Job Combinations Guide and FAQ

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  2. Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
  3. Job Combinations Guide and FAQ

User Info: DonkeyPunchJr

3 months ago#1

Zodiac Age is based on Final Fantasy XII: International Zodiac Job System. This Japan-only version of the game introduced a job system to FF XII. Early in the game, you pick from one of 12 license boards, at which point you are locked into a job for the rest of the game.

New to Zodiac Age is the ability to choose a second job. Every license board has a new license that, when unlocked, grants you an entire second license board. There is no switching; both license boards are active at all times. It is as if you have one giant license board with the combined licenses of both boards. Unlocking a license on one board unlocks the same license on the other board, if it's present on both.

This makes for some very powerful combinations of abilities and equipment that weren't possible in IZJS. Here are some of the best ones.

.::God-tier combinations::.

These are the combos that add up to far more than the sum of their parts - so powerful they're practically broken.

Hunter/Breaker: Hunter's ninja swords are one of the best weapons to use with Genji Gloves, and Hunter/Breaker is arguably the best way to do so. This combination gives you 3x swiftness, a decent ranged weapon (hand bomb), all 4 breaks, Genji gear, high strength and HP, and ninja swords.

Hunter/Samurai: Not as strong as Hunter/Breaker but has one huge advantage - this is the only combination that allows for Genji Gloves + Yagyu Darkblade (Dark element weapon) + Black Robes (which boost Dark damage by 50%). In other words, this is THE ultimate Yiazmat killer. You can also easily heal any teammate with dark-absorbing gear by attacking them!

Hunter/White Mage: a nearly invincible healer/tank hybrid. High HP, shields and Main Gauche (a dagger that gives you a whopping 50 evasion) combine with access to all the buff/healing spells to make this the best tank in the game. Even better, you can use the Drain spell to damage enemies while healing yourself.

Black Mage/Monk: perhaps the ultimate offensive magic user. Monk upgrades your Black Mage with 3x swiftness, tons of HP, and access to White Magick 9-13. Being able to exploit Holy weakness is a huge advantage, and the best staff (Staff of the Magi) boosts Holy damage by 50%. This combo also has excellent physical strength, which especially comes in handy earlier in the game before you get all the really good offensive spells.

Black Mage/Red Mage: Another contender for the best offensive mage. Red Mage gets the most powerful elemental spell in the game: Ardor. Unfortunately he gets no fire-boosing gear to make the best of it. This combo lets you use the Flame Staff to boost Ardor by 50%. Oil + Ardor + Flame Staff makes for the highest damage move in the game. A good selection of healing and buffs on top of it.

Samurai/Knight: The syngergy here is incredible. Samurai's katanas do damage based on both strength and magic. Samurai has very high magic power, along with the magic-boosting mystic armor, but has just mediocre strength. Knight has excellent strength and strength-boosting heavy armor, so this combo will greatly increase katana damage. But it gets better. Knight unlocks a bunch of excellent White Magicks, but has lousy magic power. Samurai's magic ability will make those spells far more effective. What's more, this is the only combo in the game that allows White Robes (50% damage boost for Holy element) + Excalibur (Holy elemental sword) + 3x swiftness, making you the ultimate undead slayer.

***Please don't post yet***

User Info: DonkeyPunchJr

3 months ago#2
Samurai/Monk: Similar to the Samurai/Knight combo, this combines Samurai's high magic power with Monk's strength (highest in the game) to greatly boost katana damage. Monk can unlock White Magick 9-13, which benefit from Samurai's excellent magic power.

White Mage/Machinist: This is a nice upgrade for your healer. Machinist gives you lots of HP, 3x swiftness, eventual access to Hastega, and guns (which do fixed damge regardless of your stats, making them ideal for a weak healer-type character). Guns give you a way of doing some decent damage during downtime from healing/buffing. What's more, you can equip Dark Shot + Black Robes to boost their damage by 50% AND heal allies with dark-absorbing gear. Just be sure to set up your gambits so you don't heal any dark-absorbing enemies. If you want to use guns, this is the best combo to do so.

Knight/Time Mage: Time Mage gives the slow Knight 3x swiftness, a ranged weapon (Bowguns), and some decent magic power to make the best of his White Magick. Plus Time Magick, of course. This combo makes for a great attacker with lots of support abilities.

.::Other great combinations::.

Not as absurdly powerful as the above, but still potentially very useful in the context of a party.

