it anyways. Quick is the most overpowered spell in the game. It may not mean much, but when combined with !Dualcast, you can serious cause some good damage. Meteor is just one of the best spells in the game. The Bahamut summon does more damage, but it costs 66 MP. The fact that I compared Meteor with the Bahamut summon should give you an idea of how powerful this spell is. Level 7: Equip Rods, ABP needed: 250 "Gain the ability to wield rods." Yeah, this is just another way to make it more expensive to master a job. -------- Summoner -------- Default Ability: !Summon (all spells) Innate Abilities: None Can use: Knives, Rods Affects: Strength: -10 Agility: -1 Stamina: -1 Magic: +33 Total ABP to master: 750 Characters recommended to master: Lenna, Krile Usefulness: 10 Summoner is the best casting job period. Well actually no, you need a White Mage no matter what, but you get the idea. Everything is available to them, both offensive and defensive, and their summons mostly hit all of your opponents, not just one. The only bad thing about this job is that you need to do some work to be able to summon various creatures. In other words, to get the Shiva summon, you have to do some side quest to obtain Shiva before you can summon Shiva, which can be a pain. You get basically better forms of damaging summon as you gradually advance in the game, so don't worry about that. What you do need to worry about is the Golem summon. It has a lot of HP and acts as a physical wall so your party members do not get it. Even though it only works for physical attacks, by the time it disappears, you will probably already set up Haste, Protect, Shell, Levitation, and Blink to everyone in your party. Note: I didn't put Lenna and/or Krile, but both for characters recommended to master. It's that good. Whether you're attacking or healing, you cannot go wrong with Summoner. Also, since Summoners have the highest Magic bonus, it will be passed on to Freelancer or Mime, so why not master it and benefit from the +33 Magic? Level 1: !Summon, ABP needed: 15, (+33 Magic) Spells: Chocobo*: "Summons Chocobo." 4 MP Sylph*: "Summons Sylph." 8 MP Remora: "Summons Remora." 2 MP "Summon magical beasts for aid." Yeah I know the ingame descriptions for summons aren't very descriptive at all, but that's what this guide is for, right? Well Chocobo is amazing highly damaging for earlier on in the game, but it only "kicks" one enemy. Sylph also damages one enemy, and the damage dealth to the enemy is divided in how many party members you have now and then heals you back with it. So basically you do 400 damage and if you have four party members, then each member gets 100 HP back. That's pretty cool. Remora is useless; it pretty much immobilizes the enemy but if when hit by an attack they regain movement. Level 2: !Summon, ABP needed: 30, (+33 Magic) Spells: Shiva*: "Summons Shiva." 10 MP Ramuh*: "Summons Ramuh." 12 MP Ifrit*: "Summons Ifrit." 11 MP "Summon magical beasts for aid." There are the three elemental summons and they all hit all enemies. They don't suck at the end, because their power increases as you level up. That's right, they start out at Fira in the beginning and the same spell becomes Firaga in the end. This makes them pretty useful, if you can find where to obtain them. Of course, Shiva does ice damage, Ramuh does lightning damage, and Ifrit does fire damage. I'm not sure if a summon this level has higher base damage than other summons, or if the different MP costs are just for show. Either way, do not miss these summons. They're not Remora. Also look, Black Mage's -aga spells cost 25 MP, not 10-12 MP. Level 3: !Summon, ABP needed: 45, (+33 Magic) Spells: Titan*: "Summons Titan." 25 MP Golem*: "Summons Golem." 18 MP Catoblepas: "Summons Catoblepas." 33 MP "Summon magical beasts for aid." This is probably the best utility level for summon magic. Titan, while costing a lot of MP, does a lot of earth damage. That can be good or bad. The bad thing is you won't hurt flying enemies. The good thing is that's Titan's only weakness. The thing about Shiva is that if you have an ice enemy instead of damaging them it will heal them. With Titan, if they're not flying, you can be sure that they take damage. Golem I've said before. It absorbs a whole lot of physical damage. Catoblepas is just weird. It turns one enemy into stone, and I haven't really found a use for this yet. And why does it cost 33 MP to summon? Level 4: !Summon, ABP needed: 60, (+33 Magic) Spells: Carbuncle: "Summons Carbuncle." 45 MP Syldra*: "Summons Syldra." 32 MP Odin: "Summons Odin." 48 MP "Summon magical beasts for aid." Well this level has one good thing, and it's Syldra. Carbuncle casts Reflect on the whole party, but it sucks. True that you won't get hit by magic, but you can't heal yourself either. Try to avoid using this unless you know that your opponent casts purely spells. Syldra, I'm not sure what it is. The animation is a bolt of lightning follow by white snow, so it might count as lightning AND ice? Actually, I think it's only lightning because Phoenix is fire damage and Leviathan is water damage. Anyways, it does tons of damage, and it's a great summon. I've never been fond of Odin. The concept is you have a 50% chance of destroying all enemies on the battlefield. It's good, when it works. I like knowing that I will deal some damage 100% of the time rather than deal lots of damage 50% of the time, and also it costs a whopping 48 MP. Level 5: !Summon*, ABP needed: 100, (+33 Magic) Spells: Phoenix*: "Summons Phoenix." 99 MP Leviathan*: "Summons Leviathan." 39 MP Bahamut*: "Summons Bahamut." 