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 On Trial - Even More Final Fantasy Jobs
Well, as if you didn't see it coming, the third and final rating of the Job Classes seen throughout the Final Fantasy series. Finally covering some jobs, and getting the rest out of the way, by this point you'll know all of my opinions of each job, and can probably guess what I have in my parties usually. So go ahead, and take a whirl, because while we may disagree, I'll know my party can kick your party's butt.

Even More Final Fantasy Job Classes

For some reason summoners have always been one of my favorite. Sure they are little more than trumped up Black Mages, but so what? Their spells are expensive, they have few redeeming factors, but at least they do a big bang when they pull off their spells. Nothing quite like roasting a group-boss with Bahamut. Why fight when you can let someone else tougher do it for you? I was actually kinda saddened with how FF8 turned everyone into a summoner. It just took the specialty, the fun out of it. But back to Summoners, they're tops. And I'm not just saying that because Ironsides is charging Shiva on me right now.
Verdict:   Four and stoves

Red Mage
These guys make me split in my opinion. For one, they really kick unbelievable amounts of ass when you first get them. They can use swords! They can equip armor! They can cast WHITE and BLACK magic! But, in the end, their shortcomming is their distribution of skills. If they were more specific, they would be really useful in that one area, but instead they're mediocre in a bunch. They'll never do as much damage as your Monk, they'll never learn the really useful White and Black spells. So about halfway through the game they hit a glass ceiling and become much much less useful. Too bad, too. Well, except in FFV where they teach you X-Magic, which is tops in my book!
Verdict:   Two and 1/2 stoves

Eh, I dunno, these guys weren't really ever that great. They could sit in the back row, they could fire arrows, whoopeee. In FFIV, it was useful to have bow-wielding magic users, especially if you had a bunch of Artemis arrows and such, but if the character's only main thing is using the bow and arrow, then you can count me out. I mean, even the FFT skill Charge was really pretty impractical, even with Short Charge. Their only redeemping value in FFV was teaching Distortion Shot/X-Fight/whatever, which equates to the Offering from FF6. In other words: 4x attacks, 1/2 damage each hit, equalling double attack damage. In FF Tactics, their only redeeming factor is if you crossed over Battle Skill, giving you long range weapon/armor breaking ability. Of course, once you got Meliadoul/TG Cid, they could do the same thing with 100% hit rate. Oh well, poor Archers. They mean so well.
Verdict:   One and 1/2 stoves

Cheap. These guys are just cheap. In almost every game, Mimes are the embodiment of tactics you should feel dirty about using. In FFV, they let you put on super magic-using capabilities. In FFIV, you could have ANYBODY's attacks, not to mention all the combined spells everyone in your party has. Even FFVII has a Mime materia. In all the games, the most cheap tactic of all, though, is Mime. If you pull off a cheap attack (Bahamut), you can mime it for no charge time, no MP. Then you can mime the mime action. Repeat. For example, in FFVII, you could use a limit break and mime it (especially in the Colliseum). I think Mime is probably the most missed skill left out of FF8. In FFT, though, their cheapness is severely impeded, though. They are hard to use, and take a lot of stratedgy. I would like to see a party of 4 mimes and a summoner, though.
Verdict:   Three and 1/2 stoves

I grouped them together because most people do, but they are really very different. Dancers are a neat novelty. In FFT, their weapon (cloth) make excellent defensive combinations with Weapon Guard (evade rates like 50%). Their attacks damage every enemy on the screen, and do things like status ailments, reduicng speed, etc. Unfortuantely, they take a long time to perform and don't really do proportional damage, but are still pretty novel. In FF5, dancing was fun, especially with a strong weapon and dancer-only equipment, like Ribbons. Bards, on the other hand, just suck, and have universally sucked. Since Edward first appeared on the screen with his flamingo-stance, dorky-ass miscolored outfit, and stupid feathered cap, Bards have been doomed to failure. Their songs are always mediocre at best and poorly emulate useful White/Black magic spells. Even in FFT, while they hit every ally on the screen, they don't give you enough to do justice. Plus, their attack power sucks.
Verdict (Bard):   One stove
Verdict (Dancer):   Two and 1/2 stoves

Okay, these guys are bad ass. Punch Art is one of the most useful FFT abilities, especially when you have something else carrying over on Monk. They have naturally high HP, naturally high attack power, naturally high amount ass they can kick. Even though they can't wear armor, they have a naturally high defense! No weapons means less equipment to buy! So basically, if you like beating heads, go for Monks. Plus, with Two Swords, their already good shitbeating powers are doubled! In FFV and such, you don't even need that because they always have two attacks! Plus in FFV near the end of the game when they get weaker, you get Kaiser Knuckles to increase your barefisted power. Kick may be limited, BuildUp may not be the best, but overall, Monks are The Right Stuff.
Verdict:   Four and 1/2 stoves

Not much to say about them. They only appear in FFT and they live to fill the niche of spells that in other games are White, Black, and Time magic. Basically these guys are the guys ho cast grey dot spells in FF6. Stuff like Sleep, Toad, etc. Not really that useful, because you have better spells to learn, and Beowulf can do these guys' jobs in a heartbeat without charging, and make it look good. So you probably won't use one. Their sticks have a range of 2 though, and do respectable damage for magic users, so they're not too bad. Just not too great. I give them my "tapioca pudding" rating then.
Verdict:   Two and 1/2 stoves

There are a few reasons you'd want a Berserker.
  1. You want to equip big axes
  2. High attack power, increased by being berserked
  3. You would just attack with them every turn anyways
  4. Lenna looks hot in a tigerskin bikkini
Of course, this still doesn't quite make up for the fact that you can't control them. You can't tell them NOT to attack, and you can't choose WHAT to attack, so they'll likely attack the enemy in the very back row and do 1/2 damage, or attack the boss when it's in its "DON'T ATTACK MIST FORM" stage or whatever you're not supposed to attack. Plus, especially in some battles, they'll attack parts of the boss that are already dead. Oh well, X-Fight has the same problem in a lot of cases (especially fighting ExDeath), and they're pretty useful anyways. So you may as well give Berserkers a try, or don't. You're not missing much either way.
Verdict:   Three stoves

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Written by WrexSoul and posted on 04-30-00.
This article is 2000 Zach Francks.

Salamando's Stove is all a big ol' 1999-2000 Zach Francks and Nick Hammer.