Time Mage/Monk: Similar to Knight/Time Mage. Only reason it's not in the "God-tier" category is because you can only unlock his White Magicks once, and Samurai and Black Mage are better contenders for that.

Archer/Red Mage: Archer gets the fire-boosting Burning Bow to boost Red Mage's Ardor spell. You also get 3x swiftness and all the item lores. Overall this isn't as powerful as the Black Mage/Red Mage combo, but it's a good choice if you already have a Black Mage/Monk and you don't want to double up on the Black Mage job.

Uhlan/Time Mage: A great heavy attacker/support character similar to Knight/Time Mage above, but with no healing abilities.

Knight/Archer: Knight benefits from the 3x swiftness and ranged weapon, Archer benefits from the high strength. Not as good as Knight/Time Mage, but decent if you've given Time Mage to someone else and you don't want to double up on jobs.

Uhlan/Archer: for the same reason as Knight/Archer.

White Mage/Time Mage: The ultimate healer/support character. Great if you want to dedicate one character to full-time healing and buffing.

Samurai/Uhlan: katana damage benefits from Uhlan's high strength and heavy armor. Uhlan's Holy Lance benefits from access to holy-boosting White Robes.

Samurai/Breaker: again, katana damage benefits from high strength and heavy armor. Great combination if you want a katana user with all the breaks. You also get hand bombs for hitting flying enemies - a nice benefit for Samurai, whose only ranged attack is Shades of Black (which frankly stinks compared to a proper ranged weapon).

Samurai/Time Mage: upgrade your Samurai with heavy armor, Time Magicks, and a ranged weapon

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User Info: DonkeyPunchJr

3 months ago#3
.::General Considerations::.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when combining jobs and building a party:

- "breaks" - the abilities that lower enemy strength/defense/magic/magic defense - work on all enemies now. These abilities (Addle, Shear, Wither, Expose) are extremely useful for cutting the more powerful enemies down to size. Make sure you have access to all of them.

- Late game, combo damage using Genji Gloves dominates when it comes to physical attacks. You can get two Genji Gloves, so you should try to create two really great Genji Glove users to go with them. The weapons with the highest combo rate (by far) are poles, ninja swords, and katanas. The three jobs that get Genji Gear are Samurai, Knight, and Breaker.

- Males have the best combo speed with the high-combo rate weapons, so you will almost certainly want to make your two Genji Gloves users males.

- The "spell queue" is gone. The PS2 versions of FF XII limited the number of spell effects that could be displayed on screen at once, so when casting, you'd have to sit there and wait your turn for it to cast. No longer! Now you can cast high-level magic like a maniac, so offensive mages should be a lot more powerful.

- In general it's best to try and combine fast/light jobs with slow/strong jobs. Combos like Hunter/Archer may sound logical, but they gain practicaly nothing from each other.

- These jobs were all originally designed to stand on their own. So there is really no such thing as a bad combination, just a sub-optimal one. Even the worst combos will be very strong.

.::Party suggestions::.

For those who insist on using every job once, it's hard to get more optimal than these:

White Mage/Machinist
Black Mage/Monk
Time Mage/Uhlan
Red Mage/Archer


White Mage/Machinist
Knight/Time Mage
Red Mage/Black Mage

If you just want to optimize the heck out of your party and don't care about using every job:

Hunter/Breaker (or Samurai/Hunter if you want a Yiazmat killer)
White Mage/Machinist
Black Mage/Monk
Black Mage/Red Mage
Uhlan/Time Mage

If you want an uber-powerful yet balanced 3-man team:

Red Mage/Black Mage
Time Mage/White Mage


Black Mage/Monk
Time Mage/White Mage

If you want a 3-man team that focuses on extreme physical damage plus tons of healing abilities:

White Mage/Time Mage

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User Info: DonkeyPunchJr

3 months ago#4

Isn't this just like playing the original FF XII but limiting yourself to a subset of the license board?

No. For example, vanilla XII's license board had only 5 magic lores and 5 battle lores. Zodiac Age has a maximum of 16 of each, depending on the job. There are new ultimate weapons in most weapon categories, and many pieces of equipment had their stats adjusted. In short, while the job system makes you more specialized, the tradeoff is you are potentially much stronger.

Am I screwed if I make sub-optimal job choices?