66 MP "Summon magical beasts for aid." Ah, here comes the true power of the Summoner job. Phoenix is quite costly so it can only be used in some situations. It deals devastating fire damage to all opponent AND revives one of your party members at full health. Don't use it often if you don't have a fallen party member, unless you want some quick powerful fire damage to finish off a fight. Leviathan is a very powerful summon that deals water damage to all enemies, and it's the strongest elemental damage out there. Bahamut is very powerful, dealing non-elemental damage to all enemies, but is also quite costly. Usually I just stick with Meteor (Time magic) or Leviathan unless it's the final boss. Level 6: !Call, ABP needed: 500 "Perform a random summon for 0 MP. Who knows who--or what--will come..." So it's exactly like the ingame description said. Call uses no MP but gives you a random summon. This is pretty good to use while leveling, but really nothing else unless you've ran out of MP with no Elixers and wanted a desperate attempt at calling Bahamut. People love this ability, but I don't. I just use !Rapid Fire (Ranger ability) while holding two weapons to hit eight time with 100% accuracy. --------- Blue Mage --------- Default Ability: !Blue (all spells) Innate Abilities: Learning Can use: Knives, Light Swords, Rods, Shields Affects: Strength: -8 Agility: +1 Stamina: +3 Magic: +23 Total ABP to master: 350 Characters recommended to master: Faris Usefulness: 7 I was hesitant to put Blue Mage as a casting job, because they are more utility than casting. Nevertheless, the job command is !Blue, which means they cast Blue magic, so I had to put them as a casting job. They are very useful, but again I gave it to Faris for a reason. They do have damage spells, but they are quite restrictive. Basically, they deal air and water damage, and the lack of elemental spells make them better off as a buffing and de-buffing class. Even though I said all that, they are excellent at buffing and debuffing. Since they don't really deal good damage nor heal, it's better to give it to Faris since he's well-rounded and could help pull out some Blue magic at the beginning of battle. They can also be an emergency healer, but again, it's quite a restrictive heal. And lastly, you have to learn these spells by an enemy casting the spell on you. This is the most annoying part about Blue Mages, and it is only through my second play- through that I was actually patient enough to employ this wonderful job. The reason this gets a seven is because you don't need a Blue Mage to get through the game. They just make the game that much easier with Mighty Guard and White Wind. Note: Many Blue Magic does not reply on the Magic stat, but rather other factors, as the user or enemy's vital statistics. Level 1: !Check, ABP needed: 10 "Check an enemy's HP." So yeah, this ability lets you see your chosen enemy's current HP over maximum HP. It's pretty sweet, because it's useless. Level 2: Learning*, ABP needed: 20 "Learn some monsters' special attacks." Seriously, be more specific in your translations! If you have this ability equipped you only learn monsters' "special attacks," meaning spells, if they hit you with that spell. This might sound boring, but Blue Mages do not have a pool of spells like other casting classes, and they can only gain spells by learning them. Level 3: !Blue*, ABP needed: 70, (23 Magic) "Perform blue magic." Yes I got lazy here. The truth is there are 33 Blue Magic spells and I'm not going to list them all, mostly because most of them are useless. If you really want to learn more about Blue Magic (trust me, I would have to write a separate guide for this job), then you can look at a Blue Magic guide. Anyways, assuming you can get the spells, the first spell that you're going to see if probably Goblin Punch. It's a pretty good spell, like the Chocobo summon, that is good at the beginning but are replaced by better spells in the end. Next is Aqua Breath, a very powerful water spell that could destroy in the desert. Then you have Aero, Aera, and Aeroga, the air spells. 1000 Needles deals 1000 damage to one enemy, and this could be good also. And for healing you have White Wind. This spells heals the whole party, but it depends on the Blue Mage's current HP. If you're at 4000 HP, and each member heals for 4000 HP. That's great, except for when you have 5 HP. And finally, we have the buffing and debuffing spells. Death Claw brings an enemy's HP down to double digits and it also paralyzes--talk about powerful. Dark Spark halves a target's level, meaning their attack, defense, etc... stats are also halved! Level 5 Death is a spell that defeats all opponents whose levels are a multiple of five. Of course if you're reading a walkthrough this spell might be more useful than it sounds. Mighty Guard is probably the strongest Blue Magic in my opinion. It casts Protect, Shell, and Levitate on all allies. When fighting a boss I usually open up with Mighty Guard on Faris while the Time Mage and White Mage uses other buffs. Level 4: !Scan "See enemy's level, HP, weakness, and current condition." This ability could be pretty good if you're up against a mini-boss or something, but usually just use a damaging spell. Blue Mages' damaging spells are air and water, and most likely few are resistant/immune to them. (Well that might be true but few are weak to them also.) It's pretty much there for people who write walkthroughs and that's it. -------- Red Mage -------- Default Ability: !Red (all spells) Innate Abilities: None Can use: Knives, Light Swords, Rods, Staves Affects: Strength: +8 Agility: +5 Stamina: -6 Magic: +8 Total ABP to master: 1159 Characters recommended to master: Lenna, Krile Usefulness: 10 Yes I'm not mistaken--Red Mages have a plus in Strength, not a minus. But that gives them only a mere plus eight in Magic. Let's face it; Red Magic sucks, and giving them a bonus of only eight in Magic makes them suck more. Why a ten a usefulness you ask? I said Red Magic sucks because they can use both White Magic and Black Magic, but only up to level three. This means you get Cura, a mediocre healing spell (that becomes bad because of the plus eight in Magic), Raise, which revives one of your party member to like 2 HP, and Fira, Blizzara, and Thundara, the mediocre elemental spells. Red Mages are good because of their flexibility early on in the game and because of their !Dualcast ability, which could be most easily mastered near the ending stages of the game. As you guessed, equipping this ability lets you cast two spells during the same turn. So to sum up everything, their abilities are good, but their bonuses and spells blows. Level 1: !Red, ABP needed: 20, (+8 Magic) Spells: Cure*: "Restores HP." 4 MP Libra: "Determines target's HP, MP, and weakness." 