The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift

by Solumin

Part 79: Starter Jobs 2: White Mage, Black Mage, Thief

Job Roundup #2: White Mage, Black Mage, Thief

Let's look at another 3 starter jobs. Most of the interesting magick jobs are locked behind White Mage and Black Mage, though those two are no slouches on their own. Thief, on the other hand, is unremarkable (unlike its FFTA counterpart), though two fan-favorite jobs are locked by it.


White Mage

Races: Hume, Viera, Nu Mou
Locked By: Nothing
- Humes:
- 1 Ability: Black Mage
- 2 Abilities: Illusionist [+4 Black Mage]
- 4 Abilities: Seer
- Viera:
- 1 Ability: Green Mage, Red Mage [+1 Fencer]
- 2 Abilities: Elementalist
- Nu Mou:
- 2 Abilities: Illusionist [+4 Black Mage], Sage [+2 Beast Master]

- Weapons: Staves
- Armor: Light armor, Robes

Growths: Pretty good magick, low physical, low speed.

White Mages are an OK starter job. Healing is pretty useful, as few jobs have reliable or even useful self-sustain. Their true value, as with every other starter job, is that they're a springboard for all the really good jobs. Just look at that Unlocks list! Illusionist, Seer, Sage... the most powerful offensive magic in the game, locked behind the healing job. You would think healing would be more useful as enemies get stronger, but by midgame I think you're better off equipping White Magick as a secondary ability set. Avoiding damage, such as by knocking out enemies quickly, is better than healing.

For some reason, the job actually got nerfed -- it lost the Shell and Protect spells. Why? No idea. And, for some reason, the staves they use are incredibly hard to find. I usually start getting the good ones 20 to 30 hours into the game. And by "good ones" I mean "the ones that teach anything besides Cure."


Black Mage

Races: Hume, Nu Mou, Moogle
Locked By:
- Nothing [Nu Mou, Moogle]
- 1 White Mage [Hume only]
- Humes:
- 1 Ability: Blue Mage
- 4 Abilities: Illusionist [+2 White Mage]
- Nu Mou:
- 4 Abilities: Illusionist [+2 White Mage]
- 5 Abilities: Time Mage
- Moogle:
- 5 Abilities: Time Mage

- Weapons: Rods
- Armor: Robes, Light Armor

Growths: Top-tier magick growths, everything else sucks.

Those stat growths! +10 M.POW and M.RES per level (+11 M.POW for nu mou)! You don't see growths like that in any other starter job. Besides that, well, "lackluster" isn't quite the right word. Black Mage is one of those jobs that appears in every Final Fantasy game. They're usually packing all the damage and "nasty" spells: Fire/Thunder/Blizzard, Flare, Sleep, Toad, etc. Unfortunately, FFTA/2 gave most of those spells to other jobs, leaving Black Mage with only the Fire, Thunder and Blizzard spell families. Seriously, that's it, just those 9 spells.

Thankfully, those spells are incredible workhorses. The tier-1 spells can be cast every turn, and with the right support abilities, the tier-2 and tier-3 abilities can be used just as frequently. Black Mage also has Geomancy, one of the best passive abilities in the game. It lowers every target's elemental resistance by one level, e.g. Absorb -> Immune -> Resist -> Neutral -> Weak.

Black Mage is definitely one of the better starter jobs. You'll lose out on some speed if you keep a character in it for too long, but the magick growths are more than worth it. It makes a great secondary skill set for all the jobs it unlocks, especially Time Mage.



Races: Hume, Moogle
Locked by:
- Hume: 1 Soldier
- Moogle: Nothing
- 2 Abilities: Tinker [Moogle only]
- 4 Abilities: Ninja [Hume only]

- Weapons: Daggers
- Armor: Light armor

Growths: Excellent speed for a base job, middling for everything else.

In FFTA, Thieves were powerful. They could steal armor, weapons, money and abilities. Yes, those abilities, the ones you need several hundred AP to master. This could utterly destroy the game's difficulty.

But, like the other utterly broken things, FFTA2 nerfed them hard. Every enemy now drops loot, and Thieves' sole purpose is to steal that loot. Sure, the loot is useful, as it's the only way to get many weapons, but loot is hardly hard to get and thieves don't make it any easier to get specific loot.

Still, Thief isn't a bad starter job. They learn Counter, one of better Reaction abilities, and their speed is great compared to other hume starters jobs. They also unlock the powerful Ninja job for humes and are a prerequisite for the moogle Juggler job.

Good luck finding good knives for them though. Oh, and try not to let them get hit, it doesn't go well.