No way! The game isn't all that hard. Don't stress about optimizing if you don't feel like it. This guide is for people who enjoy this style of JRPG strategizing.

Do I need to use every job exactly once?


But, am I missing out by not using every job?

This is a source of much disagreement. IMHO no.

But, there are 12 jobs, 6 characters, and 2 jobs per character. Surely I HAVE to use all the jobs, right?

Ask yourself what it is that makes a job system fun for you. Do you enjoy picking the jobs/weapons you think are cool, and building a strategy around their unique strengths and weaknesses? Do you enjoy finding ridiculously powerful combinations and breaking the heck out of the game? Or do you obsess over making sure you can use every ability and piece of equipment in a single play-through?

Also, keep in mind that IZJS limited you to 6 jobs. That's part of what made it fun. My opinion is you shouldn't force yourself to use every job if it leads to some job combos you don't really like.

Who's the best at each role?

Vaan, Basch, and Balthier have the best combo speed with the high-combo weapons (pole, katana, ninja sword), so your two Genji Gloves users will be one of them.

Vaan is pretty much great at everything.

Ashe and Penelo have awesome magic power, so they're ideal for mages.

Fran has pretty lousy stats so she is a good candidate for gun user.

Overall though, the differences aren't that huge. So you can certainly just pick whomever looks coolest with a given weapon.

Wait a second, I thought everybody knew that Ashe was the best katana user!

This misconception just won't go away. Someone noticed that Ashe has high magic power and pretty good strength, and figured "hey, katanas require both strength and magic, that means Ashe must be the best katana user!" What this doesn't take into account is a) strength factors much higher into the damage equation than magic, and b) combo animation speed is crucial when it comes to katana damage.

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User Info: DonkeyPunchJr

3 months ago#5

Job planning spreadsheet from ZodiacSoldier:

FAQs section for IZJS (includes images of every license board):

IZJS wiki:

User Info: Aloran

3 months ago#6
Thanks for putting this together @DonkeyPunchJr - it should hopefully answer a lot of the questions that pop up with some regularity.

Small suggestion: I'd recommend changing the job names to be setup for TZA's terminology (e.g. Samurai -> Bushi, Time Mage -> Time Battlemage, and so on).

Side note: sometimes I feel like I must be crazy for not really being into the Machinist/White Mage combo. I mean, yeah, guns will give you a bit extra offensive firepower on your white mage for the beginning of the game, up until you get Drain (and Cure magick on undead will always be preferable). And then, the end-game Black Robes/Dark Shot combo is decent, but you'll really only have access to that for a little bit before you get to Pharos and get access to Holy, at which point I imagine most would want to switch over to White Robes/Holy. Sure, you can do Dark Shot healing, but that seems more like a gimmick than anything else to me; MP isn't really an issue at all by the time you get access to the Black Robes, the magick queue is gone so that's not a concern anymore, and I'd rather have the flexibility to equip different equipment than the dark absorbers. White Mages aren't completely defenseless on their own; they destroy undead, and Drain actually does pretty well for a solid chunk of the game. Guns would probably outpace it a bit for various parts of the game (certainly the beginning), but the occasional extra damage you get out of it just doesn't seem worth giving up an expansion of the white mage's kit to me.

I guess it just makes more sense to me to have White Mage/Time Battlemage, since then you have heals, Drain, Disable, Haste, Holy, etc. all in the same place - along with access to the magick breaks. I'd personally take that over some novelty access to guns any day.
(edited 3 months ago)

User Info: scarybyte

3 months ago#7
Could you please add some esper advice for your optimised teams? Then this would be totally worthy of a sticky :)
When penguins have sex, the female lies on her belly and the male climbs on top with his feet and puts his rump around her rump. It's called the cloacal kiss.

User Info: Seraphor

3 months ago#8
Aloran posted...
Small suggestion: I'd recommend changing the job names to be setup for TZA's terminology (e.g. Samurai -> Bushi, Time Mage -> Time Battlemage, and so on).

Precisely what I was going to suggest.

Also for the 'other great combos' section I would say that this list is not exhaustive and there may be other good combo's not listed. But the 'God tier combos' I agree with.
Except perhaps White Mage / Machinist. I feel like that should only be in the 'other great combos' section, but I guess this is mostly subjective.
(edited 3 months ago)

User Info: Soaks

3 months ago#9
Some points of contention and complementation:

Hunter/Breaker: [...]