1 MP Poisona*: "Cures Poison." 2 MP Fire*: "Deals fire damage." 4 MP Blizzard*: "Deals ice damage." 4 MP Thunder*: "Deals lightning damage." 4 MP "Perform white or black spells." Note that while White and Black Mages only need 10 ABP while Red Mages need 20 ABP. Well at least Square Enix is trying very hard to balance things out. Anyways, these are the White Mages and Black Mages' first level spells, respectively, only they are weaker because of Red Mage's low magic bonus. It's important earlier on in the game to have variety so this is where Red Mages shine. Level 2: !Red, ABP needed: 40, (+8 Magic) Spells: Silence: "Causes silence." 2 MP Protect*: "Reduces physical damage received." 3 MP Mini: "Inflicts mini on target or restores state." 5 MP Poison: "Causes poison." 2 MP Sleep*: "Causes sleep." 3 MP Toad: "Inflicts toad on target or restores state." 8 MP "Perform white or black spells." So the Red Mage already stopped shining. The only thing good here is Protect and Sleep, so this level is pretty much useless. If you do want to level up your Red Mage some more, then: Level 3: !Red, ABP needed: 100, (+8 Magic) Spells: Cura*: "Restores HP." 9 MP Raise*: "Revives target." 29 MP Confuse: "Causes confusion." 4 MP Fira*: "Deals fire damage." 10 MP Blizzara*: "Deals ice damage." 10 MP Thundara*: "Deals lightning damage." 10 MP "Perform white or black spells." This is where the Red Mage completely stopped shining. This level is only good if you want to exploit a mini-boss or boss' weakness, or if you want to keep make a warrior a Red Mage and use Raise. The good thing about Red Mages is that they can still wield Light Swords, so they're good if you need an extra White or Black Mage for a short time. Level 4: !Dualcast*, ABP needed: 999 "Cast two spells back-to-back." Well don't spend time in the middle-game trying to get these 999 ABP. I don't think it's really worth it yet, and you likely don't have any casting jobs mastered yet. At the end though where random encounters can rack up 40 or so ABP, master this, and it is very very very useful to put on a Mime or Freelancer. This ability alone gives the Red Mage a ten for usefulness. Both Lenna and Krile should master this class later on. ============ Utility Jobs ============ Utility Jobs are jobs that are not entirely physical (could have high attack but low defense or vice versa) or be half physical and half magical (could have some fighting skills and some magic). What distinguishes this class from others is that while you might want to master them, you don't want to use them. This basically means that you might want one of their innate abilities or set them as your ability slot when situations arise but would not really want them was your primary job in a boss fight. ---- Monk ---- Default Ability: !Kick Innate Abilities: Barehanded, Counter Can use: None Affects: Strength: +26 Agility: +1 Stamina: +26 Magic: -23 Total ABP to master: 700 Characters recommended to master: Bartz, Faris Usefulness: 10 Monk is what I think one of the most useful class of all time. They have the best innate abilities, Barehanded and Counter, which I will go into detail later. They cannot wear shields or weapons, and can only wear light armor. They do have high HP, but I don't prefer to keep one in the front line. The reason is because their light armor really hurt them. They do very high damage, but later on in the game their damage, which still increases, becomes less popular due to abilities such as !Rapid Fire. While being useful earlier on with !Kick, !Chakra, and high damage output, their innate abilities are what really matters in the endgame. Also, since Monks have the highest Strength bonus, master this to carry their +26 Strength over to Freelancer or Mime. Level 1: !Focus, ABP needed: 15 "Focus energies for a hit with twice the attack power." You see this skill sucks. Hitting once per round doing regular damage is exactly the same as missing one round and hitting the other with double the damage. The only way I see this being useful is in a situation where for some reason the first hit would be detrimental in some way. Level 2: Barehanded*, ABP needed: 30, (+26 Strength) "Gain the same attack power as monks when unarmed." Now look exactly at what the ingame description says. You can hit like a monk AND gain 26 Strength? This is one of the best abilities in the game in my opinion and it's up there next to !Rapid Fire. For leveling usage, slap this on one of your mages and it does more damage than !Gaia. (We'll get to this later, but !Gaia is basically a way for casting classes to level up without the cost of MP.) For warrior classes, let's take Knight for example. They have +23 Strength, so if you slap on Barehanded their Strength will increase by 3. Note that bonuses of the same stat do not stack. However, let's take White mage. They have -7 Strength, but by using Barehanded, the character doesn't add 26 strength