Part 80: Starter Jobs 3: Animist, Archer, FencerJob Roundup #3: Animist, Archer, Fencer
The last set of starter jobs are, more or less, the worst of the lot. Between ability nerfs, lack of weapons and just plain being overshadowed, these jobs are a little lackluster.
Locked by: Nothing
- 1 Ability: Moogle Knight, Fusilier (+a quest)
- 2 Abilities: Chocobo Knight (+a quest)
- Weapons: Instruments
- Armor: Light Armor
Growths: Slightly above average across the board, speed is OK.
Animist just kinda sucks. There, I said it.
Their abilities make them pretty flexible, with good damage in Chocobo Rush (infinite range in a straight line!), buffs with 100% Wool, and some great debuffs with Tail Wag (Charm), Sheep Count (Sleep) and Toad Song (Toad). Their really unique abilities are Cuisine (restores all HP to the target) and Friend (casts a random Summoner spell).
But they suffer from a major external problem: Instruments are oddly rare. You'll get the one that teaches 100% Wool pretty quickly, but after that, they dry up. I don't think I see another until mid-game at the earliest. Two of them are locked behind late-game plot quests! And to add insult to injury, the instruments you do find in the meantime only teach abilities to Beastmasters.
Learn a skill and move on, friend, there's nothing but frustration here.
Races: Hume, Viera
- Hume: 1 Soldier
- Viera: Nothing
- 2 Abilities: Sniper [Viera only]
- 3 Abilities: Hunter [Hume only]
- Weapons: Bows
- Armor: Light armor
Growths: Balanced but low, viera get better speed and attack but worse defenses
There are 2 kinds of Archer: Those who have Concentration, and those who don't. Well, that's how it worked in FFTA, when the Archer's condition-inflicting abilities make them absolute monsters on the field. But one of the big changes in FFTA2 is the solid application of the nerf bat to conditions, and even Concentration isn't enough to save them. Still, FFTA2's Archers are great in the early game, and if you can find the bows to give them the advanced skills, they can provide a surprising amount of utility.
The job's most important skills focus on disabling the enemy. They can inflict Disable (prevents use of actions) and Immobilize (prevents movement), Blind and Charm. They also get Burial, which can 1-hit kill undead enemies. Their damage tends to be low, but I find they shine in the early game. By mid-game, they're completely eclipsed by Hunters and Snipers. As a starter job, they're more interesting than Soldiers, but their stat growths besides Speed are worse.
Locked by: Nothing
- 1 Ability: Red Mage (+ 1 White Mage)
- Weapons: Rapiers
- Armor: Light Armor, Shields
Growths: Excellent W.ATK, poor defenses and magick, great speed.
Fencers exemplify Viera jobs: Fast, powerful, a handful of good (or at least useful) abilities, but not going to take hits too well. And for a race that generally uses magick, W.ATK isn't helpful. I suppose the new Spellblade job can use it, fortunately. (There's no way in-game to tell if an ability uses W.ATK or M.POW.) Fencers get some neat abilities, like a mini sampling of other Viera abilities: Swarmstrike inflicts Poison, Nighthawk is basically Air Render, Piercing Blow has a 2-panel range, and they can even inflict Doom with Checkmate. They also get the Reflex R-ability, dodging all basic attacks.
It's funny that when I say "poor defenses," I actually mean "tied for best W.DEF among Viera jobs." Viera really don't take hits well. Of course, that's not problem if there are no hits to take, and Fencers are gateways to the immense power of other Viera jobs. Despite unlocking only 1 job directly, their skill set makes a great secondary for Snipers and Assassins. They'll be outclassed sooner or later, but Fencers are a respectable start.