Also note that Breaker gives the Hunter the three extra Shield licenses it's missing - Shell, Zodiac & Ensanguined Shield. This is also true when you combine the Hunter with a Knight or a Red Mage.

DonkeyPunchJr posted...
Monk upgrades your Black Mage with 3x swiftness

I think it's important to mention that you get the last two Swiftness licenses for Monk very late into the game. Well, paired with the BM, it's essentially just the third. You'd be living off two Swiftness licenses for the majority of the game, which arguably isn't all that bad.

Knight/Time Mage: [...] and some decent magic power to make the best of his White Magick.

You have 10 extra points of MAG from the TM, but the lack of Mystic Armor still dilutes it in the long run. It's advisable to give this pair to someone with high natural MAG (Ashe, Penelo, Vaan) to maximize the magic potential further. Also note that MAG affects the hit rate of spells; well, the ones that don't hit 100%, natch, stuff like Decoy and the status-inducing Time Magic: Slow/ga, Stop, Immobilize, etc.

Uhlan/Time Mage: A great heavy attacker/support character similar to Knight/Time Mage above, but with no healing abilities.

TM does get Cura via an Esper unlock, though. But yeah, with no Magic Lores or Mystic Armor, it barely counts for anything, except maybe for complementing the Item Lores of the Uhlan: 2 Potion (+1 w/ Famfrit), 2 Remedy, 2 Phoenix. It's like a slightly weaker version of the Archer's Lores.

Breaks [...] Make sure you have access to all of them.

Arguably, though, Addle & Shear aren't as crucial as Wither & Expose.

Vaan, Basch, and Balthier have the best combo speed with the high-combo weapons (pole, katana, ninja sword)

Exclusive when it comes to combos, and NOT single hits:
Fastest Pole users are Fran and Basch.
Fastest Katana users are Balthier and Basch.
Fastest Ninja Sword users are Balthier and Penelo.
Fastest 1H Sword users are Vaan, Balthier and Basch. (Included this since the Masamune I is classified as a 1H sword and not a Katana.)

Ashe and Penelo have awesome magic power, so they're ideal for mages.

Anyone with Mystic Armor can easily max MAG. Combine that with high natural MAG and it becomes easier.

High natural MAG has its merits if you want to be potent as fast as possible. My BM Ashe once reached 99 MAG as early as Level 44. Any higher and your females would just be wasting their natural MAG. In IZJS, it was often advised to assign the mage roles to the males and offensive melee roles to the females, to augment certain parts of a job. I.e Samurai for SoB, Knight for heals, Uhlan for some offensive spells.

However, since it's possible to not limit yourself to a single type of armor in TZA, the natural MAG of these girls gains more value. Same can be said about Heavy Armor and natural STR, of which the males have the highest.
out of a kettle

User Info: Soaks

3 months ago#10
Fran has pretty lousy stats so she is a good candidate for gun user.

She has the best VIT, making her a potent Breaker. Most everyone has good VIT save for Basch, though.

Level 99 VIT:
Vaan - 61
Balthier - 58
Fran - 62
Basch - 47
Ashe - 57
Penelo - 60

Someone noticed that Ashe has high magic power and pretty good strength, and figured "hey, katanas require both strength and magic, that means Ashe must be the best katana user!"


Personally, I just don't like her Katana stance and animation.

Aloran posted...
Sure, you can do Dark Shot healing, but that seems more like a gimmick than anything else to me

Especially since you're already a White Mage, right? ;p Heh. I do agree with most of your points re:WM/Machinist. I suppose it's ultimately a playstyle kinda deal. Like, say, with all the times I ran with an RM, I barely used normal attacks, so pairing a Machinist with an RM to use measures with shields becomes more desirable for me for that extra EVA plus buffing prowess. Shame there won't be ideal gambit setups to automate them. I'll probably just set something up like Ally: has opposite status of the buff > Attack. Ergo, has: Slow > Haste, like I do with the Healing Rod and Sap/Poison. Or maybe Ally HP = 100% > Attack for anyone who doesn't have Focus. EDIT: Also, measures boost elemental spells.

Speaking of Gambits, another reason I'm reluctant to pair my WM with my TM is I know I'm gonna run out of Gambit slots fast, and I'll likely be wasting the Heavy Armor since my WM almost always never uses normal attacks, save for Healing Rod friendly pokes, as mentioned above.
out of a kettle
(edited 3 months ago)
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