but rather replaces the -7 Strength with the +26 Strength. Extra damage is never bad. Of course once you get !Rapid Fire you don't need Barehanded, but it's still useful for casting jobs wanting to level. Level 3: !Chakra, ABP needed: 45 "Healing energies recover HP and cleanse the body of poison and darkness." Remember what I said about this skill being useful earlier on? It doesn't use MP, heals you without the help of a White Mage, and recovers from the Poison and Darkness status ailments. What's not to love? Well when your White Mage or Red Mage learns Cura then !Chakra isn't really useful anymore. Level 4: Counter*, ABP needed: 60 "Automatically counter when hit." This is one reason why you would want to stay as a Monk, but in my opinion you can get by with slapping this ability on another warrior class. If you haven't figured out yet, when you are hit with an attack you automatically counter with your own attack out of turn but you won't miss your next turn. It's quite useful, although for some bosses you might want to equip your warriors with Barehanded or a casting ability instead. Level 5: HP +10%, ABP needed: 100 "Increase maximum HP by 10%." It's nothing much but you'll have to get through this if you want to pass on Barehanded and Counter as innate abilities. Level 6: HP +20%, ABP needed: 150 "Increase maximum HP by 20%." This ability is great only if you compare it to the last ability. Level 7: HP +30%, ABP needed: 300 "Increase maximum HP by 30%." Seriously they're seriously short of ideas for monk or something. Why use this when you can slap on Barehanded or something? MP +10% is way better than HP +30%, and MP +10% sucks. That's how much this ability sucks. ----- Thief ----- Default Ability: !Steal Innate Abilities: Find Passages, Sprint, Vigilance Can use: Knives, Special Affects: Strength: +1 Agility: +16 Stamina: +2 Magic: -6 Total ABP to master: 635 Characters recommended to master: Bartz, Lenna, Galuf/Krile, Faris Usefulness: 8 Well it's not that you can't survive without a Thief, but you can Sprint, find hidden passages, and steal rare items which greatly benefits your playing experience. Stealing is not really required for anything, but if you do want to steal then you might want to change your job to a Thief instead of equipping the !Steal ability. For others such as finding passages, you can just equip Find Passages. Also, if you're hurt and need to find a town fast, then equip !Flee to escape quickly. Special weapons are weapons that do not have a weapon sprite on the left of it. Some examples are Rising Sun, Twin Lance, and Moonring Blade. Note: All characters need to master this job sooner or later. While no one in their right mind would run around fighting with a Thief, this job has the highest Agility bonus, meaning as Freelancers or Mimes the Agility bonus will be passed on. Trust me, all characters will want Thief's Agility bonus. Level 1: Find Passages*, ABP needed: 10 "Detect hidden passageways." This is very very very useful if you want to explore places or if you are not using a walkthrough. Hidden passages are not required to finish the game, but they usually contain rare items that you would not want to miss. Level 2: !Flee*, ABP needed: 20 "Quickly escape from battle. You may be unable to escape from some enemies." As explained above, !Flee escapes from combat right when you use it so it helps when you are either pissed off at an area or is hurt too badly. Don't worry about the last half of the ingame description. It basically means that !Flee won't work on bosses. Level 3: Sprint*, ABP needed: 30 "Hold down the B Button while pressing the +Control Pad to move twice as fast." This does exactly what the ingame description says. You only need one character to be a thief or to equip this ability to dash, and it can be any character. It's quite useful if you don't like the slow speed. Level 4: !Steal*, ABP needed: 50 "Steal treasure from an enemy." This is the best ability of a Thief if you are patient and it is useless if you just want to finish the game really fast. I recommend that you switch your job to Thief because Agility affects stealing success, and it is better to use the Thief's +16 Agility. Level 5: Vigilance, ABP needed: 75 "Prevent back attacks." This is a great skill. You won't get attacked from behind, messes up your formation, and let your enemy get the pre-emptive. However, it's not worth a slot in your list and it's better as an innate ability so just master Thief and wait until later. Level 6: !Mug*, ABP needed: 150 "Attack and steal from an enemy." This is !Steal but deals a little damage. It's not bad, and it is better than !Steal, but what's a little damage? If you want to use !Mug instead of !Steal, just remember to change your job to Thief also. Level 7: Artful Dodger, ABP needed: 300, (+16 Agility) "Gain the same speed and agility as a thief." This is like Equip Weapon and Barehanded, only you increase Speed instead of Strength. It's really useless, unless you want to...not use !Rapid Fire for some weird reason. Anyways, just master the Thief class and Freelancer and Mime will get the +16 Speed bonus anyways. ----- Ninja ----- Default Ability: !Throw Innate Abilities: First Strike, Dual-Wield Can use: Knives, Special Affects: Strength: +15 Agility: +14 Stamina: +3 Magic: -10 Total ABP to master: 690 Characters recommended to master: Bartz, Faris Usefulness: 8 Ninjas are slower and stronger thieves. In fact, physically, they're stronger than Warriors while sacrificing defense. Having two less Agility than Thieves, Ninjas have fourteen more Strength and a bit more Stamina. They can't steal, but they can throw (especially shurikens) that does unbelievable damage and of course, then can attack twice while wielding two weapons. Having a Ninja around will let you get more pre-emptive strikes and the Ninja will attack before the Warriors. If you find that they are to weak for a certain enemy, then you can put them in the back row. Since they can use special weapons, they can equip items such as Moonring Blade and not miss out on damage. They're not as useful as Thief's !Steal or Agility bonus, but they do have Dual-Wield and the ability to deal massive damage. Level 1: !Smoke*, ABP needed: 10 "Use the confusion of a smoke bomb to escape from most enemies without them even noticing." This is exactly like Thief's !Flee command, and you cannot !Smoke bosses. Since Ninja's Agility is high, you can probably use this skill before any real damage hapens. Level 2: !Image, ABP needed: 30 "Create illusions to absorb two direct physical attacks." This is also a good trick if you don't have Golem yet. Turn everyone into a ninja and use !Image when facing a very physically powerful enemy. If used with only one Ninja, then it might just be a waste of time. Level 3: First Strike, ABP needed: 50 "Increase the chances of having the first attack." This is exactly opposite from Thief's Caution but it has the same usefulness. Like Caution, it is a fun skill to have, but you only need one Ninja in the party and I would recommend you not waste a slot with this but master Ninja so it can be passed on as an innate ability. Level 4: !Throw*, ABP needed: 150 "Toss weapons at enemies. Scrolls and shurikens can be thrown as well." Wow his is overpowering. What shurikens' damage go to four digits as you use them against bosses. You can also throw useless weapons instead of selling them for almost as high damage. Level 5: Dual-Wield*, ABP needed: 450 "Carry, and attack with, a weaopn in each hand. Bows and harps cannot be dual-wielded." A weapon in each hand means you hit normally with one weapon then take your turn again and attack with your other weapon. Combine this with !Rapid Fire and you'll be quadrupling your damage. This skill rocks. ------ Ranger ------ Default Ability: !Aim Innate Abilities: None Can use: Knives, Bows Affects: Strength: +16 Agility: +12 Stamina: +1 Magic: -5 Total ABP to master: 600 Characters recommended to master: Bartz, Lenna, Galuf/Krile, Faris Usefulness: 10 This class has two of the three abilities casters love because these three abilities enable the mage to do high physical damage without using MP. If you haven't noticed yet, weapons do less damage in the back row, and casters also have less damaging weapons. Since casters have low HP, you really want to put them in the back row, and the combination of sucky weapons and being in the back row makes casters do really low damage. Two of the skills that try to solve this problem is EqBow and !Rapid Fire. Even though the other two abilities aren't very useful, EqBow and !Rapid Fire are so good that Rangers deserve a 10 in usefulness and should be mastered by all characters. Level 1: !Animals, ABP needed: 15 "Gain the aid of woodland friends." This ability really doesn't do anything and you're better off attacking or aiming with a bow. Seriously, it summons pathetic creatures that do very low damage or heal your HP a little. Just attack normally and you would be better off. Level 2: !Aim, ABP needed: 45 "Raise the accuracy of attacks." It's probably not worth it to equip this ability but if you are leveling up a ranger, then you should use this over normally attacking. You do not lose any damage by using !Aim, and it will always hit against the usual enemies. It sounds good, but after you master ranger it is really useless. Level 3: Equip Bows*, ABP needed: 135, (+16 Strength, +12 Agility) "Gain the ability to equip bows." Bows are wonderful weapons. They do pretty good damage and do full damage from the back row. This means that you can slap this ability on a caster if you have a good bow and the caster will not just sit there and be almost useless in random encounters. Level 4: !Rapid Fire*, ABP needed: 405 "Perform four weaker attacks at once." This ability is in my opinion the strongest in this game. The weaker attacks means that it will do half of what it does normally. Since it hits for four times, it will roughly do twice as much as attacking regularly. The good thing is that it never misses. I am not sure if this was really intended (since it doesn't say it in the in-game description) but it makes this ability the ability to have. Note that it does hit random enemies, but that shouldn't matter unless you're fighting two minibosses. With Dual-Wield, !Rapid Fire can attack eight times with 100% accuracy. Depending on which weapons are available, casters should consider using Equip Bows or !Rapid Fire to be more useful overall. ----------- Beastmaster ----------- Default Ability: !Catch/!Free Innate Abilities: None Can use: Knives, Whips Affects: Strength: +13 Agility: +1 Stamina: +8 Magic: -3 Total ABP to master: 460 Characters recommended to master: None Usefulness: 7 Beastmaster is a truly opinional job or vital job depending on how you play the game. If you have a Blue Mage, then you will really need this class unless you get very lucky, which does not happen that often. This class has the ability to prevent an enemy from attacking, control that enemy, and catching an enemy. The true gem of this class is to control an enemy then forcing it to use an attack on a character with Learning equipped. !Catch is really not needed at all and useless in boss fights, so no character needs to master Beastmaster but rather one should have the !Control ability. Level 1: !Calm, ABP needed: 10 "Calm magic beasts." In general it is best to avoid this ability since it works less than !Control. !Calm prevents an enemy to attack one or two turns with too low accuracy to be depended on. Level 2: !Control*, ABP needed: 50 "Take control of a monster." So this ability is used to control an enemy (including its attacks). You can use this ability to force your enemies to attack each other or as mentioned above, you can also use it to grant your Blue Mage an ability. An enemy will stay under your control until it is hit by a physical attack or if it hits someone with a physical attack. Therefore, you should use magic if you want to use a controlled enemy or quickly wipe off the other enemies before controlling one to help out your Blue Mage. I never really used !Control on random encounters since it takes too long, so it really is overshadowed by !Rapid Fire for example. It is an excellent ability when you need it, can be used effectively if you want to, but is not very convenient to be used regularly. Level 3: Equip Whips, ABP needed: 100, (+13 Strength, +1 Agility) "Gain the ability to wield whips." This is a very good ability that is almost useless. It is similar to Equip Bows, being able to attack in the back row with decent damage. However, no matter how useful it is, Equip Bows is still better and should be used instead of Equip Whips since Equip Bows gives more Strength and Agility. Level 4: !Catch, ABP needed: 300 "Capture a weakened monster." This ability basically captures an enemy (that has to have less than 1/8 of its max HP) and can then be freed, using a random ability before leaving the battlefield. If this makes no sense to you, then you do not have to worry since it is not a good ability. I have not found a way to use this ability regularly yet, so you are better off just slaying your enemies instead of trying to catch them. ------- Chemist ------- Default Ability: !Drink Innate Abilities: Pharmacology Can use: Knives, Staves Affects: Strength: +2 Agility: +3 Stamina: +6 Magic: -4 Total ABP to master: 630 Characters recommended to master: None Usefulness: 5 To be simple, this job really sucks. Chemists are just useless having only one useful ability because it is an innate ability and it never hurts to pass down another innate ability. Other than that, there's really no point of having or mastering a Chemist. Unless you want to be special or make the game challenging, it is best to stay away from this job. Level 1: Pharmacology, ABP needed: 15 "Use knowledge of medicines to double the potency of potions and ethers." To be fair, this ability is really good. If you are not the kind of player who wants to spend time level up and just wants to finish off dungeons, then this is the ability for you. Basically, all items that heal HP or MP will double its effects. I personally never run out of MP regularly to use potions so I am biased against this ability. It is not worth an ability slot, and the only time where I have found it useful is probably at the end of the game where I actually do use Freelancers/Mimes and MP healing items. It is a good innate ability, but whether or not you want to take the time to master the Chemist class is your own decision. Level 2: !Mix, ABP needed: 30 "Combine items to create concoctions that can be consumed in battle to augment stats or harm enemies." To be a good mixer you have to test your mixes and/or have a table of mixes when you play, which is for me too much of a hassle. Using this ability, you can create a mix, which could be healing or damaging, from two existing potions in combat to use on your enemies or allies. In my opinion, just attack regularly. Again, like the Beastmaster job, it could be used to create variety in gameplay but not really a convenient ability. Level 3: !Drink, ABP needed: 45 "Drink special medicines to increase stats during battle." If you know some potions that you cannot drink, you can use this ability to drink them. They are really beneficial potions, but only the character with this ability can drink them, so you cannot use this ability on your allies. Unless the Chemist is equipped with !Rapid Fire or something this ability is also useless in my eyes. Level 4: !Recover, ABP needed: 135 "Recover from various conditions." This is basically Esuna without costing MP, but why would you want to waste an ability slot on this unstead of !White? Esuna only costs 10 MP either way. Level 5: !Revive, "Restore a KO'd ally to fighting form." The in-game description lies. It revives your allies alright, to one digit HP. That's not really fighting form, and while it costs no MP, I would rather have a White Mage around. --------- Geomancer --------- Default Ability: !Gaia Innate Abilities: Find Pits, Light Step Can use: Knives, Bells Affects: Strength: +4 Agility: +2 Stamina: +4 Magic: +24 Total ABP to master: 460 Characters recommended to master: Faris Usefulness: 8 Geomancer is a job that is useless until you need it. I put Faris as a character recommended to master since Faris is my "jack of all trades" character due to her all-around average stats. Either way, it's best if someone in your party masters this class but not more. Casters might consider to obtain the !Gaia ability before they can obtain the Ranger job or if you do not want to level up Ranger for Equip Bows and/or !Rapid Fire. Level 1: !Gaia*, ABP needed: 25 "Attack enemies by channeling the power of the surrounding area." This is the third ability from the three that are useful for casters to do damage. Damage using !Gaia depends on one's Magic, not Strength, so casters can have a field day with this ability. Also, it costs no MP, so you can use it over and over again. It does not do incredible damage, but it is surely better than attacking in the back row with a knife. Level 2: Find Pits*, ABP needed: 50 "Detect holes in the floor." Well this ability is useful enough to equip or changing to a Geomancer, Freelancer, or Mime when you need it. Otherwise if you are in an area without holes, then you can put the Geomancer aside. Level 3: Light Step*, ABP neeed: 100 "Avoid damage on floors with harmful effects. This ability is similar to Find Pits in usefulness. You can walk over spikes and lava without taking damage but if you're in an area without these damaging floors, then you can put the Geomancer aside. ---- Bard ---- Default Ability: !Sing Innate Abilities: None Can use: Knives, Harps Affects: Strength: -8 Agility: +8 Stamina: -9 Magic: +11 Total ABP to master: 175 Characters recommended to master: None Usefulness: 2 In the past there were jobs that I said are useless but are very good in some specific situations, but this class' useful situations are so rare that Bard is useless period. You can just avoid this class altogether and save yourself the pain of trying to find a useful situation for a Bard. Level 1: !Hide, ABP needed: 25 "Duck out of sight to avoid attacks." Just no. If your Bard is really low on HP for some reason, then it is your fault for picking Bard in the first place. This ability is close to being as useful as Magic Shell. Level 2: Equip Harps, ABP needed: 50, (+8 Agility, +11 Magic) "Gain the ability to equip harps." I am sorry but this is the worst equip out of them all. Harps will also do a fraction of the enemy's remaining HP and will never slay an enemy. This is more useless than !Hide. Level 3: !Sing, ABP needed: 100 "Perform magical chants with different effects." To be fair some songs are really good (for those very specific and rare situations) but whether or not it is worth an ability slot is another story. The songs usually are buffs and debuffs, and in my opinion it is better to just get a Time Mage instead. ------ Dancer ------ Default Ability: !Dance Innate Abilities: None Can use: Knives Affects: Strength: +5 Agility: +5 Stamina: +10 Magic: -5 Total ABP to master: 400 Characters recommended to master: None Usefulness: 5 This job is seriously good at the end of the game but it is quite restricted, since you cannot make a good dancer without wearing equipment unique to dancers, which means to use the Mime class for a Dancer you will have to give up two ability slots having only one free. It is a damaging class, and whether or not you want to use !Rapid Fire or !Dance is completely up to preference. I myself does not want to master another class so it could be useful at the end of the game, but if you want variety, this is actually a good class that not many use. Level 1: !Flirt, ABP needed: 25 "Charm enemies to make them forget about attacking." I really have nothing to say about this ability except you are better off just attacking since it only works on weaker enemies anyways. Level 2: !Dance*, ABP needed: 50 "Perform dances that bewitch enemies." It is the randomness that makes the Dancer class not really useful until you put on their unique equipment. !Dance will randomly select one of four dances where only one is good since it does four times as if you attack normally. Wearing several equipment can increase the chance to select this attack to up to 75%, but it is still random nonetheless and again, it is based on preference whether you want to use this ability. Level 3: Equip Ribbons, ABP needed: 325 "Gain the ability to equip ribbons." For a Mime to be successful as a Dancer, you will have to slap on this ability also in addition to !Dance. With your last ability slot being Equip Axes, you can make a powerful Mime 75% of the time. If you do not mind the randomness factor of this job, then go for it. It is one of the few jobs that I do not use but can see potential in it. ========== Other Jobs ========== To recap, Freelancer and Mime jobs obtain innate abilities passed down by mastered classes and have no stats modifications unless they equip an ability in their ability slots that change them. Freelancers come with !Attack and !Items so they have two ability slots for other jobs. Mimes come with !Mimic only so they have three ability slots for other jobs. This means Mimes can put on !Rapid Fire or !Dance instead of !Attack and do more damage than Freelancers, but Freelancers can use all weapons and armor while Mimes are restricted. I personally think that Mimes are better because of their versability and because I use Equip <Weapon> for +Strength therefore giving Mimes a good weapon anyways. Freelancers and Mimes should be used for the final stages of the game when you mastered useful classes and passed down their innate abilities. Since they have two or three ability slots, their advantage is to use skills from different classes on one character. ---------- Freelancer ---------- Default Ability: !Attack Innate Abilities: Passed down from other jobs Can use: Everything Affects: Strength: Passed down from other jobs Agility: Passed down from other jobs Stamina: Passed down from other jobs Magic: Passed down from other jobs Total ABP to master: 0 Characters recommended to master: None Usefulness: 5 Freelancers as I said come with !Attack and !Items with the ability to use all weapons and armor. When counting raw attack power, then Freelancers are the way to go since you can slap on Barehanded and !Rapid Fire and wield your strongest weapons (the Dual-Wield innate ability from Ninja lets you wield two weapons and Barehanded gives a whopping +26 Strength). However, if you have all four characters do physical damage you will not likely get anywhere, so it's best to have one Freelancer to do raw damage and the rest Mimes (in the final stages of the game of course) or have four Mimes and make your attackers somewhat more versatile. Level 0: None, ABP needed: 0 This class is obtained at the beginning of the game and has no abilities. ---- Mime ---- Default Ability: !Mimic Innate Abilities: Passed down from other jobs Can use: Knives, Rods, Staves, Shields, Special Affects: Strength: Passed down from other jobs Agility: Passed down from other jobs Stamina: Passed down from other jobs Magic: Passed down from other jobs Total ABP to master: 999 Characters recommended to master: None Usefulness: 10 Mimes are wonderful for several reasons. You can put on Equip <Weapon>, !Rapid Fire, and another skill of your choice (support magic such as !White or !Time is recommended) for a strong attacker (such as Bartz of Faris). I put !White on Bartz instead of making him a Freelancer for flexibility and !Blue on Faris because Blue Magic does not depend on one's Magic stat. For casters, you can put up to three casting commands or two casting commands plus !Dualcast so you can cast twice per round! Either way, it's a very flexible class assuming that you have all the powerful innate abilities passed down such as Dual-Wield and Shirahadori. Level 1: !Mimic, ABP needed: 999 "Mimic an ally's previous action." Of course the main purpose of the Mime class isn't the !Mimic skill but it is there for all who wants. it. It pretty much mimics an ally's previous action like the in-game description says, and this could be good for White Wind for example. I cannot say that its uses are rare because you will use a Mime anyways near the end so it will still be there whether you like it or not. You do not need to master this class though to use it efficiently. ==================== Creating a Good Team ==================== As mentioned along the way throughout the FAQ, a good team needs balance and as little overlapping skills as possible. First of all, make sure all characters master Samurai and Ninja for Shirahadori and Dual-Wield. These two skills are crucial for a Freelancer or Mime as they block enemy attacks and be able to wield two weapons attacking two times. Other than that, you have to work on each character to ensure that they master the right class based on their base stats. ----- Bartz ----- +Strength: 28 -Agility: 25 +Stamina: 27 -Magic: 25 Bartz have the highest Strength (damage) and Stamina (HP) out of all the characters, and will have the lowest Agility (wait bar) and Magic (MP, Magic damage) at the end of the game. This means that if you want to use Bartz as a Mime, then it's best to use !White since Bartz will go last, enable you to predict and use Arise or Curaga effectively. Also, master Berserker for use of Equip Axes giving you a high +Strength and Knight, giving you Cover which you can use effectively since you have high Stamina and can take a hit for an ally. I would put on Equip <Weapon>, !Rapid Fire, and !White for this character. ----- Galuf ----- =Strength: 27 -Agility: 24 +Stamina: 28 -Magic: 24 There isn't much to talk about Galuf since he gets replaced by Krile halfway into the game. Since Krile also needs to master some warrior jobs also, do them with Galuf now. Try to master all jobs that uses physical abilities with Galuf so you can concentrate on casting jobs on Krile later on. Try to get the good Equip <Weapon> abilities and mastering them right away along with Barehanded. ----- Krile ----- -Strength: 25 +Agility: 28 -Stamina: 24 =Magic: 27 Krile has a good Magic stat, but it is not as high as Lenna. Thus, it is usually good to use Krile as buffing/debuffing while Lenna use damaging spells. Also, she has the highest Agility, so she will attack first, which makes a good candidate to summon Golem to protect the party or cast Hastega before the other allies can attack. However, only put one or the other to maximize the flow of the battle. Even though Summon magic is powerful, it costs 66 MP to summon Bahamut so I recommend you using Flare if you are low on MP. I would put on !Dualcast, !Summon, and !Black for this character. ----- Lenna ----- -Strength: 25 =Agility: 26 -Stamina: 25 +Magic: 28 Even though Bartz might be able to heal, you will need a good healer with a high Magic stat. Lenna is the best at this, since she has the highest Magic stat and you probably mastered !White anyways since she is the first good spellcaster in the game. I usually couple her with !Time since Time Magic has some very powerful damaging spells and Lenna can waste time buffing/debuffing if no one needs healing. I would put on !Dualcast, !Time, and !White for this character. ----- Faris ----- =Strength: 27 =Agility: 27 =Stamina: 26 =Magic: 26 Faris is again the jack of all trades, but that just makes her more versatile. I put !Blue on Faris because Faris can use White Wind to heal without taking her Magic stat into consideration and also has useful abilities such as Aqua Breath, Aeroga, and Mighty Guard. Since Blue Magic offers healing, attacking, and buffing spells, !Blue alone is enough for this character. I would put on !Equip <Weapon>, !Rapid Fire, and !Blue for this character. ----------- Battle Flow ----------- If you take my suggestions from above, then you can start battle safely with Krile using the Golum summon, Lenna using Hastega, and Faris using Mighty Guard. These three spells are the best buffing spells in the game, and that leaves Bartz to !Rapid Fire all the way, healing as needed, and the same with Faris. Lenna is the main healer and Krile is the main attacker, and this is one really good flow. Note that one interesting choice would be to replace !Black on Krile with Pharmacology, so Krile can use the MP-intensive Bahamuth summon and drink Elixers for double the effect then continue to use Bahamuth. Bartz can be given !Dance, !Equip Ribbons, and Equip <Weapon> or be made into a Freelancer and be given !Dance and Barehanded (for +Strength). If your casters are out of MP try to !Mimic a !Dualcast or !Rapidfire for no MP cost. There are many strategies available, so use them as they come. But overall, good luck and have fun!